Supporting Songbird

Posted on 18 Dec 08 at 01:46 | Tagged as , ,

One of the Songbird developers wrote a good blogpost about the problems that distros meet when trying to support Songbird, an open source iTunes competitor. The post concentrates on Ubuntu, as one of the most popular distros, but the concerns raised there in essence are the same for all distros. We have our own bug open for this new package, and it’s not really going anywhere. For us a similar compromise as for other distros exists: we do have a songbird-bin ebuild in Sunrise overlay.

But nobody wants to maintain an extra copy of xulrunner, or backport Songbird’s patches to the system xulrunner (which is used by Firefox among other packages). The whole idea seems very Windows-like to me: take existing packages, patch them to bits, mash it together with your own application into one big binary package. This is certainly not the way things are normally done on the Linux side of things.

I would urge the Songbird developers to work with upstream (Mozilla in the case of Xulrunner) to get their patches accepted, or some other kind of solution to make Songbird and vanilla Xulrunner to work together nicely. That would make it a lot easier for us, and any other Linux distro, as well as the BSDs, to import this package into our official repositories and give it proper support.

In the comments to that post you can read that OpenSuse and Fedora have the exact same problems. With such a unanimous voice from the distributions, I would say the ball is now in Songbird’s court, if they care about Linux support.

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