Microsoft to bring Linux APT/RPM-like application publishing platform (CoApp) to Windows
Speaking frankly, Garrett Serack of Open Source Development at Microsoft laments the current state of open source package management and installation on the Windows platform. It's time for things to change, he says -- and, if you're a developer or open source aficionado, the Common Opensource Application Publishing Platform (CoApp) does sound pretty damn compelling.
For the longest time, open source development has been all but locked out of the Windows platform. Sure, it's possible to compile and run open source programs on Windows, but it's hard. Where Unix variants have autoconf, make and shared libraries with standardized locations, compiling code on Windows has always felt a bit... frankenstein. Serack's new project, CoApp, seeks to remove the rigmarole of building and compiling packages on Windows. To do this, Serack outlines a list of very Linux-like features for CoApp, while still staying well within the Windows architecture paradigm -- you won't see a bunch of binaries placed in c:\usr\bin, for example.
Basically, CoApp will seek to standardize library/header locations, while tying in more 'home user' technologies like easily-installable MSI packages and Windows Error Reporting. It should be as easy, or easier, to install open source packages on Windows.
It's a brave project, but judging by the very quickly growing list of developers, CoApp itself being open source, and consecrated by Microsoft itself, we might see CoApp's debut sooner rather than later -- exciting!