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Automatic download/installation of dependencies

From: address@hidden
Subject: Automatic download/installation of dependencies
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2003 11:07:28 -0700 (PDT)


I have written a program that downloads, (given approval) compiles and
(calling su) installs dependencies. The program is called dependable and
can be found at

The person distributing a package creates a file which specifies where
(HTTP or FTP) the required files can be downloaded and what their SHA1 or
MD5 hashes are. The package distributor includes this file and a copy of
dependable (which is written in perl) along with their regular install
files and causes their configure/install script to execute dependable if a
dependency is not found. Dependable will download the requested file,
check the hash, compile and install. Multiple URLs are allowed.

Dependable is GPL and has very few dependencies.

I think that the next step for dependable is to make it interoperate
closely with (and perhaps someday become attached to) autoconf. Hell, I'd
like to bring my kids up in a world where their ./configure scripts
download and install whatever dependencies they need instead of telling
them to go hunt through the web for the libraries that they need.

I'd like a bit of help pursuing this -- or at least finding out what to do
next. I also wouldn't mind having a few testers to give me feedback.

dependable can be found at


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