intended audience and usage of googleearth-package

Asked by michael perigard on 2009-02-14

I'm confused.

I see that medibuntu has a googleearth package, and I see this package being maintained by ubuntu.

What are the differences in the intended audience, or is there any? Are efforts being duplicated between medibuntu and the maintainers of this package? The community documentation regarding Google Earth; should it be updated to point to this package as well? As an end user, what are the differences between using these two packages?

I guess the real question is, would the ubuntu maintainers rather that people use/test/bug fix this package, or the medibuntu package? Is this not for the every day user? I hate to see people in the open source community duplicating their efforts.


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Ubuntu googleearth-package Edit question
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Bill Sullivan
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Google Earth are not Open Source, the Source code are not avaliable.

Medibuntu, offers a Easy install of Google Earth, maybe not the very last version, but Stable, and easy to install.
just double click on the .deb and you get Google Earth.

I understand why
a) Medibuntu has a googleearth package and ubuntu's official repositories do not. That has to do with licensing.
b) Why the package found in the multiverse repository (googleearth-package) doesn't actually contain any of the Google Earth code or binaries. This, again, has to do with licensing.

What I don't understand is why both packages exist. If Ubuntu has a googleearth-package package, is it just a question of it not being as simple to install as the medibuntu package which is already created and ready to run after installation? Thats what juancarlospaco seems to have implied.

But he also implied that it Is a question of stability? That I would understand as well, the Medibuntu package being a more tested version of, not only the package, but of Google Earth in Ubuntu as well, where the googleearth-package package would be for installing the latest version of Google Earth for testing purposes, or just to be able to use the latest version within the package framework (and by that I mean not installing any software without doing it through a package manager).

So, maybe my question should be, couldn't the googleearth-package package be made with different versions, one that would essentially mimic the Medibuntu version, creating a package from an older, more tested version of Google Earth, with newer versions being run through a release cycle? Or is the idea of the googleearth-package package to always install the latest available version of Google Earth within a package? I'm just curious, I feel like there's something I'm missing. Maybe it just boils down to the idea of having a "one-click" install that is more or less stable, versus a way to install the latest version, but still through the package system.

Best Bill Sullivan (enkrates) said : #3

I think the duplication originates in some of Ubuntu's history. Ubuntu gets a lot of its code and structure from another Linux project named Debian. The "googleearth-package" is actually a Debian package.

That package was picked up by Ubuntu's multiverse, as you noted, and is available to Ubuntu users.

Mediabuntu is a system to make a group of programs easier to install for Ubuntu users. Google Earth, obviously, is one of those programs. In a sense, Mediabuntu is the Ubuntu community's solution to packaging Google Earth and "googleearth-package" is the Debian solution that is available to Ubuntu users for somewhat historical reasons.

I doubt that either package will fold into the other, as they exist for different purposes, and I can't recommend one over the other. But I hope I was able to make their seperate existences somewhat more clear.

Google Earth is available for GNU/Linux from their web site, but is not only not Free Software,
but is completely undistributable by a third party.

This utility makes it possible to build your own personal Debian package of Google Earth.
The packaging itself is Free Software, but the Google Earth program is governed by the copyright holder (Google).

See ----->

The same like Microsoft Core Fonts, and others... you can make a Package to DOWNLOAD any propietary data,
but not include the propietary data itself on the packages...

Bill! Your answer was what I was looking for. I admit, I didn't dig deep enough to find out that googleearth-package is a debian package. I do understand debian's relationship with ubuntu, as I used to run a pure debian system years ago.

I see how it would be hard for you to recommend one package over the other. While the package from debian allows you to always download (and subsequently install) the latest available version of Google Earth, as well as older versions, the Medibuntu package is meant to provide an easy, "one-click" solution to installing Google Earth. As I suspected, while they look similar on the outside, the two packages have very different intended outcomes.

I will update the Google Earth entry on the Ubuntu Community Docs wiki again to explain the differences, continuing to suggest people use the Medibuntu option, while explaining the googleearth-package option. I'll also leave the existing instructions (while they may not be up to date) about how to install manually as an alternative, but I assume everyone agrees that a debian-based OS ahould always suggest new software be installed through a package if at all possible.

Thank you juancarlospaco for your help, as well.

Thanks Bill Sullivan, that solved my question.