CoApp: Bringing Open Source Package Management to Windows

Garrett Serack (Microsoft)
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The biggest challenge to using/building/maintaining many Open Source applications on Windows, is that Windows does things differently that Linux and Unix . Different file systems, command lines, APIs, user experiences … pretty much everything. Regardless of personal opinions about it being the ‘right-way’ or ‘wrong-way’, it suffices to say that it is just simply different.

Linux’ Package Management Systems are a superior tool for managing the installation, updating and removal of software. Ian Murdock (founder of the Debian Linux distribution) has commented that package management is “the single biggest advancement Linux has brought to the industry”, that it blurs the boundaries between operating system and applications, and that it makes it “easier to push new innovations [...] into the marketplace and [...] evolve the OS”.

The Common Opensource Application Publishing Platform project is designed to address these unique needs of Open Source developers by bringing an Open Source Package Management System to Windows, and bootstrapping the ecosystem with important Open Source Applications and Libraries.

Sponsored by Microsoft

Photo of Garrett Serack

Garrett Serack

Microsoft

Garrett Serack worked as an independent software development consultant in Calgary, Canada, for 15 years, with clients in fields such as government, telecom, petroleum, and railways. Joining Microsoft in the fall of 2005 as the Community Program Manager of the Federated Identity team, Garrett has worked with the companies and the Open Source community to build digital identity frameworks, tools, and standards that are shaping the future of Internet commerce and strengthening the fight against fraud.

In the summer of 2007, he transitioned to Open Source Technology Center at Microsoft where he works as a Software Development Engineer and operates closely with Open Source communities to improve the quality and performance of their software on the Windows Platform. Garrett has started a number of Open Source projects along with working as a committer on several other projects, including PHP itself.

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