I had chosen to install Wowza Media Server using the DEB installer, because my system is running Ubuntu 10.04, which is Debian-like and can use deb packages. I installed 3.0.3, then 'upgraded' (or should I say, reinstalled) to 3.0.4.
After lots of frustrating hours I can't see why anyone would even try use the DEB installer
You still need to manually download and unpack software, copy configuration files. Plus it overwrites your configuration files. Just noticed that the deb is actual an RPM that has been converted with alien, so that partly explains why is sucks so bad.
The only thing the DEB installer does, is have you confirm the license, create a startup script, and unpack the software in /usr/local, along with some symlinks. It totally fails to:
Check and manage dependencies (no check for any JRE - which sort of essential for java software)
Create proper configuration files in (for instance in /etc/wowza). Instead it dumps/overwrites anything you might have had.
Handle upgrades decently (i.e. without starting from scratch)
Handle log files (i.e. by storing them in /var/log/wowza)
I could go on but I don't think there is any point, because it looks like there never was any real intention of creating a decent package.
I believe this is the desired behavior so that the Wowza installations are similar across all the OS types. It certainly makes it easier from a support perspective.
You are correct, the Linux packages don't follow some distro conventions. I think I can address some of what you posted:
1 .Check and manage dependencies (no check for any JRE - which sort of essential for java software)
-There are no dependencies other than that. But, we recommend the latest Sun JDK, which I don't think is available in Debian.
2. Create proper configuration files in (for instance in /etc/wowza). Instead it dumps/overwrites anything you might have had.
-The conf files are not forward compatible. So, for major revisions, they need to be re-created. This is not the case with patches.
3. Handle upgrades decently (i.e. without starting from scratch)
4. Handle log files (i.e. by storing them in /var/log/wowza)
Having everything in the Install Directory makes it easy to backup during upgrades. Also, you can switch between Wowza versions just by changing the symlink in /usr/local. This simply would not be possible if everything was in /etc/.
Does that clear things up? Constructive criticism always welcomed.
p.s. Could you explain what you meant by "manually unpack software, copy configuration files"?
We have updated our Debian installer to include the version as part of the product name. Now when you do updates, it will not overwrite the existing install. This will be in the next version of the installer, 3.0.5 which will be out soon - I don't have an exact date.