There seems to be a trend going that appeals to me. We have several of the most important add on programs taking the lead in this direction. The latest I have had experience with is Google Earth installed on Mint 7 XFCE. I downloaded it from the Google site rather than the Mint install version. It is performing flawlessly. I am also running the newest version of Google Earth on my dual boot XP. In fact I am running Open Office and Firefox 3.5 on the same dual boot computer, same versions on both OSs that are almost 10 years different in age..
Is there any real reason to have a lot of libraries and other dependencies for programs that are continuously changing and being recompiled? Do we save disk space? What is the reason? Is it a holdover from the way it was done before?
I am still running XP-SP3 updated, but I am able to use programs that were written 10 years ago and even some of the old DOS programs that are over 20 years old without a problem. I am an engineer that uses CAD and because of competitive fighting involving AutoDesk, Intellicad and Microsoft I must still use XP. But it has taught me something. I can still do the same job for my clients with my Intellicad 2001 as Autocad 2009 or my Key Cad V. 3.0 licensed from Microsoft before 1998. Yes, the bells and whistles vary but it is possible to do most work with any of them, however they all require Microsoft OSs. I think that is changing because Intellicad is reputed to be getting around the required licensing of their product from Microsoft. by reprogramming for cross platform use just like Google and Sun.
I have discussed this with government building departments and they tell me that the continuing changes are forcing them to use paper in their files. And by the way I back everything up on paper and have my files for the last 30 years of my engineering work and some from 50 years ago. Yea, that dates me. I became a registered Engineer in Colorado in 1955.
Six month release cycles do not bother me. I just want the programs to still run after I reinstall them on the new OS version or on an older one for that matter.