I have really liked Portable Apps for sometime now. I like them because I can carry a copy of FireFox around with my bookmarks and extensions already installed. They have also come in handy for temporarily installing applications on other peoples computers and then easily removing them. Finally there is a Linux Portable Apps site.
I think the idea of drag and drop application installation is a good idea, Macs have been able to do it for years and there is no reason Linux distributions should not have something similar as an option. I realize this method means either the binaries have to be staticly linked or the install folder has to contain all the neccessary libraries and either way it wastes hard drive space. Lets be real though, I don’t know anyone using a hard drive smaller than 120 GB, with huge modern hard drives, a few redunant libraries or slightly fatter binaries, really makes little difference.
So my plan is this weekend is I am going to wipe one of my machines and install a stripped down clean copy of Ubuntu, starting from a command line only install. Then install the minimum needed to run a Gnome desktop, hopefully coming in under 1GB of hard drive space. After that, I am going to install only programs from the Linux Portable Apps site and see how funtional of a system I can build.