OPINION: What Linux users need
I'm not a programmer, or an experienced UNIX user (my last experience actually working within a UNIX command line was in 1997, when I had to fire up PICO to do things on the company server). I'm a user, who first used Macs and then switched (for expediency in work) to Windows. Work, for me, means Photoshop, Powerpoint, Illustrator and other graphic applications. I'm trying Linux Mandrake 8 now because I'm interested in this new OS that I keep hearing so much about. Windows is too unwieldy and Macs are too expensive.
It took me a week to install Linux successfully. Since then, I've tried to acquire and install additional programs. When I couldn't do this, I posted questions to this (and other) lists about how to install an app on Linux. The answers that I got showed me that if I want to use Linux, I have to learn to think of it as a "codeset" (is that a good term?) and to use this thing called a "shell" with its command line to perform program installations.
I'm an OS ignoramus, not knowing what's "under the hood" and not wanting to know. I'm remembering 1991, when I had to learn DOS and type things like "A:install.exe" as I waded through cryptic README documents. <<shudder!>> I haven't had to do that since '94 and I don't want to go back. Since I would like to use Linux as an alternative OS (with KDE as my desktop environment), I'm going to want to install programs that didn't come with my Mandrake distribution. I'm surprised that I haven't come across an equivalent to the Installer programs like InstallWise that proliferate in Windows and Mac-ville. Is there an initiative under way in the Linux community to provide an installer app like these with the programs that get distributed in Open Source? Would installers compromise the open source initiative?People like me who just want to accomplish certain tasks with our computers are going to need such a thing. Is Linux intended for people like me?
What do you all think? Thanks for reading this.