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Ok, so, I download the latest version of GAIM (0.66) in rpm format, because I'm a newbie, and rpm's are relatively easy. I try to install it, and it says there's an unresolved dependency - it needs libgtkspell.so.0. Fine. I get on sourceforge, dload the requisite file (in tar format, unfortunately), and eventually figure out how to unzip it, make it, and install it (yeah, so I'm learning, right?). Of course, it's not as simple as that. After "make"-ing for a bit, it eventually tells me that I need either aspell or pspell. My left eye begins to twitch. Back to sourceforge, and aspell. I try to install it, and it tells me that IT needs pspell to work. GODDAMNIT. Back to sourceforge. I get pspell, and that actually installs fine. Woo. I try to install aspell again, but this is all kinds of fucked up. After waiting for about 10 minutes for it to make (where it seems to be recursively going through the same damn process, over and over again), it comes up with a bunch of ever messages, something to the effect of not being able to find files where it thought it ought to be able to find them (/usr/local or something). I'd've pasted that text, but I got pissed off and killed the terminal before I could.
So, then I remember that libgtkspell said it needed aspell OR pspell. YES - maybe it'll install now.
NO. It says I don't have gtk+, or that if I do, I need to edit some kind of flippin' config file with directory info on where it might be.
WHAT THE HELL. I thought that one guy was joking when he wrote about all the wigged out dependencies with Linux. I'm going to go cry, now.
That said, is there a better way to be doing this? Should I not be, for example, unzipping this stuff into my /home/teyesahr directory? I used to be pretty good with DOS back in the old days before pcs got all gooey, but this is insane.
exactly what megaman said....apt-get is probably the best thing that will happen to you, in your case cause by the looks of it your about ready to tear your hair out....and judging by you saying you like the ease of rpms then i assume you will like the ease of a gui rather than typing all the time, i maybe wrong but when you do get apt-get, you can type first:
then after that is done type:
apt-get install synaptic
and then finally after that is done, you type:
at the prompt and you will be prompted for your root password, and you can scroll through the list of hundreds of packages, and just hightlight it and click install, and just let it go and your program will be installed ;-)
Another useful repository is fedora.us for Red Hat 8/9/Severn
Believe me, we are well aware of the problems with this approach and I am heading up a team that is working on a possible new system for software packaging/distribution. There is a lot of R&D going into this field right now.
Developing new installer/packaging frameworks primarily, however there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to make building RPMs easier, to get apt/yum into red hat (the next version will prolly have yum in it) and so on.
My particular area of development is at autopackage.org, we are approaching the problem from "what if everybody could make packages that install on any distribution". There are other groups attacking the problem by building large repositories, by experimenting with network filing systems, building package manager abstraction layers and so on.
apt is cool, the main problem is finding large and up to date repositories (the two are basically contradictions in terms unfortunately). I am *still* waiting for a non-broken Firebird package to get through Fedora QA for instance.
Luckily, it's a good enough stop gap solution that there's no real time pressure on the research groups.