software management - best practices?
i have newly switched to Linux (using Mandrake 10). i dove right in to compiling programs from source, using RPM packages, installing wine and running Windows programs, etc. for the most part, I have had a lot of success. i am able to do most things in Linux that I used to do in Windows, and I feel that in a couple of months it will all be second nature to me like it was in Windows.
my question has to do with managing all of the installation and configuration that goes into getting the OS to have the right software, etc. i have been compiling some things from inside my home directory, and then these things (wine, for instance) install to who-knows-where. i have been putting some pre-compiled packages into /opt/ or /usr/share/ in pretty much a random fashion. i have been using RPMs sometimes as well.
i feel like i have, for the large part, lost control of my filesystem, my config, what i have installed, etc. i think that once i get the hang of linux, figure out what programs i need to run, and what configuration options i want to use, i am going to reinstall Mandrake 10 from scratch and do everything again in a more controlled fashion. are there any articles out there or general feelings on the best practices for managing all of this stuff?
thanks for the help