LinuxQuestions.org
Help answer threads with 0 replies.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General
User Name
Password
Linux - General This Linux forum is for general Linux questions and discussion.
If it is Linux Related and doesn't seem to fit in any other forum then this is the place.

Notices


View Poll Results: Would you use a point and click management system?
Yes. Absolutly! 5 50.00%
No. Never! 5 50.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 08-30-2003, 12:45 PM   #1
seneca
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Europe
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 45

Rep: Reputation: 15
Software-Suggestion: Feedback wanted!


After reading some threats in this forum, I had the impression that newbies very often have difficulties installing new software. By accident, someone else pointed me to this website which is a joke, obviously.

However, one thing mentioned there attracted my attention:
Quote:
Linux Update: is a Web site that makes it easy to download the latest software updates for your specific computer. No more untarring and gunzipping problems thanks to new Graphical Point-And-Click RPM Management.
Ok, this is nothing really new, since apt-get, rpm-apt, emerge, and maybe other software is basically able to do something like this. But you need to know how to do this!

For example, a few days ago, I answered a post from someone who wanted to install tarballs on a debian system! Additionally, when lurking into rpm-based systems I found that freshrpms.net might be somewhat confusing if you don't use rpm-apt.

Thus, what do you think of a Point-and-Click Installation Management?

Theoretically, it might work like this: A software project provides not only tarballs for compilation but additionally binaries for different distributions. AFAIK, this is impossible for a project since they don't have every distribution installed. However, at least commercial distributions might be able to provide an online build system for their distributions.

Assume this would be possible for the moment. Then, a project might integrate a button on their website stating: "Install"

When a user hints the button, a decription file (in XML format, maybe?) gets downloaded which contains filenames, dependencies, hashcodes and possible online sources for downloading the packages. In fact, this should work a little bit like eDonkey or Bit-Torrent.

Now assume, a little wizard starts, asking "This will install XZY onto your computer. Do you like to proceed? -> Yes, No, More info".

In case one hints "Yes", the system checks its sources-list first, tries to fulfill necessary dependencies, downloads the correct binary package, and installs it.

In case, there is no binary because the project maintainers didn't think of it or distributions didn't provide an online build system, the software could be able to download the tarball and necessary build-dependecies, make a package info by default values or with a little wizard, compiles the binary and installs it together with its runtime dependecies.

Done.

There is a distribution called Lindows providing a similar service already. However, they don't abstract from various distributions. Additionally, there are some wizards like these already available, for example RPM Wizard or Autopackage. Thus, it's maybe not to hard to bind these things together.

If major software sites like freashmeat.net or sourceforge.net would agree to actually incorporate a "Install" button into their pages, it would be a nice start. And less "how do I install" or "why doesn't it work" questions in a number of forums, including here.

Another advantage might be that linux magazines might be able to use this on CDs! They are not able to provide binaries for all major distributions without reducing the number of software to a few. With the system, users of other distributions don't need to care about that. One might eventually think of adding CDs contents automatically to the sources.list if the user wants to.

What do you think ?
 
Old 08-30-2003, 01:48 PM   #2
ovf
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Distribution: LFS 4.0, Windows XP, Ubuntu 10.01, Gentoo 2.6.32-r7, OpenSolaris
Posts: 100

Rep: Reputation: 15
You read some threats? I've always found everyone to be very friendly.

Edit: As for installing software I prefer doing it manually from source. It's part of the alure of Linux. The anger and frustration of failure are what makes success so satisfying. There are times that I just want it to work so I can see why point and click installation would be appealing, but I wouldn't use it in most cases.

Last edited by ovf; 08-30-2003 at 02:04 PM.
 
Old 08-31-2003, 12:16 PM   #3
seneca
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Europe
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 45

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally posted by ovf
You read some threats? I've always found everyone to be very friendly.
Me, too. Never said somebody is unfriendly, did I? But I admit, the first sentence in my post wasn't the best way to start the topic.

Maybe I should have started like this: "After reading a lot of posts about software installation problems in this as well as in several other forums, and after trying to be helpful in the xmule project forum for several weeks, I found that newbies very often have difficulties installing new software. In a lot of articles, this is also mentioned as one reason why Linux didn't made its way onto a lot of user desktops yet"

But thanks for your answer.
 
Old 09-01-2003, 11:47 AM   #4
Half_Elf
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
Distribution: Slackware; Debian; Gentoo...
Posts: 2,163

Rep: Reputation: 46
when you computer do the dirty work for you, you should be ready for serious trouble.

Last edited by Half_Elf; 09-01-2003 at 03:09 PM.
 
Old 09-01-2003, 01:55 PM   #5
seneca
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Europe
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 45

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Define "dirty work", please! What is the difference between a click-and-install installation management and apt-get (or emerge), for example?

What's wrong with ppl using Linux to get their work done, without taking half a year to learn how to do this?
 
Old 09-01-2003, 03:17 PM   #6
Half_Elf
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal, Canada
Distribution: Slackware; Debian; Gentoo...
Posts: 2,163

Rep: Reputation: 46
"dirty" mean configuration, mostly. If you "point-and-click" to an application and then you get problem, well, don't ask for help, since you have most of time no idea of what really happened and what you really tried to do... you know you tried to install something, but you don't know where the error happened, if you were having unmet-depency (even apt or emerge can fail to detect a missing depency, sometime), bad compilation option, version conflit or whatever...

I use and like (yeah yeah, like!) apt-get and emerge, however I don't use this to do "really important" installation (like any server progs or apps with a lot of possible options). And I found limits of apt and emerge, sometime... Emerge have some problem to install programs without all their options (like emacs without X-emacs) and apt sometime cause version conflit when you use unstable (and if you want to use stable, you'll have to stick to apps that are outdated since 2 years, like kde2).

Quote:
What's wrong with ppl using Linux to get their work done, without taking half a year to learn how to do this?
The problem is exactly that they will learn nothing. Linux is all about knowledge. If you don't want to learn, then don't use it, cause you'll never get it to work great. There is a lot of newbie here that ask silly question like "I put my cdrom in drive but I can't read it (mount it you dumb!)" cuz they never ever searched and read about their problem. Point-and-click is encouraging them to stick in their ignorance.

Last edited by Half_Elf; 09-01-2003 at 03:21 PM.
 
Old 09-01-2003, 09:36 PM   #7
seneca
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Europe
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 45

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I see your point now but I agree only partially.

I used to use windows not long ago and have been talking part in a rather active windows forum about multimedia and stuff. You won't believe the number of ppl asking the same questions over and over, again ("How do I burn bin/cue files?" -> "Use the search function, pleeeease").

Thus, even point'n'click stuff doesn't prevent fools from doing foolish things and being ignorant about it.

However, it makes beginning easier and that's my point. You're absolutly right to say that even point'n'click will break sometimes; and ppl will pop up asking for a solution. Linux's advantage is that there will be a way to solve it (at least if you can make clear what information would be helpful)!

Those who really want to learn how things work won't be prevented from doing so with a point'n'click installation management. But those who just want to use Linux instead of Windows are prevented from doing so right now because of the lack of it.

That seems to be a major disadvantage of the OpenSource developing model: When you're experienced enought to programm software to make a newbies live easier, you already lost interest in doing it.

Nevertheless, I thank you for your detailed answer.
 
Old 09-01-2003, 10:35 PM   #8
fancypiper
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Sparta, NC USA
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04
Posts: 5,141

Rep: Reputation: 58
BTW, you do realize that the site is a joke, I hope.

They are razzing you for using threats rather than threads, if you didn't realize that.
 
Old 09-01-2003, 11:18 PM   #9
seneca
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Europe
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 45

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
What? You mean the site is a fake? What a pity!

Well, I did get a little bit unsure indeed when I read the "Invading cuba" news but americans tend to do funny things these days, dont' they? Maybe the CIA found out that Fidel Castro is going to attack them soon by throwing easter eggs!

You never know.

Last edited by seneca; 09-01-2003 at 11:21 PM.
 
Old 09-02-2003, 12:55 AM   #10
floyd
Member
 
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Mandrake
Posts: 73

Rep: Reputation: 15
Mandrake has RPMDrake, which is a frontend for urpmi...

From what I can tell, this is what you're talking about. Its not incorporated into websites, but the urpmi list files can be built for the files these websites. It is nice to use, especially if you are new to Linux. (Although I think it has some severe memory leak problems in Mandrake 9.1, dont leave this one open for too long =] )
 
Old 09-02-2003, 04:23 PM   #11
seneca
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Europe
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 45

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Thanks for the hint. After searching for urpmi, I found a comparision between a number of tools here. I also found out that
Code:
urpmi <softwarepackage>
is sufficent to install <softwarepackage> but how would you uninstall the package via command line?

After some additional reading I found also a real live example how this might work: Installing extension in mozilla! See here for an example.

I also wrote a short shell script to have a detail look how this might work. However, adding another protocol to handle links like this is difficult in some browsers.

Thus, a better way would probably to set up a g'zipped XML file, renaming it to *.apt, for example, and let the browser download and open this by a yet to write wizard application which serves as a front-end to the various command line tools in a first step
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Software suggestion cornish Linux - Software 1 07-04-2005 12:02 PM
document management software suggestion Niceman2005 Linux - General 1 04-29-2005 07:29 PM
software interest level poll and feedback acidjuice Slackware 22 04-09-2005 07:25 AM
Wanted: Network monitoring software for RH 9.0 stlserv Linux - Software 3 07-01-2004 02:38 PM
Comparrison between few distros...feedback wanted tarballed Linux - Distributions 16 12-04-2003 07:08 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - General

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:17 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration