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Old 06-07-2005, 10:22 AM   #16
Jimbo99
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Quote:
Originally posted by EliasAlucard
Why do you think? The main issue with converting from Windows to Linux is the software. 90% of the computer users don't know how to compile from source, or what rpm package they should choose, etc. I'm not saying that Linux should be like Windows, but Linux is so far from a standard that it's painful and confusing sometimes.
This is correct.

Actually, Linux must be like Windows because Windows is just like any other operating system.

Look at it this way. The idea that Linux must not be like Windows is a fallacy. There are easy reasons why you can tell those types of statements are wrong.

If it shouldn't be like windows how should it be? Is making it more difficult to install and use the computer better than windows? How does making it harder to install software make it different than Windows? Are there not sufficiently different aspects to Linux that differentiates it from windows to make that comment moot when it comes to end-user installation packages?

What is exactly different about Linux and Windows? Is it the way users use their computers? Is it the hardware that it is being used on? Is it the application concepts?

Does Linux not have a GUI? Does it not use the same hardware? Does it not operate on the same networks? Does it not use the same protocols? Does it not offer the same tools (browsers, word processors, compilers, mail and chat, news, paint, games, the use of a mouse, etc?) Do we not type on the same keyboards, share the same data (documents, mp3s, etc)? Do we not watch movies and adjust our video screens in the same manner as Windows users? Do we not right click on our desktops? Do we not have to install our programs before we use them?

What exactly is different? How exactly does that apply to program installation? Why would making a common packager universal to any/all distros have to be differentiating when all of those other things listed above are common with Windows? Is it Windows that Linux wants to be different from or is it all OSes that linux wants to be different from?

Think about all the other operating systems from way back and you'll see that linux is already just like every other OS, except in one regard. It was written to be free of patents, free to the user, and free of the lockdowns that a company such as Microsoft puts on them. This has nothing to do with software package installation and there's no reason for it. The utterly obvious result of this disaffected distro specific installation mechanism is that it harms the acceptance of linux on the desktop and the individuals purporting to be the advocates are actually harming the success more than they are promoting linux.

The reason why there are few systems for creating a common installer is quite varied and they can be extrapolated: 1) distros tend to do what they want in organizing where things go and what is put on the CD and installed when you put it on your computer; 2) distros are competing with one another and in regard to #1 above they are not adding anything positive to the mix, they are just remaining different; 3) linux makes its money not off the sale of the item but the support and if the product is too easy to use the support goes down and these guys loose money; 4) once the need to support the product is reduced or eliminated users will find that they are actually paying for the software and not for the support. The most obvious is that all 1, 2, 3, and 4, are motivations to each other. In the end, it becomes more of a money thing than it does an anti-windows or anti-current-computer-way.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 10:23 AM   #17
theYinYeti
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Jimbo99, I have the feeling that your wording is a bit too aggressive towards the "other people" who express themselves here. But then, English is not my mother-tongue, and I'll just consider that I misunderstood.

Regarding your own opinion, I tend to agree, though I haven't read the links you're pointing at.
However:

1/ The technical issues that I previously exposed remain true whatever system you use, and we need to have a system with dependencies tracking. For this tracking not to become a "hell", it should be ensured that packages are well packaged (dependencies on the right things, no more, no less), and it would indeed be easier if the whole Linux world lived with the same packages.

2/ This is an free world. If someone creates packages for free, but has poor abilities at creating them, you won't forbid them to release those packages! You'll just don't use them is they don't suit you, but you can be sure that many newbies will still try and use them, and have problems.

3/ Not all Linux users are desktop users. And not all have the same needs. I hardly see a Gentoo-like distribution using RPM files. It would make no sense. Conversely, I wouldn't even try and use a Portage-like packages on my PII-350 with 192MB ram, and still less on my P150 with 32MB ram. Now look at the GoboLinux distribution; it is so radically different, that they had to create their own packaging system.

For instance, I'm a Mandrake user, yet I'd see no problem in all "main" distributions using Debian's APT packages, from Slackware to SuSe to Mandrake to Ubuntu...
But even then, you could not account for the different needs: some are more conservative, some are more bleeding-edge...

So where does that leave us? Basically, I don't think it's a wrong thing for a distribution's user to only use packages tailored to their distribution. And if you ask, in this case, what good it is for them all to be Linux if they can't share packages, I'll answer, that at least they can share the source (which is the only free as in freedom format), and all distributors are free to package a program if their users want it.

In contrary to what you seem to imply, we "other people" are not close-minded. We're just very open-minded, maybe too much so I admit.

Yves.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 10:32 AM   #18
Jimbo99
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Quote:
Originally posted by mrcheeks
I almost never download a file by myself or deal with dependencies issues. If i want firefox i use synaptic/apt-get/aptitude and that's it!
Firfox is a very self contained product/installer. This is a positive thing. When distributing the file one need just provide that product (for the most part as Java is sometimes needed and not included). Firefox is also a very small program with really only one purpose--browse the web.

But there are products that are signficantly more involved and require many more packages to complete them. It is these dependencies that create the nightmare and burden for the user. For instance, going to the web to download 10-50 megs of files over a modem only to find you are out of date on a couple of them is not a good thing.

For instance, amarok: it requires gstreamer to be the latest version to work and it also wants musicbrainz, taglib, and a bunch of other stuff. Under FC3 even after doing a 'yum update' you still don't have what you need to make it work. The version of gstreamer is way out of date. Trying to use this old version of gstreamer with amarok will result in a program that crashes as often as you take a breath.

Going on line to download it adds to the mix. Not only that the users 99% of the time don't know that their gstreamer is out of date nor that they require more stuff to make their program operate correctly.

See the fault? Users don't know.

If you read the www.autopackager.org FAQ regarding why there's a need for a universal packager you'll understand why your example of apt-get and synaptic are not the best examples of your success. Moreover the best example of your success is due almost completely to the fact that you went through a learning curve, got these installed, set up your repository list, and have established a sense satisfaction with what you have accomplished.

But why should the average Joe and Jane who just wants to use the browser need to go through all that rigamarole just to get the browser installed? Do they need to do that under Windows? Do they need to do that on the Mac? If they don't have to then why ask the linux users to have to stress themselves just to do it the way you find you are comfortable with?

Last edited by Jimbo99; 06-07-2005 at 10:34 AM.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 10:50 AM   #19
Jimbo99
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theYinYeti,

I have tried to remain respectful to others yet be aggressive. All too many times have I read posts by people that respond to threads with attacks on the person, instead of reasoning out their point and responding appropriatly. So, in that regard I have sort of been meek. But if I offended you I appologize.

Each point you make has been addressed in the computer world many times over. The problems are not new and time will work them out in the linux world. My problem is that linux has been out for 10 years now and they still haven't worked out.

On your item number 2: The shareware/freeware idea has been in place in the windows world for almost 2 decades. People put together a software product with a neat concept but their delivery is bad. Those willing to give it a chance do, and it either gets better and the packaging is better, or they give up on it. That's pretty much how it pans out. The author either improves or the product dies. My opinion is that it should die if they author can't keep it up and satisfy the users. All software is written for users, even if that user initially is just the author.

On your item #3: No not eveyrone is a desktop user but 90% of all users of computers are desktop users. Linux is a segment of that 90% total users and hence 90% of all linux users either are desktop users or will be. Linux won't grow without becoming an desktop OS. As such, it must try to address the 90% that are either users or will be.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 11:30 AM   #20
oneandoneis2
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Quote:
I mean, Linux is after all open source; it shouldn't be difficult to accomplish this, right? A unified omni(Linux)present software installer format would be totally pwnage in my opinion.
It already exists, and has since the very beginning.

It's called source code (TM), and the same source code can be installed on just about any Linux distro.

But then along came people who said "Why can't they distribute binaries instead?" and along came distro-specific package management. Of course, they had to compile them all for the lowest common denominator, such as i386 CPUs, instead of optimizing them for your exact CPU arch. . .

To have a truly universal binary installer such as you want, you'd have to get every linux to keep all its files in the same place (will never happen) and have all the same software installed (will never happen).

There's no NEED for a universal installer, there's no ADVANTAGE in a universal installer, so there just aren't that many universal installers.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 12:15 PM   #21
craigevil
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The universe is in Orion's belt. -MIB

LINUX is NOT Windows. It is not hard. If someone says it is and can't do the things they need to do,then they to stick with windows , buy a MAC, or even an etch-a -sketch. Stupid people should not be allowed to own a computer.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 02:25 PM   #22
EliasAlucard
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Jimbo99... I couldn't have put it better myself. I'm not trying to put anyone down, but my take on it all is that if Linux had a simple software installer that worked on every Linux distro, Linux would be much bigger than it is. Seriously. Everyone I know don't use Linux because they're almost afraid of it being too intricate, and they don't want to learn an entirely new operating system. After all, they have problems keeping up with Windows as it is, despite that it's pretty easy.

Quote:
LINUX is NOT Windows. It is not hard. If someone says it is and can't do the things they need to do,then they to stick with windows , buy a MAC, or even an etch-a -sketch. Stupid people should not be allowed to own a computer.
Answers like these piss me off. Really. You think you're doing anything good by basically telling people off like that? No, we don't want to stick to Windows. It's not about stupidity. When will people... excuse me, morons learn that not having knowledge is not the same thing as being stupid? Get real, no one in the real world cares about compiling from source, or knowing exactly what every package for this and that software is required for installing a working software like for instance VLC. I don't find Jimbo99 aggressive in his post, but posts like these (and I've seen many like them before) from users who think they're some computer-God just because they know exactly how to use Linux, are stupid. It's really ignorant to act like that. And yeah, that's what I call an aggressive post. At least Jimbo99 didn't call anyone stupid.

Take Winamp for example. Why is it popular? Because it's not available in compile from source format only (not that Winamp is open source, but for the sake of argument, bear with me). This is the main reason. People download it, double click on the *.exe file and just click next until they have their favourite software for music listening. If Winamp was compile from source only, or scattered around in trillion different required libraries or *.rpm files, no one would use it.

Last edited by EliasAlucard; 06-07-2005 at 04:17 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 04:07 PM   #23
hand of fate
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Quote:
Originally posted by reddazz
The Firefox package doesn't give you any configuration options unless you compile from source. The installer is a precompiled binary just like an rpm or a deb. The only difference between the installer and an rpm or deb file is that it asks the user where to install.
Actually the installer also gives the users options about whether they want to install the Developer Tools and the Quality Feedback Agent.

Firefox is rather a bad example when it comes to giving the users options (the whole program is, not just the installer). Other executable installers, such as the OpenOffice.org or Mozilla installers, give the users much more options.

Last edited by hand of fate; 06-07-2005 at 05:47 PM.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 05:01 PM   #24
oneandoneis2
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Quote:
Everyone I know don't use Linux because they're almost afraid of it being too intricate, and they don't want to learn an entirely new operating system.
And how many of them have formed their opinion without actually trying to use it? Have you given them a Knoppix CD? Shown them how superb apt-get is? Let them see how well emerge works?

They're not basing their opinion on the facts, so it doesn't matter what the facts are. They're basing it on years-old hearsay. If every piece of Linux software had a "universal installer" tomorrow, they'd still be too scared of trying it, because they aren't making informed decisions.

I'll give you a really good reason why a universal installer would be a bad idea: It would break package management. Thousands of hours are invested in making working package managers for Linux, you can break them in seconds by manually installing software, if you don't know what you're doing.

When I installed firefox, here's the whole process, from beginning to end:

"emerge firefox"

When I installed OpenOffice, here's the whole process:

"emerge openoffice"

How can ANYBODY call that complex? I submit that the firefox installer is even MORE complex and difficult than this: You have to go to the website, download it, run the installer, answer the questions about what to install and not install. . .

Compared to the single step of telling my package manager to do it for me, how is this a better system?

A universal installer is solving a problem that doesn't exist. It fulfills no need, it gives no advantages. All it does is make it a little bit more like WIndows. Big fuzzy deal.

Try and give even one convincing reason why it would be a genuinely good idea, and you might get people interested enough to work on it.

You won't find such a reason, but you'll learn why it's a bad idea along the way.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 05:28 PM   #25
craigevil
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Same subject: "Fatal weakness in Linux"
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...hreadid=330516
 
Old 06-07-2005, 05:51 PM   #26
EliasAlucard
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It's not without a reason the hearsay is there. You can argue as much as you want about how it would break every specs possible. Fact remains: Linux isn't following a standard, and that's a bad thing. It's hurting the OS. Period.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 06:26 PM   #27
reddazz
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Quote:
Originally posted by EliasAlucard
It's not without a reason the hearsay is there. You can argue as much as you want about how it would break every specs possible. Fact remains: Linux isn't following a standard, and that's a bad thing. It's hurting the OS. Period.
And does Windows follow a standard for installing software. From my experience each application has its own installer which does not necessarily behave like that from another app. The installers sometimes replace packages and files supplied by others thus breaking other apps or causing them not to function properly.

This complaint about Linux packaging is usually from people who want Linux to act and behave like windowe. If thats what you want and don't want to do things the Linux way then you could always return to windoze. The standard for installing packages on any Linux distro is "./configure && make && make install".
 
Old 06-07-2005, 06:48 PM   #28
EliasAlucard
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Quote:
Originally posted by reddazz
The standard for installing packages on any Linux distro is "./configure && make && make install".
I wouldn't complain if this actually worked. It has never worked for me. I've installed the entire Mandrake 10.2 Linux. It should work perfect with ./configure etc, but it doesn't. Why? GTK+ 2.0 is required. Glibb 1.2.2 is required. This and that is required. Every time some new library is required. I've had enough of that. It's frustrating as hell. So if this is the standard, then it's a pretty bad one. Besides, even though the standard on Windows behave different, they're all pretty much the same. If a Windows installer b0rks something up, then it's the fault of the coder of that certain software.

Quote:
This complaint about Linux packaging is usually from people who want Linux to act and behave like windowe. If thats what you want and don't want to do things the Linux way then you could always return to windoze.
As Jimbo99 so eloquently put it: Linux behaves like Windows in every single way, except for installing software.
 
Old 06-07-2005, 08:11 PM   #29
reddazz
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Quote:
As Jimbo99 so eloquently put it: Linux behaves like Windows in every single way, except for installing software.
Linux does not behave like windows. Some desktop environments that run on Linux or Unix can be made to mimic windows but this is not the default behaviour of Linux.

Have you ever installed the required dependencies using urpmi and your compilation still failed? On most distros you don't even have to compile software because its already available in binary format in the distros software repositories. All you need to do is run a few commands or use a gui to select which package you want to install and all dependencies are automatically resolved. "./configure && make && make install" will work on any Linux distro as long as you have all the required development tools and dependencies. Other methods don't work on all distros because different distros prefer a certain way of doing things. Opensource is about choice, so choose a distro that has a package management system that you feel comfortable using.

My take on this is that you currently don't understand Linux and Unix package management thats why you are finding it tough. Everything is the way it is for a reason, so you have to research why your distro chose to do things the way it does. You also need to take time out to learn about your distros package management tools, for example there are lots of articles on how to use urpmi on Mandriva. Every operating system is different learn it, instead of trying to make it act like a different one. If you decide that you prefer to use another OS because you like the way they do things, then go ahead. There are lots of alternatives to Linux, like windoze, macos, freebsd, skyos etc.

Last edited by reddazz; 06-07-2005 at 08:13 PM.
 
Old 06-08-2005, 02:51 AM   #30
oneandoneis2
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Linux isn't following a standard, and that's a bad thing. It's hurting the OS. Period.
You're wrong. Period.

There IS no standard, so it can't be blamed for not following it. The Linux standard is source code and/or package managers. They both work exactly as advertised.

It's not hurting the OS at all. Windows is commercial software, it directly hurts Windows if it doesn't attract users. Linux is FOSS, it doesn't directly benefit from attracting users.

The people you're telling us won't switch to Linux are, frankly, people that the Linux community doesn't want. The people who won't read the howtos, who want everything to be done for them, who want to know "Why can't it just do it like windows?"

Frankly, Linux is better off without that type of user.

I'll say it one more time: Linux does not want or need to become a mainstream OS used by a large proportion of the population. It is not hurt by refusing to cater for the mass market.

Quite the opposite, in fact: Nobody wants Linux to be invaded by clueless users who spend a few days using the OS and then complain that they know, better than the people who've been building it for years, how it should work.
 
  


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