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SUSE / openSUSE This Forum is for the discussion of Suse Linux.

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View Poll Results: Should Linux Software/Package/Driver Installs Be Easier?
Yes - My Migraines Could Stop! 2 22.22%
There's always room for improvement 6 66.67%
No! You're just a noob! Go back to BillyG! 0 0%
Get back in the kitchen, and make me some pie. 1 11.11%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-24-2005, 03:30 AM   #1
NeoMagick
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Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle, Wa
Distribution: Debian/Elive Rl2 - E17
Posts: 20

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RPM/package deps gripe


So i'll probably get flamed for this, but what the hell. I'm all for hearing opposing arguments, and I'd (obviously) like to hear from people who sympathise.

I've seen a number of questions on lq.org from people asking "what can happen to linux to make it more mainstream" or "how can we convert more people from windows", et cetera. Well, allow me to demonstrate a point which frustrates a good number of people in my position to no end.

I'm computer literate. I'll come straight out and say it. I know hardware, and i know windows inside and out. I've been tooling on and off with linux since Mandrake 6, and I've seen amazing progress. I'm not a linux guru, but I'm working my way to knowing it as well as I do windows. I've rested quite happily with my distro of choice, Suse 9.2 Pro, because it affords an awful lot of tweakability, as generally all distros do, but it also runs very nicely straight after the installation, which is fabulous from where I sit. And i'd be lying if I said I wasn't nice and cozy with the point-and-click updates...

Now, I've had this install on my laptop up and running for going on two months. I've installed a fair amount of software over the top, without any difficulties whatsoever. Some very well put together suites were rpm'd, so all I had to do was download a single file, point the Yast RPM mgr to it, et voila - new software. Believe me when I say that I understand that getting to this point of simplicity in an OS is no small task, and I have a great appreciation for the fact that there is a distro out there that behaves in this manner, as I have had *many* experiences to the contrary.

I decided last night I'd like to get gdesklets running (google for it if you don't know it, eye candy with moderate function).

From the Gdesklets readme:
Quote:
* Python 2.3 or higher (some distributions ship broken Python 2.4 packages),
if you want to compile gdesklets you'll have to install the development
package, too!
* SuSE users will need the additional python-xml package, gDesklets won't
work without it!
* python-gtk2 2.4 or higher (*)
* python-gtk2-dev if you want to compile gDesklets
* python-pyorbit 2.0.1 (**)
* python-gnome2 2.6.x or higher (***)
* python-gnome2-dev if you want to compile gDesklets
* libgtop2 (2.8.0 or higher is recommended)
* libgtop2-dev if you want to compile gDesklets
* librsvg (2.8.0 or higher from http://librsvg.sf.net)
* librsvg-dev if you want to compile gDesklets
* some sensors or controls may have extra requirements
As luck would have it, apparently Suse 9.2 is running entirely outdated versions. Of every, single, one of these packages. And to top it off, I've spent today digging around rpm repositories trying to find RPMs of all these versions. No such luck.

That, in itself, I won't complain about. I wouldn't expect Microsoft to maintain the latest version of every 3rd party driver or API they put out with Windows, and I won't ask Novell to, either.

So, I am looking at downloading every one of these eleven packages, double checking *their* deps, and compiling and installing them manually, before I can even compile what it is i'm trying to get at! For me, and my level of linux expertise (or lack thereof in this instance), i'm looking at an hour, maybe two or more if I hose something down. But more than that, I'm looking at eleven seperate programme installs... All so I can get pretty helper apps to run on my desktop? The means far outweigh the ends.

Maybe this is an isolated incident, but I don't think so. So to answer one question about making linux more user-friendly or whatever you'd like to call it, make software installation a piece of cake! If you're producing software, and it requires updated versions of A, B, and C, which you know many distros aren't shipping with, why not take a few extra minutes to throw some of your expertise in the ring, and include them in the packages?

I, personally, would send a donation to a developer who took the time to make things that much easier on the end user, so that your RPM manager of choice comes back at you with
"Mlar-Base-ver-X Required, Install as well?",
rather than
"Mlar-Base-ver-X Required - Not Found, Go Eat Yourself"

So thank you for your time. I appreciate your listening to my rant.

Last edited by NeoMagick; 02-24-2005 at 03:36 AM.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 03:42 AM   #2
mjuhannus
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Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Finland
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04, Debian 5, OpenSUSE 11.3
Posts: 60

Rep: Reputation: 15
At least for fedora apt and synaptic works great, I install all the software using them. No problems with deps.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 03:47 AM   #3
Xian
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Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 33.31N -111.97W
Distribution: SuSE
Posts: 918

Rep: Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally posted by NeoMagick
Maybe this is an isolated incident, but I don't think so.
If you look at the gdesklets forum you will see that there are many distribution specific threads that have a large amount of difficulty in getting this particular application to run properly. SuSE is not alone, and in fact some of the most established, respected and well known Linux names are the ones that you will see most often discussed as being problematic on that board. It does not help that SuSE has a lot of Gnome package that require significant updating in order for this software to work, but it would be unreasonable to expect each major distribution to accommodate the requirements of individual applications, especially those that are in very heavy development. I do not believe that type of perspective will result in a fair critique.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 04:03 AM   #4
NeoMagick
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Registered: Sep 2004
Location: Seattle, Wa
Distribution: Debian/Elive Rl2 - E17
Posts: 20

Original Poster
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Xian -
I respect your point, and would like to reiterate that I recognise your point exactly as such. I don't hold the OS, of any flavour, responsible for my woes. As it is, my complaint does not lie with the fact that I had to install eleven updated pkgs because "the OS mfgr didn't update them for me", but more that I had to install eleven updated pkgs by cli and scripts.

Essentially, what I'm trying to say is that the RPM format has a good thing going for it, and I would like to see it embraced even further than it is, to an almost universal extent.

Mjuhannus -
I've heard good things about apt and yum, much as I've had great experiences with YOU (the Yast Online Update in Suse). I think everything is on the right track, it just needs to become universally adopted throughout all distros. Unfortunately, given the individuality of each distro, that may be years, even decades in development. And I understand why... but that doesn't make me any more eager to accept it.
 
Old 02-24-2005, 05:38 AM   #5
Xian
Member
 
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: 33.31N -111.97W
Distribution: SuSE
Posts: 918

Rep: Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally posted by NeoMagick
I don't hold the OS, of any flavour, responsible for my woes. As it is, my complaint does not lie with the fact that I had to install eleven updated pkgs because "the OS mfgr didn't update them for me", but more that I had to install eleven updated pkgs by cli and scripts.
Okay, that's great. But RPM's are constructed upon build parameters and it is impossible to have a universal set of these that will work on all distributions without every flavor of Linux having the exact same underpinnings. That is something that IMO is a very undesirable and a much more perplexing outcome. Further, if you were to somehow get your wish and have a universal set of RPM's that would allow this single and unique application to function on every brand, there is literally no telling how many other packages would break in the process. So your next post might be, "I got gdesklets to work, now will someone please help me boot my computer?"
Quote:
Originally posted by NeoMagick
Essentially, what I'm trying to say is that the RPM format has a good thing going for it, and I would like to see it embraced even further than it is, to an almost universal extent.
To be honest, there is a large segment of our community that believes RPM's are the bane of Linux and should be wiped from the scene. In many cases they are right (for a variety of reasons), but to do so would create an even larger problem, which is a diminished user experience.
 
  


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