Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
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Dependencies, libraries
by TLy on Tue 29th Apr 2003 20:16 UTC

At first, I was irritated by "dependency hell". But come to think of it, it's the basis of the idea of free software. Freedom to use whatever software you want, not only for end users, but developers as well. I can't think of a good example off the top of my head, but I do recall trying to install KDevelop and running into a dependency issue where it required a certain library that at first glance doesn't seem relavent to KDevelop.

Software developers should start staticly linking the little libraries where appropriate or including the needed source files and give credit where credit is due, rather than expect the end users to install the entire library just for the few little bits of functionality that the larger app needs. We have large hard drives in this day and age, and if your argument that staticly linking libs into apps will make fatter programs, well it's not like you're saving me any space by forcing me to install a bunch of other little libraries just for bits of functionality. I'd rather the app be big and not worry about chasing after support libs.

And when the libs that your program depends on changes, update your source, test it, and release the update to your app. It's very possible that an update to a lib may break compatibility with progams that depend on it, although rare and I've never seen it myself, but it's still something to think about.