Linked by David Adams on Mon 24th Aug 2009 09:21 UTC
Linux A reader asks: Why is Linux still not as user friendly as the two other main OSes with all the people developing for Linux? Is it because it is mainly developed by geeks? My initial feeling when reading this question was that it was kind of a throwaway, kind of a slam in disguise as a genuine question. But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I felt. There truly are a large amount of resources being dedicated to the development of Linux and its operating system halo (DEs, drivers, apps, etc). Some of these resources are from large companies (IBM, Red Hat, Novell). Why isn't Linux more user-friendly? Is this an inherent limitation with open source software?
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RE[2]: Comment by ven-
by ven- on Mon 24th Aug 2009 14:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ven-"
ven-
Member since:
2009-08-24

It doesn't? Strange, I could have sworn that being able to do exactly what you asked for would be a good solution.

I never said it wasn't good. It just doesn't help having a system like that if noone uses it.
To be more precise it's actually just very inconvenient to use for the reasons I stated in my original post.

As opposed to Windows where there are numerous different systems for creating installers (InstallShield, WISE, NSIS etc) not to mention that some companies even roll their own. Yes yes, everyone should use MSI but that's not the case in the real world.

The difference with the Windows installers is that they all work for everyone.

So what? It doesn't matters to Joe user who rarely, if ever, switches between distros.

That's beside the point. All the .deb installers in the world won't help you if you don't run a Debian based system.

Good thing there's no such thing as a package manager (or Add/Remove Sofware), eh?

My whole comment was on installing software that's NOT in the repositories.

Edited 2009-08-24 14:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by ven-
by abraxas on Mon 24th Aug 2009 14:40 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ven-"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

My whole comment was on installing software that's NOT in the repositories.


This is a strawman argument. Installing software that is not in a repository for any major distro is a rarity. People always trump up the non-repository application installation process like it is a serious problem but it isn't. There is nothing stopping anyone from creating an installer that acts like Windows installers and statically links everything and then throws it into /opt. There is just little incentive to make this a standard way of installing applications because it is so inefficient and unnecessary.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by ven-
by Wrawrat on Mon 24th Aug 2009 16:19 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by ven-"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

If installing software outside the main repositories of a distro was such a non-issue, people wouldn't raise it as an issue.

Repositories are great, but you are at the mercy of the maintainers. They work quite well when you stick with popular software, but you are pretty much left on your own when you need less-known or new programs. Even if your software is packaged in the repositories, it doesn't mean they are up-to-date (take Ubuntu/Debian with its 3-years-old Eclipse).

Of course, you can compile/package the software you need, but how user-friendly is that?

It's not because you don't need something that nobody needs it... If there is something I am missing from the Windows/Apple world, it's a package system that doesn't rely on central repositories.

Edited 2009-08-24 16:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by ven-
by Soulbender on Mon 24th Aug 2009 14:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ven-"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

The difference with the Windows installers is that they all work for everyone.


Except when the uninstaller removes shared DLL's that are actually needed by other apps or when the uninstaller simply doesn't work or when you get dead entries in the list of installed software or when the installer won't run because it thinks you're already running it etc etc.
Windows way of doing things is hardly troublefree or ideal.

My whole comment was on installing software that's NOT in the repositories.


The few times I've needed to do that a .deb has always been available. Granted there may not be a package for obscure Linux distro X but that's not what Joe User will be running.

Edited 2009-08-24 15:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3