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?
Thread beginning with comment 380371
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[7]: Comment by ven-
by Soulbender on Mon 24th Aug 2009 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by ven-"
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

Your argument is a strawman, as you assume that only unknowledgeable people would be in favour of decentralized packages while everyone else would agree with you.


I don't see why this is so hard to understand. If you use Linux the way to install software is (mostly) by package repositories and if you use Windows it's by standalone packages. Which is better is largely about what you're used to and how ready you are to accept change (no matter if you switch from Windows to Linux, or the other way).
If you don't like either way you should obviously use the system that does things the way you like it.
I dont know which is more sad; that this discussion exists or that I wasted time on it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Comment by ven-
by Wrawrat on Mon 24th Aug 2009 19:37 in reply to "RE[7]: Comment by ven-"
Wrawrat Member since:
2005-06-30

I am not debating on which way is the best, as it would be completely futile for the very reasons you have mentioned...

To clear things up, my point is: repositories are great, but it would be nice to have a completary system for installing foreign packages, as you won't find everything in those repositories. I am well aware that you can download and install DEB or RPM packages you found on the Internet, but these packages are usually tied to specific distributions.

That's all, really.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Comment by ven-
by Soulbender on Tue 25th Aug 2009 04:10 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by ven-"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

To clear things up, my point is: repositories are great, but it would be nice to have a completary system for installing foreign packages, as you won't find everything in those repositories


I can see why that may look like a good idea but it just adds complexity. Instead of having a single coherent system for keeping track suddenly you have X+1 systems that may even break the default one. Its all about trade-offs. You trade some flexibility for simplicity and consistency when you use a package manager and vice versa with standalone installer packages.

I am well aware that you can download and install DEB or RPM packages you found on the Internet, but these packages are usually tied to specific distributions.


I could be wrong but I would think that any deb package would work on any deb distro. Maybe the same goes for rpm's.
Either way, is that really so much different from the Windows apps that have different installers for pre-Win2000, XP and Vista/7?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Comment by ven-
by lemur2 on Tue 25th Aug 2009 06:40 in reply to "RE[8]: Comment by ven-"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I am not debating on which way is the best, as it would be completely futile for the very reasons you have mentioned... To clear things up, my point is: repositories are great, but it would be nice to have a completary system for installing foreign packages, as you won't find everything in those repositories. I am well aware that you can download and install DEB or RPM packages you found on the Internet, but these packages are usually tied to specific distributions. That's all, really.


There is nothing in the deb package format, nor the system of repositories and package managers, that is distribution specific.

Some newer packages may be compiled with a specfic distribution and version in mind, however, and hence would introduce dependency conflicts if they are installed on other distributions or even different versions of the same distribution.

However, with a bit of care in specifying what the dependencies are, it is easy enough to make a deb package that will be installable without problems on almost any debian-based distribution.

It is also easy enough to place that package on your server, make the necessary additional descriptor files, and hence create your own repository. You could have your own repository containing just the one package if you like. You don't have to make a matching source code repository as well, if your application is proprietary then just the binary package in your repository is OK.

End users of your package can add your repository to the list of repositories they use, and in this way your package becomes installable on their systems just as are packages in other repositories they may use. What is more, if you update your package in your repository, then it will be included in the next auto-updates for all your users.

There is no real need for "a completary system for installing foreign packages" when the existing repository system can handle these nicely (including updates), and it really only requires of you that you compile, package and host a version of your code in a compatible way.

If you are already able to make a .deb file, then making your own repository in order to distribute it to users is just a few small steps away.

Edited 2009-08-25 06:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2