Linked by David Adams on Fri 18th Jun 2010 19:17 UTC
Linux Linux Magazine has a profile of Daniel Fore and the Elementary project. Elementary is a Linux distro that's committed to a clean and simple user experience, but it's more than a distro - it's actually a multi-pronged effort to make improvements to the user experience for a whole ecosystem of components, including icons, a GTK theme, Midori improvements, Nautilus, and even Firefox. The work that elementary is doing isn't limited to their own distro, and some of their work is available in current, and perhaps future, Ubuntu releases. The results are really striking, and I think it's probably the handsomest Linux UI I've ever seen.
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nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26


Please link a few recent examples of such a problem.


Ubuntu 8.04 users were unable to upgrade to OpenOffice 3.0. They were told to upgrade their OS to 9.04 if they wanted the latest version of an office suite. That's retarded. 8.04 was released in 2008.


Also, please name an OS that is better at handling program uninstalls.


OSX. Most the time the uninstaller isn't needed since everything is kept in a single file. But the best implementation of this I have seen is in RISC OS.

Reply Parent Score: 3

tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Ubuntu 8.04 users were unable to upgrade to OpenOffice 3.0. They were told to upgrade their OS to 9.04 if they wanted the latest version of an office suite. That's retarded. 8.04 was released in 2008.

I'm just going to take your word on this one, because I can't find the problem with a shallow web search and you didn't provide a link.

Yes. That is probably terrible to have to upgrade the whole OS for Open Office. Not having ever had such a problem nor used Ubuntu for more than a few days, I would not know what it entails to upgrade Ubuntu.

However, Ubuntu is only one of hundreds of Linux distros.

Furthermore, what could Open Office 3.0 do that the previous version couldn't?

Also, please name an OS that is better at handling program uninstalls.
OSX. Most the time the uninstaller isn't needed since everything is kept in a single file. But the best implementation of this I have seen is in RISC OS.

Okay. I meant to say "uprgade" not "uninstall."

However, I fail to see how searching for a directory in Finder and then deleting it is superior to or quicker than typing apt-get purge [package] in an already open terminal. I also don't see how the OSX method is better than some GUI package manager -- with a package manager, you know you are removing hidden symlinks and user config files.

Also, Gobolinux has everything in a single directory.

Reply Parent Score: 2

jtfolden Member since:
2005-08-12

Yes. That is probably terrible to have to upgrade the whole OS for Open Office. Not having ever had such a problem nor used Ubuntu for more than a few days, I would not know what it entails to upgrade Ubuntu.


That may be due to the fact you use a rolling release distro. However, the OO example is not unique to Ubuntu nor is it even unique to a specific version of Ubuntu. A myriad number of distros, that are not unstable rolling releases, also frequently have this issue - Ubuntu, Fedora/Red Hat, OpenSUSE, etc...

This type of problem can effect the ability to upgrade apps both big (OpenOffice) and small (I once needed to upgrade RhythmBox as a feature I needed was not available in the current official release of that particular distro I was using. In order to do so, I had to resort to using unstable repositories, despite that particular release of RB most certainly not being a major revision, and had to accept "unstable" dependencies just to get the upgrade).


Furthermore, what could Open Office 3.0 do that the previous version couldn't?


Isn't that completely irrelevant? A user shouldn't have to justify why they want a newer release.

However, I fail to see how searching for a directory in Finder and then deleting it is superior to or quicker than typing apt-get purge [package] in an already open terminal.


Why would I, or the average user, need an open terminal on a regular basis? ..or why should we need to run one app just to delete another one? Nothing is quicker than simply DnD'ing the app bundle and its config file to the trash. Out of all the apps I use on OS X, I think only one "Photoshop" requires any sort of automated help uninstalling it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

wargum Member since:
2006-12-15

Yes. That is probably terrible to have to upgrade the whole OS for Open Office. Not having ever had such a problem nor used Ubuntu for more than a few days, I would not know what it entails to upgrade Ubuntu.

Man, this is a totally common problem. I once tried to install a decent media player on CentOS, Songbird. There just wasn't any version for it. Later when switching to Ubuntu LTS there was a third party package I could use (downloadable through a website that didn't list the Ubuntu versions by number but by name like 'Dapper Drake', great...) but FF and OOo couldn't be used in their newest incarnations. Awful.

Furthermore, what could Open Office 3.0 do that the previous version couldn't?

Yeah, why not stick to Claris Works, had everything you'd ever wish...

Seriously, this is an insulting question!

However, I fail to see how searching for a directory in Finder and then deleting it is superior to or quicker than typing apt-get purge [package] in an already open terminal.

You must be kidding me... Yeah, we all open 10 terminal windows when logged in, just in case...
BTW, I would guess that uninstalling an application is actually a very rare task a typical user performs.

I also don't see how the OSX method is better than some GUI package manager -- with a package manager, you know you are removing hidden symlinks and user config files.

There are hardly any hidden symlinks in OS X applications. And config files aren't an issue. They are tiny, who cares? Only a nerd would. And he can do the task manually.

Reply Parent Score: 3

btrimby Member since:
2009-09-30

OSX. Most the time the uninstaller isn't needed since everything is kept in a single file. But the best implementation of this I have seen is in RISC OS.


This works very well for most applications, but for applications that do require an installation package, OS X does *not* provide an uninstall system. Some seemingly simple app bundles will also install a package when they're first run. This works great for those programs, but many (most?) leave behind remnants in /Library when they are drag-to-trash "uninstalled"

As a software engineer who is also responsible for packaging cross-platform per-machine software, I can say that at Apple does not provide a good uninstall mechanism. To make matters worse, they change the installer each release such that build scripts tend to break between releases.

Reply Parent Score: 1

jtfolden Member since:
2005-08-12

This works very well for most applications, but for applications that do require an installation package, OS X does *not* provide an uninstall system. Some seemingly simple app bundles will also install a package when they're first run. This works great for those programs, but many (most?) leave behind remnants in /Library when they are drag-to-trash "uninstalled"

As a software engineer who is also responsible for packaging cross-platform per-machine software, I can say that at Apple does not provide a good uninstall mechanism. To make matters worse, they change the installer each release such that build scripts tend to break between releases.


Actually, the software author can provide an "uninstall" .pkg that the user can run to remove files if they wish to uninstall. Off the top of my head, Flip4Mac does this as an example. It is run via the OS X Installer and is really a script that simply checks for and removes any files related to the app in question. Adobe does something similar. Even the OS X Developer tools do something similar when you want to remove them.

As far as Apple providing an Uninstaller, I'm not rally sure that should be their primary responsibility given that the greatest majority of applications are simply DnD to the Applications folder. If the author is doing something that installs a file via Installer, they should provide the mechanism to remove that, imo, and since they can do it via a pkg, it shouldn't be any harder than making the install package originally.

It is true that most apps have at least one file in ~/Library (the user library) but a quick Spotlight search reveals those (which are generally small and effect nothing if left in place in the event you should want to re-install the application).

Most Windows applications have uninstallers but still leave the Registry littered with program related entries...

Edited 2010-06-20 01:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

Mac OS X apps
by s_groening on Sun 20th Jun 2010 19:27 in reply to "RE[6]: Rip-offs are news worthy now?"
s_groening Member since:
2005-12-13

Actually, a Mac OS X application typically consists of a number of folders nested within a special folder with the .app extension, which then has specific properties assigned to it, allowing users to double-click on it and have the application run.

Many applications install parts into the /Library/Application Support folder, that you would also have to remove in order to perform a complete removal of the software.

Reply Parent Score: 2