On 25 Oct 2006 09:18:30 -0700, Roy Schestowitz wrote:
> Free Agent: How to Compile Free Software Apps
> ,----[ Quote ]
>| Let me start with a controversial statement: Installing
>| new software is almost always easier on Linux than on
>| Windows or the Mac OS.
>| I can already envision the angry e-mail. It'll come from
>| the folks who write each month, certain that if they use
>| enough capital letters and exclamation points, they'll
>| convince me that LINUX SUCKS!!!
>| But I'll say it again: Installing new software is, in
>| most cases, easier under Linux than under other
>| operating systems. I've touched on the simple reason
>| why many times in this column. On most Linux systems,
>| an app called the package manager takes care of
>| software installation and removal.
> If/when the trolls sink into this argument, point them to this article.
Yes, let's look at this article:
"It all sounds great, and for the most part, it is. But Linux's way of
doing things has one shortcoming. [...] Rhythmbox version 0.9.3.1 had been
the default app on this machine [...] Though it wasn't a bad tool, the
latest version, 0.9.6, came out recently with new features I desired. I
"Herein lay the problem: My package manager knew of only version 0.9.3.1,
which had been tested and specially crafted (by a so-called package
maintainer with the Ubuntu project) to rock on Ubuntu 6.06. In other words,
0.9.3.1 is the only version of Rhythmbox that Ubuntu 6.06 officially
supports, so it's the only version I could grab via the package manager
with point-and-click ease."
"In the Windows world, if I want a newer version of an app I already have,
I usually just download the new version's SETUP.EXE file and run it. But
the Linux world has no counterpart to SETUP.EXE. If I wanted Rhythmbox
0.9.6 on my Dapper Drake machine, I had two choices. The first was to wait
for Ubuntu's next release. [...]"
"The second option was to do an end-run past the package manager and
perform all the dirty work myself, compiling my own copy of Rhythmbox
0.9.6. This is a far more complicated task than running a SETUP.EXE.
Compiling apps can drive a Linux newbie to madness, and it's this madness
that spawns letters in my inbox like "NO SETUP.EXE? LINUX SUCKS. PEOPLE
DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS GARBAGE."
Of course you have a third choice, and that's to search through a bunch of
other repositories for experimental or end-user supplied packages, which
would not have the blessing of your distro, not to mention could contain
malicious code, since it's from an untrusted source.
Of course, the entire story is ludicrous to begin with. He claims this is
easier than installing software on Windows or a Mac. With a mac,
installing software is as easy as dragging an app package into the apps
folder, no dependancies at all. And on Windows, dependancies haven't been
a problem in years for the vast majority of software.
Why are Linux users forever crowing about how "difficult" it is to search
for drivers or apps? Other than a case where a certain piece of hardware
isn't supported at all on a particular version, i've never spent more than
a few minutes finding a driver. Ever.
And I *PREFER* to search for software on download sites (even Linux
software) because there is typicall far more than a 1 or 2 paragraph blurb
about the software that helps me to make a decision about it, not to
mention there are typically ratings systems from other users that allow you
to get feedback from your peers on how good the software is.
And of course, I also have the option of commercial grade software that I
can walk into any store and purchase. Something that's almost impossible
to find on Linux.