[Nottingham] Better than Windows? was: Response on awareness day

David Aldred david at familyaldred.org.uk
Thu Nov 3 21:25:48 GMT 2005

On Thursday 03 Nov 2005 12:18, Simon wrote:
> And so they should. Maybe this is where Linux is severly lacking. Easy
> to install software and drivers are commonplace in Microsoft Windows
> and Mac OS X. Synaptic, apt-get, urpmi, yast etc - as 'simple' as they
> seem are still too difficult and confusion to the adverage computer
> user.

I was thinking the other night about something perhaps related to this: yes, 
choice in Linux systems is good - but it's also confusing.

Wouldn't it be nice if Linux installations 

(1) all came with a standard 'install' alias which could point to whatever the 
distro's installation method of choice was (or could even download & 
config/make/make install source if there was no packaged version available), 
so that all the user had to do was get into a root console and type (say) 

	install digikam

and have it happen?

(2) set up a standardised set of links so that you didn't actually have to 
know where a distro put its files to be able to find them (so that a howto 
telling you to look in /usr/local/bin for something didn't have to be 
translated to /opt or /usr/local/sbin)

(3) had meaningful names or aliases for installable software, and a proper set 
of sources built in from the start.

Then one could just type
- 'install epsonrx620driver'
(or even use a very basic gui - even more basic than (say) MCC)
and eiter get it done straight away, or be presented with a list of choices 
(with enough description to make them meaningful)

rather than 

searching for, 
searching for missing libraries, often named very differently from the things 
listed in the config error messages,

something called 'gutenprint', which, great though it is, doesn't exactly 
spring to mind when you start off with "Epson RX 620" in your mind.

*Then* it would visibly beat Windows hollow for ease of use - not only do you 
not need to load that CD (and store it with the 101 others you're going to 
need when reinstalling windows comes round yet again), but you don't even 
need to restart your machine. 

I'm used to it now, of course, and having done both a Linux and a WinXP 
install not that long ago I have to say the Linux install was far faster, 
involved exactly one reboot (rather than somewhere over ten - I lost count) 
and got most things working from the very start (unlike Windows - a lot of 
things seemed to be going badly wrong until I remembered a motherboard CD and 
unearthed it!).    

But getting the extra things working on Linux took a lot of nice opaque 
syntaxes like 'urpmi Timidity++' (case sensitive) - wouldn't 'install 
midiserver ' have been so much easier?

David Aldred

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