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am I wrong in thinking that this is really what's holding linux back from the mainstream? I mean there are TONS of great opensource apps for linux, their compatibility is ...
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  1. #1
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    why can't people settle on ONE way to install linux apps?


    am I wrong in thinking that this is really what's holding linux back from the mainstream? I mean there are TONS of great opensource apps for linux, their compatibility is so spotty and there is NO one way to install them on any linux system. I think CNR (linspire) is exactly what we need, but it's a sort of proprietary "you pay monthly fee!" type thing.

    If installing apps on linux were like installing apps on windows or macOS, people might actually go for it. so here's my hypothetical ideal situation:

    say Freddy wants to get an MP3 player app for his linux installation. I'm not saying what "distro" or hardware platform he has because it doesn't matter. He uses his linux web browser to go to a website that lists mp3 player apps and choose one he likes. He downloads a file for the app. This file is a standardized kind of data file (not executable) that is interpreted by a small executable that is included with EVERY linux distro on EVERY platform. This data file tells the interpreter program to check for certain files on the current linux system. If some files that the app will need are not present, it downloads them to the appropriate paths. If for some reason, there is no way that the app could run on this linux system, the interpreter simply says that it can't and quits. If everything's ok though, it continues to download the app files to the appropriate path and then makes an alias to the app's executable on whatever the system's app launcher is (start-menu, etc).

    A further addition that would make it a bit nicer is to have functionality built into linux web browsers that automatically downloads the data file in some place the user doesn't see and calls the interpreter on it automatically.

  2. #2
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    In an ideal world that would be nice. The problem is you've got to get all the distro's to agree with each other. There are tons of things that do this though.

    There is apt, which i think is becoming popular. But then you got all these other installers yum, alien, etc...

    One day maybe they'll be a standard.

    Although I suppose if you want a real standard you could just compile everything yourself. FOr them ost part the way you compile stuff is fairly standard (if it works).

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    sure, but 99.8% of people won't do that

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    What compiling themselves?

    Pretty much every linux user has compiled something themselves. Well, any linux user who has had linux for over a year and actually uses it. It's unavoidable sometimes.

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    I only use RPM's and the such as a last resort. Theres just something I like about it... and KPackage (frontend of rpm) doesnt work so i have to install it through bash, which you do with source anyway... haha this is starting to turn into an oxymoron... 'night peoples, 11:20pm here and i have school tomorrow.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco
    What compiling themselves?

    Pretty much every linux user has compiled something themselves. Well, any linux user who has had linux for over a year and actually uses it. It's unavoidable sometimes.
    This is a very interesting statement. I'd like to go back to the post that started this discussion. Linux is not plug and play. And, as hard as it is to imagine, there are still people out there that are not computer literate. I deal with PC users every day that require training on how to access their files.

    I have been using Linux very inactively for about 4 months now. The reason that I have been using it inactively is a variety of things.

    1) I have only ever used Windows before. Windows is, in my opinion and maybe mine alone, the best operating system for PC's. I can go into the reasons for this if people really want to know. Linux is extremely different to windows and I have no real idea how to use it.

    2) Linux is not intuitive. Windows is easy to get to grips with because the interface is cleverly designed to be intuitive and progressive.

    3) On Windows you can just do something. You don't have to muck around with bizzarre case-sensitive acronyms that mean nothing at a first glance. You don't have to recompile the o/s either.

    4) Installing things on Linux scares me. I'll admit it, I am plain too scared to go near it. I also just do not have the time to get used to it. It's not because I am computer illiterate either. I have been building and using computers on a multitude of platforms for 15 years. It is on a PC that has my web server on and until I have IIS figured out it will continue to do that. And only that.

    I have been told by a load of people that I should persevere with linux because it is so great. Yet, when I ask why, I don't get a straight answer. One user on this forum once said "Maybe you shouldn't be using linux." That is the first honest thing that a linux user has ever said to me. Unless you have three or more spare hours a day to get to terms with it I would say don't do it.

  7. #7
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by open_flanker
    1) I have only ever used Windows before. Windows is, in my opinion and maybe mine alone, the best operating system for PC's. I can go into the reasons for this if people really want to know. Linux is extremely different to windows and I have no real idea how to use it.
    If you have no idea how to use Linux, then of course MS Windows is the best OS for you, because you know what you're used to. If you were to take the time to learn Linux as well as you probably know MS Windows, you might just change some of your opinions about it.

    2) Linux is not intuitive. Windows is easy to get to grips with because the interface is cleverly designed to be intuitive and progressive.
    This is completely opinion. "Intuitive" varies from person to person. I happen to think VAX/VMS is pretty intuitive but you wouldn't see me trying to preach that. MS Windows is easy for people to get to grips with because it's the ONLY operating system that the vast majority of users in the world ever learn. That's all.

    3) On Windows you can just do something. You don't have to muck around with bizzarre case-sensitive acronyms that mean nothing at a first glance. You don't have to recompile the o/s either.
    Funny, I can "just do" quite a few things on Linux and with the exception of Gentoo (which is designed for this) I've *never* had to "recompile the OS". If you are so inclined, it is possible to install and run several different Linux distributions without ever having to compile anything at all.

    4) Installing things on Linux scares me. I'll admit it, I am plain too scared to go near it. I also just do not have the time to get used to it.
    Well, now we see the root of the problem. Let me see, you're scared because it's different and don't want to take the time to learn it and thus overcome that fear, so you make broad statements about how unfit the OS is for general consumption based on your fear and lack of knowledge of the OS.

    I have been told by a load of people that I should persevere with linux because it is so great. Yet, when I ask why, I don't get a straight answer. One user on this forum once said "Maybe you shouldn't be using linux." That is the first honest thing that a linux user has ever said to me. Unless you have three or more spare hours a day to get to terms with it I would say don't do it.
    You, sir, are a troll. I agree that you should not use Linux because it is quite clear to me by your post here that you have a closed mind and are not interested in giving Linux a chance. Instead you decide to come to a Linux forum and vent your self-made frustrations and recommend that people not use an OS about which you yourself know nothing.
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  8. #8
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Re: why can't people settle on ONE way to install linux apps

    Quote Originally Posted by efferoo
    am I wrong in thinking that this is really what's holding linux back from the mainstream? I mean there are TONS of great opensource apps for linux, their compatibility is so spotty and there is NO one way to install them on any linux system. I think CNR (linspire) is exactly what we need, but it's a sort of proprietary "you pay monthly fee!" type thing.
    The one installer to rule them all. Yes, I agree that one of Linux's big issues is still different package management formats. There are very different ideas behind many of them, and every one seems to think theirs is better. As was mentioned before, there are many more systems able to run apt these days thanks to things like apt4rpm, but there isn't any Linux equivalent to something like the InstallShield or Microsoft Installer. There are several reasons for this however.

    One issue is that not every Linux system has the same library files. In MS Windows there is an exact set of Dynamic Link Libraries (DLL) in every installation of the OS. Most installer programs like InstallShield or Microsoft Installer depend on these libraries because they know that every Windows OS has them. With Linux, there is no "standard installation" therefore installers like this cannot work. This is an issue that can be rectified if major distributions agree on a standard set of libraries to include with every installation, and efforts from the Linux Standard Base are helping this along. It's not ready for primetime yet, but it's getting there.

    This file is a standardized kind of data file (not executable) that is interpreted by a small executable that is included with EVERY linux distro on EVERY platform. This data file tells the interpreter program to check for certain files on the current linux system. If some files that the app will need are not present, it downloads them to the appropriate paths.
    This is already done by Debian's APT system, Gentoo's portage system, and as you already mentioned, Linspire's CNR. Sure, they're not all shiny and newbie friendly, but they *do* exist.

    A further addition that would make it a bit nicer is to have functionality built into linux web browsers that automatically downloads the data file in some place the user doesn't see and calls the interpreter on it automatically.
    Firefox has "extensions" which download and install themselves through the browser. However, any time you allow the web to have access to your underlying system you leave yourself open for exploitation. Look at the problems with Internet Explorer. Many of them deal with remote procedure calls, because IE uses ActiveX controls that allow web programs to execute and install programs onto your local machine, with or without asking your permission first.
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  9. #9
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    efferoo and open_flanker, have a look at this post I made just a little over two years ago. (Lord! Has it only been two years?!!). Be sure to read the whole thread. I understand your frustration, but I've been there as I imagine many on this board have. After a while it gets easier and before long, you begin to wonder why you ever thought it was hard!

    Stay with it! Most things that enrich your life are worth waiting for. Linux is no different. Trust me, if I can learn Linux, anybody can!
    Linux Mint + IceWM Registered: #371367 New Members: click here

  10. #10
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    I totally agree on the fact that Windows is easier, frendlier and mabye more intuitive...

    so is eating with a fork instead of chinese stick...
    but man... dont you feel great the day you master the chinese stick manupulation?

    This is only to make a point obviously... knowledge doesnt come with confort nor easyness...

    it takes time and I make no false promise... it will be a long and hard road... but you will feel the accomplishment...

    It's like for anything... if your use to something all along, of course getting out of your confort zone will be frustrating... but its exactly what champion are all about... getting out of a confort zone and learn...
    \"Meditative mind\'s is like a vast ocean... whatever strikes the surface, the bottom stays calm\" - Dalai Lama
    \"Competition ultimatly comes down to one thing... a loser and a winner.\" - Ugo Deschamps

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