[debian-knoppix] Worth consideration??
I am simply pasing this on to the Knoppix crowd F.Y.I.:
The InformationWeek article "Follow-Up To Linux's Achilles' Heel Column"
is generating some great reader letters. For example:
Hi Fred. You've been covering the woes of Linux distributions
detecting PC hardware. I've installed a number of
distributions with minimal hassle, however it's installing
additional software packages that becomes a chore.
Most Linux distros contain everything you need for a fully
running system such as OpenOffice, Evolution, and Gimp.
However, what if there is another piece of software you want
to install that isn't part of the distribution packages? I've
tried installing third-party software that was created as a
Red Hat installation package and had little success. It
claimed to have installed properly but the executable wouldn't
open and it never created a desktop icon.
Another option is compiling the source code of the software.
After unzipping and untarring the files I run "make install"
or whatever the documentation describes. Lots of compiler
messages scroll across the screen, cryptic for all but...
programmers. Then, out of nowhere, the process stops with an
error. A missing dependency or component that was required,
but not found.
Neither method is very friendly. I'm a seasoned computer
professional and earn a living by solving technical problems,
however I don't feel that software installation is a task that
should require [great] skill and expertise to accomplish -
regardless of the operating system.
While I have my druthers about Windows, it's a piece of cake
to install software in any version of Windows. Copy the EXE
to a folder and open it or run SETUP. In rare cases an
application won't install properly but 99.9% of them do - and
they create a desktop icon for you.
Perhaps the Linux folks need to take a look at Mac OS X. OS X
is a variant of BSD UNIX with many of the same features of
Linux. Installing software is a snap - either run an install
program or copy the executable file to a folder and open it.
This is easier than Windows and you get the power of UNIX.
Perhaps software installation is more a matter of familiarity
than of ease. However, if user perception is that Linux
software installation is difficult, it's an issue that needs
to be addressed by the Linux community. All of the good
reasons to use Linux lose their potency if a user can't
perform seemingly simple tasks like installing software. ---
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