Re: Adding installed packages to menu
On Tue, 3 Mar 2009, Thorny wrote:
Also, I had (apparently, completely wrongly) understood that, when
installing a package with Synaptic, it was the role of Synaptic, as the
package manager, to ensure that the package was added to the relevant
menu, in the Applications menu hierarchy.
As I mentioned previously, not every sys admin wants the package
executable link added to the menu. I suspect you are looking at this issue
as a single user desktop situation, rather than as a multi-seat server
situation. Ubuntu is, mostly, crafted to be easy to use for people new to
GNU/Linux and who are just using a desktop system for their home computer
with just a single user or just the family. A long time joke (somewhat
undeserved, yet still amusing), is Ubuntu - an African word for can't
install and configure Debian. [Please don't flame me for that, I have an
Ubuntu install as well as Debian installs, also other distros for
evaluation and I don't hate newbies] The experienced GNU/Linux users who
choose Ubuntu don't have a problem with things happening, or not
happening, automagically. On the other hand, many Debian installs are for
multi-seat servers and, as I mentioned, the sys admin desires more control
of configuration and understands, or learns, how to accomplish the task.
In that light, I imagine you understand the sanity of the default
behaviour of Debian.
Yes; each workstation installation that we have, whilst it has more than
one user account, is used by only one person at a time, and is primarily
a single-user system (but, I really don't like the pseudo thingy that
Ubuntu uses, rather than having a root account. I much prefer having a
root account, for system maintenance, and for packages installations
One major problem with Ubuntu, apart from the pseudo thingy, is the
colour. I much prefer the blue colour of Debian (kind of like some
people and cars; "What kind of car do you drive?" - "A red one" ; "what
kind of linux do I prefer? - "A blue one" ;) ).
Whilst we have two servers in use; a gateway/firewall, running
smoothwall, and a mailserver, running postfix (and, sometime, I want to
get SQWebMail and SpamAssassin running), working with the utilities on
them, is a bit different to dealing with user applications on the
workstations. Or, it is, to me, anyway.
Many people don't use a GUI package manager like Synaptic. On the command
line, one doesn't need a menu, or at least, nothing more sophisticated
than the tab key.
Synaptic is convenient, but sometimes, to make sure that I get a full
update, I have had to use apt-get. For finding applications, like a
flight simulator, with which I am not familiar, Synaptic is useful,
because it is generally easier to use (and, I do not remember, offhand,
fow to find and install extra applications, using apt-get, or aptitude).
I apologise for my lack ofknowledge in all of this.
We are all ignorant of a topic until we learn and, these days, most
posters don't flame someone for not yet understanding something.
Just a quick additional note; in the Properties information for the
package, in both installations, with the label of Section, in the Common
tab, both packages have the same value; "Games and Amusement".
So, it would seem logical, that each of the two installations, would
automatically result in the package being added to the Games menu,
within the Applications hierarchy, by virtue of the Section parameter,
having the value, in each case.
It would seem logical, given one point of view, but as I mentioned
previously, that's not the behaviour that I desire from a package manager
any more than I want a link to the executable binary automagically added
to the desktop. There are more than 1000 Debian developers, worldwide,
and they vote as to how things are handled by default, perhaps there is a
And, as I had said, it had not occurred to me, that packages would have
different developers/maintainers, for each distribution.
Thus, apparently, the differences in installation, between different
I assume that some applications, like GRAMPS, GnuCash, and PotgreSQL (to
give a variety of different types of applications), have the same
developers/maintainers, for all distributions, with possibly different
developers working on different version numbers of the applications?
Perhaps, a convenient solution, to whether newly installed packages
should be automatically added to the Applicatopons menu hierarchy, would
be that, when an extra package is installed on a system, the package, or
the installer (package manager like Synaptic or apt), could institute a
dialogue box, on completion of the installation; "Do you want this
application added to the Applications menu hierarchy?", and, if the
answer is "y", then the application is automatically added to the
Applications menu hierarchy, and, if "n", or otherwise the application
is not automatically added to the Applications menu hierarchy.
I think that that would make a good package development standard - for
packages that are installed on a system, that could be run from a menu,
to, at the completion of installation, generate a dialogue box that
incorporates the option to have the application automatically added to
the Applications menu hierarchy; something like (in this case) "The
Flight Gear package installation has completed. Do you want it
automatically added to the Applications menu hierarchy? Enter "y" for
yes > ".
It is a thought...
"So once you do know what the question actually is,
you'll know what the answer means."
- Deep Thought,
Chapter 28 of Book 1 of
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
A Trilogy In Four Parts",
written by Douglas Adams,
published by Pan Books, 1992