What happened to pup?

Nicolas Mailhot nicolas.mailhot at laposte.net
Sun May 22 17:11:17 UTC 2005

Kyrre Ness Sjobak a écrit :
> søn, 22.05.2005 kl. 18.05 skrev Nicolas Mailhot:
>>Kyrre Ness Sjobak a écrit :
>>>Lets say Adobe wanted to make a really, really simple-to-use installer
>>>for their reader
>>What you've described is the windows way and it's nothing but simple. In 
>>fact it's so convoluted no one will ever read all the screens you've 
>>described (it's nothing but a click ok pipeline - if you really think 
>>users process them just add one with the proceed button moved and we'll 
>>have massive user consternation)
> So what? The user installs what the user needs withot crying "help" on
> every forum. The user is happy. Period.

He's not. Just because he cries on other forums you don't actually read 
does not mean the windows way "works" (a few weeks of windows helpdesk 
can be very enlightening)

Windows installers are terrible but they sort-of work because they all 
have the same warts and people learn to work around them (click-ok 
pipeline). Their most crucial aspect is consistency - users will adapt 
to any UI as long as it does not change every year.

Your proposal takes the worst of both worlds :
- it inflicts meaningless Windows habits on Linux users
- it can not even exploit this similarity since we have real security so 
run anything as any user won't work here - you'll have to add auth 
screens not found under windows
- it ruins the consistency of the distro installation methods since your 
proposed installer will be app-specific not system-specific. Instead of 
learning one update method for all its needs each user will have to 
learn one method per app.

>>The really, really simple-to-use installer is a web page that uses your 
>>browser id to suggest the right repo file to dump into /etc/yum.repos.d 
>>with a short example like :
>>wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/adobe.repo url
>>yum install acrobat-reader

> Something like that is presented at the bottom of the mail, but then in
> the form as a "userfriendly web synaptic".
>>(you can add a .repo gui handler if you like but it'll need to be as 
>>simple as these four lines)
> One of the main points was that i should be able to download an install
> file once, and run on whatever distro suits me best.

You're attacking the problem from the wrong side. Who cares if the 
install method changes per OS? Vendors/developpers care about it because 
they want to have less work. End-users care about their own workload, 
which means less installation method variations within their own 
context, which is one (or two) operating systems, and lots of apps 
(_NOT_ the reverse). So the crucial part is to use a single method per 
OS, not a single method per app. That's why people like Dag are 
worshipped by hordes of end-users - they offer third-party stuff using 
the single well-known rpm paradigm.

The benefits of a "better" installer (which your example is not) pale 
before the inconvenience of a "different" installer. If you want to 
change the installation experience you need to retool rpm/yum at the 
distribution level, not invent yet another marginal universal installer 
(this is the part the autopackage guys never understood).


Nicolas Mailhot

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