Michael Schwendt mschwendt at gmail.com
Sun Nov 10 15:06:18 UTC 2013

On Sun, 10 Nov 2013 01:35:41 +0000, Ian Malone wrote:

> > Please don't let it install applications, which cannot be started via the
> > graphical desktop user interface (such as a menu system or a list of
> > installed Applications). Users, who install software with the help of a
> > graphical program, expect that afterwards they can find and launch the
> > installed software via the graphical desktop user interface. Alternatively,
> > the installer ought to offer launching something as the next step.
> No they don't.

You're free to claim that, but my experience differs, so it's very likely
that we won't agree about this.

An example with a truncated package description:

   Name        : ImageMagick
   Group       : Applications/Multimedia

   Description :
   ImageMagick is an image display and manipulation tool for the X
   Window System. [...]
   ImageMagick also includes command line programs for creating
   animated or transparent .gifs, creating composite images, creating
   thumbnail images, and more.

   ImageMagick is one of your choices if you need a program to manipulate
   and display images. 

The package does not include a .desktop file. Using GNOME Shell search,
it is not locatable when entering "Image" or "Magic". This is confusing
users. Examining the package further, it turns out the "man ImageMagick"
manual page mentions:

   The functionality of ImageMagick is typically utilized from the command
   line or you can use the features from programs written in your favorite
   programming language. 

> I think it's perfectly reasonable that there could be a
> GUI program can install components and terminal commands. After all we
> can start GUI programs from the command line.

We cannot start GUI programs from the command line when the DISPLAY
variable is not set or invalid. ;-p

> Installer offering to run something for you is something that's always
> irritated me ("you've installed this! do you want to run it now?!"). I
> can live with it if it's useful for the majority of people, but I
> don't see why it's obvious that this "should" happen.

I don't refer to "launching CLI programs after installation", because
that is _impossible_, and only having users stare at the --help output
in a terminal window would not be a great feature at all.

I recommend that anything that is installable via a GUI package tool (or
application installer) offers the option to _either_ start the installed
thing as the next step (which is feasible, if it's a GUI application) _or_
to continue with a jump to a system settings tool where to configure the
installed thing (e.g. a service, daemon, applet), which is not a program
that would be listed as an installed application.

Conclusively, if it became possible to install "ImageMagick" via
"gnome-software", the installed software ought to register itself as
an ordinary application in the menu system (or applications list), even
if starting it that way would only open a Help browser that explains
how ImageMagick is supposed to be used.

More information about the devel mailing list