Ramblings and questions regarding Fedora, but stemming from gnome-software and desktop environments

Michael Catanzaro mcatanzaro at gnome.org
Sun Dec 28 19:38:12 UTC 2014

On Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 1:10 PM, Alexander Ploumistos 
<alex.ploumistos at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2014-12-28 19:39 GMT+02:00 Michael Catanzaro <mcatanzaro at gnome.org>:
>> I think that's past the line of what we can reasonably expect a 
>> novice user to handle. Proprietary apps are always going to be tough 
>> to install on Fedora, since they're not welcome in our software 
>> center. And novices who install proprietary graphics drivers are 
>> quite likely to wind up with a completely broken system. This is a 
>> hard problem.
> Even the lazy developer will at least expect to be able to watch 
> flash videos

The workflow we have in F21 is this:

* Firefox asks if you want to install the Flash plugin.
* Firefox takes you directly to Adobe's download page for Flash.
* The user magically knows to select YUM for Linux (YUM) and downloads 
the provided RPM.
* The user magically knows that he can double-click on the RPM (what's 
an RPM?) to open GNOME Software and install Flash.

I guess the magic leaps are somewhat unfortunate, but it's still easier 
than dealing with packages, I hope.

> and listen to mp3s.

This is more difficult, since we cannot even point users towards where 
they might possibly find an MP3 codec. I don't think we can fix this 
without a super PAC or some form of regime change.

The workflow we have in F21 is this:

* Rhythmbox/Totem/Music/whatever tells you that you need a new codec to 
play the audio.
* The graphical codec search looks in all enabled repositories for the 
proper plugin.
* It fails because it's broken.

The expected behavior is for it to link to a wiki page that hints at 
the existence of rpmfusion, but we can't legally do more than that. 
Now, if the user somehow does manage to find the rpmfusion web site, 
download the repo RPM, and double click on it (and if codec installer 
gets fixed), then the codec installer should automatically find and 
install the codecs he needs when he tries to play the music, so no need 
for the user to know about gstreamer1-plugins-asdf-fugly et. al. (Of 
course, none of this works if you try to use random video players that 
don't know about PackageKit.)

So the experience should be 100% graphical. Finding the right RPM to 
enable the external repository on the Adobe or rpmfusion website is a 
pain and we need to improve that, but once you've done that you just 
double click on it and don't need to worry about packages. I think the 
biggest step we could improve here is the rpmfusion web site. They 
really need to replace their homepage with [1], and explain that Fedora 
apps will find the codecs you need automatically, so that users don't 
have to keep asking for help with this.

[1] http://rpmfusion.org/Configuration
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