[UFO Chicago] what draws you here?

Ian Bicking ianb@colorstudy.com
28 Jan 2002 17:16:31 -0600

On Mon, 2002-01-28 at 16:42, Larry Garfield wrote:
> The caveat there, however, is when it works.  And as an HCI person
> rather than a core CS person, I define "works" as "I don't have to screw
> with it to make it function properly."  That's the biggest drawback of
> Linux today, if something doesn't come with the distribution most of the
> time it's difficult to install and configure.  (I hear people screaming
> "apt-get!" in the background already.  If something isn't packaged,
> though, you're back to tarballs, which is DOS-days functionality.)  Even
> then, the assumption is that you know what you're doing and are
> comfortable with a compiler.  The word "compile" doesn't scare me, but
> it does annoy me when I have to relearn a different archaic syntax for
> each new deamon I want to run.

apt-get!  No, really, I've never reinstalled Debian, or had the
slightest desire to do so, except when I replaced the main HD.  I have
1253 packages installed, and it still works fine -- admittedly there's
probably a lot of junk I don't need, but that's not really the point.  I
don't have to practice self-control when installing software.  I can't
do that in Windows.  Those source tarballs are what make repackaging
possible.  Sure, maybe 75% of Windows programs can be installed without
effecting system stability.  Just like maybe 75% of the programs I want
on Linux are packaged in Debian (more, actually).  But they don't tell
you which Windows programs are going to slowly eat your system alive.