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Re: Everything installs



Otto Haliburton wrote:
the possible solution is noted.  I am going to toss this out and I know
that it has been suggested many times, and that is that a graphical
interface be created for yum.  This has both a good and a bad component,
which could be solved by having a standalone yum and a graphical
interface to the stand along version.  Up2date seems to function as one
but I believe it has been effectively disabled in fc4.  This is a
suggestion but maybe a development thing for the future.
   There are interesting challenges here...

I recently got Linux running on a Sun Ultra 10, and I chose Debian because it's one of the few distributions that will easily install on SPARC.

I tried a more-or-less everything install first and found out that X would crash the machine. I didn't really need X on that machine, so I wanted to do an install that had basic development tools (gcc, awk, perl, time, ...) but no X. I was impressed with apt-get, but the text UI for configuring packages in Debian is atrocious. It didn't help that I was using a funky Sun keyboard with the control key in the wrong place, but I found keystroke combinations to be completely unintuitive -- I ended off ticking off a large number of development packages, and sure enough, some of them depended on xlibs, so the dependency resolver added some X windows related packages to the list, and I wasn't so sure if it was trying to install X libraries (which would have been fine) or an X server (which would have turned the machine into a boat anchor.)

Debian diehards will probably say that it's not so bad if you are experienced in Debian, but that's the whole point -- if deb-pkg-config confuses somebody with a decade+ of experience in Linux and Unix, what is it like for a real novice?

I pine for the days of Slackware, where it was easy to select bundles, or drill down into the bundles, pick out individual packages, get good descriptions of the packages, and easily decide what you want.

I end up doing an everything install in Fedora and RHEL when I build new machines because I know there are things I like in the everything install that won't come up in other installs. Because I don't have a good synoptic view of the packages, I can't tell you what they are!

Like a lot of people, I'd badly like to have an "english-only" install... I ~would~ like Unicode fonts, I need uxterm and I need Mozilla to render CJK text out of the box (big advantage that Fedora/RHEL has over Linux)... Not because I can understand CJK text, but because I sometimes need to tell what language a site is and sometimes need to make sure that my software isn't double-encoding something. I ~don't~ need 1 GB of language packs.

I wish I could do an "everything but Open Office" install. I just don't have any use for it -- and I really don't have any use for clicking on something that's got nothing to do with any kind of Office and then having my machine grind for two minutes to pop up an Open Office window full of garbage.

It's not just a matter of bitching about Fedora/RHEL: managing the software you've got is a nightmare on any platform today. The other day I installed the "Yahoo Widget Engine" on my Windows machine, and it never worked... But now it takes ten seconds longer for it to boot and it pops up dialog boxes asking me if I want to upgrade it.

I'm happy that people are talking about these issues... Applications like Azureus and Mozilla, for better and for worse, are bringing some problems from Windows to the Unix world, and it would be good to see a solution.


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