[CentOS] Thanks, good bye, and an observation from a newbie.

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Mon Oct 17 18:06:43 UTC 2005

On Mon, 2005-10-17 at 12:40, Lamar Owen wrote:

> > What is it that could be explained that couldn't be scripted?
> More than you might realize given the constraints of the RPM system.  

Yes, the decision to disallow user interaction during RPM installs
is probably the worst thing ever to happen to Linux.  There are
things where defaults aren't ever going to be right. But, you can
always work around it by making the interactive part happen later.

> Otherwise, very little, but you do have to write and debug the scripts.  And 
> the script interpreter, regardless of language, takes things far more 
> literally than even the rankest newbie following an explanation.

But it will complain a lot less...

> I know what the short-term solution is, but have not had the time or the need 
> to implement it.  And that is the capability of having multiple versions of 
> the backend available at any given time. 

Yes, this is where the 'do the interactive portion later' hits a snag.
There are things that have to be done before you blow away the code
needed to do the first steps.

> It is far easier to explain "dump, upgrade, initdb, restore" than to write a 
> script to do some really hairy data manipulation that can:

The script only has to be done once by a person that understands the
issues.  The explanation has to be done once per user - and they are
likely to get it wrong.

> Or to put it very bluntly: being newbie-friendly is hard work for a developer, 
> but even harder work for support staff or mailing list participants.

The more that is done right on the development/packager/installer side
the less support is needed.

> There 
> are no easy answers for ease of use.  Although my initial impressions of 
> Ubuntu are pretty positive.
> Personally, I have nearly a decade of experience with Red Hat-like systems; 
> too much intellectual equity to jump ship.  One might say I'm somewhat vested 
> in RPM-based setups at this point.

If you have to understand anything about a package manager, then it
isn't doing it's job - unless you mean building the packages.

  Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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