[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]

RE: Kind request: fix your packages



> -----Original Message-----
> From: fedora-devel-list-admin redhat com [mailto:fedora-devel-list-
> admin redhat com] On Behalf Of Michael Schwendt
> Sent: Sunday, October 05, 2003 1:06 PM
> To: fedora-devel-list redhat com
> Subject: Re: Kind request: fix your packages
> 
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
> 
> On Sun, 05 Oct 2003 11:44:06 -0400, Sean Middleditch wrote:
> 
> > I'm
> > talking uers who want to install some piece of software right now, and
> > don't want to be told they have to wait 2 months for a new version of
> > their OS to come out; not when "other" OSs can run apps from 10 years
> > ago, and even the newest apps coming out still run on at least several
> > releases back, which covers a decent number of years (so far as
> > computers go).
> 
> There's one of those "other" OSs, where a friend points me to a
> versatile media player I should check out. The only download option is
> an .EXE file, several MiB big. Great. That should be easy. But wait,
> it unpacks files into a temporary directory, then refuses to proceed
> and tells me I need a newer version of DirectX. No idea where to get
> that. I search the web and download the latest version which is even
> newer than what is required. I fail to find a place where to get
> exactly the version that is required. Hopefully it doesn't matter.
> 
> The installer seems to be happy about the new version. Then I'm told I
> need an update to DCOM and a couple of similar packages. Somehow I
> manage to find and install all this stuff. The application's installer
> finishes. But the application doesn't work completely. The developers
> tell me some of my system software is too new and not yet supported.
> Something would be special about my system, but they don't know what.
> I should get the latest version of the OS where the necessary stuff is
> preinstalled. Or I could also install the previous version where
> they've tested the application, too.
> 
> I then notice that some of the updates overwrote important system
> files, and now other applications don't work anymore. When asked, my
> friend admits he has had a few problems, too. But he thought the
> problems would be due to his own mistakes, and everywhere else it
> would work flawlessly. Thanks god I have a backup of my installation.
> 
> Before restoring my system, I take the chance to try a commercial
> application which I have been given on CD for evaluation. It says
> explicitly it supports my version of the OS. Its installer is smarter.
> Afterall, it's a commercial application. It offers to download missing
> components from the Internet. Unfortunately, after asking me half a
> dozen times on whether I would let it overwrite mysterious .DLL system
> files, it refuses to proceed. It wants a specific version of DirectX,
> an older version than what I've updated to. I get the chance to
> downgrade to a version on the CD, although I don't have the slightest
> idea whether that might affect any other applications, such as the
> partially working media player which is still installed.
> 
> At the end of the installation, most parts of my system are still
> working, the application disables one feature due to insufficient
> system features. So far so good, but a few parts of my OS now are in
> English and no longer in German. I ask a person who considers himself
> an expert on that operating system. He shakes his head and says I
> should reinstall from scratch or from backup. It could take hours to
> fix the mess manually.  I should try custom installation. Once I would
> have figured out how to complete a working installation, everything
> would be fine.
> 
> He tells me about a message board where I should ask for help prior to
> installing from scratch. The people in that forum try to help. Half of
> them ask questions which seem to address a completely different OS.
> Some try to analyze my system with detailed questions on what options
> I see in the menus and what tools are installed. Then they excuse for
> not being helpful and write that they run the latest version of the OS
> where things are different. The other half blame me for not having a
> backup. I didn't tell them I do have backups. I just mentioned I would
> not want to reinstall. Seems that's the only option.
> 
> One wizard steps up in private mail, accusing the other board members of
> not knowing their stuff. He/she suggests I should uninstall the
> application and let it revert its changes. Sounds good. Unfortunately,
> the uninstaller doesn't do the job automatically. Instead -- as if it
> doesn't know better -- it asks me on whether to keep or erase each of
> maybe 50 modified system files. Guess what I did. I reinstalled from
> backup. Seems to be widespread and common practise.
> 
> - --
> Michael, who doesn't reply to top posts and complete quotes anymore.

As with all development, it sounds as though you have the same problem that
should be addressed by all developers.  First is as in the medical world the
first thing is "Thou shall do no harm".  So the developer should be aware of
what his package needs and check for those things, second, if a new version
of a common routine is needed, then it should broadcast that fact and
proceed no further, third, if a replacement routine is added then that
routine should support all previous versions or make this fact widely known.
Common courtesy should always be observed no matter the OS the existing
system requirements.  Some of the problems with Open Source software is
obvious though and the community needs to address those concerns.  The main
one is that the development of software comes after the product is
introduced and because of that there will always be a problems.  The next
one is that the manufacturers will only release interface to the open source
community after the proprietary period expires or there is a great demand
for it.  Given these facts the open source community needs to make damn sure
that what it puts out software that works and will cover most situations or
users will be reluctant to use it even though it is free and I think that is
what has already happened.





[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Thread Index] [Date Index] [Author Index]