Announcement: One Click Installer
krzysiek at lichota.net
Mon Aug 6 22:14:57 UTC 2007
Conrad Knauer napisał(a):
>> The problem:
>> - Users coming from Windows (and in general beginners) want installation
>> of applications to be as easy as possible. Download, Next, Next, Done
>> kind of experience.
> Individual DEB files installed with Gdebi provide this sort of thing
> currently (e.g. try http://www.getdeb.net/)
Yes, but many applications consist of more than one package.
Example from the top of http://www.getdeb.net/:
Download: xmoto (1.0 Mb) , xmoto-data (6.9 Mb)
User must install 2 packages, in proper order, or the installation will
fail. It also does not support security upgrades as you install deb, not
By combining http://www.getdeb.net/ with One Click Installer you can
create great online software repository, exactly what I hope to become
So thanks for pointing it out, I will contact them to see if they are
>> - If you start talking about command line and adding keys, repositories,
>> etc. you have lost them. They will not understand and they will not
>> _want_ to dig into technical details.
> It sounds like this step should be improved then; maybe a GUI tool to
> add the most popular repositories? (e.g. I added Kubuntu's
> "kde-latest", Medibuntu, Wine, Miro, Opera, VirtualBox and Google)
Average user is not interested in "repository" concept, as I tried to
explain in my post. They do not want understand why it is needed and
they should not be forced to. It is technical detail.
>> - There is plenty of packaging formats used on Linux and average users
>> do not want to know the differences between them, they just want to
>> install application.
> In my experience, almost everything I ever wanted has been available
> as a DEB.
You miss my point. There are DEBs for Debian based distros, RPMs for
RedHat based distros, ebuilds for Gentoo, etc. User does not want to be
shown a page: "please choose your packaging format: deb, rpm, ebuild,
etc." because he does not understand what is the difference and he does
not care. It should work.
>> Package installation applications (Synaptic, Adept) and apt repositories
>> do not solve the problem for the following reasons:
>> 1. Repositories must be added manually and this exceeds skills of
>> average Windows user. Keys must be added also and repositories updated.
>> Too many steps, too difficult.
> Solve this! :-)
> Seriously, this is the problem that needs a good solution.
Well, I have solved it in One Click Installer - it automatically adds
repository and key, then installs selected packages.
>> 2. Users are not used to going to package management application to
>> install application. They want to click link on application web page,
>> download, run, Next, Next, etc.
> What you are describing, as a general practice rather than as the
> occasional procedure for a DEB, is a return to the ugly and slow way
> of doing things that I left far behind in Windows. Please no!
> Synaptic (and similar, e.g. gnome-app-install) in Ubuntu work so
> nicely with so little fuss.
You are free to continue using Synaptic if it suits you, One Click
Installer files do not affect that.
>> 3. Package management applications are too bloated with features and
>> contain thousands of applications.
> Generally speaking, if a program has good defaults, a user won't mess
> with more advanced features... Synaptic doesn't seem overly complex
> to me though. Maybe I am just very used to it :) Also, complaining
> that there are too many apps in Synaptic is like complaining that
> there are too many books in a library! ;)
I am not complaining that there are too many books, but that it is not
convenient for users to find them according to their criteria. And no -
adding search with Boolean operators is not what I am talking about, it
just isn't usable by average users.
> Do remember that "average users" will probably NOT install an
> alternative media player... Though for basic software installation I
> think a site like http://ubuntuguide.org gives some good tips.
Exactly. They install apps recommended in software reviews, guides, by
people in forums, etc.
>> Users want to have
>> some context - other users comments, grades, etc.
> gnome-app-install partially does this (popularity stars). If they
> really want to research a program, users should look on the forums or
> do a Google search. Grading apps can be rather subjective, ne?
Exactly. There should be more than one place where apps can be graded
with different angles - sites for begginers, sites for French users
(with taking into account quality/lack of translation), sites for
graphic designers, etc, etc.
> think of how big the comments database for the ~20K Ubuntu packages
> would be unless you really moderated it... in which case it would look
> rather like the current description I suspect :)
That's why it should be split between many web sites, each with
different scope, users, moderators, etc.
>> 4. Application descriptions are in English (I know about DDTP, but AFAIK
>> it does not work). Many users do not know English and they want
>> information about applications in their language, on native portals with
>> applications (like localized Tucows).
> [...] http://www.flickr.com/photos/annoiato/275701797/
> I would clearly describe that as a bug, yes, but something like DDTP
> should be the solution.
Should be but I it is not, and I think it will never be, because it is
centralized. Descriptions/grades/etc. cannot be centralized because each
group of people has different criteria. And translation must follow
>> 6. If user is using some other distribution than Debian-based he is even
>> more in pain, he has to know what package format to use (DEB, RPM, TGZ,
>> Ebuild, ...), what channel (APT, yum, Yast, ZMD, etc.), what distro,
>> which version.
> Um... how does this affect Ubuntu?
It affects Ubuntu in this way that when you go to some application site
(let's say Skype), for Linux version you are shown a choice of package
formats/distros, while for Windows you have one/two installers to
choose. If you start looking further you will see that this should be
solved for all Linux distros, not just Ubuntu.
> I note, later on in your e-mail
> that you have in mind basically a front-end for just about any package
> management system. That's one way towards getting a unified Linux
> package management system, though Mark Shuttleworth comments that "so
> many divergent packaging systems in the free software world (and I
> include the various *bsd's) is a waste of time and energy"
I couldn't agree more. But I cannot solve the problem of common
packaging format, so I am not trying to. The problem of common packaging
format is important from application developer view, because they have
to create many packages. I am trying to solve the problem from user
point of view, so that he does not have to choose from that plethora of
> Also, this is important:
> Packaging is also one area where we can definitively improve on the
> real user experience for most people who treat computers as a job not
> a passion. It's a strategic tool in the battle between proprietary and
> open approaches. I often think that the proprietary software world's
> way of distributing software is one of its biggest weaknesses - an
> Achilles Heel that we should be exploiting to the full extent
> possible. I'm often asked why Linux can't make it easy to "write
> something like Microsoft Installer, or Installshield". That's the
> wrong rabbithole, Alice. Linux can make it so when you dream of
> databases, PostgreSQL or MySQL are "just there" and "just work".
> That's a much nicer experience - we should make the most of it.
See above, it is about packaging formats, not user experience.
>> Now compare it to installation on Windows - user goes to Google, types
>> "movie player download" or browses some application catalog like Tucows,
>> selects one with best reviews, downloads installer (in most cases he has
>> to choose between installer for Windows 98/ME and installer for Windows
>> 2000/XP), 3 clicks and he is done.
> How is this really different from installing a DEB with gdebi?
It works only on Debian/Ubuntu, only for single deb packages which do
not require additional dependencies. And no security fixes, as this is
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