Our best foot forward

Patrick optomatic at rogers.com
Thu Nov 15 01:44:10 UTC 2007

I see where you are going with this and I will make a bug report if I 
encounter this sort of trouble again.

I hope I am not "beating this to death now" but I need to continue.

Being a dumbass I have another perspective to offer. Early on I 
encountered these post installation questions but I did not answer them 
correctly and of course I did not receive good results. Aside from a 
total package uninstall/reinstall I still do not know how to 
reinitialize these post installation scripts. These scripts assume too 
much user knowledge. I still feel that a script that could be called 
again and again with ease would be better and one that included helpful 
hints to get through the first pass would be best, granted that some of 
these post installation scripts have helpful tips. A script that could 
be copied and pasted might also provide an entire overview of the 
process so that the user would know exactly what was going on and would 
one day not need this crutch.

I am really going out on a limb here but does anyone think that a menu 
within Synaptic to reconfigure Apps would be useful? This might be 
difficult but a built-in repository of helper scripts that could be 
viewed or run might be helpful.

There could also be a section sorted by task not by program.

Again to recount the adventures of a fool, namely me, here is another 

I spent hours reading how to manually compile programs with Linux. 
Notice I said Linux not Ubuntu. I don't remember which distros the 
tutorials were using as examples but they were not Ubuntu. I spent hours 
and hours pulling out my hair trying to figure out why I could not 
compile in Ubuntu. Finally I found out that Ubuntu does not ship with 
the tools to compile software.

For example if the script repository had a title like:
Would you like to manually compile software?

and a script like this:

#! /bin/bash

echo "Ubuntu does not ship with all the tools you need to compile 
software, we need to install these tools"
Sudo apt-get install build-essential

echo "now you need to find your download directory and extract the tarball"
echo "you can simply right click on it and choose extract here"
echo "now cd to your new extracted directory in the terminal and type make"
echo "the script will search for the required dependencies, you must 
install all of them before you continue"

etc, etc, etc

A package manager cannot help with this sort of thing. People sometimes 
don't know why Totem does not work out-of-the-box. A helper script could 
explain this and point them to an outside source to download the require 
codecs separately. Again this is not something that the packaging people 
have overlooked but they are common problems. A solution is needed. I 
bet the community cold built such a repository of scripts quite quickly. 
I am unfamiliar with synaptic code and I am not sure how hard it would 
be to integrate these in-Patrick

Onno Benschop wrote:
> On 15/11/07 09:07, Patrick wrote:
>> Hi Onno and List
>> I am not sure I have made my intentions clear. First of all, Ubuntu's 
>> package management system is easier and less hazardous then a 
>> windoze-one-click-installer program, my helper script idea was just to 
>> focus on the configuration and if necessary, post installation 
>> commands(i.e sudo /etc/init.d/vsftpd start).
>> My helper script idea was not meant to eliminate wikis and online tutorials.
> I think you may misunderstand the post installation scripts.
> Currently most don't ask any questions, but they have the ability to do
> that. In answering the questions prompted by the post install scripts,
> you're walking through the tutorial that the developer (or packager :)
> put together. There is a whole (mostly invisible) hierarchy of levels of
> prompting built into the package system today.
> So, my point still stands.
> If you have a package that "doesn't work out of the box", that's a
> likely candidate for a bug report.
> Just in case my meaning isn't clear. I'm not disagreeing with your
> assessment or commenting on your skill level. I'm attempting to point
> your frustration at the mechanisms in place already to leverage your
> input and benefit from them. Ultimately bug number 1 still needs to be
> closed.
> Cheers,

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