Our best foot forward

Onno Benschop onno at itmaze.com.au
Thu Nov 15 02:36:57 UTC 2007

All of what you write exists:

    * A package that is not installed but run from the bash prompt is
      captured with a comment like "The program 'foobar' is currently
      not installed. You can install it by typing: sudo apt-get install

      This functionality should be installed by default (not sure from
      which version of Ubuntu), but if you don't have that
      functionality, then the command-not-found package will activate
      it: sudo apt-get install command-not-found

    * You can view tasks in Synaptic by choosing Edit -> Mark Packages
      by Task...

    * To reconfigure a package: sudo dpkg-reconfigure foobar, perhaps it
      would be useful to add this functionality to Synaptic.

Your 'compiling packages' example, while understandable, is in my
opinion misplaced. You would not consider this option in Windows or OSX
for the vast majority of end-users and even system administrators. That
you're using documentation for Linux and applying it to Ubuntu is akin
to using documentation for PalmOS and applying it to Symbian.

I'm not saying that you cannot compile stuff in Ubuntu, that is
obviously possible, but it's also possible on most other operating
systems. Many users coming from non-Debian based Linux environments come
with the 'baggage' of needing to compile things. That's not the
Debian-way, nor is it the Ubuntu-way for many reasons - too wide to go
into here right now.

So, again it comes back to documentation and education.

Personally I think this kind of conversation is healthy and useful
within Ubuntu. I cannot speak for others in this community, but your
comments are constructive and thoughtful and in my opinion you should
not be ashamed of your contributions. Ultimately the pilot of a 747
needed to fly solo for the first time. Said another way, to be
experienced requires experience.

Onno Benschop

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