Un-installing apps : any better than Windows ? :-/

Jim Richardson warlock at eskimo.com
Sun Jun 5 07:29:54 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-06-03 at 19:18 +0200, Vincent Trouilliez wrote:
> > Seeking perfection are you. Not a bad concept. <smiling>
> Yes ! ;-) I want Ubuntu to be as
> good/clean/simple/lightweight/fit/slim/clear as possible... :o)
> > Some reasons do exist to leave the dot directories in place in UNIX
> > style systems. Normally, they are hidden. 
> > If it bothers you, use Midnight Commander (mc) to delete them. But, they
> > leaving them in my home directory has saved me hours of frustration in
> > the past.
> Yes, sure, I normally love keeping them so that I don't need to
> re-configure apps when I re-install Ubuntu.
> However if I chose the "purge" option, it means that I explicitly tell
> the system that I DO mean it to remove everything, because I don't
> intend to re-install this app ever, or if I do, I don't mind
> re-configuring it. In this case, I would want the system to be 200%
> clean.

Bear in mind that the *nix family of OSen, are built from the ground up
with the assumption that the user, may or may not, be located at the
machine running the app. Remote able appliations are the norm. Also,
$HOME isn't always a local disc, and the machine you log into today, may
not be the machine you log into, tomorrow, apps that were unavailable on
machine A, may be installed on machine B. I have several apps that I use
often (gnomebaker for one example) that I don't have installed on this
laptop, lacking a CD burner...

Having the users config files vanish if the admin on some machine
uninstalls an app, would be a bad thing IMHO :)

That said, it would be nice to be able to flag dpkg or apt-get to kill
off local config in $HOME in the case of machines where there is only
one or two users, and they all want that. Or perhaps a good way to cull
GConf of apps that aren't local, but the issues there aren't trivial. 

> Also, I am not "that" bothered by the hidden folders, they are easy
> enough to identify and delete, as you pointed out.. What really annoys
> me is that on a fresh Ubuntu install, I have zero files in my home
> folder, whereas right now, I have over 40 (NON-hidden) files, and I have
> no idea what they are for, if I can delete them etc. I have no idea what
> app created them.

heck, I have dotfiles on this laptop that go back to 2001, when I bought
it and installed Debian on it. There are 521 dotfiles and dotdirs in the
top level of $HOME, On one of my accounts at an isp, I have dotfiles
from my first login, in 1994 :) 

It would be nice if they would all go in .config or something, to save
on clutter though. 

> At the very least, all these files should be hidden, since they are not
> data created by the user, and they seeing them only makes the browser
> window more cluttered and confusing when the user tries to access his
> data.
> XawTV does this. It creates a conf file in the user home folder, but it
> is hidden, so it doesn't get in the way.
> Would be good if all programs did the same ! :o(

the vast majority of them (at least in Linux) do. In fact, I am having a
hard time thinking of an app I use, that puts it's config in a
non-dotfile or non-dotdir.

> > And as pristine as I am about performance, they don't do much. It's not
> > like M$'s dread registry where things can get really messy.
> Ah, good to hear. If these entries don't slow down Gconf/Gnome, then I
> guess it's not *that* bad then ;o)
> --
> Vince, seeking perfection...

seeking is good :) 
Jim Richardson http://www.eskimo.com/~warlock
If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
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