Re: Back to the Dark Ages.

Subject: Re: Back to the Dark Ages.
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 10:00:15 -0300

Kevin McLauchlan wrote:

Well, some of the distributions do not make available ISO images for download,
I'm fairly sure that all the major distributions make ISO images available. Certainly, the Big Four (Debian, Mandrake, Red Hat and SuSE) do, although SuSE was a little slow in posting the image for its latest version, possibly so that it wouldn't interfer with sales of the box version.

or like SuSE -- which includes nearly 2500 apps in addition to the kernel and core files -- they don't include most of the apps in the downloadable version. I suppose that's because so many people still do have slow-speed dial-up connections and they're catering to the wider audience/market.

True, but since many of those apps are duplicates of each other, or for specialized use, I don't suppose many people would install all of them. In fact, SuSE has recently announced that it was going to pare down the apps in its distribution, apparently so that users wouldn't feel overwhelmed by so much choice.

And for the rest, you can download and futz with a mess of RPMs or other package-manager packages. APT-get is really starting to shine...

apt-get is the main reason that I moved to Debian (that, and the fact that my employer at the time was on Debian). It makes software installation much easier. In fact, I can get security updates and upgrade the system while continuing to work on it.

But you might want to look into apt-get4rpm (or is it apt4rpm? one of the two). It provides much of the functionality of apt-get for rpm systems. I know it works on Connectiva, and I've heard that it works on Red Hat, too. But, of course, the problem is not just the tool. For a system like apt-get to work, the software packages have to be well-written, with all the dependencies clearly listed, and many rpm packages simply don't do that.

I like the convenience of having it all nicely
packaged on 7 CDs -- and even better -- on a single DVD.

Having been in the Linux retail box business twice, I can tell you that one of the problems is that, by the time the box is in the store, newer versions are available.

However, you don't always need the latest upgrades. As a Debian user, I admit to being influenced by the culture, which thinks nothing of upgrade the entire system once or twice a week. I'm not quite as obsessive, but I suppose I am into instant gratification as much as the next person.

Red Hat has already teamed with some PC companies to have fully-configured, pre-installed Linux computers, in place of the pre-loaded Windoze that we've been accustomed to seeing. SuSE recently partnered with IBM and others.

Another development: Walmart is now selling computers with Lindows pre-installed.

My experience with SuSE is that the suse-linux-english <suse-linux-e -at- suse -dot- com> mailing list has been a fabulously comprehensive and responsive resource. Much like this list
and the two Framers lists, as a matter of fact.

I agree. The Linux user lists are often as good as technical support, if not better. I mean, how often does technical support include the people who wrote the program, or contributed to it?

Meanwhile, our company push toward Linux desktops had stalled for a while, but is back on track. I was not ready to abandon FrameMaker, until OpenOffice1.0 and StarOffice 6
came out, but now I'm re-working all my current documents.

Good to hear. I'd be interested in hearing how you find working with OpenOffice. My own preliminary experience is that the master document feature sometimes crashes, but, unlike MS Word, without corrupting the component files. Not muich of an improvement, but it's a start.

Geof H. did make the point that some of you are required to produce WinHelp and, while I haven't needed it myself, I've not found a Linux tool for that format (I've only been looking since yesterday afternoon... :-). But, for HTML, XML, etc., etc., there are plenty. Of course, if a demand is perceived, then somebody in the Linux world will surely develop a WinHelp composer or converter.

Of course, if enough people are working on Linux that there's a demand for a WinHelp composer, then probably there will be too few people for anyone to want a WinHelp composer.

Do me a favor, and don't look at that last sentence too closely, okay?

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

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Re: Back to the Dark Ages.: From: Kevin McLauchlan
Re: Back to the Dark Ages.: From: Bruce Byfield
Re: Back to the Dark Ages.: From: Kevin McLauchlan

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