Linux.com: The Dependency From MarsSep 14, 2000, 14:45 (32 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Emmett Plant)
"Do I have to compile a program every time I want to install it on my Linux machine? Is this really necessary? RPM and dpkg are great for those platforms, but it's starting to get a little crazy. This is the year 2000. I shouldn't have to compile anything. I want to hit a button and watch it go, but no. I've got to ./configure. I've got to make all. I've got to make install. Is there any end?"
"Who thought this was a good idea? Way back in the 90's, I had a Macintosh LC. I felt a little out of place on it because I was used to the rough-and-tumble world of the x86 universe. You know what was nice? If I downloaded a program, the OS would put a little icon on my desktop. If I double-clicked that icon, the package would explode, and I'd get another little icon. I would click this one, the program would install itself, find where it needed to be, and boom, I was good. I was ready to use that program."
"Oh, no. We can't do that, not in the new and exciting era of Linux. We've got to worry about compiling programs in Linux! We've got to download this file, gunzip it, tar -xvf it into directory, go in there, type a bunch of archaic commands, and roll the dice. If I'm lucky, the thing'll just run and I can move on with my life. If I'm not, I get some godawful error message about some weird dependency that this program has. What do I have to do, send it to Betty Ford? Do I need to send my application to rehab because of its dependency problem? No, I've got to go online, find the package that the bit that my program needs is in, and get this - Start all over again. I've got to go get something to make something work, and there's a chance that the something I need to work to make something work won't work. Follow me?"