[maemo-community] Command line apps & Extras

From: Lucas Maneos maemo at subs.maneos.org
Date: Fri Nov 27 14:45:09 EET 2009
Jeremiah Foster wrote:
> It is based on the observation that non-GUI apps are hard to use for
> end users. Do you not agree?

It depends.  An NTP daemon isn't hard to use for example, you just
install it and forget about it.

But this is just another axis (hard/easy) in addition to the ones I
mentioned previously.   I don't agree that "hard to use" should mean
excluded from extras and I don't want only trivial apps available there.
I expect many end users would also find apps like OSM2Go hard to use
initially, but it's a Fremantle Star anyway (and quite rightly so!)  If
the user has to spend some time to get a certain level of familiarity
with openstreetmap before being able to use it effectively, so be it.

> In fact, a simple GUI around apt-get, like Synaptic, would be a much
> better experience than HAM

Sure, and if we had that and it was safe to use I would withdraw my
objections :-)

Graham Cobb wrote:
> The best suggestion: every app which does not install an icon in the App 
> Manager should use a specific package icon which indicates this.
> I do believe the Description should make clear that this app has to be
> invoked from the command line and that should be a QA requirement.

I think we have consensus on these points at least, that's a start :-)

Would an XSBC-nonGUI (or something) package header and a patch for h-a-m
to not display those packages in the Download section (configurable,
enabled by default) satisfy the con-side concerns?  It seems a lot
easier than playing with sections etc and would avoid dependency
problems since those packages won't have to end up in another
repository.  We could even have h-a-m provide the icon automatically for
consistency and to avoid duplicating it needlessly all over.

Those packages should still be listed under Uninstall or Updates of

Daniel Martin Yerga wrote:
> "Power users" always can use the red pill mode in the application
> manager to install/browse CLI applications, upgrade libraries, and even
> get that feature called "reboot loop" ;-)
Exactly, it's yet another unsafe way to operate the system package
management so we shouldn't recommend it.

I also kinda disagree with the "power users can do what they want at
their own risk" attitude.  There are many degrees of competence level
and if a user happens to install unzip it doesn't automatically mean
they are a qualified Debian sysadmin and should be forced to work with
dangerous tools.  Especially since the equivalent tools /are/ safe in

> Would they be happy to have "sqlite" between "recorder" and "theremin"
> in the all-list?
I'm sure many of those (and not only) users would also be unhappy with
packages like canola themes, gcompris sounds and omweather iconsets in
the list but I don't think anyone disagrees that those do belong in

On Thu, Nov 26, 2009 at 01:38:39PM +0000, Andrew Flegg wrote:
> 2009/11/26 Lucas Maneos <maemo at subs.maneos.org>:
> > For some it's an option (though I personally think the vim launcher is
> > next to useless[...]
> Don't hold back, tell me what you really think!
No offense meant, personally I just never use it so the icon is just
noise in the app launcher.  Maybe if gvim was packaged it would make
more sense ;-)


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