[maemo-community] Command line apps & Extras

From: Jeremiah Foster jeremiah at jeremiahfoster.com
Date: Fri Nov 27 18:20:11 EET 2009
On Nov 27, 2009, at 13:45, Lucas Maneos wrote:

> 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.

I doubt any user will install an NTP daemon. I have, because the clock skew is bad on the N900, but I used the command line because it is easier to install and configure daemons that way. I expect anyone who knows what a daemon is to feel the same way.
> 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.

It may not be the only axis - but it is the obvious one.
>> 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 :-) 

Synaptic is rather safe, and I hear there is a HAM replacement / similar app in the works.
> 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 :-)
> 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
> Debian.

UNIX has a long and healthy tradition of letting you shoot yourself in the foot. I think this should be kept to a certain degree, otherwise you limit the power of the OS and the interesting ways in which people use it.

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