[maemo-developers] Command line applications and Extras

From: Graham Cobb g+770 at cobb.uk.net
Date: Fri Jan 8 19:14:43 EET 2010
On Friday 08 January 2010 16:27:07 Valerio Valerio wrote:
> Hi,
> on a related note, some people are also suggesting a category for
> plugins[1] and stuff that is invisible to the users until they activate
> them(we've already a lot of them in the repos), I think I read about some
> plans to add this category, not sure, but could be a good opportunity to
> add this category as well.


That is the whole problem with this "solution".  The **problem** is 
NOT "command line apps"!  The problem is "things which do not install an icon 
to run them".  CLI apps are the most visible examples today (because they are 
cheap to port, and because they are mostly, but not all, quite geeky) but 
they won't always be.  For the ordinary users they aren't interested in 
whether this app doesn't have an icon because it is a command line utility or 
because it is a behind-the-scenes daemon or because it is a control-panel 
applet or because it is a plugin or because it is an updated dataset for an 
application or ...

We don't need one category for each of those.  We need a solution to identify 
things which do not install an "application" as far as the naive user is 
concerned (i.e. they do not install an icon in the panel of icons for 

And the answer to that is not categories at all.  The category (network, 
office, system, game, ...) is completely othogonal to how it is invoked or 
used.  A new set of levels for a game should be in the games category, but it 
will not install an application icon.  openssh-server should be in the 
network category, but it doesn't install an application icon, nor is it a 
command line app.  openssh-client should also be in the network category and 
is a command line app.

The CLI apps category is the wrong solution.  And adding more categories is 
even more wrong.

The right solution is to use maemo.org instead of HAM as the way for most 
users to install things and for the website to show applications based on 
popularity.  If a command line app can rise to the top of the popularity list 
despite not having a GUI then that is great!  In practice it won't and the 
command line apps will be low down the lists in their categories (along with 
the clunky GUI apps, the non-finger-friendly apps, the buggy apps, etc.).

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