Is Linux Annoying?
Subject:   Dependency hell - a GNU/Linux specific problem
Date:   2003-09-30 21:04:32
From:   anonymous2
I have to agree that "dependency hell" is the aspect I hate the most. I will not mention the font issue, the GUI issue, the multimedia issue - all those small things that should have been trivial to solve (for which I can only blame the "open source way" of doing things - or of never getting small things done.)
The stringent denpendencies allows for GNU/Linux to always be a few steps behind others: FreeBSD has solved this, apparently because you can have more than one version of the software (I'm not talking about installing the tarball on /usr/local); and on Windows, there simply isn't any such question - just extract the binary to the directory you want.
Take Debian, for instance: while you have a system that will update *everything*, every bug that's fixed in every little package you may have that has a fix for it, the "policy" makes you have an outdated box. Now, this may be OK if you're only running a server (but then, why not use OpenBSD?), but it's inadequate for a fully functional box.
I would like to see a mix of the following qualities: easy dependency checks and full upgrades throughout the whole system, like Debian; the capacity to install different versions, like on FreeBSD and Windows box, while keeping the stability of FreeBSD; and a "roll back" feature in case something goes awry, like Windows ME has.
"Dependency hell" won't be solved by an O'Reilly'll only be solved if people are willing to face this problem, that is *very* pronounced on GNU/Linux as opposed to other systems. The "leenox Rul3z" attitude won't get us anywhere.

- s