Installing a program is confusing.

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Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:11 am

Hello,

Installing a program is a bit confusing using Synaptics or the Software Manager. Whenever I need a program and I search for it in the Software Manager/Synaptics, too many choices come up, why not highlight the one that we probably need and a message that says "this is what you probably need", that way we will know which one to install without hesitation and looking too much.

Just notice how simply it is to install a program under Android, so do something similar...

What do you guys think?
Last edited by latinomanz on Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby Aging Technogeek on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:41 am

Part of what you are seeing in Synaptic is dependencies and assistive programs (like Awn Settings for Avant Window Navigator). When the main program is selected for installation, most of the required subsidiary programs will be marked for installation automatically.

You may find things easier in Software Manager. If you search for a category or general type of application in Software Manager, the first item on the list will be the most popular choice and generally the best choice for most users.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:27 pm

Yes, the software manager is easier but still too many choices popup and I dont know which one to install. I think the one we probably want should be highlighted and a message indicating that it is probably what we want.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby viking777 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:03 pm

You have to realise that however many pretty windows you get look at and buttons you get to press, underneath it all is computer code, and I doubt that anyone has ever written a piece of code for 'this is what you probably want' because it would be virtually impossible, for example, is what you 'probably want' the same as what I 'probably want' - 'probably not!'

I understand that you are perhaps new to Linux and you are certainly right about its number of choices, they can be difficult. But maybe you remember what it was like to ride a bike or drive a car for the first time, the difficulties probably seemed insurmountable the first time you tried either. But you probably got there in the end, and so you will with Linux if you persist.

It really has been made about as simple as it can be right now, bear in mind a computer is not a simple machine, and because you have - perhaps - been bought up with Windows then maybe you 'know' Windows whereas you don't know Linux, but you weren't born that way, you had to learn Windows too, and it probably seemed as difficult to start with as Linux does now, I know it did for me.

The bottom line is this. Suppose you make a mistake with what you install. Is it that difficult to uninstall it and install something else? Not really, all you lose is a bit of time, and given more experience you won't even lose that.

Good luck on your Linux 'journey' anyway.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:41 pm

Yes, I can tell what is the program I want and yes I can uninstall everything I do not need, but can the average computer user do that???? I dont think so, most computer users do not know much about it, I have a 4 years Bachelors degree in Computer Science and i am a full time programmer and I have trouble guessing what is the program I probably want, so i cant imagine the average user doing that.

Yes, after a while you get used to it but is the average computer user willing to take time to adjust to the learning curve it takes to learn a new OS? probably not unless the learning curve is close to zero.

Windows made it mainstream by making it easier to use for the average user, I know all of you Linux geeks will say that Mint is already easy to use but can the average computer user say so? I dont think so!
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby Aging Technogeek on Sun Mar 25, 2012 2:47 pm

See my response here

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=97996#p559140

You want Linux to be a free Windows clone. It will never happen.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:12 pm

I saw it but how do you suggest we can make Mint more mainstream then?'

I gave those suggestions if we want Mint to be more mainstream now if we want Mint to be used by just 1% of the computer users, then forget what I said.

There could be 2 versions one for the average user that resembles MAC for example and one server/developer oriented version that only has the necessary stuff to run a server successfully and do some programming including stuff like MySQL, Netbeans, Apache, Tomcat, etc.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby Aging Technogeek on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:25 pm

I will tell you flat out - your suggestions are not new. Every one of them is made at least twice a year by some new Mint user who thinks he knows more about how Mint should be developed than the team that is developing Mint.

Clem Lefebvre and the rest of the Mint team have a development plan that they are implementing for Mint. I cannot and will not speak for the development team as to goals and projections for Mint's future, but based on the lack of response to earlier posts similar to yours, I would guess it does not include conquering the Windows world (or even the Apple continent).
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:45 pm

Thats why I asked, what are Mint's goals, to make it more mainstream or to just appeal to the Linux users?

Maybe i am using the wrong distro, thats why I wanna hear it from an official developer, director, owner, etc.

Secondly Ubuntu's goal is that Ubuntu is included in every TV, cellphone, table, etc. so if we keep basing Mint on Ubuntu and our goal is not to make it more mainstream, then we are headed for the wrong path.

Back in 2002 more or less when RedHat 2.0 was out, I suggested in a forum that partitions and hard drive should be mounted automatically, I got the same response as I got here, this is not Windows!!! basically, and look at Linux now, they all mount them automatically, so after all my suggestions are not crazy ;-)
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby tenfoot on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:26 pm

latinomanz wrote:Hello,

Installing a program is a bit confusing using Synaptics or the Software Manager. Whenever I need a program and I search for it in the Software Manager, too many choices come up, why not highlight the one that we probably need and a message that says "this is what you probably need", that way we will know which one to install without hesitation and looking too much.

What do you guys think?


Can you give me an example, please? Why do I ask? Well, I came to Linux about 5 years ago at the ripe old age of 75, after using an Acorn RiscPC and a Windows machine (from DOS 3.3 to WindowsXP) for about 18 years. Sure, Linux is different, and thankfully so, but from the start I found that one of the easiest tasks was the installation of software: from Synaptic Package Manager to Software Manager and the command line apt-get install <program> is simplicity itself. And, yes, I still consider myself a newbie and I still make errors. But if I could refrain from 'fiddling' with things on my computer life would be perfect :lol:
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:34 pm

Hello Mr. 75 year old and thank you for joining,

Go into Synaptics or Software Manager and type in Firefox, too many choices popup, I just did a little test:

I asked my younger brother to install Firefox, since he is a Windows user, I told him to use Synaptics or the Software Manager, so he opened both and typed in Firefox and he did not know which one to install, he was afraid to make mistakes so after a few minutes thinking he asked me, which one should I install, the first one? Then I replied, which one do you think is the right one? he said: "I dont know, maybe the first one". So you see, too many insecurities, if instead it had been highlighted and had there been a message specifying which one is the one we probably want, he would have been able to install it without so much hesitation.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby tenfoot on Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:37 am

latinomanz wrote:Hello Mr. 75 year old and thank you for joining,


Hi you forgot to add on the five years that have elapsed since I changed to Linux. :lol:

Go into Synaptics or Software Manager and type in Firefox, too many choices popup, I just did a little test:


On the face of it, yes, it could appear to be too many choices. But in both Synaptic Package Manager and Software Manager most of the choices concern a language. and once you have chosen "your" language you can safely ignore all the others. If your language is English, you don't even have to do that.

I asked my younger brother to install Firefox, since he is a Windows user, I told him to use Synaptics or the Software Manager, so he opened both and typed in Firefox and he did not know which one to install, he was afraid to make mistakes so after a few minutes thinking he asked me, which one should I install, the first one? Then I replied, which one do you think is the right one? he said: "I dont know, maybe the first one". So you see, too many insecurities, if instead it had been highlighted and had there been a message specifying which one is the one we probably want, he would have been able to install it without so much hesitation.


Even if he went direct to the Mozilla/Firefox website he would not be presented with the choice you want. I will concede that doing things the Linux way is different but contend is is not difficult.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby TBABill on Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:14 pm

latinomanz wrote:Hello Mr. 75 year old and thank you for joining,

Go into Synaptics or Software Manager and type in Firefox, too many choices popup, I just did a little test:

I asked my younger brother to install Firefox, since he is a Windows user, I told him to use Synaptics or the Software Manager, so he opened both and typed in Firefox and he did not know which one to install, he was afraid to make mistakes so after a few minutes thinking he asked me, which one should I install, the first one? Then I replied, which one do you think is the right one? he said: "I dont know, maybe the first one". So you see, too many insecurities, if instead it had been highlighted and had there been a message specifying which one is the one we probably want, he would have been able to install it without so much hesitation.

I have not tried this myself so I am curious what results showed up in Software Center that made choosing the Firefox Browser difficult? You can have the system exclude non-application files (libs, dependencies, etc.) so all you see is that actual applications to choose from. Some of them have additional information displayed that describe (very briefly) what the app is. If that was done already, did that prove difficult to choose as well? Eliminating all those libs and other dependencies really scales down what you will get as a result and if you know you want a browser, the process of elimination will eliminate add-ons and themes and other related items.

I agree it's difficult as a new user to know which app to install if you aren't sure what you are looking for. For example, if you want a math program but you don't know which one, or even if there are any, choosing could prove a bit difficult without some trial and error. The problem is, even in Windows that's the case (try it out at download.com and see how many results you get). The main difference is in Windows you have to go after all the choices singularly where in Linux they are presented in bulk so you have to sift through them. Once you acclimate to the repos versus searching online for what you want to install it becomes a bit easier to sift through all the many choices.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:46 pm

After a while you sort of get used to it but still for some users it is too panicking because if they do it wrong then they are afraid they are going to have to take it to the technician and be charged lots of money for that.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby DrHu on Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:56 pm

latinomanz wrote:why not highlight the one that we probably need and a message that says "this is what you probably need"

That is a recipe for disaster in any provisioner of services, whether it is software based or not
    You can see how even regular manufacturer's have difficulty making a universal decision/choidce for their customers, witness..
  • Car dealers/manufacturers
  • Breakfast cereal manufacturers
  • fashion designers
  • Drug manufacturers
--some aspects of that may simply be branding/differentiation issues, however much of it will be trying to provide more options/choices for more potential customers, and not making a single/only one option for all customers. Thereby increzasing their potential sales..[/list]

Can't be done, no matter how clever the programmers think they might be
    In fact this is the one standard complaint about most software: that it can't read my mind, that I have to think, that I have to decide, that the computer doesn't do it all for me, like some giant AI program that just knowes what I might want or do want, even when I don't know myself..
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:32 pm

Yes it cant be 100% done but at least they try!!!

The guy who invented the gui, didnt say that an universal gui was too hard, he tried his best,period. Steve Jobs didnt say that App Store was not universal, he simply tried to make it as easy to use for everyone or for most people as he could.

You see, the more you try something, the more you will be better at it.
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby icoto on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:00 pm

I did that "test" of opening the synaptic and I typed "Firefox". There's really a lot of options, BUT there's a column that says "description".
The first one says: "Safe and easy browser from Mozilla". After that, there's a lot of packages. The only way you could get confused is if you don't read what you are installing. You do not have to be a programmer to read a description :)
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:30 pm

Then, theres also firefox for the sugar desktop, etc. so do i have the sugar desktop? I know I dont but most users dont even know what they have, secondly, do I need all of the other choices or just the top one?

I am not saying installing a program in Linux is ultra hard but it can be easier than what it is already...
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby overthetop on Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:37 pm

How would you install Firefox on Windows? Go to their website, download and install!

On Mint go to their website, download the .deb package and install! Its just as easy, but just to make it easier, you can open package manager and install it!

Just because Mint makes it easier doesn't make it harder. :wink: You can choose to take the long approach to installing software if you wish but Mint makes it easy.

To make it even easier try something like:
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get install firefox


In your opinion, making it easier means getting rid of choice; choice and freedom is the whole point of linux. The developers make it easy, but they will not sacrafice choice!

If you don't want choice why don't you just use windows? It probably came with your computer anyway. The reason people use linux is for choice, freedom and a better way of getting things done. If you still think windows does it better, why not use it?
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Re: Installing a program is confusing.

Postby latinomanz on Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:04 pm

Does Windows take away choice? no it does not.

Did I mean to take away choice and only just one option and hide the rest? I did not, all of the other choices can still be shown, but just highlight the one users probably one or the most downloaded one so that new users have an easier time installing programs, that was all, I noticed that you guys do not even read my posts and are just eager to call me a Windows lover.

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