Monday, April 03, 2006

Make, Compile, Clean, What???

I do think that some free-software makers like to make life as hard as possible for the end user, and unfortunately Linux software often comes in this category. When you download something specifically for Linux, it's normally just the source (which is fine if that's all you're expecting) but sometimes when you just want to use the software, you have to wade through reams of README text, and follow instructions that involve going to the command line and typing in 'compile' commands that take minutes to run, and often fail if you haven't got the correct version of gcc installed.

The software arena is a crowded place, and software like this isn't doing itself any favours. No wonder Windows is prevalent - despite all it's shortcomings, it's pretty easy to get any downloaded program up-and-running with just a few clicks of the mouse. Linux software isn't going to attract new users by making it complex and hard to install new software. People just don't have the time or inclination. And why should they?

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