Sunday, July 16, 2006

Automatix and just being me...

I remember then when I started using Automatix for Ubuntu, someone told me that I should not use Automatix coz its a badly written program (it was said to use the --force-yes option but according to the developer, it ain't true) and it won't help me learn Linux the right way.

My take? I guess that someone forgot about the fact that not everyone who migrated from Windows to Linux wants to learn Linux. Some jumped in to Linux because they just got tired of viruses, spywares and other malwares while some got hooked with the ideals of GPL... and for so many other reasons but in the end they just want a "just works" Linux box.

Some people want to learn before they use something, but for some people like me, we prefer to use something first and then learn the details later. What drives people like me to learn something is how that something did great for us.

Now, if something doesn't work for me at the onset, why would I even think of learning it? But that is just me...

That is why Automatix helped me a lot on my migration. Remember, I am no developer... and WAS a sucker for the other OS. When I first started Linux, I must admit that I got intimidated with the menu of command lines just to get my Linux box play music and movies or install useful apps.

And no matter how you say it that it was too easy to do this and that, believe it or not, lots of newbies find it hard... yeah, its easy for you to say Linux guru.

Why can't we just let them use tools like Automatix and EasyUbuntu so that they could enjoy their PCs first and then encouraged them later to understand the details? Well, of course, it would be a different view if we are talking about programmers and developers.. but I am talking about myself -- a none programmer who just want to use Linux.

About Automatix as a badly written program, I guess I am too lucky coz I haven't had any problems with it. Never.

Nonetheless, I still thank those who warned me against Automatix. At least, I have been warned of risks and that I appreciate. If I choose to use Automatix and for that you call me an idiot or pathetic then fine with me! But hey, its NOT your PC that I am using, right?

I took my choice... and choice is what open source and Linux is all about.

Now let's all go get a life.


jgotangco said...

It's not about how badly a 3rd party application is written but about introducing dependencies that might clash with installed applications or yet to be installed ones. Now if you're just going to use it for your own on a single machine I wouldn't find anything wrong with it besides you're the one who's going to fix it in the end. But if we're talking about office deployments and OEM situations, it doesn't jive at all. Most, if not all multimedia capabilities are already handled with the gstreamer-ugly plugin with the exception of w32codecs and libdvdcss for obvious legal reasons but for other apps like skype which have their own repository, it shouldn't be that much of a problem on adding them to software properties.

I guess my point is that if you need some extra applications, you can just add them in a graphical way. And with some apps with no deps, gdebi does handle the job well.

ealden said...

The problem IIRC is when it breaks, it breaks too much, and is pretty hard to fix when people start asking questions.

There was also the thing about the developer not able incorporating comments and whatnot, but I don't know enough on that.

It's great that you didn't have a problem with it. The fact that you know and understand of the risks is also good so we get less blaming when things go wrong.

Two things to note too:
1. EasyUbuntu seems to get a nod in the community compared to Automatix.

2. One of the goals for Edgy is Common Customizations. Take a look!