Monday, January 04, 2010

Ubuntu makes you a software snob.

(update: some dude addresses my concerns about GetDeb here.)


After having used Ubuntu on both my netbook for almost a year now, it's turned me into a total software snob.

For instance, right now, at this very moment, I'm not installing Songbird. Now, there are plenty of ways to get Songbird on my netbook. But none of them are good enough.


There are no official debs. There are no official repositories. If you download Songbird from the official site, all you get is an archive. Which is fine if you want to unpack it by hand, fiddle with making a desktop short-cut and a menu entry by hand, as well as spending the time to find an OK-looking Songbird icon for the aforementioned short-cuts.

What? Excuse me?

Seriously, those are the two things that instantly came to mind when I realized that Songbird's official download was a freakin' archive file.

The fact that it wasn't available in the Ubuntu repositories wasn't all that bad: there's lots of software out there not in it, simply because there's so much software out there, period. But they don't even have their own official repository? Is Songbird so good that I'm supposed to do the download-and-extract dance every time a new release comes out?

Shit, I don't even do that with most Windows software -- I've got this copy of PowerArchiver that's almost 3 years old. I get an update alert every time I open it, but I'm not going out of my way to download and install a new copy of it. Sheesh.

There's GetDeb, but I'm not using it yet. I've got questions that the GetDeb site doesn't have answers for: who runs it? What releases do they package? Are program authors involved in any way? Are the programs modified before they land in the repository? As an issue of trust, I'm more willing to add repositories like Banshee's official PPA to Software Sources over a third-party I know nothing about.

So, yeah. No Songbird for me.

I know that in the time I've written this blog post I probably could have struggled to get Songbird integrated with Ubuntu properly... but that would still leave me with the issue of updating by hand. Something I consider especially annoying in an environment as advanced as Ubuntu.

On the upside, Songbird screenshots were pretty to look at, though.