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1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:26 am UTC
by thunk
Image

alt-text: 'Copy and paste from a random thread on a website' is the hardest to predict, and depends on the specific website, programming language, tone of the description, and current phase of the moon.

Prediction for next comic title: "It Won't Work".

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:37 am UTC
by ThemePark
But Will It Blend?

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:39 am UTC
by jonhaug
Being a person who loves things like Lisp and simple window managing stuff, I have yet to see that the Sawfish window manager works out of the box in Ubuntu or Mint Linux distributions. Installing directly from the package manager "aptitude install sawfish" and is thus the "very likely" end of the scale, it didn't work. :-(

/Jon

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:52 am UTC
by jrogers
jonhaug wrote:Being a person who loves things like Lisp and simple window managing stuff, I have yet to see that the Sawfish window manager works out of the box in Ubuntu or Mint Linux distributions. Installing directly from the package manager "aptitude install sawfish" and is thus the "very likely" end of the scale, it didn't work. :-(

/Jon


I just ran "aptitude install sawfish" on my Ubuntu 16.04 system and it installed just fine. I started it with "sawfish --replace" and it died with
waiting for the previous manager to go away.

Lisp backtrace:
#6 open-structures ((rep rep.regexp rep.system rep.io.files rep.io.processes sawfish.wm sawfish.wm.util.groups sawfish.wm.util.display-window sawfish.wm.util.compat sawfish.wm.ext.error-handler sawfish.wm.ext.apps-menu sawfish.wm.edge.conf sawfish.wm.edge.actions sawfish.wm.frames sawfish.wm.menus sawfish.wm.commands.launcher sawfish.wm.ext.wallpaper sawfish.wm.prg.compton sawfish.wm.prg.conky sawfish.wm.prg.diodon sawfish.wm.prg.fehlstart sawfish.wm.prg.idesk sawfish.wm.prg.nm-applet sawfish.wm.prg.pancake sawfish.wm.prg.trayer sawfish.wm.prg.xgamma sawfish.wm.prg.xmobar sawfish.wm.prg.xmodmap sawfish.wm.prg.xsettingsd))
#4 make-structure (() #<closure 2114978 @ user> #<closure 2114950 @ sawfish.wm> user)
#2 load ...
#1 run-byte-code ...

error--> (file-error "No such file or directory" "sawfish/wm/ext/wallpaper")

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:45 am UTC
by rhomboidal
"Minimal configuration" actually refers to constellation positions.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:38 am UTC
by Tub
Not pictured, at the far bottom end of the graph: "Code on my local drives"

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:40 am UTC
by sfmans
Tub wrote:Not pictured, at the far bottom end of the graph: "Code on my local drives"


Not pictured, several thousands pixels even further down:

"Example projects from CodeProject or ExpertSexchange"

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:21 am UTC
by cellocgw
He left out "code snippets posted to TheDailyWTF "

Maybe those are plotted along the imaginary axis.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:46 pm UTC
by kurkosdr
App Stores being on the same level as package managers? That can't be right... Has Randall ever heard of dependency hell?

PS: Yes I know the concept of dependencies and package managers is the academically correct way to conserve space blah blah blah, but the ability to have an entire app packaged as a single apk is pretty sweet. Desktop Linux tried to copy this with app image, but it doesn't work because every distro is slightly different from each other... In fact even close versions of the same distro are different enough to make an app image fail on one but work on the other.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:20 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
They're working on it, and it's going to be distro specific, but a version of the app store model is eventually going to be the normal mode of operation on the leading Linuxes, via Snap for Ubuntu and glick2 for everything else.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:45 pm UTC
by Flumble
Everything's gonna be docker images, isn't it?

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:42 pm UTC
by golden.number
For me it's almost always anything that requires make and/or requires a specific dependency that isn't in the standard repositories.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:52 pm UTC
by teelo
He forgot "first install Windows 95..."

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:02 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
Flumble wrote:Everything's gonna be docker images, isn't it?

Ha! Yes.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 7:17 pm UTC
by pogrmman
I wonder what Randall is working on right now. Of the last 4 comics, only "Rosetta" was non-related to working on something. Especially with "Fixing Problems" and this one...

On another note, package managers can be great. The key word is "can". The packages are rarely the problem. The dependencies are. Especially with portage...

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:27 pm UTC
by Eternal Density
Some code sources are more honest: https://ardour.org/building_linux.html
Building Ardour on Linux
Stop!
Do you really need to do this? We provide ready-to-run packages of Ardour. Unless you are a developer with experience compiling and building applications from source, this document is not for you. Please go back to the download page

We do not provide support for building from source. We do not make regular efforts to keep this page up to date. Please do not ask for help with this process.
Though that's partly because they charge money for prebuilt downloads. Open source doesn't mean open build process.
cellocgw wrote:He left out "code snippets posted to TheDailyWTF "

Maybe those are plotted along the imaginary axis.
Plz email me teh codez.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:37 pm UTC
by Cervisiae Amatorem
pogrmman wrote:I wonder what Randall is working on right now. Of the last 4 comics, only "Rosetta" was non-related to working on something. Especially with "Fixing Problems" and this one...

On another note, package managers can be great. The key word is "can". The packages are rarely the problem. The dependencies are. Especially with portage...


Let's go back for each of his epic comics and see what the topic was for the previous 10 comics.

"big plans"
"a lot more planning than I anticipated"
"it will be worth the effort"
"a lot more work than I anticipated"
"it will be worth the effort.. right?"
"frustration"
"frustration"
"frustration"
"success!"
"big plans.."

Much like my sex life..

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:43 pm UTC
by Draco18s
Yeah, I've been here.
I once was tasked with getting some code running so that the rest of my senior design group could build stuff on top of it.

First red flag was that the project was based around X3D which is awful, to begin with.
Second red flag was that the code in question was a "tech demo for functionality."
Third red flag was that one of our professors knew the guys that wrote the code in question and that if we "had any problems, I can just call them." (TLDR: it took four months).
Fourth red flag was that there was a much more complete alternative that was not yet available to the public and all I had to do to get it was get the group to ask one of our professors to email the company requesting it for educational purposes. No one in my group ever replied to that email.
Fifth red flag was that it was "download this zip and do the following..." which involved some minimal configuration.

Turned out that I had got it working, but had no idea that it was working because "working" was a super relative term.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:22 pm UTC
by ps.02
pogrmman wrote:package managers can be great. The key word is "can". The packages are rarely the problem. The dependencies are. Especially with portage...

I'm not familiar with portage, but with most package managers, in fact, dependencies are expressed as packages. Which transforms your statement into: "The packages are rarely the problem. Other packages are."

Is that what you meant to say? On the face of it, this doesn't make much sense. But maybe your use of the term the dependencies meant something else?

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:30 pm UTC
by xtifr
kurkosdr wrote:App Stores being on the same level as package managers? That can't be right... Has Randall ever heard of dependency hell?


I've...heard of dependency hell. Haven't actually seen it in decades (pretty much since Debian started shipping apt).

Heck, even their older, much-despised dselect tool would at least show you a list of the packages you needed and allow you to manually select them for installation. Which falls a bit short of something I'd refer to as "hell". PITA at worst.

(This isn't always possible with RPM-based systems, since RPM has file dependencies as well as package dependencies, and there's no easy way to see which packages may offer a particular file. Fortunately, file dependencies are rarely used with RPM, probably for just this reason.)

App stores, on the other hand, put you into download hell, because they bundle all the dependencies, so every time a library needs an update, you have to download fifty gigantic updated packages instead of just the one tiny library package. (Some of the new app-store technologies, like flatpack, are trying to get around this, but I'm not entirely sure how successful they'll be.) Since I'm already downloading tons of stuff every day, I do not want to switch to a model which increases that by a factor of hundreds or thousands. I plan to avoid app stores like the plague!

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:33 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
teelo wrote:He forgot "first install Windows 95..."


...in DosBox.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:53 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
xtifr wrote:(Some of the new app-store technologies, like flatpack, are trying to get around this, but I'm not entirely sure how successful they'll be.) Since I'm already downloading tons of stuff every day, I do not want to switch to a model which increases that by a factor of hundreds or thousands. I plan to avoid app stores like the plague!

Modern app stores generally already use delta changes, to my understanding....

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:06 am UTC
by Eebster the Great
This is absolutely ridiculous. Everyone knows the probability of code running successfully depends on the phase of Venus, not the Moon.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:06 am UTC
by Tub
ps.02 wrote:I'm not familiar with portage, but with most package managers, in fact, dependencies are expressed as packages. Which transforms your statement into: "The packages are rarely the problem. Other packages are."

portage is used by gentoo, which has three features that make package management incredibly difficult: it's a rolling release distro, everything is compiled from source, and it has USE flags.

USE flags mean that your packages can have certain features compiled in or not. For example
dev-libs/openssl USE="asm sslv3 tls-heartbeat zlib -bindist -gmp -kerberos -rfc3779 -sctp -sslv2 -static-libs -vanilla"

Disabling features you don't need (kerberos) or features you really really shouldn't use any more (sslv2) seems smart. But these options complicate dependencies. If kerberos is enabled, the package depends on app-crypt/mit-krb5, if kerberos is disabled, it does not.

And then you don't just depend on other packages, you also depend on their use flags. curl has the flags +ssl and +kerberos. If both are enabled, depend on openssl, but require that openssl is installed with +kerberos, too!

Last but not least, it's a rolling distro, so multiple (incompatible) versions are available in the same package tree, and you need to specify the compatible versions in your dependencies. I need openssl at least 0.98, but not newer than 1.0.1 due to API changes.

Oh, and then there are compile time dependencies and runtime dependencies. linux-headers are usually just a compile time dependency, but the distinction is more important for closely related packages. A needs B to run, but B cannot be compiled without A. Xorg's glamor links against libgl, mesa links against xorg's libs etc. These circular dependencies exist more often than you'd think - you just don't notice them on binary packages, because then they're someone else's problem.

Got all that? Time for a real-world example. Look at libreoffice-5.2.2.2.ebuild, the variables COMMON_DEPEND, RDEPEND and DEPEND. Complicated enough? With the high number of possible configurations, the chance to miss a dependency or a conflict are enormous. Many reported bugs are "package A doesn't compile" and the answer is usually "set USE=X on package B" or "install package B", sometimes even "uninstall package C". If you're really unlucky, "install a different compiler". These requirements should have been specified in the package, but they weren't.

Sometimes I'm surprised that it works at all. But with a little care and occasional manual intervention, it does.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:00 pm UTC
by Flumble
Tub wrote:portage is used by gentoo, which has three features that make package management incredibly difficult: it's a rolling release distro, everything is compiled from source, and it has USE flags.

It must be a good thing though, because the internet keeps telling me to install Gentoo. (Joke's on them, I unironically use a windows phone!)
I haven't had problems with the rolling release that is Arch. Well, except for the one time they had new master keys for the package manager and I ended up reinstalling arch because I couldn't figure out how to insert these new keys. :roll:

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:37 pm UTC
by Solra Bizna
Hello, I'm Solra, and I'm a Gentooholic.

I was a fervent Gentoo/portage user. I didn't mind spending days compiling things. (One of my main computers was a 100MHz Power Mac.) Then, one day, I decided it was time to update.

Unbeknownst to me, a major package (expat) had been changed in a messy, non-backwards-compatible fashion a few months before.

After days of trying to repair the system, I gave up and installed Debian. I haven't looked back. Now that I'm older, and have things to use my computer for other than "play around to get it working", I really appreciate the fact that Debian... works. Prudent policies and careful releases aside, being a binary-based distribution helps a lot, for reasons Tub pointed out.

Plus, Sawfish works out of the box. :)

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:49 pm UTC
by xtifr
Copper Bezel wrote:
xtifr wrote:(Some of the new app-store technologies, like flatpack, are trying to get around this, but I'm not entirely sure how successful they'll be.) Since I'm already downloading tons of stuff every day, I do not want to switch to a model which increases that by a factor of hundreds or thousands. I plan to avoid app stores like the plague!

Modern app stores generally already use delta changes, to my understanding....


Yeah, that's what I was referring to with "trying to get around this".

Anyway...great. So now I have to rely on a bunch of random developers who don't know or care about each other to get the various libraries on my system right. What if one of them misses a security alert and includes an older, buggy version of a critical library in a new version of their bundled package? How is the system supposed to know that it shouldn't download that part of the bundle? And it only helps if none of them put the libraries in funny places (which too many of them seem to do).

No, I'll take the version where someone who cares about integration is sitting in the middle trying to make sure these apps all work together and don't conflict, thank you very much. Yes, it means it may take a little longer to get the latest-and-greatest version, but for the overwhelming majority of the apps, I honestly don't care. If there were a particular app where I absolutely needed the latest-and-greatest, I might consider getting the app-store version, but for the most part, I'm sticking with avoid-like-plague. App store is a developer's dream, but a user's nightmare.

Yes, my attitude may have something to do with the fact that I'm running Debian testing, which actually has all the apps, instead of something like Fedora or Ubuntu where you have to rely on third-party or semi-official semi-supported "universe" repositories, but anyone else can do the same! :P :wink:

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:34 pm UTC
by Copper Bezel
xtifr wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:
xtifr wrote:(Some of the new app-store technologies, like flatpack, are trying to get around this, but I'm not entirely sure how successful they'll be.) Since I'm already downloading tons of stuff every day, I do not want to switch to a model which increases that by a factor of hundreds or thousands. I plan to avoid app stores like the plague!

Modern app stores generally already use delta changes, to my understanding....


Yeah, that's what I was referring to with "trying to get around this".

So read "trying to get around this" as "have successfully solved the problem, as is necessary to make the thing work at all". Gotcha.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:12 am UTC
by RogueCynic
pogrmman wrote:I wonder what Randall is working on right now. Of the last 4 comics, only "Rosetta" was non-related to working on something. Especially with "Fixing Problems" and this one...

On another note, package managers can be great. The key word is "can". The packages are rarely the problem. The dependencies are. Especially with portage...


If Randall is working on something and isn't sure it will work, here's a joke for him. I wrote Fedora 24 on a usb 3.0 flashdrive and blew away the controller. http://superuser.com/questions/411715/gigabyte-ga-970a-ud3-mobo-wont-boot-from-usb-flash-driveIt seems the drivers were written for Windows 98.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:26 pm UTC
by reval
I hate seeing App Store on the likely end of the "will it work scale". I want to yell, "yeah, and you know why?"

Because it's not working for you. It's working for the plutocrats who gave you a closed platform that you don't control. You bought it. Now it's working. You're working. You're working for them.

Sure it works, but only by going in the wrong direction.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:18 pm UTC
by Tyndmyr
reval wrote:I hate seeing App Store on the likely end of the "will it work scale". I want to yell, "yeah, and you know why?"

Because it's not working for you. It's working for the plutocrats who gave you a closed platform that you don't control. You bought it. Now it's working. You're working. You're working for them.

Sure it works, but only by going in the wrong direction.


Living mostly on the opposite end of that spectrum at the moment, that seems lovely.

Just following some guide, that leaves out "obvious" twerking and hasn't been updated in several major releases, invariably results in heartburn.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:32 pm UTC
by Old Bruce
Tyndmyr wrote:...
Just following some guide, that leaves out "obvious" twerking and hasn't been updated in several major releases, invariably results in heartburn.


I sure hope you meant tweeking.

damn that is hard spell.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:41 pm UTC
by ps.02
Old Bruce wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:leaves out "obvious" twerking

I sure hope you meant tweeking.
damn that is hard spell.

They did. Pretty sure this forum has a filter that takes t w e a k and turns it into t w e r k. At some point, long ago, this was thought to be funny.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:07 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
Still is

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:36 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Eebster the Great wrote:This is absolutely ridiculous. Everyone knows the probability of code running successfully depends on the phase of Venus, not the Moon.


I thought it depended on the phase of Phobos, as viewed from Deimos? Or was it Deimos from Phobos? Which one's the small one and which one's the really small one?

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 2:14 am UTC
by xtifr
Copper Bezel wrote:
xtifr wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:
xtifr wrote:(Some of the new app-store technologies, like flatpack, are trying to get around this, but I'm not entirely sure how successful they'll be.) Since I'm already downloading tons of stuff every day, I do not want to switch to a model which increases that by a factor of hundreds or thousands. I plan to avoid app stores like the plague!

Modern app stores generally already use delta changes, to my understanding....


Yeah, that's what I was referring to with "trying to get around this".

So read "trying to get around this" as "have successfully solved the problem, as is necessary to make the thing work at all". Gotcha.

No, by "trying to get around this" I mean, "have come up with a half-assed solution which will certainly create as many problems as it solves."

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:22 am UTC
by Copper Bezel
Yeah, no. There's no massive duplication of libraries if they're linked off anyway and only downloaded new when they're needed. It's the same boxes of the same code as the repo model. When two apps are written against different versions of the same library, which is where the repo model simply breaks and does not work, you have a slightly bigger download. Dear me, what shall we do.

The security issue is a valid one, but don't pretend this other shit is.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:07 am UTC
by grkvlt
reval wrote:Because it's not working for you. It's working for the plutocrats who gave you a closed platform that you don't control. You bought it. Now it's working. You're working. You're working for them.


No, it works because of that first step there - you *bought* the app. And, some of that money went towards the developer of the app, and some went to the owners and developers of the store. Don't underestimate the incentive that money provides to people to make them do actual work, instead of the least amount possible. In cases where free, open source alternatives work, you will usually be able to discern the hidden hand of capitalism at work behind the scenes, with some corporation paying its employees, or paying contractors, to put in the required effort to solve the annoying problems and breakages that are left alone as 'the user can solve that themselves' by others.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:52 am UTC
by ps.02
Copper Bezel wrote:When two apps are written against different versions of the same library, which is where the repo model simply breaks and does not work,

That is an interesting assertion that depends a great deal on how poorly the repository and its software are designed and maintained, say, on a scale of Debian to rpmfind.net circa 1998.

So, I mean, if your experience with software repositories is more on the rpmfind.net-in-1998 end of the scale, I can see why you'd think that. But as I'm sure xtifr remembers*, Debian migrated libc, its most core library, the one every package on the entire system (except the Linux kernel itself) depends on directly or indirectly, between three mutually incompatible versions, without breaking running systems. You could have libc4 and libc5 and libc6 all on one system, each used by whichever apps were built for them. Including whole chains of libraries.

Migrating the entire Debian system between libc versions took quite awhile (partly because there was no real urgency, as everything continued to work) - but I can recall no point when any applications were broken or uninstallable on account of the transitions.

*This was in 1996. I think he was around.

Re: 1742: "Will It Work"

Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:10 am UTC
by orthogon
grkvlt wrote:
reval wrote:Because it's not working for you. It's working for the plutocrats who gave you a closed platform that you don't control. You bought it. Now it's working. You're working. You're working for them.


No, it works because of that first step there - you *bought* the app. And, some of that money went towards the developer of the app, and some went to the owners and developers of the store. Don't underestimate the incentive that money provides to people to make them do actual work, instead of the least amount possible. In cases where free, open source alternatives work, you will usually be able to discern the hidden hand of capitalism at work behind the scenes, with some corporation paying its employees, or paying contractors, to put in the required effort to solve the annoying problems and breakages that are left alone as 'the user can solve that themselves' by others.

In theory, that's how it ought to work. In practice, you get fantastic and awful free stuff and fantastic and awful paid-for stuff. Working against the capitalist mechanism you describe, there's something good about the open-source free software approach. You've got people doing the work because they love it, not just to put bread on the table; many of them are young and idealistic about the methods they apply, as opposed to old, jaded and full of bad habits; some are doing it to get experience so they can get a paid job; and its being free provides a larger user base who will test and even bug-fix the code. The economics and psychology of open-source are interesting.