A little while ago, a friend of mine tapped me on the shoulder--virtually speaking--and asked me why there isn't an easier way to install software on a Linux computer. He asked innocently enough why we can't have a Universal Package Manager (UPM) to handle the software regardless of distribution. Ha! How could he be so naive?
He continued his leftist rant with the following:
One more idea: What's libXXX or gstreamer-plugin-whatever? No more of that either. The packages should be named "MP3 Plugin" "Ogg Plugin" or even just "Support for Proprietary Audio Formats". What's Amarok? No new user would just know that. We need "Audio player" and that's it. And that would be the end of relentless searching.
Whoever heard of using such simplistic names for things? If we made it easy, then everyone would be using Lin--oh wait...
That would cause a disruption of the space-time continuum and perhaps end all existence as we know it. It would be easier to convert the Taliban to Judaism than to get the apt-get and rpm factions to agree to abandon their pet packaging systems for a <cough> universal one.
No wonder would be Linux converts are put off by Linux and all its idiosyncrasies. Having a lot of choices is great but can be quite confusing to newbies. Not only is it a foreign operating system to those who've already had the Windows brainwashing but to throw in terms like Synaptic, apt-get, rpm, tarballs, gzipped tarballs, repository, distro, and many more--it's a wonder anyone ever gets it much less someone who's mildly curious.
There's nothing wrong with having something universal, complete, easy and something with mass appeal. Nothing at all wrong with that except that it'll never happen. Nope, not in a million years.
Actually, there's one way it could happen. The Linux Foundation could start the ball rolling on it. After all, one of their prime directives is standardization. A UPM is one step toward that goal and a darn fine one at that.