Apparently Tim Bray’s Mac died. While it’s in the shop, he elected to use Ubuntu on a Sun Ultra 20. His experience appears to have been positive so far, but the best line is almost certainly:
You know, this has been said a lot, but it bears repeating: Apt-get is just so unreasonably fucking great. Why aren’t we using it for Solaris updates? I managed to pull together the whole witches’ brew of OSS that makes ongoing go without ever leaving Synaptic. Oops, not quite true, I cruised past CPAN to get DBI and DBD::MySQL, but I’m not sure I needed to, because when I got MySQL, I saw a lot of perl-related stuff go flying by.
Which brings me to this IM conversation with Chet from early June (which I just found with Beagle, which I only just got working yesterday. It’s pretty neat):
Chet Farmer: Mmmmmm, loves me some apt-get
Michael Alan Dorman: Yea, verily, it is sweet.
Michael Alan Dorman: I suspect few people know that apt, in general, was a topic of much heated debate when it was first proposed, and then later when it had hit the “it basically works” stage and was being reviewed for inclusion. Primary complaint: it was written in C++, not C.
Chet Farmer: Seriously?
Chet Farmer: I mean, C++ isn’t exactly obscure.
Chet Farmer: I must admit, however, that it’s been YEARS since I compiled any code I wrote.
Michael Alan Dorman: This was basically a decade ago. Hell, I will even admit that I was on the “please do it in C” side, though it was mostly because I was deeply embroiled in the early stages of the alpha port which had no reliable C++ compiler at the time.
Chet Farmer: heh. Alphas.
Michael Alan Dorman: And, indeed, the alpha port couldn’t use apt for quite some time after it was available. There used to be a competing thing called…err, shit, I can’t even remember.
Michael Alan Dorman: dpkg-ftp, maybe?
Chet Farmer: hell if I now
Michael Alan Dorman: I am now feeling a thousand years old.
Chet Farmer: know
Chet Farmer: not quite a thousand.
Michael Alan Dorman: The fact is, a lot of KDE people forget that back when the GNOME project was first started, using C++ wasn’t just a personal taste thing, it was a “it doesn’t work well on Linux” thing. Well, and there was the Qt license.
So, while you might be justified in suggesting that they should have expended effort helping with gcc development, it wasn’t just a rejection of C++ on petty grounds.
Chet Farmer: “doesn’t fit well with Linux?”
Michael Alan Dorman: Well, “Doesn’t work anywhere but i386”.