"Hello, World" report crashes Gnucash

Derek Atkins warlord@MIT.EDU
28 Feb 2001 11:51:08 -0500

grib@gnumatic.com (Bill Gribble) writes:

> On Wed, Feb 28, 2001 at 11:13:12AM -0500, Derek Atkins wrote:
> > So you're willing to wait a year after the Gnucash release for major
> > Linux distributions to pick up the new version of Gnome and users to
> > upgrade to the newer versions of Linux, all before they can run
> > Gnucash?  That's insane!
> Don't play stupid.  Of course we aren't waiting a year.  When we
> release we will explicitly list the libraries you need to install
> gnucash.  When we ship a CD it will have the appropriate libraries on
> it, and if we are installing on a brain damaged system like Red Hat
> that doesn't support library versioning properly we install them in a
> playground so Gnucash can find them without messing up other apps.  If
> we are installing on a sensible system we install the new version of
> the library alongside the old one, or ask the user if it's OK to
> upgrade systemwide.

You see, I'm not playing stupid.  I'm putting myself in the place of
my mother and trying to figure out if _SHE_ could install Gnucash.
Well, ok, maybe I _am_ playing stupid in that case.

My mom, like 95% of the Linux users out there, go to the store and buy
a RedHat CD, install the system, and never think about it again.
Sure, if they want to install a new software package, they download
it.  Sometimes it has dependencies that aren't installed, so you have
to install those, too.  What my mom needs to be able to do is
basically run the install command and have it work:

	rpm -i gnucash.rpm

My complaint about dependencies not about depending on particular
packages, but depending on particular VERSIONS of particular packages.
My mom may not have the bleeding-edge version of everything on her
machine.  She CERTAINLY wouldn't have Gnome 1.4.  This means that in
order for _HER_ to install Gnucash, she would have to go out and find
every freaking package that needs to change in order to get the
support that Gnucash wants.

I consider this unacceptable.  Gnucash should work out-of-the-box on
'vanilla' systems of some recent vintage (providing some minimal sets
of packages are installed).  This implies that we should support
whatever version of guile, gnome, glade, etc. are shipped with a
particular OS that is the base OS.

> Installing software means you install its dependencies.  What is so
> complicated about that?  Red Hat 6.2 doesn't come stock with gnucash,
> does it?  you are violating your "pure RH 6.2 system" to install it at
> all.  Give me a break on the pure RH 6.2.

No, RedHat 6.2 does not come with Gnucash, but it does come with
guile, glade, gnome, gtkhtml, and a bunch of other packages that
gnucash depends on.  It SHOULD NOT be a requirement that users
destabilize their system in order to run gnucash.  Gnucash should
run with whatever base packages are shipped with the OS.

This is why I said we need to pick a 'base OS' that is supported.  If
that base-OS (for RedHat) is RH 7.0, so be it.  But that implies that
for software shipped with RedHat, we only require the version that
RedHat supports for that release.  For software that RedHat does NOT
ship, we are obviously free to require whatever we want, provided that
other software interoperates with the versions already on the system.

My mother will never upgrade pieces of her system (especially pieces
that, to her, already exist) just to run Gnucash.  And yes, I am
trying to make Gnucash a piece of software she would want to use.

> > Sigh.  I suppose I can live without reports.
> if you are living without reports, it's because you are being
> obstinate about it.  Upgrade your freaking gnome system and quit
> sighing.

No, I'm not being obstinate.  I'm trying to be realistic.  You've
never been a release engineer, have you?

If I upgrade gnome on my system it will break everything else that I'm
doing.  There are other dependencies in my system other than Gnucash.

Besides, saying "upgrade your freaking system" is as bad as microsoft!
Are you trying to stoop to their level of software engineering just so
you can play with the latest and greatest toys?

Seriously, go talk to a release engineer (not that Linux has many of
those).  When you're supplying third-party application support for an
OS, you need to be sure that you support the OS as-shipped by the
vendor (Red Hat in my case).  You can't go upgrading the vendor's
system just because you want to.  This is one reason Windows sucks so
much -- every piece of software you install wants to have it's own
version of particular pieces of the OS.. So they each install what
they want.  Boom, your machine is now destabilized.  Whee.  Time to

> b.g.


       Derek Atkins, SB '93 MIT EE, SM '95 MIT Media Laboratory
       Member, MIT Student Information Processing Board  (SIPB)
       URL: http://web.mit.edu/warlord/    PP-ASEL-IA     N1NWH
       warlord@MIT.EDU                        PGP key available