Art Clemons on 11 May 2012 19:28:10 -0700

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[PLUG] A pleasant installation surprise

Recently, I decided to get the latest version of Calibre, the software for handling ebooks and the like. I like it in part because it usually allows reading and/or conversion of electronic publications in almost any common format. It also sadly may enable the breaking of some Intellectual Property laws (specifically it can remove DRM from many protected formats, making it a likely violator of the DMCA absent fair use exceptions).

The pleasant surprise though was that it came in a format that allowed compilation in almost every recent version of Linux and it came with its own versions of its dependencies too. Since I normally run Slackware, pre-compiled versions of non-distro software are all too often much out-dated, and compilation often involves getting an error during compilation, then figuring out how and where to get the missing libraries or programs. Calibre though compiled right properly with the most recent version, and I remember the last time I compiled Calibre, I spent several days dealing with first one compilation error or missing dependency and then after dealing with that having to repeat the process for the next error. The lists of requisite software and libraries in all too many programs now is not only inaccurate but compilation can depend on finding a library or program that cannot be compiled or requires first dealing with its requisites, which further delays compilation and usage.

I wish most Linux software either followed similar practices or alternatively lessened the number and types of dependencies. All too often the dependency is some software that frankly I'll never actually need but it's included regardless.

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