back to article Will Windows 8 sticker shock leave Microsoft unstuck?

"Sticker shock" is a US phrase that denotes a shopper’s surprised and generally disgusted reaction upon discovering the true price of an item they’re buying. Microsoft experienced a different kind of sticker shock a few years back with Windows Vista: such a memory and CPU hog was Windows Vista that most PCs of that time …

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WTF?

wat

"If you don’t like Metro, WOA won’t let you seek refuge in the more conventional Windows desktop. That’s because while WOA will have a desktop option, just two apps can use it – Microsoft’s Office 2015 and Internet Explorer 10."

Source, please. Because that's not what Sinofsky's blog says.

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Re: wat

"Source, please. Because that's not what Sinofsky's blog says."

It's quite close i'd say....

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/02/09/building-windows-for-the-arm-processor-architecture.aspx

"Metro style apps in the Windows Store can support both WOA and Windows 8 on x86/64. Developers wishing to target WOA do so by writing applications for the WinRT (Windows APIs for building Metro style apps) .... WOA does not support running, emulating, or porting existing x86/64 desktop apps. Code that uses only system or OS services from WinRT can be used within an app and distributed through the Windows Store for both WOA and x86/64."

"WOA can support all new Metro style apps, including apps from Microsoft for mail, calendaring, contacts, photos, and storage. "

"WOA includes desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote .... WOA supports the Windows desktop experience including File Explorer, Internet Explorer 10 for the desktop, and most other intrinsic Windows desktop features—which have been significantly architected for both touch and minimized power/resource consumption."

So it seems at first glance that it supports Metro apps built against WinRT (for system resources) and that desktop versions of Office 15 and IE 10 are available. There are some things that are not mentioned as being _never_ available (or unsupported) but that's reasonably close isn't it ?

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Re: Re: wat

Not really, because you can develop desktops apps against WinRT (it ain't just for Metro) and, according to the same entry distribute them through MS Windows AppMarketStore™, and those'll run on ARM.

So saying "there's desktop but only for office and IE" is sort of, er, not true.

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Re: Re: Re: wat

dogged wrote :

"Not really, because you can develop desktops apps against WinRT (it ain't just for Metro"

Fair enough, it's only two desktop things at the moment then - to avoid confusion, perhaps Sinofsky might have said something a little clearer than

"Developers wishing to target WOA do so by writing applications for the WinRT (Windows APIs for building Metro style apps)"

to describe WinRT.

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Re: Re: Re: Re: wat

> "Not really, because you can develop desktops apps against WinRT (it ain't just for Metro"

> Fair enough

Actually, after looking a bit, I take that back. In Microsoft parlance, a desktop application is not linked against WinRT - a Metro-style app is. The differences under the hood seem quite subtle in some respects but, when using Microsoft's own terminology, the El Reg article seems technically correct. I found quite a few interesting discussion on this, one of the more immediately digestible and technically concise was this

http://dougseven.com/2011/09/15/a-bad-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-long-discussions/

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: wat

Thanks for that, it's an interesting one. It doesn't explicitly answer the question, though.

AllThingsDigital had an interview which did indeed confirm what the article says, so I concede defeat.

But thinking about it...

Is this actually a bad thing? I'm undecided.

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Ru
Paris Hilton

What is the brand worth?

Neither Windows nor Microsoft is associated with positive customer experiences, and yet MS remain determined to brand everything Windows Windows Windows. As with their latest phone OS, they'd be better off ditching their current branding and branching out in a new direction, one that at least doesn't have all the negative connotations of their current offerings.

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Re: What is the brand worth?

For all the negative press techies put on the Windows name, in the eyes of the average Joe, it's either Windows or Mac when it comes to computers (because anything ending in an X that isn't a roman numeral doesn't have enough public exposure to count). Microsoft HAS to play the Windows card since it's the only card worth playing--familiarity. Any other card would play right into Apple's hands since they play familiarity, too...among other things.

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Re: What is the brand worth?

The thing with Windows Metro UI is that it doesn't have many er... Windows in it, it has 'Tiles' instead.

If they can't rebrand it now they never will.

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Anonymous Coward

Like 'Zune' perhaps?

(runs)

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@Charles 9

"in the eyes of the average Joe, it's either Windows or Mac when it comes to computers"

I believe the reality is 'it's either PC or Mac'. Windows is so ubiquitous it now has severely diluted brand awareness, users don't choose Windows they simply don't care enough to choose anything else. Its an effect of Microsofts continuing monopoly on shipped PCs.

If anything Office probably has more awareness and effect on buying choice, so they can keep opening their old documents. It's an easy 'habit' to break as well, on the new laptop my sister in law asked for OpenOffice because that's what I'd installed on the last one, didn't even notice the Microsoft bloatware installed. No doubt next time they upgrade she'll ask for LibreOffice after I switched them. Ordinary folk simply aren't starry eyed about Microsoft products.

Which leaves me completely clueless about how the public will react to Win8. Sink without trace like Chrome laptops or will they simply take what they're given and barely notice?

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Re: What is the brand worth?

MS never Trademarked the "Windows" product name and IIRCC they almost lost claim to it back when they tried to sue Linspire over its use of the term windows to describe how it's desktop looked/worked. MS settled before the case made it to court, many legal experts expected the judge to declare "windows" a generic computing term, then everyone could make a "Windows" like desktop and advertise it as such.

If MS changed the name they would lose any claim to "Windows". Ballmer and friends may not be the sharpest but they are not that stupid.

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Boffin

Re: @Charles 9

"I believe the reality is 'it's either PC or Mac'."

And even that distinction is blurry, ever since Apple went Intel, the only true difference between those is the OS it loads up with, and the fruity unibody outside. It sounded corny to see the 'Get a Mac' ads coming out right after they switched to x86, basically turning that ad into 'I'm a PC, and I'm a PC."

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Megaphone

@Charles

"For all the negative press techies put on the Windows name, in the eyes of the average Joe, it's either Windows or Mac when it comes to computers"

I tend to agree, yet I also believe that this aspect is also one of the aspects which fuels the attention for tablets. In a way a tablet is a nice way out of the current market. (stereotyping:) "No buggy Windows and no overpriced Mac, simply something which /works/!".

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@Ru

"Neither Windows nor Microsoft is associated with positive customer experiences, and yet MS remain determined to brand everything Windows Windows Windows."

From my experiences I came to conclude that MS keeps a rather short termed memory. They do respect standards (especially their own) but when it comes to Windows history...

My take on consumer experiences would be the success which Windows 7 was. Of course, within comparison, but when looking at Vista then 7 was a huge advantage. Fun thing is that even critics are often lenient towards 7 and have a tendency to label it "decent".

So who knows; maybe MS thinks that this alone will provide enough leverage to get people moving into 8....

Still, like 'm or not; if there's one thing MS is pretty good at its turning something sh*t into something quite useful again. They've shown this time and time again when they had released a piece of software which was initially "so so" or plain out bad, yet (much) later releases would often show an (IMO) remarkable comeback.

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Go

Re: What is the brand worth?

The brand may not be worth much, but a nice sticker is still a nice sticker. Give me more!

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Go

Re: Give me more stickers!

http://www.paninionline.com/collectibles/institutional/bt/uk/

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Ru
Happy

Re: Like 'Zune' perhaps?

X-Box is a rather more generous example.

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Ru

"MS is pretty good at its turning something sh*t into something quite useful again"

Well... yes and no.

Win7 isn't actually a bad bit of software to my mind, but the less said about recent incarnations of Office, for example, the better. The Windows brand is perhaps not irredeemable, but it is its use everywhere that I'm mostly objecting to. Metro-based platforms represent a chance for MS to make a break from their old brand... they want WP7, Win8/Arm to be new and shiny and cool, but naming it after a rather soulless old operating system mostly associated with business and viruses is not necessarily the most sensible thing they could have done.

I Am Not A Marketer, of course. Maybe they know what they're doing. I remain skeptical.

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It's amazing

People scream at apple for wanting to create a walled garden when they create an app store or a software verification programme, but when MS actually create one... Crickets.

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Meh

Re: It's amazing

Well, the precedent's been set now. And the x86/x64 versions are still yours to fool with as you will.

I still want to know which fantasist made up the entire premise of this article though - WOA will run Desktop apps if they're compiled with WinRT and downloaded from the Windows Store/Shop/Market/Poundsaver/whatever.

There's a need to distinguish the fact that you can't load your own software on an ARM tablet but have to get it the "approved" way, I suppose, but the "tablet" and "slate" distinctions should help with that.

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Linux

Re: It's amazing

Indeed. My first thought on reading that sentence was "and so the garden walls keep growing". At this rate the next generation of computer users aren't going to know what the wildlife looks like.

Tux. 'Cause penguins don't like gardens.

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JDX
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Re: It's amazing

Not many people in the real world scream at Apple. Only on techy sites like this.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: It's amazing

Oh really, so what are Official signed package repositories of the Linux world, if not gardens?

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Re: Re: Re: It's amazing

Public gardens !

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Re: Re: It's amazing

"I still want to know which fantasist made up the entire premise of this article though - WOA will run Desktop apps if they're compiled with WinRT and downloaded from the Windows Store/Shop/Market/Poundsaver/whatever."

And they'll run on Linux if they're compiled for that API. So what? If the average Joe sees "Windows" on the sticker, they're going to assume that it runs all their existing software. That's existing investment is precisely why they haven't jumped to Macs or Linux (and in the latter case saved themselves a couple of hundred quid).

So if they see a Windows sticker on the machine and only find out later that none of their software works, they are going to be pissed off. You don't need to be a fantasist to see that, surely?

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Linux

Re: It's amazing

As someone naturally inclined towards linux, I don't like the walled gardens created by either Apple or Microsoft.

But at least when Microsoft build the walls they don't tell you that living inside the newly created garden will make you a unique, creative snowflake of a person, brimming with imagination and individuality. It's the insidious doublethink marketing of Apple which some find offensive. Myself included, as you may have gathered.

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@Metavisor

"Oh really, so what are Official signed package repositories of the Linux world, if not gardens?"

Convenience.

Before I even hit submit I knew that someone would come up with that. You don't have to use repositories. You can use generic installer, a language specific installer (python eggs), a corporate custom installer. You can build from source, you can run compiled binaries, you can install from the author maintained deb or rpm packages.

A walled garden is a provider's strict control over the applications and content that are allowed onto a platform. A repository is convenient collection prepackaged applications *but* not your only choice.

A room and a prison cell can look very similar. But it's only the prison cell that wont let you in or out.

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Happy

Re: Re: It's amazing @lurker

Don't worry because, by any sane definition like the above, OS X is not a walled garden.

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APA

Re: Re: Re: It's amazing

"And they'll run on Linux if they're compiled for that API"

Slightly off topic, but ever heard of Winelib? http://www.winehq.org/docs/winelib-guide/winelib-introduction#WINELIB-WHATIS

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: It's amazing @lurker

"Don't worry because, by any sane definition like the above, OS X is not a walled garden."

Not yet.

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Linux

Re: Re: Re: It's amazing

"Oh really, so what are Official signed package repositories of the Linux world, if not gardens?"

Its the "walled" bit people are object to, not the "gardens". You're free to use other repositories if you wish, or none at all. The distributors just sign them to confirm their validity but they're by no means limited. Think "proof of origin" as opposed to "restricted to". You can create you own "garden" easily enough and sign them yourself - they're called PPAs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Re: It's amazing @lurker

"Not yet"

I hear that every time a new OS X comes out, when are the FUDsters going to realise it's not happening...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: It's amazing @lurker

"I hear that every time a new OS X comes out.."

Every time? Really? Of course *when* it does happen it'll be the most magical and revolutionary thing evaaaaah, 'cos Apple say so.

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Re: Slightly off-topic (winelib)

WineLib? Yup. Been following Wine for about a decade, and in particular I have followed its extensive database of popular apps that don't work particularly well. I really wish it were different, but I don't think I could recommend Wine-on-Linux to a non-geek.

Despite no personal experience in trying to make it work, I suspect that winelib is similarly close-but-no-cigars-yet, so I'm reluctant to recommend it to my employer.

This is not intended as a criticism of those who have worked on Wine, but I think we have to moderate our expectations when we set out to faithfully reproduce behaviour that isn't properly documented. A priori, there was no reason to suppose that Wine (and winelib, for the same reason) was even possible, let alone likely to be affordable or imminently available.

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Re: @Metavisor

Probably worth adding as well that even if you use repositories for convenience / security / regular updates, unlike iOS and (presumably) Win8, you're not restricted to a single repository - you can add as many as you like from different vendors. So you have as many gardens are you like, but nicely integrated into a single front-end.

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Devil

Re: Re: @Metavisor

Why are you comparing iOS to Linux?

I'm talking about OS X, where I can have all the repositories I want like Macports which I'm using right now, as well as the official Apple-run package "repository" called the Mac App Store.

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Boffin

Re: It's amazing

Oh, I am screaming at MS. They're enforcing "secure boot", *and* appstore-only apps ... basically, they're out-Apple-ing Apple in this. There will be no reason for us techies to buy a WOA device because we can't rip out Win8 and put Linux in it.

Looks like I'm back to the Beagleboard...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: It's amazing

"...at least when Microsoft build the walls they don't tell you that living inside the newly created garden will make you a unique, creative snowflake of a person, brimming with imagination and individuality..."

Look, you can wear socks with sandals if you want to. There's no need to lash out at those who don't.

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Linux

Re: Re: Re: @Metavisor

MacPorts isn't another repository. It's an entirely different framework.

It's not comparable at all. You don't have a single management interface or a single tracking and dependency database.

Half a dozen disjoint products is not comparable to a Linux package manager. Neither is the Apple app store really. However, it's a lot closer to apt-get than MacPorts is.

None of the Apple Corp or 3rd party options allow a 3rd party vendor like Adobe to tie into the package management system directly like Linux tools can.

Tools vs Product.

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Devil

Re: Re: Re: Re: @Metavisor

" You don't have a single management interface or a single tracking and dependency database."

Being a user of the Mac App store, Macports, yum and apt-get I'm not actually crying about not having a "tracking and dependency database" for of my OSX desktop apps. I don't need it, it just gets in the way.

When I do need a "tracking and dependency database" I use Macports. Right tool for the job as they say.

Surely you're not going to tell me the Linux package managers are some sort of panacea? I don't know a single person who hasn't cursed at them, or who did have to fuss around with version numbers or --force-ing things.

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Vic
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @Metavisor

> I'm not actually crying about not having a "tracking and dependency database"

> for of my OSX desktop apps.

I am. It makes things much easier in the longer term...

> or --force-ing things

The only time I --force a package installation is when I'm bootstrapping a new distribution build. I do that because I manage a distribution; most people don't.

The only people I meet who truly curse package managers are those who habitually --force things, rather than finding the packages they actually want. Perhaps you move in different circles.

Vic.

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@Ken Hagen

>> I don't think I could recommend Wine-on-Linux to a non-geek

What would you recommend to a 64-bit Vista user failing to install an old 32-bit app?

When it happened to my acquaintance, I did recommend Linux+wine, since not only could I install it on my 32-bit Ubuntu, 32-bit FreeBSD , I even managed( what a shame) to install it on 64-bit Debian! There was no geekiness involved in any way.

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Anonymous Coward

@Vic

I hear people from their high horses telling me that all the time - it's my fault the package manager borks the installation. Guess what they end up doing when looking at my stuff? Yeah, --force.

We use different packages. Have you tried getting two versions of Boost configured because your imaging library wouldn't work with the new, but the statistical simulation package required the new one? Good times.

Plus how many systems with >365 days uptimes do you have to install new packages on? Those dependencies sure get messy when you can't stop things.

Those are my linux servers, I'd rather do without the aggro on my Mac desktops which get even stranger stuff on and off.

Last time I managed a Linux desktop I ended up needing to edit freedeskop entries by hand most of the time. Again not just me as the resident Linux admin with all his experience and extensive CFEngine knowledge couldn't get anything setup properly either.

My days of having infinite patience to fuss around with desktop Linux ended together with the decline of the Enlightenment WM.

So yep these days I'm very happy and Macs let me do whatever hell I want - ports, binaries, , git trees, anything goes - and a good desktop, which is all that matters really. Plus I was already doing most of it like that on FreeBSD anyway.

So yes I suppose we do we move in different circles, and I don't see any problem with that - I'm glad you like your Linux stuff and I like my Unixy things - cool?

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@Metavisor, MacOSX and Linux user

Macports are pathetic compared to BSD ports.

Taught "Lin Alg. with Apps" class, did examples with pari-gp and octave. A student approached asking how would you install pari on Mac.

--Sure you can and it must be easy, in fact MacOSX plagiarizes a lot from FreeBSD and others. OK, let's see here... you do what? get a this cd with some additional software?? download another compiler?? I though you just "sudo pkg_add -rv pari-gp octave" or cd to /ports/math/pari and do the "su; make install&&enjoy" thingy... For windows there is an exe file. For Apple not that easy after all.

Don't even compare Linux/BSD to Mac, the latter is user unfriendly.

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Vic
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Re: @Vic

[Edited to avoid the 2000 char limit]

> it's my fault the package manager borks the installation.

The package manager *hasn't* borked the installation.

You are attempting to perform an installation with unmet dependencies. *That* is the problem to fix; forcing it without fixing those dependencies just stores up problems for the future.

> Guess what they end up doing when looking at my stuff? Yeah, --force.

Then you're talking to the wrong people. This is the software equivalent of someone telling you to hammer six inch nails into your foot because it'll take your mind off your headache - yes, it will, but things will get very much worse afterwards...

> Plus how many systems with >365 days uptimes do you have to install new packages on?

Many. 365 days uptime is not a lot in my field. I like to reboot machines at least every 1000 days - but that's for historical reasons, not necessity.

> Those dependencies sure get messy when you can't stop things.

You only need stop a service when you need to replace it; that takes ~2 seconds. If that breaks your SLA, you haven't bought enough hardware.

> Last time I managed a Linux desktop I ended up needing to edit

> freedeskop entries by hand most of the time.

Why? I've generally only ever done such things when I wanted to do something rather peculiar. The only exception to that is when I want to create a station that will allow system-wide installations from a particular set of repositories without the use of an administrative password.

> I'm glad you like your Linux stuff and I like my Unixy things - cool?

Not really. I'm somewhat concerned that you state your previous problems as issues with Linux, when they would appear to be problems with administration - and indeed, those problems may well have been caused by an attempt to circumvent the usual methods of administration.

Vic.

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Anonymous Coward

@eulampios

"MacOSX plagiarizes a lot from FreeBSD and others"

There's no plagiarising involved: Apple went straight to the source and hired several key FreeBSD engineers, and actually contributes a lot back to FreeBSD too.

Could be that you don't know how to use macports effectively, but I don't know about Octave since my budget allows me to run MATLAB. (and please don't go and claim that Octave is better than MATLAB - for what I do it's already been well proven it isn't)

@Vic

No they're not unmet dependencies, they're versioning dependencies that conflict with the versioning dependencies of other packages, or they're packages that share the same subset of files (love those) or they're one of the hundred other problems package managers have because the world isn't perfect.

You have no clue about what I do or what I use, so thanks for your concern but please cease to prescribe your advice. You're not trying to help, just using it to claim your apparent superior system administration knowledge against me and others I work with anyway. I've had my share of Mr know-it-all Linux shit-doesn't-smell sysadms, in fact I was one myself for a few years.

As I said we get along fine with what we do - and don't. Your concern is unwarranted.

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Vic
Silver badge

> No they're not unmet dependencies, they're versioning dependencies

So they're dependencies.

Are they met? That would work fine. If they're not met - then they're unmet dependencies.

Easy, huh?

> that conflict with the versioning dependencies of other packages

This is why packages are versioned - so that the correct one can be picked up. I have many versions of libraries on my machines - the app gets the right one by virtue of it asking for the right one. This system breaks, obviously, if you've --forced an installation despite not having the correct version of a dependency.

> or they're packages that share the same subset of files (love those)

A package clash such as that is inevitably caused by someone using --force on the package manager.

If you *really* want two packages to have files in the same area, you make one of the packages relocatable such that the problem goes away. This is part of the deal with package managers.

> or they're one of the hundred other problems package managers have

> because the world isn't perfect.

Again - anecdotal issues form someone who forces packages into a system against the advice of the package management system. This is hardly unexpected.

> please cease to prescribe your advice.

Ah. I see. You're allowed to make unsubstantiated allegations, but no-one is permitted to rebut your claims? I figured we'd get here eventually.

> just using it to claim your apparent superior system administration knowledge

I'm doing no such thing.

What I'm trying to point out is that you are incorrectly identifying the source of your problems.

> As I said we get along fine with what we do - and don't.

Your posts imply problems with package dependencies, having to --force packages into the system, having version management problems. I wouldn't describe that as "get[ting] along fine".

Vic.

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