19 October 2006

Spoilt by Linux

I rebooted my laptop into ’Doze-XP for the 4th time ever, as I need to write an article featuring portability & wanted to test it & grab some screenshots.

To get Qt Designer & Ruby on, I had to muck around finding one-click downloaders instead of firing up a system tool, clicking a few times, & letting the tool sort out the dependencies — which is what I’d just done to get the same stuff installed on Mandriva Linux 2007.0.

Hurrah, though, for the authors of those installers, else I would have been unpacking Zips by hand, editing the Registry, sorting out even more dependencies, & so on.

Then I had to get the installers across to ’Doze, which refused to read anything, including a camera-formatted flash-stick, until I finally gave in & burned it all onto a CD. Floppies would have been too small (90MB of stuff to shovel across).

In addition, Qt wanted a copy of CygWin. Let’s just say that if I’d been connected to the ’net by dial-up, I would not have been pleased... but the installer found a copy of CygWin (in Europe), pulled it down & installed it for me.

The Ruby installer also volunteered to (and did) axe an earlier version of Ruby which I’d installed for an earlier writing session, before it installed the new one. Not quite up to “rpm -U” territory, let alone urpmi or apt-get, but they’re starting to learn.

Qt Designer is quite happy to write an application on one platform & then run it on another. Very impressive job by TrollTech, especially when one considers the basic differences between the platforms in question.

One other little bonus; I’d installed The GIMP on it some time ago, so at least I didn’t have to wrestle with MS-Paint for the screenshots in a reasonable format.

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