ubuntu-desktop depends on too much and useless packages for a desktop

Bug #12395 reported by Hervé Cauwelier (bug tracking) on 2005-01-30
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubuntu-meta (Ubuntu)
Mark Shuttleworth

Bug Description

Although I like Python and work with it everyday, I don't see why I should
install half the python packages, diveintopython and bicyclerepair for using a
Ubuntu desktop system. When I want to get interested in or develop in Python,
I'll search and install the packages I need.

I don't see the average user which Ubuntu aims at using these Python
developpement modules and documentation, or he is confident enough with computer
for using Synaptic and finding what he is looking for.

Or, as I propose, he installs some ubuntu-devel metapackage which will install
in turn the recommended tools for developpment by the Ubuntu team.

This will save tens of megabytes of useless packages, even for a Python
developper like me.

Mark Shuttleworth (sabdfl) wrote :

Hi Hervé, thanks for reporting this, but I'm going to close it as NOTABUG.
Comprehensive Python integration is one of the key feature goals of the Ubuntu
platform. We are only just beginning to develop Ubuntu, but the long term vision
is that Python will be very heavily promoted as the preferred development
environment for apps on Ubuntu, and for end-user customisation of the ubuntu

Whether you are doing desktop app RAD, or extending your web or mail server,
we'll provide the hooks to do so on Ubuntu. In addition, we ensure that many
well-tested and useful Python modules Just Work for app developers. This is much
like the commitment MSFT has made to Visual Basic. For this reason, all of those
Python modules are installed as part of the desktop setup. I appreciate that not
everyone will like this and would encourage someone to make an Ubuntu derivative
that did not include those packages.

Jay Camp (jayc) wrote :

What if there was a ubuntu-desktop-minimal that only depended on the minimum necessary for a fully functional desktop (ie no developer items.) Then have a ubuntu-desktop which is a complete environment (might be more appropriately named ubuntu-workstation). Wouldn't this provide the best of both worlds?

I agree - there is a significant case for providing a slim desktop as the default and allowing people to optionally install the more fully-featured Ubuntu version if they want the extra tools. Not everyone is a developer.

Microsoft's experiments with SKUs seem to indicate that staggered versions of software products result in happier users; they can assess their needs and obtain the most appropriate version, thereby saving them effort. In my opinion, you ignore this at your peril.

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