2009-10-02 13:27 - Linux
Ubuntu is a bit famous for it's "Long Term Support" releases. That page says that "A new LTS version is released every 2 years. With the Long Term Support (LTS) version you get 3 years support on the desktop ..." and "The two LTS releases so far are DapperDrake and HardyHeron." But it also says that they will "Avoid structural changes as far as possible, such as ... lots of library transitions." At Google, my desktop is based on Hardy, which was released on April 24, 2008, or just over a year ago. So it should have received updates now, and for another year and a half or so, right? Wrong.
I've been searching for a Windows replacement for (among other things) Launchy on Windows. The best I found was Gnome Do. After a short while, I tried to work some of its advanced settings. I saw plenty of documentation online about the Preferences dialog — but I couldn't find it anywhere! Well, the reason is that the last version in Hardy's repositories is 0.4.0.1, but that was released back in March of 2008, before Hardy's first release. And it's never been updated. Do is up to version 0.8, with a lot of new features — including the preferences dialog!
I tried upgrading myself. First I looked for all the DEB packages I need (and don't I remember this sort of crap, scouring for RPMs for RedHat back in the day). I didn't get far, resolving the entire dependency tree one at a time, by hand, before I hit on something I couldn't find the DEB for. So I tried building from source, in a similarly frustrating manner. Somehow I found the Badgerports repository, where someone has thankfully taken the effort to port modern packages into the "Supported" version of Ubuntu I'm stuck with. After adding that repository, I could actually install a non-ancient, featureful, version of Gnome Do!
(I'm still not quite satisfied with it as a Launchy replacement, it's harder to customize. But it's pretty good. I miss being able to just double-click the EXE and get whatever software I want.)