Stop. Ask. Compile?

Posted in Ubuntu on May 4th, 2012 by doctormo

The new version of Gimp is out. 2.8 is very attractive to artists, including a lot of deviantArt artists in my Ubuntu community over there. I got linked to this guide today, explaining in glorious detail how to compile Gimp 2.8 for Ubuntu 12.04.

Please, everyone, stop. Ubuntu and Debian systems are built to install packages, not compiled code directly from Make files. Many advanced users will actually package their own code up to install it on their own systems, there is no need to make install in Ubuntu.

Now I don’t care so much if you want to play with compiling things, learn debian packaging and pbuilder, that’ll compile things too. But guides for users shouldn’t be written like this, more time could have been spent on getting a stable PPA fixed up and directing users to use that.

In closing: Consider users are smart but eager, they’ll accept any helpful looking guide online that proports to do what they want. Even guides that are obviously not meant for normal users or in this case, Ubuntu users.