June 9, 2005
I was asked today at least 4 times today why the gv command no longer works in RHEL 3. My responce is that it has been replaced by ggv and the users seem to go about their merry way until they complain that ggv sucks, which, well, it does.
This highlights a very frustrating problem. Its a problem that hurts the acceptance of Linux as a server and as a desktop. It seems that the distributions don’t even realize the problem and are blind to it.
There are lots of what people would think of as standard commands. Like vi and cp. However, these commands keep changing. How are users supposed to follow which postscript viewer is the current new and shinny? They aren’t. Users should not have to worry and complain about the gv -> ggv -> evince saga. What about your browser? What command do you run to launch a browser? In RHEL 2.1 it was netscape. RHEL 3: mozilla. RHEL 4: firefox.
A lot of folks miss the Pine suite. It has licensing problems which puts this situation in a different light. However, I symlink pico to nano so to keep the users sane.
I actually had sysadmins ask me what the ps command is being replaced with. “gps?” they asked.
This is becoming a problem. Folks need to think a little bit about what can the distributions do so that the complete command line environment doesn’t entirely up and change between Core 3 and Core 4. I’d suggest that certain commands should always work. It doesn’t matter so much as to what application they end up running. I’d start with mozilla and gv.