Comments on the MCC Interim Release

Comments on the MCC Interim Release

Post by Daniel Quinl » Sat, 14 Aug 1993 12:43:30

First, a little background:

Just about every piece of Linux documentation I have ever read (most
of it, including the new guides) such as The Linux FAQ and The
INFO-SHEET mentions SLS again and again.  So, the first time I
installed Linux, I went with SLS 1.02 (note: I haven't installed X
because I don't need it).

SLS was buggy, and I mailed Peter MacDonald a number of bug reports
concerning: file permissions, binary repeats, missing descriptions in
the install procedure, old versions of gzip, tar, emacs, everything.
I don't know what the effect of mailing them all since I never heard
back, but when 1.03 came out all of these problems were supposedly
fixed and when I helped a friend install with 1.03 it was the same
thing as before . . . buggy, cryptic installation, lousy
documentation, I could go on for hours, but I'll spare you (I'm
certain you've all seen the amount of posts on c.o.l. about bugs and
SLS 1.03).

Anyway, next time when I re-installed (to update gcc and libc) (with
1.03), there was a problem and it would not work for some reason.  So,
I decided to try out MCC.

For people who have tired of this long post I'll make it plain and
simple so you can go on.

** MCC is a wonderful installation package. **

MCC makes sense, it really does.  Let's compare SLS and MCC a little:

task/item       SLS 1.03                MCC 0.99-p10+
breakdown of    by disk (i.e. a1-4,     by package (user puts files
installation    b1-7, each composed     on disks in similar manner
files           of tgz files having     to SLS, but each tgz file is
                unrelated files put     a package like emacs, or gcc.)

documentation   a 2 page faq            a formated (TeX, dvi, ps, ascii)
                a sheet on DOWNLOADING  installation guide that goes into
                several other pages     depth and covers _every_ aspect
                ownership of main FAQ   of installation and starting
                (no extra information   up a Linux system.
                there though...)

ownership of    yes                     no
the main Linux  there were 66 lines     there were only 15
FAQ             with "SLS" appearing

                note: does this really
                belong in the main
                FAQ when it is in
                the install docs?

installation    read the documentation  in addition to the documentation,
procedure       and sparse comments     this is a dummy-proof and mistake-
                not totally automated,  proof procedure that asks before
                but almost there in     it does and confirms along the
                the new version.        way as you install with LONG
                                        paragraph-sized comments.

size in disks   (A through C which      8 disks (this is including the
                corresponds to MCC)     extra packages)
                14 disks

time & speed    2 to 2.5 hours          1 to 1.5 hours
(after putting
it on disk)

popularity      undeserving, the        low, but higher among more
                de-facto standard???    experienced users.

who makes it?   Softlanding Software    Manchester Computing Center (sp?)

age of          old.  Emacs-18.59       new.  Emacs-19.15
software        gzip 1.0.x              gzip 1.2.3
                old tar 1.1             recent on just about everything


I'll put it like this, if you have any amount of experience with Unix
or even a good amount of experience with computers in general, use the
MCC installation, it is a blessing.  If you don't and you feel that
you can do SLS easier, install it, play with Linux for a week or two,
and THEN install MCC.  You'll be happier if you do.

Please don't flame me.  I've installed Linux a (small) number of times
on several systems and I doubt that I'll touch SLS again.

I truly wish that the Linux community would give the MCC-interim
package the spotlight that it deserves (and perhaps a piece of the FAQ
the size of SLS's chunk!).

The only drawback to using MCC is that it lacks a X-windows
installation.  If you doubt that you can handle installing X on your
own, maybe SLS is for you.  Then again, maybe not.


followups directed to comp.os.linux.misc (where they belong)
[ Daniel Quinlan                    |   Computer Science Engineer `95 ]