Friday, September 14, 2007

I Love you Microsoft


I have just developed an interest in blogging. Today a friend of mine, and I must say a very good friend, had forwarded me the URL of Windows live writer. He said that this will help me write faster and upload to various blog sites. So now I only need to know one interface and can publish my blogs to live spaces, wordpress and blogspot.


The installer gave me the option to install Live photo gallery and Live mail as well. I simply selected them and went ahead with the installation. While the application installer was being downloaded, I took a tour of various live applications and found live photo gallery to be of my taste.


Here I had a single installer, installing more than one programs. It was very much like a Linux package manager - a single place to install/manage all your programs. Though Microsoft has not yet achieved this functionality for all the windows programs, however, there is one area in which MS outdid the package managers from Linux world.


If we have more than one programs to install and we select them together in most of Linux package managers, then the package managers first download all the required binaries ( and libraries). Once the download is over, they go ahead with installing it. Hence if we are installing huge number of binaries and libraries, so first it takes good amount of time to download them from repositories and then it again takes another huge amount of time to install them. This is very apparent in packages like xorg and OpenOffice. I always thought, why cant this download and install happen in parallel. I mean thinking from a programmers point of view, we can always download in one thread and then install using another thread. Does Linux package managers not believe in multithreading ?


One argument that comes to my mind is that package managers play it safe, they think that something might go wrong in download and installing only half of the libraries/binaries might result in unstable system. Well this might be true, but do we actually expect download to stop, specially in today's world of high speed and reliable net connections. Even if there is some problem in downloading once, we can always restart the download, possibly using another download mirror. Looks like the popular package manager including apt-get (used by Ubuntu/Debian etc), rpm ( Fedora, SUSE, PCLOS ) and even portage (Gentoo ) does not think like me. Strangely Microsoft does.


Check out this image from the latest install of Live Writer, Live photo gallery, Live Mail etc.


Here Microsoft is doing what I believe is correct, Installing the programs and downloading at the same time. Simple things which make Microsoft great. Does this mean that I will ditch PCLOS and shift to Windows, I don't think so.... However, things are changing at MS and changing for good. Looks like MS is learning a thing or two from Linux.

Why I love MS, because they do things in a manner an average user would expect them to be, MS simply puts users first and reaps the benefit of it.

DISCLAIMER ::

I know of many blogging tools for Linux too, I just wanted to try Live Writer.

13 comments:

Abhay said...

In reply to the comment

1. Dial up users are still a force to be reckoned with.

2. How do you install a program if the dependencies haven't been installed yet? Libraries are given their own packages. Including libraries in with the programs just bloat download time. Statically linking libraries to software has its disadvantages.

3. Of course their stuff may be easy to install - they have invested effort to make the experience seamless. Only software that is supported will have this same experience. This will likely mean only MS stuff.

1) Agreed, but whats your point. Even dial up users have to download all the libs and binaries.

2)Download and install the dependencies first. There is no need to include the libraries in the binaries. Its simple -isn't it ?

3) I want to stress on good package management; today it is limited to MS products. Hopefully some day MS will also have a utility like Synaptic/Pacman/Portage. Still they have shown what should be there in a good package manager.

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