[sf-lug] jim unsatisfied with apt-get and adobe flash and other things

jim jim at well.com
Mon Nov 24 18:42:18 PST 2008

well, thanks again and again. briefly: 

* i'm in this because i'm trying to help an impoverished 
musician avoid spending $100 or more per hour for someone 
to edit a simple HTML file. to verify my work, i have to 
access her web site, which looks like it was done on 
windows with windows for windows. haven't dragged out a 
mac to see if that box sees things correctly. i abjectly 
got to a windows machine (old w98) and things worked. 
i'm completely new to multimedia and generally avoid it. 

* i like CLI, but try sometimes to be a good boy and 
follow instructions, even GUI, when i'm asking for help 
(i like help from sf-lug people much better than from 
gui folks). 
   i don't use synaptic or upgrade whatever or much else 
from the GUI system menu, this being an exceptional case. 

* examples help loads. the so-called "arguments:" now look 
like path specifications to me. 
   in the file: 
deb http://linux.csua.berkeley.edu/ubuntu/ hardy main multiverse
restricted universe
   on the target system: 

   the manpage-like syntax now seems to look like: 
(deb | deb-src) URI Release_subdirectory [branch_subdirectories...] 

* yes, it was a last resort effort, done with tears in eyes. 

* you misspelled fu 

* i agree with some of your comments and accept the rest 
as i have limited experience in many areas. interesting 
deprecation of adobe code given the stresses put on 
postscript, but likely flash for linux is a q 'n' d 
port. your comments remind me of snide remarks some folks 
have made about BIOS code (they were experts, too). 

On Mon, 2008-11-24 at 18:16 -0800, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting jim (jim at well.com):
> Catching up on earlier postings....
> ["added", below, refers to /etc/apt/source.list:
> > * note i've added 
> > # linux.csua.berkeley.edu 
> > * to the very bottom of the file 
> Uh-oh.  Just "linux.csua.berkeley.edu" is _not_ a valid sources.list
> line, for reasons that I hope should now be apparent.
> > * here's what happened before i put the comment delimiter 
> > * at the head of that line 
> > * Synaptic Package Manager reports An error occured: 
> > E: Type 'linux.csua.berkeley.edu' is not known on line 61 in source
> > list /etc/apt/sources.list
> > E: The list of sources could not be read.
> > Go to the repository dialog to correct the problem.
> > E: _cache->open() failed, please report.
> > * what is a "repository dialog" and how to go to it? 
> Presumably, that's part of Synaptic where you can use a graphical
> front-end to edit the contents of /etc/apt/sources.list .
> Synaptic, to quote Mr. Lincoln, is "the sort of thing that will be
> enjoyed by those who enjoy that sort of thing".  I'm not able (or
> particularly willing) to help people with Synaptic particulars for the
> simple reason that I don't use it.
> Or, as the French say (presumably after an evening of rich food),
> everyone has his or her own gout.
> On the named Web host at Berkeley, I find things like 
> http://linux.csua.berkeley.edu/ubuntu/dists/hardy/main/binary-i386/Packages.gz
> http://linux.csua.berkeley.edu/ubuntu/dists/hardy/multiverse/binary-i386/Packages.gz
> http://linux.csua.berkeley.edu/ubuntu/dists/hardy/restricted/binary-i386/Packages.gz
> http://linux.csua.berkeley.edu/ubuntu/dists/hardy/universe/binary-i386/Packages.gz
> So, if you wanted to add those four "hardy" collections in
> binary-package format only, and are on i386 arch, you could say:
> deb http://linux.csua.berkeley.edu/ubuntu/ hardy main multiverse restricted universe
> > *    also in (greater) dispair i tried to install "flash" 
> > * from the adobe website: 
> Ugh.
> Should be, FYI, an absolute last resort.  Pretty much every distro has
> a package that, when installed, _fetches_ the Adobe proprietary Flash
> interpreter and installs it in a distro-appropriate manner.  (In other
> words, it's a wrapper for installation purposes.  Using it ensures that 
> the installation follows distro policies and that your package subsystem
> knows that the software's there.)  Never, ever, ever trust Adobe to know
> what's good for a Linux distribution, even where they profess to have a
> binary package tailored for distribution [foo].
> They don't get these things right, they don't really care enough to
> actually try, they have no incentive to obey distribution policies, and
> there's no reason on Earth you should trust them more than you have to.
> You'll find plenty of Web pages that explain that you should just go to
> Adobe's site and download (blah blah blah).  They're all giving bad
> advice -- except as a last resort.
> I'm unclear on whether Ubuntu's wrapper package is "flashplugin-nonfree"
> or "adobe-flashplugin".  Inquire.  ;->  For all I know, the second name
> might have obsoleted, i.e., replaced the first one.  That would be my
> guess.  Personally, I consider Adobe's code to be horrifically buggy and
> a security menace, and do my best to have nothing to do with it.  If
> obliged to install that creeping horror anyway, for Heaven's sake put in
> NoScript (http://noscript.net/features) so you can determine when/if it
> runs.
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