Take Nothing for Granted

The power of using a package manager cannot be over stated in this humble “once only windows” users opinion. Whilst it is nice when the operating system transparently fetches the required drivers and programs there are instances that being able to pick and choose is useful in a professional capacity but rarely in a recreational sense. Using certain libraries (more specifically using certain versions of libraries) is one such circumstance. Anyone who has had to use open source libraries for adding extra capabilities e.g. the BOOST libraries. In this example the boost libraries are in constant development, other libraries dependent on them often become version fixed and hence require specific versions of their dependent library to even compile… this can be a problem but is unavoidable.


That is the first “take nothing for granted” Rule #2: Don’t assume you require the LATEST version of an application/library.

There is a second one… this, in my opinion, is one major downside (which admittedly may have a perfectly logical explanation, just not one that I can figure out) to the Linux style of operating system. In fact if anyone reading this has an explanation for it I would be really appreciative of an explanation. This is the simple fact that you can never rely on something to be where you want it to be! My example: I was looking for the installation of the boost libraries whose object files should have been in


But dependent on your version of the operating system (in my case Ubuntu) which can be between minor version numbers e.g. 12.04 and 12.10 things can be placed in different directories


So Rule #3: Don’t assume things are where they should be, check!

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