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Proprietary Software is *so* Hard

Wow, I just had the displeasure of installing Oracle Database 10g Standard One R2 (names like PostgreSQL are so hard!) and it was completely insane.

I still need to fax a credit card authorization form for $0.00 for the trial license… later.

While their Express version had a nice RPM-based install, the non-Express version has an awful installer that first requires you to edit a bunch of /etc files, then run the java installer, accept that it doesn’t understand fixed-DHCP addressing, and click Next a few dozen times. Then you have to run a couple scripts as root, but they don’t let you copy & paste from the screen where you get the script paths so you have to type those in by hand.

Once you’re all done, you can make an rc script by copying it from a nice guy’s forum posts, and then you have to go fix the Oracle start scripts. This is the best part – the Oracle script has the home directory of the developer hardcoded in it, so it won’t start on anybody else’s machine unless you go fix the script. This 2005 post says it best, and it’s not fixed today.

I’ll skip ranting about the web store’s usability because it would take too long, and I already wasted an hour there trying to get a trial license.

People don’t go for open source software just because it’s free – they do it because the quality is so high and it’s so easy to use, compared with the commercial offerings.