The fashion industry has the concept of "prêt-à-porter" - ready to wear. You pick a thing off the rack and off you go. No tailoring needed.
Similarly, the food industry has "prêt-à-manger" - ready to eat. No telling l'artiste du pain how much mayo you want, just grab a boxed sandwich and start munching.
What's the equivalent for Open Source Software?
(I know it is facile to say "There are two types of X in the world..." but I'm going to do so anyway.)
There are two types of Open Source Software in the world, those that "just work" and those that make you want to bash your head against your monitor and go live in the woods without electricity.
In my infinite wisdom, the best sort of OSS requires no installation, no esoteric configuration, no mystic incantations, no downloading dependencies. A simple
./whatever and you're off to the races.
I loathe stuff where the running instructions say "Install these seven external programs (half of which require compiling, the other half haven't been updated in a decade), fill in this tedious YAML document with a billion options, download yet another version of Docker for no particular reason, oh and remember to set
--safe-mode=true when you run or it'll delete all your files."
I appreciate that some software is complex. And not everything is amenable to a flatpak or snap package. And a developer's time is finite. And you get what you pay for. And that sometimes it is simply better to have a steep learning curve.
But most times I just want to download and run.
So, on to the most important matter of this thesis. What should we call this sort of software? I conducted a highly scientific Twitter survey - and these are some of my favourite answers:
Pret-a-Docker? (oh god)— Adam ♿ (@voltagex) June 15, 2021
Pret-a-Mongo— Ben Nuttall (@ben_nuttall) June 15, 2021
prêt-à-monger?— Infospectives (@TrialByTruth) June 15, 2021
Prêt-à-god-it-works— James H (@angusprune) June 15, 2021
Prêt-allo-monde— Dan Hon (@hondanhon) June 15, 2021
Wget-a-bash— Russell Howe (@rhowe212) June 15, 2021
Pret a ecran bleu de la mort.— Adrian Tchaikovsky (@aptshadow) June 15, 2021
prêt-à-bugger— nto (@nto52406828) June 15, 2021
OSS that requires no installation *or* esoteric configuration? pret-er-miracle.... 😉— Ben Thorp (@benthorp) June 15, 2021
Prêt-à-plug-'n'-play— mahmoud ghanem (@mynamelowercase) June 15, 2021
Actually it's GNU/Pret— Ben Nuttall (@ben_nuttall) June 15, 2021
I don't know but this reminded me of this excellent tweet https://t.co/N9euz4tEqA— Chris Beeley 👩🌾💃🎸📦🧙♂️ (@ChrisBeeley) June 15, 2021
So I guess my answer would be
Pret a piano pas
(sorry my GCSE French is letting me down a bit here)
"What phrase would you use for stuff which requires no installation or esoteric configuration?"— Bruce Lawson (@brucel) June 15, 2021
"A web site"