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Change default package directory from octave to .octave, or ask before f

From: Tasos Papastylianou
Subject: Change default package directory from octave to .octave, or ask before first package installation
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2018 16:27:11 +0000

The current choice of default installation directory for octave packages feels very intrusive.

The typical process whenever I install my first package in a fresh octave installation seems to go something like this:

1) pkg install somepackage -forge
2) "Ah crap, it's gone and made an ugly 'octave' folder right in my home directory. (sigh). Delete. Delete. Delete"
3) pkg uninstall somepackage
4) Delete /home/user/octave
5) pkg prefix /home/user/.octave /home/user/.octave
6) pkg install somepackage -forge
7) (sigh)

I consider this to be a 'papercut' (as per the ubuntu philosophy on papercuts, i.e. one of those negative experiences which, while not functionality-breaking, are unnecessarily frustrating first-use experiences which negatively predispose the overall user experience from that point on)

I'm hoping for some discussion on whether others feel this is a significant enough annoyance or not. I note that on Windows the default folder is much more reasonable (but I understand why the same folder wouldn't work in the Linux hierarchy).

Acceptable solutions in my mind would be a more reasonable (w.r.t. unix filesystem philosophy) default prefix directory, e.g. ".octave" / ".octave/lib" etc, or a directory confirmation / warning before installation of the *first* package (i.e., similar to how Julia does it ).

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