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A: why it seems to particularly afflict the Linux ecosystem,
B: how people live with that.
Mostly because users of OSX and Windows never ( almost never ) need to download source to install a program, programs always have an installable binary. If you never need to do that, then moving to Linux can be a new and confusing experience for most.
We live, and learn.. to live is to learn..
- We learn how to search for specific header files on your filesystem.
- We learn to modify compiler flags so correct includepaths and linkerpaths are used.
- We learn to use packages.debian.org to search for which package has the missing file.
- We learn how to install that package.
- We learn how to uninstall that package when the version in Debian is too old and you have to download this dependency as source too.
- We learn to make smaller modification to C++ code so that it compiles on a newer GCC version that is slightly more pedantic than the GCC developer used.
- We learn to read "the small print" on installation instruction.
- We learn the "basics" of Make and CMake and how Automake is supposed to work.
- And we certainly learn how to Google and read a lot of StackExchange posts.
- We learn to recognize situations where a solution is outside our capabilities and maybe find a different solution or maybe a different project to work on.
- We learn that learning all this will take time, and maybe asking for help/hints early is a good idea for not wasting time on the "wrong" solution.
You may feel like there is one (or just afew) underlying keys problems that needs solving, but its many.
One solution could be to give a single team of developers the task to make a special Linux distro that behaves more like OSX and Windows... and no one really wants that