Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 16:08 UTC
Linux Despite the constant predictions of "This year will be the year of the Linux desktop", such predictions have yet to become reality. While the reasons for this are numerous, they all tend to boil down to Linux being built as a server and workstation OS rather than a home system. This article will focus on how a distribution might be designed to not only make Linux a competitive desktop solution, but to propel it into a leader in the Desktop market.
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Oh no
by pirate on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 16:49 UTC

A /. troll writing a stupid article about what linux needs to do to succeed on the desktop. Just what we've been waiting for.

And you don't even have to read far to know that it's not worth reading the whole thing

"Installing Applications is complicated"
No, it isn't. It's different than what people are accustomed to, but it sure isn't complicated.

"Directory structures can be confusing to navigate"
Yes, Joe User and my mom don't use linux because of its confusing directory structure. Please...
And don't tell me the directory structure of other systems make more sense, it doesn't.

"Interface is confusing and inconsistent"
While I agree that it is far from perfect it sure isn't more confusing or inconsistent than the alternatives.

"Steep learning curve required to understand system functions"
As is the case with any OS out there.

Seriously, linux has to compete against a system that has an installbase of more than 90% on PCs world wide, against a system that comes preinstalled with about every new PC, a system that most people associate with computers.

Did it ever occur to people like batsy that being a hughe success on the desktop in this kind of cirumstances might take some time, no matter what the directory structure of Linux might be?

While I wouldn't call it a troll...
by Anonymous on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 16:58 UTC

...I do agree with your assessment;

Seriously, linux has to compete against a system that has an installbase of more than 90% on PCs world wide, against a system that comes preinstalled with about every new PC, a system that most people associate with computers.

There's nothing hard about using Linux as-is as a desktop environment. Only thing is, most people have used some kind of computer -- usually Windows -- and associate "the computer" with what they first learned.

That said, people seem to have no problem adapting to new web pages...so why should an OS be any different? They aren't going to install or manage the sucker -- and they will probably do less fiddling with Linux than the current market leader Windows (no virus/trojan problems, better security defaults, ...).

Re:
by Jason on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:00 UTC

I have to agree with everything the article says.

RE "Oh no"
by raster on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:01 UTC

I tend to agree with the first comment ;) as for adapting to new web pages - why? "zero install" ;) if Linux was zero install... you'd have something going there... and well yes i know of the live cd qemu thing... ;)

Re:
by tony on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:12 UTC

I agree with everything the article said too.

Linux is a server operating system

DBFS
by Evert on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:12 UTC

i like a database filesystem, but not on the gnome/kde level - i want to be able to access my docs without kde or gnome. a LUKS driver for a DBFS would be nice.

his comments about the confusing directory structure are true. for a home user, windows does:

1. c:Program Files
2. c:Windows

Linux does:

1. /bin
2. /sbin
3. /usr/bin
4. /usr/sbin
5. /usr/local/bin
6. /usr/local/sbin

why not:

1. /applications
2. /system

and move /lib to /system/lib

would be much easier to understand for most home users...
this could be done easily by hiding and symlinking all those directories to /applications

RE @ Jason
by fish on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:13 UTC

While I don't follow everything , for the most part I would have to aggree.

ok
by Dr. Nick Bezroukov on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:16 UTC

as someone who doesn't know how to use windows, i personally feel that mouse-oriented operating systems are far more convoluted and hard to use than unix. accomplishing any task other than downloading and installing software seems impossible. i don't see how windows users can actually get around to computing anything on their computers when they have to spend so much time doing stupid mouse tricks.

The year of the Linux Desktop
by Kevin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:19 UTC

such predictions have yet to become reality

No, they are already reality.

Desktop is a concept with more than one market.

2004 has seen more than one decision of companies or governmental agencies to go for Linux on their desktops.

Which means that the Linux offerings of late 2003 must have finally been good enough, which makes 2003 also a year of the Linux desktop.

Obviously the consumer market for the Desktop is the most difficult one, as it is the broadest, but I am sure Linux will also make it into that one.

So unless there is no further progress, every year is currently a year of the Linux Desktop

Linux for grandmothers is already here!
by Gnobuddy on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:24 UTC

Over the last couple of years, I have given computers with Linux installed to two people. Both people were very nearly computer illiterate at the time I first set them up with a Linux box. While both are intelligient people, neither has more than a high-school education. One of the two is a grandmother.

Both these people are now happily using Linux on a daily basis (currently SimplyMepis is my distro of choice for unsophisticated Linux users). Neither of them has turned into a power user - but Linux meets their computing requirements (mainly Internet access, email, and the odd bit of word processing) just fine. Neither of them has ever managed to get a new piece of software installed, though. (Yes, even Synaptic is too complex for many people.) And yes, one of the two has in fact installed software successfully on a Windows 98 system.

I agree with the author of the article that Linux is indeed lacking in some things, most particularly IMHO a comprehensive, uniform, cross-distro, GUI-based set of configuration tools, and a single GUI software installer as clean and easy to use as, say, Firefox or Kmail. I have hope that eventually both the Gnome and KDE projects will incorporate something like this. But - and it's a big but - imperfect though Linux is, the increased resistance to viruses, worms, and malware alone more than makes up for this.

Linux is not perfect, for sure. But it's already BETTER than the alternatives in many ways.

-Gnobuddy

argh
by n3wt on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:26 UTC

That article angered my soul. He "faults" Linux on some of its greatest strengths.

1. Package Managers: I don't know about you, but I like being able to install any program I want without having to search the web for it, waiting for it to download, and then running the installer. I simply type in a command followed by the name of the program, and it installs itself, hands-free. And this "dependency hell" people are always whining about hasn't been a problem for me in years.

2. Directory Structure: Oh noes, teh directory structure is different from Windows. Yeah, it is different, but once you're used to it, its also much more logical, and if we're talking about the average user here, they'll never see anything other than their home directory anyway.

Evert - it's already been done!
by Gnobuddy on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:29 UTC

Evert wrote:
-----------------------------------------------------------
why not:
1. /applications
2. /system
and move /lib to /system/lib
would be much easier to understand for most home users...
this could be done easily by hiding and symlinking all those directories to /applications
----------------------------------------------------------
Check out GoboLinux ( http://www.gobolinux.org/ ). They have already done essentially this very thing.

-Gnobuddy

@ Gnobuddy
by Evert on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:32 UTC

ok, thanks, looks interesting :-)

v REACT OS . Can't beat EM join EM.
by Eric Martin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:36 UTC
Sounds dangerously like a plan...
by Ilyak on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:42 UTC

That all would be cool if:

One (very fat one) will allocate 10G$ at that project.
They will take linux and do all that insane thing to it not looking at what people say.
Will not call result Linux as it is not Linux as we know it.

They will make their 10G$ back by sales if they'll charge 20$ a copy in 4-5 years, i guess.

Of course, this plan need some more work on APIs and kernel APIs, but that could work... If one willing to spend 10G$.

This guy is wrong
by Leon Timmermans on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:49 UTC

Though I agree Linux sometimes needs a polish, I think this guy is wrong.

Installing apps is different on Linux than on Windows or MacOS X.
Some people like it, some don't.

I really think Appfolders are a bad idea: they are not abstracted enough.
It should be easy as automatic to install an uninstall programs.
Deleting some folder is not abstracted enough IMHO.

Filemanagement: A user should NEVER need to see anything of the system, NEVER.
I think all desktop Operating systems try to hide it more or less.

Database filesystems are very good.......for power users.
Not for John average: they are too complicated.

Desktop: I doubt your applications icon would scale to a lot of programs.
I am more a fan ot the GNOME layout: a hierarchical menus 'applications','places' and 'system'.
Most people want to (ab)use their desktop for files.

Filters are a really good idea, but again, only suitable for power users IMHO.

RE: Oh no
by Anonymous on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 17:53 UTC

"Installing Applications is complicated"

It is... sort of complicated. It depends. If you're trying to install something random on a random distro, it can be a pain. However, this has largely been addressed by the various package management systems and online repositories. For example, installing something in Ubuntu is really easy, as long as you can do it through Synaptic. However, I still wouldn't ask an average user to compile and all.

"Directory structures can be confusing to navigate"

It is a bit complex. Now, really, if you don't know what you're doing, you should pretty well stay contained to your home directory anyway, and anything you wouldn't know what they were should be hidden. So, though I agree that the structure is a bit confusing to those who aren't familiar with it, it shouldn't really be an issue.

"Interface is confusing and inconsistent"

The question I have about this is, which interface? "Linux" can have any number of interfaces. Though I'll admit to preferring OSX to anything else out there, both KDE and Gnome are good. Certainly no worse than Windows.

When you get down to it, I think that would generally be my take on things: Though I prefer OSX, many of the Linux options are good, at least no worse than Windows and probably better.

In my opinion, that's the ironic thing about all this, "What Linux needs to be ready for the desktop" stuff. Many Linux distros are already better than Windows. Fedora, Ubuntu, and SuSE-- they're all easier to install, easier to keep secure, easier to manage, and easier to update than Windows. KDE and Gnome are both as consistent and less ugly than Windows.

So why isn't Linux "winning"? First, people are used to Windows and are scared of change. They don't understand the difference, and they don't want to have to relearn using a computer. Second, Microsoft has engaged in anticompetitive practices which have damaged the ability of Linux applications to be compatible and interoperable with Windows apps. Those are the big reasons right there. That's it. There are good Linux distros out there.

RE: This guy is wrong
by Anonymous on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 18:05 UTC

I really think Appfolders are a bad idea: they are not abstracted enough.It should be easy as automatic to install an uninstall programs. Deleting some folder is not abstracted enough IMHO.

The author agrees with you. Read the rest of the article. He's talking about disk images being used to contain the application.

Filemanagement: A user should NEVER need to see anything of the system, NEVER.

The author agrees with you. The only thing visible to the user are the documents and application files.

Database filesystems are very good.......for power users.

Doesn't every movie user type "find The Super Secret File" and the Super Secret File is found? (grin)

Desktop: I doubt your applications icon would scale to a lot of programs. I am more a fan ot the GNOME layout: a hierarchical menus 'applications','places' and 'system'.
Most people want to (ab)use their desktop for files.


The author agrees with you. Quote: "[The Applications] label can theoretically contain anything, including sub-labels"

Filters are a really good idea, but again, only suitable for power users IMHO.

A very true statement. But why should only idiots^H^H^H^H^H novice users have all the fun?

when is the 'year of laptop'?
by greg on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 18:06 UTC

you know, the fact is that more and more people using laptop as their primary computer. and this is where linux has many other problems besides those it already has as a desktop system. furthermore, many laptop-related problems can't be cleanly resolved without laptop manufacturers providing some linux compatibility. there are things which are presumably standardized like power management, and yet there are always some caveats when you want to have the same functionality on Linux as you have when runing Windows on your laptop. Trying to use Winmodem (that is, Linmodem) can be a royal pain in the neck. Always potential problems with soundcard. WLAN may not necessary work. It's no fun to run Linux on some generic laptop.

RE: Linux for grandmothers is already here!
by Darius on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 18:11 UTC

Over the last couple of years, I have given computers with Linux installed to two people. Both people were very nearly computer illiterate at the time I first set them up with a Linux box. While both are intelligient people, neither has more than a high-school education. One of the two is a grandmother.
Both these people are now happily using Linux on a daily basis (currently SimplyMepis is my distro of choice for unsophisticated Linux users).


So, what is your point, exactly? Any OS becomes usable when you have a resident OS guru there to answer all of your problems. For example, whenever my close friends and family members have a problem with their Windows box (which seems to be often for some), they call me. If they were to switch the Linux, who the hell are they gonna call? Certainly not me, cuz I don't know enough about desktop Linux to solve their problems. So then what are they gonna do, consult Google? LMAO!!! Of course, there is usually a group of Linux geeks (LUGs, or whatever) who could probably help, but most people don't know that. My point here is that most people who have Windows issues knows at least someone they can call who 'knows computers' - the same can't be said for Linux. This is a huge problem, especially since most hardware/software vendors, ISPs, etc don't offer much support for Linux.

RE: DBFS
by alwin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 18:34 UTC

damn, that file system stuff is a mess, i know it's already like that for 20 years, but it's time for some change. i use linux for 5 years and i still don't know if my file is in /bin, /sbin, /usr/sbin, /usr/bin, /usr/local/bin or /usr/local/sbin.. locate helps, but that does not solve the problem. i even symlinked /usr/local to /usr to make my live easier. maybe i should try gobolinux ;)

heh...
by hobgoblin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 18:40 UTC

funny realy that most of the problems talked about (atleast on page one) seems to be coverd by gobolinux (as someone have allready pointed out). and if they dont have a package (that is dead simple to install and now even have a gui management tool) you can install from source by grabbing a recipe from the main page and the source tarball, extract and just type compile. presto. and even this can the gui package manager deal with (alltho i have not tryed that part yet myself).

what is even more funny is that around the corner is a systemd called autopackage that allow the individual user to install apps inside their own home directory. this should work on just about any distro out there.

then there is zeroinstall, a system that looks quite similar to the mac way. but with the added twist of being able to grab the app of the net (or some other source) automaticaly.

i think desktop linux is surging ahead. lets just see how many distros embrace autopackage as a user space tool for installing. if they are realy dedicated to the desktop then they will use a package manager for dealing with stuff like servers, the base system and maybe desktop's/wm's. but leaving the user apps (gimp, k3b and so on) for autopackage to handle. and as autopackage inherits many of the ideas of the package manager it will be cleaner in use then the windows installer system (and you dont have registry rot to deal with either ;) )

re: heh...
by hobgoblin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 18:48 UTC

oops. memo to self, read all the pages before commenting. looks like gobolinux was pointed out on page two.

nad i kinda like the disk image idea. even more so if you combo it with lufs (or whatever the name of that plugin enabled, user space fs system is called).

hmm, and mounting the home folder as a mysql database could be interesting. just needs a fs driver that can talk mysql and a new search tool that can pass database querys to it.

now merge this with say gobolinux and lets see what comes out of it ;)

Comments on 'Linux as a server operating system'
by Anonymous on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:00 UTC

"I agree with everything the article said too.

Linux is a server operating system"


Do you know the difference between a 'server', a 'workstation', an 'embeded', or a 'desktop' operating system?

Configuration. Nothing more.

That's why Linux is on Linksys and Tivo boxes, cell phones, PDAs, watches, mainframes and clusters, as well as laptops and desktops.

A server is any device that provides a service to external systems. That's it. P2P qualifies. Sharing your printer qualifies. The word 'server' means technically squat. Your PDA can run Apache, as well as your laptop. Your cheap home router runs services. Your desktop runs services.

The convention of calling something a 'server' is there just to seperate the 'backroom utilities' that the admins look after exclusively from the systems people who aren't admins touch. Nothing else.

RE: Linux for grandmothers is already here!
by Anonymous on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:06 UTC

So, what is your point, exactly? Any OS becomes usable when you have a resident OS guru there to answer all of your problems.

Ah...how can I say this. If it works well enough not to require maintenance, what questions do you need to answer besides the normal 'how do I print' and 'what is this Internet I keep hearing about'?

For example, whenever my close friends and family members have a problem with their Windows box (which seems to be often for some), they call me. If they were to switch the Linux, who the hell are they gonna call? Certainly not me, cuz I don't know enough about desktop Linux to solve their problems.

Of course they wouldn't call you. They wouldn't have to.

If you use anything except for one OS, you can figure out the rest. If you only use a Mac or Windows...you are at a disadvantage in understanding the rest.

that's funny
by heh heh on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:21 UTC

It seems, that linux users are just waiting to see if the next release of their favorite distro will solve the
problems that the last (ie..ajax linux #58) did'nt fix
in the last one. They are always running to the next
release,and most of the time it is just more of the same,
nothing new really...

Not a troll
by Jackson Brown on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:21 UTC

This is truth. To anyone who argues these points needs to get their head out of the clouds.

Just copy Mac OSX.
by ex-slackware user on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:22 UTC

Linux was a copy of Unix, someone should just make a distro that is a copy of Mac OSX. It would be a good starting point.

Gobolinux
by zbruf on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:32 UTC

The problem with gobolinux is that it symlinks everything to its old unix path for compatibility reasons wich means that you have an even more messy filesystem. Of course Unix directories are hidden like in OsX, but this sounds like a bad trick to me.

RE: Linux for grandmothers is already here!
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:35 UTC

"Ah...how can I say this. If it works well enough not to require maintenance, what questions do you need to answer besides the normal 'how do I print' and 'what is this Internet I keep hearing about'? "

I encountered all of the following when installing Red Hat 8 on my mother's computer a long time ago - my first and only adventure into installing Linux for a normal user:

"How do I watch this movie?" (embedded Quicktime/RealMedia/Windows video file)

"Why can't I view this file?" (PDF)

"Why won't this page work?" (Shockwave)

"Why is this thing giving me error messages?" (Java applet)

"Why didn't the printer tell me it was out of ink?" (Printing support)

In the end I just installed a copy of Windows 98SE and the only thing I had to deal with was "why won't this page load?" and the ilk.

Faults?
by chrono13 on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:40 UTC

I use whatever OS is best for the situation.

For my main system I use Windows. My laptop - both. Anyone elses [infected] Widnows computer - a Linux live CD with a USB flash drive.

Windows is painful to use when you just need it to do some simple thing that would be NO issue for a novice with Linux to write CLI. For instance, I needed Windows to do a simple, small thing and continue doing it despite the fact that it "fails". On Windows, this invovles *installing* a third party application. On Linux, not even knowing what I was doing, I wrote a countdown that didn't count down thus it looped forever. Not graceful, but I had no idea what I was doing. It worked though. Easy and quick.

As for Linux package managers? URPM is becoming quite nice, and any regular Linux user can sing you the praise of APT. What does suck is when you need a fringe application, or hate waiting for weeks, sometimes MONTHS for someone to compile the newest version of the application for your distro (apt, RPM, whatever). Don't want to wait? Welcome to dependancies. Here comes the learning curve.

Some of Linux's "faults" would become a nightmare if fixed (Lindows). Linux isn't supposed to be a Grandmother-easy to set up and configure system. It never has and every attempt to make it so has come short. Linux continues to become easier, but without a standards base, it can not become what these people are asking for. Close, but not quite.

If LSB and other such things became default for most major distro's... much of these things would change. But again... there will always be complaints. Linux's greatness is not in its ease of use (though it is fairly easy now, depending on your hardware), it is in the fact that you get nearly complete control over the system and what it does. Want complete control over Windows with the same flexability and power of Linux? 163+ third party applications.

/rant

@darius
by Gnobuddy on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 19:42 UTC

Darius wrote:
----------------------------------------------------------
So, what is your point, exactly? Any OS becomes usable when you have a resident OS guru there to answer all of your problems.
---------------------------------------------------------

That's my point exactly. Linux IS as usable as any other operating system available today, except for certain initial setup and configuration tasks. EXACTLY the same thing is true of Windows, OS X, FreeBSD, and every other general purpose PC operating system I know of.

The people I gave Linux boxes to are not power users and likely never will be. They will be no more successfull hunting for Windows drivers for their new printer than they are installing a printer under Linux.

I get far, far, far fewer calls supporting the two Linux boxes than I used to get supporting the Windows box I first gave to the grandmother in question. When she ran Windows something went wrong every week, from the virus du jour to registry corruption to BSOD's. I very quickly decided to switch her to Linux, since she had no significant previous experience with Windows to make the change difficult. The switch has been a boon for both her and myself.


---------------------------------------------------------
For example, whenever my close friends and family members have a problem with their Windows box (which seems to be often for some), they call me. If they were to switch the Linux, who the hell are they gonna call?
---------------------------------------------------------


Firstly, they wouldn't have anywhere near the same number of issues, since the majority of Windows issues relate to malware of some sort. Secondly, your argument is essentially the same as "nobody should buy a Ferrari, because it's harder to find a mechanic for one than for a Chevy". That's fine, if you're quite happy to drive low quality GM cars. But there are those who like better performance and will put up with the attendant disadvantages of owning a Ferrari for the overall better driving experience.

-Gnobuddy

@Solwarz
by Gnobuddy on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:01 UTC

Solwarz wrote:
---------------------------------------------------------
I encountered all of the following when installing Red Hat 8 on my mother's computer a long time ago - my first and only adventure into installing Linux for a normal user:

"How do I watch this movie?" (embedded Quicktime/RealMedia/Windows video file)
----------------------------------------------------------
Firstly, Linux has improved at a phenomenal rate since then (I wouldn't give any friend Red Hat 8, either). Secondly, IMHO Red Hat is about the worst distro to use when it comes to multimedia, since Red Hat takes pains to not install *anything* remotely likely to cause them legal problems later, such as mp3 codecs or dvdlib. Install Mepis Linux for your mom, it comes very well endowed in the multimedia area. Use apt-get or Synaptic to install Kaffeine and any missing audio/video codecs (there are few missing). Embedded video files are no problem after that, and she'll get a nice GUI that is easy to use.

----------------------------------------------------------
"Why can't I view this file?" (PDF)
----------------------------------------------------------
You gotta be kidding. Set up the association for pdf documents and Kghostview for her. All she has to do is click on any PDF document to have it open.

----------------------------------------------------------
"Why won't this page work?" (Shockwave)
----------------------------------------------------------
I don't have a fix for this one, yet. There are few enough web pages that need Shockwave that this has never been a show-stopper.

----------------------------------------------------------
"Why is this thing giving me error messages?" (Java applet)
----------------------------------------------------------
Umm, install Java before you give her the computer. Mepis may come with java already installed, I do not remember.

----------------------------------------------------------
"Why didn't the printer tell me it was out of ink?" (Printing support)
----------------------------------------------------------
It did. See the fading printouts and low ink level in the tank? They're telling you you're out of ink.

---------------------------------------------------------
In the end I just installed a copy of Windows 98SE and the only thing I had to deal with was "why won't this page load?" and the ilk.
---------------------------------------------------------
You gotta be kidding. During a recent test by Honeynet, every Windows 98 computer connected to the Internet was infected within less than two weeks; IIRC the first one was infected within FIVE MINUTES.

Run Ad-Aware or a similar adware/malware scanner on your mom's Windows 98SE PC, and see if you still feel so good about giving her a Windows PC.

Just to be clear, I am not in any way trying to attack or put you down. I agree with you that RH 8 was in no way a good substitute for Win 98 SE on the desktop. But all versions of Win 9x have just terrible security issues, and Win XP seems to have plenty of problems of its own. Today there are Linux distros quite good for the desktop (Mepis being my top choice).

Mepis Linux is a live CD that can also be installed to the hard drive. Why not test-drive it on your PC (pop it in the drive and reboot), and see what you think? It will only cost you a few minutes, and if RH 8 was your last Linux experience, you will be very pleasantly surprised.

-Gnobuddy

RE: Solwarz
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:17 UTC

"I encountered all of the following when installing Red Hat 8 on my mother's computer a long time ago - my first and only adventure into installing Linux for a normal user..."

Red Hat 8? For one thing Red Hat/Fedora have never been easy and complete desktop distros out of the box: you need to do a lot of extra work.
And then you can't compare Red Hat 8 with a modern linux distribution. Try something like Linspire 5.0, Xandros 3.0 (amazingly easy for a newbie), Mandriva 2005 or perhaps Mepis and you'll notice a world of difference.

The article is mostly right.
by BBlalock on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:20 UTC

When he talks about application installation and the desktop he is spot on.

Whatever the actual OS filesystem is it should be hidden from the desktop user. If the OS drops all its system files into a randomly generated structure of unpronounceable subdirectories that's just fine as long as the desktop user never has to see it.

Ultimately the desktop user should *never* be forced to muck around in system files for any reason. Windows, every Linux distribution I've ever tried, and OSX (I've been messing with a Mac Mini for a few weeks now) arn't there yet.

Gimmie my applications, my documents, and let me connect easily to peripherals and network resources and I'm happy.

@Gnobuddy
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:26 UTC

Here's my thing: at the time, there was nothing "wrong" with using Windows 98SE, it never got any viruses during its three year stint on her computer, and I only had to reformat because of a failing hard-drive that simply couldn't be replaced. Oh, bad sectors, you'll be the death of me.

However, for my mother the internet 'Just Worked' - if she needed to visit a page with shockwave, she'd get a nice friendly automated wizard that hand-held her through it without me having to been there. If she was trying to view an embedded video, automated wizard. Yeah yeah, coulda been a virus, shoulda been a virus, spyware, malware, etc - but she never got any of that, so it was and still is (running under XP Home for her now) a non-issue.

You see, wheither or not something is 'bad' or rarely used does not matter; if my mother wants to visit that web-page, its got to happen, regardless of its design or the technology that it was architected with. Its got to happen *transparently* and with minimal user-interaction.

I can't always be there to hand-hold her as she surfs the internet, and she doesn't have the time to learn apt-get or stumble through synaptic trying to figure out the difference between 'gstreamer' and 'gstreamer-dev.' Synaptic. Synaptic. Synaptic the package manager. Now I have to explain the concept of packages, because she just wants to 'install some stuff?' No thanks. ;)

Its an uphill battle: things in Windows XP work very nicely for her - too nicely. If I switched her to, say, Ubuntu (the friendliest distribution I know of at the moment), would her printer still alert her that the ink levels are low? It does on Windows XP. What kind of hoop-jumping would I have to go through if not? What happens when my mother plugs in a new printer? She actually installed the printer herself when she got her new computer. All she had to do was attach the USB cable (big friendly colored diagram helped there) and Windows XP detected and ran a driver apparently supplied by the printer itself.

Desktops like GNOME and KDE not for everybody yet, in my opinion. I will agree they have become more accessible than they used to be; Gnome's advancements, in particular, totally blew me away. They still have a ways to go, and trying to push them when they're not accessible enough for some particularily inept people will leave bad impressions on those people. The desktops will mature. Check out the stuff for Gnome 3001: A Desktop Oddessy. There's no rush.

Rant over, out!

RE: Anonymous (IP: ---.nrockv01.md.comcast.net)
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:27 UTC

"If you use anything except for one OS, you can figure out the rest. If you only use a Mac or Windows...you are at a disadvantage in understanding the rest."

I couldn't agree more: until I used just one version of Windows I knew absolutely nothing about operating systems.
Once I started using linux and, in time, everything else, I realized that how blind I had been all the time. Besides, even if I hardly ever use Windows now, I understand it a lot better than 95% of Windows users.

Re: Anonymous Penguin
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:28 UTC

I was nit-picking the issue of stability versus usability with my inital comment. I had an itch, man, and no friends with a back-scratcher. What's a fellah to do? Thankfully it wasn't fleas.

I prefer Ubuntu for my desktop PC over Linspire or Xandros. It just smells so fresh, dude. 'specially the whacky default login screen.

Re: Faults?
by Kevin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:30 UTC

waiting for weeks, sometimes MONTHS for someone to compile the newest version of the application for you

So, tell me. How easy is it on other systems to compile the application yourself?

All the years I have been using Windows I always had to wait until someone creates at least a .zip with the compiled program, I woulnd't for my life have managed to build it myself.

@n3wt
by Rayiner Hashem on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:30 UTC

Yeah, it is different, but once you're used to it, its also much more logical, and if we're talking about the average user here, they'll never see anything other than their home directory anyway.

Quoted for truth. The only people who care at all about directory structure are the Windows "power users" who know the Windows structure, but are scared and confused by the UNIX one. Most Windows users I know don't really even understand the concept of a directory structure. They know about "My Documents" the "D: drive" (which they always assume is the cd-rom). Their heads would explode if they ever looked in the windows directory, or in "Documents and Settings".

@Solwarz
by Rayiner Hashem on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:34 UTC

Synaptic the package manager. Now I have to explain the concept of packages, because she just wants to 'install some stuff?'

Is explaining the concept of packages really any different than explaining the concept of an installer?

The article provides 4 unsupported points about issue perceive with Linux which don't seem to apply to major Linux distributions -- except criticisms regarding interdistribution consistency (a valid point).

As a solution, the author gives a run-down of suggestions for addressing the "problems" by simply getting everyone to cooperate with him and modify the conventions wholesale. That would be fine if it were pracitcal and everyone embraced it with gusto -- but frankly the suggestions open up a pretty big can of practical worms.

I don't agree with the database filesystem approach as it buys very little and adds complexity and overhead to the system. If you want the functionality described, a pluggable indexing engine is a far more rational choice.

I don't agree with eliminating the package management paradigm. Package management has gone much farther in eliminating "DLL hell" than the author's solution (personally, I haven't ssen the pheonomenon in years). It also provides alot of powerful features -- repositories, automatic updating, searching for prerequisite packages, addin the ability to audit packages, etc. It's a far more desirable solution -- particulary if you provide a small application to leverage it.

@Rayiner Hashem
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:39 UTC


"Is explaining the concept of packages really any different than explaining the concept of an installer?"


I'm not sure, because I've never really had to explain installers to her. The most I've had to tell her is, "click this link, and follow the prompt." Click, click, icon on desktop.

RE: that's funny
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:42 UTC

"It seems, that linux users are just waiting to see if the next release of their favorite distro will solve the
problems that the last (ie..ajax linux #58) did'nt fix
in the last one. They are always running to the next
release,and most of the time it is just more of the same,
nothing new really..."

Utter nonsense. Only 3 years ago linux was still for geeks only, there was a lot you couldn't do... Now you have basic apps like Acrobat reader, Java, RealPlayer which are identical to the ones for Windows. You have browser, mail, office applications which are better than their Windows counterparts. You can choose between distros like Linspire, Xandros, SUSE, Mandriva, Mepis which are extremely easy to use.
Time is extremely important when it comes to linux: insert a CD with SUSE 9.3 and a window will pop-up asking if you want to open the appropriate application. Install or plug in new hardware and you'll be asked immediately if you want to configure it: better than Windows, because it won't ask you for the driver CD.
An other example: until a few days ago my sound card wasn't working properly. Since kernel 2.6.12 it works beautifully.

@Solwarz (IP: ---.sfldmidn.covad.net)
by pirate on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:44 UTC

And how about explaining the concept of packag to her like this:

Select the application you want to install and then press install?

@Rayiner Hashem
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:46 UTC

On that line of thought here's what I'd like to see installing from the web look like:

(pick your favorite)

*Autopackage.

* A package:// format that would invoke the a package manager (or one with a very simple UI that invoked the apt-get backend) that does not suck. 'You're about to install <APPLICATION-NAME>. Proceed?' Click yes. Apt-get does its magick in the background. If its an application, 'Do you want a desktop icon?' Click. Done. Two steps. Everyone's happy.

@pirate
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:52 UTC

You're making the concept of an installer, one application, with the concept of a package manager, many applications / system libraries / development tools.

The installer has but one purpose: deliever X application. Hence, it is derisively simple: follow the guided prompts, because the installer has been tailored to the application.

The package manager has many purposes: updating old packages, installing new packages, uninstalling already present packages, resolving dependecies.

Hence, this is it:

Start package manager: if they can't figure out the name, you'll have to tell them, because the names are incredibly vague and I haven't seen them tagged with any relevant subtitle like 'Software Installer.'

Search for package: Anywhere from one to several tries, as the wording may be different or they may simply pass over it on first glance: how are they supposed to know Solatire is in libgnome-games? ;) (random library name, don't crucify me.)

Install package: Synaptic thankfully spams you with a console screen of sweet sweet loving, because that's the sort of stuff you *NEED* to be staring at. Its actually quite irrelevant, since my mother considers that sort of thing 'stupid computer stuff' and wouldn't bother looking paying attention to it.

There's no desktop icon and Synaptic does not tell you where a shortcut, if any, has been installed: look for file in any number of 'Application' menu entries just in case.

Software Install IS a problem without a repository.
by gwen on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:53 UTC

Obviously, if people are having a difficult time installing programs without a repository, then there IS A PROBLEM!

Accept that please, and then help implement a universal installer that will most likely be the greatest advantage for the Linux. It will even bring in more commercial software into Linux.

Doing this does not mean it will replace apt/yum/etc, but will be beneficial for what is not in a repository, as well as enhancing Linux overall.

If you don't want it, that's fine. Deal with all the different packages created for every Linux distro. Now that's what I call redundany.

Summation of my rantings:
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:55 UTC

Just because it works now does not mean it cannot work better.

Re: Oh no
by David on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 20:58 UTC

No, it isn't. It's different than what people are accustomed to, but it sure isn't complicated.

Yes it is. No ISV can ever contemplate supporting umpteen package installers, and supporting them, and it is simply far easier to install and configure software on Windows with a built-in installer.

The repository installation model works extremely well in most cases on servers, but it falls apart when you are installed more widely and especially on desktops. It works great for installing and maintaining a base system, but any widely used software on top (especially for ISVs to consider) is just way too complicated and restrictive.

The fact is I can install and configure software like MySQL far faster and easier on Windows with an installer than I can on any incarnation of Linux. That cheeses me off. Of course, it doesn't run anywhere near as well though...

Yes, Joe User and my mom don't use linux because of its confusing directory structure. Please...
And don't tell me the directory structure of other systems make more sense, it doesn't.


The article isn't talking about Mum and Joe User but people out there in businesses looking to use it and ISVs to support it. The article is hinting at the wider issues. There needs to be specific and exact standards about where things are and look at the issues of files scattered in many different places.

The biggest issue for the desktop is the fact that all of your configuration files are lumped into /home, but there is no standard equivalent of 'My Documents' to keep things separate, in the same way Windows has Application Data underneath My Documents.

The article falls down a bit there though, as it even states that OS X doesn't show /usr etc. even though users don't see all those directories at all on any desktop on Linux, at least without some effort. /home is the centre of the universe. Arguably, Linux is much, much better here.

While I agree that it is far from perfect it sure isn't more confusing or inconsistent than the alternatives.

The article is talking about the fact that there is more than one desktop, but most of all, that there isn't enough integration with system components outside of the desktop itself.

As is the case with any OS out there.

I can agree with that. Once you go beyond a certain point, even on Windows, you need someone with a certain amount of expertise. There is a general myth that does the rounds as to how easy Windows is to configure for the lay-person in particular. It isn't.

Did it ever occur to people like batsy that being a hughe success on the desktop in this kind of cirumstances might take some time, no matter what the directory structure of Linux might be?

Well yes, but even if that weren't the case there are still some large issues for Linux distributions to overcome and many of them are showstoppers on widely used and distributed desktop.

RE: Solwarz
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:00 UTC

"If I switched her to, say, Ubuntu (the friendliest distribution I know of at the moment), would her printer still alert her that the ink levels are low? It does on Windows XP. What kind of hoop-jumping would I have to go through if not?"

Use Turboprint?

"What happens when my mother plugs in a new printer? She actually installed the printer herself when she got her new computer. All she had to do was attach the USB cable (big friendly colored diagram helped there) and Windows XP detected and ran a driver apparently supplied by the printer itself."

With SUSE it is even easier: a pop-up window will show asking if you want to configure your new printer and you don't even need a driver CD.

@Solwarz (IP: ---.sfldmidn.covad.net)
by pirate on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:03 UTC

Now you are the one confusing something.
Don't get me wrong, I would never argue that synaptic shouldn't be more userfriendly, but that's beside the point here.

You argued that on Windows your mother only had to click on the installer a few times and everything was ready, whereas synaptic was confusing, as there are so many packages listed.
However, you leave the part of your mother finding the package she wants to install on windows out of this comparison, which totally invalidates it.

So how does she find the software?
Does she search google, browse tucows or simply browses from the selection of her local computer store?

Re: Anonymous Penguin
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:04 UTC

"Use Turboprint?"

Man, if I wanted to pay for something I'd buy Windows. ;)

"With SUSE it is even easier: a pop-up window will show
asking if you want to configure your new printer and you don't even need a driver CD."


Dude, that's total hotness!

The Appfolder Concept
by David on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:04 UTC

The best solution yet to emerge for application installation is the NeXT/OS X AppFolder concept. Put simply, the entire application is packaged into an folder with a special extension.

The Appfolder concept is totally misguided. When you have a platform like OS X that only really has a few software packages that you can install, and then you leave it, it works OK. On a more widely used and developed system however, it drops to pieces.

However, once you have a system where people are doing a lot of software development and you start sharing and using components within organisations this becomes totally impractical. It simply doesn't work.

Re: Oh no
by Kevin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:13 UTC

It [repository installation modell] works great for installing and maintaining a base system, but any widely used software on top (especially for ISVs to consider) is just way too complicated and restrictive

Why so?
Hasn't this worked for decades in large installation?
Central software deployment?

Creating an apt-get enabled repository is quite easy and you only have to do it one time.
Once could even automate the task of inserting a new version of product into the repository.

Using the current website+download method is a lot more work on the ISVs side.
They have to maintain the site, links and put the new version package on the ftp/http servers.

RE: Solwarz
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:17 UTC

>>"Use Turboprint?"

Man, if I wanted to pay for something I'd buy Windows. ;) <<

Use the free version, maybe?

@pirate
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:19 UTC

I disagree, my man. My main problem is there is no 'direct link' -- you can't just hit a URL and have Synaptic handle everything from there. You have to manually go to Synaptic, manually search, manually select, manually download. Not that downloading software with pre-meditation is bad, but the exercise required is troublesome and very confusing.

She gets software the 'social' way: her friends e-mail her and tell her to go to this site, go to that site; check out this cool photo-album manager, she saw this new gardening thing in an article on that HGTV website. To be honest I don't keep that close tabs on her; I just generally walk in on her playing with software I didn't install from her.

Synaptic lacks that concept. I could 'train' her to use Synaptic in about half an hour, but I would rather inntutive software do the talking when I'm not around for that kind of thing. Its another thing she has to remember /absolutely/ or she has the potential to break many, many things via Synaptic.

The one biggie Synaptic has over Windows is the way it handles uninstall. 'Hey, I dragged this application to the trashcan but, ...' is something that requires my attention a lot, due to Window XP's informative 'you're not really deleting the application, dummy!' prompt. Its one of those things, that, while being technically correct, is completely and utterly worthless. It is not an act of God to query the registry to see if an application with the same name of the shortcut has an uninstaller associated with it.

I like the AppFolders concept presented in the article. I think more operating systems should embrace that concept.

Re: Anonymous Penguin
by Solwarz on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:22 UTC

She likes to print out her photos on that high-gloss stuff, and having each one smackered with a logo would get me crucified in a quick-minute.

RE: The article is mostly right.
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:40 UTC

"Gimmie my applications, my documents, and let me connect easily to peripherals and network resources and I'm happy."

And gimmie my daily/weekly virus/malware applications updating and running, file and registry cleaning, defragmentation, scandisk...

Or give me my monthly reinstall, because if I don't do (some of) the above my system will be fubar in no time.

You are more productive in Windows? Save for the time you need for maintanance.

@Solwarz (IP: ---.sfldmidn.covad.net)
by pirate on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:42 UTC

"You have to manually go to Synaptic, manually search, manually select, manually download. Not that downloading software with pre-meditation is bad, but the exercise required is troublesome and very confusing."

Yes, ain't that terrible, you have to start the program to use it, then you have to search within one application for the package you want to install, select the package and then press install. Very troublesome and very confusing, indeed.

Compare that to windows, where you either have to roam the web and find what you are looking for through searching the web, not just one centralized app, or rely on your girlfriends to recomend you a program (note, it's also possible to recomend programs that are installable via synaptic), then, after you found the program you'll have to navigate the site to find the actual download, download the program, installer, or zip archive, then open explorer to navigate to the location to where you downloaded it, then install it by either running the installer, unziping it, then navigate the directory to find something called install.exe or setup.exe, now answer a few easy to answer questions, in the process taking car of not giving away to much of your privacy and of course makeing sure that the random program you got of the net doesn't include spy or malware and that's it.

Yep, I can really see your point, my man.

Well...
by Timerever on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 21:55 UTC

I'll just write what someone once said somewhere:

If Linux is safer, faster, robuster, easier, better and it's even free why isn't everybody using it?

Think about it

v Re: Well...
by pirate on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:01 UTC
RE: article
by Anonymous Penguin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:03 UTC

"Despite the constant predictions of "This year will be the year of the Linux desktop", such predictions have yet to become reality"

I disagree. Every year is "the year of the Linux desktop" better than the previous.
Early in 2003 I was about to give up, because my laptop was highly incompatible with most linux distros. SUSE 8.2 and Libranet kept me going. Then SUSE 9.0 came out, which at the time was computing Nirvana for me. I have never looked back. In 2005 linux isn't missing anything important, IMO, not even ease of use/usability if you choose the right distro.
It can only get better. I am looking forward to OpenOffce 2 final, KDE 4, Reiser4 becoming widely used...
As to ease of use I installed linux for a 8 years old, and he finds it just as easy as Windows.

Re: Re: Oh no
by David on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:03 UTC

Why so?
Hasn't this worked for decades in large installation?
Central software deployment?


Yes - in a controlled environment. Everyone in the world who uses a desktop, and ISVs who develop software, cannot be brought into that controlled environment.

Creating an apt-get enabled repository is quite easy and you only have to do it one time.

Create an apt-get repository for what system? A lot of systems don't use apt-get, and even those that do use the same package management system have different configurations and pre-installed software. What happens if you've got dependencies that conflict with another repository that a user uses for other software? It simply doesn't work like that for ISVs. They need a solid and stable target to install on top of, not be a part of. That's a crucial difference.

Using the current website+download method is a lot more work on the ISVs side.

Nowhere near as much work as maintaining packages for many different distributions and packaging systems, and then monitoring the situation for any breakage when new packages are released for different distributions.

Well, D'oh
by Emil Oppeln-Bronikowski on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:05 UTC

I lasted only to his four weakness, that he listed there.

Installing Applications is complicated -- It's easy. All aplication comes within distribution, they are mostly managed by nice frontends and powerful shell tools (whatever floats your boat). Also, you can upgrade whole system with one click. Try that with Windows.

Directory structures can be confusing to navigate -- Sure. And Windows structures as so plain, that you can actualy read them as a bed stories. Why a normal, non-admin user should leave his ~ in a first place? There's nothing for him there, anyway!

Interface is confusing and inconsistent -- try distribution that comes with focus on one DE, ie. Kubuntu/Ubuntu. If you install something that don't follow KDE/Gnome look on your GNOME/KDE desktop, then you're to blame. If I install Windows program that uses his author's toolkit, should I blame Windows, or user?

Steep learning curve required to understand system functions -- you only think that's true, because most of people are spoon-feeded with Windows durning school. Try someone without computer knowledge. I can bet learning curve will be the same for him, whatever he will pickup Windows, Linux or MacOSX.

Re: Well...
by Timerever on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:11 UTC

Infact I think it was someone at Slashdot....

Re: Well...
by pirate on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:17 UTC

"Infact I think it was someone at Slashdot...."

Ah, so it was someone speaking with real authority...

Anyway, the issue you are raising has already been discussed, look at my first post here for example.

Re: Re: Oh no
by Kevin on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:28 UTC

Yes - in a controlled environment

A control environment is an advantage, but ISVs use respositories for the mass market as well.

For example the last time I installed QuickTime Player on Windows, the installer only was a small download engine/package manager that connected to a repository and fetched the components it needed to install.

Or do you think it connects to some website, parses the HTML and downloads from there?

Another good example is the Java installer. It can detect what is already present and just download what it needs additionally.

But maybe it also connects to some secret website instead of a repository for components?

Create an apt-get repository for what system?

apt-get is just an example for a repository based system
It doesn't have to be apt, but I guess is the most widely used one after apt4rpm became available.

The point is that creating a machine queryable software repository is less work than making a user queryable one.

Nowhere near as much work as maintaining packages for many different distributions

How is this related to the repository based installation modell?

If, say, you create a repository for Windows software, does it make the program packages automagically incompatible with the system?
(Obviously not as ISVs wouldn't use it then, but they do)

Isn't this a problem created by the package formats and package managers?

interesting
by Anonymous on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:53 UTC

All interesting points, most of which keep showing up as problem areas. His idea about system app images is a bit weird since an average system has 400+ binaries at hand and no one would want the worst case scenario of 400 mounted images. The author also forgot about device-mapper writable snapshots, which allows one to make read-only media temporarily writable. A database FS is pretty pointless, the problem is just organization not finding hidden data. Most Linux systems today have more system data that needs retrieving instead of user data. All in all, Linux as we see it today is just the beginning, just the ground work for others to improve. We shall see where these discussions go, and hope something constructive results from them.

Re: Several things.
by Lee Nooks on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 22:54 UTC

Nice article. Addresses some valid points.

Personally, I'd not go for such a radical change. But I see the possibility of a desktop environment and/or desktop distro incorporating some of these concepts.

I'd only point out that Linux is good _enough_ the way it is now. Mind you, in corporations you always have a guru nearby. This is called "Helpdesk" or "Service Desk". You are often prohibited by company policies from tampering with your desktop -- and _must_ resort to guru help even if you know better.

Regarding homes, whoa... how difficult is it to install Knoppix or derivates these days? And if people use Linux at work, they will use it at home soon enough.

Of all these posts, only two dudes are defending Windows, Darius and Solwarz. This is good in itself.

Darius fears his friends will call him to fix Linux, which they won't do. Linux doesn't have so many problems like Windows (ok, maybe once a year) -- and over here, Linux support is offered in banners on the street. One just has to use the phone; it cannot get much easier than that...

Solwarz is talking about RedHat 8. This is ancient. We're way past that, so much it's not called Red Hat anymore, it's Fedora -- and version 4, no less.

Folks, sorry to bust your bubble and not dedicate the time you surely deserve: Linux is being used on the desktop in schools and in government-sponsored internet/openoffice centers, which provide computer access for poor people. Please notice that users of these centers go there for internet research, public services, personal document preparation etc. They use Openoffice for that.

Yes, you heard it right. People with low-income using Linux desktops.

May be Linux is ready for the poor fellow desktop?

This "not-ready-yet" thing is so 2001...

Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by David on Sat 2nd Jul 2005 23:40 UTC

but ISVs use respositories for the mass market as well.

So before a piece of software can be installed on Windows the ISV has to submit it to Microsoft first so they can put it into their repository? That's what you've got with a Linux distribution. You could add another repository, but you've still got the problems of different package management types and a moving base system target.

No, it just doesn't work like that and it can't either. Microsoft might probably like to do that, but it is simply impractical.

For example the last time I installed QuickTime Player on Windows, the installer only was a small download engine/package manager that connected to a repository and fetched the components it needed to install.

Regardless of whether a download engine is used, whatever comes down still has to be installed and the ISV still has to target a base system. And can you install a download manager like that on a Linux distribution and have it reliably install the software? No you can't, because software installation is managed (officiall, and reliably) via a package manager, you have to know what that package manager is, and even then you still cannot be sure what base system your software be installed on - ergo, you cannot rely on anything that will be pre-installed. That's an absolute no-go for ISVs.

I think you've misunderstood this quite a bit.

Or do you think it connects to some website, parses the HTML and downloads from there?

You're well off the beaten track there.

Another good example is the Java installer. It can detect what is already present and just download what it needs additionally.

These are both applications that install themselves independently. Linux distributions have a central repository and package manager. An ISV can't support anything like this independently of the main package system, simply because if the system gets updated via the official method bad things will inevitably happen. You've also got more than one distribution to support doing this as well.

The only way you can reliably do what Quicktime and Java does above on a Linux distribution is to have a solid, stable base system to target (maintained in the usual repository way) and a simple install/uninstall system for software on top of that that could use the underlying package management services. Whatever though, you need a solid base system.

apt-get is just an example for a repository based system
It doesn't have to be apt, but I guess is the most widely used one after apt4rpm became available.


An ISV will not target apt-get, apt4rpm, urpmi and the umpteen other package managers. Even then, different distributions handle these package managers in different ways, and even then, an ISV can never be sure what will actually be installed on the base system and whether specifying an upgrade of the packages it needs will cause problems for a user.

This does not work.

How is this related to the repository based installation modell?

Errr, that's been more than adequately explained. Because when you've got umpteen repositories, package managers, distributions, and even versions for crying out loud, you need to target each one. Have a look at this:

http://www.nomachine.com/download_fil2.php?Prod_Id=16

compared to this:

http://www.nomachine.com/download_server_linux.php?server=personal

and tell me which one you think is going to be better to install. Notice that not only have you got packages for each different Linux distribution in their native packaging format, but worse, you've also got them for specific versions of each distribution as well. You could then get them into a distribution's repository, but that takes time, effort, more testing and you still have all the same problems as above. Your also tied to a distribution's release schedules and policies, and worse, you have to deal with more than one. You could create your own repository, but again, you're still ultimately tied into the base repository of the distribution. There's a reason why companies like Red Hat and Suse like their package managers, because it creates a form of lock-in.

Now tell me how just much effort and cost that all is for an ISV.

The point is that creating a machine queryable software repository is less work than making a user queryable one.

Not for the wide variety of software out there and not for the wide variety of software available should ISVs get more involved with desktop Linux. Why do you think the ISV above has downloadable RPMs, DEBs etc. for each distribution? Because the repository method simply isn't practical or fast enough in terms of getting the software to market nor does it provide any way whatsoever of conveniently configuring your software on install.

If, say, you create a repository for Windows software, does it make the program packages automagically incompatible with the system?

No, because Windows as a base system is nowhere near as much a moving target as a Linux distributions, or a set of Linux distributions, are. For ISVs to develop and provide installable software they can't have a moving target. That's what Windows gives them. The problem is that on a Linux distribution any package an ISV creates ties directly into the the base system itself, there's more than one distribution, and worse, the base system isn't consistent.

I know a lot of people out there think love this repository installation idea as a silver bullet, but it simply isn't going to work if desktop Linux is to get any more popular or to be practical.

I agree with the article
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:00 UTC

Linux is for developpers. Period.
When I read comments such as the first one, it makes me creazy. If Linux is so easy my Dear, then why don't all your friends and relatives use it?!! Linux is free, has a whole community pushing it for years to the market, and no one (other than programmers, teachers, and sysadmins) want it. Is the problem the end-user? If you reply "Yes", then you're really narrow-minded and you need to open your eyes wide-open.

Linux IS difficult to learn, and you DO have a steeper learning curve than Windows and OSX, this is an understantment. I have to use Linux at work, and I don't like it. It's been a pain to learn the man pages, it's been a pain to learn all the distro's specificities, and it's ALWAYS A PAIN TO HAVE TO USE THE CONSOLE.

So, you think anybody can use Linux? How are they going to configure a Winmodem? They don't even know what a Winmodem is. How are they going to print? How are they going to use MS Office (CrossOverOffice don't count, OpenOffice.org neither). How can you use Photoshop? I see you with your "solutions", "Read the manual", "download this and that", "open the terminal and type this and that", "Search on Google, you'll find the answer". These are not solution for the end user, these are not even solutions to the power user. People want something that just work, not just a kernel + a piece of crappy software like the GIMP or OpenOffice.

People pay a high price for proprietary software, you don't understant them, but they have their work done at least. They don't understand how you can have your work done with Linux and Gnome. Two different worlds, no need to argue really, but please don't criticize Windows users. I understand them, I use Windows at home thank God. I don't like the inferior software dictatureship. No thank.

Comments like yours makes my sick.

Incremental improvements
by anon on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:21 UTC

It can only get better. I am looking forward to OpenOffce 2 final, KDE 4, Reiser4 becoming widely used...

I'd agree with that - "desktop Linux" as such, doesn't have to do anything in a hurry - the elements that make it up, such as the Kernel, X, Desktop Environments/window managers, Toolkits, Gcc, Filesystems etc etc..... keep on improving incrementally[i] month in, month out, year in, year out..... and this will continue a pace - further, as the desktop Linux experience improves, more and more individuals will no doubt find it increasingly [i]sufficient for their computing needs, not to mention a FREE price tag ;)

Few points to correct
by Finalzone on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:21 UTC

Firstly, Linux has improved at a phenomenal rate since then (I wouldn't give any friend Red Hat 8, either). Secondly, IMHO Red Hat is about the worst distro to use when it comes to multimedia, since Red Hat takes pains to not install *anything* remotely likely to cause them legal problems later, such as mp3 codecs or dvdlib.
First, Red Hat is now an enterprise distro company. Second, Fedora replaces Red Hat Linux as the base distro for future Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHE4 is the first). Since Fedora Core is a open source OS, it uses ogg formats for multimedia. For users, it is easy to install proprietary from third party repositories. So stating "Red Hat is about the worst distro to use when it comes to multimedia" might be true for Red Hat 8, it is false for Fedora Core. That's why a forum like fedoraforum.org exist to support new users. I have read a 75 years old users succesfully using Fedora Core without a problem.

"Why won't this page work?" (Shockwave)
Ask Macromedia (now part of Adobe) to enable support for Linux.



Joe User (IP: ---.ctame704.dsl.brasiltelecom.net.br)
by Finalzone on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:23 UTC

When you said Linux, which distribution do you use?

Linux fails miserably on the desktop
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:28 UTC

While Linux works great as a server after much pain to configure (sysadmins know what I'm talking about), most users will be clueless on how to use it on the desktop.

Look what they need to do: Need to know the horizontal and vertical refresh rate, need to know the model of the video board, available video memory, need to configure X.org (It always fails at least 10 times until you find out what the problem is, configuration of X.org in text mode, set up samba (good luck), set up the printer (good luck too), set up the network (good luck too), configure the display settings, resolution, install software (good luck), installing software fails most of the time, especially if you compile the software.

Before managing to do all that, they first need to be computer-savvy. They also need to read books and online manuals on Linux, they need to read through the hardware compatibility list, they need to visit forums, etc...

All this is a huge amount of time, if you convert these days into money you can buy tens of Windows licenses, so do the math, and then we talk. No to forget that the mostly used software is not available on Windows, so you'll need at least a dual boot, and go back and forth from Linux to Windows. What's the point? How do you run Autocad, Flash MX 2004, Corel Draw, Swift, 3DS or Plasma on Linux?

100% gree
by anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:28 UTC

I have been a linux user for over 5 years ( currently gentoo ), windows since 3.11 and a few experience with osx, and i have to say that i am 100% agree with this guy. linux is not yet a DESKTOP OS.

I really don't understand why there are so much people that canít evaluate this article in an objective way.

This is not an article that talks bad about linux, it's just suggesting how linux can be better for home and simple users.

a lot people commenting this looks like childs crying because someone is telling you linux itís not perfect...

the problem with Linux...
by slash on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:36 UTC

While both Windows and Linux have difficult directory structures (Windows probably more so since it heavily relies not only on files, but also it's registry), the difference between the two systems is large. Windows has professionally designed, logical, easy to use, grapical tools to manage everything. On the other hand, half of the functionality in Linux is hidden in the command line, and the rest have the functions are embedded in inconsistent tools that change from one release to another. Open MMC in Windows, and you can see that everything is so well organized so well. Linux has no equivalent. Windows GUI feels like a professionaly designed configuration utility. Linux GUI tools feel like Lego peaces stuck together haphazardly.
I love Linux for what it is. Linux has a great, consistent directory structure and great consistent shell tools to manage everything. I am easily able to configure everything in Linux through the shell. And Even though Microsoft has tried to add a lot of functionality to the command line, I find the Windows commands poorly organized and inconsistent. Ever try managing WINS, DNS, DHCP, Active Directory through the command line? It is extremely slow and you need to have a reference book in front of you. The tools Microsoft provides you to manage Windows through the command line are piss poor.
But while Linux blows Windows on the command line, most regular users don't care about it and would rather point and click. Unfortunately, Linux does this extremely poorly. Just look at the popularity of MacOS X, a Unix that has a well designed interface, and you can easily see the limitations of the Linux GUI.

@ Finalzone (IP: ---.bchsia.telus.net)
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:39 UTC

> When you said Linux, which distribution do you use?

We use Ubuntu. It IS supposed to be easy to use. It's not. Install Ubuntu, the network isn't configured automatically. You'll have a hard time installing software you DO need to have your work done such as MS Office (OpenOffice isn't compatible with some MS Word documents, they are all messed up), a PDF converter, and other software. Configuring WINE is really complicated and takes much time. There are always errors.

It is common to waste a whole day configuring something that would take 20 mins on Windows or OS X. I hate Linux. I'd rather pay 10x the price of a Windows license to stay away from Linux. And Ubuntu's Gnome is ugly. Arghhh!!!!

I doubt Linux dramatically improves over time. I think it'll keep on improving little by little, but with the advent of Longhorn next year, Linux will decline on the desktop. It makes sense, only the best survive. People want something they can use. When will you f%&king understand it, damn!

Article is SPOT-ON.
by xVariable on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:44 UTC

I'm am probably in the top 5% of skill when it comes to PCs. I do somehobby coding (c/++/#) on the side, and know my way around PHP, et al. Of course I build my own systems, and my apartment is wired 10 ways from sundown with PC tech. So, I'm not talking out of my ass.

I use Linux. I built my systems using the Linux from Scratch guide and Slacky as the build environment. I also run Windows, and I have a couple of Apple boxes too. In my experience, without a doubt, Linux is definitely the most unfriendly of them all on the desktop. It goes OS X, Windows, and Linux regarding useability. To anyone that has uses them all (and doesn't have a zealous agenda), this is obvious. Linux is getting better (indeed, it's a lot better recently).

Linux isn't being done any favors by the marginal... "individuals" that try so vocally to ignore the platform's shortcommings. Fortunately, their not-so-well-intentioned behavior won't count for much in the long run, either, since the bulk of developement these days is done by responsible corporate interests. Linux WILL, in good time, go mainstream in spite of the freaks.

reply to Joe User (IP: ---.ctame704.dsl.brasiltelecom.net.br)
by Finalzone on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 00:51 UTC

While Linux works great as a server after much pain to configure (sysadmins know what I'm talking about), most users will be clueless on how to use it on the desktop.
Please answer the question I posted: which Linux distro did you use? That applied for the below quote.

Look what they need to do: Need to know the horizontal and vertical refresh rate, need to know the model of the video board, available video memory, need to configure X.org (It always fails at least 10 times until you find out what the problem is, configuration of X.org in text mode, set up samba (good luck), set up the printer (good luck too), set up the network (good luck too), configure the display settings, resolution, install software (good luck), installing software fails most of the time, especially if you compile the software.

Before managing to do all that, they first need to be computer-savvy. They also need to read books and online manuals on Linux, they need to read through the hardware compatibility list, they need to visit forums, etc...
Already available for different Linux distros such as fedoraforum.org, ubuntuforum.org, mepis.com, etc.

All this is a huge amount of time, if you convert these days into money you can buy tens of Windows licenses, so do the math, and then we talk. No to forget that the mostly used software is not available on Windows, so you'll need at least a dual boot, and go back and forth from Linux to Windows. What's the point? How do you run Autocad, Flash MX 2004, Corel Draw, Swift, 3DS or Plasma on Linux
Since you can access Internet, did you bother to look for alternative? Here is the link: http://www.linuxrsp.ru/win-lin-soft/table-eng.html

Re: Finalzone (IP: ---.bchsia.telus.net)
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:02 UTC

Since you can access Internet, did you bother to look for alternative? Here is the link: http://www.linuxrsp.ru/win-lin-soft/table-eng.html

I know this link. These are no alternative. Can the GIMP save as .PSD? No. Can it work with layers? No. Does it work ok with anti-aliased? No. Have I tried it? Yes, and I have insisted. Is it crap? It is. How about OO.o ? Genuine Word documents are all messed up in OO.o, is it normal, come on? How can you work with crappy software in a company?

What is the equivalent for CorelDraw that will save your file as .CDR? Remember, local printers only accept CorelDraw files. People who create business cards, outdoor advertisement and all that NEED CorelDraw, because of its proprietary file format. How can you create a Flash animation in Linux if your customer asks for it? Call him "stupid" and loose money. The list of alternative software is biased. you can't use The GIMP for production, sorry, I wouln't even use it at home. I gave it a try, and it's really crappy.

Money and Time run things. Workers want to have their job done.

reply to Joe User (IP: ---.ctame704.dsl.brasiltelecom.net.br)
by Finalzone on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:04 UTC

We use Ubuntu. It IS supposed to be easy to use. It's not. Install Ubuntu, the network isn't configured automatically. You'll have a hard time installing software you DO need to have your work done such as MS Office (OpenOffice isn't compatible with some MS Word documents, they are all messed up), a PDF converter, and other software. Configuring WINE is really complicated and takes much time. There are always errors.
I presume you use Hoary version which uses OpenOffice.org version 1.14 that does not propertly support Microsoft doc format. Since you feel Ubuntu is not for you, you should try other distros such as Fedora Core 4 which provide OpenOffice.org pre-2.0(improved MS doc format support). It also provide KDE if you don't like Gnome. Also check out www.distrowatch.org to look for a distro that suits you needs.

When you state Linux overall, you made a mistake that all Linux distros are the same.

Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by Kevin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:06 UTC

So before a piece of software can be installed on Windows the ISV has to submit it to Microsoft first so they can put it into their repository?

No, of course not. I never said that there has to be a single repository. None of the current system requires this.

but you've still got the problems of different package management types and a moving base system target.

Well, yes. That makes the situation problematic, not the machine query/download. That's the whole point!

Just because on one operating system (Linux) there is a fragmentation on the package management part, doesn't make the repository approach unusable.

You agree later on that for example Windows would be stationary enought.

So if you had a system with both the long time compatability (obviously doable, see Windows) and a dependency checking/resolving package managment (obviously doable, see Linux) you can easily query/find/install software machine-enabled.

Having the check for new versions, download and install handled in a single subsystem is IMHO way better than having each application call home at uncontrolable times, having non or very few checks on duplication.

ergo, you cannot rely on anything that will be pre-installed.

You are always basing your judgement of a repository based software distribution model on the situation of the current implementation in Linux distributions.

simply because if the system gets updated via the official method bad things will inevitably happen

How so?
As long as the dependencies stated by the ISVs package remain in the system, nothing has changed from the ISVs prespective.

You've also got more than one distribution to support doing this as well.

I see. Using a repository bases distribution model automatically results in more than one operating system distribution an ISV has to support.
Lucky that Windows don't use that model yet, it would autotically lead to some other company distribution Windows as well.

Whatever though, you need a solid base system

Oh, so you think it can work given that the prerequistes are OK?
Did a miracly occur and all the bad things about respository based software distribution just vanished?

I guess they just never existed.

An ISV will not target apt-get, apt4rpm, urpmi and the umpteen other package managers

Yes I know "example" is a really difficult to understand word. Not your fault.

Now tell me how just much effort and cost that all is for an ISV.

I didn't claim that the current package manager situation makes this viable, all I claimed was that a repository based software distribution method is a good idea and already used even on systems without common methods for dependecy checking, in which case the installers have to do it themselves.

Why do you think the ISV above has downloadable RPMs, DEBs etc. for each distribution?

Because they want to have their software run on different Linux systems?

The problem is that on a Linux distribution any package an ISV creates ties directly into the the base system itself

Yes

there's more than one distribution, and worse, the base system isn't consistent.

Yes, but absolutely independend from the distribution model.

But of course it is convenient to base judgement of a technology on the state of a broken implementation.

Its like saying video over data networks cannot work, because the modems in 1990 are too slow.

Like there is no progress

reply to Joe User (IP: ---.ctame704.dsl.brasiltelecom.net.br)
by Finalzone on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:12 UTC

I know this link. These are no alternative. Can the GIMP save as .PSD? No.
Incorrect, Gimp 2.0 and up can save as .psd. Looks like you didn't check the extension while saving.

Can it work with layers? No.
It works. I wonde which Gimp version you used.

Does it work ok with anti-aliased? No.
It does.

Have I tried it? Yes, and I have insisted.
Looks like you have an entire different version. Probably from your Ubuntu experience.

How about OO.o ? Genuine Word documents are all messed up in OO.o, is it normal, come on? How can you work with crappy software in a compan
See my previous post. Look slike yo use OO.o version 1.14. You haven't try OO.o 2.0 test, did you?


Overall, your frustration came from using solely Ubuntu (I suppose you use Hoary version).

Regarding the "troll" comments
by GreenDot on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:23 UTC

Instead of people saying "oh lord a troller", maybe the community should take some note of good ideas. Just because Linux could be easier to use doesn't mean it makes it a bad OS. Take some lessons and if you think you can create a more modern envoironment for living with the most powerful OS, then go for it. Don't start telling others they are "trolls" because they have an idea. It's you people who are the brick walls the Linux world comes to. Stop it now, because there will be a day when the brick wall will come head to head with a wrecking ball and just take a guess who will win that little conflict? Try to live a little. Aparently the Linux world is filled with communists or republicans that are too afraid of change (even though thats the part of the purpose of open source technology). Change is not always, but unstructured change is. This guy offers a very nice and easy way of getting something done.

On my own note: I'm sick of geeks running the design of an OS, and I think more innovative minds should design the way it's set up, and let the geeks worry about the stability of the kernel etc. The file structure in Linux is the same complexity as KDE. Too many options and not enough productivity. I spend a week getting my KDE working the way I wanted before I was able to do anything for myself. That was years ago, and since then I switched to Gnome because it's a lot easier to just get in and get stuff done. Like I said, take people who aren't programmers and give their ideals a spin. Just because someone can't produce something worthwhile doesn't mean their ideas are crap. If that was the case we wouldn't have video games. SOMEONE has to come up with an idea, and SOMEONE ELSE is usually the one programming it, while YET ANOHTER person does the graphics. Don't carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.

RE: Anonymous Penguin
by BBlalock on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:25 UTC

>You are more productive in Windows? Save for the time
>you need for maintanance.

Maintenance? What maintenance?

I haven't got a single anti-virus/anti-spyware program installed on this W2K box and I'm running just fine.

I'm pretty sure that I've never even defragged the hard drive.

The DSL modem my ISP sold me serves as a firewall and as long as I do a bit of research (GOOGLE:programname spyware) before I install anything I don't have to worry about that sort of garbage getting into my PC.

A few simple precautions are all that I've needed for a troublefree windows system.

The user interface issues that were pointed out are applicable to all desktop oriented operating systems, not just Linux.

Making an OS user friendly doesn't have to compromise security either.

Re:RE: Oh no
by Uno Engborg on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:34 UTC


"Installing Applications is complicated"

It is... sort of complicated. It depends. If you're trying to install something random on a random distro, it can be a pain. However, this has largely been addressed by the various package management systems and online repositories. For example, installing something in Ubuntu is really easy, as long as you can do it through Synaptic. However, I still wouldn't ask an average user to compile and all.



True! Compiling is for developers and packagers. That shouln't happen to an end user. By the way have you ever tried to compile something for windows. In most cases that is much more complicated than ./configure, make, make install or rpmbuild -ba specfile.spec. But somehow, nobody accuses Microsoft for making a hard to install system because of that. Nobody blames Microsoft for not having one place where you can get 90% of the software running on windows, but instead let users spend valuable time searching the internet or speaking to sales people to get them.

I think that the main problem with Linux software installation is that it is too easy. Do you remember the old audio cassette decks where there was a tape type selector? There was no need for that selector, the tape type was mechanically code into the cassette. Letting the user have a button to switch made him feel in control, and a little bit like an expert.

Just double click on an rpm link on a website and click OK, or use some package manager like yum or apt takes this away. Even if windows users usually doesn't change anything in windows install dialogs clicking OK a few times gives them the illusion that they are in control.



"Directory structures can be confusing to navigate"

It is a bit complex. Now, really, if you don't know what you're doing, you should pretty well stay contained to your home directory anyway, and anything you wouldn't know what they were should be hidden. So, though I agree that the structure is a bit confusing to those who aren't familiar with it, it shouldn't really be an issue.




You can test this right now if you use Gnome. Just create a .hidden file in each directory containing a list of directories you wan't to hide in that directory.

I have tested this for a while. I have hidden directories like /etc, /usr, /root, /bin, /dev, /proc, /sbin /lib, /sys, This really makes it easier to focus on the files you need for everyday use. At least if you are an ordinary office worker and not a programmer or sysadmin. There are a lot more ordinary users than progrmmers and sysadmins so it would a good idea to hide such files by default.

The authers idea of an application folder is also a very good idea. However I think he should leave the thinking on how to implement them to others. Changeing the well known Unix directory structure would break far too many applications. That shouldn't stop us from showing a folderlike virtual federated application space. The user could install things by dragging rpm or debs into it, leaving an icon for each application.

The user interface, the auther proposes is not very well thought out. Placing icons on the desktop is not such a good idea. They will be covered by the documents the user work with. The Gnome "Programs", "Places" and "Desktop" menu is a far better approach, even though some card sorting game probably could be applied to the contents of the menus.





In my opinion, that's the ironic thing about all this, "What Linux needs to be ready for the desktop" stuff. Many Linux distros are already better than Windows. Fedora, Ubuntu, and SuSE-- they're all easier to install, easier to keep secure, easier to manage, and easier to update than Windows. KDE and Gnome are both as consistent and less ugly than Windows.

So why isn't Linux "winning"? First, people are used to Windows and are scared of change. They don't understand the difference, and they don't want to have to relearn using a computer. Second, Microsoft has engaged in anticompetitive practices which have damaged the ability of Linux applications to be compatible and interoperable with Windows apps. Those are the big reasons right there. That's it. There are good Linux distros out there


Another factor is that Linux haven't been this good very long. I would say the breakthrough was Ubuntu and Gnome 2.10. It looked good and was easy to use. The only thing that made it feel a bit unfinished was the inability to edit the program menu with GUI tools. Now there is such a tool called smeg. Hope something like that gets included in the next Gnome release.

If the system doesn't look & feel good, commersial developers will not bother developing applications for it.
Now, that look and feel is right we probably have to wait a couple of years for the market to grow. This is what happened on the server side. Linux was ready on the server side for quite some time before it was taken seriously.

Re: Linux fails miserably on the desktop
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:39 UTC

While Linux works great as a server after much pain to configure (sysadmins know what I'm talking about)

No I don't actually. Windows servers and all the paraphenalia that comes with it that doesn't work doesn't exactly save me any time.

I don't know why people have this bizarre impression that Windows just works (or thinks that's what the average user thinks) - it doesn't. The average user doesn't get that impression at all. As far as they're concerned computers period, whether installed with Windows or Linux, are difficult to use.

Look what they need to do: Need to know the horizontal and vertical refresh rate, need to know the model of the video board, available video memory, need to configure X.org (It always fails at least 10 times until you find out what the problem is, configuration of X.org in text mode, set up samba (good luck), set up the printer (good luck too), set up the network (good luck too), configure the display settings, resolution, install software (good luck), installing software fails most of the time, especially if you compile the software.

If you get yourself a distribution like Gentoo or Linux from scratch then you need to do the above, and you probably deserve what you get. I've installed Linux many times and never ever needed to do any of the things you've described above. An install of Suse or Mandrake takes me around ten to fifteen minutes. It takes a lot longer than that to get Windows installed, and a few reboots as well. Even when I get it installed I have to re-install all the damn drivers, motherboard drivers, graphics drivers, sound drivers, wireless drivers.........

Windows is not installer friendly and not a pleasant experience.

What's the point? How do you run Autocad, Flash MX 2004, Corel Draw, Swift, 3DS or Plasma on Linux?

You switch to Linux, find alternatives, drive demand for the platform, and quite frankly, save yourself some money because if you're buying the above you have more money than sense.

@Joe User
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 01:52 UTC

It's not. Install Ubuntu, the network isn't configured automatically.

Well no, and neither does Windows. Operating systems like Ubuntu and Windows don't do telepathy very well yet funnily enough. If you have DHCP then you may get an autoconfigured network, but there's no guarantee of that on any OS.

OpenOffice isn't compatible with some MS Word documents, they are all messed up

I've opened up a lot of complex documents with Open Office, including Powerpoint presentations, and never had anything messed up.

a PDF converter, and other software.

God, now I know you're talking bollocks. How much do you think a PDF converter costs for Windows?! Open Office converts to PDF out of the box.

How can you work with crappy software in a company?

Well you obviously do. Besides, it's how you use any software that counts and you've proven to be somewhat less than competent. I wouldn't trust you with writing a simple document with Word, let alone creating a Flash presentation or using Photoshop.

Let's put it this way - if you're trying to do the things you say you're doing, installing operating systems, administrating servers, setting up networks, converting PDFs, creating Flash presentations etc. then you're not a Joe User, OK?

Re: David (IP: ---.freedom2surf.net)
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 02:21 UTC

What's the point? How do you run Autocad, Flash MX 2004, Corel Draw, Swift, 3DS or Plasma on Linux?

You switch to Linux, find alternatives, drive demand for the platform, and quite frankly, save yourself some money because if you're buying the above you have more money than sense.


There are *NO* alternatives to the above. Don't invent a "solution". I'm not buying this software for pleasure. The company has this software to meet the customers's need. If you don't meet the customer's needs you're out and he goes see your competitor, but you seem to have no clue what working, satisfying a customer is. You're the kind of narrow-minded guy who tells his customer he's stupid because he wants to use Oracle because Oracle is open-source and pricy. Linux has to respond to a market need and it fails miserably. Its community has a group of narrow-minded people that are selfish, they think they're right and that the others are wrong because they don't use their "superior" OS. If its were such a good OS, everybody would use it, come os, it's free, you have it on CD-ROMs for free with magazines, Why would people bother going to the store and pay big bucks to something less good?! What's your explanation? What is your "solution" if a customer comes and asks for "a Flash animation or I go and see the competitor"? How do you create a .CDR CorelDraw file in Linux to take to your printer for him to print your business cards? You're clueless, sorry.

If you get yourself a distribution like Gentoo or Linux from scratch then you need to do the above, and you probably deserve what you get. I've installed Linux many times and never ever needed to do any of the things you've described above. An install of Suse or Mandrake takes me around ten to fifteen minutes. It takes a lot longer than that to get Windows installed, and a few reboots as well. Even when I get it installed I have to re-install all the damn drivers, motherboard drivers, graphics drivers, sound drivers, wireless drivers.........


You're pathetic. Be honest, you seem to know what you're talking about, so if you install Gentoo from stage 1 or 2, how many days it takes to compile? Anyway, we're talking about less difficult distros like Mandrake or Fedora. If you have installed Linux several times, you know you won't install all the aforementioned in 10 minutes (OS, network, filesharing, software, WINE, etc...). You can count a whole day if all goes fairely smoothly. On Windows you just have to click "Next". Anybody can do it. It takes an hour to install Windows. If you need to install drivers on Windows, please tell me about Linux! Hardware support is quite poor, and on Windows at least most drivers are integrated into the OS. On Linux they're either unavailable or you need to find it on the vendor's web site if there is one available. Many printers, webcams, scanners don't have drivers for Linux. What do you do? Your vision of "I'm true, you're wrong" doesn't take you and Linux nowhere. Linux is in standby because it has many narrow-minded people like you who prefer command line to point-and-click, and above all, want to show the world they are able to use the command line whereas regular users can't. Fair enough, we stay away from Linux the most we can, and you can stay with you "superior" OS. Good luck in your fight for a bare 1% desktop market share, what a good proof of massive adoption and satisfaction of the people!

The important thing in this world is the bottom line, buddy, you seem to be out of this world, I guess you get a montly fixed salary and it doesn't make any difference if you take 20' or a whole day to do the similar task. It doesn't seem a big deal for you to tell a customer he's wrong and that he should go see somewhere else because you won't answer his problem because you don't like the software you'd need to use to meed his need. Get a life.

good
by bullethead on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 02:21 UTC

it's great that the "masses" aren't installing Linux. The Linux users are the true freedom people. Everyone else is using MacOSX and Windows. Evolution at its finest.

Re: David
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 02:26 UTC

Well no, and neither does Windows. Operating systems like Ubuntu and Windows don't do telepathy very well yet funnily enough. If you have DHCP then you may get an autoconfigured network, but there's no guarantee of that on any OS.

On the same machine, Windows shows my 2 NICs in my list of detected NICs. If I boot on Mandrake and type ifconfig, none of them show up. Anything wrong with Linux? Maybe it's the end-user's fault ;)

v Re:bullethead (IP: ---.si.res.rr.com)
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 02:33 UTC
Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 02:40 UTC

No, of course not. I never said that there has to be a single repository.

There is one base repository that effectively dictates how compatible other repositories will be - the one you use to update the OS. Having multiple repositories the influence the installation of the base system is very problematic and not something an ISV will support.

Well, yes. That makes the situation problematic, not the machine query/download. That's the whole point!

Errr, if it makes the situation problematic (which it does) then it's sayonara. The machine query/download bollocks is totally irrelevant.

Having the check for new versions, download and install handled in a single subsystem is IMHO way better than having each application call home at uncontrolable times

You don't need a repository based system to do that.

Just because on one operating system (Linux) there is a fragmentation on the package management part, doesn't make the repository approach unusable.

There is always fragmentation - it's unavoidable. No one install of a distribution is going to be exactly the same as another. That's unsupportable for an ISV.

You agree later on that for example Windows would be stationary enought.

Because Windows is bloody stationary! You have one version install of the OS, and multiple service packs to target. Mind you, even that causes problems but it's far more preferable to the situation you have with Linux distributions.

So if you had a system with both the long time compatability (obviously doable, see Windows) and a dependency checking/resolving package managment (obviously doable, see Linux) you can easily query/find/install software machine-enabled.

Yes, but no Linux distribution has that long-term solid base and the query/find/install still doesn't work because you're not going to find everything in a repository, multiple repositories create multiple incompatibilities and there's no way of configuring the software through an installer.

You are always basing your judgement of a repository based software distribution model on the situation of the current implementation in Linux distributions.

F*** yes I am! The current implementation of Linux distributions is what's out there, since that's what is actually being discussed! Besides, it's not going to work in any other way. I'll take that as an admission that I'm right.

As long as the dependencies stated by the ISVs package remain in the system

Because every Linux distribution is a moving target no ISV can guarantee that at all.

Oh, so you think it can work given that the prerequistes are OK?

If the pre-requisites are OK then it is OK, but the point is that from Linux distribution to Linux distribution, versions to version, especially with multiple repositories, no ISV can ever guarantee those pre-requisites at all, they can't develop for them and they can't support them. That's the point.

Did a miracly occur and all the bad things about respository based software distribution just vanished?

No, it's just you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about and you're going round in circles.

Yes I know "example" is a really difficult to understand word. Not your fault.

Ever heard of the word context ;-)? Whether it was an example or not is totally irrelevant - an ISV will simply not support umpteen package managers, end of story.

I didn't claim that the current package manager situation makes this viable

Your arguments fall apart totally right there then.

all I claimed was that a repository based software distribution method is a good idea and already used even on systems without common methods for dependecy checking

If it doesn't solve the above problem then a repository based software installation system for third-party software is totally useless.

in which case the installers have to do it themselves.

Which they're not going to do because they can't. They have to depend on something being there. If the software package relies on a particular version of a package in the base system but the version is either later or earlier than it needs and that base component cannot be changed because other components depend on it then that's it.

Because they want to have their software run on different Linux systems?

My God, are you really that dense? Did you not see the large amount of packages they've had to create, at great expense, just to support what should be one Linux system?!

Yes

Which means ISVs tie themselves to one distribution or put great expense into creating several versions.

Yes, but absolutely independend from the distribution model.

No it isn't independent of the distribution model because software that ISVs create is tied to each individual distribution and even version.

But of course it is convenient to base judgement of a technology on the state of a broken implementation.

Oh wow, really? I'll take that as a cop-out, because it's become quite clear you're going around in circles. The repository based software installation system cannot possibly work on a wider basis for ISVs to support Linux on a large scale.

v Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 02:54 UTC
v Evidence
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 03:13 UTC
Re: Re: David
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 03:19 UTC

There are *NO* alternatives to the above. Don't invent a "solution".

The question is, do you actually need any of this software even if you were running it on Windows? No, you don't.

If you don't meet the customer's needs you're out

You don't meet a customer's needs by buying umpteen bits of utterly pointless software. Trust me, endlessly buying software is the quickest way to put yourself out of business. If you are using all this stuff then you're spreading yourself too thin and you're losing money hand over fist because there's no way you're going to use it on every single project so there's no way any of it is going to pay for itself. If a customer is using a piece of software then there is absolutely no reason for you to go out and buy several licenses for yourself. You simply use what they've got themselves, and if it's a new project then you have some input as to what will be used.

There's such a thing as business focus and you seem to have very little of it.

You're the kind of narrow-minded guy who tells his customer he's stupid because he wants to use Oracle because Oracle is open-source and pricy.

Oracle is certainly not open source, but it is pricy. Besides, if you're developing a solution for a customer then they don't care what database it uses. If they're already using Oracle then you use what they've got. You don't need to buy every piece of software every customer you've got has!

How do you create a .CDR CorelDraw file in Linux to take to your printer for him to print your business cards?

Well, if I'm taking my business cards to my printer to be printed then that means I'm paying the money and he'll accept any format I give him. For virtually all printers that's PDF, which is universal.

You utter clueless twit!

Why would people bother going to the store and pay big bucks to something less good?!

You've got your wires crossed there.

What is your "solution" if a customer comes and asks for "a Flash animation or I go and see the competitor"?

It depends if it was worth the money. If I'm not a graphical company then he'll simply have to go and see a competitor (except they won't be a competitor because they don't do the same thing). The money simply will not justify the cost. If I am then I'll have one or two Windows machines lying around I can use Flash on, or subcontract it out. That doesn't mean I can't run Linux on my servers or my other desktops and save money there. As demand grows then we might see Flash on Linux. At the moment it's nothing to lose sleep over. You simply use what you need at any given time.

You're pathetic. Be honest, you seem to know what you're talking about, so if you install Gentoo from stage 1 or 2, how many days it takes to compile?

It doesn't take days, but I don't care because I wouldn't use Gentoo for that purpose.

If you have installed Linux several times, you know you won't install all the aforementioned in 10 minutes (OS, network, filesharing, software, WINE, etc...).

Yes it does - all the software packages, and the equivalent functionality like Open Office that takes you hours to install from a fresh install of Windows.

On Windows you just have to click "Next".

No you bloody don't!

If you need to install drivers on Windows, please tell me about Linux!

I don't install drivers on Linux. They come ready as part of the kernel.

Hardware support is quite poor, and on Windows at least most drivers are integrated into the OS.

No they're not.

What do you do? Your vision of "I'm true, you're wrong" doesn't take you and Linux nowhere.

You obviously haven't read my other comments around here.

The important thing in this world is the bottom line, buddy

Yer. And buying Autocad, Flash, Photoshop, Oracle, Corel Draw etc. for evey single customer and project you have is the quickest way to putting yourself out of business.

It doesn't seem a big deal for you to tell a customer he's wrong and that he should go see somewhere else because you won't answer his problem because you don't like the software you'd need to use to meed his need.

I never said I didn't like his software - just that I don't feel the need to go out and buy specific software for every job and customer I have. If the customer is already using the software then I'll simply use what they've got. If it's something completely new then he/she will go with what I think is most cost-effective, and I can guarantee you I can undercut anyone using Oracle ;-). That's what customers want to here most. They don't want to hear about what expensive software I'm using, because that's not what Joe Users care about ;-).

If I did what you do I'd be joining the dole queue very quickly.

Get a life.

You're going to need one, because if you're in business at all the reposessors are coming for you.

Re: Re: David
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 03:25 UTC

On the same machine, Windows shows my 2 NICs in my list of detected NICs. If I boot on Mandrake and type ifconfig, none of them show up. Anything wrong with Linux? Maybe it's the end-user's fault ;)

Nice try ;-). For someone who hates Linux you seem to use a lot of Linux distributions, don't you?

If you'd said a wireless NIC then you might have some credibility. As it stands Linux, within the kernel and out of the box, actually supports more NICs than Windows does. No one has problems with NICs on Linux, and if you are then no one cares because I know you're in an extreme minority.

Anyway, all of that is pretty academic though because you made that up, didn't you?

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 03:32 UTC

David, you're a typical linux arrogant, selfish, and narrow-mind morron. You don't accept that you're wrong on this. The discussion goes nowhere.

Wrong on what? Since you have absolutely no clue whatsoever what that topic above was actually about I find that funny. I take it you're just randomly replying to stuff now?

I think you've adequately shown that you have no skills whatsoever to live, nevermind use a computer - Windows or otherwise. You wonder how these people get themselves on the Internet.....

Re: David
by gwen on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 03:49 UTC

The question is, do you actually need any of this software even if you were running it on Windows? No, you don't.

Yer. And buying Autocad, Flash, Photoshop, Oracle, Corel Draw etc. for evey single customer and project you have is the quickest way to putting yourself out of business.


You can't say a user doesn't need the software mentioned before, as you're NOT that user. Many users want software because of the usability, features, and whatever other reason. Many actually need photoshop, flash, corel draw, quicken, and autocad as there aren't any alternatives that can be offered in a GNU/Linux environment.

You'll quickly refute that by saying gimp is a great alternative, but actually gimp is nowhere near the level that photoshop is at. If it was ready for everyone's uses, then it would be used. Gimp is great for making quick images for an average user, but not for a professional. Same goes for macromedia products and other adobe products. And as far as Autocad, there is no alternative.

Until Linux software is availabe that is at the same level as it is on other platforms, then people will be more willing to crossover. I hope for that day, and that day is approaching sooner and sooner, for example MySQL. I'm all for OSS, but please don't say people don't need their Win or Apple software until there are real alternatives.

Linux is great for the average person people when they just need to use the internet, listen to music, word processing, e-mail and that's where it ends.

Linux is not for everyone, take for example a school in Melbourne, Australia who were using Debian, but got fed up and switched to OS X.

http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;1302841680;fp;16;fpid;...

There's somethings that the Linux community need to work on as mentioned in the original article. I just hope the Linux community would accept the reality.

Until then, I'm happy with OS X!

v Don't feed the trolls.
by xVariable on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 03:57 UTC
@Joe User
by Long on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:00 UTC

I've just GOT to chime in here. I have a personal pet peeve with people like Joe User.

I know, I know, don't feed the troll, but...

What the FUCK gives you the idea that you can go about calling people narrow minded and arrogant and then go and say "Linux sucks, Windows rules" ?

Notice how the sensible people here are saying "Well, I know that Linux does not fair well here but..." and you are not? You are defending Windows as if you wrote it yourself!

You piss me off, you really do. And I don't get pissed off often...

Now, on topic: Windows rocks the Desktop world, Linux kicks ass in the Server world and that's that. However, Linux is making great headway in the desktop part and Windows *is* improving in the server part, admittedly not as fast but it's getting there.

Re: Well @ Timerever
by Onetrack on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:01 UTC

"I'll just write what someone once said somewhere:

If Linux is safer, faster, robuster, easier, better and it's even free why isn't everybody using it?

Think about it"

---------
Think about this... if 97% of the people in the world drove a yugo, it still wouldn't be a good car.

'Nuff said.

v Please Moderate Joe User into hell
by Dr. Matthew F. Borgeson on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:03 UTC
Overly long article
by Clinton on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:05 UTC

This article is too long. The whole "Linux is ready for the desktop" thing can be boiled down to one sentence:

Linux will be ready for the desktop when people have to use it at work.

Hmmm...
by Lee Nooks on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:08 UTC

>> On the same machine, Windows shows my 2 NICs in my list of detected NICs. If I boot on Mandrake and type ifconfig, none of them show up. Anything wrong with Linux? Maybe it's the end-user's fault ;)

> Nice try ;-). For someone who hates Linux you seem to use a lot of Linux distributions, don't you?

Yeah, this Joe User certainly has tried a lot of distros. He must be some kind of Linux zealot... LOL

Now, in every thread like this it is possible that someone just comes by to make noise. And worst, sometimes a "Knight" for Linux also appears and they start to battle, letting other readers baffled. This is an old tactic to create turmoil and eliminating rational discussion. I guess this is what we could call "polluting" a discussion.

Also, have in mind that Linux is making a great stride towards being one of the main OSes. It is becoming an interesting alternative for embedding, displacing Unix on servers and -- ready or not -- it is being used on the desktop, even if this displeases some folks (like my countryman "Joe User").

linux is almost as friendly as windows.
by graig on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:20 UTC

after actually having switched to linux. i like it much better. *because* i understand how it works. it is alot different from windows. Some things are simpler, some things aren't.

some of the problems i have with linux are minor things.

like installing software that is not in the ubuntu repositories. i actually figured out how to compile some of these programs. i was quite proud of myself for that one ;)

installing drivers is HARD. i still can not figure how to update the ati drivers at all, couldn't get it working after i got it installed either. and then it was real hard to find the uninstall for the ati driver, and nothing was even said about the uninstaller on ati's website.

Configuring x is also hard. There is probably a million different settings for various devices. And they are not all standardised. IMO, its a mess. it totally requires someone to read something to configure it. i was able to get it configured all right. but its not a good system at all. it makes usb mice impossible to just plug in and use. It would be better if input devices were not configured there. and users never had to touch the xorg.conf file.

property software
by Alan D on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:37 UTC

I use Ubuntu Hoary, and honestly I love it. I still duel boot to winXP sometimes, but except the times I use my webcam, ubuntu is the place i feel more home. I am neither a computer engineer nor so talented. Yeah, it takes time to customize your desktop and configure things to work the way you want to be in linux. However at the end of that time, you take your award. I do agree Gimp is still far being close to something as professional as photoshop, and i agree most applications on linux are lacking the functionality comperasiant to their windows equals. But nobody can deny the progress and positive change on linux in the last year. and i guess it has been faster than any other OS. Synaptic is really so great for installing software, and i cant complain anymore about dependency hell, or dazzled with terminal screen installing screens. However, one problem still continues, you can't know what exactly you are installing. Unlike in windows world, you cant simply go to site of the software. read, check screenshots than install. and software names are still crippy.. even on that aspect, there been nice progress, at least you can go to skypee.com and download from their site after reading and learning more about the software.

There is only one thing I would complain. Even Ubuntu has incredibly well detected my hardware on my brand new compaq laptop. Its still hard to make changes on driver case. I cant easly install ati drivers for my ati card... i told u i am not expert, and synaptic is not that helpfull on that front, terminal screen and coding is necessary still when it comes to hardware. philips webcam i cant install.
ati.. philips..mp3 all those are property, and linux community still avoid property. well i think property software, and distros supporting is the big next issue. somehow there must be a midway for that property thing, a way to negotiate otherwise it will be still problematic linux becoming a desktop OS for daily use.

KDE is ready for the Desktop.
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:38 UTC

With KDE as my desktop of choice I could easily say that Linux is indeed ready for the Desktop. Compared to the features WindowsXP offers I can say that KDE is far ahead in many areas of WindowsXP which makes it a pleasant Desktop enxperience.

v @David
by a nun, he moos on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:39 UTC
sure you can
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 04:58 UTC

"However, one problem still continues, you can't know what exactly you are installing. Unlike in windows world, you cant simply go to site of the software. read, check screenshots than install."

sure you can.... why cant you?

Switching between OSes
by JK on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 05:05 UTC

Linux fans often claim that Linux hasn't become a huge success on the desktop because people are used to Windows and don't even think about changing. That's true to a certain extent, but the usability problems and complexity of Linux are just as much to blame IMO.

I know plenty of people who've switched from Mac, Acorn and Amiga to Windows (or vice versa). Generally it's an easy transition, initial problems because of lack of familiarity are quickly overcome. I also know a number of people who've tried Linux, I've tried several "desktop" distributions myself. But I don't know anyone who's switched to Linux full time, IME the frustrating problems drive most people back to an easier to use OS.

I use Windows and Mac OS every day, I've also run OpenStep and BeOS on my PC perfectly happily, but every experience with Linux has been extremely frustrating and unpleasant. From trying to get my hardware working to installing apps and dealing with Linux inconsistency I constantly wish I was using a different OS. I hope eventually Linux will reach the same level of usability as Windows/Mac OS, having a free OS is very appealing but Linux has a long way to go before it's a desktop OS I'm willing to use.

yawn....
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 05:22 UTC

i can see eugenias horns growing....
use whatever you like pleeeeze....

I mean users who have never used linux, really used linux, got adjusted to linux, learned linux, etc... just dont GET linux and probably never will, so you will never convince a windows user that hasnt REALLY used anything else that anything is better because there argument will always be it isnt windows like enough....

Now as far as us linux users, we have beat our heads in and figured it out.... well, we will never go back to windows and since realizing how great linux is nobody will ever convince us that the "windows" way is better....

i like linux for a lot of reasons but one of the coolest being that I can make it whatever i want from a server to a light desktop to a heavy desktop and anywhere in between..

oh and my mother uses linux and it has been a LOT less trouble, she has a icon on her desktop that says "internet browser" and one for "email" and "address book" "calculator" and of course openoffice is installed and she is good to go...

i personally found windows VERY hard at first but now windows is easy, same with linux.......

yea
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 05:27 UTC

in windows go to START to stop? makes sense from a usability standpoint to me.... NOT!

"frustrating problems"
could you be a bit more specific?

A clue
by Stalker on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 06:22 UTC

1. Install the Linux distro of your choice.
2. Start the included email program and configure your account.
3. Count the number of functions (new letter, reply, reply-to-all) in the program. They should be like 10 or 15 of them.
4. Go to preferences/settings (there should be two or three of them, sigh).
5. Count the number of preferences/settings for your email program. There are probably 100 or 150 of them. Maybe more than 200.

When the preference/settings are more than ten times the number of functions, you know you are using a lousy system built by idiots.

RE: 100% gree
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 07:05 UTC

"I have been a linux user for over 5 years ( currently gentoo ), windows since 3.11 and a few experience with osx, and i have to say that i am 100% agree with this guy. linux is not yet a DESKTOP OS."

Of course, I understand that. If you use Gentoo you can only say that linux is not ready for the desktop. That is why at the moment there are never ending thread at the Gentoo forums where people complain about Gentoo being difficult, tedious to install, takes for ever to compile...
Take a look at something like SUSE, Mandrake, Xandros, Kanotix, just to mention a few, and perhaps you'll change your mind.

@stalker - Re: A clue
by Jeremy Utley on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 07:11 UTC

"When the preference/settings are more than ten times the number of functions, you know you are using a lousy system built by idiots."

Not hardly - you know you are using a system that allows for more flexibility - the USER of the software can select options appropriate for them.

RE: Joe User
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 07:12 UTC

> When you said Linux, which distribution do you use?

>>We use Ubuntu. It IS supposed to be easy to use. It's not. Install Ubuntu, the network isn't configured automatically. You'll have a hard time installing software you DO need to have your work done such as MS Office (OpenOffice isn't compatible with some MS Word documents, they are all messed up), a PDF converter, and other software. Configuring WINE is really complicated and takes much time. There are always errors.

It is common to waste a whole day configuring something that would take 20 mins on Windows or OS X. I hate Linux. I'd rather pay 10x the price of a Windows license to stay away from Linux. And Ubuntu's Gnome is ugly. Arghhh!!!!<<
__________________

Yes!!! You believed the hype and you got what you deserved. The Emperor is naked! Take a look at something else, like SUSE, Mandrake, Kanotix, Libranet, Xandros, just to mention a few, and you'll change your mind in no time.

Market Share??
by joelito on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 08:27 UTC

I've read some post that talk about the low market share of Linux OS, but isn't that because windows gained momentum at a time when there was no real competitor?

Drivers, well I've had some experiences setting up drivers for Windows without having the Driver Disks And I don't find any major difference (Except maybe because of using the Terminal) And for ease of use well, On windows 98 I remmember screwing up the whole system for deleting stuff I shouldn't have(And didn't even knew how to set up a dial up connection plus I had a customer last week that did the same I did years ago but on winXP)

As for other hardware, I don't mind doing some research looking for X hardware supported by my favourite Linux Distro(Before buying).

RE: BBlalock
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 08:33 UTC

"I'm pretty sure that I've never even defragged the hard drive."

Yes, I know that you Windows users do that. Your system badly needs maintenance but you are in denial. Would you read a book whose pages have been scattered all over the floor?

RE:@stalker - Re: A clue (I hate this commenting system)
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 09:05 UTC

Not hardly - you know you are using a system that allows for more flexibility - the USER of the software can select options appropriate for them.

Why develop applications at all? Just give users compilers and the USER can build applications appropriate for them.

By JK (IP: ---.bulldogdsl.com)
by mythought on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 09:40 UTC

same here.

I tryed Suse, MDK, Linspire .... all are pretty useless and a waste of MONEY.

"please"!!
by javajazz on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 09:54 UTC

I work with the developmentally disbled with mild/mr. one client has fedora 2 configured to boot straight into kde. every once in a while he hides the desktop and needs me to remind him of the password. I have set up some icons in the task bar for him. he plays only the kde games. If I were to show him windows, i do not think he would know the differance. kicker and start button on the lower left, icons to favorite apps on the task bar. Come on folks KDE and Windows are interchangeable to momsy and popsy. AND many moms and pops never look at a file system beyond "My Documents", "My Pictures" and "My Music".

MY MY mY me me me. i'm somebody. i digress.

Another client has mandrake 10.1 with kde direct boot. I'm still teaching her the buttons that will send that e-mail, buttons located pretty much where they are in outlook express. she has very little worry about many viruses. the many virtual desktops can be used to keep the different apps wide open for her, she need only traverse the virtual desktops to get to different chores.

NOW I have another client with win2000 and he is my most trouble. weekly it is a chore to rid him of hijackers addware spyware, OH THe MESS!! and those mysterious charges he finds on his phone bill. I'm tempted to ripp that 2000 right out.

You want to keep your mom and pop happy (and out of trouble) and get on with the rest of your life, show them ubuntu, mandrake or other windows clone. Yes, Linux is very near ready.

the rest of us will use BSD.

RE: mythought
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 10:19 UTC

"I tryed Suse, MDK, Linspire .... all are pretty useless and a waste of MONEY."

And why did you try if you didn't want to make the effort of learning something which works just slightly different? I have a 8 years old here who is very happy with SUSE: plenty of games. He has WinXP as well, but he hardly ever uses it.
And why did you pay? SUSE has been making free isos available since 9.1. Mandrake has always been free. Linspire has very often free offers. And ever heard of Bittorrent? It is *not illegal* to download linux distros. So stop trolling.

paid
by netpython on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 10:41 UTC

And why did you pay?

You can't buy everything but you can't get everything for free either.

Besides it's nice to have in a box.

RE: netpython
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 10:53 UTC

"You can't buy everything but you can't get everything for free either.

Besides it's nice to have in a box."

Oh yes, I agree with you.

My point was that "mythought" didn't *have* to pay and complain thereafter.

a few links
by Gnobuddy on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 11:15 UTC

If you sort through the 119 previous posts, the rational conclusion is (a)Desktop Linux isn't ideal for everyone (what the heck ever *is*?) and (b)Desktop Linux is entirely adequate for many.

Perhaps a few facts about the state of desktop Linux today are in order:

1)"The German National Railway made a second major move towards open source Linux software when it successfully moved 55,000 of itís Lotus Notes users onto the Linux operating system."
(full story at http://htmlfixit.com/?p=389 )

2)"the Extremadura government announced last month that it had successfully deployed 80,000 LinEx computers in schools, or one system per two students.."
(An old story from 2002, the Linux rollout is far larger today. Full story at http://lwn.net/Articles/41738/ )

3)"At a November conference, IBM exec Sam Docknevich revealed that IBM would deploy 50,000 desktops in a year's time, up from 14,000 technical users."
(2004 story, read the full article at http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS2663717532.html )

Those three stories alone refer to 185000 Linux desktops tha t either already exist, or soon will.

Research firm IDC thinks Linux hit 2.8% of the (US) desktop market in 2004, up from 1.5% in 2000 (story at http://insight.zdnet.co.uk/software/linuxunix/0,39020472,39118695,0... ). So it took some nine years (1991- 2000) for Linux to get to the first 1.5%, and only four years to pick up the next 1.3%.

The only way anyone can claim desktop Linux is not already a success today is to either be ignorant of the facts, or to willfully disbelieve the ample evidence. After all, we have people who still refuse to believe in evolution despite a century of solid scientific data backing the concept.

-Gnobuddy

Re: a few links
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 11:31 UTC

That speaks for the huge success that KDE makes on the Linux Desktop.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by Kevin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 11:38 UTC

There is one base repository that effectively dictates how compatible other repositories will be - the one you use to update the OS

True. Having more than one repository for the bases system would be a very bad idea.
Additional repositories should only contain additional software.

No one install of a distribution is going to be exactly the same as another.

That doesn't matter as along as each installation is using the same repository and dependecy tree.
Any not yet installed package can then automatically be retrieved from there, making it a equal enought for the additional software in question.

F*** yes I am! The current implementation of Linux distributions is what's out there, since that's what is actually being discussed!

Well, I had the impression you believed that the software distribution model in question is broken by design, which I doubt.

IMHO that is a false generalisation.
Of course if you just mean that the current implementation of said model are broken, I have no problem to agree with that.
But I still think that the model itself is superior to any other currently available one.

If the pre-requisites are OK then it is OK

That's what I said, isn't it?

but the point is that from Linux distribution to Linux distribution, versions to version, especially with multiple repositories, no ISV can ever guarantee those pre-requisites at all

I already agreed multiple times that the current implementations fail at that, but I still insist that this doesn't make the model broken by design.

No, it's just you have absolutely no clue what you're talking about and you're going round in circles

No, it's just you making an unholdable generalisation based on experience with current broken implementations.

an ISV will simply not support umpteen package managers, end of story

Multiple package managers are only true for Linux distributions.
A single source operating system like OS X or Windows or Solaris would very likely only provide one package manager, not a single one more.

Your arguments fall apart totally right there then.

No, I never claimed that the current implementations of the repository based software distribution model are working.
I just countered the logic that because current implementations are broken, the system itself cannot work under any circumstances.

I strongly believe it can given a good implementation.

No it isn't independent of the distribution model because software that ISVs create is tied to each individual distribution and even version.

A Windows program is tied to the existence of the Windows API, a Cocoa program is tied to the existance of the Cocoa API, ergo a program is always tied to the existence of the platform it is built on, absolutely independend from how it gets deployed.

The repository based software installation system cannot possibly work on a wider basis for ISVs to support Linux on a large scale.

Thank you for again over generalising from the current broken implementation.

Just because a broken car cannot move doesn't mean cars can't move by design.

Poeple that base a judgement of some techology on the experience with broken impementation of said technology are usually proven wrong by history.

and there's no way of configuring the software through an installer

While this is unrelated to the discussion about the distribution mechanism, it is also untrue, because any even remotely sane implementation of a package manager can prompt for user input during configuration of the package.

Even dpkg can do this.

Re: a few links
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 11:57 UTC

"The only way anyone can claim desktop Linux is not already a success today is to either be ignorant of the facts, or to willfully disbelieve the ample evidence. After all, we have people who still refuse to believe in evolution despite a century of solid scientific data backing the concept."

Exactly. And yours was, could only be a small selection of facts. The truth is that we read of linux succes stories everyday.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 12:21 UTC

That's what I said, isn't it?

Read the bit afterwards - namely that no ISV can rely on it. Don't just pick parts out to suit yourself.

I already agreed multiple times that the current implementations fail at that, but I still insist that this doesn't make the model broken by design.

I'm afraid it does, but I think you're either not understanding it or one of these people who persist in thinking that the repository method is the way forward. There's been similar discussion on the Ubuntu bugs site about Autopackage, and they just cannot see what is in front of them.

But I still think that the model itself is superior to any other currently available one.

You haven't described the model you imagine, or why what current Linux distributions do is wrong or how it is going to solve any problems for an ISV. You're just fleshed out your comments with bollocks.

You still need to get something installed first, and an ISV still needs to rely 100% on what base system they are installing on top of. No repository based system can guarantee that because you'll have umpteen companies all pointing to their own repositories all getting you to download different versions of components that break your system.

No, it's just you making an unholdable generalisation based on experience with current broken implementations.

Don't cop-out with the broken implementations, unholdable generalisations crap. If repositories don't work today then they don't work, period. You're talking out of your backside.

I speak with many people like you all the time - all that happens is that you talk absolute bollocks for as long as possible thinking that someone will think you know what you're talking about. You don't.

A single source operating system like OS X or Windows or Solaris would very likely only provide one package manager, not a single one more.

Since this is a Linux discussion that's totally irrelevant. Besides, you still need to target multiple systems, but with Linux they should all be the same and that's the point here.

Even then, every package has the call-home syndrome unless you have a central repository. ISVs cannot be tied to a central repository. As an option you've then got every ISV pointing to their own repository with their software trying to update whenever they like. The only way to control that madness is to have a centralised repository, which is what the Ubuntu guys elaborated on.

It's either one or the other, and they're both not good enough for widespread desktop and ISV use. I'm afraid you don't have some mythical solution to the problem.

This cannot work.

I just countered the logic that because current implementations are broken, the system itself cannot work under any circumstances.

No you didn't because you haven't described any of that, nor responded directly to any of the points made. You're simply not sticking to the issues at hand.

A Windows program is tied to the existence of the Windows API, a Cocoa program is tied to the existance of the Cocoa API, ergo a program is always tied to the existence of the platform it is built on, absolutely independend from how it gets deployed.

Correction - it is tied to a particular version, or snapshot. That's where the problems start. With a repositories system you've then got ISVs wanting to update things that either knowingly, or unknowingly, break other things.

Thank you for again over generalising from the current broken implementation.

Blah, blah. I'll just say that everything is broken (and there's a mythical repository system out there that doesn't exist that will solve everything) and maybe he'll think I know what I'm talking about.

If there is no movement out there on solving it then it simply is broken, and you sitting here telling everyone what they have is broken isn't going to change matters. You're not doing it.

While this is unrelated to the discussion about the distribution mechanism, it is also untrue, because any even remotely sane implementation of a package manager can prompt for user input during configuration of the package.

It's not unrelated, because we're not (just) talking about the distribution mechanism - we're talking about software installation. That has wider issues.

Still, it is absolutely nowhere near the level of configuration you get from an install wizard, it has to be integrated with the system and it still doesn't get around the fact that ISVs will not target impteen implementations of it.

I'm afraid you just don't grok any of the issues involved whatsoever.

@David
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 12:30 UTC

I didn't make it up about the 2 NICs. I use an Asus A7N8X-E motherboard. Try it yourself.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by Kevin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 13:04 UTC

Read the bit afterwards - namely that no ISV can rely on it.

On a system where this would be true, the ISV could rely on it.
After all they also rely on Microsoft not removing certain APIs.
So based on a stable system you can rely on that system, no matter how it got installed.

You haven't described the model you imagine, or why what current Linux distributions do is wrong or how it is going to solve any problems for an ISV

You'd have a base repository for base system, X server, common libs. Additonally it could contain software built on that.

An ISV would have repository for their software, which relys on parts from the base system like libc, etc.

An "installer" would add an ISVs repository to the distribution system configuration.

Any dependency on base packages of the ISVs package not yet installed, would be fetched from the base repository prior to fetching the ISV package.

Any upgrade by the ISV to their package will be seen the next time the system is updating its package lists, thus enabling the system to trigger an upgrade.
So far this is already working.

The problem is: there is no base repository, as you continually point out and as I continually agree with.

So in order to let this work, there has to be one and only one base repository.

Not very likely in the near future, but not impossible.

So far this is only a problem on Linux, not on operating systems with a single distributor entity.

Don't cop-out with the broken implementations, unholdable generalisations crap

You are the one bringing "unholdable generalistation crap", because you are extrapolating from the current situation to all possible future situations and not even Nostradamus could to that.

Since this is a Linux discussion that's totally irrelevant.

Sure, based on just Linux it is, based on the distribution technolog itself it isn't.
"This cannot work" includes as possible target platforms, including those with proven long time compatability and single source base systems.

"This cannot work on Linux" on the other hand would make other platforms irrelevant, but I don't see the word "Linux" in the context of this statement in your posting, thus I have to assume you are talking about all current and possible future platforms, including any newly developed assistance technology.

Making predictions on the future of IT is usually already difficult for short time periods, making one for any point in distante future is quite bold.

You're not doing it.

True. I think I never claimed I could do it. But you boldy claim that no one ever could do it.

Which either means you know ever human being currently living and being born in any time until the human race is extinct or computing has changed to something different, or you are just making a guess.

It's not unrelated, because we're not (just) talking about the distribution mechanism

Oh? I do exactly that, Just talking about the distribution mechanism.
That's the thing you claimed can never work.

we're talking about software installation

I see. So we are wasting our time because we are talking about different topics.
Well, it's Sunday ;)

Still, it is absolutely nowhere near the level of configuration you get from an install wizard

Can you give an example on what kind of configuration item cannot be asked by a system launched configuration wizard rather than a user launched configuration wizard?

v UBUNTO
by UBUNTO on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 13:22 UTC
@David
by Joe User on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 13:27 UTC

No, printers will not accept your CD-ROM if your files are not in the .cdr extention. It's the industry standard, unfortunatly.

Re: Re: David
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 13:38 UTC

You'll quickly refute that by saying gimp is a great alternative, but actually gimp is nowhere near the level that photoshop is at.

It depends. This is where I can tell many of you have never been in business like this at all. When a customer goes to you for business they're not interested in whether you use Photoshop or not. All they want is an image, or set of images, that you can produce for them for the business, website, literature etc. Whether you use Photoshop or the GIMP, they're simply not interested.

It's funny that all these people come out saying the GIMP isn't good enough, but no customer actually cares what you produce their images with as long as they get done. You can quite clearly get quite a bit done with the GIMP, but as to whether you need everything that's in Photoshop when you reach the limits of the GIMP is a considered decision that you make.

For the vast majority of people and businesses, unless they're making a lot of money out of their Photoshop work to pay for their Photoshop licenses, it is simply too expensive regardless of whether people think that the alternatives are good enough or not. You may decide the GIMP is good enough, or go for Paint Shop Pro.

I'm all for OSS, but please don't say people don't need their Win or Apple software until there are real alternatives.

I never said that, so you haven't read what I've written. If you need a couple of Windows machines around for Windows-only software, then fine, but sticking your hands over your ears and saying you can't use Linux for anything is quite clearly not true. That's people have been trying to say here.

Linux is not for everyone, take for example a school in Melbourne, Australia who were using Debian, but got fed up and switched to OS X.

They clearly wanted to use OS X to start off with. If they thought Linux wasn't good enough, and they already had x86 machines, it would have been far cheaper just to move to Windows, and Office, since they ended up using that anyway. Buying large amounts of Mac hardware and software is an expensive business.

From the article:

"It also depends on cost. If you can run your business without paying Microsoft, significant cost savings can be achieved."

Considering that he's spent many, many thousands needlessly on Macs and Mac hardware and he's still paying for Microsoft Office it's anybody's guess where the savings come from. That article was just someone making decisions out of ideology and pet likes and dislikes, not someone concerned about cost or common sense.

cdr = vector graphics, hmm...
by hobgoblin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 14:52 UTC

how about svg? thats vector graphics saved as xml ;)

@Joe User
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:03 UTC

No, printers will not accept your CD-ROM if your files are not in the .cdr extention. It's the industry standard, unfortunatly.

I've never, ever encountered that, and if you're thone paying the money you specify the form and ask if they can print what you've got. I've walways had my PDFs printed, and I've always had PDFs distributed to me by graphics companies. Corel Draw formats are not an industry standard in any way shape or form.

If you're paying the money, you specify the format and what you want printed. That's the way the world works.

@Joe User
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:07 UTC

I didn't make it up about the 2 NICs. I use an Asus A7N8X-E motherboard. Try it yourself.

That motherboard has a built-in Gigabit ethernet interface. You'll either need the nVidia drivers installed for it or a modern kernel. It probably won't work out of the box on Windows either (or very well) because you still need the mother board drivers installed.

Linux @work sux
by Floyd Maxwell on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:19 UTC

Everyone who has been paid to use *nix, take this simple test. Did you like it?

I have been paid, on several occasions and in each case, without exception, I hated it -- just like "Joe User" above.

Since I was getting paid to use it, I should not have hated it. Struggled with it, sure. Had a wry smile on my face as I think "and they are paying me to waste my time on this!", sure. But not hated it.

My list of ultimate OS's is: Win98SE, XP, NetWare, ...and the rest don't rate, including MacOS & *nix. Why?

98SE is the fastest OS, DOS/Windows marriage the best (with DOS access to clipboard that XP took away, grrr).

XP is the best MS OS to date, heavy duty to say the least. Plug in printers or USB sticks and all is well in seconds. I run 15 to 200 applications all the time, 24x7, and I have had a total of one blue screen, on one of ten XP machines, and this was caused (ironically) by MS's MSN conflicting (sound card wise) with my Yahoo IM.

NetWare was lightyears ahead of NT for years, but I've not used it recently so this may no longer be applicable.

MacOS is the most overrated of all OSes -- a true pain in the butt. ONE mouse button?!?!?! That should be the start and end of any argument about Macs. What type of insane idiots are happy with that? I need to hit the keyboard to bring up a context-sensitive menu?!?! Puhlease. For much more, search the net for the ACM.org "Anti-Mac" article. The Mac interface is 20+ years old now, and prior to OSX (that I've not used but I am sure would not care for given its *nix underpinnings) largely unchanged. The notion that an application's menus takes over the top of the screen is ludicrous, yet Mac zealots actually think this is better than Windows/*nix. To wrap your mind around this weirdness you then need to run each application full screen -- defeating the whole windowing concept of modern GUIs. The only other comparable GUI mistake is the *nix thing where the focus moves as the mouse does.

*nix is the oldest of all of these OSes, and it shows.

Sure, Windows has old underpinnings (DOS) but MS has upgraded/merged DOS in nice ways -- e.g. you can launch GUI apps from DOS, can see both short and LFN in DOS, yet can also do most things in the GUI -- the perfect marriage. Kind of like the MS decision many many years ago to make everything mouseable also keyboardable.

*nix believes that man pages, vi and the truly awful .tar format are all still viable! man should have been replaced (sure, with backward compatibility for a _while_) with something HTML based, or PDF, or some other solution that did not involve the MORE prompts (press a key too quickly and you have to start the whole thing again -- that super stinks yet nothing was changed for eons!). vi was awful 20 years ago but *nix types are probably still using it today -- an incredible statement but very indicative of the *nix mentality. The .tar format is shockingly bad to use (at the command line anyway, where I do all my archive work). The system should automatically play the Mission Impossible theme music as soon as you type "tar ...". Archiving files in ZIPs (scr*w the .tar ball!) is a huge part of systems work, and yet tar is all but impossible to use __without any syntax errors__ by even the most power user.

I am beginning to think the people posting the most favorable remarks about *nix here are in fact MS employees -- trying to lure more suckers to try *nix, so that they too will hate it.

On the plus side of *nix, it is good to give MS competition -- this benefits everyone. It is good to see 3rd world countries switching to *nix in a big way -- but consider MS's answer to that -- crippled XP Starter Edition that allows just 3 windows -- MS would not offer this if they didn't think it was a fair competitor to *nix!

On the minus side of XP, my HP laptop hard drive is failing -- 12 months of 100% utilization will do it -- and my weekend trip to Fry's would have translated to $199 to re-buy XP home (my orig. CDs are in another country right now) + $50 to install a HD (if you can believe it) + $60 to install XP OS, all in addition to the $120 drive itself.
I was outraged, refunded the $50 install cost, went looking for an $89 copy of XP Home on the shelves -- not to be found, more outrage, turns out must ask for OEM XP "behind the counter", then must refund HD purchase and re-purchase so it is on same invoice as XP to keep MS off Fry's back. And MS wonders why XP has seen less adoption. My HD was all that failed -- I should have walked out of Fry's with a new one for $120 + about $25 to ghost a new XP image in 10 minutes. When that is possible, XP sales will pick up. For now, XP's greatest threat is MS itself.

Props to the person above (around the 80 to 100th comment) who said *nix lovers should be open to IDEAS and not be OS bigots.

re: Linux @work sux
by hobgoblin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:32 UTC

about that clipboard in dos/cmd and xp, try rightclicking ;)

it would be interesting to see a system as simple as dos to admin but with a more modern gui that can run on top when the user wants to. maybe trow in the ability to have multiple commandlines like you can do in linux (alt+f1-f5 or more) and proper multitasking + memory protection so that one can kill a driver and restart it without having to restart the whole freaking system (or maybe give the system the ability to drop everything and reread the boot files without doing the ctrl-alt-del combo).

i kinda enjoyed dos in that it was simple to admin. need a soundcard to work? add the command for starting the driver in autoexec.bat and so on. it was easy to get the hang of and very easy to recover when messed up (just have a floppy handy with cdrom drivers and presto. i these bootable cd age you dont even need the floppy).

still, i think that gobolinux covers most of these bases for me. if i want to fire up kde i just type startx...

RE: Anonymous Penguin
by BBlalock on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:46 UTC

>Yes, I know that you Windows users do that.
>Your system badly needs maintenance but you
>are in denial. Would you read a book whose
>pages have been scattered all over the floor?

If I had an idiot savant available to hand me the next page when I finish a page then yes, I would read such a book. My computer is my idiot savant.

If my computer does everything I ask it to it doesn't need any additional maintenance.

That's not denial, that's reality.

Part of the problem is current Linux desktop users
by Mark on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:48 UTC

When you have these people that think repositories are the total answer then you have a problem.

Repositories are good for a base system, but don't solve the problem for ISVs and other software. In fact, I grab a random deb or rpm off some site and try to install it, it won't automatically go out and get the needed dependencies.

So basically it always comes down to the dependancy problem.

Personally I like the idea of GoboLinux. I know it'll never fly as some kind of standard, but I think many people like to have all files centralized so they know what goes with what.

re: Linux @work sux
by Floyd Maxwell on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:53 UTC

My DOS clipboard need was from a DOS application, not the cmd-line -- XP changed how the clipboard worked, breaking older/DOS programs that could access it before. Totally annoying, and none of the XP "compatibility" settings addressed this.

Re: Multiple cmd lines -- just run cmd.exe multiple times or did you have more in mind? I run multiple cmd's when needed (not often).

Proper multitasking, hmmm. Only weakness here that I know of is that some (most, I suppose) DOS apps don't yield properly, driving up utilization. But XP gives good performance even with a busy DOS ap., and in DOS with a 100% utilization Windows ap. so I am not sure what is missing here.

The "kill a driver" thing is really a server-level wish. I don't ever want to kill a driver on my personal machines but for sure on servers I don't want to reboot them ever, if possible. Once in a blue moon (say once a week on average) I have to (or need to) reboot one of my XP machines. This is not a painful experience, again on personal machine. On server it would be of course. [FWIW, I agree about being able to reread boot files.]

DOS was dead easy to admin, and Win 3.x almost as easy (due to a few text INI files, most kept in once place). I accepted Win98SE as an improvement once the Internet came along -- the need for always on net communications killed the pure command line star.

It may be that some newer *nix like gobo covers these things. If so, glad to hear it. Personally, I like the idea of updating the file structure using SYM links. I had to use cygwin for some remote file transfer stuff and (just checked) it created almost 1,000 DIRECTORIES yet the *user* (i.e. data) directories are part of this tree monstrosity. Why oh why does it default to installing all the source files/branches? Put them ALL in a full-path ZIP file and label that appropriately. For the one in 500 of us that wants access to the source, we can extract/edit/recompile/cleanup from there.

RE: Gnobuddy
by BBlalock on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:58 UTC

>If you sort through the 119 previous posts, the
>rational conclusion is (a)Desktop Linux isn't
>ideal for everyone (what the heck ever *is*?)
>and (b)Desktop Linux is entirely adequate for many.

Amen.

To decrease the number of folks in catagory "a" and to increase the number of folks in catagory "b" the article has a number of suggestions.

Some of them are good, some are bad, and some are simply uncompelling.

wow
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 15:59 UTC

this is like watching a tennis match..... boring ball going back and forth back and forth back and forth..... yawn
fun argument tho....

"I grab a random deb or rpm off some site and try to install it, it won't automatically go out and get the needed dependencies. "

thats the reason you create a package list and list the dependencies and then instruct people how to add your site to the apt sources and then it WILL do just what you ask...
of course if I think I have what is required or close to it then I just install it and tell it not to check for dependencies....

not difficult, just different....

re: Linux @work sux
by joelito on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 16:05 UTC

I have been paid, on several occasions and in each case, without exception, I hated it -- just like "Joe User" above.

Where u using BSD and *not* linux??? If it *was* linux, was it one of the known hassle Distros like Gentoo, Slackware, Pure Debian, etc???

I mean, i *know* vi IS outdated, that's why many modern linux distros come with nano(for the cmd users) where everything works just by using some CTRL + Key combo.

Most modern distributions include enough GUI tools do deal with TAR archives, display help files properly and so on...

Or is it that u ssh to your computers at work and expect it to look like win NT server(Including XP and so on)

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 16:11 UTC

So far this is only a problem on Linux, not on operating systems with a single distributor entity.

You can't have a single distributor entity because ISVs need the freedom to distribute their software as and when. That's one of the demands of a widely used desktop environment.

Any dependency on base packages of the ISVs package not yet installed, would be fetched from the base repository prior to fetching the ISV package.

Any upgrade by the ISV to their package will be seen the next time the system is updating its package lists, thus enabling the system to trigger an upgrade.


This goes totally against having a solid and stable base system. You've got a moving target there. No installation of ISV software should trigger an update of the base system - ever. It falls apart right there and then.

What you've described above is working in many Linux distributions (has done for some time), but it just doesn't work on the scale required for widespread desktop use for the reasons I've continually outlined. There's been many discussions like this within Ubuntu, for example, about Autopackage, central repositories, whether to have them, how to solve it etc. It's nothing new.

You are the one bringing "unholdable generalistation crap", because you are extrapolating from the current situation to all possible future situations and not even Nostradamus could to that.

In terms of all future situations of this stuff, they obviously don't exist yet, and I've outlined why they never will because everything you've talked about has been discussed to death on package management - especially concerning repositories. There's no light at the end of the tunnel.

Nostradamus?! You're the one who's writing about mystical future situations that you don't know about yet.

"This cannot work on Linux" on the other hand would make other platforms irrelevant, but I don't see the word "Linux" in the context of this statement in your posting

Hint: Have a look at the original post and have a look at the title of this article ;-).

Making predictions on the future of IT is usually already difficult for short time periods, making one for any point in distante future is quite bold.

I'll just play Nostradamus for a bit and gaze into my crystal ball...... :-). If all else fails, just say no one can predict the future.

But you boldy claim that no one ever could do it.

Yes, and I've said why.

Which either means you know ever human being currently living and being born in any time until the human race is extinct or computing has changed to something different, or you are just making a guess.

Err, no. I just look at what's happening with pckage management and how many people are proposing to solve it and find a way forwards. There's nothing happening currently. That's the situation.

Extreme off-topic mystical tosh though. Yawn.

That's the thing you claimed can never work.

Certainly for the purposes of desktop Linux (and other OSs as well) no, I don't think it can work at all for the reasons I've outlined.

Oh? I do exactly that, Just talking about the distribution mechanism.

The distribution mechanism is just part of software installation, and it has implications for it.

I see. So we are wasting our time because we are talking about different topics.

Well if you are you've misunderstood the whole thing.

Can you give an example on what kind of configuration item cannot be asked by a system launched configuration wizard rather than a user launched configuration wizard?

Simple graphical configuration. Have a look at the MySQL installer on Windows and any installation mechanism used on Linux. You've still got the same problem of many distributions configuring things differently though, ISV packages trigger updates of the system etc. and so configuration becomes a moving target in the same way as the base system.

uh
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 16:16 UTC

keep saying that linux will never be the defacto desktop...maybe you are right....

of course, i personally havent read the "linux must take over the world" manifesto but maybe it exists, i personally am just happy with where it is at now - on my desktop and could care less if other users get it... I will still be using my OS in two years when M$ requires a new machine with DRM protection and so forth....

(flame bomb)
:)

Re: Part of the problem is current Linux desktop users
by David on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 16:17 UTC

Repositories are good for a base system, but don't solve the problem for ISVs and other software.

No, they certainly don't.

In fact, I grab a random deb or rpm off some site and try to install it, it won't automatically go out and get the needed dependencies.

It should never actually trigger an update of the needed dependencies (only within the context of itself), particularly those already installed, because then your system is a moving target.

yea
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 16:32 UTC

yea software installs should be painless just like on windows, it should auto open ports, put in default pages, and auto start services and not tell you about any of it or ask about configuration because that would mean you would have to learn something and might figure something out... keep the easy auto installs I love them, nothing better, none of that crazy linux stuff for you where you are asked questions about whether you want a service started locally or not and so forth... who needs that headaches... windows foreever
signed
the spammer, hacker, spyware guy


....waiting for my 60 sec to pass.....

uh
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 16:37 UTC

vi isnt outdated...just cryptic as hell ;)
nano and nano-tiny have been my choice for a while but then I am not leet ;)
but when a windows guy rants about how crazy vi is, well you can suggest nano but they will just ignore you and keep raving about vi.... they do not WANT to see that everything isnt as hard as they think it is, they just want a excuse to keep using windows and not have to relearn....

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Oh no
by Kevin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 16:43 UTC

You can't have a single distributor entity

Ok, I am curious: tell me one other single entity that legally and independendly from Apple distributed Mac OS X.

I had the impression that only Apple is allowed to do that.

But of course if this is so bad for ISVs, there is very likely at least a second entity doing that which I don't know of.

No installation of ISV software should trigger an update of the base system - ever

I fully agree with you, but I was referring to upgrades of the ISV package.
As opposed to having the software update itself.

If all else fails, just say no one can predict the future

Exactly!

There's nothing happening currently

Stagnation doesn't necessarily prevent development later on.

Hundrets of years the quest to be able to fly didn't improve, until some day a couple of geeks managed to fly a couple of yards.

I guess there have been tons of people through the centuries who predicted that this won't ever be possible.

The distribution mechanism is just part of software installation, and it has implications for it.

It is nevertheless an additional technology which can be discussed on its on merrits.
Just because HTTP is mostly used to deliever HTML documents, doesn't mean HTTP is damaged by also quite broken situation of HTML rendering.

Simple graphical configuration

Hmm, there could have been changes in what installers do nowadays, but back when I was installing software on Windows it just used wizards that asked options, page by page.

Sometimes mulitple choice like, sometimes requesting user input.

No difference to what dpkg does when installing packages without default options or on systems where the admin specifically requested to get all questions.

re: Linux @work sux
by Floyd Maxwell on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 17:25 UTC

joelito:
>>>Where u using BSD and *not* linux??? If it *was* linux, was it one of the known hassle Distros like Gentoo, Slackware, Pure Debian, etc???<<<

One time is was bsd, the other time HP/UX.

>>>I mean, i *know* vi IS outdated, that's why many modern linux distros come with nano(for the cmd users) where everything works just by using some CTRL + Key combo.<<<

Sure, and at that time I believe pico was an option. And you wouldn't believe how often we still used vi. Why? Pathing issues to pico. And different cmd shells requiring different configuration to be done but it never was. Bottom line is we toiled on with vi and unconfigured system issues, thinking that it would be "just this one time". Like I said, I was being paid for this, so it should have been OK. It wasn't because unix syntax is crap, i.e. NOT updated after all these years. DOS cmd line syntax is the most intuitive, by far.

>>>Most modern distributions include enough GUI tools do deal with TAR archives<<<

Note, I emphasized that I work with archives at the cmd line. Much easier/faster that way. Much. In DOS I set up batch files for common archive activities or paths that I want to change to and work in. Amazing how efficient it is. Unix is like walking a Great Dane by comparison.

>>>, display help files properly and so on...<<<

No doubt this is updated today. I would expect that to be the case. But, lol, I bet that many 3rd party apps still install man pages. Legacy issues can kill an otherwise modern OS. It takes one or more companies like Linspire making a truly easier/better experience to cause the rest to finally get it. There is progress, don't get me wrong. But there are still some seriously outdated mindset issues.

>>>Or is it that u ssh to your computers at work and expect it to look like win NT server (Including XP and so on)<<<<

I have never much cared for Windows on the server. But typically when you ssh or hop on to someone else's sytem, you get stuck with the lowest common denominator like vi -- unless people specially build wrappers that implement something better. DOS (again) did that with their default editor, eventually updating it to be qbasic-in-drag.


anon / tmodns.net:
>>>...but when a windows guy rants about how crazy vi is, well you can suggest nano but they will just ignore you and keep raving about vi....<<<

Not really ranting -- does one actually need to rant about vi? I was commenting on my experience at that time. I don't believe I ever used the word "linux" for example, and joelito figured that out.

>>>they do not WANT to see that everything isnt as hard as they think it is, they just want a excuse to keep using windows and not have to relearn....<<<

Look, I couldn't be happier with XP. I am not looking at linux in a serious way because I am not seeing any killer linux apps, nor any serious improvement in the experience -- and in fact I am seeing the opposite if anything (e.g. laptop issues). Yes I do want to avoid relearning _IF_ there are no benefits for my efforts. Is that really unreasonable?

I am not a Windows ranter, but a DOS+Windows preferrer. And this after computing 22+ years, many spent typing in PC Mag. utilities byte-by-byte, lol. I like Windows because it does 3rd-party devices better, fails better in config. areas (i.e. there are fewer config. issues and better documentation of them on the 'net, in help forums, etc. due to bigger marketshare, admittedly) and I don't have to mess with mount, lol. As the comments in this thread reveal, linux is good on servers, ok for novice home users, and is avoided by super users and average techies due to excessive gnarliness. Some company should test their linux with a dozen average techies who don't now use linux -- and every time the techies curse more than 3 expletives in a sentence they should sit down and make changes.

Linux also needs to simplify. This is something that DOS (and PCMag utilities) got very right. The average PCMag ap., for years, was just 3 files -- an .EXE, .HLP and .DOC. Linspire wins here, providing one package in each software category in the default installation. Yes you have to pay to get more if you use their system -- but (1) you don't have to, (2) most users won't mind terribly.

Maybe the mainstream linux companies -- suse, ubuntu, inspire, red hat, mandrake, etc. -- need to get together and create a single "lite" version of linux that each of them installs by default. Then, in the gui you optionally select the superset you want to install, if any. They would still differentiate themselves via the superset they offer, but the entire linux installed base would have a standardized core. The installation of that lite core could get screen resolution right, for a change. It could get sound, dvd, swf, pdf and laptop stuff nailed right off the bat. And for many home users the simple addition of an Open Office or equiv. would be all they would need to add -- reducing support issues to nothing, minimizing RAM demands and making a $100 to $200 PC desirable, not just doable.

Re: Re: Re: David
by peter_b on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 17:58 UTC

It depends. This is where I can tell many of you have never been in business like this at all. When a customer goes to you for business they're not interested in whether you use Photoshop or not. All they want is an image, or set of images, that you can produce for them for the business, website, literature etc. Whether you use Photoshop or the GIMP, they're simply not interested.

I think the person who has no clue what he's talking about is you. Do you work in computer graphics? I doubt. Of course the customer doesn't care what tools you're using to have the job done, but at least he wants the job to be done, and the job has to be perfect because there is fierce competition in graphic design and web design. You can't compete if you use the Gimp because the result is very poor and ugly. Believe me, most graphic designers you'll find on the Internet in forums have tried the Gimp because it breaks on's heart to have to play almost $3.000 into Photoshop, but there's no way around if you want a perfect job and if you want to make a difference on the market. The tool does the difference in this case. If you have friends who work in the area, ask them. You don't seem well informed. You could use the Gimp of course, but the result would be poor, and in the long run, you succeed to pay the Photoshop license in less than a 2 weeks because you can do a great job, and you can charge it to your customer. This is being smart. Smart investment, good results, satisfied customer, good money.



It's funny that all these people come out saying the GIMP isn't good enough, but no customer actually cares what you produce their images with as long as they get done. You can quite clearly get quite a bit done with the GIMP, but as to whether you need everything that's in Photoshop when you reach the limits of the GIMP is a considered decision that you make.


Again, you have no clue what you're talking about. You probably have never used Photoshop nor have you greated a masterpiece in the Gimp either! If you don't know what you're talking about, I think it's better not to talk.


For the vast majority of people and businesses, unless they're making a lot of money out of their Photoshop work to pay for their Photoshop licenses, it is simply too expensive regardless of whether people think that the alternatives are good enough or not. You may decide the GIMP is good enough, or go for Paint Shop Pro.


<sigh /> Photoshop is a good and necessary investment in the graphics industry. All communication agencies have Photoshop. Wondering why? Because the graphic design industry generated big bucks, and people fight to grab customers, only the best survive, and you need to prove yourself. Photoshop is the best tool for graphic design, and you have a fast ROI because people pay big bucks for quality. A good designer can't do a good job with poor software such as the ones you suggest.

You have no clue what you're talking about apparently, sorry.

@peter_b
by a nun, he moos on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 18:19 UTC

You can't compete if you use the Gimp because the result is very poor and ugly. Believe me, most graphic designers you'll find on the Internet in forums have tried the Gimp because it breaks on's heart to have to play almost $3.000 into Photoshop, but there's no way around if you want a perfect job and if you want to make a difference on the market.

I have used both programs intensively, and both produce the same quality output for Web design (i.e. things that are not supposed to be printed). For print, Photoshop still holds a slight lead over GIMP, but as CMYK support becomes more mature on GIMP this should change.

GIMP doesn't produce "poor and ugly" designs any more than Photoshop does: that all depends on the designer's talent and knowledge of the tools.

Oh, and Photoshop doesn't cost 3,000$.

Photoshop is the best tool for graphic design, and you have a fast ROI because people pay big bucks for quality. A good designer can't do a good job with poor software such as the ones you suggest.

GIMP isn't "poor software"...apart from CMYK support (which is improving, but only matters for print work) GIMP is just as capable as Photoshop. I know, I use Photoshop extensively in my day job, and use GIMP at home.

Not only that, but GIMP can actually save .PSD files (Photoshop's format) so you can very easily work in GIMP, then open up your file in Photoshop (and convert it to CMYK or Pantone) - which means you only need one copy of PS in the shop, which can be a real cost-saver in a graphics design shop.

Why do you think GIMP (as Cinepaint) has become so popular in Hollywood animation studios?

You have no clue what you're talking about apparently, sorry.

Actually, it seems you have no clue about graphic design software. The other poster made some valuable points which you simply ignored. Sorry.

Flawed comments
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 18:42 UTC

I really I'm amazed at the comments about Linux, so many people here live in there windows world with no actual knowledge of Linux or years old out of date info myth.

People come to a forum I mod still using Redhat 8/9, no wonder these comments exsist, Linux has moved on a world away from RH8/9. People who say Linux is not for the desktop simple dont know what they are talking about, is Windows really a desent desktop OS?, because it must have the most conplaints for a product in history. A desktop OS with Virus's, worms, spyware, security nightmares, no standard HTML browser, Linux has non of this and is free.

It's funny that Longhorn which is still over a year away is getting features that Linux desktop has had for years, PDF, text and lots more previewing of many formats.

Stop the BS and get on with real facts.

re: re: Linux @work sux & more...
by hobgoblin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 18:54 UTC

i said dos-like not dos directly...

1-2 files that control the basic startup after the kernel have done its bit. want to stop something from starting everytime? comment out the line that starts it.

as for multiple shells, most linux distros come pre-configed with about 5-6 virtual terminals. if your not running X then alt+f1-6 should bring up a new login prompt. this allows you to have say a browser like links or w3m up in one terminal while editing something in a diffrent one. all without starting X. why win2k have to boot up into gui mode to give me a safe mode with commandline i dont know. ok so there is the recovery console but that require aditional files installed and adds a extra boot option in boot.ini or something like that.

and if i want to start X then all i have to do is type startx in one of said terminals and up comes X with my desktop enviromet of choice. i can even start gui apps from any of the terminals and tell them to go find the desktop (alltho i wish they where able to do so on their own).

"randomapp :0 &" should do the trick. randomapp is the name of the app, :0 tells it to go to X display 0 on the local machine and & puts it in the background so i can still use the shell.

from X i can still reach the virtual terminals with ctrl+alt+f1-6. ctrl+alt+f7 or f8 should give me X again.

dos was at one time allmost this flexible. but you had to kill win3.x to get back into the dos shell, unless you fired up command.com in a window inside windows. and there was no way to restart a TSR program without restarting the whole machine.

as for installing a random package of the net. i have only tryed this in mandrake 10.1 but when you doubleclick a rpm there it will be sendt to rpmdrake, the mandrake tool that handles package install and uninstall (basicly a frontend for the uprmi commandline tool).

there it will be read and any dependencies checked against rpmdrakes list of ftp server and cd's to see if they can be fullfilled.

if not then you will be presented with a dialog telling you what rpms are missing. feed these to google and it will most likely point you to rpmfind or similar pages. download and repeat.

ok
by Anonymous on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 19:26 UTC

waste of time.....
moving on....

you are right.... no reason for anyone to use linux.....

strange that people do, isnt it.....

re: re: Linux @work sux & more...
by Floyd Maxwell on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 19:37 UTC

Hobglobin:
Thanks for the clarif. on how multiple shells are loaded before the gui is optionally loaded.

BTW, renaming win.com allowed "just DOS" at startup. Also PC Mag's "Install" and "Remove" allowed adding and removing TSRs (in DOS, or within a DOS box but not if TSR loaded before Windows admittedly).

Re: Faulty Logic
by aGNUstic on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 19:50 UTC

Okay, here is my response to the three statements:

1. Installing applications is complicated.

I am of the systems administrators on a college campuses out in the wilds of New Mexico. We have been, until recently, a 'Redmond' only campus.

Starting my sixth year, I can honestly say there are some 'Redmond' based software that is a pain-in-the-ass to install, manage, and maintain. This is especially true for older software that was created for 3.1 and early 95 flavors. Yes, you can ghost, image, and all that jazz. But that initial config can still bite.

For me, installing software in Linux is as easy as opening a terminal window as a super user and typing the distribution update, upgrade, or install command. All the dependencies are taken care of. Done.

2. Directory structures can be confusing to navigate.

This is as easy as Read the "Fine" Manual. Good lord. en I do a scan of my wife's little XP box it reads 30 directories visable and over 7,000 files.

Need I remind a many a 'Redmond' system admin the curve they had when they started out driving with 'Redmond'? I find the 'Redmond' registry less complex than the actual distibution of files on a 'Redmond' box.

3. Interface is confusing and inconsistent. A steep learning curve required to understand system functions.

It's all very much 'straight forward' once you learn the grammar and syntax. I have found 'Redmond' limited and restrictive.

Again. crack open a manual in an area that doesn't make sense. The 'Redmond' resource kit is a wonderful read too on learning the latest and greatest for the latest flavor of the OS.

Finally, while your arguments may sound - well - legit, A+B does not lead to C.

Re: Floyd Maxwell
by Matt24 on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 19:51 UTC

"MacOS is the most overrated of all OSes -- a true pain in the butt. ONE mouse button?!?!?!"

Please not that crap again, plug in a two button mouse and it just works.

There were a few other stupid remarks about OSX you made, I won't get into them, obvious you do have a personal interest in being the devil's advocate.

Talking about multi-tasking, security ,stability and maintenance (MS did have some good ideas but their implementations are the worst) compared to OSX Windows is a sick joke.

I am working at an IT company which is mainly focused at Windows and I am deeply ashamed of what we push 'our' customers down their throat and the volume of manpower/money it needs just to make/keep it running.

But in a sense I do understand you, if you don't know an OS like OSX or the difference between OSX and that what was before OSX (which indeed was outdated) you may think that Windows is a 'decent' OS, it is not, Microsoft knows this and that is why Longhorn takes so long.

You won't know, until you choose to know, we are living in a world of self-delusion.

Re: Self-delusion
by Lee Nooks on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 22:05 UTC

> Matt24 (IP: ---.solcon.nl) said:
> You won't know, until you choose to know, we are living in a world of self-delusion.

This is the general rule, I agree with you.

But look at the recurring theme of these posts: old linux versions, repeating statements of 4 (four) years ago, talking about what no longer applies (Macs can use multi-button mouses, now)... that remembers me of someone who wrote about strange talks in forums.

These criticisms seem copied from lists!

And the way some lost meaning (because developers already fixed them) -- but are nonetheless posted at infinitum, as if the writer doesn't care about what is going on in the OS scene.

Maybe I'm getting paranoid, uh?

Linux is great :)
by peter_b on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 22:08 UTC

It's free of charge and widely available on free CD-ROMs. Why no one wants it then? ;)

RE: peter_b
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 22:28 UTC

"It's free of charge and widely available on free CD-ROMs. Why no one wants it then? ;) "

Silly useless comment.
Have a look here:

http://www.interknet.net/bt/stats.php

And here I am quoting a SUSE developer about what happened after SUSE 9.3 was released for free:

>>The situation at ftp.gwdg.de is as worse as never before and as worse as I never had thought to happen: this time, a new important release does not push the total output sum to a new height, but it is even lower than during the "quiet days" before...
This is due to the size of the 9.3 tree: it is 29 GB, including the new iso/split/ directory I like to add, and this is far beyond the available buffer cache (ftp.gwdg.de has "only" 12 GB RAM).
So almost every download is really moving the 15 available disk heads, and with 1000 to 2500 users at every moment, disk heads are more moving than reading.<<

So nobody wants linux? Get your facts right before you write nonsense.

And BTW
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 22:32 UTC

That is just *one* of the many dozens of SUSE mirrors.

@peter_b
by A nun, he moos on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 22:33 UTC

It's free of charge and widely available on free CD-ROMs. Why no one wants it then?

Plenty of people are using it. Over 25 million, according to some estimates.

Of course, many more people use Windows on the desktop, but that's because it comes pre-installed with most new computers. And the reason it comes pre-installed with most new computers is because of MS's monopolistic practices with OEMs - NOT because of the OS' qualities.

Have a look here:

http://www.interknet.net/bt/stats.php


Ok, if you add up these downloads, they count for 65,000 downloads. This is only for SuSE, and there are other distros and other ways to download Linux. Still, this is virtually nothing compared to the estimate 830 million users of the Internet. No surprise Linux has only 1% market share. Most Linux users are web hosting companies, developpers, teachers and it's used also for corporate servers.

RE: peter_b
by Anonymous Penguin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 23:20 UTC

"No surprise Linux has only 1% market share."

Where do you people get that figure from? It is at least around 3%, not even counting people who dual boot or people who are planning to use linux in the near future.

And as A nun, he moos said, linux users are still so few simply because people don't even know that another OS exists.

When I introduce new people to linux I get positive reactions in at least 5 times out of 10: that makes for a potential 50% market share.

@ Anonymous Penguin
by hobgoblin on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 23:51 UTC

i do belive some of those comments are defined as either sarcasm or irony. problem is that i cant tell the two apart these days...

Yeah, sure...
by Lee Nooks on Sun 3rd Jul 2005 23:57 UTC

> Why nobody wants Linux?

It seems some companies are having trouble convincing their users to update / upgrade. Tsc, tsc, no more money...

Linux users, OTOH, update regularly, just because they can. It's free, you know. Free as in speech, and free as in beer, though many choose to pay and have support. That's why Red Hat is doing good.

Linux is an option for all, because it's independent.

Cost-free products, OTOH, are not always for everyone. Internet Explorer, for example, is free -- but only for those having a Windows license. Thus, poor developers cannot use IE, because they cannot afford Windows -- nor even a new computer with a pre-installed Windows (I know many pirate Windows, but this is another problem).

> Linux has 1% market share.

Oh, come on, you can do better. Say 1.83% or 2.5%. No one believes in 1%, people are not that gullible!

And, think about it, Linux has no marketing machine supporting it.

How come so many people talk about it? How come so many countries are promoting it?

How come companies with rich marketing departments cannot reverse this trend? Is it bad marketing or this trend is really irreversible?

I, FWIW, think modern corporative marketing is fairly competent. But, then again, the question lingers: if proprietary products are that good, why marketing cannot stop Linux progressive growth?

Is there a way out? ;-P

For crap's sake.
by Shaman on Mon 4th Jul 2005 00:46 UTC

I've been using Linux on the desktop since 1997. I can't do proper administrative work on Windoze at all.

oh well
by Anonymous on Mon 4th Jul 2005 01:03 UTC

someone reports my post for abuse..... that is tooo funny

RE: Yeah, sure...
by Anonymous Penguin on Mon 4th Jul 2005 01:03 UTC

ROTFLMAO!

Re: Yeah, sure...
by Joe User on Mon 4th Jul 2005 01:31 UTC

How come companies with rich marketing departments cannot reverse this trend? Is it bad marketing or this trend is really irreversible?

Microsoft has launched a biased advertising campaign called "Get the facts". This campaign it aimed at stoping/reversing the trend that more and more companies are using LAMP as a viable server solution. By no means the "Get the fact" campaign is aimed at preventing people from using Linux on the desktop. No one uses Linux on the desktop, it's a server OS. Two different markets.

The trend you're talking about is happening on the server end, not on the desktop.

Joe User (IP: 200.138.43.---)
by Finalzone on Mon 4th Jul 2005 03:45 UTC

By no means the "Get the fact" campaign is aimed at preventing people from using Linux on the desktop. No one uses Linux on the desktop, it's a server OS. Two different markets.

Problem is your mindset. You refuse to see there are people who use Linux as desktop. One of them is me.

Re: Floyd Maxwell
by Piers on Mon 4th Jul 2005 04:45 UTC

Your suggestion for a base Linux install is a good one. There is one Linux Distro that caters for that with a CLI base install. Arch Linux.

Now if others followed a similar approach then I'd be happy. The only thing I didn't like with Arch Linux was the hand configuring but it is a elegant system and it teaches you a lot about the underlying OS.

I am torn between Arch and Ubuntu but neither are the golden egg for me. I prefer to use Gnome on Linux though to anything else including OS-X and WinXP. Do I use Linux exclusively? No but I use it for 85% of my computing tasks and as more software become available for it I'll use it more.

Configuring is a pain for full hardware support but OS maintenance is a piece of piss which can not be said for Windows. Performance on same hardware for (best illistration I can think of that pushes the sysem fully) gaming is favouring Linux.

All horses for courses, now all of you shutup and go out and get some fresh air.

Why do we care?
by John Hunt on Mon 4th Jul 2005 05:16 UTC

I'd be just as happy if linux stayed as-is on desktops.. I dont use windows, i know better. Linux is easy to use and powerful to me.. why do i care if anyone else thinks so?

Re: Why do we care?
by peter_b on Mon 4th Jul 2005 11:45 UTC

I'd be just as happy if linux stayed as-is on desktops.. I dont use windows, i know better. Linux is easy to use and powerful to me.. why do i care if anyone else thinks so?

Because you're a selfish person, like most Linux developpers and users. If it works for them, they don't care if it doesn't work for regular users. Nice.

Windows look of MacOS-X
by slacker on Mon 4th Jul 2005 13:56 UTC

It's funny you know but alot of Windows users like there desktop to look like MacOS-X, have you seen what it takes to get it to look that way?

Well in GNOME it's just a case of dragging the icon and gtk2 theme tar in the theming options and you have a MacOS-X look. Thats one of the many things thats much easier to do on the Linux desktop, in windows you have to install about 5 programs and mess about for god knows how long.

People forget jusy how easy it is to do tasks in Linux but at the same time protecting the user with the inconvenence of a root password.

@peter_b
by A nun, he moos on Mon 4th Jul 2005 15:36 UTC

If it works for them, they don't care if it doesn't work for regular users. Nice.

Except that it does work for regular users. And so your entire argument crumbles down to the ground...

@A nun, he moos
by peter_b on Mon 4th Jul 2005 17:25 UTC

Except that it does work for regular users.

Proove it. Linux fails miserably on the desktop for regular users. Every week or so, we have negative feedback from customers who are "forced" to use Linux. There are some companies, call centers, libraries and other institutions that are implementing Linux on their computers, users aren't able to use it, and they complain all the time.

Please verify your information before stating something you have no clue about.

@peter_b
by A nun, he moos on Mon 4th Jul 2005 17:56 UTC

Proove it.

No, you made the original assertion, you have to "proove" it first!

Getting negative feedback is no proof - do you know how much negative feedback I get from people who are forced to use Windows? Using your own logic, one would say that Windows doesn't work for regular users - in fact, nothing would work for regular users, including toasters and VCRs.

Meanwhile, my ex-girlfriend, a complete non-geek and novice computer user, used a Linux desktop for a whole year and didn't find it any harder than Windows. In fact, she liked it much better than her old Win98 computer, which kept crashing.

Same story with my current roommate, an intermediate computer user, who has used Mac and Windows PCs a lot. While he sometimes ask how to do specific things that are done diffrently on Linux, he recongnizes that it is a mature and powerful operating system.

There are some companies, call centers, libraries and other institutions that are implementing Linux on their computers, users aren't able to use it, and they complain all the time.

Please prove what you are saying by giving us the names of those companies where people aren't able to use Linux, and what the specific problem is.

Personally, I don't believe a word of it, because all of the examples you gave are focused on a very specific set of applications (in a call center, for example, workers will use a set of 2 or 3 applications at the most). So in fact I am quite certain that you're simply spreading FUD here. Linux/BSD/Solaris is ideal for the kind of work you mention - well, ideal except if you work for Microsoft, that is...

Please verify your information before stating something you have no clue about.

I have

@A nun, he moos
by Saphier on Mon 4th Jul 2005 18:00 UTC

"Proove it. Linux fails miserably on the desktop for regular users."

This is rather subjective, and is the usual argument we hear about Linux. The fact is, you could say the same thing about Windows when you factor in all the headaches with security and other issues. Users complain all the time about Windows too. So what's your point?

I guess you meant to reply to peter_b...
by A nun, he moos on Mon 4th Jul 2005 18:13 UTC

...since you basically said the exact same thing I did (in a much more concise way...)

dang
by Anonymous on Mon 4th Jul 2005 18:25 UTC

dang it... A nun beat us all... well anyway

i was going to point out about the complaints all the time argument as well...

well i am posting anyway ;)

Good article
by alucinor on Mon 4th Jul 2005 20:22 UTC

If these things were implemented in Linux, I think it wouldn't be a vast improvement, but a nice bit of polish on an already "pretty good" desktop OS.

While package managers are neat, sometimes they don't have the package I'm looking for. I use Ubuntu, and while I'm savvy enough to realize I need to look for Debian Unstable .deb files when the package I want is unavailable, I couldn't expect an average user to do this. If we could have a distro-independent packaging system adopted for Linux-based operating systems, that would be awesome.

And I do find it annoying that sometimes my newly-installed program doesn't have a menu icon, and I have to make one myself. But I can't count on the executable or the icon being in a specific directory ... the icon could possibly be in:

/usr/share/appname/pixmaps
/usr/lib/appname/share
/usr/games/share
/usr/games/share/pixmaps

Yadda yadda yadda.

I know a lot of people are upset that someone would have the audacity to suggest Linux may not be perfect; but although it already is a pretty good system, I think the things mentioned in the article would be "icing on the cake" and only help the adoption of desktop Linux.

Extra cooperation and work will help far more than righteously screaming in the average users' faces, "USE LINUX BECAUSE IT IS PERFECT!"

re: Good article
by hobgoblin on Mon 4th Jul 2005 22:24 UTC

while i dont think anyone have yet claimed that linux is the perfect os, the claim is that its usable by joe sixpack and family.

to that i will add that to test this fully one should duplicate joe on a atomic level. delete any knowledge joe have about using computers. put one copy in front of a preinstalled windows and one in front of a preinstalled linux. both running on fully working hardware btw.

after about a month of containment they each rate the experience.

im guessing that under these conditions the score will overall be about equal but diffrent areas will score diffrently from system to system.

basicly there are not enough preinstalled linux boxes sold for any statisticaly valid rating to be done.

there is allso the thing that 99% of the computer users out there will have their first experience with a computer running windows. and this will color their view of things unless they allso experience linux soon after.

humans are creatures of habbit. we do not like to change out habbits. so when a person that have had some months or years using windows then have to use linux they will complain endlessly that they cant find anything where they expect it to be. its just like having someone come into your house and move stuff around so that what you belive you left in the livingroom is now in you bedroom and so on.

The dirty little secret of Linux...
by amavida on Wed 6th Jul 2005 03:09 UTC

I totally agree with the article. Linux is not ready for desktop use. I pity those being 'sold' the Linux message for desktop use. It's a big lie.

I migrated from Monopoly$oft to Linux a couple of years ago. I spent 12 months running Linux exclusively on my desktop boxes, eventually settling on Slackware after trying many many distros.

Dependencies, package management & the lack of uniformity in directory structures/file placement almost drove me insane when trying to install/uninstall applications.

I found i was spending as much time coping with these massive design flaw's as i was on my previous Monopoly$oft boxes.

Linux zealots told me 'oh, no problem, just compile the app yourself' - yeah right!

just try it & see how much time you waste trying to figure out why it WON'T compile - inconsistent directory strutcures/file placements. Hell even symlinks are a free for all from one distro to the next & from one packager to the next.

Eventually I gave up & bought a Mac... ahhhh, i felt right at home... all the familliar unix commands in a unix terminal... one (mostly) consistent gui... and installing applications is an absolute dream.

Installing an app on MacOS X:

1. open archive containg app.
2. drag app to 'applications' folder.

Uninstalling an app on MacOS X:

1. drag app from 'applications' folder to the trash.
2. [optionally) drag preference file of the app from the 'preferences' folder to the trash.

This holds true for 99.9% of Mac apps.
A few mac developrs insist on creating installers that splatter files all over your os (a la windows) but they are in the minority & there are easy strategies to undo the mess they make.

Why on earth would anyone in their right mind think that the fragile, super complex mess presently embodied in Linux is ok for desktop use is totally beyond my comprehension....

'Mac like' disto's
by amavida on Wed 6th Jul 2005 03:46 UTC

Well I just stumbled across Gobo Linux in my readings.

At last !!

A distro that acknowlegdes Linux's short comings & sweeps away all the arcane nonsense, reimplementing Linux in a more 'Mac like' way!!

Now that Mac's are switching to x86 CPU's Gobo Linux is one I will be keeping in mind for installation on my 'MacTel' next year ;) hehehe

http://www.realtechnews.com/posts/1511

Still feel good about giving someone you care about a Windows infection?

-Gnobuddy