Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 11th Nov 2005 19:43 UTC
Linux "As you already know, if I have to sit down in front of a computer, I want it to be running the Gnome desktop on Linux. I've watched it mature from a downright ugly, needlessly complex playground for geeks, to an attractive, simple interface that holds its own against commercial alternatives. And yet, every day I still encounter rough edges that make me think there aren't nearly enough folks out there hacking away at this stuff. I'd like to watch." Read more at PCWorld. Warning: While some of the author's gripes can be fixed by installing third party applications or plugins, or by tweaking Alsa etc, the point remains that his default distribution and/or Gnome did not come with these conveniences by default. Most people don't like tweaking stuff, they want things that "just work".
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I like
by ma_d on Fri 11th Nov 2005 19:54 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

Getting everything done for me too. Unfortunately the world doesn't work that way, quit whining and help.
Now I'll read the article and see if his grips are legitimate or just lazy and loving of ignorance (does he want to learn, or be ignorant and spoon fed?).

Reply Score: 1

He is right!
by vondur on Fri 11th Nov 2005 19:57 UTC
vondur
Member since:
2005-07-07

Most people would like such things to work out of the box on their computer. The icon mess and the sound mess should not happen, period, for linux to be a viable desktop operating system. The issue of the video codecs is more difficult however, even under Windows or Macintosh you may have to download a variety of media players to sucessfully play the myriads of video content all over the internet today. Menu editing is another sore spot. Gnome should have an easy way to arrange your menu items. A drag and drop solution would be ideal. If any major manufacturers would support linux on their hardware, and license any of the software needed for a good desktop experience, then we may see some real headway made against Windows.

Reply Score: 4

...
by Truthseeker on Fri 11th Nov 2005 19:59 UTC
Truthseeker
Member since:
2005-07-18

He makes some valid points but:

1.) Totem, as of Gnome 2.12, has a Mozilla plugin so you don't need the Mozplugger hack. Pretty unstable though.

2.) I use Ubuntu Breezy and have a menu editor but I thought Gnome 2.12 default had one aswell.
http://www.gnome.org/~davyd/gnome-2-12/images/panel-editor.png

Eugenia, are you using Gnome again or are you sticking with WindowMaker?

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by RGCook on Sat 12th Nov 2005 04:29 UTC in reply to "..."
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

I've been a diehard KDE user since SUSE 9.1 and I think I know my way around, but the talk about Breezy got tom me, so I partitioned off space and made some room on my lapper. Gnome blew me away. It is very polished and Breezy saw everything, cept for the wireless Broadband. With a little utility called EasyUbuntu, I was was watching Christmas DVD I burned from 1993 and listening to mp3 the next minute. It works and it rules. Bottom line.

Reply Score: 1

He is definitely helping by complaining.
by jjmckay on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:00 UTC
jjmckay
Member since:
2005-11-11

I've installed Ubuntu on my AMD64 machine with a nVidia 6600GT graphics card and I would like to just set resolution and refresh rate (1152x864 @ 100hz) easily and graphically. I tried editing xorg.conf and using the gtf or whatever it is that command line program that gets the correct parameters but that just corrupted xorg.conf and then I couldn't even get back into X! What a simple, even petty, thing to want to be able to set resolution and refresh rate (works great in Windows!!!) and yet Ubuntu and every other linux/unix I've worked with can't do this most basic of things easily. Hell, even my Amiga back in 1987 could set resolution easily!! That was 18 years ago. Get with the program. Get the most basic things done first then worry about the extras.

Reply Score: 5

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I think the nvidia driver auto detects monitor refresh rates. But if you would like to correctly generate your xorg.conf there is a nice script:
xorgconfig
And I believe you can run xorgcfg and that will use X to generate most settings (I've found that it fails 99.9999% of the time though, usually fails to find my mouse :/).

Quit complaining and read the documentation. X configuration is done via xorg.conf, and complaining about that will only make you older and more raspy.

This was informative and unoffensive... Please don't vote down comments because you don't like what they say.

Edited 2005-11-11 20:15

Reply Score: 2

Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't understand this, it should be as easy as Preferences -> Screen Resolution. If this doesn't allow you to set the possible values, then your monitor type was not properly detected. But most distributions should ask for a specific model or frequencies in that case during installation.

Reply Score: 3

jjmckay Member since:
2005-11-11

Thanks I'll check that. rebooting. ;)

Reply Score: 1

re_re Member since:
2005-07-06

Suse has a graphical utility to easily change screen resolution, aslo PCLinuxOS has a very easy graphical utility to change the screen resolution along with graphics drivers and configure dual head.

Reply Score: 1

morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

Libranet 3 has it's 'adminmenu' which allows pretty complex setup of X from the GUI :-) It beats anything else out there on the market imho. Check out some screendumps that I did here:

http://www.dia.net.au/david/index.html

The X section is about 3/4s the way down the page (sorry, it was a quick hack a while ago, and I never bothered to fix the html code and add shortcut hyperlinks to each section, maybe one day I will when I have some spare time).

Sadly, Libranet is in some difficulties, being a one man distro. The owner of Libranet, Tal, has indicated that the one man distro no longer works for him, and he's stopped selling Libranet 3, pending finding alternatives, such as business investment, etc, allowing him to hire more developers to help with the future development of Libranet. Pretty sad really, since it's easily the best Debian based distro out there (I can see that comment upsetting a lot of Ubuntu users lol).

Dave

Reply Score: 1

ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

(I can see that comment upsetting a lot of Ubuntu users lol)
Not really. I like all forms of debian ;) I dont think ubuntu is (yet/never) good enough. Hope we can improve on it.

Looks like we can add former libranet users to the ubuntu list then. I should confess, i've never tried libranet out though, and probably never will if nothing happens to it.

Reply Score: 1

morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

Nah. Not this user anyways. I see a few people on the Libranet forums trying Ubuntu, but many of them dislike it, and prefer the likes of Mepis or Kanotix, or just pure Debian. Irrespective of what happens to Libranet, it's easy to maintain a Debian system for me (and still keep the goodies that Libranet does!).

Despite not being currently available, and very much underrated (with some very badly written reviews on it I might add by several individuals who have blatantly spread some poorly researched FUD - yes, you know who you are), Libranet 3 is what I'd consider as the most Debian compatible, Debian derivative. It has features others lack, and sorely lack. If only Debian could get someone like Mark Shuttleworth behind it, allowing Tal to hire developers and go in the direction of development that he sees/wants for Libranet! There's a lot of potential there.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

Daniel Borgmann Member since:
2005-07-08

That tool is so technical that it is not much better than text based configuration. Just slapping a GUI around it is missing the point.

Manual monitor configuration shouldn't even be necessary when the monitor reports the correct mode values. And if not, it is possible to make this particular configuration a lot simpler. Fedora allows this under System Settings -> Display. Once the hardware is correctly identified, all available resolutions and refresh rates should be available from Preferences -> Screen Resolution. This really shouldn't be an issue anymore.

Reply Score: 1

morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

You actually don't have to change any of the monitor settings. All you really need to do is to simply select the screen resolution and color depth. The rest is simply there if you want to adjust it.

If all you really want to do is adjust the screen resolution, KDE has offered that for some time now. Right click on desktop, select configure desktop, click on the display button and change away! It's no more difficult that doing it on a Windows PC. You wouldn't believe how many can't even do it on Windows! Do I hear people blaming that Windows is badly designed? Nope. A touch hypocritical methinks.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

[removed by the author for harshness]

Doing everything via the package manager is the only way to go in the big Linux distros. Surfing the net and downloading a pre-packaged program is the "Windows way" to install applications and doesn't fit well with the way most *nix systems are designed. Apologies for jumping on you. I hadn't thoroughly read your description of your xorg.conf.

Edited 2005-11-12 02:21

Reply Score: 1

John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

What a simple, even petty, thing to want to be able to set resolution and refresh rate (works great in Windows!!!) and yet Ubuntu and every other linux/unix I've worked with can't do this most basic of things easily.

I wouldn't call setting resoulition or refrsh rate a basic thing. To even suggest that it's an important application of an IT-device is insulting. Any information system based on a device requireing the user to do anything more that press the power button to get it into a usable state is seriously flawed.

Reply Score: 1

Java & Pasting
by yelo on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:01 UTC
yelo
Member since:
2005-11-11

Maybe it's just a fluke, but middle-click paste seems to work well with java for me.

Anybody else tried this?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Java & Pasting
by ma_d on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:14 UTC in reply to "Java & Pasting"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Doesn't work for me. It might be a per-program thing and not a java thing. Middle click paste is a different signal than paste (and usually a different clipboard too)..

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Java & Pasting
by chemical_scum on Sat 12th Nov 2005 00:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Java & Pasting"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Doesn't work for me. It might be a per-program thing and not a java thing. Middle click paste is a different signal than paste (and usually a different clipboard too)..

Yeah.. I've been trying out cut and paste on a few Java programs on Linux with the 1.5 Sun JRE.

Jedit and Arachnophilia:
Freedesktop clipboard under GNOME works
Unix middle click paste doesn't

DrawSWF:
Freedesktop clipboard N/A
Unix middle click paste works erratically

Freemind:
Freedesktop clipboard under GNOME works
Unix middle click paste works erratically

Reply Score: 1

My real response
by ma_d on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:02 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

Yea, video stinks. I'm happy with konqueror though, when it hits an embedded video it offers to launch xine or kaffeine for me (which is the way nature actually intended it, not embedded into a webpage where the webpage controls the video feed).

Yes, esd stinks: It's a waste of time on alsa. apt-get remove esd (or something like that). It also adds a time delay. It was very useful back when we had OSS. I think the reason flash kills your audio is that it's using the OSS compatibility, which *I think* even in ALSA disables mixing. I'm not sure though, I really haven't had these problems since I started using ALSA two years ago.

Gaim icon: "Wow, that's messed up" (Office Space, the shrink in response to the "my life sucks everyday" speech).

Gnome-menus: I miss that ability too. But I left Gnome quite a while ago. I believe the theory is that the distributor does menus, and if you wanted to change it you'd be an uber-geek and figure it out yourself.

You can't paste?

Reply Score: 1

jjmckay Member since:
2005-11-11

Well, I would like to use Linux though. I like all operating systems though. Each has its strengths as you elude to. I would like Gnome/KDE and other popular gui's for *nix to do what my amiga did with an OS on a single 880k floppy could do with no problem. Windows 95 could set my resolution easily, so could WinNT. Even OS2 2.1 could do it.

Why is it such a huge request to ask to be able to graphically set the desktop resolution on my computer in *nix using xorg or X11R6? My eyes get blurry at 60hz refresh and it's just way too flickery.

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/xorg-config.xml
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Xorg -- site is unbearably slow right now
http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~djm/ubuntu/ --has helpful tips

There is probably a thousand sites which detail how to get xorg working the way you want. There are multiple forums filled with people willing to help (justlinux.com, search first for your own good; linuxquestions.org, ubuntu forums), there are irc channels filled with people waiting to help you on your distribution. And you come into OSNews and complain, and wonder why you don't get much help.

This is your patient, not yelling at you for doing something blatantly rude, help. Take it wisely, follow my advise, don't mod me down for not sugar coating it, and fix your problem.
No one is going to hold your hand through anything *nix because we know that's best for you in the long run. It's called "tough love", just don't get some crazy idea that anyone "loves" you ;) .

Reply Score: 3

jjmckay Member since:
2005-11-11

Thanks very much for your feedback and the resources. Google wasn't helpful which usually is. I'll do those.

Well, Daniel's input was correct. One can (in theory) set resolution/refresh in Preferences -> Screen Resolution. However xorg only shows the most basic resolutions, 1024x768;800x600;640x640 and all only at 60hz (eye killing flicker for me). Well, this is about what Windows would do so that in and of itself is understandable to me.

So I went to nVidia's site & downloaded the driver for amd64/linux. I run that (having to set u+x permissions which a real novice wouln't know how to do) and it says the following:

ERROR: Unable to find the system utility `ld`; please make sure you have the package 'binutils' installed. If you do have binutils installed, then please check that `ld` is in your PATH.

So I'm not sure if it's Ubuntu's distro that is lacking or if it is nVidia's driver that has an unusual dependency. Google search indiciates that binutils is a rather standard thing for Ubuntu so I just don't know why it can't find ld. I've found nothing so far. A 'find / -name ld' gets nothing.

Okay i'm positive all of this can be fixed with some work but its just not what Linux needs to have users going through if it wants to grow to outcompete Windows on the desktop. I would like nothing more than to stop using Windows for many reasons but .....

My point in posting this, in a way, isn't looking for tech support but to post this type of issue that the story points to with Linux. Its topical as I see it.

Reply Score: 1

signals Member since:
2005-07-08

So I went to nVidia's site & downloaded the driver for amd64/linux.

While I have 64-bit hardware, I am still running the x86 version of Ubuntu (and I haven't gotten around to the Breezy update either) so this may not apply to x86_64/Breezy, but...

I'm pretty sure the nVidia drivers are in universe or multiverse. IIRC the package is called "nvidia-glx" Once you have set up your apt sources to look in universe and multiverse it's a simple matter of "apt-get install nvidia-glx"

You *CAN* install the nVidia drivers from nVidia's site, and I have done it under Hoary, but you really have to know what you are doing. You'll need all of the standard development tools, the kernel source for the kernel you are running (might be best to compile your own kernel first), etc. It's much easier to just take it from the apt repository.

--
Kevin

Reply Score: 1

ple_mono Member since:
2005-07-26

I don't now how used to linux you are, but anyway - downloading the driver from nvidia is not necessary. That 's begging for problems if you're a newbie.

(if you want to (re)configure X)
Just do 'sudo dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg, go mostly with the default answer and pick your card/driver.

open up synaptic and install the nvidia drivers from there.

do 'sudo /etc/X11/xorg.conf" in a terminal and change the line
Driver "nv"
to
Driver "nvidia"

that should do it i think.

But yeah, joe user shouldn't have to do this

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

The other repliers are probably right, ubuntu probably packages nvidia drivers.

Now, I'm going to give you the standard 64bit disclaimer: Not everything works on 64bit, expect uphill battles on some things that the 32bitters get off scott free with.

That said, please, continue to blaze the x64 trail for those of us (me) who can't afford one yet. It will be a good idea to go ahead and install packages like binutils, and gcc. Note, when you're building things, you'll need "-dev" packages not just the regular package. Those "-dev" packages contain header files (this is needed to build source code). So like, say you want something that needs gtk. You need gtk, and gtk-dev. I'm about 95% sure Ubuntu uses this convention, I know Debian does. Some distributions just put the header files into the regular packages.

FOSS is not about competing with Microsoft. FOSS is about power for the user. The best way to empower the user is to educate him. That doesn't mean you make everything overly difficult, and I'm sure there are people working on nicer xconfiguration utilities; but things are never going to get completely sugarcoated for you. And that's a *VERY* good thing. Endless problems stem from users being able to do things they don't understand; trust me, I've done some phone tech support.

Reply Score: 1

Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

The point is, why *should* setting refresh rate be difficult?

(I know, in theory it's set via corresponding Gnome preferences applet, but at least in Ubuntu it doesn't allow me to choose any refresh rate other than that selected by default; the drop-down box has exactly one item...)

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Because wrong refresh rates can destroy some screens.

Reply Score: 1

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

1) Because the X people are overly paranoid about incorrect mode settings destroying screens (if you have a monitor that old, it deserves to die!)

2) Mode setting is actually quite fricking complicated. Blame the hardware people.

Reply Score: 1

JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

Because the X people are overly paranoid about incorrect mode settings destroying screens (if you have a monitor that old, it deserves to die!)

I actually did that to a monitor. It was rated to 35KHz (horz) max, and I switched it into a 38KHz mode. It was fine for about five seconds, then the flyback transformer blew with a nice puff of black smoke. It was cheaper to replace it than fix it. ;)

Reply Score: 1

TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem is thats what Linux is trying to become, a "hold your hand" OS for the masses so it can gain desktop acceptance.

Reply Score: 1

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Linux isn't trying to become anything.
Ubuntu, Linspire, XandrOS, and others are trying to become "hold your hand" OS'es.

Linux developers are trying to make Linux robust and flexible. If you want to see a "hold your hand" kernel look at fbsd: That's the easiest kernel compile I've done (this is a compliment to them).

Reply Score: 1

blixel Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem is thats what Linux is trying...

yeah - that's a real problem isn't it. You'll have to abandon Linux for some other obscure OS that no one has ever heard of, and that nothing works on, and has no applications for it. Then you can continue to feel all rebelious and "elite" about yourself.

Reply Score: 2

Short, but good points
by blixel on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:15 UTC
blixel
Member since:
2005-07-06

I thought it was good article, though a bit short. It didn't come across like pointless crying in my opinion. The only way things will ever get better are to point out the flaws. I am a HUGE Open Source advocate, but I'm not now, and never will be an Open Source apologist. Things can always be better.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Short, but good points
by ma_d on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:31 UTC in reply to "Short, but good points"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Yea, this one did have a humble and grateful tone to it, which was nice. It was a "I wish this and that worked" not a "this and that don't work, but they did on OS XYZ!"

Reply Score: 1

RE: Short, but good points
by raver31 on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:45 UTC in reply to "Short, but good points"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

Indeed, open source software is far from perfect. Although I use it almost exclusively, there are still things that need to be done.
and it needs everyones help.
if you cannot program, or convert between languages, then at least you can TEST and REPORT back to the authors.

instead of bitching when things dont work the way you like.. get off your ass and tell people !

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Short, but good points
by chris_dk on Fri 11th Nov 2005 21:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Short, but good points"
chris_dk Member since:
2005-07-12

That works in theory, but right now I cannot use my USB mouse in Linux kernels newer than 2.6.10:

http://bugzilla.kernel.org/show_bug.cgi?id=5475

So I reported it, but the fact is that Linux is unusable now!

I've reported many bugs, but many of them just sit in some bugzilla and you can't get everything fixed.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Short, but good points
by archiesteel on Fri 11th Nov 2005 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short, but good points"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

So I reported it, but the fact is that Linux is unusable now!

That's a pretty severe bug, but I don't think it's kernel related. I have no problems using USB mice with kernels above 2.6.10 in both Mandriva and Kubuntu.

There might be something wrong with your setup...

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Short, but good points
by ma_d on Fri 11th Nov 2005 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short, but good points"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

If you wanna test if that's actually a kernel issue:
Check in your xorg.conf for where your mouse device is, probably /dev/input/mice.
Then, open a terminal, do stuff in it till the mouse freezes. When it does, cat /dev/input/mice, and move the mouse around.
If it prints garbage, blame X. If it prints nothing, Linux may be at fault (I'm not sure if there's another level of abstraction, but I don't think there is).
Also, you may want to check before you start the experiment (while your mouse is working) if it prints when you cat that device.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Short, but good points
by raver31 on Sat 12th Nov 2005 08:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Short, but good points"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

I read through your buzilla report. However, from your decriptin, it looks to me like it is a screensaver or a power saving setting that is conflicting with your mouse.
Ubuntu has added a lot to power savings under Linux, so I would look there first.

Reply Score: 2

Well?
by moleskine on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:32 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

"As you already know" - silly way to start something really.

Articles like this do tend to pose the question of whether the open source model is going to be able to deliver a highly polished, cat-iron-stable desktop enviroment with a suite of first-rate apps that receive the same TLC - and one that non-professional users will feel comfortable with.

Guess the jury is still out on that one. A difficulty with the open source model is that the buck never stops anywhere. Distros claim they are just repackagers, and it's the desktop environment gang who claim it's a specific program team who claim they can't do x until another team have done y ...

Maybe eventually one distro will have to stand up, carry the weight and take it upon itself to guarantee the necessary quality. It will cost them a lot of money, and perhaps there will be shouts of rather childish anger from the usual suspects. But it's quite hard to see this happening unless someone actually makes it happen. Without it, though, desktop Linux may find it hard to garner more than a very small market share because many folks will find it too ragged and unreliable.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Well?
by ma_d on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:35 UTC in reply to "Well?"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

RedHat does that. Next complaint.

If the authors of package "xyz" refuse to fix something, guess who fixes it for their customers... RedHat does. You also pay something like $400 for a RedHat license.
But you could use RedHat via the provided src rpm's for free.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Well?
by moleskine on Fri 11th Nov 2005 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Well?"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

[i]RedHat does that. Next complaint.<i/>

Red Hat is not engaged in the consumer desktop market. Next comparison of apples to oranges.

Reply Score: 1

Noticed something
by joelito_pr on Fri 11th Nov 2005 20:51 UTC
joelito_pr
Member since:
2005-07-07

The author's complains seemed to me as "rough edges" found in Ubuntu Hoary(5.04) But I didn't have any of those problems in Breezy(Actually my only complain is 3d acceleration in my ATI card) As for the Xorg setup, the proper way to set up Xorg in Debian based distros is by the command
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

Use sudo on Ubuntu (done from a terminal)

edit:change xorg for xfree86 on Debian sarge

Edited 2005-11-11 20:54

Reply Score: 1

RE: Noticed something
by fretinator on Fri 11th Nov 2005 21:32 UTC in reply to "Noticed something"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

As for the Xorg setup, the proper way to set up Xorg in Debian based distros is by the command
dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg

Use sudo on Ubuntu (done from a terminal)


I thnk this is the point of the article. I know how do what you wrote, but users should have to "sudo a command from the terminal" to get a basic feature to work.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Noticed something
by John Nilsson on Sat 12th Nov 2005 17:10 UTC in reply to "RE: Noticed something"
John Nilsson Member since:
2005-07-06

I thnk this is the point of the article. I know how do what you wrote, but users should have to "sudo a command from the terminal" to get a basic feature to work.

Brokent systems should be fixed by technician. A fix requiring the use of a terminal isn't any diffrent from a fix requireing a soldering iron... Fixing a computer isn't a part of what should be the user experience so there is no reason to implement a nice interface for it.

The problem is that it broke in the first place. The system should thus be tested before shiped.

To get this "basic feature" to work you need hardware (monitor, graphics card and cable) and software (driver) that supports EDID.

If you insist on building your own computer you should concider your self a techinician and we are back to soldering.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Noticed something
by ma_d on Sun 13th Nov 2005 06:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Noticed something"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

That would be a fine idea ... if PC's didn't sell for under $500.
Besides, finding a competent technician whose boss isn't crooked is almost impossible (at least around here). And even worse, finding a competent technician who knows what a kernel is; much less that Linux is a kernel and how to configure Linux.

Reply Score: 1

Good Article
by rayiner on Fri 11th Nov 2005 21:13 UTC
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm impressed. For once, an article about Linux from (shock!) an actual Linux user. His gripes are generally all valid, unlike the ones you see from Windows users who download an ISO one day when they're bored then write a scathing review because Linux doesn't behave exactly like Windows.

It's interesting to note that two of the big gripes (video and audio), are the result of interactions with closed source software. Now, some will accuse me of being a religious zealot, but it just goes to show that proprietory software on an open platform is a no-go. It's not a matter of religion, but practicality. Open source evolves fast. It must, its part of the basic distributed development model that makes the whole thing work. Proprietory vendors not only have a hard time keeping up, but because of the size of the Linux market, have little incentive to anyway. At least with open source code, the community can fix the inevitable shortcomings of the software.

Reply Score: 5

@jjmckay
by rayiner on Fri 11th Nov 2005 21:30 UTC
rayiner
Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a simpler way to fix your problem. Start up Synaptic by going to Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager. Go to Settings -> Repositories in the menu, and click "Add" in the dialog box. Make sure the repository "Restricted copyright" is checked. Now, search for "nvidia-glx". Click on the checkbox next to "nvidia-glx" and choose "Mark for installation". Hit the apply button in the toolbar, then wait for the install to finish. When you reboot, Ubuntu will use the NVIDIA driver instead of the NV driver.

If you want to build the driver from source (there is no reason to, but still), you can use the above procedure with Synaptic, except install a package called "build-essential". This installed Ubuntu's development tools. Also note that you can set permissions on a file by using the "file properties" right-click item in Nautilus.

Reply Score: 1

RE: @jjmckay
by jjmckay on Fri 11th Nov 2005 22:19 UTC in reply to "@jjmckay"
jjmckay Member since:
2005-11-11

rayiner thanks very much. I did what you said except for the reboot. Yes 'restricted copyright' was checked by default (very good). Wow it is all there but I suppose that its just a matter of presenting this information to the new user(s) when he/she installs the OS and gets to the desktop for the first time. I did search that page (default firefox homepage after install) and nothing was there about this kind of stuff. Maybe its my mistake.

When I click the life raft icon for help I don't see anything about setting resolution or about the Synapitic Package Manager.

btw, someone else's suggestion that xorgconfig would help didn't work for this distro (Ubuntu 5.10). File not found.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: @jjmckay
by ma_d on Fri 11th Nov 2005 22:51 UTC in reply to "RE: @jjmckay"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

That's truly sad for Ubuntu. Will you do me a favor, tell me if `ls /usr/X11R6/bin/ | grep xorgconfig` returns anything? That's where it should be, often that path isn't there for anyone but root.

Reply Score: 0

...
by suryad on Fri 11th Nov 2005 21:37 UTC
suryad
Member since:
2005-07-09

I absolutely agree with the fact that OpenSource can definitely get better and there is definitely room for Linux distros to get better. Some hand holding regarding certain basic things such as configuring they system is a must! I cannot believe people actually ignore it like that. No all people who are Linux users are l33t heX0rs or whatever the heck it is spelled. some people are genuinely interested in an alternative to XP and relaly want to switch but are scared because of the lack of handholding!

Reply Score: 1

RE: ...
by poofyhairguy on Sun 13th Nov 2005 07:54 UTC in reply to "..."
poofyhairguy Member since:
2005-07-14

some people are genuinely interested in an alternative to XP and relaly want to switch but are scared because of the lack of handholding!

Thats the problem. Those people want a better Windows, not Linux. Linux cannot be Windows -its main emphasis now is server and embedded systems, not desktops.

Linux on the desktop is for nerds now. Sure it would be nice if it wasn't, but the lack of drivers for tons of hardware nips that whole idea in the bud.

If regular uses don't want to use Windows, let them pay the Apple tax or learn to use a Desktop Linux. Thats hte alternatives. Sure you can whine that "Linux couls so easily do ______," but the problem is that stuff is only easy with resources like MS.

Reply Score: 1

I've got a complaint or two
by mikesum32 on Fri 11th Nov 2005 21:42 UTC
mikesum32
Member since:
2005-10-22

I don't know if I should blame GNOME or Suse but...

I try to drag a movie file to gmplayer, but it just slides right back where it was. Then sometime later I notice the "selected ghost" of the file sliding across my screen, like and echo or looped film. Weird.

Xine works and actually opens the movie file.

I moved that top menu to the bottom and made it like a start menu in Windows, but sometimes it jumps up to the top again and I have to close programs so I can make a blank space to drag it back down again. I'll have to find out what is causing this.

When I downoaded a wine .90 rpm and clicked on it yast (or whatever yast uses) installed the outdated version from my install disc. Now that's just silly.



mikesum32

Reply Score: 1

RE: I've got a complaint or two
by ma_d on Fri 11th Nov 2005 22:10 UTC in reply to "I've got a complaint or two"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Blame gmplayer.
Blame yast (blame suse for yast, blame novell for not fixing it yet).
Blame yourself for not looking this up:
rpm -ihv wine.rpm


I've never seen drag and drop work flawlessly on any system. I think it's something that's fairly young and unperfected on platforms. Don't get more wrong, a lot of systems have great support for it; but you can tell the spots where they didn't quite get it all.
On *nix, last I checked, kde and gnome don't interoperate at all on D&D. But they will play D&D for you, and they're very good at it!

Reply Score: 1

RE: I've got a complaint or two
by John Blink on Sat 12th Nov 2005 01:40 UTC in reply to "I've got a complaint or two"
John Blink Member since:
2005-10-11

MPlayerOSX does exactly the same thing. The movie just slides back.

You have to actually drop it on the playlist.

I believe Mplayer is one of the best players for playback, I love the keyboard commands while playback. But all the different UI's built on top of it haven't really progressed. It is like development is at a stand still. But I guess that is not true.

Man I wish I could code better, but I am very forgetful.

Reply Score: 1

My Today's Windows Gripes
by DonQ on Fri 11th Nov 2005 22:21 UTC
DonQ
Member since:
2005-06-29

Nice article. And just for comparison, let me write about some of my last problems on Windows - no trolling intended.

*I used terminal session into one of our customers server. Somehow they have managed to disable shared clipboard (maybe for security reasons) - I couldn't copy-paste lengthy SQL statement; had to save it, copy to ftp server, download it from other side (fortunately they had not blocked it) and open in SQL tools.

*Some friend complained about movie trailer not working in IE properly. I attempted to check, what kind of stream that is - opened in Opera - "not compatible browser". Opened in IE - trailer is working well. Attempted to find either direct link or at least some info abot stream properties - no go. Friend then reinstalled all codecs on his PC - problem went away.

*I deleted bunch of files on my home PC, what resulted unexpected changing desktop icons, including IE (kept there for design purposes:), to default ones. Apparently I had configured icons link to temporary icon library:) Well, I changed icons to correct ones easily except IE one - for that I had to google (again:) to find registry location for setting its location.
(Actually this happened yesterday, not today - but anyway.)

Being a developer [of commercial software] myself, I know very well about how impossible is fix all usability quirks and compatibility problems, at least within reasonable time frame... This doesn't depend on developing model, happens equally in open and closed source world.

Reply Score: 1

I agree with the article.
by r_a_trip on Fri 11th Nov 2005 22:36 UTC
r_a_trip
Member since:
2005-07-06

The gripes are all valid points. They are also points that are being worked on.

Menu editing in Gnome can be done with SMEG (Simple Menu Editor for Gnome). It comes standard with Ubuntu.

X.org configuration still is a pain, but X.org at least is moving forward. The project has steam and that is refreshing after the years of bitrot under the reign of XFree86. I do dream of a configurator that can autodetect and finetune graphic chips, dual head, tv-out on the command line, under curses and GTK+/Qt.

Multimedia is torture and will continue to be torture as long as companies and individuals keep encoding content in codecs that cannot be legally integrated into Operating Systems other than Windows and Mac OSX. It is a consequence of unthoughtfulness, of not anticipating the results of using limited formats.

Icons and pasting that go haywire, is mostly a problem of polish. It is a department in wich I tend to be too lenient, because minor annoyances don't compare to the major advantages FOSS offers me personally.

Reply Score: 3

changing resolution is hard?
by viator on Sat 12th Nov 2005 02:29 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

In KDE right click on the desktop click configure desktop
click display and you can change the resolution there. ;)
I hope tal decides what he wants to do soon and either gets some business partners and restarts development or just gives it to the community (under his lead). Libranet was always a VERY user friendly 100% debian compatible system thats why i liked it.

Reply Score: 1

rather good article
by jziegler on Sat 12th Nov 2005 13:04 UTC
jziegler
Member since:
2005-07-14

The article appears well-written and researched to me.

He's right with the last 2 gripes.

With the first 2 ones, it's a bit more complicated. A great part of the problem with video playback is all the intelectual "property" bullshit that surrounds access to required information.

With Flash and sound - nobody forces Macromedia to use OSS. I think, it can even use ESD. ALSA+dmix for good apps plus ESD with an ALSA backed for bad apps works for me. OTOH, no-one can force Macromedia to rewrite their Flash plugin to use ALSA.

Reply Score: 1

RE: rather good article
by anda_skoa on Sat 12th Nov 2005 16:23 UTC in reply to "rather good article"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

When running in Konqueror one can set plugins to run sound through artsdsp.

artsdsp is a trick to reroute data written to /dev/dsp to arts, so for example Flash can use ALSA if arts uses ALSA.

There might be a similar tool for whatever sound system the article author is using.

Maybe there is some kind of ALSA tool to do this system level?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: rather good article
by jziegler on Sat 12th Nov 2005 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE: rather good article"
jziegler Member since:
2005-07-14

ALSA can emulate OSS, IIRC there was even a way how to plug this stream into DMIX and have it mixed with other ALSA streams.

Same to artsdsp, there is esddsp.

However, it's still a workaround. I "clean" solution would me much better (no messing around with such wrappers, etc.).

Anyway, the idea of my original message was "only Macromedia can change Flash, you have to yell at them".

Reply Score: 1

java pains
by progster on Sat 12th Nov 2005 15:13 UTC
progster
Member since:
2005-07-27

"And Java pains don't stop there. The latest version of Sun's Java plug-in for Linux seems to ignore the system clipboard in certain situations. I learned this the hard way recently while travelling on business. I was accessing my work e-mail via a Web interface provided by Lotus Notes (yes, sigh, we use Notes). The Notes Web interface uses Java applets for various things, including the text-entry box where you craft new messages. I tried copying some text from another window and pasting it into a new message. Didn't work. I tried it many different ways, all to no avail. Then I tried copying text out of my message-in-progress. Again, no dice."

I noticed this to using eclipse, it's really odd I can't copy/paste from firefox to eclispe (or the other way around), but I can to gedit?!

Reply Score: 1

as a linux/windows user...
by anyweb on Sat 12th Nov 2005 21:03 UTC
anyweb
Member since:
2005-07-06

I've read through the posts here and one thing that jumped at me was the 'setting resolution and refresh' in Linux. I agree that it is almost painful in Linux. I think that Windows has it right with their 'right click on desktop' way of changing resolution/refresh and I wish that gnome/kde would implement this.

When I reviewed Suse Linux OSS 10 recently I was disappointed that it totally ignored the resolution I specified in Yast during setup of the OS, now with afterthought I can see that it just wasn't 'ready' to handle that resolution (intel 915GM chipset/1400x1050 resolution). [see > http://linux-noob.com/review/suse/10/#video ]

In every version of windows since windows 95 AFAIK you could change resolution/refresh by right clicking somewhere on your desktop and navigating through the simple menu's.

Why is it that Linux makes such a necessary thing so hard to do ? and so 'non user friendly'. Why should one have to edit xorg.conf and hope that it will give them the desired results ?

Windows isn't perfect in many respects, but on the other hand, neither is Linux. I hope this article will spur some developers to make it easier to use for the masses, otherwise what's the point ?

Can the operating system users of this world decide now that Linux is a server OS, or perhaps a server OS and a desktop OS ?

My hope is that Linux will be both, and more.

If you want to understand what I mean by the word 'Linux' above, I'm referring to Linux distros like Suse or Fedora (and by mentioning both distros i'm covering KDE and GNOME).

Both distros have current releases, and both make changing desktop resolution/refresh an almost awkward experience. It shouldn't be that way, it should be easy to do. A users preference of how they view their OS should be easily accomplised and should work.

I would love to have the ability in mainstream linux distros to right click on the desktop and have the opportunity to change resolution easily.

Currently, it's hit and miss.

cheers
anyweb

Edited 2005-11-12 21:04

Reply Score: 1

RE: as a linux/windows user...
by morgoth on Sat 12th Nov 2005 23:34 UTC in reply to "as a linux/windows user..."
morgoth Member since:
2005-07-08

Quote: "and I wish that gnome/kde would implement this."

KDE lets you do this - right click on desktop, configure desktop, click on the display button. I have no idea about Gnome.

Quote: "I would love to have the ability in mainstream linux distros to right click on the desktop and have the opportunity to change resolution easily."

I don't know what desktop environment/window manager you've been using, but KDE does support this. Has for some while. Stop bitching about it, and start actually looking is my advice.

Looking at all the comments here, it's amazing at how many non technical people are trying to use a technical operating system and then bitching about it. It's like shoving your granny in a F1 car and expecting her to beat Schumacher etc. Unreasonable. You know Linux is a technically orientated system, either be prepared to learn a bit, or don't use it. I, and many other Linux users couldn't really give a rats ass if you like Linux or not, and we don't really care for all the commercialised hype either. Linux was around before all these big corporations had an interest in it, and will be around long after them.

People bitch about how user unfriendly Linux is, let's think about a few simple things with Windows that springs to mind.

1. Hiding system files (major pain in the ass)

2. Hiding file extensions (an even more major pain in the ass)

3. Windows registry - the biggest f--kup in computer history imho

4. Removing applications from Windows - there's so much friggen shit left behind it isn't funny. As far as I'm concerned, every software developer that doesn't write an uninstall script that removes EVERY single piece of their shit from my system is violating my PC. And I'd hedge, technically breaking any number of laws.

5. Try playing a mp3 and browsing the web and scrolling in Internet Explorer. Go on. Do it. Nasty sounds abound! Something so simple as this, and I've seen it on so many Windows systems it isn't funny (from Windows 2000 to Windows XP, earlier systems didn't seem to have this issue). Mozilla-FireFox on the same systems doesn't exhibit this issue, so that tells me it's an Internet Explorer thing. Since it's so common, on a wide variety of systems, it's a major issue as far as I'm concerned. Microsoft has had 2 service packs for XP and six for Windows 2000, and still hasn't fixed it! Great customer support, not!

6. Want to see what processes are running? Forget the windows task manager, it's a f--king joke. Try this - add up the memory for all the displayed processes. Then compare it to what's showing in the performance tab. Go on. You'll be out anything from 100mb upwards! I want to be able to see EVERY single goddamn process on my system.

7. Windows locks up? Want an alternate console? Forget it. Linux does this nicely with alt + ctl + F1 (thru to F6 usually).

8. Windows offers bugger all applications by default, meaning that you have to go out and spend an awful lot of money just to get some basic functionality. No thanks.

9. Plug and pray? No thanks. It's damn well poor imho.

10. About the worst installer for any other operating system that I've ever seen (Solaris 10 takes the cake here I have to sadly say). Stuck at vesa levels, 640*480, no way of changing it, 256 bit. A joke. Not even fully graphical! Sure, not many people install Windows these days, because it's a friggen monopoly and comes preinstalled on just about every PC you see. If they did, they'd be in for one rude shock I reckon.

I could go on and on and on and on, but hopefully, many of you damn ungrateful whingers will get the drift and stop bitching, and start learning. If you don't like it as it is, get off your fat whining asses, learn to code, and fix the f--king problems yourselves.

Linux isn't Windows, never will be (well at least I really hope it never will be). Stop trying to make it so. And stop bitching about things, without considering how bad the opposition is.

Dave

Reply Score: 1

His gripes
by Richard James on Sun 13th Nov 2005 04:23 UTC
Richard James
Member since:
2005-07-07

are either third party software or Distro related. I have never had any of the problems he describes. How bout some real gripes and not changeing the resolution since you can do that in Slackware in KDE (hint if you can do it in Slackware point and click but not in your Distro unless distro=LFS then your Distro really sucks). Real gripes, I must admit the transition from OSS to ALSA has not been as smove as one would have liked.

Reply Score: 2