Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Jun 2006 12:54 UTC, submitted by Valour
Linux "The impending release of Windows Vista with its fancy Aero Glass special effects, along with the hasty addition of the similar XGL and Compiz technologies to the latest SUSE Linux release makes me think that programmers have a warped idea of what desktop computing is about. For some reason, many GNU/Linux users are concerned about competing feature-for-feature with Vista, while Apple and Microsoft struggle to add more graphical extras to their already graphics-intensive desktop OSes. It's gotten so that you need a serious 3D video card (with proprietary drivers) and a fairly fast computer just to keep up with desktop environments. Whatever happened to being productive and having fun?"
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Link doesn't work for me
by ralph on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:07 UTC
ralph
Member since:
2005-07-10

That's it. ;-D

Reply Score: 1

RE: Link doesn't work for me
by Ronald Vos on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:11 UTC in reply to "Link doesn't work for me"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

And the article title sounds so enticing!

Reply Score: 2

correct link
by macisaac on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:14 UTC
macisaac
Member since:
2005-08-28
RE: correct link
by ralph on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:28 UTC in reply to "correct link"
ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

Thanks.

However, after reading the article now I'd say the broken link was more of a blessing than a curse.

Just an other stupid rant by someone who equates technical progress that makes sense, that is, actually using the gpu to draw the desktop, with some videos he has seen about one window manager that isn't even beta yet but uses this new technology for some fancy effects.

As if this wasn't stupid enough, he also acts as if problems that exists with this new technology (wow, new technology having problems), were in any way inherent to that technology. Bohoho, so using this alpha software he gets lower frame rates in his games...

To top this off, he also informs us that graphical effects don't add anything, which is of course simply wrong. Apart from the fact that people enjoy them, they of course give developers more options to develop effects that actually enhance usability, for example, by giving better feedback and they can and are used for accessibility feature. Thanks for ignoring all this.

Finally, he also likes to engage in the falacy that working on things like XGL somehow diminishes the development on other things, he deems to be important. Now apart from the fact that I have yet to see any proof for this, I think it's pretty obvious that someone who is a great X hacker might neither be willing, nor particularly well skilled to contribute to, say, open office.

To sum it up, the article is idiotic.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: correct link
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:46 UTC in reply to "RE: correct link"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

To top this off, he also informs us that graphical effects don't add anything, which is of course simply wrong.

They do not add anything useful, but they do add extra overhead. So yes, he is wrong.

However, he _is_ right about the usefullnes. Software should be written to work well, and not written to look well.

Despite (or perhaps because of) all the fancy hanky-panky in OS X, Vista and KDE/Gnome, GNUstep is still a much more powerful platform. GNUstep shows how to things right on the *nix platform. It has the responsiveness of BeOS/SkyOS/Syllable, but on the *nix platform, effectively proving that the problem is not the X-server, but the DE's on top of it.

Let's get rid of KDE and Gnome and build the Desktop on GNUstep. That'll put us ahead of any competition.

3D and desktops do not belong together. Having 3D hardware acceleration as a requirement for the desktop equals incompetent developers and useless code base.

If it cannot work properly without 3D hardware acceleration it is useless.

Finally, he also likes to engage in the falacy that working on things like XGL somehow diminishes the development on other things, he deems to be important. Now apart from the fact that I have yet to see any proof for this, I think it's pretty obvious that someone who is a great X hacker might neither be willing, nor particularly well skilled to contribute to, say, open office.

He engages in no such falacy. It would be a falacy, but he does not in any way suggest that X-developers should work on OpenOffice or that spending time on developing XGL takes time from developing other packages.

To sum it up, the article is idiotic.

To sum it up, your comment is idiotic. At least you could quote him correctly. That'll be a good start.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: correct link
by ralph on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

They do not add anything useful, but they do add extra overhead. So yes, he is wrong.
Yes, I meant useful as is aparant from what I wrote after the part you quoted, where I list useful things the new technology adds. Thanks for ignoring them though.

Having 3D hardware acceleration as a requirement for the desktop equals incompetent developers and useless code base.
Well, first off, it's not a requirement, so your point is mute.
Second, using the hardware that is available when it is available, that is giving those who have 3D hardware the opportunity to actually use them for something useful if they intend to do so certainly doesn't equal incompetent developers.

He engages in no such falacy. It would be a falacy, but he does not in any way suggest that X-developers should work on OpenOffice or that spending time on developing XGL takes time from developing other packages.
But then again, he does. That he doesn't say it explicitly, doesn't mean that he doesn't suggest it, which he clearly does.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: correct link
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: correct link"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Yes, I meant useful as is aparant from what I wrote after the part you quoted, where I list useful things the new technology adds. Thanks for ignoring them though.

You do not list anything. You do however mention animations, but they do not add enhance feedback in any way. They do however pollute feedback, disturbing the user with meaningless visual madness.

The primary reason for using 3D hardware acceleration is due to flaws in the drawing engines used in main stream DE's and their respective tool kits. GTK+ for an instance is the biggest disaster so far in F/LOSS history. Decent performance and GTK+ are mutually exclusive. A result of incompetent developers. QT are better though. Unfortunately the KDE devs have no clue how to make a proper working DE. If we could have a Gnome based on QT we would be close to a decent DE.

Second, using the hardware that is available when it is available, that is giving those who have 3D hardware the opportunity to actually use them for something useful if they intend to do so certainly doesn't equal incompetent developers.

Again. It's nice that one can use the 3D part of the GPU for something other than gaming. But the primary reason for using the GPU is to cover up the flaws in the drawing engines for the respective tool kits. With a decent engine it wouldn't be necessary in order to get decent performance.

Hiding the symptoms do not make the disease go away.

But then again, he does. That he doesn't say it explicitly, doesn't mean that he doesn't suggest it, which he clearly does.

He does not say it or write it or in anyway suggest it. Please point to anything which can reasonably be interpreted as such.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: correct link
by jaduncan on Wed 28th Jun 2006 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: correct link"
jaduncan Member since:
2005-11-19

Mute==unable to produce sound.
Moot==something that has been nullified as an issue.

You want the second there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: correct link
by rockwell on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: correct link"
rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//Mute==unable to produce sound.//

well ... since this is a message board, and not Google Video ... his point is, technically, still "mute."

>ducks<

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: correct link
by s_groening on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
s_groening Member since:
2005-12-13

How in God's name do you plan to 'get ahead of the competition' by focusing on software that tries to mimic the appearence, look and feel of a predecessor (NeXTSTEP/OpenSTEP) of one of the major competitors (Mac OS X)?

Also Xfce is faster than Gnome but it is at the same time to be considered lightweight featurewise, relative to Gnome... Speed often come at a cost as well as features do...

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: correct link
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:22 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: correct link"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

1) The behaviour of NextSTEP is superior to that one of OS X or any other "modern" DE. The other DE's are -when it comes to behaviour - still playing catch up.
2) GNUstep do not only try to mimic NeXTSTEP behaviour, but also attempts to enhance it.
3) The behaviour of GNUstep is configurable.
4) So is the look.
5) Speed vs. Features is moot unless developers are incompetent. Extra features do not equal less speed. Incompetence (or laziness - some may call it lack of time, but this is a moot point with F/LOSS) equals less speed.

Lightweight in relation to resource usage do not equal being lightweight in regard to features and functionality. It's a falacy to claim so, and implies incompetence.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: correct link
by Bastian on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
Bastian Member since:
2005-07-25

Short version:
I'm not so sure GNUstep is the solution. I think the whole idea of backing off on eye candy is that it frees up resources to work harder on usability. GNUstep doesn't really provide either of those.

Long babbling version:
Not to be contrarian, but GNUstep is far from ahead of the competition. At this point, it's still basically just a set of frameworks that's hard to install and a bunch of separate programs that are also hard to install. What little actual desktop/operating environment it has strikes me as flaky and unintuitive, and when I tried to figure out how to work it better I discovered that there wasn't really much in the way of a TFM to R.

And upon figuring some things out, I realized that under the hood of GNUstep there appear to be quite a few major design decisions that just don't make sense. Why in the world did the GNUstep project decide to not use bundled frameworks in order to make it easier to support a Windows port that apparently doesn't have any plans to ever become anything more than sub-utilitarian? (Really, what developer in their right mind would choose a library that relies on Cygwin to put together cross-platform applications that work on Windows?) That strikes me as dropping one of the neater features of *STEP/Cocoa in return for practically nothing.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: correct link
by galvanash on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

They do not add anything useful, but they do add extra overhead. So yes, he is wrong.

You are entitled to your opinion, but you should at least realize that a VERY small minority of users share your views. Expose is a good example of a feature that is almost universally viewed as an improvement over existing methods of graphical task switching (and would not be possible without composited graphics).

Are all the 3D eye candy experiments producing useful results? No, not all some. Much of it is stupid and useless. But to say that the underlying technology is useless is very short-sighted.

Despite (or perhaps because of) all the fancy hanky-panky in OS X, Vista and KDE/Gnome, GNUstep is still a much more powerful platform. GNUstep shows how to things right on the *nix platform. It has the responsiveness of BeOS/SkyOS/Syllable, but on the *nix platform, effectively proving that the problem is not the X-server, but the DE's on top of it.

Look... I still have a place in my heart for OS/2's desktop and think alot of features it had were quite powerful and enhanced my productivity...15 years ago. I might even like to see a few of those features added to modern DE's, but I certainly wouldnt go around advocating the use of OS/2 10 years after it effectively died...

Do you realize how totally fringe you sound promoting something like GNUStep for general usage? What are there, like a few hundred people using that on a day to day basis??? And you want me to take you seriously?

Let's get rid of KDE and Gnome and build the Desktop on GNUstep. That'll put us ahead of any competition.

Yes! Thats the answer... Lets throw away the baby, the bathwater, the bathtub, hell, just throw away the whole house and start over. Thats the ticket...

If it cannot work properly without 3D hardware acceleration it is useless.

You really have lost touch with reality. The world has long ago passed you by. But go ahead, please continue running GNUStep on your 386, snubbing your nose at progress and preaching to us the errors of our ways. You and your army of one will win out in the end.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: correct link
by ma_d on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Software should be written to work well, and not written to look well.
Any software which displays information works well only if it looks well. Imagine a log file devoid of line returns, try reading that.
Imagine a graphic toolkit which makes everything flat and has thin white lines to show separation amongst light gray widgets.
A graphics program written for a black and white graphics system.
A graphics program which delineates layers via black lines, regardless of the color of the layers.
A windowing system which gives no way to tell a user when an important application, say they need to know when IM'ed for their work, needs to warn the user of something.
Hundreds of graphical programs which put their menus and toolbars in fairly random spots and each use their own individual icons for the toolbars, try and quickly recognize that save button when it looks different everywhere.



XGL, and its counterparts, are not merely for "pretties." Things like exposÚ become far less useful without a compositor, and there are at least thousands of people out their who believe exposÚ is helping them use their system. Maybe you prefer organization and virtual screens, but maybe that's not their method and theres is valid as well; we all work differently and pretending we don't would be quite foolish.
Sure, rolling cubes when you switch desktops is annoying, it wastes time, but it's also not a necessary thing: Shut it off.
Previews of windows over the taskbar that are actually up to date and always correct, if you've ever used kasbar you've seen incorrect previews.

How about simply taking some load off the cpu? Drawing widgets on the gpu makes a whole lot more sense than wasting cpu cycles on it. You have more freedom in how to make the widgets look and behave. Sure, it means you've got to have a gpu, but so what: They're cheap.


Of course, the complaint that there are only proprietary gpu solutions is very valid. However, without a serious desire for them by FOSS users there's not likely to be a production, Free gpu. Things like XGL create a demand, not that nvidia will meet it, but who's to say someone else won't? It wouldn't be the first open hardware.
Then there's the complaint that gpu's aren't even high quality products: This is valid too. They're rushed so fast that the drivers become bulked up with hacks to make errors work. But continuing to relegate them to gamers will only exacerbate this problem.

I have yet to see an X11 based solution for modern 3d graphics that causes it to not work on 2d systems. Gtk+Cairo is gl or software, and the software isn't much slower than the old system considering the improved quality. QT will support both as well. XGL is optional and in essence wraps itself around X11, it's not incompatible.
Of course, some applications will likely get written for 3d use only: We already have some, kstars or something is an example. And there's something called software rendering to make up for this deficiency.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: correct link
by Sphinx on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I think it's pretty obvious that someone who is a great X hacker might neither be willing, nor particularly well skilled to contribute to, say, open office.

Obviously he has no clue as to what makes a programmer great either.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: correct link
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: correct link"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Obviously he has no clue as to what makes a programmer great either.

I would have to agree with you on that one.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: correct link
by kefkathecruel on Wed 28th Jun 2006 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
kefkathecruel Member since:
2006-01-17

Actually your comments regarding GNUStep being more powerful than other options is pretty much idiotic. GNUStep is a clone of OPENSTEP - a suite of APIs written to duplicate/mirror the functionality provided by Next's advanced APIs - now known as Cocoa.

GNUStep is a clone. Cocoa is the real deal and integration with lower level OS frameworks such as CoreGraphics sets it lightyears beyond GNUStep.

Aside from that using *step technologies with a generic X11 WM is nothing short of putting a rusted out VW body on a Ferrari chassis. X11 is a dinosaur. It is a proven failure - just glance at X11 OpenGL integration. Yay let's call a remote server for every OpenGL call we need to make!

These days 3D acceleration is standard.

Anyone whining about "poor code" needs to get off the crack. Still a fan of core memory I presume? I'll bet your computer still uses vacuum tubes.

Sorry - I know it's harsh but whining about a technology and stating it equates to poor code because it doesn't meet one's personal ideal system requirements is just sheer stupidity.

Reply Score: 0

RE[4]: correct link
by Finalzone on Wed 28th Jun 2006 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: correct link"
Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

X11 is a dinosaur. It is a proven failure - just glance at X11 OpenGL integration. Yay let's call a remote server for every OpenGL call we need to make!

Unlike dinosaur, X11 has evolved into modular (Xorg 7.x) and the monolithic version (6.9) is still available. In addition, Xgl and Aiglx (now part of Xorg 7.1) allow nice effects not seen on both Windows Vista and OS X. This is one of example of its versatibilty as you only have to add/remove extension.

X11 proven failure gives a reason to be used on most distros including BSD and Solaris, right?

Edited 2006-06-28 18:47

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: correct link
by Ronald Vos on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:34 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: correct link"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

X11 proven failure gives a reason to be used on most distros including BSD and Solaris, right?

Nope, the reason the BSDs and Solaris use X11 is because getting an open-source alternative off the ground was an even bigger failure, time and again. Take note than Sun had NeWS, which was arguably better than X even if just for being vector-based, but Sun eventually dropped it in favor of X because X had a much wider adoption and more drivers available.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: correct link
by ma_d on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: correct link"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

X11 may be a dinosaur but it's versatility on networks has been legendary for years. Still today technologies like NX are making it superior to EVERYTHING ELSE for remote access.

Microsoft's system in Vista will actually allow, I'd say, a similar system to what NX does but with DirectX. Unfortunately for us: It's not out yet, and is therefore NOT A STANDARD.

Presently about 2% of the world is using a Mac, which means that whatever Mac's doing, them doing it alone does not make it a standard. The standard, today, June 28th, 2006 is 2d graphics. It's what over 90% of the world is using, and there is only one niche group using a stable product that isn't 2d.

I'm sure you love Mac and the things it's done against, err to, NeXT but that doesn't make you the foremost expert on exactly what qualifies as a bad design for a modern graphics system.
So, in the future, before you go around calling something a dinosaur I suggest you explain just why it is a dinosaur. Being old doesn't make you extinct.


If it were a year from today, or maybe two we'll see, I'd agree that 3d is a standard.

Besides that, how OpenStep is rendered has nothing to do with it. If they write it to take advantage of 3d graphics, much like has been done with QT and Gtk, then I don't see how it won't suddenly be one of your 3d desktops.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: correct link
by Cloudy on Thu 29th Jun 2006 06:30 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: correct link"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

X11 may be a dinosaur but it's versatility on networks has been legendary for years. Still today technologies like NX are making it superior to EVERYTHING ELSE for remote access.

Gotta disagree with that "EVERYTHING ELSE". For my work situation, I much prefer Microsoft Remote Desktop Client to X11, even with VNC.

RDC is much more suitable for VPN based detachable computing, because the entire state of the desktop is available to whichever client I make active, whether I'm local on the console or remote on a laptop over the VPN, and I don't have to do anything to make it work.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: correct link
by Johandc on Wed 28th Jun 2006 22:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
Johandc Member since:
2006-06-28

The problem with GNUstep is that i solves nothing. It's just a step back in time. GTK2 is far more advanced, and contains support for hebrew fonts, arabic reading direction and other nice stuff. Furthermore it has got a vector drawing engine, which will result in nicer looking graphics.

You must admit that good looks, is a part of what makes an application easy to use. Overview and simplicity does alot to usability.

Take this picture for an examle:
http://hazart.dk/files/gnustep_vs_gtk.png

It's not my intention to say anything bad about GNUstep, it's just that it looks so ugly. I don't want to spend an entire day looking at something that makes me wanna puke. I want to look at something aestetical.

The sames applies for food, cars and women. It's the looks that gives the impression.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: correct link
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 23:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: correct link"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Your knowledge about the GNUstep-look is outdated. GNUstep have a theming engine called camaelon.

Some screenshots:

http://www.roard.com/screenshots/screenshot_theme44.png
http://www.roard.com/screenshots/screenshot_theme41.png
http://www.etoile-project.org/etoile/mediawiki/images/a/ae/Screensh...
http://www.etoile-project.org/etoile/mediawiki/images/4/43/Screen1....
http://www.etoile-project.org/etoile/mediawiki/images/1/1b/Industri...

When it comes to usability then the widget looks have very little to do with overview and simplicity. If we're talking about overview and simplicity oldstyle NeXTSTEP look _is_ superior. But not exactly sexy. But as you can see there are other options.

And seen from a technological view GTK+ 2 is inferior to most tool kits - especially GNUstep.

Try running GNUstep, use it for some days (it's easier if you apply a theme, since you care for that look - personally I consider most GTK-themes as being extremely ugly and prefer a brightened version of the classic NeXTSTEP look).

When it comes to hebrew and arabic fonts and reading directions - and chinese as well - GNUstep is clearly not behind GTK2.

When it comes to food, cars (or beer) as well as women, I prefer to consume the content rather than the look. Err... that sort of came out wrong... heh

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: correct link
by Johandc on Wed 28th Jun 2006 23:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: correct link"
Johandc Member since:
2006-06-28

Hehe, very good humor there. I admit to be a bit naive to think that the first google picture search for GNUstep was the whole truth. And i also admit, that i didn't do alot of reading on the internals of GNUstep. And hey, with the latest screenshots you posted, i even admit that GNUstep is looking "nicer". And that, the "niceness" is exactly my point. GNUstep might be evolving to a step where it's beginning to look usefull, but my point is, it's just the same evolution as when GTK1 went to GTK2. Allright, the internals have changed and the API is different, but that doesn't matter to the end user. It's about how you present yourself, and frankly i don't care if it's called QT, GTK2 or even GNUstep or WHATEVERstep, as long as it looks "nice", and is realtively quick. Too bad, that my view of "nice" equals what GTK2 with Clearlooks engine and cairo gives me. You'll still have to come up with something smoother looking to rock my boat. Sorry that i can't say that i'm not judging by the looks, but i am. I really am.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: correct link
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: correct link"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

and frankly i don't care if it's called QT, GTK2 or even GNUstep or WHATEVERstep, as long as it looks "nice", and is realtively quick

That sentence is sensible, however GTK2 is nowhere near being relatively quick. It's buttslow. Especially when combined with Gnome (and Metacity).

Personally I don't give a damn in looks as long as they avoid screaming pink and orange colors. I do care about the API. It has to be clean, simple and efficient. As soon as that target has been reached, one can start fixing the look.

The problem with GTK2 is that it is a lot of bullshit with a nice look. In Danish we would say "en lort med chokoladeovertrŠk". That pretty much sums up what's wrong with GTK2.

Of course the interface has to be appealing, but a lot of the appeal comes from near-instantaneous response, low resource usage, and high level of stability. GTK+-2 fails on all aspects.

Besides that. GTK+-1 had good looks. It was and is themeable. The only difference for the end user is the antialiased fonts. Those are however nice to have.

You have a weird definition on useful. The usefulness on applications do not rely on the look, but on the functionality. Whether or not you can stand to work with it, is a different issue. But of course an issue.

GNUstep is clearly usable. Unfortunately most distributions are forgetting about GNUstep, robbing users of the closest, mankind can get to the Real Thing.

Right now I'm using ClearLooks too, but Clearlooks aren't better than those screenshots I posted. However, you can always create a ClearLooks-theme for GNUstep, if you like. However, I don't think you would ever change your mind ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: correct link
by Johandc on Thu 29th Jun 2006 01:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: correct link"
Johandc Member since:
2006-06-28

Well, you have certainly made your point clear about what you think of GTK2. And i think i have made mine as well. So to continue this debate a little further, i'm not gonna argue with you about the respective API's of GNUstep and GTK2. (as i don't know anything about GNUstep) But your point about fixing the API before the looks, is not entirely usefull.

When is your API fixed well enough to feature freeze and start thinking about looks and usability? As i can read, you are a computer science student, which of course means, that it will never happen. You will never be satisfied with your design, and therefore you will keep redesigning the API to improve ceartain aspects. I say this of course, because i'm an Electronics/Data Engineer (AAU), and we think of things a little different. ;)

I DO care about the API, but if i have to choose between "en lort med chokoladeovertrŠk" or "en lort med chokoladefyld" i would prefer the first one. If i can't seem to avoid "lort" in any case, i would rather have the nice exterior and the usable interface now, and wait for the performance to follow.

That leaves us with the discussion of what we find is a usable or usefull system. My first intention with the word usability, had nothing to do with the uses of the application. Usefullness comes, as you say, from the features of the application. Usability on the other hand, is, as the word suggets, the ability to use these features. The people from Gnome has done some nice stuff towards good usability. The HIG is one of them, and Clearlooks, which you yourself use, is another one. No point in having nice features if you can't find them because the icons all look the same.

My suggestion: Take the Fancy Pancy (bling) user interface from Clearlooks/Cairo/Pango, and use it on your Fancy Pancy (bling) API. And the world would be perfect, wouldn't it ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: correct link
by Tom Janowitz on Thu 29th Jun 2006 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: correct link"
Tom Janowitz Member since:
2005-12-05

That sentence is sensible, however GTK2 is nowhere near being relatively quick. It's buttslow. Especially when combined with Gnome (and Metacity).

Ever heard of XFCE DE ? Based on GTK2, ultra fast. That somewhat defeates your claim of GTK2 beig slow. It's more like some themes may be slow, but not the GTK2 in nature. I don't understand why you put Metacity into this.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: correct link
by Pfeifer on Thu 29th Jun 2006 14:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: correct link"
Pfeifer Member since:
2006-02-20

I triy GNUStep every half a year or so. And every time I find it lacking.

Look and feel; I know that there are supposed to be nicer themes for GNUStep out there. But... where are they? Why can't I simply switch the theme? And why do the GNUStep developers persist on the ugly 1990ish look? (Except for the reason that "NEXTStep looks like that"?)

Usability; Every user interface has the scollbars on the right. For good reasons; it's where the mouse is (for most users). Why can't GNUStep accept that? (Anwser; Heretic, NEXTStep had the scrollbars on the left too, so it must be godsent)
Application menus; The NEXTStep interface sepperates menus from windows. Good idea. It would be an even better idea to profit from Fitt's Law and put them on the top of the screen. But wait; NEXTStep didn't do that. And thus it would be a sacrileg to change that.


I know that the GNUStep framework is quite nice and elegant. And I even learned Objective-C to code some applications for GNUStep. But when I tried to "get into the community" I was rather disappointed. The community behaved rather.. elitish. Critique was flamed down universaly, every suggestion that derived from the holy NEXT look and feel was dismissed as heresy. (Scrollbars on the right, mind you?)

The whole community seemed rather focused on preserving their beloved NEXT-experience than on improving the usability. They acted more like conservators than as innovators.

The GTK+-Toolkit is not as simple and elegant. But it does the job. And there are TONS of bindings. Bindings to Ruby, Perl, Python, PHP, C++, Java, C#, .. I'm not sure that there is a programming language at all that hasn't GTK+-bindings. That's what I call "community support".

The community is also much more open. Don't try to hard to get into GNOME development, it's hard too. But the GTK+ people are very wellcoming generaly.

I don't know where you got the impression that GTK+ is slow. It could be faster, yes. But, just as I said before: It does the job good enough.

As soon as the GNUStep people open up a bit to new refreshing ideas (like; real themes, new interface experience, scrollbars on the left) I will sit back and read the mailing lists now and then and read them squabble over the DirectFB-Backend.

Edited 2006-06-29 14:05

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: correct link
by dylansmrjones on Thu 29th Jun 2006 14:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: correct link"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Camaelon as well as etoile - you might try to use google next time:
http://www.etoile-project.org/etoile/mediawiki/index.php?title=Main...

Yes, default GNUstep look isn't all that interesting, but the same goes for all other tool kits. Default look is default. Default QT and default GTK(1 and 2) look is quite hideous.

In terms of usability and the placement of scroll bars your assumption doesn't make sense.

Usability tests shows that the NeXTSTEP placement of scrollbars are actually better than in the right side.
Personally I don't give much for usability tests and consider scrollbar placement something which should be configurable. But if the scrollbar placement is the main thing for your critique, I have to say that GNUstep is a succes.

Application menus; The NEXTStep interface sepperates menus from windows. Good idea. It would be an even better idea to profit from Fitt's Law and put them on the top of the screen. But wait; NEXTStep didn't do that. And thus it would be a sacrileg to change that.

About Fitt's law:
That is debatable. It fits well in low resolutions, but I have to move the mouse 5 cm's to reach the top of my monitor, due to the high resolution. I could increase the amount the cursor moves relatively to the mouse, but that would require much more precision and slow me down. Alternative I could reduce the screen resolution but that is unacceptable.

About the menu in top:
You cannot have spent much time with GNUstep. If you had you would know there is something called wildmenues, which does exactly what you suggest.

There is in GNUstep no attempt to prevent enhancements.

Read my earlier posts. GNUstep is about recreating NeXTSTEP as well as enhancing it. This means that elements from other DE's may be implemented. The menu in top is one of these things - theming is another thing.

Now, stop being an ignorant fool and please spend 5 minutes with Google. It would be to the benefit of all (incl. Mr. Kyte).'

The rest of your post is simply offensive and to some extent it contradicts earlier part of the same post. Like complaining about scrollbars to the left, and later on asking for scrollbars to the left... hmm... did you forget to doubleread your own comment?

GNUstep _has_ theming
GNUstep _has_ a main menu in top
GNUstep _has_ an open community, ready for new ideas (more open than Gnome has ever been, some might claim)
GNUstep _has_ new interface elements to experience.

I will sit back and read the mailing lists now and then and read them squabble over the DirectFB-Backend.

That probably describes you very well. It does however give you a terribly bad look. PR is definitely not your strong side. Why don't you release a patch which allows for scrollbars to the right (or left .. you are contradicting your self on what you want)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: correct link
by abraxas on Wed 28th Jun 2006 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: correct link"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07


It's not my intention to say anything bad about GNUstep, it's just that it looks so ugly. I don't want to spend an entire day looking at something that makes me wanna puke. I want to look at something aestetical.


GNUstep can look very nice. The default isn't great but neither is the GTK default.

http://jesseross.com/clients/gnustep/ui/concepts/03/camaelon_neseda...
http://jesseross.com/clients/gnustep/ui/concepts/01/ui.png

There are actually some themes I like better than these two examples but I cannot find them at the moment.

To the poster that said there is(are) no Framework(s) for GNUstep. Look again:

http://www.etoile-project.org/etoile/mediawiki/index.php?title=Fram...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: correct link
by Shane on Thu 29th Jun 2006 02:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
Shane Member since:
2005-07-06

They do not add anything useful, but they do add extra overhead. So yes, he is wrong.

It's been my experience that running XGL gives me a smoother desktop. In this case, it's about using an under-used resource (the graphics card). Not about extra overheads.

However, he _is_ right about the usefullnes. Software should be written to work well, and not written to look well.

Graphical effects and animation enhance usability if used properly. So yes, they make software work well for the user. You should bear in mind that the early stuff will tend to be overdone. However, the most important thing is to make that stuff possible so that people can come up with useful stuff. As opposed to not having that option.

Despite (or perhaps because of) all the fancy hanky-panky in OS X, Vista and KDE/Gnome, GNUstep is still a much more powerful platform. GNUstep shows how to things right on the *nix platform. It has the responsiveness of BeOS/SkyOS/Syllable, but on the *nix platform, effectively proving that the problem is not the X-server, but the DE's on top of it.

Debatable at best. You have just made a statement, with nothing to back it up.

Let's get rid of KDE and Gnome and build the Desktop on GNUstep. That'll put us ahead of any competition.

It's open source. Go right ahead and do it.

3D and desktops do not belong together. Having 3D hardware acceleration as a requirement for the desktop equals incompetent developers and useless code base.

If it cannot work properly without 3D hardware acceleration it is useless.


Last time I checked you didn't have to use XGL in order to get a running DE on *nix. This stuff is also optional on Vista. It's moot on OS X since Apple makes sure that the hardware they sell is able to run the desktop.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: correct link
by iangibson on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:35 UTC in reply to "RE: correct link"
iangibson Member since:
2005-09-25

Are you sure you read the article? Because I understood it to be about the lack of focus on features that are actually useful (and that doesn't include wobbly windows or 3D switching of virtual desktops now, does it?). XGL is the computer equivalent of rotating alloys and neon lights on the underside of cars - you know, those blingers who we all laugh at as they continuously circle around the city centre every night.

It's not so much that this focus on graphical fluff is a bad thing, rather than that it doesn't actually add anything to your computing experience (once the novelty has worn off). I think the author of the article was trying to point out other, more useful, things that could be done - such as developing much more specialised distros eg. for desktop publishing, webserving, etc.

You may well disagree with this, but that doesn't mean that it's 'idiotic'. The author also does not say that 'working on things like XGL somehow diminishes the development on other things' - I don't know where you got that from. He is implying that linux is simply trying to copy the more marketing-friendly aspects of other operating systems, instead of carving out a niche of it's own.

There are hundreds of linux distros out there, the vast majority of which are poor imitations of the major distros, with bad hardware detection, incoherent UIs and a total lack of focus or even a reason for existing (perhaps these distros should all be renamed 'Me2Linux'?). If some of the leaders of such distros took the advice of the article, they could cease pointlessly trying to compete with the big general-purpose OS's (SUSE, Ubuntu, Fedora) and aim to be the first-choice OS for a specialist market such as graphic artists, writers, developers etc.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: correct link
by ralph on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: correct link"
ralph Member since:
2005-07-10

Are you sure you read the article?
Actually, yes, I'm pretty sure I did.

Because I understood it to be about the lack of focus on features that are actually useful
Yes I know, look at the last point I made in my initial post.
Btw., it's funny that some other poster attacked me because I also understood the article to be about exactly this.

XGL is the computer equivalent of rotating alloys and neon lights on the underside of cars
As I already argued in my initial post, no, it isn't. It's a new technology that makes sense. That it can be used to do things you consider useless doesn't change that. I also doesn't change the fact that it can be used to do useful things, as I also explained in my initial post.

It's not so much that this focus on graphical fluff is a bad thing, rather than that it doesn't actually add anything to your computing experience (once the novelty has worn off).
Again, that's simply not true. For example, as someone else already mentioned, many people find the expose clone very functional and a real improvement.

The author also does not say that 'working on things like XGL somehow diminishes the development on other things' - I don't know where you got that from.
Huh?
Let me quote what you said about the article again:
Because I understood it to be about the lack of focus on features that are actually useful
...
I think the author of the article was trying to point out other, more useful, things that could be done

How is this not saying that people should stop working on XGL and instead work on something else and claiming that people working on XGL means that other things don't get done?

Reply Score: 2

very fast computer?
by Abaddon on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:20 UTC
Abaddon
Member since:
2006-06-23

I've read that rendering desktop via opengl can be even faster than rendering in traditional way. XGL works great with my friend's old geforce 4 mx and duron 800mhz that isn't something special these days, but Windows Vista is another story...

Reply Score: 5

v Let's see...
by Snifflez on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:22 UTC
hmmm
by Flatline on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:23 UTC
Flatline
Member since:
2006-03-06

While I agree that the system requirements for "modern" operating systems have gotten way out of hand (Vista Beta 2 used 700Mb of memory after login with no apps open on my test box), the vendors are simply adding polish to their existing tech. The OSes do what they are required to do, and Microsoft, Apple, Novell, etc. are basically trying to grab people's attention with shiny objects at this point. At least with GNU/linux you can choose to use a less graphics-intensive DE or WM, but since you're talking about the latest, greatest, and glitziest (is that even a word?) it's not really relavent to the discussion.

As for linux distros "trying to compete feature-for-feature with Vista", well, if they weren't trying to do so there would be about a billion posts in threads like this saying that they can't compete (I won't go into the veracity of this at the moment). Meanwhile, it wasn't mentioned that Vista is, in large part, trying to compete feature-for-feature with OS X, which uses underpinnings from the *nix world (BSD to be specific), which is competing with...oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.

The fact is that all 3 of the systems mentioned (GNU/linux w/XGL and compiz, Vista, and OS X) are taking ideas from each other and expanding on them. Whether you think the direction in which they are headed is the correct one is a matter of taste, but I do see your point and tacitly agree; I see no reason that I should need 2Gb of memory in my machine to accomplish daily tasks. Vista is the biggest system requirement nightmare at the moment, but it is still in beta so I will try to reserve judgment. Having said that, however, I think all of them need to rethink how heavy their systems are becoming.

Reply Score: 5

RE: hmmm
by collywolly on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:05 UTC in reply to "hmmm"
collywolly Member since:
2006-06-19

I think all of them need to rethink how heavy their systems are becoming

Yeah, but all the places that sell PC's will love the fact that they need to sell a PC that requires 2GB of RAM and a super fancy graphics card. Probably part of the reason OEM's like to preload Windows, and not even consider the alternatives.....

Reply Score: 1

RE: hmmm
by tomcat on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:39 UTC in reply to "hmmm"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I totally disagree. It's practically a universal law that software has an inexorable tendency to expand constantly to consume all available hardware resources. When you reach the limits of churrent hardware, the only place that you can go is new hardware. I don't consider it a reasonable criterion to assert that future versions of operating systems must run on outdated hardware or run the risk of being called bloated. It would be nice if Vista or OS X ran on old hardware -- but that runs counter to the way that the industry has always worked. OS developers are usually partnered with hardware manufacturers. The primary differentiator for those competing manufacturers is better hardware. Allowing time for competitors to catch up creates a commodity market -- good for consumers, bad for business. Hence, it's kind of silly to ask the entire industry to reverse course when, clearly, it's contrary to their financial interests.

Reply Score: 1

Spot on!
by xiaokj on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:25 UTC
xiaokj
Member since:
2005-06-30

Exactly. A must-read. But most of the points are already known.

I think its much overdue that people started working on finishing the little tidbits and perfect their works.

Reply Score: 4

lol
by Duffman on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:29 UTC
Duffman
Member since:
2005-11-23

Mac os x is working perfectly on my Mac Mini Intel and I don't call the intel integrated GPU a "serious 3D video card".

Reply Score: 0

Debian-based Distros
by gary1979 on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:33 UTC
gary1979
Member since:
2006-01-31

I saw a list of Debian-based distros on Tuxmachines last night, and, after scrolling through the list, you do see a large number of specialized distros. However, most are grouped by language, but you do see some geared for specific tasks (schools for example). The problem is poor marketing.

For example, I will be a grad student at Boston University this Fall, and I just found out that they maintain their own GNU/Linux distro designed for students at BU. The problem is that I did not find out through BU, but rather Distro Watch (and is was only a sentence or two).

There is some specialization of Linux, but these distributions rarely make headlines, and they are not as specialized as the suggestions the author makes. Until large organizations (this does not mean only corporations) support or create these specialized flavors of Linux, I don't think many people will be willing to use them. At least for me, a dedicated effort to reduce security risks and longterm support are important.

Here is the article: http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/debian.htm

Edited 2006-06-28 13:36

Reply Score: 1

RE: Debian-based Distros
by phoenix on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:04 UTC in reply to "Debian-based Distros"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Why do we need specialised OSes, or even distros? Why can't the Linux world just come up with a single, unified base OS, and then work on custom apps/packages to run on that? Why do I need to run a custom OS for desktop publishing? Why can't I just install a set of "desktop publishing packages" to get the same thing?

Something I'll never understand about the Linux world is this insane need to build your own custom distro just to change one little thing about an existing one.

For example, why are Edubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Ubuntu all separate distros? Why isn't there a single "Ubuntu" that gives you the option in the installer to use "KDE, GNOME, XFCE, or Edu"? Why are these marketed as separate OSes when they are all the same OS with different DEs installed?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Debian-based Distros
by ma_d on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian-based Distros"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I'd have to say I agree with you here. Why not just have scripts once you install ubuntu to convert it? I understand that they want a simple installer, but an optional script to configure your machine as:
1.) A KDE desktop
2.) A webserver
3.) etc...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Debian-based Distros
by Cloudy on Thu 29th Jun 2006 06:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian-based Distros"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Because it's easier for two groups to do variants than it is for them to collaborate to do a composite.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Debian-based Distros
by atsureki on Thu 29th Jun 2006 08:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Debian-based Distros"
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

Why can't I just install a set of "desktop publishing packages" to get the same thing?

You can. The purpose of a distro specializing in that is that they can then install by default programs you might not know about without doing some research first, and they can focus on tweaking setup on the desktop and not worry as much as other distros about network services and security. All the software is floating out there, waiting to be downloaded. It's the configs that can be elusive.

Why isn't there a single "Ubuntu" that gives you the option in the installer to use "KDE, GNOME, XFCE, or Edu"?

Because an Ubuntu design goal is to stick to one CD. KDE and GNOME are enormous, and they're really not that useful in tandem. The project would much rather craft one or the other with good defaults and customized pretty so it can plop itself into place and let power users tweak from there. It's certainly more conducive to Linux adoption than giving Windows users who don't even know what they are an option between KDE and GNOME in the installer. Like it or not, adding more options for people who aren't ready for them just confuses the deal. Letting someone learn to like GNOME is more effective than saying "Well, try KDE. It's better."

@ ma_d

I'd have to say I agree with you here. Why not just have scripts once you install ubuntu to convert it? I understand that they want a simple installer, but an optional script to configure your machine as:
1.) A KDE desktop
2.) A webserver
3.) etc...


apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
apt-get install ubuntu-server (guessing on this one)
etc.

These are meta-package debs, all available graphically in Synaptic, that contain either nothing or a few config settings (haven't really investigated, but I know installing the kubuntu meta changed my statup and shutdown screens) and have dependencies to pull in all the default packages and settings for the given configuration. Ubuntu is Debian under the surface, which means absolutely enormous package repository and few to no dependency problems. In other words, they thought of that. They just didn't want to have people downloading whole DVDs for a basic install, like so many RPM distros. I, for one, very much like the specialized approach. I also like Gentoo / Debian's no assumptions approach. It's the in-betweeners that bug me.

Reply Score: 1

Good read
by Ronald Vos on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:34 UTC
Ronald Vos
Member since:
2005-07-06

I should've thought of googling for it myself. ;)

It was a good read; although overspecialisation isn't the key I think, the mentioned 'feature-envy' is killing indeed.

What was more interesting were the articles linked to in the article, about how graphical niceties and feature-encumbrance were basically distracting and making people less productive. I liked the point about how Linux should be about Cool software. Because we know MS/Apple have dropped the ball in that area.

Reply Score: 4

Colorsync
by GrapeGraphics on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:37 UTC
GrapeGraphics
Member since:
2005-07-07

Graphic designers require much more than a suite. We need to have a system level color calibration system akin to what's in OS X. Apple 'seems' to be the only OS developer who's (at least) trying. 'Core' elements that make for a better, and consistent output on all levels.

Just my point of view, but hey... I'm a designer, what do I know?

The fancy graphic elements of the OS shouldn't detract, I agree... but a beautiful interface, that works well makes me feel all warm and fuzzy...

Another thought is if 'we're' all concerned about not having fancy-shmancy UI elements, then why are so many of 'us' so concerned about how much we can customize the design of our desktops?

IMHO

Jb

Reply Score: 5

What's the authors problem?
by Ford Prefect on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:52 UTC
Ford Prefect
Member since:
2006-01-16

I can't really see his point.

Using the GPU for drawing just makes sense. If your GPU is not capable, you don't need to enable it.

Using a Composite Manager makes just the same sense and is even good for systems with less CPU power (but not less RAM, that is). If you think it doesn't fit for your system, you don't need to enable it.


What was done otherwise on the desktop?
Using a decent vector graphics engine for widget drawing (GTK) and a very good font rendering engine on modern computers just makes sense. Finally, when everything you see on your desktop is drawn resolution independently, the battle is won. If your system is too old for the needed extra power, you have a problem with newer GTK versions... But this is something so reasonable, you can't give it up all for old systems. The real world is not divided into single pixels, so modern computer systems have to get over these single pixels to better integrate into real world (as a desktop computer is nothing more than a tool to help you out in the real world).


What about those shiny effects now? Well, they are nothing more than a side-product of these very important developments. A side-product which is not mandatory and can be switched off (or has to be switched on in first place).

The biggest critiques about bloated desktop OSes like Windows or perhaps Mac OS X is, that you can't avoid the bloat.
But everything "bloated" added to the linux desktop today can be avoided easily, without suffering.


And for example, he talks about graphics artists. Well, with an environment which has graphics hardware accelerated drawing, resolution independence and so on, it should help a lot to develop a good running graphics application which is usable for "not-computer" graphics. But try to do so on an old X which doesn't even draw you an antialiased line onto the screen for you.

Edited 2006-06-28 13:57

Reply Score: 2

What really makes me angry...
by fithisux on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:04 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

is that as far as BSD is concerned, it is just a porting OS. No software is made for it. Only porting is done. Instead of fixing software to run on BSD via ./configure and provide packages via rpm or src.rpm they port eternally. If I make a portupgrade, it takes hours and there are cases where I need the latest and greatest. Even if I can fix packages, it has non standard tcsh(not bash which is better) something like gmake (which is not gmake, but at least works although they could have used gmake) and a ports tree. They beg for closed source java, when there is cacaojvm/jamvm/kaffe(at least this works) and classpath. I do not think that their marvelous contributions to the BSD kernel will ever be accessible, because of their messed OS. Ports are a mid-term solution , they do not give something back. They are running behind everyone. I understand they need developers and hobbyists, but they try to make them leave.

Why do they flirt with gnu tools but try to reinvent the wheel? Why don't they provide a Java bluetooth api on OSS java? They do not help developers work on this platform. THIS IS THE FOCUS they should take. Make user's life easier and help him/her provide drivers/software with minimum effort.

Linux : it is the perfect OS. But kernel APIs and driver development should become easier. Easier than windows. And should provide more documentation.
"Read the source"-> Yes, I will if I need to learn how it is implemented, not how it functions.

Solaris : Please support nexenta and ship a boxed product like SUSE.

MacOSX : Stop fooling around with opendarwin and focus on making Linux/BSD/Solaris better

Linux/BSD/Solaris -> much better than windows but not the best

And an ASIDE -> Open up ZetaOS in order to have an opportunity to improve it and discuss about it!!!

Reply Score: 2

RE: What really makes me angry...
by eMagius on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:38 UTC in reply to "What really makes me angry..."
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

it has non standard tcsh(not bash which is better)

The only standard *nix shell is the Bourne Shell (sh). bash is not only slow and bloated, but also broken and not correctly backwards compatible. It's also substantially less powerful than tcsh and ksh93. Just because most Linux distros use bash as the default doesn't make it better.

Reply Score: 4

Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Amen.

Reply Score: 1

kefkathecruel Member since:
2006-01-17

Oh yes, Linux is the perfect OS. There really is such a thing as perfect, for everyone! Despite all the years we've spent learning to use the right tool for the right job. What a bunch of idiots we were. There is a perfect operating system!

Frankly Mac OS X is the leading BSD and I'd say it has more applications written for it than any competing Linux system does. Most of the software available for Linux is ports.

Ported software doesn't equate to bad software. But then again I didn't know there was a perfect OS either.

Boy I'm dumb.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What really makes me angry...
by reez on Wed 28th Jun 2006 21:07 UTC in reply to "What really makes me angry..."
reez Member since:
2006-06-28

That's simply not true.
OpenSSh for example. It was ported to Linux, Solaris (sunssh is based on OpenSSH), ...
What exactly do you mean with "No software is made for it. Only porting is done."?
Most software is made for Unix or POSIX-compatible Operating Systems. Linux is btw. not even a _real_ Unix. It's just a clone.

An other example is "make". make is no "linuxtechonlogy".
(gnu)make was ported to BSD, but it is only used for (gnu)make-only software (which is ther, but not much). BSD has it's own make.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What really makes me angry...
by macintroll on Thu 29th Jun 2006 02:35 UTC in reply to "What really makes me angry..."
macintroll Member since:
2005-11-15

Calm down, there's no need to be angry. Especially since most of your facts are incorrect.

"it has non standard tcsh(not bash which is better)"

- There is nothing "standard" about bash, and which is better is a matter of opinion. Look at a few shell scripts in tcsh and bash, and then tell us which you think has the cleanest syntax.

"Why do they flirt with gnu tools but try to reinvent the wheel?"

- BSD came first. The GNU project was founded specifically to reinvent the wheel. Read their manifesto.

"Why don't they provide a Java bluetooth api on OSS java? They do not help developers work on this platform. THIS IS THE FOCUS they should take."

- If you are a developer, why don't you do it? Or are you too busy issuing orders?

"Linux : it is the perfect OS."
"Linux/BSD/Solaris -> much better than windows but not the best"

- You forgot to tell us which OS is better than perfect.

Solaris : Please support nexenta and ship a boxed product like SUSE.

- Yes, sir!

MacOSX : Stop fooling around with opendarwin and focus on making Linux/BSD/Solaris better

- Yes, sir!

We have our marching orders! Thank you for your contributions to open source.

Reply Score: 1

its true, i dont need all of this
by k.g.stoyanov on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:15 UTC
k.g.stoyanov
Member since:
2005-07-12

its stupid. all of us use computers:
1. for fun
2. for work

for fun i need my audio software to run smooth, to watch my videos, to watch some porn, and to listen my music
for work its the same, its all software

i dont need to boot in fancy-3d-transperent OS to do all this, it will make me not happy, i want the OS just to runs, i dont want to buy 1GB of memory for vista, or new hdd or new cpu...its the same with games - they make ALL big, this is not the future, this is not technology - to make things BIGGER...sounds like
"we build the NEW CAR OF THE FUTURE - it runs with 1000 kmh, and its 2000house power, its invicible, but it weighs 50 tons and needs 1 ton of fuel per km"...Hello all of you making things bigger - you are developing myass! cheers, K.!

Reply Score: 2

reality check
by buff on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:15 UTC
buff
Member since:
2005-11-12

Cool transparency effects would be nice to have but in terms of getting real work done on linux you can already due that with a ton of excellent open source applications. The linux distro's will eventually get these features but I see no urgent need.

Reply Score: 2

useful first
by project_2501 on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:19 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

i have known for years that the linux/bsd/solaris computing environment was ugly. remember xforms and fvwm? remember when motif was considered slick?

myself and my people who actually use linux/unix as their main desktop do so because of the functionality and reliability, as well as the configurability (usually to pare down bloat). today i still use lyx, not msword, i still use bc not Calculator (because you have command history and arbitrary precision), ... and so on...

and i want to be reassured that mainstream distros will support modestly powered computers ... 1/2 Gb of RAM should be plenty. especially when you remember that desktop linux used to arrive on a set of floppies ... and looking further back at Impression Desktop Publisher ran fine on 1MB Acorn desktop machines evenw ith no hard disk ... and even further back at very usable spreadsheets and word processors for the 8bit computers with 16 or 32K RAM.

if you want bloat make it optional, not mandatory.

Reply Score: 3

First generation
by jonsmirl on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:42 UTC
jonsmirl
Member since:
2005-07-06

Everyone is forgetting that this is the first generation of GPU assisted desktops. Vista is going to cause all new machines to be built with capable 3D hardware. In five years we will have the next generation of GUI software and the hardware will be common.

Does anyone remember that Windows 1.0 tiled windows onto the screen and they couldn't be moved and overlapped? Screens were 640x480 and fonts were 7x9 bitmaps. The big innovation was getting rid of rectangular EGA pixels and moving to square VGA ones.

Compare that to today's GUI. Back then there was a flood of articles about why would I want to give up the productive command line and use crummy Windows 1.0. When the second or third generation is ready you wont want to go back.

Reply Score: 1

RE: First generation
by Cloudy on Thu 29th Jun 2006 06:20 UTC in reply to "First generation"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Everyone is forgetting that this is the first generation of GPU assisted desktops.

You mean the first generation of such on PCs? it's been about 20 years since the first generation of SGI boxes that had SGI's GPU assisted "desktop" (window manager.) and can argue that CDC Plato workstations qualified as being GPU assisted 10 years before that, or that the Xerox Dorado's byte-code support for Smalltalk graphics qualifies.

Back then there was a flood of articles about why would I want to give up the productive command line ...

and for those things that command lines are better than GUIs for, I still use a CLI.

Anyway, "Uses the GPU" and "Throws up 3d effects" are two different things. X already has extensions for using the GPU when appropriate for rendering.

I disliked the bouncy effects in OS/X when I first had to use it, and I'm not going to like them any more when they're faster because the GPU renders them. Transparency is a distraction, not a help.

Maybe someone will come up with some 3d rendering that makes the desktop more useful, but I doubt it.

Reply Score: 1

Some background
by ma_d on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:20 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

The article makes some good, already considered, points.
1.) Desktop linux has always been useful as a ghee wiz graphics toy: I remember playing with superkaramba, dock look-a-likes, fancy themes, and this sort of thing around the time of KDE 3.0's release. So this is not a new group in the linux world.
2.) Systems change. Our display system is changing right now: From simple 2d bitmaps to more powerful 3d systems. It's going to be buggy, annoying, and a bit slow at first: Heck, remember OS X 10.0? I bet you'd have said bitmap screens were silly when they first arrived on the scene, and pragmatically for the time they were: Programs weren't written for them yet. Things change, now you get laughed at for suggesting some tasks are not graphical and should simply be console applications.
3.) Professional writers probably get ignored because:
a.) They're picky and damned good at complaining.
b.) They are rarely developers.
c.) Their work is not blatantly obvious to people who aren't writers. So you get things like openoffice.

I agree that it'd be nice to see better writing tools in gnu linux. I have to say I like what I'm seeing along the lines of docbook stuff, things like conglomorate (which I haven't found to be usable yet, too buggy), let you write the work and then decide how it should look. And because it's using xml it shold be easy to have any program write it and any program transform it for publishing.

Graphics designers are a hard one to aim for: Getting them off Mac was one thing, but pulling them to linux?

Reply Score: 1

Al little long winded here but...
by Bonus on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:38 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

I understand where the article is coming from but with open source software there is an innate bloat because the focus is not on elegance; but options, it seems. It's more focused on what you can do then how easy it is do do it.

For instance, if I buy a product that has everything in it and all the features but they are very hard to use or don't work well with the other features. Like buying an enterprise quality fan. It might have all these features that get in the way or it's too bulky and big.. A regular fan might have 3 very useful features that work quickly, quietly, and well with the other two. That's where closed software has the higher ground still and is winning. It goes to the mantra 'keep it simple stupid.' Photoshop elements, TrueSpcae3d, Renderman. Blender seems bloated with no easy options or modes to do simple quick things. Kaffeine can't touch WMP with a 10 foot pole in usability. ITunes is still better then Amarok.

Most anyone could copy anybody else and get the basic features for their software.. But when it comes to accessibility, design and ergonomics of access that can only be done by an independent person or company usually who has the skills to do so on their own in a back room somewhere. At some point their has to be invention or conception from an individual mind and not a borg system. In order for a product to kick ass they have to be very specialized and not co-dependent on 20 million standards. In a sense I agree with Bill Hilf on certain points here. It's usually the very capitalist way but also very American to want to create your own product and not mooch off of others. Not saying open source does that but needs to become more direct as the pure intention of the creator. Maybe it is in some departments like with XMMS but I just haven't gotten that feel lately.

If GPL continues to copy everyone else or just be feature rich without usefulness or ease of use it will remain a backup software and noting more that I use and like allot. That's what I started using it for. I usually back up all my prop software with GPL. Linux is a tuff one since I'm still getting used to it. I still use Windows for things like Everquest 2, and some windows only GPL software that's quite nice under Gnumeric; and Linux on the duel boot..

Programs have to do one thing well and not just everything pretty good. It can get overly communal at times with FOSS but programmers like that. Bill Gates might have been off when he said communism in the way he did, but sometimes it does have that feel to it. Pure Communism is slow and clunky. Obviously pure capitalism is too greedy. I don't want to have a clunky browser with too many website standards. Well anyway.
It's like if a carpenter only relied on basic tools for his work and not wanting to go out and get that really specialized tool. The super hammer 5000XL with the special switch that gives the extra umph needed so he saves an extra hour of work time and can get to the club earlier that night.. I do understand how prop lock-in can limit this as well though. Plus you can't copy a super special switch . That's what makes a product unique. Copying Vista's stuff wont cut it or XGL should take the forefront if it doesn't in a capitalist market it will get crushed and that's the way it should be. Maybe they need an open source graphics card to accomplish this maybe not but I do like the idea and can't wait until it ships.

I am still not totally comfortable with closed hardware and software and it's lock-jn and seemingly endless pricing at this point but it does usually give me exactly what I want usually on the front end even if after you get bad tastes in your mouth VLC player really is nice but doesn't seem to have those extra , what I call, showroom usefulness features like VLC doesn't really have a media organizer like WMP;. GIMP and Krita are esoterical. I can't simply draw a straight line in GIMP without stroking a path. Perhaps it's just better to have open source software combined with closed. Why can't someone just come out with something that's more specialized like Photoshop but open though. I guess Xara is doing that but can it be accomplished in the FOSS business model with their tools?

Also with ODF, if MS supported ODF, wouldn't they have to open source their formats? How would others support MS formats while supporting ODF(XML)? Wouldn't that homogenize things? Maybe open XML could be a good idea?

Reply Score: 1

Pretty fonts
by Bonus on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:08 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

Some of my meandering:

Software is a human interface to the machine. It tells the machine to do tasks that help humans. Humans require colors and graphics. Maybe robots might someday too. When you make software the first on the list should be usability before anything. As long as you can get some basics in right away it's useful even if it has like 3 options. How do we tell the machine what to do if wee can't access it.
If your a programmer you're usually going to require less tools because your usually not interfacing with the machine but just your code so your perspective is going to be different. A programmer is creating software for a consumer not themselves.
Basically a piece of software should really be a useful UI weather graphical or text based. I have even seen some very crappy text based software out there that isn't pretty. Even text based software can look pretty. Fonts etc. Resolution.

Here's some examples of nice UIs I have seen:

SGI-Softimage: The buttons are nice and thick but artistically correct with the text and images. I have a problem with generic themes sometimes.
Closed:
http://www.softimage.com/products/xsi/v5/features/images/AnimationM...

Hydrogen:
Open:
http://www.hydrogen-music.org/?p=screenshots

Reply Score: 1

Good things about XGL to me
by Bonus on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:14 UTC
Bonus
Member since:
2005-12-23

The only rwal big deal about XGL is that it's easier for peeps to maintain high quality rendering with managed code.

So my favs are:

Smooth window movemnt instead of fluttery.
Dynamic Widows that can go everywhere on screen when watching videos or pictures.
Basically no flicker or reset time with windows and program startup and shutdown. When using a UI this is very seemless that's why AJAX took off.

Reply Score: 1

the direction...
by Trollstoi on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:20 UTC
Trollstoi
Member since:
2005-11-11

It doesn't matter which is the direction, as it's not going far anyway.

Reply Score: 1

RE: the direction...
by Sphinx on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:37 UTC in reply to "the direction..."
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Moot point since it's already there.

Reply Score: 1

Differences in eye candy
by Tom K on Wed 28th Jun 2006 18:12 UTC
Tom K
Member since:
2005-07-06

The difference between eye candy in OS X and eye candy in XGL/Compiz is that one gives you useful visual cues that make your computing experience efficient and enjoyable, whereas the other one only serves to annoy/slow you down.

One guess as to which one does what.

Reply Score: 1

Reminds me of the internet bashing
by griffinme on Wed 28th Jun 2006 18:39 UTC
griffinme
Member since:
2005-11-09

This arguement reminds me of the debate over websites from 8 years ago. "We don't need any stinking graphics on the net! It just makes my connection slower." Certainly there were/are abuses but how many plain text websites do you see today? Didn't much of the work from then lead to interesting sites we see today?

Reply Score: 1

Risk of Mainstreaming of Desktop Linux
by ahalsey on Wed 28th Jun 2006 18:51 UTC
ahalsey
Member since:
2006-05-10

The current focus of the two major desktop environments (KDE and Gnome) is to make Linux suitable for the corporate desktop, and, to a lesser degree, consumer desktop. Essentially, the focus is on making it easy for the mainstream non-technical user.

The danger of this direction is that it alienates the technical user. These desktop environments go to great lengths to shield the user from the "scary" technical details. Corporate managers like this approach. But this approach is harmful to the technically proficient workers wanting to harness their computing environment to its fullest potential to augment their creativity and productivy.

This mainstreaming direction has the bad consequences of:

(1) making the system actually harder to use for technically proficient users, because they need to try to figure out how the underlying OS concepts were mapped onto the "friendly" UI terminology. That mapping often is not logical. For the technical user, this doubles the complexity of managing the OS.

(2) Makes the system harder to learn for motivied users who want to learn how the OS works in order to improve their computing efficiency. When the user searches the web for a problem and enters the "friendly" name, they get poor search results and become confused when they find HOWTO's with unfamiliar technical terminology.

The author reiterates a good point that has been made before: Linux has great usability ... for technical people. There is nothing wrong with that. We should embrace it.

I'm not saying stop making Linux suitable for mainstream users. Just don't alienate technically proficient users in the process. Especially developers. That would be a tragic mistake for obvious reasons.

Edited 2006-06-28 18:58

Reply Score: 2

yada yada yada
by Ikshaar on Wed 28th Jun 2006 18:55 UTC
Ikshaar
Member since:
2005-07-14

Well I LOVE XGL, I LOVE beautiful fancy effects.. and I work and I play on my computer... this ranting against accelerated desktop is sad.

Sure in dreamland, all computer would be blazingly fast, all toolkit would be of pristine programming and people would be focusing only on productivity and not fancy graphic.. oh wait, that's not dreamland anymore, that 1984.

Reply Score: 1

Linux needs its own DirectX
by stray on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:05 UTC
stray
Member since:
2006-06-28

I disagree that Linux shouldn't have things like Xgl or whiz-bang graphical effects, because if the market wants it, who are we to argue?

On the other hand, what Linux does NOT need is more shoehorned graphic and sound systems. Seriously, it's getting so that in order to make sure your sound works, you have to put ALSA through OSS or something, and the same could be said for graphics.

It's time for the open source community to do what Microsoft did in the mid-1990s and commission an official graphics and audio framework, like MSFT's DirectX. Such a project would enable users to have standard access to graphics and audio hardware, while also simplifying programming and possibly even attracting more game developers to the platform.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux needs its own DirectX
by ma_d on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:05 UTC in reply to "Linux needs its own DirectX"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

Like opengl and openal for 3d and sdl for 2d? Ok, done, what next?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux needs its own DirectX
by snowbender on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:35 UTC in reply to "Linux needs its own DirectX"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

The equivalent of DirectX on Linux is SDL ( http://www.libsdl.org ), aka Simple Directmedia Layer, which exists already for several years and is maintained by Sam Lantinga, one of the developers who previously worked for Loki Software (the company which ported a lot of computer games to linux). SDL provides an API for programming graphics, sound and input and is mainly targetted at games. It is a cross platform library which runs on all major platforms and is able to use several different backends for graphics and audio, depending on the platform it's running on. For 3D applications and games, you can use OpenGL from inside SDL. The API also offers functions for multi-threaded programming and file operations.

In addition, there are a number of extra libraries coming with SDL which provide more advanced functions, and also functions for network programming.

There's also OpenAL, which is a cross platform 3d audio api. (more advanced than what's included in SDL, I believe)

SDL and OpenAL (and OpenGL too, of course) have actually been used in a lot of commercial games available for Linux.

Reply Score: 1

rakamaka
Member since:
2005-08-12

When was desktop linux in right direction? If the direction was to chase MS or OSX and copycat every win application, linux was following path of least resistance.
If linux developers can come up with something original desktop architecture/design, then and then only they can beat Vista.. maybe in 2010.
Remember, Average Joe cares about Ease of USE and nothing about underlaying complexities, securities etc.

Reply Score: 2

I just disagree with the article..
by WereCatf on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:12 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

I actually like fancy new effects, and I enjoy it when my desktop looks good. And for example the Composite extension in X.org is used for some eye-candy, it can also be rather useful: I like to set some windows transparent, because it helps me to accomplish some of my tasks. And just think of Xgl: the fact that SLED comes with Xgl doesn't mean you _need_ a powerful computer to run it, nor does it mean you have to even use it. But it is a great addition, simply because the more of the load is transferred for the GPU to do, the less the CPU has to do and can instead do more useful stuff. Besides, a slow CPU + a decent GPU will probably just boost the overall performance of the computer when compared to a situation when Xgl is not in use. On the usability side of things: Xgl still does support transparent windows, which are useful, but also the idea of showing virtual desktops as different sides of a cube helps newcomers to understand the idea of virtual desktops and to familiarize them with working in such an environment.

Oh, and just for the remark, not everyone uses the computer for games or work. I for example play games anyway in Windows, _if_ I play at all. I just use Linux for web browsing, listening to music and handling whatever pictures I have taken.

Reply Score: 1

openbsd-user
Member since:
2006-06-28

Fancy desktops are just another example of obsolete 'commercial hit' technologies, nothing to do with marketing.

What people really want?? Simple desktops.

The Linux HPC-High performance clusters are a excellent examples of real scalable administation and real scalable manageability. It's real easy to setup and install a 10,100,1000, 10000 or even millions of computers, in a few minutes, hours.

It's no secret that the same HPC cluster technolgies can be used to build any, high performance, high availibilty desktop cluster i.e.
1 the thin-client desktop for i.e. a call-center cluster
2 a marketing department desktop cluster,
3 a development front-end for the devel-department.
4 isp's managing their customer accounts/desktops

http://www.k12ltsp.org
http://www.ltsp.org
Build on X Windows, which has a stability record envied in computing and has been stable for 18 years, with real excellent scalable administation and manageability. It gives the early and late majority of users what they really need, a simple desktop that works.

The future and the way to go.
The future will bring zero installation desktops, just netboot, like cable modems from the network, boot via powerlines, boot via wifi. People can get every desktop they like and run uberOffice from the net. The early and late majority of users just like it very simple, and gets the simple desktop, browser, mailclient, maybe some wordprocessing running on an very energy efficient fast low-tech clipperchipfree computers with a multimedia ARM or Conexant net-cpu.


Running the application-software on very powerfull server virtual-machines (Xen,VMware) , or the real thing, uberware virtual machines from IBM, Unisys MCP's and Bull Nova's (nova - means 'don't work' in spanish :-) )


With a secure boot, one person/employee can support/monitor the administration tasks of 10,hundreds, thousands, millions of systems, devices, PDAs, phone, pc's, easily because nothing will be installed on each and every internet enabled device you can dream off.

A big advantage for the early+late majority is that they don't have to buy and pay the next generation energy guzzling antiquated cpu/os combination and safe a lot on the electricity bill. Connecting 1 billion Chinees with the unsophisticated 'commercial hit' technologies of today they have to build several more "Three Gorges" dams (18billion Watt), "Hoover" dams(2 billion Watt), or get some free oil and democratize Iran

Edited 2006-06-28 20:16

Reply Score: 1

Not Enough Fun.. for who?
by SomeGuy on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:29 UTC
SomeGuy
Member since:
2006-03-20

I'd have to say that developing a whole bunch of new eye candy and making a system that can handle tons of fancy graphics -- and do it *Better* than Vista, at the same time -- can be quite fun for the developers. It's a nice challenge to do graphics, and probably the most rewarding, since eye candy is really the stuff that makes people look at your work and go "Wow. That's impressive".

So I ask again, why is it not fun to do this eye candy?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not Enough Fun.. for who?
by Tom Janowitz on Wed 28th Jun 2006 21:09 UTC in reply to "Not Enough Fun.. for who?"
Tom Janowitz Member since:
2005-12-05

Judging by the fact, that Vista is tauted most widely for Aero 'engine', it should be also obvious for everyone by now, that eyecandy is _very_ important for general Linux adoption (which is what we all want, don't we ?). Even if it wasn't any beneficial in terms of usability and productivity (which is obviously not the case - lower cpu overhead & 'expose' are not to be trifled with), Linux just has to successfully compete with OS X and Windows on this ground to achieve abovementioned goal.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Not Enough Fun.. for who?
by openbsd-user on Wed 28th Jun 2006 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Not Enough Fun.. for who?"
openbsd-user Member since:
2006-06-28

Eyecandy you find enough on the net. Like Anna looking for bugs. http://funreports.com/2005/01/13/57824.html . People running Firefox on Linux, will be entertainted to the same extent as people running IE.

For private use people want, Ultra Easy Access, and availabilty of entertaining technology, just like gameconsoles, no hazall with installs and techno talk.

Just plug any device in the powerline plug, or turn it on and voila....

On the workplace and to do your job, some simple desktop which is quiet on the eyes.

Edited 2006-06-28 23:41

Reply Score: 1

proforma
Member since:
2005-08-27

We are going to have so much extra power over the next few years.

The first quarter of 2007 we have Intel coming out with Quad-core CPU's and then dual GPU's are going to be easier because Microsoft is adopting the ability to have dual video cards using a new link system (instead of using Nvidia's SLI and ATI's CrossFire) that will link the two video cards together. This is going to be a big deal as Physics can be done on GPU's now.

Also Direct3D 10 is coming built right into Vista and without having the old compatiblity in hardware, it is going to have a clean break from the past.

In 2008, Direct3D 10.1 will be released and using the next generation WDDM 2.1 (Windows Display Driver Model) which basically allows true pre-emptive multi-tasking on the GPU.

The Windows Display Driver Model that comes with Windows Vista will allow for the virtualization of resources. So what this means is that the memory on the video card and the memory in your computer will be pooled together and made virtual so you can have huge resources that are managed for you so that you can use larger textures in your games. So you will want to get more memory on your computer anyway. ;)

With Windows Vista the first version of Windows that has been released for 6 years and the fact that it allows for 64-bit computing on every version of the installation and all the new eye candy, this should help to drive sales.

So I think the point is moot. How long are you going to stay with a computer without upgrading it?

If you upgrade in 2007 or beyond I really don't think you will have to buy a new one for a long time.

Reply Score: 1

Same tired points over and over again...
by abraxas on Wed 28th Jun 2006 23:28 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

It's gotten so that you need a serious 3D video card (with proprietary drivers) and a fairly fast computer just to keep up with desktop environments. Whatever happened to being productive and having fun?

Actually the nice thing about XGL is that it doesn't require a very hefty card. You can run XGL on a 440MX if you want to.

...the 3D effects of XGL/Compiz ruin my work environment because they're so distracting, and they reduce my frame rate in 3D games. Aside from that, XGL has been known to cause system instability, and can be difficult to properly install and configure. So why on earth would I want this?

I have a simple solution. Don't use beta software. XGL is still beta. It's not going to be stable and easy to use at this stage. Even if it was completely stable you don't need to enable it. If you don't like it then turn it off. This is a ridiculous complaint.

I haven't found any that really hone in on a specific use. For instance, I'd like to see a distro that is totally dedicated to serving Web pages, with the option to add FTP, rsync, and other Internet services. The kernel, the command line tools, and the graphical interface (if there is one -- and there should be) would all be totally dedicated to configuring, delivering, and monitoring these Web services. Right now all that we have are gigantic, wide-ranging distros that we pare down and customize for our uses.

There are plenty of systems like this. Linux has a ton of specialized distributions. If you don't like what is available then make your own. Gentoo is excellent at this type of stuff. Build your own distro and even make your own livecd with exactly what you want on it.

We also have gigantic, wide-ranging programs like OpenOffice.org that we fit to smaller uses. OpenOffice.org is the king of bloat and copycatism. Was it designed as a suite of tools that people commonly need in an office setting? No, it was designed to copy what was in Microsoft Office, whether or not it makes any sense to do so. If it were truly an "office suite," it would have a program for making charts and other business graphics, a program for writing letters on predefined letterhead, an IM client, and an email/PIM program. It has none of those specialized tools.

Well if OpenOffice didn't exist everyone would complain that there isn't anything to compete with Office. It's a lose/lose situation to the author, but it's a winning situation for Linux users because now we can open MS formats and create the same documents that we created in Windows.

As far as office software goes, Linux is pretty complete in my opinion. Take a look at evolution together with EDS, Gaim, and OpenOffice. It is comparable to what MS offers.

Personally I think the author is dead wrong. Linux distro's have really focused more on what is needed on the desktop, not less. HAL/DBUS, freedesktop.org, Microsoft compatibility, and improved user experience have benefited the desktop Linux community, not hurt it.

My favorite thing about Linux seems to be the author's bane, which is customizability. You can mold Linux into anything you want. That's part of the reason I switched all my systems to Gentoo oh so long ago. I have my own distro for servers, one for desktops, and a livecd for Linux/Windows rescue missions all utilizing consistent tools and interfaces.

Reply Score: 1

You know what sucks...
by chlordane on Thu 29th Jun 2006 00:54 UTC
chlordane
Member since:
2006-05-11

....Is that the majority of hardware manufacturers are locked into optimizing their product(s) for Windows...

So what should the linux development community do to attract those companies?

Reply Score: 1

no way man
by cg0def on Thu 29th Jun 2006 04:13 UTC
cg0def
Member since:
2006-02-12

are you nuts? XGL is the best thing to ever happen to Linux after the creation of the linux kernel itself. Linux stands absolutelly no chance in being a viable substitution to MacOS and Windows if it keeps being stuck in the stone age. And buddy, desktops are for fun and workstations are for work. There is quite a bit of difference.

But as always you are free to chose the software that you run and noone really forces you to use XGL. Also keep in mind that first Linux has to attract attention if it even hopes to attract software companies. And in this business you really need a solid support from the software developers and most likelly the commercial software development world as well. After all bare Windows is quite possibly the worst OS ever invented but then you have all those extra applications that actually make it a pretty good OS. It is insane to believe tha Linux with a small group of volunteers can go against the whole computer industry and win.

As far as XGL goes, people actually like pretty things even if they are not useful. Do you keep plants arround the house? How are they useful? So I'd suggest you embrase the changes or just stick with whatever you like. After all Linux gives you plenty of freedom to chose and most of the *low resource* old fashioned desktop envs are not going away any time soon.

Reply Score: 1

Reminds me of the Inquisition...
by sevrage on Thu 29th Jun 2006 10:46 UTC
sevrage
Member since:
2006-06-29

the future is there ---->
<--- going there...he is...
who cares if your brain cant keep up with the graphics this is the new generation.. the beggining of a new order.. a new way of computer interaction.. who want to kill it before it grows? and stay put? doing nothing.. living in a static world.. because your scare of taking the next step? YES this has nothing to do with technology this is psychological.. i sugest you consult the a therapist ASAP

Reply Score: 1