Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 20th Aug 2006 03:08 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "If we want open source software to take off on the desktop, we need to reduce the amount of choice and concentrate our efforts into a single app for each purpose. Choice is one of the drawcards of open source software, but if it is ever to receive adoption at any recognisable level on the desktop, there needs to be less of it. More is less and less is more." More here.
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Choice
by DoctorPepper on Sun 20th Aug 2006 03:32 UTC
DoctorPepper
Member since:
2005-07-12

If we reduce the amount of choice, we will be hardly better than the commercial software companies. In addition to being "open", one of the main attractions to open source is the choice. Everyone can find the applications that work best for them, or they can write their own.

If you want to limit choice, make your own distro and put on it just what you want. Please don't try to limit my choice though. What you want and like may not be what I want and like.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Choice
by leech on Sun 20th Aug 2006 03:51 UTC in reply to "Choice"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Precisely. I think this article is actually pretty bad. I couldn't even finish reading it all after he said that about MS Word and it's font manager being separate. It more than likely IS separate, since it would be an API that is built into windows to give the same capability to other programs besides Word. Not to mention that's a moot point when talking about "Choice".

Any Company who wanted to use a Linux distribution on the desktop first off would choose the Distribution most likely due to the one the IT department would be most familiar with. From that they would choose which Desktop Environment etc. Most all distributions have a 'kickstart' type feature which will allow an ISO to be created that has a standard set of applications / hardware to install, so any Administrator can custom build the corporate desktop. Let's see Windows do that!

It's quite funny to me that he says;

"Will open source ever run the desktop?

In a word, no. In more words, not without some big philosophical changes to the open source desktop model. The only reason I say "no" is that I can't see this happening any time soon."


And I'm reading this using Ubuntu Linux on my desktop. What's that? Year of the Linux Desktop? I've been using it on my desktop for years. I used it when I worked as an Administrator too. There were only a few reasons we didn't switch all the workstations to Linux there, one of which was because the CEO just HAD to have Outlook + Exchange. If we could have found a good groupware suite that was compatible with Exchange that would have kept all the old set up, and could just slip it under his nose, we would have done it. Unfortunately I got laid off before we could do so.

Linux works quite well on the Desktop actually.

Leech

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Choice
by el3ktro on Sun 20th Aug 2006 09:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Choice"
el3ktro Member since:
2006-01-10

Omg I have to tell a story about that. The company I'm working at as one of the admins is actually suited perfect of running a Linux desktop. Everything the people need there is a browser, a mail program, an office suite - thats it. I still don't get it why the management sends thousands of Euros for Windows, MS Office, virus scanners, firewalls etc. when they could do the exact same job also with Linux, Firefox, Evolution + any Groupware server and OpenOffice. We don't have to deal with any external documents, we just have our own few templates which could easily be transformed to OpenOffice. Evolution offers everything we need (mailing + calendaring) - but the other admin, who is my boss unfortunately, just likes Windows better and doesn't know Linux too good.

Reply Score: 1

More is less and less is more so.....
by Don Grayson on Sun 20th Aug 2006 03:40 UTC
Don Grayson
Member since:
2006-01-01

Utter disdain must mean total success, so Microsoft will continue to dominate simply by sheer inertia.

For Open Source to succeed, we must follow this stellar example and take out all quality efforts, break all compatibility, and stop development entirely. How else can we compete with a marketing meme of such extraordinary ordinaryness??

Reply Score: 3

Balance and Progress
by transami on Sun 20th Aug 2006 03:41 UTC
transami
Member since:
2006-02-28

I agree and disagree. It's good to have diversity, but it would be nice if there were more cooperation and consolidation. There are too many project that are essentially the same. Unfortuately it's difficult. It's one thing to contribute a bug fix, but to work in significant changes --well, that kind of thing rarely flys and thus new projects/forks are born.

I think a more beneficial approach would be to work on integration models. The Application + Document paradigm is getting old. Moving to a more fine grain Tool + Structured-Data is, IMHO, overdue.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Balance and Progress
by sbenitezb on Sun 20th Aug 2006 04:51 UTC in reply to "Balance and Progress"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

"It's good to have diversity, but it would be nice if there were more cooperation and consolidation. There are too many project that are essentially the same."

There isn't only one brand of cars or one color for clothes. And that's because people are not the same. Why should then be only one program to fit everyone's needs? Look carefully to the Windows world and you will see a lot of duplication. And that's good, because it makes for a good competition. If there was only one product for all, it would happen what happened with Windows for a long time, and IE, and...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Balance and Progress
by kmarius on Sun 20th Aug 2006 11:34 UTC in reply to "Balance and Progress"
kmarius Member since:
2005-06-30

I think the biggest reason why there are so many unfinished apps, is that it's hard and boring to do the core tasks.

If you write an email-application you need a lot of code to make a full featured mail parser with support for character sets, HTML, inline attachments etc. If you write a calendar application, you have to import/export other formats if you want to "compete"

The problem is a lack of common libraries that are application independent. This forces developers to "reinvent the wheel" for every application.

A lot of people with unique ideas about a new mail interface or a calendar application lose their interest when facing the (often) boring tasks of implementing the core functionality that have been programmed many times before by other developers. That's why you see so many unfinished projects out there.

Why should a developer spend time reinventing the wheel, when they could focus on implementing new functionality.

I know that there are a lot of libraries out there, but we need more. Too much time is wasted on basic functionality.

Edited 2006-08-20 11:34

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Balance and Progress
by cyclops on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Balance and Progress"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

I find it interesting, that you talk about re-inventing the wheel in a world where I see far too often "re-wrote" from the ground up esp. when it comes to Vista.

That aside Open-source is rarely about re-inventing the wheel. It might be about.

1) Seeing how a wheel works
2) Building a better wheel
3) Building a different wheel.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Balance and Progress
by Ronald Vos on Sun 20th Aug 2006 12:12 UTC in reply to "Balance and Progress"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

I think a more beneficial approach would be to work on integration models. The Application + Document paradigm is getting old. Moving to a more fine grain Tool + Structured-Data is, IMHO, overdue.

It's funny/sad, but BeOS was heading in the direction of seperate tools strung together to replace monolithic programs, instead of the other way around. Difference is, this time in the GUI.
Another difference: developpers made the glue in the form of a redistributable GUI, instead of expecting the user to type in arcane commands. And that's the difference that made it preferable to the 'unix way of things', IMHO.

Reply Score: 1

diversity is fine
by theeil on Sun 20th Aug 2006 04:24 UTC
theeil
Member since:
2005-09-18

I agree that there is a mess of all sorts of programs for every task, which is perfect of all us linux gurus, but for the common folk it is not fitting. That is why we have various disrtos such as ubuntu, fedora, rhel, suse, linspire, and so on - to make decisions for the user who couldn't care less if he's using less or more (in fact he would likely want wrapped up in a pretty gui.) Package selection is hardly a concern when using a user friendly distribution. Personal anecdote we've all heard a thousand times: I got my mother using ubuntu and ever since she switched she has been asking less silly questions about how to do this or that.

Reply Score: 2

Many don't realize
by sbenitezb on Sun 20th Aug 2006 04:47 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

that open source already succeded. It succeded for me, a happy free software user that likes choice and can have a featurefull desktop that runs well without spyware/virus, that uses better my AMD64 hardware, and provides me for what I need. Open source doesn't have to conquer the world; it does give people another option, but ultimately, is the people who has to go for that.

Reply Score: 5

GNU's Not For U!
by Cloudy on Sun 20th Aug 2006 05:22 UTC
Cloudy
Member since:
2006-02-15

The Unix and GNU philosophy has always been to develop a large selection of tools with a narrow but specific purpose. List a directory using ls, pipe that output to grep, pipe that to more, and pipe that to tar, then onto gzip. Five different tools were used for one task. This is and has always been the GNU way of life. You don't like it, then GNU (GNU's Not for U).

This is clearly an individual who has never used Perl or Emacs.

Or Gnome, or firefox or, ...

Or, given his example, recent versions of gnu tar.

So, given that the author starts out by demonstrating sheer ignorance about what GNU is or isn't, why take anything in the article seriously?

Reply Score: 5

An unnecessary request
by smittal on Sun 20th Aug 2006 05:32 UTC
smittal
Member since:
2006-02-03

Distributions are already doing this by choosing sensible defaults for users. New users can choose distributions oriented towards them, while the choices continue to exist for experienced users and system integraters.

Reply Score: 4

One word
by twenex on Sun 20th Aug 2006 05:44 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

Bullshit

Reply Score: 4

less of what?
by netpython on Sun 20th Aug 2006 06:36 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

From the article:

Want to insert clip-art? Then you have a wide range of clip-art managers to choose from.That might sound like a great scenario for a capable user, but remember where the bulk of desktop use occurs - the professional workplace.

I doubt on a corporate desktop there're that many clip-art managers installed.Freedom of choice is nice.Guided freedom of choice even better.Is something is really needed it will be installed and changes are proper training has been given.

With a versatile package manager you have a nifty tool and not only one big repository but also some pretty good descriptions about what a certain package is,what it does and the usage.If you don't understand than maybe it's not the one for you,simple as that.But still you don't have to store your neat zdnet,.. apps on separate storage media that gets outdated rapidly anyway.Just a ,emerge,apt-get/yum install,pacman -A,portupgrade -NRr,.. is sufficient to install your finally understood clipart manager and the integrity of the downloaded app is checked (gpg,md5sum).

-i would like my 2 cents back-

Reply Score: 2

I think I have to agree unfortunately
by Wondercool on Sun 20th Aug 2006 06:43 UTC
Wondercool
Member since:
2005-07-08

I think the author hit the nail on the hat.

Linux suffers from the old Unix disease of too many distro's, too many re-inventers of the wheel just like the early 90's when some people even thought Unix could take over the desktop...

But's lets face it, there is a an awful lot of duplication:

1) package managers. Now we have about 5 good packet managers. They are all good, but it also means we have to package 5 times and test 5 times.

2) desktop managers. If you use Gnome and want to use Amarok, welcome to a dozen KDE libs for 1 app.
Just imagine KDE and Gnome together (yes, not likely).
All the developers working together for 1 single desktop (productivity gain), all desktop apps use the same libs, no more copy /paste problems, etc

3) hardware recognisition. I really wish there was a central repository, where the details are published how to get a device working, so all distro's could use it.
Especially wifi is a problem for me and I have to compile it myself. Not always easy. With a central database things could be automated more easily and distro's can have the same hardware recognisition.

All in all, I share the authors opinion and think a lot of little islands is fun, but does not really do a lot of good for desktop users

Reply Score: 4

remiss Member since:
2006-01-24

First off, I don't like KDE and I really wouldn't like anyone telling me that "we'll stop making Gnome and concentrate our efforts on KDE".

And when it comes to package-managers, I don't like yum but I use it anyway because that's what one of the distros i use comes with - it works, but I'd prefer something faster. Pacman is nice, but of course it doesn't handle RPM. Arch is simple, fedora/redhat is more complex - again, different needs...

About HW-recognition. Not sure if you're thinking about the kernel, hal, hotplug or whatever, anyways it's pretty much the same on all distros..

And, btw - I really like the fact that if I don't find an application satisfactory there most likely is anotherone out there for me ;)

Edited 2006-08-20 07:51

Reply Score: 4

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

First off, I don't like KDE and I really wouldn't like anyone telling me that "we'll stop making Gnome and concentrate our efforts on KDE".

This could never happen. I think what the author of the article is really talking about is one desktop, and possibly one distribution, concentrating on the things that really matter and moving ahead to accelerate wider desktop Linux usage and that would be what most people would concentrate on. It would never stop other people doing theit thing though.

Reply Score: 1

l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

Just imagine KDE and Gnome together (yes, not likely).
All the developers working together for 1 single desktop (productivity gain), all desktop apps use the same libs, no more copy /paste problems, etc


And who would use that abomination of a desktop ? KDE people wouldn't since it probably would be too simplistic for them, Gnome people wouldn't use it because it would be too cluttered. It's good to dream sometimes, but in this world, choice and variety is better than choosing the one because there's nothing else. You know, this has deeper roots than superficial ignorants would recognize, and I might be also going too far with this, but I still remember (and I'm not that old) when elections meant to compulsorily vote for the one candidate. This planet will not become a better place ever if there will be no choice possibilities on _every_ level of our lives.

Reply Score: 4

jaboua Member since:
2005-09-08

1) Even if all distros used the same package manager, you might still have to repackage apps as distros come with different versions of libraries, might have different locations of files etc.

2) As mentioned, KDE and gnome (and the other DE's/WMs) have different goals. Also, "project portland" might interest you.

3) Not sure what you mean, but the linux distros can use the same drivers... If you mean a central repo for installing drivers, this might be an issue as distros use different kernel patches, different kernel versions, install HAL and stuff to different locations, etc. And in case you didn't know, usually a kernel level driver has to be compiled for the kernel you're using, you can't make a kernel mode device driver that works on both linux 2.4.31 and 2.6.17 without a recompile for example.

Reply Score: 1

again, there is no "WE"
by theGrump on Sun 20th Aug 2006 06:55 UTC
theGrump
Member since:
2005-11-11

these pointless essays presume that the community of open source coders is centrally guided in some way that would dictate some cooperation. well i can start writing a new web browser right now. do the mozilla folks know me? no. do they care about what i am doing? i doubt it. will they slow down or stop what they are doing because of my plans? of course not.

there is no "we". there is just a bunch of people writing code and putting out for inspection and perhaps use. sometimes the market is messy but it is a market, and like any market, produces desired outcomes, but not in a way that is clean, neat, or polite.

since there is no "we", there is no "we" to tell people sitting in their homes or offices what to do. if they want to code redundant crap, they can. if they want to try to change the world, they can. its a market.

Reply Score: 5

RE: again, there is no "WE"
by Oliver on Sun 20th Aug 2006 17:56 UTC in reply to "again, there is no "WE""
Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Thats is exactly the point!

Reply Score: 1

bah, retarded logic
by spikeb on Sun 20th Aug 2006 07:21 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

If we ever want ALL open source software to take off, then we need to reduce choice - but otherwise, who cares? Push certain apps and not others, and leave the rest as choices for the user to discover if he so chooses, and you have your problem solved - especially if you're a distributor.

Reply Score: 2

More is more
by danieldk on Sun 20th Aug 2006 07:44 UTC
danieldk
Member since:
2005-11-18

I disagree with the author of the article. I do not want to sound fanboy-ish, but As far as I can see GNU/Linux is running in front in many areas.

On the userland side GNU/Linux was a full replacement of most Unices at the end of the nineties. As we are past the first half of this decade, it can easily be a full replacement on the desktop. Some reasons:

- The desktop is functional and easy to use. After having used GNOME for some time (after switching from WindowMaker) most other OS'es interfaces feel primitive and cluttered[1]. I seen and helped Unix illiterates switch from Windows to GNOME on GNU/Linux. And frankly, it is not much of a problem at all. It takes a few minutes to get used to.
- It is easy to install. Ever gone through a random install of the major OS? (Not your own PC.) It means gathering drivers, installing anti-virus software, etc. E.g. if you buy a machine that is supported by RHEL, installation is mostly a matter of clicking "Yes".
- It is free. Free as in beer matters here, people won't be nagged by registration notices, and don't have to pay for every functionality they want to use.
- Most userfriendly distributions already install one application per task by default.

So, where do things go wrong? Outside factors:

- The game industry does not port games to Linux, because it is not viable due to the small marketshare.
- Hardware vendors don't open their specifications (which may be related to patents).
- It just takes hell a lot of a time to 'convert' a userbase in a time where there are no major hardware or usability paradigm switches.

Edited 2006-08-20 07:45

Reply Score: 5

RE: More is more
by snowbender on Sun 20th Aug 2006 13:07 UTC in reply to "More is more"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

The game industry does not port games to Linux, because it is not viable due to the small marketshare.

I've wondered recently... Loki Entertainment Software was founded in August, 1998.... what if it were founded today? I can't help but think that Loki was just too early... and that they would be more succesful today.

I guess the problem now is that no such company will be found again, because possible investors will point at Loki and show it as proof that there's no market for Linux games.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting point, but flawed...
by HaveyPekar on Sun 20th Aug 2006 07:59 UTC
HaveyPekar
Member since:
2006-08-20

I liked reading the article at first, because it gave me some new viewpoints in the open-source debate.

However, the point the author tries to make is in my opinion simply false. I believe that her that she deduces het conclusion in a logic way, but there are some prepositions that simply aren't true. Here are some of them:

Where excessive choice is not a good thing is, I believe, on the desktop.
Work is a place where people who aren't necessarily capable computer users are forced to use computers. They want things to be simple and, more importantly, straightforward.

I think using closed-software might seem more simple, because you're used to those apps. Most people who use desktops todat have learned to use Windows, and once you get to know how it works, it seems simple and straigthforward. However, often it is not. Try changing a fixed IP, and count the click. Or, even more revealing, let a Mac user use your set-up. It's not simple because you think it's simple.

Imagine if the previously-dicussed model of "lot's of tools with specific purposes" applied to desktop software. Life at work would be unbearable for those in technical support.

I believe Word has that too, no? You would be amazed at what functionality it has. However, we don't call it choice, but bloat (forcing you to upgrade). And life IS pretty unbearable in tech support for corporations using Microsoft. Windows ME anyone?

I think the general point the author tries to make, is that closed-sorce is easier to use and maintain than open-source. In my opinion however, this only rings true because we've been using those applications for a long time know. But there are also a lot of open-source project that are becoming a "standard" like the author wants. How can you deny the potential of open-source if you look at an application like apache, or even better, firefox?

I believe the only reason Firefox's market share is not bigger that IE, is the reliance on IE specific technology by other applications. But to say that IE is a better browser than Firefox because of that, is just false.

Reply Score: 1

World desktops domination
by Punktyras on Sun 20th Aug 2006 08:40 UTC
Punktyras
Member since:
2006-01-07

Is it OSS target? I doubt. More monocultural desktop world is more it is unstable and insecure. I like to have ability to choose whatever software I want. Maybye I'll use that one and only till the day I die or maybye I'll use different every day of the week. Software is like water - alive till it runs and circulates. And it circulates because of differences it have. Let natural selection do it's job. That's it.
Sure author can (and should) have his point of view.
I may disagree with him, but I'll die for his right to say it. (~Volter)

Reply Score: 1

There is no choice
by Tyr. on Sun 20th Aug 2006 09:41 UTC
Tyr.
Member since:
2005-07-06

As the author himself recognises what you have is a flood of crappy early alpha obscure unmaintained projects and then a few large well maintained working projects.
This isn't choice - this is a semblance of choice.

Reply Score: 2

Mystilleef
Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't hear people complaining about the different brands of cereal. Or
the fact that we have too many automobile companies. How about mobile
phone service providers? Do we need less of them? I guess competition
and diversity is great in every aspect of our lives, except software,
and in particular free software.

Reply Score: 3

Legend Member since:
2006-07-27

The different brands of cereals aren't incompatible with different brands of milk. If they would be, people would complain there, too.

Reply Score: 4

netpython Member since:
2005-07-06

heh

Reply Score: 1

l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

concentrate our efforts into a single app for each purpose

This is stupid on so many levels. It sounds like an ever-commercial sw developer's try to give "advice" to the poor crowds. Single app for each purpose ? If we don't go into the widget and desktop platform/api question, we still would face an almost impossible task with this, and above all it would be a useless fight. Who'd ever think that restricting people to write and distribute software would lead to a better future ? Smells like bigbuck company philosophy, not unheard of in recent years adn the past. But it is against anything FOSS has ever stood for. Freedom to use and to develop, choice to use and code your app for every imaginable task there can be, distribute and get help with your apps, make yourself and others be happier about the large variety of software you can use.

You want to make a distro with one and single app for every and each purpose ? You might do it. You might fit the expectations a niche group of people, those who are sharing your brainwave patterns, who think about apps and use the apps that you would choose for a specified task. Everybody else would hate your distro.

Maybe I'm telling you news with this, but most people really use a single app for a task. But which that app is, is their choice, and that is very good. And I can't really accentuate more how good that is.

Reply Score: 5

sniphadkar Member since:
2006-08-20

We (myself and few friends) are working on a uniform linux app installer which would let the users select the kind of application software they need(We even intend to buid a repository of the distro based package collection). Besides it would also help the users in choosing the right kind of application for their job, this we intend to do by tagging and classifying various open source apps on the basis of popularity, ranking and proprietary counterparts on linux available.

I think if given a proper choice and guidence even new users are better equiped to use the appropriate application.

Reply Score: 2

Abstraction betweem System and User
by Incommunicado on Sun 20th Aug 2006 12:40 UTC
Incommunicado
Member since:
2006-02-28

I think the amount of choice available on Linux systems is just great. It provides evrybody with the tools he likes. This is truly great for capable users, but the problem lies elsewhere in my opinion.
The not so capable user wants a system which abstracts him as much as possible from the underlying system. Take a look at Windows or MacOSX. A capable user can fiddle around with the system at a low-level, whereas USERS, people who just want to do browsing, word processing, digital media, etc, look at a desktop environment that juat works (more or less). I am an avid linux user myself on servers and on desktops, but I feel the underlying system still shimmers through to the simple user, too much. This gives an unnecessary feeling of complexity to most distros. And this is the point. It's not the choice in the OSS world as the author claims. It depends on the distros to implement LSB and possibly create a forked distro which is heavily slimmed down and abstracts the system from all those libraries and system tools.

Reply Score: 2

gpierce Member since:
2005-07-07

That's precisely it! Windows is no less complex, as the attempt to create Vista shows. It is in fact immensely complex. The difference is that the complexity is concealed behind a lot of GUIs. The fact that the internals are easily accessed in linux is part of its appeal, but also a cause of fear to many.

Reply Score: 1

We gotta win!!
by monodeldiablo on Sun 20th Aug 2006 12:58 UTC
monodeldiablo
Member since:
2005-07-06

Hey, guess what? It's a race!

Apparently, we've gotta win the desktop, and we've gotta do it fast. I'm not sure why, exactly, but that's the underlying premise here: dominion for no good reason.

Do all the developers of Linux/FreeBSD/GNOME/KDE/[insert project here] magically get paid if we have 51% market share? Do we get stock options? Will the world's people suddenly put down their arms and embrace each other as brothers? I think not.

Articles like this miss the entire premise of open source: as long as there's at least one copy of a given piece of OSS lingering on the 'Net, OSS is winning. You can't kill it by lack of funding and it doesn't answer to a corporate agenda. With OSS, it's safe to write a niche application that only 3 people will use. Development is interest-driven, not profit-driven.

Wake up, people. We don't *need* to run the business race, and that's a very good thing. Articles like this pander to pointy-haired bosses and reveal more about the ignorance of the author than the needs of the users.

Reply Score: 5

RE: We gotta win!!
by gpierce on Sun 20th Aug 2006 13:21 UTC in reply to "We gotta win!!"
gpierce Member since:
2005-07-07

This is pure speculation on my part, but I actually think the author of the article really wanted to like GNULinux, even though he has not explicitly said this, and now as the experience has turned sour, he becomes philosophical and postulates why GNU is "failing on the desktop"--in reality, the issue may be that he hates the way his fonts look in Openoffice Writer or that he can not easily install some plugins for his browser. He has searched the forums and documentation to no avail. His frustration generalizes into anger at all free software! It's not rational but all of us do this.

Edited 2006-08-20 13:27

Reply Score: 1

don't agree with article
by happycamper on Sun 20th Aug 2006 13:34 UTC
happycamper
Member since:
2006-01-01

As a former windows zealot. I have been enjoying linux on the desktop since i switched from windows 2000. now i don't have to waste money on so called internet security software to protect windows which is full of vulnerability holes which defeats the purpose of using internet security software. even though i was using free open source programs that ran on windows i got tired of the os itself so i switched. At first linux was kind of hard because it was different but after a while i began to get the hang of it. now i'm able to to surf the net, send emails, write school reports, etc, i kinda of feel pround of myself. i do think linux is really doing well on the desktop. so i don't agree with the article. i don't see it that way.

Edited 2006-08-20 13:36

Reply Score: 1

On desktop enviroments/window managers ...
by WorknMan on Sun 20th Aug 2006 13:37 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

I don't necessarily agree that we should have less choice in apps, but I *do* think there should be only one desktop enviroment. Honestly, if you need more than one to make everybody happy, then there's something wrong with every single one that exists. For example, why can't one desktop enviroment be ...

1. Modular, so that it can be small and fast like Blackbox, or bloated and feature-packed like KDE?
2. Customizable enough so that you can make it look & act like Windows, or turn your desktop into the shape of a kidney, or whatever?
3. Easy enough to use so that newbies can use it right out of the box, but have the advanced features just far enough out of reach from the newbies that power users will find them easily? (Example: Do you know that a lot of Joe Sixpacks who use Firefox don't even use the tabbed browsing feature?)

Reply Score: 1

thecwin Member since:
2006-01-04

There's fvwm2 for that. You can customise it to hell, but it's extremely complex to do so..

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

There's fvwm2 for that. You can customise it to hell, but it's extremely complex to do so..

Right, so why not build one like I mentioned that's customizable as hell, but also easy to do so. Or, it could also be complex, depending on which way you choose to do it. (Because we all know some people are masochists and would rather do it the hard way.)

Reply Score: 1

Re: Bullsh!t.
by aGNUstic on Sun 20th Aug 2006 13:46 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

I have no idea about non-English speaking parts of the world but here I would say this is a `load of bullsh!t`.

Many people, not I, are locked into the notion that `something that doesn’t cost much can't be of any real value`.

To me, waste is an anathema. The MicroDump business and software models are nothing but pure waste.

Yes, I'm saying, MicroDump is a load of bullsh!t. You pay a high price for a load of cr@p. While Willy rocks back and forth in his chair and needs a bath.

I'm not into Ubuntu but my children love Edubuntu. My son, already knows how to take an older computer and install Mandriva, Fedora, PC-BSD, Kubuntu, and several others.

He, like his sister also has a computer that was headed to the trash heap - since it could not run the latest bullsh!t from MicroDump, chose Edubuntu. What a concept, children, yes children, taking old computers and loading operating systems onto them.

Having multiple distros to choose from are fantastic. Let freedom ring! Especially for the children.

Us Linux, BSD, and MacOSX users are moving forward. We don't need a `marketing` company like MicroDump to sell us a load of cr@p.

Edited 2006-08-20 13:51

Reply Score: 1

RE: Re: Bullsh!t.
by happycamper on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:00 UTC in reply to "Re: Bullsh!t."
happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

Many people, not I, are locked into the notion that `something that doesn’t cost much can't be of any real value`.



with ms it's the opposite. their software costs alot and puts the users computer in danger of getting infected with spyware, worms,trojans,etc.

Reply Score: 3

Best Applications for open source
by cyclops on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:02 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

I quite like the article just because the phrase "GNU's Not for U". Its catchy, but thats about it.

I think my main problem with the article is the examples, they show a lack of knowledge both of GNU and whats going on in the open source world in general.

Simply put of the examples used there is or will be dominant applications in the specific areas he mentioned. There is one dominant office application its called OpenOffice, Sunbird/Lightening will become IMO the most common calender Application. Thunderbird is becoming more and more widespread. The strength of these applications is that these have little of nothing to do with the desktop you can run them on windows.

Now there is choice, but as he says that choice is to fulfill a need, often a personal one and chances are other people have similar needs. I run XFCE its not a large WM like that of KDE or Gnome, I used it simple because I *needed* a windows manager that didn't need too much resources on my already struggling machine.

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//I think my main problem with the article is the examples, they show a lack of knowledge both of GNU and whats going on in the open source world in general. //

I agree.

For example, from the article:
One of the most common requests we receive is for a professional-quality shared calendaring application with similar functionality to MS Outlook plus MS Exchange. Using open source software, it can't be done. I have scoured the internet looking for Exchange replacements for many years, and nothing free comes even close.

Really?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-Xchange
http://www.open-xchange.com/EN/
http://www.opengroupware.org/
http://www.opengroupware.org/en/applications/index.html
http://www.kolab.org/index.html

I'm not an expert, but I have used Outlook on the desktop, and I can sort-of work out from that what Exchange actually does ... and most of the above would seem to fit the requirements fairly well.

I'm guessing the author of the article either really doesn't know FOSS very well, or isn't in touch with recent developments much, or (worst case possibility) does know exactly what is available but has a conflicting vested interest and hopes that the readers are not familiar with what software is available for a FOSS platform solution.

Reply Score: 1

v Frankly
by deathshadow on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:03 UTC
The Windows platform has more choice?
by cyclops on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:04 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

Its interesting that its about choice when most of the time the windows platform is considered to have a greater variety of choice.

Reply Score: 0

SIngle vendor models
by aGNUstic on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:04 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

Experience has also taught me to be cautious, very cautious, of single-source providors. Remember Be Inc.? Yes I used BeOS and absolutely loved it.

It took one wrong `Focus Shift`, I call it something else, and it's over. We wait around for years, more than a few since 2001, for a handfull of bright coders and others to rebuild it.

Edited 2006-08-20 14:07

Reply Score: 2

No choice for users only power users.
by cyclops on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:10 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

In a corporate environment, Its the system administer that *should* be able to create the best desktop for his users, and could even tailor relatively simply several versions to different types of users.

The users *might* be able to put fluffy kittens as background on the desktop and thats it.

The new Linux user will use the default environment set up by his distribution. Its only later on that he will discover choice, and by then will be able to take better advantage of it.

Reply Score: 1

The problem isn't too much
by TaterSalad on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:12 UTC
TaterSalad
Member since:
2005-07-06

The problem isn't having too much choice, its not having compatible choices. As someone else mentioned earlier there are 5 pretty good package managers but the top distros each use a different one. Some commercial software only supports one type of package, usually RPM. And if a new version of an application somes out, sometimes I like to compile from source which really throws things off to the package manager for installing and uninstalling.

The second problem with trying to get open source on the desktop is that its too vocal. I really don't need 20 people telling me I must use open source software whenever a Microsoft article comes up. I know what to use and what works for me. I know what my choices are. Keep crying wolf and eventually people are going to ignore you.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The problem isn't too much
by cyclops on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:28 UTC in reply to "The problem isn't too much"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

You haven't spotted the irony in your post, you can't talk about compatible choices in the same sentence as Microsoft.

To have a choice, you can *never* use the Microsoft way.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: The problem isn't too much
by TaterSalad on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE: The problem isn't too much"
TaterSalad Member since:
2005-07-06

No irony there. I don't restrict myself to just Microsoft. But what Microsoft does give me is a platform on Windows where I can then have the choice to use other non-Microsoft applications like Firefox, Yahoo Messenger, mIRC, and on occasion the NES emulator. It allows me the choice of using OSS or proprietary software. Almost like getting the best of both worlds.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The problem isn't too much
by cyclops on Sun 20th Aug 2006 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The problem isn't too much"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Now I'm just lost. I'm not even sure what your point is.

If its true that the applications and I suspect its not 100% of the story that you use are Firefox, Yahoo Messenger, mIRC and a NES emulator.

You should just switch to linux, and not for any of the reasons banded backward and forward on this site, but simply because its fun.

Just because its OSS by no means does it mean that its available for Windows XP(Note Vista is a grey area, and Other OS's are being Culled). My two favorite applications Comix and K3B are simply not available on Windows XP.

Oddly the only software I miss on the Windows platform are VirtualDub and InfraView, and there are alternatives I've just not as happy with them although they are getting Better.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: The problem isn't too much
by hal2k1 on Sun 20th Aug 2006 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The problem isn't too much"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//It allows me the choice of using OSS or proprietary software. Almost like getting the best of both worlds.//

Using Linux as your desktop OS does not preclude having some proprietary applications.

Have a look at this website as an example in just one application area (in this case, CAD applications):

http://www.tech-edv.co.at/lunix/CADlinks.html

About half of the choices are commercial licenses.

So Linux too allows you the choice of using OSS or proprietary software. Definitely like getting the best of both worlds.

Look, I don't mind if you use Windows, or even if you prefer Windows, but please don't sprout invalid comments about Linux. That is just spreading misinformation, and it leaves one very suspicious as to your motives for doing that.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: The problem isn't too much
by hal2k1 on Mon 21st Aug 2006 01:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The problem isn't too much"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//No irony there. I don't restrict myself to just Microsoft. But what Microsoft does give me is a platform on Windows where I can then have the choice to use other non-Microsoft applications like Firefox, Yahoo Messenger, mIRC, and on occasion the NES emulator. It allows me the choice of using OSS or proprietary software. Almost like getting the best of both worlds.//

Aside from the point that Linux too has many closed-source applications available for it (about which fact either you weren't aware or possibly just chose to blithely ignore), do you have any comment on this article:

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2162570/microsoft-office-linux

If that happened it would severly put your whole point in the trashcan, would it not?

Reply Score: 3

RE: The problem isn't too much
by hal2k1 on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:38 UTC in reply to "The problem isn't too much"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//As someone else mentioned earlier there are 5 pretty good package managers but the top distros each use a different one. Some commercial software only supports one type of package, usually RPM. //

I don't understand why anyone thinks this is a problem.

Just use the repositories and the package management systems that the distibution you use has. All FOSS packages will normally become available for installation in your distributions repositories shortly after release.

For commercial RPM packages, not a problem for RPM-based distro's. For Debian-based distro's, use Alien to convert the RPM.

//And if a new version of an application somes out, sometimes I like to compile from source which really throws things off to the package manager for installing and uninstalling. //

If you are going to take the trouble to compile from source, and for some reason you really can't wait the day or so it would take for that version to show up in your distributions repository, then take just one extra step and make an RPM of your newly compiled package. Then install that RPM with your package management tools. Problem solved there, too.

//The second problem with trying to get open source on the desktop is that its too vocal. I really don't need 20 people telling me I must use open source software whenever a Microsoft article comes up. I know what to use and what works for me. I know what my choices are. //

Can't argue with that. I agree, you should use what you like.

However, I don't think you should make up invalid objections and invent non-existant problems about what you did not choose in what one has to suspect is an ill-disguised attempt to put people off from trying that alternative for themselves.

Edited 2006-08-20 14:47

Reply Score: 1

cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

I have the choice of 5 probably more or less, If I decide to use a niche package manager, or am only selecting from the popular ones.

but, on the Windows platform I have no choice, simply becuase it does not exist.

Package Management is an area in which th Windows platform simply cannot compete.

Reply Score: 0

Clueless Author
by ma_d on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:17 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29


The Unix and GNU philosophy has always been to develop a large selection of tools with a narrow but specific purpose.


This is laughably wrong. The Unix way of development is small tools that do one thing and do one thing well. The GNU way of life includes emacs, which does one thing well and when normally packaged does almost anything you'd ever do with text including reading your e-mail and running a shell.

Gcc compiles, and compiles well (disagree if you like, but that's not the argument), but it compiles how many languages?

We believe in the right tool for the right job.
Greedy pragmaticism. Making pragmatic based solely on the effect, now, today. Logic dictates that since you will continue to exist, and likely have offspring who will reproduce into the unforeseeable future, you should do things with a concern for future effect. While control of future effect is certainly limited, we're not without ability to make a positive effect.


He cites Firefox as done right, which is funny, because it takes the modular design ideals he seems to (obviously he doesn't write software) hate and says Firefox is great because the marketing says there's only one.
Even on Windows there's half a dozen Trident browsers people choose from. They're not common, but I bet many would be dissappointed if any of them dissappeared.


It's not choice that's the problem.

Reply Score: 2

No real choice but...
by cyclops on Sun 20th Aug 2006 14:19 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

survival of the fittest.

Just choosing from his examples, firefox became popular simply because it was the best out there.

Only in a environment like Linux can such a thing happen. Look at how many people are still using IE.

Reply Score: 0

RE: No real choice but...
by taos on Sun 20th Aug 2006 18:49 UTC in reply to "No real choice but..."
taos Member since:
2005-11-16

Between the Linux' market share and Firefox' market share, most Firefox users are probably Windows users.

You started correct (fittest win) but ended wrong (only ... Linux like).

Edited 2006-08-20 18:49

Reply Score: 1

AdministratorX
Member since:
2006-04-21

"Will open source ever run the desktop? In a word no"

Open source is already running on the desktop. Not to mention the fact that it seems to be on the rise. I think that's why we see more big companies starting to support it.

If choice were not a good thing. Then why does Microsoft sell both Works and Office? With choice comes freedom.

"So much energy is wasted when people segregate and start their own projects. They think they're doing it to help the open source community by extending choice, but in reality, I believe they are slowly killing it, or at least stinting it's growth."

That's such BullSh!T, If it were not for people doing there own thing, Microsoft would not even be where it is today. If it were not for the creators of apps like Lotus 123, Visi-Cal, Wordperfect, Netscape, Dbase, etc. They painted the landscape for the future. In fact I think that is why Linux / Open Source has grown as fast as it has.

“Picture receiving a support phone call from a user and trying to establish what font manager, file manager, and clip-art manager they used, and then fix their Word problem for them.”

I sorry but the writer does not seem to understand that the workplace is a controlled environment where a end user would not be allowed that much choice to begin with and the home user will work with the defaults until they grow into their Linux knowledge. For the record by the way I run into Windows users all the time that still don't have a clue about how to use Windows software and that inside and outside of the workplace.

Edited 2006-08-20 14:36

Reply Score: 4

aGNUstic Member since:
2005-07-28

"Picture receiving ..."

I don't have to picture anything. I work in a data center and campus IT environment. We must support our own IT mission and the missions of all the other departments and disciplines on all our campuses.

The departments, support and academic, and varying disciplines use different tools, computers, operating systems, and programs. What works for one `lock-stock-and-barrel`, read MicroDump, does not work for another, read Unix, Linux, amd MacOS for others.

There was an attempt to move backward and `mono` MicroDump everything. It failed. Those department heads and so-called `Administrators` who advocated it are no longer working for the system.

Maybe they bought into the MicroDump marketing. Maybe they were like the city official `read: yokel administrator x` in Oklahoma who thought his computer was infected or taken over by CentOS. Who knows?

Being multi-talented or mutli-OS'ed is not a negative thing as an administrator. The reason that MicroDUmp users are 'locked down' are they are the ones that generally cause the most IT-issue related problems in a computing environment.

Reply Score: 2

Too much choice -> Poor quality
by Joe User on Sun 20th Aug 2006 15:20 UTC
Joe User
Member since:
2005-06-29

At last! There is a limited number developers for the open-source, and yet, every one wants to create his own application. We can't do that. The result is what we have these days: a number or crappy applications instead of 2-3 excellent applications per category. Why having gFTP, Kasablanca, IglooFTP, KftpGrabber if they all suck? Same goes for GIMP, Krita, Draw, Sodipodi, Inkscape, these all suck, why not concentrating on just one very good application for these categories of applications? Then, once we have one very good application, we can create a competitor. This is the problem of Linux, it misses quality applications for the desktop. And the very few quality applications come from companies that opensourced an EOL application (Mozilla, OpenOffice.org).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Too much choice -> Poor quality
by cyclops on Sun 20th Aug 2006 15:42 UTC in reply to "Too much choice -> Poor quality"
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Do they really suck. I suspect your not really in a position to judge and have just picked up a list.

GIMP is in the main a bitmap drawing tool. I'd argue photo editing. Inkscape is a vector drawing tool and a very good one.

These are simply different tools. I had a little look at what the aims of the FTP clients are, and their goals are very different.

Reply Score: 0

Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

> I had a little look at what the aims of the FTP clients are, and their goals are very different

They shouldn't have different goals. They should do the job any user expects it to do. Period. A good FTP client is WS_FTP Pro. Why doesn't linux have an equivalent?

Reply Score: 2

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

gFTP, do you need more?

Reply Score: 2

cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

Ahhh I suspect they all transfer files via FTP. Thats what a user expects thats what they get.

If you like a particlar FTP, for example I used to use CuteFTP and lately FileZilla as FTP on Windows XP. (Is all this starting to look familiar), because I like them.

WS_FTP vs FTP client you've not used its not even relevent. All you can say is *your* favorite ftp client is Windows XP only.

Reply Score: 1

Too much hype -> no real work
by Oliver on Sun 20th Aug 2006 15:28 UTC
Oliver
Member since:
2006-07-15

Instead of such noisy articles and comments, people should stand up and help. Opensource is about choice, let mainstream to Microsoft and Apple. And beware of the magical "desktop user", this prototype of a human being does't exist!
"Please do that, please make me happy, please please please ..." - do something yourself.

>This is the problem of Linux, it misses quality applications for the desktop.

First Linux != Opensource.

Second,

(for Linux),

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW1.htm

(for BSD, the other opensource operating system),

http://vtbsd.net/notwindows.html

Reply Score: 1

RE: Too much hype -> no real work
by deathshadow on Sun 20th Aug 2006 16:35 UTC in reply to "Too much hype -> no real work"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> Opensource is about choice

See, there it is... so long as the choice isn't closed source in addition to open source - which is funny since you rarely see closed source OS's getting their panties in a wad over open source apps being allowed to be run... Meanwhile most linux distro's can't even 'legally' come bundled with the proper drivers from the top two manufacturers... NOT because of the manufacturers rules, but because of the GPL and other Open source nonsense.

>> First Linux != Opensource

Ok, how funny a statement is THAT? I think what you MEANT to say is:

Linux == Open Source
Open Source != Linux

Reply Score: 1

Oliver Member since:
2006-07-15

Open Source != Linux

Why should I say that, if the comments are emphasized toward Linux as the omnipotent free system? Which isn't true at all, it's perhaps a "new" point in opensource history but not the beginning nor the movement at all!

It depends on the point of view, how to interprete the comments. My point of view is, that Linux is in fact only a small part of opensource and the majority is GNU.

Reply Score: 1

deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

>> It depends on the point of view, how to interprete the comments. My point of view is, that Linux is in fact only a small part of opensource and the majority is GNU.

Or ones command (or lack therin) of the English Language.

Linux IS open source, the kernel IS open source, and most of what goes into the distro IS open source, claiming that linux isn't open source makes NO SENSE.

However, Open source is NOT Linux only, which is what I think you are trying to say - there are dozens of open source products that aren't linux.

It's like the old joke about chinese and asians that good taste won't let me repeat here due to excessive use of ethnic slurs.

Reply Score: 1

whenney Member since:
2005-07-06


>> First Linux != Opensource

Ok, how funny a statement is THAT? I think what you MEANT to say is:

Linux == Open Source
Open Source != Linux


Err... not funny at all really ;) What sort of drugs do you have to be taking in order to believe that "a==b" and "b!=a" can both be true at the same time?

The original point was merely that Linux and Opensource are not identical. You seem to be confused about the meaning of "!=". It does not mean "is not" in the sense of "does not have the property of".

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//See, there it is... so long as the choice isn't closed source in addition to open source - which is funny since you rarely see closed source OS's getting their panties in a wad over open source apps being allowed to be run... Meanwhile most linux distro's can't even 'legally' come bundled with the proper drivers from the top two manufacturers... NOT because of the manufacturers rules, but because of the GPL and other Open source nonsense. //

This is a very confused comment.

The supposed "problem" (that isn't really a problem at all) here is that the vendors of the drivers don't permit their closed source driver to be distributed with Linux distributions. That is no different to Windows, where the video card driver comes on a different CD to the one that Microsoft supplied for Windows.

There are a great many closed source applications available for sale which run on Linux. I posted a link above about CAD software showing that about half of the available CAD applications for Linux are closed source.

http://www.tech-edv.co.at/lunix/CADlinks.html

As another example, there has been a lot of huffing and puffing going on lately (eminating entirely from the Microsoft camp) about the Opendocument format. Here is a link which discusses applications which support OpenDocument:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDocument_software

Observe that in the "Wordprocessors" sections there is mentioned StarOffice 8 and IBM Workplace. These two are both commercial applications for Linux that conform to the OpenDocument format, which is after all the ONLY international standard format for office documents.

Edited 2006-08-20 23:26

Reply Score: 1

troll
by Sphinx on Sun 20th Aug 2006 16:00 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Just going to pretend I didn't read the way to freedom is by creating a bunch of monopolies.

Reply Score: 1

Re: KDE windows manager
by aGNUstic on Sun 20th Aug 2006 19:52 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

I have no argument with GNOME. I just use KDE more because of the kio-slaves.

Yesterday I upgraded from 3.5.3 to 3.5.4.

Didn't cost me money and just about 15 minutes. No running to the computer store to buy all the things to run it.

No fresh install from 3.1, to 95, to 98, to NT, to NT4, to 2000, or to XP. There isn't going to be a Vista.

What a world :-).

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1
Member since:
2005-11-11

http://www.getgnulinux.org/

For more viewpoints, look at all of these:

http://loll.sourceforge.net/linux/links/Advocacy/index.html

So, what is this Linux thing reall all about? Some more reading:

http://loll.sourceforge.net/linux/links/see.html

OK, so what can it do? What can I get to run if I go for a Linux sytem?

http://loll.sourceforge.net/linux/links/Software_Applications/index...

Maybe looking at that last link, it is fair to say the original article has a point in that there are indded a lot of choices on Linux. But then again, all of those other links would indicate that most people like that choice!

So, I suppose the meaasge really is ... enjoy!

Perhaps the original author needs to look here:
http://loll.sourceforge.net/linux/links/Software_Applications/Humou...
or here:
http://humorix.org/

Edited 2006-08-21 05:21

Reply Score: 2

more is less and less is more
by sorpigal on Thu 24th Aug 2006 01:38 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

Let me clarify some factual errors in this article title

less is more but more
more is less than less
most is more than less

Clear?

The rest of the article had too many errors to concisely summarize. I will briefly say this: Limiting aparent options is the job of the distribution vendor.

Less briefly:

Having multiple competing apps with the same purpose isn't so much a good thing as an inevitable byproduct of freedom. People will do what they like.

This article is no better than arguing "We should standardize on a single programming language for all computers." Sure we should, except that different languages suite different purposes, different people think different ways, different architectures benefit from different features, my language is always more intersting than your language and people will use what they fancy using unless you can force them not to.

Reply Score: 1