Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 26th Jan 2007 15:00 UTC, submitted by editingwhiz
Linux "The OSDL's Desktop Linux Working Group has published its first year-end report on the state of the overall desktop Linux ecosystem. The report provides insight into the year's key accomplishments in terms of functionality, standards, applications, distributions, market penetration, and more."
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Member since:
2006-05-12

Back when many people in the Linux community were saying Linux would be on the desktop and really pushing hard for it, many people listened, but the notion that normal people could run their own desktop Linux systems back then was laughable.

These days things have really come a long way in terms of being user friendly, but most people quit listening a long time ago.

Because of this, I believe the people who feverously advocated Linux on the desktop for all those years have actually managed to cause harm.

Reply Score: 5

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""Because of this, I believe the people who feverously advocated Linux on the desktop for all those years have actually managed to cause harm."""

Typical of any revolution. Like most things, taking over the desktop is harder than it looks, at first.

I'll take a nice, slow, steady pace over a bloody palace coup, any day.

Windows will not go out with a bang, but with a whimper.

And by that, I really mean that it won't ever seem like that big a deal. I'd love to see a world in which Windows enjoys a healthy 33% market share. Linux might have another 33%. And all the rest might have 34%. (Others might target different numbers and favored players; I suspect *BSD fans may be a bit upset with me on that last.)

Windows is not bad. Too much of *anything*, even water, is unhealthy.

It may take 10+ more years. But balance will be achieved, eventually.

If things go well, *everyone* can end up happier. Even Microsoft.

Edited 2007-01-26 15:47

Reply Score: 5

Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I think I've said this three times now, but it still remains very relevant:

"If Linux is going to change it needs to evolve in other matters; not just release numbers. They need open source graphics drivers quite badly, they also seriously need to get out of the North-America-only mindset. Shuttleworth (with Ubuntu) has been successfully putting linux into markets where Microsoft don't exist, and don't matter. There is nothing /wrong/ with linux in this regard at all. These markets don't need/want a Vista clone."

Linux does not need to conquer the desktop to 'win'. Nor does it need to 'beat' Microsoft to win.

Reply Score: 5

Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

Linux does not need to conquer the desktop to 'win'. Nor does it need to 'beat' Microsoft to win.

Actually, what we really haven't done is define the term "win." I think Linux has already won. Microsoft is scared, server market has been penetrated, corporate offices are noticing. Linux is more popular than Solaris and Tru64 and Irix and HP-UX and arguably IOS. What more could constitue winning?

Edited 2007-01-26 18:43

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

What more could constitue winning?

I know what I would constitute winning: Linux being offered as a supported, preinstalled option on all new retail PCs.

Reply Score: 4

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Because of this, I believe the people who feverously advocated Linux on the desktop for all those years have actually managed to cause harm.

I disagree. There's no such thing as bad publicity. In P.T. Barnum's immortal words: "I don't care what they say about me, just make sure they spell my name right!"

Linux has been gaining mindshare for the past 10 years...now the technology is catching up to this awareness, and the number of users worldwide keeps increasing.

I don't think that people have ever stopped listening...if anything, interest keeps growing, especially in emerging markets such as China.

Reply Score: 5

merkoth Member since:
2006-09-22

I disagree. There's no such thing as bad publicity. In P.T. Barnum's immortal words: "I don't care what they say about me, just make sure they spell my name right!"

I disagree. It's a basic notion in publicity: Making a new product is easier than "fixing" a not-so-well received one. If you want to advertise Linux go on, but do it right: bad mouth word can do way more harm than waiting a few years more. I'm not saying that we should stop talking about Linux, but let's draw the full picture when we do it, presenting the pros and the cons of its use.

While it's true that interest in Linux and general FOSS is growing (just look at Firefox), bad advertisement equals to bad reputation, IMHO.

Edit: Oh, and I'm not even asking for a specific market share, I just want the competition to make fair play, and work towards interoperability and platform agnostic formats. Maybe I'm asking too much?

Edited 2007-01-26 16:46

Reply Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I disagree. It's a basic notion in publicity: Making a new product is easier than "fixing" a not-so-well received one. If you want to advertise Linux go on, but do it right: bad mouth word can do way more harm than waiting a few years more.

Well, we'll have to agree to disagree. I think getting mindshare is actually more important than the qualitative aspect of it. Right now, there are a lot more people who have no idea what Linux is than people who like it (or don't!)

Look at Apple. The iPod isn't that much better than other music players, but it has captured people's imagination. Ubuntu is doing a similar thing: even as a Ubuntu user, I wouldn't necessarily claim it's the "best distro" out there, but it has generated the special kind of buzz that now almost makes it synonymous with Linux.

To be fair, both aspects are important. In other words, we're both right in our own way... :-)

Reply Score: 5

Darkelve Member since:
2006-02-06

Personally I think Linux enthusiasts (such as myself) are doing themselves a disservice if they promote Linux without giving it proper thought.

Currently there is this imbalance where a certain proprietary OS holds more than 90% of the market for desktop Operating Systems.

IMO, the very best PR people in the Linux community can do, is to increase awareness among end users grown up/starting out in a Windows world. That's to say: the awareness that they actually have the possibility to make a conscious choice between several quality operating systems.

What is needed is an informed audience, people who -before buying a computer with OS- think "why am I buying this? What am I going to do with it? How do I want it to treat me? What am I prepared to pay for it?"

In general, Windows and OSX are good choices when you want the minimal amount of hassle; Linux is a good choice when you want the maximum amount of control.

After seeing OS-X in action, I've come to the conclusion that it's great for creative people, not because it's technically so much better (I wouldn't know), but because the entire interface gets in the way as little as possible. When you've got a creative rush, the last thing you want to do is search for the right menu and click dialog boxes endlessly.

Linux is a bit like Lego on steroids: you can turn it into nearly everything you want, but to really do so requires you to put some effort into it.

People buying new computers, or upgrading them, will just get Vista without a second thought. Even though Windows XP or OSX or a Linux distro might be a better solution for them.

If this kind of awareness can be generated among most computer users, then a shift will occur in the way of thinking, and with the way people deal with software.

And that just may mean everyone wins, if they play their cards right and play fair.

Most of this goes for choice in software too.

Edited 2007-01-27 09:42

Reply Score: 3

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

People buying new computers, or upgrading them, will just get Vista without a second thought. Even though Windows XP or OSX or a Linux distro might be a better solution for them.

If this kind of awareness can be generated among most computer users, then a shift will occur in the way of thinking, and with the way people deal with software.


Awareness is a moot point if the user can't get it preinstalled. And once they are able get Linux preinstalled, then the Lego-like complexity won't matter, since everything will already be configured.

Actually, I'd go so far as to say that the average user would barely notice a difference in the complexity of Linux compared to Windows, if it weren't for the fact that they have to install Linux themselves. (And yes I know that installing Linux is a piece of cake, but getting all of your hardware working properly is not.)

Reply Score: 3

g2devi Member since:
2005-07-09

Actually, Linux has been ready for the desktop for the last 6 years (when I came back to Linux after leaving it for Windows95+Cygwin).

The key thing you're missing is that back then it was ready for the Unix techie desktop. It did involve a bit of skill, but you could do anything you wanted to do on Unix that you could on Windows and for the few cases where there was a Windows-only app you needed to run, you could use VMWare.

The release of OpenOffice, easier installs, the adoption of apt-get and yum-like updating tools by most distros brought Linux to the Windows power user desktop a few years back. The current focus on usability and easy to install codecs and drivers and glitz is now moving Linux to the average user's desktop. The only thing that's need now for Linux to break into the consumer market is for PC makers to preinstall Linux, but that time is coming (some vendors are testing the waters already).

Reply Score: 5

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Your comment makes absolutely no sense. Nobody was telling normal people that they could run desktop Linux. People were saying that in various forms for awhile now, but not in any medium (read: not OSNews or Slashdot) that normal people read. So how could all these normal people form a negative opinion of desktop Linux if they never even heard about it in the first place?

Reply Score: 5

ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

You're too involved in your niche. Most people weren't listening back then because they weren't hearing. The technology community is tired of hearing about Linux, but Joe Schmoe has barely heard of it and then often only because of that IBM ad and a few other minor things.

So no, the advocacy hasn't hurt it at all. And those people who thought it was awful years ago are continuing to try it out occasionally, and every now and then a few of those people get convinced that "hey this isn't bad." They keep checking for a couple of reasons that vary:
1.) It may be their job to be aware of what's out there.
2.) They may be curious and enjoy playing with operating systems.
3.) They may be mad at their current system for some specific reason.
4.) They see a review and are intrigued by some item within it.

It all just builds slowly. It does seem like it's very unlikely that a mass adoption is going to happen. I think if anything happens it has to happen slowly. OSes are just too difficult for most people to install for them to try something on a whim.

Reply Score: 5

tpaws Member since:
2006-06-02

I don't know about premature. After all, everything has to start somewhere.

http://www.crn.com/sections/channelbusiness/channelbusiness.jhtml?a...

Interesting article.

Reply Score: 1

Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

The only thing laughable is the idea that somehow promoting linux could in someway, "harm", it.

Reply Score: 2

v Before it gets an alternative
by Invincible Cow on Fri 26th Jan 2007 16:41 UTC
RE: Before it gets an alternative
by ubit on Fri 26th Jan 2007 17:02 UTC in reply to "Before it gets an alternative"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

You just have to adjust some font settings (GUI). In Gnome, I set "hinting" to "None" and they look like Mac OS X fonts. But I agree--the DEFAULTS are bad.

(but we have to remember that's apparently due to Apple's patents)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Before it gets an alternative
by unoengborg on Fri 26th Jan 2007 17:14 UTC in reply to "Before it gets an alternative"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, better fonts would be nice, but the current state of the fonts in Linux will hardly be a show stopper for Linux on the desktop. Most people will not complain or even notice.

The problem is lack of well known applications. It doesn't matter if there are Linux equivalents that are as good as what people are used to from windows.

Many more advanced apps have a long learning curve, and people are not willing to relearn a Linux replacemet app that only is as good as the windows app the currently know. To make people switch, they need the apps they know ported, or the Linux equivalent need to be significantly better making it worth while learning it.

In a sense this means that the future of the Linux desktop very much is in the hands of Adobe. Among the 10 most wanted Linux ports (According to Novell) four of them comes from Adobe. If the Adobe application suite got ported to Linux I expect that we would see the same kind of growth in Linux desktop use as when OpenOffice.org became available.

Unforturnately Adobe is not known to embrace new platforms quickly. It took a very long time before Photoshop was something to count on for other platfrorms than MacOS even if windows was a much larger market, so I doubt that the Linux community can expect much help from them.

So, whats left is to make apps that beats the Adobe offerings and not just barely having the same functionality.

Another way to make the Linux desktop more likely would be to port the best Linux apps to Windows. That way we increase the chance that the app somebody have learned in Windows also is available in Linux making it easier to switch.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Before it gets an alternative
by Kroc on Fri 26th Jan 2007 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Before it gets an alternative"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Lack of known applications didn't stop me from switching to a Mac. I have all new applications now that I had to all re-learn. Where I had SmartFTP, I have Transmit, where I had my own HTML editor I coded in VB6, I now have TextMate. Where I had Trillian, I have Adium. Only iTunes and Firefox have stayed the same.

The problem isn't a lack of applications, it's a lack of benefits. I switched from Windows to Mac OS to /reduce/ the amount of anal retentive maintenance and tweaking over my system. If I switched to Linux, that would only have to increase to cope with Xorg config files, and terminal commands and driver issues. I'd spend forever in Google trying to solve simple problems, like the scrollwheel not working, or not knowing how to quit the x-server so I can install my graphics drivers.

Linux isn't /significantly/ faster than Windows. It boots in about the same time as my well tweaked, much loved custom XP install. My Mac boots faster than I can get Windows to boot. Linux needs to be faster, /much/ faster. Like BeOS or Amiga /fast/ to convince people to switch.

Reply Score: 5

chaosvoyager Member since:
2005-07-06

"The problem isn't a lack of applications, it's a lack of benefits."

Ding. We have a winner.

People spend money to avoid work. The Linux Desktop needs to be more than free, it needs to be less work than Windows or OS X.

Reply Score: 5

DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"The problem isn't a lack of applications, it's a lack of benefits. I switched from Windows to Mac OS to /reduce/ the amount of anal retentive maintenance and tweaking over my system. If I switched to Linux, that would only have to increase to cope with Xorg config files, and terminal commands and driver issues. I'd spend forever in Google trying to solve simple problems, like the scrollwheel not working, or not knowing how to quit the x-server so I can install my graphics drivers"

All these are actually quite simple in modern Linux distros. The tweaking that had to be done a year ago no longer does. The scrollwheel works out of the box on Fedora, Suse, and ubuntu I know for sure. As well on Suse and Ubuntu you no longer need to leave the Xserver to install, just restart it when the driver is finished installing. If you don;t know how to just restart the X server (ctrl+alt+bksp), then pretend it is windows and reboot the whole box, which is what you need ot do after installing a graphics driver over that way as well.

Reply Score: 4

rklrkl Member since:
2005-07-06

> Linux isn't /significantly/ faster than Windows. It boots in about the same time as my well tweaked, much loved custom XP install.

That should be "Linux's boot time isn't significantly faster..." surely? Boot time is a minor issue when with Linux you only have to do it when powering the PC on first time in the day or when you apply a new kernel and want to run that kernel right away. With Windows, it's often whenever you install a new driver, application or the desktop simply hangs on you.

Work is indeed going on at speeding up Linux's init system - there are several projects out there that map out a dependency tree for the startup sequence and start as many things as possible in parallel to improve boot times. We may eventually see Linux actually boot faster than XP (though I find that the "crud" you have to add to XP that's run at start-up often negates XP's advantage) - and as for Vista, well that's slower than XP to boot unless you buy faster hardware to run it :-)

The problem with a lot of people resistant to Linux is that they tried a distro 3-4 years ago (when things were indeed hairy - not much in the way of GUI config tools, auto hardware detection or device drivers that we see today), struggled with it and refused to go back to it, quoting stuff about "editing xorg config files" (which you haven't had to do for a couple of years, what with fancy ATI/Nvidia installers that do it all for you now - and some distros even auto-configure the 3D drivers for you automatically).

Personally, I find vanilla XP such a barren landscape in terms of out-of-the-box drivers and applications, that I *loathe* having to install it now - it takes me about 2 solid days to get all the bits I need for XP before I'm comfortable with it. This may improve a bit with Vista, but I'm in no hurry to try that yet (a new PC will inevitably be the only sensible way to get that).

Compare that with most Linux distros out there - they ship with almost all the apps I need (I pick up a few "stray" ones third-party, but that's about 10-15 minutes of effort) and *all* my PC hardware is correctly detected and works out-of-the-box [yes, networking and audio included, which fail to work in vanilla XP!]. 2 hours is all I need to get a new Linux distro up and running exactly how I like it - beats XP hands down...

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

By far the biggest problem is the prevalence of proprietary Windows-only hardware. Laptops, particularly older ones, are especially problematic in terms of their non-standards-compliant power-management schemes. I myself have chosen to stick with Windows on my clunker of a Toshiba laptop because its power-management infrastructure is completely proprietary and the management tools are Windows-only. I'm not particularly proud of the fact that I'm still using Windows, but in my situation it just gets the job done...

No question about it, though, my next laptop will either have Linux preinstalled... or it'll be a Mac. But as it is, I'm stuck with what I've got, and that's a piece of hardware which prefers to run Windows. Oh well....

Reply Score: 2

Dmitry K Member since:
2006-03-23

I agree with your remark on the need of the proprietory apps developed for Linux by majors like Adobe.
BTW, where the heck is their long-developed Flash plugin for 64 bit arch?!

I would add to your considerations that EA Games is the next major player here ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Before it gets an alternative
by Coxy on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Before it gets an alternative"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

You don't often see this kind of sense displayed at OS News. Shame I can't mod you up more than 1 point.

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I'm getting tired of that lame excuse.

Font rendering have been beautiful on Linux for more than 3 years. And installing extra fonts are no issue. We have the MS corefonts, Bitstream Vera fonts (very good), Nimbus fonts (very good too) and so on.

I don't know what you're doing wrong, but you are obviously doing something REALLY wrong (or perhaps using a binary distribution with a FreeType2 compiled without patented technology). With Gnome on Gentoo I don't have to mess around with any settings at all, and fonts are beautiful. The only thing I had to do was modifying .fonts.conf to substitute Helvetica for Nimbus Sans L, and Times for Times New Roman.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Before it gets an alternative
by Coxy on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Before it gets an alternative"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

- Well, he's an os news reader, it's pretty safe to assume that he's got some experience with computers and he's still has these problems. Last time I tried Linux was in 2002, I had the same problems... and it seems it still exists. As someone trying Linux then I couldn't care what the reasons were for this, I just wanted the fonts to work.

' don't know what you're doing wrong, but you are obviously doing something REALLY wrong '

- What's wrong with wanting readable smoothed fonts?

'The only thing I had to do was modifying .fonts.conf to substitute Helvetica for Nimbus Sans L, and Times for Times New Roman.'

- Why did you have to do this? Because it wasn't done already? Because without it you'd have crappy fonts too? Wouldn't it be better to just have font's working like under windows or macos? If it's as easy as you suggest why can't it be done automatically?

Edited 2007-01-26 21:55

Reply Score: 3

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Either you are lying or you are a complete moron. Pick a suitable answer ;)

- What's wrong with wanting readable smoothed fonts?

Nothing. And you've had readable smoothed fonts in Linux for years. Ever heard of FreeType? We are in 2007 now, and not 2002. Fonts didn't look to good in Windows in 2002 compared with today (with XP as the exception in 2002).

I have nice smoothed readable fonts in Gnome and have had that since august 2004. And I have done _nothing_ to make it look good. It looks way better than in Windows (standard Windows rendering is ugly, and ClearType means extremely poor and wrong hinting, though the font rendering is very crisp).

The modification in .fonts.conf was made solely in regard to font rendering on webpages in Firefox and is not related to interface in Linux (nor Gnome) as such.

Since it's been five (5) years since you tried last time, you really ought to try again.

Reply Score: 4

Invincible Cow Member since:
2006-06-24

> I'm getting tired of that lame excuse.
It's not a lame excuse, I want to be able to read what's on screen, I don't see how that is lame.

> Font rendering have been beautiful on Linux for more than 3 years.
Absolutely not true. The default settings looks reasonably ok, but the fonts are WAY too large. And on sensible sizes the fonts gets mushy and unreadable.
See this screenshot from Windows (Opera): http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/07/nox1169902472.png
Compare it with this screenshot from Fedora Core 6 (Firefox): http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/08/test1169902824.png

Completely honestly, do you think that is acceptable? On Ubuntu it's much worse. Larger fonts are of course very good looking, but I don't want a menu font with size 12, that's just insane.

Apart from the problem that sensible font sizes looks like crap Firefox also picks the _wrong_ sizes. Of the same font, the small version is too small compared to Windows/Mac and the large version is too large. Setting the font size obviously doesn't help since that makes the smallest even smaller or largest larger as well.

Edit: Just so you don't blame it on Firefox, I'm not bothering to put up a screenshot of Firefox under Windows since it can't be distinguished from Opera's rendering.

Edited 2007-01-27 12:13

Reply Score: 1

Moulinneuf Member since:
2005-07-06

0) in Firefox press CTRL and + or - ( or use the scroll wheel )

1) Witch version of Ubuntu you got ? latest is 6.10 The Edgy Eft

2) you installed ? :

http://easyubuntu.freecontrib.org/index.html

http://www.getautomatix.com/index.html

3) you tried ? :

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

sudo dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig
--> Choose "Autohinter" (and enable subpixel rendering if you have a LCD monitor).

4) http://www.gnome-look.org/index.php?xcontentmode=39&PHPSESSID=d7806...

5) http://www.mozilla.org/support/firefox/options#content

6) http://www.google.com/search?q=fonts&btnG=Search+Directory&hl=en&ca...

I hope it helps , if it don't , either you are lying or you are a complete moron. Pick a suitable answer ;) ( V2 changelog added "I hope it helps ," V1 author dylansmrjones )

Reply Score: 2

Invincible Cow Member since:
2006-06-24

> 0) in Firefox press CTRL and + or - ( or use the scroll wheel )
That doesn't change the fact that:
- Small fonts are mushy (see my screenshot)
- The difference between font size 8 and font size 12 is too large

> 1) Witch version of Ubuntu you got ? latest is 6.10 The Edgy Eft
The screenshot is from Fedora Core 6. I have tried Ubuntu 5.10, 6.06 and 6.10 and didn't notice any difference between them.

> 2) you installed ? : 3) you tried ? : 4) 6)
1) I shouldn't have to do anything to get readable fonts out of the box.
2) I have enabled subpixel hinting in Ubuntu
3) Can you explain why OpenOffice ignores the settings for (subpixel) hinting?

> 5) http://www.mozilla.org/support/firefox/options#content
No matter what I set, that settings gives a sort of relative font size. It doesn't solve the problem with small font sizes beeing too large IN COMPARISION TO the large font sizes.

> either you are lying or you are a complete moron
Well, you saw my screenshot. Go to http://mp3.downloads.nl to see where I took it.

Either some people here are lying or they use font size 16 only, or they are completely blind.

HOWTO: Hoary ClearType-like fonts (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=20976)
That is supposed to make fonts pretty like on Windows, but look at the results:
Screenshot from Windows: http://home.comcast.net/~ddamian/ubuntu/howto/howto_cleartype_WIN.p...
Screenshot from Linux: http://home.comcast.net/~ddamian/ubuntu/howto/howto_cleartype_UBU.p...
Note how the largest fonts are larger than on Windows, but the smallest fonts are smaller than on Windows?!?!
Also, see how the antialiasing is much more visible on Linux. And this is supposed to AFTER it is fixed.

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Hey, those Ubuntu shots look pretty good! I'd say good enough for the average user.

You're right, the Windows shots are marginally better. But I doubt most people would notice.

Of course, I do still hope Linux can eventually get up to par with Windows. Still, I take a positivist approach and say: so far, so good.

Reply Score: 2

Invincible Cow Member since:
2006-06-24

> Hey, those Ubuntu shots look pretty good! I'd say good enough for the average user.
> You're right, the Windows shots are marginally better. But I doubt most people would notice.
But is the average user willing to go through a lengthy process just to get a font quality that WORSE than what they're used to? No, I don't think so.

Also, that screenshot is of an Ubuntu forum, so it's obviously well tested with Linux fonts. Most pages doesn't look as good.

Reply Score: 1

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

- Small fonts are mushy (see my screenshot)

Choose a better font then. I don't have a problem with fonts on Linux and haven't for years.

No matter what I set, that settings gives a sort of relative font size. It doesn't solve the problem with small font sizes beeing too large IN COMPARISION TO the large font sizes.

I don't have that problem either. My fonts look correct and in fact render much better than Windows.

Either some people here are lying or they use font size 16 only, or they are completely blind.

My minimum font size is set to 8.

Also, see how the antialiasing is much more visible on Linux. And this is supposed to AFTER it is fixed.

That definitely does look shitty. I'm not sure what instructions you used by they sucked because my fonts look a lot better. Try using Bitstream Fonts, they are of much higher quality than most available fonts.

If you have an LCD display like I do I could send you my fonts.conf file which should make your fonts nice and pretty. I edited mine by hand years ago but now all you should need is the configuration wizard in Gnome or KDE. I setup Fedora Core 5 on a notebook a few months ago and didn't have a problem fixing the fonts. It is not much different from Windows now considering ClearType is disabled by default on most OEM XP machines.

Edited 2007-01-27 17:55

Reply Score: 3

Finalzone Member since:
2005-07-06

Try using Bitstream Fonts, they are of much higher quality than most available fonts.

Even better, try DejaVu Fonts which is derivated from Bitstream.
http://dejavu.sourceforge.net/

Edited 2007-01-27 22:07

Reply Score: 2

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Even better, try DejaVu Fonts which is derivated from Bitstream.
http://dejavu.sourceforge.net/


These fonts look great in epiphany even though they are spaced a little differently but for some reason when I use them as the default for Gnome the spacing looks screwy. The "T" is always squished up against the next letter and it seems like they take up more space which screws up the look of my compact layout.

Reply Score: 2

archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I shouldn't have to do anything to get readable fonts out of the box.

You don't. You can get OSX-quality fonts by enabling anti-aliasing *and* turning off hinting.

Of course, some people don't like OSX-style fonts, saying they look a bit fuzzy (which I guess is true if your display is in low-resolution mode). I myself much prefer this font rendering style, which produces glyphs that are much closer in shape to their printed version than ClearType does.

Reply Score: 2

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

That's Microsoft's sub-pixel font rendering (known as ClearType) at work. More info on the technology behind it here:

http://www.grc.com/cleartype.htm

Unfortunately, they patented it. Even Apple has to resort to using "traditional" anti-aliasing in Mac OS X, which looks significantly less sharp. Meanwhile, Apple also has patents on their technology that make Linux even more limited in what it can do:

http://freetype.sourceforge.net/patents.html

However, apparently there are workarounds:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/ubuntu/enable-smooth-fonts-on-ubuntu...

http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=235526
(this one enables sub-pixel rendering)

http://www.convexhull.com/mandrake_fonts.html

The other thing I noticed about your screenshot from Fedora Core 6 is that, even though traditional anti-aliasing seems to be present, the font kerning on whatever font that is sucks. In that case, you probably just need to install a better font. (For instance Microsoft's core web fonts.) The renderer itself shouldn't be blamed for a poor choice of fonts in your distro.

But it's true, we also shouldn't have to depend on MS for our fonts. This is something that is constantly improving. For example:

http://www.bitstream.com/font_rendering/products/dev_fonts/vera.htm...

And of course it's also true we shouldn't have to hack the system as shown above just to get things like sub-pixel rendering. For that you can blame Microsoft and Apple and their patent-loving mentalities.

Reply Score: 3

cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Do you have a URL for the/a page/website, for comparison? That FC6 shot does look ugly, in fact unacceptably so. But, it's FC, which is anything but a nice desktop distro out of the box. I'd like to be able to make apples-to-apples live CD comparisons, then directing you to another distro, rather than calling you a moron.

Reply Score: 1

Invincible Cow Member since:
2006-06-24

You can go to mp3.downloads.nl to see where I got the screenshot from.

I now installed additional fonts with easyubuntu. That caused the font here on osnews to get very bad, but the font on google now looks beatiful.

Here is a screenshot of how it looks on Ubuntu after I installed the additional fonts (which shouldn't have to be done): http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/16/font41169933919.png
Apart from the overall below-par kerning there are some unacceptable things going on: A line on the k is almost disappeared, all the y's looks mushy and all r's looks like an i with its dot falled down on its right side. No font settings was changed from the default Ubuntu installation.
The screenshots from the previous post for comaprision:
Windows: http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/07/nox1169902472.png
Fedora:
http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/08/test1169902824.png
I now saw that the W is also dreadfully rendered on Ubuntu, but there isn't any W on the screenshot.

> Choose a better font then.
What I'm saying is that as long as the user has to manually select a better font to get a non-mushy one, Linux isn't ready for the desktop.

> > Either some people here are lying or they use font size 16 only, or they are completely blind.
> My minimum font size is set to 8.
Since Firefox is the only place I know where you can select a "minimum font size", I presume you mean in Firefox. The problem is, that the lowest number in the drop-down menu for minimum font size is 9. Should I conclude with my scenario number one (lying) or scenario 3 (blind)?

> > I shouldn't have to do anything to get readable fonts out of the box.
> You don't. You can get OSX-quality fonts by enabling anti-aliasing *and* turning off hinting.
If I have to enable antialiasing and turning off hinting, then I have to DO something, right?

> your X server is probably misconfigured and using Type-1 bitmaps instead.
If the X server is misconfigured out of the box on the world's most popular distro, then Linux isn't ready for the desktop.

Fonts are either too large on some pages and correct on others: http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/16/font11169934643.png
Or they are correct on some pages and too small on thoers: http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/16/font21169934695.png

Since Windows and Mac manages to use about the same sizes, surely Linux can't be "correct" in the sense that it displays fonts they way the designers wants them to look.

And, as I said earlier, it's not only about the fonts themselves, the font sizes are also inconsistent: http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/16/font31169934862.png

Have a look at the screenshot of GDM:
http://img15.imgspot.com/?u=/u/07/26/16/gdmscreenshot1169934975.png
1. Why on earth does the text field use that miniature font?
2. That last letter (in the text field) is a c, right? Would you believe it if I told you it's actually an o? Sure you would believe me if I said that, but it's actually ... a d! Change any of the four preceding letters and the caret will not be rendered over the stem of the d any more. Write "rond" and the caret will overlap the d. Every time. That's the font renderer of "the most beautiful desktop ever".

Reply Score: 2

cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Web pages: that site uses a damn small font. But...it does look OK in Windows as-is, with either defaults or Bitstream Vera Sans forced (my preference, regardless of OS). Non-subpixel looks better on both platforms when using AA.

With FF on PCLOS and Zenlive, it looks terrible, AA or not, even with freetype2 set up as much as can be w/o editing text files (I know it can be made to look much better, but that's not the point). Turning off hinting helps some, but not really enough.

Honestly, I don't encounter such hard to read pages on a normal basis. The fine print below this text area, and most small fonts, look fine. Most of the time I'm not here using Windows. Doing ctrl+ to raise the size helps quite a bit, but it shouldn't be needed. OTOH, what is to be corrected for that page not looking right, when Google, FI, looks fine, even its fine print?

As far as relative font sizes go, if the font size is not specified, it's all up to the browser, and it's the browser's fault. If that's not good enough, then have any pages for yourself done so that H# tags are done in % or em. Also, I don't see anything wrong with them. There is no imperative to make the sizes uniform across websites; just consistent on any single website.

I was hoping to pop a CD in (live CD to know no extra configuration has been done), and prove you wrong, but...no. I do think you're being a bit anal (FI, with the GDM nitpicking), but you're not wrong.

Now, on to the GUI bits: that looks like the GIMP. Please, is there any other app you can use for an example? I took shots and edited them (er, and saved them) with the GIMP here, and it has once again shown that it has one of the worst UIs in existence. Italics and multiple font sizes used in a dialog (italics will always look bad with such low DPI--no one should use them for a computer display if they can't be sure they are going to be 30+px high) is just seeing the iceberg from the horizon with the GIMP. The tip of the comes much later (like the save dialog, being the one that annoyed me only minutes ago).

I don't see much of a problem with GDM, there. It acts the same I've always been used to, good or bad: I'm not used to be able to distinguish c/o/d, l or nothing, n/r, etc., when there is a visible cursor.

Edited 2007-01-28 00:47

Reply Score: 1

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

FYI, this is what the screenshot looks like on Debian with the new FreeType 2.3: http://www.prism.gatech.edu/~gtg990h/screenshot.png

In general, for good looking fonts, you want a bone-stock FreeType with no silly TrueType hinting stuff. At least Ubuntu used to ship that way in Hoary and Breezy. Dapper should still do it if you go to GNOME's font preferences -> details -> "light" hinting. Fedore Core 6 does some bytecode interpreter idiocy, and borks FireFox's fonts completely, again, don't ask me why.

Reply Score: 2

Invincible Cow Member since:
2006-06-24

I now managed to get the individual characters look very good and readable with the Bitstream fonts and Autohinting. Unfortunately:
1) The kerning is worse than with autohinting off, some letters look like they are married, while others have an ocean of space in between them.
2) If I have to use the console and install extra files to get readable fonts, Linux is not ready for the desktop.

Reply Score: 1

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Fedora Core 6's fonts in Firefox are really broken out of the box, I don't know why. Try Epiphany, as it'll try to use the standard GNOME font selection paths.

However, in general it will be larger and mushier, because FreeType just tends towards softer, more accurate rendering (like OS X). The instance on "one pixel thick size 8 fonts" is really derived from being accustomed to Windows. GNOME and OS X actually have the same size UI font, with GNOME being 10pt at 96dpi and OS X being 13pt at 72dpi. Both are far more reasonable than the eye-strain inducing 8pt at 96dpi that Windows uses.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Before it gets an alternative
by rayiner on Fri 26th Jan 2007 18:49 UTC in reply to "Before it gets an alternative"
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Yuck. T2K (now Font Fusion) generates ugly overly-hinted fonts like Windows. With "light" hinting and the bytecode interpreter disabled, FreeType's rendering is excellent. Between FreeType and OS X's renderer, which looks better comes down to the fonts you use and taste.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Before it gets an alternative
by Sphinx on Fri 26th Jan 2007 20:46 UTC in reply to "Before it gets an alternative"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

The gift of bitstream charter true-type fonts made linux one of the most beautiful desktops out there, your X server is probably misconfigured and using Type-1 bitmaps instead.

Reply Score: 5

Desktop has been lost
by Southern.Pride on Fri 26th Jan 2007 16:45 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

The desktop has been lost for quite some time now, thanks in part to the users who purchased Linux in a 'box set' only to have the distro go under or just bail out all together. When you pull the rug out of the end user and burn them once they are likely to remember it. The one problem that will never be solved is stability, without it they can proclaim it is the best Operating System but when you disappear in a year or so who cares anymore.

If one Linux vendor would stick it out for the long haul it could happen but after all of the short term bail outs like Enron who wants to try it now?

I have been using Linux since 1999 and currently on Fedora Core 6, RedHat went from selling box sets to community based Fedora for the desktop what does that say?

Reply Score: 0

RE: Desktop has been lost
by fretinator on Fri 26th Jan 2007 16:54 UTC in reply to "Desktop has been lost"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

If one Linux vendor would stick it out for the long haul

Long-haul linux companies from you can buy your "boxed-sets" linux:

Xandros
Suse (been around a L-L-O-O-N-N-N-G-G time)
Slackware
Redhat (you can buy Redhat Enterprise if you have a lot of dough)
Mandriva (also around a very long time)
Turbolinux (big in the pacific region)

And probably others I am forgetting.

Get real!

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Desktop has been lost
by Southern.Pride on Fri 26th Jan 2007 17:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Desktop has been lost"
Southern.Pride Member since:
2006-09-14

I use Linux at work/support and at home, I was stating from the 'end user' point of view. Did you forget the RedHat deal with dropping the 9.0 series and below?

Mandriva was Mandrake so it changed and Slackware (come on now along with Xandros) Turbolinux have you tried to install it???

RedHat focuses on the server market not desktop.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Desktop has been lost
by elzurawka on Fri 26th Jan 2007 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Desktop has been lost"
elzurawka Member since:
2005-07-08

"RedHat focuses on the server market not desktop."
Thats right. The Desktop is taken care of by fedora, which is sponsored by RedHat.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Desktop has been lost
by archiesteel on Fri 26th Jan 2007 17:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Desktop has been lost"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I use Linux at work/support and at home

Stating this does not give you any additional credibiilty on the matter.

Mandriva was Mandrake so it changed

It changed in name only.

Edited 2007-01-26 17:15

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Desktop has been lost
by Southern.Pride on Fri 26th Jan 2007 18:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Desktop has been lost"
Southern.Pride Member since:
2006-09-14

What I meant was I am a Linux advocate, not bashing it or that latter.



There was too much hype before it was refined to the point of a 'daily user' this hurt it more than anything. Now it could configure your daily agenda but gather nothing more than 'eh' oh well.

Marketing - is the do or die of any product without knowledge of it no one knows or will ever find out. So therefore it remains right where it started within the server room or enthusiast (like myself)...

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Desktop has been lost
by archiesteel on Fri 26th Jan 2007 19:12 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Desktop has been lost"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Marketing - is the do or die of any product without knowledge of it no one knows or will ever find out. So therefore it remains right where it started within the server room or enthusiast (like myself)...

Well, on that we agree. We need more Linux adverts in mainstream media...but that costs a lot of money. Perhaps the Linux Foundation could set up a Linux Ad Fund (LAF) to which volunteers could contribute? I'd pitch in a hundred $ or two...

Or have amateur ad contests, and showcase them on a web site, like they did for Firefox (and then let them spread on YouTube and such...)

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Desktop has been lost
by Southern.Pride on Fri 26th Jan 2007 19:16 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Desktop has been lost"
Southern.Pride Member since:
2006-09-14

Good idea...

[Well, on that we agree. We need more Linux adverts in mainstream media...but that costs a lot of money. Perhaps the Linux Foundation could set up a Linux Ad Fund (LAF) to which volunteers could contribute? I'd pitch in a hundred $ or two...

Or have amateur ad contests, and showcase them on a web site, like they did for Firefox (and then let them spread on YouTube and such...)[/i]

A good starting point, what would be nice is a 'OEM' dual boot between SuSE Linux & MS Vista but I do not see that happening. (just wishful thinking)

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Desktop has been lost
by archiesteel on Fri 26th Jan 2007 19:25 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Desktop has been lost"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

A good starting point, what would be nice is a 'OEM' dual boot between SuSE Linux & MS Vista but I do not see that happening. (just wishful thinking)

I think MS still has rules that you can't sell their software in a dual-boot configuration and still get the Windows OEM rebate...

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Desktop has been lost
by Coxy on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:10 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Desktop has been lost"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

'Or have amateur ad contests, and showcase them on a web site, like they did for Firefox (and then let them spread on YouTube and such...)'

- Outside of the usuall geek forums I don't believe anyone ever even heard or saw these adverts. They're were a waste of time... preaching to the converted.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Desktop has been lost
by archiesteel on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:14 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Desktop has been lost"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Considering they didn't cost anything (for the Firefox foundation), I'd hardly call them a waste of time. Of course, I don't think any of them made it on to TV, but some of them *could* have.

The problem is not only the cost to produce the ads, but the cost to have them broadcast.

Still, your cynicism is duly noted. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Desktop has been lost
by trenchsol on Fri 26th Jan 2007 23:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Desktop has been lost"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

What does it mean lost ? What would it mean won ? Do you think of dominance ? Is that the criteria ?

Market leader is Microsoft. They are coming with new features, good or bad ones, all the time. Others are trying to be compliant with them.

I think that it is time for something completely different.

I have an idea, but I am not able to implement it, since I am not C/C++ developer. How about on-demand LAMP (in fact AMP) stack. Apache, MySQL and PHP to be started up when user starts the first application, and to remain active until there is at least one application using it.

Developers would like it, their applications would be desktop and web ones in the same time.

DG

Reply Score: 1

RE: Desktop has been lost
by Sphinx on Fri 26th Jan 2007 20:52 UTC in reply to "Desktop has been lost"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Fortunately for the software industry not many hold that view for that same logic would tell you that everybody who bought windows 3.1 would have stopped using it when win95 came out and leave you completely stumped at how they somehow mysteriously maintain market share.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Desktop has been lost
by butters on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:49 UTC in reply to "Desktop has been lost"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

RedHat went from selling box sets to community based Fedora for the desktop what does that say?

It says that very few customers still get their software from a box. Software is no longer a static object. It's a living, breathing thing that needs continuous updates and network resources. You can't deliver this in a box. The few-hundred-page print manual will be out of date before the customer picks it up off the shelf.

Today software is community-based. Even the 800-pound gorillas of the by-gone shrink-wrap software days rely on vibrant online communities to support their installed base.

You obviously have experience in migrating from one Linux provider to another. Was it hard? Were your favorite applications available on the new system? Has it become more difficult to find support?

Something tells me you did just fine. Why? Because there's little-to-no lock-in with Linux distributions. Users and code move freely from project to project, and entry barriers are extraordinarily low for new projects.

A mature free software ecosystem is characterized by the consolidation of development resources in the projects with the most users. Small projects have great ideas, but seldom great enough to overcome their resource scarcities. Big projects adopt the technologies and developers of smaller projects, and, in doing so, attract more users.

This maturation process has only begun to happen in the past 2 years, but it's rapidly picking up steam. That's what you should glean from this article. Yesterdays itches are today's functional requirements. We know what where we're going and how we're getting there.

Most of the items on the agenda involve getting proprietary software vendors to build binaries and hardware vendors to release driver interfaces. This isn't a chicken-and-egg problem. We know the egg comes first, so we should stop apologizing for our small marketshare and aggressively go after our egg (obviously Linux is the flightless bird).

Reply Score: 3

Linux for desktops
by shiva on Fri 26th Jan 2007 18:17 UTC
shiva
Member since:
2007-01-24

In my opinion, Linux is ready for SOME desktops for years. The problem is not technical, just no offer of certain commercial applications for linux (and any other non-windows OS except, in some cases, MacOSX).

The problem is that Microsoft convinced almost every profesional software developer and software-houses that the only alternative is develop their programs to windows platform.

MS convinced them using the "developers, developers,developers" mantra, closing its eyes to domestic piracy who guarantees a big market for application developers, making windows and almost all MS products non-interoperable, making RAD development software like VB and Visual * easying development but generating windows-only code and making all sort of non-competitive practices to destroy adversaries.

If this total control by MS of proprietary software development don't change, never a non-windows OS will have a chance in consumer market. Of course Linux and other free softwares can and should be used smartly whenever is possible. It just a question of know-how. I implemented with success hundred of linux business desktops used by normal people who just need a web browser, an email client and a office suite. And even windows legacy applications can be used remotely on these desktops with trick like redesktop.

MacOS X are even worser alternative to windows because requires proprietary hardware and totally controlled by a single company.

Edited 2007-01-26 18:30

Reply Score: 5

RE: Linux for desktops
by Moochman on Sat 27th Jan 2007 16:15 UTC in reply to "Linux for desktops"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

In my opinion, Linux is ready for SOME desktops for years. The problem is not technical, just no offer of certain commercial applications for linux (and any other non-windows OS except, in some cases, MacOSX)....

MacOS X are even worser alternative to windows because requires proprietary hardware and totally controlled by a single company.


Although I see where you're coming from, I happen to believe the exact opposite:

1) The problems with Linux ARE technical--namely, the hardware vendors keep pumping out computers and peripherals that require proprietary Windows drivers.

2) I consider the lack of proprietary software on Linux to be one of its main selling points--you get the same kind of software for free, instead of having to pay ridiculous sums (or use warez).

3) Mac OS X currently provides the best solution for the average user, since it is the easiest to use, the easiest to configure, AND simultaneously comes with most of the software the average user needs. (Your reasoning against it seems to be purely ideological and not practical.)

Edited 2007-01-27 16:16

Reply Score: 2

Linux moving forward
by benir0 on Fri 26th Jan 2007 18:47 UTC
benir0
Member since:
2006-07-26

I think people often HAVE overhyped Linux, but I have to say that I'm incredibly pleased with the progress. My desktop is more functional, better looking and more usable than ever.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Linux moving forward
by fretinator on Fri 26th Jan 2007 19:40 UTC in reply to "Linux moving forward"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

My desktop is more functional, better looking and more usable than ever

And I think that is a good summary of where we are. I have used Ubuntu for about a year now as my primary OS on my Laptop. It hsas been a very stable year (except that little X-windows snafu!).

I do java development with Netbeans at home (my part-time job) and thoroughly enjoy it. I use Squirrel Sql, a very power Sql Manager for multiple RDBMs. I use OpenOffice for all by .DOC generation with outside folks, and have had no problems. We currently have very usable, very stable Linux desktops available from several companies.

I've been in this since my early days with Slackware floppies in the mid 90's. I do not take for granted just how usable and stable the Linux desktop is. Even Windows has greatly matured as a desktop OS! Remember the Win 3.1 and 95 days with all the blue screens (press "CTL-ALT-DELETE" to reboot, or press enter and PRAY).

Once in a while, let's just step back from our quibbling and give some credit to all the dudes and dudesses who have made personal computing a whole lot more fun, and a whole lot more powerful.

Reply Score: 3

The Coder's Desktop
by codehead78 on Fri 26th Jan 2007 20:28 UTC
codehead78
Member since:
2006-08-04

The real strength of Open Source is if there is something that enough programmers want, it will be created, and with enough like minded programmers, it will be top notch. The problem is that coders scratch their own itch, not grandma's...

The desktop has been good enough for programmers for a long time. If more coders really wanted a Desktop for Grandma, we would have one.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The Coder's Desktop
by unoengborg on Fri 26th Jan 2007 20:47 UTC in reply to "The Coder's Desktop"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

The desktop has been good enough for programmers for a long time. If more coders really wanted a Desktop for Grandma, we would have one.

Well, today the usability of Linux is not worse than that of any of its competitors.

Many people assume that windows is simple to use just because they can handle it reasonably well, but forget how long time it took to actually get the windows skills they have. If you are old and not have needed to use computers all day in your work, Linux will be just as easy or difficult to learn as windows.

So, I suppose if Grandma wants a better desktop she better start coding.

Microsoft or Apple is not going to help out, just like most Linux hackers they scratch their own itch i.e. coding for markets where there is a lot of money to be made, and unfortunately for Grandma she is not likely to be included.

Reply Score: 5

desktop OS
by ari-free on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:06 UTC
ari-free
Member since:
2007-01-22

when linux has software that can do your taxes, it gets to say it has 'won.' It's not there yet. It doesn't have to convert everyone but the software selection isn't even comparable to Mac which has more games and professional apps.

Reply Score: 1

RE: desktop OS
by archiesteel on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:15 UTC in reply to "desktop OS"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Sure...and when Tax software is available, then it'll be something else that is required, and so on, and so forth.

There's no pleasing Linux critics...but, hey, at least they get some good exercise constantly moving these goalposts. :-)

Reply Score: 4

RE: desktop OS
by boudewijn on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:24 UTC in reply to "desktop OS"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

Linux has tax software. The Dutch inland revenue makes its tax software available for Linux, using autopackage and the motif version of wxwidgets.

On the other hand, when I still had a subscription to Linux Journal in 1996 (yes, eleven years ago), the letters pages was filled with people saying "linux needs this one more thing, and then it's there. When it has that, I can use it". Of course, in those days, they generally wanted SCO Unix binary compatibility for their database software.

And look what happened to SCO...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: desktop OS
by trenchsol on Fri 26th Jan 2007 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE: desktop OS"
trenchsol Member since:
2006-12-07

Well, good consumer product is about meeting consumers requirements. All the time. What is wrong with that ? It is good that people actually want something. That means there is an interest in a product.

DG

Reply Score: 1

Interesting review
by Coxy on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:31 UTC
Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

The problem with Linux is that even the geeks that use it don't think it's good enough to use... if they did they wouldn't feel the need to make 50-60 odd distos (the actual number isn't important, it could be 200. The fact that there's more than 1 version is enough). If they can't justify everyone using the same Linux, then what argument is there for saying windows users should switch to Linux? Windows seems to meet most peoples needs, otherwise they wouldn't use it, Linux doesn't seem to meet even it's core users needs.

Usability needs improving on Linux too... I know everyone here seems to have a dad or a grandma who's abl to re-build the kernel, but most people (a lot younger then your gandma) who don't visit os news have grandmas that have trouble using a two buttoned mouse... but there expected to use a 100+ keyed keyboard because most things in linux are left to the command line.


>t:ragic /end

Reply Score: 2

RE: Interesting review
by anda_skoa on Fri 26th Jan 2007 21:47 UTC in reply to "Interesting review"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

if they did they wouldn't feel the need to make 50-60 odd distos

This is a pretty lame argument.

There are a lot of different use cases, even Windows has multiple versions for different ones (Home/Pro, Server, Embedded)

Multiple versions of something is not a matter of not being good enough, but a matter of having different need. This is called customization.

If a certain adjustment can make it even better, why go with a solution that doesn't suit your specific need as good as your modified version.

Sometimes such customizations will look equal from an outsides point of view, sometimes even an uninformed observer can notice differences.

I know everyone here seems to have a dad or a grandma who's abl to re-build the kernel

Bringing the kernel building pseudo argument gets you close to be considered a troll.

I have been using Linux since 1996, I am a software developer, I am a geek, but I have never built my own kernel, the one my distribution shipped have always been fine.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Interesting review
by unoengborg on Fri 26th Jan 2007 22:16 UTC in reply to "Interesting review"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Peopel doesn't make their own distros because Linux isn't good enough, they do it because they can.

There are 8 or so versions of Vista, is that a sign that Vista isn't good enough. I think not. It's a sign that different people have different needs.

And no, most things are not left to the command line in modern Linux. Your statement would have been true five years ago, but today, it only shows that you are out of touch with reality.

And how is it that Linux users can't be expected to use the command line to do advanced stuff, when the same things in windows often requires entering hexadecimal poorly documented values in regedit, or falling back to the very same command line in case they use MacOS-X.

Reply Score: 5

v Troll? You mean Grandtroll?
by Coxy on Fri 26th Jan 2007 22:08 UTC
RE: Troll? You mean Grandtroll?
by dylansmrjones on Fri 26th Jan 2007 22:27 UTC in reply to "Troll? You mean Grandtroll?"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Most likely because those who have the problem haven't googled for the solution - or forgot to RTFM.

However, since they are always Windows users, they have no credibility.

GNU/Linux is easy unless you are a Windows power user. Windows power users cannot do a thing unless it has a red button labeled: "Push me".

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Troll? You mean Grandtroll?
by Moochman on Sat 27th Jan 2007 16:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Troll? You mean Grandtroll?"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Just because many people prefer GUIs to CLIs and hand-editing conf files does not require you to demean them as "know-nothing Windows power users".

Basic configuration tasks shouldn't require reading a manual. That's SO old skool....

Reply Score: 1

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Just wondering why I got modded down... I wasn't being sarcastic here, believe it or not, so what gives?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Troll? You mean Grandtroll?
by Coxy on Sat 27th Jan 2007 22:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Troll? You mean Grandtroll?"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

You get modded down for saying anything against linux. Watch this post get modded down!

Edited 2007-01-27 22:44

Reply Score: 2

RE: Troll? You mean Grandtroll?
by anda_skoa on Sat 27th Jan 2007 18:34 UTC in reply to "Troll? You mean Grandtroll?"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

Troll? That's a sign that your losing the argument!

No, it's a sign that you haven't read what I have written:

I was referring to the kernel compiling pseudo problem, not any grandmother story.

If you want to give an example of a task that people claim their grandmother is able to do, choose a task users are actually likely to come across.

Compiling the kernel is not one of them.

Reply Score: 2

Linux with Crossover and MS Office
by trenchsol on Fri 26th Jan 2007 23:15 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

Is it possible to ship a Linux distribution or PC with preinstalled Linux with Crossover ? I think that Novell does that, or did it in the past.

Is it possible to ship a preinstalled PC with Linux, Crossover and licensed Microsoft Office installed ?

Many people depend on Microsoft Office. They could find what they need on such platform.

DG

Reply Score: 1

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Many people depend on Microsoft Office. They could find what they need on such platform.

If people depend on Microsoft Office, they are sort of out of luck. The new Office 2007 is nothing like what Microsoft office used to be. It has seriously different GUI and new file formats.

I think that most people will feel much more at home in the latest version OpenOffice.org, so they would have no problem switching to Linux as the new MS-Office starts to gain market share.

Reply Score: 3

raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

MSOffice works excellently under stock Wine, so Crossover licensing is not needed if the PC or distro comes with it enabled and set up correctly.
Just insert your MSOffice Cd and click the Setup.EXE file and Wine kicks in and installs it.

Reply Score: 4

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

MSOffice works excellently under stock Wine, so Crossover licensing is not needed if the PC or distro comes with it enabled and set up correctly.
Just insert your MSOffice Cd and click the Setup.EXE file and Wine kicks in and installs it.


Office 2007 does not work with Wine. Office 2003/XP/2000 doesn't work either. If you want Office on vanilla wine then you are left with 97 or earlier.

http://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?iAppId=31

Edited 2007-01-27 17:17

Reply Score: 0

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

There is a MS Office clone made in China. Runs on linux and Windows. Free downloads available

http://www.lockergnome.com/nexus/web/2005/09/14/free-chinese-ms-off...

Reply Score: 2

About 2006 being the year of linux desktop
by bd4e on Sat 27th Jan 2007 08:16 UTC
bd4e
Member since:
2007-01-27

It was for me, as i started using linux on daily basis in early 2006. I had double boot at first, but have erased win XP partition halfway through the year.
So if you ask me: Yes 2006, was the year of desktop linux ( for me )

Reply Score: 1

the desktop war has barely begun
by unclefester on Sat 27th Jan 2007 11:18 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

"Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.''

The speech was made 29 October 1941 to the boys at Winston Churchill's old public [private] school, Harrow

To those who say that the desktop wars are over I say they have't begun. MS has the great problem of being a monopoly. The desktop may be monopolised in the afffluent west but is still open slather elsewhere. MS is in the unfortunate position of having competition which can always undercut it's selling price. It also has shareholders to placate. Every percentage point MS loses to OSS is worth several billion dollars lost revenue.

There are 5-10 legal copies of Red Flag Linux (30% market share in China) to every legal copy of Windows in China. There are probably more linux users in China than Mac users globally.

MS can't win- it can't cut costs without destroying it's franchise and the developing world can't afford more than a token amount for software.

Most people worldwide are grateful just to have computer access so imperfect fonts is a minor inconvenience not a showstopper for linux.

Reply Score: 3

Re: font quality
by Darkelve on Sat 27th Jan 2007 19:14 UTC
Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

As for myself, I'm running OpenSuSe 10.2 with Sub-Pixel hinting enabled and using the Bitstream Vera fonts. I must add that fonts on SuSe generally look better than most other Linux distro's though.

And I have to say that on my 19" LCD monitor, the fonts look a little bit better then Windows. But I guess a lot of it depends on personal taste too.

I don't think a shouting match is necessary though. A lot is personal preference, although in my experience the Linux fonts (once properly setup) are about as good as those on Windows (yes, even after enabling Windows's freetype or what's it called).

Reply Score: 2

My Version of the Article
by Peter Besenbruch on Sun 28th Jan 2007 02:36 UTC
Peter Besenbruch
Member since:
2006-03-13

2006 provided the following mileposts for my Linux Desktops:

1) KDE began popping up windows, asking what I wanted to do with that CD/USB flash drive/camera.

2) OpenOffice reached version 2 in late 2005. In 2006 it gained speed, lots of it.

3) Adobe's Flash and Sun's Java hit the Debian repositories. Flash went to version 9.

4) Firefox hit 2.0 and started behaving itself, memory use wise.

5) Raw Therapee produces some of the smoothest raw file conversions from my camera that I have ever seen.

6) All my laptops began hibernating. Most special laptop keys began working.

7) I bought a laptop that I didn't install Linux on. It came with Linux pre-installed. I did not type in a long product code. I did not have to validate it.

8) I actually got Kqemu to work (sort of).

What does 2007 hold? So far it includes the following:

1) I figured out how to get operating systems running under Qemu to share files with the host OS. I even enabled sharing via the clipboard.

2) I actually installed OpenBSD and did things with it.

3) I purchase a car with a CD changer that plays MP3s. I discover Magnatune and Lame.

4) Debian may release Etch.

4) The world may end, in which case...

5) Debian won't release Etch

Reply Score: 2