Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Mar 2009 18:53 UTC, submitted by snydeq
Linux Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst questioned the relevance of Linux on the desktop, citing several financial and interoperability hurdles to business adoption at a panel on end-users and Linux last night at the OSBC.
Order by: Score:
...
by Hiev on Wed 25th Mar 2009 19:01 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

But but but, you are Red Hat, you are supposed to be cool with linux, even with the obvious flaws.

IMHO Linux missed the desktop train, and all for internal politics.

"But Linux on the desktop have worked for me since years ago"

Good for you.

"Even Linux developers he has known prefer a Macintosh to a Linux desktop, Kutty said."

Ouch.

Edited 2009-03-25 19:05 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: ...
by Vanders on Wed 25th Mar 2009 19:08 UTC in reply to "..."
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

IMHO Linux missed the desktop train, and all for internal politics.


Yup, pretty much. Its worth noting that most of those political reasons still exist, and aren't going anywhere anytime fast.

It's also not surprising that the CEO of Redhat doesn't see the point in desktop Linux: they don't have any traction there and they don't want to see anyone like Ubuntu gain enough traction that they'll begin to threaten Redhat in the server space.

Reply Score: 7

RE: ...
by Clinton on Wed 25th Mar 2009 19:58 UTC in reply to "..."
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

IMHO Linux missed the desktop train, and all for internal politics.


I'm sure internal politics and, I don't know, patents and licensing fees have played a large role in what the modern Linux desktop is. However, that's a bit nebulous. Here are some of the reasons the Linux desktop fails for me:

1) Imperfect graphics drivers (artifacts with nVidia and just plain crap with ATI -- random hangs, poor compiz support, etc.)

2) Inferior DVD and video support.

3) Less than ideal support for printers and horrid support for scanners.

4) Spotty support for peripherals.

5) No commercial professional applications like Photoshop, QuickBooks, Illustrator, etc.

But Linux on the desktop has worked for me for years.


Yes it has. Since 1994, actually.

The response to this statement shouldn't be "Good for you" though. Instead try to understand exactly why Linux has worked so well for some of us.

Reasons would include:
1) High ability to automate and schedule tasks.
2) Thousands of quality software packages.
3) Excellent development tools.
4) Highly customizable.
5) Strong education potential.
6) Better distribution.
7) BASH

Neither list is comprehensive.

Edited 2009-03-25 19:59 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: ...
by vonschutter on Wed 25th Mar 2009 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
vonschutter Member since:
2007-04-30

Well, I may have stated this before... but as my father is a small town OEM in IA, he sells desktops and servers. 80% - 90% of the Ubuntu based. Ok I can hear the Iowa Jokes already... but the point is still valid. He has found that in that marked segment:
1, Boards with Nvidia work well on all aspects. If there is a problem a different board gets used... Just like with 3.11, 95, 98, 2000, XP... Vista never arrived. Customers have been happy.
2, Those who do not care about the big corporations making money have not found any problems using VLC and libd*vd. Those who care are content with LinDVD (same manufacturer as WinDVD) Customers have been happy.
3, Printer and scanners work flawlessly for is customers, by selecting and selling the right hardware. Customers have been happy.
4, I do not know so much about peripheral support... But the Meizu music player has been great, and the bundled software for converting video works great with wine (as suggested on the manufacturer’s web site). All, mice and keyboards have worked well... as have thumb drives and external had drives and USB wireless cards...
5, Photoshop CS2, and others run fine with Crossover.

On another note; in the extremely large home electronics dealer where I work there is a strong push for Linux and Virtualization.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: ...
by cyclops on Wed 25th Mar 2009 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
cyclops Member since:
2006-03-12

1) Imperfect graphics drivers (artifacts with nVidia and just plain crap with ATI -- random hangs, poor compiz support, etc.)
2) Inferior DVD and video support.
3) Less than ideal support for printers and horrid support for scanners.
4) Spotty support for peripherals.
5) No commercial professional applications like Photoshop, QuickBooks, Illustrator, etc.


I'm well quite frankly shocked, you must try a Modern Distribution again *since* 1994.

BTW have you looked at the article "commercial professional applications" will move online.

Reply Score: 9

RE[3]: ...
by raver31 on Thu 26th Mar 2009 07:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

You don't get it do you ?
Sites like these and others have 'shills' who do nothing more than spread 'FUD'

FUD means Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Most people around here do not fall for FUD from these shills.

BUT....

The other person was not spreading FUD, there are two parts to his/her argument, read the post again please.



Now: About the REAL shills...

There might be one or two less experienced people who have heard rumours of this system called Linux that their friends have tried and had no problem with, and these people come onto this site to find out more information. So, the shills, like the one you replied to, spout off a load of lies and try to put people off trying Linux. If one person decides to stick with Windows, then their job is done.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that anyone who has a problem with Linux and puts up a story is a shill, but, if you actually read some posts, you wonder if there really are people who are so unfortunate that ALL reported problems over ALL distros affect this ONE person.

Edited 2009-03-26 07:48 UTC

Reply Score: 7

RE[4]: ...
by melgross on Sat 28th Mar 2009 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: ..."
melgross Member since:
2005-08-12

Oh please...

That's one of the worst posts I've read in some time.

If someone doesn't think that Linux is so great for most people, they're a shill?

And I suppose then that those who are trying to get people to use it are pure?

Give us a break!

Not everyone who doesn't like Linux is using Windows either.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: ...
by Clinton on Sun 29th Mar 2009 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: ..."
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

I'm well quite frankly shocked, you must try a Modern Distribution again *since* 1994.


Did you even bother to read what I said?

BTW have you looked at the article "commercial professional applications" will move online.


What does anything mentioning "will" have to do with desktop Linux today? Also, I highly doubt that I'm going to be uploading 300+ megabyte graphic files so I can work on them in Photoshop-online any time soon.

I don't know what you think I said (I'm not sure you even know what you said), but I've been using Linux since 1994 and I am very pleased with it. I haven't used Windows at home since 1994, and I haven't used Windows professionally for about five years, since I was hired to develop software on Linux.

Having said that. Linux is not the perfect desktop. It has flaws that keep many people from using it. If you're too big a fanboy to accept that, how to you expect to ever correct the issues?

Reply Score: 2

RE: ...
by Liquidator on Wed 25th Mar 2009 22:08 UTC in reply to "..."
Liquidator Member since:
2007-03-04

Linux doesn't have to make money, neither do the BSDs. And as long as *some* people use it as a desktop OS, it's usable. Windows can be considered unusable (by some computer illiterate people). So usable really depends on the audience. The Linux desktop has survived for more than 10 years without generating money, it still has a bright future. I don't mean Linux will go mainstream anytime soon, though.

Reply Score: 4

RE: ...
by superstoned on Thu 26th Mar 2009 18:38 UTC in reply to "..."
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Imho they just backed the wrong one. I think the linux desktop only has a chance if it's really beter than the competition. And copying and small improvements don't get you there, you need radical innovation and a willingness to change and take risks. And the best technology to build upon....

Edited 2009-03-26 18:38 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by paws
by paws on Wed 25th Mar 2009 19:31 UTC
paws
Member since:
2007-05-28

Just switched from a Mac to Ubuntu full-time when hardware failure forced me to get a new laptop. I settled on a Lenovo and I'm very happy with it.

To me, Linux isn't the issue. Just like I didn't care about Darwin/XNU, I don't really care about Linux - if anything, I'd prefer BSD cos I'm more familiar with that.

The only thing that matters on the desktop is the interface. GNOME is pretty good, but it's not really great. It's improving daily, though, and I've got a lot of faith in the project - compared to OS X, it seems to be moving forwards as a desktop (GNOME Do FTW!), not sideways into Cover Flow and iPhone integration hell.

I've no idea if Linux is relevant on the corporate desktop or regular people's desktop, but it's not leaving mine any time soon.

Reply Score: 10

Little Misleading here
by cyclops on Wed 25th Mar 2009 19:37 UTC
cyclops
Member since:
2006-03-12

how relevant the desktop itself will be in five years, with the advent of concepts such as cloud-based and smartphone computing and VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

In reality the comment is about *any* desktop including Microsoft's Of Mac OSX. You can argue that he is right or wrong on this.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Little Misleading here
by darknexus on Wed 25th Mar 2009 19:49 UTC in reply to "Little Misleading here"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Nah, cloud computing and the rest are mostly buzz words. I doubt desktops will ever be replaced in the home completely by a cloud, though we're moving that way for a lot of data storage tasks, email and the like. Still, given that a cloud desktop would completely die if your network connection was broken, I don't see it replacing the home desktop--supplementing, yes, but not replacing. I wouldn't want to be prevented from printing out something very important because my internet connection was out and I couldn't use my wordprocessor, for example.

Reply Score: 7

RE[2]: Little Misleading here
by christianhgross on Wed 25th Mar 2009 20:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Little Misleading here"
christianhgross Member since:
2005-11-15

I completely agree with this cloud computing thing.

In the future I actually think we will be doing things quite a bit more segregated.

Look at Slashdot and what happened to wikileaks. This type of behavior is not going down. I know from working in a fund we are completely concerned who owns the servers and where they are physically. And now way in h**l will those servers be located in certain jurisdictions... Too much risk.

It is not that we are doing anything illegal, more like we don't want problems from prying eyes... And these days governments like to pry for no apparent reason other than they want to...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Little Misleading here
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 25th Mar 2009 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Little Misleading here"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Nah, cloud computing and the rest are mostly buzz words.


How timely:

http://www.penny-arcade.com/images/2009/20090325.jpg

Reply Score: 3

RE: Little Misleading here
by wanderingk88 on Wed 25th Mar 2009 19:57 UTC in reply to "Little Misleading here"
wanderingk88 Member since:
2008-06-26

You can pry my desktop machine from my cold, dead hands.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: Little Misleading here
by Coxy on Thu 26th Mar 2009 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Little Misleading here"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

Your proposal is acceptable.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Little Misleading here
by kaiwai on Wed 25th Mar 2009 20:30 UTC in reply to "Little Misleading here"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

how relevant the desktop itself will be in five years, with the advent of concepts such as cloud-based and smartphone computing and VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure).

In reality the comment is about *any* desktop including Microsoft's Of Mac OSX. You can argue that he is right or wrong on this.


The thing is that people have been making claims about the death of the desktop for the last 10 to 15 years and it hasn't happened. There was a claim by Larry Ellison with his NetComputer which never took off, we had Scott McNealy talk about the 'big friggin webtone switch' that never took off. I've seen all the claims and none of them have stepped up and fulfilled what these people prophesied.

People like their desktop, they like their laptop - and there are plenty of people making money off such devices; those who cry the death of such devices are those who couldn't get their act together and make a dollar in that market; here enters Red Hat and so on. Its funny how when these same people suddenly make traction in the market they re-evaluate their soothsaying and say there is life left it in.

Reply Score: 5

kanwar.plaha
Member since:
2006-02-20

Firstly, the beauty of Linux is how it can morph effortlessly from a full-blown server to a desktop to a USB key or even to a supercomputer.

Now, Red Hat has always been Linux for the servers. It has never made sincere efforts like Ubuntu or Mandriva to release their distribution aimed at the desktop. I dumped Red Hat at release 8 or something because it seemed to take forever to customise it as a usable desktop.

With the increasing pressure from netbook market as well as the increasing demand for Linux on the desktop, Red Hat is compelled to release statements every few months about how irrelevant Linux is on the desktop. They will keep vacillating on this issue until it seems like a reality and then proclaim they were the first "real" Linux :-)

Maybe, just maybe, their recent interoperability agreement with Microsoft also has something to do with it.

For all of us who would like to buy a computer with Linux pre-installed, his statements are irrelevant, actually.

My vote definitely goes to Ubuntu for doing the improbable -- getting Linux pre-installed on computers!

Reply Score: 12

de_wizze Member since:
2005-10-31

"Maybe, just maybe, their recent interoperability agreement with Microsoft also has something to do with it."


Whether or not it does have something to do with the agreement, I'm sure Microsoft would have no issues with the competition they deem more of a threat than Apple downplaying efforts into their space.

Reply Score: 3

Apple-Like Model
by runjorel on Wed 25th Mar 2009 21:22 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

I have always been curious to know if something like a Apple-Like model work with Linux. I think there are a few things holding it back.

1) Open source software needs to become more familiar to the general public. Do they need to know politics, or even what open source or free software is? NO!! They just need to say something like (example), "Wow, I think this Amarok thing is way better than iTunes or WMP. I'm going to use this all the time."

2) Some open source software needs to become the defacto standard software of its industry OR the defacto standard software needs to run on linux. For example, Microsoft Office, Adobe Dreamweaver, and Adobe Photoshop are the defacto tools of their respective industries. Whether they are good tools or not is not what matters...what matters it that people WANT a computer that can run such 'standard' software (even if they really never install it or use it, they just want to feel secure enough that they are able to do it). Right now OSX and Windows can do this, but Linux cannot, natively at least, do this.

3) While there have been many great advances in Linux, even with all of the supported hardware in the world there are still many times when someone has to do something in the command line. For someone who wants to learn about computers, convincing them to try or use the command line is OK. For others, it loses their interest completely. Linux needs to get over this hump 100% of the way.

4) There is nothing significant you can do in linux (from the general public's point of view) that you cannot do in Windows or OS X.

While I am no expert, I have tried many times myself to primarily use Linux as well as convince even some of my other tech friends to primarily use it. We all run into the same problems. Something stops working and don't know why (and you can only do so much forum trawling), something doesn't look cool, or there is some app (from school or work) we need to run but it will only run on OS X or Windows.

Sorry for the essay. Thanks for taking my 2cents (more like 50) on the matter for what it's worth.

Reply Score: 4

desktop unix
by sprewell on Wed 25th Mar 2009 21:27 UTC
sprewell
Member since:
2009-03-25

He's right, the reason desktop linux hasn't taken off is because of simple economics and that is why it'll never take off. That's why I've written up an idea for a better software license that will actually allow the open development process of open source to get somewhere and you can read about that here: http://hybrid.jaggeri.com The basic problem with desktop linux is that you can never sell a product that anybody else can take for free. Enterprise linux companies like Red Hat get around this by selling linux support to large companies, that's one of the few niches where open source can work. That support model doesn't work on the desktop however and the traditional product model definitely doesn't. You can also read a discussion that I had with Eric Raymond about this: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=658

Reply Score: 3

dimosd
Member since:
2006-02-10

"First of all, I don't know how to make money on it,"Whitehurst said. "Very few people are running a desktop that's mission-critical," so they do not want to pay the company for a desktop OS, he said


Linux wasn't invented in America and it's a good thing it's not (entirely) in its hands...

Hint: It wasn't invented with the goal of making money. It "just happened".

Edited 2009-03-26 02:04 UTC

Reply Score: 5

That's Okay
by TheIdiotThatIsMe on Thu 26th Mar 2009 02:09 UTC
TheIdiotThatIsMe
Member since:
2006-06-17

If Red Hat doesn't know how to make money on Desktop Linux, then I don't blame them for not going after it. They're mostly in the server arena anyways, so it may not make business sense for them. I do disagree about the irrelevance of desktops in general, definitely, and even Desktop Linux, but if it's not for them I'm not going to hold it against them. Other companies are going to try, and we'll see if they work out or not.

There are companies that are going for a complete end-to-end solution, with both Linux desktops and servers, such as Novell. To them, there is potential there, and hopefully they will be able get a good crack in it. If they can't, another company will come and try. Canonical got it's fame in the Desktop Linux arena, and have moved from there into servers.

Edit: Sorry, in the article it does say that Red Hat has a desktop offering for customers who ask for it. It still seems though as it's more seen as a have-to, instead of an interest, and lack of push, like with what's done by Red Hat's competitors.

I am a regular consumer, and a regular Linux desktop user. I don't need it to be good enough for someone else, have commercial applications, or be mainstream. It fits just fine for what I do. And the operating system and it's software saves me a lot of money, as a consumer. Using it as I do now, I would be happy to pay a reasonable amount for it, although there is no paid version of the distribution I happen to run.

Edit: Also, there are companies who make money off of Linux: System76 and ZaReason are two that come to mind. They're not so much Linux software companies, but they're certainly a part of the Linux (and Desktop) ecosystems, and earning money on the Linux Desktop.

Edited 2009-03-26 02:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: That's Okay
by dimosd on Thu 26th Mar 2009 02:20 UTC in reply to "That's Okay"
dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

If Red Hat doesn't know how to make money on Desktop Linux, then I don't blame them for not going after it.


I see your point. But if desktop worked for e.g. MS, it's because they put the right amount of effort and money behind it. Can you say the same happened for Linux? I say it was early on "doomed" to be run only in servers and by computers geeks, scientists, enterprises etc. and not the general "money making" public.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: That's Okay
by Rahul on Thu 26th Mar 2009 06:37 UTC in reply to "RE: That's Okay"
Rahul Member since:
2005-07-06

Red Hat does continue to pull a lot of money on desktop software because it still helps its customers. Refer

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Red_Hat_contributions

I haven't seen the entire debate yet so I can't really say whether the press is reflecting it right but it appears the original debate is very focused on the feasibility of commercial success of a separate consumer focused product and whether it makes business sense to do so since it is a open source *business* conference after all.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting Comments
by NathanHill on Thu 26th Mar 2009 02:49 UTC
NathanHill
Member since:
2006-10-06

I can't pass off on these comments by Redhat's CEO - they seem interesting to me. I do think we are shifting toward more of a cloud computing model, especially with smaller devices. Just the emergence of laptops and netbooks suggests that people's needs in computing are flexible. We can do the same with less, and having nice big integrated websites means we don't need a bunch of software applications.

The only way I think Linux as a moneymaker would work is to go the Apple way. Be a hardware and software developer, starting with Linux. The hardware wouldn't be tough - just get a standard laptop configuration and standard desktop configuration. Support 1-2 video cards. Support one processor type. Support one ethernet, one wireless, one audio, etc.. So we are talking a hardware line of 1-2 motherboards and a very narrow range of devices. Then, make them completely compatible - write the drivers or expand on the drivers or whatever. Update the hardware 1 time a year.

Then, kick KDE and GNOME to the curb. Start with the kernel, but cut stuff out. Take only the absolute best open source applications (meaning OpenOffice out, GIMP out, etc..). Maybe that leaves Transmission? A handful of others? Port Bean from Mac OS X to Linux (best open source word processing app out there). Build everything from the ground up, using what you can that is out there. Throw away legacy support in code. Build it on an integrated cohesive model - the apps have to look the same or they are out. Have developers who have new ideas, good software ideas, consistent ideas.

Name yourself after a fruit, perhaps. Maybe Grapefruit Computers? Ha.

Otherwise, I don't know how else you do it. Linux has made definite improvements, but it's still such a mess. I have Ubuntu dual booting on my old Dell, but I haven't booted into it in like six months. There's just nothing for me there.

But good luck to those who try... and to those who keep plugging away at it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Interesting Comments
by dimosd on Thu 26th Mar 2009 04:01 UTC in reply to "Interesting Comments"
dimosd Member since:
2006-02-10

Otherwise, I don't know how else you do it. Linux has made definite improvements, but it's still such a mess. I have Ubuntu dual booting on my old Dell, but I haven't booted into it in like six months. There's just nothing for me there.


Heh... Yesterday I wrote a 3 line patch for an open source program, to make it behave according to my needs. I couldn't possibly have done it with Windows or MacOSX...

But good luck to those who try... and to those who keep plugging away at it


Unlike 99.9% of people on earth right now, I am simply not interested in owning hardware I can't tweak. I guess I am just weird, but I like computers

Edited 2009-03-26 04:12 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Interesting Comments
by Coxy on Thu 26th Mar 2009 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting Comments"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

Heh... Yesterday I wrote a 3 line patch for an open source program, to make it behave according to my needs. I couldn't possibly have done it with Windows or MacOSX...


... and you wouldn't need to either because they don't take 10 years to make it 1.0 and don't stay in perpetual beta/alpha states like open source software.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Interesting Comments
by darknexus on Thu 26th Mar 2009 12:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting Comments"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

No, most closed source software slaps a 1.0 version number on it whether it's ready or not, because their marketing department determines it must be released on a certain date. Even when that's not the case, there's generally not enough testing done at most x.0 releases no matter if you're talking open or closed source. Want a good example of a closed source, piece of crap software? iTunes version 8.1, have a look at that. Oh, it looks slick, sure, but they made some serious regressions in the QA department between 8.0.2 and 8.1, and that's not even a .0 release.
Open or closed source isn't what determines a good product, it's design and testing that distinguishes a piece of crap from a work of good engineering. I've seen some closed source software that absolutely sucked, and I've seen some that was excellent, likewise with open source software.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Interesting Comments
by dbolgheroni on Thu 26th Mar 2009 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting Comments"
dbolgheroni Member since:
2007-01-18

"Wow, Windows is almost at level (opz, version) 7 where Linux is still at version 2! Wow, how advanced it is!"

A lot of 0.x free software works a lot better than the market 7.x, 8.x, etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Interesting Comments
by melgross on Sat 28th Mar 2009 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting Comments"
melgross Member since:
2005-08-12

The difficulty is that when talking about Linux for the desktop, we're talking about people who CAN'T write a few lines of code to fix some "problem" for themselves.

It always seems to be the nerds who run about talking about Linux for the desktop, forgetting that 99.9% of the computer using population couldn't care less about what nerds think.

Reply Score: 1

He is kind of right
by moondevil on Thu 26th Mar 2009 11:35 UTC
moondevil
Member since:
2005-07-08

I love Linux and been working with it since 1994. On my first installation, I had to install from the hard drive because my CD-ROM drive was still unsupported. E-IDE support was just starting to be added to the kernel.

Now we are in 2009, and even though most of my work gets deployed into Linux servers, my private laptop runs XP.

How can I say that I love Linux and have a XP laptop?

Simple, I got fed up of tinkering with configuration files to make my WiFi work, my screen resolution be right one and so forth.

So we are in 2009, my current laptop is 4 years old now, and I still can't find a distribution that supports all the laptop hardware. And what is worse, whatever Linux distribution I do install, the fan always runs full speed!

Sure I could have researched to buy a laptop where Linux would run without problems, but I don't have time anylonger to spend months looking for something.

On my last laptop, it took me two months to get a WiFi PC Card that would work with Linux!

So if you have a desktop PC and don't play games, Linux is already quite good. On the other hand if you're an avid gamer or need proper laptop support, you will face some problems.

Reply Score: 1

segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

I believe that there's definitely money to be made with desktop Linux, it's just that no one found the right business model yet (Canonical isn't making any either).

Nope. No business model is going to save you if your technology is pants and you don't have an adequate platform for people to develop software off the back of and for users to get access to it.

You know, when Steve Ballmer said "Developers, developers, developers, developers" I sort of assumed everyone knew what that meant. Quite clearly no one does.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

No business model is going to save you if your technology is pants


Are you sure? MSDOS certainly was pants and almost developer unfriendly. Windows was pretty pants too until fairly late into Win95.

Edited 2009-03-26 17:54 UTC

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Are you sure? MSDOS certainly was pants and almost developer unfriendly. Windows was pretty pants too until fairly late into Win95.

Two things:

1. Developers had a decent platform to develop for.

2. With Windows, users could get access to that software and install it on their systems easily. This is one of the reasons why Linux has gazumped Unix.

There are a ton of ramifications there, but that's basically what you need in a nutshell.

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

1. Developers had a decent platform to develop for.


You never did develop for DOS did you? Decent platform is not a word that applies.

There are a ton of ramifications there, but that's basically what you need in a nutshell.


And DOS had neither and Windows didn't have it until way into it's life cycle. What was your point again?

Edited 2009-03-26 18:48 UTC

Reply Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

You never did develop for DOS did you? Decent platform is not a word that applies.

Did you try to develop for anything else? Macs have always had some bizarre quirks and a complete disdain for backwards compatibility. The state of Unix at the time was several exceptionally expensive Unixes that followed the Unix 'standard' but had totally incompatible userspaces. IBM had no clue whatsoever what it was doing with OS/2.

DOS seemed like heaven in comparison, but I digress.

And DOS had neither and Windows didn't have it until way into it's life cycle. What was your point again?

I'm afraid moping around over the past in denial of what actually happened isn't going to help desktop Linux acquire what it needs to move forwards.

DOS didn't become truly entrenched in the way that Windows did because of those very things I mentioned. Yer, there were lots of DOS applications around because it was just about manageable to develop for, but there was a time when Mac OS, a Unix or OS/2 could have prevented the almost complete monopoly that followed. They didn't because Windows came in and gave developers a reasonable development platform and an installation method that no other client system could provide.

1. Developers target a sizeable installed base.

2. Users want applications on their computers.

3. Developers need a way of developing applications and need far reaching APIs to do pretty much anything.

4. Developers need a way of packaging applications and getting them to users.

5. Users need a way of getting applications and using them.

6. Developers need to be confident that their applications will work in the next version of the platform they develop for.

7. Users want to know that their applications will still work when they upgrade.

8. Go to 1.

For a anyone else to get a slice of that pie it has to work out how to break into that cycle. By asking what my point was it reinforces to me just how clueless people are about what happened and why.

Reply Score: 1

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Couldn't agree more.

Turbo Pascal/C with Turbo Vision and later with OWL were very nice tools to use.

I still remember being like in Programmers' Heaven when I started developing for Windows 3.1.

On those days I hardly knew Unix and you had to be pretty rich to get a Mac in Portugal, so PCs were the only game in town.

Reply Score: 1

Sour grapes
by pantheraleo on Thu 26th Mar 2009 20:05 UTC
pantheraleo
Member since:
2007-03-07

Red Hat is just sour grapes cause they gave up on Linux on the desktop (officially years ago), and Ubuntu has accomplished what Red Hat could not.

Edited 2009-03-26 20:05 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Sour grapes
by segedunum on Thu 26th Mar 2009 22:38 UTC in reply to "Sour grapes"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu has accomplished what Red Hat could not.

What would that be exactly?

If you take several steps back from your own world then you'll see that Ubuntu has advanced desktop Linux no further forward than an asthmatic ant with some very heavy shopping - despite the hype.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Sour grapes
by deb2006 on Fri 27th Mar 2009 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Sour grapes"
deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

Nope - totally wrong. Ubuntu has achieved a lot. They have appeared virtually out of nowhere, and they have taken the Linux desktop in a storm. They have managed to very quickly build a very user friendly Linux distribution - something Debian should have done years ago. And no, Mandriva hasn't achieved that, nor have SUSE or Red Hat. And they've managed to convince even hardcore Windows user to take a closer look at their achievement. Nowadays total beginners pop in a Ubuntu CD and install their distribution in a hitch. As THAT isn't a huge, huge achievement.

Reply Score: 2

UncleWarthog
Member since:
2009-03-26

It seems to me that there's more to this than what he's saying. Maybe it's matter of "we don't feel we can make money from it so we'll gainsay the market so publicly that nobody else can either". If I were of a more conspiracy-theorist bent, I might think that bad-mouthing Linux on the desktop might be part of their new agreement with Microsoft, but they were doing so well before that so I don't think that's it.

As far as I can see, they want to keep out of the desktop market to avoid cannibalizing their server market and all the bad-mouthing is just a way to avoid saying so. The reasoning is fairly obvious: just about any good desktop Linux distribution can make a pretty good light- to medium-duty server as well. Red Hat's older distributions before they started concentrating on servers only were well known for it. Now, Red Hat offers nothing in that category: all of their current offerings are not general-purpose enough to make a good desktop, light duty server, or enterprise server from the same distribution. The current "desktop" offering, Fedora, is changed far too often and is far too bleeding-edge (read: unstable) for good use as a server. I think Red Hat like it that way.

Reply Score: 1

deb2006
Member since:
2006-06-26

... and enterprise servers. So Red Hat - altho it releases a Linux distribution - actually has no bloody idea about the desktop. It's not their business, and they don't give a damn about it. So why does Red Hat mention the desktop at all? Well, some years back Sun claimed the desktop was all dead and all there was was the network as the computer. Well, the network is there, but traditional computers have not vanished. They have become smaller (laptops, netbooks etc.), but they're still there. And they will stay. People don't just give their personal data to some "net". Why should they trust this "net"?

Just because someone with no interest in the desktop claims it's actually dead or surpassed [by what?] does not mean anything. It's as relevant as Sun's statement - and that has vanished into nirvana.

Reply Score: 2

Desktop Linux
by ralphcarlsonjr on Fri 27th Mar 2009 20:35 UTC
ralphcarlsonjr
Member since:
2007-12-29

Linux needs some standards in order to be a mainstream desktop system. Having a minor percent of advanced users using it doesnt count. Standard package distributions , file locations and configurations etc. Right now these are not there and new users have a big learning curve when trying to use the system. Not to mention mp3's and other cool toys are disabled in most distros by default due to rights limitations, which doesnt help either. Its a good OS but is not average user friendly. Companies are not going to target their software to it without standards, it just is not worth the cost. And every advanced developer who comes along can't start there own distribution, that just hurts the cause

Reply Score: 1

RE: Desktop Linux
by deb2006 on Fri 27th Mar 2009 20:45 UTC in reply to "Desktop Linux"
deb2006 Member since:
2006-06-26

Linux needs some standards in order to be a mainstream desktop system. Having a minor percent of advanced users using it doesnt count. Standard package distributions , file locations and configurations etc.
Right now these are not there and new users have a big learning curve when trying to use the system.


It's there: Linux Standard Base (LSB). Not yet perfect, but almost ;)

Not to mention mp3's and other cool toys are disabled in most distros by default due to rights limitations, which doesnt help either.


A commercial Linux distribution such as SUSE has mp3 etc. support out of the box. Free distributions such as Debian cannot ship support for mp3 because of legal limitations. NB: Why should I use inferior mp3 to superior ogg? Not clear to me ...


Its a good OS but is not average user friendly.


I think Ubuntu is very much. Many Windows users are trying it. That's a very hopeful sign, I believe.



Companies are not going to target their software to it without standards, it just is not worth the cost. And every advanced developer who comes along can't start there own distribution, that just hurts the cause


Again, there ARE enough standards. What standard are you referring to? The Windows standard? Linux is not Windows, and that is a good thing. Despite this you can use Ubuntu without even touching the console once.

I love different distributions. What's wrong with that? It's choice, remember? Something a Windows user is not used to anymore. Oh, I have choice. Oh, that's frightening ...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Desktop Linux
by ralphcarlsonjr on Sat 28th Mar 2009 03:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Desktop Linux"
ralphcarlsonjr Member since:
2007-12-29

It's there: Linux Standard Base (LSB). Not yet perfect, but almost
- debian using .deb, rpms, compiling packages not avaliable in rpm's (yah like my relatives are going to ./configure; make; make install; make clean; (like never)

A commercial Linux distribution such as SUSE has mp3 etc. support out of the box. Free distributions such as Debian cannot ship support for mp3 because of legal limitations. NB: Why should I use inferior mp3 to superior ogg? Not clear to me ...

- most pay sites, majority of players use mp3, ogg is not out there as much yet and targeted by companies (music players - portable)


I think Ubuntu is very much. Many Windows users are trying it. That's a very hopeful sign, I believe.
- ask one of your non-computer expert relatives to try it, I do and they get easily frustrated, unable to determine where there files are located, apps are located, not easily to change the menus in some gui's,

Again, there ARE enough standards. What standard are you referring to? The Windows standard? Linux is not Windows, and that is a good thing. Despite this you can use Ubuntu without even touching the console once.
- ya and they are browser standards also, only problem is every browser ignores then and has its own quirks, so my web site code is filled with if (ie5) bla bla, if (firefox) bla bla, same thing with linux, I have books on each distro that I use, I dont have any books on windows (except coding), no need it is easy and every application created installs and acts in almost the same way. Everyone loves to hate windows , not the U.S. export business or companies like photoshop that target windows users. I would personally love to drop windows and use only linux, problem is 90% of the software I need to work and play use windows and are not portable to linux/wine.


I love different distributions. What's wrong with that? It's choice, remember? Something a Windows user is not used to anymore. Oh, I have choice. Oh, that's frightening ...
- have you ever had your family, wife , parents, etc.. pick out a tv, car, furniture, sometimes simple things like place to eat ;) lets try that with linux distros they will be using everyday and see how easy it goes.

*NOTE* I am talking about windows xp, windows vista is junk, my hp laptop came with vista and I went through hell getting vista off and xp on but am glad I did, vista is a bug not an operating system ;)

Edited 2009-03-28 03:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1