Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Jul 2009 21:38 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes It's time for another "OSNews asks" item. This time, I want to focus on something that I've been wanting to talk about with you all before, but never found the time for. The question is simple: which feature(s) from other operating systems would you like to see in your own main operating system?
Order by: Score:
OK, here is my list
by kragil on Wed 15th Jul 2009 21:48 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

I am using Debian Squeeze KDE4 and I would like to have:

1. The graphics subsystem from Windows Version 6.1 (as FOSS for all chips)
2. Unified drag and drop software installs for desktop apps (kinda like OSX, but + central update feature)
3. Dtrace/ZFS from Solaris
4. Shutdown times from AmigaOS
5. Universal app store/market from Android/iPhoneOS
7. HAMMER from Dragonfly
8. Realtime from RHEL


Gladly most of this stuff is in the pipeline (or very similar things)

Reply Score: 2

RE: OK, here is my list
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:00 UTC in reply to "OK, here is my list"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Hammer has always intrigued me. I'd love to see it get more use so that I might trust it a bit more.

Reply Score: 2

RE: OK, here is my list
by judgen on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:45 UTC in reply to "OK, here is my list"
judgen Member since:
2006-07-12

I love the amiga (classic)and c64 boot times too as well as shutdown.

In short what i am addicted to in BeOS is the exact same things Thom mentioned, (send to back and d-click to minimize) but something i also is missing from most window decors is the tabs of BeOS so that you can teach the desktop no matter how many windows you have maximized. This would be pointless if the desktop has as little usage as in windows. (storing icons and providing the screen preferences panel) In BeOS the desktop was used through a zsnake to browser the entire filesystem if you liked. File managers in all glory, but ill take the snake for quick operations any day. Something else i miss in most OS'es is Forced theming, so that a toolkit could be forced to use the system style of the users choise. ie: I hate the windows live messenger as it does not fit in with XP style and uses way too much screen estate... but some people like it i guess, but im still using the old messenger 4.* when on windows as its still there and works fine for my needs. Oh well... i guess i should call it quits here before my comment gets unreadable.
Cheerio, pip, pip and so on..

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Wed 15th Jul 2009 21:50 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I use OS X as my primary OS.
Things I would like to see:

• OpenSolaris’ Time Slider (ZFS snapshots). Time Machine is just too slow over the air, and the one folder-one view blinkers on Time Machine make it less effective. Also the detatched UI is just outright odd. Having to click a dock item, or menubar item to access Time Machine for iPhoto / Mail.app / &c. is so odd I more often than not forget that the functionality is even there.

• RISC OS’ save panel. Instead of a file picker, it presents you a proxy icon of your file, and you drag it to where in the file system you want your file to be. Totally magical and elegant.

• Windows’ Task Manager. When the system locks up, there’s just nothing as low-level as Ctrl+Alt+Del in Mac OS X. There’s Cmd+Opt+Escape, but to be honest it has never once worked when OS X has locked up badly on me.

• Amiga’s shutdown. Power button, done.

• BeOS’ do-it-with-meta approach to filing. iTunes DB die die die! All of that should be done entirely at the filesystem level.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Kroc
by alexandru_lz on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:10 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

If you can live with putting your computer to sleep, I think that's already around. I use this with my Mac Mini -- the power button simply puts it to sleep and it's more convenient for me, instant-on, no boot times and the computer is like I've left it. It also allows me to bitch about the output of the uptime command.

What I do miss from OS X is a unified package manager. The problems are not just in updating applications; Gentoo's portage and FreeBSD's ports collection are a great way for me to keep all the libraries I'm working with up to date. Right now I have to rely on a bunch of scripts I've hacked by myself to download the latest versions and compile them, which feels rather shaky and requires some intervention from me.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

What I do miss from OS X is a unified package manager. The problems are not just in updating applications; Gentoo's portage and FreeBSD's ports collection are a great way for me to keep all the libraries I'm working with up to date. Right now I have to rely on a bunch of scripts I've hacked by myself to download the latest versions and compile them, which feels rather shaky and requires some intervention from me.


Are you manually compiling Unix apps? Or open-source OS X apps?

There's a couple of different ports tree available for MacOS X (fink, macports, I think darwinports, pkgsrc). Why aren't you using those?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by bralkein on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:57 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

• Windows’ Task Manager. When the system locks up, there’s just nothing as low-level as Ctrl+Alt+Del in Mac OS X. There’s Cmd+Opt+Escape, but to be honest it has never once worked when OS X has locked up badly on me.


I love on KDE that xkill is by default bound to ctrl-alt-esc. When a program is misbehaving, press that magic combo and the cursor turns into a skull and crossbones. Click the window which is being bad and BAM! it dies instantly, with none of the waiting around like on Windows!

Okay so it doesn't work on console apps, but for that you can just do run command and killall -9 foo.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by Wowbagger on Thu 16th Jul 2009 07:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

More than that I'd love to have a "restart X" or in OS X's case a "restart Quartz" keyboard shortcut (as you have with X11 or Xorg) to simply kill the GUI and restart it.

Whenever OS X locks up on me (rarely enough, though) it's always the GUI only the underlying system keeps on running nicely.

Sometimes I can login via ssh and kill the GUI from there so it'll log me out and go back to the login window, but I don't have ssh remote login enabled all the time on my box.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Kroc
by google_ninja on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Kroc"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

The waiting time in windows is because it tries to shut it down gracefully first, so if the process has any cleanup it is able to do it. If you don't like/want the timeout, killing it from the process tab instead of the applications tab will not wait.

Also, the equivilent to killall on the commandline is taskkill /F /T /IM <executable name>. taskkill is sort of like kill and killall in one app, which is why you have to specify all those flags to tell it what exactly you want to do.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Kroc
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I use OS X as my primary OS.
Things I would like to see:

• OpenSolaris’ Time Slider (ZFS snapshots). Time Machine is just too slow over the air, and the one folder-one view blinkers on Time Machine make it less effective. Also the detatched UI is just outright odd. Having to click a dock item, or menubar item to access Time Machine for iPhoto / Mail.app / &c. is so odd I more often than not forget that the functionality is even there.


Having something like this available for all the OSes that support ZFS would be nice. Especially if it was incorporated into more than just Nautilus.

ZFS and Time Machine seem like they were made for each other. It's strange that they haven't been melded together yet.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Kroc
by mlankton on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
mlankton Member since:
2009-06-11

Re.: OSX having nothing that functions as well as Windows Task Manager:

Nonsense. Use top from a terminal.

Edited 2009-07-16 16:38 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by Kroc
by sumone on Sat 18th Jul 2009 18:47 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
sumone Member since:
2007-02-11

I could trade any other app for OS X's Automator.

I use Windows and something as easy to use as Automator for Windows but based on PowerShell is sorely needed! By all aspects (completeness, ease of scripting, time saving age of Web 2.0, GUI power), this is way overdue, since Apple already has it for quite some time now.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Elv13
by Elv13 on Wed 15th Jul 2009 21:52 UTC
Elv13
Member since:
2006-06-12

Most time, when I miss something, I code it, but for some things, I just can't (alone).

What (Linux) miss is integration between applications and between application and web services. In Gnome, all applications are different and sometime inconsistent (configs dialog is a good example). Mix OpenOffice with Pidgin, Gimp, Cinelerra and Inkscape, do you get any consistency?

KDE is in much better shape with KIO, Kparts and HIG being actually followed (I did not say that they were perfect, I just say they were followed). But even there, it does not feel like Mac OSX in term of consistency, coherence and "learn one, know them all" type of computer experiences.

Of course, most reader here are true alternative OS geeks, for many of us, mainly the veterans, we can deal with semi working incoherent applications by using many apps to do a single jobs instead of only one. Many of us like that (including me) and see of this way of doing things is part of true power users methods, but if we think about it, most of you will agree with me that it does not make that much sense in itself, we just give sense to it.

Mac OS 10 is boring, but it is because the experience is so straightforward that we just don't notice it, not because it is bad. Linux miss this reality, and if we want the "years of Linux on the desktop" to even happen, projects have to communication en put emphasis on interface and work flow standardization.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Elv13
by somebody on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by Elv13"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

What (Linux) miss is integration between applications and between application and web services. In Gnome, all applications are different and sometime inconsistent (configs dialog is a good example). Mix OpenOffice with Pidgin, Gimp, Cinelerra and Inkscape, do you get any consistency?

lol and.... wtf? OpenOffice is not Gnome... It uses own toolkit. Cinelerra... Again... not gnome, it is Motif I think. Inkscape... I agree, but that is Inkscape fault and not gnomes, Inkscape simply doesn't follow gnome HIG... Inkscape is not part of gnome. Pidgin is the only software you actually guessed right, yes... it is gnome and it behaves like gnome. Gimp is gtk, but still I find its behaviour more or less gnome hig like,

I use Abiword/Gnumeric instead of OO.o, epiphany instead of firefox (firefox is actually the first thing that flies off my computers since webkit), after that my desktop is really consistant

Of course, most reader here are true alternative OS geeks, for many of us, mainly the veterans, we can deal with semi working incoherent applications by using many apps to do a single jobs instead of only one. Many of us like that (including me) and see of this way of doing things is part of true power users methods, but if we think about it, most of you will agree with me that it does not make that much sense in itself, we just give sense to it.

lol, guess veterans prefer best tool over coherent desktop. as you said you don't use desktop, you use random software.

Mac OS 10 is boring, but it is because the experience is so straightforward that we just don't notice it, not because it is bad. Linux miss this reality, and if we want the "years of Linux on the desktop" to even happen, projects have to communication en put emphasis on interface and work flow standardization.

Again, start using pure gnome or pure kde before talking about standardization.

But with OSX being boring, with that I agree, but not so much boring as counterproductive for ppl used to optimize their environment.

And what I miss from my gnome desktop? Nothing really. I have to install gnome-do and gnome global menu (second only on my single monitor setups) otherwise I'm more or less covered with my own applications (yes... I write what I need)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Elv13
by Elv13 on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Elv13"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

When I say gnome, I say gtk-ish side of Linux and OpenOffice support "integration with gnome" (and dropped KDE). I just say that when you look at all these apps, they don't behave the same at all but are installed together (except cinelerra) on default distributions desktop.

In Mac OS, all (Carbon/Cocoa, not unsupported X11 port) application look native and similar, something that you don't find in Linux. That's my point and I really think it is a valid one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Elv13
by somebody on Thu 16th Jul 2009 01:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Elv13"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

When I say gnome, I say gtk-ish side of Linux and OpenOffice support "integration with gnome" (and dropped KDE). I just say that when you look at all these apps, they don't behave the same at all but are installed together (except cinelerra) on default distributions desktop.

gtk is only small integral part of gnome. OpenOffice just uses theme that behaves according to default gnome theme and gtk open/save dialogs. Just watch widgets in open/save and for example Properties in OO.o. They aren't the same. you mix distro defaults with desktop defaults. if you change gnome with distribution name your comments would gain on validity

In Mac OS, all (Carbon/Cocoa, not unsupported X11 port) application look native and similar, something that you don't find in Linux. That's my point and I really think it is a valid one.

It is valid yes. But it is so much easier when cooks are the same (you used only apple based frameworks, OSX has a lot of them). This is why I use only pure gnome applications. If you use some X11 software on OSX it looks outlandish, if you use java app... result is the same. Many cooks, many flavors.

But then again, themes were always the sucky and inconsistent part of OSX, The ohh so many themes on OSX. Maybe that got a little better, I don't know... I avoid mac like plague. Last time I was forced to use mac (2 months ago) I rather went to half broken windows machine after 15 minutes of counterproductive work on mac with leopard. But then again my needs were specific... a lot of terminal, a little browsing, and boy ohh boy does mac terminal suck (but not so much as default mac keyboard and mighty(???) mouse).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Elv13
by motang on Thu 16th Jul 2009 22:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Elv13"
motang Member since:
2008-03-27

Try Launchy for Windows, it's awesome!

Reply Score: 1

Simple Sound Management
by fretinator on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:01 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

Despite the gazillian frameworks in Linux (OSS / Alsa / Jack / ESD/ ARTS / PulseAudio), sound has always been an adventure for me. Sometimes it all works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the Mic works, and sometimes it doesn't. I can never remember what it is I have to change to get my Mic to work in Ubntu, so I open up the Volume Control settings and start messing around with Mic / Line Input / Capture / Jack Sense/ Blah / Blah). Eventually the mic works. For a while. After a kernel upgrade or two, I have to do it all again.

Simple sound management would be a great boon. Despite all the changes, it really doesn't seem to be that much better than my early Linux days. Heaven forbid I should plug in something like a USB TV card. I did that, and the video worked fine. But I could never figure out how to get the audio from the TV card (which is basically a USB audio device) to go to the other sound card and come out my speakers. The TV card had no sound output ports. It was expected to use your internal sound card. I was down to even piping /dev entries manually at the command-line, still never worked.

Sound in general seems to be a real hit and miss in the Linux/BSD world. Please do not replay with "here's how to get it to work..." or "all you need to do is". That's not my point.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Simple Sound Management
by mechanyx on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:17 UTC in reply to "Simple Sound Management"
mechanyx Member since:
2007-04-05

Audio is the biggest problem with Linux. Hardware support for professional audio hardware lags very far behind if it even materializes at all and then configuring a system to have acceptable latencies for pro audio work usually involves a kernel path for real time capabilities and a recompile. Then you have to figure out how to get your various applications to talk to whatever sound server you're using. While a lot of the applications that subscribe to UNIX philosophy of do one thing and do it well are really great, most of the heavier applications are sorely lacking. Ardour comes up short against Pro Tools (at least last time I tried using it) and I've yet to find any notation software that allowed me to score ametrical microtonal music which I can do in Finale.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Simple Sound Management
by fukudasan on Thu 16th Jul 2009 05:46 UTC in reply to "Simple Sound Management"
fukudasan Member since:
2006-06-04

Despite the gazillian frameworks in Linux (OSS / Alsa / Jack / ESD/ ARTS / PulseAudio), sound has always been an adventure for me. Sometimes it all works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the Mic works, and sometimes it doesn't. I can never remember what it is I have to change to get my Mic to work in Ubntu, so I open up the Volume Control settings and start messing around with Mic / Line Input / Capture / Jack Sense/ Blah / Blah). Eventually the mic works. For a while. After a kernel upgrade or two, I have to do it all again.

Simple sound management would be a great boon. Despite all the changes, it really doesn't seem to be that much better than my early Linux days. Heaven forbid I should plug in something like a USB TV card. I did that, and the video worked fine. But I could never figure out how to get the audio from the TV card (which is basically a USB audio device) to go to the other sound card and come out my speakers. The TV card had no sound output ports. It was expected to use your internal sound card. I was down to even piping /dev entries manually at the command-line, still never worked.

Sound in general seems to be a real hit and miss in the Linux/BSD world. Please do not replay with "here's how to get it to work..." or "all you need to do is". That's not my point.


Pretty much the same here . . . normally sound on (Mandriva in my case) Linux (using KDE) is no problem, I have no problems playing music, but when I want to use Skype to call Blighty (usually a bank), suddenly I have to look at about three different control panels including Aumix before I finally figure out where the problem lies.

However, since getting KDE 4.2.x properly configured for this, I don't seem to be having any problems. XP Pro, on the same machine, using the same service (i.e. Skype) _always_ seems to turn off some microphone-related capability and you have to go digging again.

Generally speaking, the only function missing in Mandriva 2009.1 that I might conceivably want to use is a webcam; everything else seems fine, although the transition from KDE 3.5.9 to KDE 4.2.x seems to be losing functions. Example: SoftMaker Office still works fine on my laptop (Mandriva 2008.1) but has problems rendering fonts and other things visual under KDE 4.2.x on my desktop.

Also generally speaking, however, I do not complain too much about thngs under Linux. For example, the other week I picked up an expensive new Epson Stylus Photo 1390 (for large graphical printing, schoolwork-related) and of course, the thing came with driver software . . . for Windows. Then a few nights later I got it working (properly, as far as I can tell) under Linux and once you have the right specific information, it's a doddle. Turned out several models use the same driver, just install that and then it was all easy, and in fact a much faster process than the CD under Windows. But then I am not on much of a learning curve nowadays. Just Google it, and learn . . .

As one ex-work colleague here in Korea would say: whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Maybe comparing the ease of one thing under one OS with the perceived difficulty of same under another OS is not telling us much - except perhaps that a computer is complicated, "ease of use" is a collective delusion and the more you learn, the easier any task becomes.

Reply Score: 1

missing features
by JoshB on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:07 UTC
JoshB
Member since:
2009-07-15

I've run for extended periods of time Windows (that's unavoidable with where I work), Mac OS X (bought a macbook for school and used it for about a year before selling it), BeOS (used it for several months until I realized the company had closed and compatibility was becoming an issue) and Linux (I went through about ten distros, probably a month at a time each, before settling on Ubuntu).

I don't really like Windows. As was mentioned, Mac OS X is boring, BeOS is great but not feasible, which leaves me with what I run now: Linux. The only thing I wish it had that it does not is the aforementioned expose (which I used on the Mac constantly and absolutely loved) and spotlight (the implementation on the mac just seems better than other similar search utilities). Knowing linux there's probably someone that's made some compiz add-on for expose, and someone else who has made a version of spotlight, I just haven't found them yet. Any one have any suggestions?

Reply Score: 2

RE: missing features
by Elv13 on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:36 UTC in reply to "missing features"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

The Exposé compix plugin come by default. Just install compiz-settings-manager and enable it. KWin Exposé plugin is even enabled by default.

About spotlight, Beagle is close. But KDE Alt+F2 with strigi+nepomuk enabled (some distro disable them for performances issue) is sometime better. I also heard about gnome-do, but I did not tester it, I don't know if it handle files, but probably.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: missing features
by JoshB on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:53 UTC in reply to "RE: missing features"
JoshB Member since:
2009-07-15

Thanks, I'll have to give those a try when I get home!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: missing features
by Tom9729 on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE: missing features"
Tom9729 Member since:
2008-12-09

The Gnome deskbar applet is much more like spotlight.

Reply Score: 1

RE: missing features
by mlankton on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:37 UTC in reply to "missing features"
mlankton Member since:
2009-06-11

Expo under compiz

Reply Score: 1

My List...
by darknexus on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:10 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Ok, this is a long one as I'm going to cover all the oses I use (Ubuntu, OS X, and even Windows 7 though that one is VM only). So, the ugly first...
Windows 7:
Consistent keyboard navigation. Sorry MS, but that new start menu and just about every control panel applet is not very keyboard friendly. Having to tab past link after link of other supposedly relevant applets just to get to the options in the applet I've picked is just bloody ridiculous. Also, that start menu is not consistent, the left/right arrows do not always take you where you'd expect to go or even do what you'd expect them to do. Example, the all programs tree, typically in Windows if you press left arrow in a tree view control it moves you back up to the parent level. Not in the all programs tree though, no... it moves you to the other fscking side of the start menu. Grrrrrr! It's just not consistent with all other behaviors of that same type of control... but then again, inconsistency is Microsoft's stock in trade.
Junctions... get rid of them! They're absolutely useless, shortcuts you can write to but not read? Stupid, I don't care if they're there for compatibility with old apps or not, even the oldest apps let you specify where your blasted documents folder is!
A default driver for open filesystems, at this point I don't care which ones--it could be ext2 and I'd still appreciate it since I wouldn't have to use cursed fat32 on my removeable media.
Better security. UAC is half-assed at best, useless at worst. Also MS, start eating your own damn dogfood so to speak, don't create backdoors around your own security measures. You put them there for a reason, supposedly, so stop being two-faced about it.

Mac OS X:
An uninstaller, both for app bundles and pkg files. Come on Apple, this is an obvious one.
A way to prevent the extraneous .DS_Store and other Finder files from appearing on removeable media, without paying for additional utilities such as Blue Harvest. You can stop them from appearing over network shares with a manual change to the desktopservices plist, but that doesn't stop it from contaminating my SD cards with that crap.
Make the cut command in Finder work! Enough said.
Allow the Finder to open password-protected zip archives. Currently you need to drop to the CLI to do that or else have another archiving program installed.
Allow FTP uploads in Finder. Another obvious one that somehow they missed.

Ubuntu (applies to all Linux though):
A standard audio API, none of the OSS/ALSA confusion. Pulseaudio seems our best hope, but it still has a way to go in some areas.
A way to install kernel drivers without having to recompile them for each and every new kernel update. Dkms is ok, but still requires you to have the driver source present on your system in order for it to handle the recompiles for you--it's basically a pain reliever but doesn't eliminate the real problem.
Better support for consumer flatbed scanners, although that's SANE so applies to all platforms serviced by it.


It's ironic that, as annoyed as I often get with Linux, it actually has the least annoyances out of the three platforms I consistently use. Even funnier, I end up spending time evenly with Linux and OS X voluntarily, even though OS X has the most annoyances on my list. Maybe I'm just a masochist or something...

Reply Score: 2

RE: My List...
by samad on Thu 16th Jul 2009 09:27 UTC in reply to "My List..."
samad Member since:
2006-03-31

You can get rid of the .DS_Store files by executing a Unix command:

find /Volumes/Some other Disk/ -name .DS_Store -exec rm -f {} \;

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My List...
by darknexus on Thu 16th Jul 2009 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE: My List..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Um yeah, I know that, but I want them gone without having to do such things. I don't want to have to remove them, I don't want them created in the first place.

Reply Score: 2

mouse control with the keyboard
by wanker90210 on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:31 UTC
wanker90210
Member since:
2007-10-26

On my amiga, some .. omfg .. 20years ago, I could hold down, I think left-amiga and then press the arrow keys to move the mouse pointer. It accellerated exponantially in speed when held down, for better or worse, and then I think i pressed for example left-amiga + left-alt for left mouse click.

For the few cases where I had no mouse available, I really missed this feature on non-Amiga platforms.

Reply Score: 3

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

On my amiga, some .. omfg .. 20years ago, I could hold down, I think left-amiga and then press the arrow keys to move the mouse pointer.


I know that *used* to be available under Linux - I remember using it back in Redhat 5/6 days, must be ten years ago now. I assume there's still some way of doing it under modern versions of X.

Reply Score: 3

RE: mouse control with the keyboard
by Elv13 on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:37 UTC in reply to "mouse control with the keyboard"
Elv13 Member since:
2006-06-12

Most OS support this feature, including Windows, but it is not always accelerated.

Reply Score: 1

Kalessin Member since:
2007-01-18

KDE has that. IIRC, you hit either ctrl-F12 or alt-F12 (I'm stuck in Windows at work at the moment and can't check which) and the arrow keys move the mouse while the enter key clicks it. It doesn't work perfectly (for instance, plasma apps tend to ignore the click), but it's there.

Reply Score: 2

RE: mouse control with the keyboard
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:30 UTC in reply to "mouse control with the keyboard"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

On my amiga, some .. omfg .. 20years ago, I could hold down, I think left-amiga and then press the arrow keys to move the mouse pointer. It accellerated exponantially in speed when held down, for better or worse, and then I think i pressed for example left-amiga + left-alt for left mouse click.

For the few cases where I had no mouse available, I really missed this feature on non-Amiga platforms.


This is available in Windows since Windows 95. It's called MouseKeys, and is enabled via the Accessibility applet in the Control Panel. Turn num lock off, and the number pad becomes your mouse, including the diagonals. Insert is the left mouse button, the ./del key is the right mouse button.

This is available in KDE since at least 3.0.

I think this is available in GNOME, but I've never used GNOME for more than a couple minutes at a time (usually long enough to uninstall it), so can't be sure.

Don't know about MacOS X.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:39 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

I mostly use Linux. I think it lacks a sense of style, of elan or pizazz - call it what you will. Or at least the typical Gnome desktop does to my eyes. I can't speak for KDE. I'd also like to see better audio, full and fairly easy colour management, and better tools for photographers. Gimp is not bad but still lacks a few of the things which make Photoshop distinctly superior. Evolution could use some more user-friendly features as well. Perhaps they should pinch the better ones from Thunderbird. Linux is still too driven by developers who lack the skills of good designers, typographers and those with a grasp of what a non-technical desktop user will want and like - and not want and not like.

I'd like Windows to have better security, to the point where anti-virus stuff is no longer needed. Above all, though, I'd like Windows not to be so clunky. It always feels less than the sum of its sometimes unwieldly parts, as if it was designed by a camel-committee. I include Windows 7 in that view, too, though it is a great improvement on Vista.

Don't use Mac OS so cannot comment.

Overall, though, I'm sometimes tempted to wish a pox on all three. Lack of universal file access, codecs and standards that are adhered to - so any OS can read and write files from any other OS - is the bugbear of computing for me. In some respects we are still stuck in the "toys for boys" era, on the desktop anyway.

Edited 2009-07-15 22:42 UTC

Reply Score: 4

My OS: Linux
by panzi on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:42 UTC
panzi
Member since:
2006-01-22

I use Linux (currently Fedora 11 + KDE 4.2.4). What I miss:

* Working Audio. Ever since the Pulse Audio nonsense began audio stopped to work properly on Linux. (It did work seamlessly before! At least for me.) Sound errors in a lot of programs, especially in games are a real annoyance.

* A more stable system (without regressions in new version). Well this is especially the fault of the young nature of KDE 4. KDE 3.5 was soooooooo stable!

* More time between releases of distributions (max. once a year) and longer support cycles (min. 2 years). But still up to date systems through the distributions update mechanism.

Reply Score: 2

RE: My OS: Linux
by bralkein on Wed 15th Jul 2009 23:18 UTC in reply to "My OS: Linux"
bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

Have you thought about trying another distro? I guess if you want less time between releases but still to get up to date packages through the package manager then you could try a rolling release distro, meaning that there are no official releases, you just download the latest packages every time you update and never need to upgrade to a newer release.

I personally use Arch Linux which works in this way, and I have very few problems with the updates. Also on Arch, the base system is very minimal and you only install what you want to. You can install KDE if you want it, and if you don't want PulseAudio just don't install it!

Only problem is, Arch Linux is quite hardcore, the base install just gives you a basic system with command line and not much else, everything extra must be installed with the package manager (which is automatic, but still).

Anyway point is even if Arch isn't for you, it's worth checking out other distros since you can just try them out in VirtualBox without having to install them properly!

Reply Score: 2

MacOS, Zeta
by Eddyspeeder on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:55 UTC
Eddyspeeder
Member since:
2006-05-10

I bought a MacBook Pro 2 weeks ago. Up until then, I've only been using Zeta (a BeOS derivate) for several years. This is what I miss for both OSes:

Mac OS:
1 - I already put forth a number of suggestions that Mac OS still lacks in its "Spaces" compared to BeOS' "workspaces", including the ALT+~ key combination for "switch to last workspace", and setting unique backgrounds (and other settings) for each individual (work)space.
2 - I'm not a gamer, but I must admit that Mac OS *does* have a "game deficiency": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dU24FUZBOE

Zeta/BeOS:
Flash, Java, Skype, Office compatibility.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by drstorm
by drstorm on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:56 UTC
drstorm
Member since:
2009-04-24

Have you tried Switcher?
http://insentient.net/

It is not as good as the real Expose, but it's pretty good in my opinion. It runs into trouble if you turn Aero off while it's running, though.

---

I use Windows 7. It is a good system for me, but I didn't complain much about Vista either.
What I find annoying is that MS started limiting customization options, and thus started becoming a little bit more Apple-like. (It's not a good thing for me, because if I wanted a Mac, I'd use a Mac.)

Windows 98 brought many ways to customize the user experience and, IMO, that's what made it such a success.

More to the point, besides the ability to change the window behavior settings that Thom mentioned, I'd like to see more ways to customize the new taskbar. They should really reconsider the one-size-fits-them-all approach especially because of the very large user base.

KDE is a very fine example of good customizability. Speaking of which, I'd like to see a way in Linux to change the behavior of the Win key. I am very used to it bringing up the Start menu.


Well, this turned out to be a much larger comment that I anticipated, and I hope I didn't waste too much of your time. Thanks for reading, btw. ;)

Finally, the conclusion: We are all slaves to our habits, at least to some extent. I think that companies should try not to make us change the habits because it's hard and annoying... Or maybe, I'm just getting old...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by drstorm
by mightshade on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by drstorm"
mightshade Member since:
2008-11-20

Have you tried Switcher?
(...)
It is not as good as the real Expose

Could you explain why? I've tried Switcher, and it offers access by numerical keys and a search function. Exposé doesn't have that, and I can't really see a difference in how the respective programs distribute the shrunk windows on the screen. Then again, I only know the Exposé of Tiger, so perhaps there are changes in Leopard that I'm unaware of.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by drstorm
by drstorm on Thu 16th Jul 2009 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by drstorm"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

Nothing special. I just find Expose a bit more polished and esthetically pleasing.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by drstorm
by mightshade on Fri 17th Jul 2009 03:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by drstorm"
mightshade Member since:
2008-11-20

Ah, alright. Thank you.

Reply Score: 1

the look of linux
by JoshB on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:58 UTC
JoshB
Member since:
2009-07-15

Though I mentioned a few things I didn't like in Linux, I LOVE how customizable it is, especially the ease with which panels can be moved and configured and window decorations can be changed. It's just nice to have the choice of slimmed down window decorations to conserve screen real estate and configure the behavior how I want it. For example, I have all my launchers in an auto-hiding panel that is somewhat large and has only icons (mac style) on the top of my screen, and at the bottom just a thin panel with taskbar (with compiz's preview tabs or whatever it's called), notification area, clock and desktop switcher.

That's the great thing is that's probably the twentieth configuration I've tried out from various installed, everything from draws containing launchers and no main menu to no panel's at all to whatever you want. Finding the one that works best for me and is most aesthetically pleasing is a big pull to linux.

Reply Score: 2

OpenVMS style versioning file system
by poladark on Wed 15th Jul 2009 22:59 UTC
poladark
Member since:
2009-07-15

I really like file versioning like in OpenVMS. There is simply no reason not to have version handling built into any modern operating system.

When i'm not in OpenVMS I sometimes find myself rewriting some code and wanting to go back to an earlier saved version and going: "Damn! I overwrote it and i can never get the old version back!"

Versioning also makes log files easier to handle. OpenVMS lets you adjust how many versions to keep as well so that your disk won't accidentally be filled up with old versions of ancient log files.

Reply Score: 2

Working file copy in Windows, any version
by kad77 on Wed 15th Jul 2009 23:15 UTC
kad77
Member since:
2007-03-20

Can anyone tell me if they've fixed the horrible file copy mechanism in Windows Explorer in W7?

You know how it can abort a copy in progress over ONE file that can't be read/moved/whatever? Won't continue to work in background and que errors, will cancel the whol operation leaving directories half done, etc, etc.

Affects moving, deleting, copying in batch...

Should have been fixed 15 years ago...

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

That's why I wrote my own. I know, ridiculous, to have to do it, but win 98 drove me insane trying to copy large numbers of files back and forth.

Reply Score: 2

XFCE
by sAmIlE on Wed 15th Jul 2009 23:25 UTC
sAmIlE
Member since:
2009-05-12

I'm an xfce user, distro is (for me) unimportant in comparison to window manager.

I would love to see xfce style desktop menu on other WMs.

I also would like a decent expose clone in xfce...

Reply Score: 1

Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

I miss it in Linux. A desktop to set standards. I am tired of different toolkits and the display conflicts among them. We don't need a 1000 task items in the taskbar menu or a dumbified menu for the taskbar. We need a standard. Time to forget everything we know and embrace a new revolutionary desktop.

Also, the ability to install applications easier, just like in Windows .exes. We need a universal way to install programs without the hassle of distro-specific package management. Something like InstallShield...

Reply Score: 2

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

I miss it in Linux. A desktop to set standards. I am tired of different toolkits and the display conflicts among them. We don't need a 1000 task items in the taskbar menu or a dumbified menu for the taskbar. We need a standard. Time to forget everything we know and embrace a new revolutionary desktop.


Can you be more specific? The question is "what features are missing", and asking for "a new revolutionary desktop" doesn't really answer that...

Reply Score: 2

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

Also, the ability to install applications easier, just like in Windows .exes. We need a universal way to install programs without the hassle of distro-specific package management. Something like InstallShield...


I agree. However,the standard RPM packaging format plus a standard naming scheeme for packages that make up Linux Standard Base, and a standardized package manager, something like e.g. PackageKit would be far better than InstallShield. It would not only handle installation but also location of software, dependency checking, and update management

Reply Score: 2

cdrw from Solaris
by jrhy on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:00 UTC
jrhy
Member since:
2009-05-13

Every other OS makes CD/DVD burning such a pain compared to this:

# cdrw -i foo.iso
#

Reply Score: 2

RE: cdrw from Solaris
by Jondice on Thu 16th Jul 2009 01:11 UTC in reply to "cdrw from Solaris"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

thanks for the tip! ...

Reply Score: 1

RE: cdrw from Solaris
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:37 UTC in reply to "cdrw from Solaris"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Every other OS makes CD/DVD burning such a pain compared to this:

# cdrw -i foo.iso
#


FreeBSD isn't much different:
# burncd data foo.iso

Reply Score: 3

bring it all together
by stabbyjones on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:21 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

In Windows
i hate that you can't alt drag and when there are popup windows that block you moving the originating window.
http://code.google.com/p/altdrag/

I hate the network and sharing centre, i hate the way it organises default applications and file types. (a nautilus open with tab would be a god send)

but as i use it for work and to play dawn of war 2, windows isn't really driving me insane.

In Linux/Debian/GNOME
middle click drag is something i will never get used to, it's driving me crazy gnome people!

i'd like Debian to keep a strong focus on the freedom aspect of free software,
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2009/04/msg00010.html

For linux in general i'd really like to stop hearing about mono, (FYI banshee people, it sucks compared to rhythmbox for the sole reason that i have to use a search box to search my library.)

Reply Score: 3

Already have far too much ...
by MacTO on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:22 UTC
MacTO
Member since:
2006-09-21

As much as I love operating systems, I frequently wish that they would get out of my bloody way and leave me alone. After all, an operating system is there to provide features to software developers rather than the end user. Features like Expose may be cool, but stuff like that can be developed by third parties (as far as I'm concerned) because it doesn't service software developers, and because some users may want it while others clearly won't.

Reply Score: 2

Linux
by neticspace on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:40 UTC
neticspace
Member since:
2009-06-09

Linux needs to improve:

1. More investment in sound configuration. It is terrible and it needs a KISS mechanics and explanations.
2. Smoother graphics process from Windows. I sometimes use XP and it has better graphics processing than Linux.
3. Approachable package managers.

My main desktop for daily use is Linux and it still has a long way to go.

I heard this from my buddy with a little skepticism: How about two separate Linux kernel for desktop usage and non-desktop usage? Both of them still maintain some sense of great security compare to Windows.

Edited 2009-07-16 00:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Datatypes
by jack_perry on Thu 16th Jul 2009 00:49 UTC
jack_perry
Member since:
2005-07-06

The Amiga had them in the early 90s, the rest of the OS world still doesn't as far as I can tell. File associations are still decided by the filename suffix, rather than by the actual content.

Edited 2009-07-16 00:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Datatypes
by darknexus on Thu 16th Jul 2009 01:12 UTC in reply to "Datatypes"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The Amiga had them in the early 90s, the rest of the OS world still doesn't as far as I can tell. File associations are still decided by the filename suffix, rather than by the actual content.


OS X's filesystem, HFS+, has the ability to associate a file type with a file regardless of extension, but this is rarely ever used unlike the classic Mac OS where this was used extensively. I think the reason extension association has gained such a solid hold is that it's easier for a lot of end-users to understand these types of associations. If they see this extension they know what the file is supposed to be, whereas a content-based data type system is sometimes less transparent. Of course, you can frame such a statement both ways since they both have their ups and downs. One other thing file extensions have going for them is that they transfer equally well across just about any os and filesystem, and behave basically the same on every platform--i.e. the way an extension is associated with an application, that concept is the same even if the particulars of how that association is done are different.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Datatypes
by AnyoneEB on Thu 16th Jul 2009 05:34 UTC in reply to "Datatypes"
AnyoneEB Member since:
2008-10-26

I am not sure if this is exactly what you are talking about, but in Thunar (the XFCE file manager) file associations are based on the actual type of the file, not the file extension (that is, what file http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_(Unix) would give). I suspect Gnome's and KDE's file managers do the same, but I have not used them much, so I am not certain.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Datatypes
by bralkein on Thu 16th Jul 2009 09:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Datatypes"
bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

file is actually quite clever, try renaming an XML file to something.foo and it will still know it's XML (on Linux anyway). In fact the Wikipedia article you linked to (you broke the link, whoops!) actually says that the SUS definition of file says that the program must look within the beginning of the file to try and guess its type.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Datatypes
by memson on Thu 16th Jul 2009 10:36 UTC in reply to "Datatypes"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

The Amiga had them in the early 90s, the rest of the OS world still doesn't as far as I can tell. File associations are still decided by the filename suffix, rather than by the actual content.


No, Classic MacOS had them - predating the Amiga. OS X still uses them up to a point too. BeOS had them. RISCOS had them. Only really DOS and *NIX that didn't.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Datatypes
by frajo on Thu 16th Jul 2009 11:08 UTC in reply to "Datatypes"
frajo Member since:
2007-06-29

The Amiga had them in the early 90s, the rest of the OS world still doesn't as far as I can tell. File associations are [i]still decided by the filename suffix, rather than by the actual content.[/i]


We have them, since at least 1995, in eComStation aka OS/2. Of course, users are free to define associations based on filename suffixes, too. But generally, you don't need filename suffixes because to every data file object a "file type" is assigned on which associations with program objects are based.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Datatypes
by jack_perry on Thu 16th Jul 2009 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE: Datatypes"
jack_perry Member since:
2005-07-06

Much as I'd like to insist I was right, I was wrong--thanks guys.

Reply Score: 2

OpenSolaris desires
by Jondice on Thu 16th Jul 2009 01:10 UTC
Jondice
Member since:
2006-09-20

OpenSolaris wishes...

Major:
1)Better support for modern linux kernels/distros in branded zones.
2)Better integration (at administrator's consent) of processes in different zones (including branded zones). I realize this goes against current design specs.
3)Gentoo-like build system for optimizing the OS code.
4)Smaller memory footprint.
5)Ability to add new disks to a raidz pool.
6) Encrypted ZFS filesystems (supposedly getting there)

Minor:
1) For everything to build as easily as on Linux ;) Its getting there...

Edited 2009-07-16 01:13 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: OpenSolaris desires
by Jondice on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:51 UTC in reply to "OpenSolaris desires"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

I forgot to mention, virtual terminals and the ability to run more than one X session (like linux). This would also allow for something like "fast user switching".

Reply Score: 1

RE: OpenSolaris desires
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:42 UTC in reply to "OpenSolaris desires"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

OpenSolaris wishes...
5)Ability to add new disks to a raidz pool.


What do you mean by this? One can add new vdevs into a raidz pool. One can even replace drives in a raidz vdev with larger ones, and have that space become available to the pool.

The only thing one can't do is to extend a raidz vdev (turn a 3-drive raidz vdev into a 4-drive raidz vdev). This is due to the dynamic block sizes and striping...you would have to re-write every block of data on the existing drives to spread it across the new drive.

But, since storage is pooled, you can just add more raidz vdevs into the pool to add storage space.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: OpenSolaris desires
by Jondice on Thu 16th Jul 2009 18:18 UTC in reply to "RE: OpenSolaris desires"
Jondice Member since:
2006-09-20

Yeah, I guess that makes what I was hoping for (adding an additional drive to a raidz vdev) pretty much impossible w/o the aid of an external backup source. It isn't a problem for most people, to be sure.

Reply Score: 1

RE: OpenSolaris desires
by fridder on Fri 17th Jul 2009 22:53 UTC in reply to "OpenSolaris desires"
fridder Member since:
2007-11-03

My OpenSolaris Desires:
1) DVD playback support
a)related: VLC in IPKG with libdvdcss
2) Support for my Video Card(probably coming with OSS integration)
3) freeNX in IPKG
4) More coherent package naming(I know it is being worked on)
5) Minimal install option.

You know what would really fix all of this: ZFS being mature and a default install option for FreeBSD. THAT would make me happy.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Thu 16th Jul 2009 01:32 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

Linux with gnome is my platform.
I want to see network proxies get integrated into network manager so that everytime I see a new wireless network I enter it's proxy settings and every time after that when I switch wireless networks it automatically applies those settings. It would make networking easier than on any other platform and would save me from reentering proxy settings all the time.

Reply Score: 1

Windows lack of a real window manager
by plbirch on Thu 16th Jul 2009 01:44 UTC
plbirch
Member since:
2009-07-16

I use and develop apps for MS-Windows and what I would like most there that I have had in Linux is a real window manager that will remember what location and what size I had a window when I last used it and have it restored the next time I open it. In MS-Windows every single window of every single app has to have code to manage it's remembered size and location if it is going to do it at all.

Reply Score: 1

One file management feature
by bousozoku on Thu 16th Jul 2009 01:51 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

Using both Windows and Mac OS X, I tend to miss being able to do file management while saving files in Mac OS X.

Windows allows renaming and deleting and that's very handy. Would it be so terribly difficult for Apple to achieve? I don't believe so. They could have done this as far back as Mac OS 8.x when they introduced the new style navigation dialogues but they really just wanted pretty instead of functional.

Reply Score: 2

RE: One file management feature
by memson on Thu 16th Jul 2009 11:10 UTC in reply to "One file management feature"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

Using both Windows and Mac OS X, I tend to miss being able to do file management while saving files in Mac OS X.


What do you mean? You can bring up the filer in Mac OS X with the button with the down arrow on it - just not there by default. You can create new folders and navigate about. I'm not sure you can delete files, but I would question the safety and logic of allowing users to do so from a file open/save dialog. A common security flaw in Windows is that you can execute apps from the file dialog by default, which is often missed my sys admins when locking down accounts.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by i92guboj
by i92guboj on Thu 16th Jul 2009 01:56 UTC
i92guboj
Member since:
2009-07-16

If I had to choose something I'd ask Santa to bring me a working sound system for Linux.

Currently neither ALSA nor OSS4 works ok, the mixer interface is pure crap and depends too much on the hardware, to the point that some programs will or won't run correctly depending on the card (some models don't even have a working master control).

Those who use an Audigy SE or LE probably have suffered things like this. Oh, and let alone the issue with surround... getting it to work is a pain, a complete pain, and even when you get it to work is only to discover that you will live better with stereo, because once you enable surround dmix stops working, which means you can't use the sound device as long as something else is using it.

ALSA is a monster, I am no fan of it. And some drivers are particularly bad.

OSS4 works well with a number of devices, but not at all with others. Its main problem for the moment, if you can get it to work with your card, is the total lack of any functional midi system. The other problem is that it offers no compatibility layer for ALSA, which is a problem because most serious audio applications don't support anything else, but ALSA (yes, I know that OSS4 can't be blamed because everyone ignores it, but the fact is that I can't use most sound apps with it, period).

The rest of the crap available serves I-don't-know-what-purpose, and is built in top of either ALSA or OSS: like pulse, jack, esd, arts, and several others.

Too much stuff, nothing that works easily and on a comprehensive way. I use linux since 1995, and it's been *my only* OS (besides testing and playing around) since 2001, and the situation hasn't improved much. If anything, I think that now it's worse than ever.

The OSS 3d graphics drivers are not in the best shape either, that is, unless you plan to use a card that's two or three generations older than the current one. That means that we will get a good support for today's nvidia and ati cards around 2015.

Yes, we can try the closed drivers, when they work at all they can temporarily solve your problem. However they create a wide range of annoyances, specially the ati ones, like having to live with an outdated kernel and/or X server.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by i92guboj
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:46 UTC in reply to "Comment by i92guboj"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The other problem is that it offers no compatibility layer for ALSA, which is a problem because most serious audio applications don't support anything else, but ALSA (yes, I know that OSS4 can't be blamed because everyone ignores it, but the fact is that I can't use most sound apps with it, period).


Yes, in fact it does. Install OSS4. Install ALSA. Configure ALSA to use OSS4 as the backend. Voila! You now have full ALSA software compatibility, with all the hardware goodness of OSS4 (including mixing multiple audio streams from ALSA apps, since OSS4 does the mixing).

There are a couple of different how-tos out there for setting things up this way. Everyone who does agrees that it's the best way to go for now.

Reply Score: 4

Vista user desired features
by Almafeta on Thu 16th Jul 2009 02:19 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

The two things I'd like Vista to do that seem obvious:

1) Click-and-drag to reorganize buttons on the taskbar, instead of always appearing in FIFO order.

2) Windows-Left and Windows-Right to move left and right on the taskbar.

And for a feature I'm going to want in an OS I don't have yet: when I switch to Windows 7, I'm going to be looking for ways to fix the ways they broke the Windows 7 taskbar. (I'm amazed they found ways to break it.)

Reply Score: 2

This might be outrageous but...
by cefarix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 02:24 UTC
cefarix
Member since:
2006-03-18

I want this:

- An OS that goes from cold to usable in under 7 seconds.
- An OS that shuts down in under 7 seconds.
- SIPs (Software Isolated Processes).
- Binaries are in an intermediate bytecode, which is JIT translated to native code.
- Forget file/directory metaphor.
- Everything is an object, with meta tags.
- As few apps as possible. Instead, file types are opened/edited/etc using shell plugins.
- Browser is a shell plugin too.
- An OS that hibernates in under 7 seconds, and comes out of hibernation in under 7 seconds.
- An OS that goes to sleep in under 3 seconds, and comes out of sleep in under 3 seconds.

Reply Score: 4

Missing features...
by Gullible Jones on Thu 16th Jul 2009 02:27 UTC
Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

Windows XP:

- sudo, or more generally, a better framework for doing stuff as admin without running in admin mode all the time. It's available via third-party apps, but really should have been there by default. (Fixed in Vista, thankfully.)

- Unified package management. Updating everything individually can be a pain.

Linux:

- Faster widget redraw speeds, and more speed in general. GTK is sluggish. QT4 isn't sluggish, but apps based on KDE libs are for some reason. If Linux is to compete with other OSes, it needs to be at least as fast as the competition; the handy appearance of slow pigs like Vista can't always be relied upon.

- Compositing without the slowdowns. On Windows 2000 and XP, you get real transparency in the GUI even with no hardware acceleration at all, and it's *fast*. On Linux you need hardware acceleration and it's very slow. I don't know how Microsoft does it, but they definitely do it. And yeah I know this is minor, but it still bugs me.

- Stable and Testing kernel branches like in the BSDs. IMHO this might help put the kibosh on bugs like the acer_wmi stack corruption one that hit 2.6.30.

- Longer release cycles across the board. Lately there have been a lot of changes, and though it's understandable that a few things might break given what's going on, too many things have been breaking. Waiting a bit longer for bugs to crop up instead of hurrying to release everything would probably help a good deal; I think most users would rather wait a bit than have to deal with major bugs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Missing features...
by J. M. on Thu 16th Jul 2009 03:44 UTC in reply to "Missing features..."
J. M. Member since:
2005-07-24

For Linux: I agree completely (except for Qt4, which is extremely sluggish on my Linux PC, too).

The lack of GUI speed is the most serious issue for me. Basically, it makes my 2.4 GHz PC look like a 20-year-old 386-era machine with Windows. Graphics rendering in Windows with no hardware acceleration is much faster than accelerated Linux graphics.

Plus my desktop is getting increasingly unstable with all the heavy changes in graphics drivers and other things. I've never had so many lockdowns that I have now with the latest and greatest X.org and other technologies.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Missing features...
by Gullible Jones on Thu 16th Jul 2009 09:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Missing features..."
Gullible Jones Member since:
2006-05-23

You should see what Linux is like on a Pentium 2 box. Even with 2D acceleration, you can see every single redraw.

The annoying thing is, circa 2004 I was using Linux on a Pentium 2 machine, and it was pretty fast. Somewhere between then and now, things slowed down, and I'm not sure when... I think it might have had to do with the introduction of Cairo, maybe.

(Of course, back then I was a complete dork... And a Gentoo user. *shudder* )

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Missing features...
by J. M. on Thu 16th Jul 2009 21:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Missing features..."
J. M. Member since:
2005-07-24

I was using Linux on a P2 for several years. In fact, I was using Linux even on a Pentium ("I"), 133 MHz. That was in 1999, when I started using Linux as my main OS. And it was perfectly usable. I definitely could not see every redraw. But somehow, I can see it now, in 2009, on a machine that's 20 times faster.

Yes, Cairo made GTK+ much, much slower. In fact, GTK+ 2.x was slow before Cairo, many people were complaining about it, but now in 2009 I would be so happy if it was as slow as it was in 2004...

And yes, Linux is getting slower and slower every year. And it's not only redrawing. For example, in 2009, I often have difficulties just entering text like this into a textbox on a webpage, because I'm using Opera in the Qt4 version and just editing text (entering letters, selecting text etc.) in it makes my CPU go to 100%, and every action can take many seconds when it's completely frozen... I didn't have these problems with the old Qt3 version. The kernel is getting worse and worse, too (jerky behaviour under load, heavy disk I/O in recent kernels kills interactivity so you can either copy files or interact with the computer, doing both is imposibble).

But this generally applies to everything GUI-related in Linux. Whenever I upgrade something important (distribution, kernel, windowing system, application framework, graphics driver, GUI toolkit, desktop environment, or even just an application), everything is suddenly 10 times slower.

Edited 2009-07-16 21:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Missing features...
by renhoek on Thu 16th Jul 2009 20:11 UTC in reply to "Missing features..."
renhoek Member since:
2007-04-29

Windows XP:

- sudo, or more generally, a better framework for doing stuff as admin without running in admin mode all the time.


i keep repeating myself : runas.exe, and ctrl-rightclick in the admin panel icons most of the time reveals a runas admin.

i agree it's not the most straightforward method, but it's there.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Beachchairs
by Beachchairs on Thu 16th Jul 2009 02:33 UTC
Beachchairs
Member since:
2009-04-10

I use both Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X (though only at school for OS X). I'll do a section for each.

Windows: I usually use Windows 7 now.

1. This one can actually only be fairly used against XP. At school we have a central login server with our own user accounts. Most settings are lost between logins. May be a product of how they set their stuff up.
2. Being able to scroll in a window without activating it.
3. Highlight and middle click copy and paste.
4. Central update system for applications.
5. Reminders to reboot randomly stopping what you are doing. (Particularly at school, I don't even have permission to reboot so the dialogs don't make any sense but they still come up!)
6. Look and feel. Vista/Windows 7 has the new Areo look and feel, but most apps don't use it. Most stick with the older look and feel of XP. Though that is a best case scenario. Lots of apps like to make a but ugly custom UI. Ugh.
7. A nice modern run dialog. OS X has spotlight which works this way. KDE has krunner, and Gnome has gnome-do. Window's is just balls.
8. Amarok. Or just a media player that supports queuing a track (before suggesting Winamp, read 6).
9. Having to pay for applications and trial versions of applications.


OS X: So I only use this one at school. I don't get the full experience (good and bad), but I still have grievances.

1. Like Windows, I lose all my user settings when logging in/out on whatever network login system my school uses.
2. Vertical scroll doesn't like to work in some apps (most importantly Firefox). Horizontal works across the board.
3. Maximize not fully maximizing a window.
4. No highlight and click copy and paste.
5. I don't think you can scroll without activating a window.


Linux: I use Fedora 11 now, but have used OpenSuse for a long while previously. I also use KDE4.

1. Windows Snap.
2. Stasks gets most of the new Windows 7 taskbar, but it isn't quite there (it lacks the launch capability).
3. Windows Shake.
4. Windows Peek.
5. Chrome. With each release, Firefox becomes less and less awesome. Chrome + Crossover exists, but it has visual bugs and really bad fonts. Konqueror would be a good enough replacement if it used webkit (and thus worked with Facebook).
6. The Windows 7 system tray. Being able to hide icons is nice, but the Windows 7 one gives you more control.
7. Better sound. Most importantly per application volume. Fedora uses Pulse Audio which apparently has it, but I haven't found a KDE interface for it at all.
8. A network sharing interface as simple as the one on Windows. The Linux ones are overly complicated and make me cry.

Edited 2009-07-16 02:40 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Beachchairs
by dragossh on Thu 16th Jul 2009 09:12 UTC in reply to "Comment by Beachchairs"
dragossh Member since:
2008-12-16

7. A nice modern run dialog. OS X has spotlight which works this way. KDE has krunner, and Gnome has gnome-do. Window's is just balls.


Windows has Start Menu Search.

8. Amarok. Or just a media player that supports queuing a track (before suggesting Winamp, read 6).


There is an Amarok2 port for Windows.

3. Maximize not fully maximizing a window.


That’s because it is not maximize, it’s zoom. It resizes the window to fit the content.

5. I don't think you can scroll without activating a window.


You can.

Chrome. With each release, Firefox becomes less and less awesome. Chrome + Crossover exists, but it has visual bugs and really bad fonts. Konqueror would be a good enough replacement if it used webkit (and thus worked with Facebook).


http://build.chromium.org/buildbot/snapshots/chromium-rel-linux/

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Beachchairs
by memson on Thu 16th Jul 2009 11:18 UTC in reply to "Comment by Beachchairs"
memson Member since:
2006-01-01

OS X: [..snip..]
3. Maximize not fully maximizing a window.


This is by design. OS X maximises a window to the width of the document.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Beachchairs
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 15:53 UTC in reply to "Comment by Beachchairs"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Windows: I usually use Windows 7 now.

1. This one can actually only be fairly used against XP. At school we have a central login server with our own user accounts. Most settings are lost between logins. May be a product of how they set their stuff up.


Sounds like Roaming Profiles is not enabled. Without this, very few settings are preserved across logins when using different computers.

2. Being able to scroll in a window without activating it.


This has been possible in Windows since Windows 98 (first time I got a scroll mouse). It all depends on the mouse driver, though. Anything that uses the Microsoft Intellimouse setup can't do this (scroll actually sends page up/page down keypresses). Anything using the Genius scroll protocol (or anything other than MS) can, since it sends scroll up/scroll down commands and not keypresses. Works quite nicely, and one of the reasons I avoid MS-branded and Logitech-branded mice.


5. Chrome. With each release, Firefox becomes less and less awesome. Chrome + Crossover exists, but it has visual bugs and really bad fonts. Konqueror would be a good enough replacement if it used webkit (and thus worked with Facebook).


Google Chrome for Linux has reached alpha/developer-preview status. It's usable, although none of the preferences work and it's not stable.

Chromium for Linux is also available.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Beachchairs
by No it isnt on Fri 17th Jul 2009 10:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Beachchairs"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Actually, Google Chrome's settings are starting to work on Linux now. Pity that the rest of the browser no longer work at all.

Reply Score: 1

My list
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 16th Jul 2009 02:45 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Everyone is focusing so heavily on GUI, its a bit short sided.

My list, not comprehensive:

Windows:
* better command line interface
--powershell too objecty, still no good terminal like interface
* ability to run headless on all versions
* run with out registry. Just scrap it
* Mac os like install/remove software
* Memory management options controlling use of cache
* sshd
* Crapware firewall/ ability to add programs to virus list ( ie never let Realsched, or ipodhelper run. ever. )
* SVG for all chrome everywhere (icons, taskbar, window borders, window controls)
* swapable scheduler
* remove DRM features
* improved file copy
* memory debugger
* big file search ( what the heck is using the drive space?)

Mac
* GNU userland rather than BSD
* include minimized apps in expose
* package management/ better way to update included FOSS
* SVN everywhere ( same as my windows proposal)
* swapable scheduler
* better file system ZFS, bttrfs, hammer, ext4, something man.
* memory debugger
* big file search ( what the heck is using the drive space?)

GNU/Linux
* Dtrace
* ZFS
* Banish binary only kernel modules
* Better integration of SeLinux into common apps
* Better way to sandbox apps.
* easier kernel config
* Support for intel 286
* Combine shell with modern scripting language (perlsh whats taking so long?)
* Ca cert management software that works.

open solaris
* GNU utilities! Seriously. killall -9 BSD userland.
* better hardware support
* fix those two and I'll try it again.

Edited 2009-07-16 02:47 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE: My list
by m_pll on Thu 16th Jul 2009 06:19 UTC in reply to "My list"
m_pll Member since:
2009-07-16

* Memory management options controlling use of cache

Windows 7 improved management of the system cache and the overall trimming policy, so it is believed that manual configuration of the cache (using SetSystemFileCacheSize or something like a registry setting) should no longer be necessary. If you still see cases where system cache bloat causes performance issues on win7 I would be interested to know the details.

* memory debugger


Not sure what you mean by this?

* big file search ( what the heck is using the drive space?)


On Vista/Win7 you can search for "size:>10mb" from the start menu. See ttp://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/desktopsearch/techn icalresources/advquery.mspx for details.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: My list
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 16th Jul 2009 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE: My list"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Memory management

Yeah, regardless of what is or is not necessary, I still want options. IF they make the default automatic, we know whats best, fine. I just want to have some control over it. Maybe, I'll discover that "Hey, they're right the best is to just let Windows handle it automatically. Gee those Microsoft guys are sharp!". Then I could stop complaining about it. A lot of things in windows are like this. multiple choices adds to my perceived value ( I mean, I use different schedulers on my Linux servers, depending on the purpose of the box. Because different ones are better at different workloads, Windows scheduler must be suboptimal for some workloads. Ditto with the memory manager).

Memory debugger

I want to be able to look at some sort of interactive graphic that shows my main memory and what's using it. The task manager isn't good enough. Too often, I see a huge amount of memory begin used and swap, but the list of tasks doesn't account for the massive memory use.

Big File Search

Similar in appearance to the Memory Debugger. I saw a freeware program that did this, but the name escapes me. You can look at your disk and see the usage per directory/ file graphically. With the ability to zoom in/ change view from directory to file.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: My list
by m_pll on Fri 17th Jul 2009 01:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My list"
m_pll Member since:
2009-07-16

Having more configuration knobs is not necessarily better. This is particularly true for something like the memory manager, where different knobs tend to interact with each other in difficult to predict ways. A great example is the multitude of different settings affecting the usage of the kernel address space (LargeSystemCache, SystemPages, SessionPages, paged/nonpaged pool sizes, etc) that existed in 32-bit Windows for a long time and were finally eliminated in Vista:

http://www.nynaeve.net/?p=261

Tweaking XP/WS03 to maximize the amount of paged pool (or session space, etc) was a major pain because there were so many parameters and dependencies between them were not obvious. On Win7 it's all automatic so you almost never have to worry about it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: My list
by jspaloss on Fri 17th Jul 2009 03:31 UTC in reply to "RE: My list"
jspaloss Member since:
2007-05-10

Sequoia View is another 3rd Party Util for finding those elusive large files (Windows Only).

http://w3.win.tue.nl/nl/onderzoek/onderzoek_informatica/visualizati...

Reply Score: 1

RE: My list
by kaiwai on Thu 16th Jul 2009 09:31 UTC in reply to "My list"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Mac
* GNU userland rather than BSD


Why on earth would you want that - that cornerstone of GNU is libc - have you read up about the person in charge of it? I'd rather go swimming in a pond of pirañas than rely on a guy who seems to chuck a paddy when a person proposes a correction for an issue for those not on the x86 platform.

GNU has some neat features but at the same time there are a lot of components that are either not maintained or maintained by assholes (like libc). I would sooner see selective embracing like Apple have done now than whole sale jumping onboard.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: My list
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 16th Jul 2009 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE: My list"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Its what I prefer. Common utilities work like I expect them to, because I've spent more time with Linux than the *BSD's. I understand the guy you're talking about it sounds like some people are forming a posse to xorg his x86free hill.

Reply Score: 2

RE: My list
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:18 UTC in reply to "My list"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Mac
* GNU userland rather than BSD


Oh god, please no! In fact, the few bits of GNU crud in there (like Bash) should be removed. Or, they should be updated to at least be fully POSIX and SUSv3 compliant. [/q]

open solaris
* GNU utilities! Seriously. killall -9 BSD userland.


Solaris doesn't use a BSD userland. They use a Solaris userland, which is mostly SysV with the odd BSD holdover. It's neither GNU nor fully BSD.

SunOS used a BSD-derived userland, as they were a BSD-derived OS.

Solaris switched to a SysV-derived userland, and dropped a lot of the BSD-isms.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: My list
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 16th Jul 2009 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE: My list"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Solaris doesn't use a BSD userland. They use a Solaris userland, which is mostly SysV with the odd BSD holdover. It's neither GNU nor fully BSD.

SunOS used a BSD-derived userland, as they were a BSD-derived OS.

Solaris switched to a SysV-derived userland, and dropped a lot of the BSD-isms.


Yeah. You're right of course. It was late. There was an earthquake. Terrible flood. Thunder snow. I was mugged by a streat urchin. Tyra Banks slipped me a ruffie. Otherwise I would have remembered that.

But, I guess I just prefer the GNU userland.

What shell do you prefer to bash? I think they all stink a little, a lot of room for improvement all around. But everyone just gets used to the quirks of one or another and doesn't want to invest the time it would take to do everything more sensibly. Powershell was at least an effort to do things differently, but the differences didn't make it better.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: My list
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 17:35 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: My list"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

But, I guess I just prefer the GNU userland.

What shell do you prefer to bash? I think they all stink a little, a lot of room for improvement all around. But everyone just gets used to the quirks of one or another and doesn't want to invest the time it would take to do everything more sensibly. Powershell was at least an effort to do things differently, but the differences didn't make it better.


Personally, I use zsh everywhere I can. It has a much nicer completion system than bash, and a whole lot of other neato features that I don't really use. ;) Compared to bash 2.x, it was phenomenal. Compared to bash 3.x with a tonne of time invested in bash_completions, it's about even.

For scripting, though, it's pure /bin/sh. And not the sh-compat mode for bash or any other linked binary ... real /bin/sh.

Reply Score: 2

xubuntu linux here
by kurenai on Thu 16th Jul 2009 03:16 UTC
kurenai
Member since:
2006-01-24

Quite a few things:

1) Syncing up my music player. No music player I've used on linux comes close to winamp sadly. Right now I'm using a combination of mpd and command line scripts. It's acceptable, no more. I want an ipod touch, but looking at what you have to do to sync up those... :/

2) A multi-display friendly compositor. Compiz + multimonitor never worked. I tried so hard, it didn't work. And I actually don't want all the fancy effects. I wanted a limited amount of transparency, and shadows around my applications (really helps with gimp I find, so many small windows). I'm currently using xfce, and even that has glitches when I enable a 2nd screen. I have to turn off the compositor first, then enable the monitor, and then turn compositing back on. And my panel is always on the wrong monitor, but isn't aware of the fact that the new monitor exists. So I also have to kill the panel and restart it.

3) Performance. xorg takes up WAY too much cpu, and my framerates are roughly 20% lower when playing openarena between windows and linux. I'm running 8.10, not 9.04. So it's not the intel chipset performance regression.

4) A full-featured web browser that integrates well with the shell. In all fairness, IMO no operating system can boast this. FF doesn't look quite right anywhere, Safari doesn't have extensions which I consider a requirement of being 'full featured', and opera is weird. I love opera, but it's weird.

5) A human readable filesystem. I know most people love it, but the FHS sucks. There's no way around that. I get it, I really do. My view is NOT based on ignorance.

6) A really great IDE for web development. I've seen my mac-loving friends use coda, and I think 'why can't we have that on linux? :/'. There's a gtk widget for both webkit and gecko I believe, but none of the gtk text editors I'm aware of really integrate it in, or are planning on it. Ditto for version control in editors. Yes, I'm aware of geany's vc plugin. It's barely integrated. And I've never gotten eclipse to run stable, ever.

7) stable sound. This is probably my own fault. I built an xubuntu system, then tried to run/install gnome on top of that. Sometimes my sound doesn't work in my video player until I change it to oss and play something. Once it works, then I can change it back to alsa and it works. PulseAudio.. oh god.


All that being said, I don't want to ever run anything else. But all of these features seem to be present in the big two, and it's very very frustrating.

Reply Score: 1

RE: xubuntu linux here
by porcel on Sat 18th Jul 2009 15:43 UTC in reply to "xubuntu linux here"
porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Amarok syncs just fine with the iphone, ipod, etc.

Reply Score: 2

File Replace
by Myrd on Thu 16th Jul 2009 03:27 UTC
Myrd
Member since:
2006-01-05

On Mac OS X, the dialog that tells you detailed file information when prompted to replace one file by another (like Windows has, but perhaps with more info - like exact byte sizes and md5 checksums?).

Also, just like whoever mentioned it on Windows, a large folder copy operation should not fail half-way just because of a single file, also on OS X.

Edited 2009-07-16 03:29 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Features I WISH were missing.
by SamuraiCrow on Thu 16th Jul 2009 04:08 UTC
SamuraiCrow
Member since:
2005-11-19

I wish that we could get rid of this "always on the internet" crap. The internet has bandwidth problems as it is without introducing new ones with all of the "cloud computing" garbage. It also makes the digital divide that much wider in areas where broadband internet is not available. I've got DSL now but I was on dial-up for years and remember it quite vividly. With the recession, most of the casual users are falling back to dial-up to dispense with the expense of the broadband internet that they haven't used for much other than email.

Next on the list is MMU support. Granted, most OSs use the MMU to do memory paging and memory protection. If we had an OS that would implement all of its validation of inputs with a linker library and then use link-time optimization to do away with range-checking of constants with a nice VM abstraction, we'd be far better off. This would be managed code done right. Furthermore, with solid-state devices displacing hard drives, we could do without memory paging anyway.

Lastly, non-reentrant non-flashable code. If solid-state devices could displace hard drives, then why not append them onto the size of the BIOS Flash memory? Why not make the most commonly accessed code during boot-time and some of the less commonly accessed code during run-time to be directly embedded into the boot flash? The only answer I can think of is that it could brick the system but if we could make code run directly off of a separate bank of Flash memory from the BIOS, it would be possible and would deliver Commodore 64-like boot times since it had its operating system in ROM or in later incarnations (such as GEOS and Contiki on the C64) in battery-backed RAM-disks such as the RAM-Link. This kept the boot time under 5 seconds.

Feel free to add to my list.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Features I WISH were missing.
by Delgarde on Thu 16th Jul 2009 05:27 UTC in reply to "Features I WISH were missing."
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

it would be possible and would deliver Commodore 64-like boot times since it had its operating system in ROM or in later incarnations (such as GEOS and Contiki on the C64) in battery-backed RAM-disks such as the RAM-Link. This kept the boot time under 5 seconds.


Not quite the full story though. Not having to load the OS from disk was only partly why the C64 was practically instant-on. With the exact hardware capabilities hardcoded into that OS, there's no need to probe for devices on boot or do any complicated initialisation. That's why the C64 will be ready to use before the PC has worked out what kind of processor it's running on.

Reply Score: 2

Biggest PITA IMHO
by Yeti on Thu 16th Jul 2009 05:49 UTC
Yeti
Member since:
2005-07-11

Internationalization.
Why can't some systems (yes, NetBSD and OpenBSD, I'm looking at you) support my keyboard mapping "out of the box"?
Or at the very least, can't everybody outta there just use UTF-8 instead of ton of incompatible encodings?
And don't get me started about Windows - try to make them speak e.g. Portuguese for one user and Chinese for another. This at least works in e.g. KDE or Linux console (sort of).

Reply Score: 1

Comment by izomiac
by izomiac on Thu 16th Jul 2009 05:59 UTC
izomiac
Member since:
2006-07-26

I'm more of an OS migrant than one that has a "main" OS. I used to be 90% BeOS, now I'm split between Windows 7 and Gentoo (with XFCE). Once I figure out how to get Haiku running on my new laptop I'll probably be using the three about the same. That said, here are my gripes.

Windows 7
* Most applications seem to assume the user is an idiot
* Too much bloat
* Too many things happening in the background
* Gives up on errors far too easily or not at all
* Strange errors of indeterminable origin (I assume due to the complexity)
* Doesn't play well with its peers

Gentoo with XFCE
* Stuff rarely works 100% correctly without tweaking/troubleshooting
* Too little consistency across different applications
* Bloat
* Unexpectedly large space requirements for stuff (e.g. needing 2 GB to compile a 3 MB firmware image)
* Most applications don't mind the small details
* Package management (in general) - the feature I want is always a point release away, or not compiled in (hence Gentoo... although firefox 3.5 is still hard masked so it's not immune). Then there's usually a "now what?" after installing something as I try to figure out how to run it.
* Too much reliance on the command line... Yes, it's powerful and great and all, but IMHO that's no excuse for not spending much effort on the GUI.
* Having to type filenames when autocomplete can't help. Example: \\\\SambaServer\\Share\\\[Group\]\ File\ Title \(codec\)\ \[A0B1C2D3\].mkv (This is even more "fun" when you need to escape stuff multiple times since the filenames are passed along.)
* Making a typo in a config file and spending hours debugging (most recent: using parenthesis instead of brackets).
* Compile time options and libraries rather than system-wide codecs need to die.
* The kernel isn't really software nor hardware agnostic.

BeOS
* It's rather dated nowadays
* Hardware support (especially no touchpad scrolling!)
* Software support
* A command line that's just different enough from Linux to throw me off at times

All OSes
* Inability to cope with strange events (BeOS is the best in this regard, but still not quite there). If I bothered defining "strange" then I'd be getting into specifics rather than speaking of a general, reoccuring issue.
* The ability to kill a process instantly and under any circumstances. Linux might be OK for this, I haven't had too much trouble with it so far.
* The ability to not run stuff I don't need nor want.
* Modal dialogs and things that prevent me from doing other stuff at the same time
* Focus stealing, especially when I'm typing.
* Small lags in the second[s] range (opening a window, an application, or doing stuff when some resource is saturated).
* Desktop icons that don't have graphical glitches. It's quite minor and purely cosmetic, but I've seriously seen this problem in every OS.
* Feature creep or needless division of tools. Neither end of the spectrum is desirable.
* Not quite user-centric enough in that developers have a bit too much power. (E.g. installing where they want to, accessing the internet, behaving differently than other applications, etc.)
* Overloading the home directory with hidden folders/files.

Edited 2009-07-16 06:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by izomiac
by Almafeta on Sat 18th Jul 2009 21:30 UTC in reply to "Comment by izomiac"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

Windows 7
* Most applications seem to assume the user is an idiot


Imagine the job of a Windows developer to similar to a job whose customers get posted to notalwaysright.com, and you'll see why this is... for better or for worse.

Reply Score: 2

git + interoperability +sync + back up
by Lakedaemon on Thu 16th Jul 2009 07:04 UTC
Lakedaemon
Member since:
2005-08-07

1)Zfs
2)Git at os level, so that it replaces "save/save all" in all my apps and gives me versionning everywhere
3)better back up/synchronizing/interoperability at os level
4)better sharing of data/configuration between my comps :
I hate having to spend days reconfiguring a comp when I upgrade my hardware/buy new comps.

Computers should make things easy for us, I don't want to slave for my computer anymore.

5) App store

Reply Score: 2

poladark Member since:
2009-07-15

A simpler and more universal solution than Git would be keeping old versions of files with a version number like in OpenVMS. It's very handy for day-to-day operation of the operating system even if you're not working on a project.

The lack of built-in version handling like in OpenVMS is one of my major grievances with all other operating systems. It's a simple solution to a very common problem.

Reply Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

A simpler and more universal solution than Git would be keeping old versions of files with a version number like in OpenVMS. It's very handy for day-to-day operation of the operating system even if you're not working on a project.

The lack of built-in version handling like in OpenVMS is one of my major grievances with all other operating systems. It's a simple solution to a very common problem.


In theory, it shouldn't be too hard to add this to ZFS and btrFS, as these are Copy-on-Write filesystems. Nothing is ever overwritten. All they need to do is come up with a way to expose the old version of the file instead of marking those blocks as "not in use". The snapshot code in ZFS, for example, probably does 90% of the work for this.

Reply Score: 2

Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

Actually OpenSolaris has already that feature, versioning of the entire system. For users you have "Time Machine" taking regular snapshots of your entire user directory - allowing you to rollback whenever you want.

For Operating system, OpenSolaris has something called "Boot Environment" (BE) that is just a Snapshot of "/". Before installing a program you create a snapshot and if you dont like the program, you just boot in GRUB to the old install and destroy the snapshot. Before you apply a patch, OpenSolaris automatically makes a snapshot and then patches. If you dont like the patch, you just boot into your old install via GRUB. All BEs are automatically listed in GRUB, so you can boot into any BE you want. And delete any you want. You can have a "unstable" OpenSolaris branch where you try and test everything. And when you are satisfied you just install it to your real install.

Here is a discussion on Nexenta (which is Ubuntu + OpenSolaris kernel, that is; ZFS, DTrace, etc)
http://foss-boss.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2008-01-01T00%...

Reply Score: 2

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Actually OpenSolaris has already that feature, versioning of the entire system. For users you have "Time Machine" taking regular snapshots of your entire user directory - allowing you to rollback whenever you want.


That's not the same, as that happens at the filesystem (directory) level. OpenVMS and similar do this at the file level.

When you create a file, you get "myfile;1" where "myfile" is the name, and ";1" is the version. Make a change and save, and you get "myfile;2" along with "myfile;1". Make another change and save, you get "myfile;3" and so on. You access the current version via just "myfile" or any prior version using "myfile;number". You can configure how many versions to keep.

Taking a snapshot of the entire filesystem everytime a single file in the fs changed would very quickly become unwieldy.

Don't get me wrong, I love the snapshots implementation in ZFS, and use it extensively. It just isn't a good tool for file-level versioning. (Although the internal code may be a good starting point.)

Reply Score: 2

Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

Why would be unwieldy to take a snapshot every now and then? One guy took a snapshot each minute and had 60.000 snapshots or so. They consumed 4GB in total.

In contrast, I always save a file I work with, each minute (old habit) and THAT would be quickly unwieldy to have file:1 - file:1000 in my directory. Thousand files? Unwieldy or what? With snapshots you dont see them, they are not listed unless you rollback which is very easy to do.

Both ZFS and OpenVMS allow one to get older versions of files. In my opinion, ZFS does it far more elegant. OpenVMS solution is old and antique. You are used to OpenVMS, that is why you prefer it. Someone without any knowledge would find that ZFS has the more elegant approach - I suspect.

Reply Score: 3

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Why would be unwieldy to take a snapshot every now and then? One guy took a snapshot each minute and had 60.000 snapshots or so. They consumed 4GB in total.


It's not the space consumed, it's managing all the snapshots, for all the filesystems. Using 1 snapshot per day is almost unwieldy on our backups servers.

In contrast, I always save a file I work with, each minute (old habit) and THAT would be quickly unwieldy to have file:1 - file:1000 in my directory. Thousand files? Unwieldy or what?


Only if you configured the system to keep 1000 versions, which I doubt anyone would.

With snapshots you don't see them, they are not listed unless you rollback which is very easy to do.


They are listed, in the output of "zfs list -t snapshot", as well as in the output of "ls /path/to/filesystem/.zfs/snapshot/".

Both ZFS and OpenVMS allow one to get older versions of files. In my opinion, ZFS does it far more elegant.


For a lot of situations, yes, ZFS snapshots are awesome, and very useful.

OpenVMS solution is old and antique. You are used to OpenVMS, that is why you prefer it.


Wow, could you be anymore wrong. ;) I haven't used VMS since I was in university, which would be almost 10 years ago now. But I use ZFS everyday at work and at home.

Someone without any knowledge would find that ZFS has the more elegant approach - I suspect.


I don't know. It would depend on how it was implemented. Both setups have pros and cons.

On a single-user system, using ZFS snapshots may be better. On a multi-user system, where each user gets their own ZFS filesystem, there would be a tonne of snapshots to try and keep straight.

Reply Score: 2

When I'm using Linux (Ubuntu)
by Wowbagger on Thu 16th Jul 2009 07:17 UTC
Wowbagger
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd just love to have drag & drop and copy & paste working throughout. Between all apps.

And I'd love to have a unified sound system, so installing and running sound apps would be as apt-get install xyz simple as any other app.

I bet another year and that'll be fixed as well...

Reply Score: 1

Those are the main things I'm missing
by l3v1 on Thu 16th Jul 2009 07:59 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

Those are the main things I'm missing [...]

Well, I have to tell you, those features are not an OS's features, they are a window manager's features. And taking this viewpoint, KDE3 (and slowly KDE4 too) had (has) enough flsxibility to make the WM behave the way I feel comfortable.

Also, people easily confuse missing userland applications with missing OS functions. E.g. I don't think a missing industry-grade movie editor is a missing OS feature.

As from an OS feature point of view, I still miss (from ... forever) proper native file systems support and a good shell with good command line tools (yeah, hit me you powershell fans, I still think of it as a joke) including softraid management, proper process control, package management, and so on in Windows. Generally, I'd like to have a filesystem with properly integrated and transparent file version control. I'd like proper full OS boot in under 30 seconds. Modal dialogs should be outlawed and usage punishable under international law. Other than that, I feely pretty comfortable with a properly setup linux.

Reply Score: 3

My list
by fithisux on Thu 16th Jul 2009 08:03 UTC
fithisux
Member since:
2006-01-22

OpenSolaris 2009.06

I miss Bluetooth support (preferably 2.1) with a devel system to create profiles (if they came with OS not a problem)

I miss a really supported pkgsrc branch

I miss a crypto acceleration on Via chips and Chrome9 support (the gfx support is not strictly an issue of Opensolaris rather than VIA)

Reply Score: 2

Persistence
by torbenm on Thu 16th Jul 2009 08:30 UTC
torbenm
Member since:
2007-04-23

What I want from an OS is full persistence -- if the power goes, you don't lose all data, but can start from a consistent state that is not too old (a few seconds max). This is not hibernation, as that takes ages and doesn't work if the power suddenly goes away. Full persistence also implies that you can just switch your computer off when you are done -- no need for a long shut-down sequence.

ON a smaller scale, in Windows and Linux I also miss features I had with RISC OS two decades ago:

- Drag-and-drop file saving

- File types (not as file-name extensions).

- Application directories: Applications are just specially typed directories that contain all the necessary files. No installation: As soon as you have copied the directory to your computer, you can run the application. I would like to see more directory types than just "application" and "normal", though, so documents could be directories. Some DTP programs on RISC OS used application directories as the standard document format, but that had some problems.

- Use of same rendering engine for screen view and print, so you _really_ get WYSIWYG.

- Effective use of a 3-button mouse.

Some other things I would like to see in a GUI is:

- Continuous desktop zoom and pan: Zoom in on a window and all parts (buttons, sliders, content, ...) are scaled up proportionally, zoom out and you can see more windows in smaller scale (with smaller title bars etc.). Zoom should be centered at cursor, so you can move to another window by zooming out, moving the cursor and zooming in again. If the cursor moves to the edge of the screen, you pan over the desktop area (which is unbounded in size). You should be able to split the screen to have several independent views of the desktop at different magnifications and positions. Zoom and pan should be accelerated, so it starts slow and speeds up. Icons should be scalable vector graphics rather than bitmaps, possibly with procedural texture to avoid blandness at large magnification.

- Ability to share a desktop between several computers that are networked. You can see the cursors of the other users and immediately see updates. This requires applications to allow several simultaneous input foci.

Reply Score: 1

Assign and Datatypes
by biak on Thu 16th Jul 2009 08:33 UTC
biak
Member since:
2009-04-29

Mac OS X (that I use and home) and Windows (that I use at work) still miss (at least) 2 of Amiga OS features :

1- The "Assign" command : a kind of "ln" targeting several directories. More exactly, it's like a "virtual" volume pointing to several directories.
This would be so usefull for the Windows'DLL mess.

2- The "Datatypes" as cited above.

Reply Score: 1

Missing from OS X
by ohbrilliance on Thu 16th Jul 2009 08:39 UTC
ohbrilliance
Member since:
2005-07-07

These are the features I most missed when moving from KDE3 to OS X:

* KIO parts
* Tabbed file explorer
* Informative options given when overwriting files
* Package management
* Ctrl-Alt-1 to bring up a console when all else fails, or Ctrl-Alt-Backspace (iirc) to restart the GUI

Not intended as a flame, but the features I missed most when moving from XP to KDE3

* zilch

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Thuf
by Thuf on Thu 16th Jul 2009 08:53 UTC
Thuf
Member since:
2009-07-16

A more configurable login window. If I have to restart a session to change energy settings, if I am on the train I'd rather not login->change setting->relog
Why not ask on the login panel???

I feel the sameas you-> BeOS’ do-it-with-meta approach to filing. iTunes/iPhoto DB die die die! All of that should be done entirely at the filesystem level.

get rid of grandpa unix fs hierarchy. Don't hide it, get rid of it!

ZFS snapshot for timemachine

ZFS as main bootable fs

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Thuf
by righard on Fri 17th Jul 2009 16:24 UTC in reply to "Comment by Thuf"
righard Member since:
2007-12-26

That would be a security risk as the login panel runs as super-user.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Thu 16th Jul 2009 09:37 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I only have two requests and these goes for all operating system vendors - firstly, I don't want the window jumping in front of me whilst I'm doing something; there is no need for the unzipper in Mac OS X to be in my face through the whole uncompressing stage; if I choose to focus on my web browser then don't jump in front of it. I have heard a mirade excuses; operating system developers and application developers pointing their fingers at each other - I don't care whose fault it is, just fix it.

Secondly I want you to drop this 'file locking' nonsense. If I want to over right a file that is in use, then god dammit, let me do it, let me take on the consequences of those actions - it is NOT up to you to get in my way when I want to over write a file.

This last one is solely for Microsoft and third party vendors; leave the Windows directory alone; don't copy a damn dll, sys or some other file in there. If you bundle dlls with your applications then keep it in YOUR application folder - I don't give a toss about duplication, disk space is cheap. Just leave the damn Windows directory alone and stop spraying your crap around everywhere; oh, and btw, unless I explicitly state that I want it, don't have a tray icon. I don't care if it cuts down 2 seconds off the load time, unless I explicitly state that I want it - assume I don't want it.

Edited 2009-07-16 09:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Autoraise in Windows
by Drumhellar on Thu 16th Jul 2009 10:18 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

Auto-raise in Windows after XP.

XP has it with the windows Powertoys, but in Vista and later it's gone. I seem to remember there was a manual way to enable it in previous versions, but for the life of me I can't find what the reg key is anywhere.

And, in Explorer, a button to quickly toggle showing/hiding of hidden files.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Autoraise in Windows
by Drumhellar on Thu 16th Jul 2009 10:59 UTC in reply to "Autoraise in Windows"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Did I say autoraise? Scratch that. That's possible (via the Ease of Access Center), but what I meant to say was focus follows mouse.

And, this time, I finally found a way, though it's not for the faint of heart.

Reply Score: 1

Gnome
by Jenne on Thu 16th Jul 2009 10:47 UTC
Jenne
Member since:
2008-11-11

GNOME does not remember window sizes + positions because it "thinks" that each app should do this. wtf?! No alt OS other than OSX untill this is fixed... ;P

Reply Score: 1

QA.
by strcpy on Thu 16th Jul 2009 11:02 UTC
strcpy
Member since:
2009-05-20

Easy.

All open source operating systems: one acronym.

QA.

Reply Score: 1

My list
by suryad on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:08 UTC
suryad
Member since:
2005-07-09

I am running Windows 7. I would like:
1. A more developer friendly command prompt. (Think bash).
2. ssh built in the OS.
3. tabbed command prompt windows (Come on MS!)
4. a smarter filesystem like Linux does that does not require much defragging.
5. And for crying out loud a decent implementation of virtual desktops would be great too.

Thats about it that I can think of this early in the morning...

PS: Before people ask why I just dont use Linux I will just say that I play a lot of games and I dont care for dual booting and I dont care for the user interface of kde or gnome. I much like Windows 7's UI.

Edited 2009-07-16 12:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: My list
by google_ninja on Thu 16th Jul 2009 13:08 UTC in reply to "My list"
google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

1. A more developer friendly command prompt. (Think bash).


As a developer, I hate base syntax (case-esac... really?), which is why I hate powershell. If you are a bash fan though, you will probably love it. Very bash-esque syntax, you can interact/pipe any .net object, and every microsoft product is required to provide interfaces to be scripted by it.

Reply Score: 2

"send a window to back"
by mono on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:10 UTC
mono
Member since:
2005-10-19

In Windows it's Alt+Escape. It sends the window to the back.

Reply Score: 2

FS
by Greuceanu on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:16 UTC
Greuceanu
Member since:
2007-09-27

I would like a filesystem that can be understood by every major OS. NTFS is great for Windows, rw is working now from Linux too, but from MacOS you need third-party drivers (Paragon). FAT32 is obsolete, due to lack of support for 4GB+ files. Ext3/4 is great under Linux, but I wouldn't scratch it from Windows and haven't tried from MacOS. HFS+ may be perfect for MacOS, but you need to pay to see your files from Windows.

All I'm asking is an open-source filessytem, accesible (read/write support, native or open-source drivers) from Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS, OpenSolaris and Haiku that is good enough to have 4GB+ files and 10TB+ partitions. I'm not asking boot support, I only want to access my files from it from every OS without constant fear that I might break something and loose or corrupt data. Is it too much to ask?

Reply Score: 1

RE: FS
by darknexus on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:30 UTC in reply to "FS"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I would like a filesystem that can be understood by every major OS. NTFS is great for Windows, rw is working now from Linux too, but from MacOS you need third-party drivers (Paragon).


Why not just install MacFuse and ntfs-3g for Mac? Then you get the same rw support for ntfs that Linux has without having to pay for Paragon. Still, it's no substitute for a good, open filesystem though... but does anyone else think it ironic and a little sad that the filesystem that can be made to work equally well on the three major oses is NTFS these days?

All I'm asking is an open-source filessytem, accesible (read/write support, native or open-source drivers) from Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, MacOS, OpenSolaris and Haiku that is good enough to have 4GB+ files and 10TB+ partitions. I'm not asking boot support, I only want to access my files from it from every OS without constant fear that I might break something and loose or corrupt data. Is it too much to ask?


Probably, as long as monopolistic companies control the PC market, equal access is not in each individual company's best interest. But look further, even in the open source world we don't have a universal filesystem that works equally well across foss platforms. Ext2/ext3 can be read and written on Linux, read only on some of the BSDs. Ext4 and btrfs are Linux only, zfs is Solaris and FreeBSD only (Linux's crappy fuse implementation doesn't really count). FFS/UFS/UFS2 are *BSD and Solaris only but even there the implementations are sometimes incompatible... If we can't even get it right in the foss world, how can we expect anyone else to resolve this situation? Even the "open" platforms don't have a universal fs, let alone thinking commercial entities are going to voluntarily have universal fs access.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: FS
by Greuceanu on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:34 UTC in reply to "RE: FS"
Greuceanu Member since:
2007-09-27

Weird, I see NTFS on the third place when it comes to "a common ground". I think the first in my list is ext3, followed by FAT32. If only FAT32 would support greater partition sizes and bigger files, it will be ideal.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: FS
by darknexus on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: FS"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Weird, I see NTFS on the third place when it comes to "a common ground". I think the first in my list is ext3, followed by FAT32. If only FAT32 would support greater partition sizes and bigger files, it will be ideal.


Have you found a way to read and write ext3 on OS X? Solaris? BSD? Some of these support reading, to various degrees, but only Linux has flawless write support. Even the Windows IFS driver can hash an ext3 journal sometimes. Fat32 works on just about everything but has a lot of serious limitations--filesize, partition size (some oses don't read fat32 partitions over a certain size limit). That leaves NTFS... *shudder*.
In actuality, UDF could solve this problem, as it has modes meant for rw non-optical disks and revision 1.02 can basically be read and write by the major oses. But of course, OS X's Finder refuses to mount UDF media that's not a DVD even though it mounts perfectly by the command line. Grrr, the filesystem situation seems so hopeless.

Reply Score: 2

Various stuff..
by bert64 on Thu 16th Jul 2009 12:43 UTC
bert64
Member since:
2007-04-23

OSX/Windows - package management, like linux has, select stuff from a list click install, done... with the ability to select multiple repositories and have everything updated centrally without having to have a stack of separate update daemons running, also the ability to cleanly uninstall.

Linux/windows - ZFS (osx - zfs out of the box, especially on server versions)

All - a common, open filesystem, supported by every OS out of the box and without patent encumbrances or limitations to max file size etc. Mostly directed at MS who are seemingly too arrogant to bother supporting anything other than their own filesystems.

Windows/OSX - more flexible window management... i especially like the amiga style background windows feature that thom was complaining about in the amigaos 4.1 review, i always used a unix wm which was configured with focus follows mouse and clicking in the titlebar brought the window to front. I also liked the beos style tabbed windows...

windows - cli only mode (not a cli in a window) so you can use a serial console among other things.

linux - fix the audio issues, have a consistent api for all apps to use and which does mixing in the kernel (or in hardware, if such hardware is present).

Reply Score: 1

Comment by FealDorf
by FealDorf on Thu 16th Jul 2009 13:18 UTC
FealDorf
Member since:
2008-01-07

As its about "features", none of these are bugs:

Windows7
@ Windows XP's filetypes options; in Vista and 7 it's too crippled
@ Aero in WMP and Image Preview..
@ Faster shutdown. Mac can do it; why not windows?

MacOSX
@ Searching in read-only hard disks... I can't search in NTFS disks
@ Compressed-file viewing before extraction, as in BeOS
@ Individual item delete?

Linux; it's too hard to generalize..

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by FealDorf
by suryad on Thu 16th Jul 2009 14:04 UTC in reply to "Comment by FealDorf"
suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

Curious about that shutdown speed command. How long does it take for you to shut down? Mine takes 10-20 seconds I think. Mind I am running an RC version so this is no guarantee it will be so in the final RTM version of the OS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by FealDorf
by FealDorf on Thu 16th Jul 2009 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by FealDorf"
FealDorf Member since:
2008-01-07

I remember it being around ~20 secs for Windows7 RC for me, maybe 8 or 10 secs for Leopard...

Reply Score: 1

Window Management.
by Morgul on Thu 16th Jul 2009 13:18 UTC
Morgul
Member since:
2005-07-06

By and large the most important thing to me is sane window management. By this, I don't mean tiling versus stacking, or the like. Rather I mean window snapping and mouse focus models.

As far as window snapping goes, Gnome/KDE/XFCE/Fluxbox/etc have it, and while they all implement it in subtly different ways, I find all of them more usable then Windows/OSX. (Though, gnome/compiz/whoevers_fault_it_is needs to get on the ball with snap on resize. Seriously, metacity has it, compiz should too.) There's a wonderful program called allsnap ( http://www.ivanheckman.com/allsnap/ ) for windows. Now, it's not as nice as a native solution, but it works, and makes windows perfectly usable. There's no good solution for Mac. As I have to use a Mac for work, I find myself doing everything I can in either a Windows VM or Linux VM, simply because I hate trying to size windows on Mac.

With mouse focus policies, I find myself missing them, but not as greatly. Personally, I use 'focus follows mouse' or 'focus under mouse', without bringing the focused window to the front. I know other people who prefer to bring the focused window to the front, and others who like a different style. The key here is choice. Every OS has click to focus, but only the oss window managers seem to implement something more. There are applications for this, but I guess it doesn't bother me enough to research them. (Also, I'm a bit unclear how usable focus follows mouse would be on OSX. With the file bar at the top of the screen, I can easily see times when I try to use the file bar, cross another window, and have no idea why the application suddenly switched on me. Perhaps a delay before switching?)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Window Management.
by phoenix on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:35 UTC in reply to "Window Management."
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

By and large the most important thing to me is sane window management. By this, I don't mean tiling versus stacking, or the like. Rather I mean window snapping and mouse focus models.


YES!! Window snapping is *sorely* lacking in Windows. It is so annoying. Especially the lack of "snap to monitor edge".

There's a wonderful program called allsnap ( http://www.ivanheckman.com/allsnap/ ) for windows.


Interesting. Will have to check that out. Thanks for the link.

With mouse focus policies, I find myself missing them, but not as greatly. Personally, I use 'focus follows mouse' or 'focus under mouse', without bringing the focused window to the front.


This has always annoyed me on multi-monitor setups. Focus-follows-mouse (with a 0.5s delay) makes working with multiple monitors just so much simpler. It's too bad this isn't easier to configure/more stable on Windows.

There are applications for this, but I guess it doesn't bother me enough to research them.


Microsoft PowerToys implements this, although I haven't tried it on WinXP+.

Reply Score: 2

SSH in Windows
by jabbotts on Thu 16th Jul 2009 13:37 UTC
jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

How SBM/CIFS windows shares remain a cleartext protocol, I don't know. Along with that, all my other systems integrate naturally and safely over ssh. I'd love to drop CIFS and use a Windows native OpenSSH. The software is under an open license, all that needs to be done is provide a win32 native service.

On the other side, it's always better hardware support from manufacturers. They could have a larger potential consumer market at no extra cost to there own budgets if they' simply provide the interface specs or respect industry standards (no more Winmodems please).

Better data sync between Nokia phones, the N810 and non-Windows systems would also be welcome. I think I have it covered with OpenSync and eGroupware though.

Reply Score: 2

a professional and serious-looking GUI
by Glynser on Thu 16th Jul 2009 14:02 UTC
Glynser
Member since:
2007-11-29

I'd like to switch to Win7 someday, because XP is getting old, but one show-stopper for me is the lack of a professional and serious-looking GUI.

The Vista GUI and the Win7 GUI is just looking horrible, it looks like it's a "child edition", but not a professional operating system. I installed the Win7 RC and switched everything back to Win Classic, and disabled all the animations for window sizing and so on, but the problem is: the Win Classic GUI is broken. First of all, it's not hardware accelerated, and second, everything looks inconsistent. In some Dialogs, the fonts look different than in other dialogs. Some context menus have thick borders, some have flat borders. Some checkboxes behave like radio buttons. Some buttons are slightly higher than others. I could go on and on...

I can't explain how Microsoft thinks that Areo is the thing for everybody. Maybe some kids like it, but it's just not professional, and I'm very upset about this. Back in Win95, everything was consistent, but today, it's just a huge mess.

At work, I'm using GNOME with a very basic, unobtrusive look, without color gradients and shiny-flashy gimmicks. Working with that is a breeze. Everything looks fine, and every dialog looks the same. People should remember that a GUI is just a "service" that acts as a intermediary between human and machine, and this only works well with consistency (both in looks and expected functionality), and that the GUI is not a super-cool product in itself. For example, a browser should be an ordinary looking tool to show super-cool web pages, and a word processor should be an ordinary looking tool to show super-cool layouts. Sadly, most current applications try to impress with their looks more than the content that is shown inside, and this just gets in the way. A huge example is Office 2007, which has shiny-flashy color gradients BEHIND THE DOCUMENT. I can't believe it.

Please bring back a simple high-quality GUI, and I will switch to Win7 instantly.

Reply Score: 1

save all these suggestions !
by boulabiar on Thu 16th Jul 2009 14:34 UTC
boulabiar
Member since:
2009-04-18

I wonder if someone save all these suggestions and create a webpage indicating every feature with a screenshot.

it would be really very very nice !

Reply Score: 1

Slick standard desktop...
by Jason Bourne on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:01 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

Someone asked me to be more specific about a linux slick standard desktop...

1. No XFCE, KCROCK, GNOMAGGOTS, L.I.N.L (linux is not linux) kinda names at all... these names have only one purpose - mess with your brains and we need a productive environment and not that kind of naming.

2. A phylosophy that copies the CHROME one: less browser and more web. We don't need 2 taskbars, or tasklists spread over the screen. One is just fine. Also we don't need silly navigatable animated menus (KDE kickoff). A classic menu is fine.

3. A theme that would make the "X" (close window) button larger. Until now I think only Microsoft and Google thought about this. (Yes, in the copy-me way).

4. One universal clean, classic, font-friendly toolkit to set a standard. GTK & QT applications would use at best, themes for this new toolkit. Applications would migrate to this new tool kit over time.

5. One universal way to install applications with literally one click and without the hassle of going through package managers and dependencies. I don't think PackageKit is any good (last time I tried in Kubuntu it was a mess). Something like "universal binaries". But for that to happen, everyone has to be following the standards.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Slick standard desktop...
by Delgarde on Thu 16th Jul 2009 23:18 UTC in reply to "Slick standard desktop..."
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Someone asked me to be more specific about a linux slick standard desktop...

1. No XFCE, KCROCK, GNOMAGGOTS, L.I.N.L (linux is not linux) kinda names at all... these names have only one purpose - mess with your brains and we need a productive environment and not that kind of naming.


Well, you're *not* going to get that. It's a free world, and people who write software will call it whatever they want.

2. A phylosophy that copies the CHROME one: less browser and more web. We don't need 2 taskbars, or tasklists spread over the screen. One is just fine. Also we don't need silly navigatable animated menus (KDE kickoff). A classic menu is fine.


Fair enough complaint - a little wasted space isn't too big a deal on my desktop box (1920x1200 screen), but for my netbook, I'm certainly interested in more space-efficient layouts. Currently running Ubuntu's "Netbook Remix" on that - it helps, but could be better...

3. A theme that would make the "X" (close window) button larger. Until now I think only Microsoft and Google thought about this. (Yes, in the copy-me way).


A *larger* close button? That's odd - I'd have thought that would be the last thing you'd want, making it easier to accidentally close a window.

4. One universal clean, classic, font-friendly toolkit to set a standard. GTK & QT applications would use at best, themes for this new toolkit. Applications would migrate to this new tool kit over time.


You're suggesting a new tookit and expecting people to put in the effort to migrate their apps to it, something which seems unlikely. Is there a particular reason why one of the existing toolkits wouldn't suffice?

5. One universal way to install applications with literally one click and without the hassle of going through package managers and dependencies. I don't think PackageKit is any good (last time I tried in Kubuntu it was a mess). Something like "universal binaries". But for that to happen, everyone has to be following the standards.


As a LinuxFromScratch user, I can't really comment on that one, other than to note that expecting people to follow the standards is somewhat optimistic. It's herding cats.

Reply Score: 2

Choices
by RippStudwell on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:38 UTC
RippStudwell
Member since:
2009-07-16

I am mostly a Mac user (not a fanboy, a user) So I don't mind giving OS X an honest critiquing. No OS is perfect. When my old Mac croaked, I had only one PC and ran SuSe Linux for few years until I bought another Mac.

There is one feature that I particularly loved in KDE 3.x. It was a simple one that is missing from both Windows and OS X. When dragging a file a menu pops up to ask if I want to copy, create a link or move the file. These can be done easily in the other operating systems by holding down certain keys but the menu is more elegant in my opinion and doesn't require the user to remember the keys. At first it annoyed me but when I moved back to the Mac, I missed it.

Oh yeah... better package management, or at least an included uninstaller would be nice. I have a third party uninstaller but Apple should include their own.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Choices
by Delgarde on Thu 16th Jul 2009 23:25 UTC in reply to "Choices"
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

There is one feature that I particularly loved in KDE 3.x. It was a simple one that is missing from both Windows and OS X. When dragging a file a menu pops up to ask if I want to copy, create a link or move the file.


Yeah, Gnome (or rather, Nautilus) does that when dragging with the middle button instead of the left. Very useful sometimes.

Reply Score: 3

NeXT to nothing
by mlankton on Thu 16th Jul 2009 16:50 UTC
mlankton
Member since:
2009-06-11

Using OS X since 2002, OPENSTEP before that.

Had a long wish list for OPENSTEP. OS X has evolved since 2002 and pretty much nailed it for me. I have no serious gripes or ardent wishes.

Maybe a replacement for HFS+ that has all the benefits of ZFS without giving up HFS+ features. People who keep harping about ZFS don't realize that it only represents part of what a desired replacement filesystem should have for OS X.

Beos/Amiga-esque boot ups would be nice too, but OS X isn't designed to be light on resources so I'll live with 24 second boot times and put Haiku on my laptop when they release a live cd.

Reply Score: 1

Viruses and spyware
by soulrebel123 on Thu 16th Jul 2009 18:31 UTC
soulrebel123
Member since:
2009-05-13

I miss viruses and spyware on linux. It's quite a flaw.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Viruses and spyware
by fretinator on Thu 16th Jul 2009 18:38 UTC in reply to "Viruses and spyware"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Have you tried installing them under Wine? I'm not sure how successful you would be, but it might work. I would hate for you to miss out on the full PC experience.

Reply Score: 3

What I miss in z/OS
by asgard on Thu 16th Jul 2009 18:53 UTC
asgard
Member since:
2008-06-07

Now since z/OS is my favorite operating system, I miss the following:

1. Some *real* scripting language. I mean, REXX is like Bash - nice for small scripts but really ugly for larger ones. I want something modern where I don't have to make tradeoff between modularity and data structures, like Python or Lisp.

2. Larger terminal sizes. The 132x62 in DYNAMIC mode is pretty good, but my screen would handle even more..

3. Free version of z/OS for my Hercules at home. Pretty please, IBM!

4. EMACS. I know it would be hard to make it work with 3270 terminal, but still, it's a real nice editor. It could at least have FTP mode to communicate with z/OS FTP server (datasets, job submitting, spool reading).

5. I miss few commands in TSO, especially some better archival/compression tool for several datasets (so I wouldn't have to write a job for that).

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Maki
by Maki on Thu 16th Jul 2009 20:47 UTC
Maki
Member since:
2009-06-28

Using archlinux here, i guess bigger linux marketshare would be what i need, since it means more devs

Reply Score: 2

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Thu 16th Jul 2009 21:00 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

Aaaah, that's what I don't like. Windows and MacOSX makes you think, that OS is an interace, while it is just an INTERFACE to the OS ;)

I totally agree with your opinion regarding BeOS. I adore BeOS and Haiku, I also have Zeta, but it's not the thing, you know ...

Reply Score: 1

Logical Names from VMS
by gmm35 on Thu 16th Jul 2009 21:09 UTC
gmm35
Member since:
2009-07-16

I am still amazed that nobody has implemented a VAX/VMS style logical name facilty. Using physical names for all of the harware is very limiting. I want the ability to rename any hardware with a logical name of my choosing.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Logical Names from VMS
by flynn on Thu 16th Jul 2009 23:21 UTC in reply to "Logical Names from VMS"
flynn Member since:
2009-03-19

I am still amazed that nobody has implemented a VAX/VMS style logical name facilty. Using physical names for all of the harware is very limiting. I want the ability to rename any hardware with a logical name of my choosing.

You can use symbolic links on *nix name your hardware whatever you want, can't you?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Logical Names from VMS
by poladark on Fri 17th Jul 2009 12:44 UTC in reply to "Logical Names from VMS"
poladark Member since:
2009-07-15

I am still amazed that nobody has implemented a VAX/VMS style logical name facilty. Using physical names for all of the harware is very limiting. I want the ability to rename any hardware with a logical name of my choosing.

I think a lot of operating systems let you do this to some extent in one way or the other. It works in AmigaOS. The logical name facility in OpenVMS is pretty advanced compared to most other operating systems out there though.

I like using OpenVMS a lot but sometimes i'm wondering if i'm not staring myself blind at how things have been solved in OpenVMS. A lot of the same things can be done in most other systems even though it often doesn't seem as clean as it would seem to be in OpenVMS.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Logical Names from VMS
by shotsman on Fri 17th Jul 2009 13:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Logical Names from VMS"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

The logically tree structured help system is AFAIK, as good as it gets.
'man' pages are positively archaic by comparison.

I might be slightly biased though as I worked at DEC to 20years but the VMS Help system does take some beating.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Logical Names from VMS
by phoenix on Fri 17th Jul 2009 19:00 UTC in reply to "Logical Names from VMS"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

I am still amazed that nobody has implemented a VAX/VMS style logical name facilty. Using physical names for all of the harware is very limiting. I want the ability to rename any hardware with a logical name of my choosing.


You obviously haven't used FreeBSD, then, and the wonderful glabel GEOM module. ;) You can label your physical harddrives (use /dev/label/name instead of /dev/ad*), or individual filesystems (use /dev/fstype/name instead of /dev/adXsYz). And they can be either temporary (removed on boot) or permanent (stored in the last sector).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Logical Names from VMS
by msieweke on Fri 17th Jul 2009 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Logical Names from VMS"
msieweke Member since:
2006-07-18

That's a small subset of the facility of logical names in VMS. In VMS you can define different logical names for a process, a job, a group, or the system. For example "define/system sys$printer lpa0:" and "define/group=london sys$printer lpb1:".

In VMS any user can define his own logical names. He can "define sys$temp sys$login:[temp]" and any program that creates a file in "sys$temp:" will use that directory.

Logical name tables are searched from specific to general (process, job, group, system), so you can have a system default that each user or group may override.

Logical names may be defined as search paths - "define sys$library sys$system:,sys$login:[library]". Logical names are translated in standard file open calls, so a program can open "sys$library:mylib.a" and it will be found in either sys$system: or sys$login:[library]. Because they are a standard system feature, no application has to reinvent them. They just work.

While we're on the topic of VMS, I miss the logical command structure. To see terminal settings: "show terminal". To change terminal settings: "set terminal". To see the time: "show time". To set the time: "set time". To search within a file: "search". How about "directory /modified/before=today/exclude=*.log/columns=1"? How about "rename *.p *.pas"?

Reply Score: 1

Let me see here...
by motang on Thu 16th Jul 2009 22:30 UTC
motang
Member since:
2008-03-27

Ubuntu user here since 2005 (Mandriva prior to that), but have been a Windows user since 1997.

Let’s see I really don’t compare OS much anymore and have been comfortable with both Ubuntu and Windows. Here goes nothing to answer the question:

Ubuntu: I would to see one sound system and prefer Pulse Audio server, better way to manage partition on hard drives, Gnome really needs to incorporate widgets better (I know of screenlets, but Plasmoids in KDE 4 and Gadgets in Vista/7 are far superior). Nautilus needs to give out better info about a particular file when that file is highlighted, so for instance if I choose an image file then give its dimensions, its modified date, option to open it with the image viewer or GIMP etc. off to the left side or even at the bottom of the window. Let me tag files and rate them like I can with Dolphin so I can easily search for them later via tags and sort them according to rating.


Windows: Some of the annoyances that I had from XP and Vista have been addressed in Windows 7 which is really cool. Like for instance, you can rearrange the window list in the task bar now. Easily switch between wireless network in a drop down list (like with network manager). But there are few still needs to be addressed like, how about an application that lets me download software similar to what Linux distros have been doing for years, so that I can get Firefox, Opera, Thunderbird, flash player, etc. from one place. Better way of implementing UAC, come on Linux has been doing for years now, Ubuntu only asks for root password only when system files are changed, I don’t need to authorize to download a program when I clicked on the bloody link.

That’s it for me, or should I say that is all I can’t think of at the moment, thanks for letting me blow off some steam. ;)

Reply Score: 1

Some basic os interface quibbles
by AlfR on Fri 17th Jul 2009 08:15 UTC
AlfR
Member since:
2009-07-17

The minimum...

Flicker free scroll in all windows (wait on vertical refresh like in AmigaOS).

No curious stops/hangs in painting the desktop on my quad processor machine (QNX and other realtime OS works, windows not so much.)

Multiple input sources. If I can handle two mice at the same time why can't the computer. And there should really be native support for pointing and clicking through video capture. If I use two colored markers again it should handle as two input sources.

Standard for communicating with configurable hardware: Most of the time I would rather set monitor properties from the OS than using the little buttons inconveniently placed underneath the monitor edge. Windows already communicates DRM so why not something a bit more useful. The monitor should also report actual physical size and the OS should have 'actual size' support.

*Dito the zoom out, zoom in of the desktop to navigate the workspace.

The niceties...

Debugger virtual machine with reversible execution so you can debug program flow forwards and backwards.

Support for virtual machines associated with programs so you can easily run some programs in a very secure context.

Reply Score: 1

Better audio support
by kvarbanov on Fri 17th Jul 2009 10:15 UTC
kvarbanov
Member since:
2008-06-16

Generally, I miss time to code whatever I need, but when the conditions permit, I do that. Using OpenSuse 11.0, and I have everything I need, besides better support for Exchange, but this goes to Thunderbird wishlist. However, better audio support is what Linux miss at most, splitting some simple mp3 file takes installing million of hidden libraries. Why Windows has that ability by default ?

Reply Score: 1

Protect applications
by morwen on Fri 17th Jul 2009 11:59 UTC
morwen
Member since:
2007-02-20

In all OS's I miss a protection system. If an application needs some memory (call malloc from C) it may be succesfull or not. The programmer needs to check if the memory was allocated. If the application don't make the check, there is a risk of a segmentation fault. If there is a segmentation fault the application is killed, and the user don't get a notice telling what is wrong. (Well, perhaps in a terminal, but not in a window.)

I want the OS to prevent this. If a function like malloc can't allocate enough memory it should send a signal, and if this signal isn't handled by the application, the OS should terminate the application and tell the user that the application needed too much memory, but couldn't get it.

Reply Score: 2

hardware support
by trenchsol on Fri 17th Jul 2009 16:06 UTC
trenchsol
Member since:
2006-12-07

Recently I went through a lot of problems installing HP ink jet printer (not the newest one) on Linux. Succeeded in the end. I had a lot of problems with winmodem, too, but succeeded in the end.

It is less likely to happen in Windows world, because hardware vendor is *always* guilty if it does not work under Windows. There is no excuse, and, even if problem is in Windows, vendor must find the way around, or they can forget about selling their device.

I'd like the same to be true for Linux. I don't expect it to happen anytime soon.

Reply Score: 2

One OS want and one WM want
by fridder on Sat 18th Jul 2009 00:11 UTC
fridder
Member since:
2007-11-03

First the WM want. I want e17 to be finished. It is starting to feel like it has great potential and is blazing fast compared to GNOME or KDE.

OS:
A better FS for windows. NTFS sucks for large numbers of small files and really causes issues for me at work. I am still bitter about WinFS.

Reply Score: 1

Automator
by sumone on Sat 18th Jul 2009 18:48 UTC
sumone
Member since:
2007-02-11

I'd pay up to $75 for Automator.

Reply Score: 1

Some basics
by sorpigal on Mon 20th Jul 2009 18:35 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

Here are the ones I can think of at the moment:

1) Window shade mode, aka window rollup. Double click titlebar, or configurable, window rolls up. Mac OS <=9 got this right!

2) Close button on LEFT, every other titlebar widget on RIGHT. Or, the opposite. Or, configurable. Mac OS <= 9 got this right, except it didn't have enough buttons and it wasn't configurable.

3) Forward-slash directory separators. Windows gets this wrong. Come on, people, it's good enough for the Internet! There's no excuse for to not have a local filepath not be a valid URI, not any more.

4) BeOS-style saved searches. I get excited just thinking about it! No, hacking this above the FS layer does not cut it.

More, which I'll think of later.

Reply Score: 2