Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Apr 2010 13:10 UTC
Linux We all know Synaptics, the company that seems to produce just about every touchpad you can get your hands fingers on. Their touchpads also do a lot of multitouch and gesture stuff, but up until now, their set of gestures, the Synaptics Gesture Suite, was only available on Windows. Luckily, they've ported it over to Linux, and made it available for OEMs building Linux laptops.
Order by: Score:
Comment by huwnet
by huwnet on Mon 19th Apr 2010 13:34 UTC
huwnet
Member since:
2006-11-12

I've certainly had two finger scrolling on my eeepc since I got it in '08.

Pinch to zoom might be nice though. Presumably apps like eye of gnome will also need to add multitouch support?

Reply Score: 5

Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

It's a pity it's not open source thus allowing all distributions access to their products as well as other OSs a chance to port the tools too (eg *BSD, OpenSolaris, Haiku, etc). With Synaptics business being hardware, I'd have thought (and correct me if I'm wrong here) there was no "trade secret" danger from opening up their code.

However, open source or not, it's good to see Synaptics contribute. There's still far too many hardware manufacturers out there that completely ignore the Linux platform - often just expecting hackers fill the void with reverse engineering and the lark. So I'd much rather see the source closed than not see the software at all.

[edited to read better.]

Edited 2010-04-19 13:48 UTC

Reply Score: 6

Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

.... Or worse, they have some Trojan or malfeatures in their code they don't want you to know about.

In any case, it's probably wise to avoid putting yourself at risk by running such closed software on your computer.


I can see the argument against binary blobs is a good one, but this is over stating the case, hardware vendors supporting Linux is a good thing, OK it would be better if this was with opensource drivers, but it is still a step in the right direction.

I wouldn't suggest installing this on your server, but on a less than mission critical netbook, smartbook etc it will be a good thing.

So - Year of the Linux netbook, smartbook, laptop! I think year of the Linux Desktop has already happened just many people haven't noticed.

Reply Score: 5

siride Member since:
2006-01-02

I'm not sure why a server would have a Synaptics touchpad on it...

Reply Score: 3

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

The problem is that their code is probably an unmaintainable mess full of bugs and WTF that would hit their corporate image so much that they decided it is better to pretend they've got some super secret algorithm that gives them a competitive advantage so they don't want you to see that.

Or worse, they have some Trojan or malfeatures in their code they don't want you to know about.

In any case, it's probably wise to avoid putting yourself at risk by running such closed software on your computer.


Oh dear.

I don't really know where to start debunking such an absurd comment, so instead I'll get back to playing my 3D accelerated games in Linux thanks to nVidia's proprietary drivers.

Reply Score: 9

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

With Synaptics business being hardware, I'd have thought (and correct me if I'm wrong here) there was no "trade secret" danger from opening up their code.


If having gesture support in their drivers gives them a competitive advantage, that would be a "trade secret"

Reply Score: 2

cookieninja Member since:
2005-11-11

I find that hard to believe. If it was that important to a competitor, surely they would reverse engineer the code and take a look inside the appropriate hardware and find out all they need to know.

Edited 2010-04-19 17:51 UTC

Reply Score: 4

google_ninja Member since:
2006-02-05

Yeah, cause theres totally a button for that.

Reply Score: 2

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

" With Synaptics business being hardware, I'd have thought (and correct me if I'm wrong here) there was no "trade secret" danger from opening up their code.


If having gesture support in their drivers gives them a competitive advantage, that would be a "trade secret"
"

But it's the hardware that supports multi-touch et al. The drivers just allow the OS to interface with the hardware.

Sure, the gesture suite will probably have mappings, but it would be little more than any other gesture mapping on any other hardware. (eg recording certain strokes to trigger certain events)

If it was a purely software interface, then Linux would have reverse engineered it by now as gestures have been in Linux for years already. The problem is interfacing with the specialised hardware controls to support things like two-fingered scrolling. Stuff like that will only run on Synaptic hardware so it really doesn't matter what software/drivers you run on top of it so long as it can read the hardware fully. Thus my point that I wouldn't expect to see any trade secrets in the source.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm not ungrateful. ;)

Edited 2010-04-19 22:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

This is a GOOD thing.
by Tuishimi on Mon 19th Apr 2010 16:50 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Any vendor willing to port their code to linux is good, whether the product (or the translated product) is good or poor because the more commercial entities porting their wares to linux, the more likely other companies will consider doing the same... sort of a cascading effect.

Reply Score: 8

RE: This is a GOOD thing.
by ramasubbu_sk on Mon 19th Apr 2010 19:15 UTC in reply to "This is a GOOD thing."
ramasubbu_sk Member since:
2007-04-05

I totally agree!

Reply Score: 2

Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

... It's definitely possible. OSNews had a story about how to do this (http://www.osnews.com/story/19960/)

So, it should be reimplemented as open source, and then it can be included by default, unless there are patents ;)

Reply Score: 2

Dr-ROX Member since:
2006-01-03

Isn't those gestures patented?

Reply Score: 1

Comment by spinnekopje
by spinnekopje on Tue 20th Apr 2010 10:59 UTC
spinnekopje
Member since:
2008-11-29

Linux can only gain a lot of market share when hardware just works, just like it does on windows.
The easiest way to achieve that is by drivers from the manufacturers themselves. I do understand those when they create closed source drivers, they want to protect their product.
I also do understand the people who want open source drivers, because I do see the advantage of that.

But if a company creates a closed source driver that actually works pretty good, why not help to improve it instead of complaining that it is not open source?
If the company gets a lot of support to improve the driver, they might also create drivers for future products and who knows, maybe open the source up in a nearby future.
If they only get complaints that have nothing to do with the driver quality at all what reason do they have to invest more money?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Linux can only gain a lot of market share when hardware just works, just like it does on windows.

Well, it doesn't. Have you tried Windows recently? Most hardware does not work out of the box. You've got to hunt the internet, download the driver for your hardware and hope you didn't download a virus instead. When you install Mandriva, Ubuntu or any recent distro, it all works out of the box. That is one of the advantages of the drivers being free (as in freedom): it works out of the box, no need to download anything, no need to give your email address to get the damn driver, no need to download malware. It just works. And linux supports more hardware than Windows anyway. You get the feeling that Windows works out of the box because the OEM did all the work of integrating the right driver and selecting the components to sell the computer with Windows. It just doesn't and sometimes it is a big mess.

The easiest way to achieve that is by drivers from the manufacturers themselves. I do understand those when they create closed source drivers, they want to protect their product.
I also do understand the people who want open source drivers, because I do see the advantage of that.
I also do understand your point. Free driver is better than closed driver and closed driver is better than nothing. My expectations are a free driver though. Actually I would say closed driver is less bad than nothing rather than better.

But if a company creates a closed source driver that actually works pretty good, why not help to improve it instead of complaining that it is not open source?

Because we just can't. A closed driver can not be improved but by the company that did it.

If the company gets a lot of support to improve the driver, they might also create drivers for future products and who knows, maybe open the source up in a nearby future.

That's the other way around. Maybe if the open their source they can get a lot of support to improve their driver. They just can't get support if it is closed.

If they only get complaints that have nothing to do with the driver quality at all what reason do they have to invest more money?

To sell their hardware maybe? There is one thing you should never forget: You are the customer. They are supposed to work for you. You are paying them for that. The money they invest is yours. You decide where they should spend the money when you buy their products. Synaptics didn't wake up one morning and decided they would do the world a favor by releasing a driver for linux. They are not into charity. They saw they are loosing market and money by not releasing their driver for linux and they fixed that. Unfortunately, the fix is not optimal.

Edited 2010-04-20 12:32 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spinnekopje on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by spinnekopje"
spinnekopje Member since:
2008-11-29

Well, it doesn't. Have you tried Windows recently? Most hardware does not work out of the box. You've got to hunt the internet, download the driver for your hardware and hope you didn't download a virus instead. When you install Mandriva, Ubuntu or any recent distro, it all works out of the box.


For windows I can browse the website of the vendor and download all drivers from there.
My wireless atheros card does _not_ work correctly on linux. Some of my card readers don't work like they should (not hot pluggable without tweaking).
A much larger group of users will be able to install a driver from the vendors website, but won't manage to tweak settings to make a card reader work (and after an update that might not even work at all).

About helping on drivers:

Because we just can't. A closed driver can not be improved but by the company that did it.


I can send bug reports for closed source software, so I don't see why the community shouldn't be able to help.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


For windows I can browse the website of the vendor and download all drivers from there.
My wireless atheros card does _not_ work correctly on linux. Some of my card readers don't work like they should (not hot pluggable without tweaking).
A much larger group of users will be able to install a driver from the vendors website, but won't manage to tweak settings to make a card reader work (and after an update that might not even work at all).
That is because you purchased a computer for Windows and tried installing linux on it. Windows won't install on my Gdium because the processor is MIPS and that is not supported at all by Windows.
Actually, 90% of the people are not able to install Windows on a computer, let alone install drivers. They buy is pre-installed. This is the same for linux. The OEM didn't have any trouble with the broadcom wireless chip of my netbook but I suspect 90% of the people would not be able to install it themselves.

I can send bug reports for closed source software, so I don't see why the community shouldn't be able to help.

Oh yes, that we can indeed. I didn't think about that. Another way to help is to ask them to open their driver so we can integrate it in mainstream distros.

But I see your point. It is still good news that they did the driver. It's better than before. Many people will be happy with that. I just expect more.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spinnekopje on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spinnekopje Member since:
2008-11-29

That is because you purchased a computer for Windows and tried installing linux on it.[q]

I have one of the first acer one models available with the linux version on it, but that was even worse than windows to work with.
For daily use I installed ubuntu which works nicer, but not all hardware works like it should.

[q]But I see your point. It is still good news that they did the driver. It's better than before. Many people will be happy with that. I just expect more.


I would also be more pleased with more, but we already should be happy with what they did and not directly start to talk about more.

By the way it can indirectly be included in distro's just like you can enable some video drivers in ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje
by bornagainenguin on Tue 20th Apr 2010 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

spiderman declared...

That is because you purchased a computer for Windows and tried installing linux on it.


I'm sorry, but that's a bad assumption on your part.

I have an ASUS eeepc 901L, the L stands for Linux and my eeepc came with Xandros installed. The hardware should be completely supported then, right? I mean, it has Linux in the name, right?

Not so much... First off the Xandros installed was the same version in use on the 701 models, which ran an entirely different processor! Skipping past the whole issue of how quickly ASUS dropped support for their Linux models once Microsoft made them an offer they couldn't refuse...I quickly installed Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 on the netbook and made use of the community provided kernel put together by Adam McDaniel. That lasted until Jaunty 9.04, where upon he declared there was now sufficient support in the native kernel and we should all use that.

Except the drivers Ralink released aren't free enough, so they were quickly yanked and now I am unable to get a good WiFi connection on my eeepc without running an increasingly depreciated and duct-taped older versions of Ubuntu. The drivers are available on the Ralink site, if I follow the instructions I can have a working WiFi that will work quite well--until there is a kernel update and once again I have to fiddle with the whole make make install thing again. I couldn't do it at all if it weren't for instructions on the Ubuntu Forums...

Then there's the whole loveliness that was the Intel drivers fiasco. I specifically got a laptop with Intel video because I wanted to have good Linux support, cleanly in the kernel without having to have binary blobs... For years the community said "Give us the specs and we'll write the drivers ourselves!" and so Intel obliged them. And before you even try to deflect, I do not have a poulsbo chipset, I have an Intel 945GSE, which should have been supported by now. Yet I suffered the regression there and across every distro that wasn't using alpha quality drivers rushed out the door early.

Those are just two examples of the issues I've had on this "Linux netbook" that I researched ahead of time and confirmed all hardware was working at the time of purchase. I just didn't anticipate the kernel developers and the distro makers working so diligently to break compatibility after the fact...

--bornagainpenguin

PS: I am hardly the only one who has purchased hardware known to work with Linux and be "Linux compatible" only to have that compatibility be broken at a later time. Ask yourself how many others simply walked away when their installs broke and never said anything beyond grousing "This Linux junk don't work!" and resolving not to waste their money on the "inferior copy" and to just buy Windows next time?

Edited 2010-04-20 23:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Wed 21st Apr 2010 05:43 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23


I have an ASUS eeepc 901L, the L stands for Linux and my eeepc came with Xandros installed. The hardware should be completely supported then, right? I mean, it has Linux in the name, right?

I've got pentium 133 machine. It came with windows 95. So it should be compatible with Windows right? I mean it is sold with windows so it should be compatible right? Wrong! I tried to put Vista on it and nothing works! And do you remember the "vista compatible" logo? How has it worked out?
Your computer was compatible with the Xandros distro that came with it. It was not supposed to run Ubuntu. The vast majority of the people who bought this exact same model stick to the system that came installed with it. If you want to hack the system, it is at your own risk.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by spinnekopje
by bornagainenguin on Wed 21st Apr 2010 15:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by spinnekopje"
bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

spiderman retorted...

I have an ASUS eeepc 901L, the L stands for Linux and my eeepc came with Xandros installed. The hardware should be completely supported then, right? I mean, it has Linux in the name, right?

I've got pentium 133 machine. It came with windows 95. So it should be compatible with Windows right? I mean it is sold with windows so it should be compatible right?


Indeed it should be Windows compatible, with like systems within its system specifications. So by all means you should be able to update it to Windows 98, (although if you do might I recommend the wonderful 98Lite tool by Shane Brooks, or that you hunt down a copy of "Revenge of Mozilla" before you do so?) or even Windows NT 3.x to WIndows NT 4.0. If you wanted to run Windows 2000 on it you might be stressing things a bit, but if you check out Fred Vorck's site he can tell you how to create a disc without IE intergrated that will run much smoother for you.

I should know--my first computer was an 133mhz pentium! ;)

spiderman retorted...
Wrong! I tried to put Vista on it and nothing works!


Oh c'mon now! That's hardly comparing apples and apples! You're not even comparing apples and oranges here, this is more like trying to compare apples and watermelons! It doesn't fit!

If you simly must make a Windows analogy then the situation is more comparable to the switch-over from Windows XP to Windows XP SP2... Minor revisions of the same codebase that nevertheless left many people with broken systems or significantly reduced performance over driver issues. Or are you seriously going to try to argue that the upgrade from Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04.x to Ubuntu Karmic 9.10 is that huge of a leap it should be compared with going from Windows 95 to Vista?

Bear in mind that Ubuntu does not use version numbers, those are the month and year of the date of release...

Bear in mind also that this is hardware that is les than two years old, not hardware over a decade old...

Yeah...not exactly comparing apples and apples are we?

spiderman retorted...
And do you remember the "vista compatible" logo? How has it worked out?


What does that have to do with the price of a haircut in Taiwan? (I can make non sequiturs too!)

spiderman retorted...
Your computer was compatible with the Xandros distro that came with it. It was not supposed to run Ubuntu.


Your reading and comprehension skills leave something to be desired, as I said in my first post the version of Xandros that came with the eeepc 901 was the same version that came with the 701. The two devices came with different chipsets! The Xandros version on it was nearly useless as it was nearly impossible to add applications to its menus and would have been little more than a toy otherwise.

As it is I've been a happy Ubuntu user for nearly all of my two years with my eeepc, while there were some issues with powermanagement in the beginning Grigori Goronzy's eee-control swiftly fixed things there, as did the aforementioned array.org kernel from Adam McDaniel. No, it may have come with Xandros, but it was sold as a Linux machine. I know that I and many others' attraction to the eeepc wasn't just in its tiny size, or its wonderful battery life (still getting about five hours or more on a single charge here!) but also on the fact it did not come with the Microsoft tax.

spiderman spouted...
The vast majority of the people who bought this exact same model stick to the system that came installed with it.


Actually the vast majority of those who bought the model I did are using either some form of Linux (ArchLinux, Ubuntu, Mandriva, Debian, etc all the majors seem to be represented) or have installed Windows XP or higher on their eeepcs. A small majority have put on a version of OSX86 after replacing the SSD that came with the system. There are some who choose to run with Xandros, but even of those who do, they run an updated version of the distro maintained by the community, not the abandonned and bitrotted version that came out of the box.

spiderman trolled...
If you want to hack the system, it is at your own risk.


What?? Now installing Linux on a netbook is hacking???

Okay, good one. I see that I've fed you quite a bit with these posts by taking you seriously. My bad. I'll try not to feed the trolls next time...

--bornagainpenguin

PS: I notice you didnt bother to address any of my main points in my earlier post, but I guess that's par for the course when dealing with a troll.

EDIT: fixed hanging quote x2

Edited 2010-04-21 15:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Wed 21st Apr 2010 15:28 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

not exactly comparing apples and apples are we?

it was an hyperbole:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbole

What does that have to do with the price of a haircut in Taiwan? (I can make non sequiturs too!)
I was refering to the fact that many computers sold as "Vista ready" could not actually run Vista.
What?? Now installing Linux on a netbook is hacking???

Maybe not for you indeed. What I meant is that most people who bought the netbook you bought didn't install another distro on it, despite what you say. I'm pretty sure about that. They surf the web and read emails. They got it from their phone carrier.
Anyway, I'll address your comment about Ubuntu breaking things, yes they do. Ubuntu is based on unstable software. They break everything every 6 months. They have LTS releases that are somewhat less unstable. If you have to run Ubuntu, I advise you to stick to LTS releases. But if you don't, there are more stables distros that don't break your system every six months and try not to introduce big regressions when you upgrade. The stable distros that I think about are debian (stable), Red hat, slackware, etc...
Ubuntu is one of the so called "bleeding edge" distros. If you use it, you are in for some bugs and regressions every now and then. People use it because they want to experiment with new features and sometimes because it's the only distro they know. In the later case, they would be better advised to read some more before choosing Ubuntu.

Edited 2010-04-21 15:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by spinnekopje"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Have you tried Windows recently? Most hardware does not work out of the box. You've got to hunt the internet, download the driver for your hardware and hope you didn't download a virus instead.


I hate this lame cliché, but uhm, 2002 called, they want their criticism back. Windows 7 downloads most drivers from WU automatically during and right after installation. Same goes for peripherals - plug them in, and they get pulled from WU.

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Well, Windows 7 is not supported on my hardware so I wouldn't know. I can confirm Windows XP is still a driver hell in 2010 as of April the 20th though.

Edited 2010-04-20 13:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje
by jokkel on Wed 21st Apr 2010 18:15 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje"
jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

It seems a bit unfair to me to compare the 10 year old Windows XP to a current Linux distro. Compare XP to Suse 7 and RedHat 2.1.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje
by jokkel on Wed 21st Apr 2010 18:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by spinnekopje"
jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

Have you tried Windows recently? Most hardware does not work out of the box. You've got to hunt the internet, download the driver for your hardware and hope you didn't download a virus instead. When you install Mandriva, Ubuntu or any recent distro, it all works out of the box.

It seems you havn't tried neither Windows nor Mandriva nor Ubuntu recently. I just tried to install Mandriva 2010 and Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04 on my trusty Dell Latitude D800 Laptop. It's often problematic, because it has a screen resolution of 1680x1200 and a Broadcom wifi chip.

Ubuntu failed to run X, both with the free and the closed driver. X worked on Mandriva flawlessly until I installed the firmware for my wifi chip b43. After that the binary nvidia driver didn't work anymore and I didn't get the full resolution for my display. Also the trackpad stopped working.
Eventually I downgraded to Ubuntu 8.04 which worked after installing the wifi firmware.

Installing Windows is actually a breeze. Put in the CD that came with the computer. Auto-update Windows. And that's it. If I want to get up to date driver versions, I just go to the official Dell website and search for my laptop model. Virus free, thank you very much.
Windows 7 actually includes a lot of drivers for popular hardware.

Windows never broke my drivers with a system upgrade. Linux does this regularly.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Linux can only gain a lot of market share when hardware just works, just like it does on windows.


The ironic thing is most hardware does "just work" in Linux. In fact, setting my ASUS laptop up, even using the OEM Win7 DVD, I spent over an hour (possible 2 - wasn't really paying much attention to time) installing the drivers.

On the same system, Linux picked them all up during the install and everything "just worked" after the installer rebooted. This would never happen - not even on Win7 (as demonstrated above).

The problem with Linux is when hardware isn't supported. In Windows it would take around an hour to find the website, drivers download page and then download and install and reboot. In Linux it can take hours to trawl through wikis and messageboards to find work arounds.

So Linux does "just work" with hardware far more often than Windows. Where it falls down on is hardware that doesn't have open source / reverse engineered drivers and there's no properly supported proprietary ones. Thankfully hardware like this is the exception rather than the norm. However you only need one device like that every so often to bring the overall experience down. After all, it's easier to remember the times you've spent hours configuring something that would have worked in Windows than the times you've not needed to do anything as everything "just worked".



As for your other point about Linux gaining market share; I think there are bigger issues holding it back:
* Microsoft's monopoly (everyone has Windows so that's all most people know and all most people want)

* It's neither "cool" nor considered easy to use like Apple (partly down to the FUD machine from Microsoft and partly down to people recounting 20th Century Linux which, on the whole, wasn't novice friendly)

* Lack of unified image (personally I love the variety within Linux, but it's much much easier to sell a single brand than it is a disjointed community)

* and lastly (at least off the top of my head), most people don't really care what they use enough to investigate into alternatives. Particularly when, for them, Windows is "good enough" (a phrase I've often heard when suggesting new software from web browsers to OSs)

Edited 2010-04-20 12:40 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Having to spend a little bit of time downloading a few drivers is considerably different from having non-working or partially-working drivers that you have to tweak and play with to (hopefully) get your device to function at some percent of its Windows capacity. That process will take quite a bit longer than on Windows and you still may not get it working in the end.

And by the way, I don't know about other vendors, but Lenovo has all the drivers available on a single page on their site. You download them all, run each one and your done. That's pretty easy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Try installing Vista on Qemu. I did it once. It required deep hacking at the time. I don't know if that has improved since then but the point stands. If your hardware is not supported by your OS, you will have to hack. You will have to hack on Linux and you will have to hack on Windows. Really, it is just a matter of choosing your components. If you want to run Windows, don't buy an ARM computer. If you want to run Linux, don't buy an Atheros card.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Okay, you're installing Vista on Qemu, so of course it's going to be difficult. It's hardly an indictment against Vista (other things are, of course).

But the fact of the matter is, your hardware WILL be supported on Windows, because all consumer hardware is meant to work with Windows at the very least. Maybe right after a Windows release you might have to wait. Big deal. On Linux you can wait for years and still not get full support (see: graphics drivers). And generally speaking, you do NOT have to hack around to get things working on Windows. The vendors have already done that for you. I know you can pull up this anecdote or that special case, but the general reality is that things do Just Work on Windows and that's how it is for 99% of the users out there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:01 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

your hardware WILL be supported on Windows, because all consumer hardware is meant to work with Windows at the very least. Maybe right after a Windows release you might have to wait. Big deal. On Linux you can wait for years and still not get full support (see: graphics drivers). And generally speaking, you do NOT have to hack around to get things working on Windows. The vendors have already done that for you. I know you can pull up this anecdote or that special case, but the general reality is that things do Just Work on Windows and that's how it is for 99% of the users out there.

Well that's not true. The Gdium is more than one year old and still not supported by Windows. There are more hardware that don't work with Windows than hardware that work with it. Try installing Windows on a N900 or on a Guru plug computer. Won't work. Hardware not compatible with Windows. No driver available. Requires virtual machine AND hacking. It just works for 99% of users who buy hardware for Windows. If you buy hardware that does not work with Windows, it won't work with Windows and that is 90% of the hardware.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje
by abraxas on Sat 24th Apr 2010 11:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

If you want to run Linux, don't buy an Atheros card.


Why is that? Madwifi just worked back in the day and ath5k finally works just as well for me since kernel 2.6.31-32.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Having to spend a little bit of time downloading a few drivers is considerably different from having non-working or partially-working drivers that you have to tweak and play with to (hopefully) get your device to function at some percent of its Windows capacity.

But my point is Linux is already equivelent to Windows in most repects without having to download drivers.

but you're still missing the point that it's only a small percentage of hardware that require hacking about.



And by the way, I don't know about other vendors, but Lenovo has all the drivers available on a single page on their site. You download them all, run each one and your done. That's pretty easy.


That's good, aside the fact (and as I'd already explained) that you still have countless reboots between driver installs as you can't install everything in one job lot - thus significantly increasing installation time.



Don't get me wrong, I'm not out to say that Linux is better than Windows. I'm just stating that this myth about Linux not support hardware is just that, a myth. Sure, Linux isn't without it's hardware troubles, but then no OS supports all hardware (not even Windows) and the hardware Linux does support (which is the vast majority of available hardware) it generally supports without additional user downloads and pratting about.

I know personal experience is purely anecdotal, but I honestly think that over the years I've spent an equal amount of time setting up Windows systems with it's driver models as I have Linux systems with missing drivers. And that's without me going out of my way to buy "Linux compatible" hardware.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

I'm sorry, you're still failing the see the fundamental and significant difference between having to download a few EXEs and install them, and having to tweak config files, apply patches, download experimental versions of software and potentially still not getting your hardware to work. If you can't see the difference, then no wonder Linux is failing on the desktop.

I'm sorry, downloading EXEs and installing them is not "hacking around".

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I'm sorry, you're still failing the see the fundamental and significant difference between having to download a few EXEs and install them, and having to tweak config files, apply patches, download experimental versions of software and potentially still not getting your hardware to work. If you can't see the difference, then no wonder Linux is failing on the desktop.

I'm sorry, downloading EXEs and installing them is not "hacking around".


Right, I can see we're going round in circles now so I'm only going to say this one last time:

1/ I never stated that downloading an EXE in Windows is "hacking around".

2/ 4 out of 5 systems I build I don't have to tweak config files, run experimental versions of software or apply patches to get my hardware working. 99% of the time my hardware works 1st time in Linux. No mess, no nothing. 99% of the time Linux works "out of the box". 99% of the time, Linux "just works". 99% of the time I install the OS, reboot once, then I have a *FULLY* functional OS. ie 99% of the time your argument is WRONG.

I hope that clears up some confusion. ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Comment by spinnekopje
by AirIntake on Tue 20th Apr 2010 17:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by spinnekopje"
AirIntake Member since:
2009-10-29

Where did you get this 99% value? A good 30% of people own an ATI card, and I can guarantee you that ATI cards do not 'just work' in Linux. Intel cards are hit and miss too. Linux also has huge issues with HDMI audio.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Wed 21st Apr 2010 07:00 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Where did you get this 99% value? A good 30% of people own an ATI card, and I can guarantee you that ATI cards do not 'just work' in Linux.

All of mine have. Maybe I've just been lucky(?) but I've honestly managed to get all of my ATI cards working with default installs (minus one laptop where ASUS had resigned the hardware so even generic Windows ATI drivers wouldn't install - only the ASUS OEM drivers worked. However even that got picked up correctly in ArchLinux and OpenSUSE despite failing in countless other distros).


Intel cards are hit and miss too. Linux also has huge issues with HDMI audio.

I've only used Intel graphics once (in Xubuntu) and that worked first time - so I've obviously been lucky there too.
Not used HDMI audio (yet) but I can quite believe that to be a pain as doing anything beyond normal desktop usage in sound is a pain in Linux.

However most desktops don't use HDMI audio and seeming as I've been reminded to stay relevant to normal desktop installs (after someone took offence to the list of hardware that Linux supports that neither OS X nor Windows does), I don't see HDMI audio as a significant argument against "desktop Linux". ;)

Seriously though - I do agree that Linux's sound architecture is a complete mess! While it's "good enough" for desktops, I personally see it as being at least 10 years behind Windows and Mac for any serious usage (whether that be HDMI or music production).
In fact, the only reason I keep a copy of Windows is for DJing and writing music. Everything else I do, I do from within Linux - at least on the desktop and digital studio space. The array of servers I host / maintain are a whole other topic.

So in summery (for those that TL;DR): Yeah, Linux has it's faults, but to say it's not "desktop ready" is simply wrong

Edited 2010-04-21 07:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

You also forgot the fact that Linux doesn't run software people use, it's a joke on the desktop (especially if you are doing serious work) and still has hardware support problems. And then there's the fact that the bazaar model doesn't work for producing unified, well-testing and well-architected software. That means Linux will never have as clean and cohesive a desktop stack as Windows and Mac OS do and it will always be behind. The OSS desktop world simply cannot get its act together and never will.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

You also forgot the fact that Linux doesn't run software people use, it's a joke on the desktop (especially if you are doing serious work) and still has hardware support problems. And then there's the fact that the bazaar model doesn't work for producing unified, well-testing and well-architected software. That means Linux will never have as clean and cohesive a desktop stack as Windows and Mac OS do and it will always be behind. The OSS desktop world simply cannot get its act together and never will.

That may or may not be true. It's fine on my desktop but maybe it's not fine on 90% of the desktop. It does not matter to me anyway.
Windows will always be behind linux on servers, embedded and mobile devices, especially if you are doing serious work. It does not run the software people use. It's a joke on the server and on the mobile and still has TONS of hardware support problems. Windows will never have as clean and cohesive a network stack as linux and it will always be behind. The Microsoft world simply cannot get its act together and never will. And I prefer not to talk about Mac OS hardware support, Windows on the server makes me laugh enough for now.

Edited 2010-04-20 14:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:49 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

We aren't talking about Windows on the server. Don't deflect. And Windows has better server marketshare than Linux has desktop marketshare, so...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

You also forgot the fact that Linux doesn't run software people use,

I didn't forget that. I ignored it because the only software I've needed to run that Linux didn't support was professional audio applications that 99.9% of people wouldn't use anyway.

Most people use web browsers, e-mail, office, a file manager and perhaps some kind of arts / photo package. Linux has all of that in abundance.

it's a joke on the desktop (especially if you are doing serious work)

That's your personal opinion and differs from my (and millions others) experience.
I won't bore you with repeating my anecdotal experiences though as it's clear you've already made you're mind up.

and still has hardware support problems.

No it doesn't. I've explained all this already. Overall, there's actually much more hardware that Linux supports than Windows does.

I hate sounding like a Linux fanboy (I'm really not), but also I hate people like yourself who spout sh*t. If you /HAVE/ to voice your personal bias, then at least base it on fact rather than complete BS.

Edited 2010-04-20 14:50 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:53 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Linux can claim to support X thousand devices, but the reality is that a lot of mainstream hardware doesn't work with Linux, or doesn't work very well, or is hard to configure (even if it eventually can work as good as on Windows). Graphics drivers, power management, printer and camera support, specialized audio devices, etc. are still behind on Linux. Nobody cares that it supports ancient specialized harddrive 382. That doesn't count on the desktop. And no desktop user cares that it supports this or that server hardware or specialized cell-phone processors. Remember, we're talking about Linux on the desktop here.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Remember, we're talking about Linux on the desktop here.

Well, you are. Most people who use Linux don't use it on the desktop and desktop users have Windows if they don't like how Linux works on the Desktop so I don't know why you are whining about it. I'm running it on the desktop but I chose to. Most computer are sold with Windows. In many country it is almost impossible to get a desktop computer without Windows. You can't install Linux by mistake. Windows is not that hard to use anyway these days. The long serials you had to enter are a thing of the past and the license is not that expensive. Get a proper firewall, use your brain when surfing the web and you should be safe from virii. Why don't you just use it on your desktop?

Edited 2010-04-20 15:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Linux can claim to support X thousand devices, but the reality is that a lot of mainstream hardware doesn't work with Linux, or doesn't work very well, or is hard to configure (even if it eventually can work as good as on Windows).


As I've stated a dozen times now, 4 out of 5 systems I build Linux works /very/ well and /without/ hacking.

(1)Graphics drivers, (2)power management, (3)printer and (4)camera support, (5)specialized audio devices, etc.

1/ I play 3D accelerated games in Linux and have desktop compositing (on all of the systems I've built in the last 5 years) that puts even Win7 to shame.

2/ Fans work ok but suspend doesn't properly. I never use suspend in Windows anyway as I find even in Windows that it's buggy with some hardware.

3/ Linux supports CUPS so if a printer supports OS X then it supports Linux. Thus I've only found one printer that I couldn't use in Linux and that printer wouldn't even run in some XP installs and any version of Vista, let alone Linux.

4/ all of my web cams have worked in Linux. My camcorder has worked in Linux too.

5/ I'm a producer and DJ so use professional audio hardware. All of which has worked in Linux. I will grant you that Linux's non-standardised mess of audio stacks makes for professional audio work a nightmare compared to Windows and OS X - but that's less than 1% of overall computer users and the hardware still works perfectly within Linux even if the software stacks are fscked.


are still behind on Linux. Nobody cares that it supports ancient specialized harddrive 382. That doesn't count on the desktop.

Linux supports plenty of new hardware before Windows (USB3 for example).


And no desktop user cares that it supports this or that server hardware or specialized cell-phone processors. Remember, we're talking about Linux on the desktop here.

And I was when I stated that the vast majority of desktop hardware works without additional downloads and installs - unlike Windows.


I get sick and tired of hearing anti-OS FUD. Yeah, you like Windows, I get it. But just because Windows does some jobs well it doesn't mean that other OSs are automatically sh*t. Sure, Linux isn't perfect (far from it in fact), but the examples you've posted have been complete BS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 15:51 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

I don't *like* Windows and I don't like Linux either. They are both giant piles of shit, each in their own craptacular way. I also don't like people who think that OSS with it's scattershot approach to development actually produces a working desktop comparable with Windows and Mac OS X (such as they are...).

I've run Linux for many years, as have friends of mine, my sister and her boyfriend. And every single one of us has had issue after issue. You see Linux forums polluted with questions about how to get basic hardware working that you claim always works out of the box. I see graphics drivers that still can't compete with what Windows has. I see a lack of a clean, unified API for programs to target. I see fragmentation, constant churn and project wars. It just doesn't work. That there is a workable desktop solution at all for Linux is not because of the bazaar model, but in spite of it, thanks, mainly, to the work of a few folks with strong personality (Linus, Aaron Seigo, Keith Packard, etc.).

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 16:43 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I don't *like* Windows and I don't like Linux either. They are both giant piles of shit, each in their own craptacular way. I also don't like people who think that OSS with it's scattershot approach to development actually produces a working desktop comparable with Windows and Mac OS X (such as they are...).


But it does though because I've been using it as my desktop for at least 5 years.

Plus the "scattershot" approach isn't really true. Sure the software development falls into that category, but the desktop distros unify all this.

Thus if you install a desktop distro you get a fully functional desktop (as has been pointed out a thousand times already).

I've run Linux for many years, as have friends of mine, my sister and her boyfriend. And every single one of us has had issue after issue.

Like what, using what hardware, what distros and how long ago?

You see Linux forums polluted with questions about how to get basic hardware working that you claim always works out of the box.

I see Windows forums polluted with exactly the same questions. After all, if you're technically inept then you'll fsck up any OS install, be it Windows, Linux or OS X.

I don't mean to sound all superior - I'm all for making life as easy for users as possible. But the sad truth is as idiot proof as you make something, bigger idiots will come along. So simply using message boards as a guide to an OS usability is flawed. (Hell, I've even lost count of the number of "I can't work out iTunes and have wiped my iPod by mistake" queries - so even Apple suffers from the above).

I see graphics drivers that still can't compete with what Windows has.

Neither can OS X yet you used that as your benchmark.
Furthermore, Linux is the movie industries preferred rendering OS for special effects. So clearly "backwards" OS has something to offer.

I see a lack of a clean, unified API for programs to target. I see fragmentation, constant churn and project wars. It just doesn't work. That there is a workable desktop solution at all for Linux is not because of the bazaar model, but in spite of it, thanks, mainly, to the work of a few folks with strong personality (Linus, Aaron Seigo, Keith Packard, etc.).

That's the first truthful thing you've posted. And yes, it is in spite of Linux's many flaws. However there is still a workable desktop so to argue otherwise is completely false.

To go back to your benchmark - OS X was born out of the fragmentation of BSD and the lark. However, just like "desktop Linux", OS X needed strong personalities if it was to succeed - which thankfully it had.
So don't think that just because the overall Linux community is fragmented, that there isn't pockets (or rather distros) that work very well.

Reply Score: 2

Why?
by darknexus on Wed 21st Apr 2010 05:01 UTC
darknexus
Member since:
2008-07-15

Why does every article with Linux in the subject have to devolve into a useless back and forth argument between the Linux and Windows fans? Use what you like and that works for you and be done with it. In particular the Windows zealots seem to be rather active lately with their fud, but both sides are guilty of trolling. Seriously, enough already.

Reply Score: 3

Great news, how do we get it?
by lydgate on Sat 24th Apr 2010 21:48 UTC
lydgate
Member since:
2006-12-30

Can only OEMs get this driver? What about the rest of linux users?

Reply Score: 1