Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Oct 2010 21:54 UTC
Linux Well, it's been a while since we've opened this particular jar (box is not historically accurate) owned by Pandora. Desktop Linux... Yes, that ever elusive readiness of the desktop that is Linux-powered. Some story on ComputerWorld argues that the desktop Linux dream is dead, and apparently, the story is causing some stir on the web. Well, paint me pink and call me a lightbulb, but of course desktop Linux is dead. However - who gives a flying monkey? Linux is being used by more people than ever!
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Comment by emilsedgh
by emilsedgh on Mon 18th Oct 2010 22:10 UTC
emilsedgh
Member since:
2007-06-21

I dont think so. PC's and desktop's are going to stay with us for the next few decades and the competition isnt over. It will never be over.

And the adoption of Linux on other areas, like smartphones, will just help it grow on desktop.

Give it more time. Like a decade or so.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by emilsedgh
by lfeagan on Mon 18th Oct 2010 22:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by emilsedgh"
lfeagan Member since:
2006-04-01

Desktop Linux certainly is not dead nor it is going to suddenly rise up and overtake the market.

A small percentage of technical professionals who have legitimate needs will continue to embrace Linux on their desktop both for its capabilities and the ease of inter-operation with *NIX servers. (I am in this group)

If smart phones continue the march towards being ever more capable in CPU, graphics, RAM, and storage, users will want to use them more like a desktop. This will necessitate manufactures providing input and output device support for the Linux flavors present on the popular devices. Hopefully these manufactures can also be convinced to simply give away their source code or specifications so other distributions can take advantage. This march towards greater capability will almost certainly be augmented to some extent through distributed computing and storage capabilities.

If more companies are creating applications that can run on phone Linux distributions, they may decide that adding support for Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora, etc is financially worth their time.

Will this process happen overnight? Most definitely not. However, there is a reasonable likelihood that over the next decade improved device and application support will trickle down as a result of the move towards Linux in the smart phone market.

Will there be a great FOSS software uprise? Not likely. People tend to like food, shelter, etc. If home users were more willing to donate for decent software, this could happen. Unfortunately most users have little appreciation for the work that it takes to get a solid piece of software out the door.

One of my favorite dialogues is from the movie "The American President". It has some keen insight into how people behave.

Lewis Rothschild: You have a deeper love of this country than any man I've ever known. And I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks, 59% of Americans have begun to question your patriotism.
President Andrew Shepherd: Look, if the people want to listen to-...
Lewis Rothschild: They don't have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by emilsedgh
by IvoLimmen on Tue 19th Oct 2010 05:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by emilsedgh"
IvoLimmen Member since:
2005-07-06

+1 for "The American President" quote!

Reply Score: 1

Never Gonna happen, Sorry
by RichterKuato on Tue 19th Oct 2010 01:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by emilsedgh"
RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

This is a absolute surprise to no one. We all know that Microsoft controls the distribution channels (OEMs, Retailers, etc.) They also have the applications barrier to entry on their side.

Even if Microsoft didn't control critical channels there would still be a positioning/marketing issue. What if Windows was also FOSS? Why then, would anyone choose Linux? Well, it might as well be for all the majority of PC customers care.

The true strength of Linux lies in electronic products that rival the PC.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Never Gonna happen, Sorry
by korpenkraxar on Wed 20th Oct 2010 14:04 UTC in reply to "Never Gonna happen, Sorry"
korpenkraxar Member since:
2005-09-10


The true strength of Linux lies in electronic products that rival the PC.


Well spoken Sir. The problem as I see it, is that we seem to lose GNU in those products...

Reply Score: 3

Because Linux is only part of a desktop
by rabadash on Mon 18th Oct 2010 22:14 UTC
rabadash
Member since:
2006-09-12

I guess if the goal was to get people running proprietary software on an open-source kernel, then yeah we've reached that goal. But I think a lot of people want to see more Free Software applications become more viable.

Despite what this article says, I am still amazed at the number of businesses in my area that are starting to use Linux based desktops as a cost saving measure.

Reply Score: 6

...
by Hiev on Mon 18th Oct 2010 22:32 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Desktop Linux is dead, long live to Ubuntu Desktop.

Reply Score: 4

RE: ...
by earksiinni on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:14 UTC in reply to "..."
earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

+1 insightful. (Already commented below.)

Reply Score: 1

I kind of care :(
by Priest on Mon 18th Oct 2010 22:33 UTC
Priest
Member since:
2006-05-12

I have been using Linux on and off for about as long as I have been using Windows and while I am no fanboy it has always had a soft spot in my heart.

I always knew it would never see Mainstream desktops, but I wish Ubuntu had come out 5 years sooner, it could have really gained some traction.

Reply Score: 2

No it isnt
Member since:
2005-11-14

Although they run Linux, they're hardly free computing platforms. My Sony Ericsson's bootloader is still as proprietary as ever, and the phone is still stuck at a functional but somewhat old 1.6. It's a fun device, but no more open than Windows.

What I do care about, is my ability to use my computer as I see fit, with no dependency on frustrating proprietary operating systems or any of the pieces of software that keep consumers tied to them, and we're actually there already, thanks to a far more standards-compliant web. There's hardly a web site I can't read, I can watch DVDs and play whatever media format I can get hold of -- and the last time I had trouble with an Office .doc, it would crash Microsoft Word as well. Pretty much everything works (except Silverlight, possibly: I've never cared to test the Mono version). What this means is that although Linux may have lost the hype, it's actually big enough and functional enough to thrive.

To a tech "journalist", who feeds on hype and hype alone, that is of course death itself.

The only thing I miss is games, but if I'm going to waste a couple of weeks playing Fallout: New Vegas, I don't feel I miss out all that much by booting into a pirated Windows 7 install.

Reply Score: 4

Myth
by lemur2 on Mon 18th Oct 2010 22:46 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Its a myth. It is what vested interests (such as PC World for example) want everyone to believe.

There are other sources of articles which point in entirely the opposite direction:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2368511,00.asp

3. We weren't going to do Windows. This was another no-brainer. We like Windows, and don't want to downplay what it does for computers. But shelling out money for a Microsoft OS would have eaten up at least half our budget—and maybe more—and that would have torpedoed the project from the get-go. So we resigned ourselves at the outset to using a version of Linux that would both do the job and provide plenty of the software we expected to need at a perfectly placed price (in other words: free).


You can win on price but not suffer for performance running desktop Linux:
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2368585,00.asp

Desktop Linux will be far easier and cheaper for you to maintain, which is a cost that you will never see included in Microsoft-sponsored "TCO" studies:
http://blogs.techworld.com/war-on-error/2010/10/heres-a-crazy-secur...

There are many, many use cases where running Windows is pure insanity, and where desktop Linux is a perfect solution.

Just don't expect them to show up in sales figures when the only thing you are allowed to buy in commercial consumer computer shops is Windows.

Edited 2010-10-18 22:53 UTC

Reply Score: 8

It's not the fault of Linux...
by cmost on Mon 18th Oct 2010 23:01 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

The reason Linux has not taken desktop computing by storm has little to do with simplicity/ease of use/security/etc. of Linux. The reason is actually simple: Microsoft. It might come as a surprise to many that, like a drug dealer, Microsoft has made sure over the years that youngsters (students) start their computing experience with Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office by making attractive licensing deals with academia in which Windows and Office are given to schools (teachers and students) at deep discounts compared to retail costs. Similar licensing deals are made with big corporations to ensure that exposure to Microsoft products continues into the workplace. Other companies such as Adobe have taken a similar tact with their flagship software. The end result is that most people know Microsoft Windows and Office and have little interest in learning something new, even if it's better. People do prefer the devil they know. This cycle continues unbroken today. Unless something is done to remedy the licensing situation, then Microsoft and its like will continue to dominate the desktop with proprietary software solutions and alternatives, even if they're free, will not make a dent.

Reply Score: 8

RE: It's not the fault of Linux...
by jpobst on Mon 18th Oct 2010 23:14 UTC in reply to "It's not the fault of Linux..."
jpobst Member since:
2006-09-26

A lot of it comes down to Windows just isn't that expensive. Very few people pay full price for it, whether they get it through academics, preloaded on their computer, through volume discounts, or pirate it.

For Linux to make any sort of inroads, it has to be perceived as not just on par with Windows or a little better. It has to be dramatically better and well marketed so that people know what it is and seek out computers that have it. (a la Mac)

And just to clarify, it has to be dramatically better in ways mainstream users care about, which does not include that they can get the source code for it.

Reply Score: 7

dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

Yes,the key strategy is being the default OS on the computer and try as much as not dicking the user (poulsbo graphic chipset has seriuously hurt the image of linux on netbook ),

Reply Score: 3

lfeagan Member since:
2006-04-01

Indeed. While on the whole Intel has been quite good about supporting Linux with the kernel, network, and graphics drivers, Poulsbo is one helluva epic fail.

Seriously Intel, please don't ever inflict crap like that on us again. kthxbye.

Reply Score: 3

dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

it is probably too late ...

Reply Score: 2

_Nine_ Member since:
2010-10-13

A lot of it comes down to Windows just isn't that expensive. Very few people pay full price for it, whether they get it through academics, preloaded on their computer, through volume discounts, or pirate it.

For Linux to make any sort of inroads, it has to be perceived as not just on par with Windows or a little better. It has to be dramatically better and well marketed so that people know what it is and seek out computers that have it. (a la Mac)

And just to clarify, it has to be dramatically better in ways mainstream users care about, which does not include that they can get the source code for it.


This really is the key. Being "as good as" something isn't a value proposition, yet it's the constant state that Linux finds itself in on the desktop front. Since app development and hardware development focus first on Windows and, to a lesser extent on Mac, the Linux community is often playing catch-up in an effort to maintain parity.

To get noticed, Linux has to innovate in appreciable ways to users. I'm not saying that it doesn't innovate, but it's innovations simply aren't revolutionary enough to warrant mainstream attention and, subsequently, migration from the status quo. Furthermore, it doesn't have a good vehicle for delivering its innovations. Apple has the Mac hardware to deliver the Mac OS and the iPhone/iPad to deliver the iOS. How well would Apple be doing if it was purely a software company and relied on people upgrading their PCs to run Mac OS or iOS? It's the Apple hardware and overall experience from unboxing to using that attract people to Apple products.

I agree that getting Linux on the desktop really doesn't matter as long as it's being actively used, I think there's a problem with counting Android and other Linux variants as Linux. For one, they don't really espouse the virtues of the Linux philosophy. Android OEMs basically use the open parts to create proprietary products. Having a wide-open marketplace and being able to install any app you want on your phone aren't really the Linux definition of open. Secondly, these Linux variants aren't portable. Just look at all the fragmentation among devices and Android versions. Furthermore, application compatibility issues abound. Each new Android phone really is a new branch on the Android evolutionary tree. Android, PS3, etc. really are good examples of successful implementations or uses cases of Linux, but calling Android phone users or PS3 players as "Linux users" might be a stretch...

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

What about the popularity of Macs on college campuses?

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's not the fault of Linux...
by sithlord2 on Tue 19th Oct 2010 08:47 UTC in reply to "It's not the fault of Linux..."
sithlord2 Member since:
2009-04-02

The end result is that most people know Microsoft Windows and Office and have little interest in learning something new, even if it's better.


The problem is that geeks have another definition of "better" compared to ordinary computer users. We talk about the enhanced security of Linux, but what does an enduser see? He sees an OS that requires him to learn a new Office software package, which offers no advantage over MS Office. A music producer sees an OS with a terrible sound system, and totally unsuitable for serious production. A graphics artist misses his photoshop, and no, The Gimp is not a replacement until it runs every photoshop-plugin. A gamer sees a total mess of 3D frameworks and drivers...

Do I have to go on?

But but ... It's free??!! Guess what, people are willing to spend money on something that works...

Don't get me wrong, I run Linux on a few servers and they do the job just fine. But when I'm messing with music I'm using my Mac. When I wanna do some gaming, I boot up my Windows laptop.

Reply Score: 7

macinnisrr Member since:
2009-11-12

I'm a music producer and graphic designer, and I use linux everyday. Specifically http://dream.dickmacinnis.com>Dream

Reply Score: 5

sithlord2 Member since:
2009-04-02

I'm a music producer and graphic designer, and I use linux everyday. Specifically Dream Studio


Congrats, you belong to the 1% of music producers who uses Linux. Can I use my favorite softsynths (Sylenth1, FM7) under Linux already?

When I pick up a magazine like "Computer Music" or "Future Music" I see lots of reviews of Win/Mac software, but almost none on Linux software. Same goes for art software too.

Of course it is possible to produce music on Linux, but you don't switch to Linux for music production as it does not offer extra advantages (au contraire) to a Win/Mac based system. Most professional plugins (think reverb-effects, or mastering software) are Win/Mac only. ProTools isn't available on Linux either. This makes me wonder, does Linux even has a sound plug-in architecture comparable to Apple's Audio-Units or Steiberg's VST instruments ?

Reply Score: 2

RE: It's not the fault of Linux...
by Mellin on Tue 19th Oct 2010 21:49 UTC in reply to "It's not the fault of Linux..."
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

here in sweden you can't get a pre built pc without windows

Reply Score: 3

oiaohm
Member since:
2009-05-30

Linux Meego Splashtop.
Three words. Important meaning.

Lot of laptops are coming with Splashtop. A fast start Linux. Meego will provide software to Splashtop.

When does that land 2011. So yes there is a dramatically better plan. Lot are trying to write Desktop off at this stage. It still has not played it last cards.

Reply Score: 4

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Linux Meego Splashtop.
Three words. Important meaning.

Lot of laptops are coming with Splashtop. A fast start Linux. Meego will provide software to Splashtop.

When does that land 2011. So yes there is a dramatically better plan. Lot are trying to write Desktop off at this stage. It still has not played it last cards.


This. With a splashtop-like solution, people can have their cake and eat it too (have a fast, lean operating system that boots in seconds for everyday tasks, and also a full system with all the corporate malware installed for situations where you need it).

Android is besides the point, as success of Android doesn't really help Linux in any way (unless all you care about is kernel).

Reply Score: 2

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Lot of laptops are coming with Splashtop. A fast start Linux. Meego will provide software to Splashtop
I recently bough HP Mini 210 netbook (1.83Mhz Atom470 with 2GB ram).
It has splashtop.
But it is almost non usable. Browser occasionally hangs for a few seconds. I just type url and it appearing only after annoying delay. It has a problems with national text encoding. So I just disabled it.
BTW W7 runs fine on it.

Reply Score: 2

oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Lot of laptops are coming with Splashtop. A fast start Linux. Meego will provide software to Splashtop
I recently bough HP Mini 210 netbook (1.83Mhz Atom470 with 2GB ram).
It has splashtop.
But it is almost non usable. Browser occasionally hangs for a few seconds. I just type url and it appearing only after annoying delay. It has a problems with national text encoding. So I just disabled it.
BTW W7 runs fine on it.


Yes know issue. The combination gets on top of the problem. Meego addition gives Splashtop the means to swap out a defective browser also broader testing of applications. Splashtop currently has to provide and test all the provided applications.

Splashtop without Meego is nothing compared to Splashtop with Meego.

Ie the "Meego will provide software to Splashtop" is kinda critical. Look at the meego you have what if you could just pull out the bad software and put in stuff that works. Yes Splashtop technically could fire up virtual machine and run windows as well. A virtual machine provided from Meego App Stores.

I did not mention that the complete start up process for most distributions completely replaced by the end of 2011 if not sooner at current development rates.

systemd is quite a major change. Linux is starting to say good by to its Unix history. Yes should this happened sooner. Even the historic hang over of X11 server from the Unix days could be by by as well from the Linux desktop world by the end of 2011.

The cards are just starting to be played on the Linux side.

Some are even talking about Linux Desktops not having a text mode at all. Graphical as soon as the boot loader ends. This is not a Unix idea.

Reply Score: 1

mumbling
by fran on Mon 18th Oct 2010 23:33 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

It's late and I'm a bit stoned from my sleeping pill, but I still really want to throw a stone in the bush here.
(Gooi n klip in die bos)
People will scoff at me, how can I say that mere gaming can make or break market penetration. But it's true to a certain degree.Especially for your home user.
But how can this be changed? Relicense old games and bring on cloud gaming.
Let's assume 4 years down the line before PS3 get an update to PS4 and the PS2 go into a well earned retirement. That will leave tens of thousands of PS2 titles dead capital, on the shelf(some great games some crappy). Maybe Mark Shuttleworth' Ubuntu or Red Had with Linus Torvalds can try pursuade them to license it for linux. Spec those games up bit, improve the framerate ect. and let them available through Ubuntus new app shop or a Fedora app shop. Everyone is turning media companies anyway. Gaming solved.
More people will migrate and more studios shall develop.
But with cloudgaming that will be the crown...that might be the "easiest" way.to get great gaming going on Linux. Just a fast internet connection, a gpu enable browser and there you go. Just the fast internet infrastructure is the most challenging problem.
Then Let open office 3 come in after oracle glossed it over. Let Ardour 3 come in with midi support and lots of plugings, Let Quasar accounting price more aggressively. Inscape and Gimp can hold there own against adobe and Lotus.
So if i can throw in a wild guess here, maybe 10 years, that is now if Windows dont come up with some must have technologies which I guess they would.

Ok, finished mumbling, let me have it....

Edited 2010-10-18 23:47 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Life, death and everything
by divide_by_zero on Mon 18th Oct 2010 23:37 UTC
divide_by_zero
Member since:
2009-07-11

1) "Desktop Linux is dead."
2) "Put anyone behind Ubuntu (or whatever), and they'll get along just fine."

To me that sound like necrophilia. Just my 2c...

Posted from a Linux desktop.

(PS: Is the Windows XP desktop dead? And was Windows Vista desktop ever alive? Do Windows Vista boxes dream of electric sheep walking by a beautiful green hill?)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Life, death and everything
by vege on Mon 18th Oct 2010 23:44 UTC in reply to "Life, death and everything"
vege Member since:
2006-04-07

Well said, if Linux desktop is dead, I have been using (99% percent of time) a dead thing for many years now.

What defines dead? Being a minority? I do not think so.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by cb88
by cb88 on Mon 18th Oct 2010 23:40 UTC
cb88
Member since:
2009-04-23

I don't even know why you would want to link to a crap article like that. Linux is popular on phones now as Android ... no one will ever want to develop on a phone. That immediatly gives a use case for a Desktop. Saying the Linux desktop is dead equates to saying computers with full size keyboards are obsolete which is just insane.

Reply Score: 3

Why you shouldn't care
by SlackerJack on Mon 18th Oct 2010 23:44 UTC
SlackerJack
Member since:
2005-11-12

I've been a happy Linux user for over 10 years and it's desktop share is irrelevant to me. Linux has millions more users than 10 years ago and that proves how successful Linux is. Linux is successful on other platforms and devices.

How do you define success? Being used by millions of users is successful. I think people want it to beat Windows to be successful since it's all a good media storm made up by the cliché "Year of the Linux desktop", which doesn't actually mean anything if you put it in context.

Reply Score: 11

RE: Why you shouldn't care
by deathshadow on Tue 19th Oct 2010 03:28 UTC in reply to "Why you shouldn't care"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

For me, as a desktop OS linux is a total useless toy - it's unrefined, unpolished and the dearth of quality applications, piss poor font rendering and clunky dated interfaces make it intolerable.

BUT, SlackerJack is entirely correct in the question "How do you define success?". People endlessly talk about percentages without asking the question "Percent of how much?"

Realistically there are just under 3 billion computer users worldwide. Single digit percentages of userbase is therein MILLIONS of users -- anything with millions of people using it CANNOT be considered a failure.

Not suited to every task? Not for everyone? Rinky toy that's unsuited for day to day use on a desktop PC? Sure. No problem, I can agree with that...

But calling it a failure, being "over" or outright "dead"?!? Hardly. Not even close.

Though if as SJ suggested you look at other Platforms and devices for *nix based OS as a whole (so count iPhone's Os on that) there's an interesting trend -- be it android, the embedded versions on media devices like the gp2x or Pandora, or even the replacement OS on MIPS devices like Dingux -- Not one of them even TRIES to rely on x11.

Which I still say is the dead albatross hung around Desktop *nix's neck. There's a reason Apple chose to run X11 as a translation layer atop their API instead of AS their API...

For all the hacks and bypasses and other improvements X11 is more of a hindrance than a help in terms of delivering on the user experience or even developer experience. If it didn't suck so bad would we even HAVE WM's in the first place? You go back fifteen to twenty years and everyone would say "don't bother trying to program X directly, use something like Motif instead!" -- now we have QT, GTK+ -- NONE of which would even be neccessary if the very nature of the X server/client relationship didn't get down on it's knees behind the donkey. Half the time you STILL can't even tell if the UI acknowledged an attempt to open a program until half a minute later five copies of firefox open en-masse from your clicking again thinking it didn't work, you still constantly have cross-application cut/paste headaches, much less that on 'simple' things like multiple displays it still lags a decade and a half behind Windows and MacOS. Hell, most of the time it can't even pull the DDC info from a monitor properly!

But is that enough to count it out and call it "dead"? Far from it. As always, linux and it's kine are a moving target... Shame that movement is nothing more than constant 'catch up' mode to the more mature Windows and Apple UI's.

Reply Score: 6

Useless article
by 2501 on Tue 19th Oct 2010 00:17 UTC
2501
Member since:
2005-07-14

This article is useless....nothing to substantiate the statements.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Useless article
by dayalsoap on Tue 19th Oct 2010 04:31 UTC in reply to "Useless article"
dayalsoap Member since:
2010-05-19

Agreed. I actually think it's a troll job. It only serves to work up a small group of loud people.

Reply Score: 4

eh
by poundsmack on Tue 19th Oct 2010 00:43 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

I don't think desktop linux is dead, but honestly I am a very happy user of PC-BSD for a desktop os. Red Hat (not fedora) used to be my desktop linux distro and i loved it. But these days Microsoft and Apple really have made for a good desktop experience. Same with KDE and Gnome (to a lesser extent with Gnome, currently).

Reply Score: 3

It's the desktop that's dead
by earksiinni on Tue 19th Oct 2010 00:47 UTC
earksiinni
Member since:
2009-03-27

The Linux desktop was dead out of the gate because the desktop has for years already been dead, embalmed, and interred in millions of 19" glass coffins for all to see. From the beginning, it's been an endeavor to create a desktop experience that's been invented and pitilessly protected by Microsoft and Apple. Here come the downvoting pedants with their Amiga brochures in hand: look, buddy, I don't mean The Desktop Experience or invention in an absolute ontological sense, I mean the one that we know today. How could Linux beat Windows and Mac OS at their own game?

Unless we say that there is a Platonic ideal of "desktopitude" that all implementations had a chance to compete for. Now that's an interesting idea, but I don't think it's true. To be fair, Redmond and Cupertino took so much from other platforms, but it's their selection and their assembly that has come to define the desktop. To paraphrase Marx, the desktop's components are in a social relation to each other and their value only comes about through the socially produced product. Microsoft and Apple are the factory owners who bring these commodities together into the social labor process.

Workers, reclaim your scrollbars and brave viewports, your modal dialogs and preference windows! We seize a banner, and our wives' avatars have embroidered "Digital: A Love Story" on it. If you want to know where a society is headed, look to the games their children play. Our own childhood shattered and scattered across beige junk heaps and "End Task" clicks, our sons play "Quake Live" among the glorious ruins. Our daughters, who never knew the telnet client, are the cause of endless wars across seas, endless tears for these mighty Helens.

Reply Score: 0

Nobody cares about Linux on the desktop
by IkeKrull on Tue 19th Oct 2010 01:01 UTC
IkeKrull
Member since:
2006-01-24

If people actually cared about desktop linux, we would have:

a) a departure from the cryptic UNIX FHS
b) a useful, user-configurable linux->linux network filesystem that isn't NFS3 and probably isn't NFS4.
c) filesystem ACLs by default.
d) one GUI, with one widget API, and one system services (installed components, configuration settings, device discovery) backend. Doesn't mean people can't offer different stuff on top of that, but its pointless for things to be split into such tiny bits for the desktop user.
e) a driver API which supports backwards compatibility even while new features are added

Basically, as long as Linux is a slave to 1970s POSIX standards that will never evolve, kernel developers insist that standards are meaningless for them (some of the same people that paradoxically pound POSIX like it was a bible), and the fragmentation between X.org, KDE and GNOME continues to occur at such a low level, there won't be a meaningful desktop linux.

Why would anyone want to use a 1970s-era UNIX workstation as a desktop in 2010? Linux is just that with a coat of shiny paint.

Reply Score: 6

earksiinni Member since:
2009-03-27

Perhaps for the same reason that someone would want to use a 1970's era car. Maybe the problem is that we haven't gone far enough and that Linux is a hack job (gasp!) Maybe if someone took the time to make netcat relevant, Linux would be awesome the way that DOS was.

All I'm saying is that on a scale of 0 to DeLorean, Plan 9 ranks somewhere between Queen and AC/DC.

(Yeah, the DeLorean deserved to be in the 70's.)

Reply Score: 2

emoreau Member since:
2007-06-13

a) a departure from the cryptic UNIX FHS

Like end-user cares. Nobody sees it, and
"C:\Windows\System32" does no make much sense either.

b) a useful, user-configurable linux->linux network filesystem that isn't NFS3 and probably isn't NFS4.

Samba is available

c) filesystem ACLs by default.

I've managed systems with ACL since 1989
(remember Apollo/Domain ?).
No real big advantages.

d) one GUI, with one widget API, and one system services (installed components, configuration settings, device discovery) backend. Doesn't mean people can't offer different stuff on top of that, but its pointless for things to be split into such tiny bits for the desktop user.

Can you say MFC and .NET ?
Can you say XP an Win7 ?
Can you say Cocoa and Carbon ?

e) a driver API which supports backwards compatibility even while new features are added

Go read http://www.linuxdriverproject.org.
Linux driver model is superior, period.
Company just have to realize that there is no
advantages in closed-source drivers.

I am sure that you won't get it,
and call me an old farth, since I remember the
day that when you bought a printer, it came with
a programming manual.

Reply Score: 5

leech Member since:
2006-01-10

a) a departure from the cryptic UNIX FHS

Like end-user cares. Nobody sees it, and
"C:\Windows\System32" does no make much sense either.


This always kills me. How is it that they new what POSIX, and ACLs even are, without understanding the "cryptic UNIX FHS"? I mean come on, really? It's not that hard. In fact when I first started learning Linux, that was the first thing the Linux Encyclopedia taught, the FHS, and I personally love it.

I am sure that you won't get it,
and call me an old farth, since I remember the
day that when you bought a printer, it came with
a programming manual.


Ha ha, I agreed with every part of your counter-post. I just had to add that I too recall the programming manuals that would come with printers! I think I still have mine. Reminds me of the 'good ol'' days when you would need to know the hayes commands to use modems and such.

Reply Score: 2

IkeKrull Member since:
2006-01-24

a) a departure from the cryptic UNIX FHS

Like end-user cares. Nobody sees it, and
"C:\Windows\System32" does no make much sense either.


Users don't need to go hunting through there unless they want to do something with the Windows system files - the '32' is a little bit cryptic, i'll give you that.

However, 'Program Files' makes a bit more sense, doesn't it?

And yes, users do see it. For example, whenever firefox can't handle a protocol and the user needs to find a program to handle it, they have to trawl through /usr/bin assuming they even know what that is.

Its a stupid system, and people who for some reason have become perversely attached to this stuff cos they've been dealing with it since the 1970s making excuses for something thats barely adequate instead of pushing for something good is the problem.

b) a useful, user-configurable linux->linux network filesystem that isn't NFS3 and probably isn't NFS4.

Samba is available


Sure, samba is available, but why would the linux desktop use the Windows workgroup/domain/permissions model when none of that stuff is actually implemented in the rest of the OS? Plus shared homedirs don't work properly on samba, locking is a problem on samba. Samba is a great tool for interoperability, but why doesn't Linux have something good, something best-of-breed?

c) filesystem ACLs by default.

I've managed systems with ACL since 1989
(remember Apollo/Domain ?).
No real big advantages.


Rubbish. When some manager type comes to you and says 'I need group A to have read access to this folder and group B to have write access to this folder' and you say 'sorry, can't do it with Linux', thats not the right answer.


d) one GUI, with one widget API, and one system services (installed components, configuration settings, device discovery) backend. Doesn't mean people can't offer different stuff on top of that, but its pointless for things to be split into such tiny bits for the desktop user.

Can you say MFC and .NET ?
Can you say XP an Win7 ?
Can you say Cocoa and Carbon ?


Can you say 'none of those technologies are 'horizontally fragmented', or mutually exclusive at all?, and all go out of their way to provide a seamless look and feel on their respective OSes, as well as all leveraging common low-level services in a way that Linux doesn't?, as well as actually representing progress instead of 'it was done this way in the 1970s so it must be right'?'


e) a driver API which supports backwards compatibility even while new features are added

Go read http://www.linuxdriverproject.org.
Linux driver model is superior, period.
Company just have to realize that there is no
advantages in closed-source drivers.

I am sure that you won't get it,
and call me an old farth, since I remember the
day that when you bought a printer, it came with
a programming manual.

[/q]

I've read it, I understand that point of view, but when all your drivers have to be updated every time a kernel point release comes out, its just painful. Why can't I use the webcam driver that worked perfectly well on linux 2.6.18 on 2.6.19 without having to recompile it from source? I mean, apart from the kernel developers desire to preserve flexibility, why?

Users don't understand the reason for this, because he reason why is only relevant to kernel developers. Users just see broken stuff. And stuff breaks, even the open source stuff breaks - see recent Nouveau driver problems where kernel driver changes forced userland API changes, making it impossible to use newer kernels with older X.org stuff. Theres no mechanism in place to allow API to be gracefully deprecated as it changes, there is no way in hell this situation benefits anyone but kernel developers.

And sure, the kernel developers are important, they wrote this stuff, but this is an example of why desktop linux isn't a reality, because this 'we don't need no APIs, we'll change whatever we want, whenever we want, and if your driver isn't in the kernel tree for whatever reason, go f**k yourself' isn't working well for desktop users.

Reply Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

And yes, users do see it. For example, whenever firefox can't handle a protocol and the user needs to find a program to handle it, they have to trawl through /usr/bin assuming they even know what that is.


No they don't. When reKonq or Dolphin or any other native-to-the-desktop program needs to associate an unknown file type with an application, a dialog box appears which is a graphical mini-representation of the systems menu. You just pick an application as if from the menus, it even has the standard icons and application groups just as shown on the system's menu. For example, for a plain text file, one can choose the Kate editor icon from the Utilities group of applications to open it, just as one would from the system's main menu.

I'm not totally sure about Firefox, but it should use the same mime types as native KDE applications. I think there might be a Firefox plugin which sets this up.

Within Dolphin, the KDE File Manager, one can right-click on any file type and select "properties", and then click on the "configuration" icon within the properties dialog box. This lets you add or remove applications associated with that file type, again using a GUI selector of applications equivalent to the systems menu. One can also set the associated applications order of preference by moving applications up or down in the list.

Whenever one adds a new application, it claims file type as being associated with it, and so it is automatically added to the lists of the file types it knows how to handle, normally as the last preference in the application order. If one want to change the preferred order, one can do it through GUIs without having to know the application's executable name or its location within the filesystem.

At least on KDE this is all so, I can't speak for GNOME because I haven't used it in a while now.

Why do people persist with these outdated nonsense claims about Linux being supposedly hard to use? It is just utter rubbish.

Edited 2010-10-19 05:21 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

I'd be more inclined to believe you if I had never used Linux before and seen GUI's basically lying about the state of the system (DHCP server being active and already running, ok older RH release), not being able to customize all the aspects without going down to the terminal, etc...

Linux is not ready to be fully used, configured, and troubleshooted without using the Terminal. Windows is 98% near that goalpost, MacOS X is 96% (100% for some people) near that goalpost, but Linux is far from being anywhere near the goalpost mentioned.

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

When some manager type comes to you and says 'I need group A to have read access to this folder and group B to have write access to this folder' and you say 'sorry, can't do it with Linux', thats not the right answer.


Of course it isn't the right answer.

What you say to the manager type is this: "Give me text file listing of the usernames in group A, and another list of those in group B, the names of the folders you are talking about, and twenty seconds of my time, as the administrator I can type in four commands that will set that up for you. Using the GUI will take me a bit longer, but not much".

That is the right answer.

Here is just one way to implement the right answer for a scenario where such control over permissions might be required:
http://beginlinux.com/server_training/server-managment-topics/1038-...

Edited 2010-10-19 05:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

There are actually problems with ACLs on *nix related to umasks and inheritability. You can setup your read group and your write group but if someone in the write group copies a file to your shared folder, whether or not your read group can see/read that file is very much up in the air.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Why can't I use the webcam driver that worked perfectly well on linux 2.6.18 on 2.6.19 without having to recompile it from source?


If you have a webcam that didn't have an open source driver, then how do you have the source? If the OEM provides source on a website but this isn't included in the mainline kernel, then you know all about this issue, as you would have had to locate the source code and compile it in the first place. So don't change your kernel without testing first. Blacklist kernel updates if you like.

If you don't even know what a kernel is, and you didn't compile any "driver thingy", then the webcam that worked with linux 2.6.18 will still work just fine for you on linux 2.6.19.

Enjoy.

Reply Score: 2

Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

However, 'Program Files' makes a bit more sense, doesn't it?


Sure, "a bit", but from the name alone, you're not going to deduce that Program Files contains your target binaries. Of course, the C:\ that preceded it and the \company name\ that proceeds it are about as descriptive at /usr, /dev, and the rest of the FHS' cryptic (and mind-bending, re: mounting partitions inside other partitions) nonsense.

When some manager type comes to you and says 'I need group A to have read access to this folder and group B to have write access to this folder' and you say 'sorry, can't do it with Linux', thats not the right answer.
I believe you were talking about the desktop, not the server room. You also seem to be confusing linux's shitty POSTIX ACLs for a lack thereof: linux and most of it's filesystems support ACLs. If it didn't, you might as well be running as root. Linux's ACLs suck but they're adequate for desktop usage. It's on the server that you begin to long for a proper UNIX from one of the big vendors, with ZFS/JFS/etc and standard NSFv4 support.

Can you say 'none of those technologies are 'horizontally fragmented', or mutually exclusive at all?, and all go out of their way to provide a seamless look and feel on their respective OSes


WTF. Mutually exclusive? Nay, a 'seamless look at feel' on Windows?? It's exceedingly rare for KDE/Gnome/etc apps to conflict in alien environments. The look and feel comment needs no reply.

as well as all leveraging common low-level services in a way that Linux doesn't?
Because it's not as if KDE and Gnome apps can leverage the same multimedia backend, or system bus, or device enumerator/manager, or sound server, or graphical server? About the only thing, besides the widget toolkit, that they don't share is configuration backends but so what? Apps on every platform do this. In the case of Windows, it's preferable that they don't, lest the unusable mess that is the registry becomes the slow unusable mess that is the registry. At worst, on the *nix desktop, you're looking at maybe 3 daemons for tracking config changes, using a total of perhaps 12mb of RAM and you'd have to be using a pretty broad range of software to land even that. Distributions like Ubuntu do create needless repetition and bloat, running both the apt xapian indexing daemon and aptdaemon/package kit daemon just to cover their various package management GUIs but that's got nothing to do with environment fragmentation but rather, the evolutionary nature of desktop linux. It's also why I'm stuck running HAL and udisks (which does create minor conflicts) due to the slow development cycles of Xfce.

when all your drivers have to be updated every time a kernel point release comes out, its just painful
Funny, DKMS handles this just fine for me.

I agree that desktop linux's problems are related to low-level architectural design decisions, like retaining a 20+yo graphical server protocol and just augmenting it with a perpetual cycle of unofficial add-ons that come and go every few years, or depreciating HAL almost as quickly as they decided to have it handle all device detection, or creating one sound server after another, rather than fixing the previous ones, then trying to ensure that the new server can plugin the old ones, providing hit-and-miss backward compatibility. Linux simply isn't designed with a desktop user in-mind. There's some great desktop software for *nix out there, providing robust and elegant environments far superior to the crap peddled by Apple and MS but the underlying technology consistently fails it. Porting KDE to Windows may one day prove to be the best decision the KDE team ever made.

Edited 2010-10-19 07:25 UTC

Reply Score: 3

IkeKrull Member since:
2006-01-24


Sure, "a bit", but from the name alone, you're not going to deduce that Program Files contains your target binaries.


Yes, I think you would conclude exactly that. what else would you assume was there? Why would you automatically think your 'target binaries' were hidden away from you?

I believe you were talking about the desktop, not the server room. You also seem to be confusing linux's shitty POSTIX ACLs for a lack thereof: linux and most of it's filesystems support ACLs. If it didn't, you might as well be running as root. Linux's ACLs suck but they're adequate for desktop usage. It's on the server that you begin to long for a proper UNIX from one of the big vendors, with ZFS/JFS/etc and standard NSFv4 support.


The two issues are very much intertwined. A user-friendly OS is one that works for the users - in a business environment, this absolutely extends to file permissions. When a user has a requirement to access a file, the operating system and GUI should facilitate that - not work against it. Linux's primitive permission model is painfully limited.

And the ACLs are not 'adequate for desktop usage' - i think OpenSuSE might have some support for manipulating ACLs from the GUI, but generally speaking ACLS are wholly unsupported as user-visible attributes of files, and are immediately destroyed when a set of 'standard' 'rwx'-based POSIX permissions are applied. The whole thing is insanely fragile.

To argue that POSIX draft ACL support as it stands today in Linux is 'adequate for desktop usage' is to be incredibly out of touch with what the average user expects in terms of basic visibility,functionality and coherency.

When i, as a desktop user in a business environment with legitimate interest and authorisation from the company - wish to click on a file and assign it permissions, i should be able to do that. Why should i need or want to go running to a sysadmin who has to drop to a console and issue a bunch of 'setfacl' commands? This is not just an 'enterprise' problem - this issue is absolutely at the the heart of small business's ability to utilise Linux.

WTF. Mutually exclusive? Nay, a 'seamless look at feel' on Windows?? It's exceedingly rare for KDE/Gnome/etc apps to conflict in alien environments. The look and feel comment needs no reply.


Rubbish. try running gnome apps under kde and see font sizes go all over the place, window management straight-up fail to handle focus correctly, and all manner of inconsistency.

Run a carbon and a cocoa app side by side, or a MFC and windows forms app, and watch the users simply not notice any issues. To claim carbon/cocoa or MFC/windows forms have anything like the UI gulf between tham that KDE/GNOME have is to put your fingers in your ears and yell 'LALALA'

Its just not useful or helpful to click file-> open in two different apps and be confronted with two entirely different interfaces for selecting a file, along with two entirely different sets of 'favourite' folders etc.

Because it's not as if KDE and Gnome apps can leverage the same multimedia backend, or system bus, or device enumerator/manager, or sound server, or graphical server? About the only thing, besides the widget toolkit, that they don't share is configuration backends but so what?


So theres no problem?

Apps on every platform do this. In the case of Windows, it's preferable that they don't, lest the unusable mess that is the registry becomes the slow unusable mess that is the registry. At worst, on the *nix desktop, you're looking at maybe 3 daemons for tracking config changes, using a total of perhaps 12mb of RAM and you'd have to be using a pretty broad range of software to land even that. Distributions like Ubuntu do create needless repetition and bloat, running both the apt xapian indexing daemon and aptdaemon/package kit daemon just to cover their various package management GUIs but that's got nothing to do with environment fragmentation but rather, the evolutionary nature of desktop linux. It's also why I'm stuck running HAL and udisks (which does create minor conflicts) due to the slow development cycles of Xfce.


Oh yeah, there is a problem, isn't there.


Funny, DKMS handles this just fine for me.


Well, thats obviously the solution then. DKMS works just fine on Fedora, OpenSuSE etc. too, right? Or are there about 10 diffferent, incompatible solutions to a 'problem', which, apparently doesn't exist?


I agree that desktop linux's problems are related to low-level architectural design decisions, like retaining a 20+yo graphical server protocol and just augmenting it with a perpetual cycle of unofficial add-ons that come and go every few years, or depreciating HAL almost as quickly as they decided to have it handle all device detection, or creating one sound server after another, rather than fixing the previous ones, then trying to ensure that the new server can plugin the old ones, providing hit-and-miss backward compatibility. Linux simply isn't designed with a desktop user in-mind. There's some great desktop software for *nix out there, providing robust and elegant environments far superior to the crap peddled by Apple and MS but the underlying technology consistently fails it. Porting KDE to Windows may one day prove to be the best decision the KDE team ever made.


What desktop problems? You just spent ages trying to tell me i was wrong about there being problems, and now you raise a bunch of new ones. Are we really so far away from being in agreement that Linux has severe issues as a desktop OS?

And last i checked nobody on Windows needed or wanted KDE for anything.

Reply Score: 2

Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Yes, I think you would conclude exactly that. what else would you assume was there? Why would you automatically think your 'target binaries' were hidden away from you?
It's called Program Files, not Programs (or Programmes, even). For the computer literate, that could easily be taken to mean libraries. For the layperson, that could easily be taken to mean the files produced by their programmes. Abbreviations and current usage aside, /bin is far more descriptive.

i think OpenSuSE might have some support for manipulating ACLs from the GUI
I think any file manager worth it's salt can. Thunar definitely can, nautilus could last I used it. I haven't used dolphin extensively enough to know, although considering KDE's kitchen sink mentality, it's absurd to think that it doesn't provide facilities for manipulating permissions. Thunar and nautilus also make it a might simpler than Explorer does, too.

To argue that POSIX draft ACL support as it stands today in Linux is 'adequate for desktop usage' is to be incredibly out of touch with what the average user expects in terms of basic visibility,functionality and coherency.
While arguing from your own personal ignorance is just dandy, it seems.

Rubbish. try running gnome apps under kde and see font sizes go all over the place
Tried it, hasn't happened to me. Opposite is true, though: Qt4's Gtk+ emulation fails to pick up font hinting settings, fails where the gtkrc defines more than one font (although it's rare that anyone does this), etc. Of course, it will still get it roughly right and doesn't break simply because you changed the font to something other than 8pt MS Sans.

window management straight-up fail to handle focus correctly
Tried it, hasn't happened to me. Had Xfce notification daemon windows steal keyboard focus in compiz but that's as close as I've gotten to focus problems when mixing and matching software (albeit, neither are desktop apps) and there was an adequate workaround.

Run a carbon and a cocoa app side by side
...and listen to the mac fags groan?

or a MFC and windows forms app
And get different menubar and toolbar widgets, a host of different ways of drawing MDIs and notebook tabs, totally different menu widgets. Hell, forget even the vanilla MFC and Winforms comparisons, just open some of MS' own software: open up outlook 2003 or above, Word 2007 or above, Windows Live Messenger, any version of Explorer, cmd.exe and enjoy the... what was it you called it? Oh, that's right:
seamless look and feel
And that's just the first party software. No Windows users are going to give a shit that programme X, in environment Y has font problems, when they're coming from a platform where no two apps look alike, attempting to so much as increase the font size results in the entire UI falling back to a 90's eyesore, half your fonts are still 8pt and the other half cause widgets to break, or become misaligned and before you even change anything, the UI is broken (unfocussed menubars, menus, broken dialogue windows in the control panel, focus-dependant scrollwheel) and contains lots of legacy cruft, with certain widgets randomly falling back to 90's ugly, or having unreadable text.

To claim carbon/cocoa or MFC/windows forms have anything like the UI gulf between tham that KDE/GNOME have is to put your fingers in your ears and yell 'LALALA'
To use 'Windows' and 'seamless look and feel' in the same paragraph, is to demonstrate that you're in lala land.

Never mind that comparing two disparate toolkits with quite different origins, to two where the latter was, from it's outset, designed to harmonise with the former, is stacking the deck in your favour.

Its just not useful or helpful to click file-> open in two different apps and be confronted with two entirely different interfaces for selecting a file, along with two entirely different sets of 'favourite' folders etc.
This doesn't happen with Qt4, does with Gtk+. That's at least half true. Meanwhile, enjoy your oh-so-consistent printer dialogues, titlebars, menubars, titlemenubars, toolbars, titletoolbars, ribbons and toolmenubars.

So theres no problem?
...

Oh yeah, there is a problem, isn't there.

I'm sure life must be difficult when every second word that dribbles out of your mouth is demonstrable bullshit but don't try to take credit for my criticisms.

Well, thats obviously the solution then. DKMS works just fine on Fedora, OpenSuSE etc. too, right? Or are there about 10 diffferent, incompatible solutions
Works fine in Debian and it's derivatives, works fine in Fedora. Can't speak for SuSE but it's inconceivable that it's not available for SuSE.

to a 'problem', which, apparently doesn't exist?
Now you're just strawmanning yourself, as much as you are me. You placed 'common gui foundational stack' under article d) and kernel drivers/modules under article e). Now you're conflating them. I never said there was no problem to begin with. In fact, after I dealt with your ill conceived notions of just what's wrong with the desktop stack, I offered my own ideas as to where the problems lie, which you generously tried to pass off as your own. DKMS has nothing to do with any of this.

What desktop problems? You just spent ages trying to tell me i was wrong about there being problems
No, I spent the requisite time for making one post on OS News to address your assertions regarding the source of the problems. Some of your points I agreed with; others, I did not.

and now you raise a bunch of new ones. Are we really so far away from being in agreement that Linux has severe issues as a desktop OS?
Are you really this obtuse?

And last i checked nobody on Windows needed or wanted KDE for anything.
I want KDE on Win 7 and I don't even like KDE. I'd settle for a decent update to bb4win, a port of wmctrl/xdotool and a non-fucked file manager in 7, though.

Reply Score: 1

IkeKrull Member since:
2006-01-24

It's called Program Files, not Programs (or Programmes, even). For the computer literate, that could easily be taken to mean libraries. For the layperson, that could easily be taken to mean the files produced by their programmes. Abbreviations and current usage aside, /bin is far more descriptive.


Don't forget /usr/bin, and /usr/local/bin, and /opt, and /sbin and /usr/sbin. i don't think its particularly descriptive at all, since many programs these days, e.g. python apps aren't even binaries in many cases, and an abbreviation for 'UNIX System Resources' isn't particularly clear. I can understand why some people might prefer the 1970s UNIX way, its just that most people don't, and this is a big reason why desktop users find Linux difficult to deal with.

If you started with a clean sheet or paper, would you honestly end up with /usr/local/bin?


I think any file manager worth it's salt can. Thunar definitely can, nautilus could last I used it. I haven't used dolphin extensively enough to know, although considering KDE's kitchen sink mentality, it's absurd to think that it doesn't provide facilities for manipulating permissions. Thunar and nautilus also make it a might simpler than Explorer does, too.


GNOME support for ACLs is an addon application, network file systems don't support them by default without specific mount options, and most bundled archiving utilities won't support them by default either. Any change to file permissions that doesn't use setfacl will also blow the ACLs away. This is really poor from a user's point of view. I'm not talking about the basic ability to manipulate ACLs, its the inconsistent and fragile underlying implementation.

Samba ACLS, NFS4 ACLs, POSIX draft ACLs are all different, its a mess. And the current status quo largely stems from the POSIX requirement that a POSIX chmod operation must result in the files having no more expansive permission than that specified in the chmod bitmask. This requirement is pretty much completely incompatible with a useful ACL system.

While arguing from your own personal ignorance is just dandy, it seems.


I have plenty of experience with ACL problems on Linux, thanks.

Tried it, hasn't happened to me. Opposite is true, though: Qt4's Gtk+ emulation fails to pick up font hinting settings, fails where the gtkrc defines more than one font (although it's rare that anyone does this), etc. Of course, it will still get it roughly right and doesn't break simply because you changed the font to something other than 8pt MS Sans.


So widget incompatibility is an issue then? I mean, I know its an issue, which is why i mentioned it. This is a problem, its a user-visible problem, and solving it, one way or another, would make the Linux desktop much better. Toolkit fragmentation is a very user-visible problem, and while it may be improving, its been a nightmare for years.

Tried it, hasn't happened to me. Had Xfce notification daemon windows steal keyboard focus in compiz but that's as close as I've gotten to focus problems when mixing and matching software (albeit, neither are desktop apps) and there was an adequate workaround.


Well theres one issue you've managed to avoid. Thats something I suppose.


...and listen to the mac fags groan?


Seriously, implying that people who use macs are homosexuals? Thats wholly inaccurate, and very stupid.

]And get different menubar and toolbar widgets, a host of different ways of drawing MDIs and notebook tabs, totally different menu widgets. Hell, forget even the vanilla MFC and Winforms comparisons, just open some of MS' own software: open up outlook 2003 or above, Word 2007 or above, Windows Live Messenger, any version of Explorer, cmd.exe and enjoy the... what was it you called it? Oh, that's right:
"seamless look and feel
And that's just the first party software. No Windows users are going to give a shit that programme X, in environment Y has font problems, when they're coming from a platform where no two apps look alike, attempting to so much as increase the font size results in the entire UI falling back to a 90's eyesore, half your fonts are still 8pt and the other half cause widgets to break, or become misaligned and before you even change anything, the UI is broken (unfocussed menubars, menus, broken dialogue windows in the control panel, focus-dependant scrollwheel) and contains lots of legacy cruft, with certain widgets randomly falling back to 90's ugly, or having unreadable text. "

Hasn't happened to me.

]To use 'Windows' and 'seamless look and feel' in the same paragraph, is to demonstrate that you're in lala land.


I think apps using windows GUI APIs do seem more polished and consistent than apps using Linux GUIs, in my opinion, yes.

Never mind that comparing two disparate toolkits with quite different origins, to two where the latter was, from it's outset, designed to harmonise with the former, is stacking the deck in your favour.


How can the deck be stacked in my favour when Windows has all the problems and Linux doesn't?

I mean, either there are serious user-visible issues with toolkit proliferation on Linux, which makes the deck stacked in Windows' favour because of its corporate-enforced 'somewhat consistent' UI APIs, or those problems (which you have been so stridently arguing against) don't exist on Linux which would mean there was no stacked deck.

I'm sure life must be difficult when every second word that dribbles out of your mouth is demonstrable bullshit but don't try to take credit for my criticisms.


I offered my own ideas as to where the problems lie, which you generously tried to pass off as your own. DKMS has nothing to do with any of this.


I didn't try to pass any of your work off as my own. How do you figure that?

And if DKMS has nothing to do with this, why bring it up at all? Its obvious there are problems with the lack of a kernel API, everyone who writes a driver, closed source or open that isn't integrated into the kernel tree has a problem with this. And everybody who wants to use any driver, open or closed source, that is maintained outside the kernel tree has a problem with it too. People saying 'well <X> works for me, so shut up' doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist.

A stable kernel API would be good for Linux, standards for interoperability are a good idea in general. The 'We must force people to open source their work and integrate it into the mainline kernel by severely inconveniencing them for doing otherwise' is a very childish foundation on which to build a desktop operating system that driver developers should be encouraged to target.

Its not that I don't understand the kernel developers' standpoint, I just think its counterproductive if the linux desktop is to become a reality.

Are you really this obtuse?


I guess so, are you really this aggressive, bigoted and rude? I guess when you disagree with me its perfectly justified but when I disagree with you its all gay, obtuse bullshit?

Reply Score: 2

oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

lkeKrull "A stable kernel API" The bugger exists.

Its called Fuse Buse and Cuse. In those you can write about 80 percent of all Linux drivers kernel and distribution neutral. Driver developers would not stay at the Linux kernel stable abis when there was a kernel mode one anyhow.

Basically where are my platform independent driver closed source makers?

Complain about lack of fast Stable Kernel API when they are at least showing signs of being willing to provide Linux with drivers.

Reply Score: 1

Icaria Member since:
2010-06-19

Don't forget /usr/bin, and /usr/local/bin, and /opt, and /sbin and /usr/sbin
...
If you started with a clean sheet or paper

From the paragraph you quoted:
Abbreviations and current usage aside

Like, good job reading 'n stuff.


I'm not talking about the basic ability to manipulate ACLs

From your previous post:
And the ACLs are not 'adequate for desktop usage' - i think OpenSuSE might have some support for manipulating ACLs from the GUI, but generally speaking ACLS are wholly unsupported as user-visible attributes of files, and are immediately destroyed when a set of 'standard' 'rwx'-based POSIX permissions are applied. The whole thing is insanely fragile.

To argue that POSIX draft ACL support as it stands today in Linux is 'adequate for desktop usage' is to be incredibly out of touch with what the average user expects in terms of basic visibility,functionality and coherency.
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and merely call that equivocal.

So widget incompatibility is an issue then?
Sure, I never said otherwise but lets compare, shall we?
font sizes go all over the place
fails to pick up font hinting settings, fails where the gtkrc defines more than one font (although it's rare that anyone does this)
I'd say there's a good order of magnitude difference, there. Again, you're attempting to use my criticisms to further your argument, throwing out pathetic false dilemmas, either out of an inability to comprehend that this is not a fucking debate, or out of plain ol' douchebaggery. Still not sure which.

Seriously, implying that people who use macs are homosexuals? Thats wholly inaccurate, and very stupid.
Le gasp, I used a common pejorative! Good thing I didn't call anyone a freetard-oops, I just implied that some people are literally retarded. Lord, have mercy.

Hasn't happened to me.
Then you haven't been looking. MS seem to have a great deal of affection for Workbench 1.0 and make a point of recreating it in every inconsistent detail. They'll be awfully disappointed to know that their efforts have been for nought.

I think apps using windows GUI APIs do seem more polished and consistent than apps using Linux GUIs, in my opinion, yes.
Not responding; just quoting for posterity.

How can the deck be stacked in my favour when Windows has all the problems and Linux doesn't?
'So where did you say you were, while you were murdering your wife?'

or those problems (which you have been so stridently arguing against) don't exist on Linux
Double negative, say what? And, "strident", oh my; such subtle rhetorical devices.

How can the deck be stacked in my favour when Windows has all the problems and Linux doesn't?

I mean, either there are serious user-visible issues with toolkit proliferation on Linux, which makes the deck stacked in Windows' favour because of its corporate-enforced 'somewhat consistent' UI APIs, or those problems (which you have been so stridently arguing against) don't exist on Linux which would mean there was no stacked deck.
Bullshit aside, my point remains, if only because it remains unaddressed: it's a lopsided comparison. Even working with the fallacious expectation that Gtk+/Qt4 widgets should integrate with one another, their efforts are reasonably impressive. Once you consider that these technologies are as alien to one another as cocoa and MFC, it only compounds the achievement.

I didn't try to pass any of your work off as my own. How do you figure that?
Repeatedly, rather than defend your own criticisms post-rebuttal, you've opted instead to merely substitute them for my own more tempered criticisms, while continuing to press the same conclusions. It's lazy, the relevance to your conclusions are tenuous and it's just not very good.

And if DKMS has nothing to do with this, why bring it up at all?
...because you mentioned having trouble with drivers, after updating your kernel? DKMS being the solution that evidentially eluded you, I mentioned it. You then, deliberately, or otherwise, mixed it up with the argument relating to the interoperability of desktop software stack.

People saying 'well <X> works for me, so shut up' doesn't mean the problem doesn't exist.
No, it just means that the problem doesn't exist for them. Desktop users simply don't have to deal with that shit, it's taken care of. Next.

The 'We must force people to open source their work and integrate it into the mainline kernel by severely inconveniencing them
...by forcing them to test against the latest kernel, rarely requiring more than trivial changes and testing. Never mind that this is all a non-argument, the moment that you expand the discussion to include the BSDs.

I guess so, are you really this aggressive, bigoted and rude?
Bigoted, strident, aggressive? Enough with the foreplay, baby; lets get dirty. Come on, get to the inevitable allusions to Naziism and lynchings and doing away with the decadent intellectual classes. Don't be a cocktease, go wild. Don't stop, don't stop, keep going. Call me a fascist pig, oh, that's it, baby. Now, finish me off with some pointless victimisation... oh... oh...
I guess when you disagree with me its perfectly justified but when I disagree with you its all gay, obtuse bullshit?
aaaaaaaaaaaah. I came.

Was it as good for you, as it was for me? ;)

I guess when you disagree with me its perfectly justified
It's not?
but when I disagree with you its all gay, obtuse bullshit?
Not all. Perhaps you could clear this up for me: are you in this for the INTARNET GLORY, do you honestly not understand what I am saying and am a bit lost, or are you just someone who neckbeards at the slightest criticism? I'm guessing it's some combination of the above, given your muddled responses and 'you're a bad, bad man' angle. I may be crude, rude and not terribly subtle but I'm a pretty nice guy and I didn't exactly open this exchange with 'you're wrong about everything and *nix doesn't have problems'.

Reply Score: 0

Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09


Can you say Cocoa and Carbon ?


You just chose the wrong example to criticize for lack of uniform and consistent UI design, MacOS X ;) . Even a long time Windows user like me, now programming on a Mac on a daily basis has to admit that the attention to UI's HIG rules is astounding on Apple products.

Go read http://www.linuxdriverproject.org.
Linux driver model is superior, period.


It has to prove it, not make papers and technical demos. It must be better than the competition (for example in the audio arena, providing glitch-free and low latency sound).

Reply Score: 2

michi Member since:
2006-02-04


c) filesystem ACLs by default.

It is possible to use ACLs on Linux. But ACLs have absolutely no advantage for the typical desktop user. In fact, I work for a big organization and every time ACLs are used, they are causing lots of trouble and the problems could as well be solved by using Linux file permissions. ACLs are way too complex and the simple Linux file permissions are perfectly fine 99% of the time. And the remaining 1% certainly have nothing to do with normal desktop usage.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Linux is just that with a coat of shiny paint.


Wow, so Linux is exactly like Windows and OSX?

Reply Score: 2

Not in the least.
by aust77 on Tue 19th Oct 2010 01:24 UTC
aust77
Member since:
2010-10-08

I enjoy your writing Thom, but I have to disagree in this instance.

Ubuntu Linux has 10+ million users, myself being one of them. I wouldn't use any other Linux distro (other than Debian or Puppy Linux on my Pentium III box) on one of my computers besides Ubuntu, simply because of the vast community. One issue, of any kind, and Google will take me to an Ubuntu community documentation or wiki page that will help solve my issue in no time.

Since I've used Ubuntu and only Ubuntu on my computers for about a year and a half now whenever one of my family members asks for help with their Windows PC I never know what to do. I can't use the terminal, and there's no community to help fix my issue.

I won't be an idiot, and I have to admit that Windows is a great OS, and is unparalleled in terms of games and several other features, including programs available for it. However, the repository is one thing I love about Linux that is not found on Windows.

Basically a good 70% of Windows users don't know what else is out there, other than Mac. They only use the OS pre-packaged with the computer or the OS that they have used throughout the course of their experience using computers.

Overall I use Ubuntu because of three key reasons: Support, stability and simplicity. Sure, I learn some skills along the way, but that's only part of the fun. Don't count me on this one, but I estimate that roughly a thousand or more people make the switch to Ubuntu or Linux daily. It's not like there's no future of Linux out there.

Ubuntu, although it has been criticized for lack of solid code contribution to the open source world, took all of the code created by the Debian developers and made it widely available to the world. When I was trying to download Debian lenny net install, all of the links were broken at the time and the website's design was not visually appealing. Ubuntu, on the other hand, has solved all of these issues and made millions use Linux.

I hope that in the future the main manufacturing companies will recognize Ubuntu and Linux and will begin supporting it.

If the OS world was a forest, Windows would be the trees, Mac would be the birds, and Linux would be the underbrush

So no, Thom. The Linux Desktop is not dead. It has only been born.

Reply Score: 2

v Non news
by Shannara on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:30 UTC
RE: Non news
by WereCatf on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:53 UTC in reply to "Non news"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Can't argue about something that never existed. There is no such thing as desktop linux.

Indeed, there is no desktop linux. All three of my desktops only use linux, not desktop linux. Hum hum.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:35 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't think Linux on the desktop is dead, it is still work in progress - many of the features required for seamless desktop and laptop functionality has only just been merged such as the ability to wake/sleep/powermanagement features. So it isn't as though Linux was feature complete but being ignored - it has been stuck in a situation of work in progress but thanks to hardware specifications being opened up that is changing.

With that being said, does it matter whether Linux is a major player on the desktop? if the end users who like Linux are happy then why should numbers matter at the end of the day? as a Mac user I don't make my purchases based on the percentage of market that Apple may have, I go with it because it does what I need it to do. The same can be said for Linux, people who use Linux use it because it does what they want thus the numbers who also use it doesn't impact on their experience at all.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Tuishimi on Tue 19th Oct 2010 16:50 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

What does a mac do (more specifically Mac OS X) that you can't do on Windows or on Linux?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 20th Oct 2010 02:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

What does a mac do (more specifically Mac OS X) that you can't do on Windows or on Linux?


Mac OS X gives me the power of UNIX with the software availability of a mainstream operating system; I can run Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, EyeTV and other stuff without a single problem which is the reason I choose it over Linux.

I choose Mac OS X over Windows because I prefer the way things are done in Mac OS X; drag and drop installation, free development tools, the way the GUI is designed etc. Microsoft has designed Windows to do things in a certain way and I'm not interested in running an operating system that operates in that way.

Why is it so surprising that there are people who run a different operating system than the one you choose to run?

Edited 2010-10-20 02:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Tuishimi on Wed 20th Oct 2010 03:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

It doesn't surprise me. I just wanted to read how you would respond to that question.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Tuishimi on Wed 20th Oct 2010 03:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Out of curiosity, do you develop in objective C?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 20th Oct 2010 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Out of curiosity, do you develop in objective C?


I'm gradually teaching myself C with the eventual aim to move onto Objective-C 2.0; I have no interest in writing for i-devices in the near future until Objective-C 2.0 arrives on iOS. I'm particularly excited about XCode 4.0 and the integration of LLVM/Clang to make development streamlined.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by Tuishimi on Wed 20th Oct 2010 05:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Cool.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by Panajev on Wed 20th Oct 2010 08:32 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

"Out of curiosity, do you develop in objective C?


I'm gradually teaching myself C with the eventual aim to move onto Objective-C 2.0; I have no interest in writing for i-devices in the near future until Objective-C 2.0 arrives on iOS. I'm particularly excited about XCode 4.0 and the integration of LLVM/Clang to make development streamlined.
"

Is garbage collection that important to you? Are there other missing pieces?

Beside GC, Objective-C on the iPhone is pretty much Objective-C 2.2 now thanks to Clang (available in Xcode 3.2.x too).

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 20th Oct 2010 11:24 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Is garbage collection that important to you? Are there other missing pieces?

Beside GC, Objective-C on the iPhone is pretty much Objective-C 2.2 now thanks to Clang (available in Xcode 3.2.x too).


I won't find them useful straight away but as I move onto larger and more complex projects it'll free up time to focus on the important stuff.

The first public preview of XCode 4 had GCC-LLVM by default but that might have changed since then and they've moved to Clang/LLVM by default given that C++ is now feature complete in 2.8. Maybe we'll be looking at LLVM/Clang 3.0 being the release that Apple will move over full time to LLVM/Clang.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Comment by kaiwai
by Panajev on Wed 20th Oct 2010 15:03 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Comment by kaiwai"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

If you focus on Objective-C only projects you get the almost full benefits of Clang for iOS code right now as Clang is a first citizen choice in terms of code compiled for iOS. Whenever it finds code it cannot work well with (like C++ and Objective-C++ code, it goes back to LLVM-GCC).

You get all of what is outlined in that link minus some kinks with @synthesize by default which, for now, still requires you to both declare the @property as well as call the @synthesize directive for that property, but you are free from having to also write the i-var manually in the class declaration too (in addition to the @property statement and the @synthesize one).

I personally only use Clang right now (Xcode 3.2.5) and I ahve not had major problems with it ;) .

Reply Score: 2

Dumb article
by fukudasan on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:36 UTC
fukudasan
Member since:
2006-06-04

Here we go again, another "Linux is dead, Linux won't make it on the desktop" pile of crap . . . this is arguing the wrong point, surely? A computer is merely a complicated tool, nowadays enabled for a wide range of tasks. My Linux machines allow me to do everything I want much more comfortably than any recent version of Windows (example: try using the latest versions of Office on the latest versions of Windows, in Korean, with the Ribbon! Nightmarish!!!) and faster, too.

But we are missing the point in this discussion. People use Windows in preference to other platforms because of a combination of ignorance (that there are other viable options), conditioning (early educational encounters plus (probably) consistently misleading advertising), application familiarity and fear (of having to go through a learning curve again if moving platforms means they have to use new software to achieve the same tasks, plus, of course, fear of ridicule from friends and associates, always a killer for anything on a social level).

The understanding that something like a word processor should function the same irrespective of platform if there are standard key bindings or whatever is something that the educational process does not impart in people. Another thread here recently made the point that although MS Office was highly prevalent on desktops, in practice it has many features that only power users need. This is quite correct. Back in England, on my old Win98SE/95 machines, I usually used a version of ClarisWorks 1.0 for Windows and it was perfect. It was also free because it was out of date and newer versions had supplanted it; it came on the front of a magazine and the fact that it was not 100% functional was irrelevant because I never needed all the features. So the products are oversold in the first place. And you couldn't tell the difference in printed materials, either.

And the paradox is that a good (i.e. "successful" rather than "approaching perfection") app or platform is one which appeals to peoples' laziness more than anything else. Linux has this, I can just switch on and not worry about things like malware or Trojans, but Linux is not the popular choice even though it should be more prevalent now. Windows appeals to peoples' laziness (ease of use) but has always failed miserably in security terms - which is why I gave up on it completely. But it comes pre-installed; that's the secret. Most potential users are not sophisticated or experienced enough to undertake things like installation (ask Doc Pain, he'll tell you what people do in Germany after they unpack their shiny new Windows PC - throw away the installation disks because they think they'll never need them!).

We could add to this that people become inextricably tied-in to Windows because of third-party apps, for example, I purchased a 3G smartphone here in Korea recently, the CYON LU-9000. The software (downloaded) is designed for Windows. It works okay, but you suddenly discover that the external memory you bought for it (MicroSD card) mysteriously cannot be read by XP . . . put it in the slot on the laptop using Mandriva and it works like a charm, no problems loading or deleting files. But Mandriva can do nothing with the phone itself. Neither platform seems to service the same device fully, ergo both must be considered inadequate, surely? The fact is that neither is better than the others, they all have as many fallacies as advantages and only really become useful if you adapt to them - and accept that if one is unable to do something important, you need access to both. Adapting to a situation like that makes you a much better computer user in general terms because you learn more about systems and software - as a Joe User, like myself - and therefore more versatile. A good carpenter does not go to work with just one size of chisel or one type of saw, he needs many tools and knows how to use them.

If I have understood the article correctly, what the author is really saying is this: Linux users (others should surely be mentioned in the same breath? BSD? MacOS? Any more???) have ideology. Ideology is bad because people who have it will reject the lame products that we offer, which will only run on one platform. We want them to use only that platform so they have no choice but to buy our products. So we must diss it and diss it until it dies a natural death and we can point to it and say: "See! Told you so!" Only a misinformed, misled and unsophisticated (read: lazy) consumer base would put up with such a situation. That's the bottom line.

The other points the author makes are (a) lack of content and (b) inability of "content providers" to make inroads:

[quote]"I share the hope with everyone that free and open-source software will rise to meet the requirements of content delivery," says longtime Linux developer Jeff Whatcott, senior vice president of marketing for Brightcove, a company that specializes in online video streaming. "But that's not happening."[/quote]

This is telling us the truth: "Content providers" don't like Linux because it's difficult to "monetize". So they get third parties to write disaparging online articles about it. Do I really care if Flash doesn't work on 64-bit Mandriva? I'll go to web sites that don't need it, or view it with XP virtualised. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

Do you wonder why I don't waste my time at sites like PC World? When a company employee of any kind feels it's acceptable to say something like: "DVD playback and video streaming from premium sites such as Netflix are now fundamental capabilities that any computer should have." - I vote with my feet, and my wallet!

Reply Score: 7

RE: Dumb article
by fukudasan on Wed 20th Oct 2010 13:39 UTC in reply to "Dumb article"
fukudasan Member since:
2006-06-04

I forgot to mention . . . it makes me retch, too. ^_^

Edited 2010-10-20 13:40 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Desktop Linux is not dead
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:41 UTC
lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

Here is one take on it, anyway:

http://elevenislouder.blogspot.com/2010/10/desktops-and-linux-are-n...

The author makes these points:

Very few people by computers with Linux preinstalled on them, which means you would have to literally ask everyone who owns a desktop computer which OS he/she is running. To date, no one has asked me or anyone I know (not anyone conducting a poll anyway).

Next, the article asserts that reasons are flash, or that the reasons are lack of content, or that the reasons are due to media incompatibilities. These are all bogus. Flash runs well on most desktop Linux distributions. Media playback is often painless and beautiful on most desktop Linux distributions, and there are many thousands of applications available on most Linux distributions. None of those are the reasons for the lack of Linux to become dominant in the PC world. The real reasons have never changed. Number one is the lack of hardware vendor commitment. Number two is a lack of advertising. Number three is the general lack of knowledge/care that most users have of/for operating systems in general.


I would quibble over one thing only. I would posit that the major reason why people don't buy Linux computers in nmbers is simply because they can't buy them. They aren't for sale in any place where an ordinary person might go to buy a computer.

This is in turn due to the fact that a determined monopolist has forced desktop Linux out of retail stores. The store owners won't be allowed to sell Windows computers at a competitive price if they also sell Linux machines.

This fact is simple to verify. Never, ever, ever will you see two instances of a display machine side-by-side in the same store with one running contemporary Linux and the same model machine next to it running contemporary Windows (say Kubuntu 10.04 or 10.10 versus Windows 7). Consumers will never, ever be allowed to compare Windows and Linux out of the box configurations side by side. Even more to the point, never ever will the true price to the cosumer of two machines with similar-capability-software (one with Microsoft software suite, on with linux desktop software) be allowed to be shown to consumers in direct comparison.

It just won't happen. Consumers will not be allowed to know about such things. Never.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Desktop Linux is not dead
by bouhko on Tue 19th Oct 2010 08:53 UTC in reply to "Desktop Linux is not dead"
bouhko Member since:
2010-06-24

Best comment and article I've read on this subject since a long time.

Although I agree linux in the consumer space will stay kind of stagnant, what is interesting is the corporate desktop market.
When I started studying Computer Science, I was the only one in the class using Linux. I was the "bizarre" guy. At the end of my studies, about half of the class had switched to Linux (I did some promotion, the teachers did some promotion, etc...). Now, the question is : when in some years, this guys will become IT managers, will they push towards using Linux as a corporate desktop ? Even if a small percentage does, this might lead to a huge number of new linux desktop users.

The main problem with linux in the consumer market is the whole installation/configuration thing. There still are some drivers bugs and stuff like that (Windows has too of course, but it's installed by OEM). But these problems are less relevant in the corporate world since you've qualified personnel doing the installs.

Now, we just need to improve MSOffice compatibility because that's probably the one thing holding many people back.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Desktop Linux is not dead
by Aurawin on Fri 22nd Oct 2010 14:09 UTC in reply to "Desktop Linux is not dead"
Aurawin Member since:
2010-10-22

I recently bought a Toshiba T135-1309 with Windows 7. The first thing after opening the box was to format the entire drive over to ext4, save for a swap partition :-)

Ubuntu 10.10 is much better than XP ever was. And I use redbox too. Meaning, I am willing to stay behind curves to enjoy freedom of choice!

Ubuntu has been delivering new versions twice a year for years now. Their support and community is vibrant as ever. This artical was a total slam on desktop computing... Which will never die.

It's funny how hard they are pushing for cloud computing. Boy they really want everything there is to know about you.

Reply Score: 1

v Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:42 UTC
Comment by koki
by koki on Tue 19th Oct 2010 02:55 UTC
koki
Member since:
2005-10-17

It's not that Linux has failed on the desktop, but rather that the desktop is becoming less and less relevant in the personal computing space. People need to stop using the term "desktop" as if it were the one and only personal computing form factor and have instead to look at the personal computing space as a whole, encompassing all the new form factors that have come into play in the market in the last few years: MIDs, tablets and (yes) phones.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by koki
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Oct 2010 06:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by koki"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

It's not that Linux has failed on the desktop, but rather that the desktop is becoming less and less relevant in the personal computing space. People need to stop using the term "desktop" as if it were the one and only personal computing form factor and have instead to look at the personal computing space as a whole, encompassing all the new form factors that have come into play in the market in the last few years: MIDs, tablets and (yes) phones.


Speaking of the tendency to use the term "desktop" as if it were the one and only personal computing form factor, there is also a tendency I have noticed to exclude netbooks from the category of desktop.

This is probably due to the fact that worldwide, Linux is installed on 33% of netbooks.

In addition, machines like the OLPC are not to be considered as desktops. Oh no, can't have that. Nor "other OS" on PS3's, can't count that. Dual boot machines aren't desktops either, apparently, but if they are then the are clearly Windows desktops (just ignore any other boot options). Likewise, Splashtop isn't Linux either. Virtualbox or VMware have no purpose on Windows desktops, of course not.

As for this thing, it plainly doesn't exist:
http://www.windowsfordevices.com/c/a/News/Lenovo-IdeaPad-U1/

La, la, la, I can't hear you.

Reply Score: 2

jrincayc
Member since:
2007-07-24

I use GNU/Linux because I like knowing that every piece of software has the source code available to me. That is a unique feature that Windows and Mac OSX just don't have. As long as enough people care about that feature and it doesn't become illegal, Linux or some other free OS will still stay alive.

Reply Score: 2

Linux desktops will always be doomed
by pjafrombbay on Tue 19th Oct 2010 03:35 UTC
pjafrombbay
Member since:
2005-07-31

The major strength of Linux (the large number of developers working on its development and support) is also its greatest pitfall. Why? Because they are working on TOO MANY distributions. Imagine what Linux on the desktop would be like if there were only ONE (or perhaps three) distributions. It really would get some development push. Is that ever likely to happen? Not in my lifetime!

I'll stick with Windows 7, I'm over all that Open Source stuff. Like it or hate it, Windows has one clear advantage over Linux -- it just works and works reliably. Why? Because there is a single-minded push behind it.

Regards,
Peter

Reply Score: 3

Yup, no Desktop Linux... but...
by leech on Tue 19th Oct 2010 03:51 UTC
leech
Member since:
2006-01-10

There is a Desktop BSD!

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=desktopbsd

I really wouldn't use the Linux Kernel as a desktop either, I mean without any userland, it'd be pretty useless. Good thing there are these things called distributions out there that package up Linux along with a ton of cool software.

They work great as desktops, workstations (is there a difference anymore) and servers.

I could just as easily say Windows 7 Desktop is dead, because the search function in Windows 7 is crap. In fact most things in Windows 7 is crap. For a good laugh, try right-clicking on the task bar and selecting small icons. You'll see that all your launcher icons have shrunk, but the big ol' Windows symbol is still the same size, and the bar is only slightly smaller. What an utterly useless feature.

Reply Score: 3

Desktop Linux is more like a zombie
by nt_jerkface on Tue 19th Oct 2010 06:22 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

It's not applicable to normal software life states.

But I do think the Linux revolutionaries need to give it a rest for a while and accept the Linux desktop as a niche system. When Win7 laptops are going for $350 a switch to any OS is a poor value proposition.

Reply Score: 1

The Desktop is dead!
by RagaR on Tue 19th Oct 2010 06:29 UTC
RagaR
Member since:
2010-06-22

GNU/Linux is ready for the desktop since Ubuntu 6.04. It has replaced 3 of 4 of my other closed source operating systems and the last one is running is OS X. A question about time.

The only drawback of Desktop Linux is, in my opinion: You can't administrate your system with the gui. But that is because GNU/Linux is a *nix system and respects multi-user and root privileges. Windows7 and Mac OS X bypass this with a popup, asking for that rights with one click. In turn for loosing integrity.

The real mess: The Desktop paradigma does not work on operating systems with some 10,000 files needed to work. Who knows about every file and about the status of it?

And that is the chance for GNU/Linux. It does not depend on a gui paradigma. Put another one on top of it. GNU/Linux is defined by choice. Not by the art of its one and only gui.

Let us face the fact: The gui of the future is the browser. That is the interface. Who cares about the OS anymore?

Reply Score: 2

Chrome is coming
by lego on Tue 19th Oct 2010 06:36 UTC
lego
Member since:
2008-03-25

I don't know is Chrome is a true 100% Linux OS, but I am sure Chrome + HTML 5 + WebGL could kill Windows in the future.

Reply Score: 2

MS wins always???
by TusharG on Tue 19th Oct 2010 07:00 UTC
TusharG
Member since:
2005-07-06

what ever we do microsoft always wins!!!
- I searched for a laptop in feb 2010 that has i3, 4 GB Ram, 320 GB SATA HDD, 802.11 b/g/n, bluetooth and Linux pre installed. i did not find a single laptop!! and what ever linux laptops were there in market were running old processor at much higher price.
- What i had to do was buy a laptop with Windows 7 pre-installed and format it to run linux. Ultimately MS got its money!


look at htc! they r paying MS money for every mobile device they sell with android os! MS wins again!!!

Its frustrating to see this.

Reply Score: 3

RE: MS wins always???
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Oct 2010 08:45 UTC in reply to "MS wins always???"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

what ever we do microsoft always wins!!!
- I searched for a laptop in feb 2010 that has i3, 4 GB Ram, 320 GB SATA HDD, 802.11 b/g/n, bluetooth and Linux pre installed. i did not find a single laptop!! and what ever linux laptops were there in market were running old processor at much higher price.
- What i had to do was buy a laptop with Windows 7 pre-installed and format it to run linux. Ultimately MS got its money!


Indeed.

As it turns out, apparently Windows is a very popular choice of purchase from computer stores where one can only buy machines with Windows pre-installed, and nothing else. An amazing fact is that sales figures of Windows reach 100% at computer stores where one can only buy Windows!

Up to 90% or perhaps more of those machines end up running Windows, can you believe it?

/sarcasm

Reply Score: 1

not
by xaeropower on Tue 19th Oct 2010 07:46 UTC
xaeropower
Member since:
2005-12-16

Dead my ass. It seems to me that its the quarterly ms bullying by windows fans again.

Linux desktop is much better than it was 5 years ago. XGL, Compiz might be dead but who cares about those kiddie shits.

Xorg with a good nvidia card is just stable as hell (if you dont play unreal and other gl games on it). This is what the average win users will never experience. Having 150day+ uptimes on laptops and desktop boxes. You every day can do your things instead of fixing the crashing crap slow swapping windows boxes where the idiotic google toolbar, java, adobe, flash, daemon tools, hp, intel etc updaters keep bothering you even if you dont want it.

And thanks to ubuntu linux desktop is more popular than ever. But the best example just how perfect linux desktop can be is Maemo on cellphones. All icons, themes, system sounds are just perfect in default install and yeah your cellphone can have 100 days uptime now too.

Reply Score: 1

No such thing as "Linux Desktop"
by zimbatm on Tue 19th Oct 2010 07:50 UTC
zimbatm
Member since:
2005-08-22

Linux is a kernel ! It's like if you compare a car to an engine, which is the most ready to drive ?

As we see, platforms that concentrate on providing an environment as a whole (like Android) are far more successful than a desktop+distribution+kernel. It's because they can concentrate on providing value to the user in contrast of providing a barely working combination between all the swappable components of a typical linux distro.

Reply Score: 0

Games: recent Direct3D 10/11
by Lennie on Tue 19th Oct 2010 08:08 UTC
Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

OK, everytime someone mentioned Linux desktop I hear someone mention games.

Can we stop doing that ? Won't it be solved soon ?:

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=mesa_gallium3d_d...

I mean if Linux has native support for Direct3D 10/11 and Wine is working on integrating it, how long until a lot of it is usable enough ?

Reply Score: 1

Sadly it's nothing new
by jbauer on Tue 19th Oct 2010 08:25 UTC
jbauer
Member since:
2005-07-06

It was dead the moment people started shouting it was ready for the desktop just because they wanted it to be true.

Reply Score: 3

Numbers
by vivainio on Tue 19th Oct 2010 09:17 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

I know it's not easy to dig this up, but I'd like to see some numbers on investment done on Linux; I mean the amount of actual money spent on employing people working with non-server, non-embedded Linux.

I'm pretty sure that if you saw the year-over-year trendline, you'd be surprised how much bigger Linux is now (even outside servers, embedded and Android) compared to what it has been before.

Reply Score: 5

It's getting closer than ever
by Paradroid on Tue 19th Oct 2010 10:19 UTC
Paradroid
Member since:
2010-01-05

I inherited an Acer laptop that had XP installed. When I ran Windows Update it installed SP3 which broke the wifi. I spent an age trying to fix this but the manufacturer wasn't shipping newer drivers which SP3 required.

So I installed Ubuntu and was pleasantly surprised. It had no hardware issues and the UI got very close to being good. The built in package manager is like an app store but everything is free, excellent stuff.

Unfortunately I ran into a few issues. When resumed the screen was corrupted and I couldn't fix this even after spending hours on it. Boot parameters might have helped but Grub2 was just complicated for me to understand.

I think with a little bit more work it's becoming a very viable desktop OS. Whether anyone uses it though is a different story...

Reply Score: 1

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Tue 19th Oct 2010 10:29 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

I don't think the article mentions of the key reasons behind Linux's failure to achievement more than a small share of the desktop market (though even that still translates into millions of users, of course).

This is that Linux was never preinstalled on PCs by OEMs on an industry-wide basis. It's an omission which almost guarantees a fairly small market share as only a few folks ever install or reinstall their own OS.

As the result, desktop Linux missed out on the magnifier effect. Had it been more popular, the pressure to do various things mentioned in this thread would have become irresistible. Things such as replacing X server, a more user-friendly file hierarchy, more support from third-party vendors, driver folks and software-makers, et al. As it is, they've always had the ready-made excuse of "acute minority interest".

In many ways this has always been a contest over who owns desktop Linux. For it to become more popular, sales, marketing and money would have needed much more influence in the development of Linux. For the most part this has been fiercely resisted by the people who do own desktop Linux, the devs. The devs have got what they wanted, which is retaining their ownership of the project. But what is a success in their eyes has been bought at the cost of unpopularity and, arguably, stagnation as various bits of the project slug it out, as do the various distro flavours of it. The result is probably seen as a failure in the eyes of the rest of the world, hence that article.

Reply Score: 2

Desktop Linux never existed.
by axilmar on Tue 19th Oct 2010 11:54 UTC
axilmar
Member since:
2006-03-20

Linux is the operating system kernel and device drivers; it's not a desktop system by itself. Desktop systems are some of the distributions like Ubuntu.

Why do we want to see Windows replaced by Linux? is it just because we hate Microsoft and what it represents?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Desktop Linux never existed.
by oiaohm on Tue 19th Oct 2010 12:42 UTC in reply to "Desktop Linux never existed."
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

Linux is the operating system kernel and device drivers; it's not a desktop system by itself. Desktop systems are some of the distributions like Ubuntu.

Why do we want to see Windows replaced by Linux? is it just because we hate Microsoft and what it represents?


A four simple things.
1) Product Activation. That is a pain in ass trying to deploy images.

2) Client Access License Counting. Another pain in Ass MS invention. I also hate per seat counting as well on any software.

Basically I want to maintain hardware and support clients not waste my time running around doing paper work. Tracking software.

3) License cost. If I could pay MS for a Support contract instead of Licensing. Yes a true Redhat Style support contract I would be less pushing to move away. Where when I have a problem I can simple pick up phone talk to them and get problem sorted. But when I pay out money on software to the equal value of a Redhat support contract and I basically get no support should I not be annoyed about being ripped off.

4) Lot of server software is simpler to deploy on Linux and just simply works better on Linux.

I don't think we are asking too much to be rid of the first 3 as headaches.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Desktop Linux never existed.
by Mellin on Tue 19th Oct 2010 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Desktop Linux never existed."
Mellin Member since:
2005-07-06

WGA = You are a chriminal until we have proof that you are not

Reply Score: 3

okay
by Mellin on Tue 19th Oct 2010 13:04 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

going back to using windows but i only have a windows me license and this pc can't have windows 7

Reply Score: 2

So sad
by cjcox on Tue 19th Oct 2010 14:33 UTC
cjcox
Member since:
2006-12-21

So called bloggers and editorial writers don't understand what "success" is. The fact that I and and millions of others are USING a Linux distro as our desktop and a significant portion as their ONLY desktop, means success.

I wish they wouldn't equate success as meaning the death of Windows. Granted, to have the success that Linux has gotten on the desktop DOES mean a lesser dependence on Windows... but IMHO, Linux is a success on the desktop... let's move on.

Reply Score: 5

Wrong title.
by caruccio on Tue 19th Oct 2010 16:09 UTC
caruccio
Member since:
2010-10-19

the post title should be "Desktop linux STILL dead..."

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wrong title.
by Soulbender on Fri 22nd Oct 2010 02:45 UTC in reply to "Wrong title."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, it's just like Windows in the data center. Still dead.

Reply Score: 2

It's just...
by Tuishimi on Tue 19th Oct 2010 16:55 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

...one more sensational thing to write about. I fear that in the future when we (well not in my lifetime) are all "plugged in" to a global network by some neural transmitter. I am certain insanity will quickly ensue.

[edit]

To be clear, I mean the original article is sensationalistic, not Thom's summary.

Edited 2010-10-19 16:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Desktop Linux is Dead, but So What...
by tomcat on Tue 19th Oct 2010 17:15 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

The source code is available. It's still useful to many people. And it's still a good low-cost academic platform that promotes learning.

Reply Score: 2

What am I writing this with, genius?
by Nth_Man on Tue 19th Oct 2010 17:53 UTC
Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

If Desktop Linux is dead... what am I writing this with, genius?

Reply Score: 2

As already told in OSnews
by Nth_Man on Tue 19th Oct 2010 17:58 UTC
Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

As an engineer already told in OSnews:

    As an embedded system engineer, I can tell one thing.

    In fact, Linux is almost everywhere.
    You just simply don't see it.

    Look, your Computer screen, your TV, your microwave oven, sat decoders, coffee machine, etc, etc. Almost everything which present you a menu on a LCD, in fact.

Reply Score: 3

RE: As already told in OSnews
by gtada on Wed 20th Oct 2010 00:03 UTC in reply to "As already told in OSnews"
gtada Member since:
2005-10-12

In fact, Linux is almost everywhere. You just simply don't see it.


I completely agree with that statement. The problem I see is that Linux has a branding issue. The typical Android users don't know or care that it runs Linux; they care more than it's an "Android". Google's brand has trumped Linux.

You can bet that every Mac user is proud to have a Mac, and that most PC users know he/she is running some version of Windows. Not many Android users know it's running Linux. When I tell them that they can run the same OS on their desktop as they have on their phone, they inevitably ask a variation of this question: "why would I want to have that phone OS on my computer?"

Reply Score: 1

Comment by daddio
by daddio on Tue 19th Oct 2010 18:48 UTC
daddio
Member since:
2007-07-14

The article was garbage.

Waste of my time to look at it.

His argument boils down to "doesn't have windows apps"

Well, I'm sorry that is just BS from the standpoint of 99% of all users.

What Linux lacks is a foot in the door in the supply chain.
Microsoft has all the major OEM in a stranglehold. Also, Microsoft has tried very hard to write its Site licenses so that organizations who need any Microsoft software in bulk have to license it even for machines that don't run it but could.

Linux does not have Superbowl ads or similar publicity.

And lastly, just plain old inertia.
Linux is flat-out better for most of the actual work people buy computers to do, but many of them have been steeped in the microsoft way for so long it is hard for them to understand something different. Yes, switching platforms is hard when you've learned one and spent a long time on it.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by daddio
by lemur2 on Tue 19th Oct 2010 22:05 UTC in reply to "Comment by daddio"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Also, Microsoft has tried very hard to write its Site licenses so that organizations who need any Microsoft software in bulk have to license it even for machines that don't run it but could.


Say what? Interesting. From that I get two things:

(1) There may be a great opportunity here for someone to build desktops using then new ARM A15 CPU when it comes out. There is no Windows for ARM, so such a desktop machine could NOT run Windows

http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/09/arm-reveals-eagle-core-as-cortex...
http://www.osnews.com/story/23784/ARM_Unveils_Cortex-A15_Up_to_2_5G...

This would allow a company to have Linux servers, with something like Samba4, Alfresco and OpenXchange/Zimbra/Citadel running on their serveres, the bulk of their desktops running Linux on ARM A15 with LibreOffice, and have only a very few specialist machines running Windows. They should be able to do all that and avoid having to pay Microsoft CALs of any kind. Since there would be only a very few Windows machines to worry about, license compliance for those few machines would become far easier to keep track of. It should be possible to allow the few Windows machines on the LAN but not on the wider Internet, so that they were protected from getting compromised.

Computing infrastructure costs for such a setup would be absolutely tiny compared to an equivalent company running as an all-Microsoft shop.

(2) Canonical and/or Red Hat may have a very good case for tortious interference there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortious_interference

After all, what business is it of Microsoft's if some company wants to enter into a contract with Canonical or Red Hat for desktop software? None at all that I can see.

Reply Score: 2

I beg to differ!
by Datatracer on Tue 19th Oct 2010 20:49 UTC
Datatracer
Member since:
2009-09-20

Linux on the desktop dead? Considering I personally have 5 Linux machines for various tasks and an Android phone, Linux has a rather large footprint in my life. I've been using it regularly since 1995. However, my main desktop is now an i7 "mac", with a dual boot between OS X and Linux, since I need to run Adobe apps and Final Cut. OS X is still unix, so I'm right at home on it, and easily switch back and forth.

Adoption of Linux on the desktop has never been about the OS itself, it's all about SOFTWARE! ... and I'm not talking about open source equivalents. If I could stabilly run Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut and other commercial software on a Linux machine with all 8 cores plus graphics acceleration, I'd have no problem getting rid of OS X! I haven't used Windows in almost 7 years. You can have Windows 7. I have no interest in it whatsoever.

The problem with making a statement like the "Linux Desktop is dead", is that it's pretty difficult to quantify just how many people are using it on a daily basis. Let's get some *real* numbers, and then we'll see where the Linux desktop really stands.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Tue 19th Oct 2010 21:33 UTC
Darkmage
Member since:
2006-10-20

The problem with desktop Linux vs Mac OSX is that Linux isn't even in OSX's league. If I want to make a dvd menu on linux I am pretty well screwed. I have to learn a bunch of command line tools I have no interest in learning. On OSX, I crank open iDVD, select a preset theme that I like, and start dragging/dropping images into it. Instant menu in 5 mins and I can then burn it straight to dvd. No stuffing around. iMovie is the same for video editing, imports directly, does all the cutting and then burns out to DVD. I know you can do these things on Linux, but the tools are NOT as well designed, and its not even close to being the same experience. Go download/buy/whatever a copy of OSX and try doing that sort of editing work. What OSX does that Windows and Linux cannot do, is it GETS OUT OF YOUR WAY. The OS removes itself from your presence leaving you to work. One click and you are into a video editing experience, one click and you're in a music editing experience. This is stuff that Linux and windows has been unable to master even given 20 years. As I age into my mid 20s I really can't be bothered fighting my pc anymore, Mac is where I'm going to move to. I can't stand the cost of mac hardware but for $39 and an efi emulator dvd I can convert my pc, and for me the lack of effort is worth it. It's easier to run a pirated Macintosh install than it is to run a legitimate Windows install... Patches/security updates work fine, you don't need antivirus. Most home user installs have pirated software anyway, office/adobe/games/open source software/(wine if I really want stuff like Crysis) Don't get me wrong, I love linux, I would love for it to take over the market, but it's never going to happen while Linux continues to chase Microsoft.

Edited 2010-10-19 21:38 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Darkmage
by BlueofRainbow on Tue 19th Oct 2010 22:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by Darkmage"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

This summarizes pretty much what have been my thoughts about the Linux-OS X-Windows distinction (minus the use of pirated applications for more than an exploration beyond what a legitimate demo/limited trial version could provide).

OS X tends to do its thing to support the applications, in appearance as a simple matter of fact. The developers most likely have to deal with the complexity to make it so simple for the users.

Linux have plenty of powerful command line tools to do things the graphical applications can't. However, these commands, and their multitude of option switches, seem more cryptic to a casual user as the old DOS commands.....which are still underlying many aspects of Windows. By the way, I still use the "Command-Prompt" in Windows for certain tasks which I can do easier/faster and with greater control on the outcome than through the graphical interface.

Interestingly, all three have an UNIX (or UNIX-Like) under-pinning. Quite dramatic differences in how they present themselves to their users.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage
by Darkmage on Tue 19th Oct 2010 22:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Darkmage"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

The developers don't actually have to handle that much complexity at all... I've been dabbling with Objective-C it is a really powerful language. You can add features to applications without recompiling... you don't even have to write code to call a lot of functions. This is why I talk about GNUstep with some of my posts. Cocoa is a very powerful framework. It's a shame that Gnome didn't adopt it back when they were looking at it (before they settled on GTK).

An example: in the gorm editor, I simply added a menu option for New Window in a web browser application I had the code for, the application automatically used the new feature without any code being written. Obviously the api had had support for spawning new windows already in it and just adding the menu item was enough to automatically call that feature. I've seen a lot of things snapped together in seconds using objective-c I recommend anyone who hasn't to look into it as a language. Versus writing gtk applications in C or windows software in C++ objective-C is a dream. checkout the videos of steve jobs in the 80s showing off Next to see why OSX is so much more powerful. It's the language it uses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j02b8Fuz73A - notice how this is about 8-10 years before COM/OLE?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Darkmage
by Panajev on Wed 20th Oct 2010 08:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Darkmage"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

The developers don't actually have to handle that much complexity at all... I've been dabbling with Objective-C it is a really powerful language. You can add features to applications without recompiling... you don't even have to write code to call a lot of functions. This is why I talk about GNUstep with some of my posts. Cocoa is a very powerful framework. It's a shame that Gnome didn't adopt it back when they were looking at it (before they settled on GTK).

An example: in the gorm editor, I simply added a menu option for New Window in a web browser application I had the code for, the application automatically used the new feature without any code being written. Obviously the api had had support for spawning new windows already in it and just adding the menu item was enough to automatically call that feature. I've seen a lot of things snapped together in seconds using objective-c I recommend anyone who hasn't to look into it as a language. Versus writing gtk applications in C or windows software in C++ objective-C is a dream. checkout the videos of steve jobs in the 80s showing off Next to see why OSX is so much more powerful. It's the language it uses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j02b8Fuz73A - notice how this is about 8-10 years before COM/OLE?


Thanks for the link. I agree that Cocoa is a very powerful framework and that Objective-C is a powerful and descriptive language which deserves a higher adoption rate.
I do think that with many companies hiring/positioning people to work on Objective-C code for iOS apps they will have helped to create more Objective-C programmers that can work on OS X and GNUstep, the latter needs to have more work put in its Interface Builder's clone in order to be more competitive (Xcode, Instruments, and especially Interface Builder are keys to Cocoa's success IMHO).
Objective-C has not been left collecting dust either, the new runtime supports some very interesting features:

http://www.mcubedsw.com/blog/index.php/site/comments/new_objective-...

Objective-C on OS X is helped by LLVM (it keeps gaining new features paired to advancements in the Clang compiler). The static analyzer based on LLVM is a very powerful tool too.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by Anonymous Penguin on Wed 20th Oct 2010 03:57 UTC
Anonymous Penguin
Member since:
2005-07-06

The reasons are always the same: computers come almost always with Windows (or Mac OS X, but that is another story), people resist change (because, let's be honest, there is a learning curve involved, even in the easiest of distributions). And my experience with Ubuntu (since the early Betas) isn't positive at all: always some serious bugs.
KDE, the most loved, complete and easy DE committed suicide. Fortunately Gnome isn't bad at all.
Having said all that, Linux is superior to Windows from almost every point of view, and now I am talking of my daily experience. When you switch on Windows, can you be productive immediately? No way!
Windows wants to update itself and then reboot, applications a & b also want to update themselves, apps x & z want to advertise their paid version...
Next you have a BSOD and you must repair you computer, next you have a freeze...
I had the crazy idea to upgrade my Windows 7 Home Edition to Ultimate: no more BSODs (and why is that?) but more freezes and now I can't find a working WI-FI driver...
At the end of the day I find myself using Linux much more than Windows, and my favourite games (only 3) work better and better under Crossover Games.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by Anonymous Penguin
by jbauer on Wed 20th Oct 2010 09:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by Anonymous Penguin"
jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

The reasons are always the same: computers come almost always with Windows (or Mac OS X, but that is another story), people resist change (because, let's be honest, there is a learning curve involved, even in the easiest of distributions). And my experience with Ubuntu (since the early Betas) isn't positive at all: always some serious bugs.
KDE, the most loved, complete and easy DE committed suicide. Fortunately Gnome isn't bad at all.
Having said all that, Linux is superior to Windows from almost every point of view, and now I am talking of my daily experience. When you switch on Windows, can you be productive immediately? No way!
Windows wants to update itself and then reboot, applications a & b also want to update themselves, apps x & z want to advertise their paid version...
Next you have a BSOD and you must repair you computer, next you have a freeze...
I had the crazy idea to upgrade my Windows 7 Home Edition to Ultimate: no more BSODs (and why is that?) but more freezes and now I can't find a working WI-FI driver...
At the end of the day I find myself using Linux much more than Windows, and my favourite games (only 3) work better and better under Crossover Games.


Nice universe you have there. I see it's warm and comfortable.

Reply Score: 2

I wish I'd known that sooner
by penguin7009 on Wed 20th Oct 2010 17:06 UTC
penguin7009
Member since:
2005-07-10

Gosh, I wish I'd known that sooner. I have two desktops running Linux and three notebooks running Linux. The two desktops are business computers, oh yea I have a desktop as server running linux.

Guess I better start looking for new computers and maybe a new operating system?

penguin

Reply Score: 1

2006...
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 20th Oct 2010 19:08 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

...was the year of Linux on all of my desktops.

Since 2007, which is when I finally got around to backing all my stuff up, repartitioning, and reinstalling my distro of choice (Zenwalk at the time), Windows has been nothing but a toy OS running occasionally in a virtual machine, mostly for nostalgia reasons and for curiosity to see how some of the programs I used to use have turned out over the years (and how Linux equivalent programs are in comparison).

Edited 2010-10-20 19:13 UTC

Reply Score: 2

An other reason
by reez on Thu 21st Oct 2010 00:35 UTC
reez
Member since:
2006-06-28

An other reason for this statement being somewhat true is that it's still too hard to install.

No, not that the installers are confusing. Using mainly Windows 7 on the desktop I recently decided to have a look on how the Linux world is doing. I have used Linux on Desktop exclusively for more than eight years (even longer aside with XP) until Windows 7 came out. Then I somewhat switched. At least on the real Desktop. My old laptop still is Arch Linux powered, but I don't use it very often lately. It has always been a pretty minimal desktop.

First I tried the latest release of Ubuntu and after trying it a few time, playing with various options I gave up on getting the installer to run. The disc has been okay, but the installer didn't start and the screen turned black. Disappointed, but not being an Ubuntu fanboy anyway I tried some other distros. I got further with some of them, but for some reason they all failed to create a working installation. In all the years and with tons of tested distributions I never had so many problems. In the end I decided to give Gentoo a try and it worked like a charm.

I don't get it. Not even Live CDs could start X. I have done this a year ago and without any problems and the old CD still works. I don't think the problem is usability. I installed Linux on my mums laptop and only configured it once. For years it has been working like a charm. Having just a _very_ basic understanding about how to use a computer she wouldn't be able to use Windows.

You simply can't leave people with something not working. That's the number one reason for switching back to Windows. Also you can't always present them something completely new. This caused people to go back to Windows. It's also why many people still use Windows XP. They are getting used to it.

Not long ago I talked to a friend about how cool it would be if everyone would start from scratch using the, knowledge, but giving the computer world the opportunity to do everything right from the beginning. This is a dramatical shift, but software simply needs to mature. Even if you have a enough manpower with all the people being experienced programmers you can't build software that "just works" in a few weeks. It takes some time to make everything "just work". The newer versions of Windows took ages and many features didn't make, but they have way fewer of those rare cases that cause problems to people that just want to use computers.

Reply Score: 2

RE: An other reason
by daddio on Thu 21st Oct 2010 23:24 UTC in reply to "An other reason"
daddio Member since:
2007-07-14

Bah!

I don't even like to think about the aggregate hours of my life wasted reinstalling windows on other peoples PC's because they couldn't (a lot of times it was after they tried anyway... teehee)

That reason is a smokescreen for the truth, which is most people couldn't install ANY O.S. on ANY computer.

Hows the level of difficulty install for MacOS X on bare hardware? What? You don't know? Me neither. Move along.

Linux superior driver support makes it easier 9 times out of 10, than Windows. The only exception might be installing on a netbook with no optical media, which is no picnic for windows either.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: An other reason
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 22nd Oct 2010 18:16 UTC in reply to "RE: An other reason"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

That reason is a smokescreen for the truth, which is most people couldn't install ANY O.S. on ANY computer.

Sure they can. All they have to do is press the any key. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: An other reason
by reez on Fri 22nd Oct 2010 22:54 UTC in reply to "RE: An other reason"
reez Member since:
2006-06-28

Linux superior driver support makes it easier 9 times out of 10, than Windows. The only exception might be installing on a netbook with no optical media, which is no picnic for windows either.

IMO Linux rocks on Netbooks. Don't know why some people seem to have problems in this area. And you are right, sometimes Windows fails too, but still. Even if all OSs have there problems this is a reason for people giving up on Linux.

I always complain (well, actually these complaints never leave my head ;) ) about everyone just writes reviews on how the install went, which isn't really the main thing one cares. I mean what would happen if all those game magazines would just write about how bad or awesome the installers had been. I don't want to attack all reviews. There are good ones too, but that's an other topic anyway.

Reply Score: 2