Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 20:42 UTC
Red Hat Red Hat is the undisputed commercial leader when it comes to Linux distros. A few years ago more distros were sharing the Linux market/userbase, but these days Red Hat has overcome its competitors in impressions, sales and popularity. Popularity doesn't always mean quality though (look at Windows9x for example), so after our world's first review of Red Hat 8.0 a few months ago, I wanted to check out the new product, Red Hat 8.1, destined to be released sometime in the next one or two months. I downloaded and installed the third beta of 8.1, codenamed Phoebe, and gave it a whirl. We will be featuring a full review when the final version becomes available, but here is a preliminary report on the current status, accompanied by three screenshots. Update: Added one more screenshot.
Order by: Score:
good one
by Pascal de Bruijn on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 10:12 UTC

Nice mini-review.

I also like RedHat now, there still some stuff that needs to be done...

-i686 ISOs
-NTFS support (even if not loaded by default)
-MP3 support, Thomsons multimedia has made clear that MP3 may be included in free software for free.

About the GTK stuff, I really not an expert so I could totally be wrong, but maybe GTK just has lots of initialization to do...

RE: good one
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 10:16 UTC

>-i686 ISOs
>-NTFS support (even if not loaded by default)
>-MP3 support, Thomsons multimedia has made clear that MP3 may be included in free software for free.


I agree. Especially for the i686 optimization, as Red Hat recommends 300-400 Mhz anyway (and a K6 at 300 Mhz is nowhere as fast as a PII at 300, so there is not much point supporting the i586 cpus) ;)

Can't wait :)
by g.krist on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:12 UTC

This looks pretty cool to me! especially new xfree with rendr extension! And I agree with you pascal ... For me it's no problem to enable mp3 but for starters it's hard. And about NTFS support I think it's a bad idea. NTFS module is far from working oke (writing could be even distroy NTFS), and I understand RH doesn't want to run risc people are fucking up and blame redhat ...

Nice
by Anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:14 UTC

Now there is a menu that is way better. KDE 3.1's menu is just fugly and poorly organized. For example, it isn't clear at all what the difference between "System" and "Settings" are.

That so many apps in the menu's are listed like: Kblah (What it actually is) is indicative of the poor naming scheme IMO. For example:
Noatrun (Multimedia Player)

Who would ever guess that Noatrun is Multimedia Player? That should be entirely hidden from the user. Just call it Media Player, or something, darnit.

The only one there I don't like is "Accessories." I don't think that makes much sense.

It would be super-cool if some standard could arise out of this kind of user-presentation stuff, to such a point where as far as a newbie was concerned, KDE and GNOME were merely different things "under the hood."

RE: Nice
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:17 UTC

The name is Notatun, not Notatrun. ;)

As for the menu organization on Red Hat 8.1 I already talked about it here:
http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=2611

Quick Question
by GetOutofHere on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:18 UTC

I know that KDE uses QT for the graphical API, so what does Gnome use?
Is it GTK?

Just wondering, because I want to encapsulate the API gnome uses for Eiffel.

RE: Quick Question
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:18 UTC

Yes, it is GTK+

Re: Nice
by Elver Loho on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:21 UTC

You cant just call Noatun a "Multimedia Player" because there are other, even better ones out there. However, if they want to make it the default one, why not call it "Redhat Media Player"? Would be following the naming scheme of "Windows Media Player" and it would not confuse people, should they come across another media player for Linux.

i686 optimization would be nice
by rajan r on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:22 UTC

If you are scared that there are potential customers using decade old processors, have two versions - i386 and i686 :-). There is always a time to let go, and move on. I believe that time is now.

Personally, I like the direction they are taking. They are clearly targeted for the *corporate* desktop, unlike many others that either
a) say they are for the corporate desktop yet either have home user features (Lindows) or have nothing the corporate enviroment wants (Mandrake)
b) go for the home user market (Lycoris)

Not to say they are bad, but frankly, the corporate desktop is one of the only desktop market interested with Linux. Home users generally couldn't care less what OS they are using. (hehe, I remember asking my aunt what version of Windows she was using... she couldn't answer off hand :-).

Super-cheap desktops are also not the way to go. One thing is that though matter how good that $200 PC is, people would think it is too cheap considering that its closest Windows competitor for a known company is around $400.

For that cheap, you may as well buy a bunch of thin clients and a server..

NTFS
by Pascal de Bruijn on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:22 UTC

I know that the NTFS module is still in experimental mode. But they could compiled it in as a module, which would not get loaded by default, (even if the system has NTFS partitions). If i'm not mistaken many distributions simply have NTFS support on read-only, which takes care of the data-loss issue.

Mostly read-only is enough, this way I can still play music which is located on my NTFS drive.

Yey, no Extras anymore. They should fire the guy who invented that menu...

Re: RE: Nice
by Elver Loho on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:23 UTC

Eugenia, it's actually called Noatun not Notatun and definetly not Notatrun ;)

Benchmarks?
by Christopher X on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:23 UTC

For the final review? Red Hat 8.1 includes NTPL threads implementation and I'm curious if there is any detectable speedup in threaded apps like Evolution. I highly doubt something as mundane as Evolution will be drasticly sped up by it, but what about Apache 2.0 or other such apps? I'm quite curious. About the i686 issue, I've noticed that once I registered my installations of Red Hat and update the system I'm offered the opportunity to install Athlon optimized versions of the kernel (and maybe glibc, not sure). There are also i686 versions availible from Red Hat if you wish to spare the compile. While this won't help the other apps, this may add a perk up. I myself never noticed much difference, but I don't know of any other mainstream distro that offers platform optimizations for their kernels. Anyone care to comment?

RE: i686 optimization would be nice
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:25 UTC

>I believe that time is now.

I believe so too, but it won't be happening for the Final version of 8.1. When you optimize the compilation with different flags, it creates different code. And different code, means different bugs than the ones already reported to their bugzilla. So for 8.1, this is a no-go, it is already too late for it. But I hope it will be standard for 8.2. ;)

Re:  Re: Nice
by rajan r on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:25 UTC

Elver... notice too that Internet Explorer isn't trademarked? Red Hat can rename Mozilla to that too. In addition to that, Nautilus to RedHat Explorer.... :-) The power of Microsoft picking a trademarked term and arguing it is generic while bankrupting the prosecutor...

Re: RE: Nice
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:26 UTC

> Eugenia, it's actually called Noatun not Notatun and definetly not Notatrun ;)

Two people did a mistake writting it in a matter of minutes, and I had the name of the app already written in front of me on another browser window. Possibly a proof that the name is not that good, or easy to pronounce. ;)

Re: Notatun
by Anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:31 UTC

Err, well it's Noatun. But I'm sure you get the point.

I didn't see the earlier menu story. Surely you don't expect everyone to read every story.

Re: Notatun
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:32 UTC

Of course not, I just pointed to it, so I wouldn't have to repeat myself. ;)

Marketing phrases
by Anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:34 UTC

> Red Hat is the undisputed commercial leader [..] Red Hat has overcome its competitors in impressions, sales and popularity [..] Red Hat, Inc. the leading Linux power

Sure that you didn't copy some parts/terms from the RedHat marketing pages?

RE: Marketing phrases
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:35 UTC

Nope. Numbers and reality speak for themselves.

Damn
by schumaker on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:42 UTC

What I really miss is ntfs, auto mount win partitions or an option to turn it on, also there should be some kind of network wizard, maybe there is? Other than that I find Red hat the best distro around, you have full fledged office suit with even MrProject included. Very nice. Only thing I can't understand is why having preferences, System settings, and system tools in the main menu? Maybe they should put them in accesories or at least System settings, and system tools.

Thank you RedHat and thank you Eugenia, it's allways nice to read your stuff

Re: Noatun / Media Player
by Anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:42 UTC

For applications that are able to be substitutes like web browsers or media players, this could merely be some kind of preference setting. I would imagine the same could go for lots of other stuff.
--

Eugenia: Ok. I looked at the mockup. Like most of the suggestions. One thing I do like though is the bigger fonts, but its small potatoes.

One question that just occured to me about applicatoins like a PDF viewer or a Media player, is if they are actually often started standalone by themselves? Personally I never do that, and I rely on just opening a file and having the associated app launch to do something automagically. For that kind of 'passive' stuff, it seems to me you could just remove them from the menu's altogether.

Samba...
by Ronald on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 11:56 UTC

> Also, I was not able to hook into my shared Windows XP
> directory via Samba, not sure why not, yet.

I inserted my computer name and lan name at installation. And I have no trouble accessing other computers using nautilus "smb://pcname". Is there another way to access shares on other comuter under gnome?

The broken parts are the theme installer. Crashes every time. French-Canadian keyboard support is broken too. Also can't seem find the redhat network utility(I could not input my email addy in the installation.)

Now if I could find a good tutorial on installing 3d enabled nvidia drivers(without jeopardizing my installation this time) and an how-to install MP3 support on XMMS AND ntfs support.

What is really required..
by Matthew Gardiner on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 12:15 UTC

What I would like to see is Redhat, Mainsoft and a number of commercial software companies like Macromedia, Adobe and Corel team up and port their applications natively to Linux.

Mainsoft which produces product to ease porting from Windows to UNIX could be used.

At the end of the day, one can have the greatest desktop on the planet, however, if there is no commercial applications, one is not going to move

Good work
by insignia! on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 12:48 UTC

Awesome work by RH since 8.0, just in the UI and fonts dept. (or whatever). Now THAT is my main reason to use RH. No matter the 'Bad' press given by Linux zealots (so what else is new?), RH have the best UI to look at with integration on any linux desktop.

Have the fixed that crappy package manager to allow me to install other apps than "Redhat-Certified" ones? ;)

Unfocused App Windows in Screenshots
by fuzzyping on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 12:58 UTC

Eugenia, would it be possible for you to post some screenshots where an app window is focused? AFAICT, all of your examples show unfocused windows, so it's hard to distinguish any Bluecurve UI changes.

Thanks,
-fp

About i686
by Anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 13:20 UTC

I'm not sure many of you understand how RedHat does its packaging. With GCC, one can do full optimization for a processor - by using processor-specific instructions and optimal instruction ordering. RedHat does the latter only. That is, the order of the instructions are optimized for i686 though it only uses i386 instructions. This way, any i386 processor can run the distribution, though anything lower than a Pentium Pro would do so sub-optimally. The difference between the two is minimal for most apps - and where there is a big difference (i.e. kernel, glibc, etc.) RedHat provides i686 packages.

fonts improved?
by darren on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 14:08 UTC

Is it just me, or did they improve the fonts? Judging by the screenshots, they have. To me, the ones in 8.0 are too fuzzy or blurry. These don't seem to suffer the same fate.

I do like that they are including KDE 3.1.

I686 isos
by younker on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 14:11 UTC

I hope that will release the isos for i686, I think the i386 isos is not fit for my computer. and another problem use the new kernel that support NPTL can't use the nvidia driver, hope this can be solved in the final release of 8.1.

I think 8.1 will be a great release of Linux Desktop.

Toolkit mess
by Rulle on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 14:30 UTC

RedHat 8.x is really good. I think their default kernel is the best. I was recently very impressed when it recognised my maxtor usb HD, hotpluggable and everything.

What I really cant understand is why they use GNOME2+GNOME1.4+moz+OOo+others, it is lightyears behind a KDE only desktop (works today) or a GNOME2 only desktop (wich sadly dont exist yet).

nautilus, evolution, mozilla, openoffice all use their own gui toolkit (or toolkit version)! On a modern desktop every app has to use the same gui toolkit, no way it can compete with proprietary offerings otherwise. I dont care if openoffice is the best free software office solution today, there is no future in the one toolkit per app desktop. If all apps used GNOME2 then it would atleast suck consistently (more or less).

A few things
by Mike Hearn on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 14:30 UTC

NTFS is not in Redhat due to possible patent concerns I believe.

I'm not sure why MP3 support still isn't in there, if Thompson have made it clear free decoders are allowed, but they are very careful with legal things. Anyway, it's trivial to add.

Evolution is not really multithreaded afaik, it runs 2 processes that communicate via CORBA in the new gnome2 version anyway.

There will be other nice features too, like the gnome sound recorder can convert between various formats (once you have the right gst plugins installed), little things like that.

I seem to recall seeing bluecurve toolbar icons a while ago, they must have dropped them for this beta.

What I would like to see is
by m on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 14:31 UTC

QNX moving in this Desktop/Corporate direction instead of only focusing on an embedded plattform. Meanwhile what I'd like to see happening to the RedHat Desk is a completely polished ReHMudi release instead of this (not the one available for download right now).

Oh whoops
by Mike Hearn on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 14:32 UTC

I didn't see the second screenshot for some reason. So the bluecurve icons are there. Personally I prefer the default gnome toolbar icons, but hey, they look ok too. A bit blurry for my tastes.

Moho vs gnome app launch time is probably due to linker relocations, prelink will hopefully address some of these issues.

Re: MP3 support
by Anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 14:33 UTC

> Thomsons multimedia has made clear that MP3 may be included in free software for free.

Ah. You see, a naive person might take that to mean that Red Hat can include MP3 players with no fear of trouble.

But the reality is very different. Without a license (an email saying "Yes, it is OK to make free MP3 programs" is not a license) Red Hat has to consider that Thompson may decide one day that it would like royalties after all. They will argue that they meant free SOFTWARE, not FREE software, or that only no-cost downloads were included, or that in any case Red Hat don't have a license... at best it will cause a lot of negative press and lost revenue.

Unisys played this game for years with GIF, offering "special exceptions" and then changing the terms and conditions as it suited them. RSA did the same thing with crypto libraries. Red Hat want no part in it if they can help it.

I love it....hope they fix the bugs
by SmithLX on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 14:34 UTC

Quick comments.......
I have been using the XFT Mozilla from Phoebe 2 for a while. It is the best looking browser and font rendering yet. It looks like they finally finished Bluecurve.
I still ran into the infamous RPM crash...
Nautilus is much better at parsing large directories...
I love the new Theme Panel. (I use GNOME 2)
Crossover Office 1.31 did not work...
I could not use the 1.0-4191 nvidia driver... I know it is a binary and Nvidia will need to supply it. I will also have to wait till VIA releases its Rhyne drive for my onboard NIC card.
I have started recommending Redhat to my newbie friends instead of Mandrake because of Bluecurve. (no flames please..)
Can't wait for the final release. I will be in line to pay for it.

home work for redhat
by yasasvi on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 15:36 UTC

I think from 8.x on wards, RH done a good job. I think what it has to do is

1) i686/586 compiled binaries
2) Networking support irrespective of the environment
3) Multimedia support
4) A very good office ( although openoffice is good, but its still below the mark. For eg., Apples recent presentation program, still beta, is far above the powerpoint in presentation)
5) stability and performance improvements for gnome
6) as they are planning, support for only one wm and rest optional

BlueCurve
by Jay on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 16:00 UTC

Thanks Eugenia! I'm glad to see they're working on the menus. It still sounds like they have those various system prefs and that stuff in those various menus. I wish they would fix that. LOL, it bugs me - to have come up with something as cool as BlueCurve and to have that kind of menu confusion :-)

dont forget pentiums
by Steve on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 16:06 UTC

I disagree with a distro being i686 only, maybe i586, but I have a Pentium233, and it is quite capable of running recent distros. I have FreeBSD 4.7 and SuSE 8.1 installed on it and the both run pretty fast. Even running KDE it isnt that bad.
So either stay at i386, make two different versions(this wouldnt be the easiest), or make it i586. AFAIK Anything less than a pentium would be really slow.

two things
by Anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 16:10 UTC

1) On my 700mhz laptop RH is a little poky. That makes me a little sad. Click on "New Message" in Evolution can be a 2-3 second wait, every single time. Is this par for everyone else's course? What's worse is, XP feels much snappier on the same hardware. Not that I want to go back to MS.

2) RHN used to give one complementary machine to every account. I recently logged into mine and now it says I'm in demo mode. Can anyone else confirm that there's no free lunch anymore with RHN?

Thanks.

re: Toolkit mess
by anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 16:14 UTC

This is mostly subjective, you say KDE is lightyears in front, I say Gnome/GTK+ is way better and more powerful. Also if one wants to build a desktop aiming to become a big player in the world, you do not want to force 3. party developers to pay license fees to a small company in Norway, which is the case with KDE. Not everyone can do GPL apps.

re: re: toolkit mess
by Ophidian on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 16:25 UTC

erm, but there is a gpl version of Qt, and its whats used for KDE...

Re: two things
by Jay on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 16:51 UTC

Yes, they have made big changes in their support, etc. I don't think they've had that one extra machine for quite some time. It seems like you would have received an email from them about the changes though.

QT & the GPL
by Matt on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 16:54 UTC

erm, but there is a gpl version of Qt, and its whats used for KDE...

I beleive that the GPL version is *only* available for Linux. The GTK libraries are LGPL, which is why many GTK apps (GAIM, GIMP, etc.) have been easily ported to the Win32 platform, and also why Sun is using Gnome for Solaris. I haven't seen any non-commercial QT apps for non-Linux platforms because of the royalty issue.

This is mostly subjective, you say KDE is lightyears in front, I say Gnome/GTK+ is way better and more powerful

I'd hate to see this thread deteriorate into any flamefest about why RedHat backs Gnome over KDE. If you like KDE, you can still like RedHat too, I assure you. The FUD about it being crippled is ludicrous. If you like Gnome (which I really do), then you'll like how RedHat has made Gnome look and feel so sharp for 8.1. It's really impressive.

So we can't use nvidea drivers on it?
by RonG on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 16:58 UTC

I have a ti4200 card and I can't get it to work under any linux except Suse 8.1, but I have other issues with Suse (like the fact that I can't use 4.0.x rpms, and anything I try to install that isn't on their site runs into dependency hell - and it doesn't come with apt, etc).

sound, menus, configging
by WaltSmith on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 17:12 UTC

RH8 is nice. They're working toward a user friendly OS.

1) WRT menu organization, careful definition of terms and use will require many meetings to properly organize and name them.
I hope they succeed, but it will require a lot of input and discussion from "troops in the field". These issues must be taken to management, made important and discussed often.

2) Which kernel is included?
3) Do they include alsa sound system?
4) Have they added a script to /etc/init/d to turn
oss sound on/off?
5) The menu's in my gnome ( 8.0 installed on top of 7.3 installed on top of 7.2 ...) have no properties in the R-click. I want to add or delete menus. Is that possible?
My gnome only includes "add to panel".
6) Does gnome include a utility to add/delete kde apps
from the gnome menu, and vice versa.
7) Does gnome or kde provide detailed instructions on how to directly edit the desktop/panel/menu configuration text files, and describe inter-operation?

thx...................

Re: re: Toolkit mess
by rajan r on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 17:32 UTC

Firstly, $2000 isn't all that much for many companies making software. If you are making internal software (mostly for corporates, IMHO what most software are written for), you don't really have to pay a thing (GPL is fine if your distribution base is limited).

In addition to that, Qt allows you to target 3 platforms at the same time. If source compatibility doesn't make your day, using Qt would still mean easier porting from platform to platform. This is essential for now as Linux is still a very small market (more smaller if you count only people that actually want to pay for software).

Besides, since we are talking about Red Hat, personally I think Red Hat would have gone further if it had gone the KDE way. They decided to support GNOME at the time when KDE was until QPL. Instead they should have invested in Harmony (from the looks of then, there weren't in a hurry to load a desktop). Harmony would also mean that there would be a dominant toolkit on Linux that is actually made for Linux, and not for cross platform usage.

For most companies BTW, $2000 for propreitary software is a small sum. Unless they are planning to make a small tiny weeny profit or have a very small tiny weeny budget. And to add on, while this may seem very objective, Qt would also mean faster time to market (Wine would mean even more faster time to market). Many Win32 developers (well, all the developers I know personally are Win32 ones :-) said they prefer Qt or GTK+ mainly because Qt means faster development (the rest never tried them both :-).

With that said, I think it is stupid to say now that we should go for one toolkit. Many software is already written in that toolkit. What should be done is to change the look of each toolkit to be consistent. And for each app to follow a single HIG (KDE's seems far better to me... but copying the old Macintosh Human Interface Guide (not Aqua) would be better :-).

A Few Questions
by Richi Plana on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 17:50 UTC

1. Would anyone who knows NPTL and gcc 3.2 comment on GStreamer support for it? I understand GStreamer is a heavilly threaded subsystem (a Good Thing(TM) IMHO), but has some issues with certain compilers and/or thread libraries.

2. Would some kind soul create a source-based RedHat 8.1 distro which uses the RH8.1 SRPMS? I would like to compile-install RedHat 8.1 on my Athlon and i686 systems. This would be a god-send.

3. I think the 3D-accelerated NVidia drivers don't work because XFree86 4.3 uses a different DRI version. Hopefully, NVidia is working on a driver for XF86 4.3. (Need a betatester, NVidia? ;) )

4. Is the mozilla suite released with RH8.1 compiled with gcc 3.2? It's just that I've compiled mozilla-1.3b with gcc-3.2 (with gtk2 and xft support) and it works flawlessly with Crossover plugins 1.2 and the gcc-3.2 compiled Blackdown 1.4.1_01 JVM. I even compiled galeon-1.3.2 against that mozilla and it works great (am using it right now). I was just hoping that RedHat did it saving me from having to recompile.

Great mini-review, Eugenia! How about a screenshot with your LighthouseBlue theme? :-D

What Distro? Eugenia
by justin on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 17:56 UTC

Eugenia,

You may have answered this in one of your past articles or post.

Are you at liberty to say what Linux distro you use as a main desktop? I realize you test different one's and just post the reviews, I test a lot of them to. I was just wondering if you had ONE that you stick with on a main p.c.?

Thanks for the article. Have you ever done in article on SuSE 8.1 or Gentoo?

Biased
by vlad on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 18:04 UTC

How much do they pay you to make such biased reviews ????

Re: Toolkit mess
by Richi Plana on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 18:05 UTC

I wouldn't presume to say whether RedHat was right or wrong in choosing the Gnome2 platform nor Gnome2 to standardize on Gtk2, but I personally like those choices.

Eugenia has stated that she dislikes the Gtk2 programming paradigm and as a programmer, I happen to agree with her. But from reading what the Gnome2 designers & developers have been writing, it is obvious that they've standardized on their "Object-Oriented extender version of C" because C is 1) supported on most platform, 2) is the natural way to extend or create wrappers for most programming libraries (Java JNI, perl modules, Ruby, Python, Mono), and 3) presents the least chances of binary incompatibilities with various versions of the GCC compiler.

I would love to see 3 things: a stable C API (which we now have), language bindings for the languages I like, and support for these extensions in RAD IDE tools (think MS Visual C++ 6.0 with support for gnomemm libs).

I happen to like the Gnome2 framework. This includes ORBit2, GConf2, bonobo and the gnome2 widget set (haven't played with the printing libraries much). As this isn't a forum on toolkit virtues, I won't elaborate. Suffice it to say, RedHat 8.1, for me, is going the right way.

RedHat lider?
by Anonymous on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 18:11 UTC

"Red Hat has overcome its competitors in impressions, sales and popularity.".

Sure. Maybe in the States.

Eugenia's Desktop
by Adam Scheinberg on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 18:17 UTC

Justin - Although she owns a Mac and runs something like 8 other OS's regularly, it's no secret that Eugenia, like many vocal Linuxists, uses XP as her main desktop.

I LOVE Red Hat's Linux distro. Second to none on the Linux front, if you ask me. But XP stil has that je ne sais quoi...

With each release, the gap narrows though. So here's hoping...

My screeny of RH 8.1 beta 3
by bullethead on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 18:35 UTC

Check out my os rant page for a kewl screenshot of this release. hehe

http://www.darkambient.org/operatingsystem.html

pay per computer
by patrick_darcy on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 18:54 UTC



i dont think that it will be much longer till red hat decides to
charge per computer for their distro. wouldnt that be wonderful ?
they could make a lot more profit that way.


Re: pay per computer
by AnI on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 19:14 UTC

patrick_darcy, Do you have any specific information about Red Hat planning to charge per computer for their distro or are you just talking out of your ass ?

Replies
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 19:42 UTC

>Eugenia, would it be possible for you to post some screenshots where an app window is focused?

http://www.eugenia.co.uk/images/notatun2.png

>Is it just me, or did they improve the fonts? Judging by the screenshots, they have.

In the screenshots you don't see the fonts that Red Hat comes with. I manually downloaded and installed the Vera fonts which are currently in Beta by Bitstream.

2) Which kernel is included?

2.4.20 I think, checked it out last night, can't remember now. :o

3) Do they include alsa sound system?

No idea, does it matter? As long as it works... ;)

>4) Have they added a script to /etc/init/d to turn oss sound on/off?

That would be the last thing I would check and mess around. Loading different sound systems, I find this to be the responsibility of any modern OS.. ;)

>5) The menu's in my gnome have no properties in the R-click. I want to add or delete menus. Is that possible?

Not that easily unfortunately, and trying it via Nautilus didn't work for me.

6) Does gnome include a utility to add/delete kde apps from the gnome menu, and vice versa.

Not that I saw...

>Are you at liberty to say what Linux distro you use as a main desktop?

WindowsXP and then MacOSX and then BeOS. ;)
From the Linux distros, I prefer Red Hat.

>Thanks for the article. Have you ever done in article on SuSE 8.1 or Gentoo?

Yes, check out our archives. ;)

RE: samba
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 19:52 UTC

About samba, I just did smb://10.0.0.10 (that's my XP machine) and it didn't work from either konqueror or nautilus. I mean, it sees my "sharedir" but then it doesn't show any files in it and it tries to read that dir forever. It works from my other SuSE partition... :o

The mp3 issue was bad in 8 but will be worse in 8.1
by Sam on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 20:33 UTC

I understand that it's not a big issue to add mp3 support to redhat 8. And if you only use xmms it's not a real big deal for this new beta as well. I wonder though, if any of you have tried some more advanced audio features and had similar experiences.

See, one of the big things that I've been looking forward to from the gnome2.2 based distro's is the nautilus-media bit. That really nice audio list view and player that's embedded into nautilus. If someone has an easy way to add mp3 support to it in phoebe...do tell...please. The problem is that it's no longer about just xmms. Alot of features of redhats multimedia are now going to be intertwined and built off of gstreamer. And believe me, even with apt gstreamer can be a real pain to get installed(even under 8.0). So last night I started to go about installing mp3 support under phoebe. First I got the xmms plugin working...no big deal. Then I realized that nautilus would not even show id3 info for my mp3's let alone play them. It just sits there and says "no info yet". So I first I had to compile mad, lame, id3lib, mpg123, and a few other mp3 apps and libs just for good measure. Then I grabed the gstreamer and gstreamer-plugins source from the gstreamer site and compiled those(The redhat gstreamer plugin package does not have the mad plugin). And that's where I'm at so far. Gstreamer now plays mp3's without a problem. Unfortunately, Nautilus displays the same behaviour as it did before. No love for the mp3's. My guess is that I should probably recompile Nautilus but I'm a little scared of that. The latest Nautilus under Gentoo was great but no matter what I tried it would not access my windows shares through smb://blah . (and yes I did have my smb client software installed properly. Doing a smbclient -L blah showed my domain just fine). Redhat's version however, does fine with it. So I may be in for a big trade off.
Anyway, my point is this...
Redhats decision to leave out mp3 support is just going to get harder and harder to deal with as our desktops evolve. The media subsystems are getting more and more pervasive with embedded players and adding mp3 support to it may not be trivial anymore. I'm sure a good apt archive could take care of some of these issues but I wouldn't ever count on it being as easy as it was with 8.0 again.

I would really appreciate anyone elses experiences with this and alternative ways that you went about it.

We need professional applications
by Djeizon Barros on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 20:54 UTC

Linux is improving constantly. But it will be always behind Windows, until some respected and powerful applications are ported to Linux. The reason is that the operating system is really irrelevant if people lack their applications of daily use like Photoshop (Please don't come saying about GIMP, 1.2 is *NOT* professional and 1.4.x is not even ready: Just look at the .jpg saved images with GIMP, look at the blurred corners and other defects before bashing Photoshop), Illustrator, Macromedia tools like Dreamweaver and Flash and many other! A lot of "free" open source applications cannot substitute the level of professionalism one of these commercial can provide.

So it's no use for me having Linux if I just have a eye candy desktop to browse the web, write a mail, play solitaire or make a spreadsheet.

Re: We need professional applications
by Tima on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 21:14 UTC

"(Please don't come saying about GIMP, 1.2 is *NOT* professional and 1.4.x is not even ready: Just look at the .jpg saved images with GIMP, look at the blurred corners and other defects before bashing Photoshop)"

Djeizon Barros: What are you talking about? I didn't know that Gimp were unprof... Tell me more! Why did the team behind Shrek, Lord of the Ring and Monster Inc use Gimp (actually FilmGimp) on the desktops for retouch? Is the Hollywood guys smoking pot?

Redhat 8.1 answers
by Leslie Donaldson on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 21:46 UTC

2) Which kernel is included?
2.4.20
3) Do they include alsa sound system?

No, alsa is standard in the 2.5.X system and will show up later.

>4) Have they added a script to /etc/init/d to turn oss sound on/off?

You don't turn it off SS and Alsa are kernel level interfaces. The sound servers, (KDE,esound) can use both.
xmms then goes through the sound server


Also a little comment for people saying redhat is evil.
found this while working on the rawhide release. This is
the master configuration file for X windows, individual
customizations:

#if LinuxDistribution == LinuxRedHat
#define FSUseSyslog YES
#endif

evil hunh?? no look at this....
# ifdef DebianMaintainer
# ifndef XFree86CustomVersion
# define XFree86CustomVersion "Debian"
# endif
# ifndef BuilderEMailAddr
# define BuilderEMailAddr "debian-x@lists.debian.org"
# endif
# define XFree86Devel YES
# define BuildAllSpecsDocs YES
# define InstallXinitConfig YES
# define InstallXdmConfig YES
# define InstallFSConfig YES
# define DebuggableLibraries YES
# define ForceNormalLib YES
# define BuildSpecsDocs YES
# define SpecsDocDirs CTEXT GL ICCCM X11 Xext Xv i18n xterm
# define BuildRman NO
# define BuildHtmlManPages NO

/* we build-depend on libfreetype6-dev (FreeType 2.x) */
# define BuildFreetype2Library NO
# define HasFreetype2 YES
/* m68k has no 2.4 kernel yet */
# ifndef Mc68020Architecture
# define HasLinuxInput YES
# endif
# define HasXdmAuth YES
# define HasLatex YES
/* at present, glide2 only works on i386 */
# ifdef i386Architecture
# define HasGlide2 YES
# define Glide2IncDir /usr/include/glide
# endif /* i386Architecture */
/* at present, glide3 only works on alpha and i386 */
# if defined(i386Architecture) || defined(AlphaArchitecture)
# define HasGlide3 YES
# define Glide3IncDir /usr/include/glide3
# endif /* i386Architecture || AlphaArchitecture */
/* extended instruction set support */
# ifdef i386Architecture
# define HasX86Support YES
# define HasMMXSupport YES
# define Has3DNowSupport YES
/* 2.4 is not yet the official (or predominant) kernel in unstable */
# define HasSSESupport NO
# endif /* i386Architecture */
# endif /* DebianMaintainer */
#endif /* LinuxDebian */

just my 2-cents work.

Re: We need professional applications
by RonG on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 21:48 UTC

What I need is a distro which:
1. Is easy to install.
2. Has support for a year old video card (ti4200)
3. Allows me to use apt-get or a reasonable facsimile

What I've tried so far:
1. Red Hat 8.0 - easy to install, easy to install software - never could get the nvidia drivers working.
2. Lindows 3.0 - easy to install, easy to install software - can use nvidia but not at greater than 1024x768
3. Suse 8.1 - not a bad install, nvidia card works great.
updates from Suse site are OK (but a little long). Other updates run into dependency hell (I mean, to search 10 different websites to get the libraries to use apt is a little ridiculous, and it never worked)
4. Gentoo - not an easy install
5. Debian - not an easy install
6. Yoper - easy install, but no adsl
7. Windows XP - easy install, nvidia works great, easy update, but it talks to Bill Gates behind my back (or am I being paranoid?)

Is there anything that meets my specs?

Re: We need professional applications
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 21:52 UTC

Yes, it is called MacOSX. ;)
However, in this case, you wouldn't need to just switch OSes, but also hardware.

Yes, it is called MacOSX. :)
by RonG on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 21:55 UTC

It costs 3 times the equivalent P4 system.

RE: Yes, it is called MacOSX. :)
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 21:59 UTC

Well, you asked for a system that does all that, and it isn't Microsoft-based, and I replied. There is a price for what you get. ;)

Re: RE: Yes, it is called MacOSX. :)
by RonG on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:03 UTC

Am I asking for too much?

Re: RE: Yes, it is called MacOSX. :)
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:05 UTC

Of course not. But if you are not happy with WinXP, the rest x86 OS platforms haven't caught up yet to fullfill all the three points you raised, at least not without shortcomings or other problems, unfortunately.

Since I sold my atariST...
by RonG on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:08 UTC

computers are no fun anymore 8(

OSNews, please stay professional
by puppetluva on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:08 UTC

Eugenia, and OSNews,

I'm a relatively new reader of OSNews (6 or 7 months). I find the articles informative and somewhat entertaining at times. . . except. . .

when Eugenia fails to cover KDE in distros. Instead of any sort of object discussion of facts there is just gross bias and vague dismissive commentary. Like this non-review:

"KDE 3.1 is also there, included, but it is not as refined as Gnome 2.2. Red Hat has put quite some weight on taking care of Gnome as this is their main environment, but KDE users should be satisfied as well, as KDE is present and works as expected, in my experience with the system. "

Interestingly enough KDE3.1 is one of the biggest leaps forward that KDE has ever taken in my experience. Some negative and many positive things have happened in this relase. . . things worth discussing . . discussion that both windowing systems could benefit from. Red hat butchered KDE in the last release (it's objectively true, there are things that worked in Mandrake that simply don't in Redhat because they decided to make KDE and gnome look alike without regard to the functionality-- ie. things got crashier for the sake of cosmetics). Even THAT would have been a good discussion -- the power of the distros over the developers. . .clashing visions.

Instead, what do we get? Dismissive invective from Eugenia, that NO ONE can learn anything from. You may be doing this for free Eugenia. . . and you are certainly welcome to do what ever you want. But be careful that you don't chase some of your audience away who want to learn something. Igniting flamewars over biased writing is a sure way to ruin the community that you've worked hard to build. It may be less than fun for you when the community is self-wittled down, because the atmosphere became less objective.

RE: OSNews, please stay professional
by Eugenia on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:15 UTC

Sweetheart, the article is a mini-report, NOT a review per se. I was not much more detailed on Gnome either, was I?

>Dismissive invective from Eugenia

I have absolutely no idea what this means in english.

>Red hat butchered KDE in the last release [...] Even THAT would have been a good discussion

No, it would not. We have ALREADY discussed about this very subject a _zillion_ times in the past, please check our archives. And in fact, if I had a Linux company, I would do the exact same thing Red Hat did with KDE and Gnome, trying to unify the two DEs. It only makes sense for the business and your desktop users who seek consistency.

Again, this was a preview/report article on Phoebe3, NOT a full review. My reviews are between 3 and 4 pages, this one was less than a page long. Stay tuned for April.

RE:puppetluva
by Kevin Meier on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:19 UTC

KDE is not a really important part of RH, if she wants to write about all of the cool things RH is doing with GNOME then don't bitch! There have been plenty of reviews of other distros where they say " Oh yes, GNOME is included but it sucks... back to KDE!" OSnews is fair, stop whining.

RE: Toolkit mess
by Trever on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:36 UTC

Nautilus does have a lot of extensions, but it uses GTK. The version in RH 8.0.94 beta 3 is indeed gnome2 package using current version of GTK. Evolution uses GTK with extensions as needed, but it is GTK. Evolution is currently in beta for using a current GTK (instead of the ones used in old versions of gnome.

I believe, or heard at one time, that Mozilla is going GTK on Unix systems, I could be wrong. On the ones above, you are definitely telling falsehoods, Rull. Go check.

Can't run Nvidia drivers.....
by SmithLX on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:53 UTC

Thank you Eugenia for the job you do...

I have never had an issue with Redhat Regular Releases and Nvidia Drivers... Just the new Phoebe beta.
If the rpms from NVIDIA do not work and you can't get the src.rpms to recompile.
maybe this will help....

get the source to match your kernel and install it
my example will use the latest kernel for RH8.0

rpm -Uvh kernel-source-2.4.18-24.8.0.i386.rpm

now as root
cd /usr/src
ln -s linux-2.4.18-24.8.0/ linux

get the latest tar balls from Nvidia
and unpack them
tar -zxvf NVIDIA_GLX-1.0-4191.tar.gz
tar -zxvf NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-4191.tar.gz
cd NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-4191
If you need to turn on any advanced features edit the os-registry.c file
now type this and enter:
make install SYSINCLUDE=/usr/src/linux/include

cd..
cd NVIDIA_GLX-1.0-4191

make install

edit the /etc/X11/XFConfig-4 file with vi
vi /etc/X11/XFConfig-4
comment out the DRI lines with a # and change the driver to nvidia
ie::::example

Section "Module"
Load "dbe"
Load "extmod"
Load "fbdevhw"
# Load "dri"
Load "glx"
Load "record"
Load "freetype"
Load "type1"
******

Section "Device"
# no known options
Identifier "NVIDIA GeForce 4 ti4200"
Driver "nvidia"
VendorName "NVIDIA GeForce 4 ti4200"
BoardName "NVIDIA GeForce 4 ti4200"
Option "NvAgp" "1"
#BusID

*************

#Section "DRI"
# Mode 0666
#EndSection




well
by pros_n_cons on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 22:58 UTC

>Dismissive invective from Eugenia

I have absolutely no idea what this means in english.


Nore do I, and I live here.

RE: Well
by Andrew G on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 23:13 UTC

Didn't know they has Road Runner in England.

I didn't know what invective meant either. But all it takes is a quick trip to dictionary.com and you have expanded your vocabulary. Whats more is the word seems a very accurate description for the idea he was communicating.

From dictionary.com

1. Denunciatory or abusive language; vituperation.

2. Denunciatory or abusive expression or discourse


Lets not limit ourselves to the lowest common denominator in language.

GStreamer and new threads, Re; Rich Plana
by Mike Hearn on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 23:15 UTC

About the new threads:

GStreamer was fubared by the i686 glibc in redhat 8.0, and in response the opt scheduler was developed which doesn't use threads. Threading has gone through a major change in the 8.1 glibc and kernel, which has unfortunately borked Wine unless you use a workaround.

In general hopefully threading will not be a huge problem with GStreamer in redhat 8.1

>>Dismissive invective from Eugenia

> I have absolutely no idea what this means in english.

Dismissive: To dismiss
Invective: Abusive language

While I often disagree with you Eugenia, this just simply is not true. This guy is trolling.

RedHat and KDE
by Claudio on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 23:20 UTC

I'm a Linux user from way back, as I'm sure many others that visit this site are. I've used SuSE, Mandrake, Debian, Slackware, and Yellow Dog as well as Red Hat. The latest version of Red Hat I used was 7.3. I did notice after the release of RH 8 and Mandrake 9 that 7.3, although still very functional for me as a desktop OS (running Gnome 1.x), was getting long in the tooth.

My choices boiled down to two distros: Mandrake 9.0 and Red Hat 8. I heard much about the new BlueCurve theme, but I also wanted something that supported the latest and greatest stable software. After comparing the two from reviews I had read, I chose to go with Mandrake...and I was happy.

However, when I tried to install the RPM of the latest version of Mozilla that worked with Red Hat 8, I was a bit disappointed. After searching through newsgroups for why this would not work (considering both RH 8 and Mandrake 9 seemed basically on par with one another), I found out that RH's version of the GCC compiler was different from what Mandrake (and apparently many other distros) had installed. I then started to see articles about how RH 8 used internally-hacked versions of beta software to get everything to work. Then I heard about the incident with KDE.

I'm sure many of you have seen or heard about Mosfet's reason for not supporting Red Hat. Personally, I don't blame him, or many of the other developers for KDE.

Now, I may have preference towards Gnome, but I have used KDE and I think it's a great desktop environment. I also believe that the open source community is a community that always works together for the common good of computing. And I do believe that companies using/creating open source software should adhere to this.

From what I've seen on the Internet, Red Hat failed to do this with 8.0 and I will no longer be using the distro. I'm hoping 8.1 will change this trend. If they do not want to work openly with KDE developers, then shey should not even bother to include KDE instead of hacking it the way they did, no matter how unified it makes the two environments. That job is up to the GNOME and KDE teams to work on. Red Hat's actions on this subject negatively affect the comradary, cooperation, and TRUST in the open source community. Nobody wants another Microsoft, let alone a company that uses Microsoft tactics with developers.

ogg
by bullethead on Sat 22nd Feb 2003 23:23 UTC

ogg!

Almost all original material contributed by OSnews writers is under the heading "reviews." Reviews are, by definition, subjective.

You can plead KDE's case, or anyone else's case, on a news site, but not on a site where the reviewer is communicating personal preference.

We aren't policiticians nor a network supporting a political candidate. We aren't subject to "equal time" laws. KDE gets PLENTY of discsussion on OSNews.com. If this particular issues burns you, you should address your problem with Red Hat, or possibly the KDE team directly.

Re: OSNews, please stay professional/Claudio
by Jay on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 00:39 UTC

puppet, if you've been coming here for 6-7 months, it is off to me that you would pick, of all things, this quicki-review (and it was termed as such) to accuse Eugenia of "dismissive invective". Of all things, it was not a review of KDE 3.1. Over the course of time, Eugenia has been accused of being either biased towards or biased against every OS imaginable. So, it is humorous but tiring to see this sort of thing again and again.

Claudio, I respect your opinion - it is very well put. I too think KDE 3.1 is a major advance. However, I have to be honest, I like what Red Hat did with BlueCurve. It is, I think, in fact, the answer to the ongoing Gnome/KDE business. Perhaps I shouldn't say it is *the* answer, to the exclusion of others, but it is a step in the right direction. As far as Linux is concerened. I use Red Hat 8 and Lycoris. Both, in their own ways, provide a consistent interface. I, like many people, are tired of these battle and have come to long for cohesion and itegration in Linux.

Samba
by bax on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 01:13 UTC

Eugenia, did you set up your smbpasswd file for the new Redhat box? It sounds like you may not have permissions set properly for your Redhat box or the account name it's using.

BUG - IPTables
by Anonymous on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 03:11 UTC

did they fix the bug that would not allow you to redefine your security settings throught the GUI IPTable app. It RH 8.0 - it simply doesn't work ... is it fix in 8.1?

Just tried it
by RonG on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 04:53 UTC

I just finished dowloading the beta and installing it.
(on a p4, ti4200 graphics with geforce 4 generic drivers)

Wow, it looks good. I always liked the look of gnome more than KDE. The fonts in Mozilla look good too.

But I did notice that in the second part of the install ( after rebooting) and in the login, the text was all differnt colours, but while running the text is all black, and it looks good too.

It installed much better than beta2.

Thank you
by puppetluva on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 06:26 UTC

Thank you for listening to my little rant. . .

I trust that with your "longer reviews" you will pay some objective attention to KDE 3.1, since it is a signinificant step in KDE history (a step forward, or backward, it is up to your review to decide). Just please view it from a non-RH point of view in case they decide to butcher it again. Maybe try Mandrake 9.1 (VERY impressive so far. . . especially for a company that should be on the ropes)

As far as "trolling" is concerned. I'm interested in neither pro-KDE nor pro-gnome advocation -- I just hope that osnews stays objective (and thorough) about both.

As far as my comment about "dismissive invective goes", a few of Webster's definitions go as follows:
dismissive: tending to dismiss or reject
invective: Characterized by invection; critical; denunciatory; satirical; abusive; railing.

I mean no disrespect. . . hats off to Eugenia for giving us a place to debate. Let's keep the debate objective, thoughtful. . . and humming.

I'm still a big fan. . . (your quick response showed me that you care a LOT about the formus at osnews + calling me "sweatheart" gets you milage too, Eugenia - some things never change)

companies
by Robert Renling on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 07:39 UTC

Do what they have to to get somewhere and some /linux/ redistributers such as redhat suse and lindows try to do something for the desktop users albeit aiming at the lowest common denominators doing so.

I'd love to see /linux/ desktops in wide use but all this kde vs. gnome bitching and DE vs. "my 31337 windowmanager" has got to stop.

Take Eugenia, she brings a valuable asset for these companies and to us "would be developers" as she has a specific proffession called "usability engineer" meaning, she knows generally what she does.

I don't know for the other editors of this board but when it come's to her words about ui design I tend to listen and evolve her ideas.

so Let us not reiterate this de vs. wm sheit.

let's discuss how to get somewhere instead.

mp3 *is* free-as-in-beer but not GPL compatable
by MobyTurbo on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 11:05 UTC

Even though Thompson has said that they won't charge free mp3 players for using mp3 decoding, the GPL requires that anything with a GPL must not have software patents associated with it. (I'm not a GPL fanatic but this *is* what the license contains.) Because of that xmms, which is GPL'd, has a license problem if it has an mp3 plugin.

re: nvidia stuff
by karl on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 11:12 UTC

Phoebe can't use the nvidia binaries, becasue the kernel is compiled with one version of gcc and X windows is compiled with another version of gcc. This is what causes the compile errors when one tries to compile the nvidia binaries(-"compiling" "binaries"-actually only a few header files get compiled because the actual driver code is closed-source and is not actually compiled when one uses the SRPMS or tar.gz version of the nvidia drivers...X windows 4.2.99.4 (pre-final release 4.3) itself has no problems whatsoever with the nvidia drivers-I am using this now on gentoo. I downloaded the original phoebe (8.0.92) some two months ago and liked it aside from NO NTFS support- which is stupid(only need read-only support) and the nvidia driver problem.

I will never understand the deal with gcc versions and redhat- is their code so unstable that they can only get things to compile using specific versions of gcc, and different versions of gcc for different apps ? this is ridiculous- every app on the system from top to bottom should be compiled with the same version of gcc and glibc....This is a kludge job which introduces artificial incompatibilities which are not neessary. Why should I have a) either recompile the kernel with the same gcc version with which X windows was compiled or b) recompile X windows with the same gcc version with which the kernel was compiled - just so I can use nvidia's BINARY drivers ? When a distribution uses such a screwed up combination of various gcc versions and glibc versions this makes compiling new software for the target system quite invovled and difficult- as in the case of trying to replace the working gstreamer system in Phoebe with one that supports mp3's via compilation. Similiar to add xft/freetype2 support to SuSE 8.1- good luck.......

I liked Phoebe so much that if it were not for these issues I would love to use it as the OS for my girlfriends computer- as it stands I am custom rolling my own install using gentoo - so that I can boot her machine from CD and install pre-compiled optimized binaries for her system without having to do a complete compile on her system -she will be using X windows 4.2.99.4 + GNOME2.2 + various KDE apps like K3b and kportage (which I may just statically build) + Phoenix .50 w/GTK2/Freetype + Evolution-1.3(GTK2) + Gimp -1.3.11 (GTK2) + Open Office 1.0.2 + GAIM-CVS(GTK2) and lots of multimedia stuff(Mplayer(GTK2)/mplayerpug-in/totem/xine) and TuxRacer....all apps except for a couple fo really good KDE 3.1 apps will be GTK2/freetype based......


re: MobyTurbo
by karl on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 11:29 UTC

Which is why MP3 support for xmms comes in the form of a plugin- as longs a mp3 decoding software is not hardcoded into the GPL program itself that GPL program *can* use a mp3 plugin which is distinct from the program. Redhat probably should avoid shipping distros with pre-compiled mad/lame/ffmeg/libdvdnav/libdvdcss libraries.

But they could ship the source and setup scripts enabling the user upon first run to compile these libraries themeselves-and then after this decsion has been(user either wants to or not) compile the multimedia apps which can use these libraries (xmms/gstreamer/mplayer/xine)- ie. user installs Phoebe, after reboot system comes up and user is confronted with a dialogue- "would you like to enable additional media support for your multimedia applications (yes/no) please review additional licenscing information)" and then another dialogue would appear -"which mulitmedia applications should be compiled with support for additional media -check the following a) mplayer b) xine c) xmms d) gstreamer" and once the user has selected which apps he/she wants a script should be excecuted which then does configure/make/make install) That way users could decide if they want these things and the company is then free of legal liability because they did not distribute compiled binaries containing stuff with questionable licenscing......this would add at the most one additional hour of post-install setup time for compiling and installing support for this stuff- and that is a lot less time than newbies spend having to figure this stuff out the hardway.....

SWF authoring tool?
by Bryan Bonifacio on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 12:09 UTC

Great review! Is that an SWF authoring program I see in your second screenshot?

Superb
by madhu on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 13:10 UTC

It is great to know that Linux with Redhat is going to be a

world best operating system...

RedMondHat
by Znalg on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 14:32 UTC

Although because of my strong RMS tendencies, I tend to tend toward Debian, 686 optimization is nice without having to babysit a Gentoo install for 24 hours on a fast connection. Red Hat has them all beat now on ease AND configurability during the installation process. That said, I just can't bring myself to use it. Too commercial... too desktop user in the dust.... too business oriented.... All those are positive qualities for capatalist pigs though. I'll stick with Debian. RPM's suK, though they have become a bit more tolerable because of APT and Synaptic. I'd rather FreeBSD than RedHat. At least I am assured of met dependencies, at least on the installation disks, unlike the very sloppy RedHat.

RE: RedMondHat
by JCooper on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 14:52 UTC

Red Hat has them all beat now on ease AND configurability during the installation process. That said, I just can't bring myself to use it. Too commercial... too desktop user in the dust.... too business oriented.... All those are positive qualities for capatalist pigs though.

XP Pro, one of the finest desktop OS' of all time, is business orientated....I use it as a home OS and it does everything i need and more. Why would these qualities make a bad OS, or one solely for 'capitalist pigs' as you put it. Pull your head out of the sand my friend, the world doesn't want hardcore CLI.....they want sexy GUI and ease of use....as per RedHat 8 and onwards.

I am strongly encouraged by this release, I can finally see an OS able to offer the platform for home users upon which a usable environment can be based. All that's needed now is the apps!

re: toolkit mess
by Ludwig on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 15:17 UTC

@rajan r: There is no need to discuss wether other people could afford thousands USD for the QT licencse. This is up to them. I won't and thus I will use GTK if I ever make a Linux app.

Re: Since I sold my atariST...
by Ludwig on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 15:22 UTC

@RonG: I feel quite the same. Try aranym. I will do so If I have a usable Linux running at home.
http://aranym.sourceforge.net/

re: toolkit mess
by Anonymous on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 17:31 UTC

to Ludwig:

"@rajan r: There is no need to discuss wether other people could afford thousands USD for the QT licencse. This is up to them. I won't and thus I will use GTK if I ever make a Linux app."

Does that mean that your are planning to charge for your linux app if you ever make it? If so, that's nice, you don't want to pay for the tools you are going to use, but want people to pay for your app. It's really nice!

Re: re: toolkit mess
by rajan r on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 18:02 UTC

Personally, I think you would have better time to market with Qt. $2000 isn't all that much, unless you aren't aiming high (meaning just want to make a shareware and target guys that actually browse around freshmeat finding for new stuff to try).

Meanwhle, if you are too stingy with $2000, then I would go for something like FOX or wxWindows (not obvilion to the fact that wxWindows on Windows is based on GTK+). Besides, Red Hat could have very well fixed this situation if they have gone the KDE route as opposed to GNOME.

RE: Toolkit mess
by Rulle on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 18:15 UTC

" I believe, or heard at one time, that Mozilla is going GTK on Unix systems, I could be wrong. On the ones above, you are definitely telling falsehoods, Rull. Go check."

I wasnt talking about GTK, I was talking about the Gnome2 platform/API. Evolution, mozilla and openoffice does not use Gnome2, that is a big problem for creating a consistent desktop. Nautilus seems out of place in the Gnome2 desktop (regardless same toolkit), nowhere nere as smoothly integrated in the environment as KDE:s Konqueror.

My basic point still stands. There is no future in a desktop using multiple gui toolkits. I dont mind there are several DE projects, gui toolkits etc, choice is good, but the result when mixing them up on the same desktop isnt really great.

QT, GTK+, and X
by Robert on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 18:16 UTC

Now, I have not done a lot of programming in Linux, but I have made use of the QT and KDE APIs before. If I understand things correctly, these APIs take all of the hard work of rendering graphical components, such as a button, to the X Window System. In my browsing of articles concerning programming graphical apps for X, I have come to the understanding that it is fairly complex to draw something as simple as a button if programming directly to X. QT and GTK+ make this easier by abstracting away the difficulties of programming directly to X. So, why do QT and GTK+ apps take a little longer to load up? Well, by using QT and GTK+, you've added another layer. So, it takes a little longer than if the programmer had written directly to X. Just my 2 cents.

RMS
by Pinko on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 18:30 UTC

RMS...blah Sorry... maybe I should change my name to flame bait. All due respect to his contributions to technology and the world in general, that man scares the piss out of me. I think his take on where technology licensing should be at this point in history is very much like Lenin's take on where russian and world politics should have been in his lifespan.
All comparisons between RMS and communism aside, at the root of it, it's really quite similar. Trying to bring something in (force in lenin's case) that the world was not ready for.

I like it!
by chucar on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 19:10 UTC

Thanks for the mini-review Eugenia. I downloaded the iso files, installed it, and am very pleased with the changes.
I have tried Mandrake, Red Hat, Suse, and Xandros(yep, the Deluxe model) in their most recent releases and was not pleased with them(for various reasons regarding each one). This Red Hat beta release even found my scanner, printer, etc.
and appears to work great so far.
I use WinXP and have been looking for a Linux distro to migrate too. It appears Red Hat is getting closer.

GTK/Mozilla
by deadlock on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 19:33 UTC

Trever - I'm using Mozilla1.3b, one of the beta versions compiled specifically for RedHat 8.0 and it definitely uses GTK2 to some extent. Changing the GNOME2 fonts changes the menu/dialog fonts in Mozilla as well.

RedHat the next microsoft...
by John W. Ahrends on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 20:10 UTC


I can't beleive the number of people that buy into Redhat. Their distributions are constantly 3 or 4 versions behind SuSE. SuSE is a much better engineered distribution than RedHat. I challenge any of the RedHat sheep out there to compare the tools in Redhat (GUI requiired) to SuSE and YAST (text based and graphical) or the Xwindows configuration software SAX which rivals commercial software. RedHat is far from being better than SuSE. Like the article points out popular doesnt mean better.


RE: SWF authoring tool?
by Eugenia on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 20:16 UTC

> Is that an SWF authoring program I see in your second screenshot?

Yes, it is Moho, the cartoon maker. Download from http://www.lostmarble.com

Suse better?
by RonG on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 21:18 UTC

I don't think so. I've got 8.1 pro and I can't rpm anything that rquires rpm 4.0.x. I don't know what you mean about red hat being 3 or 4 versions behind redhat. Much of the software that came with Suse (eg. anjuta, evolution, pan) was behind those that came with redhat, and I couldn't upgrade because either the rpm version was incompatable, or the gnome libs were out of date. (there was one case asking for bzip2 even though I had it installed).
Yast may be nice, but it's very slow.
The distro couldn't see my second cd/rw. It required some work to get that going.
The menus are a maze to challenge Odyseus. They are much cleaner in Read Hat.
Suse didn't come with apt, and I couldn't install a replacement without being dead-ended into dependency hell. At least with Red Hat I could.
The one thing that Suse had going for it was the installation of the Nvidia drivers, which was much better than that for Red Hat, which is why I got Suse in the first place, but with all the other problems I'm trying the red hat beta now.

@ JCooper
by Znalg on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 22:10 UTC

I know ;) I was just kidding around..... Of all the distros, it has to be the easiest to install, and hardware detection has even SuSE beat. It is quite tempting. I still have a box I use as a gateway with RH 7.2.... Red Hat has by far the easiest kernel upgrading process going. Whe I upgrade a kernel, it leaves me with two, one of which I can pick via GRUB.That way the permanent switch doesn't occur until the system has bee tested and adjusted via configs.... a simple daily process, a little at a time. You can't beat that! As far as the KDE vs Gnome menu system and the changes to KDE's system..., it doesn't matter to me because I use neither Gnome or KDE.... I prefer XFce or Wmaker. A word of advice: be sure to use an APT/Synaptic combo with Red. It's got even RedCarpet beat as to fulfilling dependencies, and the sources lists are easily configurable.

Product is better than reviewer
by Bob Dole on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 23:15 UTC

I think Redhat 8.1 Beta 3 is much better than comes across in this review. I have no idea why you can't get windows networking working, worked fine for me. And why the hell are you trying to install your bootloader on /dev/hda2? It works fine if you use /dev/hda1 like a normal person.

@rajan r
by Mike Hearn on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 23:21 UTC

2000 dollars per developer remember. that very quickly mounts up. I did consider using Qt once for a project of mine, but I didn't know if it would sell well. I wasn't about to blow $2000 on a speculative project with one developer, when GTK+ is just as good. It's not being stingy, it's being realistic.

Rajan
by Aitvo on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 23:21 UTC

I'm personally glad that RedHat didn't go with KDE. It's also one of the main reasons they have my business. THEY (RedHat and GNOME) are the one that's accepted in the commercial market, KDE while it's nice if you want the Windows look is not. Sure, most of the other Linux's support KDE as their standard, but look at the marketshare of all of them combined. RedHat, SUN, and HP are all supporting GNOME, and all of the most refined applications use GTK (GIMP, Evolution, Gnumeric, Mozilla, AIM, Yahoo, etc..) KDE is playing catch up in all but look and feel. As for QT's $2,000 license all I have to say is WHY when everyone else is using GTK for nothing? LOL

RE: Product is better than reviewed
by Eugenia on Sun 23rd Feb 2003 23:34 UTC

>I think Redhat 8.1 Beta 3 is much better than comes across in this review.

I found more than 10-12 bugs so far, and I am in constant communication with Red Hat about them, off-list. Maybe you were luckier than I was, but that doesn't make the product any better or worse. The fact that a particular system configuration doesn't produce bugs, doesn't mean that bugs are not there. Get a clue.

>I have no idea why you can't get windows networking working

In fact, I get *constant* crashes on Nautilus about my samba, and I am talking with Red Hat about it as we speak. I just sent them debug info 10 mins ago.

>And why the hell are you trying to install your >bootloader on /dev/hda2? It works fine if you >use /dev/hda1 like a normal person.

Who told you that I am a 'normal' person? As far long as I remember myself, I was always standing out from the rest of the girls by being a complete geek and in love with Mr. Spock from Star Ttek. ;)
I have other OSes installed on that machine, and I want a specific bootloader to load them, not to overwrite my MBR with Red Hat's. This is why it is imperative for my system to have the chainloader on /dev/hda2 which is the root partition for Red Hat. /dev/hda1 is the /swap, because hard drives are faster in the beginning of their drives, so it makes sense to install over there the slowest parts of the OS, which is almost always, the swap file.

Happy now? Do I have to explain to you what I ate for breakfast too and why?

Hat off to you
by Matthias Schoener on Mon 24th Feb 2003 00:01 UTC

Nice review, Eugenia. Those who followed RedHat's phoebe-list a few days ago know, how a lesser person might have vented some justified anger.

I look forward to read more of your reviews.

Matthias

You mean...????
by Znalg on Mon 24th Feb 2003 00:40 UTC

You mean Eugenia is not normal???? Thank god!!!!!!

To SmithLX re NVidia drivers
by RonG on Mon 24th Feb 2003 04:30 UTC

I appreciate your help but I still have some questions:

1.What directory am I starting in? Do I have to create one, and where?

2. You have a "kernel-source-2.4.18-24.8.0.i386.rpm" in your first line. Do you mean "NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-4191.src.rpm" or
"NVIDIA_kernel-1.0-4191.rh80up_2.4.18_18.8.0.i386.rpm" and if I have a P4 would it be the ".i686.rpm" ?

3.I'm using Red Hat 8.1 right now. Will this still work?

Does anyone know...
by RonG on Mon 24th Feb 2003 06:26 UTC

when apt-get for rpm 4.2 is going to be ready?

PPP client
by mich on Mon 24th Feb 2003 08:35 UTC

Redhat makes a lousy PPP client. I have to content myself with KPPP or just /sbin/ifup ppp0

Screenshots and fonts
by Daz on Mon 24th Feb 2003 12:31 UTC

Please in future dont modify things like the fonts (as you say you downloaded the fonts, they arent the standard ones) since it makes looking at screenshots pointless.

redhat best? Depends on your taste.
by anonymous on Mon 24th Feb 2003 13:19 UTC

Personally I've always found SuSE to be a better choice than RedHat, but perhaps that's just me? I expect that it all boils down to taste. ;)

geforce cards
by ville on Mon 24th Feb 2003 14:14 UTC

Phoebe can't use the nvidia binaries, becasue the kernel is compiled with one version of gcc and X windows is compiled with another version of gcc.

So, essentially, owners of Geforce cards can't use the GUI of Red Hat 8.x series properly? Red Hat doesn't seem to realize that they are excluding a HUGE bunch of people by this trick. I switched from 8.0 to 7.3 because I couldn't compile the nvidia drivers.

Red Hat a lousy ppp client?
by redtux on Mon 24th Feb 2003 15:12 UTC

And what is wrong with wvdial (shipped as standard) - easiest ppp utility there is

Using Beta version also
by Jim Cornette on Mon 24th Feb 2003 15:38 UTC

I agree with most of your findings with RH 8.1 beta (phoebe3)

The distribution is looking a lot better than I imagined and has some improvements that I really appreciate.

Multimedia support is a problem that needs ironed out for more people to switch to Linux.

Jim

The new XFree is gorgeous
by Preston on Mon 24th Feb 2003 15:58 UTC

Not sure if anyone else noticed the difference, but the new XFree looks absolutely stunning. I can't wait.

RE: RedMondHat
by Janne on Mon 24th Feb 2003 16:03 UTC

"686 optimization is nice without having to babysit a Gentoo install for 24 hours on a fast connection."

What "babysitting" are you talking about? When I installed Gentoo, I left it install Glibc, GCC and others and I went to bed. In the morning it was finished. Then I left it install Fluxbox, Xfree and others and I want to work. When I got back, it was finished. Then I left it install everything else. No babysitting required.

Why should I stare at the screen while the machine compiles?

Re: Nick and OS news sux
by RonG on Mon 24th Feb 2003 18:16 UTC

He Wrote:

"I will never read an article here again. EVER!

Dear Eugenia Loli-Queru,

You are a retard. "


Such wit. Such cleverness.
I'm sure it will be a great loss felt by all.

RedHat Developers said NO to optimization
by John on Mon 24th Feb 2003 18:38 UTC

On the beta list for Pheobe, a while back, users were asking the RedHat engineers about optimized distros. They even asked about Compiling from source, like Gentoo. RedHat engineers explained that there's hardly any benefit for most applications. If you want to do it yourself though, you're more than welcome to do so.

Still Yucky Fonts
by Zentec on Mon 24th Feb 2003 18:40 UTC


My complaints about version 8 have gone unresolved.

SuSE has managed a much easier method of importing TrueType fonts. Better still, they all *work* on the first crack.
RH8.0 and this beta all require lengthy hacking at the x-font server settings, creating and establishing font directories and after all that effort, the fonts may or may not be useable in RH8 or the beta.

RH8 and the beta do not automatically detect NTFS, ReiserFS or XFS partitions, which is sort of a drag (Mandrake and SuSE do).

With all that though, I continue to use RH for any Linux servers because of what I believe is their sane approach to init levels, ease of command administration and decent support costs. If they ever get Bluecurve resolved to suit the persnickety tastes of Windows users, they'll have a clear winner.

Redhat vs Mandrake
by Bug on Mon 24th Feb 2003 18:51 UTC

I have over the years tried various versions of RH 7.0 through the current 8.0 and have not ever been able to get the darn OS to mount my NT 4.0 server shares or other samba shares. MDK has had no troubles in mounting these. Also, MDK has had better luck detecting all my hardware on my work machine and several older machines (PIII, K6-2) at home. Until RH resolves the issues with SAMBA and the hardware I will be forced to stick with MDK. I have read of several other people having the same issues with RH.

Why ?
by David Huff on Mon 24th Feb 2003 19:02 UTC

So, essentially, owners of Geforce cards can't use the GUI of Red Hat 8.x series properly? Red Hat doesn't seem to realize that they are excluding a HUGE bunch of people by this trick.

I'm not sure I understand. The 2D XFree86 'nv' driver works fine for GeForce cards, yes ? If so, what's the point ? Unless you're a member of the small minority that needs hardware 3D accleration for some modelling program there no need to worry about nVidia's own drivers working.

What's that ? Games, you say ? Please... if you want to run 3D games, dual-boot with Windows. There's no way in the forseeable future that Linux will catch up to Windows in this arena. There's just no motivation for game development companies to support Linux.

Don't get me wrong - I'm a big Linux/*BSD/OSX fan. I use Linux for real work and boot Windows almost purely for games - but I'm also a realist ;)

Zentec
by Aitvo on Mon 24th Feb 2003 19:51 UTC

Uhh how hard is it to make a ~/.fonts folder and copy your fonts into it? That's ALL you gotta do in RH8, oh and then wait ~30 secs..

Bluefish?
by Florin Andrei on Mon 24th Feb 2003 19:53 UTC

Is Bluefish included with this release? I saw it in the screenshot, but it doesn't appear to be in the SRPMS list with Phoebe3.

RE: Re: Noatun / Media Player
by Florin Andrei on Mon 24th Feb 2003 20:24 UTC

< quote >
One question that just occured to me about applicatoins like a PDF viewer or a Media player, is if they are actually often started standalone by themselves? Personally I never do that, and I rely on just opening a file and having the associated app launch to do something automagically. For that kind of 'passive' stuff, it seems to me you could just remove them from the menu's altogether.
< /quote >

I disagree on the matter of the media player. Especially with complex media players, such as Xine (http://xinehq.de), once you run it, you basically have a panel of media options to choose from: DVD, file, URL, etc.
Then how about playing TV? If you're not including the media player in the menu, then you must include an (some) icon(s) for the V4L device(s), which is cumbersome and prone to errors. Same goes for DVD/SVCD/CD - how can Nautilus recognize what's the actual media in the device without using the media player itself? I'm not even going to mention media URLs.

Yes, in an ideal world, you're right. The desktop itself should be "media-smart". However, we're not there yet. Although, both Gnome and KDE are trying to achieve a multimedia foundation, Gnome with GStreamer, and KDE with Xine. That means, you have a library of smart media functions, and every application can link to it and use it. Things like "play any media file from any application" become possible; also, your dream of making the media player icon useless is also achievable. But don't hold your breath yet.

RE: Samba...
by Florin Andrei on Mon 24th Feb 2003 20:26 UTC

< quote >
I inserted my computer name and lan name at installation. And I have no trouble accessing other computers using nautilus "smb://pcname". Is there another way to access shares on other comuter under gnome?
< /quote >

What's missing is a SMB LAN browser, a la Network Neighborhood. Better yet, integrated with Nautilus.

RE: Replies
by Florin Andrei on Mon 24th Feb 2003 20:37 UTC

< quote >
3) Do they include alsa sound system?
No idea, does it matter? As long as it works... ;)
< /quote >

It depends on what you're doing.
If you're like me, doing all sorts of Dolby5.1, playing all types of media stuff and having Xine running on my desktop all the time, then you kinda need ALSA.
I'm currently on RH 8.0, but i installed ALSA over the default kernel.
Fortunately, ALSA is now in kernel-2.5

< quote >
even with apt gstreamer can be a real pain to get installed(even under 8.0)
< /quote >

GStreamer is still rather beta. So do expect issues.
On related news, KDE started to use Xine http://xinehq.de/ for the same purpose. The advantage is that Xine is already a full-fledged, stable media infrastructure/player (people call it a player, but developers should look at it as a library). The disadvantage is that it has less streaming features than GStreamer; actually, it has none. :-)
Anyways, both projects are going in the right direction.

< quote >
Redhats decision to leave out mp3 support is just going to get harder and harder to deal with as our desktops evolve.
< /quote >

Yes. It would be nice though, if they would make it easy for people to install third-party plugins to magically make MP3 work. Such as the MP3 plugin for XMMS provided by http://www.gurulabs.com/downloads.html

RE: geforce cards
by Florin Andrei on Mon 24th Feb 2003 20:52 UTC

< quote >
I switched from 8.0 to 7.3 because I couldn't compile the nvidia drivers.
< /quote >

The proprietary nVidia drivers work just fine for me with RH 8.0. Their compilation was quite straightforward. If you need help, e-mail me.

However, i'm worried about hearing that the proprietary nVidia drivers won't work anymore with RH 8.1. Is any of that true?

RE: Bluefish?
by Eugenia on Mon 24th Feb 2003 20:53 UTC

>Is Bluefish included with this release?

No, I installed it manually, as I did with the other app showing in the shots, Moho.

< quote >
On the beta list for Pheobe, a while back, users were asking the RedHat engineers about optimized distros. They even asked about Compiling from source, like Gentoo. RedHat engineers explained that there's hardly any benefit for most applications.
< /quote >

I believe it's a trade-off thing. If you compile, say, Evolution with -march=i686 or -march=athlon-xp and you get a 5% speed improvement, but you double or triple the effort needed to solve the bugzilla tickets, then of course you won't optimize your apps.
OTOH, the kernel and glibc are optimized, because that's where the most speed improvement lies, and it doesn't backfire with the bugzilla issues.

As a matter of policy, when i compile stuff myself, i go by default with -march=athlon-xp for everything related to multimedia: codecs, libraries, apps. Otherwise i don't care.
When Red Hat will really start to worry about playing multimedia on RH desktops, probably they too will start to provide optimized media apps.

Re: Apt-RPM for RPM 4.2
by RonG on Mon 24th Feb 2003 22:22 UTC

Yea, I just found it myself. But I can't find synaptic for it. Can I use the Red Hat 8.0 Synaptic, or any Red hat 8.0 rpm for that matter, or do I have to use strictly Phoebe rpms?

GNOME apps vs Blender (for eugena)
by SB on Mon 24th Feb 2003 23:05 UTC

From the article

>>>
could someone please explain to me why even the smallest Gnome/GTK+ app takes longer to launch than the much bigger Blender?
<<<

Not sure if anyone has answered this one,(couldn't locate any in my quick perusal of replies) but here it goes:

Eugenia,

Do an 'ldd' on each of the executables you are comparing..

Don't know much about Blender - but gnome apps use in the order of 50 shared libraries. Each time you start the appliation - the run-time-loader has to do all the symbol resolutions across all these libraries. (think in terms of compiler when linking with 50 libraries)

KDE tries to overcome this(long startup time) by having a init process - which has already done this runtime-name-resolution part. New aplications are launced by 'forking' this init process - and morphing itself into the appopriate application - (trades compliexity for startup time or something like that)

Red Hat, KDE, and fonts
by Luiz Cardoso on Tue 25th Feb 2003 13:14 UTC

Dear Eugenia,

I found your preliminary review on Red Hat Beta 3 most informative. I'm planning to switch over to Linux on my desktop, and so I'm trying a few distributions. Prompted by your review, I downloaded and installed this latest Red Hat, and I aggree with you with regard to its overall features. However, as a newcomer to Linux, I would like to make you some questions:

* To what extent did Red Hat modify KDE?
* Do these modifications affect KDE's functionality?
* If I decide to use KDE as my basic desktop, should I look for a distribution that is more KDE-oriented?
* I do lots of writing on the computer, so font quality for me is of prime importance. Even though fonts on RH beta 3 look OK, they are still not as good as those on my Windows 2000 machine. Is there an easy way of improving font quality on RH?

Thanks.

Luiz Cardoso.

new screenshot
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Feb 2003 16:40 UTC

I like that new screenshot, Eugenia. Thanks for updating!

Optimizations
by Rick Johnson on Tue 25th Feb 2003 19:11 UTC

I've optimized myself by recompiling ALL RPMS from source (RH 7.3) using:

rpmbuild --rebuild --target i686 <package>

I only noticed a marked improvement within XWindows and multimedia applications, especially on slower systems where 5-10% is noticable. Otherwise not a whole lot of difference.

The downside of this is that every time errata is released, I have to recompile from the SRPM before deploying the update if I want to maintain the "optimized" system.

In the end, it may not be worth the extra effort for most people. Took me 4 days to do the entire tree on a PIII-933.

Also of note - doing this does "break" some packages (i.e. perl and it's add-in libraries).

-Rick Johnson - RHCE

Landscape program?
by Anonymous on Tue 25th Feb 2003 19:14 UTC

What is the landscape program that's shown in the third screenshot? .. looks really good.

RedHat 8.1beta doesn't mount any of my windows drives, including fat32 partitions. This is frustrating, no easy tool is there to mount (no linuxconf).

Also, a package manager isn't present for installing local packages. APT should be standard with servers in the source.list to make things easy.

Replies
by Eugenia on Tue 25th Feb 2003 20:02 UTC

>* To what extent did Red Hat modify KDE?

Not that much in my experience. KDE behaves for the most part like the rest of the KDEs out there.

>* Do these modifications affect KDE's functionality?

Not that I could mention...

>* If I decide to use KDE as my basic desktop, should I look for a distribution that is more KDE-oriented?

Try Red Hat first and if you don't like it, try another one.

>* Is there an easy way of improving font quality on RH?

There is a font panel where you can change some options, like subpixel rendering and such.

>What is the landscape program that's shown in the third screenshot?

This is version 0.6.1 I think which is not available. You will have to get it directly from the author, or wait for him to release it. http://www.witchspace.com/

Red Hat...
by flukester on Wed 26th Feb 2003 08:03 UTC

Okay I know the rest of my post is huge flame bait, so those that can't take stuff that like just skip it...

Bluecurve is the biggest piece of crap ever. It doesn't look nearly as good as KDE 3.1 with Keramik and Crystal icons. And if you want a unified look, use Geramik. All available at kde-look.org. As for Red Hat, its distributions are a joke. They are terrible, and I will never use another distro of theirs. And I'll be surprised if I ever see Eugenia give an unbiased review. Anything with Red Hat or GTK in its name is sure to get 10/10 from her, whilst any distro that uses KDE as its default WM is totally trashed. KDE is FAR superior to Gnome, epecially for developers.

Seriously, I don't know why anyone but a total newbie would inflict Red Hat on themself.

I guess like most people I have strong opinions about all things Linux, and as much as I have come out against Red Hat and Gnome, I think people should see my post as a rant, and make the choice for themselves... I did.

RE: Red Hat...
by Eugenia on Wed 26th Feb 2003 20:15 UTC

>Bluecurve is the biggest piece of crap ever.

It can certainly be much better and more sexy, but it is better than other GTK+ themes.

>It doesn't look nearly as good as KDE 3.1 with Keramik and Crystal icons.

I hate Keramik for the most part. Especially the tab widgets are out of place and don't blend to the tab views.

>As for Red Hat, its distributions are a joke

Right, and which one is good then? Personally, I don't use any of them, in fact I dislike all of them, but Red Hat does the job better IMO. My main machines are XP, OSX and BeOS and then FreeBSD and then Linux.

>I'll be surprised if I ever see Eugenia give an unbiased review. Anything with Red Hat or GTK in its name is sure to get 10/10 from her,

Are you on drugs? Haven't you read my last years' Gnome review? Or the previous red hat review? Get out of your high horse and read some articles from the archives before you open your big wormy mouth and talk trash.

What is Red Hat doing?
by methodic on Thu 27th Feb 2003 02:25 UTC

I'd like to meet one person insane enough to run the newer Red Hat's on i386's or i486's. If you want linux as a fileserver or router with no GUI, why not just use slackware or something? Most people (id venture a guess and say over 80%) of people running Red Hat do it for a full GUI OS. There's no reason, especially with the gcc3 opts, to include full optimization, at least a 586 for their OS. I'd be great if they could provide 586 and 686 releases, seeing as how most people nowadays run a 686, and if they arent, chances are they aren't running Red Hat. ;)

RE: What is Red Hat doing?
by Eugenia on Thu 27th Feb 2003 06:05 UTC

I think that the Red Hat 8.x _are_ i586-optimized already.

Audigy 2
by fAke on Thu 27th Feb 2003 13:17 UTC

Anyone know/tested if Creative Audigy 2 works "out of the box/iso" with 8.1 beta, or do I have to download drivers myself?

we are all forgetting something...
by hiberphoptik on Sun 2nd Mar 2003 17:24 UTC

what about zaurus support WITHOUT having to apply crappy patches that sometimes do not work. You would think that it would make sense to be able to plug the zaurus right into the cradle and be able to start using it without needing to "tweak" your kernel and recompile since your PC and the zaurus are both linux devices, c'mon!

ive been using linux for about 7 or 8 years now and i cannot get my stinkin zaurus and linux PC to talk with eachother using patches, upgrading the kernel, etc... after patching and compiling and upgrading i can get linux to recognize that the zaurus is there, and i can even assign IP addresses to the interface but i cannot get the two to talk ;)