Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 3rd Jan 2004 19:55 UTC, submitted by Usman Latif
Linux Usman Latif writes: "Linux has made few inroads on the desktop. Linux enthusiasts have plenty of excuses but do not seem to understand where they need to focus in order to make Linux a success on the desktop. My article 'The Future of Linux on the Desktop' is an attempt to point out markets where Linux can really make a difference."
Order by: Score:
...
by nego` on Sun 4th Jan 2004 02:48 UTC

I don't know why these articles are keep poping up. Even though the whole GNU/Linux OS is referenced as just Linux, it gets annoying. Each distro is really different, there are many distros that I have tried that are great for desktop use, so linux (the kernel) is ready some distros may not be.

Pretty much on target.
by Tim in VA on Sun 4th Jan 2004 02:50 UTC

One of the more rational sets of statements that I have seen concerning Linux and its place - - for now - - in the desktop OS pantheon. As I think Linus himself has said, "It's about apps, stupid." I think it would be well for us all to remember, though, that there is no rush. Why should there be? Linux is there for those who have the right applications (in more than one sense) for it. While the situation may look urgent in the eyes of those who sell Open Source software, for the rest of us, the primary concern is that it be open and available to us when we need it.

What's funny
by Torrey on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:04 UTC

What's funny is that back when I started using computers, I was using DOS 5 and Windows 3. It was far harder to use than most linux distros today. Now we have people who cry about how 'hard it is' for the average person to learn to use linux... well I didn't have a problem at the age of 9 using DOS so I can't imagine that some one at the age of 30 should have that big of a problem using Mandrake 9.2.

Because people keep claiming it is ready
by akumaX on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:07 UTC

The reason these articles keep coming up is because Linux users keep saysing that it's ready for the desktop and keep trying to get Windows users to convert. Lets face it even though OS's like Mac OS X & Linux have far greater quality software and is much more stable, Windows users want to stick with Windows.

I think one problem lies with advertising and getting people to wake up to the real world. Competing against Microsoft/Windows takes a form of advertising that hasn't yet been shown to the world yet. Apple,IBM,etc nobody has yet stumbled onto the right formula. One thing I think is people want to see the OS, what it looks like and what it can do and not this "Windows sucks were better attitude."

I use Mac OS X the majority of my time, but it'd like to use Linux more, however a couple of things are preventing me:
(1) Application installs - One thing separating Linux from Windows/Mac OS X for me is that I can't guarantee that everything will install right or at all - some instructions are vague - don't tell people to stick with the software that came with the distro nobody would use Mac/Windows if you told them that
(2) Instructions - How do I update KDE to the latest version without waiting for the next distro update ? Thats just one of a bizillion questions some people have asked me when showing them Linux and I have no awnswers - Apparently all linux users are just blessed with this knowledge one day and nobody knows how they got it.
(3) Ease of use - I don't know how some people find linux easier to use than windows - if anything some simple things take longer to do on linux than on anything else - this is why I use Mac OS X mainly because I can get in, do what I want and it's easy and doesn't sacrifice advanced features in the process.

I think the real test for anything to replace Windows is if I can honestly reccommend it to my relatives who aren't advanced pc users, but aren't stupid either and I can't honestly reccomend Linux to them right now. Linux has a ways to go.

Re : Torvalds
by You can call me Al on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:17 UTC

"It's about apps, stupid" - Linus Torvalds

Whoever he said that too must have been a 1000 miles away or smaller than him.





Comment
by Claus on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:21 UTC

He's forgetting one thing. That it is not all about business. That some refuse Windows - cost what it costs - and are going to go the extra mile to make it work. Like IBM. Like Munich. Like Israel. One of the same forces that is driving the open source comunity. Windows largely grew up in people's homes before spreading to companies. For Linux maybe the opposite will happen.

The article first states:

"The typical computer user cares about software applications s/he is familiar with and the routine tasks s/he performs using these applications."

And then the majority of the rest of the article pits Linux against Microsoft! WTF?!?

And this statement:

"Worse, people who are dependent on a plain vanilla Windows setup for web-browsing and email are not candidates for Linux either."

For simple web and email what the hell is the difference between Mozilla web/email on Windows or Linux? I get the feeling that the author uses IE/Lookout exclusively...

Terrible article.

Cheers

Windows users are accustomed to crap
by Arthur Pewty on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:28 UTC

A sad fact is that a lot of Windows users like to have dancing cats and silly screensavers jumping around their desktop.
Linux will have a hard time to attract these users since these moronic apps aren't available. In the workplace on the other hand this could be a selling point.

what Linuc needs are consumer level applications
by blah on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:32 UTC

a striped down and easy to use movie gimp for importing DV movies editing adding transitions and effects, etc, then exporting it to MPEG 2 and other formats.

then it needs a nice photo organization and editing application, again you can build off the gimp but make the red-eye functions and b&W transformations etc, simple to use.

look at what the iApps offer people. if you can clone those apps functionality and easy of use, then Linux will be useful to almost every home users.

of course, there needs to be more camera support, flash reader support etc, but if the apps are there, the support will follow.

I can see Gnome apps for this.

my 2 cents
by tetsuo on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:35 UTC

one way to solve software installation issue. currently all distros are using rpm or deb. autopackage like way is better than opencarpet or apt-get. (dont tell me to 'emerge' pls)

hardware support is the gripes cause nothin is guaranteed anyway i always make sure the hardaware is 'linux compatible'

after all its still the software. enterprise market is very close since the whole it industry is goin for linux.

on SMB market, linux still lacks mass of ecommerce software.

on desktop, its ok for me but not for everyone.
especially for those desktop publishing pros, theres no photoshop, indesign, video editing, sound editing, macromedia apps(fireworks, flash, dreamweaver)& CAD.
so when it comes to multimedia apps, linux still lacks behind from mac & windows.

gimp is ok for me. blender ROCKS despite its learning curve.
im all about security(its my work). security tools for linux simply rocks ;) after all its the APPS.

Re : Artthur Brain
by You can call me Al on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:44 UTC

Hmm which OS was the first to feature those stupid eyes that follow the mouse? - here's a clue it wasn't windows & the answer begins with L.

Windows users aren't neccesarily any less computer literate than Linux users, it simply a question of which OS fits your needs.

Arthurs post reflects exactly the kind of dilusion that is holding Linux back imo.

Re: Because people keep claiming it is ready
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:50 UTC

Lets face it even though OS's like Mac OS X & Linux have far greater quality software and is much more stable, Windows users want to stick with Windows.

Excuse me? There is more good software available for Linux than Windows? Maybe you should go walk through the software section of a BestBuy before you say things like that.

I agree with the thrust of the article that computer users want access to good software and that the OS is immaterial. I also disagree with that, though. All other things being equal that means that users will gravitate towards the OS that has the largest selection of software available. Conversely it means that developers will throw their weight behind the OS with the most potential customers for their software. Current, the OS that fits both of those statements isn't Linux....It's Windows.

Yes, if you know how to download an RPM and deal with dependancies, or do apt-get <obscure command> you might get a choice of some good attempt at a tax package or a money manager, or a recipe database, a few hundred different obscure text editors, etc... But none of it holds a candle to the ease of use browsing an aisle of software, paying some $, walking out of a store with a box, inserting a CD into your computer and knowing that it will just *work*.

Linux does not have "Far greater quality software" than Windows. It can't even begin to compare with the depth and breadth of software that can be purchased or downloaded for Windows.

Re: Re: Artthur Brain
by rodney on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:54 UTC

>>Hmm which OS was the first to feature those stupid eyes that
>>follow the mouse? - here's a clue it wasn't windows & the
>>answer begins with L.

Hmm. It seems to me that xeyes was created by Jeremy Huxtable as seen at SIGGRAPH '88. I don't think the OS it appeared on first started with an 'L'. In fact, it only appears on that OS if you install XFree... Perhaps a little research is in order...

v Ummmm
by Chris on Sun 4th Jan 2004 03:57 UTC
RE :
by You can call me Al on Sun 4th Jan 2004 04:04 UTC

Or perhaps it just isn't important, it still illustrates my point that Linux users as well as windows users like dancing cats on the desktop.

If you look through the hate you can surely see that.

RE: What's Funny!
by Frank on Sun 4th Jan 2004 04:14 UTC

So True! Thanks for that, I nearly forgot about the good old days when I was a kid playing around with DOS and making my own 'kool' Qbasic and .bat scripts ;) .


@akumaX
by acobar on Sun 4th Jan 2004 04:15 UTC

The problem with binary packages in gnu-linux starts with what make it strong: flexibility.

The responsibles for the various distros make a lot of choices where to put the stuff (directories), what compiler/linker options will be used, what init scripts will be processeds and what services/libs will be available.

Thats why many people prefer to build the package from source.

And trust me, contrary to what people say don't use just:
.configure
make
make install

It usually don't work very well (at least, it's not fine tuned to your distro).

The solution to the problem can come from LSB project, thats what I hope.

As a Slackware and FreeBSD user, what I usually do when I want a new version of something is (and WHEN IT IS NOT PORTED YET): download the source package and the scripts used in the older package creation, update the scripts to reflect what changed and them build the package. Now its a paim but I'm working in an script that make the things a lot easier. For my Slackware it's ready and I'm working on something related for FreeBSD.

Hope I had partially answered your questions.

Re: Windows users are accustomed to crap
by Sagres on Sun 4th Jan 2004 04:22 UTC

"A sad fact is that a lot of Windows users like to have dancing cats and silly screensavers jumping around their desktop.
Linux will have a hard time to attract these users since these moronic apps aren't available. In the workplace on the other hand this could be a selling point."


Well i certainly like my 3D aquarium screensaver and the only moronic thing here is your snobbish attitude.

:-P Pfffff

Re: Re: Because people keep claiming it is ready
by Kick The Donkey on Sun 4th Jan 2004 04:34 UTC

So... Any software you buy must be good, right? BS... For the record, I say that it is easier to install software on Linux than Windows. Using the method you discuss, that requires me to drive to the store, but it, then drive home. Then, I get in front of my PC, and pop in the disc. Now, assuming that AutoRun is on (which is a very big assumption), I'm only 8 short, confusing questions away from having some crappy app installed.

Or, the Linux world: Decide I need a program, and type urpmi APPNAME. Bahm! I'm done. Instant gradification.

Yes, I know. This requires me to have specialized knowledge of my PC (heaven forbid! I've got to learn not one, but TWO program names! The installer, and the installee.). Kind of like I need to learn that there are at least two buttons on the front of my PC: One to turn it one, one to open the CD-ROM. Bah. Its amazing everyone keeps that one straight. Or we'd have a lot of open CD-ROM trays out there.

Mr. Anonymous from adelphia.net: Me thinks you've quickly forgotten the learning curve you had with your favorite OS. If you where taught from the start to apt-get APPNAME, you wonder why Windows users needed to answer all those lame questions.

I'm out.

Kick
http://ktd.sytes.net <-- Donkies can't spell

What a joke
by Maxamoto on Sun 4th Jan 2004 04:49 UTC

Linux is NOT mature enough for average desktop use. If it was, it would be in widespread use. As it is NOT in widespread use, the author's statement is in complete denial in respect to reality. Moreover, average computer users do not 'acquire' any substantial amount of skill, as over the course of constant upgrades (regardless of their platform of choice) commands and feature sets change, rendering any acquired skill just as obsolete as the version being upgraded from. This author struck me as just another ignorant Linux zealot with no real scientific data to back up his claims.

@Maxamoto
by The Real Archie Steel on Sun 4th Jan 2004 04:55 UTC

The level of maturity of an OS has nothing to do with its popularity. I suggest you reflect on the power of multimillion-dollar marketing and FUD. So far Linux has gone by mostly through word-of-mouth. It still only has a small percentage of the desktop market because a) it is a huge market and b) it can't match MS's marketing machine.

However, it is not market share that is important, but growth. In this regard, Linux is doing quite well, thank you very much.

Oh, and RE: silly screensavers...showing of xscreensaver (especially the GL screensavers) to Windows users is a good way to impress them. Seriously, on the free screensaver front, Linux is way ahead of Windows.

You can figure it out
by Sam Shazaam on Sun 4th Jan 2004 04:57 UTC

If I drive a Ford and then suddenly drive a Chevy the defroster is in a different place. The cruise control is different. The dashboard is laid out different with gauges in a new order. When all is said and done however, you can figure it out. Switching to a Linux desktop is somewhat like that. If you remember a few differences (like mounting disc drives), you can figure it out.

"As Good As" is not good enough
by Mike on Sun 4th Jan 2004 05:05 UTC

It doesn't matter how good gnu/linux/kde/gnome is. OSX is way sexier than XP and yet people aren't running to that. And don't pretend it's the price: an eMac is about the same price as a crappy eMachine or low end Dell.


If a string of closed-source (so they can't be ported to windows) 3D games came out for gnulinux/BSD that were really innovative and were a lot of fun, and (for the hell of it) free as in 'free beer', it would do a lot more for the proliferation of linux/OSS than anything currently being done.


I'm all for open source software, it really can promote speedy development, but people aren't going to use linux just because it's free. In the US, most people using linux got it OEM, or pirated, so for most people: Windows is free.

Edit
by Mike on Sun 4th Jan 2004 05:08 UTC

Excuse me:

most people using *windows* got it OEM, or pirated, so for most people: Windows is free.

O.K. O.K.
by Paul Gallant on Sun 4th Jan 2004 05:19 UTC

Its not that linux isnt ready for the desktop. Its the public that isnt ready to learn linux.

You say DOS was really easy for you when you were a kid? Thats all there was!!. everything was command line then!! If you wanted to use computers you "had to learn it"!!!. Do you people think that any modern computer user will "want" to use a command line?. Kids today know windows. It sucks but its true. The only way linux has a chance on the desktop is to corner the education market. Thats what kept Apple alive.
Linux has a good spot on the server end of things. That was much less of a challenge for the "geeks". Its the desktop were the human involvement becomes the #1 problem, and adult humans dont like change.

Experience...
by ChocolateCheeseCake on Sun 4th Jan 2004 05:20 UTC

Having setup Linux for "Joe End User", the first question that comes out is, "Oh, can I run [application] on linux?". The fact is applications will drive the adoption of Linux NOT soap box rants by Joe Article Writer. The fact is people WANY applications, that is what they bought the blasted computer for in the first place. Not to run an operating system or conduct a grand pissing competition with friends but to use applications to enhance their daily lives, whether is be transferring a photo to the computer then sending to a friend overseas or simply little Jane who wants to make a Christmas card for her mum and dad.

The fact of the matter is that people want applications that are easy to use and accessible. The end user wants to be able to go into a "computer superstore" and be able to purchase the games and applications THEY want to run and NOT some crappy freeware/OSS-ware crap some person suggested which as a usability problem worse than GIMP, if at all humanly possible.

What Microsoft has over Linux is a good set of consistant development tools, incentives for new ISVs to develop utilising Microsoft technologies and they ACTIVELY go out and ENCOURAGE.

Look at Red Hat, what effort have they made to improve their standing in the workstation market? why haven't they teamed up with Adobe, Macromedia, Corel, MYOB, Quicken, Peacetree and numerous other companies to get the applications across to lInux? Why is there this passive attitude by the Linux community of simply sitting back and thinking that things will just magically happen.

RE: What a joke
by kar120c on Sun 4th Jan 2004 05:28 UTC

"Linux is NOT mature enough for average desktop use. If it was, it would be in widespread use."

Or perhaps there just isn't some imaginary 'average' designation that fits every person at every time. We're not talking about something like a pen that has only a couple possible uses, there's a giant variation in what people use computers for. It's like trying to find an average fruit, it's a meaningless effort. As someone else mentioned, it just comes down to applications and what people want to use them for. They're either there, or they're not. And in any case it's not your place to tell anyone what they should be allowed to use or not.

Best of the Best of the Best of the Best of the Best
by Someone on Sun 4th Jan 2004 05:40 UTC

Everyone always talks about the "best" OS, the "best" apps, the "best" desktop, the "best" this and the "best" that.

All of which misses the point. Computers are a tool. They aren't a simple tool like a hammer, they are a complicated tool like dishwasher.

No one cares which is the "best" dishwasher (generally its the most expensive one, with arms, legs, and attitude) or even the "best" hammer.

At the end of the day all that matter is that the job gets done. Atm Linux/Unix, OSX, Windows, BeOS, QNX, Syllable whatever are all fine for most jobs. They aren't all equal, or just "better in every way" than the others.

I think they should change this site to OSWars.com. I've seen people advocate Linux over FreeBSD based on kernel scalability (I don't actually care which runs better on a 265 processor machine or even a dual processor box, but apparently freebsd is dead because the 2.6 kernel is awsome???)

I think this article is accurate enough. There are still millions of Windows 98 desktops solely because people won't change. Some businesses are still Mac only because they went with Apple before 1986. The vast majority of computer users don't like major changes that they don't require and being "best" is all very relative to them.

good enough
by Drazen Gemic on Sun 4th Jan 2004 05:46 UTC

I think that windows are just good enough for most of the users in developed countries. THey are not perfect, but people
are not motivated to switch. Mac is by far best desktop today,
much better than windows in every way, yet it's share of users is small.

On the other hand, microsoft does not stand a chance in less developed countries. They are going to use either Linux or
pirated windows. That's where microsoft is going to fail.

Personaly I use Linux for everything. I live in Croatia, and
I can say that, while windows OS is affordable as OEM, windowssoftware, like Office, is just to expensive for the most of the population, and the most of the software is pirated. If Croatia manage to join EU in 2007. much of
piracy will be supressed, and people will have to turn away
from windows.

DG

...
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 05:53 UTC

Piracy is what keep Windows and Office in many countries.

how many
by mythought on Sun 4th Jan 2004 06:07 UTC

such articles have been posted on OSNews so far in 2004? one a day? - must be the time of the year; people must be bored ....

@ Comment
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 06:20 UTC

Microsoft got it's start because DOS took off in the office place and not in the home. Windows took off because that was next upgrade up to DOS in the office place not the home. So you are wrong.

Re: Experience...
by Spark on Sun 4th Jan 2004 06:48 UTC

Look at Red Hat, what effort have they made to improve their standing in the workstation market? why haven't they teamed up with Adobe, Macromedia, Corel, MYOB, Quicken, Peacetree and numerous other companies to get the applications across to lInux?

Red Hat is an Open Source company. They will certainly not port close source software themself and they will also certainly not invest loads of money for others to do it. So what's there to team up?
What Red Hat is doing is creating a stable and consistant plattform for ISVs. It's not quite there yet, but this is a common goal of Red Hat, Novell, Sun, etc.


Why is there this passive attitude by the Linux community of simply sitting back and thinking that things will just magically happen.

You are somehow missing on a whole lot of development. Don't assume that the general Linux community member is a good indication of what's actually happening. But it will take some time. As you said, it won't happen magically.

RE: Spark (IP: ---.dip.t-dialin.net) - Posted on 2004-01-04 06:48:02
by ChocolateCheeseCake on Sun 4th Jan 2004 06:57 UTC

"Look at Red Hat, what effort have they made to improve their standing in the workstation market? why haven't they teamed up with Adobe, Macromedia, Corel, MYOB, Quicken, Peacetree and numerous other companies to get the applications across to lInux?"

Red Hat is an Open Source company. They will certainly not port close source software themself and they will also certainly not invest loads of money for others to do it. So what's there to team up?
What Red Hat is doing is creating a stable and consistant plattform for ISVs. It's not quite there yet, but this is a common goal of Red Hat, Novell, Sun, etc.


We have SUN and JDS, what have they done? if a customer said, "well, I want to move 15,000 of my desktops over to JDS, however, there is just this one application which I need".

Does SUN simply say, "oh, you'll have to wait till some OSS coders gets around to making a "clone"" OR should SUN developer a partnership with that company who makes the application used by the client who has 15,000 desktops to change over and PAY for the porting of that applicaiton to JDS. If the software is popular enough, why not?

Think outside the square. Applications PUSH the sale of operating systems NOT the other way around. How many businesses actually *CARE* whether their operating system is Linux or Windows? their concern is the availability of applications, support and ability to incorporate it into their work environment.

...
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 07:07 UTC

This article did not talk about the technology, especially software quality and the issue of control over your environment. It did not weigh the value of your investment taking into consideration the long term future.

Drivers and related software.
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 07:11 UTC

that computer users want access to good software and that the OS is immaterial. I also disagree with that, though. All other things being equal that means that users will gravitate towards the OS that has the largest selection of software available.

I agree with that (access to good software), I'm a Windows user and an avid Linux user who "wants to use Linux but just can't do it with Linux".
Like plenty of other computer users. I have a scanner, a laser printer and a digital camera. Linux just does not work with this devices properly.

v Stupid Companies
by Dextor on Sun 4th Jan 2004 07:22 UTC
Simplicity is Key
by DevilFerret on Sun 4th Jan 2004 07:24 UTC

If Linux wants to succeed in the desktop arena, developers need to keep the good 'ol principal of K.I.S.S. in mind: Keep It Simple Stupid, or in the case of most Windows users, Keep It Stupidly Simple. Common-Joe Windows user will get quickly discouraged from installing Linux if not everything is spelled out for him. RedHat and Mandrake do well in this area in terms of installation of the OS. Instalation of programs should also be simple and intuitive; download program to desktop, double click, and whammo, everything should install and a nice little icon should be put on the programs menu. One thing I know that bugs alot of Windows users when they see Linux, is the names of the programs that are installed. "Vi" instead of "Notepad", "XMMS" instead of "Media Player". Indeed, some programs look like they were named whatever was typed when the author slammed his head into the keyboard when he sneezed. Really, I think Linux will go far, just remember to keep things as simple and intuitive as possable so we don't scare off the Average Joe.

@ChocolateCheeseCake
by tetsuo on Sun 4th Jan 2004 07:34 UTC

totally agree with u.

as i said linux is poor in multimedia domain. one example:

ordinary users would like to do streaming audio/video on the net. audio seems to be no problem. for video, real media content is almost 'compatible'. windows media & quicktime are quirky. depends on how the web site support the plugin/feature.

lack of vendor support is not fault of linux but still a weakness. real network helix is in the work ;) . not sure about apple. microsoft? dream on...

theres more. the 'next generation' media apps in linux simply sucks. rhythmbox extremely buggy in spite of rapid releases, i have to work on it for one hour to get mp3 working. totem has some strange behaviours. juk too.

luckily xmms, xine, mplayer simply rocks!!!

anyway linux is main os ;)

@Dextor
by tetsuo on Sun 4th Jan 2004 07:41 UTC

'Whoever uses window for Mission Critical and Sensitive Applications is a dam fool.'

i can say 70-80 percent of Mission Critical and Sensitive Applications tasks are running on windows.

from smb market to enterprise to government, military based systems.

things will definitely change in the future.

RE: tetsuo (IP: 211.24.67.---) - Posted on 2004-01-04 07:34:07
by ChocolateCheeseCake on Sun 4th Jan 2004 08:25 UTC

totally agree with u.

as i said linux is poor in multimedia domain. one example:

ordinary users would like to do streaming audio/video on the net. audio seems to be no problem. for video, real media content is almost 'compatible'. windows media & quicktime are quirky. depends on how the web site support the plugin/feature.


I've had that pain/experience and worse still when you ask a question at the so-called "Real Network Community support forum", all you get is a whole chorus of "works for me" and yet none of them can explain to me how they got it working.

I don't run Linux for that reason, a lack of applications. Sure, I can put up with iffy installers, needing to download and compile dependencies and heck, I am quite happy to read the manual when all else fails, however, what I REFUSE to do is run an operating system which lacks even the most *BASIC* applications I need.

I *NEED* Office for VB compatibility, I NEED Macromedia Studio MX 2004, I NEED Corel Graphics Suite and I NEED to be able to have a decent cd burning tool which actually works first time every time.

I'm personally sick and tired of the same old excuses from the Opensource/Linux community about their crap substitutes for the real thing. People don't want your ameturist crap, they want real applications written by people who will actually back up their software with support and updates that are actually tested properly rather than what we've seen in the OSS world where a release is made but instead of checking it, they have to release a update to it 2 days after the release because due dilligence wasn't taken.

Its time the Linux/Opensource community got it through their head, the end user doens't CARE about the fact that there are two desktops with hundreds of features that they won't even concern themselves with, what the end user DOES want is application availability OFF THE SHELF. They want to go into Dick Smiths/Harvey Norman and simply purchase software off the shelf just like they would if they owned a Mac or PC. They don't want to try 4000 different media players just to find out which one can play an MPEG they received via email at a reasonable standard.

This is EXACTLY why desktop orientated distributions fall over, GEEKS DON'T KNOW HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS. Read and repeat. Stick to coding that don't leave the room. It seems that we have geeks here who just don't get it. Software is there to SERVE THE END USER, it is not for the software companies to say that it is not them but the customer who has to change. If the end user wants to run PrintShop to make cards, it is NOT up to the Linux/OSS crowd to either abuse them or show them some applicaiton which is 100 times harder, it is up to the Linux/OSS industry to sit down and TALK to the respective company and see whether the application can be ported natively to Linux.

Pathetic
by 2k3 on Sun 4th Jan 2004 08:29 UTC

I am a windows and Linux (KDE) user and I support both windows and Linux in a corprate environment. I can't even stand to see people ranting on about how Linux as a desktop is somehow better. KDE and Gnome are the only things close and they are slow as hell. I have not had as many issues with Gnome as KDE but my kapps crash several times more frequently than my windows apps. Most windows stability issues can be tracked down to poorly written third party apps, with KDE my default install of Konq crashes. My Linux distros all take much longer to boot than windows and require loading of _more_code_. Linux has no backwads compatibility at all and it is still large and unstable. The Linux kernel is growing exponentually will compiled in support for additional hardware and still many tasks that would seem trivial in windows are broken at best in Linux. Distros rarely like my sound card, there is nothing special about it, its just an everyday standard soundcard. The file system is arcane from a desktop perspective, the package manager thing is a horrid mess that even windows 3.1 has beat. Often times upgrading software means installing a newer version of the distro. Don't you think it's odd that most Linux users reinstall ever 3 to 6 months?

The open nature of the operating system and difficulty in building packages nearly requires software be GPL so other people can build packages for you. You can't make money with that so people getting paid are going to write software for a platform that will allow them to make money. The open nature of Linux means that several things about it can never change bucause it would be impossible to coordinate a change using that many people.

Conclusion" desktop Linux already has more code, runs slower, and crashes more often than windows while still being several years behind windows.

Besides, I don't lose any sleep at night over the money I spent to buy my copy of windows.

The non free (beer) Linux distros that cost $55 are no less expensive than windows when you consider the release cycle is 4 more frequent than windows.

Yes, if there is one thing Linux does well on the desktop then it is exactly that - Web browsing and E-mail. And I bet there's a lot of people that do not use the computer for much beyond that.
But for chat both AOL and Yahoo has a client for Linux. Or use Kopete which handles them all. For movies there's Xine. It works. K3b for CD burning. It works. Maybe the lack of Kazaa is a major roadblock but some other P2P will fill the void in time. Bittorrent?
The author mentions Excel. Sure, if you need to make a complex office document for others to digest electronically then MS Office is the only option. But for home use OpenOffice, KOffice or similar will work just fine. And save the $300 for MS Office.
Some of the slowness in adaption of Linux is FUD. Will it work for what I need it to do? I better go with Windows to be safe. The same with AMD and Intel.

Linux is ready for me
by jan.de.boer on Sun 4th Jan 2004 09:17 UTC

Oke I don't care if people say linux is ready or not. Linux is ready for me, why? I'm a power user. The same I can say about Windows XP, that it's not ready ... At least it's not for me.
Get my point?

Does SUN simply say, "oh, you'll have to wait till some OSS coders gets around to making a "clone"" OR should SUN developer a partnership with that company who makes the application used by the client who has 15,000 desktops to change over and PAY for the porting of that applicaiton to JDS.

I'm pretty sure that SUN would actually do this if it would pay off for them. But for this to happen, first there has to be such a client who has 15,000 desktops and asks for a certain application...
Without direct demand, money might be better spend working on existing applications or improving the plattform. Every improvement will slowly broaden the range of customers which could be satisfied with current offerings and I don't think it would be sane to directly go for those customers who can absolutely not be satisfied yet.

What will Destroy M$
by R S Gill on Sun 4th Jan 2004 09:28 UTC

Wake up everyone,

Only when Linux can be used without the need for a CLI will Linux over-take M$ Windows.

As long as Linux keeps catering to the the geeks it is not going to win over any M$ Windows users.

Hate it as you may, you need to win over the M$ Windows users to displace Windows as the main OS of choice.

Perhaps the easiest way to "simplifiying" Linux will be to use AppDirs (ala ROX Desktop/ROX OS) or choose on DE (either KDE or GNOME) and stick with it.

Personally I hope GNOME wins out because its GUI is easier to understand and is less burdened with too much choice.

Face it, choice is great but too much choice is counter productive.

v what??
by Frank on Sun 4th Jan 2004 09:44 UTC
hrm
by Andrew on Sun 4th Jan 2004 09:46 UTC

"If I drive a Ford and then suddenly drive a Chevy the defroster is in a different place. The cruise control is different. The dashboard is laid out different with gauges in a new order. When all is said and done however, you can figure it out. Switching to a Linux desktop is somewhat like that. If you remember a few differences (like mounting disc drives), you can figure it out."

Switching to Linux is nothing like that- it isn't nearly as simple as "re-learning where the defrost button is." A more correct comparison would be if you wanted to change a headlamp in the Chevy, and wound up having to remove the engine and half the interior in order to do so. The problems I have had with Linux have nothing to do with whether or not I can re-learn where the "Start" button doo-dad is. If I want to install a new programme with Windows, I can either download and install (which involves double-clicking a setup app, pointing the app to the correct install directory, and saying "GO TO IT!"), or I can just go to the store and buy a CD to pop in and then go through the same process. When all is said and done, I know exactly where that application was installed, and I know how to run it- just go to the Start Menu, and find the highlighted programme group.

My experience with Linux has been that you install either from RPM, which has been 80% unsuccessful for me due to dependencies, or you build from source code, which has yielded equally unpleasant results. This has been enough to turn me away from Linux in the past, and I am willing to bet it has been enough to do the same for a vast number of other people.

I do read up on various Linux related subjects, and through that I have gained enough knowledge that I feel confident enough working in Linux, and dealing with dependencies and CLI crypticismnesses.

However, I don't use Linux because it doesn't support my webcam (my... INTEL... webcam), and because it doesn't have support for video chatting over MSN Instant Messenger. This might seem trivial to most people, but to me it is an important enough feature to keep me tied up to Windows. I COULD use GnomeMeeting, but my girlfriend still uses MSN 6, and isn't allowed to install NetMeeting.

But who cares, right? I'm just one case, and if I can't contribute to The Cause, then I'm just part of the problem, right?

Yeah, that's the kind of attitude that will keep desktop users stuck to Windows boxes.

an old Amiga user´s thoughts....
by MagnusA on Sun 4th Jan 2004 09:51 UTC

I was an old Amiga-user. Back in the beginning of the -90:th the Amiga OS was superior to anything else in my eyes. It was fast. The multitasking was so good. I could do things on a 7.16MHz CPU that I can´t do now on Windows. Now I am an Windows user. Why??? Why not Linux??? An OS is only as good as its software. At work I use my PC for 3D CAD. There is no such programs for Linux that is good enough for what I am doing. Once in a while I like to play games with my friends. If I had Linux I could not do that because of the games we play. These games don´t exist for Linux. Linux will never be a success for the desktop market unless there are good games or other good software released for it. Only you hardcore-enthusiasts will use it. It is the same for AmigaOS nowdays. Only the hardcore-enthusiasts use it. Linux is maybe superior to Windows. But as I said Linux will never spread among desktopusers until there are software released first for Linux before these softwares are released for Windows. Then the gamers will install Linux to be able to play these new games that his/her friends are playning.

Software Quality
by DevilFerret on Sun 4th Jan 2004 10:17 UTC

That 'bout sums it up. Software. If the quality (no, not quantity) isn't there, and it's hell to install... Then you can kiss all those Windows users goodbye. And without the millions of Windows users, Microsoft's Windows will be around for a good long time. I sure doubt Linux will ever go away, but again, it won't reach the mainstream market and will linger as nothing more than a hobbyists' OS. Make it easy to use/install/configure, and you'll have Micro$oft on the run.

tipping points
by david on Sun 4th Jan 2004 10:34 UTC

I think its safe to say that Linux is ready for the desktop now, as this excellent anaylsis points out.

Being technically good enough is not by itself sufficient incentive for corporate user bases to change from Windows. The greatest impediment to change is just that, change.

However this line of reasoning avoids the consequences that result from "tipping points". Merely assuming that something will not change because it has been institutionalised will blind observers to the likelyhood that change could be just around the corner. Around the corner is the XYZ company that has just decided that Linux is OK and suddenly everyone in the street is thinking maybe we should give it a try.

The other observation I would make is that if transitional costs are the main reason for ongoing Microsoft dominance, then such cost based reasons are open to manipulation and reinterpretation. A suitably large corporation with an ongoing committment to staff training could relatively easily be persuaded to implement a Linux environment if the transitional costs and support costs fell within acceptable boundaries.

In short, whilst I agree with the analysis presented, there are also good reasons to believe that in established markets, significant segments of the desktop market are vulnerable to the Linux approach.

Eugenia
by Sabreman on Sun 4th Jan 2004 10:36 UTC

A set of figures I would like to see is the rate at which those Lindows powered Wal-Mart boxes are upgraded to a Microsoft product.

A long time mate of mine in Pa. does this in his line of work. Last I talked to him about it was last Nov, he claimed he had done about 40 such upgrades.

It is also interesting to note that prices for new and unopened packages of WIN98SE remain quite high and often far above the latest commercial offering from the major Linux distros.

In the long term, I suspect Linux will decline as a desktop OS as desktops as we know them are replaced by laptops, doing all that current desktops do and MORE.

In business.....'The product that sells the best is the most successful'.

"Linux enthusiasts have plenty of excuses"
by Artem on Sun 4th Jan 2004 11:24 UTC

Well, Linux enthusiasts don't make excuses, because they have nothing to excuse for. They don't owe anything to anybody. Linux development will go on, because it's driven by many other motivations beyond market demand.

linux now and tomorow
by Tudy on Sun 4th Jan 2004 11:29 UTC

The guy is right, let's face it. He isn't against linux or anything, he just point out the facts. It it true, the time invested in learning how to work better with an OS counts quite a lot. From a Windows user point of view - all these years of learning in Windows isn't helping if switching to linux. For example - I am acustomed to use aset of apps everyday in Windows. Firebird for browsing, Xmpeg for video encoding, Nero for burning, Bsplayer for video, PowerDVD for DVDs, KazaaLite+++ ;) , etc. After Windows has booted up, I know where to click next with my eyes closed. I wanna burn a CD - fire up Nero and within seconds I'm doing it. There are actions/routines I have learned during years of Windows.

So I think he is right, for the moment linux should get the people who don't know/have a previous computer experience. I think it is a hefty percent left. Once you get them to buy and use linux, linux would overtake Mac and position itself strong in the market. Then we will start seeing pro apps coming out for linux, like photoshop, etc. Imagine how appealing will that be for all the pro guys who can't live without them - the stability/security of linux and the apps they are used to work in for the best results!!

I have a second partition on my HD for Linux. I use Xandros, and I am looking forward to Lindows 5. I can do everything I want in Windows, but then why do I keep linux there? Because I don't agree with monopoly and I want to be prepared to switch completely to linux when longhorn and its activations crap comes out.

My $0.02

:::PROUD TO BE LIVING IN THE BIRTHLAND OF LINUX:::

who cares about linux sminuz
by Clubvibes.com on Sun 4th Jan 2004 11:29 UTC

I can't wait for the day longhorn arrives, it will obliterate any hope linux zealots have, of their beloved os, ever dominating in the desktop area.

like someone said, if your time is not valuable use linux. ;)

RE: who cares about linux sminuz
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 11:40 UTC

You are welcome. I wish you a long wait for your Longhorn and best of luck with it. Personally I will be happy using Linux and don't care one dot what you use for many reasons:-

Just a few simple reasons:- I can write my backup with a one-line script. I have greater control over my PC with Linux. Linux has enough good games that I enjoy playing. Open Office is better than other Office products, for my usage. Gimp does everything I need graphically. Ksnapshot is extremely useful for creating screenshots for documentation. I could go on.

Linux is a better environment already for the desktop.

Re: who cares about linux sminuz
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 11:46 UTC

"I can't wait for the day longhorn arrives, it will obliterate any hope linux zealots have, of their beloved os, ever dominating in the desktop area."

MS zealots said the same thing about Windows XP too. And guess what: Linux is still alive and kicking, more than ever. Entire governments, organizations and corporations have switched to desktop Linux, even after the release of Windows XP.
Linux does not stand still. Even when Longhorn is released, Linux is here to stay. You zealots can say all you want but Linux will never go away!

I agree with the author
by Kingston on Sun 4th Jan 2004 11:47 UTC

I think I have to agree with Usman Latif with regards to where best to recruit new users. People who are used to the sotware they are using typically do not like to spend the time learning different (if functionally equivelant or better) software.

I myself know what this is like. Although I do not have difficulty moving from one platform to anouther (playing with OSs is one of those strange hobbies of mine), but I definately prefer a UNIX-like environment, and a BSD one in particular.

If you want to entice more people to use your platform of choice, it's always going to be easier and more fruitful to start with someone who is not already entrenched in one platform's camp or another. If only we could get elementary schools and high schools to adopt free UNIX-like systems, we'd have a much better chance of ridding the world of proprietary systems.

(I am well aware that this site is not pro prorpietary or pro free/open source, and that it is about all OSs pretty much equally. But as this article is on Linux, I don't see the problem expressing my own POV here.)

666
by Clubvibes.com on Sun 4th Jan 2004 11:52 UTC

[quote]
Linux is a better environment already for the desktop.
[quote]
If linux is a better environment, then why don't we see companies port over expensive applications like cad/cam/fae, the same apps, aerospace,car manufacturers use in their daily business.

[quote]
MS zealots said the same thing about Windows XP too. And guess what: Linux is still alive and kicking, more than ever. Entire governments, organizations and corporations have switched to desktop Linux, even after the release of Windows XP. Linux does not stand still.
[quote]
Linux has around 3% of the pc market, i don't know about you, but sounds to me, its not standing still but slumped over and dropped dead.

RE:article
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 12:20 UTC

"Linux has been around for a long time now but has made few inroads into the desktop computing market. Linux is a mature and stable platform for desktop use. Many people regularly use Linux and have done so for a long time now. People claiming Linux is not mature for desktop users are mostly the kind who have never used Linux."

Although Linux has been around for a long time now (ca.12 years) the effort to render Linux viable as a desktop is only approximately 5-6 years. Though there are some who have been using Linux as a desktop solution since to its inception they remain absolute exceptions to the rule. First in 1998 did we actually see distributions of Linux really striving for desktop acceptance.

If we wish to compare Apple , Microsoft and Linux from this standpoint we find a remarkably similiar timeframe in terms of developing a viable desktop. Apple started in 1976 but it was not until 1984 that Apple presented their first desktop, yet it was not until the end of the 1980's that Macintosh became the desktop platform reknown for graphics which we know today. They tried in 1982 with the Lisa but the product flopped miserably due in large part to broken promises by application software companies like Lotus.

Microsoft started in 1980 but it was not until 1985-1986 that Windows became a viable desktop solution, yet it was not until 1995 that Windows really took off and defined our notion of what the desktop is. The gestation period of Linux has actually been shorter. It was possible to useLinux as a desktop within 5 years of Linuxs' inception, 2000-2003 have been breakthrough years in Linux desktop development and the fruits of this laboer will be fully reaped in the course of the next 2 years.

"Contrary to conventional wisdom most computer users do not care about fancy desktop environments. The typical computer user cares about software applications s/he is familiar with and the routine tasks s/he performs using these applications."

For computer users who must do pre-defined computer tasks the issues concerning particular program is real. The term "application" is somewhat misleading for there is no longer a one-to-one relation between the task to be performed and THE program which enables completion of the task. In the time when there was only a given program for a given task there was a one-to-one relationship. But this has not been the case for several years now. People refer over and over again to Adobe Photoshop, but Quark is widely held in professional design circles to be significantly superior. Excel was in competition with Lotus 1-2-3 which was THE defining application for buisnesses prior to Microsoft taking on this role.

Most users of computers are employess of companies which pre-define not only what the users have to perform but exactly how such should be performed. For users who have the freedom to choose how to be best perform a given task there is no "loss of productivity" involved in acquring new skills in learning how to use new programs, and even those in the corporate world who do not have this freedom must go through a period of "lost productivity" in learning to use the programs which the companies put at their disposal.

The background of basic skills which have become ubiquitous in the market concerning things like manipulating texts and spreadsheats are equally applicable to virtually all of the existing desktop office suites for this basic knowledge is not deep enough to be tied to any particular "application". Basic word processing skills and basic spreadsheat skills are instantly usable whether one uses Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, StarOffice or Lotus Pro,etc.

"A graphics artist accustomed to PhotoShop is not a candidate to migrate to Linux. Neither is a person who uses Microsoft Excel. Worse, people who are dependent on a plain vanilla Windows setup for web-browsing and email are not candidates for Linux either. Most computer users acquire computer skills over a period of years with a lot of effort and time expense. The cost of software is immaterial as compared to the cost of relearning computer skills and the associated productivity losses. Windows users when confronted with these migration costs prefer to keep on paying for Windows."

This is not true. A graphic artist who *needs* Photoshop due to the very specific functionality which Photoshop includes is not a candidate for easily switching to other programs. If however other programs provide the capabilities and functions which the graphic artist needs the transition is certainly feasible, yet encumbered with a significant learning curve. I take issue with "accustomed". For being accustomed to something is not the issue at hand. Photoshop has not been successful merely based on it being widespread(ie.post-hoc), this program offered certain capabilities and functions which at the time were not to be found elsewhere.

Perhaps 5% of Microsoft Excel users need those capabilities which are not present in OpenOffice. Yet at the same time there is a form of "secondary need" established by the expectations of ones co-workers. If the co-workers expect to recieve documents that use Excel specific functions then the users ostensibly "need" to use Excel, but the question remains as to whether or not one is actually limited in their ability to perfor their task by not using Excel. This problem with "secondary needs", ie. necessity of fulfilling the expectations of colleagues is the primary reason for the entrenched hegemony of Windows-not the pure functionality or applicability.

continued...

RE:article(part2)
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 12:26 UTC

continued...

The comment about Linux not being suited for basic web and email functions is utterly assinine. The author is patently mistaken on this point. This basic functionality is perhaps THE point at which Linux has now successfully become an alternative to Microsoft/Apple. Basic office functionality is already in place and viable under Linux. Advanced usage of obscure seldom used options which signify a high degree of mastery of particular applications is one are in which Linux still has a lot of room for improvement. But any organization which only needs basic clerical office functionality can already implement Linux as a desktop solution- and the all current Linux distributions are already suited for this task.

Yet again- fur such basic tasks there is no significant learning curve-the learning curve becomes an issue with increasing levels of sophistication as regards usage. People who haver only used Windows before can EASILY walk up to any machine running a recent Linux distribution and immediately surf the web, mail emails to friends and create documents of differing degrees of complexity-with no real learning curve whatsoever. This is a fact, anyone who disputes it does not have experience in exactly this situation.

I am not disputing that there is great room for improvement and refinement-but the functionality is already there. I deal with this situation everyday-it is my job-I make old pc's usable for tasks such as this with LTSP-and those who use these machines have never seen or heard of Linux before. They write their Masters thesis' on these machines, do their research, prepare presentations, surf and email. The author loses a lot of credibility with his inane assertion in the paragraph.


"The cost of migrating to unfamiliar software is not exclusive to non-techies. Even tech-savvy individuals find unfamiliar software difficult to use. Long time Vi users do not find Emacs comfortable, and the converse is true as well. All software is complex and the cost of learning to use it almost always exceeds the cost of acquiring it. Once a person has learned to use a particular piece of software s/he has implicitly invested in that software. Ultimately, this investment stops him/her from migrating to a different software application"

The author mistaken classifies users into tech-savvy and no-techie individuals. Although no classification trully adequate, a more adequate classification would be total noobies, ie. those who have no computer experience whatsoever, basic users, who have some knowledge but no mastery of mundane computer usage, proficient users, those who have mastered very specific particular applications, and the advanced users, users who are able to use any given tool for the task at hand.

Total noobs can't really differentiate between Linux and Windows for the most part-if it works great if it doesn't they are frustrated and they tend not to even notice things that don't work for they have no knowledge of how things "should" work. Basic users have no problems with Linux for basic tasks- they may have their preferences, but these preferences are superficial and have no lasting significance.

Proficient users are very much trapped in a dependency relationship to specific versions of specific applications in specific operating system environments- they know their particular application very well, but cannot abstract what they are doing from how they go about doing it. Advanced users tend to be rather OS agnostic but have grounded personal preferences, they can work with whatever is at hand but make their preferences known. Not all software is complex to use. Most software is in fact not complex. Only a small number of specific niche applications are complex and require intense training. The more proficiency is required the more training is involved.

The author continues in his analysis and commits no further ultra-obvious blunders, but then again there is no real insight to be won from his analysis. Recognizing how he is wrong in his analyis is a point of insight and perhaps the real merit of his article........

To Many Distro's
by Midnight on Sun 4th Jan 2004 12:32 UTC

I'm a Windows User and have always been tempted by Linux but can never decide which Distro is best/easiest etc for my needs, meaning that there are far to many Distro's to choose from!
I think it would be better to concentrate on maybe 2 or 3 Disto's only, a lot less confusing for.

re: who cares about linux sminuz
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 12:32 UTC

"like someone said, if your time is not valuable use linux. ;) "

like someone else said, if you have money to burn and stablity and/or security is of no value to you use Windows, ;)

RE: To Many Distro's
by Tudy on Sun 4th Jan 2004 12:37 UTC

Try Xandros or Lindows. They are supposed to be the most newbie-friendly distros right now.

Same old trite platitudes and cliches.
by Gern on Sun 4th Jan 2004 12:41 UTC

The author writes...


"...A graphics artist accustomed to PhotoShop is not a candidate to migrate to Linux. Neither is a person who uses Microsoft Excel. Worse, people who are dependent on a plain vanilla Windows setup for web-browsing and email are not candidates for Linux either..."


If this statement were true. No person would ever change applications and Lotus 123 spreadsheet (no make that VisiCalc), WordPerfect would be the dominant wordprocessor (or perhaps WordStar), Netscape would be the dominant webbrowser (no, make that Mosaic).


Just another poorly researched linux review full of generalization that have be extrapolated into absolutes.

It's allways the same comment...
by Software on Sun 4th Jan 2004 13:52 UTC

Windows users are fools who love to work with an OS that is crap, slow, bloated, unsafe, virus prone, MS$, not opensource, blah blah blah.

Well, their is alot of fools out there. And yet even if Linux is here with lots of promies of better computing, it's a VERY SLOW adoption rate that we see on the desktop. Why?
- To many distro mabe?
- Hard to find a boxed Linux OS on store shelf.
- Hard to find applications for Linux on store shelf.
- NO Marketing?
- Geeks who don't realy want everybody to work with Linux for lots of reasons, they would loose that special something to be a Linux user... Mabe it would become too easy to use.

Many of the software listed for Linux that could be use in replacement of Windows software are only reaching 1.0 status, many of them are still beta and only half baked. I know it's not the case for many apps, but people won't switch OS until all the apps are there, stable and feature complete. And please, MARKETING! If nobody knows it's there, nobody is going to use it.

RE: It's always the same comment...
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 14:02 UTC

Here in Europe the experience is different. Linux is on shelves in bookshops and shops. It comes with so many applications why would I want to look for others on the same shelf.

Too man distro? Perhaps, but diversity never did any harm.

Marketing? I guess that can always be improved, but that applies to lots of companies. PRIME example??? Psion in America.

The future.
by cheezwog on Sun 4th Jan 2004 14:03 UTC

I think the best predicition about the future is to say that things will remain pretty much the same. ;)

Windows is a great beginners OS, it comes pre-installed on most computers, is colourful and easy to use, and has a wide range of games and entertainment software. Once the user is comfortable with the concept of computers however, some start to feel frustrated by the restrictions Windows imposes, their needs begin to outgrow what can be achived with it.

They desire to customise and configure the OS in ways that the closed nature of Windows makes very difficult. If the OS prevents you using the computer in the way you desire, or makes it tedious then the OS has to change.

For instance I would need four media players with their associated adware and pop-ups to achieve the same media compatability that a single player on Linux is capable of. Many people don't mind this hassle. I do, as I want the OS to work in the way that suits me, not to have to restrict what I do to suit the needs of commercial software companys.
I also want to be able to install software with a couple of mouse clicks, and not have to search around the web for players and codecs, or have to endure adware to use even simple archiving apps.

With Fedora Linux and Synaptic this is possible. With Windows it is not. It just takes a long time of using Windows before you finally think - "Does it really have to be this hard to use my computer?".

v The future is
by Brasileiro on Sun 4th Jan 2004 14:28 UTC
Monkey wrench article:
by DonnyEss on Sun 4th Jan 2004 14:33 UTC

Linux can be a pain to install and wants to see expensive hardware. Win-XP runs on very cheap hardware. In fact, most of the cost of a desktop Win-box is the maker tax (the brand name) the P4 tax and the MS tax; think of it as a bottle of whiskey without the satisfaction. Installation problems are the most important barrier to adoption for Linux and it's not mature in this most basic area.

The UI in Win-XP is pretty fancy. First thing, switch to classic mode and turn off web integration. Truth is, Americans like the garish eye candy and will pay for it even if it does nothing for usability.

Many users learned about audio, video, and graphics concepts when learning an app for the first time on a Win-box. The skills and concepts in the abstract, can be transfered to other software. It's true that the UI cannot be radically different, but the UI thing by itself isn't a ligit barrier. Users in emerging markets (everywhere actually) seem to want apps that work in their native language, not icons. Linux hackers can benchmark OS/2 and MSQB-4.5 or it's QC workalike.

@Anonymous : PISON ?
by Software on Sun 4th Jan 2004 14:37 UTC

I know, marketing is not realy good for lots of companys. But you know, who cares about Pison? We are invaded by Palm and PocketPC devices... Why another one? For diversity?

Reality Check
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 15:09 UTC

Windows is a great beginners OS, it comes pre-installed on most computers, is colourful and easy to use, and has a wide range of games and entertainment software. Once the user is comfortable with the concept of computers however, some start to feel frustrated by the restrictions Windows imposes, their needs begin to outgrow what can be achived with it

Really? I'm a programmer, and I'm quite happy with Windows.

They desire to customise and configure the OS in ways that the closed nature of Windows makes very difficult. If the OS prevents you using the computer in the way you desire, or makes it tedious then the OS has to change.

Sounds like how _you_ want to customize the operating system. Trust me when I say, most Windows users do not. And most Windows uses is quite a few more people than most Linux users.

For instance I would need four media players with their associated adware and pop-ups to achieve the same media compatability that a single player on Linux is capable of. Many people don't mind this hassle. I do, as I want the OS to work in the way that suits me, not to have to restrict what I do to suit the needs of commercial software companys.
I also want to be able to install software with a couple of mouse clicks, and not have to search around the web for players and codecs, or have to endure adware to use even simple archiving apps.


Actually, no. BSPlayer is the Windows version of Mplayer. And besides, I don't rip DIVX films, or download illegal films off Kazaa, so Windows Media Player plays everything I need, along with the rest of the satisifed users. It's not that people would switch to another operating system if they were unhappy with Windows, they would just stop using computers.

With Fedora Linux and Synaptic this is possible. With Windows it is not. It just takes a long time of using Windows before you finally think - "Does it really have to be this hard to use my computer?".
Haha. It takes a very short amount of time to ask the same question about Linux. Why can't I set Mozilla Firebird as my default editor? I did Gnome, but now this KDE application keeps opening Konquerer. Why can't I install this application? Why does nothing happen when I double click on a .tgz file? Why doesn't Macromedia Flash and Shockwave work after I install the operating system? Why doesn't Java work? Why can't I just double click on a binary file I downloaded? What do you mean chmod? What are permissions? It says this file is for Linux.. etc, etc, etc.

Oops
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 15:10 UTC

editor = browser.

Re: Because people keep claiming it is ready
by linuxuser on Sun 4th Jan 2004 15:28 UTC

>...or do apt-get <obscure command>...

Yeah - some obscure command like 'install'!
oh - the obscurity, the damn obscurity!!

@Anonymous... Be carefull....
by Software on Sun 4th Jan 2004 15:35 UTC

"Haha. It takes a very short amount of time to ask the same question about Linux. Why can't I set Mozilla Firebird as my default editor? I did Gnome, but now this KDE application keeps opening Konquerer. Why can't I install this application? Why does nothing happen when I double click on a .tgz file? Why doesn't Macromedia Flash and Shockwave work after I install the operating system? Why doesn't Java work? Why can't I just double click on a binary file I downloaded? What do you mean chmod? What are permissions? It says this file is for Linux.. etc, etc, etc. "

Be carefull, many Linux Lover here will tell you that YOU are to moron to use Linux so you should stay with Windows. I had that feedback... Those Linux guys seem to be born with Linux in their blood streem and anything else is pure sh*t. Well they need to open their eyes and smell the cofee because if Windows was THAT bad, people would change, big name company would port their software to this awsome OS that is Linux. Windows only good for beginners? Are you for real? Man, do the math, most (like 96%) people are programming, Web designing and GAMING on Windows desktop. It leaves 3% on MAC OS and the rest is for Linux or other desktop OS. Those numbers, by the way, are real and comes from Gartner Group. So how can that be is Windows was this bad? Wake up.

without...
by MagnusA on Sun 4th Jan 2004 15:46 UTC

Without good quality software Linux is doomed to have a small userbase.....

I work as an engineer for a company in the automotive industry. We are using CATIA v5. It is a CAD-program made by Dassault.

Why should Dassault port CATIA when there aren´t any userbase. My company won´t change to Linux until there are a Linux version of CATIA. So there we are....stucked with Windows. So...if someone is willing to pay those millions of dollars to port CATIA to Linux my company will change to Linux. But I gues that will not happen.

The Linux userbase is to small. The money invested by most companies in Windows is to big. So when my company using Windows...why should I using Linux at home? I wouldn´t be able to work at home.

For home users....I think most of them are playing games. They won´t install Linux over Windows until the most popular games come out in a Linux-version at the same time as the Windows-version.

Again...without good quality software Linux is doomed....

It's not only about OSs and computers
by Ranty on Sun 4th Jan 2004 15:48 UTC

Users have sat on their hands for years and years and allowed MS to dictate what would be what on their platform. If there was opportunity to creat proprietary file systems, MS tried it. Gates would make the entire world of "information" his cash cow if he could. Thus, the reason to swtich to Linux is not only technical.

And actually there are few if any technical reasons to switch to Linux. The applications--for productivity--are primitive compared to Windows and Mac.

The article was excellent, sobering.

>>>Contrary to conventional wisdom most computer users do not care about fancy desktop environments. The typical computer user cares about software applications s/he is familiar with and the routine tasks s/he performs using these applications. <<<

This is absolutely true. Open Source vs Proprietary, and other Linux "issues", devolve the progress of Linux OS, and the development of APPLICATIONS. True, people want more than a gray and white background on their desktop, but too much time is spent worrying about these trivial issues.

If YOU (in the slim chance anyone is reading this) use a certain Windows application for your productions in whatever major medium--graphics, music, video--email the company that makes it--Adobe, for example--and tell them, "Please port Photoshop to Linux". It may seem, or be, futile. It is not the "desktop" where Linux--whether in the US, or Thailand--is failing to provide an alternative to Windows. It is in APPLICATIONS.

One more time, in a different way: It is great thousands of dedicated people are working on applications for Linux, but these products, at least in music, which I ma familiar, are relatively primitive. It is only when a major applications manufacturer, such as Adobe, or Cakewalk, etc, port one of their flagship porducts to Linux that this OS will have the technical depth to compete with Gates.

I know exactly how you feel.

I too have tried a bunch of distros and feel pretty much the same way. My Windows box just runs on and on, and since win2k, reinstalling hasn't been an issue. I have a "playbox" where I keep installing more and more software and surely that'll slow it down, but like just written, same happens to Linux, and removing software is pain there too.

Linux is simply impossible to manage in the short and the long run, dependency after dependency, and if it isn't depencys you get other problems such as Mozilla interfering xmms.

FreeBSD is faar more impressive in terms of usability, but there you have a very high level to get started with it. At least updating is simple, but to get it set up and realize what is actually happening is a lot trickier.


I would probably consider again, once someone decides to build an intuitive PnP way of installing FreeBSD where it autodetects all HW (including sound+gfx) and configures X straight away in a decent manner. I'd probably pay 100$ for that...

Linux on the other hand is completely forgotten and for now I'll stick to Windows...

Not mature enough (yet)
by Vincent Vega on Sun 4th Jan 2004 16:44 UTC

Lots of Linux proponents like to harp on about configurability: "I feel more free" or some such. The average user tends to want to change the colours and maybe the fonts or the mouse pointers. They don't want to be confronted with a hideous monstrosity like KDE's control centre with dozens of categories of options or with application preferences in inconsistent places. Why do some KDE applications have half a dozen menu items for configuring stuff? Why does Konqueror have such a huge context menu and such a large menu structure? Most average users are never going to use half of that stuff, so why is it there? Leave it in, sure, but allow it to be turned off (and on again).

The average user is non technical, does not want things to be too complicated and just wants to get on and use their computer. A computer is only a tool. It should cater to the lowest common denominator (I don't mean that in a negative way) - it should make itself usable by the widest possible constituency - not just geeks. My 76 year old grandfather is thinking of getting a PC so he can surf the Internet and buy books from Amazon. If he does decide to, I'm never going to recommend Linux. I couldn't for one moment imagine him launching Konsole and typing in an apt-get command or doing an emerge. People want things to work. They don't want to mess around installing strangely-named packages when they could be being productive. Technical things intimidate many people. Command lines are mysterious things that many people don't like.

I'm a programmer. Windows XP fulfills my needs. It is easy to use, offers a decent amount of configurability and it is actually very stable. I haven't had a BSOD in two years. It is responsive and intuitive. Sure, it's not perfect, but nothing is.

Oh, and for the person claiming he needs 4 media players, actually, you just need one - Media Player Classic: http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli/. You can play Real, Quicktime, XVid and so on. It's not difficult to find codecs, you know. DivX, XVid, RealAlt, QuickTimeAlt and you're done. I bet they're slightly better than their Linux counterparts as well.

ChocolateCheeseCake: you hit the nail on the head. Bravo!

Bottom line: Linux needs to mature. Developers need to step back and think what Joe and Jane Average want - not what they want. Linux needs to make itself easier to use, less technical and less intimidating. And it needs decent applications, the calibre of VS.Net, Photoshop and major business packages. Linux is in a Catch-22 situation: without apps it can't grow. Without growth, there's no apps.

Oh, and certain Linux fans need to lighten up. There's nothing like going to Slashdot or reading some of the more, err, wild posts on OSNews to turn people off. I happen to like Linux (to an extent). It just needs to mature. It needs direction. Microsoft has direction: Longhorn. Longhorn looks amazing (XAML, WinFS, Avalon, Aero, etc, etc). But desktop Linux - where is it going, exactly?

Re: Reality Check
by Spark on Sun 4th Jan 2004 16:55 UTC

Sounds like how _you_ want to customize the operating system. Trust me when I say, most Windows users do not.

And neither do I, that's why I enjoy the lack of customizability in GNOME 2. I feel that Free Software is at a turning point here. It has only been about one and a half year since GNOME has established this new way of thinking about usability and the results have already been tremendous. Just give it a little bit more time.


Why can't I set Mozilla Firebird as my default editor? I did Gnome, but now this KDE application keeps opening Konquerer.

Cross-desktop interoperability has become a very hot topic and I think that most developers finally got the idea that this is actually important. Freedesktop.org has already done a lot of good and it should only be a matter of time until we can set the default browser (and generally default applications for each mimetype) in a desktop neutral way.
You should consider though, that Linux today practically means two plattforms: GNOME and KDE. If both plattform can interoperate, this is a huge win for everyone involved, but nobody is stopping you from only using one plattform today (granted, this will limit your number of available applications even more).


Why can't I install this application?

That will probably be the most challenging hurdle we have to take in the next years. But it's already getting better. Installing applications for your desktop plattform usually is pretty straight forward already (if it's a stable release and you are using a mainstream distribution or compatible). They usually only require the dependencies which come with your plattform and if there is anything more, they will usually tell you were to get it or even provide the downloads themself. Installing in most cases is as trivial as doubleclicking the rpm and entering your password. For powerusers, there is Open Carpet.
It still breaks in too many cases and there are still too many applications which are a pain to install, but it's definitely getting better.


Why does nothing happen when I double click on a .tgz file?

Because either your distribution is crap or something broke. If it worked at first, then it probably broke which would be bad. Nobody is perfect. This should really work everywhere today, it certainly works in a vanilla installation of GNOME.


Why doesn't Macromedia Flash and Shockwave work after I install the operating system? Why doesn't Java work?

Maybe ask your distributor? Those are commercial proprietary plugins and should be well supported by some commercial, proprietary distributions... I think the main problem here is that Mozilla needs a better plugin handling, so installing third party plugins isn't such a pain in the ass. It should be click and go.


Why can't I just double click on a binary file I downloaded? What do you mean chmod? What are permissions?

This is annoying indeed. Some (mostly proprietary) packagers seem to be stuck in the past and thinking that telling their users to type "chmod +x foobar" at the terminal would be a particulary good way to distribute software. It's not and we have to make that more obvious (also providing powerful tools which always work, like the old LokiInstaller and hopefully soon autopackage).

There is no denying that Linux still has many shortcomings, but that's no reason to spread the hate... That goes for both sides of course. Free Software is fascinating and wonderful, but it's no holy grail.

RE:Psion
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 17:22 UTC

They had the best Palmtop machine ever in the Series 5, 7 and Netbook, but being British had no idea at all about marketing a world-beating machine or even getting their pricing anywhere close to real-world pricing. Pocketable, useable keyboard. Great battery life. Pretty good conversions to and from Desktop software. Excellent amount of free, shareware + commercial software. Then they pulled out of the consumer market and remain under, the new name Psion Teklogic with the Netbook.

Such a shame.

Psion 7 (small form, 8 hour battery) could have been a laptop beater with Linux installed maybe Debian......

RE:@Anonymous... Be carefull....
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 17:28 UTC

Woken up, alive and kicking.

What a load of crap you write. I have never yet met such a Linuy type. The only ones I have met so far are extremely computer savvy and have had plenty of time to correct me, or show me new tricks.

Windows on the other hand, all I ever hear people talking about is moaning about virus, etc etc, I have yet to meet anyone who professes to like windows.

RE:@Anonymous... Be carefull....
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 17:30 UTC

Woken up, alive and kicking.

What a load of crap you write. I have never yet met such a Linux type. The only ones I have met so far are extremely computer savvy and have had plenty of time to correct me, or show me new tricks.

Windows on the other hand, all I ever hear people talking about is moaning about virus, etc etc, I have yet to meet anyone who professes to like windows.


RE: without...
by Bill Sykes on Sun 4th Jan 2004 17:32 UTC

There will never be good quality apps for Linux. People have to pay for quality apps, because quality programmers want to get paid. Most Linux users are too used to a free ride to pay for apps.

Both Linux and Windows are not ready for home use.
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 17:46 UTC

Both Windows and Linux is a poor choice for the new home user but Windows is shoved down their throats. Teaching new users on Windows makes them computer illerate most never learn the difference between hardware, OS and app they see it as one. Most don't even know the concept of a directory. Windows makes them lazy and teaches them bad habbits like putting all their documents in MY Documents since they never learn file managment.

There is no real home OS left. BeOS will take time to catch up if ever. Amiga is currently a bad soap opera. RiscOS gets little attention. MacOS is overpriced. while Linux and OS/2 are too complex to be a home OS and Windows is the worst OS ever made period.

So we are bascily in the darkage of home computing OSs with no real choice.

v smb:
by Jan M on Sun 4th Jan 2004 17:57 UTC
Steve, The Super Villian
by Jason on Sun 4th Jan 2004 18:01 UTC

I came across this link in my Inbox, seems apropos to share it here (for those you haven't seen it):

http://www.ubergeek.tv/switchlinux/

:))

@Anonymous : PISON ?
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 18:31 UTC

PSION

invaded by Palm and Pocket PC's

God help us from mediocrity.

Psion was the best of the pocket Pda's, why on earth are there so many folding keyboards and other such available for Palm and Pocket PC's????? Because there is no frigging keyboard.

RE : Steve the super villain
by You can call me Al on Sun 4th Jan 2004 18:36 UTC

lol I love that!

RE: moe2dajoe (IP: ---.192.202.68.cfl.rr.com)
by Sure on Sun 4th Jan 2004 18:37 UTC

>>Install video drivers (ire. Nvidia drivers) without having to shut down X and run it from CLI.<<

Well, right you are. As long as i can install graphically i don't mind to reboot my machine for a driver update at all.

>>I really don't care much about Microsoft, it seems to run everything that I need just fine. Those who bash it for instability, trust me, once you turn off all the extra eye candy, run tweak UI, install appropriate drivers, and junk removers like Reg Cleaner and Spybot for MAINTENANCE PURPOSE, that machine DOES NOT CRASH EVER !!!<<

Me neither, i use MS Windows were it is appropiate. But can you explain why i have to run extra tools to make it stable?

Linux enthusiasts have plenty of excuses but do not seem to understand where they need to focus in order to make Linux a success on the desktop.

Hammer a few more times, I think we are almost through their thick "we are better than them windows & mac users" heads.

RE: What can I say when he is right, he is right.
by Software on Sun 4th Jan 2004 19:28 UTC

"Hammer a few more times, I think we are almost through their thick "we are better than them windows & mac users" heads."

I'm not sure because they seem to allways have the good answer to all the things we find wrong or missing in Linux. And of corse, they are allways right about anything and it's the Windows User that are wrong. Just how thick are their heads? Thick enough to leave no place for the brain. If they had one, they would at least understand the many problems that a Windows user face when switching to Linux Today.

You know, browsing Slashdot or OSNews and reading replies of Linux Fan is starting to be a real turn off. Do I realy want to be part of this?

RE: By Sure (IP: ---.dip.t-dialin.net) -
by Russian Guy on Sun 4th Jan 2004 19:39 UTC

>i use MS Windows were it is appropiate. But can you explain why i have to run extra tools to make it stable?

Short answer: you do not (have to). It is stable.
.......................

You can make it unstable by installing crapware, spyware, adware, and sneakware- then you would need tools like Ad-Aware to restore Windows to make it stable again.

As for 'eye candy': I enable it to the max- do not have problems with stability.

Disk defrag: forgot it exists. Never had problems with performance.

Reg cleaner: it does exist. I know that. Haven't seen it in action. No problems with stability.

Tweak UI: tried once on old box. Never used on new box. System stable. 2 years and counting.

Drivers: I only use those that come with the PC and install only upgrades available through Windows Updates. It just works.

I use Antivirus.

I have firewall enabled.

System does not crash. EVER.

I feel bored when I run Windows.

linux
by emh on Sun 4th Jan 2004 19:42 UTC

I grudgingly admit that linux is somewhat harder to use. One thing that people don't factor in is downtime though. I've seen very few 9x installs that remained stable over the years. Many required reinstall of OS. Also there are many virus issues and trojan issues and spyware issues. Also those extra hours of work that go to pay for antivirus and trojan cleaner suites. Overall i find it easier to secure linux than windows.

If you learn a few unix tools, u find it pretty easy to use. What you don't know is covered in docs and man pages.

I've been on freebsd and linux exclusively now for about 2 weeks. I don't really miss windows outside of aol and a few games. To some extent, i can get those through emulation anyway or pick up a copy of vmware eventually.

@all
by Bas on Sun 4th Jan 2004 19:48 UTC


The more comments i read the funnier it gets, ready?
Ready must be seen in perspective, like is the steak ready
yeah if you like it raw, no if you like well done.
Is Microsoft Windows ready to run on a server? i say no!, others do it for lots of years now a days with complete (??) satifaction.

Linux is ready because i use it!

ps. I am very glad not many use LInux at this time, its like driving in a expensive superb sportcar, you must have the money and you must know how to handle it but its a dream for anyone ;)

my attitude
by burntash on Sun 4th Jan 2004 21:12 UTC

i have no compassion for the windows dependent. i learned how to use linux as a desktop back on mandrake 7.2, and that is nothing compared to what other people learned on previous versions, point was i knew my way around KDE after playing with it for a day. Face it you probably are a person that cant tie your own shoelaces if you dont know how to find out how to open up your email, webbrowser, and chat in KDE or GNOME. It is not that hard! Need to make it even easier for the user? just put the web browser and email icons on the desktop by default like the windows. im tired of these articles, linux is and has been ready for the desktop, if people think its too hard, too bad for them, they are idiots they deserve windows. the only community you will find in windows is the gaming community, thats all windows is good for since all games are built for it. linux will do everything else for you, and with winex its taking games too. im done trying to convince people to use it? you know what i do? i just sit back and use it and let people watch me use it. they see how my box never crashes, they see how much better my desktops look, they look at how many desktops i can have. not to mention the OS is basically free in both price and liberty. people see the practical advantages, they will sit down and learn. if someone thinks the desktop is too hard for them, then they never wanted to switch in the first place they are caught in the hype and dont want to really learn the new os.

Customising Windows...
by cheezwog on Sun 4th Jan 2004 21:22 UTC

RE: Reality Check
"Sounds like how _you_ want to customize the operating system. Trust me when I say, most Windows users do not. And most Windows uses is quite a few more people than most Linux users. "

Quite. It is how _I_ want the operating system to work. While most Windows users don't wish to customise their systems, their computers tend to rarely work how they would like. I spend too much time trouble shooting Windows for people to see otherwise.

RE: @Anonymous... Be carefull....
"Windows only good for beginners? Are you for real?"

No, I said it was *great* for beginners, not 'only' or exclusively for beginners. It's after you have used it for a few years that some users become dissatisfied.

You could end up using an old version of WMP (with hacks to get round the 'security' features) for media, or a ported linux app (BSPlayer), Mozilla to avoid IE's little problems, anything rather than Outlook (Pan is far better for usenet) .
In the end the question appears... If I'm not using any Microsoft apps, do I really need to use their OS?

RE: Customising Windows..
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 21:55 UTC

Yes, you do. If you want to be able to install software from more than one place. And if you'd like to use tax preparation software, trip planning software, niche software not available for Linux. If you are going to suggest to the average user to use WINE, you can go ahead- but don't be surprised when no one does. And don't forget being able to shop for whatever hardware I want at the computer store, as well as software.

Oh,
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 21:57 UTC

I almost forgot. Linux is very difficult to use on laptops. You usually lose functionality. On some laptops I do not have USB support, and all I do not have proper suspend/sleep/hibernate support. On one laptop, I was not even able to get the amount of battery left.. Pretty important!! Unless I really had -256% left.

RE: cheezwog
by psycosis on Sun 4th Jan 2004 22:02 UTC

> Quite. It is how _I_ want the operating system to work. While most Windows users don't wish to customise their systems, their computers tend to rarely work how they would like. I spend too much time trouble shooting Windows for people to see otherwise.

These same people would most likely just stick with the defaults in KDE or GNOME anyway.

Customizing is possible in Windows. It may need a third party app to do it, but the ability exists. Windows is just a base OS with minimal functions. Its up to the user if they want more.

> You could end up using an old version of WMP (with hacks to get round the 'security' features) for media

Security features are there to protect the content creators. It is their option to use protection or not. If you create content, it is up to you to put security on or not. If there is no security, it plays just fine in the latest WMP. In fact most file formats play fine in WMP.

> or a ported linux app (BSPlayer),

or any other native media player.

> Mozilla to avoid IE's little problems,

IE does the job for most, if not then use Mozilla. Nothing wrong with that.

> anything rather than Outlook (Pan is far better for usenet) .

Outlook is fine for most. There are many better readers for newsgroups for windows.


> In the end the question appears... If I'm not using any Microsoft apps, do I really need to use their OS?

Yes, because it just works. All window apps just work. All x86 hardware just works. Anything you buy in a store just works. Plug in a digital camera, it just works.

Just works?
by Anonymous on Sun 4th Jan 2004 22:16 UTC

>> In the end the question appears... If I'm not using any Microsoft apps, do I really need to use their OS?

>Yes, because it just works. All window apps just work. All x86 hardware just works. Anything you buy in a store just works. Plug in a digital camera, it just works.

==========================================

So does a Mac in most other platforms. During Amiga's golden age all Amiga stuff just worked on Amiga's same with Atari's, Acorns,ect. You just walk into to a store pick up stuff for you system and it just worked. What makes Windows so special?

Anyway Windows don't just work you need to play with the registry you can't just drop a program on the HD and run it it needs to be "installed" thus it doesn't just work. Infact Windows does not "just run" as much as Macs,Acorns since the huge varity of system setups means your sytstem might just not work proporly with Windows even if it has the stupid sticker.

The real matters...
by Eddine on Sun 4th Jan 2004 23:41 UTC

I think that the real matter is :
(1) the lack of maoney
(2) the number of distros

(1) => OK free software can bring wonderful programs, but some needs to have more developpers to write them, needs more people to test them, hardware to test it, people to study the usibilaty etc ... This has a price, and this cost money.

(2) There is about more than _at_least a 100 hundred Linux Distros, well how can you pretend to be ready for the desktop when theres at least as many way to cnfigure your PC as there are Distros ? Just take the few of the main Linux Distros Redhat,Mandrake,Debian, Gentoo, Slackware
the all provide a different ways to set up your network, your kernel modules dependances etc...

And the fact that programs are still hard to handle, under XP I'm have never had any problem installing/removing programs. Under my Debian 3 (been using Linux at home since 2-3 years now) I still wonder if I can run Gnome 2.4 on it, tried but gave up. I mean everytime you want to do something you have to read, man/info file, browse the web to see if your problem have been already encountered resolved and so on...

My time is too precious to fight with my PC each time I want to install the slightest soft. that has more one or 2 dependencies and that's too much hassle. On this side Linus is still far way from Windows !!!

Apt-get has found its limits and no i don't want to use the old and ugly Gnome 1.4 to use a so called a stable version of Debian...

RE: Eddine
by Josh on Sun 4th Jan 2004 23:51 UTC

If you want to have up2date packages why are you using debian? Heck they're still using the 2.2X kernel by default. Go with Gentoo or Slackware.

Re: Re: Eddine
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 01:04 UTC

If you want to have up2date packages why are you using debian? Heck they're still using the 2.2X kernel by default. Go with Gentoo or Slackware

Or why not use BSD instead or simply Windows itself?

On BSD your ports will keep you away from the hazzle for sure... if you haven't tried it I strongly recommend you this if you have previous experience with Linux. Just go www.freebsd.org and have a less complicated IT life =)

v Linux will thrive on desktop
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 01:29 UTC
Too many Windows trolls...
by The Real Archie Steel on Mon 5th Jan 2004 01:41 UTC

...repeating the same old FUD. 99% of the criticism stated here doesn't apply to modern distros anyway. Like installing apps - it's actually a lot easier to install apps using such tools as RPMDrake, Red-Carpet or Click'n'Run than it is under Windows with the nightmare that is InstallShield (which leaves little DLLs behind when you uninstall things). For commercial programs, one can use the Loki installer or the OpenOffice installer, which are just like InstallShield. Autopackage is also looking good.

What I read here is whining and more whining from the Windows zealots who realize that their OS of choice meets a real challenger for the first time.

Some people say there is "too much choice" - wow. It's not often you read so many people who want to deny choice to people. "It's too complicated" they say - as if people were idiots. Well, from working with real people everyday, I can tell you that people are not idiots, and they like choice. Choice is the foundation of competition, which Free-Market proponents should support. Choice is also a fundamental prerequisite to democracy. Now, are you saying that competition and democracy are bad things? Then why exactly is choice bad? The truth, of course, is that it isn't.

What about "missing apps"? Well, there are quite a few solutions. First, there are lots high-quality apps that can act as substitutes (and, to correct one of the least informed trolls, an app can be production-ready long before it has the 1.0 version number - look at K3b, which is a better CD-burning app than most of what you'll find on Windows).

Second, there are high-quality WINE-based applications such as Codeweavers' Crossover Office which makes it a cinch to install popular Windows programs. Those programs can then run with virtually no performance loss under Windows. That includes MS Office, Quicken, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, etc. with new apps being supported with each release. And it works good enough for Disney, who bought quite a few licenses from Codeweavers. For you WINE haters out there, I understand how threatened you feel, but you've already lost. WINE rocks.

Oh, and to whoever was quoting Gartner's "Windows has 96% share": those numbers are skewed. Look at their methodology if you ever get the chance, and you'll see. Right now Linux stands at about the same level as Mac OS X. It's still very little compared to Windows, but it does represent millions of desktops. That's never something you should underestimate. Also, growth is more important that actual market share. A 1% growth when you have 3% is really a growth of 33%. Think about it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go see ROTK for a second time - you know, the movie whose special effects were done entirely on Linux? Look at Gollum, which was mostly done with Linux+KDE (you can see it in the Two Towers' special feature), and then tell me that Linux isn't ready for prime-time...

Stop thinking that computer users are idiots who need to be spoon-fed. That's the greatest miscalculation one can make.

@Eddine
by The Real Archie Steel on Mon 5th Jan 2004 01:49 UTC

Under my Debian 3 (been using Linux at home since 2-3 years now) I still wonder if I can run Gnome 2.4 on it, tried but gave up. [...] My time is too precious to fight with my PC each time I want to install the slightest soft. that has more one or 2 dependencies and that's too much hassle.

Err...Gnome isn't the "slightest soft" - it's a complete Desktop Environment! In any case, if you want "ease of use", Debian isn't necessarily the best distro for you.

On this side Linus [sic] is still far way from Windows !!!

Well, did you ever try to install a completely new (and free) Desktop Environment for Windows? When you can do that, then perhaps your comparison will be fair.

I do agree that Gnome is a bit harder to install than KDE, who named all of their packages consistently: kdebase, kdelibs, etc.

And, by the way, there isn't "one different way to configure your system for every distro." That's just being dishonest. Differences are nearly always only superficial: learning to use one Linux system makes it easy to use another Linux system. I know I've never had any problems going from RedHat to Debian to Mandrake, etc.

Again, stop thinking that computer users are dumb. That's a very elitist attitude, not to mention completely unfounded, except for the few percent who try to wash their keyboard by soaking them in water, or think the mouse is a foot pedal (my favorite).

Re: Too many windows trolls....
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 03:07 UTC

Stop thinking that computer users are idiots who need to be spoon-fed. That's the greatest miscalculation one can make.

And still people call in about the coffee holder being broken on their computer talking about the CD rom...

@Anonymous (IP: ---.cm-upc.chello.se)
by The Real Archie Steel on Mon 5th Jan 2004 03:53 UTC

And still people call in about the coffee holder being broken on their computer talking about the CD rom...

Of course stuff like this happens. Here's a funny list:

http://www.sloppynoodle.com/php/viewpaper.php?paperid=367

I can certainly believe that most of those are true and not urban legends. Some people don't understand computers. But overall it is represents a very small statistical minority - and one that is decreasing over time as well.

By and large, computer users are not idiots (or "mentally retarded", the new PC term for people whose IQ is between 26 and 50). Therefore, this doesn't make for a strong argument in determining wherever Linux is ready for the desktop.

I'm not saying that mentally-challenge people shouldn't have access to computers - but one can make simpler interfaces in either (and in fact virtually all) OSes - just that considering computer users in general as idiots is in my view a gross mistake.

until these get solved...
by D.Ph Slackers on Mon 5th Jan 2004 04:15 UTC

Please do not apply you and your personal likes to e'vryone. Personally I ve used Linux as both desktop and server around 5 years but I still think of problems whether Linux will solve or not:
1. computer users dont care to handle dependencies. This means if Linux want to be a desktop, at least no problem happens in any installation phase of software
2. Linux desktop only becomes popular when kids or elderly or housekeepers buy CD from market and put in CD tray, it automates a pop up and with few clicks they got a program to enjoy.
3. Prevent piracy disaster in third countries. Who else care of Linux as an OSS and free download to use in a while they can easy do a copy of Windows and install it to their GrandDad/Mum to play games and check emails
That is just a point a mine.
with me, slackware is good enough to cover as a desktop

@D.Ph Slackers
by The Real Archie Steel on Mon 5th Jan 2004 04:49 UTC

Those are all good points, and the encouraging thing is that these issues are being solved:

1. computer users dont care to handle dependencies. This means if Linux want to be a desktop, at least no problem happens in any installation phase of software

Dependency issues are not a problem as long as your distro or Desktop has an advanced package front-end (Mandrake, Ximan Desktop, Lindows are good examples). Of course, when you want to install the latest and greatest, you might need to upgrade lots of packages at once. People who run experimental Linux distros (such as Mandrake Cooker) and then complain that Linux is unstable are just being dishonest - or they don't understand what experimental distros are.

If you keep to your official distro software and updates (and choose one that isn't too bleeding edge...) then you have much dependency issues. I haven't had one in months on my Mandrake 9.2 system (and not one in weeks on my Mandrake Cooker one).

2. Linux desktop only becomes popular when kids or elderly or housekeepers buy CD from market and put in CD tray, it automates a pop up and with few clicks they got a program to enjoy.

Actually, kids like to download stuff from the Internet. They're born in this. This is also true of Windows software, by the way.

Look at it this way: which is more practical for me? Going out, get in my car, go to the Future Shop or whatever, go through the aisles, find a software box and carry it around (or many boxes, if I need more than one piece of software), stand in line if it's busy, buy the box, get back home, open it, put in into the tray, and so on...

Or this: use a packager front-end select the app and press install - or download the program from a vendor's web site (and order a boxed set only if I want to).

I don't know about you, but the second one seems better for me. Even commercial software companies prefer this (boxes are expensive). In fact, the console game industry has been exploring various schemes to make people download games in addition to having them in the stores.

I do think that boxed sets can be useful and we should keep them (if only to give out as gifts). But I don't think this is a real issue here.

3. Prevent piracy disaster in third countries. Who else care of Linux as an OSS and free download to use in a while they can easy do a copy of Windows and install it to their GrandDad/Mum to play games and check emails

I agree with this - as an OSS user and enthusiast, I am against software piracy. I think people should pay a fair price for copies of commercial apps. Again, efforts by countries such as China and India to combat piracy (a challenging fight indeed) should be encouraged by all.

RE: Vincent Vega (IP: ---.cable.ubr02.telf.blueyonder.co.uk)
by ChocolateCheeseCake on Mon 5th Jan 2004 06:07 UTC

ChocolateCheeseCake: you hit the nail on the head. Bravo!

Bottom line: Linux needs to mature. Developers need to step back and think what Joe and Jane Average want - not what they want. Linux needs to make itself easier to use, less technical and less intimidating. And it needs decent applications, the calibre of VS.Net, Photoshop and major business packages. Linux is in a Catch-22 situation: without apps it can't grow. Without growth, there's no apps.


Its strange, I have received the anti-ChocolateCheeseCake backlash.

Btw, I USED Linux for 7-8 years full time as a desktop the moved to FreeBSD then purchased an eMac and installed MacOS 10.3.2. IMHO, FreeBSD was the best experience I had, the only thing I found lacking was native application availability from big name vendors.

The one aspect I do like about the FreeBSD community is although there is the Microsoft bash, which everyone loves, they can also accept when there is a superior solution.

Just go into any FreeBSD irc channel and the frankness of, "I run FreeBSD for my server and desktop, however, if you're a newbie to computers and operating systems it would be best to stick with Windows XP until you're familar with the concepts". That is the type of attitude that should be taken, not this anti-Microsoft based on some religious zealotry we see that spreads through the Linux community like cancer.

Just look at KDE and GNOME split all over a library! is this the type of approach that will win users? when debates are over trivial matters? My list of gripes get longer and longer and unfortunately anyone who does bring up valid concerns are simply shouted down or dismissed as "agents of Microsoft".

Mark my words, Linux will NEVER see the desktop until the OSS community STOP bickering and start working together.

Just look at Galeon, if these developers had half a brain they would conceed that Epiphany has a better focus, they would kill of their project, merge the good features into the main Epiphany tree and join the development effort.

Same goes for the numerous other projects which mearly exist not out of "technical superiority" but because of stupid religous differences or simply because the leader of one team things that the leader of another team is a wanker.

Correction..
by ChocolateCheeseCake on Mon 5th Jan 2004 06:10 UTC

[/i]Its strange, I have received the anti-ChocolateCheeseCake backlash.[/i]

SHOULD BE:

Its strange, I haven't received the anti-ChocolateCheeseCake backlash.

RE:my attitude
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 06:40 UTC

Perfect attitude!

RE:Not mature enough (yet)
by dion on Mon 5th Jan 2004 07:00 UTC

"Lots of Linux proponents like to harp on about configurability: "I feel more free" or some such. The average user tends to want to change the colours and maybe the fonts or the mouse pointers. They don't want to be confronted with a hideous monstrosity like KDE's control centre with dozens of categories of options or with application preferences in inconsistent places. Why do some KDE applications have half a dozen menu items for configuring stuff? Why does Konqueror have such a huge context menu and such a large menu structure? Most average users are never going to use half of that stuff, so why is it there? Leave it in, sure, but allow it to be turned off (and on again)."

I totally agree with what you say about KDE, last time I tried it I soon found out that it was not for me. But configurability and choice goes far deeper than KDE. After testing a few window managers I found out that Fluxbox was the perfect choice for me - simple, fast and configurable to meet my expectations. To me this is freedom: if I don't like KDE I can choose to configure my system to use another desktop that suits me better.

And the same points that you make against KDE can surely be made against windows. When my daughter, an average user, bought a laptop that came with WinXP she was half-mad the first days before she had found out and disabled most of the "enhanced user experience" things. I have no idea where she has picked up such foul language :-)

"The average user is non technical, does not want things to be too complicated and just wants to get on and use their computer. A computer is only a tool. It should cater to the lowest common denominator (I don't mean that in a negative way) - it should make itself usable by the widest possible constituency - not just geeks."

Well, you should have heard my old dad (a longtime win95 and win98 user) when he bought his new shiny WinXP computer. I had explained that he shouldn't run it as administrator in day to day use but create a regular user account...

"My 76 year old grandfather is thinking of getting a PC so he can surf the Internet and buy books from Amazon. If he does decide to, I'm never going to recommend Linux. I couldn't for one moment imagine him launching Konsole and typing in an apt-get command or doing an emerge. People want things to work. They don't want to mess around installing strangely-named packages when they could be being productive. Technical things intimidate many people. Command lines are mysterious things that many people don't like."

Assuming that you are going to help your grandfather with the installation, I think he is a perfect candidate for a FreeBSD(or Linux)/Gnome desktop, really. He would be less likely to mess up the OS that way, and Gnome hasn't as many configuration options as KDE. When he needs to update or install programs you can easily do this for him remotely using ssh (at least with FreeBSD and ports). Probably less work for you in the long run :-)


"Oh, and for the person claiming he needs 4 media players, actually, you just need one - Media Player Classic: http://sourceforge.net/projects/guliverkli/. You can play Real, Quicktime, XVid and so on. It's not difficult to find codecs, you know. DivX, XVid, RealAlt, QuickTimeAlt and you're done. I bet they're slightly better than their Linux counterparts as well."

I have never tried Media Player Classic. What I know is that "windows" people often get surprised when Mplayer on FreeBSD just plays multimedia files that they have been unable to play using mediaplayer on windows. I'll recommend Media Player Classic next time!

From my experience I doubt that the windows codecs are generally any better, but I may be wrong since I haven't made any thorough comparison.

"Bottom line: Linux needs to mature. Developers need to step back and think what Joe and Jane Average want - not what they want."

If we restrict us to developers of desktops and related applications and agree that we want users to migrate from windows, shure. It would be nice to have an alternative that is as easy(?) as windows for people wanting that. As long as it is an alternative.

Just as long as we remember that the reason why many of us appreciate *BSD and Linux is the exact same reason that "Joe and Jane Average" find it intimidating and "technical". We love the flexibility, configurability and power. As a matter of fact, many of us like the problems we encounter and see them as an opportunity to learn.

"Linux needs to make itself easier to use, less technical and less intimidating. And it needs decent applications, the calibre of VS.Net, Photoshop and major business packages. Linux is in a Catch-22 situation: without apps it can't grow. Without growth, there's no apps.

Oh, and certain Linux fans need to lighten up. There's nothing like going to Slashdot or reading some of the more, err, wild posts on OSNews to turn people off. I happen to like Linux (to an extent)."

That applies to some "windows" fans also. Not that I disagree with you of course. I don't understand what all the fuzz is about. I can see good points in windows, I have used it for years at work without to many problems. I don't use FreeBSD because I hate windows, but just because FreeBSD is so much better both as an OS and as a desktop, ahum, for me that is :-)

"It just needs to mature. It needs direction. Microsoft has direction: Longhorn. Longhorn looks amazing (XAML, WinFS, Avalon, Aero, etc, etc). But desktop Linux - where is it going, exactly?"

Well I wouldn't agree about Longhorn, but each to his own.


RE:Not mature enough (yet)
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 07:15 UTC

KDE Control Center - complicated? Give me a break, I find it a model of clarity, and something like this should have been in Windows a long time ago. Its easy to find, and easy to use.

Obviously you are talking about yourself, when you call Linux by the subject line of RE:Not mature enough (yet).

RE:Not mature enough (yet)
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 07:31 UTC

However Dion I am going to take a look at Fluxbox see what you are talking about.

I agree over the Grandfather too, why on earth should a 76-year find Linux difficult, if it is set-up for him as you suggest, it would be a much better bet than windows, any day of the week.

Anyway what the f. has age got to do with computer useage?

RE:Linux will thrive on Desktop
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 09:17 UTC

Here is a great link. Start teaching kids how to use computers and software, not how to monkey about with games and all the rest of the useless stuff.

This way is the intelligent way to make sure Linux becomes the Desktop of choice.

http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/A4499B.cfm

Re: RE:Linux will thrive on Desktop
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 10:21 UTC

This way is the intelligent way to make sure Linux becomes the Desktop of choice.

So another monopoly aye? How about diversity?

RE:Linux will thrive on Desktop
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 10:28 UTC

No not another monopoly! How could it be with so many different distributions plus of course the wider unix world and the fact that programmers worldwide can see/modify.

Still many flaws on Linux desktop...
by Eddine on Mon 5th Jan 2004 10:49 UTC

Stop thinking that computer users are idiots who need to be spoon-fed. That's the greatest miscalculation one can make.

And still people call in about the coffee holder being broken on their computer talking about the CD rom...


So true.

I work as hotliner as a sidejob for a French FAI (www.free.fr), and I can tell that most of people aren't techie nor expert. For instance we provide a modem that can be plugged whether through USB or Ethernet, the installation is made through an automatic script/InstallShield on Windows and still people call us to have help. And still people wonder what a "network card" can be, when I tell them how to use the modem through ethernet....
When I make them open a MS-DOS command line, they are almost scared they are afraid of "breaking" something.

We provide support on Windows, Mac OS 9/X series, and "of course" Linux is not supported. Why cause simply it's not unified. Remember that Linux is just a _kernel_. It's wonderful on the server side, or when you develop no one can deny that. I have made efforts myself to use it on the desktop side, but well there was always something painful to tweak on my Debian :

- OK I want to install my Xserver, I have to type
"apt-get install x-window-system-core"
he asks me about 6 questions
then ask me what my keybord is i have to choose "xfree86"
select a 105 keystroke one
choose "fr"
chosse a flavor of the keybord which I don't have any idea of what this option can be
etc ...

Then comes the display configuration.
Chossing between the modules dri, glx, Glcore
enter the modelines of my display damn why can't he detect for me my dissplay frequencey ? If I choose a bad value will my display be damaged, should I choose lower values even though I could probably reach high ones ...
Then configure your mouse. Then cross your fingers and pary to see it wirk. Well we are in 2004 and you still have to configure your mouse manually (at least on Debian which ain't the less supported disto) come on guys, it must be a joke a Windows-user guy would laugh at us proudly claiming that it's automatic on Windows.

Just having a graphic display on Linux is a pain in the ass. Oh sure X is wonderful to make some export display on the network, but do I really care of that feature to use it on my single PC at home ?

If i want to run my network card, I have to make lspci to see if it's recognized then load it in the kernel, how many people could do that ? Or just have heard of lspci command if you think of them are newbies ?

Some swear by the ease of use of command line, and X must only be used to open several xterms and everything must be done though it such as burning Cds where you just have to type :

cdrecord dev=0,0,0 speed=4 -multi -V file.iso

Really easy, when you have read the complete 50 pages of man pages of that command.

Most people say that there aren't much differences between 2 Linux distros true for command lines like ls cp etc ...
But really when it comes to install hardware, software they each have their way to deal with the problem so you have to re-learn again how to do it.

When you install xmms on Debian, you can't listen to music unless you type "adduser myname audio", well most people couldn't think of such a thing, they will conclude that sound doesn't work on theit Linux box and they will switch back to Windows.

Really I have made efforts to try to use Linux at home, but I gave up, I always do more adminsitration tasks than the _real_ tasks, desktop is a tool to improve your productivity not to make you waste time.

One other matter is the inconstancy between application, just for the toolkits you have QT,GTK,and TCL/TK. So you donwload aMSN to chat with your friends on MSN, you are under a superb Gnome 2.4 and when you try to set the preference of aMSN you see horrible boxes written in TCL/TK...

No one could claim I am wrong or that I don't have the right view on this issue etc... cause simply it was it was my experience of Linux on desktop.


RE:Still many flaws on Linux desktop...
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 11:13 UTC

Yep. no one can criticise you because of your own "experience" with Linux.

I can only say my attempt to install Debian ended in disasters, confusion and purchase of Knoppix CD. This got me Debian installed.
Neverthless, I tried SuSE 8.0 which was a disaster through my own lack of Linux knoweldge. Now I have 8.2 SuSE and it is my only Desktop. It just works, and well in both shell/gui and hardware recognition. That is my experience.

Misconception
by Mig on Mon 5th Jan 2004 11:13 UTC

After reading some of the posts here I have to clarify a misconception that people usually have: Linux/*BSD people don't want to take over the world! I don't care if 99,9 % of the world's desktops run windows. Linux/*BSD serve my needs both as desktop and server. If other people like windows, then stick to it! I have only one concern: the lack of support from hardware vendors. If they don't write Linux drivers then Linux will not be able to run on newer machines, at least taking full advantage of it!

Here's my €0,02. ;)

The author is correct
by dukeinlondon on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:43 UTC

....about what is at stake for windows users migration. I think he is also correct to say that developping countries are the main target for Linux right now. It seems that most of what's happening is happening in Asia.

But although I agree that complete computer newbies are theoretically a good target, these guys are most likely to listen to their friends, who are probably running windows.

Most of Windows users trying MacOs or Linux are actually pretty fluent with computers, or at least pretty curious so it is crucial that these guys have in mind that Windows is not the only solution, and that there are distros out there that won't discourage them.

Linux distros should all team-up, make Knoppix top notch (not much work) at hardware compatibility and distribute it in computer magazines as a common endeavour, with an introduction to each distro in an advertising article. They should do that every 6 months.

The knoppix should have a special hardware feedback applet that would ask user who want to, to tick which bits work for them and mail the feedback to the knoppix team. Every distro I think could use some extended feedback on that respect and could also benefit from the knoppix updated hardware database.

Will it happen ? You guess is as good as mine but I'd say it won't.

@Eddine
by The Real Archie Steel on Mon 5th Jan 2004 13:50 UTC

For instance we provide a modem that can be plugged whether through USB or Ethernet, the installation is made through an automatic script/InstallShield on Windows and still people call us to have help.

Well, of course you'll only notice does who call for help. Does who don't have problems will call you. So your judgement on the capabilities is skewed, because you'll tend to notice those who have problems (because they call customer support) and not those who don't (because they don't). This is a well-known (and unconscious) behavior in psychology, I think it's called selective reinforcement.

You can't judge the average level of computer users based on customer service phone calls, because it is a bad sample from which to make a generalization. Period.

As for the rest of your post, well, it does describe how Linux was at some point, but things have greatly improved. Since the subject of the discussion is "the future of the Linux desktop", then past problems that have for the most part been solved are irrelevant in this context.

RE: Still many flaws on Linux desktop...
by cheezwog on Mon 5th Jan 2004 14:13 UTC

Really, you should not be using Debian. If you don't want to configure everything by hand, use a distro that configures everything for you. It's quite simple.
Try Mandrake or Lindows, and I think you will find all that configuration is done during install by clicking 'ok'.

On another note, some people feel there is some shame in using an easy distro, it's somehow not 'macho' or 'technical' enough to feel as though they are really using Linux.

I would personally feel more ashamed if I was making life difficult for myself for no reason. Personally I know my way around Linux enough to build a LFS or Gentoo system if the task required it, but I don't want to waste my time configuring every little part of the system without a well defined reason to be doing so.

I agree...
by Great Cthulhu aka Archie Steel on Mon 5th Jan 2004 16:17 UTC

While it can be useful for some to learn the intricacies of Linux (I know I've learned a lot over the past three years), if you just want a system that works and has nice GUI administration tools, why not use a distro that was designed with this in mind? Mandrake, Lindows, Lycoris...

THIS is a priority inversion.
by Danny MacMillan on Mon 5th Jan 2004 16:53 UTC

No offense to anyone, but I'd rather see less articles on "the future of Linux on the desktop" and more money for public schools.

@Danny
by Great Cthulhu aka Archie Steel on Mon 5th Jan 2004 17:07 UTC

No offense to you, but I don't think there's a direct equivalency between "Linux on the Desktop" articles and school funding. This is like saying: "I think Britney Spears puts out too many albums, I'd rather have peace on earth." The two just aren't related, so affecting one won't have an effect on the second!

RE: THIS is a priority inversion.
by Anonymous on Mon 5th Jan 2004 19:20 UTC

I think open source is a priority inversion. I hope that it is outlawed soon, so that paid developers like myself can continue to have homes and be able to feed our children.

re: What's funny
by hmmm on Mon 5th Jan 2004 19:27 UTC

Yes, but what you are ignoring is the fact that those 30-year-olds spent the last 10 years watching 4 to 6 hours of TV everyday. And while watching this TV they weren't thinking about DOS or UNIX commands. So they have a struggle to relearn how to learn and in getting interested about technology.

Old people, people over 30, in general are scared of technology. They buy a computer because they feel the need to have one, but they don't want to break it or make it cost them anymore than it already has. Unless, of course, they need to upgrade so they can run the latest software, which they will never purchase.

And my grandma? She doesn't ever want to use one. She likes the TV and the phone and the kitchen. Computers were not around when she was exploring reality, so she has no interest in ever learning about them.

Why are computers so important? Because with them, and if we work together, we can build a network that allows each and every person in our society to communicate with eachother as if they are in the same room. With video and audio and data transmissions. But, like the telephone, in order for this to work EVERYONE has to have one. And EVERYONE has to have broadband.

But our economists and politicians don't understand the big picture, and they don't care about my grandma or any of my friends/family. They just want AOL to make money.

Unfortunately, I can't see how any of this is funny. ;)

I will spend my life learning and working with technology that I will never be able to share with my friends/family. This depresses me and makes me wonder what's the point. Why build it if they won't come? Should we just leave them behind?

User Error!
by hmmm on Mon 5th Jan 2004 20:06 UTC

My experience with Linux has been that you install either from RPM, which has been 80% unsuccessful for me due to dependencies, or you build from source code, which has yielded equally unpleasant results. This has been enough to turn me away from Linux in the past, and I am willing to bet it has been enough to do the same for a vast number of other people.

RPM is 100% successful for me. There are reason things like synaptic exist. And RPM is not the ultimate answer to software management, which is why not every Linux distro uses it.

You can't tell me its easier to download/install or purchase software than to click on it from the synaptic menu. From synaptic you don't have license agreements to read, or to tell it which directories to install software into, etc. Its all automated, downloads, handles dependencies and installs for you.

Yes, the gauges are in a different spot. Tough. Does that mean you're going to drive Fords you're whole life because you can't learn how to use a Chevy?

A better analogy would probably be BMW or Mercedes for $50k vs. an old '69 Ford/Chevy for free. Yes, the American cars are made cheaper and don't have all the luxuries of the BMW/Mercs, some rust here and there, no stereo or leather. But they're built with steel and have enough room under the hood to rebuild the engine, if you feel like doing it yourself. Plus the truck is full of manuals to show you how to do it all.

You get what you pay for, perhaps, but some of us can't afford a $50k car. Which is why we should be standardizing on Linux. Everyone can afford it, meaning, everyone can exchange documents, information, etc. If we care about these things.

But it is my understanding that some of us exist in an upper "class" don't like talking to the janitors and security guards. Is that correct? Is that why we need our BMWs and MSs? Are we really better than anyone else because we have these things?

@Anonymous (IP: 12.242.164.---)
by Great Cthulhu aka Archie Steel on Mon 5th Jan 2004 21:17 UTC

I think open source is a priority inversion. I hope that it is outlawed soon, so that paid developers like myself can continue to have homes and be able to feed our children.

I know you're just trolling (like you are on the Kernel 2.4.24 thread), but I'll say it anyway: Open Source doesn't mean working for free. The majority of Linux Kernel contributors are paid employees. The idea that only proprietary software can provide an income is a complete fabrication disseminated by MS and its shills.

In any case, how could open source ever be outlawed, since it does not contravene any laws?

RE: RE:Not mature enough (yet)
by Anonymous on Tue 6th Jan 2004 04:00 UTC

"KDE Control Center - complicated? Give me a break, I find it a model of clarity, and something like this should have been in Windows a long time ago. Its easy to find, and easy to use."

Well, great to you! To me it's too reminiscent of windows. For my needs I find it much simpler to assemble the programs I need and put everything together using textfiles for configuration, as I can do with Fluxbox. My point in the reply was that this is an example of the freedom and configurability of my FreeBSD desktop. I have never denied that KDE can be a great desktop for people with other ideas. This is freedom you know. Do you have a problem with that?

"Obviously you are talking about yourself, when you call Linux by the subject line of RE:Not mature enough (yet)."

LOL! I *reply* to a post that has the subject line "Not mature enough (yet)" and you think that this reflects on my maturity, is that what you mean?

RE: RE:Not mature enough (yet)
by dion on Tue 6th Jan 2004 04:04 UTC

Sorry, I was to quick, the post from

Anonymous (IP: ---.015-33-7570701.cust.bredbandsbolaget.se)

should be from me, dion.

whats funny
by Daedalus on Wed 7th Jan 2004 21:22 UTC

[quote]Old people, people over 30, in general are scared of technology. [/quote]

So I am 33 yrs old and i am a thicko eh?
I have used computers since i was 12yrs old, and many people I know have used or are using computers all the time. One chap in our area is 94 and using a computer for internet based research and html creation at his office.
I upgrade my machine when I feel like it, it isn't hard you know, oh and my job? I sell custom made computers!
I will install any OS the buyer wishes, be it Windows, Linux, BSD, whatever. I would like to say that the majority of my customers use Linux but they do not, only a few out of the sveral thousand custmers I had from 2003 actually wanted Linux, even then a few months later they asked for Windows!