Linked by Phil Crosby on Mon 19th Apr 2004 20:53 UTC
Windows Longhorn's arrival will indeed be monumental, as their research teams are finally producing something worthwhile. The OSS world has much to do in preparation for this release; this version of Microsoft's OS will not simply offer trivial UI "enhancements" that appeal to users, as it has done in the past - they are really targeting both users and developers very forcefully this time around.
Order by: Score:
OK
by Bryce on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:04 UTC

Good reporting on what you saw. I fail to see the importance of the open source community "keeping up" with microsoft or apple. OSS will always be OSS lets keep it that way and do what we will.

OSS can't compete!
by SpookyET on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:13 UTC

1) No money
2) No standards
3) No leadership
4) Too much time to develop such a thing
5) Always behing MS.
6) The linux GUI is still not as usable as the 2.5 years old XP
7) Mono will always be behing .NET

Keepin Up
by Chris on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:15 UTC

I don't see much of the items in Longhorn as really moving ahead.
Personally I'm not excited about WinFS. I see it's advantages, and I see the issues that it may also bring. In my use it probably won't provide any help, although I am sure some people will be assisted greatly by it.
.Net may be pretty cool if done right. While cool, I don't think it will really be *enabling* for users; but it can definitely decrease application development time. At the same time though, there are alternatives for fast application development; so it's hardly a breakthrough or revolution.

info?
by bendertheoffender on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:17 UTC

I was intrigued by the headline, but there wasn’t any in-depth information in this opinion piece:

Avalon will be the most advanced user interfacing technology to date, blowing anything else (including Apple's Quartz Extreme) out of the water. Avalon will be a huge pull for media application developers, the eye-candy market (including desktop extension frameworks such as DesktopX),

Please explain why and how this is true rather than cheerleading. Zeal is good, details are better.

WinFS will be a workable, usable implementation of what the desktops have desired for a long time - a large, flexible, user-friendly metadata database for the filesystem, and I assume MS will use it to its fullest capabilities when integrating it into the Longhorn user experience.

How is the metadata database being implemented? Is it an improvement over the BeOS tracker, which has been around for quite some time now?

On the developer side of things, .NET is gaining popularity. It is really a well-thought out platform for developers to deploy their applications with, and as such is in a strong position to dominate developer interest, training, and experience in the near future, in a similar manner to how we've seen Java dominate in academic circles and universities.

Again, rather than making a claim about how successful .NET will be, please provide insight, given your experiences from inside MS, what .NET’s advantages are and why it is all that you claim.

I don’t wish to sound dismissive, but this opinion reads more like a sales pitch. I would love to hear an inside perspective about the workings of Longhorn, but instead I got a basically unsubstantiated claim of how great they will be.

Cut-backs
by Anonymous on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:19 UTC

I was under the impression that Microsoft was doing some cut-backs on development to be able to ship Longhorn in a timely manner.

See the below link for more information:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/09/longhorn_overboard/

WinFS appears to be the main casualty, having already been curtailed.

Why use .NET when you can use JAVA.
by Brian on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:20 UTC

I see that the development world is going to go soft if they start developing visually as in a component type development atmosphere. I can see a windows developer being told to have to develop outside of the .net platform and not knowing how to do it because they haven't actually been fully programing. This is starting to look like VB developers for the future. I don't like it and I am not going to support it.

v Re: The Advent of Longhorn
by Hall on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:22 UTC
RE: Cut-backs
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:22 UTC

>WinFS appears to be the main casualty, having already been curtailed.

This is NOT true. In the Longhorn Blogs, Microsoft people replied to this rumor and they cleared up the confusion: they do NOT cut down big features, only very small features, which are normal to be cut down on any development process that needs to be on schedule. None of the announced features are cut. That rumor started by a confusion a journalist had during an interview with an MS person.

RE:   Cut-backs
by Manik on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:25 UTC

Exactly. It has even been discussed on OSNews!

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_16/b3879009_mz001.h...

Useless
by Eu on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:26 UTC

Propaganda for an unexisting product.

This is done to keep current Windows users from considering alternatives to their very afflicted systems. The promise of a greater tomorrow without mentioning any of the well-known troubling issues that surround Longhorn is nothing else than propaganda.

Read up on TCPA and you will see that Longhorn, if it materializes, is a nightmare for the consumer and for any citizen that values his freedom.

RE: Cut-backs
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:26 UTC

Yes I linked that article at Busenssweek when it came out, but MS cleared up the situation 2 days later. I don't have the URL handy atm, but MS employees said that they ARE NOT cutting big features (as that article said), only small stuff that are not even worth mentioning.

RE: OSS can't compete!
by graymate on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:28 UTC

1) Oh? Really? I Guess ppl at ximian, openoffice.org, gnome, kde etc. are all paid with public charity?
2) Nope. I.e: KDE and Gnome already share a good part of the standards by freedesktop.org. It's all in the choice, as has always been with OSS.
3) Sure. And this is one of the best things about OSS. Leadership _emerges_ from the collective mind of OSS users/developers, rather than being imposed by a single. Way better, IMHO.
4) OSS has all the time it needs. No leaderhip, remember? And no money ;)
5) Nope. It's a different position than MS, not necessary "behind". Sometimes ahead, sometimes above, sometimes behind... you get it.
6) There is NO such thing as a "Linux GUI". There are a lot of Guis, and again, you can choose. Just try KDE 3.2 & Gnome 2.6 if you want feature-rich DEs, or stick with lightweight competitors as xfce4. Or mix them. I've the most usable gui in the world on my Gentoo box, a mix of KDE programs, gnome programs, shell scripts and so on. Customized the way I like it.
7) I must agree, here. And I'd like to add: who f*&kin' cares? C# is a good one, the rest of .NET is M$' greatest fiasco since "win98me" times. We have a rock-solid gcc, and a promising, widely spread, mean and lean Java. Oh, and let me introduce you to Python, Ruby... whatever floats your boat.

OSS CAN compete, I'd not say the same thing about M$ Eye-candies, ALWAYS behind Apple's. ;) We'll see this Avalon.

RE: Useless
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:29 UTC

>Propaganda for an unexisting product.

Give me a break. It is VERY important to make your developers migrate and get used to the new APIs, yes, years before the platform is available to the public. Remember, Longhorn is pitched to Developers, NOT to Joe User. MS (and any other OS company) *should* pitch it to their devs, because that's how you get Longhorn-native apps on the Day 1 of the release!

It is not propaganda. It is business, and a very good business at that. I would do the exact same thing if I had an OS company that was about to overhaul the platform.

Completely wrong predictions
by somebody on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:29 UTC

Obviously you didn't saw changes to Longhorn that M$ predicted

1. Avalon is not gonna be in this Longhorn release
2. WinFS will include only a simple implementation, not complete one
Both were postponed for Blackcomb

As for .NET gaining popularity, well looking at it as the only solution to write software for Longhorn (at least complete), you shouldn't call that popularity, it's more like needs

Answer to SpookkyET
1) Yep, Novel, RH, IBM are pennyless
2) You mean like Office 95/2000/XP?
3) Every project has it's leader, and there exist organizations like freedesktop.org etc.
4) Really??? Look at how much time M$ spent, but there's not even a decent and stable interface
5) At which department? Bugs? Ok, I mostly set up servers and it was a long time ago since I discarded Windows as possible solution.
6) btw. XP IS REALY 2.5 years old. I admit Linux seriously lacks at spyware and viruses but other department are more than sufficiently covered from basis implementation. You know like Office, Outlook-like-Evolution, Gimp...
7) Mono?? Well, maybe. But there's plenty of other choice, personaly .NET is not good enough to use it.

v ADVERTISEMENT
by paul on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:30 UTC
v vaporware
by z1xq on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:31 UTC
 RE: Cut-backs
by Manik on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:32 UTC

I didn't know that. Sorry. AFAIAC, no need for URL, I trust you.

So, that's it. We'll have in a more or less near future a fantastic new system that will blow anything we have today. Good.

RE: Cut-backs
by Eugenia on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:34 UTC
Can't compete? Hah!
by Rayiner Hashem on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:36 UTC

I'm predicting that, from a technological standpoint (usability might be weaker point), OSS *NIX platforms will be fully competitive with Longhorn within the same timeframe (6 months to either side) of its release.

The FD.O X server combined with Cairo and the advances queued for the toolkits (eg: Arthur in Qt4) will provide the graphics clout. All the features that have been announced for Longhorn are in the works for FD.O, along with some others (mainly, a more general and flexible)compositing model that Longhorn doesn't have.

Qt and KDE are already competitive with WinFX to a large degree (WinFX is the first Microsoft toolkit to get essential features like a layout manager!) and Qt4 and KDE4 will solidify that position. XML-GUI and related technologies will provide a good foil to some of XAML's features, and powerful scripting language bindings (eg: Python, Ruby) will complete the package.

.NET? Meh. I think a poly-language approach achieved through automatically-generated bindings to the large core libraries (gnomelibs and kdelibs) will have most of the same benefit, with significant performance advantages.

The only sticking point, then, is WinFS. It seems pretty clear at this point that Reiser4 offers a much better underpinning for a database-oriented filesystem than the NTFS that underlies WinFS. However, I don't know if Storage will be able to deliver the UI and framework that sits on top. This is clearly the area to watch.

v What a title
by somebody on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:40 UTC
@somebody
by Rayiner Hashem on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:42 UTC

Microsoft has a number of evangelists. There used to be a DirectX evangelist that wrote columns for Boot magazine back in the day.

So much noise
by dcg on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:51 UTC

So what? Longhorn is going to blow everything out there?

See guys: Mac OS X was released in 2001. They've had this "transparency eye candy" for long time. Saying "Longhorn is blowing everything else (icnluding Quartz Extreme)" is just silly. Longhorn will try mainly to catch up with Mac OS X and make it better. Apple has _already_ did it right in 2001 and their development team will be obviously coding new features that could be released ej: in the next mac os version.


Second, there's a lot of hype about "longhorn is doing a lot of things". Seriously, NT API was designed to run OS/2 apps, then Win 3.1 had a lot of success and they they changed it to run win 3.1 programs. Longhorn is basically Microsoft recognizing "Our OS design is crap and $OTHER_OS will be cometing with us in te future so we need to _fix_ it". Lot of the Longhorn work is basically fixing the Win32 API. And to be confident, Linux is quite dawn well design, and people is obviously _not_ to rewrite all the userspace from scratch like MS is doing.

What linux will do is redo some parts, like the DRI/DRM interaction between XFree and the kernel drivers. Then, add the freedesktop extensions to x.org. Then elcairo on top of that starts using OPENGL for drawing things. Then GTK switchs to elcairo as their drawing engine, and the gnome apps are ported to it. See, no need to rewrite half of the userspace libraries from scratch just because you designed your OS to be compatible with the win3.1 crap and you couldn't make your OS better because the marketing team didn't want to drop the compatibility....

Evangelist or not...
by Hank on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:51 UTC

Many are decrying the article for being nothing more than a MS love fest. I really don't care if it is or not. If the past 20 years have taught us anything it is that perception is more important than reality. MS has the momentum to shove this crap down people's throats. Unless competing, and preferabbly better, alternatives are offered by non-MS companies, customers and developers are going to be hard pressed not to port.

The interesting thing is that these changes are going to require entire rewrites of existing software. Let's all take this mult-year opportunity to convince the developer world that porting to another architecture is a better idea than porting to MS's new architecture. The time is right. Let's not put our heads in the sand and pretend that Longhorn will remain vaporware or that it's true greatness has any impact on the adoption rate by developers.

The message to TrollTech, Apple, Linux people et cetera is why they should choose to port to their API instead of MS's new one. What is the real answer besides "We're not MS."

@Hank
by Rayiner Hashem on Mon 19th Apr 2004 21:54 UTC

If the past 20 years have taught us anything it is that perception is more important than reality.
Yay. Somebody who gets it...

RE: vaporware
by morphiax on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:01 UTC

I ran a recent beta given me by a friend and found most of the big Longhorn features to be vaporware. It is merely XP with different skins.

As far as I know, Microsoft has not released a beta yet, only alpha code. See http://news.com.com/2100-1008_3-5183385.html?tag=nefd_lede

That will explain why you don't have all the big Longhorn features yet.

ill tell you what
by Debman on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:02 UTC

what makes OS X such a good OS for me is QE. I love display PDF. the fact that every application can output to PDF and you can view it in a super fast super awesome viewer is great.

I can make a document, create a PDF out of it, then export it to an image file like JPEG, TIFF, PNG, or any of 10 other formats, which lets me use it in any number of situations.

it is called flexibility. if Longhorn can create a data manipulation system that makes me feel like I am playing with data and files and not playing with the OS to get it to play with my data and files, then I will certainly use it a lot more than I use XP right now.

oh, I certainly hope that they pay attention to the small details this time. XP came out and they still had apps that were not Lunaized. if MS can learn anything from Apple or even their own MacBU, it is that people like the big features, but appreciate an application for the little details.

Re: dcg (IP: 80.103.20.---) - Posted on 2004-04-19 21:51:32
by Kingston on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:14 UTC

NT API was designed to run OS/2 apps, then Win 3.1 had a lot of success and they they changed it to run win 3.1 programs

NT was designed to allow it to be easilly extended and ported. The OS/2, DOS, (neutered) POSIX and Windows support runs over the NT kernel, and it's mostly the Win32 stuff getting an overhaul, not the kernel itself (although there are as always fixes and enhancements).

And to be confident, Linux is quite dawn well design, and people is obviously _not_ to rewrite all the userspace from scratch like MS is doing

Microsoft isn't rewriting all of the userspace stuff, just some things like the graphics system, which has sucked for a long time. FWIW, the new graphics system is being built on technology that they've *had* for a long time (DirectX etc.), as well as fixing their hideous Win32 API with more modern .NET stuff.

What linux will do is redo some parts, like the DRI/DRM interaction between XFree and the kernel drivers. Then, add the freedesktop extensions to x.org. Then elcairo on top of that starts using OPENGL for drawing things. Then GTK switchs to elcairo as their drawing engine, and the gnome apps are ported to it.

You have no idea what you're talking about here do you?

See, no need to rewrite half of the userspace libraries from scratch just because you designed your OS to be compatible with the win3.1 crap and you couldn't make your OS better because the marketing team didn't want to drop the compatibility....

Last I checked (which was recently enough) the whole Linux experience remains in the same rut it's been in for as long as I've known about it (a good 6 years); it's always "the year of Linux" or "the year of the Linux desktop," and yet nothings changed. Tons of features, all of them half baked.

BS.

Read a book or something.

RE: Useless
by rain on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:16 UTC

It is not propaganda. It is business, and a very good business at that. I would do the exact same thing if I had an OS company that was about to overhaul the platform.

Who sais that you can't use propaganda in business? No matter if the goal is to make money or to improve the status in a political system it's propaganda.
I'm getting really tired of everyone excusing things because "It's business".
Let's all shove our heads deeply into the sand and say "well it's business, and that's the way it works. we can't do aaanything about it."

RE: Why use .NET when you can use JAVA.
by Parveen Kaler on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:17 UTC

Then why use JAVA when you can use assembly?

You do realize that .NET is language agnostic. You can write low-level code in unmanaged C++ or in C. Build an SDK on top of that using managed C++. And build applications on top of that using C#, VB, Python, J# or whatever language you choose.

Components is where it's at. And .NET made the right decisions in allowing different components to be written in different languages, and allowing the mixing of managed and unmanaged code.

I'm far from an MS fanboy. I don't even have a Windows machine at home. But language agnostic, component technologies is where it's at.

Now only if they could figure out all the deployment issues.

this year will bring a clearer picture of "longhorn"
by try tech journalism on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:19 UTC

microsoft has been paying off companies left and right due to patent infringement.

they are not done yet.

RE: Why use .NET when you can use JAVA.
by Sahil on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:24 UTC

> But language agnostic, component technologies is where it's at

Uhuh, and platform independence just went out the fscking window.

Ahahahahaha
by df on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:34 UTC

"Propaganda for an unexisting product."

"Unexisting?" Aside from that not being a word, I guess you've been missed the PDC build of Longhorn and the almost monthly build leaks. Next.

"This is done to keep current Windows users from considering alternatives to their very afflicted systems. The promise of a greater tomorrow without mentioning any of the well-known troubling issues that surround Longhorn is nothing else than propaganda."

Well-known troubling issues? Intended to keep Windows users from considering alternatives to afflicted systems? Rather than making vague, baseless claims, care to cite a single, specific example? Didn't think so. Next.

"Read up on TCPA and you will see that Longhorn, if it materializes, is a nightmare for the consumer and for any citizen that values his freedom."

Read it. Has nothing to do with this. Your post is anti-"M$" propoganda spam that makes the OSS community look bad.

.NET and Longhorn are coming--accept it and move on, or join KDE and the other groups that will no doubt be spending the next five years ripping off all the new features until the next version of Windows comes out (Blackcomb)...

@Eu
by Crawling Mushroom Syndicate on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:35 UTC

>>Propaganda for an unexisting product. This is done to keep current Windows users from considering alternatives to their very afflicted systems. The promise of a greater tomorrow without mentioning any of the well-known troubling issues that surround Longhorn is nothing else than propaganda.


You are so right! They have used this technique since the days of DOS. They used it very effectively in the years leading up to Windows 95. And now they're doing it again with longhorn. They keep feeding the media a constant blitz of sound bites and articles and stories talking about how Longhorn, due in 2004...ooops I mean 2005...wait, 2006...maybe... just so that people keep salivating over what's a few years away instead of looking for better alternatives now. You never hear Apple, for example, talk about what OS X is going to be like in 2006. MS is famous in the industry for hyping vaporware years before its release (and sometimes it never even gets released).

Moron
by df on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:35 UTC

"Uhuh, and platform independence just went out the fscking window."

Guess you've never heard of Mono, or of the Common Language Specification. Nice try, though.

Talk about ripping off...
by yawningdog on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:39 UTC

".NET and Longhorn are coming--accept it and move on, or join KDE and the other groups that will no doubt be spending the next five years ripping off all the new features until the next version of Windows comes out (Blackcomb)..."

You mean just like Microsoft will rip off XUL and SVG in 2006?

Re: Ahahahahaha
by Hall on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:48 UTC

"Read up on TCPA and you will see that Longhorn, if it materializes, is a nightmare for the consumer and for any citizen that values his freedom."

Read it. Has nothing to do with this. Your post is anti-"M$" propoganda spam that makes the OSS community look bad."

Yes, read it. This:
http://www.notcpa.org/faq.html

And this:
http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,58748,00.html



Re: Can't compete? Hah!
by Sagres on Mon 19th Apr 2004 22:48 UTC

microsoft's aproach is much simpler, more coherent, cleaner and better integrated with the surrounding system, while on linux you seem to have a blob of lots of diferents parts and unrelated stuff glued together in haste via some half baked bindings.

All that stuff
by logdog on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:06 UTC

Longhorn will appear - right. Lots of people will go 'wow' isn't Bill clever, its only two years late and isn't it great and all that stuff.

yes, by that time open source will have "caught up" - whatever that means. (I really don't know - I moved to Linux years ago - basically because it had the 'killer apps' I needed for a photo and imaging business. Windows, then, didn't. KDE's Konqueror showed me thumbnails of every picture, and I could go to surf a website in the same file manager window if I needed to - I was ahead of the game - Gimp was faster than Photoshop, and a LOT cheaper ;) And it was a lot easier - with faster file transfers - setting up a server to look after the files I seem to accumulate at the rate of 1GB per week - more in the summer)

When I started up in this I couldn't afford MS prices - particularly for lower-quality goods. And then the 3rd party software from Adobe, etc. No chance. There are quite a lot of people like me in the world - a lot more will have moved to Linux by the time Longhorn appears. And the people who want to get a new computer for home, games etc. will get longhorn. But there will be a few less of them each time.

Re: Can't compete? Hah!
by Ghibertii on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:10 UTC

Sagres if Microsoft's approach is that good, which it could be because I haven't seen Longhorn, than what do you consider Apple's windowing system?

@Sagres
by Rayiner Hashem on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:13 UTC

I dunno about that. How do you know that Microsoft's design is coherent? Have you looked at the code? Microsoft's developers aren't a monolithic entity. They are individual departments within Microsoft. There is the OS group, the DirectX group, etc. In that way, they are not really much different from all the seperate Linux projects.

One of the things that people notice with Linux is the explicit layering. Some people mistake this for chaos. Real programmers know that this is just proper, modulerized design. Microsoft does things the same way, its just not obvious because you can't see the code.

Re: dcg (IP: 80.103.20.---) -
by dcg on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:15 UTC

Read a book or something.


Sure I did. Where did you think I got the NT info, from the air? Didn't remember what was the title, it was the one fucking decent book about NT internals, preface by Lou Perazzoli joreject leader for the NT kernel development, and even with that NT internals are just obscure.


Linux deskto year? I don't see why a Outlook user should have any problem with evolution. Even taking into account that GNOME HID is quite nice and personally I like it more that Outlook design...

"You have no idea what you're talking about here do you? "

Really no, I just atendded the weekly DRI development talks in irc (im not a developer no), Keith packards is clerarly pushing elcairo as 2D drawing API, cairo has a opengl backend, and GTK has already announced that they will switch to elcairo as their primary drawing engine. It is not very hard to understand, is it?

Tootting your own Longhorn
by J.F. on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:25 UTC

Seeing every widget on the screen scale seamlessly as the user manipulated a document reader last summer at the Microsoft Avalon technology demo was quite impressive, and struck fear into my heart for the rendering servers on open-source operating systems.

Ah... that explains the whitepaper on the MS web site that says Longhorn will require an ATI 9800 or nVidia 5900 for the "best" experience. Of course, by the time it ships, those will be low-end cards. ;)

At this point, Longhorn is just Windows 2003 with the .Net runtime built-in and an "eye-candy" interface. Hope it's better than the XP interface. I use the "classic" look - it might be ugly, but at least it doesn't make my $2000 computer look and act like a child's toy. I'll go spend $30 at Toy-R-Us for a Speak-n-Spell if I want a toy.

Re: dcg (IP: 80.103.20.---) - Posted on 2004-04-19 23:15:17
by Kingston on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:26 UTC

Where did you think I got the NT info, from the air?

Nope. Mostly from empty space was my guess.

Linux deskto year? I don't see why a Outlook user should have any problem with evolution

I've had to help many an unfortunate soul with evolution who've had no problems setting up outlook express.

Really no, I just atendded the weekly DRI development talks in irc

Attending and understanding are two completely different things.

@sagres
by logdog on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:29 UTC

Survival of the fittest - Linux projects, the most viable go through, some fall by the wayside. Meanwhile they cooperate.

"I am a mushroom, they keep me in the dark and feed me on s***" - apparently Microsoft have so developed the cult of secrecy that they are suspicious of passing on 'secrets' to other MS coding departments.

Which will eventually - in 5 or so years - end up with the most 'coherent' operating system?

Kingston
by dcg on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:31 UTC

"Nope. Mostly from empty space was my guess. "

Well, I sugges you to really go and read a book about what was the primary target of NT development.

"Attending and understanding are two completely different things."

End of discussion with you. Goodbye.

v Re: dcg (IP: 80.103.20.---) - Posted on 2004-04-19 23:31:32
by Kingston on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:33 UTC
@kingston
by logdog on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:40 UTC

I thought in the Microsoft world Evolution had zero penetration.

>>Many people??

Many people??

Yup. Despite the fact that I am takingMS's side in this particular thread, I am much more of an OSS advocate.

@Rayiner Hashem, and others
by Phil Crosby on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:47 UTC

Rayiner, your confidence in the rendering technologies of today might be a little misplaced. Yes, I think Keith Packard's X server will rock, and I think Cairo will rock. Whether they will be able to compete with Avalon will be an interesting battle, but that is not the key one. While the OSS world is developing these technologies, MS has had them developed and has been using them all this time. In a few years the capability might be there on Linux, but will it be used to its fullest? Will the toolkits be ready for it, and will they have made the necessary changes in their layout metaphors to accommodate the new capabilities of Cairo? Will the apps be using these new versions of the toolkits, and will they be designed/redesigned around the new metaphors a 3D windowing system can offer?

Someone asked me why I didn't delve into great depths explaining my assertions concerning Avalon; that would best be suited to a another article, but you can learn much from the Longhorn articles on MSDN. Avalon will be using DirectX for rendering, and so the power of the DirectX libraries (which is considerable) will all be available at the toolkit level. Develops comfortable with DirectX can probably do some pretty incredible things with Avalon. Everything on the screen is a potential polygon, with the capability of being treated like one. Yes, that can mean hardware acceleration and compositing, but it also means much more in terms of the "user experience." Rendering fonts at the same size that scale with resolutions, manipulating windows in 3D space, using new kinds of controls that can take advantage of a 3D environment, these are all possible with Avalon. I'm not sure whether they're technically possible with Quartz, but I haven't seen much in userspace taking advantage of these capabilities, except for perhaps Expose and the user-switching effect. These effects are pretty, but it's clear that they are not ingrained into Apple's platform or the applications from the ground up. Just as an example of some of the neat capabilities of this system that I haven't seen elsewhere, a demo had the dialog box for a user login textured with a video -- a movie of clouds slowly rolling across the sky filled the dialog's background. Nice touch.

The point is, Rayiner and others, this will be such a potent hit to OSS because Microsoft has been _using_ these new technologies to their fullest in their OS, and also aiding developers in getting their applications on board, so by the time 2006 rolls around, not only will the capability be there, but the OS features and the applications will be using these capabilities. This is what I mean when I warn the OSS community of events to come. I think we have a ton of talented hackers that could produce similar technologies as these, but finalizing them and getting everyone on board, including the toolkit, desktop and app writers, takes an exorbitant amount of time, no matter how talented you are. This is why preparation needs to begin now, not only on the framework level (as it is already being done with Cairo and Mono) but on every other level as well.

Also, side note, I'm not an MS fanboy, I'm a Linux and Gnome zealot if anything. They just happen to be a great company to work for.

get a grip
by qui3xote on Mon 19th Apr 2004 23:56 UTC

This article may not be saying anything new, but it still got it pretty much right: OSS needs to offer a better user experience AND a better development environment.
If there is one thing that WON'T help OSS, it's zealotry. History shows what happens to those who underestimate Microsoft.
But for you MS fans, please stop comparing Longhorn to current technology, as if the rest of the world will be standing still. Fer crying out loud, linux has time to produce a whole new kernel series by then! And Apple will produce at *least* two major revisions of OSX.

Fer crying out loud, linux has time to produce a whole new kernel series by then!

Think they'll have a kernel debugger by then? ;p

Here we go again.
by Jabel D. Morales on Tue 20th Apr 2004 00:42 UTC

I don't mind hearing about whatever new features the next version of a product is going to have. But touting the new features as the next big thing that is going to be superior to everything else, when it is not even out, sounds illogical and biased to me.

Longhorn will not be here in a long while, and we don't know what is going to happen during that time. Maybe Ximian or KDE will come up with a 100% SVG environment, or Apple will come out with Aqua Superextreme. We don't know what will be available in other platforms when Longhorn is out.

All this reminds me of early 1995 when all my high school friends were talking about how superior Windows 95 was *going* to be, while I was able to do all what Windows 95 offered then plus more in OS/2.

Stop Blindly Flaming . . . .
by Matthew on Tue 20th Apr 2004 00:50 UTC

The OSS movement needs more people with Phil's attitude. Instead of blindly hating M$ like most readers of OSNews, he evaluates M$ software with a critical eye.

Frankly, I am sick-and-tired of the "M$ SUX" crowd. I don't use Windows because I don't think it is a particularly good OS, but I respect it at the same time. OSS users flaming M$ all the time gives OSS a black eye.

Loving OSS doesn't mean hating M$.

Most of your flamers just need to cool your jets, remember the first time you say a computer, and just get excited about technology. This is a very exciting time for Operating Systems. Open source is driving close source innovation; close source is driving open source innovation.

I am genuinely excited 'bout the direction of software. Join the excitement and stop blindly flaming!

[ For the record, I don't have a single machine running a M$ OS ]

Maybe OSS is closer than you might think
by Ron on Tue 20th Apr 2004 01:10 UTC

Apparently you can make full KDE applications _now_ with:

Javascript (ECMAScript) bindings
XMLGUI (an xml gui markup language).

If this wouldn't appeal to the hoardes of windows point-n-click "developers" I don't know what would. Even web people could do this.

"Attention vb folks! Why wait until 2007 to be a programmer without knowing how to program? Act now!"

http://xmelegance.org/kjsembed/examples/index.html

Great thread
by Anonymous on Tue 20th Apr 2004 01:13 UTC

It's funny reading all the misinformed anti-MS trolls. Oh well, that's the kind of information you get reading Trolldot.

@Rayiner, @Phil
by Jud on Tue 20th Apr 2004 01:25 UTC

Rayiner - What worries me is that platform-agnostic XML will be swept aside by MS XAML.

Phil - A dialog box with clouds moving by in the background isn't IMO the OS "using its capabilities to the fullest," it's:

(a) distracting,

(b) trivial, and

(c) a waste of resources,

though perhaps not much of the latter - we'll see what typical hardware capabilities are when the OS ships vs. what the OS needs to be happy.

My biases: I use and like Win2K, as well as FreeBSD, DragonFlyBSD, and the occasional Linux distro, and act as unpaid tech support for Dad's eMac with OS X. ;) I think MS Reader is a *great* app that blows its competition away, but I guess e-reader apps in general are products whose time hasn't yet come. I think Firefox and Opera, particularly the latter, are much more usable and configurable than IE. I much prefer XFCE to GNOME or KDE. Even XFCE is somewhat of a move toward the mainstream for me - my longtime window manager before that was Blackbox.

Yeah, I know this puts me in a minority. Heck, maybe there are a billion folks who want to watch clouds fly across their dialog boxes and will pay, oh, let's guess $149 each for the privilege. Or will this be the OS where "product activation" becomes "product rental"? Only $10 a month for Longhorn, cheap at twice the price! ;)

What a lemming
by Anonymous on Tue 20th Apr 2004 01:31 UTC


Avalon will be the most advanced user interfacing technology to date, blowing anything else (including Apple's Quartz Extreme) out of the water. Avalon will be a huge pull for media application developers, the eye-candy market (including desktop extension frameworks such as DesktopX),


I don't know where this stuff is coming from. Quartz isn't even a user interface. Who are "media application developers" and why would OS support for list box resizing be a "huge pull"?

From the screenshots I've seen of the desktop, it looks like a re-skinned version of XP. The sidebar is similar to what GNOME has had for a while now.

v LOL-I needed this laugh
by dale earns on Tue 20th Apr 2004 01:52 UTC
The Review
by David McPaul on Tue 20th Apr 2004 02:42 UTC


>Avalon will be the most advanced user interfacing >technology to date, blowing anything else (including >Apple's Quartz Extreme) out of the water

then later in a comment the writer says

>these are all possible with Avalon. I'm not sure whether
>they're technically possible with Quartz

If you don't know then don't compare. State facts not speculation. You saw some nice demos. Delve into the details.

>WinFS will be a workable, usable implementation of what
>the desktops have desired for a long time - a large,
>flexible, user-friendly metadata database for the
>filesystem, and I assume MS will use it to its fullest
>capabilities when integrating it into the Longhorn user
>experience

In what way will it be better than the BeFS or even ReiserFS. Note the Beos system has integrated the metadata idea into it's so called user experience.

Both BeFS and ReiserFS are here today and being used by alternative OS's.

As for .NET, Java is already here and is a mature product. Microsoft finally getting around to cleaning up their API is hardly cause for alternative OS's to go wow!

And honestly, just because something can be done doesn't mean it is a good idea.

Texturing a movie over a requester is frankly useless.

Here is my review of Longhorn.

Avalon - Windows finally gets a layout manager. DirectX will be used for rendering and XML for form design
WinFS - Metadata can be attached to files and searched on finally ensuring that the filesystem can be treated as a database.
.NET - Microsofts version of Java hits version 3 and is considered mature.

Cheers
David

Users, users, users, users...
by Jonathan Larmour on Tue 20th Apr 2004 03:04 UTC

I agree with other folks' comments that Phil's article appeared a little high on the sell, and low on the detail I would have preferred from an OSnews article.

Perhaps he or someone could consider a future article looking closer at the Longhorn features to actually go into detail about why certain features will actually lead to a positive user experience, as opposed to something orientated to making developers going oooh and aaah :-).

I guess my point is that I've read quite a few articles here and elsewhere extolling the wonders of what Longhorn may be when it eventually arrives, but little on what it will actually achieve for the majority of end-users.

This is a very exciting time for Operating Systems. Open source is driving close source innovation; close source is driving open source innovation.

Maybe, but MS is playing to win. Some people would argue it already has, but just think for a moment what the tech world would be like if they did, especially with technologies like TCPA on the horizon.

P.S.
by Jonathan Larmour on Tue 20th Apr 2004 03:11 UTC

I should probably point out that I know OSnews is entirely developer-oriented, so the impact on users isn't quite as interesting, but in this context I'd be interested to know why developers should spend the effort reimplementing their applications for Longhorn. Sure, a lot of stuff may improve under the hood with changed APIs, but why should users buy the new version if most applications won't actually be enhanced by the features? Or will they? You tell me :-).

RE: P.S.
by rain on Tue 20th Apr 2004 03:20 UTC

I should probably point out that I know OSnews is entirely developer-oriented, so the impact on users isn't quite as interesting

You forget one thing, developers are users too ;) And fact is that seeing things from a users perspective rather from a developers technical point of view is really good for any programmer, even low level kids.

OSNews is about operating systems and the technologies around it. I bet that not more than 50% of the readers are software developers.

@Phil Crosby
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 20th Apr 2004 03:35 UTC

While the OSS world is developing these technologies, MS has had them developed and has been using them all this time.
I don't know how much of a head start they have on this. Remember, Avalon isn't even in the alpha versions yet, so I really don't know how much of a lead they have on the Avalon work.

In a few years the capability might be there on Linux, but will it be used to its fullest?
Certainly, it won't be used to the fullest in Longhorn. Pretty much only the OS will support it, we'll have to wait awhile for applications to do the same.

Will the toolkits be ready for it
Both GTK+ and Qt have now suggested support for Cairo. Gtk's Canvas API will be rewritten to support Cairo, and Qt's graphics layer is being redone in Qt4 to support vector-graphics back-ends like Cairo.

and will they have made the necessary changes in their layout metaphors to accommodate the new capabilities of Cairo?
I don't forsee any layout metaphor changes being necessary. The "fully-scalable UI" stuff is just a marketing fantasy at this point. Completely scalable UIs will be impossible for at least another decade, until screens reach 200-300 DPI. Remember also that Microsoft is starting from scratch here --- their current toolkit isn't at all scalable. Meanwhile, GTK+ and Qt both have mature, scalable layout managers.

Will the apps be using these new versions of the toolkits, and will they be designed/redesigned around the new metaphors a 3D windowing system can offer?
Longhorn will *not* offer a 3D windowing system. It will be a simple evolution of current 2D WIMP interfaces to support richer graphics by 3D hardware acceleration. As a result, no such changes will be necessary.

Rendering fonts at the same size that scale with resolutions
This cannot be accomplished with a 3D API, but can be accomplished via current 2D APIs. See, resolutions are not high enough that you can do any transformations to text and still expect a readable result. Until resolutions do get high enough, using 3D hardware to get scalable fonts is a pipe-dream.

manipulating windows in 3D space, using new kinds of controls that can take advantage of a 3D environment, these are all possible with Avalon.
They might be possible, but the ramifications of these possibilities has not be explored, and Longhorn will not take advantage of them to any great extent. Remember --- Longhorn will undoubtedly be less impressive than it seems now. Microsoft is not Apple. They do not under-promise and over-deliver. Rather, they overpromise, and prune down features while slipping the release date further back. This has been the case with pretty much every Windows release, and most of the DOS releases. If ground-breaking UI elements taking advantage of these 3D capabilities were going to be in Longhorn, we would have heard about it by now.

so by the time 2006 rolls around, not only will the capability be there, but the OS features and the applications will be using these capabilities.
If this is the case, it would be *absolutely* unprecedented in the history of Microsoft's existence. Application support always lags innovations in the US. Microsoft cannot be so agile. They are tied down by the sheer size of their organization, userbase, and developer base. This acts against them in such situations. Remember how long it was before we got lots of native 32-bit applications?

@Phil Crosby
by Rayiner Hashem on Tue 20th Apr 2004 03:41 UTC

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't take Longhorn as a serious technological threat. Far from it, I agree with you that we need to keep an eye on where Longhorn's technology is going. All I'm saying is that your article is a little too chicken-little in comparison to the actual magnitude of the Longhorn threat. Its a good idea to keep Microsoft's capabilities, and more importantly, their past history, in perspective, and not see them as some omnipotent competitor with infinite resources.

Re: Stop Blindly Flaming . . . .
by Tepes on Tue 20th Apr 2004 03:52 UTC

"The OSS movement needs more people with Phil's attitude. Instead of blindly hating M$ like most readers of OSNews, he evaluates M$ software with a critical eye."

If you really feel that way, why do you keep calling them "M$"?? lol

@ Phil
by Tepes on Tue 20th Apr 2004 04:00 UTC

"The point is, Rayiner and others, this will be such a potent hit to OSS because Microsoft has been _using_ these new technologies to their fullest in their OS, and also aiding developers in getting their applications on board, so by the time 2006 rolls around, not only will the capability be there, but the OS features and the applications will be using these capabilities."

Ah, therein lies the heart of the dispute. It's what we always come back to. Seemingly a dozen articles a week on Longhorn on what they're going to do, what they will do, what they might do, when it might be ready....as somebody else mentioned, it reeks of Windows 95 again. You saw impressive prototypes? That's nice, but we'll all be speculating for the next year and a half whether they can pull it all together by 2006 and whether it will actually hold together. Let's face it, they don't exactly have the most impressive track record.

Re: OK
by Tepes on Tue 20th Apr 2004 04:06 UTC

"Good reporting on what you saw. I fail to see the importance of the open source community "keeping up" with microsoft or apple. OSS will always be OSS lets keep it that way and do what we will."

And thank you for pointing that out. OSS is more than just another marketable product. Let Apple and MS duke it out. Really not OSS's problem...

Re: df (IP: ---.cavemen.net)
by Sahil on Tue 20th Apr 2004 04:12 UTC

> Guess you've never heard of Mono, or of the Common Language Specification. Nice try, though.

How many .NET components does mono implement *today*? When can it be considered a full .NET, if ever? Will M$ 'certify' mono as such? Note that I would agree that there isn't anything *technical* from writing a platform independent runtime based on the ECMA standard. The issue just isn't technical. After all, IE has great support for CSS 1 right? So much for standards.

There is a very good reason GNOME is not going to use CLR for their VM and C# for development. Read the devel list.

Nice try again, wouldn't you agree?

Good article
by A Q Salter on Tue 20th Apr 2004 07:14 UTC

Although short, this article is a good little "scare" for the OSS community. And I love the "MS is finally innovating" - as I also believe it is.
Longhorn can only be good for the computing landscape - not that I'm ever going to use it myself ;)
Thanks for the article,
Adam

@Rayiner Hashem
by Don Elings on Tue 20th Apr 2004 08:04 UTC

"Remember how long it was before we got lots of native 32-bit applications?"
Give or take 18-24 months. There were a "few" who dared fly with the eagles in the first few days. But that was far from the norm.
Then again, many of us were running such old and slow hardware in those days..... would it have really mattered?
Not much.

@Don
by Jud on Tue 20th Apr 2004 09:50 UTC

Right, thus Rayiner's remark about the 300DPI displays and mine about what hardware Longhorn will require to work happily.

It will be interesting to see whether gaming will continue to drive PC hardware development, or whether gaming hardware development will concentrate even more exclusively on consoles and POTV or HDTV displays.

APIs...
by Treza on Tue 20th Apr 2004 11:08 UTC

There is a great deal of differences between adding 3D effects to a "classical" 2D windowing ( say, making 3D rendered buttons ) and building a 3D environment, eventualy coupled with VR devices.
In other words, the QT API will handle Longhorn future effects while preserving its multi-platform capabilities. One strong point of Microsoft graphical environment was its coherence and stability comparing to the mess of XLib and X toolkits. Now, as Microsoft changes APIs every other year ( Win32, MFC, .NET, WinFX... ), there may be opportunities for widespread multi-platform APIs as QT to present a stable environment.

There are many companies around which build professional softwares ( say for Chemistry, Electronics, Economics, Sewing, ... anything ... ) which are interested by tools allowing cross-platform developments and cannot afford fully customised versions ( Many people use computers without being involved in IT developement. Really ! They exist ;-) . There is a conflict inside Microsoft between the Operating System guys which want a closed platform and the Development Tools folks which would benefit from porting Visual C++ to Linux.

.net won't be all they say
by Locri on Tue 20th Apr 2004 12:47 UTC

For all those saying that .net is going to be so amazingly wonderful, here is some info. I recently attended a MS event at my University which was about Linux vx. Microsoft in terms of development. After the MS reps were done explaining how wonderful .net is supposed to be, I asked a simple question:

"So where are the runtimes and development tools for platforms other then Microsoft?"

And it pretty much stumped them. The first time they answered they avoided the question talking about how it could supposedly connect to any other platform. Then they asked if that answered my question. Of course I'm sure they were expecting a "yes" seeing as they were rather surprised when I said:

"No, not really" (At this point the rest of the audience laughed.) I went on to detail what I meant by development tools and their answer saddened me.

Basically what they told me and the rest of the audience is that the runtime is available to the academic community (Under the infective Shared Source Initiative) for Unix and Mac OSX, however since they (Microsoft) own the Windows platform and want it to do well, they focus pretty much solely on the Windows runtime of .net. So, as it turns out .net will run on anything, as long as it's MS. Isn't that wonderful? I don't really see how something can be interoperable with everything else if the community is required to create an implimentation of that specification (i.e. mono).

The only thing that is really interesting about Longhorn IMO is WinFS. I think idea of a database based filesystem is incredibly powerful. Storage looks interesting, but I think it is centered too much around the Gnome frontend aspect rather then the filesystem itself. How well would something like Storage port over to the Linux CLI shells or KDE?

-Locri

propaganda indeed...
by sam on Tue 20th Apr 2004 13:20 UTC

... but not as you might think. I'm sure a good brown-nosing like that one will help you get that second internship, Phil.

Re: Eugenia
by Kyle on Tue 20th Apr 2004 13:57 UTC

>Propaganda for an unexisting product.

Give me a break. It is VERY important to make your developers migrate and get used to the new APIs, yes, years before the platform is available to the public. Remember, Longhorn is pitched to Developers, NOT to Joe User. MS (and any other OS company) *should* pitch it to their devs, because that's how you get Longhorn-native apps on the Day 1 of the release!

It is not propaganda. It is business, and a very good business at that. I would do the exact same thing if I had an OS company that was about to overhaul the platform.


Clearly you do not understand software development Eug. Look at most software products out there. They support 98/Me, 2000/XP, and 2003. How? By NOT USING the latest and greatest features for the most recent OS. Why? Because, in the real world, people all don't jump to a new platform. By using only the latest and greatest, you effectively cut out the majority of the market. You kill your own business. But, by implementing the software using older technologies, you appeal to a wider audience. Every major software company does this and the smaller ones especially do. If you believe that Longhorn is pitched to developers then that would be a MAJOR strategy change for MS. You should understand that there won't be many longhorn native apps on Day 1. There haven't been any 2003 native apps ready on day 1 or XP native apps, or 2000 native apps.... They come out later, after that particular OS has the majority. Assuming Longhorn comes out in 2006, you are waiting until 2008 or 2009 for it to become the major OS.

Additionally, where is the development environment for all these new technologies? Where are the available betas and test systems? Where are the APIs? They aren't out yet! You can't develop for them yet. You won't be able to for a while.

Face it, his comment is spot on. Longhorn doesn't exist yet. I can't buy it, and they won't give it to me. I can't actually do real development for it, and most of it is still secret. MS puts out many articles (this counts since he is an intern, looking for another internship) that are low on actual data and mostly propoganda/advertising. This keeps the next version in people's mind so they don't switch platforms during the stagnant time period. It's called mind-share. Every company does it for their products and MS is no different.

If you think like the BeOS developers did, then it is no wonder that they went out of business.

RE:locri
by Chris on Tue 20th Apr 2004 14:26 UTC

I had a kind of sort of similar encounter. A couple of Microsoft developers came to my school to speak to com S students about internships. Since my school has definite tendencies (in the CS department) to Linux; so the questions quickly steered towards Windows issues. One of the two was an xbox developer and former Windows, and the other was Office (man did we pick on her). Basic questions we asked:
"For the love of God would you please kill the registry in Longhorn?" (that was mine, slightly reworded ;) )
"Will Office have any of the useless features removed?" (they said yes)
They dodged most of our questions, which I hardly remember. But apparently they call mr. Gates; Bill ghee (my spelling).


If they support .Net it may be cool. In the very least they should help the mono team out with a few things (like documentation).

v Longhorn.....
by ccchips on Tue 20th Apr 2004 15:58 UTC
@Phil
by JH on Tue 20th Apr 2004 16:34 UTC

Someone asked me why I didn't delve into great depths explaining my assertions concerning Avalon; that would best be suited to a another article, but you can learn much from the Longhorn articles on MSDN. Avalon will be using DirectX for rendering, and so the power of the DirectX libraries (which is considerable) will all be available at the toolkit level. Develops comfortable with DirectX can probably do some pretty incredible things with Avalon. Everything on the screen is a potential polygon, with the capability of being treated like one. Yes, that can mean hardware acceleration and compositing, but it also means much more in terms of the "user experience." Rendering fonts at the same size that scale with resolutions, manipulating windows in 3D space, using new kinds of controls that can take advantage of a 3D environment, these are all possible with Avalon. I'm not sure whether they're technically possible with Quartz, but I haven't seen much in userspace taking advantage of these capabilities, except for perhaps Expose and the user-switching effect. These effects are pretty, but it's clear that they are not ingrained into Apple's platform or the applications from the ground up. Just as an example of some of the neat capabilities of this system that I haven't seen elsewhere, a demo had the dialog box for a user login textured with a video -- a movie of clouds slowly rolling across the sky filled the dialog's background. Nice touch.

Quartz Extreme does all of these things. Quartz became "Extreme" when Apple added the hardware-based OpenGL acceleration. I'm sure it will be even more extreme in 3-5 years when Longhorn comes out.

A user interface stuck on top of full-motion video strikes me as the most ridiculous, anti-UI kind of eye candy ... a nice demoware feature because MS hasn't figured out anything useful to do with Avalon yet.

OS X does let you do lots of interesting things that really speed up workflow. The reason you may not have heard much about it is, let's face it, these features really only benefit graphic artists ... if your work is writing code, word processing or spreadsheeting then obviously you aren't going to see much everyday benefit. But if you work with, say, typography, then you see the benefit constantly. Even if you don't, every graphic or UI element is a TIFF or PDF and can be manipulated ... you can drag a JPG off of web page into Photoshop, color-correct it, and drag it into iTunes and bang! you have a nice album cover image in less than a minute, something that would take you easily 5-10 in Windows.

And a lot of these capabilities come from developers making use of them ... you'll see more from Mac developers as Macromedia and Adobe come out with new versions ... InDesign already does some really cool things.

I'm not sure I see FOSS keeping up though ... to me it still hasn't caught up to Windows 95 as far as on-screen rendering is concerned. If I can't get consistent font rendering or flicker- and artifact-free display from X now (and hardware is not the problem) how can I expect seamless vector-based compositing anytime soon?

@ Kingston
by Anonymous on Tue 20th Apr 2004 16:41 UTC

"Think they'll have a kernel debugger by then? ;p"

$ apt-cache show kernel-patch-kdb
[...]
Description: Builtin kernel debugger
[...]

In which world do you live?

Um ya
by Nicholas James on Tue 20th Apr 2004 17:15 UTC

I was under the impression that Microsoft was doing some cut-backs on development to be able to ship Longhorn in a timely manner.

Wow, that is new MS rushing a OS.

If OSS would get some standards it would help, I understand the freedom of chioce, but **** come on OSS developers.

In which world do you live?

In the one where Linux has no native kernel debugger. You?

...
by Kingston on Tue 20th Apr 2004 18:28 UTC

as is the one wherein which Linux as distributed by Linus and his top devs, has no native kernel debugger.

...
by Kingston on Tue 20th Apr 2004 18:29 UTC

But that's okay, because Linux doesn't need a native, built in kernel debugger, because it's top developers are gods that never screw p right? Becuae it's legions of everless technical users catch and report all the bugs meaningfully and send well tested patches?

...
by Kingston on Tue 20th Apr 2004 18:31 UTC

because all Linux users use Debian, and know how to use apt-get, and know about this magical third party crufty patch!

Ranting pointlessly to people who don't think is always fun.

Speculation++
by Darth Daver on Tue 20th Apr 2004 18:35 UTC

Time and again I have seen Microsoft promise a lot and deliver squat. Their mantra is, "We will fix it in the next release." You really provided no quantitative analysis of why this 2006+ technology will be any better or even as good as current OSS. Also, where will Apple and OSS be in 2006+ when Longhorn is released? Plus, Linux is superior on servers and Windows has monopoly market share on desktops. Is Microsoft doing anything to narrow the huge lead Linux has over Windows on servers (quality, not installed base), or are they just fighting to cling to their desktop market share?

I do commend you for helping to keep a fire lit under OSS developers. Although Linux has long been far superior to Windows for its target audience, we should not get complacent or abandon bringing Linux to a wider audience. Just because Microsoft has dropped the ball so many times does not mean they will continue to do so.

Not to damper your enthusiasm, but I have seen otherwise intelligent, open-minded people get brainwashed from joining Microsoft Corp. Are you sure you are not getting overly optimistic from a lot of empty, "rah-rah" cheerleading speeches at Mordor...er Dreadmond... er Redmond? :-) After sitting through quite a few of their marketing and technical presentations, .Net looks like repackaged and warmed over programming history to me and Longhorn looks like an OS X wannabe.

wrong
by Anonymous on Tue 20th Apr 2004 18:37 UTC

Hi

"Kingston (IP: ---.home.cgocable.net) - Posted on 2004-04-20 18:28:02
as is the one wherein which Linux as distributed by Linus and his top devs, has no native kernel debugger."

Buddy. You are wrong. Linus wont use a debugger so you wont see it in his devel tree. Andrew(Who is one of topmost) already has it in his mm tree for a while. anyone who wishes can integrate it.Many distros do that. see debian above for example

As a end user why do you care. If you are a developer you wouldnt be talking in osnews forums

Re: Anonymous (IP: 61.95.184.---) - Posted on 2004-04-20 18:37:16
by Kingston on Tue 20th Apr 2004 19:03 UTC

Linus wont use a debugger so you wont see it in his devel tree

I don't care how high and mighty you think he is, I'm arguing that it's braindead to not have a bult in kernel debugger in this day and age.

As a end user why do you care

Because were one to be employed as a standard part of Linux development, I'd be far more inclined to trust that it (Linux) has passed some measure of quality control.

If you are a developer you wouldnt be talking in osnews forums

Not very bright are you kid?

v Satan has also longhorn...
by Marcelo on Tue 20th Apr 2004 19:55 UTC
pointless
by Anonymous on Tue 20th Apr 2004 19:58 UTC

Hi
"Linus wont use a debugger so you wont see it in his devel tree

I don't care how high and mighty you think he is, I'm arguing that it's braindead to not have a bult in kernel debugger in this day and age."

thats your opinion. it doesnt agree with linus


"As a end user why do you care

Because were one to be employed as a standard part of Linux development, I'd be far more inclined to trust that it (Linux) has passed some measure of quality control."

you are not a average end user then. have fun


If you are a developer you wouldnt be talking in osnews forums

Not very bright are you kid?

no i just mean what i said. any valid arguments?

one more important thing
by Anonymous on Tue 20th Apr 2004 20:03 UTC

Hi

Linus is a development tree guy and he doesnt take care of stable branches which are developed by people who use kgdb and hence your point about the end user is pretty moot.

v RE: Debugger
by Richard Steven Hack on Tue 20th Apr 2004 20:10 UTC
Re: Anonymous (IP: 61.95.184.---) - Posted on 2004-04-20 20:03:49
by Kingston on Tue 20th Apr 2004 20:26 UTC

Linus is a development tree guy and he doesnt take care of stable branches which are developed by people who use kgdb and hence your point about the end user is pretty moot.

I still disagree, but I see where you're coming from here.

Oh and BTW Richard Steven Hack (IP: 147.144.3.---), you're hardly funny. Since Windows 2000, Windows has been pretty stable. You're right about their quality control sucking until quite recently however. It has for a long time been pretty bad.

MS Marketing Wrote This
by T. Roll on Tue 20th Apr 2004 20:59 UTC

That piece reads like some Microsoft Marketing mouthpiece wrote it. The issues with Microsoft's operating systems aren't eye-candy, gee-whiz and blink-blink shiny lights, the issues are usability, bugs, security holes and holes in general (browser hijacks, etc). Until Microsoft addresses those first, they can take a flying f**k - I DO NOT want the lastest pile of crudge from them until they do. I waste more time patching, updating, cleaning up, etc. The first thing most people I know do, is to turn all the eye-candy off to make the system more responsive and usable.

Reflections on Longhorn
by Robert Björn on Tue 20th Apr 2004 21:21 UTC

I'd like to throw in some of my comments, having watched this interesting thread and the questions posed.

1) Some have asked whether WinFS will really be as good. BFS (the file system in BeOS) was really nice. I was a BeOS fan (and hobbyist developer) for years, and I read Dominic Giampaolo's very cool book ("File system design with the Be file system"). However, WinFS goes much further than BFS ever did. For example, it defines (using XML schemas) what attributes are supported for each file type. It defines relationships that can both bind data in types together, as well as inherit types from other types in a typical object-oriented fashion to enable re-use and consistency. Developers can write special handlers that keep the attributes in sync with the binary stream (referred to as "metadata handlers") -- for example, new MP3 files could automatically get attributes based on the content, and the content could reflect changes in the attributes.

2) XAML is about more than defining user interfaces in an XML file. It's an automatic coupling between the .NET object model and XML and it's not tied strictly to the GUI. XAML files can be compiled together with the program logic located either in the actual XAML file, or in source files written in other programming languages that target the .NET runtime.

3) Some people have criticised Microsoft for bringing so much new stuff in, pointing out that neither users nor developers will quickly switch everything and ditch backwards compatibility to take advantage of all the new stuff. However, I think this remark is funny considering so many OS enthusiasts (myself included) have wished for years that Microsoft would ditch their old junk and APIs in favour of something clean and modern. After all, the need for backwards compatibility has been a key reason for why Windows has continued to suck for all these years (although personally I think Windows 2000 and XP are nice in many ways). I think Microsoft is absolutely doing the right thing here. Sometimes we need a fresh start.

4) I don't know what the official policy is with regards to the registry. However, it seems like Microsoft has been meaning to gradually phase it out. For example, .NET developers are not really supposed to use the registry at all (although it is possible by using P/Invoke to access the Win32 API). My guess is that the registry will be retained in Longhorn for legacy applications but that its use will continue to be discouraged in favour of XML and other storage formats.

5) Some have said that Longhorn is simply XP with a new skin. This couldn't be more false. Longhorn will have the biggest architectural changes in Windows in almost a decade.
I don't think any of the improvements forthcoming in Longhorn are truly revolutionary -- many of the ideas Microsoft has acted on have obviously been in circulation for a long time. However, I also find this to be true for their competitors, including the free software movements. It's rare to find truly innovative concepts anywhere, people usually build on what's been done before. However, having read countless MSDN articles on aspects of Longhorn as well as watched all of their recent MSDN TV and .NET Show episodes, it's clear to me that MS has been putting a huge amount of thought in getting things right this time.

6) Some have said that WinFS has been cut from Longhorn or that it's been substantially downgraded. As others have said, this is plainly false, and more information is provided by blogs that have been linked to in this thread.

I'm a developer (hobbyist and professional) and for me, .NET has made programming fun again. I haven't felt this excited since I first started reading about (and later bought) BeOS. Prior to that I was one of the Amiga fan(atics) and I only reluctantly turned to Windows when things started to go sour for Be, Inc (I also use FreeBSD though). C# and .NET is a joy to use, and very well designed. Instead of hating every aspect of Windows development I find myself trying to come up with any excuse to develop for .NET. Don't underestimate the amount of enthusiasm and motivation that something like this provides among many hobbyists.

The developer community needs a vitamin injection and I think the free software community will "embrace and extend" aspects of Longhorn and .NET for years to come. This is a bad thing at all. I'm very impressed with the progress by the Mono folks, although like others I am skeptic that the free software community will be able to bring new technologies together in a consistant way making *nix systems will be competitive with Longhorn in the forseeable future.

Avalon
by Robert Björn on Tue 20th Apr 2004 21:23 UTC

I forgot to add that the interface used in the PDC builds of Longhorn (and subsequent alpha releases) is NOT the Longhorn GUI. It does incorporate aspects of Avalon, which is the underlying developer framework, but it does not feature Aero which is the new new look and feel of the user interface.

v re: this entire thread
by monkeyhead on Tue 20th Apr 2004 21:58 UTC
WinFS and XAML
by David McPaul on Tue 20th Apr 2004 23:19 UTC

>1) Some have asked whether WinFS will really be as good.
>BFS (the file system in BeOS) was really nice.
> WinFS goes much further than BFS ever did. For example, it
>defines (using XML schemas) what attributes are supported >for each file type.

This is a support thing built on top of the FileSystem. I agree that this is where Microsoft is really going to add value to an attributable file system. But nothing prevents anyone from doing this with BFS and ReiserFS.

> It defines relationships that can both bind data in types
>together, as well as inherit types from other types in a
>typical object-oriented fashion to enable re-use and
>consistency.

Standard XML

> Developers can write special handlers that
>keep the attributes in sync with the binary stream
>(referred to as "metadata handlers") -- for example, new
>MP3 files could automatically get attributes based on the
>content, and the content could reflect changes in the
>attributes.

Ok this is more interesting. BeOS relied upon the creating application to do this. It was not at the filesystem level.

>2) XAML is about more than defining user interfaces in an
>XML file. It's an automatic coupling between the .NET
>object model and XML and it's not tied strictly to the GUI.
>XAML files can be compiled together with the program logic
>located either in the actual XAML file, or in source files
>written in other programming languages that target the .NET
>runtime.

But what problem does this solve?

Cheers
David

Think Much?
by Saskatoon on Wed 21st Apr 2004 03:35 UTC

" I'm not sure whether they're technically possible with Quartz, but I haven't seen much in userspace taking advantage of these capabilities, except for perhaps Expose and the user-switching effect. These effects are pretty, but it's clear that they are not ingrained into Apple's platform or the applications from the ground up. "

The only thing "clear" is that you haven't done your homework. I'm doing my best to refrain from name-calling... let's just say that your "reporting" is an absolute joke. A quick visit to Apple's own site would have provided you with the answers to any of the questions you might have had about QE, but you couldn't be bothered. Here it is - read it at your leisure: http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/quartzextreme/ you'll notice that QE is a key component of the system. Moron. (oops I slipped!)

MS Great Leap Forward
by Curt Wuollet on Wed 21st Apr 2004 04:07 UTC

I think we've got it narrowed down to the water. If you bring your own water while you're on the MS campus, eventually the enchantment and hallucinations should wear off. In the mean time, read what you're saying and compare it to the party line from any other 'softie. I'll bet they give you a picture of Gates or Ballmer to hang above your bed. Deprogramming is available.

To "embrace" .NET is to institutionalize it and surrender all future control to Microsoft. This is just as bad an idea with new MS technology as it has been in the past. I would go so far as to say this is Microsoft's last hope to kill Linux and make themselves a part of every transaction.

Regards

Linux and kernel Debugger..
by kaiwai on Wed 21st Apr 2004 04:46 UTC

If anyone would like to read a good piece of comedy, look up the post by Linus in regards to what he doesn't want a debugger in his pet project.

Kernel debugger
by Anonymous on Wed 21st Apr 2004 07:38 UTC

And where is the built in kernel debugger in XP?

WinFS
by mikebartnz on Wed 21st Apr 2004 10:54 UTC

If WinFS is sitting on top of NTFS then I don't see any advantage for me.

...
by Dawnrider on Wed 21st Apr 2004 11:33 UTC

Put simply, I would ask the following question:

How does this benefit the user?

With all due respect to Apple, they built Quartz (although some of the architecture I disagree with in many ways, wrt system resource usage) to perform visual effects and make the desktop look pretty. They made it for the window shrinking effect and the transparency.

Eventually, they turned up Expose, which is a good feature, no doubt, but it took them a long time. Honestly, I have yet to see a truly revolutionary program produced to take advantage of it. Honestly, no one knows what to do with it; the majority of modern programs use a classic 2D Piece-of-Paper metaphor. Take a good hard look at the way you use your computer, and web browsing, email, office applications, paint programs, all are computerised versions of handling pieces of paper. Video and audio editing are different, but they still mirror existing real world tape/2D systems.

And that is the problem with Avalon. Better rendering architectures are always good for the developer, but in the end, an advanced everything-is-a-polygon architecture does nothing for the user, because we don't know how to write applications using 3D spaces, and users don't know how to use them, either.

WinFS, in the reduced current form is a metadata searching tool with a natural langauge interpreter built on the front. It is nice, but users don't use search tools that much; they use directories and naming to assist navigation. WinFS will be nice, but sufficiently rarely used to not be important to users.

Users will like the sidebar. Passing RSS feeds to it, monitoring their e-mail and having messages "Your e-bay auction finishes in 5 minutes!" pop up there will be what makes a difference to their computing experience. All the architectural stuff won't change their experience.

When it comes to .Net, yes, C# is nice, and a multi-language universal component architecture is good, but it is single-platform in an increasingly multi-platform world. Expect to see better Visual Basic applications, ultimately. 70% of the world's web servers are running Apache at this point, and more of the routers, file servers and mainframes are running non-MS operating systems. That means nice client applications, but you can't take advantage of the server side. It is possible that .Net could mean more server wins to counteract this, but to be honest, a lot of people are now too worried to run essential systems using an MS technology after the last few years of exploits. It may be harder to do in other ways, but if it protects a mission-critical system, so be it.

Finally, as has been pointed out, Longhorn technologies are only good when you have applications willing to take advantage and sacrifice backwards compatibility. Large applications won't be bothered to rewrite, and small ones will want to retain that market for as long as they can. It has taken WinXP 2 1/2 years to get to 45% market share, with a product far, far better than Win98. Longhorn for the user is what Win98 was to 95. Nicer, but not revolutionary. Expect 3 years at least to hit 40% coverage. Add to that that modern XP-capable machines are more powerful and more capable for most user requirements than their predecessors, along with improved reliability and far more storage space, and there is less reason for users to fully upgrade to Longhorn specs than there was for XP.

Honestly, we're talking probably until 2010 before there is 50% market share for Longhorn. That is a long time before technologies can be implemented by applications. Maybe by then we'll know what to do with them.

Remember also, that in the past five years since I first tried (it was hard!) to install Linux, we've come from FVWM95 and the Gimp being the only user GUI application (I admit to toying with Emacs, but there really was nothing else for me to do) to KDE 3.2 and Gnome 2.6, a multitude for office suites, and a wide range of applications. Installation is smooth and easier than XP, without having to install every single driver and application for hours (a full, non-ghosted XP install with all the good software (Office, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Dreamweaver, Flash, Trillian, WS_FTP, Mozilla, etc.) can take up to 5 or 6 hours to get right). We're basically at parity, and it has taken 5 years from a standing start.

So I ask this:

If Linux took 5 years to come to a point of parity, and it'll take Longhorn another 5 or 6 years to give the user a new sidebar to improve their computing experience, where will Linux be?

...
by Dawnrider on Wed 21st Apr 2004 11:33 UTC

Put simply, I would ask the following question:

How does this benefit the user?

With all due respect to Apple, they built Quartz (although some of the architecture I disagree with in many ways, wrt system resource usage) to perform visual effects and make the desktop look pretty. They made it for the window shrinking effect and the transparency.

Eventually, they turned up Expose, which is a good feature, no doubt, but it took them a long time. Honestly, I have yet to see a truly revolutionary program produced to take advantage of it. Honestly, no one knows what to do with it; the majority of modern programs use a classic 2D Piece-of-Paper metaphor. Take a good hard look at the way you use your computer, and web browsing, email, office applications, paint programs, all are computerised versions of handling pieces of paper. Video and audio editing are different, but they still mirror existing real world tape/2D systems.

And that is the problem with Avalon. Better rendering architectures are always good for the developer, but in the end, an advanced everything-is-a-polygon architecture does nothing for the user, because we don't know how to write applications using 3D spaces, and users don't know how to use them, either.

WinFS, in the reduced current form is a metadata searching tool with a natural langauge interpreter built on the front. It is nice, but users don't use search tools that much; they use directories and naming to assist navigation. WinFS will be nice, but sufficiently rarely used to not be important to users.

Users will like the sidebar. Passing RSS feeds to it, monitoring their e-mail and having messages "Your e-bay auction finishes in 5 minutes!" pop up there will be what makes a difference to their computing experience. All the architectural stuff won't change their experience.

When it comes to .Net, yes, C# is nice, and a multi-language universal component architecture is good, but it is single-platform in an increasingly multi-platform world. Expect to see better Visual Basic applications, ultimately. 70% of the world's web servers are running Apache at this point, and more of the routers, file servers and mainframes are running non-MS operating systems. That means nice client applications, but you can't take advantage of the server side. It is possible that .Net could mean more server wins to counteract this, but to be honest, a lot of people are now too worried to run essential systems using an MS technology after the last few years of exploits. It may be harder to do in other ways, but if it protects a mission-critical system, so be it.

Finally, as has been pointed out, Longhorn technologies are only good when you have applications willing to take advantage and sacrifice backwards compatibility. Large applications won't be bothered to rewrite, and small ones will want to retain that market for as long as they can. It has taken WinXP 2 1/2 years to get to 45% market share, with a product far, far better than Win98. Longhorn for the user is what Win98 was to 95. Nicer, but not revolutionary. Expect 3 years at least to hit 40% coverage. Add to that that modern XP-capable machines are more powerful and more capable for most user requirements than their predecessors, along with improved reliability and far more storage space, and there is less reason for users to fully upgrade to Longhorn specs than there was for XP.

Honestly, we're talking probably until 2010 before there is 50% market share for Longhorn. That is a long time before technologies can be implemented by applications. Maybe by then we'll know what to do with them.

Remember also, that in the past five years since I first tried (it was hard!) to install Linux, we've come from FVWM95 and the Gimp being the only user GUI application (I admit to toying with Emacs, but there really was nothing else for me to do) to KDE 3.2 and Gnome 2.6, a multitude for office suites, and a wide range of applications. Installation is smooth and easier than XP, without having to install every single driver and application for hours (a full, non-ghosted XP install with all the good software (Office, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, Dreamweaver, Flash, Trillian, WS_FTP, Mozilla, etc.) can take up to 5 or 6 hours to get right). We're basically at parity, and it has taken 5 years from a standing start.

So I ask this:

If Linux took 5 years to come to a point of parity, and it'll take Longhorn another 5 or 6 years to give the user a new sidebar to improve their computing experience, where will Linux be?

RE: Editorial: The Advent of Longhorn and OSS Considerations
by Rawhyde on Wed 21st Apr 2004 13:40 UTC

Is Microsoft going to give Longhorn away for free along with the source to it? Oh, Longhorn is not that exciting then.

United (Delusional) States
by TheScientist on Wed 21st Apr 2004 13:44 UTC

What a perfect thread! Clearly the American software development community is fractured along the same lines as the American political community. One half thinks that the de facto leader can do no wrong and will bring us all to paradise, by and by, and the other half sees what's wrong, labours to fix it, and is berated in the media and elsewhere for declaring that the Emperor has no clothes.

Windows is never, ever going to be the right operating system for users and developers. It exists first and foremost to sustain Microsoft, and its development is predicated primarily on what is best for them, not you.

Linux, right now, is about what people want, not corporations. They don't have an empire to protect, nor customers to lock in. Whatever else you think of it, it is superior in that regard.

So go ahead, stay loyal to MS for whatever personal or professional reason you must. But don't pretend that your loyalty stems from any kind of practical technological consideration, because it can't.

Flame away, click the little "abuse" link, whatever. Like a bunch of "creationists", you can call names and rail against reality all you want, but it doesn't make the truth any less true.

Loyalty
by Anonymous on Wed 21st Apr 2004 14:00 UTC

It exists first and foremost to sustain Microsoft, and its development is predicated primarily on what is best for them, not you.

What benefits us as developers often benefits Microsoft, and the other way around. These two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

So go ahead, stay loyal to MS for whatever personal or professional reason you must. But don't pretend that your loyalty stems from any kind of practical technological consideration, because it can't.

Why not? I choose to develop for Windows as a hobby. And it's primarily because I really like .NET, I find myself being extremely productive using it and it's just plain fun. I would do it at work as well if I could.

Your generalizations are absurd.

Clarification
by Robert Björn on Wed 21st Apr 2004 14:01 UTC

The "What benefits us" was written by me. I don't like to me an anonymous coward.

you forgot this
by Squall on Wed 21st Apr 2004 14:37 UTC

"If Linux took 5 years to come to a point of parity, and it'll take Longhorn another 5 or 6 years to give the user a new sidebar to improve their computing experience, where will Linux be?"

Its easier to copy than to improve. Linux and a lot of software are just free copies of already existing apps. I'm not saying they copy the code, only the concept.

Look at mandrake dist (that uses KDE), its most popularr dist in france. Well every new linux users describes it as a "free windows". It looks like windows, it does some stuff that windows do and does it as good as windows. End users who migrate Linux for security are just stupid. they migrate to save money or maybe because they're sick of using an illegal XP serial number...

Advent of Longhorn
by Ben on Wed 21st Apr 2004 14:46 UTC

Re your comment:

On the developer side of things, .NET is gaining popularity. It is really a well-thought out platform for developers to deploy their applications with...

I've just been reading on C# and my impression is that it is not a well-thought out language at all. This particularly applies to C#'s value type which is more trouble using than what it's worth. I think what happened is that initially, during the design of C#, somebody at Microsoft thought it would be cool introducing this 'feature' into the language for peformance reasons. It was only late in the design/development cycle that they found out it was not 'cool' after all. But by that time the quicksand had already sucked them in and it was too late to take it out.


this is not true
by Squall on Wed 21st Apr 2004 14:47 UTC

"Linux, right now, is about what people want, not corporations. They don't have an empire to protect, nor customers to lock in."

This is not true. A lot of companies (and big corporations) have a lot of interests in keeping Linux THE alernative. Because they dont want to switch back to windows (= $$$ saved). Some governments are starting to be behind the open source community. And they will try to benefit from the community (and maybe on the other way around, the comunity can benefit from large organisations because they can prove their reliability).

Value type
by Robert Björn on Wed 21st Apr 2004 15:05 UTC

I've just been reading on C# and my impression is that it is not a well-thought out language at all. This particularly applies to C#'s value type which is more trouble using than what it's worth.

What's the problem with the value type? Seems just fine to me, with the automatic boxing / unboxing etc.

@Robert Bjorn
by Rayiner Hashem on Wed 21st Apr 2004 16:03 UTC

In C#, value types shouldn't be necessary. There are analysis techniques as old as the hills that will allow the compiler to represent value types as unboxed types where possible. There is no reason to not have "objects all the way down" in a memory-safe language like C++. This is how Lisp/Smalltak/Dylan/Cecil, etc, compilers get around the fact that the native types (integer and floats) are just regular-old classes.

Value type
by Ben on Wed 21st Apr 2004 16:05 UTC

Read Richter's book (page 336) and write a non-trivial C# program.
My experience is that it complicates the thought process while coding. You have to pay special attention to whether data is a value type or reference type.

The automatic boxing, unboxing is cool on the surface. What you are not aware of is what happens underneath the surface. Value types are supposed to create faster code but more often they slow it down.

Value types
by Robert Björn on Wed 21st Apr 2004 16:29 UTC

Well, personally I like the automatic boxing/unboxing and I find it more convenient and consistant than in Java where this needs to happen explicitly. Of course you're right that developers need to pay attention to what they are doing and to what is going on underneath.

RE:OSS can't compete!
by Uno Engborg on Wed 21st Apr 2004 19:00 UTC

"1) No money"

OSS is moving toward a service based business model. And to sustain such business they need a lot of customers. Even Microsoft knows this. It is probably the main reason for their .net initiative.

Or are you saying that telecom, companies that give away cell phones to get more customers are doing the wrong thing.

Just like the big telecom companis sees the advantage of having many customers so does IBM, Novell, MySQL AB,..
And they are not exactly pennyless.

"2) No standards"

You may be right here, but not in the way you think.
Just look at Linux. The main thing that keeps Linux away from the desktop is the lack of standards. When people start using standardized file formats Linux will be unstoppable as there will no longer be problems reading and writing file formats like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop,... We can se the problems with standards very clearly in Office suites. Until Open/StarOffice started to use a well docuented XML based file format, Linux had no success on the Desktop now Open/StarOffice are running on about 10% of all desktops, many of them Linux. And in the cases where SO/OOo is run on Windows it will greatly simplyfy a migration to a completely opensource desktop.
So the lack of standards is actually more common in the propriatory world, as it is their way of protecting themselves against OSS and other competitors by vender lock in tactics.

"3) No leadership"

Perhaps, that is true too. But then again I can't see any true leader in the propriatory world either. Bill and Steve will look quite stupid when they show their scalable vector graphics desktop as news. Similar things will very likely be available in Gnome long before you see them in windows. From what I understand the next version will contain some of it. And that will probably ship before the end of this year. And before LongWait ships there will have bin 2 or 3 new major releases of both KDE and Gnome. And it will run on some successor to Linux 2.6 that most likely will run circles around LongWait, just like the 2.6 has speed and scalbilty advantages over win XP of today. And we will most certaily have Reiser4 with atocmic databaselike operation.

"4) Too much time to develop such a thing"

How true. Microsoft have far too long time to market.
In the mean time less capable solutions will gain on Microsoft. Remember, even if the Sony BetaMax video system was technically superior to VHS, you don't see it on the market anymore. And given the current speed of Linux/Gnome/KDE development its not even that Longhorn will be the superior product when it finnally finds it way to the consumers.

"5) Always behing MS."

Yes, the figures clearly show that you are right. Just look at the costs of viruses and other security problems. Just look how you need twice as many admins to manage windows than Linux or any other unixlike system.

"6) The linux GUI is still not as usable as the 2.5 years old XP"

Perhaps not, but if you compare the usability of Linux guis 2.5 years ago to what they look today. You will realize that the speed of development is amazing. But if you compared winXP to windows NT you will hardly know the difference.

2.5 years ago, Linux people had very little focus on the desktop, they did concentrate on winning the server market.
Now that most major server software vender have products for Linux the target have shifted.

Just look at the new Gnome 2.6 where everyting is drag & drop and everything just works. And this is only the beginning. In the near future standards like D-BUS will make linux applications even more interoperable and easy to use.
Both Gnome and KDE have now very active usability groups that will make sure that the future free desktop will be consistant, learnable, and likable.


"7) Mono will always be behing .NET"

Perhaps, perhaps not. The success of open source is not necessarily tied with the success of Mono.

RE:RE: Why use .NET when you can use JAVA.
by Uno Engborg on Wed 21st Apr 2004 20:40 UTC

"You do realize that .NET is language agnostic. You can write low-level code in unmanaged C++ or in C. Build an SDK on top of that using managed C++. And build applications on top of that using C#, VB, Python, J# or whatever language you choose."

Actually java the java platform is language agnostic too. E.g. jython, NetRexx, aspectj, pizza, COBOL,...

Besides in .Net everything looks like C# regardless what language you use.

Waste of time
by Anonymous on Wed 21st Apr 2004 20:53 UTC

A long long thread over whether some unreleased Windows in 2006 *is* better than a current Linux in 2004 (assuming anyone here is using a current version rather than referring to some distro they tried last year which itself packaged software that was months behind). Yawn.

When the world turned to gushing about new features instead of describing the most urgent problems of its customers and how to address them in the most simple and cost-effective way, we really got lost. This is like crappy cars that feature more cupholders and a bigger bumblebee muffler and go-fast stripes. Wheeee!

I really need to take osnews out of my bookmarks. Oh, it wasn't there anyway.

RE:you forgot this
by Uno Engborg on Wed 21st Apr 2004 22:12 UTC

"Its easier to copy than to improve. Linux and a lot of software are just free copies of already existing apps. I'm not saying they copy the code, only the concept."

This may be so. But this still poses a problem to Microsoft.
If you can get a very similar free Gnome or KDE based desktop where you have no vender lock in, and where you have the code to customize to make it fit your needs, people will go for that free desktop. As that happens the market for Linux based applications, and hardware supporting Linux expands, meaning that life with Linux is will be quite easy.

To meet this, Microsoft will need to lower their prices, or even give windows away for free and switch to a service based business model just like Red Hat and other Linux companies. The bad news for Microsoft, is that they have more old users to support. Users that have bought their licences at high prices and never was part of the deal,
free (at least as in bear) OS and expensive support.
Mening that that Microsoft may loose annoyed customers to e.g. Linux and MacOS.

Even worse, Microsoft most likely licences part of windows from other companies, this makes giving away windows to obtain customers even more expensive to them.

Microsoft sit on a large pile of money and they will probably be around for a long while. But they may have seen their best days.


debuggers
by dcg on Thu 22nd Apr 2004 15:23 UTC

For windows NT there's a kernel debugger available (search in the MSDN).
Linus doesnt likes debuggers because he thinks that that encourages laziness at the time of writing code, and you should be able to debug your code by _looking_ and understanding where it fails, not by a program telling you where it failed. Yes, it's faster, but it can cause laziness in non-perseverant people and it doesn't make you a better programmer unless you really understand what you're doing. He's also a debugging machine so he doesn't needs a debugger that often; unlike the rest of the mortals. Anyway, Linus already accepted (after 2.5 freeze, so no for 2.6) that people wants it and a debugger will be included in the future.