Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Mar 2008 16:07 UTC, submitted by moleskine
Linux "Unlike the myths that are behind the prevention of Linux adoption, this piece will closely examine the indisputable obstacles and what will have to be done to overcome each of them. In the past, many desktop Linux users have opted to simply point to the hardware industry or Microsoft as the root cause of a lack of mainstream adoption. In reality, there are actually core issues extending beyond hardware - and competition from the proprietary markets - that simply must be dealt with head on. With that said, hardware compatibility and competition from closed-source vendors are valid issues, just not solid core excuses for the lack of mainstream interest. Here are the real hurdles."
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Some Vaild Points
by daschmidty on Tue 11th Mar 2008 20:40 UTC
daschmidty
Member since:
2007-03-01

This article does raise at least a few valid points. Consistency for hardware support can be a problem, especially legacy hardware. Now I know Linux is much faster on older computers using a lightweight distros...my issue is with middle aged computers. My thinkpad x24 is only about 4 years old but is now having a problem where any version of Xorg released after 7.1 causes the system to hard lock after suspend or hibernate. This occurs with any M6 series ati card...which previously worked 100% using the ati open source Xorg driver, but despite numerous bug reports from owners of various model laptops using this chip, no work has apparently been done..as work continues plowing along on the sexier radeonHD and such projects. The problem here is that my laptop and the others in question have more then enough power to run any current full distro...so having people tell me to use an older version feels crippling..also running everything in VESA mode does make the thing run like crap. I wish Linux distros would take one of the few good idea from windows and give an easier method of "Rolling back" a driver to an earlier version, without creating a dependency version disaster...that would be awesome and solve, or at least workaround the regressions problem.

Also interdistro consistency can be a major annoyance, particularly with commercial software. While many linux users (primarily those who are programmers) would disagree, there are some instances where free software at the time cannot replace commercial software. I'm currently studying at a university to be a mechanical engineer...and I'm also a big time linux user. Unfortunately....I NEED to use various commercial apps in my day to day life. Some, like SolidWorks are windows only...which is another problem altogether, but even those with Linux releases can be a nightmare. Take Matlab/Simulink for example..it comes with it's own installer for Linux..which in most cases works fine and well. The program seems to work..unless you use Ubuntu..in which case(as of 7.04) Simulink randomly bombs out for no reason. The reason here being that the Ubuntu devs decided to place Java VM in a different path then apparently everyone else...making Simulink unable to find it without editing a text file.
Another example is Pro/Engineer CAD, which fails to run initially on most Linux distributions as it does not support UTF-8 encoding...so you need to workaround this by customizing your locale or changing the whole system out of unicode..making other programs often act crazy, unless you use RHEL which wasn't UTF at the time Pro/E was released. In fact the new release of Pro/E no longer offers Linux versions...so I'll have to switch to Solaris I guess, because PTC claims the cost of maintaining a reasonably compatible Linux release was too high for the market.

It could be easy to blame the ISV's for some problems..i.e. tell PTC to better support UTF-8, but the problem is cyclic. PTC wouldn't bother investing to completely modify Pro/E unless there was profit in it...and most clients would be hesitant, to put it lightly, to buy software that costs upwards of $10,0000 per license if they weren't SURE it would work...and keep working in subsequent releases.

I like the previous poster's comment about unity within Linux. Many would argue that this would take away the freedoms Linux stands for, I tend to disagree. There can always be forks and alternatives...but it would be nice if the mainstream vendors could come to some kind of consensus on standards. It is easier for an ISV to code for say, Solaris, where they can turn to Sun for support, than it is for Linux where there are countless internal factions.
I love my Linux systems...I think Linux truly is the future of the desktop OS...but it's not there yet. If the distros could get some of their varous gripes worked out and try to cooperate...Linux could be cutting edge AND rock-solid all at once...and the unified backing would be a strong confidence booster to those interested in making third-party software, the comfort that the platform is not going to die off out of nowhere like some distros occasionally seem to do.

There's just my two cents I guess.

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