Linked by Adam S on Tue 14th Oct 2008 12:30 UTC
Windows According to the official Windows Vista Blog, Microsoft has decided that, in order to keep things simple, the OS code-named "Windows 7" will officially be called "Windows 7." Sayeth the poster: "since we began development of the next version of the Windows client operating system we have been referring to it by a codename, "Windows 7." But now is a good time to announce that we've decided to officially call the next version of Windows, "Windows 7."" Of course, this introduces a major issue - if the version number of Windows 7 is, in fact, 6.1 or 6.2, as many expect, how can you call it Windows 7? And if the kernel version is updated to version 7, how many apps and drivers might fail due to poor version checking? I'm sure the upcoming PDC and WinHEC events will shed some light on this.
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RE[7]: Drivers
by DeadFishMan on Wed 15th Oct 2008 15:55 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Drivers"
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"If you are going to bolt bleeding edge beta or even alpha quality hardware into your machine, you may well have to put up with very recent and not-yet-well-tested versions of software.

Nice try, Lemur. But while I was dealing with hourly lockups of an alpha version of a Linux distro, Windows users were enjoying stable performance from their new Intel-based motherboards. (Your implied claim that Intel sells alpha quality hardware to the public makes you seem pretty desperate to come up with a defense.)

That's life. Deal with it.

This statement neatly embodies the reason that in the last 16 years(!) Linux has gotten almost nowhere on the consumer desktop.

And that situation will continue as long as such an attitude is prevalent.

Fortunately for Linux, the old guard is slowly but surely being marginalized by new players who have a clue as to real users' needs.

As to concerns about upgrades being "Windows-think" as you call it... when are some Linux advocates ever going to get it through their heads that one's *time* has value? And why waste the time to upgrade to a shiny (and possibly unstable) new Linux version just to get what XP gives you (in this case, in more stable form) with a simple driver update?

I'm a Linux advocate. Majorly. But your defense of our current driver management policy is off the deep end, and makes it appear that you will go to any length to try to defend "The Linux Way".

Steve, I do understand where your frustration is coming from. I truly do. My laptop has a weird and cheap webcam that is not supported by any driver at the moment (although there is a driver in the earlier stages of development that reportedly works for some people) and sometimes one just wants to use Skype with videoconferencing like everybody else. However, Lemur's point still stands: as you are well aware the OSS community has limited resources when it comes to code or maintain drivers for new pieces of hardware, specially considering that most manufacturers don't take the trouble of publishing the hardware specs so that one can take them and write drivers without having to reverse engineer anything or to allocate the resources to write and maintain the driver themselves.

If I were a driver developer, I obviously would want to get the latest kernel and follow closely the mailing lists to make sure that I will not be using a deprecated API or something along these lines due to the ever changing nature of the kernel API - which can be a source of frustration for some in itself - and that often means that I will be playing with beta or even alpha code. And it is obvious that my code probably will not tap into everything that the device might be able to do initially as no specs were made available to begin with! Yes, it is frustrating but that how it is.

To me, it is a huge deal that there are some kind souls out there willing to spend the time required to backport some bleeding edge hardware drivers to older kernel releases, even those on the distros' payroll, as it takes a lot of effort and dedication to do it. Most of us have not paid for this software and therefore are not entitled to anything so I'm grateful when someone takes the time to do it.

Unfortunately, our choice of OS leads to this sort of problem and no amount of wishful thinking can change that and blaming this or that group of people not only is unfair but is not helpful at all. One really has to take hardware support into account when deciding to use non-Windows systems. If you REALLY need some hardware functionality that is only available on Windows and nothing but Windows, then by all means go use Windows!

And while we're on that subject, your post is showing signs of a disturbing trend that has been growing a lot on Linux land lately that is the attitude of dismissing the hard work of the people that brought us Linux as we know it in the first place, the "old guard" as you call them. The hipsters came on board and they want to shake things and make them better because "they know what end users needs" and then out of a sudden they know better than the people that worked hard to build the whole thing from the ground up until now. Perhaps most people will not use xfig, xclock or the other old xutils and countless Athena and Motif/Lesstif apps these days but these tools served us well in the past and have their place on the UNIX ecosystem.

Linux does not need to dethrone Windows to become successful. Anything that is not Windows will not satisfy its current userbase and these people will not be satisfied until Linux become a free Windows clone at which point the things that got most of us into Linux in the first place will be slowly taken away.

It just needs to reach some critical mass so that it will be treated as an equal to other mainstream OSes by the industry players and hardware manufacturers. THEN these things will begin to change. Think about it.

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