Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 20th Sep 2002 02:15 UTC
Mandriva, Mandrake, Lycoris A few months ago we wrote a full review of the Lycoris Desktop/LX operating system, but many releases happened since then and some things have changed. The Lycoris folks sent us the latest official version (+ online patches), we tested it, and here is what we think about it.
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Nice icons do not a distro make
by Xirzon on Fri 20th Sep 2002 04:55 UTC


thanks for the review. I get the feeling that Lycoris have bitten off more than they can chew: All the many minor annoyances and installation hurdles take time to fix, then there is the package management, marketing -- I just don't think they can do it without some funding or a Debian-style grassroots effort. I also immediately noticed the ugly fonts and was just waiting for you to mention them in your review :-)

Fonts on Linux have been a pain in the ass for me ever since I've switched -- it's really time for someone to fix this problem once and for all. Maybe Red Hat -- the null screenshots looked nice, and if they continue to provide all their stuff for free, others will be able to easily adopt it (or die). X performance is another issue (wait for the zealots to come out of the woods and scream "X is great! X is superior! X is networked!"). I really feel that X as a whole with all its little differently working differently configured modules is holding back Linux desktop progress. Also, it is a barrier to entry for new Linux distributors -- you need manpower to wade through the X crapland and turn it into a usable state. ("De-uglification HOWTO?" WTF?!)

I really hope Debian-based distributions like Xandros take off (and I hope Robertson changes his mind about root -- maybe Perens can convince him). What you describe as a reasoanble approach -- one app for every purpose -- I consider deadly: Sure, a basic configuration is nice, but if you can't replace one standard app with another standard app, what's the point of free software? Fuck it then -- I don't want to be locked into Lycoris' choices. Lycoris will never be able to reach Debian's level with only a dozen package maintainers or so.

In conclusion, I think you overrate the looks of Lycoris (BTW -- nice as this sunflower image may look, it would annoy me in day to day work) and downplay its major shortcomings from installation to daily use. I don't see it as a serious contender on the desktop market -- I just don't believe they can pull it off with such a small team. Maybe they'll prove me wrong.

One question: Have they turned Anti-Aliasing on in Mozilla? Has anyone gotten it to work just right? For me it's terribly slow (AA is already slow in KDE, but in Mozilla it's even slower) and only works with half of the fonts. Bah. Fonts on Linux -- the perpetual nightmare. If there's a hell for each profession, Linux is the hell for typographers.