Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
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by Erwos on Tue 29th Apr 2003 18:41 UTC

I don't really see a lot of call to revamp the directory layout. How many of you go through c:windows on a daily basis and can tell me exactly how everything in it is laid out? Not many, I would imagine. That's because there's no reason to go into that directory, and even less incentive to explore it.

Adam misses that particular gem of knowledge in his article - the problem is not so much about the filesystem layout as that you need to go into it so damn often. This points to a lack of GUI config tools. I know there's more we could do: perhaps a module loader or a better XF86 configuration tool, for instance. With careful thought, we _can_ make GUI tools that are real replacements for commandline stuff, even that stuff which has lots and lots of arguments. Perhaps it's time to write a scriptable front-end engine?

Next, he just needs to say "everyone should include Synaptic and apt-rpm with their distros". He's obviously barking up the wrong treee when he blames dependency problems on the very concept of RPM - the depedency problem is because there's no way to automatically resolve them. Apt-rpm fixes this. And, incidentally, the site he claims doesn't exist is called FreshRPMs. Proves wonderfully useful RPMs that are guaranteed to work with RH9.

Community support, OK, that's vanilla, hardly a revolutionary idea.

Not sure if I agree with removing choice of DE and applications - if he's really trying to run a business, pissing off 50% of the userbase by forcing them to switch programs doesn't sound like a good plan to me. Perhaps customizing the menus so that the best stuff is quicker to get to would be a happy medium.

Again, kind of obvious ideas on the installer.

Apparently, his company is going to be based somewhere where copyright laws don't exist, too. I got news for you: DVD playback needs to be licensed, and not licensing it is a fun way to get sued. MP3 playback is a trickier issue, though. Those "aftermarket addons" aren't coming with RedHat for a reason, pal. Good idea with the nVidia drivers, though.

"The GPL allows little room for making money on software." This is true. It also allows a ton of room for making money on the support of software. RedHat is doing fine with this model, and is breaking even at this point. But, remember, even a little closed code in the wrong places will earn you swift and nasty backlash from quite a bit of the community.

The idea for a new Linux distribution is nice, but I think it's ultimately "improving" in some places which aren't needed, and ignoring other places which need it more (PDA compatibility and joystick setup come to mind).