Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 15th Jun 2006 02:20 UTC
SuSE, openSUSE Microsoft's delay with the release of Windows Vista has left enough wiggle room for other players to pursue the desktop operating system market. An old Microsoft rival, Novell, is angling to seize the day with the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, a desktop OS geared to beat Vista in cost, manageability and features.
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davidiwharper
Member since:
2006-01-01

Though the number of commercial applications is still rather low, there's free good-quality open-source replacements for almost anything missing in commercial world.

But a lot of people don't want to learn new apps or deal with differing file formats. And when you get into business apps like CRM and accounting, there is very little choice for Linux as yet. Even Open Source solutions like Sugar CRM concentrate on Windows clients.

And where do you see those "complex UNIX underpinnings"? What do you even exactly mean? That is works differently than Windows? Sure, it works differently. It's a different OS.

I imagine that "complex UNIX underpinnings" takes in stuff like the whole raft of commands that are completely different to DOS/NT -- and the fact that in a lot of distros there is no equivalent to "safe mode" for when things go wrong. Xandros does it better, and Red Hat tries, but SUSE/Mandriva/etc don't. Also there is the fact that what works in one distro doesn't work in another (e.g. in Red Hat "shutdown" only works as root, in other distros ordinary users can run it).

Sure it's a different OS: the real issue is that the tools such as YaST/RedHat system-config-*/MCC are immature compared to Windows' GUI config tools.

The audio and video works just fine, though you still didn't specify anything.

Probably this refers to the fact that there are two kernel-level sound systems (ALSA, OSS), and different frameworks for KDE and GNOME. This causes headaches on many distros. You mention this yourself later on.

About the learning curve...just sit a non-experienced user in front of a computer with Linux installed in it, and I'm sure he or she would learn rather quickly to point and click..It's not any more difficult than Windows.

True, but 90%+ of the market for Linux (business users etc) have learned on Windows. The majority of potential customers know Windows and need to be catered for.

Hmm. Strange. I have had quite a lot of trouble trying to get some soundcards work in Windows, and you still seem to consider it desktop-ready.

Windows makes it easy to install third-party drivers. Linux does not. Even if there are third-party drivers available for a given distro, they have to be recompiled and re-released every time there is a new kernel (errata or upgrade). Bad news for vendors and users. Meanwhile on Windows, a driver released for XP in 2001 still works on XP SP2 almost five years later. Can you imagine that on Linux?

I just noticed someone complaining that Photoshop isn't available for Linux...Well, I have used it with CrossOver under Linux.

But why should people have to pay extra for Photoshop on Linux when chances are they've already paid the Microsoft Tax and can run it on Windows for "free"?

-- For the record, SUSE Enterprise Desktop looks pretty cool and I think that with features like XGL and the VB Macro importer it will make some headway in the corporate world. But there are still problems.

Reply Parent Score: 1

snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

You make some good remarks, but I do have some comments on the following remarks.

I imagine that "complex UNIX underpinnings" takes in stuff like the whole raft of commands that are completely different to DOS/NT -- and the fact that in a lot of distros there is no equivalent to "safe mode" for when things go wrong. Xandros does it better, and Red Hat tries, but SUSE/Mandriva/etc don't. Also there is the fact that what works in one distro doesn't work in another (e.g. in Red Hat "shutdown" only works as root, in other distros ordinary users can run it).

Windows and Linux are totally different OSes, so if someone wants to switch, he or she needs to be open to change and take the other OS the way it is. One needs to note here that DOS/NT chose to use a whole raft of commands which were completely different than the existing commands already in use in UNIX systems. I don't think Linux should in any way be changed to make it more similar to Windows, because it would be easier for new users coming from Windows. This argument alone, in my opinion, is not a valid reason to change something in an OS. About the "safe mode"... AFAIK, every linux distro supports a "single-user mode", which is the "safe mode" on linux. This is normally runlevel 1 and on distributions which use lilo (I don't know grub, but I believe it's similar) you just need to type the kernel you want and add the runlevel during boot. (You get something like "2.6.16 1" in my case) This kind of safe mode is standard across linux distro's. I assume "Xandros" just gives you an explicit 'safe mode' to make it easier for Windows users.
About the 'shutdown' command... I assume this is a simple 'default configuration' issue, and each distro makes its own choices regarding that. Their choice will probably be 'right' for their distro. Personally, I would not like that every regular user which has access to my server (or my desktop for that matter), can simply shut it down.

I do not have any experience with the GUI Linux configuration tools from any distro, but I can very well believe that they're immature compared to the Windows GUI tools. Well, I've always preferred to do the configuration the hard way and look at the text files, since I never found good GUI tools.

(Debian does however ask you some questions during the installation of packages to configure them... not a GUI tool, but still an easier way to get things configured.. one can even configure the detail of the questions asked... it will take reasonable defaults, if you don't wanna be bothered with a lot of configuration questions.)

Probably this refers to the fact that there are two kernel-level sound systems (ALSA, OSS), and different frameworks for KDE and GNOME. This causes headaches on many distros. You mention this yourself later on.

I don't think the "desktop user" this distro is aimed at even knows they're using ALSA or OSS. I believe every recent distro now defaults to ALSA. For a lot of sound hardware, ALSA comes with a dmix configuration that is used by default and every application that natively uses ALSA can be used in parallel. I believe ESD and aRts both support ALSA. It's up to the distro's to make sure that applications use the appropriate mechanism by default. (Doesn't Ubuntu do this right?)
On the other hand, you have a point. There are many soft audio mixing solutions on linux and none of them is very good. The problem is also that an application needs to support the mixing solution you're using.
In this regard, I think that "polypaudio" looks promising and that this could very well be a software audio mixer that works.

True, but 90%+ of the market for Linux (business users etc) have learned on Windows. The majority of potential customers know Windows and need to be catered for.

Here, I disagree. Let linux be linux. With this whole "trying to make linux popular for the masses" movement, people seem to want to make linux become windows. OpenOffice needs to become Microsoft Office. Linux shell commands need to become Windows shell commands. Linux im applications need to speak the proprietary protocols from Windows im applications like Yahoo and MSN. Linux media applications need to play proprietary Windows media formats. Linux needs to be able to run Windows applications. Some people even go as far as demanding that Linux supports Windows drivers. In short, Linux needs to be a "gratis" Windows. (Some of those hard-shouting 'convert's claim of course that they are in it because of the "free software" movement and that they strongly believe in the 'rights' described by Stallman, to subsequently demand that Doom3 for Linux needs to be given away for free, because if it's released for linux, it should be released 'in the spirit of linux'..) And then, and only then, will those Windows users consider Linux a 'viable' OS.
No! Let linux be linux. If a Windows user wants to switch to Linux, then he/she should learn to use Linux and respect the differences instead of demanding that Linux be changed to become more Windows-like.
It pisses me off that Gnome Developers are dumbing down and dumbing down and dumbing even more down Gnome, so that they can give the 'naive' user the best experience. Do they ever consider that a non-tech-savvy user can become more proficient with the platform they use and that they can become a power user over time? In that regard, I don't think it's a good move to force gconf-editor on them to get access to more advanced configuration options. (no worries, I'm sure that, in time, this problem will be taken care off by simply removing the advanced options accessible in gconf-editor)
That being said, of course, improvements are possible in Linux and in Linux distros, but my point is that "to make it more windows-like" is not a good reason for a change.

Meanwhile on Windows, a driver released for XP in 2001 still works on XP SP2 almost five years later. Can you imagine that on Linux?

hmm.. I guess you assume here that XP in 2001 and XP SP2 use a different kernel? and you are referring to the fact that the linux kernel does not have a fixed kernel driver API? In that case, you are right.
Aside from that, I do want to note that many distributions also package third party kernel drivers which work with the packaged kernel without any effort of your own.

But why should people have to pay extra for Photoshop on Linux when chances are they've already paid the Microsoft Tax and can run it on Windows for "free"?

Well, they shouldn't. They should just run Windows and use Photoshop on Windows. It's just that complaining that Linux is bad, because it can't run Photoshop is the same as complaining that Windows is bad, because it can't run E17. (or did I get this wrong?)
Personally, I don't think anyone "should" switch to Linux for whatever reason. Linux works for me and I like it very much. I'm not gonna push people into using Linux if they're happy with Windows. People should use what they are comfortable with. However, I also feel that I have the right to use Linux and I should not be forced to use Windows. In that regard, I'm against making Linux more Windows-like, just to better suit Windows users and to make Linux gain more market share. I believe the priority should be with pushing open standards (instead of pushing linux). If everyone starts using open standards, then in the end, it won't matter what OS your neighbour uses, you'll be able to communicate and share information with your neighbour. Of course, it would also mean that a platform or application will become popular because it's good and not because people need it because of backwards compatibility or compatibility with the rest of the world. So, I guess a lot of commercial companies prefer sticking your data away in their own closed formats.

Reply Parent Score: 5

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

But a lot of people don't want to learn new apps or deal with differing file formats. And when you get into business apps like CRM and accounting, there is very little choice for Linux as yet. Even Open Source solutions like Sugar CRM concentrate on Windows clients.

Well, as I stated, it really depends on what software one needs to run and what you need to do with the computer. It is absolutely true Linux lacks CRM software, along others, but hopefully it'll change one day. Differing file formats are sometimes an issue, sometimes not. F.ex. Microsoft Office formats are supported by OpenOffice/StarOffice. Though, I am not saying you are wrong. It's just pretty much the same problems here that would be if you switched over to Mac from PC.

I imagine that "complex UNIX underpinnings" takes in stuff like the whole raft of commands that are completely different to DOS/NT -- and the fact that in a lot of distros there is no equivalent to "safe mode" for when things go wrong. Xandros does it better, and Red Hat tries, but SUSE/Mandriva/etc don't. Also there is the fact that what works in one distro doesn't work in another (e.g. in Red Hat "shutdown" only works as root, in other distros ordinary users can run it).

Well, the whole idea behind the modern DEs is that you should not need to resort to command line, and as such, in Vista you probably won't need it in any normal use. Also, f.ex. under SuSE you don't need it either. So this point is rather a moot-point. Though, I think adding a "safe mode" option would be generally a good idea for any distro. (Distro makers, take the hint already ;)

Probably this refers to the fact that there are two kernel-level sound systems (ALSA, OSS), and different frameworks for KDE and GNOME. This causes headaches on many distros. You mention this yourself later on.


I don't know any recent distro which uses OSS for audio output, and any apps using OSS for output works just fine with ALSA. ALSA does have OSS compatibility wrappers. What I referred to was really the fact that some sound cards (usually this means old ones) can only be opened by one app at a time and you need to have software mixing available then. Using ESD for example would solve this, but since the flash player plugin doesn't use ESD, it would still pose a problem. Another way to alleviate it would be to configure ALSA to do software mixing, but it's difficult to know when and if it should be enabled. As far as I know, it incurs some performance penalty even in situations where the sound card supports multiple opens if it is enabled. Just for the record, it might still be better to enable it by default, and create a white-list for situations where it will not be needed and/or allow the user to disable it if they know it isn't needed.

Windows makes it easy to install third-party drivers. Linux does not. Even if there are third-party drivers available for a given distro, they have to be recompiled and re-released every time there is a new kernel (errata or upgrade). Bad news for vendors and users. Meanwhile on Windows, a driver released for XP in 2001 still works on XP SP2 almost five years later. Can you imagine that on Linux?

That is actually a rather good point. Having a kernel interface where drivers could just plug-in without needing to be recompiled everytime would perhaps solve this one, but still, there aren't many vendors anyway who'd be willing to port their drivers..

But why should people have to pay extra for Photoshop on Linux when chances are they've already paid the Microsoft Tax and can run it on Windows for "free"?

I don't know =P I was just saying it is *possible* ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3