Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Dec 2006 22:28 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source "Recently there has been a lot of discussion bubbling up regarding the possibility that Ubuntu will ship proprietary 3D drivers by default for some video cards. My aim here is not to discuss the specifics of that decision, which is still being fleshed out and ratified, but to instead define my views on the bigger picture behind the discussion - features vs. freedom."
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RE[5]: Freedom?
by pandronic on Tue 19th Dec 2006 09:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Freedom?"
Member since:

That's strange ... I've got a SiS network card that is not recognized by any Linux distribution I've tried. I've found a driver somewhere, but I've found out from some forums that I had to recompile the kernel for it to work. Needless to say that it didn't work for a couple of reason and I gave up.

While trying several Linux distributions, I've found myself reinstalling the system just to change a setting in the installer, instead of finding out where that setting is hidden in the system. Well that sucks, because I really wanted to give Linux a fair chance.

The first thing I do, when I try a new Linux distribution is to create a Terminal shortcut, even if it makes me uncomfortable, I really don't know how to use it very well and I don't care to learn. That's unacceptable for a modern OS.

I'm an experienced Windows user and a less than average Linux user that every time gets put off by some missing or awkward feature. It's getting frustrating.

Binary drivers, and standard binary applications would be great if they brought to Linux the ease of use and compatibility of Windows.

I couldn't care less for sources. I care about things working, and working without the CLI.

Just a casual Linux user

Edited 2006-12-19 09:22

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Freedom?
by tux68 on Tue 19th Dec 2006 10:28 in reply to "RE[5]: Freedom?"
tux68 Member since:


Don't know at what point you last tried Linux, but in my experience it has much better hardware support out-of-the-box and less such frustrations than Windows. Of course that doesn't mean you can't get unlucky and have a piece of hardware that causes you some grief.

On a modern distribution like Fedora, there's hardly a reason to go to the CLI unless you're inclined to do so. Just like Mac OS/X, casual users are shielded from the geeky underbelly.

As for finding features missing or awkward in Linux, let me tell you that it feels very similar for someone from the Linux world when forced to use a Windows machine for some reason. I can't tell you how frustrating it is trying to help someone fix up their Windows machine when you know how damn easy it would be to fix on Linux. So I don't think your argument holds there, everyone has a built up comfort zone for what they know; just because Linux is different from Windows, does not mean it is inferior.

I have to take exception with your comment that binary drivers and applications would "be great". They would undermine developers ability to make changes, and in the end such limitations would be passed on to users. While it might help some short term issues, it would most definitely be a longer term hindrance and go against the very qualities that made Linux as successful as it has become in the first place.

As a user, of course you don't care about the sources, nor should you. But you _should_ care that the developers of free software have the tools and access to the code they need to give you _what you want_. As a user of free software, it's basically the least you can do to support the folks that gave you the software to use in the first place. It's generally a much better offer than you'll get out of Redmond ;o)

All the best.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[7]: Freedom?
by pandronic on Tue 19th Dec 2006 10:56 in reply to "RE[6]: Freedom?"
pandronic Member since:

Well, I pointed out the worst experiences. The truth is that I feel completely lost in Linux when even a little thing does not work. I don't have the patience to cope with Linux's steep learning curve.

Reply Parent Score: 1