Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 22:07 UTC
Linux With Linux on the desktop going from a slow crawl to verging on an explosion, many have toiled with the question: How do we make this happen faster? A well-known Austin-based Linux Advocate thinks he has the answer.
Thread beginning with comment 297455
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Simple answer
by backdoc on Wed 23rd Jan 2008 23:45 UTC in reply to "Simple answer"
backdoc
Member since:
2006-01-14


This alone is probably the single most prominent deterrent for *nix adoption. A platform can hardly gain relevance by sharing everything it has to offer to the dominate players. The dilemma here is... porting to Windows has many benefits to the project--attracting more users and potential developers.


I vehemently disagree with that statement. Allowing users to get comfortable with open source applications like FireFox, for example would make switching to an another OS seamless.

I think we need to agree on why people would move from Windows in the first place. My opinion is that it will be because they are fed up with Windows. There are some like me who just feel more comfortable having all of my tools at my fingertips (like bash, grep, find, ls, sed, awk and more). But, there aren't really that many people like me in that respect. Windows users don't know about these tools and consequently don't know what they are missing. And, they aren't going to move to switch for end user applications they can't get on Windows either.

The reason they will move is because the want the freedom that comes with Open Source OS's. They will get tired of the never ending BS from Microsoft. They will move *AWAY* from Windows in search of something else. They won't move *TOWARD* Linux for the applications.

The best thing that can happen for open source operating systems is to be "open". And, that means encouraging cross platform applications that remove some of the barriers that prevent people from moving for the above stated reasons.

Your POV is myopic.

See my previous OSNews post regarding this very topic.
http://www.osnews.com/permalink?295348

Reply Parent Score: 13

RE[2]: Simple answer
by Xaero_Vincent on Thu 24th Jan 2008 00:09 in reply to "RE: Simple answer"
Xaero_Vincent Member since:
2006-08-18

I vehemently disagree with that statement. Allowing users to get comfortable with open source applications like FireFox, for example would make switching to an another OS seamless.


In theory, yes. But what actually happened is Firefox became popular as a Windows app. I would say between 80 to 95% of Firefox's browser marketshare is shared between Windows and Mac OS X users. In fact, there has been some speculation that Mozilla might be treating the *nix version as a second-class citizen.

I think we need to agree on why people would move from Windows in the first place. My opinion is that it will be because they are fed up with Windows. There are some like me who just feel more comfortable having all of my tools at my fingertips (like bash, grep, find, ls, sed, awk and more). But, there aren't really that many people like me in that respect. Windows users don't know about these tools and consequently don't know what they are missing. And, they aren't going to move to switch for end user applications they can't get on Windows either.

The reason they will move is because the want the freedom that comes with Open Source OS's. They will get tired of the never ending BS from Microsoft. They will move *AWAY* from Windows in search of something else. They won't move *TOWARD* Linux for the applications.


If that were true then Linux might have a credible market score on the desktop by now, right? Instead, most people just complain and continue using Windows for the sake of their applications, while a minuscule few might leap over to Macintosh.

I therefore came to believe great exclusive applications are the only way the little guys can prove themselves worthy on well established/owned territory. After all, Windows is so successful for that reason.

*nix is popular today with businesses because of it's lower TCO and great scalability, not so much because of the "freedom" it provides--though I'm sure they take advantage of the freedom.

Edited 2008-01-24 00:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Simple answer
by backdoc on Thu 24th Jan 2008 00:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple answer"
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

"I vehemently disagree with that statement. Allowing users to get comfortable with open source applications like FireFox, for example would make switching to an another OS seamless.


In theory, yes. But what actually happened is Firefox became popular as a Windows app. I would say between least 80 to 95% of Firefox's browser marketshare is shared between Windows and Mac OS X users. In fact, there has been some speculation that Mozilla might be treating the *nix version as a second-class citizen.
"
I see Firefox's popularity on Windows as a good thing. "There has been some speculation" .... what does that mean? Are you saying that you bet someone out there feels that way?



"I think we need to agree on why people would move from Windows in the first place. My opinion is that it will be because they are fed up with Windows. There are some like me who just feel more comfortable having all of my tools at my fingertips (like bash, grep, find, ls, sed, awk and more). But, there aren't really that many people like me in that respect. Windows users don't know about these tools and consequently don't know what they are missing. And, they aren't going to move to switch for end user applications they can't get on Windows either.

The reason they will move is because the want the freedom that comes with Open Source OS's. They will get tired of the never ending BS from Microsoft. They will move *AWAY* from Windows in search of something else. They won't move *TOWARD* Linux for the applications.


If that were true then Linux might have a credible market score on the desktop by now, right? Instead, most people just complain and continue using Windows for the sake of their applications, while a minuscule few might leap over to Macintosh.
"
I think you just validated my point. Making the applications cross platform prevents that.


I therefore believe only great exclusive applications is the only way the little guys can prove themselves worthy on well established/owned territory.

We'll just have to disagree on that one.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Simple answer
by WereCatf on Thu 24th Jan 2008 00:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple answer"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I therefore came to believe great exclusive applications are the only way the little guys can prove themselves worthy on well established/owned territory.

I thought the basic idea behind FOSS software was to give people more freedom to choose and do things their way, not to force them to a single platform?

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Simple answer
by umccullough on Thu 24th Jan 2008 03:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple answer"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

In theory, yes. But what actually happened is Firefox became popular as a Windows app. I would say between 80 to 95% of Firefox's browser marketshare is shared between Windows and Mac OS X users. In fact, there has been some speculation that Mozilla might be treating the *nix version as a second-class citizen.


WELL DUH!

I mean jeez - are you saying Firefox was originally developed for Linux and ported to Windows? Why would you simply assume that Open Source software is primarily developed for an Open Source OS and then ported to Windows?

The fact is - Windows has the market share. If you're going to write an application, whether it be open or closed source, commercial or free - you're probably going to build it on the platform that is going to have the most market-share for your target audience. Firefox was developed primarily for Windows, secondarily for Linux and other OSes, period - stop pretending that it wasn't.

edit: fixed quote tags...

Edited 2008-01-24 03:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Simple answer
by archiesteel on Thu 24th Jan 2008 04:49 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple answer"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

You're getting it wrong. Making applications cross-platform isn't a means to bring more people to Linux, but rather to lessen the impact of applications on OS choice, i.e. it makes it less of a hassle for people to use the same application across platforms. In other words, it's not going to convince people to switch, but it won't impede their decision either.

You're basing your argument on the premise that making exclusive applications would bring people over to another OS, but there's no indication that this would happen. In fact, most Linux applications are *not* available on Windows, and yet this doesn't seem to have convinced people to switch - despite the fact that there are *excellent* Linux apps.

Your suggestion would only make life harder for people who use the same apps over many platforms (a trend which ultimately makes the platform irrelevant) without giving *any* guarantees that it would make more people switch. Personally, I'll side with convenience (and more open-source software on *all* OSes) rather than some dubious strategy based on exclusivity.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Simple answer
by Brendan on Thu 24th Jan 2008 13:06 in reply to "RE: Simple answer"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

" This alone is probably the single most prominent deterrent for *nix
adoption. A platform can hardly gain relevance by sharing everything it
has to offer to the dominate players. The dilemma here is... porting to
Windows has many benefits to the project--attracting more users and
potential developers.

I vehemently disagree with that statement. Allowing users to get
comfortable with open source applications like FireFox, for example
would make switching to an another OS seamless.
"

Seamless or pointless? If you're a Windows user running KDE, openOffice, GCC, etc then what reason do you have to become a Linux user running running KDE, openOffice, GCC, etc?


I think we need to
agree on why people would move from Windows in the first place. My
opinion is that it will be because they are fed up with Windows.


Despite wishful thinking, Windows is "adequate"...

There
are some like me who just feel more comfortable having all of my tools
at my fingertips (like bash, grep, find, ls, sed, awk and more).


Can't you just port all of these tools to Windows instead of using Linux (or download the Windows binaries and/or Cygwin)?

The reason they will move is because the want the freedom that comes
with Open Source OS's.


No. Most people (except for everyone who is already using open source OSs) really don't care at all, and it doesn't matter how much wishful thinking open source advocates do, people still won't care.

When you buy a car do you ask if the engine management computer is open source? I doubt it - most people don't even think about it.

The same applies (for most people) when they're buying mobile phones, games machines and other devices. Normal people think the same way with computers - they buy the computer, it comes with Windows, they plug it in, it's "adequate", then they use it and continue to use it (without ever thinking about it).

They will get tired of the never ending BS from
Microsoft. They will move *AWAY* from Windows in search of something
else. They won't move *TOWARD* Linux for the applications.


Unfortunately not, people are silly and don't know the difference between price and worth. They'll think "Linux is free so it must be worthless" and "Apple is expensive so it must be better" then they'll buy an Apple/Mac... :-)

Imagine if I had 2 identical fire extinguishers. One cost me $2000, came with a nice pretty box and has a 20 year guarantee. The other one cost me $80, came in a clear plastic bag and has no guarantee. Even though these fire extinguishers are identical, which would you choose in a life or death situation?

The funny part is that (for these people) if you tell them there's an excellent piece of software they can get for free called Linux they won't be interested; but if you tell them you bought a copy of Linux for $800 they'll probably beg you to "pirate" a copy for them before they know what it is... :-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Simple answer
by lemur2 on Thu 24th Jan 2008 13:29 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple answer"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If you're a Windows user running KDE, openOffice, GCC, etc then what reason do you have to become a Linux user running running KDE, openOffice, GCC, etc?


More secure. No need to run Windows ... so no Windows Update backdoor. No spyware. Phishing sites and malicious websites and spam in general no longer hold any danger to your system. No forced upgrades. 23000 searchable packages available to you to install from one easy-to-use point, guaranteed malware free and all zero cost. There are other reasons, but those will do for starters.

Despite wishful thinking, Windows is "adequate"...


Matter of opinion. It is not good enough in my view, it is fundamentally flawed, and one of its main design objectives seems to be to try to lock you in and limit your choice. Ugh.

Can't you just port all of these tools to Windows instead of using Linux (or download the Windows binaries and/or Cygwin)?


There are bits that are in the core of the OS that you can't really port, such as (as examples) SVG support, multiple filesystems, execute permissions, true multi-user (as in, more than one user on the one machine at the same time), lack of the single-point-of-failure registry, and so on.

When you buy a car do you ask if the engine management computer is open source? I doubt it - most people don't even think about it.


When you buy a mobile phone, would you buy one that only works with only one network (lock-in), or would you want to have one that can work with any network you choose (open)? A television that works with only one broadcaster? A CD player that plays only Sony CDs?

Most people will avoid lock-in where they can see they have a chance to do so.

Imagine if I had 2 identical fire extinguishers. One cost me $2000, came with a nice pretty box and has a 20 year guarantee. The other one cost me $80, came in a clear plastic bag and has no guarantee. Even though these fire extinguishers are identical, which would you choose in a life or death situation?

The funny part is that (for these people) if you tell them there's an excellent piece of software they can get for free called Linux they won't be interested; but if you tell them you bought a copy of Linux for $800 they'll probably beg you to "pirate" a copy for them before they know what it is... :-)


You have something of a point here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_von_Schiller#Quotations
"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain."

Edited 2008-01-24 13:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Simple answer
by WorknMan on Thu 24th Jan 2008 17:07 in reply to "RE: Simple answer"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13


The reason they will move is because the want the freedom that comes with Open Source OS's. They will get tired of the never ending BS from Microsoft. They will move *AWAY* from Windows in search of something else. They won't move *TOWARD* Linux for the applications.


Actually, the exact opposite of what you said is true. As a friend of mine says:

I don't like Windows - I like what I can run on Windows.

You concentrate on building better apps and you will get a HELL of a lot more converts than spewing a bunch of political crap to people who could care less about politics. Take it from me, a Windows user. Drop the preaching and the 'Bill Gates is a seal-clubbing bastard' drivel. I've heard it before and I'm not impressed. Is MS the spawn of Satan? Maybe. Do I care? Not really. Perhaps I would've cared about 10-15 years ago when I was still in my teens, but I'm too old for that sh*t. Understand? You give me some real-world examples of how I'm going to be more productive and get real work done faster on Linux and I will listen. And remember, I'm a power user. I don't get viruses, my computer does not have spyware, and I don't have any major problems to speak of on Windows.

So why should you care about users like me? If you manage to convert power users like me, you'll also convert a lot of other people by default whom I provide tech support for. They will switch if I tell them to. And I will tell them to switch if I switch myself, because I'd want them all to be on the same platform as what I'm using.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Simple answer
by Moochman on Thu 24th Jan 2008 17:39 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple answer"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

If what you say is true then you should already have been converted by now. Linux already has tons of great apps. The fact that you don't know this just reinforces the point that making more OSS apps Linux-only probably won't raise the visibility of Linux, or the apps, whereas making them cross-platform will at least raise the visibility of the apps, and will make a switch to Linux at least able to be considered by the users of said apps.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Simple answer
by Laurence on Thu 24th Jan 2008 19:25 in reply to "RE[2]: Simple answer"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

You give me some real-world examples of how I'm going to be more productive and get real work done faster on Linux and I will listen. And remember, I'm a power user. I don't get viruses, my computer does not have spyware, and I don't have any major problems to speak of on Windows. So why should you care about users like me? If you manage to convert power users like me, you'll also convert a lot of other people by default whom I provide tech support for. They will switch if I tell them to. And I will tell them to switch if I switch myself, because I'd want them all to be on the same platform as what I'm using.


It really depends on what you're used to and what you are using your computer for.

I too regularly use Windows (XP) as a platform to produce and DJ electonica. I've tried using Linux as a studio PC and it didn't even come close to the power and ease I already had with Windows, a select few sequencers and VSTi's.

However for surfing the net, reading e-mails, watching videos, etc I find Linux a much quicker and easier platform.

And for my home server I run FreeBSD. It's quicker and easier to set up that windows and runs smoother on a box.

So basically there is no "one size fits all" OS. It's just picking the best platform for the best job.

Reply Parent Score: 2