Linked by Adam S on Tue 14th Oct 2008 12:30 UTC
Windows According to the official Windows Vista Blog, Microsoft has decided that, in order to keep things simple, the OS code-named "Windows 7" will officially be called "Windows 7." Sayeth the poster: "since we began development of the next version of the Windows client operating system we have been referring to it by a codename, "Windows 7." But now is a good time to announce that we've decided to officially call the next version of Windows, "Windows 7."" Of course, this introduces a major issue - if the version number of Windows 7 is, in fact, 6.1 or 6.2, as many expect, how can you call it Windows 7? And if the kernel version is updated to version 7, how many apps and drivers might fail due to poor version checking? I'm sure the upcoming PDC and WinHEC events will shed some light on this.
Thread beginning with comment 333855
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[7]: Drivers
by DeadFishMan on Wed 15th Oct 2008 15:55 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Drivers"
DeadFishMan
Member since:
2006-01-09

"If you are going to bolt bleeding edge beta or even alpha quality hardware into your machine, you may well have to put up with very recent and not-yet-well-tested versions of software.

Nice try, Lemur. But while I was dealing with hourly lockups of an alpha version of a Linux distro, Windows users were enjoying stable performance from their new Intel-based motherboards. (Your implied claim that Intel sells alpha quality hardware to the public makes you seem pretty desperate to come up with a defense.)

That's life. Deal with it.

This statement neatly embodies the reason that in the last 16 years(!) Linux has gotten almost nowhere on the consumer desktop.

http://marketshare.hitslink.com/report.aspx?qprid=10

And that situation will continue as long as such an attitude is prevalent.

Fortunately for Linux, the old guard is slowly but surely being marginalized by new players who have a clue as to real users' needs.

As to concerns about upgrades being "Windows-think" as you call it... when are some Linux advocates ever going to get it through their heads that one's *time* has value? And why waste the time to upgrade to a shiny (and possibly unstable) new Linux version just to get what XP gives you (in this case, in more stable form) with a simple driver update?

I'm a Linux advocate. Majorly. But your defense of our current driver management policy is off the deep end, and makes it appear that you will go to any length to try to defend "The Linux Way".
"

Steve, I do understand where your frustration is coming from. I truly do. My laptop has a weird and cheap webcam that is not supported by any driver at the moment (although there is a driver in the earlier stages of development that reportedly works for some people) and sometimes one just wants to use Skype with videoconferencing like everybody else. However, Lemur's point still stands: as you are well aware the OSS community has limited resources when it comes to code or maintain drivers for new pieces of hardware, specially considering that most manufacturers don't take the trouble of publishing the hardware specs so that one can take them and write drivers without having to reverse engineer anything or to allocate the resources to write and maintain the driver themselves.

If I were a driver developer, I obviously would want to get the latest kernel and follow closely the mailing lists to make sure that I will not be using a deprecated API or something along these lines due to the ever changing nature of the kernel API - which can be a source of frustration for some in itself - and that often means that I will be playing with beta or even alpha code. And it is obvious that my code probably will not tap into everything that the device might be able to do initially as no specs were made available to begin with! Yes, it is frustrating but that how it is.

To me, it is a huge deal that there are some kind souls out there willing to spend the time required to backport some bleeding edge hardware drivers to older kernel releases, even those on the distros' payroll, as it takes a lot of effort and dedication to do it. Most of us have not paid for this software and therefore are not entitled to anything so I'm grateful when someone takes the time to do it.

Unfortunately, our choice of OS leads to this sort of problem and no amount of wishful thinking can change that and blaming this or that group of people not only is unfair but is not helpful at all. One really has to take hardware support into account when deciding to use non-Windows systems. If you REALLY need some hardware functionality that is only available on Windows and nothing but Windows, then by all means go use Windows!

And while we're on that subject, your post is showing signs of a disturbing trend that has been growing a lot on Linux land lately that is the attitude of dismissing the hard work of the people that brought us Linux as we know it in the first place, the "old guard" as you call them. The hipsters came on board and they want to shake things and make them better because "they know what end users needs" and then out of a sudden they know better than the people that worked hard to build the whole thing from the ground up until now. Perhaps most people will not use xfig, xclock or the other old xutils and countless Athena and Motif/Lesstif apps these days but these tools served us well in the past and have their place on the UNIX ecosystem.

Linux does not need to dethrone Windows to become successful. Anything that is not Windows will not satisfy its current userbase and these people will not be satisfied until Linux become a free Windows clone at which point the things that got most of us into Linux in the first place will be slowly taken away.

It just needs to reach some critical mass so that it will be treated as an equal to other mainstream OSes by the industry players and hardware manufacturers. THEN these things will begin to change. Think about it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[8]: Drivers
by sbergman27 on Wed 15th Oct 2008 16:30 in reply to "RE[7]: Drivers"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Steve, I do understand where your frustration is coming from. I truly do.

No. I don't think you do. Because you seem to think that my frustration is about *my* Intel motherboard not working well with Linux, even under 2.6.27 and the latest version of Xorg. My frustration derives from the fact that Linux clearly has a driver and driver management problem, and the community wants to play the "Three Wise Monkeys" regarding this and other problems that Linux has.

...as you are well aware the OSS community has limited resources when it comes to code or maintain drivers for new pieces of hardware, specially considering that most manufacturers don't take the trouble of publishing the hardware specs so that one can take them and write drivers without having to reverse engineer anything or to allocate the resources to write and maintain the driver themselves.

BULLSHIT!

There really isn't any other word that covers it. We're not talking about your crappy no-name webcam. I made that quite clear in my original post.

We're talking about the SATA controller of an Intel G43 chipset, released in June, specs released ahead of that, by a company which has done absolutely everything that the community has said for years is all that a hardware company needs to do to get good Linux support. They've even gone beyond by hosting the development site and assigning engineers to participate in the FOSS driver projects for their hardware. And Linux is *still* way behind windows on support for this hardware. This is the absolute optimum test case for whether or not the Linux community's claims and promises hold up; For whether the driver development and distribution model works. And it is clear that they do not.

I continue to be amazed at just how far some Linux apologists will go to defend the indefensible. And to defend that which should not be defended. It is not helping Linux.

Decide whether you care about the future of Linux or not. If you do not, then by all means continue to turn a blind eye to its shortcomings and defend it no matter what. If you *do* care, then you might start considering its obvious shortcomings and how things might be improved. Because you can bet that consumers who don't care one way or the other about OSes, which is about 99% of home users in the world, give or take a bit, are going to go with what works best for them. And right now that is *clearly* Windows. And after 16 years that is our fault. I don't like it. But ignoring the fact, as some Linux advocates are so keen to do, does not change the reality.

You can live in your fantasy world. Or you can live in the real one. But if you choose fantasy, declining to acknowledge the real one, don't complain when the real world intrudes.

Edit:

I mentioned the "Three Wise Monkeys" earlier. I went to Wikipedia to refresh myself on the topic, and encountered this wonderful image of a wood carving depicting them:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0b/Threewisem...

Note that the monkeys in this depiction are *helping each other* to avoid hearing, seeing, and speaking of the obvious problems surrounding them. This is most relevant. Because I see the members of the Linux community performing that function for other members.

Edited 2008-10-15 16:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: Drivers
by DeadFishMan on Wed 15th Oct 2008 18:14 in reply to "RE[8]: Drivers"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

"...as you are well aware the OSS community has limited resources when it comes to code or maintain drivers for new pieces of hardware, specially considering that most manufacturers don't take the trouble of publishing the hardware specs so that one can take them and write drivers without having to reverse engineer anything or to allocate the resources to write and maintain the driver themselves.

BULLSHIT!
There really isn't any other word for it. We're not talking about your crappy no-name webcam. I made that quite clear in my original post.

We're talking about the SATA controller of an Intel G43 chipset, released in June, specs released ahead of that, by a company which has done absolutely everything that the community has said for years is all that a hardware company needs to do to get good Linux support. They've even gone beyond, by hosting the development site and assigned engineers to participate in the FOSS driver projects. And Linux is *still* way behind windows on support for this hardware. This is the absolute optimum test case for whether or not the Linux community's claims and promises hold up. For whether the driver development and distribution model works. And it is clear that they do not.
" [/q]

And how is that Intel failing to release a suitable driver for your hardware is Linux' fault? As I said, one can argue that the lack of a stable kernel ABI might be holding us back in that regard and that's a heck of a good point, but if that means that Linus will keep pushing enterprise grade features into the kernel at a reasonable pace and the current maintainers can keep their drivers up to the snuff with little effort, I'm all for it and don't remember seeing you complain last time this was raised...

I continue to be amazed at just how far some Linux apologists will go to defend the indefensible. And to defend that which should not be defended. It is not helping Linux.


I am not trying to defend anything, I'm just stating things as they are. You're the one that's trying to come up with solutions to these problems, as if it hasn't been tried countless times before. Get real!

Decide whether you care about the future of Linux or not. If you do not, then by all means continue to turn a blind eye to its shortcomings and defend it no matter what. If you *do* care, then you might start considering its obvious shortcomings and how things might be improved. Because you can bet that consumers who don't care one way or the other about OSes, which is about 99% of home users in the world, give or take a bit, are going to go with what works best for them. And right now that is *clearly* Windows. And after 16 years that is our fault. I don't like it. But ignoring the fact, as some Linux advocates are so keen to do, does not change the reality.


I really beg to differ here, mate. Mac OS X is by most accounts a very successful consumer product and they take pride for being different of Windows. Difference here is that Mac OS X has tons of cash in the bank and a lot of hype going for it.

I do care about Linux and don't give a shit about most Windows users. How about that? If Windows works best for them, then I don't see why they cannot stay with Windows (like my wife chooses to do, for instance). What's the point of turning Linux into a free Windows clone that will be forever trying to catch up with the real thing? For those of us for whom Windows cannot meet our expectations though, I'm glad that there are Mac, Linux and other options out there that can be shaped in a way that satisfy our needs. If some Windows users wish to follow and are willing to learn a little in the process, that's OK. Ubuntu has managed to do that, if anything.

You can live in your fantasy world. Or you can live in the real one. But if you choose fantasy, declining to act in the real world, don't complain when the real world intrudes.


Listen, pal. Nobody is ignoring problems, "living in the fantasy world" as you say, perceived or otherwise. I think that most reasonable people acknowledge the problems that you described - I face some of them myself from times to times - but there are no easy answers here. If you have a magic wand that's going to make it all go away, then be my guest. Mark Shuttleworth has a lot of both money and momentum going for him but regardless he has experienced only moderate success trying to steer Linux into a more consumer-friendly realm so I wonder what one with less resources can accomplish.

I can understand someone that just started to use Linux and does not fully understand the dynamics of its ecosystem going into rant mode and shout some gibberish but as a long time Linux user, you should know better.

I guess that my point is that if you are going to use Linux, then purchase hardware intended to be used with Linux (funny is that this is exactly the same advice that you gave to kaiwai when he started to badmouth Linux for not supporting his wireless card some time ago and now came up with this. Go figure!) the same way that Mac users have to purchase hardware intended to be used with Mac OS X and keep in mind that spankin' brand new hardware most likely will only be fully supported under Windows and later on the others, if it comes to that at all. BUT if you're willing to take certain risks, then you will know that support for your hardware might be under development on newer and unstable iterations of the kernel.

But we're going way too off-topic here so I will refrain from responding on this thread any longer...

Edited 2008-10-15 18:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3