Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th May 2009 19:06 UTC
Linux We all know them. We all hate them. They are generally overdone, completely biased, or so vague they border on the edge of pointlessness (or toppled over said edge). Yes, I'm talking about those "Is Linux ready for the desktop" articles. Still, this one is different.
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It depends... If it's ready
by wawrzyn on Mon 18th May 2009 20:42 UTC
wawrzyn
Member since:
2009-03-24

Yes, it's not ready.

On the other hand, I'm using Slackware Linux on my desktop since 2002 all the time (having FreeBSD on spare machine for some time). Before 2002 we ran the whole office on RedHat Linux, some of us were using Debian also. So, it depends what you're looking for. I must say, that having my Slackware box in my hands makes me feel it works like a blast comparing to the same machine with Vista on board. This was the main reason I removed Vista from my notebook and... I installed Slackware. To be honest - this notebook is shared with my wife. She also prefers Slackware as long, as everything works fine, she can use Firefox, Thunderbird, she has Flash support for modern sites and youtube, she can also write some documents in OO.org Writer and calculate home budget and expenses in OO.org Calc. I have GCC, Java, a lot of tools and - the great - VirtualBox for development and tests.

So, is it ready? For me (I think us) - yes.

Reply Score: 3

RE: It depends... If it's ready
by moleskine on Mon 18th May 2009 23:00 in reply to "It depends... If it's ready"
moleskine Member since:
2005-11-05

You are not a typical computer user but an advanced one, compared to most folks. You need to think your way into the mindset of someone who won't mess with configuration files or a console, doesn't really know what a firewall is, isn't prepared to learn the Linux file system conventions like /etc or /var and wants to know why Linux will not run their favourite Microsoft-platform games and does not come pre-installed on their shop-bought PC. That is where the broad mass of the market lies. One of the difficulties Linux has is that its advocates constantly misread the market. This returns Linux to where it has always been on the desktop and where it is likely to stay, imho: among those who want to run it and are therefore prepared to make the effort. Most folks aren't interested in either.

Reply Parent Score: 2

wawrzyn Member since:
2009-03-24

Ok... Thanks to your reply, I've just realized some additional aspects I totally forgot. Computer games, all that "plug and play", "drag and drop", "fire and forget" technologies of our times. Indeed, typical users really don't want to go into details. And the problem is, that GNU/Linux advocates are seeing all the things around this operating from the wrong perspective. In fact, I made similar mistake. GNU/Linux covers all my needs, it also is suitable for all the needs of my wife in fact, but... She is quite educated right now - living with a geek in the same house for some years right now is the result. Moreover, we are not playing games on the computer at all. For such purposes we have a console, which is in use from time to time. This is a difference in thinking - our point of view is that computer is a tool, which is suitable to perform your work and help you in daily activities. If you want some games - you should buy a console (no instalation troubles, dependencies etc.) :-) Anyway, thank you, you helped me to realize what are the needs of typical user.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: It depends... If it's ready
by DavidSan on Mon 18th May 2009 23:16 in reply to "It depends... If it's ready"
DavidSan Member since:
2008-11-18

Yes, it's not ready.

On the other hand, I'm using Slackware Linux on my desktop since 2002 all the time (having FreeBSD on spare machine for some time). Before 2002 we ran the whole office on RedHat Linux, some of us were using Debian also. So, it depends what you're looking for. I must say, that having my Slackware box in my hands makes me feel it works like a blast comparing to the same machine with Vista on board. This was the main reason I removed Vista from my notebook and... I installed Slackware. To be honest - this notebook is shared with my wife. She also prefers Slackware as long, as everything works fine, she can use Firefox, Thunderbird, she has Flash support for modern sites and youtube, she can also write some documents in OO.org Writer and calculate home budget and expenses in OO.org Calc. I have GCC, Java, a lot of tools and - the great - VirtualBox for development and tests.

So, is it ready? For me (I think us) - yes.


I have been using it since 1994... Is it ready? No. Unless you assume users are geeks.

Besides Firefox, Oo.org, Thunderbird, Flash, Java... is not Linux. All is available for Windows and Mac OS X, as well. OO.org on the Mac, for example, sets the bar a whole lot higher than on Linux.

OO.org is so easy to install and remove on Mac OS X (drag and drop to the hardrive) that Linux should be ashamed with its Package Manager. On Mac OS X it just does not need installing. Linux and its package manager is a nice solution for the way Linux installs things, copying things in different folders all over the hard drive, but it should not have taken that path to begin with.

Why Linux does not use self contained applications? Because it is not a desktop OS thought for mass people.

Reply Parent Score: 1

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

OO.org is so easy to install and remove on Mac OS X (drag and drop to the hardrive) that Linux should be ashamed with its Package Manager. On Mac OS X it just does not need installing. Linux and its package manager is a nice solution for the way Linux installs things, copying things in different folders all over the hard drive, but it should not have taken that path to begin with.

Why Linux does not use self contained applications? Because it is not a desktop OS thought for mass people.


OMG. Where to start?

OK ... if you want to "drag and drop" to install an application on the Mac ... where exactly are you dragging it from? Answer ... from where you downloaded it to (ie. you are moving things in different folders all over the hard drive). How did you drag and drop it? With the Mac desktop manager / file manager. How did you download it? With a web browser, presumably. How did you find it, in order to download it? With a web search site (Google perhaps), apparently.

The one program on Linux, called the package manager, does all that for you ... it allows you to search for a program, download it and install it in one operation. You don't need a file manager nor a web browser.

OO.org is so easy to install on Linux. You go to the "Add/remove software" (package manager) application (just as you do to install anything else), you use the package manager search to find the OpenOffice package, you select it for installation, and you click "Apply". That is it. All downloaded, unpacked and installed, including any dependencies, and entries placed on the menus for you, ready to go. Done.

On the Mac, you need to do all of this in a web browser, where there is no one place to get everything from, so you have to do quite a bit of searching before you can get to a correct download link. Once once you have clicked the link, the application is only downloaded, it is still not installed yet.

Reply Parent Score: 5

asmoore82 Member since:
2009-03-11

Drag and Drop to Install is just pure laziness - not good design or good framework. It leads to a file permissions clusterbang and a wasteland of Apple certified "technicians" who have no clue how to fix it.
`chmod -R +rwx` is again pure laziness that hides the real problem.

Need to open Firefox in safe mode or the Firefox Profile manager in Linux?
No problem - either in the Run Dialog or any terminal emulator of your choice - run `firefox -safe-mode` or `firefox -P` respectively.

On a Mac? GOOD LUCK from within that B0RK'D Environment:
`/Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox -safe-mode`
Holy Crap - always typing the full PATH is so much nicer,
computing hasn't been that much fun since the 70's!

But drag and drop to install is well worth that price, right?
except that it's not the case for all Apps, is it?
especially Apps straight from Apple - they have *.pkg installers with a workflow similar to *.exe's on Win98 don't they -
gotta stick that EULA in there somehow.

2(or more) different ways to install software?
That doesn't sound very "Desktop Ready" to me.

Let's get some more _realism_ here -
Steps to get OO.org on a Mac:
1. pray for Intel hardware
2. go the site
3. begin the download
...blah, blah, blah
- How 90's and what a waste of time.
Steps to get OO.org on Ubuntu:
1. you're done already - "just works" out of the box.

What about a Desktop Ready, user-friendly sync frontend?
Mac: IDK, even if you can find a decent one -
Will it be available for PPC-based Macs, or just the newer Intels?
Will it be available for Panther, Tiger and/or Leopard?
Lions and 10.4 and Bears - Oh My!!
Will it be "resource fork" aware? - whatever the hell that means.

Ubuntu: `sudo apt-get install grysnc`
wow, a whopping 68 KB *automagic* download -
you have to wait all of 400 miliseconds -
no big fuss, no obnoxious PR - "just works"
and you have powerful *GUI* App that supports
multiple profiles, local file sync, remote file sync,
*secure* sync; *secure* there's another thing that
Mac's couldn't understand even if it dropped a house on them.

Anyone out there need to use Java 6 on Mac 10.3? SOL and JWF!
Maybe it would be easy for Linux to follow Microsoft and Apple's lead to the vaporous goal of "Desktop Ready" - all I can see that it takes is funny[admittedly] TV spots and utter contempt for users.

Reply Parent Score: 1