Linked by bcavally on Mon 21st Dec 2009 17:18 UTC
BeOS & Derivatives Today there are many operating systems available. Every vendor or community round it tries to make it as good as possible. Having different goals, different legacy and different cultures, they succeed in it more or less. We (end users) end up with big selection of operating systems, but for us the operating systems are usually compromise of the features that we would like to have. So is there an operating system that would fit all the needs of the end user? Is is the BeOS clone Haiku?
Thread beginning with comment 400626
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

I can agree with games and to a lesser agree educational software not being as available on Linux, but science software?
In my experience scientific software is the one category where essentially almost all commercial software is also available for Linux. I'm thinking Matlab, Mathematica, Comsol, Labview ... plus a number of free alternatives. So I would be interested in what scientific software you are missing on Linux.


Here are a couple of educational science programs that I use from time-to-time. Could be Linux alternatives, but I haven't found them.

Seismic Waves, demonstrates how seismic waves travel through the earth.

Erupt, a volcano simulation program released by Las Alamos National Lab.

Two programs, Halo Sim and Iris, for recreating atmospheric visual effects.

Seismic Eruptions, displays patterns of earthquake activity either using a database of past earthquakes or in near real-time over the internet.

Home Planet, a view of earth showing satellite locations, day-night shading, location of moon... very cool stuff.

Orbiter 3D space flight simulation - beautiful graphics.

How 'bout a GIS/map making program that interacts directly with common consumer GPS units? Some of the Garmin software is available for Mac, but nothing for Linux. The National Geographic software is Windows-only. DeLorme software is Windows only.

Some free / open source programs can interact with GPS units also - Terrain, MicroDem, and 3Dem for examples. Each of these is Windows-only.

GeoCaching software for Linux? Two popular applications I've used, GSAK ($25 registration) and EasyGPS are Windows-only.

But that's all 'fun' stuff. At work we use the following science and productivity software: Grapher and Surfer by Golden Software, Office 2000, AutoCad, and SolidWorks. Office 2000 is easy to replace with OpenOffice, but not so much the others. If there are open source alternatives to Grapher and Surfer, I'd be very interested for my own use. Ditto Matlab.

At past jobs I've been around ArcView / ArcGIS, MControl (by Mudlogging Systems Inc), Strip.Log (Wellsight Systems Inc), and All Topo Maps (interactive USGS maps on CD). AFAIK, these are all Windows-only software titles with no decent open source or Linux alternatives.

About the software to interact with appliances, I agree that getting a device to interact with Linux usually requires quite a bit of work, however I'm constantly annoyed by how things are on Windows, where every device comes with its substandard connection software which all insist to run constantly to detect when you might connect the device. So on windows you often end up running several different pieces of vendor software all UI nightmares. On Linux at least if you get it working you use standards like opensync ...

I don't disagree with your Windows comments.

The real hurdle for alternative operating systems is to convince the appliance makers to include software for those OSes with the product. Considering the discs included with each of the following:
Kyocera cell phone, software is Windows only.
Dell PDA, software is Windows only.
TI calculator, software is Windows or Mac.
Garmin GPS, software is Windows only.
Razor PDA, software is Windows only.

Reply Parent Score: 4

cycoj Member since:
2007-11-04

"I can agree with games and to a lesser agree educational software not being as available on Linux, but science software?
In my experience scientific software is the one category where essentially almost all commercial software is also available for Linux. I'm thinking Matlab, Mathematica, Comsol, Labview ... plus a number of free alternatives. So I would be interested in what scientific software you are missing on Linux.


Here are a couple of educational science programs that I use from time-to-time. Could be Linux alternatives, but I haven't found them.

Seismic Waves, demonstrates how seismic waves travel through the earth.

Erupt, a volcano simulation program released by Las Alamos National Lab.

Two programs, Halo Sim and Iris, for recreating atmospheric visual effects.

Seismic Eruptions, displays patterns of earthquake activity either using a database of past earthquakes or in near real-time over the internet.

Home Planet, a view of earth showing satellite locations, day-night shading, location of moon... very cool stuff.

Orbiter 3D space flight simulation - beautiful graphics.

"
OK I believe we were classifying scientific software differently. You were more thinking about scientific educational software, I was more thinking about scientific software as tools of scientists (due to my perspective of being a scientist). In physics almost all commercial tools are also available for Linux/Unix.
BTW looking at Orbiter, you might want to have a look at Celestia and Stellarium. Both are OSS and available for Linux/Windows and OSX I believe.


How 'bout a GIS/map making program that interacts directly with common consumer GPS units? Some of the Garmin software is available for Mac, but nothing for Linux. The National Geographic software is Windows-only. DeLorme software is Windows only.

Some free / open source programs can interact with GPS units also - Terrain, MicroDem, and 3Dem for examples. Each of these is Windows-only.

GeoCaching software for Linux? Two popular applications I've used, GSAK ($25 registration) and EasyGPS are Windows-only.


I remember looking around FreeGIS.org for a friend but had the impression that all the software there was overkill for her requirements. However I'm not really familiar with GIS software so you might want to look there, there's definitely a lot of software for Linux as well.


But that's all 'fun' stuff. At work we use the following science and productivity software: Grapher and Surfer by Golden Software, Office 2000, AutoCad, and SolidWorks. Office 2000 is easy to replace with OpenOffice, but not so much the others. If there are open source alternatives to Grapher and Surfer, I'd be very interested for my own use. Ditto Matlab.

Well I don't think there's any open source software like AutoCad.
About Grapher, I personally dislike these "Origin/Maple" type programs, I find that my plotting is much better and easier done within scripts, that's why I use matplotlib with python. I've also switched over from using matlab to fully using python/numpy/scipy. It is much more pleasant to program, especially if you have to implement a bit of a GUI (looking at the GUI code written in matlab makes my eyes and brain bleed). However there's a number of programs which offer similar functionality (labplot, scilab (although maybe overkill), qtiplot (the website seems to indicate it's closed source but it is not go to the berlios site) and others (there's a free plotting software page on wikipedia).

About Surfer, maybe MayVi would be an alternative, although again maybe a bit overkill, it can be customised quite a bit though I think.

Matlab, well there's octave which is pretty much a matlab clone. I'm using python with numpy/scipy/matplotlib and some other packages. Yes it means learning a new language, but once you've done so it is so much more pleasant to use.

Now I don't know if these programs would fit your requirements. If you depend on the software for work you should obviously first investigate if it really fits you needs and also if the migration is worth it.


At past jobs I've been around ArcView / ArcGIS, MControl (by Mudlogging Systems Inc), Strip.Log (Wellsight Systems Inc), and All Topo Maps (interactive USGS maps on CD). AFAIK, these are all Windows-only software titles with no decent open source or Linux alternatives.


As I said before not much experience with GIS software.


"About the software to interact with appliances, I agree that getting a device to interact with Linux usually requires quite a bit of work, however I'm constantly annoyed by how things are on Windows, where every device comes with its substandard connection software which all insist to run constantly to detect when you might connect the device. So on windows you often end up running several different pieces of vendor software all UI nightmares. On Linux at least if you get it working you use standards like opensync ...

I don't disagree with your Windows comments.

The real hurdle for alternative operating systems is to convince the appliance makers to include software for those OSes with the product. Considering the discs included with each of the following:
Kyocera cell phone, software is Windows only.
Dell PDA, software is Windows only.
TI calculator, software is Windows or Mac.
Garmin GPS, software is Windows only.
Razor PDA, software is Windows only.
"

IMO what would be really desirable would be if the appliance makers would start to agree on some common interfaces and use these instead of including their own crappy software with the devices. BTW Dells PDA supposedly sync with linux, there's some software to get the data of GPS devices and there's a program to communicate with TI calculators (tilp2).

Another thing, why was my previous post modded down?! Just because I said in my experience almost all scientific software is available for linux??

Reply Parent Score: 1

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

There is software that supports most mobile phone sync already. It should be included with the major distributions and I'm told Ubuntu has a pretty detailed wiki page on it.

Phone sync is something I've not looked into for a while so I don't have more details to offer. I think it's done with multisync and Evolution. I'm also looking at Opensync.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Bobthearch Member since:
2006-01-27

Thanks for the well thought-out post. I'll be looking for some of those Linux titles you mentioned, as I'm building a computer next week that will be dual-booting GoboLinux as one option.

OK I believe we were classifying scientific software differently. You were more thinking about scientific educational software, I was more thinking about scientific software as tools of scientists (due to my perspective of being a scientist). In physics almost all commercial tools are also available for Linux/Unix.

I've worked in a couple of different science fields, and still do. Strip.Log is a program for creating geological logs of drilled wells. MControl is software for interacting with drill monitoring equipment. The archeological firms I've worked at used ArcView and other GPS-interactive software for mapping and spacial analysis of arch sites, as well as more basic GPS/mapping software for more 'everyday' tasks such as simply locating the survey areas.

BTW looking at Orbiter, you might want to have a look at Celestia and Stellarium. Both are OSS and available for Linux/Windows and OSX I believe.

Yes, I use both of those programs, Celestia and Stellarium, in Windows regularly. Orbiter is rather different from those and from typical astronomy / stargazing software, and it's a suitable example of high-quality free software available exclusively to Windows users (threw that in to stay On Topic):
http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

I remember looking around FreeGIS.org for a friend but had the impression that all the software there was overkill for her requirements. However I'm not really familiar with GIS software so you might want to look there, there's definitely a lot of software for Linux as well.

Advanced GIS users might be able to make use of GRASS (often compared to ArcGIS), but you're correct about overkill. Most casual and recreational map users simply wish to view, edit, and print topo maps; and transfer data sets between the software maps and their GPS unit. Those are basic functions for geocachers, recreational hikers, land owners, archaeologists, and other field scientists.

Reply Parent Score: 2