Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 19th Apr 2010 13:10 UTC
Linux We all know Synaptics, the company that seems to produce just about every touchpad you can get your hands fingers on. Their touchpads also do a lot of multitouch and gesture stuff, but up until now, their set of gestures, the Synaptics Gesture Suite, was only available on Windows. Luckily, they've ported it over to Linux, and made it available for OEMs building Linux laptops.
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RE: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 12:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

Linux can only gain a lot of market share when hardware just works, just like it does on windows.


The ironic thing is most hardware does "just work" in Linux. In fact, setting my ASUS laptop up, even using the OEM Win7 DVD, I spent over an hour (possible 2 - wasn't really paying much attention to time) installing the drivers.

On the same system, Linux picked them all up during the install and everything "just worked" after the installer rebooted. This would never happen - not even on Win7 (as demonstrated above).

The problem with Linux is when hardware isn't supported. In Windows it would take around an hour to find the website, drivers download page and then download and install and reboot. In Linux it can take hours to trawl through wikis and messageboards to find work arounds.

So Linux does "just work" with hardware far more often than Windows. Where it falls down on is hardware that doesn't have open source / reverse engineered drivers and there's no properly supported proprietary ones. Thankfully hardware like this is the exception rather than the norm. However you only need one device like that every so often to bring the overall experience down. After all, it's easier to remember the times you've spent hours configuring something that would have worked in Windows than the times you've not needed to do anything as everything "just worked".



As for your other point about Linux gaining market share; I think there are bigger issues holding it back:
* Microsoft's monopoly (everyone has Windows so that's all most people know and all most people want)

* It's neither "cool" nor considered easy to use like Apple (partly down to the FUD machine from Microsoft and partly down to people recounting 20th Century Linux which, on the whole, wasn't novice friendly)

* Lack of unified image (personally I love the variety within Linux, but it's much much easier to sell a single brand than it is a disjointed community)

* and lastly (at least off the top of my head), most people don't really care what they use enough to investigate into alternatives. Particularly when, for them, Windows is "good enough" (a phrase I've often heard when suggesting new software from web browsers to OSs)

Edited 2010-04-20 12:40 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:36 in reply to "RE: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Having to spend a little bit of time downloading a few drivers is considerably different from having non-working or partially-working drivers that you have to tweak and play with to (hopefully) get your device to function at some percent of its Windows capacity. That process will take quite a bit longer than on Windows and you still may not get it working in the end.

And by the way, I don't know about other vendors, but Lenovo has all the drivers available on a single page on their site. You download them all, run each one and your done. That's pretty easy.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:45 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Try installing Vista on Qemu. I did it once. It required deep hacking at the time. I don't know if that has improved since then but the point stands. If your hardware is not supported by your OS, you will have to hack. You will have to hack on Linux and you will have to hack on Windows. Really, it is just a matter of choosing your components. If you want to run Windows, don't buy an ARM computer. If you want to run Linux, don't buy an Atheros card.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:30 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Having to spend a little bit of time downloading a few drivers is considerably different from having non-working or partially-working drivers that you have to tweak and play with to (hopefully) get your device to function at some percent of its Windows capacity.

But my point is Linux is already equivelent to Windows in most repects without having to download drivers.

but you're still missing the point that it's only a small percentage of hardware that require hacking about.



And by the way, I don't know about other vendors, but Lenovo has all the drivers available on a single page on their site. You download them all, run each one and your done. That's pretty easy.


That's good, aside the fact (and as I'd already explained) that you still have countless reboots between driver installs as you can't install everything in one job lot - thus significantly increasing installation time.



Don't get me wrong, I'm not out to say that Linux is better than Windows. I'm just stating that this myth about Linux not support hardware is just that, a myth. Sure, Linux isn't without it's hardware troubles, but then no OS supports all hardware (not even Windows) and the hardware Linux does support (which is the vast majority of available hardware) it generally supports without additional user downloads and pratting about.

I know personal experience is purely anecdotal, but I honestly think that over the years I've spent an equal amount of time setting up Windows systems with it's driver models as I have Linux systems with missing drivers. And that's without me going out of my way to buy "Linux compatible" hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje
by siride on Tue 20th Apr 2010 13:51 in reply to "RE: Comment by spinnekopje"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

You also forgot the fact that Linux doesn't run software people use, it's a joke on the desktop (especially if you are doing serious work) and still has hardware support problems. And then there's the fact that the bazaar model doesn't work for producing unified, well-testing and well-architected software. That means Linux will never have as clean and cohesive a desktop stack as Windows and Mac OS do and it will always be behind. The OSS desktop world simply cannot get its act together and never will.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by spiderman on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:07 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

You also forgot the fact that Linux doesn't run software people use, it's a joke on the desktop (especially if you are doing serious work) and still has hardware support problems. And then there's the fact that the bazaar model doesn't work for producing unified, well-testing and well-architected software. That means Linux will never have as clean and cohesive a desktop stack as Windows and Mac OS do and it will always be behind. The OSS desktop world simply cannot get its act together and never will.

That may or may not be true. It's fine on my desktop but maybe it's not fine on 90% of the desktop. It does not matter to me anyway.
Windows will always be behind linux on servers, embedded and mobile devices, especially if you are doing serious work. It does not run the software people use. It's a joke on the server and on the mobile and still has TONS of hardware support problems. Windows will never have as clean and cohesive a network stack as linux and it will always be behind. The Microsoft world simply cannot get its act together and never will. And I prefer not to talk about Mac OS hardware support, Windows on the server makes me laugh enough for now.

Edited 2010-04-20 14:12 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by spinnekopje
by Laurence on Tue 20th Apr 2010 14:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by spinnekopje"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

You also forgot the fact that Linux doesn't run software people use,

I didn't forget that. I ignored it because the only software I've needed to run that Linux didn't support was professional audio applications that 99.9% of people wouldn't use anyway.

Most people use web browsers, e-mail, office, a file manager and perhaps some kind of arts / photo package. Linux has all of that in abundance.

it's a joke on the desktop (especially if you are doing serious work)

That's your personal opinion and differs from my (and millions others) experience.
I won't bore you with repeating my anecdotal experiences though as it's clear you've already made you're mind up.

and still has hardware support problems.

No it doesn't. I've explained all this already. Overall, there's actually much more hardware that Linux supports than Windows does.

I hate sounding like a Linux fanboy (I'm really not), but also I hate people like yourself who spout sh*t. If you /HAVE/ to voice your personal bias, then at least base it on fact rather than complete BS.

Edited 2010-04-20 14:50 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4