Linked by David Adams on Fri 18th Jun 2010 19:17 UTC
Linux Linux Magazine has a profile of Daniel Fore and the Elementary project. Elementary is a Linux distro that's committed to a clean and simple user experience, but it's more than a distro - it's actually a multi-pronged effort to make improvements to the user experience for a whole ecosystem of components, including icons, a GTK theme, Midori improvements, Nautilus, and even Firefox. The work that elementary is doing isn't limited to their own distro, and some of their work is available in current, and perhaps future, Ubuntu releases. The results are really striking, and I think it's probably the handsomest Linux UI I've ever seen.
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silix
Member since:
2006-03-01

Of course, Windows and OSX programs are always fully uninstalled when commanded. /s

pointing at other OS's flaws doesnt solve yours
Windows and OSX are not perfect, of course, but those two OS's are the ones the majority of users actually use despite minor annoyances like this, because they have all the applications already (users want to use applications, not the OS itself) while linux has got OpenOffice and some other horizontal applications (though there's web browsers aplenty) but when it comes to specialized professional grade vertical applications, there's very few to none of them available ( and even in those cases, for specific - sometimes outdated, versions of specific distributions )
other Os's can live with this minor annoyance because they have at least one barrier to entry less than, say, linux

Furthermore, it is always amazing when someone tries to characterize Linux in a certain way. There are hundreds of different distros, many of which do unique and incredible things.

this is the crux of the problem
the vast majority of people would rather settle with something that *works*, has as many features that they need, as possible, and possibly stable API's (so that third party developers can give them the *applications* they need), than be willing to choose among hundreds of different distros (incompatible with each other) just to get one unique or incredible feature but sacrificing on fundamental requirements such as overall functionality and stability

also, development wise, consolidating a platform in a certain application field, and adapting it to operate in other fields are not mutually exclusive things (in fact, they're orthogonal aspects)
and certainly it shouldn't need different distributions to refine feature richness and suitability in the same application field (namely, the desktop), since such refinement may well happen upstream and all distributions benefit from it equally - but this would make all desktop distributions (mutually compatible) clones of each other, diminishing any competitive advantage one may have against the others, so it's not in the distributions' interest to make that happen (although it would be in the users' interest)

For instance, how does the above notion on problems with Linux independent package uninstall apply to distros such as Gobolinux, where each package and library sits in its own directory?

GoboLinux does away with package management and dependency hell - but it's known for suffering from "symlink hell" otoh
simplifying the directory structure and putting some common sense in it (third party applications each in its own directory isn't "the windows way", it's just logical) is all fine and dandy, but it clashes with a plethora of unix userland sw developed with unix paths in mind (or, often times, hardcoded)

My 84 year old mother installed Mepis by herself, and she doesn't know how to use the CLI, and she has never had to use the CLI.

... so when you'll give her a new webcam for christmas, she'll be able to install it herself with just a few mouse clicks (setup-> next->next->finish), or she'll rather have to open the cli and type some obscure commands (or worse yet, wait for you to come and setup it for her) ?

Reply Parent Score: 4

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

... so when you'll give her a new webcam for christmas, she'll be able to install it herself with just a few mouse clicks (setup-> next->next->finish), or she'll rather have to open the cli and type some obscure commands (or worse yet, wait for you to come and setup it for her) ?

Like on OSX, it'll most likely either work out of the box or not work at all. Actually, V4L drivers are not that bad, just like wi-fi. Not every PC hardware will work, but there is a large amount of hardware which is known to work, just like say Sound blaster 16-compatible cards are known to work on Win9x and usb pen drives are known to work on OSX. He'd probably choose among those when buying a webcam, and everything will be fine.

Edited 2010-06-19 17:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

pointing at other OS's flaws doesnt solve yours

First of all, I have already addressed the alleged Linux package upgrade issue elsewhere in this thread. I am not going to repeat myself just because someone doesn't bother to read.

Secondly, the OP stated that Linux is "not ready for mass consumption," which presumes that some other OS is ready for mass consumption. I was merely highlighting the flaw in this reasoning.

OSX and Windows are in many ways less "ready for mass consumption" than Linux.


Windows and OSX are not perfect, of course, but those two OS's are the ones the majority of users actually use despite minor annoyances like this, because they have all the applications already(users want to use applications, not the OS itself) while linux has got OpenOffice and some other horizontal applications (though there's web browsers aplenty) but when it comes to specialized professional grade vertical applications, there's very few to none of them available ( and even in those cases, for specific - sometimes outdated, versions of specific distributions )

Congratulations for posting the second longest run-on in OSNews history!

Windows and OSX are far from perfect, and neither is any better than Linux.

The majority of use Windows, because that is the OS to which they are exposed, not because Windows has applications that Linux doesn't. The same assertion applies to OSX, although I would argue that it is possible that there are more Linux desktops in the world compared to OSX desktops.

Furthermore, I dispute that Windows and OSX have a pool of professional "vertical" applications that Linux/open-source doesn't offer. Certainly, Windows, OSX and Linux "out-do" each other on an individual program basis, but one OS does not dominate over another in terms of which has the best professional-quality applications. If you doubt this claim, perhaps you would care to list the Windows/OSX apps which have no better in Linux/open-source.


this is the crux of the problem

No. The crux of the problem is lack of marketing and anti-Linux FUD, which is surprisingly parroted by posters on this forum who should know better.


the vast majority of people would rather settle with something that *works*, has as many features that they need, as possible, and possibly stable API's (so that third party developers can give them the *applications* they need), than be willing to choose among hundreds of different distros (incompatible with each other) just to get one unique or incredible feature but sacrificing on fundamental requirements such as overall functionality and stability

Wow. That's the third longest run-on in OSNews history!

The vast majority of people settle on to what they have been exposed -- it has nothing to do with quality of programs nor availability of advanced features (which most will never use).

There are plenty of applications for Linux, and I can't think of a single, userland Linux program that cannot be ported to all Linux distros that use Xorg.

By the way, what is the point of mentioning that Linux distros are incompatible with each other? Even if such a claim were completely true, what do you have to compare it to in the Windows/OSX world? The Windows/OSX world doesn't have incompatible distros, because they don't have differing distros. Such amazing variety (with some distros possessing unique features) is a strength of Linux that Windows/OSX will never have.

For instance, with Linux, I can quickly and easily boot a fully function OS from a CD, DVD, USB stick, zip drive, SDHC card, etc, and all data that I create can be saved back to the CD, DVD, USB, zip, SDHC etc. I can travel with all of my applications and data on my key chain, and the OS will boot on most computers with the exact same user configuration.

Another example: without knowing about the internal workings of the OS, I can use a GUI that will easily create my own specialty distro, catered to a specific purpose, such as point-of-sale kiosks, graphics/photo editing, Pro Audio/Video editing, etc. Try to do that on Windows/OSX!


also, development wise, consolidating a platform in a certain application field, and adapting it to operate in other fields are not mutually exclusive things (in fact, they're orthogonal aspects) and certainly it shouldn't need different distributions to refine feature richness and suitability in the same application field (namely, the desktop), since such refinement may well happen upstream and all distributions benefit from it equally - but this would make all desktop distributions (mutually compatible) clones of each other, diminishing any competitive advantage one may have against the others, so it's not in the distributions' interest to make that happen (although it would be in the users' interest)

Congratulations! This sentence is THE longest run-on in OSNews history! I am proud to have it as a response to one of my posts!

Certainly, Linux can be as general or as specialized as one prefers.

One problem with proprietary OSs is that is that they can't specialize with any efficiency, because the general OS cruft will still run in the binary blob. So, with Windows and OSX, one still needs full hardware resources for an entire bloated graphical OS, even if one is merely trying to make a garage door opener that is actuated by a cell phone ( http://www.aboutdebian.com/x10.htm ) or if one is trying to build a super computer to do highly advanced fusion reaction calculations, etc.


GoboLinux does away with package management and dependency hell - but it's known for suffering from "symlink hell" otoh

There is no "hell" with the symlinks, unless the hidden existence of symlinks bother you.


simplifying the directory structure and putting some common sense in it (third party applications each in its own directory isn't "the windows way", it's just logical) is all fine and dandy, but it clashes with a plethora of unix userland sw developed with unix paths in mind (or, often times, hardcoded)

The reason for the symlinks is because some of the larger packages are hard-coded with *nix directory structure. It is not a problem that is inherent in the concept. Again, it is all hidden and does not affect performance.


... so when you'll give her a new webcam for christmas, she'll be able to install it herself with just a few mouse clicks (setup-> next->next->finish), or she'll rather have to open the cli and type some obscure commands (or worse yet, wait for you to come and setup it for her) ?

As one of the other posters mentioned, I would choose a webcam that has Linux drivers. Linux cannot be blamed if the manufacturers omit the necessary drivers and don't provide any information on how to make the drivers.

Reply Parent Score: 1

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

Windows and OSX are far from perfect, and neither is any better than Linux.
In some areas they are, in other areas they are not. In the real world the two rarely compete. Most use an OS for a specific reason, and most (outside of raging fanbois like yourself) do not use Linux as a desktop OS.

The majority of use Windows, because that is the OS to which they are exposed, not because Windows has applications that Linux doesn't. The same assertion applies to OSX, although I would argue that it is possible that there are more Linux desktops in the world compared to OSX desktops.


Really? That is the reason? Or more likely you just simply can not come up with an excuse that has any real data. Hate to break the news to you kid, but there are a hell of a lot of people that quite willingly chose your hated Windows over Linux any freaking day of the week.

Furthermore, I dispute that Windows and OSX have a pool of professional "vertical" applications that Linux/open-source doesn't offer. Certainly, Windows, OSX and Linux "out-do" each other on an individual program basis, but one OS does not dominate over another in terms of which has the best professional-quality applications. If you doubt this claim, perhaps you would care to list the Windows/OSX apps which have no better in Linux/open-source.


Why bother listing. Clueless people will think that just about anything would have an equivalency, whether it really does or not. I could mention AutoCAD, to which some twit will pop out some idiotic link to some half ass amateur product thinking they are equal. God knows the clueless FOSS fanbois think there really is competitors to something like Premiere, or hell how about Exchange. Talk about massive failure to come up with a decent competitor there. Does FOSS have anything even close to Active Directory (and all of it's capabilities and supporting roles)? If you even think of saying yes, then you really are one ignorant kid.

Reply Parent Score: 2

wargum Member since:
2006-12-15

Wow man. This is about the problems of Linux adoption on consumers desktops and you come up talking about kiosk-like customized distros, super computers and garage door openers.

the OP stated that Linux is "not ready for mass consumption," which presumes that some other OS is ready for mass consumption. I was merely highlighting the flaw in this reasoning.

OSX and Windows are in many ways less "ready for mass consumption" than Linux.

As long as you can buy millions of products for Win/OS X that say "Requires Windows XP SP2 or above" or "Requires Mac OS X 10.5.4 or above" and for Linux it's like no info at all or like "Requires at least Linux Kernel 2.6.32, X.org 6.9, glibc vX.X", nothing will change.

although I would argue that it is possible that there are more Linux desktops in the world compared to OSX desktops.

Show me a single statistic that claims it is even semi accurate and is assembled by a large number of sources like lots of different websites. The ones that do exist give no hint at all that your assumption could be true. OS X has 5-6 times more users than Linux on the desktop. Why are there so many more products that people can buy for Mac compared to Linux?

Furthermore, I dispute that Windows and OSX have a pool of professional "vertical" applications that Linux/open-source doesn't offer.

Take music production for example. There is only one decent MIDI sequencer (Rosegarden) and Ardour mostly for audio recording. There is nothing like Logic, Cubase, Pro Tools, Digital Performer and the likes. No fully featured DAW at all. And don't even get me started on all the wonderful Plug-Ins and software instruments there are.

And what about a decent video editing software for semi professionals like Final Cut Express or Adobe Premiere Elements?

There are so many examples one can point out to.

Reply Parent Score: 3