Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 28th Aug 2012 20:46 UTC
Linux "For years now, Linux has been a black sheep standing in the shadow of Apple and Microsoft. Despite having a fervent and enthusiastic following, the operating system hasn't been able to grab a sizable share of the computing market and has instead been content to subsist on the customers that come away dissatisfied with the mainstream competition. But that may be about to change. With the release of Microsoft Windows 8 on the horizon, some are saying Linux may have a great opportunity to steal a significant share of the market away from Microsoft, allowing it to finally take the helm as a major operating system service provider." This has to stop, and the only reason I'm linking to this nonsense is to make this very clear: Linux will not magically conquer the desktop or even make any significant gains because of Windows 8. People who don't like Windows 8 (Vista) will continue to use Windows 7 (Windows XP). This is getting so tiring. And does it even matter? Linux is winning big time in the mobile space, server space, and countless other spaces. The desktop is and always has been irrelevant to Linux.
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RE[4]: X Sucks
by bassbeast on Wed 29th Aug 2012 11:47 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: X Sucks"
Member since:

Dude its simple math, and if anybody takes even 5 seconds to think about it you'll see the whole idea simply doesn't work.

Let me lay it out, at your average distro you have MAYBE 50 guys truly qualified to do low level driver work, and I'm giving them a BIG benefit of the doubt with that number. Frankly I'd be amazed if you had even 10 guys at anyplace not the size of Red hat. Now how many drivers do you have? I'd say 100,000 would be a fair number, with new hardware coming out every day, but again lets give them extra leeway and say 10,000.

So you have 50 guys, dealing with everything from the kernel on up being constantly futzed with, and you have 10,000 drivers and a release every 6 months to a year...see the problem? If you had them pumped up on magic marching powder and working 24/7/365 they'd never even be able to keep up with what is on their plate, much less deal with the myriad of new hardware!

But this is why a hardware ABI is good and "letting the devs handle it" is bad, the math simply doesn't work. I can take an RTM WinXP from 12 years ago, install the drivers, and then upgrade to current and tada! the drivers STILL WORK. I have an XP from 2004 in the shop, its had every single patch placed on since 2004, we're talking thousands of fixes and patches and the drivers? STILL WORK.

That is why I tell everyone that thinks Linux is ready to step up and take the Pepsi challenge. We'll take any distro (no LTS because we've already seen with Ubuntu LTS means "We won't fix" as rarely does anything get backported) that was released in 2009, the same year as Windows 7, place it and Win 7 RTM on identical machines. We'll then upgrade both to current and see what happens.

But I can already tell you what happens, because I've done so with about a half a dozen distros now, everything from current darlings Ubuntu to more offbeat suggestions like PCLOS and Fedora, and the results are always the same...a broken system. Sound is toast, wireless gone, the system will be a mess. meanwhile the Win 7 system? Keeps right on humming along.

When you can give me a Linux version that gets 10 years, or even 7 years worth of updates without having to "google for fixes" then we'll talk, until then like it or not its a mess and not ready for John Q Public.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: X Sucks
by Valhalla on Wed 29th Aug 2012 13:13 in reply to "RE[4]: X Sucks"
Valhalla Member since:

So you have 50 guys, dealing with everything from the kernel on up being constantly futzed with, and you have 10,000 drivers and a release every 6 months to a year...see the problem?

First of all, the developers are not testing all the drivers/hardware, others are testing the hardware they have and report problems upstream.

Secondly you don't seem to understand what an ABI is, it's an interface, a change to that interface means that in the majority of cases all it takes is a tweak to the driver source code, you sound as if the driver functionality needs to be rewritten.

And third, just because the ABI isn't stable doesn't mean it changes all the time and force kernel devs to make those small changes in drivers. And just so that you understand what we are talking about here, it's in-kernel interfaces, not the userspace->kernel interface, which is very stable.

Finally, the stability of a driver does not lie in the ABI, you can make changes to the ABI with every minor revision with a perfectly stable driver as a result.

And unlike Windows and OSX, Linux needs to run on a wide range of cpu architectures, many for which hardware device vendors have little to no interest in providing proprietary drivers, however due to the amazing in-tree driver support of Linux these cpu architectures enjoys great hardware support.

Proprietary drivers is a moronic concept, it creates an artificial barrier preventing you from using the hardware you've purchased in the environment of your choice and instead you are beholden to the good will of the hardware vendor to 'allow' you to use the hardware where they see fit.

Therefore it's so great to see not only that the holdouts are practically extinct (NVidia), and that discrete GPU's are being obsoleted from the end user desktop and replaced by gpgpu's with fully open source drivers which means there's suddenly every possibility of a future where you can get full use of your graphics hardware no matter if you use Linux, BSD's, Haiku, insert favourite alternative OS here

And for those who still use discrete GPU's there are alternatives like Nouveau which has made incredible progress in a very short amount of time through nothing but painstaking reverse engineering and skill.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[5]: X Sucks
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 30th Aug 2012 14:52 in reply to "RE[4]: X Sucks"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

I've actually done that "Pepsi challange" since 2009 with fedora, things just get better. Or are you saying that you need to upgrade to new "versions" of Fedora while windows 7 is still windows 7? Or are you saying that Fedora 11 is no longer supported and therefore loses? I think it passes as I have upgraded it and nothing has broken. Hardware that didn't work well at first got better. Software that didn't work well at first got better.

If you want a desktop version that doesn't need a "Version" upgrade and with minimal fuss, then I'd direct you to Red hat enterprise Desktop or CENTOS. Those are pretty rock solid and get a decent amount of backports.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: X Sucks
by bassbeast on Thu 30th Aug 2012 18:44 in reply to "RE[5]: X Sucks"
bassbeast Member since:

RHEL is $400 a year, Windows a one time cost of $80-$140 depending on version, no comparison. And Cent is a leecher mod done by a couple of guys that could disappear tomorrow, as we saw a couple years back with them just falling away for months without even email, again no comparison.

Again I'll be happy to step up and take the challenge, and don't blame me that Linux HAS to be upgraded, as Windows supports for 10 years and Linux could too if they chose, instead the devs say "its free" so they upgrade. Well my time is NOT free and those upgrades make messes. We'll take 2 bog standard COTS laptops, any OEM, slap whatever Linux and Win 7 RTM with NO driver packs, we'll see what works OOTB and if either needs drivers we'll install, then we'll patch/upgrade to current.

As I've said I've done this and seen with my own two eyes, drivers BREAK badly. Wireless and sound are the worse, but video will often be flaky, changed settings will be reset or sometime end up borked completely, its a mess.

Reply Parent Score: 1