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Author Topic: What linux needs?  (Read 14299 times)
mahesh2k
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« on: September 19, 2007, 04:46:04 AM »

After reading the "13 reasons linux will not make it to desktop" I started this thread to discuss the problems you faced in linux & what you expect with Linux,what you think it is not making up as Desktop in Future for most of the computer users.You can post here which softwares or features missing that makes windows still a good choice.From my side i think linux misses few applications mentioned below:By the way it is my perspective so some of you might disagree.


1. Game design software (easy,effective like Game maker)
2. Theme designer for KDE,Gnome or XFCe etc.
3. GUI Builder IDE like (Borland C++ or Delphi) >> This is needed badly <<
4. Autohotkey like scripting for GUI programs & automation tasks
5. Less bloated/whistles/tabs Windows explorer like interface for Konqurer (KDE) & Nautilus(Gnome)
6. KDE & Gnome needs develops section needs lot of documentation so that new developers can step up to the project easily.


You opinion could help in Linux some way or other.so post your views.Please post your views about it.
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f0dder
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 07:57:32 AM »

I don't think "game design software" is very relevant; it might be a cute thing to have, but the "real games" aren't created that way, anyway.

If linux was to be a general desktop replacement for everybody, imho what's needed is more along the lines of...

1. uniform environment (which is never going to happen). There's too many distros, too many windowing systems, too many desktop systems (GNOME/KDE/whatever). Yeah sure, you can have gnome programs run on KDE and vice-versa, but it just doesn't feel right - applications need to look consistant. At a slightly lower level, people should finally agree on a filesystem structure (not least startup scripts).

2. for end-users, some of the details have to be hidden (GNOME hides details, but it hides too much and too little). Like, regular users really shouldn't see /dev and /proc, it does more harm than good.

3. documentation. "read the source" just isn't good enough.

4. better hardware support (especially graphics, and WiFi too I guess), and less "drivers must be opensource" fascism (yeah, would be nice, but there's a lot of R&D and NDAs, and that's just the way the world works).

...and this is assuming that people can find replacements for windows software and don't need their old apps too badly, don't need too complicated file interchange with windows, etc. There's also some more tech/developer points, but those don't matter to the end-user (although they do matter wrt. "going there").

k/ubuntu have come a long way, but are by no means perfect. Having to edit the xorg config file just to get multi-mon support? And all the hoops you have (had?) to go through to get JAVA support? eek.
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Edvard
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2007, 01:19:21 PM »

I love Linux and answering these questions makes my stomach feel funny, but I do it for the good of the community...

mahesh2k:
1- Game design software? What did you have in mind?
A casual peruse through Ubuntu's repositories turns up more 3D/MUD/FPS/TM engines than you can shake a stick at. I guess there's more to games than that, but that's where the money comes from...
The point is, f0dder's right. Drag 'n drop game software is fun and has its uses, but REAL games get done where the function call meets the stack pointer... Wink
2- Once again, more of these than you can shake a stick at, but none of them are 100% complete. They should be written by the guys who have their hands wet with the environment you're in (KDE tools should come from the KDE team, etc. IMO it's their responsibility...), follow the standards where they apply, and have an intuitive interface.
3- If you're using C++ and GTK+, try Glade. Also, look into Lazarus if you're into Pascal.
4- Autohotkey came about because Windows fell far short of what was needed in this area. Linux is constantly lauded for the power of it's shell scripting and many equivalents of Autohotkey's functions can be found in the average distro's /bin and /sbin directories, but I agree there's not a simple tool for writing simple scripts. Kommander looks promising, and Zenity is nice for adding handy pop-up dialogs to your shell scripts. A feature-for-feature Linux equivalent of Autohotkey would be exciting, but until then you could always learn Ruby. smiley

f0dder:
1- You're right, and the community would go ballistic at the proposition of being 'forced' to use one look anyways. Personally, I like Windows' consistency, although the skinning community exists because they DON'T.
IMO, Differing environments/distros/window managers are only half the problem. What's happening is that Linux is always being evolved and a lot of very useful apps are written (and still being written) with ancient toolkits (xforms, tk, pre-1.0 gtk, etc.) and since it 'just works' we all live with a GUI that looks more like Windows 3.1 than KDE, Gnome, etc. I don't think a consistent interface is an impossible goal, but some things have to be set straight. The different elements which make up the 'look-n-feel' should be separate objects, each one completely responsible for it's job. The toolkit should call the theme engine, which should be part of the environment but autonomous so whichever one you prefer can respond to whatever window manager/environment you're using. For example, the toolkit says "context menu", the theme engine should say "blue with white edges, a gradient on the title block and Helvetica for the font", and the environment should say "snappable to the screen edge, and on top of the root window using the Foobar icon set."
2- I disagree, to a point. Sure, new users shouldn't have to know or even think about what the heck /dev is, but I think if there is ONE hurdle new Linux users should understand is that Linux is not Windows, My Documents/Computer/Pictures doesn't exist (there's no place like '/home'...) and it's not profitable to go snarfing around the filesystem looking for goodies. Give them a manual that tells them what everything is, skipping the details, but enough that when someones mentions it they don't panic.
3- Grrr... I HATE that. Man pages are useful IF they have real-world examples, but carefully commented code does NOT equal documentation. EVAR!!!
4- I couldn't agree more. Although the reason for the cry for open source drivers is BECAUSE of the poor Linux support most hardware companies have given. If they made decent drivers, I don't think too many folks would care...

Now for my own 2 cents.

1- Make simple things simple. I shouldn't have to hand-write a .desktop file with root privilege just to stick something in the Applications menu. Really. And I second f0dder's vote on hand editing xorg.conf. Even though I know how to do it blindfolded, I shouldn't have to jump through that hoop for 1024x768, let alone dual monitors.
2- Second vote for a consistent interface. Use whatever toolkit you want, I don't care, just let the environment's theme engine take care of the chrome.
3- Seconds on the startup scripts. Although they should never have to be touched by human hands, they should at the very least be logical and humanly understandable JUST IN CASE I need to get at them in an emergency. A GUI would be nice, but that's up to the distro to provide. I don't mind hand-editing if something is really wrong and that's the only way to go about it, and I could count on one hand the times I have HAD to do that, but it was never pleasant. Geez guys, I understand shell script kung-fu is necessary, and the comments are helpful, but don't make me paw through 17 different files just trying to figure out how my $PATH got set.
4- Consistent printing interface. Don't even get me started... Angry
My printer works beautifully, mind you, and CUPS is very good at getting things to work, but... If I want to do more than set the papersize...
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MrCrispy
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2007, 11:41:59 PM »

I don't have time to respond in detail, but if there is one thing the Linux folk should agree on, its binary interfaces. Or even just the concept of an interface. I have no problems with the 10 million windowing systems and text editors and config files. These are the reason OSS software is so diverse and asking them to standardize on a single windowing system is ridiculous and unreasonable.

What I do want to happen is for someone like Linus to come forward and define a standard API for applications, OS and user actions. And for every distro to program to and adhere to it. Strictly. IMO thats the really hard part. Its just too easy for anyone to write an app that reads a bunch of entries from a random txt file in usr/etc/config/blahblah, makes a few calls to the window manager, and becomes a Linux app.

A good example is package management - nowdays almost every decent distro has some form of apt-get. Yet the repositories are not compatible and neither are the managers. It would be trivial for all of them to use the same format to exchange package info, but they don't. Why does Linux still suffer from dll-hell of the worst kind. Why is recompiling the kernel considered acceptable? Why, after 5 decades, can Linux/Unix still not have binary compatibility between apps.

Decide on a unified interface for your control centers and let each distro put their own fancy UI on top. Have systemwide sound, printing, clipboard etc. I don't care if its gnome/kde/qt/elf who's at fault.

Ditch the source. Every linux hacker should be made to work for a month on a system where he has no access to source code, text editors, cmd lines or compilers. As a result she'd be forced to write tools for users, not programmers.

Look at OSX. Its a shining example of how you take a powerful kernel and build apps on top of it that isolate the user from complexity without sacrificing power.

Look at Firefox. Its incredibly succesful because no one who uses it has to look at code. Extensions are 1 click. It looks good. Why can't your kernel and apps follow the same model.

Unfortunately I think the Linux community is too much in love with its own product. Ultimately, the users of Linux are mostly those who wrote it - the ultra knowledgable geeks. They will not feel the pain. They cannot, no matter how hard they try to look at from another point of view. And unless they do, it will remain what it is today.
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Armando
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2007, 12:00:12 AM »

Unfortunately I think the Linux community is too much in love with its own product. Ultimately, the users of Linux are mostly those who wrote it - the ultra knowledgable geeks. They will not feel the pain. They cannot, no matter how hard they try to look at from another point of view.

It's true. But as you know, huge efforts are made to reverse the tendency. Look at PCLinuxOS, Ubuntu, Mandriva, or even Pardus (a very promissing distro from Turkey, funded by the Turkish government). They all have the same goal : everything has to be simple, obvious, easy to configure, compatible, etc., while being much cheaper than windows and while retaining the features that make Linux interesting. I'm still not using Linux on a day to day basis, and I probably won't soon... Unless Vista really messes everything up. That said, I find it extremely healthy for the software world that the Linux community is so alive and growing. "Linux" is truly an amazing phenomenon. And I don't think it will disappear, on the contrary. To repeat what I suggested in another thread: with fast developing countries like India and China (not exactly pro-Microsoft), Linux is probably here to stay fairly popular for a long while.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 12:05:43 AM by Armando » Logged

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mahesh2k
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2007, 03:13:39 AM »

Well i do agree with fodder and edvard on game design software,but i mean simple for linux users cause windows have so many options.But there are way too many windowing systems.

KDE is biased to use QT which is nothing but pain cause if you are interested in commercial application or want to earn money/fund with QT you'll be charge.KDE also have core team/developers have their own views their GUI themes like plastik,kermik were not changed till 2006 fall,this makes many linux newbies to use gnome for cool look & feature richness.KDE guys don't listen to you at all,instead if you ask for kubuntu or mandriva guys they'll listen to the feature request & they 'll respond to you immediately. Thmbsup

I think technical & non-technical members in the linux community have some opinions,suggestions,feature requests & we need to listen to it.Thats what mark shuttleworth did with ubuntu & he succeed.

Gnome is much better & constantly listens to the community,it makes its next roadmap on the discussion it made from gudac event.

On the topic of GUI builder software Like Borland C++ Builder or delphi,one can create it if they are interested in Wxwidgets.I think julian smart should consider this as fundraising project.Cause this type of IDE in Linux environment can run under any desktop enviro without glitches.But wxwidgets is neglected.Instead of Glade & lazarus,wxwidgets IDE can be used to create cross platform software.If not god with C++ then java could come to rescue but you know some of the desadvantage of it.anyway java will beneficial if all else fails.

Best way to improve linux is to tell official distro/desktop -teams to make things simple as we can see with windows.There is lot to learn from windows & OSX. Apple dev community can help with certain features for linux.Its just mindset that window manager team like KDE,Gnome need to change and look at few things.

« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 03:17:19 AM by mahesh2k » Logged
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2007, 05:55:52 AM »

My 2p - echoing what has been said before to some extent:

  • Better hardware support - proper drivers from the manufacturers ideally that take full advantage of the hardware. I want seamless WiFi not hours of messing about and failing to get it to work (except in VMWare which treats it as an Ethernet connection) . I want my printer to print CD/DVDs like it should and produce beautiful prints (like it should) not 'be happy to get something coherent on the correct size paper' approach. I want proper sound and graphics support - not a bad emulation of hardware that is 15 years old.
  • Simple, standard, idiot proof approach to installing/uninstalling of packages with proper shortcut creation.
  • Standardize how non-Gui elements are installed across distros (use same folder structures and file locations) so that confusion doesn't rain when you try different distros.
  • Really basic introduction to Linux - esp. in the incredibly cryptic console mode. OK once you learn the commands you can pretty much do what you like but anything beyond the basic is so cryptic as to be almost unintelligible to the average user. I grew up with CP/M, MSDOS and various other command languages on mini computers and mainframes but I find *nix really off-putting these days. An awful lot of these tools could also be given really useful and easy to use graphical interfaces so that you can run them in KDE without resorting to typing 3 pages of options.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 05:57:47 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

f0dder
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2007, 08:19:19 AM »

Edvard: my point about standardized filesystem layout (especially the scripts) is not just for the benefit of the user, but also for the benefit of programmers writing utilities to manage things that users really shouldn't need to get their hands dirty with, without having to special-case for N different distros.

I agree on your "component" idea for window-managing/looks etc. I don't particularly mind that users can have whatever look-and-feel they want, thing is that there should be one interface that everybody uses, giving one central place to change look-and-feel for everything. Consistency, aah.

And I'm adamant about "dumbing down" the filesystem a bit. Sure, let it be accessible through the shell, that's the only place you'll really need access to it. Could be done with a toggle like "Hide operating system files" in windows Explorer. Remember, the topic of this thread, as I understand it, is "linux for regular users".

Again, documentation... manpages aren't sufficient. Sure, there's aprospos, but you really do need hyperlinked and properly indexed stuff. Microsoft's .CHM format is perfect imho (and I dunno why they moved the htmlhelp v2 and a crappy viewer).

Of course editing xorg.conf isn't too difficult for most power users, and perhaps even a regular user would be able to google and figure out how to do dual-monitor setup... but why should they have to, considering this has been supported easier-than-cooking-your-grandma since win9x?

Quote from: Edvard
If they made decent drivers, I don't think too many folks would care...
Never looked at kernel mailing lists, or even slashdot? Wink

MrCrispy: funny that you should mention "DLL hell" - I've never been bitten by it on windows, but I've experienced it multiple times under linux...

Carol Haynes: part of the problems with printers and other drivers is of course the manufacturers not giving enough information...
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2007, 09:14:40 AM »

Quote
Carol Haynes: part of the problems with printers and other drivers is of course the manufacturers not giving enough information...

No the problem is chicken-egg ...

If the market for Linux increased manufacturers would produce proper Linux drivers - as it is they just don't see it as worth their while and conqeuently Linux doesn't grow the way it should.

I really think that this is by far the biggest stumbling block for Linux - without hardware support from manufacturers (not the Open Source community) at least as good as Windows XP/Vista general consumers will not adopt it.

Similarly software houses won't port software to Linux - for me a big stumbling block would be the loss of PhotoShop (and other Adobe apps) and my video editing/mastering software (notably Sony Vegas). It can't be an insuperable problem to port these apps to Linux (Adobe already has Mac versions of everything so it shouldn't be too hard to do) but until they do Linux is not going to capture the imagination of many users. I presume the main problem is potential licensing issues with GPL but some way round that needs to be found.

I really think Linux would become dominant if these issues could be sorted out and the platform made attractive to hardware and software companies. Who would buy a Windows box or a Mac if Linux was free and supported all your hardware and software choices?
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f0dder
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2007, 09:47:36 AM »

Writing binary drivers doesn't just have the "it's not big enough" problem, though... binary drivers are actively opposed by many people (including kernel devs), and it's hard to do when there isn't a stable kernel API/ABI... which is a thing Linus himself has said he doesn't want.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2007, 12:25:51 PM »

It is really up to developers (inc. Linus) to decide whether they want to create an OS and Desktop environment that is usable by a large audience - or whether they are totally committed to geekdom. If the latter what is the point apart from academic interest and server software?

As things stand at the moment Linux is never going to be a prime time OS for the masses - in which case unless Apple open up their OS to non-Apple hardware we are permanently stuck with MS as the dominant force - which is to no ones' advantage (IMHO)!
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2007, 02:19:45 PM »

I don't feel that today’s Linux trend is characterized by a commitment to “geekdom”.

I might not be able to throw in fancy developers arguments in the discussion, but has anybody tried the last PCLinuxOS or the last Ubuntu on "normal" hardware (not the latest hotest thing)... and then connected with wifi,  browsed the web with firefox, opened media files, used OpenOffice, print something, scanned something, entered some contacts in evolution, etc.... All fairly normal stuff (and some more… all for free)? I mean, I've been able to install PCLinuxOS without touching anything on 4 different machines (2 laptops, 2 Desktops). The most I had to do was to look for binaries for an ATI (X1400) card. Experiences will vary, of course., but that was not much worse than installing windows.

As for everyday normal and non geeky use, my father who’s not exactly a geek, uses Ubuntu. He writes, browses, receives emails, etc. He updates his system when the little “tool tip” tells him to do it, etc. He’s not a geek, he doesn’t use anything else. That’s real life true experience. N=1, sure, but at least, it’s first hand experience.

“Linux” (let’s say Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS) is NOT perfect, far from it. I couldn’t use it everyday. But I can see myself using it one day... if-when I can use my windows apps or even convert to different apps without loosing too much in the process, and if I don’t have to sacrifice an exaggerate “amount” of hardware compatibility. Linux has gone a long way since 1998 (1997??), when I first tried it. A long long way. Isn't that obvious? The fact that people have been saying for ever “this year is Linux year”, “Linux is ready for the desktop”, etc. means nothing. People just dream. But one fact is there: Linux is getting better and the distance between its usability and Windows usability is shrinking.

What does Linux need? IMO: time, patience, work, more big corporations’ commitment (e.g. : Novel, IBM) and also countries-governments’ involvement (Turkey, China, India, France… you name it : http://www.news.com/Frenc...4_3-6166347.html?tag=item ).  Seems obvious, maybe, but I don’t see how better drivers, better software, etc. ALONE can really make any difference… they now have to be backed by strong leadership (important and influential figures), big money and big populations. Yes, Michael Shuttleworth is in it for the money, So is Novel and Sun, and since they’ve been involved with Linux, it has progressed more quickly.


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« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 09:11:41 PM by Armando » Logged

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2007, 06:04:22 PM »

Quote
I might not be able to throw in fancy developers arguments in the discussion, but has anybody tried the last PCLinuxOS or the last Ubuntu on "normal" hardware (not the latest hotest thing)... and then connected with wifi,  browsed the web with firefox, opened media files, used OpenOffice, print something, scanned something, entered some contacts in evolution, etc.... All fairly normal stuff (and some more… all for free)? I mean, I've been able to install PCLinuxOS without touching anything on 4 different machines (2 laptops, 2 Desktops). The most I had to do was to look for binaries for an ATI (X1400) card. Experiences will vary, of course., but that's not much worse than installing windows.

I am not talking about bleeding edge hardware - I have GeForce 7300 cards, Soundblaster Audigy 2, Canon pixma ip5000 printer, Canon 3200F scanner. I have yet to find a single version of Linux that can install fully operational drivers for any of that hardware. My printer is 2-3 years old (and now obsolete), likewise the scanner, Audigy 2 is old hat and GeForce 7300 is hardly cutting edge!!

WiFi seems to be a pretty universal problem unless you specifically downgrade to a few ancient adpaters that linux can cope with (and you would probably have to scour eBay to find one).

While I am on about this (yet again) I have had about 5 printers over the last few years and CUPs has signally failed to do a good job with any of them - and I have used various HP, Canon and Lexmark printers during attempts to get Linux working - non 'cutting edge' and all pretty main stream. About the best I could achieve with any of them was to specify a non-native print resolution, select a paper size (but still get it poorly aligned). Photo printing was very poor even on my best printer.

Until these issues are taken seriously Linux is not fit for purpose for the majority of people with the majority of hardware. There is growing pressure to supply computers without an OS so that Linux can be installed - almost by definition any PC purchased off the counter today will not work properly with Linux.

Finally while any operating system requires users to go into console mode with very limited documentation and tinker with cryptic commands - each with hundreds of switches, using utilities that are scattered to the four winds by competing distros it really can only be described as a geek's heaven.

My big issue is that Linus is largely written by geeks, for geeks and they want it to stay that way - it certainly isn't aimed at people who find it difficult to format a hard disk and install Windows (which is by far the majority of users).

Quote
What does Linux need? IMO: time, patience, work, more big corporations’ commitment (e.g. : Novel, IBM) and also countries-governments’ involvement (Turkey, China, India, France… you name it : http://www.news.com/Frenc...66347.html?tag=st.ref.goo ).  Seems obvious, maybe, but I don’t see how better drivers, better software, etc. ALONE can really make any difference… they now have to be backed by strong leadership (important and influential figures), big money and big populations. Yes, Michael Shuttleworth is in it for the money, So is Novel and Sun, and since they’ve been involved with Linux, it has progressed more quickly.

Without better drivers and software availability how are these goals going to be achieved? You certainly won't get a big user population - which has a negative effect on company commitment. Novel and Sun have an axe to grind - they are both out to shaft Microsoft at almost any cost (mostly because they feel they have been shafted in the past).
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 06:09:07 PM by Carol Haynes » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2007, 09:28:35 PM »

I just lost my post — refreshed the screen by mistake!!!! Damn!!! I hate that soooooo much.

So… qickly, some clarifications : when I said I didn’t encounter many hardware problems with Linux, I was specifically thinking about the actual computers (the box ad the screen), not all the possible peripherals (printers, scanners, cameras, Ipods...). But I should’ve been more specific, and shouldn’t have used the term “normal” hardware. That was misleading.

In fact I just don’t think we should expect Linux to be compatible with everything.  Why should we? Mac (almost by definition…) isn’t. A few brands and models should be enough. And why not making sure the hardware is compatible with Linux before trying it (and expecting it will just work)?

Anyway… of course, you're right, there are tons if unsupported hardware, and I obviously had more luck than you did. And, ok, let’s say it was luck. A few examples: I only fiddled with my Samsung ML-2010 printer (my only printer, and it works) and my ATI (x1400 — works well too). My wireless (intel 3945ABG), scanner (canon lide 60), etc. worked well. My dad has an old Lexmark Optra E+ (works), + an old Mustek scanner I think (works too). Oh well...

Of course I won’t say that Linux is generally comparable to Windows (and when I said that it’s “not much worse than installing windows”, I was talking about my experience — it wasn’t clear). I’d use it if that was the case. I just said it got much better and that the usability difference shrank A LOT in the last 10 years.

If you have NO potential market, why spend more resources on drivers, software, etc. ? There could be good reasons... but I'm raising the question because I believe that when we’ll see more events like the “French parliament picks Ubuntu” I’m sure it’ll create more pressure/incentive on hardware/software manufacturers. But both go hand in hand. Again, I didn’t say we didn’t need more drivers,  fancy software, etc.,. We do. But IMO these alone are not enough, and we always focus on them. It’s a question of synergy between individuals with strong visions, potential/active user pools, specific socio-political situations and dynamics, economy, etc. (And BTW, the fact that Sun and Novel have an axe to grind is a good thing. smiley )

Sorry, my English is awkward and I know it.  embarassed
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 11:27:49 PM by Armando » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2007, 11:20:09 PM »

Here's the thing - when you go up against the dominant market force, its not enough to be as good or even slightly better. You have to be much better. This is the same problem facing competitors of the iPod.

What's Linux's value proposition? I don't care 2 hoots about it being free or OSS - every single pc I buy will come with a valid Windows. Windows has as much freeware as Linux for nearly everything. The big apps cost money but people who base their OS on their apps usually need them - like graphic pros, developers etc. Enhanced security and stability is one argument I'll buy.


But I want to repeat something that has a lot of truth -
"Linux is only free if your time has no value" - Jamie Zawinski, author of Netscape.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2007, 12:19:23 AM »

in Short what we need:

1. Better support for drivers & library.
2. Single GUI scripting language runs under any desktop environment.(WXWIDGET)
3. One-Click install function even if computer is not connected to internet.(If you are connected to repository then it will download automatically,otherwise you've to compiler from source)
4. Documentation
5. Community which directs new programmers to step-in to developement.


I do agree with Geekdom thing,KDE developers are restricting the things for the Coomunity.They are not listening to new users.Very few users know about Plasma programming roadmap in KDE.

Linux is free,and user friendl if and only if new ideas are welcome here or otherwise it is obsolete.

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f0dder
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2007, 06:41:00 AM »

Quote from: mahesh2k
(If you are connected to repository then it will download automatically,otherwise you've to compiler from source)
Binary packages, please.
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- carpe noctem
iphigenie
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2007, 05:49:27 AM »

I always find it so weird that people seem to think that kde or gnome or any of these things are "linux". They are not.
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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2007, 05:53:17 AM »

 Wink What linux needs:
Computers in the European Union should be sold without a bundled operating system, according to our new submission to the European Commission.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2007, 05:55:32 AM »

I always find it so weird that people seem to think that kde or gnome or any of these things are "linux". They are not.

That may be true - but KDE seems to have become a de facto standard and for most users they install Linux with KDE (and probably Gnome too) so their perception is that Linux and KDE are all one. In reality how many people actually use Linux these days as a purely command prompt interface?


Won't happen - and if it doesn't no one will be happy:

  • Manufacturers will miss out on kickbacks from MS and other crapware advertisers so built system prices will increase drammatically
  • Other than hardware faults manufacturer support will be impossible (or at least not offered)
  • Most people will buy Windows - and most won't have even heard of OEM versions so it will cost a fortune => computer sales will plummit
  • Linux is not prime time - and most users will never have heard of it and won't be able to use it out of the box even if they had - it will spawn a paid support industry adding more costs to end users

Realistically there isn't competition in OS for Joe Public.

Interesting if this became law - would Apple also have to comply?
« Last Edit: September 24, 2007, 06:03:15 AM by Carol Haynes » Logged

iphigenie
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2007, 06:06:02 AM »

well even with the command prompt most of the tools and software would be GNU or third party  undecided

The point was simply that linux is a kernel, linux distros are this kernel packaged with one team's choice of everything everyone ever did in open source (and some closed source)... and this is both the power and the curse of it. A thousand such choices to choose from and most of them not quite finished and polished in the drive to always have the latest of everything.




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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2007, 06:07:11 AM »

I think there are plenty opportunities there that you could argue for this Carol:
  • Manufacturers can still have kickbacks by "recommending OS [whatever]", or for every activated / registrated copy.
  • OEM versions can only be delivered as part of a computer purchase: ie they'll no longer exist. Linux options are free - or commercial linux distributions (or completely new ones) will have a chance. Similar to different cars for different budgets.
  • Linux distro's will have a clear incentive for improving that part of their distro. And other commercial OS vendors will step in. Besides this, the report suggests manufacteres include a "driver disk". This could also include software to ease through the installation.

I encourage you to read the report, a lot of other options that have been considered are written down and their reason for not recommending those options. It's very readable english too.
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« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2007, 06:13:38 AM »

Interesting if this became law - would Apple also have to comply?

of course they would - it is a computer.

Although most manufacturers already offer PCs without the OS. And more and more offer a linux distro option (eg. lenovo with Suse) but at the moment it is the lack of maturity of most distros that makes it difficult for a small assembler to get a quick install with the kind of features you expect (final user friendly step by step "first start" set up procedure, factory restore reset etc. etc.) but also that could support the business model of many small assemblers which change the hardware composition every other week and have to have drivers etc.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2007, 07:17:22 AM »

Interesting if this became law - would Apple also have to comply?

of course they would - it is a computer.

So presumably Apple would simply stop selling their computers in Europe since they only see computers with MacOS and don't distribute MacOS as an alternative OS anyway.
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iphigenie
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« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2007, 05:24:43 AM »

So presumably Apple would simply stop selling their computers in Europe since they only see computers with MacOS and don't distribute MacOS as an alternative OS anyway.

It would be pretty silly for the EU to do a law but say that only "PC" manufacturers are affected - only if your hardware can run windows do you have to offer alternatives, if your hardware runs macos or solaris then it is ok to force people to buy the OS. That leaves a huge window to challenge the law as anticompetitive or unfair.

Besides, why shouldnt i be able to buy Mac hardware but run windows or BSD or linux on it - people do it - or if I have already have an old mac with osX and i want to use that license on my new hardware... It doesnt make a lot of sense (apart from the cases the hardware is very standard) but it should be an option offered.

It would be up to Apple but I can't imagine they would withdraw from the european market, they would just offer the option knowing 99.99% of people would go for the the OS anyway. Of course they could decide to stop selling in Europe but considering how some european countries carried Apple through the bad years it would be pretty silly of them to do that.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 05:29:53 AM by iphigenie » Logged
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