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Last post Author Topic: Why Linux is better  (Read 8633 times)

zridling

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Why Linux is better
« on: April 11, 2007, 04:02:04 AM »
Here's one argument, and an honest one to boot (see the bottom of the page for reasons to stick with and/or dual-boot Windows).

Eóin

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2007, 06:50:21 AM »
Ok I actually like Linux as an OS so this is not some pro-Microsoft propaganda but that is not an honest site. Yes sure they throw in some token arguments for the other side at the end but their pro-Linux points either simply ignore equivalent software and functionality for windows or completely out and out lie.

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2007, 08:33:22 AM »
Funny, it's ironic how that site reminds me of how Microsoft markets its software.

Of course, OS arguments are silly, everyone just uses what they like best and that's the end of that discussion. It's good to have diversity and choice.

I use GNU/Linux mainly, 99% of the time, FreeBSD on the server, but I do have windows on a separate partition for making windows builds of my software, and play a game here and there.

I like the diversity. Of course it would be great to have more hardware support for Linux, and more of the mainstream games ported (and both go hand in hand with having a larger user base); but at the same time I don't want to have the Windows `culture` and user-base 'ported' along with it.

The reason why me and many other people use *nix is because of the choices and power it offers, along with a certain way of thinking. If tomorrow all windows users would be GNU/Linux users, that way of thinking would cease to drive GNU/Linux development, and it would quickly be replaced by monetary interest (which is already the case to a certain degree).
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 08:35:10 AM by Gothi[c] »

Eóin

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2007, 09:48:11 AM »
Hi Gothi[c] I quite like you're last point, the opensource attitude really encourages others to join in. Back when I was a young vb hobbyist programmer I was endlessly frustrated by how many modules required you to pay for them. I look back now after having since learned the Win32 API and am almost disgusted by how trivial many of the modules were that someone would actually try to charge you.

These days it feels like there is much less of that, all the time you see people releasing very complex libraries under very liberal (think BSD or MIT style) licences. I just hope that as Linux grows this culture among its developers doesn't get diluted to the extent that it starts to die out.

zridling

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2007, 10:24:50 PM »
Eóin, I'm curious, which parts of the page were dishonest? I'm sure Windows users won't agree with every point (like 'check the weather'). But it reads a lot like the Apple ads against Microsoft (er, 'the pc') — typical anti-Microsoft cliches, but for the most part, they aren't straw men.

iphigenie

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 03:27:57 AM »
What's dishonest about it?
 * it appropriates as "linux" a lot of software and projects which are not part of linux and work just as well on other OSes (and in some cases windows as well). KDE and gnome and the windows managers are not linux, neither are the office applications, or games, or the networking security layers, or the security model etc.
 * it totally ignores what can be achieved under windows with open source and freeware tools, when it talks about "free games" or "customise your desktop" or the applications available
(to be fair he does address most of these 2 points in his faq for geeks http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/faq.php but he still fails to mention the other free oses)

I have used linux and bsd and other unices and windows and os/2 etc. I'm all for linux getting more popular, but i think it will happen simply as people won't want to keep upgrading all the time, will think about green etc. But one things that bothers me is the linux community always implying that all the open source and gnu etc. software is part of "linux". It is a dishonest appropriation of other peoples work, and because linux got a lot of press a lot of people actually believe that things like gimp, apache or gnome are "linux".

1. viruses and 3. security
Will probably start becoming a problem as more "mainstream" people move to linux and probably log in as root all the time. Plenty of worms and rootkits out there waiting to ambush the less sophisticated, and there have been a lot of high profile security flows in the open source products recently. They get fixed faster, of course, and they get found faster, but they do happen.

2. stability
I should agree with that but actually stability is typically down to what the user does with their machine. Install a load of crap and you get an unstable machine. I have seen windowsNT servers that had stayed up forever and I have had redhat servers that just would crash once a month, no matter what we tried (it seemed to be the networking layers, possibly driver...). But in my experience the most stable OSes I ever worked with were BSD and Solaris.

6. why should you need to install more stuff
Well that is one i strongly disagree on. I always do a minimal install of linux and then install just what i need. All the crap that is installed by default for convenience is a security risk for me. And it uses up disk space and resources too

the "international" point
What can I say, that's just the microsoft is the evil american corporation argument. So are the people who make your computer hardware, or car, or breakfast cereal, or clothing, or microwave oven...
A point like that really weakens the whole argument on this page :(


« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 03:29:38 AM by iphigenie »

TucknDar

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2007, 04:06:42 AM »
not that I'm a linux user or ever was one (except for a few days checking out Red Hat 6 some years ago), but I have to agree with iphigenie. Many of the pro-Linux things mentioned on that site can be achieved with little effort in Windows as well. Alternative shells or free utilities provide many win-enhancements.

Eóin

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2007, 05:26:12 AM »
Ok maybe 'out and out lies' was a bit harsh. But the site is most certainly written to imply a number of false facts so I'll downgrade my earlier statement to 'out and out deceive'.  Some examples-

More eyes make fewer security flaws.: This is not in any way a fact, it's just a guess.

Linux can run for years without needing to be restarted:  So can Windows. In that page the author is comparing Windows used as a desktop v Linux used as a server. That's not an honest comparison.

Installing Windows is just the beginning: Come on, that's unfair, look at all the trouble MS got into when initially bundling IE with Windows.

The whole Choose what your desktop looks like page completely ignores the vast number of alternatives available for Windows.

I won't go on for fear of a flame-war which I certainly don't want. And I'll state again I really like Linux, but I think a site like that one badly damages Linux's credibility.

Edit >> Left my browser windows open so made my reply without seeing the last two posts hence why I might have repeated what they've said in places :) .
« Last Edit: April 12, 2007, 05:30:16 AM by Eóin »

gjehle

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2007, 04:27:32 PM »
blatantly quoting myself:

Quote
well i did say good bye to windows over 4 years ago
been using linux for even longer than that

i'm running gentoo and i'm totally happy

of course:

hardcore gamers will be disappointed
if you want to play games, stick to windows, nobody's forcing you

gimp is not photoshop
why do i keep hearing that over and over again
photoshop = $$$ // gimp = free
and if you really want to, there's vmware

comparing different operating systems is like comparing apples and pears
get over it
linux is not windows, windows is not mac, ... i could go on ad infinitum

i'd say: if you REALLY want to use linux (not just because it's cool, and everybody does it right now) you might find something you like
but if you're going to be like "let's just try this for 30 days" it's going to fail
since it takes a LOT longer to customize everything for the first time till it's the way you're comfortable with it
it's more like a constant process

anyways, enough ranting
if you don't like it, stick to somthing else
nobody's forcing anyone

and whoever says A is better than B should be shot in the face :p

stop comparing, start using
-- http://www.donationc...11.msg56776#msg56776

lanux128

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2007, 08:50:47 PM »
some light-hearted thoughts from the flip-side of Linux, courtesy of Gizmo's newsletter..

ws-techalert1.png

Here are the links:
http://www.techsuppo...or-windows-users.htm
http://www.techsuppo...ows-users-part-2.htm


iphigenie

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2007, 03:21:42 AM »
If I have to choose something for a server it would always be either linux or BSD, with a preference for BSD or a minimalist linux distribution.

On the desktop I have oscillated a lot, OS/2, linux, windows, more linux, bsd, back to windows

I must say after year and years of mostly windows I have windows tuned out just the way I like it - disabling a lot of features, using Object Desktop, wirekeys and similar utilities, and used to my applications.

I have regularly tried to switch to linux (with dual boot left for games) but I just end up not bothering. I just can't find apps with the level of polish that I get even from the simplest windows freeware. It is a strange curse of the open source products that the desktop tools often aren't ever finished - people start coding them to fulfill a need and usually never do the kind of final tidying up and polish - there is no incentive or recognition for doing that it seems (I think that the tying-of-loose-ends and tidying is something that the open source community needs to start to value and give kudos for, so people are motivated to jump in and help).

When the next vector linux comes out I'll probably give it another try.

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2007, 03:41:43 AM »
I just can't find apps with the level of polish that I get even from the simplest windows freeware. It is a strange curse of the open source products that the desktop tools often aren't ever finished

That's quite a generalization you make there. There are actually plenty of quality polished applications available for the GNU/Linux platform.

The only reason it may appear that many projects are unfinished is, because many of them ARE.

In the closed source world, one only makes a release when an application is in a stable, finished state, and then features are added, bugs are fixed, until the next stable polished state is achieved and another release is made.

In the open source world the development cycle is slightly different. Many open source applications are in constant development, and it is up to you to use the latest stable release instead of the latest and greatest development release, or in some cases it's the other way around.

In the open source world it's common to make an application public before the first release, because developers like to share their code with common developers. On windows it's each for himself, nobody codes for developers, everyone only codes for users.

However, this does NOT mean that there are no open source polished/finished applications available. Also, not all applications for the GNU/Linux platform are open source. There are many closed source applications for GNU/Linux.

The reason why many small freeware applications for windows appear more polished is because most of these are developed with RAD tools that let the user create a polished LOOKING app in no time. These applications are not polished at all, they often contain inferior code because they were made by less skilled developers. (Yes, this too is a generalization.)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2007, 03:55:05 AM by Gothi[c] »

iphigenie

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2007, 08:01:57 AM »
That's quite a generalization you make there. There are actually plenty of quality polished applications available for the GNU/Linux platform.

Most of the polished applications on the GNU/Linux platform are the big, cross platform ones.

The only reason it may appear that many projects are unfinished is, because many of them ARE.

Yes, but many go through many full release cycles, but they get release

It boils down to why most people get involved in open source projects - to resolve a need they have, add a feature they want, to do something interesting and possibly get some rep too. After all they are all offering work for free.

Less glamorous parts of the job, the ones like documentation and detail work, get less people willing to do them. Only when there is a big push (like a summer of code) or something like it do these get people on them.

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2007, 09:25:54 AM »
Maybe it also is partly due to what users want.
Experience tells me that if a user requests a certain change or feature, I'll try my very best to implement it.
Maybe F/OSS users aren't as demanding.

gjehle

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2007, 12:38:43 PM »
Maybe it also is partly due to what users want.
Experience tells me that if a user requests a certain change or feature, I'll try my very best to implement it.
Maybe F/OSS users aren't as demanding.

for context:
i'm not saying 'OSS software is allowed to suck, because...'
i'm saying: 'just give it some thought'


you can only demand so much without giving something in return.
(most) FOSS people are highly idealistic (most of the time) about the work they do.

so imagine you put your sweat and time into a little pet project that you think solves a task better than something else (that might not even exist at the time) and in the end you feel like:
hmmm, i benefit from this, maybe just let others have some fun with it too.
...and along comes a demanding someone who's like: dude, implement this!

so, imho a lot of the open source community honors this (it might not be perfect, but it's free) and isn't as demanding as you might be if you payed for something.

it's community, not revenue.
...one of the reasons that make me cringe every time someone goes into "(software|usability|service) sucks"-mode over some OSS project.
meh.

don't want it? don't use it. there are tons of folks writing stuff you can pay for if you like ;-)

f0dder

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2007, 04:45:06 PM »
I see some of the reasons why I think that page sucks have already been addressed, but I'll write my thoughts on it when I get a little time to sit down and write something proper.
- carpe noctem

f0dder

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2007, 01:19:33 AM »
Okay, I promised it, so here it is.

Imho the author of Why Linux is better (from hereon WLIB) doesn't really distinguis between Server vs. workstation, user vs. power user, and so on, which is a shame. Also, I don't like how he says "Pirates" instead of "malware writers".

Anyway, here goes - I've tried commenting on each of his categories. Haven't proofread or even splelchcked.

Forget about viruses
Windows is easier to target than linux, since linux is by no means a homogenous platform (with all the grief that causes developers and supporters), that's true. And it's true that windows is the most targetted platform because it's the most widespread platform.

"you can go inside the system folder and delete whatever you want: Windows won't complain" is plain wrong, though - on windows, even running as an administrator, you can't delete in-use files, so this will fail. On linux, running as root, try doing "rm -fr /" - this will succeed.

Also while, sadly, the default setup for XP is to have the user run admin, any corporate computer will be set up with limited accounts, which means you can't do much harm. When I set up a computer for possibly irresponsible users, I make sure to make limited accounts.

"More eyes make fewer security flaws." is a pretty theoretical argument. Most of the userbase won't scrutinize your source, they won't even see it because they'll be installing a binary package. And even if you're a programmer, for larger projects, it'll take too long "diving into" the project for this to be of use. This isn't meant to say that opensource is useless, just that it's less of an advantage than it's being touted as, especially in the context of regular users.

Is your system unstable?
This part is pretty FUDy.

First, for the last many years (basically since moving to win2k, and then to XP) I haven't seen a BSOD that wasn't caused by bad hardware or a bad driver (and that being 3rd-party non-Microsoft code). This includes my own box, my mothers laptop, my brothers two PCs, and the 10+ machines at the museum I admin.

The only instance of "error messages telling you that the computer needs to be shut down for obscure reasons?" I've seen is pre-SP2 XP machines getting hit with the RPC exploit.

Next, this item seems to confuse workstation and server use, they're quite different (and if anybody tells you differently, be sure to fire them if they're your server admin). I've seen win2k servers, running IIS, with more than a year uptime. The trick is common sense - don't use the machine as a workstation, don't install superfluous shit on it, and keep it firewalled. The same goes no matter which OS you run, by the way. And on a workstation, multiple years of uptime is irrelevant. I've had 20+ days on my XP anyway, and I could have had more if there had been a reason to keep it on.

Linux protects your computer
First, I'm pretty sure the claim that even an XP+SP2 will get infected automatically. Sure, vanilla XP or XP+SP1 connected to the net without NAT'ing. And yes, that is bad, and it's a problem. But I'm pretty sure that a vanilla XP+SP2 slipstream (without any of the update packs) with the default windows firewall enabled won't get drive-by infected.

Once you apply latest updates (or your OEM or power-user has done it for you), things aren't too bad unless you engange in moronic practices. I ran IE6 safely for years, including visits to the "bad parts" of the web. But yes, internet explorer does have a fair share of vulnerabilities, and even clean sites have banner ads that can be exploited (which is how I eventually got an infection).

While IE is the default browser, though, both FireFox and Opera are pretty safe, and of course available for free.

"It is really a matter of how fast a security flaw can be solved once it has been discovered." - I'd rewrite this to "how fast the flaw is auto-patched on all systems". It doesn't really matter how fast it's discovered or patched if the patch isn't installed.

"Microsoft doesn't have that much manpower" - rewrite this as "The Open Source community doesn't run a shitload of compatibility testing to see if their patches break anything". Not that Microsoft hasn't ended up breaking stuff even after those tests, though :)

Don't pay $300 for your operating system
"The price for a Windows license amounts to an average of one fourth of each new computer's price." - say... what? Perhaps if you're buying very low-end hardware and/or don't buy a screen, mouse and keyboard with it. And are counting retail rather than OEM license, or are picking Vista Ultimate just to skew the statistics, when the user probably only needs XP Home.

"Where do you think Microsoft gets its money from?" from the Office suite :)

But yeah, windows does cost, and it doesn't even entitle you to support.

Freedom!
There's decent points in this one. Relatively irrelevant for an end-user, but that doesn't void the points. If Microsoft goes bust in 5 years, ReactOS might have reached a usable state, though :p

And bugs can be fixed without having source code avaiable. It's tedious, but don't underestimate how dedicated people can be if needed.

When the system has installed[...]
This is a case of confusing power users and regular users, and not considering who's doing the installation.

A power user doesn't want a lot of cruft installed automatically that they'll have to remove before they start adding the software they need.

An end-user is not installing the operating system himself, but will get an OEM from Dell or whatever. This tends to include a bunch of bundled software that's quite sufficient for most people.

And by the way, you can view .doc files without installing Office, it's called Wordpad and is installed by default on windows - including .doc file association.

Update all your software with a single click.
...if somebody has bothered to make a package for it. Doesn't always happen with some of the smaller apps. But okay, focusing on end-users as we should, it works fine most of the time. And this is a decent feature - especially considering that unfinished state a lot of open-source software is being shipped in :)

Why copy software illegally if you can get it for free?
This section assumes that people are pirates, and that everybody needs a boatload of software.

As the page already shows, lots of the opensource software he picked is already available for windows, and for the ones that aren't you can probably find either another opensource app, a freeware app, or a cheap(er) shareware app.

Need new software? Don't bother searching the web, Linux gets it for you.
Useful feature for end-users. Limits the results you get somewhat, but steers you clear of malware sites etc.

Jump into the next generation of desktops.
Pretty cute if you're into eye-candy, but goddamn Beryl is unstable; I played with it a a girl_friend's computer yesterday, was setup by her brother who's decent with linux. Something as simple as resizing the window ended up causing veeeery weird effects that I'll have a hard time describing.

On the plus side, it ran pretty well before it messed up, considering the lowly GeForce 4200 Ti card in the machine.

Does your digital life seem fragmented ?
And here's where things go really wrong :)

Every standard filesystem fragments. Period. Windows zealot fanboys also claimed that NTFS doesn't fragment, but of course it does. So does EXT2/3, ReiserFS, XFS, etc. - problem is that there doesn't seem to be any decent defragmenters around for linux, so you're told one of:
  • Linux doesn't fragment
  • Every moron knows that you should always keep 20% space free on your volume
  • Copy to a new location, rm -fr the old, and mv back in place

The last one is the only useful solution, but won't work if the filesystem is heavily fragmented.

As for the guy's claim and filing cabinet analogy, well, that only happens when you know in advance how much data you're going to write, which isn't always the case. Furthermore, you need to utilize that information, which isn't always done either. And last, windows supports this as well - for a new file, seek to the expected filesize, set end-of-file-pointer, and seek back to beginning of file and do your data writing. Presto, file allocated using as few fragments as possible.

Choose what your desktop looks like.
Totally ignores the fact that there's a lot of replacement desktops available for windows.

Why does your Windows get slower day after day?
This is folklore myth. Yes, it does get slower if you're hammered with malware, and it can get slower if you install useless crap all the time.

I've had more than one install of windows that spanned a year or more, with no slowdown. Eventually did a reinstall because of new hardware or because I simply wanted to play with slipstreaming and tweaking.

Now, to quote a friend:
Quote
My XP has not been reinstalled since 2002. Still runs like a charm. I don't see any weird processes in my task manager... I don't see excessive memory usage... I don't see any diminished results in benchmarks etc.

...and he's mad enough that he didn't do a reinstall when going AMD->Intel - I'm quite surprised that actually worked, but with a little driver un+reinstall, well - it's doable.

Enjoy free and unlimited support
Try saying that again if a lot of regular users start using linux and start asking stupid questions ;)

My own personal & biased experience with linux "support" has usually been pretty bad. Any "trivial" question has usually been asked with a RTFM, or deafening silence. More tricky stuff the same, and if you point out that you've RTFM'ed and even skimmed some of the source code, more than once I've had a kickban from efnet #linux , #linuxhelp or whatever for "being smart".

This includes issues with (and not limited to) proftpd, oidentd and samba. But okay, mailing lists or LUGs or freenode might have been better places to ask. I'm not overly confident, though, considering what I've looked at when googling and sifting through mailing list archives.

Fortunately, returning focus to the end-users, those people can probably get help for the trivial problems they'll face.

Use MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, with a single program
GAIM is availble on Windows too, so this isn't really a pro-linux argument. There's miranda as well, which also consolidates multiple protocols... and they're not the only ones.

Save some energy : let your computer sleep or hibernate.
Windows does hibernate too, so this isn't really a pro-linux argument. <fud>And is linux hibernation even stable by now?</fud>

Too many windows? Use workspaces.
There's plenty of virtual desktop apps around for Windows, including a Virtual Desktop Manager powertoy from Microsoft.

Reporting bugs
Yup, it's pretty damn hard getting Microsoft to do something about a bug if you're reporting as an individual or a small corporation, and same for many of the big software vendors.

At least it tends to work better for opensource projects, unless you're simply told "source is there, fix it yourself".

Are your tired of restarting your computer all the time?
Yeah, you're often asked to restart your computer when installing stuff on windows. Most of the time it's not really necessary to do so, however, and is just part of a standard braindead installer.

For windows update, it's usually necessary as well, but at least that makes sense, when core components (whether that be drivers or usermode code) are replaced. You can easily continue using the machine without booting though, if the update doesn't sound important to you (but yeah, regular users won't know that, so they'll reboot).

Linux needs a reboot on kernel update too, though. And if any major piece of software or shared library is updated, you'll need to shut down and re-start applications affected... in the end, it's probably easier just rebooting the machine.

"And if you happen to be away from your computer and you didn't see the question, it will happily reboot automatically. Bye bye long download." - since when has windows update rebooted the system automatically? Fud, fud and fud.

"It is only necessary when a part from the heart of the system has been updated, and that only happens once every several weeks." - funny, that's about the same interval where I need a reboot because of windows update? :)

Again, the author starts mentioning servers and uptime, which isn't too relevant for the end-user. And again, it's perfectly possible to have several years of uptime on windows as well.

Let your old computer have a second life
Linux does have lower hardware requirements than recent windows versions, but if you're only going to "perform usual tasks (surfing the web, writing documents, etc.)", then either XP or Win2k will do just fine on most hardware as well. Really old hardware won't be running the latest-and-greatest games and whatever anyway, so there's no reason to stuff Vista on it (if there's ever going to be a reason for that ;)).

You do need to tweak especially XP a bit to run on slower hardware, but something as simple as changing to classic UI and disabling a few services works wonders.

Play hundreds of games for free
Lots of stuff available for free on windows as well, so again a pretty moot point. If targetting a gamer, rather than a standard end-user, they'll be disappointed with linux though. Of course there's cedega, but that's payware... and even worse, subscriptionware. Pretty cheap, sure, but still payware. And how well does it run the various copy-protections that's present on just about every game?

Help other countries, and your own
Ho humm, this becomes too political, so I'll not address it. (PS: KAPITALISM IS EVIL!)

Get a great music player
winamp, foobar, musikcube, iTunes (if you swing that way), MusicBrainz, ... - the choices are endless.

Keep and eye on the weather.
Vista has those (imho useless) widgets built-in, but there's several offerings for windows, including http://widgets.yahoo.com/ .

*phew*, that was quite a bit. I might not have been 100% objective and provided links for every claim etc. yadda yadda whatever, but neither did the WLIB author.
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Edvard

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2007, 11:44:08 AM »
Touche' f0dder, well done.
Though I greatly prefer GNU/Linux, I'll confer that the fud will fly as long as folks are allowed to choose their OS. While most folks are looking for Linux alternatives to Windows software, it's refreshing to see the vice-versa. Vista even has aliases for Linux CLI tools (ls, cat, etc.)
I remember a blog post a while back called the Linux Tolerance Point where the blogger ranted about how most Linux folks go about their jolly way until someone with a real problem (installing an ATI video card and drivers) attempts to find a solution, and they will suddenly blow up at some point because you're poking at their sacred balloon.
I've seen it happen, and I've seen the reverse (at least 3 folks on IRC simultaneously hand-holding a new Linux user through a re-compile of ALSA when a new kernel broke an older version and the new version binary mysteriously refused to run...)
Right now at work, I'm on a Windows NT4.0 Workstation (2.3 GHz 512 MB) running as a Scan-to-File and Print workstation for a small reprographics place. NT4 is actually a pretty stable platform. Any Windows that starts with "9" or "M" is poison.That's from personal experience.
My errors come from attempting to install the latest whoop-de-doo software that's supposed to do incredible things but needs *gag* .NET or some obscure entry point in user32.dll (I tried installing .NET on this, and I cannot begin to describe the headaches...) and the System Requirements posted on the webpage doesn't even say it's not compatible. (Eventually I give up and realize all I need is PowerPro anyways ;) )
All else besides, the tech support for this printing system says my Boss will have to pay $8000 to upgrade to "XP Embedded". Nice, eh?

Armando

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2007, 01:40:31 PM »
Of course, choosing an OS is, afterall, a matter of  context (server? Desktop? Enterprise? Home user? Beginner? American? Chinese? Rich ? Poor ? etc.) and subjective preference sometimes linked to biological constraints (Artist? Scientist? child? Adult? Teenager ? Gamer ? Programmer, etc. etc.).

But, contrarily to Gothi[c], I think that comparing OS is very feasible. The only problem in “sloppy comparisons” is that the rules, the context, the limits are usually not well defined. Comparisons are only valid if the study protocol is well defined — as f0dder suggested, parameters need to be much more precise (whether it’s the context type, the time frame, the # of individual involved in the experiment, the usage type, etc. etc. : it’s endless and, of course, depends on the  study). If the parameters are not strictly defined, and if the evaluation criterias are not clearly delimitated, well, yes, sorry... than it’s not possible to make any valid objective comparison. Anyway.

So, let’s be rather subjective here. :)

*To me*, “Linux” (I use the term Linux loosely, as a generic term encompassing more than only the kernel, but also the open source and collaboration philosophy behind it) is great and fun because : 

1-   it’s a very open (!) “OS project” — more than MS Windows, that’s for sure   :-[  : it allows almost anybody competent  to collaborate (in different ways), transform, apply differently, etc. Nobody can argue with that.  “More open” means of course “more freedom”, more divergence. Freedom can often (but not always) be detrimental to productivity and order, but freedom is also very exciting in a world where centralization and homogenization is still often the only way. Because of that freedom and divergence,

2-   “Linux” is able to change rapidly and constantly, in different directions, with the result that there are tons of different distros or flavors available (some of them being upgraded multiple times a year), destined to be applied in multiple contexts (Windows is more monolithic and has a more foreseeable evolution). These factors — “newness” “variety” and even… “unpredictability” — are closely linked to the fun factor, partly because they stimulates curiosity and attention.  (I also believe that the multiple faces of “Linux” will even change more radically in the next few years because of "emerging" superpowers like China and India — but that’s another sotry) ;

3-   it’s possible to configure or change more aspects of the system -- as I already suggested in point 1 -- at a very “deep” level. It’s incredibly customizable. More so than  windows. Because of that, it stimulates the geek inside, the creative or engineer part in the computer user. It can even give a sense of purpose. Hum...

Of course, it’s also more secure, the community sense is great, it’s usually free (talking about the distros here),  yadayadayada, etc. etc. But I won’t go into that without defining precise parameter !

I like “Linux”.   :-*  But, you know what ? Even though I’ve been chronically obsessed with the Linux beast since 97, I still use Windows everyday — there are too many things I can’t do as well with the software available in Linux. The stuff I need to do for my PhD. thesis (in French, ,don’t worry…) is just... not negotiable.

(I must say that the DonationCoder way of doing stuff is one thing that keeps me attached to Windows !  :-[ )

(edit :  just added a few words to add clarity -- wrote too quiclky)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 04:38:52 PM by Armando »

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2007, 04:19:13 PM »
Quote
(I must say that the DonationCoder way of doing stuff is one thing that keeps me attached to Windows !)

I've been trying to push cross platform applications on DC, my own applications run on most operating systems if you recompile them, and i make binary builds for windows and linux.

Mouser is a heavy user of Borland c++ builder, so until Borland makes a new 'kylix' or (hopefully) something much better, I don't think you'll see a port of say farr soon, unless I can convince him with my hypnotic willpower that he should remake it in wxWidgets ;)

Many of the coding snacks are made as AutoHotKey scripts, which is again windows only software, and usually heavily depends on the windows API.

I think as time goes on you'll see more cross platform stuff here, as people become more aware of different platforms and their 'developers curiosity' crosses the OS boundary. It all probably heavily depends on the tools people are used to when developing their applications.

Armando

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2007, 04:37:44 PM »
Mouser is a heavy user of Borland c++ builder, so until Borland makes a new 'kylix' or (hopefully) something much better, I don't think you'll see a port of say farr soon, unless I can convince him with my hypnotic willpower that he should remake it in wxWidgets ;)

yes, please. use your hypnotic willpower...
I've already asked Mouser if FARR would one day be ported to Linux... Let's say it's not part his 2007 plans ! :)
Which, of course, is perfectly understandable.
There are a couple of similar applications, like the Gnome Deskbar. But, hey... They're far from farr. :)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 04:40:39 PM by Armando »

f0dder

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2007, 05:22:40 PM »
Edvard: NT4 is certainly a pretty decent platform (when you don't need gaming and the latest whizz-bang features) - and that's quite a powerhouse of a machine you're running it on! I remember comfortably running it on a pmmx/200 with 64megs of ram. Granted, office2k was a bit long in the tooth when the automatic spell-checking was enabled, but it wasn't uncomfortable to use.

Armando: yeah, you need to choose some parameters when doing comparisons. It's not necessarily a bad idea including both power-users, end-users, workstation and server comparisons in one review, but when you compare server-use of one OS with workstation-use of the other... well yeah. A lot of times I've seen linux people comparing it to win9x, even after win2k had been with us for years... and even if win2k hadn't been there, the comparison point should've been NT4.

The diversity of linux is one of it's achilles heels, imho. I'm not saying it should be a 100% rigid and conforming platform, but without a "standard base", writing software for it is annoying. Yeah, "./configure" helps, but imho it's a kludgy hack instead of fixing broken platforms, and it's not of much help if you're doing closed-source software. Oh, the nightmares of supporting multiple distros, or even multiple versions of one distro.

Gothic: wxWindows seems decent and I've been meaning to look into it, but haven't had the time and energy. Also, if I remember correctly, the runtime library it has imposes an even bigger hit than the already bloated BCB/Delphi VCL >_<. Not that big a problem for a big app which will probably have a dataset that's plenty larger than the executable, but imho a no-go for smaller utilities.
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jgpaiva

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2007, 05:57:40 PM »
I think as time goes on you'll see more cross platform stuff here, as people become more aware of different platforms and their 'developers curiosity' crosses the OS boundary. It all probably heavily depends on the tools people are used to when developing their applications.
Although i'm not much of a fan of linux and love windows (XP), i also think that's "the way of the future". At least, i sure hope so. I'd love to see these diversity problems go away and have everyone working together towards a greater good. (yeah, i'm not joking, i'm just inspired)

As f0dder mentioned, wxWidgets has a larger overhead. For me, that's the sole question right now. I think java is pretty decent, but usually, anything that is more compatible, more simple, etcetera, uses more resources. But our resources increase every day, and i think that someday we'll have enough to not care about the power we lose making stuff compatible.

A good example is Unicode/ascii. Sometime in the near future, i hope ascii will go away and unicode will become the new ascii, so that all controls support it and we don't have to have more work to make unicode-compatible controls.

(too long post, too less content. this can only mean 'too much need for sleep)

Gothi[c]

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2007, 08:42:31 PM »
Quote
I remember correctly, the runtime library it has imposes an even bigger hit than the already bloated BCB/Delphi VCL

Only if you compile all of wxWidgets into one monolithic library, the default way is that it uses several different libraries for different parts of wxWidgets, and thus you can opt to not link in the parts you don't need.

And even if you would compile with a monolithic lib, the only difference is exe size, the application would run the speed you'd expect from a C++ application without the slow loading and VM overhead of Java.

zridling

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Re: Why Linux is better
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2007, 09:35:58 PM »
Oh I honestly can't say that Linux is "better" than say, Vista, especially when you appeal to specific platform applications. AutoHotkey is one. There are a dozen apps that can reproduce GUI scripts and hotkeys in Linux (Ubuntu has one built-in), but not hotstrings, for precisely the reason mentioned Gothi[c] mentioned — Windows API calls. Mac users dream of AutoHotkey, too. Four apps are really why I stuck with Vista for now — UltraEdit, AutoHotkey, XYplorer, and NewsLeecher. Everything else in Windows I can walk away from right now. But those four apps is where I spend my ENTIRE DAY, if you add Opera (which is covered).

You make some great points, so I have to agree that the "Linux is better" site is knocking down a lot of straw men; that is, many old arguments against Windows that no longer apply. One thing is undeniable, and that's the steady encroachment of Linux on the desktop. Don't be surprised if Windows isn't partially assimilated in a couple of versions (check out their Live strategies and all the talk around CloudOS, for example).