31 posts • joined Friday 11th February 2011 19:25 GMT
Re: Linux Desktop ? Yes
@James "This is also something that affects Linux adoption, the ridiculous names programs are given, names that tell you nothing about what they actually do."
Because "Excel" is the obvious name for a spreadsheet (as opposed to "Calc" on Linux), and "Access" is the obvious name for a database (as opposed to "Base" and "MySQL" on Linux)? You might consider whether programs receive the names they receive because calling a spreadsheet "Spreadsheet" ensures the name can't be trademarked.
The advantage of Unity compared to (say) Cinammon is that the phone, tablet and TV interfaces are very synergistic with the desktop interface while still being efficient and (imho) quite elegant. KDE Plasma Active (for instance) has a delightful activity-centric tablet interface, but it always strikes me as a unique interface rather than a complement to KDE Desktop.
Of course, you can always simply install the environment you want on Ubuntu, and be happy. Or install the distro you prefer, and be happy. Hence, those who constantly complain that Canonical has "gone off the rails" become a bit tiresome. It's easy to see why someone would call that "hate", no?
Re: Switched to Kubuntu
Nothing wrong with KDE - it's quite a nice environment!
One of the nice things about Linux is that unlike Mac, its keyboard shortcuts usually default to those used in Windows. If you find those less than intuitive, Ubuntu's Keyboard utility (press Super and type "keyboard") allows you to map them to whatever you like, and to create your own - I'm confident KDE has a similar keyboard shortcut utility, and I apologize for not knowing its name right now.
Whatever environment you use, just pin your most common apps to the launcher bar (in Unity) or menu (in KDE), and you won't need to remember their names. If you have an unusually large number of apps, though, I can see why you would prefer KDE's multi-level menu to Unity's flat launcher. Glad it works well for you, and glad you're not stuck with (oh, I don't know) huge tiles instead. ;-)
@asdf, I used Mint in the first couple of Ubuntu's Unity iterations, and it's very nice. But eventually I drifted back - largely because I want a TRUE operating system on my tablet and phone, and Canonical seems to be in the best position to make it happen (KDE's Plasma Active is nicely done, but I think less likely to be available pre-installed in Texas where I live).
But that's me. What I love about the free software movement is the choice, such as the environments you list. I'm happy that you have choices you like, and I'm happy for me as well.
Re: Of the things I'd like to see in the next...
Press the Super key (probably has a Windows logo on it, for some odd reason :-), and begin typing "system monitor". After 3 characters, the System Monitor application is first in the Applications section of the dash on my system. Click it, select its Processes tab, and there you go.
To kill a process, right-click it and select "Kill Process". Or you can "Stop Process" and then later "Continue Process", or "Change Priority" higher or lower. You can also examine the crap out of it, including examining its memory map, open files, historical process data, security settings, etc.
If you have a window that's hung, try Super > xkill (not sure if I installed this from the Software Center first or not). Run it, and your cursor becomes an "X". Just click any window, and Ubuntu will terminate the process that creaetd that window with extreme prejudice. Couldn't be easier!
Hope these suggestions help. I've found Ubuntu and its Linux cousins to run circles around anything Windows provides out of the box for managing processes.
A diamond in the rough
Ok, VERY rough. Lots to do in 8 months, but I'm looking forward to the first release!
Re: To paraphrase a famous word of wisdom
Seems only fair after the dozens of computers I've bought, wiped Windows, and installed *legitimate* copies of Linux!
Re: "if the pc market disappears."
I hear there's this little startup called "Apple" that has had a bit of success with mobile computing as well...
Which distro (Linux-based product, for those of you knew to Linux ;-) would you recommend I try first with it? Haven't tried Enlightenment in many years.
Re: I still don't get…
Apple is a tightly-controlled highly focused walled garden that seeks to maximize a positive user experience and (as a happy side consequence) Apple profits. Linux is a highly variegated garden meadow that seeks to maximize end user freedom and choice and lower the barrier for creating radical new products.
So while they both use Unix-like technology, the underlying philosophy of the two is polar opposite - hence the 'war' (to use your term).
Re: After watching this yootoob vid about someone trying to use win8
Gave my grandson a Win 8 laptop for Christmas yesterday, coincidentally, because that is the only version of Windows we can find. Took him 3 tries to solve the captcha (!) to set it up. Finally got in, and played "catch the charm" trying to get Flash to work on his favorite Facebook game (Adobe's insructions for fixing Win8 involved using a wrench charm that would only appear when the cursor was on the other side of the screen). I was astounded at the utter inane frustration of it all - did nobody at Microsoft TEST this crap?
Lindows made lots of money, actually
Actually, Microsoft paid Michael $20 million to avoid a ruling on whether "Windows" is a valid trademark. I don't think Microsoft won THAT battle - but they did avoid losing the war, which was of course their objective.
You're thinking of Tizen, which is the descendent of Intel's Moblin and runs "web apps" only. It principally targets embedded, particularly automotive where MeeGo had gained some traction.
Sailfish is the descendent of Nokia's Maemo, built by the Nokia refugees that fled in 2011 when MeeGo (the ill-fated merger of Moblin and Maemo) was killed by Nokia's CEO (and former Microsoft VP) in favor of Win Phone 7. Sailfish runs native Qt apps as well as web apps and some legacy desktop apps for us old timers.
So it wasn't so much that MeeGo forked as a recognition that the attempted merger of Moblin/Tizen and Maemo/Sailfish had failed.
> If "Linux" using the term loosely here had less fragmentation maybe it could actually compete better in the desktop space with the likes of MSFT and Apple no?
Linux is a technology, not a product (I think you allude to that by your "loosely" comment). Technologies don't hold market share, products do. The ONLY for-profit corporation making a serious play for the desktop to my knowledge is Canonical, with about 20 million active installations of Ubuntu (based on unique IP accesses to their update servers) as of 2011, along with a range of related products such as the Ubuntu Software Center, UbuntuOne media store, cloud services, and enterprise offerings.
In contrast, Linux was FAR more "fragmented" in mobile a couple of years back, with Bada (a Samsung product), WebOS (championed by Palm and then HP), Maemo/Meego (Nokia's former future), and Android (an odd little OS from Google). Yet Android has quickly captured a majority of the mobile market, even without the ability to run Bada, WebOS or Meego apps (eek! fragmentation!!!).
Compare that to Steam, Firefox, LibreOffice, Chrome, Netflix - they all run on most Linux-based desktop products, though some are only "officially" supported on Ubuntu and only Ubuntu is seriously working commercial deals with vendors and developers as far as I can tell.
I have no idea whether Canonical will continue to gain desktop market share, but if they don't, clearly fragmentation won't be the cause.
Apparently not - Android holds almost 50% of the tablet market and growing. As far as I can tell, Android is the best Linux UI for touch, just as bash is probably the best command line interface. The desktop is a tougher call - Ubuntu's Unity seems to have the biggest user base at 20 million machines (and I use it on a couple of my machines), but we have so many additional choices in KDE, Gnome, Cinnamon, Mate, and several others that I'm not sure you can claim a consensus "best" yet. Time will tell. Maybe.
I would, except that Microsoft encrypts the bootloader. If I can't load Linux or another open OS, why would I buy a failed product? The HP tablets didn't sell like hotcakes because of webOS, but because hackers could load other operating systems such as Android or Ubuntu, and heavily tailor the machine to their preferences. THAT's the real value in the scenario you suggest - but also one that Microsoft is trying their best to prevent!
I've been around since well before the first home computers were built in the 1970s. I actually built an 8080-based PC (of course I built a processor from SSI, too, but the 8080 was a bit faster ;-). I worked with two fussbudget original IBM PCs in 1982, one of which wouldn't boot until you dropped the keyboard from 3 feet off the table, then you had to find and snap back on the keys that went flying - this was NOT an "IBM quality machine" to say the least! I lusted after the Amiga, played with an Atari ST, enjoyed MacOS 1.0 and the much improved 2.0, and finally grudgingly adopted DOS and then Windows, and finally (oh the bliss!) discovered Linux.
Having lived through the entire personal computer revolution, I can say with the fullest confidence that you are talking utter and complete nonsense.
While the first paper describing the concept of a digital signature was presented in 1976, it was purely theoretical. The first commercially available digital signature system was introduced to the market in 1989, many years after Apple, Atari, Commodore, IBM, and a thousand midget start-ups created the home computer boom, the home computer bust, and the establishment of the de facto IBM Personal Computer standard.
Each and every one of these computers would boot anything you put on its front switches, paper tape, cassette tape, stringy floppy, 8" floppy, 5 1/4" floppy, 3.5" floppy, ZIP drive, optical media, or USB flash drive. (See, I don't need to do the research - I have my own memory of every one of them! Would you like to see my copy of CP/M on 8" floppy? Still got it. Binary code for a 256 byte football game I wrote? Still got it. But I digress...)
Since the ability to require digital signatures followed the IBM PC by about 7 years, I think we can be confident it hasn't "always" been the case that personal computers were limited to the vendor's "approved OS", nor is anyone demanding a "change" to keep systems open.
By the way, I wrote an operating system of my own for my beloved Atari 800, after reading "De Re Atari" which documented every bit of the interface. It was pretty primitive, but dude, it was NOT digitally signed! :-D
The "OSS zealot" almost certainly meant no licensing fees. Developing a product always requires funding. Depending on the product, generic OSS or a tailored proprietary solution may be most cost-effective. That's also why many corporations pay for Red Hat Enterprise or SUSE Linux Enterprise when Fedora and OpenSUSE require no license fees - they judge the value-adds as worth the cost.
Re: Combining GPL + proprietary in a single program?
Compiling proprietary software with gcc is no problem - it's LGPL, and so that use case is specifically permitted.
The GPL is "compatible" with various other licenses, but mixing GPL and your proprietary code in a single binary, and then conveying that program to a third party, would require use of a compatible license for your code. If the program is kept within the DoD, however, the proprietary license is fine. That sounds like the DoD strategy here.
Well, it means that if they mod the kernel, and then convey a weapon with that kernel to another country, they would have to offer source code for the modified kernel. However, applications (flight control, navigate, fire control) that contain no GPL code would not be covered by the GPL merely because they run on the Linux kernel, thus, the "all-GPL" weapon system you envision isn't necessary at all.
By the way, I believe that major government to government weapon sales typically include both source code and development stations, so the purchasing government can incorporate unique requirements and provide independent maintenance. So a GPL kernel is probably no change from business as usual.
Re: When will R.S. understand what "free" actually means?
I slogged through the EUPL, even though the English PDF is virtually illegible due to numerous formatting errors.
But all it is providing is a single, one-way re-license option clause to 5 (count'em, 5) "compatible" licenses. This is less functional but roughly equivalent in practice to a multi-license, which you are free to use with the GPL today. (That is exactly the mechanism the EUPL invokes, actually.)
For example, I can freely license my code under GPL2, OSL 2.1 or 3.0, CPL 1.0, EPL 1.0 and Cecill 2.0, and I've accomplished the same effect you seem to be seeking. New code can be added under the same multi-licenses, and my code's license won't change.
However, if I use EUPL and then someone re-licenses a derivative under a subset of those licenses, say just OSL, I can't include their code back into my trunk unless I also re-license MY code under OSL. Thus, EUPL code tends to dissolve its own license if it's useful enough to be reused on other projects.
The EUPL authors specify only version 2 of GPL as a re-licensing option, apparently under the illusion that this prevents re-license under GPL3 (I'm not sure why, as EUPL includes GPL3's blanket patent license, which was the most common argument against GPL3 in the first place). But I can still re-license a derivative of your EUPL code under GPL3, merely by first re-licensing it under Cecill 2.0 first. This could quickly become a Kevin Bacon game, couldn't it? How many degrees of freedom is EUPL from license X?
I also note that I can only include the vast body of GPL software if I first re-license the EUPL code to GPL. So any useful EUPL code (by useful, I mean code reused by a significant number of other projects) will likely morph rather quickly to GPL anyway, so I might as well skip the pretzels and go straight to dessert.
Finally, I note the EUPL was introduced in 1999, yet virtually no software outside of that released by its adopting agency appears to use it. That might suggest something to you, or not. *shrugs*
Anyway, thanks for an interesting perspective on EUPL. I'll keep using GPL, though, due to the problems I note above, but it's was an interesting diversion for an early morning.
Re: When will R.S. understand what "free" actually means?
"...a licence that specifies works based upon/derived from the supplied code must be released with the same licence"
So you're seriously advocating that I be allowed to change the license of any code that I receive? That's... interesting. In my 33 years in the software field, you're the first person I've heard advocate such a thing.
What would be the point of a license that could be changed by the end user on a whim, exactly? I must be missing something rather profound here.
Re: Stallman's definition of "truly free"...
After a million and one "free as in speech, not as in beer" litanies, I would have thought everyone had it by now.
The GPL does NOT prohibit your paying for or receiving money for software. It prohibits your removing the freedom of the users of your software from using it as they please. This includes the freedom to run the program for any purpose, to study how the program works and change it so it does what the user wants done, to redistribute copies so they can help their neighbors, and to distribute modified copies to others.
So when my cousin needed changes to a GPL-licensed shopping cart manager she was using to implement a client website, she offered me money to make the changes. However, since the author's contact info was in the header of the source, I recommended that she try him first - since he wrote the software, he could likely make the change at less cost, and more easily include those changes in the next release.
She got the features she wanted, the developer earned income, and I can use those features on MY next project or help out my cousin if the original author isn't available next time.
Does this make it clear?
Control a 3D Printer!
Here are plans for a free (as in open source) 3D printer that you can build yourself. It uses a PC for downloading and printing objects. Why not adapt a Raspberry Pi to control it? Less expensive, dedicated, and just plain cool!
Best of all, once you've built your first 3D printer, you can print another 3D printer! :-D
Control Your Squirrel Cannon!
Seriously, you need some exercises to expand your imagination. This is the age of *doing*!
One of the most common complaints that I receive as a senior computer architect is that the user interface on Windows changes with every release. Windows 95 didn't have a Start button - and the XP Start button is very different from AeroPeek. Win7's task bar works very differently from XP's task bar + quick launch bar. The control panel for each Windows release is different enough that we have to invest in training for each release. And on and on.
Similarly, while I was a MacOS 2 power user, when I tried to evaluate the OS/X platform in 2011 I was *lost*. It was much better once I learned it, of course, but "exactly like 1984"? Not even close!
The extent of similarity between the various Windows and Mac releases and different Gnome and KDE releases are roughly equivalent. The only significant difference is that Linux users have a choice, while Windows and Mac users are stuck with Microsoft's and Apple's view of how a GUI should work.
I prefer choice, by the way...
Why should we choose between a mass market interface *or* a power interface? Do hot rod enthusiasts decide between a tweaked out vehicle *or* a vehicle their mom can drive, or do they enjoy a world where both are well-supported?
The point of FOSS and Linux to me is *choice*! I want total power over my computing experience, and an app-compatible mass market platform for the non-geeks I love (and support).
Still have my N770, N800 and (most of all) N900
In fact, the N900 is still my primary phone (on T-Mobile in the USA). I *still* get comments like, "Ooh, is that a new phone?" despite it's not-exactly-cutting-edge 600 MHz single-core processor and resistive WVGA screen and a shape oddly reminiscent of a brick. It has a real (not artificially limited) OS, and it runs Python apps exceptionally well. It's web browser still runs circles around my iPad's (who in the name of Steve Jobs decided that reloading a site when switching tabs was a *good* idea?!?). And I just loaded a new app from Ovi last night.
Nokia - clutching defeat from the jaws of victory for over a decade... *sob*
Developers are "happy" selling to a 1% platform? Seems a little odd - unless they learned .Net for the desktop and don't want to learn Java or Objective C just to access the 50% / 20% sectors, or have bought into the hype that WinP7 has manifest destiny to eventually climb to #3 in the smartphone market.
In any event, aiming for #3 is pretty lame for the former king, and introducing their new line with relatively slow, single-core processors and fairly low-res screens by today's standards (yes, I have an N900, but I freely admit it's 2 years old!) seems rather... I don't know, underwhelming?
We'll see how much magic the Nokia name has retained, I guess. Wish'em the best, but not really interested in the new line. A nice Samsung Android phone for Christmas, perhaps...
Actually, the original PC bus (eventually designated the Industry Standard Architecture or ISA) dominated precisely because IBM did NOT license it - but rather, didn't sue those who blatantly copied it for free. IBM later changed their mind, and introduced licensing fees to use ISA and their new 16-bit MicroChannel Architecture (MCA) bus - but rather than pay licensing fees, the clone masters created the 16-bit Extended ISA (EISA), became independent of IBM (but not Microsoft), and changed history.
Microsoft was lucky to get an initial ride on ISA, but they ruthlessly killed their competition by every means, fair and unfair, to gain OS dominance. It appears that era is ending...
Stick a "fork" in it
OpenOffice.org became LibreOffice. MySQL became MariaDB. What shall we name the Qt fork to restore freedom to one of the best cross-platform development environments in the free software world?