A shame he obviously hasn't heard of FreeBSD
Gnome project cofounder and current Xamarin CTO Miguel de Icaza says he's done wrestling with Linux on the desktop, and that he now uses Apple kit exclusively for all of his workstation needs. De Icaza is well known in the open source community for developing a number of client-side technologies for Linux, including the …
As for Linux not being user friendly "Huh" indeed. I'm writing this on a computer that started as Ubuntu 6.04 and eventually got upgraded to 8.04, which is what it has now. That means that it has been a user friendly and functional desktop machine for 7 years, and that the current Linux on it is now 5 years old. That's a pretty good track record. I'm sorry if you haven't been as lucky, though I do suspect that bad luck isn't actually your problem.
If you want to put down Linux, I'll join you, but I'm not going to say that it isn't user friendly, easy to install, and very functional - because it is. Still, I'm with AC at the top there, about FreeBSD being the best choice.
OpenSUSE upgraded seamlessly from 10.X to 11.X to 12.X for me. It work fine even to the point that between 10.X and 11.X the system partition was upped from ext3 to ext4, but it left the user partition untouched.
I work with a Debian-based distro at work. As long as my compiler/matlab/LaTeX work (oh, and a browser) I am happy with essentially any OS. Multi-media (sound in particular) can be a pain now and then under Linux. On the other hand, I like it when my computer SHUTS UP.
I have used OS-X when visiting other institutes and had no problems with it. The only problem for me is that the current crop of MacBooks in the size I want don't have nVidia graphics (me use CUDA).
I've heard of Ubuntu and most others down even to Slackware, worked on (paid work) and administered them, along with Solaris, AIX, HPUX, BSD varieties, Ultrix ...
I agree totally with the article. Ubuntu was the last straw, when a normal upgrade would not boot and I had no interest any more in trying to make it work. I wanted a BSD system, either would do. But the disc partitioning never worked properly with my windows system and so that fell away. I did not want, ever again, to have to trawl the internet to find codecs, printer drivers, video drivers that would work with the screen and not against it .... Hunt for libraries that had moved in this distribution to a different place from some other distribution ....
In short, I wanted to use the computer, as a tool or as an entertainment medium, not work repairing and maintaining it. I get paid for that and at home I've got better things to do.
But then I got a second hand Apple powerbook, the old white one - what a revelation: proper BSD, full X including my favourite window manager, twm, all the compilers, interpreters, full media, ability still to add GNU, mac ports or whatever software. Now I've got an ageing Apple Intel white laptop. Even better, with a free VM package that runs XP faster than my XP machine.
Result, I use Linux (Redhat) at work and Windows of course -- all pain and no gain. I have to stomach XP at home on my wife's machine; but I have got a cunning plan: buy a new OS X machine and give her the old one - less maintenance, more speed and it "just works". Generous of me.
What you've put here is not a fair comparison - you had trouble installing linux on existing hardware, and couldn't find drivers for that hardware, then chucked it away and bought a mac with apples OS installed.
No hardware support problems? Blow me down! Bad linux.
Try installing apple's OS on the hardware that linux couldn't support, see how you get on.
I've installed linux without problem on many many machines - you can try the os before you install it by running it from a live cd, something you can't do with windows - you can identify and resolve hardware support issues before you install. You don't need to rush round finding numerous driver disks like you do with windows.
Upgrading is painless - all your installed software (not just the OS) is upgraded automatically if you like, under your control if you prefer.
I just don't understand people who have problems with linux, I'd recommend it to anyone with a bit of tech experience. And anyone without that level of experience runs into problems with windows anyhow
Well that all depends, doesn't it? Are you going from LTS to LTS, or do you want to go to one of the interim releases? This may mean jiggling around with the settings, which means understanding package managers, repositories etc., understanding the consequences of leaving the LTS cycle. And we're back to having to be technical to know what to do, which is another GNU/Linux epic fail.
No matter what you do on GNU/Linux you *ALWAYS* have to spend time trawling the 'net trying to interpret poorly written and out-of-date guides. It's why people use Windows/Mac. They may offer less choice and be dumbed down - but at least they work.
Sorry but in my experience trying to dig deeper into Linux with web written articles by Linux experts is next to impossible for the beginner.
They all make the biggest IT Tech failing the world over of assuming the person reading knows what they are doing in the first place.
Linux Articles written by Linux Experts for Linux Experts basically.
They all manage to miss out the first three pages of prep and start off on stage 7.
"I do what with this tar.gz thing?" or "Why can't I just double click and install it rather than type all this guff into a terminal window?"
This makes most beginner Linux explorers just reformat their HDD and walk away muttering "maybe in another couple of years I'll try again!"
Maybe as Linux Experts you don't notice these things but trust me as I've tried on three or four occasions it's out there and it's no fun.
"I do what with this tar.gz thing?" or "Why can't I just double click and install it rather than type all this guff into a terminal window?"
If your complaint is "it doesn't work exactly the same as windows", which it seems to be, then congrats you've totally missed the point.
Do iPads and Android tabs let you install random crap off the net without warning? No. Because downloading software from random places on the net and just installing it is a terrible idea. In desktop linux, same as on these other platforms, you go to the software store and install stuff. You should never be dealing with tar.gz's to install software unless you're playing with advanced, experimental stuff.
Maybe as Linux Experts you don't notice these things but trust me as I've tried on three or four occasions it's out there and it's no fun.
If you've tried and failed to get a linux system going in the last... 5ish years? Walk away from your tech career. Now.
No you see you've missed my point. Oh and you've gone off in a bit of a rant at me for trying to get to grips with Linux on a deeper level as you may have encouraged me to do before I wrote my post earlier.
You see you all ask us to have a go and then when we ask questions we get shouted down.
Those questions I posted would be perfectly justifiable questions from a ex. Windows user moving to the Linux world.
I have got several linux systems working fine. I have two of them as VMs on my PC right now. It's just I would like to delve deeper (surely something that you would encourage?) but when I try I get told off or just find crappy documentation.
We try but get told to fuck off.
What exactly do you want us to do if you wont help people move to your world?
I'm sorry, but you want to "delve deeper" but you're complaining that you can't just double click and install a tar.gz file?
Firstly, if you google 'what is a tar.gz file?` you get 56 million pages back, the first being a detailed wikipedia entry on tar files.
Secondly, as tar.gz is an archive format (like zip, which you find out from the wiki page) you would know that it's not an installer and double clicking to install is not a reasonable expectation.
Third, if you double click on it on any recent linux it will pop up a GUI app showing you the file content, just like in windows.
Fourth, that first page of google results already has several forum entries about installation from archives, many of which give instructions and repeat the warning that it's probably not a good idea.
Think about going onto a Windows developer forum and asking "I've got this zip file from an unknown source on the internet, why won't it install when I double click?", is that a question from someone delving deeper or someone who hasn't even bothered plugging "zip file" into google?
There are ways and means David, ways and means.
Unfortunately often the way you Linux guys explain things just comes across as rather abrupt and rude.
Instead of just doing the Jackie Chan meme stance and shaking your head incredulously you could just go "Ahh yes a tar.gz, thats just a blah blah that allows you to blah blah, you don't really need to worry about them unless you want to blah blah, so maybe when you have a few more linux miles under your belt you can then try blah blah!"
"Ah yes, why isn't there just a simple installer file like you would have with Windows, that's a good question and I'm glad you asked me that. Well with Linux 99% of all the software you could ever need is actually tucked away in this really neat repository of software. It's like a large library of juicy free stuff that you just select from the menu and it all installs directly on your machine! Now isn't that really cool?"
Ways and means. You don't have to jump down people throats.
Thats all we ask as beginners. Encouragement.
"Instead of just doing the Jackie Chan meme stance and shaking your head incredulously you could just go "Ahh yes a tar.gz, thats just a blah blah that allows you to blah blah, you don't really need to worry about them unless you want to blah blah, so maybe when you have a few more linux miles under your belt you can then try blah blah!"
"Ah yes, why isn't there just a simple installer file like you would have with Windows, that's a good question and I'm glad you asked me that. Well with Linux 99% of all the software you could ever need is actually tucked away in this really neat repository of software. It's like a large library of juicy free stuff that you just select from the menu and it all installs directly on your machine! Now isn't that really cool?""
Which is *exactly* what you get when you stick "what is a tar.gz file?" into google. I'm serious, try it. All of that stuff is in the results on the first page. Not seeing a problem here...
And thats fine.
But in future if people ask what you think are dumb noob questions, just count to three and imagine how you would like to be treated if you were say learning to fly.
Its all about learning a new OS. Not Officer and a Gentleman or Full Metal Jacket.
If you welcome people with tolerance and patience they will come.
(sound of needle being pulled off a record)
But that'll never happen.....
"But in future if people ask what you think are dumb noob questions, just count to three and imagine how you would like to be treated if you were say learning to fly.
Its all about learning a new OS. Not Officer and a Gentleman or Full Metal Jacket."
Seriously, the internet is full of this, these questions being answered with patience and understanding, over and over again. I wasn't kidding about the search before, there are 53 million results for what is a tar.gz file, a large number of which describe things in *exactly* the way you're talking about.
I'm really not sure what the issue is. Is google (or bing I suppose) not your first port of call when you face something you don't understand?
I know I've said you're probably incompetent if you claim to be a technical person and you can't figure out apt, but that's because I'm genuinely (seriously, genuinely and not cynically) mystified that someone is expressing a problem like this when the answers are milliseconds and a simple search query away.
What I was after were the very reactions you provided to make my point. You succeeded admirably.
As I mentioned I've built and installed many flavours of linux over the years and I know full well the answers to those very questions I made. However, over the years I have made enquiries to more technical issues I've had with linux and found the information (like you refer to) and the attitudes of many enthusiasts out there wanting.
It could be so much better with a little thought.
Got a big hill to climb and it needs a more inclusive change of attitude to do it.
I'm not damning Linux I'm just trying to let you know how you can help make it better.
"What I was after were the very reactions you provided to make my point. You succeeded admirably."
Would you like to review the conversation? This is how it's gone so far as I can tell:
"Articles written by experts are too advanced and people just walk away, I've tried. Here are some examples"
"The things you complained about there are not expert, they're trivial and if you can't find out how to do them yourself you probably shouldn't be in tech"
"Those questions I posted would be perfectly justifiable questions from a ex. Windows user moving to the Linux world."
"No, they're really not, and they've been answered all over the place, look, here is a wealth of beginner info on those topics"
"linux people are mean"
"Seriously, look, all over the internet, linux people being nice about beginner questions"
"You should be nicer to noobs"
"But your complaints are baseless..."
"See!" This is exactly what I was talking about"
So... sure, whatever, I'm keeping people away. People who can't use google apparently.
Once again the point is that within two posts and not really knowing my level of experience you stated I must be incompetent and can't use Google.
See how that looks? How would you feel 30 mins into a course learning something new and you were called incompetent in front of everyone on the course?
This is the crux of this part of the discussion.
I have since stated I know how this stuff works but you still keep kicking me and reinforcing that less than tolerant attitude.
I've done all I can I think.
"Once again the point is that within two posts and not really knowing my level of experience you stated I must be incompetent and can't use Google."
No, I said if you've failed to get linux going in the last five years you must be incompetent and have trouble with google, which is what you seemed to be saying in your first post, that you'd walked away every time you tried. You then later said you didn't have this problem. Awesome, you aren't incompetent and you can use google.
"See how that looks? How would you feel 30 mins into a course learning something new and you were called incompetent in front of everyone on the course?"
You're not a beginner on a course though, or learning something new. You didn't ask a question about linux and you would have got a totally different reaction if you had. You came here to complain about things being hard, which they aren't. My point is that that knowledge is only a couple of clicks away and really, if you can't find out a few things like that off your own bat then why are you bothering?
"I have since stated I know how this stuff works but you still keep kicking me and reinforcing that less than tolerant attitude."
If you'd actually asked a question, rather than handing out a judgement and then playing the victim, we'd be having a completely different conversation. This is not intolerance of noobs, it's intolerance of people playing the noob so they have something to complain about.
> See how that looks? How would you feel 30 mins into a course learning something new and you were called incompetent in front of everyone on the course?
Also, I would call you ANNOYING.
Do you think these are motherfucking classes for people with special needs and daily doses of ritalin?
After this conversation and what I've just been asked by a colleague I am starting to wonder if I'm the only one that knows about internet search engines -
"do you know how to add a column to this database table?".
"Hmm, not sure, never done it, probably something like alter table add column"
/me searches for 'add column mysql'
"Yeah, there it is, alter table add column"
"Is that 'add' 'column' with a space?"
???? Maybe it's just me
> count to three and imagine how you would like to be treated if you were say learning to fly.
Well, as I am currently learning to fly, I'm well-placed to comment on exactly that.
If I've paid good money for a flying lesson, I expect a sharp instructor who will answer my every question, and if I feel I need more attention, I shall expect to get it.
If I've just turned up at an airfield and I'm asking simple questions that I could easily have looked up, I expect to need to be interesting to those who will have to give up their own time to benefit me.
So it is with computing; if I've paid for support, I'm going to get it whatever my attitude. If I'm relying on the charity of others, I expect to give them a reason to feel charitable. Asking trivial questions (that I could have googled) is not such a reason, nor is complaining that the world doesn't spin in exactly the manner I want it to.
> Its all about learning a new OS.
Indeed it is. Now imagine you were going to learn something else - pick your topic. How are you going to go about learning that? By motivating others to help you? Or by complaining when they're too busy?
> If you welcome people with tolerance and patience they will come.
We do exactly that. What we don't welcome is people who refuse to help themselves. Effort is rewarded, regardless of expertise.
"Unfortunately often the way you Linux guys explain things just comes across as rather abrupt and rude."
How many beginners are there? How many "experts"? How long does it take the expert to answer the question? How often will they have to repeat themselves? This is why people are told to RTFM.
Now, if someone comes up and says "See this bit? Why does tar.gz do blah and not blah?" Odds are good they'll get help because that someone has at least put the effort in.
Unfortunately a lot of the documentation is obtuse or out of date. My current favourite example is Canoncial's own documentation on a KVM networking bridge causing the node to lose its network. Now this is community documentation and I could change it but I don't know enough about networking/KVM to understand if this is truly a general issue of the docs, or something peculiar to my set-up.
I'm not even sure where/who I can ask.
Here's some encouragement.
Download the latest full release (I can recommend 14.1 'cinnamon'). It downloads in the form of a disc image. Run it and it will make a bootable DVD. Boot the device with the DVD.
It will boot into an environment that is familiar to anyone who has ever installed an OS, or other software. No complexity, nothing but "install, next,next,next..wait". Done.
It's faster to install than window 7 and you're presented with a desktop totally usable to anyone who has ever used or even seen windows XP. Dive in and use it. Almost *everything* is where you expect it to be, in a structure and format that works and you will recognise. I speak here from experience. The laptop i'm typing this on is a dual boot win 7/MINT. I put MINT on 6 months back as a user similarly "giving linux another go".
It recognised there was already an OS present. It asked if I wanted to replace or dual boot (even explaining replacing would mean loss of data etc). You're asked fewer questions than during a windows install (timezone, languages etc that you get in windows). On completion every device was recognised, every driver already present. Not a single download or tweek was required. With the addition of the browser chrome and libre office (both of which just_worked and, again, presented normal, familiar installer packages and went on with no issues) you've a fully workable machine for 99% of the computer-using universe. it looks nice, feels nice and other than a few things having sligtly differnet names or organisation in the start menu most "real world" windows users (i.e. in SMEs or non-IT businesses runnning MS stuff) could sit at a MINT machine and just crack on with work.
Now I was very basic with this, for a reason. I'm not intending to partonise, merely keep the explanation as simple as possible to show just how simple the whole experience was. I dual booted a cheap and cheerful 'zoostorm' laptop and the addition of MINT was painless and genuinely can do the huge majority of what most people ever use a PC for.
One thing we totally agree on though is the support for new linux users has an unfortunate asshat : helpful-person ratio.
You Linux types: *.tgz please. tar(1) is the archive format, gzip(1) is one of many compression tools. You need to get out a bit. I suppose you use Wiki because you can not type "man" or even, ugh, "info".
Linux "experts"; search on the internet for some LE's wonderful shell script that does this wonderful thing and see all the others saying, "wonderful", "you saved my life" .... But then read the script and realise the bloke got some mish-mash of "magic" and what he typed at the shell prompt, with a slim understanding of pipes and filters and none of functions, structure, comments. Even some of the Linux code is like that.
Check the dozens of blogs and sites that exist just to simplify and explain Linux and tell you all about the lovely new software that is available every day. And give you cut'n'paste command lines to install it.
You can get deeper at somewhere like Linuxquestions.org, and you will only be told to fuck off if you sound like a student trying to get someone else to do their homework for them --- and that is a tradition that dates way back into Usenet, long before Linux. The only other thing is that you are expected to have done...
$ man tar
...and a simple google search, before you ask what to do with a blahblah.tar.gz file.
Just like Unix always has been (I did a lot of my learning on Usenet) Linux is really a fairly friendly environment
> when I try I get told off or just find crappy documentation.
I doubt that.
I'll grant you that some of the documentation is not as good as it might be - but that's true for any platform at any time. It's just the way people see documentation...
If you ask a question, you do *not* get flamed. That happens when you pout and flounce. Moaning that you can do X in Windows won't get you anywhere, particularly when the people fielding your queries believe X to be a really daft thing to want to do in the first place...
So, for example, in this instance: if you double-click a tarball, you'll generally get a tar extraction tool of some sort start up and show you the contents of that tarball - on my boxes, I get file-roller. That's a good thing. You get to see the contents of your blob without doing anything crazy. *Installing* that software on a double-click would really worry me; that's not what I asked it to do.
If I want to install software, I'll grab a software package file from a source I trust and install that (which I *can* do on a double-click should I choose to). I also have the tools to examine what that package is going to do to my system *before* I start the installation, should I choose to do that.
> What exactly do you want us to do if you wont help people move to your world?
I've helped hundreds of people move to my world. But when someone gets stroppy at me, I have to wonder whether they're paying me enough to deal with that sort of nonsense.
 RPMs, DEBs, whatever. They're all good.
I'd suggest finding a LUG and joining up. In the UK there is a list of UK based LUGs at www.lug.org.uk and outside the UK, well I guess do a search for "Location" + "Linux User Group" in your favorite search engine :-)
In the early days of using Linux I found it frustrating, I referred to books (this was when I only had Internet access at work at a college), then I referred to the Internet itself at home and then eventually I joined a LUG. I can only base my experiences of being a member of my local LUG, but I'd say that there are a variety of folks with varying skill sets from new users to really experienced users who know their stuff. The majority of the time the users help each other out and seem to be pretty good at explaining how to do things.
As for double clicking to install things, yeah you can do that, for instance on Linux Mint you can double click on a .deb package (which I guess in the Windows world would be like an MSI file) and in most cases it will install it, or you could look in the Software Manager and usually find a version that can be installed with a couple of clicks (or maybe if you try the .deb version it might find an alternative supported version... it does this for me when I install Skype, it asks me if I want to use an older supported version rather than the lastest version).
"No matter what you do on GNU/Linux you *ALWAYS* have to spend time trawling the 'net trying to interpret poorly written and out-of-date guides. It's why people use Windows/Mac. They may offer less choice and be dumbed down - but at least they work."
Because following these tips to make Windows more usable is the sort of thing that every Joe knows how to do, right?
This is not 1991 any more. Please, move with the times. You want to arse about under the hood of Linux? Sure you'll have to know your stuff. Same as with Windows. Same as with Mac OS X. Difference being that if the distro maintainer decides to go all GUIdiotic, it's not hard to apt-get the old interface back in.
Windows 8 on the other hand...
Total nonsense - if you pick the right distribution. I have a Debian image that was installed originally on a dual PPro in about 1995 and was repeatedly upgraded to current releases and moved to new hardware over the intervening years and wound up in a KVM VM; no reinstallation, ever. The upgrade process has not been entirely free of trouble, but never was so bad as to justify reinstallation. Most of the problems resulted from switching to the testing release some months before the formal release and therefore the normal things to expect running what is effectively beta software. The upgrade from Ubuntu 10.04 to 12.04 was entirely uneventful and only needed one reboot. I expect other Debian based distributions perform similarly.
Downvoted you tool
I have a 4 year old using a Linux desktop for a year now and an 11 year old who has been using his for 6 years. In both cases it is on a networked system with NFS shared $HOMEs so they are dutifully logging with their own accounts. They have been doing their homework with the older one preparing for exams (SATs) doing his school research and playing games (as all 4 and 11 year olds do) on that too.
When I observe them having problems with the system being unfriendly I will sure tell you (from a desktop Linux machine too). Or I can ask their 70 year old grandma to do so (she has been using a Linux desktop since the days of enlightment 16 - 1997) also without problems. When her linux desktop broke 5 years ago she had windows for 3 weeks. At the end she lost it, took the comp to the local repair shop smacked it on the table and said that she is not leaving until they "fix it".
As far as the Mac CoolAid - I have a Mac in the household too - SWMBO got a MacBook Pro. She regularly ends up turning around and using the Linux thin client in her home office instead because that "always works" (TM). While it is a nice machine, Apple software (especially when mixed with MSFT) tends to manifest some temperament when you do not want it to.
Note - I do not use gnome (and never will), neither does anyone in the household.
In any case, as far as Miguel being a troll - nothing new. He has always been. Though he is probably applying for a job @apple now instead of Microsoft so he has changed his naso-rectal orientation.
"older one preparing for exams (SATs) "
This derailed my brain a bit. To me, the SATs are something that you take when you are 18. I took mine in 1984, in Endicott, NY. So either you have an exceptionally gifted 11 year old child, or you are talking about something different.
(Yes, I'm a Welsh-speaking Englishman in France, but I spent almost the whole of the 80s in the US.)
SATs in England, and possibly other parts of the UK, are exams taken at the end of years 2, 6 and 9. An 11 year old would be doing the Key Stage 2 SATs in year 6. After that you have GCSEs (year 11) and A Levels (year 13). Scotland has different exams at those stages. English A Levels are equivalent to American SATs.
And children playing computer games at 4 years old! Think some parents need to do some research about children and media. 11 year olds needing computers for homework? Desperately, horribly sad. Even worse than using the television as a baby sitter.
Get a life.
Kick the little b-g-rs outside to get some fresh air and climb a tree, or even, dangerous, meet other children and run around, draw pictures (pen, pencil, paintbrush - messy, real, excellent). Buy them books, real, paper books that can get damp, dropped, crammed in a pocket or dirty and still be read. Get a dog and make them take it for walks and play with it. Take them on a sailing course or rowing on a lake. Ban computers and mobiles till they are at least 12 and then limit them from constant use.
Spare me the nonsense about preparing for the modern world. Your physical body and brain have not followed the appendix just yet. The vast majority of the most modern, cleverest inventions and developments today were created without the people having frittered away their developing years on computers, locked into the electronic vision of somebody else.
"Ye times has changed. It's now recommend to Take the SATs in your JR year in HS.
Ps if I had of waited to take the SATs at 18 , that would of meant waiting 6 months after I graduated from HS."
If you "had of" waited, maybe you'd understand English a bit better. It's highly "recommend" ;-)
"I have a 4 year old using a Linux desktop for a year now ... blah... blah..."
I love it when people totally miss the point about criticism of Linux. Sure, you have your entire family using and loving Linux. But that's because you install it, you maintain it, you upgrade it, you fix it when it goes wrong. You are an IT geek happy to spend your time doing this. I am very happy for you all. But it can't be emphasised enough; ***the rest of the world is not like this***.
Miguel is just saying what occurs to many people who give Linux a shot; he's got better things to spend his time on. I came to the same conclusion. I can, but don't chose to, spend hours fixing things when my audio drivers refuse to work, yet again. I could, but don't want to, spend hours trawling through Linux forums finding the one person on the planet who is using the same version of the same distro with the same hardware as me. Only to discover that they too have got nowhere configuring the damn things to work together. I choose not to spend hours trying to follow laughable "user" documentation written by a Linux coder for other Linux coders. My interests are in using a computer, not in compiling OS kernels.
So I fully understand Miguel de Icaza when he decides that he'll use something that just works.
"You are an IT geek happy to spend your time doing this. I am very happy for you all. But it can't be emphasised enough; ***the rest of the world is not like this***."
Bingo. As I said, it needs to be installed or supported by a technical-elite.
Despite it's technical merits; it's just too fragmented, offers too much choice* and relies too much on the end user being savvy.
*Yes people, too much choice IS a bad thing. Ask any psychologist.
"Bingo. As I said, it needs to be installed or supported by a technical-elite.
You know that everyone without this support on hand absolutely hates computers regardless of OS? Because they're unreliable, or slow, or the printer stopped working, or suddenly I've got advertising popping up at me from nowhere, or there's no sound or....
" But that's because you install it, you maintain it, you upgrade it, you fix it when it goes wrong"
Are you seriously trying to say that friends and family don't come to you to fix their windows computers?
If they actually don't you should check whether your personality isn't giving them the creeps.
> Sure, you have your entire family using and loving Linux. But that's because you install it, you maintain it, you upgrade it, you fix it when it goes wrong.
The same goes for any OS my family runs.
This "just works" stuff is generally a myth. Even on MacOS you will find yourself retraining n00bs to deal with those annoying secret handshakes and gratuitious bits of deviation.
Helpless twits will find a way to be helpless regardless of what OS they run.
"Helpless twits will find a way to be helpless regardless of what OS they run."
And there you have the root of the problem. Too many Linux forums and the like are filled with people who respond, when faced with a problem with Linux;
* The problem is not the OS. The problem is you. You are an idiot.
* I am not going to answer the question because it would be a waste of my time. I am instead going to explain why you are wrong to ask it in the first place. You are an idiot.
Fact is that Linux has been available on desktops for years, for free. People love free stuff. Yet still very few use it. Why is that? If your answer to this is "People are idiots" then you aren't clear on what a desktop OS is suppose to do; i.e. be used by people. If people can't/won't use the OS then the problem is the OS. People aren't going to change any.
"* The problem is not the OS. The problem is you. You are an idiot.
* I am not going to answer the question because it would be a waste of my time. I am instead going to explain why you are wrong to ask it in the first place. You are an idiot."
Where? Where is this happening? And no, this thread doesn't count because nobody has actually asked a question here.
Seriously, I've said it several times already in this thread, if you stick a query about basic linux stuff into google you will be bombarded with beginner-friendly information on the topic, forums full of patient explanations of the answer (or why you're looking for the wrong answer) and such stuff.
Sure, at the high levels, Linus throws a fit at some other deep-level kernel dev once in a while, or someone in the Linux camp has a flamewar with Theo de Raadt, or Lennart Poettering comes under fire for his latest idea. But at the use level, stick "what is a tar.gz" into google and you're bombarded with useful, entry-level info.
So... where's the beef?
Or is this really just an outdated perception problem?
Re: Totally missing the point
I think you're wrong. I use Linux. Love it. But Linux forums are full of two kinds of answers for the most part:
1. "Learn Linux before you come here to ask questions" type replies...
2. Questions with no answers, sometimes after the asker restates the question the respondent thought was something else.
An aside here: the answer to "How do I fix my brand A stove" is NOT "You're using the wrong brand stove."
I'm talking about intermediate level questions, everyone wants to answer the real easy stuff. I'll gladly provide examples by the bushel if asked, but that is the way of most Linux forums. They are mostly useless for the newbie, and are full of esoteric debate clearly above their heads. I was left with the opinion that they really don't want Linux to spread beyond the "1337s" who know it...
"Learn Linux before you come here to ask questions" type replies...
If you wander on to the LKML asking what a tar file is... I've personally not seen this sort of stuff on the ubuntu forums, which always pop up really early on in searches for information, and neither on the debian mailing lists where people will usually direct you to more appropriate resources.
Questions with no answers, sometimes after the asker restates the question the respondent thought was something else.
Err, sure, sometimes nobody knows how to answer a question, or the right person isn't reading that day, is this an example of rudeness and bad attitude?
"An aside here: the answer to "How do I fix my brand A stove" is NOT "You're using the wrong brand stove."
If you bought a Lexmark 'stove' it might be. There are some things that just won't work.
I'm talking about intermediate level questions, everyone wants to answer the real easy stuff.
They are mostly useless for the newbie,
What's an intermediate level question and why would a newbie be asking one?
"I'll gladly provide examples by the bushel if asked"
How many f*cking times do I have to ask?
> sometimes nobody knows how to answer a question, or the right person isn't reading that day
What gets my goat is the number of times people feel the need to reply to a question just to tell the world - explicitly, in most cases - that they don't know the answer...
Dude, I am a 58 year old teacher/non-geek with a houseful of linux boxes and one at work. The wife, who is prime win/mac fodder would refuse the offer of a free one (or at least insist it was switched over to a "good" OS that she liked) and my 10 year old maintains the win xp boxes at his school (under supervision I hope and pray) because he knows more than the other students. Why does he know more? Well, he really doesn't, or maybe not, but he has the idea of how to use a software installer, and how to update (one click and his password) and other high-tech stuff like that so he must be a real geek, right?
No, Linux is no longer the domain of the geeks and hasn't been for years. What happens is that there are distros, like slackware, that are the domain of geeks, and you and other who falsely define yourselves as geeks try top play with them and failed, so it must be the fault of Linux. So, I think you need to think about what a geek is, and if you really are one. I'm not, and I'm not afraid to be uncool and nermal. Really, it's ok.
Even though some call me "Linux-Adolf", I cannot help but mod this post up.
Because I am very sure, that with basically a single desktop - like 'our' single kernel - we would have conquered the world. The 'all the choices' ought to have been in the applications, designs, etc., not in seemingly totally different experiences, with different keyboard shortcuts, and stuff. No, those don't scare me at all; and don't scare most in here. But, and that's an enormous 'but', the very large majority of users out there; those who don't understand the underlying principles, those who struggle to open a file, and save another version, and are happy as can be once they got the grasp of some sequences on how to click, drag and drop to get things done, no chance.
Yes, I have to agree to the 'every new distro makes the PROMISE more fragmented'. Nobody in their sane mind - except the many of us in the field - wants to relearn Synaptics after YaST, Thunderbird after Evolution, and so forth. I for one started with RedHat 5.1. But I also had the time and opportunities to go through Debian, Solaris, Ubuntu since then. And From Gnome to Gnome2, xfce, unity to KDE.
Come on, guys, get a life. Don't tell me that's what we wanted the majority of computer users do; and still love us and our systems!?
They would have loved the stability, reliability, the price-tag, the good common sense; if those had not been beclouded by a seemingly senseless though continuous switch of widgets, gadgets, approaches, colours, locations on the so-called Linux desktop.
Switched to Macs 2 years ago from a Windows/Linux combination. Best decision I ever took as it saves me massive amounts of time, and I still have an OS for which there are commercially supported products that are actually worth the money (Omnigraffle Pro, for instance) as well as some that are not (any version of MS Office).
Costs are down (sw is cheaper and is typically licensed to a person, not a machine), GUI is reasonably stable and actually very user friendly once you get used to it (I miss PgUp/PgDn/Home/End as individual keys), and for me it always works - I think I have had maybe 2 crashes in 2 years of solid use. I have WinXP and Linux Mint in VirtualBox, but I now rarely use it. On top of that, I have a decent UNIX command line at hand and all the *nix tools I need, a decent X11 environment so I can run stuff like wireshark and etherape, and a few Bitnami stacks allow me to experiment with other stuff. To me, it's the best of both worlds.
YMMV, but for me, Macs were a revelation. Should have done this years ago, but maybe they weren't as good then..
That's because GNU/Linux is not targeted at the user-on-the-street. It's only intended for the technical elite (or those who have a technical elite prepared to support them).
GNU/Linux also offer far too much choice. A normal user will panic when they have to decide what filesystem, what size of partitions, what DE, what...they don't want to have to do a Comp.Sci degree just to use their PC. Normal people will simply use a Windows or a Mac, as they are aimed at non-technical end-users who just want to get their stuff done and not futz around with config files or debate which window manager is best.
"A normal user will panic when they have to decide what filesystem, what size of partitions, what DE, what..."
Good job the 'auto' buttons on the installers work these days huh?
The ubuntu install and windows install are now very similar. It's just that most people will never see either one becaue their computers come preconfigured.
The ubuntu install and windows install are now very similar. It's just that most people will never see either one becaue their computers come preconfigured.
Slight amendment here it should read -
The ubuntu install and windows install are now very similar. It's just that most people will never see either one becaue their computers come preconfigured WITH WINDOWS
You're kidding, right? Window users fill web forums with pleas for help when Windows fails. Some times it is Microsoft updates causing the problems.
"Technical elites" are out there fixing Aunt Martha's windows computer every minute of every day! When they read about Java not being needed for most users, and about the security issues, do you think most of them know how to completely uninstall it themselves? Or which of the dozens of windows patches are unnecessary and may actually cause problems for them? Or how to make Windows behave as they want it to?
They also turn to "technical elites." Major Geeks, Bleeping Computer, Seven Forums, Tom's hardware, all these sites are busy as hell fixing Windows for the non-geek user. This doesn't count the friend everyone bothers to death for support.
Hell, there is a cottage industry in showing people how to use Win 8 since it is so different from what they're used to. Another reason why 8 is so slow to be adopted. And don't start with number of licenses sold. The OEMs bought those, they are not on the street...
> A normal user will panic when they have to decide what filesystem, what size of partitions, what DE,
Fine. Then don't go out of your way to subject them to Gentoo.
Give them a copy of the Linux they've probably actually heard of. Give them a copy of Ubuntu instead.
I think Slackware 96 was the last Linux installation that bothered me with a lot of the fine grained details.
What the parent post said.
Miguel is incapable of seeing a project through to fruition. He abandoned Gnumeric, then Bonobo, then GNOME. Then he started talking about .Net and C# being the framework and language of the future rather than just Microsoft's clone of Java - at which point he'd clearly lost his marbles.
About the only thing he seems to have completed was a bunch of Linux graphics drivers for Sun workstations when he was still a student.
It has a BSD layer and an optional X server; it's very comfortable for UNIX users — throw in VM Ware or Parallels and it's the only type of computer that allows you to run X, Microsoft Windows and OS X applications together on the same desktop.
So, yes, the perfect platform but for the cost, the limited hardware range and, for a lot of people, the company the money goes to.
I do something similar, which works very well for me. I run Win 7, and VmWare Player hosts a number of Linux and Solaris VMs. Ok, so no OS X in that, but I have a nice desktop that works pretty well and all the Unix I need. I do the same thing at work, but there I use VM Workstation.
I have just one colleague who actually runs Linux as his desktop. He's sometimes left in the lurch.
I find Linux very frustrating. For example Centos / Redhat 6.2 just doesn't work properly Java-wise properly out of the box, and as a result Eclipse CDT just doesn't work in a fresh install from DVD. Seems like no one at Redhat actually tried it before shipping it. Now I can cope with that, but how on earth is a newbie supposed to deal with unnecessary problems like that?
You can install Mac OS X in Virtualbox. The hacker group just released a tweaked Mac OS X distro, called "iAtkos ML2". Just google for it, and then install it in VirtualBox. Works great. There is a good blog post of how to install it in VirtualBox, google for it (it was easy to do, just "erase" the disk, and then you are good to go. It has instrucitons how to change screen resolution too, and shutdown "automatic update").
...except I can already do that with Linux.
I can use an actual Unix rather than something that is only Unix when it's time for a sales pitch.
I can also use the same virtualization tools to run all of the same Windows stuff too.
The only thing missing are MacOS only tools that no one seems to be able to name.
Running MacOS apps just isn't a good enough reason to be stuck running Apple hardware.
KDE on crunchbang , just works and does a fine job . Really.
Gnome is now in ruins .. but that's his and the board at the Gnome Foundation that stopped listening to it's user base and went on their way thinking they knew better . Right now Linux on the desk is a fine alternative and with Steam rolling in , the present state of Linux on the desk is excellent.
Maybe looking at his work and finding how crappy gnome became discouraged him, but to us old die hard linux guys ( been on it 12 years personally ) the KDE desktop's never been sweeter.
Status: Not a bug , works for me.
Crunchbang? Really, who decided on that stupid name? This is also something that affects Linux adoption, the ridiculous names programs are given, names that tell you nothing about what they actually do.
I got back to using Linux after losing interest a few years ago, I run in in VMware player. Fine, I don't need it enough to faff around with drive partitions. It's a mess, too many distros, I don't know what they've done to grub but installing a custom kernel requires an unacceptable amount of googling. When I need to install some program i also need to google for the inevitable ridiculous name, and google or that apt-get command. Please, no non-techie would put up with this. Linux is geared towards programmers and system builders, it always will be.
I'm not a huge fan of OSX either, to be fair. It looks really nice, mostly. Win7 has it pretty much nailed
> Win7 has it pretty much nailed
> I don't know what they've done to grub but installing a custom kernel requires an unacceptable amount of googling.
Perhaps you would like to explain how you managed to install a custom kernel on Win7 and why would you even want to do that now?
The last time I remember ever bothering with custom kernels was about 8 years ago when I was fiddling with Gentoo and I was editing kernel modules.
Or are you just ranting?
BTW OSX looks like shit to me, but that's just my opinion.
> For that matter, I could probably count the number of times I've compiled anything just on one hand.
It is nice being given the choice though. There are times I've left stuff alone, and there have been times that I've tweaked things to suit my own ends.
Yes, I build my own kernels … and I run Gentoo as my main OS. I type this now on an Apple MacBook that dual-boots MacOS X 10.6 and Gentoo. I run Gentoo on it most of the time. I'm a power user and I make no apology for this. I've run many desktops at one point or another (I'll save everybody the list). I presently run FVWM, which oddly enough is where I began in Linux.
I started out back in the days of Red Hat 4.0, didn't know about IRC, mailing lists or newsgroups, and I was the first among my peers to experiment with Linux. My only assistance was the books on the shelf, and The Linux Documentation Project. The experience has taught me a lot about researching problems.
I like the independence. I no longer wait around for my distribution of choice to release a new build. I have Catalyst -- Gentoo's release build tool handy. I just take the latest stage 3 tarball I have kicking around, grab the latest portage snapshot I have, pass it through catalyst and out pops a fresh build. Before I moved to ADSL2 I could do that faster than I could download the ISOs.
I appreciate the efforts of those who produce the software. I also appreciate the freedom that open source gives me. If I lost access to the Internet tomorrow -- forever, I'd be fine as my hardware presently works okay with Linux, and I have the source code to work on new features I might need, I only need time.
> Every other OS on the planet moved on from "recompiling the kernel"
Nonsense. Most OSes don't give you the resources to recompile the kernel.
Linux does. But very, very few people do so. And that's because it's only ever necessary when you want to do something extremely specific at kernel level.
Your other points notwithstanding...
>>I don't know what they've done to grub
*I* don't know what they've done to grub. grub2 is not my friend.
> The last time I remember ever bothering with custom kernels was about 8 years ago
There is a time and a place for custom kernels. I do build them. But I usually replace them with the original once my experiments are over...
"When I need to install some program i also need to google for the inevitable ridiculous name, and google or that apt-get command. Please, no non-techie would put up with this. Linux is geared towards programmers and system builders, it always will be."
Seriously, "I need to google for a program" is a negative point?
Isn't this what you do to find software on *every* platform? Or have Microsoft invented some sort of direct brain-to-installer tech they haven't told us about? At least with linux you don't the have to then go to a random web page and download some untrusted binary from an unknown source and hand it the keys to the kingdom. And if you have trouble with apt on the command line I have two things to say to you -
1) Menu->Ubuntu Software Centre
2) If you genuinely can't handle command line apt then you're incompetent and should not be in a technology related career. I'm really not kidding here. What are you even doing reading the register? Doesn't it just fly over your head? You might be more comfortable going back to AOL.
On that last point I'm quite serious - if you're involved in technology in any way and you *genuinely* have trouble with modern linux, it might be time to rethink your career choice. It really is not hard.
Any monkey any type 'apt-get install cutemonkeylollipops', figuring out the last bit is the tedious part.
Also, the package name isn't necessarily the same as the program/library name. When you search for a windows program you inevitably have a download link right there in front of you. You missed the point of Linux not being suitable for non-techies and therefore will never succeed as an OSX/windows alternative for mum and dad.
I'm glad you're an apt-get expert, I hope it's on your cv. It'll be a useful skill to have until it's replaced by cutemonkeylollipops. My technical skills are up to scratch, don't worry about me pal.
"Any monkey any type 'apt-get install cutemonkeylollipops', figuring out the last bit is the tedious part.
Also, the package name isn't necessarily the same as the program/library name."
This is why software centre exists, and has its own search box, you know, for if googling a piece of software and then installing it by name is too hard for you.
" When you search for a windows program you inevitably have a download link right there in front of you."
This is a REALLY bad idea, and has trained windows users just to install crap from any old source. A major malware vector and part of the reason that those of us with some tech knowledge spend so much time cleaning up the computers of all our relatives.
"You missed the point of Linux not being suitable for non-techies and therefore will never succeed as an OSX/windows alternative for mum and dad."
You missed the point where you actually don't know what you're talking about and are making a mountain out of a molehill.
"I'm glad you're an apt-get expert"
I wouldn't put something so trivial on a cv. And I repeat, if you have trouble with this then you're not competent, that was not a joke or a dig at you.
"So you are supporting senseless file? They make it easier for the average user? That will help increase Desktop Linux uptake?"
I'm not sure how to interpret that. Is it English? The presence of question marks does indicate that there was a question in there somewhere, I have no idea what it might be though.
@David Hicks:"On that last point I'm quite serious - if you're involved in technology in any way and you *genuinely* have trouble with modern linux, it might be time to rethink your career choice. It really is not hard."
What you seem to be missing is that it's only the people involved in technology, or with a close family member in the field to set things up for them, that can be bothered with the crap involved in dealing with Linux on a day to day basis. For everyone else, the it (mostly) just works aspect of Mac/Windows will always be far more appealing.
Miguel is really only saying what most people secretly already know, that desktop Linux has been a failure and it's better off focusing on server/embedded usage. Even Torvalds himself would probably agree.
What you seem to be missing is that it's only the people involved in technology, or with a close family member in the field to set things up for them, that can be bothered with the crap involved in dealing with Linux on a day to day basis. For everyone else, the it (mostly) just works aspect of Mac/Windows will always be far more appealing.
I'm not missing that at all, which is why you haven't seen me advocating that everyone and their cat should use it. If you don't like linux and don't want to use it that's fine with me. I won't be moving my mother to Ubuntu any time soon; we still haven't even managed to wean her off AOL yet (change is scary!), if the whole look of the desktop was different she'd probably just stop using the computer.
I just get irritated by people who try to say that (desktop) linux is somehow objectively bad because they had a hard time with it, then backing up their difficult experience with an anecdote about how incompetent they are.
desktop Linux has been a failure and it's better off focusing on server/embedded usage.
I don't, personally, equivocate between market share and success or failure. I use it every day as my primary OS. I also use commercial unix, BSD, windows and MacOS as appropriate to the situation and customer needs. Frankly none of them is that hard to use, but the sheer breadth of software available at the touch of a button with linux puts it streets ahead for my use. That is 'success' to me.
"that can be bothered with the crap involved in dealing with Linux on a day to day basis."
Have said it before, will say it again. Spend my days fixing other peoples computers. Cleaning up after malware, fixing problems from corrupted system files, general stuff like that. Day after day after day of fixing major problems with windows which cannot possibly happen with a Linux system.
When I get home, I just want to relax and do whatever it is I want on my machine. Edit photos, watch a video, do webstuff - sometimes all at the same time. I don't want to have to fix something. I don't want to fix anything on my computer. So I use Linux. I'm lazy, I can't be arsed fixing computers during my time off. With Linux I don't need to.
It just makes life so much easier. No hunting drivers. No malware. No sudden and inexplicable system file corruptions. Use it. Your blood-pressure will thank you!
@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.
"This is also something that affects Linux adoption, the ridiculous names programs are given, names that tell you nothing about what they actually do."
Quite right.. Only in Linux do you get names that don't explain the function. BTW, a "hypervisor" is a very excited piece of plastic that fits onto my helmet, right?
"When I need to install some program i also need to google for the inevitable ridiculous name, and google or that apt-get command"
Open software centre/synaptics. Search for the function you want. Click install. Alternatively, open search engine, search string "[function/program] linux [optional distro]. enter. Choose your program. If it's likely to be known to apt then, in all cases, the extremely difficult command is "apt-get [name]" - name being revealed by the search.
The reason I started to use linux is because I am a lazy slob. I got sick of the eternal search for effective AV and the hours (sometimes days) of hunting for drivers for that other OS. Hell, when inserting a bog standard USB stick a) requires a reboot for the drivers to work right (and even Win8 still does this!) and b) has you sweating just in case something nasty is on it, then there's something very wrong with that OS.
When Linux becomes insecure or harder to work than Windows, then I'll switch. Till then, my weekends are mine.
KDE has some serious usability problems - dark coloured cursors that don't look like like any other desktop and blend in invisibly with both applications and desktop backgrounds, pointless and confusing animations, and Activities is just boggling to most people. Font management is also pretty ugly compared to fontconfig.
I'm not going to say it doesn't have many good points as well, but the amount of tweaking and digging around in preference panes in order to get it half usable is nearly as bad as Enlightenment. It's not going to tempt me away from XFCE, which has some very simple and sane defaults, any time soon.
Honestly, I'm not surprised he's come to that conclusion if he's been using Gnome desktop, developed by him! Personally, I might have done the same if I didn't realise that we have choice. I use KDE and have never suffered from any of the problems that Miguel claims to have suffered from.
I transferred to Linux in 2010 and have loved it ever since. Never had any trouble with drivers or hardware support and the speed improvement is outstanding.
I should also point out that according my findings while installing OS X in a VM ( so I could checkout how my websites look in Safari on OS X), it seems to me that Macs are using Linux anyway!
OS X is using the Linux kernal (albeit a well outdated one) and what looks to me under the hood, to be a complete Linux operating system in every way. If I'm not mistaken, Apple have just made their own Window Manager, of which there are already many to choose from for Linux and they have locked it down where possible to prevent the user from being able to change it.
They have also disabled the standard built in package management system and replaced it with their own library of commercial applications, removing still more choice.
If he feels that hardware support has improved in OS X, that is just a fallacy caused by the fact that you can only run it on Apple supplied hardware, for which they provide the drivers pre-installed. Try changing some of the components inside the box and see if you can still claim that hardware management is easier!
I wouldn't be surprised if he has some commercial reason to provide such an inaccurate picture of Linux and Apple.
"OS X is using the Linux kernal (albeit a well outdated one) and what looks to me under the hood, to be a complete Linux operating system in every way."
Apple use a fork of the Mach kernel, a microkernel, completely unrelated to the Linux kernel, which is a monolithic kernel. The kernel and components are provided freely as Darwin, and a few Darwin distributions have existed over the years. There's very little to distinguish them from an end user's perspective from a Linux or BSD distribution given they all run X11 and generally require graphical applications to be built on top of it, but they all do use different subsystem components and libraries.
"If I'm not mistaken, Apple have just made their own Window Manager, of which there are already many to choose from for Linux and they have locked it down where possible to prevent the user from being able to change it."
You are. OS X doesn't even natively use X11 for anything, though an optional X11 server called XQuartz is available. Instead it uses its own display server without all the cruft of X11 being pulled along for the ride. The window manager is built on top of their libraries and is not meant to be replaced, just as Windows' window manager is not meant to be replaced either. You probably can, but I'm not certain on that; it would be an ugly mess.
They have also disabled the standard built in package management system and replaced it with their own library of commercial applications, removing still more choice.
There is no single standard package management system for Linux. Each distribution uses its own. Ubuntu uses Debian's dpkg and apt, as do Debian- and Ubuntu-derivatives; Fedora uses RPM and PackageKit, as do a few others; Arch uses pacman; Gentoo uses portage; etc. There are package management systems available for OS X for other utilities if you so desire, such as MacPorts or Homebrew for example.
Apple use a mixture of FreeBSD user land and GNU utilities on top of the Mach kernel, as I mentioned before, along with several in-house additions. They do use several other products from the free software community such as KHTML in the form of Webkit, but not one of them is the Linux kernel, the one and only thing that makes a Linux distribution a Linux distribution. The terminal will of course feel familiar because it's bash, perhaps the most commonly used shell in Linux, but that's GNU. OS X is in some senses a true Unix, whereas Linux is simply Unix-like.
I think I know why you are so down on Linux Desktop these days. It's because you've only used GNOME. Have you tried GNOME3? If I had to use it for more than three hours, I would quit Linux Desktop too, and run to Apple, just to keep my sanity.
You should try KDE. Really. It's nothing like GNOME. It actually works, and it's nice. I use it every day for work. I don't have to fiddle with the kernel, unless I really want to. I don't lose wireless. Actually, I switch between wired and wireless - depending on where I happen to be - and it works fine. I don't lose sound, it works.
I remember the days when you and your buddies at Ximian were busy trashing KDE on every newsgroup you could find. Funny twist of events. You decided to quit your own Desktop.
Mono. Does it ring a bell? Mono is your brainchild. You wrote it. Not good anymore? Is that Linux's fault too?
Whatever you do, never admit that you are in the least responsible for your own decision to quit Desktop Linux. Blame the kernel, blame the drivers, and if that fails, just blame everything on a wide conspiracy. Just not GNOME. Whatever it is that made you decide to quit Desktop Linux, you and GNOME had nothing to do with it. It's always someone else's fault.
Ximian was in fact very good with Gnome then, some 13 years ago, looked much nicer than KDE, but eventually KDE just started to work better. I can well understand if Miguel is tired, fed up and disappointed, to day, as I suppose he has always expected more appreciation than this tough world has provided. All the optimism and energy wasted on Mono for instance. Not an easy world. Good luck in the future, Miguel.
Actually, it's Spanish for monkey. Miguel De Ick names all his projects for monkeys.
Bonobo: a type of monkey
Mono: see above
Ximian: a play on simian
The Gnome logo is a monkey footprint
As I've been told by a Mexican-American that chango is Spanish for "black monkey" perhaps we should steal a phrase from the movie Desperado and rename Gnome 3 "Piss Warm Chango". What the drug dealers did to the beer in that movie is what the Gnome devs did to Gnome.
I completely agree about Gnome3. What were they thinking? Changing the inside of it so it crashes less and is faster is great, but somebody always comes along and has to stick their fingers in the GUI. I'm getting real sick of all these people redesigning my desktop with a "sausage pen" interface in mind, I don't want to touch my screen when I'm sitting in a proper chair with a proper keyboard and a proper mouse, the end. Fingers suck as input devices and take away 2 additional interface manipulators to boot (buttons).
I used to use Ubuntu but when they moved to Unity, I tried it, then immediately went looking for something else, and found Mint XFCE to be the best fit for me. Gnome3 might be great for the soccer moms, but I HATE it. I also HATE "searching" for every god-damned thing I want to run. What the hell is wrong with a nice menu that has EVERYTHING in trees, and you just click on what you want? If Mint XFCE came with Nautilus instead of Thunar, I'd be good to go from the start (Note to the Thunar Devs: it's 2013, who doesn't want to access network shares from their file-manager?)
@MacGyver - I thought it was just me! I started using Linux off the back of using Solaris at work and got hooked, and saw an article in Computer Shopper and so ordered SUSE 5.3 in 1996 or 97 or whenever and still have the CDs (one day I'll install them on a VM just for a laugh.... ) and went through the same things you did. But I always gravitated towards KDE. Used to be slow, buggy, crashed all the time, but just couldn't get on with Gnome. I used to use Ubuntu but Unity totally ruined the experience. I work with industrial control systems and touch screens are part and parcel of that, and I have a Samsung Series 7 Slate with Windows 7 on it, but touch is not as good as a mouse and keyboard for everything.
And what is with the move away from menus? The MS Ribbon is hideous and frustrating, and having to type stuff to get an app - just, NO!
I hate being told by software companies how I want to work. They don't know me - I know how I like to work, thanks!
FWIW - SATS in skules - they are really there to test the school, not the kids. SWMBO is a primary school teacher and rants on about SATS for ever. Kids that young shouldn't be doing tests at all.... anyway, by getting the kids to do well in SATS it makes the school look good, and teachers are rely on the results to look at pupil progress. Personally - I think education - like the emergency services and military - is a political football and no government can resist mucking it about to the point teachers now don't know if they are coming or going! They want to make A levels harder - so does that mean they will be worth more than last year's? Will a 2014 C = 2012 B? How are employers supposed to keep track? Go back to proper 'O' and 'A' levels and have done with it!
I've run Novell's "dogfood" for many years (SUSE, openSUSE), and I don't recall once having to recompile a kernel while on vacation, or begging a dev for a binary just to keep the desktop running.
Never cared for Gnome though - I've always used KDE. Easiest DE to handle I think I've ever eun across. Guess it says a lot that he prefers Apple's walled garden. The founder of Gnome needs an OS that will hold his hand.
Maybe its time to just admit that Gnome was a big mistake from the start, and just get rid of the whole thing?
"Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working, I spend three weeks without having to recompile the kernel to adjust this or that, nor fighting the video drivers, or deal with the bizarre and random speed degradation that my ThinkPad suffered."
I take my Lenovo laptop everywhere and for much longer holidays. Using OpenSUSE I can also say I never have any problems - what is this guy going on about - anyone who is constantly recompiling the kernel ( and isn't a kernel dev) has a problem it's true, but inside his head not his laptop
> I take my Lenovo laptop everywhere and for much longer holidays
All my laptops are hand-me-downs, so it's rare I have a battery worth taking anywhere.
But suspend/resume? Works fine. As does hibernate. This is all very old news...
WiFi works flawlessly. So does video - albeit my NVidia chipset is quite a bit faster with the proprietary driver. But I only needed that when I wanted to run FlightGear, and installing it was hardly difficult.
> Using OpenSUSE I can also say I never have any problems
I use Fedora, and can say exactly the same.
> what is this guy going on about
Miguel needs to raise his profile in his professional career. That's all it's ever about with him.
"All my laptops are hand-me-downs"
Well my Lenovo is, donated by a relative when a Windows update trashed it. Mind I have a new battery and, indeed somewhere to recharge it on most holidays.
I was going to post about choosing a distro after trying a few and then sticking with it - that's the way to happiness in my view, but I see you've already done something similar.
""To me, the fragmentation of Linux as a platform, the multiple incompatible distros, and the incompatibilities across versions of the same distro were my Three Mile Island/Chernobyl," he writes."
Man you nailed my own issues with Linux. It's even why the companies I need software tell me the simply don't have the budget to support it either. I almost started a massive rant on the subject here but just deleted it. You said it right, nothing more I can say would add anything to it other than allow me to vent about it.
"the fragmentation of Linux". Why does that not bother me at all. I run one distro that works very well and I play around with several other distros as I like to see how things develop. Could it be that fragmentation is just competition. What is wrong with that. So difficult to choose among all these disroes, they say, but I would find it much harder to decide about the one and only distro to rule the world.
' "the fragmentation of Linux". Why does that not bother me at all.'
Linux has at least three different ways of packaging up software, the worst of which is a tarball autoconf tools thing. I wish the community would settle on just one. It's unnecessary, causes a lot of work, or means that you aren't reaching 2/3rds of the potential user base, or means you're dependent on distros adopting your wares.
I also hate the way in which Linux distros rely on an Internet connection to resolve package dependencies; you try doing that when your Internet is down.
At least software for Windows (and I guess Mac) tends to come with everything it needs on the CD. That's achievable on Windows and Mac because the developers can be sure of what is already on the machine. But with Linux the developers have no way of knowing that, not even within a single distro.
> I also hate the way in which Linux distros rely on an Internet connection to resolve package dependencies
Every distribution I have ever used has one or more iso's that you can download and burn onto DVD to provide you with all the packages. Linux distributions have central repositories that you can point to to get the latest versions and you are free to mirror these to a local copy if you wish to. As an example, the latest Centos one is only 4.6G for the i386 and 5.5G for for x86_64 so you can easily put them on a memory stick.
> At least software for Windows (and I guess Mac) tends to come with everything it needs on the CD. That's achievable on Windows and Mac because the developers can be sure of what is already on the machine. But with Linux the developers have no way of knowing that, not even within a single distro.
Rubbish. Most things I have installed on Windows have told me I need to install something else like a specific version of directX or the .NET framework. The propriety license usually means they can not distribute them themselves and you have to download them from Microsoft and agree to their T&Cs.
Finally, with linux, some software vendors will provide you with the entire OS to go with the software. For example: Asterisk and OpenXchange.
I've not found in my [general computing] background a wired network adapter that does not work with a basic linux install - sort out the rest after intenet is connected.
Persistent internet connection is a feature of Linux heritage of 'being born via/over the internet'. Perhaps you would prefer the scratched multiple install CDs that are the Windows way? Or mid-way through a Windows install that you need an updated dll not on the CD's - Oh yes - need an internet connection to sort that (and good luck find the right one quickly). Face it - almost any modern OS requires internet access to troubleshoot any number of problems - be that access to readable or downloadable resources.
PS - I've done DOS from 3.1-Windows 3.11-Win95 and been in Linux since 1996. I've needed internet access to download the CORRECT PCI network card driver for Windows 3.11 networking to even start linking machines  so don't get me started on this "need internet access to do XXX" - Winows also has previous
"I've not found in my [general computing] background a wired network adapter that does not work with a basic linux install - sort out the rest after intenet is connected."
I have. It was a cheap-and-nasty PCMCIA NE2000 clone that just worked with Windows 98SE. The Linux kernel took one look and gave me the big finger because the chip was buggier than shit, but nevertheless Windows 98SE had no operational problems.
You might say, with some justice, that it was my fault for buying such a cheap and nasty card, but when one OS says, "OK, I'm cool with that," and just gets on with it, and the other says, "Ewwww, that's gross," and refuses to do anything with it, I'm not sure that it's automatically my fault. I looked at the driver code, and there was specific code to reject that card.
And my experience with Ubuntu (7-8 years ago) was that the install **refused*to*finish** unless it had Internet access to download updated versions of all the installed packages. At the time I had ordinary 56K dialup, and the machine in question didn't have access even via that modem, so bye-bye Ubuntu.
I expect it won't be different at all, except for the fact I'm not on dialup anymore. I fully expect Ubuntu's installer will *still* require Internet access *during*the*install*, but now that always-on broadband Internet access is widespread (even I have it), it *doesn't*matter*anymore*. But at the time, that last part wasn't true, and I couldn't even finish the installation.
If it had left this as a post-install step, some sort of "Click here to search for updates" button, that would have been fine, but no, they insisted on doing it before finishing the installation, and on not providing an obvious way to skip the step. The worst part was that there was no easily visible way to have configured dialup access on a modem earlier in the install, so not only would the upgrade-packages step have been diabolically long, but there wasn't any hope of doing it except via Ethernet, and I didn't have a convenient spare machine that could route/NAT to the Internet for it.
I suspect if there was a specific rejection code, then it's because the chip played havoc with other hardware. Or perhaps it's so unreliable that it produces silent corruption or other unwanted events. In either event, the Windows 9X drivers simply may not care and when problems occurred, you just saw random hanging or blue screens..
The problem is that all those distros mean different toolchains and underlying software. That makes a unified form of software distribution almost impossible. This makes self-distribution of viable commercial software rather tricky, since the maker has no idea where the final product will be installed.
I can see that problem from a related angle. Steam for Linux only recommends Ubuntu and derivatives. But while Ubuntu and company are well known, there are lots of other distros out there, meaning they likely can't reach those people, and as much as Valve wants better coverage of the Linux world, they can't seem to find a way at this point in time.
> The problem is that all those distros mean different toolchains and underlying software.
No it doesn't.
It just demonstrates that you have a highly superficial view of the situation.
Any Linux distribution is just a collection of the same set of upstream projects. Any Linux distribution is just shorthand for a list of those upstream projects and their versions. That applies to any Linux executable from Applixware to Oracle to Steam.
Miguel's vision of the future was Linux implementations of .NET and Silverlight by fast-following the Beast. We laughed at him this whole time, but now that even Microsoft has abandoned both of those it's clear he's lost his cred. He was capable of good stuff once upon a time, and I hope he finds in himself that ability again. For now "Miguel D'Icaza" stories all have a considerable giggle factor.
A lesser man might self-terminate in disgrace. I sense that Miguel is a tougher man than that and will through an epiphany embrace a new scheme where his considerable intellectual capacity will be welcomed in the free revolution. He has a lot to give and it would be a shame to lose it.
I think the posts here some up what is wrong with linux... "use this version of gnome", "use KDE", "use Crunchbang"
For techies that's fine but the average bloke in the street just wants to have something that works out of the box and is the same as what a sufficient number of others are running.
As these posts show, everyone is pulling in different directions... Until everyone moves together Linux won't break through the desk top. Windows 7 was great but windows 8 provided a golden opportunity with thousands of frustrated users... So they load up Ubuntu and find that has gone nuts too.
Just Use Ubuntu. (JUU (c))
It works, and if you stay with it, no fragmentation at all.
That's what I don't understand about this fragmentation thing. You simply don't have to 'fragment' if you don't want to. The vast majority of Linux stuff is available for Ubuntu, so you'll rarely if ever find it doesn't do what you want . You just need to learn one way of doing things, and that's it! No different from Windows.
It's the same with Android. People claim it horribly fragmented, and yet, most people just use their phone as is, never noticing this 'fragmentation'. It's not done Android any harm.
Ubuntu doesn't work. It's buggy as hell (by Linux standards anyway) and is responsible for turning a lot of people off of Linux. For non-techies it simply requires too much fiddling under the hood to get it to run (not to mention the mess that is Unity). If you want user friendly, use Mint or Mepis, but for the love of Tux stay away from Ubuntu.
If you are going to quote de Icaza as an open source guy, you might as well quote Florian Müller for Google and the pope for atheism.
Microsoft hired Novell to port .NET to Linux. Novell put de Icaza in charge of the project (Mono) and he has been trash talking Linux ever since. As Microsoft has been working hard on poisoning all their business relationships recently, it is hardly suprising that he has turned to Apple.
As we are here, lets look at de Icaza's complaints:
I have never used OS X, so I cannot comment on how well resume works on a Mac, but booting up a Linux laptop only takes a few seconds. I have never bothered to try suspend and resume on Linux.
Wifi did have me stumped for a while - my first wifi card was broken. After replacing that, wifi has worked solidly. Early on, lack of drivers restricted the choices for hardware. These days, you have lots of choice, but checking out http://linuxwireless.org/ before a purchase will let you select a card with all the wifi modes supported out of the box.
I got burned by video drivers once in 2002. Since then I have taken care to read up on graphics chip support before making a purchase decision. Support for the newest hardware is usually poor or absent. The exception is Intel, who have done an excellent job of providing quality drivers for their graphics chips.
I have not had to recompile a kernel to adjust this or that ever. I have not had to compile a kernel (or even a module) for years. If you really need to squeeze an extra percent or two of performance out of a box, there are plenty of kernel parameters to twiddle in /proc without having to compile anything.
I have never had to chase the proper version of a package for the current version of Linux. I can understand that this is more of a problem for someone working on the next release of SUSE Linux. The idea that a Linux developer would ever have to "beg someone to package something" is ludicrous. If a specific version of an obscure tool is not packaged up and ready for my distribution, I download the source code and use the distribution's packaging tools myself. I find it had to believe that the lead developer for Mono cannot do this - after all, someone has to create mono packages for SUSE. Why on Earth is de Icaza begging people to do his homework for him?
I can completely understand that while he worked and SUSE, he chastised people for not using mono. I have 3275 packages installed on this laptop and none of them depend on mono. It is not a popular technology with penguinistas.
My package manager shows 41125 packages available. The other main distributions can claim a similar number, and to a large extent, they are the same programs. How can de Icaza claim that there are incompatibility problems?
Finally fragmentation: When KDE went in a direction I did not like, I switched to Trinity. When Gnome did something different, some users went to MATE. Lots of choices, no need to beg anyone to package anything. When Windows 8 came out, lots of people screamed and whined. They have never had anything like the choices available to Linux users. I hear very few complaints about Apple's user interfaces, but there are some like the frustrating spelling corrector on iPhone. I am sure those Apple eaters would love a taste of fragmentation.
> I have never had to chase the proper version of a package for the current version of Linux.
The only time I have ever had this issue is when I have installed a freshly released version of SuSE. Even then it was only for non standard packages (eg. Asterisk) and it was only for a couple days until the repository maintainer caught up with the new OS release.
Article: "To me, the fragmentation of Linux as a platform, the multiple incompatible distros, and the incompatibilities across versions of the same distro were my Three Mile Island/Chernobyl,"
I agree with him. Too many environments to choose from. For somebody who knows what they are doing, the choice is a good thing, but for a potential, average tech-know-how user, the different DEs are offputting. And none of the environemtns work as well as Win7 or OSX in terms of niggling little bugs. Using Mint, I remember attempting to save some gedit script, in the save window I tried to create a new directory to save the file in, the window hung. WTF, Win7 never does this. OSX never does this. And that is just one niggling thing.
Luckily I spend most of my Linux time on the command line, or Vim, because all DEs are failing with these small annoyances. Instead of creating ever newer and shinier environments, fix the ones you have now!
Desktop Linux could probably stand some better end-user friendly distros, but ultimately, what MdI is happy about is that he got his hands on an OS that someone else made water-tight and locked the rest of the world out of serious tinkering with.
That's pretty much the polar opposite of what Linux has been for ages. The fact that it's wide open to tinkerers who think they can build a better moustrap is *why* it has a bunch of variant distros. Sure, it also leads to some annoying schizophrenia among its tools even within a given distro, and yes that all contributes to it not always being that user friendly. But, honestly, if you want an OS that you're never going to tinker with and you want to "just work", and (most importantly) you want to be able to call someone for help if it doesn't "just work", you really are probably going to be happiest with a commercial OS. Not because they're better, but because they're closer to what you want.
Apple's OS isn't intrinsically superior. Its just aimed at a different market segment.
Quite. I would never put my brother or sister on a Linux box - their needs just don't match what a Linux can supply at their levels of IT-savy. My mum, however is best served by a daughter-installed-and-locked-down Mint system for all her word-processing, email and browsing needs.
She also likes that my siblings won't touch her PC because her OS is 'too different' (grand-kids have no problem, but she is happy to share with them).
I personally interpret this as the Unix vs. Windows battle in Linux. On one hand you have those people who who have a Unix background, on the other hand you have people with a Windows background. There are fundamentally different approaches in both.
Lets just look at configuration files. On Unix you always have text files, since you have a great bunch of tools to deal with text and every programming language can deal with text easily. There may me rare exceptions, but simple things like /etc/password are certainly simple text. On Windows this is all binary. In order to access it, you need to learn a special complex API or use the GUI provided.
Also on Unix programmes communicate via text over files and pipes and maybe via the network. On Windows you have more complex process communications systems like OLE or DCOM.
What is now quite interesting is how both groups defend their positions. While the Unix crowd typically relies on basic principles formulated in books like "The Art of Unix philosophy", the "Freedesktop/Windows" crowd answers criticism with things like "Do you want to halt progress?" or "DO YOU HATE BLIND PEOPLE?" (sorry for the caps, but that particular quote was screamed at a talk).
In my personal opinion the Freedesktop people have gone to far. Though they may have had interesting ideas, things like NetworkManager have become unmaintainable. It's lacking important features to make it work if it makes an error.
"things like NetworkManager have become unmaintainable."
I'm glad it's not just me. NetworkManager is *horrible*, always has been in my opinion, and needs serious work. Setting up a network connection shouldn't be that difficult.
I think it's a good example of why text configuration files can be problematic. Get the text file wrong somehow and the user friendly tools can fail. And someone's manpage is a weak way of defining the API between a daemon and a GUI, and there no real means of strongly validating anything. Coping with API changes can be a nightmare.
A rigid config API (which is all that the Windows Registry is) makes it harder to screw up the data that is stored, and so long as the user land GUI isn't buggy it is reliable. But if there's damage repairing it is fiendishly difficult.
Pros and cons both ways. Perhaps XML config files with well controlled schema would be a good way forward. That's what I do with the software I write.
Actually NetworkManager is a good example why you should have text configuration files. What NetworkManager does is that it tries to somehow magically find out what you want. It's great when it works, but horrible when it doesn't.
In an ideal world, the parts of NetworkManager would not communicate via an opaque dBus protocol, but via configuration files, allowing you to swap automatic detection for manual configuration if you choose to.
XML for configuration is not much better than having a registry, since editing XML can be difficult and it's easy to screw up an XML file completely. XML is great if you have huge tree-like things to configure, but for things like network configuration, a simple stanza-based format is far more robust. You have a series of configuration options, grouped into stanzas by empty lines. If you come across an unknown option you print out a warning during parsing. That way It's easy to detect typos, but you can still parse the file.
Further more you have directories instead of simple files, if you have some piece of software creating a configuration (i.e. the part that detects modems), it'll simply create a file called 10-modemmanager.conf in some interfaces.d directory. This file will then usually not be touched by other programmes and modemmanager can just overwrite it.
Trying to create a "one size fits all" solution is hard and usually results in systems far more complex than needed and next to unmaintainable. The better way is to choose the simplest way to achieve a certain goal.
Actually NetworkManager is a good example why you should have text configuration files. What NetworkManager does is that it tries to somehow magically find out what you want. It's great when it works, but horrible when it doesn't.
And it generally doesn't and/or the edge case isn't implemented "yet".
For people who "use" a computer for accessing Facebook or looking at Pinerest, yes. However, for those of us that use a computer for creating new web interfaces or to keep the servers and networks running, we will continue to need "proper" operating systems.
The movie Minority Report looked cool, but what so many people fail to realize is that even if that was a reality, there would still be an army of people using keyboards and mice to create those snazzy touch interfaces for the police to use.
Actually in real life he'd probably have been faster. Gesture control is very low bandwidth, you not only have a very fuzzy, but also a very slow language. Voice would be better, particularly for constrained systems. Saying something like "zoom 25" is fairly quick and precise.
I'm not sure however if voice would be faster than the keyboard. Although most people are faster speakers than typists, typing is considerably more precise. You can afford to have commands like vim, consisting of only 3 letters and one syllable. In voice based system that wouldn't be possible. Commands would have to be longer and you would need more redundancy for less probable commands. (You can still have context dependent commands like the single letter commands inside of vim, those would be like the "zoom" command in the above example.)
The advantage of the command line is not the syntax of individual commands but how you can string them together in an arbitrary fashion and then package them up. This is a concept that doesn't generally exist in GUIs because GUIs are designed for morons. Everyone is so busy running around preventing people from needing to think that shiny happy interfaces focus on the stupid first use rather than the grind of your daily routine.
It's AUTOMATION, not "ease of use".
Win 7, Cygwin and a little registry tweak that adds "Cygwin prompt here" to the Explorer context menu for directories.
Presto. A GUI OS that's consistant everywhere and known by world+dog, with those powerful Linux command line tools a mere click away. Far more convenient than dual-booting, firing up VMs or whatever.
I haven't needed anything that requires Windows for over three years.
One exception: The air-gapped Win2K box that runs AutoCAD2K that I've built/archived the details of my ranch with. It does run Cygwin, but that is only to make up for MS deficiencies.
"Known to world + dog" isn't exactly important, not in this forum. Unless you're going for the lowest common denominator strategy, of course ... I think most of us know how to properly use the toilet.
The reason he hasn't needed to compile the kernel is that he doesn't have the option.
'Fragmentation' is actually a good thing for choice and evolutionary longevity of a platform. A proprietary OS doesn't have the benefit of heading in different directions at the same time and seeing what works.
As a user you can complain about whatever gets your goat, but if you don't respect the evolutionary model of Open Source, then you probably shouldn't be using an Open Source OS.
>A proprietary OS doesn't have the benefit of heading in different directions at the same time and seeing what works.
Trouble is that rather like Edison, 'the community' has only found a 1000 ways Desktop Linux doesn't work.
>if you don't respect the evolutionary model of Open Source, then you probably shouldn't be using an Open Source OS.
Indeed - but then like pretty near as dammit every Desktop user, he doesn't and isn't......
>>The reason he hasn't needed to compile the kernel is that he doesn't have the option.
Maybe he doesnt have a need of compiling the kernel? Maybe you can use Mac OS X without needing to recompile it every time you want to tailor it? For instance, on Solaris you can change the task scheduler on the fly, without recompiling nor rebooting. I consider it as a good thing. You dont do recompiles on Solaris either, no need to because it is easily configurable.
Then Open Source will never win.
The masses aren't interested in evolution and constant improvement. They just want the (expletive) thing to work, first time every time. Turnkey simplicity. They want OS's that intervene only when they HAVE to; otherwise, they stay out of the way and let people do their work.
In other words, constant evolution clashes with ease of use, and the masses prefer the latter.
"They just want the (expletive) thing to work, first time every time. Turnkey simplicity."
Fascinating. Every time I have tried commercial software in the last decade, this is what I've been missing. You know for the last 10 years you simply install a Linux onto a normal computer and it runs with full hardware support no drivers to install, no configuration to be done, the base system simply works and you even get a browser.
While on Windows you first need to somehow get drivers for all your hardware since next to nothing is included with the operating system. If you connect even simple devices like USB to serial adapters you are greeted with a cryptic message asking you for drivers... even though all of those devices use exactly the same protocol.
MacOSX is better when it comes to hardware. Things often just work, but then again if you need any kind of software you are typically screwed. At least current versions of MacOSX have a rudimentary package manager mostly aimed at commercial applications.
There are frustrating times when I file bug reports for things obviously done by someone not thinking, but often when I look at commercial software I don't understand why anybody would voluntarily pay for this.
"Fascinating. Every time I have tried commercial software in the last decade, this is what I've been missing. You know for the last 10 years you simply install a Linux onto a normal computer and it runs with full hardware support no drivers to install, no configuration to be done, the base system simply works and you even get a browser."
For many people, the experience has been quite different. At least one piece of hardware wouldn't work, and it's usually a deal-breaker. I can list a few personal examples. A Dell laptop that after installing Xubuntu wouldn't turn on the built-in screen (incompatible nVidia drivers--both free and non-free). A plug-in USB video capture device that was only recognized half the time. A Bluetooth dongle that worked fine in Windows but fell flat in an older Ubuntu.
Getting a Linux distro to work 100% out-of-box usually called for well-recognized hardware and a dash of luck, IME.
Because the systems I was working on did not recognize Boot from CD/USB. And one laptop I was using was so old it had USB *1* ports and a broken CD drive, making boot from CD useless. PLUS the installation ended up different from the live CD session for some wacko reason.
> ... for the last 10 years you simply install a Linux onto a normal computer and it runs with full hardware support no drivers to install, no configuration to be done, the base system simply works and you even get a browser.
I call bullshit on that statement--complete and utter bullshit. This 'it's all good' juice really is the linux koolaid! Or is it the linux dogfood? Dogfood-flavoured koolaid? So many choices! It's all so confusing...
You can call bullshit all you like, but there are a lot of us who have had less driver issues with linux than with windows over the last however many years.
Maybe not quite as much at the cutting edge of new stuff that manufacturers don't contribute to (thought that is getting better all the time) but many times I've had folks say "we got a new computer with that new Windows and the printer/scanner/webcam/whatever stopped working because there's no new driver for this version of windows". I've even heard of people installing old versions in VMs just to get hardware cooperating.
Whereas with linux the drivers are already present and just work.
[quote]De Icaza is well known in the open source community for developing a number of client-side technologies for Linux, including the Midnight Commander file shell, the Gnome desktop environment, and the Mono project.[/quote]
And he's best known as a Microsoft Shill and MVP. Mono was nothing but a M$ "IP" trojan horse. Unfortunately for Vole it miserably failed.
That was a pretty misleading quote as well. He may have co-founded the GNOME project, but the biggest pieces (GTK+ and associated libraries) were the work of others. The subsequent work on applications and libraries were also the work of others, with the exception of libbonobo - an abandoned clone of MS OLE - and Gnumeric - a clone of MS Excel that was brought to a usable state by others.
I'm still using an 8-year-old Mac mini. Although it will run MacOS 10.5 I've stuck with 10.3 because it's not such a resource hog. However, I dual boot Debian. Most Linux distros seem to have downgraded PPC support, but Debian has not. Having Debian installed enables me to run modern software without having to buy new hardware.
So this article is by a man that helped create gnome which was good and is now pants. And then also complains linux doesn't work but helped create a lot of it.
Surely then it is testament to him being crap at his job? We all have to suffer the poor iteration of Gnome because he prefers Apple?
Wow, As CV's go I think I would avoid him based on past creations.
Apple are bound to be better because they have the cash, it isn't open source and they are heavily limited to a hard ware platform. It is a no brainer, but then again you pay the earth and have to suck up the horrendous lock down.
I went rather the other way -- I was given a Mac at work, and tried to use that for development, somehow hoping that the Unix internals and Terminal would cut it. But for me it just doesn't. Try Python development on a Mac for example, such a pain of getting all the modules. So I promptly installed Kubuntu on it and happiness prevails. Apart from the crappy Apple mouse anyway.
For generic desktop usage the Mac is fine, I suppose, although that depends on what you're used to. For me not being able to middle click to paste etc is a severe slow-down factor. But at least with virtual desktops and things that tend to actually work, Mac OS X is still miles ahead of Windows on desktop, albeit that's setting the bar pretty much as low as it gets.
Considering that Miguel has been lauded by the .NET community and his company is selling development products for Mono (which is supposed to be cross platform) that won't even run on Linux or Free/OpenBSD I would not take any of his comments seriously. If he likes Apple Macs then good for him but I think his comments are irrelevent. I have developed on Windows (yes even including Windows 8), Apple OS/X (up to "Mountain Lion") and various Linux distributions (sorry BSD guys - I don't think your distros are any worse but just prefer Linux myself) and Ubuntu, Mint and RHEL/CentOS (which I use mostly) are excellent desktop operating systems to use on a daily basis. I am writing this on a Lenovo T410 running Ubuntu 12.04. Miguel just wants to put down the open source world and promote proprietary software which is what he is (mostly) involved with now.
Maybe he'll piss off and stop making a fucking mess of the Linux desktop forever. his comments here just underline how totally clueless he has been for as long as I can remember; he has no idea what users want in a desktop and thinks his own bafflement is a reflection of how baffled everyone else is when in fact it is only a reflection of how fucking stupid he is.
> Do you have any idea what users really want in a desktop OS?
Yes. Like many Linux users, I am the local unpaid PC support tech.
Joe User more than anything doesn't want things to change. Joe User has finally gotten used to whatever it is that he has. He doesn't want Unity or Windows 8. He doesn't want MacOS either.
MacOS isn't easier. It's just gratuitously different. It's also a little crippled.
It's more of a departure than Linux while having nearly none of the stuff that runs on Windows.
Been there. Done that.
"Computing-wise that three week vacation turned out to be very relaxing. Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working...."
My windows machine also runs without issues...Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working.
Nope just can't be bothered with whinging bitches.
BTW using Linux since 95, and the problem I have is it went from fast and small to bloated like a contestant on the Jeremy Kyle show (they are contestants aren't they)
Still use Linux most days but usually as a VM, then again BSD and QNX (still) lurk in the background.
Lets face it for most people Linux is NOT and not going to be their desktop OS, then again I would prefer not to choose Windows or OSX either as I don't really like them, just more tolerable than varying flavors of Linux, particularly when issues are encountered
My everyday computing experience is exactly like what de Icaza reports: "Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working, [...] without having to recompile the kernel to adjust this or that, nor fighting the video drivers, or deal with the bizarre and random speed degradation".
That's Debian on... a Thinkpad.
My kids both have identical laptops. One stopped booting. Tried reinstalling Windows, hung mid process. Tried swapping hard drives, same error. Some sort of hardware fault that Windows couldn't deal with. So I tried Ubuntu, and it now works almost perfectly (no internal mic but meh). Love it.
The trouble is there's too much choice. I'm not in a technical job, but my degree was engineering so I know a bit. However if I struggle with which distro might be best, and which might have all the relevant drivers, and how to set up parental controls etc etc, what's a complete novice going to feel?
I've been using OS X since 2000, and it was great till about 2009 but it's now just bloatware. I'd love to switch to Linux but which one? And if I have trouble deciding, then the chap in the article is bang on.
PS Please feel free to respond with suggestions of the best distro for a late 2011 MacBook Pro and also whether there is a slimmed down version of Ubuntu with all the same drivers which might speed up my daughter's laptop!!!
> However if I struggle with which distro might be best
You don't need the "best" distro. You need the one you like. If you've got something that works in the way you want it to, you've no need to change.
If you *choose* to try other distros, there are plenty around with both proponents and detractors. Almost all of them can be tested without even having to install anything on your machine. If you find one you like better than the one you're using, change to it. If you don't want to be bothered trying out alternatives, don't.
 Arguably, there cannot be such a thing, since we all have different preferences. Many will tell you that Ubuntu is the dog's danglies, but personally, I hate it with a passion. And we're all right, because we're all interested in slightly different things...
It all comes down to needs.
I for one am glad that Linux has not won out on the desktop.
I move from customer to customer. The one thing that is consistent is the desktop operating system I have to use. Either XP or Windows 7. If I had to deal with a different Linux distro every time, I'd waste alot of time getting to grips with the environment.
Thankfully SuSE or Redhat have become the defacto Linux at the server end.
I tried Linux at home using my family as my test subject. They didn't like the look and feel and my son couldn't play the games he likes to play. My daughter uses office at school and regularly has to do her homework in office. He hated Libre/openoffice. Also reliability was an issue, which was not the case with XP on the same machine.
Now we also have a Mac. Yes we have the same problem with the games, but we have MS office on the Mac so daughter is happy. My wife likes the Mac (because it's shiny) and intuative and is more stable than either windows or the Linux distribution.
I know people will say. You should have used, gnome or KDE or ........ Or you should have spent longer getting linux to work, tweaking the desktop. That is exactly what I don't want to do with a home machine.
I want a consistent look and feel whereever I go. I deal with the differences between Unixes/Linux on the server end everyday.
> If I had to deal with a different Linux distro every time, I'd waste alot of time getting to grips with the environment.
...which would be GNOME or KDE on top and standard GNU userland underneath.
Underneath it is so standardized that not only you can move from one Linux to another but from one Unix to another with very few inconsistencies to worry about.
That's also handy for when MacOS doesn't live up to it's hype.
"It's easier to make coffee in my coffee-maker than on the stove with a saucepan."
Duh, Doy! Try making soup in your coffee-maker and see how that goes, or a cake for that matter.
If all you ever do is eat-out and drink coffee than yes a coffee-maker is a better choice than a stove, for you, the rest of us have to cook our meals or maybe like tea.
> "It's easier to make coffee in my coffee-maker than on the stove with a saucepan."
You will probably get a better result in the saucepan though. If you care about the result, you will go to the extra effort. That even applies to the coffee-maker and making sure that you use fresh beans and only grind them when you're actually ready to use them.
Coffee is a perfect example of something that can be quickly destroyed by cutting corners.
I've used Linux for about 15 years. I am used to a simple desktop. Long ago I had to recompile the kernel to get the sound card working. I have seen 1FPS refresh rates.
GNOME and KDE are bloated, but that does not make them good. I know about dozens of other windows managers that "I can try", and have tried. None of them make Linux a pleasure to use on the desktop.
apt is a pile of junk for a new user. apt-cache is a joke. Let's say I am a newLinux user and I want to install Firefox, if it is not already installed. I find out about apt-cache (no easy thing in the first place) and do a search for firefox. This is the crap I get:
herewegoagain@craplinuxbox1:~$ apt-cache search firefox
aptlinex - Web browser addon to install Debian packages with a click
bookmarkbridge - tool to synchronize bookmarks between browsers
firefox-sage - lightweight RSS and Atom feed reader for Firefox
gnash-common-opengl - free SWF movie player - common files/libraries
gnash-common - free SWF movie player - common files/libraries
gnash-cygnal - free SWF movie player - Media server
gnash-opengl - free SWF movie player
gnash-tools - free SWF movie player - Command-line Tools
gnash - free SWF movie player
klash-opengl - free SWF movie player - standalone player for KDE
klash - free SWF movie player - standalone player for KDE
konqueror-plugin-gnash - free SWF movie player - Plugin for Konqueror
mozilla-plugin-gnash - free SWF movie player - Plugin for Mozilla and derivatives
gnome-do-plugins - Extra functionality for GNOME-Do launcher
gnome-do - Quickly perform actions on your desktop
gnome-launch-box - An application launcher for GNOME
gplanarity - simple puzzle game involving untangling planar graphs
gtkcookie - Editor for cookie files
iceweasel-linky - iceweasel extension to handle web and image links
iceweasel - lightweight web browser based on Mozilla
mozilla-imagezoom - Mozilla context menu option to zoom current image
iceweasel-itsalltext - Iceweasel extension to edit textareas using an external editor
kerry - Beagle desktop search daemon frontend for KDE
latex-xft-fonts - Xft-compatible versions of some LaTeX fonts
libhtml-widgets-selectlayers-perl - Perl extension for selectable HTML layers
mozilla-firefox-adblock - AdBlock extension for the Iceweasel and Iceape web browsers
openoffice.org - OpenOffice.org Office suite
pcmanfm-nohal - an extremely fast and lightweight file manager for X
pcmanfm - an extremely fast and lightweight file manager for X
peercast-handlers - P2P audio and video streaming handlers
iceweasel-scrapbook - Iceweasel extension to save and manage Web pages
squareness - suite of skins for different applications
mozilla-plugin-vlc - multimedia plugin for web browsers based on VLC
xulrunner-1.9-dbg - Development files for the Gecko engine library
xulrunner-1.9 - XUL + XPCOM application runner
xulrunner-dev - Development files for the Gecko engine library
Do I need all this crap? There's not even an application called firefox! Is it p
art of Openoffice? You tell me.
I use Linux and UNIX at work because that is what I do. I use a Mac for personal
reasons, because that is my choice.
Alternatively, start up synaptic or your favourite GUI package manager and search for "Firefox". That's if it doesn't come as the default browser for your distribution anyway.
A "new user" isn't going to be using the terminal, are they? Or does a new Windows user start to learn how to do things via cmd.exe and regedit?
this is ridiculous misrepresentation - first, find a linux distro that doesn't have firefox. If you need it and it isn't there, it's in the distro repository, so click on install software, and pick internet. Then click on firefox. Click on install.
I guess that's too complex for you guys, but I can cope with the arcane complexities of it
Easy fix for devs (assuming you're not on some seldom used mirror), just add a # of times downloaded, and give the option to sort by popular. Leverage the crowd.
You could fix the problem of each mirror having it's own stats, by asking mirrors to upload their stats to a central repository or have the repository pull those stats daily (they may already do this, I have no idea).
That's the greatness of OpenSource, you don't have to wait until program manager finally fixes a problem, you can pull down the source and do it yourself if you're so inclined.
"Easy fix for devs (assuming you're not on some seldom used mirror), just add a # of times downloaded, and give the option to sort by popular. Leverage the crowd."
What would also be nice would be two flags on each package. One for "program", one for "library", and packages can be one, the other or both. Right now, searching (for instance) for games in Linux brings up a whole load of supporting libraries as well. It's a little like doing a search in the Windows 8 store and coming up with stuff like direct3d.dll all mixed up with the games themselves. If I'm developing something I might be interested in downloading lib-something-whatever-devel, but otherwise, let the end-products decide which dependencies to download and hide them from the user unless requested.
Oh my word, did I just criticize the Holy PenguinOS? How unlike me (according to some).
Ive been using Linux since 1996 and I currently use Xubuntu12 and Suse12.
I find the desktop fine to use and so do my many friends who I have installed Xubuntu for when they finally reached the end of their ropes with Windows.
Whenever I've used MacOSX my personal view has been that its a mountain of suck.
Each to their own.
This guy comes off as a tool whose unable to get any Linux OS running.
I guess Apple's thrown some money his way or the guys looking for a job.
I've used Ubuntu and have had zero problems setting it up or using it. I do use Windows regularly myself, just because it's what I use for work.
I guess Apple's thrown some money his way or the guys looking for a job.
Looking for a job I guess. MicroSoft have shitcanned .NET and Silverlight, so his incomplete clone isn't gonig to find any takers, and Novell have probably made it clear they see point in funding it any longer.
I don't want to ride this too hard, but I'm pretty curious about some of the complaints about how Linux distros apparently constantly change paradigms like how to copy/paste, drag and drop and the "File" menu bar. If you're talking about a user who struggles with mapping those things across new OS variants, surely you're not using that as a defense of commercial OSes? Yes, their change cycle is a lot slower than that of Linux in general, but Apple has radically changed their OS's user interface several times. They're also mildly notorious for making new OS versions incompatible with software from previous versions. Microsoft has tended to be more stable in terms of both interface and software backwards compatibility, but they aren't completely unknown for interface shifts that are crippling to folks who struggle with basic computer operations. Windows 8's interface-formerly-known-as-Metro is a wild departure for folks who know how to use Windows XP or 7 based mostly on rote. And even before that, things like the Office Ribbon interface was severely disruptive to non-computer-savvy folks I know. (Hell, it was disruptive to savvy folks, too.)
If you're dealing with folks like this, you don't change their OS unless you absolutely have to. Odds are, they aren't installing their own OS regardless - they're getting it shipped on a PC or having friends or family do it for them. That means the glut of variants of Linux and the deep vagaries of configuring the OS (any OS, not just Linux) are basically non-issues. If it breaks, someone else is likely going to fix it anyhow.
And if they're actually more capable computer users than that, major distro Linux installs from, say, 2008 and on are not that different from the one you get with Windows, and for the last few years they actually come with good device drivers for mainstream video and sound devices.
Is Linux awesome for "normal users", if such a thing exists? Probably not. Are the major distros nearly as bad as some commentators here seem to suggest? Not by a long shot.
Ahh but this ignores one major thing: It was Miguel's GNOME project that decided to COMPLETELY ignore 30+ years of unwritten UNIX GUI setups.
You see, in most cases, UNIX GUI stuff had always had "File..." blah blah blah. No it wasn't a written standard and yes, there were rival toolkits like Athena that looked different. And then came Motif, which was the closes thing to a "style guide" UNIX had. By and large the Motif way of doing it had been around FOR EVER. YES it was like Microsoft, but in actuality it was Microsoft conforming to the CUA interface standard...and Motif conformed to it as well. In UNIX-land it was, by and large, a "OK, Cancel" world.
But that wasn't GOOD enough for Miguel and his group. They created a dripping love letter to Jef Raskin in the form of the "GNOME HIG" which basically specified the exact opposite of everything that was "almost standard" on UNIX everywhere. "OK, Cancel" was flipped around to be exactly Mac-like. "Preferences" items were moved under "File" and so on. It wouldn't have been so bad if it was confined to GNOME, but the GTK+ people decided to make the GNOME HIG their default as well. So then you had the REALLY FUN experience of KDE/Qt apps giving you "OK, Cancel" and GNOME/Gtk crap doing the exact opposite.
And so there you have the reason why the usual Linux desktops are a FUCKING MESS: Miguel and the GNOME project.
Miguel's obvious bias makes this a non-news item. He has some sour grapes, and I'm not saying I blame him, but he is not what you would call a primary source here.
When folks claim that the linux desktop is a failure they mean many things, not one of which is that it is REALLY failing. Millions of people use it daily to do all kinds of work... myself included. The linux desktop is a grand success on a veritable plethora of distos.
What most folks mean is that they have not (as yet) figured out how to leverage huge $$$ from the desktop, or they mean that they have not (as yet) learned how to control linux users from their desktops, or they mean that (in Miguel's case) they aren't getting their way at the moment considering the linux desktop.
For the record, I'm also using the evil FreeBSD derivative (mas OSX) for some of my work... I like it, really. But, I also use my linux machines (many of them, by the way) to do most of my work. I like linux too. The problem with Miguel (and his opinion) is that he didn't get his way and he's in a pout. Big deal.
Frankly, I don't believe him. He's just not believable on this one.
A couple of years ago, one of my hardcore Linux friends switched back to Windows for the same reasons: hacking around for WiFi, graphics card, sound, and well that mucking with Office files with OpenOffice will fuck up the format.
And then, I had the same issue this December; I needed a work lap, but also MS Office, OmniGraffle, Merlin and those are Win/Mac or Mac only. Of course, I went for Mac as any other lap would pay the MS tax which I didn't want to do.
I do acknowledge that Linux has been user-friendly for quite some time, and even user-install-friendly as of late, with WiFi finally being supported out of the box. But it still gets hobbled by stupidity, like "no mp3 playback" and Adobe has recently stated they're no longer going to upgrade the Linux Flash plugin. I've demoted Linux to VM status on my Mac, though my main PC at home still has Linux and does a lot of the geeky stuff I want it to do. But as a desktop OS? Maybe, if I were to work in a 100% Linux shop. And even in some of those, I've seen people have windows as a VM...
Oh, and the irony: Miguel de Icaza was the Mexican champion on IT circles. A lot of Mexicans started doing Linux just because a prominent Mexican had got into the international limelight, and he was doing some stuff for Linux...
The "linux desktop" is a mess precisely because of YOU, MIGUEL. I still remember the fucking mess that you and RedHat made with your godawful Gnome desktop back in the early days. In your desperate effort to "catch up" to KDE the 0.33 version of GNOME jumped magically overnight to "1.0"...and we all should remember what an unstable bloated mess that was.
But typical of your A.D.D. nature, you couldn't even stick with one thing. You jumped from GNOME to Evolution, and then dumping that to run off to play copycat with Microsoft's Java ripoff. Have you actually seen ANYTHING through to the end? Don't expect the Mac world to embrace you with open arms.
It's funny that for an asshat who made the most noise about Qt's license he spends most of his time openly admiring the worst offender when it comes to licensing and "intellectual property": Microsoft.
And the FSF doesn't get off unscathed either. Prior to Miguel's KDE ripoff, the FSF had declared WindowMaker + GNUstep to be their "official desktop." Imagine if all the effort that went into Gnome had instead gone into GNUstep. We could have anticipated the future and had easy cross-compatibility with Mac OS X (nee NeXTStep) and really given Microsoft a run for their money. Stallmen might call Miguel a "traitor" but he needs to remember stabbing GNUstep in the back.
I've been using Linux for about 6 years (last year I even convinced my boss to let me try it at work so now I work 100% on Linux at home and work) with various Debian friendly distros (debian, ubuntu, mint) and several desktops (lxde, xfce, unity, cinnamon, MATE, etc)... and I have NEVER experienced the crap this guy is talking about... (and I haven't even tried the absolute rock solid distros out there that more experienced Linux people rave about)
I have found maybe once or twice a wireless card that won't work but if it works it works, never intermittent connectivity, never problems suspending/resuming (as I use to in Windows), never losing audio, never weird slowness... I run a file, media, upnp, mpd server at home... when my "office" pc died I decided to spawn a virtual machine (ubuntu server host, kubuntu desktop) which I access from my chinese knock-off andriod tablet or my TV whenever I need to use a full desktop and I have NEVER experience any "weird" behavior... when things don't work it is because I failed so set something up or because some hardware died...
I am a normal, perhaps mid-level computer dude (no wizard but not a total noob either) so I find it extremely hard to believe I find my Linux Desktop experience satisfying while this more involved, presumably more skilled dev was struggling... I have even convinced my less experienced friends to switch, some of them still don't know what Linux is and they often thank me for "fixing" their computers
...maybe this guy is fishing for a job at Apple now that he has been laid off
The thriving resale market for Macs makes them arguably less expensive to own than PCs with much lower initial purchase prices. I have owned many Macs and PCs... it's very easy to get half or more of a Mac's MSRP back when reselling it, whereas with PCs, you're lucky to get anything at all.
I expect to use a PC until it's obsolete.
At that point, I would feel GUILTY getting a kings ransom for it when it really isn't warranted.
I would be EMBARRASED at the idea you are describing.
If you're starting in with "resale value" then you've completely lost the argument.
I am not a trivium merchant.
If you use a PC until it's obsolete, that means you're still using it when it's borderline obsolete. Why would you do that to yourself unless you're hopelessly strapped for cash? A Pentium 3 can still run Windows 8 and all modern software, but call me crazy, I'd rather have something a little faster.
> If you use a PC until it's obsolete...
Then I probably took advantage of the modular nature of that PC to turn it into something else once it was no longer suited (or wanted) for it's original purpose. The problem with Macs is that they are intended to be closed boxes that are difficult if not impossible to maintain. So a slightly used Mac may become obsolete more quickly than it's PC counterpart.
Not enough RAM. Tiny hard drive. GPU that really really sucks.
So instead of getting a new Mini, I can use that P3 and just buy a new video card.
Not everyone needs to prove how quickly they can waste money.
I have more than half-a-dozen Macs within spitting distance that still have years of useful life left in them. I've never purchased one new, and have spent $0 (zero) total acquiring these. None were stolen, btw. I can't use them all at once, but it's fun to have diversions and things to play with apart from the main machine (or two). For example, consistent with the subject of this thread, I've just been noodling the installation of the last/latestDebian for PPC on a machine that's a bit behind the curve, speedwise. I will likely do that shortly.
As for software on the Mac, there's an unending supply of it--literally and legally free. Software that is quite good. I was surprised to find, too, that LibreOffice is available for even the now long-obsoleted PPC machines. Have installed it, but haven't used it yet (really have little need of it, and I already have NeoOffice installed). Commercial offerings? Meh! There's a freeware alternative. So no need to pirate software.
So, " 'no' to the dogma; Macs are not a rich man's toy". As with anything, they can be; you can have everything you own made of titanium or carbon fibre, and it will cost you and might impress some, but you probably don't strictly need to go that route. If I were to spend money on a new computer, I wouldn't balk at Apple's prices--yes, I know what the margins are, I know what the alternatives are, and I know the value of my contentment in using any of them ...
I've been playing with Linux distros since Yggdrasil in 1993 or so, but quite frankly the only option for my real work is Windows. It is not fashionable but it's what the hardware makers support best, and it has the most available applications, including some I use that don't have Mac or Linux versions. It is quite stable nowadays (I once kept an XP desktop machine running over 6 months between reboots) if you don't screw up and let ActiveX or its other virus vectors run.
So I built myself a new desktop machine recently. Asus mobo, AMD A10 CPU/GPU. Nothing exotic; the mobo handles almost everything. Win7 Pro installed easily. It doesn't run all of my old Windows software, but if I care, its VM runs an XP image which can thunk back to old 16-bit code. Macs don't have that kind of backwards compatibility, and MacOS won't run on homebrew hardware. I guess my wardrobe isn't up to Apple standards either.
I also installed Linux Mint (KDE edition) on it. That's an enhanced Kubuntu, some non-free stuff thrown in. It looked good at first, and supported the sound, video, and Ethernet. Knoppix literally wouldn't run on the AMD GPU, Mint did. The sound's a bit buggy, some audio players generate a few seconds of noise at the start of a song, but generally it works. Okay, maybe they finally got a Linux desktop to work! But when I rebooted into it recently after running Windows for a while, the video was AFU. I had to reboot again to get the GPU to initialize right. Typical...
Even Linus admits that Linux is basically a server OS. Miguel was of course no help with GNOME, which started off-base and went further astray. I actually like KDE. But compatibility remains a real issue. Fixing it is a nice hobby project for those who like such things, but after 20 years it's still not ready for prime time. So I get why Miguel bugged out.
You're misquoting Linus. What he said was that linux has not caught on--- on the desktop. And what he means by this is that the Enterprise has not caught on to the linux desktop... but he never said that linux is just a server OS...
In other words, the Enterprise has not figured out how to leverage the desktop on linux the way it has on the phone and tablet market. That does not mean in any way that the linux desktop is not a success... nor that folks are not using it.
Linux is a huge success on the desktop for the very reason that Linus states... the Enterprise has not been able to control it nor capitalize on it... its still free, and its what makes my PC a personal computer. ... its not apple's, nor is it microsoft's . Its mine... and that means successful !
The issues with drivers all come down to software idea patents. Let's get that straight right now... its not the OSs fault... once software idea patents are killed, microsoft and apple will both die. Linux will remain, and will remain free.
Miguel knows this too. Like I said before, I simply do not believe him. Seems like he is trolling, at least for a job.
You gotta be fucking kidding me - it's pretty much exactly that. Linux wireless has had to historically jump through hoops to get any broad-based wireless-device support at all. Loading binary blobs with god-knows-what in them, even wrapping actual windows dlls - all because bloody corporations and their stupid, misdirected IP greed kept interfaces and specs tightly under wraps. Hardware vendors, not Microsoft write drivers for windows, in general.
"all because bloody corporations and their stupid, misdirected IP greed kept interfaces and specs tightly under wraps. Hardware vendors, not Microsoft write drivers for windows, in general."
Presumably, you're blissfully unaware of the regulatory horror of giving mass open access to reconfigurable software radio transceivers, even of very low power.
Nice frothing rant, but as with many things in life, it's just not that simple.
Marcus, if nobody's using it, then it's not a success! It may be to you a technical success (it works, to your satisfaction), but it's not a market success. Linus simply recognizes that and concentrates on server-side issues, since Linux is a huge success there. Hmmm, no sound, video, or WiFi to worry about on servers, lots of disks and RAID arrays which it handles really well.
Patents do not lead to bad code; that's a cop-out. Bad coding leads to bad code. And while the Windows XP/7 kernel is by no means free, it does permit free code to run on it, and lots does. It's a more open environment than the Mac, except for that BSD emulator layer which hides most of the Mac-ish-ness. Don't get me started on IOS or Win-RT though; those really are evil.
The Mac's advantage is that the hardware is bundled, so it doesn't need as many drivers as Windows or Linux has. Windows just gets more support from vendors so the drivers work better, and so as an end user, it's far easier to get running.
For folks pointing out issues with drivers on laptops in particular, doing an OS install of Windows on a laptop from base media is rarely a walk in the park. In my experience, laptops have historically been the biggest offenders for having odd-ball, even completely specific hardware for which you need to obtain the driver *from the laptop vendor*. On such systems, Windows only works "out of the box" when it comes pre-installed (or primed in a way that it will complete the install off a disk that includes the needed drivers). Otherwise, you need to go trawling the internet looking the right driver download.
Yes, in such cases you'll often struggle to find a Linux driver for the same devices. You'll often also struggle to find drivers for older Windows OSes (even XP at this point, for new laptops), as well as Mac OS compatible drivers if it's not actually a Mac laptop.
> completely specific hardware for which you need to obtain the driver *from the laptop vendor*
I've had Sony Vaios in for repair where even the driver that Sony's site claimed was for that machine would not work...
> Yes, in such cases you'll often struggle to find a Linux driver for the same devices
That's not been my experience for a very long time.
And I have been using Macs since 1984.
And I have been using Windows since Windows 2.0 (ick)
And I have to say he is right.
I don't want to be able to agree with him.
I really don't.
I make my living with Linux and for what we use it for, its hard to beat, but we develop on a Windows desktop because it is far less hassle, and at home I use both Mac and Windows for desktop environments, but I favor the Mac because it can run so much of my OSS (fink project) and because it is so simple to launch Linux VMs.
I kept hoping the Apple's MkLinux would develop into the next Mac platform, but the acquisition of Next ended that.
Given how often I've found myself swearing at computers running MacOS X and Windows, I find that statement more true of those OSes than Linux.
Or to put it more truthfully. All OSes have a certain element of expense to them. Some in money, some in time. Linux is almost always vastly more expense time-wise.
I've got an Intel IPW2945ABG wireless card that neither Windows 2000 nor Windows XP will even acknowledge exists. Drivers from Intel's official site refuse to see it. Yet, any Linux distribution works with it no questions asked.
I've got a networked HP printer/scanner multi-function device, and a USB Prolific PL2303 USB-RS232 adaptor, neither of which MacOS X 10.6 will have anything to do with. Yet Windows and Linux talk to both just fine.
Yes, Linux takes some time to set up, but in my experience it's a set once and forget. Not set, have an update "un-set", re-set, have another "update" un-set, swear a few times then re-set again… then have the OS spit the dummy on you and force you to blow away the whole profile and start again. This is without discussing the insufferable lack of flexibility these modern incarnations of Windows, and to a lesser extent, MacOS X.
I must say from the problems he's describing it sounds to me like he never learned to set up a Linux desktop properly. That or he's been using Ubuntu (which, in my experience, is impossible to set up properly). All the things he listed as desktop Linux problems (suspend, wifi, and audio problems, kernel recompiling, graphics drivers) have been non-issues for me for years with Debian. Wifi just works, audio just works, I've not had problems with suspending or resuming in probably seven or eight years, I don't even remember the last time I recompiled a kernel, and the newest AMD graphics drivers are as easy to install in Linux as on Windows (I haven't used nVidia in quite a while).
ALL of the things he's talking about have been non-issues for me for years.
The whole reason I switched to Ubuntu 6+ years ago is that it "just worked" with a random company laptop.
The advantage that a Mac as a product is that it comes in a ready to consume package. It's like a machine you might buy from Dell or Sun. You expect that the basics are already covered.
Get beyond that and there's no advantage. Buy something without a fruity logo and you're on your own.
It's probably been 10 years since I compiled a kernel. The thing is modular. Even if I wanted to rebuild a driver, it would still just be that driver.
As someone with CS and EE degrees who was using Linux on my primary computer long before its 1.0 release (no GUI), I agree completely.
I tried to switch to Linux ~4 years ago and it was an abject failure. All of my hardware was functional but Ubuntu's default GUI was horrible. First I tried to dock the task bar to the left, as I prefer it, which caused it to be un-resizeable and only display part of the first letter of each window title, rendering it absolutely unusable. Then I set up my virtual desktops and found out that the default IM program opened new windows on essentially random desktops (and notified me of new messages basically at random), making THAT unusable. But the final straw was using the Ubuntu installer for Google Earth on a bone stock version of Ubuntu that it was designed for and having that not work for myriad reasons. As much as Linux users like to crow about their package installers and having an "App Store" long before anybody else, if you can't reliably download and run software that isn't part of the package installer, then what's the point of an operating system? And that's without getting into niggling issues like fonts and font rendering being very noticeably inferior, and the (at the time) nonsensical UI layout--why is there a toolbar (task bar) at the bottom, plus a menu bar at the top, plus a menu bar for every damn window? Why can every other GUI make do with at least one less bar?
Anyway, been using OS X for my scientific computing/development work for the last 4 years and I'm still in love with it.
For years, the Windows Trolls have been trying to trash every new release of Ubuntu claiming that it will break your wireless and eat your cat. Now after all of these years I have managed to experience such an OS update.
Yes. An OS update finally managed to trash my wireless. (Although the cat is fine)
Guess what? It was MacOS.
...as far as the futzing goes: It sound entirely self inflicted. If you want to futz, you can find something to futz with. It's not the necessity that he wants to make it out to be.
Real Unix users are actually quite lazy.
Oh please, give it a rest, Miquel is the flop, who wants Mono? Nobody, his major product is a huge flop. How do we define "Desktop Linux" do we include ChromeOS? Android? because you know Adroid's doing ok and Gnome doesn't look like a Fisher Price interface now any more. Ubuntu is taking off in a big way, Steam on Linux has almost equalled 3 years of Steam on Mac usage in 3 months.
Stop trauling old news to stir trouble, it's dull, it's boring, it's obvious and most importantly it's very poor journalism.
It is obvious that Miguel De Icaza is very upset that the Linux development community - and that includes many large industries as well as corporations like IBM, Oracle and others, did not follow his lead into adopting many Microsoft patent encumbered software technologies like Mono, Moonlight and C#.
In regard the Linux desktop being a "Cherbnobyl fail", he maybe partly right - acept for use of word fail - in that the Linux desktop has not garnered a significant percentage of the general PC desktop use - in the USA - and a few other places as he and many of the Linux ecosystem would have liked.
However he is absolutely wrong and off base on this aspect of Linux desktop use in regard many other continents and countries of the world, even thought Mr. De Icaza and so many other North Americans (USA really) think - by self deception - that the rest of the two hundred plus countries and territories in this world do not count or are of no consequence. Several European Union countries and the EU overall , Brazil and other countries in South and Central American, Vietnam, much of the Chinese communist central government , even little South Africa have adopted and are implementing Linux with what-ever desktop - primarily KDE - as the formal standard.
Therefore Mr. De Icaza can be best described as delusional.
How Icaza be taken seriously on this? It's utterly daft trying to compare the experience of using the hardware and software developed by Apple to be completely compatible with each other to people using linux on everything from phones to rasberry pi to HPC clusters to grandma's laptop? Apple has nearly complete control over their entire ecosystem to the point that if you want to run their software, you need their hardware (pretty much anyway). That makes it a lot easier for them to control the experience from the perspective of the person using it.
On the other hand, getting your drivers to work with every piece of hardware in existance is no small task. Running linux on the desktop properly requires a bit of diligence in hardware selection. As always, you have to pick your battles. You can spend more money to purchase an Apple machine and know it's just going to work (again, mostly), or you can spend next to nothing, ensure what you want to run Linux on is well supported and again, it's just going to work (once again, mostly).
All desktop systems are to some degree a measure of "Semper In Excretio, Solum Profundum Variat." They are all irritating in one regard or another. Pick the system that annoys YOU the least. If you don't mind paying for an Apple machine and don't mind their closed-system mentality, then go for it. If you want to get use out of pretty much any piece of hardware, with or without some level of difficulty depending on how well supported it is under Linux, you probably can (other than bleeding edge). You either spend your time up front or your money.
At least when Linus Torvalds rants, it is because he is passionate about the work he does. And that said, him calling Gnome a wreck a while back tends to make me think this is a bit of urinary olympics more than an actual appraisal.
21:02:28 up 171 days, 7:14, 6 users, load average: 0.52, 0.40, 0.44
Running ubuntu with ksplice on dell latidute, camera, microfone, wireless, dual screen, bluetooth, audio, e-sata all working since the day of the install. I do everything on it from writing bash scripts to streaming videos to my ps3.
Ubuntu just works, its userfriendly, and you get your day to day tasks done without any pain.
Have been using UNIX from old Sco Sys V days, linux beta etc but have also used all other OS's (sheesh even dreaded OS/2) in a number of different capacities and situations but to me Linux on the desktop comes down to these major strengths & weaknesses:
Strength: Linux is so amazingly configurable
Weakness: Linux is so amazingly configurable
Simple as that. For those reasons above I doubt you will see "Linux on every desktop" as was the byline of a number of major Comp mags in the 90's when RedHat kicked off in earnest.
Bye Miguel De Icaza. Go ahead and let the door hit you on the way out. If you need a "boot to the head" I'm certain there'd be no shortage of volunteers!
A decent Linux based distro... (MEPIS in this case) was so "hard to use" my Mother Joy used Linux for over 6 years passing before her time @ 81. After I installed MEPIS 6 she REFUSED to use Windows after only a week. Still point & click, but NO DEFRAGGING (come on M$ - update for the current millennium!); free & useful software w/o the garbageware; no need for endless "free" or "cheap" utilities to add functionality that M$ doesn't provide, removed (TCP/IP printing with less than "Pro"!) , or for fixing stuff (REGISTRY) that other software broke; and really simple, painless updates w/o multiple reboots. Sometimes she liked to wait for an explanation of what they were for, but was tickled pink that they'd take place in the background while writing a letter, updating a spreadsheet, surfing the web, AND playing LOTS of Patience (wearing out the left mouse button yearly). She was definitely no "power user", but when her baby sister (20 years younger) was sending infected emails my aunt's technician really appreciated the info Joy pasted into the reply as CLAM caught them when the paid Windows AV missed and couldn't have fixed the infections (multiple) for weeks! Rock steady, easy to use, and choices far beyond need, and a patient, helpful forum, what's not to like?
Sometimes RTFM is NOT a good solution as they can be clear a mud. Many forums can be abusive to the newby - but I haven't seen that with MEPIS/AntiX. Perhaps Mint is similar, (though admittedly Mint software tends to be more current), Ubuntu forums OTOH...
All that's necessary is a willingness to learn - required by OSX, Win, BSD, Linux, Android, or whatever! BTW, I don't recommend Ubuntu nowadays - they're too much about profit and shooting their own foot. Mint is a nice choice, MEPIS for stable, SUSE for an Enterprise friendly, specialized distros for musicians, Apple if you don't mind $pending in the walled garden, Win for favorite/required apps, etc. - choice is good! ;-)
I see the missiles have started raining down. So let's see if I can play referee for a moment.
- Miguel de Icaza is/is not a talented developer; is/is not the bees knees. Referee says: irrelevant.
- Mac OS X is easy to use, and provides lots of "it just works" sensations along with the warm glow of UNIX. Referee says: damn right it does, but for the simple reason that the hardware is a closed system, and you are paying a premium for the experience. That's Apple's MO, for good or bad.
- Desktop Linux doesn't come close to the Mac OS experience. Referee says, WTF should it? It's nothing short of a miracle that it comes remotely as close as it does: the hardware is random (the combinations in the PC universe are orders of magnitude more than in the generations of Mac), there is no single entity in control, and you are not paying a premium for the offering.
Windows works well on modern hardware because the WHDC group at MSFT works with hardware vendors to make sure that their kit plays nice. Want to join our party? Then you play by these rules. Linux doesn't have that. Perhaps it should.
I have used various forms of Unix as my main OS almost all of my computing life. After I left uni, I briefly ran MS-DOS 3.1 on an IBM PC but as soon as I had a 286-based machine I moved back to Unix and have stuck with it through Coheren't, Minix, ESIX SYSVR4, Solaris, Linux (starting before Slackware was even thought of), OpenBSD (for a firewall) and BSD-based MacOS X. I am completely in favour of the simplicity of design of Unix and also the broad aims and ethos of open source.
I am even typing this on a Linux laptop but I cannot help but agree that the whole experience of using MacOS (I also have a MacBook Pro) is much more pleasant. I bought my non-techie wife a Mac and she loves it. I didn't even consider giving her a Linux laptop. Linux has never been driven by usability or attractiveness and it shows.
I still use a bash shell and vi almost daily but if I want a graphical OS I usually use MacOS these days.
I'm trying to be fair here, but Ubuntu is not the only version of linux. The people who support gento seem to think that editing your /etc files every time you upgrade is user friendly. At the point where they moved all the etc files, I gave up upgrading it. Eventually the box died and I got someone to install ubuntu.from CD.
Which gets very upset if you try to install it without a network connection. And I mean very.
Next I wanted to install Adobe flash and some microsoft fonts for my x-sessions.
There's a bug. The workround is incredibly difficult to find and then perform. That at least gets me the fonts. But now, every day it complains that it can't install adobe flash. Apparently there's a fix for that. In the next or next + 1 major update of Ubuntu. And don't tell me I don't need flash. Whether or not I do, I can't stop that window popping up daily. This is the typical patronising attitude of computers - you can't have this, and I'm going to keep telling you you can't have this just because you asked for it.
And the authors of the ubuntu desktop appear to think that bright orange is a restful colour. Can I find a blue-ish theme? No I can't. OK, maybe I can edit things manually (easy enough in windows).
I have to install another config tool which spends half its time printing strange and incomprehensible messages on the console about unavailable widgets. And if I hunt hard, there's a whole load of incomprehensible options you can change manually - and then hope. You don't get a nice little window which will show you the effects of what you're changing before you decide that's what you want.
The linux desktop experience has some way to go before it's as easy to set things to the way you want as windows is
And don't get all snooty and say it's all on the network. I shouldn't have to go look on the network to make the visual appearance at least comfortable , and, when I was installing it, the only reason I could look look on the network was I was at work.
One way linux does match windows is in the ability of the developers to make arbitrary decisions and enfore con people "just because". Why shouldn't I have a screen savers? Because the devs said I couldn't. Yet another look up on the network, install, and do strange and incomprehensible changes. OK they work, but it's not the sort of thing that makes me feel comfortable.
Windows may be evil and the command line may suck, and it probably has bad things wrong with it. But so does linux.
Thought I was clever saving a few bucks buying an Ubuntu lappy. Subjected myself to years of misery, still waiting for it to die so I have a genuine excuse to replace it
No new software works first time. The expert instructions for fixing things up are buried in a 100 page discussion forum topic and were written by someone with the oh so authoritative handle of "psychocat" - if I post a question, will you promise not to hack me?
IE 10 preparation update KB 2670838 BSOD.
HP, Dell, Sony, Compaq, Gateway, and Lenovo computers running GeForce, Radeon, Intel, and AMD graphics chips, among others.
Microsoft, covering its ass for lacking a testing department that shows up to work to do the testing required, sez:
Microsoft is aware of an issue some customers are experiencing when installing KB2670838 on certain laptop systems with hybrid graphics. We are looking into the situation and are considering blocking the update for systems that could be affected. Customers who are experiencing issues on systems that already have installed the update should consider uninstalling KB2670838.
Sadly, this is more the norm than the exception for Microsoft Updates. So when we speak of "it just works" maybe in Microsoft's case we should restate that as: "it just breaks."
"Sadly, this is more the norm than the exception for Microsoft Updates" - actually its exceedingly rare for Microsoft updates to cause any sort of crash or system failure. I can't recall any others.
Of the '5' previous issues mentioned in the link, one effects only 'Turbo tax', one is by design (all keyboard layout files need to be present), #3 isn't an issue at all, #4 is a list of issues fixed by an update, #5 is a minor issue that effected font rendering for a few obscure fonts. Hardly earth shattering stuff.
I can empathize to some extent what Miguel is saying. Maybe a few months ago or so I noticed there was an update to pulse audio so just like with any other update I installed it. After that I noticed that whatever program I had open would lock the audio resource. Example. Say I was listening to some music on Banshee and decided to pause it and open up a youtube video. There would be no sound in the youtube video until I exited out of Banshee. So I decided to completely reinstall Mint 13 (12.04 LTS) and unchecked and hid those pulse audio updates when they came up again in the update manager. After getting all of my apps back on I took a snapshot with REDO backup immediately incase anything went wrong again. So now without those pulse updates everything is as it should be but frankly it's shitty that a simple supposedly stable update can botch a system. Now in regards to wifi drivers the first version of ubuntu I tried was 9.04 and i couldn't connect to wifi at all until I tried out 10.04 which fixed it. So yeah when it comes to linux it really depends on having the right kernel version for your hardware. Before I reinstalled this system I tried updating the kernel to 3.7 from 3.2 and it totally botched my catalyst drivers. So there is some merit to what Miguel is saying but the geek in me will always be a Linux user even when problems do arise. My goal is to one day be a linux admin so a few snags along the way isn't going to slow me down.
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