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Old 10-22-2003, 05:40 PM   #1
Pete Dogg
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linux will not succeed on the desktop until...


I'm trying to convert my girlfriends desktop from Windows XP to RedHat 9.

These are the problem areas I have found and I consider myself a computer expert, so I know she could not solve these problems herself. (By computer expert, I by know means claim to have a knowledge of linux as great as the gurus here).

1) MP3 support did not come with the distro.
I guess redhat is trying to become and all GPL distro, but is this a good solution?
I came here and searched and got a link to an rpm to install. But MP3 is such a huge format, it needs to be supported by default. True there is OGG but people need to play their mp3s. I can't fully understand why freshrpms can distribute the mp3 code and redhat can't? Couldnt they allow it to install from the update program. so that it's not on the regular distro?
They include GIF support (through mozilla). so why not mp3 support? (dont tell me the gif has expired, cause it's still valid here in Canada)

2) Installing applications is still too hard. I downloaded OpenOffice.org 1.1 and Mozilla 1.4.1, I could install these program easily. but the icons on the gnome desktop still pointed to the old version (im savvy enough to fix this with symbolic links, but there is no way an average user could.

3) RPM's are not a solution.
There needs to be a way to allow someone to download a package which will work regardless of dependencies. I'm not sure the best way to do this. but when i download a GAIM RPM or source I cant get it to work on my system. When I download MSN6's installer i comes with everything it needs. why can't there be a tarball that comes with ALL the source needed to compile a program.


If these things are solved, you will have me as a well equipped soldier to convert Windows users to Linux.

Please don't flame me with why don't I contribute and fix these. With my time constraints I'm currently only helping the open source community by posting help for people here (still getting more than i give). and being a bug tester at mozilla.org and php.net
 
Old 10-22-2003, 05:43 PM   #2
MasterC
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That's great, all part of "doing your part". Thanks for the information, and if you could, at some point in the near future, also supply some rough solutions, that would be an excellent follow up to these hinderances.

Cool
 
Old 10-22-2003, 05:46 PM   #3
trickykid
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Ugghh.. not another thread like this.. is it so hard to contribute to the existing ones we have already pointing out these types of issues??
 
Old 10-22-2003, 05:50 PM   #4
Pete Dogg
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Quote:
Originally posted by trickykid
Ugghh.. not another thread like this.. is it so hard to contribute to the existing ones we have already pointing out these types of issues??
No i guess it's not hard to do that. Just wanted to post my own personal experience. and hadn't noticed anything like this in awhile. It's always good to have some fresh discussion. I do search when I'm looking for answers, this was more a discussion thread.
 
Old 10-22-2003, 05:52 PM   #5
trickykid
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Dogg
No i guess it's not hard to do that. Just wanted to post my own personal experience. and hadn't noticed anything like this in awhile. It's always good to have some fresh discussion. I do search when I'm looking for answers, this was more a discussion thread.
We actually have plenty of these already as well is what I'm trying to point out. If we all contribute and put in the one thread, it makes it easier to read and find everyone's thoughts on, instead of searching and looking at a dozen different threads covering the same topic.

Just my 2 cents really...
 
Old 10-22-2003, 05:53 PM   #6
Pete Dogg
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As for a rough solution for problem 1. I think RedHat could have a Full GPL and a not full GPL distro. I mean the old redhat wasn't fully GPL with Netscape 4. what was the big problem with that? Principle shouldn't walk over practicality.
I haven't read the intricacies of the mp3 patent. but as far as i know they can include an mp3 player if they right the mp3 decoding software themselves, kinda how winamp rewrote their franhaufer code. or if this is not possible, I'm sure it has to be legal to convert the mp3 files to ogg. this could be an included feature of xmms or redhat could have a utility that runs, instead of the popup about the patent issues.
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:00 PM   #7
MasterC
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WRT crippled versions, that is a Redhat specific issue. However, I do believe that have released an "uncrippled version" which is of course at a cost. So in essence, it has already answered your request, but with probably an answer one was hoping not to hear.

Covering mp3 to ogg, it seems that the majority of audio freaks have given a thumbs down to the quality, so they would in essence be 'giving ogg a bad name' if they chose to "on the fly" convert mp3 to ogg for playback on their distro. It would be dis-service to us all.



Cool
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:00 PM   #8
Pete Dogg
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as for #2, i guess this is mostly in the hands of the application installer.
it would be nice if the installer of mozilla asked to remove all old versions of mozilla with the new one and searched the disk for mozilla and replaced it with the new version.
guess i could put in a feature request at bugzilla

when trying to modify where the redhat menu shortcuts pointed too, i was able to modify the ones on the taskbar but not in the "hat" menu. redhat complained they were readonly. that's defintely a redhat/gnome issue.
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:03 PM   #9
MasterC
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Certainly. These are great points, but they are not "Linux's" problems. Most of these tend to be RH specific, and you might have some luck (possibly not though) in submitting your ideas to them specifically. I know that Gentoo does cover some of these things, uninstalling old versions as you upgrade to new ones. New package management features are a must for Linux to succeed, and luckily, they are indeed being worked on.

Cool
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:04 PM   #10
Pete Dogg
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Quote:
Originally posted by MasterC
WRT crippled versions, that is a Redhat specific issue. However, I do believe that have released an "uncrippled version" which is of course at a cost. So in essence, it has already answered your request, but with probably an answer one was hoping not to hear.

Covering mp3 to ogg, it seems that the majority of audio freaks have given a thumbs down to the quality, so they would in essence be 'giving ogg a bad name' if they chose to "on the fly" convert mp3 to ogg for playback on their distro. It would be dis-service to us all.



Cool
ok. i guess converting mp3 to ogg wont be good then.

Good to know RedHat has an uncrippled version, they should have mentioned that in the popup. I have no problem paying for an uncrippled version if it makes life easier. I only need to buy 1 copy
One problem with redhat compared to mandrake is it's too difficult to figure out what packages are available on the distro. They dont tell you hey buy this version it has mp3 support. I know this is not a linux wide issue but a redhat issue. but every "user friendly" linux needs to meet a certain standard (I know there is a Linux Standard) or they will not be able to compete with Windows.
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:07 PM   #11
Pete Dogg
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you are a quicker poster than me.
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:14 PM   #12
MasterC
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I'm taking advantage of a high speed connection while I can I've been on dial up, and very rarely, so I'm anxious

Cool
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:21 PM   #13
Pete Dogg
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ok. for #3
when software is distributed (eg) GAIM or whatever) they should have a safe source version. which includes in the tarball the source for other pieces of software that the program depends on. and it checks the system for those programs if they dont exist it compiles a version and keeps it locally (within the programs directory tree, so that it doesnt mess up a users system) and uses that version.

I'd rather download a 20M program and have no problem than a 4M program and have lots of problems. users who like it the way it is (and im sure there are lots) can still download the regular source version.

I know that it's taxing for open source developers who work on their spare time to do this but proprietary software makes this mistake all the time. Sybase 8 depends on ncurses (forget the version) and if you dont have that specific version you cant connect. I couldnt imagine why they dont include all the necessary software.

That's like a jacket without a zipper and just assume people will use the zippers from their old jackets. What if the zipper doesn't fit?
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:28 PM   #14
MasterC
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Again, good point. However, again, it's a distro problem. Gentoo, Mandrake, Debian.. All auto resolve dependencies. Ximian for RedHat supposedly does something similar as well.

Cool
 
Old 10-22-2003, 06:32 PM   #15
Pete Dogg
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well i guess the next linux i try will be Gentoo.
thanks for the feedback.
 
  


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