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Old 04-16-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
Mario Blunk
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Long term Linux for corporate and science


Hi out there,

since 2003 I have been working with Suse/OpenSuse up to the day OpenSuse 12.1 combined with KDE4 got released. I don't want to list all the annoying things related to that...
For people in permanent need of new and more colorful things OpenSuse is probably good. But running a business in the industrial sector on it has become a nightmare over the recent months to me.
I don't understand why OpenSuse Linux moves step by step towards Redmont-OS.

I need a Linux that keeps maintained over a life span of lets say 10 years. Something like:

- a desktop environment like KDE 3 (it was great)
- an OfficeSuite like OO 3.1.1 (and not Libre-Office, XYZ-Office, OPQ-Office, ...)
- an Emailclient like KMail1 (not KMail2, 3, 4, ...)
- SaX2 (not SaX3, 4, 5 , ... )

Once you get all the applications running and once you get used to them, another new but useless invention pops up. Proven good applications are discontinued and so on ... I guess you all know what I mean...

I just can't afford spending my time upgrading, trying and retrying things. I have customers and projects and almost no leisure time.

What alternatives do I have ?

Cheers,

Mario
 
Old 04-16-2012, 03:32 PM   #2
TobiSGD
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I would recommend to have a look at Red Hat Enterprise Linux and the free versions of it (CentOS, Scientific Linux) or Slackware, currently the oldest supported version is 8.1, which was released in 2002.
 
Old 04-17-2012, 12:05 PM   #3
DavidMcCann
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I'd endorse Tobi's suggestions, with the addition that Salix is a better choice for you that Slackware. Salix is fully compatible with Slackware, but has extra software and provides dependency resolution. Both CentOS 6.2 and Salix 13.37 will be supported for the rest of this decade.

The problem is that you liked the old KDE and don't like the new one. There's nothing really like KDE3; the fork Trinity is hardly flourishing. If you don't like the current bloated or dumbed-down desktops (KDE and Gnome respectively), then it's really got to be Xfce.

I'm not sure what your objection to LibreOffice is. I've got that in Salix and OpenOffice in CentOS, and I couldn't tell you the difference. OpenOffice is not going to survive. There's no reason for anyone to develop for it and only Oracle are committed to using it in the long term.
 
Old 04-20-2012, 04:41 PM   #4
memilanuk
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CentOS and Scientific Linux would probably be two top recommendations... the long term support for either is comparable. Ubuntu recently went to 5yrs support for their upcoming LTS release as well.

10 years might be a bit much though... maybe its just me, but most commodity PC hardware is starting to suck hind tit after five years, and I've worked in several industrial/utility companies in the US (not as IT though) and I think most plan for desktops to last 3-5 years. Granted, thats with M$ Windows, but even with the above linux distros I think expecting them to actively support software from more than five years ago is a little far-fetched.

Good luck,

Monte
 
Old 04-21-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
DavidMcCann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memilanuk View Post
10 years might be a bit much though... maybe its just me, but most commodity PC hardware is starting to suck hind tit after five years, and I've worked in several industrial/utility companies in the US (not as IT though) and I think most plan for desktops to last 3-5 years.
Off-topic, I know, but I think that's just American profligacy. This desktop was built in 2005 and my laptop in 2003, and they're both doing fine.
 
Old 04-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
Mario Blunk
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Smile

Hello all,

thanks for your replies. I've tried Scientific Linux a few days ago. Since it lacks the configuration cmd-line tool Yast (which I got used to over the years) I finally discarded it.
I've switched on my Suse 12.1 machine from KDE4 to Xfce which does a good job right now. Xfce is not bloated with useless stuff, the icons are ALWAYS on the desktop, great ! So the KDE3 style has been preserved in some way.
My initial posting here came out of a wave of frustration. My temper has cooled down over the last days.

However, I'm convinced that if Linux (mainly SuSe) is to be deployed in the business and industrial sector some things should be seriously taken care of. Microsoft offends people in that sector frequently by dictating its colored-funny end-user-philosophy to them. It would be very sad if the Linux/KDE developers ended up in that very same state.

- The industry and business folks need long term stability. Projects there may last longer than 10 years.
- Major changes inside a strategical email program like KMail that pose the risk of loosing data are not acceptable ! The trouble around Kmail 1 and the migration to KMail 2 is everywhere. The laws here in Germany require business documents like Emails to be stored and readable over at least 10 years time !
- The same goes for OpenOffice or LibreOffice or whatever comes next: If calculations, invoices, orders and quotations can't survive the mad upgrading race for at least 10 years, what is all that open source song good for ?
- If business folks see in KDE4 just another jukebox or a passing fad like some Windows products, Linux will never make the way into the hard business world.

Hopefully there are some people around here who get my point. Hopefully my lines do not offend all those highly skilled KDE/Linux developers. You are bright guys ! :-)

Cheers,

Mario
 
Old 04-23-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
schneidz
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theres also fel (fedora electronics lab) but it uses yum instead of yast.
 
Old 04-24-2012, 04:15 AM   #8
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario Blunk View Post
...I'm convinced that if Linux (mainly SuSe) is to be deployed in the business and industrial sector some things should be seriously taken care of.
You do realise that this isn't really the aim of openSUSE, so that you shouldn't be surprised if it only hits this target pretty innaccurately. For this kind of requirement, they would point you towards SLED, although other Enterprise options do exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario Blunk View Post
I need a Linux that keeps maintained over a life span of lets say 10 years. Something like:

- a desktop environment like KDE 3 (it was great)
- an OfficeSuite like OO 3.1.1 (and not Libre-Office, XYZ-Office, OPQ-Office, ...)
- an Emailclient like KMail1 (not KMail2, 3, 4, ...)
- SaX2 (not SaX3, 4, 5 , ... )
I liked KDE3 at the time, too, but now this has become difficult, and that applies to all the KDE3 apps that came along with it, too. If you choose Trinity, that could easily prove to be a problem in the slightly longer term. Or, you could go with progress and put up with the fact that progress implies change.

You could adopt some simpler desktop, like XFCE, and that might be quite a good option, but you'll hardly get a guarantee that you'll never see changes. Well, at least I doubt that the XFCE project will ever be up for offering you that, although I haven't asked them...

The only other option that you seem to have is to support (or pay someone else to support) some project that keeps some 'dinosaur' (sorry for the prejudicial word, but, by now, that is how it feels) like KDE 3 going, long term. In that case, you can, more-or-less, decide what you want and get it. This is probably an option only open to those with corporate budgets, but it is theoretically an option.

At a simple level, more of the 'customers' for this kind of thing are more persuaded by 'progress' and 'new and shiny' than are persuaded by 'stability' (of user interfaces) and comfortably old-fashioned. There may be an extent to which the techie feel some pride at being able to work with almost any program that you throw at them, and so are not as critical of interface instability as the general populace.

In this sense, suppliers are doing what the majority of their user base wants, which I think is what you'd expect. There might be another user base that would come on board if something else was on offer, but I would warn you that this non-techie user base would be difficult to access, as they don't have much interest in pursuing this kind of information, so you would have to do a lot of the work in getting them interested.

In the wild and varied world of Open Source software, in which every slightly wacky approach seems to have someone making a distro specifically targeted at it, you might think that someone would be going for this particular area, but, if you think it could take off, maybe you should try to assemble a team around it. I'm not going to bet on your success with it, but I do wish you well...

BTW, SAX2 essentially became unsupportable, with changes in X, and, after disappearing for a while (which was wildly unpopular in some quarters...) and, eventually, someone popped up who was prepared to do something about it. OO 3.1.1 - well, in most distros with extensive repos, there will be an up-to-date(-ish) OO-ish (which will have often not really been OO, but Go-OO) suite available. This will have a substantially unchanged UI from slightly older versions of Go-OO, but will have bug fixes, which I assume that you don't object to. For smaller distros, this may not be an easy option, as their repos may not extend to minority-appeal options.
 
Old 05-11-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
thund3rstruck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mario Blunk View Post
However, I'm convinced that if Linux (mainly SuSe) is to be deployed in the business and industrial sector some things should be seriously taken care of. Microsoft offends people in that sector frequently by dictating its colored-funny end-user-philosophy to them. It would be very sad if the Linux/KDE developers ended up in that very same state.
It's really scary to hear about anyone considering deploying OpenSuse to a production Enterprise! OpenSuse is a community supported distribution. For enterprise solutions the only choice is Red Hat (RHEL) or Suse Enterprise (SLED)
 
Old 05-13-2012, 08:24 AM   #10
Mario Blunk
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Hi folks,

thank your for all your feedback. I'll go for SuSe Enterprise Desktop and I'm willing to pay the price for their services as long as I get a reliable platform to run my business on.

Cheers from Germany,

Mario
 
  


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