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Originally posted by mhearn Hmm, KDE interface is better organized?!
Most people I know would say the reverse is true ... they've been trying to clean up that damn control centre ever since I first started using Linux. Well, each to their own
BTW there are no redhat -> fedora transition issues that I'm aware of. Fedora works great for me.
I liked the serious and participatory character of the content on Fedora's website. SuSE's site, on the other hand is slightly more commercial. But a decision's a decision :-). I've decided to go with SuSE. In any case it's not that I have to use it forever.
I've been looking around to buy SuSE professional version. The boxed version on offer at their website is $90. On eBay I see them going for betwen $45 and $75. I also see the freely downloadable version being sold on CD's for around $5. Apparently the difference between the boxed version and these CD's is only in the paper documentation. Further, I see that version 9.0 is also being sold on eBay at much lower prices. Shrewd and cunning :->, my mind has discerned a possibility here. Now It's not that I dont want to support SuSE :-) but I have to ask if anyone knows what kind of additional docs come with the boxed version and if they could change very much between two consecutive versions.
BTW, I find the branching off of Fedora from Redhat to be quite interesting. From the business point of view it is as if Fedora is the development arm for Redhat (or Redhat is the commercial arm of Fedora) whichever way you choose to look at it.
Though it may be too late to introduce a new option, you might want to consider Gentoo.
Though it is often considered an "advanced linux" the Gentoo handbook (Their installation guide" is quite well writtend and should be a breeze for someone with your technical know-how.
1. It is free
2. The file management system, portage is by the best of any linux, maybe even betrter than BSD's ports.
Portage, unlike RPM is designed to compile packages from source as opposed to simply using binaries, plus the availability of software thrtough portage is much greater than through RPM.
1. The install takes a very long time because it guides you thorugh manually writing many vital conf files and compiling your own kernel (I suggest the stage2 install, but you can also do the stage1 install)
2. It will take about a week to get everything configured the way you want.
I suppose it all depends on why you want to use linux. If you are looking for a box to get an OS up and running ina a half-hour and have a nice IDE to code with, SUSE is the way to go (I personally prefer Fedora, but I digress). If you want to know linux inside and out, then definately give Gentoo a look.
 To give more on my advertisement of Gentoo, installing a program (say firefox) through portage is as easy as typing emerge mozilla-firefox. Portage will resolve depandancies, download the software, configure it to your needs (according to a user defined USE variable whihc gets mapped to configre options), compile and install it. [/edit]
Distribution: SUSE 9.1 Pro and Debian Testing on Server
I think SuSE rocks, plus it has the biggest corporation backing it that I can think of out of any Linux distro. (Novell). I can't believe no one mentioned this but it is possible to download SuSE 9.1 Pro for free (minus a couple proprietary packages), by doing an FTP install. Altho you have to read the documentation on screen or print it out that way. Plus you don't support the distro that way, altho most of the money brought in by SuSE is from their server products, which is probably why they don't mind letting you do the FTP install.
Originally posted by emeskay
1. Understand the X Windows system (from a programming point of view) before moving on to use a GUI library like GTK.
xlib is the library one has to use when programming without a toolkit. The Xlib Programming Manual (http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/v1/index.html) is a very detailed documentation of xlib but it is also well structured so if you don't plan to program directly with xlib you can pick out the basic things to understand the communication to XWindow.
You could have gone with a free Linux distribution instead of buying it. I do not recommend picking distribution just to have documentation because you can easily get it from other distributions and on the internet.
If you want to make the switch from Windows to Linux programming, you can use wxWidgets. IMHO, they are easy to install and they work with multiple OS. wxWidgets seemed to be much lighter and faster than QT. You can look at Audacity's source code to figure out how to use the wxWidgets. Also Audacity is a great basic audio recording and editing software.
The link that ulmo can be hard to read because O'Reiley books and documentation is written by programmers and enginners that do not organized the information in the documenation or book. It makes it useless as an reference book.
dah'dee, KDE and GNOME are desktop manangers not windows managers. XFCE (desktop manager) is very competitive against windows managers like blackbox and fluxbox.
Originally posted by Electro The link that ulmo can be hard to read because O'Reiley books and documentation is written by programmers and enginners that do not organized the information in the documenation or book. It makes it useless as an reference book.
For xlib-reference, there is the Xlib Reference Manual. If I got it right, emeskay, you want to learn the basics about low-level-programming with XWindow and then switch to a toolkit. IMHO, the Xlib Programming Manual is very useful for that, one doesn't have to read the whole book to find the information looking for. On the other hand, it isn't really up to date because it only covers X Release 4 and 5 and not the actual Release 6. But I thought for just understanding the organization of Xlib-programming it is good.
Originally posted by ulmo For xlib-reference, there is the Xlib Reference Manual. If I got it right, emeskay, you want to learn the basics about low-level-programming with XWindow and then switch to a toolkit. IMHO, the Xlib Programming Manual is very useful for that, one doesn't have to read the whole book to find the information looking for. On the other hand, it isn't really up to date because it only covers X Release 4 and 5 and not the actual Release 6. But I thought for just understanding the organization of Xlib-programming it is good.
I have had a cursory look at some of the books available.
X Window Programming From Scratch (From Scratch) by Brown & Brown looks useful.
There's also the xlib programming manual by Adrian Nye - part of the same series you referred to. Then there are some newer system programming books. I have to take a closer look. I have just received SuSE 9.1 (about an hour ago). Let me start off with the installation. I already have unpartitioned space on my hd. - hopefully if everything goes well, I should be up and running soon. I'll keep this thred updated :-)
By the way, I currently have a separate small boot partition containing NT's loader (ntldr) - enabling dual boot between NT and 95. I assume that the SuSE installer will modify this partition to take over the boot process but I will get an option to let ntldr take over on booting up.
OK. I'm up and running with SuSE 9.1. I'm typing this in Konqueror. So far all I've done is adjust the some of the GUI settings to my liking - fonts etc. So far, I'm loving it. The automatic spell check in this edit box is neat. Thanks everyone for your input and help. I'm sure you will be hearing again from me very soon.
If you really want to learn Linux and than advance as a programmer into to *nix world you are wasting your time on 'easy' distro's. They do give you an installed system really fast and some easy configuration tools as well, but diving into Slackware, Gentoo, Debian is a much intenser and faster way of getting to know how all parts of the system work together, being the kernel, the deamons, the x window system, scripting, networking etc.
No offense meant, but Suse, Mandrake and the likes are not for programmers, but for users who like Linux but not the hassle.
If you really want to learn the systems you mention Gentoo is the best way most of the rest of the distros (notable exceptions being debian and slackware) do way to much for you to be very educational and in fact are geared more toward out of the box usability. A good concept if you need to put linux on your mother-in-laws PC. For a pure learning experience you need to just dive in. go to www.gentoo.org and take a look for yourself.