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Old 01-22-2003, 10:07 PM   #1
Darin
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Question What happened to Linux?


I guess Slackware forum is the best place for this so I'll ask it here...

I've got Slackware 8.1 but the versions of other distros I've tried are considerably older than current. I have a box with manual and stuff for Redhat 5.2 and some ISOs of RH 6.1 and 7.0. I also have a SuSE 6.1 CD, a Storm Linux CD, a Caldera OpenLinux 2.3 CD and I was pretty sure I had a Slack CD like 3.4 prior to the rev numbers change but all I can find now is my 7.0 CD. I've probably at one point installed all of these and some are burnt ISOs which I got from work when I was doing network tests with Linux there so I know I've installed them all at some point.

Since I've been reading these boards and seeing the kinds of questions from other forums my question is this; Are the new versions of distros like Redhat and Mandrake really all that warm and fuzzy and happy-clicky-gooey that you can set up everything and have totally no clue what a config file looks like?

I like Slackware because it doesn't hold my hand and put blinders on me but leaves me with the power to control it all (or hang myself!) Even though it has some mini-gui programs like netconfig and fontconfig and pppsetup these end up doing the same thing Slackware does. I can open up almost any config file and figure out what it does just by reading the comments, and it's close enough to the Solaris Unix I learned on that I can easily figure out any differences. I can't stand Redhat because it's full of these little GUIs that hold your hand and do all this mystery stuff under the hood in such a weird way that you can't figure it out when you look under there which is exactly what Windows does. I hate Windows for that reason too, to fix it when it breaks you have to wade through all the menu programs and hope you found the fix or reinstall the whole thing and start from scratch.

Is Linux now turning into the very thing that it originally was ment to NOT be? And does it need to do that to survive as a desktop OS?

FYI: I'm writing this from a text editor in Windows and will dump it into my web browser in Windows via a few keyboard shortcuts and it will get sent to you through my Linux firewall so even in my house Linux hasn't fully broken into the desktop realm
 
Old 01-22-2003, 10:58 PM   #2
rshaw
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and how do you know what it's suppose to be? if you want to live in the past, uninstall xfree and live at the command prompt, don't expect the rest of the world to do it as well.
 
Old 01-23-2003, 02:02 PM   #3
wartstew
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Re: What happened to Linux?

Quote:
Originally posted by Darin
Are the new versions of distros like Redhat and Mandrake really all that warm and fuzzy and happy-clicky-gooey that you can set up everything and have totally no clue what a config file looks like?
It's about as warm and fuzzy as doing an old WIN95 upgrade on an existing Win31. In otherwords, sometimes all the pieces fall into place and everything works. Often it doesn't, and you end up with a mess. But things are improving all the time.

Quote:
I like Slackware because it doesn't hold my hand and put blinders on me but leaves me with the power to control it all (or hang myself!) Even though it has some mini-gui programs like netconfig and fontconfig and pppsetup these end up doing the same thing Slackware does. I can open up almost any config file and figure out what it does just by reading the comments, and it's close enough to the Solaris Unix I learned on that I can easily figure out any differences. I can't stand Redhat because it's full of these little GUIs that hold your hand and do all this mystery stuff under the hood in such a weird way that you can't figure it out when you look under there which is exactly what Windows does. I hate Windows for that reason too, to fix it when it breaks you have to wade through all the menu programs and hope you found the fix or reinstall the whole thing and start from scratch.
Most of the rest of us have had the experience and share the same feelings. I find it easier to manually configure Slackware than to fix the mess those other distro's GUI's leave behind.

Quote:
Is Linux now turning into the very thing that it originally was ment to NOT be? And does it need to do that to survive as a desktop OS?
Yes and no: Of course it is thriving in the backend server world, but Linux *needs* to be easier to install, maintain and use to be accepted by the masses. Remember, most people *don't* want to learn all that much about their computers, consider the typical Mac user. On the other hand, I'm sure there will always be something like a Slackware unless these fancy GUI's get good enough that *we* can even stand to use them.

PS: I'm not actually opposed to the trend, I just don't think it is there yet. So I use Slackware instead .

Last edited by wartstew; 01-23-2003 at 02:09 PM.
 
Old 01-23-2003, 03:03 PM   #4
rshaw
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I use SuSE not because i'm gui dependant, i'm just basically lazy. the thrill of editing config files is long gone. there is a reason mac/win have gui's... thats what people want. we can't just give an ex-win user a copy of debian,(nothing against debian, but their install procedure is straight from the stone age) send them on their way, and then expect to gain another user, if they need the gui tools as a crutch for a while, so be it. unless your a "linux is suppose to be hard, it keeps out the riff-raff" elitist, which there's no hope for anyway, so we'll just leave them with their green/black monochrome screens and emacs, while the rest of the linux world passes them by.<rshaw jumps down off the soapbox>
 
Old 01-23-2003, 03:21 PM   #5
Darin
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I don't have a problem with the GUIs and the hand holding but every once in awhile they don't cut the mustard and it seems some distros' setups get changed so radically to make the GUIs work that eventually when you "pop the hood" it isn't recognizable. As an example, I look for startup settings in Redhat and I can change most of it with the GUIs but if that doesn't work I go poking around and see all these cryptic files with names like S32 and K41 and nothing is where you would expect it and I come away mystified.

What I meant by linux turning into what it is supposed to not be is that it is turning into windows! I think all the user interfaces are great but linux is linux because when things on the surface just don't work you can crawl inside and fix it by hand.
 
Old 01-23-2003, 03:43 PM   #6
rshaw
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yeah, SuSE does some very oddball things, and it takes a while to get used to. alot of it can be blamed on how close/far a distro is from the LSB. if every distro would put thing in the same place, we would be alot better off. SuSE has a package on disc that throws in a boatload of symlinks, just to try and make it somewhat compatable with redhat/slack/deb.
 
Old 01-23-2003, 03:47 PM   #7
MasterC
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It's almost like EFI vs Carb. Some like the computer to do the tweaking and tuning for em, others wanna get their hands dirty. You can easily crawl into an engine compartment of a carb'ed vehicle, remove this, tighten that, adjust this, and bam, it's a better working more performing machine. An EFI user can get into his car, press the gas, and the computer will adjust to his needs. If something goes wrong though, it will take ALOT more work/troubleshooting to get the EFI car back to this optimal condition; where the carb'd car will take only small adjustments on well known components to get it back on the road in no time.

Most slackers I'd consider to be Carb'd users. Sometimes even getting a new distro, ripping out the EFI, and throwing the carb in (aka not use the gui tools, replace the config scripts with Slack ones, and start scripts with BSD style ones).

To each their own, and lucky enough for us, Slack seems to be doing just fine and appears to be kickin for a long time to come.

Cool
 
Old 01-23-2003, 10:28 PM   #8
65_289
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Well, if the Linux community wants to (continue to?) steal desktop/business market share from mircosoft, it will have to be more point & click. Generally, people are ignorant regarding the inner workings of computers. Also, 90% of them have no desire to learn how their computer works. Ergo, they need something that is easy to use. No company wants to train every user on how to write shell scripts or what cron does, and to be honest, they shouldn't be expected to.

So either people continue to develop better desktop windowing systems, pushing Linux more into the limelite, or Linux remains a "fringe" OS, destined for the desktops of "nerds" and a small share of servers.
 
Old 01-26-2003, 02:49 AM   #9
Half_Elf
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I understand what you mean, I dislike GUI too. I tried Mandrake long ago (I hated it)... RedHat is better but not exactly what I'm searching for. I like Slackware because everything should be done in text mode. But it's my opinion, I suppose there's a distribution for everyone. RedHat is more graphical, but don't forget there is an unix core inside. Cute like Win, strong like *nix.
 
  


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