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Old 02-15-2005, 10:28 PM   #1
cscott
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Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop


I love linux, but sadly Linux is still missing it in key areas! I currently use Mandrake 10.1 which I like the best of all the distros that I've tried thus far (I've tried Redhat, Debian, Suse, FreeBSD (unix), Slackware, and Gentoo).

In my opinion, linux (or unix) will never be ready for the desktop UNTIL:

...programs are easier to install and uninstall (dependency hell is a real problem... why can't packages all be made to be backward compatible? It should not be necessary to upgrade dependent packages.)

...there is a dependable browser. For example, the latest Mozilla still crashes with many programs and plugins, and Konqueror doesn't display pages that well.

...ther is just ONE media backend that plays all multimedia. Xine plays some files mplayer won't play, and vice versa.

Linux has vast improvements over XP or other Windows distros in many other areas, but these 3 key areas (Programs, Browsers, and Multimedia) really need to be addressed and remedied.

later,
--Scott
 
Old 02-15-2005, 11:19 PM   #2
secesh
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i concur, but for different reasons:

1) ease of use. this is my only reason for not recommending linux as a desktop alternative for most people. Most people are idiots about technology, and the concepts introduced by linux seem incomprehensible to them. Windows users are being bred to only handle a GUI system, and click "ok" to warnings. I get such a kick out of people actually asking me if a pop-up tells them their computer might have a spy-ware problem, what on earth should they do? follow the link, claro! and when you finally get linux up and running, start out with a good rm -rf / while your're at it!

2) i love firefox. it doesn't crash any of my systems.

3) linux = choice. I don't use one application for media in windows (WMP?), and i wouldn't expect to in linux.

edit: i think you mean front-end on that multimedia bit, anyways... xine and mplayer are both front-ends...

Last edited by secesh; 02-15-2005 at 11:24 PM.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 01:46 AM   #3
cs-cam
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Just because it's not ready for your desktop environment doens't mean it isn't for somebody else. Linux isn't here to be as user-friendly as Windows, a distrobution vendor could try if they wanted but then you have distros like Lycoris which are treated as a joke in the linux world.

And use RPMs and what can you expect? Use a real package manager and you won't run into those problems
 
Old 02-16-2005, 02:29 AM   #4
oneandoneis2
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Hear hear! Why do people keep trotting out that dumb title?

Linux IS ready for the desktop, thousands of people have it there already.

The REAL title is "Linux isn't yet ready for the clueless user who wants it all to work by magic" - and frankly, I hope it stays that way.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 02:33 AM   #5
harken
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Take a tour at http://counter.li.org/ and see what the numbers are. For those eighteen milion (probably much more) people Linux is ready for the desktop.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 02:33 AM   #6
harken
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Take a tour at http://counter.li.org/ and see what the numbers are. For those eighteen milion (probably much more) people Linux is ready for the desktop.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 02:42 AM   #7
TigerOC
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Re: Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop

Quote:
Originally posted by cscott

In my opinion, linux (or unix) will never be ready for the desktop UNTIL:

...programs are easier to install and uninstall (dependency hell is a real problem... why can't packages all be made to be backward compatible? It should not be necessary to upgrade dependent packages.)
This is very much distro dependent. I use Debian, and whilst not the easiest to install but improving in leaps and bounds is far superior to any M$ application installation I have ever seen.

Quote:
...there is a dependable browser. For example, the latest Mozilla still crashes with many programs and plugins, and Konqueror doesn't display pages that well.
This is totally subjective since the base comparison is with the display as set by IE. It is interesting to note that IE does not necessarily comply with http display standards, whilst many of the open source browsers do. The next aspect would be the use of plugins for various types of media files. Again the standard is IE and just look at what the security implications of using some of these plugins are. I would rather not have access to the media file than have my system compromised or all my data wiped by some distructive script kiddie.

My personal opinion is that a major reason why Linux is not ready for the desktop is a lack of drivers for new hardware which can only be addressed by the manufacturers. As the demand increases so will this availabilty.

Last edited by TigerOC; 02-16-2005 at 02:44 AM.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 02:42 AM   #8
cscott
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Quote:
Originally posted by secesh
i concur, but for different reasons:

1) ease of use. this is my only reason for not recommending linux as a desktop alternative for most people. Most people are idiots about technology, and the concepts introduced by linux seem incomprehensible to them. Windows users are being bred to only handle a GUI system, and click "ok" to warnings. I get such a kick out of people actually asking me if a pop-up tells them their computer might have a spy-ware problem, what on earth should they do? follow the link, claro! and when you finally get linux up and running, start out with a good rm -rf / while your're at it!

2) i love firefox. it doesn't crash any of my systems.

3) linux = choice. I don't use one application for media in windows (WMP?), and i wouldn't expect to in linux.

edit: i think you mean front-end on that multimedia bit, anyways... xine and mplayer are both front-ends...
Easy of use fits into program dependency. Apt-get on Debian isn't much better than Mandrake or Fedora's rpm system; and un-tarring, configure, make and make install from a source file still gives dependency nightmares. There has GOT to be a better solution for installing packages! Additionally, Firefox crashes too often for me and isn't as good at plugins as its Mozilla mother. My favorite linux browser is based on Mozilla, and its Galeon. It is fast, has the best toolbars, and the restore session is great too. I think Galeon is far superior to Firefox. As far as windows media players go, windows users are forced to use Windows Media Player with ActiveX if they want to play many internet streams.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 02:50 AM   #9
cs-cam
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While I've never used apt, it resolves dependancies so I'd assume it's better than RPM. I have a lot of experience with portage and pacman and both of those handle it for you. If I choose to install gmplayer and I don't have mplayer installed then both those will ask me to install mplayer as well. Much better than Windows that have huge install files to cover everything.

Firefox has never crashed for me so it's clearly something to do with your setup or your hardware or a bug in your system, please don't blame the software for being faulty when it's not.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 02:52 AM   #10
cscott
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Re: Re: Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop

Quote:
Originally posted by TigerOC
This is very much distro dependent. I use Debian, and whilst not the easiest to install but improving in leaps and bounds is far superior to any M$ application installation I have ever seen.



This is totally subjective since the base comparison is with the display as set by IE. It is interesting to note that IE does not necessarily comply with http display standards, whilst many of the open source browsers do. The next aspect would be the use of plugins for various types of media files. Again the standard is IE and just look at what the security implications of using some of these plugins are. I would rather not have access to the media file than have my system compromised or all my data wiped by some distructive script kiddie.

My personal opinion is that a major reason why Linux is not ready for the desktop is a lack of drivers for new hardware which can only be addressed by the manufacturers. As the demand increases so will this availabilty.
I realize that Mozilla and other linux browsers usually follow coding standards better than IE. Yes, lack of drivers is definitely another reason. That was going to be #4. I think the above 3 reasons are even more critical because until we get Linux to a point that it appeals to the masses (I don't believe that 18 million number and even the site says it is a guess), it will never get the support and attention that it deserves and needs. Until that times comes, that's why I can only use a program like ndiswrapper to get my wifi card to work on linux.

TO DJ P@CKMAN: That's absurd to say that just because Firefox has never crashed for you that it doesn't crash on someone else's system, and that if it does there must be something else causing it. Are you saying that Firefox has no bugs?

Last edited by cscott; 02-16-2005 at 03:07 AM.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 03:15 AM   #11
oneandoneis2
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cscott - no, I'd say it was a very fair thing to say. Linux is proverbial for it's crash-resistance. If you really have so many problems with browsers crashing, the problem is on your end. They just aren't that buggy.

When I installed Linux on my old PC, it used to crash regularly. I traced the fault. It was the hardware. I replaced it, and crashing ceased to happen. I advise you to do the same.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 03:24 AM   #12
pevelius
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Re: Re: Re: Linux is STILL not ready for the desktop

Quote:
Originally posted by cscott
I realize that Mozilla and other linux browsers usually follow coding standards better than IE. Yes, lack of drivers is definitely another reason. That was going to be #4. I think the above 3 reasons are even more critical because until we get Linux to a point that it appeals to the masses (I don't believe that 18 million number and even the site says it is a guess), it will never get the support and attention that it deserves and needs. Until that times comes, that's why I can only use a program like ndiswrapper to get my wifi card to work on linux.

TO DJ P@CKMAN: That's absurd to say that just because Firefox has never crashed for you that it doesn't crash on someone else's system, and that if it does there must be something else causing it. Are you saying that Firefox has no bugs?
lack of drivers is not the fault of linux. ndiswrapper is needed until idiot manufacturers open their stuff or make linux drivers. broadcom doesn´t (since they propably have reverse-engineered their design from someone else).
still, linux is better in this respect than windows. for example, you cannot use linux drivers in windows plus with XP service pack 2 wireless networking is hell, so linux with ndiswrapper has actually worked better on my friends computers.
i have very little problems with linux, and most of them are between keyb and chair. i suspect you have the same situation. linux can work, if you make it work. unlike windows.
 
Old 02-16-2005, 04:46 AM   #13
cs-cam
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Quote:
That's absurd to say that just because Firefox has never crashed for you that it doesn't crash on someone else's system, and that if it does there must be something else causing it. Are you saying that Firefox has no bugs?
No, not at all. I'm just saying that since it runs fantastically for me and a reasonably large number of people I know of and by looking at the Mozilla forums which I frequent, it clearly runs quite well on the most part so chances are there's some sort of issue or conflict on his machine that's causing it. This point is moot though and not worth arguing...
 
Old 02-16-2005, 05:06 AM   #14
__J
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my 2 cents...

1). there is no dependency hell unless you think some distro's package manager is going to solve all of your problems. When you know what you are doing, this isn't much of an issue ( though I remember back when I was new to gnu/linux how hard it seemed. Trust me, when you get some experience with it and find out what you were doing wrong and why it wouldn't work, you'll be installing things without even thinking about it).

2). not sure what you want here. mozilla/firefox is about the best in the linux world (my opinion only) but before you start blaming crashes on bugs, you have to find out how it was compiled first ( this is true with anything).

3). mplayer and xine play exactly the same formats ( if you installed both of them correctly - both using the same set of binary codecs per the documentation of both projects).

And lastly, you have to remember not many people are out there actively developing for a "linux desktop". This is "open source", it's about having the freedom to modify your system in any way to your liking. If you make it some "desktop" only system trying to mold it to be all things to all people, you end up with something nobody will be happy with.

as far as packages being backward compatible, not many get paid to develop their projects. Who's going to spend countless hours coding their packages to be backward compatible for no compensation when the current system works very well if the person packaging it all together knows what they are doing?
 
Old 02-16-2005, 05:21 AM   #15
reddazz
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I have to agree with __J on most points. Sometimes I think new users expect Linux to be like Windows which it is not. Also people don't appreciate the learning curve and understand how things work e.g. package management, apps etc.
 
  


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