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Old 05-31-2020, 05:46 PM   #31
rhimbo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
I wanna see glenda on the members profile on the left sidebar.

This from a guy stuck like slackware user for years. But not Slackware. Probably fewer members. I wonder what the browser string is for glenda/plan 9?

Cuz

https://www.zdnet.com/article/google...ngs-in-chrome/
Thanks for the link to the Chrome browser article. If Google does as advertised, I'd say it's an improvement both for privacy and for the disastrous browser environment problem.
But... I think I would have to dive into the details more before concluding that Google is doing something good for the public. They might make it more difficult for the arbitrary web site to know about you, but still build into their browser proprietary ways to sniff your system.
 
Old 06-01-2020, 06:27 AM   #32
YesItsMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
@YesItsMe, which word processor suite (document writer, presentation and spread sheet) do you use?
Honestly, the only part I actively use is the spreadsheets component (I never hold presentations and I rarely write mostly-text PDFs in anything else than a plain text format - LaTeX, groff, org-mode, you name it). After having evaluated WordPerfect Office 2020 last week and I found the venerable Quattro Pro to be lacking in terms of XLSX support, I still consider SoftMaker Office the best overall package at this time. It is amazingly fast and its import/export capabilities did not fail even once for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
I just think that in the long run standards will win.
It’s just that everyone tries to make the next standard for everyone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rokytnji View Post
Finally!
Because: https://webaim.org/blog/user-agent-string-history/

edit: By the way, the Mothra browser on 9front sends a Mozilla string with (compatible; hjdicks).

Last edited by YesItsMe; 06-01-2020 at 08:43 AM.
 
Old 06-01-2020, 01:42 PM   #33
rhimbo
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@YesItsMe, thanks much. I will try SoftMaker. LibreOffice seems to be quite good, but I won't know if there is something better unless I try it. ;-)

Another reason I like standards. Let's just take the "office suite" problem. You can try a bunch of them to find the UI/UX you like best and the feature set you like best. It sure would be nice if that is as far as one's investigation needed to go without worrying about whether such-and-such application could read such-and-such file format written by the other such-and-such application or product suite.

But I near what you say about standards. I recall the old joke from the '90s when all this infighting was going on even among the companies trying to standardize on a desktop environment for "Unix" -- Sun, HP, Silicon Graphics, IBM. I heard one executive from IBM say "that's the beauty about standards... there are so many of them...!"
;-)
 
Old 06-01-2020, 02:26 PM   #34
YesItsMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
I will try SoftMaker.
I hope youíll enjoy it. I hate to recommend stuff to people who are disappointed by said stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
LibreOffice seems to be quite good, but I won't know if there is something better unless I try it. ;-)
LibreOffice has an okay-ish overall functionality, but it lacks speed and reliability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
But I near what you say about standards. I recall the old joke from the '90s when all this infighting was going on even among the companies trying to standardize on a desktop environment for "Unix" -- Sun, HP, Silicon Graphics, IBM. I heard one executive from IBM say "that's the beauty about standards... there are so many of them...!"
;-)
Later summed up really well on xkcd:
https://xkcd.com/927/
 
Old 06-01-2020, 02:30 PM   #35
rhimbo
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I don't mind trying an office suite. I know what I'm looking for so I can figure out pretty quickly if I'm getting the feeling that I'm comfortable with it....

I like the overall OOo and LibreOffice UX in that it gives you fine-grained control. MS Word is a joke even after 40 years..... Of course, it's difficult to do both fine-grained control and more "user-friendly" implicit actions. Apple takes the latter approach, but experienced users can't do what they want to do.

But this dichotomy is a good example of my woes with Linux. It takes more time to figure out which distro feels right. One reason is that it's more than just the DE or WM. But I do have a short list of Linux distros to try now so I'll survive.
;-)
 
Old 06-02-2020, 01:43 PM   #36
YesItsMe
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Apple’s own office suite is horrible though. I tried it and it is acceptable - if you don’t want to share your files with Microsoft’s customers, that is. Same reason why I decided against WordPerfect this year.

Linux distros, on the other hand, are all the same thing under the hood. GNU and the kernel need more alternatives in my opinion.
 
Old 06-02-2020, 02:01 PM   #37
rhimbo
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Agreed. The larger mystery for me is how Apple makes decisions on products. Their office suite is so lacking in basic features and capabilities and level of control. Even if I never share my files with anyone else, it's completely unattractive to me. And with so many other better options, LibreOffice, OOo, MS Office available for Mac, why does Apple even bother making this?

And, one of my overarching principles is interoperability--both for convenience but also for risk management. If my system dies, I don't want to be extorted into buying another Apple machine just to read my disk or files. That's why I re-formatted my external hard drive as ExFAT and will use to back up my main drive using rsync.

So for me, the proprietary nature of any system is a negative. I don't want to save any file in an Apple proprietary format. And even if your system never dies, it's an inconvenience. Sure, you can "export" a file to MS Office formats, but each time you edit your Apple file you have to re-export it. And if you send someone an exported document in say .docx, and they modify it and send it back, now you have to create yet another Apple file if you want to edit it using Apple's applications. Well, I guess the Apple fan boys find this "neat."

Just think if they put all those developers onto projects to improve the OS or (shocking) documentation. The other day I posted a question on macrumors.com asking where I could find comprehensive documentation on all the variables supported by the nvram command. I was barraged with answers like "there is none!!" People asked, what are you trying to do? I replied that I was trying to learn the friggen command so I even had a notion of whether nvram was the right place to look.... I don't like asking a question each time I have a very specific problem. It's the old "teach a man to fish" versus "give him a fish."

And this is a major reason why I want to go back to Linux. I just need to find the right balance that works for me and choose the "best" distro for me. I'm working on that, and you all have given me lots of good guidance.
;-)
 
Old 06-02-2020, 10:22 PM   #38
Mill J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YesItsMe View Post
Linux distros, on the other hand, are all the same thing under the hood. GNU and the kernel need more alternatives in my opinion.
What!? Most people are whining that there are too many configurations

I agree with you to a certain extent. Gnu has alternatives but I don't know of any that are as extensive. Interestingly the Gnu project was never really satisfied with Linux. Have you checked out their own distro already? GuixSD clearly is a different distro, to me it hardly feels like Linux, and while it currently defaults to Linux-Libre, they have been working on getting the Hurd up to specs to eventually replace it. From my experience the Hurd is still pretty lame but it does boot and provide limited funtionality. Interesting concept non the less. Hope to see more of it.
 
Old 06-02-2020, 11:15 PM   #39
rhimbo
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@Mill J, I thought the GNU project implemented the system utilities that sit atop the kernel. Is that true? Last time I read anything on this (years ago) I encountered an article that Richard Stallman wrote saying that the Linux kernel was further along so GNU joined forces and provided all the library implementations (libc.so, etc), bash shell, etc.

Is the hurd microkernel architecture fundamentally different than the Linux kernel architecture? I guess the hurd is just having trouble getting developers to work on it? Actually, I don't expect you to answer that. I already pulled up the documentation. :-)
http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/hur..._gnu_hurd.html

Sigh. You mentioned GuixSD and Linux-Libre. Now I have more reading to do....

Last edited by rhimbo; 06-02-2020 at 11:18 PM.
 
Old 06-03-2020, 02:51 AM   #40
YesItsMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
And with so many other better options, LibreOffice, OOo, MS Office available for Mac, why does Apple even bother making this?
Just like everything in the Apple world: Convenience. (You said it!) Apple-only companies which are not making the largest share of their money with doing IT are perfectly happy with a basic office suite that does not need more than an almost-WYSIWYG letter processor, a rudimentary spreadsheet and something that allows them to hold meetings in front of the stakeholders. Apple has them covered on smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops with no additional cost. Enjoy your LibreOffice on an iPhone...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
each time you edit your Apple file you have to re-export it.
Actually, no. It is trying to annoy you into using its own file formats, but you don't have to bother. There is a "Delete" button shown automatically when you decide to keep your MS format instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
And this is a major reason why I want to go back to Linux.
A major reason why I replaced my Gentoo notebook with a MacBook last year is that Linux lacks macOS's convenience and reliability. The old OpenBSD slogan hits this one as well: It just works. And not all of my computers were bought as a playground for trying to break and fix stuff.
(There's SoftMaker Office for both Linux and macOS now, though.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mill J View Post
Interestingly the Gnu project was never really satisfied with Linux.
They should try to invest more time and people into the Hurd. It is a relatively good architecture in my opinion.
... Oh, I should have read the other parts of your post too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mill J View Post
to me it hardly feels like Linux, and while it currently defaults to Linux-Libre, they have been working on getting the Hurd up to specs to eventually replace it. From my experience the Hurd is still pretty lame but it does boot and provide limited funtionality.
The Hurd seems to be somewhere between Minix and Plan 9 (here we are again...), based on a reduced kernel with everything else being handled by external services ("daemons" on the Hurd, file systems on Plan 9). GuixSD and other "Libre" kernels have one massive problem though: Common WiFi chipsets like ath10k lack a "free" firmware. I mean, sure, if your ethics are more relevant to you than actually being able to use your devices: Enjoy!

I refuse to buy my hardware according to which software runs on it. If a certain software does not work on my hardware, I'll replace the software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo View Post
You mentioned GuixSD and Linux-Libre. Now I have more reading to do....
Have you decided on a shell already?

Last edited by YesItsMe; 06-03-2020 at 02:52 AM.
 
Old 06-03-2020, 06:58 AM   #41
Mill J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YesItsMe View Post
GuixSD and other "Libre" kernels have one massive problem though: Common WiFi chipsets like ath10k lack a "free" firmware. I mean, sure, if your ethics are more relevant to you than actually being able to use your devices: Enjoy!

I refuse to buy my hardware according to which software runs on it. If a certain software does not work on my hardware, I'll replace the software.
Correct. But the work they are doing is still going to help projects like Debian/Hurd, etc that don't have the extreme "free software" requirements. Also it seems the package manager is able to build from source code along-side of binary apps.
 
Old 06-03-2020, 08:29 AM   #42
YesItsMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mill J View Post
But the work they are doing is still going to help projects like Debian/Hurd, etc that don't have the extreme "free software" requirements.
Debian is known for its "free software" requirements, I was told...
 
Old 06-03-2020, 01:31 PM   #43
rhimbo
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I will clarify what I probably did not say clearly before. I do agree that the macOS software environment is much more convenient. Areas that I find particularly attractive in this regard (this is what is important for me :-) ) are:
- Wi-Fi connects and stays connected...!
- Multi-lingual support in a very easy UI/UX
- GUIs for "sysadmin" type stuff
- Aesthetically pleasing UI (I find it easy on the eyes and stress level)

But other than that, for me, I see little advantage to Apple in regards to bang for the buck. Despite the attractive, easy-to-use UI/UX, I think the hardware quality has diminished significantly in recent years. So I am on the hunt for a good balance between openness, interoperability, absence of proprietary hardware and software, good UI/UX and robustness.

In regards to the hardware, I think that there are so many better options... yes, better than Apple. I can buy any number of laptops with a great touch screen, high resolution, best graphics card, 32 GB RAM, any combination of HDD and solid state drives, standard hardware connects and interfaces, etc. I could get a Lenovo laptop with the latest Intel processor, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, touch screen etc. for $500.

I just need to figure out if I can get LibreOffice or other office suites, suggested by folks here, that recognize the touch screen the way MS Office does. It is a great teaching tool, to be able to "write" annotations on the screen for the class like the old overhead projectors and clear plastic sheets and marker pens.

I don't need an iMac and an iPad and an iPhone. Apple still has no touch screen MacBook 'cause they want you to buy 3 devices. But as long as all the little fan boys and girls remain willing members of the cult, and donate their hard-earned money into the collection plate of the high priests, I guess it's a cash cow for Apple.

I don't like Android particularly, but at least I have my choice of hardware. And I am happy with a $250 smart phone; I don't need an $1100 Samsung. I don't watch movies on my phone, don't browse the web, don't play music, don't do social media, don't edit documents, don't read PDFs, etc. And I only check email to see if there is something important if I'm away from home. If so, I go to the computer.

I am a pretty serious amateur photographer. I take photos with a real camera. Yes, the iPhone camera and photo software is very good, but nothing beats a real camera. So for me it's not important.

And that is my mission... to find that environment on Linux (or something else) that is not Apple or Microsoft but that has a reasonable balance between interoperability, openness, robustness, resiliency and a pleasant UI/UX experience overall. If I can work comfortably for less than 1/2 the cost, why not? And I have greater "risk management." If I am operating in a platform-independent manner, I am more resilient.

I solved one major problem. I now have an external 3TB Western Digital Passport HDD with 3, 1TB ExFAT partitions. I'm just finishing my careful reading of the rsync man page to know exactly what command line options I need to do incremental back ups. So, worse comes to worse I could at least have access to all my important files and use my old Windows 7 laptop in a pinch. So, if this iMac dies, I don't have to go buy another one--or a MacBook--just to read my TimeMachine backups (or a backup made with rsync but on an Apple proprietary file system).

And, I might have two such systems, the second being the "play and learn" system which would not have to be as "polished" to be my primary work and daily use system. In that case, a Linux distro (or Plan9...!) would do fine for learning.

I'm not writing software these days so my "play and learn" is just to keep up with technical developments. For example, I might want to play with clojure, but I can do that in any shell. I might want to write some code just to play around and keep up with functional programming. But I don't see myself doing heavily involved coding or writing GUI applications anytime soon.

So for me the path of my quest is pretty focused. But I'll keep this iMac until it dies. I don't dislike it. I am just planning to be off Apple for the future.

@YesItsMe, to answer your question, I planned on just using bash shell until I have time to look at the others. ;-)

Lots to learn still...!

Last edited by rhimbo; 06-03-2020 at 04:53 PM.
 
Old 06-03-2020, 07:31 PM   #44
Mill J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YesItsMe View Post
Debian is known for its "free software" requirements, I was told...
To a certain extent. However they are not certified by the FSF, or at least not from what I've seen. But my point was there's a lot of distros that include non-free stuff, that are based on Debian so directly, indirectly...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhimbo
I thought the GNU project implemented the system utilities that sit atop the kernel. Is that true? Last time I read anything on this (years ago) I encountered an article that Richard Stallman wrote saying that the Linux kernel was further along so GNU joined forces and provided all the library implementations (libc.so, etc), bash shell, etc.
Correct. But as mentioned before, the linux kernel was always seen as temporary, although it appears temporary is permanent unless proved otherwise
 
Old 06-03-2020, 11:10 PM   #45
rhimbo
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Originally Posted by Mill J View Post
Correct. But as mentioned before, the linux kernel was always seen as temporary, although it appears temporary is permanent unless proved otherwise
Ah, OK. Got it...! Well, I am certainly curious to see hurd. It might be something great in time. My impression (please don't flame me anyone) is the the GNU folks have been pretty mature, experienced and level-headed. When I kept up more years ago, I always found their documentation to be good, and in particular, RMS's writings, musings, etc. seemed reasonable. If that's any reflection of the cooperation and quality, I think hurd will be exciting.
 
  


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