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Making Linux a player

People that like Linux say it's a better OS.  I disagree on what the standard should be.  I don't care about performance or quality (well, only a little).  XP may occasionally crash or need reinstalling, but I can still browse the net, check my e-mail, and write documents.  Pretty much anything I can do with Linux I can do somehow on Windows.  IN ADDITION to all that, I can also play lots of games.  So I go with Windows.  If you work with Linux, quit worrying about being "better" and work on figuring out how to get companies to put "works on Linux" on the Minimum Specifications.  This probably means making it cheap to do dual development.  Gaming draws a lot of Bucks.  And don't reply to this thread saying that you can install a Windows emulator on top of Linux.  What the hell is the point of that?  I will stick with one OS that does everything (even is it doesn't do it all well).  I also think MS knows that this is what is important; they just don't say it, because they don't want the Linux crowd to get a clue.

Steamrolla
Monday, August 02, 2004

>XP may occasionally crash or need reinstalling

Talk about expectations from Microsoft software :-)

>but I can still browse the net, check my e-mail, and write documents. 

Hallelujah!

>Pretty much anything I can do with Linux I can do somehow on Windows. 

Usually it is the other way around but then the kool-aid seems to working its magic.


>IN ADDITION to all that, I can also play lots of games.  So I go with Windows. 

Better to go with the PS2 or XBox for that....even Microsoft seems to think that!

>This probably means making it cheap to do dual development.  Gaming draws a lot of Bucks. 

You seem to be fixated on Gaming...strange because whatever it is XP is not known as a Gaming platform and neither is Linux.

>I will stick with one OS that does everything (even is it doesn't do it all well). 

Sure....like I said once you reduce your expectations you can stick with anything.

>I also think MS knows that this is what is important; they just don't say it, because they don't want the Linux crowd to get a clue.

Hmmm....maybe
http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/facts/default.asp might chance your mind including the hilarious "Windows users have fewer vulnerabilities" part. Welcome to the cult.

Code Monkey
Monday, August 02, 2004

Must be nice to live in a world where Microsoft is the only operating system.  Here we run Mainframe, AS/400, Solaris, Linux, NT and XP. So of course I run a Mac at home.

Which OS is better is always a situational question.  Consider this question 8 years ago.  Which sneaker is better?  "Nike! Everybody wears them, Jordan wears them, all the athletes wear them, all the cool kids wear them" comes the answer. 

Okay, but what if you're a construction worker who's standing on their feet all day on hard surfaces?  Or what if you're a marathoner?  Or what if you work in an office with a dress code?  Everything is situational, I think people are starting to realize it.

Lou
Monday, August 02, 2004

I prefer PC games to things like Xbox, because game systems are designed for TV's, which have lower resolution, so their user interfaces aren't as good (IMO).  I seem "fixated on Gaming" because that is the point of my thread.  (And what the hell is your point, Code Monkey? I can't figure it out.)  If you think that the computer isn't a gaming platform, go down to Best Buy and compare the number of games to the number of other apps.  I didn't buy a 2.8 GHz computer because I needed it to browse the web.  Companies may use the power for other stuff, but recreational users are a big market (That Linux "should" be able to sell to).

Steamrolla
Monday, August 02, 2004

To both Lou and CM;

Since I'm taking about playing games, I'm taking about home use...

If no company used Linux, but 30% of home users did, can anyone figure out how big the Linux market share would be?  I'm not working it out, but it would be WAY bigger than the 6% posted in a previous thread.

Steamrolla
Monday, August 02, 2004

>I seem "fixated on Gaming" because that is the point of my thread

So the point of your thread is that Linux is bad because it is not a gaming machine while Windows XP supposedly is?

I guess I have nothing  to argue with a person who thinks that the UI of games on XP is superior to that on PS2/XBox.  BTW for a person fixated on gaming you seem to be strangely ignorant that it is not the "resolution" of  a game that matters or even the quantity of games available.

My point was you have no point to make.

Code Monkey
Monday, August 02, 2004

Also Code Monkey, your link proves my point.  MS is willing to keep up their side of the argument, because as long as Linix thinks that improving what they already do is the issue, they cannot win.  You link focuses attention on that, not on what many home users really care about.

Steamrolla
Monday, August 02, 2004

Find CM, tell me what I can do with Linux, that I cannot do with XP.

Steamrolla
Monday, August 02, 2004

"If you work with Linux, quit worrying about being "better" and work on figuring out how to get companies to put "works on Linux" on the Minimum Specifications."

Wow, put this guy in management.  I mean, no one else has ever had the idea before that having more programs available on Linux would improve its market position.

Excuse the sarcasm, but this is a painfully obvious idea.  Now, if you were able to tell us HOW this might be done that would be worth something.  But in that case you would be running a start up right now, planning your exit strategy, and far too busy to post on this board.

Unless your gambit is to trick someone here into thinking up the idea for you.  Ah, diabolically clever indeed my good fellow!  Sorry to have misunderestimated you.

Jim Rankin
Monday, August 02, 2004

Code Monkey :

What "code monkeys" like you will never understand is that all Microsoft software out there is better and more standardised than the hacked and bolted on stuff available for Linux.  My computer is a tool and I want to use it as such. Not peer into source code everytime I need to do something useful.

The whole Linux thing is like communism...sounds good in theory but never works in practice.  People like you are just jealous that a company like Microsoft can make good software and good money making it.

Me I sleep easy because I know whatever piece of hardware is out there I never have to worry if there is a driver available for XP and if I have some problem I know that there will be if not Microsoft not someone else who has software for it at a reasonable prize so give the Microsoft bashing a rest

*Not* a code Monkey
Monday, August 02, 2004

"The whole Linux thing is like communism...sounds good in theory but never works in practice."

Which is why a good portion of all the sites on the web run Linux.  A majority run on open-source Apache.

Jim Rankin
Monday, August 02, 2004

Linux isn't a good game machine because it's developer-driven. Most developers are just too smart to be interested in gaming - they have as much fun programming as your average Joe Dumbass gaming.

Egor
Monday, August 02, 2004

"Find CM, tell me what I can do with Linux, that I cannot do with XP."

You can server web pages with XP, but Linux is better for that.
You can remote administer XP, but Linux is far better at that.

Most open source software runs better on Linux than XP -- that includes Apache, MySQL, PostgreSQL, PHP -- which I use for my job.  I also use all this software on XP for development but I would never use it for production on XP.

I play some games on my computer but it's actually pretty rare.  In fact, most people (Adults) do not play any more than Solitare on their computers.  The main use of PC's is the Internet (email, IM, webbrowsing) and word processing.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, August 02, 2004

It was all about standardization 20-some years ago. There were several players, all with their own style of OS, all with their own utilities, all workable only on their own hardware. There was no cross-platform compatibility. Graphics had a zillion "standards", none of which played nice with one another. Binary file formats were all proprietary and not transferrable.

Back in the day, we asked, we pleaded, we begged for some compatibility. Then IBM opened Pandora's box by building the PC from off the shelf parts and Microsoft usurped DOS and sold it to the clone makers who built "IBM Compatibles" and we were off to the races. By 1984 the PC and VGA were the standards that everyone demanded.

IBM tried to take the market back with the ill-fated PS/2 and Digital made several lame attempts to nudge the market in it's own direction. The IT world would have none of it. We wanted COMPATIBLES. 

The whole world of IT is orders of magnitude more productive today than it was in 1984. MS is largely responsible for that no matter what you think of the relative quality of their products or their methods of crushing the competition. That is what we demanded.

And Unix? It's always been there. I had been using Unix even before 1984 and still use it now. Unix/Linux has adapted by moving towards compatibility with Windows in terms of look and feel and in terms of file format portability. It's good stuff but it only makes inroads where it can provide COMPATIBILITY with the rest of the IT world, which means MS. My own browser of choice is Mozilla, but it is not substantially different than I.E. when you come right down to user level.

old_timer
Monday, August 02, 2004

And to return to the original poster:

"People that like Linux say it's a better OS.  I disagree on what the standard should be."

Sure, Linux is an excellent SERVER OS and Windows is a mediocre SERVER OS.  I'd say that Linux is a pretty good corporate desktop OS and Windows is a pretty good corporate desktop OS.  Windows is a better home OS (although viruses, spyware, etc are reducing that fast -- most people are getting very frustrated with their machines).  Linux is an adequate home OS but if users don't want to install any software.  Linux is a terrible gaming OS because of the lack of titles.  Windows XP (or 98, etc) is a good gaming OS because all games are written for it.

What's your point again?

Almost Anonymous
Monday, August 02, 2004

OP:

Linux is not meant for you so please do not use it.  Linux is meant for people who want a tool that they can optimize to accomplish their individual computing goals.  It is not for people that want to do the minimum. 

Linux is for programmers who want to customize their computing environment.  It is not for the majority of the barely literate masses who need a "Start" button clue them in to what to do.

This is not an indictment of Windows products.  They obviously fill a need.  Linux is hard to use for most people and that is the point...

Master of the Obvious
Monday, August 02, 2004

Master of the Obvious - how do you merge your forks? I'm still in search of a good answer to this.

Philo

Philo
Monday, August 02, 2004

> Linux is for programmers who want to customize their computing environment. 

No. Linux is for dopes who could never master Windows development.


Monday, August 02, 2004

You don't have to edit open source code (ie fork) to customize your computing environment with Linux.

However, the simple way to manage your own fork is to use CVS.  Get your code right from the source, create a branch, and occasionally do a merge to get newer changes.  Basically, you just set yourself up as another developer would.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, August 02, 2004

"No. Linux is for dopes who could never master Windows development."

No, Linux is for geniuses who don't bother to master Windows development!  Yuck.  ;)

Almost Anonymous
Monday, August 02, 2004

I have to say, for ease of setting up an environment to begin with, I started my internal webserver/fileserver/database server running Windows 2000 Advanced Server.  After dealing with trying to develop on it for about 4 months now, I'm very VERY ready to try and get Linux up and running on it.  Linux development is SOOOOO much easier, so much smoother, so much more uniform and more predictable.  System calls make SENSE on Linux.

muppet
Monday, August 02, 2004

Philo:

I am not sure what you mean by merging your forks, so I won't try to answer that question.  However, I don't think there is any controversy over the fact that Linux is more customizable than Windows, or that Windows is easier to use than Linux.  Do either of these features make one product better than the other?  It really depends what you are trying to do.  Is a hammer better than a screwdriver? 

I think this goes to the point of Paul Graham's essay on hackers which is being debated in other threads.  The hacker culture values freedom and independence which is what you get with open source.  You get the ability to go in and learn what the code is doing, and if you want to add or change functionality you can go ahead and tinker with the code.  Do the vast majority of users want or need this option?  The answer is no.  They are busy using the tool to do something else. 

Don't put me in the camp the camp that claims Microsoft is evil.  Their products serve a purpose.  It is not the same purpose that Linux currently serves.  Someday Linux may reach a point where it is for everyone, but that day has not yet arrived.

Master of the Obvious
Monday, August 02, 2004

"I am not sure what you mean by merging your forks, so I won't try to answer that question."

Exactly my point.

The concept of "if you need to fix Linux, you can" is thrown around *very* casually. What isn't generally addressed is the idea that doing so forks your source code from the linux tree, which means that if you're wedded to your changes you are now in the software development business - when a new vulnerability patch is released, instead of simply applying the patch in process, you have to do a full regression analysis on every piece of software that uses the changes you've made.

This is actually a fairly significant investment.

And if a patch breaks your change, that's a whole 'nuther kettle of fish.

I'm not belittling the open source concept; just making sure it's full disclosure. :-)

Philo [Microsoft]

Philo
Monday, August 02, 2004

"The concept of "if you need to fix Linux, you can" is thrown around *very* casually."

Actually, fixing open source software is pretty common.  I've done it, I know other people who have done it.  You don't much care that your changes won't be integrated into the next version -- it's generally assume that it'll be fixed in the next version.  It just gives you immediate results.

Also, there isn't quite the culture of upgrades in the Linux world as elsewhere.  So if a particular product version works, you don't typically change it.  So if you'd made some fixes you're probably going to continue to use that version for some time.

Almost Anonymous
Monday, August 02, 2004

"Also, there isn't quite the culture of upgrades in the Linux world as elsewhere"

I'm talking about when Linux is peddled elsewhere. However, point taken.

Philo [Microsoft]

Philo
Monday, August 02, 2004

> What isn't generally addressed is the idea that doing so forks your source code from the linux tree

You make and submit a patch. Either it is accepted or not, if not then that will be a pretty good clue that your fix is not needed/any use/desirable/...  If you want to continue with your change regardless then that's entirely up to you. Choice is wonderful, is it not?


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

"Linux is not meant for you so please do not use it.  Linux is meant for people who want a tool that they can optimize to accomplish their individual computing goals.  It is not for people that want to do the minimum."

Gee, that would be like... 6% of users, right?  Oh wait; that is what the Linux market share is, funny huh?  That means your argument is directly opposed to those that say users will figure out that Linux is better and it will take over the world.

What Linux needs is a $500 kit to sell to Windows developers that they can easily run on their application source code and create a Linux App.  Then Linux would not only be a better OS but would have everything MS has and consumers would solve the argument in the only way that matters.

Steamrolla
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

By Jove I think you have managed to wrap your mind around my argument.  I don’t presume to know what percent of users want a customizable computing environment to work with.  Six percent may even be a little high.  However, you can’t get that with Windows because it is not open source. 

What you fail to understand is that I don’t say Linux is better in every respect, at present, precisely because it is more difficult to use.  I happen to agree with Philo that if you highly customize your operating system you won’t be able to do some things well.  Isn’t that obvious?  If you modify a car run the quarter mile in 4 seconds, it is not going to be a good off road vehicle is it?

What I find particularly disappointing in the Open Source debate is that there is any debate at all.  The notion that ideas should be free is one the helped found the US.  However, there has been such a massive rollback in civil liberties and promotion of “group think” that nominally intelligent people blindly support the corporate line that innovation by individuals is bad.  People even go so far as to intimate that open source software will hurt their employment opportunities.  I am not advocating pirating software.  Developers should be compensated fairly for their ideas.  My point is if you develop a useful application you should charge for the license, but you should also make the source available so that the purchaser can modify your general solution to his specific situation if he so desires

Master of the Obvious
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Hi Master,

I investigated doing exactly this some months ago. However as far as I could tell I could not release my code under any "open source" banner that did not give the end-user the right to distribute it further.

What I was looking for was a license that

a) preserved my "copy right" (in the sense that I control who can distribute what - how many copies the user can run etc)

b) allowed the user to get the source code for their own internal use.  ie they could recompile if desired - do long term maintainence if I run under the mythical bus - etc

However the general concensus seems to be that unless the software is "free" it cannot use the term "open source".
ie within the definition of the term "open source" is the explicit ability for the customer to distribute.

I would be genuinely interested in any license that allows the customer to get the source without getting a whole bunch of ancillary rights as well...

Of course I can make my own license - but I can't use the term "open source" - so [ from a commercial point of view ] what's the point. [ the primary advantage I see of shipping source frankly is a marketing one. The source isn't actually ever gonna be compiled by my clients - they're not tech savvy enough for that - but it might give them a nice warm feeling, and is an extra tick when competing against "closed source" companies. ]

Bruce Johnson
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Steamrolla, your a genius!

Maybe what they could do, is like, write a "processor" in software...y know? Like, a "virtual processor" or something.  Then, they can come up with a good programming language for this "virtual processor".  See, then, you'd just need these "virtual processors" for each platform you want to run your code on.  This is great! we could make millions!

vince
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Actually Vince, what I said was the exact opposite for what you just said.  You shouldn't have to come up with a new programming language.  You should being compiling the existing source code with no changes.  Instead of making "virtual processors," Implement the libraries so existing Window App source code ports.

Why is it that people get so defensive about a product when I wasn't attacking it in the first place?  I said it was better, but that's not what most users care about.  You can never change users to fit a product; you can only change the product.  What MOST users care about is the ONLY argument I was making.  Why agree with me on that, then try to argue anything else?

So decide, should Linux be a great OS for a small market, or a competitor with MS?  If Linux users like Linux the way it is, why the hell do they bother arguing with Windows users?  I think watching golf on TV is dumb, but I NEVER go tell avid golf watchers that they are wasting their time, because THAT would be a waste of time.  Do Linux users think your average MS Junkie is going to read their argument and go "Wow, I'm going to switch today!"?  If you think trashing people for what they write or telling them that they’re dumb is going to get you any converts, you either got your debate skills from a terrorist organization or from watching the US presidential campaigns.

Steamrolla
Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Have you heard of the CLR or JVM?  Obviously not.  I was being 100% sarcastic.

vince
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Maybe this $500 kit can also come with faery dust that you can sprinkle on your developers so they don't have to sleep and can work all around the clock.  Or better yet, little leprechauns that will do all the work for you, who needs developers with leprechauns around!

My point is that there is no such thing, its impossible to make or it would have already been done.  There's no such thing as a code condem, which is what you seek.

d
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Ah, I see, everything that currently doesn't exist is due to the fact that it is impossible.  Right.  I take that to mean that YOU would have done it, but you’re an incompetent fool.  There, I can do the sarcastic insult thing too.  Wow, that really helps to do a lot for intellectual conversation.

Steamrolla
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

OP

You argument for Windows over Linux comes down to the fact that you can’t play a lot of games on Linux.  That may be the best reason for using Linux.  Quit playing games and do something productive.  You can start by educating yourself by reading some worthwhile books. 

Microsoft is reviled by the technologically elite (read people who are not Suckers) and Silicon Valley because they seek to dumb everyone down to the lowest common denominator.  Games for everyone is their slogan.  Critical thinking not required.  Linux on the other hand requires people to actually think.

Why would Microsoft want to dumb down everyone to the lowest common denominator I hear you asking?  Because, that is the way to maximize profits.  Maybe one day the open source movement will unlock the billions and billions of dollars that Microsoft and others of its ilk have locked up; however, it will take a lot of people to wake up and realize that they have been suckered by a lot of games.

PT
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The whole point of Windows ruling the roost because there wasn't enough software for any competitor, and there not being enough software available for the competitor because developers don't want to develop for a platform with few users was dealt with by the trail Judge in his excellent findings of fact on the DOJ v MS case. The term he used was "application barrier to entry".

As to why developers don't port their software to Linux or the Mac, Joel dealt with that in a article a couple of years ago. You would have to pretty well sell to everybody in that market.

And fast video games and X Window systems somehow don't seem great for single player mode.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Gee Mr. Jones do you think that “barrier to entry” materialized out of thin air?  I’ll bet you believe that there are only a handful of oil companies in the entire world because there are barriers to entry. On the face of it this seems a perfectly acceptable argument.  However, if you’ll consult history you will find that Rockefeller, who was the richest man of his time, strong armed out or bought out all of his competition.  If you do not see the parallels you are deluding yourself and have bought into the propaganda of big business. 

PT
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Rockefeller more or less arranged a cartel, and you were only strong-armed if you didn't join :)

This was in the 1870's. He argued it was in the public interest. When people had realized that oil could be used for lighting at the end of  the 1850's the price swung wildly, going up to $10 (the equivalent of $100 now) in Jan 1860, and then plummeting to ten cents a barrel in Dec 1860.

The result was wild instability. Rockefeller believed that this instability, and the boom bust that went with it, was bad for business and bad for the consumer. Strangely enough another millionaire was to claim the same 130 years later.

The actual anti-trust legislation came in much later,  at the turn of the century. Theodore Roosevelt, I think.

By the way, the findings of fact in the trial found against MS.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

We appear to be in violent agreement.  I withdraw my earlier riposte.

PT
Wednesday, August 04, 2004

PT:

Thanks, but I already read 1200 WPM and go through 3 or 4 books a week, so you argument is about as valid as Pres. Bush and Iraq's WMD.

Since you are such an advocate of reading and critical thinking, trying using those skills on this post.  However, since I don't see that happening I'll try leading you along by the hand.  My argument cannot be summed up the way you want.  My argument is that users will never "wake up and realize that they have been suckered," so as long a Linux fans are waiting of that, MS will continue to dominate the market.  MS gives people what they want, therefore people buy from MS.  You cannot TELL people to want something different, you can only decide if you want to cater to them, or not sell anything.  Quit trying to give the world population more credit than they are due; Jesus figured it out 2000 years ago when he called people sheep.

The average computer programmer has an IQ in the 95%ile, the average human is at 50%, so the fact that MS makes a ton of money by building for "dumb" people (relative to you) should be self explanatory, so quit coming up with conspiracy theories.

Steamrolla
Thursday, August 05, 2004

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