Linux optimize

What SHOULD Linux be?

What is Linux? Where should Linux go from here? Should it emulate Windows? Should it emulate OS X? Or should Linux emulate Linux? Find out what Jack Wallen thinks about the subject.

Recently I was involved in a conversation on a Linux mailing list regarding the current state of the operating system. Outside of all the glad-handing and back-patting (well-deserved, I must say), one of the issues that was brought up was emulation. Not like WINE (and I know, Wine Is Not an Emulator), but in the sense of whether or not Linux should emulate Windows or Mac. Because it is so simple to configure the Linux desktop to look and behave like either Windows or OS X, there are many that espouse doing so.

I had to step in and ask the question that I had hoped was on everyone's mind.

Why?

When one decides to emulate either Windows or OS X that assumes that either choice is doing it right and that there is really no other right way to do things. That could not be farther from the truth. If you think about it long enough you will find a litany of features and functions that are dead on in both Windows and OS X. This also holds true for Linux. So why would one feel the need to make the Linux desktop look or feel like Windows or OS X when Linux has plenty of equally strong candidates for the desktop itself?

Let me suggest this to Linux developers across the globe:

Focus on Linux, not a Windows or OS X clone.

I can certainly understand, in some instances, why the Linux community would want to borrow an idea from either Windows or OS X. Some of their ideas are quite good. Just like both Windows and OS X would borrow from Linux.

This week Ubuntu 10.4 will be released. I have been using it since the first alpha came out and I have to say it is one of the most impressive releases to date. Along with this I have been using GNOME Shell (which will eventually become GNOME 3). I am equally quite smitten with this desktop. During the early period of GNOME Shell experimentation I began to miss my E17 desktop. There are features that I have grown quite accustomed to (mouse menus being the biggest). But eventually I started enjoying the uniqueness of GNOME Shell and realized it was just as much Linux as E17 was. Very soon after that I no longer missed mouse menus and task bars and notification areas. I had come to realize that GNOME Shell was doing things a little differently than everyone else and what they were doing is just as right as the Windows desktop, the OS X desktop, KDE, E17, and any other desktop around.

The GNOME development team focused on the things the Linux desktop does best and expanded on them. They didn't try to be Windows, they didn't try to be OS X, they didn't try to be KDE. In fact, they didn't try to be GNOME. They decided to take the desktop on a different route all together. And guess what? It worked.

What Linux does best is bend without breaking. It's so flexible it can be whatever you want it to be. That is the key strength of Linux. But what Linux shouldn't do is bend in the direction of another operating system with the hopes of fooling others into thinking Linux is something it's not. I have seen the attempts at making Linux look and act like XP or OS X or Windows 7. Why bother with that? Just because it can do it, doesn't mean it should. Who said one desktop is better than the other? What matters is which desktop is right for the user.

So developers shouldn't bother trying to make Linux into something its not. Linux is Linux and that, my friends, is good enough.  

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

116 comments
conanturner
conanturner

Linux should be whatever it wants to be. Linux have been so so nice to people. $$$

public_domain
public_domain

SILLY QUESTION. LINUX IS. what whould windozer try to be? useful? reliable? safe? efficient? now that is the question. to be, or not to be, like LINUX.

Alex
Alex

Not to belabor the obvious but Linus is more than one thing. Therefore a simple designator should usually be added and the main goal stated. The purpose of the Bazaar is to provide more than just wheat and cows, maybe some pheasant and buckwheat. ****** In addition, the notion presented here trends toward tight, less open, control over core functions by groups like Red Hat. And it is well intended but, except for some educational markets, it interferes with the Bazaar, with development and adaptation. It therefore is greatly counter productive, naive, and frankly a bit stupid since the core of development comes from that cloud of corporate vested enterprises that would love to participate if the cost isn't too high. Case in point, ATI all but folded shop in many areas of the Linux environment because of people trying to lock out display changes. To remind, here are just some of the major LINUX variations. ========================== Linux RT (real time, no GUI or event cycle) Linux KDE (KDE + prog + apps) Linux Gnome (gnome + prog + apps) Linux Home (simplify and extend for home office) Linux Server (simplify server core functs) Linux Myth (video and codec app. core) Linux Student (training machine with programming core) Linux Touchscreen Linux Mobile Linux Industrial Controller Linux Supercomputer (multicore, multithread, FEA, Visual Fortran, error correction, etc.) Linux Geek Trek (okay, just kidding, but still...)

VentiManOhio
VentiManOhio

Avg end users like what they are use to. LINUX is OS 1st,Desktop is what ever destro wants to push it off as. MS/OSx aim to sell and make a profit off the end user. Just look at the moaning about the change of the ms office 2007. So why do Gui teams try/tried to emulate the other two big dogs.To sell the Linux idea to the end user. Just look at the winblows 7 ads trying to say the end user had a say in what its gone be do n look like. So till one of the Linux big dogs Novell,Redhat Oracle Ubuntu n Mandriva. Start REALLY market.The clone debate will always be asked.

johann
johann

I have been reading the posts and found the posts by "mikedeboll" and "Neon Samurai" interesting. Like mike, I have been trying to get used to linux over the years (Red Hat, Ubuntu, Suse, Slackware, and at least one more that I do not remember. I am still not a regular user of Linux for the same reasons as mikedeboll, ease of use and configuration. It is difficult for me to get nearly anything to work correctly. The learning curve for this OS is extremely steep and by comparison, Windows is almost intuitive. I love the reported stability of Linux, but until it becomes more user friendly it will remain something I am just trying to get to be usable for me.

relder251
relder251

Linux is built on the thoughts of open innovation. It's the only OS that could almost be considered a framework, in that the underpinnings are the same, but anything on top is up to the mind and imagination of the user. In my honest opinion, Linux doesn't need to "be" like any other OS, and the thought reduces it's appeal. It should be the testbed for innovation, imagination, and should be a model for what other OS's should be, not be shaped into being a copy of existing, and in my opinion, limited, OS's we can go buy at the local computer shop.

pbounds
pbounds

Since I've been with Ubuntu since near to day one, after coming from the Red Hat, SUSE, and BSD tribe, I DO believe Ubuntu is on the right track, and I do think they 'Get it right'. I had migrated over to Ubuntu from Debian, because Debian just couldn't get their patch management right, and it seemed every they put out an update, they broke something else. Now along comes Canonical and with their fervor to absolutely test stuff before distribution, that is why I think they are 'Getting It Right'. Until another Linux distro comes along that can do a better job than the Ubuntu tribe, I'm sticking with these guys. AND ... Ubuntu is working perfectly in my VMware cloud as well.

Hazydave
Hazydave

By "Linux", of course, the author clearly means the whole OS: kernel, GNU stuff, desktops, etc..... same kind of thing one means when saying "Windows" or "MacOS". Of course, by that very definition, Linux is not one OS, but many, based on the random OS toolkit generator that is the FOSS community. What Linux has been, is a copy. A clone. A blatent rip-off..... it, and the GNU project, set out with exactly that in mind ... copy UNIX. And a funny thing happened along the way... it did that, then more. It got much better as an OS than pretty much every other version of UNIX. At least for most needs. More recently, it has copied, to some extent, better features in Windows, and in WINE, something of Windows itself. Moving foward, I want more of the same. And less. Less actual copying of the bad ideas in lesser OSs. More inspired good ideas. How about some more influence from the better ideas in BeOS, or the Hurd, Plan 9, or hell, even AmigaOS. And some totally new ones. I mean, really, why not give Apple and Microsoft something other than each other to copy from? I think we are starting to get there. But this should be embraced. Isn't 20 years of looking backwards enough?

Mike Chern
Mike Chern

I personally like the uniqueness of Linux with its various desktops. I was weaned on Unix and Xenix many years ago, and see it as evolutionary as well as revolutionary. However, I earn my wage in the business computing arena, and in that arena I want to replace Windows, which implies that Linux/Desktop has to have a form that can be delivered as an integrated whole without a lot of retraining.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I can see a real huge advantage to having an optional desktop that 'looks' and behaves like the Classic Windows. the reason is we have so many unskilled and unknowing users out there that are familiar with the classic Windows desktop and they panic when it changes too much for them. If it looks like what they're used to, they won't care what it is and it will be easier to transition them away from Windows to Linux. That's it in a nutshell. That's why the Linspire (used to be Lindows) sold and sells so well.

patrickmm97
patrickmm97

The operating system should be near invisible. It's the apps that run on it that should be the main focus.

nigel
nigel

Linux and EVERY other OS should be invisible. The reason for having an OS is to run the applications. The OS should be stable, reliable, secure, fast and invisible.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

A compatible, high-quality, reliable, useful, viable alternative OS.

alzie
alzie

Since it is so easy to configure, lets have themez that do a relly good job of the emulation to invite in the potential converts. It wouldnt take a whole lotta work. Then as they become more accustomed to uzing our favorite OS, they can discover the ease with which one can tweak it. It seems that windoze used to let you do a lot more tweaking, but more recently theyve been crippling it. Catering to the dummiez - its a PITA, but it helps to keep an audience.

Stovies
Stovies

Jack, I have agreed with most of what you have said about Linux and in particular, UBUNTU in the past, but today I do not know what you are trying to say. It seems that you are telling non-geeks like me to fart off and stop complaining about our having to put in code for this or that instead of just downloading a proper update or upgrade. If that is what you are saying I am disappointed and I am coming to the conclusion that it is all about feeding the egos of programmers and there will not be a desktop operating system that does for the user what Microsoft Windows does or what expensive and exclusive Apple does. Based on what you have written in the past I have hoped that ?this version? of UBUNTU will be the user-friendly operating system that I have been promised for so long. Now you are saying that you do not want it to work like Windows and most of the people like me want to move from Windows because of Microsoft, Bill Gates and the new moronic CEO, but not because of Windows XP, or Windows 7. I may never be able to do so if UBUNTU is only manageable to experts in LINUX. So it seems we have to lick our wounds and pay GB Pound prices (?) that are almost double what you Americans pay for Windows. Microsoft has never heard of exchange rates. I will be installing UBUNTU 10.4 but if it plays up like the others, I will be ceremonially sacrificing software, computer and all to the gods of wrath. You see there has been so much promised about using older, less powerful machines for LINUX that I have held on to some so that I could entice others to try this wonderful free program, that does everything that Windows does, only better and cheaper. There is nothing cheaper than free although I have always promised to make a good donation when I get a system that runs like Windows. That means it has Office documentation like writer, spreadsheet, database, impress and so on. It must also have an obvious route to getting these programs running and for saving the work and printing it and so on, just like Windows. It does not have to have the same names for the controls, so long as the controls are obvious and there are instructions for operating them for the first time. I have stuck with UBUNTU right through, although I have downloaded Open SUSE, Knoppix, Debian Lenny and Fedora. So UBUNTU 10.4 will have to be good.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Like in an abstract sense? Or do you just want me to list off the various problems with it?

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

Linux should be what it is and also on top of that become a specialized OS > create specific professional etc. distributions ie. a distro; - for professional A/V workstations - a secured distro for accounting, law offices, etc. etc. I see far too many professional offices using windows in the default "Come and Hack Me I'm Open" settings including those dealing with "Private Data" etc.

joel
joel

With coming burst in streaming internet speeds, Linux should get ready with apps that will allow more interaction with new devices and technologies. I think that there should be more focus on making programming Linux easier. For those that want to learn to make Linux a better OS.

rtrujillo@metalsurfaces.
rtrujillo@metalsurfaces.

I think the OS shouldn't be a barrier of what application you want to run. The same apps that runs on Windows should run on OS X and Linux without any Crossover or Emulators. All OS's (or Developers) should figure out a way to make an app and compile for ALL OS's. It would be neat if all of them ran a similar base kernel (Linux maybe). From thereon, build your own GUI.

yattwood
yattwood

1. If you can't write your own device drivers, you shouldn't be able to log into a computer....(YES, I AM JOKING) 2. If you want to use a "get a machete and cut your own path through the jungle" distro - try Slackware; fast, but not really for the Linux neophyte 3. When I have to add 200 users to an Oracle database or some such task that would take me _hours_ of clicking with a GUI instead of whipping up a script to do it in less than 5 minutes (and every _good_ Windows and UNIX SysAdmin, as well as the more experienced DBA's - damn well knows how to write scripts and use the command line (and that applies to _Windows_ just as much as UNIX/Linux)

Bob-El
Bob-El

I agree that Linux should be Linux but I can also understand that people coming from another OS experience might find comfort in familiar surroundings.

Gemmz
Gemmz

I have just posted this item - only for my web-browser not to have the title recognized: this is a consistent problem with Linux - there seem to be holes in it somewhere. It is beyond me to sort it out, and I would hate to move on from 9,03 to 10,4 as when I tried 9,10 it failed dismally and nobody came forward to help me, or even offer. I was quite upset about that and it has left me thinking that what I have is quite enough until I can afford a Mac. what do I not like about Linux? it is when something needs installing or sorting out, you have to start entering all the programming codes - and that is not fun. Because everyone who does not like Linux simply dumps it and re-installs their old OS, means that there is little feedback that I have seen from the "ordinary user" who finds Linux both daunting and difficult.

Kevin.Legrande
Kevin.Legrande

I perversely voted for Amiga but Linux should rally around it's strengths and not try to emulate anybody else. Just somehow get people to write apps and drivers I need and I'm there.

d_baron
d_baron

1. Definition: Linux is a kernel. A "distro" is comprised of that kernel and software to make it useful. 2. Linux and opensource mean freedom. One buys Windows, one gets Windows. Same with OSX (Needn't be that "restrictive" since it is BSD Unix based!). One can choose whatever GUI one wants in Linux or choose none! 3. That "gnome-3" and KDE4 are going their own ways instead of imitating OSX or Windows is great but the results are not to everyone's liking. There are other, lighter-weight and simpler alternatives as well.

gas5812
gas5812

they want it to be like windows in hope of attracting window users away from microsoft. if it can run windows software that linux does not have they can lure people away or so is their thinking. window users are too simple minded and most know nothing on how things work. if the OS breaks down they are at a loss on how to fix it. They are not a hands on type of person.

johann
johann

The last Windows OS I have and probably will have is XP. Micro$oft has gone off the deep end with their OS and has become so user unfriendly, not to mention a target for everything and everyone who wants to bring it to its knees, and has been said they force the end user into their mold of how a system should be used. Another thing I really like about Linux is the fact that it is free and virus free. So, I suppose I will have to just bite the bullet and keep at Linux until I finally understand completely and master the OS. Thanks everyone for your insight and comments. I found it quite helpful.

apotheon
apotheon

The truth is that Ubuntu seems more stable because an Ubuntu release is only meant to exist for about six months. Debian Testing, meanwhile, is meant to last much, much longer than this. What this means is that, when Canonical releases a new version of the Ubuntu OS, it then doesn't update it at all, ever again. Yeah, you never see an update break anything -- because there's never an update. The only exception is critical breaking bugs and security vulnerabilities. Debian Testing, meanwhile, gets updates to software versions so that people can keep up to date as well. The Ubuntu answer to updating software versions for reasons other than things like crashing bugs and privilege escalation vulnerabilities is "Reinstall." Of course, if I wanted to just reinstall the whole system every six months, I could do that with Debian too, and I'd never have to worry about breaking something with a single application upgrade there either. If you want something more similar to the Ubuntu approach to software stability in Debian, use Debian Stable (as Neon Samurai hinted). That doesn't get any updates otjher than for security and other critical issues, either. The difference is that Debian actually keeps its Stable distribution going for much longer than Ubuntu does with its standard releases. I, for one, thing Ubuntu is doing things wrong. It's getting too obsessed with chasing after the same kind of sense of "user friendly" that users get from MS Windows. While I'm all for making software easier to use, I don't think that making software that uses us is the way to do it. That's the direction I see Ubuntu going, with decisions made by the upstream developers and, in some respects, by the software itself, regardless of what the user might actually want. Customizability and flexibility are sacrificed on the altar of "user friendly" operation. Well, screw that crap. I, for one, will stick with FreeBSD; more up-to-date, more stable, and more customizable than Ubuntu every day of the week and twice on Sundays. It's not "user friendly" in the MS Windows sense of the term, but there's a reason I stopped using MS Windows as my primary OS in the first place, so I'm perfectly okay with that.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

In your Debian days, was it Debian Stable you had issue with or Debian Testing?

apotheon
apotheon

What you ascribe to Linux (OS) development is, in some respects, more a matter of application development. A lot of the improvement of the Unix style of OS that you see in Linux is not particular to Linux per se, but is actually a bunch of largely unrelated improvements that become available to Linux-based systems by way of applications that tend to be distributed with the Linux kernel itself. This might seem like a pedantic, and largely meaningless, quibble for people who don't ever look outside of the realm of Linux when considering open source Unix-like OSes. The truth of the matter is that it's very important and relevant, because of the fact that there are in fact other OSes that are every bit as much the beneficiaries of these same advances as Linux distributions. For instance, all the joy and excitement of functionality provided by the X Window System, the GIMP, OpenOffice.org, Nautilus, Thunderbird, Mutt, Songbird, Rythmbox, mpd, grep, irssi, terminal multiplexers like tmux and GNU Screen, multiple workspaces within a single window manager, and so on, and so forth, are every bit as "native" to FreeBSD as they are to Ubuntu Linux. I never really realized how much people assume things are Linux-specific when, in fact, they are completely nonspecific to Linux until I became a regular user of an open source Unix system that had nothing to do with the Linux kernel. In fact, the Linux kernel and its derivative operating systems are more derivative of OSes like FreeBSD because of the licensing restrictions on the Linux kernel and its core toolset that make it difficult for other OSes to borrow directly from them. That having been said, though . . . I completely agree with what you said, in principle. I just feel the need to point out that much of your discussion of the relationship between Linux and the rest of the Unixy world is apparently somewhat skewed by the common misperception of Linux as the center of the open source universe.

david.hunt
david.hunt

Users would revolt against the Vista / Windows-7 UI and the Office "Ribbon", since it is so different to the old familiar interface. In fact, it is partially true, since one reason that corporates have deferred upgrading from WinXP is the user retraining that will be required for the new UI. It isn't, however, the only or even the overriding reason.

Hazydave
Hazydave

There are some well supported apps: Firefox, Open Office, Apache, etc. But Linux comes up short in many areas. Part of the problem: its just too complex, too much work, for very small teams, much less individuals, to develop apps that compete with those made by 100 person commercial development teams. There are only two ways to fix this. One is to get more commercial development. That would need much of the commercial Linux OS world banding together like one big Apple or MS, evangelizing, providing support,etc. And ultimately, a paradigm shift in the Linux community, as long as commercial apps are seen by many as evil, thhis won't happen. The other is to make app development on Linux so very easy, small groups produce as well as large commercial concerns. Or at least close enough. That actually already happens in some areas... I have worked on projects thar really did happen many times faster, leveraging the Linux/FOSS ecosystem. But its not yer enoough, particularly for GUI heavy desktop class apps. If I'm coding for Windows, I'm going to spend much time on the "Windowsisms" -- all the OS cruft they did in weird ways to make porting difficult. And they have generations of coding frameworks designed to make this faster. Get the "Linuxisms" down to 5% of you necessary coding for a full featured GUI based desktop app, and individuals and small teams will be far more successful in getting their stuff out, and competitive. And you inherently boost consistency.

Daughain
Daughain

Entertainingly, I have found KDE to be an excellent resource for helping convert windows users. Very generically, when the person looks at the GUI, all the icons are in roughly the same places.

apotheon
apotheon

I don't think that's what Jack was saying at all. I don't think he's saying he thinks you should have to be a programmer to use any Linux distribution. Rather, I think he's saying that Linux distributions shouldn't try to be carbon copies of the look-and-feel choices of the Microsoft and Apple development teams.

steve
steve

Ubuntustudio is a Ubunto distro, tweaked for AV and music. I've used some of the music stuff and find it useful, although at times flakey. You can;t beat the price though

Sagax-
Sagax-

Professional A/V requires self installation of programs. Law and Accounting can, however, be done quite nicely with several distros. Mepis happens to be my favorite, but other distros exist because someone likes them. All lock down nicely with the right settings and hardening of sudo.

apotheon
apotheon

What exactly do you want to program? If you're looking for opportunities to automate basic tasks, it's already pretty easy. You just have to be willing to look past the usual point-and-click approach to doing things that is normal (and almost universally mandatory) in MS Windows, and look into ways of doing things that utilize command line tools. By sprinkling a little shell scripting magic dust on such tools, you can actually automate quite a lot of interesting approaches to task completion that didn't even exist before you got started.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

to lay off the drugs for a bit mate. Some form of VM maybe, but no software vendor is going to maintain two far less three code bases without a decent chance of selling them all. Linux are not going to cripple the OS, and MS have absolutely no interest in making it easier for us to run anything but windows.

willda
willda

Way to advance the Linux cause! Nothing like a condescending voice to convince people to switch. I have no doubt, that most Widows users have no idea how to configure their computers. I see lots of them coming into my library trying to connect to our wireless network. I have shaken my head many a times, at people who think that it is our fault that they are having problems connecting, when they don't even have a wireless card installed in their laptop. Let me tell you something that you apparently don't know......STUPID PEOPLE ARE EVERYWHERE! Windows users don't have a lock on that either. My dad always said "everyone is ignorant....only on different subjects". Face it, most users want on the net to check e-mail, play on their Facebook page, tweet, and surf. They don't WANT to know how it works, just that it does work. Do we have a law anywhere in the world that says, you must be able to rebuild your car engine before you can drive it? I think not.

david.hunt
david.hunt

I agree with the comments of Neon Samurai. It is well worth learning about Linux (how to install, configure and use). Even in a Windoze only environment, if you are in IT, Linux can be a useful tool and opens up a whole new range of useful tools that only cost the learning and implementation time to put into use. I have used a bunch of nix script tools that are ported to Win32 to provide configuration and even application deployment in a Windows environment. Tools like grep, sed, awk, md5sum, cut, patch, diff. I'm not saying don't use Win tools... there's a lot of useful command line tools in Windows too... Combine as necessary to make life easier. Try changing the values of a couple of parameters in a text configuration file (such as a Windows ini file) across a whole site with Windows tools. The first problem is that the parameters may be in different places and or order in the file. "awk" can handle this really easily, whereas even if you wanted to do it with VB, it would take a lot more effort. (I have a bit of an aversion to VB anyway). Being able to use both will make you more marketable.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

There have been *nix effecting viruses and will continue to be in the future. You can also pass on a Windows virus potentially though it may not effect your system in passing. On the up side, viruses are usually considered proof of concept for something in the OS that needs to be corrected (rather than some third parties problem to include into an AV dat file). As for learning how the platforms work, you can always install a VM and use it to learn on. Linux.com also has a new user area that may be of interest too you. You can also ask questions in the forums here and elsewhere but you'll need to filter out the "stupid noob" answers that some will spit back. The platform is well worth learning though, even if you end up back on a later Windows version (for whatever reason). I could setup half the network I have with Windows for less than the cost of a new car and have my current job because I learned multiple OS.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Many home and corporate users never use a computer for more than basic Office Suite functions (word processor and spreadsheet) and Internet browsing. Such users wouldn't care what is the underlying system as long as they knew how to use it. A Classic Windows look Linux with Open Office and Fire Fox does them quite well. And it's a damn sight cheaper too.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

nearly twenty years ago there was a big set of international meetings to set industry standard to make all this sort of stuff easier. The end result was a set of standard such that if everyone involved in making hardware and software followed them, then any application would run perfectly on any operating system and use any hardware. This started to be applied and the issues about loading hardware drivers vanished for a little while. Then Microsoft turned their back on the concept, followed soon after by Apple. And both worked hard on many hardware companies to do the same. the result is a lot of hardware and applications that are designed for Windows or designed for Apple, but NOT designed for the industry standards, and anything designed for the industry standards won't work on Windows or Apple. The issue now is the developers need to design multiple versions of an application to work on the different platforms, or just write off the other platforms. Some do spend time converting applications for one platform to work with the others, but few are big organisations with large teams. The issues with the majority of developers today is they are mostly conditions to code and work in the Windows environment and have trouble fitting into any other coding environment. Thus, the others seem more complex to them.

apotheon
apotheon

MEPIS isn't a specialized OS designed for handling accounting data and other private information. It's a general purpose desktop OS that needs to be carefully adjusted to make it well-suited to such a purpose. . . . and what do you mean by "hardening of sudo", exactly?

SimonBudding
SimonBudding

On the ball. The vast magority of users do not want to mess around configuring their OS, they want to turn it on and use it. This is the main reason that Linux fails, because the second you have to SUDO, bye bye... The world has moved on, users want to point and click or tap and Linux can not accomodate this. I like Linux, I want to use a linux based Distro - I do not want to spend time learning the in's and out's of a command line - Its DOS? ...and the what's tar files all about in this day and age? Its all so 90's. Windows may be boring to the high brow Linux users out there but its on the vast majority of PC's in the world. You need to ask why and be honest with yourselves. Can you imagine installing an app on the iPad or iPod and having to SUDO? Apple would have been laughed at! Of course the AC/DC tee shirted Linux brigade would shout that this is absolutley the right way to install apps. - Don't think so. Linux does have a place but with the current limitations its not as a desktop with these 90's based limitation.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

ignorant and condescending. Pitiful for one who displays so carelessly that ignorance.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

if it's a self assembly kit car.... :p As far as just works, once you take pre-install out and MS's lock on the hardware and game vendors. There isn't that much left. What 'linux' can do about any of these is debatable to say the least.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Hey guys, we need a way to blit duel channel graphics to a second monitor but only using the video hardware, not the primary CPU. A committee to discuss and standardize the public interface of every single API... would take decades...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

That should be compared on complete pre-installed systems. With the gross lack of pre-installed Linux distributions available to "total novices".. I'd say that's not a comparison that can be made easily. Comparing self installs and mixed platforms to pre-installed and polished Windows or osX sales units is a little disingenuous isn't it? Looking at it from the other side, even Windows comes with grief for an average user doing a self install. Bug hunting, driver hunting, setting customization.. Once you remove the pre-installed benefit, it's like any other OS added after sale. A user will also not have to sudo for a basic program install. They click the pretty icon, get asked for a password and then it's the same as Windows Add/Remove except for the long list of available programs to "add".

apotheon
apotheon

Are you suggesting that there's something wrong with wanting some kind of password protection (at minimum) to keep random strangers on the Internet from installing software on my computer without my permission? Are you stupid, crazy, or just high?

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

a significant difference between [i]not wanting to screw around in CLI[/i] and being 'simple-minded'. It is the latter to which I object.

SimonBudding
SimonBudding

You prove my point... I very probably ran linux before your were born. (I did see one of the first attempts to get office to run under wine with one of the actual developers at the time). I have watched linux with great interest, it does have its uses but from a total novices view point it is not as easy as windows or the mac.

j-mart
j-mart

You seem to know bugger all about Linux. It is not windows but it is obviously way over your head as a IT consultant to understand. If IT is your profession I would have at lest expected a basic knowledge of Linux, glad your not my consultant