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Linux Needs More Haters

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the dem's-fightin'-woids dept.

Editorial 617

Corrupt brings us a ZDNet column by Jeremy Allison, who says Linux could benefit from more "tough love" in order to improve its functionality and popularity. Excerpting: "As Elie Wiesel said, 'the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.' LinuxHater really doesn't hate Linux, despite the name. No one takes that much time to point out flaws in a product that they completely loathe and despise. The complaints are really cries of frustration with a system that just doesn't quite do what is desired (albeit well disguised). A friend pointed out to me that the best way to parse LinuxHaters blog is to treat it as a series of bug reports. A perl script could probably parse out the useful information from them and log them as technical bug reports to the projects LinuxHater is writing about. Deep down, I believe LinuxHater really loves Linux, and wants it to succeed."

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617 comments

first tits! (0, Offtopic)

Asshat_Nazi (946431) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263111)

boobs are a myth!

Re:first tits! (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263289)

For a person who spends his time getting first posts on Slashdot, they might as well be.

Re:first tits! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263791)

You need to learn rethpect for wymen, becauthe mytheth are more than jutht boobth, you inthenthitive clod!

Or perhaps... (0)

cephalien (529516) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263131)

They could take off the critic's hat and -fix- the things that they complain about.

I mean, isn't that one of the things that makes OSS great?

Re:Or perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263155)

Indeed. Turn LinuxHater into LinuxCoder.

No. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263295)

People who make up problems to write malicious articles will probably write equally malicious code and give bogus advice. Let's not forget how M$ sold the Lotus team development tools that M$ developers hated and ignored. Given the size of the free software community, this kind of malice will never be a serious problem but all code needs to be carefully evaluated.

Re:Or perhaps... (5, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263171)

You can help a project without "fixing code." One way is by taking the support load off the hardcore devs. When you do that, for some amazing reason your bug reports also take on a greater weight. Just bitching doesn't do much.

Re:Or perhaps... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263179)

Not every user is going to be a developer, that's why developers need to listen to the critics, because the critics don't have a developer's hat.

THAT is one of the things that makes OSS great.

Re:Or perhaps... (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263187)

They could take off the critic's hat and -fix- the things that they complain about.

I mean, isn't that one of the things that makes OSS great?

Yeah, and the other great thing about OSS is that it's as easy to fix kernel bugs as it is to point them out! Yay, you see, anyone can be a kernel developer!

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263313)

Not necessarily. Often you know what went wrong, but you don't know why the execution path actually gets there. That's where you need the developer.

Re:Or perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263461)

I think your sarcasm detector may be broken

Re:Or perhaps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263585)

Whoosh!

What kernel bugs? (1, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263711)

is that it's as easy to fix kernel bugs as it is to point them out!

This "Linux haters" thing is not even wrong. There haven't been any kernel bugs in Linux worth mentioning for at least since version 2 came out. Watch what Linus Torvalds says, there's no plan for version 3 yet. No need.

What makes Windows and OSX more popular than Linux is the same reason why Java is more popular than Python or Ruby, it's corporate sponsorship. With enough marketing, people will pay more for an inferior product, just compare the Asus eeePC Windows version with the Linux version to see what I mean.

Re:What kernel bugs? (5, Insightful)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263919)

What makes Windows and OSX more popular than Linux is the same reason why Java is more popular than Python or Ruby, it's corporate sponsorship.

Nope. Not even close. How are these for corporate sponsors: Redhat, Novell, Sun.

What makes Windows and OSX so popular are applications that are commercially supported. That's it. Look no further. Without applications, your OS, no matter how fancy, is useless. I rememeber when I got my first computer, I turned it on to see C:\>. It was useless to me without apps that I could use (I was also introduced to warez that day).

Now, I know that there are alot of apps for Linux, but the installation and use of them are not as seamless as those for Windows or OSX. What I would like to see, and perhaps this is already available, is a set of agreed upon application practices, written by distribution maintainers, that developers follow that standardize the interface, the population of the OS menus, the distribution of files, etc, so that it app installs are seamless. Yes, it would be a PITA to support each distribution of OS, but quite frankly, that could be automated. And then have app developers actually follow the guidelines.

That would go along way to streamlining apps in Linux.

Re:What kernel bugs? (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263937)

Linux is superior to Mac OS X?? *pop* I'm afraid you just blown my Mac fanboism fuse :-(

Re:Or perhaps... (4, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263265)

Not everybody has the coding skills needed to fix problems with Linux, Gnome, KDE or whatever program is giving them trouble. Of those who do, most of them have jobs that take up most of their time, and such things as eating, sleeping, and other personal maintenance tasks take up most of their Copious Free Time. Even if they did try to fix a bug, it would take them a long time -- weeks at least, if not months -- to familiarize themselves sufficiently with the code to do any good. Complaining publicly about the bugs, preferably in a forum that the developers follow, is probably the most effective use of their time. YMMV, but if so, how many times have you dug into the source code of a FOSS program you're not involved in developing and patched a bug?

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

Celarnor (835542) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263565)

Not everybody has the coding skills needed to fix problems with Linux, Gnome, KDE or whatever program is giving them trouble. Of those who do, most of them have jobs that take up most of their time, and such things as eating, sleeping, and other personal maintenance tasks take up most of their Copious Free Time. Even if they did try to fix a bug, it would take them a long time -- weeks at least, if not months -- to familiarize themselves sufficiently with the code to do any good. Complaining publicly about the bugs, preferably in a forum that the developers follow, is probably the most effective use of their time. YMMV, but if so, how many times have you dug into the source code of a FOSS program you're not involved in developing and patched a bug?

A few times, actually; I've done it with d4x, pan pidgin, the first because of the way that it was handling URLs from rapidshare incorrectly, the second because I didn't like some of the default interface behaviors, and the third because I wanted a better way to manage the logs.

Granted, we're not talking about a kernel here, but its one of the great things about open source.

Not to mention.... (3, Insightful)

hummassa (157160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263681)

that nobody (outside MS) has that kind of skill wrt windows, at all. And that complaining rarely helps, if ever.

Re:Or perhaps... (4, Funny)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263683)

I'm not sure about the months, weeks or even days. Sometimes it can be hours, sometimes even minutes, it all depends on a bug.

My bug report work flow:

1 - Make sure I'm not the bug
2 - Grab the source
3 - Browse
4 - Figure out (approximately) what point in the code my bug is coming from
5 - Write a bug report like this:

Hi,

Your program foo just killed my cat. No shit, killer pokes aren't funny dammit and you said this would work on a commodore PET! My cat had a seizure and its dead claws are now embedded in my skull as I write this.

As far as I can tell, its fate was sealed somewhere around line 2113. Looking at your commit logs, it looks like someone got ahold of the user "hsimpson"'s password, please ask him to change it.

I would help diagnose this more, but I have to get this cat off my head.

See? Even if I know _nothing_ about the code, I do know _something_ about the bug .. and can usually provide a little bit of information beyond 'its fucked up, fix it' .. which is the gist of the common bug report. :)

Re:Or perhaps... (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263275)

They could spent 9 months learning the code, the build instructions, how it all fits together, creating their patch, testing their patch, submitting the patch, then hoping and praying that the project accepts the patch--

Or they could put in a bug report than the project maintainer can fix in 5 minutes, since he's already done all that work.

Which one sounds more efficient?

Of course, the real problem is that (most) open source projects don't read their bug trackers, even if the public is putting in bugs. I estimate around 75% of the time the bug never even gets assigned. This is after expressly asking users to submit bugs when they encounter them. I've given up, and I'm sure I'm not alone on this.

Re:Or perhaps... (3, Informative)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263535)

Most bug trackers are smart enough to send e-mail to a developer, or a list of developers.

I think 99% of all submitted bugs are read (or at least glanced at), however the bug trackers are often way behind and (gasp) sometimes those e-mails are just ignored or forgotten.

Sometimes its as simple as a language barrier, sometimes just very busy people .. or sometimes you happen upon a developer who is 300x more sick of the program than you are :)

Re:Or perhaps... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263419)

Even with all the warts, OS X is what Linux wants to be - and is stumbling miserably in many ways. As long as developers only work on what interests them, Linux will be hindered. Few coders really want to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work of writing 4,000 printer drivers, GUI front ends to countless mundane command line functions or software ordinary people want to use in daily life. That's what Apple pays themselves to do.

Re:Or perhaps... (3, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263595)

dirty work of writing 4,000 printer drivers,

There are far, far less unique drivers needed than there are printers. In many cases, several models from the same line will actually use the same driver, but you have to list all of them because the average user won't have any way of knowing they're all the same. For that matter, there may well be cases where one companies printers simply use the same control codes as another, better known brand. As an example, years ago I had a dot matrix printer from Star Micronix. Even though it was a minor brand, I never had driver issues because I knew (having taken the time to RTFM) that it was Epson compatible and that the standard Epson driver was all I needed.

Re:Or perhaps... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263767)

There are far, far less unique drivers needed than there are printers

Sure, a generic driver will run a lot of printers - but it's the options that kill you. PPD files are supposed to take care of that but there are still scads of unique printers (and scanners, and All In One devices) that make this a daunting task. You're right about users, though - they'll see buttons that say "double sided" or "staple" or "tabloid" or "tray 3" and wonder why all that irrelevant stuff shows up for their $49 inkjet. That's what Apple has taken care of. It just works. Linux could get there too if only SOMEONE would organize the efforts of contributors.

Re:Or perhaps... (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263449)

You can know how to eat without knowing how to cook.

It's silly to expect people to take time to learn how to cook before complaining that the Linux stew lacks something.

But it's fair to ignore complainers who just say "it's bad" without giving anything useful.

Re:Or perhaps... (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263577)

Many of the problems reported by the Linux Hater are cultural; if you submit a patch the maintainer will just reject it with -ENOTABUG.

Re:Or perhaps... (4, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263725)

They could take off the critic's hat and -fix- the things that they complain about.

I mean, isn't that one of the things that makes OSS great?

And there is the fundamental problem with Linux -- the "geeks only" attitude of so many of its proponents. The lawyer who wants an office system, the granny who has just heard that they can video-conference with their grandchild halfway around the world, the schoolkid who wants to get their geography assignment done -- most potential Linux users will never have anything to contribute to Linux except advocacy, and as long as any requests for help are met with "fix it yourself" suggestions or a pile of technical gibberish (heck, I am a coder, and I struggle to understand most of the supposed support on offer) then they will stay with other systems whose developers do understand the needs of the non-technical user. That way they'll never be more than potential users, and Linux won't even get their advocacy.

Re:Or perhaps... (5, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263805)

Unfortunately that's one thing a lot of Linux advocates fail to get: Not everyone has the ability to alter the code to "fix" things.

This is especially important for the types of Linux advocates that are pushing for "Linux on the Desktop" and other non-specialized applications. You are trying to push Linux onto people who can barely turn a computer on without electrocuting themselves - do not expect them to "scratch their own itch."

What we need are fewer self-righteous asshats who can actually put themselves in the position of a novice and try to understand their needs - or at least listen to them without condescending retorts. Windows, for all it's shortcomings, tailors specifically to novice users (ie the vast majority of computer users) and that's why it's so popular. Cry monopoly all you want but until you fix your usability issues you are not going to make much progress.
=Smidge=

By that note... (3, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263139)

Slashdotters must all be MS shareholders and Vista early adopters!

Re:By that note... (2, Insightful)

bdijkstra (526884) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263521)

Slashdotters must all be MS shareholders and Vista early adopters!

Don't underestimate the power of the *BSD side.

--
I don't hate Windows, I just love UNIX.

People who love UNIX, shouldn't use Linux.

Article Text, in Case of Slashdotting. (1)

inTheLoo (1255256) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263885)

Here's the article, with some minor adjustments for amusement:

[I work for Google, trust me but don't think they believe anything I say.]

Image of me leering in blue lights.

I hate blogs and most wankers but read them anyway and enjoy the ones that troll. I'm better than them because I write less and have friends who publish in real papers.

LinuxHaters blog sucks but it's a great troll based on the ancient "UNIX Haters Handbook" that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. LinuxHaters trolls Linux like Unix Haters trolled Unix when I was young.

Reading the LinuxHaters blog is a wonderful way to waste an afternoon. Teh are the Linux experts and people who know better are drawn into their trap every day. People responding dont seem to know (or maybe they just dont care) that the whole blog itself is a way to goad fanatical Linux supporters into attacking the author. Remember, I work for Google so you should trust me when I laugh at other people who work for Google. You should also trust me when I say that Linux Haters is 100% accurate and truthful. Hopefully, you will waste your time flaming me! I feel giddy just thinking about it.

The point of my troll here is to get you to read Linux Haters. To do that I'm going to tell you that the authors are Linux Lovers. That seemed to sell a lot of coppies of Unix Haters. It will also get me some more flames.

To make myself perfectly obvious, I'll invoke Godwin's Law and enlist the wisdom and good will of holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. As Elie Wiesel said, the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. Whenever you see hate, it's really love. Linux Hater is not the work of a bunch of PR hacks, ala Fake Steve Jobs, and it's not the complete waste of time I said it was. Go read it, damn it.

This week, LinuxHater pisses all over KDE. Most of my readers don't know what that is, so they will believe that it is the suck. They will also believe the rest of my ancient FUD about how free software programmers don't pay attention to details and can't deliver an "integrated" user experience, ever. This really is the programmer's fault because I have used an embedded Linux device that did one thing well. OK, that does not really follow but I don't care. I used to say the same things about Unix but no one cares about that anymore. Go read Linux Haters!

Trolling, for me, is both fun and profitable. My real job is to making free software talk to Windows. You should trust me when I say that free software sucks because I write some. You should also continue to use Windows so that I'll still have my job. I don't think I'd cut it as a blogger.

I cant help being reminded of the Mindcraft benchmark in 1999. Sponsored by Microsoft it was supposedly an independent test of the relative speed of Linux vs. Windows NT servers. Unsurprisingly for a Microsoft sponsored benchmark, Windows came out best. Linus Torvalds eventually realized that Linuxs failure in the rather contrived benchmark conditions should be treated as a bug report, however unusual the submission mechanism, and he and the kernel hackers promptly fixed it. This is like the same thing, but daily and less well founded. If everything goes well, all sorts of time will be wasted by real coders. Perfect troll!

Because Hate is Love, everyone will use and love Linux if you say bad things about it and pretend to hate it. I'm so clever.

Remember, I work for Google and write free software. The universal truth disclosed here should be trusted, but most of all you should waste lots of time. My job depends on your waste! Cheers.

Linux + GPL what is there not to love (1)

noddyxoi (1001532) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263151)

Well i use Mandriva linux for 10 years now and i love it. I would love that the rest of the world would be as lovely and cooperative as the linux community that's for sure.

I think he hates it... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263161)

...but has to use it for some reason. If I were him, with all this 'let's listen to our haters' strategy, I would start suggesting "improvements" that would kill linux once and forever.

There are Linux Haters out there (0, Redundant)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263173)

Seriously, there are people who love and hate thing for no rational reason. Of course you have people with ideological differences. Throw in some people who have based their entire career around MS products for example and are threatened by Linux as it could undermine their livelihood. Then they are certain people who might throw chairs at you.

Beware of irrational fear. (1)

westbake (1275576) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263385)

Good tools don't undermine anyone who's not trying to sell tools. Freedom is hard but slavery is always harder. This is why free software is able to embrace its "enemies" and sooner or later M$ will have to embrace free software.

OMG UR RIGHT (0)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263175)

I H8 LINOOKS LOL!1ONE!!

Re:OMG UR RIGHT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263325)

I knew you'd be a Slashdot subscriber before I even looked at your username. You just have that aura of lameness about you.

I hate linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263189)

Whats the next step ?

Re:I hate linux (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263251)

RTFA. "He or she is extremely knowledgeable and able to go into the details of every problem, sometimes as far as analyzing the underlying code and pointing out the problems"

Probably true (2, Funny)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263193)

I "hate Linux", to the extent that I use it as little and as infrequently as possible. I certainly don't like it enough to want to spend time, that I could otherwise spend on real life, telling people why I don't like it!

It's an awesome blog (5, Insightful)

Digana (1018720) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263293)

LinuxHater's blog is aweseome, and I say this as someone who deeply loves Linux and GNU and all that is based on them. His criticisms are very well thought-out, not just stupid name calling, but clear, effective, technical, and explicit complaints about everything that is wrong with free software. He coats it with sardonic and bitter vitriol, yet beneath that tough exterior, there are the complaints of someone who has evidently spent a lot of time poking around the system, down to its gritty internals, and has found everything that could be improved about it.

Even Miguel de Icaza loves LinuxHater's blog [tirania.org]. I recommend that any free software enthusiast spend some good time reading the blog. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wonder how you can make it all better.

Re:It's an awesome blog (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263559)

It is, I picked up the link from a usenet LUG today and spent an hour laughing my ass off. The blog is really worth a read .. check out (in particular)

"How to write a Gnome application"

and

"How to write a KDE application"

Its funny, laugh.

Re:It's an awesome blog (1)

tinkertim (918832) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263731)

Actually, looks like the blog is toast for now. Nothing more to see here, move along, move along.

Re:It's an awesome blog (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263655)

Saying that Micro de Isofta likes something is not particularly strong praise for free software. Just sayin'.

Re:It's an awesome blog (1, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263691)

His criticisms are very well thought-out, not just stupid name calling, but clear, effective, technical, and explicit complaints about everything that is wrong with free software.

He's good, but he's not always right. As an example, he claims that in Linux, the assumption is that the percentage of people wanting each window manager is about equal. Wrong. I think that if you ask the average Linux user (even a fanatic evangelist) you'll be told that at least 90% of all Linux users use either Gnome or KDE, and that all the others are for people with specialized needs, or for the developers to play around with. Nobody is pretending that Fluxbox (let's say) is as popular as Gnome, or that it should be. However, if you're using "trailing edge" hardware and need to fit into as little RAM as possible, it's probably one of your best choices.

Re:It's an awesome blog (1)

bigpicture (939772) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263745)

As alluded to in one of the other postings about the love/hate comparison. Actually that is one of the peculiarities of "objective?" thought, that it is in fact only relative. It always needs contrast to operate at all such as good/bad, up/down, etc. So then that might mean that Linux is beyond compare, absolute and perfect if you will.

Also by current general thinking, "hate" is not the other polarity of love, but "fear" is. So maybe they fear Linux, but are too afraid to post this. Me, I am loving it more all the time, especially what the KDE4 boys and girls are doing.

Re:It's an awesome blog (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263815)

I can't agree. Look at Friday's post, no real constructive criticism there. Just HAHA look at the lusers!

Now look at Thursdays, complaining about too much choice. He's ignoring the fact that every desktop distro makes a working set of default choices. Whether you use Ubuntu, Mandriva, Xandros, or whatever, you'll have a desktop environment, browser, music player, etc, etc chosen for you. And just what does he think we're going to do about having too much choice? Tell people they can't code window managers any more? Again, this is not constructive criticism.

Back to Wednesday, again just poking fun.

On tuesday still nothing useful. Google using linux isn't a reason for you to, sure I buy that. But it's not a reason not to either.

Virtual desktops, I dunno about OS X, but he suggests VirtuaWin for windows. UGH! It's incredibly slow, it doesn't guarantee the order of windows after a desktop change, and it doesn't support mouse wheeling. Makes you wonder if he's used virtual desktops for any length of tim on any OS.

Make uninstall, that's what autopackage is for. Enough said. Most of the rest is just arguing that Windows isn't all that bad, which is true, but it's not a criticism of Linux.

Monday, is more of the same. He does a good job knocking down arguments against windows, but very little actually criticising linux. Which is to be expected really, Linux is at least as good an OS as windows, the only place it really lacks is in application support. And if he wants to fix that, he should be arguing for linux, not against it.

Re:It's an awesome blog (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263847)

His criticisms are very well thought-out, not just stupid name calling, but clear, effective, technical, and explicit complaints about everything that is wrong with free software.

Oh really? Are we talking about the same blogger that writes gems like this one?:

One sure thing that a luser will say to you when you criticize his shitty operating system goes something along the lines of "but at least I don't get any viruses."

Good for you dude. I don't get any viruses from your mom either. I'm protected. So please cease and desist your blabbering.

Classy all the way. And what an insight.

Re:It's an awesome blog (2, Insightful)

Eighty7 (1130057) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263899)

I can't get over the feeling that he gets his major points (not so) subtly wrong in ways that are not worth rehashing. For example look at his Fallacy of Choice. Even conceding that choice is Bad, how does he expect us to stop people from forking according to their needs/preferences? Because there's only one way & that's to lock it down like OSX but he knows how well that'll go over so all he talks about is mainstream acceptance. And there is a LAMP of the desktop, it's called ubuntu [distrowatch.com].

just one thing (5, Informative)

callmetheraven (711291) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263315)

The only thing wrong with linux is lack of availability of 3rd party shrink-wrap type applications and games. I would love to give up XP, but linux can't run the video editing software that I need and games that I want.

Re:just one thing (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263541)

The only thing wrong with linux is lack of availability of 3rd party shrink-wrap type applications and games.

Linux desktop users are extremely reluctant to spend money on software and the Open Source movement essentially means shrinkwrap proprietory software gets shunned, dismissed and worse: the zealots will often take its existence on Linux as a slap to the face of FOSS and create a GPL clone to replace it, just to spite them.

Bringing proprietory desktop software to Linux just isn't worth the effort or risk. Sorry about that.

Re:just one thing (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263849)

It'd be really helpful if more distros complied with the FHS and LSB out of the box.

Not that much to complain about (4, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263321)

One of the reasons I like Linux so much is that there's so little to complain about. Everything just works. Occasionally there's a driver hunt or compatibility issue, getting a scanner to work, but overall, once it's set up and working, smooth sailing.

That was the way Windows used to be. Everything would install and just work, while the Linux tinkerers spent hours chasing down compatibility issues and combing through HCL's. But Vista changed that perception and the very time Linux was making progress in big leaps.

Five years ago if you wanted a smooth install and minimal fuss you picked Windows 2000 or XP. Now you install Ubuntu or buy a Mac. The reality is probably a little more complex but the perception certainly has changed.

Re:Not that much to complain about (5, Insightful)

dash2 (155223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263529)

Er, I think you need to go and read the Linuxhater blog. You may find your experience is not typical.

My current status is: I installed Ubuntu Hardy to try it after giving up on Debian 5 years ago. It's pretty nice, but whenever I take my Thinkpad out of its dock, it crashes. Windows is much better: whenever I plug the Thinkpad into the dock, it crashes.

:-( /me hates all computers equally

Re:Not that much to complain about (-1, Troll)

springbox (853816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263917)

If I was you, I would have taken some time to go through the source and find the cause of the problem. That's a nice feature that Windows or closed source applications don't have available when they explode.

Re:Not that much to complain about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263663)

Mod parent up. I could not agree more.

I started off using RH7 and let me tell you, compared to my windows 2000 box it was a real pain in the ass. Like some of the other posters mention, I too got tired of hunting down rpms, configing files and praying that my machine would boot back up after making some subtle change. But you know what, one day those things were not a problem any more and I found myself enjoying the stability and reliability of my Linux machine vs the windows laptop which disappointed me day after day after day.

This is when I stopped worrying and learned to love my box. Like any relationship, we still have our fights, but things seem to work out just fine.

Re:Not that much to complain about (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263729)

One of the reasons I like Linux so much is that there's so little to complain about. Everything just works. Occasionally there's a driver hunt or compatibility issue, getting a scanner to work, but overall, once it's set up and working, smooth sailing.

I don't mean to offend you or anyone else, but I think you might be a bit overly-optimistic. There are a lot of valid complaints about Linux. Not that I see a lot of constant show-stopper bugs in major distros or anything, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of smaller problems, annoyances, and missed opportunities to do things better.

I'd say Linux does a very good job at loads of things *relative other currently available operating systems* (i.e. other operating systems have their share of problems, too). But computing in general still has a lot of room for improvement. If any Linux developers out there think Linux is perfect and feel like they're running out of things to improve, let me know. I can help you find things.

That was the way Windows used to be. Everything would install and just work, while the Linux tinkerers spent hours chasing down compatibility issues and combing through HCL's.

I'll grant you that Windows was a good desktop OS for its time, back around 2000. At the time, nothing was doing a better job of meeting most users' needs. But it has always been far from perfect, and each version has had plenty of technical/design problems..

Re:Not that much to complain about (0, Troll)

TheSeer2 (949925) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263823)

Errr, have you used Vista... recently? It's pretty much how you describe Linux.

Re:Not that much to complain about (2, Insightful)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263905)

...once it's set up

Now I use Linux on a headless box to manage my network connections but even that took some doing. The difference in difficulty in setting up a Linux box and a Mac is often quite clear. Sometimes linux is easy to set up. Sometimes it "Just Works" but I think we need to get that up to like 90% of the time.

I'm a big fan of Linux but there's some pretty obvious deficiencies and many Linux aficionados are often the first to pull the so-what-it-shouldn't-be-easy-but-there's-a-way-to-do-it-from-the-CLI. I want Linux to become a mainstream desktop OS.

This is why I hate Linux (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263329)

A bad RPM install killed my mom because the cheap company was using Red Hat on her kidney dialysis machine

Spot on (2, Insightful)

Tofflos (942124) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263417)

I think he's right about LinuxHater and right that we should be thankful for that kind of criticism. Pointing out flaws in a more public manner and in a way that makes it accessible to a larger audience can help shape opinion and get the flaws fixed.

Sure, LinuxHater could try to fix the bugs himself but I think that would be a lot less effective than what he's doing right now.

Tis sounds crazy, but it is true (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263465)

I know lots of smart developers who have tried Linux and ported apps to it, just to expand their knowledge of the operating system and learn how to port stuff and to keep their skills up-to-date. But most of them fallback to Windows. The more pragmatic ones switch to OS X because it is just like a Unix OS, but with far greater usability.

At one point I kept a blog of all the troubles I had with using Linux. Most of the items were really simple things that made it very difficult to use. But often even constructive comments were met with disdain, so I gave up. No sense in complaining to a deaf audience.

This all comes back to the zealous Linux pragmatism where truly constructive criticism is turned into that with-us-or-against-us mentality.

Re:Tis sounds crazy, but it is true (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263593)

No sense in complaining to a deaf audience.

Try facing us next time instead of talking with your back turned; you may be heard that way... ;)

Let's not forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263469)

Just because an operating system doesn't do everything just the way you want it to doesn't make it defective, or even flawed. Some users just have some stupid ideas. Many times, however, it's these folks who scream the loudest.

Linux is only free if your time is worthless. (1, Interesting)

SimHacker (180785) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263471)

Re:Linux is only free if your time is worthless. (1, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263583)

I'm in no position to agree or disagree with your assessment of Linux, since I don't use it, but I have to point something out to you: unless you have a way of turning your free time into income, that time is worthless. People talk a lot about how something is only free if your time is worthless, but unless you're taking time off from your job, or sacrificing something you could be selling in your free time (and most of us aren't doing those things), your time is worthless. You have a limited quantity of it, but that doesn't matter if no one is paying you for it.

complaining about things that are not broken (1, Interesting)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263493)

I don't read that blog, but in general people complain about things that are not really broken, even more I would stop liking Linux as much as I do if it were "fixed" according to their complains.

Frankly I don't know what is to complain about Linux, except for not running Windows programs (if Wine can't handle them) but that's not a complaint about Linux per se, it's a reality external to Linux and no Linux or free software developer can fix that in a easy way, they don't do it because they are lazy or they don't want to fix it, it's just hard work and Wine people are doing an amazing work.

Re:complaining about things that are not broken (1)

Kneo24 (688412) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263651)

If something isn't user friendly, it very well is broken. I shouldn't have a frustrating time doing anything when it just comes to using the OS as an end user. Doesn't just about every single person on here scream how it's time for the Linux revolution or whatever? Even though some distro's have gone leaps and bounds in being easier to use for the average person, there's still that stigma of a.)people still think it's hard to use (because some distros, even for someone who has had decent experience with Linux in the past), and b.) it's not windows, so why should I get it?

Look, you guys want Linux to be taken seriously and have a significant market share over what it has right now? Cut the bullshit. There's no reason why there has to be a bajillion flavors. More people concentrating on fewer versions will get shit done faster as long as there is a smart project leader who is willing to handle it. Also, less zealotry would help quite a bit.

Re:complaining about things that are not broken (1, Interesting)

at_slashdot (674436) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263821)

Thank you for providing a good example of criticizing things that are not broken. What's your problem that are a bajillion of distros? Use only one. Do you have problems picking stuff, pick any of the top in distrowatch.com and you'll be fine. use a die if you still have problems deciding.

OS X (5, Interesting)

dan dan the dna man (461768) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263503)

OS X is the 'tough love' that Linux needs. I use Linux on the server (although I have a rack of Xserves too) and there's a reason I am happy with it there (unlike OS X).

On the desktop? Well I use a Mac. And I don't think I will ever go back (in the interests of fairness this is being posted from my 'Games and things' XP laptop).

I love the fact Linux is dynamic, and open source. I really do. I don't like the fact that it doesn't seem to 'evolve'. The fragementation of WM's, distro's etc. never actually seems to weed things out. What we never end up with is a 'de facto' solution.

People argue that choice is good. I'm sure it is. But the reason that Windows and OS X still beat Linux on the desktop experience is because they are standardised - there just aren't alternatives. And OS X is a better 'desktop Unix', so as a person who wants that, where else am I meant to go? If nothing else KDE 4 would drive me away... yuck.

I did use Linux on the desktop. For several years. I only tried OS X on a whim.

I don't hate Linux, but I don't think I'm alone. Go to a confernce these days (I'm an academic) and I used to see people booting into myriad versions of Linux as they opened their laptops. These people are now in a minority, as the Apple logo is raised in unison at the beginning of any talk.

Fanboy? Maybe.

Missing the article's point (5, Insightful)

jake_fehr (469788) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263505)

I read the article and I thought, "Well, that sounds like a good idea." Too often when anyone mentions ANY of GNU/Linux's shortcomings (which, to be fair, are far less in number than Windows's), they are labelled a troll and are either attacked or ignored.

So what happens? The comments for this story include gems like "Not that much to complain about" and "Linux + GPL what is there not to love."

Legitimately easy-to-use GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu didn't happen because of the GNU/Linux Yes-Men out there. It happened because the people at Canonical listened to complaints from people like GNU/Linux haters and tried to address the issues.

Or for that matter, flip the situation around. It seems that many users on Slashdot love GNU/Linux and hate Windows. If someone wrote an article saying that Microsoft should listen to the issues of Windows haters to help improve their product, wouldn't you think it was a good idea?

You could say the same thing about Windows... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263507)

Your definition of a 'Linux hater' is someone
who has taken the time to try it & post what
they don't like about it.

Because of what they don't like, they 'hate'
Linux today. Of course, if someone fixed
everything they don't like about Linux and
gave them a 'new Linux' they might not hate it.

But you're confusing things. I can see how
someone could hate Linux today & like Linux
after everything they don't like is fixed.

It's the same with Windows -- simplify it,
improve the scheduler & security model,
make it easy to write GUI apps for, etc.
and I might even like it... but that
doesn't change the fact that I don't
like it much today.

Linux is user friendly (2, Insightful)

32771 (906153) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263533)

it just chooses its friends wisely.

I mean there are always alternatives, you could even use MacOS. (not windows though)

I do have a bit of an issue with some developments. Some supposedly user friendly Linux installations
think they should also be fool proof. Like certain NAS solutions, or maybe even Ubuntu which I'm using right now. There really are machine generated and machine controlled config files in /etc. To control the config file control process you have to edit certain configuration files in a hard to find location.

People, this is counterintuitive! Call me old fashioned but if I change a config file in /etc I mean it. I don't need some clippy like demon thingy to tell me that I can only edit its own configuration. It should be able to read the darn /etc file if it is that smart. If /etc isn't expressive enough invent something else and don't leave old stuff around.

There you go, got your two minutes of hate now?

Don't nobody tell MS or ..... (0, Offtopic)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263543)

... be sure to get paid for your complaints about MS Windows. (as opposed to paying them to listen to you).

doesn't work with volunteer programmers (1, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263553)

Given that development teams are prone to infighting, politics and code-forking if they disagree with the direction a project is taking, a project leader has to be very careful not to offend the immature and unprofessional elements in the team - otherwise they may simply go off in a sulk.

The only people how can affect the quality of Linux is the distro makers: by including or excluding packages. However, those who feel snubbed can just go and produce their own distro. While that is their right, it doesn't help weed-out the software that is either poorly written, badly designed or is similar to something else (how many CD-burners does one operating system need?). You find that software is propagated by those with time, rathe rthan talent.

If there was some way to inject commercial realities into the linux work - not necessarily by charging/profiting, I feel the quality of the end product would rise, due to the competition and differentiation that would come about. Though how you do this, I have no idea.

Nobody bitches about things they hate huh? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263557)

No one takes that much time to point out flaws in a product that they completely loathe and despise.

Then I guess all the Windows bashers are secret Vista users, including myself :P

Re:Nobody bitches about things they hate huh? (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263801)

You can't hate what you care of not. I used to hate MS quite a lot a while ago, but since I move away of it, no so much any more. I still hate it a bit, but it is because it still manages to hurt me (closed protocols and stuff).

It reminds me of bunnies - they are very evil, just too small.
Alas, MS is not like a bunny (in size).

A bug is a broken promise (0, Flamebait)

germansausage (682057) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263617)

A bug is a broken promise or a lie! You tell me the software will do $foo, but when I try it it doesn't do $foo. If you as a developer are ok with that then you have no honour. If you want to take credit for the stuff that works, you should be man enough to take responsibility for the stuff that's broken.

Typical responses to bug complaints are usually as follows:
1. Fix it yourself.
2.Pay someone to fix it for you.
3.How dare you complain about something you're getting for free.
4.We are all busy fixing more important bugs.
5.Here is a workaround.
6.If you hate Linux so much you should go back to using Micro$oft.

Performance, for those who want performance (0, Redundant)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263639)

Linux seems to be a great system for people who want to burrow into the guts of the OS and make it do exactly what they want it to do. For people who are mostly just interested in using a computer as a tool to do things that are mostly unrelated to computers, it seems most of its flexibility and capability is wasted.

I'd affiliate myself not with the Linux-haters, but with the Linux-indifferent.

How did that old joke go? "It's not true that Linux isn't user-friendly. It's just very selective about who it chooses as friends."

Don't Turn Blind Eye To Complaints (5, Insightful)

reallocate (142797) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263647)

Linux lovers should be grateful that anyone bothers to provide free criticism. Commercial vendors spend big bucks on focus sessions to acquire the same information.

One troubling trait exhibited by some Linux devotees is their insistence on responding to any criticism of the software by touting it's free software/open source roots. Frankly, that's little consolation to someone who's pointing out why they're unhappy with the software. Why should the model used to develop and distribute software mollify users when they see inadequacies in that software?

Of course, linked to that is the really annoying challenge to "Just fix it yourself! You've got the source!" That's an absurd claim. It's either premised on a wish to rid the Linux community of anyone who is not a bona fide developer, or it is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of what it takes to be a competent developer.

Linux is a great OS and the best desktop distributions have nothing to hide. But, nothing ever gets better when people deliberately turn a blind eye to complaints.

The Pleasure of Hating. (5, Interesting)

delire (809063) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263701)

If Jeremy is correct, then the author of Linux Haters has chosen what is possibly the least likely route to garnering interest from Linux developers. Which linux developer would consciously choose to read a blog that refers to them as a 'luser' incessantly from paragraph to paragraph.

The 'benchmark' OS he seems to use as the basis of the bulk of his criticisms is OSX, an OS I find really frustrating to use (and I use it fairly often these days). If I were to start an OSX Haters on this basis should I expect the Aqua and XCode authors to read it daily in the interests of improving all the braindead things about both those aspects of OSX? Didn't think so.. Maybe the guy just has a crippling case of Internet Rabies induced by deep boredom and Jeremy's simply being a little generous..

There are, afterall, blogs featuring meticulously prepared images of meals that people hated eating. Perhaps this blog is simply in the same vein; just another masochist whiling away the hours in public.

Must be a slow news day.

You have to care to hate (5, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263719)

This is important to learn in life. When you reject someone that loves you, then they hate you. As long as they hate you, they still love you.

Once they don't care any more then it's over.

It discovered this all on my own when going through a bad breakup so that part of the comment particularly leapt out from the page to me.

Tough choices (1, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263735)

Some of the LinuxHater criticisms are valid, but the biggest ones I see (from a 20 minute reading, mind you) are extremely difficult to address. Lack of hardware drivers (especially for laptops and wireless networking) is still a problem for many people. It just doesn't work to tell the average user to buy Linux supported hardware; if they can't at least try it with what they already own we've lost. OTOH, often this is due to the hardware manufacturers' unwillingness to open the specs. The other biggie I see is overwhelming choice of GUI vs one that Just Works for everything. Again, this is hard because we don't have a boss dictating which DE should be "finished" first, rather we have a lack of consensus from many teams working independently of each other constantly reinventing the wheel.
Don't get me wrong, I still use Linux quite a bit and have a lot of love for it. In fact, I tend to think that if everyone used Linux it would start to rally suck, because then we'd see tons of crappy, 3rd party binary blobs doing god-knows-what and preinstalled crapware from the big PC vendors, just as one can see on practically any windows machine.
So maybe we should ask ourselves, "do we actually want to dominate the desktop market?", rather than "how can we dominate it?".

Popularity heps ward off extinction (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263901)

Population is necessary to avoid extinction. You have to have a large population or your species goes extinct. People who say "Linux should only have one interface." are also saying "People should only be white, with blonde hair and blue eyes."

"I love him so much," yeah, whatever (3, Insightful)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263749)

Lately it's become popular for Linux users and devs to profess their love and devotion for the Linux Hater. But I don't think they really get it. The author just propagates the same old "grandma can't use it" and "too much choice" and "developers should focus instead on XYZ" crap that you found on usenet years ago.

The message is not simply, "Linux needs to improve," but rather "Linux will never be good enough."

Most experienced Linux users probably have it in them to respond to inane trolls with precision and objectivity, but when a troll with a sense of humor, good writing skills, and some domain experience comes along, everybody cowers and plays along. Hey, the popular guy is here, everybody play cool.

Too many Linux users are caught between their love for straightforwardness and cutting-edge technology on the one hand and their lust for popularity and respect on the other. Linux Hater is not here to make you laugh. He's not secretly using Linux and enjoying it. He's the guy who sold you out for cooler friends in tenth grade, idiots.

Oh, we have the time... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263783)

No one takes that much time to point out flaws in a product that they completely loathe and despise.

Seriously? You must be new here.

Linux has haters. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263855)

Complaining about problems with Linux and Criticizing Linux, and hating Linux are two different things.

I critisize Linux all the time. I'm very tough and very disciplined even with open source projects. (and yes, many of them could use some lower case D discipline.)

Hating Linux is what happens when you post lies about Linux. Which many people do.

Gotta be a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263863)

Linux suffers from the same inherent problem that all open source projects does - every time some one hates it they break away from the community and start their own 'distro'. Its so fragmented and confusing developers can't back a winner and consumers just don't care.

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24263869)

How productive - another troll spreading lies and instigating fights. Yeah, that will fix the world. Much more productive than work.

I don't know why I even bother posting anymore. The whole Internet must have taken LSD. Good thing it can't infect the real world.

constructive hate exists (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263913)

Linux has plenty of haters... like up in Redmond, and up in every Microsoft shop that feels threatened by Linux.

Seriously, though: there is no point in "hating Linux": Linux is a large collection of independently developed and maintained components. When some people hated Qt, they developed Gtk+. When some people hated Perl, the developed Ruby. When some people hated Sawfish, they developed Metacity. Etc.

That's different from Microsoft: I can hate it as much as I want to, I just can't fix it.

THE most important thing to make linux easier.. (2, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#24263935)

All distros must REQUIRE a graphic sudo dialogue system (a-la osx) in order to distribute a file manager.

File managers are there to manage files, and not just on your own user space. There is nothing more annoying than having to drop to shell level and type furiously to do something which on mac can be done with a few drags and drops.

Most people don't even know how to do that, and all they see is "operation not permitted".
Think about that for a minute... Because there is no option to authenticate (out of the box), joe user is put through the same scenario with his files that you get put through when some company surprises you with a DRM scheme.

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