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OSCON 2008 Roundup

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the where-the-news-was-made dept.

Linux Business 182

An anonymous reader writes "Infoweek wraps last week's event with Inside The OSCON 2008 Conference, which pulls together interviews with Mark Shuttleworth, Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin, MySQL's Zach Urlocker and Sam Ramji, who directs Microsoft's Open Source Lab. Best quotes: 'We will make a significant attempt to elevate the Linux desktop to the point where it is as good or better than Apple,' from Shuttleworth; and 'If I would start a business tomorrow I'd do it in the netbook marketplace. I'd build a dead-simple $200 device that targets sports fans, women over forty,' from Zemlin." We discussed Shuttleworth's better-than-Apple proposition while OSCON was going on. Update Jamie noted this OSCON Summary Video that might also be worth your time.

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182 comments

Fist Proust (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397139)

That gay frenchy

Better-than-Apple? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397143)

Shuttleworth went on to state that Linux's market share will grow when it has better eye-candy than Apple's.

And yet another clueless person making a comment about something he doesn't understand.

People don't use Macs because the GUI is pretty. They use Macs because "they just work". The fact that the GUI doesn't look like crap from the 1980's is just a bonus.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397197)

I will tell you why apple has better eye-candy than everyone else, and it's because of Core Animation. If you haven't seen it, you seriously need to look into it. It is everything you could want in an eye-candy library, and makes doing cute little things simple.

For example, when you do a search in a textbox or browser or something, OSX not only highlights the text, it makes it jump out for a second (stretch then shrink). It is really cool. I'm sure it annoys some people. It could be done on linux, but it would take a couple hundred lines. With core animation, it takes 10 or 15, and then because of the modularity of the whole OpenStep GUI system, it is easy to pass that capability into other programs.

Until Linux has a similar programming system, it will be hard to give it the same eye candy. Think about it: suppose I am trying to set up some effect on a windows machine. I know it will take a day or so of coding, so I am going to be careful to set it up and plan well before hand. If it turns out nice, I'm going to feel pretty good.

Whereas with core animation, if I suddenly think of something cool, I can just try it out. If it looks good, then great, if it doesn't, I can tweak it or throw it out until another good idea comes up. And you don't have to be an expert, it is pretty simple once you get it. So even the B-rate programmers can come up with this stuff, and the non-graphics programmers (documentation is still pretty horrible, however). That is cool. In fact it is one of the coolest things I've seen in programming in years.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397337)

This just is flat out wrong.

This is like claiming that Apple has such polished desktops and product design because they have really good artists and industrial designers.

It is the management culture at Apple that makes those things happen and the people doing it are just the tools they use. And the same goes for Core Animation and the rest of OS X's UI and imaging technologies.

Just take one look at the visual abortion that is KDE 4.1:

http://www.linux.com/var/uploads/Image/articles/142661.png

Core Image isn't going to do anything to make that UI nightmare any better. There are fundamental problems that go far beyond the rendering tech used. There is a complete lack of even the most basic UI design concepts that have been developed over the past 20 years. Font rendering and layout problems, colour usage for UI elements, shadowing and light source consistency just to name a few of the most glaring errors.

A year from now KDE and Gnome will be just a train wreck of UI elements with some more random bling thrown in a continuing futile attempt to 'prove KDE/Gnome is ahead' of Windows and OS X.

Core Animation would do nothing to help the mess that is KDE/Gnome. It would just add additional pointless bling.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397449)

From your answer I can see you have never used Cocoa. A house-framer with a 12-oz hammer isn't going to have to work twice as hard to get stuff done as one using a 21-oz hammer. The tools a person uses are extremely important. A person who is tired from fighting all the time with the GUI-toolkit is not going to have the energy to be creative about how it looks. The GGP had a better point: it is not enough to just create 'prettiness,' it more importantly has to be functional. And that is where you get the double win with openstep: not only is it easy to make pretty, it is easy to make usable. If you so desire.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397623)

"From your answer I can see you have never used Cocoa"

Been doing commercial Mac development since the Mac II days. Used every single API Apple has ever made. Have shipped product on every OS Apple has made since the Mac II days. Am writing this on an OS X machine with Xcode running in the background right now with a project that is most likely more lines of code than you have written in your life.

You're obviously just some teenage kid who thinks Core Image is 'kewl'.

I'll be polite and just say your post was quaint.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

pshuke (845050) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399361)

I am the bone of my Mac
Silicon is my body, and electrons are my blood
I have written over a thousand lines
Unknown to -1
Nor known to 0
Have withstood pain to use many API
Yet those hands will never hold anything
So as I pray, unlimited xcode works

and that is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24399187)

The tools a person uses are extremely important. A person who is tired from fighting all the time with the GUI-toolkit is not going to have the energy to be creative about how it looks.

You must be joking! Are you seriously saying that Objective-C is easier to use than, say, Python, Ruby, or even C#?

You must have had too much of Apple's magic cool aid.

XCode, Cocoa, and Objective-C are tedious.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (3, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397595)

Actually it's both. Without good managment, the project will go every which way like an ADD child with multiple personalities. Then you get things like feature bloat, inconsistent UI and general visual clutter. I could probably add to the list as well. But without good engineers, you have an inflexible UI API that developers don't want to deal with, and end up with less 'flashy' apps. And without good artists, your project will make the users' eyes bleed. No one group is significantly more important than the others. If any of them fail, the project will be majorly set back.

stop the rants and give us some facts (1, Interesting)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398441)

May I interrupt your rant and ask for some facts please? Where are the usability studies showing OS X or Windows to be superior?

The fact is that Apple has never shown their usability to be better than anybody else's.

And you have nothing to back up statements "There is a complete lack of even the most basic UI design concepts that have been developed over the past 20 years." Come on, try naming those "basic UI design concepts" that Gnome or KDE supposedly violate.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399293)

http://www.linux.com/var/uploads/Image/articles/142661.png

Looks like a [bad] fanboi theme on XP...

Re:Better-than-Apple? (3, Interesting)

daemonburrito (1026186) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397343)

I totally agree with you. I just started hacking around with Cocoa, and I am pretty blown away by how elegant it is.

Objective C is pretty amazing, too. (I couldn't speculate about whether developing for Cocoa with Java is fun or not).

It's a total cliche, but it's true: You only get one shot at making a good API. If it has warts that you want to get rid of later, be assured that millions of developers will have written code that depends on those warts.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24399307)

Damn straight! When I had to replace my system (formerly xp), I considered XP, Vista, FreeBSD, and went with OS X. The underlying technology (Cocoa, darwin, etc) is primarily why. Sure, I can pretty up KDE or GNOME to have custom widgets, but it's lipstick on a pig, relatively speaking.

We will make a significant attempt to elevate the Linux desktop to the point where it is as good or better than Apple,'

Step 1: replace Gnome with GNUStep.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397363)

Yeah it's basically due to the easy modularisation of the apple API due to Cocoa (objective-c). THat makes programming for mac so simple. Linux has an equivalent to this in Gnustep/Etoile with Objective C but it is lacking developer manpower. I am convinced that with a lot of developers backing gnustep/etoile it could easily replicate the mac experience on linux and surpass it.

KDE and Gnome Have Failed To Match OS X (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397441)

Core Animation isn't going to turn this UI disaster:

KDE 4.1 preview
http://www.linux.com/var/uploads/Image/articles/142661.png

OS X
http://www.file-extensions.org/imgs/app-picture/1254/mac-os-x.jpg

magically into a desktop of OS X's quality. And the same goes for Gnome.

KDE & Gnome:

The APIs are junk

The UI elements are primitive and mostly halfassed Win2k era clones

There are no UI tools of the calibre of Interface Builder

The Linux font system(s) are a mismash of crap

X11 is archaic crap

Making a desktop of OS X's level of quality is enormous hard work. The KDE and Gnome devs simply do not have the skill, commitment, and maturity to put in the massive amount of work to make their desktops of the level of quality.

It's been a decade they've been working on KDE. It's time the KDE devs moved on to something else. The total mess that is KDE 4.0/4.1 shows it is time for them to move on to something less challenging than trying to match Apple's OS X.

Re:KDE and Gnome Have Failed To Match OS X (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397637)

Yeah, I agree, it needs a lot of work. It will happen, let me tell you why. Microsoft is going to be out of the picture (even their stock-holders have no faith in them: check their stock price). So what is left? OSX. Imagine you are Dell, HP, and Lenovo. What are you going to do if you can't push OSX, and Microsoft is dying? You start pushing Linux. Maybe this won't happen, but it isn't an unreasonable scenerio.

And it can be done. Each one of the problems you have listed can be overcome, and furthermore OSX has showed how to solve a lot of those problems. It's going to be a lot of hard work, but it can be done. And incidentally, I don't even think Interface Builder is that great. It gets the job done, but the latest version annoys me.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397475)

The real problem is not Linux itself.

The real problem is X and the fact that it is an utter pile of gash.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398491)

The real problem is X and the fact that it is an utter pile of gash.

That's a pretty ironic statement, given that both Apple and Microsoft had to abandon their previous window systems a few years back and adopt an X11-like architecture.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (3, Informative)

saturn_vk (1198069) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398809)

You should check out enlightenment's edje library. That same animation could be done in 10-15 lines of simple, non-C code (so that designers can do the animations, not programmers)

Re:Better-than-Apple? (2, Interesting)

ndogg (158021) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399167)

E17 (i.e. Enlightenment) has been promising a lot of this kind of thing for a while now. Of course, the Hurd, and DNF also promise a lot as well...

Re:Better-than-Apple? (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397211)

Macs don't "just work".

People try them because they are told they "just work" and they pay highly for the privilege. When they discover that they have been lied to they are assured to "stick with it" and once they are heavily invested they are afraid to pull out because they don't want to lose that investment. Then they try to enlist other people so they don't feel so abnormal.

In other words, it's a cult. And if you find that too hard to believe, keep in mind that the leader of this cult is Steve Jobs. If you can't see that he is a cult leader then you're already lost.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397455)

Then they try to enlist other people so they don't feel so abnormal.

You just described every OS fanatic.

Of which you are clearly one, by the way.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

horatiocain (1199485) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397641)

I know you're just trolling, but man am I tired of the 'Apple is teh cultz!' post. A lot of people like OSX UI. Unsurprisingly, when you consider they've actually got a set of usability standards to follow. Why not take a look at all the independent assessments of Apple's usability design. Or the awards Macs have received. Etc, etc. No cult member will tell you to look at independent evidence. But I'm asking you to before you try to sell some crazy scheme about why Macs aren't even viable products.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397665)

We're not talking about the people who "just like it", we're talking about the people who claim it "just works". It doesn't just work! The fact is that for the vast majority of people who get on a Mac for the first, second, or even 20th time, they damn thing doesn't "just work" it doesn't even "just kinda work". What it does is anything but. So stop speaking shit. I challenge everyone who has never used a Mac to go to the Apple Store and try to perform the most basic of tasks.. hell, try to switch from one maximized application to another. Enjoy the learning curve. They don't.. just.. work..

Re:Better-than-Apple? (4, Insightful)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397749)

What exactly doesn't "just work" in your estimation? How are we defining ""just works"? If you take a Mac from the Mac store and sit down and use it (i.e. don't install a bunch of garbage on it before you figure out how to use it), well, most people find it pretty intuitive. You say you have problems switching between "maximized" applications -- which applications are those? Most OSX programs do not start up "maximized", and usually switching applications is a matter of clicking a window behind the front one. Or clicking the red or yellow dot in the upper left hand corner of most windows and then clicking the window behind. Most people figure this out pretty quickly. If that's your best example of Macs not "just working," it seems to prove the opposite case -- Sit down in front of windows and figure out the same thing (a lot of Windows apps actually DO startup "maximized"), or a linux machine (which could look like anything depending on the window manager installed and the programs opened). Of course a Mac doesn't "just work" in the sense that no computer "just works"; the human being always needs to do something to the computer, but MacOS X does seem to make it easier to figure out what the human is supposed to do next.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397781)

I *challenge* you to take a person who has never used a Mac to the Apple store and ask them to use a Mac to do any standard task. Actually listen to what they say. If they don't mutter "how the hell do I..?" in the first 5 minutes you've found a genius. It is not intuitive. You're told it is intuitive and you believe it, but have you actually tested it?

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398349)

I don't find Mac intuitive at all. I am a developer who finds his way around in linux and windows without any problems and every time I need to do something on a Mac I want to scream. For me Mac is a step down from windows. Linux > Windows > OSX
GUI's are not intuitive! They might be for the designer/developer who made it but not for the general user out there.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

fido_dogstoyevsky (905893) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399281)

I don't find Mac intuitive at all. I am a developer who finds his way around in linux and windows without any problems and every time I need to do something on a Mac I want to scream. For me Mac is a step down from windows. Linux > Windows > OSX GUI's are not intuitive! They might be for the designer/developer who made it but not for the general user out there.

Absotively posilutely right. Couple of years back at work I had a choice of either a PC and win xp or a mac and osx (we used PCs with win nt before that). I chose the mac to escape the ms straightjacket - after less than six months the only thing I was using it for was email (built a clandestine PC from bits and pieces for real work).

The year I spent with osx was one long frustrating battle with the UI that soured me on macs. The os was stable enough but I wish they'd spent a bit less time on eye candy and a bit more on making the UI more customisable.

Tried Linux at home (OpenSUSE 10) and was amazed at how everything _just works_ (my way). I've still avoided xp, love KDE (gave up on the gnome desktop early on).

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398659)

I *challenge* you to take a person who has never used a Mac to the Apple store and ask them to use a Mac to do any standard task. Actually listen to what they say. If they don't mutter "how the hell do I..?" in the first 5 minutes you've found a genius. It is not intuitive. You're told it is intuitive and you believe it, but have you actually tested it?

Mr. (or Miss or Mrs, for that matter) MG, you appear to have a great deal of anger about OS X and how intuitive or otherwise it is.

Why? Why does it matter to you what OS anyone elects to use? More to the point, how is it any of your damn business? Everyone is entitled to their opinion, surely?

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398897)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDHJ4ztnldQ [youtube.com]

For the same reason we should care about what Christians believe - cause they are delusional and accepting irrational belief as "ok" is bad for all of us in the long run.

Steve Jobs is a charismatic guy.. I get it. But everything he and his spin doctors say is not true. When he lies, we should call him on it. When people repeat his lies, we should call *them* on it.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (2, Insightful)

lm317t (971782) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399177)

For the same reason we should care about what Christians believe - cause they are delusional and accepting irrational belief as "ok" is bad for all of us in the long run.

Their belief in charity and community are just a ticking time bomb. I heard the other day they were giving out free food and clothing to the poor! This must be stopped.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (4, Interesting)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398519)

If you take a Mac from the Mac store and sit down and use it (i.e. don't install a bunch of garbage on it before you figure out how to use it), well, most people find it pretty intuitive.

And this is different from Linux how?

If you plop down an Ubuntu system on someone's desktop, in my experience, they find it "pretty intuitive" as well. Actually, many users prefer the Ubuntu desktop because it's easier to find and launch the apps that they need; nobody has has had any complaints about it.

or a linux machine (which could look like anything depending on the window manager installed and the programs opened).

That's a bullshit comparison. You need to compare desktop operating systems, not a kernel and a desktop OS.

Furthermore, OS X can also "look like anything" if people choose to theme it.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398637)

That's a bullshit comparison. You need to compare desktop operating systems, not a kernel and a desktop OS.

So you need to only compare the desktop? You do understand that this "Desktop OS" entirely depends on X11, hence it's ported to many different "Operating Systems" by itself. I can run GNOME or KDE on FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, Darwin, Solaris, Cygwin, Linux - at least thats a start. The parent was correct, it's the window manager and application set you use on X11 that determines your "experience." Let me know when the X Window Server is officially an "Operating System" - it will be big news for sure. You need to learn what the correct usage of the term "Operating System" and how there is a difference between Windows running on top of DOS or OS X running on top of Darwin, and GNOME or KDE or whatever running off of a cross-compatible X Window server. There's a big-ass difference.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1, Flamebait)

beav007 (746004) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398555)

What if I want to work with multiple maximised applications?

"Most applications don't start maximised" isn't a solution. I want them maximised, so if they don't start that way, I will do it manually. And from there, I can't just "[click] a window behind the front one".

And once I have 5-6 maximised applications (which is more often than not), "clicking the red or yellow dot in the upper left hand corner of most windows and then clicking the window behind" becomes an utter PITA.

OSX may be pretty, but it's a usability trainwreck. There's nothing intuitive about it.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

wootest (694923) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398909)

Command+~ switches windows. Command+Tab switches applications. You're right that the Zoom button does fit-to-content in some apps and maximize in some apps and I'd rather see it do just one of them, preferably maximize.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399073)

Just as intuitive as the nipple; now that all modern tits come with a Command key (the one labeled with the microsoft logo, or the one with 'alt').

Re:Better-than-Apple? (2, Informative)

smidget2k4 (847334) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397773)

I would disagree, while there is a (shallow) learning curve, when I plug in a printer it "just works". When I select a random network printer at my school it "just works". Yes, this is because these drivers are all installed (and is an option). The only driver I've had to install myself was NTFS3g, which normal users don't need. What part of OSX doesn't just work for you? Yes, it has its kinks and oddities (why is there not a damn simple paint program that comes with it?), but most of the differences between OSX and Windows can be learned in an hour or two. Please, if you are going to say it doesn't "just work" use some examples. My experiences obviously differ from yours. But then, I'm one of the guys who bought it because I liked having a nice UI on top of a *nix terminal.

The dock is different from the taskbar, but it is pretty easy to pick up. My 83 year old grandfather picked it up in about 2 or 3 minutes. Couldn't most users?

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397817)

I was able to go to a friends house and plug in his completely foreign scanner/printer combo into my Ubuntu laptop and it "just worked", without even installing any drivers. I'd never even used a scanner on Linux before, never had need to, and I could also claim, and be correct, that the basic user interface for gnome on Ubuntu could be learned in a few minutes. That does not mean that Linux "just works", it means that "it works for me".

There's a big difference.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397825)

I would disagree, while there is a (shallow) learning curve, when I plug in a printer it "just works".

then you do agree with me.

That you're nitpicking? (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397997)

Everything new has a "shallow learning curve". This "insight" makes your initial post inane, in retrospect, except for the "cult-of-Apple" part, on which I have no comment.

Any insightful discussion on the "just works" part of your post would have to get into differential comparisons of new user experiences under various OS's.

Re:That you're nitpicking? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398025)

No.. I'd be happy to say that no OS "just works". It's not a question of Apple-vs-Whatever.. it's a matter of Apple lying.

Oh, your meaning wasn't clear (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398065)

Sorry, then; just be aware that your meaning wasn't clear to me until you replied. You might want to add the "No OS just works" up front next time.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397843)

That's a trick question because you can't maximize applications.

But in my experience there are those hot corner thingers that make every window fly out of whatever nook or cranny you hid it in and then you just click the one you want. Combining youur visual processing ability and Fitt's law mean you're much more likely to end up with the window you wanted sooner than say a linear search via alt-tab.

Now I don't own any Macs, but frankly, that's a killer feature.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

gtomorrow (996670) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397847)

Gee, i did just that about 12 years ago. Actually i was kinda forced into it being how the only computer available to me was a Mac. Took me a couple of days to understand the whole thing. In my opinion it has always "just worked." If i remember correctly, i had designed an album cover in that week. I have never looked back since. Thank you and good night.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397879)

Took me a couple of days to understand the whole thing.

What? So it didn't "just work"? Huh?

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

node 3 (115640) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397987)

What? So it didn't "just work"? Huh?

Hey, jackass. "it just works" mean things just work (and this is generally true). It does *not* mean "I don't have to learn how to use it".

How you got the second notion from that phrase is beyond me.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398005)

"it just works" mean things just work (and this is generally true). It does *not* mean "I don't have to learn how to use it".

Control the language and you control the debate, eh? I see you are still drinking the Koolaid.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

wumpus188 (657540) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397927)

WTF are you talking about? Your Command or Tab is broken, or maybe you're talking about Kiosk mode? Well, you can't switch from one app to another in Kiosk mode, that's what Kiosk mode is designed to prevent.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

colinRTM (1333069) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398209)

I would just like to say, your post is utter bollocks. I bought a Mac last week for the first time in my life, after using Windows since 3.11 and abhorring everyone who turns Macs into some kind of magical entity. And did everything "just work"? Yes, I can assure you it did.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398191)

Macs don't "just work".

People try them because they are told they "just work" and they pay highly for the privilege.

TBH, I bought a Mac because I'd had enough of issues with hardware (both under Windows and Linux) which didn't do what it said on the box.

Which is not to say there isn't the occasional issue - if I'm buying a peripheral I need to ensure it's not some Windows-only POS but to be honest I'd have avoided such things in the Windows world as well because IME Windows-only peripherals are Windows only because the manufacturer decided to shave a bit off their costs and do the legwork in the driver rather than on the chip. And seldom do you find a product in which corners are cut but is still produced to half-decent quality.

But (and again, this is purely my experience, YMMV etc etc), describing all Apple users as a bunch of brainwashed cult members is generally only done by people who have either never used OS X or never used it for more than an hour or so.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399081)

In other words, it's a cult.

Then how come you're acting so much more brainwashed than the people with positive things to say about Macs?

"It just works" is obviously referring to the machine being usable on day one, without requiring a lot of work first. In other words, the software to do what you want to do is already there and there's no preinstalled deadweight bloatware or nagware that you need to waste time removing. It also suggests that the software is of higher quality and crashes less often.

I'm sorry, but it's completely fair for Apple to boast that their OS "just works" when most people use Windows. Microsoft's OS is a broken (non-working) mess on day one, compared to MacOS or Ubuntu. Whether it's a clean install of Windows and you're missing apps, or it's direct from Dell/HP/etc and bogged down with junk, either way you're a good chunk of work away from a decent experience. Then there's the issue of applying the updates, since some of those updates have to be installed by themselves and you have to reboot before more updates can be applied. And I've seen plenty of systems with "automatic updates" enabled that wouldn't get any new updates until I manually went to Windows Update.

As long as they're being compared to Windows, Macs definitely do "just work."

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397551)

I'm not so sure. Apple 'just worked' and had a GUI from the 80s (pre-os X), and now just works and has a modern GUI. It happens that that OS X is also when the masses really started using Macs again. Now, there are *A LOT* of factors that changed in that timeframe - marketing, GUI, features, etc. However, is there any proof, one way or the other, that that the 'just works' is enough without a flashy GUI?

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398219)

I'm not so sure.

Apple 'just worked' and had a GUI from the 80s (pre-os X), and now just works and has a modern GUI.

It happens that that OS X is also when the masses really started using Macs again.

Now, there are *A LOT* of factors that changed in that timeframe - marketing, GUI, features, etc. However, is there any proof, one way or the other, that that the 'just works' is enough without a flashy GUI?

There's plenty of proof of the exact opposite, as it happens. Clever marketing can sell a product which is otherwise running about 2-5 years behind everything else in the marketplace.

Witness MS-DOS and the rise of the IBM PC compatible at a time when Apple had a much larger market share than they have ever since.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

story645 (1278106) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397575)

People don't use Macs because the GUI is pretty. They use Macs because "they just work"

People do buy macs 'cause the hardware is prettier, which I think is what most people think of when they think Mac eye candy. At this point, Windows just works about as often as Macs do,(meaning just fine as long as it's used as intended) so usually once cost/functionality are factored in, it probably does boil down to eye candy.

Another reason things just work is 'cause Apple GUI's tend to be fairly intuitive, so it's easy to get things working, once the user gets accustomed to it. Lots of FOSS UI's aren't up to par with the typical mac offering.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398169)

I am posting this from a fairly new Mac lappy and I would estimate that I've used the Mac OS on this thing less than two dozen times. Bootcamp + XP SP3. FTW

And yes, yes I bought it for the beauty of the hardware.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398567)

Seems a bit expensive if you ask me.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398521)

Honestly, I started using OS X regularly for Expose. As I learnt more features, I could get things done easier and quicker than with windows. One little, obvious feature was all it took to get me t eventually switch.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (5, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397953)

They use Macs because "they just work".

I constantly hear this quote from Mac fanboys but it doesn't make any sense. The implication is that other computer systems don't work. I'm on a machine that dual boots Windows and Linux, and guess what? It works!

And you know what else. Nearly every server in the world is on Linux or Windows and they work too. And most businesses are running Windows or Linux and it works there too. And finally Linux and other non-Apple OS's are running nearly all of the embedded systems in the world. And what's most interesting about this is how microscopically small the amount of these people who think Apple "just works" is.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398741)

That's possibly the best rebuttal to Apple's "it just works" I've ever read. Someone give this guy some positive mod points.

Re:Better-than-Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398023)

People don't use Macs because the GUI is pretty. They use Macs because "they just work".

Seems to me that the beauty of the Macintosh interface is mostly derived from the way it 'just works.'

Everything about the Mac's interface is designed to be used, it works in such a way that the user will fall in love and enter the Jobs' Reality Distortion Field(tm).

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

colinRTM (1333069) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398071)

Speaking as a person who has just in the last two weeks migrated to OS X from Windows (I had used Windows since 3.11) and hitherto had little prior experience of OS X, I can definitely attest to the statement "it just works." I shan't go back to WIndows, and I most definitely won't be using Linux on the desktop again (each time was a painful experience).

Re:Better-than-Apple? (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398553)

I have just come to the major conclusion that all three of the main operating systems are right for different people. OSX and Apple in general - Pretty and easy to use - but arent you going to pay for it. Dont dare to want anything to different like crysis. Windows - I need MS Word and MS project etc.. so its like work and it has a major market share Linux - I can't go back to windows only now as I am addicted to the free software p!ssing about with new distros and making OSX people go oooo - how do you do that (compiz) What I really want (or not maybe) is the b4stard child of windows with a linux kernel and then the world to adopt it or just the world to adopt the distro of my choice ...mwwoohhahahaha

2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397239)

I can't believe that I just built a new PC for incredibly cheap and paid 100 bucks for Vista Premium - happily.

I use to be the most hardcore of hardcore Microsoft/Windows haters. Desktop Linux was just around the corner and life would be good. Unix, non-proprietary, source code available. That was years ago.

After reading The Linux Haters Blog, and who isn't?, it became clear that the dream of Linux on the desktop was dead. I finally realized just how bad things are and why progress never happens with desktop Linux distros just spinning their wheels getting nowhere.

Maybe someone will come along and ditch the entire X11,KDE/Gnome, package management, driver model, and everything is that makes desktop Linux complete crap compared to commercial desktops like Windows and OS X.

Vista is fantastic. Perhaps it was not very good before the first service pack but Vista SP1 is a polished desktop that I am getting work done and playing games. No more waiting around for the KDE and Gnome devs to finally get their shit together and put in the hard work that commercial developers do every day. Life is too short and there is too much to do instead of sitting around hoping that maybe next year desktop Linux will finally get its shit together.

http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397509)

My main problem with Linux right now are the damn fonts... They look like complete crap without heavy aliasing. This should *NOT* be the case even with the extra font packs installed.

I think the fancy processing to handle detail hints when fonts are zoomed simply don't exist on this platform.

My second problem is reliability. For a server, ip routing, etc linux really is great. When you use X or power management features or bluetooth..etc its not long before something starts going haywire.. at least thats been my experience.

Give it a few more years and I'm sure Linux will continue to make great strides on the desktop... IMHO they really do just need to kill the damned X11 system alltogether.

Compared to RDP there is no contest in terms of network resources consumed by remote sessions. X11 is a pig.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397547)

Don't hold your breath:

http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/2008/06/catastrafont.html

A few more years Linux fonts will suck in an equally but completely different way.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398749)

linuxhaters is awesome, right? It's like maddox only somehow dumber and less entertaining (which is itself impressive, I guess).

Err... Maybe I should put it in terms you'll understand:

linuxhaters sucks big hot hard freetard cock!

- freetard

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (3, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398595)

My main problem with Linux right now are the damn fonts... They look like complete crap without heavy aliasing. This should *NOT* be the case even with the extra font packs installed.

You probably didn't set up the right anti-aliasing in preferences; that can happen on Windows and OS X as well. The OS doesn't know what you need or want.

When you use X or power management features or bluetooth..etc its not long before something starts going haywire.. at least thats been my experience.

Did you buy supported hardware? If not, that's like complaining that when you install OS X on your PC, things don't work.

It's not a Linux problem when Linux doesn't work on unsupported hardware, and that simply will never get fixed.

Compared to RDP there is no contest in terms of network resources consumed by remote sessions. X11 is a pig.

That is by design: X11 and RDP are designed for totally different bandwidth/performance/functionality tradeoffs.

Furthermore, modern X11 applications are not written or tested for remote usage anymore. The equivalent of RDP in the Linux world is VNC, which works very well.

Give it a few more years and I'm sure Linux will continue to make great strides on the desktop... IMHO they really do just need to kill the damned X11 system alltogether.

You don't know what you're talking about. Microsoft and Apple had to abandon their idiotic attempts at window systems and Windows UI Server and Quartz now have the same architecture (asynchronous client-server systems) as X11. X11 is still the better system.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (1)

lm317t (971782) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399261)

Don't reply to the AC's, they are automated AI drones spouting canned comments from a database to waste your time and forum space. They are 2nd generation spam.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399447)

must be your hardware. on an intel laptop with a broadcom card + bluetooth, compiz, etc and had no problems from X11, but on a new laptop with an ati card things are a bit less stable

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (1)

daemonburrito (1026186) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397529)

and who isn't?

Me.

I don't even have a linux desktop right now. I just think it (linuxhaters) isn't any good.

It reads like it was written by a 18-year-old sub-literate kid who missed the "satire" part of "fratire". Even if the writer (writers?) understood linux, I couldn't read it due to the latent homosexuality making me so uncomfortable on the the author's behalf (why is everything about balls, cock, and ass to you?).

Back in the day, we had UGH [simson.net]. Now that was some good hate.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (1)

Brain Damaged Bogan (1006835) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397567)

at the risk of feeding the trolls... you happily paid for vista? that's like happily paying for sodomy by an elephant penis covered by a barbed wire condom

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397887)

Interesting post. Vista is really worth getting now? I alternate between XP and Debian. XP is really great, but Debian is always breaking. I've spent many weekends trhying to figure out how to fix my linux's numeerous breakages and punching holes in the walls and cursing because my "apt-get update" fscked up something.
I'll look up the blog and maybe get Vista as well. It's free for me because I'm a student.Nothing to lose.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (1)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398001)

WTF? "update" only retrieves the package lists, which cannot ruin anything even theoretically. "dist-upgrade" is a bit of a risk but if you're using official repositories and the stable branch, you'd have to try really hard to break something. Either way, it's hardly Debian's fault.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398145)

Sorry, I meant apt-get upgrade. But first an "apt-get -s updrade" to make sure nothing is wrong. Not even dist-upgrade, but simple "apt-get upgrade" has caused me so many problems. Linux is so much more frustrating than XP has ever been. I'm kind of over the "free and fun stuff" infatuation with Linux. I still can't even get my nvidea grpahics card working correctly on linux. And forget about playing games newer than DOOM. The only worse OS I have used was OSX. A couple of years ago, when I upgraded from 10.3.9 or whatever it's called to 10.4, it broke some apps beyond repair. I don't use Apples any more.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398503)

Interesting post.

No it isn't. It's spam.

Re:2008 - The Desktop Linux Dream Is Dead (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399191)

Sounds less like spam and more like FUD to me. Any /. Dev wanna check from which IP address GP and this comment [slashdot.org] came from? Somehow I wouldn't be surprised if they came from the Redmond area.

Sun Party (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397359)

If you need any evidence that Sun is going down the tubes, just look at the arrogance of the Sun party.

The company that is trying to BUY it's way into open source and then ignores the communities trying to act like they are "cool and hip" at OSCON.

Spice Rubbed Steak with Quick Garlic Fries (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397515)

About 3 cups vegetable oil
2 (1 1/4-inch-thick) boneless top loin (New York strip) steaks (about 1 lb each)
3 1/8 teaspoons spice rub for beef
1 (1-lb) package frozen french fries
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450F.

Heat 1 inch oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy pot over high heat until it registers 375F on thermometer.

While oil heats, pat steaks dry, then rub all over with spice rub (and salt if necessary). Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch ovenproof heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sear steaks, turning over once with tongs, until well browned, about 5 minutes total. Transfer skillet to oven and roast 10 minutes for medium-rare.

Check oil while searing steaks, and when it registers 375F, begin frying french fries in 2 batches (add fries carefully; they may have ice crystals, which could cause spattering), stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes per batch. Transfer fries with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain and season with salt and pepper while hot. Return oil to 375F between batches.

Turn off heat under pot, then add garlic and fry until pale golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute, and transfer with slotted spoon to paper towels. Toss fries with garlic in a large bowl.

Transfer steak to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes. Slice steak and serve with fries.

Re:Spice Rubbed Steak with Quick Garlic Fries (4, Funny)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 5 years ago | (#24397681)

If you're going to troll(?) at least do it in metric please!

Re:Spice Rubbed Steak with Quick Garlic Fries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398581)

The metric system is the devil. My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

Re:Spice Rubbed Steak with Quick Garlic Fries (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397779)

Why is this modded Funny and not Informative?!

Someone.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24397737)

'Someone else commented from the floor that Microsoft might well be an "assassin" if admitted into open source circles.'

Hi Bruce!

how about compiz-fusion??!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398017)

you can say osx has great icandy, but what about compiz-fusion?? i never seen multi desktops on a spinning cube, nor the wobbly windows, nor the burning windows, or the magic lamp effect on any other os then linux!!!

Re:how about compiz-fusion??!!! (1)

ati11a (1152651) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398259)

Actually compiz-fusion (for having animations inter-window) and clutter (http://clutter-project.org/) (for having animations intra-window i.e within widgets) is a deadly combo. If only toolkits like GTK+ had an OpenGL or clutter backend..

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda (1)

deanston (1252868) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398337)

Is that all the Linux leaders today can think of, is copying or matching what has already been done? "When we catch up to OS X..." "If only we targeted netbooks..." - Why can't they think of anything original? By the time they've reach their their target it will have already moved.

I got tired of spending more time tweaking the system instead of working on my projects so I got a base model MacBook Pro online. No taxa and with discount. The Mac works for me NOT because of the eye candy but the overall system design makes work pleasant and smooth. You don't have to go through 5 submenus and 3 tabs just to adjust some setting. Nothing is perfect, but it works more often and easily than other OS I found. The same tasks/apps installs faster, launches faster, error out more gracefully, takes less footprint than the Gateway I have at work with the same specs running XP Pro. The Mac runs cooler and quieter, and staring at its screen for hours doesn't hurt my eyes like with PC monitors. The multi-touch trackpad is something every laptop will eventually imitate.

Just because not every GUI behaves like on Windows and not every short cut key work the same do not mean it doesn't "just work". I find the Windows paradigm often leads to the most physically and mentally debilitating UI design ever.

Come on, Linux! Find or invent the next big thing. Focus and get all the groups to work on it together!

What about enlightenment ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24398437)

It's a shame that it lacks devs, because E17 is well suited for the "netbook" Shuttleworth describes - it looks and feels like a jewl, and even works on your mobile phone.

Re:What about enlightenment ? (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398673)

My only issue with e17 is the lack of the systray. The devs explain the reasons why they decided to not include it, and they are legit reasons, but still, the systray has become something inportant, and if it will never be revived then that's something that might keep me off of it in the long run. I always used e16 in the late 90s whenever I ran X11 off of a unix OS.

Ubuntu mess. (-1, Flamebait)

ehack (115197) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398625)

My keyboard is a mess. See below. If Linux cannot provide the user with a working keyboard out of the box how can they expect the user yuo do offfice work ?

An engineering firm in Italy sent me an Ubuntu 8.04 Virtual Appliance for some programming work.
The keyboard cannot be reset at system level to French or Italian or anything, using the mouse interface.

This is a known Ubunti 8.04 release bug. xsetkbmap only partly alleviates the issue. Neither I or the firm know what to do. In fact, why should we ? International keyboard support is supposed to be a core ability of any "Desktop" system.

If Seattle sent countries Vista systems without customisable keyboards to sell, there would be a revolt among other buyers and regional employees.

I used Linux at Redhat 1. What was funny then has stopped being acceptable now.

Re:Ubuntu mess. (1)

Burpmaster (598437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399155)

I'm confused. Are you talking about something other than what's in the Layouts tab of System -> Preferences -> Keyboard? Because there's also the keyboard setup that happens during the install process. What's missing?

Re:Ubuntu mess. (1)

sammyF70 (1154563) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399317)

"virtual applicance"? as in : runs in VmWare?

If that's the case, then complain at VMWare.
Their Ubuntu8.04 image is screwed up for people with non QWERTY keyboards. The VMWare tools are also not available as .deb package, which means that anybody trying Ubuntu in VMWare will necessarily go through a compile (and probably subsequently say that "Linux is not ready for the desktop, cause you have to compile stuff just to install")

A standard Ubuntu 8.04 install sets up the keyboard correctly.

Open Source Lab open its doors? (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24398765)

What I'm curious and excited about is when the Microsoft Open Source Lab actually opens up some good ol MS source code! Or am I misinterpreting what the Lab is for? I'm just guessing it's either for that - or for dissecting open source software and seeing which parts used stuff from their imaginative IP list that Balmer is always adding new things to. Who wants to bet that they buy their lab goggles from McAfee?

What is "better than Apple" mean? (0, Flamebait)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#24399397)

At one time, I thought it meant better at graphics, audio and visual editing and creating. That, of course, was a myth in that Adobe products do the same stuff on a Mac as on a PC. It can't be the visual interface of the Apple can it? If that were all it would take, Microsoft would have done something to make Windows such eye-candy that Apple couldn't have kept up with the changes. They knew it wasn't just the look all by itself. Then what could it be?

BRANDING!

Apple is one of the most well-developed brands on the market. People think Apple is cool. People are falling all over themselves to get iPods and iPhones. Why? Not because of their quality, versatility or portability... there are loads of devices that beat iPod and iPhone hands-down in those areas individually and collectively. It's that damned Apple branding that is setting stuff. This page >> http://www.aboyandhiscomputer.com/show.php?ItemID=2204 [aboyandhiscomputer.com] illustrates my point perfectly.

Beating that kind of brand development with Linux won't be easy and might even be impossible.

And even if brand recognition weren't the whole picture, there would be the availability of the apps people know and think they need like Adobe Photoshop or the like. These things aren't going to appear natively for Linux... not for a long time anyway and not until the Linux Desktop has significant presence. So here we have a chicken vs. egg situation ... or a catch 22... whatever. You get the idea.

Linux can beat Microsoft, but I'm not so sure about Apple.

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