Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Miguel de Icaza On Usability and Openness

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the many-eyes-have-many-priorities dept.

GUI 349

doperative points out comments from Miguel de Icaza on the struggle for usability in many software products: "De Icaza uses OpenSUSE as his main desktop (with the GNOME interface, of course), says he likes Linux better than Windows, and says the Linux kernel is also 'superior' to the MacOS kernel. 'Having the source code for the system is fabulous. Being able to extend the system is fabulous,' he says. But he notes that proprietary systems have advantages — such as video and audio systems that rarely break. 'I spent so many years battling with Linux and something new is broken every time,' he says. 'We as an open source community, we don't seem to get our act together when it comes to understanding the needs of end users on the desktop.'"

cancel ×

349 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

More FUD (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454218)

Sound and video is broken on open systems because of the RIAA/MPAA and Microsoft with their protected pathways, encryption, patented interconnects and tilt bits.

Re:More FUD (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454290)

No, it's broken because there's an infinite number of tiny little parts that usually don't work properly together.

Re:More FUD (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454542)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/28/vista_drm_analysis/ [theregister.co.uk]

Vista's content protection requires that devices (hardware and software drivers) set so-called "tilt bits" if they detect anything unusual. For example if there are unusual voltage fluctuations, maybe some jitter on bus signals, a slightly funny return code from a function call, a device register that doesn't contain quite the value that was expected, or anything similar, a tilt bit gets set. Such occurrences aren't too uncommon in a typical computer... Previously this was no problem - the system was designed with a bit of resilience, and things will function as normal. In other words small variances in performance are a normal part of system functioning.

They cant document these 'tilt bits' (security through obscurity/patent/dmca) which is what causes the problems.

You cant create reliable open source drivers under this kind of shafting from MS/MPAA/RIAA.

How long until Intel's remote shutdown features in SandyBridge gets used to stop 'piracy'.

Re:More FUD (1)

clodney (778910) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454850)

How does the existence of tilt bits in Windows affect the stability of drivers in Linux?

Re:More FUD (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454854)

Linux on the desktop had problems with sound and video long before "tilt bits."

Re:More FUD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454856)

So Microsoft followed the law. Big deal. Open source needs to follow the law too. Man up, get a license. Stuff costs money. Stop whining and fix open source's issues with stuff that isn't free. If you need a license to implement, oh I don't know maybe a HDCP driver, then go get one.

Re:More FUD (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454326)

Well, that and the fact that Linux has no stable kernel ABI, partly to make it "agile" and partly to punish video card and other hardware vendors for not having the open source religion.

Re:More FUD (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454450)

Nvidia seems to have no problems, you speak of things you know nothing about.

Re:More FUD (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454576)

If you can get my M-Audio Solo working with ALSA and jackd, and my BlackMagic DeckLink working on Ubuntu, let me know.

Re:More FUD (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455138)

I will be glad to try, I charge $150/hr with $300 minimum. Feel free to contact me about this.

Re:More FUD (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454362)

I find it odd that he would try to lump audio and video in this sort of rant. They are not comparable at all in terms of the sorts of issues involved with each.

Video on Linux is not broken at all. If anything, it is much better than it is on Windows or MacOS and Free Software from the Linux world is applied to the proprietary operating systems to help them deal with how they are "broken".

iPads are especially broken in this regard. They also don't play well with what Miguel runs on his desktop.

You gotta wonder what he uses as the "mother ship" for his iPads.

Re:More FUD (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454532)

By "video" he may be referring to 3d accelerated games maybe? To play a Windows game on Linux can take hours of config time, to find out that it a) doesnt work at all or b) has 50% the performance as if you were running Windows.

Don't get me wrong, I love Linux, and use Ubuntu as my primary OS, but I have to dual boot Windows in order to play games at anywhere close to decent performance.

Re:More FUD (3, Informative)

kimvette (919543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454758)

By "video" he may be referring to 3d accelerated games maybe? To play a Windows game on Linux can take hours of config time, to find out that it a) doesnt work at all or b) has 50% the performance as if you were running Windows.

Oh hi, I see you are an ATI/AMD video card user trying to use the ATI/AMD drivers. Haven't you heard? Their drivers have been crap from the very beginning.

Want to be up and running playing games within an hour and a half of starting? Here is what you need:

(Prerequisites)
  * PC utilizing NVIDIA video chipset
  * Ubuntu or OpenSUSE install DVD (either one - if your interest is saving time these are the only two distros worth your time as an end user)
  * Internet connection

(Procedure)

  * Install your desired distro (it's stupid easy) - including kernel source packages
  * Install NVIDIA drivers (slightly less easy; you have to shut down X and run one command line to install the drivers
  * Download and install Crossover Games

Now, you can install many, many Windows games, including Rift

Re:More FUD (2)

PaladinAlpha (645879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454828)

But even that is just a result of people using a proprietary, Windows-specific API (DirectX) which then has to be completely reimplemented while working blind in Linux. Games that use OpenGL often have superior performance when ran in Linux, even when they have to go through WINE. And as for linux-native games, I don't think that "sudo apt-get install some-game" is really "hours of config time."

Re:More FUD (3, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454696)

Video on Linux is not broken at all.

At this point one might point out that if you can't watch Hulu or Netflix (we're talking about OpenSUSE here), cannot put in a credit card number to buy or rent a movie from Amazon Unbox or iTunes, and must install separate pieces of software in order to watch DVDs, this OS may not be "broken" but it might not really be meeting modern consumer expectations.

Of course you could argue they shouldn't be paying money for content, and that the DRM is illiberal or something, but you're still keeping the customer from doing what they want to do and what other platforms don't think twice about forbidding for what are essentially elitist moral reasons.

Re:More FUD (1)

e70838 (976799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454374)

It is also broken on windows, which is the main reason of the success of VLC on windows.

I have less problem with my ubuntu system (with very few fiddling) than on windows 7 (with starter edition :-( )

Is it a troll ?

Re:More FUD (1)

AaronLS (1804210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454526)

The way people throw the term "broken" around annoys me. "Poorly implemented/designed" would be more accurate. Broken implies it doesn't work at all, which is far from the truth.

Re:More FUD (1)

CrazyDawg (1442543) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454868)

Broken does not imply that it doesn't work at all. Broken means that it doesn't function properly. It is not an absolute term.

Re:More FUD (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455146)

Please. Blaming the RIAA and MPAA for multimedia shortcomings in desktop Linux is embarrassing.

Uh Huh (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454272)

'We as an open source community, we don't seem to get our act together when it comes to understanding the needs of end users on the desktop.'"

Which is why de Icaza sold out to Microsoft, y'know, to help meet some needs...

Re:Uh Huh (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454846)

Lay off, some people happen to like working with the special needs population. And I for one think they should be commended.

Re:Uh Huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454934)

Yeah, the title reads like "Adolf Hitler On Tolerance and Equal Opportunities".

Re:Uh Huh (1)

Unoriginal_Nickname (1248894) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455020)

...because Oracle is so much better, right?

Bigger Question (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454286)

'We as an open source community, we don't seem to get our act together when it comes to understanding the needs of end users on the desktop.'

I for one am fine with that. To me the bigger question is: can Linux systems cater to the average end-user who has no intention of ever understanding how the system works, without losing everything I love about Linux? You just can't do that without dumbing-down the system. Not "dumbing-down" like smart people vs. stupid people, but "dumbing-down" like technically inclined versus not technically inclined.

It's really ok if Linux never becomes the next Windows, if you never see it on 90%+ of desktops. The 90% of users who are not hobbyists and are not tinkerers and do not find the technology fascinating already have several companies that are happy to meet their needs.

Re:Bigger Question (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454500)

To me the bigger question is: can Linux systems cater to the average end-user who has no intention of ever understanding how the system works, without losing everything I love about Linux?

Ubuntu? I think you can definitely build a distribution that's user friendly, but the problems most people have are support for certain kinds of hardware and availability of certain applications. In both cases, proprietary OS vendors basically pay off hardware vendors or make partnership deals to make sure hardware isn't a problem -- this isn't really an option for a Linux distribution. On the application side, you have that whole installed base chicken-and-egg problem, and for the new mobile OSs people sell now, open or not, the major companies championing them, be they HP, RIM, Apple or Google all do a ton of legwork to induce app developers to their platform, by running app stores with co-branded distribution and advertising.

Linux distros do a lot to help free software projects get distributed, but I've never seen a Linux distro lift a finger to try to help a developer make money off a sale. Linux business models generally live in denial of the possibility of selling software for money so they don't tend to attract that kind of developer, for better and worse.

Re:Bigger Question (4, Insightful)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454684)

You just can't do that without dumbing-down the system.

You know Miguel works for the GNOME project, right?!

Joking aside, it's perfectly possible thanks to open source's inherently modular structure. Someone makes an idiot-proof GUI, distro X bundles it as the default and only option. Someone makes a uberhacker GUI, distro Y bundles it as the default and only option. Distro Z prides itself on being able to switch from newbie to expert and back again in less than three seconds.

IMHO, GNOME tries too hard to lower itself to the lowest common denominator jack of all trades - look at the recent decision to remove the "minimise" button from the taskbar because it's apparently not useful and not optimised for touchscreens. But neither is the rest of GNOME, or all the apps it's going to run. Sorry, if it's touchscreen users you're after then I'm sure GTK is perfectly capable of having a new UI constructed from the same frameworks.

Similarly, KDE often gets flak for having too many confusing options. It's personally the UI I prefer (after I've spent forever configuring it) in *nix but it's not without its own share of problems either, and much like GNOME they seem to have some project heads who are entirely convinced that theirs is the One True Way of doing it. KDE remains more usable to me because of its configuration flexibility though, but it can be baffling if you don't already know your way around, and they make fewer stupid choices than GNOME.

The problem with both KDE and GNOME's approaches (and windows as well for that matter) is people who are convinced that one tool can be everything to everybody (this goes for almost every DE I've seen in the PC world), and that the inherent differences between, say, a 5" touchscreen and a 60" TV warrant completely different approaches. So to answer your question: yes, Linux can (and does) cater to computer novices (I'm not aware of anyone needing to use the CLI in ubuntu for example, but I could be wrong) and still leave all the juicy stuff available to geeks like me. I'm no fan of apple, but when they released a phone they were smart enough to realise it would need a brand new interface, not a badly screwed fork of their desktop OS as MS did with WinCE. This supposedly revolutionary idea has netted them billions because it's the only approach that makes sense. Tightly coupled with the need to have differentiated UI's for different purposes is the attitude some people take is that theirs is the only way to do something, anyone not doing it their way must be stupid. This is tragically false - everyone has a different way of working, and what works for one person doesn't work for another. For instance, I can't live without focus-follows-mouse, despite the fact it took a lot of effort to get working in windows 7, but almost everyone else hates it. Some people just don't want the options to be there because they don't think they're important, and this stops people from finding tricks and tweaks that may help them work better; some bury the config panels with boxes and the user often doesn't have a clue what options to start with.

Off my high horse now. All YMMV, IANAL, IMHO, etc. I just think all these "there is one best way" arguments are detrimental to the computer experience as a whole.

Re:Bigger Question (1)

Desler (1608317) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454860)

It's really ok if Linux never becomes the next Windows, if you never see it on 90%+ of desktops. The 90% of users who are not hobbyists and are not tinkerers and do not find the technology fascinating already have several companies that are happy to meet their needs.

This would be okay if not for the fact that there are so many evangelists and zealots (some going so far as putting Linux on someone else's computer without permission) didn't push it as if it was the be-all-end-all and that EVERYONE should be using it despite the fact the needs and wants of many of those users aren't met be Linux. It would be great if it was nothing but a hobbyists and tinkerer OS but that isn't how MANY of the FOSS faithful try to portray it.

Re:Bigger Question (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454942)

I for one am fine with that. To me the bigger question is: can Linux systems cater to the average end-user who has no intention of ever understanding how the system works, without losing everything I love about Linux? You just can't do that without dumbing-down the system. Not "dumbing-down" like smart people vs. stupid people, but "dumbing-down" like technically inclined versus not technically inclined.

You're right, no one could ever be successful in selling a Unix certified operating system to the non technically inclined.......

http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2007/08/mac-os-x-leopard-receives-unix-03-certification.ars [arstechnica.com]

Re:Bigger Question (2)

anyGould (1295481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454982)

To me the bigger question is: can Linux systems cater to the average end-user who has no intention of ever understanding how the system works, without losing everything I love about Linux? You just can't do that without dumbing-down the system.

I'd say it's perfectly possible. I used to be a tinkerer-type, but I just don't have the time anymore. I don't use Linux anymore because I had to choose between "tinkering with my computer" and "doing what I wanted to do in the first place". So I will demote myself from "technically inclined" to "average user who wants his machine to work"

And here's all I need - I need to install Ubuntu, and it just works. Video cards, sound cards, all the peripherals. I wish I had time to tinker with config files and settings - I really do - but I don't. It needs to Just Work Out Of The Box. All the power user settings aren't scaring people away, but the requirement that you need to know how all the internals work so I can check my email. To use the classical car analogy, I don't mind being able to pop the hood and tinker with my car - I just also need the ability to get in, turn the ignition, and drive somewhere hassle-free.

HTML 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454288)

HTML 5 is going to help Linux quite a bit in the video department.

I use Linux as my default desktop. I will only use Windows to crank out a resume/CV because the free office suites still don't hold a candle to MS Office. Other than Office, I shun Windows.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454352)

HTML 5 is going to help Linux quite a bit in the video department.

I use Linux as my default desktop. I will only use Windows to crank out a resume/CV because the free office suites still don't hold a candle to MS Office. Other than Office, I shun Windows.

MS Office runs well under Wine. In fact, in my experience, it crashes more often in Windows (occasionally) than it does in Wine (almost never).

That's completely counter-intuitive of course. One would reasonably expect a Microsoft program to run better on a Microsoft OS than anywhere else. Yet at least with MS Office that has not been my experience.

Anyway if this is the only reason why you are dual-booting into Windows then you shouldn't really need to keep Windows around at all.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454428)

>>>MS Office runs well under Wine.

WINE must have improved a lot since 2009, because when I tried it, Netscape Accelerator Software refused to operate. Microsoft Explorer 8 also was unstable.

I guess I need to give the new 2011 version a try.
What I'd really like is a Windows Clone OS to boycott MS completely.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454486)

Netscape Accelerator Software probably still won't work. You might want to upgrade to a real internet connection, or at least report bugs about it.

If you want a clone windows why would you want to boycott MS?
Windows is braindead in many ways, like not replacing files that are in use for one.

Re:HTML 5 (0)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455110)

>>>Netscape Accelerator Software probably still won't work.

Why not? WINE should be able to run virtually any windows software, right?

>>>You might want to upgrade to a real internet connection

And if Dialup is the only connection the various Motel 6s or Super 8s provide? What is your suggestion then for my stays? Obviously I can't upgrade their property.

Dialup is also the only connection provided at work (since the intranet is filtered to block radio stations, facebook, etc).

Re:HTML 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454638)

Try ReactOS for this, although it is still in beta.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454760)

I think this was a joke?

Re:HTML 5 (2)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454412)

...yeah, msoffice for just a resume.

There were consumer word processors that predated msword that were quite adequate for that sort of thing.

Never mind 2011. If you were some sort of advanced corporate user that had to play nice with the rest of their Borg collective (company), then your remarks would make a bit more sense. WP style overkill is simply not needed in many cases.

Re:HTML 5 (1)

mhh91 (1784516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454610)

MS Office for a resume? Last time I checked, LibreOffice/OpenOffice.Org can produce valid .doc files. But personally, I wrote my own resume in LaTeX, it looks a lot better than anything you can do with a "productivity suite".

Re:HTML 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454644)

I will only use Windows to crank out a resume/CV because the free office suites still don't hold a candle to MS Office.

That is absurd reasoning. If you just need to "crank out a resume/CV" then you don't need something that "holds a candle to MS Office." That's like saying you drive an 18 wheeler to the grocery store because a Toyota Corolla doesn't provide a high-enough place to mount your CB radio antenna.

MS Office is for highly-specialized niches. 99% of people would never miss it. Ten years ago you could get software that ran on Linux, that was just as good at writing resumes, as MS Word is today. I understand if you have some gripes about non-Microsoft word processors but to claim they're not adequate -- no wait -- to claim they're not already perfectly adapted for such trivial jobs like that, goes beyond ignorance into looking almost like dishonesty.

So is this the year? (1)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454300)

Looks like according to de Icaza 2011 still won't be the year of the Linux Desktop.

Re:So is this the year? (1, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454426)

Maybe there will never be a year of the Linux Desktop... There'll just be the Year of the Linux Smartphone... The Linux Embedded Device... The Linux tablet...

Re:So is this the year? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454810)

You know, I'm pretty fed up with OSS attitude toward usability. Apparently you just don't get it.

There needs to be a way to use the software on my machine that doesn't require me to open a MAN page and edit a config file. There's a simple reason for this; people do not have TIME to do these things. The utopian world of thousands of sweaty, Cheetos-encrusted Metallica T-Shirt-wearing geeks the world over writing code that will break the Microsoft monopoly is permanently doomed to failure because you all think that design is making a Mac OSX Metacity theme.

User Interface design has nothing to do with making things "pretty"-- it has to do with making things usable. This is something where nearly all F/OSS fails. Miserably. Making software that does work cleverly is good. Making it intuitive and powerful is excellent. That's not dumbing it down; you'll find that making a user interface that works well, and designing software to do things right, quickly, is significantly harder than writing good, clean code. Shifting the blame of not being able to design an interface well to users being "stupid" is shameful-- don't blame your inadequacies on anyone but yourself.

There will never be a year of the Linux desktop because geeks will never get that.

Hasn't used RealTek (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454314)

Closed source audio can break too. My last motherboard had onboard RealTek audio. Worked perfectly in Linux. Under XP, it crackled endlessly. Ended up buying a discrete sound card.

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454454)

I had an el-cheapo HP notebook that had absolutely horrible video playback under Windows, just terrible. Put Ubuntu on it, and other than having to download the WiFi drivers (ethernet worked fine), it ran waaaay faster... Could watch DVDs, hidef, you name, but under Vista it was just a horrible dog.

Of course, being an el-cheapo HP notebook, it fried itself.

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (2)

AntEater (16627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454544)

...Worked perfectly in Linux. Under XP, it crackled endlessly. Ended up buying a discrete sound card.

I think you ended up fixing the wrong problem.

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454880)

Yeah I know. But I wanted to play some games that weren't supported in Wine. The discrete sound card gives me less noise too, so it was a worthwhile purchase.

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (2)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454688)

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (4, Insightful)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454742)

In order to get the microphone working on my Ubuntu Lucid, I had to recompile ALSA from source, and go through about 30 steps to get it installed. This was fine for me, or probably anyone else here as we are pretty technical, but how can we expect normal users to be able to do this?

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454878)

I had issues with Ubuntu not playing well with my bluetooth keyboard. I could use it with grub, but the log in screen wouldn't detect it. So, I had to log in with my wired keyboard. I suspect that there's a way of making the change permanent, but I don't have that problem with OpenSUSE or any other OS I've used.

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455082)

Not sure why it worked in grub, but i suspect the reason why it did not work on login (if it was graphical) is the age old problem of X going its own ways when it comes to hardware.

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455112)

Personally I just installed Open Sound System on anything it could be installed on.

Re:Hasn't used RealTek (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454836)

Realtek drivers are notorious for this. I had this same issue too until I found juuuust the right driver version that worked. Windows 7 resolved the issue too.

Breakage (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454316)

'I spent so many years battling with Linux and something new is broken every time

Precisely.
Linux is GREAT when it works, but can be a real PITA when it doesn't. For example my brother's Ubuntu 9.1 laptop still doesn't play flash videos (except youtube), and I can't figure out why. It also doesn't handle Atari Stella emulator very well (half the ROMs don't work) or connection to Netscape Dialup.

So I decided that I'll use Windows as my base (since it's free with the computer), and open source for everything else (OpenOffice, Firefox, WinAmp, etc).

Re:Breakage (-1, Troll)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454488)

Linux is GREAT when it works, but can be a real PITA when it doesn't. For example my brother's Ubuntu 9.1 laptop still doesn't play flash videos (except youtube), and I can't figure out why. It also doesn't handle Atari Stella emulator very well (half the ROMs don't work) or connection to Netscape Dialup.

Stop trolling you anit-Linux cocksucker; cheapass bastard; and Microsoft penis licker

Re:Breakage (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454812)

For example my brother's Ubuntu 9.1 laptop still doesn't play flash videos (except youtube), and I can't figure out why.

Duh, Flash is the poster child of proprietary technology: you are not supposed to "figure out" anything about it. People who bitch about video and sound in Linux should stop blaming the community and direct their anger at those who are directly responsible for the poor state of affairs: hardware manufacturers and content providers.

Re:Breakage (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454950)

Flash is the poster child of proprietary technology

Flash and flex are completely open source. Download the sdk from adobe [adobe.com] , and you can write flash and flex programs with nothing more than vi and a shell to run the compiler.

What's NOT opensourced is Adobe's tools. Not the same thing. You don't need a clicky-pointy interface to make flash swf files.

Re:Breakage (0)

C_amiga_fan (1960858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455012)

>>>People who bitch about video and sound in Linux should stop blaming the community and direct their anger at those who are directly responsible for the poor state of affairs: hardware manufacturers and content providers.
>>>

A distinction irrelevant to the user. All they know is that Video and Sound works in Windows and Mac OS but not Linux or Amiga or other OSes. Therefore they avoid the ones that don't work.

Re:Breakage (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455080)

Duh, Flash is the poster child of proprietary technology: you are not supposed to "figure out" anything about it. People who bitch about video and sound in Linux should stop blaming the community and direct their anger at those who are directly responsible for the poor state of affairs: hardware manufacturers and content providers.

I'm confused. I thought that Flash was the greatest thing in the world?

Oh my bad, this article isn't about Android versus Apple.

BREAKING NEWS: HAWAII ENCIRCLED BY WATER !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454342)

Most say, "nothing unusual".

Let the childishness begin.. (0, Redundant)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454346)

Yeah, we know, you don't like anything related to M$, MicroShaft, or Micro$oft, and de Icaza is a total sellout. Having choice is great, as long as you choose (insert technology here), amirite?

Re:Let the childishness begin.. (0)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454438)

This guy is gushing over a closed proprietary product that isn't even supported on the desktop he's alleged to use.

How does that work exactly?

Re:Let the childishness begin.. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455022)

This guy is gushing over a closed proprietary product that isn't even supported on the desktop he's alleged to use.

How does that work exactly?

It's because Novell is in the process of being bought, and he's hoping to get Canonical to hire him to replace Matt Asay, who left in December (didn't even last the whole year). So what better way than to rant about linux user interfaces - Shuttleworth's current hobby-horse.

Windows is popular because it works. (4, Interesting)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454378)

I use both Linux and Windows at home and the office. The reason is simple - for back end stuff where I need to write custom stuff, hack data about and get it to do stuff then Linux or occassionally *BSD is king. For front end usage where I want a clean slick and above all consistent interface I'll often use Windows. Partly because I need to interoperate with other people, but mainly because it offers a better and easier working environment. Linux on the desktop is good if you are doing teechnical stuff, like writing an encoding system for digital amateur radio (my current pet project). For using the computer more as a commodity tool for email/word processing/video watching etc Windows still is better presented and more importantly doesnt break grotesquely with every new update that appears like Ubuntu does (and yes I'm looking at 9.10) Until Linux, or more strictly I suppose GNOME/KDE etc get over this then I suspect that further adoption of linux on the desktop will stall.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454506)

Windows 'works' largely because it comes pre-installed. Try taking any random PC, wiping the disk and installing Windows on it from an official Microsoft install CD and you'll find it at least as hard to get working as Linux.

Though personally the last few times I've installed Linux I just stuck the CD in the drive, selected a few install options and half an hour later I had a working system sitting at the logon prompt. Finding, downloading and installing all the correct updated drivers for a fresh Windows install would probably take longer than that.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (2)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454608)

Due to work requirements, I installed Windows 7 64 bit on my corporate laptop from scratch (it came with Vista Home 32 bit or something unsuitable). Wasn't any harder than installing Ubuntu despite teh fact that Dell did/does not officially support Windows 7 64 bit on that laptop model.

As for download time, both require lots of updates to be downloaded.

Given the amount of crapware bundled with most laptops, wiping and reinstalling Windows from scratch might actually be a good idea. Just most people can't do it (no licenses or time or knowledge or will).

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (1)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454618)

That describes how I have installed every Windows PC I've ever used, from the days of 3.0 onwards.

I'm not talking about installing, that's relatively simple although Windows is still easier to get installed than Linux, if only because of better driver support. I'm talking about wanton breakage like when you upgrade a package for a security issue and find it borks all the other stuff it talks to in a majorly problematical way - eg Pulseaudio, or when someone decides to implement a better power saving scheme and Ubuntu parks the drive heads every 2 seconds and wears the load ramp out...

However the article is about useability, and I'll maintain that Windows is still more usable than Linux on the desktop (not in teh datahall) and a big reason for that is the stability of the UI and codebase compared to a six month moving target like Fedora or Ubuntu.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454930)

That's more of a Linux problem. Since there's a kernel with no definite userland, that sort of thing happens. I haven't had the problem with FreeBSD or Windows because there is a much greater degree of separation between the base install and any 3rd party applications. Windows was having similar problems to Linux in the past with 3rd party libraries getting mixed in and replacing system ones, I think they've mostly got that sorted out in recent versions, but that was a large part of the stability problems of the past.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (2, Interesting)

robmv (855035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454606)

Windows alone does not works, a new laptop or desktop with Windows and every driver needed and applications installed just works. Do not compare a tested hardware and software configuration with using Linux in any crappy hardware you could have. I am a ThinkPad fan and even when I received my free upgrade to Windows 7 for my small Windows partition (Fedora is my distribution of choice) I needed to use for a clean install the extra DVD with the Lenovo Updater, to download a lot of drivers and applications to make Windows usable. that kind of support is possible, the real problem is that there aren't many Linux hardware sellers and they are very small

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (3, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454634)

For using the computer more as a commodity tool for email/word processing/video watching etc Windows still is better presented and more importantly doesnt break grotesquely with every new update that appears like Ubuntu does (and yes I'm looking at 9.10) Until Linux, or more strictly I suppose GNOME/KDE etc get over this then I suspect that further adoption of linux on the desktop will stall.

That's something that a lot of people seem to miss.

If you need to get at internals, Linux is the choice. If you want a workhorse back-end system, Linux is the choice. If you want a desktop with great cutting-edge features, Linux is the way to go - KDE betas are best for that ;). On the other hand -- if you want a desktop system that stays out of your way, Just Works, and requires little maintenance beyond letting an auto updater do its thing... Windows or OSX are your only real options.

When I use my computer to get a task done, my time is valuable - and I increasingly resent time I am forced to spend fixing or working around issues that are not immediately germane to the task at hand. That task might be browsing the web, editing a document, writing code, watching a video, debugging, etc. I have consistently found that I can't simply do that on the various flavors of linux - there's always something that seems to need adjusting, or stops working correctly, or doesn't work at all.

The problem is that people will often start blaming at this point, when they hear these statements. They'll say, "It's nvidia's fault for not doing X" or "it's your fault because you didn't do Y" or "it's the upstream maintainer's fault because he didn't do Z". Which is, unfortunately, completely missing the point: when you are using a system to get a task done, fault does not matter.

I, as a user of a product, want to simply use the product -- and spend zero time hunting down answers that I shouldn't need to concern myself with. As a developer and a tinkerer I understand why doing this is necessary, and can even enjoy it sometimes. But as an end user, I experience a ridiculous level of frustration and exasperation when I need to devote MY time to working around somebody ELSE's issue - no matter whether we're talking about operating system, development tool chain, pc games, the amazingly badly designed FIOS TV interface, or anything else.

In recent years, I also find that the desktops are experimenting with increasingly weird crap - things that are both fun and frustrating. (Fun because they look like good concepts. Frustrating because the deviation from the familiar means less time Just Working even as I enjoy playing with them.) I will keep trying every few months, and I certainly have more than my fair share of back end linux servers and dual boot desktop systems - but for the forseeable future, Linux just isn't there.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (1)

k8to (9046) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454840)

Funny. My work osx laptop has apps that stop working at every significant point release, while my desktop linux install has had only one or two 10 minute problems in the past 12 years of continuous upgrades.

I don't believe you.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (2)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455008)

Well, that sure contributed to this discussion of valid concerns. Here, I can do it to:

Funny, my linux installs have continually been plagued with problems.The worst one was the time I once installed the latest Ubuntu update and - due to a bad Xorg driver - Xorg stopped working completely. Even better, because by default on most distros, wireless network login is attached to your desktop shell and not your system boot... I couldn't get online to track down the reason for the failure without using another computer. I only got online after going to another system, finding the problem, manually downloading the replacement package, transferring it via pen drive, then installing it by hand.

On the other hand, in the last several years I've been able to run Windows without doing anything but allowing automatic updates; and periodically grabbing driver updates (also found through windows update).

We can continue to whip out examples of good/bad experiences on our respective platforms - but that's missing the point. Refuting my statement by claiming you've had a good experience doesn't erase my bad experience; nor does it erase my years of working with actual end users to understand how they work.

And implying (as you seem to be) that I've just made all this crap up is just silly, as it effectively closes off any possible useful discussion that we might have.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455016)

- if you want a desktop system that stays out of your way, Just Works, and requires little maintenance beyond letting an auto updater do its thing.

Funny, this is exactly how I'd describe my Debian Sid box.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455048)

Sigh. Please append "for me" to the final sentence; and "IMNSO opinion to the first full paragraph" as otherwise I'll apparently be deluged with anecdotes to prove me wrong.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (1)

godrik (1287354) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454650)

I beg to differ actually. I do not think the interface is the main problem. If the machine is properly installed then people use gnome very easily without much trouble. In my experience, the problem mainly comes from hardware support and installation. Getting a graphic driver to work just correctly can be a major PITA. I stumbled yesterday on someone with a laptop with hybrid graphic card: an intel for low power consumption and an nvidia for performance. It just does not work. The user would be happy with gnome but there is no support for his weird system.

And I am not even talking about the nightmare of wifi drivers. If you are lucky it just work. If you are not lucky you have to install a firmware package. If you are unlucky, you have to compile/install kernel modules by hand.

I think the main problem is there. The lack of hardware support is the main problem to reach the mythical year of the linux desktop.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454906)

I have a Thinkpad with switchable graphics - integrated Intel for low power stuff and an ATI discrete chip for real graphics. I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 on it. The way it works is basically Ubuntu doesn't support on the fly switching so you select in the BIOS which setting you want "on" and it uses that. Every Ubuntu seems to detect there's proprietary drivers for the ATI stuff just fine - but every time I've tried using those and using the discrete graphics, it reboots and just comes to a blank screen. I always end up having to either reinstall the whole OS, or boot with a disc and delete xorg or somethingorother, then switching back to the integrated graphics for it to Just Work. On top of that, I'll search forums and blogs and get thousands of different answers, from having to compile my own whatnot to it shouldn't be using this setting in the first place. I dunno, it's a complete hassle. All in all I love running the linux desktop but I think the audio and video have been the biggest PITAs the whole time. Enough that every so often I consider switching back to Windows 7. I did do that probably a year ago and it lasted about two weeks before I wanted to go back. I missed my wobbly windows!

Maybe I need to wipe everything clean and start from scratch on the next Ubuntu release and try it again...of course I still don't think there's an answer to the true on the fly switchable graphics, so who knows.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (1)

mhh91 (1784516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454666)

Ubuntu is the ONLY Linux distribution that breaks when you update it. I use Mandriva, and it updates smoothly, and I guess this is pretty much the same with Fedora and OpenSuSE.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (1)

Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454726)

Oh I've had my fair share of suckyness from Fedora as well - although that's fair enough as it's meant to be a place for trying out new idea's. I couldnt comment on SuSE as I've hardly used it to be honest. For desktop/laptop usage i've jumped to the new Debian - it's by far the best in terms of stability and consistency. The contrast between that and Ubuntu is amazing. I'm almost hoping that Squeeze is going to be good enough to use for a proper desktop - so far it is actually looking fairly promising.

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454698)

I have been using Linux as my main desktop for years! and have a different opinion with rewards of email/word processing/video. Linux is better than windows in all of this. Thunderbird email is very good/Open Office is not the fastest but it has all the features you need and does not cost $350 like MS Office/Video Land works for xvids but lately %100 of my video watching is either flash or HTML5. I also have a PS3 that I use for Hulu+ Netflix and Sony Store video. Amazon video does not work in Linux but I blame Amazon for that. using Silverlight is lame IMHO.

The only what Linux is NOT good for is :
Games (specially with multiple monitors, even native games have problems keeping the mouse in it's own monitor).
specialized hardware:
My Canon LIDE25 has calibration problems with sane. and CanonToolbox is very friendly and easy to use in windows.
Brother Laser printer. have problems in linux where it some times it prints garbage. So i have it connected to a DNS-323 using d-link sharepoint (usb over tcp) works like a charm in my wifes desktop).

Re:Windows is popular because it works. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35455032)

I have never experienced anything of what you describe. Including windows 'just working'. I administered a windows environment for a few years. It was broken. I got tired of looking at microsoft service bulletins and notices telling me to use third party applications for system services. "This functionality is currently broken. Microsoft recommends using 3rd party software to provide this functionality. Microsoft assumes no responsibility for this software. Contact your computer manufacturer for assistance." And on and on it went. NTP was a critical service (the database needed critically accurate timestamps, and lawyers very often wanted log times). That NTP was one of many things broken, make administering it a bitch! I would go home, and Linux worked perfectly everytime, but according to you, pretty beats functional. Kind of like a shiny brick. Ooooh pretty!

This is why consoles sell ... (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454464)

.. I don't have to far around with trying to find/install having the latest DirectX or GPU drivers because they fixed a bug that the latest game exposed.

Well, at least they used too ... until game developers realized they could "patch" on day-0. :-( So much for quality assurance / control. QA is ignored because management needs a game out THIS quarter.

--} Thinks just work out of the box. {-- I wish the customer experience was the forefront of ALL technology -- sadly it is all-too-often tossed aside at the expense of profits & ship date.

Is there ANY real news here? (2)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454466)

I mean, what would you have expected De Icaza to say his preferred OS was? Yeah, the fact he said it was Linux didn't exactly shock me....

But his other statement is equally "non news". Yep, "proprietary systems" (commercial OS offerings) are far better at supporting random hardware. Linux will NEVER really win that particular battle, because too many companies release a new product (such as a video card) where the driver software is just as critical a component as the chips soldered onto the board at giving the advertised video performance. The video performance is what people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for. Otherwise, everyone would just be happy with whatever on-board video was provided with their motherboard, or whichever card was the cheapest. When you as a video card maker are in this situation? You're going to be struggling enough to make it perform reliably, as-intended, with just ONE operating system. The motivation to go through all that work again for a free OS like Linux just isn't really there. #1, Linux won't have the number of 3D game titles that actually make good use of such a card. But #2, you don't want to risk releasing the source code to those proprietary drivers that make that new card go, because doing so would be like inviting all your competitors into your factories to take video and photographs, or make copies of all your engineers' design notes. So any Linux drivers provided will have to be binaries only, leading to a lot of hassles providing ones that work with various distros and Linux releases. And don't forget #3 - when you re-release the SAME card with re-worked drivers for Mac OS X, you get to sell the thing at close to full retail price for far longer than you'll ever fetch that price with the Windows crowd. Do you think the Linux community would pay those prices for a "Linux edition" of a given Windows graphics card, just because good Linux drivers were offered? (Maybe a few die-hards would, but just as many would get indignant about having to pay inflated prices for a card with drivers they don't even get the source to.)

Re:Is there ANY real news here? (2, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454690)

The basic thing I'm noticing is that for a guy who in his history of GNOME [ximian.com] describes himself as a "free software entusiast" [sic], he seems awfully disinterested in making Gnome better, or if the Gnome devs don't like his ideas forking off something of his own.

The other fascinating point I see in your second statement is that it's not the open source world's fault that the latest and greatest high-performance video and audio cards aren't supported as well as they are on Windows. Microsoft, Apple, etc have very little to do with that level of support - it's Intel, ATI, NVidia, etc that are doing the hard work to make their stuff work on Windows, and just don't care about the Linux market.

On the flip side, unless you're doing high performance gaming, you really don't need to care about having the latest and greatest hardware. And one thing Linux does very very well is support older hardware.

It isn't better on closed systems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454764)

It isn't better on closed systems. It's that on closed systems you either have Zero chance of working (and it was your fault buying a Windows graphics card for your Apple Mac, or whatever), or it falls over and it's the problem of the supplier giving you a bad driver.

When it fails on Linux, it's never the fault of the buyer not checking compatability, neither is it ever the fault of the manufacturer for not writing a driver that works well.

It's then the fault of Linux.

"The motivation to go through all that work again for a free OS like Linux just isn't really there. "

So release the information to write a driver.

"#2, you don't want to risk releasing the source code to those proprietary drivers that make that new card go"

So release the information to write a driver.

"Do you think the Linux community would pay those prices for a "Linux edition" of a given Windows graphics card, just because good Linux drivers were offered? "

So release the information to write a driver.

A fab for a modern GPU costs billions. You aren't going to give a competitor who can't afford a few hundred thousand to look directly at the hardware and trace the GPU construction by giving them the information about the software driver.

By nerds for nerds ... (4, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454476)

Understanding the needs of desktop users is perpetually hampered by a large component of Linux culture. The "by nerds for nerds" attitude. Historically this was a great asset when targeting the server and unix workstation markets, users in these areas were typically nerds. However going after the public in general (the mythical year of the Linux desktop) requires a different attitude. To be specific one Linux distribution would need a different attitude, not all of the Linux distributions. Having different distributions focus on radically different communities would seem to be the way to go.

Re:By nerds for nerds ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454580)

I'm pretty sure the attitude you're looking for is the attitude of at least Ubuntu and openSUSE, among others.

Re:By nerds for nerds ... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454692)

Precisely. Which is why it does some "desktop user" type things much better than payware alternatives.

However, some people would rather just repeat FUD from the 90s and ignore the current state of things.

Re:By nerds for nerds ... (2, Insightful)

trollertron3000 (1940942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454592)

You see this come in to play with de Icaza himself. Just look above in the comments. He's a "sell out" even though he probably has written more software for Linux than anyone here. So here he is trying to make Linux better and he's been cast as an outsider because he wants to make it mainstream and now works for a company that took money to make that happen. These guys must eat ideology cereal or something.

Re:By nerds for nerds ... (0, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454676)

The problem with Miguel was his insistence on embracing Microsoft standards and assimilating them into Linux.

Regardless of how much of a "Linux Bishop" a guy is, some things are just stupid. He deserves all the crap he gets.

If you like total blind obedience, I suggest joining some sort of Catholic religious community.

Re:By nerds for nerds ... (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454852)

It's impossible he did it because he truly believes that .net is a superior development environment?

Linux is supposed to be open, yes? What's *wrong* with taking something Microsoft invented and using it in Linux? As long as that thing is good, and as long as Microsoft is ok with it.

Desktop Linux is seriously underrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454614)

I've been running Linux (Gentoo) exclusively at home and at work on all my computers for about six years. It works beautifully all of the time.

I listen sympathetically to my colleagues' problems with viruses, bloatware and forced upgrades, but I have long since lost the ability to empathise. My productivity, frankly, dwarfs what I achieved with Windows, and I fail to see the grounds for common complaints about Linux, such as multimedia support. Linux has multimedia subsystems (like JACK) and programs (mplayer) which easily outstrip anything on a proprietary OS.

I understand that people feel tied to other operating systems because of specific pieces of software or vendor lock-in schemes. But all I can say is that it actually takes very little effort to extract oneself from these, and it's more than worth it.

Linux will dominate the desktop one day. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454646)

Some day Linux will dominate the desktop market. That is when the desktops constitute less than 4% of all computing platforms.

I think it's more likely... (4, Interesting)

brennanw (5761) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454658)

... that certain components (for example, audio) take a long time to figure out how to make work, and end users tend to get impatient about such things. That doesn't mean no progress is being made, or even that good progress isn't being made.

I've used Linux since about 2000-2001, and I'm not really an expert. From my perspective, Linux of today is leaps and bounds over what it was then in terms of user friendliness, configurability, etc. And in terms of multimedia, well... it's somewhat usable but not there yet. But it gets closer constantly. That doesn't mean it isn't frustrating, and I still cuss out pulseaudio (and eventually uninstall it) every time I try to get it to do things that seem intuitively obvious to me... but each time I've used it I notice improvements, and I'm pretty confident that one day it will just work... at which point there will be something ELSE that everyone complains about.

Because Linux developers don't have direct access to proprietary information, progress on proprietary-heavy aspects of an operating system (like audio, and video, etc.) is unfortunately slower than other areas. Nothing can get around that other than companies open sourcing their drivers and putting patents in the public domain (which is a longer way of saying "nothing can get around that.") But the progress is still both remarkable and laudable. Though I still reserve the right to cuss out the parts of Linux that don't work when I want them to. It's nothing personal, guys, it's just a pain in the ass.

linux windows but windows gnome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454670)

Sorry Miguel, but the subject says it all.

Perhaps you should give kde 3.5.x a whirl and find out what an actual pleasant UI is like.

Your intuitive BS isn't, and your minimalist theory's aren't, because i have to dork with stupid configuration files too much.

So gnome == failure.

Why, I wonder. (2)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454694)

But he notes that proprietary systems have advantages — such as video and audio systems that rarely break. 'I spent so many years battling with Linux and something new is broken every time,' he says. 'We as an open source community, we don't seem to get our act together when it comes to understanding the needs of end users on the desktop.'"

Is it because the open source community fails to get its "act" together? Or the audio and video codecs are encumbered with so many dubious patents and intellectual property claims. And the closed source vendors are using that to create walled gardens?

I have to wonder (1, Insightful)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454704)

if he had to get final approval from his boss Mr. Ballmer prior to submission.

Ubuntu? (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454714)

Perhaps if he used Ubuntu, the distribution aimed at making sure the audio and video stuff works for end users he wouldn't have this problem as much? I only have video problems with Ubuntu when I'm installing alphas. Otherwise Ubuntu has gotten really good at just working. When I compare the people I've interacted withs experiences installing Windows 7 vs. installing Ubuntu. It's pretty much a wash. They both pretty much work most of the time.

It's NOT the Open Source Community, Miguel (0, Troll)

hduff (570443) | more than 3 years ago | (#35454778)

Continuing his role as shill and apologist for Microsoft, Miguel once again misdirects the crticism and blame on the FOSS community.

Having video and audio systems that rarely break is a function of having the specs of the hardware to write stable drivers. This is not the fault of the FOSS community who have done great work in reverse-engineering many hardware specs without manufacturer support.

Miguel is wrong. Again.

Re:It's NOT the Open Source Community, Miguel (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35455106)

And people like you in the FOSS community are missing the point, again. I'm a user. I don't care whose fault it is. I just want my webcam to work, and not have to scour the internet to find out why I get only choppy video at crappy resolutions in Linux, but HD smooth video in Windows. Finding smug little "well it works for me" replies just makes me want to give up. And when Ubuntu freezes on me utterly, all those claims about Linux's much acclaimed stability just seem hollow - a screen freeze is like a BSOD for the budget conscious. I've been using Linux as my desktop for the last decade, I'm no newbie. But why waste my time debugging basic functionality when I can spend a hundred bucks and just have a PC that works?

Three reasons I've been unable to switch to Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454842)

I love Linux, especially Ubuntu, but there are three major things keeping me from ever being able to switch.

1. Upgrading Nightmares - Each time I've made the switch and have gone to upgrade something has left my system completely unusable. The last attempt (upgrading from 10.04 to 10.10) left my GRUB just... broken. Even after a basic 'clean install'. I was able to fix it after four hours of research but can the normal user even think of that? I'm just glad I have all my data off the main partition.

2. Performance - There is simply no way I can get the gaming performance out of Linux as I can on Windows 7 or OSX. I'm supposed to use OpenGL? Are you kidding me? Even native games run slow to their Windows and OSX counterparts.

3. Print Industry - I work in the print industry, and yet I can't get a single application to support proper CMYK output without using a hack and slash WINE solution (See performance.) For that matter I might as well just use Windows or OSX. I realize this last one doesn't effect everyone but there are things that The GIMP simply can't do.

On top of all that it's really hard to pass off these goofy opensource mascots and product names (cartoon devils and Ubutnu: Goofy Gizzard aint cutting it.) to my colleagues.

ORLY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35454968)

'We as an open source community, we don't seem to get our act together when it comes to understanding the needs of end users on the desktop.'

Solution: remove the minimize and maximize button!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?