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Torvalds Takes Issue With De Icaza's Linux Desktop Claims

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the who's-to-blame dept.

GNOME 616

An anonymous reader writes "Linux creator Linus Torvalds has poured scorn on claims made by the co-founder of the GNOME Desktop project, Miguel de Icaza, that he (Torvalds) was in any way to blame for the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives. De Icaza wrote in his personal blog: 'Linus, despite being a low-level kernel guy, set the tone for our community years ago when he dismissed binary compatibility for device drivers. The kernel people might have some valid reasons for it, and might have forced the industry to play by their rules, but the Desktop people did not have the power that the kernel people did. But we did keep the attitude.'" Update: 09/02 18:39 GMT by U L : The original source of the comments (and an exciting flamewar between Free Software heavyweights).

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616 comments

Paging Mr. Roark (1, Troll)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 2 years ago | (#41206487)

The creator’s concern is the conquest of nature. The parasite’s concern is the conquest of men. The creator lives for his work. He needs no other men. His primary goal is within himself. The parasite lives second-hand. He needs others. Others become his prime motive.

Linux does just fine without GNOME. Does it work the other way?

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206561)

Wow. Just wow. This is the craptastic bull one would expect to be spewed from a bi-polar undergrad.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206761)

Am I on bizarro slashdot? Is the worst kind of libertarian bullshit getting +5, Insightful, while someone calling it out as bullshit is getting a -1?

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206863)

Yes! How dare anybody fail to adhere to your preconceived notions. The nerve of some people!

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206577)

Linux does just fine without GNOME. Does it work the other way?

Yes [freebsd.org]

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206645)

No, FreeBSD does not support GNOME 3.X yet.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206743)

Not the point. GNOME can exist with out the existence of Linux.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206851)

Then why is Miguel crying about Linux "setting the tone" then? I'll bet that with enough work, Gnome can work on Windows so why the Linux hate? Personally, I like some elements of Gnome and was a huge fan of v.2.x but they flat jumped the shark with 3 and it damn sure isn't Linux's fault. They (the Gnome 3 devs) made the decision to hide buttons on the titlebar. They made the decision to go to the weird hidden menu. They made the decision to remove functionality from fundamental applications like Nautilus. So don't come trying to lay the blame on Linus because your little experiment isn't popular and your losing mindshare. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to use Gnome 3 and realize pretty quickly it stinks. Go back to the drawing board, fellas.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (2, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#41207023)

because he's paid by microsoft?

again, his comments are in the same category as Florian and should be summarized dismissed as such.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (5, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41206893)

Actually, it's very much a valid point. GNOME 2 supported the BSDs as well, but in GNOME 3, they were discussing making Systemd mandatory for GNOME3, which is not there in BSD. As a result, there is no BSD that supports GNOME 3 as yet - not even a GNOME specific distro like GhostBSD. Theoretically yes, GNOME can exist w/o Linux, but in reality, it sticks to Linux like a leech. If they are so capable, why don't they develop Hurd, which has been taking forever, and port GNOME3 to that? Or port GNOME 3 to Minix? There are 3 unixes that GNOME 3 doesn't seem interested in.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#41206679)

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (2)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#41206737)

Err... Am I missing something?

Linux && ! Gnome = true / works
! Linux && Gnome = false / doesn't work

Maybe I'm just growing too old...

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (1)

Kergan (780543) | about 2 years ago | (#41206749)

Yeah... I am growing too old...

! Linux || Gnome even...

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206779)

BSD && Gnome = true
Solaris && Gnome = true
Darwin && Gnome = true

Therefore !Linux is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for Gnome to work.

Q.E.D Bitches

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (1)

Smallpond (221300) | about 2 years ago | (#41206907)

modus ponens yo mama!

OK, here's another pithy point (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206739)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority

You see, it's not enough to just link to a dictionary definition of something unless you can include how the FUCK IT APPLIES.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206751)

I've used GNOME on Solaris and FreeBSD...

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206783)

We don't need binary compatibility. It's just furthering the goals of proprietary software developers. The desktop is dependent on a vibrant community of free software developers. Without them Linux fails. We need to focus on developing a hardware ecosystem for GNU/Linux and removing proprietary components. Not binary compatibility.

And in reference to not needing the GNOME developer. We don't need Linus either. He undeservedly gets credit for a movement that he has shown hostility towards. There is enough momentum without him and he hasn't exactly furthered the desktop. This is not to say he shouldn't get any credit. It's just that associating him with the movement misses the point. The movement is about freedom. He doesn't care about freedom so long as it “works”. For him freedom is just convenient. The problem is the Linux desktop doesn't work without freedom. On the one hand he bashes the free software movement and on the other hand he bashes those who outright ignore the movement (nVidia- proprietary drivers). All in all Linus could be a better role model. If he was a bit less contradictory and more focused on keeping Linux free we would all be better off in the long run. As it is we are dependent on projects like Debian and linux-libre to remove and segregate proprietary software that we should never had let in in the first place. The benefits (more commercial gaming on GNU/Linux) are not worth the costs.

There are companies making money off free software. There are developers making money off free software. There is no risk to software developers from free software. There is on the other hand a lot of fear amongst software developers that free software will put them out of a job. Richard Stallman hasn't exactly calmed those fears. It is an ethical issue and the majority fail to understand the position. Just because we make compromises out of strong desires and self interest (raising kids) doesn't make those acts (writing proprietary software to feed ones children) justifiable. Writing proprietary software is not justifiable no matter how much you want to feed your children. If you accept that your acts are not justifiable we're ok. None of us are perfect. You should however try to avoid these acts. Fortunately this is not a real issue. Free software is not a threat to software developers. Adding children to the mix is a FUD tactic by those who fear freedom.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (4, Insightful)

Mad Marlin (96929) | about 2 years ago | (#41206903)

It is an ethical issue and the majority fail to understand the position. Just because we make compromises out of strong desires and self interest (raising kids) doesn't make those acts (writing proprietary software to feed ones children) justifiable. Writing proprietary software is not justifiable no matter how much you want to feed your children.

Writing proprietary software is perfectly okay. I don't have to give away my work for free, although sometimes I do.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41206927)

Binary compatibility doesn't 'further the goals of proprietary software developers'. All it does is ensure that a newer version of an OS can continue to use software that had been developed for a previous platform. It isn't necessarily a given that ISVs who've developed for a platform in the past will continue to develop new versions of the same software for the platform if it is failing, particularly if there is more effort involved. Changes in the ABI, API, other libraries and so on only serve to complicate the development, while on the user end, guaranteeing that something that was written for and worked w/ a previous version of a distro won't necessarily work w/ the successor. End result is that Linux on the desktop remains a pipedream.

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206951)

This is the STUPIDEST comment I've seen.

I wrote a rant about this within the past couple days in one of the other articles: ABI COMPATIBILITY IS IMPORTANT EVEN IN OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE!

Why? So you don't end up in the goddamn fucking mess we're in right now, where your code requires a specific gcc version to build, thanks to differences in parsing capability, header availability, etc, due to the era when the code was written, and linking to libraries whose ABI changes based on the compiler used (silently I might add, with, in many cases, no easy way to verify what compiler/toolchain it was compiled against (I'm looking at you libstdc++ v4).

Binary compatibility is important because backwards compatibility is important, and thanks to an ever increasing lack of 'fixing old problems before creating new ones', the errata for open source compilers,toolchains, and apps is ever increasing. Try compiling any non-trivial C++ app. Especially, find one that's got a dependancy that won't compile on a later gcc version (just between 4.0 and 4.7, say at least 3 minor-numbers away), then compile the apps and see what the odds are of a random segfault with a blown stack. wxGTK and pcsx2, or OGRE and OpenMW are some good examples.

Shit comes crashing down.

And for those of you who don't remember, how about the libc5 -> glibc -> glibc 2.2.5 -> glibc 2.3.x fiascos. If you were someone compiling from source during any of those transitions, you no doubt remember the horrors of incomplete, untested, or just plain sloppy backwards compatibility. 2.2.5 btw was the last 386 supporting glibc version, and some early 2.3 version is the last sub 2.6 kernel version (later 2.3.x kernels only support newer 2.6 kernels, despite claiming to the contrary. Go try setting the minimum kernel version when compiling glibc 2.14 or 2.15 for example and see what the odds are it even works correctly.)

While I've got some gripes with Linus' handling of the kernel, the problem is FAR bigger than him, and definitely includes De Icaza's own stupidity as a large part of the pile (Anyone remember how much crap used to depend on EDS, despite it often offering you NOTHING other than wasting disk space and memory?) What about all the BS with mono? Hell, what about all the BS with gnome? Gnome1 gets punted as soon as it started feeling useful. Then like 5 years later when Gnome 2 finally starts maturing, same shit different color. De Icaza: Retire. Seriously we know how much you envied Fonzi, but that shark is gonna get you if you try and jump it again.

- vranash

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 2 years ago | (#41206799)

Your post does not make sense, which is not surprising when Ayn Rand is invoked. Is the GNOME community not creating anything? Did Linux kernel programmers create GNOME? Was the Linux kernel the work of one man?

Re:Paging Mr. Roark (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41206879)

Linux does just fine without GNOME. Does it work the other way?

Theoretically, it could, assuming that GNOME was enthusiastic about supporting non-Linux OSs, such as BSD. But ever since v3, GNOME has been de-emphasizing their support for BSD, so if Linux were to hypothetically disappear, GNOME would go w/ it. And to be fully usable, it needs to support GPU accelaration, which is typically not liberated software. Hence, the Libre-Linux crowd and those who go that route use it only in fallback mode. The guys who are doing GNOME OS or GNOMEbuntu ought to instead work on Hurd, so that they can then say what they like about Linus.

WTF. (5, Informative)

eexaa (1252378) | about 2 years ago | (#41206537)

I got linux on desktop.

It works perfectly.

Seriously, what's the problem? Just because ever-growing bloated software megapackages like KDE and GNOME aren't as successful as they were meant to, even on a platform that is meant not to favor such big packages, the linux on desktop is failing? Come on.

Re:WTF. (5, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41206623)

I got linux on desktop.

It works perfectly.

Seriously, what's the problem?

Agreed, "it" has worked properly for a long time. But someone elses "pet project" doesn't, so we have to hear endlessly about how "it" is broken.

His hammer doesn't install drywall screws very well, therefore we are all supposed to be in a tizzy that the world is not ready for drywall.

Bye bye gnome, bye bye kde, awesome / xfce / ratpoison are the way to go.

Re:WTF. (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#41206713)

De Icaza is a rat fink, period. He long ago used up any capital he had in the FOSS community with his dalliances with Microsoft. Frankly, if there was never another /. article involving anything that piece of crap had to say, we would still have about three dozen too many articles out there involving his weasily mutterings.

Re:WTF. (5, Informative)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41206895)

De Icaza is a rat fink, period. He long ago used up any capital he had in the FOSS community with his dalliances with Microsoft. Frankly, if there was never another /. article involving anything that piece of crap had to say, we would still have about three dozen too many articles out there involving his weasily mutterings.

His "lets make it like Windows!" attitude turned me off years ago. Now he sounds like a has-been, trying to get into the spotlight and blaming everyone else for his failures.

Re:WTF. (5, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41207109)

The company that bought Novell completely threw his projects out during the take over.

Can you imagine how little value Mono and his other projects must have if a holding company just wrote them off?

Re:WTF. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206815)

No, it's not working fine. Gnome is a train wreck, and it's so bad that most of us are moving to one that can't even sort desktop icons. Linux desktop experience is 20 behind and regressing, while we laugh at upcoming windows releases.

Re:WTF. (5, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#41206923)

"Linux desktop experience is 20 behind and regressing, while we laugh at upcoming windows releases."

I don't confuse Gnome with the "Linux desktop experience". I can run as many WMs as I like on the same machine and choose between them.

So can you.

Re:WTF. (2, Insightful)

westyvw (653833) | about 2 years ago | (#41206971)

20 behind? Windows 7 as a desktop is a complete farce once you are used to the deep integration of a Linux desktop, never mind the configurability. No Gnome, No Unity? So what? There are much better alternatives out there, and you can choose them if you wish.

Re:WTF. (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 years ago | (#41206773)

For a relatively small number of "I"'s and a not particularly common definition of "perfectly".

Re:WTF. (4, Interesting)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#41206781)

I got you beat. I have 4 laptops in my house all using some version of mint from 11. They all work just fine for the 4 of us even with three of the people wife/kids being casual users. People not into computers could care less about eye candy cosidering most computer usage will be browsing the web or office work. So why do you need some compicated bloat ware for opening programs or changing the desktop background.

Re:WTF. (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206969)

What's wrong with KDE? It comes with a lot of utilities, most of which you don't need, but it's not like you can't get rid of them, and seriously - how big of a problem really they present?

The problem that I have with GNOME is that as an end-user I consider this completely unusable. It confuses the heck out of me, I cannot figure out which windows are open, which applications are running, and even how to get back to stuff I've opened just a few seconds ago. From usability point of view, GNOME is a pure nightmare and no amount of "api breakage" is going to fix that.

No surprise the only people who think that this monstrosity is good for anything are people with the same mentality - people who put together distros based on .deb package system - similar piece of carp that should not have existed in the first place - another subsystem that rams someone's ideology on "how software must be done" down my throat.

Rebuilding vmware after kernel update ... (5, Insightful)

perpenso (1613749) | about 2 years ago | (#41207007)

I got linux on desktop. It works perfectly. Seriously, what's the problem?

Well it is annoying to have to rebuild things when the kernel is updated, vmware comes to mind.

These things add up and explain the many defections from desktop Linux to Mac OS X, as attested to by various long term Linux users in yesterday's article on the subject. The short story is that many Linux users merely wanted a *nix environment, they were not into the politics or crusade. That is desktop Linux's problem, its becoming a less interesting option for those who just want a *nix environment and don't want to join a social movement.

Re:WTF. (2)

transporter_ii (986545) | about 2 years ago | (#41207049)

I kind of wish there were two paths to get Linux on the desktop. A cutting edge path, tailored to the distro, and a Standard Desktop for Linux (SDL) that was included with most distros (voluntarily) that was designed for minimal change over the years (bug fixes and minor improvements, but otherwise stay the same).

During the install, you could just select the desktop environment you wanted.

I think having a standard desktop that didn't change with every update or vary across distros would actually be business friendly.

Just for the sake of argument, how much ill-will has Windows 8 generated and it isn't even out yet? Yet, Ubuntu has radical changes across versions and its just one of those things. Well hey, if a business doesn't want to use Windows 8 because it changed too much, a business is not going to want to use Ubuntu because it changed too much, either.

And for the record, I've used Linux on the desktop for years. This is being posted from Lucid Lynx. I have a system with 12.04 LTS on it, and yeah, I kind of like Unity and I kind of don't.

Re:WTF. (0)

dicobalt (1536225) | about 2 years ago | (#41207117)

... and I just tried to update Ubuntu a couple weeks ago, ended up with a session that wouldn't let me shut down, log out, or even start any new programs. Then when I decided to reboot the keyboard and touchpad didn't work. Linux doesn't even have a basic System Restore feature like Windows to quickly resolve problems like this. Desktop is about refinement and stability, not about how many window managers you have.

Did I miss something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206591)

It sounds like De Icaza is blaming Linus for the GNOME team's bad attitude. I'm not seeing the connection. Isn't that like saying, "It is the magician's fault I sawed a woman in half. After all, it worked for him..."?

Get your hot buttered popcorn here! (0)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | about 2 years ago | (#41206595)

Gosh, I could sell tickets to this cat fight! ;)

Re:Get your hot buttered popcorn here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206777)

Gosh, I could sell tickets to this cat fight! ;)

Cat fight? Please. Miguel wouldn't make a wart on Linus's ass on his best day.

Re:Get your hot buttered popcorn here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207089)

What fight? De Icaza was knocked out before even entering the ring.

Most of the damage self inflicted too.

Re-inventing the wheel (5, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | about 2 years ago | (#41206605)

I'm using Mint Cinnamon, and am very happy with it. The "classic" desktop works fine - why the need to reinvent it?

I had a Mac for several years, and didn't find OS X - much less the idiotic Dock - to be any more useful than plain old Windows XP. I ran Ubuntu until Unity, which simply didn't offer any real added utility, just more pointless doo-dads.

The reason why so many people stick with XP, or Vista, or even Windows 2000 is because it just works. They understand it. They don't need added gobbledy-gook flying all over the screen, or the OS "hiding" stuff on the assumption that they don't need it.

Re:Re-inventing the wheel (4, Funny)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#41206757)

The reason why so many people stick with XP, or Vista, or even Windows 2000 is because it just works.

BTW there is a Japanese guy who has made a improved version [msfn.org] of Windows 2000 KERNEL32.DLL, making it possible to run some software that should work on XP only.

Windows 2000 (4, Informative)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#41206839)

Its mmazing how fast it runs. I've installed it on one of my laptops some months ago just for nostalgia and man lxde/xfce have nothing on its speed.

Re:Windows 2000 (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41207127)

That's because a vast amount of the GUI is in the kernel (?!?!!)

Re:Re-inventing the wheel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206869)

I had a Mac for several years, and didn't find OS X - much less the idiotic Dock - to be any more useful than plain old Windows XP. I ran Ubuntu until Unity, which simply didn't offer any real added utility, just more pointless doo-dads.

I have been using Unity since switching to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (64-bit) after I purchased a 64-bit notebook computer and discovered there is no 64-bit PCLinuxOS which was in use (32-bit PCLinuxOS) on my old notebook computer. I am no fan of GNOME after years with KDE but Unity is definitely nice and user-friendly. On my servers I prefer the command-line and install Debian GNU/Linux but on my notebook computer I want an easy-to-use graphical user interface. Maybe I am in the minority.

Re:Re-inventing the wheel (0)

Outtascope (972222) | about 2 years ago | (#41206995)

... or the OS "hiding" stuff on the assumption that they don't need it.

A fair point, but it isn't the OS hiding it. It's Gnome. Gnome could be really good, but I can't deal with being told that something that I consider to be a flaw in the GUI logic is just me doing it wrong. I am just incensed by the dogmatic, misguided feng-shui obsession. KDE is MUCH better, but bloated as hell with all the social desktop BS, and is itself prone to the same mentality. Unity? Any GUI that makes it impossible to create a shortcut to an application just doesn't make the cut. (Try pinning a Java app like Netbeans, I shouldn't have to edit configuration files to do this simple task).

I know this sounds troll-worthy, but I switched back to Windows with Win7 after the better part of 10 years using KDE on all of my production workstations. I even continued to muddle through the KDE 4.0 release debacle. But nepomuk and all the other crap like it finally drove me over the edge. Linux still drives all but 2 of my nearly two dozen servers, but having to fight the GUI environment to do what I want in addition to the lack of some Windows apps that I need made me re-evaluate things.

I used to run XP under a VM (libvirt) with KDE as my base environment. Now it is the other way around, I run KDE in my VM under Virtual Box on my Windows 7 workstation. I'm not happy ABOUT it, but I am much happier WITH it. The bottom line is that it just works much better this way. Truth be told, I spend a considerable amount of my time in Konsole on the vm (Oracle client, and all the utils that are missing from windows like grep, sed, locate, cut).

What proponents of the Linux desktop really need to worry about is if Microsoft ever pulls their heads out of their asses and creates a real terminal app with all the utils (hearing Microsofties boast about PowerShell leaves me conflicted about whether to laugh or cry). Seriously, 20 years later and you are STILL fixed width with no direct copy/past? WTF?

I agree with Linus (4, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | about 2 years ago | (#41206617)

He's absolutely request. GNOME's compatibility breaking is all GNOME. It's not a cultural norm set by the kernel developers.

Of course, it's much harder to define a good, stable API for upper layer stuff. It's closer to things that need to change frequently. Though X has done a remarkably good job of that.

Maybe, if that's what GNOME wants, they should sit down and think really hard about how to do it. And ignore all the current 'hot' technologies and buzzwords. That's what led them to .NET and CORBA, and those were complete dead ends.

Windows has, more or less, done it. I suspect though that it costs them a great deal. The Windows API has always been an insane mess, and IMHO a great source of the reason it was originally so very unstable.

Re:I agree with Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206627)

"He's absolutely request."

LOLWUT?

Failure of de Icaza.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206625)

Failure of Gnome is only Gnome's fault and no one else's.
Seriously De Icaza sounds like a cry baby, no wants gnome, no one wants mono etc...
Wake up and smell the coffee man, if no one wants them anymore it's because they have become either crapstatic or have a lot of potential problems with windows/.net/patents etc...

Re:Failure of de Icaza.... (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41206661)

If Miguel de Icaza wants to program in .NET why doesn't he just go over to the Windows side the rest of the way?

Re:Failure of de Icaza.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206845)

Au contraire, I am not alone in my admiration of the Common Language Infrastructure. C# is especially a very robust and mature language, and it has mature and friendly development tools on both sides of the opensource fence.

Many programmers immediately snub their noses at C# because it's "Microsoft," but Mono is opensource and cross-platform. It's easy to migrate to from Java and has a lot of advantages over Java (of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

My point is, why vindicate the man for taking a language framework of high potential (CLI) -- published as an open standard, mind you -- and making opensource tools to write, compile and execute the code on a multitude of platforms that Microsoft will likely never support?

(Other than this, I think de Icaza is an insufferable, pig-headed, egotistical jerk)

Re:Failure of de Icaza.... (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 2 years ago | (#41207021)

The Linux version will never be complete and current with the Windows version. If you admire the thing so much, go whole hog.

Re:Failure of de Icaza.... (0)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41207139)

Because it's a shitty knock off of a shitty knock off of Java.

Re:Failure of de Icaza.... (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41206957)

Also, whatever happened to Bonobo, which was supposed to be the next great thing in OOP?

Re:Failure of de Icaza.... (3, Informative)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 2 years ago | (#41207155)

Bonobo, you mean De Icaza's attempt to make a clone of Windows OLE and COM?

It's been replaced by D-BUS.

Re:Failure of de Icaza.... (1)

Outtascope (972222) | about 2 years ago | (#41207075)

I could never grasp this, which always led me to suspect that he was some sort of paid agent. I mean, I am a Java guy in a big way. The vast majority of my development work is done there, and I like it alot. But I would be (and in fact have been) appalled at Java becoming a dependency of the os environment. I hate that OpenJDK is defined as a dependency in Ubuntu for several apps (particularly when I STILL find, even under 7, that Sun/Oracle's JVM is superior).

Java, at least though, is designed to be cross platform and to some extent open source. Why in God's name you would intentionally infect your design with something that is designed for and tightly coupled with a particular proprietary operating system is beyond me. And that is without even considering that the operating system in question was Microsoft's

I have never trusted the guy, and rarely found anything of truth or merit that comes out of his mouth.

It just got REAL in here (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 2 years ago | (#41206631)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKpnZ7cwWuY [youtube.com]

The time is right to announce my kickstarter for "Linus Takes the World" series of Cage Matches. First up, Miguel, followed by a "rumble on the desktop" group fight between the kernel developers and everyone responsible for Gnome 3.

i don't understand "the blame" game... (4, Insightful)

ibsteve2u (1184603) | about 2 years ago | (#41206637)

FOSS ain't totalitarianism. The point, IMO, of open source is do it the way you think is the best way. If enough people conclude you're right, your way is incorporated. If insufficient do, you reanalyze and improve (at least a couple of times) until your approach gains acceptance. All while keeping an eye out for parallel development efforts that look "smarter", "better", "more efficient", or what have you - and then incorporating those ideas if feasible or abandoning your effort if the general direction you're going becomes a dead end/obsolete before acceptance.

To summarize, when you have complete freedom failure is a decision you choose for yourself - it ain't somebody else's fault. It can be a community's "fault" if you feel you must attribute fault (we call those who attempt to lay blame and isolate all power to themselves "Republicans" in America, and must constantly duck their accusations that community involvement in any and all things is "mob rule"), but hey - that's democracy.

Re:i don't understand "the blame" game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206791)

FOSS ain't totalitarianism. The point, IMO, of open source is do it the way you think is the best way. If enough people conclude you're right, your way is incorporated. If insufficient do, you reanalyze and improve (at least a couple of times) until your approach gains acceptance. All while keeping an eye out for parallel development efforts that look "smarter", "better", "more efficient", or what have you - and then incorporating those ideas if feasible or abandoning your effort if the general direction you're going becomes a dead end/obsolete before acceptance.

To summarize, when you have complete freedom failure is a decision you choose for yourself - it ain't somebody else's fault. It can be a community's "fault" if you feel you must attribute fault (we call those who attempt to lay blame and isolate all power to themselves "Republicans" in America, and must constantly duck their accusations that community involvement in any and all things is "mob rule"), but hey - that's democracy.

Your thesis requires that politics and personal agendas in an organization don't exist. Yet, they do.

Re:i don't understand "the blame" game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206841)

FOSS ain't totalitarianism.

No, but the desire of some individuals to dominate is as rampant as it is in the corporate world. The ego knows no bounds. It has no divisions. Luckily, under FOSS, those individuals can be tossed to the wayside before they can cause any real damage. "Leaders" aren't required, necessary, or even desired. What is needed is a bit more radicalism to stand up to the copyright tyrants, more anonymous development to avoid being targeted by takedowns and lawsuits. We shouldn't need 'permission' to write software for any particular piece of hardware. We should just do it, and beat back those who would stop us.

Re:i don't understand "the blame" game... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207031)

FOSS ain't totalitarianism.

No, but the desire of some individuals to dominate is as rampant as it is in the corporate world. The ego knows no bounds. It has no divisions. Luckily, under FOSS, those individuals can be tossed to the wayside before they can cause any real damage. "Leaders" aren't required, necessary, or even desired. What is needed is a bit more radicalism to stand up to the copyright tyrants, more anonymous development to avoid being targeted by takedowns and lawsuits. We shouldn't need 'permission' to write software for any particular piece of hardware. We should just do it, and beat back those who would stop us.

You're talking about the Gnome guys right ? Those that have the motto "my way or the highway".
Fuck them and their dictatorial instincts.

Re:i don't understand "the blame" game... (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41206871)

Going back to De Icaza's original blog post, I don't see him playing a blame game. He's trying to understand why he can't seem to find a audio driver for his Linux box that doesn't break every time he does a major update. He thinks it's because of certain attitudes in the core Linux community that are driven by Thorvalds personality. I find his argument pretty dubious, but is he saying it's all Thorvalds's fault? I don't see it.

The blame game started when the story spread beyond De Icaza's post. You can see it in the headline for this story. The problem is, the hacker community is very big on finding a Good Guy and a Bad Guy, I see this over and over again on Slashdot. Really, we all need to forget all those stupid TV shows we spent too much time watching as we were growing up.

Re:i don't understand "the blame" game... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41206925)

I don't know what the heck Icaza is talking about regarding sound support. Ever since the AC'97 standard came out I never had trouble with soundcards again.

Re:i don't understand "the blame" game... (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41207019)

As I said, I find his arguments pretty dubious. I'm just saying he's not pointing fingers. His responses to Thorvalds comments [google.com] make this clear.

Re:i don't understand "the blame" game... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207017)

we call those who attempt to lay blame and isolate all power to themselves "Republicans" in America

Really? Have you been asleep for the past 3.5 years? The president is a Democrat who still blames his predecessor for everything. Obama got his stimulus passed in part by promising that with it, unemployment would never go above 8%. Guess what? It's been above 8% for 40+ months. He got his healthcare takeover passed, but apparently enough people hate it that you never hear Obama mention it anymore. Obama wants to isolate all power in the hands of government, and that's why he's running for re-election despite being an abject failure with zero record to run (at least none that he's willing to talk about). Mr. Hope and Change is now just Mr. Slash and Burn, all negative ads. Nothing positive to say, because after four years of pretty but empty blather, everyone knows his words have no meaning. The guy's an empty suit with a massive ego. What kind of narcissist writes not just one, but TWO, autobiographies before he's hit 40?

I can get that people voted for him the first time, but I'm amazed that there are still some Obama voters left who aren't so thoroughly embarrassed by his job as President that they'd not only vote for him again, but would admit so in public. Pathetic.

Prediction: If Obama gets relected, he'll still be blaming Bush 4 years from now.

games and applications (5, Insightful)

0-9a-zA-Z_.+!*'()123 (266827) | about 2 years ago | (#41206655)

the 'failure' of the linux desktop is basically applications. libreoffice and linux gaming initiatives are the way to win that battle. making a prettier desktop is not.

Re:games and applications (1)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 years ago | (#41206727)

Exactly. How hard is it to add a quick launch icon to a task bar and have one click start for programs. The way I see it is yes the pre Vista Windows style desktop wroks just fine an sure they don't look like some Web 2.0 shiny eye candy BUT what else do you need? The desktop is only seen once in a while vs how oftern the gui for other programs is shown.

The failure is that of the idiots in charge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206857)

You know, the ones who have decided that KDE and Gnome MUST be done as a tablet app.

I mean, I can see Microsoft doing it because they have the clout to MAKE suppliers put Windows Tablet Edition on their tablets.

But GNOME nor KDE have the ability to force this.

Therefore you have to install Linux then GNOME/KDE on top, and most tablets are locked down so you can't do that.

So how the HELL are you supposed to use the KDE/GNOME Tablet Edition on a frigging tablet?

WHY DID THEY DECIDE TO TABLETIZE EVERYTHING????

Hence nobody is arsed in the least about the new FOSS desktops.

Re:The failure is that of the idiots in charge (1)

BanHammor (2587175) | about 2 years ago | (#41207115)

Minus a point for even remembering KDE, which has the most configurable classic desktop in the arena, a strictly optional tablet/netbook interface with an actual tablet to boot from it (Vivaldi, of course), and still are the easy (often default) option in desktops.

Re:games and applications (0)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41206917)

the 'failure' of the linux desktop is basically applications

In the big picture, yes. But for the present discussion, the failure is that Miguel took GNOME in a direction that no one wants to go, and now he's trying to deflect the rotten tomatoes.

Re:games and applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207027)

Yep. Got it in one.

Thing is...it's not working very well for him, now is it? (Moment of Schadenfreude at his expense...)

Re:games and applications (2)

geekymachoman (1261484) | about 2 years ago | (#41207067)

I'm using Linux on desktop for 11 years. Dual boot just so I can play games once in a year. The 'failure' of the linux desktop is that trivial stupid things like ... sound, sometimes is not working OR is not working properly.
Besides sound, some (other) desktop components are not working properly. And in every version there's a different problem. I'm not even gonna start talkin about consequences of upgrades (if it works for you, congratulations. Read below. It's not working for me and if you type in google the problem you're having you get 50 k results back).

Basically... it comes down to 'luck' with linux desktop. You might go about your life fine, without problems, or you might be experiencing them on every step. These trivial small things, in 2012, are a deal breaker. Not for me, because I'm barely using desktop environment so I just don't care. I'm so fucked up that I use console for everything (except web mail skype IM). If you're one of this kind of people, and you propagate how linux desktop is mature and working, and think it's great.. go take a cold shower and grow up. It is great and I for one am gonna continue using it, but it's shit at the same time and will continue to be shit for a very long time.

Re:games and applications (1)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#41207121)

Basically... it comes down to 'luck' with linux desktop.

Google, not luck. Before multi-tab web browsers were invented you needed two browser windows to shop, its a little easier now.

Regarding the audio stuff (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206693)

ALSA worked out of the box for every sound chip I ever had. I would never ever need to tackle anything in sound plumbing - and I mean, no single conf file, not a line - if not for PulseAudio. It took me a long time to configure it to play nicely with other sound tools, and wiki instructions were only partially helpful. I still haven't done it properly - for some reason it completely ignores what I set as default device. But at least it plays sound now, when I redirect every stream.

And why did I even bothered? Oh, it's because GNOME 3 has a hard dependency on it ;) Seems to me that GNOME developers love to bring unneeded changes to Linux world and then complain over lack of compatibility...

Re:Regarding the audio stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206771)

ALSA worked out of the box for every sound chip I ever had. .

Alsa didn't work on any machine I installed linux on, because I was using hdmi audio and for some reason, this required an alsa update and text file editing on every single machine I put it on.

Hello linux people! Many people are attaching their computers to tv's and hdmi displays, using hdmi! Since 2008! Can we get with the program now?

Re:Regarding the audio stuff (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41206981)

I had to try out different versions of ALSA before they would work for different kernels/distro versions. And also, the ultimate sound was anything but smooth.

So Linus saved us from more "desktop initiatives"? (5, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#41206697)

Thank you, Linus.

Before dismissing De Icaza (5, Insightful)

Yahma (1004476) | about 2 years ago | (#41206735)

I'll probably get modded down for this, but here goes...

I agree, at least partly, with De Icaza's assertion that ABI breakage (binary compatibility) in each kernel release is a problem for vendors, and likely helped push hardware vendors away from supporting Linux. While in the ideal world, every vendor will release their drivers as open-source, this is the real world. There are numerous reasons (legal and others) why companies cannot or will not release their drivers as open-source (ie. Nvidia). With each new kernel release breaking binary compatibility with prior releases, this forces the companies to release a new driver every time the kernel gets updated. This might not be a problem for a big company with resources such as Nvidia; however, for smaller companies, this is likely a big reason they do not support Linux in the first place.

Case in point, Dell paid PowerVR to develop a Poulsbo graphics driver for their Dell Mini netbooks (which at the time were on Ubuntu 10.04). PowerVR developed the driver. As Ubuntu released newer versions, the driver stopped working due to the ABI breakage. Users were entirely dependent upon Dell to pay PowerVR to constantly update the driver for new Kernel releases, which they did not.

This type of continual ABI breakage is not seen in both the Mac and Windows worlds

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (1, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 2 years ago | (#41206775)

Windows 95 gfx drivers do not work in Windows 2000 and later. Windows XP gfx drivers do not work in Windows Vista and later.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206849)

There was a six year gap between 95 and XP and also a six year gap between XP and Vista. That's a whole different ballpark than the frequent Linux ABI changes.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206941)

5 year gap between Ubuntu LTS Editions which is what you should be targeting as an OEM/ISV anyway. Seriously this whole stable kernel ABI talk is really malinformed.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206949)

Graphics drivers are also a special case. There are a substantial number of drivers written for Windows 2000 that will still work on Windows 7. Not all, but many. And as the previous poster noted, breaking compatibilty once every 5-10 years is probably reasonable.

Linus made an engineering decision, and for all I know he made the right one. That said, there are trade-offs involved, and one of them is that some hardware vendors aren't willing to invest the effort required to maintain Linux drivers.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (2)

doshell (757915) | about 2 years ago | (#41207073)

That said, there are trade-offs involved, and one of them is that some hardware vendors aren't willing to invest the effort required to maintain Linux drivers.

It's not even clear that maintaining Linux drivers entails that much of an effort. History has shown that, if vendors open-source their drivers (or at least document the hardware interfaces), the kernel community will happily take it upon themselves to maintain them.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207053)

Ok... When were the ABI breaks then. Claiming it's a different ballpark, you should KNOW when they occurred and how often (and can back it up with verifiable facts...)

If you don't just walk along (bullshit walks...)

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#41206935)

Poulsbo was a disaster even on Windows thanks to Imagination Technologies.

This type of continual ABI breakage is not seen in both the Mac and Windows worlds

They also aren't open source. That the kernel ABI doesn't remain constant is something that has held true for Linux since it was created.

Imagination Technologies is a company that, IME, is very hostile to open source as a whole. If you are foolish enough to license their core without also getting the driver sources so you can rebuild as you see fit, then you deserve the misery you incur. Nokia did this, with the licenses required that allowed things like this project [merproject.org] to continue supporting multiple devices with a PowerVR GPU almost 3 years after release of the first.

Intel seems to be slowly learning that lesson as their SoC designs are trending towards an internally developed GPU rather than PowerVR.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207065)

This type of continual ABI breakage is not seen in both the Mac and Windows worlds

They also aren't open source. That the kernel ABI doesn't remain constant is something that has held true for Linux since it was created.

He's also dismissing the reality that they DID have ABI breakage, even with hot fixes and updates- and nearly at the same rate. It's a nice fantasy, but it's not what happened with the rubber meeting the pavement.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206967)

I've had various problems with broken drivers on upgrading windows - and I'm sure others have too. And apple as hardware producer support a limited range of hardware.

Additionally no one forces anyone to take an OS upgrade, that we get them fairly regularly and for free in the Linux world is nice, but not essential. On the other hand Windows releases are years apart and cost a reasonable about per seat.

I'd also go one step further and suggest that many peoples upgrade experience for windows is, buy a new machine. We're going through that at work with Windows 7, most of our XP machines aren't powerful enough to effectively run Windows 7, so they've been replaced.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (1)

gradinaruvasile (2438470) | about 2 years ago | (#41207003)

"Users were entirely dependent upon Dell to pay PowerVR to constantly update the driver for new Kernel releases, which they did not." Well, that isnt Dell's fault, is it? Being Dell a big company like nvidia? PS. AFAIK that the ABI's that break are in fact the x server's, not the kernels.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (3, Interesting)

unixisc (2429386) | about 2 years ago | (#41207033)

This type of continual ABI breakage is not seen in both the Mac and Windows worlds

And nor is it seen in the BSD world, since they don't keep breaking ABI or API compatibility.

What's worse is that every variable in the Linux subsystem is versioned, be it the library version, the compiler, the version of GTK or Qt, and so on. Trying to mix and match them would just numerically be a nightmare - never mind that in most Linux distros, they don't test out all these. In short, all this 'openness' just contributes to making a mess of things from a compatibility standpoint.

Re:Before dismissing De Icaza (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207105)

I think you're missing Linus's point. The point is that you don't HAVE to upgrade the kernel for any particular reason. This is not Windows world with patch Tuesdays. Linux systems can run for years without upgrades, and you CAN run new software on old kernels and vice versa. Windows revolves around different philosophy - mostly around the statement that Microsoft, with 90% of desktop under the belt can simply force all 3rd party manufactures to play ball, so they go ahead and do break the interface, force vendors to do the work, and have no qualms about breaking backwards compatibility on applications and tools. To be fair to MS they do put in a lot of effort to add compatibility modes and support legacy stuff, but with the amount of changes they do there is no way everything will work forever. It's always at most one OS generation back. Stuff that used to run on 95 or 98 now usually requires quite a bit of work to get it running again on Win7.

And talking about Mac in this context is laughable - Apple's been forcing people to BUY updated hardware and software for decades now.

Icaza cares about 'market share' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41206809)

He wants to bring proprietary crud onto GNU/Linux. No thanks, mister. We'll do just fine without.

And he obviously has no idea how evolution needs cannon fodder, it does not work in vacuum.

What a misguided poor person.

Hang on! (2)

lcampagn (842601) | about 2 years ago | (#41206853)

I'm gonna make some popcorn.

Re:Hang on! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41207043)

I'm gonna make some popcorn.

If you bought Miguel's popcorn, you might need a convection oven.

Problems with wild claims (3, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about 2 years ago | (#41206901)

I really don't like when people are trying to spice up their articles or blog posts with sensacionalist claims (Slashdot mods, you are guilty as Miguel are).

First of all, Linux desktop isn't dead. Millions of people use it. Ok, we are smaller than Windows definitely (can't be sure about OS X). I personally don't see it as a problem, as long developers are keeping fire of competition alive.

What Miguel propably wanted to bring up is regular point of criticism instability of Linux/free desktop based API (window enviroment, sound, graphics). While there have been some little fallouts about this in open source world, in nutshell open source desktop guys *care* about back compatability. And lot of commercial apps which can be easily run on various enviroments and distributions (and most of them even provide compatible packages for mainstream formats like deb and rpm) indicate that it is not that hard.

As always yes, there are hardware driver bugs (Windows aren't also free from this, and it has official vendor support), there are some competition in desktop enviroment (but let's be honest, in general that's not big problem). Problems for small software vendors is that mostly they can't compete with free - we don't need five different file compression applications, we have usually one general for each enviroment. Problems for big vendors - well, market isn't simply big enough (for Adobe for example).

Re:Problems with wild claims (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about 2 years ago | (#41206983)

And how many compression utilities are there for Windows? Heck if PK never came along, we'd still be using... Crap I forget now, was it ark?
Instead, we got pkzip and pkunzip

Actual discussion (4, Informative)

TyFoN (12980) | about 2 years ago | (#41206931)

Here is the actual discussion on G+ [google.com] instead of an article that just quotes everything they say.

The problem with GNOME (2, Interesting)

bjourne (1034822) | about 2 years ago | (#41207039)

Is C. GNOME is still 98% built using C which is crazy in this day and age. And not modern, pretty nice c99, but ancient c89 because the latest GNOME has to compile on some 20 year old Solaris workstation otherwise Sun wont support the project. Now Sun is gone and Oracle doesn't give a shit. Novell has given up on using GNOME as a way to push Mono and only Redhat remains. Maybe stuff will change now because previously gnome has been incredibly resistant to change that is not initiated from within one of those three companies.

I want to see more changes in Gnome not less. And I want them to finally realize that they are spending 10x as much effort writing gui components in C as they would have in C#, Java or any other managed language.

Re:The problem with GNOME (2)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | about 2 years ago | (#41207149)

Funny you should mention that, as the GNOME foundation actually has a (modernish) langauge that can used to write GNOME programs:

Vala [gnome.org] .

It compiles to C with all the appropriate boilerplate for Gnome's libraries and introspection files to allow calling from python / java etc.

Shame very few of the core gnome devs want to use it though. I wrote some bindings for rhythmbox in it that would have allowed the devs to write parts of rhythmbox in Vala - but they are too invested in C and only wanted to use it for a plugin API.

I have the impression that the devs just like the "exclusive club" attitude that C programming brings. Don't know if that's true.

If you are looking for someone to blame for the .. (5, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | about 2 years ago | (#41207093)

... mess that computers, particular PCs, are in, blame the peripheral industry. Some of this blame also belongs to Microsoft when they made it easy in DOS and BIOS for peripheral makers to effectively add drivers. But this is a very small blame because the full scope of what we could have had not even been envisioned. Flexibility was needed for new kinds of devices and peripherals. But the peripheral industry abused this by making new devices of the same class operate differently in too many cases. Access to floppies and IDE hard drives escaped a lot of this just because those were boot devices, and adding BIOS drivers increased the price. The peripheral makers could not even establish compatibility standards within their own product lines. So many new models of a device simply failed to be compatible with the previous interface (and driver) even if all you wanted to do was do the same old things of the previous model. This was not just a case of manufacturers trying to protect some kind of intellectual property or lock people in to their own product.

What was needed was a generalized model of how a CPU based host would access peripherals. A message based model would still have provided plenty of flexibility to expand the capabilities of new devices, as well as the ability to move more device drivers into user space, outside of the kernel. Ideally, all that was needed was one message bus controller interface design, and one driver to operate it to send and receive messages and status reports. Beyond that a ring of trusted device driver processes could be used. Combined with some community and market pressure to maintain compatibility over short time frames (about 8 to 10 years), devices could easily be interchangeable with minimal driver changing.

Then every once in a while, a class of device would have its standard message interface/protocol upgraded to a new version, and it would be expected that all new devices would adopt that. And this could still be done with full compatibility with the previous version via a version code in the basic standard message header. The new version would include a standard way to access features that were generally available now and had been implemented via extensions in the previous message protocol version.

Linus is not to blame. He just gets blamed sometimes because his vision of making the Linux kernel more usable for everyone sometimes means others might have to do a little more work to keep up (any vision would, but his is the one we see).

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