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Rasterman Says Desktop Linux is Dead

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the popular-view-these-days dept.

Linux 776

anguished writes "The future of Linux, its best hopes for blowing past everything else on an x86 machine, once was located in a little Austrailai website, with a window manager called Enlightenment, which we all hoped to be good enough to build and configure. In an interview with Linux and Main, the recently silent Rasterman talks about GNOME, KDE, E, and his view that the future of Linux requires new playing fields."

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You can't post to this page (-1)

Karma Suicide Bomber (586807) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922223)

I can't, anyway

Re:You can't post to this page (-1)

Karma Suicide Bomber (586807) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922238)

Oh yeah, FP for the CLiT and all that.

Call it a night cowboy? How gay is that.

Re:You can't post to this page (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922294)

bare chested, leather chaps, cowboy hats, gunblets, at the YMCA gay.

Re:You can't post to this page (-1)

TrollBurger (575126) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922287)

i just had sex. see my previous post@@@@ niiiiiiiiiiiiice.

dick (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922227)

i suck dick after the cum is all drained. i hate that shit in my mouth.

sometimes i like 2 fingers in my ass.. but 4 is better, helps me be loose. i dont like being constipated.

and my dog licks my asshole under my covers, while i jack off. i love it.

Linux for Grandma and Uncle Jim-Bob (5, Interesting)

dowobeha (581813) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922240)

I posted this in another thread, but it got buried, so here goes...

For you and me, KDE and GNOME, along with any of the good standard distros makes GNU/Linux a great, pretty-easy-to-use choice.

But that's not good enough.

What I'd like to put together is Linux for Technophobes. The machine that Joe Schmoe, who has never used a computer, can walk in to Wal-mart, take home his new box, and be able to use it for email, web browsing, and word processing with zero assistance from anyone else.

He should open the box and find a simple (a la iMac) one-page sheet that shows him how to connect the mouse and keyboard.

A simple wizard sets up the net connection with him.

I'm picturing a very simple interface for the Basic mode. One big button that says Email and has a picture of a mailbox. Another for the web browser. Maybe a couple more apps, but not many.

And, if you click on the Advanced mode button in the corner, you get switched to KDE or GNOME.

Let me know what you think, and maybe we can put something like this together.

Re:Linux for Grandma and Uncle Jim-Bob (1)

JPriest (547211) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922255)

Lindows, Lycoris, Xandros, ELX, Mandrake, etc. These are the companies that are working to make desktop Linux a reality.

Re:Linux for Grandma and Uncle Jim-Bob (1)

brsmith4 (567390) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922266)

I have tried most of those and have found that SuSE 8.0 is actually easier for me. Everything comes out of the install actually working correctly (cd burners, hardware acceleration, sound cards, etc.). Mandrake 8.2 was nice, but they shipped a crappy version of XCDRoast and you had to do some stuff to get it working that wasn't very user friendly.

Suggestions for a base? (1)

dowobeha (581813) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922296)

I am serious about putting TechnophobeLinux together. Please reply if you are interested in helping.

Any suggestions for what software to use as a base also appreciated.

Cheers!

Too complicated (1, Insightful)

dowobeha (581813) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922280)

Those are all great solutions. -- But they're not simple enough for a very large market that has yet to embrace computers at all.

Rasterman's got a point. With the configurability of Linux, we should be able to outclass Apple in uber-simplicity. Semi-dedicated specialized boxes are what I'm talking about.

The kind of thing that I set up shop in Valley West Mall in Des Moines, where people can come in and buy an email/web surfing machine, that can also play a couple games and do word processing. But with little to no learning curve. For true technophobes, even the Mac OS is too complicated. We should target that crowd.

Sell dedicated DVR boxes that are a really just a Linux box with a custom gui and an easy interface to the 2 or 3 programs you need.

KDE, Gnome, et al are great, but too complicated for this market. And this market is huge and largely untapped.

Re:Too complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922351)

"even the Mac OS is too complicated. We should target that crowd."

Some of those vendors are targeting that crowd. I think Linux will need to be a functional desktop for people like me before it will be functional for my grandmother though.

Re:Linux for Grandma and Uncle Jim-Bob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922256)

This topic is getting very OLD!!! There must be more interesting computer related news out there.

Re:Linux for Grandma and Uncle Jim-Bob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922264)

Does Joe Schmoe also have to know how to read, spell, know the difference between a mouse and keyboard, Faxmachine and telephone????

KDE GNOME (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922269)

And if you take a wire and wrap it around a candle, you'll get a candle with a wired wrapped around it.

Re:Linux for Grandma and Uncle Jim-Bob (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922306)

" What I'd like to put together is Linux for Technophobes."

Won't happen. When this guy goes on the newsgroups, email lists, or other web forums for help on linux, All he will hear are cries of 'RTFM' and worse.

The big problem with the adoption of Linux on the desktop us US. Quite frankly, the vast majority of us are assholes when it comes to those less 'elite' than us. Knock it off, RIGHT NOW, if you want linux to dominate the desktop.

Grandma told to RTFM (1)

dowobeha (581813) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922352)

Won't happen. When this guy goes on the newsgroups, email lists, or other web forums for help on linux, All he will hear are cries of 'RTFM' and worse.

That's why TechnophobeLinux should be marketed with hardware by a company. That way, the company can only bundle a few, relatively easy to support apps, with a ultra-simple gui.

That way, the company will be able to do support for most of the problems a newbie would encounter.

Re:Grandma told to RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922386)

OEone [oeone.com]

Re:Grandma told to RTFM (1)

dowobeha (581813) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922416)

OEone

Thanks for the link!

Re:Grandma told to RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922398)

Unless you have millions of dollars for a startup it will never happen. The best advice I can give is to select one of the existing new distros that are competing to do the very same thing you describe and subscribe to the development list. Your intentions are good but you don't have the resources to make a better product.

hardware (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922327)

Why isn't there any software to look in proc and compaire your hardware agains a database on the internet and get the drivers/kernel patches for your system.

BTW I'm browsing with konquror, not sure why but it was a bad idea, konquror doesn't make a good browser.

Re:hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922368)

konquror is too intigrated and does too many functions for it's own good. If you want a browser try Galeon. Netscape 6, Opera, and Mozilla are also decent too.

Reminds me of GEOS (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922363)

An old environment for DOS (ok, actually started elsewhere, but the later DOS version is what I'm talking about).

It had three levels of interface. The first was very simple, a few big icons for the most basic apps, everything fullscreen. Intermediate level had a full screen file browser open to it's equilvalent to "My Documents" where there were templates for each app. Then you had the full motif-inspired interface, basiclly all the interface ideas of win95 long before win95.

Make the easy stuff brain-dead simple (1)

dowobeha (581813) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922394)

Reminds me of GEOS. It had three levels of interface. The first was very simple, a few big icons for the most basic apps, everything fullscreen. Intermediate level had a full screen file browser open to it's equilvalent to "My Documents" where there were templates for each app. Then you had the full motif-inspired interface, basiclly all the interface ideas of win95 long before win95.

Yes! That's basically what I'm envisioning.

Make the easy stuff brain-dead simple.
Make it intuitive to move on to the next level when you're ready.
Make the intermediate stuff simple.
Make the hard stuff possible.

Re:Linux for Grandma and Uncle Jim-Bob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922412)

What I'd like to put together is Linux for Technophobes. So pick up some tarballs and start packaging. No one's stopping you.

Rastaman? (-1, Flamebait)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922242)

Rastaman?

What has he been smoking?

(Seriously though, why post an obvious troll to the front page?)

+1 Interesting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922419)

GOATS Goats are very friendly animals, and seem to crave attention and companionship from people. They love to play, and sometimes will spend as much time as you want playing. If you want to do this, get a goat with no horns! The larger breeds are about the same size as a large dog, so they are not too convenient to mount. They can be trained to lay down, so you can put them in bed, but will not take to this as fast as a dog. A goat can be a great screw if you are not too well hung. Their pussies look quite small, but a lot of tonguing will open them up, and they don't have the bone like a dog. The entire genital area of the goat has very velvety skin, and a lot of time can be spent licking her pussy, asshole and the underside of her tail. I have found that you can get your cock in OK, but the goat does not seem to have a very deep pussy. I tend to bottom out. Goats shit a lot, but the turds are small and hard and you can just brush them out of the way. The sphincter muscles of the goat are fairly weak, so you can easily butt fuck them too. (That is, of course, if they let you. Consent is everything in animal love.) Personally, I prefer the black Nubian breed. What a sexy looking animal! Be sure to do proper housing for your goat. They can jump a great distance. I've seen one clear a six foot fence from a standing start. SHEEP When someone who is not into the scene hears about sex with animals, almost invariably they think of sheep. So many shepherds have told so many stories over the years. My experience tells me that this reputation is probably well deserved. Their main disadvantage is their size... they are not convenient to mount. They are fairly easy to get into bed. Once a sheep thinks she is trapped, most of them will give up and stop any struggling. Every time, I am concerned about that and it is a little distracting, because I do not wish to "trap" any animal for my own pleasure. Pleasure must be mutual for me to enjoy it. Anyway, sheep body shapes allow you to get them on their backs and fuck them belly to belly -- and kiss them while your at it! Sheep tend to have burrs, stickers and other undesirable things in their coats. I recommend keeping them shorn. Even then, their wool produces a lot of lanolin, so you can expect to come away feeling a little oily. The thing that really recommends the sheep is the pussy. It's as though it was specifically designed for bestiality minded guys. It is tight, wet, and seemingly bottomless. It's also a good pussy for eating. Don't worry if you are hung like a mule, the sheep will accommodate you just fine. Sheep don't have a very strong sphincter muscle, so you can easily fuck them up the ass also. SOWS My experiences with a sow have been a little less than satisfactory. The one I had was quite large, around 600 pounds and (you guessed it) fat as a pig! She just was not very attractive to me. Once I got into her, her pussy was very hot and clinging, and she was really a pretty good fuck. Sows are difficult to mount due to their size, and at that weight you can't exactly pick them up and lay them down. I found that if I spread my legs way out and balanced on her back, I could get to her pussy fairly well. Big sows are quite strong, and they won't stand for you unless they want to. It's difficult to tie one because ropes just slip over their head. One nice thing about sows is that when they are in heat, all they want is to get fucked. You can easily tell by putting pressure on their back. If they assume a more sexual stance, and appear to be a little paralyzed, you have a hot sow! I would like to have more opportunities with sows, but have not had the chance. At various livestock shows I have noticed that the prize sows were trim and fit at around 150 pounds, and very sexy looking. I would not kick one of those out of bed! COWS Cows are easy and fairly cheap to get, fun to fuck, and easy to sell for what you paid for them. This is probably the reason they are a favorite on many farms. Cows that are kept for sex are usually fed grain and hay rather than being pastured. Pasture feeding a cow will usually bring on a lot of diarrhea. Cows are not attractive to most people when their whole rear end is covered in dried shit. Grain feeding eliminates this problem. Cows have wonderfully warm and slimy pussies, and are very good eating. Unfortunately, to get the best fuck from them, you have to be hung a little better than average. Those of you less well endowed can try out the four-month old heifers. The younger heifers can be fucked while standing flat footed, but the adult cows will require something to stand on. One of the best things about cows is that the pussy is not buried way down between heavy muscled ass cheeks; it usually hangs out a little from their body. When you are eating cow pussy, you can get your tongue really deep. When fucking them, you can stick you balls and everything in there. If you have friends watching, it's also easier for everyone to see what's going on. Cows seem to have an endless supply of shit inside, and love to release it just when you are about ready to come and not in the mood to pull away. When the cow is grain fed, the turds are hard and this is generally not a problem. For the pasture fed cows, the closest thing I can think of is the feeling of a few gallons of warm spaghetti sauce running over your belly and down your legs. Cows love to piss a lot also. If you like to eat pussy, like the avid bestialist, and you're on your knees behind the cow, you run the risk (or the pleasure, depending on how you look at it) of being drenched at any moment with about two gallons of hot cow piss. I have found this to be an enormous turn-on, but if you personally have a problem with being pissed- on and occasionally shit-on by your animal, you will probably want to own something other than cows. MARES Mares are fairly easy to fuck, and you will need a crate or stool that will bring you up to their level. They take to being trained to stand still very quickly. Mares have an unusual feature in their pussies that allows them to voluntarily contract some muscles that result in a "winking" effect. Some mares have such a strong winking that you can hear the snap when they do it. This feature makes mares absolutely the best eating pussy on the planet. Of course, mares run the whole gamut from cold fish to incredibly hot sex machines. You will have to experiment to find out where your mare fits in. If you are lucky enough to have one of the hot ones, it means that she will be winking and squirting fluid and making obscene squishing noises when being fucked. This helps make up for the fact that they do have large pussies, and unless you are well equipped, you might not get enough friction to get off. The squishing and winking might give you a psychological advantage though... since she would also exhibit these actions when being fucked by a stallion, you can think of yourself as a stallion, and that can give you an enormous boost! Miniature horses have all the same attributes as the full size ones, except they are too small to ride. For the average hung dude, one of these might be the way to go. You will probably still get the winking and squishing, but with a much tighter pussy, you will have a sex partner to die for. Also, you can fuck the miniatures flat-footed. Mares seldom dump or piss during the action, so you can concentrate on getting your rocks off.

/.ed already! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922243)

There are a few genuine legends in the Linux community, and among them is an Aussie named Carsten Haitzler. Who? That's right -- the name probably means nothing to you. but his nom de code inspires awe in many. He is The Rasterman, and for many years he has been the symbol of innovative, uncompromising excellence in pushing the potential of the Linux desktop to and past its limits. He is the founder, though "inventor" would not be too strong a word, of the Enlightenment project, an infinitely configurable window manager that is working its way toward becoming a desktop, even though he thinks the desktop battle is lost. In an email interview, he talks about what he's doing, his view of the future of desktop Linux, the nature of development projects -- commercial, community-based, and genius-based -- and much more.

Linux and Main: What are you doing nowadays?

The Rasterman: I'm in Sydney now. I'm working for a small contracting firm here working on Linux embedded-related stuff.

LaM: We saw a report a year or so ago that described a talk and demonstration you gave. The report was written in awed tones -- as if the writer could not find the words to describe what he'd seen, but that it was clearly the future. What new areas have you been exploring?

R: Embedded display systems using a canvas API. Basically... EVAS. :) it was written at first to help build efm and subsequently e 0.17 (still being worked on) and it's growing up to be even bigger than I had imagined in its scope. The new evas codebase is tiny (191kb compiled for arm), handles X and the Linux framebuffer (more display targets coming) is lean on RAM, fast, and easy to use... more will come from this - but there's barely space here to start describing.

LaM: At about the same time, there was a rumor that you and Daniel M. Duley, known to many as Mosfet, were discussing some kind of collaborative effort. Anything to it?

R: I'm a bit vague on my memory. Daniel is a good bloke and does lots of good stuff for KDE & themes. Can't recall though - anything more specific to jog my brain?

[Note: There was nothing beyond the rumor, so no additional details to provide.]

LaM: As you look at the graphical desktops for Linux other than Enlightenment, do you think they're growing in the right directions? What are the best things you find in projects like KDE and GNOME? Where do they most fall short?

R: KDE, I think, are doing a good job. GNOME are behind but look a bit nicer (still) thanks a lot to good artwork :). I've stopped paying attention really to the "desktop war," though. I tend to not keep much track as I just use my own stuff all the time.

LaM: Where do you think the future lies for desktop Linux?

R: Not on the desktop. Not on the PC. Not on anything that resembles what you call the desktop. Windows has won. Face it. The market is not driven by a technically superior kernel, or an OS that avoids its crashes a few times a day. Users don't (mostly) care. They just reboot and get on with it. They want apps. If the apps they want and like aren't there, it's a lose-lose. Windows has the apps. Linux does not. Its life on the desktop is limited to nice areas (video production, though Mac is very strong and with a UNIX core now will probably end up ruling the roost). The only place you are likely to see Linux is the embedded space. Purpose-built devices to do a few things well. There is no encumbent app space to catch up with as a lot of the apps are custom written. It's still a mostly level playing field. This is where the strengths of Linux can help make it shine.

LaM: Where do you think the future ought to lie for desktop Linux?

R: There is none. The future for Linux for anything that isn't a headless server in a back room tirelessly serving out data and services all day long is on the device market, from PDA to phone to watch.

LaM: What's the least-tapped area of desktop development, if there is one > -- a place where there's room for real growth and innovation?

R: Again - not much. The device space is where the interesting stuff is at. :)

LaM: Some projects in Linux -- KDE and GNOME are among them -- have become truly huge, involving hundreds of people. You've worked on very big projects and on smaller ones, where you have more control, without the need for a consensus before a feature is added or a direction is chosen. Is there anything lost when a project grows to a size where scores of people are involved? Does the model of free software development that works so well when there are just a few developers scale well? Does it have advantages over the lone developer or small group of developers?

R: When projects get too big people spend more time in politics (talking on mailing lists and waiting for others) than actually doing something useful. Generally, splitting something up, not autonomous units, and have them work on their own and just end up working in unison ends up more efficient, imho. This still means people have to agree how they interface, but again, imho, the "benevolent dictator" method when one or a very small number decide the important bits (the glue between the parts) and then let the rest roll. I also don't see "the more the better" as better. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Sometimes one or two really good people will easily beat 10 or 20 average ones only working on something in their spare time. I personally prefer the "crack troops" style. Get five or six really good people and they can do a lot. Hundreds of part-timers, imho, don't work as well.

LaM: You've worked on your own, and in a highly praised project or two, and you've also worked in a more formal setting with a Linux company. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each as you've experienced them? Would you be likely to work for a Linux-based company again? Would you be likely to start a Linux-based company, as some of the GNOME people have done with Ximian?

R: Advantages: You can work on stuff full time and get hardware, bandwidth, support - but more than anything - time, to do things. Disadvantages: When your company and its projects differ from your personal goals and projects, things grate. The job isn't just a job. You code insanely - easily 40, 50, 60, 70+ hours a week. But it's not just a job - it's a life, so you care very much, and when your company doesn't agree with what you care about, things get bad.

Would I work for a Linux-based company? Certainly. I don't think of having a "job". I don't have "working hours". I am always thinking about the code I'm working on, or working on it, when I get out of bed, at night before I go to sleep, weekends, on planes. any time. And thinking about designs, solutions etc., anywhere from walking down the street to being at dinner or lunch. It's not a job - it's a lifestyle and working for a Linux company melds in well.

Would I start one? Certainly - if I could get the venture capital - but who would fund such a thing these days... even if I could pull some really smart motivated people together - I could, but who would pay them whilst we busily develop a product to actually sell? Bring the VC back as it used to be three years ago or so and I wouldn't even blink before giving it a go.

LaM: If memory serves, there was a time when you didn't think the GPL was the best of all possible licenses.

R: Still don't.

LaM: What kind of license do you think would be best for spurring growth of Linux on the desktop while also addressing the needs and desires of developers themselves?

R: I choose BSD with the advertising clause. Why? It lets people steal the code. Yes. If someone is smart they can steal any code they want, GPL, BSD, even commercial code. Dis-assembling to figure out the smarts of a system isn't new. Any programmer half-smart can take any GPL code and morph it into something so unrecognizable it would be impossible to prove legally (beyond reasonable doubt) that they violated copyright. I'm a realist. I know anyone could steal my code if it was GPL - so why live in a fantasy? Accept the fact, let them steal it - just ask them to be nice and tell you they did so you at least get the satisfaction of knowing your code was of use to someone. That's my view on it. :)

LaM: Enlightenment was initially the window management system for GNOME, but now Sawfish is chiefly used. How did that come about? Was that a disappointment to you, or in retrospection do you see it as a good thing?

R: Actually incorrect. Enlightenment started long before GNOME existed. It was a window manager that did more than just manage windows. It was completely themable, handled your desktop background, pagers, launcher bar, icons and menus and more. It merely was the first (and for a while the only) window manager to fully support gnome applications. That is all.

I offered to mould e to be the GNOME wm, but at the time Miguel was convinced you could do a desktop without a wm. I got quite bored of explaining this wasn't possible, so by the time he realized he needed wm support I was merrily making e do its own thing again regardless of GNOME and its goals. Eventually GNOME got its own wm(s). Good for them. But e never was intended for GNOME - was around before GNOME, and still does its own merry thing.

Personally, I'm very happy not to have to debate standards for eons and just get to go on and do interesting things and experiment with freedom. It was that freedom with experimenting that brought you window managers that could do themes and pixmaps in their borders, and shaped windows borders, pagers that showed miniatures of your desktop and more... now everyone does them, but e did most of them first and broke the ground. I plan on keeping on doing some breaking :)

LaM: Speaking of Enlightenment -- where is it headed? What paths is it following that other desktops aren't?

R: It's a really nice way for me to test evas and push it to do more :)

LaM: For years, Enlightenment has had the reputation of being unquestionably the most attractive desktop imaginable -- some say for any platform, Mac included -- but really difficult to configure. Is that reputation deserved? Do you think it ever was? Who is the user who would find enlightenment especially rewarding?

R: Difficult - yes. I agree. :) I always intended the really cluey people to make configurations for the less cluey, and for them to wrap up all the complex options into nice simple bundles, but that never happened, so now I'm moving to doing that myself.

LaM: As Linux has grown, so has the horsepower of the equipment needed to do much useful with the newer stuff. Do you think the idea that Linux is the desktop of choice for those who have older equipment is now pretty much dead? What does it take to run Enlightenment? How does this compare with the "big" desktop projects?

R: Personally, since hardware is so dirt cheap I see no difference between Windows and Linux. Enlightenment was never intended for old systems - fvmw or twm do the job quite fine. It's intended to make use of all that raw cpu and gfx power you have - since most of the day it sits and does nothing (just check your cpu stats one day). Computers spend more time waiting on users to catch up than anything else really. :) E is there to poke and prod and do something new. KDE and GNOME are there to appeal to the masses. :)

LaM: You've been working on ways of making direct desktop calls to OpenGL. Given its level of development and relative complexity in configuration -- at least as it's shipped by Linux distributors -- how do you write around what might be seen as a rickety aspect of the X Window System? Are you presuming users who have gotten it set up and working well, or do you hope that distributions will have gotten it sorted out a little better by the time your desktop software is ready for broad use?

R: No no no. Thats not evas. Evas is a canvas - you don't draw like "draw a line" "draw a box" draw this string" "paint this image". It's object based. You create a line. You create an image. You move and resize the objects, show and hide them, etc.

Evas handles all the logic there of how to redraw and what to redraw most optimally. It also abstracts to the display system underneath; one such display system is OpenGL - evas handles that as one of its output systems. It can also just use your cpu or basic Xserver calls,and more. OpenGL is simply a way of making the routines display faster if your hardware is supported by OpenGL. Personally I avoid OpenGL, as its still waay too flakey to trust, and instead rely on my own software cpu rendering routines.

LaM: Will e still play nicely with the new GNOME? Can it readily be set up > as the window manager in a GNOME 2 system?

R: Simple answer: no :)

Time to whore some karma... (-1, Redundant)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922249)

Here is the text of the article, just in case it gets /.ed...

There are a few genuine legends in the Linux community, and among them is an Aussie named Carsten Haitzler. Who? That's right -- the name probably means nothing to you. but his nom de code inspires awe in many. He is The Rasterman, and for many years he has been the symbol of innovative, uncompromising excellence in pushing the potential of the Linux desktop to and past its limits. He is the founder, though "inventor" would not be too strong a word, of the Enlightenment [enlightenment.org] project, an infinitely configurable window manager that is working its way toward becoming a desktop, even though he thinks the desktop battle is lost. In an email interview, he talks about what he's doing, his view of the future of desktop Linux, the nature of development projects -- commercial, community-based, and genius-based -- and much more.

Linux and Main: What are you doing nowadays?

The Rasterman: I'm in Sydney now. I'm working for a small contracting firm here working on Linux embedded-related stuff.

LaM:We saw a report a year or so ago that described a talk and demonstration you gave. The report was written in awed tones -- as if the writer could not find the words to describe what he'd seen, but that it was clearly the future. What new areas have you been exploring?

R: Embedded display systems using a canvas API. Basically... EVAS. :) it was written at first to help build efm and subsequently e 0.17 (still being worked on) and it's growing up to be even bigger than I had imagined in its scope. The new evas codebase is tiny (191kb compiled for arm), handles X and the Linux framebuffer (more display targets coming) is lean on RAM, fast, and easy to use... more will come from this - but there's barely space here to start describing.

LaM: At about the same time, there was a rumor that you and Daniel M. Duley, known to many as Mosfet, were discussing some kind of collaborative effort. Anything to it?

R: I'm a bit vague on my memory. Daniel is a good bloke and does lots of good stuff for KDE & themes. Can't recall though - anything more specific to jog my brain?

[Note: There was nothing beyond the rumor, so no additional details to provide.]

LaM: As you look at the graphical desktops for Linux other than Enlightenment, do you think they're growing in the right directions? What are the best things you find in projects like KDE and GNOME? Where do they most fall short?

R: KDE, I think, are doing a good job. GNOME are behind but look a bit nicer (still) thanks a lot to good artwork :). I've stopped paying attention really to the "desktop war," though. I tend to not keep much track as I just use my own stuff all the time.

LaM: Where do you think the future lies for desktop Linux?

R: Not on the desktop. Not on the PC. Not on anything that resembles what you call the desktop. Windows has won. Face it. The market is not driven by a technically superior kernel, or an OS that avoids its crashes a few times a day. Users don't (mostly) care. They just reboot and get on with it. They want apps. If the apps they want and like aren't there, it's a lose-lose. Windows has the apps. Linux does not. Its life on the desktop is limited to nice areas (video production, though Mac is very strong and with a UNIX core now will probably end up ruling the roost). The only place you are likely to see Linux is the embedded space. Purpose-built devices to do a few things well. There is no encumbent app space to catch up with as a lot of the apps are custom written. It's still a mostly level playing field. This is where the strengths of Linux can help make it shine.

LaM: Where do you think the future ought to lie for desktop Linux?

R: There is none. The future for Linux for anything that isn't a headless server in a back room tirelessly serving out data and services all day long is on the device market, from PDA to phone to watch.

LaM: What's the least-tapped area of desktop development, if there is one >-- a place where there's room for real growth and innovation?

R: Again - not much. The device space is where the interesting stuff is at. :)

LaM: Some projects in Linux -- KDE and GNOME are among them -- have become truly huge, involving hundreds of people. You've worked on very big projects and on smaller ones, where you have more control, without the need for a consensus before a feature is added or a direction is chosen. Is there anything lost when a project grows to a size where scores of people are involved? Does the model of free software development that works so well when there are just a few developers scale well? Does it have advantages over the lone developer or small group of developers?

R: When projects get too big people spend more time in politics (talking on mailing lists and waiting for others) than actually doing something useful. Generally, splitting something up, not autonomous units, and have them work on their own and just end up working in unison ends up more efficient, imho. This still means people have to agree how they interface, but again, imho, the "benevolent dictator" method when one or a very small number decide the important bits (the glue between the parts) and then let the rest roll. I also don't see "the more the better" as better. Too many cooks spoil the broth. Sometimes one or two really good people will easily beat 10 or 20 average ones only working on something in their spare time. I personally prefer the "crack troops" style. Get five or six really good people and they can do a lot. Hundreds of part-timers, imho, don't work as well.

LaM: You've worked on your own, and in a highly praised project or two, and you've also worked in a more formal setting with a Linux company. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each as you've experienced them? Would you be likely to work for a Linux-based company again? Would you be likely to start a Linux-based company, as some of the GNOME people have done with Ximian?

R: Advantages: You can work on stuff full time and get hardware, bandwidth, support - but more than anything - time, to do things. Disadvantages: When your company and its projects differ from your personal goals and projects, things grate. The job isn't just a job. You code insanely - easily 40, 50, 60, 70+ hours a week. But it's not just a job - it's a life, so you care very much, and when your company doesn't agree with what you care about, things get bad.

Would I work for a Linux-based company? Certainly. I don't think of having a "job". I don't have "working hours". I am always thinking about the code I'm working on, or working on it, when I get out of bed, at night before I go to sleep, weekends, on planes. any time. And thinking about designs, solutions etc., anywhere from walking down the street to being at dinner or lunch. It's not a job - it's a lifestyle and working for a Linux company melds in well.

Would I start one? Certainly - if I could get the venture capital - but who would fund such a thing these days... even if I could pull some really smart motivated people together - I could, but who would pay them whilst we busily develop a product to actually sell? Bring the VC back as it used to be three years ago or so and I wouldn't even blink before giving it a go.

LaM: If memory serves, there was a time when you didn't think the GPL was the best of all possible licenses.

R: Still don't.

LaM: What kind of license do you think would be best for spurring growth of Linux on the desktop while also addressing the needs and desires of developers themselves?

R: I choose BSD with the advertising clause. Why? It lets people steal the code. Yes. If someone is smart they can steal any code they want, GPL, BSD, even commercial code. Dis-assembling to figure out the smarts of a system isn't new. Any programmer half-smart can take any GPL code and morph it into something so unrecognizable it would be impossible to prove legally (beyond reasonable doubt) that they violated copyright. I'm a realist. I know anyone could steal my code if it was GPL - so why live in a fantasy? Accept the fact, let them steal it - just ask them to be nice and tell you they did so you at least get the satisfaction of knowing your code was of use to someone. That's my view on it. :)

LaM: Enlightenment was initially the window management system for GNOME, but now Sawfish is chiefly used. How did that come about? Was that a disappointment to you, or in retrospection do you see it as a good thing?

R: Actually incorrect. Enlightenment started long before GNOME existed. It was a window manager that did more than just manage windows. It was completely themable, handled your desktop background, pagers, launcher bar, icons and menus and more. It merely was the first (and for a while the only) window manager to fully support gnome applications. That is all.

I offered to mould e to be the GNOME wm, but at the time Miguel was convinced you could do a desktop without a wm. I got quite bored of explaining this wasn't possible, so by the time he realized he needed wm support I was merrily making e do its own thing again regardless of GNOME and its goals. Eventually GNOME got its own wm(s). Good for them. But e never was intended for GNOME - was around before GNOME, and still does its own merry thing.

Personally, I'm very happy not to have to debate standards for eons and just get to go on and do interesting things and experiment with freedom. It was that freedom with experimenting that brought you window managers that could do themes and pixmaps in their borders, and shaped windows borders, pagers that showed miniatures of your desktop and more... now everyone does them, but e did most of them first and broke the ground. I plan on keeping on doing some breaking :)

LaM: Speaking of Enlightenment -- where is it headed? What paths is it following that other desktops aren't?

R: It's a really nice way for me to test evas and push it to do more :)

LaM: For years, Enlightenment has had the reputation of being unquestionably the most attractive desktop imaginable -- some say for any platform, Mac included -- but really difficult to configure. Is that reputation deserved? Do you think it ever was? Who is the user who would find enlightenment especially rewarding?

R: Difficult - yes. I agree. :) I always intended the really cluey people to make configurations for the less cluey, and for them to wrap up all the complex options into nice simple bundles, but that never happened, so now I'm moving to doing that myself.

LaM: As Linux has grown, so has the horsepower of the equipment needed to do much useful with the newer stuff. Do you think the idea that Linux is the desktop of choice for those who have older equipment is now pretty much dead? What does it take to run Enlightenment? How does this compare with the "big" desktop projects?

R: Personally, since hardware is so dirt cheap I see no difference between Windows and Linux. Enlightenment was never intended for old systems - fvmw or twm do the job quite fine. It's intended to make use of all that raw cpu and gfx power you have - since most of the day it sits and does nothing (just check your cpu stats one day). Computers spend more time waiting on users to catch up than anything else really. :) E is there to poke and prod and do something new. KDE and GNOME are there to appeal to the masses. :)

LaM: You've been working on ways of making direct desktop calls to OpenGL. Given its level of development and relative complexity in configuration -- at least as it's shipped by Linux distributors -- how do you write around what might be seen as a rickety aspect of the X Window System? Are you presuming users who have gotten it set up and working well, or do you hope that distributions will have gotten it sorted out a little better by the time your desktop software is ready for broad use?

R: No no no. Thats not evas. Evas is a canvas - you don't draw like "draw a line" "draw a box" draw this string" "paint this image". It's object based. You create a line. You create an image. You move and resize the objects, show and hide them, etc.

Evas handles all the logic there of how to redraw and what to redraw most optimally. It also abstracts to the display system underneath; one such display system is OpenGL - evas handles that as one of its output systems. It can also just use your cpu or basic Xserver calls,and more. OpenGL is simply a way of making the routines display faster if your hardware is supported by OpenGL. Personally I avoid OpenGL, as its still waay too flakey to trust, and instead rely on my own software cpu rendering routines.

LaM: Will e still play nicely with the new GNOME? Can it readily be set up >as the window manager in a GNOME 2 system?

R: Simple answer: no :)

MOD THE FUCKER ABOVE DOWN!!! (-1, Redundant) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922265)

Seriously, must you karma whore so blatantly!? You even took the time to insert bold tags throughout. The least you could have done was do a direct cut and paste like the fucktard above you.

DONT WASTE THE MODPOINTS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922281)

This is a preemptive post -- don't waste your modpoints (if you're in a HURRY... SAVE those modpoints!)

The above is neither "informative", or "interesting". In my opinion, any moderator that inflates the above is not qualified to moderate and should be moderator banned.

I come here to see a discussion of the articles... not a race for Karma (oo-whee) or people to lazy to read the story.

A Perl script to mirror linked stories, and do so in a first-post fashion, is hardly impressive. Do something useful that no one will pat you on the back for, like become a Gnutella or Freenet supernode.

Linux is not dead, but... (2, Interesting)

Drunken_Jackass (325938) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922253)

it's not entirely healthy either.

I must say, though, that my recent installation of SuSE 8.0 professional has renewed my enthusiasm for a first-rate desktop distribution that's also a great server environment.

From the animated startup icons, to the look and feel of the default K desktop, it's really the closest thing to the perfect distro that i've come across.

And the installation is easier and faster (despite the 7 CD's) than Mandrake's!

I think a lot of other distro's can take a lot of lessons from such a clean, smooth, stable distribution as SuSE has pumped out.

I can't wait for more!

Re:Linux is not dead, but... (1)

repsychler (571158) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922282)

I tend to agree. Of the distros that I have used SuSE has been the most Windows-like, as far as ease of use for non-techies goes. I can install SuSE 7.3 easier and faster than any version of MS Win.

Re:Linux is not dead, but... (2, Insightful)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922353)

I have been using Linux for seven years now, and from my experience, there are only a couple of major hurdles to overcome before it can be called "Desktop Ready". Linux does handle most hardware very easily. Soundcards are almost always working out of the box, as well as most graphics cards. The things that are missing are the smaller items, like easy printer configuration. Suse and Yast2 do an excellent job for printers (and most hardware) but there is still a large margin of error.
ActiveX (shudder) is another stumbling block. I hate to say it, but even though my belief is that ActiveX is the typhoid Mary of the Internet, I still believe that it is important to have. I can skin Mozilla to look like IE, but I can't get it to work like it. Although in many cases this is a good thing, people will only react to when this is a bad thing.
Lastly is an office package that will integrate easily with Office 2000/XP etc. Office has become the de facto for the majority of businesses, and we need to be able to open Office files without having to do any re-formatting of data. This is especially true for connection with Exchange Servers. Ximian has done a good job on this, but a completely freeware/GNU solution is needed, especially for KDE.

AWG

Fact it (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922263)

Windows has won. Face it.

Another cheerleader down. I'm not sure if other cheerleaders would declare their failure in the future, but I'm sure they'd add some more comments:

Linus: Windows has won. But I don't care.

RMS: Windows has won. But it still sucks, and we still 133t. Beside, I've a date.

Re:Fact it (2, Interesting)

iguana (8083) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922303)

I think people (myself included) have lately been missing the best thing about Linux, et al.

It's fun.

_Just for the Fun_ was the title of Linus' book on doing the kernel.

Yeah, Windows has won. In another two years, Microsoft will completely own the Internet, you'll have to use IE to buy anything online, and Linux will be reduced to the same level of amateur ham radio.

It'll still be fun, though.

Slashdot is CENSORING YOU!! IMPORTANT Please READ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922271)

version 1.2.1, (last updated 20th July 2002) [slashdot.org]

Note to moderators : Do not moderate this post down, if you do then you support the editors stance on censorship and you support the end of free speech and support evil organisations like Microsoft, RIAA, MPAA and laws like the CBTBA and DMCA. Moderating this post will only waste mod points, and will not work!

Sign this petition, let your voice be heard! [petitiononline.com]

Slashdot is using censorship! It is trying to eridicate free and open discussion like we know slashdot to be, it has the following RESTRICTIONS in place to Censor you

They claim they don't, but they do, wonder why their are so many trolls, crapflooders and lamers on slashdot, because they are fighting for their rights! Slashdot is trying to silence the trolls. Remove the filters, the trolls get bored, and slashdot will be troll free!
  • Lameness filters (It blocks Perl code! )
  • Unnessary posting delays. Hasnt taco learned to touch type? A lot of posts are typed in less than 20 seconds and it is a ANNOYING DELAY! 2 minute ban? Come on, so some are faster then others, big deal, some people have more to say than others
  • Broken moderation system, The whole point is to sort the gems from the crap, yet a lot of posts designed to make a LIVELY DISCUSSION are MODERATED as flamebait! Come on, not everyone likes X, but just because some one bashes it dosent mean its Flamebait. Flame bait is more useful for DIRECT INSULTS and not legitmate discussions.
The "troll" moderation reason is fragmented and broken, why? Because they are trying to use an obsolete usenet term on a realtime discussion, "trolls" can cover a huge blanket of ideas.
  • Crapfloods, a meaningless flood of random letters or text, which the lameness filter does a crappy job at trying to stop, besides trolls have written tools using the opensource slashcode to generate crapfloods which bypass the filter
  • Links to offensive websites, the most common one is known a http://www.goatse.cx, a awful site which shows a bleeding anus being stretched on the front page. Trolls sneak these links in by posting messages that look legitimate, but infact are sneaky redirects to the site. Common examples include rd.yahoo.com, www.linux-kernel.tk, goatsex.cjb.net, and googles "Im feeling lucky".
  • Trying to break slashdot, this is actually a good thing, as it helps test slashdot for bugs. Famous examples include the goatse.cx javascript pop-up, the pagewidening post and the browser crashing post!
Subnet banning, this bans a user unless they email jamie macarthy with their mp5ed ipids. This is unfair, and banning a subnet BLOCKS A WHOLE ISP SOMETIMES, and not that individual user! This can cause chaos! But real trolls use annoymous proxys to get around this so THIS JUST BANS LEGITMATE USERS! Also, they are trying to censor some anoymous proxies, mainly from countrys like africa, so this yet more DISCRIMINATION!

Pink page of Death, This censors people who use legitmate proxys or firewalls.

The Bitchslap! An unethical punishment which is applied to moderators who fight censorship against this site! In addition the Editors use their un-limited mod points to create a communist style censored discussion on slashdot!

But, the issue that concerens us the most, is the COMMENT QUOTA. A discrimatory system that stiffles discussion, cripples the community and will ultimateley destroy slashdot unless it is removed! Annoymous cowards are allowed only 10 posts a day! This is unethical! Users with negative karma only get two! That is DISCRIMINATION! How would you like to only be able to speak once a day, just because of the color of your skin. That would be racism, and slashdot is discrimitating on people just because of a negative number in a database! BOYCOTT SLASHDOT! LET THEM DIE!

We wan't these stupid useless restrictions REMOVED! This comment will be posted again and again until it does!

Inportant imformation for users
Boycott slashdot, they are pissing over their community, they are becoming like the RIAA and MICROSOFT! Do NOT TOLERATE THIS SHIT! Here are some real news for nerds sites. We don't need slashdot, slashdot deserves to die!

MSNBC [msnbc.com]
BBC NEWS [bbc.co.uk]
News.com [com.com]
Linux online [linux.org]
Linux daily news network [linuxdailynews.net]
Weird news from dailyrotten.com [dailyrotten.com]
Trollaxor, news for trolls, they are real people too! [trollaxor.com]
CNN.com [cnn.com]
New york times (free registration required) [nytimes.com]
LINUX.com [linux.com] ;
News forge [newsforge.net]
K5 [kuro5hin.org]
Mandrake forum [mandrakeforum.com]
Toms hardware [tomshardware.com]
The register [theregister.co.uk]
Kde dot news [kde.org]
The linux kernel Archives [kernel.org]
Adequecy [adequacy.org] ;
Xfree86.org [xfree86.org] STEALS THE MAJORITY OF its "news" from.

Punish them, here are their emails, spam them, flame them goatse them!
Rob malda [mailto]
Jamie Macarthy [mailto]
ChrisD [mailto]
Hemos [mailto]
Micheal [mailto]
Pudge [mailto]

The others ones apperantly dont have an e-mail, probably because ROB MALDA IS PRETENDING HE IS JOHN KATZ.

Thank you for reading this, please feel free to repost this information, please reply to add your comments, fight slashdot and its CENSORSHIP

Don't forget to sign the petition!

Erm. (0, Flamebait)

perlyking (198166) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922272)

This isnt a case of sour grapes is it? Enlightenment used to be the window manager to lust after but since then its fallen from popularity.
Just a thought :-)

Re:Erm. (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922285)

Furthermore, this guy is totally blind to anything outside his little world.

He says that Linux's only future as anything other than a server is embedded apps, and he just happens to be working for an embedded company right now.

He also openly admits that he will break E so that it will not run with Gnome 2.

I'd say this guy is just bitter that the Linux world left him behind.

Linux is dead... (5, Insightful)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922274)

What, again?

How many times has Linux died this year? I've lost count :)

Re:Linux is dead... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922354)

Simple equation for that:
(# of times BSD has died this year)/4 - 1 = number of times linux has died.

Apple is way deader! (5, Funny)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922377)

Apple has you beat by a mile. It's been dying twice a year since the mid-80's.

Linux is alive (4, Insightful)

Subcarrier (262294) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922417)

What, again?

Exactly what I thought. People are so busy planning grand futures for Linux, and so disappointed when the software evolution fails to take us there, that they forget to enjoy the present.

Linux will have a future. Just take my word for it. The journey, however, is more important than the destination.

Really? (0, Redundant)

isorox (205688) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922277)

Oh, thanks for that, I guess I'd better buy a copy of windows then.

Re:Really? (1)

MasterOfMagic (151058) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922339)

Do you read Usenet? I've seen so many copies floating around there. I'm sure M$ won't miss ONE sale...:-)

Master Of Magic

Linux isn't about the desktop (3, Insightful)

PhysicsGenius (565228) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922278)

It's all about the servers, baby.

Nobody is using Linux as a desktop system--it just doesn't have the intuitive point-n-click of a Mac or the games offerings of Windows. People are using Linux for the server-side. That's where the real power is. The one who controls the server controls the desktop, Microsoft has been saying that for years.

I've been saying for years that E was eye-candy and that development efforts were better focused on the shortcomings Linux has on high-end server machines such as quality NFS support, a standardized email package and high uptimes. Too bad it took Rasterman, boy genius, 5 years to figure it out as well.

Re:Linux isn't about the desktop (1)

iguana (8083) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922318)

How is the status of Linux and a high quality NFS?

Has anyone ever thought to combine NFS with LDAP to offer something similar to Microsoft's "network browse" feature? Browsing is a nice feature for non-technical users.

Has to be better, faster, easier than MS browse or there won't be any reason to switch to the new system.

Just a weird thought.

Re:Linux isn't about the desktop (2)

dboyles (65512) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922358)

Nobody is using Linux as a desktop system

I know you're exaggerating, but I'm using my Debian-running laptop right now to type this message. I dual-boot between Win2k Pro and Linux, if you can call it a dual-boot; I can't remember the last time I booted to Windows. My Windows partition is only 4GB - just enough to make it usable for short periods of time, which is what I use it for (a handful of times per year).

it just doesn't have the intuitive point-n-click of a Mac or the games offerings of Windows.

First I'll say that I'm not a gamer, so that issue doesn't bother me.

Maybe my computer isn't intuitive to my Windows and Mac-using friends, but it sure is to me. Is there a learning curve? Hell yes. Is it worth it? In my opinion, yes. Most computer users will go through their lives never knowing what a regular expression is. And that kind of stuff takes time to learn. But part of the fun of Linux (and other non-mainstream OSes) is getting that extra functionality out of the system.

I've been saying for years that E was eye-candy and that development efforts were better focused on the shortcomings Linux has on high-end server machines such as quality NFS support, a standardized email package and high uptimes.

1. What's wrong with NFS? I use it daily, and it just works.

2. Why do we need a standardized email package? I think it's important to note the difference between "good" and "standardized" here. If a Linux user wants to use Evolution that's fine, but why should it inherently be a problem that I use mutt?

3. Does Linux have a problem with uptimes that I'm not aware of? How often do your Linux machines go down, other than for hardware or kernel upgrades, or for a power outage?

I see what you're saying about the power of Linux on server applications, and I agree. But to dismiss it as impractical on the desktop doesn't do it justice.

Re:Linux isn't about the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922413)

This crack head doesn't know what he is talking about. Someone mod this appropriately.

Rasterman is a software designer who has done things with Linux you could only dream of. Your self appointed title only rings in with the newfies here who don't know any better than you do to comment so harshly about someone who has actually done so many things to try and help linux have a better ui than any other os out there.

Well.. (5, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922279)

Of course the desktop is dead.

If we want a desktop that works,that will compete, there are two things that have to happen.

We need a single distribution. That's right. We need totally focused efforts.
We need a single desktop. No more of this "I can choose 10 window managers." I'm not saying take away the choice, but we need to pick one system and say "THIS IS IT" and the community can code for THAT.

Until we have focused, unified efforts towards bringing out a rock solid desktop, it won't happen. There is too much choice for the consumer.

Why Linux? (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922344)

Why not some other Operating System? Time for a blatent plug How about Syllable, an AtheOS fork? [sourceforge.net] We're looking for lots of developers!

Re:Well.. (5, Insightful)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922364)


Exactly. Adboce, for instance, will keep shipping their ugly Motif-baed Reader, in the absence of a standard. With Windows, there's a standard. With Apple, there's a standard. There can be deviation, and even themability, but they know that if they code in certain way, it will fit in with the rest of the system in a harmonious manner. Preferences are all stored the same way, etc.

With Unix, it's "whatever you want to do," and not much matches. If Adobe could code for Gnome/Gtk/GConf, for instance, it would fit in well with the rest of the gnome desktop, which Sun and HP will be shipping soon. As it is, do they choose Motif? Gtk? Qt? FLTK? Eh? And if they choose an alternate toolkit, how do they query the perferences for the "native" desktop? At least on Window and Mac, they can make their MDI widgets look Windowsy and Macy because they know what's expected, and can look up preferences in an standard way.

Re:Well.. (3, Informative)

psavo (162634) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922418)

Exactly. Adboce, for instance, will keep shipping their ugly Motif-baed Reader, in the absence of a standard.

In the case of adobe, it's all about 'history'. once upon a time they bought some kit which allowed them to develop apps simultaneously for Win16/Unix. That kit used Motif. ATM, company which made the kit, is probably dead. If They would switch over to something like wxWindows [wxwindows.org] , they could use any kit on unix side. AFAIK adobe apps always come statically compiled anyways.

Re:Well.. (2)

demaria (122790) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922374)

You missed one

We need a simpler system, from user interfaces to system design. Of course, this would piss off all the 'power' users.

Re:Well.. (1)

2g3-598hX (586789) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922375)

Yeah, can someone explain to me the point of 2 different desktops...? It just shows how much the free software movement is powered on raw ego...

Re:Well.. (2, Insightful)

Tyreth (523822) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922378)

Fuck that, I love being able to choose browsers and window managers. Some people love KDE and GNOME - I can't stand it! Enlightenment has been my favourite window manager almost since I started using Linux - Afterstep was my first.

Everyone should drive the same car with the same features. Everyone should wear the same clothes. Everyone should have the same house so plumbers and electricians know where to find everything, and kitchen solutions can be optimised for that house. Everyone can have the same pet so vets only need knowledge for that particular breed. Everyone can listen to the same music so that bands know what will be popular and what won't. And so on. You know all this to be rubbish because people love choice. I love choice. Don't you dare take away from me the choice that Linux has given me.

Re:Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922382)

If you want One Way, you know where to find it.

Re:Well.. (3, Insightful)

Khazunga (176423) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922384)

We need a single distribution. That's right. We need totally focused efforts.
No - we - don't

Competition is essential to pressure evolution. Even MS knows this, and promotes internal competition, to compensate for its monopoly status. Trying to mimic MS, however is not feasible. Linux doesn't have the slack MS's bank account provides. External competition is then the only viable option - and let the market filter out inefficient companies.

We need *standards* - for stuff that can be standardized. Filesystem hierarchies, file formats, etc.

Having dozens of interoperable distributions is really our best scenario, and linux is headed that way.

We need a single desktop.
Nope. We need a desktop standard API, for the basic stuff. Adding menu options et al. Forcing people to one desktop (directly or indirectly) is not an option. I though this was obvious...

Re:Well.. (2)

JanneM (7445) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922411)

And who gets to decide what that 'IT' is? Linus? Alan Cox? Raster? And how would you be able to forbid developers to work on something else?

Say someone stated that 'OK. We Shall All do Our Work on Redhat and Gnome' - or Madrake and KDE or Debian and XFCe or whatever. Do you really, well and truly, expect the other distributions to throw up their hands in defeat and quietly disappear or just rebrand The Chosen Distribution? And whichever desktop environment you choose, would you fully expect all the developers on all other environments and window managers to show up, hat in hand, and ask to please join The Chosen Effort?

What would happen is that all people not involved in The Chosen Endeavour would shrug and get back to working on their stuff, concluding that those responsible for The Choice are morons.

If you want united, focused development, you need to write your own OS, complete with a license forbidding people from deviating from your ideas. Of course, I don't imagine too many other people will join you...

/Janne

What a coincidence (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922283)

Linux is dead everywhere but in the area where Rasterman is currently working. Imagine that!

Re:What a coincidence (0)

mondoterrifico (317567) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922349)

Dude, he never said linux was dead in any area other then the Desktop market, and somehow your comment gets modded up as insightfull.

raster's real contribution (3, Interesting)

mtngrown (24296) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922284)

was raising the bar far higher than anyone ever before imagined.

Before e, wm's were not very interesting.

Re:raster's real contribution (2, Insightful)

bloo9298 (258454) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922404)

After e, wm's were more bloated...

Linux needs a desktop distro (2, Flamebait)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922291)

Why doesn't Sues and Mandrake make a 1 CD distro, with Openoffice, KDE, Cups, The gimp, mozilla, and the best version of wine etc and a few games, and maybe apache?

I like to have 10 different databases loads of servers and evrything anyone could ever want in a distro.

My Mum wouldn't use it and doesn't need it

Re:Linux needs a desktop distro (0)

dowobeha (581813) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922308)

I agree. See my thread [slashdot.org] if you'd like to help.

Already there ? (2)

dago (25724) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922346)

Maybe not just one CD full of binary, but, suse *personnal* edition is just 3 CDs.

If you consider that sources are provided, that's just 1,5 CDs (very roughly).

And, if you choose default office install (= linux desktop), you just need one single CD (IIRC)

Mandrake download is 3 cd's too (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922390)

It's three cd and about 2000 apps with source code.
lets take the 100 or so that mum would use, and stick them on 1 easy to install CD.

'Persomnal' should really be called 'geek' since that appears to be the target market, there usually anything but personnal.

There's a big differnace between office and home users, most offices have or can affort technical support staff, and operators are usually banned from installing stuff on there workstations, my Mum needs a helping hand.

This is probably a flame (2)

halftrack (454203) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922360)

Why don't you do it. Almost every Linux person goes around saying the same thing, but few tries to do anything about it.

The simple desktop distro excist, for the people already in the Linux community.

For ordinary people the problem does not lie in the software you put in, but the software your users can put in. Try make people understand rpm or - haha - apt. It's near impossible. (Simple solutions can be made through scripts (with guis) and databases with software info.) People don't like to see, should I solve dependency ... bla, bla, bla. They'd freak out. It is not so simple designing a system that ordinary people find simple.

By the way, when you make this distro remember to include wine. Or try explaining that they can't download that and that program because it is a windows binary. (Should be explained like this: bla, bla, bla, bla, not, bla, bla, bla, windows, bla, bla, bla.)

Why don't you do it (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922407)

It's a resource issue,

I'm currently involved in other open-source projects,

I have a full time job.

I do part time consultancy.

And I can't afford to distribute a distribution aimed at 'Home' users.

But i do have time to post comments and suggeations and the odd bug report etc.. on open forums and mailing lists

Personnaly I'm switching to gentoo, it seems to have a much better package manager.

Desktop - Who Cares? (1)

fire-eyes (522894) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922292)

I find that it gets really old when people act like linux is competing with windows. Linux just 'is'. It doesn't have a big ass corporation behind it, and I'm GLAD it's that way.

Quit treating it like a commercial product, which has to make ingrounds on... on whatever the hell people think.

Get over it.

Enlightenment is dead. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922300)

Enlightenment lost is battle, sad but true.

Frankly... (5, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922309)

Raster isn't wrong - it is the apps that matter to end users. I think we always knew that. He's also not wrong about the GPL, though I think it's not for the reasons he states (technically the license of the OS/desktop environment shouldn't matter as long as commercial entities can develop apps for it, but in marketing/PR/perception terms, it does matter).

However, I find his defeatist attitude annoying. I think the reason for it is simple: he seems to be a pure technologist, and therefore upon observing that the technically superior OS loses on the desktop, he gives up hope, embracing the idea that making the coolest, whiz-bangest WM for the ultra-31337 geeks is the best course of action (and while at it, take pot shots at the KDE and GNOME dudes).

What we need is more people who know how to market Linux to software companies so that the damned applications will get developed. This is not a technical problem, it's a business problem: there are too few desktop Linux users, thus a relatively small business imperative for software companies to incur the overhead of porting applications. Furthermore, the fear of free clones of your application and the culture of imitation in the Free Software world scare companies aware from producing commercial products for Linux (note that I think this fear is unfounded: a sufficiently complex, powerful application takes an awful lot of effort to clone. Your work should stand on its own quality).

The reality is that we need to find more ways to entice companies to develop commercial, closed source software for Linux if we want it to succeed on the desktop, for the masses. Don't say it's already there, we all know it's not. And we need to remember that the solutions to business problems are usually not found by technical means.

Bitterness (1, Flamebait)

S. Allen (5756) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922342)

Rasterman sounds pretty bitter. Enlightenment never really made it. I guess his ego is bruised. If Enlightenment was the only viable future for the Linux desktop, then he'd be right.

Re:Bitterness (1, Flamebait)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922379)


Really. Maybe if he'd released a few new versions in the last couple of years...

our only hope The Berlin Project! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922311)

Our only hope is that Palm will actually furthur develop BeOS and make a desktop that's as easy to use as a palm handheld. The problem with desktop linux is X... The Berlin project gives us hope but everyone is wasting their time developing desktop like applications for X which is a wasted effort. Most desktop users don't need X's connectivity and flexibility. They need a good fast graphics engine and X don't cut it anymore.

hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922312)

I searched for Austrailai and found only this [google.com] . Such good spelling here.

handybundler

Linux dead? (0, Offtopic)

drwhite (456200) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922314)

Linux is never going to die...its too global...how do you stop something that is used everywhere?

Re:Linux dead? (0)

CmdrStkFjta (565570) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922331)

global power outage?

Re:Linux dead? (1)

drwhite (456200) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922393)

...and how would that happen?? suppose there is solar energy..

Face it Linux is just like BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922320)

I have no doubt in Linux's performance as a Server, the desktop requires "designers" not programmers. If you don't have artists and other experts design a smooth and easy to use desktop, it's not going to take off, even if it's free.

Linux on the Server side will see more appliance like approach rather than self-installs. I don't know of any backoffice or mission critical system that would dare to use Linux.

1) where's the support? Do I call Linus Torvald?
2) Where's the apps?
3) what's the business models of some of these linux companies?

I can't see any reason for a company to go completely linux and compete in business today. You read about these news of foreign companies converting to linux because they don't want to pay M$, guess what! You still gotta pay the linux propellerheads that put the stuff in, that's your support and if they walk on you, there goes your business. See ya!

Linux on desktop is still a joke right now, if my girlfriend doesn't like it, it's a POS. How can Netscape sue M$, they complain M$ lock them out of Windows, so go to Linux, Netscape is worst on Linux than on Windows and it still sucks.

Linux maybe free, so is IE. I'll take my IE and do some porn surfing, see ya!

Re:Face it Linux is just like BSD (0)

Luke-Jr (574047) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922406)

Since when is IE free?

"Austrailai" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922323)

Could we PLEASE, PLEEEAASE FUCKING *READ* the goddman thing before posting it on the front fucking page???

It sounds like Taco was stuttering during a stroke or something.

Learn, to, FUCKING, spell.

GODDAMN!

Coexistance? (1)

qubit64 (233602) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922325)

Why can't linux coexist with Windows? (apart from Microsoft's tactics that will try to rid the world of linux) It seems there are lots of people who use it now. It may not have the same market share as Windows on the desktop but does it have to get that to be successful? Is having it on a select group of computers, for people who don't want to have their hand held by MS not good enough? (This isn't a rhetorical question, I don't know, enter your ideas please)

The Seeds are Still Being Planted! (5, Interesting)

omnirealm (244599) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922326)

At the start of each new school year, Microsoft hits our campus hard. They hang big banners, set up booths in the student center, and get the managers to make the on-campus computer store employees wear Microsoft t-shirts.

The BYU Unix Users Group gives its own response. This year, we're going to have a booth in the student center too. We're inviting students to bring their machines, and a group of volunteers will install Linux on their machines on the spot, for free.

We're making up flyers that read, ``Thrusday and Friday only! Get a FREE COPY of OpenOffice Suite version 1.0 (must have student ID or employee ID). Save HUNDREDS of dollars on your computer software this year!''

We're not just going to be pushing Linux, but Free Software in general. For those who are queasy about jumping full-force into Linux, we will offer to install Mozilla and OpenOffice on their Windows partitions, so they have some familiar ground to refer to when they boot into Linux.

The biggest debate in the group at the moment is which distributions to recommend to the newbies who bring their computers to the booth. I argue that since we're installing it for them, those who live on-campus and are on the university's network should use Debian because of the ease of maintenance. Others claim that Mandrake/RedHat/SuSE are more user friendly in general, and so they should be advocated instead.

In any case, we're doing what we can to let starving students know that they don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars to feed an addiction to proprietary software, when perfectly usable and functional Open Source alternatives exist for them. KDE+Mozilla+OpenOffice+Evolution is a powerful combination that makes Linux very much a viable desktop operating system.

Plus, anyone who switches over has the best support team around: the campus Unix Users Group! A perusal of our mailing list shows that we don't sleep at night until your problem is solved. :-)

I Missed the Obit (2, Informative)

Brown Line (542536) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922335)

Last night, I just turned off Windows 98 at home.
It's replaced with the newest Red Hat. My two teen-agers love it (with the sole reservation that they can't run Final Fantasy any more). Our local parochial school is switching to Linux in its computer teaching lab. At work, we're a Fenster-frei environment: we route telephone calls, all done under BSD and SCO.

So Linux on the desktop is dead, eh? Guess a lot of people like me just missed the obituary.

Reports of my death are greatly exagerated...... (2)

cluge (114877) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922340)

Oh boy, here are some thoughts.

1. MS had the Linux "Myths page", eventually even they didn't believe it and have changed their campaign.
2. Not so long ago "experts" were saying that Linux would never enter the mainstream.
3. More recently other experts suggest that Linux is an operating system "for web servers only"
4. Other experts say that Linux will only ever run on low end hardware and never get into the "Lucrative high end server" market. (IBM big Iron, DEC/Compaq/HP Alpha anyone?)

Will Linux succeed on the desktop? That depends on your definition, but considering what the "experts" have predicted over the years, I'd have to say that my money is on success. Experts, industrial leaders and their opinions don't mean much to me, simply because they are so often wrong about Linux.

Why do we call them "experts" again?

cluge

Schroedinger's Cat (2)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922341)

Linux on the desktop is both dead and alive. Linux is never going to have the market share that MS has. But, for the first time ever since I began toying with Linux back in '96, I have every one of my computers including my laptop running full time Linux setups with every piece of software that I need to be productive (OpenOffice 1.0, Evolution, Galleon/Mozilla, and some other scientific software). The user interface is now mature and elegant and is far superior to any that MS has conjured (particularly through customizability). Even my technophobic girlfriend doesn't mind using it, as long as she can boot into windows to run the occasional game that doesn't work in linux and even the Sims is working now!

Like Blitz said (2)

SomeOtherGuy (179082) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922347)

Up the irons....can't kill a dead man...I'm going in.

But really...Raster has a point. What is more successful? Linux with all the fancy desktop environments and no commercial apps to speak of. OR TWM and FVWM running all the commercial apps that the Mac gets? Now that would be a deflating question to anyone who spent the most of the last few years making Linux "Look" good.

Linux Desktop is dead - sort of (3, Interesting)

Tyreth (523822) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922348)

In the experience of people I talk to about computers, roughly:
* 40% seem open to hearing about Linux - they just want something easy to use, cheap, etc
* 20% are skeptical at first then very impressed when they see it ("If I set up a new business I'd definately use Linux")
* 30% would use it if it had the games they wanted
* 10% adamantly support Microsoft without knowing anything about it - perhaps just for the fun of opposing me

So in my experience, Linux has a very bright future for the desktop, at least for those people I encounter daily.

But I think the desktop is dead anyway. Rasterman says that embedded is the future - the level ground. This is true, but there is another path.

Do you think 10 years from now we are going to be using desktops too? I doubt it very much. Minority report perhaps gives us a snippet of the future. Computer "desktops" will go 3D. Maybe we will control our computer with virtual reality gloves and speak commands, or perhaps even use our mind for some simple tasks.

The future of computers will hopefully be power covered by simplicity. The way we think and use computers will change over time. We won't think "I need to use the computer to check e-mail". E-mail will become a daily part of life. Perhaps your house will say to you "You have 3 new messages". And then you respond "bring them up", and in front of you is projected an image of the e-mail, which could possibly be video rather than text. This kind of interface has no desktop. It is a simple and human way of interacting with computers. Desktops are cludgy things that expose people to some of the power of a comptuer that they don't need to see. What we need is a solution that has the simplest possible interface (like the e-mail scenario I gave) but has the potential for the user to hack it at it's base level (open source philosophy). That way the simplicity makes computers a powerful part of everyday life, but also gives the power to those who want/need to fiddle with the settings.

I think the desktop is dead. It's like having 4 remotes with 20 buttons each. In a house you hide your electricy cables, and you hide your water pipes. With computers however we expose people to desktops - which I believe are a patchwork solution. Eventually there will be no "computer" that people fight to use. There will be no monitor or keyboard. The interface will be more natural and human, integrated into the house or building.

Basically, desktops are getting close to their highest potential. The next phase will be something different, something that won't be solved by a new Windows release or by KDE 6.2 - it will require a shift in thought about how computers work, which will start off ugly at first and then progress into something beautiful looking. But as long as we have the desktop, our way of thinking will be constrained to 2 dimensions, which doesn't allow for the vast potential of computers in the near future.

(3dwm plug [3dwm.org] )

Desktop Linux depends on APPS (5, Insightful)

Sleepy (4551) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922350)

A lot of people run Linux. A lot MORE have "tried" it, and then say to themselves "then what"?

Linux just doesn't have any good, free software, and that's what's needed to run a desktop.

At my last company, when I complained about Office attachments on the email and intraweb (against agreed-upon policy), the IT guy just gives me an Office CD and winks. When I state I run Linux at home, I get the "it's not my fault is it" (with the look of "you know, if it hurts when you slam the door on your head don't do it" look).

Linux will not even BEGIN to be appealing until people can "take their work home" (Office warez CD). As cool as CodeWeavers Crossover is - I've used it - it isn't "free" with the OS.

That's not a slam - I encourage commercial software on Linux, but the office-worker-at-home and the AOL user -- the majority of Windows users -- just want everything for free. They don't believe in Free Software or the GPL, and they don't believe installing MS Project on every computer is really stealing.

Eleet coder wanna-bees is another group -- slightly more technical than Mom -- that Linux won't win over. These people download the ISO's as soon as their released, burn em, but only try every 3rd release and then on a spare computer. Since Linux won't run his pirated games (or at least not full speed), Linux sucks. Besides, you can't run MS Visual Basic on Linux, which is an industry standard. Everyone knows you gotta program Linux in Assembly, or sometimes C. ;-)

For Linux to become more appealing to the masses, it doesn't need a lot of polish -- it's "good enough" right now. What's needed is for Microsoft needs to get tougher on licensing, which they won't do UNTIL they are SURE they have locked out the threats (by extending the Internet, apparently)

Re:Desktop Linux depends on APPS (0)

Luke-Jr (574047) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922389)

Visual Basic sucks, but even still I have managed to run it via WINE once a while back... The install just needs to be fixed up a bit to get the "registry" settings right on it...

How hard would it be to emulate a Mac? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922355)

If you could run MacOS on top of linux, I bet you'd get a lot of people using both. I know I would.

Slashdot is CENSO**NG YOU!! IMPORTANT Please READ! (-1, Troll)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922356)

version 1.2.1 [slashdot.org] , (last updated 20th July 2002)

Note to moderators : Do not moderate this post down, if you do then you support the editors stance on censorship and you support the end of free speech and support evil organisations like Microsoft, RIAA, MPAA and laws like the CBTBA and DMCA. Moderating this post will only waste mod points, and will not work!

Sign this petition, let your voice be heard! [petitiononline.com]

Slashdot is using censorship! It is trying to eridicate free and open discussion like we know slashdot to be, it has the following RESTRICTIONS in place to Censor you

They claim they don't, but they do, wonder why their are so many trolls, crapflooders and lamers on slashdot, because they are fighting for their rights! Slashdot is trying to silence the trolls. Remove the filters, the trolls get bored, and slashdot will be troll free!
  • Lameness filters (It blocks a lot of legitmate posts)
  • Unnessary posting delays. Hasnt taco learned to touch type? A lot of posts are typed in less than 20 seconds and it is a ANNOYING DELAY! 2 minute ban? Come on, so some are faster then others, big deal, some people have more to say than others
  • Broken moderation system, The whole point is to sort the gems from the crap, yet a lot of posts designed to make a LIVELY DISCUSSION are MODERATED as flamebait! Come on, not everyone likes X, but just because some one bashes it dosent mean its Flamebait. Flame bait is more useful for DIRECT INSULTS and not legitmate discussions.
The "troll" moderation reason is fragmented and broken, why? Because they are trying to use an obsolete usenet term on a realtime discussion, "trolls" can cover a huge blanket of ideas.
  • Crapfloods, a meaningless flood of random letters or text, which the lameness filter does a crappy job at trying to stop, besides trolls have written tools using the opensource slashcode to generate crapfloods which bypass the filter
  • Links to offensive websites, the most common one is known a http://www.goatse.cx, a awful site which shows a bleeding anus being stretched on the front page. Trolls sneak these links in by posting messages that look legitimate, but infact are sneaky redirects to the site. Common examples include rd.yahoo.com, www.linux-kernel.tk, goatsex.cjb.net, and googles "Im feeling lucky".
  • Trying to break slashdot, this is actually a good thing, as it helps test slashdot for bugs. Famous examples include the goatse.cx javascript pop-up, the pagewidening post and the browser crashing post!
Subnet banning, this bans a user unless they email jamie macarthy with their mp5ed ipids. This is unfair, and banning a subnet BLOCKS A WHOLE ISP SOMETIMES, and not that individual user! This can cause chaos! But real trolls use annoymous proxys to get around this so THIS JUST BANS LEGITMATE USERS! Also, they are trying to censor some anoymous proxies, mainly from countrys like africa, so this yet more DISCRIMINATION!

Pink page of Death, This censors people who use legitmate proxys or firewalls.

The Bitchslap! An unethical punishment which is applied to moderators who fight censorship against this site! In addition the Editors use their un-limited mod points to create a communist style censored discussion on slashdot!

But, the issue that concerens us the most, is the COMMENT QUOTA. A discrimatory system that stiffles discussion, cripples the community and will ultimateley destroy slashdot unless it is removed! Annoymous cowards are allowed only 10 posts a day! This is unethical! Users with negative karma only get two! That is DISCRIMINATION! How would you like to only be able to speak once a day, just because of the color of your skin. That would be racism, and slashdot is discrimitating on people just because of a negative number in a database! BOYCOTT SLASHDOT! LET THEM DIE!

We wan't these stupid useless restrictions REMOVED! This comment will be posted again and again until it does!

Inportant imformation for users
Boycott slashdot, they are pissing over their community, they are becoming like the RIAA and MICROSOFT! Do NOT TOLERATE THIS SHIT! Here are some real news for nerds sites. We don't need slashdot, slashdot deserves to die!

MSNBC [msnbc.com]
BBC NEWS [bbc.co.uk]
News.com [com.com]
Linux online [linux.org]
Linux daily news network [linuxdailynews.net]
Weird news from dailyrotten.com [dailyrotten.com]
Trollaxor, news for trolls, they are real people too! [trollaxor.com]
CNN.com [cnn.com]
New york times (free registration required) [nytimes.com]
LINUX.com [linux.com]
News forge [newsforge.net]
K5 [kuro5hin.org]
Mandrake forum [mandrakeforum.com]
Toms hardware [tomshardware.com]
The register [theregister.co.uk]
Kde dot news [kde.org]
The linux kernel Archives [kernel..org]
Adequecy [adequacy.org]
Xfree86.org [xfree86.org]

There are hundreds more, But this is where slashdot STEALS THE MAJORITY OF its "news" from.

Punish them, here are their emails, spam them, flame them goatse them!
Rob malda [mailto]
Jamie Macarthy [mailto]
ChrisD [mailto]
Hemos [mailto]
Micheal [mailto]
Pudge [mailto]

The others ones apperantly dont have an e-mail, probably because ROB MALDA IS PRETENDING HE IS JOHN KATZ.

Thank you for reading this, please feel free to repost this information, please reply to add your comments, fight slashdot and its CENSORSHIP

Don't forget to sign the petition!

Re:Slashdot is CENSO**NG YOU!! IMPORTANT Please RE (0)

Luke-Jr (574047) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922373)

Do you HAVE to post this in every /. article? Or at least use have a link instead of a page (or more) of text...

Not true (0)

Luke-Jr (574047) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922362)

I got my friend (who doesn't know what a PCI card is) to try Linux. If Linux desktop had really failed, I doubt he would be making his new PC a 100% Linux system (which he is).

Desktop Linux is NOT dead, just wrongly directed. (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922381)



Desktop Linux is far from dead. It's NOT dead.

Just that it's not heading in the right direction.

Lots of things have been said about the ease of use thingy, but that's just scratching the surface.

What's important, looking at the larger picture, is that Linux is filled with programmers wearing beany caps.

Translation : Linux programs are wonderful, but it's just NOT the world needs.

Look at Windows. Lots of clumpsy and over bloated programs, but at least, they do what the world wants, and buys !

We have put too much emphasis on SOURCE CODE, because we wear beany caps - that is, we are the people who almost always CHANGE THE PROGRAM BEHAVIOR OURSELVES, that's why we demand the source code to the program.

But the world outside of us is that people do NOT want or need or know how to change the program's behavior, all they want is that the program does what they want - whatever they want.

That's why we have NORTON UTILITIES for Windows, and there's none of Linux.

That's why we have so much MUSIC, MP3, STREAMING, VIDEO, MULTIMEDIA utilities for Windows ... many of them are buggy like hell, but at least they ARE available.

On the other hand, what do we have here ?

KDE, GNOME, ENLIGHTENMENT, yeah, big deal !

The users need MORE THAN WINDOWING ENVIRONMENTS, they need UTILITIES that do stuffs for them !

That's what we fall short on.

That's what we need to double and tripple our efforts on.

Not that we do not have the knowhow to do it, nor that we don't have the programmer-aid to do it.

We have Kylix from Borland (FREE !) and how many of us are using Kylix to develop USEFUL UTILITIES for the users ?

Do something about this problem and we will see the Desktop Linux comes alive.

Rasterman you need to visit the troops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922387)

Linux is dead.... when did you loose touch ?

When did the free software development model become inferior to the proprietry one ?

Simple answer is that it hasnt, nothing has changed, software darwinism.

Free software will obsolete all mainstream proprietry software, an exception being software that has a short lifespan.

Does anyone ever read the articles before posting? (0)

mondoterrifico (317567) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922388)

I mean ive already read comments about how this guy is just a troll, and how he proclaims the death of linux, when he in fact does no such thing. The only area that he mentions Linux being dead is on the Desktop, and his points about users wanting apps over stability made sense.

A Grain of truth... (2)

Junta (36770) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922391)

But not much more. He said what we all know, commercial apps are not so plentiful under linux and many users are scared off.

However, to say there is no future on anything but embedded and headless servers is extremely stupid. Maybe not for the common user, but among professional users who *do* care about the stability of the underlying OS and who *know* where to go to get the apps, linux is great. And not just computer professionals, I know people from various science disciplines using it as well, and also friends of mine run linux even if non-techinical, because they can ask me for help and I can usually give it quickly. The desktop is alive and well, but not for Joe Schmoe, but among professionals it is gaining considerable share... The move to an NT based kernel has appeased some, but not all Windows users sick of the underlying instability. MacOSX has a great thing going, but the price is too high. I'm sure MacOSX could stamp out linux desktops, as they offer all that does and more as far as desktop use is concerned, but the price is too high and they couldn't care less about winning anything but the Windows market...

Frankly, I think his stance is more influenced by the decline of enlightenment's popularity (and his resultant decline in fame) and potentially some business interest in his coding with regards to embedded applications. I would dare say there are just as many disadvantages in the embedded arena for linux as the desktop, since systems like QNX are much more adapted to the environment than linux...

Rasterman rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#3922408)

I would just like to say Thanks to Rasterman, I have been following E's development for a while and if there _is_ any hope for a linux desktop, he is it. Probablly one of the best coders and contributors to linux ever.

not dead at all (3, Insightful)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#3922409)

Linux on the desktop is fine, really. I have seen quite a number of non-technical users use it, and they do OK. It is a bit disappointing to me that Linux on the desktop isn't any better than commercial desktops--it uses the same stale metaphors and the same cumbersome paradigms--but it isn't any worse either.

I think the biggest obstacle for more widespread adoption of Linux right now is the kernel. Unlike userland, where you have thousands of independently developed programs available on the same machine, the kernel is one big, monolithic chunk. While drivers could in principle be developed and distributed separately, in practice, few are. Most Linux installs that I do involve recompiling the kernel. Whether it's merely packaging or architecture, something isn't working there.

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