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Desktop Linux Summit Highlights

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the no-joke dept.

Linux Business 416

mo writes "The Desktop Linux Summit has just concluded in San Diego. There were a number of exhibitors, including Novell, AMD, and Mozilla. I've put together a summary of some of the more interesting announcements and booths at the conference. Highlights include a Linux-only 3D game, DRM-free music services, and a new Asterisk GUI."

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416 comments

great timing (2, Interesting)

ginotech (816751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664211)

considering i just started using Linux more than i use windows, and I'm a gamer, i'm particularly happy right now ^_^

Re:great timing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664240)

you are a penis.

Re:great timing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664245)

Weeee, yes a Mech Assault clone! I am convinced already. I should just delete HL2 and Doom 3 and pack my bags.

THERE IS A MECH ASSAULT CLONE FOR LINUX !!!

Re:great timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664253)

Mech assault is a mech warrior clone...

Re:great timing (1)

VoidWraith (797276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664273)

Mech Warrior is a clone of a tabletop GURPS game.

Re:great timing (2, Informative)

As Seen On TV (857673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664327)

GURPS (I had to google it) seems to be a poor substitute for the long-lost art of telling stories around a campfire.

Re:great timing (4, Funny)

Eideewt (603267) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664521)

And that's just a poor substitute for piloting actual battlemechs.

Re:great timing (3, Informative)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664528)

Where are you getting that? GURPS? How 'bout no. Mechwarrior is based off of FASA's classic "Battletech" boardgame. The RPG version that was released later (which did have a GURPS version) was called MechWarrior. The two games were meant to be played in tandem - using Battletech material for vehicular combat. The Mechwarrior games have always actually been far more tied to Battletech (the vehicle technology game) than any of the Mechwarrior (man-level RPG game) material.

I R LEETZ0R! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664212)

FP

Re:I R LEETZ0R! (-1, Offtopic)

ginotech (816751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664476)

beat ya, loser :-P

Games. We need more Games (3, Insightful)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664221)

Beyond doubt, we need better and more 3D games to attract a normal Joe towards using GNU/Linux. Even I reboot to winblows for the games. First step would be to port the existing games to Linux, but this cannot be done by the community. We need help from the gaming companies and I am are more than willing to pay for some nice games like Counter Stike, Half Life and NFS Underground.

Re:Games. We need more Games (3, Insightful)

As Seen On TV (857673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664238)

Normal Joes do not play computer games. They use computers to do things like work and communicate with friends and family. When the time comes to have fun, normal Joes turn off their computers and play tennis or go camping or walk the dog.

If you want to attract people who play computer games to use your operating system, that's great. But do not assume that these people are normal Joes. Do not assume that they make up anything other than the tiniest niche market.

Re:Games. We need more Games (1)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664262)

OK. May be I was taking into considerating only the India market. And now I rephrase, "we need more 3D games to attract a Winblows user". But did you get my point? Linux does lack some serious games.

Re:Games. We need more Games (1)

tooth (111958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664512)

well, for me it's an ms-exchange client that works properly.. i've got evolution, but it takes about 30 seconds to crash :( I've got about 30 folders setup (I get *lots* of email) and it has a lot of issues viewing them... only the most simple with only 5-10 emails work.

Re:Games. We need more Games (3, Interesting)

Solarian (42337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664285)

I was at the summit, and spent a bit of time talking to the Garage Games guys. It turns out that the normal joe is the fastest growing market segment in gaming right now. Now stay at home moms are downloading simple "casual games" from places like gamehouse.com, and playing them. Guys are coming home from their accounting jobs and having a quick puzzle game to decompress. So, evidence is contradicting your assumption that only an elite few basement rats play games.

Re:Games. We need more Games (5, Insightful)

OneArmedMan (606657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664319)

From some sources the PC gaming industry is rated at being over $35 Billion in value, i'd say thats a fairly large *niche* to be aiming for.

And it would be twice that if.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664333)

...it wasn't for those darn half man/half monkey clones downloading illegal copies of games with their modded Mac Minis running Debian!

Re:Games. We need more Games (4, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664373)

If you want to attract people who play computer games to use your operating system, that's great. But do not assume that these people are normal Joes. Do not assume that they make up anything other than the tiniest niche market.


True, games are a niche market, although an important one. The best ways for the likes of Suse, RedHat, Mandrake &Co. to get regular users to use Linux is firstly by developing it's desktop capability to the point that one can convince corporations to use it on workstations. That basically means (this will horrify pruists) idiot proof Linux distros that offer all the same software and functionality as the normal Windows workstation plus the same kind of easy intuitive integration into Windows networks as you have got with OS.X. Secondly it would be important to ensure it has a sigificant representation in the student workstation pools of educational institutions from primary school upward. Which is why Microsoft donates computers and software to schools all over the place, they get to look like philanthropists while securing their market share. The 'normal user' will use at home what he/she learned to use at school or uses regularly at work.

Re:Games. We need more Games (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664394)

Normal Joes do not play computer games. They use computers to do things like work and communicate with friends and family.

I'm sure this will be marked at flamebate.

Normal joes want to jack off to downloadable free porn with a facial at the end. If I hear "I want you to cum on my face" one more time I sware i'm going to explode!^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^h be most annoyed.

Re:Games. We need more Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664430)

Do not assume that they make up anything other than the tiniest niche


i agree completly, something as small as the gaming community which only generates something in the oder of billions should be termed "tiniest niche" why on earth would linux want to focus on pleasing that small crowd.....

Re:Games. We need more Games (1)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664434)

Of course normal joes play games. Who do you think buys all those Xbox's and Playstations?
Some of those normal joes need to use computers. I'm sure it would be appreciated by them if they could use the same hardware to play games and work. Though they'd probably still by the console players.

Gamers as a niche market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664565)

Somehow, I find your argument that gamers belong to a niche market doesn't hold water.

Do you have some numbers to back this up?

My numbers say there's more money in videogames than there is at the box office.

P.S. Oh YEAH!!! Take that! Counter-insight on one-two-three- oooohhh. ... I'm such a geek.

Re:Gamers as a niche market (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664617)

You're allowed to mod my post up in favour of the others because it is funny (ahem), AND insightful.

Of course if you break the rules you shall be haunted forever. Even if you don't eat any chicken during Chinese New Year.

The intent of this post is to counter the redundancy handicap that became apparent after hitting submit.

I'm such a geek.

(should change my name to that)

Re:Games. We need more Games (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664568)

Maybe that was true in 1989, but PC gaming is now a multi-million (if not billion) dollar industry.

The fact is that most PC owners do play computer games (not all 3D, but games nonetheless), and if they don't, their kids do.

Re:Games. We need more Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664637)

My name is Joe, I am pretty normal, and I feel that you are misrepresenting me. I resent the implication that being Joe normal means that I prefer to play tennis, go camping or walk the dog to computer gaming.

Re:Games. We need more Games (2, Funny)

neuro88 (674248) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664306)

Uh, Linux already has NFS..

Re:Games. We need more Games (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664315)

Trouble is, while those who know and love Linux would kill for games like Counter-Strike, a lot of people used to the latest and greatest (?) would look at games like that as passé. I had a discussion with someone over this a little while ago, who was fairly obsessed with WinXP and all its amazing features, and I told him Linux was every bit as polished and easy to use, and on top of that more secure, etc. etc. He didn't care, because you can't play HL2 on Linux.

Not one to give up easily :) I showed him a handful of Linux games, and ports of other popular Windows games (e.g. Unreal Tournament, Descent III, etc.) -- but he's played them all to death.

Linux needs some new games that can compete directly with the current offerings on the Windows market, or the people we're trying to attract won't care because it's old news to them. Also, they need to be marketed well (good luck!) or else they won't recognize them, and the unfortunate fact of the matter is that people far too often equate unknown names that haven't been played up and down with flashy marketing with crap quality.

Re:Games. We need more Games (5, Insightful)

johnlittledotorg (858326) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664441)

AC's comments are pretty accurate. However, the Linux gaming market has improved significantly in the past couple of years with offerings from companies like TransGaming and more native Linux titles popping up. Granted it isn't perfect but A LOT more gamers could make the switch than people realize.

I haven't tried services like TransGaming's Cedega but I am finding that games like Enemy Territory and UT2004 are running significantly better on my formerly Win2k hardware. Is it Linux or the Nvidia Linux drivers or both? I dunno but it's just another reason that I'm glad I switched back to Linux.

I'm posting a few details on my experiences with games and the switch in general at http://www.johnlittle.org/ [johnlittle.org] in an effort to sway friends and family and lure them into the open source light.

And that concludes my first /. post after too many years of lurking.

Re:Games. We need more Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664446)

i bet microsoft knows windows has an edge over Linux in the gaming dept. and i bet microsoft subsidizes gaming companys to build top notch games for windows, i dont know for sure that microsoft does this but with the mountain of cash msft has they could with no problems...

Argh!!! There are PLENTY of games (2d/3d alike) (5, Informative)

aendeuryu (844048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664585)

Unreal Doom3 HalfLife2 Enemy Territory Cube Savage Stratagus Freeciv Wesnoth NeverwinterNights Tribes2 Vendetta YohohoPuzzlePirates Civilization AlphaCentauri FrozenBubble Pydance Teg DeusEx BZFlag XPlane Flightgear Torcs Scorched3d Pingus Lincity Tuxcart Torcs Quake 123 VegaStrike Railz LBreakout Armagetron PPRacer Vendetta and [ucalgary.ca] there [wildfiregames.com] more [sourceforge.net] impressive [worldforge.org] titles [sourceforge.net] under [eternal-lands.com] development [sourceforge.net] .

Here's my opinion. What "we" need are fewer people saying we need more games, and more people recognizing some of the excellent offerings we have right now. If we support these games (even with nothing more than just a little recognition), the companies WILL notice, see us as a market, and want to cater to us.

Re:Games. We need more Games (1)

lsmeg (529105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664629)

No offense, but maybe more people would be interested in giving Linux a shot if so many people in the community didn't use words like "winblows". Just a suggestion...

Re:Games. We need more Games (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664644)

The key to having portable games is OpenGL.

Since you can't use the "Well, Direct3D is better than OpenGL" argument, they've started using the "Oh, well Direct3D is more high-level than OpenGL."

Get them to write in a cross-platform API, and porting games becomes economically advantageous.

Haha ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664231)

"Desktop Linux Summit"

-- A place for fat Linuxtards to gather and talk about how great their overhyped OS is, while completely avoiding the downsides, such as the fact that Fedora Core 3 performs like shit on my laptop and freezes after running glxgears for 5 seconds.

Re:Haha ... (0, Offtopic)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664244)

And anonymous cowards like you should post your problem in a LUG, not troll around on /. FC3 works fine on my system!!! Heck, I even play Doom 3

Re:Haha ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664260)

Fedora Core 3
- Shitty 3D, hard-locks
- No hibernate
- No suspend
- Battery died in 30 minutes after CPU was running at full power regardless of what I was doing
- Molasses-like performance

So I went back to XP Pro, and had the following out of the box:
- Hibernation
- Suspend
- Dynamic CPU scaling (PowerNow)
- Snappy performance
- Proper 3D after installing drivers

Why the fuck should I bother with Linux if it can't do any of those out of the box on my machine? Why is modern Linux so bloated and slow?

Re:Haha ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664360)

"Why is modern Linux so bloated and slow?"

next time install less of what you dont need. i know choice is a new thing to people like you, but youll learn it!

Re:Haha ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664511)

Yeah, if only the FC3 installer would actually follow my choices. I did a Custom install, deselected a ton of crap.

List of some things I deselected (among many):
- Foomatic printer drivers
- Omni printer shit
- Sendmail
- Media player something-or-other

As I watched in awe, FC3 installed 100 MB worth of printer junk that I remember unselecting, Sendmail was a service on startup, and a ton more services I specifically remember choosing not to install being started.

Yeah, what good is choice if it doesn't actually follow your choices, or the fact that it's slow as shit anyway?

Re:Haha ... (2, Informative)

djplurvert (737910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664610)

Most likely you selected something else that required what you deselected as a dependency.

As a beginner you should use one of the standard base installs and either yum or apt to install software.

Perhaps what you really want is ubuntu. Installs with synaptic by default and is super snappy even on low end systems. Not too much bloat.

ymmv.

Re:Haha ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664623)

As a matter of fact, I tried Ubuntu on a PII-350/192 MB of RAM.

It took about 8 minutes to boot, and any subsequent application from within KDE about 30 seconds to start.

Unacceptable. Why is it so slow?

Re:Haha ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664509)

He has got a point.

I think Firefox has proven this. They have proven that people, in the end, really don't give a shit about your political issue and really, all they want is just good software. You won't see anything about the political issues of it apart from a few 'open source' mentions.

I just want a damn distro that includes mp3, divx/xvid, plus working hal, dbus etc. Also binary drivers MUST be installed for me after xorg upgrades. Either that or don't prompt me to install a new xorg upgrade.

I think I have to agree with the parent really. I'm extremely experinced with running Linux on servers. I write server management and monitoring software for Linux exclusively. I often try desktop Linux out as I'd like to 'leverage' some of that experience onto the desktop. But it always ends up with me thinking 'what the hell is the point of fighting with this simple issue'. Last time it was the fact that my network card (very common chipset) couldn't push more than 30kbyte/sec in Linux, but could happily do 7000-9000kbyte/sec in WinXP. I was told to upgrade my kernel. Then I was told to recompile my kernel. Neither worked. The freaking diagnostic tools couldn't even give me diagnostics on it. I gave up and went back to XP which, as usual, has worked perfectly for the last 3 years with very few issues (less than 5 minutes on any day am I fighting with the OS to do something. Compare that to hours on Linux).

The trouble is that when people like me go for help, we get told that 'oh, that'll be in the next version'. Or, 'oh, that's binary, and that's evil'. You know what: I really don't care! I just want it to work.

Re:Haha ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664550)

Amen. Most people don't give a crap about the politics or "freeness" involved. They just Want It To Work. I suppose this is why OS X/Apple are gaining popularity -- people are noticing that It Just Works.

Proprietary binary drivers are evil? Then write me equivalent/better ones that are open-sourced? What? You can't? Then I don't care, I'll continue using my binaries, because I really don't care about being able to see the source code.

I find it unacceptable that a modern Linux distro on a modern machine is slow. For instance, I've run Windows XP on a PII-300/128 MB of RAM, and it was quite usable. So usable, in fact, that I have a friend who's been using that configuration for months and he hasn't complained once about any kind of slowness.

Modern Redhat/Mandrake on the same system would be completely unusable. Wait, wait ... I can hear it now ...

"Don't use KDE/GNOME, use Fluxbox/IceWM/whatever."

How about no? How about the fact that FB/IceWm/etc. don't offer me the same ease of use and integration that I want? The kind of thing that GNOME/KDE offer me. The kind of thing that XP offers me.

It basically comes down to this -- If you want to use Linux on an older machine, be prepared to switch to lower functionality/features if you want to maintain the same usability performance as Windows.

Switchvox! (3, Interesting)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664234)

OK, Switchvox [switchvox.com] has got the nicest GUI for an Asterisk-based system I've yet seen. Too bad it only comes on their PBX systems [switchvox.com] (starting at $995). I'd love to have GUI-based software like that to go along with my home asterisk setup.

Re:Switchvox! (1)

dsginter (104154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664282)

Too bad it only comes on their PBX systems [switchvox.com] (starting at $995).

This really sounds like a commercial. Do you work for them?

Re:Switchvox! (3, Interesting)

super_luminal (178357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664555)

Thanks for the kind words about the interface. The problem we found with just selling the distro is that there's a fair amount of hardware out there that doesn't play well with the high interrupt rate of the telephony cards we use. By bundling it with the hardware we can guarantee that everything works, and we can work on shipping with the kernel tuned specifically for our hardware. However, we do get a lot of requests for different hardware, so it's very likely that we'll have a rackmount offering, and probably a RAID+redundant power supply multi-proc beast in the near future.

Re:Switchvox! (1)

ojthecat (842071) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664615)

So it sounds like you have modified the Asterisk source code to work with different hardware. If this is so under the GPL shouldn't you make your changes availible? Ojthecat

AMP (1)

totalnet (732635) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664589)

Well there is already an open source project that does that, AMP [coalescentsystems.ca] . The people that does AMP also has a commercial version call voxbox [coalescentsystems.ca] . I was at that show, it should have been called the Linspire Expo. Since the show was run by Linspire and most of the booths are for Linspire products.

Cool -- ring me when they have an SOE I can sell. (3, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664251)

The big firms will embrace Linux on the desktop when they can see network deployability and end-user configuration lockdown in an easy-to-buy solution. It's a pretty major acceptance criterion. Anybody focusing on that?

Re:Cool -- ring me when they have an SOE I can sel (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664286)

The big firms will embrace Linux when Linux has:

ONE GUI

ONE DESKTOP

ONE KERNEL

Re:Cool -- ring me when they have an SOE I can sel (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664362)

They don't have these things now, but instead rely on a combination of 3rd party stuff, homebrew scripts, and not-quite-there-but-PHB-friendly vendor FUD. Those sysadmins who claim it doesn't work are quickly ousted as nonbelievers, and the employees quickly learn to give up on the outsourced, non-english speaking helpdesk, and just bootleg their own software instead. Broken NDS-NT/AD gateways, stupidly nested GPOs, invasive and pervasive, reboot-in-the-middle-of-the-day Zen pushes that break the computer are the norm.
The Emperor has no clothes.

Re:Cool -- ring me when they have an SOE I can sel (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664369)

>network deployability

Ummm, people have been installing Linux over a network for over a decade. The old NFS installs worked just fine. You didn't even need a boot floppy if you had a boot ROM on the network card. Now I just do everything with a business-card CD of Debian, and download all of the packages, including our custom ones, from a central company server.

> end-user configuration lockdown

UNIX has had this for over 30 years, and Linux for over 13 years. When you don't give the end-users the root password, the configuration is locked-down.

The editors should start using cached links (0, Offtopic)

user9918277462 (834092) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664252)

Let's make the /. effect a thing of the past.

Cached article [nyud.net]

The 3D game in the summary isn't Linux only... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664263)

it runs on Windows, Mac OS X and one flavor of Linux (Linspire).

Linspire 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664274)

Mp3beamer is really interesting, MP3tunes is nice, but Linspire 5 seems awesome.

What a great month this is for OSS. And it's not even over yet, LinuxWorld anybody?

Re:Linspire 5 (0, Troll)

As Seen On TV (857673) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664344)

Linspire 5 seems awesome

Linspire is some Linux-like operating system, right? I googled around and found what appear to be screen shots [neowin.net] .

They're profoundly ugly.

What about this seems awesome to you? What wonderful thing am I missing by only looking at the screen shots?

Re:Linspire 5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664383)

What you're really missing is a clue.

People have different taste, I personally love the way Linspire 5 looks.

Re:Linspire 5 (3, Funny)

DCMonkey (615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664433)

And I love that screenshot with the taskbar that has room for about 1.5 open window buttons at 1024x768 resolution.

Re:Linspire 5 (1)

kabz (770151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664485)

Yeah, the text is big in those pictures, but it's really simple to tweak all the text sizes in Linux.

My Gnome setup looks pretty much like Windows 2000 because that's the way I like it set up.

Re:Linspire 5 looks like Windows 95 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664456)

It's terrible

Re:Linspire 5 looks like Windows 95 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664601)

I must be blind because I find no resemblance.

User-friendly desktops are for wimps! (5, Funny)

Cyburbia (695748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664279)

Where are the tubby bearded Unix gurus? The skinny, pasty-skinned, ponytailed technopolitical geeks with the long leather dusters? The thought of any "summit" where friendly user interfaces were highlighted probably scared 'em off.

Re:User-friendly desktops are for wimps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664308)

Yes excellent lmao.

Re:User-friendly desktops are for wimps! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664368)

They were busy writing KDE so companies like Linspire can make use of it and have douches like you credit them with "friendly user interfaces."

How the hell did you leave out OpenOffice.org? (4, Informative)

oldosadmin (759103) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664317)

The first half-day of the conference was an OpenOffice.org RegiCon (Regional conference), and yet there was no mention of them in the article? That's a HORRIBLE summary of the DLS, coming from someone who was there every second of the thing.

Re:How the hell did you leave out OpenOffice.org? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664354)

That page is basically a Lindows advertisement in case you hadn't noticed. Not like OpenOffice information is particularly interesting. OpenOffice sucks pretty badly, and in the long run has little place on the Linux desktop. Its level of integration is too poor and its resource usage is absurd.

P.S. Using a shorthand term (like RegiCon) and then explaining its meaning (Regional Conference) in the same piece of text is retarded. It's retarded when reporters do it, and it's retarded when you do it. Use the short form, or the long form, but not both. It makes the short form wholly superfluous.

You must have wissed it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664527)

It's titled:

"OpenOffice.org Presence"

Sounds good (0, Redundant)

neo2k.dk (833212) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664318)

Sound really really good, just what we need to get more attention and more users...

Coding in Parallel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664322)

It's fun to have 11 half baked movie viewers available for my ditro of choice. You want em' you got em'. We've got tuns of desktops (KDE, GNOME, ETC), tuns of newsreaders, email clients, word processors, IDEs, package managers, IM clients, graphics editors, DVD authoring tools... AND THEY'RE ALL HALF BAKED.

Work together!

I can hear it now, "it's about freedom man." "It's about competition man."

Ok. Linus, let's fork the linux kernel into 11 different camps. You will no longer be the central leader. You will be a leader of a single camp and there will be 10 other leaders. Each camp will code off into its own direction to the point where each camps code bases is completely different. I want my freedom of choice Linus. I want the competition from completely different kernels.

Yeah, I can't stand it when people want KDE and GNOME to join forces. It would suck if there was one leader of desktop development (similar to Linus) and everyone worked from the same code base. There'd be no competition. SIGH.

It's a joke.

Re:Coding in Parallel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664358)

"We've got tuns of desktops (KDE, GNOME, ETC), tuns of newsreaders, email clients, word processors, IDEs, package managers, IM clients, graphics editors, DVD authoring tools... AND THEY'RE ALL HALF BAKED."

You forgot, most Linux distros install them all wether you like it or not as well. Obviously there is cronic thirst for more terminal apps, endless GUIs etc and movie players etc as Linux has a never ending supply of them. Now THAT's competition on your own desktop.

Re:Coding in Parallel (2, Informative)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664614)

Err... the linux kernel is probably the most often forked piece of OSS. I don't know of a single distro that uses a stock kernel. Each ditro "forks" a version of their own and works on it in more detail there. When newer kernel branches are released, those branches are diffed and updated again... (more or less). Linus likes it that way. In fact, the kernel developers have accepted this to such an extent that they have decided that they may start including more experimental code in the stock kernel and let the distributors sort it out in their forks. Not to mention... alot of linux's media players are not half baked. MPlayer gui and Xine are two that I can think of off the top of my head that work better then most on windows. Real Player is another nice one.There is also quality software for every other category you listed including thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, gaim, gimp, eclipse, vim, apt and yum.
Regards,
Steve

thanks for great review, but how does Skype compar (1)

sourceview (852460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664323)

does Skype compare with the asterisk voip stuff.?? Inquiriung minds need to know!

Re:thanks for great review, but how does Skype com (3, Informative)

MatthewB79 (47875) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664415)

Skype is an implementation of VOIP. Asterisk (and Switchvox) is a sort of drop-in replacement for some very expensive telephone switch and voicemail hardware (PBX) like the Avaya systems.

Re:thanks for great review, but how does Skype com (1)

sourceview (852460) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664543)

Well, I think the idea of skype is great, and their voice out rates are competitive. Is there anyway to combine the two, such that anyone in the world which calls my skype phone number "sourceview" is then shunted to the asterisk or even the vovida PBX system? By the way, I have an Avaya box for sale!

Re:thanks for great review, but how does Skype com (1)

Theatetus (521747) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664682)

In the same way that apples compare to oranges. Asterisk is a PBX replacement: go into the phone closet at your office and look for something that looks like a really big motherboard with ridiculously huge PCI cards on it and a bunch of phone lines going into them. An asterisk box is meant to replace that: it can run digital and analog telephony, and VOIP to if you want it to.

Linux...mainstream? (1, Interesting)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664339)

Its somewhat difficult to envisage what the exact purpose of these innovations are. I mean Linux's userbase is made up largely of coders and firms, neither group see their Linux OS as one to support 3D gaming. Thus, its pheasable to say that these firms are looking to make Linux appeal more to the mainstream market ("Average Joe" users) by introducing methods even the most basic of PC's from decades ago possessed (ie. Video Gaming).

Re:Linux...mainstream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664385)

All the time you waste trolling is time you're not spending having sex.

Re:Linux...mainstream? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664426)

You forgot to say "with yourself". Not to say I think he's trolling, but I hate to see a fine flame ruined by a careless choice of words.

Re:Linux...mainstream? (2, Interesting)

sloanster (213766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664513)

Its somewhat difficult to envisage what the exact purpose of these innovations are.

LOL, it certainly seems to be difficult for the likes of you, but that's probably par for the course ;)

introducing methods even the most basic of PC's from decades ago possessed (ie. Video Gaming).

Wake up rip van winkle - we've been gaming on linux for years, and sad to say, you were asleep and missed it all. For a gentle heads-up, see doom 1/2/3, quake 1/2/3, ut 2000/2003/2004, RtCW, etc etc...

easymusic.com (1)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664365)

That mp3tunes reminds me that the guy who started easyjet and easycafe started a music download service. Don't think it's been covered here. It'd be nice if one of the European readers found out more and tried to get it on /.'s main page.

Re:easymusic.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664407)

You are talking about the fat shit Stellios, who everyone hates. His planes are made of cheap plastic and are full of drunken oafs and his internet cafes suck big time. You are heavily monitored in them and all your data recorded.

What do you want him on /. for ?

Real unveils features of next version (5, Informative)

AlexJeff (777401) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664371)

I was there as well and Rob Lanphier, Real's open source guru, unveiled the next feature set of the Helix Player (https://player.helixcommunity.org) and the Linux RealPlayer. The three features I wrote down were: - Subscription radio - Commercial Free - YES!!! - Reduced start up delay - whatever that was - Automatic bandwidth detection - for better roaming I think. Later...

Re:Real unveils features of next version (3, Informative)

kforeman (596891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664464)

Great note taking.

Yes, with now 84% of Real's record revenues coming consumer SERVICES, not products, like RealRhapsody, and RadioPass, Real can be much more open about our direction.

Today the free Helix-powered RealPlayer 10 plays MP3, Flash, Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora, RealAudio 10, RealVideo 10, so users can enjoy the web's best FREE content. Our goal of the NEXT version is to allow users to start to enjoy PREMIUM content, including dozens of commercial-free radio stations.

For those of you interested in following our process or lendign your insight, join the free dev mailing list right here: https://helixcommunity.org/mail/?group_id=154

Kevin

Not ready (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664427)

Linux will never be ready for the desktop, quite simply because the people who use it view themselves as 'above' everyone else.

Linux users like complex, archaic procedures to accomplish even the most menial of tasks. Somehow, being able to type an intricate string of meaningless characters and get an equally confusing output makes them feel good about themselves.

Just take a look around slashdot. Notice how all the users refer to themseleves as 'us', and everyone else as 'them'. Notice how Linux users always 'talk down' to/about the 'average' user.

Re:Not ready (2, Insightful)

djplurvert (737910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664524)

The only person I see talking down is you. You seem to think that ALL linux users fit your STEROTYPE of what a linux user is.

FWIW. I use linux on the desktop and I PREFER the distributions that are the easiest to use, e.g. fedora/ubuntu. That said, I still prefer to use command line toos for many activities because it is simply a more efficient way to accomplish some tasks.

While you are busy trying to defend your predjudice, linux developers have been working to make linux easier and easier for the end user to install and maintain. No, it's not perfect, but it's a far cry from what it was five years ago.

Most people I encounter who use linux fall in between the extremes that you mention. They aren't super geeks who eschew the gui for a command line because it's l33t but they typically aren't afraid of typing a command or two if it is a more efficient way of doing something.

Has it occured to you that what you percieve as archaic and complex is, in fact, neither?

(typed on federa core 3...installed from GUI)

Re:Not ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664540)

One word, and I don't say it lightly - "dumbass". There's a large populace out there who ditched Windows for Linux because they simply got sick and tired of the Microsoft crap, and by "crap" I mean the bugginess, the lock-in, and general "we don't give a flying fsck about the user". Linux got a *lot* easier to use that even newbies find themselves fairly comfortable from the start. I've seen my share of switchers. And guess what? It's only getting better. You no longer need to be a shell wizzard. Myself? I use both Mac OS X and Linux at home and get ooh-aahs up the wazoo from people who come over and never saw anything but Windows.

Dumbass.

Re:Not ready (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664577)

Would you feel the same way if a car buff were to talk down about drivers who didn't know which was the gas and which was the brake? Who left their car doors unlocked and the keys on the seat, despite repeatedly having their car stolen and then being screamed at not to by their employer?

As a Linux desktop user, I do not like overly complicated software procedures. I like being able to use GUI configuration centers (Mandrake Control Center!) for things like changing mice and screen resolution and system updates. That doesn't mean I can't handle running xfconfig for screen/mice or typing "urpmi.update -a; urpmi --update --auto-select -y" for updating my computer remotely.

Seriously, you should know at least the basics of a computer before you can use one. You are required to know where the brake, gas, turn signal, emergency break, ignition, and windshield wipers are to get a drivers license in California. But if cars were computers, those users we talk down about would whine that they just want their car to work without having to know anything about it, and complain that the Linux car doesn't start it's wipers automatically when it starts raining.

Re:Not ready (1)

iabervon (1971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664583)

Notice how all the users refer to themseleves as 'us', and everyone else as 'them'.

Not him! He refers to slashdot users as 'them', and everyone else as 'us'!

(When I say "him", I mean myself, of course. Maybe it's a good idea after all to refer to oneself and others as 'us', and everyone else as 'them', if only to be somewhat comprehensible.)

Re:Not ready (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664619)

You know, considering that there are about four hundred percent more Linux systems in the world than MS Windows systems and that every Windows user is also an unwitting user of multiple Linux switches, routers and servers and probably has a Linux powered cell phone or PDA in his pocket, why exactly would a Linux user be 'above' others - the Linux user and the others, being the same people?

(According to IBM marketing, there are about 2 billion Linux devices in the world - mostly cell phones and routers - versus only 600 million MS Windows desktops)

Re:Not ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664673)

HISSSSSSSSS! He's one of... Them.

Linspire Trying Too Hard to Mimic Apple? (1)

Forezt (769932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664458)

Is it just me or do Linspire's products look suspiciously similar to Apple's? lSongs, mp3Tunes, and even the new interface for Linspire 5 looks like it is trying to emulate the feel of Apple software... and failing.

I mean, how many people are actually going to use something with a tacky name like "lsongs". The name is laughable - it's like those store-brand ripoff names like Wal-Mart's "Dr.Thunder".

I doubt mp3tunes will get any RIAA artists to sign on without DRM, which basically means it will go the way of eMusic and that other service whose name I can't quite recall.

In addition, I know it's my opinion, but Linspire 5 is ugly. It looks somewhere between Windows XP and Keramik, which doesn't blend very well.

Linspire has some good ideas, it's just too bad they have such poor execution.

Re:Linspire Trying Too Hard to Mimic Apple? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664505)

"Linspire 5 looks like it is trying to emulate the feel of Apple software... and failing."

Direct rip off an iMac 2 icon aside, looks like Windows 95 to me. Linux needs to attract good designers as well as coders. Unfortunately that isn't going to happen.

What you have with Linux is situation a bit like the old days of people writing games on the ZX Spectrum, i.e coders doing both the code and graphics. And most coders don't know shit about art. Hence why they are trying to reproduce GUIS and desktops that were barely cool 10 years ago.

Re:Linspire Trying Too Hard to Mimic Apple? (1)

aldoman (670791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664611)

I agree 110%. Linspire is just like a budget version of Apple.

GNOME, IMO at least looks fairly excellent. Sure, it has rough edges, but generally it's very consistent and has a nice HIG that developers follow because the development tools enforce them.

Compare that with the mess that is KDE, using SVG icons for no real reason which look great when you have them wallpaper size but crap when you actually use them (@ 16x16 or 32x32, for example, as they just don't scale properly).

Oh I DO hope.... (2, Interesting)

Smiffa2001 (823436) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664474)

...that the folks at Linspire don't do an MS and run everybody as root: http://adn.bmdhacks.com/desktopsummit/images/lindo ws.jpg [bmdhacks.com]

It's been a while since I played with Lindows/Linspire 4.5 and I can't remember if that ran as root by default or not. Can anybody confirm ? I really hope that they've not made that mistake as 'Average Joe' mentioned above won't know its "bad"...

Re:Oh I DO hope.... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664587)

When you install Linspire it gives you the option to create user accounts. It explains that it is a real good idea to create an account.

It is *not* default root.

Hey I've got some ideas (2, Insightful)

fishlet (93611) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664529)

I see lots of posts saying "games" are the magic ticket to Linux getting popular. Stop dreaming... it's not gonna happen for a long time. Linux on the desktop is not even remotely near even 10% market share... no sane company is going to put lots of resources into developing games for Linux. Yes there were some flukes where a couple popular games got made but they were hardly profitable. Most of what Linux has for games are done by hobbyist... which is fine for the nostalgic type who like 80's style gaming but will never fail to succeed an impressing most of the gaming public. END OF RANT.

On to what I originally wanted to say... Linux on the desktop could sure use alot of polish in the following ways. Consider:

1) A common control panel. There are a ton of different config tools which vary by distribution. Even on a single distro you can't configure everything from one place- it's often a mix of various config tools and hand editing of config files.

2) Tell the freakin developers to make GOOD intallation binaries and keep them UP TO DATE. Have a common to all distro's install tool that is very easy to use (perhaps a RPM front end). I am a programmer and yes I do know how to compile stuff but when I'm not programming... I'm also a user and feel I should not have to compile anything myself.

3) KDE vs Gnome wars: put an end to it. I know everyone will disagree with me saying 'choice is good'. I agree... but there needs to be a standard. Without a standard alot of manpowers being distributed where it could much be better focused. Perhaps this is the downfall of Linux in general... everyones got freedom so all they choose to work on something different.

I could go on but I'll leave it at that for now.

Re:Hey I've got some ideas (2, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664627)

God the same old crap time and time again.

I for one am tired of these old outdated complaints. Nobody has to compile anything unless they want to. With the exception of gentoo no linux distrubitution requires compiling anything.

A common control panel? Wake me up when windows has one. The control panel works for some things, for other things you need to right click on my computer and manage, still others you have to manually load a snap in, and finally you have to muck with the registry for others. With linux everything is in /etc. If the GUI can't take care of it then you can go in and do it yourself. It may not be perfect but it's better then windows.

As for KDE and GNOME I'll say go to F yourself. I hope to hell everybody disagrees with you because I sure as hell do. Linux is about freedom more then anything else. Who are you to shove a desktop down my throat?

Re:Hey I've got some ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664647)

There are a ton of different config tools which vary by distribution.

How many times does it need to be pointed out that different distributions are very different systems?

Do I see you complaining that Windows can't be configured in the exact same way that Mac OS X can? Do I see you complaining that Mac OS X can't be configured in the exact same way FreeBSD can? So why do I see you complaining that Gentoo can't be configured in the exact same way your Tivo can?

Stop thinking that just because they share a kernel they are intended to work the same.

Re:Hey I've got some ideas (1)

aldoman (670791) | more than 9 years ago | (#11664672)

For #1 there is gnome-system-tools, which quite a few distros use now, and it's usage is gaining. This means that we will finally have a decent control panel. It's well coded with the same GUI for every distro and a backend that does the right thing based on system config.

#2 needs solved fast. apt-get/synaptic 'do it' but have major flaws, in that it is centralized, and therefore resources are lacking (you will have some things that are 2/3 major revisions behind because noone has packaged them for the apt-get repo you have). Plus it's no good for commercial software, which like it or not is not going to vanish. Games for example will never really be able to be developed in FOSS.

#3, agreed. KDE is in a real mess at the moment. It all fell apart somewhere after KDE2. I personally would standardize on GNOME because that's where the corporate world is going to, and therefore all the corp development $$$ will be spent on it.

Killer feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664598)

Everyone has their pet theory about why Linux hasn't made any serious inroads into the mainstream desktop. Here's mine: Virtually non-existent support for the 1,001 hardware goodies you can buy at Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. Until Joe Average can walk into one of those stores, buy something without even having to think about whether it runs on Linux, and then get it to run at least as easily as it does under Windows, then Linux is a no-go on the desktop.

It reminds me of Earthsiege (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11664607)

This makes sense, too. If I remember right (I was, like, eight when I had this game), it had mecha in it like the Mechwarrior games, and was the first in a line of games that would eventually lead to the tribes games (Earthsiege->Starsiege->Tribes). I never really played those, and I couldn't really figure out Earthsiege either with its featureless graphics, so I might be remembering wrong. This new game looks pretty cool, though.
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