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The Future of Closed Source Software and Linux

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the hand-me-downs dept.

566

slashy writes "What is the future of closed source software and Linux? OSWeekly.com delves into the subject and emerges with a possible answer. Quote: "I have been struggling with one major problem lately with the Linux operating system and that problem is the amazing lack of new and exciting software. It's frustrating because by the time said software does finally make its way down to the Linux user, the Windows crowd has been using it for nearly a year or longer. Perhaps some of this is because there does not appear to be a clear, simple to follow outline cooperative for companies to design for the open source operating system. Arguably this is because of the perceived need to keep things "open," however, I feel it's time for Linux to grow up and find some kind of common ground with the closed source community. I am a firm believer that both parties could learn a lot from each other; unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon."

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FOIST POST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837618)

CHACKA ZULU

V

I guess he's not looking then (5, Informative)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837634)

"Lack of new exciting software"? Try xgl/compiz! It's the most exciting software I've seen since a windowing environment!

Re:I guess he's not looking then (4, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837897)

Try xgl/compiz! It's the most exciting software I've seen since a windowing environment!

Yes, exactly. Just to throw out a few other names besides XGL, how about GLScube [glscube.org] or Xen [wikipedia.org] . None of these (XGL included) is ready for prime time yet. But they show the exact opposite of what TFA claims - Linux, if anything, has plenty of 'exciting' software.

If there is something lacking, it is boring software for Linux. TFA basically admits this when it talks about a "lack of exciting software", then complains about not having Outlook on Linux. Is Outlook then his idea of 'exciting software'? I doubt it, Outlook is the most boring piece of software ever. Perhaps it is necessary for certain corporations. But it isn't exciting.

I read TFA, looking for examples of really 'exciting' software missing in Linux. Couldn't find any.

Not enough software for Linux ? (4, Insightful)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837636)

If you find there isn't enough software for Linux, you haven't browsed your repositories. I'm not saying that "I miss software X" isn't valid but if you think there isn't enough new things to try in general, you are not trying very hard !

Re:Not enough software for Linux ? (3, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837726)

If you find there isn't enough software for Linux, you haven't browsed your repositories.

Ahhhhhhhh, but he's not really talking about software, is he? He's talking about Microsoftcompatibleware and Buzzware.

KFG

Re:Not enough software for Linux ? (3, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837926)

Agreed. The whole thing reminds me of how I felt in my first couple of months using linux, when I really, really wanted Linux versions of GetRight and ZoneAlarm. Shows how much I knew then, really.

He's on firmer ground with flash - as in the browser plugin, anyway. Even then, I'm not too worried. All those flash ads out there provide therir own pressure on Adobe to keep Flash as cross platform as possible.

Re:Not enough software for Linux ? (0, Flamebait)

Fox_E_Mama (902833) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837732)

No. By "the amazing lack of new and exciting software...the Windows crowd has been using for nearly a year or longer," the author probably means adware/spyware. How come Windows always seem to be years ahead of Linux in terms of new and exciting malware?

Re:Not enough software for Linux ? (3, Funny)

emilper (826945) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837777)

maybe s/he means the "happy dog that makes ... faces ... when you need to find something" is missing from Linux ... fortunately it is pattented, as I heard, so we won't have it any time soon.

There's a fundamental mistake in his assumptions (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837851)

It looks to me like this guy just doesn't get the reason behind Linux and
the other Free(dom) OSes. I use Linux not for the closed source
applications, but because I don't have to use any closed source applications
applications.

I can't speak for anyone else on this, but I got sick and tired of:

  1. Buggy software that would crash at the drop of a hat
  2. Spyware that would try to track me
  3. Being treated like a criminal: you know, would require an "activation code",
    I would give my first born as a hostage, tell them everything about me including
    where I live
  4. Code that ran on only 1 platform and 1 version of the OS
  5. Code that I could only run on 1 machine and God help you if you tried
    to sell it to someone else with out the Brown shirts^h^h^h^h^^h^h^h, sorry BSA
    coming down on you
  6. not being able to figure out what the code was doing --- I had NO input
    into their code other than not using it -- which is exactly what I ultimately did


I escaped the BillyG matrix in 1997 and I will never go back to that environment.
If you want closed source software then you know where to find it:
http://catb.org/jargon/html/I/If-you-want-X--you-k now-where-to-find-it-.html [catb.org]

Re:Not enough software for Linux ? (3, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837884)

Damn, and I have mod points... still. Part of the problem is a lot of software, but very little *good* software.. Video editing comes to mind... Kino is nice for basic edits (cut/order) but handling additional audio tracks, and the interface for some parts is cumbersom. Pitivi is at least a few years away from being usable... Live seems interesting... As do a few others.. but spending the time to setup programs that *aren't* in the repositories, to find out they suck, and don't uninstall properly/completely... after a few days of trying, it sucks..

Honestly, I am pretty comfortable with linux, but this is just one area that irks me to no end... There's plenty of other areas, but honestly, I'd pay $100-300 for a mid-grade video editor (Similar in features to say Pinnacle Studio, or iMovie) ... Unfortunately the market isn't there on that end for linux.

Photo editing is another big thing.. and no, the gimp does suck... not feature wise, function/UI wise.. GimpShop goes a bit towards making it better, would be nice to see those changes migrated into the main tree... I've always liked Paint Shop Pro... and if it ran decent under WINE would use it there instead of VMWare... It's one of the few Windows apps I still rely on.

Generall office apps, email and web browsing, pretty much there... outside of that, there is a *LOT* to be desired... how about a decent bittorrent client? I would KTorrent is decent, would like to see it approach uTorrent, or Azureus on usability/features... and in all honesty, if I had more time, I would donate some of it towards improving things... However, I do a lot more web based programming, and far less desktop/gui development.. it's a bit of a different mindset.

Article Summary (5, Insightful)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837638)

Summary: I like Outlook, but its not available for Linux. Evolution doesn't work enough like it, and Microsoft is unlikely to release a Linux version of Outlook. Boo-hoo. Why can't we all get along?

I was kind of hoping for something a bit broader than one example heaped with a few generalities...

Re:Article Summary (3, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837741)

I was kind of hoping for something a bit broader than one example heaped with a few generalities...

You're new there, aren't you?

KFG

Re:Article Summary (4, Insightful)

Melllvar (911158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837772)

Ya know, I read and re-read the article at least three times (I really did!), because all I kept getting out of it was the sheer cluelessness of its premise. Seriously, Outlook? Is there anyone out there whose spent more than five minutes ruminating over computer OS issues who believes that Microsoft is seriously gonn get behind Linux/Unix versions of its flagship products?

Besides Dvorak, I mean.

The article also cites Shockwave and iTunes as examples; but I've never felt even remotely outta the loop for being without either one of them. I frankly don't understood the weird obsession with those silly little Mac music players (my 2-year-old, 20gb, non-DRM compliant, format agnostic iRiver still kicks serious enough ass, thank you); and as for Shockwave ... well ... in I dunno how many years of XP usage I've had to put up with, I've never even had to bother with using Shockwave, so why install it? So I can ... what ... finally have that full, uncrippled Disney.com [go.com] experience?

There's only one thing that ever brings me back to Windows with any regularity. And that's gaming, pure and simple. You show me a critical mass of support from the mainstream PC gaming industry for Linux/Unix support, and I'll be outta here faster than Mindy Gates can say "Microsoft Bob."

Re:Article Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837778)

Furthermore, the author starts complaining about "the amazing lack of new and exciting software" for Linux... then the rest of the article he talks about Outlook and similar closed-source programs.

Seriously, is that what he considers "new and exciting"?

Re:Article Summary (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837802)

I guess Outlook can be considered pretty "exciting" if you run it for any length of time between patches...

Not entirely true, but .... (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837639)

Apache, mosaic, jabber, etc were started on *nix. But these are server apps. There are many more desktop apps that were started on Windows and then FINALLY ported to *nix. What it will take is to make Linux a competitive place for desktop. Hopefully, as Google moves their apps on over linxu and forces other companies to compete on the same platform, then things may change.

I believe just the opposite (3, Insightful)

AnyThingButWindows (939158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837645)

"I feel it's time for Linux to grow up and find some kind of common ground with the closed source community"

I believe it is time for the closed source community to grow up and find some common ground with Linux.

Re:I believe just the opposite (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837682)

Why would any company want to open their source code and share their intellectual property with everyone? Hours later, someone would be trying to sell a rebranded version of their hard work.

Re:I believe just the opposite (1)

jmv (93421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837876)

Care to provide an example of that happening? I have yet to see someone selling a rebranded version of Firefox (not that it would be bad either).

Re:I believe just the opposite (2, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837911)

Why would any company want to open their source code and share their intellectual property with everyone?

What the GP actually said was:

I believe it is time for the closed source community to grow up and find some common ground with Linux.
I can't see anything there that says "open source code" or "share ip", can you?

Re:I believe just the opposite (2, Interesting)

CaptSisko (56435) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837930)

There is a difference between Open Source and Open License.

Re:I believe just the opposite (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837699)

I believe it is time for the closed source community to grow up and find some common ground with Linux.

There will come a time when proprietary software will be routinely written for Linux, but I would prefer it didn't happen too soon. At the moment, the consequence of proprietary software developers ignoring Linux (and other FOSS OSs) is that open source developers are having to create the entire software stack.

The FOSS community won't just be developing an OS, but office apps, graphics tools, audio, video, CAD etc. It makes the task of creating a viable alternative to Microsoft harder, true, but the end result will be that an entire suite of FOSS software will exist for the platform by the time commercial interests start noticing the market.

At the moment, the lack of pressure from commercial interests is allowing the FOSS solutions to develop at their own pace, so the longer the proprietary companies keep shooting themselves in the foot by ignoring Linux, the better. Given time, any company wishing to compete in the Linux market will have to produce software which is significantly better than the established FOSS tools, and that has to be good for us computer users.

Re:I believe just the opposite (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837712)

I believe it is time for the closed source community to grow up and find some common ground with Linux.

I'm somewhat puzzled by the article, he complains about lack of interaction with Outlook, than calls for Linux to create open standards and make them available to closed source software companies, as if they were behind the door marked "Beware of the Leopard" or something.

I fear he's been using the rope for more than just rigging.

I'm also just generally tired of hearing his tired thesis:

"I feel it's time for Linux to grow up and find some kind of common ground with the closed source community"

All I can think of are the words of John Hartford:

Someday my baby, when I am a man
And others have taught me the best that they can
They'll buy me a suit and cut off my hair
And send me to work in tall buildings.

It's goodbye to the sunshine, goodbye to the dew
Goodbye to the flowers and goodbye to you
I'm off to the subway, I must not be late
I'm going to work in tall buildings.

If it's all the same to Mr. Hartley; and even if it's not, I'm taking my kid to go sit in the meadow and smell the flowers. He can have his suits and his grown up shit. Life's too short.

If Red Hat feels differently, well, that's their problem, they told me to go take a hike anyway.

KFG

Re:I believe just the opposite (3, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837717)

Sure, right when Linux shows multi-BILLION dollar profits, a SUCCESSFUL business strategy and doesn't have thousands developers each creating their own 'perfect' GUI.

With the exception of servers and anti-virus software, Linux is far, far away from being a serious threat to Windows (and Macs.)

Re:I believe just the opposite (3, Insightful)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837936)

"I believe it is time for the closed source community to grow up and find some common ground with Linux."
...the ant told the elephant.

Wha? (4, Insightful)

RandUser (799024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837646)

What is he talking about? Linux doesn't need new or exciting features, it needs further usability improvements and for the products currently available to mature. Feature bloat is not something I wish to see in the GNU/Linux world - function over flash has always been the mantra and it is definitely not outdated.

When there is a gap for new programs, they will be created. When someone needs to get a task done and there isn't a tool, he will scratch that itch - eventually, if enough people have the itch it becomes widespread. I also have no idea where he is coming from about this release gap between windows and linux, unless we're talking about games which is a whole other can of worms.

And finally, has he checked out XGL/compiz? That is some bleeding edge technology that is unmatched currently and definitely some cool stuff to play with. Basically I don't understand what this guy's beef is and how it relates to closed/open source - GNU/linux has all the software it needs being developed and the few closed source vendors who don't want to play nice and port are not the fault of the open vision.

Of course, I am basing this entirely on the summary so who knows. *shrug*

Re:Wha? (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837895)

When there is a gap for new programs, they will be created. When someone needs to get a task done and there isn't a tool, he will scratch that itch - eventually, if enough people have the itch it becomes widespread. I also have no idea where he is coming from about this release gap between windows and linux, unless we're talking about games which is a whole other can of worms.


I totally agree that when there's a gap for new software, a lot of time it's linux community first to address. However, in many cases it is in the Windows world that the software is productized and used in a commercial way, while the open source version takes a much longer time to be in that status.

WAAAA???? (3, Interesting)

Fluffy_Kitten (911430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837648)

are you kidding me? most innovations now start at the linux level. Aero? Vista eye candy? compiz did it a year BEFORE not AFTER. Workspaces? windows still doesn't have that. all the new desktop usability comes from linux, while windows kept the windows 95 desktop going for 10+ years with minor changes. linux thinks AHEAD not 3 year ago like closed source. OPEN means you can risk new ideas, while CLOSED means risks can rouin you. I chose to take bold new innovations out for a spin.

Re:WAAAA???? (1)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837890)

And then closed can take the innovation, come up with something similar, and use brand loyalty to spin it as theirs and/or not acknowledge the creator of the technology.

Don't include GPL'd code ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837649)

without respecting the owners chosen license, their code does belong to them after all.

What you do with your code on top of that is entirely up to you including the license terms and cost model.

Isn't it about time proprietary coders grow up and start working within the law with open source licenses?

rgds

Re:Don't include GPL'd code ... (2, Interesting)

speeDDemon (nw) (643987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837713)

Is it "possible" to write software that will run in linux that does not "require" GPL code? (This is a valid question not a flame)
If I wished to write software for Linux and charge for the software (Not just support) is it realisticly achievable without having to re-write a swag of libraries.

Is support the only way to 're-coup' costs from a research and development, or is the best open source business model to just not bother until someone explicitly pays you to develop the work. Then release it for free (as per the licences) and completely alienate your client as you then supply all your code to the 'community' aka, their competing company who now doesnt have to pay for said OSS product.

Re:Don't include GPL'd code ... (3, Informative)

ICA (237194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837740)

Yes, absolutely. You are free to release Linux user applications under any license you choose. Kernel contributions are a different story, but user-applications are completely up to you.

Realplayer, Acrobat er .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837745)

The answer is yes, depending on how you link to any GPL'd libraries you use.

rgds

Re:Don't include GPL'd code ... (1)

rai4shu2 (987626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837753)

You really think Nero or VMware are free or open source?

Re:Don't include GPL'd code ... (2, Informative)

BlueLightning (442320) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837767)

Is it "possible" to write software that will run in linux that does not "require" GPL code?

Yes. Most libraries on Linux are released under the LGPL or other licenses that do not force you to distribute source code to applications that link to those libraries. Of course you should check the licence for each library you intend to use first (just as you should in the proprietary world).

Re:Don't include GPL'd code ... (2, Informative)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837786)

It's not only possible, it's easy. The main thing to watch is libraries. All you have to do is avoid using libraries available only under the GPL in your program. The only critical libraries that your program will have to use are glibc and the GCC C++ library module, and both of those are under LGPL-style licenses. As long as you dynamically link to them (so the library object code isn't physically included in your executable) you don't have a licensing problem. Other libraries you'll have to look at their license terms to see whether they're compatible and how you have to use them to be compatible, but none of those are required to run on Linux and you can just not use them if you can't find a way to be compatible with their licenses. GTK (Gnome) and Qt (KDE) are probably highly desirable for GUI apps, but GTK's under the LGPL and Qt has a commercial license available so you can use both without having to open-source your code.

Re:Don't include GPL'd code ... (1)

speeDDemon (nw) (643987) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837817)

Sounds easy!

Thanks for the eloquent reply

what closes source has taught me (1, Interesting)

Cannedbread (841645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837656)

Here is what i have learned from closed source

1. reverse engineering
2. who to be friends with in the pirate scene
3. why Free software is so much better

Here is what i have learned from open source

1 Everything.

Re:what closes source has taught me (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837748)

Apparently not, silly child. You have yet to learn that you don't know everything.

Pro graphics apps (5, Interesting)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837658)

Ironically it's the pro applications now that port first. Things like Maya are more and more focasing on Linux. I doubt you'll see most consumer applications paying much attention to Linux anytime soon but the professionals are adopting it faster than any group. The 3D realm likes the power and stability. Photoshop is still dragging it's feet as far as I know but but there are plenty of higher end 3d animating and modelling apps availible and they tend to be released before even the Mac versions.

Re:Pro graphics apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837715)

Adobe won't even update flash-player for linux, so I'd say Photoshop is more "laying down dead" than "dragging its feet"

Excitement = Bad (2, Insightful)

rai4shu2 (987626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837662)

If you're excited, it's probably because it barely works. We don't need more of that type of software on any OS.

It's the same way for us. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837663)

Except thet the time it takes windows to finally get my favorite stuff is, uh, never. I guess I won't be migrating to windows any time soon.

Wait a second... (5, Insightful)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837665)

So, what he's saying is that Linux people aren't trying hard enough to make closed software available on Linux? ...

I almost feel like Obviousman here. Linux can't accomodate closed-source software easily BECAUSE IT'S CLOSED AND THUS IMPOSSIBLE TO INTEGRATE SEAMLESSLY INTO OTHER APPLICATIONS. Linux has no obligations whatsoever when it comes to compatibility -- they've published all their docs, spotty though they may be, and they use standards. Microsoft, Adobe, and now-defunct Macromedia have done neither, with some exceptions such as SWF and PDF formats.

If this guy wants more integration, he should stop bitching at Linux, which has an open kernel API; he should stop bitching at GNU, which is completely and totally open. He should be directing his trolling at Microsoft, who has made no efforts to make their software work on top of Linux kernels.

What software developers have told me (5, Informative)

Were-Rabbit (959205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837668)

Perhaps some of this is because there does not appear to be a clear, simple to follow outline cooperative for companies to design for the open source operating system. Arguably this is because of the perceived need to keep things "open," however, I feel it's time for Linux to grow up and find some kind of common ground with the closed source community. I am a firm believer that both parties could learn a lot from each other; unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon."

Actually, this is exactly what I have heard from a number of software vendors. I review software and gadgets for a few web sites. One of my testing criteria, particularly for hardware, is if the hardware is Linux-compatible. When it comes to software I always ask if there are any plans to offer a Linux version of the software. The answer that I hear the most often is in regards to a lack of available resources, which I certainly can understand since I review a lot of software form independent companies. But when I question further about asking Linux coders to help with the conversion, the major of companies that have shown an interest in a Linux port say that they've attempted to do so, but the programmers that they approached expect the software to be open-sourced if the company is to get their help. I've even had some developers of software that's geared more towards a particular science admit that they think there would be a huge demand on their software for Linux, but the "requirement" by Linux coders that the software is open-sourced killed the prospect of releasing a Linux version.

As much as I'd like to brush that off as "just an excuse", look at a lot of the replies here on Slashdot about Linux and open-source and you'll quickly see that HE'S RIGHT! I love open-source (or at the very least open standards) just as much as anyone else here and I use it whenever feasible. But there is definitely an assumption among a lot of Linux users that if it's available on Linux the course code has got to be made available or else it doesn't belong on Linux, like it's some kind of plague.

Now, I'll confess that this attitude has been diminishing as Linux eeks its way into the mainstream. The attitude is shifting away from open source and more towards open standards. But there is still a big movement and big preconception that "Linux == Open Source" and "Closed Source != Welcome On Linux".

NOT flaming here, folks. Just relaying what I've been told by software developers and what I've seen here on /. Sorry if you don't like it or don't believe it, but that doesn't make it less true. Or at least, that doesn't it make it less true in the eyes of software developers.

Re:What software developers have told me (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837729)

"Linux == Open Source" and "Closed Source != Welcome On Linux"

What a load of bollocks. If I pay a developer to write an app that will run on Linux, I get to choose whether to release the source or not, not some bloody coder I've hired. If it's compiled for Linux, it'll run on Linux. It doesn't matter what Random J Geek's feelings on running closed apps on Linux are.

Once I've installed it, Linux is MY operating system. I can install what I like on it. I can compile what I like on it.

How the hell did drivel like this get modded "Informative"?

Re:What software developers have told me (1)

Were-Rabbit (959205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837785)

That's true, but if the coder won't accept retaining closed course as a condition for hire, they're under no obligation to accept the job. Again, this is only what I've been told. Just because you don't like it and don't agree with it doesn't make it any less "informative".

Re:What software developers have told me (2, Interesting)

Mr. Hankey (95668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837833)

It may be what you've heard, but I know enough coders who wouldn't care one way or the other if the source was freely available after the fact - as long as they're being paid. If a company asks them to port the software gratis, that's an entirely different matter. That's not to say that there isn't a vocal group who pushes this agenda, but I'd be willing to bet most aren't actual coders. I do prefer GPL software myself, but respect other licenses and terms as the coder's/vendor's choice.

Re:What software developers have told me (1)

Were-Rabbit (959205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837850)

I'm certain that they were not looking for free coders. Hell, that's asking for trouble ... and rejection on the part of the coders, understandably so. Now, I admit that these were a few years ago when Linux was far more niche that it is now and had, I believe, a much more narrowly-focused user mindset. So, it's likely that the "open source the damned thing!" mindset has diminished, but I know it has not disappeared. I've seen postings jrecently from the extremist faction of the Linux community complaining about Linux software that was either not open-source or not adhering to some kind of standard. (I wish I could remember which software it was...) We as geeks know how to handle such attitudes and know that they're not the majority. Management? Well, that's another story. I'm sure that we all have our anecdotes there.

Re:What software developers have told me (2, Informative)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837904)

That's true, but if the coder won't accept retaining closed course as a condition for hire, they're under no obligation to accept the job.

I've been employing people on software projects for the past ten years, and I've worked in the biz for more than double that, and I have yet to have a coder refuse a job because their code was going to be closed, open, or printed on toilet paper and flushed for that matter.

I don't know what bizarro world you're inhabiting, but it all sounds like FUD to me.

Re:What software developers have told me (1)

rai4shu2 (987626) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837731)

What planet are you from? Who exactly says this? I have heard no one say this. Linux coders do not require open source. That's BS.

No, it's not BS just because you want it to be. (3, Informative)

Were-Rabbit (959205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837768)

As I said, I'm just relaying what other developers have told me. That's all. Take it at face value.

However, you cannot deny that there it a very strong sense of "Make the source code available!" in the Linux community. I'm NOT saying that it's right or wrong, just that it's there. And don't say that Linux coders do not require open source! I've seen postings on Slashdot and other Linux communities that have actually criticized companies for releasing software on Linux but not making their source code available as though it's some kind of expectation! I know enough to take such postings with a grain of salt, knowing that there are extremists in every crowd who will never be satisfied, but what the hell do you expect a developer to think if they had plans on releasing their software but then saw that there's an expectation of releasing their source code?

Re:What software developers have told me (4, Insightful)

L.Bob.Rife (844620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837733)

The counter-argument is that many companies are basically seeking people who will port their code for free, and then profit from their efforts. Companies can either pay actual salaries to programmares and get it coded closed-source, or donate their intellectual property and get it ported for free, eventually. Either way, they have to pay.

Re:What software developers have told me (3, Informative)

Were-Rabbit (959205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837814)

Actually, one in particular tried to get paid, Linux coders a few years ago for one of their projects. Granted, this was many years ago before Linux became as mainstream as it is today, but the few people that they spoke to supposedly voiced displeasure with not making the code available and the deadline for the project was approaching, so they decided to scrap any Linux conversion. Once again ... what I was told. An excuse? Could be. But I could tell by the tone of this particular developer's e-mail that he was pro-Linux and would have really liked to have the software ported, but he didn't have the skill set to do so.

*sigh* I probably should have known better than to mention this on Slashdot. Shoot the message, shoot the messenger. Same thing. :/ C'est la vie.

Re:What software developers have told me (1)

eklitzke (873155) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837743)

But when I question further about asking Linux coders to help with the conversion, the major of companies that have shown an interest in a Linux port say that they've attempted to do so, but the programmers that they approached expect the software to be open-sourced if the company is to get their help. I've even had some developers of software that's geared more towards a particular science admit that they think there would be a huge demand on their software for Linux, but the "requirement" by Linux coders that the software is open-sourced killed the prospect of releasing a Linux version.

What, exactly, is wrong with this? If a company asks a coder to write a port of their code, the coder is under no obligation to do so. The company can go find another programmer willing to write the code, or delegate that task to their in house staff. I don't understand how you can fault a third party for doing something they have a moral objection to.

Re:What software developers have told me (1)

Were-Rabbit (959205) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837780)

I never said it was wrong. I would never work for Microsoft for the same reasons - moral objection. ;) Again, I was just relaying what developers have told me as to why there was no Linux port of their software.

I remember one package was a very good astronomy package, and the developer that I spoke to said that he personally would have loved to make a Linux port because he felt that there would be a strong demand for it. Although he stressed resources as the reason why there was no Linux release, he also told me that there was a preconception in his management that Linux users would want the source code to be released, whether right or wrong. His management was obviously not willing to do that.

Granted, this was a few years ago before Linux really started to take off. Their attitude might have changed since then.

Re:What software developers have told me (1)

init100 (915886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837941)

a preconception in his management that Linux users would want the source code to be released

I think that this is the real problem: What management thinks.

Re:What software developers have told me (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837783)

I think that the comment is not that the coder's morals are unimportant, but that _all_ the coders that appear to be available for paid work porting or creating a Linux app expect not only that they will be paid, but that the company will _also_ OSS the code.

Subsets of this group then complain that "no commercial applications get ported to Linux", while the company says "We have commercial secrets embodied in code [perhaps patented or similar, or otherwise significantly better ways of doing X] and this gives us an advantage over our Windows competitors. If we give that away to our competitors we lose an advantage in a competitive market".

While I understand that some will say "Yes but you must compete by being better at what you do, the code is unimportant", in some cases the code is the being better bit. Why must the company give away one or more of its advantages (for which it has paid wages, or for right to use patents etc) to its competitors?

Re:What software developers have told me (2, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837815)

Sooo... you think it's totally reasonable to ask the Linux coders, committed to free software, to help port closed software, so the closed software companies can make more money...? I don't see the commitment on part of the Linux coders to help companies with too much money make more myself.

Re:What software developers have told me (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837825)

Ummmm ... If no one is willing to take the jobs to port software to Linux, does it make sense to then turn around and complain that there's not enough commercial software available for Linux?

It is just like UNIX in the 80s and 90s (5, Insightful)

SocietyoftheFist (316444) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837692)

No coherent vision with a bunch of competing vendors. One target needs to emerge with the kind of support that Windows has down the whole stack. I've been hearing about Linux taking over this and that for 6 years now, I only see it replacing UNIX.

The problem is this. (2, Interesting)

Null Nihils (965047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837703)

Its really quite simple.

Linux, and most of the other software distros bundle with it, is all licensed under the GPL, and is generally licensed as such for a reason: the developers are dedicated to Free Software. The question of proprietary kernel drivers, and many other issues, are consistently decided in favour of continuing to strictly adhere to GNU/Free Software standards.

On the other side of the fence, proprietary software is Closed Source in order to maximize revenue. Much of it will stay closed forever, due to legal red-tape, patent skullduggery, shareholder interests, and good old fashioned greed.

And then, most importantly (believe it or not) we have the Users. Sometimes they get what they want, either thanks to a commercial development, or the teeming F/OSS community.

Sometimes, however, they don't get what they want -- they get shafted -- thanks to the interests of whomever controls the copyrights of the technology at issue.

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837705)

If linux isn't good enough for you, then you're not good enough for linux.

you need more specific standards (1)

MadAhab (40080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837706)

like, if all i cared about was reproducing cool audio software, i wouldn't say *nothing* was going on, but rather that XXN0YXX was lacking development momentum.

as for me, i like amarok. screw itunes, love ya xmms, but bye, and the featureset for 1.4.2 is actually better than any other alternative, period.

and since i listen to music ALL day while working, this is not a minor thing for me... it's great.

god bless amarok and all who sail with it.

I wish someone told us earlier! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837707)

... however, I feel it's time for Linux to grow up and ...

OK Gang, Slashy feels it's time, so let's get 'er done.

It's not all bad (3, Insightful)

also-rr (980579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837718)

Woohoo, I get to recycle my +5 comment [slashdot.org] from last night

Proprietary software, as long as it doesn't make the system less free, is not necessarily bad.

For example a proprietary document system that uses open formats and has open APIs does very little to harm the user and potentially fills a niche that cannot be served by free software very well (eg handles certain legal compliance issues, which requires expensive insurance and research).

As long as you *could* write your own software to replace bits of the system, or interoperate with the system, then you dont necessarily have to for the benefit to be very real indeed.

Re:It's not all bad (1)

NewToNix (668737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837844)

As long as you *could* write your own software to replace bits of the system, or interoperate with the system, then you dont necessarily have to for the benefit to be very real indeed.

I don't think it's a question of *could* that is important.

It's the question of *may* that is at issue.

I could write some software to replace some bits of a given system - that does not mean that I *may* write it legally.

And for me that's the point - the entire point - retaining my rights so that I *may* , if I want, and can, write or rewrite any bit or all of the soft I'm using.

It follows then that proprietary software is always making the system less free, for it relies on restricting not what I can do, but what I may do.

This is just another no sig sig.

Re:It's not all bad (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837878)

On the other hand, I am finding proprietary operating systems becoming less useful all the time. For instance, does MS's refusal to open up NTFS hurt its competitors? Not really, linux has great file systems available to it, so one place I would have potentially had a dual setup, I went all linux because I didn't want FAT32 (no permissions), nor can Windows interface with a lot of the file systems I use out of the box.

The same can be said with Open Office vs Microsoft Office in regard to open documents. I am finding closed documents a hassle because that means I can use only a very limited subset of apps to manipulate said document - and not every should be a one size fits all (except emacs:) )

I'm probably the exception these days, as with some hassle, drivers can be added to Windows to let it read other filesystem, and Open Office can run on Windows.

But other benefits of Open Source are repositories, as you mention, and I find the convenience of one central spot on my computer to download and automatically install known good software with a few button clicks (sans spyware/adware) beats any Windows experience hands down (which usually includes searching the web, downloading, installing, hoping it's not malware, adware, etcetera for every app).

I really could not see going back to something like Windows. It just seems like too much work and money. Quite a reversal from the Linux experience like around 1999 or so.

Nothing to see, pass on either side (5, Insightful)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837724)


As has been stated, this article is nothing more than "I want outlook on Linux".

If you take a good look at real world closed source software (ie sold by companies not based in Redmond, WA) you will find most of the top app providers already selling Linux versions of their products. For many, this was a no brainer as they already had Unix (of various flavours) versions of their key products.
Then you get companies like IBM who are (IMHO) actually looking at replacing windows with Linux as the key dev platform. For example, if you look as some of the WebSphere range of products. Until fairly recently, there was always a need for at leat one windows system to act as the dev host. Now, with the switch to Eclipse based dev tools they can also use linux instead of Windows in this key area. Ok, they are not betting the farm on linux succeeding in this area but with each release the need to use windows grows less and less.

Finally,
  We don't need Outlook on Linux. What we need is a decent email/groupware client that will interact seamlessly with MS Exchange that provides all the functionality of Outlook but without the underlying problems that it has.

  What bugs me about Office 2003 is that outlook had lost its ability to export the account settings. What you have to use is the office exporter which produces a file which is a horrible missmash of Binary & XML (no the binary is not wrapped in XML) that only the office imported can read. I know this is part of the M$ lock in policy but previous versions of lookout so that other email clients can read them easily. So now, you have to import them manually. I get really annoyed with M$ when the go on about their interoperability policy. It if nothing more than pure FUD.

 

"amazing lack of new and exciting software" (2, Insightful)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837736)

mazing lack of new and exciting software

Yes, sire, I shalt bow before thee. Am I alone to think such opinions come from the usual thinking-to-be professionals who don't actually use those "exciting" software but find it fashionable to talk about having it and using it and knowing it, etc. ? What is "exciting software" anyway ? There are of course applications which have some purpose and are designed nicer, slicker than the others, some even are more usable than others, some are more professional, etc. Still, "new and exciting software" is a so broad and bland formulation that it makes the whole opinion unworthy of any serious consideration.

Apart from the above, OSes other than Windows happen to have very many good applications for a wide variety of goals (and yes, the job and the goal is what defines what software to use, we don't just use a software because it's "exciting" and "new", unless the special family of what I usually call toy apps), and surprisingly (well, not for us) they are usually developed in a much faster pace than in the case of some other OS. Also, needs of the crowds and recognition of some missing niche software (and the implementation of it) usually happens more frequently and faster in the non-Windows world.

If just talking about the number of maintained and developed apps, and the number of areas these applications target, then Linux is better performing in some of these areas than any other OS out there. There are probably a lot of people who at least once thought how nice would it be if this app existed also on Windows, and guess what, these wishes come true more frequently than not. In my world this is one of the biggest strenghts of FOSS development which also makes such developers much more evolved in my book, since they are mostly developing to be platform-agnostic.

If I were wearing my troll-boots, I'd tell you where to go with those new and exciting software you so hardly seek, but I can't find them so there you go, all I can advise you now is to take a much broader point of view upon the Linux and FOSS world, formulate goals and try to find existing software to achieve your goals, and after experimentation you still feel the lack of those exciting pieces of software, than all you can do is search for other pastures where exciting-software-trees grow by the dozen.
 

What the hell is he talking about? (5, Insightful)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837737)

"Evolution is a very clumsy feeling program with a lack of fluidity. Getting it to work with the MS Exchange plugin works about half the time (tried it on many distributions) and it's just a pain to use in the first place."

Go ask Microsoft why they lock down their products the way they do, it's not really the OSS community's fault.

the fact remains that I am tired of having to boot back into my Windows install to do some pretty basic stuff. [...] There is one application that cannot be run at all because of its dependency on Internet Explorer - Outlook 2003.

Well if you're sooo dependent on Microsoft products, and you admit it, then you should now understand WHY OSS is so important. We're seeking to empower the individuals, who in today's setup are at the mercy of software companies. And your experience of Linux has only highlighted even more this need to have an open alternative to Windows and its flagship "products".

If you want to exclusively use Linux, then the first thing you need to learn to do is to COMPROMISE. Understand that you'll be better off not using MSN messenger or Outlook, and start looking at the alternatives. We're not here to emulate windows, we're here to offer a different desktop experience.

As for the lack of new interesting things in the OSS world, well I'll just say that you haven't been looking hard enough. Not all the interesting stuff comes in a .deb or .rpm ...

No incentive for companies who use closed-source (1)

alphasubzero949 (945598) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837744)

From TFA:

OK, so let's take it up a notch. Shockwave for Linux, iTunes for Linux, and so on. There are specific tools and software that is very much being left out of the loop in the Linux world.

Can we get some specifics here, please? What tools? iTunes? Apple has no incentive to cater to Linux because the vast majority of users are anti-DRM to begin with. Apple's model directly conflicts with the philosophy of open source. Shockwave? Please. That is so 1999. Besides, designers who are still coding Flash-based web sites deserve swift kicks to their buttocks.

But the fact remains that I am tired of having to boot back into my Windows install to do some pretty basic stuff.

I find his Evolution vs. Outlook comparison to be nothing more than a rant. I've tried Evolution and it runs circles around Outlook. But seriously, does that single issue merit the main complaint that Linux isn't good enough to the point where it requires a reboot into Windows?

Seems to me he is a little bitter because expects Linux programs to behave like Windows.

Re:No incentive for companies who use closed-sourc (1)

1.21GW (953570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837908)

Yes, you are right that people who are "coding Flash-based web sites deserve swift kicks to the buttocks." But, that does not change the fact that they ARE still coding them, and people want an OS or browser that works well with them.

What's to follow? (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837746)

I'm not sure why companies would need any special outline for Linux. That it's open-source is irrelevant for most software, really. If you're making a kernel module the issue comes into play, but very few things other than actual hardware devices need kernel modules. If you include GPL'd libraries in your software there's a licensing issue, but then if you include any libraries licensed from third parties you've got a licensing issue when you start distributing them and you're going to have to do some negotiating and cough up some money. I don't think there's any GPL'd libraries that apps on Linux have to use, so any app should be able to avoid the issue if they want to. The only thing left is integration into the system:

  • Installation of the software. Not much to say here. A simple tar file that can be unpacked and copied under /usr/local, or that's got an installation script that does the work, should work on any Unix out there including Linux. At worst you've got to add a library directory to /etc/ld.so.conf, but usually a small wrapper script that sets LD_LIBRARY_PATH appropriately obviates the need for that. If you want to use the native packaging system you've got to build binary packages, but that's usually straightforward and covered in the documentation for each distro.
  • Integration into the system startup scripts. There's a couple of different layouts for the startup script directories, and each distro has it's own little customizations you have to accomodate for perfect integration (things like how the script should check for the software already being started during runlevel changes, stuff like that). But how much software really needs to be set running during startup? Most doesn't, but the few packages that do have some complexity on their hands.
  • Desktop integration. This isn't a Linux issue, it's a Gnome and KDE issue (those being the two major ones these days). Their Web sites have guides on how to do this right IIRC, and if you follow them it should work for that desktop on any platform the desktop runs on. Linux is simply another platform.
  • Integration with the desktop. Um, this is Unix. There is no single desktop. Any user on the system can run any desktop, and in fact run different desktops at different times. Best bet is to follow the guides for integration, check for each desktop and integrate with all that're installed, and provide a single executable (or a wrapper script) that a user can run from the command line that'll start your app. That last insures users can use your app without any desktop integration at all by simply manually creating a launcher for it where they want one.
  • Copy protection. This can be an issue. The world outside Windows is remarkably hostile to the sorts of copy-protection schemes seen in Windows software, and Linux isn't unique in this. License key servers can be used, but they tend to cause more headaches for your customers (even when working properly) than for pirates. Hardware keying is a pain since Unixes tend to hide the hardware so well the detailed information isn't readily available (you can get it, but it takes a fair amount of hackery).
Have I missed anything? I don't think I have, and aside from the issue of copy protection none of the above needs any special communication or coordination between the software vendor and the Linux community or distributions to deal with beyond reading the relevant docs. Maybe it's that the vendors have a problem believing it can be that simple after all these years of dealing with the complexities of Windows?

Tell me about it (2, Insightful)

loomis (141922) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837751)

I am a novice linux user who is currently struggling through converting my computers completely to Ubuntu.

It has really been a challenge for me, not so much due to anything wrong with Ubuntu, but because the "aftermarket" software just doesn't exist, or is really poor.

For example, can you believe that there are no good graphical FTP clients for linux? It's true. I have been using gFTP, which most people consider to be the best one, for about a week. It crashes almost daily, isn't very good option-wise, and it is soooo slow. I want something simple, say something like WSFTP for windows, and lo and behold it just doesn't exist. Seems remarkable that a good graphical FTP client doesn't even exist.

The same can be said for a Mavis-esque typing program, and a simple photo editor like the immensely popular Irfanview.

Indeed these are the stumbling blocks for me. Not the distribution, but rather the software inavailability.

Re:Tell me about it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837800)

http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/Linux_software _equivalent_to_Windows_software [linuxquestions.org] should help nicely.

for gui ftp clients: Kasablanca, GFTP, KBear, FireFTP Konqueror

for IfranView: XnView, GQView

for a Mavis-esque typing program: KTouch and GNU Typist

In my experience (1)

Melllvar (911158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837812)

All the software you mention probably exists in Linux, it's just so insanely named that you have no idea it's what you need until you take a chance and install it.

I still love the Penguin (well, actually, I'm more of a BSD fan); but that's been my experience, software-wise.

Re:Tell me about it (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837847)

use WINE you wally... Google is your friend here... a simple search (such as keywords wsftp+linux or irfanview+linux) reveals irfanview [frankscorner.org] AND wsftp [ftpplanet.com] both work on Linux using wine... so does winrar [frankscorner.org] and several other popular little utility progs. Heck, to get flash 9 [popey.com] running on my daughter's box so she can access those videos and other annoyances on places like myspace, we use the windows version of Firefox with the windows version of flash9 installed in it...

Re:Tell me about it (5, Informative)

PeterBrett (780946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837860)

For example, can you believe that there are no good graphical FTP clients for linux? It's true. I have been using gFTP, which most people consider to be the best one, for about a week. It crashes almost daily, isn't very good option-wise, and it is soooo slow. I want something simple, say something like WSFTP for windows, and lo and behold it just doesn't exist. Seems remarkable that a good graphical FTP client doesn't even exist.

It's called Konqueror. It has these wonderful things called 'ioslaves' which can be accessed by special 'protocols'. Not only does it support browsing the local filesystem and the web, but also ftp sites (ftp://ftp.gnu.org), secure ftp (sftp://blah), info and man page viewing (info:/libc, man:/fstab), and a whole host of other resources. And it presents a unified and self-consistent interface to all of them.

There are fantastic GUI clients for FTP on Linux, and sometimes you don't realize you're already using one on a day to day basis (assuming you're a KDE user).

Re:Tell me about it (1)

1.21GW (953570) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837927)

The responses you've gotten to your post show why Linux isn't being adopted as quickly as it could. For every useful reply suggesting how to remedy your problem, you get two condescending remarks saying you somehow should just know what to do. Geez...

Linux is doing great, just needs time (2, Insightful)

coralsaw (904732) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837765)

Businesses do not really care if something is open source or closed source or whatever. This is a fallacy. Businesses care about ROI, pure and simple. And when you care about ROI you want to maximize your returns for a given size of effort. Which in our case, in a very watered down analysis, would mean:

1. Tapping into high-margin customer segments (server software, niche workstation software)
2. Tapping into the mass market (read: consumer)

In case 1. Linux is King (TM). Look at Amazon, Google, e-Bay, with more coming aboard.

In vase 2. XP is King. Which means there are more desktops to tap, and more consumers that are used to pay for software (or need the software) that run XP on their machines rather than Linux. We all know why, major reason being that traditionally Linux was not Desktop-Newbie-Consumer friendly. With the advent of DNC-friendly distros like Ubuntu, Xandros, Linspire (observe: paid or not!), the segment grows, more business plans result into positive ROI, more new software is written for Linux.

Granted, there are secondary problems in terms of supporting many distros, the fact that FOSS repositories have zillions of "new and exciting" software already for free (if only one could take the time and look at it), etc.

But the initial assertion of the article: open source viz closed source -> no new and exiciting software is a false assertion, I'm sorry to say. /coralsaw

Tipping Point (1)

kcidybom (991915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837773)

The phrase tipping point or angle of repose is a sociological term that refers to that dramatic moment when something unique becomes common. It [has also] become applied to the popular acceptance of new technologies and serves as a good explanation of the success of VHS over Betamax, for instance. Adopted from Wikipedia.

It is only a matter of time. If the open source community learns the critical lessons offered by the VHS/Betamax wars, the adoption histories of analog to digital sound and imaging, and the marketing stratagies of IBM & clones vs Apple, then the result is ordained.

If the open source community doesn't learn those lessons? Oh well....

126,119 software projects not enough for you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837782)

http://sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

rgds

Re:126,119 software projects not enough for you? (2, Informative)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837827)

Well that's what SourceForge claims as registered projects but it's not necessarily sane.

Let's break it down a bit:

  • 150832 total projects in the SourceForge Topic Map;
  • 126119 projects stated on the SourceForge Home Page;
  • 49641 projects appear to have any files to use;
  • At least 9582 projects are in Alpha or earlier stages of development;
  • 21891 projects are in Beta status;
  • 18168 projects are in Release status.

39,000 pieces of reasonably usable software (beta + release); in fact it's probably far fewer (considering many projects either duplicate or inherit functionality from other projects, or are no longer active). Hardly over 120,000 though.

call me a penguinista (0, Flamebait)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837803)

But I don't want any goddamn closed source crap on my boxen.

Yeah, they can learn... (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837806)

"I am a firm believer that both parties could learn a lot from each other; unfortunately I don't see that happening any time soon." Like, how to get your face photoshoped into a Borg and made a topic icon on /.?

Excite me! (1)

Chiwo (107188) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837813)

So the main purpose of a system is to "excite" this guy with "new" stuff? What about being useful?

Boo Hoo (0, Troll)

DeathElk (883654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837818)

Sook Sook Sook.


Cry Cry Cry.


Outlook doesn't work.


Sulk Sulk Sulk


Can't find any decent software.


Bla bla bla. Ra ra ra.


Diddums.

Proprietary software follows the money (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837824)

Which plan looks most promising to a typical entrepreneur?
  1. write up a great idea for a proprietary product, stressing that it will run on millions of Windows desktops;
  2. look for venture capital;
  3. develop and market product;
  4. profit!!!
or
  1. write up a great idea for an open source product, stressing that geeks will love it;
  2. look for venture capital;
  3. develop and market product;
  4. attract praise for its open and innovative nature!!!
There is some tremendous stuff running in the Linux/BSD world (especially server oriented tools). Much of it is desperately needed by Windows (appArmor, SELinux type functionality, for instance). However, the reason for the focus on MS Windows for consumer desktop products is no mystery.

Maybe not native Linux, but... (1)

mr1337 (799579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837832)

WINE is a good alternative if you absolutely need a Windoze program on your Linux box. And remember kids, WINE is not an emulator.

Look beyond the MS desktop - it is everywhere (3, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837839)

I think the article should be entitled "The future of MS Windows compataible closed source software and linux". There is plenty of other stuff in the feilds of geophysics, engineering, databases and system integration that is closed source but runs on a variety of platforms - including linux. A lot of it has done so for more than five years. A lot of it I wish was open source (eg. a closed source seismic data processing app has had a lot of bug fixes recently - but these won't be released to customers like my users until next year) but I just have to be happy that it exists.

There are more uses for a computer other than a glass typewriter, a ledger book or a toy.

One last comment about the example - Outlook not so good. Nearly every other email client stores data in a form that can be recovered by a even a text editor or by tools from the same vendor - not an obfiscated database that requires dodgy shareware tools to fix.

Parasites (1)

Gadzinka (256729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837843)

I feel it's time for Linux to grow up and find some kind of common ground with the closed source community.

I think it's time for closed source community to get real and stop hoping, that someone will do their work for them and they will cash out on this. Go, write software, if it's good people will buy it. It may not be. Well, tough.

Robert

Closed Source is everywhere (5, Insightful)

jeswin (981808) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837853)

Here is a point many Slashdotters are missing, when they see the word "Closed Source".

Closed source should not be defined as anything packaged in disks or as installable on the local machines. The majority of closed source is now disguised as Web Applications. When we raise arms against Microsoft, we are supportive or at best silent about the dozens of useful web applications that spring up. Google Maps, Spreadsheets, BaseCamp and the rest are as closed source as Microsoft are. And so are the algorithms that power things like search engines.

As Google and others bring newer applications on the Web, and as the desktop applications get replaced by Web Applications we will have "Closed Source 2.0".

Actually they might be worse that the current breed of closed source.
- When Web Applications shut down you have nothing!
- You dont have code to reverse engineer
- Hell, you don't even have the data with you
- You have no idea what they do with your data!
- Can we depend on their security?

 

there is a problem? (1)

Nicaboker (978150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837867)

Ok, admittedly I'm new to linux and still ask a lot of questions and spend lots of time on forums, but so far I haven't any major problems getting an e-mail client to work. I never used Outlook, never liked it, but I have used Thunderbird and haven't had any problems getting it set up and will be setting up Evolution when I get the chance to do so. Really, it just seems like this guy doesn't have the desire to actually learn something new or do something for their self. A fine example of a M$ drone?

Different computers for different jobs (2, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837874)

OK - so you have a computer network with different machines.

You want Outlook on your screen - no problem - just export it via X windows from your MS windows box to wherever you are. You mean that hasn't worked since NT 3.51? OK - it looks like you are stuck with MS windows since VNC is too much of a pain for constant use - but you can do things the other way with an X server on your windows box letting you run things remotely at full speed on other machines on the network. Exceed, cygwin and many other implementations of X Windows on MS Windows let you do this.

The single user non network aware model still exists with MS Windows - the idea of exporting an entire terminal session is still about as clunky as an IBM 3270 terminal from decades past. Thankfully it only cuts one way - almost everything else works OK with MS Windows over a network even if MS Windows works with practicly nothing else.

shit?S! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837898)

standards 5houLd [goat.cx]

LSB (1)

thegoldenear (323630) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837900)

"there does not appear to be a clear, simple to follow outline cooperative for companies to design for the open source operating system." Is this no what the Linux Standard Base (LSB) [freestandards.org] addreses?

There's two major reasons: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15837929)

There's two major reasons:

(1) Linux is a relatively small user base compared to Windows or even Mac.
(2) On the whole, most Linux users don't like paying money for software.

So Linux is a tiny, tiny market for closed source applications developers.

Taking it up a notch? (1)

Cirak (992412) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837938)

FTA
OK, so let's take it up a notch. Shockwave for Linux, iTunes for Linux, and so on.
Is this the limit of Mr. Hartley's evidence that Linux (or the open-source community) needs to interact better with the closed-source community?

Oh wait, he's not done. He seems to spend the bulk of the rest of his diatribe complaining that he can't use Outlook in "the Linux world".

Sure, Linux (and OSS in general) has a lot of obstacles to overcome before it will be widely adopted. I'm not sure that Shockwave, iTunes, and Outlook are the best examples of those obstacles.

Linux on the desktop is dead (2, Insightful)

hhinde (538730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15837945)

As a long time Gentoo user I have dealt with many problems over the years trying to use a Linux distro as a main desktop OS. And I have finally come to the conclusion that Linux on the desktop is not only dead, but never really got started.

I sit in chatrooms trying to help newbies and all I hear is "is there a Linux app that works like " And when you point them to the Linux equivalent they come back stating that the product you pointed them to is incomplete. Take Office and Openoffice.org for example. Sure Office is very bloated, but it is also the defacto standard and Openoffice has never been and probably never will be 100% compatible.

Another example is the day to day life of a web surfer, videos and flash from the web. All the interfaces available for Linux to stream video are so clunky that they are nearly unusable. And don't even get me started on Flash. It just sucks on Linux.

And then you have the poor hardware support. I have two laptops and two desktops. My two laptops are completely out of the question as most of the hardware is too new to be fully supported. Everything from native LCD resolutions to no native support for the wireless card. And on my desktops, one still runs Gentoo as a server, which Linux is ideally suited for, the other, in order to play games (which once again is pathetic on Linux) I have to run that other OS.

So to all the fanatics and fanboys, Linux will never be a force on the consumer's desktop. It's not bad on the business desktop because of its management capabilities and actually because of some of the flaws listed above (no worrying about employees watching movies or wasting time on Flash games). And in the back room Linux is the light in a once dark world with its power and plethora of server software.

Until the hardware manufacturers start writing native drivers (and aren't vilified for keeping their company secrets hidden) and until the major software manufacturers begin to believe that Linux is a viable consumer platform, Linux on the desktop is dead.

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