IMO, Linux simply cannot compete with Windows for the attention of the average home user until it offers all of the following which Windows does, and by offers, I mean "out of the box" default installation has this and not just "works for this this and this specific brands of hardware and no others".

What it is lacking is the multimedia entertainment easily found on Windows. It needs a DVD player, a CD player, a media player, easy and direct detection and install of any USB joysticks, scanners, printers, etc... Currently, what I see are yes, but if and only and with exception of...

I do realize that the whole movie industry being greedy and capping a proprietariness on their DVDs (in the form of the regional protections) is the reason for this, but since the movie industry isn't creating DVD playing software for Linux or other OSes or even offering to, that says to me monopoly all over again. Really---the ability to play DVDs is a BIG one!

Also, the cd players I have found have simply---not worked for me---at all! Funny because I can rip tracks and then listen to the ripped tracks on media players for Linux, yet not directly from the CD in the CDplayers I have found for it. That really needs to be fixed if the general public is ever going to embrace Linux.

I'm all for there being laws for open hardware standards (which would alleviate problem devices in Linux and other non-Windows x86 OSes) but until Linux becomes quite a bit more competent with the hardware, (and by that I mean 90% of any certain type of hardware works as good as it does on Windows on it) I just don't think the average home user will ever consider it.

I realize a lot of this is because of proprietary practices and major unfairness in the forms of industry secrets and monopolies and blah blah but it is just the way it is.

Also, I've tried Wine for Linux and it isn't that good. Maybe one out of 10 programs you try to run with it will work---in a really really small and bad window-----sluggishly----with bad sound-----if you're lucky! The rest will error out all over the place. For those of you who don't know, Wine is the Windows emulator for Linux. While their efforts are honorable and I like the whole idea/concept behind that (and, hey, maybe I can code programs specifically to work in Wine and then they'd also work in Windows, eh?;)), I just think they need a lot more work on it until it is production-ready. I understand not having implemented all of the (or any of the, for that matter) undocumented stuff, but there are also serious issues with much MUCH DirectX code.

What I am saying, basically, is that, at this point in time, unless you are using Linux solely for a server machine, it is not production-ready. It is not consumer ready for anyone but those of us who like to tinker (which would be most, if not all of the ones in this forum) but you have to remember that in order to do well you either need to have a lot of customers or else a very few customers who pay you a whole lot for what you do. That being said, Linux and Linux programs would do the best if they were distributed to as many people as possible but since most people are not technowizards, they don't want to have to hand-configure code in order to get it to work correctly with their system. (which is what you have to do a lot of times with Linux programs)

Eh, my discussion sort of went all over the place, but I hope it was half-coherent at least, though I'm starting to question that myself now.

If this is "The Crusades" material, feel free to move it. To tell the truth, the distinction between that area of these forums and this one is quite blurred to me so if someone would explain that, that also might be nice (though don't expect me not to still be confused---confusion is like an unwanted gift that you can't give away or get rid of sometimes)
Posted on 2004-01-08 12:14:01 by ShortCoder
They also need to work on standardization... which is probably why linux will never really take off. It's way too anarchistic, they all want to do things their own way and be oh-so-configurable... And as for portability. Most of the time, you can get code working on multiple distros without having to hand-edit anything. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you can get it running on FreeBSD. And if you're really lucky (or, in the rare case, the programmers have any worth whatsoever), you might be able to get it running on other platforms.

Linux has come a far way, but it has even further to go before it's genuinely usable for anything but servers.


laws for open hardware standards

humm... while it would be nice to have open specs for all hardware (NOT forcing all hardware to follow some standards group spec), I can understand why especially graphics card companies want to keep their specs NDA...
Posted on 2004-01-08 12:43:18 by f0dder
*nix is very userfriendly, it's just picky whom its friends are
Posted on 2004-01-08 13:32:45 by Hiroshimator

What it is lacking is the multimedia entertainment easily found on Windows. It needs a DVD player, a CD player, a media player, easy and direct detection and install of any USB joysticks, scanners, printers, etc... Currently, what I see are yes, but if and only and with exception of...

....

Also, I've tried Wine for Linux and it isn't that good. Maybe one out of 10 programs you try to run with it will work---in a really really small and bad window-----sluggishly----with bad sound-----if you're lucky! The rest will error out all over the place. For those of you who don't know, Wine is the Windows emulator for Linux. While their efforts are honorable and I like the whole idea/concept behind that (and, hey, maybe I can code programs specifically to work in Wine and then they'd also work in Windows, eh?;)), I just think they need a lot more work on it until it is production-ready. I understand not having implemented all of the (or any of the, for that matter) undocumented stuff, but there are also serious issues with much MUCH DirectX code.

...

DVD player: ogle :) works fine (for me at least). CD player, is xmms good enougth?

I've hade much less trouble with my hw in linux than in windows. (Linux correctly detects my gfx card, windows does, did, not)

Wrong! Wine is not an emulator
Wine is under development, bugs are beeing fixed (something which doesn't seem to apply to windows :/), uppgrading to the lastest makes a big difference (at least did for me).
wine works great with some native windows dlls (however getting that to work can be a bitch)
And there is WineX (wonder if there is something remotley connectable to DirectX)

I agree with hiro, userfriendly is user depenant (to me a text terminal is more userfriendly than a flasy one-click-do-it-all-(wrong)-for-me-wizzard )
Posted on 2004-01-09 19:05:06 by scientica

wine works great with some native windows dlls

What's the point then? If you have the license for native code, you might as well run it properly ;)
Posted on 2004-01-09 19:08:30 by f0dder
The thing is that not all native dlls can be used, eg. the native kernel32.dll, user32.dll simply will not work:
http://www.winehq.com/site/docs/wine-user/config-dll
Posted on 2004-01-09 19:21:38 by scientica


DVD player: ogle :) works fine (for me at least). CD player, is xmms good enougth?

I've hade much less trouble with my hw in linux than in windows. (Linux correctly detects my gfx card, windows does, did, not)

Wrong! Wine is not an emulator
Wine is under development, bugs are beeing fixed (something which doesn't seem to apply to windows :/), uppgrading to the lastest makes a big difference (at least did for me).
wine works great with some native windows dlls (however getting that to work can be a bitch)
And there is WineX (wonder if there is something remotley connectable to DirectX)

I agree with hiro, userfriendly is user depenant (to me a text terminal is more userfriendly than a flasy one-click-do-it-all-(wrong)-for-me-wizzard )


Okay, then let me ask you this. What is an emulator? By definition, an emulator would be that which emulates, correct? While Wine is NOT an x86 emulator, it IS an emulator of the Windows execution environment. It tries to run that which cannot natively run on your machine, hence emulate;)

I do have the latest version installed too. If downloaded and installed yesterday isn't the latest, I don't know what is. Haven't tried ogle,--will give it a shot. (Is that on sourceforge?)

XMMS is enough to play about anything else except CDs for me. Others have said it worked for them and someone told me about an option in XMMS for selecting Digital CD Audio extraction, but when I checked, that option wasn't there for me.

Point is, the end user shouldn't have to go about tweaking this and that in order for it to work in the first place --for standard hardware. Someone should make a distro that, by default, installs all of that stuff for the user and with good default options for most hardware;)---(would be a nice start)

Plus, I am finding difficulties in getting my joystick recognized. While I'm sure it is fixable and I'll probably figure that out later, it is things like these which make Linux unfit for the general populace at this time.

As soon as it has EASILY configurable CD-ROM support, joystick support, DVD-movie support (probably won't happen because of MPAA and CSS (not the Cascading StyleSheet kind <-- I LOATHE overloaded acronyms)), and better support for USB devices, then I think it does stand a chance against Windows. Face it---the average user won't switch to another OS unless it has superior multimedia functionality AND great games for it---many people are gamers. The games won't be a problem as that is only a matter of time, but what is a problem is the sub-par CDROM audio support and USB and joystick support. The DVD thing probably can't be solved so easily without lawyers involved and that would get messy (anyone know if the DeCSS algorithm is legal for use?--I'm thinking not) OR if MPAA authorizes some company to make a legal proprietary DVD player for Linux, that would go against the general philosophy of the system, but it would solve the DVD problem (legally) and I don't think users would mind buying one piece of software when they get the OS free anyway.
Posted on 2004-01-09 20:37:16 by ShortCoder
What has hindered the development of linux is the fact that it is open source. Most of the best programmers are going to be working on comercial products those that are working on linux are going to be doing it in there spare time. If a Developer were to take the time to make linux more user freindly what reward could they expect? yes they could sell there distro but so could anyone else so there work will gain them very little.
Companies that make money from linux like RedHat have to rely on making most of there money thru technicall suport for the reason stated above, is it in such companies best interest to make linux user freindly to the none technically minded?
Posted on 2004-01-09 21:30:52 by ENF
there are commercial programs for linux users, but the users are different from the many os-analfabets you have on windows and windows(frankly not even windows can use them, they are what makes windows suck more and more every new edition) can keep them. Not wishing to sound like an elitist bastard but the world isn't served by dumbing everything down beyond certain limits. No, you don't/shouldn't need to know how to program it, but learning its basic functions by reading the damn manual is not too big a task.

It has easily mountable media (check out automount), it has legal DVD decoding/playing support
Posted on 2004-01-10 06:05:46 by Hiroshimator
Some thoughts:

1. Define "desktop".
For some reason, people define "desktop" as Windows-like environment (with MS explorer as window manager). It makes sense when we are in Win32 ASM forum. But, even in linux orientied groups, they seem to have the same definition. Otherwise, GNOME and KDE would not look like as they are now. (Let's not forget Explorer-like window managers like ICEWm, Blackbox family, and FVWM win95 look-and-feel variants.)

If you ask me, the desktop should look something like CDE. (I remember when KDE imitated CDE look-and-feel. Since then, KDE became more like Explorer.) And some other people will claim that the desktop is a MacOS-like environment.

And, to me, a desktop should provide me an easy access to all the system power either through command terminal or point-and-click. Nothing other than CDE does that for me. Now, at this point, you probably scream that it is because I know CDE better than other desktop environment, while you are not or you even never heard of CDE at all. This leads to the next point...

2. Often, familiarity is misunderstood as "usability".
To me, Windows Explorer is the least usable interface. Most of you will object. As for another example, I always find that default editor key bindings of most win32 editors are lame and unusable. Most of you will find vi and/or emacs utterly stupid (just like I did 14 years ago). What would make such difference in opinion? That's right. Familiarity. It has nothing to do with real usablity.

Unfortunately, when one defines desktop, familiarity is always the main factor. Not all people share the same experience. That is why discussion like this goes either to how to emulate windows (among those who are familiar with windows) or to why my is better and blah (when hopeless newbies are involved).

3. "Under development" is not an excuse for crappyware.
Let me begin with my experience. I remember how GNOME code looked in 0.x (around 1998). Since then, I have never considered GNOME as a serious project. Now, many people use GNOME everyday. This suggests that GNOME became more or less working piece of software. Yet, the negative feeling does not go away. Why? Because I remember the crappyware stage of GNOME, which could not run smoothly on its own development environment, linux. (My opinion on GNOME changed a little bit over the time due to Sun's involvement, though.)

Anyone who has similar experience with any other software might maintain a similar position for a long time. For example, we had a thread about winamp, which sidetracked a little bit about how winamp 3 sucked. Who are getting hurt by releasing "under development" software, then?

If "under developement" provides a valid excuse, any software which is a little bit better than homework can claim " project" and begin distributing whatever output it comes up with. In a sense, this is what ESR's model is about. And, I strongly disagree. In fact, I believe that ESR's model ruined the general level of software quality in linux world by creating numerous crappyware.

Aside, I installed anything tagged 'GNU' about 15 years ago. That will show how I was confident about the quality. By today's standard, those are of substandard quality, but, they were better than others at that time. In constrast, for the last 5 or so years, I generally avoided anything beginning with 'g' except those I know for a long time (like emacs). You get the idea of my assessment of general quality of 'g' software nowadays. How did it happen? Because there are too many crappyware disguised as "under development software". I would like to say to those coders: If it is under development, develop it now instead of releasing it. Release it before it is mature only when you want somebody to take it over.
Posted on 2004-01-10 06:26:56 by Starless
vi(m) AND emacs sucks :grin:

especially emacs on AZERTY



nano rules :P


;)
Posted on 2004-01-10 08:36:56 by Hiroshimator
nano is an okay text editor for *u*x, but would I let it replace editplus/ultraedit on win32? Or, even worse, replace visual studio? :rolleyes:
Posted on 2004-01-10 10:23:07 by f0dder
no but it beats the hell out of edit :p


cli vs cli
Posted on 2004-01-10 10:46:28 by Hiroshimator
Starless, fully agree !!!
The idea of beating it out MS using the same strategy/mentality is a looser one.
Fortunately there are well conceived products that are coming out with quality.
Posted on 2004-01-10 13:40:36 by pelaillo

vi(m) AND emacs sucks :grin:

especially emacs on AZERTY



nano rules :P


;)

both emacs and (g)vi(m) simply is best :)
nano, duh, wuzz software....





:)
btw what's AZERTY, is it like qwert but not?
Posted on 2004-01-11 06:17:16 by scientica
it's a keyboard layout lots of other people use :P ( and don't get me started on US software and keyboard-centricity)

I think nano is best for editing stupid config files though

anything else you got a plethora of X textfile handlers for.
Posted on 2004-01-11 06:43:48 by Hiroshimator

both emacs and (g)vi(m) simply is best :)
nano, duh, wuzz software....


That attitude is another reason *u*x won't really take off for the average user... people just don't want to learn and memorize a load of cryptic keystrokes just to do simple file editing.
Posted on 2004-01-11 07:45:56 by f0dder
a friend of mine installed linux on my peecee in ... when was it again... 1999?

and i had heard of it since even before but didnt give it a try and i already knew i was wrong, cause good or bad, you miss something if you dont try new things...

and EVEN THEN, ppl said ow wait , watch! this system is not the old system of the 70s anymore! THIS TIME it will REALLY take off! it DOES have SEVERAL GUIs! THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFUL! its FULLY MULTIMEDIA(c)etc etc...
AND its more powerful than windows!(more powerful... whats "power?"). microsoft should be frightened as hell cause soon they re DEAD!

but i was lazy. i knew i was missing something by not learning this system, but i rather spend the little time my studies left me for learning things like general programming, assembly language, processor and pc internal, graphics, etc. All this kept me away from linux fanatism, cause when you like to program as close as possible to the hardware (be that a good or bad idea), you are not impressed at all by a guy that tells you "omg linux is so much more better mulitasking and multiuser-ing and multi-secure etc" when he doesnt even knows how multitasking is handled, and even if he knew, what could he say about how it differs from windows?

somehow i didnt really like its interface too, but it was because i didnt know it.
one day i formatted the drive and so it died.I dont think it booted more than a dozen times.

here we are, five years later.(heck!FIVE years! where have my sweet eighteen gone?)
i m afraid its about the same situation. ppl still say its so much better than a few years ago, that it detects everything, that its multimedia and beautiful, and that wait!!!!!in a second it will take off and microsoft is scared to death and etc etc.

now that i have a bit more knowledge i can see many of the things ppl said against how win was crap and bad programming and linux was good is just plain lies.
of course it could have been the opposite, since at that time i didnt know.
but its not.

i installed a ulra recent linux a few weeks ago and the sound didnt work.
i m not putting the blame on the programmers at all cause it must be hard to get everyting working when the hardware vendors dont help you, when you ve got to do everything yourself, etc. but these are the rules of the game. when you buy a printer, a webcam or a motherboard, i m sorry but you just cant whine if it doesnt work with linux , when its not mentioned on the box. hardware making is not just a silly joke, its an industry.

maybe its nobodys fault if my mandrake doesnt make any sound, but still, it doesnt make any sound and i dont wanna spend the next month fixing it.
i dont like a system that gives endless lines of init msgs when it boots, and when you press a key, you see the control characters of your keys in the middle of the init messages.
excuse me, it has no importance, but it sux! it sux! it sux! it sux!

THATS linux, all the crappy root directory(ies) dedicated to the system (even if i m the only f_ckin one thinkin that), and the crappy hundreds of thousands of config files and the gui on top of that.

I must admit one other reason why i didnt switch to it is the amount of hate against microsoft that comes shipped with it. you feel like you are called an idiot if you use windows, and i use windows.
plus the anti-ms attitude is often linked with anti-globalization and even anti-americanism here in europe.
leet-wannabees like leet systems. ppl that are okay with themselves dont feel the need to be different by hating something powerful.

so...
i decided i could live without it.

all this to say a reason why linux might not be ready is that, in fact, its not evolving as fast and as unified as some ppl say.

having a monopoly has several advantages.

dont blame me please, thats just my personal linux/win-XPerience :)
Posted on 2004-01-12 16:01:57 by HeLLoWorld
Heh, that's pretty well put :)
Posted on 2004-01-12 16:08:14 by f0dder


here we are, five years later.(heck!FIVE years! where have my sweet eighteen gone?)
i m afraid its about the same situation. ppl still say its so much better than a few years ago, that it detects everything, that its multimedia and beautiful, and that wait!!!!!in a second it will take off and microsoft is scared to death and etc etc.


I don't know about the MS overtaking. It certainly is not the goal of the linux kernel or the BSD projects AFAIK :)


now that i have a bit more knowledge i can see many of the things ppl said against how win was crap and bad programming and linux was good is just plain lies.
of course it could have been the opposite, since at that time i didnt know.
but its not.

They all have their points of suckage. :)


i installed a ulra recent linux a few weeks ago and the sound didnt work.
i m not putting the blame on the programmers at all cause it must be hard to get everyting working when the hardware vendors dont help you, when you ve got to do everything yourself, etc. but these are the rules of the game. when you buy a printer, a webcam or a motherboard, i m sorry but you just cant whine if it doesnt work with linux , when its not mentioned on the box. hardware making is not just a silly joke, its an industry.

maybe its nobodys fault if my mandrake doesnt make any sound, but still, it doesnt make any sound and i dont wanna spend the next month fixing it.
i dont like a system that gives endless lines of init msgs when it boots, and when you press a key, you see the control characters of your keys in the middle of the init messages.
excuse me, it has no importance, but it sux! it sux! it sux! it sux!

either fix it or don't whine. I do like a system that tells me stuff when booting since I like to know what is starting, wether it has problems etc...
The major difference as I see it that with windows I got a supposedly well supported system that still blue-screens on certain (expensive) hardware I have with as major difference that it costs a lot more money to 'enjoy' this experience.

Nothing is perfect.


THATS linux, all the crappy root directory(ies) dedicated to the system (even if i m the only f_ckin one thinkin that), and the crappy hundreds of thousands of config files and the gui on top of that.

That differs from windows how? (filesystem with GUI right?)

There is only 1 root directory BTW, DOS/Windows has many, the unix way has 1.


I must admit one other reason why i didnt switch to it is the amount of hate against microsoft that comes shipped with it. you feel like you are called an idiot if you use windows, and i use windows.
plus the anti-ms attitude is often linked with anti-globalization and even anti-americanism here in europe.
leet-wannabees like leet systems. ppl that are okay with themselves dont feel the need to be different by hating something powerful.

intelligent people chose after deliberation for a system that works the way they want it. It may be windows, linux, BSD, MAC OS,.... If your choice depends singularly on the voice of others then it carries only as much weight.


so...
i decided i could live without it.

all this to say a reason why linux might not be ready is that, in fact, its not evolving as fast and as unified as some ppl say.

many things are ready, many things are not. Maybe not ready for you, but there are many realities and many types of ready. Realistically, "ready" will never be attained by any system.


having a monopoly has several advantages.

only for them (MS Corporation), not for the user.

But to each his/her own of course :alright:
Posted on 2004-01-12 16:27:39 by Hiroshimator