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#101 2012-05-07 20:59:10

adamrehard
Member
From: NY, USA
Registered: 2011-11-03
Posts: 154

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

I made a change to my post, because I didn't like the way that came off.  Whether or not Linux is a success depends on what its goals are.  But there's really no such thing as 'Linux'.  We all project our goals and desires onto it.  One of my desires is an OS that gives me full access to my hardware.  I don't see Linux ever being that.  Not because people don't want it or aren't working toward it, but because its very nature precludes it.

Personally, I love Linux's hardware support. Win* doesn't let me use the (very) old bits of hardware I have laying around. Linux does. That's just my spin on the issue.


"The box said requires Vista or better, so I installed Arch"
Windows != Linux

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#102 2012-05-07 22:32:04

Yurlungur
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2012-01-06
Posts: 116

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

Access to the full capability of video cards.  Access to all the power saving features of modern hardware... decent USB write speeds for Pete's sake.  Yes, the latter is a bit tongue in cheek, but the fact that I can even say it should be evidence of something wrong.

I'm just going to have to take your word for it... I've noticed zero difference between the hardware performance for windows 7 and Arch on my dual-boot setup. Battery life is approximatley the same, USB write speed is the same... everything.

That said, anecdotal evidence from someone who knows nothing about hardware isn't really evidence at all. Also, other factors muddy the water, like Win7 is ridiculously bloated.


Lenovo Thinkpad T420; Intel sandy bridge i7 2.7GHz; integrated graphics card; 4GB RAM; wifi; Arch; Xmonad WM

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#103 2012-05-08 00:54:45

Gullible Jones
Member
Registered: 2004-12-29
Posts: 4,863

Re: Here, have a GUI

Linux hardware support is IMO one of the kernel's strongest points. You install it, it just works. Worst case scenario, you may have to disable APIC or dynamic ticks. I have installed Linux on many, many different computers, and on almost all the modern ones it basically works OotB. It's quite amazing really.

As for Haiku, I like it a lot, but unfortunately it really puts the "personal" in "personal computing" - it's purely single-user, so no good for a family machine or anything where you might want unprivileged accounts. Even if the developers can come up with a working security model, I think Haiku's pure single-user nature may hurt its adoption.

(Then again, Maemo ran as root, and I believe most other smart phone OSes are also effectively single-user. Who knows, maybe it's not as big a disadvantage as I would think.)

Last edited by Gullible Jones (2012-05-08 00:56:14)

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#104 2012-05-08 01:31:33

Grinch
Member
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 265

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

One of my desires is an OS that gives me full access to my hardware.  I don't see Linux ever being that.  Not because people don't want it or aren't working toward it, but because its very nature precludes it.

How does 'it's very nature preclude that'? I can only assume you are talking about certain features only available in proprietary drivers like NVidia's, but Linux HAS those proprietary drivers. If not again, please be concrete.

Of course if you are citing full hardware hardware support as a desire it comes across as quite strange to be proposing a shift towards Haiku and BSD's which has less hardware support (insanely much less in Haiku's case). I'm sorry but your posts in this thread seems to me like a song and dance number in order to disguise an agenda of wanting people to move towards Haiku and/or BSD's. To some extent I can buy the logic of the Haiku argument, it is after all totally focused at being a desktop operating system and thus comes with a full desktop stack (gui, video, audio) from the get go, but the BSD's????

As for wanting a 'viable alternative to Win/Mac', is that really what people here want? (assuming 'viable' means something 'very similar' in this context) I've personally outgrown the one-size-fits-all concept long time ago, there's really nothing from the Win/Mac OS'es that I want, all my hardware runs fine under Linux.

The flexibility that comes by Linux only being a kernel and thus leaving it up to the users to fill in the rest of the system as per their preference obviously isn't for everyone. Some people want something which just works with minimal effort on their side, other people want to tailor the system so it works just like they want it to.

Linux caters for both these types of users with distributions, from an end user standpoint what difference will he/she notice when running say Ubuntu versus Haiku? They will notice that Haiku has far less hardware support and has infinately less software available for it. This is Haiku's primary problem (and yes I like the system as an old Beos fan and has followed it's development for many years), it really doesn't offer any advantages for the end user compared to any of the myriad of desktop environment oriented Linux distributions out there, and it has tons of disadvantages compared to them.

I'm just trying to understand your 'logic' here when you say we should shift our focus towards Haiku and the BSD's, based upon what?

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#105 2012-05-08 03:50:39

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,754

Re: Here, have a GUI

Grinch wrote:

How does 'it's very nature preclude that'? I can only assume you are talking about certain features only available in proprietary drivers like NVidia's, but Linux HAS those proprietary drivers. If not again, please be concrete.

1) The driving force behind Linux (such as it is) does not have desktop support as its primary focus.
1.5) Even though there's something of a driving force behind the kernel, the kernel isn't the only consideration for proprietary drivers such as those for video cards.  This lack of a central authority for all the pieces necessary for support is a hindrance.
2) The development/release model of the kernel is not compatible with the dev/rel model of binary drivers.  Let me put that another way because I'm having trouble distilling it.  In Windows, I can install a driver package for my video card that's months or years old, because the kernel and the API are stable enough to allow it.  In Linux, driver functionality fluctuates from month to month.  It's not just the kernel, there are also compatibility issues between X versions and certain proprietary drivers.  This is a considerable barrier to getting solid, stable proprietary drivers.
2b) This bit I'm less clear on, but it seems the fact that with kernel release results in hundreds of customized versions of the kernel can't be beneficial to garnering proprietary support.
3) The attitude at large in the Linux community towards proprietary drivers, and what this means for the likelihood of making the efforts necessary to improve support.

So ultimately, yes, this is largely about proprietary drivers, but I think more than just graphics card support would benefit.  And yes, Linux has proprietary drivers for nVidia, but let's be perfectly honest here, they're not on par with those for Windows.

Of course if you are citing full hardware hardware support as a desire it comes across as quite strange to be proposing a shift towards Haiku and BSD's which has less hardware support (insanely much less in Haiku's case). I'm sorry but your posts in this thread seems to me like a song and dance number in order to disguise an agenda of wanting people to move towards Haiku and/or BSD's.

As for wanting a 'viable alternative to Win/Mac', is that really what people here want? (assuming 'viable' means something 'very similar' in this context)

I never meant to disguise anything.  I've been thinking a lot on this issue since I read the OP, and my thoughts on the subject gradually came to a head.  So I can see why you might question my motives.  As far as wanting people to move to Haiku or BSD, that's a more accurate accusation.  I do want a 'viable alternative to Win/Mac' (Windows, really, I don't care much for Mac).  Is that 'really what people here want?'  I don't presume to speak for everyone, or assume we all share the same desires.  But I get the impression that some others here do.  And as I laid out in the first paragraph, I don't think Linux will ever be what I want.  Assuming I'm right, it's only natural for me to want like-minded folks to come around to my point of view.  Not only for my own benefit, but also because - again, if I'm right - their efforts toward making Linux into what 'we' want would be in vain.  In the end though, I'm not out to convert, just converse.

To some extent I can buy the logic of the Haiku argument, ... but the BSD's????

I suggest the BSDs only because I think they suffer from fewer of the 'flaws' that I mentioned in the first paragraph.  I admitted that "the BSDs are even less desktop-focused than Linux."  As for the disparity of existing hardware support vis-a-vis Linux... bluntly, if BSD had had the support and resources behind it that Linux has had, I think it would be a better OS than Linux is.

what difference will he/she notice when running say Ubuntu versus Haiku? They will notice that Haiku has far less hardware support and has infinitely less software available for it. This is Haiku's primary problem ... it really doesn't offer any advantages for the end user compared to any of the myriad of desktop environment oriented Linux distributions out there, and it has tons of disadvantages compared to them.

I didn't mean to suggest people jump ship to Haiku.  I said 'throw their support behind', and as adamrehard surmised, I was talking mostly about contribution (money, code, etc), but also enthusiasm, for lack of a better term.  I also said it's the long-shot (I meant to say long bet, though it's hardly a safe bet either).

I'm an all or nothing guy.  I'd rather put effort toward something distant that is fundamentally committed to what I want than toward something that - as far as I can tell - is not.

your 'logic'
I've personally outgrown

So, I'm a child with questionable logic.  Or did you intend to make another point with those phrases? tongue

Last edited by alphaniner (2012-05-08 03:52:03)


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#106 2012-05-08 04:23:41

Bellum
Member
Registered: 2011-08-24
Posts: 230

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

I never meant to disguise anything.  I've been thinking a lot on this issue since I read the OP, and my thoughts on the subject gradually came to a head.  So I can see why you might question my motives.  As far as wanting people to move to Haiku or BSD, that's a more accurate accusation.  I do want a 'viable alternative to Win/Mac' (Windows, really, I don't care much for Mac).  Is that 'really what people here want?'  I don't presume to speak for everyone, or assume we all share the same desires.  But I get the impression that some others here do.  And as I laid out in the first paragraph, I don't think Linux will ever be what I want.  Assuming I'm right, it's only natural for me to want like-minded folks to come around to my point of view.  Not only for my own benefit, but also because - again, if I'm right - their efforts toward making Linux into what 'we' want would be in vain.  In the end though, I'm not out to convert, just converse.

Linux is a much more viable desktop OS for me than Windows, Mac OS X, BSD, or Haiku. If it wasn't, I'd be using something else; I'm not the religious type. I actually prefer BSD in pretty much every way, but it just isn't feasible to use it for my purposes right now. So I don't.

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#107 2012-05-08 05:26:50

Grinch
Member
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 265

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

1) The driving force behind Linux (such as it is) does not have desktop support as its primary focus.

The 'driving force' of Linux consists of MANY interests, however the Linux kernel is simply a kernel, it's not a desktop or a whole system. You can pick and choose components outside of the kernel to create a system with a primary focus on the desktop, you can also tune the kernel to operate better for desktop loads.

alphaniner wrote:

2) The development/release model of the kernel is not compatible with the dev/rel model of binary drivers.  Let me put that another way because I'm having trouble distilling it.  In Windows, I can install a driver package for my video card that's months or years old, because the kernel and the API are stable enough to allow it.  In Linux, driver functionality fluctuates from month to month.  It's not just the kernel, there are also compatibility issues between X versions and certain proprietary drivers.  This is a considerable barrier to getting solid, stable proprietary drivers.

This has been discussed at length over and over again, the kernel devs do not want to make it easy for proprietary drivers because they find proprietary drivers to be problematic to work with. This has worked out great as we now have great open source drivers for just about all hardware Linux supports, in fact NVidia is probably the only big holdout I can think of and thanks to the hard work of the Nouveau devs it's becoming less of a problem with each release. Proprietary drivers is a nuisance, and thanks to the kernel devs making it difficult to keep an out-of-tree proprietary driver it's become the norm for hardware companies to either provide open source drivers for inclusion into the kernel or to provide the necessary information needed to make them.

This is also great for other operating systems in need of these drivers as they are often dual-licenced and in case they are not it is ALOT easier to do clean-room reverse engineering from source code than from a proprietary driver.

As for your examples of Windows, why would you want to install a driver which is months or years old on Linux? This is a Windows problem caused by proprietary drivers of hardware which the companies abandon and won't update drivers for. If anything this REALLY makes a case against proprietary drivers.

Also for the record as someone who used Windows for many years prior to switching to Linux, I've encountered problems with old proprietary drivers for no-longer supported hardware on Windows and even had a service pack update make my old Wacom board useless back then because the driver relied on something which changed with that SP and since the driver was closed source and no longer updated it was impossible to make it work again.

alphaniner wrote:

So ultimately, yes, this is largely about proprietary drivers, but I think more than just graphics card support would benefit.  And yes, Linux has proprietary drivers for nVidia, but let's be perfectly honest here, they're not on par with those for Windows.

Finally no more 'song-and-dance'. In what way are the proprietary NVidia drivers inferior to those on Windows? The reason NVidia even provide drivers for Linux at all is because Linux is big in SFX (3d, visual effects) and it is for these corporate customers that NVidia makes sure to provide a great Linux driver. It is also the reason that despite it's small marketshare, Linux has native versions of top-of-the-line 3d packages like Maya etc.

alphaniner wrote:

As far as wanting people to move to Haiku or BSD, that's a more accurate accusation.

From the whole 'pure desktop-os' perspective I can see why you'd might want to push for Haiku, but again BSD?

alphaniner wrote:

bluntly, if BSD had had the support and resources behind it that Linux has had, I think it would be a better OS than Linux is.

Uhh... I don't think I'm going to open that can of worms... let's just say we disagree.

alphaniner wrote:

I didn't mean to suggest people jump ship to Haiku.  I said 'throw their support behind', and as adamrehard surmised, I was talking mostly about contribution (money, code, etc), but also enthusiasm, for lack of a better term.  I also said it's the long-shot (I meant to say long bet, though it's hardly a safe bet either).

Like I said, I like Haiku and Beos before it and I think as a pure desktop solution it does a great job even though I personally prefer the flexibility I get from picking and choosing components perfectly tailored to my needs/workflow as I do on Linux. Haiku could certainly be a viable alternative to distros like Ubuntu/Mint etc etc which offer full desktop environments where just about all tasks can be gui controlled.

I also don't see anything wrong with you wanting to promote Haiku as a viable alternative to Linux on the desktop but I do find your main argument of making it easier for proprietary drivers being particularly poor (Haiku wouldn't be useable at all today if it weren't for existing open source drivers). Also if you want to sell people on Haiku, why not focus on highlighting what you think is so great about it (I really hope it's not just about making it easy for proprietary drivers) instead of focusing your comments on Linux.

alphaniner wrote:

So, I'm a child with questionable logic.  Or did you intend to make another point with those phrases? tongue

Granted, that came out wrong, while I might personally feel like I've 'outgrown' something the reality is simply that _my_ preferences/demands have changed.

edit: spelling/formatting

Last edited by Grinch (2012-05-08 07:45:20)

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#108 2012-05-08 16:41:29

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,754

Re: Here, have a GUI

Grinch wrote:

thanks to the kernel devs making it difficult to keep an out-of-tree proprietary driver

I just don't think this is a good strategy if you ever want to get the full capability of all your hardware.

Don't misunderstand, I don't like needing to rely on proprietary drivers.  I just think it's a reality not likely to change anytime soon.  If I came into a few billion dollars I'd buy nVidia and all the IP it employs and open it all up.  But that's not going to happen.

why would you want to install a driver which is months or years old on Linux?

I wouldn't want to do that on Linux or Windows.  My point was, it's an example of the relative difficulty of producing proprietary drivers for Linux.  Or at least it seems so to me.

---

I don't begrudge you, Bellum, the kernel devs, the Linux Foundation, or anyone else who is happy with Linux and where it's going.  And I didn't set out to win hearts and minds for Haiku/BSD (as you correctly pointed out, I was doing a bad job if I had been trying).  In the end, it comes down to this.  There is presently no single OS that I find suitable; I have to alternate between Linux and Windows.  I'd like to see that change, and I'd like to be an active participant in that change.  Naturally, I want to throw my support behind the option that seems to be most likely to converge on my ideal.  I don't think Linux fits the bill, for the reasons I outlined in my last post.  I'm not entirely convinced Haiku or BSD do either, but I think they lack at least some of the fundamental characteristics that hamper Linux from becoming what I want.

Oh, and they're the only other options. wink

Last edited by alphaniner (2012-05-08 16:56:56)


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#109 2012-05-08 17:54:34

adamrehard
Member
From: NY, USA
Registered: 2011-11-03
Posts: 154

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

Oh, and they're the only other options. wink

Not so fast. There is another option. Write your own alternative to <insert software name here>. Linus did, and look what he got. smile


"The box said requires Vista or better, so I installed Arch"
Windows != Linux

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#110 2012-05-09 06:03:41

Grinch
Member
Registered: 2010-11-07
Posts: 265

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

I just don't think this is a good strategy if you ever want to get the full capability of all your hardware.

Well like I said the only hardware I personally know of which requires proprietary drivers to unlock it's 'full potential' is NVidia's, the rest of my hardware works perfectly with the open source drivers, from my printer, my widescreens, my wacom bamboo, etc. And for the record proprietary drivers (NVidia amongst others) have been found to artificially cripple their hardware in order be able to push the market towards cards they'd rather sell so the 'full potential' part is sketchy even here.

alphaniner wrote:

If I came into a few billion dollars I'd buy nVidia and all the IP it employs and open it all up.  But that's not going to happen.

Now you're just being negative wink

alphaniner wrote:

but I think they lack at least some of the fundamental characteristics that hamper Linux from becoming what I want.

Well you are the best judge of what you want.

alphaniner wrote:

Oh, and they're the only other options. wink

Well looking at what you describe wanting, which is Windows rather than OSX and great support for proprietary drivers then it sounds like you are perhaps barking up the wrong tree with Haiku, wouldn't ReactOS be more your thing? It's an open source  reimplementation of Windows and afaik aims to be fully compatible with proprietary drivers? I'm not well versed in ReactOS but with your prerequisites being primarily proprietary driver support then it sounds like you best bet.

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#111 2012-05-09 13:22:48

Odaer
Member
Registered: 2010-08-14
Posts: 87

Re: Here, have a GUI

Use Windows. Great proprietary drivers  from nvidia and a GUI centric design.

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#112 2012-05-09 14:32:19

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,754

Re: Here, have a GUI

Grinch wrote:

the rest of my hardware works perfectly

You've mentioned this several times now, as though it really means something.  To you, sure, and rightly so.  But I think there's a high degree of willful ignorance involved in this attitude, and the commonality of it is another reason I lack faith in Linux.  If hardware support is really so stellar, why is there a need for a "Laptops which run Arch" thread?  Moreover, I very often read stuff like, "my <device> works, except for <function of device> [but I don't really need that anyway]."  Don't get me wrong, I think the prioritizing force of life's challenges is a good thing.  It's just not a feature I look for in an OS.

proprietary drivers (NVidia amongst others) have been found to artificially cripple their hardware

It wouldn't surprise me, but I'd need to see primary sources (in the literary sense) before I'd give any credence to this claim.

Now you're just being negative :wink:

A positive attitude is one thing.  Supporting Haiku at this point borders on hopeless idealism, really.  But it's something I can actively support, whereas a revolution in the hardware market is something I could only hope for.

ReactOS

I hadn't thought of ReactOS.  But frankly I don't think it warrants consideration.  As I understand it, ReactOS aims for binary compatibility with XP/2003.  The project's goal is a clone, full stop.  Yes, Haiku is working towards binary compatibility with BeOS; at first I wasn't too excited by that.  But then I realized that it's a solid, unambiguous goal, which I believe is absolutely essential for a project of that scope.*  Furthermore, that's just the goal for R1.  There's already talk of moving beyond that (breaking binary compatibility) on the dev lists.  It's just talk of course, but if it wasn't on the table I wouldn't be interested in the project.

*And it's one of those things that Linux - "by it's very nature" - will never have.


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#113 2012-05-09 16:47:42

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,522
Website

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

You've mentioned this several times now, as though it really means something.  To you, sure, and rightly so.  But I think there's a high degree of willful ignorance involved in this attitude, and the commonality of it is another reason I lack faith in Linux.  If hardware support is really so stellar, why is there a need for a "Laptops which run Arch" thread?  Moreover, I very often read stuff like, "my <device> works, except for <function of device> [but I don't really need that anyway]."  Don't get me wrong, I think the prioritizing force of life's challenges is a good thing.  It's just not a feature I look for in an OS.

It does mean something. It means that there's hardware that is very well supported by Linux. If a person buys a piece of hardware that is not well supported by Linux and then wants to use it in Linux, they have no right to complain about Linux. The fact that there are so many developers that try so hard to support so many features of so much hardware is just a nicety. Hardware supported by Linux exists. Buy it if you want to use Linux. (Hence the purpose of the "Laptops which run Arch" thread)

Supporting Haiku at this point borders on hopeless idealism, really.

I support Haiku in their goal to make an easy to use FOSS desktop oriented operating system. To that end, I don't think supporting Haiku is hopeless at all. To a large extent, I think it's already there. I have Haiku installed and use it in the evening to browse the Internet (Arch Linux forums, Reddit, Slashdot), check my email, chat with friends, and many other things. That's all I need at the time.

When I built my computer, I specifically chose hardware that supports my needs and is friendly to FOSS software. It has paid off very well, in that I can easily install any Linux distribution or Haiku on it. I plan on upgrading my video card soon, and I've already picked one out that has good support in Haiku.

...I hope my opinion doesn't come accross as too agressive. I especially don't want to offend a fellow Haiku supporter. smile

Last edited by drcouzelis (2012-05-09 16:47:53)

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#114 2012-05-09 17:59:58

anonymous_user
Member
Registered: 2009-08-28
Posts: 3,058

Re: Here, have a GUI

drcouzelis wrote:

It does mean something. It means that there's hardware that is very well supported by Linux. If a person buys a piece of hardware that is not well supported by Linux and then wants to use it in Linux, they have no right to complain about Linux. The fact that there are so many developers that try so hard to support so many features of so much hardware is just a nicety. Hardware supported by Linux exists. Buy it if you want to use Linux. (Hence the purpose of the "Laptops which run Arch" thread)

Of course there is hardware that works on Linux; however, finding compatible hardware is generally a non-issue for Windows users. Windows users can buy any new hardware and either it will work out of the box or there will be CD with the necessary drivers. Linux users don't quite have that luxury.

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#115 2012-05-09 18:46:42

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,754

Re: Here, have a GUI

drcozelis wrote:

The fact that there are so many developers that try so hard to support so many features of so much hardware is just a nicety.

I don't disagree, and I don't mean to denigrate their efforts.  I just think it's not a good model.

...I hope my opinion doesn't come accross as too agressive. I especially don't want to offend a fellow Haiku supporter. smile

No worries.  I decided long ago that anything important enough to take seriously is too important to take personally.  I really hope nobody is taking this stuff personally.  What one wants in an OS is not a matter of character, or right and wrong.

anonymous_user wrote:

Windows users can buy any new hardware and either it will work out of the box or there will be CD with the necessary drivers.

And it's not ultimately about wanting everything to be as convenient as it [ideally] is under Windows.  The "Windows model" of offloading the responsibility of device functionality to device manufacturers just makes more sense to me.  Manufacturers [hopefully] have a better understanding of their devices than anyone outside will.  They may have their own "IP"* and/or NDAs regarding licensed "IP" which make them reluctant or legally unable to expose their sources.  And there's the efficency benefits that result from the division of labor (which I believe are significant enough to stand on their own, but I don't want to make this about economics).  Giving manufacturers the means and motivation to play this role (and not making it any harder than it has to be) is the only model I think can result in full and timely support.

*I have deep ideological problems with "IP" (I think even the term itself is misleading), but it's a reality that I don't expect to change anytime soon.

Last edited by alphaniner (2012-05-09 20:03:37)


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#116 2012-05-09 22:12:51

Iranon
Member
Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 146

Re: Here, have a GUI

This may be pedantic, but I'd like to point out that Windows' advantage in hardware support is more that it's well known what works (without excessive pain), not that it support everything. For example, it runs on a very limited range of processor architectures... but its ubiquity means that the general public won't consider anything as potential desktop hardware if it's not supported on Windows.

Technical merits matter only so much in a field with significant network effects. Many products could become great almost instantly if they somehow got sufficient interest, and great products have failed because a competitor snatched initial market share based on a quality that's no real merit in the long term and inertia is hard to fight against.
I'm still using a crappy keyboard layout designed not for ergonomics, but to keep mechanical typewriters from getting stuck and to have "typewriter" in a single line.

Last edited by Iranon (2012-05-09 22:13:19)

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#117 2012-05-10 00:16:53

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,754

Re: Here, have a GUI

I don't think it's pedantic, but I think CPUs are a very different matter than other components.  While the importance of the CPU can't be overstated, it's also one of the most 'transparent' components from the user perspective, so I don't think it's surprising or even unfortunate that the general public is ignorant of it.  Also, as I understand it, ARM is a different sort of beast than the x86 family.  Some (many? most?) things don't 'run on ARM', they run on certain families or subsets of ARM processors.  That said, Win CE supports [some processors in] the x86, ARM, MIPS, and SuperH architectures, so it stands to reason that MS would port other versions if the demand was there.  You bring up a valid point I haven't considered though.  I don't know if you were suggesting as much, but I do believe MS did some shady things on its way to market dominance.   In fairness, I hardly think they're alone in that distinction, in the field of computing or otherwise.  So one has to consider what it's going to take to have similar success without the shade.

On the subject of crappy keyboard layouts, yes, the continued ubiquity of the anachronistic qwerty is unfortunate.  But who is really responsible for that?  In the long run, a shift to a more efficient layout would probably be beneficial to all parties.  But it's a heck of a risk for any business or individual to undertake.  I have the luxury of rarely needing to use any machines other than my own, so switching was a no brainer for me.  Deciding what to switch to... that was another story.


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#118 2012-05-10 08:10:05

Iranon
Member
Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 146

Re: Here, have a GUI

CPUs were just an example. The point I was trying to make: If hardware not supported by the market leader is dismissed out of hand, the market leader has perfect hardware support by definition. Regardless of how it measures up objectively.

"Shady" is hard to define, and I don't think that belongs here. Something that I believe is relevant:
If competitors are measured in how well they can interact with or replace the market leader, the market leader has incentives to lock down or obfuscate its technology and to work against easy portability.
Open-ended projects can provide a clear alternative especially when they're a viable platform for multiple independent backers... but projects focusing on tight integration and immediate usability have a long way to go, uphill.

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#119 2012-05-10 10:27:56

t1nk3r3r
Member
From: The Pacific Northwest
Registered: 2011-03-22
Posts: 79

Re: Here, have a GUI

The Linux community is a great ecosytem of ideas.  Look at all the desktop environments, window managers, code libraries, programming languages, etc.  Granted, it could be more cohesive.  But then you'd lose some of that freedom.  Open means anything and everything, pick something you like.

I'm a Windows convert.  And I'm glad that there was a *general* investment into Windows-like GUIs and LiveCDs.  It helped me make the switch.  I was enamored with tweaking my desktop in ways KDE3 allowed.  And I was still afraid of the command-line, "don't run as root!"  I approached an in-law about switching (a veteran Linux user and Unix programmer), but they kept beating around the bush around it.  So I read forum threads, and discovered man pages.  Each day booting up in a comfortable GUI, and being able to play in the console a little more.  Eventually I became more familiar with bash than I ever was in MS-DOS6!
Before Linux, I used Mac OS 9 in school.  And I bought an iBook with Mac OS X for my spouse.  It does make sense that it "just works" when a company dictates the hardware that the software will be built on.  Many people are happy with that.  And there is great customer support.  But the fact that you get the choice of *one* theme kept nagging at me.

As far as market share is concerned, I think Android is a foot in the door.  I'm sure many will take issue with that, being as it's mainly a Google thing right now.  But as successive generations become more tech-savvy,  proprietary software solutions will be less attractive.  Most people use Windows because it's what they've always known.  With a lot of smartphones and tablets running Android, that will change in time.  For example, literacy was once only for the well-educated.  Now just about everyone can read.

Between the wikis and support forums, I believe there is enough info posted for anyone who wants to switch their OS.  We should focus on practicality.  But there will always be those who want to directly challenge the other OSes.

(It was pretty sweet taking my server from a Pentium3 933Mhz to a Athlon64 2.2Ghz system _without reinstalling_ )

Last thought: Without diversity, the world gets very boring.


--------------------------The only wasted day is one in which you learn nothing.--------------------------

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#120 2012-05-10 13:57:30

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Here, have a GUI

Wow, this is still running, huh? Hmmm. No matter how many posts I read here, this just looks like people are making an end-run around the "no pointless rants" rule of the forums.  Sorry to be blunt, but that's all I'm seeing.  Linux is great for some things, not so great for others; if we didn't understand that, we wouldn't  be using Arch, would we?  I don't care about market share, and I don't care about the supposed "Great Microsoft-Apple Conspiracy to Make Us All Choke to Death On Their Proprietary Software So That Afterward They Can Eventually Conquer the World and Harvest Our Brains To Create The Ultimate Cyber-Zombie Supercomputer" bullshit paranoid folk throw around.  I just care about having a great operating system free from petty restrictions--and if possible, petty arguments over tiny details that only overly picky people believe effect them.  As they say where I come from, "Sh** or get off the pot."

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#121 2012-05-10 14:03:24

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,754

Re: Here, have a GUI

Iranon wrote:

CPUs were just an example.

Yes, but can you come up with an example regarding a class of hardware where Windows is at a real, practical disadvantage?  Or, explain how a limited choice of CPUs is as disadvantageous as not having access to the full capability of your video card, or power saving functions?

the market leader has incentives to lock down or obfuscate its technology and to work against easy portability.

Only insofar as they can get away with it without public backlash.  And, I think that's not as easy today as it was during MS's rise to dominance.

t1nk3r3r wrote:

The Linux community is a great ecosytem of ideas

Believe it or not, I agree with this statement without reservation.  But success (whatever that may mean to you) often requires more than ideas.  Edison once said something about the relative importance of inspiration and perspiration.  He worked alone.  In an endeavour requiring the input of thousands of individuals, you also need some degree of structure and a common goal.  What Linux has accomplished with a minimum of these things is incredible.  But the goals, such as they are, are not my own, and neither are some of the 'principles'.  It's mostly a matter of pragmatism though: I think there are limits on what the Linux model can accomplish.  I see the ultimate contribution of Linux being its role as a stepping stone to other open but more structured models.


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#122 2012-05-10 16:07:44

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Here, have a GUI

alphaniner wrote:

  [Edison] worked alone.

OT: That's debatable. tongue  Sorry--history geek here.

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#123 2012-05-10 18:26:08

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 13,403

Re: Here, have a GUI

ANOKNUSA wrote:
alphaniner wrote:

  [Edison] worked alone.

OT: That's debatable. tongue  Sorry--history geek here.

But he was a patent troll. 
And he was wrong about using DC for power distribution (Thank you Nikola Tesla)
And he invented the electric chair as a gimmick to show how he felt about AC power.

But, I digress.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
You assume people are rational and influenced by evidence.  You must not work with the public much. -- Trilby
----
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way

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#124 2012-05-10 20:47:51

ANOKNUSA
Member
Registered: 2010-10-22
Posts: 2,141

Re: Here, have a GUI

ewaller wrote:

But he was a patent troll.

That's why the whole "worked alone" thing is debatable.

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#125 2012-05-10 22:04:55

Iranon
Member
Registered: 2011-06-11
Posts: 146

Re: Here, have a GUI

@ alphaniner: Depends on a lot of things. I'd say you'll usually have better luck on Windows to get your hardware running using most of their capability. The same may not apply to keeping it running (updates, drivers for new OS versions) but that's getting even further away from the topic.

And considering customer backlash against restrictive software... alive and well, FOSS zealots have been whining forever, the general public still doesn't care. I'd say customer backlash is less likely than it was a few years ago, because people have become familiar with and accepting of heavily locked down devices.

Last edited by Iranon (2012-05-10 22:05:41)

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