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Another boring thread about Linux pros (and cons)

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BrianD
BrianD Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 5:36 AM
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Ok, before getting a head in my chest I start a new thread here, to continue the interesting discussion about Linux pros and cons that started out quite unexpectedly in the Reviews forum (the original thread was "Ranier Herrler's Mobile Sudoku 2.0 for H/PC".

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cmonex - 2006-08-04 6:23 PM
about firefox.. i just can't stand its problems (the ones i mentioned), i check the latest version periodically and no improvement in this area (ok the last try was a while ago).
tabbed browsing, i get that with opera, which i'm using to post now.
have been using opera for 5 years now..


If you are happy with Opera, I have no reason to try to convince you to switch. I used Opera several years ago (under Win 3.11? Boh, I am not sure), it was fantastic at those times to have a browser which remembered my session, with several open windows, etc. The bad for Opera is that they change their licensing model every month or so... it is very confusing.
In any case, between a proprietary program and an open sorce equivalent, I always prefer the latter, at least for security reasons. It is my opinion, of course, YMMV.

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OO: no, sorry it is not compatible enough for me. just an example, last year i made a little doc with some pics for a psychology test i had to carry out for uni. OO failed the compatibility test there, it was very frustrating. there was nothing special about that document really. IMO. YMMV


Really strange. I think OO compatibility is strongest on Word documents. Text with some embedded pictures should be handled very well by OO.
In my experience, problems have always arisen with Excel files, not with Word's. PowerPoint is another beast: but better not to get too off-topic.

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why would i lose my own files? never lost any.. not sure i understood this part


No, I didn't mean you lose your files, rather you lose **control** of your files. In a few words: a closed file format does not assure that you will be able to read your own files in a few years, if MS stops supporting converters/readers for them.

Of course, this is not the **only** problem, another issue is the compatibility of the **physical** support where you store your files (who has, nowadays a 5 1/4" floppy reader, for instance?) but nevertheless, compatibility/readability of files in the next years IS an important problem.

What would happen if you go to your University in 2016 and they say you they cannot print your University records because their current program does not read them? Or one of your professors cannot give one of your archived assigments to a new student in order to elaborate it, just because Word 2015 does not read your "ancient" Word 2000 files?

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correct, linux is not ready for the desktop. this is what i meant about completeness. thanks for the ubuntu offer , but i already have an ubuntu cd somewhere, though didn't get around to try it. i did try live cd's, could never setup lan (wow that setup interface wasn't user friendly in the least), could never get it to read/write to a cf card in a usb reader, i think that's where i gave up last year.
'll have to figure it out though, as i want to try linux on the J728 yeah why not? it must be fun to try another OS on the J728. also don't forget i have a zaurus ....CE is still better.


Ubuntu changes fast. Better to stay up-to-date. In any case, what live cd did you use? Knoppix does everything automatically, lan-based stuff is a joke for Linux, also Ubuntu is strong on that, usb is handled well now (it was awkward a couple of years ago). Give a try a current distribution... my offer is still valid.

Nevertheless, I must agree with you on one point: CE is still better on a HPC. A test of Linux on HPCs does not show its true power. Linux on HPC's is a geek tool, in my opinion (with a lot of respect for the geeks out there who work on it!)

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not sure if i would want to install GUIs on my PC in xp i just click a few times to turn the crap off to get a faster GUI. and i don't want to install libraries. why can't the GUIs be compatible with each other? very annoying.


You want a fast GUI? Use WindowMaker or Xfce or Blackox. Want bells'n'whisles? Use KDE or Gnome? You have choices. And the GUI 's **ARE** compatible. You can run a Gnome program under WindowMaker, provided you have the right libraries, but you don't have to install them by hand, they are installed automatically. Libraries are necessary for linux programs to run, just as the proper dll's are required for Windows programs.
But you get many less headhaches than with the dreaded Windows dll's.

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no i didn't mean lack of software by completeness, but this is another valid concern for me, even though 19,000 sounds nice it is quality for me not quantity that matters.


This is true. Among those 19000 packages, quality is uneven, of course. But you have choice. And ease of installation and also of deinstallation.
For instance, I have an enormous amount of packages for my math- & physics-related work, of course I have chosen and currently use ony a few of them, but if something better comes out of the evolving breed, well it is there to install and use.


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you can see we think entirely differently about this topic (because our personal requirements differ), but that's really not a problem for me, hope you agree


Of course, we are just discussing, not arguing.
I respect your opinions, I only want to share mine, here. Hoping that someone decides to switch.
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chazco
chazco Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 6:05 AM
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Heres my two cents then:

The old "why Linux is no good" arguments:
Linux takes ages to setup
Not true anymore, many distributions have automatic setups now. For example, the latest (K)Ubuntu has a fully automatic text, or GUI, installer. Everything from my LAN to my USB bluetooth adapter was setup automatically.

Linux doesnt support USB, or supports it poorly
This used to be true, but not now. My USB bluetooth adapter works perfectly, my USB card reader works fine. I can even sync with my iPaq over USB.

You have to compile everything
Nope. Its an option, for if you want to customised. For the casual user everything is already available. Many distributions even have an automatic package installer (like Windows Update combined with Add/Remove Programs).

You need to type lots of commands to do anything
Really? I never did, only advanced operations need that, just like they do on Windows.

There is no GUI, or they are'nt compatabile
See BrianD's post

I cant run XYZ on Linux
Actually, you proably can. Many applications will run under Wine (a utility to allow Windows applications to work). And, there is usually a better open-source version available.

There is no antivirus for Linux
Theres a few, but think about this. Windows has hundreds of different antivirus products available... Wonder why? Linux has a very small amount... Wonder why?

My summary would be: Try it, you'll love it. If you dont, use Windows. Just pick whats the best for you.



Edited by chazco 2006-08-05 6:07 AM
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PocketDVD Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 12:11 PM
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OK, here's my pennies-worth then.
Not to start a flame-thread or a bash about linux versions, but even now, I still consider Linux an OS where people should know what they are doing, and if not, how to find information in the right places. It's not for the average user.
Take this thread for example: http://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=5522 (sorry chazco, no offense intended)

After suggesting some comments which are clearly documented all over the web, I essentially stumbled upon an issue with the (almighty, superpopulair, linux for noobs) UBUNTU. Every linux version on the planet that has a pre-build ffmpeg in it, since the beginning of ffmpeg itself, has mp3 support. Not the one in UBUNTU. nice, but these things tend to tick me off. Users run into these issues, things that should work dont, all because one group of people (ubuntu devs) decide that well, we want to be different, so lets take this and that out.

There are other distro's that work in a similair way. RedHat, with its aim for the enterprice is mixing opensource with closed source to get things sold, which essentially goes hand in hand with your office 2015 example.
Ubuntu will be heading the same way.

You can say all you want about opensource being good or bad, but in the end, all it is intended for is building a big enough userbase so they can start charging people for additional features. Think of it as MS releasing windows 3.11 for free, and charge you for additional functions.

I started with linux when I bought a boxed version of redhat 6.0 at the local bookstore. since then I've RedHatted untill 8.0 Then I went onto Gentoo linux, and the 10 years of experience I thought I had gained from RedHat proved worthless upon installation of Gentoo. I never recompiled a kernel in 10 years of linux useage, I hardly used the commandline, which is one of the things I actually love of Linux, but when installing Gentoo (building everything from scratch, and optimizing it as well) I actually learned more in 3 hours then 10 years of RedHat.

However. Gentoo is slowly becoming a business as well, because they are getting too big. Essentially loosing the focus of what got them there in the first place.
Starting a linux distro is the best way to find expert programmers. Since work is done for free, you get to learn how the programmers work, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and once you get to a point of going corporate, you just pick and choose the ones you want to keep.

the good old comparison about Microsoft and Linux, the Corporation and the free world etc etc. Dream on.

ok, my comments on some of the stuff here:

Firefox/Opera/IE They all work different, but only firefox has an opensource approach. Because of this, problems become aware faster, and gets fixed faster. The slower corporate business model, valid for both Microsoft as well as Opera, together with their commercial value that is attached to their browsers, requires more testing and a different approach. Keep in mind that the amount of users is directly connected on the amount of exploits are created and found. If you truely want to browse safe, use Lynx, a textbased browser with no capabilities of executing anything.

OpenOffice/Office etc Surethat opensource will allow you to open office documents created 20 years ago, but then again, office 2007 still opens txt files, rtf files and can also read documents created with WP and Office 4.2 for Dos. There will always be a way. Egyptian scrolls can not be read by Word 2007/2003, but still people translate them, scan them or whatever, so if you want, you can still read those on your computer as well, eventhough there were no computers all those years ago.

In addition, look at tape backups now and in the past. A tapeunit you bought 15 years ago, try to find a tapeunit for it now, without using ebay. You will not find one. You will have to find a company that is specialized in this stuff to be able to read your backup tapes from that long ago. For tax purposes you are required to keep these backups for a long time, but who actually still has a tape unit that can read the tapes?

Linux ready for the desktop, sure. but only if it works. What if something goes wrong. What if you didnt update your firefox/opera and an exploit has been used to gain root-access to your computer (I'm subscribed to a few linux mailing lists, and daily I get emails about root-exploits found in certain programs) How is a newbie going to fix his messed up linux installation if all it does is give kernal panics (linux version of BSOD on windows). You will have to find someone who knows what they are doing with Linux, as well as if it happens on Windows, you will need a windows geek/tech.

Windows Managers, not much to say. every single one created for linux has been made for a purpose. Some are more aimed for more screen estate, but require more key combinations then WP for dos (evilwm, ratwm) others are aimed for eyecandy and lack proper useability (enlightenment) Others try to attract windows users and then confuse the hell out of them (gnome, kde) and some are just rip-offs on ones that have been seen on other computers (windowmaker/neXt)

This is also available for windows. Maybe not in the same amount as Linux, but still you can download WinStep, and your windows computer will look like WindowMaker.

Also, the amount of software available on linux (19000 packages part) is nice, but eh, there are a lot of programs doing the same thing. To find one you like, you end up trying 5 or 6 different VI clones. If you dig around on the web, or ask people, there are always a few preferred ones, so you will probably never look at 18900 of the 19000 packages. In addition. If you have a nice Gnome desktop, and install a KDE program because it works better/easier/blah, you will need to install the kde libraries required for all that. This is exacly the same as the runtime libraries MS used in the past, and the dotNet framework stuff they are doing now. At least these are standardized in some way.

next post:

Using a gui installer, doesnt that take away your freedom? Sure you can select the packages you want, but still. how do you know if nothing extra is being installed. The same argument about Microsoft being able to do pretty much whatever they want is the same for the people who build these installers. Due to the amount of developers that create packages for linux, I'm not so sure if they all add code with good intentions to it all. In addition, the packages for most distributions are pre-build. meaning, someone else compiled these. If you are talking about security and trust, I rather trust a big corporation that can actually be prosecuted, then some unknown person on the other side of the planet with a weird nickname as his handle.

linux driver support. Look around for Ati/Nvidia issues on linux. No more comments
linux game support. Linux is a free OS. as of such, a lot of users dont want to pay much to the corporate bad boys. Installing an Electronic Arts (overworked, underpaid devs) game on linux (unpaid, free devs) , thats worse then grave robbery.
linux commandline. thats actually the best part of linux. it's faster then using GUI stuff (if you know what you are doing) I also have not seen a tool yet that does a gui customized compile of anything, but maybe someone already came up with that.
wine. It's nice to be able to run windows apps on linux, but then why not dual-boot. instead of putting up with issues, crashes, reconfiguring wine just to run office97 for compatibility issues, why not install windows and have it run as it should? (vmware/win4lin work great for that btw)

Virii
based upon the number of root-exploit posibilities I get in my email, and the amount of users that use a "userfriendly" linux distro, it's quite easy to create exploits for linux users. the thing is, why bother. not enough users are using it at the moment, but look at Apple now. They were in the same position, but now with their populairity increase since OSX and the ipod, they are getting more and more issues. Linux will go the same way.
The main reason why there isnt so many at the moment is due to the amount of different distributions. Some distro's use kde, some distro's use gnome. they use different email clients, so for a virus to work, it will have to be either for one or the other, or have dual code execution in it. Firefox exploits are usually generic. they work on both windows versions as well as linux versions. However, Gnome uses Galleon as a webbrowser, and KDE uses konqueror as a browser. so what are virus writers going to do about that, dual-code?
Due to the variation of browsers/email clients etc, and the minimal user-base that runs linux, it's essentially no use to write virii for linux at this point.
Ubuntu makes a good chance of becoming the linux version of choice to finally become desktop worthy, and then, just mark my words, virri will appear.

My closing words.
Eventhough I havent said much (or anything) good about linux, I am a linux user and interested in its further development. My opinion is that people should not stare blindly at linux as a Microsoft replacement or use it as a free OS to be able to ditch windows.
My opinion is that all the arguments that are putting linux above microsoft are completely invalid. for every argument that is made against windows, a counter argument can be made that makes it worthless.

Yes, linux runs faster, yes, linux uses less memory, yes, linux can run on old computers, but they never tell you which linux version it is. Dont expect to install Ubuntu on a 486 with 8mb and have it run like your 3ghz 1gb new Dell
Yes, linux boots faster, but what stuff do you have to disable to make it like that. I can install Windows 3.11 on my Core Duo laptop, and it boots in 5 seconds (including bios post) but what can I do then?

The main purpose of my post here is to bring in a different perspective, not to attack anything or anyone directly on their words. The arguments posted above my post are common arguments on why Linux is sooo much better then anything else, but as mentioned in another thread, with a change of wordings:

UBUNTU is LINUX, but LINUX isnt UBUNTU
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 1:26 PM
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Uh, just wondering. Shouldn't this thread be in the Linux/Unix forum?
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chazco
chazco Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 1:39 PM
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Quote

Take this thread for example: http://www.hpcfactor.com/forums/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=5522 (sorry chazco, no offense intended)

er... What are we taking it for? Its not directly about linux, it was about working with video.

I agree on the (K)ubuntu is crippled approach, but you can download alternate versions from them which have everything enabled like normal.

Edited by chazco 2006-08-05 1:43 PM
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cmonex Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 2:09 PM
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hmmm nice discussion (and respect to everyone!)

ok what do i want to say what wasn't already mentioned?

first, to answer you BrianD:

for me opera and firefox aren't equivalent, opera is better so i will choose that and will not care about license changes, i rarely upgrade, once or twice in 1-2 years maybe

OO: strange? i dunno. i just can't trust anything that isn't ms word, regarding compatibility. i'm sure the alternative stuff can open 90% of the docs and what about the remaining 10? i can put up with that on a pda (there hpc2000 pocketword opens about 90% of my docs, rtfs, etc., textmaker usually helps with the remaining though not *always*) but NOT on my main machine, my pc. no way.
same for other file formats.

i know what you meant by losing the files, but i just don't lose control over the files, theres always a possibility to resave the old files in the new format and then stop worrying for another few years

the ubuntu cd i have is 1 years old, and where i couldnt succeed with lan and usb readers was knoppix's latest version last year.

ease of installation and uninstallation? cant be easier than on windows i just click on the installer / click on the app in the add/remove dialog,..

hmmm rethinking the 19000 packages, doesn't really sound alot. how many is available for windows? a million?
pointless to use a win emulator thing, then i'll just use real windows if linux cant do my important tasks without emulators

@ chazco: i DID have to use the console. lots of times. on the pc and on the pda (with a factory (sharp) installed & later improved linux) too.


i have to admit now: both the pc linux and the pda (zaurus ) have had strange little things where they just didn't work as supposed to (lan, usb on the pc, some little things on the zaurus, such as start menu disappearing in portrait, programs not willing to close, etc). friend of mine has just had to reformat his zaurus as dhcp and everything internet and network related (including the darn infra even) stopped working out of the blue. without any tinkering. now if this had happened to mine, i'd have no clue how to fix it. it'd require years of experience. CE never required years of experience for me.
still, i like the zaurus, it's a nice little device and can do some things exceptionally well (mainly browsing speed, heh). but i wouldn't put up with this on my PC. hmm at least the driver support is amazingly good on it (zaurus) for a pda. but not so on the pc... you know what helped us CE users the most regarding finding drivers for wlan cards? the linux wlan card driver compatibility list.


all in all i think my bottom line is: i will not put up with any compatibility issues on my main computer, and i know i will not be able to replace my favourite programs fully, and what's even worse, linux doesn't offer me any advantages, just annoying little bugs and a philosophy that is foreign to me by definition. why no advantages? my xp pro is fast (for a 4 year old computer) and rock stable, boots in 45 secs to a usable desktop, the installation is 1.5 years old and isn't any slower than at the beginning, even though i never reboot and i don't even have viruses or spyware on my pc and never had.
YMMV
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PocketDVD Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 2:27 PM
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chazco - 2006-08-05 12:39 PM

er... What are we taking it for? Its not directly about linux, it was about working with video.



I picked this thread as an example to prove a point. For conversion of video for PocketPC's, there are numerous software packages available (including mine) and some even free FOR WINDOWS. If you were not using Linux, you would have had faster results (including your recent question concerning converting multiple files) by using one of the programs already available. Your video conversion question has been asked and answered on pocketpcthoughts over 100 times already, and every week it comes back again.

This is exacly why I pulled the thread into this one. its a clear example of how windows vs linux works. To add my own ideas on it. Delphi, what I use for development, has a Linux version as well. It's called Kylix. It's possible for me to create a DVD Catalyst for Linux, but I am not.

DVD Catalyst even uses mplayer/ffmpeg/mencoder indirectly and they are originated from linux. The binaries I use are compiled from source, and have a huge amount of codecs build into them. They have auto detection for processors etc, meaning they work on pretty much all windows versions since Windows 95 without issues. If I would make a linux version, there is no way I can create binaries that will work on every linux version. This would result in me having to run a various amount of linux versions, and provide different binaries for each one of them, or, (and with your particulair issue thats proven to be impossible,) rely on a version of these tools to be already on the system (ffmpeg without mp3 support).

So, to create a version of DVD Catalyst that works on linux is quite possible, but for which linux would I create it?
why are there so many issues with binary drivers from Ati and nVidia on various linux systems? because they just cant test every feature it provides on every linux distro thats out there.
So, linux users request the sourcecode for the drivers. Sounds nice, but that also gives the competition full insight in the entire workings of their products. It's like giving all your millions of $$$ of research nicely to your competition, and let them make the profit.

In addition. people who use Linux are not going to pay for a program that converts video/dvds to PocketPC format. It's that simple.
first, the userbase of linux compared to windows, lets be nice is 5%
from those 5% maybe 10% has a mobile device, and from those people, maybe 20% of those uses it to watch movies.
The combination of people using linux, and watching movies on mobile devices is so small, and no "average" user will go through the hassle of making that combination to work. The people who do have that combination are usually people who know it's going to be a challenge to make it work, and are also knowledgable of finding the right locations for the information needed to make it work.

To make it a little bit more clear.
Look at Handango, PocketGear, the PocketPC Magazine awards etc etc.
You do not see ANY linux program mentioned there. There is no intrest.
It might change, but the current state of linux is still that you are considered to know what you are doing when you use it.

Again, I'm not trying to offend anyone or bash or flame anyone or anything. I'm just trying to put things in perspective.
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chazco
chazco Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 2:39 PM
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Ok, i see what you mean. Thanks for clearing that up.

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I'm not trying to offend anyone or bash or flame anyone or anything

No offence taken, i just missed your point first time round
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 3:12 PM
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(Ding!) Round Two.
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torch Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 4:49 PM
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CE Geek - 2006-08-05 10:26 AM

Uh, just wondering. Shouldn't this thread be in the Linux/Unix forum?

Well, that is HPC Linux/Unix and they are talking about desktop Linux primarily...
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CE Geek Page Icon Posted 2006-08-05 7:22 PM
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I stand corrected (as an orthopedic patient might say). I didn't look close enough - thought they were talking about H/PC Linux. Well, I haven't played with the penguin yet, so time for me to go poking around the other forums.
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