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The future of Linux Will it ever catch on?

#1 User is offline   pbpersson 

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 07:34 PM

What is the real future of Linux? Will it become a planet-wide OS that everyone will use or will it be the BetaMax of the OS world? You know, Beta was always better but VHS won because it had better marketing.

About 80% of the IT people I speak with about Linux say they are ignoring it and hope it will go away. They say they worked for years to learn Windows, they are tired of learning, and they are just MS people. What sort of attitude is that for an IT person? I think if you stop learning you fall behind. I don't understand that entire point of view.

All over the web I see these Linux posts saying this will not work and that will not work and you need to type -xgrc -t/erjudre/jjhwusrt -rtud -sjje/er/xs/tf and then it will just work and wasn't that so easy....except then it still does not work. I wonder if these articles will scare people off or convince them that Linux can work if you spend enough hours playing with it - and is that a good thing if Windows by comparison just works out of the box?

Back in 1985 when we were all struggling with HIMEM.SYS and MSCDEX.EXE in DOS I'm thinking that if we had a solution in place to instantly eliminate our pain back then that Microsoft Windows might never have been invented. Those of us who are intrepid pioneers and forging ahead with Linux might be paving the way for a brighter future for generations to come......or are we just wasing our time?

Oh....say....when you are installing Mandrake 10.1 if you think all the software is free and you should just tell it to install everything on the CDs (it will take up over 5 GB).....don't do that. I did that and the OS would not even boot up. The partition was 37GB so no I was not out of space. I think there must have been some conflicts with the software loading at startup.



Phil
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#2 User is offline   arctic 

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 09:11 PM

the future of linux will be to remain the core of distributions/operating systems. i guess you mean linux-based operating systems like mandrake, but okay... let's call it "linux" (makes things easier for now :)/>).

i doubt that they (linux-based distros) will vanish. too many companys and too many users are using "linux" right now. an estimated 5% of the computers is running on linux, just like mac, and mac is still there, too. there is enough room for a variety of operating systems. there are e.g. bsd, sky-os, unix, amiga and others that find their niche and have a lower "spreading-value". so why should linux vanish, once it has established itself? :unsure:/>

sure, not everything works the way it should. but linux is not as "old" as windows or mac as a desktop-system. the first serious efforts for implementing desktops began about some five or seven years ago. and without the financial backing that microsoft has, it is a very good development that is taking place and in some areas it is already ahead of windows. B)/>

many "users" complain that this and that does not work or needs some hacking. well, they are right but once the system runs, it is usually more stable than windows (my experience). but look at windows forums. they also have lots (!) of topics concerning apps not running properly or hardware that is buggy. so saying "linux doesn't work" is not fair. every os has its strenghts and weaknesses and it needs some time to adjust things in order to make the migration as painless as possible.

another factor that is forgotten very often is that many windows users are accustomned to windows and think in windows-categories. they actually have to quit thinking in these terms because linux is not windows, although many think that it can be the next windows a perfect stupidity. it is like saying: the next plane you buy can be you next helicopter.

and those it-guys you mention: i know a lot of it-technicians who hate windows from the deepest regions of their heart because it is so hard to administrate them (software-updates e.g.). if an it-technician says: he does not want to learn something about linux, then he has failed his job imho. it-persons are expected to learn all the time. it's just like saying: i have administrated windows 3.11, now i don't wanna learn how to administrate windows XP. :screwy:/>

p.s.: "linux" is already a world-wide operating system.

This post has been edited by arctic: 27 January 2005 - 09:12 PM

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#3 User is offline   RadioEar 

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 09:11 PM

I think it will in time, but you said it; Marketing.

I work for a University in the US and Linux is one of the most popular computer courses and gets more students interested in Linux every year, but only to be second to Windows.
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#4 User is offline   linux_learner 

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 09:41 PM

arctic, on Jan 27 2005, 02:11 PM, said:

but linux is not as "old" as windows or mac as a desktop-system. the first serious efforts for implementing desktops began about some five or seven years ago. and without the financial backing that microsoft has, it is a very good development that is taking place and in some areas it is already ahead of windows.  B)/>

many "users" complain that this and that does not work or needs some hacking. well, they are right but once the system runs, it is usually more stable than windows (my experience). but look at windows forums. they also have lots (!) of topics concerning apps not running properly or hardware that is buggy. so saying "linux doesn't work" is not fair. every os has its strenghts and weaknesses and it needs some time to adjust things in order to make the migration as painless as possible.


<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



actually linux has been arround since windows 3.1 multi-media (1991). it did have X and some WM's, but nothing like today. rpm's and linuxconf hadnt been developed yet. certainly no urpmi, apt, emerge or what not had not been developed.

linux has made some real efforts in the past five years to become more user friendly. back in 1991 and until recently alot of gui tools were either not available or hadnt been developed. today we have yast, or mcc, whatever your distro uses (similar to the windows control panel).

i suppose the hard part in linux can be gettting things to "work". most often its a config script. thats the bigest hurdle for windows users to cross. that and dependancies. (which is why apt, urpmi, emerge and so on make a huge difference).
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#5 User is offline   tyme 

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 11:27 PM

uh, guys...

it already has caught on...look at all the governments that have been switching to it lately. look at MS out there marketing so hard against it. look at IBM, Novell, and so forth, big players that are supporting it.

"will it catch on" has been answered. when will home users catch on is the next question.
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#6 User is offline   bvc 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 12:09 AM

tymarks got it

what corp or country, in their right mind, is going to upgrade their nt servers to the latest win server and pay the untold amount of fees when they can have the best....free... and pay a linux admin a lot less than win admin? France didn't ;)/>

I've heard the techies that don't like lin but the reason I've been told is the truth. Lin puts them out of work ;)/> ...unless they want to learn lin :banana:/>

oh and that 5%...a lot higher...think about what that statistic is based on and you'll realize there's a lot more of us out there :headbang:/>

This post has been edited by bvc: 28 January 2005 - 12:32 AM

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#7 User is offline   iphitus 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 12:23 AM

not yet-another-lets-look-to-linux's-future-thread...

yes, its going somewhere! its catching on now. its only starting to though
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#8 User is offline   AussieJohn 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 01:34 PM

The failure of beta-max was NOT because of not enough marketing.
It was because SONY was greedy and thought it could pull off a lock-in a-la Microsoft. SONY owned the patents on beta-max and said that ALL Video equipment manufacturers would have to pay a substantial royalty to use it.

On the other hand, Philips and JVC and others had developed the VHS Videotape Player as we know it today. Philips also owned the patents on the tape cassettes as well (including Audio also) Sony was invited to take part and become involved with the group. The rehashed beta-max even used Philips royalty free patents for its cassettes.
SONY said no, it was to be its Beta-max or not at all.

So that a standard could and would be set for the manufacturing industry, Philips decided to make its VHS and Cassettes patents royalty free (same as it did later with CD discs and DVD discs).
Naturally the equipment manufacturers jumped at the opportunity. Some decided to also manufacture beta-max as well but abandoned it because the units finished up being too costly.

Todays irony ??? SONY manufactures VHS Video Players using the same royalty free patents it spurned all those years ago.
The argument about beta-max being the superior technology comes mostly from SONY or their syncophants and is largely ignored in the engineering world.

Guess who dreamed up the idea of that obnoxious system called Zoning for DVDs ???
Do you give up ??? Yes it was good old SONY.

So putting LINUX in the same characterization as Beta-Max is misguided.
LINUX is about fairness, quality, community. SONY is NOT about fairness and community and even its quality which is good is savagely overpriced for what it is.

Sony could ultimately fail as all greedy companys usually do.

LINUX will continue to grow because EVERYONE owns it yet NO ONE owns it.
Despite software patents etc big business will NEVER be able to stop LINUX.
If some countries block it, it will still flourish elsewhere, somewhere.
Don't worry if it doesn't reach the big time. I believe it will. Just feel sorry for the idiots that refuse to use it and pity those that do not know any better.
Just enjoy your LINUX. So endith todays sermon.



Cheers. JOHN.
The Computer future is here TODAY ..... Mageia-5.0, KDE4, Dolphin, K3B, Grip, Audacious, Totem, Kaffeine, SVLC, Kmail, Libre-Office, Scribus, XSane, Gimp, OpenShot, FireFox, FlightGear, Filelight, Gwenview, Geeqie, GoogleEarth, Skype, Pysol-FC.

Corsair Obsidian 750D Full Tower Case (full Window), AMD Athlon-FX8120 8-Core 3.1Ghz Processor, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 USB3 rev.4 MainBoard, Gigabyte Nvidia-GeForce-9600-GT VideoCard, 16Gb Corsair "Vengeance" DDR3 Memory, 1 x Corsair 240Gb SSD Neutron Hard Drive, WD SATA-II 500GB 16mb HDD, 2 x LG Sata DVD-R/RW Burners, LG 27" LED LCD HDMI Monitor, Hewlitt-Packard PhotoSmart 6510 Printer, APC BackUPS-CS-650 UPS, Corsair HX650W Power Supply, Vantec Dual HDD Docking Station SATA-USB3.

ADSL-2+ Internet Connection_100Gb (Bigpond)

JOHN. (82yrs, Young) Registered LINUX user #318452
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#9 User is offline   inflexion 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 01:39 PM

Linux in all forms is and has vastly imporved and will continue to do so, like its been said IBM and Novell are now pushing linux harder than ever.

The main "problem" is the normal household desktop user as there is often some manual configuration to do which puts people off. I think that another problem is the fact that most disrtos come with everything like OO which is strange in a way as you expect to have to install it after coming from M$ world.
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#10 User is offline   Gowator 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 02:48 PM

:headbang:/>

AussieJohn, on Jan 28 2005, 02:34 PM, said:

LINUX will continue to grow because EVERYONE owns it yet NO ONE owns it.
Despite software patents etc big business will NEVER be able to stop LINUX.
If some countries block it, it will still flourish elsewhere, somewhere.
Don't worry if it doesn't reach the big time. I believe it will. Just feel sorry for the idiots that refuse to use it and pity those that do not know any better.
Just enjoy your LINUX.      So endith todays sermon.



Cheers.                          JOHN.
<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Nice post John :D/>

(all of it but I especially like the last part.... and I never ever buy Sony...)
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#11 User is offline   banjo 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 04:20 PM

Linux is certainly not going to take over the desktop market any
time soon, and I will tell you a couple of stories to explain
why.

I run Quanta+ to update my web pages. It is a terrific tool. I
especially like the upload manager, which looks at file change
times and knows which files to upload. However, there is a bug
in the Quanta+ version that came with Mandy 9.1. The project
file is not updated properly upon exit, so some files get stuck
as "changed" when, indeed, they have actually been uploaded since
the change. Those files are then doomed to be uploaded again and
again...every time I do an upload.... in perpetuity. This bug
makes the upload feature largely useless.

So, I contacted the folks who work on Quanta and asked about the bug.
The answer was to upgrade my Quanta+. This is a fair answer, because
that is how bugs get fixed.... in later releases.

So off I went to upgrade Quanta. To make a really long and frustrating
story short, it appears that it is impossible to upgrade Quanta
without upgrading my entire distro! I tried a later RPM and that
failed on dependencies of core utilities like GTK and KDE. Then
I downloaded the source and tried to build the app. I was dumped
immediately into Dependency Hell and started installing development
tools from my distro CD's. After several hours of that, I ran into
a fatal compile error, and the solution was to do a CVS make to
get the latest, after which, Make itself would do nothing but bail
out with errors. I worked for hours on this problem and failed
miserably in the end.

I finally "fixed" my problem by writing a program myself, which
I call "qtouch" that will parse a Quanta+ project file and
touch all of the upload times. I now happily use my Quanta+ to
edit my files and upload the modified files to my host. Then
I run qtouch on the project file to make it all new again.

Yay! Problem solved. I love my Quanta+ again.

However, how many desktop users out there in the world would
be willing to go through all of that just to use an app? How many
desktop users out there would even understand what I have just
been talking about? How many desktop users out there are capable
of writing a C program to hack an XML project file to fix an
application bug? XML? What the heck is XML? C? What the heck is C?

Here is a hypothetical situation about finding a similar
problem on an fnWindows system..... (don't get me wrong here,
I am NOT promoting fnWindows, which I hate... but the truth is
the truth.....)

1) A user has an application on fnWindoze that s/he likes.
2) App has a major show-stopper bug.
3) User asks about it and the answer is "upgrade"
4) User downloads later version and installs it ... problem solved

I am no fan of fnWindows, but fnWindoze application upgrades
often get installed with a minimum of heartburn (or they trash
your entire system, but hey.....).

The fnWindows application writers take great pains to make their upgrades
backward compatible. In fact a clean application that is written to
run on Win32 API will often install and run on many versions of
fnWindoze with no problems. I have written some applications like
that myself. Win32API is Win32API. Unless the app writer has been
stupid enough to demand the latest "features" of the latest
fnWindoze, the programs are pretty portable.

You will often see a list of system requirements for an application
that will be like this:

"Requires:
Win98, Win98SE, WinNT, Win2000, WinXP....

What is the point of all this? Well here it is. Until the developers
and distributors of Linux systems... that is.... entire systems, including
the desktop software and development software and connectivity
software...... have stabilized the system and FROZEN it....... so that
later versions of apps can be successfully installed on older versions
of it..... WITHOUT major upgrades to the system..... and until the
writers of applications make use of STABLE system utilities that do
not change from application release to application release......the Linux
desktop is doomed to be the playground ONLY of dedicated hackers.

The basic core systems of Linux desktops are changing fast. When
the application writers demand that the latest and greatest
features of the latest and greatest desktops be there in order
for the program to run, the applications will not be backward
compatible. Hence it will be impossible to upgrade them to fix
simple bugs.

I have a similar tale to tell about Audacity, which crashes any time
I try to set the preferences. The "fix" is to upgrade to the next
version, which cannot be done. The workaround is to edit the .Audacity
file using gvim in order to set my preferences. I cannot even *explain*
this to my fnWindoze-lovin' friends much less convince them that it is
the way to go.

In fact, I cannot remember being able to successfully upgrade ANY
Linux application on my Mandy 9.1 without running into serious dependency
problems with some CORE utility in the system. If it did not come
on the Mandy 9.1 distro disks, it will not install and run. This is
not a big problem for me because I find workarounds for bugs and continue on.
This IS a problem for the computing public because they do not have the
time/desire/ability to hack at their apps to keep them working,
or re-install the entire software system, which is a daunting prospect.

Let me state once again that I am NOT proposing fnWindoze as a
superior system. I hate it, and I will not go back to it. It is
snake-oil that is sold by money-grubbing, dishonest people whose
only purpose is to separate us from our money and inflict themselves
on our private lives and information. It crashes frequently and
puts the work that I have done on it at risk as well as putting
my personal information at risk to every bopper-hacker out there
with access to the internet.

HOWEVER, if Linux is going to compete for the general desktop market
it MUST provide a stable platform that allows people to fix
problems in their systems without being presented with an
incomprehensible list of alphabet soup gibberish that effectively
re-installs their entire system using cryptic tools that they never
heard of and do not care about.

So, to the fine folks who wrote Quanta+, my deepest thanks for
a great tool. But a word of advice if they want to make it a
broadly used tool.... stop upgrading it by using the latest,
greatest, whiz-bangedest new fangledest GTK/KDE/kernel/ features
on every dang release! Write the darn thing to use a stable
platform that will be around for a while. Write it to use straight
X-11R6 or something! More work? You bet! But once a mainstream
user finds a bug in their tool and then finds that the fix involves
six pages of unintelligible gibberish that puts their entire system
in danger...... they will simply dump the app in the trash and look
for a different app. I did. I have looked at Bluefish
and some others. They do not compare well to Quanta+.
Yikes, I have even considered just going back
to typing my HTML into gvim and uploading with gftp!

Sorry if I wrote a book-long rant. But I really like my Linux
and I would like to see it become a bit more user-friendly for
people who do not understand the complex inner-workings of
the system. The mass market desktop is totally out of reach for
Linux systems because of these issues.

I am now going back into Lurk Mode with my Nomex underwear on.

Linux rocks!

Banjo
(_)=='=~
If only the best bird sang the forest would be a very quiet place.
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#12 User is offline   Gowator 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 04:52 PM

Banjo....
I think you need to switch to Debian.....

The idea of backports of new progs and bug fixes to older stable is kinda hard in MDK when they have the commerical need to keep releasing new versions.
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#13 User is offline   banjo 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 05:32 PM

Gowator,

Thanks for the pointer. I will go check it out. I know nothing about Debian.
Also, my system is in use by the whole family, and they are wary of me
making major changes to it. Down time is difficult to schedule.

I do not know what is involved with a distro switch or a major upgrade.
Do you have any pointers to ideas about the best way to upgrade the system
while preserving the current application/user base? I might move to Mandy
10 if it did not involve any huge sacrifices.

Banjo
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If only the best bird sang the forest would be a very quiet place.
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#14 User is offline   bvc 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 05:43 PM

and how many desktop users need a quanta?
how many dt users even install the os? they don't....they run it til they can run it any longer and have spread 100 virus's and pay someone else to fix it. Point is, they can just pay me to fix it now, instead of a window washer ;)/>

i don't get everyones prob with upgrades whether rpm or deb
they are both easy
the only questional part for a n00b is setting up the sources. after that it's all the click clicka mousie mouse, every bit as much as win

This post has been edited by bvc: 28 January 2005 - 05:57 PM

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#15 User is offline   banjo 

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 06:07 PM

Quanta was just the app I have been working with lately.
The same problems apply to more mainstream apps like OpenOffice
and browsers.

Maybe I am just doing it wrong. The pointy clicky fire-off rpm is pretty
easy to figure out. Right after that, I get a bunch of finger-wags from the
system saying "Nope. You can't do that." That is what happened with both
the Quanta and the Audacity.

Urpmi is still a blackbox for me. I'm not sure how to use it properly.
Last time I looked at the recommended sources, I could not find the
upgrade packages I was looking for. I have lost the details of that
adventure. What sources do you use?

I also have seen a pointer on this board about how to set up Easy Urpmi,
but I have lost that as well.

Banjo
(_)=='=~
If only the best bird sang the forest would be a very quiet place.
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