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What is wrong with Linux?

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I've been giving this a bit of thought lately,....

why is it few manufactuerers make drivers

why dont many ISP's support linux clients ?

 

 

etc etc.

 

It comes back (IMHO) to a simple problem...but first what's good?

 

Well linux to me is about choice ... choice of codec, choice of front end on my choice of distro and my choice of Window manager and DM..

 

This is largely a good thing for linux... more choice means more competition but also more cooperation...

I like being able to choose my distro(s) based on what I want, not someone elses idea of how I should work.

 

Different distro's have different emphases and strengths and the existance of many makes for a better all round experience. apt provided a stimulus for urpmi etc. so all in all even when differences occur they are generally positive and provide more competition which linux being linux seems to end up back in cooperation ..(like gnome and KDE now working on the common desktop).

 

 

However for manufacturers this situation is a nightmare.

I have just purchased Suse 9.1 pro because they are the only 64 bit distro with any sort of planning and 95%+ of the distro being natively coded for AMD64... and the fact its half the prioce of the woefully incomplete Mandrake AMD64

 

I havent received it yet... but why have I never used suse before ?

 

I don't dislike Germans ! It can't be that... what can it be.....

 

YAST ----- the name says it all. Yet Another S**T TOOL.

Suse and Mandrake are doing more to prevent linux being mainstream than Microsoft. Mandrake wizards/YAST etc. etc.

 

Now if you were an ISP ....who would you support ?

Well WinBlows.... you get a huge base of users and standard configuration tools even if you do need a win9x/2k/XP specific section !

 

Mac -you need a OS9 and OS-X....

 

Linux... well you need 200+ sets of instructions for a tiny bit of market.

 

In the past a solution existed...linuxconf but suse and mandrake have been targetting linuxconf for a while now....

 

Presumably suse/Mandrake dont have enough technical confidence in their own product to sell it as a product so they sell it for its 'easy' config tools.

 

 

The unfortunate thing is that these crap tools are preventing linux being adopted.

how hard is it to use linuxconf ??

 

find out

linuxconf

 

Since 9.2 Mandrake has specifically made it so that its incompatible with linuxconf... and its already on the way to killing webmin.

 

you might not care about these tools but if you were selling an ISP or hardware you would.

If you had a standard linux tool for configuring internet access or a graphics card etc. then you might write a driver but unfortunately two of the biggest distro's seem set to kill this.

 

If you use the Mandrake RPM for webmin you will notice a lot of functionality is broken yet if you download the source and configure it strangely it works.

 

I only have one conclusion: Mandrake deliberately wreck the RPM to get you to use their tools....

 

this wouldnt be so bad but mandrake would probably not exist without linuxconf. Up to MDK 8 it had no other way to configure itself.

(the only reason Im not including Suse is I never used it)

 

So going back....

I like my choices... I like to have distro's i can recommend to a noobie who wants to learn and those who dont. (Mandrake and Linspire respectively)

I like rock solid debian woody on servers and if I wanted support then RedHat.

 

I like my knoppix live CD etc. etc.

 

BUT Mandrake and Suse are KILLING LINUX or at best holding it back.

 

Instead of pumping development into webmin/linuxconf they are deliberately developing stuff which is incompatible.

 

This in turn prevents services and manufacturers supporting linux...

 

 

imagine you sell a modem etc. you could write a config module for linuxconf ..

or you could write one for DRAK, one for YAST and 20 others!

 

If suse/MDK and RH could get together and support a single config which was independant then manufacturers and services would have a base to write against.

 

(Debian already support this intrinsically... its debian philosophy)

 

Until that time stop complaining that your modem doesn't work...your ISP kicked you off for being a linux customer etc. We are own own worse enemies in this respect....

 

The sad thing is the only way the distro specific custom tools will ever be an advantage to linux is when only one distro remains viable.... and this is not what i wanna see.

 

Suggestions/corrections to my philosophy are more than welcome, this is meant to promote discussion....

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Agreed.

 

And maybe we could do something about this. Does anyone know how we could get this written up and slashdotted or put on osnews or somewhere.

 

 

It is a very very good point and highlights a weakness that hasnt been noticed.

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well, if i am not completely mistaken, suse has released the sources of yast some time ago (i think i read something like that on distrowatch.org) and several distros are thinking of using yast in the future. maybe, mdk and redhat should look at yast (which is fairly usable imho) and add some ideas, so that yast becomes a collective, superb tool and thus the standard setup tool for those, who don`t want to do it the debian, gentoo or slack way...

 

B)

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Agreed.

 

And maybe we could do something about this. Does anyone know how we could get this written up and slashdotted or put on osnews or somewhere.

 

 

It is a very very good point and highlights a weakness that hasnt been noticed.

I too agree, Good job Gowater. This needs to be spread around. Why can'tt they come up with a standard set of config tools ( or just embrace linuxconf?) like rpms and tar files are for installing software. (I know there are others ie .deb) but you get my meaning.

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Using the same text config file on all distros would be a good start, the argument about which is the best front-end would then mean more.

 

Manufacturers could then at least produce instructions on how to get something working via the conf files.

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The unfortunate thing is that these crap tools are preventing linux being adopted.

how hard is it to use linuxconf ??

 

find out

linuxconf

 

Since 9.2 Mandrake has specifically made it so that its incompatible with linuxconf... and its already on the way to killing webmin.

I d/k about suse, only what I read about mandrake, and I didn't try it so I can't say it's true. Mandrake is not incompatible with linuxconf or the other way around. What mandrake said was that you can't use both mcc AND linuxconf. It's one or the other.

 

...but yes, I agree, other than that....IF it's true......but who would want to do that? linuxconf sucks, but then so does mcc. :lol:

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...and where has everyone been? I've said many times that linux is spread too thin....too many distros w/ diff crap ways of doing things.....

 

-Standards-

 

.....it's a good thing.

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yep and the recent apt-rpm and alien stuff has closed the apt-rpm gap....

 

(p.s. Debian really isnt that hard to install anymore)

 

but yep....

 

I honestly think they are both battling their config tools as the merits of their distro's and hence hoping to catch noobies and get market share.

 

But.... down that road lies Linspire.... for home use and perhaps Xandros for professional use.

 

linuxconf used to be in RH/MDK and more or less every distro I tried...

 

 

artic... yep YAST was GPL'd but so are the wizards etc... and MDK will never adopt YAST and Suse will never adopt the wizards etc.

(just on principle)!!

 

also Suse moves a lot of files around.... another bad thing.

If KDE want a /usr/local/kde dirctory then thats where the file go.... (IMHO)

 

This is why qmail is not GPL... becuase the writer wants it distributed as source and set-up the way he says ... (becuase he spent a lot of effort making it very secure and doesnt want it comprimised)

 

this is a bit like the shorewall conf thing in Mandrake....

it really sucks but then shorewall are happy its in such a major distro as Mandrake so they fix the mdk setup...but at the same time lots of people think shorewall sucks ... it doesnt its just mandrakes use of it that's weird....

 

ultimately its down to us.... the consumers but mandrake dont give much choice on how we vote....

 

if you join the club you will be seen as a 'expert' so your opinion doesnt count since your elitist and dont understand noobies...

if you buy a boxset you endorse what they are doing

 

if you freeload then ... well work it out.

 

them real people who count are hardware manufactuerers or ISP 's etc.

 

what we should do instead of saying hey does it work with Mandrake 10OE is hey does it work with WebMin Vxx or linuxconf...

 

we almost need a certified by linuxconf (or whoever) sticker...and endorsment....

that is a distro would be certified to have self configuation by webmin or linuxconf and so would a piece of hardware or ISP services etc.

 

that way we keep the distro's and vendors neutral and still get to walk into the store and see linux supported hardware :D

 

eventally imagine a Jorg Schilling endorsed DVD burner.... that way you know it works with K3B and XCDroast and ....

 

the real quality companies like adaptec and plextor etc. would be falling over themselves for a general certification...

heck adaptec even got kernel support for the AIC drivers...

all this is good but you cant expect everything to be supported in a vanilla kernel (which basically means endorsed by linus) only boot media needs this!

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bvc

I made this a seperate post cos Im replying direct...(instead of just editing the last one ....)

 

yep right on ....

Ive said this myself a few times too....

 

 

its not that we have too many distros (IMHO) just that we have to many configuration tools....

 

p.s. the new linuxconf looksquite nice which is why I posted the link....

 

The challenge is to keep the diveristy of Linux becuase thats good... and at the same time encourage ISP's and the like to support linux by offering a standard tool they can use to config their services to a complete noobie!

 

 

Qchem:

Using the same text config file on all distros would be a good start, the argument about which is the best front-end would then mean more.

Agreed ... thats why the config file should be the one the programmer decides.... (its one reason I never tried suse before)

 

I know sometimes this gives a chaotic placement of conf files but at least if the MDK version and the Suse and RH versions all had the same files then were halfway home.

 

At work they keep apache in the old /opt with the basedir html below it...

 

whereas apache now specifiy /var/www/html

 

of course if you dont use the apache standards and something doesnt work then dont blame apache... etc.

 

if mysql specifiy a user must exist as mysql then make it or IMHO dont include it in your distro....

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I agree completely!

 

ISP thing is funny though because they can't even troubleshoot M$ :lol:

 

The challenge IS keeping choice while maintaining a 'standard'. This is where too much choice is anarchy/madness :cheeky: ...which is what we have right now. A 'standard' will help kill this 'linux is hippies and rebels' attitude. Regardless if that's what most of us really are or not :lol:

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Standards are a good thing -- if they are used and adhered to fully

 

Otherwise they are useless and annoying.

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Standards are a good thing -- if they are used and adhered to fully

 

Otherwise they are useless and annoying.

Usually I'd agree 100% with that Iphitus but in this case even 90% would be more than enough.....

 

If just 2 big distro's agreed then the rest would have to follow.

 

its a question of blame.... if a distro is certified united linux (or whatver) and becuase it doesnt follow the standards you get back your money for the hardware then it would not be good for linux becuase the manufactuerer who went out on a limb just lost out.

 

However once the initial teething was past... then it would be the distro's that didnt follow who were responsible....

 

lets take DanDisk (apparently a really cool up and coming distro :D) and imagine its meant to be Linstall (ooh catchy) complient but isnt...

People keep buying a gowator SF-1201 modem from Linterprises (my fictitious company) but we keep getitng unhappy users from Dandisk....

 

we start issuing wanrings that works with Linstall certified distro's EXCEPT DanDisk.

 

DanDisk cant do anything but weep... they have no case becuase its their fault and unless they fix it they will loose certification......

 

So the manufactuerers would enforce compliance....

NVIDIA have proven its worth supporting Linux... now I want to walk into any com shop and have a choice without having a WAP enabled PDA to check every item I wanna buy!!!

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well lets face it....you start a new distro because you believe you have a better way. There are too many, however this can't be helped, and neither can stopping ppl from dloading>using>promoting a distro that uses magic spell names as their commands :screwy: ....too many distros.... where's the standard in that? Even if it uses the -standard- config files the ISP still can't know what the magic spell that starts the app is :lol: .....so yes, linuxconf is a good place to start. yes, all it would take is 2 or 3 big dogs and rest, that matter, will follow.

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Ok, so with the presumption of accuracy of Gowator's post, perhap's it's fair to ask the actual relevance of this.

 

Now that's not too sound critical/sarcastic/whatever, but having been using mandrake basically for 2 year's, I can honestly say that I don't know what half of the app's/services/facilities are, that start at boot time.

 

It's not that I can't be bothered, but with different users, there are different requirement's.

 

I should point out, that I only started looking into linux generally, because thing's that I read around the web, increased my level of understanding of OS's in a social, moral and ethical way.

 

I'm not critical of MS per se, but don't like they way that they do business. Overbearing, patronising, bullying, etc etc.

 

Now to make sure that I can follow the reasoning behind Gowator's original post,I checked out this

 

quoted from Webmin's own site, "what is webmin"

Webmin is a web-based interface for system administration for Unix. Using any browser that supports tables and forms (and Java for the File Manager module), you can setup user accounts, Apache, DNS, file sharing and so on.

 

Webmin consists of a simple web server, and a number of CGI programs which directly update system files like /etc/inetd.conf and /etc/passwd. The web server and all CGI programs are written in Perl version 5, and use no non-standard Perl modules

 

So OK, most of that makes sense, but I don't know anything about "CGI programs", and as for perl, well that's another big ??? insofar as I've never dabbled/meddled etc.

 

Yes, I understand that linuxconf is a config tool,

 

quoted from Linuxconf home

Linuxconf is a sophisticated administration system for the Linux operating system. In many ways, Linuxconf is different from other administration schemes found on Unix operating systems and most other systems.

 

I still don't follow why linuxconf appears (according to Gowator) to be so important?

 

What's wrong with other config tool's of this nature - Why are Mandrake "so wrong" if they don't conform to the "standards"?

 

I know that many, many, new users start out from a similar stand point as me, but they then "get the bug" (or perhap's get the penguin :D). Hence it would be nice to try and have a greater understanding of the issues.

 

Afterall, isn't it down to what Mandrake are actually trying to do? i.e. the different approach to how their distro actually develop's - more desktop oriented, as opposed to some differing philosophy of purity (a la debian)?

 

Because while I'm happy to "play", primarily what I want from a distro is ease of installation/setup. A straight forward way of personalising stuff (as different from having to completely start from scratch, spending hour's researching about, probably/possibly important, if obscure set up parameter's etc).

 

And Mandrake satisfies my requirement's very well.

 

In the past, I've had up to 4 linux distro's multi-booting on my system, though I've ended up back at mandrake because after settling on gentoo as my main distro, I managed to screw it up and after a week of looking/searching I failed to locate the source of my problem's (sorry, I can also be incredibly impatient!).

 

With the mandrake, it was just a case of put the disc in, fire the system up and bingo!

 

regards

 

John

 

p.s. "They" do say, that ignorance is bliss. Perhap's it's better for me to continue to wallow in the "ignorance" part :D

Edited by bigjohn

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