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Muncher

y bother with linux???

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Hello, my apologies if i come across as rude, but i luv you all! Anyway i would like to know why people still bother with linux other than for educational purposes. I mean, Windows can do everything linux can do (as far as i know) and its 1000x more user friendly and easier to use. Plus almost all software is written for windows systems.... linux just seems to be the stone in my shoe that i have to keep in mind when developing software. Our lecturer brings up points like stability/speed, which linux systems seem to have an advantage... but at what price?? Stuff all compatibility?? No user friendlyness?? No specific hardware support?? After studying operating systems i can truly say that Windows is an amazing piece of software and i hope it remains the main operating system of choice, but to me linux just seems to be a pain in the ass that nerds rave on and on about.... I mean it''s great to have an operating system nothing runs on!! Bye.

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Windows and Linux were developed with two very different audiences in mind.

Windows was developed primarily for the home-user, a deskto OS. All networking functionality came later.

Linux, on the other hand, is often built and optimised to handle servers more than the desktop machine. It is far more stable than any version of Windows (possibly incl Server2003, but this hasn''t been out long enough for any serious comparisions to be drawn yet), has long been capable of allowing multiple users to log-on to a single terminal, something Windows only achieved fully in XP.

While newer versions of Windows are attempting to become more commercially viable for server solutions, many new Linux distros are attempting to break the desktop market. Take the new version of SuSE for example...

What I think would be a far more interesting argument than "Why bother with Linux when Windows can do it all??" (btw: It can do a lot, but it can''t do a lot well...) would be "What wuld it take for Linux to become as comercially viable as Windows for the desktop user?"


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"What wuld it take for Linux to become as comercially viable as Windows for the desktop user?"

yes... a far better topic

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Well,

NT 4 Terminal Services introduced true multi-user capabilities. Windows 2000 AS has Term Services as well. I think MS licensed the code for this from Citrix.

I think stability and speed is less of an issue for most users today. Compared to NT4, Windows 2000 and 2003 are both fairly solid and stable. However, when people say stability they often mean uptimes. Windows still can''t approach Unix in this regard. It''s still difficult if not impossible to update certain system libraries and components without a reboot on Windows. In Linux/Unix its a trivial task to install an updated version of Apache, start listening to new Apache connections, and in many cases without interrupting current users. Also, when properly done, you can revert to your old version in seconds. This design lends itself to uptimes and stability.

As for speed, Linux used to trounce NT 4 (trounces Solaris in a lot of areas as well). Windows 2000 is a much closer comparision, generally not of any concern to most users, but Linux still wins by a narrow margin in most cases (I have seem some comparisons where they still trounce Windows 2K). Generally, if you''re this concerned about performance, odds are you''ll test your application/daemon on different supported platforms for yourself and pick the best one for the job.

Bear in mind that for many administrators a GUI is restrictive to your work. It''s bulky, eats up system resources, and generally makes automation and customization difficult. Just using regex patterns and simple text manipulation, most Unix admins can pull off customizations that would take custom VB or C code to pull off in Windows. Windows applications and services aren''t designed with this in mind, and often provide secondary support through some tool or an interface such as WMI (which is great technology by the way). There have been countless times I''ve been able to do customizations on Linux/Unix in a few hours compared to the weeks I spent researching or looking for code that would expose interfaces for functionality I need through Windows Script Host or even a simple program to provide command line options. Half the time what I want to do isn''t available after all that research.

But you primarly comment on Useability for the desktop. Compatibility you mention, but I think for corporate systems, Linux tends to be more compatible than any proprietary vendor since they stick to the actual design specs for protocols. However, the Linux desktop doesn''t have the benefit of central design so it''s cludgy. But that decentralized design lets those who want a customized desktop with specific features get them. You get choices on Linux at the expense of some useability.

I would also watch the hardware issues. When it comes to server hardware, many vendors are already providing native Linux drivers. HP/Compaq, IBM, etc. Granted, these aren''t the companies making your graphic cards and consumer hardware, but that''s because its not the market Linux is filling in right now. These Linux drivers are reportedly more stable and often perform better than the Windows counterparts. In some cases this is because they''re able to see into the kernel and make full use of all its features. In other cases, its because Linux just handles some things cleaner.

I do agree the Linux Zealotry is a bit much at times =), but bear in mind that Linux/BSD/Unix is just a different way and for some things, a better way.

But to just give you a story, I bought a firewire/usb card. Thing causes my Windows XP machine to lock up randomly at times, complete system freeze (no blue screen, at least that would help me troubleshoot it). I run it with FreeBSD and Linux with no issues, and without having to download the manufacturer driver (which causes my system to freeze randomly instead of every 15 seconds after boot).

However, I also find the Linux desktop lacking useability. Then again, I got a PowerBook. Unix core + better desktop than Windows or Linux IMHO. So a solid UI can be done and has been done. Just needs that sort of focus. Right now the Linux desktop is focused on eye candy (and man its look sweeet if tweaked properly) and not useability.

Sun is going to release their Sun Java Desktop, which already some are saying fills in this useability role. I don''t know if that product will be accepted by the Linux masses, or be a consumer desktop (looks business oriented in my mind), but you''ll see more attention on useability as time goes on. The past few years have been pretty fast paced for the Linux desktop, with a lot of very solid changes. Now that there is much more adoption of Linux by governments and corporations, expect to see more pressure to refine those desktop environments.

Int.

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Someone wrote someday: "Unix IS user friendly, it is just selective about who his friends are"

Without C, we would only have Basi, Pasal and obol.

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quote:
Original post by Muncher
Our lecturer brings up points like stability/speed, which linux systems seem to have an advantage... but at what price??

Price, what price? Damn, all for free!
I have still Win 98 because don''t have money to update currently.. but still I don''t want to use many years old os.. so then I have this linux. I feel more safe reading mail and everything.. psychological thing also.. I have not any compatibility issues. everything works just fine

Only thing I don''t like is bad sound system that could play multiple sources without esd.

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All that and Linux 1.0 came out in ''94... Think about that and where it might be headed. Its probabaly a better idea to learn Linux now, instead of when it gets in fashion. Cause that''ll probably happen.

For the most part I think having a flashy Word or Excel program for Linux that was just as powerful as the MS version would just about shut the door on MS. But Word and Excel, in their current state, are some very impressive peaces of software that really have no rival, not by Sun or OpenOffice. Why those two? Cause those are desktop applications most office users associate ease of use with. Word is practically a html browser and editor, to boot. And excel is just fun sometimes, and easy to understand.

I really hate the pot holes in the documentation as mentioned too! Especially after doing the research only to find it can''t be done on a Windows machine. And mainly because Windows is so annoying and vunerable to viruses that some of the ability is shrouded or dismantled to plug a hole.

On top of that I can''t see spending $250 for XP, $300 for Office, Std edition, and $1200 for Visual Studio, etc... when compared to GNU stuff all of it is really sub-par. gcc, the profiler, and debugger are A-class, best in the world, in my opinion.

Getting the same from MS is either impossible or gonna cost you an arm and a leg, to be legit. Not all of us work at firms with those peices of software at our disposal. And some of us don''t like the idea of pirating software. Even if it does seem just in the MS scheme.

Oh well, I guess.


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RedHat has made Linux nearly desktop ready. Which is ironic because in the process they''ve come to the conclusion they have to charge for their distro to justify their efforts. There are no free versions of Linux which come even close to the ease of installation and simplicity of usuage as Windows.

I installed RedHat 8 the on the first try (only issue was DHCP with my router. I had to give the system a fixed IP. All version of Windows get on-line right after being installed with no additional effort) compared to Debian, Mandrake, and Slackware which are crap that have a tough time even getting Linux to boot once it''s "installed." Slackware brags about being around for over 10 years and yet they still don''t have a Windows comparable graphical installer like RedHat. Apparently they''re celebrating 10 years of having their thumbs stuck up their butt while they copy and paste various software distros and put their name on it.

So basically what we''ve learned from this whole "free software" fiasco is that in order to compete with Microsoft you have to pay the developers and charge the customers because it costs a lot of money and dedicated time (not spare time) to put together a commercially competative product.

As Mikhail says, street performers don''t write symphonies. In short I was thoroughly impressed with RedHat 8 (7 was also a breeze to install when I first tried it several years ago) but, such quality versions will never be free. RedHat 9''s free version is crippled.

Many things could just as well be free. A commerical quality OS isn''t one of them.

Ben


[ IcarusIndie.com | recycledrussianbrides.com | Got Linux? ]


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