# Maybe it's time to move to Linux

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Original post by sit
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Original post by The Rug
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 ...these are just to examples I can come up with. I am not saying you cannot do stuff like thaton windows it is just so much easier on linux.

That sounds to me like something that would have been far less complicated had you used Windows XP's Remote Desktop...

windows has a way to batch resize images?

Not as an integral part of the OS (why would it?) but there is a glut of free tools available to do that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing Linux here- I just don't think it's justified to say "Linux has [some feature]" when it is, infact, a third-party tool that happened to be bundled with the distro. (I'll admit it's been a while since I've used Linux, so perhaps it is the case that Linux has an integral image resising tool, in which case, ignore that example [smile])

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Im sorry perhaps I implied that "Linux" could do all the stuff I mentioned.
Linux is only a kernel. What I meant was that I perceive linux installations as a much more flexible environment for doing those kind of things.

I don't know if Windows Remote Desktop could have done those things for me. But I don't think I could have streamed the audio from the music I was playing on my home machine, back to the speakers on my W2K workstation?, besides my home system have a 128 kbps line upstream which make VNC or "remote desktopping" awfully slow.

Let me come up with 2 other examples of why I love linux (+software).

the first is a prank:

I once overlooked one my friends root password (he also uses linux+kde for desktop work). With this knowledge I ssh'ed to his machine. I was talking to him trough IM while doing this.
I used the DCOP commandline client to get a list of exposed interfaces and found JuK (a kde music player with an iTunes ripoff style UI). I could query JuK's dcop interface to see that he was listening to music, even the title of the tune. I ten started turning the volume up an down. After doing that I started played with the dcop interface of KDE's im client kopete. Using it to send messages to people on his list (so it would look like it came from him). He still didn't react so as a last thing I increased his taskbar height to 400. Then he rebooted lol. Great fun :)

I know this example hasn't practical value but could I do that with windows?

The second example I forgot due to excessive pot smoking tonight..

http://www.volny.cz/bwian/dcop.html <-- here is a link explaining about dcop and giving some practical uses of the commandline. But the real power lies in that the interfaces can be used from any language with DCOP bindings. So far there are bindings for C++, python, javascript and more.

What it comes down to for me is flexibility and what I can potentically archieve with my system. Then I can live with a few hours of config file and info hunting every know and then.

The downside of running a linux system is when this chick on your list (which of course runs msn messenger on xp) wants you to accept a webcam conversation, because she wanna show you that new tattoo she got on her butt. Oh yeah and trying to explain why sucks even more.

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i just think it's sad that i'm forced into using a specific OS because if the software available for it, rather than the strengths and weaknesses of the OS.

i would love to use Linux regularly, but on my own machine i prefer to have access to my 3D super graphics games when i get frustrated programming. also i have only gone about half way to getting my broadband connection wirelessly accessible in linux.

i have been using a remote bash login( i won't even pretend i know the right name for it ) in college for one of our classes, and have found that console development is awkward( for those born to the gui ) but suprisingly managable.

i still feel the urge just to use the mouse to highlight and cut & paste, but i dont *really* mind the rest. thats even using a text editor, nothing like emacs or stuff.

basically- i'm too dependant on 3rd party windows drivers

*sigh*

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 Original post by daviangelI guess you never read any Lamothe books?Game Programming Law #1:Program your games for the most popular OSnuff said

Because LaMothe is a genius of course!
And because you need to write windows apps on windows!
</sarcasm>

[edit:

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 i still feel the urge just to use the mouse to highlight and cut & paste, but i dont *really* mind the rest. thats even using a text editor, nothing like emacs or stuff.

Depending on how you're making the connection, this should still work one way or another. Using the most standard setup [windows using an ssh client to connect in], you could use Putty as your ssh-client. Putty will also do telnet if that's the setup. It allows highlight-copy and rightclick-paste. Quite useful.

end-edit]

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Original post by brulle
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 Original post by OluseyiThat said, there is no guarantee that Linux will grow to double-digit desktop marketshare, simply because the system is designed around principles that range from opaque to incomprehensible to most users.

What principles would that be? Sounds like you are talking out of you ***, frankly. IMO Unix is well designed compared to Windows.

• Everything is a file. Everything isn't a file.

• A program that completes successfully generates no output. Most people expect a positive/affirmative status report.

• Prefer human-readable native configuration data formats (.conf files) - and thus human-editable without validation and verification. And thus error-prone. Incredible that specifying the wrong video modes in your Xf86Config file used to be able to damage your hardware, by forcing it into a wrong mode. Fortunately, autodiscovery (which Windows has had for about a decade) is making this only a bad memory.

• Use multiple discrete utilities in combination to accomplish complex tasks. Generally a good idea, but it creates multiple possible points of failure when it doesn't work. Windows - and Windows apps/libraries/utilities in general - presents reusable components that developers can use to present specialized tools to end users. The Unix principles basically assume that all end users are developers!

• Excess flexibility. This isn't so much a formal principle as a consequence of the combinatorial possibility space. Windows presents a high degree of consistency to users - and I've heard tons of them deride certain configurable/adaptable UI techniques like Office menus that hide less frequently used items because they violate consistency and reduce skill mobility - which makes instructing new users much easier. Once comfortable, they can then go on and create all sorts of customized configurations.

I guess my ass had good information.

wise ass! ;)

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Just a couple of thoughts

Quote:
 Original post by OluseyiA program that completes successfully generates no output. Most people expect a positive/affirmative status report.

This is only true for programs run from the terminal. Graphical apps are becoming more and more common these days. Some linux distros have gotten to the point where the average user could theoretically never have to open up a terminal. And I would guess that over 90% of Mac OS X users have never opened the terminal (then again Macs have diverged from many of the old UNIX traditions - in most ways for the better).

Plus many command line programs have a -verbose switch which will generally report success or failure. Personally I like the pipe system and would be a bit annoyed if I had to switch output off with every invocation of a program - though I suppose i'm not the typical end user of a desktop pc.

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 Prefer human-readable native configuration data formats (.conf files) - and thus human-editable without validation and verification. And thus error-prone. Incredible that specifying the wrong video modes in your Xf86Config file used to be able to damage your hardware, by forcing it into a wrong mode. Fortunately, autodiscovery (which Windows has had for about a decade) is making this only a bad memory.

Fortunately there have been a lot of GUI apps for editing config files. There's nothing stopping someone from installing Fedora Core and running redhat-config-xf86 (or whatever the program is called), rather than manually editing the X config file.

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 Windows - and Windows apps/libraries/utilities in general - presents reusable components that developers can use to present specialized tools to end users.

Qt does provide a lot of useful reusable components. It's too bad that it's rather expensive when you want to license it under terms other than the GPL.

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 Excess flexibility. This isn't so much a formal principle as a consequence of the combinatorial possibility space. Windows presents a high degree of consistency to users

Hopefully the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines and KDE Human Interface Guidelines will be followed more closely by programs in the future.

I'm still not sure how I feel about having 2 major Desktop suites. I'm sure that it only adds confusion to the average user wanting to look at linux.

But the really nice thing is that you have a choice - I have an old laptop with 64 megs of RAM, being able to use a light weight window manager (like Blackbox) means that I can still use it.

A couple things you didn't mention about UNIX in general that I think could use some work are the permissions system (it works, but there's room for improvement), and the concept of a root user.

cheers

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 Original post by Anonymous PosterJust a couple of thoughts...

Good points all the way round. I'd like to see more work being done on these aspects of Desktop Unix/Linux.

(By the way, I wasn't trying to demean or anything; I was just pointing out the traditional development principles/orientation of Unix that frequently yielded more powerful albeit less peon-usable software. Unix essentially presents a bunch of mastery interfaces; Kevin Cho outlines the situation better than I can.)

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 Windows - and Windows apps/libraries/utilities in general - presents reusable components that developers can use to present specialized tools to end users.

Qt does provide a lot of useful reusable components. It's too bad that it's rather expensive when you want to license it under terms other than the GPL.

You get what you pay for.

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 A couple things you didn't mention about UNIX in general that I think could use some work are the permissions system (it works, but there's room for improvement), and the concept of a root user.

I didn't want to rip RWX a new one in comparison to Windows ACLs. Everyone who's actually a competent multi-platform sysadmin knows that Windows NT leaves Unix in the dust when it comes to user permissions. It's not exactly a design principle, so much as an implementation detail: NT had the luxury of being first unveiled 15 to 20 years after Unix was first published.

The root user is a funny concept in that it is mandatory. Windows' Administrator account can remain unspecified for single-user installations. Additionally, root has to be called, well, root. Windows' Administrator account can be renamed, and even disabled (with the help of third-party tools).

But I didn't want to get into a comparions, so I'll leave it at that.

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Hmmm... that Anonymous Poster was me. It seems to happen roughly once a month that I get logged out and have a post appear as Anonymous - wonder if it's a gamedev problem or a firefox bug (speaking of firefox, I still prefer it to IE and Safari, but there's room for improvement - and it seems like using something else is no longer an option).

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 Original post by Oluseyi(By the way, I wasn't trying to demean or anything; I was just pointing out the traditional development principles/orientation of Unix that frequently yielded more powerful albeit less peon-usable software. Unix essentially presents a bunch of mastery interfaces; Kevin Cho outlines the situation better than I can.)

UNIX is what it is. On the PC it's currently more suited in a server role (i'm pretty sick of hearing for the past 5 years that this is the year of linux on the desktop). But who knows what the future will hold - looking back at Windows 95 or 98 I wouldn't have thought that Microsoft would be where they are now.

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Qt does provide a lot of useful reusable components. It's too bad that it's rather expensive when you want to license it under terms other than the GPL.
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 You get what you pay for.

I don't know, \$6600 per developer for the Windows/Linux/Mac Desktop Edition seems awfully expensive considering you can also get it for "free" if you're willing to release your app under the GPL. Then again, it appears that Trolltech may be headed for an IPO in the next year - so they might be doing well for themselves.

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 The root user is a funny concept in that it is mandatory. Windows' Administrator account can remain unspecified for single-user installations. Additionally, root has to be called, well, root. Windows' Administrator account can be renamed, and even disabled (with the help of third-party tools).

Different distros handle the root user differently. A standard Ubuntu install has no root user, if you want to do something as root you need to use sudo from an administrator account (as does Mac OS X). While Linspire makes you the root user by default.

I'm not sure how I feel about the number of linux distros - on one side I grew up with Macs, I followed the progression from 68k -> PPC -> OS X -> Intel chips. There's just no way linux could change and follow the leader like that. At the same time, it runs on everything (from a PC to the Xbox, cell phones, and tons of embedded devices). I'm still trying to figure out if this is a strength or weakness for linux.

[Edited by - Will F on September 18, 2005 4:53:12 AM]

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 Original post by daviangelI guess you never read any Lamothe books?Game Programming Law #1:Program your games for the most popular OSnuff said

Correct me if i'm wrong, but in terms of video game sales isn't the most popular OS the playstation 2?

I have a lot of respect for Lamothe, but the Premier Press books in which he has been the "series editor" have been very hit and miss in terms of quality.

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