Where Linux went wrong...

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Where Linux went wrong...

Postby guerrillase7en on Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:34 pm

1st of all don't hate me for this post i've been using Linux off and on for more then a decade sense red hat 6.0

Backwards compatibility, and compatibility across Linux distributions is not a sexy problem. It is not even remotely an interesting problem to solve. Nobody wants to do that work, everyone wants to innovate, and be responsible for the next big feature in Linux.
So Linux was left with idealists that wanted to design the best possible system without having to worry about boring details like support and backwards compatibility.
Meanwhile, you can still run the 2001 Photoshop that came when XP was launched on Windows 8. And you can still run your old OSX apps on Mountain Lion.
This is the big reason Linux hasn't taken more share on desktop computers... our best chance was as Vista came out and flopped, now with windows 8 struggling it seems we'll be missing it once more.

Just some thoughts as i constantly see ppl looking at mint 14 vs mint debian..."i want the constant updates but i came from ubuntu will my programs work"...
It seems we should agreed on more then just the kernel to unit us
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby dee. on Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:16 pm

What compatibility problems are you talking about?

I changed from Ubuntu 12.04 to Mint 13. I kept my home partition untouched, and when I first booted to Mint 13, everything worked the same, even the browser tabs I left open opened in Firefox. How's that for backward compatibility? Just try to do the same with any two windows versions.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby catweazel on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:36 am

Linux is open source, so if it bothers you that much, download the source code and fix it yourself.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby slekkas on Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:52 am

Don't need to flame the man. He is just saying his opinion. He is not talking about bookmarks and desktop settings but actual application backwards compatibility. As a Linux lover and trying to convert as many friends into Linux I hear these responses many times. Every one is telling me how confusing it is to choose between distinctions. The other issue is the packages. RPM VS DEB. My best friend loves mint but he works with autodesk maya witch for some reason comes only in rpm. He did spend hours trying to install and eventually he succeeded but too much trouble for something that should had been simple. The other part that Linux is suffering is gaming. Every time I choose a pc for a friend no matter how professional he his and needs the pc for work they always tell me: make sure the pc can play some of the latest popular titles. We all know that video card drivers and gaming on Linux needs a lot of work.
If I was one of the major distributions owner I would get on a table with all the big open source CEO'S and developers and I would fund a great game for Linux. A game that every decent gamer on the planet would want on his pc and it would only be available in Linux. Free or paid. It doesn't really matter. Think about it. This is what Microsoft did with Halo series. I bought the first xbox just to play this game. All my friends did. This is what put the xbox on the map. If Linux had a game like this all young kids and older man ( like me:grin: ) would have Linux installed at least as dual boot and they would get familiarized with it.

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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby catweazel on Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:51 am

slekkas wrote:Don't need to flame the man. He is just saying his opinion.

That's not a flame. That's my opinion.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby guerrillase7en on Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:19 am

the distro base differance is what keeps great games off of linux, how would an indi game developer be able to make a game for the top 5 linux distros when they arn't compatable with each other? at best you'll find the biggest companys makeing it for windows mac and 1 distro of linux.

@dee
yes you can go from 1 distro to another that's based on the 1st but u can't expectanything to work if u went to a different base.

@TehGhodTrole
If i had the know how i would try as i'm sure many ppl have in the past, but i've tried every programing language u could think of sence i was about 12, i'm 27 now and i've come to realize that programming just isn't for me :(
it's not that it bothers me so much but that's what keeps linux from taking more share on desktops for home users... never would anyone advise a new computer user to linux just for these reasons. it has alot of pros over the compation but the trouble to find the right version of a program for your distro hurts the new linux users
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby semicolon on Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:32 am

guerrillase7en wrote:This is the big reason Linux hasn't taken more share on desktop computers... our best chance was as Vista came out and flopped, now with windows 8 struggling it seems we'll be missing it once more.

I am sorry, but I can't name any important software that should have been backwards compatible which would have attracted all those windows users you are talking about. Regarding the compatibility between linux distro's I completely understand your point, although I don't think it is the big reason why linux hasn't taken more share on desktop computers. That has more to do with the fact that lots of people don't know linux well and that it usually doesn't come preinstalled when you buy a new computer (people are lazy by nature).

To solve compatibility issues between distro's, maybe some standardizations should be considered, but I don't see that happen. What I do see happening though is that more and more programs move towards the browser and the great thing about that is that every website looks the same in all browsers on all platfroms (well... almost).
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby powerhouse on Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:14 pm

TehGhodTrole wrote:
slekkas wrote:Don't need to flame the man. He is just saying his opinion.

That's not a flame. That's my opinion.


Your opinion misses the point.

@guerrillase7en: I've seen less issues with backwards compatibility, but surely lots of problems with compatibility between different distros. One app might be available for say Ubuntu, but not for Fedora/Redhat etc.

I have been looking at this from a slightly different angle: Why would a software vendor want to develop commercial software (games?) for Linux? I can find plenty of answers why not:

1. Many different package formats and installers (deb, rpm, etc.);
2. Dependencies to other packages;
3. Product testing - it will take a long time and a major effort to test software on various distros and various releases of those distros;
4. Support - can you imagine a Linux support center? It would be a nightmare to run with all the distros, let alone the costs;
5. Market fragmentation - every investment to cover a specific distro would only contribute a small increase in sales/market share.

To conserve the beauty of Linux, part of which is the diversity, I have been suggesting some kind of SDK. The SDK would determine the requirements towards an application to run on various different distros, and provide the tools to produce or port applications. This, however, would mean that distro developers work together on the SDK. It would put the responsibility on the distro developers to make sure the applications work, as long as the apps use the SDK and conform to the specs.

As long as commercial (mainstream) software developers have no incentive to develop for Linux, Linux will never become the desktop of choice. With Microsoft developing kernel patches to make Linux run as a guest OS under Hyper-V, Linux may gradually disappear from the server market (Microsoft doesn't contribute drivers or Windows patches to provider better performance of Windows guests on Linux - no no!). It would be sad to see that happen, and certainly a big mistake for enterprises to go single source.

On a practical side to those who like to adopt Linux as their main OS, but still want to run Windows occasionally or in parallel, the Xen hypervisor supports running Windows as a guest OS with native graphics acceleration for games and other GPU demanding tasks. This trick is called VGA passthrough and requires specific hardware. It makes dual-boot completely obsolete. I wrote a how-to on that, for those interested.

Forgive me for this "advertising", but most people only know dual-boot which kinda sucks, and perhaps whine.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby monkeyboy on Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:50 pm

1st of all don't hate me for this post i've been using Linux off and on for more then a decade sense red hat 6.0

Ten years, that is great then you are aware that the people who actually do the work pick the tunes at the dance.


Backwards compatibility, and compatibility across Linux distributions is not a sexy problem. It is not even remotely an interesting problem to solve. Nobody wants to do that work, everyone wants to innovate, and be responsible for the next big feature in Linux.

I for one don't want to use software from ten years ago for the most part regardless if it is for Windows or Linux.


So Linux was left with idealists that wanted to design the best possible system without having to worry about boring details like support and backwards compatibility.

That is one perception of the situation other folks may have a different take.

Meanwhile, you can still run the 2001 Photoshop that came when XP was launched on Windows 8. And you can still run your old OSX apps on Mountain Lion.

CS 1 was a pain in the butt and if Adobe had not been innovative and willing to changed things around then the program would have died years ago. In this case I really don't care about backwards compatibility.


This is the big reason Linux hasn't taken more share on desktop computers... our best chance was as Vista came out and flopped, now with windows 8 struggling it seems we'll be missing it once more.

At the same time that Vista was released people were complaining that Linux was too different from Windows and now people are still complaining as Metro hits the street. I for one don't want Linux to follow Windows.

Just some thoughts as i constantly see ppl looking at mint 14 vs mint debian..."i want the constant updates but i came from ubuntu will my programs work"...
It seems we should agreed on more then just the kernel to unit us.

Those are people who lack a basic understanding of Linux and ignorance on the part of the user is not the fault of the OS.
Linux was, is and likely will be a niche market OS for the foreseeable future. Expecting it to compete against commercial juggernauts for desktop share is a fools game in my opinion. Linux lacks the armies of paid developers, marketers and lawyers that the corporations use to capture and hold market share. However everyone is entitled to their opinion. Enjoy
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby JWJones on Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:31 pm

Linux seems to be working just fine for a good many users. Actually, I'd go so far to say it has more users than Windows, if you count Android phones/devices. I don't know the actual numbers, here, so don't quote me on this.

Hmm, let's see... Chromebooks (Linux-based) are the #1 laptop seller on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Elec ... cs/565108/

What do you want Linux to do for YOU? If it doesn't meet your needs, help change it, or use something else. It works just fine for hundreds of thousands of users.

I think mostly, the problem with people that post these sort of threads is this:

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby guerrillase7en on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:35 pm

@JWJones
According to tom's hardware on Jan 21 2013...
"Linux owns only about 1 percent of the desktop OS market and Windows has almost 92 percent. But if you consider all computing platforms, including mobile, than Windows has only 20 percent and Linux has 42 percent - and that would be in the form of Google's Android alone."
the chromebook is changing how ppl see a computer, even before they came out dell and HP had laptops with a 'quick web' option that booted a bare bones form of linux for fast internet... and for a long time linux has dominated web based computers... if your only looking to browse the web linux will boot fast and is stable to get online, a server admin wants something stable and safe he doesn't need alot of programs, you have a tablet/phone everything is in your appstore no need to look elsewhere. but i'm talking more about desktop users.
kinda off topic but how is it android isn't called android linux? that's part of the agreement if u use the kernal...

@monkeyboy
you wouldn't want to use 10 year old programs? i still from time to time want to break out Age of Empires and Unreal Tournament 2004 (both do work on linux, hell i even have the linux version of UT04, but the point remains). true Linux is outnumbered in paid employs(http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/inside_ms.aspx more then half in sales) but i imagine there are more developers and man hours put into linux then windows. As for the other juggernaut (Mac) it has a great OS that's unix based but it lacks what makes ppl want linux, freedom, out of every linux user i know they want it for the freedom of information I want to know i have the source code even though i can't do anything with it it's just a nice idea that the developer gives it away in hopes that someone will help make it better:-)
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby catweazel on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:47 pm

guerrillase7en wrote:If i had the know how i would try as i'm sure many ppl have in the past, but i've tried every programing language u could think of sence i was about 12, i'm 27 now and i've come to realize that programming just isn't for me :(

Gee. You've made my day. I'm 84, born on 20 February 1929, with more liver spots than Montgomery Burns, and I learned C++ in two weeks over Christmas. Now I'm looking for ideas for an app to write that is useful to Mint...
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby JWJones on Wed Mar 20, 2013 4:54 pm

guerrillase7en wrote:@JWJones
According to tom's hardware on Jan 21 2013...
"Linux owns only about 1 percent of the desktop OS market and Windows has almost 92 percent. But if you consider all computing platforms, including mobile, than Windows has only 20 percent and Linux has 42 percent - and that would be in the form of Google's Android alone."
the chromebook is changing how ppl see a computer, even before they came out dell and HP had laptops with a 'quick web' option that booted a bare bones form of linux for fast internet... and for a long time linux has dominated web based computers... if your only looking to browse the web linux will boot fast and is stable to get online, a server admin wants something stable and safe he doesn't need alot of programs, you have a tablet/phone everything is in your appstore no need to look elsewhere. but i'm talking more about desktop users.
kinda off topic but how is it android isn't called android linux? that's part of the agreement if u use the kernal...


42 percent, nice! But yeah, as far as the desktop goes, who knows? It probably won't ever surpass Windows, but as MS continues to flail about with crappy products, it could happen. The success of Chromebooks, given what most average users use a computer for, could be a real game-changer. And they are VERY secure. It will be interesting to see how things play out over the coming years.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby powerhouse on Wed Mar 20, 2013 5:26 pm

@guerrillase7en:

I agree with your points and I'm also one who really likes to see Linux around.In telecommunications many routers and switches are Linux based. So the Linux footprint goes far beyond what we call computers.

As good as Linux distros and their applications are, there are times when they can't compete with commercial software. I haven't found an equivalent for Lightroom and Photoshop, let alone the many commercial games available for Windows. In the end the average user will have to run Windows alongside Linux to get the good stuff from both worlds. But many users are not willing to dual-boot.

To get commercial software companies embrace Linux, the Linux community has to help make it worth their while. I think it would be a good thing for everybody to make that happen.

Some answers of the like "if you don't like it, change it" in this thread miss the point entirely. It's about working together to make things better, not starting out alone with yet another distro or whatever.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby catweazel on Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:58 am

powerhouse wrote:
TehGhodTrole wrote:
slekkas wrote:Don't need to flame the man. He is just saying his opinion.

That's not a flame. That's my opinion.


Your opinion misses the point.

Irrelevant. Opinion is not required to be founded on any fact whatsoever. It requires absolutely no proof at all, and need not be based on any positive knowledge of any kind. Therefore my opinion is just as valid as any other, no matter how you might feel about that.

That's a fact, not an opinion.

To conserve the beauty of Linux, part of which is the diversity, I have been suggesting some kind of SDK.

There's nothing stopping you from doing it instead of just suggesting it in the vain hope someone else will do all the work for you.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby powerhouse on Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:52 am

TehGhodTrole wrote:
powerhouse wrote:Your opinion misses the point.

Irrelevant. Opinion is not required to be founded on any fact whatsoever. It requires absolutely no proof at all, and need not be based on any positive knowledge of any kind. Therefore my opinion is just as valid as any other, no matter how you might feel about that.

That's a fact, not an opinion.

To conserve the beauty of Linux, part of which is the diversity, I have been suggesting some kind of SDK.

There's nothing stopping you from doing it instead of just suggesting it in the vain hope someone else will do all the work for you.


Re opinion: I give it to you. You are right.

Re SDK: I'll think about it.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby catweazel on Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:02 am

powerhouse wrote:Asus Sabertooth X79 (NOT recommended)

Why's that?
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby dee. on Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:19 am

guerrillase7en wrote:the distro base differance is what keeps great games off of linux, how would an indi game developer be able to make a game for the top 5 linux distros when they arn't compatable with each other? at best you'll find the biggest companys makeing it for windows mac and 1 distro of linux.


What do you mean "aren't compatible with each other"? The same ELF binaries work in every distro. The same .deb packages work in a great many distros, and if you provide both .deb and .rpm packages that covers the vast majority of distros.

The Humble Bundle sells Linux games all the time and they have no problem getting them to work in whatever distro, so your argument is easily disproven.

@dee
yes you can go from 1 distro to another that's based on the 1st but u can't expectanything to work if u went to a different base.


Maybe but that's not the point. Point is you can't do that on windows at all. If you change to a totally different distro, you'll just have to backup your stuff and reinstall things, just like you have to usually when you change the OS.

it's not that it bothers me so much but that's what keeps linux from taking more share on desktops for home users... never would anyone advise a new computer user to linux just for these reasons. it has alot of pros over the compation but the trouble to find the right version of a program for your distro hurts the new linux users


What trouble is that? Most software you can simply install from the repositories, with no problems.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby powerhouse on Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:06 pm

TehGhodTrole wrote:
powerhouse wrote:Asus Sabertooth X79 (NOT recommended)

Why's that?


I run a Xen hypervisor with Linux Mint as dom0 and Windows 7 Pro as a guest. This setup requires VT-d and some other stuff to work. According to an email by an Asus tech support representative, Asus does not "officially" support Linux. According to user reports, they at least once broke VT-d support in a BIOS update (that update happened to be also irreversible). The Asus Sabertooth X79 motherboard uses, among other SATA controllers, a Marvell SATA controller which doesn't work under Xen. The board is also quite tricky about the memory, and Asus' list of certified memory modules hadn't been updated for long time and iirc didn't contain any 32GB kits (let alone 64GB). Last not least, with regard to Linux in general and virtualization in particular their support seems to be rather clueless.

The reason I explicitly state "NOT recommended" in my signature is because some people use my Xen virtualization how-to and the hardware specs to build their own system. I don't want to endorse that company and product that, although it kinda works now (except the Marvell controller), has given me lots of headache in the past. Yet, I wanted to leave the product specs for reference purposes.
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Re: Where Linux went wrong...

Postby InkKnife on Sat Mar 23, 2013 1:34 am

I switched to Linux after more than 20 years of using Macs. Speaking from long experience I can state that Apple has been terrible about breaking applications throughout the development of OSX. Not only did full version updates frequently break apps but even point updates would sometimes.
It is a constant battle to stay properly updated on a Mac since, like Windows, it has no mechanism for centralized updates.
I agree that Linux will likely never be a big player of the desktop but the reason is not technical. Marketing is the reason. Apple and Microsoft spend hundreds and hundreds of millions annually on marketing. I bet Apple spends more on marketing than the entire combined development budgets of every distro there has ever been.
I don't miss OSX at all and could not be happier running Mint.
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