Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

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Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby optimize me on Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:13 am

I just saw one in the forums here, and after giving it much thought, I've decided to pen this rant to get this off my chest. Be aware that this is a rant. If you don't like rants, just move along.

I've seen these threads at every Linux forum I've ever been on.

They're always the same. Always:
    Linux isn't ready for the desktop.
    Linux will never replace windows if you don't.... [insert list of ridiculous Windows emulations here]
    How can you ever expect to kill Windows if you can't run all of its programs?
    Why do I have to use WINE for [Application X]? This is stupid.

      The replies are always the same. Always:
        Linux is too ready for the desktop. Just look at... [everything it does already]
        Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Enough is enough. The debate is endless. Really there is no debate - Windows isn't ever going anywhere, because a multi-billion dollar transnational corporation is never going to be "dethroned" as "king of the hill" by a bunch of volunteers working on a community project. Sorry to say it, but it's true.

That's not to cheapen anything anybody has ever done for Linux development. Quite the contrary, I love Linux! Everybody is different, has a different story, and has different experience. For me, Linux has been my primary OS for over two years now. I still keep the factory-installed Windows Vista in my hard disk, for the odd times I need to run a Windows-only program, or want to play a game, or want to use file sharing on a LAN and Samba is being a PITA. For me, and probably for all of you, Linux is ready for the desktop. Linux has replaced Windows!

Windows is just another option. It's just another choice.

So back to the topic at hand: The "Linux isn't ready" threads.

Quit feeding these people. You're never going to convince them they're wrong. Anybody pig-headed enough to use a Linux Distro for a few days or maybe even a week and then make sweeping generalizations about all Linux distros based on a poor experience with one is never going to believe you when you tell them their opinion is wrong. Anybody who would not take the time to learn the file system structure, learn where programs are stored, learn where program settings are stored, learn what Linux alternatives to Windows programs are and how to use them - but who would take the time to register at a forum just to shout off the rooftop that everybody in there is crazy for not seeing things the way they do is not going to believe you when you tell them their opinion is wrong.

That one has been lost. You will never "convert" them.

I challenge each and every Linux user - starting right her at Mint forums and hopefully spreading to all the others: Just ignore these people. Stop replying to them. You wouldn't start a debate with a troll about whose mother is the bigger EDIT by the Moderators, Keep it Clean Please... Stop debating these trolls about which is the better OS. And that's exactly what they are - internet trolls. They post their diatribes solely in the hope of provoking a reaction. If they were just frustrated and wanted help with something, they would channel all that "not ready for the desktop" writing energy into a post about what their problem is and asking for help to fix it.

I challenge each and every forum mod - starting right here at Mint forums and hopefully spreading to all the others: Just delete these threads. They're not doing anybody any good. As I said, the debate is endless. They waste time and resources. They take up space on your forums servers. You wouldn't leave spam posts advertising erection-pills or sex-sites around for people to reply to - why leave these?
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby Fred on Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:55 am

optimize me,

I must admit, you have some very good points, though I think your solution may be a little harsh, especially for this forum. :-)

I guess I just give people too much credit, but I do think that many of the provocative posts are sincere, and weren't intended as trolling. This forum sees a larger percentage of new user traffic than many forums because of the demographic group that Mint is aimed at.

It should be expected that new users coming directly from Windows are going to have a culture shock. Their expectations have been guided and misguided by literally billions of $ of marketing influence over quite a few years. Their very conception of what computing is, is Windows and proprietary software centric. Personally, I would be surprised if even a few were willing and ready to throw all their assumptions overboard at the drop of a hat.

I too become irritated sometimes at these selfish and obviously irrational rants. The silver lining here is that there is an opportunity to educate and broaden peoples horizons. I enjoy seeing people learn and better themselves. And in so doing enable themselves to enjoy and appreciate the freedoms and choices that Linux and FOSS holds out to them in their computing life, no matter how large or small it is in relation to the other aspects of their existence.

I guess what I am saying is I too wish there were fewer irritating, space consuming threads. But on the other hand, I am thankful that I can potentially be instrumental, once in a while, in helping someone better themselves and their condition and enable them to enjoy some of the things I have enjoyed over the years. :-)

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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby emorrp1 on Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:22 am

Well, sometimes I just like a good debate! There's a great example called "emphasising on LTS" in suggestions - it wasn't the original title, nor did the OP make it especially clear (initially) that this was all he wanted, read the original post again, ignoring the topic title, and see if you jump to the same conclusions I did. The point being that what I initially thought was quite troll-like, but bringing up enough points to be worth responding to turned into the thread as it is now, once he'd clarified his position.

optimize me wrote:Windows isn't ever going anywhere, because a multi-billion dollar transnational corporation is never going to be "dethroned" as "king of the hill" by a bunch of volunteers working on a community project. Sorry to say it, but it's true.


I just had to respond to this. This is just not true at all. Ok, so it won't happen immediately, or even as fast as we on the linux side are used to technology evolving, but the shift is happening. Look at the best two posterchild examples of open-source: Firefox and OpenOffice, actually Firefox is the best example. You could have used identical arguments 6 years ago to say that IE would always reign supreme, but FF has made that magical leap away from the geek community and into the minds of the people. As soon as "Joe Bloggs" (a very active guy based on reports) began to hear about that community project created by a bunch of volunteers, we'd won. All users now have the choice. (OK, so not all FF was written by volunteers, but then neither was linux/ubuntu etc., I'm just using your own phrase) Once M$ lost the monopoly on web-browser mind-share, we'd won.

In another thread someone repeated a situation they'd overheard - damn, there's no firefox on this computer, how am I supposed to use the internet - I have never come across this, but it's an amazing breakthrough, especially since apparently the IE icon was right there on the desktop. Change does come, but it takes time. FF is still not "King of the Hill", it still hasn't reached majority market-share, but it's getting there, and even if it's not actually FF that conquers the internet, you can be damn sure that whatever does will be an open-source solution. It might take another 5 years (FF is only 6 years old) or so to overthrow the proprietary web, perhaps 10years for the office software, and 20+years for the OS, but software development is changing, and changing for the better, you've just got to be thinking longer term: I predict that in 30-years time, most software will be open-source. Of course when you get into that sort of timeline, what we even consider as computers will have changed, but you get the idea.

Wow, that was all quite speculative, but I enjoyed myself writing it :-)
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby graeme on Wed Sep 02, 2009 2:24 pm

optimize me wrote: Windows isn't ever going anywhere, because a multi-billion dollar transnational corporation is never going to be "dethroned" as "king of the hill" by a bunch of volunteers working on a community project.


Firstly, Linux is already better than Windows as far as many people are concerned.

Secondly, suggesting that Linux devloped by volunteered is just Microsoft FUD. GO and look up who the biggest contributors to the Linux Kernel are - IBM and Red Hat. They pay developers to do it, and IBM is a multi-billion dollar transnational as well - as are a number of other developers. RH is not quite as big but is not exactly a small business.

The same applies to other components. There is a fair amount of stuff written by volunteers, but the resources to take on MS are there.
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby optimize me on Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:32 pm

graeme wrote:Firstly, Linux is already better than Windows as far as many people are concerned.

As far as I'm concerned, sure. Given your tone, I'll assume as far as you're concerned, too. Probably as far as just about everyone here is concerned.

So what? That matters somehow?
graeme wrote:Secondly, suggesting that Linux devloped by volunteered is just Microsoft FUD. GO and look up who the biggest contributors to the Linux Kernel are - IBM and Red Hat. They pay developers to do it, and IBM is a multi-billion dollar transnational as well - as are a number of other developers. RH is not quite as big but is not exactly a small business.

The same applies to other components. There is a fair amount of stuff written by volunteers, but the resources to take on MS are there.

Again - so what?

"Take on MS"? Take them on how? Linus & Bill have a bar fight? A grudge match? Steel cages and folding chairs? Stallman vs Ballmer in a lumberjack match FTW!!!!!!!!!!11

Nothing you said makes me believe that Microsoft or Windows is going anywhere any time soon. No amount of proselytizing by you, me,or anyone else is going to "bring Microsoft down". They're here. They're big. They make a product people want. Get used to it.

Taken from the 2009 Edition of the Top 100 Software Companies via Softwaretop100.org (pardon the 200kb .png, but I think it's relevant):
Image

Look at the discrepancies in the amount of money made by some of those companies. Microsoft at #1 makes over double what the #2 competitor - IBM - makes on software. Look at the difference between #4 & #5 - over four hundred million in earnings!

Red Hat comes in at 59 of the top 60 software companies of 2009. Sure, they're doing better than 40 other companies. But look at who's doing better. Novell comes in higher. You'll probably say that it's because of their evil deal with Satan and Bill Gates, but whatever. Even Phillips is above them. I thought they made electric razors and remote controls, not software...

Red Hat's great - I'm looking into taking the RHCE exam when I get back to the States; Network Admins make a hell of a lot more money than electronic technicians do. The RHCE is right up there with the MCSE in demand and earning potential. No doubt about it.

Does the fact that I go out and get a RHCE certification mean that all my MCSE colleagues are going to slash my tires in the parking lot at work? Does that mean I have to go and egg their houses and throw TP in their trees on weekends?

Of course not.

The only place this silly "Us vs. Them - we're gonna win!" attitude exists is in internet forums and at FSF meetings.

Grow up. This is a computer operating system, not a religion. We don't have to "convert" anybody. If the Linux teams around the world build a better, more reliable product, then people will come to us out of their own free will.
Last edited by optimize me on Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby AK Dave on Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:43 pm

optimize me wrote: "Take on MS"? Take them on how? Linus & Bill have a bar fight? A grudge match? Steel cages and folding chairs? Stallman vs Ballmer in a lumberjack match FTW!!!!!!!!!!11


I want to see Stallman vs Ballmer in a steel cage with folding chairs.

Does the fact that I go out and get a RHCE certification mean that all my MCSE colleagues are going to slash my tires in the parking lot at work? Does that mean I have to go and egg their houses and throw TP in their trees on weekends?


What about the guys who get both RHCE and MCSE certificates? Do they have to beat themselves senseless?

If the Linux teams around the world build a better, more reliable product, then people will come to us out of their own free will.


I sure wish that it was as simple as that!
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby optimize me on Wed Sep 02, 2009 3:56 pm

AK Dave wrote:I want to see Stallman vs Ballmer in a steel cage with folding chairs.
I'd put my money on Ballmer. The guy's a walking dynamo, and you know Stallman would run out of breath and probably have a heart attack after the first two minutes.

AK Dave wrote:I sure wish that it was as simple as that!
That's pure market economics at work. If you provide a product or service that people want at a price those same people consider reasonable, you're in like Flynn.

Free is a very reasonable price, but as far as most people know, Windows already comes on their computers, so in their eyes, it's free, too.

Take into account that there is a significant percentage of people alive today who were born using Windows computers and that's all they know or ever have known, and have no idea that an alternative even exists. How do you convince people like that that there's a better alternative out there, all they have to do is learn how to use it and fix their own video driver if it breaks because of an update?
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby graeme on Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:12 pm

Who said we needed to "bring MS down"? By "take on MS" I mean "supply a competing product effective enough to take away a substantial part of their market share". This should also answer your repeated "so what?" -- it has a bearing on the odds of doing it.

MS is not likely to disappear, any more than IBM (which was once in a similar position to what MS now has) did. What it will hopefully do is what IBM did: change in response to renewed competition.

I do think that there is a very good chance that Linux will provide it with the competition that it has lacked (Apple provides some, but nothing like enough), and that the results will be better for us (by us, I primarily mean end users).

I also think that open source is generally preferable, for a number of reasons, the most important of which is voiding vendor lock in. I am not fanatical about this and use proprietary stuff when necessary (drivers, Flash, Realplayer and Opera)

IBM's revenues are bigger than MS's, and its hardware and services businesses mean that its software development generates non-software revenues as well - that is why they plough so much money into it - so the software revnue numbers are not really comparable in this context.

In addition, MS may be the biggest, but projects like Linux put them in the position of competing against an alliance that collectively has greater resources, even though anyone of them is smaller in terms of software revenues.

Also, size does not mean a better product, or a guarantee that dominance will continue. Plenty of market leaders have been dethroned in many markets, including software. Remember when everyone used Wordstar, Visicalc and DBase? Remember when the desktop processor market was dominated by Zilog and whoever made the 6502? Remember IBM's grip on mainframes (they still have it, its just worth less)?

How do you convince people like that that there's a better alternative out there,


it can be done, especially if they are told about Linux when Windows is giving them a particularly hard time. Linux users tend to forget that Windows has its problems too.

all they have to do is learn how to use it and fix their own video driver if it breaks because of an update


How often do updates to a non-geeky distro's main repos break anything? Again, remember Windows breaks as well. I advise people to fix Linux problems exactly the same way they fix Windows problems: either find a firnedly geek to help you out, or pay someone to do it.

You and I may fix it ourselves, asking for help in the forums if we need it. The average user does not. They ask someone they know. I actually find that those users who ask me for help (like my father) need slightly less help with Linux than with Windows - Linux is pretty robust once its set up.
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby graeme on Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:17 pm

optimize me wrote:I'd put my money on Ballmer. The guy's a walking dynamo, and you know Stallman would run out of breath and probably have a heart attack after the first two minutes.


He looked pretty unfit when he ran out of breath in the "Monkey Dance" video. He might beat Stallman but I think Linus could beat him. If we could drag Tove Torwalds into this, he would not have a chance.
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby DrHu on Wed Sep 02, 2009 4:20 pm

optimize me wrote:Quit feeding these people. You're never going to convince them they're wrong. Anybody pig-headed enough to use a Linux Distro for a few days or maybe even a week and then make sweeping generalizations about all Linux distros based on a poor experience with one is never going to believe you when you tell them their opinion is wrong

I'll agree with you, for the most part
--I do believe that a lot, maybe even most of the people whining against Linux are just as you say Trolls, only looking to thumb their nose at Linux and Linux forums, where they can express such an opinion

You're never going to convince them they're wrong.
But, as for feeding them, I am against just ignoring people who disparage Linux or Linux as a desktop OS, and through their misinformation may tend to confirm some myths about Linux as not being ready yet
--I don't think misinformation should be allowed to stand, without it being made plain that it is misinformation, and if that means feeding a troll, so be it

A troll can't be converted or informed, it's the person behind the troll that can be influenced; as long as they have a somewhat open mind.
--this is how Internet hoaxes start; I just read about the Michael Jackson is alive hoax video, no doubt some/many who view it might say/think "Well, maybe, it is possible", despite all evidence/facts to the contrary.

I also think these forums, and indeed most forums are more than technical information, and therefor some dialog happens and is even necessary.
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby FedoraRefugee on Wed Sep 02, 2009 5:34 pm

My response to a Windows troll in the Fedora forum:

What I have a problem with are people who constantly criticize an operating system, any operating system, as if it makes any more difference than whether I prefer Fords or Chevys. Linux trolls, Windows trolls, they are all the same. They say you shouldnt feed the trolls but I rather enjoy it myself. They are amusing in a strange sort of way.


I went on to "set him straight" on a few things, of course. :) But my point here is I actually like the trolls, the same as y'all do. Even optimize me thrives on it, otherwise why bother with this thread? :lol: Look at the intense discussion going on here about trolls. I love it. Y'all know you would be bored without these guys, and most of them are great for a laugh or two. Who really takes an OS this seriously anyway?
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby graeme on Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:13 am

I went on to "set him straight" on a few things, of course.


If no one responds to the trolls then some people at least will believe them. If you just delete the threads they start (unless they are really obvious trolls) you will get some innocent questions as well.

Who really takes an OS this seriously anyway?


Well, an OS is a tool I rely on to work, so I take it pretty seriously.
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby FedoraRefugee on Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:23 am

graeme wrote:If no one responds to the trolls then some people at least will believe them. If you just delete the threads they start (unless they are really obvious trolls) you will get some innocent questions as well.


So? If I write here that the moon is made of cheese I suppose a few idiots will believe that also. That is THEIR problem, PT Barnum loved these folks. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and most trolls I have read from both OS sides are at least based in fact. Both OSs have their shortcomings. Please, respond if you like but dont justify yourself by thinking you are saving the world.

Well, an OS is a tool I rely on to work, so I take it pretty seriously.


ROTFL, do you realize how this sounds? A car is a tool I rely on to get to work, but it is just a car. Just a tool. I would bet if you had to you would get on just as well with Windows as Linux. Or vice versa as the case may be. Us humans are pretty adaptable even if most of us do balk from change. We tend to make things work. Do you REALLY care what OS I am using right now? Really?
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby Ozz on Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:55 pm

Well, you must understand the horror of discovering that the free piece of software that was given to you is not like everyone elses around you. Mom and Pop don't have it on their computer, and when you ask colleagues at work, no-one knows what it is. Wait the geek in the basement of the office who live in the dark and the flickering lights of computer screen monitors might know. Indeed, he does, but he does not have time to help you.

So there you are, and finally you use the OS for about a week, and come up with the statement: "Hey guys, this OS is not ready to be a desktop OS"

Do people want choice?

=to most people choice is the difference between XP, Vista, and Windows 95, or 98. Oh and there is Mac, which as far as people know, is just a lovely shiny machine, either white or in funky colours, that runs normal programs.

Look at this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dQiXHf0CEE and you will see what a lot of these people think:

Dell shame on you for putting this hapless blond in trouble, she is missing her higher education because of this alien technology.
:D and here the blond purrs
All I want is to be like everyone else!


Anyway this video has been trolled by numerous people, Linux and anti-Linux alike.

The hope if one wants to convert "the people" to Linux, (I personally am happy with things as they stand) is either the push from countries like China and India (where saving on the windows tax is really a benefit) or cloud computing where every app will be familiar as it will be browser based.

To conclude, I think if people want to post these comments on the forum, they should have the right to do so.
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby Colonel Schell on Fri Sep 04, 2009 3:13 pm

Wow.

I love rants. (intelligent ones, at least.)

I hate Trolls. (Nearly all, though once in a while they turn out differently from what you expected.)

When I was young and idealistic, I might have thought we had to win out over Windows. Now that I'm older, and a hell of a lot more cynical, I don't care. I just want to have the option to use Linux for myself with some people like you guys around for support.

And I come away from this thread convinced that it would be wise to think twice before I feed the M$ troll. Thanks, optimize me.
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby adrianx on Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:05 pm

I agree that trolls should not be fed and it is probably silly to go on crusades to try and convert others...... but, at the same time, I'm glad that there are a few "fundamentalists" out there that fight battles for us, the average users.

The battles I'm talking about are things like setting standards, exposing misinformation, trying to keep companies "honest"...

Heck, the average user would certainly not care about such "trivial" things. :twisted:
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby Fred on Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:20 pm

Often I will respond to an obvious troll, even though I probably shouldn't. I do so not because I actually expect to change their mind but for the benefit of the many that will read the troll's comments and my rebuttal. If we let every incorrect statement pass unaddressed, many new users will assume there is at least some truth to the troll's or uninformed user's comments. As I have said before, my more aggressive posts are seldom aimed at the author of any particular post, or to any particular user.

This is a new users forum, more or less. It is incumbent upon us to get new users started off on the right foot and educate them on what Linux is really all about. We should be myth busters. :-)

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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby optimize me on Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:15 pm

Fred wrote:As I have said before, my more aggressive posts are seldom aimed at the author of any particular post, or to any particular user.

Fred - You have aggressive posts?

I better go search some out. I'd almost pay money to see them....
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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby Fred on Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:04 pm

optimize me wrote:
Fred - You have aggressive posts?

I better go search some out. I'd almost pay money to see them....

I spent several years in the Gentoo forums... yes, I do indeed know how to bite. :-)

I try to avoid that sort of thing if I can. It is usually unnecessary and not a skill that I am particularly proud of. :-)

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Re: Not the typical "it's not ready for the desktop" thread.

Postby optimize me on Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:05 pm

Fred wrote:I spent several years in the Gentoo forums... yes, I do indeed know how to bite. :-)

Ah, yes, say no more.
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