The direction I dream for Linux

Chat about Linux in general
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idle
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by idle »

For mine its lack of driver support for peripherals such as keyboards and mice. The basics work (for the most part) but these days some really great innovative features available for keyboards and mice which are unavailable for Linux users can be a real deal breaker. I use a Logitech mouse that has tons of features, like programmable buttons, especially 'close application' which is a fantastic time saving feature. Under Linux, its just a regular mouse with basic point and click. Same goes with keyboard, a bunch of features, but under Linux most of them don't work. I have a set of expensive desktop speakers by Bowers & Wilkins which sound great, but I can't update the firmware or access some of the finer options under Linux. Again, they've been relegated to basic use without software support ...

For me its not a matter of using Linux because its free, its so much more than that. Free is just a massive bonus and I love the fact that you can distro hop all over the net trying out different flavors of Linux for nothing. But I would be more than happy to pay for specific software, just like Apple and Windows users do. But when I pay hundreds of dollars for computer peripherals like mice, keyboards and such, is it so hard to expect the manufacturers to provide the software needed to utilize the products features? Because I use Linux full time and have nothing to do with Windows or Apple, I find net browsing for new peripherals that have drivers for Linux almost impossible. Its a shame because manufacturers could be selling more products but they don't seem to care?

I wrote Logitech a few times about driver support for Linux, not once did they even bother to reply. Hopefully upstart manufacturers will include Linux support to gain more market share in the future. I will support them.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by laederlappen »

idle wrote:For mine its lack of driver support for peripherals such as keyboards and mice. The basics work (for the most part) but these days some really great innovative features available for keyboards and mice which are unavailable for Linux users can be a real deal breaker. I use a Logitech mouse that has tons of features, like programmable buttons, especially 'close application' which is a fantastic time saving feature. Under Linux, its just a regular mouse with basic point and click. Same goes with keyboard, a bunch of features, but under Linux most of them don't work. I have a set of expensive desktop speakers by Bowers & Wilkins which sound great, but I can't update the firmware or access some of the finer options under Linux. Again, they've been relegated to basic use without software support (...)
I wrote Logitech a few times about driver support for Linux, not once did they even bother to reply. Hopefully upstart manufacturers will include Linux support to gain more market share in the future. I will support them.

Well there are tools for multiple mouse buttons and for keysyms.
viewtopic.php?f=49&t=247313

(you could easily bind keystroke ALT+F4 (close application) to whatever mouse button)
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idle
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by idle »

Thanks for the advise but like many of these so called alternative fixes, it doesn't work. Its seems to be okay for binding keyboard strokes, but not for mouse buttons. I followed the instructions even tried http://butlerpc.net/blog/2011/01/using- ... -commands/ which offered more detailed advice.

In the end I tried:
#Close
"Close Application"
ALT+FN+F4 + b:2

Which does nothing when clicked.

Button two according to xev is my scroll wheel which can also act as a button when pushed, which I wanted to use as the Close Application button. I spent about an hour trying different ways to make it work, but no joy :cry:

In Windows, this is as simple as open Logitech App, select function from drop down menu and click mouse button to assign. That's it. Done in about 5 seconds. So far I've spent an hour on this xkeybinds business and am only left frustrated, annoyed and confused :?
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by laederlappen »

well I did it in a minute, just added two lines to my .xbindkeysrc

Code: Select all

"xte 'keydown Alt_L' 'key F4' 'keyup Alt_L'"
  b:2
(Button 2 is also the middle mouse button of my Corsair Mouse)
To use "xte" you have to install xautomation. That's what I wrote in my link.
After modifying the config file, kill the xbindkeys process and launch it again.

PS: What keyboard do you use?
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by idle »

WOW Thanks for helping. It works! :mrgreen:

My code was incorrect. Your code worked perfectly. This is a HUGE thing for me as I have been without this much needed function for over a year or more since I started using Linux Mint full time. So thank you. Much appreciated. :D
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by jimallyn »

idle wrote:WOW Thanks for helping. It works! :mrgreen:

My code was incorrect. Your code worked perfectly. This is a HUGE thing for me as I have been without this much needed function for over a year or more since I started using Linux Mint full time. So thank you. Much appreciated. :D
This is a fine example of some of the things I LOVE about Linux:

1. You can do just about anything.
2. Somebody will know how to do what you want to do, or they will figure it out for you.
3. They will be happy to share the solution with you.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by Biker »

Hoser Rob wrote:
MrT wrote:... all this does not change the fact that Linux has grown enough and there are plenty of distributions. ...
You just do not get it. There are way TOO many distros, DEs, package managers, APIs, etc. And little stability or backwards (or forwards) compatibility. That is why, largely, not many want to write software for Linux.
Gotta love it when this red herring pops up. It doesn't matter what distro it is, if the developer provides the core files, one can always install it the old fashioned way (config, make, make install).
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wutsinterweb
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by wutsinterweb »

While I don't know about CAD software for Linux other than one light thing in the package manager, I think this is all about trade offs. Everything in many areas of science are trade offs, like my old trade (photonics), trade offs all over the place. You win some you maybe lose one or two.

Look, we live in a world where no one size fits all. No one solution is suitable for everyone. But they have an important point, we shouldn't be wanting any Linux to attempt to "replace" Windows because that kind of misses the point.

Yes, a few more, maybe just a tiny handful, of softwares, stuff that might be actually, much like Red Hat, Open Source but support for a fee driven, might be nice.

But there are almost always ways to deal with things. VMs for instance.

For Lord's sake I don't WANT Linux attempting to do what MS does with their OSs.

A developer might tell you, "ok bud, YOU start developing too!", right?

With that said, are there any CAD softwares that do electrical and mechanical work for GNU/Linux? I'd imagine that ACAD might run a lot better if not in Windows!
I'm just a student, your guidance is appreciated.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by BG405 »

wutsinterweb wrote:I don't WANT Linux attempting to do what MS does with their OSs.
Neither do I! That's why I don't use MS Windows any more. If Linux were just like Windows, I'd not have made the switch.

As for CAD, I'm not sure what my mate uses for his 3D extruding kit but I'm sure it's running on Linux (he does use Windows for some stuff) - so, at least some CAD software should be available in Linux. I'm not savvy to the packages used in manufacturing so can not comment on what equivalents we would need.

The direction I dream of for Linux is already a reality for me. It is miles better than anything else I've ever used and the progress with Mint is exceptional. Not change for change's sake, but for actual improvement in functionality and user experience. I get the impression that the Mint devs listen quite closely to their beneficiaries (i.e. us).
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by HubertCumberdale »

The OP is right -- GNU/Linux does lack specialized software.

I have plenty of dictionaries, encylopaedias and German-English dictionaries that I originally bought for Windows Millennium.
When I upgraded to XP, some of this software (the stuff I'd bought on floppies) refused to install (16-bit I think), and other software only ran after downloading patches.
It was frustrating and annoying and it made me think "Why can't Microsoft make its Millennium software run on XP? What's wrong with them?"

The problem with dual-booting in my situation is that I need Millennium to run all my language-oriented software or XP to run most of it.
There's no way I'm going online with Millennium or XP, so dual-booting isn't a practical solution for me, since I need to run these dictionaries/encyclopaedias and be able to go online at the same time.

When it comes to Wine and VirtualBox, one of my German-English dictionaries (Duden Oxford) won't install because it has this really annoying copy-protection mechanism that requires me to enter a CD key (printed on the back of the CD case) before it will install. Duden Oxford refuses to install in Wine or in VirtualBox running XP. It will only install properly in XP installed onto the hard drive using the XP installation disk (or in other words a standard XP installation). Since Duden Oxford is my favourite dictionary and since all my user dictionaries run in Duden Oxford, this is a serious problem.

However, if Linux versions of all my dictionaries/encyclopaedias existed, then problem solved.
I'd gladly pay for Linux versions of my dictionaries and encyclopaedias, but sadly they don't exist.
But as already pointed out, the vast number of Linux distros and forks is a major obstacle when it comes to making Linux versions of Windows software.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by MintBean »

HubertCumberdale wrote:But as already pointed out, the vast number of Linux distros and forks is a major obstacle when it comes to making Linux versions of Windows software.
I actually think the impact of this issue is massively overstated. A single version compatible with Debian and it's derivatives (Ubuntu, Mint) would be easy to produce and would represent a substantial percentage of Linux machines. Add a Redhat/Centos compatible version (not a massive amount of work) and I would guess you're compatible with the majority of Linux machines. With technologies like Snap/Flatpack becoming more widely adopted it's becoming even easier to produce a single executable compatible with a wide range of systems.
Last edited by MintBean on Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by HubertCumberdale »

MintBean, I wasn't aware of Snap/Flatpack, so I'll be reading up on that.

If a dictionary, encyclopaedia or other reference work was produced as a .deb file, would it be guaranteed to work on every recent version of Debian, Ubuntu and Mint? Also, would it work regardless of the desktop environment?
The same question goes for Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by MintBean »

Look at the Mint repositories. The vast majority of that software works across just about any Linux DE. Unless you program for some specific type of desktop specific integration, it's a non-issue. The worst case is that your software will have to pull in a few more dependencies for installation and this doesn't bother most users.
If a dictionary, encyclopaedia or other reference work was produced as a .deb file, would it be guaranteed to work on every recent version of Debian, Ubuntu and Mint?
No, you have to ensure it's compatible with the included libraries on those systems and the versions of those libraries they provide. Part of what goes into producing a .deb is specifying libraries required and the allowed versions. In practice if the libraries are stable and backwards compatibility is not repeatedly broken, you could produce a version that would work on both recent and future versions of Ubuntu/Mint/Debian not even released yet. This would be a bit of work but by no means a massive task, especially for a simple app like you are considering. Red Hat/Fedora/CentOS don't use .debs; you would have to produce an .rpm, but the issues would be the same.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by catweazel »

HubertCumberdale wrote:Windows Millennium.
AAARGGHHH! Quick, hand me the brain bleach!
The OP is right -- GNU/Linux does lack specialized software.
There was nothing in your post supporting the claim that linux lacks specialised software.
But as already pointed out, the vast number of Linux distros and forks is a major obstacle when it comes to making Linux versions of Windows software.
Poppycock.
"There is, ultimately, only one truth -- cogito, ergo sum -- everything else is an assumption." - Me, my swansong.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by HubertCumberdale »

HubertCumberdale wrote:
Windows Millennium.

AAARGGHHH! Quick, hand me the brain bleach!
So WinMe was terrible. Everyone knows that. Hardly an insightful comment. And what the hell's brain bleach?
The OP is right -- GNU/Linux does lack specialized software.

There was nothing in your post supporting the claim that linux lacks specialised software.
German-English dictionaries aren't specialized software to you?
But as already pointed out, the vast number of Linux distros and forks is a major obstacle when it comes to making Linux versions of Windows software.

Poppycock.
I love a well-reasoned counter-argument.

Don't bother replying. I don't like your tone and I don't want any more contact with you.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by BG405 »

HubertCumberdale wrote:When it comes to Wine and VirtualBox, one of my German-English dictionaries (Duden Oxford) won't install because it has this really annoying copy-protection mechanism that requires me to enter a CD key (printed on the back of the CD case) before it will install. Duden Oxford refuses to install in Wine or in VirtualBox running XP. It will only install properly in XP installed onto the hard drive using the XP installation disk (or in other words a standard XP installation).
Was XP in VirtualBox installed from the same xp disk? Maybe "Duden Oxford" expects the disk to be in a certain drive, I seem to remember some software being fussy like that. Did you try to install in VB using the actual CD, or an image (.iso) of it in a virtual optical drive? Might be worth starting a thread on this, if you haven't already.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by HubertCumberdale »

BG405:
Was XP in VirtualBox installed from the same XP disk?
No, for some reason my XP disk has stopped working.

Bit of a long story this:

XP starts to install in VirtualBox but then always fails with an error after a couple of minutes.
If I restart my computer with the disk in the CD/DVD drive, it starts the installation process but again always fails with an error after a minute or so.
I tried to create an ISO from the XP disk via the terminal (dd if=/dev/sr0 | pv | dd of=~/image.iso) but that fails with an error after a while too.

The disk isn't scratched or warped and has no obvious deficiencies so I'm not sure what's happened, but it is about 12 years old. Having said that though all my other old disks still work, so I'm confused as to why this one disk in particular has stopped working.

I downloaded XP a couple of months ago from https://web.archive.org/en-us/microsoft ... s/windows/ but that link no longer works.

Windows provides virtual machines at https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/m ... tools/vms/ which are valid for 90 days (and can be "re-armed", i.e. renewed) and XP used to be one of the virtual machine provided on that site. When Microsoft removed XP from that site last year a copy was still on Wayback Machine, but as I said that link has now stopped working. I'm glad I downloaded that XP file before the link died. (XP is only valid for 30 days, but it too can be "re-armed").

I installed all my dictionaries and other reference works on that 30-day version of XP and then exported the lot as an OVA file (which seems similar to an ISO except it's a lot faster to install).

When the re-arms come to an end (it doesn't tell you in XP how many are left), I'll be interested to see what happens. I don't know if the virtual machine will stop working completely, or whether it will continue to work, but won't permit me to install any new software. And I'll be interested to see if I can import the OVA file back into VirtualBox and carry on where I left off. I really need to get myself a new copy of XP on disk though. I'll have a look on Amazon and eBay. Any other suggestions as to where I can get an XP disk?
Maybe "Duden Oxford" expects the disk to be in a certain drive, I seem to remember some software being fussy like that.
Yes it does expect the disk to be in CD drive. When you enter the CD key Duden Oxford checks the disk in the CD drive to see if it's genuine. But it only ever accepts the disk and continues with the installation on a standard WinME or XP installation. With Wine and VirtualBox, even with the Duden Oxford disk in the CD drive, I get an error message and the installation fails.
Did you try to install in VB using the actual CD, or an image (.iso) of it in a virtual optical drive?
I tried to install in VirtualBox using the actual Duden Oxford CD.
Might be worth starting a thread on this, if you haven't already.
I contacted the manufacturers of the dictionary and they provided me with the contents of the dictionary as a downloadable file which I've been able to import into Langenscheidt e-Dictionaries (this is a dictionary interface that allows you to import multiple dictionaries providing they're in a format it accepts).

So in e-Dictionaries, I have now have Duden Oxford, Langenscheidt Collins and Langenscheidt Muret-Sanders. It's handy because I can search all 3 dictionaries at once when I enter a search term, and I can carry out full-text searches across all three dictionaries (i.e. every entry in every dictionary is checked for the term or expression I type in).

So even though this gives me access to the contents of the Duden Oxford dictionary, I don't have its interface (PC-Bibliothek version 2.0), which I miss greatly because it's easily the best interface I've ever used. It's more stable than the e-Dictionaries interface which often crashes when a full-text search produces hundreds of hits. Duden Oxford brought out PC-Bibliothek version 3 and it was an absolute travesty. Much of the excellent functionality of version 2 had been removed for no reason I could discern. It's now just a very simplistic interface which is only good for basic searches.

What I really want is for all these dictionary manufacturers to create paid-for Linux versions of these dictionaries.
No more looking for workarounds - just software that runs natively on Linux. If I buy dictionaries I'd like it to say on the case "Windows 7/8/10, macOS 10, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS/Linux Mint 18.2" (or whatever distros they decide to develop for, but Ubuntu and Mint are probably high on the list of distros that ex-Windows users use).

But until Linux obtains a larger market share maybe this will never happen. And I can't see it getting a larger market share until it natively runs commercial software that currently only runs on Windows. It's a catch-22 situation.
Plus of course the vast majority of home computers come pre-installed with Windows, not Linux, so that's another reason that limits the growth of Linux's market share.

Some Linux users can do everything they need to do natively in Linux, but I'm not one of those people and I'm not alone.
Some may say "Well go back to Windows then." Well I don't want to go back to Windows. I got sick of some Windows software stopping working when they brought out a new version. I was sick of constant antivirus and antimalware updates, scans and false positives. I was sick of having to keep Java, Flash and Adobe Reader updated. I was sick of patch Tuesdays with a gazillion updates that took ages to download and install. And there's no way I'm going to buy Windows 10 with its excessive spying on users, enforced updates and confusing apps/programs interface (which began with Windows 8/8.1). Plus there's no guarantee that my current Windows software will install on it, and I'll have to probably buy a new computer to (a) make sure Win 10 definitely runs on it and (b) so I have the latest hardware.

I love Linux for many things: it runs on my 7-year-old laptop, it's free (as in doesn't cost anything), it has small, regular updates which take no more than a minute or two to install (and generally no restart is required), no need to run antivirus or antimalware software, the fact it runs as non-root as standard. I like Mint in particular because it has a standard menu in the bottom left and all my icons across the bottom of the screen and a system tray to the right. It doesn't really look like Windows, but the layout and behaviour of the GUI is very similar. Plus when I first installed Mint I thought I was going to have problems getting my home WiFi working, but it recognized my router instantly. Kudos!

There are so many things to love about Linux, but I wish so much I could buy my dictionaries in versions I can install and run natively on Mint.
If I could buy all those dictionaries Mint would be the perfect OS.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by HubertCumberdale »

MintBean wrote:
HubertCumberdale wrote:But as already pointed out, the vast number of Linux distros and forks is a major obstacle when it comes to making Linux versions of Windows software.
I actually think the impact of this issue is massively overstated. A single version compatible with Debian and it's derivatives (Ubuntu, Mint) would be easy to produce and would represent a substantial percentage of Linux machines. Add a Redhat/Centos compatible version (not a massive amount of work) and I would guess you're compatible with the majority of Linux machines. With technologies like Snap/Flatpack becoming more widely adopted it's becoming even easier to produce a single executable compatible with a wide range of systems.
So I looked up "Linux distribution" on Wikipedia and found this diagram:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... meline.svg
(a lot of work went into that)

I was surprised to learn that there are only 5 major Linux families. With the hundreds of Linux distros out there I (incorrectly) assumed that there were far more families.

So these 5 major families are:
- Slackware (e.g. SUSE, openSUSE)
- Debian (e.g. Ubuntu, Mint)
- Red Hat (e.g. CentOS, Fedora)
- Gentoo (e.g. Chrome OS, Chromium OS)
- Arch (e.g. ArchBang, Antergos)

So it seems the task of producing commercial software for Linux wouldn't be the Herculean task I initially thought it might be. Well not for the reason I gave anyway (the vast number of distros).
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by wutsinterweb »

I think much of what one might be concerned with is package management.

But remember, one can take source code and with some help and the right libraries, compile and install most linux software on most linux distros from my limited knowledge.

Those of us still new to Linux have to be wary of what we implore of the developers, it's a good idea to not bring a Microsoft mindset to how we ask for things to work. Linux is NOT Windows and I don't think Linux or any developer ever wanted it to be. The farther from Windows, the better for me in some ways.

The direction I dream for Linux is that I want to see more people join in development and in spreading the word, but in a level headed manner. Bringing over people that to facile to be willing to learn for themselves is something the Linux world does NOT need. And yet, I'd like to see it triple in popularity and utilization so that we'd get a little more development, it's close to where it needs to be, but there are some things that would be grand to have.

The most important thing about my dream for Linus and Richard's baby is that it continue to NOT be an MS piece of crap. Every time I get on a doze system I want to rolf, there are so many ways I wanna rolf.
I'm just a student, your guidance is appreciated.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by HubertCumberdale »

wutsinterweb:
I think much of what one might be concerned with is package management.
It seems so.
But remember, one can take source code and with some help and the right libraries, compile and install most linux software on most linux distros from my limited knowledge.
True, although from what I've read it can be a tricky task getting source code to compile correctly without errors. I doubt most newbies would be able to successfully compile source code unless there's a GUI out there that makes this process a lot simpler and holds their hands through the process.
Those of us still new to Linux have to be wary of what we implore of the developers, it's a good idea to not bring a Microsoft mindset to how we ask for things to work. Linux is NOT Windows and I don't think Linux or any developer ever wanted it to be. The farther from Windows, the better for me in some ways.
Well gnu.org has no issue with charging for free (as in speech) software (https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/selling.en.html) so I'm not sure if commercial software on Linux distros is really an issue. Commercial software for Linux already exists. I don't think that just because people are paying for free and open-source Linux software that that means they're bringing a Microsoft mindset to Linux. If the commercial Linux software is free (as in speech), then that's completely different to the Microsoft mindset. It just means that people can get the specialized software they need, and are used to, and run it natively in Linux. In my case, there are no Linux alternatives to the dictionaries I use. For others, there are Linux alternatives to the Windows software they use but often they aren't as fully-featured as the Windows versions.

And when you say "Linux is NOT Windows", there is no one single Linux OS. People can choose, modify or create whatever distro they want that best suits their needs. I'd welcome a distro that encourages commercial software (and enables you to buy software through the repo alongside the gratis stuff), but you I'm sure wouldn't. Well we can each pick a distro that best suits our needs and we're both happy.
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