I am a LTN-N (Less than newbie-newbie) but here is my take

Chat about Linux in general
Post Reply
User avatar
wutsinterweb
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 645
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:14 am
Location: Connecticut, USA

I am a LTN-N (Less than newbie-newbie) but here is my take

Post by wutsinterweb » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:51 pm

I thought I'd post what I wrote somewhere about what I know see in Linux and how I understand it and feel about it after approaching a year of use and some learning:

I have to say, now that a year of use and gradual learning approaches, I will acknowledge that Linux isn't without it's own problems and challenges, there are sometimes releases that can have something broken. There can be driver issues since it's almost all open source. Package managers don't always get dependencies right, or don't get versions that are enough up to date to prevent certain issues.

It also does take SOME learning: You need to get to know enough about a few of the different DEs to make a satisfactory choice. You need to grasp some command line content in order to fully realize the potential of the OS, maybe not to generally use it, but knowing command line makes a huge difference. It requires learning a different philosophy to software installing and removal, and acquisition and maintenance. It has much of the commercial world trying to prevent it from growing too much or people using it at all, like CNN and Flash for instance (a docmented issue that certain work arounds MAY yield success, such as running FF Windows version in Wine.

And that's another thing, some things work in Wine and others don't, after all, it's trying to make a square peg fit where a perfect round hole wants to be happy.

Sometimes, just sometimes, there ARE bugs, or things that can get past the security of Linux since they don't really involve the OS so much, such as sneaky sites planting coin mining in your browser (happened to me, twice, and then I learned my lesson on how to prevent it, some sites still do it and lie that they aren't). Sometimes an app breaks another app, or the distro, even the given kernel has an issue.

But, and this is important, to ALL those things there IS a world of men and women working to solve them, to improve them, to be totally open about how to work around and to address them. It's a meritocracy and somewhat democratic too. It's made from a marriage of commercial interest and human love.

This is in contrast to Windows' insistence for a veiled window shade of secrecy. Even those that know the ins and outs of Windows don't have access to source code and either reverse engineer or just use intuitive development skills to work with things based upon Microsoft's guidelines. And for someone at my level of expertise, which is limited, Windows seems still cryptic and labyrinthine in some difficult ways. And Microsoft seems comfortable taking a somewhat paternalistic, almost dictatorial approach to things like updates (which also take over your system and don't allow you to use it while happening and it can take hours and fill you with worry all the while, and which in some cases happen despite you needing to just shut down). Things get included that most people really don't think they want and one of the biggest problems is lack of options and self determination with interfaces and style and function.

Windows, and even OSX, make one feel like they are being "TOLD!" rather than being "welcomed home". Linux is a warm and fuzzy Penguin and Windows is a winter cold frame of an old house window, very impresonal.

I don't totally hate Windows, I just have a new perspective on it, greater respect for the makers of it because with Linux, I've been given the chance to have more knowledge about how an OS works and runs, and it fills me with a little awe for all of them, even Windows. Windows is in some respects, more polished to look at, less "blocky", but functionally, like that pretty boy that never learned how to function in a meritocracy only in a popularity contest, it still must try to prevail simply on it's trying to remain "popular".

People exclaim Linux is not good for gaming. But it is, it is good with games, in actuality the issue is simply that games aren't ported for it in some instances, Linux can play some games BETTER than other OSs. Yes, Direct X may have some advantages over Open Source APIs, and then again, the reverse is also true.

And I say all this with me fully realizing that I haven't even scratched the surface of knowledge about ANY OS, let alone Linux. I have a LOT to still learn, I'm like a teenager who got his driver license a year ago and knows enough to not speed and still is learning to drive in snow. And like that teen, I'm having fun fun fun, but the initial crush is calming and now I'm seeing that there ARE rocks to be experiences in the new marriage, but I'm comforted that my choice of wife was presciently a good one, even IF she chews her nails and farts in bed. She is a beautifully functioning wife and I can count on her, which comforts me, because I know every effort I invest will yield benefits.

And, well, Linux is "FREEDOM". That is perhaps the most significant thing that can be said about it, the idea of Libre.
I'm just a student, your guidance is appreciated.

User avatar
Portreve
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:03 am
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: I am a LTN-N (Less than newbie-newbie) but here is my take

Post by Portreve » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:52 pm

I really don't have any particular issues with any of what you've said, wutsinterweb. As always, of course, I do have some thoughts on the subject.

Microsoft did not used to uncontrollably force upgrades to occur on a user's computer. That they do now is likely the result of several factors: general b*tching and complaints over how people just don't do necessary updates which then can cause local, regional, or even global problems because of our "always connected" Internet of the 21st century. Beyond that, Apple's provided them some serious competition, often beating them to the punch with specific features or enhancements, or just plain putting out "next year's version" more frequently. There's also the fact that Android as a platform, along with iOS, has eroded a great deal of Microsoft's business, which means they have little choice but to iterate, and also to distribute their software (or at least portions of it) to a world beyond their own OS.

OpenGL, which is the libre-licensed (a.k.a. "free software") platform to which you referred as the alternative to DirectX, has a lot of potential. It does a lot of things, and does many of them particularly well. However, there's two issues. The first, and comparatively probably less important, is it needs more updating and a broadening of its feature set. The second, and far more important factor, is game developers often just fail to develop for it, favoring Microsoft's own DirectX. Because GNU+Linux itself is not a significant market for them, they mostly just don't bother, either with OpenGL or with writing native games, and thus we are stuck with (mostly) ports. Of course, talk to any Mac OS X user and they'll say much the same thing, since very few game developers actually write initially for that platform, either. They write extensively for iOS, of course, and also many write for Android, but that's only because they are highly significant, major players, whereas Mac OS X and GNU+Linux are not.

As someone who's played with and experienced software installation in the pre-software manager era (RedHat 4.2, SuSE, etc.) I can't begin to put into words how much easier it is today to install quite literally anything including updates. That's not to say that how things are today represents absolute perfection and it's not possible to conceive of any possible improvement; nevertheless, I think it's fair to say software installation for GNU+Linux is even less complicated than in more traditional commercial OSs. The model used is, in fact, so good that Microsoft and Apple have both rushed to try and implement something similar for their respective desktop OSs. It was also the model Apple decided to follow with iOS, and Google with Android.

Honestly, at this point the only software I have to install outside of using LinuxMint's (or really anyone else's) Software Manager are VeraCrypt, Chrome (if I even choose to bother with it), and Scribus's AppImage-distributed 1.5.x development versions. While clearly VeraCrypt could be distributed through LM's Software Manager (Solus, for instance, has it in their archives) I can completely understand Scribus distributing their development versions the way they do. That basically leaves Google as the odd-developer-out, but once installed, you'd never know the difference.

Part of the reason I describe the GNU+Linux model of software distribution and installation as being "easier" than with, for example, Windows or Mac OS X, is that you can go window-shopping to see what software exists generally, or obviously for specific categories of tasks (office, sound and video, etc.) and it is quite literally one-stop-shopping.

To me, especially living as we do in a post-Snowden et al world, is access to the source code is critical, because without unfettered access, there can be no true peer review.
Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully: the message which follows is vital to the future of you all.

User avatar
wutsinterweb
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 645
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:14 am
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: I am a LTN-N (Less than newbie-newbie) but here is my take

Post by wutsinterweb » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:38 pm

Well said. I feel the same about software shopping and install, 99% of it is easily done in the various GNU/Linux Distros that include application managers, which are complete with dinner menus about the various programs. Now with Apple and Microsoft, yes, they are trying to do the same thing, but it ain't the same, for them it is a marketplace replete with all the marketing BS, with Open Source Distros, it's simpler, more direct, and a better looking interface in most cases.
I'm just a student, your guidance is appreciated.

User avatar
Portreve
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:03 am
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: I am a LTN-N (Less than newbie-newbie) but here is my take

Post by Portreve » Sat Dec 23, 2017 4:39 pm

wutsinterweb wrote:Now with Apple and Microsoft, yes, they are trying to do the same thing, but it ain't the same, for them it is a marketplace replete with all the marketing BS, with Open Source Distros, it's simpler, more direct, and a better looking interface in most cases. [Emphasis added.]
And, of course, let's not forget that for at least most distros, their marketplace is more honest because they're not a company out to just make money.
Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully: the message which follows is vital to the future of you all.

User avatar
wutsinterweb
Level 5
Level 5
Posts: 645
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2017 2:14 am
Location: Connecticut, USA

Re: I am a LTN-N (Less than newbie-newbie) but here is my take

Post by wutsinterweb » Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:07 pm

I would argue though, that having a consolidated tool and site to access professional/for sale Linux software would be a real plus too.
I'm just a student, your guidance is appreciated.

User avatar
Portreve
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:03 am
Location: Florida
Contact:

Re: I am a LTN-N (Less than newbie-newbie) but here is my take

Post by Portreve » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:36 pm

wutsinterweb wrote:I would argue though, that having a consolidated tool and site to access professional/for sale Linux software would be a real plus too.
5-6 years ago, and then all years previously, it would have been tin foil hat conspiracy theory to say commercial software and commercial OSs have back doors in them, and that 5 Eyes is actively spying on people. It probably also would have been conspiracy theory (with or without the tin foil hat) to say businesses are out to profit off their customers by any means necessary (and here, I'm specifically thinking about software and OS vendors).

That was then, and this is now, and we now know we dare not trust anyone blindly.

Therefore, I cannot conscience or condone the use of non-open commercial software (with the slight exception where my Android smart phone is concerned) and I really don't care what that software's intended purpose is.
Peoples of the universe, please attend carefully: the message which follows is vital to the future of you all.

Post Reply

Return to “Chat about Linux”