The direction I dream for Linux

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MrT
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The direction I dream for Linux

Post by MrT »

It is no secret: Linux has been successful in dominating the servers market and it is a big player in smart phones. However, it is a small player in the laptop/desktop market. I am new to Linux, little over a month, but I already found out a limitation and the criticism is shared by quite a few people as I could realize by reading around on internet: lack of high-end software.
Free software is a great concept, one that I endorse 100%, but it clashes with reality: many of us need productivity software, image processing, scientific applications and, often, the answer is that there is no such thing.
It is not that it is impossible. I count R (a program to perform high level applications in Statistics) among the best success stories, LaTeX is another, Sage Math could be considered a further success story, perhaps, but they are few and far between so far. There is no such thing to fight Microsoft's Office (I mean really heavy hitter spreadsheet, with lots of macros and VBA in it), from what I hear there is no equivalent for CAD, and more.
R is a doubly successful story for it forced SAS (very expensive proprietary software) to open up their software in a University Edition that is accessible to all at least for non profit work since all students were learning R and once they go in the working world they demand to have R instead of SAS.

I see so many Linux distros and I am sure that a lot of superior programming minds are behind each of them. Freedom is good, but if completely unckeck it could bring to bad outcomes as there is too much of a good thing as well. I have a dream that these minds instead of creating ever new distros in Linux were applied to create better software. Maybe it is a moot issue and Linux will never become a mass desktop product just because users do not want to deal with having to install a new OS (which for most is a daunting task), but I am also confident that "if you build it, they will come!", meaning that companies would notice and take advantage of free software if it existed, but it has to compete with the best stuff out there.It cannot be too much below that level.

I repeat: I have been involved in linux for just a little over a month, but I am already noticing a few patters that in my opinion are not going to lead anywhere. It just seems to me that there is a lot of work going into developing Linux and free software, but often it seems to be spent in direction that will not produce results.

As a side note. The applets and desklets that I see in Linux Mint often do not even work or do half of what they claim. Sure it takes a moment to uninstall them and I think I uninstalled 95% of the apps and desklets I installed within 2 hours, but that seems overall nice efforts applied in directions that are not leading anywhere.

As things are, as much as I loved Linux and its idea, I cannot ditch Windows 10. It just cannot be done. The average user will not bother with dual boot WIndows and Linux also when so much out there is still addressing the BiOS firmware when laptops with UEFI have been sold for 4-5 years. It seems that Linux wants to remain a niche thing, from my point of view, something you put on your old laptop instead of throwing it away. I doubt that was the original plan.
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Pierre
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by Pierre »

yep - - lots of folks, simply cannot ditch the World of Windows,
as it has quite a strangle-hold of some things, that those folks wish to use.

Gets onto SoapBox/
yet, I've seen time & again, where those same folks will cheapskate & not buy some product,
and will spend lots of their Time to find some free way of achieving their end-goal.

there is indeed some quality software for the Linux System,
and yet those same folks won't buy that software - - ie: support that company .. .

so, if those folks have managed to ditch the World of Windows,
then they also should, Morally, support any Software that does work under an Linux System.
- up to, and including, supporting the Team that developed that Linux System, that they are now using.

Gets off SoapBox/
:mrgreen:
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by MrT »

My story is probably no representative of the average Linux guy or girl. Why did I try Linux? For me it was the command line. I just want to take back control of my computer as it was in the day of MS DOS. I often use the terminal even if there is a GUI tool. Is it elitism? Maybe it looks that way to some; the way I see it is feeling in control of my machine.

One program that I think I will purchase very soon is Wolfram Mathematica for Linux. I just must have it. I have had Mathematica on my laptops or desktops since they released it. It is probably more a toy than anything else, but that I must have. Sage Math is good and I have installed it, but it will take time to get to the level I am with Mathematica. And Mathematica is like an old friend.
Latex is my second must have, already installed and used. I even installed Emacs which I used when I was a very young student, a true greenhorn, and I just recently found out that it is still around.. That is good stuff for sure.
R and R-studio and SAS University Edition. Checked.
I am planning to use Libre Calc... Excel is the only suite of Microsoft Office that has any value to me, in any case. If I can write bash commands to get at least feeds from Google Finance and/or Yahoo Finance, I could be happy enough. But Bloomberg and Reuters Eikon do not work in Linux (even on OSX they do not work, I believe). And for professional work
CAD/CAM I do not need, but it would be nice to have. Or something similar.
I like paint.net, but that only works in Wndows and I have still to find something really similar for Linux. Maybe I have not looked around enough.

Finally, I am more than willing to pay for software. To me free software is what Richard Stallman says, i.e. software that does not snoop on me. Just put me in control and after I pay you go away or just send me updates, but do not check on what I do, where I go, etc.

But all this does not change the fact that Linux has grown enough and there are plenty of distributions. Now it is time to create software, to buy it is fine for me, but no snooping would be nice. I do not think of free software as software I do not pay for. Usually one gets what he or she pays for, sadly. There are exceptions, thankfully, but they are that, exceptions.
Hoser Rob
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by Hoser Rob »

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.
MrT
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by MrT »

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.
@Hoser Rob... Yes, you raise a good point.. with so many distros, one has to be sort of a glutton for punishment to write software for Linux. Some distros are so exotic that could probably be ignored, but still... I wonder how Mathematica does it.. for sure they do not support all the distros.
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JerryF
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by JerryF »

Pierre wrote:yep - - lots of folks, simply cannot ditch the World of Windows,
as it has quite a strangle-hold of some things, that those folks wish to use.
There are some of us who don't have the choice of ditching the World of Windows. Some of us have to use it at work and some of us have software that only runs in Windows (like TurboTax).
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leadwtZ
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by leadwtZ »

Have to say that I agree that there are too many Linux distro's. There is only so much you can achieve with cinnamon, kde, mate and so on whatever distro you are using.

I try different distro's out of interest but essentially there is not much difference and the packages available are generally available to all.

Having said that my favorite OS is Mint with Mate because they present for me the most stable workstation on my machine. However I do miss at times the strengths and capabilities of many windoze applications.

Less distro's more high end software that is the way to go if Linux wants to survive I feel.

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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by Pjotr »

Linux is everywhere. On supercomputers, on servers, embedded in your devices, as Android on your phones and tablets.

Just on the desktops it remains small. Still.

Measuring usage is difficult, but on Netmarketshare desktop Linux is now at 2.36 %:
https://www.netmarketshare.com/operatin ... pcustomd=0

Which is more than double what it was 10 years ago, when desktop Linux was reported to be, by that very same Netmarketshare, at below 1 %. Both relative and in absolute numbers, that's a huge growth. :mrgreen:
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majpooper
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by majpooper »

How many times have we heard this old worn out story.

The bottom line up front: Linux is not Windows
* Obviously if you have to use it at work (which I did) you have no choice.

*Certainly if you have a need for very specialized software that few people use and is very expensive to develop not to mention purchase and only runs on Windows - yep - you are stuck with Windows, or if you're lucky Mac, I guess.

*For the "general' or "casual" - I use these terms loosely to categorize those folks who just want the "basic" email, web access. office suite i.e. the common everyday stuff - Linux, especially LM can be a very advantageous. This forum is replete with examples of members helping people install LM on old or even new laptops and PCs with very beneficial results - better security, more stable environment, improved performance and so on.

Some folks even figure out how to do things as effectively on linux as they did on Windows - like Turbo Tax (I have) or Quicken (my sister - who is not a "computer person) or Excel (my wife, who also is not a "computer person").

*Some of us just like linux because linux is fun or because we are not enamored with Windows or both.

So yeah - I get it - you are a gamer or want to run some very specialized software and linux just won't do what you want/need and virtualization or dual-booting are not your thing.

Got it - see ya - enjoy your Windows experience.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by JerryF »

majpooper wrote:...
Some folks even figure out how to do things as effectively on linux as they did on Windows - like Turbo Tax (I have) or Quicken (my sister - who is not a "computer person) or Excel (my wife, who also is not a "computer person").
TurboTax on Linux?
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by majpooper »

I have used Turbo Tax for years - 12 maybe 15. Started out with the disks on Windows - probably XP.
then went to Linux and dual-booted. Next was a VM just to run Turbo Tax. I tried a commercial version of wine (can't remember the name) but it was really clunky - it may be better now though. Finally the last few years I have been running Turbo Tax on-line and like I do my banking via a VPN although that is just me it is not a technical requirement.

I suppose if you are hesitant about doing your taxes in the cloud and filing electronically - then yeah - you would need to install the Turbo Tax app locally.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by JerryF »

majpooper wrote:...I suppose if you are hesitant about doing your taxes in the cloud and filing electronically - then yeah - you would need to install the Turbo Tax app locally.
I'm not hesitant about doing my taxes in the cloud. The version that's available online isn't sophisticated enough to do the tax refunds that I need to do.

I have to purchase TurboTax Deluxe.
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Pierre
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by Pierre »

likewise - - I've had to use the World of Windows, for Work Purposes.
:(
initially, it was win-3x, for quite a long time, then it was win-xp on Toshiba ToughBooks,
& they will most likely move to win-10, since then, but, I'm unsure, since leaving them.

likewise2 - - the Gov't Tax requirement of using eTax, which would only Work on Windows,
& then they spend a vast some on some Programming Company, to develop a Mac version.

so, you do what any Linux Geek does - - get the flaming thing working on Linux yourself,
and using ./wine if necessary - - so I've built on what some Qld Dude, had started ,
in order to get my Annual Tax requirement, done & dusted.
& so I was the leading Advocate for eTax over on the Crossover Forum.
- there was a surprisingly large following too, just going by the number of downloads
of the relevant Cx Tie script.

things have since moved on, and now you have to use the mandated MyGov platform
:twisted:
which can be used on just about any device, as it is a Web Based System.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by majpooper »

JerryF wrote:
majpooper wrote:...I suppose if you are hesitant about doing your taxes in the cloud and filing electronically - then yeah - you would need to install the Turbo Tax app locally.
I'm not hesitant about doing my taxes in the cloud. The version that's available online isn't sophisticated enough to do the tax refunds that I need to do.

I have to purchase TurboTax Deluxe.
They do advertise a free online version I believe that is pretty basic. However TurboTax Deluxe which I use as well is available on line.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by Art3mis9 »

So many new Linux users who migrate from Windows complain that "Linux should be more like Windows".

Let's be clear: Linux dominates the overall OS market. As has been said in previous posts, it is everywhere. OK, it's a minnow in the ocean of desktop computing, and some have a problem with that. I'm not one of them.

Thing is, GNU/Linux isn't an operating system. It's an ecosystem. It exists independently of any one distribution. It's greater than the sum of its parts. GNU/Linux represents a very powerful idea: that knowledge should not be monopolized. In this day-and-age, do you really feel secure using a proprietary system, completely unaware of what code lies lurking beneath? GNU/Linux is a community, based on the sharing of ideas. We all benefit. We can all contribute. It's as much about the philosophy behind it as it is about the system itself.

Yes, we all have to cross over to the dark side once in a while, such is the nature of Microsoft's stranglehold on software/OEM builds (a carry-over from their meteoric rise in the '90's) but we should never find ourselves wishing for Linux to be something it is not, has never been and (hopefully) never will be.

Linux will never be Windows. And long may that be true. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by jimallyn »

Well said, Art3mis9! Yes, Linux dominates everywhere except the desktop - yet. There are more Linux installs in the world (and orbiting around the world) than there are Windows installs. I also have a problem trusting proprietary software; you just never know what might be in there. And I like the Linux community. One Mint user says it's more like the Quaker/Catholic Worker way to do software, and of that I approve highly!
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by pacho37 »

As I understand it, the OP has a good point. It is not about changing Linux or making it more like Windows, it's about having more high-end, specialised (or whatever one would call it) software on our platform.
And maybe, just maybe some programmers might put their efforts into creating a powerful DAW on Linux, or a CAD solution instead of creating a trillionth Ubuntu flavour. That could in my opinion help
Linux become more visible, if you will, and not necessarily making another distro, with cool new wallpapers and desktop effects (sorry for the hyperbole).
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jimallyn
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by jimallyn »

pacho37 wrote:maybe some programmers might put their efforts into creating a powerful DAW on Linux
They already did:

https://ardour.org/
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by Hoser Rob »

jimallyn wrote:
pacho37 wrote:maybe some programmers might put their efforts into creating a powerful DAW on Linux
They already did:

https://ardour.org/
And how many pro musicians use it???

It doesn't matter if it's powerful if you have to use Wine (an inherently unreliable solution) to load Windows VST plugins because they're incompatible with Linux. You'd have to be an idiot to do this if you're a professional musician. Just look at the linuxmusicians site. Or anything similar. It's a joke.

I am actually an ex windows user (just Mint) but if I needed WIndows I'd still use it.
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Re: The direction I dream for Linux

Post by MintBean »

There's also a very solid commercial option for a DAW in Linux.
Bitwig Studio:
https://www.bitwig.com/en/home.html
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