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» The Geek Culture Forums   » News, Reviews, Views!   » Rants, Raves, Rumors!   » I *HATE* where Linux is going (Page 2)

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Author Topic: I *HATE* where Linux is going
quantumfluff
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2008 19:59      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The thing we should all remember is that there is not single 'perfect' linux distro - at least while we are considering both end users and developers. Even worse, most linux enthusiasts can't decide which they are. What's right for your personal desktop is not necessarily right for a developer, which is not necessarily right for a deployment machine. And 'right' is not an absolute. It's a function of the skills and attitudes of your users, developers and admins.

That said, I use Fedora bleeding edge on my home desktop, because most of the fruffy shit works. At work, we use ubuntu with pretty much a compiler and nothing else. When I used to produce linux software for resale, I built on 3 or 4 popular distributions with ONLY binaries that came from the vendors. For our web services, I used just the basic OS from the vendor, and built everything above that (sendmail. apache, ...) from the source. Different tools for different purposes.

Posts: 2902 | From: 5 to 15 meters above sea level | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2008 20:15      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've never had an issue with Linux hardware detection. It's all worked very well out-of-the-box, but then again, the only machines I ever install on are usually used low-end laptops that I can find for cheap (or free).

I'm going to have to second Spungo's complaint about the compiler toolchain on many modern Linux distros, though. It would be one thing if the system was completely bereft of any development tools; after all, that's how Windows and Mac OS X are by default (well, I guess I can't speak for 10.5; maybe it install Developer Tools by default...). However, to do as Spungo mentioned and provide a working preprocessor or linker or compiler, but no actual headers, is just asinine. Compared to other packages, does libc6-devel or the x11 headers really take up that much space? I mean, if you already have KDE installed anyways, you're not going to notice an extra couple megabytes of text files in your file system.

Granted, many tasks can be accomplished just-- if not more-- by hacking out a python script to interface with the included system APIs. But what happens when you want to add a new python interface? Well, it looks like you're going to need the GCC.

I have the misfortune of having to use Slackware at work (beats windows, but still). I have many complaints about Slackware (to be fair, many of them would be nullified if we had a less restrictive SysAdmin group (System Administrators: Because it's not like Developers Know Anything About Computers!)); however, it is truly a hacker's distro, so you aren't restricted by the "Oops, you can't graphically login as root! Tee-hee!" or the myriad dependencies for "required" sysinit scripts. While it may be a pain in the ass, it's fairly trivial to just grab the latest release of a given package, build it, and install it. It may take a while, but time spent compiling is billable.


The question, of course, boils down to this: What is the point of Linux? Is it to have an operating system that any moderately competent hacker can customize and potentially improve, for free, and with the knowledge that he or she helped other hackers by their effort? Or are we trying to provide software to free people from corporate overlords they don't even know they have in the first place?

The problems we're having now come from the second paradigm. It's a lot like getting people off of religion: they don't know what they're missing out on, so they have no incentive to change; maybe if we make it easy enough, they'll change anyways. We're writing all these programs for non-programmers, for free; while this is a good thing- it makes society better- it also results in only one group of people missing out: the people who themselves write the software.

Spungo, our issues come not from the fact that the software is bad or limited, but that it's written for people who don't appreciate it and who, unless we make it as mindless as possible, will simply revert back to their old operating system. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the vast majority of developers tend to gravitate towards these distributions, so the "geekier" ones get left in the dust.

I'd say that if you want a traditional *NIX environment, go with the original: BSD. You may have hardware support issues (which will require you to put on your hacker-hat and resolve them... and contribute those changes to the distro), but at least you won't have the equivalent of driving a an automatic, electric go-kart when what you wanted was a 5-speed Chevy.


</reply>

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 03, 2008 21:34      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by spungo:
Ubuntu is shit. The default install doesn't even give you any header files ...


My real concern is that the curse of bloat...


A linux dist should follow these rules:

a) be no bigger than 1 CD

d) no transparent xterms (get'em later if you want 'em)

Oh ferfscksake...

You complain about "the curse of bloat" then complain that Ubuntu hasn't included all the packages you want by default. Where's that "get'em later if you want 'em" spirit?

In less time than it took to compose your complaint, you could have launched the package manager, clicked on the missing packages, and had them installed.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2008 11:51      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
Spungo, our issues come not from the fact that the software is bad or limited, but that it's written for people who don't appreciate it and who, unless we make it as mindless as possible, will simply revert back to their old operating system. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the vast majority of developers tend to gravitate towards these distributions, so the "geekier" ones get left in the dust.


Yeah -- I'd say you hit the nail on the head. The userbase has changed, and has left cranky old gits like me behind.

TFD: imagine you're tryin to install Ubuntu on a stand-alone box (so no apt-get on the intarwebs) -- now you want to upgrade your default install to something developer-friendly -- happy hunting around trying to get all those myriad packages you need, and hoping that the dependencies work. This is one of the main problems with modern linuxes -- they're all dependent on your broad-band capability. If you're stuck in a place where you have to set-up closed-LAN machines, it gets a bit wearisome.

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2008 13:03      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wouldn't it be great if someone wrote instructions for making custom install CDs that install exactly what you want? Of course that would never happen. No way. Not in a million years. You're obviously out of luck.

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geekygoddess
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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2008 13:34      Profile for geekygoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Steen, I'm so glad your not a smartass....

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted June 04, 2008 21:18      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's another ass that's not very smart

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10680 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
geekygoddess
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2008 04:35      Profile for geekygoddess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HaHa, good one TFD. [Applause] [Applause]

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"It is better to press ones shirt, than ones luck"- Confucius

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AntonTakk
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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2008 18:46      Profile for AntonTakk   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Every once in a while I hear a story like spungo's: "It didn't automatically detect X, Y doesn't work, and I have no idea how to make it do Z"

The thing is, nearly every time I bothered to ask, they hadn't done basic hcl checking. You wouldn't try to install Solaris x86 on an Intel Mac, or the latest and greatest pc laptop hardware and expect it to work, would you?

Just my two cents

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`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!' - Percy Bysshe Shelley

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted June 05, 2008 21:00      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Solaris 10 works just great on my MacBook... [Wink]

(Okay, it's in VMware, but it runs like a champ!)

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 06, 2008 11:08      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by AntonTakk:
Every once in a while I hear a story like spungo's: "It didn't automatically detect X, Y doesn't work, and I have no idea how to make it do Z"

The thing is, nearly every time I bothered to ask, they hadn't done basic hcl checking. You wouldn't try to install Solaris x86 on an Intel Mac, or the latest and greatest pc laptop hardware and expect it to work, would you?

Just my two cents

Err... that really wasn't what I was bitching about. I was having a moan, mostly, about the direction of Linux -- i.e., the most popular distros have swerved away from a developer-first ethos (i.e., putting the emphasis on developer types before bells and whistles and stuff). In a way this goes against the Free Software type thingy -- i.e, folks downloading source and bulding their apps this way, as you very often don't have the basic tools at the beginning to build very much at all. Now, this is all well and good if you wan to cater to a different market -- I'm not saying it's right or wrong... it just pisses me off. [Wink]

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Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged


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