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SEUL: Re: Comments
> 1) We need more end-user applications. This is the biggest stumbling
> block if you ask me. Right now, there's Netscape, a couple of Java apps,
> Applixware, Quake, and Mathematica. Most of the 'traditional' scientific
> apps that Unix users run don't exist, most of the 'traditional'
> productivity/management apps that Windows users run don't exist either.
I keep hearing this on all the mailing lists I follow.
What Apps do people want?
This is my list, feel free to add anything else:
Presentation Graphics Program
double entry booking journal
accounts package, for accounts payable, account recievable,
billing, taxation, etc ...
html browser, graphical ftp client, telnet, graphical email
Graphical Internet Configuration System.
drawing/image editing software
design and page layout software
General purpose Cad ala Autocad
Specialized Cad programs, for circuits, floorplans, etc.
integrated development environment
What else is there?
> Linux mentality of 'squeeze everything you can get out of the system' and
> instead adopt a mentality of 'make it work, right, the first time,
> everywhere'. There will be users who will just turn off the computer.
> They can't hose their data in the process.
Why not let them hose there data? It will teach them not to just turn off
the computer. Even windows95 doesn't let you turn off the computer without
going through a shutdown process.
The mentality of most linux users I know isn't squeeze everything you can
out of the system, it is lets do something interesting today.
It isn't the programmers mentality who is at fault here, but the millions
like mom who jump on the bandwagan then scream when the ride becomes
to bumpy for them.
> 3) We need better PROGRAM INSTALLERS. I think an effort should be made to
> even automate the installations of programs which aren't freely
> distributable. For example, take the saga of Java on Red Hat 5. It's
> completely and totally broken. kaffe doesn't work properly, the libraries
> are all messed up, and the JDK can't be distributed because of licensing.
> xanim is pretty well in the same boat. You can distribute xanim, but you
> can't distribute an xanim that can actually play animations. These are
> just two examples.
The answer to that is don't distribute them at all. If the licensing doesn't
allow for the distribution of these programs, let the licensor do the
distributing. And if they don't find a substitute. If you can't run xanim
to view animation find something else, or write your own.
Instead of bending over backwards to accomidate these people, simply cut them
> Although the programs themselves cannot be distributed, an installer
> written by us could. An installer that would log on to the network,
> retrieve the applications, compile or patch them if necessary, and install
> them. All the user has to do is click yes on the license agreement.
> Could do this with perl and TCL/TK, probably.
The owner of the license could also make sure that there product is compatible
with the standard linux file system layout and not try to break everything.
Applix did a very good job of making sure there product didn't cause problems.
Why can't other companies. Especially those that don't distribute free
> 4) We need better dial-up networking. If Linux wants to have any chance
> in the home market, or even in most of the business market, there has to
> be a click-and-play dial-up networking. Red Hat has made lots of progress
Such a system exists. Is called ezppp. Once configured, you choose where
you want to connect to, and hit the connect button. It ain't easier then
My beef is that diald is not supported on this. But you can't have everything
> in this area. It still yields terrible throughput, takes all day to
> install, doesn't work half the time, and generally is inferior to Windows'
> version. DIP, chat, etc. are adequate. The configuration is hard.
Do you have any clue here. I had to debug a windows box which could make
to different connection to the internet. Unfortunately neither would work,
and can't ever work, because the way windows does networking.
Throughput on linux is nearly twice as fast as on windows, and they are
running on the same machine! I don't know where you got your facts.
> Ideally, a system that could take a windows' DUN-script and translate it
> would be ideal. Not too hard, either. Could probably be done in a day
> with perl.
I'm beginning to suspect that you are a windows person who doesn't want
to learn a different system. Its people like you that keep me employed. The
above script you mention is something I charge most companies an arm and a
> Also, we should distribute the 'devel' version of every package that's
> installed, by default. There's nothing more annoying then having to go
> find libraries. Especially for a newbie.
There is no such thing as devel versions of anything. If you have the
wrong library the install script should be able to detect it, but what
do you do when you have two packages that use different incompatible versions
of the same library. It happens more often then you think.
In windows, there is only one library to worry about. In the open software
world, these inconstitencies arise, and can't be solved.
> 6) We need to not break things. For example, Red Hat 5 glibc breaks all
> kinds of things. Simple things like Netscape need to work. With their
> Java interpreters. Without tricks, wrappers, and environment variables.
> This should be one of those 'specialty installers' like I mentioned
What you need is a staic environment. That doesn't exist in linux. In
fact most would say the chaos in the linux world is its biggest strength.
It took five years to develop a system from nothing to the most advance
operating system in the world today.
> 7) We need modular kernels that aren't obtrusive. I don't know if it's
> just me but there's nothing more annoying than having kerneld unload my
> CDROM driver while the CD is playing.
It just you. This has never happened to me. I have never heard of happening.
If this is really problem, take the performance hit, and compile the cdrom
driver in the kernel, and not as a module.
> 8) We need a "my computer" equivalent. FVWM95 looks like Win95 but it
> sure doesn't act like it. A good file manager is a first step toward the
> "no command line" motif (no pun intended).
I think you mean window manager not file manager.
I agree here, but I don't see this issue going away. There is no standardized
window maganer on unix, so again we go back to if you want an open system
you have to put up with inconvience.
> 9) We need a tech support structure. Just like Microsoft has and Red Hat
> is trying to provide.
I had to talk to tech support at Microsoft once. It was also the last time
I talked to Microsoft tech support.
Linux tech support is better than you can get at any company, but it isn't
immediate. There is no one you can blame if your boss asks what is being done,
and you may never get the answer. Its called the linux newsgroups.
> 10 through 185) For (far) down the road, we should try and build a better
> Windows emulator.
I disagree. What we really need is people working on linux native apps.
WABI is as good as it gets for windows emulators. But it is expensive.
> The advantage to this is that users can just run Win95 in their happy
> virtual machine. The pains of Wine in figuring out and implementing the
> API are avoided. And it's immune to anything Microsoft might try to do to
> break emulators, as happened with Win31 and DR-DOS.
Again WABI is still a better solution. But its not a free solution.
> > Throwing people (indiscriminately or not) into such editors as vi or emacs is
> > the surest possible way to scare people back to the known, "intuitive"
> The worst part is that there are already plenty of freely available
> x-windows and text-mode editors that are perfectly 'intuitive', at least
> as much as the Windows are.
Intutitve is a strange word. For a person like me who has been doing everything
in vi for ten years, the windows notepad is not intutive. You need to use a
mouse, and the hot keys are all wrong. I mean who thinks of <alt>fx to
quit a program. Its always been :q! to me.
> Microsoft's "Wizard" idea is perfect (even MS can't get everything wrong
> ;) ).
The wizard idea didn't come from MS.
> > underlying knowledge. Much more serious changes are required in order to
> > directly compete with Windoze, and it sounds to me that there is a large,
> > vocal group of people who do not want Linux 'polluted' by such frivolities.
technically speaking it has been Unix that has done the poluting.
Internet networking is a unix thing. Voice recognition is unix thing.
Perl, Tktcl, etc ...
I think the real question being asked is what can be changed to make people
who normally use windows more comfortable on linux.
The answer has been given many times before. Make a distribution that is
easy to install, complete, and preconfigured. That's all that windows is.
Anyone who has had to fix anything that goes wrong on windows know exactly
how hard and how cryptic everything is.
Keep the user who doesn't want to how the computer works away from the
part that are critical.
Just a Thought