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Linux Desktop Ready, Says Mainstream Media 387

DeathElk writes, "The Sydney Morning Herald recently featured an article espousing the virtues of desktop Linux. From the article: 'Linux is shedding its hard-core techie image in a bid to woo ordinary human beings seeking an easy-to-use operating system that can be downloaded for free.' Is this a step forward for widespread GNU/Linux desktop adoption? Too bad the article doesn't mention the large range of live CD/DVD distributions available for try-before-you-fly, or the range of Windows applications tested and working under Wine." Also, the article is slightly unclear on the concept of open source, defining it as an arrangement "where the source code can be modified upon the request of users or other developers."
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Linux Desktop Ready, Says Mainstream Media

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  • ofcourse (Score:2, Interesting)

    by slack_prad ( 942084 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @11:35AM (#16104931) Journal
    it's ready alright, but for whom?
  • what changed? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by brunascle ( 994197 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @11:42AM (#16105020)
    the article makes it sound like something changed recently, when i dont think it did.
    "Until recently Linux desktop applications were not ready for consumption by the general public because"... However projects such as GNOME have introduced new guidelines to ensure consistency across common desktop operations, he said.

    when exactly was this quote taken? what is he talking about, am i missing something?

    granted, i havent used Ubutuntu, but i used Red Hat, SuSE, and Fedora as a desktop for a few years, and all were very easy to install and use.

    IMHO, linux has been ready for the desktop for years, but the world just isnt ready for linux.

  • Re:Then what for...? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by legoburner ( 702695 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @11:47AM (#16105090) Homepage Journal
    Nah it is getting to a point where we can go into a state of Xen []
  • Re:mainstream media? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, 2006 @11:55AM (#16105183)
    I dunno if I'd call the Sydney Morning Herald the "mainstream media".
    I guess they are not mainstream if they are 'honest, balanced, investigative'....
    Especially when you are used to "mainstream" meaning 'politically biased, commercially dishonest, hearsay'...
  • Re:Of Course! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MyDixieWrecked ( 548719 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @12:59PM (#16105884) Homepage Journal
    you make some good points, too... another problem is the enormous variation in hardware, distributions and versions of said distributions that lead to different experiences.

    as for our differences...

    sluggish filesystem browsing? I used ubuntu, not kubuntu.....

    what kind of machine are you running? now, I can't vouch for gnome's nautilus, but konqueror is slow on up to 1ghz machines. I'll play with gnome again this week and maybe I'll change my mind.

    although that does bring up another potential thing to trip up new users... too much choice. most people don't want choice, unfortunately. at least not until they get more tech savvy and understand the difference between "memory" and harddrive space. (remember, there was a time when the majority of people knew nothing of cars).

    about the system volume... you'd think that since the powerbook hardware is more standardized, they'd have better support. typically, installing linux on macs (in the last 6-7 years) has been a lot less of a headache than installing on x86 machines. less hunting for drivers because it's just a matter of saying "oh, b&w G3? use these ethernet drivers, these sound drivers work on all new-world macs, and this driver for that thing and we're set", where on x86 boxes, I find myself hunting through dmesg and lspci a lot more often. personally, I think it's an issue with the system resetting the system volume on boot (during initialization). I don't think it's up to the hardware, necessarily to remember stuff like systemvolume after a reboot.

    About the package manager... it's still confusing. I've gotten the hang of it, but I can see how a new user would get tripped up. especially when it comes to enabling universe and multiverse repositories. I haven't used the add/remove programs thing, actually. I should check that out. I saw it, but never looked into it.

    slow boot/(environment)login time- that's my point. general linux problem. =)

    apps being cluttered: yeah, most windows apps are cluttered. most windows apps interfaces are horrendous. OSX's got a nice toolkit for creating interfaces which enables developers to create much more elegantly designed GUIs. linux really could learn a lot from there. programming for gtk is a pain. especially when you want to space things out a certain way, I find myself creating nested boxes with additional padding to keep things from looking too cluttered and to make it look like it was actualyl designed rather than automatically created by a computer.

    about the overly complex system settings- I'm mostly talking about KDE's system settings. you go to modify stuff and there's just piles and piles of options crammed into the window. and some views that have less items have a textbox for 1 or 2 digit numbers stretched to 100% of the view's width.

    and about the live-cd. it used to be that you could download a live-cd (for checking out the OS, with an option to install) or you could grab an install CD with a text-based installer... but it seems that in recent times, the only time you get an install-only disk is for server installations. I really wish the live CD at least popped up with a thing saying "WELCOME TO THE LIVECD FOR [distro]! would you like to install or just play?" or something to that effect.

    the installer really should have a streamlined install. friends who I recommend ubuntu to (because it's the simplest distro, imo) have a lot of trouble because they don't quite understand what to do when it comes to partitioning or anything. there should just be an auto-install. even less questions. get my friends off my back. =)

    I'm actually planning on putting xubuntu on my 600mhz pentium3 this weekend to play around... KDE CRAWLs on that box.

    on a side note... I'm really more of a Gentoo guy. I've been dabbling with ubuntu because I wanted a quick install and quick package installation. I'm a little sick of waiting for an hour to install php5 on older hardware, and waiting overnight or longer to get X, KDE, and firefox installe
  • Re:Of Course! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @06:03PM (#16109172)
    apps feel cluttered: most windows apps feel cluttered, too.

    Just pointing out the mindset that will guarantee that Linux will never be better than Windows. It doesn't matter that Windows programs have the same problem if it is a valid problem.

    You don't see Mac users constantly comparing their software to Windows... that's because Mac users have a sense of identity more complex than "we're not Windows." Linux needs to develop this, or it will never be better than Windows. (Because, whenever somebody suggests a problem with Linux, someone else will reply "well, Windows has the same problem" and nobody will act on it.)

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.