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Linux Needs Critics 1127

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-which-does-not-kill-us dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Keir Thomas berates the fact that the world of Linux almost entirely lacks critics. In fact, he says, Linux people tend to see genuine critical evaluation as a bad thing. FTA: 'The problem with this anti-criticism approach is that it's damning Linux to an eternity of navel gazing. Nothing can ever get any better. The best hope we have are the instances where a few bright sparks, with their heads screwed on the right way, get together and make something cool (as happened with, say, Firefox back in the day). But that's rare and can't be relied upon.'"
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Linux Needs Critics

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  • Nonsense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Erich (151) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:08AM (#27429623) Homepage Journal
    Linux has plenty of critics. Developers are critical of their own code. Just look through the lkml or read the code, there are plenty of places where there is constructive criticism about how something is done.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:09AM (#27429655)
      Linux has driver issues!!
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:32AM (#27430009)

        No it doesn't. Not at all. Suppose you buy a new printer and find it doesn't work with linux. All you have to do is a post a comment on one of the 100,000 different linux discussion sites asking if someone can't produce a driver for it. And then, magically, just a few weeks later, someone with a name like Songeyong Jooeypop will post one for you to download, and it will even come with excellent install instructions like, "Please to be installing driver software for the printing! Always be remembering to install in correct dir or else to be compiling with kernel property. Happiness first! If problems are having to be had, be writing to me at fnordboi@flqoozlepop.xq"

        Uh oh. Did I just criticise linux?

        • by Moryath (553296) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:07AM (#27430583)

          Being serious for a moment, a large part of the problem with Linux - at least in the "getting more people to adopt it" sense (chicken and egg) - is the fact that Linux developers/proponents tend to be unable to understand that while something is "not their fault", it is still their problem.

          For example: I have a DVR box that I put together a few years back. It uses an ATi All-In-Wonder capture board. A "clean rebuild" of the box, including all the recording software and OS (it uses WinXP), takes ~3 hours.

          I am consistently told by Linux-using friends that I should "absolutely be using Linux instead", that all Linux software is inherently superior, etc. Yet when trying to install any of the various Linux/MythTV flavors, I've consistently found all sorts of problems. The ATi Remote Wonder doesn't work well for most of them. The recording software either doesn't work at all, or is "spotty at best." Video playback quality is lower.

          When I've asked about this on Linux help boards, the response is always the same (and I'm sure I'll get a bunch of raving loons attacking me here for saying so as well): "well it's your fault for having an ATi board you should go spend $$$$$$ on a hauppauge and a nvidia board and buy this and buy that because that's what my box uses and anyways the ati drivers suck because ati sucks."

          Now, I recognize that ATi hasn't been as "forthcoming" with driver source / documentation as some other companies. This is where the Linux folks can say it's "not my fault." The reality, though, is that it is a barrier to entry, and therefore it is their problem.

          The other problem is that the Linux world lacks consistency. The same command structure, driver package, installation routine often has to be "tweaked" to work - if it works at all - on any given random distribution or even between versions of the same distribution.

          Now of course, merely by saying something like this in the open, it's a good chance I'll be branded a Linux heretic. Maybe even a slew of nasty downmods will come my way. After all, criticisms like these are part of the whole "not in front of the goyim" mentality of Linux users whenever there are non-Linux users about.

          • by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:23AM (#27430877)

            Dude. Just get the nVidia board.

            Kidding. Your point is valid -- use the best tool for the job. If you've got an ATI card that works well with Windows but not with Linux, and both OSes provide most of the features you want, then use Windows (assuming the cost of Windows is below the cost of that nVidia card).

            Linux remains a server OS. It's coming around very slowly to the desktop and I've no doubt it will get there -- it's doing quite well on the netbooks where people don't want to install everything in their closet: they just want a functional, email-checking, web-surfing laptop and for that almost any OS will do.

            Except MacOS X. That only runs on the shiniest of hardware.

          • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:41AM (#27431241) Journal

            Now, I recognize that ATi hasn't been as "forthcoming" with driver source / documentation as some other companies. This is where the Linux folks can say it's "not my fault." The reality, though, is that it is a barrier to entry, and therefore it is their problem.

            Sometimes it is not clear where the problem lies and hence it is not clear how a problem should be solved

            An example: try using Kino to control and download video off a camcorder using Firewire under Ubuntu. There is at least one closed bug about this, yet the problem remains. The Ubuntu team set the raw1394 device to have 600 permissions, so only root can use it (or maybe it is 644, so only root can write to it) because anything else is a security risk. Kino uses the raw1394 device. Where does the problem lie? Is it in Kino for using raw1394? Is it in the kernel for not providing a more suitable 1394 interface that can be used by Kino yet be secure if non-root users can write to it? Or is it in the Ubuntu team for the permissions of /dev/raw1394?

            The bottom line for this is that Kino can't be used for a critical task by anyone except a skilled Unix user who is prepared to either use chmod or change the UDEV rules.

            • by cream wobbly (1102689) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @01:39PM (#27433389)

              Given how simple Unix's permissions are, it's amazing how many programs are squirreled away "for security reasons", but without explicitly stating what those reasons are. Usually because there are none, and it falls under the category "FUD".

              Example: dmidecode. Why on earth is a read only bios examining tool a root-only tool? If it can read a bios password, that's fair enough. But isn't it easy to say "if this is root, display the bios password"?

              Same with ethtool. Yes, it has root-only options. So does ping. So do what ping does and provide different functionality depending on who the user is.

              There are others, but I think I've made my point.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by PitaBred (632671)
            It's true a lot of that is lacking in Linux. But on the flip side, you have a lot more power to make the machine do what you actually want, rather than just working around what you're given. DRM tilt bits causing HDMI dropouts, 15 different media players depending on what format you want to play, having to use the awful half-assed applications included with your hardware. Ever installed anything from HP?

            Anyone saying Linux lacks consistency is looking at Windows through rose-colored glasses, and possibly
          • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:48AM (#27431377)

            Now, I recognize that ATi hasn't been as "forthcoming" with driver source / documentation as some other companies. This is where the Linux folks can say it's "not my fault." The reality, though, is that it is a barrier to entry, and therefore it is their problem.

            Somewhere there's an IRC channel where this post gets linked. "Wow guys," says one Linux hacker, "this dude has a point." "Yeah he does," agrees another. "Let's get right on this. I wonder why we never thought of this before?" In two weeks, a perfectly functional ATI driver is available.

            Thanks, Moryath. You've done us all a great service.

            • We are not magicians (Score:5, Interesting)

              by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @12:08PM (#27431745)
              Sometimes you cannot just *make* a driver. Some hardware is overwhelmingly complicated, and if the hardware manufacturer cannot or will not release the source for their driver or technical documents for the hardware, then you are SOL. My laptop's integrated modem has no free drivers, and the only Linux driver available is from a team that is under an NDA. The attempts to write a free driver were nothing even close to something useful, and those attempts have been undertaken for 10 years.
      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday April 02, 2009 @12:31PM (#27432167)
        I would *like* to voice my support for Thomas's here, but I don't feel like enduring a barrage of Linux fanboys jumping down my throat with long-winded posts about how every Linux "flaw" is actually a great "feature." The last time I dared complain about how hard it was to set up Ubuntu for dual monitors, I had them howling "Manually editing a xorg config file in a command line editor is EASY!!!!!" at me for days. In fact, AFAIK, no distro of Linux has or has ever had a flaw or shortcoming. New versions don't so much "fix" things as make them even more goddamn wonderful.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The article's author's evidence of a lack of Linux critics is negative responses to one of his blog posts criticizing Ubuntu and Firefox. In that post he criticizes Firefox for becoming feature-bloated and criticizes Ubuntu for not having enough new features. He's making his own drama.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Clipless (1432977)

      Has the author of TFA looked at any linux websites or even /.? Linux has a wonderful bug list, most Linux forums are full of complaints and problems that need to be solved and our own /. community that has its fair share articles, and subsequent comments, registering the complaints and comparisons of various aspects of linux and its distributions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by joelmax (1445613)

      Yes, they are critical of their own code, but that isn't the same thing. Everybody will see their own creation through some form of rose coloured glasses. For a critic to truely be good and viable, they need to not only understand what and how it is working, but what and how it is broken, not from the first person, but from a third person perspective. That 3rd person perspective helps give validity to arguments and is more likely to point out things that developers don't catch. There is such thing as being

      • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BrokenHalo (565198) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:52AM (#27430311)
        Now, I am not saying that coders are not the best critics...

        Just as well. I can't think of anyone else even remotely qualified to critically evaluate the Linux kernel.

        OK, so I'm being a bit pedantic, but not very. The author of TFA says he is not a programmer, and I believe him. That means he is a user of applications, which he doesn't take the trouble to name, other than to make indirect reference to Ubuntu and Firefox. His gripe with Ubuntu seems to be that the latest release doesn't have enough shiny things in it, and who knows what he's done to his Firefox installation.

        He does, however, have a point when he says that "The danger with all open source projects is that the developers become too dominant, and spend all their effort making the software 'just so'--conforming to an ideological principle only they appreciate".

        I'm sure all of us (if we're honest) can think of pet peeves with some of the open-source developers' more capriciously craniorectal idiocies in just about any non-trivial project. This has nothing to do with Linux, and is a failing equally shared with closed-source software.
    • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ami Ganguli (921) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:22AM (#27429871) Homepage

      Indeed. What a strange article.

      I would even go so far as to say that Linux (and the Free Software ecosystem that surrounds it) has a lot more critics than closed software - or at least more effective critics.

      Large software companies pay PR departments to generate positive coverage. Most Open Source projects have no PR effort behind them at all. So criticism of the software is less likely to be drowned out by astroturf.

      • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Informative)

        by DJRumpy (1345787) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:49AM (#27430269)
        I wouldn't necessarily say it has a lack of critics. I think it is more pointed to the Linux communities response to said criticism. They tend to be very dismissive, defensive, and unresponsive to any criticism whether it's deserved or not.

        From TFA:
        "Most of the time the world of Linux tends to be anti-critical. If anybody in the community dares be critical, they get stomped upon."
      • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:55AM (#27430365)

        Indeed. What a strange article.

        You say that as though you've read it.

        I would even go so far as to say that Linux (and the Free Software ecosystem that surrounds it) has a lot more critics than closed software - or at least more effective critics.

        Large software companies pay PR departments to generate positive coverage. Most Open Source projects have no PR effort behind them at all. So criticism of the software is less likely to be drowned out by astroturf.

        RTFA -- he doesn't mean criticism == slagging off, he means criticism as is "critical evaluation". What Linux has is a lot of slaggers and very few critical evaluators. All the deconstruction of design decisions are carried out by the dev guys -- there is no detached observer.

        HAL.

    • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheWanderingHermit (513872) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:24AM (#27429883)

      Developers may be critical of their own code, but they see it from their view, not from the view of the users. I've seen many cases where bug reports were "written off" or were closed and the developers' responses were either, "We're not going to implement that because it's too much work," (even when the bug or issue or request has a lot of votes) or some other excuse that indicates they're trying to just write it off, but don't see how important it is to others.

      It's the case that those inside looking out are talking about how great they are, but often they refuse to listen to those outside looking in. It's the same issue with Windows. Linuxers wonder how people can think Windows is so good, but it's because people in that world ignore external criticism. Linux and FOSS developers are they same way, they just pretend they aren't: They listen to the criticisms that match their views and ignore or write off those they don't want to hear.

      • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BrokenHalo (565198) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:14AM (#27430675)
        One of the most annoying things I have found in Bugzilla is that "WON'T FIX" tag. Regardless of whether or not the actual issue affects myself, anyone who has taken the time and trouble to post input on a project deserves a more apposite response than "stick your criticism where the sun don't shine". It certainly does nothing to foster the kind of goodwill necessary to inspire the hapless user to ever bother again.
    • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross&yahoo,ca> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:35AM (#27430049)

      The problem with Linux is that yes there are critics... BUT the Linux community dismisses them as twits who don't understand or appreciate Linux...

      If the Linux community were to take end users seriously and start solving their problems then maybe Linux would move on...

      Here is a simple question, why on earth when I have multiple applications that need the sound card have problems sharing the sound card? Who on freaken earth thought that one out...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Weeksauce (1410753)

      Linux needs more NON-GEEK critics. We all know techies are going to be critical of the software; however, if they really want the "Year of Linux" they need to listen to more people like my computer illiterate mother to be critical. Trying to explain to the average whose been using Windows their entire life that, "the command prompt is just so much easier" typically results in an awkward, blank stare...

    • Re:Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Decameron81 (628548) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:49AM (#27430259)

      Being critical of your own code doesn't mean you're open to criticism. And IMO the article is right on the spot.

      If I were to say Linux sucks because it doesn't have X or Y, most Linux users/developers would just reply that I should code it myself or shut up.

      On the other hand most of the same people would consider it acceptable to criticize Windows in the same manner just because it's closed source.

      Some of us just want to use them as tools, and not extend them every time something's missing. The tired and old reply of "code it yourself" just goes on further to spread the notion that the tool you're trying to use may soon become a source of more work for you, instead of a solution.

    • Free is no excuse (Score:5, Insightful)

      by neapolitan (1100101) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:53AM (#27430335)

      Yes, I totally agree. Linux has many, many critics, from users, "prousers / powerusers", developers, and other corporations e.g. M$ (although agreed, these are more often just attacks.)

      Where I thought his article was very insightful, however, was the typical response "Linux is free..." where I agree with his analysis. This, however, reflects on us, the Linux community. I cringe when I see somebody say, "It is free, what do you expect?" or "you have no right to complain." Users have every right to (nonabusively and in a civil fashion) criticize software.

      If Debian (stable) suddenly stopped working, my organization would lose thousands of person-hours of lost productivity. In many ways, doing somebody a half-favor is often worse than doing them nothing at all:

      Imagine if I volunteered to repair your garage, but then did a half-assed job and quit halfway through. It would cost you MORE in the end to clean up and switch to another provider. Would it be then ok to say "I did that for FREE, how can you complain?"

      Obviously this is a continuum, and many of the criticisms are unfounded or just whining. But, as a whole, if we want Linux to continue to succeed we, as developers and users alike, should listen and respond constructively ourselves to any (also constructive) criticism that is provided by the community.

  • They are in there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso (153703) * on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:08AM (#27429631) Homepage Journal

    The critics in open source world are the young ones that get a big head one day and call your project stupid because it uses language X instead of their favorite language. Then they fork the code, write their own crappy software, get some distribution to decide to use it and then the original project gets dumped one day.

  • by Ynot_82 (1023749) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:09AM (#27429647)

    ...and all I got was this lousy mod rating

    • by RobBebop (947356) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:27AM (#27429937) Homepage Journal

      What about BugTracker websites or discussion forums that expose software warts to the general public? Doesn't posting to these count as criticizing? Sure, the mass media doesn't track these issues because they are generally not very exciting, but I'd think the unexciting bug reports are more a symptom that these software projects are either not extensively used (which I know is false for FireFox, Ubuntu, OpenOffice, and Apache) or that they're stable "done" products. Responding to the accusaction that "things can never get better", I'd agree. The products I just named are damned good. Let them stagnate. I like the way current versions work.

      And if you'd like criticism... I'll give you some. Linux has piss-poor support for high-definition video editing software. The last time I investigated this was 6 months ago and no suitable tools were available that could run on my 3 year old laptop. Now, I know this might be symptomatic of my lack of processing power... but the same computer loaded with Windows was able to run a video editing product from Ulead to do high definition video editing in 2006, so I'd hope that sometime soon this capability becomes available for Linux.

      Thank you.

  • Agreed. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:09AM (#27429657) Journal

    I have to admit, the fanbois are making me homicidal.

    I LOVE Linux. I love plain old Unix. I love the command line, and the cryptic commands, and man pages, and lynx and apt/yum. I like X windows and MC. I love building from source. The whole environment is clean, somehow. It's got a sort of serenity for me that I don't see very often in my job.

    And yet...It's just a tool. It's a good tool. It's my favorite tool. But it's just a tool. There is room for improvement, and, like any tool, there are places where it's not useful.

    The thing that drives me nuts is the pure unthinking zealotry. I got started on old proprietary unix, and while linux has more zest and more wild features, there are things that were worthwhile in the old systems. But if you say that, then you get slapped down as a heretic.

    Everything benefits from criticism, so in that sense, he's right, but really Linux has plenty of critics. Install linux for someone who is used to something else, and you'll get plenty of criticisms. What I think Linux needs is the same thing I think Mac needs and Windows needs: the people on the inside need to start listening to people who aren't already sold on their product. We have just as many fanbois as the Mac and Windows people, and we've got some of that persecution complex that makes the fanbois extra loathesome.

    Just calm down, take a breath, go use something different for a while. Get some perspective. The real zealots make it harder for me to sell *nix solutions to the phbs because they're coming to expect a bias.

    • Re:Agreed. (Score:5, Funny)

      by Em Emalb (452530) <(ememalb) (at) (gmail.com)> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:19AM (#27429809) Homepage Journal

      HERETIC!

      Oh I'm sorry, this is abuse. Arguments is in 12a.

    • Re:Agreed. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xest (935314) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:44AM (#27430173)

      It's not just Linux though, it's just the fanboy attitude in general.

      The fanboy mindset is an odd one. You defend something you love or attack something you hate no matter how little you owe the company or creators, in fact, if you paid for it, they fucking owe you and if they did a shit job then yes they should hear about it. If as an example scenario Nintendo mess something up in a Wii update then people should have every right to complain about it and voice their frustration at the problem - fanboys telling them to stop whining or shut up achieves what? It lets the company get away easier with not fixing a problem. Surely pressuring companies into fixing problems is in everyones interests even if it doesn't effect you personally right now it might in future!

      I know OSS is a different beast, people do it off their own backs in their spare time, but as the saying goes, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing right. What's the point developing an application and releasing it along with the source code for everyone to use if no one wants to use it because you wont listen to their criticisms?

      The problem is this, people take criticism as a personal attack even if it's just a product they purchased that someone is complaining about. Similarly people write code are often defensive in the face of criticism.

      But you have to step back and look at why you're doing it, if you are just developing something for yourself and release it as a courtesy but without a care of what other people think then yeah, no problem just ignore the criticism and put a note up along with the downloads saying "Not interested in feedback". If you are developing it with the aim of user adoption then you have to accept criticism, sure not all is valid but sometimes we see projects where nearly the entire userbase is up in arms and are still ignored! If half the userbase is up in arms and half are defensive of a change then make it an option but convince people to move over to the change by making it worthwhile and phase it out. Don't just ignore half your fanbase and cut a popular feature out outright!!

      Linux does need it's critics, everyone producing something needs their critics in fact. They're valuable for continued improvement and sure sometimes they come up with idiotic ideas but other times it's you, the developer that doesn't understand what your user actually wants and the sooner all developers accept this the better. I know full well I can write good code, I know full well I can design applications, but what I can't ever possibly claim to know is what my users want because I am not them.

    • Re:Agreed. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by burnin1965 (535071) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:24AM (#27430891) Homepage

      Not to be too critical, but it sure reads as if you also needs to calm down and take a breath. Fanboism [urbandictionary.com] has been around long before there was linux, unix, or even computers for that matter. And don't get me wrong, I too at times need to step back and simply ignore the illogical rants from all sides.

      I read TFA and Keir's blog post [pcworld.com] to which he was referring and all I can say to Keir is that he needs to grow thicker skin. If he intends to continue as a journalist on any topic he'll need to train himself to ignore the rants that make no sense.

      In reading the responses in his blog post I'd say he had comments from the open source user community but absolutely no comments from the open source developer community. And he had plenty of Apple and Windows fainbois joining in for some perverse circle jerking so I don't see any basis for the wide stroke with which he paints the open source community.

      What Keir needs to understand is that criticism of open source is not going to be focused and centralized on his personal blog, it takes place within the developer community and all one has to do is read the archives of the mailing lists to see the flames of debate that take place within the developer community.

      As far as convincing your PHB goes, I'd suggest you hit him up with the language he understands, fixed costs, gross margins, return on investment, pay back, etc. If he is making business decisions based on some end user's wailing on an obscure journalist blog you have much bigger problems than fanbois who get you tweaked.

      So lets all just chill and let the fanbois be fanbois.

       

  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:11AM (#27429677) Homepage Journal

    Mostly from uneducated haters, but there's no lack of it.

    Oh, and in lots of cases, it IS ready for the desktop. Either in a managed environment with a guru at the top, for those who know what they're doing, and for locked down spoon fed distros.

    • by HerculesMO (693085) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:48AM (#27430237)

      The problem is that most critics are dismissed summarily as people who don't understand *nix properly. This is where the "snob" syndrome comes into play.

      I took a RHEL class a while back, and the teacher (who was FROM Red Hat) spent ample amounts of time talking about BSOD and other stupid things, most of which I looked at him and just wondered, why didn't he check XYZ, because that would have solved his issue. No, instead, he went off on a rant about how useless Windows was.

      It's no wonder that Linux fans can't take criticism, when a lot of their nature is built up to bash other OSes. Mac gets a pass because it has a bash terminal, but in reality no real security (see: Pwn2Own), and Windows is the giant on the hill that gets bashed regularly. Occasionally I'll see a Slashdotter here mention that IIS is a pretty decent product or something slightly complimentary, only to be modded down as flamebait.

      And Linux has critics? Please. The critics TFA is talking about is more about code, it's about 'the whole package'. And while *nix on the server side is something I'd readily deploy for database backends, for web farms, for much more -- there's no way in hell I'd deploy it on an enterprise desktop because it's simply not ready to be used or administered.

      But I'll expect my bad mod rating shortly, arguing that *nix fans have lots of critics, and that I'm simply one more of the "uneducated" ones.

    • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:08AM (#27430587)

      I hear lots of negative criticism about Linux. Mostly from uneducated haters, but there's no lack of it.

      My problem is the opposite, uneducated Linux developers. I'll submit a bug asking for feature parity with Windows or OS X and get a response back that clearly misunderstands how those OS's work. I then spend a week educating the person and explaining to them why (from and end user perspective) the way Linux does things now really isn't better and what the other OS in question does. In the the end they usually agree, it would be cool to improve Linux to work that way, but too much work or would be incompatible with other distros, so they ignore it.

      Alternately, I submit a usability bug (I have worked as a UI/usability expert in the past) and then spend hours trying to explain to a server engineer working on making a desktop, why their design ignores all the research in the field and (if they did testing) is going to be a huge problem when they test it.

      Don't get me wrong. I like and use Linux. In many ways it has leapt ahead of other OS's and provides a model for them to follow. It just does have some serious flaws and problems that have gone unaddressed for a long time and don't seem likely to be fixed anytime soon.

      Oh, and in lots of cases, it IS ready for the desktop. Either in a managed environment with a guru at the top, for those who know what they're doing, and for locked down spoon fed distros.

      I agree it can work and save money in certain uses.

    • it IS ready for the desktop. Either in a managed environment with a guru at the top, for those who know what they're doing, and for locked down spoon fed distros.

      I realise this is beside the point, but that's the exact same situation with Windows. In any given corporate environment, for example, there are a handful of people who know what they're doing, and then the slavering masses who know nothing and are constantly screwing things up until someone decides to lock down the desktops.

      Considering how quickly the average user can completely obliterate a Windows box without even trying, it amazes me that anyone can say Windows is "desktop-ready" while something like Ubuntu isn't.

      Half the problem in this particular area isn't the choice of OS -- it's that users aren't ready for the desktop.
  • Critics (Score:5, Funny)

    by cgfsd (1238866) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:12AM (#27429705)

    On the positive side, there are more Linux critics than Mac critics.

    If you are critical of Linux, you are just berated.

    If you are critical of Mac, you are mobbed, beaten, lynched and never allowed to buy a cappuccino again.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:12AM (#27429711) Journal

    Linux Needs Critics

    Oh how true that is. I myself love to criticize things (I'm reading Slashdot, after all). But why don't I constructively criticize Linux?

    I think a lot of has to do with what every argument or analysis starts with: base assumptions. So let's start with comparing Linux to the leading commercial operating systems and the most important thing to consumers--price. And the guy mentions this in his blog. But we can't get to questions like "Is feature X really worth Y dollars to me?" Because Linux does not cost money to install. It's like dividing by zero. It makes criticism of a missing component difficult because it doesn't cost me anything! How can I criticize it?! You will see people like Steve Ballmer have to dig and dig into imaginary costs of retraining, supporting and maintaining Linux to give it a "hidden cost" so that Windows can even begin to contend with Linux in price (you'll notice these concerns were suspiciously left out of advertisements when discussing the switch from XP to Vista).

    Another important aspect of operating systems (at least to me) is security. And, being a pedantic ass, I cannot even comment on the security of the Microsoft operating system because I have no idea what they are doing. I can get the Linux source code pretty quickly if I felt the need to understand why it is that the userspace/kernelspace concept has failed (although, I have never done this, the option is there). So, again, we enter this point where I can't even get to criticizing Linux for susceptibility to a botnet or trojan because it doesn't practice security through obfuscation like leading operating systems.

    On top of this, as a Linux user (and as evidenced above) my priorities and performance parameters are all out of whack and completely divorced from the mainstream (or so my perception goes). If they weren't, I would be using Windows primarily at home.

    So I think that unless more free open source operating systems arise to compete with Linux, criticism will remain low. And you've got the cult barrier to break down where people have lived with the burden of paying out their ass for software so how can you criticize something after suffering for so long under the blah blah blah religious spiel blah blah blah.

  • by gravesb (967413) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:13AM (#27429725) Homepage
    There are critics out there for Linux. But how many of them offer quality criticism, instead of complaining? And there are developers out there who are willing to listen to quality criticism, but how many of the few critics out there comment on any specific piece of software that goes into a complete Linux system? Both sides could do more- critics could write white papers with suggested corrections. Developers could take the "Linux sux" as an indication that they need a top down audit of their project. But both of those solutions are asking too much of either side. There should be better practices on both sides. And of course, this all ignores the good work on both sides that are being done, where there is constructive criticism and receptive developers. You can always use more of both, so there is never enough of either.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:15AM (#27429751) Homepage

    There is plenty of disagreement about every aspect of Linux. The kernel, the GUI, the apps, everything. And if you examined Linux, or a distro you aren't familiar with, you would probably find something you didn't like about it and you are quite free to criticise it.

    Linux has no deficiency of people who criticise and no deficiency of people who listen and act on it.

    Windows has no deficiency of people who criticise and a seemingly complete deficiency of people who listen and act on it.

    MacOSX has worse than deficiency of people who criticise as they have people who actively criticise the critics and even attempt to silence them. MacOSX has a deficiency of people who listen and act on it. ...just to put it out the way I see it.

  • Bullshit... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:15AM (#27429759)

    ...Linux is above criticism. What we actually need is a: "-1, Microsoft fanboy" mod... or how about "-1, Dissing Linux"... or even better "-1, Heresy"...

  • by NeoSkandranon (515696) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:16AM (#27429763)

    More developers that can handle being criticized.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by LDoggg_ (659725)
      Are you implying that most of developers can't handle being criticized?

      Who are the ones that can't? I spend a bit of time of freenode with other developers of many different open source projects. If I go into a channel and ask why some feature works a certain way or why something is missing or broken, I generally get a response that they could use help in fixing the issue.
  • by Zelig (73519) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:19AM (#27429811) Homepage

    From mailing lists and public bug trackers, my sense is that there are plenty of critics, and they are frequently able to find the right place to criticize.

    I think that the extent of criticism within the system reduces the need for lobbying in the press to get your pet peeve addressed.

  • o... k... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by noundi (1044080) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:21AM (#27429853)

    "...Linux people tend to see genuine critical evaluation as a bad thing."

    Ok first of all, are we talking about users or developers? Because if we're talking about developers I doubt he's ever read one of Torvalds gentle mails about piece of code he doesn't like. And if we're talking about users I would like to have him sit down with my mother when I first installed Ubuntu on her PC. Do that and then come tell me there's no critisism towards Linux.

  • by boyfaceddog (788041) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:22AM (#27429869) Journal

    In order to critique something you must have a baseline of what is correct and what is incorrect. The only thing incorrect in the linux/GNU OSes are coding bugs, not design features, and I think we have enough coders critiquing linux/GNU in that way. If the author wishes a community to criticize Linux, I think he should pick a distro and start there.

  • by Useful Wheat (1488675) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:24AM (#27429891)
    You should look into the Linux Haters Blog published here: http://linuxhaters.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] The author is a former Linux contributor, and he offers many valuable insights into some of the issues with the code, for example:

    Let me attempt to summarize. A) PulseAudio needs to work with existing applications, so it implements an ALSA emulation layer, except, it's not complete. Only 70% of ALSA applications work. So it's like, totally ready. B) So, in the true open source fashion, you should port your app to be a native PulseAudio client. Except that you can't. There's this yet-another-audio-library called libsidney, but it's not ready yet. (Hmm, this sounds familiar...) C) Fedora led the way in incorporating PulseAudio before it was ready, breaking audio for thousands of users. Then because open source is about copying good ideas and bad ones, a ton of other distros adopted it as well. Amazing guys. In a way, you've spread bad code that breaks audio on thousands of computers faster than a virus could have. And it's immune to antivirus! D) so now that we're in this "mess" (as the lead developer of PulseAudio calls it*), LSB comes along and says "we're going to standardize how your write audio apps!" Oh, but wait, ALSA's now "old" (we hardly knew ye), and I can't directly program PulseAudio. Hmm... So the article's brilliant solution? Standardize on the PulseAudio-safe subset of ALSA. WHAT THE FUCK. I can just imagine the future alsa man page. A big listing of functions, with a nice little asterisk next to those functions that you shouldn't use unless you want your app to totally FAIL on a system which has been sodomized by Pulse Audio. I can just see the developers of commercial Linux sound apps (all three of them) jumping for joy. And thus unfolds another chapter in long history of failed sound systems on Linux. Can they make it much worse? I, for one, am excited to see how much worse they can make it until we all go back to listening to square waves on our PC speakers. * BTW, also notice that it's the PulseAudio guy calling Linux audio a mess. Did he forget that it was his project that took the existing mess, and unloaded a giant steaming turd on it? Congratufuckinglations. You've just made it worse. You're a truly a worthy OSS contributor.

    He's pretty harsh, but he always has a point behind it.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:36AM (#27431125) Journal
      The state of audio on Linux never ceases to amaze me. Linux used to have OSS. It worked. Then the developer decided to make the next version non-Free. At this point, the Linux community had two choices:
      1. Fork the old version, keep it in the kernel, keep adding drivers to it, and just ignore the existence of the non-Free version.
      2. Make something new, from scratch, which is completely incompatible with the original, and may eventually be better at some distant point in the future.

      For some reason which I have yet to understand, they picked option 2 and ALSA was born. Meanwhile, FreeBSD just kept OSS in the tree and kept up to date with (backwards-compatible) improvements to the API (and ABI). To play a sound on FreeBSD I (as a developer) open /dev/dsp, issue ioctls to set the sample rate, number of channels, and so on, and then write the data there. In total, it's around five lines of code (less if you want the default sample rate and number of channels) and uses the standard UNIX system calls so I don't need to link (and worry about the existence of) any libraries. Starting with FreeBSD 4, the kernel did mixing in software if the sound card didn't support it. Starting with FreeBSD 5 (around 2003), the kernel would automatically assign new virtual channels whenever a new app opened /dev/dsp. With FreeBSD 8 (7 if you add some out-of-tree patches) each vchan gets its own volume control and the mixing performance is improved with a new fixed-point algorithm.

      Now let's compare this to Linux. On Linux, the OSS APIs may work. For some value of 'work,' because there are four different ways in which OSS may be implemented on Linux:

      1. It may be the old OSS 3 version, that stayed in the kernel for a long time but wasn't really maintained after ALSA became new and exciting.
      2. It may be the commercial OSS 3 implementation, if someone has paid for it (this was the only way of getting support for some sound cards for a while, and possibly still is).
      3. It may be the new OSS 4 implementation, which is now GPL'd on Linux (CDDL and BSDL for Solaris and *BSD), but not included by default with many implementations. This supports all of the features I described for FreeBSD and a few more.
      4. It may be OSS emulation in ALSA.

      In some of these cases, only one program can be using the OSS device at once. In others, you get proper sound mixing. In the OSS 4 configuration, you get per-vchan volume controls. Most Linux systems, however, ship with ALSA. Unlike OSS, which is supported on *BSD, Solaris, HP-UX, and so on, ALSA is Linux-only. It is also very poorly documented. Because ALSA isn't ubiquitous (and for a long time didn't handle mixing), a lot of systems started shipping with userspace sound daemons, which did this mixing. These all came with their own APIs, their own client libraries, and a complete inability to work together.

      The Linux solution to this mess? Add another userspace sound daemon, but this time call it 'standard'.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:25AM (#27429905)
    FOSS / Linux needs more developers who don't ignore critics. Critics (yes, even legitimate ones) abound.
  • April Fools? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:30AM (#27429987)

    Has this dude visited any community involving Linux users... ever?

    The standard general Linux criticisms:

    1. Driver support. Usually from a lack of manufacturer support.
    2. No central focus on meeting business needs (tech support). This complaint is changing with such a large amount of development occurring with programmers employed by business communities for open source development.
    3. Have to give up favorite Windows programs (apps & games). This improves over time, but yes, it is a different environment, again with a different historical focus.

    Plus lots more, like programmer IDEs, look & feel issues, etc., etc. Criticisms, constructive or otherwise are everywhere Linux is discussed, including countless published sources.

    I've certainly encountered folks with an unconstructive beef against Linux who make complaints that it gets unfair praise for being mediocre, merely catching up to Microsoft. With those folks, yes, complaints are sometimes muted because the target of their ire is usually changing so often that their rants are stale before they speak them - so they can become embarrassed by being contradicted in the heat of a discussion too often. But even then, such complaints are still extremely commonplace in both print and online.

    I really don't understand where this dude is coming from.

    Ryan Fenton

  • No, Linux needs... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:33AM (#27430019) Homepage

    ...adherents and users who will accept and will act upon constructive criticism. Generally, any constructive criticism of Linux is answered in three ways:

    1. "We're not here to help newbs figure out how Linux works, do the research and solve the problem yourself."

    2. "There is no problem, that's the way it's supposed to work, Linux is not (Windows, OSX,....)

    3. "Yes there is a problem, but Linux is open source so fix it yourself."

    To prove my point, I will be modded down.

  • Linux Hater (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:36AM (#27430071) Homepage

    The article is quite right; there is too much groupthink and myopia. The Linux Hater's blog [blogspot.com] is a must-read as an antidote to all that, and he or she has some useful points to make. The articles on Linux Weekly News still have a Linux-centric viewpoint, naturally, but usually aren't afraid to point out shortcomings (especially when quoting the latest Linus flaming on the kernel list).

  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:38AM (#27430087)

    I critisize Linux all the time, and I try and criticize it for very good reasons.

    Let me give you an example.

    The most wide spread Groupware Suite that is freely availible in the Linux world to challenge Exchange that I can see is eGroupware. eGroupware is an excellent suite in my opinion. Now. Linux has three dedicated Groupware Clients. Kontact, which is part of KDE-PIM. Evolution, which is part of Gnome, and Thunderbird.

    Now. To do anything with eGroupware other than E-mail you need XML-RPC.

    Kontact has XML-RPC Support, but it has a nasty bug where if it becomes De-Synchronized, it will respawn the same events on the Calendar over and over.

    Evolution has no XML-RPC support. You can rig up GroupDAV

    Mozilla Sunbird has no XML-RPC Support.

    What does it say about Linux's productivity-ware when two of the three Groupware clients produced by Linux developers cannot communicate with its intended native Groupware servers?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *

      Says that the OSS community doesn't really care about Groupware, which is something I've been saying for years and years.

      How I'd love to drop Exchange for good. Wow, what a dream. And people always go nuts when you say something like, "I had to have Exchange."

      They say stupid shit like, "D00d U shuld use Evolution," which just misses the entire point of Exchange...

      Sigh. Old rant. Anyway, I agree with you. To throw stones at another sacred cow, fricking OpenOffice still needs a lot of work. Exchange, Office,

    • Not to say that Linux doesn't have problems (they do: see ALSA/PulseAudio, open source video drivers for anything that's nVidia, lack of open-source firmware for wireless networking support). The problem with labeling groupware problems as "Linux problems" is that they're really not. They're larger than Linux.

      Evolution, Kontact, and Thunderbird all run under multiple operating systems, including Windows. Would you say that it's a "Windows problem" if these programs can't do XML-RPC? No, you wouldn't.

      The

  • by lewp (95638) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:41AM (#27430137) Journal

    Linux just doesn't love critics who won't roll up their sleeves and fix things.

    Ideas are cheap.

  • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:41AM (#27430139)

    There are some things that simply won't be corrected out of love of the subject. Heck, some of those things won't even be found (and reported).

    What a successful software company does that can ONLY be done by PAYING people is persuade people to analyze & create requirements, code, test, and fix ALL of the system. Yeah, the OSS community does most of it pretty well, but they simply won't do it as pervasively or as rigorously as needed unless motivated to, which usually comes in the form of being PAID (to wit: be able to eat).

    This is why corporations pay managers: people who are responsible for figuring out what all actually needs to be done, paying other people to get it done, and confirming that it actually has been done. Managers are paid critics who are on the hook for following thru on their criticism. Much of the success of Linux comes precisely from companies like Ubuntu, Red Hat, IBM, Mozilla, and others who actually do pay people to get those annoying unpopular little things right.

    In contrast, we end up with the situation that keeps driving me away from Linux: stuff that I need to work just doesn't, and nobody has sufficient motivation to announce the problem, and nobody has sufficient motivation to fix the problem even if known. So instead, I go to someplace like Apple & friends, who - being PAID - are fanatical about making every little thing right (ok, they make mistakes too, but are more motivated to find & fix the little things).

    Hence the ultimate failing of "free software": like it or not, money motivates people to do necessary but unpopular jobs, including finding & fixing software flaws.

  • Poppycock (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:49AM (#27430271) Homepage Journal

    There's tons of critics of Linux. They are writing tons of articles critical of Linux. If you take a look at who they are, they are mostly columnists who for one reason or another have a vested interest in writing articles favorable to Windows or Mac OS. Unsurprisingly enough, most of the critics of Windows or Mac OS are, if not Linux users, then users of the other of these three operating systems (get it? Kind of convoluted, sorry.) And you will see tons of criticism of Linux and various Linux distributions right here on Slashdot (check my posting history, heh.)

  • Telling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:59AM (#27430453)

    I like how the first tag on this story is "flamebait."

  • Linux isn't ready (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:11AM (#27430637) Journal

    Fact is Linux isn't ready. Period. STILL.

    Before I go much further, let me just say that Linux has come a long way and is getting very close. But it has been this way for years.

    The problems that exist are still fundamental, and aren't being addressed. I'm a normal computer professional, and I know a thing to two from my nearly 30 years of computing.

    My story summary, DRIVER PROBLEMS:

    I was building a big RAID box using a nice SATA Controller and a bunch of gig SATA drives. I got Ubuntu fully installed and then the fun began. I got the open source drivers from the Company and went to compile them for the kernel. The compiler errored out because Ubuntu is using a different build system than the script was expecting.

    No problem, I know enough to edit the script and get the driver to compile and build right. Except the driver only sort of works. The whole system crashed for no reason (sitting idle) several times, but not kernel crash, just Gnome crash. Telnet still worked, and I could shutdown -r the server and it would reboot. Without the driver loaded, the system was rock solid, with the driver it was flakey as hell. Again, not a kernel issue, just Gnome crashing.

    After several days of futzing with the setup, I grabbed a Windows Server disk and loaded it, installed the drivers and it hasn't had a hiccup once.

    I REALLY wanted Linux to work, and I really tried everything I knew how to do to get it to work. And yes, it might be a "driver" problem. But the average user isn't going to say it is a driver problem, they are going to say it is a Linux problem. It is a Linux problem when stuff that is supposed to work, doesn't.

    Now the driver in question had installers for Debian, Redhat, SuSE and FreeBSD, but not for Ubuntu. Shouldn't Linux be Linux? Three different flavors of Linux, and each requires its own installer? And why did I have to edit a install script to build the module at all?

    Again, this isn't a bash against Linux itself, as I use it all the time for all sorts of things. But I run into issues all the time where stuff just doesn't work right, or at all, or I have to spend three days futzing trying to get it to work.

    I tend to return to Mac and Windows to actually get stuff done, because I don't have to fight the system to work right.

    These types of problems have come along way from the early days of Linux. But they still are there. And blaming the Driver manufacturer for the problems isn't good enough. It isn't the driver's fault that they have to make three or more versions to cover all the distributions out there.

    It still needs a lot of work, and often in the same areas that needed work 5 years ago.

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:28AM (#27430977) Journal

    Things usually go like this:

    Linux Fanboy: Linux is great, it does anything you need it to do!
    Joe User: I installed Linux and now my WiFi card doesn't work.
    LF: Must be a Broadcomm card. It is their fault, not Linux.
    JU: And, my TV tuner card doesn't work.
    LF: That is the fault of the TV tuner card maker.
    JU: And, it doesn't run Photoshop.
    LF: Just use GIMP.
    JU: I don't know how to use GIMP, and from what I can see it is not as good as Photoshop.
    LF: Yes it is! But, you can also use WINE to run Photoshop.
    JU: And, Linux doesn't run Quicken. I checked out GNUCash but that just sucked for my purposes.
    LF: It does not suck, you tool! And, you can use WINE to run Quicken.
    JU: And, it doesn't run the games I and/or my kids want to play.
    LF: Use WINE, Duh!
    JU: What is this WINE you keep talking about?
    LF: It lets you run Windows programs on Linux. RTFM noob.
    JU: What manual? I downloaded Linux, so it didn't come with a paper manual and if you don't know what you are looking for, the on-line manuals aren't very helpful.
    LF: Umm...
    JU: If Linux is so great and does everything I need it to, why is something like WINE even necessary.
    LF: Because of tools like you! You are just a shill for Micro$oft! Linux is great so just shut your hole!

  • by wcrowe (94389) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @11:38AM (#27431171)

    I disagree with the premise that Linux lacks critics. What may be lacking is a certain degree of understanding on the part of Linux fans when people who don't "get" Linux have a problem with it.

    I am reminded of Linus Torvald's answer to the question, "What if Linux never catches on?" He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "I'll just keep working on it."

    It doesn't matter if anyone likes it. It doesn't matter if Linux is "damned to an eternity of navel-gazing". The people who want to work on it will keep working on it, and the people who want to use it will keep using it. Like any other perfectly innocuous activity (bird watching, knitting, woodcarving) its relative popularity is unimportant.

  • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @12:12PM (#27431823) Homepage Journal

    I've been complaining about the dumbing down of Gnome (they think gnome users are idiots - just look at the file dialog for one example), the crappy Flash player Adobe puts out for Firefox (why can't DHTML float over flash like it can in MSIE? Is the problem Flash or Firefox? Either way, it's been broken since day one and needs fixing), OpenOffice is spaghetti code and I/O is very slow, *something* needs to be done so more preconfigured systems can be shipped (NVidia & GPL "license" incompatibility creates legal issues when it comes to shipping preinstalled systems), X11 and VNC are horribly inefficient over a WAN, whereas Windows' Remote Desktop Protocol works great even over dial-up connections, oh, and yeah, developers still suck when it comes with users who bother to submit bug reports - especially the OpenOffice folks. They just don't want to fix horrid architectural issues or bugs, because developing new buggy features is more interesting than fixing their previous garbage.

    Having said that, I do recommend Linux whenever and wherever it makes sense. I've slowly been convincing the Rabbi at my congregation to go F/OSS at home, the congregation's infrastructure is going to be 90% linux, my business is >90% Linux, and some of my customers run Linux. However, there are many cases where Linux just is not a good fit. It's not the one-size-fits-all BFH. Sometimes a a screwdriver or wrench is a more appropriate tool.

    Where is AutoCAD?

    Where is the Adobe Creative Suite? (I personally get by with inkscape + gimp + pdfedit + Krita, but my art director NEEDS the Adobe CS (So it's Windows at work and OS X at home for him). It takes me ~3 hours to do a task that takes him under a half hour in Illustrator or Gimp, because to get the same final product requires a lot more manual steps in Gimp and Inkscape; no layer effects, no droplets, Macro recording and playback doesn't exist in any user-friendly way (and no I am NOT about to get into scripting gimp. I'll stick to shell scripting server maintenance and monitoring, and writing installers. thanks anyway!)

    Where is Quickbooks for Linux? They have a server component that runs on Linux, but where is the Quickbooks Pro desktop app?

    Where are Linux-based embroidery apps? Windows XP is going to be on my new Dell Precision notebook so I can design embroidery patterns. I draw them in Inkscape but I need them to be converted to an embroidery format my machine can understand. So, I do the design AND conversion in Windows, then I don't have to reboot to run the embroidery machine.

    Also, more specific to Linux itself (meaning the kernel, not the integrated distro end users refer to as Linux): Where are the merges from RedHat, Ubuntu, Novell, and so forth? Each vendor has incredible extensions to the kernel which makes automounting, user-space drivers, WiFi, and various other features work better than the vanilla kernel. Why can't LSB become a reality, and along with that, a more stable-yet-almost-bleeding-edge kernel come from kernel.org? That would make it much easier for users of $foo and $bar distros to run new hardware without losing fixes and enhancements added by the various vendors? Ubuntu works extremely well with WiFi (but I hate their standard desktops, and I hate ubuntu's administrative GUI) and with 11.x OpenSuse works almost-but-not-quite as well as Ubuntu. DeadRat, er, RedHat/Centos, not so much. Fedora? Every time I've tried it, it's been on bleeding-edge motherboards and would kernel panic or simply not boot, whereas (K)Ubuntu and OpenSuSE would always Just Work(TM). Centos/RedHat? I run it on servers, but hate it for desktops.

    I love running Linux, but it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. I can't even use it as my sole OS at home any more because embroidery software I need doesn't exist. :(

    Lots of us users are plenty critical of Linux, even though we are Linux evangelists. It's just that while many/most developers take feedback readily (the KDE team is particularly good in this regard!) others

  • Volunteering (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thaelon (250687) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @12:21PM (#27431983)

    I'd happily volunteer my services.

    I'm blunt, hypercritical and am allergic to excuses, stupidity, bullshit, and responsibility cop-outs.

    I'll even give a couple for free:

    If I have to tinker with it to make it work, it's crap and needs improvement.

    If I have to edit a text file instead of using a configuration GUI, it's crap and needs improvement.

    And yes, I use Linux at work, but Windows XP at home because game support is crap (see #1 above).

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