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Windows 8 Features With Linux Antecedents 642

Posted by timothy
from the all-stolen-from-vannevar-bush dept.
itwbennett writes "As details about new features in Windows 8 started to be discussed in the Building 8 blog and bandied about in Linux/Windows forums, Linux users were quick to chime in with a hearty 'Linux had that first' — even for things that were just a natural evolution, like native support for USB 3.0. So ask not 'did Linux have this first', but 'does Windows 8 do it better?'"
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Windows 8 Features With Linux Antecedents

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:42PM (#38998241) Journal

    As details about new features in Windows 8 started to be discussed in the Building 8 blog and bandied about in Linux/Windows forums, Linux users were quick to chime in with a hearty 'Linux had that first' — even for things that were just a natural evolution, like native support for USB 3.0.

    Perhaps they're not jeering Windows for "copying" Linux so much as they are happy to show that the flexibility and community involvement in open source is starting to surpass those closed source equivalents? Isn't that what Windows used to gain so much marketshare? Supporting everything before everyone else?

  • by pwolf (1016201) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:42PM (#38998243)
    Does it really matter?
  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:44PM (#38998271) Homepage

    Right, because there's absolutely nothing arcane or overly complex about having to open a terminal window, read a bunch of man pages, and then issue two commands with various flags just to mount a disk image.

  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:48PM (#38998321)

    "things that were just a natural evolution"

    Try to tell that to the patent jerks at Apple, and Microsoft...

    Maybe someone like SCO will sue Microsoft for using the the USB protocol, even if Microsoft and Apple may have paid for using USB, and SCO doesn't even own the patents. This business is so litigious.

  • by marcosdumay (620877) <marcosdumay@gmai l . c om> on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:55PM (#38998411) Homepage Journal

    And what will Linux do that Windows 8 doesn't when Win8 finally gets on the market?

    Or maybe:

    When will people start to care about paying for low quality products when hight quality ones are free?

  • by Microlith (54737) on Friday February 10, 2012 @03:57PM (#38998451)

    When the producer of the low quality product has coerced the hardware vendors into making it exceedingly hard, if not impossible, to install the high quality one.

  • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie.hotmail@com> on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:01PM (#38998479) Homepage

    mkdir -p /mnt/iso
    mount -o loop image.iso /mnt/iso

    You kind of proved the author's point right there.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:02PM (#38998489) Journal

    We all speak English. That's pretty fucking arcane and complex. "mount -o loop image.iso /mountpoint" isn't any more arcane and complex than "loopback mount this image here".

    And it's more convenient than using the GUI. Since you're managing files, you probably have a terminal open already. So it's really just a matter of typing the mount command. You don't even have to take your hands off the keyboard.

  • by Medievalist (16032) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:06PM (#38998549)

    Wow, that sounds hard! You have to do all that? Windows 8 must really suck!!!

    In modern linux distributions, if there's an ISO on the media, it appears the same as any other container object, except the icon's a shiny CD looking disc instead of a manila folder. You click on it like any other container object, say for example a folder or an archive file, and it opens.

    Why do you use windows if it makes you do all that crap?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:08PM (#38998581)

    Not for anyone who has bothered to learn how to use their computer.

    Learning to use your computer should *NOT* require knowledge of shell command flags. The very attitude that it should, is why its so bloody hard to hire good product people. Not coders, not sysadmins, people who actually get users and what they want. (Also explains the huge salary gap seen in the IT world)

  • by inhuman_4 (1294516) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:16PM (#38998669)

    Right, because there's absolutely nothing arcane or overly complex about having to open a terminal window, read a bunch of man pages, and then issue two commands with various flags just to mount a disk image.

    While yes it can be arcane to go through man pages to find out how to using things, I doubt many people do that anymore. If I need to know the command I go to google and type "Linux ${thing I want to do}" and get exactly what I need 90% of the time.

    However what I find stupid is having to run a gui to do the stupidest little thing. For example:

    Yesterday I had to print out quizzes for my students, I had 4 .doc versions of the quiz and needed 15 of each. On a gui I would have to this 4 times: 1) LibreOffice 2) Press Ctrl+P 3) Type in the number of copies. Opening LibreOffice/MS Office can be brutally slow on older machines.

    Or 1)Open terminal. 2) for i in quiz*.doc;do lp -n 15 $i;done. Now not many people would know how to do that and need to have the GUI to guide them. But for those of us who do know, not having the option of using a command line (especially for remote connections!) is dreadful. Why do I have to have so many GUIs, wizards, pop-ups, tips of the day, and other nonsense between me and the code that will send my stuff to the printer?

    And that is really the crux of the problem for me. It's not that the command line is better or the GUI is better. They each have their pros and cons. The problem is MS has crap command-line support, so when something is better done via command-line the option isn't there.

    MS is just adding insult to injury with their command line trickery comment. They claim the Win8 is better because you can mount ISOs from the GUI while on Linux you have to use the command line. Okay that is fair, but what about all of the windows versions currently available? You know, the ones where you just can't do it at all, command line or not?

  • by RCL (891376) <rcl.rs.vvg@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:22PM (#38998757) Homepage
    That is why KDE and Gnome make this stuff easier. But there SHOULD be a way to do everything with shell commands, for users who are willing to learn them. Without that, I just don't have the feeling that I'm in control of the machine.

    BTW, Windows actually has plenty of command line tools (made by Microsoft) which allow you to script much more than one might think without ever touching the GUI. Too bad a lot of the said tools aren't included by default and need to be searched for in various * Kit packages from Microsoft.
  • Re:ISO Mounting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Korin43 (881732) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:23PM (#38998777) Homepage

    The one that really gets me is updating.

    On Windows:
        * Run Windows Update
        * Run a program that detects out-of-date software like FileHippo's update checker (or open all of your programs and see which ones annoy you)
        * Download each program's update individually
        * Run each of those (clicking through the damn wizard every time)
        * Reboot your machine
        * Watch as a "new update available" popup appears an hour later when you open a program

    On Linux, pick one of the following:
        * Click the update icon (Ubuntu, maybe other distros)
        * Run 'yum upgrade', 'aptitude update && aptitude upgrade' or 'pacman -Syu'

    "OMG Linux is so hard. You expect me to open a terminal and type two words??! It's much easier to spend an hour clicking 'Yes"!"

  • by bmo (77928) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:27PM (#38998815)

    Right, because the command line is so unimportant that Microsoft came up with an entirely new command shell called PowerShell and OSX has full-on bash.

    You know, the two major OSes pointed at consumer idiots have powerful shells. Go figure.

    --
    BMO

  • by Microlith (54737) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:29PM (#38998847)

    But when you want to do something more complex, that GUI won't help you. Instead it gets in the way. Of course, only in the Windows world are a functional GUI and functional CLI somehow mutually exclusive.

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:33PM (#38998919)

    loopback mount this image here

    For most people, every word you said except "this" and "here" is gibberish.

    You don't even have to take your hands off the keyboard.

    For most people, the productivity bottleneck isn't the time spent moving hands to and from the keyboard; it's having to memorize 1000 commands to use the damn thing. rm, ls, cd, cp, grep, etc. and all their associated flags are not easy for most people. The one I get tripped up on the most is renaming a folder. I want to rename, so is it rn? No it's mv... but I'm not moving it so that's confusing. How about copying a directory? cp is for one file, I guess I need a flag for more, which was it again? and do I type the source first or the destination first? And what about naming conflicts? I guess if I want to deal with those I need to know some more flags...

    This is going to go through your head every time if you're anything but an expert. And guess what, not everyone wants to be an expert. People use computers as tools and GUIs help them do that more effectively. I don't need to know the inner workings of a drill, I just know I press the button and the bit turns. Likewise, I don't need to know all the features of cp or mv by memorizing the man page. I just click and drag or right click rename and I'm done.

  • by NoobixCube (1133473) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:45PM (#38999119) Journal

    Learning to use your computer certainly SHOULD require familiarising yourself with your chosen platforms command line. The very idea that it shouldn't is why it'sso bloody rare to find an "average" user who knows how to do more than hit Play in iTunes. Not that it even involves the command line, do you know how many customers I have who don't know how to install software in Windows? This is simple, Computer Literacy 101 stuff. I learned how to use computers back when they were actually hard to use (though people who learned before I did, would probobaly look at my cosy DOS prompt and wish they'd learned there), these days there's no excuse for not having some basic and essential skills, yet every time I dare say we coddle the users, and that the problem is user education, NOT the programming and design, I'm told I'm being elitist. If a grown man with no intellectual disabilities couldn't work out how to use a spoon, and got cereal everywhere, would you blame the bowl, the spoon, the cereal, or him? I'd blame him just a bit, for not seeking out some user education. I'm sure a copy of Spoons for Dummies can't cost that much.

  • by Bert64 (520050) <bertNO@SPAMslashdot.firenzee.com> on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:48PM (#38999179) Homepage

    As someone else already pointed out, you *can* use the gui to mount an iso if you want.

    If i was explaining to someone how to mount an iso, i would probably explain the command line way because its easier... Someone could simply cut+paste the command that were posted here, whereas explaining a gui is much harder in a textual or vocal setting.

    It's very important that both options be available, so that people can choose which method they want to use.

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:48PM (#38999181)

    ... and vice versa.

    Quite a few features on the Mac OS X UI are directly lifted from Enlightenment and similar projects. Enlightenment was the first UI emphasizing beauty and, for instance, had first spikes into OpenGL support about 10 years ago. They also were the the first to introduce the 'brushed metal' look throughout an entire UI. That all was back in the day when Mac OS 9 still looked like a souped up Windows 3.1 in a few places.

    The new system settings tray introduced in Windows XP is a direct copy of the KDE settings layout of the time - which at the time also was a first. As where the Frog Design UI element designs.

    All this is quite natural though, and can be taken for granted.

    To be honest, I wouldn't take a professional UI designer serious, if he *weren't* intimately familiar with the various alternatives outside of mainstream OSes and UIs.

    My 2 cents.

  • by Dishevel (1105119) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:51PM (#38999217)

    I do not think you understand.
    I do not have to use the terminal.
    There is almost nothing I can not do in the GUI of Linux that you can do in the GUI of windows.
    The difference is that I can open up a terminal anytime I want and do shitloads more and do it faster.
    The terminal in most desktop distributions of Linux is not a mandatory monthly use tool.
    It is an added powerful feature.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:55PM (#38999271) Journal

    For most people, the productivity bottleneck isn't the time spent moving hands to and from the keyboard; it's having to memorize 1000 commands to use the damn thing.

    You could say the same thing about the English language. If complexity was a barrier, we'd all be pointing and grunting. But it turns out that the human brain has evolved for language, because language is empowering. Learing shell syntax is similarly empowering.

  • by caywen (942955) on Friday February 10, 2012 @04:57PM (#38999287)

    It's not like Microsoft said, "hey, we invented an easy way to mount ISO's. Take THAT Linux! wait, you already have that? Oh well, our way is superior!"

    It's more like Microsoft said, "Hey, we made ISO's easy to mount."

    The rest of the crap comes from those who make a living trying to instigate fights between users in both camps.

  • by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:05PM (#38999441)

    Right, because the command line is so unimportant that Microsoft came up with an entirely new command shell called PowerShell and OSX has full-on bash.

    You know, the two major OSes pointed at consumer idiots have powerful shells. Go figure.

    -- BMO

    Optional for power users who want them, not required for simple tasks like mounting an image where a mouse click will do.

  • by Culture20 (968837) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:06PM (#38999445)

    Learning to use your computer should *NOT* require knowledge of shell command flags.

    Yes it should. Whenever someone wants to do something ridiculously repetitive with say, OpenOffice - converting thousands of documents into pdfs, I show up with my "magical powers" and open a terminal window, and convert them all into pdfs. Because they don't bother to learn something simple (command line basics, or just %*&^ing Google), they would have either wasted hours of their time manually converting the docs, or wasted money hiring a person to manually convert the docs. As it is, I suppose they wasted a little money, because they had me do something they should have been able to do for themselves.

  • by StikyPad (445176) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:06PM (#38999457) Homepage

    To be fair, mount and its ilk are more complicated than they need to be. The flags and path should be optional, and the default behavior should be to detect the FS type where possible and mount in /mnt/volumename as read-only, creating the folder if necessary. This is the behavior that the majority of people want the majority of the time, and "mount image.iso" should accomplish that automatically. Commands without default behavior are like doorknobs that don't return to center because hey, *someone* might not want the door to latch after they close it. Conform to desired/expected functionality with as little user input as possible by default and let actual power users handle the corner cases.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday February 10, 2012 @05:49PM (#39000093) Journal

    Shell is as empowering in the computing domain as speech is empowering in the social domain.

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday February 10, 2012 @06:03PM (#39000271)
    But we're not talking about people who need to be "empowered" in the computing domain. How does a bash shell help a baker? How does a shell help my lawyer, or my auto mechanic? How much of their jobs would really be made better, and by how much, if they were bash gurus?
  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday February 10, 2012 @06:14PM (#39000413)
    Wait... someone paid you to do something you are good at that they are not good at.... and you're pissed off about this? Isn't this the way society functions? I pay someone to bake my bread because I don't know how to do it and they are better at me. Does the baker turn around and say "Wow, what a fucking moron that guy is. Doesn't he see how easy it is to bake his own damn bread?" Why do geeks seem to be the only people with this attitude?
  • by rev0lt (1950662) on Friday February 10, 2012 @06:24PM (#39000547)
    Considering the commands were about mounting an ISO file, why the hell would I want 1) mount to automatically detect a filesystem inside a file; 2) mount it as read-only on a predefined location? I actually sometimes use files as raw devices for writing (for example, if I need to demonstrate how ZFS resiliency works, a couple of files and mount allows me to quicly show how it works instead of having to use physical devices)?
    Every mainstream linux distro with gnome/kde will automagically mount a recognized device on a predefined location without any user intervention, and creating folders as necessary. I'm no expert, but not only Linux's udev seems to work quite well (and recognize a lot more filesystems than Windows), but automounter has been available for ages in almost all modern/relevant unix operating systems.
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday February 10, 2012 @06:42PM (#39000765) Journal

    Considering the commands were about mounting an ISO file, why the hell would I want 1) mount to automatically detect a filesystem inside a file; 2) mount it as read-only on a predefined location?

    Because that's what 99% of people who are mounting an ISO file need.

    I actually sometimes use files as raw devices for writing (for example, if I need to demonstrate how ZFS resiliency works, a couple of files and mount allows me to quicly show how it works instead of having to use physical devices)?

    For that kind of thing, you'd use additional parameters. His point was that the default should be to automatically do whatever is most reasonable for most users. If you know better, by all means, use your knowledge to specify the exact switches in advance.

  • by Penguin (4919) on Saturday February 11, 2012 @05:55AM (#39003753) Homepage

    Well... since you didn't bother to limit it to only "simple user tasks".....

    for i in * do mv $i `echo $i | tr [:upper:] [:lower:]` done

    Done, all the files in that directory are now lower case.

    Except:

    • it fails with file names with spaces in them (which shouldn't be anything out of the blue)
    • it fails with file names beginning with "-"
    • it might overwrite in an unwanted way if two files exist with the same name but different case
    • it warns when file is already lowercase

    And that's just it. It's another case of "See how easy that was? Oh, we just need to add some quotes. Oh, and -- as an argument for mv. Oh, and -i as an argument for mv. But remember to put -i before --. Everybody knows that." - and yet you created a script that is a text book example of creating a fragile script.

    Great default settings are of utter importance and the whole list of the default tools is much influenced by historic (and backwards compatible) reasons. It still leads to different interesting design cases:

    • head and tail are extremely similar but have two different commands. GNU head can't even behave as tail with command switches.
    • most people would want to create soft links (as opposed to hard links) in their daily routine but still have to go through ln -s instead of a command just for soft links. That is not unlike the -o loop example in GP, as a case of "yeah, you should obviously know that".

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