View Poll Results: What does "ready for the desktop" mean to you?

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  • Any person can install it on any computer without any problems

    1,609 34.95%
  • Anyone can use it once it's already been installed and configured

    2,414 52.43%
  • Every commercial application works on it

    453 9.84%
  • Nothing--it's a nonsensical term

    704 15.29%
  • It automatically detects most hardware without the need to hunt down drivers

    2,236 48.57%
  • It comes preinstalled on computers so novice users don't have to install it

    889 19.31%
  • It's suitable to the needs of most beginner users but not necessarily to most intermediate ones

    568 12.34%
  • Windows and nothing else... not even Mac OS X

    46 1.00%
  • Works on my desktop

    1,199 26.04%
  • Other (please explain)

    166 3.61%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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Thread: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

  1. #9411
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    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Half those poll answers look like my motherboard manual - translated from Korean by someone with English as a 5th language.

    It won't be "ready for the desktop" until every application gets out of 0.X. Too many crappy programs installed, that have too many bugs, that just "don't work as expected", that don't get any support from Ubuntu, that have too many regressions that don't get fixed, and that barely work for the 6 months a release is "new".

    In the past month I have submitted over 20 bug reports. Half of them get completely ignored, 25% get rejected immediately without sufficient explanation, and the other 25% either get a won't fix or they don't care enough to fix it in the current release and just wait for upstream to fix it - even if it takes 3-4 subsequent Ubuntu versions. They consider annoyances, sluggishness, and generally bad programming as not bugs - which is completely ridiculous. At the first chance they get, they close the bug; then, the users have to fight them to re-open it and get them to actually use their brain to understand what's going on.

    Hell, they can't even get themes to work throughout all programs, even with the "Ubuntu Firefox Modification" type add-ons and patches they apply to packages. How can we expect a fully functioning desktop environment if we can't read half the text on our screen because they don't know that if you change the background color you have to change the text color, and if you change the text color you have to change the background color. Reminds me too much of amateur website developers. This happens in evolution, thunderbird, firefox, tracker search tool, etc. And no one cares to fix it!

    Maybe it's just Gnome...

    The only way to have a functioning Linux is to do rolling releases, but since it doesn't fit into Canonical's business model, they make their users deal with a heavily gimped desktop environment...And, then make them start all over when a new release comes out.

    Then, we have applications being written in programming languages that aren't even complete yet - vala. WTF! How does that help anyone?

  2. #9412

    Lightbulb Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by d-man97 View Post
    Half those poll answers look like my motherboard manual - translated from Korean by someone with English as a 5th language.

    It won't be "ready for the desktop" until every application gets out of 0.X. Too many crappy programs installed, that have too many bugs, that just "don't work as expected", that don't get any support from Ubuntu, that have too many regressions that don't get fixed, and that barely work for the 6 months a release is "new".

    In the past month I have submitted over 20 bug reports. Half of them get completely ignored, 25% get rejected immediately without sufficient explanation, and the other 25% either get a won't fix or they don't care enough to fix it in the current release and just wait for upstream to fix it - even if it takes 3-4 subsequent Ubuntu versions. They consider annoyances, sluggishness, and generally bad programming as not bugs - which is completely ridiculous. At the first chance they get, they close the bug; then, the users have to fight them to re-open it and get them to actually use their brain to understand what's going on.

    Hell, they can't even get themes to work throughout all programs, even with the "Ubuntu Firefox Modification" type add-ons and patches they apply to packages. How can we expect a fully functioning desktop environment if we can't read half the text on our screen because they don't know that if you change the background color you have to change the text color, and if you change the text color you have to change the background color. Reminds me too much of amateur website developers. This happens in evolution, thunderbird, firefox, tracker search tool, etc. And no one cares to fix it!

    Maybe it's just Gnome...

    The only way to have a functioning Linux is to do rolling releases, but since it doesn't fit into Canonical's business model, they make their users deal with a heavily gimped desktop environment...And, then make them start all over when a new release comes out.

    Then, we have applications being written in programming languages that aren't even complete yet - vala. WTF! How does that help anyone?
    Well done, =D>=D>=D> I couldn't have said it better man.

    However, rolling releases aren't for common users. At least not if they're very cutting-edge without being throroughly tested first.

    The whole problem is in the linux community, not in Ubuntu or Gnome. Programmers have to stop making their own versions of programs and improve the existing ones.

    That can't be done, of course, if the code is in a language some devs don't understand, it's not reliable, fast, or doesn't meet any of the ethics of each programmer. We all have our different ethics (minimalist, simplist, etc), but if we keep going our own way in a world where everybody can collaborate, we'll never get anything done.

    Why has Windows surpassed Linux in the desktop environment? it's been developed since the 80's (or before, but I was born in '88 so I dunno ). Yes, there have been lots of versions since 1.0, but it has always been the same code, the same core apps, the same functionality, worked over and improved by each version. Yeah, their interface might suck (though I love W7's) and you might not be able to see its source code, but what user cares about browsing around 160.000 lines of code?

    A common user wants to use its computer, do work/study stuff or play a bit, chat with friends, use webcam (lololololol @ linux & its drivers) and have a good experience. You can enjoy all that at its 25%.

    We're a lot of programmers in the linux world, even twice more than in Windows, so, why don't we just set some goals and complete them, to make an EASIER, BETTER, MORE RELIABLE operating system instead of just making it harder? I thought computers were made to make our life easier... lulz?

  3. #9413
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    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DARKGuy View Post
    Why has Windows surpassed Linux in the desktop environment? it's been developed since the 80's (or before, but I was born in '88 so I dunno ). Yes, there have been lots of versions since 1.0, but it has always been the same code, the same core apps, the same functionality, worked over and improved by each version.

    You may want to check out the difference between the "GUI shell on top of DOS" Windows prior to the NT kernel, and the NT and XP series, for example...
    LambdaGrok. | #ubuntu-programming on FreeNode

  4. #9414

    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by CptPicard View Post
    You may want to check out the difference between the "GUI shell on top of DOS" Windows prior to the NT kernel, and the NT and XP series, for example...
    Yes, so, what's the point? it was like that until Win95. 98 had DOS as a "secondary OS" so to say, and 2K and XP started to remove it completely to what we know today as the CLI of Vista/7, which isn't a real DOS anymore.

    Linux would be powerful if it followed the same steps (but of course, without being too stupid).

    I have a recent experience where I work, where the sysadmins bought some Linux distro along with a server to install some stuff on it. They didn't had a clue and were baffled when the OS was installed and all they saw was a console and nothing more. They expected something graphical, something they could use and administrate the server with something that could give them an overview of everything, then tweak the server to their liking.

    Results? I'm the one helping them to set the damn server up. Not to mention the OS is crap, filepaths aren't standard (imho), there's a lot of lack of documentation and a non-working package manager. One of the guys was so annoyed he said "Man, I've never seen Linux and I'm already hating it. No way we're gonna get back to DOS times where we type commands and have to learn everything all over again!".

    So true.

  5. #9415
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    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DARKGuy View Post
    Yes, so, what's the point? it was like that until Win95. 98 had DOS as a "secondary OS" so to say, and 2K and XP started to remove it completely to what we know today as the CLI of Vista/7, which isn't a real DOS anymore.

    Linux would be powerful if it followed the same steps (but of course, without being too stupid).
    You think phasing the command line out of Linux is going to make it better somehow? Look, you can't compare the relationship with DOS and the Win32 GUI with Linux. Windows used to run on top of DOS, and then it ran all on its own. Linux runs on top of Linux. It always has. The difference is that the graphical stuff is separate from the kernel, so you can install any desktop interface you please. What do you propose, that we integrate the desktop environment into the kernel so we have no failsafe option when the graphics bork? This idea doesn't even make sense. If you simply mean relying less on the CLI, then Ubuntu already does that. There are no common tasks that everyday users have to use a terminal for in Ubuntu. Not one. I seriously can't stress that enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by DARKGuy View Post
    I have a recent experience where I work, where the sysadmins bought some Linux distro along with a server to install some stuff on it. They didn't had a clue and were baffled when the OS was installed and all they saw was a console and nothing more. They expected something graphical, something they could use and administrate the server with something that could give them an overview of everything, then tweak the server to their liking.

    Results? I'm the one helping them to set the damn server up. Not to mention the OS is crap, filepaths aren't standard (imho), there's a lot of lack of documentation and a non-working package manager. One of the guys was so annoyed he said "Man, I've never seen Linux and I'm already hating it. No way we're gonna get back to DOS times where we type commands and have to learn everything all over again!".

    So true.
    Servers do not need a graphical interface to work properly. This is an advantage. No really, it is. You save a tonne of disk-space, and more RAM is freed up to do actual work rather than present you with fancy bells and whistles. I keep my server under my stairs. It doesn't have a keyboard, mouse or monitor, or a GUI for that matter. I just SSH into it when I want to fiddle. This is a good thing. If you feel you really must have a graphical environment to hold your hand whilst running a server of all things, then just INSTALL ONE. It's not that hard. Look:

    Code:
    apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
    And that's it. Linux servers are professional systems designed to get real work done. Clearly, half of the internet agrees with me, or otherwise it wouldn't run that many Linux servers. I'm not even a network guy and even I can manage it. If I can run a server with a serious command-line operating system, then so can any system administrator. Anybody who requires a GUI Toy to make their servers work properly should not be calling himself a professional.
    Blag | As an Ubuntu Forums discussion grows longer, the probability of someone mentioning Arch Linux approaches 1.

  6. #9416

    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterstack View Post
    You think phasing the command line out of Linux is going to make it better somehow? Look, you can't compare the relationship with DOS and the Win32 GUI with Linux. Windows used to run on top of DOS, and then it ran all on its own. Linux runs on top of Linux. It always has. The difference is that the graphical stuff is separate from the kernel, so you can install any desktop interface you please. What do you propose, that we integrate the desktop environment into the kernel so we have no failsafe option when the graphics bork? This idea doesn't even make sense. If you simply mean relying less on the CLI, then Ubuntu already does that. There are no common tasks that everyday users have to use a terminal for in Ubuntu. Not one. I seriously can't stress that enough.
    Well Ubuntu might have changed since I last used it (Edgy). There were few times where I had to use the terminal, but I did.

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterstack View Post
    Servers do not need a graphical interface to work properly. This is an advantage. No really, it is. You save a tonne of disk-space, and more RAM is freed up to do actual work rather than present you with fancy bells and whistles. I keep my server under my stairs. It doesn't have a keyboard, mouse or monitor, or a GUI for that matter. I just SSH into it when I want to fiddle. This is a good thing. If you feel you really must have a graphical environment to hold your hand whilst running a server of all things, then just INSTALL ONE. It's not that hard. Look:

    Code:
    apt-get install ubuntu-desktop
    And that's it. Linux servers are professional systems designed to get real work done.
    Yeah, once you spend around a week to learn how to use the OS and configure it to your liking. Specially if you're not skilled in Linux and are migrating all of your Windows servers to Linux, which is why most companies try to do, since it's a big budget cut, and well worth the effort.

    apt-get? LOL, tell that to redhat. I spent 2 hours trying to find the damn yum RPMs over the web for x64, for then having yum work without any repositories and then spending another hour trying to configure it (documentation sucks!) and make it use some repositores. Up2date hangs while downloading so it's unusable... broken linux, anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by monsterstack View Post
    I'm not even a network guy and even I can manage it. If I can run a server with a serious command-line operating system, then so can any system administrator. Anybody who requires a GUI Toy to make their servers work properly should not be calling himself a professional.
    Uh, sysadmins don't have to be programmers. Typing commands is programmer's work. Using GUI administration tools is their work. I don't know crap about setting a server up and linking it with Active Directory or stuff like that, but I know how to make an IRC C++ bot in a day. It can be the same computer field, but roles are different, and so are the tools you use to do what you're better at.

    Also, at least where I live, Ubuntu server isn't an option in large corporations. It's just too "indie" for their taste. Then again, yay broken linux distros claiming to be the best ones in the server field, LOL.

  7. #9417
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    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by DARKGuy View Post
    Well Ubuntu might have changed since I last used it (Edgy). There were few times where I had to use the terminal, but I did.



    Yeah, once you spend around a week to learn how to use the OS and configure it to your liking. Specially if you're not skilled in Linux and are migrating all of your Windows servers to Linux, which is why most companies try to do, since it's a big budget cut, and well worth the effort.

    apt-get? LOL, tell that to redhat. I spent 2 hours trying to find the damn yum RPMs over the web for x64, for then having yum work without any repositories and then spending another hour trying to configure it (documentation sucks!) and make it use some repositores. Up2date hangs while downloading so it's unusable... broken linux, anyone?



    Uh, sysadmins don't have to be programmers. Typing commands is programmer's work. Using GUI administration tools is their work. I don't know crap about setting a server up and linking it with Active Directory or stuff like that, but I know how to make an IRC C++ bot in a day. It can be the same computer field, but roles are different, and so are the tools you use to do what you're better at.

    Also, at least where I live, Ubuntu server isn't an option in large corporations. It's just too "indie" for their taste. Then again, yay broken linux distros claiming to be the best ones in the server field, LOL.
    You're talking out of your **** here. Most web servers in the world are CLI. Most servers don't run a GUI. You might want to do some research before talking crap. And tell that company to fire their admins if they can't work without a gui on a server.
    Microsoft's crimes - Ubuntu CE - Windows 7 sins

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackOtaku View Post
    No no, I won't indulge your superiority complex... But if you'd like to tell me something you're passionate about, I'd love the chance to belittle it.

  8. #9418
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    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    I've recently been getting back into Linux, which has matured a lot in the last ten years since I was installing Debian and Redhat on 386 and 486 machines. Ubuntu (and the Ubuntu variants, most notably Crunchbang), OpenSUSE, Puppy, Mandrake, and Go-OS are all more or less ready for the average user who wants to access the Internet, "cloud," and web 2.0 apps.

    An emphasis on ease of accessing the net or automating networking activities still needs to be high priority. If Grandma can't easily get online to share flickr photos, Youtube vids, email, IM, and webcam with the grandkids, she's not going to use her Linux box for much else. Expecting her to scour the Ubuntu support boards and piece together diffuse clues about her lack of internet access (chicken and egg, I know) is expecting too much.

    If you only want computer hobbyists, professional tech support people, and CS majors to mess around with their Conky configs, their Compiz themes, their triple boot, multi-partitioned boxes, and their frackin' GNU/Linux sound systems, that's one thing, and the Linux community already provides a great haven for various and sundry geeks, but the average user has other more immediate needs and interests.

    These basic needs and interests include word processing, internet browsing and communication, multimedia support, and software upgrade and installation. The Open Office software is quite adequate for everyday user needs. The Ubuntu Applications > Accessories, > Games, and > Graphics offerings should do for most users. Media access, however, is still problematic: music players linking with digital portable players is rough, and watching DVD's, doing video editing, and just using Adobe web apps (Flash) can still be a challenge in Linux. Installing anything non-Synaptic packaged in Ubuntu (and mutatis mutandis for the other distros) is a chore and a crapshoot.

    The Debian and Ubuntu software repositories are filled with all sorts of good but also many specialized applications. These should be categorized not just by function but also by expertise or specialized interest: games are popular little apps and should be top level, readily visible, but why clutter an average user's experience with stuff like aylet.gtk or basilisk2? If Joe Sixpack is trying to find a good game for his cheap Ubuntu box (that his geek neighbor set up for him), Synaptic handles that pretty well (although more high quality, good looking games and amusements are important to the average user experience). But Joe should not have to wade through selections for bastille or zssh or other technically specific programs. If he actually develops an interest for a Mac emulator, he can ask his geek buddy for help or start Googling for information, though that's not a likely scenario in any case.

    Probably the biggest disappointment for Linux enthusiasts in the last year has been the widely reported 4X greater customer returns of Linux netbooks over WinXP netbooks. To me that is still a puzzle. Users want something familiar, and yet average users are constantly confronting new OS schemes on cell phones and other digital devices. Why balk at a sweet looking, up-to-date, modern looking, Linux netbook for not being some teletubby colored, nine-year old piece of software that's still visible design roots go back even further to 1995 (Win95)?

    Linux fights in the consumer desktop arena with one hand tied behind its back: Linux's great strengths (multi-user support, networking, radical configurability, and scalability) are lost on the average desktop user. (Of course, some commentators don't even think Linux should try to compete on the desktop.) What's left is its stability, inherent security, design potential (interface and theme designers have to work harder to capture users' imaginations--brown may not cut it), its large, free software repositories, and the inexpensiveness of the OS itself.

  9. #9419
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    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mantisdolphin View Post
    An emphasis on ease of accessing the net or automating networking activities still needs to be high priority. If Grandma can't easily get online to share flickr photos, Youtube vids, email, IM, and webcam with the grandkids, she's not going to use her Linux box for much else. Expecting her to scour the Ubuntu support boards and piece together diffuse clues about her lack of internet access (chicken and egg, I know) is expecting too much.
    Internet access for me is pretty good. The problems with getting on the web have historically been hardware problems. Specifically, wifi support was poor, and people had to use tools such as madwifi or ndiswrapper to get things working. That isn't so much of a problem, these days, and I think for most people, the internet works out of the box. I have a wired/wireless combo router in my house, and the computers I use connect to the internet automatically when I plug them in. If I'm connecting wirelessly, then I simply provide the WPA password first. It isn't any different from connecting on Windows.

    Quote Originally Posted by mantisdolphin View Post
    If you only want computer hobbyists, professional tech support people, and CS majors to mess around with their Conky configs, their Compiz themes, their triple boot, multi-partitioned boxes, and their frackin' GNU/Linux sound systems, that's one thing, and the Linux community already provides a great haven for various and sundry geeks, but the average user has other more immediate needs and interests.

    These basic needs and interests include word processing, internet browsing and communication, multimedia support, and software upgrade and installation. The Open Office software is quite adequate for everyday user needs. The Ubuntu Applications > Accessories, > Games, and > Graphics offerings should do for most users. Media access, however, is still problematic: music players linking with digital portable players is rough, and watching DVD's, doing video editing, and just using Adobe web apps (Flash) can still be a challenge in Linux. Installing anything non-Synaptic packaged in Ubuntu (and mutatis mutandis for the other distros) is a chore and a crapshoot.
    Getting software from outside sources can be a pain. The Ubuntu developers have indicated that they have the ability to make adding extra repositories from PPA and other sources a one-click operation. The thing that is holding them back is the damage people could cause to their systems by installing anything and everything. It could be made easier, but I'd wager that for most people, installing software from outside the repositories is not necessary.

    Any how, I agree there are some problems to be had with DVD playback and flash content. Although I've never encountered a DVD that VLC hasn't been able to play yet, apparently others have. It's a shame, but not something we can blame Linux for. As more users come to the platform, these problems will slowly begin to disappear. I don't have any problems with either of these things, nor do many others. A lot of the problems people face could be easily solved with pre-installs. People have this idea that Windows "just works", when nothing could be further from the truth. The PC manufacturers and retailers spend an awful amount of time and money making sure it works before you even buy it. Because 99% of Linux users install it manually, we have to forgo that luxury. As pre-installed Linux machines become more commonplace, we might see some of those problems similarly disappearing.
    Quote Originally Posted by mantisdolphin View Post
    The Debian and Ubuntu software repositories are filled with all sorts of good but also many specialized applications. These should be categorized not just by function but also by expertise or specialized interest: games are popular little apps and should be top level, readily visible, but why clutter an average user's experience with stuff like aylet.gtk or basilisk2? If Joe Sixpack is trying to find a good game for his cheap Ubuntu box (that his geek neighbor set up for him), Synaptic handles that pretty well (although more high quality, good looking games and amusements are important to the average user experience). But Joe should not have to wade through selections for bastille or zssh or other technically specific programs. If he actually develops an interest for a Mac emulator, he can ask his geek buddy for help or start Googling for information, though that's not a likely scenario in any case.
    Try the "Add/Remove..." option in the Gnome Menu. It hides all of the libraries and small utilities that Synaptic doesn't. Additionally, it rates software there based on how many people have had it installed. It's a useful indicator sometimes, of how good an application is. I think it's important to teach new users that most of their needs are served by Add/Remove, but that if they need something a little more obscure, then Synaptic is the place to look.

    Quote Originally Posted by mantisdolphin View Post
    Probably the biggest disappointment for Linux enthusiasts in the last year has been the widely reported 4X greater customer returns of Linux netbooks over WinXP netbooks. To me that is still a puzzle. Users want something familiar, and yet average users are constantly confronting new OS schemes on cell phones and other digital devices. Why balk at a sweet looking, up-to-date, modern looking, Linux netbook for not being some teletubby colored, nine-year old piece of software that's still visible design roots go back even further to 1995 (Win95)?
    The higher number of returns should be obvious. The first generations of netbooks were supplied with ugly, horrible distributions such as Linpuss, which were often configured badly, had no real way of updating thanks to non-existent repositories, were often supplied with Windows driver discs for hardware, often came with webcams that didn't at all work, and a whole host of other problems. Added to that, the machines didn't run Windows; I suspect many bought them in the mistaken belief that Windows applications would work on them. Still, the average return rate for Windows netbooks as reported by Asus was somewhere around the 1% figure. If the Linux-based netbooks had a figure four times as high, it still means that 96% of the people who bought one were presumably satisfied with their choice. Considering how awful those Linux netbooks often were, I find such a high figure staggering.
    Blag | As an Ubuntu Forums discussion grows longer, the probability of someone mentioning Arch Linux approaches 1.

  10. #9420
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    Re: Linux Desktop Readiness Thread

    To be ready it absolutely has to have very good to excellent printer support. Absolutely. Linux, unfortunately, is not even close to ready in that respect. Until that problem is resolved, Linux as a desktop rides in the back seat. It's probably time for the linux guru's to stop blaming printer manufactures for not providing code and to actually do something beneficial to get them to.

    Linux also needs to redesign and reconstruct it's overall printing system. The current one is never going to work right.

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