PDA

View Full Version : Why FOSS will unfortunately struggle to get into the mainstream...



Mazza558
November 13th, 2007, 11:01 PM
People just don't care.

I was talking to a friend about Windows Live Messenger, and he was complaining about it crashing or not logging in correctly. I suggested Pidgin, but it was more important for him to remain with the trusted side of things, with a polished interface, and the ads were part of the deal. Despite Pidgin's lack of ads and speediness, this made no difference. In his opinion, this was such a minor issue that he felt no need to consider an alternative, as he felt that trying this alternative would be too much hassle.

In the case of when a quickly evolving FOSS project is vastly superior to some of its competitors, (e.g Firefox vs IE6), a lot of techies switched first, seeing the benefits of security and speed. Soon, friends/relatives of said techies "spread the word" to their relatives, which were persuaded to use it, having been guided by their friends. Now, the majority of PC users double-click the blue "e" on the desktop, and that is the internet. These people might get very frustrated if things don't work, but just accept this rather than trying alternatives. You could say that this community is naturally inquisitive, as shown by the desktop threads, where decorating your desktop has become an impressive art form. The odd normal user might find their way to the theme dialogue and change the blue and green bar to silver or olive green on XP, but they won't explore any further.

Now if a single, easy-to-use and easy-to-install FOSS browser can only achieve 30% marketshare (approx) in Europe, how can we ever hope to break 10% marketshare with an entire Operating System? Yes, we're ready for the desktop, if we can encourage more manufacturers to not only sell Linux systems, but offer their own brief documentation...

FG123
November 13th, 2007, 11:09 PM
I used to think almost identially to your friend, many years ago. Now I instead talk about the dangers of DRM. (Some) people can change. :)

Point is, it's exceedingly difficult for FOSS to make in impression with regular folk unless we, the techies, do the advertising ourselves, and there are only so many of us.

23meg
November 13th, 2007, 11:11 PM
Now if a single, easy-to-use and easy-to-install FOSS browser can only achieve 30% marketshare (approx) in Europe, how can we ever hope to break 10% marketshare with an entire Operating System?

By shipping that operating system preinstalled on new computers.

Mazza558
November 13th, 2007, 11:11 PM
Interestingly, I was just looking at the reviews for the gOS PC, and how people who have never used Linux before are loving it. This could be an interesting few years :)

aysiu
November 13th, 2007, 11:25 PM
By shipping that operating system preinstalled on new computers.
I agree.

People don't switch. They buy new things.

Once XP computers become "too old," people will look to buy new computers. If their needs are not sophisticated, they may go for a low-end (and, more importantly, low cost) Linux computer (the Wal-Mart gOS or the Asus Eee PC).

And the more power users and "techies" switch to Linux, the greater chance that "average joes" and "average janes" will switch as well. After all, many "average" users consult their tech-savvy friends and relatives as to what computers to buy.

Obviously a migration from one application to another is a lot less of an investment than from one operating system to another. You can't compare Firefox to Linux.

DoctorMO
November 13th, 2007, 11:54 PM
I don't know if it's our job to save people from themselves, it seems to me that we want bigger market share for our own selfish reasons or we want to convert the people around us because we wish to save them from the evil.

So long as people are educated that options exist that is all that is required; giving people the support to make their minds up and then the support to fix any problems that come up with our beloved software.

What do you think LoCos are for? We're not here to shove CDs down the throats of any passer by but to let people and organisations know that options exist and in a lots of ways those options are better than the options that are shoved down their throats by proprietary vendors.

Daveski
November 14th, 2007, 12:15 AM
So long as people are educated that options exist that is all that is required; giving people the support to make their minds up and then the support to fix any problems that come up with our beloved software.

I agree that the primary push should be to inform people that they have a choice. Back to the OP which talked of the blue icon being the Internet - most people wouldn't know that if they wanted to they could seek alternatives, and who knows, they might be better.

So long as the message gets out that there are choices to be made (if one wishes to do so), then people will have the freedom we all wish to see them have. If people choose not to change from what they already have, then it is their choice to do so. I just want people to realise that they have made that choice.

What happens in the 'mainstream' I guess is down to what is ultimately becomes the most popular choice.

aysiu
November 14th, 2007, 12:17 AM
I don't think most people want to be educated.

prizrak
November 14th, 2007, 12:20 AM
Yeah Firefox is virtually unheard of.... FOSS has no problem getting into the mainstream, Linux might.

DoctorMO
November 15th, 2007, 04:58 AM
Some cynics are really cynical and if they were right people would get terribly confused turning over the channel with a different remote control because one has blue buttons and another has grey.

But you know some how they manage, some of them might moan but they get over it.

SunnyRabbiera
November 15th, 2007, 05:11 AM
Yeah Firefox is virtually unheard of.... FOSS has no problem getting into the mainstream, Linux might.

this is questionable as the Dell deal with ubuntu is a hit from what I heard of.
The only reason why Ubuntu isn't mainstream is because its not advertised as much, but this is changing even without us knowing.

intelligentfool
November 15th, 2007, 05:27 AM
if your in IT and have your head out of the sand, you can see where things are headed. there is simply no way microsoft or any other proprietary OS can out engineer millions of volunteers. that said, its just a matter of time before people start realizing there's an alternative. and the more people that do that, the more software will be written for linux, and the better support and distribution options will come around. its the chicken or the egg syndrome.... but the egg is sitting out on the web under the heat lamp :)

FG123
November 15th, 2007, 05:38 AM
if your in IT and have your head out of the sand, you can see where things are headed. there is simply no way microsoft or any other proprietary OS can out engineer millions of volunteers. that said, its just a matter of time before people start realizing there's an alternative. and the more people that do that, the more software will be written for linux, and the better support and distribution options will come around. its the chicken or the egg syndrome.... but the egg is sitting out on the web under the heat lamp :)
Stop believing that merit alone is enough!

Why do you think Microsoft is number one with operating systems? Because they're any good? Of course not. It's because Microsoft has the money and the means ensure they stay on top. The money to "encourage" schools and politicians to use MS products and pass laws that provide them an unfair advantage over their competitors. The money to market the hell out of their products. They might not be able to buy-out Linux like they can with so many other companies which are a threat, but they can certainly reduce its profile with those who aren't aware of its existance.

Polygon
November 15th, 2007, 05:58 AM
sure everyone knows of windows, but just today i was in a class, and someone brought up the topic of bill gates and his wealth. someone made the joke that 'if bill gates has a nickle for every times windows crashes...oh wait, he does!' and they started laughing. Note these are completely normal people who just use the computer for like msn/internet/facebook/myspace ...... so everyone knows about windows all right....that it sucks

intelligentfool
November 15th, 2007, 06:03 AM
They might not be able to buy-out Linux like they can with so many other companies which are a threat, but they can certainly reduce its profile with those who aren't aware of its existance.

and thats the key, nobody can buy out linux, its here, and will continue to improve for the foreseeable long term. the adoption of FOSS is going to be a long slow trend, not some magic moment when everyone suddenly "gets it". its going to be in the college dorms where some kid is running Compiz on a 3 yr old machine and his friends are running XP, crippled by a half dozen security apps. and likewise at a thousand different offices when someone walks past the IT dept and wants to know what that cool looking desktop is and why they cant have it.

i think that sort of thing is already happening, just not as fas as some would like.

besides, who do you think the big decision makers are? 20yr early adopters? no, more like 60 something's that could give 2 shits but how to minimize their headaches from the IT dept. give it time, the rest of the world will catch up :)


sidenote: in the meantime, i'm trying to get as professional as i can with linux admin skills, when the mainstream does recognize it finally, i want to be able to say i've got 10+ yrs of experience :)

FG123
November 15th, 2007, 06:13 AM
Well as they say, the future lies with the younger generation. :)

DarkOx
November 15th, 2007, 06:38 AM
What's probably going to happen is that Open Source solutions are going to become increasingly popular in commodity software -- the things that everyone does. Browsing the net, Word processing, fixing red-eye in your photos, etc. More specialized needs will require proprietary solutions, but the general stuff is probably going to shift towards FOSS.

Likely, no one's going to really notice this is going on. Companies will adopt and promote open solutions as a way to keep costs down, but to the user software will just be software.

Google's Android platform is a good example. The system will be open, and developers will do cool things with it. But whoever's using it won't notice a difference.

DoctorMO
November 15th, 2007, 04:11 PM
Google's Android platform is a good example. The system will be open, and developers will do cool things with it. But whoever's using it won't notice a difference.

That sounds like the legal frameworks in the Constitution of the united states, hard faught, blood and everything yet people just use free speech without being aware that all that blood had to be spilled to win that freedom.

Software freedom will no doubt go into the same set of unappreciated freedoms that were hard to win but easy to loose.

alecz20
July 18th, 2008, 08:30 PM
I think the problem with the FOSS is the "packaging"

FOSS needs to be compiled by the end-user while the proprietary software is delivered "ready-to-install-by-double-click".
FOSS is delivered nicely for windows, but "poor" linux users still need to compile it.

For example pigdin:
for Windows you download an .exe, while for Ubuntu, or debian-based you need to download the source code. (http://www.pidgin.im/download/)

Skype for example is not open source, so it is delivered in a nice package for a variety of Linux distributions.
(http://www.skype.com/download/skype/linux/choose/)

This makes me think that the FOSS is targeting a very small segment of the population: the Linux hackers.

FuturePilot
July 18th, 2008, 08:34 PM
I think the problem with the FOSS is the "packaging"

FOSS needs to be compiled by the end-user while the proprietary software is delivered "ready-to-install-by-double-click".
FOSS is delivered nicely for windows, but "poor" linux users still need to compile it.

For example pigdin:
for Windows you download an .exe, while for Ubuntu, or debian-based you need to download the source code. (http://www.pidgin.im/download/)

Skype for example is not open source, so it is delivered in a nice package for a variety of Linux distributions.
(http://www.skype.com/download/skype/linux/choose/)

This makes me think that the FOSS is targeting a very small segment of the population: the Linux hackers.

That's why distributions like Ubuntu and many others package things like Pidgin for you, so you don't need to compile it. I've never needed to compile anything on Ubuntu.

dizee
July 18th, 2008, 08:36 PM
I think the problem with the FOSS is the "packaging"

FOSS needs to be compiled by the end-user while the proprietary software is delivered "ready-to-install-by-double-click".
FOSS is delivered nicely for windows, but "poor" linux users still need to compile it.

For example pigdin:
for Windows you download an .exe, while for Ubuntu, or debian-based you need to download the source code. (http://www.pidgin.im/download/)

Skype for example is not open source, so it is delivered in a nice package for a variety of Linux distributions.
(http://www.skype.com/download/skype/linux/choose/)

This makes me think that the FOSS is targeting a very small segment of the population: the Linux hackers.
that is absolute nonsense. there are pre-compiled versions in the repositories. there is absolutely no reason for the average user to compile source code, ever, in a distribution like ubuntu.

any way apt-get/synaptic is a far better method than downloading .exes from random websites and having to click next five times for each of them.

alecz20
July 18th, 2008, 08:45 PM
That's why distributions like Ubuntu and many others package things like Pidgin for you, so you don't need to compile it. I've never needed to compile anything on Ubuntu.

I am glad you didn't have to compile anything. I know very well about the Ubuntu package manager it's one of the greatest ideas for an OS, but when you have to compile drivers for Sound/Video/Network card it's not that fun.

Wine for example did not work for me in 3DMark2003. A guide said it needs to be recompiled with a "patch" for it to work. I did that still didn't work.

I don't remember all the software I had to compile but I do remember I had to compile many thing to get them to work.
Pretty much any tutorial on a program tells you to compile at some point.

aysiu
July 18th, 2008, 08:51 PM
I am glad you didn't have to compile anything. I know very well about the Ubuntu package manager it's one of the greatest ideas for an OS, but when you have to compile drivers for Sound/Video/Network card it's not that fun. Then get Linux-friendly hardware so that the kernel automatically detects everything.


Wine for example did not work for me in 3DMark2003. A guide said it needs to be recompiled with a "patch" for it to work. I did that still didn't work. Wine is a compatibility layer for running Windows programs. If you use native Linux programs or the non-cutting-edge version of Wine, you shouldn't have to compile anything frmo source.


Pretty much any tutorial on a program tells you to compile at some point Not really. Check out my tutorial:
http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/installingsoftware

clanky
July 18th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Sorry if this has already been said, but I am tired and I really just can't be bothered reading the whole thread.

I think that the answer is that fantastic applications like firefox and thunderbird are the answer, if everything was of that standard then Microsoft would be worried, I know a few people who have tried firefox and as a natural progression given linux a try, but been disappointed by linux compared to firefox / thunderbird.

The fact that almost everyone who buys a computer buys it with a fully working OS means that linux does not only have to be better, it has to be worth trying even though windows is already there and in the VAST majority of cases working perfectly.

alecz20
July 18th, 2008, 08:59 PM
that is absolute nonsense. there are pre-compiled versions in the repositories. there is absolutely no reason for the average user to compile source code, ever, in a distribution like ubuntu.

any way apt-get/synaptic is a far better method than downloading .exes from random websites and having to click next five times for each of them.

I didn't mean to say that the .exe install is the best way. Personally I like the Add/remove from Ubuntu more than anything but not everything can be found there.

I remember I had to compile a few programs to get my computer working the way I needed to but I don't remember exactly what I compiled.

Seeing that the general consensus is different than what I had imagined, I will try to make a list of all FOSS that can only be installed by compiling.

@aysiu:
Nice tutorial for the new user.

Conclusion:
I don't mind compiling and all that as I write small programs myself occasionally, but I remember I had to compile stuff to get it working.

dizee
July 18th, 2008, 09:03 PM
I didn't mean to say that the .exe install is the best way. Personally I like the Add/remove from Ubuntu more than anything but not everything can be found there.

I remember I had to compile a few programs to get my computer working the way I needed to but I don't remember exactly what I compiled.

Seeing that the general consensus is different than what I had imagined, I will try to make a list of all FOSS that can only be installed by compiling.

@aysiu:
Nice tutorial for the new user.

Conclusion:
I don't mind compiling and all that as I write small programs myself occasionally, but I remember I had to compile stuff to get it working.
it is unfortunate that you had to compile to get your hardware working, but you cannot generalise based only on your own experience. most of us don't have to do that, so it's not really fair to suggest that that's holding FOSS back.

alecz20
July 18th, 2008, 09:07 PM
it is unfortunate that you had to compile to get your hardware working, but you cannot generalise based only on your own experience. most of us don't have to do that, so it's not really fair to suggest that that's holding FOSS back.

I see your point. All this compiling thing happened a year ago when I first started to use Linux (Ubuntu 7.04). I had to read through guides and tutorials and they were all CLI and most involved compiling not using the Add/Remove feature.

It's been quite a long time sine I compiled anything on Ubuntu, maybe because I know much more right now, but that first impression still is in my memory.

I think there was a guide saying that Wine needs to be recompiled with a patch to have 3D support, and compiling Wine is no trivial task.

RiceMonster
July 18th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Pretty much any tutorial on a program tells you to compile at some point.

I've only had that experience in which I was reading a tutorial for Ubuntu and they told you to compile if you wanted the latest and most up to date version. There are some tutorials I've seen that only tell you to compile it, but that's because its a tutorial about how to install something that's not in the repos, and it's usually not something that most people are using.

tiachopvutru
July 18th, 2008, 09:29 PM
The fact that almost everyone who buys a computer buys it with a fully working OS means that linux does not only have to be better, it has to be worth trying even though windows is already there and in the VAST majority of cases working perfectly.

In other words, it has to come preinstalled in many, if not the majority, of computers sold at the stores, as well as having hardware vendors ensure compatibilities for Linux.

Pretty hard if you ask me, although Linux has done that a bit as of late thanks to those small laptops. Dell sells computers with Ubuntu, but too bad they don't do much in revealing them to the mass consumers.

zmjjmz
July 18th, 2008, 10:08 PM
People don't care, I can assure you, and some people don't care vehemently, which leads me to wonder if they care or not.
EDIT: Whoops, didn't read that last page :-P
alecz20: You've confirmed it yourself actually. Think about it.
How many people are going to be running 3Dwhatever in WINE?
Not a lot, I can assure you.
Compiling isn't that big.


Oh, and by the way, the best way to make a hit in MS's profits is to make OpenOffice.org vs. MS Office analogous to Firefox vs. IE6.

clanky
July 18th, 2008, 10:18 PM
In other words, it has to come preinstalled in many, if not the majority, of computers sold at the stores, as well as having hardware vendors ensure compatibilities for Linux.

Pretty hard if you ask me, although Linux has done that a bit as of late thanks to those small laptops. Dell sells computers with Ubuntu, but too bad they don't do much in revealing them to the mass consumers.

No, it doesn't have to come pre-installed, but if people are going to choose it over something which is already pre-installed then it has to be hassle free. For most people windows is OK, so why spend ages getting something to work when you already have a working OS, if they could just download linux, install it and have a PC where the hardware all works then they would possibly see how good an OS it is and take the time to find out more, but when they try it and bits of their PC don't work they are just going to say "screw this", uninstall and go back to windows. The only people who are going to go to all the trouble of figuring out how to get it all to work are those are are determined to try linux, but those who are just curious are quite likely to lose their curiosity unless the hardware support improves.

ice60
July 18th, 2008, 10:21 PM
i really like everything as it is and don't care about everyone else. why does everyone care so much?

why would things be better if more people used free software? if everyone used linux all the spyware would be on linux too.

clanky
July 18th, 2008, 10:24 PM
The only real advantage that i can see is that if more people used linux then more software developers might develop better quality software for linux.

zmjjmz
July 18th, 2008, 10:24 PM
why would things be better if more people used free software? if everyone used linux all the spyware would be on linux too.

/sigh
Short answer: No, you're wrong.
Long answer: This has been explained way too many times already. Would anyone else like to volunteer?

ice60
July 18th, 2008, 10:26 PM
/sigh
Short answer: No, you're wrong.
Long answer: This has been explained way too many times already. Would anyone else like to volunteer?

i'm not wrong, on the contary, i'm absolutely correct!!!! you are wrong.

Miguel
July 18th, 2008, 10:40 PM
...and compiling Wine is no trivial task.

It depends on what you want. If you want just to apply a little patch, you may use apt magic:


sudo apt-get build-dep wine
apt-get source --compile wine

And you are done. Really. Note you don't need sudo in the second command, as long as you have write permissions in your current directory. If you want to apply a single patch and the wine version in the repos is recent enough so that it applies cleanly, forget about the --compile option and apply the patch. After that, just do


dpkg -b wine

Really. It works. Apt is this cool. I suspect that, if wine's upstream repositories have a deb-src line, you don't even have to pray for wine in ubunto to be recent enough. And I'm sure linuxhater would love to shred this post.

EDIT: just noticed that the pidgin devs have a ppa repository for pidgin (https://launchpad.net/~pidgin-developers/+archive), so no need to even go to pidgin's site. Of course, having many non-default repositories will hinder your chances of successful upgrades to intrepid if you aren't careful.

EDIT 2: The Arch Build System (ABS) was even better for compiling custom packages, and was further benefitted because Arch doesn't have -dev packages. If you use Arch, I'm sure you love ABS.

zmjjmz
July 18th, 2008, 10:40 PM
The only real advantage that i can see is that if more people used linux then more software developers might develop better quality software for linux.

Don't forget drivers.

aysiu
July 18th, 2008, 10:41 PM
No, it doesn't have to come pre-installed, but if people are going to choose it over something which is already pre-installed then it has to be hassle free. For most people windows is OK, so why spend ages getting something to work when you already have a working OS, if they could just download linux, install it and have a PC where the hardware all works then they would possibly see how good an OS it is and take the time to find out more, but when they try it and bits of their PC don't work they are just going to say "screw this", uninstall and go back to windows. The only people who are going to go to all the trouble of figuring out how to get it all to work are those are are determined to try linux, but those who are just curious are quite likely to lose their curiosity unless the hardware support improves. You want the impossible. Not even Windows has everything working after you install it.

The only way Linux is going to "just work" on the hardware is if the hardware is carefully chosen (either by the consumer or the OEM). Most people would prefer the OEM to make sure the hardware works, which is why Windows comes preinstalled. An OEM would have to be stupid (business-wise) to sell blank computers with a Windows CD. You preinstall Windows and set up all the drivers for the user so all she has to do is turn on the computer. Same deal for Linux. Preinstalled is the way to go. Look at the Eee PC.

clanky
July 18th, 2008, 10:53 PM
Regardless of what windows does or doesn't do (and it supports most hardware a whole lot better than any version of linux that I have tried) for linux to become mainstream it has to support more hardware. You only have to look at these forums to see how many people have issues with various bits of hardware (wireless networking, video cards, sound, even down to volume buttons), and for most linux users this is OK, because they WANT to use Linux, but if Linux is ever going to become mainstream then it has to be worth the hassle of installing it for people who are just giving it a try rather than those who have a reason to use it.

Vorian Grey
July 18th, 2008, 11:17 PM
FOSS will only go mainstream when companies can make money from it. Until then it will not get a chance to be used by the masses, no matter how good it is, how many drivers it supports, how easy it is to install, etc. Money drives everything.

One day, however, someone will figure out a way to make a lot of money from FOSS and then everyone had better watch out. Linux/FOSS will take over the world.

clinux
July 18th, 2008, 11:42 PM
Whilst everyone can use windows, only a small portion of them have the ability/patience/courage to use any linux distribution, even if they are given the chance to just test them. However a lot of free/open source programs are growing rapidly, like firefox,opera,vlc and openoffice.
Maybe advertising would do some good, but who would advertise something free...

bruce89
July 18th, 2008, 11:43 PM
Why FOSS will unfortunately struggle to get into the mainstream...

It sure has in the Web server world.

aysiu
July 18th, 2008, 11:47 PM
Regardless of what windows does or doesn't do (and it supports most hardware a whole lot better than any version of linux that I have tried) Not really. The hardware supports Windows, not the other way around. Microsoft doesn't create those Windows drivers. ATI does. Or Nvidia does. Or Broadcom does.
for linux to become mainstream it has to support more hardware. Again you have it backwards. More hardware will support Linux as it becomes more mainstream.
You only have to look at these forums to see how many people have issues with various bits of hardware (wireless networking, video cards, sound, even down to volume buttons), And you only have to look at the customer service of the baggage claim area of the airport to see passengers with lost luggage. These are support forums. Naturally support questions will show up in support forums.
and for most linux users this is OK, because they WANT to use Linux, but if Linux is ever going to become mainstream then it has to be worth the hassle of installing it for people who are just giving it a try rather than those who have a reason to use it. Yes, and the hassle is avoided by buying Linux preinstalled and preconfigured. That's what I did with my Xandros-preinstalled Eee PC, and it worked flawlessly out of the box. Asus took care of all that hardware configuring for me.


FOSS will only go mainstream when companies can make money from it. Until then it will not get a chance to be used by the masses, no matter how good it is, how many drivers it supports, how easy it is to install, etc. Money drives everything.

One day, however, someone will figure out a way to make a lot of money from FOSS and then everyone had better watch out. Linux/FOSS will take over the world. Companies like Mozilla and Red Hat already make millions from open source software.

Read more here:
How does open source make money? (http://ubuntucat.wordpress.com/2008/05/30/how-does-open-source-make-money/)

Daveski
July 18th, 2008, 11:51 PM
Yes, and the hassle is avoided by buying Linux preinstalled and preconfigured. That's what I did with my Xandros-preinstalled Eee PC, and it worked flawlessly out of the box. Asus took care of all that hardware configuring for me.

Companies like Mozilla and Red Hat already make millions from open source software.

indeed, and what with Dell, HP, ASUS etc. shipping machines with 'OEM' pre-installed Linux - doesn't this mean that it already IS in the mainstream?

Vorian Grey
July 19th, 2008, 12:05 AM
Companies like Mozilla and Red Hat already make millions from open source software.

Read more here:
How does open source make money? (http://ubuntucat.wordpress.com/2008/05/30/how-does-open-source-make-money/)

Nice read. Thanks for that. Yes, a few people do make millions from OS. Windows makes billions for Microsoft and for many other companies who supply third party software. Linux hasn't been able to do that, at least on the desktop market. When Dell and HP can make money, and third parties can make money, then Linux/OS will become more mainstream.

For example, people who make firewalls and antivirus for Windows make mega bucks. If Linux became popular their market would go away. Why buy an office suite when OpenOffice is there? Why bother with a photo program when the Gimp is as good as Photoshop?

I just don't see the market. Without the market I don't see the mainstream. However, I'd love to be proved wrong. :)

MaxIBoy
July 19th, 2008, 12:23 AM
Linux will win eventually, but it's going to take time. Whenever a more "open" philosophy is introduced to an industry, the status quo resist it, but to no avail. Just look at the success of Toyota (which allows people who work the assembly line to make design suggestions.)



/sigh
Short answer: No, you're wrong.
Long answer: This has been explained way too many times already. Would anyone else like to volunteer? How bout me?

Due to the way Linux handles permissions (requiring root access to do anything too major,) any program which has a chance of doing damage must prompt for an administrator password before the OS will allow it to run fully. It might run partially (ever left the 'gksudo' out and only realized it when you clicked 'save' in gedit?) but it would be unable to hurt your system too much.

aysiu
July 19th, 2008, 12:36 AM
indeed, and what with Dell, HP, ASUS etc. shipping machines with 'OEM' pre-installed Linux - doesn't this mean that it already IS in the mainstream? No, because most of the preinstalled Linux options are obscured from public view and not advertised. If you go to the Dell website and then click on the Open Source link, you'll see the make quite a point of shooing you away from open source and back to Windows.


Nice read. Thanks for that. Yes, a few people do make millions from OS. Windows makes billions for Microsoft and for many other companies who supply third party software. But that's just a volume issue, nothing reflective of the profit model itself.
Why buy an office suite when OpenOffice is there? Why bother with a photo program when the Gimp is as good as Photoshop?

I just don't see the market. Without the market I don't see the mainstream. However, I'd love to be proved wrong. :) Well, for home users, of course, they'd much rather have the free software, but businesses (even non-profits and schools) do not work that way. Administrators and upper management want contracts and support. They don't care if the software is free or not. They want to pay anyway, and plenty of open source software companies are willing to sell support (Canonical, for example). Would administrators and upper management prefer to pay less? Naturally. But they still want to pay, and you can, from what the GPL says, charge for the software itself, too.

Check out the MySQL site. The MySQL Enterprise basic costs US$599 (https://shop.mysql.com/). MySQL is open source software. There's nothing preventing you from making money off open source.

If you want to talk billions - Google uses Linux servers and Ubuntu workstations, and they make billions of dollars by offering ad-supported "free" services (search engine, email, docs, etc.).

Craig73
July 19th, 2008, 01:18 AM
It is getting difficult to say it is not mainstream... perhaps it doesn't dominate the desktop, but quality and capability is high and adoption is increasing in most areas whether regular users recognize it or not.

Perhaps not so obvious as replacing Windows with Linux - but in everyday devices like cell phones, or in commercial apps like Safari (built on Webkit), or popular apps like WordPress (for blogs) ...and on the desktop it is a real choice for people to run their organization on.

Even more interesting - how about Symbian - the dominant smart phone platform changing to open source? The landscape is changing

...and yes - the newer generations will figure out how to leverage it and take it places we didn't even consider. We just have to build it.

Solicitous
July 20th, 2008, 12:33 AM
I still think that office applications are the biggest killer atm for FOSS in the mainstream. Firefox and thunderbird are quite popular, but what does firefox do? loads pages from the internet (which is basically an open standard), and thunderbird? sends/receives emails (one again, open standard for sending/receiving emails), nothing too proprietary about those. But office applications...the world interacts with the Microsoft Office formats (proprietary formats). Openoffice does support (to some extent) .doc and .xls, but it isn't perfect. I feel that if ODF became widely supported then we would probably see more people using Openoffice.
Currently I am at Uni. They require assignments submitted to be written in Office 2003. Even though Office 2007 can write Word documents as .doc (and not .docx) it can format the page differently to if the document was written in Word 2003, and when marks are deducted when it comes for formatting, you use the specific tool and version they suggest and don't take the chance with anything else.
If the requirement was to submit a .odf document...well use the application of your choice.
And when it comes to commercial applications, if a good percentage of the population were using FOSS, companies would migrate alot of their products across, they will find the market...look at Apple - what percentage are they on the desktop?? There will be a market.

alecz20
July 20th, 2008, 02:40 AM
...
However a lot of free/open source programs are growing rapidly, like firefox,opera,vlc and openoffice.
Maybe advertising would do some good, but who would advertise something free...

This is a good step. Once people realize that they use a lot of FOSS on their windows computer, and they find out that all that software comes "pre-installed" or easy-to-install (Add/remove) they would be more likely to move to Linux.

I proved this to a friend when I showed him how VLC could play stuff WMP11 couldn't. He began to see the light... but not enough.

[Not to mention how many people believe MS Office 2007 <=> Vista; hence they need Vista to open .docx!!!]

Edit:

indeed, and what with Dell, HP, ASUS etc. shipping machines with 'OEM' pre-installed Linux - doesn't this mean that it already IS in the mainstream?
I just went to HP site with the mindset i want to buy a linux PC here's what i found:
http://www.shopping.hp.com/desktops
Just look at the OS options.

Frankly, I think even big companies (HP, Dell, etc) are afraid of Linux. Afraid in the way that they will not be able to support it because basically all the problems that we see users have on this forum will be targeted at their technical support which they have to provide for a short period at least (30 days i think)

Althought Dell:
http://www1.ca.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/linux_3x?c=ca&cs=cadhs1&l=en&s=dhs
:D
The the prices are not high at all!

madjr
July 20th, 2008, 02:45 AM
I still think that office applications are the biggest killer atm for FOSS in the mainstream. Firefox and thunderbird are quite popular, but what does firefox do? loads pages from the internet (which is basically an open standard), and thunderbird? sends/receives emails (one again, open standard for sending/receiving emails), nothing too proprietary about those. But office applications...the world interacts with the Microsoft Office formats (proprietary formats). Openoffice does support (to some extent) .doc and .xls, but it isn't perfect. I feel that if ODF became widely supported then we would probably see more people using Openoffice.
Currently I am at Uni. They require assignments submitted to be written in Office 2003. Even though Office 2007 can write Word documents as .doc (and not .docx) it can format the page differently to if the document was written in Word 2003, and when marks are deducted when it comes for formatting, you use the specific tool and version they suggest and don't take the chance with anything else.
If the requirement was to submit a .odf document...well use the application of your choice.
And when it comes to commercial applications, if a good percentage of the population were using FOSS, companies would migrate alot of their products across, they will find the market...look at Apple - what percentage are they on the desktop?? There will be a market.

that's why i would like to see something like this for OOo:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=862656

stinger30au
July 20th, 2008, 04:55 AM
advertise ubuntu yourself by writing a letter to the editor of your local news paper

another way is to add a ubuntu linux signature to your sig file on any other forums you visit

here is one you can use

http://www.signaturebar.com/uploads/images/6576.gif (http://www.signaturebar.com/)

Daveski
July 20th, 2008, 11:51 PM
I just went to HP site with the mindset i want to buy a linux PC here's what i found:
http://www.shopping.hp.com/desktops
Just look at the OS options.

Frankly, I think even big companies (HP, Dell, etc) are afraid of Linux. Afraid in the way that they will not be able to support it because basically all the problems that we see users have on this forum will be targeted at their technical support which they have to provide for a short period at least (30 days i think)

Althought Dell:
http://www1.ca.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/linux_3x?c=ca&cs=cadhs1&l=en&s=dhs
:D
The the prices are not high at all!

Also http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/uk/en/sm/WF04a/321957-321957-64295-306995-306995.html

and

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/18/dell_adds_ubuntu_systems_updates_hardy_heron/

basenvironment
July 21st, 2008, 04:38 AM
[ how can we ever hope to break 10% marketshare with an entire Operating System?
I dont.... :guitar:

L815
July 21st, 2008, 05:40 AM
Not sure if anyone mentioned this but http://getdeb.net.

Or you could write (or learn to write) your own bash script to do the compiling for you (wonder if it's possible!).

alecz20
July 21st, 2008, 01:52 PM
In a way I understand why some of us don't really care that much about Linux being too popular. All malware targets Windows! Sometimes I hit a "bad" site and they say they are scanning my system for spyware and stuff, guess what they say are scanning: "C:\Windows\System32"

I know the scan is fake cause it's a flash or something, but the point is they don't even bother to detect the OS they just assume everyone uses Windows.

However, even if 10% of computer users would use Linux I doubt the malware producers would bother, while the software/hardware producers might start supporting Linux much better.

bruce89
July 21st, 2008, 06:06 PM
Or you could write (or learn to write) your own bash script to do the compiling for you (wonder if it's possible!).

It's called a Makefile.

the_darkside_986
July 21st, 2008, 06:22 PM
The whole purpose of Dell selling systems with GNU/Linux preinstalled is because there is a real (but small) market of FLOSS users who want a system that Just Works (TM) with their OS of choice. It is not an attempt to spread the OS to Windows fans and users.

Proselytizing Ubuntu usage just for the sake of market share is silly and it is better to teach new users about the essential 4 computer freedoms first, in terms that they can understand and relate to.

eragon100
July 24th, 2008, 04:59 PM
I don't care about FOSS.

I came to Ubuntu because Vista ultimate failed to install and xp chrashed every 10 minutes (literally :().

I wiped the hard drive and installed ubuntu ultimate gamers edition 1.4, which was based on feisty. Have loved Ubuntu evers since.

However, to prove how much I care about the "evilness" of non-open source software, Firefox 3 is a bit unstable for me.

I switched to opera and I like it a lot better: more stable, more features (speed dial, integrated bittorent, etc...), faster, less memory usage, and it looks nicer.

bottom line, I think if windows becomes to bad, people will go and use linux anyway :)

alecz20
July 25th, 2008, 05:58 AM
It depends on what you want. If you want just to apply a little patch, you may use apt magic:


sudo apt-get build-dep wine
apt-get source --compile wine

And you are done. Really. Note you don't need sudo in the second command, as long as you have write permissions in your current directory. If you want to apply a single patch and the wine version in the repos is recent enough so that it applies cleanly, forget about the --compile option and apply the patch. After that, just do


dpkg -b wine

Really. It works. Apt is this cool. I suspect that, if wine's upstream repositories have a deb-src line, you don't even have to pray for wine in ubunto to be recent enough. And I'm sure linuxhater would love to shred this post.

...


Thanks for the info, especially the part:


sudo apt-get build-dep wine
apt-get source --compile wine


I just replaced wine with vlc, after struggling for an hour to get the package required by the ./configure command.

apt is really magic...:)