LINUX BLOG SAFARI

One More Time: Is It Really ‘Game Over’ for Linux?

Every so often here in the Linux blogosphere, a headline pops up in the news and you just know it’s going to be a rough week.

Case in point: “Mobile Proliferation Killed Linux Hopes for World Domination.”

Yes, for those who missed it, that was a real headline in the news last week, courtesy of Forrester analyst Mike Gualtieri, and yes, it’s made more than a few bloggers’ blood pressure rise.

We’ve all seen this play before, of course, but who can resist another rousing round of the Linux Desktop Debate? Not many in the Linux blogosphere, that’s for sure.

‘What Do You Say?’

“Trollers Now Say ‘Game Over’ for Linux. What Do You Say?” invited blogger Anuradha Shukla over at Unixmen, for example.

“It’s ‘Game Over’ for Linux. Apparently,” was the dry observation over at OMG! Ubuntu!

“Forrester Analyst Prematurely Calls ‘Game Over’ on Linux” read another blogger’s headline.

Adding extra zest to the reaction was Gualtieri’s dismissal of Android’s Linux underpinnings — not to mention Canonical’s ensuing announcement of its mobile Ubuntu plans.

Bottom line? Yet another wild ride on the Linux blogs.

‘He Was Dead Wrong’

“Can you say trolling for page hits?” exclaimed consultant and Slashdot blogger Gerhard Mack over a fresh round down at the Punchy Penguin Cafe.

“His first mistake is that he assumes that cellphones or tablets will replace the PC, and I see no evidence that is the case, since even tablets tend to be one extra gadget that works alongside the PC but doesn’t replace it,” Mack told LinuxInsider.

“His second mistake was his statement that Open Source doesn’t innovate, and he was dead wrong about that,” Mack opined. “Most of the things we rely on today as being ‘the Internet’ are dependent on Open Source, and at least as far as XP — I haven’t checked Vista or Windows 7 –, there were still utilities that bore the Berkeley copyright notice.”

‘People Love the Choice’

Blogger Robert Pogson took a similar view.

“Repeating the lie that GNU/Linux is dead on the desktop does not make it true,” Pogson asserted.

“M$’s share of PCs is down severely from its high point of about 90 percent,” Pogson noted. “Just look at the ‘7’ licenses — M$ is selling 50 million per quarter and the world is selling 90 million PCs a quarter. That’s 56 percent.

“I have introduced thousands to GNU/Linux and they were glad to have a desktop that worked and keeps on working faster than that other OS,” Pogson added.

“This lie seems to be made in USA,” he suggested. “Brazil, Russia, India, China, Malaysia, etc. don’t believe it.”

A State of Confusion?

Chris Travers, a Slashdot blogger who works on the LedgerSMB project, was inclined to give Gualtieri the benefit of the doubt.

“Perhaps the author is confusing the Linux kernel with Linux distributions, and confusing [Linus Torvalds’] concept of Linux with [Richard] Stallman’s concept of GNU/Linux,” Travers offered.

“I’d suggest that in the important ways that matter, Linus’s vision of world domination is accomplished as effectively with Android as with Ubuntu or Debian,” Travers added. “Linus of course was talking about the kernel, and embedded space counts towards that even if it isn’t running anything like a ‘Linux distribution.'”

‘It’s Already Game Over’

Barbara Hudson, however, could see Gualtieri’s point.

“Linux certainly failed to dominate (or even make an impression) in the consumer desktop space,” said Hudson, a blogger on Slashdot who goes by “Tom” on the site. “After two decades, Linux distributions still compete mainly with each other, not Microsoft or Apple.”

The latest Ubuntu, for example, “doesn’t offer anything compelling that decade-old XP doesn’t also offer — please don’t point to Ubuntu Cloud, it’s really Amazon EC2 — and lacks the ability to run many of the programs people actually use,” Hudson added.

Ubuntu’s recent mobile announcement, in fact, is “an excellent example of why it’s already ‘game over,'” she suggested.

“The Ubuntu release, scheduled for April 2014, is far too little, far too late,” Hudson explained. “With people already downloading a billion apps a month, and developers having received several billions in revenue, there’s just no way that Ubuntu can compete, not even if they offer developers an app store with zero processing fees.”

‘Gualtieri Hit the Nail on the Head’

Indeed, “I think Gualtieri hit the nail right on the head, at least as far as Linux on the desktop is concerned,” agreed Roberto Lim, a lawyer and blogger on Mobile Raptor.

“I think maybe it relied too much on being an open and free alternative,” Lim explained. “It is a free alternative to Microsoft’s Windows for those willing to live with less software and hardware compatibility. Desktop Linux’s biggest value has been keeping the price of paid versions at bay.”

However, Linux “never evolved into a operating system that clearly provided some tangible benefit other than being open and free,” Lim added. “No easier, more intuitive-to-use desktop environment was developed by the Linux community.”

As for the mobile space, “I do not see any point in Linux trying to compete,” he opined. “Linux will be used in the mobile space, but in the same way Google used it for Android.

“The broader Linux community cannot — software is too closely tied with hardware and proprietary app markets for this,” he concluded. “Like the server space, maybe Linux needs to just concentrate on a niche market in the desktop space, as workstations for offices and institutions, and give up the idea of ever being a consumer operating system.”

Two Gifts for FOSS

Finally, Slashdot blogger hairyfeet also agreed with Gualtieri, but for different reasons.

“MSFT is about to give Linux the two greatest gifts it could ask for — it will be the equivalent of giving FOSS a 40 meter head start on a 100 meter dash,” hairyfeet explained.

“First is Windows 8, which is HATED for its GUI by the over 120 normal folks I’ve shown it to, with more every day,” he told LinuxInsider. “The second wonderful gift being given to the community is the fact that WinXP, which sold an incredible amount of frankly MORE than powerful enough machines for the Web, will be EOLed in 2014, giving retailers like me literally pallet loads of machines more than powerful enough to do what the average person does, which is webmail, ‘Farmville’ and Facebook.”

Then, too, there’s “the fact that NEVER before in computing history has the public had so much of their computing based on Web technology, and that with everyone worried about the economy, saving money is a priority,” hairyfeet added.

“So here you have the competition giving you 40 meters on the 100 meter dash, the circumstances of the times giving you ANOTHER 40 meters on the dash so that you are just 20 meters away, but will FOSS sprint to an easy win?” hairyfeet concluded. “NO, they will snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by going ‘I’m leet!’ and promptly shooting themselves in the face.”

27 Comments

  • Gualtieri’s article was a flame bait masterfece.

    For the foreseeable future, yes, it’s true. Of course, there will be no world domination for Linux on the Desktop. There needs no ghost from the grave to tell us this. Gualtieri isn’t really going out on a limb, and in the course of delivering the nonnews, he turns out to be not much of an expert, to say the least. When people point out the whole Linux-is-really-the-kernel thing, Gualtieri seems genuinely confused. Gleefully announcing the end of Desktop Linux without really knowing what the word "Linux" actually means is like delivering a eulogy without knowing the name of the deceased. Bad form.

    So it got a lot of negative attention from Linux fans, not necessarily because it was wrong, but because the author was less than competent. And so, we’re still talking about this. This is how the internet works. Nobody gets attention for well-researched and thoughtful journalism. Knowing anything about Linux will only get you noticed by Linux users.

    As a Linux user, I feel a huge pride at surviving all this time with a tiny percentage of the market. The hassles that ordinary users are subjected to in order to run Linux are enormous, and would have killed anything else. A few years ago, the representative of a huge telecommunications corporation and a Microsoft partner, the only DSL provider in my area, told me flatly that I couldn’t use Linux on their network.

    I’m talking about Verizon, and it wasn’t true. Get yourself a bootleg of Windows to run the Verizon installing program (which installs MSN by default), install Linux on your computer, erasing the bootleg Windows, and you’re good to go. But how many ordinary users would just go ahead and install Windows rather than risk not getting broadband? The hassles are never ending. I’m very happy to still be here.

    Let me say again: Linux isn’t a business, therefore it can’t be put out of business. We’ll still be here, the smartest and toughest one percent of the Desktop market.

    • @apexwm

      I’ve been using Linux for nine years, and I’ve been using it exclusively for something like five, and I love it so much that I can’t begin to tell you. But getting started with Linux as a non-technical user was really hard for me, and I’ve seen several people give up with it.

      Most of the difficulties weren’t the fault of Linux directly. Turns out that adopting the favorite OS of a tiny minority in an industry that’s run by a ruthless monopoly involves some support issues. Most ordinary users aren’t even used to installing their own OS, but the biggest support issue has to do with the culture. Unlike when I was learning Windows, the information I need to learn Linux was not in the air that I breathe. I could get Windows information from my family, my coworkers, from the wife of a friend. For Linux I had to go to internet.

      And then there was that time that Verizon, the only DSL provider in my area told me directly that I couldn’t use Linux on their DSL. Going to war with your ISP… how’s THAT for a support issue?

      There are cases where the Linux community does sabotage new users. When you tell new users that they don’t need to worry about the command line, and at the same time you make it impossible for new users to use a graphical file manager with root privileges, you lock them out of their own system, and when they can’t adjust their own privileges, they are within their rights to blame Linux.

      Frankly, I’ve been getting around the taboo against xrooting for almost a decade, usually by running this command as a normal user:

      xhost +local:

      After that, I can log onto a terminal as root with su or sudo su, and open a file manager like dolphin or xfe by typing the name of the application, usually to change permissions from the file manager. I’ve never bothered with that arcane +/- business. I get in and I get out, and in nine years, I’ve never harmed my system by using a graphical file manager with root privileges. But if I had, it would have been my fault. If you lock me out of my system by telling me I don’t need the CLI and making it impossible for me to use a gui as root, that’s YOUR fault, and I know it. After I’ve reinstalled Windows, you’ll be able to find me most days posting on the Linux Hater’s Blog.

      As a new user, I often found Google to not be helpful. I know now it was because I lacked the vocabulary for an effective google search. I remember when I was trying to find out how to get to the console so I could install graphics card driver, and I was typing "console login" into Google, and someone in a not nice way suggested that I try "disable X". Back then, that never would have occurred to me in a million years.

      By the way, I don’t know if people are still getting tough and RTFMing new users, but I never do that, because people always did it to me when I least deserved it. I remember someone calling me out for being lazy for not using modprobe (which I had never heard of) to solve a driver problem when I had spent six to ten hours fruitlessly trying to recompile my kernel. I know you think you’re being helpful when you turn someone’s frustration into humiliation, but instead of telling someone to RTFM, I suggest you STFU.

      • @apexwm

        I’ve been using Linux for nine years, and I’ve been using it exclusively for something like five, and I love it so much that I can’t begin to tell you. But getting started with Linux as a non-technical user was really hard for me, and I’ve seen several people give up with it.

        Most of the difficulties weren’t the fault of Linux directly. Turns out that adopting the favorite OS of a tiny minority in an industry that’s run by a ruthless monopoly involves some support issues. Most ordinary users aren’t even used to installing their own OS, but the biggest support issue has to do with the culture. Unlike when I was learning Windows, the information I need to learn Linux was not in the air that I breathe. I could get Windows information from my family, my coworkers, from the wife of a friend. For Linux I had to go to internet.

        And then there was that time that Verizon, the only DSL provider in my area told me directly that I couldn’t use Linux on their DSL. Going to war with your ISP… how’s THAT for a support issue?

        There are cases where the Linux community does sabotage new users. When you tell new users that they don’t need to worry about the command line, and at the same time you make it impossible for new users to use a graphical file manager with root privileges, you lock them out of their own system, and when they can’t adjust their own privileges, they are within their rights to blame Linux.

        Frankly, I’ve been getting around the taboo against xrooting for almost a decade, usually by running this command as a normal user:

        xhost +local:

        After that, I can log onto a terminal as root with su or sudo su, and open a file manager like dolphin or xfe by typing the name of the application, usually to change permissions from the file manager. I’ve never bothered with that arcane +/- business. I get in and I get out, and in nine years, I’ve never harmed my system by using a graphical file manager with root privileges. But if I had, it would have been my fault. If you lock me out of my system by telling me I don’t need the CLI and making it impossible for me to use a gui as root, that’s YOUR fault, and I know it. After I’ve reinstalled Windows, you’ll be able to find me most days posting on the Linux Hater’s Blog.

        As a new user, I often found Google to not be helpful. I know now it was because I lacked the vocabulary for an effective google search. I remember when I was trying to find out how to get to the console so I could install graphics card driver, and I was typing "console login" into Google, and someone in a not nice way suggested that I try "disable X". Back then, that never would have occurred to me in a million years.

        By the way, I don’t know if people are still getting tough and RTFMing new users, but I never do that, because people always did it to me when I least deserved it. I remember someone calling me out for being lazy for not using modprobe (which I had never heard of) to solve a driver problem when I had spent six to ten hours fruitlessly trying to recompile my kernel. I know you think you’re being helpful when you turn someone’s frustration into humiliation, but instead of telling someone to RTFM, I suggest you STFU.

  • >>If you want to spend your life in a terminal? Your business, but when it comes to a consumer OS a terminal should be a WANT TO be NEVER a HAVE TO,

    I strongly agree with that statement, but with a caveat. There should always be a graphical solution, but the command line should be standard for tutorials and forum advice, because it’s the easiest to follow (copy and paste, bitches!) and because it cuts across all Desktops and Window managers. If I’m using KDE, the command line is probably the only way I’m going to be able to help a Gnome user.

    But there should always be a handy intuitive graphical option for all possible tasks, or at least whenever possible. You have to disable X to install accelerated graphics drivers, so that’s clearly not an option.

    That’s definitely been the direction of development. I remember using apt-get in debian Woody, back in 2003, and now Debian has synaptic, and Ubuntu has that fancy Ubuntu Software Center

    One REALLY important development is GUIs that integrate the CLI and GUI. KDE4 is the most advanced example of this that I know. right click on Konsole in KDE4, and it will open the pwd in the dolphin file manager. Type F4 while using Dolphin and it opens a terminal window right there in the file manager. Move Dolphin from directory to directory by clicking, and the linked terminal window automatically CDs to follow dolphin. The integration of the CLI and the GUI is what makes Linux the most powerful desktop.

    Like I say all the time, it’s not about one tool being better than another tool, it’s about two tools being better than one tool. The integrated approach of Dolphin really brings that principle to life. The CLI becomes easier; the GUI becomes more powerful.

    screenshot:

    http://www.mediafire.com/imageview.php?quickkey=vkagv503649ge3m&thumb=6

    Who can give me examples of everyday tasks that have to be done with the CLI in Ubuntu? (Slackware examples don’t count.) I may have overlooked some. I must confess that i have no idea what a "roll back drivers" button is, or what it’s used for.

    • Because you might want to get acquainted with his law "Anything that CAN go wrong WILL" and when you are talking a 70s era terminal with NO spellcheck and NO autocomplete and and in which a SINGLE mistype or miscopied word can hose the system? Something as simple as catching the quotation mark into a copypasta that shouldn’t be there is enough to make things a mess. Now are you REALLY gonna sit here and argue that copypasta some huge CLI mess is safer and easier for the user than a checkbox? because if you are I’d like some of what you are smoking please.

      You are also falling into a classic logic trap, you are thinking "hey i learned esoteric workarounds so they can to!" while kinda ignoring the fact that THEY DON’T WANT TO. To quote the former head of Commodore "business is war" and you are frankly in the fight of your life and you’re throwing marshmallows!

      Without users you do NOT get the specs to the hardware, without users you do NOT get the shelf space, without users you do NOT get the big name software and without users you do NOT get any say or influence with the OEMs. So you can say "We don’t need no steenkin users!" and I say "If secureboot locks you out you have NOBODY to blame for it but yourselves"

      Your competition is in it to win it, any way they can. Apple is suing because they claim they own a square shape,MSFT is getting a check for every android sold and using that money to buy more patents to bury you, and they just keep on coming. Either you should get in the game or get off the field, right now this frankly delusional "We’ll get the users to do things OUR way, inside every checkout girl is a bash scripter just waiting to get out!" is just insuring yet another MASSIVE fail.

      And who cares if you make projects like Chromium if they just get co-opted by the megacorps like Google? hey if I was a megacorp and could get suckers…err volunteers, to work for nothing I’d take advantage of it to. BTW I predict android locked down with code signing by V.7, they’ll say its for security reasons but I’m sure the community will fawn over them anyway. Kinda sad when the community is so disparate to have someone big use their code they’ll put up with anything, like their not giving back or sharing the code unless they feel like it, but hey that is what happens when you ignore the users and have numbers lower than the margin for error, beggars and choosers and all that.

      • Okay, first of all, it’s not a 70’s era terminal. It has Command line editing, a searchable command history, tab completion, job control… and what’s the name of the thing where you hit the UP arrow? Not 70s era.

        In my early days using Windows 98, I acidentally erased my Windows system, using a GUI.

        Type the wrong thing in, and the overwhelming chance is that you’ve typed something in that the computer won’t recognize. If a random mistake were to destry the whiole system, it would have to be pretty specific. The odds of that happening seem somewhere between remote and astronomical. According to Murphy’s law, if that was something that could happen, it certainly would have happened by now, and I’ve never heard of such a thing.

        I suppose there is the chance of malicious people feeding users bad commands, and while I’ve never hurt my system using BASH, I have erased files that I’d wished I hadn’t erased. No matter what you’re using, ya gotta back up.

        >>You are also falling into a classic logic trap, you are thinking "hey i learned esoteric workarounds so they can to!" while kinda ignoring the fact that THEY DON’T WANT TO.

        ????

        So don’t. What you want from me?

        If Linux were more prevalent, you wouldn’t need to be a power user to succeed at it, but things are what they are. Not every Linux fanboy agrees with me, but I believe that If I tell you that you’re likely to succeed without the command line, I’m probably setting you up for failure. You can run Linux without the command line, but if you’re a windows user, it’s not really going to compensate you for all the hassles of changing over. If I’m dooming Linux to another 20 years of 1 percent desktop users by telling you this, that’s how it’s gonna have to be. My overwheling experience is that within the context of the desktop, it’s not hard to learn, and if you can embrace the command line, you’re going to love Linux, and if you can’t, you probably won’t.

        If Linux ever becomes more popular this will change, but right now, this is the truth as I understand it, and if I tell you anything else, I’m telling you something other than the truth as I understand it. Everyone in my LUG disagrees with me, but everyone in my LUG is an IT professional and a programmer. I’m the guy who to Linux as a casual windows user, and I know that if I hadn’t learned the CLI, I’d have left Linux seven years ago.

        • >>>Your competition is in it to win it, any way they can. Apple is suing because they claim they own a square shape,MSFT is getting a check for every android sold and using that money to buy more patents to bury you, and they just keep on coming. Either you should get in the game or get off the field, right now this frankly delusional "We’ll get the users to do things OUR way, inside every checkout girl is a bash scripter just waiting to get out!" is just insuring yet another MASSIVE fail.

          Linux is not a business; therefore Linux cannot be put out of business. We’re indestructable. Microsoft couldn’t survive 20 years with 1 percent of the Market share, but Linux has thrived. We’ll be around, and maybe when we’ve been around long enough, We’ll be positioned to take advantage of some future trend. But if it happens, I’m not going to win a prize. And if it never happens, I’ll continue to have the time of my life.

  • This is just another round of FUD, I’ve disregarded it… and…. next. The desktop is not going away, despite all of the hype that goes on. And comments by others about how Linux is difficult to use, etc. such as that Roberto Lim person. I AM willing to bet that he has never used GNU/Linux enough to have substantial grounds to make such statements.

    • Yes, you can’t search an archive when it’s compressed.

      What you may want is to convert compress the data in the folder while preserving top-level file system information to that the files can be accessed individually, indexed, and searched.

      But my idea would be to use a context menu like the picture you link to, but instead it would run a script to….

      Create a squashFS or cramFS image of the folder.

      delete the folder contents

      Use aufs to mount the image to the directory, and unionize it with a write directoy.

      Additionally usefull..

      init script to compress the write directory on start if it exceeds a certain size

      cron job to merge squashFS images once a week/month.

      But ultimately still a kludge.

      Another option is AVFS which will provide a virtual filesystem entry for compressed archives, but it’s hasn’t been extensively tested.

      • Well I don’t understand about this, and I don’t really care Happyfeet wrote:

        >>Just today I watched as a user on a Linux article asked for a feature that has been in Windows for a decade, the ability to compress directories.

        And then he went on and on about how no one even seems willing to consider adding this ability to Linux. Since I’ve been compressing directories from the Linux GUI since at least 2005, (and I still don’t know how to do it from the CLI,) I assumed that SmellyFeet was wrong. I just wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding.

        • I’m sure there are windows users who would be offended of I used hairyfeet as an example of windows users. The most obnoxious members of ANY group (Feminists, Windows fanboys, conservatives, muslims, etc.) are by definition the most visible.

          • >>>Go to ANY forum, take your choice, what do you see? "Open up bash and type" esoteric workarounds for all. Pages and pages and pages of arcane CLI gobbledygook and watch out! don’t slip! You better be 100% perfect on your typing skills friend, as that 70s era terminal has NO spellcheck and NO autocomplete and ONE single mistyped word can hose the whole system! Now ask for a simple solution with NO CLI and see what you get, you’ll get scorn, you’ll get hate, you’ll get the "M$" brigade charging to remove the unfaithful from your sight.

            Esoteric workarounds?

            I look up "esoteric" and I see "understood by or meant for only the select few who have special knowledge or interest; recondite: poetry full of esoteric allusions."

            Well, in this case I guess that would mean those few initiates who have learned the esoteric arts of copy and paste.

            Look, I don’t endorse hate, but if I’ve just given you a command that you can just copy and paste into your terminal window, and you’re insisting on me typing out a description of your desktop gui so you can search AM ong the buttons, I think a little bit of scorn is called for.

            You don’t know what simple is. If you only speak Italian, speaking English is esoteric. Try not learning how to read and see how "simple" that makes your life.

          • That "use esoteric workarounds" is the BETTER way to do things?

            http://tmrepository.com/trademarks/useesotericworkarounds/

            Oh and for those that say my posts are too long I will simply link to a simple explantion, fell free to read it or not..

            http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2506350&cid=37930890

            But all the insults won’t change reality. Linux is currently at 1.1% (Gartner, be happy to post the citation if anyone cares to see it themselves) and last i checked Linux on servers was going DOWN from a high of the mid 30s to now around the low 20s percentage wise. Why is that?

            Its actually simple, its because you don’t listen. Not to the consumers, not to the OEMs, not to the retailers like me. the ground has gone sour, whereas FOSS was once about empowering the masses its not about a geeker club where the common man isn’t welcome anymore.

            If you want to be a hobbyist OS? Hey that’s fine friends, nothing wrong with that, hell I ran OS/2 for ages myself. But just don’t pretend, okay? don’t pretend your way is "right" and the entire world is "wrong’ and expect to go anywhere. you know what the definition of insanity is? Its doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result and THAT is where Linux is right now. the users have spoken, your way is a giant "DO NOT WANT" yet do you do what is business 101, do you ask "What is my competition doing right that I’m doing wrong?". Nope, you heap insults and figure they must be "noobs who should go back to windblowz LOL!".

            Well without those noobs you’ll stay right where you are now, a last place also ran that NO major retailers carry on their shelves, that major OEMs and hardware manufacturers ignore, and I find that more than a little sad. Linux was a really great idea about empowering the world and giving them choice, but somehwre along the way the ground soured and now its just another clic, the "geeker club".

          • Linux developers have been falling all over themselves to give people what they want, but if what they want is Windows, Microsoft has them covered. Linux has been been capable of running nearly all-GUI for years, but people who try to run Linux entirely from the GUI don’t stay, because there’s no advantage. Without the CLI, Linux is basically Windows with crappier games and less familiar applications. I can live with it, why can’t you?

            >>That "use esoteric workarounds" is the BETTER way to do things?

            I still maintain that copying and pasting is not esoteric, and running applications as they were meant to be run is not a workaround. People use text commands in tutorials and forums because they’re easy to communicate and easy to follow. It doesn’t mean that a GUI solution doesn’t exist.

            >>Nope, you heap insults and figure they must be "noobs who should go back to windblowz LOL!".

            Happyfeet, please don’t misunderstand me. I know that I’ve know I’ve been insulting to YOU personally, but that’s just because you’re a jackass.

            I’m a geek of sorts, but I sure didn’t start out as a computer geek. I have a literature degree, and I didn’t know what a hard drive was for until I was almost 40. (I’m 53 now.)

            Learning the command line wasn’t as hard as I expected, but either way, I learned it seven years ago, and so I don’t have to learn it again, and now I spend HOURS helping others to learn. And THATS empowering the masses.

            I don’t use the command line to baffle you and keep you out. I do it because it allows me to automate processes and cut through repetitive tasks, and save a huge assload of time. And There ARE people who want to save time, you know. We have something to offer them.

            It doesn’t matter to me if we stay at 1-2 per cent or whatever. We’re still going to be a source of great open source projects like Firefox and Chromium that will be ported to windows, and everybody will benefit. We’ll provide competition that will force windows to develop to stay ahead and everyone will benefit. We’re not going to take over the world. But for a lousy one per cent of the market, we’re remarkably influential.

  • >>Just today I watched as a user on a Linux article asked for a feature that has been in Windows for a decade, the ability to compress directories. Did someone say "That’s a good question, why doesn’t EXT do that?" nope he got heaps of insults before he was told to write a script that would compress and mount the directory as a loopback! all that for a feature that is two clicks and a checkbox in Windows!

    http://tinyurl.com/3fckg8l

    Nice to have some things you can always count on, For example, every discussion of Linux draws at least one arrogant comment from someone who thinks he knows all about it, and displays his ignorance with delicious extravagance.

    • And you’re too deep into your zealotry to even catch it! Did everyone ELSE catch it? Its easy to spot, he uses "M$" which has been catch phrase du jour for the Linux loonies for ages! The hilarious point is I doubt most even know where that comes from, they are just parroted their ‘down with the man" FLOSSie club attitude!

      But I stand by my statement that Linux IS Win98 and I can PROVE it. Remove CLI from Win 7 and OSX and what happens…the OS continues to function because the CLI interpreter is not a VITAL SUBSYSTEM that the entire OS is written around. Remove CLI from either Win98 or Linux what happens? The OS fails to boot because THE OS CAN"T FUNCTION WITHOUT CLI and that is a sad truth.

      Go to ANY forum, take your choice, what do you see? "Open up bash and type" esoteric workarounds for all. Pages and pages and pages of arcane CLI gobbledygook and watch out! don’t slip! You better be 100% perfect on your typing skills friend, as that 70s era terminal has NO spellcheck and NO autocomplete and ONE single mistyped word can hose the whole system! Now ask for a simple solution with NO CLI and see what you get, you’ll get scorn, you’ll get hate, you’ll get the "M$" brigade charging to remove the unfaithful from your sight.

      But numbers don’t lie, and Linux is flatline. spin the truth all you want but NO major OR minor American B&M will touch your OS, and people would frankly ratrher steal the other guy’s product than take yours for free, doesn’t that give you a clue? doesn’t that set in cartoon light bulbs off over your head? Oh that’s right, the world is just "unwashed masses" of stinky stinky people who you Linux leet don’t want anyway, so nyah!

      You have been shown the way to the masses but you ignore it for zealotry and hanging onto a throw back of the 1970s that should have died with disco. If you want to spend your life in a terminal? Your business, but when it comes to a consumer OS a terminal should be a WANT TO be NEVER a HAVE TO, and Linux, just like Win98, is a have to. The second anything goes wrong, the second anything doesn’t work out of the box….heck you don’t even have a "find drivers" button or "roll back drivers" button which your competitor has had since they got rid of……Win98. But you continue to behave like it is 1997 and see where it gets you. Linux was 1% 4 years ago, it was 1% 2 years ago, it is 1% now and guess where it’ll be in 4 years if you continue on this path? It don’t take Kojak to solve this riddle, it’ll be 1%, simply because you expect the entire planet to do things YOUR way instead of giving them what THEY want. arrogant much?

      Hell look at the post below me, to see how hilarious the koolaid drinking has become, you actually have someone posting that "use esoteric workarounds" is BETTER than two clicks and a checkbox! Sure you believe that, that inside every checkout girl is a programmer just waiting to write scripts! Meanwhile i’ll just shake my head at the craziness and continue selling Windows boxes simply because the FLOSS community doesn’t have the guts to compete and give me a product usable for the masses, kinda sad really.

      Oh and before someone can give me the standard FLOSSie "Do it yourself" how about NO? How about I instead give money to someone that will give me a functional product, how about that? You see that is what happens in a free market when you don’t listen to the consumer, they go somehwre else. and you have no one to blame but yourselves. not the OEMs, not "M$" who must be evil since they give people what they want (the horror!) nor Apple who is selling like hotcakes, nope nobody to blame but the guys in the mirror and the "M$" brigade that wear fiddly and obtuse as badges proving their "Leet"ness. Oh and betting on ARM? BWA HA HA HA HA HA ARM is for cell phones, you know, those thing people throw away when the contract is up and don’t care about? Its like betting your future on walmart $30 DVD players. Nobody cares what OS a disposable device uses friend, nobody.

      • Hey hairyfeet, I just had a great idea. Maybe you could try to COMPRESS your rants down to a paragraph or two, okay? 😀

        The "M$" thing is dumb and corny, but it’s not typical of Linux users. It’s just typical of the Linux users who actually take you seriously. The rest of us see through your weak shot. You pontifcate and preach and you don’t know anything about Linux.

          • >>And people would frankly rather steal the other guy’s product than take yours for free, doesn’t that give you a clue?

            Not seeing your point. Doesn’t "steal" mean "to take for free?" So it’s the same thing.

            Seriously, you don’t seem to have a lot of real evidence here. Mostly, you quote dumb things people say on the internet and draw conclusions about the software based on that. There’s no logical connection. Yes, a certain vocal minority of Linux users are obnoxious partisans. I also find "M$" annoying. So what? We’re not all like that. I hear good things about Windows 7 from some of my Linux friends.

            And furthermore, you ascribe anything you don’t like about the software to Linux developers being terrible people. I mean, do you ever READ this stuff you’re writing? You have no credible claim to objectivity. You’re deluded if you think you do.

          • >>Go to ANY forum, take your choice, what do you see? "Open up bash and type" esoteric workarounds for all. Pages and pages and pages of arcane CLI gobbledygook and watch out! don’t slip! You better be 100% perfect on your typing skills friend, as that 70s era terminal has NO spellcheck and NO autocomplete and ONE single mistyped word can hose the whole system! Now ask for a simple solution with NO CLI and see what you get, you’ll get scorn, you’ll get hate, you’ll get the "M$" brigade charging to remove the unfaithful from your sight.

            The CLI solution is the simplest because it cuts accross all 20+ Linux Desktop GUIS and because …dramatic pause… WE HAVE COPY AND PASTE! Oh, and we also have autocomplete. Since 1985. You really don’t know anything about this, do you?

            So you copy and paste the text into the window. You copy it into a text file You program it into your GUI. You don’t have to memorize it or understand it or even type it. And it’s much much easier than a "simple" gui solution, which always involves SEARCHING FOR THE BUTTONS! I don’t like not knowing where things are. When I AM copying and pasting the text into the window, there ios never a time where I don’t know where things are.

            I realize that your ignorance about the CLI is shared by many people, but that doesn’t matter to me. Linux can go one forever with 1 percent market share. You don’t have to use the command line very much in Linux, but the command line is often easier. When it isn’t easier, I don’t use it.

            It’s absolutely true that Linux is a command line system with a GUI shell, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s how we have around 20 different desktop interfaces. It’s also why some of our interfaces can be so easily and completely customized with text commands.

            Look, you just don’t know what you’re talking about, which makes your manic energy sort of hilarious. I hear Windows 7 is a pretty good version version of Windows, so just go ahead and sell those windows boxes. I promise not to judge you. But if you’re going to keep posting nonsense, I promise to judge you.

            The command line isn’t better than the GUI, but the CLI and GUI together, two tools instead of one, that’s better than one tool every time. Are you really trying to tell me that one tool is better than two tools? Cause I’d rather not make the choice.

            The command line can’t do everything, but it can cut right through some of the most tedious and repetative drudge jobs of computing. That’s the real strength of the Linux desktop. It’s vastly misunderstood, and I think the Linux community does everyone a disservice by not owning up to it. The power and creativity of the command line is the consolation for all the hassles of taking up Linux in a Windows world. You can use Linux without the Command Line, but you probably can’t love it, and if you can’t love it, you probably won’t stick around. I always tell that to people who are considering Linux.

          • A side by side comparison of 98 and any Linux distribution would reveal it all. Device manager alone would remind people of the difference. There would be fewer things running out of the box with 98. We could do a honeypot test, but if anyone knew about it, the 98 machine would not last a day.

            I AM a tech also, and I rely on people "not doing it themselves" My users and Windows have evolved to the point where once installed I rarely hear from them.

            I AM not anti-Windows. I know a lot more about Windows and DOS than I know about Linux. I AM not against money either. I make more money than Microsoft from their products that my customers use than they do. I have no pirates, but some of the older legal XP machines linger to save money. I can not imagine anyone stealing Vista. I do recommend Windows 7 to people, not Linux. I like money. My interest in Linux came from a fear of the digital divide, and the fact that it was a fun for a geek to use.

            I do not like how Microsoft conducts business. It used to be I did not like it, because I felt it put competition at an unfair disadvantage. Now I believe it just makes Microsoft look foolish.

            I AM sorry I hurt your feelings with the M$ thing.

          • I have two counterpoints for you about the CLI bit.

            1. Was a programmer we have in another country who despite having Linux installed has no idea whatsoever how to use Bash(the command interpreter).

            2.I have a machine sitting on my desk that I use for some online classes that require windows software (thank you AT&T). Windows Sp1 install spits an error. Microsoft says this:

            http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/windows-7-windows-server-2008-r2-service-pack-1-sp1-installation-error-0x800F0A12

            To summarize: I get to load the CLI to diagnose the problem and then depending on the problem use the CLI to fix or load a boot cd and use the CLI on that.

            The best part is that I haven’t done anything clever with that machine yet the official Microsoft Procedure needs to use the CLI and qualifies as an esoteric workaround by any definition. (Something I wouldn’t mind if any instructions on the page actually resulted in a fixed system.)

          • Most of the actual Linux developers left Slashdot ages ago and anyone with even the remotest level of skill there is shouted down by 100 idiots who want to feel superior and that happens no matter what OS is up for discussion.

            Quoting Slashdot flames as if they were even close to how the developers or even the community feels about anything is unfair.

          • As clueless as hairyfeet is, the linux community fosters this kind of ignorance when it fails to address how difficult it is to migrate to Linux for an everyday user. It’s not really the fault of the technology itself. Here on planet microsoft, the support issues involved in migrating to Linux are enormous. I didn’t pick up Windows so easily because the interface is so incredibly intuitive. It was because the knowledge that I needed was all around me. People at my job and in my family and AM ong my friends knew how to use Windows. When I wanted to learn Linux, I had to read a book.

            Now, you always hear Linux geeks talking about how their wife/mother/girlfriend/grandmother takes to Linux with no problems, and that’s because they’ve created a situation where their loved one is supported. I wasn’t that lucky.

            I have a degree in literature, and I was 39 when I learned what a hard drive does.. I struggled with Linux off and on for a year and a half before I finally decided to learn the command line. It took me less than an afternoon, and from that moment on: fun fun fun!

            I believe that we could get the Linux Desktop up past two percent and well into the double digits if we told the truth. Linux just isn’t for everybody. In a different world, it might be, but not in the world we’re living in now. Newcomers, expect to be challenged, and then expect to be rewarded, and if you aren’t going to learn how to use the command line, you’re not giving yourself every opportunity.

            The command line is power and creativity, and fun. You don’t memorize commands like they were the multiplication tables. You just do it. You look things up, and you take notes, and you gradually pick up the commands that are useful to you. Any command can be made executable as a script, an icon, a keyboard shortcut. This isn’t the bad old console. The command line is part of the desktop. They work together now.

  • The first thing I noticed as I was preparing to respond to this topic was an ad for Office 365 at the top of the "Linux Insider" page.

    a cloud technology that Linux will not work with because M$ does not want it to.

    There do not seem to be any new authentic arguments here. Comparing Ubuntu to 98? That is silly. The evolution of OS’s is easy to recognize when you boot an old copy of 98. That was the stone ages.

    Other than Netflix, I have never found something that I wanted to do that I could not do on Linux. Throwing in another old argument, "The OS is irrelevant"

    I do not consider myself a zealot. I AM as likely to use a Windows machine, an android phone or a Linux desktop. I do not report this usage to anyone, other than in this discussion.

    M$ has sunk to a pathetic level. They make money through protection schemes against cell phone manufacturers.

    Technology is innovated by young, hungry, caffeine driven geeks. At this point in time they are writing apps for phones. It may be the desktop is dead. The desktop is not dead, but neglected. There are no new processors being developed to change things.

    I believe ARM processors will resurrect the argument. M$ may realize this for their mobile efforts. Linux is ready for the ARM processor. It will emerge as the mature platform and M$ as the new kid.

    I believe M$ should build on and for Linux.

    This may be the death throes of the x86 platform.

    Back to work kids. Not a lot of prosperity during a recession.

  • Its nice to have things in this world you can count on, sun follows the night, Pogson is crazy and STILL won’t say Microsoft (Protip, its NOT Voldemort Pogson, the MSFT police won’t kick down your door, okay? Now take your meds), it all helps keep one grounded.

    Of course what crazy Pogson seems to ignore is the reason why PCs sell 90 million and MSFT only sells 56 million and working in a little shop I can answer that question all too easily and its PIRACY folks, because while the $50 win 7 HP upgrade sale was going on I never saw a pirated Win 7 box but after? look at your local Craigslist and see how many $100 PCs have $300 copies of Windows 7. that’s piracy folks or as Gabe from valve said "piracy is the market offering a superior product" and in this case that is true. Folks will pay $50 for a copy of HP but NOT $100 and I bet my last dollar those millions Pogson is trumpeting are NOT running Linux, but Windows 7 Pirate Edition.

    But when someone would rather steal the other guy’s product than take yours for free that should be a cluebat to the side of the head. The problem with Linux is the community and developers do NOT listen, instead they hurl insults. Just today I watched as a user on a Linux article asked for a feature that has been in Windows for a decade, the ability to compress directories. Did someone say "That’s a good question, why doesn’t EXT do that?" nope he got heaps of insults before he was told to write a script that would compress and mount the directory as a loopback! all that for a feature that is two clicks and a checkbox in Windows!

    Its business 101 folks, and Pogson and his raving won’t change reality: Give the customer what they want and your share will increase, insult them and make them jump through CLI hoops for even simple things and watch your numbers stay flat. as a retailer I WANT Linux to grow, I want to give my users choice. But the community has been taken over by those that treat Linux as a "nerd club" whose main function is NOT to help FLOSS get into the hands of the people but to "keep out the unwashed masses’ who they tell to "RTFM or go back to windblows noob LOL!"

    The sad fat is Linux is currently at win98 levels, no more and no less. like win98 it is a CLI OS with a GUI shell, and like Win98 often one has to drop below the GUI to get anything even slightly complex done. Where is the "rollback drivers" button or the "find drivers" button? where is the simple GUIs to do as the above user asked? they don’t exist, which when you are competing with Win 7 and OSX simply won’t do.

    • "Did someone say "That’s a good question, why doesn’t EXT do that?" nope he got heaps of insults before he was told to write a script that would compress and mount the directory as a loopback! all that for a feature that is two clicks and a checkbox in Windows! "

      Once you got the script going, it’s not too difficult for a distro maintainer to make it show up in the right click context menu for directories. A third party could even package it up. I just don’t think it’s a very in-demand feature.

      BtrFS has both LZO and LZMA compression options for whole filesystems. and there are a set of patches for compression on ext2. Why isn’t it in mainstream ext? Don’t know, but I’m betting it’s because there are a few use cases that are negatively affected.

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