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ManOfSteel



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1154
ManOfSteel
Having so many GNU/Linux distros is only a relative problem for new users. They can usually find a suitable system in a reasonable time, and using websites, blogs, IRC, forums, social networks, etc., they can know the opinions of others. Plus many distros provide easily testable live systems.
The number is not so much of a problem for companies who *really* wish to make their S/W or H/W available, since all distros share the same kernel (for drivers) and most support popular and widespread toolkits and libraries (for userland applications).

As for the BSD family, there are only 3 main systems, but still, few companies write drivers (or even share the specs) or port their applications, especially for desktops. Only drivers or H/W specs for production systems are readily available because companies rely on these systems for their businesses since BSDs power many of the biggest servers and clusters on Earth.

With the increasing popularity of alternative systems, I don't think the "insignificant" argument is valid anymore. Even standards are being kept secret.

The only problem I can see here is property rights. The whole system is holding human progress back. Again.
Post 27 Dec 2009, 01:13
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DustWolf



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 373
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
DustWolf
revolution wrote:
Yes, it is bewildering. How to choose the "right" one? What if I choose the "wrong" one? What is the proportion of right to wrong? How much time will it cost me to find the "right" one?


How do you know how to pick the right <insert product name here> when you walk in to your local store?

It doesn't matter what you choose, you choose whatever you like.

Quote:
We are free to choose, yes, but not free to spend infinite amounts of time to "man" everything and post questions to forums and test 147 different proposed solutions.


You do realize you are describing Windows?

In open source, problems are solved by all sorts of people and all you have to do is download the solution you like best.

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I have nothing against Linux or *nix/BSD in general. It is a great idea that just blew itself out of proportion. A victim of its own freedom in a way.


I won't even begin to describe how stupid and self-destructive the above statement is.

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But I think the problem actually stems from the multitudinous choices and arrangements of hardware. If the hardware manufacturers were to offer drivers for their hardware then the nix stuff could run a lot smoother. So why are the drivers not available?


Actually, they are available and they work fine, thank you.

Quote:
Because the "gazillions of GNU/Linux distros" make the manufacturers say "we don't have time to support drivers for gazillions of GNU/Linux distros. Go and write your own drivers


That's just bullshit. A kernel module (aka driver) will work in any Linux distro.

In fact, do you even realize what a Linux distro is?

Quote:
BTW: The DVD movie formats specifically excludes all open source OSes. Why? Because the DVD spec is closed and secret and you have to sign NDAs to get access. Yes, we have DVD player software for Linux, but it is illegal.


In reality the software is not illegal. It's just not written from the official documentation and may thus not be fully compatible. Works fine on my MythTV though.

Quote:
SD card anyone? Sorry, closed format.


My SD card reader works just fine in Linux?

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Many manufacturers are scared of open source because it will expose their "secrets", that is why they prefer to support Apple and MS.


Many? Can you list more than one?

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And the fact is that it is getting worse, not better. GPU spec? Sorry, most are closed.


My Linux box runs a propertiary nVidia driver. Installed via GUI out of the box.

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Why isn't my favourite game available for Linux?


Because you love proprietary games?

I have a list of 105 free games to pick from in my package manager and I am sure there are many, many more.

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Because we have no drivers for the audio/video, and besides your configuration might be incompatible and we don't have time to test our game in a gazillion different system configurations.


And you make that conclusion based on what insight? I don't mean to be offensive but what you're saying is superficial bullshit.

There are more standardized frameworks on Linux than you will ever, ever see on Windows. And if an app needs a specific one all they'd have to do is specify the dependency in their package format of choice.

I doubt you have ever heard if this mystery standard called OpenGL?

Quote:
DRM? Forget about open source for that!


Oh yes, given your perspective on free software, you must absolutely love DRM. You may find though that you are the only person who does.

More to the point though, there are many commercial Linux or *nix distros out there that support all your beloved proprietary lock-in extensions. Need I say OS X?

LP,
Jure
Post 27 Dec 2009, 01:21
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Borsuc



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 2466
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Borsuc
How the fuck is OS X different than Windows, they're both proprietary and closed source?

How do you think media players play DRM-protected discs? Because they're proprietary, and the guys with DRM (MPAA) sign a contract with these media player companies (btw don't be silly and say it's just Microsoft Rolling Eyes) where they can decode the DRM so you can watch the movie.

Of course if it were open-source it would destroy the whole purpose so...

I hate DRM too but movies still come with it.

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Post 27 Dec 2009, 02:24
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DustWolf



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
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Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
DustWolf
Borsuc wrote:
How the fuck is OS X different than Windows, they're both proprietary and closed source?


It's based on open-source. Smile

Don't get me wrong, I hate Apple, they're worse than Microsoft. But the point remains their software is based on open-source and they made it work. Therefore, the potential is there. It's not "flawed" in some irreparable way.

Quote:
I hate DRM too but movies still come with it.


Don't count on being able to use them for too long even on your proprietary players. Wink

LP,
Jure
Post 27 Dec 2009, 02:53
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
Unfortunately, you can't know if you like one, or the other, until you try it. Anything more than ~6 choices and the average person can't be bothered and just asks her friend what to use. And, of course, currently her friend most likely says "Windows is pretty and nice".

My experience with all of the Linux distros I tried was less than stellar. They all failed to boot or run on my machines. But with Windows (which, BTW, I don't want to run but are forced to) boots and installs first time without issue, because the manufacturer includes a driver disk. Unfortunately I don't have time to diagnose why Linux failed, I have to get some work done here. I don't have time to search Google, post questions to forums and things to find a fix for something that I don't even know what is causing it to fail, I need my computer working now. And I know my way around computers (a little bit anyway), imagine what it is like for someone not so experienced. Perhaps I chose the wrong distros, but that is where the choice is just too much, after a few tries and failures I have no time to keep trying more in the hope the next will be okay. It is a minefield. I was extremely saddened by my experience. Ubuntu, Slackware, Puppy and one other (I forget the name) all would not run, can you tell me why?

For the record, I think DRM is a huge mistake. I hate it. But I still want to watch my movies so what choice to I have? Only the manufacturers have access to the decoding keys. I don't have them, Linux doesn't have them, how can I watch it without the keys? Yes, it is lock in, and I hate it, but when there is only one choice (an easy choice) you have to take it.

So until the manufacturers take a more active role, and until things like DRM are eliminated, and until Linux can merge itself into a smaller choice for the public, then we will always have to suffer under proprietary software. However, I can't see that changing anytime soon, sadly.

BTW: I don't play any computer games, but lots of others do. And they will buy Windows, GameBoy, PSP, XBox etc. just to play them. Perhaps talking to the game makers would also be a good idea. If Linux has a "killer app" it may help to spur things along.


Last edited by revolution on 27 Dec 2009, 09:49; edited 1 time in total
Post 27 Dec 2009, 03:37
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
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sleepsleep
crunchbang linux,revolution.
Post 27 Dec 2009, 08:01
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bitRAKE



Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 2914
Location: [RSP+8*5]
bitRAKE
Bah, I'm too invested into Windows/x86. Microsoft/Intel could be nuked tomorrow and I'd be stuck for a decade or more. Atari computers were long dead when I stopped using GEMDOS/VDI. I'm completely open to the idea that Windows isn't the final incarnation of a computation user interface; and understand the need for open hardware / software.

I'd rather drop Windows than x86, though.

On a related note: I've been using a split keyboard for a couple months now...it took years and a free keyboard to change, and I'm still leary about the migration. Always thought a more human-centric interface would have become mainstream before now. The keyboard is so stupid an idea. Sad
Post 27 Dec 2009, 09:33
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ManOfSteel



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1154
ManOfSteel
bitRAKE wrote:
Always thought a more human-centric interface would have become mainstream before now. The keyboard is so stupid an idea.

BCI FTW!
Post 27 Dec 2009, 11:30
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Posts: 3170
Location: Denmark
f0dder
DustWolf wrote:
Borsuc wrote:
ManOfSteel wrote:
But that's the *FUN* in *nix systems!
And what's keeping away most people


Yes, forget the point that it is not actually the case and pick on the geek who is the only person in his country who has a dual-monitor setup and has not updated his Linux distro since 2006.
Windows added multi-monitor support just when? Win98? It was easy and intuitive and just plain worked. Having to manually edit config files on a 2006 OS that is marketed towards mainstream/non-geeks == fail.

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Post 27 Dec 2009, 12:42
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TmX



Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 821
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
TmX
f0dder wrote:
You should see that, while it keeps projects "open" it's not exactly "free".


you mean, the so called 'GPL viral'?
Post 27 Dec 2009, 16:01
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DustWolf



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 373
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
DustWolf
f0dder wrote:
Windows added multi-monitor support just when? Win98? It was easy and intuitive and just plain worked. Having to manually edit config files on a 2006 OS that is marketed towards mainstream/non-geeks == fail.


Are you saying there are non-geeks who have dual-head on their desktops?

LP,
Jure
Post 27 Dec 2009, 18:01
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DustWolf



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 373
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
DustWolf
revolution wrote:
Unfortunately, you can't know if you like one, or the other, until you try it. Anything more than ~6 choices and the average person can't be bothered and just asks her friend what to use. And, of course, currently her friend most likely says "Windows is pretty and nice".


Tell me, how were you able to pick the hardware for your box? You can't know if you like it until you try it.

Linux is prettier and nicer. If I ask my non-expert friends, they all know Ubuntu and compiz-fusion graphics effects (okay, they don't know that that's what it's called). But most of all they need to have it alongside their Windows, because it just works.

Quote:
My experience with all of the Linux distros I tried was less than stellar. They all failed to boot or run on my machines. But with Windows (which, BTW, I don't want to run but are forced to) boots and installs first time without issue, because the manufacturer includes a driver disk. Unfortunately I don't have time to diagnose why Linux failed, I have to get some work done here. I don't have time to search Google, post questions to forums and things to find a fix for something that I don't even know what is causing it to fail, I need my computer working now. And I know my way around computers (a little bit anyway), imagine what it is like for someone not so experienced. Perhaps I chose the wrong distros, but that is where the choice is just too much, after a few tries and failures I have no time to keep trying more in the hope the next will be okay. It is a minefield. I was extremely saddened by my experience. Ubuntu, Slackware, Puppy and one other (I forget the name) all would not run, can you tell me why?


My experience with all the Windows I tried is less than stellar. They failed to boot or run on my machines (I put in the setup disc of Windows XP, and it just gives me a BSOD, or says it can't find any disks in my machine, or I try to plug in an older USB mouse and it says it can't find the driver, or <insert long list of things that don't work in Windows>). But Linux boots just fine right out of the factory setup, with no special expertise required. Or for the machines that didn't come with it, I just popped in the Ubuntu disc and it installed just fine, I didn't even have to know how to look for drivers and all the pirated warez that make my computer usable, it just worked. I could even log on to AIM messenger while I was bored installing. Unfortunately, I don't have time to diagnose why Windows failed and where do I get the drivers and warez I need, I have to get some work done here. I don't have time to search MSDN, post questions to forums and things for something that I don't even know what is causing it to fail, I need my computer working now. And I know my way around computers (I'm merely a sysadmin maintaining two companies worth of Windows machines anyway), imagine what it's like for someone not so experienced. Perhaps I chose the wrong Windows, but that is where the constant purchasing and reinstalling is just too much, after a few tries and failures (Windows ME, Windows Vista) I have no money to keep trying more in the hope the next will be okay. It is a minefield. I was extremely saddened by my experience. Windows just won't work right, can you tell me why?

Quote:
For the record, I think DRM is a huge mistake. I hate it. But I still want to watch my movies so what choice to I have? Only the manufacturers have access to the decoding keys. I don't have them, Linux doesn't have them, how can I watch it without the keys? Yes, it is lock in, and I hate it, but when there is only one choice (an easy choice) you have to take it.


The choice you are taking also means that your DVDs will be unplayable once the company that sells them removes the DRM-supporting websites that authorize your player when you pop in the disc. But you paid for it, you are supporting it, so it's your choice and your problem.

Quote:
So until the manufacturers take a more active role, and until things like DRM are eliminated, and until Linux can merge itself into a smaller choice for the public, then we will always have to suffer under proprietary software. However, I can't see that changing anytime soon, sadly.


I agree and it costs my company a couple thousand € of unavoidable Microsoft tax yearly because we are locked-in into this system that doesn't even work reliably. As much as I am aware that it is very hard to escape this, I AM GOING TO DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO GET OUT OF IT. I am not going to go around forums saying that my right to choose something better is a ridiculous fantasy. I just don't see your logic in this.

LP,
Jure
Post 27 Dec 2009, 18:28
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Borsuc



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 2466
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Borsuc
DustWolf wrote:
Don't count on being able to use them for too long even on your proprietary players. Wink
I don't have that kind of bloat on my computer, I was speaking in general. I only use DVDs either where you can easily crack the encryption (unlike Blu-Ray). But again, I was speaking in general, not for my case.

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Post 27 Dec 2009, 20:32
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f0dder



Joined: 19 Feb 2004
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Location: Denmark
f0dder
TmX wrote:
f0dder wrote:
You should see that, while it keeps projects "open" it's not exactly "free".
you mean, the so called 'GPL viral'?
Yep, that's one of the biggest problems with it - GPL is viral and hostile towards other licenses. You can use whatever arguments you want about this being for a greater good cause, but it's not exactly freedom.

DustWolf wrote:
Are you saying there are non-geeks who have dual-head on their desktops?
Yup.

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Post 27 Dec 2009, 22:10
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Borsuc



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Borsuc
it is hostile to other licenses because other licenses would block such freedom. Think of it like in real life: if you hit someone, can you say that because you get charged with assault you are not free? essentially you would be stealing that someone's freedom in the process, so this lack of action (to hit someone) is not considered a "loss of freedom".
Post 27 Dec 2009, 22:52
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
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LocoDelAssembly
Quote:

it is hostile to other licenses because other licenses would block such freedom.

Nope, BSD and CDDL licenses allow you to use the sources for more purposes than GPL does (not sure about the lesser GPL, though).
Post 27 Dec 2009, 23:03
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ManOfSteel



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1154
ManOfSteel
The GNU GPL (and even more so in its v3 form) imposes freeness and openness, which some people consider as bad for their freedom, especially the freedom of making proprietary commercial software.

So yeah, the BSDL, CDDL, MIT License, and to some extent the Mozilla PL are more permissive for them.

And they may like Poul-Henning Kamp's beerware license or the Do What The Fuck You Want To Public License even more. Cool
Post 28 Dec 2009, 11:04
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f0dder



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f0dder
It imposes openness, not freedom - there's somewhat of a difference between the two.
Post 28 Dec 2009, 11:33
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Borsuc



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
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Location: Bucharest, Romania
Borsuc
Does the BSD license allow you to use 80% open source code and then make a program completely closed-source? wow talk about abuse.

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Post 28 Dec 2009, 22:07
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ManOfSteel



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
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ManOfSteel
Where did you get that 80% thing? AFAIK It's more like from 0.x% to 100%.
The BSDL explicitly states: Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted [...].

IOW, BSD-licensed software can be incorporated into proprietary software or embedded into hardware, and the resulting product can be released as closed-source and proprietary.
For instance, FreeBSD was slightly modified and used in a bunch of Juniper routers and some Cisco appliances (bought from the IronPort acquisition). Parts of it have been included into the Darwin kernel, which is itself open-source, but still sold as part of MacOS. OpenBSD has been used in many firewalls and routers, and Microsoft took parts of pf too.

Legally, it's not even abuse since the original creators give those express rights to anyone who's interested.


Last edited by ManOfSteel on 28 Dec 2009, 23:32; edited 1 time in total
Post 28 Dec 2009, 23:30
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