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What Are The Biggest Problems With Linux?

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  • #16
    Biggest problems

    * Developers need to have the mantra to make Linux/GNU the best. Latest versions Quality, quality and more quality. Speed, size, and functionality.
    * Developers and groups wasting time and being a detriment, porting for other operating systems that are already commanding the scene. Like "Microsoft/Windows can go to Hell", needs to be the mantra. "'F' Azure", another.
    * Lack of updates. Example slow repository updates or scope of projects.
    * Lack of shunning system for hardware makers that don't support Linux/GNU. Example, Canon should be shunned. Buyer should be aware not to buy Canon products.
    * Developers should also consider GUI along with CLI.
    * Naming of concepts, projects, and programs. Some real weird names or acronyms out there and no clear explanations.
    Last edited by e8hffff; 06-10-2012, 12:36 PM.

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    • #17
      One thing I do like is that there is progress. Every six months or so many distributions take a few steps forward.

      Unfortunately they also take a few steps back. Taking the most recent Ubuntu as an example, the following happened to me:
      • Nvidia binary driver kept crashing
      • Noveau kept getting confused putting wrong content in places
      • Compiz MoveWindow extension is necessary (otherwise everything ends up at 0x0) but broken (keeps moving windows it shouldn't, breaks full screen windows)
      • Machines with wifi take 2 minutes to boot waiting for network
      • I had to delete a whole bunch of gconf type directories to get a normal desktop (eg volume controls would be missing)

      So every upgrade I do involves the following steps:
      • Download new packages. This is pretty quick.
      • Wait for packages to install. This takes a really long time, because fsync turns into sync on ext filesystems and is called during each package installation
      • Immediately notice several things that are broken, search bug tracking, websites etc for discussion and fixes as I'll never be the only one
      • Put in fixes which work some of the time, rinse and repeat
      • Then notice more broken things that aren't in your face and go through the same search and fix process.

      The net effect is that an upgrade takes several weeks before things are stable again. The underlying cause is pretty simple - virtually no effort is put into preventing or fixing this sort of thing. The Ubuntu bug tracker is a joke - items go in there, commenters have fixes and several years later some robot asks if it still happens.

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      • #18
        IMHO,the biggest problem of desktop linux is: lack of management.

        In linux kernel development , there is Linus Torvalds who makes decisions for patches being adopted. what about desktop linux? Is there any formal management organization to lead desktop linux's evolutionary? freedesktop.org or LSB(Linux Standard Base)?No,both of them are inefficient compared with JCP to java or linux kernel team to linux kernel. Consequently, None of linux distros have consistent user experience by now . Also Fragmentation,too many choice but none of the choice is good enough.As a platform it is lack of enough attraction to the third party developers and even companies to develop apps for it. Why? Lack of well-organized and updated documentations and tookits, stable apis and relatively unified packages format for them to easily and quickly start developing apps on this platform. Because of lacking apps, users gradually lost interest in linux. We need satisfying and retaining users and developers. In my opinion,all of these problems are due to lack of management. We really really need work together to do only one big thing : move desktop linux forward.

        In addition, Linux graphics sucks compared with windows and osx. Yep, wayland is our hope and wish it could come earlier.

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        • #19
          Back when I was using Ubuntu 8, I would have said everything. Ease of use, dependency on Terminal, and a UI only a nerd could love. With Ubuntu 12 the situation is very different.

          #1 Graphics drivers. Open source are not able to compete with proprietary drivers, and proprietary drivers aren't very good at all. Just as always Nvidia is the way to go if you're using Linux, and that needs to change.

          #2 Windows software compatibility, or in other words WINE. Despite what many people wanna believe about having native Linux software, Windows has been around for a long time and has a lot of software that Linux may never get. WINE compatibility and speed has to be tolerable enough for joe six pack to use. It's the bridge that will bring end users and with them developers.

          #3 Games, and lots of them. Valve bringing Steam is a wonderful thing, and could be a huge turn around for Linux. Open source games are nice but we need more commercial games. Gaming has always been a huge strength for Windows, and a huge strength for iOS devices. These platforms are currently doing very well. We need to make it more attractive for developers to bring their games over.

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          • #20
            An example of poor quality I've experienced recently...

            The Developers working on porting (not Android) Linux to Arm devices. Example Rhombus-Tech project. Many are building old kernel versions. Yeah they may work, but the objective should be to hit release with a highest current kernel and OS. This is the lack of quality mantra in Developers. Like code on Ubuntu 12.04, not 10.04. If you find a problem in 12.04 then you've progressed the Ubuntu 12.04 project early, a problem that would still need to be repaired later. Like 12.04 also has 1001 improvements for Arm over 10.04. It's head bagging moments like that, that make is sad.

            Sometimes in life you need to make great things, not mediocre. Hobby means it's fun, but you can still make great for prosperity.

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            • #21
              simplification of the GPL and official translations of the GPL in different languages. (that's from someone who develops commercial/closed source software...and I really can confirm that one of the major reasons people develop closed-source software is, that the code is ugly. Also sorry but I've to make a living, same for my bosses and my colleagues)
              Last edited by Detructor; 06-10-2012, 01:07 PM.

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              • #22
                The dominance of Windows

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                • #23
                  1. Bad power consumption - most people have laptops. This should be a priority.
                  2. Audio In - why doesn't it work reliably? People use microphones for chatting over the internet. The fact it doesnt work is bad.
                  3. Stable interfaces/api/etc so that if a core component is updated to a newer version, things that depend on it won't break or become glitchy.
                  4. Stable method for video drivers (binary or otherwise) to hook up with the kernel/video system. So that we can use binary drivers with newer kernels, etc. even if the driver hasn't been updated (or support for it has been dropped)
                  5. 64bit OS should be able to run 32bit binaries.
                  6. The ability to update individual programs to their latest versions. Why do they always have to be compiled for your specific os?
                  7. HP - why do I have to go to their website, download and run their program to get all the binary bits to make the printer work properly. Why isn't this automated?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by hooluupog View Post
                    IMHO,the biggest problem of desktop linux is: lack of management.

                    In linux kernel development , there is Linus Torvalds who makes decisions for patches being adopted. what about desktop linux? Is there any formal management organization to lead desktop linux's evolutionary?
                    This is where KDE and Figures+OS' come in. KDE is organised and can achieve big steps. Figures, such as Mark Shuttleworth can represent projects that make big headway. Think about it. People have the ability to become notable on Linux by setting a trend. Forget each distro releasing the same kit, make the distro's somewhat unique and put a 'Star To Be' or leader, on the stage to represent them.

                    Mark Shuttleworth is a good example of what can happen, but lately he's going over the edge and belittling his position by jumping into supporting Microsoft's Azure. Why would you want Windows users to never need to drop and move to Linux by giving them all the goodies of Linux. Crazy.

                    The Stars of Linux/GNU;
                    Mark Shuttleworth
                    Linus Torvalds
                    Richard Stallman

                    Up and Coming;
                    Aaron Seigo
                    Jono Bacon
                    Michael Larabel
                    Various Podcasters

                    Star Projects:
                    Wine
                    KDE
                    PulseAudio
                    Unity
                    Gnome
                    Wayland
                    FFMPEG
                    Samba
                    Inkscape
                    Amarok
                    Firefox
                    Gimp
                    VirtualBox

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                    • #25
                      Another GRIPE:

                      Lack of GUI to visualise sound channels, be that mainly for recording recording

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                      • #26
                        Re

                        Originally posted by e8hffff View Post
                        Mark Shuttleworth is a good example of what can happen, but lately he's going over the edge and belittling his position by jumping into supporting Microsoft's Azure. Why would you want Windows users to never need to drop and move to Linux by giving them all the goodies of Linux. Crazy.
                        You are confusing something here. I assure you that simple users don't use Windows Azure, it's intended more for developers. Giving the developers the possibility to run their applications or websites into the cloud on a Linux machine is actually great. And collaboration is very important, Linux doesn't have to block everyone, no one can succeed this way.
                        And btw, it's not Canonical who supports Microsoft, is Microsoft's service that supports Canonical's operating system.

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                        • #27
                          In my opinion: everything boils down to these two things:

                          - Lack of commercial support. Like it or not, distros run on hardware that needs to be supported by drivers, and powerful software can only be written with financial backing. Companies at the moment don't seem willing to support Linux as much as they do for Windows and Mac.

                          - Lack of standardization: This is both a good thing and a bad thing. While you pretty much get "freedom of choice" (i.e. you can run KDE on a Wayland server running on an ARM machine, or you can run GNOME on an Xorg server running on an x86 machine), this makes the job much harder for people who need to get their software compatible across all configurations.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by sabriah View Post
                            The dominance of Windows
                            The dominance of Wine and commercial applications for Windows (instead commercial applications for Linux) among Linux users.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Alliancemd View Post
                              You are confusing something here. I assure you that simple users don't use Windows Azure, it's intended more for developers. Giving the developers the possibility to run their applications or websites into the cloud on a Linux machine is actually great. And collaboration is very important, Linux doesn't have to block everyone, no one can succeed this way.
                              And btw, it's not Canonical who supports Microsoft, is Microsoft's service that supports Canonical's operating system.
                              Sorry but you don't promote the opposition. Use your own Cloud solutions if any.

                              I'm against cloud computer btw, unless it's personal cloud run from your own home or business. I have no interest in storing personal files with Microsoft, or Amazon. I don't want to buy an mp3 and have MS store it. It's easier to have a storage device, like USB memory dongle or Secure Digital card. If we continue to not use cloud, Buyers promote personal technologies.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Dukenukemx View Post
                                Back when I was using Ubuntu 8, I would have said everything. Ease of use, dependency on Terminal, and a UI only a nerd could love. With Ubuntu 12 the situation is very different.

                                #1 Graphics drivers. Open source are not able to compete with proprietary drivers, and proprietary drivers aren't very good at all. Just as always Nvidia is the way to go if you're using Linux, and that needs to change.

                                #2 Windows software compatibility, or in other words WINE. Despite what many people wanna believe about having native Linux software, Windows has been around for a long time and has a lot of software that Linux may never get. WINE compatibility and speed has to be tolerable enough for joe six pack to use. It's the bridge that will bring end users and with them developers.

                                #3 Games, and lots of them. Valve bringing Steam is a wonderful thing, and could be a huge turn around for Linux. Open source games are nice but we need more commercial games. Gaming has always been a huge strength for Windows, and a huge strength for iOS devices. These platforms are currently doing very well. We need to make it more attractive for developers to bring their games over.
                                I disagree with the WINE part for the most part. Sure, there are a couple areas in which we don't have the applications, but for almost everything, there is no need for WINE or anything similar. In fact, I don't have WINE installed on a single one of my machines, although I do have a Windows dual boot setup on one of my machines for school (I booted into Windows once during the entire year I've had it) and a Windows VM for developing Windows compatible applications for clients (for which WINE would not actually be very useful at all). Maybe for gamers that's a big deal but for almost everyone else, well, we have our competitive Linux alternatives.

                                Here are the main flaws I see with Linux:
                                1) Lack of consistency. There are WAY too many internal changes between every update for most distros. To be honest, I don't care if I'm using XOrg 7.4 or 7.7 I don't notice any difference, and I have to ask, what really IS the difference? Remember back when distros kept switching between HAL and XOrg for input? That was a huge mess. Distros would flip between the two every release, and it was really confusing. Things like that make it really difficult to even target a single Linux distribution. Let's say I want to release something for Ubuntu. What can I assume about the system? Very little.

                                2) Publicity. Why don't I see commercials for Linux when watching TV or even ads for the system when browsing the internet? It's not that there isn't a market, it's that there isn't awareness. I go to a super techy (well known/prestigious) engineering school and you'd think that everyone there would have at least heard of Linux. Nope, maybe a third of the kids I know had not heard of it till I mentioned it. How many kids actually use it as their main system? Not as many as you'd think considering the comp sci department recommends using Linux very strongly and a lot of the labs we have (including the robotics lab I do research in) use Linux exclusively.

                                3) Too little of a focus on end users. Most Linux projects are focused too much on internal technicalities that very few end users care about! Rather than trying to create a system with features that will make users happy, they care too much about things that only very niche users will want.

                                4) End user documentation. Why isn't there a super easy place that I can go to that I know will have the answers to all my Linux questions? Everything is scattered about and half the questions I have I don't even end up finding an answer for even if I post on well known Linux forums. Further, there is very little that Linux distributions try to do to ease the transition to Linux. Sure, the changes in applications (like renaming applications to things like Web or Files) and such that ease the transition are nice, but I'm talking about a "welcome to the Linux world, here is how the mentality is unique" type of thing. Most people I introduce Linux to try to install applications by going to websites. What's up with that?

                                5) Developer documentation. Too many open source applications out there have a steep learning curve to help develop them. Not enough projects have a "here is what you can do to help" initiative.

                                6) Friendliness of the community. While a lot of Linux users are eager to help, there tends to be a harsh bitterness and lack of understanding toward newbies. Sure, a lot of us hate Windows, but is that the best way to introduce ourselves? We really suffer from some huge ego problems. Also, some users have legitimate reasons that they have Windows or Mac OS X on their systems at all. Why bash them for it? What Linux has and always will be about is personal choice.

                                7) File structure. Why do we have /bin, /usr/bin, /usr/local/bin, and perhaps a ~/bin if you feel like it? Sure, I know why but new users shouldn't have to learn. It should be clearer than that. Besides, could someone explain to me what exactly /var is supposed to be used for? I feel like that's pretty unclear and everyone has a different interpretation of it. /local vs /opt? Huh?

                                8) I want some better terminal emulators :P I feel like there could be some modernization in some aspects, but perhaps that's just me. (More interactivity? ie. right click on a command and open up a separate documentation window, or maybe right click and upload to pastebin, or easy Googling functionality or something. Why aren't these things super common?)

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