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The Sad State Of FSF's High Priority Projects

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  • #31
    GNUStep

    FSF should just throw themselves into finishing off GnuStep. It just needs a web browser, and the multimedia framework/hardware configuration panels then it'll kick the crap out of all the other desktop platforms. It's basically OSX on Linux without the stupid limitations. (mac menu can be turned on or off, menus can be per window or mac style, more than one instance of an app can be run at once, or not depending on how you want it). It's seriously better than any other choices out there for desktop usability.

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    • #32
      Now that Microsoft owns Skype, the Free Software Foundation is likely to hate Skype even more.
      And this is no good. Now that Microsoft owns Skype and integrates it into the next versions of Windows, other VOIP projects are doomed to become meaningless.
      You may tell me "it is the same thing people said about every browser other than explorer 10 years ago, but then Firefox came and things changed". No, it isn't the same. Not at all. The browser war was possible (itself) because HTML is an open standard, and any browser you mind to write would be capable to play it. But Skype protocol is tight closed, overpatented and overcopyrighted, and not compatible with other protocols. If you can't write a Skype client on your own, there's no chance you can IP-phone to the majority of Ip voice users.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
        This whole post is clinically insane. Management strategy? WTF? Scrap GCC and the GNU toolchain?
        No, not GCC, but everything on the Michael list.
        No one uses Gnash, you either use Flash or don´t use Flash. Its like using WINE or Windows, both are worse than using native.
        Currently FSF tries to perform something that people in the shop do for commercial proprietary software and do it better than FSF.
        The whole meaning of my post was to attract the "people from the street" into financing free software instead of supporting proprietary. Reread it.

        You are pushing FSF into never ending battle against proprietary, where FSF immediately assigns itself into losing position; my wish is for FSF to take provider role between non-hackers (buyers) and developers.
        Because for you freedom of software is higher than its functionality, and for normal people I know functionality is much more important than eventual freedom. They are ok to pay and get something that they want, and so long it works they will continue to invest into non-free software. FSF is fighting windmills and loosing energy catching mice instead to understand why mice is always faster and become quicker than mice itself.

        GCC maybe one of the best GNU projects up to the time, but Apple supported BSD-licensed and more advanced LLVM is quickly catching up.
        Unless GNU understands exactly why this was possible and adapts the mechanism to profit of free software engineering, it is matter of time when GCC looses as well.


        Originally posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
        The Free Software ecosystem was never about a powerful leader organising a strategy against Microsoft, to win a "desktop war". It has always been about a community who believes in software freedom. If we don't have a community who values Free Software, we will perish. It's as simple as that. It's not a management battle between RMS and Gates.
        You don´t need FSF for this. You need just Oktoberfest ticket for this.
        Same, if we´d to celelebrate values of proprietary BS.
        It won´t improve the product quality though, won´t attract more people into using it and valueing its advantages, won´t make them pay what they can or help improve it.
        Because no landlord or car seller accepts bier as payment, professional developers are automatically excluded from FLOSS ecosystem. And there are people who will gladly pay them, provided stuff just works or stuff becomes improvements they are happy to pay for.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
          Because no landlord or car seller accepts bier as payment,
          Lol, actually I have sold an old beater car for 3 cases of beer and I also allow my bro-in-law to rent space for winter storage of his car for the amount of 1 case per month. :P

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DMJC View Post
            FSF should just throw themselves into finishing off GnuStep. It just needs a web browser, and the multimedia framework/hardware configuration panels then it'll kick the crap out of all the other desktop platforms. It's basically OSX on Linux without the stupid limitations. (mac menu can be turned on or off, menus can be per window or mac style, more than one instance of an app can be run at once, or not depending on how you want it). It's seriously better than any other choices out there for desktop usability.
            Why would be GNUStep better than other desktops like KDE, GNOME, Xfce, ... ?
            What do you think of étoilé ?

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            • #36
              Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
              Its like using WINE or Windows, both are worse than using native.
              Not sure I understand this statement, 'both worse than using native.'? Windows would be native here... Obviously Wine will never be a drop-in replacement for native Windows installation (or VM) but it certainly runs alot of things. A couple of months ago I wanted to add some effects to a 3d-animation I had rendered and was pleasantly surprised to see that Wine ran all the windows avisynth plugins I threw at it which together with avs2yuv made for a very nice pipeline with previewing through AvsPmod (also under Wine).

              Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
              No one uses Gnash, you either use Flash or don´t use Flash.
              I agree here, I don't see any point in putting resources (small as they may be) into an reverse engineering flash.

              Originally posted by crazycheese View Post
              GCC maybe one of the best GNU projects up to the time, but Apple supported BSD-licensed and more advanced LLVM is quickly catching up.
              'Quickly catching up'? Apple started to sponsor (as in hiring developers to work on it full-time) back in 2005 and it's not yet a replacement for GCC (Apple still ships with gcc 4.2 as default compiler last time I checked). Clang has been in development (again with Apple sponsoring) since 2007 and it's yet not close to being a drop-in replacement for the GCC frontend. Meanwhile GCC is also developing, and has added plugin-support which was one of the benefits LLVM cited over GCC. LLVM itself does offer a great benefit over GCC though with it's prominent use as a jit-compiler framework and has been seeing alot of uptake in this area. However, as a C/C++ static compiler solution Clang/LLVM has ways to go before it's a realistic replacement for GCC, both in terms of compability and performance (of generated code).

              But hey, ever since LLVM (and later Clang) was released there have been those claiming that it would kill GCC 'any day now', years pass and both projects are still going strong with no sign of slowing down. I can only attribute the desire of some people to have GCC disappear to be some anti-GPL effort since as for those of use USING these compilers this competition is warmly welcomed and certainly having a positive effect on the quality of BOTH these compiler toolchains.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
                But hey, ever since LLVM (and later Clang) was released there have been those claiming that it would kill GCC 'any day now', years pass and both projects are still going strong with no sign of slowing down. I can only attribute the desire of some people to have GCC disappear to be some anti-GPL effort since as for those of use USING these compilers this competition is warmly welcomed and certainly having a positive effect on the quality of BOTH these compiler toolchains.
                Not sure that people may want to kill gcc, but replace it probably. The problem with GCC is until recently everything was in C, the code was almost not understandable and I think it's more related to old coding practices rather than true complex situations. And, gcc was not extensible by plugins for political reasons. So in the end you have a free software (GPL), of course you are free to read the code and modify it, but in fact you can't understand the code and can't replace it because it's too complicated... and limited (no plugins) because of political reasons (GPL).

                It is a kind of funny way to loose your "ability" for your "freedom", isn't it ? :-)

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by kraftman View Post
                  Exactly. I don't know what drives some people to look at crap like hurd or haiku when there's Linux. I'm sure when the hurd matures (just kidding) they'll start looking at something else in the name of something. Hurd is not only unready, but it will be SLOW.
                  Because Linux is boring, old skool and sounds like some local Finnish dish made out reindeer intestines or some other mystery meat, i.e., something you'd really not want to eat.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by babali View Post
                    Not sure that people may want to kill gcc, but replace it probably.
                    Then why attack GCC? Better to report bugs to LLVM/Clang developers so as to make it better faster. Prefering one product doesn't mean you have to HATE the other. Sadly that is something which seems lost on so many people these days, just look at this board, Linux <> BSD, Gnome <> KDE, GCC <> LLVM/Clang, GPL <> BSD/MIT, etc.

                    Originally posted by babali View Post
                    The problem with GCC is until recently everything was in C, the code was almost not understandable and I think it's more related to old coding practices rather than true complex situations.
                    Definately LLVM's codebase is alot cleaner given that compared to GCC it's quite recent. But 'almost not understandable' comes off as a huge exaggeration given that if it was then GCC development would have died long time ago. Obviously the codebase has been substantially improved over time long before C++ was allowed into the tree. I certainly believe that the competition/existance of LLVM was a big influence on GCC adopting C++ which again underlines that 'competition is GREAT'.

                    Originally posted by babali View Post
                    And, gcc was not extensible by plugins for political reasons. So in the end you have a free software (GPL), of course you are free to read the code and modify it, but in fact you can't understand the code and can't replace it because it's too complicated... and limited (no plugins) because of political reasons (GPL).

                    It is a kind of funny way to loose your "ability" for your "freedom", isn't it ? :-)
                    Well the debate surrounding plugins and GCC was how it would allow to sidestep GPL and use GCC as frontend/backend for proprietary plugins (for instance Steve Jobs tried to use GCC as a frontend to a proprietary backend for ObjC, and when he wasn't legally able to GCC suddenly got ObjC support through Next). Afaik the current GCC plugin architecture makes it difficult to maintain proprietary plugins which sounds like a decent compromise and as such a carrot to keep them open source, much like drivers in the Linux kernel vs maintaining binary blobs.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by kraftman View Post
                      Exactly. I don't know what drives some people to look at crap like hurd or haiku when there's Linux.
                      Well, I'm running Linux as my daily desktop OS and I like it. However, for me, Haiku (and Beos before it) is the best desktop OS experience I've had bar none and it's what I want to use as my day-to-day OS, sadly it's far from mature enough (and perhaps never will be). That doesn't mean that I feel inclined to second-guess other people's choice of OS. You want to use Linux and think it's the best option for you, I see no reason to question your conclusion, same goes for people running Windows, OSX, BSD, etc.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by TheBlackCat View Post
                        You mean like fuse allows on Linux? That is the thing I don't understand about all this "microkernel" stuff. Linux already has support for userspace drivers of several types. If someone really wants userspace drivers, why can't they just code better support for that in the Linux kernel like people have already done for some systems? So rather than just dumping a well-supported and heavily-tested kernel for an entire new one, you slowly migrate (where appropriate) to a more userspace-level design. This seems to be a much more efficient approach.

                        You mean like the various fuse bindings?
                        While fuse allows for a user-space file system implementation, you still have the same underlying file system requiring a privileged mode in the kernel. End users get to see some of the benefits of having a user-space file system while still being potentially affected by the underlying architecture's limitations. Here is some more information on the differences between monolithic kernels and microkernels: http://kilobug.free.fr/hurd/pres-en/...tml/node2.html

                        A system-wide user-space file system is just one benefit the Hurd has over Linux, and there are a few others that I've read about but am not very technically familiar with. The link above points to a good document on the subject. The last thing I would add is that we constantly hear of developers and different types of users wanting to add/remove/change various aspects of the Linux kernel so that it is more suitable for their use. In particular, there is a constant struggle between the server, desktop, laptop, mobile and corporate worlds in regards to the changes they want (and don't want) to see in the kernel. A microkernel would be able to handle these differences much easier for a couple of reasons. The first is that, because the microkernel itself (gnumach for now) is responsible for much less functionality, it would be easier to handle the issues/requests that arise between these competing groups. The other reason is that the Hurd servers can be individually used or not depending on the type of use desired, and completely new Hurd servers which are specific to certain types of uses can be brought up as needed for these otherwise competing users. The Hurd is much more modular than Linux by design.

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                        • #42
                          Etoile...

                          Etoile is decent but they seem to be reinventing the wheel a bit. Last time I went into their codebase they had basically cloned System preferences.app under the name of hardware.app or something similar and the individual preferences icons were implemented the same as in system preferences.app in GNUStep. They should have just been making add ons for systempreferences.app. Where they were intending to go originally seemed to be pretty interesting but they appear to have lost their focus recently. Every time I speak to the GNUStep/Etoile developers they seem to have these crazy outlandish ideas of what they want to accomplish with their project (dynamic GUIs building themselves at runtime, you can have a button ANYWHERE!!!! that's nice but I want it in a place I'm used to, not anywhere.), but they never get the implementation down to drive interest. They need to focus on the browser/desktop environment. It has mail/music/irc/text/programming. Web browser/Video/hardware config would finish the base DE so you could use it every day as your only platform. That would drive developers towards programming for it. Right now a gnu step app looks nothing like a gnome/kde app and you need gnome/kde apps to plug the holes in the platform. If they remove those holes, more people will move to the platform. Would anyone use a mac if it had no web browser, no video playback and no display/sound controls? Of course not. GNUStep has the same problem, the developers are trying to run before they can walk.
                          Last edited by DMJC; 10-17-2011, 03:14 AM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by AnonymousCoward View Post
                            Because Linux is boring, old skool and sounds like some local Finnish dish made out reindeer intestines or some other mystery meat, i.e., something you'd really not want to eat.
                            Indeed! That must be the case. I wonder if the same thinking didn't bring me to Linux years ago?

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                            • #44
                              This thread is now about evaluating reindeer meat.

                              I find it's good.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by 89c51 View Post
                                Revolution is cool and stuff but first and foremost you have to have something that WORKS and be able to deliver. Linux works, Haiku is in Alpha. HURD is NOT ready.
                                And that's why releasing Hurd like it is now in a working state is absolutely pointless, because if we want something that works; there is Linux with a lot more drivers already.

                                So the only way for Hurd to succeed is being at least a thousand times more awesome in terms of design than Linux, otherwise it's just wasted time.

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