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Thread: OS X Is No Longer On My Main System, But I Already Have Regrets

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmstick View Post
    Wow, what's going on here? I didn't know users here thought so poorly of Linux as a desktop. I switched to Linux exclusively along with the rest of my family over a year ago and didn't have a single problem anywhere -- still don't have any problems, user experience is just exponentially growing lately. I can't think of a single thing that Linux can't do better than any other OS, besides gaming.
    Seconded.

    I'd say that a well-configured Linux desktop, which is not that difficult to do, is pretty close behind OS X for visual aesthetics and comfortably ahead of Microsoft. That's pretty damn impressive for free software versus two multi-billion dollar companies with thousands of paid developers and designers.

    I only have 1920x1200 displays, but it's a cinch to make KDE, GNOME, and Cinnamon look beautiful on them and I switch between them periodically just for the fun of it. I haven't toyed with Enlightenment, Ubuntu's Unity, or Xfce in a while, I'll give them another go sooner or later.

    The only "usability" issues I encounter is with applications that just aren't Linux compatible. Citrix claims that their "Gotomeeting" client can work on Linux but is unsupported, but when I try to join a meeting from Linux the Citrix website gives an error and won't even let me download the client software. I recently had a colossal .xlsx file I had to modify for work. Google Sheets couldn't open it due to the size. LibreOffice, Calligra Sheets, and Gnumeric could open the file but each would lose some of the contents when I tried to save it. So I'm stuck booting into Windows to work on that file too.

    But 98% of my work and 100% of my personal computing is just fine from Linux. Much Ado About Nothing.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    I'd say that a well-configured Linux desktop, which is not that difficult to do, is pretty close behind OS X for visual aesthetics and comfortably ahead of Microsoft.
    This is hard to explain, and even if I do, a number of people won't understand.

    Many of us don't want to 'configure' our desktop. We want to make videos of our kid's soccer games and send the highlights to their grandparents. We don't want to choose a distribution, we want to book reservations at a campsite. The people who want to tinker will always exist, and it's good that they do, because it fosters innovation and evolution. Unfortunately, tinkerers often do not understand that non-tinkerers exist and have their own non tinkering agenda.

    With Android, Linux has become the dominant personal-device OS.

    With SteamOS, Linux has the potential to become the dominant Gaming/Console OS. All it needs is the full support of AMD/Intel/Nvidia, and for Valve not to blow it like Canonical did.

    Linux based operating systems have the potential to become the dominant Desktop/PC/Workstation OS, but every time someone puts money behind it, they blow it. All it would take is a beautiful pre-configured UI, and stringent UI guidelines for application developers. Every time it appears we're about to get this, we end up with a re-incarnation of the Office95 toolbar or a UI designed for a 4-8" personal-device forced onto our 27" screens.

    Yeah, I'm jaded. Absofuckinglutely jaded.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by russofris View Post
    This is hard to explain, and even if I do, a number of people won't understand.

    Many of us don't want to 'configure' our desktop. We want to make videos of our kid's soccer games and send the highlights to their grandparents. We don't want to choose a distribution, we want to book reservations at a campsite. The people who want to tinker will always exist, and it's good that they do, because it fosters innovation and evolution. Unfortunately, tinkerers often do not understand that non-tinkerers exist and have their own non tinkering agenda.

    With Android, Linux has become the dominant personal-device OS.

    With SteamOS, Linux has the potential to become the dominant Gaming/Console OS. All it needs is the full support of AMD/Intel/Nvidia, and for Valve not to blow it like Canonical did.

    Linux based operating systems have the potential to become the dominant Desktop/PC/Workstation OS, but every time someone puts money behind it, they blow it. All it would take is a beautiful pre-configured UI, and stringent UI guidelines for application developers. Every time it appears we're about to get this, we end up with a re-incarnation of the Office95 toolbar or a UI designed for a 4-8" personal-device forced onto our 27" screens.

    Yeah, I'm jaded. Absofuckinglutely jaded.
    It's not hard to explain or to understand. You want it to "just work". I understand that, and I respect it. I do.

    I'm not making the argument that Linux, with the current driver support today, current installers in most versions today, and current default settings is appropriate for non-tinkerers. It is not, I don't even ask my wife to run Linux on her own computer. I was just joining mmstick to refute the assertion that Linux is unusable as a desktop operating system for anyone. For we the tinkerers, it can work wonderfully and be almost as visually appealing and equally productive or more productive than the proprietary alternatives.

    What you want is for a community of free software developers, a few dozens of companies who mostly struggle to break even (with the sole exception of Red Hat), and a few corporate sponsors to make a free operating system that matches the user experience of Microsoft and Apple. I want that too. I just don't see it happening.

    Arguably Ubuntu was the best option for Linux newbies from 6.06 to 10.04, almost four years. And it was backed by Canonical, bankrolled by Mark Shuttleworth's half a billion dollar fortune. And their market penetration in mid 2010? Insignificant. Shuttleworth went crazy and Ubuntu development went haywire in 2010 because all the excellent work done by Canonical and the Ubuntu community and the Debian community up to that point wasn't working.

    Ubuntu didn't blow it, it was already blown so they decided to try something different. There is no reason to think that if Unity, Ubuntu Touch, and Mir never existed that Linux would have more than 0.1-0.2% more of the world desktop market today than it did five years ago.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    Arguably Ubuntu was the best option for Linux newbies from 6.06 to 10.04, almost four years. And it was backed by Canonical, bankrolled by Mark Shuttleworth's half a billion dollar fortune. And their market penetration in mid 2010? Insignificant. Shuttleworth went crazy and Ubuntu development went haywire in 2010 because all the excellent work done by Canonical and the Ubuntu community and the Debian community up to that point wasn't working.

    Ubuntu didn't blow it, it was already blown so they decided to try something different. There is no reason to think that if Unity, Ubuntu Touch, and Mir never existed that Linux would have more than 0.1-0.2% more of the world desktop market today than it did five years ago.

    This is an interesting perspective, and deserves some thought before responding. My initial reaction is that the work done from 6.04 through 10.04 was nice, but almost entirely unnecessary when compared to the work that needed to be accomplished on the presentation layer. In 2010, when they finally figured out that they needed to focus on the UI, they went the entirely wrong direction.

    I believe Apple is a great example of how the underlying technology (display server, drivers, etc) can be sub-par as long as the UI is air tight.

    Can someone that is not totally offended by the Unity Desktop chime in here? I would be nice to hear your opinion, despite how tagically wrong we think it is.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by russofris View Post
    This is an interesting perspective, and deserves some thought before responding. My initial reaction is that the work done from 6.04 through 10.04 was nice, but almost entirely unnecessary when compared to the work that needed to be accomplished on the presentation layer. In 2010, when they finally figured out that they needed to focus on the UI, they went the entirely wrong direction.

    I believe Apple is a great example of how the underlying technology (display server, drivers, etc) can be sub-par as long as the UI is air tight.

    Can someone that is not totally offended by the Unity Desktop chime in here? I would be nice to hear your opinion, despite how tagically wrong we think it is.
    I will get bashed, but I really enjoy Unity, Gnome 3 and Windows 8's modern ui.
    I am both a programmer and a user; it would not come to my mind to use anything other than i3 while coding or doing serious stuff on my computer, but for everything else, I put my computer in tablet mode (it's a transformer book). Obviously i3 doesn't work fine here, and you need big buttons to do stuff, but it's been about 6 / 7 months and I couldn't return to browsing websites or reading PDFs / ebooks in a keyboard + mouse only mode (it's a pain on my non-touch desktop).

    I would also gladly use Plasma Active if it did work :'(

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by russofris View Post
    This is an interesting perspective, and deserves some thought before responding. My initial reaction is that the work done from 6.04 through 10.04 was nice, but almost entirely unnecessary when compared to the work that needed to be accomplished on the presentation layer. In 2010, when they finally figured out that they needed to focus on the UI, they went the entirely wrong direction.

    I believe Apple is a great example of how the underlying technology (display server, drivers, etc) can be sub-par as long as the UI is air tight.

    Can someone that is not totally offended by the Unity Desktop chime in here? I would be nice to hear your opinion, despite how tagically wrong we think it is.
    Actually, I don't mind the Unity user interface. I only wrote "Shuttleworth went crazy and Ubuntu development went haywire" because I think the way they rolled out Unity was terrible. My big problem with Unity in Ubuntu is that it wasn't ready when they released it. By 11.10 it ran rock solid on my machine. 10.10 and 11.04 were so crash-happy that I couldn't use it, even though I liked the layout.

    To be fair to Ubuntu, they have to put a lot of resources into hardware support and the software installer. Apple doesn't have to worry about that, they have much more control over hardware.

    ... and you're probably right that user interface was the problem with Ubuntu up until Unity, too. The GNOME 2 desktop they used until then was functional and not totally awful to view but even nicely tweaked it can't match a well done KDE, GNOME 3, Cinnamon, etc... for visual style. Maybe Ubuntu really was our best chance and they threw it all away.

    But blaming Ubuntu for the failure of Linux on the desktop is ultimately as pointless as screaming at Microsoft for ruining Windows with Windows 8. In both cases it's a product from a company that the consumer can't control. At least with Ubuntu people have forked parts of it in an attempt to make something better. You don't have that option with Windows unless you want to completely reverse engineer their operating system and build your own from scratch (good luck, ReactOS team, you've picked quite a dragon to slay).

    I hope to contribute to Fedora or Debian eventually, but for now I'm too busy with other stuff - work, taking care of the kids, and wasting time on internet forums.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by doom_Oo7 View Post
    I will get bashed, but I really enjoy Unity, Gnome 3 and Windows 8's modern ui.
    I am both a programmer and a user; it would not come to my mind to use anything other than i3 while coding or doing serious stuff on my computer, but for everything else, I put my computer in tablet mode (it's a transformer book). Obviously i3 doesn't work fine here, and you need big buttons to do stuff, but it's been about 6 / 7 months and I couldn't return to browsing websites or reading PDFs / ebooks in a keyboard + mouse only mode (it's a pain on my non-touch desktop).

    I would also gladly use Plasma Active if it did work :'(
    I use a free-spin scroll wheel (available on logitech high-end mouses) and I will never change back (or I will, but only reluctantly).
    It's really nice for browsing/reading.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by doom_Oo7 View Post
    Yes, that's already what I have planned, I had too much trouble with updates (even if it's once a year), using debian testing, so I guess it must be about the same for ubuntu...

    A few weeks ago, I put it on my girlfriend's computer, and some days ago she told me she had the shutdown not working.
    So I check and find that updates were not done for a while. So I fire up apt-get dist-upgrade, reboot and... TADAA gdm wouldn't even show up.
    I had to dpkg-reconfigure xorg manually in order to get X back.

    I plan to put Zorin OS for my parents, since they are quite leery of everything not windowsy, and perform an update manually for every major version change only, while checking before that some apps they use don't get broken.
    I've always had Zorin OS get completely broken after a simple system upgrade -- so I kept my family running official Ubuntu flavours -- always the latest bleeding edge version. I've actually never had a problem with them breaking over the last year, even with four distro upgrades (currently 14.04 beta).

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_S View Post
    I recently had a colossal .xlsx file I had to modify for work. Google Sheets couldn't open it due to the size. LibreOffice, Calligra Sheets, and Gnumeric could open the file but each would lose some of the contents when I tried to save it. So I'm stuck booting into Windows to work on that file too.
    Was this LibreOffice 4.2? It had significant enhancements for handling Microsoft formats. But to be honest, not even MS Office opens their own formats that well between different versions.

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by doom_Oo7 View Post
    Yes, that's already what I have planned, I had too much trouble with updates (even if it's once a year), using debian testing, so I guess it must be about the same for ubuntu...

    A few weeks ago, I put it on my girlfriend's computer, and some days ago she told me she had the shutdown not working.
    So I check and find that updates were not done for a while. So I fire up apt-get dist-upgrade, reboot and... TADAA gdm wouldn't even show up.
    I had to dpkg-reconfigure xorg manually in order to get X back.

    I plan to put Zorin OS for my parents, since they are quite leery of everything not windowsy, and perform an update manually for every major version change only, while checking before that some apps they use don't get broken.
    This is why fedora is making reliable and easy rollbacks a priority for the desktop. It's something that all distros should be working on. in addition there is the problem of in place updates (I'm not sure how dist-upgrade works but I'd assume it downloads everything and reboots you to a safe initrd to provide a safe upgrade environment but given your problems with X I suspect it used some shortcuts).

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