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What Are The Biggest Problems With Linux?

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  • Originally posted by birdie View Post
    Linux constantly evolves? OMG. You even boast about that.

    Windows evolves, but APIs and ABIs are rock solid. On Windows 8 I can run software written for ... Windows 3.1 which was released over 25 years ago. Try this feat with Linux software.

    Worthless points? Great, go and convince a single company to port its applications from Windows to Linux. Whereas you are theorizing, I deal with big ISVs and I know what they want from Linux. But you are free not to agree with me, just forget about Linux having more than 3% on the desktop.
    As said above, yes it's an intended 'feature' if you will. Windows 'evolves' (it doesn't) very very slowly and breaks API and ABI's just as often. There's just more support in place to have old cruft around (Which as pointed out before, can be done in linux just as well, if you really would want that (hint, you really don't)).

    And also again, i'm sure ISV's want to write once and forget. But no. Bad bad bad bad. Try to explain why it's bad to your ISV.


    • Originally posted by e8hffff View Post
      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.
      Just wanna brush on the naming of things. Some/most of the time, they can't use some name due to copyright bs etc.

      Take as example Mesa. What a silly name that is? Why not OpenOpenGL? or really, just opengl? No, they where not allowed to, so they had to get creative. Sometimes they have to avoid even sounding similar to whatever it is. Like OpenGraphicsLib or OpenGPU may have gotten them in trouble. I'm guessing 90% it's politics.


      • Originally posted by ua=42 View Post
        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?
        Audio In can be troublesome on any OS. Many inputs, many options which device is the recording device? Volume set correctly etc etc. (Yeah I have had to support audio issues on all 3 major OSes). Does it need to be improved? Yes, but generally it's hardware that's at fault if anything.

        About stable api/abi interface for video and the rest, read my post above

        64bit Linux can run 32bit binaries without a problem. You need to enable the option in your kernel (when compiling yourself) and need to install libraries (if not using some major distro who has it default installed).

        And you can install many programs to their latest versions usually via PPA's (on ubuntu) or sometimes they even support packages (deb/rpm). If your complaint is that it's not in the default repo, well, they do try to keep things stable and tested. E.g. a 'known configuration' to prevent things to randomly break in places. If you need to be up to date, constantly, use a 'rolling distro' (Ubuntu IS actually talking/thinking about this).

        Er I have had a few HP printers, all have been automatically detected by my OS's cups. I have installed hpijs at atimes and ran hp-setup (which creates config files for cups) and also that works fine. Not sure what the difference in print quality is between the two though. So this works automatically for ubuntu and gentoo to my knowledge. No need to download anything from HP.


        • Originally posted by e8hffff View Post
          Another GRIPE:
          Lack of GUI to visualise sound channels, be that mainly for recording recording
          Not sure what distro/tools you use, but Ubuntu does this reasonable. And depending on your recording app, that should do it for you? I know audacity does it?


          • Originally posted by gaunilo View Post
            Linux scares people. They feel helpless.

            What do I do if I get no internet connection/ my printer does not print/ I don't hear any sound? Uninstalling and installing again usually does not resolve issues as on other OS. If something goes wrong you sometimes have to read man pages and edit config files. Maybe even in shell mode. Being in such a situation must be a horror to somebody who only wants to surf the net and read emails. Standard components like sound, internet, printing and graphics should behave themselves much better with much more testing. Danger spots should be cushioned by safe modes.

            Why not have senior citizens install Linux and see how they fare in comparison to other OS? I bet much could be learned from that. I believe Linux still has to become a little less rough around the edges to attract a wider audience.
            Re-installing is an artifact from some other OS, because it's, well a pile of crap that just randomly fails.

            Linux generally does as it is told. If your internet connection fails, re-installing won't help, if you don't have a driver for your wifi. This issue exists on any OS. Seen this happen often enough on windows too. Installing XP (may be a company requirement for example) without slip-streamed Sata support/wifi support. Who fixes that? Your sysadmin makes a new installer with slip-streamed drivers. In case of Linux, your best bet would be to either use wired and see if your wifi is support. Just as an example. It sucks, yes, but can't blame Linux for hardware vendors not willing to support their own hardware properly.

            So forget about 'reinstalling fixes things'. It generally doesn't and it's actually really strange to assume it does.

            You would actually be surprised how well senior citizens can work with linux to surf the web, read the mail etc.


            • Originally posted by e8hffff View Post
              Have to agree.

              One example is I install a Laserjet printer driver, and as soon as there is an update patch to CUPS or some other printer infrastructure, my printer stops working, usually. How on hell can a business depend on that. btw, I'm not running a business.

              There needs to be pressure to keep to standards and backward compatibility, else branch into new projects.

              Canonical has been a major mover into standardising and placing systems to allow upgrading a ease of changes. More need to adopt those systems or make their own. Example the PPA system is excellent. another good move.
              A business won't have to depend on that. They will properly test upgrades. If they randomly install a new version of cups on their test server, before it going into production and notice that the printer doesn't work anymore, they should be: competent to fix things, that's why they get payed; and have a support channel with their linux vendor. If no support channel is being used, then they will need to do a little research into the issue. That is not an issue for them, that is their job and they should be competent to do this.

              I'm not talking about a major bug that needs sever code rewriting. Just going with your example of a broken printer ppd (driver). Also, as far as I know older ppd's can be used in newer cups versions just fine, and vice versa, but you would not be required to immediately upgrade your cups to the latest version, most of the time.

              There definitely needs to be pressure to keep to standards. But I think Linux is your best bet, when it comes to standards and keeping to them. I'm sure we all haven't forgotten w3c, ie and html to just name something.


              • Originally posted by Dandel View Post
                There is a number of big issues, but not all of them is known.

                If your looking at the Kernel only... The list would be...
                1. The absolute biggest would be that there is No stable Driver API between kernels. The Driver API constantly breaks between releases, and this drives away Device makers that wish to support linux. Most device makers want to write a driver once, and then expect it to work for the major version. A Good example of this would be to write a driver for linux kernel 2.6.x where the driver binary would work up until at least version 3.0.0. However, as it stands now the drivers constantly have some form of api breakage between kernel releases.
                2. ACPI/Power Management issues taking battery life from consumer laptops.
                3. Microsoft, and the UEFI Secure Boot. Vendors are likely to support only Microsoft and lock out anything else.
                As mentioned above, Stable API, nope Device makes don't want to support their stuff. If their driver is in mainline, support isn't that big of an issue, small breakage in API/ABI is handled by the kernel devs very often, the ones that break things tend to fix things too. Common decency is of course to keep your own stuff in order as much as possible.
                BTW, 2.6 and 3.0 are really nothing that different, they just changed the way they counted. 1, 2, 30. Basically, but I know what you mean.

                Vendors aren't likely to support MS because only MS asked them, vendors will have to support this, or they won't get a 'runs windows 8' sticker. MS is pretty much forcing them. Linux will hope to try it's best to run on secure boot, but it's MS that will say what can and cannot run on secure boot.
                Originally posted by Dandel View Post
                <snip>[*] Switching between graphics cards without modifying Sessions with ease. For example, I would want to be able to Switch from the integrated graphics card to the dedicated graphics card when I play games, but when I am done, Switch back to the integrated to save power.[*] Incomplete device Support. No support for OpenGL 4.x in open source drivers.
                Switching between graphics seemlessly is a feature that's missing and I can see it's merrits. But it should also be only a temporary thing for the next 5 years I guess. At that time, chips (GPU and CPU's) should be scalable enough, that they can run power efficiently AND power hungry +powerfully. Right now, dual graphics is a 'hack' for the hardware not scaling properly. I think that in 5 years from now, we'll have 16core rigs, where each core can individually be turned off (i think they can only be down clocked right now) with the main core(s) running extremly powerfriendly at low clocks. So even hacks that we see with the latest arm chips, 4 powerfull cores with one 'light' core will go away. Hopefully

                For OpenGL 4, you answerd it yourself below. Patents. Politics is the biggest hurdle at the moment, not only technical.
                Originally posted by Dandel View Post
                <snip>[*]Software Patents that prevent implementation of Specifications. For example Mesa had a lot of issues with the patents over the S3TC patents
                Yes, Software patents that only hold in the US (and korea) to begin with. Screw useless patents. I doubt that the US will ever see the light and abolish them, since there's a lot of money involved. GPL code should be exempt for software patents period. It's just stupid and we all know it. Be it as it may, we still have to comply, right? Hence, opengl 4.
                Originally posted by Dandel View Post
                [*] lack of commercial video games ( Like Unreal Tournament 3, Halo, etc ) being Released natively on linux. Iinstead these games are increasingly being released on Mac OSX using libraries that are cross platform. Generally Speaking, This is a major issue because a lot of these games use libSDL, OpenAL, OpenGL, and a few other libraries that are also on linux.[*]Digital Rights Management demands by major content creators/providers. This on It's own is inherently incompatable with GPL, but is manditory if you want anything to do with consumer media ( Video Games, eBooks, Blurays, DVDs, etc). This is also why there is no decent HDMI capture cards that work on linux that users would want to use. For this, A good example would be wanting to capture a high definition stream of a video game you are playing on a Playstation 3, Xbox 360 or other major console.
                Gaming may improve with valve supporting us more! As for DRM, it goes in the same boat as patent stuff, as above.
                Originally posted by Dandel View Post
                [*]Even though this is not Linux Specific, it is key... The GPL Compliance is abismal, and companies within china are usually the main instigator. This issue will only increase, and any action to corect this will only hinder linux overall because it'll scare companies away. While I mention china, there are also amarican companies that develop and release successful products that use Linux ( for example, Android tablets and routers) and then fail to comply with the basic license agreements involved. In any case, If you compare Linux and most other Open source products to the closed source alternative you wind up with a reliable comparison of the Open source product being a Reliant Robin, and then the Closed source product could be a Lamborghini Diablo. [/list]
                Not sure whether I quite understand your point here, but I know GPL compliance is really bad. Vendors try to steal stuff and to get away with it. And because lack of funds etc, it's not being properly enforced (in some of the cases it's also devs not bothering).
                Last edited by oliver; 06-11-2012, 04:51 AM.


                • And now i'll stop responding to all the fud and reading this thread filled up an entire page! So this is the last one

                  Originally posted by DeiF View Post
                  For me it has to be interactivity:

                  Run a process that needs more RAM than available, and as soon as the process starts using swap everything becomes unresponsive (not just the process). If you have patience you can kill the process by ssh'ing into the box, but it usually takes like half an hour to do so.

                  Have a CIFS mount, and as soon as the mounted device becomes slow or stops sending packets, your system will become unresponsive too (GUI, any terminal window), even if you aren't accessing any files from it. You can't even unmount the device.

                  Or just click or right-click anywhere. Open windows. Click on menus, etc. Everything reacts slowly. You can verify this filming the screen with a videocamera, then later measure delays by analyzing the video.
                  You can even see the repaint of every window, and how the painting isn't uniform (i.e. frames, part of the content, etc. everything painting at different times).

                  Or compare the time to launch an app like Kcalc with the time to launch the calculator from Windows XP.
                  Or compare the time to launch a native app in Linux vs the same app ported to Windows but launched from Linux through Wine.

                  Then go to benchmarking sites like this one and cry because interactivity isn't benchmarked and nobody seems to care.
                  Also benchmarking clusters of ARM computers, but no benchmarks of 6 year old PCs. WTF.
                  You raise truly good points! That I have encountered myself also. As for your clicking and Kcalc comparison, I blame QT for being a behemoth. calculator under Ubuntu (thus gtk based) runs fast. I will agree though, that Firefox for example has been benchmarked to start faster under wine. Preloading missing in ubuntu maybe?

                  As for your benchmarking stuff, that's more against phoronix isn't it? But yes. I do miss my some form of comparison to my IBM T42 (with some minor upgrades), which is 7 years old, runs like an ace, even though it's extremely old! That T60 I believe Micheal has, isn't THAT old yet


                  • Originally posted by oliver View Post
                    There definitely needs to be pressure to keep to standards. But I think Linux is your best bet, when it comes to standards and keeping to them. I'm sure we all haven't forgotten w3c, ie and html to just name something.
                    Thanks Olivers. You wont get me returning to Windows. Never. I've totally finished with that crap.


                    • Originally posted by birdie View Post
                      This: Why Linux is not (yet) Ready for the Desktop (a.k.a. Linux problems), 2012 edition

                      There's one problem no amount of money can solve: for most Open Source developers Linux is a playground, a thing they don't care beyond their aspirations, thus we have constantly broken features and API breakage every odd moon cycle. With such an attitude there's no way Linux will ever attract a big number of serious ISVs. Of course, people will be quick to point that already available Open Source software is enough for everyone - but that's a serious myopia. No, it's not enough, very very far from that.
                      This is not true when comes to Ubuntu and RHEL. API breakage bullshit while you have 5 years support with Ubuntu LTS... Thankfully Valve proved you wrong.