Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

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Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby coolclassic » Thu Jul 21, 2005 9:28 am

We often talk about using Linux as the total experience for users but in reallity this is not the case. For most users there experience is KDE, Gnome or other desktops.Not Linux.

Linux gives the choice which Microsoft does not. It gives different working enviorments to suit many individuals who vary in culture, ideals and race.

So when we talk about Linux should we not be talking about the different desktops and interfaces and what they offer. After all we see many interfaces that run on Linux but on which the public are totaly unaware and this is what we should be talking about.

We also talk about the open source of linux and that it is free, that is great and this does contribute to having an alternative to Microsoft but does it really matter that the Desktop has to be open source, personally I don't think so. If by having a closed source desktop which allows companys, goverments and even the public to buy, giving security and guarantees and profits then Linux has done its job by providing an alternative Operating system.This does not take away the advantages of Opensource desktops but it does give the best of both worlds and gives a secure future for Linux.
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RE: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby M-Saunders » Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:00 am

Well, in 90% of cases you can run a program for one desktop on another, albeit with pretty large overheads. I sometimes find it scary the way some distros mix their desktop apps -- you can have KDE libs, GNOME libs, XUL, VCL (OOo) etc. all loaded at once. Monstrously memory-munching. So yes, perhaps the community should focus on desktops more and make a larger distinction there; at the same time, diluting the overall OS that is 'Linux' (as undefined as that may be) doesn't help with advocacy or promotion.

Regarding your second point: there's already an OS built on open source underpinnings with a closed GUI -- Mac OS X. I don't think there's a need for that at present; large companies and organisations aren't bothered by the multitude of desktops and WMs. They don't give their users uberl33t Fluxbox setups with ROX. They're pretty much all standardised around KDE and Gnome now -- and most importantly, the major apps used in business (office and internet) are desktop-agnostic anyway. Mozilla/Firefox/Thunderbird and OpenOffice.org work fine on any desktop.

Sometimes it seems a mess, and it could definitely do with some consolidation, but things aren't static; they morph and twist to the situations in which they're being used.

That's just my two Space Credits anyway.

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RE: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby jjmac » Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:03 pm

>>
So when we talk about Linux should we not be talking about the different desktops and interfaces and what they offer.
>>

Yes, i agree ... i think a lot of people do see their system as the desktop, rather than it being an interface to a system. A broader focus is needed. Mainstream is were the water flows slow (grin).

I'm a bit um and arrr on your second point though. Closed source desktops !, i suuupppoooose, if we can trust them not to put anything in there that they shouldn't.

>>
This does not take away the advantages of Opensource desktops but it does give the best of both worlds and gives a secure future for Linux.
>>

Can't agree there, it undermines OSS by the precedent. It means GPLed code will need to be used in a proprietry fashon. Secure future for Linux., Open Source dosen't mean your not going to get charged for it :). Besides, the comparision to Windows ... who cares ... if they hadn't smirfed it by making their OS a mandatory inclusion in retail boxes, then people probably wouldn't have used them so much (monopoly power). And so, so many people wouldn't be so hypnotised by them as a result. Does Linux really need to be like MS. I think there is a strong push in that direction. In that, some people think, that to get Linux more broadly excepted it needs to be more like Windows. Good Grief !!!. Acceptance via the emulation of a system like that. I'd rathe see people become unhypnotised myself :). Have faith, ... nothing is going to kill off Linux. Every attemp just makes it stronger. Like ... even having a big proprietry company point out a lot of faults is a good idea. If they have the equipment to do the benchmarking (grin), as if the Linux comunity can afford equipment like that. But it does provide the opportunity to find out what needs fixing (grin). All things like that can be turned into a plus !


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Re: RE: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby M-Saunders » Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:05 pm

jjmac wrote:I think there is a strong push in that direction. In that, some people think, that to get Linux more broadly excepted it needs to be more like Windows. Good Grief !!!


This is true. There is a trend in some areas for excessive Windowserisation of parts that should be different. Still, at the same time, there's a difference between being like Windows and working similar to Windows. Firefox succeeded because it's not a great leap from IE in terms of operation, yet still provided enough benefits to convert millions.

Equally, there's no point in being different just for the sake of not-being-MS. Windows is a disaster in many areas but it has a few good things in terms of the UI. With open source we can absorb and expand on those ideas, taking the good parts and improving where it's lacking - security, stability, price etc.

Oh, and just to annoy Paul if he reads this: Beltin'!

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Re: RE: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby coolclassic » Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:29 pm

jjmac wrote:>>
Can't agree there, it undermines OSS by the precedent. It means GPLed code will need to be used in a proprietry fashon.
jm


If GPLed code is used i.e.

KDE releases 3.4 it is releaced under the GPL it proves to be stable and reliable. Then the next upgrade comes along. KDE then releases 3.4 as proprity. By doing so would breach GPL licence but what if a sub liecence was greated to allow for this to happen then funding could be given to Linux to support further developement of the kernel or other GPL projects. Thus securing the future.

One other point is buy purchasing proprity KDE would not stop you using GPL projects in the future.
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RE: Re: RE: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby guy » Thu Jul 21, 2005 6:57 pm

If a given desktop will run on say Linux, HURD, BSD and Solaris (all open source OS-es) and look-and-feel different from some other desktop, then yes, I'd really like to see GNOME Format and KDE Format competing on the shelves. Alongside OpenOffice Expert and so forth, of course!

One day....

As for closed-source desktops on open-source OS, I see it as a purely pragmatic issue. In the same way that the GPL sacrifices the ideal of completely free licensing for the sake of protecting the little guy, so we should only seek to prevent closed-source desktops if they are damaging to the free software community. Currently, MacOS X is doing us all a great deal of good.
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RE: Re: RE: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby andychannelle » Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:04 pm

Dual-licencing software is possible, just look at Qt for example, but there's no real benefit for the KDE project. What you have suggested does happen, but it happens within the GPL.

Take a look at Linspire or Xandros. These distributions take GPL stuff like KDE (in these cases) then they might add their own look and feel to the desktop or even add some proprietary extensions. Xandros, for instance, adds Xandros Networks and some other stuff to the product which it hopes will convince users to stump up cash rather than use SUSE. In addition, both Linspire and Xandros understand that the core of their business relies on high quality code from Open Source developers and the applications/features that their buyers demand - and so they support OSS developers through funding and access to equipment etc.

They get what they need to run their business, the open source community gets funding, and we all get better software. No need to force KDE into proprietary straights (and attempt to get all the Open Source developers to have their code 'closed').

Works for the kernel too.

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RE: Re: RE: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby coolclassic » Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:17 pm

KDE was used as an example it could be Gnome
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Postby 1slipperyfish » Thu Jul 21, 2005 7:39 pm

i think it's very nice :D
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Postby jjmac » Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:02 pm

coolclasic:

Your example above wouldn't work. It would mean a person would be forced into an update for one. And we don't want to go there :D, do we (grin).

Most of the developers associated by major companies actually get paid to work on Linux. That is, they get paid so that they wont go of and work for someone else while their involved in their favourite hobby. Not a bad gig really ah! :). And a person can donate money to a project if they feel like it too !.

Also, all the people working on unpaid OSS projects, well ... a few things to consider there. They like what they do, actually, they love it. The rieser project would be an example in that regard. Considering the time that a small group (largely one person) of people have devoted to it. Slackware is another example. The Murdocks and Debian ... the list goes on. The developers concerned have also been able to gain considerable experience in a field that has flowed into their own career activities in a very positive way. More so than what would have been possible working within the context of a proprietary company. Learning to do things from a singular perspective. OSS development has provided them with the opportunity to experience a greater breadth than other wise would have been possible. So, there really isn't a problem there. It's all pluses. I also think that a person, like a company, will produce their most innovative work when they aren't so big. So size can become a false positive some times, in a very real way.



>>
One other point is buy purchasing propriety KDE would not stop you using GPL projects in the future
>>


The licensing would. I do know your just referring to kde as an example, so i wont divert there. A person may have a better chance at getting away with that though under the BSD licence. Just ask M$. I believe the BSD licence has a crazy clause that allows it to be relicensed in an other context. What were they thinking of :roll: I wish i was wrong on that too.



M-Saunders


>>
Well, in 90% of cases you can run a program for one desktop on another, albeit with pretty large overheads. I sometimes find it scary the way some distros mix their desktop apps -- you can have KDE libs, GNOME libs, XUL, VCL (OOo) etc. all loaded at once. Monstrously memory-munching. So yes, perhaps the community should focus on desktops more and make a larger distinction there; at the same time, diluting the overall OS that is 'Linux' (as undefined as that may be) doesn't help with advocacy or promotion.
>>


I'm hoping to be miss-interpreting that :) it does seem like a curious comment, in the least.

"So yes, perhaps the community should focus on desktops more and make a larger distinction there; at the same time, diluting the overall OS that is 'Linux' (as undefined as that may be) doesn't help with advocacy or promotion"

Pardon ! ... how does focusing on the broader desktop aspect of Linux represent a dilution, or work against advocacy or promotion ! I for one, don't have a confusion in terms of Linuxs' definition.

Making a larger distinction in the realm of desktops can only be diluting if a person defines Linux in terms of a narrow desktop range, imo !, and the "advocacy" ... well, that depends on what's being promoted. So there's the agenda


Basically the posters theme, aside for a concern over funding issues, is in the dilution of Linux via the limitation of it's general perception. Largely as a result of an insistent focus on two MS like desktops. The poster is pointing out that Linux is so much more than that, but people are put in the situation that they could well think otherwise, due to the presentation.



In regards to ...


>>
large companies and organisations aren't bothered by the multitude of desktops and WMs. They don't give their users uberl33t Fluxbox setups with ROX. They're pretty much all standardised around KDE and Gnome now
>>

I think there more standardised around Windows actually.



>>
uberl33t Fluxbox setups with ROX
>>

Not sure what you mean by the "uber" in "uber133t" (grin),

Thats not a put down of Fluxbox is it, if so, i'm somewhat surprised to be reading it.


>>
i think it's very nice :D
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>>

true (grin)



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Postby M-Saunders » Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:25 pm

jjmac wrote:I'm hoping to be miss-interpreting that :) it does seem like a curious comment, in the least.

"So yes, perhaps the community should focus on desktops more and make a larger distinction there; at the same time, diluting the overall OS that is 'Linux' (as undefined as that may be) doesn't help with advocacy or promotion"

Pardon ! ... how does focusing on the broader desktop aspect of Linux represent a dilution, or work against advocacy or promotion ! I for one, don't have a confusion in terms of Linuxs' definition.


Well, I was referring to actual Linux desktops (eg KDE) rather than the general concept of desktop Linux. You don't have a confusion with Linux's definition, because you know loads about Linux, but for newcomers we need to push forward a cohesive whole rather than bits'n'bobs.

By focusing on desktop environments (in the promotional sense) rather than Linux as a whole, we run the risk of confusing users even more. That's what I mean by dilution. If we advocate and promote Linux as being Linux, an open source operating system, we have a strong, varied base behind us -- despite all the different communities. Conversely, if we lessen mentions of Linux and focus more on KDE and Gnome, it complicates matters greatly.

There've been loads of posts on here, and in other forums, from new users completely flabbergasted by all the talk of KDE, Gnome, Xfce, IceWM etc. Diversity is a good thing and there'll probably never be One Linux Desktop, but it can (and does) put people off when they're dunked into all these terms. That's why I say, let's focus on promoting Linux as a whole OS (even though it IS spread out), rather than individual desktop environments.

Maybe I've not explained that well, but I hope you catch my drift :)

I think there more standardised around Windows actually


Well naturally, and 90%+ so, but I was referring to those companies that'd deployed Linux desktops :)


Not sure what you mean by the "uber" in "uber133t" (grin),

Thats not a put down of Fluxbox is it, if so, i'm somewhat surprised to be reading it.


Not at all :) I used Blackbox and Fluxbox for about six months on my laptop. It's excellent. My point was, those large companies switching to Linux desktops are almost entirely going with Gnome or KDE -- they're not giving users Fluxbox with snazzy dark themes like we see in screenshots. That kinda stuff is for us geeks; the enterprises want dull, boring and samey.

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Re: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby A-Wing » Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:03 pm

coolclassic wrote:We often talk about using Linux as the total experience for users but in reallity this is not the case. For most users there experience is KDE, Gnome or other desktops.Not Linux.


I would argue that most users are still server users that tend to use shell stuff more than GUI (I know more shell users than GUI).
Since Linux is running as a backend to KDE and Gnome apps I would argue that if there was a problem with Linux and it drivers then it would show in the stability and speed of Gnome and KDE based apps. If Linux was bad, so would be the total experience.

Linux gives the choice which Microsoft does not. It gives different working enviorments to suit many individuals who vary in culture, ideals and race.


True, this is mainly due to the unique community behind Linux.

So when we talk about Linux should we not be talking about the different desktops and interfaces and what they offer. After all we see many interfaces that run on Linux but on which the public are totaly unaware and this is what we should be talking about.


You are getting into the whole "you mean open source, not Linux" debate. Linux only really refers to the kernel but it is easier for newbies to think of the whole OS+apps as Linux.

We also talk about the open source of linux and that it is free, that is great and this does contribute to having an alternative to Microsoft but does it really matter that the Desktop has to be open source, personally I don't think so. If by having a closed source desktop which allows companys, goverments and even the public to buy, giving security and guarantees and profits then Linux has done its job by providing an alternative Operating system.This does not take away the advantages of Opensource desktops but it does give the best of both worlds and gives a secure future for Linux.


I don't know any closed source systems that are more secure than Linux, and I haven't seen any closed source contracts give better guarentees than contracts based on open source. I don't call Open Source free, but is mainly because I develop and put things back into the open source community. If the buisnesses I run and work for used and paid for closed source products they would all go bust. Since we use open source we pay with the patches, mods and programs I develop and get a fast stable system to boot.
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Re: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby M-Saunders » Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:58 am

A-Wing wrote:I don't know any closed source systems that are more secure than Linux


If we had some VMS fans in here you'd probably get a few arguments about that :-) But in general I agree -- of the mainstream OSes, Linux is doing very well. There's plenty of room for improvement in all the big OSes but we've seen that anthing with upwards of a million users is going to be targeted.

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RE: Re: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby Nigel » Sat Jul 23, 2005 9:59 am

Well, a few years ago I would have classed myself as a VMS fan... and yes, security was good, IF you set it up and monitored it properly.
But it had it's holes, like any other system. When you listed out the users with their priveleges, it was supposedly easy to spot the priveleged (dangerous) accounts because they had a long list of priveleges against their username. On several sites I ended up with SETPRV privelege, which was very easy to miss when scanning a big list of users, but which allowed me to assign any privelege I wanted to any process on the machine, ie it was as good as having the SYSTEM (root) password.
And if you got access to the system console you could break into any VMS system if you knew what you were doing.

VMS was a truly great operating system in it's day. Which was the early 1980s through to the mid 1990s. :)
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RE: Re: Linux and Opensouce, What do you think

Postby jjmac » Mon Jul 25, 2005 11:20 am

M-Saunders, all respects of course, but just a few responses on your ideas :)


>>
Well, I was referring to actual Linux desktops (eg KDE) rather than the general concept of desktop Linux. You don't have a confusion with Linux's definition, because you know loads about Linux, but for newcomers we need to push forward a cohesive whole rather than bits'n'bobs.
>>

(grin) ... Yes, i do know you were referring to Kde (grin), and no, i wasn't referring to general desktop linux... And no, i don't know loads about Linux at all. All i know is what iv'e managed to experience, which is quite limited compared to the wider scope. Also, you don't need to push forward anything for new users, the main distros are quite capable of pushing forward their own agenders, on everything from the preferred packaging and system configuration systems they will employ, to the default desktop environment. And it is the cohesive whole that is the point. In the case of desktop environments ... The original poster is just drawing attention to the way the larger scope of applications that also run with the Linux kernel tend to be over looked by mags for the more popularist Kde/Gnome focus. The suggestion is that it has been over done. All the different distros, desktop expressions, applications etc, will have their sites, their documentation sets etc. There the places to go for in depth explanations on the facility concerned. Wouldn't "Linux", as in the community, be served better, if, when a new user coming to Linux, via a magazine they have seen on a shelf ... possibly with some cdroms or an included dvd with an installable image ... finds that the magazines focus is to provide an overview to all these facilities. With articles than run through them, just to set out some of the basic prerequisites involved. Such as associated jargon. And to invite opinion/discussion along these lines. Rather than just having a default focus on a couple. That isn't "bits'n'bobs" as you so put it. Quite the inverse :) The distros will all have their own agendas, which LT keeps a tight hold on in the kernels development team. Otherwise we would have a very different Linux kernel than the one we have now. Where specialist facilities can be provided via modules without imposing on the main tree. So, what's this "pushing", tying together is another way of looking at a mags role. I think the intelligence level of your average newbie to Linux would be quite capable of absorbing all these "bits'n'bobs" really (grin).


>>
but for newcomers we need to push forward a cohesive whole rather than bits'n'bobs.
>>

They way you draw that conclusion there. It does tend to deny the drawer any further progress really. As, obviously, the cohesive whole is your desktop which would be kde i would expect, and the <cough>bits'n'bobs</cough> would be the others that you seem to think are diluting (Good Grief !)




>>
By focusing on desktop environments (in the promotional sense) rather than Linux as a whole, we run the risk of confusing users even more. That's what I mean by dilution. If we advocate and promote Linux as being Linux, an open source operating system, we have a strong, varied base behind us -- despite all the different communities. Conversely, if we lessen mentions of Linux and focus more on KDE and Gnome, it complicates matters greatly
>>

:wink:

Are you just trying to twist it around to suite or something (grin).

Focusing on the broader scope of Linux, rather than just a couple of desktops is exactly the point that the original post was trying to make :roll: When users make enquiries about other environments ... that isn't necessarily confusion ... basically it is purely an inquiry for info or pointers to info concerning them. Which a magazine can be very good at providing. Depending on the mags outlook of course. Your explanation for "dilution" is flawed. It is making assumptions. The idea of an article having to be promotional ... that must be the way you view them ... it is the way a merchant would. But that doesn't mean that everything that is being written about is necessarily being pushed for a sale (grin).

A mag should be tying together the various depths of Linux, rather than ignoring all that for the convieniance of two. XP is only so popular because it comes as default in the box for cricky sake (grin).



>>
If we advocate and promote Linux as being Linux, an open source operating system, we have a strong, varied base behind us -- despite all the different communities.
>>


Shouldn't that be "with all the different communities" or is that also prone to definition/redefinition (grin)

>>
Conversely, if we lessen mentions of Linux and focus more on KDE and Gnome, it complicates matters greatly.
>>

Beautifully said ... a fine expression of writers obscurity :D


>>
here've been loads of posts on here, and in other forums, from new users completely flabbergasted by all the talk of KDE, Gnome, Xfce IceWM etc. Diversity is a good thing and there'll probably never be One Linux Desktop, but it can (and does) put people off when they're dunked into all these terms. That's why I say, let's focus on promoting Linux as a whole OS (even though it IS spread out), rather than individual deskto environments
>>

Yeah, right (grin), flbergasted is a bit strong though, not to mention somewhat conclusive. "dunked in", i doubt it. All they are doing is, as usual, just enquiring but not finding, because those aspects are continually ignored in preference for Kde/Gnome. The way you finish that is a complete contradiction to the mag focus ... Like ... what was the Kde vs Gnome article all about, and the continuous rehashing of that kind of thing under different guises. The last line is exactly what you are doing !



>>
>>>>
not sure what you mean by the "uber" in "uber133t" (grin),

Thats not a put down of Fluxbox is it, if so, i'm somewha surprised to be reading it.
>>>>


Not at all I used Blackbox and Fluxbox for about six months on my laptop. It's excellent. My point was, those large companies switching to Linux desktops are almost entirely going with Gnome or KDE -- they're not giving users Fluxbox with snazzy dark themes like we see in screenshots. That kinda stuff is for us geeks; the enterprises want dull, boring and samey.
>>


ummm, what does the "uber" mean (grin), their going with Gnome or Kde because it's part of the RH, SuSE, Mandy default, and is preconfigured.

>>
the enterprises want dull, boring and samey.
>>

They want safe ... but thats business, and makes a lot of sense of course. But they don't need you guys to do the ground work familiarisations for them.

All this is easier said than done, and i do appriciate that, but a start is usually the first step :) is it not ... Commisioned specialist articles would be a way, or interview based articles an other. But, this thread could lose focus (so to speak (grin)) if it gets to thrashed out, so i bail for the moment. But an excellent and worthy topic none the less. And worthy of further exploration too.



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