Story: Open source on the desktop: Hurry up and waitTotal Replies: 3
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Jun 14, 2004
8:11 AM EDT
Desktop Linux is problematic because he had a hard time installing a server application? What is the problem here?

Jun 14, 2004
8:41 AM EDT
I was thinking the same thing. I was also thinking when he said "we're a long way from Linux on the desktop" he must have been referring to him and his wife. I replaced Windows on the desktop at home long ago and Linux is all my wife and kids have to use. They get along just great. At work several of us just switched off of Windows to Linux so I don't really know where these people are coming from. Because "they" have a hard time they make a blanket statement that it isn't ready. I might agree that it isn't ready for some people but I could never go back to Windows. Even if an app installs as easily as he says (which it usually doesn't), most of the time I find the app horribly inadequate, many bugs, poor support, and no source code to fix/change things if I want. Oh well.

Jun 14, 2004
12:55 PM EDT
I think he means to say that the same package management problems that bite the administrator can also bite the desktop user, which is true enough. I would also put permissions management up there as well.

Yeah, I know Windows is a mess, but it is a mess that everyone understands is a mess and they figure "better the mess they know than the mess they don't."

It is doubly important these be solved because the desktop user doesn't and shouldn't have to know about system administration.

I have a theory that Windows users, by dint of long experience, have figured out when to give up. "Well, I put the CD in the tray and the wizard said I should have snafu.dll on my system, but I have a working system that neither God nor man is allowed to change, so I stopped right there." At most, they waste maybe ten minutes.

With Linux, they know only that the time spent reading this, trying that, means that they waste even more time before they give up. Or by some miracle, succeed.

At work, there is an administrator to handle all the icky stuff, so that is where the desktop will happen first. At home, you're on your own. Let's hope the Xandroses and Lycorises get things ironed out by the time people start wanting Linux at home to go with the Linux at work.

Jun 14, 2004
2:11 PM EDT
The thing is, applications that come with the distro or are designed for the distro are easy as pie to install, even easier than on Windows if you ask me (apt-get install application). There are plenty of crappy packages out there for Windows that are just as hard to install. It's up to the application vendor/builder to make sure it is easy to install, not the Linux distribution. If the Windows app comes up with a setup screen when you stick the CD in, it's because the application vendor took care to make it so. There are plenty of applications for Linux that have pretty installers as well that work flawlessly.

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