Open Source Software and Linux

Oct 6 2008   9:09PM GMT

My Comments on 5 Things I Wish Linux Had

John Little Profile: Xjlittle

I ran across this post from Ken Hess today. I usually hesitate to openly question what other people write and believe but I felt compelled to respond to this one.

Ken says (paraphrased)

1. Built-in Paravirtualization – I want a distribution that is paravirtualized–that is to say, a distribution that comes out of the box ready to give you the virtualization you need as a hypervisor OS

What’s wrong with CentOS or Red Hat. They both come ready with paravirtualization. I am running on the laptop where I am writing this. And I firmly believe that they are considered a major distribution.

2. Applications on Demand – Instead of installing all the applications I want, or think I want, up front, I’d like to have the opportunity to install applications on demand. I want the icons already there as options but when I click the icon for the first time, the application installs, with all its damn dependencies and I have my application.

It is my opinion that Open Source Developers are some of the best in the world. I am sure that they could satisfy Ken’s desire for this. Just one small problem-not everyone is going to want the same applications that Ken wants. The developers are good..but they are not mind readers.

3. Microsoft Office – No, I’m not selling out here and I know about but come on, think of the user base that would come from that port. Linux users are typically anti-Microsoft but how many would still use Microsoft Office? And, how many companies might convert to Linux if MS Office were available for it? I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.

Ken, I think it is just you. People are moving away from Microsoft Office for two reasons: licensing cost and open document format. Remember all of the hullabaloo a few months ago over open document format because Microsoft did not want to adhere to any standard that would allow people to translate their documents into another format? Besides if you really wanted it Crossover Office at less than $50 should fit your meager budget and allow you to use Microsoft Office-that is if the license cost did not drive it over your budget.

4. A Non-Windows-Looking-Acting-Emulating Window Manager – Every Window Manager with the exception of maybe XFCE (which looks like MacOS X) looks like, and tries to emulate, Windows. Can’t someone come up with a different schema? Do we have to wait for Microsoft to come up with something so that we can copy it? Come on, get creative.

For the life of me I cannot get my Gnome desktop to look like a Windows desktop let alone act like it.

Plug in a peripheral and nothing happens–nothing visible at least. Why should I have to open a Terminal Window and mount a flash drive disk that I just stuck in my computer? Why can’t Linux mount it and open it to show me the contents?

Are you using a recent version of Linux? My digital camera and thumb drives all open a window when they are plugged in.

As I said, Linux is fine for hackabee like me but we want regular people to want to use it too, right?

Using Linux, except in very rare situations is no different than using a new version of Windows. There is a learning curve about where things are placed, how to use the applications and so on. It bugs me a little that I don’t use the command line as much as I used to. As an administrator it is definitely a skill that I do not want to lose.

You can edit photos, create documents and spreadsheets, listen to music, browse the web, get email and so on with Linux. And it takes no more work to do it than it does with Windows. All without the command line. This is more than suitable for most users, grandma and grandpa included.


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