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Miguel de Icaza On Usability and Openness 349

Posted by Soulskill
from the many-eyes-have-many-priorities dept.
doperative points out comments from Miguel de Icaza on the struggle for usability in many software products: "De Icaza uses OpenSUSE as his main desktop (with the GNOME interface, of course), says he likes Linux better than Windows, and says the Linux kernel is also 'superior' to the MacOS kernel. 'Having the source code for the system is fabulous. Being able to extend the system is fabulous,' he says. But he notes that proprietary systems have advantages — such as video and audio systems that rarely break. 'I spent so many years battling with Linux and something new is broken every time,' he says. 'We as an open source community, we don't seem to get our act together when it comes to understanding the needs of end users on the desktop.'"
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Miguel de Icaza On Usability and Openness

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  • More FUD (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Sound and video is broken on open systems because of the RIAA/MPAA and Microsoft with their protected pathways, encryption, patented interconnects and tilt bits.

    • by MrHanky (141717)

      No, it's broken because there's an infinite number of tiny little parts that usually don't work properly together.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/28/vista_drm_analysis/ [theregister.co.uk]

        Vista's content protection requires that devices (hardware and software drivers) set so-called "tilt bits" if they detect anything unusual. For example if there are unusual voltage fluctuations, maybe some jitter on bus signals, a slightly funny return code from a function call, a device register that doesn't contain quite the value that was expected, or anything similar, a tilt bit gets set. Such occurrences aren't too uncommon in a typical compute

        • by clodney (778910)

          How does the existence of tilt bits in Windows affect the stability of drivers in Linux?

    • by iluvcapra (782887)
      Well, that and the fact that Linux has no stable kernel ABI, partly to make it "agile" and partly to punish video card and other hardware vendors for not having the open source religion.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Nvidia seems to have no problems, you speak of things you know nothing about.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)
          If you can get my M-Audio Solo working with ALSA and jackd, and my BlackMagic DeckLink working on Ubuntu, let me know.
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            I will be glad to try, I charge $150/hr with $300 minimum. Feel free to contact me about this.

            • by peragrin (659227)

              For $150 and 2 hours I can buy windows home edition and have it installed.

              So why should I pay you $150/hr to make something work that I can do in the same time for less?

              • by AK Marc (707885)
                That's unrelated to the question of "does it work, and if so how." Cheaper and faster than your solution would be to go to a store than sells phones and get the cheapest $99 Android. That doesn't mean it's better. And the question wasn't "how do I make it work" but "how do I make it work on Unbuntu" Which you failed to address.
            • Re:More FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

              by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:00PM (#35455486)

              There goes the lower TCO I guess.

              I think you exemplify the fundamental open source attitude, namely that only people who know how to code deserve to have a working computer, and everyone else has to pay through the nose that the coders may deign to help them. The fantasy is world where the IT dweeb becomes the overpaid fat-cat and the right to compute is really a privilege delegated by a priesthood.

              • Your argument is with capitalism - not some imagined cabal of geeks plotting against you. Open source is not guaranteed to cheap, and given your line of business I doubt you'd typically settle for bus fair and lunch.

                You're not looking for a coder; what you need is a serf with decent technical skills. Developers are not some kind of communal resource to be called on when people can't be arsed to pay someone to fix a problem they themselves can't solve. I can't speak for the entire open source communi

                • Re:More FUD (Score:4, Insightful)

                  by iluvcapra (782887) on Friday March 11, 2011 @05:40PM (#35457410)

                  Your argument is with capitalism - not some imagined cabal of geeks plotting against you.

                  My argument is that I want a product that has one predictable price, and once paid it works like any other tool. The open source business model is about selling services to make products that only work well enough to keep you buying more services -- Shuttleworth can engage in all the altruism he pleases but eventually someone needs to pay their bills, and for devs services on Linux are the only option. I don't want a serf, but if you decide a priori that shrinkwrapped software is forbidden, it becomes impossible to retail a "just works" solution; you're stuck paying the $100/hour guy who rolls his eyes at you all the time. I mean, this is your pitch for consumer Linux: it's free but your costs for support of X that Windows and OSX have will either cost you $unknown or $MAX_INT, if the feature is in forbidden by "stupid laws." Why would anyone take that deal? If you cannot yourself code, the continuing free-as-in-freedom benefits of Linux are meaningless.

                  I can't speak for the entire open source community, but I think the general sentiment would be "Wipe drive, reinstall Windows, and fuck off".

                  Everybody here assumes I'm using Windows, which is interesting. I've never used a Windows PC outside of a Kinkos, let alone owned one...

              • by Chris Burke (6130)

                I think you exemplify the fundamental open source attitude, namely that only people who know how to code deserve to have a working computer, and everyone else has to pay through the nose that the coders may deign to help them.

                Which is why Ubuntu is dedicated to making a simple Linux desktop that "just works" and requires no programming or even enthusiast system administration knowledge, and is still free in both senses of the word.

                Go ahead and criticize how they're doing at attaining that goal, because it doesn't change that they are working for it and thus your characterization of "the fundamental open source attitude" is wrong.

                But on the subject of reaching that goal, my ex-roomate, a complete computer neophyte, has been using

        • by Machtyn (759119)
          I wish that were the case, at least on Ubuntu 10.10. My recently purchased GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 (AMD processor) with nVidia 8800GT just will not load Ubuntu 10.10 with the proprietary drivers. Everything I've tried, from ripping out the open source drivers to preventing them from loading at boot has failed. Everytime it gets past the loading screen to display the login screen, my monitor goes black (then displays the "lost connection" dialog).

          Oh, sure, in Fedora it seems to work fine, but it turns o
    • by e70838 (976799)
      It is also broken on windows, which is the main reason of the success of VLC on windows.

      I have less problem with my ubuntu system (with very few fiddling) than on windows 7 (with starter edition :-( )

      Is it a troll ?
  • Looks like according to de Icaza 2011 still won't be the year of the Linux Desktop.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MightyMartian (840721)

      Maybe there will never be a year of the Linux Desktop... There'll just be the Year of the Linux Smartphone... The Linux Embedded Device... The Linux tablet...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You know, I'm pretty fed up with OSS attitude toward usability. Apparently you just don't get it.

      There needs to be a way to use the software on my machine that doesn't require me to open a MAN page and edit a config file. There's a simple reason for this; people do not have TIME to do these things. The utopian world of thousands of sweaty, Cheetos-encrusted Metallica T-Shirt-wearing geeks the world over writing code that will break the Microsoft monopoly is permanently doomed to failure because you all t

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:35PM (#35454314) Journal

    Closed source audio can break too. My last motherboard had onboard RealTek audio. Worked perfectly in Linux. Under XP, it crackled endlessly. Ended up buying a discrete sound card.

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:44PM (#35454454) Journal

      I had an el-cheapo HP notebook that had absolutely horrible video playback under Windows, just terrible. Put Ubuntu on it, and other than having to download the WiFi drivers (ethernet worked fine), it ran waaaay faster... Could watch DVDs, hidef, you name, but under Vista it was just a horrible dog.

      Of course, being an el-cheapo HP notebook, it fried itself.

    • by AntEater (16627)

      ...Worked perfectly in Linux. Under XP, it crackled endlessly. Ended up buying a discrete sound card.

      I think you ended up fixing the wrong problem.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Yeah I know. But I wanted to play some games that weren't supported in Wine. The discrete sound card gives me less noise too, so it was a worthwhile purchase.

    • Have you tried turning it off and on again?

    • by Galestar (1473827) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:08PM (#35454742)
      In order to get the microphone working on my Ubuntu Lucid, I had to recompile ALSA from source, and go through about 30 steps to get it installed. This was fine for me, or probably anyone else here as we are pretty technical, but how can we expect normal users to be able to do this?
      • by hedwards (940851)

        I had issues with Ubuntu not playing well with my bluetooth keyboard. I could use it with grub, but the log in screen wouldn't detect it. So, I had to log in with my wired keyboard. I suspect that there's a way of making the change permanent, but I don't have that problem with OpenSUSE or any other OS I've used.

        • by hitmark (640295)

          Not sure why it worked in grub, but i suspect the reason why it did not work on login (if it was graphical) is the age old problem of X going its own ways when it comes to hardware.

      • by Nursie (632944)

        I had a similar thing with a few versions of Ubuntu about two years or so back. Had to compile ALSA from source to get it to recognise the headphone jack on my laptop. And recompile every time I updated.

        After a couple of cycles I switched back to debian (which I first used in 1995!) and all has been well ever since.

        Well, mostly. As much as any computer ever is. Right now my hackintosh is having boot problems and Win 7 is infected with god knows what so debian Linux is currently getting the 'just works' awar

    • by MobyDisk (75490)

      Realtek drivers are notorious for this. I had this same issue too until I found juuuust the right driver version that worked. Windows 7 resolved the issue too.

  • by Gandalf_the_Beardy (894476) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:39PM (#35454378)
    I use both Linux and Windows at home and the office. The reason is simple - for back end stuff where I need to write custom stuff, hack data about and get it to do stuff then Linux or occassionally *BSD is king. For front end usage where I want a clean slick and above all consistent interface I'll often use Windows. Partly because I need to interoperate with other people, but mainly because it offers a better and easier working environment. Linux on the desktop is good if you are doing teechnical stuff, like writing an encoding system for digital amateur radio (my current pet project). For using the computer more as a commodity tool for email/word processing/video watching etc Windows still is better presented and more importantly doesnt break grotesquely with every new update that appears like Ubuntu does (and yes I'm looking at 9.10) Until Linux, or more strictly I suppose GNOME/KDE etc get over this then I suspect that further adoption of linux on the desktop will stall.
    • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:47PM (#35454506)

      Windows 'works' largely because it comes pre-installed. Try taking any random PC, wiping the disk and installing Windows on it from an official Microsoft install CD and you'll find it at least as hard to get working as Linux.

      Though personally the last few times I've installed Linux I just stuck the CD in the drive, selected a few install options and half an hour later I had a working system sitting at the logon prompt. Finding, downloading and installing all the correct updated drivers for a fresh Windows install would probably take longer than that.

      • by TheLink (130905)
        Due to work requirements, I installed Windows 7 64 bit on my corporate laptop from scratch (it came with Vista Home 32 bit or something unsuitable). Wasn't any harder than installing Ubuntu despite teh fact that Dell did/does not officially support Windows 7 64 bit on that laptop model.

        As for download time, both require lots of updates to be downloaded.

        Given the amount of crapware bundled with most laptops, wiping and reinstalling Windows from scratch might actually be a good idea. Just most people can't do
      • That describes how I have installed every Windows PC I've ever used, from the days of 3.0 onwards.

        I'm not talking about installing, that's relatively simple although Windows is still easier to get installed than Linux, if only because of better driver support. I'm talking about wanton breakage like when you upgrade a package for a security issue and find it borks all the other stuff it talks to in a majorly problematical way - eg Pulseaudio, or when someone decides to implement a better power saving schem

        • by hedwards (940851)

          That's more of a Linux problem. Since there's a kernel with no definite userland, that sort of thing happens. I haven't had the problem with FreeBSD or Windows because there is a much greater degree of separation between the base install and any 3rd party applications. Windows was having similar problems to Linux in the past with 3rd party libraries getting mixed in and replacing system ones, I think they've mostly got that sorted out in recent versions, but that was a large part of the stability problems o

      • Try taking any random PC, wiping the disk and installing Windows on it from an official Microsoft install CD and you'll find it at least as hard to get working as Linux.

        No, you'll find Linux is now as easy to get up and running as Windows. It wasn't until recently that installing Linux became a minimal hassle process.

        In the past 6 months, I've installed OS X, CentOS, Ubuntu, Windows XP and Windows 7 on various machines at home and at work. OS X was the only "dead simple" installation process. It's so simple

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by robmv (855035)

      Windows alone does not works, a new laptop or desktop with Windows and every driver needed and applications installed just works. Do not compare a tested hardware and software configuration with using Linux in any crappy hardware you could have. I am a ThinkPad fan and even when I received my free upgrade to Windows 7 for my small Windows partition (Fedora is my distribution of choice) I needed to use for a clean install the extra DVD with the Lenovo Updater, to download a lot of drivers and applications t

      • Youre also comparing apples to oranges. Drivers are contained in the Linux kernel; they are not contained in the Windows kernel (though windows does prepackage and ship with many drivers in the base install). Windows gets a new version every 3-5 years; Linux distros every 6mos-2 years (sometimes more tho). So Windows is more likely to have out of date or missing drivers... but when both Linux and Windows are missing drivers, Windows is almost always easier to install said driver with-- mainly because Dev

    • For using the computer more as a commodity tool for email/word processing/video watching etc Windows still is better presented and more importantly doesnt break grotesquely with every new update that appears like Ubuntu does (and yes I'm looking at 9.10) Until Linux, or more strictly I suppose GNOME/KDE etc get over this then I suspect that further adoption of linux on the desktop will stall.

      That's something that a lot of people seem to miss.

      If you need to get at internals, Linux is the choice. If you want a workhorse back-end system, Linux is the choice. If you want a desktop with great cutting-edge features, Linux is the way to go - KDE betas are best for that ;). On the other hand -- if you want a desktop system that stays out of your way, Just Works, and requires little maintenance beyond letting an auto updater do its thing... Windows or OSX are your only real options.

      When I use my computer to get a task done, my time is valuable - and I increasingly resent time I am forced to spend fixing or working around issues that are not immediately germane to the task at hand. That task might be browsing the web, editing a document, writing code, watching a video, debugging, etc. I have consistently found that I can't simply do that on the various flavors of linux - there's always something that seems to need adjusting, or stops working correctly, or doesn't work at all.

      The problem is that people will often start blaming at this point, when they hear these statements. They'll say, "It's nvidia's fault for not doing X" or "it's your fault because you didn't do Y" or "it's the upstream maintainer's fault because he didn't do Z". Which is, unfortunately, completely missing the point: when you are using a system to get a task done, fault does not matter.

      I, as a user of a product, want to simply use the product -- and spend zero time hunting down answers that I shouldn't need to concern myself with. As a developer and a tinkerer I understand why doing this is necessary, and can even enjoy it sometimes. But as an end user, I experience a ridiculous level of frustration and exasperation when I need to devote MY time to working around somebody ELSE's issue - no matter whether we're talking about operating system, development tool chain, pc games, the amazingly badly designed FIOS TV interface, or anything else.

      In recent years, I also find that the desktops are experimenting with increasingly weird crap - things that are both fun and frustrating. (Fun because they look like good concepts. Frustrating because the deviation from the familiar means less time Just Working even as I enjoy playing with them.) I will keep trying every few months, and I certainly have more than my fair share of back end linux servers and dual boot desktop systems - but for the forseeable future, Linux just isn't there.

      • by k8to (9046)

        Funny. My work osx laptop has apps that stop working at every significant point release, while my desktop linux install has had only one or two 10 minute problems in the past 12 years of continuous upgrades.

        I don't believe you.

        • Well, that sure contributed to this discussion of valid concerns. Here, I can do it to:

          Funny, my linux installs have continually been plagued with problems.The worst one was the time I once installed the latest Ubuntu update and - due to a bad Xorg driver - Xorg stopped working completely. Even better, because by default on most distros, wireless network login is attached to your desktop shell and not your system boot... I couldn't get online to track down the reason for the failure without using another

      • by Hatta (162192)

        - if you want a desktop system that stays out of your way, Just Works, and requires little maintenance beyond letting an auto updater do its thing.

        Funny, this is exactly how I'd describe my Debian Sid box.

      • Sigh. Please append "for me" to the final sentence; and "IMNSO opinion to the first full paragraph" as otherwise I'll apparently be deluged with anecdotes to prove me wrong.
      • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:11PM (#35455630)

        - if you want a desktop system that stays out of your way, Just Works, and requires little maintenance beyond letting an auto updater do its thing... Windows or OSX are your only real options

        Theres truth to all of what youve said, but youre simplifying things waaay too much. There are times Windows will just refuse to work with a system (ie, shipped with vista, provides no XP drivers, nothing works in XP, and Vista SP2 hasnt shipped yet), and Linux will land you with a beautifully configured and funcitonal system out of the box; there are times, conversely, where nothing you do seems to get Pulse to work with flash, or theres no driver for your wifi card, but Win7 just nails it from the get go.

        Ive stopped using Ubuntu for the most part for a few reasons, but the main one was that I used to do a lot of WoW and used ventrilo for it, and one of the upgrades finally stopped working quite right with wine, and I was just tired of having to make each and every proprietary, windows-only thing I did work right on Linux. It was doable, and fun and instructive for a while, but after a while the excitement fades and you tire of pushing so hard against the reality that you really do need Windows-only apps (Evolution's OWA integration SUCKS compared to real MAPI support from Outlook!).

        But I can fully envision someone who really does need only the web and a few other things and for them Linux Just Works in a way Windows cant-- fully integrated updates, general freedom from the spectre of malware (the reason is irrelevant)

        They'll say, "It's nvidia's fault for not doing X" or "it's your fault because you didn't do Y" or "it's the upstream maintainer's fault because he didn't do Z". Which is, unfortunately, completely missing the point: when you are using a system to get a task done, fault does not matter.

        There is a lot of truth to this, but people forget about these incidents on Windows because theyre considered part of what you have to do-- XP didnt come with passable nVidia drivers worth gaming with, nor did Vista; you had to hunt them down and install them. But when you have to do the same on Linux-- which is basically an identical experience with a single binary that you run and does all the work for you-- all of a sudden its "too much of a burden on the user".

        Its also worth mentioning that comparing a preinstalled OS with preinstalled drivers to one that you install from disk post-factory is apples-to-oranges-- If / when Linux is preinstalled from an image onto HP or Acer laptops, they wont have driver issues-- they wont ship until they are fixed. See for example the instant-boot varieties like Acer's and HPs preboot web-browsing-only Linux distros-- the wireless works flawlessly on those, because the manufacturer took care of it.

        In usability and out-of-box-experience, Windows and Linux (generally) are getting closer and closer; I rather suspect that as that continues, the complaints about Gnome and Ubuntu's changes will be rather more vocal.

    • by godrik (1287354)

      I beg to differ actually. I do not think the interface is the main problem. If the machine is properly installed then people use gnome very easily without much trouble. In my experience, the problem mainly comes from hardware support and installation. Getting a graphic driver to work just correctly can be a major PITA. I stumbled yesterday on someone with a laptop with hybrid graphic card: an intel for low power consumption and an nvidia for performance. It just does not work. The user would be happy with g

      • by edmicman (830206)

        I have a Thinkpad with switchable graphics - integrated Intel for low power stuff and an ATI discrete chip for real graphics. I'm running Ubuntu 10.10 on it. The way it works is basically Ubuntu doesn't support on the fly switching so you select in the BIOS which setting you want "on" and it uses that. Every Ubuntu seems to detect there's proprietary drivers for the ATI stuff just fine - but every time I've tried using those and using the discrete graphics, it reboots and just comes to a blank screen. I

  • .. I don't have to far around with trying to find/install having the latest DirectX or GPU drivers because they fixed a bug that the latest game exposed.

    Well, at least they used too ... until game developers realized they could "patch" on day-0. :-( So much for quality assurance / control. QA is ignored because management needs a game out THIS quarter.

    --} Thinks just work out of the box. {-- I wish the customer experience was the forefront of ALL technology -- sadly it is all-too-often tossed aside at th

  • by King_TJ (85913) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:45PM (#35454466) Journal

    I mean, what would you have expected De Icaza to say his preferred OS was? Yeah, the fact he said it was Linux didn't exactly shock me....

    But his other statement is equally "non news". Yep, "proprietary systems" (commercial OS offerings) are far better at supporting random hardware. Linux will NEVER really win that particular battle, because too many companies release a new product (such as a video card) where the driver software is just as critical a component as the chips soldered onto the board at giving the advertised video performance. The video performance is what people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for. Otherwise, everyone would just be happy with whatever on-board video was provided with their motherboard, or whichever card was the cheapest. When you as a video card maker are in this situation? You're going to be struggling enough to make it perform reliably, as-intended, with just ONE operating system. The motivation to go through all that work again for a free OS like Linux just isn't really there. #1, Linux won't have the number of 3D game titles that actually make good use of such a card. But #2, you don't want to risk releasing the source code to those proprietary drivers that make that new card go, because doing so would be like inviting all your competitors into your factories to take video and photographs, or make copies of all your engineers' design notes. So any Linux drivers provided will have to be binaries only, leading to a lot of hassles providing ones that work with various distros and Linux releases. And don't forget #3 - when you re-release the SAME card with re-worked drivers for Mac OS X, you get to sell the thing at close to full retail price for far longer than you'll ever fetch that price with the Windows crowd. Do you think the Linux community would pay those prices for a "Linux edition" of a given Windows graphics card, just because good Linux drivers were offered? (Maybe a few die-hards would, but just as many would get indignant about having to pay inflated prices for a card with drivers they don't even get the source to.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dkleinsc (563838)

      The basic thing I'm noticing is that for a guy who in his history of GNOME [ximian.com] describes himself as a "free software entusiast" [sic], he seems awfully disinterested in making Gnome better, or if the Gnome devs don't like his ideas forking off something of his own.

      The other fascinating point I see in your second statement is that it's not the open source world's fault that the latest and greatest high-performance video and audio cards aren't supported as well as they are on Windows. Microsoft, Apple, etc have v

    • Yep, "proprietary systems" (commercial OS offerings) are far better at supporting random hardware. Linux will NEVER really win that particular battle, because too many companies release a new product (such as a video card) where the driver software is just as critical a component as the chips soldered onto the board at giving the advertised video performance.

      In my past experience ( ~15 years of penguin usage ), the situation isn't so black and white.
      What you say is typical for graphic cards : there are only a couple of big companies in the market, churning new hardware and software on a regular basis, and putting lot of resources to make suitable drivers for windows.
      On Linux you're left with either sub-par open-source drivers (which some time have to be reverse engineered [Nouveau], although some company have started to release infos or even actively support th

  • by perpenso (1613749) on Friday March 11, 2011 @01:46PM (#35454476)
    Understanding the needs of desktop users is perpetually hampered by a large component of Linux culture. The "by nerds for nerds" attitude. Historically this was a great asset when targeting the server and unix workstation markets, users in these areas were typically nerds. However going after the public in general (the mythical year of the Linux desktop) requires a different attitude. To be specific one Linux distribution would need a different attitude, not all of the Linux distributions. Having different distributions focus on radically different communities would seem to be the way to go.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      You see this come in to play with de Icaza himself. Just look above in the comments. He's a "sell out" even though he probably has written more software for Linux than anyone here. So here he is trying to make Linux better and he's been cast as an outsider because he wants to make it mainstream and now works for a company that took money to make that happen. These guys must eat ideology cereal or something.

  • Some day Linux will dominate the desktop market. That is when the desktops constitute less than 4% of all computing platforms.
    • They already do. You realize that until recently, something like 60% of all processors sold were 8-bit microcontrollers, right? User-visible "computers" are a niche.

      But let me guess... you're an Android fanboy.
  • by brennanw (5761) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:01PM (#35454658) Homepage Journal

    ... that certain components (for example, audio) take a long time to figure out how to make work, and end users tend to get impatient about such things. That doesn't mean no progress is being made, or even that good progress isn't being made.

    I've used Linux since about 2000-2001, and I'm not really an expert. From my perspective, Linux of today is leaps and bounds over what it was then in terms of user friendliness, configurability, etc. And in terms of multimedia, well... it's somewhat usable but not there yet. But it gets closer constantly. That doesn't mean it isn't frustrating, and I still cuss out pulseaudio (and eventually uninstall it) every time I try to get it to do things that seem intuitively obvious to me... but each time I've used it I notice improvements, and I'm pretty confident that one day it will just work... at which point there will be something ELSE that everyone complains about.

    Because Linux developers don't have direct access to proprietary information, progress on proprietary-heavy aspects of an operating system (like audio, and video, etc.) is unfortunately slower than other areas. Nothing can get around that other than companies open sourcing their drivers and putting patents in the public domain (which is a longer way of saying "nothing can get around that.") But the progress is still both remarkable and laudable. Though I still reserve the right to cuss out the parts of Linux that don't work when I want them to. It's nothing personal, guys, it's just a pain in the ass.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday March 11, 2011 @02:04PM (#35454694) Journal

    But he notes that proprietary systems have advantages — such as video and audio systems that rarely break. 'I spent so many years battling with Linux and something new is broken every time,' he says. 'We as an open source community, we don't seem to get our act together when it comes to understanding the needs of end users on the desktop.'"

    Is it because the open source community fails to get its "act" together? Or the audio and video codecs are encumbered with so many dubious patents and intellectual property claims. And the closed source vendors are using that to create walled gardens?

  • if he had to get final approval from his boss Mr. Ballmer prior to submission.
  • Perhaps if he used Ubuntu, the distribution aimed at making sure the audio and video stuff works for end users he wouldn't have this problem as much? I only have video problems with Ubuntu when I'm installing alphas. Otherwise Ubuntu has gotten really good at just working. When I compare the people I've interacted withs experiences installing Windows 7 vs. installing Ubuntu. It's pretty much a wash. They both pretty much work most of the time.

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