What Linux needs to gain popularity

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Jim Phillip » Sun, 16 Jul 1995 04:00:00



Fellow Linux fans,

        For awhile now a debate has been raging as to whether or not Linux
should be shared with the rest of the world.  From what I've seen many
seem to believe that Linux is something that even newbies could use, but
there are those who believe that since Unix in general is more complex than
DOS/Windows, Linux should be reserved for Unix activists..  I'm inclined to
agree with both.  Linux has the potential to become the next great popular
OS, but it is still too complex for the average user.  Here's why:

        * There is still too much reliance on the command line interface.

        * There are insufficient applications available that would be useful.

        * It is too difficult to configure anything (especially X).

        * The GUI isn't simple enough.

        * It's too hard to install anything.

        * No good games.

        Now I'm a command line junkie personally, but most of the people
who haven't yet switched and probably never will are those who rely on
Microsoft Windows to do everything for them.  Now we all pretty much agree
that Windows is a clunky, unreliable GUI.  I've seen nobody arguing that,
except those who have never tried anything else.  We also all agree that
Linux (or Unix in general) is far more stable, and powerful.  But I'll be
the first to admit that Bill Gates has us beat in one area.  Windows is
incredibly easy to use compared to Unix and XFree.  Here's why:

        * Program Manager: an easy to use icon based application launcher.

        * File Manager: a pretty good one especially when compared to what's
                out there for X.

        * Built in Multi-Media: The ability to add new formats to the media
                player is a major plus.

        * Easy to use standardized interface: Many X programs have easy to
                use interfaces, but it seems no two programs use the same
                one.

        * Programmers have a standard toolkit: X has Motif and XView, but
                one's commercial and the other is all too infrequently used.

        * Individually loadable drivers: Linux itself has never had these,
                but is now working towards that goal.  An X interface to
                aid in their configuration will be a must.

        * A host of other little things

        What can we do about this?  Plenty.  I have a plan for the development
of several different programs for X that can help us move towards a standard,
which will blow Microsoft away in terms of usability, power, and
-= hopefully =- popularity.  Let me explain.  For starters, I'd like to
use programs which are already in existance to do much of this.  If it's
already been done, why start over.  In these cases, it would be wise to contact
the author(s) whose program we wish to use and ask for their help in
integrating the program with the new standard.  In areas where nothing
currently exists, we can ask for programmers to help in the creation.  Here's
the general structure I'd like to see:

        * A new Window Manager.  Many of the features of fvwm would be
                useful, and in fact it could be used as a foundation for
                this project.  However we would need to streamline the
                resource file so that on-the-fly changes could be made
                as necessary.  The modular system of fvwm would also
                be useful, and many of it's current modules could be
                ported without many modifications (it's Sound Event and
                Pager modules for example).  Many of fvwm's currently
                built-in functions should also be modulized to cut down
                on overhead.

        * A program manager should be created. I will include more
                details later in this document.

        * A media player. I've found xanim to be very useful so far, but
                it lacks in the area that it's not expandable to include
                new formats except by the author.  More later.

        * A file manager.  Midnight Commander has announced that its new
                version will be written for X.  I'm not exactly sure what
                new features it's touting, but a file viewer would be a
                definate bonus.

        * A programmers' toolkit.  It would contain easy ways to do things
                that both Motif and XView left out.  Such as toolbars, pull
                down menus, OLE, drag-n-drop, multi-media functions, etc..
                Basically all the different specifications of this standard.

        * An Install manager.  This is an idea I believe to be an original
                from me.  More later.

        * Applications that can follow both this standard, and still retain
                the ability to run without it.  Programmer's would be
                encouraged (but not forced) to write programs that would
                use all the features the new standard provides for (ie. OLE,
                drag-n-drop, on-the-fly config, toolbars) which would still
                be able to operate without this "library".

Now, to go into more detail on a few of these things..

First of all, and most importantly, the programmer's toolkit.  This would
have to provide functions to do all the different things the standard
specifies.  In writing this library, we could borrow from both Motif and
XView for what has already been written.  I believe things like buttons,
basic X functions, & etc are written in here.  Stop me if I'm wrong, I'm not
the best programmer, and I really have no X programming experience.  However,
I'm not aware of any functions for doing things like OLE, drag-n-drop, toolbars,
dialog boxes, pull-down menus, on-the-fly configuration, and other high-end
features being included.  As this standard develops, new features could be
added, but here's a few I'd like to see as a start:

        * Object Linking and Embedding
        * Drag 'n' Drop
        * Button Toolbars
        * Pull Down Menus
        * Built-in Icons (for the program manager)
        * Dialog-boxes
        * On-the-fly configuration
        * Printer Interface

Next, the Program Manager.  This could be written either as a module, or
as an application using the toolkit just described.  As a module, it would
have to run from within the new window manager, but could be written smaller
so as not to take up too much overhead.  As a seperate program, it could run
in any window manager (thus allowing the option of using others), but would
be larger due to the fact that the library would have to be linked in.  I
generally envision this as a cross between PCTools Desktop and Norton Desktop.
Either way it should have at least the following features:

        * Program groups
        * Clickable icons to run apps
        * Application Icon's don't necessarily have to be inside a group
        * Groups can contain other groups
        * The ability to drag an icon to and from other apps.
        * Automatic groups for containing up-to-date listings of a users's
                docs or whatever.
        * Whatever else we can think of..

A Media-Viewer.  Like I said before, Xanim is a good start.  However, a better
approach would be to create a general viewer with the basic controls (stop,
play, pause, rewind, fast-forward, loop, etc..) and have it only have two
native formats: A sound format, and a video format.  Then create drivers,
which would convert whatever it is into one of these formats (ie. a driver
for .wav would convert the .wav into the native sound format which would
then be played) or in the case of video with sound, would break the file
into it's two parts as well as convert both parts into the native formats
(ie. .mov would be broken into native sound and native video).  The native
format specs naturally would have to be made public so that new format creators
would be able to write drivers for them (or so third parties could).

A File-Manager.  I mentioned Midnight Commander before.. It's not out yet for
X, so I don't really have anything to base an opinion on, but my guess is it
will be good.  I also said if it doesn't include it, we'll want a built-in
file viewer.  Most people know how this works.. One standard display format
and a filter for converting others.. ie. the viewer would be programmed to
display only jpg and the filters would be written for specific apps (ie
rtf -> jpg)..  Now obviously that specific scenario seems a little odd, but
some other format would be more ideal for the standard..  Authors of an
app which creates one format would then write the filter.. Same concept
as the Media-Viewer but for still images.

A Sound-event manager.  FVWM's already got one, but it could use some
enhancements, such as the ability for other programs to add events to it.

The Install Manager.  I believe this may be an original idea of mine.  I've
never heard of anything like it..  What this is is a client/server program.
The specs for the client will be distributed to programmers, and will be
similar to the Makefile.  Programmers will include in it instructions on what
needs to be configured by the user, how they want the user to be prompted
for this info, etc, compilation info, and installation info.  The server
will be built in to the window-manager, or maybe as a seperate app callable
from any program conforming to the standard (fileman, progman, etc).  It will
control the actual details such as how to display the info given it by the
client.  It will be similar to make in effect.  Thus a user will be able to
pull down a menu from the program manager, select Install App, be asked
where the App is to be installed from, and it will take it from there,
prompting the user for info as needed, and displaying error messages, and
progress meter along the way.  It will be in effect like providing an
install.exe program to all developers and allowing them to create an
install.nfo file or whatever.  Some DOS/Windows app companies already use
one installer for all of their apps making only minor modifications for
individual programs..  Why can't X have something like this?

Disclaimer:
        * I'm aware of the 4D window manager for SGI which has some of
                the feature's i've mentioned.  That might be something
                to base parts of this from.  To my knowlege 4D hasn't
                been ported yet to Linux.
        * I've been told that creating a standard like this will get
                criticism for the same reasons that emacs does.  My only
                complaint with emacs is that it's hard to remember the
                commands.  I'm hoping this standard will be REALLY EASY
                for everyone.
        * All rights reserved, My dog ate it, copyright 1995, It's not
                my
...

read more »

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Jim Phillip » Sun, 16 Jul 1995 04:00:00



Quote:>    You have a very good point, Jim.  It got me reading and thinking
> so hard that I didn't find it necessary for it to be posted twice. :*)
> I have to add one point.  Another problem that Linux (in particular, X) has
> is that it isn't very visually appealing.  If you have taken a look at Win95
> Final Beta, you know what I mean.  So, another good thing to do is to
> standardize on a common style for X apps that appeal to the average user.

I sort of implied this with the toolkit section, but yeah, I definately
agree there.. That is another thing Windows has got going for it.. It at
least looks good..

Quote:>    Here's my next question:  what can I do to help?  I have an
> average, but not expert, knowledge of C programming, and I have *NO* X
> experience whatsoever.  If I had the expertise, I would have already
> started cooking, say, a GUI-based WYSIWYG word processor for Linux.  So,

I've got the same problem.. I know enough C that I can come up with ideas
that would be feasible and can get a rough idea on how they could be
done, but don't know enough to do it..

Quote:> I would like to do something else besides programming as far as Linux is
> concerned, until I can find the time to sit down and learn all the stuff.
> Do you have any suggestions?

Well, I guess at this point in the game, the only thing we can do is try
to recruit others and continue coming up with ideas to incorporate into
it.  Perhaps, start writing out a basic spec sheet for the toolkit (like
descriptions of what different things should look like).  There's lots of
things that can be done..  I personally don't have access to a WWW server
so a homepage might be helpful.. something to keep the publicity up.. all
kinds of different things..

Thanx for the help,
        Jim

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Trident Syste » Mon, 17 Jul 1995 04:00:00


: Fellow Linux fans,
[snip]

In other words, rewrite Windows for Linux?

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Kazimir Kylhe » Mon, 17 Jul 1995 04:00:00




Quote:>    Now I'm a command line junkie personally, but most of the people
>who haven't yet switched and probably never will are those who rely on
>Microsoft Windows to do everything for them.  Now we all pretty much agree
>that Windows is a clunky, unreliable GUI.  I've seen nobody arguing that,
>except those who have never tried anything else.  We also all agree that
>Linux (or Unix in general) is far more stable, and powerful.  But I'll be
>the first to admit that Bill Gates has us beat in one area.  Windows is
>incredibly easy to use compared to Unix and XFree.  Here's why:

All that may be so, but Linux doesn't need any sort of user-friendly
baggage to be successful. It has already succeeded without all that stuff.
Linux isn't in competition in anyone, and has nothing to lose. The people
that use it usually have very good reasons for doing so, having made a
decision free from the subtle pressures of advertizing.

The existing Linux community, in my opinion, has little to gain by the
influx of commercial monster-apps. If Linux were suddely to become incredibly
popular (say at the level of Win 3.x), I'd have a lot of work opportunities
as a consultant to individuals -- this is true.  However, it's not the
soft of work I prefer to do; custom coding projects are more my thing.
I can't stand dealing with newbie end-users and their pathetic problems,
like "Help! I can't print!!!" In the role of a popular OS, Linux would
be reduced to the function of a program loader with a GUI -- like OS/2,
Windoze or MacOS -- albeit a very robust and capable program loader.

UNIX won't come to the user -- it is the user that has to come to UNIX,
when he or she is seriously interested enough in computing to become a
professional in that field.

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Jim Phillip » Tue, 18 Jul 1995 04:00:00





> >       Now I'm a command line junkie personally, but most of the people
> >who haven't yet switched and probably never will are those who rely on
> >Microsoft Windows to do everything for them.  Now we all pretty much agree
> >that Windows is a clunky, unreliable GUI.  I've seen nobody arguing that,
> >except those who have never tried anything else.  We also all agree that
> >Linux (or Unix in general) is far more stable, and powerful.  But I'll be
> >the first to admit that Bill Gates has us beat in one area.  Windows is
> >incredibly easy to use compared to Unix and XFree.  Here's why:

> All that may be so, but Linux doesn't need any sort of user-friendly
> baggage to be successful. It has already succeeded without all that stuff.
> Linux isn't in competition in anyone, and has nothing to lose. The people
> that use it usually have very good reasons for doing so, having made a
> decision free from the subtle pressures of advertizing.

> The existing Linux community, in my opinion, has little to gain by the
> influx of commercial monster-apps.

Nowhere did I say that "commercial monster-apps" would be either an
advantage or a disadvantage.  I'm inclined to agree that commercialism by
it's very nature defies what the Linux community has done such a
wonderful job of doing and that is to bring such a high quality product to
people free of charge.  The entire idea behind my idea is to get this
community atmosphere working together to bring some high quality
applications to go with this OS.  I don't believe Linux should be a
single purpose operating system..  I'm a programmer (or at least working
to become one), and that is why I made the initial switch to Linux.  
However, since then, I have also begun learning many additional skills
such as Network Administration, etc..  That doesn't mean I wouldn't like
to have a nice GUI that's easy for me to work with.. I'm happy with vi
and gnu-make and gcc as well as all the other text mode programs I use.  
But doing the endless little admin tasks such as editing countless files
in order to get one little program to compile really takes a lot of my
time I'd rather be spending USING that same program.  I'd like to have a
Word Processor I don't have to spend three months learning the cryptic
language required to be able to write anything in (LaTeX), I'd like to be
able to click on a button to run an application rather than having to
first switch to my shell and then run the same app from a command line.  
I'd like a checkbook program that I can use without first loading DOSEMU
and going through the *dos gives me just so I can run a really old
version of quicken.. I'd like to be able to run one multi-media program
and not have to install a whole different program just so i can view a
new format..  There's so many things I'd LIKE to do that I just don't
have the time to do because X11 and Linux do not currently have the
necessary tools to do this.

Quote:> If Linux were suddely to become incredibly
> popular (say at the level of Win 3.x), I'd have a lot of work opportunities
> as a consultant to individuals -- this is true.  However, it's not the
> soft of work I prefer to do; custom coding projects are more my thing.
> I can't stand dealing with newbie end-users and their pathetic problems,
> like "Help! I can't print!!!" In the role of a popular OS, Linux would
> be reduced to the function of a program loader with a GUI -- like OS/2,
> Windoze or MacOS -- albeit a very robust and capable program loader.

> UNIX won't come to the user -- it is the user that has to come to UNIX,
> when he or she is seriously interested enough in computing to become a
> professional in that field.

In short, I don't want to force Linux on the real world.  I just want to
give the rest of the world an OPTION.  Right now they're stuck with low
grade junk when they could very well be using something that would blow
their minds.  But because half of them either don't know about it, or
aren't able to take the time to learn a whole new and rather complex
operating system, they're gonna stay stuck with junk.  I'm sorry if I
sound like I'm ranting here.  I didn't want to start a debate on whether
or not Linux should be brought to the masses.  I'm sick of seeing the
countless posts about it.  I'm simply saying I think it has the potential
to become a popular OS, but here's what it lacks and here's my proposal
on how to get these things.

        Thank you,
                Jim

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Jim Phillip » Tue, 18 Jul 1995 04:00:00




> : Fellow Linux fans,
> [snip]

> In other words, rewrite Windows for Linux?

not really.. I'm of the opinion that Windows does have a lot of features
that would do nicely in X (a program manager, media-player, OLE,
drag-n-drop, etc..) but I don't necessarily think the way Microsoft WROTE
these things is the best way.. I'm saying take Windows and MacOS as an
example and create something new based on that example..  So no, I'm not
suggesting we rewrite Windows for Linux.. it doesn't even need to look
remotely LIKE Windows.. But it can borrow some of Microsoft's better
ideas..  Although I doubt Microsoft was the first one to come up with
these things..

        Jim

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Nesta Stub » Tue, 18 Jul 1995 04:00:00




Quote:>Nowhere did I say that "commercial monster-apps" would be either an
>advantage or a disadvantage.  I'm inclined to agree that commercialism by
>it's very nature defies what the Linux community has done such a
>wonderful job of doing and that is to bring such a high quality product to
>people free of charge.  The entire idea behind my idea is to get this
>community atmosphere working together to bring some high quality
>applications to go with this OS.  I don't believe Linux should be a
>single purpose operating system..  

It isn't.

Quote:>I'm a programmer (or at least working
>to become one), and that is why I made the initial switch to Linux.  
>However, since then, I have also begun learning many additional skills
>such as Network Administration, etc..  That doesn't mean I wouldn't like
>to have a nice GUI that's easy for me to work with.. I'm happy with vi
>and gnu-make and gcc as well as all the other text mode programs I use.  
>But doing the endless little admin tasks such as editing countless files
>in order to get one little program to compile really takes a lot of my
>time I'd rather be spending USING that same program.  

That can be done, there are ways to make scripts that autocnfigure a
program and then basically edit all the makefile stuff you need to
edit by hand otherwise.  Most of the GNU utilities have these to ease
installation.   Not all programmers have the ability to handle and
design them.

Quote:>I'd like to have a
>Word Processor I don't have to spend three months learning the cryptic
>language required to be able to write anything in (LaTeX),

WordPerfect is coming out in a short time, and*is not all that
hard to use, and overall I find it gives better output.

Quote:>I'd like to be
>able to click on a button to run an application rather than having to
>first switch to my shell and then run the same app from a command
>line.  

learn how to edit your .fvwmrc, it is easy, and makes what you want a
cinch.  Youcan have each application as a menu item,or if you use a
filemanager you can set up icons and such for each application.

Quote:>I'd like a checkbook program that I can use without first loading DOSEMU
>and going through the *dos gives me just so I can run a really old
>version of quicken.. I'd like to be able to run one multi-media program
>and not have to install a whole different program just so i can view a
>new format..  There's so many things I'd LIKE to do that I just don't
>have the time to do because X11 and Linux do not currently have the
>necessary tools to do this.

Purchase a MAC.

Quote:>In short, I don't want to force Linux on the real world.  I just want to
>give the rest of the world an OPTION.  Right now they're stuck with low
>grade junk when they could very well be using something that would blow
>their minds.  But because half of them either don't know about it, or
>aren't able to take the time to learn a whole new and rather complex
>operating system, they're gonna stay stuck with junk.  I'm sorry if I
>sound like I'm ranting here.  I didn't want to start a debate on whether
>or not Linux should be brought to the masses.  I'm sick of seeing the
>countless posts about it.  I'm simply saying I think it has the potential
>to become a popular OS, but here's what it lacks and here's my proposal
>on how to get these things.

Ok, then write these applications and develop these programs, or
better, pay someone to do that for you.
--
To John Dillinger, and hope he is still alive.          |Nesta Stubbs|
 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Phil Howa » Tue, 18 Jul 1995 04:00:00



>    * Individually loadable drivers: Linux itself has never had these,
>            but is now working towards that goal.  An X interface to
>            aid in their configuration will be a must.

This is one area that great care needs to be exercise with.  It's not an
area that Windows shines well in.  However the fault is not in the OS code
itself for either Windows or Linux.

I've had a great deal of problems with drivers on Windows.  The monolithic
nature of Linux has been a plus because it just boots up and does the right
thing.  But the problem with Windows is not because of being modular with
respect to drivers, but that the right drivers are difficult to get.

To the extent that Linux will have modular external drivers, we need to make
_very_ sure that all of the _right_ drivers are readily available.  This
includes a means to accurately identify all drivers.

Windows also suffers from not having a single source for drivers.  Microsoft
does not make all drivers available; you have to go to the hardware maker
for most drivers.  Linux should try to do the opposite.  A single source
(the existant ftp and web sites) is exactly what the drivers will need.

Quote:>The Install Manager.  I believe this may be an original idea of mine.  I've
>never heard of anything like it..  What this is is a client/server program.
>The specs for the client will be distributed to programmers, and will be
>similar to the Makefile.  Programmers will include in it instructions on what
>needs to be configured by the user, how they want the user to be prompted
>for this info, etc, compilation info, and installation info.  The server
>will be built in to the window-manager, or maybe as a seperate app callable
>from any program conforming to the standard (fileman, progman, etc).  It will
>control the actual details such as how to display the info given it by the
>client.  It will be similar to make in effect.  Thus a user will be able to
>pull down a menu from the program manager, select Install App, be asked
>where the App is to be installed from, and it will take it from there,
>prompting the user for info as needed, and displaying error messages, and
>progress meter along the way.  It will be in effect like providing an
>install.exe program to all developers and allowing them to create an
>install.nfo file or whatever.  Some DOS/Windows app companies already use
>one installer for all of their apps making only minor modifications for
>individual programs..  Why can't X have something like this?

There should be a distinction between actual installing, and configuring
the software to make it ready to use.  Sometimes some choices need to be
made if the install is to optionally take less disk space.  But one thing
I definitely want is the ability to defer any and all configuration
decisions until later.  If I am prompted with a question I cannot answer
right now, I must be able to suspend the configuration until later when
I do have the answer, even if this is across a reboot.  The install manager
will need to keep track of all this.  I should be able to get all of the
parts that I need from wherever I am getting (network, cd-rom, floppy, tape)
and release that resource completely, and finish the configuration later.

The install manager needs to also have an uninstall, including with an
archiving capability so I can restore the install later.
--
Phil Howard KA9WGN      | The cows are loose!
Unix/Internet/Sys Admin |      Find out how YOU can help.
CLR/Fast-Tax            |           call...

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Keith Rowla » Wed, 19 Jul 1995 04:00:00



Quote:> As I understand it, FreeBSD is not user-controlled. That's as important
> (in my mind at least) as its cost.

We all have control over Linus huh? While I think MAYBE users have
more INPUT to Linux suggestions, it's hardly "user-controlled". I think
your point should be Linux source-code is available for those who want
ultimate control of their computer. Which is great I admit, afterall I
consider myself a true computer hacker. As I understand it, BSD
source-code was or is available!

My point was to determine WHY is it that Linux will pull off this
great take-over when every other Unix has failed to.

Why hasn't everybody installed OS/2 (better multi-tasking than Windows) or
run out to get a MAC (better GUI)? Neither of these have made any
serious dent in the Windows market. Why do you try to force Linux to
try?

Quote:> >But it is still Unix.

> That's OK with me :-)

So quit turning it into Windows. Unless WINE can make Windows Apps
better, I think many people are coming to Linux to leave Windows. My
point is if you need a Windows App, use the Windows App, under
Windows. When you are done playing with Icons and SmartButtons, use Unix.

If a GUI is what you want, then use X-Windows. And develop some
X-windows apps. But the beauty of Unix is the multitude of platforms
that it runs on and fairly good portability between them. I am not
just stuck to an Intel CPU. Unix can go where no Windows will.

It is simply that I am not going to try to compete with Microsoft.
I'll program for Linux or Unix or DOS or Windows or whatever the
end-user wants. Yes I want to promote Linux as a viable alternative.
I am not going to try to make it the answer to everything.

Quote:> The issue is not Linux taking over the Windows market, but Windows
> taking over the Unix market.

If you keep writing Windows emulators for Unix, you have already
determined that and given up. I am interested in native Unix apps,
that exploit Unix, not some shoehorn fit to be able to run Bill's
greatest. When a native Unix application fits the job, then Linux can
fit the requirement for a good Unix OS to run it on.

Quote:> Do you really want to
> surrender it that easily?

That's my point. Are you giving up? I suggest writing applications for
users to perform a given service or function. If Unix can do it great.
If you are trying to copy Windows, the user will ask, why not just run
Windows. I am saying that Linux and Unix should be something more! And
shouldn't stoop low enough for Windows.

Quote:> There is no niche that's safe from Microsoft. Sorry.

How many Unix apps has Microsoft marketed lately?

Quote:> I think you've got the wrong thread. This thread is not about "beating"
> Windows or Microsoft, rather about what it takes to make Linux more
> popular and useful,

That's fine....I plan to use Unix for it's strengths, not to turn it
into another one of Microsofts platforms.

Quote:> and the biggest thing lacking is Windows emulation
> and Win32 compatibility. The later, at least, is (reportedly) not that
> hard to do, and very necessary.

Bzzzzt. No Thank You. Unix is 32 bits already, 64 on some platforms. I
would rather have a native Unix application written under X, than
emulating bug ridden Windows.

Quote:> Nice try, but the real world is waiting for you when you wake up from
> your pleasant dream.

I have been dreaming ever since I got my Linux system running. My
system has not dreamed faster before. The last thing I want to do is
put Windows on top of this wonderful operating system and ruin it.

Best Regards, Keith, just stirring the pot a little.
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What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Keith Rowla » Wed, 19 Jul 1995 04:00:00



Quote:> A lot of what you said makes sense, but why do you seem to imply
> that we should ignore one of the greatest features of modern unices?

> I am speaking of X....

Of course. Thanks for bringing that up.

Quote:> X is one of the things that puts unix head and shoulders above other
> wannabe hacker platforms - Why not use X, exploit it's power, show
> the advantages of X-based GUI programs over windoze counterparts?

> just a thought....

That is one of my points. Write apps for Unix and for X because Unix
is powerfull and X is a nice GUI. Just don't base your future on
emulating Windows. Be a superior OS, not a watered down Windows
machine.

If Linux has the great user-support network and programmer base, then
applications should be right around the corner. But I'd rather have
native Unix applications that are superior to Windows apps. Unix is a
nice clean development platform. It shouldn't be any problem.

I just don't see how it will ever get the mass support that
Windows/DOS has had, since bigger competitors than Linux has failed,
ei. Apple MAC and IBM OS/2.

Linux can survive quite nicely in its own world on its own right.

Best Regards, Keith in Mesa, Arizona
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What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Andrew Lindes » Wed, 19 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Quote:> remotely LIKE Windows.. But it can borrow some of Microsoft's better
> ideas..  Although I doubt Microsoft was the first one to come up with
> these things..

Be a much better idea to base the GUI on RiscOS (best GUI I'd *EVER*
used).


 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Keith Rowla » Wed, 19 Jul 1995 04:00:00


First of all "Atarax" fix your newsreader.


Quote:> How many people do you know who can afford a personal copy of System V? With
> the source code?

You missed my point. Is this the reason Linux will take over the
computer world, where SCO Unix, Solaris, AT&T hasn't, because of the price?
I wonder if IBM just gave away OS/2 if it would take over the Windows
market. How about Apple openning up their architecture?

Quote:> Hasn't Linux been around longer than FreeBSD? Not 386BSD, FreeBSD i mean.

I understand BSD source code was available to non-profit organizations
all along.

Quote:> Linux is as much Unix as Windows 1.0 is Windows NT 3.5.

huh? I think Linux is a pretty good Unix.

Quote:> Since a LOT of hardware makers are going to closed architecture, it would be
> oh-so-nice if they would go out of their way to write us a driver...

So we the programmers out here, write ourselves an OS, for our own use
and then demand manufacturers to provide drivers. I am sure that some
bright programmer can write drivers for your hardware. Isn't that what
Linus did to start with. I kind of like the idea of public developed
drivers with source-code. Not some manufacturer provided driver. As we
push for standards, then the hardware becomes pubic knowledge, then
drivers can be written.

If you need some fancy piece of hardware, then use the
software that works with it. When Linux is the right fit for the job,
use it.

Quote:> Windows machines help when I win a cash prize and can't think of any way to
> blow it, so I buy hardware to make it closer to approaching "useable". It's
> sort of like the "Clear" in scientology (another mind-controlling
> organisation, like M$)

Yeah really. My point is why do we always have to get all the
applications and drivers and hardware running on the latest craze.
OS/2 users are still asking for software and hardware drivers. When
will they learn, buy the applications first and then the OS.
Unix has been around a long time, longer than DOS, longer than
Windows, longer than OS/2, etc. It'll still be here for a while.

There are some very powerful database applications running on Unix,
becasue Unix runs well. Not because they need to "be like mike" or is
that "bill".

I do believe that some software companies need to take a bold step
into other areas and try applications on other platforms. I am just
saying, don't limit yourself to just being another Windows machine.
Play to the better strength of Unix over DOS/Windows. Create the
better applications and then they wil come.

You see, when a database application requires Unix to perform well and
do the job, then Unix is purchased. When you want to run word for
Windows, then run Windows. If someone comes up with the great
application that really sings on Unix, then Unix will get more play.
Let's develop better apps and uses for Unix and Linux, rather than
steping down to Windows. Many new Linux users are wanting to get away
from Windows.

But because the Unix community is so fragmented up into small groups
or even individual programmers, it is hard to put together a long
term, multi-programmer project. Hopefuly, the Internet can help bring
together programmers and help create programming teams and better
applications.

Anyone want to work on that "quicken" app with me?

Quote:> Well, I'd sure like to use that Sound Blaster AWE32... But we don't have a
> big enough chunk of the market to get a driver.

Well there is lots of info on programming a Sound Blaster. Maybe not the
latest and greatest, but sound can be had.

I don't do sound under Unix. My kids play games on the DOS/Windows
computer and get sound. I program on Linux.

Best Regards, Keith in Mesa, Arizona
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What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Paul van Sprons » Wed, 19 Jul 1995 04:00:00



: : Fellow Linux fans,
: [snip]

: In other words, rewrite Windows for Linux?

You sound a little negative...  It is a fact that MS windoze and NT etc
are easier to use for a novice.  This is an excellent idea for a project
and will help fill the gap between the power/speed of linux and Joe User.
Also, given the standard of code that usually gets included into the linux
project, this will be much better than Windows.  Heck, if this system runs
at "normal linux speed"/2 it will still be orders faster then NT (not
to mention Chicago).

Paul

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by Joshua Edwards Jone » Wed, 19 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Don't get confused if this message looks like it's coming from someone
else.. It's me using a friends account while the local mail server is
crashed out..


Quote:

> Windows also suffers from not having a single source for drivers.  Microsoft
> does not make all drivers available; you have to go to the hardware maker
> for most drivers.  Linux should try to do the opposite.  A single source
> (the existant ftp and web sites) is exactly what the drivers will need.

This is a very good point indeed..  While I think it should be primarily
up to the hardware manufacturer to write drivers for their own hardware
(that way they can get all the features included and don't have to reveal
any secrets), there should still be  a central archive..  Probably whoever
agrees to house this project would also act as this service..

Quote:

> There should be a distinction between actual installing, and configuring
> the software to make it ready to use.  Sometimes some choices need to be
> made if the install is to optionally take less disk space.  But one thing
> I definitely want is the ability to defer any and all configuration
> decisions until later.  If I am prompted with a question I cannot answer
> right now, I must be able to suspend the configuration until later when
> I do have the answer, even if this is across a reboot.  The install manager
> will need to keep track of all this.  I should be able to get all of the
> parts that I need from wherever I am getting (network, cd-rom, floppy, tape)
> and release that resource completely, and finish the configuration later.

> The install manager needs to also have an uninstall, including with an
> archiving capability so I can restore the install later.

None of these things seems like it would be that difficult to
implement..  I'm keeping an archive of all the suggestions I get so when
I finally get around to detailing a program design for each of these
utilities, I will be sure to include them..

Jim

 
 
 

What Linux needs to gain popularity

Post by John Hartnu » Wed, 19 Jul 1995 04:00:00


: > remotely LIKE Windows.. But it can borrow some of Microsoft's better
: > ideas..  Although I doubt Microsoft was the first one to come up with
: > these things..

: Be a much better idea to base the GUI on RiscOS (best GUI I'd *EVER*
: used).

I think that with the shareware 'FeelX' extention, OS/2 is better.
I used RiscOS for years - all the while thinking nothing matched it -
but OS/2 *is* better.  If only more applications took advantage of it.

FeelX takes the existing interface and gives you :
  Sliding focus ( no need to click)
  Focus to windows which aren't at the front
  X style copy & paste between text windows

These are the Good Things in X which we don't want to lose. (Apparently
Gnu Openstep won't have sliding focus. Aaargh!)

Anyone thinking of writing Yet Another Desktop for Linux would do well
to have a look at OS/2 first.  Windows is *not* a good role model as
far as interface (well... ANYTHING!) is concerned.

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1. Why does Linux need to gain popularity?


: People who use Linux seem to be happy with it.  Why is "popularity"
: considered desirable?  I suppose there's the issue of application
: pull (more popular => more native Linux apps), but on the other hand

     Applications is all.. but really those who use it can get by with
several of the things already there. Plus its popular enough now that major
companies are starting to port software to put out versions for linux. As for
a larger userbase. I see enough dumb questions from ppl using other
operating systems and even linux users just because they forget rule #1 RTFM
:>

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