Just checking in. (= Haven't been here in a LONG time. I used Linux for a
couple of years back in the RH 4.2 to 5.1 days. Ditched it because I just
didn't have the time, was learning windows development, going to school, and
the 'linux allure' just didn't grab & wipe off on me as easily as it does
some. Not to mention the email threats from COLA I got one day. Nice bunch.
So, I decided what the heck, I've got a little time this summer - I'll try
Quick update from the front:
The distros are doing exactly as I knew they would three years ago. Trying
to emulate windows installation programs. It isn't working. They're better
in some regards, worse in others. I've installed W2K, and on this PC, winME.
The installation was flawless.
RH still insists that my external modem is missing on each boot, (when it's
there), sometimes the sound works, sometimes it doesn't. Half of what I
installed is buried somewhere - not on the menus. The default installs I
think are a good idea. Trouble is, some of them leave you* with a
useless setup or bomb out trying to deliver the latter, or won't let you
setup things they didn't install very easily.
Having said that, however, it has improved for a novice.
The window managers are trying to emulate windows. It isn't working.
Neither Gnome or KDE comes close. I can see the point of trying, but if
you're going to do it, do it right or don't do it at all. It's not right.
The menu systems are a complete mess. Why does gnome have to automagically
plaster that useless bar across the bottom by default no matter what WM you
use? I know these things can be configured by hand in the config files, ..
but I thought we were doing GUIs here, remember? Drag and drop support?
Nope. Half baked at best. We're doing GUIs here, remember? We're better than
windows, remember? Not at gui's your not. Not even in the same ballpark in
the same league, in the same decade.
Memory useage. When I ran Linux last, it was RH 5.1 on a P100 with 64MBs of
ram. This box would NEVER swap. I was running Afterstep for the WM. Even
that terrible excuse for a browser NN, when running with three or four other
apps...no swap. none.. nada. I loved it. Now? HA. KDE, NN only, on a PPRO
200 with 96MBs of ram- I'm generating 50+ MB swap files. Not only that, the
system does not seem much faster than the P100. The MS bloat syndrome has
come home to roost. As I have said before, Linux was agile, and stable
because it was lean and well tuned. The apps (small & lean) most people ran
were tried and true. Now the $$ has taken over and wants the desktop.
They're trying to emulate windows. It isn't going to work. You run big GUI
based apps on top of big GUI'd window managers and you have created the same
problems you have in windows. Only worse because windows has had years
'tuning' this slop to the point that it's getting practically stable
now. --well, in windows terms any way!
If it wasn't for bedroom hackers wanting their PC's desktop to look
different because they have the newest theme of the month, with skins
flapping off the walls I don't think many home users would be coming to
linux at all. The distro's are just turning out bloated slop that doesn't
have HALF the features of windows. Thank god for building your own Linux
setup. Otherwise, I'd ditch it for good. This 'takeover the desktop' thing
is just as I predicted. A mess. The iceWM is all I need with as many
terminals as my screen will hold, running gcc or simple editors, writing
scripts so on and so on. Internet? Big apps? Forget it. NN is just plain
sub standard compared to IE. Have you ever really used IE? It's another
world. Talk about features and ease of use. Star office? I've seen it. I
wouldn't install that bug fest if Larry blew my dog. You think office is
bad? Whew. Star office is chilling.
Desktop domination?-- it's a LONG way off, if at all. And I think that's a
good thing for Linux. And computer users in general.