[If you're sick of this whole "SEVERE moral problems using Linux" thing,
hit 'n' now. If you're thinking of flaming Linux developers because
Linux doesn't have the features you want, please read this first!]
The ever-popular George Long writes:
> * Well, well well, we can't all be C programmers can we?
Um, yes, actually we can. Linux is still under development, and isn't
really ready yet for end-user-type people. That's why it's often
referred to as a "hacker's OS." True, there are a lot of non-programmers
using Linux now, but for the most part they politely ask for help when
they have problems rather than declaring the problem "intolerable" or
saying they have "SEVERE moral problems" with the OS. And the funny
thing is, they usually get help!
> * ... In addition, the difference between
> * all the different cards is just a few lines of code which are
> * found in SVGA programming books...
If you're not a programmer, you really don't have any realistic basis
for saying that something "isn't that difficult to write."
If you are a programmer, and you think it isn't difficult to write,
then by all means write it! People who have the SVGA card(s) that you
write support for will be very grateful to you.
If you are unable or unwilling to write support for every existing SVGA
card, I'm genuinely curious about this moral high ground you're taking:
Are you saying that Linus, or whoever you believe is morally responsible
for making sure that every program works on every card, should have to
spend the money to buy a video card for every SVGA chipset in existence?
You can't effectively support hardware that you don't have, you know,
even if at first glance support appears to be "just a few lines of code
which are found in... books..." Linux works on the variety of hardware
it does because there are programmers who have that hardware who are
able and willing to test software and contribute code to make the
software work on their hardware.
> > In addition, what I hear about not supporting a bus mouse is intolerable.
> Well then, don't use it.
> * That kind of attitude, just like the rest of your message
> * isn't going to get you many users.
Well, we don't really *want* many users of the type who declare something
"intolerable" on the basis of hearsay without checking into the facts.
> While as someone pointed out
> * there ARE patches, why can't these be implemented directly into
> * the program???
I can't speak for Linus, or Orest Zborowski, or Thomas Roell, or
whoever's software you're looking for bus mouse support for, but
before Linux reaches the production version, they probably WILL be
> > these minor problems should be addressed before major
> > changes are made.
The bus mouse problem has been addressed by the patches, which
I believe will probably be included in future versions at some
point. The video problems are a little harder to address, since
you haven't stated exactly what you'd like to see supported. I
don't think Linux development should grind to a halt until every
conceivable piece of hardware is supported by the current version.
> [..] we (the users and developers of linux) are not losing anything
> from your refusal to use linux. In fact, I dare say that we gain
> not having to listen to you complain [...]
> * Am I asking for MAJOR features?
Yes. You're asking (well, "telling," actually) us that the OS must
conform to your moral imperatives. You're saying that the OS *must*
support hardware that the developers don't have, and would have to
buy before they could support it properly. You're telling us that
the pre-release, still-under-development version of the freely
available OS must provide better hardware support than most commercial
operating systems that have been available for years.
> Proper graphics support should
> * be a "basic" computer user's right. :)....
Thank you for putting a smiley there! It makes your post much more
> You make it sound
> * like I am asking for the ability to run MAC, Amiga, and Atari
> * ST programs, etc...
Aha! Is the problem, then, that you have a specific video board that
you're asking to be supported? If so, maybe you can say that, and
tell us specifically what board you have that doesn't work, rather
than telling us that Linux is morally unacceptible. Maybe someone
out there has a similar board and would be willing to add software
support for it.
> Linux is very much a distributed
> development project taken on by a diverse group of talented programmers,
> * That may be the problem. What I see here is a piece of software
> * that is trying to go ahead so quickly that it leaves things
> * half-done and with little support.
To my amazement, you've actually hit upon a valid point here. Linux
*is* moving quickly, and there are some problems as a result of that.
If that bothers you, you'll be much happier with a package that moves
more slowly and has a more centralized development base. Try Bill
Jolitz's 386BSD, which has a much more coherent and centralized base
than Linux. Or wait for GNU HURD. But if you have problems with
those packages, as with Linux, you're still going to get a *much* better
response if you politely ask for help rather than making obnoxious
> When you are writing an
> * operating system this is unforgivable.
People aren't responding to you the way they are because of what
you're saying, in terms of Linux's deficiencies, it's because of
the way you say it. Phrases like "... SEVERE moral problems using a
system that...," "what I hear... is intolerable," and "... this is
unforgivable," especially if you're not willing and/or able to help
make things better, are NOT likely to win you any friends, get you
any help, or make people take you seriously even if you have valid
technical points to make.
> While I recognize the
> * fact that this is in "alpha" or whatever, this seems to me
> * a poor way of going about the project.
Perhaps it is. Perhaps it isn't. It seems to work for Linux, as
Linux is intended to be used in its current form -- it has come a
very far way in a very short time, and is *very* different from the
first Linux system which was publically released less than a year
ago, because of the contributions of many programmers around the
world. Other projects are handled differently.
> * Like I said, I don't expect this to have everything...
Then what, precisely, stated in terms that aren't highly emotionally
charged with negativity, *do* you expect it to have?
> * As usual in these programming parterships, when someone makes
> * a comment you are quick to flame,
Who flamed whom? Your post was highly negative, so much so that the
negativity obscured any constructive value that may have been present.
> > BTW, how does the DOS emulator work for it?
> (I'll refrain from being even more snide here.)
> * Hmm, that sounded like one of it's best features...
You mean the lack of a DOS emulator? You may be right. :-)
It would be easier for me to get Linux used as the standard system
at work if it had one, though, since we have so much DOS software. :-(
But it's still not important enough to me that I want to take the
time to write one. :-O
> * P.S. Don't you think it would be cheaper to hire a professional
> * programmer to write support for your video card than to buy
> * a whole new one for $100+ ?
Not any of the professional programmers *I* know, unless they're doing
it for the joy of it rather than the money.
I'll make a deal with you, George: You buy me all of the video cards
you want to see supported, with accompanying technical documentation,
and I'll see what I can do about supporting them. If you want to be
*certain* it will work on your particular hardware, then buy me a
machine identical to the one you're using. If you want X support,
you'll also need to buy me a hard disk large enough so I can compile X.
Like any professional programmer who doesn't intend to enter bankruptcy,
I won't make you any promises until I know more about what hardware you
want supported, and what software you want to see working with that
hardware. If the hardware you want supported is particularly braindead,
I may even refuse the job and refund any payment/equipment you've given
I assure you that the video cards, at least, will be much cheaper
than hiring me as a professional programmer to do the same job.
Any opinions above are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of SAI.
Bryan Curnutt | "I hope that UNIX is more like my diner
bryan%uhu...@uunet.uu.net | than like McDonald's." -- Doug McIlroy