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Linux Instead of Windows


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#91 Growled

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:49

The problem is not the OS, it's the software... I know, I know there is "alternative" to everything, but most of the time, those "alternative" are not as good, incomplete or plain crap.


Most people go into places like Best Buy to get their software. I do it too, at times. Until people can do the same for Linux, Linux will never take off. The multimedia apps for Linux is so lacking. I like Paintshop Pro and Photoshop Elements for graphics, much more than the Gimp.


#92 +Karl L.

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 02:03

The problem is not the OS, it's the software... I know, I know there is "alternative" to everything, but most of the time, those "alternative" are not as good, incomplete or plain crap.

Since Windows is the dominant standard, followed by MacOS, it's hard to find "corporate" software for Linux, you know, like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, good programming tools like Visual Studio, iTune (hey, I have an iPad and iPod), AutoCAD, .... and the list goes on....

Again, I know WINE exist, but why "emulate" Windows? Just run the real thing instead and you'll have less bugs...


There is a lot of "corporate", by which I assume you mean commercial, software available for Linux. However, you're right: for some occupations the selection of commercial software is weak. MATLAB, which I use on a regular basis and cannot do my job without, not only runs well on Linux, but is designed for Linux first. The version of MATLAB available for Windows is compiled with Cygwin, and the version for OS X uses X11. There is other software that I use for embedded development, such as the HI-TECH C compiler, that runs quite well on Linux. Qt and its development environment also work well on Linux. Therefore I contend that the availability of commercial software for Linux depends on your needs (and occupation). For me, its actually preferred.

As for WINE, its not designed to emulate the WIN32 API perfectly. (In fact, WINE stands for WINE Is Not an Emulator.) Its a stop-gap measure designed to help ease the transition to Linux, not to be used to run the majority of your software.

#93 CubeDweller

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:03

I'm a professional software developer, writing applications for Windows for nearly 15 years. Microsoft has done extensive UI research, actually contributing a lot to the UX community's understanding of workflows and how the human eye works and how to make UI's easy to use. *Comically, Windows 8 does not follow most of Microsoft's own UI guidelines, but at least it's still the "Windows" API at the core.

Linux's biggest strength is also its biggest weakness: There is no standard and everything can be tweaked to the user's liking. If two people on the street say they use Linux, there is a good chance that their two systems are completely different, with a totally different set of UI tools and APIs available. If they have KDE, Qt is installed. GNOME means there is Gtk. TWM means there may not be either. Maybe they don't even have a window manager because they use the command line. How am I supposed to write software for them? I have to provide a Qt, Gtk, and X11 version of everything because I can't count on a common API to be installed. It would not be very nice of me to force my users to install something they don't want just so they can run my program. There is no such thing as the "Linux UX"; the user experience changes from distribution to distribution depending on how the packagers have decided the system should look.

For Linux to become mainstream, this needs to be fixed. But this would take away one of the things people love about Linux, hence it can't ever become "mainstream". Instead, a particular flavor of Linux will have to stand out as "the one". It seems like 32-bit Ubuntu is making inroads in this regard, since it's the platform Valve will support with Steam. I suspect there will be an influx of Ubuntu users in the coming year but ironically this influx will tend to drive the Linux community away from Ubuntu and Canonical. The community wants Linux to succeed over Windows, but they don't want the necessary outcome for this to happen. Writing applications for Linux without forcing your user to install the UI library you want them to install is a nightmare.

Of course, if there is a standard and I have just missed it completely, please tell me. You will save me an incredible amount of work. :laugh:

#94 Yogurtmaster

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:12

I've been on Ubuntu for a good 3 weeks now, and never went back to my Windows side yet. You know why? 90% of my programs were already open source. Open/Libre Office, VLC, Firefox, Minecraft, etc. The only programs I could not carry over was Photoshop CS5, but I find Gimp to be rather nice, once you start messing with it.

If it was plain crap, why would they put it in the repositories? Heck, you can run Windows in a Virtualbox from Linux...

Again, you have to learn it for it to work the way you want. Same way you start with any other software, no matter what OS.


This is the opposite for me. Most programs (read almost all) on Linux are on Windows already and it's much easier to start at the top and work your way down. In other words, Windows has a lot more programs that I enjoy that
would not run with Wine, but I can use Virtual Box or VMware on Windows to run Linux.

You guys know there are FREE (as in beer) programs to give you an entirely different look on your Windows desktop such as (Rainmeter and Samurize). You can customize them to the point that they don't even look like desktops anymore if you want, you can trick it out like a automobile and because they use layered effects, it hardly takes up any processor power.

I have never thought honestly that Linux was better than Windows (except for a few things like software repositories and maybe security through obscurity), it has worked for me for a long time and Linux while it's good, it's really not that good. Linux was over-hyped by a lot of hardcore users and when I tried it, I did like it, but hasn't wowed me or changed my world (the only exception to this is Asterisk which rocks).

Software is where I really have a hard time with Linux, almost all of it has the same port on Windows and it can't run the real windows programs that are quality. Some can run through Wine, but Wine is far from 100 percent.

I just use it as a test bed for my VM's and testing different web applications on different versions of PHP and mysql as well as Asterisk which is great, but I wouldn't run it on my desktop PC.

#95 Yogurtmaster

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:22

Also one more thing as I look at it. I have tried a lot of multimedia programs on Linux and they were not good. Even some DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) programs on Linux and they again were very basic and the UI was garbage.
On Windows there are a ton of DAW programs out there and of different qualities but there is more choice and more quality than the Linux community.

Free isn't always better. Sometimes it is worth it to pay for quality software. I know Richard Stallman isn't happy, but let him eat his toenails. I think working at a job is better than starving on a street corner if you know what I mean.
Open source has always had this hippy it has to be available to everyone and I think that is fine as long as Richard Stallman and the people agree with him are not in the movement.

#96 n_K

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 13:59

Well obviously free isn't always better. I think it goes without saying that the general rule of thumb is having a large team of full-time workers creating a product is going to be better than sporatic partial code submissions from the spare time of people around the world, they've got motivation to get paid so are going to work on it pretty fast.
There are however some great pieces of free/open source software which are against the rule and actually better than paid alternatives.

#97 OP +patseguin

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 14:32

I'm a professional software developer, writing applications for Windows for nearly 15 years. Microsoft has done extensive UI research, actually contributing a lot to the UX community's understanding of workflows and how the human eye works and how to make UI's easy to use. *Comically, Windows 8 does not follow most of Microsoft's own UI guidelines, but at least it's still the "Windows" API at the core.

Linux's biggest strength is also its biggest weakness: There is no standard and everything can be tweaked to the user's liking. If two people on the street say they use Linux, there is a good chance that their two systems are completely different, with a totally different set of UI tools and APIs available. If they have KDE, Qt is installed. GNOME means there is Gtk. TWM means there may not be either. Maybe they don't even have a window manager because they use the command line. How am I supposed to write software for them? I have to provide a Qt, Gtk, and X11 version of everything because I can't count on a common API to be installed. It would not be very nice of me to force my users to install something they don't want just so they can run my program. There is no such thing as the "Linux UX"; the user experience changes from distribution to distribution depending on how the packagers have decided the system should look.

For Linux to become mainstream, this needs to be fixed. But this would take away one of the things people love about Linux, hence it can't ever become "mainstream". Instead, a particular flavor of Linux will have to stand out as "the one". It seems like 32-bit Ubuntu is making inroads in this regard, since it's the platform Valve will support with Steam. I suspect there will be an influx of Ubuntu users in the coming year but ironically this influx will tend to drive the Linux community away from Ubuntu and Canonical. The community wants Linux to succeed over Windows, but they don't want the necessary outcome for this to happen. Writing applications for Linux without forcing your user to install the UI library you want them to install is a nightmare.

Of course, if there is a standard and I have just missed it completely, please tell me. You will save me an incredible amount of work. :laugh:



Nice to hear from a software developers perspective and everything you say seems spot on. If Linux ever did become mainstream, commercial developers would have to make their source code open and I can't see how that would be a good thing for someone trying to sell and support software.

Anyways, a previous user mentioned Fedora so I installed it in a vm. It seems very vanilla and virtually everything I installed had to download prerequisites. I should this the appeal of Fedora?

#98 n_K

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 14:33

"If Linux ever did become mainstream, commercial developers would have to make their source code open and I can't see how that would be a good thing for someone trying to sell and support software."
No they wouldn't. Go and look at nvidia drivers, or steam for linux, etc.

#99 OP +patseguin

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 15:05

Isn't part of developing anything for Linux the source code must be open? I thought that was just a part of Linux

#100 OP +patseguin

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 15:44

Trying KUbuntu right now and I like it. Do people generally accept KDE or Gnome more? KDE seems less Windows-like than Gnome, at least on this Ubuntu distro...

#101 tiagosilva29

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 15:48

Linux's biggest strength is also its biggest weakness: There is no standard and everything can be tweaked to the user's liking.

What do you mean with "no standard"?

#102 Ambroos

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 15:55

Isn't part of developing anything for Linux the source code must be open? I thought that was just a part of Linux

It's absolutely not a requirement. If you base your code on something that is open source you might have to make your own modifications open source too, depending on the license. This is also why Android kernel sources must be released by each Android OEM. But Steam for example absolutely doesn't have to be open source.

#103 OP +patseguin

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:08

Trying to install a distro alongside Windows 8 so I can dual boot. Nothing even recognizes that another OS is already installed. What's the best way to get a distro Like KUbuntu installed as a dual boot with Windows 8?

#104 Original Poster

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 16:11

This is wishful thinking. Linux on desktop has failed and continues to fail due to its own flaws, and if the Linux community doesn't recognize this they'll ever stay an insignificant player in the desktop space. Even if Windows 8 doesn't succeed, that doesn't make Linux any more attractive. It has been tried before, and we've heard all this talk about the year of Linux every year including when Vista was released which was a much worse version than Windows 8 - Windows 8 has annoying UI flaws but no major compatibility problem.


i agree with you on some levels ...linux will never make it into the game as a real player for desktop just because it require a bit of technical knowledge more then the average user has .... but I think if you know what you need and now how to use it linux is one of the best desktop OS I have ever had (I actively use Linux and windows on two separate machines on a daily basis )

#105 +Majesticmerc

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 17:35

Nice to hear from a software developers perspective and everything you say seems spot on. If Linux ever did become mainstream, commercial developers would have to make their source code open and I can't see how that would be a good thing for someone trying to sell and support software.


That's not true at all. Closed source software is available on Linux as easily as it is on Windows, people just tend to favour open source alternatives, such is the ethos of Linux. There's plenty of Closed source software allowed though. Opera, Spotify and Steam being three options I can think of off the top of my head.

I don't blame you for thinking that though. The "on Linux everything has to be open source" myth has been peddled by the FUD spreaders for many years. Its one of the most persistent pieces of misinformation that surrounds Linux.