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Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL
The Register ^ | 03/05/2013 | Neil McAllister

Posted on 03/21/2013 2:06:17 PM PDT by SeekAndFind

Gnome project cofounder and current Xamarin CTO Miguel de Icaza says he's done wrestling with Linux on the desktop, and that he now uses Apple kit exclusively for all of his workstation needs.

De Icaza is well known in the open source community for developing a number of client-side technologies for Linux, including the Midnight Commander file shell, the Gnome desktop environment, and the Mono project.

But in a blog post on Tuesday, de Icaza wrote that not only does he no longer use Linux for his day-to-day computing needs, but he hasn't actually booted his Linux workstation since October 2012. In fact, he says, he hasn't even bothered to plug it in.

De Icaza writes that his transition to OS X was a gradual one, and didn't begin in earnest until he took his Mac laptop on a vacation to Brazil around 2008:

Computing-wise that three week vacation turned out to be very relaxing. Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working, I spend three weeks without having to recompile the kernel to adjust this or that, nor fighting the video drivers, or deal with the bizarre and random speed degradation that my ThinkPad suffered.

While I missed the comprehensive Linux toolchain and userland, I did not miss having to chase the proper package for my current version of Linux, or beg someone to package something. Binaries just worked.

Even after that experience, de Icaza says, he only used Macs part-time for a long while. He says that during the period that he was employed at Novell, he felt compelled to endure Novell's desktop Linux products as a user would.

"I believed strongly in dogfooding our own products," he writes. "I believed that both me and my team had to use the software we wrote and catch bugs and errors before it reached our users ... I routinely chastised fellow team members that had opted for the easy path and avoided our Linux products."

But when de Icaza and his team were laid off following the purchase of Novell by Attachmate, he says, the incentive to keep "dogfooding" disappeared. Meanwhile, his frustrations with the limitations of Linux on the desktop had been mounting, and he was heading for a full meltdown.

"To me, the fragmentation of Linux as a platform, the multiple incompatible distros, and the incompatibilities across versions of the same distro were my Three Mile Island/Chernobyl," he writes.

These days, de Icaza is working on a different kind of client software ecosystem at Xamarin, producing cross-platform development tools based on the Mono Project for Android, iOS, and Mac OS X. And he says that when friends ask him to recommend a computer for them, he tells them to buy a Mac – just like he says he's always done.

"Linux just never managed to cross the desktop chasm," he concludes. ®


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: apple; brazil; dramaqueen; gnome; linux; macintosh; macos; operatingsystem

1 posted on 03/21/2013 2:06:17 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
For those who don't know:

Mono is a software platform designed to allow developers to easily create cross platform applications. Sponsored by Xamarin, Mono is an open source implementation of Microsoft's .NET Framework based on the ECMA standards for C# and the Common Language Runtime. A growing family of solutions and an active and enthusiastic contributing community is helping position Mono to become the leading choice for development of Linux applications.

Click on this site for details.

2 posted on 03/21/2013 2:07:37 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

For .NET Visual Studio Developers out there, here’s an interesting news for you:

Xamarin 2.0 reviewed: iOS development comes to Visual Studio.
Write your iOS software from within Windows. Yes, really.

Read here:

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/02/xamarin-2-0-reviewed-ios-development-finally-comes-to-visual-studio/


3 posted on 03/21/2013 2:09:29 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Miguel is a well known "shock jock" in the world of Linux. Most of what he says is just performance.

Well done Linux distributions, like Mint, are excellent, regardless of who you are - an eye candy aficionado or a hardcore coder.

Miguel's problems with "DLL hell" are in part true, though. If you use a distribution "as is" then it's all taken care for you. But if you dare to compile someone's software from sources, expect pain. He is a programmer, so it is natural that he got stung by that problem too many times to count - and he gave up. A regular user will not ever see this problem. For example, Android is built on Linux kernel, but how many Android users complain that a certain .so is missing? None. All shared objects that you need are preloaded onto your phone, and that's all you need to know.

Still, this is a concern if you need to buy and use 3rd party software. The ISV has to jump through many hoops to provide either a static build, or to insist on a bunch of dependencies. Those are supposed to be resolvable by the installer, and usually that's what happens. Most of the pain occurs when you compile and install the software from sources, all by yourself.

4 posted on 03/21/2013 2:22:41 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: SeekAndFind

I used to hate linux but I have been using Ubuntu at home since around January and so far it’s the best non-XP OS I have used.

At work I use OSX and CentOS on VMware and for terminals and stuff, OSX sucks, I use CentOS mostly for that kind of work. But CentOS is bad for other things that Ubuntu makes easy.

I would probably use Windows again at home if I could get it for $10-20 because sometimes I like to play games and I have had limited luck with Ubuntu.


5 posted on 03/21/2013 2:32:06 PM PDT by Duke Nukum (I know writers who use subtext and they're all cowards.)
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To: Greysard

Agreed. After using Linux Mint 14 with the Mate desktop, I have very little use for Windows any more.


6 posted on 03/21/2013 2:41:40 PM PDT by so_real ( "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools.")
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To: SeekAndFind
I've installed both the latest versions of Ubuntu and Fedora on my Mac in the past few months, so I have some fresh opinions on this:

1. Boot Issues


In the past I used to install Mac, Windows, and Linux to their own partition, and I could boot up the entire machine into whatever OS I wanted. I could also run the same exact partition as a Virtual Machine. It was beautiful.

Now, there have been booting configuration changes by Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X that ruined this.

On Mac, Lion's addition of a hidden "recovery" partition has complicated synchronization of the two different methods of keeping track of partitioning: the MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table). And Apple's EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface) isn't the same as Windows UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface)

On Windows, if you back-up via its "System Image" feature, you'll have a major problem upon restoration: it will make major incorrect assumptions and overwrite the MBR, destroying a multi-boot setup. (This is true on non-Mac PCs, too.)

On Linux, Fedora 18 now uses a "brand new installer" that ALSO hosed over my boot records. And, it wants to create its own special boot partition, further complicating the disk.

This makes it impossible to run a robust multi-boot system. I'm now "punting" and going to just one base operating system, and all other OSs run as VMs.

Linux's robustness for technical computing


Too many of the tools I need only work on one version of Linux.

Let's say you have an "essential" technical tool, created by people who's first priority is to create a tool for their own needs. You'll soon find that this tool only works with the exact version of linux - distribution and version number - that the developer was using at the time of release.

Want to install a different tool, so that you have a "suite" of tools to make up a workflow? Guess what! While you may have the source code, the build process soon informs you that some of your libraries are out of date. Go to update those libs, and you'll find you need to update all the libs THOSE libs depend on.

Usually you reach a point where one of those low-level libraries just can't be updated for the version of linux you're on. And even if all libs can be updated, you'll often find out that now your original "essential tool" won't work with all these updates.

All this happens because Linux is just too freewheeling. There is no consistency between distributions, no consistency between underlying library requirements, no consistency in how those underlying libraries are updated. There needs to be a major consolidation and control of Linux for things at the API and library level to settle down.

New Linux User Interfaces


The "popular" distributions - Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. - wants to have a tablet interface. It is insane. Where are my menus? My longstanding tools and flows need menus!

And for those that say "well, just install (name your own favorite old-time UI shell)", guess what happens when I ran a system update on Ubuntu: The system returned to the newfangled GUI. And even better, not 100% the original GUI, but 75%. An unstable FrankenGUI - what fun!

Summary


Linux had promise. It was a "prime-time for engineering work" OS, and a "not ready for prime time - YET" player for general use.

Now? It's a bloody mess.

7 posted on 03/21/2013 2:55:55 PM PDT by Yossarian ("All the charm of Nixon. All the competency of Carter." - SF Chronicle comment post on Obama)
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To: SeekAndFind

I use my hp laptop running.linux mint to develop & test software. It works great all the time. I don’t have to fiddle with anything... i logon and fire up eclipse and remmina and get work done. Actually I think the cinnamon desktop is extremely stable and user-friendly. I did not have that impression of the old gnome desktops. I would buy a mac but they are expensive. So between win7 and mintI can get everything done except XCode.


8 posted on 03/21/2013 2:56:29 PM PDT by gcraig (Freedom is not free)
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To: Yossarian

Mint is the way to go.


9 posted on 03/21/2013 2:56:51 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator
Mint is the way to go.

You have to realize, I'm using Linux to run tools. Therefore, it all depends on what release those tools work under.

What I'm finding that the ONLY way I can manage this is to maintain different virtual machines with the EXACT version and release of Linux that these tools were created with.

I'm sure Mint is great, running stand-alone, running the apps it comes with. But that isn't the situation technical professionals find themselves in.

10 posted on 03/21/2013 3:02:57 PM PDT by Yossarian ("All the charm of Nixon. All the competency of Carter." - SF Chronicle comment post on Obama)
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To: Yossarian

True, as with all things, mileage may vary depending on your needs.


11 posted on 03/21/2013 3:15:14 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Duke Nukum

I’ve used various flavors of Linux for over 15 years. my favorite for years was Ubuntu because it was easy to install, easy to use, relatively well supported with third-party software. The default theme colors are ghastly. However, the abomination known as Unity made me go back to openSUSE. (Seriously, you want me to do a search for installed applications? Screw you, I want a frigging menu instead of trying to remember all those goofy names.)

OpenSUSE 12.3 with KDE is still usable and relatively easy to install. it has a nice, clean look and I can find installed software without searching for it.

And (hallelujah!) STEAM has started porting games to Linux!!!! I was playing Half Life last weekend without using Wine.


12 posted on 03/21/2013 3:49:03 PM PDT by EricT. (The Republican Party is a friend to conservatives the way Pakistan is an ally in the War On Terror.)
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To: martin_fierro; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Swordmaker

Thanks SeekAndFind.


13 posted on 03/21/2013 5:37:50 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Salo; JosephW; Only1choice____Freedom; amigatec; stylin_geek; ...

14 posted on 03/21/2013 6:12:04 PM PDT by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
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To: SeekAndFind
"I believed strongly in dogfooding our own products," he writes. "I believed that both me and my team had to use the software we wrote and catch bugs and errors before it reached our users ... I routinely chastised fellow team members that had opted for the easy path and avoided our Linux products."

Well, maybe this reflects part of the problem. I don't use Gnome or Mono and rarely have problems with any of my Linux machines, and certainly none of the constant things De Icaza implies he has been living with. I use Crunchbang which uses Openbox and my experience is tremendous. If De Icaza had tried some solid distros and used window managers or desktops other than Gnome (Xfce is good imo) he may have avoided his headaches. Overall Gnome sucks, and avoiding it generally makes life better.

15 posted on 03/21/2013 6:38:40 PM PDT by cothrige
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To: SunkenCiv; ShadowAce
When Mint gave up on compiz,...I started looking....finally settled on a Fedora based package out of Australia,...Korora....Very nice, need a new window for Firefox .

Move you current workspace Window and rightclick on the Firefox icon and choose new window,..

Really helps keep things organized.

16 posted on 03/21/2013 7:10:50 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach ((The Global Warming Hoax was a Criminal Act....where is Al Gore?))
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To: SeekAndFind

Interesting. Thanks.


17 posted on 03/21/2013 7:15:07 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: Greysard

Linux is perfect for 90% of Windows users like my sister who primarily use a browser and might use an email client.


18 posted on 03/21/2013 7:19:44 PM PDT by AppyPappy (You never see a massacre at a gun show.)
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To: so_real

I am on Mint 14 KDE... .. not even considering going back to Win... and ESP Mac..


19 posted on 03/21/2013 7:21:16 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Molon Labe)
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To: dfwgator

I installed Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon on my sister’s “old” laptop. It’s actually better than my work laptop but she replaced it because it got slow. IOW it got a virus.

I managed to install the VPN client and was able to use RDesktop to tunnel into my Windows machine at work.


20 posted on 03/21/2013 7:22:02 PM PDT by AppyPappy (You never see a massacre at a gun show.)
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To: EricT.

“And (hallelujah!) STEAM has started porting games to Linux!!!! I was playing Half Life last weekend without using Wine.”

I need to do this.


21 posted on 03/21/2013 7:22:46 PM PDT by AppyPappy (You never see a massacre at a gun show.)
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To: Duke Nukum

I used Ubuntu.... not as nice and friendly as adds say..... I suggest you try out Mint (Cinn is pretty... Mate is better if you don’t care about eye candy... but KDE is complete control, with accessibility)...


22 posted on 03/21/2013 7:24:46 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Molon Labe)
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To: dfwgator

Chjeers, and exactly... only gripe I have about Mint.. is NO encryption ... :p but I still use it, no one can change my mind ;)

( I encrypt the non-boot... only way around Mint’s only weakness)..


23 posted on 03/21/2013 7:28:21 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Molon Labe)
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To: AppyPappy

Cinn and Mate hate another problem I didn’t mention... the logging ( HDD read/write rate) is terrible... that is why I changed to KDE in the first place.. :p

I love KDE, and would go no other way since... but you mentioned Virus... not the OS’s fault..


24 posted on 03/21/2013 7:31:50 PM PDT by Bikkuri (Molon Labe)
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To: ShadowAce

Linux rocks


25 posted on 03/21/2013 8:52:59 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: SeekAndFind

Linux is alpha quality software for the desktop, but some of the live cd’s are very good for rescue.


26 posted on 03/21/2013 9:08:41 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: SeekAndFind

well duh. Linux on the desktop is for geeks not everyday users.


27 posted on 03/22/2013 6:31:13 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: Yossarian

And that is the problem with Linux on the desktop. You can’t easily take a program that works on Linux and run it on all versions of Linux like you can on OSX and Windows.


28 posted on 03/22/2013 6:35:43 AM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: for-q-clinton

RE: Linux on the desktop is for geeks not everyday users.

So, are they planning to make it more user friendly to make it appeal more widely, or is the target customer always going to be limited to geeks?

I’d really like to see a viable challenge to the over 90% dominance of Windows on the desktop.


29 posted on 03/22/2013 7:06:06 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

GNOME sucks. Always has.

I’ve been using KDE since 1.x.


30 posted on 03/22/2013 7:13:47 AM PDT by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
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To: SeekAndFind

BTW, I also have a Mac. But I use Linux with KDE most of the time. I find it more productive than using Mac OS.


31 posted on 03/22/2013 7:15:10 AM PDT by B Knotts (Just another Tenther)
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To: B Knotts
BTW, I also have a Mac. But I use Linux with KDE most of the time. I find it more productive than using Mac OS.

Same here!



32 posted on 03/22/2013 11:09:58 AM PDT by rdb3 (I'm NOT a movement conservative. I'm a conservative in the movement.)
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To: SeekAndFind

I can’t see them ever fixing that issue with Linux. The issue is geeks will always push different things and they will never agree on one or even two flavors of Linux. So there is no way for them to fix this and run applications natively. OSX is the only option to windows that is end-user friendly.


33 posted on 03/22/2013 12:07:33 PM PDT by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: Greysard

Well Stated. Very few linux users see the types of problems this guy finds. If he starts to rework and fiddle with programs on a Mac or Win machine, he would have even more problems... especially since he would not be able to work from source code.


34 posted on 03/27/2013 4:59:03 AM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: Bikkuri

Sounds like you managed to install your Linux with one or more partition being on “cylinder” boundary rather than on “4096 byte” boundary. That yields write speeds about 1/3 what they ought to be on SATA disks.


35 posted on 03/27/2013 11:48:04 PM PDT by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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