In the comments section of a site relating to an article about Windows 7’s release, someone asked:

“So what are the new features in Windows 7?”

I simply replied with:

“Nothing that Linux doesn’t already have, really.”

To which someone nicknamed “Korberos” retorted:

“Except the ability to develop with the newest OpenGL libraries easily, the ability to not have to use the console to go about a good number of your installations, the ability to use development programs like Visual Studio which are miles ahead of anything you find in any Linux environment (gcc, Code::Blocks, Eclipse? Fuck that shit)…

Oh, and games.

I always find myself going back to Linux every six months or so, and after three or four days with it I remember how much I hate it all over again. I’d love for it to be superior, or even usable by normal people, but it isn’t. No, not even Ubuntu.”

My response:

Well I don’t want to write a long comment about this [edit: hah, never mind, it happened], but I was talking about what the “average user” notices as new Windows 7 features before anything else: visuals, such as the new taskbar, and focus feature. I won’t get into how much better Linux’s visual effects are though [in my opinion of course].

I think we can all agree that the “average user” browses the web, checks their email, and plays various media formats /video on their PCs. Linux is totally suitable for what I define as the “average user”, unless that person has particular [proprietary encumbered?] software needs in which that software was only created for, and supported on, a specific platform [Even then, there are workarounds, such as Wine].

At 61 years old, my mom is who I would consider your average user. She’s currently using a Linux distro called Fedora 11. Though there may be a lot of computer savvy elders out there, bless her heart, but she’s not one of them. She used to use XP, but when we upgraded her PC, I threw Fedora on it, and the only things I had to teach her were:

“This is the internet”, as I point to the Firefox shortcut, “and this is MSN messenger”, as I then point to the aMSN shortcut.

All the apps she needs are available on Linux, and everything else she does on a PC is web based [any platform]. Most people I know basically do the same thing on their PCs. Keep in mind that most people I know aren’t pursuing a career in IT in any way, but I’m guessing neither are most of the people rushing out to drop over $130 minimum on an OS they don’t even need [Windows 7]. I mean, I hear most people don’t even have problems with Vista, or even with other Windows OS’s as far back as Windows 95 in some cases, so why upgrade? A friend of mine swears by Vista as being the best OS he’s ever used.

Though many of my friends are not pursuing a career in IT, I am, and if you code in OpenGL, or anything for that matter, I assume that you pursued some sort of career in technology, and I assume you know that there are many different fields to specialize in. That being said, I don’t code 3D graphics; in fact, I don’t know anyone who does, so if Linux really did fail in 3D graphics coding, it wouldn’t affect me. However, a quick Google search presented me with Mesa, an open-source implementation of the OpenGL specification Korberos mentionned. But even OpenGL seems to be supported on Linux, from what I found in my search, so I’m not sure what the problem is there… All I know is that Linux undoubtedly possesses many programming, administrative and security benefits. Maybe someone more knowledgeable than me in each field could tell you.

Edit: Tjaart Blignaut replied to Korberos in the comments:

“@Korberos Visual Studio is good… but you forgot to mention Mono develop and Qt creator. gcc is not an IDE, which proves that maybe you should stfu before you hurt yourself.”


Tjaart is right, gcc is a source code compiler.

[Re: “Eclipse? Fuck that shit”] I watched Google’s I/O 2009 keynote presentation video recently, where I actually heard about Eclipse for the first time. It seems that developers use it to develop Android apps. Yeah, you heard about Android, right? That open source mobile phone OS that just might overtake the IPHONE by 2012? Since I just heard about Eclipse, obviously I don’t use it, or any SDE [software development environment] for that matter [not my field], but Eclipse doesn’t sound that bad right about now… But hey, what do I know?

Regarding the command line, I do use it. I find it more efficient than a GUI [graphical user interface, aka point-and-click] for quite a few tasks actually. When I started post secondary education in computer science, I exclusively worked with Unix/Linux systems through the terminal, before ever using, or even seeing, it’s GUI. Since then, I’ve obviously used the GUI in Linux after installing Linux for myself. Since then, I’ve helped several lifetime-Windows-using friends install Linux on their machines, and every once in a while, they even teach me ways to do things in Linux the “graphical way” – things I’ve only known and bothered to do on the command line [and things I will continue to do on the command line for efficiency]. Also, using a verbose option to see more output of what’s going on in a terminal rather than watching the mouse’s hour glass flow sand through itself, spin around, and repeat, is much more appealing to me in more than a few cases, but to a non-power user, I can understand that mere sight of a terminal can be intimidating. I guess what I’m saying here, is that Linux is by no means a hard to use “terminal strongly needed” OS like it used to be, but it still depends on the distro and your needs. Many distros do allow you to omit from installing a GUI if you so choose. Also, FYI: distros I’ve tried so far such as Fedora and Ubuntu have no required command line during installation, as opposed to what Korberos said. All point and click. In fact, check this out:

How many mouse clicks it takes to install an OS with the default options

Mouse clicks needed to install an OS with the default options

[Found here]

As for development programs like Visual Studio, I found this:

“(Microsoft Visual Studio is) for all platforms supported by Microsoft Windows, Windows Mobile, Windows CE, .NET Framework, .NET Compact Framework and Microsoft Silverlight.”

Again, I’m no programming guru, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that all that Microsoft sugar coated goodness listed there is bound to restrict Linux in one way or another, especially when Linux is now considered a threat to MS… Many people out there fight for open standards on the web, and I’m sure they have their reasons why. You also mentioned “Code::Blocks”? That’s a Windows program too, so I wouldn’t necessarily place that in the list of inferior Linux applications…

Linux does everything I need to do. If there was something that I needed to do that couldn’t be done on Linux, I wouldn’t fool myself with a “LinuX h@x0r 4 Lyfe!” attitude, I’d use the OS suited for my needs.

Oh, and games. I’ve always been a console guy. 🙂
[But, I could always dual boot or run a Windows virtual machine inside Linux for those]

Anyway… I’m shutting down this XP machine, it’s time to go home from work. TGIF.


~ by Fresh on October 23, 2009.

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