August 27, 2009

Sometimes It Won't Work (II)

Linux user for a couple of years. Only Linux and I love it. Still, some things are wrong, they are wrong, and unfortunately, as I see it, they will always be wrong (yes I'm paid by Microsoft to say this; and yes I get the big bucks from them; and yes that's true, and unfortunately it seems like it's true for a long time now :(

subtitles green red blue and pink
(i'm waiting for when they're making them black on grey background)
change the volume, subtitles don't work
encrypted dvds usually work
non-encrypted dvds don't :)
do not request a bug to be fixed, the software comes with no warranty
each and every bug (from the tens of tens you discovered) will be fixed in the next version
new version -> happy -> sad (no fixes)
linux programmers are professionals = each and every one are biologists, botanists, geographists, working in their spare time (i wonder where the "computer science" guys are working at - either in their spare or working time)
do not, under any circumstances plan to uncompress a big archive and use another application in the same time, not even on high-end pcs
we have a completely modern os, but don't do anything else while deleting or copying a 4 GB single-file
release early - release often = great practice, but why the hell tag applications as 'stable' when they're not even in alpha working state?!
new distro available, here are the brand new amazing features:
- full desktop environments like airo-gnome (parachuters included)
- 3 games which don't crash (only 20 openend-bugs!)
- free office suite - be thankful we provide 30 DEBs to install it
- video editor (to start it and see the crashing output in the console)
- audio editor (it kind of works but... it crashes when it comes to proprietary formats and strangely it doesn't have support for Ogg vorbis or flac)
- hdd editor (you can erase your entire drive if you like, if you don't we'll do it for you for free)
- shell commander: that thingy where you have to type those strange thingies, just make sure not to press Shift for more than 3 seconds
- the 'olive', 'goat's shit' and 'you can't stand me' themes (upcoming 'i shit my pants' on its way)
- we always loved to innovative, but how: mess up a boot manager, and do not ever provide help for fixing and getting to know it (something tells me 1000 posts on a specific forum will be posted in October)

Oh and by the way, how I love this "if you don't like it, do it yourself" thing. So I was submitting a bug for what was (and is) supposed to be a "stable" distro and the answer was "does it happen in the new version of..." . It's great to see such wonderful tools and so much work going to nothing just because we get to "freeze" things up. I think freeze it's a nice word for what is going on. Make every interface possible as amateurish as possible, respect the DFSG as good as possible, even if that means "ship a 'stable' system, even if that means to ship a still crappy system'". Each and every time I open Amarok 1.4 I enjoy to see how Wikipedia doesn't work in a so-called 'stable' distro. Especially since 2.x is a state-of-art piece of software. Vision for the future, but everything is broken. And it's been 2 years already. Great work!

Stay tuned, for parts 3, 4, 5 and 6 will come soon :)

P.S. Do you still think we can fix bug number 1? and P.S.2 that was a lame post, but I doubt it wasn't true. Some things can be ignored, and there is a lot of great, awesome work going on. Take the entire KDE desktop. Wonderful. Open an application. Why do you have to resize everything? Why do you have to open a konsole and kill a plasma widget? For fuck's sake, a simple action like open a new tab, copy a file over a file and uncompressing in the same time an archive doesn't work sometimes. Drag and drop a file and resizing a window doesn't work sometimes. Sometimes you won't even get sound out of your player, even though the so called drivers should work. Sometimes just searching in a listbox will freeze the system. Sometimes previews don't work. Sometimes just opening a save file as box won't even show the files of the same filetype. We have the powerful file utility but there are still problems when trying to compile a .c file source if it doesn't have the .c extension. We have two good ways (and logical) of copying, by selecting and by using a clipboard. Do they work well in some desktop environment? Neah, they don't. We have so many libraries doing all the work. And 10 applications which use those libraries. If there is one, one single bug hard to fix in any of them, it won't get fixed. There still is a bug in KDE3 which didn't get fixed because of "Qt3 issues". (multicolumn view mode, navigating by arrows jumped files by a rule). So, we get open source software which can be modified, but that bug never got fixed, although it could've been. Is this an OS? Beause if that's an OS I'm curious how can anybody be productive working with it.


Alecs Jonson said...

Are you frustrated with your linux system? :)

Antton said...

I'm not claiming that all Linux distros are perfect and i've used only Red Hat, Ubuntu and Mint (plus some Fedora try). However it's very difficult to critisize these distros comparing them to awful win 98, win 95 and Xp. Many of my friends and relatives have suffered from Vista also.

Ubuntu and Mint have been so far the best OS's i've ever had. I don't need both of them for any highprofessional tasks. As an ordinary internet/office software user they have been really good staff. Free, stabile, realiable... better than those miserable Microsoft ones.

Lam said...

First, let's talk about warranty. Don't kid me. What does Microsoft's warranty give you? 5 dollars. That's it. If Microsoft software destroys your business, you get 5 dollars. Oh, they will only give you 5 dollars if ONLY you found the bug within 90 days. AND, if there is virus on the system (whose fault is it for a buggy system that allows bugs, again?), warranty is voided.

Yeah, and that information is buried deep in the EULA, in an effort to hide away from the users. That's very truthful, very safe, and very helpful.

Oh, did I tell you that EULA explicitly forbidden you from ever suing Microsoft and/or its partner? Well, it's illegal, but it seems they cannot stop from putting that clause there, just to make fun of the law.

True, Free/Open Source software usually does not have warranty. But so what? What's the alternative? Plus, the notice of no warranty is always being big (VERY BIG WITH ALL-CAPS), and usually shoved into users' faces. Just to get users knowing the risk. It's not perfect, but hey, at least people know.

Anonymous said...

The most uninteresting read of the week. Why do you even bother writing such stuff? Do you really think people want to read you nagging about Linux?

Anonymous said...

You're either entirely full of shit or you simply have no aptitude at all for the digital madness.

I found an abacus at a yard sale recently -- maybe you need simliar?

bmq said...

Please excuse me, I could imagine the futility of describing my personal experiences when they differ so obviously with yours and seeing the tone of your writings I get you feel very strongly about your experiences. However, something inside me aches when I read this post of yours and I too feel the need to write, in my case a response to your post. So here it goes.

Subtitles: I've been using (GNU/)Linux systems as desktops for more than ten years now, more than five with Gentoo and I do not recall ever seeing subtitles in "green red blue and pink". In case you'd like to give them a try, have a look at MPlayer and VLC.

Volume: Just stick to alsamixer (alsa-utils package) on the console, or some sort of graphic frontend if you are allergic to terminal emulators, works like a charm. In case the volume sliders in media players bother you because they mess with your master gain, just browse through the preferences of that media player and choose "software volume control" and no longer will they mess with your master gain.

(Un-)Encrypted DVDs: Have a few of those in my collection, usually East-Asian dvds, they play fine with the above mentioned media players.

Bugreports: As long as written with useful details provided, any project I know would be happy to register your bug report. Keep it business-like, don't complain, just state the issue and the scenario. Of course it helps a lot if you could include hypothesis, if not, leave the thinking to the developers.

Bugfixes: Not sure what your point is here, you regret bugs are fixed in new versions rather than changing a previous release? The code needs to change to fix the bug, code changes are reflected in versioning schemes to keep proper track of the development history. What's the problem?

Contributors: Although I could not tell you from experience, I could imagine software engineers that come home after a long day of software engineering work are not up for more software development in their free time per se. Some might, others might on particular days, yet others might not see the point in developing software for free at night when their boss pays them to do so in daytime. Does this mean the quality of code is any less? -History can tell you that.

System resources: In order to run CPU intensive applications and still enjoy a responsive system, use the 'renice' or 'nice' commands to change the priority of this heavy weight job.

Stable vs Alpha: Obviously you have a project in mind, I would like to hear which one though.

(part 1/2)

bmq said...

New distro features: This might not be what you expect from certain proprietary operating systems, but open source distributions are actually collections of hundreds of packages released by independent projects. Therefore you can't at any given time insure that every project will have a new release that is both stable and adds features in the manner you seem to expect.

Non-crashing games with 20 bugs: Well, as long as the bugs are not fatal, what's the harm? As for bug reports, as those of open source projects are open to be viewed by anyone (without creating any account) you might be biased to think that somehow open source software contains more bugs just because they are visible.

Audio editor: It crashes on proprietary formats, not my experience although in general it can be said that developing interoperational software for formats to which you don't have the specifications in hand sounds tricky. So irregularities are not surprising, also, the developers of the open source project are not to blame entirely.

Shell commander(?): If you are not comfortable with the shell or command line interface, then it would do you good to read up on some basic commands. Usually getting familiar with the Bourne Again SHell is plenty for a default user (I'm sorry for the other no doubt great shells out there, ash, csh, tcsh, rsh to name a few).

Boot managers: Two main names exist, as far as I know: LILO and GRUB. I have used both for several years. Caveats to installing them (which I think are suggested by default by most disributions): install into the Master Boot Record; if you'd like to boot something like MS Windows, include a chainloader command. (IBM gives you some examples: )

Also what it comes down to in the end, it seems you would like to hold a distribution responsible for shortcomings of certain packages that they distribute. That seems fair at first, but when you realize these people don't actually develop all this software themselves, it's kind of silly.

(part 2/2)

FixItAgainTony said...

Magice said, "What does Microsoft's warranty give you? 5 dollars."

With FOSS you get a refund of the full purchase price! That still puts you way ahead of Microsoft's warranty.

Anonymous said...

The author has raised some very good points. Linux is STRONG - STRONG as a server, no doubt. But on the desktop, I hate to say it, IT BLOWS!

It has such potential, just look at KDE 4. But then, just two setup dual monitors is a feat all to itself... It is stupid things like that, that hold linux back. Christ, audio is still a gamble.

Would love to use Linux as desktop, but, Linux / X are to unpredictable.

Simple things in Mac / Windows, like closing a window or moving accross a page works so smoothly. In Linux, ghosts and rough.

Sorry, XP does not suck. It boots everyday, and runs for weeks on end no problems.

X on windows has way to many short comings and the first of which is dealing with graphics. This issue should be priority 1, with simplified installations. Look at XP driver install for vid (easy), do the same or better for linux. WHAT IS THE BIG DEAL?

It is this kind of silly thing, that holds linux back on desktop.

Shane kerns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shane kerns said...

Dude, when was the last time you got laid? Your frustrations seem to be coming out at the wrong people. These are the the one who give you speed, security and quality at no cost whatsoever. MS pays you to write a blog such as this one (you have admitted soyour self) so reading a BIASED blog like this is a moot point.
True bloggers are not OS developers or people paid by companies to write crap like this without any research. They are ones who write from their own experiences. Those are the guys who have tried both MS Crap and Linux alike and have allotted equal time to both.
Don't even get me started with the amount of crap I can write about Microsoft's OS and products in general.
Talk to me if a kernel level bug can be fixed and issued in under a week in Wind-Hoze.
If your house was built like Wind-Hoze even insurance companies would refuse to insure it.

Unknown said...


Microsoft Flight Sim X - Unfixed bug, causes log file tracking your flights to be corrupted, crashing the game and rendering it impossible to start it again next time. Patch - None available for 2-3 years, or how ever long its been out, not even in the "upgrades" that added new planes and missions. Fix - Delete the log file.

Halo 1 - There are **lists** of bugs for this thing. Some are even used *by* people to make videos through the CE version. Most recent one I saw - an Elite frozen in place, waiting for the player to show up around a corner, after a death. You could shoot it, but it won't die, and won't attack you.

And that is just *two* off the top of my head, both made by, or with the help of, Microsoft. Don't even get me started on the 14 million bugs in other full MS products that never get patched at all, unless they are a security risk, like the Lotus 1-2-3 date compatibility bug still in most versions of Office, which doesn't recognize more than 3 Saturdays in a month, so freaks out when it finds one, and can't display anything for those days (or, did they *finally* fix that, after such a situation *actually* happened in the last few years?).

I wish like hell that MS had "release versions", that you could download and patch them, and/or that he patches they do put out where a *lot* less vague than, "Fixes a possible bug that could compromise your system, but good luck finding anything from us telling you what the hell it actually was, or what else we fixed in the same patch." Would probably have a heart attack if I saw MS provide someone as basic as an item by item list of changes, like... a lot of other people do, especially in FOSS.

Anonymous said...

WOW, wish I hadn't wasted my time with your badly written, miscommunicated, rant. BMQ said it best, so I wont bother elaborating.

Anonymous said...

You sound like a spoiled brat that wants everything done by others and served hot into your bed. Well, that kind of comfort costs money - lots and lots of money. Either spend some, or start doing something yourself. We already have too many people whining and shitting around the globe, and they're of no use to anyone - not even themselves.

currir55 said...

Sorry but not observed *ANY* of these problems

Encrypted DVD won't work, open ones will
Wav not working on system, OGG fine in editting and playing apps
Large files copy fine in background in KDE4 but the system keeps telling me it's finished for a long time afterwards
Latest official opensuse firefox build will not display any html at all, downgrading by a bugfix solves this in turn causing auto update nightmares

Anonymous said...

Just another MS shill. Nothing to see here...move along!

stustustu said...

Worst written attempt at criticism I've read in a while. What are you, 10 years old?

I'm quite happy to read well-written criticism of Linux, after all we need to know what is wrong for it to be fixed.

But to write something effective and constructive you need to be able to communicate clearly. Rants like this make you look immature and uneducated. I'm embarrassed for you.

Anonymous said...

Reading the majority of the posts, it is no wonder glaring issues in Linux will never be addressed ON THE DESKTOP.

The kernel / system is great, the desktop is sh&t (except KDE4). X needs simplified systems for driver installation, input control (mouse / keyboard), and video control (dual monitors / 3d.)

Setting up VIDEO with dual monitors in Linux is a rediculous joke. If you have Nvidia, your ok. Anything else, you will be digging through google to find the answer.

It is the most retarded, @ss backwards, problem in Linux. MAKE VIDEO EASY!

Anonymous said...

Go back to Windows and leave us alone.

You've probably missed your antivirus/antitrojan software and your random system freezes...

Async said...

I've been using Linux pretty much exclusively for the last 10 years. Now running Ubuntu 9.04 and no sound with Flash and this is the age of YouTube for christsakes.

I love Linux, but sometimes I hate it too. However, there's no other OS I would use. I have tried: win95 & 98, winXP, FreeBSD, Mac OS-X, Solaris and VMS.

tracyanne said...

There must be another operating system based on Linux, or perhaps you are using a version from another planet, because nothing in your rant comes close to my experience with Linux.

I've been a Linux users since 2000, started with Mandrake which became Mandriva, and last year moved to Ubuntu, currently using Ubuntu 9.04 on 2 laptops (Nec and Optima), 1 desktop (IBM), and 3 netbooks (BENQ, Pioneer, MSi), they all work like a charm, and definitely none of the problems you claim to have.

I reckon you're telling porkies, either that or you are totally inept, the sort of inept where you can't manage to insert the CD right side up, inept.

Unknown said...

How strange, my own 13 year long wanabee Linux user desktop experience leads me to agree with just about everything you say.

After all this time trying I have finally given up. Out of habit I check out the Ubuntu new releases, the last one that came halfway to working on my computer was v8.10.

Since then the boot/install cds freeze after a few seconds. I have filed a bug report and received an automated box ticking response and, despite several emails on my part, silence. As you say, why bother?

I have deleted the ext partitions on my hard drive which were set aside for Linux Distro evaluating and reclaimed the space for use by my Vista system.

I believed the Linux hype as propounded by the evangelists and am astonished to find myself confessing that I actually am coming to see Windows 7 as a viable OS for me. Not that I want to - I despise Microsoft as much as anyone can - but no Linux alternative seems to be even coming close to functioning on my computer.

Let me be clear, a year and a half ago it was pretty satisfactory but then most things got rewritten and broken. So don't anyone give me the usual advice of buying a computer to suit Linux. I had one and Linux moved the goalposts. Unless of course I am expected to buy new hardware every 6 months to suit Canonical. Seriously?

The lesson we should have learnt by now is to never, ever, dare to criticize Linux. The only thing worse is to deny anthropogenic climate change.

mimor said...

Who writes Linux?
For most of the time: Sun, Novel, IBM, etc...
The rest: Young people being able to use the latest new technology, that didn't had a burn-out yet. (as most senior programmers in company's had)

I think the thing that you write here is totally wrong.
I'm using Linux for over 6 years now, and it's the best thing I've encountered.

I'm working on a servicedesk helping people out with soft & hardware problems. Mostly Windows just suck.
Imagine... explorer crash... hah... "happens all the time m'am"

Async said...

ha ha. I use winXP at work for software development. I just had to kill 2 IDEs, emacs, xemacs, and several other apps and then finally log out, just so I could rename a directory. That's happened a number of times to me. The term Mickey Mouse comes to mind here.

As much as people complain about linux on the desktop, my experience with Windows on the desktop is that it is hacky, where linux is elegant.

my winXP development environment is a big hodge podge of things that don't integrate well.

The winXP windows manager blows and if that blows you can only go down hill from there.

My experience with MS products is they only go so far in user configurability. Like I can't set up the focus model and window behavior the way I can under Linux, because its just impossible in windows. Also, I can barely use Visual Studio after having worked with Netbeans. VS just stops short in so many ways.

- Greg