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The HeliOS Project is now.....
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rant - Ur doin' it right.....

I don't often fill my personal blog space with entire articles or comments from someone else, but every now and then, every blue moon or so, you run across something that is just so good,  you can't let it go.

Yeah, yeah....we've been over this a billion times but I don't think it's been so eloquently detailed as it has been here.  Gnome gets, what I consider to be, a deserved bi*ch slap for their utter stupidity and lack of vision and foresight.  Heaven knows they've been run through the wringer but just for the sake of clarity, this author puts them through another spin cycle just to make sure they hear the message.

Oh, and for the record, the language does get a but, errrr...."western" here so check your guns at the bar and enjoy the show.

So Mr. harryfeet of slashdot fame, Let 'er rip.

You joke Mr AC but this kind of crazy is a prime example of why itch scratching and ignoring the users makes Linux a giant fail on the desktop.

I'm sure i'll get hate for not drinking the koolaid and joining the perception bubble but fuck it, I'm a frustrated retailer and this needs to be said. For the first time in history you are being given not one, not two, but THREE incredible gifts, its like the field has been cleared and you are being given a 200 yard head start on a 300 yard race and what do you do? promptly shoot yourselves in the foot and then plop down in the middle of the field to tweet about the latest idea you have for REALLY pissing the users off!

I mean you have your traditional nemesis run by the most incompetent CEO since Apple had the Pepsi and not only that but he's about to shoot his own company right in the face because he is so desperate to get into cell phones and tablets he's gonna force WinPhone on the desktop, which i predict will be the biggest failwhale since MSFT Bob, that's one, two you have the great XP dieoff giving you all these incredibly powerful machines that MSFT has priced themselves out of the running with, we are talking late P4s to early mid dual core desktops and laptops with 1gb+ of RAM and 40Gb+ of HDDs which is more than enough for Linux, and finally you have a population that NEVER BEFORE IN HISTORY does damned near everything online, the one place where Linux has always been strong!

So what do you do? do you give all those businesses and consumers a distro with 10 years of updates so they can be confident they can just slap that OS on and it'll just work? Do you tell Linus to STFU and develop an ABI so the drivers won't break if they DO upgrade? Do you focus on stability and bug fixes and QA to make Linux so damned rock solid frankly no body has to do forum hunts of CLI fixes? NOPE, you throw out BOTH major DEs when they are FINALLY becoming really stable for a blingapaloza that sends you back a good 7 years on the stability front and just to add to the fail replace the sound which again was finally starting to get stable with Pulseaudio which is barely at MSFT first release quality, which is to say it sucks! Oh and if all that weren't bad enough Canonical the ones that were SUPPOSED to be the ones making the noob friendly distro for the masses says "Hey slapping a cell phone UI on the desktop is a GREAT idea, lets do that!" and makes their distro even more of a failwhale than Win 8, which is quite an accomplishment!

I swear the current OS situation reminds me of that old Monty Python skit where the upper class twits couldn't even shoot themselves correctly because they were too fricking stupid and I'm not alone [] in feeling this way. hell even Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols who is the biggest linTroll and the flipside to the Thurott Wintroll hates the new UIs [] and for HIM to say anything nasty about Linux is unheard of!

C'mon Linux community, you are better than this I know you are. its obvious the Linux devs are gonna ignore you unless you have a royal screaming shitfit so speak up already! We ALL know what's happening here, its as plain as the nose on your face, Apple released the iPhone and iPad and all the devs done lost their damned minds and are tripping all over themselves trying to come up with the "next iPad" and destroying their core strengths in the process. As someone who has been selling to consumers since before there even was a Windows i can tell you a few things about consumers and the desktop/laptop, 1.-Most of them have NO clue about all the bling bling crap you guys slap in there, and the few bits they know about they don't like. hell they were willing to put up with the Fisher price UI of XP right? all you need is to not make it fugly, maybe a nice metallic or black or some other easy on the eyes color, no shit brown or purple though okay? 2.- They have NO clue about CLI and haven't touched it since Win 3.1 so that's right out, they need 10 years of support so they don't need to get on the upgrade treadmill or somebody fixing the broken driver model so if you keep the rapid pace drivers don't break when they hit that upgrade button in the corner, and finally 3.- if it comes down to bling or speed MAKE IT FAST as NOBODY wants to use your OS to stare at your artwork of a desktop, mmmkay? people use the thing to run their apps, NOT to look at your pretty spinning cube bling bling bullshit.

Never before in history have you been given such gifts, thanks to everyone living in FB and playing flash games frankly most don't really give a shit about rich desktop apps anymore, and with with the rise of android and iOS people that have never touched anything but Windows in their whole lives are willing to try new things. Finally we retailers are gonna be buried alive in offlease boxes and laptops thanks to the XP dieoff and folks are looking for bargains which the monkey at MSFT has made sure Windows is priced right out of. But you gotta give us something to work with here guys, ripping out the DEs and audio and making shit less stable than it was 5 years ago is the exact WRONG thing to do at this time. 

We can't afford to give away free lifetime support and home users don't buy support contracts. Vista is supported until 2017, Win 7 until 2020, surely you can at least match them if not offer better, right? forget the bling guys, hell KDE 3 and Gnome 2 was both beautiful and feature rich as well as being stable and bug free for the most part. just give us a reliable solid OS with either 10 years of support or a new driver model so every time Suzy the checkout girl pushes that blinky upgrade button the distro doesn't go "LOL I made a stinky" all over her wireless and sound. Is that REALLY so much to ask for?

And I apologize for the length, but it seems like ever since Apple came out with iPhone/iPad the world has lost its damned mind, its like being the only sane person in a world filled with batshit whackos. We don't need yet another pad/Phone OS okay? That space is crowded enough already. What we need is a rock solid desktop/laptop OS to take the place of Windows and so far Linux isn't stepping up to the plate. You have until 2014 to step up, the field is yours, the competition is conceding the field while it to be Apple, what are you gonna do?

I couldn't have said it better myself.

All-Righty Then


evaline said...

I agree 100%!! I remember being very happy with the 8.04 Ubuntu release, and the 9's weren't terrible either. I talked up Ubuntu to everyone, even bought stickers and a t-shirt. I was a True Believer. But things went downhill and after the latest disaster of being forced to use gnome3, which looks like crap and has fewer features (don't get me started on the useless pile that is Unity... I do scientific computing on a 17 inch widescreen, why the heck would I use a dodgy ipad-clone interface?), I am done with Ubuntu. As soon as I finish my PhD in a few months I'm moving to scientific linux and being done with it. Funny thing is, I'll probably move my mom's desktop too. I can't imagine the tech support nightmare that would be her using Unity.

PV said...

I think it's worth mentioning that the three major DEs that haven't gone this route are GNOME 3/Cinnamon (as opposed to GNOME 3/Shell or GNOME 3/Unity), KDE, and Xfce. Cinnamon is already being heavily promoted by Linux Mint, but it's unfortunate that Linux Mint hasn't been as publicized outside of the Linux community as Ubuntu has, in that if you ask an average Joe on the street, it will be more likely that they have heard about Ubuntu compared to Linux Mint (though both probabilities are very small in absolute terms). Xfce also has this problem of lack of publicity, and the fact that Canonical is now only funding Ubuntu means that Xubuntu will never have as much exposure in the public eye; that is a shame considering that I think that Xubuntu has one of the best out-of-the-box implementations of Xfce, because most implementations of Xfce could use a little more tweaking and polish to make them more appealing to use. KDE is probably the closest to actually making itself visible on consumer devices thanks to the Spark tablet, but it too needs some saner defaults to be just a little more usable. So the moral of the story is that although there is more choice in DEs than ever before, it's a shame that the two arguably worst "modern" DEs (GNOME 3/Shell & GNOME 3/Unity) are the most visible outside the community.
a Linux Mint user since 2009 May 1

Michael Hall said...

If Gnome2 was really so great as a retail product, it would have been a successful retail product. The fact that it wasn't is proof enough that something had to change.

And PulseAudio? Sure it had a rough patch, but that was years ago. And it's not like ALSA and OSS were perfect solutions either.

Anonymous said...

ubuntu 9.04 and 9.10 were SO AWESOME...I was hooked. 10.04 was ok but the apple worship had started. When 10.10 came out thats when the bugs crept in....everything was about looks instead of stability.

I LOVED Gnome2 it was slick polished & reliable. I also wish the MATE desktop would take off but its probobly doomed to the same fate as trinity.

I have currently RAN from anything ubugtu and am running debian stable....its a really nice move. I am using LXDE right gets the job done but its no gnome too...RIP gnome2

who knows maybe cinnamon will take off but its too little to late....I think we are all gonna end up moving to xfce and turn it in the direction of replaceing gnome2.

Colonel Panik said...

We have meet the enemy and it is us.

Ken and the Colonel are getting pretty
old, one day we will be carried off by
the stupids.

Blog of helios said...

Yep Bob...Used to be I'd sit and wonder where I was in my life. Now I spend most of that life trying to remember what I did with my phone.

MAS Geeks ERP AZ said...

This kind of stuff really confuses me. I mean, if there is no joy in what you are using, move on, right? Be it Windows, Mac or 'nix, you know? I doubt Linux will fall off the face of the earth, and until it does I'm happy with my choice. When I no longer am, I'll look for another distro. Why is it so important for Linux to dominate the desktop? I like Ubuntu with gnome shell - it fits nicely somewhere in between and accommodates my "I hate reaching for the mouse" way of working. It works well as a headless server for my hosting. I like anything that works well, really, regardless the platform - and can be accused of liking Office 2010 when I need to use it in conjunction with a financial report writing app that is also Windows based. Will I use Ubuntu forever? Dunno. There are so many other alternatives, doesn't matter to me... but I like new things and I like change, so the thought of having to learn something new appeals to me... :)

Roland said...

1)Audio that works at boot: PulseAudio works for me, Debian/ALSA doesn't. Too bad.

2)A link to an ISO that I can download overnite with at/wget. Instant gratification may be a choice, but it must not be a requirement. And an ISO that includes LanguagePacks, so it's not a 3hour install. Make the ISO bigger, I'll get it while I sleep.

3)An ISO that I can write to a thumbdrive with unetbootin. The recent fad of using dd is NG, it is destructive to the filesystem. This makes a hassle the next time I want to use the thumbdrive. Works with 'buntu, gentoo, slack, but not Debian et al.

4)XFCE that works. Debian's clutters my screen with links to $HOME, should be ~/Desktop. Hey Debian, your buglist has been static for too long! And Xubuntu: you need a 64bit version.

That's why Mint is winning.

istok said...

oh this is about the world domination of linux on teh desktop.i just run openbox on debian and it really dominates my desktop. i'm zen calm. i don't understand all this rage. mocking the intellectually challenged decisions of gnome and canonical - that's fun, i do that. laughter is healthy. but what's with the rage. i don't trust the judgement or arguments of people who get furiously angry over desktop environments. sorry.

tracyanne said...

At last someone has said what I've been thinking, and saying, and all of it all in one place.

However, no matter how you scream and shout at the devs, no matter how you politely request and plead, they don't give a rats arse, they ahe tier flash and bling, their "perfecut" design that their user testing (big laugh) tells them the users want, and above all they are the Developer, so THEY ARE RIGHT, and you are wrong.

In the end, if the choice is between installing Linux, with a broken blinkenflashen desktop and buying a computer with Windows with a broken blinkenflashen desktop pre installed, people are going to stay with Windows. Why bother replacing one peice of crud with another.

No need to give our GNOME devs a gun to shoot themselves with, they have quite ably built a better bomb.

Alan Moore said...

Every rant like this assumes that all FOSS development happens because developers want Linux to "win" and take over the world and be exalted over all other software or whatever.

Here's a guy who is a retailer, making money (or trying to) with free software. He's frustrated because none of these guys-who-write-software-and-give-it-away have put together an OS that serves his customers and enables him to productize their work.

Why is Canonical producing a tablet/phone type interface? Because they want to make money building televisions and tablets. Duh. At what point were they obligated to build you an operating system to meet your business goals?

Anonymous said...

Damn straight! My wife just bought a system from one of the better Linux laptop retailers. They offered nothing but Canonical based versions. Rather than go the buy a Win system and pay Mickeysoft the tax she went ahead and got the system with Kubuntu rather than Ubuntu She hated Unity at first sight. Based on my past experiences I warned her that she was likely to suffer some issues after an "update". Sure enough, the first update tanked the system. She has moved to PCLinuxOS, a much smaller distro with a lot less money and people resources behind it but a whole lot more polished than Kubuntu or Ubuntu even with all the Canonical financial backing those enjoy.

A while back I had high hopes for Canonical to be the one Linux company that would get Linux to the desktop in the fashion it deserves but these days I no longer believe that will happen, at least not with Canonicals current direction.

I too have acted as a reseller for Linux systems and with much sadness watched the best contenders be driven out of business by Microsoft and its BS patent threats or see the distros themselves blow both feet off by focusing in the wrong directions.

Want Linux to succeed?

Make it a rolling release with perfected updating that doesn't trash a system, fix ALL the sound issues, include all needed multimedia needs IN THE BOX, make it secure, eliminate the requirement for CL while leaving it accessible for those that prefer, don't shove silly GUI ideas down the users throat (talking to you Gnome, KDE, and Unity), test and include ALL the latest and greatest software in the repositories and I do mean ALL, quit mucking around wasting time on 6 month updates that do nothing but churn things around, make drivers work perfectly out of the box, test and catalog ALL hardware, its not like there is a shortage of used hardware everywhere to establish a test base from, make any hardware that does not work....WORK, and finally STOP letting Microsoft walk all over Linux with their bullsh*t lawsuit patent crap. Band together and drag that sorry damn wretch of a company into court and put those SOB's in jail where they belong.

The author nailed it.

Anonymous said...

Gnome3 and bumtu are perfect examples of development going towards the facebook and twitter jokes. You can't do anything useful anymore on these systems anymore. I completely dumped trying to use any system that has gnome3 or ubumtu involved. Mac is one of the most useless waste of time I have ever seen. I swear it has worse compatibility in network environments than anything else out there, and the ui is so backwards and ugly it's impossible to be productive. It's a gross fad religious joke. Why try to mimic that. I need a simple, clean, straight forward desktop that doesn't use all my resources, doesn't annoy me with flashy garbage, and just works. That's where the value is, it works flawlessly, stable.

Amenditman said...

While I agree whole-heartedly with the content of this post, I have to say that the i* copying crowd is not catering to you and I.

I am 50ish and have recently returned to community college. The majority of young students want their devices to work the way the new designs do. I don't understand why, but they like it. Now, I am not saying that the majority of them would die if they had to remember how to breathe, but it ain't far from that. The way things are progressing we might see a few who actually do die because they were too stupid, or lazy, to breathe in the near future.

Our only hope is the few geeks I attend classes with who seem to have a clue about a lot more than just the tech in their lives. Oh, and the fact that Little Stevie is running MS and Big Stevie has left the building might develop into a renaissance of sorts.

Jus sayin!

俺久郎 said...

people like this just make me so angry..

In the commercial/proprietary world, if you're unhappy with a product, there's two things you can do:
- be angry and scream at the vendors
- vote with your money and simply not buy the product any more

in the foss world, however, these look a little bit different:
- if you're a dev: become active and make a change
- if you're a user: just MOVE ON to something else

and if you're a freaking retailer making money thanks to other people's work:

Also, linux has been holding the top in the server market for years. it doesn't need the desktop to succeed.

Blog of helios said...

but what's with the rage. i don't trust the judgement or arguments of people who get furiously angry over desktop environments. sorry.

It's easily explained and even more easily understood.

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." - Someone really smart.

Gnome had the KDE debacle still freshly bleeding in front of them when they, with almost perfect style, copied the very same mistake. Gnome took a perfectly good environment and with little fanfare, changed it to the point of disrupting millions of Linux Desktop Users.

You cannot insert such sweeping and disrupting change across any landscape and not expect revolt. To do so suggests that the developers are truly compartmentalized from their user-base and seemingly delusional in their philosophy.

Gnome should have released the shell concept as a second project...not a replacement for something that was working perfectly.

It almost seems like Gnome was competing with Canonical to see who could blow the biggest, bloodiest chunks from their foot with a single shot. So far, it looks like we're gonna need a tie-breaker shot to make that determination.

We should hear a second gunshot in 3...2...1...

Michelle Minkin said...

I hold that Cinnamon will be the complete healing salve for this mess. And really folks, isn't this the beauty of our FOSS life? Someone comes in and fuc*s something up so completely that it seems hopeless, then one guy steps in and almost single-handedly recruits an effort to not only fix it, but make it leaps and bounds better than it was ever intended to be.

I believe that by 2014, Cinnamon will be the default DE for Linux and except for a few historians, most will forget this horrible period in our history. HeliOS did a great service by posting this rant by who I've always considered to be a Microsoft apologist.

Sometimes the strongest support comes from the most unexpected quarter.


KenJennings said...

Gnome is fixed by Cinnamon. KDE is fixed by Trinity. Unfortunately, Joe user won't know about either and if he did likely doesn;t have the wherewithal to replace the defaults. Unless the major distros suddenly see the light and refuse to buy into the newfangled lunacy the predominate desktop UI default for "Linux" will be some kind of dumbed-down, Fisher Price imitation of the Win8 phone interface.

Does anyone wonder why I still have a working Amiga?

Scott Ruecker said...

I agree, KDE4 alone was a historically bad move. But the FOSS world is not ruled by what the users want..its ruled by what the Developers want..period.

Anonymous said...

This guy sells PCs?

Great! Somewhere for all my Windows 95 and 15" CRT monitor needs!

Perhaps he is in the wrong business. Change is part of the territory, but feel free to try the Kodak approach.

Justin Hall said...

I frankly have given up on desktops altogether. I run openbox or fluxbox usually on debian sid or slack. I am not going to let their antics effect my ability to get work done.

Kevin (Whizard72) said...

First off, I'm *FAR* from the average user. I compile my own kernels and optimize my compiler scripts for my hardware.

With that said, I see no major issues with Unity, GNOME 3, XFCE, etc. I can make ANY of them work for me. GNOME and Unity both have nice window management features that are more advanced than what we had before. In many ways they are a step forwards but in others they ARE a step backwards.

Windows 8 is going to make MSFT shareholders wonder why they didn't kick Ballmer out after Vista. Windows on phones and tablets? If it wasn't already clear enough by now...


Even Windows diehards I know look at Windows 8 and wonder what the heck they're gonna do when their next computer upgrade happens in a few years or so.

Use Linux? What other choice do they really have? BSD? LOL.

Kevin (Whizard72) said...

Here's a quote from Ken Hess of ZDNET: "not exactly sure how Canonical can defend Unity–athough, I’ve seen them try–and I’m not sure how anyone can use it. It takes me ten minutes to find my Terminal every time I try to find it. Finally, I added it to that goofy hanging chad thingy on the left side of my screen."

You know it's funny that people complain about the launcher on the left side of the screen being on the left instead of on the bottom. Does ANYONE think having a taskbar or launcher on the bottom of a 16:9 aspect ratio monitor is a good thing? Seriously? Sacrificing screen real estate top or bottom when you have plenty of horizontal real estate seems SILLY to me. Just my two cents.

Ubuntu Tweak now supports Unity making Unity more customizable than GNOME3 right now.

When I use Windows 7, I now put the taskbar on the LEFT SIDE of my 24" Widescreen because it feels FAR more natural to me now and grants me more vertical space for web browsing.