| Obviously you've never worked with a modern Linux distro. Try it sometime.
| Perhaps GIMP sucks but I've used it about twice. That's not my bag;
| development is.
You demonstate my points. I explain what I
find lacking in Linux and you imply that it's perfect
by definition. I tell you it doesn't run the software
I use and you discount that: You write software.
What else would someone do on Linux?
That's the essential Linux problem. The fan
club wants to evangelize, but they dislike the idea
that the product should serve the audience. They
want to convert people to Linux, but woe to anyone
who then asks for a functioning software installer
and a good help file. That person is almost certain
to hear something like, "Hey, it's free software made
by volunteers, Swifty. Why don't you volunteer to
write the help file?" Even finished software is a rare
bird on Linux. The programs are mostly like the
cars that some teenagers like to have on their front
lawns: It's got a corvette engine, scoops, a jazzed
up trannie.... Does it run? Well, no. But it will someday.
I'm still working on it.
It's true that I haven't tried Linux for awhile. I
think I have Suse 12.0 installed. (As I recall, Suse
is on a 6 month release cycle, with .5 release
numbers. One year, v. 13, would have been when
my install of Suse 12 became obsolete and
unsupported. The current version minus 12 would
represent how many years ago I installed it.) But
not long ago some evangelists rode through one of
the Windows groups and I mentioned the same minimal
requirements I had in mind. The responses essentially
boiled down to: If you don't want to live in
console Windows then you're wrong, an idiot, and
a detestable computer "newbie". No one ever did come
up with a clear, easy-to-use firewall that provides
per-process/per-port blocking in and out. There are
several free ones on Windows. The Linux evangelists,
again, just made excuses: Linux is safe and pure, so
you don't need outbound firewall functionality.
I also write software. And I do web design. And I
do a bit of office work -- writing contracts,
estimates, etc. And I edit photos in Paint Shop Pro.
Before I bought PSP16 I tried the latest GIMP, 2.8.
After I managed to set up the help, which was a
funky, separate install, I was ready to try it out.
It was usable. It was not good. I wrote my HTML
editor myself and also use it for VBScript. All of that
would only work through WINE. And I wouldn't be
able to test pages in IE. Visual Studio 6,
which I still use and which still compiles software in
VB6 and VC6, supported on virtually all Windows
systems, would probably not transfer at all. VS6
came out in '98 and the software I can write with it
is still arguably the most widely supported on Windows.
Meanwhile, my relatively recent Suse test system is
a dinosaur. If I tried to install anything on it now I'd
be stuck for the rest of the day running command
lines to install library updates.
If I was lucky I might be able to automate that through
a software library online. But that presents another Linux
problem: In Suse 12 it was already starting to make my
decisions for me. I don't want the OS deciding how to do
things and going online by itself. When I first tried Linux it
was at least fun as a project. I thought of Linux as a car kit,
while Windows was like a normal car that one could work
on and Mac was like a limited-functionality car with the
hood welded shut. Linux now seems to be going straight
to the Mac model, not stopping in the middle at all. What's
always been fun about Windows is that it can do nearly
anything because of the vast software available, and it's
just about as customizable as anyone could want. One
can tinker with it on any level that one wants to get
involved at, and there are plenty of docs to help. With
Windows now headed for lockdown it looks like the
landscape may end up being populated by 3 restrictive,
spyware systems; all of them expecting to call home
freely. (I think I read somewhere recently that Ubuntu
is starting to show ads.)
So, for me, I'd want to see Linux first get cleaned
up, with modern conveniences like dialogues to replace
"console Hell". Then I'd also want to see it *not* treat
the users like "consumers". I haven't given up hope
of that happening. But I've been hoping since about 2000,
so I'm not on the edge of my seat about it. :)