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Re: [OT] Why does X need so much CPU power?

On Wed, 2003-09-03 at 18:01, Micha Feigin wrote:

> The main problem I see with linux is the lack of commercial programs.
> Unfortunately for some stuff there is no way around it. For commercial
> quality image/video processing  for example there is no alternative at
> the moment, or places where you need to be able to show reliability
> certificates, which cost quite a lot with free software. Sometimes you
> also need some to be legally liable if something goes wrong when running
> critical systems, and that costs money.
> I think that whats holding linux back from the home market is mostly
> that people tend to stay with the preinstalled os they get with the
> computer, since replacing it is usually to daunting for most users. Also
> linux currently has a name as a hard to install/configure/maintain for
> geeks only os. To get it into the home market, it needs to change its
> market image and arrive preinstalled to change the market share.

	I think this is well said. The fact is that, in my opinion, most people
would be able to work quite satisfactorily with a good installation of
KDE or Gnome, at least as well as with Win98. Where Windows has Linux
beat is a) the OS comes pre-installed which just plain makes it easier,
and b) there really is good consistently (not perfect, but good) between
the way the start menu is configured from install to install. This is in
contrast to both KDE and Gnome, where the K or G menu comes up with a
mess of programs, not well organized into logical categories and
submenus, and often with menu items created without the programs
installed (for instance, a "Games" submenu even though I never install
the games programs).

	The lack of good commercial apps really is a problem that we open
source zealots don't want to acknowledge, and the reason it's a problem
is very straightforward. While I think we would all agree that the
quality of the Linux kernel, X, KDE, Gnome, etc is at least as good and
often better (like the kernel) than the equivalent components in
Windows-land, the fact is that many of the apps that we use regularly
are not as slick, polished, or feature-rich as similar programs in
windows land.
	I think that this is largely because while some of he large projects
(kernel for instance) have many developers and a a fair number of those
developers are working full time on Linux under the auspices of whatever
Linux or non-Linux company sponsors them, a large number of the other
programs that would be mighty useful for the Joe-Desktop-Windows-95 user
are written by one guy in his spare time trying to hold down a day job -
and it's just plain hard to get a lot of quality programming down in the
odd hours between when the kids are in bed and when I need to go to bed
myself to be up the next AM for my real (non-computer) job.
	Here's an example: digital photography. Kudos to the gphoto team aside,
so far I've only been able to find ONE application that handles the
highly useful task of importing digital photos either from a digicam or
from jpg files on disk and displaying them in a photoalbum kind of
interface, and that program is unfinished and sparse compared to similar
programs for Mac or Windows systems. [Aside: This is not intended to be
a poke at the guy writing this program, far from it - I wish he could
work on it full time so that I could get it to use!] For the Mac you get
iPhoto, the "definitive app" in this category; for windows there are
many options including the highly rated Adobe Photoshop Album. But
nothing at that level for Linux. The difference: the programs for
Windows and Mac are developed by companies devoting teams to this
full-time, so no wonder they make faster programs. Heck, if we could get
as many people working on "lPhoto" for Linux as there are on the

	Another problem Linux faces is that frankly too much choice is as bad
as too little. Having competing desktops, while often put forward as a
advantage (choice is good), is fine if you are an enthusiast who likes
experimenting with KDE, Gnome, Windowmaker, Blackbox, etc until you get
just what you want, customized the way you want it. But for Joe-Desktop
buying a computer, even having to choose between K and G during his
standard Dedhat install is just a decision he cannot make - so he goes
to Windows, where no choice really is a better choice. Having
development efforts all focussed on ONE really good, fast, well-written
desktop (with an advanced config mode for those who really really really
want to customize the appearance and function of every last pixel)
would, I think, really help Linux move onto the desktop.


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