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Re: Hardware hassles: Linux vs. Windows

Mark Roach wrote:
On Wed, 2004-12-15 at 11:56 -0500, Christian Convey wrote:

Hi guys,

Recently I've spent a lot of time digging through udev / hotplug issues, getting to know modprobe, modules.conf, alsaconf, XF86Config-4 etc. This was all to get a digicam and a flashdrive to be useful, or to make sound/video work.


Do you guys have any reflections on why, for technical / social / market / whatever reasons, this difference exists between the two OS's exists? And are those differences necessary or accidental?

Wow, lots of fanboying going on in this thread. The answer to this
question is not (or should not be) a lot of handwaving. The facts are
that some types of hardware work extremely well out of the box (pccards
are the best supported, I would say) and others do not.

For large groups of peripheral types, even ones where drivers for linux
do actually exist, drivers are not self-installing. For the most part,
there is no software stack to communicate between the kernel and the
user. gnome-volume-manager is an excellent effort at tackling part of
the problem (removable media), but more work needs to be done (probably
also using udev+HAL)to autodetect drivers for printers, scanners, even
mechanisms for drivers to be installed for unrecognized devices.
For developers, these are technical issues. For some apologists in the
community, these are somehow good things that *even the option* to have
peripherals autodetected is not present. This, IMO, stems from being
unwilling to admit flaws in a system that *is*, in many other ways,
superior to the alternatives.

That was my long answer. The short answer is, it's getting there.

Thanks Mark. That's exactly the form of answer I was hoping for. Thanks for your thoughts.

Christian Convey
Computer Scientist,
Naval Undersea Warfare Center
Newport, RI

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