Saturday, October 25, 2008

EOF

It was fun while it lasted folks. I'm closing up shop. Moving on.


It turns out, the more hate I dished out, the less I had to hate on. Lusers keep making the same damn mistakes. These days, I wonder if they're not producing yet another 10-reasons-why-Linux-is-better article just to rope me along.

Let's just say, eventually, one moves beyond anger. Like the five phases of grief, or something. Eventually you get to acceptance. Accepting that lusers are going to continue in their freetarded ways whatever you do, however much you try to embarass them in a public forum.

So in true open source fashion, as the maintainer of this project, I am going to arbitrarily drop off the face off the of this earth for purely selfish reasons, and leave the entire cause in limbo. That is how open source projects truly die. But hey, all the material is out there for y'all to see (it's "open source" in it's own way), so maybe someone else will take up the cause. Carry on, lusers!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rants and Laughs 6


  • GregKH, kernel hacker extra-ordinaire, couldn't figure out to convert an avi of a video from his own conference to OGG format. Go open source!
  • Remember all those Linux netbooks? Well apparently they're so great, that they get returned 4 times as often as the same hardware running Windows.
  • John writes about his Ubuntu upgrade experience
    Im sure everyone reading this is aware of that feeling when you go and use a friends brand new $2000 Windows Vista computer. The way it runs so slowly with 2GHz of processing power at its disposal, crashes all the time and takes 6 minutes to turn on. It is brand new FFS. When I am in that situation it makes me feel like the entire engineering profession has failed me.
    I got that feeling with Ubuntu this week.
  •  Timothy Prickett Morgan at the Register writes about how Linux is what Windows wanted to be. Yes, an OS that supports a bazillion hardware platforms but has barely any useful applications. That's exactly what Windows wanted to be.
  • An article about how open source hippies have a hard time working at large corporations
    If possible, larger corporations that have open source components should do what they can to leave them alone and impose the very minimum amount of bureaucratic overhead on those teams. Results matter far more than process.
  • Mr. Toponce, once again, from Planet Ubuntu, talking about how Wikimedia has moved to Ubuntu. In the process, he points all the shortcomings of Fedora, for example "Fedora, although it strives for stability, never really gets that opportunity. Instead, each release is broken somehow, someway" or "Fedora places itself to be a test bed for new technologies and changes". Umm yea. Because every Ubuntu release is perfect, and Ubuntu doesn't ship bleeding edge stuff like Pulse Audio in a LTS release.. oh wait..
  • Don't you love it when open source folks fight among each other? I thought this whole thing was about cooperation.
  • A rant sent in by a reader about Linux and Marketing.
  • Another rant that shoots down common Linux claims.
  • A blog post suggesting that making your software free is a good approach amidst this global credit crisis. Right, because if you "Sell customers what they need, in their eyes its _just_ the right amount of support. Often this will exceed or equal the amount that you’d gain via licensing." And yea, when exactly are they going to buy this support? Like as a contract? Up front? So you're charging them more? And that's supposed to be attractive to them?
  • And finally, I thought Linux was about freedom and choice, and that extends to Satan warshippers. Apparently, distrowatch doesn't think so.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pulse my audio

I was saving this one until this article became free on LWN.net. It's awesomeness is truly unparalleled.


Let me attempt to summarize.

A) PulseAudio needs to work with existing applications, so it implements an ALSA emulation layer, except, it's not complete. Only 70% of ALSA applications work. So it's like, totally ready.

B) So, in the true open source fashion, you should port your app to be a native PulseAudio client. Except that you can't. There's this yet-another-audio-library called libsidney, but it's not ready yet. (Hmm, this sounds familiar...)

C) Fedora led the way in incorporating PulseAudio before it was ready, breaking audio for thousands of users. Then because open source is about copying good ideas and bad ones, a ton of other distros adopted it as well. Amazing guys. In a way, you've spread bad code that breaks audio on thousands of computers faster than a virus could have. And it's immune to antivirus!

D) so now that we're in this "mess" (as the lead developer of PulseAudio calls it*), LSB comes along and says "we're going to standardize how your write audio apps!" Oh, but wait, ALSA's now "old" (we hardly knew ye), and I can't directly program PulseAudio. Hmm... So the article's brilliant solution? Standardize on the PulseAudio-safe subset of ALSA.

WHAT THE FUCK.

I can just imagine the future alsa man page. A big listing of functions, with a nice little asterisk next to those functions that you shouldn't use unless you want your app to totally FAIL on a system which has been sodomized by Pulse Audio. I can just see the developers of commercial Linux sound apps (all three of them) jumping for joy. 

And thus unfolds another chapter in long history of failed sound systems on Linux. Can they make it much worse? I, for one, am excited to see how much worse they can make it until we all go back to listening to square waves on our PC speakers.

* BTW, also notice that it's the PulseAudio guy calling Linux audio a mess. Did he forget that it was his project that took the existing mess, and unloaded a giant steaming turd on it? Congratufuckinglations. You've just made it worse. You're a truly a worthy OSS contributor.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Mini-Rant

And then there was another.


I was going to wait for the next Rants and Laughs, but this one is too good. Jonathan Blow, a developer of the Braid game, starts out by asking for some solutions to problems he's running into doing a Linux port of the game.

The freetard brigade arrives, and hilarity ensues, causing Jonathan to give up, and then finish up with a comment worthy of an article here.

And since this is a mini-post, I'll leave you with a quick thought:

If you upgrade your version of Windows and an application breaks, it's Microsoft's fault. If you upgrade your version of OS X and your application breaks, it's the ISV's fault. If you upgrade your version of Linux and your application breaks, well, that's your own damn fault.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rants and Laughs 5

Mo' fo' dat ass.

  • A BBC Editor is Getting to grips with Linux. Yes lusers, this is what usually happens when normal people try to use Linux when not in your odorous presence.
  • Even Shuttle-man doesn't think you can replace Windows with Linux.
  • Another six reasons why Ubuntu isn't the #1 OS. With rare insight such as: It seems that people don't mind spending hundreds of dollars on closed source commercial software. They even put up with ads in their software - just so they can send animated smilies (aka Yahoo Messenger).
    Uh huh. Whatever you say dude.
  • A luser begrudging finds his way back to Windows, then finds out that it actually works way better. Then, he challenges lusers to "bring him back" to their freetard commune.
  • LinuxToday editor Carla Shroder proves that she knows very little about other operating systems which supposedly can't do "Cool Compiz/Beryl blingy stuff".
  • Sam Varghese with another lame "20 reasons to use Linux" article.
  • Let's blame Asus for Linux sucking on the eee 901. I used to have a lot of respect for Asus and generally sought out Asus components when building a computer. My experience with the eee has really turned me off and I doubt I will ever look at Asus the same. 

    At the moment I’m looking for a solution to all of this. Can anyone recommend a Linux distro that does work well on the 901 model? I have absolutely no interest in putting windows on this no matter how well it may work. 
  • FSM's 10 easy ways to attract women to your free software project. Who knew it was so easy. And the title sounds like something that should be on the front conver of Cosmo.
  • Wow, a fellow hater. I have a feeling this guy might hate Linux as much as I do.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Free as long as you "give back"

So like, this FOSS shit is supposed to be free right? Like I can take the code and go make a bajillion dollars with it, or make some pretty awesome product with it as long as I release all the source code when I'm asked to, right?


That's what the fucking license says right?

Well, apparently there's some stuff that they might have forgotten to stipulate.


It turns out, with open source code, you can take a free kernel, integrate it into a larger desktop distribution that manages to make like 10 people happy and whole bunch of people wet their panties over Linux, and ship it marginally successfully for several releases. But in the process, you might have just forgotten to "give back" a little. You might have spent your time making the desktop stack work better instead of the kernel or gcc. You might not have sent in thousands of kernel patches because you were more worried about making Xorg work, or codec installation easier.

It doesn't matter. Use the kernel in a media-visible way but don't actively contribute upstream? Bingo! you get a big fat steamer on your doorstep. You get called out at the opening speech of Luserfest 2008.

So you see? maybe the GPL isn't really free. Sure you can take the code, but don't you dare go and do something that makes you seem like you have a bigger dick than everyone else, at least, not without giving your testicles back to the cause. The GPL just talks about the code. What it doesn't talk about is how you also have to follow the "spirit" of open source, or be prepared for incoming PR shit mortars. 

This is fucking amateur hour people. You know what all those big software companies do? They have PR people. Most engineers hate them, mostly because they're yet another layer between you and your customer. Most customers hate them too, because you're trying to explain what you want, and they don't really have any clue what you're talking about. But then once in a while, you see freetard engineers like Mr. KH here make an ass-clown of themselves, and then you understand. 

I'm glad your conference got off to such a great start. You're all gonna talk about how you should improve Linux plumbing, and then spawn off like 20 projects, half-finish all of them, and call it progress. I'm like super serially excited here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Wine, with a side of Chrome

I know I've already hated on the wine project before, but what the hell, it's fun!


I came across this really wonderful story today, about how CodeWeavers has a wine-based package to run Chrome on Linux.

First of all, isn't Chrome FOSS!? (as in fucking open source software?) Aren't you supposed to port that shit, instead of create a matchsticks-and-glue emulation of a proprietary API just to run an app written for another platform that uses a bunch of open source libraries in the first place? Google totally threw the source over to y'all. Where's the freetard brigade that's supposed to patch it all up and make it run really great on Linux? Oh, right. I forgot. They're busy fighting Shuttle-man about Firefox. Seriously guys. Shuttleworth is some day going to really regret all that money he spent trying to buy you guys a fucking clue.

And secondly, look around wine dudes. Out of all the missing applications on Linux, you decide to spend 11 days working on porting another browser. Sweet. Because THAT's what Linux is missing right now. *

But I shouldn't be surprised right? I mean if y'all had any kind of clue at all, you'd realize that you only really need Wine to support three apps to make a huge dent (and no, one is not Picasa). They are Outlook, Word, and Solitaire (And I don't mean Outlook 2000 ok?). Spider Solitaire for extra credit. Oh, but my bad, that would require some coordination and focus. I've read my own fucking rants long enough that that I know that ain't gonna happen. Keep trying boys, if you want to. I'll just remember to laugh at you again when the virtualization boyz totally beat you to a pulp.



* Which makes me think, aside from games and picasa, what useful apps does wine let me run on Linux for which there is no OSS alternative? uTorrent? FAIL. EAC? FAIL. Nope, I guess it really is all games these days. So much for being productive on Linux.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's all about determination

A wonderful post on "Linux Weekly" reminded me of another lame luser talking point.

I think one of the main reason most of the people try Linux and go back to Windows is that they aren't determined to make the switch, and they can't conceive that there are other ways of doing things than the Windows methods. If something is done differently on Linux, they quickly jump to a conclusion that goes like 'This is not right, on Windows it's done the other way around.
What the fuck? People don't switch to Linux because they aren't determined enough?

Talk about putting the cart before the horse. You lusers always make the same damn assumption, that for some self-mutilating reason,"people" actually want to switch to Linux.

You know, it turns out that if you make something better and it makes people more productive then people will switch to it, regardless of whether they are "determined" or not. I mean look at Google Chrome for example. That thing has been out one week and it already has more penetration than Linux on the desktop. 

Making people more productive usually means either that a) they don't have to learn anything new and they can do what they always did a little better, or that b) they have to learn a tiny bit more, but they could do something before that they couldn't previously.

For most people, switching to Linux is neither a) or b). You have to learn a bunch of new stuff to do the same old shit. And by switching, you lose access to tons of apps, thereby enabling you to do less. Oh but it does enable you to spend many of your weekends now trying to learn to program so that you can fix bugs and contribute code so that programs will let you do what you could already do before you started going down this merry path. No, there is no command to give you your life back.

Oh by the way, I have this invention that you might like. It's a new kind of scissor. It's got one big handle hole to put your leg through, and another smaller one to stick your dick through. It's really great. You can cut shit and get off at the same time. I'm sure you can totally throw away your old scissors it if you are determined enough to do so. So who wants one?

And before I go, Twitter is a flaming pile of shit.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Real time hate

Just wanted to mention, I've started a twitter feed: http://twitter.com/hatinglinux .


I've always thought twitter was kind of lame, but we'll see how it goes. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Word to your mother

reddit is fucking awesome. It really is. It's got this whole Linux section where freetards automatically mod up the stupidest stories. I don't even have to go looking for material any more. It's just there.


This evening, I'd like to give a little shout out to a great new blog I found: "Help for Linux". This is like the archetype of a luser blog. Doesn't seem very popular, but I don't really understand why, as it has scintillating articles such as "Is Fedora better than Ubuntu?" or "7 Reasons Why KDE Sucks" (I hope you have your shit-shield equipped, dude).

But one post caught my eye in particular: "Mombuntu - Ubuntu For Your Mom!"

This post starts with your standard "why Linux is better than Windows" crap. But the rest of it is a list of instructions on how to set up Ubuntu so that it's palatable to your mentally retarded mother. Among his useful suggestions:
  • Install drivers that don't suck
  • Create desktop shortcuts like "Internet" and "Word"
  • Set OO to use the .doc format by default, "rather than explaining the difference between doc and odf"
  • Set up auto-login
  • Give her detailed instructions on how to write the Ubuntu forums or give her people to contact when she has questions
As I was reading through this list, I surprsingly found myself in agreement. Most of these suggestions would actually be useful. They simplify the experience, and reduce the cognitivie dissonance for the poor mother whose son just totally p0wned her computer.

Then I thought to myself, why the fuck do I have to read this list on a luser amateur's blog? Why aren't these same steps done out of the box? Really guys? some random dude can come up with numerous concrete suggestions for improvements in like 10 minutes?

Let's not forget that most of these steps are to make your brand new Linux act more like Windows...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Rants and Laughs 4

Got a whole bunch of 'em queued up for you guys tonight.

A reader suggested a cool idea. In honor of the FAIL blog, I will now accept submissions of screenshots of spectacular Linux failures. Maybe direct visual evidence will help free the lusers from their collective trance.

Friday, August 29, 2008

My perl caught a bug

There were a lot of things that I could have written about this week. Like, for example, Red Hat getting p0wned. Or how freetards in Quebec want their goverment to be even more inefficient. (Does this mean now they have to come to the US to buy their copy of Windows, along with their MRI's?)


No, the fruit ripest for the picking this week is Red Hat's perl performance bug.* Long story short, it turns out that the version of Perl that RH shipped has a huge performance bug that a whole bunch of people have just been working around. There's also apparently a bug report open about this that's been around for the better part of a year. Nicolas Clark, a core perl developer, also chimes in on how Red Hat fucked up.

The bug itself is not that interesting. It's just a performance bug. Whatever, it happens. But it's everything around it that has the ever so recognizable luser stench.

First there's the bug report it self. Go ahead, read through the comments. It's full of a bunch of whiners being actively hostile in an attempt to get RH to fix the bug. Way to set an example guys. To all the companies who have yet to go deploy a public-facing bugzilla, you're effectively saying, "do this, and we will shit all over you whenever you have a bad bug." It's a really great way to show that open bug DB's can be good for companies. **

Second, it's yet another example of where access to the source code causes stupid things to happen. RH released a version of the source code that upstream never released. I guess they have the freedom to do so, in this case, this freedom wasted a bunch of time for a bunch of people.

Third, is something that the upstream developer notes this himself:

RedHat seem to have an aggressive policy of incorporating pre-release changes in their released production code. This would not be so bad if they actually communicated back with upstream (i.e. me and the other people on the perl5-porters mailing list), or demonstrated that they had sufficient in-house knowledge that they didn't need to. But evidence suggests that neither is true, certainly for
5.8.x

Just because you have the source code, doesn't mean you have the expertise to maintain it, modify it, and release it. This is one of the biggest fallacies of the open source model. Lusers always like to say that as long as they have the code, they can make it work and fix things themselves. Never do they say that as long as they have the code, they have way more opportunities to fuck things up, because they often have no idea how or why the code was written as it was. This is just another example of this. *cough* Debian *cough* SSL *cough*

* Bad week for them, I suppose.
** Not that people don't do this already on various forums and bulletin boards. But when the nastiness appears on the same company-hosted page that everyone else is going to be looking at to find a solution, it looks especially bad.

Monday, August 25, 2008

National Convention of Anarchy

What else happens every four years other than the olympics? Why, the DNC!

OMGWTF! I can't view the videos using Linux! EPIC FAIL!

Slashtards. Seriously, how do you keep doing it? How do you stay so inspired? I find myself struggling to keep up.

First of all, they do support Windows and Mac. So, that's like 99% of all computers. Why don't we first worry about the people who don't have computers, instead of worrying about the 1% of computer users who just like being fucking annoying.

But that last 1%, don't we care about them too? or wait just a second, do the Democrats not care about lusers? Could it be? Such an intelligent, polite crowd? What if they are the swing vote? Doesn't their quest for freedom synergize with the Democratic message? Don't we want them on our side?

Even though their numbers are small, they're all on the internets! And like 23 hrs a day! They could all unite behind a common cause, organize, work together, and .... oh wait. Ha ha. I get it now. They can't even do that to produce a working operating system. What makes anyone think they can do it in real life?

Yes that's right folks. Lets not kid ourselves. Linux is not a democracy. Linux is anarchy. Everyone going in their own damn directions. It's not about working together. It's about works for me! It's not Yes We Can, it's Yes I Can.

So if you guys want to create all your own rules and abide by them on your silly internet chatrooms, be my guest. Just don't come bitching when you find out that the real world doesn't really care about you.

BTW guys. A few words of advice.

You can watch the damn thing on TV. You know that thing you could watch if only your video capture card was actually supported under Linux? I hear there are like a bajillion TV-compatible devices. Why don't you go enjoy your analog hole why you still can?

Also, if you're making your political decisions based on all the contrived, sugar-coated moments that they broadcast during the conventions, you're already lost. Go read a newspaper or something. I hear there's also this globally accessible network of computers that is actually a good place to read about what the candidates really stand for.

Rants and Laughs 3

Yay, Olympics over! Burning man begins!

  • Another freetard comes around.
    Now, I know that I should have got something more compatible with the community that I’m a member of. Maybe one of those OpenMoko powered Neo FreeRunner devices or even an Ubuntu Mobile powered prototype device.

    But an iPhone it was. Why?

    Well, frankly I needed something that works today.
    And just for kicks he throws in a rant about the sound and UI library jungles.
  • A nice rant from Thiago Macieira, on Trolltech Labs.
    I have been trying for the past few days to make desktop effects work and not
    use 90% of my CPU. I am frustrated, so this blog will step on people’s toes.
    Maybe you shouldn’t read it.
    Which means you definitely should read it.
  • This dude is proud of his wife because she managed to get a machine on an encrypted wireless network. Wow, first of all, I dunno why the hell she married you when you sound so condescending. And second of all, female computer users have been accomplishing these tasks you talk about for ages using OSes that make it easy. Are you proud of all of them too? Actually, may I suggest another post about how proud you are when she successfully cooks dinner for you?
  • Apparently, perl is seriously fucked on Redhat. Go open source! Many hands to fuck shit up once again.
  • apt-get can solve sudoku?! Well, df can show you some silly math. Apparently -h not only means human readable, but also horrible arithmetic.
  • Adrian discovers IE is actually important. It's totally like one of those coming-out-of-the-basement moments. It made me cry. In pain.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Certified to suck

Hey guys. Turns out, I had the awesome privilege to look in to Linux certification this past week. You know, like how when Novell says SUSE runs well on some laptops, then, well, it should? Well, turns out they have a funny definition of "well".

So umm, lets see, say I'm looking at HP's certification page, and I decide the 6510b is the one I want. Oh, look, it's certified by Novell. But you know, I'm thorough, so let me check out the certification report.

Nice, this thing is YES CERTIFIED. Ok. So far so good. Let me take a look under the Tested Configuration spec. Desktop Effect Enabled? Yes. Cool. Power Management? Also Yes. Sweet. That means I'm set to go right?

Oh, what are these Config Notes?

1) Intel 865GM graphics needs to install seperately, please download the driver from http://forgeftp.novell.com/hp/HP-Compaq-6510b, and follow instructions 2) Suspend to disk and Suspend to RAM: Hotkey (fn+f3) does not work, however, powersave -U and powersave -u function at the command line and hibernate, sleep works when invoked from the power management icon on the gnome panel. Occasionally, the system may need a reboot when waking up 3) Same behavior as #2 is observed when Desktop Effects are enabled.


Uhh. Certifcation Fail? How the hell is this acceptable? You're telling me that you've certified a machine that, when I put to sleep, I might "Occasionally" lose my data? Great guys. You've proved to me that your definition of working "well" really means "occasionally, not at all".

And then farther down on that page, look at the driver that they used to check the video card. fbdev_drv.so? Seriously? the frame buffer driver?

YES! I'm certified to have a 1990's era desktop experience with this machine. Super Hyphy. So now, not only do I know that the experience will likely suck on this machine, I also have no idea what the hell you mean when I see all the other machines that have been certified.

I'm glad you've got all this money from Microsoft and you've decided to invent a huge system that tells me absolutely nothing. Think of all the Ximian folks that you could have paid to stay to maybe actually finish Evolution.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Flash me a clue

Idiotry at Slashdot continues.

No matter how stably, smoothly, efficiently, and correctly Linux runs on a machine, the public will continue to view it as second-rate if Flash keeps crashing. This is the worst example of being tied down and bound by a crappy 3rd-party product over which no Linux distribution has any control.


This is so typical. Without having any evidence whatsoever, lets blame the closed-sourceness of Flash for all of desktop Linux's problems.

When will you lusers fucking learn? In case you haven't noticed, users want Flash. Say it again. Users want Flash. Anything you do to make Flash not work is your fucking fault. Not Flash's. Yours. At some point in time in the past, Flash worked on Linux. In some configuration. Otherwise Adobe wouldn't have released it. Whatever you did to deviate from that configuration is your responsibility. Not Adobe's. The fact there are a bazillion Linux configurations that Adobe couldn't possibly test: OSS sound, or Alsa sound, or alsa-oss sound, or pa-alsa emulation, or pa-alsa-oss-jack-esound-vagina emulation, or all of the above inside nspluginwrapper, or whatever the fuck... it's all your fault. Not Adobe's.

I don't give a shit if Flash is the worst piece of code since Microsoft Bob. Your users want it. That's all that matters. If you ever cared about your users, you'd give them what they want. Users don't give a shit whether your browser is open source, or whether you have the latest greatest audio system with shitty emulation of the 20 audio systems that came before it.

When you guys have actually bent over backwards to make Flash work for your users, only then can you even beging to complain to Adobe about what they do to make it difficult. Right now, Linux is the making it difficult for Flash, NOT the other way around.

As if it weren't enough, the Slashdot entry finishes with:

I really do have to suspect Adobe's motivation for keeping Flash on Linux in such a deplorable state.


Are you shitting me? Yes, Adobe's spending precious developer resources to release a half-assed version of Flash just to subvert the Linux desktop. If you maybe had one more brain cell (bringing you to a grand total of one), you'd realize that it's actually beneficial to Adobe if the Linux desktop takes off. They have the only credible cross-platform rich application delivery mechanism in Flash and Flex. When Linux spreads, MS-specific technologies like Silverlight look worse and worse to developers. As diversity increases, cross-platform Flash looks increasingly appealing.

But no. You guys not only make it hard for Adobe to ship anything that works, you have to swiftboat Adobe and accuse them of subverting the cause. I hope Adobe just stops supporting Linux altogether for a year or two. Just to teach you lusers a lesson. Then you can concoct some crazy wine-based browser plugin emulation scheme to make the windows Flash run on Linux, and then write another article complaining that Adobe not open sourcing their Flash plugin makes it difficult for lusers to port it to FreeBSD or some shit.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Rants and Laughs

Olympics are still going on, and the day job is a tad busy these days (don't worry! it'll calm down soon enough). Maybe I should give it up and move back into my mom's basement and work on free software.

Anyways, looks like you guys are still finding the good stuff out there, so here's another bunch of links:


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bundle me this

Hey y'all. Sorry about the whole comment thing. I've decided (like many of you also have) that disqus sucks (threading seemed like a good idea, until it indented so much that you couldn't even see the messages), so let's go back to the old Blogger comments. Besides, having comments stored in a separate site is still a little weird in the web-2.0-epic-fail kinda way.

BTW, in case you've been wondering where I've been for the past few days... well, you see, there's this little thing going on called the Olympics. Oh, and if you go to the NBC site, you can use this thing called Silverlight and watch tons of footage of sports that I never got to see before. But I know you lusers can't see any of that stuff, so instead you were busy commenting away on the last post. Sounds like fun. Sorry I couldn't join you.

But really, what I wanted to talk about today is bundling. As in "shipping software with your OS", not "what you want to do with Jessica Alba".

Lusers like to always bring up the whole IE + Windows thing as an example of Micro$oft being evil. And somehow the EU caught the same mental disease and continues to go after them over a stupid media player. Those same lusers will also talk about how the latest release of their favorite distro has so much software out of the box that you don't need to install anything else.

Do you guys like being ironic? And don't even try to get me started about Apple.

The thing that everyone likes to forget in the IE 3/4/5 days when all this shit happened was that IE's (especially 4 and 5) were better browsers than what Netscape had to offer. Yes, it was ever so slightly more inconvenient to use Netscape (the huge download size of Communicator didn't help), but there was also no reason to go through the trouble.

And what do you know? When something like Firefox comes along, which is actually better than IE in many ways, people start to use it. OMFG. Shocking.

Then there was that whole bit about M$ giving IE away for free. That was what really killed Netscape, but the freetards don't really talk about that part of it now do they? Oh hellz no, they're trying to give M$ some of its own medicine. Except there's a huge difference. Microsoft had a business plan when they made that fateful decision. Give away the browser, sell the OS. Freetards on the other hand? Uhh. Uhh. Uhh. Oh! I got it, let's whore out the search bar! Yay!

Some lusers like to think it was the Mozilla folks collective business genius that made Firefox successful. Sorry to break it to you, but it was Google that figured out how to make the dough. They just happen to also realize that giving a tiny bit of it to Firefox could benefit them. FF was, as they say, just in the right place at the right time. Let's just keep things in perspective, pleez?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Challenged

Yay. A challenge. But before I start, let me point out a few mistakes you've already made:

  1. You commented on my blog.
  2. You replied to another commenter. (Hell, even I know not to do that)
  3. You challenged me.

You know, I don't even know if I want to spend so much time on this. It looks like commenters on your blog already called you on your bullshit. There's not really much for me to add. But I'll try anyways.

I’m a system administrator, and I want to get XP and Ubuntu installed as quickly as possible on as many machines as possible. What flexibility do I have with the Windows XP Professional CD as far as meeting this need? Well, as far as I can see, I only have the CD to do the install. I have to sit through each screen by hand, clicking through the dialogs one by one until the install finishes.


Really? That's your opener? Did you even try googling for "windows automated install" before you wrote that? Hey, why not try "windows 95 automated install" for that matter. Boom. I AM feeling lucky.

Hey BTW, FYI, JIC, for your future reference, you should try googling things before you make claims like this. It turns out, Microsoft actually writes this thing called "documentation". AND it's not out of date like 10 minutes after it's written, just because someone replaced a working subsystem with something "shiny".

With Ubuntu, by default, if services are setup, they are only listening on the local interface, localhost. Coupled with AppArmor, I have a Mandatory Access Control system keeping my processes in check with my files. A default firewall is disabled, but can be enabled with the Netfilter kernel module, and built easily with the uncomplicated “ufw” command.


Wow. I have to know what a kernel module and a terminal command to set up a firewall? Can I just have XP's default firewall, which can let me pass through specific apps on-demand and in just a few clicks?

Users created on the system are not administrators, so system-wide security vulnerabilities introduced through the user and highly improbable. Antivirus software, as well as software needed to remove malware, spyware, etc. is not needed, as the security design behind the operating system does not let this software grow beyond the user’s home directory.


Thank God! My rogue script only deleted my home directory! I'm so happy it spared my /usr/lib! I just have to reinstall Ubuntu to get my home directory back, right?

With Ubuntu, OpenOffice.org is shipped and installed by default providing the employees the necessary tools to begin working. Evolution is provided for email communication, which gives me the ability to connect to POP3(s), IMAP(s) and Exchange servers. Ubuntu ships with Evince as the default PDF viewer, and a PDF “printer” is installed by default, giving me easy access to create PDFs. Three compression utilities, zip, gzip and bzip2, coupled with GNU tar, give me the ability to archive and compress anything on disk. GnuPG is installed by default for encrypting those sensitive emails. Lastly, Pidgin is my mult-protocol application for using instant messaging, giving me the ability to connect to Jabber, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, Novell groupwise, and many, many others simultaneously. As for Windows, I have Notepad and Wordpad installed for my “word processing”. There is no spreadsheet application installed. Outlook express is available as a minimal email client. There is no PDF creator or viewer. Zip is provided for compression, but no encryption application is installed. A Windows Messenger application is installed for instant messaging. Of course, many third party utilities can meet many of these needs, but none of them are provided by default


So, out of the crapware you listed that comes with Linux, the only ones that I could possibly want are OO and pidgin, and guess what, you can get those for Windows. Yay! Zip files? Have you heard of right-click, send to compressed folder? Yay! Tar and bzip? turns out you don't need a separate archiving format and compression format if you support one that does both (zip).

But the thing you keep repeating is that none of this stuff is provided by default. Guess what? Windows lets you install 3rd party software that you download from a website. Look Ma! No compiler! Imagine that. But best of all, I don't have to update my entire distro to get Firefox 3.

I don't know why you freetards sit around optimizing installers all the time. If you had actually designed your system properly, I'd install once, like 4 years ago, and then I'd never care again. My secret theory is that it's exactly because you have a 6 month update cycle that you care so much about your sacred install time.

Let's do some math. Let's say I set up XP once 3 years ago, and never had to do any installs, and it took me like 2 hrs to get the base OS and the apps that I use. Now if I had install Ubuntu, I'd be on my 6th update, and all the package downloads and installs takes at least 30 minutes each time, plus fixing the all the shit that broke takes at least (and I'm being super generous here) 10 hrs each time, so we arrive at a grand total of 63 hrs. 63 vs 2. Awesome. Thanks for playing.

XP Professional has given me the ability to utilize the RDP protocol through remote desktop. RDP uses encryption by default, however, due to the nature of XP, I can only login via RDP when the user on the other end has logged off. XP only allows a single user logged in at any given time. Unfortunately, however, there is no scripting language provided by the operating system, so writing simple scripts to automate tasks for me is not possible.


Uhh... Remote Assistance? or install a VNC server (hey look! it's FREE!)? Dude, really, you're just starting to make yourself look bad. No scripting languages? Try googling cscript.exe. Actually, here, I'll save you a few keystrokes. Shipped in Windows 98 dude. That's like 10 years ago. Where have you been?

Honestly, I'm disappointed. I think you'll find that if you want to have a serious discussion, I'm more than willing to play along. But you have to first prove to me that you know what you are talking about. And Sir, respectfully, at this task, you have failed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rants and Laughs

Argh. I'm getting way behind on these things, so I'm combining the Rants and Laughs posts into one series. I can feel that we're getting closer and closer to becoming the anti-slashdot. Perhaps ~/. is an appropriate way to refer to this site.

First the rants:

Angry? Now some laughs for you to chillax:

Phewsh. That should keep you guys busy for a bit.

Monday, August 4, 2008

One bug report to rule them all

Whatup y'all. I hope I haven't worn out all those refresh buttons on your browsers. Just because I don't post for a few days, y'all want to declare the death of this blog? You wish.

Anyways, today I'm talkin' about one of the community's crown jewels: bug trackers. We've heard it all before. Open bug tracking increases collaboration, transparency, and saves lives of poor, hungry children, etc.

But guess what? take a look at the bug trackers out there. They're mostly full of hogwash. Most of the bug reports go something like this...

Johnny User writes...
Hi. I'm trying to use ellipticaljerk-0.3.2, but my speakers make a farting sound when I click the jerk button. Then it crashes. Is this a bug?

Sammy Developer writes...
Hi Johnny. The jerk button works for me.

Bug status updated: CLOSED - USER ERROR


Sally User writes...
I'm also seeing this problem. These farting noises suck.

Bug status updated: REOPENED


Sammy Developer writes...
Ok, fine. Could you give me some more information? A backtrace maybe?

Johnny User writes...
What's a backtrace?

Sammy Developer writes...
It tells me where the problem is. You need to make sure you have debugging symbols installed. Also please tell me which compiler, which glibc, and which libjerk you are using.

Johnny User writes...
What are debugging symbols? How do I figure out all this information?

Sally User writes...
Johnny, I know what Sammy is asking for. Here's the info:

gcc-4.1.3
glibc-2.5.1
libjerk-0.8a

backtrace:

:
:


Sammy User writes...
Thanks Sally. Except that I can't reproduce this bug. But I'm using glibc-2.5.2 beta and libjerk-cvs

Sally User writes...
I don't know how to use the versions you talk of. And besides, this is how it behaves on Ubuntu. I don't care about how it works on your computer. It is broken in Ubuntu Masturbating Monkey.

Joe User writes...
OMG, I'm so glad I found this report. I think I have a related problem. I'm trying to play videos using mplayer for my wife, but she farts in my face everytime I have to look at the man page to remember the options. Here's my xorg.conf. Could you help me?

:
:
(A huge long xorg.conf that makes a bug page a huge pain to navigate)
:
:


Sammy Developer writes...
Joe, you need to file a separate bug for that.

Johnny User writes...
When will this bug be fixed? I thought Open Sauce meant that if I report the bug, it'll get fixed

Sammy Developer writes...
Johnny, I can't reproduce it. Feel free to send me a patch

(a few months later) Sammy Developer writes...
Upstream libjerk-0.9 fixes this problem.

Bug status updated: FIXED


(6 months later) Johnny User writes...
I just updated to Ubuntu Naughty Nutgoblin, and this broke again...

Sammy Developer writes...
It works for me. It must be Ubuntu's fault. I don't know what patches they apply, so please file a bug with them.

Bug status updated: WON'T FIX


Joe User writes...
What about my bug? Will you please fix it? My wife is still farting at me.

Yep. That sounds about right to me. Open bug trackers are filled with so much noise that there's a constant call for "triagers", which really are zealous volunteers suckered into cleaning out the accumulated crap.* Meanwhile, all the noise hides the real issues, causes developers to get frustrated, and slows progress. It's no wonder companies rarely open up their bug trackers. If you do, you're just asking for it.

I stopped filing bugs long ago. If you're gonna ask me to do it for free, you should at least make sure it's worth my time.

Bug trackers can be useful tools to coordinate work between competent developers and testers who speak the same language, and who work within a well-design development workflow. But as a mechanism to collect problem reports from clueless non-technical users, they FAIL in the EPIC manner. So y'all need to stop acting as if an open bug tracker is some crazy new innovation that is going to make FOSS better than all other software. I bet these things slow you down as much as they help.

* by the way, the idea that just anyone can effectively triage bugs is a huge load of crap as well. Anyone who has worked at a real software company writing huge complex software will tell you the same.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rants heard 'round the community ver. 11

Yay! Version 11. We caught up to SuSE.

I'm also sending out a call for user-submitted rants. Of course, I'm not going to let just anything through, but if you feel like you need to make the world see some really broken part of Linux, here's the place to do it.

Feel free to send me the rants directly using the link to the right, or even better, post the rant onto your own blog and send me the link. A few guidelines for getting through my filter:

  • Don't complain about single trivial bugs, which are just, well, bugs. All software has bugs. Unless it's symptomatic of something that is larger and more fundamentally broken, it's not interesting.
  • The better technical or common sense argument you can make to show that something is broken, the better.
  • Aim high. Don't go after some random small project or program that nobody gives a fuck about. Find something that is the rage among fosstards and bring it down.
  • Keap it real. I don't want some conspiracy bullshit. If I get any sense that you have no idea what you're talking about, or that you are just purely speculating, you is out.

Anyways. Have fun. I look forward to hearing about brokenness in other parts of Linux that I know nearly nothing about.

edit: Doh. Apparently I can't count.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lusers make me laugh ver.4

Man, I can barely keep up.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Foxnews^H^H^H^Hconn conspiracy

What's up ass-captains? I've been very fortunate to be able to watch you guys shit your panties about this Foxconn thing, only to have the whole thing disputed. Leave it to the luser mob to create a whole movement out of some stupid bug.

But I'm not going to let you go that easily. You see, the saddest part is, you guys don't even realize how we all got into this whole mess in the beginning. OMGWTF! This motherboard's BIOS doesn't work w/Linux! Given that you know at least a Slashdot article's worth of information about how Linux distributions work, how did you expect it to work in the first place?

Seriously. Just think about it from Foxconn's perspective for two fucking seconds. What exactly are they supposed to do? If they want to test a motherboard with Linux, which Linux do they test it against? Redhat 9 or RHEL 3/4/5? Fedora 1-9? Ubuntu something? SUSE something? Debian something? Linus' tree? Con Kolivas' dead tree? Alan Cox's tree?

Even if they tested every 2.6.N release and released a board that supported them all, how are they to know that 2.6.N+1 won't break anything? Or that Redhat will apply some random patch that will break something. Or SUSE. Or Ubuntu. Why the hell do these guys deal with lusers at all?

Oh and it turns out the later versions of the kernel don't even claim to be Linux. Nice. (It's obvious why. Even if the OS does identify itself as Linux, which Linux would it be?) Hey guys, lets just forget about providing any kind of stable kernel behavior that hardware vendors can depend on. Instead, just claim we're Windows and emulate all the bugs! Luckily, then you can get into totally awesome issues like this one.

You may think that it's totally lame that HP has to work around a Vista bug like this, but at least they can. They can count on "Windows 2006 SP1" always meaning the same thing, and so they can fix problems for their users. The Linux kernel community has failed to provide stable targets for the rest of the industry to design around. They've made it extremely backwards and difficult for hardware vendors to fix things for Linux specifically, even if they wanted to.

I'm sure someone's gonna say, "well if they had designed it according to spec..." And I will respond, "obviously you've never tried to ship something that combines hardware and software before." If you create any non-trivial "spec" and hand a copy to hardware people and another to software people, then combine what they produce and ship it with no testing, I guarantee you that will be the end of your business.*

Of course, in the end, there's only one freetard answer to this whole mess. Open source the hardware design and BIOS implementation! Then even if there are bugs, the community will fix them eventually...

* And suffice it to say, the ACPI spec is thoroughly non-trivial.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lusers make me laugh ver. 3

More laughs.


  • One Week with an OpenMoko Freerunner
    The system it comes with, even after upgrading, is still very rough. It mostly works for doing phone calls and SMSs
    Damn. That's hot shit. SMSs.
    But, as this is free software, there is hope that this will be fixed eventually.
    "Eventually". If there ever was a FOSS motto, that must be it.
  • GCompris, some open source educational software with an interesting license:
    In order to promote the use of GNU/Linux, the windows version has a limited number of activities.
    Hurray for promoting free software with cripple-ware!
  • Things I did this week with Ubuntu 8.04. Holy shit man. All that? If every Windows user wrote a blog post everytime they did the same things, the internets would run out of disk space.

  • Moblin dumps Ubuntu for Fedora
    the move to Fedora was a technical decision based on the desire to adopt RPM for package management ... He added: "The other thing we thought about was Moblin one wasn't successful in creating this community push - having a vibrant community push is the winning factor."
    Uh huh. Cuz, like RPM is going to make your project way awesomer.
  • Foxconn deliberately sabotaging their BIOS to destroy Linux ACPI. There's not much I can say about this one.


Edit: A late breaking entry. Thank God the Linux desktop scales.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My browser needs 16 exabytes

I just remembered something that makes me want to bust out a Linux Hater Smash everytime I think about it.

Back when 64 bit x86 CPU's just came out, there was this big race (or, at least a few freetards thought so) to see who could support it first. A few freetards worked through the night so that Linux could boot and run on AMD64 before Windows could. And then some distro (can't remember which one) shipped an AMD64 version. There was much rejoicing. Linux beat Windows to X64! Hurray! It was fucking awesome. You could totally compile bash in 64bit and it was like 20 times faster. Not having a 3GB process limit totally helps when you're parsing ls -l ~/.hidden/porn/ | grep gutsy gibbon.

Fast-forward to today. What is the most visible issue concerning X64? Flash.
Adobe's movements toward supporting 64bit flash have been glacial at best. And why blame them? Look out at the landscape, how many 64 bit browsers do you see? Why the fuck do I even want a X64 browser? All my 32 bit browsers seem fine, and they don't even come close to stressing any limits imposed by their 32bit-ness.

But nooooo! we must be pure! On a 64 bit system, everything must be 64 bit! We don't give a flying freetard fuck if every other website uses a plugin that won't work on our 64bit system. 64 is still twice as good as 32. We're going to ship 64bit Firefox, because we can (and to make sure the world knows we can). If users complain, we're going to say it's Adobe's fault.

Give me a fucking break.

This is the same level of bullshit FUD that kernel developers sling around saying that they can't maintain a stable ABI. And as if somehow that means, all of a sudden, the device manufacturers need to open up all their specs. They also go around telling everyone that companies like NVIDIA are hurting open source. Uh huh. They're hurting it by providing the only graphics stack that works. Riiiight.

Just because you're doing the work for free, doesn't mean society gave you the green light to parade around being loud and obnoxious as fuck, complaining that the closed, unfriendly, proprietary companies aren't playing by your rules.

If you want to do something for the user, just ship a 32 bit Firefox. I promise you, Grandma won't notice. I also promise you that she will notice that her youtube started working more reliably.

And please, don't talk to me about nspluginwrapper. It's crack-addled crack. You are smoking a crack for even thinking of suggesting it.

And Gnash? Gnash is the Open Graphics Project of the Flash world. Or would you prefer a comparison to all the dead open source Java runtimes?

Maybe if you guys got together and actually articulated a credible business case for why Adobe should care about X64, then they'd actually listen. Dollars are dollars, whether they're coming from dirty capitalists, or even dirtier hippies. Just make sure you don't talk about freedom or saving children. They don't care about freedom. They care about people using Flash in ways they can generate revenue from (enough to justify any investment). As for saving children? I'm sure they'll be way more effective donating their profits to charity than dealing with the freetard mob.

No? too hard? Well then take what they give you and make it work. There are no technical barriers here, just lame purity arguments. You're not gonna change the world by insisting on 64bit Firefox. You are going to change the world if you can offer what end users want. Most end users don't even know what 64 bit means, let alone the implications of choosing a 32 bit vs 64 bit broswer. They're just going to use the thing that let's them watch you tube videos.

Only when you win the customers, do you get to set the new rules.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rants heard 'round the Community ver. 10

Keep the links coming guys. Maybe we can make an anti-Slashdot out of this site.

Enjoy. BTW I'm trying out this disqus things so you anonytards can flame each other more efficiently. Hopefully it doesn't suck balls.

Edit: Here's a diagram from the comments, but it's not the one I'm looking for. The one I saw had a spaghetti of boxes and arrows.

Edit: Ah yes. There it is. Thank you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Of silos and samba

Somewhat administrative: Screw you Slashdot. You linked Mr. Allison's article, but not me directly. Classy. Maybe you don't want to be associated with me? Whatever, that's cool, I don't like you guys either. You guys are like the Al Jazeera of tech journalism. I don't really read you because I want to, it's just a good place to find material.

Anyways, real props goes out to Jeremy himself. I'm sure it took a lot of balls to post a link to this blog on such a legitimate forum. Respect. I also found it funny that you kept referring to me as "he or she". As it if isn't obvious. You see any women in the FOSS community? Just take a look around.

But anyways, in honor of the favor, I'll take you up on your topic suggestion: Samba.

I'd like to write pages and pages about how Samba is shit and should die a fiery death, but actually, I've found samba to be pretty solid code... when I can configure it. And that's what it really comes down to. The best code in the world won't change the world if people can't use it. If I could have a nickel for every hour that someone has lost trying to configure samba, I'm sure I could buy all the hard drives I need so that I never have to share anything over a network.

Want more specifics? Unfortunately, I don't think I have anything earth-shattering here. It seems to me like it's the config file (or more generally, the configuration mechanism). Yea, it's fairly simply formatted as far as config files go (and thankfully, it's not unreadable, un-typeable XML garbage). But when it comes down to it, I don't have hours and hours to read your man page to see how to set things up. And apparently, neither do my friends. I'm pretty sure I've had a good understanding of smb.conf at least 20 times in my life, each time lasting around 30 minutes. I'm sorry guys, it just doesn't matter enough for me to remember. And don't get me started about smbpasswd.

What are my options for configuring Samba using a GUI? Fedora's super simple tools? Webmin? Please. The former doesn't give you any options, and the latter gives you way too many options. I see a bunch of other things listed on your page, but nothing I recognize. And that's another indication of the problem too.

If you want to provide a feature as part of a platform, you can't just write the code and say "here's the config file! have at it!". When you do that, you get a bunch of other people who don't really understand the configuration space writing config tools for you that all suck in one way or another. If you want to introduce a core feature to the desktop "platform", you really have to make vertical integration easy, or even do it yourself. Samba, as far as I can tell, hasn't done this. They've written a solid engine with tons of features, but have ignored the the core problem that very few people understand how to configure the damn thing. They've effectively left it to others, and the others have failed. Where as Microsoft? yea, their server code might even be inferior, but configuring shares is pretty damn easy in comparison.

Which really brings me to the main topic of this post: the silo effect. As far as I can tell, the silo effect has been around since the dawn of software development. Most software needs to integrate with other software, yet most development teams communicate very little with the teams that write the software they need to integrate with. Perhaps samba could talk to the kernel people, and the fuse people, and the freedesktop people, and the kde people, and the gnome people, and engineer a top to bottom solution that makes samba usable for desktop users. Sure. As some of you flamers like to say, just wait until 2020, and it'll be there.

As far as I can tell, in the OSS world, the silo effect seems to be magnified. Which is ironic, since one of the things OSS was supposed to do is kinda solve this whole silo thing in the first place. Everyone can see each other's code. Everyone can modify each other's code. If the developers of some project didn't care about your goals, you could always take their code, and do it yourself. Right? There's open mailing lists and bug trackers so that communication is as easy and as smooth as possible, right?

Well. In practice, it doesn't work. It's obvious that forking every project you need to integrate with is untenable. Nobody can understand and maintain so much code. Besides, if you fork enough parts of the stack, in effect, you're forking the entire stack. Nobody's gonna ship your modified version of dbus, gtk, and the X server just for your silly app. As for bugzillas? Everyone knows that just because you file a bug against a project, doesn't mean it gets fixed. Mailing lists? I'm sure you'll get the friendly reply of "yea, sounds great! send us a patch!"

So what to do you do instead? As someone who develops a Linux desktop, how do you get samba guys to work on making configuration easy, predictable, reliable, and usable? How do you get them to write code that they don't care about? Write it yourself? Well that's great, except that it's really difficult. Just because you have the code, doesn't mean you can hack it. Even if you can hack the code, doesn't mean you can do it well, or in a way that the maintainers of the code will accept. You have to play by their rules, respect their priorities, and integrate into their development workflow. Multiply that by the number of projects you have to integrate with... and again, all I can say is have fun! see you in 20 years!

The saddest part of it is, society has developed a general solution to this problem a long time ago. It's called money. Can't seem to get someone to care about your goals? well it turns out that a few benjamins can usually change their mind.

Oh. Crap. Except in the OSS world, very few people have figured out how to make money. And those who have, have built their silo walls tall and thick that even the architects of the Great Wall would be impressed.

So we can't use money. What else can we use for motivation? Hmmm... Oh I've got it! Let's start a movement! People like freedom. People like feeling superior and righteous. If we can find a bunch of bored coders and tell them that they're coding for freedom, maybe they will do it for free?

And thus the birth of Free Software?

Too bad it wasn't Free and Usable Software. Free software is easy, you just have to write code and upload a tarball. Turns out usability requires complicated coordination between hundreds of developers all working together to reach the same goal. Try selling that to the Gnome and KDE crews. If you can get those guys to cooperate, I'm sure every Silicon Valley company will be knocking on your door with an offer to manage their R&D divisions.

As for Samba: my suggestion would be for the project to take more ownership of the usability aspect of the software. Some suggestions? Make it easier to configure. Or make it easier for others to write configuration utilities. Maybe a configuration API of some sort, so that others can write quick and reliable front ends. Also, document some best practices in terms of configuration. Or go even further, publish a configuration and deployment scheme that you guys think would be suitable for desktop use. Tell distros that you're not going to help look at bugs they find unless they follow the exact same scheme. Refine that scheme as you get more feedback from distros. You're already the central authority for samba code, why not play the same role for configuration? Produce a working and usable baseline that's easy for distros to deploy. Take them out of the equation. You'll always get some expert users tweaking your baseline configuration, but that's up to them. Don't sacrifice usability for the majority of your users by catering to the few tweakaholics.

But maybe samba just doesn't care about the desktop. I mean, it's not like anyone's making money there. On the other hand, I see a lot of useful shipping storage devices that have samba code.* I just hope the samba folks are getting a piece of that action.

* Though even on those devices, samba configuration interfaces are pretty miserable.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lusers make me laugh ver. 2

Kind of a busy Friday for me. Anyhow, here's some more entertaining stuff.

  • A gnu/luser on the whole "GNU"/Linux thing.
    While the code for the kernel Linux is distributed as free software under the GPL, the term “Linux” when applied to the whole operating system is often used as a branding tactic by companies to reduce the visibility of the ethical aspect of free software.
    Uh huh, that's why they do it. It couldn't also be because a) nobody can pronounce it b) it makes a terrible brand name c) nobody cares, could it? Oh, and d) nobody wants to get caught sounding like a total nerd explaining a recursive acronym.
  • 25 Reasons to convert to Linux. Because nobody has written the same article spouting all the same reasons before.
  • The Big X Window Manager guide. Oh man, I can really just feel my colon overflowing with choice. But wait, you forgot like 100 other window managers!
  • Event aims to bring Lindependence to one California town. A couple nice quotes:
    We have a moral obligation to help those who do not know there is an easier way to make their computers do what they need them to do.
    and
    What do Starks and Cafiero wish they'd known before they started? One of the hardest lessons they learned is that there is no single Linux community to lean on.
    No shit, sherlocks.
  • A luser laments: "Why is it so hard for Windows users to understand that Linux is not Windows?" Oh let me take a wild guess. It could be because "some people" say that Linux is "better" than Windows.
You know, all this got me kinda thinking. Where do I file bugs against the Linux community?

On second thought, I guess it wouldn't really make too much difference. All my bugs would just get closed as "luser error, go back to using Windows you MS-paid stupid fuck."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The fallacy of choice

I'm sure by now I don't really have to describe in detail this phenomenon: Whenever you criticize a luser about his choice of OS, he'll inevitably come back with, "at least it gives me choices." Choice in window manager, choice in terminal application, choice in file manager, choice in desktop environment, choice in kernel version, you name it.

This "choice", as loudly as it is trumpeted, is a key reason that Linux has not made it on the desktop. Let me attempt to show you why.

Every argument for "choice" is usually accompanied by a statement along the lines of, "there are many different kinds of users that prefer different choices, therefore we need to support all of them." In terms of distribution of choices, given 10 choices, this statement implies the following type of distribution.

In other words, ten equal choices with ten roughly equal-sized groups each preferring a different choice. For some limited version of the world, this may be true (for example, existing people who are FOSS users already, fighting amongst themselves). But if you look at the general population at large, I claim a different picture emerges:

Here, the blue represents the people who don't care about a particular choice, and actively do not want to have to make a choice. They just want things to work. They will take "working" over "choice" in an instant. They essentially want the developers to make choices for them.*

Linux and FOSS so far have optimized for the former picture of the world, not the latter. In doing so, they've concentrated on inserting abstraction layers and decoupled mechanisms at every layer of the stack: kernel, graphical toolkit, command line shell, terminal program, text editor, office suite, window manager, desktop environment, sound system, etc. etc.

In adding choice after choice, Linux moves farther and farther from what the mainstream user wants.

Furthermore, any developer will tell you that each time a new layer of "choice" is added, the possible number of configurations multiplies. This means more untested configurations, more bugs, and more brokenness. Not necessarily due to incompetence of developers, but rather simply due to the sheer number of configurations that are possible.

So not only does the addition of so many choices alienate would be users, it also makes it difficult for developers to create tested, working configurations. It's a double whammy. Obsession with providing choice it every level actively works against efforts that would otherwise push Linux to provide what the mainstream wants.

Look at OSX. The amount of choice you have in OSX is minuscule compare to what you get with Linux. Yet, do you see the majority of mac users complaining? Look at the internet, look at how IE still has a huge market share. People like to think that it's because people don't know any better and that they need to be educated. My experience says otherwise. People don't care. They want what works for them. For the vast majority of cases IE works for people. It may not be optimal, but people just don't care.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Even current lusers don't want choice between two or more options that are broken. They want a working baseline, and then they want to be able to make all the choices they personally care about. Unfortunately, there are very few projects that are concentrated on developing this working baseline. Instead they usually try to build one small piece of the puzzle, then make it interface with as many other parts in numerous and useless ways.

Let's look at the server side. Why does Linux succeed here? One of the big reasons is that there is a working baseline. Everyone knows what it's called: LAMP. If in doubt, start with LAMP. Yes, there are still other options. Different webservers, different databases, different programming languages, even different OS'es (WIMP anyone?). The point is that if you don't want to make any of these choices, and instead you want a proven base starting point, you have one.

Unfortunately on the desktop side, no such "non-choice" choice exists. In addition, there are many more pieces that need to work together to provide a friendly experience. What is the LAMP of the desktop? Whatever it is, it's going to have a lot more letters. I claim it still doesn't exist. Everyone disagrees what the desktop should be. Everyone wants choice. Everyone except the mainstream users that the desktop is supposed to be built for.


* In some sense, distros try to do this. But this fails for a few reasons. 1) There are too many distros. 2) Distros aren't the ones with the expertise to make the right choices.

Lusers make me laugh ver. 1

Ok, here's a new column for you guys. Y'all have been getting better at sending me links to posts and articles of freetards and lusers making asses of themselves. So I'll collect them and list them, and we can all have a laugh.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Don't feed the trolls!

Looks like this Manu guy took the bait.

Let's just see what he has to say, shall we? (sorry, many blockquotes to follow)


Is your system unstable?Who knew. When a system doesn’t do anything, it doesn’t crash.” All of Google runs Linux. So Google doesn’t do anything? Well that’s news. Nasa probably doesn’t do anything either? The French administration doesn’t do anything? Oh wait, that was a bad example.
Holy crap. I've never heard this argument before! You know what, I'll help you out. The NYSE runs Linux too! That's really great to know. I'll be sure to recommend Linux to my grandma next time she wants to set up a global stock exchange in her knitting room.

Lusers always like to find instances of companies or organizations with extremely uncommon Linux use cases and somehow say that the reason that I should run it on my computer. Hey, I know. My fridge runs an embedded OS called FridgeOS (actually, I made that up, I don't know the name). It supports four buttons and has better temperature controls than Linux. It's really stable. I've never seen it crash. It's also really minimal and won't use all your RAM. You should totally port it to run on your PC. That would be truly awesome.

Choose what your desktop looks like…To make yourself feel better about it not being to do anything. At least it is pretty.” Huh, were you just talking about Windows Vista? :-)
Wait. Is that a retort? Are you saying that Vista can't do anything? I think there's a few people (or rather, a good part of the rest of the world) that disagrees with you. Why don't you try talking to them once in a while?

Too many windows? Use workspaces.Yes. Spaces.” Oh, you mean that Mac OS X thing? So if I got two windows A and B on space 1, I put window B in front/focus, then I go to space 2, then back to 1, woops, now A is in front of B. And this is the newest version of the OS, released this year. Linux got this right 10 years ago.
Yes, spaces on OSX is kinda weird. But that's not my problem. I'd take the usability, stability, and application availability of OSX over your slightly better implementation of virtual desktops any day. Oh, and also, I think OSX had something called working 3d acceleration on all their 3d capable hardware. In the words of the late FSJ: Have you heard of it?

And BTW, you left out the part about Virtuawin. For that matter, you left out like more than half of the points I made. You're just gonna pick on those parts that you think you can win, and then show your ubuntu planet-reading fanboys that you're full of victories, and then conclude that you win overall, right? Nice. Class-ay!

Oh and BTWx2, please explain to me the difference between desktops, workspaces, window manager viewports, and X viewports again?

Why does your Windows get slower day after day?Because you install a shit-ton of crap on it? If the same large selection of software could run on Linux, users would be having all the same problems“. Would they now? Fortunately for Linux, uninstalling software is done in a clean way and doesn’t leave a shit-ton of crap in your registry.
Umm, as one of my smarter commenters said, have you every tried 'make uninstall'? Have you ever built anything from source because your distro didn't happen to package the program you wanted or the version you wanted? Try removing that. It's really fun. I swear.

Forget about viruses. “I think we went over that already” (with a link to another post). Oh, so the problem of viruses in Windows is completely fixed, solve, basta, finito? That’s news as well.
Thanks for actually reading the post I linked. The post says your standard luser argument is crap because the same characteristics that protect Linux from viruses also "protect" it from useful third party software. Linux has thrown the baby out with the bathwater and then proclaimed to the rest of the world that it is really good at throwing out bathwater. If you actually had any clue as to how hard it is to create a usable platform on which others can deploy software AND at the sametime have reasonable security, you'd actually see that modern Windows (XP SP2 and beyond) are pretty good attempts.

Linux protects your computer.
What does that even mean? It sounds like the same as [the previous one]“. Does that mean the problems with spyware, adware, etc. is fixed as well? Well, great. Oh, but maybe you don’t know about them because you’re protected, right? How much did you pay for this protection? Are all users well protected? Is the average user well protected? I guess not because otherwise, all these crapware problems would have gone away by now, right? :-)
Uhh, I don't use any antivirus if that's what you're asking? These days it's pretty easy to keep even novice users on windows from fucking themselves over. Tell them to never install anything when internet explorer asks them to, and to never open an attachment that outlook warns them about. That's about it. That's a hell of a lot easier than teaching them to use Linux, and explaining to them why they can't edit videos anymore.

Don’t pay $300 for your operating system.But spend 10 weekends setting it up“. Well, now I understand why you don’t like Linux that much, that’s because last time you tried to install it was 10 years ago! Got it. By the way, last time I installed Windows, it took me a whole day to go, fetch, and install all the device drivers for my hardware. And reboot after installing each one of them. Last time I installed Ubuntu, I spent 10mn in front of the screen, went away for 20mn, and everything was working and ready to be used when I came back.
Wow. I must send the Guinness World Records guys an email because I think that's the longest version of "WORKS FOR ME!" that I've ever seen.
Does your digital life seem fragmented?No? Does anyone care? Is it so hard to click three buttons to defragment?“. Well if it takes 5 hours and I can’t use my computer during that time, yes. Oh but didn’t you just wonder whether anyone cared? So why are you still doing it? :-)
As someone also pointed out, Vista does this in the background. And RELAX! nobody said you had to run defrag the same night that your term paper is due. Just start it before you go to sleep. If you're super geeky, you can even set things up so that it happens for you every weekend while you're out and about.. oh wait. Scratch that. I guess if you never leave your computer, then you don't ever have any time to defrag. Sucks for you!

First I accuse your website of spreading standard luser lies. Then you come back at me spreading more ridiculous arguments. I don't care if your website has an obscure section about cases in which Linux might not be a good idea, because that part is wrong too.

But the best part is, there are commenters on your blog post (and on others I've seen), that all say "don't feed the trolls!" Is that really the best you guys can do? Dude, fucking Miguel de Icaza himself links to this blog. He like fucking invented Gnome or something. Have you heard of him? You think he's a fucking idiot too? When faced with an insurmountable argument (aka the truth), all you have to come back is "don't feed the trolls!". The more I hear it, the more it starts sounding like "RUN AWAY! RETREAT!" to me.