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Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet
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Thread: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet

  1. #1
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    Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet

    "The answer to the title of this article is a single sentence, but you'll have to read the whole article to understand it. The Linux community has an amazing blind spot, and I'd like to rant about it a bit. I keep bumping into programmers who think some program or other is needed to change the world. They're wrong. "Linux just needs this one program and then we'll be ready!" they cry. I generally want to slap these people until they snap out of it (which is kind of hard to do through an internet connection). They are making a fundamentally wrong assumption. It's not about programs. It's about data."
    Read the rest here

    Thought provoking... I tend to agree with him on most of the issues.

    ** Mercilessly ripped from osnews.com **

  2. #2
    Mentor cga's Avatar
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    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet

    You know what? This article is dead-on, 100% right. Period.

    Like it or not, M$ Word is the standard format for word processing. It is in use in 95% (or more) of all offices. Even RedHat admits to using it. Wordperect comes in a very distant second and StarOffice hardly registers at all. My industry, consulting engineering, is pretty much 100% MS Office plus AutoCAD on Windows. My recent Rant post about Word and Excel being required by a certain State Agency for electronic report submission is yet another example. Once upon a time, most scientific journals required article submission in LaTeX. Now they except Word. The word, it seems, is Word.

    Now then, I will state, for the record, that I rather like M$ Excel. I use it all the time at work and find it to a top notch program and an indespisible tool for data processing and tabulation. I like Excel and consider it to be one of M$'s best products.

    And this is the source of much agony on my part. On the one hand, I hate to admit that, yes, I need Word and Excel. That's really not even an option, that's just the way it is. If I try to promote or push alternatives, I am wasting my time, energy and breath. Better to just buckle down an learn how to use them as best as I can because, as much as I hate to admit it, Word and Excel are the standards now. As stated in the article, that is just way it is and no amount of bitching or whinning is going to change that. I can sign praises of LyX or XML or LaTeX all day, but in the end, 90% of what I write is in Word and the rest may as well be.

    StarOffice (and now OpenOffice.org) gives us darn good compatibility. I have always had good luck with StarOffice 5.2 and, recently, with OpenOffice.org. My two gripes are the speed (both are s-l-o-o-o-o-o-o-w) and the fonts- God, the fonts in OpenOffice.org are butt-ugly. And, darn it all, there are times, more often than not, where I really consider going back to Windows 98SE and Office97, just so that I can use Word and Excel. And that is not a thought that I like.

    What I think is that OpenOffice.org (and/or StarOffice) needs to do is to become really, really good, both in looks and performence. It needs to do the same things that M$ Office does that people actually use. It needs to flawlessly open and save files in M$ format. And then it needs to add some cool and useful stuff that makes it more desireable than M$ Office. It already has the better price. In short, it needs to first become as good as M$ Office, and then it needs to become better than M$ Office.

    But, really, the majority of "desktops" out there are unlikely to change to Linux.



  3. #3
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    Schotty's Avatar
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    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet

    When PC manufacturers put it on Best Buy models and CompUSA models and such, then it will have a chance. I am sorry to have to agree othereise CGA. Unless it is either

    A) At least brought out to the open in a more forceful manner

    or

    B) Forced down their throats like MS pushed windows

    linux has about as much of a chance as me saying a good thing about my job, to getting to be a mainstream desktop OS.

    Tis the sad truth. However, I have converted several non PC users to doing the RedHat tango. Its nice seeing them putz around with Ximian and KDE on their box. With the fact that the CLI isnt a neccessity for someonw who wants to do email and www surfage, its nice to see someone fully content with the software that the OSS community (and GPL/LGPL) has to offer.

    The point of the anectdote is not a cute little blurb, but rather "How many people are like my friends?"

    How many are actually open minded enough to try new software and such? Granted it took my one friend no time at all to get the login and root stuff and the need to use the Xterm, but is the average guy going to care enough to learn it (and lets face it -- its not hard. We arent geniuses here, just people).

    And the Schotty'ed rant comes to an end.............

  4. #4
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    stryder144's Avatar
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    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet

    Why didn't I think about the fact that data interchange is more important than programs? Dang, the author made a well ballenced argument. It was nice reading such a level-headed article. Thanks, LC, for linking the article for us.

  5. #5
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    Compunuts's Avatar
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    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet


    Why didn't I think about the fact that data interchange is more important than programs?
    Absolutely !!!!

    No need to have Word run on my desktop ... As long as I can import and export Word documents without loosing the format, Linux can take on .... I had high hope for StarOffice 6.0 but I doubt many will be willing to pay for it ..

  6. #6

    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet

    Yes, yes, we've all heard this before. This article boils down to nothing more than a rant about the lack of Microsoft Word support.

    My opinion has not changed. Instead of catering to people who require the use of proprietary formats, we should be fighting them harder than ever.

  7. #7

    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet


    Yes, yes, we've all heard this before. This article boils down to nothing more than a rant about the lack of Microsoft Word support.

    My opinion has not changed. Instead of catering to people who require the use of proprietary formats, we should be fighting them harder than ever.
    100% correct! Linux has made it to the desktop. So has OS X. Just because it isn't the biggest desktop since Microsoft "Not Mac OS" Windows doesn't mean it hasn't made it.

  8. #8
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    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet

    (A few misguided sites won't work without a flash plugin, and a couple that really haven't been paying attention might still try to use Java, but those can usually be safely ignored.)
    I love this line

  9. #9
    Guest

    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet

    Do we want Linux on every desktop? Personnaly, I don't.

  10. #10
    Mentor cga's Avatar
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    Re: Why Linux Isn't on the Desktop Yet


    Yes, yes, we've all heard this before. This article boils down to nothing more than a rant about the lack of Microsoft Word support.

    My opinion has not changed. Instead of catering to people who require the use of proprietary formats, we should be fighting them harder than ever.
    I am just tired of fighting. And of loosing. I have to be compatible with Word and Excel. No choice. Period.

    I have watched many crappy "standards" evolve. Look at CD audio - a pretty weak compromise all around. Now Sony has SACD available, but it stands little chance of going anywhere in spite of being so much better. CD has become the "standard". Word has done same thing. I can avoid it as much as I like, but it always comes back at me in the end.

    However, look at the other side. Mozilla is a better browser than IE. Any mail client is better than Outlook.

    Its a mixed bag. Gotta take the good with the bad. That better, open standrad word processor is comming, but it damn well better be backward compatible with Word as well. Or else.


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