Article: "Fixing linux" - opinions?

P.B. pb at
Thu Dec 11 16:27:49 UTC 2008

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I wasn't really talking about the *exact* issues the article mentions...
More about how to deal with some of those "too many ways to do
something - and in the end, some thing actually don't work at all" issues.

The following list is not a rant or complaint, it's just things that
I've stumbled across several times and had to admit that the lack of
convergence there.

*) alsa, jack, oss, esd, pulse, arts, ...
Audio works for app#1, but not for app#2, maybe for app#3, etc...
So far it's ok if you just want to play music, but if you start making
or recording music... wohooo!
(I hope that esd, oss and arts become extinct)

*) gconf: good idea, but only for gnome-apps

*) gnome-apps in KDE (and vice versa): ouch.
e.g. File associations in Thunderbird running in KDE.

*) Printer settings
Ever had to explain someone why there are several different printing
dialogs, depending on which application you use for printing?
(OpenOffice: gnome printing, Gwenview: KDE, Inkscape: /dev/lp0 ?)

- - Screen/graphic settings:
Ever had to setup something like "dual screen" or change the refresh
rate to a reasonable value? Which tool did you use, or did you
manually edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf? Did your keyboard layout suddenly
change to US afterwards, for no real reason?

- - Language settings:
How many places and ways do you know to configure your keyboard layout
? :)
Ever plugged an NTFS formatted disk with umlauts on en_US.UTF-8 via USB ?

As a developer myself I know that these things are there for a reason
and I'm grateful for everything there is. Mostly I know how to get
around these things. However, these things are unfortunately some
arguments that I've often heard against Free Software.

I think it would be good to have reasonable replies to hold against it.

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