Article: "Fixing linux" - opinions?

simo simo.sorce at
Thu Dec 11 19:14:04 UTC 2008

On Thu, 2008-12-11 at 17:27 +0100, P.B. wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> 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.
> Examples:
> *) 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)

IT just shows that the audio subsystem is not mature, and no one of the
so far proposed and built one was good enoguh to make everybody just
switch to it.

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

not really for gnome only

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

THE Desktop Environment is the desktop paradigm, it's like discussing
about 2 different kernels. Do you complain also the we have too many
Linux, freebsd,netbsd,openbsd,bsd-of-the-month,opensolaris, ....

> *) 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 ?)

sore point, but getting better, you have to standardize on a desktop
environment tho.

> - - 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?

Use xrandr and live happy.
I don't have to touch xorg.conf since long.

> - - Language settings:
> How many places and ways do you know to configure your keyboard layout
> ? :)

how many do you use?

> Ever plugged an NTFS formatted disk with umlauts on en_US.UTF-8 via USB ?

and ?

> 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.

I don't think you can have "reasonable" ones if the person making these
remarks is simply interested in bashing like most that do.
For those that ask sincerely you can simply reply that freedom comes
with a cost, and sometimes this cost is a bit of inconsistency.
Pretty much like in a democracy decision making is usually much slower
then in a dictatorship.


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