Article: "Fixing linux" - opinions?

P.B. pb at
Fri Dec 12 13:49:19 UTC 2008

simo wrote:
>> Examples: *) alsa, jack, oss, esd, pulse, arts, ... [...]
> 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.
I think with Alsa, Jack & pulseaudio things should be fine. As far as
I know, both pulseaudio and jack rely on alsa underneith, so there's
no competition there. Jack is for low-latency and pulse is, let's say,
for the desktop.
Jack and Pulse and rather young, and there's a lot happening in those

>> *) gconf: good idea, but only for gnome-apps
> not really for gnome only
Sorry. I've only seen gnome apps using it so far, which led the
assumption. my bad.

>> *) 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 kernels? 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.
And probably also in the developer toolkits. Not a trivial thing to
make. And a lot of communication to be done, I guess.

>> How many places and ways do you know to configure your keyboard
>> layout ? :)
> - - Language settings:
> how many do you use? 1
Sorry. I shouldn't have brought keyboard layout as example, but rather
language-settings in general.
I'll just bring 2 examples:

- my KDE system settings say that *no* keyboard layout is configured,
although I'm using a german keyboard and it's working fine. I know
why, but it shows some lack of correlation.

- database, apache and shell:
If you're only dealing with English, you're lucky. There are several
different environment variables in the right scopes to be set properly
in order to get special characters working properly across such a
system. Even if you use UTF8.
I've done it and I know I'll have to search the web for it if I have
to do it again, because even if you've been through this, it's tough
to remember.

>> Ever plugged an NTFS formatted disk with umlauts on en_US.UTF-8
>> via USB ?
> and ?
Files with umlauts can't be copied. One might think that if you're
using UTF8 it's fine, but it's not. I know how to fix it, but I'd say
it's a no-go for a computer novice.

> I don't think you can have "reasonable" ones if the person making
> these remarks is simply interested in bashing like most that do.
Sure, but that's something to avoid anyway: If you meet a troll of
basher, it's a waste of time arguing at all.

> 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.
That's what I currently explain to them. Using some examples from the
"real world" often helps, but I'd like some of the issues I've
mentioned to be "reminders from the past", and not something which is
here to stay. Things are already getting better.


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