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LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 23, 2013
An "enum" for Python 3
An unexpected perf feature
LWN.net Weekly Edition for May 16, 2013
A look at the PyPy 2.0 release
The article is correct
Posted Mar 30, 2012 21:58 UTC (Fri) by scientes (guest, #83068)
Yep, this article is 100% bullshit. I've had about 10X the success in getting hardware to work between versions of Linux than I have between XP and Vista, in fact, it was the fact that hardware providers *simply wouldn't provide drivers for Vista*, not out of not being able to recompile the drivers, but out of a want to force people onto new hardware, that pissed me so off that I switched to Linux and havn't turned back since. If you buy a Windows computer, with Windows *preinstalled* and then keep it at that version, you don't go through what is the enormous pain of Windows hardware support (the reseller has already gone through it), so you never realize how much better Linux is in this department.
Moreover, I've had *amazingly satisfying* success with reporting bugs, and having them fixed, especially with Kernel bugs.
Posted Mar 30, 2012 22:49 UTC (Fri) by fre (guest, #83851)
Around last October went shopping for a new laptop. For the budget i had my choices were between two similar ones except for:
a) Intel CPU and Wifi, Nvidia graphics card
b) AMD CPU, BCM Wifi, Radeon graphics card
Option B was 50€ more expensive, but thinking that AMD released specs and Broadcom is funding open drivers i decided to go for this option.
As a result, my wifi cant work with the open source drivers and i wasn't able to make the closed ones work with custom compiled kernels. The graphics card somehow works, but with the closed drivers is crashy, with the open ones i can fry eggs in my laptop.
Now, i know the fault isn't much on Linux kernel. But whatever, so much for hardware support in linux, 2012 AD.
Posted Mar 30, 2012 23:09 UTC (Fri) by tpo (subscriber, #25713)
The way to shop Linux computers is to take your latest beta home distro live CD and go for a walk around the computer shops.
Or if you want to internetshop, then the laptop on offer must *explicitly* support Linux (there are many sellers that have Linux compatible machines).
The missed opportunity
Posted Mar 31, 2012 19:36 UTC (Sat) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
This is where the likes of Canonical have dropped the ball completely. To fix bug #1 or whatever it is called, you have to target the hardware vendors, if necessary becoming one yourself. There are plenty of people selling computers with Free Software operating systems installed, although you have to do some legwork to find them and see what they are actually offering, but these people are not the same people who have the resources to actively fix and improve the software in order to actively support a device.
Sure, Canonical certify some devices, but that doesn't guarantee anyone on this planet being able to buy them, especially if Dell is involved. And without people actively promoting, selling and supporting computers with Free Software operating systems, there will always be a certain difficulty in reaching the masses and a disconnect between available hardware and fully supported hardware.
Posted Mar 31, 2012 20:28 UTC (Sat) by scientes (guest, #83068)
Also guys like the Marvell SheevaPlug, DreamPlug, etc, where the manufacture actively work with the Linux devs, and they are not the only hardware manufactures. CPU vendors have been contributing to Linux and gcc, etc (AMD even to coreboot) for a long time.
Posted Apr 1, 2012 17:25 UTC (Sun) by pboddie (subscriber, #50784)
Posted Mar 31, 2012 1:52 UTC (Sat) by charris (subscriber, #13263)
Posted Mar 31, 2012 14:58 UTC (Sat) by pataphysician (guest, #73773)
Posted Apr 2, 2012 15:45 UTC (Mon) by jedidiah (guest, #20319)
Dial back the hyperbole a little bit. Otherwise people are bound to not take you seriously at all.
Posted Mar 31, 2012 7:21 UTC (Sat) by Pawlerson (guest, #74136)
Yep, this article is 100% bullshit.
Posted Mar 31, 2012 8:03 UTC (Sat) by Cato (subscriber, #7643)
Windows is not a pain-free experience either, but installing it isn't that hard even with the odd third party driver. I've even transferred a complete Windows 7 image from one Thinkpad laptop to a much more recent model (admittedly with help from Paragon Backup which refreshes the drivers on the new machine before it boots). I almost always install Windows from scratch, as with Linux.
I agree that getting Vista/7 drivers for older hardware is sometimes impossible, but in practice I haven't found this is a problem.
I have never had much luck with getting reported bugs fixed - I still get bug updates from a few older Ubuntu bugs that never went anywhere. This isn't so different to Windows really.
Posted Mar 31, 2012 13:11 UTC (Sat) by Pawlerson (guest, #74136)
Posted Apr 1, 2012 16:46 UTC (Sun) by tuna (guest, #44480)
Posted Mar 31, 2012 10:18 UTC (Sat) by boog (subscriber, #30882)
I think the article is quite typical in this respect: somebody who gave Linux a try and would be happy to use it as a replacement, but encountered too many problems. I wish it weren't so, but just saying that it is biased or that no such problems exist is just denial.
I think the distribution model is different, with both advantages (all software is securely updated, single source) and disadvantages, but we should continue to live with it. In my recent experience, the real problem has been the instability of the desktop apps and environment, with the occasional hardware problem thrown in. Once you've gone to the trouble of installing Linux and changed your habits, most people want to benefit from its legendary stability and get on with their work. However, it just hasn't been possible to continue working, the changes (and bugs) have been too intrusive.
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