Not logged in
Log in now
Create an account
Subscribe to LWN
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 20, 2013
Pencil, Pencil, and Pencil
Dividing the Linux desktop
LWN.net Weekly Edition for June 13, 2013
A report from pgCon 2013
Um, Vim is a text editor and not a web design tool.
> When you start examining those objections in detail they mysteriously evaporate or become even more vague
...and my post had details. Many (most?) of the programs you suggest are completely inadequate when compared to the commercial alternatives. LIke, not even close enough for argument. FreeCAD? Really?
I find it very hard to believe that practitioners somehow "forget" what features they care about, especially in programs that they use professionally. Maybe they're just bored by the discussion?
Anyhow, so be it. We clearly disagree on who's caught in the reality distortion field.
Distribution quotes of the week
Posted Sep 20, 2012 6:54 UTC (Thu) by cmccabe (guest, #60281)
I think it's unfair to dismiss the Linux alternatives without at least explaining why you don't care for them. It just doesn't add any value to the discussion-- yet another post expressing an arbitrary opinion with no facts to back it. They may very well be behind, but if so, shouldn't we be helping them to catch up?
Posted Sep 20, 2012 16:09 UTC (Thu) by khim (subscriber, #9252)
A quick Google reveals that most mechanical engineering CAD programs seem to be Windows-only (not even a Mac version). I have no idea why that is.
Demand is too low. CAD programs started on big old UNIX and thus it was easy to port them to Linux. But over time UNIX died off and was replaced not with Linux or Mac but with Windows. At this point it was no longer viable to keep codebase supported on two wildly different platforms. We may see return to Mac but I doubt we'll ever see them on Linux again. Well, may be on Android, but many pundits don't recognize it as Linux for some reason.
Posted Sep 20, 2012 17:51 UTC (Thu) by bronson (subscriber, #4806)
F-Spot: super slow, development has been stalled for years, modifies your originals (fixed now?), clear dead end.
Evolution: difficult to set up (especially calendaring!), mostly stalled development, ugly, buggy.
Amaya and FreeCAD need no explanation -- they simply don't work for any reasonable task. In a few years hopefully FreeCAD will have something.
Unfortunately, I don't think there's anything I can do to help these programs catch up. They're outside my circle of expertise and the hours in my day are limited.
The EE CAD programs you mentioned from college, were they open source?
Related: I used a TCL-based VLSI layout program on Linux to lay out a crazy fast SRAM chip in college (forget the name). It was mostly closed source alas but I was able to tweak some of the TCL to speed repetitive tasks. I got it working but it was a lot more painful and time consuming than the popular EDA packages at the time, especially when it came to simulation! My takeaway: for the right program in a commercial setting, $15,000/seat is downright cheap, especially if it saves man-months during a project. (keeping those horrible dongles happy though, that's too expensive at any price)
As for why mechanical CAD programs are only on Windows? I only have a guess: blame the Unix wars. They're graphically very intensive and difficult to port. There's just not enough money in Mac or Linux to justify the effort to bring them back to Unix.
Posted Sep 27, 2012 18:35 UTC (Thu) by cmccabe (guest, #60281)
It would be nice to see Evolution improve. I use gmail at work so I can't comment on that.
> The EE CAD programs you mentioned from college, were they open source?
> As for why mechanical CAD programs are only on Windows? I only
> have a guess: blame the Unix wars. They're graphically very
> intensive and difficult to port. There's just not enough money
> in Mac or Linux to justify the effort to bring them back to Unix.
Most electrical engineers have a fair amount of computer experience these days. They do things like write scripts to automate common tasks, and probably have some familiarity with UNIX. Mechanical engineers don't really need these skills in my experience, so UNIX and Linux probably don't look as attractive.
Posted Oct 4, 2012 11:56 UTC (Thu) by oak (guest, #2786)
I agree with your comment about mail software, but there also Kmail.
For user-friendly webdesign there's Nvu/Kompozer (old Mozilla Composer), but that hasn't had much development in years.
For genealogy there's Gramps, but that's a bit more "technical" than most Windows alternatives and I think the other Linux genealogy programs are www-services.
For home accounting there are also several alternatives, but for tax stuff, nothing (at least very user friendly), partly because that is so specific to each country and the taxation rules change every other year.
For CAD there's also QCad (http://www.qcad.org/), but Linux CAD software doesn't really compete with professional Windows versions. (I've also had some problems when exchanging DXF files between Autocad and free version of Qcad, but that was decade ago)
For making leaflets etc, there's Scribus.
For more SW, one can check the list at Wikipedia:
And as a last resort, there's always Wine...
As a conclusion, yes, there are Linux variants for most of the things, but they may require more work to get set up, finding them may be harder and their user-interfaces may differ quite a bit.
Copyright © 2013, Eklektix, Inc.
Comments and public postings are copyrighted by their creators.
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds