Linux productivity vs other OS

Discussion in 'Other Operating Systems' started by eixt, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. adelaide_boi

    adelaide_boi New Member

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    Might play devil's advocate in this thread and argue that there actually have been major structural (but entirely surmountable) problems with the linux desktop from the last few decades. Note that I mention the word "surmountable" because these problems probably WILL be fixed eventually, the future is bright!

    XFCE towers above the rest, so that's my personal bias, but here's my critique.

    Broadly speaking, the quality of a desktop environment comes under three categories
    1. Stability of user interface - ie. does the user interface suddenly change often?
    2. Consistency of user interface - is the "Open File.." dialog in Firefox the same as the "Open File.." dialog in Gimp?
    3. Stability in terms of raw programming quality - do the programs crash often?

    Some of the major dramas that come to mind:

    * Ubuntu suddenly switched from GNOME to UNITY, and then back to GNOME
    Users were given no real notice, it was all just bam - UNITY - an entirely different UI that you had to get used to. When UNITY was first released - it didn't even allow the user to reposition the dock - it was just stuck on the left of the screen, and you had to deal with it. What kind of design decision is that?

    * LXDE, one of the early "minimal desktop environments" stopped being maintained.
    Having said that, a promising replacement, LXQT, is on the way.

    * KDE4 -> KDE5 (Plasma)
    KDE5, also known as Plasma, introduced a lot of javascript (javascript is the wrong language for writing a desktop environment). It also introduced a lot of gfx bling (ie. graphics-card enabled bling), which isn't a bad thing if it's well-written, but it wasn't, it was buggy, and it threw off the GPU). Never versions are more stable. Visually, Plasma is indeed an incredible milestone.

    * GNOME now uses javascript
    I don't know much about this, but from what I've read, GNOME now contains javascript code, which is never a good sign for things to come.

    * Inconsistent UI
    See point number 2 above.

    ----

    XFCE towers above the rest, in my opinion, and if you're looking for a REAL linux desktop environment that places stability and performance as a high priority, that you can really depend on, here it is. It's even good visually. Unfortunately even in XFCE's case there was a recent uproar over the introduction of a controversial UI change - "Client-Side Decoration".

    ----

    A final point is that there's no money in the linux desktop, as opposed to the server (where there's millions of companies wanting stable servers). Linux kernel developers do get paid - while desktop developers rarely get paid.

    Overall this post seems kind of negative, but the future is bright. My bets are on XCFE, LXQT, or some unknown future DE that may spawn out of a nifty new Wayland compositor that people are writing every day.
     
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  2. waltermitty

    waltermitty Member

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    don't use a DE if you're worried about shit changing lol
     
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  3. flu!d

    flu!d Never perfect, always genuine

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    This is an issue under any OS. Use iOS and the icon used to 'print' can be anything from a curly arrow, to a box with an arrow pointing out of it. Considering Windows, we have the control panel as well as the settings panel, in fact the OS has two compleately seperate UI's in one - A mishmash of touch and desktop, excelling at neither.

    Under KDE, I go to file > print under any software application and I print.

    In fact KDE is in my opinion miles better than Windows as far as UI is concerned, I can't stand Gnome.
     
  4. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Having actually rolled out Linux desktops to large user bases, KDE consistently comes out on top when presenting the device as a usable computer to regular people. KDE offers comprehensive and consistent tools across most daily task requirements, and while not perfect (sound settings appear to confuse the hell out of people, which I don't understand, but it happens) "system settings / control panel" type things that users need to control appear to work very well. Things like desktop notifications are all well integrated too across a massive amount of apps and tools.

    Additionally, the sheer bulk of big expensive proprietary applications for Linux (despite what folks will tell you, these exist - when you're buying tools at $80,000 a license that run on Linux, it's funny when folks tell you the only reason you use Linux is because it's free) use Qt, so integration with KDE means everything looks consistent and happy even when using a variety of vendor tools.

    Nerds love XFCE and GNOME. But honestly when nerds jump up and down about the DE, I tell them to install whatever they want. I run LXDE (and more recently LXQt) on my lightweight laptops, but again who cares what I run? I spend my day in a terminal and a web browser (and launch quite literally 100% of my applications from a terminal), so my requirements are pretty boring compared to people who do serious desktop work and aren't trained sysadmins.

    I only just saw this, but it's quite ridiculous. Why use a Microsoft connection protocol to attempt to drive a Linux GUI?

    I'm no Apple fan, but if I read someone trying to drive macOS via RDP and then blaming Apple for it failing, I'd tell them to stop being silly too.

    Use the right tool for the job.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
  5. Perko

    Perko Member

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    tbf it does with Windows too.
     
  6. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I think many of us in this thread (and these forums) have dealt with enough weird interfaces and OSes (whether on x86 or any number of other architectures) that we forget how regular people aren't used to weird developer logic and "stupid, but now popular due to legacy and tradition" design.

    I have to remind myself on the daily that the people I'm helping to use computers haven't had four decades of experience in all sorts of shitty interfaces.
     
  7. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    I think you are confused, XFCE is a windows manager, all your complaints are about the choices the distribution makes on software and placement of menus and wording of options and user interactions, this is an issue consistently mismatched with every single OS and WM available on the landscape, including Apple and Microsoft offerings. One of the big reasons people who really do care about workflow do not use a GUI and use a tiling WM which allows them to customize the entire interaction so that the keystrokes required to do things remain consistent with how they desire it. Additionally this is why people use CLI tools before GUI because <INSERT SHELL OF CHOICE> usually has an ALIAS function which allows you again to customize their experience to be consistent across all their machines, which is where Linux rules supreme with dotfiles making your customization portable.

    GUIs are like websites, everyone thinks they are UI expert because the way they use the software is "the most logical way" :rolleyes:, this difference of opinion is why GUIs are in the mess they currently are, add to that some software is way more complex to interact with, say video editing vs basic text editor/notepad, then add the insistence of proprietary software to change things up just for the sake of change so they can sell you a new version, yes Microsoft we did notice that your new version doesn't actually do anything different and should have been a service pack not a whole new OS!

    This then creates a marketing opportunity, 10+ years ago everyone used to complain the Linux desktops looked old like Windows 95 compared to my shiney new version of XP or Vista or Win7, then Win10 Metro was dropped and everyone complained because the change up took too long and was too different, yet here we are with 80% of users still forking over money for a OS that is really just a facelift (yeah yeah there might be some technical merit but is it really anything more then a service pack?). So now Linux is flavor of the month, not complaining... much, so we get a bunch of people who have NFI about the effort required to write software to a acceptable standard, then to do that in your spare time, to then have those people complain because they disagree with the people doing the works opinions! OMG!

    Anyways... END RANT... use a tiling window manager and CLI tools and make it as consistent as you want/require... ;)

    PEACE OUT

     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  8. Quadbox

    Quadbox Member

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    Lol Ikr. On any given month I use all of Matlab, ANSYS Multiphysics, gurobi, and MKL. Good thing I didnt have to pay for those licenses, that's what, 8k, 15k, 15k, ... and whatever the hell intel are charging for parallel toolkit these days
     
    GumbyNoTalent and elvis like this.
  9. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Gave me quite the shock when I walked into my current contract and they're paying HUGE dollars for various compilers to run on Linux. It's been a while since I saw that in action.

    Coming from the media/VFX world for a decade or so, it was all about the big animation, lighting, compositing and colouring tools. These cost squillions and all run on Linux because it's faster. Jumping over to science, and it's all about squeezing every ounce of performance out of hardware, which again means Linux as the OS, and crazy expensive tools to make maths happen faster.

    But yeah, constantly hearing "people only use Linux because it's free" is quite amusing, as I go quietly back to the multi million dollar in software super computer running head to toe Linux.
     
  10. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    Such much envy right now, last time I worked on a real cluster was 10 years ago now. :(

    Now I work on the other end of the spectrum (I sure am on the spectrum!) where we cram as much as we can in to a small as possible mem/storage IOT device then connect 100s and 1000s of them to large scale data collection "cloud", then we add https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LoRa#LoRaWAN and add even more constraints... YAY!

    PS - How CONSTRAINED I hear you ask.
    https://www.nordicsemi.com/Products/Low-power-short-range-wireless/nRF51822
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
  11. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    Much better than the days they all rocked Motif. I'd even say software is fairly consistent now between GTK and Qt as it can borrow UI styling from gtkrc. Plus KDE and GNOME are no longer using their own bespoke sound servers, IPC servers / ORBs, and who knows what else, so the resource pain of running mixed Gnome and KDE software isn't as bad. The big glaring negative is that file selection dialogs aren't consistent.

    Certainly the Qt API has been kept much more rational than the hot mess the GNOME guys call code these days.
     

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