[opensource] Idea for event: hacking on the Oval

Steven James Samuel Stapleton stapleton at mps.ohio-state.edu
Sun Jun 11 10:43:06 EDT 2006


OK, I'm going to talk to the people on FreeBSD devel about a couple of 
things to see if there's an easier install planned. I've found a couple of 
things from using both FreeBSD and Linux;

(1) [Linux wins] Linux is much easier to install, the installer is more 
friendly and smart BSDs installer is, to be blunt, mentally handicapped, 
non-intuitive, and fault intolerant.
(2) [FreeBSD wins] FreeBSD is much easier to keep running, and fix when 
there are problems. It innundates you with easier to get documentation, and 
useful error messages with suggestions on fixing problems that are much more 
useful to a novice/neophyte than Linux. Additionally, anything in ports 
tends to be easier to install reliably (without editing code), than any 
.rpm, .deb or compress-compile situation than I've found in Linux. I've not 
used Gentoo and it's variant of Ports, so that might be an exception.
(3) [Linux wins] For easy Sindows application compatability in a *nix 
system, Crossover office is pretty big, especialy for standard users. 
Currently crossover office does not install on FreeBSD (though I'm planing 
on getting that to change... *evil grin*)

As an example; after 3+ years of running Linux on various systems, I've 
still had to do the "Windows Administrator" reinstall-the-os fix for many 
problems. In 3 or so months with BSD, I've gotten many similar errors in 
doing crazy and stupid things to my system to test it, and have fun, and the 
only time I had to reinstall is when I accidentally upgraded to the 7.0 beta 
version of the OS, instead of simply recompiling 6.0 to work more 
efficiently on my system. This is because of the error messages and 
documentation. In fact, oddly enough, I've learned more about administrating 
Linux properly in the FreeBSD culture and documentation, than I have in the 
Linux culture and "documentation".


OK, after that long winded demonstration of my thoughts, my main point is, 
that, for the perspective of a "normal" user, and not a tech-savant, we 
might be better off promoting both FreeBSD and Linux, to give them more 
options, in case one or the other scares them off. I'm not tryingt to start 
a flame war here, although this is unfortunately a religeous topic, I'm just 
saying that both have a lot of pros and a lot of cons, and we should take 
into acount that other people desires and needs do not necessarily reflect 
or match are own, and therefore more options should be accounted for.

A normal user may not mind having someone over to re-install occasinally, 
but they will not want to have someone over to help them install an 
application *every time* they want to install something.


Sorry for rambling, but I thought this was a valid, and important point to 
make,
-The Other Jim 



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