[opensource] Idea for event: hacking on the Oval

Steven James Samuel Stapleton stapleton at mps.ohio-state.edu
Sun Jun 11 18:22:18 EDT 2006

> Frankly, I think you're on crack.

Suggestion; if you have a point to make, you look less ignorant and do a 
better job if you can do it without insulting people.

> Installing from ports is no easier  than using apt-get, and, with the 
> graphical frontends to both apt and  yum (RedHat's slightly crappier apt 
> work-alike), apt and yum are, in  fact, probably easier for the neophyte 
> to use.

I'll admit, apt was pretty good, and the front-ends made it more usful, but 
I still had horrible cases of dependancy-hell from it, that it just couldn't 

Yum when it works, is just fine, but it was horribly unreliable to my 
experience, buggy and crashed a lot. Installing new apps was a pain, trying 
to find what name it had them under, dealing with finding this, that, the 
other thing, etc. Ports at least has everything in one directory, in a neat 
orderly structure. Also, ports, in my experience, has had less than a 1% 
failure rate in getting packages running, which I cannot say about yum

> I've used the BSDs AND  linux on production systems, and I've had more 
> problems using the  ports system than I ever have using apt (or even yum, 
> which though I  prefer apt, is almost just as good).

I'll say I've had the opposite experience, yum was by far the most buggy and 
un-reliable piece of software I've used under linux (even Windows Update has 
been more reliable than that piece of garbage in all my uses). Apt is 
better, but as I already stated, still not as reliable as ports in my 
experience, and ports gives you so many ways to fix dependancie problems, 
and even tells you what to do in most cases.

>> (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*)
> Also agreed, though most desktop users should be able to get along  with 
> entirely open source software systems (OpenOffice.org,  Evolution, etc), 
> so that shouldn't matter quite as much.

Having worked with and administrated for most desktop users, I can tell you 
that you are (a) fighting a loosing battle with that mindset, and (b) do not 
have a clue about most *normal* desktop users. While many OS software 
options will work, they get set in their ways and don't want to change, and 
many OS software options still aren't *quite* as userfriendly as non-OS, 
because the OS people tend to be tech-savants, and they don't think like 
normal users, and therefore make mistakes in that regard for application 
design. Many people have trouble seeing other mindsets, the advantage to a 
lot of commercial software, including the closed-source options, is that 
they are designed by normal users in many cases, and the programers just 
write the programs to fit those specifications.

>> 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".
> I've been using both linux and the BSDs for about a decade, and the  only 
> time I've ever had to reinstall EITHER is in the event of a disk  failure, 
> or if I feel like trying out a new distro. (And the very  first time I 
> installed linux, when installers sucked and I didn't  have a clue what I 
> was doing. But even then, it was only because I  was having problems 
> getting my bleeding-edge video and sound cards to  work, and I got them 
> working on the third try.)

That's fine that you could, you were more able to handle the documentation, 
and more patient to deal with it. Most users aren't. I could rarely find the 
documentation, and I found I spend more time trying to find a fix than it 
would take to reinstall in Linux. In BSD I found that finding a fix and 
enacting it took less time than a reinstall. Everyone has their own 
experiences, but remember - you are not a standard user, you are a tech 
savant, a standard user won't wan to deal with that stuff. I'm fortunatel, 
as I am inbetween a standard user and a tech savant, so I can better see 
both sides of the picture here. I've worked with both on a regular basis, 
and I know I'm probably not going to accomplish anything by defending my 
position here, and explaining my logic, but I have to try now holding out 
some hope. Also even if I do not convince you, others read this, and some of 
them who were on the edge, might see my point from this.

> Frankly, if you're going to hand out a BSD and a Linux, I'd suggest  going 
> for something like PCBSD. I don't have any experience with it,  but it's 
> supposed to be better for desktop users than vanilla  FreeBSD. Basically, 
> it's the same argument about Ubuntu vs. vanilla  Debian.

That's fine, Free is my own experience with BSD, but my next chance I get, 
I'll give PC a shot. Thank you.
-The Other Jim

More information about the Opensource mailing list