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News Canonical to halve Ubuntu support lifetime

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 20 Mar 2013.

  1. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    Windows has a list of available drivers, lets call it a repository, when you install a new piece of kit it searches the list for a compatible driver. If there isn't one you need to get one from a 3rd party source [typically the manufacturer]. Likewise if the software you want isn't included with the O/S you have to download and install it separately.

    OSX likewise.

    Linux too has a list of available drivers/software. If there's an available driver it'll tell you and offer to install it. If not, you'll have to source one from a 3rd party like every other OS.

    Apple and Microsoft's stance on 3rd party software is identical. If you install a non-WHQL driver or an app that's not from the Mac/Windows App store [even if you do, if it's not made by the OS maker] and it ****s your system up you're on your own.

    They already exist, on *buntu at least, can't comment on other distros... yes, technically it is still a front for dpkg/apt but many apps, Chrome and Steam being two that immediately spring to mind, download the package, double click the package, it'll offer to install it. What's more, if that software has it's own repository [for updates or bet aversions]... it'll add that to the system's list for you... isn't that nice...
     
  2. Aracos

    Aracos What's a Dremel?

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    It almost seems like Phils experience of Linux is from alpha versions of the first release of Linux distros.....
    Phil you keep arguing these points which get refuted by those who actually use Linux-based operating systems so how can you STILL argue what isn't true?

    Also as someone who actually has a copy of Xubuntu on my USB flash drive which I take into college, boot up on the college laptops and use as a programming environment the idea that " if you're using hardware that's in any way unusual (such as a laptop), you will usually require software that isn't in the "default repos."" is really a problem which doesn't exactly exist anymore and hasn't for years with the most popular distros.....
     
  3. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Yes, but if you get a piece of software "for Windows 7", it will work on Windows 7. Find a piece of software that's "for linux," and it might work if you have the same distro, library versions, header files, dev packages, environment variables, blonde/brunette preference and shoe size as the person who wrote it.

    Please don't simply deny this is the case as anyone who uses linux regularly knows that all of this is completely normal.

    The problem is not having to install stuff, that's inevitable. The problem is the relative convenience and reliability of that process. Some of it is down to expectations, where Windows people don't expect to hack makefiles every time they install something and that's a daily task on linux, but a lot of it is just down to the fact that you can't package software very easily for an OS that's as all over the place as Linux is.
     
  4. SexyHyde

    SexyHyde Minimodder

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    On all the laptops I've installed Windows on, I normally have to hunt round for drivers often with various possible drivers some that don't install correctly and some where the driver just doesn't seem to exist. Then I put Linux on and it all works. If you put Ubuntu on go to the Ubuntu store pick the software you want and it all just works. Ok if you want some more specific applications you may be out of luck but for 99% of people all that works just fine. I've had some complaints of windows crashing on a system which appears to be software related, on Linux you very rarely get a system crash due to a faulty program, the program falls over and gets back up all with Linux running normally. See I can point out Linux better than windows scenarios Phil.
     
  5. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Well, I guess if linux doesn't have drivers for a particular bit of hardware, you can't spend time looking for them!
     
  6. SexyHyde

    SexyHyde Minimodder

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    Well I never have that problem. Everything just works lately. The problem with windows is a lot of companies don't make drivers for later versions of Windows so you buy their new hardware. So you end up stuck with an old version of windows or hardware that doesn't work.
    Like I said, with Linux things just work now.
     
  7. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    To be honest, it is increasingly harder and harder find hardware without drivers for Linux. Sure, it happens, but the common hardware is covered pretty much completely. An obscure DVB-C card ? Sure, it has drivers. A Wi-Fi card from TP-Link ? Indeed it does have Linux drivers. My only recent issue was with a combo of Intel IGP driver (maintained by Intel), in combination of a Z77 board and a Sandy Bridge CPU, where an aggressive power saving feature would hang the computer (fixed by disabling that power saving feature using i915.i915_enable_rc6=0 kernel boot parameter).

    Now let's look at the other side of the fence. I recently bought a DVB-T USB stick (with official support for Windows 7 & 8). Installed the drivers, plugged it in, installed the supplied software (later tried with Media Portal and Windows Media Center as well), started scanning for channels and bang, a BSOD in Windows 8 due buggy drivers. Put the same stick in the Linux machine, works at first try.
     
  8. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Depends on the device. Sure, common hardware - graphics cards, storage devices, network cards - tend to work fine, but peripherals is definitely a mixed bag. A lot of pro-audio stuff, for example, just doesn't work under Linux.

    In my case, my bugbear is a Dell 1250c colour laser printer I picked up cheap. It uses the good-old GDI engine, and drivers are available for Windows and OS X - but not Linux. The print engine itself is Xerox-made, and there *is* a Linux driver available for a Phaser 6000B that uses the same engine - but it's only available for 32-bit platforms, not 64-bit like wot my desktop is. I got it working eventually, with a lot of fiddling and the installation of the ia-32 libraries, but it's far from perfect: it has a tendency to send the printer to sleep after each print job, so I need to flick the switch off and back on again between them. It's a good job I don't print much!

    These cases are getting rarer and rarer, however, and typically only affect cheap low-end printers. My Canon scanner? Plugged it in, told The Gimp to scan an image, there it was. Didn't installl any drivers, didn't have a "Found New Hardware What The Hell Do I Do OMGWTFBBQ" pop-up appear like I would on Windows. It. Just. Worked.

    If we can get to the point where all hardware Just Works on Linux, I'll be a happy chappy - but we're not there yet.
     
  9. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    That is why i said "harder and harder" and not impossible :). Sure, there are cases where you find a way too old/obscure/too new hardware which is not supported (correctly), or some strange combination.
     
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    But my point is that GDI printers are not too old, not too new and not too obscure: they're massively common in the sub-£100 printer market, and none of the buggers work properly under Linux. That's not Linux's fault, of course, but that of the printer manufacturers - but I'm not going to pretend it's not a massive problem. My mother's in the market for a new printer 'cos her old one's gone mammaries-skyward, and I'm having to tell her to wait until I can have a look for one that's known to be compatible with Ubuntu - 'cos otherwise she's going to come home from Asda with some £50 inkjet or £100 laser that we'll never get working.
     
  11. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Which is better, by far, than plugging in a bit of hardware and having absolutely nothing happen at all, and just being expected to know which obscure files to put which obscure strings into:

    Well, quite.
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Ooh, bad example. That's for toggling a non-standard function as a tweak, and is absolutely not required for day-to-day use. Shall we look for examples where you have to edit some random string hidden away in the Windows Registry to do the same? Hmm?

    In fact, let's do exactly that. Microsoft's official fix for when power-saving on a network adapter prevents it from working properly.
    My, how user-friendly. I would have been able to guess that within seconds, especially the 4D36E972-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002bE10318 control class identifier. You have opened my eyes, Phil. I now see Linux for the unfriendly mess it is, and cannot wait to embrace Windows and its completely intuitive hexadecimal strings. I especially like the part where a value of '0' enables a given feature.

    At this point, your continued deception is either malicious or brain-dead. I'll let you choose which.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2013
  13. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Commodore BASIC, anyone? :D


    Hey, at least you knew where you stood with PEEK and POKE commands...
     
  14. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    This is another one, when you need to clear the upper or lower filters from the registry or your computer won't recognise your dvd drive, even when it did yesterday

    And that just happens sometimes for no reason.

    I like linux alot, but I mainly use server editions.
     
  15. will_123

    will_123 Small childs brain in a big body

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    The reason we have package managers is so that this doesn’t happen! The things you were so opening criticising before. They will download and fetch any relevant dependencies for the piece of software. Your exe will come with lots of stuff that your program needs to run. Apt, yum, pacman, zypper whatever you use does this for you and very well I might add!
     
  16. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Disaster, of course. But it is at least:

    - Documented, by the people who made the OS/.
    - Consistent; notice the two examples given here use the same procedure.

    Linux documentation for this sort of thing tends to end up being nobody's problem because documentation is boring and there are so many disparate groups of people involved, with zero management, that everyone has a good excuse not to bother.

    The windows registry has always been a better approach than the Linux (or even unix) one, which is to have literally many thousands of text files distributed in effectively random locations, with random names, in random formats, with absolutely no documentation whatsoever. Or if there is any, seven versions out of date and badly translated from Latvian, or some damn thing.

    At least the registry is all in one place with one syntax and one approach to editing it, which is light years ahead.

    Hollow laughter.
     
  17. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    After the fact, of course. If a *new* problem occurs and Microsoft hasn't published a knowledge base article about it, you'll be left flailing around the Registry looking at random hexadecimal strings desperately trying to figure out which ones relate to your graphics card.
    Genuine question: do the current versions of Windows still have directories filled with INF files? Win.ini? System.ini? They certainly did in my day, and there was no guarantee that the setting you were trying to change would be found in the Registry.

    That doesn't even cover programs that *don't* store their settings in the Registry. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't most games hide their settings in INI files? Oh, look, a tweak guide for Bioshock:
    Oh, yes. Consistent. One location. Not random files hidden in inexplicable directories that you can't even see by default. No, that's not the Windows way at all.
    Oh, it is to laugh. Ever had the Windows Registry get corrupt? I have. Bye-bye, operating system. If a single configuration file gets hosed on Linux, it takes out whatever program it controlled - and nothing else. That is, if the software isn't clever enough to automatically generate a new file, or use default settings - which many packages do if the configuration file is missing or corrupt.

    Also, you're arguing from a position of ignorance again. You think the Registry is great because you're used to the Windows Registry; I think the POSIX way of doing things is great because I'm used to the POSIX way of doing things. I could put my hands on the configuration file for any given package in seconds, because I know where these things are stored. You could (I'm guessing) find the Registry hive for any given package in seconds, because you know where these things are stored. Put me in front of Windows and ask me to do the same thing, you'll be in for a wait; and vice-versa with you and Linux.

    Difference between us though, Phil, is I'm man enough to admit that - whereas you just blame Linux like a broken record. I'm willing to be you don't know how to play the dulcimer, either; is that the dulcimer's fault for not being as good an instrument as a harp?
    One syntax? Hah. Everything is buried in random locations with random hexadecimal identifiers that nobody could possibly guess. How is it better to have to find something in /HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/ControlSet/CurrentControlSet/DaftHexIdentifier/RandomNumber/UnhelpfulName.dword compared to /etc/default/ntpupdate?

    All you're doing in this 'ere thread is exposing your ignorance of operating systems outside Windows.
     
    Last edited: 25 Mar 2013
  18. will_123

    will_123 Small childs brain in a big body

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    Ah no logical response so you instead put nothing of value into your post.. I see what you did there ;)

    Configuration files are located in the /etc folder with a minority of applications that store a couple of files outside of that.

    OpenSUSE, Arch Linux and Ubuntu all have excellent documentation.
     
  19. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    Having learnt microsoft server admin before moving over to linux server admin (which I am still learning) - when you learn something in linux it does make you think that the way that microsoft has gone about things is backwards.

    I personally don't really like the registry, even though I am very apt with it, can navigate it and sort alot of problems with it, I much prefer all the configuration files. Working always in terminal you kind of just get used to where everything is, and if you can't remember exactly you can normally look it up. I have always been impressed with the amount of info that there is for linux and problems I have faced in it. There are really decent communities out there with lots of good information.

    Linux to me is just a different way of thinking - normally it turns out to be a more logical thought process. So even though I know more about microsoft products, I think linux is easier.

    Plus the package managers ARE amazing - as long as you give it the correct command. I use aptitude and I can't fault it.
     
  20. Phil Rhodes

    Phil Rhodes Hypernobber

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    Well, you wouldn't, because the registry is not in any sense designed to be a user interface (we expect people to provide a user interface to settings under windows, I am aware that linux projects usually can't be arsed.)

    Under linux, of course, that collection of randomly-named, randomly-distributed, randomly-formatted text files is not only the one and only UI, it's also assumed that all users know where all the settings are. This is impossible because there are so many of them, undesirable because we should not expect possibly nontechnical users to know that sort of thing, and frankly so fatuous it makes me weep.

    The windows interface is also intrinsically more discoverable. Regedit is a UI to the registry that uses common Windows UI conventions; tell someone to modify a key name, and with only small amounts of nouse they'll be able to do it. The descriptions of editing reg keys given above are comprehensive blow-by-blow accounts of how to do it which are necessary for lay users, a group that Linux appears determined not to assist. I appreciate that the concept of actually explaining how to do something including all the necessary steps is foreign to linux people because, for a start, it's usually impossible to be that complete on such an inconsistent platform, but mainly because it's just normal to you people that every task involves a huge amount of problem-solving that's simply assumed to be normal.

    Very rarely, mainly for things that will be accessed at times when the APIs for retrieving registry values will be unavailable. Last time I looked, .net didn't even include features for reading and writing ini-formatted files. Rarely, I've seen people use them to create portable settings files, especially where there's a need to create cross-platform transferability; otherwise, it's better done as a .reg file.

    The other reason they sometimes exist is to provide backward compatibility; the win.ini on this Windows 7 machine begins "; for 16-bit app support." I appreciate linux doesn't really bother with tedious things like backward compatibility, but to be honest the chances of most nontrivial 16 bit apps working on this box are probably just as slim.

    Finding settings outside the registry on a modern windows box, especially with regard to core windows features, is exceptionally rare.

    No. I've been a Windows user ever since I was finally forced to dump Amigas (see, I'd be a good candidate for linux if it wasn't so feeble) in the late 90s, and it just isn't a problem I've hit, or had anyone I know hit. Same with the phrase "dll hell", which in my experience is an attempt by Linux people to take a very typical Linux problem of library versioning and pretend it happens on windows. Which in my experience, it doesn't. I have not once encountered either problem, first or second hand, in the best part of 20 years.

    That may be, but if it takes three hours to figure out how to fix it, you've already burned more time than Windows costs to buy and install. And that's three hours you'll spend poring over outdated, incomplete documentation and being called an idiot by people on IRC.

    No, I don't; I think it's a horrible, brutally user-hostile pile of settings. But the point is that the average user will almost never encounter it. I never encounter it, and I'm a very experienced windows user who regularly does oddball things. A unified registry is obviously a far better way to store settings than a set of text files of effectively random naming, format and distribution, that's so self-evident it barely needs to be stated. But you're missing the main issue, which is that properly-written software will not have to ask its users to get involved at that low a level. I know it's almost impossible to achieve that in linux because the documentation, level of consistency, understanding of proper user experience and frankly the expectations of the people involved are not good enough, but that's what you should be aiming for.

    Well, possibly could, but only by using the regedit search function, or by googling. Couldn't be sure, because, and this is the operative point, I never have to do it.
     

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