Things that Linux is BAD at?

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Things that Linux is BAD at?

Postby jolharg » Fri May 23, 2008 2:42 pm

We all know Linux is the haven of computer users, but in the minority of people it still does not work completely perfectly. Can we elaborate on what these circumstances are?

So far I have softmodems, just because of the vendors only being proprietary. If there's one thing we need prepackaged ALWAYS, it's the internet, but we're in a Catch 22 situation here with them not being installed and needing them to get them. Granted, no one uses softmodems anymore, but it may put some off. It certainly put my Dad off, with him being disgusted he had to pay for a proprietary driver for his Winmodem and now won't touch Linux, not even on his brand spanking new laptop. Lost one, I'm afraid.

Can anyone think of any areas Linux needs to improve in this day and age?
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Postby AdamW » Fri May 23, 2008 5:32 pm

Sound. Linux audio is rubbish. Big pile of crap that takes three pages to even *explain*.

Fortunately, things are (finally) moving in the right direction on this front, and it'll be far less of a problem in the next couple of years.
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Postby Rhakios » Fri May 23, 2008 6:37 pm

Low-end user-friendly apps. Linux has a lot of powerful tools that can get almost any job done. I'm thinking of the Gimp, Inkscape and Scribus in particular, I use them and think very highly of them, but trying to get people who have Publisher, Micrografx and similar things (mind has gone blank as to at least one particular desktop publishing tool, nnng! Begins with an S) to use them is quite a challenge.


(S? Serif something or other)


Edit: While I'm at it, OCR and voice recognition. The former isn't as good as the free software I got with my scanner 9 years ago, for Windows, and the latter does not, to the best of my knowledge, even exist for Linux these days.
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Postby jolharg » Fri May 23, 2008 9:45 pm

Since Linux 2.6 with ALSA, sound has really taken off. In every single system I've tested it on, Linux sound works flawlessly. You actually had a problem? Rare these days I hear.

OCR has wide support on Linux, with Kooka and GOCR properly scanning pages to text form. The Asus Eee PC has voice recognition (albeit only "Computer! Web!" type things) but not much else does anymore (there used to be some that worked, KVoiceControl, but are now abandoned, a howto is at http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Sp ... HOWTO.html ), and I'm hoping someone will implement a desktop-integrated voice recognition system for something like KDE or GNOME, any takers? I would except I can't program a squirrel, let alone Qt C++.

Some really picky people who are stuck with one app in their brains will not give another a fair chance, saying "mine's fine as it is", which is completely unfair for our market, and just the type of people that we are trying to convert. Some just learn to use what's on their computer, and fear change, and feel what they use just works, so what we need to do is to invade the current computer market (well done so far, people of the world) to start selling a lot more Linux PCs (thanks to Netbooks, UMPCs, etc this is starting to happen. I'm probably going to get one for my birthday).

I have found most desktop software very impressive, for a £0 budget. I think you were thinking of Serif PagePlus, a long time since I've used that.

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Postby Dutch_Master » Fri May 23, 2008 11:26 pm

The main thing why Linux won't take off on the desktop, which is the reason behind the question ;), is: Games. Linux is capable enough to be a stable gamingplatform, but it lacks game-titles, moreover: catchy, super-hot-today-gone-tomorrow gaming titles... Sure, Quake 2 is nice (if you like the genre) but it's a 'ancient yesteryear' game, the present Quake 4 (or 5, what's in a name ;)) is so much more advanced that anyone can spot the difference. Basically, people want to play today's games (and be part of their communities), not those from when they where kids... I know, it's all about convincing the suppliers to get a Linux version out _at_the_same_time_ as the Win-OS version (and if one at all...), but frankly, that's not gonna happen any time soon isn't it?

As for sound: on my old desktop I used some nVidia stuff that gave me great sound (including 3D things like surround) with a 2.4 kernel on an (now old) AMD Athlon XP 2500+ and nForce 2 chipset. However, on the present machine (Asus AM2 barebone) I only get stereo and I don't have an equalizer, surround and such... I scratchbuild the 2.6.23 kernel, but no luck...
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Postby Rhakios » Sat May 24, 2008 6:31 am

jolharg wrote:OCR has wide support on Linux, with Kooka and GOCR properly scanning pages to text form.


I didn't say Linux didn't have OCR, I said it isn't as good as the software I got 9 years ago with my first scanner.

The Asus Eee PC has voice recognition (albeit only "Computer! Web!" type things) but not much else does anymore (there used to be some that worked, KVoiceControl, but are now abandoned, a howto is at http://www.faqs.org/docs/Linux-HOWTO/Sp ... HOWTO.html ), and I'm hoping someone will implement a desktop-integrated voice recognition system for something like KDE or GNOME, any takers? I would except I can't program a squirrel, let alone Qt C++.


I was thinking of something that would allow dictation to create a word processor document, e-mail, or whatever.
Control of the computer by voice would be an incidental bonus. An d no, I don't need this, but I have seen enquiries about it on several occasions.

I have found most desktop software very impressive, for a £0 budget. I think you were thinking of Serif PagePlus, a long time since I've used that.

Cheers


I was. As I said, I find the available Linux tools powerful and easy to use, but some people want things to be more point-and-clicky and do the job for you.
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Postby Pingus » Sat May 24, 2008 9:43 am

Playing DVD's :(

I have yet to find a decent application to play DVD's reliably.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Sat May 24, 2008 10:55 am

Pingus wrote:Playing DVD's :(

I have yet to find a decent application to play DVD's reliably.


MythTV :)
I use Mythbuntu on my HTPC, plays DVDs fine,, any that fail, usually fail on Windows too.(mind you, no longer dual booting)

The Linux on the desktop "games" argument is true for some for home users (not the majority), but the biggest desktop market is business, where games are unimportant unless you are making or selling them.

We run several Linux desktops at work, CRM software being the one big holdback.
that and "rich client " software that runs via http and .Net
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Postby Deadly_Ernest » Sun May 25, 2008 4:39 am

Pingus wrote:Playing DVD's :(

I have yet to find a decent application to play DVD's reliably.


Kaffiene works perfectly in my Kubuntu installation for all DVDs I've tried - but I also have the Medibuntu repository in my Adept, first thing I do, to ensure i get the proper codecs.
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Postby Marrea » Sun May 25, 2008 10:51 am

Deadly_Ernest wrote:Kaffiene works perfectly in my Kubuntu installation for all DVDs I've tried - but I also have the Medibuntu repository in my Adept, first thing I do, to ensure i get the proper codecs.


Likewise in Kaffeine with my newly installed Mandriva 2008 Spring. Simply had to grab a copy of libdvdcss and away you go.

Mind you, I hardly ever bother to watch DVDs on my computers. Much prefer to use my stand-alone DVD player/recorder and 32" TV hooked up to the hi-fi. :wink:
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Postby Deadly_Ernest » Sun May 25, 2008 11:08 am

Marrea wrote:
Deadly_Ernest wrote:Kaffiene works perfectly in my Kubuntu installation for all DVDs I've tried - but I also have the Medibuntu repository in my Adept, first thing I do, to ensure i get the proper codecs.


Likewise in Kaffeine with my newly installed Mandriva 2008 Spring. Simply had to grab a copy of libdvdcss and away you go.

Mind you, I hardly ever bother to watch DVDs on my computers. Much prefer to use my stand-alone DVD player/recorder and 32" TV hooked up to the hi-fi. :wink:


I agree, but to get the big TV, I have to fight with my son to get it, and he's now bigger than me. So I whimp out and often watch on the Tv while he's watching something else. But then, I watch about two DVDs a week (if that much) while he watches three of four a day. OH, I'll sometimes watch something with him too.

Anyway, the war films and musicals just sound heaps better on the computer's sub-woofer and surround sound system. But, shhh, don't tell him that.
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Postby gerdesj » Sun May 25, 2008 12:34 pm

CAD is not so good on Linux. There are QCAD and BRLCAD but one is commercial and the other is a bit tricky. Try redesigning your house on Linux. Luckily I keep a VM XP box lying around. Bit of a let down for someone whose first kernel was in the 1.9 range.

In response to the top post - "So far I have softmodems" - surely everyone knows that you do not plug your PC directly into the Interweb - that is close to IT suicide unless you are prepared to do some pretty fancy security auditing on a very regular basis. Oh and he's plugged in a Windows box on this thing - goody, I could do with another addition to my botnet.

The same comment could be leveled at a Linux box. Unless you are absolutely certain of your firewall, all your software and your personal practices then using a modem is not a good idea.

The very basic security starter for 10 is NAT! Ideally you should also have a router that is secure as well 8) Even better, you could use this: http://openwrt.org/

So:
Q - "it won't support my softmodem"
A - "great"

and while I'm at it - challenge his Windows thingie to play FLAC files. It can be done but he'll lose hair over it. Then show him Amarok 'n' K3B, oh and Open Office and and and then the relative cost of that lot. Then compare that with Win + MSO + Nero or Alcohol 120. How much are upgrades, incidentally? Do you get the source code ?

Has he got Vista? Then I can really get started on the downsides (eg - did you have to suddenly replace your printer).

Amongst other things my firm happens to be a MS Gold Partner (I was drunk, they started it). Know your enemy!
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Postby AdamW » Mon May 26, 2008 4:18 am

jolharg wrote:Since Linux 2.6 with ALSA, sound has really taken off. In every single system I've tested it on, Linux sound works flawlessly. You actually had a problem? Rare these days I hear.


The issue is not getting it to 'work' as in, get some sound out of your card. This works on most systems out of the box these days (although some ALSA drivers still have some frankly insane default mixer settings which break stuff for some people).

The issue is, well, how much time do you have? Ever tried configuring a single default soundcard on a system with more than one in a way which all apps respect and which sticks dependably from boot to boot? (There actually *is* a way, but it's hilariously obscure). Ever tried getting aRts to play nice with anything else? Ever tried figuring out what the hell aRts, esound, ALSA and OSS even *are* exactly? Ever tried getting an OSS-native app to play sound at the same time as an ALSA-native, esd-native or aRts-native app, and wondered why the hell this mess exists in the first place?

I could go on, but, yeah...it's messy.
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Postby Pingus » Mon May 26, 2008 8:56 am

Things like this really need to be standardized, this is an example of something where divergance is bad.

Lets all just use PulseAudio and be happy! :D
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Postby Lancer » Mon May 26, 2008 12:21 pm

General doubling up of everything to the point of unresolvable dependency hell.

At a trivial level, it'd be Gnome vs KDE where you thought you'd changed the Desktop style / theme only to have them only affect one half of the programs.

A slightly more annoying level would be differences in distros with /usr/bin vs /use/local/bin versus etc etc causing various programs to never successfully compile without going in and error-fixing distro specific tweaks.

Then there's how many different sound libs in one distro besides alsa? And yes, they don't like each other either. Start the wrong proggy and you can have nothing making music until a good ol' reset.

Then there would be the whole apt versus yum and everything else issues playing tennis with your each other until one of them decides to uninstall something. After faithfully using one distro for several years, such a mess ultimately defunctorized my glibc making even the fixes impossible to set up. At this point counted my losses and switched distros for "better" support from my fellow luggers (Ubuntu didn't exist when I started out on Red Hat)

And compiz / fusion / beryl etc etc with its secret plans to introduce Windows-like stability to what used to "run well" on a 386 on the good ol' days. *sigh* Then we were so happy...
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