Monday, November 3, 2008

Rants and Laughs 5

Okay, the Unix Hater's Handbook Review is coming along at about the speed of the X11 DRI fix, so I will take some time and see what is on Linux Reddit.

  • Linux Just Works with one fucking printer. Wow! Linux has finally beaten OSX! Mac Bigots of the world, you better switch right away! There is a new Just Working OS in town! Remember kids, Apple is a systems company, and this means OS X it has a smaller range of working hardware than Windows or Linux. This also means that the supported items often work much better than they do in other systems. Why don't you try one of these printers and get back to me on Just Working.
  1. Aigo Mobile Internet Device: Wow, a PDA! Who uses those anymore?
  2. Nokia N810 Internet Tablet: Again, who cares about PDAs anymore? Ever heard of a smartphone?
  3. Asus Eee Box: It also runs Windows XP. Linux power!
  4. Asus Eee PC:It also runs XP and has Linux problems.
  5. OpenMoko FreeRunner: *snort* with Englightenment technology!
  6. Motorola Ming A1600: Okay, this looks kind of cool. Is it one of those Android phones, though?
  7. Archos 605 Wifi: an excellent choice for an Apple averse media horder. How good of a choice is it for people who do not care?
  8. Mvix MX-760HD Media Center: a crappy Apple TV ripoff
  9. Sonos Digital Music System: Now, you can stream your music wirelessly all around your home for only $1000 DOLLARS! Wow!
  10. Garmin Nuvi880: Okay, I have heard it is a good GPS.
So, out of this list, I see only TWO items that look kind of cool and do not also run Windows better! This is the best you freetards can do? I hang my head.
  • I saved the best for last. Here is an article calling on the community to restrain itself from criticizing developers when they screw up. It looks like I am going to have to focus on this one.
Well, it starts off in the expected way.
You can see this growing viciousness in the hostile reaction to KDE last spring, or in sites like the just-defunct Linux Hater's Blog, as well as the articles of professional and semi-professional journalists who demonize anyone who fails to agree with them completely.
What, you mean like you just did?

Aaron Seigo of KDE described the problem the other month in his blog:

Every so often someone with a real crank on will start following me around the intrawebs posting their hallowed viewpoint on me. It seems to happen to everyone with an even moderately public profile. Usually they get stuck on one message and then post it consistently everywhere they can as some sort of therapeutic outpouring of their inner angst. Most people don't last more than a couple weeks at this, though I've had a couple of people with real commitment dog me for a year or more.
Seigo admits that, being visible, vocal, and outspoken, he makes an easy target. It's not that he objects to views he doesn't agree with, he says, but that "I don't have time for pointlessness."
So Seigo is mad because a bunch of KDE users complained about his broken release and his complete disregard for the needs of his users, and he thinks that such criticism is pointless. Wow, that is rich! I wish I was that rich!

Such attacks are abusing the freewheeling freedom of expression that is the norm in FOSS. By refusing to temper this freedom with responsibility, those who make them are seriously handicapping the community that they claim to represent.

How about developers first start to take responsibility for their actions and not regularly screw over their users! Then we will talk about civility!
But why such attacks are becoming so prevalent in FOSS is harder to explain. Perhaps their origins are part of the worldwide fallout from the unusually heated and prolonged American presidential campaign, in which attack ads and ad hominem attacks have become the norm.
What . . . . the . . . . fuck!!!!
Or perhaps relative newcomers to FOSS are taking out their frustrations with unresponsive proprietary companies on prominent members of the community. Unlike company executives, FOSS developers and maintainers are accessible, so they get the suppressed anger that should be aimed at the executives.
Even more likely, as one of the earliest and most Web-integrated communities in existence, FOSS has become a center of such attacks because of the strange combination of intimacy and distance that is peculiar to the Internet
Okay, that does sound remotely plausible (in comparison). The anonymity of the Internet has been known to increase vitriol but so has releasing shitty software!
At times, too, the uneasy alliance between free software and open source advocates erupts into verbal battles.
Maybe, the problem is that the 'community' is composed of autistic fosstards? In that case, any civility is more than can be expected.
Perhaps newcomers are simply adopting the rhetoric they believe will make them fit in.
Yeah, or maybe they are reacting to getting screwed over by egomaniacal developers after having invested days of their time learning Linux?
Since then other projects, such as KDE, have borrowed heavily from the codes to produce their own versions. A community-based code would need few modifications to be just as effective.
How about a code that says "DO NOT FUCK OVER YOUR USERS!!!!"?



Anonymous said...

"How about a code that says "DO NOT FUCK OVER YOUR USERS!!!!"?"

Spot on! ie, don't put the cart before the horse. Look at dolphin in 4.1 compared to Konqueror's file manager properties from 3.5.x. And then they crippled Konqueror in 4.x.

"egomaniacal developers". Sounds like GregHK. Or any Gnome dev too, with their attitude: we know what's best for lusers so the interface can only be the way we intended it. God I hate Gnome apps.

1st commandment of Gnome: Thou shalt not have more than 5 toolbar buttons before the luser.

oiaohm said...

You are aware that Mac OS X and Linux both run cups.

Mac OS X users have every right to be upset if a printer works on Linux and not on Mac OS X. They basically can use the same drivers.

So don't make jokes. Reverse has been true as well. The outer edge has been canon that for Linux you had to buy closed source drivers to use. Driver support for canon has improved a lot recently in the open source drivers. Currently yes that complete list works in Linux. Question is open source or paid for closed source driver.

You would have been better to target the defect on the Linux side.

Its more Distributions don't fuck over your users.

KDE 4.0 was released with a clear message from the developers for application developers only.

Yep Distributions then go and drop it on unsuspecting users and boom PR problem.

Annoying pressure caused by Distributions. Caused 4.1 to be released before it was ready to reduce some of the PR nightmare.

Please beat up the guilty party.

Developers of Konqueror are still porting bits from 3.5 in to the 4.x versions. 4.0 was ment to allow enough so coders could get porting there applications.

Distrobutions have a lot to answer for.

Think about it if a car lot sells you a defective car that the marker told them not to sell because its defective and only a prototype. You would sue the pants of the car lot not the maker of the car.

Really one day someone need to sue a Linux Distribution for intentionally shipping a defective product.

Yet of some reason people attack the open source project and leave the distrobutions alone who do it.

It happens over and over again. X11 crashs a lot. Hang on tells everyone that compiz will cause that effect yet your distribution still has it.

Pulseaudio there site lists applications it does not work with.

You can just keep on going.

Anonymous said...

"Yep Distributions then go and drop it on unsuspecting users and boom PR problem.

Annoying pressure caused by Distributions. Caused 4.1 to be released before it was ready to reduce some of the PR nightmare."

But that's the whole point! For all intents and purposes the distro's are GNU/Linux! The average luser is not going to take the Linux From Scratch path. the average luser doesn't want to deal with a *.tar.bzip2 from upstream. They want to use a trustworthy precompiled binary made by somebody else. The code of conduct should apply to individual projects and distros and force them to work together. I suppose Linux Standard Base in the future will address this problem. If its addressing it now its doing a lotta good.

Anonymous said...

@oiaohm In other words somebody else's fault.

oiaohm said...

Linux Standard Base tried to over 7 years to get a code of conduct every case same arguments come up.

We must be allowed to stay cutting edge so other Distributions don't beat us.

If we go stable we would have out of date package like Debian. And so on.

Distributions are unfortunately like churches. They always do what they believe stuff everyone else. No matter how illogical there argument they will stick to it.

Linux Standard Base tried to get a common packaging format that back fired. So these days only way the Linux Standard Base can see forward is to allow application makers to disregard the existence of Distributions. This is LSB applying force.

It is distribution infighting why what is going to be offered in LSB 4.0 and 4.1 was not given in LSB 2 back in 2003.

Distributions are really good at avoiding being on the blame end of stick.

Simple fact its not someone else fault. Same groups have been guilty many times over. Yet that is not where blame is going.

I am saying blame the right people and things might change.

You are aware even if KDE 4.0 was not release there would still have been Distrobutions shipping copies to users claim it was KDE4.0. To be correct some did. Some of the first distrobutions claiming KDE 4.0 support was really a svn snapshot from before the true release missing key fixes. Why the did it so they could be first to release with KDE 4.0.

This is just going on far too often. Blaming locations like KDE that release all the warning in the world is the wrong place.

Distributions are simply failing to do there job of sorting out good packages from bad. Instead doing everything in an attempt to make themselves look better than the other guy. Then redirecting the rage else where.

This is the reason why Debian got sued by Mozilla over Firefox.

Open Source developers are stick of it. They get the blame even when maintainers of packages do stupid things. Like removing patches that fixed a bug because it slowed it down a little. So now you have users coming to you saying they have X version with Y bug and poor open source developer sitting there going how it was fixed in that version.

Millions of man hours a year in the open source world is wasted on the messes Distributions are creating. Then there is the bad PR ie your application does not work. When it does if the distribution had not cut key bits out.

Lot of open source developers are looking forward to a day with a clean way to release packages directly to users avoiding maintainers that tamper or use development tree versions.

Point you rage in the right direction and we might get something done about it.

Anonymous said...

And anyway I don't see a big warning sign on each projects website: To all Distributions! Don't drop the latest release on unsuspecting lusers. Its not stable yet!(if ever).

Its more commonly like this : The Latest and Greatest Release. Try it today!

Yes some projects do have warnings. And b/c its all free as in speech and free as in beer there is no way to stop distributions doing exactly that in a mad grab for X% of 0.71%(Until somebody comes up with a better source for OS share I'll use that. Checking out
Not that closed source and Windoze centric projects and companies aren't guilty of the same practices. I can think of a recent example of this. Can you?

Anonymous said...

The real problem is its all free as in speech and free as in beer. The devs have no reason to pay attention to lusers b/c unix is by developers for developers. If there are a fuck-ton of problems fix them yourself. Go read the source.

Also if GNU/Linux was as small as it is now but lusers paid for the software that would provide a great incentive to do quality control. But instead your dev is competing for adulation and praise, not a paycheck. Thus the release of shiny and new instead of tested and true. :-) Wow it rhymes!

"Point you rage in the right direction and we might get something done about it."
I don't know computer code. Currently I'm in school and proofreading documentation would take up time I don't have.

oiaohm said...

The Latest and Greatest Release. Try it today! Was missing from the KDE 4.0 release.

Its the releases that will give big trouble. There there a project like wine that have a stable and development labeled releases.

You will also notice lot of distrobutions shipping with the development version that has not gone threw enough testing yet.

People don't understand how often its not like a .0 release. but a .0svn release. ie they built the package from the development tree far few versions before.

There have been quite a few .0 release in open source that have been fine.

With Gnome and KDE also lot of distrobutions apply there own custom patches at the last min. Hello stack of untested code. Yes a lot of .0 unstablity has nothing to do with the open source project that made the program. But with the distribution you are using doing alterations.

My hate of the is based on sorting out users problems. Its really annoying when you build from source and the application works perfect. Yet the same version no special markers to say it is tampered with downloaded threw the distribution systems is broken.

Worst one is mplayer in debian half the program is features are missing. That package is ment to be able to play and encode video and audio. Guess what debian version can only play.

There is a real issue of lack of truth in labeling in Distributions.

thepld said...

Oh man, this is the Pidgin controversy all over again. But I thought that MS was evil for doing not what the users wanted? Oops. Good thing the devs are so much smarter than us mere prole users, right? Devs always make good choices for the good of the user!

oiaohm said...


Simple point pidgin case triggered a fork a renamed fork. Problem solved.

Difference here is Distrobutions are doing forks/alterations with no marking. If you read GPL license closely that is breach of license.

With mplayer from debian the source file is altered yet version number is unaltered. Strictly illegal. Heck they go as far as marking it original when it has been altered. Full blown false advertising.

If they want to fork legally they can. Can they legally do it and clearly mark it and that follows the license.

Of course developers don't always get stuff right. Key thing here is truth.

Roll of maintainers is to sorted software. Not pull tricks. Currently they are doing a lot of illegal things.

Complain about Linux but beware there are license breakers causing major troubles. Really Linux does have more people using illegal software than windows due to these rouge maintainers.

Pidgin issue is not even in this level of game. If you know what you are looking for it really does not take long to find lot of distributions out there breaking licenses.

If everyone plays by the rules open source becomes far better for everyone. Developers getting reports know that they are not dealing with clean if the license is followed.

Big issue here if stuff is marked as altered users can get to know to go to the distribution first for support. This is one of the main reasons they are hiding it. If users blame X open source application they don't blame the distribution.

Please note anywhere else someone does these things they end up in legal trouble. Just because it open source software they think they have a clean slate to do whatever.

Anonymous said...

Fuck the what?

Anonymous said...

Something for you to laugh at, folks:

Anonymous said...

Hey LHR, did you read this article by Stalin?

"Every non-free program gives its
developer unjust power over the users."

I feel so much more powerful now.
Yea, so much for "If you got a problem with my application, go fix that code urself!"

Go "Free" software!

Anonymous said...

The internet as a form of software distribution, contributes to the problem.

I regularly troll sites like Majorgeeks for freeware. I have a list of programs I use at work. Every week I am updating half a dozen because of new point(less) releases.

Dammit: get it done THEN release!

Buy a program off the shelf and there is some perception that it is at least complete, minor bugs or not, since someone went through the effort to get those discs stamped and boxed.

Yes, more and more I blame the distributions. Too damned many of them, all either trying to outdo one or the other by incorporating shit that in no way should have been released, let alone put into newbie distros (which virtually all of the top ones are), or spinning off endless metoobuntu's et al. which contribute nothing more than confusion and duplication of effort.

Why the hell do we have over a dozen package managers?

You can make the excuses for desktops, but low level stuff like software installation should be a bloody standard by now.

Reinventing the wheel is pointless. Reinventing it over and over and over again in bloody insane.

So one the one hand we have overeager developers proudly sticking up their latest alpha and beta builds for people to download, and distributions mindlessly incorporating every bit of fluff they can to get some sort of self gratification in the form of, what, distrowatch rankings?

I blame both parties upstream. If Windows gets fucked-up, I blame the user, because it is almost ALWAYS something the user has done (downloading and running dubious shit or whatever. Rarely does an update truly screw the pooch IMO).
Linux gets fucked up and the blame sits squarely on the distributors, since all software that the average user installs is going to come from either one of their repos, or a third party one that they sanction (if they list it on their website, I consider that sanctioned). This stuff should come with some sort of QA. You certainly can't run a software business if you're sending down updates that will break systems on a routine basis.

Every one of my linux installs that has lasted more than a couple weeks has inevitably been broken by an update. My work system broke after the first friggin update and never again booted that partition.

Someone - hell, MANY someones - have to start getting their shit together, because from where I stand the situation isn't getting any better. There is more activity, but less real headway.

And certainly no killer app or feature exists to make me want to give up what I already have in switching full time, whether on the desktop or server.

"freedom" is only a feature for romantics and revolutionaries, not for the pragmatic.

In closing: I'm mad, and I'm not going to take it anymore.

Anti-Tux said...

KDE 4.0 was released with a clear message from the developers for application developers only.

Yep Distributions then go and drop it on unsuspecting users and boom PR problem.

Annoying pressure caused by Distributions. Caused 4.1 to be released before it was ready to reduce some of the PR nightmare.

Please beat up the guilty party.

If KDE had really been trying to curb users expectations, then they should have called the release "KDE 4 Alpha", "KDE 4 Beta" or "KDE 4 Developer Preview". I remember using the Windows Vista Developer Preview released in mid-2006, and it was terribly slow, but I knew it was not a polished release, so I did not fuss about it. Remember the hoopla over Mozilla Firefox 1.0? If Mozilla had released something with practically no toolbars, no tabbed browsing, etc., but 'laid the foundations for new development with fundamental changes to XUL, Javascript, etc.', there would be blood and rightfully so. When you make a .0 release, you are sending a well-known message that the release is cool, new and should be tried out. Like it or not, it is a convention. Remember, Linux is still used by mostly technical, geeky people, and every distro that does not include KDE 4.0 risks losing KDE users to other distros with the latest and greatest release.

If the distros make life hell for you, you certainly are not doing them many favors. Remember, many distros have predictable release cycles, and they often want to include at least the stability patches etc with their new release. If developers of major system components coordinated release cycles, distros could cooperate on testing the software and integrating it into their latest release. However, Seigo thinks release cycles are for lusers. If his attitude is common, then distros practically have no other choice except to do what they do now.

So, essentially, the entire freetard community is to blame for this sorry state of affairs.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon E Moose and Linux Hater's Redux

Well put!