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Frustrated by LinuxToday's comment system


© January 2009 Anthony Lawrence

I'm very frustrated by the comments at LinuxToday's link to one of my posts. The problem is that it takes hours for comments to appear, and I'm not even sure that all of my replies have been posted at all. Therefore I'm going to dupe my response here:

A comment from Tony OBryan:

Here's a breakdown of the article:
1) I'm a Linux expert.
2) I chose a server system for my desktop article.
3) The server system doesn't behave well as a desktop.
4) The Linux desktop therefore sucks.
Do you now see why your reception was so cold?

My response:

Well, no.

I'm not a Linux expert. You could check my website and find that I very specifically say that I am NOT an expert. I'm a competent person with 27 years of Unixy experience. That's all. I invite you to visit my site and type "expert" into the search box. I think you'll be surprised by what it turns up.

It wasn't a "desktop" article. I set out to review some Linux clipboard utilities and got distracted by the difficulties. Y'all here brought up the desktop issue because you didn't see that I was simply using this as an example of the type of frustration people run into. My fault - as I said, I set out with a different goal and got distracted.

However, a Ubuntu desktop system also presented frustration as noted in a follow-up article.

I didn't say that the Linux desktop sucks. I said that a new user could be frustrated by Linux in general. That, in my opinion, makes it difficult for Linux to penetrate the Desktop market.

Finally, I don't mean to complain about my "reception". Some of the people here have been very friendly. Others have not. I have complained that this article was put at LT at all - I really don't want drive-by visitors such as come from such exposure. For me, my site is an on-going conversation - has been for the past 11 years.

When you drop in to the middle of a conversation and hear a few words, it's understandable that you don't have the context of everything that has gone before and you probably won't see the discussion and correction that comes after, either. So you react based on what little you know. That might upset me, but I can hardly fault you for that.

I can complain that people make assumptions about my motives, but again, given the limited information you can gain in a fly by visit, what else can you do but assume?

The long, long delay for moderation approval here makes carrying on this sort of conversation very difficult here. I know I may have repeated myself in previous responses, but I don't see them here..


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Sat Jan 3 02:50:18 2009: 5052   BigDumbDInosaur


Good reply and I fully understand your frustration both with the lag separating when a reply is posted at Linux Today and its appearance on the site, and the "drive-by" visitors, who, as you say, experience a virtual sound bite, not the whole conversation.

LT seems to have undergone a number of changes since the new regime took over, some of which I don't particularly like. When I started visiting LT 10-odd years ago, I found it an informative site on this new-fangled operating system that everyone was talking up. Now, I mostly see a fair amount of quasi-political crap in which one or two worthwhile articles are buried.

Also, LT seems to have taken on a mercenary aura. Case in point: the sporadic and highly annoying Flash ads that appear when arriving at the site. Isn't there already enough advertising, for crissakes? It seems that about two-thirds of the screen width is already consumed by advertising, leaving precious little space for useful information.

I still stop by LT from time to time, but mostly I skip it on my daily hit list. I don't like having my time wasted.



Sat Jan 3 03:35:32 2009: 5053   TonyLawrence

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And I've wasted enough time on all this as well.

Enough with the "But I didn't SAY that!". On with something else..



Sat Jan 3 05:07:51 2009: 5054   JohnB


If Linux is ever going to be as accepted as its fans want it to be, I believe they need to stop going down the "anybody who criticized Linux is stupid" road and start helping people with useful suggestions.

Nothing turns me away faster than hostile responses to people have a frustrating experience.

Linux sure has taken great strides since I first started to work with it, but your experience is far from atypical.

Recently I brought up my Ubuntu 6.10 distro after it had sat idle for quite a while. Sure enough, lots up updates available. No problem, go to town. Only, the updates failed because they weren't available on the net (404 errors). That's me, just trying to update my distro using the GUI tools. Both the 6.10 updates failed, and the attempt to upgrade to 7.x failed. Not a good user experience, I would say.

I'm sure any competent person wouldn't have experienced this, though.



Sat Jan 3 05:23:38 2009: 5055   TonyLawrence

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You are right. It especially doesn't help when the attack is instantly personal: I was immediately tagged as "incompetent".

On the other hand, you have to expect this from people who are themselves frustrated by resistance to using Linux. In fact, most home users today COULD get by most of the time without frustration - well, unless they run into an update like yours.

Heck, I get frustrated when people tell me Macs are too expensive. Compared to what? For any reasonable comparison, Macs definitely pack more value than their Windows counterparts.. but then I don't go calling people "stupid" if they don't agree with me :-)

But no doubt they get sick of reading baseless and false condemnations of Linux. See enough of that and it's a sore spot so maybe you start over reacting to all criticism..







Sat Jan 3 05:24:41 2009: 5056   TonyLawrence

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And btw - some folks were simply helpful and friendly.



Sat Jan 3 14:04:44 2009: 5057   kjhambrick


All --

Please give Tony Lawrence a break !

Without his SCO OS5 website, (link)
I don't know how I would ever have ported a number of applications developed for Linux to some of my customer's SCO Machines back in the 1996 - 2003 era ...

With the information Tony freely provided on his web site, I learned about skunkware and how to install bash, GCC, sshd, rsync, perl, gawk and all the other GNU apps I needed to port my Linux bash scripts and C-Programs from Linux to SCO.

Tony pointed me at the tools I needed to make an ugly task almost painless.

Based on his background, I am more than a little inclined to give Tony the benefit of the doubt when it comes to UNIX Configuration and Administration.

As far as the broken clipboard manager, have to agree with Tony. Cut-n-paste needlessly is broken in GNOME. Period.

It all starts with the methodology. Rather than implement the superior X11 cut-n-paste methodology (all done with mouse buttons), GNOME has copied the inferior method employed by MS (requiring a combination of the mouse and Keyboard or right-clicking to bring up an edit menu).

I have neither the time nor the inclination to figure out how to make GNOME work the way it should on an X11 Desktop so I always install both KDE and GNOME on CentOS and I set my default Desktop to KDE so that cut-n-paste works the way god intended.

Moreover, with KDE on CentOS 5.2, Klipper is there in the KDE-Desktop Tray and the Klipper Menu is accessible by default via the [Ctrl]-[Alt]-V Shortcut and it does work for me when I need to grab text from my cut-n-paste history.

Don't get me wrong, KDE is not perfect either ... but it does work better for me as a developer working mostly in an XTerm (Konsole).

-- kjh

(cut-n-pasted from LinuxToday via Klipper, with a minor edit on the Klipper Shortcut)



Sat Jan 3 14:11:02 2009: 5058   TonyLawrence

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ported a number of applications developed for Linux to some of my customer's SCO Machines back in the 1996 - 2003 era ...

Of course now you've ported them back, right?







Sat Jan 3 14:20:28 2009: 5059   TonyLawrence

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BTW, I think the most likely result of mentioning SCO in that thread is just going to be to stir up the hornets.

If any of the hornets land here: this site has been advising and helping folks move OFF SCO to Linux for some time now.. :-)



Sat Jan 3 15:01:04 2009: 5060   kjhambrick


> Tony said ...
>
> Of course now you've ported them back, right?

I personally wish it were possible to have everyone on a Linux Box ... but that ain't ever gonna happen ...

We still have a number of SCO OS 5.0 Sites still running our TBred Basic App.

TBred runs great on Linux but the cost to move the licenses from SCO to Linux is a deal breaker for most of our customers.

My Personal SCO Box is long-dead so I have to rely on a few customer machines for compiling updates to my C-Programs (ouch).

And ironically as those very old machines die, more of them have been willing to buy TBred Licenses for Windows than for Linux (ouch-ouch).

So it's actually gotten more complicated since this all started for me.

Thank God for MSYS / MinGW !

With careful coding, the same scripts and C-Programs I run on Linux will run just fine on SCO and in bash / rxvt on MSYS (do be careful with Fully Qualified File Names :)

Speaking of MinGW, that's a another thread on LinuxToday where the 'purists' just don't seem to get it: (link) ...

Pragmatically yours,

-- kjh (And I did mean it -- your web site has saved my bacon on more than one occasion -- Thank You)



Sat Jan 3 15:11:16 2009: 5061   kjhambrick


> Tony said ...
>
> BTW, I think the most likely result of mentioning SCO in that thread is just going to be to stir up the hornets.
>
> If any of the hornets land here: this site has been advising and helping folks move OFF SCO to Linux for some time now.. :-)

Tony --

Yes, I do know that you've been openly vocal about getting off SCO. The question our customers ask themselves is why spend good money moving a Mission-Critical App that has run perfectly well since 1989 on an old SCO-Box to a new Platform ?

I am sure my mentioning SCO would stir them up if not for the fact that the members of LT seem to lose interest in a thread very quickly -- the LT link to your Article is already 37-hours old -- positively ancient for LT :)

-- kjh



Sat Jan 3 15:46:42 2009: 5062   TonyLawrence

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You can run SCO in a VM - I have a copy running in Fusion on my MBP.



Sat Jan 3 16:05:24 2009: 5063   anonymous


> Tony Said ...
>
> You can run SCO in a VM - I have a copy running in Fusion on my MBP.

Tony --

Have you ever tried to install SCO OS 5.0.x as a VMWare WorkStation 6.0 or 6.5 Guest OS ?

I had a problem with the Buslogic SCSI Controller and gave up without trying very hard to make it work.

Maybe I ought to try a bit harder :)

-- kjh



Sat Jan 3 16:19:24 2009: 5064   BigDumbDinosaur


The question our customers ask themselves is why spend good money moving a Mission-Critical App that has run perfectly well since 1989 on an old SCO-Box to a new Platform ?

Are your customers driving the same automobiles they had in 1989? <Grin>

Interestingly enough, the two clients I still have on OSR5 are there because they run Thoroughbred apps. The cost of purchasing Linux licenses is what is stopping them from getting off SCO entirely. I did move a long-time OSR5/Thoroughbred user over to Linux, despite the sizable cost of a 32 user T'bred license. In the process, I had to "replace" a missing utility that apparently is no longer present in current Linux distros but has shipped with SCO since time immemorial: makekey.






Sat Jan 3 16:50:08 2009: 5065   kjhambrick


> BigDumbDinosaur said ...
>
> Interestingly enough, the two clients I still have on OSR5 are there because they run Thoroughbred apps. The cost of purchasing Linux licenses is what is stopping them from getting off SCO entirely. I did move a long-time OSR5/Thoroughbred user over to Linux, despite the sizable cost of a 32 user T'bred license. In the process, I had to "replace" a missing utility that apparently is no longer present in current Linux distros but has shipped with SCO since time immemorial: makekey.

Oh yeah ! makekey !

I recall doing something similar with the crypt(3) library. I remember an 8-byte limit for the Key with the Salt Appended (or something like that) ...

-- kjh



Sat Jan 3 17:16:24 2009: 5066   TonyLawrence

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I haven't put SCO under Workstation but if you look around here under (link) you might find some hints.

Steggy's makekey is at (link)

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