Why Linux is not (yet) ready for the desktop

Brian Fahrlander wheeldweller at gmail.com
Mon May 25 01:11:56 BST 2009

Jan Claeys wrote:
> Op maandag 18-05-2009 om 18:05 uur [tijdzone +0100], schreef David
> Gerard:
>> The catch comes when system N+1 claims backward compatibility with
>> system N (as Pulse does with ALSA) and fails to deliver in practice
>> (as Pulse does with ALSA).
> If I understand the situation correctly, PulseAudio implements the
> mandatory parts of ALSA, but if applications don't check for some
> optional features before using them they fail.  Those same applications
> also fail on "real" ALSA hardware & drivers that don't implement those
> extra features.
> Of course, from a user POV, that looks like a bug in PulseAudio, while
> the real bug is in the application...
   I honestly don't see why people don't notice these things; maybe it's 
just because I'm a mutant.

   Every system has had the "will they adopt it" phase, while most of 
the recent ones are just foisted upon us.  Then there's the 'some 
distros use it' phase in which it becomes workable, then the 'Everyone 
has it, but it's not perfect" phase where new alternatives come about.

   We're there, now. PulseAudio is the latest in a long line of 
improvements, and it's here  here we need to stay: it has all sorts of 
flexibility, tons of potential, and the code is getting nice and 
stable.  It's the answer to all the previous attempts, and it needs to 
be the one for (at least) the desktop.  No more re-thinks on it, please!

   It didn't take long to decide that Postscript should be the internal 
standard of the printing system, and once the GlibC became an option 
little discussion was needed there, either.  Just let it come; realize 
every new paradigm has bugs and slug it out a bit longer. When it's done 
there won't be a competitor that can touch it, and nothing will be more 

   And as to 'ready for the desktop', understand we're held to a 
different test than Microsoft: "What came with the computer?" was the 
only test that put it there. Viruses and malware costing us billions of 
dollars and enabling the takedown of the US Army, the FBI, and the US 
Marshall's office are just small PARTS of the cost  that has made 
Microsoft "no longer ready for the desktop".

   Anyone telling you different is selling something. NO AMOUNT OF 
"PRETTY" is worth losing $30,000 from your bank and spending years to 
get it back. There's no longer a business case for Microsoft.  Ask 
anyone who's had their lives disrupted.

 Brian Fahrländer                 Christian, Conservative, and Technomad
 Evansville, IN                                                         
 ICQ: 5119262                         AOL/Yahoo/GoogleTalk: WheelDweller

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