Thursday, December 27, 2012

Linux Still Sucks

Unfortunately Linux still sucks.

It sucks mostly because the fanboys that run the installers are unable to see things from the user perspectives.  Gnome 3 is an exmaple of this, but two more have to do with MP3 and Java.

Fedora, my usual distro, won't ship with MP3 binaries.  You have to go through a rather convoluted process to get it working.   It does ship with openJDK, but openJDK sucks sick donkey ass.   The 8% or so that's different enough between OpenJDK and Oracle / Sun JDK are enough to cause you hours and hours of troubleshooting problems.  However, it's nearly impossible to install any of the tools you might want to use if you are a java developer without it.

They need to give you at least a script and remove the dependencies on it.

Another example.  So I install Fedora 17 on an old HP laptop.  It seems to recognize the wireless chip/adapter just fine, installing the b43 driver (for Broadcom 43xx series).  I think, all is well and good, but try as I might I can't get the wireless connection to work.  So I start doing some Google searches.  I spend literally 6 hours trying detailed instructions from a variety of websites until I stumble upon a page devoted to Linux Wireless problems.  After a complete re-installation, and careful reading of the instructions here I finally get a working wireless connection.  The issue here is of documentation, and information.  The installation knew it wasn't complete, but never ever did I get a message telling me so, or telling me where to go to fix it.  This was yet another issue caused by the Fedora Fanboys refusing to ship commercial, or non-free license software, but at the same time not helping the user to understand where to go next.  

I would rather pay $10 to have binary licenses to stupid things like the MP3 players and working wireless drivers built in than have a completely free OS that takes me hours to install for a desktop.

I would even love to see an "app store" for these issues.  $5 for Broadcomm wirless, $3 for MP3 support, sure no problem.   $2 to have Oracle Java correctly and permanently installed, crap, I'd pay $20, reimbursement or not.