Fedora and the System Administrator -- Linux developers can't solve political issues ...

Bryan J. Smith b.j.smith at ieee.org
Fri Oct 3 12:56:38 UTC 2003

On Fri, 2003-10-03 at 07:20, Edward Croft wrote:
> Yes, I knew BlueCurve was a theme, but there was also writeups that they
> did stuff to kde and gnome that ended up breaking some things in kde. I
> probably didn't explain it properly. As I said to Brian, I think it was,
> I was tired and frustrated when I wrote that and frankly ranting. Let me
> clarify, when I first installed RH8 with BlueCurve, I was a bit put off.
> But then again, RH always defaulted to Gnome. I was always able to
> switch to kde and it would look like kde. With the advent of the
> thhhheeeemmmmmeeee BlueCurve, when I switched to kde it still looked the
> same. It apppppeeeeeaaaarrrrreeeed, that you were stuck with BlueCurve
> look and feel.

I don't fault Ed on anything here, there was a lot of complaining on
BlueCurve, and that's just what he heard.  I chaulk it all up to "you
can't please everyone," because Red Hat was targeting the "non-Linux
user" who often heard the bigotry of "Linux needs a single interface."

Here's the basic bullet points on why people said what they did:  

1)  Red Hat is _clearly_ a GNOME-centric company.  Unintentionally this
causes Red Hat to make GNOME-oriented choices.

2)  One Red Hat staffer who supported a lot of the KDE stuff resigned
over various details (not related to BlueCurve).  Many people then
proliferated that he resigned over BlueCurve.  I don't know the details
myself, but this is what was relayed to me 2nd hand.

3)  Many of the default applications for _both_ platforms were GNOME. 
E.g., the default web browser for KDE was Mozilla, not Konqueror.  I
could see why KDE would get a little "disturbed at that."

4)  You _could_easily_ reset everything "back to defaults."  But many
people found it even easier just to "bitch" instead of doing that. 

In a nutshell Ed, Red Hat gets a lot of flak it doesn't deserve.  Yes,
they make choices that make some people upset.  And they _are_ clearly
"GNOME-biased," but it's unintentional.

You always have other choices though.

> I had also heard that people had problems if they
> attempted to load kde 3 on RH 8, so I didn't bother and learned to adapt
> to the look and feel with BlueCurve.

People have problems upgrading to the latest versions of GNOME, KDE,
etc... all the time.

> but I was going through a divorce, lost my home, then lost my job, and
> a multitude of other things that left futzing with a desktop manager a
> very low priority.

Yeah, the last thing you wanted was "more change."  Understand totally. 

> would like it if installing software was as easy and as supported as
> on Windows.

Try to install _two_ different versions of MS Office on the same Windows

Where people see "hard to install" with regard to Linux, I see "DLL
hell" with regards to Windows.

So what is it?  Easy installing or DLL hell because the platform does
_not_ have dependency checking?

There's no win-win situation, although apt-rpm is getting pretty damn

> but I still have trouble when I go to a music site and can't get
> realplayer to work right.

Whoa!  Time out.  That is _not_ a Linux issue!  That's a site/vendor
issue!  Linux developers can do _little_ about that.

Next you'll be blaming Linux for unsupported hardware.

If you start blaming Linux developers for clearly 100% site/vendor
issues, then there is no way to please you.

You have to ask Linux developers for things they _can_ do.

> I even tried Crossover Plugin, and that didn't work just right.

Emulation never truly "works right."

> On Windows, you download and run and it works.

And that's because of vendor alliances and other business dealings.

Yep, sure, that's the fault of Linux developers.  Yep.

> Okay, so the operating system has major problems, but
> most things work out of the box. I don't have to go looking up how to
> install drivers for webcams, scanners, et al.

Damn I'm good!  [ I knew you would come here ]

> Okay, so I have an oddball scanner that was only supported under 98,

Exactomundo.  Now put it together ...

- I can only view something on one OS
- Hardware is tied to only one OS

Hmmm, that means that I have to get my OS and hardware from select
vendors!  And I have to upgrade my hardware _every_ time I upgrade my
OS.  And my OS vendor forces me to upgrade my OS!

Wow!  Maybe there's some things going on that _force_ you into this

Let's blame it on the Linux developers for not "giving me a way out" of
my vendor lock-in.

> but hey. I figure, if I am an RHCE, it all should be easy for me,
> but it isn't.

Because Linux developers can do _nothing_ about the problems you have

> I just about aced that test, but still can't get music to play at a
> website. If I want to play a DVD on my PC then I have to go and get
> plugins for the software because the system doesn't come with it
> because of licensing. 

Exactomundo.  [ At least you get that part ;-]

> Anyway, don't get me wrong, I am a supporter of RHL. I use it both at
> work and at home. It just gets frustrating sometimes when things aren't
> the way you expect them to be. 
> Okay, still tired, still running my mouth. Getting a cup of joe and
> shutting up now. 

Well, I see your points.  I hope you see mine in return.  ;-ppp

> Ed (under the gun all the time) Croft, RHCE

Bryan J. Smith, E.I.  mailto:b.j.smith at ieee.org  http://thebs.org

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