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> ...hardware designed from the ground up to be developed on, open systems so that folks can easily work with it, and a team dedicated to making sure integration and support is there so that folks like you and I can say "Hey this audio doesn't work when you set the sampling rate to 40Khz" and they can fix it and release that fix...

Why would that not describe any major Linux distro?




"Why would that not describe any major Linux distro?"

Because Linux distros don't build or spec hardware. A hardware company can make a platform that is 100% supported by a software distribution, but it is currently impossible for a software distribution to be 100% compatible with a HW platform which won't release details of its implementation. One of the things I like about the OLPC XO-1 was that everything was documented. Very cool that.

Trendy example, look at the Raspberry Pi. Now look at the graphics blob, now back at the Raspberry Pi. Can't get there from here. So there is an opportunity.


OK sure, but change the statement to "...any major Linux distro on any major hardware system" and it seems on the money to me. The only place I think Linux is lagging is graphics cards.


In my experience (and I use Linux at home (Ubuntu 12.x) and at work CenTos) Linux is lagging on Graphics cards, wireless support, USB peripherals, file system stability, disk i/o scheduling, user interface tools, network printing, and document preparation. But other than that, its right up there with MacOS and Windows.

Hmm, that sounds a bit snarky. I wasn't going for snark, that is a list of things that I run into at least one of them and often more every week. My latest was trying to get some sort of drawing tablet support out of Wacom for Linux. They point you here: http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/linuxwacom/index.php?t... What is wrong with that picture?


It's a chicken and egg problem. Hardware manufacturers won't provide documentation or drivers for Linux because there's not that big user base, and there's no big user base, because most hardware won't work with Linux... although, I have to find the first piece of hardware that didn't work with Ubuntu on bootup, but maybe it is just me because I buy hardware that after some investigation (googling for 10 minutes) I know will work with Linux. It's really easy.


But in regards to hardware support, the only reason that's really an issue is because people want widespread compatibility. You don't need to start a whole new company to design entirely new hardware; just pick your components with a little care.


As someone who's spent a lot of time debugging its custom hardware, that's absolutely not true about the OLPC XO-1: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=719048


Because major Linux distros and the upstream developers like to ignore or mock use cases that deviate from their "brand identity" (witness https://igurublog.wordpress.com/2012/11/05/gnome-et-al-rotti... which recently saw the HN front page).


The difference is that if you do not like the desktop on most Linux distros, you can go into the package manager, install another desktop, and then log out and back into that one.


You are both right of course. But in being so right we can see the problem. If I am a third party software package and I try to install I have to know all the possible window systems you may, or may not, have running. And it gets worse for me if I only support one since there will be vocal anti-support for any version I pick.

I really disliked the Windows95 window system which I was thrust into when I left Sun for a startup. But over time I learned its quirks so that I could get stuff done in spite of it and eventually came to appreciate what the developers were going for when they shipped it.

But had there been any way to go back to something like the Sun desktop when I first encountered it, I would have in a heartbeat. The change interfered with my productivity.

Linux gives you that chance, you can stick with what ever window system you want as long as your willing to recompile from source if it stops getting maintained. And maintain all of the packages that go with it, and maintain all of the utilities that adjust it, and maintain all of those 'throwaway' apps that you use from time to time. It wears on one to do so.


> If I am a third party software package and I try to install I have to know all the possible window systems you may, or may not, have running. And it gets worse for me if I only support one since there will be vocal anti-support for any version I pick.

Most software packages do not need to know what window system you are using, and when they do, it is almost always for non critical conveinces in OS integration.

>Linux gives you that chance, you can stick with what ever window system you want as long as your willing to recompile from source if it stops getting maintained. And maintain all of the packages that go with it, and maintain all of the utilities that adjust it, and maintain all of those 'throwaway' apps that you use from time to time. It wears on one to do so.

That rarely happens with popular software. The most common thing to have happen is your preffered distribution swithces window systems, in which case the actual maintainer of the system will continue to maintain it. Or in the case of Gnome, the old version will get forked and maintained by another group. The only time the problem you describe will happen is if the developers of the window system abandon it, and it is not a highly popular system. This is far less frequent than the OS maintainer deciding that the software is not the one true way.




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