Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (5130 mails)

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Re: [SLE] RANT: Advantages of Dual Core
  • From: Per Jessen <per@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 28 May 2006 20:11:34 +0200
  • Message-id: <e5cp4m$jv9$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Orn E. Hansen wrote:

> Most of the time I avoid doing too much to my system, there are a
> few reasons why.
>
> 1. To me, an OS should be a stable core on which I build something
> else. I've always find Linux somewhat a Rock and a Hard place,
> because the updates to the core are far too often.

I guess it's time to get a little philosophical :-)

A Linux distro is a bundling of an OS, a GUI and a whole pile of
applications with an incredibly wide scope.

Personally I think of the OS as the kernel, the modules and system
utilities (e.g. modprobe), plus the minimal set of utilities and
libraries that enable it to run applications, plus the networking
stack. And that really doesn't change that much unless you want it to
e.g. to get support for the latest fantastic Wifi interface.

The GUI is KDE (for me), all the X-stuff, the artwork and all that
jazz. Again, unless you want to be right at the bleeding edge, it
doesn't change much.

The applications, mostly due to the vast numbers, change much more
often.

For SUSE 10.1, I've been quite active in the beta-tests and I had a few
systems that changed a lot every two weeks. Apart from that
exceptional exercise, I've kept my systems on mostly 9.0, some 8.2 and
even a single one at 7.1. They've required quite a few applications
updates, and because I like to, I've also been keeping up with the
kernel releases.

As to "avoiding doing too much to your system", I fully agree, but at
installation time you _do_ determine what you want your system to do and
look like. You choose between thousands of packages, you choose the
GUI etc. SO at that time, you already do a LOT to your system.

The key thing is that there is no single Linux distro that could
possibly cater to all of its users equally well. Therefore, unlike
certain OS'es and GUI'es from certain wellknown vendors, you get a wide
choice in customising your system. Linux is the diametrically opposite
of "one size fits all", although a distro vendor will need to achieve
some level of that.

> 2. A desktop system, should be setup for users who use it for other
> purposes than tweaking the OS for optimal personal use.

Agree. But SUSE Linux is not and does not purport to be just a desktop
system. I could perhaps be tempted to rant about lack of JFS install
support, that smartd isn't started by default, that NTP isn't running
by default, that samba is always installed, but ...

> Linux isn't Unix, and it isn't a batch OS ... batch operating isn't
> cool stuff,

You're somehow hung up about this batch stuff and UNIX. Linux does
quite well processing batch-type workloads, whether or not it's a batch
OS. Even IBMs z/OS, perhaps _the_ archetypical batch OS, does very
well in running OLTP systems.

As to Linux not being UNIX - who really cares?

> A computer is a tool, you don't get yourself a toolbox ... just to
> have a toolbox, you get it to eventually use it create something else.
> Some of that stuff need to be done, but when doing it "now" means
> someone has to take a lunch break from their work, that's an "oobs" to
> me.

You've decided to use a tool that was not custom-designed for your
intended purpose - and you complain that you need to tweak it a bit?
Frankly, that's a bit of an ooops to me.

> On a desktop computer, there are a few things that don't need
> prioritation, and there are those that do. A computer doesn't have to
> react to the user, more quickly than the user does in human terms.
> But a computer, where a user has to wait for the interface ... and on
> a system, that has time and time again, stated it's "faster than
> windows", "better than windows", "fancier than windows" ... makes it
> neither funny, nor impressive.

It does to me. In my shop, SUSE Linux is both faster and better than
Windows - not sure what I'm to do with "fancier", but it's a lot
cheaper too. That's pretty impressive.

> It's not a reasonable thing, to demand that some user "tweaks" his
> system, to get rid of the slowness

But it is reasonable to make me tweak my system to have it use NTP? Or
connect to a VPN?

> ... it's reasonable to say that the users who know what they're doing,
> change the system, to make it slow to obtain some other purpose. The
> default should be user friendly, not geek friendly.

Well, define "user" then. My typical user is an employee that uses a
workstation from 0800 to 1700. Or perhap a salesman with a laptop on
the road all day.

What you're asking is utopia.


/Per Jessen, Z├╝rich


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