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Re: Fedora (Linux) is Destroying it self

On Mon, 2009-05-11 at 15:56 +0200, Michael Nielsen wrote:
> Hi,
> I've been told this is the right place to place this debate starter.
> Not to demean the fine work that has been done in maintaining fedora, 
> however the distribution is slowly killing itself, being destroyed by 
> contradicting philosophies. Many of the problems have been directly 
> copied from the Windows world.
> The main problems are.
> 1. Removal of features - the user interfaces are being dumbed down, like 
> recently I've searched for the ability to remove the "Raise on Click" 
> feature that is default for Gnome MetaCity, there does not appear to be 
> any such feature anymore / argument being to simplify how it works.. 
> Fine, create a simple view and an advanced view for the configuration 
> tools, so that people who are clueless about any other way than the 
> official Redmond way, can avoid being confronted with an alternative.
> 2. The network interfaces are being bound to the user interface, such 
> that if your X fails for some reason, or you are running on a text 
> console, you are unable to open the wireless configuration, at least 
> it's not obvious how you do it, without X running. The configuration for 
> the network interfaces are so tightly bound to the user interface, such 
> that if there is no user interface there are no network interfaces.

This is false.

NetworkManager will read (and write!) system network configuration for
wired & wireless devices, and can bring those devices up before login.
I think what you may be missing is an easy one-command tool to
activate/deactivate those, and that's fairly simple with dbus-send, and
yes, its something that should be written.  But in now way is network
tied to a UI or unusable without a UI.


> 3. Mounts are also embedded into the user interface, rather than in the 
> unix mount system, which means that the shares are not accessible for 
> non-gui programs, for instance, I like to script most thing I do often, 
> however, there is no way for scripts to get a hold of a drive that is 
> mounted through the gui mount system (kde and gnome).
> 4. Everything is thrown in huge collective directories, such as 
> /usr/bin, /usr/lib etc, and it is a huge mess, just like windows with 
> it's system32 directory, which is also a huge mess. really the 
> /usr/bin,/bin/sbin, /lib etc, has very specific purposes, and should 
> represent a core operating system, that is capable of being used as 
> repair, with no major applications present. However even Open office is 
> stored in these directories.
> 5. More and more services are bound up in the userinterface, such as the 
> pulse audio, which is started by the GUI, this means if you use 2 user 
> environments, which I often do for testing, where I have X:0 and X:1 
> running, the GUIs will conflict, because you cannot run two instances of 
> pulseaudio. In addition pulse audio is crap, I have yet to see any 
> installation actually work without crackling, and chopping like crazy. I 
> like the concept that is the basis of pulse audio, but it just does not 
> work.
> 6. NetworkManager which appears to be installed default, does not work 
> with shared drives, because, the NetworkManager is shut down before the 
> network drives are detached, and you need to modify the NetworkManager 
> to start properly, before you mount the network drives. I've gotten used 
> to explicit uninstalling the NetworkManager, because it just doesn't 
> work properly.
> It is a lengthy discussion to describe what i mean.
> However, if I take a sample application like firefox, it presents a 
> reasonable proxy for what I mean.
> currently default installation of firefox on my machine installs firefox 
> in these following places.
> /usr/lib64/firefox
> /usr/lib64/firefox-3.0.7
> /usr/lib/mozilla
> /usr/lib64/mozilla
> /usr/share/mozilla
> /usr/bin/mozilla-plugin-config
> /usr/bin/firefox
> etc.
> All of which are related to the firefox installation. If something goes 
> wrong, it's a real pain to clean it up, or even to detect what went 
> wrong. The original concept for unix was to install an application such 
> as firefox in either, /opt or /usr/local/. Such that the entire 
> application was contained within a single installation directory, and 
> then to use the PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH to allow the execution of the 
> application.
> The standard approach with /opt or /usr/local installation also makes it 
> triviel to have multiple installations, and configurations operating in 
> paralellel, by simply creating.
> /opt/mozilla/firefox -> /opt/mozilla/firefox-3.0.7
> /opt/mozilla/firefox-3.0.7
> /opt/mozilla/firefox-2.0.9
> A user can then easily conifgure their account to use either version of 
> the application, without installation problems.
> Additionally using that installation method, also means that if someone 
> wants to use a newer version of an application, they can download the 
> source, and trivially install it in parallel to the package managed 
> application, by using the --prefix option, and the installation can 
> easily be removed, by simple rm -rf /opt/mozilla/firefox-3.0.7.
> With the current installation, it is nearly impossible, or at least very 
> difficult to find out if the package manager has cleaned up properly, or 
> if there is something left behind - something which is identicial to the 
> problem on windows.
> A UNIX based system is intended to have everything accessible through 
> standard accesses, such as the file system, and the network, however, 
> the current trend in moving away from having the system control things 
> (which I can see is easier), breaks with the ability of scripting.
> If this tendency keeps going, Linux is going to become a useless 
> mismatch of junk, that no one can really use for anything but a toy.
> In my opinion, the trend has been visible for about a decade, but it has 
> really gone downhill from about rethat 7/8.. though in Fedora 8, 
> everything worked fine on most machines that I installed on, apart from 
> some obscure drivers, however, since Fedora 8, i've yet to have a system 
> where the audio works properly, and with Fedora 10, the kernel Ooopses 
> so often it's not funny, on quite a few of my machines, to such a degree 
> that I'm recommending that people do not upgrade past Fedora 8, and I'm 
> considering dropping the Fedora line of Linux, because it is becoming 
> just too messy, and clumsy.
> The divergence between the "GUI" focused approach, and the "Server" 
> approach is not good for Linux, as it means there will be a fork, which 
> will be incompatible. There really isn't a good reason for this split.
> I am wondering is anyone else concerned about, what in my opinion, is 
> the copying of the mistakes that Microsoft made with windows, to the 
> Linux environment.
> IMO it is really badly time to do a "back-to-basics" approach, and to 
> clean up the system.
> I'm really curious as to the reasoning for moving everything from the 
> standard configuration mechanisms to the gui layer, breaking 
> compatibility with scripting, and other standard UNIX featuers..   I'm 
> also curious as to the reasoning for throwing everything in one huge 
> mess in the /usr/bin, /bin, /sbin, etc..   As all that is achieved is to 
> make it hard to strip the system back to a minimal setup.
> regards
>   mike.

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