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Re: Fedora (Linux) is Destroying it self

Michael Nielsen wrote:
> I've been setting up my own window managers for years, and I tend to do
> so, however, it would be really nice
> if one was able to use the work that others had done, such as the menu
> system, etc that gnome, and
> KDE uses, however, I do not like the default click-to-front, that I used
> to be able to simply disable,
> however this feature is no longer trivial to find,  initially I could
> still load a useful windowmanager,
> and thereby replace the underlying window manager in Gnome, nor KDE for
> that matter.
> I prefer other window managers, such as enlightenment, fwm, etc, I've
> used quite a lot of
> different ones in my time.
> However, it is getting rather annoying having to manually update the
> custom desktop environment
> to follow a moving target, thus it would be preferable to be able to
> follow one of the maintained
> ones, however, as I pointed out, their features are being eroded, and
> basic functions are being
> removed.

KDE offers that option under "Window properties" in System Settings as it
always did and there are no plans to remove it.

Please do not generalize your complaints about GNOME to desktop environments
which have nothing to do with them, and I'd suggest trying out KDE.

> I find it frustrating to see that Linux is forking at this level, because
> it means that someone who is not a Power user (or command line freak
> which I'm often
> catagorised as), will have more difficulty in setting up a simple web
> server, because the
> network configuration is personal if you use the applet approach.,  Thus
> the person will discover that
> once they log off, their system is no longer online, and their webserver
> doesn't work.

NetworkManager now supports systemwide settings.

> For-instance Gnome there is the administration Network configuration,
> which appears to do what
> I'm asking, and there is the network applet configuration, which does
> not update
> the configuration files - at least I've been unable to detect the
> changes.   So you
> have two views, that in principle does the exact same thing, and yet,
> one is a system
> wide configuration, the other is a local user related change.  This
> bound to be
> confusing to people.

The latest NetworkManager in F11 allows setting up systemwide settings from
the same UI which also handles per-user settings.

> I'm not complaining I'm pointing out a problem in the system, the
> current "design"
> (as you call it), prevents the management of multiple versions of an
> application,
> as they will conflict in the package manager

That's because it just doesn't make sense. You're expected to have one
up-to-date version of the application, not dozens of old ones.

> and unfortunately it is often necessary to have 32 bit compatibility
> installed. 

For libraries maybe, but for applications, no. (If you're talking about
browsers, that's what nspluginwrapper is for. And the common plugins (even
the proprietary ones) even have native 64-bit versions available now.)

> Most ordinary users would give up on running Skype on Linux

How's that a bad thing? Death to proprietary software! Everything which
discourages using it is a good thing. Especially Skype which spreads like a
virus due to the social networking effect (the "all my friends use it"
effect). By using Skype, not only are you hurting yourself with proprietary
software, but you're also enticing all your friends to install or keep
using proprietary software, it's just plain evil.

>>> 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.
>> Again, you're a power user. Reorder your shutdown sequence.
> Again, Yes I can, and I do, but what about less experienced users ?
> Are we not
> trying to get Linux to be mainstream ?

"Less experienced", "mainstream" users do not use shared network drives on
their self-administered machines. They may be using them at their place of
work or study, but in that case it's the job of that place's experienced
sysadmin to set them up. Home networks with shared drives containing
essential parts of the system (and home directories are part of that) are
something only power users use. Mainstream users usually only have one
computer, and those more advanced ones who do have more than one computer
copy files to another computer by emailing them to themselves or using a
USB stick. (I personally use SFTP, which also doesn't suffer from the
issues you describe, but I also consider myself a "power user".)

> I need Firefox-2.0 installed, and Firefox-3.0 installed, hmm, they
> conflict, in the package manager.

That's normal. You should use only the latest version.

Even if you're doing web development, it makes no sense to still target
Firefox 2: Window$ users still on Firefox 2 get prompted to upgrade to
Firefox 3 for "important security updates" by Firefox itself (I've seen
that prompt on a Window$ machine, it doesn't even say it's a major version
upgrade), GNU/Linux users get a current version from their distribution
(e.g. all supported Fedora releases have Firefox 3.0, F11 will even ship
with 3.5 beta). Better test compatibility across browsers (you can easily
test Konqueror (KHTML), Arora (QtWebKit) and Midori (WebKit-GTK+) in
Fedora) instead of bothering with obsolete versions of Firefox!

> The problem as I see it, is that Fedora has decided that everything is
> an integral part of the operating system, which is creating the mess I'm
> trying to describe.

This is a feature, and in fact what makes GNU/Linux so great. Everything is
available in a few clicks (or a 3-word command) from the repository.

> Relying on Yum and RPM to do all the work, will eventually cause the
> same "Sanding up" of the operating system, that you can see on windows, in
> that not everyone cleans up properly, and eventually junk is left all over
> the place, rather than isolated.

This is complete nonsense. The whole point of RPM is that it keeps track of
everything which is installed in its database, so you CANNOT end up with
junk left behind, uninstalling a package reliably removes all the files the
package installed (well, except configuration in user home directories, but
that's a feature, you'll want the configuration back if you reinstall the
app later! And the "one directory per app" approach also doesn't address
per-user configuration).

The way you end up with "junk left all over the place" is by installing
software from source as you're doing. Even if you use a per-package prefix,
some stuff still installs things into /usr to achieve proper system
integration, e.g. menu entries etc. A modern GUI OS is an integrated whole,
not a bunch of apps which are not found in any menu, are not associated to
any file type etc. As for command-line stuff, it also makes a lot of sense
to have that all in /usr/bin, otherwise you end up with a mess like Window$
where you have to add an entry to the PATH for every single command-line
app you install and you end up with dozens of directories in your PATH (and
it would be hundreds in a *nix system where there's a lot more command-line

        Kevin Kofler

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