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fmf-frequently missed features and some general thoughts...



maybe i'm running-in open doors here and those issues are already
getting adressed, but the following are the unadressed issues of rh9,
the ones frequently getting stumbled over by me and people i know using
rh9 (or linux in general):

1. not having the possibility in mixed networks of accessing/streaming
all kinds of files on windows-pcs without the necessity of having to
download them first.
ximian xd2 makes it at least possible to open docs, and afaik lindows 4
even allows streaming.
also, the log-in-window which pops up every time i want to access a
windows-pc even if it has no restriction at all is simply annoying. even
in case the win-pc has a password, it should be sufficient to type it in
just once, so that it gets stored, logs in automatically and just asks
again when and if a password has changed.

2. default integration of xmms (for audio) and an videoplayer (gxine or
totem) into browsers (at least mozilla, galeon/epi). gxine is already
working with mozilla and galeon, is usable, but is still slow opening
streams as well as not being able to play streams from cache, so if you
want to view for example a huge trailer twice, it needs to download it
again.
also, development on gxine seems to have stopped since a few months,
maybe in favour of totem?!

3. red hat's (legal) position regarding shipping xmms without the
mp3-plug is understandable, however, would it be technically as well as
legally possible to write a script or modify xmms in a way (i'm not a
programmer) so that it fetches the mp3-plug automatically when it is
started for the first time?

4. rh9.x should ship with flash-, java- and whatever plug-in already
installed in browsers, because, if i remember correctly, it's just
possible to install those plugs via mozilla when you are logged-on to
gnome as root (this might have changed in the last versions, don't know
exactly). maybe even j2re installed by default would be a good idea (if
legally possible), so no hassles for the newbie anymore (also, it's
quite frustrating from a newbie's perspective if one of the first things
you're trying-out doesn't work for no apparent reason, it sheds a dark
light on linux, leaves a bitter taste, might create frustration).

5. installing programs under linux is still not as easy as it is under
windows, and this seems to be one of the steepest hurdles for newbies to
overcome (finding the right software for ones purposes under the
plethora of os-software with often cryptic names, solving deps
manually). i've seen that yum might get included into rh 9.x which would
be good (btw, why not apt4rpm?) and that there are thoughts about
unifying the various softwarechannels and -reps, but imo rh9 suffers
from the lack of an integrated "softwarecenter", which would include
installation (automatic solving of dependencies), updating and removing
of all rpm-based software under one clear and easy-to-understand gui
(similar to ximian's red carpet), as well as a description what the
resp. program does.
also, from what i understood, mike hearn's autpackage-project seems like
a very good idea from a user's perpective, and maybe it should be
supported in one way or another, at least included when it's ready?

6. the quality of printing is still not as good as under osx or windows,
but i guess this is not in the hands of the distributions, but in those
of the printervendors (i also haven't myself made familiar with the
advanced options of printing under linux, so i can only talk about
default)?

again, all those issues might be already known and worked on, but from
outside, it's hard to tell. sometimes one gets the impression that the
distributed development of linux (or gnu/linux) shared between various
projects favours that people are specialising on their respective
fields, and that _functional_(from a user's perspective) integration
between the various pieces gets not the attention (or priority) it
deserves. 
at least i (and the people i know) would prefer not having the latest
"ingredients" in the next release(s) (except kernel 2.6 which is really
a big step forward), but having the issues mentioned above adressed
(faster) instead.

especially to prevent companies like lindows (which seems, according to
the latest raving reviews, to be very good at adressing these issues,
though i don't like it at all) to take over the desktop of the average
homeuser (who just wants to use his pc without getting involved in the
technical details), it would be nice seeing red hat (and the other big
distris) putting (even) more emphasis on exactly that kind of
consolidation!
one might say that red hat targets a different, more "educated"
audience, however, imo it wouldn't be wise to leave (the much bigger)
part of the desktopmarket over to lindows etc.which are obviously seeing
a valid business targeting it (as far as i understood, red hat has
stopped to distribute boxed versions, trying to sell or distribute it
included in magazines, over the internet etc. so if someone-while
searching for an alternative to microsoft-gets a copy, installs it and
finds it to work flawlessly right out-of-the-box, chance is good that he
might subscribe to rhn!).

again, those comments are being made from an ordinary users perspective,
and are meant in a constructive manner!





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