|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [Hardhats-members] Mac,m Linux, CrossOver and stuff (was: Open
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Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Re: [Hardhats-members] Mac,m Linux, CrossOver and stuff (was: Open
source and accessibility)
From: Ruben Safir
Organization: Brooklyn Linux Solutions
X-Mailer: Ximian Evolution 1.4.4
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 19:13:26 -0500
On Tue, 2006-03-21 at 16:59, Jon Parshall wrote:
> I'm not a GNU zealot, or Linux zealot, or an anything kind of
> zealot. I'm a businessman. And for the last five years CodeWeavers has run
> a nice little business based on nothing but generated cashflow from our
> products, and no venture funding, which is a damn sight more than just about
> any other Linux business I can think of can say. So, we may be dumb, but
> we're at least making (some) money.
I'm still not being bated into this side discussion. I'm not that
interested if codeweavers made money or not, or does it establish
expertise in the area of desktop design and usage.
I will say, however, that I have many friends, associates and even
people I'm not so friendly with who have made money in the Free Software
> Yeah, but "slickness" or "style" or "gotta have it" also sells a lot of
ipods have no desktop. But for the record, it was more of Apple's
financial resources to put the RIAA in line which made the IPOD happen
than any design. Otherwise, the IPOD would have went down the way of
> > I've never been an advocate of WINE as a project. Programs designed for
> > the Windows Operating System and environment are always missing key
> > desktop features do to the limitations imposed by Microsoft on Windows.
> > It is, IMO, a waste of time and resources to invest in porting over
> > Windows programs, which are fundamentally broken in key ways, to a
> > system based on GNU software because the GNU systems offers a much
> > richer selection of desktop and operating system features.
> Whatever. Yeah, I'm being openly dismissive.
I'm not being openly dismissive of it. Without getting into the tar pit
of W32 on GNU, I gave you specific reasons why I'm not a fan of WINE.
And I'm certainly not alone in this regard.
> What they *want* is
> for their horribly broken application to work the same way, because they're
> used to it, and it gets their jobs done.
There are many applications that "get it done." A SuSE distro right off
the rack gets it done.
I classify this argument as simple, "All innovation is dead and the
customers want it that way".
I disagree. New markets are created every day and certainly products
that are familiar today, five years ago were radically different. Every
version of a software upgrade requires new training. Training on many
products is a continual and constant change.
It seems that in this market, the only company which has invested in the
marketing of new products and designs without flinching is surprisingly
enough Microsoft. With every major roll out they put out all the Shish
Boom Bah stuff necessary to gain the user base and invest in the
training to get it done. These products are clearly not easy to use. I
have the Video Doctor on TV every night pushing his product to teach you
those vital "Computer Skills" you need to become "Computer Literate".
So evidently these products are not easy to use, nor are they intuitive.
They are also prone to worms, crashing, problems with virtual memory,
licensing lock ins, cutting and pasting, networking and confusing
There exists in todays market a real opportunity to market a better way.
But again, this is not the topic we are discussing.
> So you can look down your nose at
> Excel, or whatever, and you're certainly allowed to educate and elucidate
> and whatnot about those limitations all you want. But the fact remains that
> what CodeWeavers does is practical, immediate, non-dogmatic, and solves a
> real problem for end-users. If it didn't, we wouldn't make any money.
CodeWeavers certainly has more than its share of dogmatic limitations,
but that is not the issue we are discussing either,
> > Even the simple things, like cut and paste, become like pulling teeth in
> > these environments. Its always been my opinion that rather than going
> > feature for feature for Windows programs, that it is better to make a
> > native GNU program that leverages the unique properties of Free Software
> > including the X windows application server. Many of the features
> > designed in these Microsoft based programs have hugely inefficient
> > chunks of code designed to get around the programs of operating on that
> > environment in the first place. Running these programs on WINE, IMO,
> > makes even less sense.
> Again, whatever. You're allowed to make all the superior GNU programs you
> want, of course. But no one will run them.
Actually, people DO run them, even office workers, government workers,
students, even some people on this list. Its pretty Ivory Tower to
claim that no one is using GNU desktops. That is ***obviously***
> It's a chicken and egg problem.
> No Linux apps = no one using Linux. And no one using Linux means that no
> commercial developers are creating native Linux apps. Hence, Linux market
> share crawls along, and grows only slowly.
When removing all the unnecessary rhetoric you make a valid point here
that without certain applications, GNU Desktop growth has a hurdle to
climb over. Your statement that there is no "Linux" software is
obviously unfounded. But there is a large reward awaiting the first
company which actually figures out that it need market GNU aggressively
the way that MS does, and in addition builds uniquely GNU superior
applications with the real power of X11R6, GTK, native TCP/IP, real
development tools and Unix plug ins, and liberal licensing. Perhaps
they will then advertise their truly modern system with a grey scale
commercial played at the Superbowl with a naked man running up a flight
of stairs and smashing a Big Green Apple! with a red MS over it.
Then - across the screen - GNU-SOFT - Because Freedom is Profit!
Good stuff ! Right!
> But folks like Adobe and so on won't
> go there until there's a market. It's as simple as that.
Adobe won't go there because Adobe puts programmers in jail.
> > Here you make excellent points that I agree with. The problem in
> > promoting the GNU desktops is ***BINGO*** vertical applications for
> > integrated business solutions.
> Exactly, for the reasons stated above.
I don't think WINE is a solution. Otherwise there would be a greater
penetration in corporate offices of GNU systems, MS would have purchased
CodeWeavers already, and we would have had a relatively native version
of MS Office already.
Recognizing that the GNU Desktop is ready now is a better solution.
See, as a GNU user, I'm not interested if any particular company is
making money or not. I'm just interested in good and powerful products
for GNU systems.
> > Its very frustrating and I've seen
> > company after company blow big time business opportunities because they
> > haven't used the resources that they have to promote the development of
> > such vertical appliances in Law, Accounting, Pharmacy, Publishing, cash
> > Registers, and dozens of other markets. What is weird about this is
> > that this was the meat and potatoes of SCO's business model until they
> > committed virtual business suicide. Businesses are taking the short
> > term profitability route by making their server apps and client apps for
> > W32. Its a mistake, one that Borland has learned the hard way.
> But again, when you look at the development costs associated with cranking
> out a native port, and there's maybe a 1% market share out there to recoup
> that cost against, can you really blame a commercial software vendor for
> *not* taking that route?
GNU is more that %1 market share now. To my knowledge, GNU systems
(leading with Linux Kernel based systems) are already the second largest
installed desktop systems now, ahead of Apple.
Siemans was predicting a %20 share on 2008
I suggest you take a look at this article as well from a MS oriented
This guy is 100% correct. GNU desktops are as ready as the businesses
with investments in GNU computers make them. But their superior
features and usability are technically there ***now***. In fact, the
desktop has been superior since probably W95.
> > But in terms of the Desktop and its usability, there is no more advanced
> > and usable system as a GNU based X Windows desktop. Nothing comes
> > close. Not only is it ready, its been ready from the days that Macs
> > lost their file system and Windows was still running in 16 bits on DOS
> > 6.
> Sure. *Technically* you're absolutely right.
Nue? So why promote disinformation by saying things like GNU/Linux is
not ready for the desktop?
> But this has nothing to do
> with technology, and *everything* to do with marketing and legacy installed
> > This is of course a perception which your talking about. The key to
> > changing perception, more so that a good product, is a good sales force
> > and an always "On", always there marketing message.
> Absolutely. And if I wasn't a small company running off of generated
> cashflow, I'd have the bucks for a salesforce like that. But I'm not and I
> don't. And frankly, even the big boys like Novell and IBM and Sun, which
> *do* have that sort of muscle, aren't having that much luck changing
> perceptions. Why?
Because their not trying. I've TALKED with the heads of IBM's technical
and marketing people, as well as Novels. In the case of Novel, I think
they're completely lost in a power struggle of the company and when they
get done, SuSE and Ximian might be the only thing left standing. But as
of now, their sales people and corporate folks seem to not be trained in
fundamentals of the desktop systems that they seemingly invested so much
In the case of IBM, they are targeted on Main Frame Sales and server
consulting services. In their view, a spoiling fight over desktop
dominance is something that they feel they don't do well. I love and
know people in both these companies, but that is a huge error on their
I think the threat to turn over all of IBM's internal systems is an
interesting experiment on their part to see just what they can engineer
and achieve. We'll see what happens.
> In my humble opinion, it's because they don't have a
> practical bridge with which to migrate people.
Thats not it at all. That is just incorrect speculation.
> With IBM, they say, "Well,
> migrating is no problem; we'll just rip out *all* your old apps and redeploy
> them via Websphere." As *if.* Basically, the reason they don't have a
> practical bridge is because they don't take Wine seriously enough. That's
> what I say. Humbly, of course. ;-)
They don't need a "bridge". What they need an aggressive marketing
campaign and an huge investment in vertical markets where they do like
MS and bribe software vendors to switch to GNU systems through a
> > Hardly. wmaker is a piece of cake to configure and use. Even my
> > Ex-Wife does this. Here is a picture of the Ubergeeks in my family
> > using a GNU Desktop!
> > http://www.mrbrklyn.com/purim_2006/crossfire/dsc00162.jpg
> *Sweet* headgear! ;-)
Not available on thinkgeek.com
> > > You portray a desktop manager is something
> > > optional.
> > That is the DESKTOP MANAGER, not the windows manager.
> My bad, you're right.
> > Thats a training issue. Most literate people would prefer to work both
> > in terminals and in a clicking environment together, using either or
> > both as needed.
> Which is what I do, actually. I'm not totally stupid, just *mostly* stupid.
> I'm literate, too, actually, but the subject of my book probably wouldn't
> interest you.
I never thought you were. I am not one to underestimate people. My
problem is dragging people to be the full "themselves" that they can be.
> > > In many cases, you have to fiddle to make them go. And my
> > > personal kitbag of "Linux installation tricks" is rather
> > > limited, and for most real human beings it's even smaller.
> > > Hardware detection is still slicker in the other OS environments.
> > > At least that's my perception.
There is that word slick again....
I just want my hardware to work. With GNU I have to be careful about
what I buy. With my old clients on W32, they have to be careful as
well, but they don't know that until plug an prey fails and their system
is trashed by the new DLLS applied by the new drivers.
> > And how do you understand your hardware on the other OSs? At least on
> > GNU you can always cat /proc when all else fails.
> Or I could if I knew what that was. But I'm *mostly* stupid,
We've already established this as a lie ;)
> as I've
> already admitted. I don't want to cat / proc. I want to work in my
> spreadsheet; that's what we MBAs *do.* ;-)
Well then for either system the solution is the same. Your hire tech
support. If it is my company, I'm not letting the MBA to install
anything by himself to corporate property.
> > > Yeah, but so are the majority of the corporate users using
> > > them. ;-) They wouldn't know they they had "greater network
> > > connectivity" if you hit them in the head with it. To them
> > > "Change = bad. Change = scary. I want what I already know."
> > > Who can blame them?
> > This is the core problem and the reason I've taken the time to discuss
> > this (instead of busy getting kicked off of the NY Wireless Mailing list
> > this morning). When a Mac use tells me how great their OS is, my eyes
> > roll. NYLXS has wanted to run a study with children to see which OS's
> > they learn fastest and gain the most productivity out of. The trick is
> > to find children who have no previous biases or experience. It takes
> > some money to do such a study, but we are dedicated to do it as a double
> > blind controlled study for publishing.
> I think that's a fascinating subject for a study, actually. Of course, I
> will note that most knowledge workers *do* have biases, and their brains
> (like mine) are heavily calcified. And the fact that a child maybe can
> learn Linux faster than Windoze doesn't make the fact that the knowledge
> workers *already have* Windoze any less real. There's still going to be a
> learning curve there of some sort. It ain't *that* bad, true, and it's less
> than it was. But it's still real.
Workers need new training with every upgrade, every new hire. Same
song, different toon.
> > Welcome to the crowd. :) Now you just need to stay on message and get
> > some sales :)
> Tell me about it. ;-)
> Ruben, I'm sorry; we probably didn't start off this dialogue in the best way
> possible. I don't need people coming to me with a catalog of all the stuff
> we're doing wrong as a company--I'm *painfully* aware of the problems and
> limitations of 1) my company 2) my marketing budget, and 3) this market
> space. So, you just kind of hit me with both barrels at the top
I didn't mean to hit anything. Believe me, I'm as artful and a raging
American Bison an art museum. When I'm bruising, you'll be aware of it
;) On record I'll say the CodeWeavers does a lot of interesting work,
especially for a company of their size and they have earned a good niche
for themselves in the current economy while making an honest living.
> Frankly, I'm not interested in a bunch of theory about why Wine sucks
As I said, it doesn't matter the merits of Wine in the context of this
conversation. My issue was over the "Linux systems aren't ready"
message. It makes me grate. I'm very thankful and love my GNU
desktop. It does more for me then I could ever ask of any system and
you would have to remove it from my cold dead hand if you ever want to
take it away.
> butt and doesn't align with the true ideals of GNU open source, or whatever.
> I *know* all that. I *know* why folks like Richard Stallman don't like
Richard doesn't have to spend days and years of his life uncomfortably
earning a living to feed his children. I do.
> All religion wars aside, I think we put
> our money where our mouth is, and we certainly abide by the underlying
> spirit of open source software, which is to give back to the community, and
> make everybody's lives a little better by the fruits of our collective
> As a result, attempts to educate me as to the error of our ways with Wine
> will undoubtedly serve to make me defensive and crabby, because if I really
> wanted to be making the big bucks, man, I sure wouldn't have picked the
> Linux desktop. Just a head's up. Suggestions here and there: welcome.
> "Entire itinerary of what I firmly believe are mistakes by codeweaver over
> the last decade": decidedly less so. No offense.
CodeWeaver isn't on trial. Furthermore, any business, social and
political effort exists and is legitimate based on its own merits,
followers, and the sweat and tears of its participants, and not the
wishes and detractors on a mailing list.
> Best Wishes,