[talk] Ask Slashdot: Workaday Software For BSD On the Desktop?

Scott Robbins scottro at nyc.rr.com
Fri Nov 21 14:17:26 EST 2014

On Fri, Nov 21, 2014 at 09:49:31AM -0800, Pete Wright wrote:
> On 11/20/14 17:13, George Rosamond wrote:
> >>my prediction is that in next several years is there are going to be
> >>three pools of unix users:
> >>
> >>1) osx peeps who are using unix w/o really knowing it

This group isn't relevant to us...wow, that sounds elitist, but the point
is, Yeah, OSX got itself Unix certified and these people use it, but it has
little or nothing to do with the BSDs' acceptance or lack of it.

> - there is a huge group of people running a Unix type OS for
> non-technical work and they don't even know it.

Fair enough, but none of them care that Netflix won't run on FreeBSD, so
they won't apply any financial pressure. 

> >>2) chromebook/ubuntu people
> >>3) old guard *bsd and non-ubuntu users
> >>
> >
> >I get the impression a lot of the number 3 category fits in number 2.  No?
> well from what i've noticed is a *lot* of the young programmers i've
> been working with (kids a year or two out of university) is that
> they think linux is unix, and linux is pretty much a GUI only
> experience. trying real hard to not call them clueless newbies...but
> they are clueless newbies :)

Meh.  I think that many of the current Linux developers seem to either
think as smart phone touch screen users, or at best, single user laptop
owners who seem to have difficulty comprehending that not everyone runs a
single user system using wireless DHCP, or shares with a family. 

That doesn't mean their clueless, it just means that they have different
needs, and those who are coding server type systems seem to not realize
several realities of running servers.  Simple example, when RedHat decided
to concentrate on the GUI installation, starting with RHEL6, crippling text
mode.  Back when I worked at a primarily CentOS shop, I used Fedora so I
would be ready for the next crop of desktop oriented decisions. Others on,
for example, the CentOS list, were shocked. 

One can still do the sysadmin type things and set it up, but it requires
more work.  Honestly, I don't know enough about systemd to know if my
dislike for it is justified, but lots of things about it made me think that
Mr. Poettering doesn't think like a sysadmin.  

Anyway...too often, especially on some Linux oriented things, I've seen,
"Well, let's make it easy for the newcomers," to the point of welding on
the training wheels so they are almost impossible to remove.  (Great
phrase, I wish I could take credit, but the welding on the training wheels
is from someone on Fedora forums.)  As for me, this is how I feel about
newcomers.  (The scene is that the man and the woman have been given a head
start by a drug dealer who plans to hunt them.)

Yet, while I don't want the BSDs welding on the training wheels, I also
fear that if the next generation of admins/coders find little to interest
them, it will simply fade away.  Even now, the BSDs are usually well behind
Linux in hardware support.  There's 3 or 4 things that _I_ do that require
Linux because FreeBSD won't work properly.  

So, the advantage of gaining a user base is that it does start vendors,
both hardware and software (as well as media vendors like Netflix) to start
thinking about supporting said userbase.  

Note that all this is completely subjective, not backed up by anything save
notice that more programs seem to support Linux than did many years ago.

Scott Robbins
PGP keyID EB3467D6
( 1B48 077D 66F6 9DB0 FDC2 A409 FA54 EB34 67D6 )
gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys EB3467D6

More information about the talk mailing list