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It's me-too in the sense that you can sort-of run Office and a browser and an emailer, but you can't run Adobe CS3, Cubase, ProTools, anything from Sonic Solutions, Lightroom, Audition, MaxMSP, Acid, a few hundred VST software synthesizers and effects, or most other serious creative apps under it.

Also, drivers do not exist for maybe 90% of industry-standard professional or semi-pro audio and video hardware.

The me-too apps that exist - like Blender, GIMP, Audacity, etc - are poor imitations of the professional apps they're based on, and lack either the stability or the variety of the tools available for Windows or OS X.

I don't much mind that Linux exists, but exaggerated claims for its ability to slay Windows are clearly nonsense.

(And I don't much like Windows, so if a genuine Windows-slayer appeared, I'd be near the head of the line for it.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 02:19:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Er... How is it Linux' fault that software or hardware vendors won't support it?

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 02:34:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because if it doesn't offer solid apps, no one uses it.

No one wants to pay £££££ for quality apps, and if Linux offered them for free it would be on the receiving end of a stampede.

But it doesn't. At all.

Hence the lack of interest.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 03:17:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a vicious circle. People are willing to develop hardware drivers for free if only vendors would release the hardware specs or donate the hardware to do the development. Hardware vendors develop windows and mac drivers and applications by themselves. Linux has stable kernel releases that drivers could be made compatible  with.

As for apps... You can cross-compile them with very little tweaking necessary. They're just choosing not to. How much effort do you think it cost microsoft to make IE and Office run on Mac OS? Not a whole lot. And that is BSD Unix compatible.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 03:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The APIs used in Linux and Windows are completely different, so there's a lot more work required than just cross compilation.

From a sales and numbers POV, Linux users count as a rounding error, so there's no way a corporation could make back the cost of cross-development. And even if it could it would either have to run development in parallel, which complicates everything, or have Linux conversions running six months to a year behind the 'official' releases.

But it's also a cultural issue. The me-too aspect comes from the way that current Linux apps are second rate versions of their professional equivalents. And emulators like Wine are always a generation or three behind what's needed to run native Windows apps reliably and successfully.

There is exactly one professional recording studio in the world that (sometimes) uses Linux commercially. But considering how expensive ProTools is, it's not as if there's a lack of interest from potential users. But the community isn't together enough to put together a viable alternative.

The problem is that amateur spare-time development can't compete with full-time cube-farm development with professional project oversight.

Linux will always be me-too until the community realises this and organises itself to put together a BIG showcase prestigious project that's very obviously superior to the equivalent professional app.

Users want apps. They don't much care what the OS is. Until Linux gives them the apps they want, without compromise, it's always going to be a footnote. Drivers would inevitably follow if the interest were there.

I don't see this happening. It might, but I don't see any evidence that Linux developer culture is focussed enough to pull it off. There's just about enough interest to put together a kernel, but it doesn't seem likely that finding a thousand people would be willing to work together to develop a full-featured video editor.

(To a smaller extent similar issues apply to blogging and activism, IMV.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 04:01:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Check Crossover. From CodeWeavers: http://www.codeweavers.com/products/

No recompile. No virtual machine. No memory hog. WINE on steroids. Works for real, all MS Office, IE, etc...

Well worth the price.

Pierre

by Pierre on Thu Sep 20th, 2007 at 04:13:40 PM EST
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