Re: I was just wondering



Stefan Kanthak wrote:

"Joe Richards [MVP]" <humorexpress@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

[...]

What I am specifically talking about
isn't version fragmentation but distribution fragmentation. When I can
go to say www.ethereal.com and download THE Linux version or THE BSD
version then the fragmentation has gone away. Right now I look and I see
o Red Hat / Fedora
o Debian
o Gentoo
o Mandriva
o PLD
o ROCK
o Slackware
o SUSE

These are the BINARIES built on and for a specific distribution.
Use the one and only source and build the binary for your OS yourself.

And that isn't even encompassing all of the dists out there. There is a
lot of fragmentation in the Linux dev and platform world and while it is
getting better, there really are still too many flavors to be useful for
the home market.

Get the current LSB and freedesktop.org docs and read their goal there:
all Linux distributions shall provide a stable common API for userland
applications so one common binary will run on any distribution.

Contrariwise, there is one Windows download. There is one Mac download.
There are three BSD downloads.

Now take the common Windows application^W^WMicrosoft product: you have
separate installation media or downloads for every supported language.
You even need to have the patches localized for your language.

How about KDE, how many different dists are there separate downloads
for? Like 8 or so? Gnome, who knows...

Again: you can build them all yourself on your system.
But typically you don't need to, because almost all distributions have
a prebuilt KDE or Gnome available on their media or in their repository.
All you have to do is call your OSs package manager...

The point is, consumers have to keep OS version and distribution
straight in their head when looking for something.

No, that's simply wrong: all major distributions have their builtin
updater which interfaces with their builtin package manager. Use YUM on
RedHat, Fedora and CentOS, YOU on SuSE, APT on Debian and derived
distributions, portage on Gentoo, ...

With Windows, it is simply version.

On Windows, you have no package manager, but a wide variety of more or
less broken installers as well as more or less broken binary packages.
Some still bring outdated common runtime files and try to put them
in the "System" directory.
You still have DLL hell.
And products requesting updates of system components... manual updates,
since there is no package manager!
On the other hand almost all packages don't uninstall completely; it's
VERY seldom to find a program that doesnt leave a file or registry entry
behind. To make things worse: DirectX or the WGA Notification don't even
offer the possibility to uninstall them!

This is trivial for most users who would even say hang
out in the newsgroups, but for the vast majority of folks, it is beyond
what they care about.

Is Joe Average able to check for prerequisites (like "you need at least
MSXML v4") written in a README.TXT?

> A window manager, simply put, is a layer that sits on top
> of the OS (really

Yep I know what a Windows manager is. You could modify your manager,
known as the shell on MSFT Windows based OSes since about 3.1 days if I
recall correctly.

The "shell" is definitively NOT the window manager! On Windows there's no
separate "X" server and window manager, but just one CSRSS.EXE that loads
WINSRV.DLL with its dependent GDI32.DLL and USER32.DLL.

Stefan


....most excellent points.

Imhotep
.



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