Podcast Season 1 Episode 4

Title: GScrot's Previous Icon

In this episode: Jim Zemlin wants a united front for netbooks, Codeweavers starts on DirectX 10 for Linux, has Firefox been exploited, can we help people who are new to Linux, and should proprietary software be easy to install?

What's in the show

  • News: Codeweavers to support DirectX 10. Jim Zemlin wants a united front for netbooks and research has shown Firefox had more exploits than either IE or Safari in 2008.
  • Hot Topic: What can we do to help people like the Living Free with Linux chap?
  • Discovery of the week:
  • Open Ballot: Should proprietary software be easy to install?
  • Special offer: subscribe to Linux Format magazine and save up to to 55% - that's just $7.62 an issue!

Presenters: Andrew Gregory, Paul Hudson, Graham Morrison, Mike Saunders

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Your comments

Software install not easy?

1. I worked as a windows tech for ten years. Although probably most mswindows software might seem to be easy to install, that is not always true. There are some pita packages that can be a challenge. I have see the dependency issues many a time on the windows platform.

2. I do not think that linux should be romper room easy or one size fits all. You lose functionality and software freedom when you do when you do that. The world has become Microsoft blind. We need to get schools to teach linux, so that there is not a digital divide. Also if you put a MSWindows install side by side with a Linux install, guess which system people will want to install. As an aside, I have seen as many driver issues on new versions of windows as much as linux. I think it is over played.

3. It should not be the linux communities fault that certain codecs are not automatically or easily installable. Actually the same is sometimes true of windows. I put that issue on the developers of windows only software. They need to be pressured to play fair. I also blame the interpretations of the copyright law. I have no problems using the codecs since i have the original software for windows and license for the codecs I use. The U.S. Supreme said that in a nutshell you can modify software for your needs if you have a license for it. I am not a fan of Dell, but they did linux right by getting everything you need to run linux including licensing. Other computer vendors should take a hint. The more desktop machines that sell linux with all the trimmings, should this be less of an issue.

4. If people had to load MSWindows on a machine from scratch, they would beg to use linux. When you need updates for MSWdindows, you have to go to each vendors site to get updates. Though the linux repo system is not perfect it is still a lot easier than MSWindows. When people see how much slower their machine is after having to load all the spyware, virus, and other detection software, They might more easily converted to using windows. Not to mention the time wasted to have to do malware scanning.

5. I remember when MSWindows first came out, DOS users were outraged at having to change the way they did things. How many dos machines are there now? Linux will grow on people. If you are just using gui, and you understand the tools needed to use any operating system, you should be able to easily float to and from os/x, Xwindows, and

6. The MSWindows community is duplicating a lot of the linux utilities. That in it self is kudos for linux.

7. Compiling software and the like may not always be peachy on linux, but at least you can do that. (how hard can be ./configure/make/make install be?). I also dare you to get a MSWindows user to build a package in MSWindows. On the MSWindows platform you usually do not get source code to do that. This should be emphasized!!!!

8. We should also start emphasizing all the arm's length help for linux users.

Adobe provides Ubuntu .debs

Adobe provides Ubuntu .debs now and Flash is also available in the Canonicals partner repository.

re opensuse: that requires the developers doing -work-. The real issue is them doing -work- and packaging it, vs telling the users to screw themselves. On ubuntu its the same too - you can make a PPA easily, doing work, and then provide instructions for adding it (which generally are simple and I've seen new linux users add them just fine).

Packagers will *always* lag behind official release. Its up to the program developers, if they care (that's an issue in themself), to provide the easy to install packages.


Your praises for Shutter are heard and nuisances noted ;)

Propriety shouldn't even be an issue

Proprietary software should be more or less difficult to install than any other app. This is the land of user choice. ATi, take note. You too, Adobe.

I think it is okay if people

I think it is okay if people have problems with installing proprietary software. They should bloody feel the pain ^^

The "setup.exe" experience is nice but it is also an security issue! The people don't think about dependences and hashes. Like: UUHH there is a website with an "fancy-tool.exe" let's download and install this ... CRAP!

Ubuntu had an add-on tool which added thousands of repositories in the source.list for the easy install of some more or less proprietary software. This is an security nightmare too. Imagine the package you installed does something other than promised. I remember a survey where they tested how easy it is to set up an repository with malware. Think about this.

An big alert window like "Be aware: proprietary software..." is no solution either. Every one will just click the "Ok"/"Skip" button and never think about this.

So my conclusion is: There have to be obstacles, otherwise the people begin to use Linux like Windows and this should not happen.

PS: An big appreciation for the good articles and podcasts here. Sometimes I can't keep up with the speed you publishing it. Greetings from the Erdmännchen country.


Not for the faint-hearted the advertisments are wildy optimistic,childrens television center happy and down right annoying.

Skinny Elephants?

Just listened to the Podcast, great show as usual.
On the Skinny Elephants point, I believe this was covered in a previous issue of LXF but the order of the keys pressed was different.
Instead of R-S-E-I-U-B it was R-E-I-S-U-B which was easily remembered as "Raising Elephants Is So Utterly Boring" or simply BUSIER backwards.
Still a great tip though and thankfully I have never had to use it! :-)

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