Coffeehouse Thread

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  • User profile image
    sbc

    I wonder what it would cost if you supported the system yourself - i.e. development done in-house. OSS has huge potential, simply because the code is available and has no licensing issues. What OSS lacks in funding, it compensates with the huge amount of development potential -  far more than Microsoft has with it's software.

    The company adopting Linux does not have to pay for support, but can support it itself. Also Novell supports Redhat as well - so if you don't want Novell anymore you can use someone else for support. With Windows, only Microsoft can support you.

    Open Source Operating Systems are mostly benefitial to small businesses (who have fewer PC's and cannot get as big a discount as large companies). They also are very appealing to Universities - the students can even support and extend the OS as part of a project..

    The cost depends on the circumstances - it may be a lot more expensive to upgrade to XP simply because so many PC's are still on Windows 9x and so are not up to spec. Also, isn't it a waste of useful computers just because they are not Pentium III's - if all you need is Word Processing and perhaps email you could happily do that with a Pentium I or II.

    Third world countries are really the first to move to another OS (Brazil seems to be into it), followed by Japan/Korea/China (because they are developing their own) and perhaps some parts of Europe.

    This is an intersting read as well - http://www.opensource.org/advocacy/case_for_business.php
    A guitar string manufacturer saved $80,000 by moving - perhaps increased productivity as well due to fewer 'distractions' like email and the Internet (which you don't need if you are just typing letters all day) - the company mainly moved because they were treated badly.

    What will be interesting is what will happen with the UK governments trial of Java Desktop - will they go with Sun, or stick with Microsoft. If they move it will be a big blow to Microsoft, and show that Linux is viable on a large scale. Also Sun will have to deliver as well. See http://www.vnunet.com/News/1153785


    Seems to have gone a bit off topic though. On topic - Firefox is my favourite browser.

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    sbc wrote:
    Also based on Mozilla - good choice. Perhaps IE should be based on Mozilla?


    Perhaps IE should be improved. IE is Mosaic based which was the best browser in the world years ago. It can be the best again.

    Knute wrote:
    IE, I tried Mozilla for awhile but despite it's kewl features crashed all the time Sad

    ~ Knute

    ps - If you have Windows you can have tabbed browsing by opening  up a new browser and use the tabs on the task bar at the bottom of your page. If you dont have anything else open you can easily get four browsers going and just use the tabs in windows.


    That is not tabbed browsing, that is task bar browsing which uses up quite a bit of real estate and hurts productivity.

    jamie wrote:
    IE all the way

    2,3,4,5,6

    - best windows integration
    - no extra resources ( already starts on boot)
    - will render the most complicated of pages
    - looks the nicest
    - starts the fastest
    - most widest used!


    jamie wrote:
    i have netscape / moz / firefox all installed for testing pages.

    they are all buggy and ugly compared to IE
    ** sorry - my opinion only **

    i also dont get the deal with tabs.. i have my fav sites all in IEs Links bar.. so i switch between sites - but more often than not - i prefer a new window

    I also use Frontpage 2003 ( garlic and silver bullets out now! ) and what you make with it works great in IE - but not usually anywhere else

    ** cue the Web standards! replies..

    Sorry - at 95% IE is the standard
    If it drops to below 60% ill worry about "other standards"

    *** The names Mozzila and firefox are also really really lame.. firefox.. lol


    IE needs serious work, I could list two dozen things that IE needs done.

    Tabs are so you can have mutiple windows in 1 window.

    I never could figure out how to use Frontpage.

    IE is a web browser. HTML is a web language that IE has to read. CSS is another language that IE has to know. They are not the same thing, do not confuse them to be.

    sbc wrote:
    jamie - here is your web standards reply!

    You can still design to standards and have sites work in IE - you just have to be careful with your CSS and JavaScript. IMHO Firefox is the best browser for developing webpages - mostly thanks to Chris Pederick's excellent Web Developer Extension and User Agent Switcher - when sites block you because you are not using IE. Live HTTP Headers and IE View are also good. Why doesn't IE have this and Firefox does (Firefox is also a lot younger than IE)?

    What I don't understand is why people code for IE only. IE supports the W3c DOM and XHTML so why not code to that? i.e. use document.gentElementById instead of document.all; try not to use too many nested tables.

    5% is still a lot of computers and potentially lost customers if your site only works in IE.

    Also, I am sure it is lower than 95% in some countries (China, Brazil, Japan, Korea). It seems the US is most reluctant to try alternatives to Microsoft.

    The big change will be when people decide to move away from Windows 9x - many companies may not be able to afford the cost of updating their PC's and so go with an alternative OS (Redhat, Mandrake, Sun Java Desktop). If that happens IE's share will drop to 75-80%.


    Personally, I don't use tables at all in my layouts (they are for content, not presentation), limit my use of javascript (Javascript is not presentational on my site, it only does minor touch ups like busting frames so that people can bookmark my site) and code for standards. After hacking the CSS, IE displays my site well.

    When companies move away from Windows 9x, they will be retiring their old computers (3-5 year upgrade cycles) and buying new computers with Windows XP installed under a corporate license. They are not going to be keeping old hardware (it just doesn't cut it anymore) as that is a surefire way to go out of bussiness. I believe I read somewhere that the total costs of switching from Microsoft to Redhat is hundreds of millions of dollars (cost of retraining) for a large company. It also lowers productivity (think of a 32bit DOS + 32bit Win 3.1) and increases the cost of technical support (tech support: "type this really long command into the bash prompt"; worker: "I didn't understand that, would you please repeat each character taking 10 seconds to pronounce it").

    StigWot wrote:
    jamie wrote:
    i also dont get the deal with tabs..


    If you open a new Firefox window, you can browse to your favourites and open an entire folder of shortcuts in tabs, in a single window.  Conversely, if you've been doing some research or something, and you have 10 tabs open, but need to shut down, you can bookmark all the tabs at the same time to a folder.  Very handy!


    A friend does that to get up to date on news in the world of internet standards. As you said, very handy!

  • User profile image
    rampage


  • User profile image
    chuawenching

    I still like Internet Explorer.

    I had been using it since Secondary school.

    I had been using it everyday to code xml web services.

    I had been using it to code asp.net.

    I had been using it to code front end stuff (html, xhtml, xml).

    Get to used with IE. I tried to move to Mozilla, i hate the User Interface and I don't feel it is faster. Every time i shut down my pc, it will show a popup, like manually ending the Mozilla process.

    Netscape UI is making my pc to slow down. To load up Netscape takes me time. Unlike IE, fast!

    Love IE too much Smiley I even like Windows Longhorn IE (Cool UI). Just Longhorn is kind of slow in my PC. Haha!

  • User profile image
    lars

    I use Opera as a kind of sanity check. To make sure that my pages (that look best in IE) don't freak out completly on another browser.

    /Lars.

  • User profile image
    surferdude

    I forgot to point out - you mention that with certain Linux distros, the user has the right to do multiple installs on multiple computers. But we were discussing the average home user correct? Why would the average home user, who, on average, has one computer, want to install the software on multiple machines? Even as that average increases, MS can adjust their licensing to compete. So in the end, it comes down to (IMHO what it should be based on):
     
    - cost of ownership (#1 concern for your average home user)
    (Winner: Windows)
    - interoperability (with what is at school for the kids, and what is at work for the adults)
    (Winner: Windows)
    - user experience / ease of use
    (Winner: Windows)
    - support
    (Winner: Windows)
    - maintenance
    (Winner: Windows)
    The prices I quoted for XP are for Professional. It's interesting, the exact same points I make were sounded out today in an InformationWeek article.
     
    "I wonder what it would cost if you supported the system yourself - i.e. development done in-house. OSS has huge potential, simply because the code is available and has no licensing issues."
     
    I disagree, the most popular OSS license has major issues. Is your company prepared, after spending all that $$ on your in-house development, to give your software away for free to its competitors?
     
    "The company adopting Linux does not have to pay for support, but can support it itself. Also Novell supports Redhat as well - so if you don't want Novell anymore you can use someone else for support. With Windows, only Microsoft can support you."
     
    Employing all those staffers to support the software in-house is called cost of ownership. Novell charges for their support. So does Suse, Mandrake, etc.. On your point about Microsoft, this is incorrect. There are plenty of support avenues for MS products other than MS. Just because an operating system is open source, doesn't mean the software is easier to support, or costs less to support. In this respect MS actually produces a product that costs less due to the larger market, which promotes greater competition amongst 3rd party support organizations and the salaries of support staff.
     
    "The cost depends on the circumstances - it may be a lot more expensive to upgrade to XP simply because so many PC's are still on Windows 9x and so are not up to spec. Also, isn't it a waste of useful computers just because they are not Pentium III's - if all you need is Word Processing and perhaps email you could happily do that with a Pentium I or II."
     

    That's enough of the OS Wars discussion for me for now. Until next time SBC. I'll be keeping an eye on you buddy. Tongue Out
    -surferdude
     

  • User profile image
    FrankCarr

    surferdude wrote:
    - support
    (Winner: Windows)
    - maintenance
    (Winner: Windows)


    These two areas are rapidly becoming a high risk area for Windows given the proliferation of scumware ranging from mildly annoying pop-up ad servers to near viral IE redirectors to zombie-creating and info stealing monster viruses. The question is, will XP SP2 fix these problems or merely be a band-aid? It's my concern that it will not be enough and XP/IE/OE will remain highly vulnerable to attack/exploitation/hijacking.

    Fixing nasty problems, like MSBlast, is very helpful for corporate users who typically have other hardware and software protection in place to control Internet use/misuse and attacks and hijackings. However, few home broadband users have this kind of protection in place and ICF is a very minimal and weak software firewall. And, while most scumware can be cleaned up with a little computer savvy effort, most users get the advice "Reformat your drive" from various retail outlets and tech support lines. Aside from a few small timer companies and volunteers like those at Computer Cops and Spyware Info little is being done to help and protect the home user.

    The problem is that if this situation continues on the same track it's going on, it is very likely that users will be attracted by alternatives that they wouldn't have sought before. Sure, we can say it's the users fault for running Kazza, doing addictive porn surfing, running questionable programs, and so forth but the users will blame Windows, particularly when they're told by Linux or Mac evangelists that they can do the same kind of stuff in those OS's with considerably less risk. 

  • User profile image
    MeTo

    What about Opera?

    I have been using Opera since the early days, and it has always been way ahead of both Internett Explorer, Mozilla and Netscape.

    Why is Opera better:
    - Small, only 3,5 MB (12MB include support for Java)
    - Fast
    - Popup killer
    - Great password manager
    - On mulitple OS'
    - Simple and good email client
    - Customizing apperance and settings
    - Zoom the hole page, no only text

    Downsides:
    - There is a fee for using it (without paying you have to live with a commercial banner)
    - Some pages are _to_ IE friendly
    - You must download and install it
    - No automatic updates
    - Previous versions had only one user settings per computer (ont anymore....)

    So, if you haven't used Opera - you should try it!

    : hope this was not to much 'Opera'-lover Smiley

  • User profile image
    sbc

    surferdude wrote:
    I forgot to point out - you mention that with certain Linux distros, the user has the right to do multiple installs on multiple computers. But we were discussing the average home user correct? Why would the average home user, who, on average, has one computer, want to install the software on multiple machines? Even as that average increases, MS can adjust their licensing to compete. So in the end, it comes down to (IMHO what it should be based on):
     
    - cost of ownership (#1 concern for your average home user)
    (Winner: Windows)
    - interoperability (with what is at school for the kids, and what is at work for the adults)
    (Winner: Windows)
    - user experience / ease of use
    (Winner: Windows)
    - support
    (Winner: Windows)
    - maintenance
    (Winner: Windows)

    The average user may choose Windows, but as more and more people adopt Linux and the interface gets improved it may sound more appealing. Novell is doing work on Ximian and improving the user experience and even Groklaw is setting up a GrokDoc (a kind of newbie guide to Linux)

    The other thing is Games that stop people moving as well and hardware support.

    Maintenance and support is mainly cheaper because of the large share that Microsoft has with Windows. What would be interesting is if Linux/Windows had a 50-50 share - which would be cheaper?

    Also people are sometimes a bit put off by Windows - what with all those high profile viruses, they may not even want to open their email as they are afraid of getting an infection.
    [/quote]
    surferdude wrote:

    The prices I quoted for XP are for Professional. It's interesting, the exact same points I make were sounded out today in an InformationWeek article.

    Where did you get those prices from?
    surferdude wrote:
    "I wonder what it would cost if you supported the system yourself - i.e. development done in-house. OSS has huge potential, simply because the code is available and has no licensing issues."
     
    I disagree, the most popular OSS license has major issues. Is your company prepared, after spending all that $$ on your in-house development, to give your software away for free to its competitors?

    Some argue that while the competition is looking at your code you continue developing features - release that code, then they have to examine the new code etc. If you code open source you can also prove you are a good programmer - any potential employee can look at the code you have contributed and even use it. If you write good code your reputation can only improve - any bad code is likely to be stripped out.
    surferdude wrote:
    "The company adopting Linux does not have to pay for support, but can support it itself. Also Novell supports Redhat as well - so if you don't want Novell anymore you can use someone else for support. With Windows, only Microsoft can support you."
     
    Employing all those staffers to support the software in-house is called cost of ownership. Novell charges for their support. So does Suse, Mandrake, etc.. On your point about Microsoft, this is incorrect. There are plenty of support avenues for MS products other than MS. Just because an operating system is open source, doesn't mean the software is easier to support, or costs less to support. In this respect MS actually produces a product that costs less due to the larger market, which promotes greater competition amongst 3rd party support organizations and the salaries of support staff.
     

    If you want a feature added, you have to go to Microsoft if you wish it added. A third-party may be able to do that, but they have no access to the API's that Microsoft keep secret. Thus the fastest software to run on Windows is Microsoft.

    Like you said, it is cheaper to support because of the large market share. Will that still be the case if they didn't have that large share?

    What people like is the ability to manipulate the user interface - which is practically impossible with Windows. With Linux you can develop your own window manager, Windows you are really limited to explorer - there are alternatives, but not on a commercial scale.

    Also, the other limitation with Windows is evident by its name. Windows needs a GUI to operate. What if you wanted to just use the command line and a web-based interface to admin it remotely.

    Also if all you need is a web server you can disable services to get the most out of the system. However if you use a different kernel, you can just have the basic things installed.

    Windows Server is expensive if all you want the server to do is serve web pages and do a bit of server-side HTML generation (i.e. PHP, Perl)

    What may work is a kind of Windows that was cheap to start off with, but if you wanted more services enabled you would get a kind of prompt to enter a license key when you enabled it in the service manager.
    surferdude wrote:
    "The cost depends on the circumstances - it may be a lot more expensive to upgrade to XP simply because so many PC's are still on Windows 9x and so are not up to spec. Also, isn't it a waste of useful computers just because they are not Pentium III's - if all you need is Word Processing and perhaps email you could happily do that with a Pentium I or II."
     

    That's enough of the OS Wars discussion for me for now. Until next time SBC. I'll be keeping an eye on you buddy. Tongue Out
    -surferdude

    A lot of the cost is involved in moving to another system (which will only get higher when Longhorn is out). The advantage of Linux based systems is that once you move to them, it may end up cheaper. Also, if you are unhappy with a Linux vendor, then it is a lot cheaper to move to another vendor as the kernel is the same and a lot of the applications are open source.

    People are mainly worried about vendor lock-in. Microsoft has ultimate say in what happens with Windows - but with a Linux based OS anyone can expand it easily.

    Patches do tend to get devloped faster for Open Source - due to the code being available. Also, because everything isn't integrate of interdependent then issues are easier to fix.

    This interview by Marc Andreessen is a good read as well: http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=18400999

    If Open Source didn't have such huge potential why are big vendors supporting it (HP, IBM, Dell, Sun)

    What Windows needs is a far more powerful shell which is pretty weak at the moment. Unix-like shells are a lot more powerful. A shell can be a lot quicker than a GUI - it is often quicker to do certain tasks by just using the keyboard.

    It would be nice to be able to make the windows shell as attractive and powerful as some Unix ones out there (transparent background, images as background, tabbed shell, copy and paste from Windows into command line). It is not so easy to do copy and paste to a Windows command line from another program (no right-click, paste or Ctrl-C/V). Make a shell like konsole or eterm and people may move to Windows. Makes the Windows console look very primitive.

    Even better, allow people to make there own shell interface based on the Windows one.

  • User profile image
    mykoleary

    StigWot wrote:


    If you open a new Firefox window, you can browse to your favourites and open an entire folder of shortcuts in tabs, in a single window.  Conversely, if you've been doing some research or something, and you have 10 tabs open, but need to shut down, you can bookmark all the tabs at the same time to a folder.  Very handy!


    This is SO iumportant to me, I use it daily. 

    Most of the extensions I use were mentioned, but a notable one that was missing was "view in small screen mode which renders the page as it would approximately look on a PDA.  I write a lot of custom aps for my own use, and this helps me make sure that the UI is going to make them easy enough to use on my iPaq.

  • User profile image
    harumscarum

    if you've been doing some research or something, and you have 10 tabs open,..................................

    Yeah but if one tab crashes all instances of firefox crash. I have had this happen a couple of times and felt like somebody just kicked my dog. The other problem is if you had firebird and were moving to firefox keeping your bookmarks organized is not fun.

  • User profile image
    travis

    I use FireFox.  I tried Phoenix 0.3, and once I discovered extensions I decided I liked it enough to keep it.  Once FireBird reached 0.6, I felt it was stable/useful enough to make it my default browser. 

    As a web developer, it's indispensible.  The Web Developer toolbar is so useful.  My only problem now is that b/c IE still has such a large install base, I still have to support its quirks like back in the days when people still held on to Netscape 4.x (IE == TNN == The New Netscape). 

    For me IE lacks domain-based image blocking, click-to-play Flash, tabs, rendering (quality and now speed), and the customizability/extensibility.

    Every complaint I've seen/heard with FireFox has a solution or is invalid, but most are just too lazy to get out of their bad habits.  For me FF (at least 0.8) launches and renders faster than IE 6.  Aside from testing sites, IE's only use to me is Windows Update.  I think the people who still use IE simply aren't serious about web-browsing.

  • User profile image
    TheTodd

    I use Firefox for most things, especially when I need to print a web page. IE doesn't do any resizing of the site to fit on 8.5"x11" paper, but Firefox does. The only instability of Firefox has been its name, but I've been assured that it will be Firefox forever.

    The changes that are coming to IE in SP2 will be enough to make me use IE for everything except printing web sites (maps, Fandango Tickets, etc.) for which I'll stick with Firefox.

    --Todd

  • User profile image
    ghinch

    My favorite? Safari! (runs and hides)

  • User profile image
    CindySue

    Whatever happens to be installed at the time. Most often is IE for no particular reason although I am most comfortable on it. Something about the "roundness" of the look on some of the others "bothers" me when I'm using them. I don't know why. Just does. More aesthetics than functionality in this case, I guess.

    What I STILL don't get (and would really like to rap some knuckles over) is why browsers can't come together more in agreeing on and embracing a standard that works more consistently across the board. But then that would most certainly put Excedrin out of business, wouldn't it? Smiley

    Wanders off humming.. "Why can't we be friends.."

  • User profile image
    Matt8109

    I use IE. I hate tabbed browsing.  It’s so inefficient; it’s just like the Mac interface, having to click the Application first, then the Window you want to see.

  • User profile image
    RedWolves2

    I still use IE.  I have tried to like FireSomething but in the end I always come back to IE.  It's funny to because I can't really explain why I come back it's just that I find IE to be easier for me in the end.

    Firesomething is awesome though I think it will get better over time. 

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