[sf-lug] [LINUX USER QUESTIONAIRE] Linux applications

Bill Kendrick nbs at sonic.net
Wed Jul 29 15:07:49 PDT 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 10:42:20AM -0700, Edward Janne wrote:
> Question 4: What programs do you run on Linux?

On a regular basis:

Konsole to do a lot of generic day-to-day stuff,
including SSH'ing to my ISP's shell, so I can run Mutt to check my email,
or SSH'ing various places to maintain websites and web applications
(including my day job).

Amarok to listen to music (local and streaming)

Konqueror for most web browsing (random pages, daily stuff like bank account,

Firefox for day-job, Facebook, SourceForge and Google (Maps/Calendar) browsing
*grumbles about not being compatible with Konqueror*

Konversation for chatting with local friends, as well as on a variety of
OSS project channels on freenode

Kate for some basic text editing and note taking (though sometimes also vi)

Gimp for graphics editing/manipulation

OpenOffice.org for document loading/creation

Dolphin for some file management (esp. photos off my camera's SD card),
though most file management is via shell

vi for lots of editing, including code maintenance (day job and my own OSS)

mplayer for watching local (vs. streamed via Flash) video files

> Does software that starts out exclusively Linux often get ported to
> other platforms? What is the motivation for this? Beyond being open
> source, what functionality is unique to Linux?

"GNU/Linux," what I consider the 'operating system' (kernel plus
lots of userspace tools and glue), is what makes Linux a lot easier to
deal with than other platforms.  Environments like Cygwin on Windows can
help, a _little_, but generally you cannot get past the fact that you're
running on a cumbersome, buggy, and poorly designed OS and GUI.

So sure, you can get a lot of OSS stuff for Windows and Mac, including
a lot of KDE (my desktop environment of choice), but it's just not as
smooth and enjoyable.[*]

I've found very little reason to care about running non-Linux, especially
since I stopped doing for BREW devices.  (That's just bad-on-bad, with
a twist of horrid USB drivers, coupled with terrible device-specific
implementation issues with BREW itself.  When I did J2ME, we at least had
saner dev. tools, and I could do all dev. and 'emulator'-based testing
under Linux.  It totally changed my attitude towards my job, at the time. :) )

[*] Despite recent audio-related annoyances.

(ramble? who, me?)

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