spf13-vim : The Ultimate Vim Distribution

spf13-vim is an amazing Vim distribution with cross-platform configuration and a large bundle of plugins, aimed at programmers in all sorts of languages.  Those of you just starting with Vim, or using a very basic configuration, give this one a spin.  And for the rest of us, ancient farts with 10+ year old configurations, this distribution provides plenty of inspiration for plugins and configuration options to try and play with.

I’ve seen a variety of Vim distributions and bundles over the years, but nothing came close to this amazing setup.  Very well done!

How Linux got to be Linux: Test driving 1993-2003 distros

Here’s a trip down the memory lane – “How Linux got to be Linux: Test driving 1993-2003 distros“.  The article looks at some of the early Linux distributions, remember what was already in and what came later.  Complete with screenshots.

I don’t remember for sure which versions of which distributions I used in the early days, but Slackware, Suse, RedHat and Mandrake were definitely among those.  Slackware was probably my first one, when I found the floppies in the only book on Linux at my college library.  Then, somehow, I found RedHat (I think 5.1 or so) in one of the local computer shops.  Later I tried Mandrake and Suse, cause those were laying around at work.  But RedHat stuck with me ever since.  I think I’ve used pretty much every version, including the move to Fedora, CentOS, and even the Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which we had the licenses for at some of my early work places.

Fun times!

Fedora 18

After a two month delay, Fedora 18 is finally here.  So far, I have been surprised by two things:

  1. Phasing out of “preupgrade” for “fedup“.  Seriously?  How’s “fedup –network 18” better than “preupgrade“?  Especially, when dealing with desktop users…
  2. How much new stuff I found in the Release Notes.  I didn’t have much time to follow the development process last year, but even without that, I realized that a lot of my knowledge is quite outdated.  Specifically: GRUB vs GRUB2 configuration, chkconfig/service vs. systemctl, date/hostname/etc migration to some*ctl scripts, network management (both with NetworkManager and with interface naming changes), and lots more.

And I haven’t even upgraded yet.  I wonder what will come next.

P.S.: if you must know, I’ve written a huge rant on the whole Fedora direction, but after page 35 or so it got a little bit out of control, so I deleted it and left you with the above.

Major Linux Problems or Why Linux is not (yet) Ready for the Desktop, 2012 edition

Major Linux Problems or Why Linux is not (yet) Ready for the Desktop, 2012 edition

Every operating system has its problems.  Some things work better than in others, some do worse.  Here is an interesting (and very up-to-date) overview of the problems in the Linux space.  The good thing about it is that it’s not just bashing Linux over Windows or Mac and it doesn’tjust wine about minor things here and there.  There are issues all over, some are being worked on, and some are not, for a variety of reasons.  But just knowning these issues is already a good start in fixing them.

How far is a desktop from a server?

There is an interesting post at The Open Source Advocate blog – “Win the desktop, and you will win the server“.  Tristan Rhodes, the author of the blog, suggests that in order for an operating system to conquer the server market, it should first conquer (or fight reasonable well for) the desktop market.

I have to admit that when I just read the article, I felt almost like agreeing.  But something kept buzzing me from the inside, so I kept that tab open for a few days.  Now that the post was processed at the back of my brain, I have to say that I don’t agree with that point.

There is, of course, a correlation.  Once sysadmins start using something they like on the desktop, it’s pretty soon that they try to see how well that thing handles server tasks.  So, of course, people using Windows on the desktop were checking out how to make a server out of it.

But.  I don’t think that conquering the desktop is the only way to the server.  Not at all. There are more ways, I somehow feel that those other ways are actually simpler.  For one thing, Linux has never been particularly good with desktops.  However, only the stubbornest and the most ignorant of sysadmins will argue against Linux server superpowers.

Furthermore, real sysadmins (which are, of course, in the minority) clearly understand the differences between a desktop computer and a server.  What’s good for one might not be so good for the other.

And then there is this whole “enterprise” issue.  Big companies (aka “enterprises”) aren’t about desktops.  They are about support services, customizations, and having someone to blame.  If there is someone on the other end of the twisted phone cord, they’ll grab him with both hands.

The historical examples in the Open Source Advocate’s blog post might be related or they might not.  The times were different anyway.  But even if these examples are related, they aren’t as heavy as they seem.  There are many factors to consider (prices, distrubution, documentation, hardware requirements, etc).

What do you guys think?