Thursday, May 27, 2010

What You Use

On my last post, I asked people about what open source applications they use. I received 22 responses, and I was a little shocked. Until now, I had always heard people say that they really don't have any applications in Linux that they miss in Windows/OSX. This has changed. Most people said they use the following:

VIM (one respondent saying that software isn't operating system without it)
LateX (two mentions, but that's more than other word processors outside of OOo)

At work, those machines that come in for repair usually have OpenOffice installed. So, I am not all too surprised. I have asked several customers why they chose OpenOffice. Many have responded with the fact that OOo is free (monetarily, most do not understand the concept of open source), and many more responded that they dislike the new ribbon interface of Office 2K7. Mac users tend to use iWork, but many have OOo installed for some less common file formats that iWork does not support.

VLC and Firefox are fairly common as well, although the majority of customers I deal with still use IE (despite having Firefox installed). The main time I see Firefox in use is on Macintosh machines.

So, it seems as if the only applications people miss when using Linux are games and Adobe CS. This will hopefully be less of a problem in the future with Steam coming to Linux. As for the Adobe Suite, I do not see Adobe taking an interest in Linux any time soon, but PlayOnLinux supports some of the Adobe applications. Otherwise, people are forced to look for alternatives to CS. Quite often, people choose Adobe Creative Suite for the layout of the applications, not for their functionality. GimpShop can replace Photoshop, but anything else would require a bit of a learning curve.


Tube Cube said...

As a demo, I put a survey out using google docs asking similar questions..(and more) and the results were interesting..over 500 responses...if you are interested in is the link.
Jim <100% Linux, 100% of the time>

openbronblog said...

I believe most people choose for the Adobe CS suite because it's famous, and the terms are really integrated in life (thinking of: 'hey, could you photoshop that for me'). Some people I know, working with graphical (read CS) software daily, are really surprised when I show them GIMP. They even see some advantages in it that CS doesn't have...
For the games, yeah, they don't go well on Linux. And though I like a game like OpenArena, in my eyes it can't beat UnrealTournament. I'm not really a gamer, but hardcore playing really is better on console imo.
k.r. Lennert (same as Jim: 100% Linux ;) )

Grant Wagner said...

I got to agree, and while I do consider myself a gamer, My tastes haven't really changed in the past decade or so. Wine and a good collection of emulators keep me satisfied in that sense.

likemindead said...

My must haves are Exaile, XChat, Firefox (Epiphany and Chromium for variety), Mednafen, ZSNES, Gens/GS, OOo, and... well... a few dozen others too, I reckon. ;-)

I <3 Xubuntu.

unhammer said...

GimpShop is abandonware (it was based on GIMP 2.2, while GIMP 2.6 has been out since 2008). I'd recommend not recommending it to anyone, GIMP itself has so many improvements on it. I believe GIMP itself is actually a lot more compatible with the psd format and Photoshop brushes.

Also, with the 2.8 release scheduled for dec.2010, GIMP is getting a single window mode, to please all those Windows users (in addition to a lot of really exciting new features, methinks).

If you install Krita, Digikam, UFRaw, Blender and GIMP (plus some of the GIMP extensions like FX Foundry and GREYCstoration), there really isn't a lot missing from the CS suite, but of course, you get five very different UI's :-/

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Kerberos said...

"are really surprised when I show them GIMP. They even see some advantages in it that CS doesn't have"

Like what? Gimp is not even on the same planet, let alone the same ballpark as Photoshop. It's just not. Apart from it lacking things that are _absolutely essential_ to any graphic designer such as layer groups, non-destructive effects, CMYK support, a decent UI and a litany of tiny details - it is so basic and primitive that you cannot even apply any typography adjustments to a single text layer. If you want "BOLD italic DifferentFont" you'd have to do it in three layers. It's amateur hour.

If you think for one second Gimp is a competitor to Photoshop then you are seriously deluding yourselves. It's not even feature compatible with Photoshop 5.0 yet and that's over a decade old.

Also stop with the whole GEGL and 'exciting new features around the corner' crap, you cannot make up ten years in a few months, see: Plus these advancements have been promised for years.

Gimp is to Photoshop what MSDOS is to Bash. To the untrained and unskilled they seem like almost the same thing but to someone who knows what they are doing it's like comparing a bus to a bicycle.

Sure, Gimp is fine for the occasional light bit of work, despite Paint.NET being an order of magnitude easier to use, but it is nowhere near the level of being a professional tool. It just plain isn't.

Plus the name is downright offensive. Oh, and:

Ford said...

I never said that Gimp was a replacement of all features; it merely fills that role. The real crux is that there are no replacements for any of the other Adobe Creative Suite tools. The one place I will say that Linux has an edge is vector graphics manipulation tools.

Kerberos said...

Sorry if I fly off the handle sometimes it's just the relentless promotion of Gimp as being 'different but equal' to Photoshop drives me mad. I believe software should be judged on it's quality, not it's release license and most of the people advocating Gimp over Photoshop are doing so simply because Gimp is FOSS.

As a general rule I find you cannot trust the advice of people proposing FOSS solutions due to this and it is really unfortunate. I cannot speak about vector graphics, as that is not my department, but if I do get into it I will probably not consider seriously the FOSS alternatives because of this. Not that everyone is unknowledgable about software, but the people who know are massively outnumbered by the people that don't who's sole agenda (for some inexplicable reason) is to convert people to FOSS, entirely ignoring their real needs.

It should be promoted on it's merits, not through the jingoistic belief of 'It's better because it's free'.

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The Casual Vegan said...

Sadly gimp is a poor replacement for photoshop. Doing basic web design tasks in gimp is still painfully difficult, and basic photo editing features added when CS suite came out still haven't been included in the gimp

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