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Date:      Sat, 10 Sep 2011 13:58:53 -0400
From:      Allen <Unix.Hacker@comcast.net>
To:        freebsd-questions@freebsd.org
Subject:   Re: A quality operating system
Message-ID:  <4E6BA55D.2050302@comcast.net>
In-Reply-To: <077CA7AC-CEC6-4AFE-95C7-2596E2A359FD@cooperationireland.org>
References:  <CAC1X_0bP8SeyqMaR68AQPMzT+r-isv4h0bJPdtaF3377bQ+ajQ@mail.gmail.com> <077CA7AC-CEC6-4AFE-95C7-2596E2A359FD@cooperationireland.org>

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On 9/6/2011 10:44 AM, Michael Doyle wrote:
> Lots of other people have given good answers. I'm just chiming in on
> points 3 and 7
> 
> On 20 Aug 2011, at 05:47, Evan Busch wrote:
> 
>> "What is a quality operating system?"
> 
> I work as a database developer in an SME. I support end users on Mac OSX
> and Windows XP .. Windows Vista
> clients, and Windows 2008, FreeBSD and SuSE linux servers.
> 
> Of these, the FreeBSD servers give least trouble.
> For non-techie users, usually but not always the OS X people have fewer
> problems.

I collect OSs, and I've always found the ideal of an OS interesting, so
I try to use as many as I can. Of the massive amount of OSs I own, my
favorites, have always been these:

For Windows -

Windows 2000, Windows 7

Linux -

Slackware
SuSE
Debian
Mandriva when they don't screw it up.

SUSE is my favorite though by far. I used it for a LONG time as my main
OS, and I've LOVED it. I also used it on my Laptop, and on my Servers,
and not once had any real issues. I did have to help a few people new to
it realize that Yast2 came in a non-GUI style too, by simply typing
"yast" while in an X-Term, or, without a GUI loaded at all with a normal
shell. I also love the Dependency tracking it had when I used it on my
Servers where I was doing something as a project; I could set up a
machine to do testing on, where I would have an FTP Server running, SSH
running, and so on, and then, also use it as a Desktop, just to see how
it would run. Well, when you have that much crap installed, if you
realize any given package is giving you problems, or you don't like it,
and want to get rid of it, you could simply click on "Check
Dependencies" and even while installing, it would look at everything
you'd selected, and if it found anything, pop up a menu that allowed you
to get rid of what you wanted, and then it would show you if anything
would break when you did so, and, allow you to either get rid of those
as well, or, select new options. I wish FreeBSD did this but ah well.

FreeBSD is my favorite BSD in general, but I am starting to LOVE PC-BSD,
which is basically FreeBSD with some really nice tools, and a pretty
paint job, from what I've seen so far.

>> In his view, and now mine, a quality operating system is reliable,
>> streamlined and clearly organized.
> 
> That is hard to disagree with

Yea, I'd have to agree with a few of my own thoughts:

In MY person view, a good OS, is one that can do what you want it to do,
AND what you NEED it to do, isn't overly complex for no reason, is
stable, AND secure. Reliability and Stability, being related, is
something I take very VERY high up. I don't like unstable OSs. And I've
tried quite a few.

When I used to be in college, there was a guy there who LOVED Windows.
And I couldn't understand how someone who was, by all means, fairly
intelligent, could think it was even OK for a Server OS like Windows
Server 2003 Enterprise Edition, came, with a default install, WITH
WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER!!! I mean first, I get that they'd want to make
that available if it was needed for something.... But, an ENTERPRISE
EDITION OS coming out of the box, with Windows Media Player installed by
default.... Why???? Why would a Server need a Media Player? And why
would they allow one that's had a host of security issues over the
years? I couldn't understand that at all, and still can't, since the guy
I mentioned, could never give a good enough excuse. Especially
considering that a Server should not EVER have down time because the
admin had to install patches for a MEDIA PLAYER, and then, was required
to reboot the damn thing because of it.

>>
>> (3) Horrible documentation.
>>
>> This is my specialty and has been since the early 1980s. The FreeBSD
>> documentation is wordy, disorganized, inconsistent and highly
>> selective in what it mentions. It is not the product of professionals
>> but it also not the product of volunteers with a focus on
>> communication. It seems pro-forma, as in, "it's in the documentation,
>> so don't bother me." The web site compounds this error by pointing us
>> in multiple directions instead of to a singular resource. It is bad
>> enough that man pages are separate from your main documentation tree,
>> but now you have doubled or trebled the workload required of you
>> without any benefit to the end user.
> 
> I personally find the documentation that comes as part of the install
> and the documentation on the
> FreeBSD website EASIER to use and more complete than any alternatives I
> use on a regular basis.

I've seen some bad documentation in my time, but FreeBSD, has rarely
been a culprit... The FreeBSD Docs that are installed, are great, and
then, the books you can buy, are amazing. I own every book you can get
from the FreeBSD Mall, except a PC-BSD book. I think there may be ONE
other, but other than those two, I own them all. And I Love them. My
favorite is a toss up between "The Complete FreeBSD" and "FreeBSD
Unleashed". The Web site is also great, and the search function, works
better than some.

>> (7) Disorganized website.
> 
> Again, what are you comparing it to?
> I can often find my way to exactly the information I am looking for on
> the FreeBSD site using
> the search tool and menu structure within that site.
> 
> To search for answers about Windows server, Windows desktop or OSX
> problems, I tend to rely
> on external search engines (Bing, Google) to trawl through the sites,
> and it takes longer to find the answers
> I need

Yea I don't think this was something that I'd complain about. The
FreeBSD website is great. I DO miss the oldschool look of it that they
changed years ago, but, it's STILL not only a great looking page, it's
got a good search feature to dig up what you want fast.

-Allen



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