Well this is my very first blog and post resulted from controversial experience from my numerous attempts to switch completely to Linux/FreeBSD/Opensolaris, and fail at the end of the day so far.
Being a Java-developer myself, i have to say, that i love the way OpenSource Software goes, i use most of the major Projects it has bred: Eclipse, OpenOffice.org, Gimp and others on Windows (yet), but i just dont feel comfortable with *nix Operating Systems being free as freedom, but nevertheless using them is more restrictive experience to me, than just Win+OSS Combination and here is why:
1. if you choose to stick to one of the numerous Linux or *BSD distros, you are bound to their very own Software Repository, which is a great thing to keep your distribution up-to-date, but you have to live with restrictions, that particular repository brings with: if your repository maintainer(s) of particular software project did not include latest version of it (for what reason ever) you have to wait ’till your favorite App is there @ right version. Yes, you could disagree with me telling, that i still can compile from sources, but it isn’t an option for me, not willing to
a) wait whole day to compile it (KDE for FreeBSD 6 on my old centrino 1,5 GHz laptop)
b) resolve all the dependencies by hand (if they are not handled by your package manager, like pkg on FreeBSD or pacman on Arch Linux)
anymore. Taking the binaries from another distro having them up-to-date is not a reliable option either. I remember the struggle i fought (on a .deb-based distro Ubuntu 7.x back then) by trying to convert some .rpm-packages to .deb-ones using Alien-tool, still having dependency problems at the end. Well, there is no consistency in the .rpm-world(hell) itself, you can still mess things up by installing rpm-packages from different sources even in a .rpm-based-distro (ex. fedora, openSUSE)…
2. if you just want to install modified version of the software available in your distribution’s repository. Good Example: Novell’s version of OpenOffice called Go-OO (it has some nice compatibility features). While it is available for several derivatives as openSUSE, Ubuntu and others, but if your distro of choice didn’t include it yet, you still have to wait for it, or compile your tar-balls by hand (my current issue with OpenSolaris 2008.11)…
In Microsoft’s Windows i don’t have a clue, what exactly my OS doing under the hood, but i can use all of my software of choice, not being hooked on some repository and choose freely what version/derivate to use, where to get and where to install it.
Sad to say it, but i still feel “freeier” by using the proprietary Windows with all those great Open-Source projects on it for productive use instead to completely migrate to Linux/Unix.
Well this opinion can change as i get wiser, but for now this is the way i see it. What do you think about it?
Comments are welcome!