Five Vista tricks you cannot teach Ubuntu. Or Gnome. Or both.

Just my 2 cents for growing repository of flames inspired by Linux Haters blog (btw - highly recommended!!!). You see - I was trying to convert my old notebook into a photos/movies machine, that would sit on my coffee table. Being a secondary notebook, it would be also a good machine to be taken with me on business trips and the like (quite an old Thinkpad T42, almost expendable, ya see). Of course (of course!!!) I installed Ubuntu on it - after all Ubuntu (or Linux in general) should be ideal for this task (which is - digital media storage, playback, light web browsing etc.). And you know what? It sucks! Especially when compared with Windows. For example - compared with Windows Vista (this, you know, buggy, useless Windows version, sure…). Just a few (5) quick examples of simple things that Vista can do - and Ubuntu is not capable of even dreaming about :)

1. View photo EXIF data in file manager
Open a folder containing photos in windows explorer and you can sort them by exif data. So - for example - it’s easy to find photos shot on a given date (and copy them to usb flash drive…). Or sort photos by their resolution. Etc. Gnome’s nautilus does not know anything about Exif. Hell, it does not know anything about metadata at all. And F-Spot compared with Windows Photo Gallery… well, let’s say that it is so bad, that such comparison almost seems to be unfair :-) (speed, stability - tried exporting more than 100 photos from F-Spot? Good luck!, even sanity - do not even try to see what are your photos filenames, it’s almost forbidden - but we have tags, don’t we?)

2. View MP3 metadata in file explorer
Heck. Try above with MP3 files (not free format? no problem - it does not work with OGG either). Same story…

To be fair one should mention that there is a plugin (Info list view) for file metadata for Konqueror (complex software this - some freetards do not even understand how this thing works..). Or rather was - I have not seen it yet in KDE4 snapshots. Ah, and BTW, Dolphin seems not to care about metadata as well.

3. See thumbnails (sensible size) in file selector
Thanks to GVFS / GIO / Gwhatever transition we have now file thumbnails in Gnome file selector (BTW - which still sucks but it’s another story). Hurrraaaaayyyy… Pity Gnome is not bundled with a magnifying glass, so that these micro thumbnails could be even remotely useful (and do not get me even started on how the Gnome thumbnail machinery works… Or rather try for yourself, pointing your mighty Nautilus to folder storing your photo collection - patience is a virtue they say…).

4. Copy image from webpage (in Firefox) to Impress

So I was trying to prepare a presentation in Impress and thought that it would be much nicer if it contained a picture taken from a webpage. Ctr-C - Ctrl-V you think? Buwahahahahahaha. Not between Firefox and Impress. Drag & drop? Hehehehehehehe. So, save to disk - insert from file. How pathetic, it’s 2008 and not 1988…

5. Sort (or do anything useful) with tracker results.
In Hardy Heron we have this shiny full text desktop search (a bit broken thanks to some freetards - see bug 150379, but I digress). Yes, Linux can do it, we do not need Google desktop or other evil spotlights (erm, vista indexer is built into the OS and I do not think it has a special codename… Live search perhaps?). So we use tracker search, get say 300 results, and we want to sort them by filename. Not possible, you say? OK, filter the result set then? Nope? OK, maybe we can use a boolean query at least? Shit, I give up… (ah, BTW - using tracker directly from file dialog still crashes - spit and polish for LTS release… Spit, indeed).

In fact I gave up completely. I installed Vista Business. Works like a charm even though this notebook has only small amount of ram (ok, aero glass is off - but compiz was blacklisted anyway, and rightly so as it’s highly unstable, you see this notebook has a radeon GPU on board).

9 Responses to “Five Vista tricks you cannot teach Ubuntu. Or Gnome. Or both.”

  1. Kelvari Says:

    I wish to challenge your claim that you cannot import a file from a web-page into an OpenOffice document in Gnome, as I have just done so. There are a few steps that have to be followed, so I shall post them here for you (or anyone reading this) to follow at their own accord.

    1] Click on Insert >> Picture >> From File through the tool bar.
    2] Click on the “notepad”-like icon next to the location buttons. This will open a “Location” text-box.
    3] Enter the URL of the image into the “Location” text box.
    4] Click the “Open” button at the bottom of the pop-up window.

    That will result with the desired image being inserted into your document.

  2. Cyvros Says:

    Hello! I’m the chap you called a freetard, just popping in to let you know that I’m not a freetard and I’d really rather not be compared to the hardcore freetards. The truth of the matter is that I don’t like KDE, as you may have gathered if you’d actually read through that blog post of mine.

    Also, you’re missing some grammar there.

    Oh, yes, and you’ve obviously taken one post of mine from several months ago as an indication of my general attitude. For your information, I am running Vista Home Premium, have been for more than a year and it works far better than A) everyone else said it would, and B) Linux - the main reason is wireless drivers. They’re a pain in the arse to do.

    There are ways to get all of this done. In fact, I have done points 1 through 4 myself, but I can’t remember how. I was probably using Thunar, though - that’s Xfce, not GNOME.

    However, I don’t actually blame you for giving up. I’ve had to admit defeat at the hands of the Lords of Linux (and FOSS) several times myself, and I’m just a casual user.

  3. Cyvros Says:

    Actually, please do ignore the point about grammar. It was one of those “heat of the moment” things.

  4. Administrator Says:

    Cyvros - hey, “freetard” does not mean “stupid” or something. Naive, right. You know, I just published very “freetardish” book (about open source, free culture and why these ar important, alas in Polish) - I guess that I am a freetard myself ;-)

    Kelvari - sure, I know, but it only works at full moon. And one must not forget magical incantation: “there are no other prophets except RMS and Linux is his…” wait, it should be GNU/Hurd. Or something…
    Seriously - in Hardy it at least works via context menus (right click). Sometimes at least. Hmmm, at full moon probably…

  5. Cyvros Says:

    Administrator: Well, it may not mean stupid, but I don’t like being bunched together with the rest of the free freaks. :D I like to stand out a little. What’s the name of the book? I’m up for learning a new language.

  6. justyn Says:

    Could you explain more about point number two please?

    In Gnome on Ubuntu Hardy I can right click on any music file, including MP3s, and there is a “Audio” tab. It lists all the metadata for the track.

    Is it that you would like to be able to see “artist” etc as one of the columns in the file manager when looking at lots of music files? Because that sounds like a good idea.

  7. Administrator Says:

    Of course it’s about columns. And you know what? Even Windows XP (even pre SP, in 2001) could do it.
    Not that Ubuntu community is not considering improvements - it’s idea 5211 on Brainstorm :-) Go, vote for it, maybe someone will implement it, …, eventually :-)

  8. Adriann Says:

    How many years does Microsoft have in this business? Enough, I say. It is then understandable that they have an advantage on functionality and user-friendliness (and I talk here about Gui). The roots of Linux are going deep into Unix, an OS designed specifically for servers operated by people that needed no gui friendliness. So Linux is young and has issues, ..ok, it is not so user-friendly as Microsoft is, ..ok, but Linux is free, so you are …free ;) to make your own user-friendly programs to run on Linux and to add whatever functionality you feel is lacking, or you can just buy Vista (which you already did). There is a third option if you don’t want (or don’t know) how to program, as Administrator has pointed out, to wait and see it implemented (the functionality you feel is lacking).
    Anyway I admire the Linux community because they give something to you for free and it is very good for this price. I don’t like Vista because I think it consumes too many resources for what it does. That is my opinion, don’t shoot me for it.

  9. Ptero-4 Says:

    Most of those “Missing features” happen mainly for those who were “programmed” to prefer the M$-approved detailed list view. If you use icon view you get usable thumbnails (in fact, gtkĀ“s inability to let you use icon view in the file dialogs is what makes crappy thumbnails from trying to cram a thumbnail in a 16×16 icon), drag&drop, good sorting, etc).

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