On 4/1/2014 1:46 AM, Eitan Adler wrote:
Hi all,

Some of you may have seen my posts entitled "Story of a Laptop User"
and "Story of a Desktop User".  For those of you who did not, it can
be a worthwhile read to see what life is like when using FreeBSD as a
desktop.  In short, it is an educational experience.  While FreeBSD
can be coerced to do the right thing, it is rarely there by default
and often doesn't work as well as we would expect.

The following are issues I haven't brought up in the past:

Battery life sucks:  it’s almost as if powerd wasn't running.  Windows
can run for five hours on my laptop while FreeBSD can barely make it
two hours.  I wonder what the key differences are?  Likely it’s that
we focus so much on performance that no one considers power.  ChromeOS
can run for 12 hours on some hardware;  why can't we make FreeBSD run
for 16?

Sound configuration lacks key documentation:  how can I automatically
change between headphones and external speakers?   You can't even do
that in middle of a song at all!  Trust me that you never want to be
staring at an HDA pin configuration.  I'll bet you couldn't even get
sound streaming to other machines working if you tried.

FreeBSD lacks vendor credibility: CUDA is unsupported.  Dropbox hasn't
released a client for FreeBSD.  Nvidia Optimus doesn't function on
FreeBSD.  Can you imagine telling someone to purchase a laptop with
the caveat: "but you won't be able to use your graphics card"?

In any case, half of our desktop support is emulation: flash and opera
only works because of the linuxulator.  There really isn't any reason
for vendors to bother supporting FreeBSD if we are just going to ape
Linux anyways.

That is why on this date I propose that we cease competing on the
desktop market.  FreeBSD should declare 2014 to be "year of the Linux
desktop" and start to rip out the pieces of the OS not needed for
server or embedded use.

Some of you may point to PCBSD and say that we have a chance, but I
must ask you: how does one flavor stand up to the thousands in the
Linux world?

I don't know much about BSD on the desktop, but it's somewhere I'd like to go eventually. 
This comment caught me off, however. The fact that there are thousands of flavors of 
Linux vs one flavor of a BSD desktop is sort of irrelivant--it could be applied, by that 
same method to BSD as a server. there are hundreds of Linux distributions that can be 
used as a server, so by your logic, "how do hundreds of Linux servers stand up to 3 
flavors of BSD?"

I switched to BSD for a few reasons:
1) The documentation is amazing. As with any project, it can be improved as was 
mentioned in the most recent BSDNow, but the only other close call I can see is 
maybe Archlinux, and I don't want that on a server.
2) The ports and PKGNG system is beyond amazing.
3) The organization is more amazing. Everything is incredibly intuitive. I love 
the customization, flexability and organization of BSD.
4) I didn't care until rather recently, but anything that lets me rely less and 
less on GNU and the GPL is a bonus.

Given this, I commend everyone who has put hundreds of hours of work into 
making BSD a desktop system. Rather than suggest that BSD stays merely a server 
OS, why not pose these issues as problems or milestones. Perhaps sound has some 
drawbacks, but when the day arrives when it is up to par, I can almost 
guarantee if the BSD ideals remain the same that it'll be so much easier and 
cleaner to use than pulse/alsa, etc.

 Eitan Adler
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Take care,
He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that 
dares not reason is a slave.

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