Having written articles on small issues such as politics and religion, I now feel ready to once again stick my boot into a much larger topic. Why Linux is a steaming pile of Cow Turd! First, I will explain, the article you should have been reading at this very moment is about those who aim to disrupt the Olympics, but thanks to Linux and the LibreOffice suite, you get this instead.
It started with me writing an article on my fully updated Ubuntu 11.04 powered netbook, having written most of the article the previous evening I decided to finish it on the train to work. Obviously having worked with computers for many years, I make regular saves of my work just in case the worst should happen… Which it did. Having made a save prior to typing a bit more, the computer totally locks up, forcing me to perform a hard shutdown and a minor bit of cursing.
When I get into the office, I restart the computer to find nothing but a zero-byte file where my 750 word article once was. A quick search of Google revealed why. Apparently when you save a file in LibreOffice it doesn’t call fsync to force the file to be written to the disk, and because of the delayed allocation in modern file systems, there exists a delay between hitting the save button and the file actually getting written to the disk. The crash happened before the file was written and the result is a zero-byte file. After discovering this, my minor cursing turned to thoughts of what I would like to do with some of the LibreOffice developers and an industrial woodchipper!
A little more investigation reveals that the problem was first reported in July 2011, and has only just been fixed, however the fixed version is not yet available. Thing is, I am not alone, a friend of mine lost several terabytes of media due to a Linux file system fault. As a result of this, I have now lost all confidence in Linux, and my only use of it will be to consume content, rather than to create it. Simply put, when it comes to the crunch, Windows is always there for me. Windows never just crashes on me. Windows never loses all my work due to lazy development. Windows doesn’t take nine months to release a critical bugfix.
Linux advocates would have schools use Linux and LibreOffice in order to avoid the evil Microsoft and their licensing fees. I hope that comes with a warning to the teachers that the students can lose all their work without notice and it’s not even their fault. The truth of the matter is that Linux and the applications which run on it are not ready for the mass market. There is a reason Windows is still the dominant operating system, it just works and it’s simple. Linux is a poor substitute, it is much harder to use and lacks the quality look and feel of Windows. Oh, and for you Apple fans, I don’t count your shiny joke of an OS, I mean, anybody who is stupid enough to pay full price for one of your systems will then purchase Microsoft Office to do any serious work.
Anyway, enough of a rant, written in Word, on my Windows PC. As always, please feel free to comment.