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The Singapore Linux Meetup Group Message Board › linux not ready as a workstation for the average DIY guy, a personal experience

linux not ready as a workstation for the average DIY guy, a personal experience

victor tan(used2b ...
tiger40490
Singapore, SG
Post #: 8
Here's one of those decisive experiences that, when experienced first-hand, would put off many people interested in switching to linux.

It would take a tenacious heart (or a real windows-hater) to see any hope through such a hopeless experience.

I installed Red Hat 8 and logged into gnome. When I ran "vi somefile" i noticed the vi display was all messed up. I won't describe the problem in full but basically whatever I typed was not shown but replaced by some " [?0c" or " ?[1c". I changed $TERM to "linux" but no help. The same problem also affects Redhat 9 and Fedora Core 2 which I installed subsequently. Both /bin/vi and /usr/bin/vim affected. As a result, I couldn't use vi in linux. Since vi is the only editor I am proficient in, I have no editor in linux to do any work!

Real worry is, I can't find any mention of such a common and serious problem on goole, in newsgroups and in gnome mailing list. I tried
"vi gnome"
"vi gnome display"
"vi gnome bug"

I spent a few nights (each time half an hour or so) and still can't find any mention of the problem.

Consider

* vi is the #1 most widely-used editor under linux and unix
* gnome is the #1 most widely-used GUI manager
* Redhat/Fedora is the #1 most widely-used linux distro

Using vi in gnome inside Redhat/Fedora is such a common task. What about lesser-known applications, in lesser-known distros? What kind of troubleshooting help can there be?

I found many other problems with my linux installation, and I usually could find some solution online. I'm not a complete newbie. Now think about people with less than 6 months linux experience? For this level of "online knowledge base", I really can't recommend any of my friends to install and maintain their own linux workstation for daily usage.

On a fundamental level, a computer system need a basic level of reliability and basic level of "online knowledge base" to be a viable alternative Windows. What i saw (this and many other bugs) is simply not meeting the basic standard. I am not emotinally biased against anything. This is a third-party, by-stander's voice.
Anand V.
anandvaidya
Maisuru, IN
Post #: 9
Probably your problem is related to the charset you chose. I use us-ascii or UTF8. I personally do not use FC/Gnome regularly.

Just remember that there are millions using FC/Gnome and very happy about it. If you face any problems, you can write in to SLMG board, or LUGS mailing list where people may assist you solve the display issue.
A former member
Post #: 3
Victor -

Hi. I most cases when there are problems in displaying within a term
windows, it almost always has to do with character sets not being
set right. While I use vi almost exclusively, on any distribution that
came out ove the last 5 years or so, has an editor called joe as well.
It is a modeless editor, kinda like the "edit" that was found in PCDOS.

>Real worry is, I can't find any mention of such a common and serious
> problem on goole, in newsgroups and in gnome mailing list. I tried
>"vi gnome"
>"vi gnome display"
>"vi gnome bug"

Possibly because this is not a common enough problem and very
very rarely encountered.

>On a fundamental level, a computer system need a basic level of
>reliability and basic level of "online knowledge base" to be a viable
>alternative Windows. What i saw (this and many other bugs) is simply
>not meeting the basic standard. I am not emotinally biased against
> anything. This is a third-party, by-stander's voice.

This is a matter of familarity really. A person who has never used
windows and only used Linux/UNIX/MacOS, will have the same
comment as you have. As one gains experience, one begins to
"fill in the blanks" with information and insight that one then begins
to wonder "when did I know that"?

Anyway, you have reached the right place to pose questions. You
might also want to subscribe to the Linux Users' Group (Singapore)
maillnig lilsts slugnet@lugs..org.sg who will be able to assist as
well.

Regards.

Harish
victor tan(used2b ...
tiger40490
Singapore, SG
Post #: 11
Thanks Anand and Harish for the tips.

Will try out "joe" if necessary. Meanwhile I'm doing everything in KDE.

Victor
A former member
Post #: 13
I believe this isn't a character set or encoding issue but rather either a problem with gnome-terminal's terminal emulation or VIM not sending the display codes correctly. There are many different terminal types, many of which are listed in /etc/termcap. You could try setting TERM to any one of the following to see which one works for you: linux, rxvt, xterm, etc.

There are many help channels you can reach when you experience such fundamental problems. Here is a quick list I made up:
* fedora-user mailing list
* GNOME users mailing list
* IRC channel #fedora on irc.freenode.net
* IRC channel #gnome on irc.gnome.org
* GNOME Bugzilla

If there seems to be no solutions or workaround, report the bug if it hasn't already been reported and try alternatives.

If the problem is terminal application specific (in this case GNOME terminal), you could switch to aterm, eterm, rxvt, kterm and xterm to name a few.

If it isn't, there are also many text editors to choose from. Emacs is one devilish. There's joe which someone else mentioned, kate and pico/nano. If you would like to stick to vi/vim and only have problems in X, you can try gvim or kvim which uses GUI toolkits to render its interface.
A former member
Post #: 14

Using vi in gnome inside Redhat/Fedora is such a common task. What about lesser-known applications, in lesser-known distros? What kind of troubleshooting help can there be?

I found many other problems with my linux installation, and I usually could find some solution online. I'm not a complete newbie. Now think about people with less than 6 months linux experience? For this level of "online knowledge base", I really can't recommend any of my friends to install and maintain their own linux workstation for daily usage.

On a fundamental level, a computer system need a basic level of reliability and basic level of "online knowledge base" to be a viable alternative Windows. What i saw (this and many other bugs) is simply not meeting the basic standard. I am not emotinally biased against anything. This is a third-party, by-stander's voice.

Given that many people have not experience similar problems (it appears to be quite difficult to find other reports from users), your statement on reliability is overly harsh.
A former member
Post #: 1
Well I do that across so many distros, its not funny and never have a problem. Actually you may not even be search for the right thing. It depends on what user you logged in as, typically the environent in root is not set for easy editing.

Have a bit of patience, for this is not a real problem.

Here's one of those decisive experiences that, when experienced first-hand, would put off many people interested in switching to linux.

It would take a tenacious heart (or a real windows-hater) to see any hope through such a hopeless experience.

I installed Red Hat 8 and logged into gnome. When I ran "vi somefile" i noticed the vi display was all messed up. I won't describe the problem in full but basically whatever I typed was not shown but replaced by some " [?0c" or " ?[1c". I changed $TERM to "linux" but no help. The same problem also affects Redhat 9 and Fedora Core 2 which I installed subsequently. Both /bin/vi and /usr/bin/vim affected. As a result, I couldn't use vi in linux. Since vi is the only editor I am proficient in, I have no editor in linux to do any work!

Real worry is, I can't find any mention of such a common and serious problem on goole, in newsgroups and in gnome mailing list. I tried
"vi gnome"
"vi gnome display"
"vi gnome bug"

I spent a few nights (each time half an hour or so) and still can't find any mention of the problem.

Consider

* vi is the #1 most widely-used editor under linux and unix
* gnome is the #1 most widely-used GUI manager
* Redhat/Fedora is the #1 most widely-used linux distro

Using vi in gnome inside Redhat/Fedora is such a common task. What about lesser-known applications, in lesser-known distros? What kind of troubleshooting help can there be?

I found many other problems with my linux installation, and I usually could find some solution online. I'm not a complete newbie. Now think about people with less than 6 months linux experience? For this level of "online knowledge base", I really can't recommend any of my friends to install and maintain their own linux workstation for daily usage.

On a fundamental level, a computer system need a basic level of reliability and basic level of "online knowledge base" to be a viable alternative Windows. What i saw (this and many other bugs) is simply not meeting the basic standard. I am not emotinally biased against anything. This is a third-party, by-stander's voice.

A former member
Post #: 1
Just to add a voice to this. I am a linux programmer and I am trying to figure out why I have this problem for the FIRST time. Been using vi for a year. Never seen this before. I only experience it in uml (User Mode Linux). Never seen it in uml before either. I am using utf-8. Strange. I am sure I will figure it out at some point, but it is extremely rare. Or new. I know the frustration though, but it is a thing you sometimes experience at times with any OS. I have spent many years in Windows programming. There are undocumented problems there as well. You just got lucky to hit one of the really bizarre bugs right off the bat.
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