hippy
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:52 pm

PeterO wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:13 am
Having a computing curriculum that was dumbed down to just learning how to use MS office suite must have put off several generations of youngsters, and that was the problem for Cambridge University that the PI was intended to address.
Exactly; it was the curriculum which was dumbed down, it was educators who weren't teaching how to code.

That they chose to teach 'How to use Windows Apps' because that's what businesses wanted them to teach, what the government told them to teach, doesn't mean they couldn't have been teaching proper coding, couldn't have been using Windows to do that.

Even the government ultimately recognised its own failings, even before it embarked on its 'Year of Code', other schemes and initiatives to encourage more actual coding.

You are absolutely right; the curriculum was wrong. It doesn't follow that this was Microsoft's or Windows fault, that neither can be used to teach coding.

hippy
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:03 pm

jamesh wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:40 am
If Windows were free ...
Most people perceive it as free because it's included in the purchase price of their hardware.
jamesh wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:40 am
Linux was chosen for the Pi because it was the best option available. If there was a different best option, we would probably have chosen that, but there wasn't.
Absolutely.
jamesh wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:40 am
This thread makes no sense.
It did initially, paraphrased; how come things don't seem to run so well to me on a Pi 4B as they do on a Windows platform ?

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jahboater
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:23 pm

As a platform for learning coding I see we have pre-installed in Raspberry Pi OS :

Python
C
ada
C++
java
go
D
Fortran
objective-c,
obj-c++
assembler

There are likely several others. Then there is the debugger, editors, profilers, build tools etc etc, all included.
Also there are the additional languages and tools that are a simple "apt install" away.

I'm not sure of any other platform offering all that sort of stuff "out of the box" ?
Last edited by jahboater on Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pi4 8GB running PIOS64 Lite

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dickon
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:26 pm

jamesh wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:40 am
If Windows were free, Linux probably would not exist. Because to be free and easily usable on any arbitrary platform, like Linux is, Windows would need to be open source. If Windows were open source, its code base would be better, easier to use, and it would be easier to write code for. So there would be no need for Linux.
There was no need for Linux when it got suddenly popular. The likes of *BSD were trundling along, doing a reasonable job of being a free Unix, and their licence terms make an Android easier as the whole base system allows you to retain your source changes should you wish. Then IBM threw a lot of money at it, SCO sued them and lost, and Linux steamrollered the BSDs into irrelevance.
This thread makes no sense.
Agreed.

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PeterO
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:54 pm

hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:52 pm
It doesn't follow that this was Microsoft's or Windows fault, that neither can be used to teach coding.
OH ! It absolutly DOES follow that it was Microsofts fault. Who do you think convinced the government that it's products were the best choice to be used in schools ? Of course their (near) monopoly of the desktop had noting to do with it :roll:

PeterO
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bjtheone
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:17 pm

I think it comes down to free/open vs commercial. Given the original goals, as I understand them, the Pi hardware had to be cheap (as in very inexpensive). This likely ruled out x86 designs, and for the mission they did not need the power.

Microsoft is not interested in porting, or even helping port their OS to a project that is not going to drive a revenue stream for them.

The other issue that I am sure was considered, was the licensing terms. I am sure Eben was bright enough to consider the longer term ramifications of his project. With Debian or another "free OS" the foundation and RPT can control their own destiny. With the licensing terms a corporation would grant you are always going to be dependent on the corporation and its whims.

Sure you can build a fantasy world where Microsoft was willing to port the OS and provide guaranteed support and free licensing. And yes given that I suspect that Eben might have gone with Microsoft. The mission is not the OS. There still would have been the performance issue to consider. Linux has always run better than Windows on low end hardware.

ejolson
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:07 pm

bjtheone wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:17 pm
Linux has always run better than Windows on low end hardware.
In my opinion, Linux also runs much better on high-end hardware. This is a result of IBM, HP, AMD and Intel among others having put so much development effort into Linux. That was only possible because Linus had the skill to create git for managing one definitive upstream codebase and the judgement to keep what is good but not the bad.

In a way we're back to the free software ideal of early IBM before that was ended by antitrust. Is it possible Linux will, in the future by a government regulation, be forced to charge a price similar to what Microsoft would seek for a full source-code license to Windows?

Back on topic, these days I'm amazed how much video on Intel compatible PCs running Linux has improved. The exact same hardware now plays YouTube and Vimeo smoothly in the browser but didn't when first purchased. Things keep getting better and better, until they don't. Still, I expect video performance on the 4B will continue to improve for some time.

Heater
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:49 pm

Good morning class. Today we are going to learn about finding the areas of circles. Just install MS PI. When you click on it, it will prompt you for the radius of your circle, enter a radius in the dialog box and press 'calculate'. The area of your circle will be displayed. Tomorrow we will move on to quadratic equations.

Good morning class. Today we will learn about solving quadratic equations. Just install MS Quadratic. When you click on it, it will prompt you for the coefficients of your quadratic equation, enter them, a, b and c, and press 'calculate'. The roots of your quadratic will be displayed. Tomorrow we will move on to computer operating systems.

Good morning class. Today we will learn about computer operating systems. Go to the shop and buy a desktop or laptop computer. They are not so expensive. It already has MS OS installed, for fee. When prompted enter your user name, password and stuff. Your operating system will run.

You see, I don't think closed source software has any place in education anywhere. It just wants to hide the 'secret stuff' for profit. The notion is as absurd as keeping the mathematics of circles and quadratics or anything else secret. It's morally bankrupt.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

hippy
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:12 pm

PeterO wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:54 pm
hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:52 pm
It doesn't follow that this was Microsoft's or Windows fault, that neither can be used to teach coding.
OH ! It absolutly DOES follow that it was Microsofts fault. Who do you think convinced the government that it's products were the best choice to be used in schools ? Of course their (near) monopoly of the desktop had noting to do with it :roll:
So Microsoft told the government they had to stop teaching people coding :roll: :roll: :roll:

I'm not sure why Microsoft were providing free Visual Studio Express products if they were so against people learning to code. Why they had their own education division.

hippy
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:17 pm

ejolson wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:07 pm
Is it possible Linux will, in the future by a government regulation, be forced to charge a price similar to what Microsoft would seek for a full source-code license to Windows?
Have we hit "peak concern trolling" yet ?

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PeterO
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:31 pm

hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:12 pm
So Microsoft told the government they had to stop teaching people coding :roll: :roll: :roll:
In effect.
I'm not sure why Microsoft were providing free Visual Studio Express products if they were so against people learning to code. Why they had their own education division.
Corporations are only driven by profit. They only give things away to hook developers and customers to their platforms. There is no altruism involved!
Don't be fooled by any education programs, they'll just be viewed as "loss leaders" for later sales.

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"The primary requirement (as we've always seen in your examples) is that the code is readable. " Dougie Lawson

emma1997
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:00 pm

Heater wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:49 pm
Good morning class. Today we will learn about computer operating systems. Go to the shop and buy a desktop or laptop computer. They are not so expensive. It already has MS OS installed, for fee.
Yes, but a very small fee (lol). Of course considering all the installations it does add up.

From what I can tell MS made lots of money off tools. Some companies I worked for purchased hundreds/thousands of licenses and then support for them.

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:01 pm

Heater wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:49 pm
Good morning class. Today ...
I wonder if, rather than blaming it all the Government, or Microsoft, or ..., some of the blame lies with the teachers, schools, etc.?

As in, (the day before term starts)
We've been told to start teaching the sixth-formers computing. That sounds a bit mathematical, with a hint of English, so could you two get together and find something to teach them?
So the two of them try to find out, and discover that Office sounds complicated enough to teach, but not beyond them if they can find time to learn enough to stay ahead of them.

ejolson
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 6:16 pm

hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:12 pm
PeterO wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:54 pm
hippy wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:52 pm
It doesn't follow that this was Microsoft's or Windows fault, that neither can be used to teach coding.
OH ! It absolutly DOES follow that it was Microsofts fault. Who do you think convinced the government that it's products were the best choice to be used in schools ? Of course their (near) monopoly of the desktop had noting to do with it :roll:
So Microsoft told the government they had to stop teaching people coding :roll: :roll: :roll:

I'm not sure why Microsoft were providing free Visual Studio Express products if they were so against people learning to code. Why they had their own education division.
Windows was released in 1983 and due to grants and initiatives was nearly universal in school computing labs by 1995. As already mentioned, during this time the focus of high-school computer courses switched from programming to spreadsheets, word processing and other secretarial skills.

By 2005 Linux had become popular in university CS programs and was being used to train new programmers. Typical of the pre Satya post Bill leadership at Microsoft, a free compiler called Visual Express was released too little and too late to be of much interest to developers already comfortable with open-source GNU tools. The fact that Visual Express produces notably inferior executables probably didn't help either.

One could also argue by 2005 it was clear that students entering computer science programs at the universities were unprepared. Thus, Visual Express can be characterized as a charitable educational effort intended to remedy a lack of computer literacy. That's good. One of the things that make the world robust is that people try different solutions to solve the same problem.

By now the world has made a decision and moved on. We used to teach the first semester of programming with Visual C and the second semester in a Linux environment with gcc. Now both courses are taught using Linux. It turns out the skill needed to drag and drop files from a green, red or purple file manager is no more difficult to acquire than for a blue coloured one. Also the chances of students already knowing a bit about writing programs under Linux is now greater than Windows, so its only just natural to leverage that knowledge.
Last edited by ejolson on Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hippy
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:48 pm

We've been told to start teaching the sixth-formers computing. That sounds a bit mathematical, with a hint of English, so could you two get together and find something to teach them?
That was pretty much how it was in my day, though not as organised as that. The Maths teacher ended up responsible but knew nothing. It was "there's an ASR33 in the cubby-hole, have at it". And then we discovered we could use the card punch machines at the local uni.

There was definitely a more structured approach by the time the BBC Micro emerged, but it still seems to me it was mostly kids doing it for themselves in the heyday of Home Computers, led not by teachers but magazines.

And then Home Computers faded away and it seems GW-BASIC wasn't so attractive, though plenty jumped into Visual Basic to create no end of monstrosities but that soon shifted to producing Geocities monstrosities, and then kids found that playing games and surfing was more fun, and then came consoles, then Social Media.

The whole notion that anything killed off kid's interest in coding other than it just going out of fashion with kids favouring other things is just fantasy to me.

By the time we had "Computing" properly on the school curriculum it wasn't coding. Because that had pretty much disappeared, It was how to use, not how to create, because that's what it was thought students should learn, because it's what they'd need at work.

It was D&T where the coders and proto-Makers were. Then Making became a thing, rekindled coding and electronics. Arduino played a big part in that and then the Pi came along.

Or we can imagine there was a thriving coding scene deliberately suffocated by Microsoft and Windows and only resuscitated by the Raspberry Pi. M$ and Windoze evil, Linux good.

bjtheone
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Thu Aug 13, 2020 8:23 pm

There have been some good programs developed to teach simple programming to lower grades. Typically using a GUI to connect logic blocks.

I know my son's school actually teaches a fairly involved series of programming courses in high school. Mostly in C. He is just finishing up Electrical engineering and found the first years programming courses simple. He just finished university so high school would have been 2011-2016.

Of course some school's version of a programming course is build a website.

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clicky
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:10 pm

It is really hard reading many half-truths stated in this thread - and very, very narrow views - views from certain generation, University (stream), country or such... For instance 'the government' most likely would never apply on Sweden (my personal view based on poor guy who was zeroed at for his implementation of DVD decryption algorithm)...

I am not sure if correcting some of those would help discussion or not - but it would help if people who state stuff do their background check and/or at least point out which particular angle they are coming from. For instance - first Linux installation which I was given at the University was cca 1992. (It would be similar to saying that Linux did exist before Ubuntu) ;)

Prior Windows 3 (1990) - Windows wasn't prevalent on any major scale anywhere at academia or education...

And so on - about what Linux really is, when and why Linus created Linux, etc...
Last edited by clicky on Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:46 pm

clicky wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:10 pm
(It would be similar to saying that Linux did exist before Ubuntu) ;)
Amazingly computers, and even personal computers, did exist before Bill Gates. Contrary to popular folk law.

Ubuntu is so new on the block I still cannot fathom why anyone would rely on that fly-by-night company that ripped it off from Debian.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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PeterO
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:02 pm

clicky wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:10 pm
when and why Linux created Linux, etc...
All your credibility has now gone :-)
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:20 pm

Heater wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:46 pm
clicky wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:10 pm
(It would be similar to saying that Linux did exist before Ubuntu) ;)
Amazingly computers, and even personal computers, did exist before Bill Gates. Contrary to popular folk law.

Ubuntu is so new on the block I still cannot fathom why anyone would rely on that fly-by-night company that ripped it off from Debian.
I do all my Pi dev work on an LUbuntu. My home desktop is Ubuntu. Both work fine for me.
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Heater
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:39 pm

I don't doubt that is possible.

But my question still stands. Why do that?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

ejolson
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:44 pm

PeterO wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:02 pm
clicky wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:10 pm
when and why Linux created Linux, etc...
All your credibility has now gone :-)
PeterO
I think that was a typo. Maybe it should have read "Linux created Linus."

Fame and fortune aside, the difficulty, as I see it, is likely confusing the difference between learning computer science and watching YouTube.

There are many videos a person might want to watch while studying computer science. For example, the algorithms class on MIT Open Courseware. On the other hand, I find it helps to write code to understand what all that theory really means and how things work.

Going back to the topic of the original post, the desktop on the Pi works exactly how I expected. Making a judgement whether that experience is somehow bad or good depends on the person. It is also possible some people are setting up the video driver in a suboptimal way.

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jahboater
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:23 pm

Heater wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:46 pm
Ubuntu is so new on the block I still cannot fathom why anyone would rely on that fly-by-night company that ripped it off from Debian.
It was immediately very popular. Things "just worked" without complicated configuration, and converts from Windows liked it.

I prefer Mint personally.
Heater wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 6:46 pm
that ripped it off from Debian.
You mean like Raspbian, Mint etc etc come from Debian?
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jahboater
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:25 pm

Heater wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 7:39 pm
I don't doubt that is possible.

But my question still stands. Why do that?
Why wouldn't you?

Have you some kind of personal vendetta against Mr Shuttleworth?
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Heater
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Re: Is Pi4 desktop experience supposed to be this bad?

Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:50 pm

jahboater wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:23 pm
You mean like Raspbian, Mint etc etc come from Debian?
I have no idea what Mint is but Raspbian had a valid reason for existing. Getting what is basically Debian running on hardware that Debian did not support out of the box.
jahboater wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:23 pm
Have you some kind of personal vendetta against Mr Shuttleworth?
Not particularly.

My grumpiness comes from having to keep an Ubuntu server working in an office for enough years to see few releases go by. Always something was breaking. Said office had no particular need for this chaos but they insisted on it anyway.

Then I find many useful things are packaged for Ubuntu, because it is so popular, even it has no technical reason to be so. Mostly works, sometimes not.

For example, why on Earth does the Nvidia provide Ubuntu for their Jetson Nano?

Ah well, each to his own.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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