November 23, 2003

That neglected category

Originally, this blog was s'posed to be a place where I could reflect, rant, rave and otherwise blurt about developments in the world of Linux which I get to see from a rarified (albeit not unique) perspective.

Of course, there's a problem with this - notably, people in the linux world are typically more gregarious than I, and blog the hell outta what's going on anyway. Given that some of them are the ones actually writing the software, and arguing over what it will look like and why, my contribution would be somewhat pointless.

I guess it might be interesting to some small crew what it looks like for a small but loudmouthed linux shop to be glommed by a big and old-world corporation - but I'm not sure if I can write down the really good bits anyway.

So here we are. I guess I leave this space for my own personal views on where Linux is and goes - much less point and meaning, but there you have it, this is a blog after all and I'm not one of the movers and shakers. So whaddya want for nothing, a rubber biscuit?

I use linux daily at work. I don't actually use any other OS; I don't have a Windows machine at my desk or even readily available. This leads to my current, major gripe with Linux desktop software. I'm a Network Admin (at least, I like to style myself as such) and diagrams are my life and bread. However, there really is no good way to diagram a network in Linux. The GNOME crew will pipe up with "Dia!" except that, as a user of software, Dia is a dysfunctionally idiotic piece of software. Who ever heard of a diagramming program that wouldn't let you rotate an object?

I'm gonna use the awful word - yep, Visio. Visio, for all of its own dimwittedness and the layers of dysfunction that its evil step-parent has laid on it, is still the Gold Standard for doing infrastructure diagramming.

There were better packages for doing this sort of stuff - my favorite used to be something called SmartDraw, which was around $20 and was optimized for doing network diagrams. Then, of course, the behemoth bought Visio and used it to club the other contestants into the alleyway. OOo is doing an excellent job of becoming a MSO replacement...and it'll need this functionality.

More later.

Posted by jbz at November 23, 2003 2:59 PM
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