What makes up a good “Operating System Mobile Home”? In my opinion, it’s cross-platform software (preferably open source). There are excellent alternatives to the most popular OS such as the many flavors of Linux, but the problem (for me at least) right now is software. There is software that brings Windows programs to Linux (like Transgaming Technologies’ Cedega and CodeWeavers’ CrossOver OfficeTM), which will be a huge development. Already the functionality is there, but if you don’t pay high dollar for customized builds, the options are quite buggy (I don’t pay attention to gaming software much, so I’m not sure how products like Cedega work). I think it’s much better, if possible, to have cross-platform programs that allow you to move freely from one OS to the other. Especially if it is open source and you don’t have to worry about single user license silliness.
I’m looking forward to trying PC World’s Linux Experiment, but I need programs that will work where I go. For browsing, I have Firefox and now with a Global Inbox, Thunderbird takes care of email. There is one bit of software that still holds me back, though: A good WYSIWYG HTML editor for Linux. In several bouts of searching, I have found only one good candidate and it is still in it’s youth. Nvu is a cross-platform WYSIWYG editor that has lots of promise and with backing from Linspire, I am confident it will soon rival the big names.
Why WYSIWYG and what do I want? Well, I’m working on other people’s websites (for free) and they need a way to update the website if I’m too busy or something. So, number one reason why is for other users who aren’t going to learn HTML. The second reason is, it’s just easier for a lot of things. I mean it’s nice and nerdy to say, “I coded that by hand”, but it’s impractical for me who has other things to do. I often work on the code directly, but for many things it’s nice to just type in what you want to get. This is where templates come in too…that’s what I want and the big thing I’m waiting for from Nvu. A template allows site-wide design and content change with very little hassle and allows people who aren’t web savvy to update pages without messing with essential elements of the page. [On a side note: If anyone knows of a non-WYSIWYG editor that supports templates, please let me know.]
If you are interested in products that will free you up to travel, check out The table of equivalents / replacements / analogs of Windows software in Linux. Of course Macintosh is a good alternative, but I’ll leave that subject to those who know what they’re talking about.
Update 10.46am: Apparently, I can’t see very well. I did check out the html editors on the link above, but it has been a while and I don’t know what I checked out. I noticed that w3C has a free one called Amaya (cross-platform) and IBM has WebShere Studio to buy for Linux. I’ll be checking out Amaya when I get the chance.
Disclaimer: Yet again I boldly go into a subject I don’t know all about, so check out the links yourself for your own opinions. I will gladly accept correction on this article as well.