Linked by David Adams on Mon 24th Aug 2009 09:21 UTC
Linux A reader asks: Why is Linux still not as user friendly as the two other main OSes with all the people developing for Linux? Is it because it is mainly developed by geeks? My initial feeling when reading this question was that it was kind of a throwaway, kind of a slam in disguise as a genuine question. But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I felt. There truly are a large amount of resources being dedicated to the development of Linux and its operating system halo (DEs, drivers, apps, etc). Some of these resources are from large companies (IBM, Red Hat, Novell). Why isn't Linux more user-friendly? Is this an inherent limitation with open source software?
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RE[6]: Comment by ven-
by Wrawrat on Mon 24th Aug 2009 18:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by ven-"
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Another strawman. The only people who raise it as an issue are the anti-Linux crowd, most of whom haven't spent more than 30 mins using a Linux distribution because if they did they would realize that it isn't a problem.

Your argument is a strawman, as you assume that only unknowledgeable people would be in favour of decentralized packages while everyone else would agree with you.
Using Debian Stable as the basis for your argument about old software versions is laughable. It's not an operating system that focuses on having new software. It's focused on having stable software. It isn't something a new Linux user is going to be using as a desktop OS. It's just another bad argument.

Red herring. It was merely an example. Now that you mention it, Ubuntu is not based on Debian Stable, Debian Testing is still packaging that archaic version while Debian Unstable/Ubuntu Karmic got a mix of recent (3.4) and archaic (CDT at 3.1) versions.
Like what? What are these magical missing programs on what linux distro? I find it very telling that these arguments are always generic without anyone specifying what package is missing.

Up-to-date packages for Eclipse on Ubuntu. Many console emulators on Ubuntu and Fedora. Hotkey utilities for my previous laptop on most distributions. Hundreds of small libre programs or libraries you can find on the Internet (either on Freshmeat or SF). Needless to say, most proprietary software are not in repositories, even if there is no libre alternative. I could go on.

Now, you won't have to go beyond repositories if you merely use your PC for mundane tasks. Obviously, some people have different needs. To be honest, not all software deserve to be in a centralised repository... yet, they do exist.
If there is something I don't miss about proprietary operating systems it's the awful security nightmare of decentralized package installation.

There is no doubt that updating these systems is quite a chore. That said, a centralized system is not necessarily more secure, as it could become a central point of failure.

Edited 2009-08-24 18:59 UTC

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