Linked by Kostis Kapelonis on Sat 14th May 2011 15:43 UTC
General Development Application stores are growing everywhere like mushrooms. While users have initially embraced application stores because of the ease they offer with application installation, developers have several complaints. Division of profits from paid application and ineffectiveness of the screening process are among the major issues. Are application stores the best distribution channel possible? Can they satisfy both developers and users?
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First, why is one explaining Debian's repository setup to an Iphone user? Is understanding osX setup now required for Windows users?

Second, Debian focuses on security and stability over having the latest immature software version number. The offer an opt-in for non-free code. How is that bullshit? Products should not value goals related to there target use? If having the latest version number is your preference; pick a distribution that markets itself on being bleeding edge. Go play with Fedora where instability is considered a feature.

If someone is considering using Linux as his primary OS, he's probably going to notice pretty quickly that there's more than one to choose from. And when explaining the difference between the different distros, you're going to have to explain what repositories are, and when doing that, you're going to lose 90% of the iPhone users, who know just enough about their iPhones that when they tap the little 'app store' icon, that's where to get new apps and games. Linux needs to work like that.

Of course, I'm sure you would say "it DOES work like that if you choose the right distro". Um, no it doesn't. Let's say Jane and Suzy are Linux users, one running Ubuntu and the other running Fedora. So, one says to the other, "Hey, I just downloaded this cool new game last night... you should check it out!" So the other one clicks on her 'apps store' icon, and the game is not there. Why? Because that particular game is not on her particular repository. THAT is why it is bullshit.

And although it's not nearly as bad as it is on Linux, this kind of thing happens on Android sometimes. When it happens on Android, it's called fragmentation, and is considered a bad thing. But when it happens on Linux, Linux evangelists call it choice, and consider it a good thing.

If you want to make Linux work like the iPhone currently does, you have to start making decisions for people (like selecting a distro) and set it up for them. thereby dictating which apps they're going to have access to, since most of them would never bother to try side-loading in the first place. You asked in your post, why is choice considered a bad thing? Because people don't like to think, and would rather have choices be made for them. And that is what Apple does. I'm not saying that is a good thing; I'm just saying that's the way it is.

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