Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 2nd Sep 2006 18:26 UTC, submitted by Mark
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "Unless you have been living in a cave somewhere in Redmond you would no doubt have heard of Ubuntu and its many derivatives, touted as 'Linux for human beings'. Ubuntu has become the darling of the Linux media and has stolen the limelight from other prominent distributions such as the stalwart Red Hat and, the now Novell owned, SuSE. The question is why?" More here.
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What is the reason for this backlash?
by mjmoran on Sat 2nd Sep 2006 20:18 UTC
Member since:

Ive been trying to figure out why there is this backlash against Ubuntu for some time now. As for the points that this article talks about, I agree with MechR that "gets it all wrong" by this articles standards, however, I would expand that to ALL OS's get it wrong by this articles standards and by the articles own standards most everything should confuse the newbie.

consistent look and feel: The latest releases of Linux by various vendors have the most consistent look and feel of most OS's out there. Is Windows or MacOS very consistent? NO! Also, people seem to do just fine, so I have to assume that this is either not that big of a deal or everyone "gets it wrong"

Speed: Im not sure how this could confuse Joe User, however, this myth should be done away with now. Yes, Linux will run on older hardware(and usually quite gracefully) However, the assumption that you should be able to install Linux on some boat anchor and have it run as fast as Windows or MacOS on a Core Duo is just crazy. In my experiences on the same hardware, Ubuntu feels faster than on WIndows or MacOS, however, the expectation that it should eliminate the upgrade cycle is just crazy.

Aesthetics: This one is really a red herring. Aesthetics means different things to different people. Yes, ALOT of people love Aqua, however, I know people who can't stand it. You will never please everyone, however, at least with Ubuntu its possible to change the theming - without any hacks or paying someone for some "tool" which does the hack for you.

Stability: First a quote from the article

"Itís great that an application crash doesn't freeze your entire system in Linux but that doesn't mean application crashes are acceptable on a regular basis. Unfortunately this appears to be the case even with many of the major distributions currently."

This would be a reasonable assessment, however, it applies to most OS's out there. Windows crashes quite often. Now, I realize that alot of times other 3rd party drivers or 3rd party applications are to blame, however, you really can't compare the two on those merits because they are two different models. Show me a Windows system that has comparable software as a Ubuntu install and I guarantee it will crash as much. Note: Ive not had any crashes in Dapper since I installed it 2 months ago.

Package management: I feel this could use some work. I like the easyUbuntu Model. Maybe make an app that only has the applications and a Simple interface. However, the situation is far worse in other operating systems. You have to look on the internet or in a store for the app you want. There isn't a central repo.

Software support: A valid point, however, this has nothing to do with Linux or Ubuntu. Its the vendor's problem. If I wanted a Linux only app running on Windows do i call Microsoft or even blame them for not having it? Of course not, you contact the maker of the app and ask(or pay) them to port it, or port it yourself.

These points I have above I think covers the main points of the article pretty well. I feel the problems aren't with Ubuntu so much as they are with all Operating Systems.
The Problem I see with this and other articles about what is wrong with Linux/(distro of choice) is that they make comparisons with Windows where no comparison applies. The author mentions that the CNR warehouse is one way that Linspire is copying Windows(he doesn't say it directly, but I felt it was heavily implied) when Windows has no such feature. Also, app quality is not Ubuntu's problem. If the Gimp doesn't stack up to Photoshop - tough. One if Free(in all regards) and the other costs several hundred dollars and is closed source.

Im not saying that the Linux software stack is worse than Window's stack - and im not saying its better(though I personally feel for most things it is) however, they are DIFFERENT. If you want to compare fairly, don't pick an industry standard(and expensive) app and a free app and compare them. Pick apps that are in the same class. Or pick common uses. The Gimp or openoffice may not have all the features, however, for most users they have all the features they need, and really, thats the point when it comes to Joe User.


Reply Score: 5

g2devi Member since:

> Package management: I feel this could use some work. I
> like the easyUbuntu Model.

Easy Ubuntu is pretty good, but it really does reimplement most of the functionality of Add/Remove programs. What would be great, however, is if "Add/Remove Programs" provided a "playlist" functionality, which would appear in the sidebar as just another predefined search.

The "playlist" would contain only three things 1) a set of repositories, 2) a set of packages plus optional descriptions, 3) text description for the playlist. That would make Easy Ubuntu's job a piece of cake. Instead of maintaining an application, all they'd have to do is to put a playlist on their website which you can import into "Add/Remove Programs". "Add/Remove Programs" would ask you if you wanted to add the given repositories into your sources.list and provide an appropriate warning if it's an unrecognized repository. You'd then be able to add any or all the packages in the playlist. You could even make your own playlists (e.g. take a playlist snapshot of your own system) and load it into another machine.

Edited 2006-09-02 20:44

Reply Parent Score: 2

mjmoran Member since:

Your right. I just looked at Add/Remove Programs(ive always used aptitude, ive never used it before) and its a great interface.

Reply Parent Score: 2

someone Member since:

The whole point about "Add/Remove Programs" is to make life easy for novice users. They would be easily confused by the concept of repository.

I think the app installation and upgrade part of Ubuntu is fine as it is.

Reply Parent Score: 2