Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 17th Mar 2007 00:26 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu During my 8 years of Linux on and off usage I have tried more distros than I have chocolate bars. Each one of my previous encounters meant that I had to spend at least 2 days configuring before I have a desktop that I was somewhat comfortable with. With Ubuntu Feisty Fawn's latest test beta --for the first time ever-- this was not the case. I was up and running with all the niceties I wanted within 2 hours.
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I dislike Gnome, much preferring KDE, yet *out of the box*, Ubuntu does NOT give me choice... Everyone keeps saying 'but Linux gives you choice!!!' - strange that Ubuntu doesn't.

Part of the choice is that there are around a dozen major distributions to choose from. Ubuntu is merely one of these choices.

How hard would it for Ubuntu to release a DVD instead of a CD and include the most popular desktop environment in Linux land?

Not very hard, but they might as well release a CD for users who prefer GNOME and another for those who prefer KDE... which is what they do. I'm not sure where your numbers are coming from on DE popularity. I have a feeling that GNOME is currently more popular than KDE, but I think this is a cyclical thing. KDE used to be more popular, then GNOME reinvented itself and became more popular, and now we see KDE reinventing itself and gaining momentum.

Don't give me the Kubuntu bullshyte, cos that's just baloney. It gets far less attention, and has far less developers, resulting in a shoddy system. What we are seeing here is blatant favouritism for Gnome, rather than letting the end user choose what they want/prefer.

I'm not going to disagree with you. Kubuntu and Ubuntu share a great deal of development effort, but yes, Kubuntu tends to trail Ubuntu in overall polish. Remember, Linux is about choice. Ubuntu chooses GNOME. Who are you to deny them their right to choose?

There is no shortage of high-quality KDE-oriented distributions. Try MEPIS or PCLinuxOS, for example. The former is a relatively close derivative of Ubuntu with a focus on KDE and simplicity. The latter is a fork of Mandriva that uses APT tools to manage RPMs, which is unusual, but it seems to work really well.

Look, man, everybody's different. It isn't feasible for everybody to develop their own distribution, so we only have like four hundred and change to choose from. Most are really small niche projects that probably aren't what you're looking for. There's certainly no conspiracy to keep you from using a KDE-oriented distribution.

In fact, these days I don't use GNU/Linux at all, since several things I use aren't supported:...

You're preaching to the choir. We all would like to see those seemingly irreplaceable Windows apps become available on Linux and other free software platforms, but nobody here at OSNews or over at the Ubuntu project can help you with this. Maybe write a letter to Adobe if you think it's worth your time, because it isn't a matter of Linux not supporting Photoshop, it's Adobe not supporting Linux. Same thing with hardware. Canon could have implemented the USB mass storage standard if they cared about compatibility, or they could have been more forthcoming as to why our reverse-engineered PTP driver in gphoto2 works with my PowerShot but not with your EOS.

Asking me to get off my a$$ and code drivers for this baby is what I consider elitist and a very unreasonable demand on the end user. It's one thing that gives GNU/Linux zealots a very bad name in the real world.

I have sneaking suspicion that you get this response from the Linux community because we feel you're placing unreasonable demands on us. Your points are valid, but your energy is misdirected. Unfortunately for those who don't like to code, that's how software is created and improved. We invite you to participate in our projects in a variety of capacities including but not limited to programming, but of course participation is not required.

I think that Linux "zealots" get a bad name because much of the "real world" believes in a culture of entitlement. Look at everybody living life with a chip on their shoulder, blaming everyone else for their problems and scoffing at the notion that they take responsibility for their own situation. Somewhere along the line we stopped believing in opportunity as a means of realizing our dreams and began to foster the idea that we're entitled to our expectations. In "Linux land," we believe that the opportunity to participate in our information society is fundamental to our inherent desire as human beings to better our situation and control our own destiny.

Of course, money can make just about any dream come true. Mark Shuttleworth, for exmaple, invested $10 million to help make the Ubuntu project a reality. But years ago my great-grandmother told me the story of how my family came to America with nothing but the promise that here they would find a land of opportunity. This is the same promise we make with free software. This isn't elitist, this is egalitarian.

Edited 2007-03-17 05:34

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