Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sun 22nd Apr 2007 07:38 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu "Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) arrived just a few days ago with promises of better hardware compatibility, included proprietary software and drivers, and more user friendliness. Was it wort the wait? And more importantly - Is it finally time to "Make the Switch"?" Read the review here. Elsewhere, "First thoughts on Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn" was published at ZDNet. Update: A reply article to the two linked above.
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murloc
Member since:
2007-03-12

Woefully unpolished, yes unfortunately.
The big problem as I see it is that the typical Linux user doesn't seem to care about things like polish, design and professional looks. So the maintainers of Ubuntu or any other distro probably won't change in this regard. I really like Linux - under the hood. I just wish it would look really good out of the box, but like I said, I have this feeling that most users don't care. Or, even worse, actually say things like Gnome looks good out of the box etc.

Reply Parent Score: 3

ssa2204 Member since:
2006-04-22

I think murloc is very correct in that a lot of Linux users are not concerned with the polish, design, and looks as long as they are using a non-MS OS. It is like in an article I read a while back about BSD that described Linux users as people that use Linux because they hate Microsoft. Ubuntu does fill a basic need in that it is a entry level non-MS OS for people to use who do not wish to use MS. The problem is that the zealot crowd fails to understand what non-geeks like or want. And they have spoken

I personally do not foresee Linux as a threat on the desktop for some time, it just is not there. And it is quite possible someone or something else will come along and be the "it" OS in a few years, surpassing Linux as the desktop replacement. When you consider what Apple did by designing an OS from the ground based on BSD it shows that with motivation, the *nix OS can be used. Problem is, Linux is just NOT the OS for the masses, and it still is no way close to being there. Many of the geek features of Linux are a complete turn off to non-geeks. Even more, something that wasn't touched too much in this blog review was this. At present, these distros are adding in technology such as XGL, compiz, beryl etc. that really needs to be left out and tested more. These desktop effects are a disaster. And as this author notes, the average user does not give a damn about the reasons why or any excuses, they just expect things to work. Roll out Linux on a desktop PC for HP or Dell, and give people these results will lead to a complete disaster for Linux.

But then again, I am in the minority who thinks that Linux should just drop this desktop crap all together and focus on it's core where it has found success. As I write this I am conducting a server migration with Linux that I would NEVER be able to do, or at least to do as painlessly, with any Windows server.

Reply Parent Score: 2

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Different people have different standards. As a developer, I have very high demands for consistency, reliability, and maintainability. A novice might prefer simplicity and usability. Power users, it seems, like nice icons and smooth fonts. To each his own. The free software desktop will have an easier time appealing to the massive population of limited-needs users (including the corporate desktop market) and the strategically important population of developers than it will have attracting (demanding and useless) power users.

My definition of polish is that things work and work together as one would expect. I personally couldn't care less if an icon isn't as nice as it could be as long as it's clear what the icon is supposed to represent. I know there's a whole slew of people working on Tango, Oxygen, and other icon projects, and while I wouldn't mind some more attractive icons, I think there's way more important "polish" issues to be ironed out.

I'd like these X resolution detection bugs to go away and never come back. I've been editing XF86Config and xorg.conf for ten years, and it's just embarrassing that we can't lick this one. Xorg 7.3 can't come soon enough, and I hope it lives up to its expectations.

From a desktop perspective, we're currently in between the second and third generations of free software desktop technology. I switched to Linux as my predominant platform at the dawn of the second generation, characterized by the arrival of Mozilla and later OpenOffice. Many more with switch with the third generation, which will be characterized by modular applications and high-level abstractions.

Free software is about participation and network effects. It's still too difficult for power users to contribute to application development. But tools like QtDesigner and PyQt/PyKDE are making free software development accessible to casual programmers and even first-time programmers. Programming is going to become a more universal skill as time goes on, and free software will capitalize on this trend, especially if we keep lowering the barriers and embracing modular development.

We used to get "Hah! Linux is a joke and will never make it on the desktop." Now we get more of a "Sorry geeks, but Linux just isn't there yet and won't be for a long time." I don't see the Linux desktop having a breakout year in 2008, but it will be a damn fine product by that point in time. Some pretty fundamental aspects of the computer industry have to change if Linux rapidly gains marketshare, and that can't happen over night. There's only so much we can do as a community effort with little commercial exposure in the consumer market, and the OEMs and ISVs can only redefine their business models so quickly.

The higher-ups at IBM like to talk about Linux in terms of eventualities with no time frames. Linux will eventually run on the majority of computers. When? Nobody knows. Certainly not this decade, no matter how great the platform evolves over the next couple years. What Linux and the free software desktop need more than any feature, hardware support, or third-party application is time. We just need time to let this era of computing run its course while we continue to improve our platform under low marketshare conditions.

Eventually the market will come around due to some change that's out of our control. Maybe Vista will be the OS that breaks the fat client's back in the corporate space. Maybe politics will intercede (positively or negatively). Maybe personal computing will take on new shapes and sizes. Barring some unforeseen IP law changes, any change in the industry will be good for Linux and bad for Microsoft.

What is really comes down to is who is the thought leader in platform technology. You can lead by being the best, or you can lead by simply putting your ideas out there. One takes money, the other takes time. But if we lead, they'll follow... eventually.

Reply Parent Score: 2

blitze Member since:
2006-09-15

Well Butters I like having the fact that xorg.conf exists. I can get something working without hoping Nvidia has it in their anemic control panel.

Yes, TV-Out using component from my Nvidia 7600GT to my TV using a scart adaptor. I can't for the life of me get this to work in Windows consistantly in XP and at all in Vista. I hope Xorg 7.3 still gives uis the option to use xorg.conf if we need as I don't trust automation.

Another thing, I can get Nautilus to burn data DVD's with no issue at all. Vista x64 can't seem to do it as explorer just throws up file errors. Maybe something for Service Pack 1 later this year but definately not for now and I don't want to have to install something like Nero which has a tendency to try and take over my system.

So I guess, from my point of view, Ubuntu x64 is as ready if not more so than Vista x64. There is the issue of certain apps that I like on Windows that Linux hasn't but my dependence on them will be weaned some time in the not to distant future just as I have been weaned from MS Office (in a digital print production environment).

Reply Parent Score: 1