Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th May 2009 22:04 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Many Linux users have experience with Wine, the application compatibility layer which allows some Windows programs to run on UNIX-like machines. During Ubuntu's Open Week event, Mark Shuttleworth was asked about Wine, and how important he believes it is for the success of Ubuntu.
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Give Up Shuttleworth, You Don't Get It
by segedunum on Wed 6th May 2009 09:35 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

While it is lovely to say that you can start from a clean slate and totally ignore all the applications, and more importantly components, that people are using and running today - especially when you have precious few applications to start off with - I'm afraid you simply can't. It's a fact of life when you're not the main player.

It's like saying that Microsoft Office could have got to where it is having totally ignored WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 files that people were saving twenty years ago and being unable to handle them. Errrrrr, you're going nowhere with that.

In fact, I'm being harsh on Mark here. No one gets this it seems.

Edited 2009-05-06 09:38 UTC

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

While it is lovely to say that you can start from a clean slate and totally ignore all the applications, and more importantly components, that people are using and running today - especially when you have precious few applications to start off with - I'm afraid you simply can't. It's a fact of life when you're not the main player.

It's like saying that Microsoft Office could have got to where it is having totally ignored WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 files that people were saving twenty years ago and being unable to handle them. Errrrrr, you're going nowhere with that.

In fact, I'm being harsh on Mark here. No one gets this it seems.


There are 25,000+ packages in Ubuntu's repositories, representing perhaps 10,000 applications.

Hardly qualifies as "a few".

There is a lot of noise on the web, it seems to be an Internet meme, that Linux somehow lacks applications, and that there are things that you cannot do with Linux.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_meme

In some rare cases, this might actually be true. However, for the vast majority of use cases ... what most people actually use their computers for ... it isn't true at all.

Tellingly, the people who like to try to spread this meme are almost universally unable, when challenged, to come up with a general, common use application of computing that cannot be done, and done well, natively with Linux.

As already shown on this thread, such people will often resort to egregious insults against anyone who challenges their meme.

Edited 2009-05-06 10:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

It's because if Linux has, say, a wordprocessor, it doesn't mean that one will be able to complete a certain real-world wordprocessing task in it (or reliably complete a set of such tasks that one can possibly encounter within one's activity realm). "Real-world task" being a task that involves a specific common data format, feature, way or speed of doing things. When said format, feature, way, or speed constitute a de-facto standard, then people tend to say about lack of applications - they mean quality, not quantity.

Reply Parent Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

There are 25,000+ packages in Ubuntu's repositories, representing perhaps 10,000 applications.

Sigh...................

How many of them are relevant to people running Windows today? There is no way at all that you're going to be able to list an alternative to every software application out there that people on Windows are using. That's so stupid it isn't even funny. How are software developers going to install their software, because they aren't going to wait months to get it into a repository? They probably don't want to make it publicly available in a repository either. How do you handle that? You don't.

More developers == More software
More software == More users
Wider availability of software (i.e. installation) == Even more users

Without that, nothing. That's what Linux and Ubuntu needs.

There is a lot of noise on the web, it seems to be an Internet meme, that Linux somehow lacks applications, and that there are things that you cannot do with Linux.

There are things you can't do with Linux. Trying to believe otherwise is delusional. For starters, just look at the software available for Windows that people use in a wide variety of fields. You only end up looking like a sad loser when you start trying to rifle through Ubuntu's repository looking for alternatives to every bit of software people can install on Windows and saying "Oh, if you just do this and don't care about that functionality........." What about all the internal VB applications and COM components in companies that they're not even rewriting for .Net, nevermind Linux desktops? That counts for a hell of a lot and it's a huge opportunity to gain users in one fell swoop.

For some limited functions like e-mail, web browsing and at a push office functionality it certainly can be used, and strategically it is important that you push people towards those alternatives. However, beyond that you're running on empty.

The important bit:

The mantra seems to be "Oh, over 80% of people use this and only less than 20% of people use all that complicated stuff. We don't need that bloatware on our systems!" The old 80/20 rule. As Joel Spolsky wisely says though, it's always a different 20% using different features each time. It's why Gnome itself, and Ubuntu as a result, regardless of anything else will never get anywhere with that bone headed, delusional view of the world. It's why 'Lite' word processors never get anywhere and why companies who sell software on that basis don't stay in business for long. As soon as one person realises you haven't got the one feature they use you've lost them.

As already shown on this thread, such people will often resort to egregious insults against anyone who challenges their meme.

Yep, and I'm afraid some people will continue in their own little world.

Edited 2009-05-06 11:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 6

thelastdodo Member since:
2008-10-07

No, Mark is right. He shouldnt focus too much on being compatible with MS or he'll get eaten. Wine is a nice project but Mark should really focus on his own plans and not care about Wine at all actually. He should certainly not follow MS's plans. When you follow, you dont compete. You are only competing when you are leading. Softwares should be compatible with Linux and not the other around.

Reply Parent Score: 3

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

No, Mark is right. He shouldnt focus too much on being compatible with MS or he'll get eaten.

Why would he get eaten? Just ask Microsoft about all this and ask them why no one sees any need to move to Vista or even Windows 7.

Microsoft created a whole class of development libraries and applications that only run on Vista or 7 with no backporting to Windows XP. As Vista and 7 have limited market share no developers are too interested in writing those applications and with no applications users are not interested in Vista or 7. Even though they can run their current applications on Vista or 7, they run better on XP thank you very much.

Applying this to Ubuntu, it has always been the case that if you can't run the applications that are of interest to people today or get a platform out there to the current installed base then no one is interested in you. It's all about the applications. Mark and Ubuntu are going nowhere ignoring that fact.

Reply Parent Score: 2

maskman01 Member since:
2009-05-07

I think you are reading a little too much into what he is saying.

He's not disregarding what has been done to date. He's trying to take what has been done to date and evolve it.

Wine takes a Windows app and runs it poorly on Linux. What is the point?

It is better to install a Linux ready app like Open Office then a neutered version of MS Office.

Mark has more of the Google vision of how things should work. He sees a distributed Cloud as opposed to a centralized SAN. Both at the end of the day have similar results for the user with different pros and cons.

Mark wants apps that are 100% compliant with his model as opposed to 50% compliant.

Reply Parent Score: 1