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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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

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

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.


Another wrong-headed idea about Linux.

What you do is you make your own repository. Then people who use a Linux distribution and a package manager to safely install software on their Linux systems, and who want your software, will simply add the URL to your new repository to the list of repositories they are using.

Like this one, as an example:

https://launchpad.net/~kubuntu-experimental/+archive/ppa

As for "publicly available" ... you do realise that repositories such as the one above have TWO lines because there are TWO repositories, one for binary packages (the deb one) and the other for source code (the deb-src one). If as a developer you don't want to give away the source code, then don't ... this doesn't stop you from making your own binary repository and getting your packages installed on people's Linux systems via package managers.

Now did that misunderstanding on your part boil away most of the rest of your argument? Well yes, pretty much.

What else did you claim?

There are things you can't do with Linux.


Name some, and we can discuss.

For starters, just look at the software available for Windows that people use in a wide variety of fields.


Specialist software (ie doesn't fit my "most users" criteria) ... only not available for Linux because vendors perceive a lack of a market.

There was a meme put about just recently that Linux has broken 1% market share ... less "self-interested" estimates would put this at anything from three to ten times as high. There is a market.

http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/3818696/Linux-Des...
http://blog.internetnews.com/skerner/2009/05/linux-at-1-percent-ha-...
http://www.linux-mag.com/cache/7321/1.html

As soon as the generalist use market gets properly on to Linux, and the penetration expands, then the specialist software will follow.

After all, even for specialist software, it is not as if it CANNOT be done on Linux, only that it sometimes isn't done on Linux. A simple port would fix that.

Edited 2009-05-06 11:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Another wrong-headed idea about Linux. What you do is you make your own repository.

Hmmmmm, no. Linux distributions are still lacking an installation system to configure and install any given piece of software. Fact is, I can still configure MySQL in a much more pain-free way in Windows on installation than I can on Linux. While repositories and package managers provide a decent avenue for software installation on one hand, they take away with another. How do you get the software installed in the first place to add a repository URL?

I also don't see vendors creating several different packages for each distribution and different versions for each different distribution version where necessary as well as the updates for all of them. However, no one is writing applications for desktop Linux like that so we still get constant gripes about lack of functionality. No one is even packaging such apps for just Ubuntu, so that should tell you something. That's what ultimately tells me that Ubuntu's popularity is just fanboyism.

You don't know Linux distributions as well as you think you do and you've got yourself so much on one track that you can't see the forest for the trees.

Name some, and we can discuss.

Jesus H. Christ. That one sentence is enough to confirm to me that you're a bit of a loony. Basically, you will then wander off on Google and find some inadequate and half-completed open source alternatives. Take a look at what is written below:

Specialist software (ie doesn't fit my "most users" criteria) ... only not available for Linux because vendors perceive a lack of a market.

As I explained below this bone headed 80/20 thinking is blown away. It's a different 20% each time. Yep, people might do e-mail and web browsing but as soon as they want to play a game or install some CAD or even cross-stitch software you've lost them. You cannot pigeon-hole users like that.

Hell, even the areas where functionality is supposed to be strong such e-mail, fall short in many, many ways. After all these years Exchange is still an impediment. As tough as that is, that's the way it is. We still don't have an adequate Exchange client for desktop Linux nor do we have a very simple way of migrating Exchange and Active Directory to Linux based alternatives in a few clicks, which is strategically the better option.

You know, if Ubuntu or any desktop Linux system had a decent set of development tools and libraries available and a way of packaging things up and sensibly installing them then we could have had many software vendors writing Exchange client functionality add-ons and migration tools by now. This would have been done, dusted and would have moved desktop Linux on to the point where Exchange migrations would have made it far less of a problem. As it is, we're still talking about Exchange clients.

There was a meme put about just recently that Linux has broken 1% market share ... less "self-interested" estimates would put this at anything from three to ten times as high. There is a market.

If you can't write software and package it up to distribute to that market, and if you can't get that software to your users then you don't have a market at all.

After all, even for specialist software, it is not as if it CANNOT be done on Linux, only that it sometimes isn't done on Linux. A simple port would fix that.

You seem to be blissfully unaware of the issues involved in writing software and making a 'port'. You say that as if it's somehow a given which tells me that you don't know what's involved developing software. Not only are development tools important but the chances of any software vendor being able to package this up and have customers buy it in their local stores on media is zero right now.

Edited 2009-05-07 10:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2