Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 30th Mar 2012 20:33 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Two years ago, Linux guru Caitlyn Martin argued that "Ubuntu is a Poor Standard Bearer for Linux" due to reliability issues. She said that "Other distributions have problematic releases but other major distributions do not have significant problems in nearly every release. Ubuntu does." In her follow-up piece "How Canonical Can Do Ubuntu Right: It Isn't a Technical Problem," she explained how "...the problem I am describing is probably rooted in policy or business decisions that have been made..." and she offered specific ideas on how Canoncial could address the situation. Are these criticisms valid today? Does Ubuntu offer good reliability? Does it deserve its mindshare as the representative of PC Linux?
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RE: Ubuntu works great for me
by Alfman on Sat 31st Mar 2012 01:43 UTC in reply to "Ubuntu works great for me"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

mantrik00,

I am a linux advocate, but that doesn't mean it should not be criticized. I certainly hope Ubuntu takes these concerns seriously and works to improve itself. We mustn't ignore the problems if we want to make linux stronger.

I have a feeling that linux is going to have some great opportunities in the upcoming win8 saga, the last thing we need is a major linux distro giving off the appearance that it won't listen to its users. After all, that's likely to be a key motivation for users to leave MS behind.

Reply Parent Score: 4

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Dude Linux didn't gain when Vista was released and people HATED Vista, they just went back to XP. This time MSFT is already doing damage control by having raised the support cycle of Win 7 to 2020 for ALL versions and I have no doubt the very second an OEM balks they will be given downgrade rights, if they aren't all given downgrade rights at release time. MSFT learned with netbooks better to have them using your older cheaper OS than not using your product at all, and within 5 months Windows went from nothing to 90% on netbooks.

For Linux to actually have a shot at the masses then "free as in beer" simply has to die because linux has a serious "busted toilets" problem that the GPL just can't fix. you see to be a truly world class OS, one that can stand head to head with Windows and OSX, then there are a TON of really nasty thankless jobs that have to be done. most of the docs have to be thrown out and rewritten because as it is now you have a list of CLI commands with ZERO explanation if you are lucky, if not you have a "to do" placeholder. QA, regression testing, replacing the driver model so that what works in ubuntu Leapin Lizard doesn't puke and die in ubuntu Maniac Monkey, etc.

What nobody in the FOSS world seems to understand is human nature. Ask someone to write you a song, paint you a picture? You can get someone to do that for free because humans like to create, its enjoyable to us. now ask them to come clean that nasty overflowing toilet and watch as the job don't get done. When it comes to building an OS for every fun job you have 1000 that are about as pleasant as being the guy that cleans the puke at the Chuck E Cheese. Apple and MSFT pay hundreds of millions to get the toilets fixed, FOSS pays nothing so the toilets simply never get repaired, its just human nature.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

bassbeast,

I've never been one to claim a mass migration to linux would be quick, easy, or painless. So I think your "Dude" comment to me is misdirected.

Like you, I also see normal people becoming disenchanted with microsoft, but as you say, human nature is to stick with what we are already familiar with and it is difficult to change those habits. So it's true this impedes linux adoption.

Also, it's still far too difficult for average consumers to purchase a system that's not bundled with a windows license. I don't care if we blame MS coercive monopoly power or not, but either way the lack of alternate operating systems on store shelves is an impediment to OS competition. Consumers have a tradition of going to stores to try before buying - even for online purchases.

You explicitly mentioned the netbook. I know someone who was looking for one this past year and low and behold all the local computer stores sold only windows devices. Clearly this exposure puts windows at a huge advantage even before a buyer sets hand on a keyboard. So again, this impedes linux adoption.

However despite all these impediments, what I was trying to say in my last post is that win8 might end up being even more foreign to users than linux desktops. Also, the exclusive metro-app store might give retail stores a huge reason to reconsider their relationship with microsoft. If they predict metro will kill retail software sales, as it likely will, they'd be wise to start shifting their eggs around.

Believe me, I am under no delusion that it's easy to displace entrenched market players who hold all the cards, but these are still some excellent opportunities in my opinion. Just be realistic about expectations: If linux has 1% desktop share today, and 1.5% next year, a 50% growth in market share for one year is huge news.

Reply Parent Score: 3

pklausner Member since:
2009-07-23

Unfortunately - for Linux - bassbeast is mostly right. Albeit with one evil twist: there actually *are* volunteers for the toilets! Only that as a reward, they tend to build even more toilets, aka packaging systems & distros & repositories...

Reply Parent Score: 0