Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2012 22:52 UTC
Linux Miguel de Icaza: "To sum up: (a) First dimension: things change too quickly, breaking both open source and proprietary software alike; (b) incompatibility across Linux distributions. This killed the ecosystem for third party developers trying to target Linux on the desktop. You would try once, do your best effort to support the 'top' distro or if you were feeling generous 'the top three' distros. Only to find out that your software no longer worked six months later. Supporting Linux on the desktop became a burden for independent developers." Mac OS X came along to scoop up the Linux defectors.
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Comment by Vordreller
by Vordreller on Wed 29th Aug 2012 23:17 UTC
Vordreller
Member since:
2012-08-29

Pretty much.

Regular users whom I've tried to introduce to Linux are often confused by the fact that there are more than 1 versions of it. They understand older versions, but not different versions.

The concept of making specialized distro's for users with different needs strikes most people I've worked with as overkill and they don't understand why you can't just have a single operating system that does everything. Like Windows or Mac.

Users like to know that their choice was a good one and that it will remain that way for a long, long time. With Linux, they have no such thing. Every so many months there's a major update. Every so often 1 distro has a feature before the others do. It bothers the end-user and it's a hassle they don't want to deal with.

If there's too much choice, non-specialized users will always have that nagging doubt: did I make the right choice? You don't want a user wondering that about your product!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Vordreller
by Hiev on Wed 29th Aug 2012 23:26 in reply to "Comment by Vordreller"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

The problem is not the diversity, the problem is the incompatibility betwen them.

Edited 2012-08-29 23:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Vordreller
by Vordreller on Thu 30th Aug 2012 15:51 in reply to "RE: Comment by Vordreller"
Vordreller Member since:
2012-08-29

You say "diversity". That's a very positive word. People feel good about that word.


I call it specialization. All of the sudden it's not positive anymore, it becomes very business oriented.

It boils down to the same thing: there are different distros for different purposes.

But the choice of words makes all the difference.

Saying "diversity is good" only works as a product slogan. It's what you say initially to convince the consumer to try out your product.

Sure, it's good... for the industry. But for the non-professional end user?

Once you're actually using the product and working with it on a day-to-day basis, that's when it starts nagging at the back of your head: There are all these other options. Did I make the right choice?

Diversity means you have options to choose from. But time and again, research has shown that too many options is just as bad as no options. Perhaps worse:

1) http://blog.kissmetrics.com/too-many-choices/
2) http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/your-money/27shortcuts.html
3) http://www.prismdecision.com/are-too-many-options-bad-for-you

Google "too many options". You'll get a ton more reviews, research papers and blogs about it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Vordreller
by toast88 on Thu 30th Aug 2012 20:56 in reply to "RE: Comment by Vordreller"
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

The problem is not the diversity, the problem is the incompatibility betwen them.


They're not incompatible, they all use the same POSIX API. Also, the kernel's userland API hasn't changed for years. Software like "xv" (latest stable release camt out in 1994) still runs on the latest Debian or Ubuntu.

What you are seeing as incompatibility is a result from most binaries linked to specific versions of a dynamic library and this is a problem which exists on *EVERY* operating system.

The only difference between Linux and Windows/MacOSX here is that in the latter case, almost every application ships with all libraries it depends on.

Just have a look at Inkscape, the Windows or MacOS versions are quite large:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/inkscape/files/inkscape/0.48.3.1/

On Debian, the latest inkscape is smaller by 1/3 of the Windows installer:

http://packages.debian.org/sid/inkscape

If we started shipping every application on Linux with every dependencies, we wouldn't run into these compatibility problems either.

An example for this is "VueScan", which is a single binary which runs on a large variety of Linux distributions.

Adrian

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Vordreller
by smashIt on Thu 30th Aug 2012 00:16 in reply to "Comment by Vordreller"
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

If there's too much choice, non-specialized users will always have that nagging doubt: did I make the right choice? You don't want a user wondering that about your product!


users have no problem with choice (there are more than a dozen current editions of windows out there)
users have a problem with fragmentation
and users are really pissed off when the first answer to whatever problems they have is "you chose the wrong distribution"

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Vordreller
by Mr. Dee on Thu 30th Aug 2012 07:11 in reply to "RE: Comment by Vordreller"
Mr. Dee Member since:
2005-11-13

Incorrect, there are only three main editions of Windows 7 the average user is exposed to in mainstream markets and its tailored to their needs:

Home Premium - for home users
Professionals - for business users
Ultimate - for those who want it all

If you drop in specialized editions, it is still not a dozen:
Starter - introductory edition for basic needs web browsing, emailing, basic office productivity. Most users I know upgrade this Home Premium.

Home Basic - emerging markets, pretty much similar to Starter with more flexible options such as ability to apply themes.

Enterprise - larger businesses who deploy Windows on mass and have multi-lingual sites world wide. Comes with unique management tools such as MDOP.

At the end of the day, they are all Windows at the core. AutoCAD 2013 which can run on Windows 7 Ultimate can also run on Windows 7 Starter.

Linux on the other hand has different distributions, desktop environments, package management and support options. As someone noted, Windows 7 Starter and other editions can be targetted by just having one particular edition and you know it will be supported for the next 10 years.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Vordreller
by raboof on Thu 30th Aug 2012 09:37 in reply to "RE: Comment by Vordreller"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

users are really pissed off when the first answer to whatever problems they have is "you chose the wrong distribution"

This seems a popular reply to any type of problem (wrong distro / wrong application / wrong service etc).

Of course it's good to make people aware of alternatives, but the 'you should use product X instead' crowd can be quite persistent, and it's frustrating when you really did make a conscious choice for the product you're using, or worse, you switched to it the last time you had a problem and someone convinced you to switch....

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Vordreller
by Dave_K on Thu 30th Aug 2012 14:53 in reply to "RE: Comment by Vordreller"
Dave_K Member since:
2005-11-16

users have a problem with fragmentation and users are really pissed off when the first answer to whatever problems they have is "you chose the wrong distribution"


I started finding that funny after a while when I was trying to get a Linux distribution working on my Thinkpad.

I must have been told at least a dozen times that the problems I was experiencing were due to running the wrong distribution, with a different "correct" distribution recommended each time. In the end the one I managed to get more-or-less working (Scientific Linux) wasn't even one of the ones I'd been told to use.

The Thinkpad specific GUI utilities (that initially fooled me into thinking that Linux would be as easily installed as Windows) were packaged for different distributions and didn't work when compiled from source. I ended up having to spend a couple of weekends reading howtos and configuring everything manually, but at least I finally got it working OK.

Of course I'd be a lot less sanguine about the experience if I'd had to use Linux as my main OS, rather than it being a hobby that I could set aside as soon as its problems became too frustrating.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Vordreller
by Vordreller on Thu 30th Aug 2012 15:53 in reply to "RE: Comment by Vordreller"
Vordreller Member since:
2012-08-29

End users do have problems with choices.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Too+much+choices

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Vordreller
by bassbeast on Thu 30th Aug 2012 19:20 in reply to "RE: Comment by Vordreller"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

I'm sorry but you are wrong and here is why: As far as the average user is concerned there are only THREE versions of Windows, XP/Vista/7, and of those 7 is the one they will encounter on new systems and the other two are "old" and thus will be ignored. You see it doesn't matter if its Home or Pro or Ultimate to the end user because unless you have a specialized task that would actually require a higher SKU they all do the same thing which as the article pointed out the same can't be said of Linux because of incompatibilities.

Like 'em or hate 'em for it (personally I like it) with Windows nearly everything works across system, from old to new. It is only recently we've been seeing games that require DX 10 and I don't think I've seen a DX 11 only game yet and gaming is a small niche. For the software the everyday users are running it works fine no matter if they have XP-7, it just works.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Vordreller
by Yoko_T on Fri 31st Aug 2012 09:32 in reply to "Comment by Vordreller"
Yoko_T Member since:
2011-08-18

Pretty much.

Regular users whom I've tried to introduce to Linux are often confused by the fact that there are more than 1 versions of it. They understand older versions, but not different versions.

The concept of making specialized distro's for users with different needs strikes most people I've worked with as overkill and they don't understand why you can't just have a single operating system that does everything. Like Windows or Mac.

Users like to know that their choice was a good one and that it will remain that way for a long, long time. With Linux, they have no such thing. Every so many months there's a major update. Every so often 1 distro has a feature before the others do. It bothers the end-user and it's a hassle they don't want to deal with.

If there's too much choice, non-specialized users will always have that nagging doubt: did I make the right choice? You don't want a user wondering that about your product!


You're not paying 1 cent for it so who really cares what losers like you and the people who hang out with you think?

Reply Parent Score: -1