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Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted May 31, 2013 6:53 UTC (Fri) by mlopezibanez (guest, #66088)
In reply to: Ubuntu bug #1 closed by landley
Parent article: Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Are you actually using a Linux Desktop? Because in my experience introducing several people to KDE, the main issues are always:

1) Hardware doesn't work (Kernel/X issues)
2) Important programs don't work or there is no good enough equivalent (AutoCAD, iTunes, client for exchange server, MS Office)

Never, never, somebody has complained to me about the interface being unintuitive or ugly. Of course, they complain for a while that it is hard because "It doesn't work like Windows", but after a while they simply get used to it and don't care.

This is actually why Linux Desktop has never succeeded: 1) no enough fraction of hardware vendors produce completely working systems; 2) no enough software developers produce Linux versions; and 3) no enough new users learn to use computers using a Linux Desktop. "Aesthetic issues and user interfaces" have zero to do with any of it. Bad drivers, unstable/poor APIs and sheer inertia, explain it all.

And you can easily see that neither of these reasons applies to Android: 1) hardware is designed for Android; 2) Android is one of the two main targets of phone software developers; 3) most people that start using Android have never used any other smartphone OS before. Ergo: Android is a success.

And these are exactly the issues that will explain whether Firefox OS or Ubuntu for phones fail or succeed.


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Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted May 31, 2013 9:18 UTC (Fri) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

Hear, hear!

Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted May 31, 2013 13:58 UTC (Fri) by landley (guest, #6789) [Link]

I've been using a linux desktop continuously since 1998. Wandered through gnome, kde, and now xfce. Red Hat 5 through Fedora Core 2 (which didn't boot on a Via Samuel because their default kernel required a Pentium III), then installed Knoppix on the hard drive by hand for a few years, then switched to Ubuntu. I played Loki's Myth II to completion, and had the Linux version of The Sims 1 (which came bundled with... Mandrake, was it?) Various servers have had gnome and suse and such, but those weren't the machine in front of me I was trying to beat "the daily show" out of.

I'm currently using Ubuntu LTS, where half the time the sound is muted after suspend, and also mutes itself when you plug/unplug headphones. And then stays muted (even through further suspend/plug fiddling) untill you pull up pavucontrol (normal audio controls don't work for this), navigate to tab 3, scroll down to the output type it doesn't initially show you because the window is too small, and unmute it. (Plus adjust the volume from the insanely low default.)

Of course, everybody should know how to do that. Just as they should know how to to "sudo modprobe -r ath9k && sleep 5 & sudo modprobe ath9k nohwcrypt=1" to make the network card work with my home router, or to "rmmod iwl3945 && insmod iwl3945" every time the previous netbook's network card lost its marbles and hung because Starbucks has noisy wireless.

However, my point was more about "The gimp ain't replacing photoshop", and "Open/Libre office are really ugly". People will download and install the flash plugin en masse, or Adobe's PDF viewer, and once upon a time Netscape had 90% market share as a free download. Linux having less than 2% market share is a side issue: why haven't firefox and openoffice and the gimp and vlc swept the windows application space the same way? (When's the last time your day job gave you LibreOffice instead of Word, or Thunderbird instead of Excel?)

Most people don't complain about things they don't have the vocabulary for. And when they say "this tastes terrible" and the reply is "you don't know how to eat, just keep going and you'll learn to love it", they tend not to follow up.

Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted May 31, 2013 21:33 UTC (Fri) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

Of course, everybody should know how to do that. Just as they should know how to to "sudo modprobe -r ath9k && sleep 5 & sudo modprobe ath9k nohwcrypt=1" to make the network card work with my home router, or to "rmmod iwl3945 && insmod iwl3945" every time the previous netbook's network card lost its marbles and hung because Starbucks has noisy wireless.

I've complained myself about developers ignoring the basic networking use-cases and perhaps brainstorming about airport lounge wireless network roaming instead, and I accept that this sometimes pervades other aspects of the user experience, but I imagine you know as well as anyone why it is that "everyone should know" the arcane things you mention if they use Linux. It has nothing to do with the attention span or excitement levels of the developers and everything to do with there being a scarcity of properly documented hardware.

Of course, one can argue that Shuttleworth should have invested more in hardware had he really wanted to close bug #1. As it is, people struggle to support what effectively and literally lands in their lap, quite probably with Windows already installed. And from there we can quite easily explain things like the "resilience" of Microsoft Office in the face of freely available alternatives.

Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted May 31, 2013 21:49 UTC (Fri) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198) [Link]

> Of course, one can argue that Shuttleworth should have invested more in hardware had he really wanted to close bug #1.

That's not how it happened but I'd like to think that with the resources Canonical put into Ubuntu that if they had become a hardware reseller like System76 and sold highly-optimized Canonical branded hardware they would have had an easier time with hardware support, as the paid employees would only need to worry about a single target platform, and a revenue stream from the hardware which would help the software development be more sustainable.

Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted Jun 2, 2013 5:29 UTC (Sun) by FranTaylor (guest, #80190) [Link]

That's not a very good strategy if your goal is to be a ubiquitous distribution. It's also not a good strategy if you actually want to make money. Ubuntu's wide availability on the server, the desktop, and the laptop means that it's an attractive distribution for third party vendors; they can say "We support Ubuntu" and their customers have a wide variety of hardware platforms to choose from. People who are paying big $$$ for a commercial software package are not going to mind paying a few extra $$$ for a supported operating system.

I like to use the analogy of trucks. If a company uses a lot of trucks in its business, it spends a lot of money on them. They can save a lot of money by pitting the vendors against each other. Trucks from different vendors are more-or-less interchangable. I talked to a purchasing agent who buys a million dollars worth of trucks every year. When the truck salesmen come to visit, he parks trucks from the competition in the visitor's parking lot so the salesman gets the message that he has a tough sell in front of him. When a company can use the same strategy with its computers, they can also save money. Ubuntu plays nicely into this strategy.

Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted Jun 1, 2013 13:58 UTC (Sat) by kju (guest, #61936) [Link]

> Never, never, somebody has complained to me about the interface being unintuitive or ugly.

Well, I do. I hate ugly OSS software, but ugliness is often the norm. It may sound pathetic, but using ugly software is a real pain to me.

Also most of the work I do, I do for business customers. And when I show up with ugly or overly complicated OSS solutions, they often perceive these as unprofessional because they the look does not give the feel that it is worthy software. Same goes for web sites of said software. Many OSS project websites are complicated and not appealing to business decision makers. Yes, it is a stupid way of judging, but it is the reality.

Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted Jun 2, 2013 14:33 UTC (Sun) by intgr (subscriber, #39733) [Link]

> Same goes for web sites of said software

Well, it's nost just software. There's a certain news site you may have heard about.

Ubuntu bug #1 closed

Posted Jun 3, 2013 11:01 UTC (Mon) by dgm (subscriber, #49227) [Link]

Your problem is that you want the rest of the world to conform to your current aesthetic taste. It's impossible, unless you force that taste from up above. So, you are barking at the wrong tree, try Apple instead.

And by the way, don't look at common people on the street, they all look so messy and ugly...


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