Unity? (was: What's your favorite distro, and why?)

Richard Esplin richard-lists at esplins.org
Mon Dec 16 10:56:44 MST 2013


I agree with your analysis, but I don't think your tone does justice to the 
frustration with Ubuntu. It's the mismatch in expectations between those who 
wanted to use Ubuntu Linux, and Canonical's wish to have their own OS built on 
a Linux base.

Most adopters of Ubuntu who hang out on Linux lists were looking for a 
convenient and polished Linux desktop environment, not a desktop environment 
_based_ on Linux. It makes me nervous to see Ubuntu diverge from the rest of 
the Linux desktop community because it means that staying on Ubuntu will limit 
my customization options. Further, Ubuntu is big enough that the resulting 
fragmentation is likely to hinder the future of Linux desktop environments for 
the rest of the community.

I agree that it is Canonical's right to make such a transition, but I find it 
unfortunate.

After spending years as a happy Ubuntu user, such concerns recently led me to 
switch from Ubuntu to Linux Mint Debian Edition, to Debian, and finally to 
Fedora. I still have my family using Ubuntu and my servers are still Debian. 
Fedora has been okay, but I have to admit that Ubuntu is far more polished. 
But I couldn't handle doing things strictly the Ubuntu way. If I was willing 
to trade flexibility for polish, I would be using a Mac.

Richard
 

On Friday, December 13, 2013 09:36:35 Michael Torrie wrote:
> On 12/13/2013 03:07 AM, Dan Egli wrote:
> > On December 11, 2013, Michael Torrie wrote:
> >> This is further evidenced by Ubuntu dropping all branding references to
> >> Linux. They want Ubuntu to be Ubuntu, not Ubuntu Linux.
> > 
> > Then they should write their own kernel and boot loaders (or at least
> > their
> > own grub modules), and compile the gnu utilities & libraries for their own
> > kernel. Don't claim your work isn't Linux when you still use the Linux
> > kernel, still use Linux grub, and still use glibc and the other gnu
> > utilities all compiled for the Linux kernel.
> 
> There's no legal obligation to do so though, provided they honor the
> terms of the licenses of the source code they are distributing.
> Likewise although most Linux distributions use GNU's core system
> software to do a lot of heavy lifting, only a few call themselves
> GNU/Linux.  Red Hat certainly doesn't; nor does Mint or SuSE.  Granted
> there are distros that don't use GNU software at all, but use uLibc and
> busybox instead.
> 
> Google does the same thing as Ubuntu with Android.  A lot of us geeks
> get excited that millions of people are now running Linux on their
> phones, and Google even tells the geeks it runs linux under the hood,
> but consumers cetainly don't know and don't care.  It's "Android."  Not
> "Android Linux."  And the Linux part is irrelevant, really.  The apps
> people want to run are Android apps, not Linux apps.  Android could have
> been based on any operating system kernel, such as QNX, or even MS
> Windows, and indeed there are implementations of the Android platform on
> both of those: Blackberry 10, Bluestacks, and probably others.
> 
> Even Gnome has set out to become its own OS (google for Gnome OS) brand
> even as it becomes a project tied tightly to the Linux kernel.
> 
> I may not agree with the Gnome team in any way, but I do see more and
> more that the operating system itself is irrelevant to most people and
> most tasks.  It's just a small part of the platform and services that
> people really care about.  As previously mentioned, Android isn't an OS
> so much as a ubiquitous platform.  Also the cloud is the platform for
> other segments of the market.  And MS Office is the platform for another
> huge segment, and MS vainly tries to keep it tied to Windows to keep the
> OS relevant.  But its not.
<sni


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