Things I already hate about Kubuntu - geekdom

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at
Wed Dec 21 19:07:28 GMT 2005

On 12/20/05, Terry North <terrencenorth at> wrote:
> Terry North <terrencenorth <at>> writes:
> I filed this originally as feedback.  Maybe it was the wrong place.

Fairly good spot. I'd recommend 'sounder' though.

> I came to Ubuntu with an open mind.  I believe it's currently of interest
> to many people because it's relatively new.  I have doubts about whether
> that interest will be sustained because, as my experience shows, the
> system is NOT user-friendly.  I'm just an ordinary user who has had to
> learn more than I wanted to know just because of the shortcomings of
> various systems, beginning with the claimant to 90 odd % of the market.
> I like Ubuntu's independence.  The commercial distros, from what I've seen,
> do a better job.  I was hoping Ubuntu could give them a run for their money.
> Right now, judging from a lot of the comments, it looks as though it's in
> the hands of an elite who are content to exclude the great bulk of users and
> resent anyone telling them there are better ways of doing things.  I'm
> willing to work with it but I doubt that I'm typical.

I will disagree with you on 'it's in in the hands of the elite'.

My perception of Canonical's design team is that they are very
progressive and have a strong mandate to make Ubuntu USABLE to
ordinary computer users (like yourself):

"Ubuntu is a free, open source operating system that starts with the
breadth of Debian and adds regular releases (every six months), a
clear focus on the user and usability (it should "Just Work", TM) and
a commitment to security updates with 18 months of support for every

What you may be perceiving as the arrogance of the elite is the ugly
side of OSS (that lingers but many try to ignore or pretend doesn't
exist :-(. It seems like a prejudice that "Windows is bad, therefore
everything that is in Windows is bad" (only held by a small minority
of users and they're growing fewer and fewer as "normal" users start
adopting or playing with Linux on the desktop). It seems coupled with
an elitism that if you want to use Linux, you should conform to Linux
and not expect Linux conform to your needs or expectations (I like to
flippantly summarise that as the "It's the way it's always been" or
"My way, or the highway" crowd).

Don't let them deter you. Ignore them.

> I think a lot of people like to set things up the way that suits them.  They
> have colour and font preferences and like different styles.  They want to
> install different software.  Not many people want to spend hours researching
> man pages (finding them at all can be time-consuming), experimenting with
> commands, getting them wrong and playing around until they're right.  I'm glad
> to have tools that simplify the process and reduce the time required.  I've
> got a system that's a pleasure to work with.  I hate it when I have to go back
> to Windoze to access an old file.  I'd like to find a non-commercial system
> that measures up to or even surpasses what I've got.

It's getting there. Linux is getting there. Slowly, but surely.

I've played with Linux on-and-off now since 2002 (and, running a
server for 1.5 years now) and I've seen _some_ progress on the GUI

GNOME '02 was much rougher around the edges than GNOME '05, as were
apps such as Open Office or Mozilla.

There are still a _lot_ of rough edges but they're beeing smoothed
over at a fairly impressive rate (I tried Kubuntu-desktop yesterday
and, is that ever one rough around the edges project still :-( :-(
(Breezy)). GNOME is definitely going in the right direction, but, it
still needs help. A few more years and it'll start "playing for real
with the big boys" (now that's a statement that will cause a lot of
consternation to some fan(atics) of GNOME/KDE... they can't handle the
fact that not everyone thinks the way they do).

Anyway, keep your eyes peeled. Even Ubuntu isn't for the faint of
heart but it's leading the way. Consider that two or three years ago
you'd probably have had to hit the command line a number of times to
get your computer up-and-running with Linux. Now, it's such that you
can install Linux, run a number of apps and even get on-line without
too much trouble, though, it's still very rigid in what it'll allow
non-experts (i.e. people who don't use the CLUI) to do, but that will
and IS changing. I suspect that Ubuntu 6.10 will be quite different
from Ubuntu 5.10.


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