Vote: Force Reply-To: sounder via List

Liam Proven lproven at
Thu Dec 3 18:25:58 GMT 2009

On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 6:03 PM, Samuel Thurston, III
<sam.thurston at> wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 11:08 AM, Liam Proven <lproven at> wrote:
>> If only because it will irritate all those annoying Debian purists who
>> get all arsey about RFCs and theoretical concepts and who would rather
>> that Linux was used by 3 people who truly grok it in the fullness.
> Sure, while we're at it why don't we just throw out all the standards
> and do things just the way people expect their pc to work.
> Oh wait I think there's a company in Redmond that already makes an OS
> that way...

Generally, these days, Linux /does/. It has a Start menu, a taskbar &
a tray. It has folders on the desktop with a navigation pane down the
left hand side and toolbars under the menus inside windows. It has an
[X] button at the top right corner to close, but also, Alt-F4 works,
as does Ctrl-W and Alt-Tab and Alt-F for the File menu and so on.

It reads & writes Word, Excel & Powerpoint docs, and comes with an MSN
client installed, alongside an email program that looks so very much
like Outlook that I personally dislike it and use Thunderbird instead.

It's too late. The battle is over, for now. The war, maybe not, but
for now, desktop Linux /does/ play the MS game and uses MS' desktop
metaphor, its controls, its keystrokes, its program design and its
file formats.

Unlike Solaris or the BSDs, we use MS's partition layout and so on, too.

It doesn't /need/ to be this way - Apple sell more OS X machines than
Ubuntu can give away desktop OSs for generic cheap hardware. Something
like 4x as many - there are about 4x as many Mac OS X users as Linux
users, according to various surveys. And yet Mac OS X is far less like
Windows than Ubuntu (or Fedora or SUSE or anyone) is.

But even so - by accepting industry standards as defaults, choosing 1
single app that seems to be best-of-breed in each instance, by
carefully aping most of the behaviour of Windows - Ubuntu climbed to
the top of the distro pile in, what, 3-4y? It's more popular than the
next 2 or 3 in the charts put together, now, I think.

And it got these because, be it theoretically pure or not, it was the
right thing to do. Don't fight people, just do what they are used to.

Debian tried to do the right thing, for a dozen years, and achieved a
"market" penetration of the square root of sod-all. It was outdone by
Red Hat, Suse, Mandrake and various other companies. Free versus
paid-for, and paid-for won.

Ubuntu fixed Debian by taking away all the choices, making it easy and
simple and quick and pragmatic. Result, it has stomped all over
everyone who once stomped all over Debian.

Is this a theoretically-pure Unix-like mailing list, or is it a
mailing list for human beings?

Liam Proven • Profile:
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