Hey, thanks. I mean it.

Sam Gentle sgentle at gmail.com
Mon Jul 5 08:53:22 BST 2010

I just read an article entitled "Great Since Day One" about polish and
development on different platforms (http://www.marco.org/769340032). I

"The joke of 'next year will be the year of Linux on the desktop' is
almost as old as the internet, but it’s true: desktop-Linux fans
always say it’s 'getting better', and there’s always a major
distribution update a few months away that’s about to be awesome. But
it never is. And it never will be, because the reasons why desktop
Linux isn’t awesome today will still hold tomorrow: it’s still an
extremely fragmented development community for which the non-geek user
experience is one of the lowest priorities."

There was a time not so long ago when I would have been right there
along with that author, making fun of desktop Linux for being hard to
use; full of too many meaningless decisions and missing any sense of
overall design or direction. I have painful memories of installing
Mandrake about a decade ago and being presented with a "hey, clueless
new user, do you want KDE or Gnome?" dialog. Yecch.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm the world's most cynical Linux
convert. I deliberately avoided it for many years because of its poor
desktop user experience. But I tentatively installed 9.10 on my laptop
last year and I was very impressed. The landscape pre-Ubuntu is so
primitive by comparison, I scarcely recognise that they're both Linux.
10.04 is even better, and I can honestly say I am finally happy
recommending it as a desktop operating system.

I just wanted to let you know that what you're doing is working. I've
got no ties to Linux or the Linux community. I'm not a Linux
enthusiast. I'm just a regular old user, the exact same kind who was
complaining about Linux a few years ago. I think it's far easier to
complain than to praise, but praise is what's deserved here. So, I
found this list so I could send a message to even the odds a little.

Thank you. You're doing a great job. Desktop Linux today is proving
far better than I thought it could be.


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