[ubuntu-uk] Google Chrome

Philip Wyett philwyett at gmx.com
Tue Sep 2 00:15:53 BST 2008

On Mon, 2008-09-01 at 22:46 +0100, Robert McWilliam wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 01, 2008 at 09:12:48PM +0100, Philip Wyett wrote:
> > What is really beginning to worry me is that there is too much choice of
> > applications in the Open Source world. Instead of working to make what
> > we have better and bite into bug #1 and give users a base set of
> > applications they can get comfortable with and trust, we are going to
> > leave maybe switchers to Linux with the mass confusion of which
> > application is best and sticking with Windows.
> That's kind of missing the whole point of open source. The advantage
> of distributed and uncontrolled development is that everybody goes in
> whichever direction they want and explores the possibilities for
> solving a problem to their own satisfaction. The fact there are a
> multitude of solutions is an advantage as we can each select from them
> to get something we are happy with. 

Well... I'll skip the first sentence as such a thing should be never
said on a list such as this because it will offend!

Exploring new ideas and distributed development are great and I wholly
promote that, but to facilitate certain end goals many factors must be
taken into account which can mean constraint being introduced.

> Dictating the "right" way of doing something and getting everybody to
> work on it is highly unlikely to actually get the best solution as
> there is no perfect person to be the dictator. It also precludes the
> possibility that there are a range of options because different people
> want different things.

Nobody is dictating or wanting to be a dictator and using such
inflammatory language does nothing for debate.

> If you want someone else to do the choosing then you can go for your
> distro's default and not worry about it. 

Ubuntu has it's focus on a base set of applications. These do change
over time as part of an evolutionary process and that is good. But the
selection of those applications is such a constraint I mentioned earlier
that is part of a long term goal to appeal to existing and new computer
users to trust Ubuntu and make the choice to use it. This I believe has
been very beneficial from say a few years ago when you could look at a
distribution with a user and not stand a chance (due to the
distributed/fragmented nature of applications and inability to easily
configure, use and link things together etc) of swaying them into a
change whereas you have a chance due to the fact of consistency today
with projects such as Ubuntu.

> It really annoys me when people preset choice as a problem. It might
> be intimidating to a new user if they are presented with a huge number
> of options but that is an argument for how we should be presenting
> things to the new user not an argument for limiting the choices
> available. 

Choice is a good thing but can be defined as an issue in certain
circumstances. A bad can hurt the overall goal or offering numerous
choices can hurt us by confusion. It's a balancing act that really does
have to be thought about sometimes in my opinion.


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