[ubuntu-uk] Want to create an advert for Ubuntu?

danteashton at gmail.com danteashton at gmail.com
Tue Dec 7 12:34:00 GMT 2010

On 7 December 2010 11:50, gazz <pmgazz at gmx.co.uk> wrote:

> On Mon, 2010-12-06 at 21:48 +0000, Joe Metcalfe wrote:
>  The main difficulties I have had in reading MS files on Linux is with MS
> Publisher (though I don't have Publisher in my Windows copy of MS Office
> either!) and with macros in PowerPoint (dynamic content in 3rd part
> educational files).
> Joe
>  MS Publisher files can be sort of converted if you can spare half an hour
> of fiddling around per file and the result isn't marvellous; macros in any
> part of the MS Office suite don't open properly in OOo. MS Access is relied
> upon by much of the UK voluntary sector and it doesn't migrate. PaintShop
> files are a pain too and most Windows users have various proprietary Windows
> platform apps which don't migrate formats at all and don't run properly on
> However, I agree with the general point that most Windows users face bigger
> limitations on what proprietary formats they can open without buying every
> proprietary app on the planet (given that Linux at least favours open
> standards).
> It's probably about 80% perception but there's still maybe 20% real
> migration issues to be dealt with. Windows users are strenuously trained to
> think of their OS as 'standard' and anything else as weird and troublesome
> (although one might easily see this as an actual inversion of reality).
> However, whilst many proprietary Windows formats do open without any issues
> on many Linux distros, users will still run into migration problems with
> mainstream formats which either don't convert at all or which require
> significantly technically-savvy intervention to migrate to Linux. Even
> setting up WINE is pushing it for the average mainstream Windows user -
> although it's like rolling off a log for experienced Ubuntu users. Most orgs
> are also going to end up with a peripheral or two that's a brick on Ubuntu.
> I've been doing hands-on FOSS advocacy in the voluntary sector for the best
> part of a decade and experience teaches me that it's a mistake to gloss over
> the real issues in migrating from any Windows OS to any Linux distro. What's
> important is to get across the concept of open standards and to help the
> user understand that it isn't Linux' 'weirdness' causing the issues but use
> of closed standards in proprietary software and to explain that once they
> have made a successful migration to Ubuntu, they will experience *fewer*
> issues with cross-compatibility in the future.
> For a proportion of Windows users, though, the barriers will honestly still
> be too high for their resources - at least for the time being. Especially
> users who rely on being able to open and edit proprietary apps send by
> Windows users. Although times change and organisations who once couldn't see
> their way to migrating are looking at it again in the current climate.
> When I'm advocating Ubuntu with voluntary orgs, I don't really refer to
> technical issues beyond giving them (what I consider to be) a sensible
> overview of real and imaginary migration issues - I focus, instead, on
> simplicity, resistance to slow-down and choking due to malware, community
> ownership (which really appeals), keeping the economy local, longevity of
> hardware, ease of installing peripherals, standardisation of software used
> for photos, scanning etc etc, ease of maintaining a properly-installed
> system for non-techies. And it's *pretty*!
> If you gloss over migration issues, you will forfeit trust when users do
> experience problems. I prefer to support people migrating with their eyes
> open and wait for the more nervous Windows users to go through the emotional
> and practical issues involved for them and their organisation in their own
> time. We'll be here when they're ready [image: :)]
> Paula
> --
> ubuntu-uk at lists.ubuntu.com
> https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-uk
> https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UKTeam/
I agree entirely; despite the tremendous amount of work in Linux; there are
still many common problems with it: .pub files are very annoying, with the
only real F/OSS program that even *attempts* to do a similar set of tasks
not having an importer for such files.

It does not help, either, that OpenOffice has had so much trouble lately,
either; first the slow death of Sun Microsystems (which slowed development
to a crawl, and increased the problems between the community and the
'offical' engineers); the takeover of Sun by Oracle (more or less stopping
development whilst the project migrated) and Oracle's current tactics which
led to the now very quickly developed (but only just about to show itself)

Microsoft Office's new XML files are causing a great deal of difficulty, on
terms of engineering as well.

Then we have other issues; a very common complaint for me when I migrate
someone are the troubles with flash and DVD's and .mp3's. It is a serious
problem that in order to install such functionality, one must install the
ubuntu-restricted-extras package and run the libdvdcss installation script.
This problem is made less by activating the small amount of codecs that
Canocial have licensed upon installation, but it still does not instill
functions for closed formats;

I beleive Ubuntu is mostly successful over other distros because of it's
pragmatism for such matters. Having a box to tick is much more preferable
then having a script to run, even if this is a legal gray area.

When I started using Ubuntu, I spent weeks trying to find out how to get
Flash, DVD's and other such rubbish to run, because whilst F/OSS
extremists/purists hate to admit it, we are still, sadly, reliant on such
technology. This problem won't go away, we are now looking at people wanting
to play their bluray disks in Linux, and the choices are either: 1. Install
functions which are akin to breaking encryption or 2. Use DRM. or 3. Lose

We have other issues as well: our work is based around advertising Ubuntu to
the public. Many will look into it, and many will take it up; many will go
and ask their tech friends about it.

Because of our work, we will see an increase in Linux haters, we will also
see an increase in Ubuntu haters (IE: in the Linux community, but not too
fond of our beloved distro). If we are successful, then Ubuntu's competitors
will feel threatened. We could be looking at a bigger advertising campaign
targeted against us, direct mention of Linux, increased under-the-table
lawsuit activity: for many such closed-source vendors; keeping their
customers locked in is their only guaranteed revenue stream. If
significantly pushed, these vendors will clam shut; send out lawsuits
attempting to reverse-engineer their work in F/OSS; complete/partial
compatibility with other programs may break off.

But don't be disheartened; for the thousands of vendors that do so,
thousands more will open themselves up to Linux, and they will prosper and
demand for Linux services, both in a personal and professional sense, will


-Danté Ashton

Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici

Sent from Ubuntu
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