[ubuntu-uk] [marketing] The Picasa barrier, lower it.

alan c aeclist at candt.waitrose.com
Wed Apr 20 09:08:30 UTC 2011

On 20/04/11 09:05, Simon Greenwood wrote:
> On 20 April 2011 08:28, alan c<aeclist at candt.waitrose.com>  wrote:
>>  I have just learned that Google has discontinued GNU/Linux based support
>>  for Picasa although old versions are still available.
>>  Why care? I do not use it myself, but I am full time involved in helping
>>  newcomers move towards Ubuntu, inevitably they are Windows users. Most want
>>  to change from Windows but are usually suspicious and nervous, and it is a
>>  reassurance to them to find stuff such as Firefox, Thunderbird, Libre/Open
>>  Office.
>>  It helps a lot in the initial period  of change. In time, a newcomer will
>>  begin to see things differently, not just from a 'Windows' viewpoint. But
>>  that takes time.
>>  What I have come to realise is that in the nature of things, these people
>>  are really quite likely to be using Picasa!   In 'Windows world',
>>  downloading one thing is very much like downloading any other. And Picasa
>>  does useful stuff.
>>  Installing a recent Picasa in (Ubuntu) is a bit of a fiddle now, and the
>>  message from Google might be interpreted as
>>  'Ubuntu is not worth it'
>>  Picasa can, I believe, be installed using Wine, but to get good integration
>>  into gnome or kde it needs to be installed over an earlier legacy version. I
>>  think I have got that right. It is a bit of a fiddle, and does not give a
>>  good message, to a newcomer to Ubuntu, or to anyone.
>>  What to do, to encourage Google to support (Ubuntu)?
>>  They know how many *downloads* of the deb version they get dont they? From
>>  the Google site?
>>  Please, go figure, as they say.
> Remember that Picasa was a Windows application that Google inherited, which
> is why it only runs under Wine in Linux. I would look at it as endorsement
> of Shotwell rather than a rejection of Linux desktops. As a Picasa user I
> tried using Picasa with Ubuntu and it's next to useless. Shotwell is rapidly
> evolving into one of the best apps for online photo management.

Good to know, thanks. Certainly f-spot seems to have confused  my most 
recent convert to Ubuntu who is now desperate to continue using 
Picasa. I will point to shotwell and will be encouraging (and hope). 
However, Ubuntu 10.04 comes with f-spot, so the initial damage is 
already done.

Some extra downloads of picasa would surely not go amiss though? This 
is my point.

Making an escaper's path as easy as possible, minimising 'change', is 
very useful. Many of the newcomers I deal with are *very* totally non 
techy, and previous Windows use has more than spooked them. However, 
Windows and the stuff they used on it are *familiar*. I read recently 
that Windows itself is rarely keeping people using it. It is the 
programs and apps people get familiar with which holds them into 
Windows. Even if they dislike the whole experience! This is certainly 
exactly what I see when talking to possible converts.

Whether Picasa is good or not I think it would be an advantage for 
advocacy to do what we can to encourage a recent .deb version, maybe 
by influencing the download count.
alan cocks
Ubuntu user

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