[ubuntu-uk] What's In A Name?

Carlos Ferreira carlosemferreira at gmail.com
Mon Jun 13 13:40:30 UTC 2011

While I agree that some of the discussion on the denomination of software is
only a distraction, I hope we are not collectively throwing the baby out
with the bath water. As far as I can perceive, Ubuntu and other distros are
in a weird position, trying to increase their mass appeal (have a look at
Mark Shuttleworth's recent call for 200 million users by 2015) while keeping
die-hard fans on board; the former require (supposedly) more
user-friendliness and more eye-candy (not to mention OEM contracts), while
the latter are into command-line love and the feel good factor associated
with fiddling your way through numerous work-arounds.

So, perhaps it is interesting to discuss whether or not names and other
idiosyncrasies of free software are important. After all, when I recently
suggested that my students (first year undergraduates) use a certain Firefox
plug-in to manage their references, I got asked in short succession what a
plug-in was, what a Firefox was, and why did I need a browser to access the
Internet at all...

Carlos Ferreira
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