Is Ubuntu safe to try

Stephen R Laniel steve at laniels.org
Wed Jul 6 13:50:34 UTC 2005


On Wed, Jul 06, 2005 at 01:23:06PM +0100, Dick Davies wrote:
[in response to my friend's work on Debian Potato]
> I may be missing your point, but that has nothing to do with the community,
> does it?

My friend was 'the community'; Debian Potato still sucked
for most users. That was my point. Having a team of gurus
around doesn't make the software any better, and in a better
world we wouldn't need to have those gurus: we'd just give
an Ubuntu CD to a computer novice (never used a command
line, mostly just uses Windows for word processing) and say,
"Here: put this in your CD drive and let fly."

In all of this discussion, I don't know if I've made one
thing perfectly clear: I think Ubuntu *is* mostly up to that
standard. I *could* give such a CD to anyone now, and tell
them to go to town. I couldn't have done that years ago.

But you see my point, I hope: our goal should be to aim for
a world where Ubuntu users don't *have to* talk to us. We
should never see new users on this list, because they should
be able to do everything they want without our help.

Of course that's a dream. But I would work toward that dream
before I would talk about the community with new users.
Windows also has a community -- a very large community of
people who've learned how to get around its quirks. (I am
part of that community as well, reluctantly.) But Windows
still sucks.

> Linux 'just working' sounds like a pipe dream, especially when you consider
> the range of hardware it runs on compared to apples extremely limited platform
> choice.

I don't see hardware compatibility as the big barrier to
Just Working. We write drivers to abstract away from details
of the hardware, we add more to the kernel, we write
hardware-level programs like cdrecord that are robust
against more kinds of hardware ... hardware isn't the
biggest issue to Just Working, in my mind. Usability is.

-- 
Stephen R. Laniel
steve at laniels.org
+(617) 308-5571
http://laniels.org/
PGP key: http://laniels.org/slaniel.key
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