Is Ubuntu safe to try

Stephen R Laniel steve at
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
+(617) 308-5571
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