Many have said it already, but let me just add my voice: ClearType technology is the most wonderful thing to hit Windows in a long time. I recently received a new computer at work (3.4Ghz hyperthreaded, 1 GB RAM, 80/200 GB disks–a screaming machine, at least compared to what I used to have). and during the setup process (3 versions of Visual Studio, Office, dozens of developer tools) I remembered that I needed to turn ClearType on.
Wow. It’s like the same difference when you’ve been needing glasses for a while and finally get them and realize that the world isn’t that blurry after all.*
It doubles the perceived resolution of LCDs.
(* only a little ironic that ClearType works by deliberately “blurring” edges through antialiasing.)
Scoble has a great commentary on the state of Linux fonts. It’s something I never thought about much before, but now that he’s brought it up, I realize that poor font quality is something I’ve definitely suffered through when I did actively use Linux.
It’s just another example of one the seemingly-minor-but-actually-major issues facing Linux. It’s amazing how much effort must be expended in order to implement so many things we take for granted.
Over at Slashdot, Fedora Project Leader Max Spevack responds to some frank question about the Fedora project.
He talks about a number of topics:
Unified package managers across distros
Differences in Linux over time
Fedora’s biggest weakness
Threat of Vista
inclusion of NTFS driver in kernel
Wacky package dependencies
a few others…
What his article demontrates to me is that Linux is going through some growing pains and that the community is realizing the difficulties that Apple and Microsoft have already dealt with in their own ways.
I guess the “problem” with package managers is that they are so integral to the rest of a distro that it’s a major endeavor to switch them. One reason is that a switch of that kind would break the upgrade chain.
Welcome to the real world of computing. Upgrading, advancing, improving are all important issues for real users using their computers. The only reason we still use the x86 architecture is backward compatibility. The only reason Windows has universal marketshare is that it works with basically everything ever written.
Another fundamental issue:
In terms of getting people to use Linux instead of proprietary operating systems — I think that battle is best fought in the world of people who are new to computers. People will tend to be loyal to the first thing that *just works* and doesn’t cause them pain. Making that first experience for people a Linux one as opposed to a proprietary one — that’s the challenge.
How true. It’s been a while since I’ve installed Linux, but my memories of it were not all that pleasant. It worked well enough, I suppose, but it certainly isn’t as polished or streamlined as it should be. MS and Apple are still years ahead of Linux in this regard.