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
- Propritetary drivers
- 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.
One thing I cannot stand that is so prevalent in the computer industry is criticism by people of ideas, products, and technologies that they don’t understand. You see this a lot in the OS wars–especially of Windows, but Linux and Apple are not immune.
In very few cases do people have a well-reasoned and thought out explanation for their feelings. People who bash other ideas for their “religious” reasons are not intelligent–they are freaks who should not be trusted to make good decisions about technology.
Sure, there are horribly bad products out there, but those are mostly ignored and quickly die off. Religious wars start over successful products. A little study and research into the reasons for various design decisions would go a lot towards increasing the intelligence of most of these people.
John Dvorak has an interesting commentary on the implosion of the Linux community.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m sympathetic to the view that Linux and OSS in general are having problems with religious zeal affecting people’s better judgement.
There is a wonderful little article about the Yankee Group’s reaction to criticism of their surveys.
I’m not as forgiving as Laura DiDio. My entire undergraduate education was heavily Linux-based, and as I saw it, there were very few reasonable opinions. It was either love linux above all else and bash Microsoft with idiotic assertions, or be quiet.
Linux might be cool and fun to geek around with, but I mostly want to get work done. Linux doesn’t do it as well as Microsoft.