lunes, 28 de junio de 2010

Ubuntu user? You'd better go back to Windows!!

That seems to be the motto of the anti-Ubuntu attitude among (several? some? many?) Linux users. Why is there so much hatred against a Linux distro? Well, Ubuntu is not just "a" Linux distro: it happens to be the most popular Linux flavor, too.

Why do Linux users treat Ubuntu supporters so harshly? I want to go over some of their reasons and will add my personal position, too.

Reason 1: Ubuntu is popular while other distros are not.
So, the idea is that Linux remains in the shadows forever, right? If Ubuntu is popular, good for them! That means more Linux users, or not? Is it envy what I smell there?

Reason 2: Ubuntu is too easy.
OK, so being easy to use is a sin in the world of Linux. If so, why are so many distros now relying on graphical installers and simpler package managers? Isn't it to simplify those processes? Mandriva has an excellent control center, surely designed to make things easier to Mandriva users. Excuse me for saying it, but when I decided to migrate to Linux, I precisely picked SimplyMepis for its friendly use. I, as most--if not all--Windows users, wanted the OS change to be as less traumatizing as possible. Most users appreciate simplicity when migrating, I'd say.

Reason 3: Ubuntu users are illiterate about computers. That may be generally true, but I don't know how to compile a kernel myself. I will eventually try it, though...but I'm pretty sure I'll end up with a Kernel Panic. I am another ignoramus that deserves no place in the highly technical Linux community, I guess. Learning is a process...Windows does not teach us; most of us start learning after meeting Tux. Blaming lack of computer literacy on Ubuntu is simply unfair.

Reason 4: Ubuntu is the best Linux distro.
Here I have to disagree. Ubuntu is indeed a great distro, but not the best. Actually, I don't know the name of "the best" Linux distro. Linux is a tool like many others. Which is the best hammer? The one made with the best quality? But that one might be the most expensive, too. Thus, it won't be the best for my pocket. Also, purpose often determines our perception of value. If I want to use a hammer as part of a sculpture, the quality of such hammer may be totally unimportant or even work against it, for I might be reluctant to use--and lose--an expensive, high-quality hammer. I like to believe that people share a degree of affinity with their Linux distros. Fedora people are not better than Mint people and Mepis people are not more valuable than Mandriva people. Likewise, Ubuntu people are not the best (nor the worst).

Reason 5: Ubuntu limits the scope of Linux.
Advocates of other Linux distros often claim that Ubuntu indirectly presents itself as the only Linux. I find this as a fair complaint. I've heard that some potential migrants, after trying Ubuntu, ended up disliking it and thought of going back to Windows because they had the image that Linux was Ubuntu. Nobody told them that other distros may have pleased them better. Again, it's as if Ubuntu developers thought "if it doesn't work in Ubuntu, it certainly won't work in other Linux distros." This is a false assumption. Again, in the varied world of Linux some distros handle hardware better, others obtain higher marks in stability and the appeal of others is their functionality in prehistoric computers (yes! that IS an issue for some people, you know? Not everyone has access to high-end equipments!)

Before ending, let me say that I myself dislike Ubuntu and Canonical. However, disliking is not the same as hating. I won't use Ubuntu myself, but I will be happy if someone picks Ubuntu to migrate from proprietary software.

If Ubuntu developers educated their community a bit more and let the world know that Ubuntu is not the only Linux, many of their current Linux "enemies" might be more supportive of this great distro, too.

1 comentario:

  1. Great defense of Ubuntu from a non-Ubuntu user.
    I must admit that I find this Distro-Wars kind of medieval.