Have you stopped using Linux? Why?
Today in Open Source: Have you quit using Linux? Why? Plus: Has open source won? And will you buy an Ubuntu Edge phone?
Have You Quit Using Linux? Why?
LinuxBSDos.com has a disheartening article about a developer that stopped using Linux, and moved over to OS X. It raises an interesting question: How many people stop using Linux and go back to Windows or move to OS X?
To be honest, I’m happy with this. Everything just works. Unfortunately and I can say this freely now: if we will speak about usability (and not ideology) GNU/Linux distros are still not rivals for the MacOS X and Microsoft Windows on desktops and laptops.
More than 20 years of development and any free distro can’t be the rival of the proprietary operating systems? Unfortunately not. Even Ubuntu and ROSA. Why?
In the quote posted in the article, the developer noted that "everything just works." That's fine, and it's an important point. But there's much more to the story than just that when it comes to operating systems.
He has, in effect, also given up control of his computing experience to Apple. In and of itself, that's not necessarily a bad thing if it works for you. But let's face it, Apple is not perfect, anymore than Microsoft is perfect.
So when you choose OS X or Windows over Linux, you get some good stuff but you also give up the control and freedom you have with Linux. It's often said that with great power comes great responsibility, and I think that's true with Linux. You get an enormous amount of power to control your computer, but you must also accept the responsibility that goes along with it.
If something doesn't work, then you will have to do some work to fix it. You may or may not have to do this as much with Windows or OS X, but there's no guarantee that either of those operating systems will work perfectly for all people, at all times (in the case of Windows, you arguably have more potential headaches than with OS X).
Have any of you given up on Linux and moved back to Windows or over to OS X? Tell me in the comments. I'm very interested in hearing why you made that choice, and if you plan on coming back to Linux at some point. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Open Source Has Won! Or Has It?
Mark Hinkle over at OpenSource.com is quite bullish about open source having already won in the software space, and he shares some ideas about open source in other fields. It's a mostly optimistic point of view, but with some tentative negative feelings.
I think that open source has made huge gains, but as he points out, there are folks getting involved who don't really understand it.
I suppose this is to be expected where corporations are concerned. They may proclaim the most altruistic of motives, but they generally operate in a profit-centered world that makes it more difficult to focus on the needs of users, and the benefits of open source to all.
Some of these companies, like IBM and Google, have thrived as they invested in open source and reaped tremendous gains with a long-term outlook. Others have entered the fray, but they don’t understand the culture of open source; one that strives for the benefit of the user, the developer, and the corporation. I am becoming concerned as I see more and more organizations get involved and bastardize the open culture for short-term gain. I am increasingly bearing witness to pettiness and cross-community sniping and it saddens me.
What's your take on it? Has open source really won? And is it good or bad for corporations to be involved in open source projects?
The Ubuntu Edge and Canonical
SJVN over at ZDNet has an upbeat look at the Ubuntu Edge phone and Canonical's future. I love Steven's work, but I don't share his optimism about combining a desktop and mobile device into one unit.
As ZDNet's Jason Perlow said recently , "For Shuttleworth's vision to become a reality, you need platform unification. In other words, the smartphone, tablet and desktop OS need to become the same operating system, the same developer target and ultimately, the same device."
I think that's exactly where our technology is going. Even if the Ubuntu Edge doesn't happen, Canonical has positioned itself as a visionary company in this new form of computing.
Someone, and soon, will start building these all-in-one devices. I strongly suspect Canonical will be involved in these projects even if they don't lead them. Then, as the mashup of smartphone/PC hybrids starts to take hold in both consumer and IT computing, Canonical will reap the benefits of its early moves.
I know that some folks love the idea of an all-in-one mobile/desktop device. But I still can't warm up to the idea. It might be because I tend to like working on separate desktops and laptops, with my phone being used much less than how other people use their phones.
For me the phone is in-addition-to my other devices, it's not my primary computing device and I don't want it to be. So I would have no interest in an Ubuntu Edge type device that plugs into a monitor and keyboard to become a desktop.
I may just be an old ruddy-duddy luddite without vision on this issue. Perhaps if there is a product like this, I'll suddenly see the light and it will all make sense to me. But right now I'm just not there, and the entire idea seems to me to be unnecessary.
What's your take on it? Do you want a device like the Ubuntu Edge? Tell me in the comments.