Sunday, 22 April 2012

Opinion: The Trouble with Linux

Tux part of the trouble with Linux
How often do you get into the awkward conversation that begins "the trouble with Linux is...?" My advice is cut off the detractors before they get started. Like Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac, give it the abuse yourself and do the job properly. So the trouble with Linux is...
  • Saying it. Lyn-ux. Line-ux. Lee-nux. Or if you're Richard Stallman, Lee-narcs.
  • What flavour? Red Hat, Fedora, Suse, Mint; ten things all ending in 'buntu'. Nobody knows what a 'buntu' is. They've never seen one in the wild. There is a rumour that somebody was gored to death by one.
    Sorry bored to death.
    I'm sure Mark Spaceshuttle would love Ubuntu to become the single identiifiable 'brand' of Lee-narcs, but owing to the very things we love about it - choice, freedom and competition (sorry Stallman) - that's not going to happen.
  • It's tribal. The whole 'my desktop is better than your desktop' thing is always going to keep us oppressed, the way it did the Celtic Tribes or the Scottish Clans. Substitute 'package manager,' 'logo,' or 'hat' for desktop in the example quoted.
  • Speaking of package managers, Linux has more package managers than Fed-Ex. I prefer the short ones; Yum, Yast, Apt. Software Center sounds like Home Depot, frequented by men in overalls carrying steel rules with a deep knowledge of the application of seventeen types of glue.
  • At the first mention of the word repository, most people think of 'suppository' and giggle.
  • It's not sexy. What we want is the sparkly flying suit like Iron Man. What we've got is a part-work model kit of the non-flying Spruce Goose. At least the chicks have heard of Windows and the iPad.
  • It's a terminal disease. As soon as something breaks, the advice always begins, 'open a terminal session.' It has the same unwlecome connotations as air travel. Terminal equals mortality. Life is too short.
You may continue. Somewhere before you reach the end of the list, run your intellectually dazzled opponents through with the broken shards of an Ubuntu Live CD. Cyrano would be proud. RC