“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” Marcel Proust
NOTE: This post is in responses of criticisms that have arrived after the posting of an Ubuntu review by a new Linux user in our “Reviews” section.
I figured that I’d have to do something like this. Too many it seems look upon this experiment as “Just another Review” without truly figuring out what it is about. They say things like “just open a shell and do this” or “use synaptic/kpackage and install this” or “use the update client” or “how can you compare this to windows” without any understanding the scope and goals at all. They speak their mind without first understanding what it is that they are speaking on. To me, this is ignorance and looking at things in the same old way instead of with new eyes. However, this isn’t the only problem that is evident.
There are so many out there that empathize so much with a Linux distro that they feel someone is personally attacking them when their distro is trounced in a review…but also because Linux seems to have taken on a social stigma that makes it self defeating. That is, if you are inside of the ‘movement’ and decide to constructively criticize an issue in Linux…you are completely sold out by the movement you were so set on defending or helping. You are sold without a single consideration. Look at RMS…he’s been sold out as a lunatic by half of the world despite being the most clear and unwavering voice on his subject. But this lil rant isn’t about RMS…it’s about what happened when my wife reviewed, and trounced Ubuntu…because it didn’t suit her needs as a new Linux user. Things need to be said…because it is obvious that no one is getting it…and by IT I mean the whole point to the experiment and all of the reviews.
By some of the responses, it is obvious that some haven’t read all of the reviews nor the original intent of this experiment. If you haven’t, before you comment further…go back and read each and every entry under the section “Reviews” because ignorance has no place in this discussion. In order to appreciate what we were trying to accomplish, do you research. Do not speak with authority on that which you do not know.
Secondly, do not bring the GPL, freedom of speech, or anything else GNU/licensing/copyright into this experiment….it never had a place before in any other review (before ubuntu) and please do not have the audacity to bring it into the foray now. It also has no place in this experiment. This is not an experiment that has been done to debate the nuances of Free Software, the OSI, the GPL, or other such nonsense.
I say nonsense because this review is about Desktop environments of Linux. It would be asinine to not discuss how they compare to windows because windows is the de facto standard. Trying to discuss the Linux Desktop without comparing it to windows will not happen no matter how hard we want to pretend it won’t.
We can’t say Linux is better than Windows when it suits us (when we’re bragging or showing off to our friends) and then pull that card when it comes to a review. That is bias and bias has no place in this review. Mrs.D had an overwhelming task ahead of her and she trudged on and stayed fresh as she could. Did she do a good job? I believe she did.
We need to shake the mindset of the old developer who develops linux for his friends and users and start to develop Linux for EVERYONE. New users are a place that Linux has never been strong in…but as we see with this experiment, times are changing.
If one Linux distro includes mp3 support…then all can. No excuses. It doesn’t even matter for licensing. Do you think PCLinuxOS isn’t sold overseas? SimplyMEPIS? Look again. Tout your licenses all you want…but they mean squat to the end user. The end user just wants something that works. They don’t want to get into the whole debate of free vs. proprietary…they want things just to work. We need to make it work for them. We need to stop squabbling because someone trounced your favorite distro and grow up.
Also, If you all actually read this experiment from front to back like a few readers have done, you’re realize that this was done entirely as to what a new user would think of each distro of Linux. No software installs…just default distros…just like that software loaded Dell or HP you get from the store. This doesn’t mean that [Insert_your_distro_here] is a bad distro of Linux. It means that it doesn’t cater to what one Windows user crossing over preferred. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. This experiment was done for people who WANT to read it…the rest of you can simply pass on, nothing to see here.
All in all, I find it very discouraging that as many people commented what they did on the Ubuntu review. I anticipated most of it because I knew there were so many people on the Ubuntu bandwagon…I knew the comments that were made would be made…However, I am deeply discouraged at the lack of attention to detail that most of the people who gave comments actually have. They obviously didn’t read the goal of the experiment…nor the criteria…nor anything at all that had to do with the experiment. It’s like NOT watching a movie and then criticizing it because you caught the last ten minutes and they didn’t agree with you. Instead, you might try watching the entire movie (or reading the entire review) because most of the time the beginning parts set up the end. Pretend it’s a book and read it from beginning to end instead of skipping to the last chapter and then saying the book sucks.
I really thought people who used Linux were more detail oriented than this. I know that I don’t do anything in Linux without reading the man page and at least 2 tutorials on it. I sure hope that those commenting are of the minority opinion. I want to personally thank those of you that have stuck with us and read the entire experiment process from beginning to end. You truly are an asset to Linux. You read the fine print and ensure you are informed of everything going on. That’s admirable and evidently very rare.
I’m currently working on a synopsis piece for all the reviews with the criteria also…I recommend that you all read it and pay attention to the goal of the experiment and how as we went along we changed our focus on a few things…mainly, the idea to include Ubuntu (read request). Otherwise, I didn’t consider it even new user friendly enough to include it at all (due to it’s text only install). READ first. Then speak your mind. Otherwise, you come off being just plain ignorant…