Story: Memo to Linux Devs: Focus on Design, Not TechnologyTotal Replies: 2
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Jan 17, 2013
12:28 AM EDT
Quoting:The takeaway message of material like this is that Ubuntu just works. Explaining exactly how it works–how many megabytes of memory it consumes, the amount of disk space it requires, the various upstream software it integrates–is not part of the picture. And it shouldn’t be.

Yep. Bling should come before performance. Nevermind how many megabytes the OS is using at idle.

Quoting:Even the “About” page for Linux Mint, which leads the open source pack in some respects when it comes to usability, expects users to know what terms like “packages,” “Ubuntu” and “Debian” mean.

I know. That's why none of the Ubuntu users have switched to using Mint. Too "technical". Hard to understand jargon.

Quoting:Still, what the open source world sorely needs–especially as it eyes expansion into next-generation devices such as tablets and smartphones–is a little more empathy with the issues that end users, not code-crunchers, care about most.

That's Ubuntu, alright. The developers are always listening and responding to what the users really want.


Jan 17, 2013
9:41 AM EDT
My first thought when reading this article is that it is sponsored (although it doesn't say so).

I left a comment on the site but I'll put a summary here.

Ubuntu is fine. It works for a good number of users and if they are happy with it then good and if Canonical are happy selling it the way they are then that is fine.

It is also ok that not every distribution is built for the masses and they target users who understand the terms vilified in this article.

The point in the article about average Joes not knowing what a package in is a bit silly. How is the term package any more difficult to understand than app.

The other point about grandmothers using Linux is that grandmothers probably wouldn't just stumble across Linux. They would have it on their computer because a relative had put it there. The majority of computer users don't care what operating system is on their computer as long as they can get to facebook. For the rest of us there is Linux.

Jan 17, 2013
1:05 PM EDT
Although I agree with the general premise of the article, but I think the memo is going to the wrong people.

Open Source Developers code to scratch an itch. They enjoy creating new software applications and discovering new technology. The driving force behind this enjoyment of coding is ambition and ego satisfaction. When their self satisfaction is fulfilled, they hand their creation to others to take care of the rest by fixing and refining it, packaging it for distribution, and supporting it. Most developers aren't really that interested in refining applications. They will do it when there is another incentive, financial rewards is very enticing. That is what Canonical is doing, it is rewarding some individuals to refine what developers have created and packaging it for distribution for end users.

Red hat did a pretty good job in the server area. When it started distributing Linux, they realized that the desktop is not an immediate revenue generator and Its strategy became concentrated on the commercial server area. Venture Capitals were helpful and eventually became profitable and able to fund the effort to enhance and advance Linux desktop.

Canonical is is a different story. Shuttleworth happened to have the financial resources and insights needed to seriously establish a distribution that would hopefully and eventually return profits on his investment in the desktop area.The desktop area is a lot more involved and complicated than the server area since it deals with average computer users and they expect a computer and applications to just work. That is why Ubuntu had to do a lot more of the ground work in user friendliness and seamless functionality.

The revenue from desktops hasn't progressed as it was expected and Canonical started venturing into the server market, which also hasn't performed much better than the desktop. That is why we see Canonical venturing into handheld devices as they recent;y became the most popular and profitable commodity items. Such devices require a lot more user friendliness and functional seamlessness than any other devices. Consequently, they require different type of people with special talent that are different from the talents of software developers.

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