Comment of the Day - January 5, 2006 - Fundamental Mistake in Article About Ubuntu

Posted by tadelste on Jan 7, 2006 8:36 AM EDT -Article; By SNF
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SNF comments on Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols article: "First, the good news: although they go by different names, there's really no fundamental difference between the Ubuntu brothers. "

[ed: While Steven is one of our readers most popular newswire authors, he writes alot. In this case, I agree with SFN's comment. -tadelste]

Related to:
Reviewer finds Ubuntu good, but not good enough

Although his review is much more even-handed than most reviews of Ubuntu (they tend to run towards fanboy adoration or distrowar ignition), the above statement makes it clear that he is missing something.

In my experiences, Kubuntu is still falling short of Ubuntu. Not because the KDE or Gnome interfaces are better but because there are still some things that Kubuntu isn't doing well. The desktop resolution problem that he mentioned comes to mind. I had that problem twice with Kubuntu but have yet to experience it in Ubuntu. (BTW, the notion that it's a common problem because there's a HOWTO about it is nonsense. There are Ubuntu HOWTOs for a gigantic number of things, both common and uncommon.)

I don't think this is a failing of the Kubuntu project. One needs to keep in mind that Kubuntu was something that somebody came up with after Ubuntu was already established. They are running behind Ubuntu but I'm sure they will catch up as time goes on.

From there, the review spirals a bit. He says this about sudo,

"When you're putting the Drupal CMS (content management system) together, for instance, and I have to enter my password every single time I want to work on MySQL, Apache, Drupal, or PHP configuration files, it gets a little old."

I've heard this many times and it's simply not true. You enter your password the first time. From that point on, you don't enter your password unless you are inactive for 15 minutes. So the only way he would need to enter his password "every single time" is if he waited 15 minutes between each command.

I suppose that the 15 minutes time limit could be different in Kubuntu. Maybe it's gone completely. In Ubuntu though, the 15 minute limit is alive and well.

This is not a knock on Mr. Vaughan-Nichols. I generally find his articles to be informative and well thought out. I just think his initial premise of Kubuntu and Ubuntu being identical save for the interface is misguided.

Lastly, there's this,

"One of my gripes about Kubuntu is when you want to get your hands on the command-line controls. Maybe everyone doesn't want a Linux distribution that has a default terminal window at the top interface, but I do."

Perhaps I'm just missing his point. Is he saying that he wants the terminal to be sitting on top of the desktop at all times? If that's what he means, I haven't seen a distro that does that by default yet (except, of course, for a distro that doesn't use an X server at all). If he means he wants to be able to access the terminal easily, can he not do that in KDE? If he doesn't mean either of those things, what exactly is he talking about?

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