There we go again
I've been into Linux for the past 12 years or so. Although for the first couple of years I did little more than dabbling in it.
Then I got my hands on Ubuntu for the first time. It was Dapper Drake, 6.06 LTS. Out of all distributions I ever tried, it worked best for me. Even replaced my regular Windows desktop for a time, which was OK, because I had a Windows laptop which I used to run regular job stuff which just wouldn't run under Linux.
I got so overwhelmed by that Ubuntu experience that I suggested some Ubuntu servers back at work - and we did put several Ubuntu servers into production over the course of years. 6.06, 6.10, 7.04 and 7.10. All worked great and reliably.
However, desktop soon turned out to be another matter. After installing Beryl, it ran slower... And I soon got turned off by the little things that simply needed some work and maintenance, as well as some weird bugs (such as Amarok simply stopping to work, the hell in getting all the codecs to work, etc). I finally gave up, and reinstalled Windows.
On the business front, I remained "the Linux guy". Got the new job, and one of my responsibilities is co-maintaining several Linux servers with another fellow admin.
Today, however, I was asked to find a good working Linux desktop distro. So I decided to re-test Ubuntu, as I heard good stuff about 8.04. Being out of Linux desktop loop, I was expecting somewhat better Dapper.
My mind was blown away.
Almost everything that annoyed me about Dapper Drake got fixed in Hardy Heron. It automatically offered me to upgrade my driver to nVidia one. Trying to play an unsupported format automatically started some synaptic based program which offered to download needed codecs. Played around a bit, and so far didn't need to hunt for anything on forums or wikis.
So far, I'm gonna keep Ubuntu. I'll wait and see how it passes the dreaded wireless test in a few days
Overall I'm impressed. Huge leap forward.
Cheers and hugs to Canonical and other package developers whose work made this possible. If this trend continues, next LTS will probably get to mainstream.