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richg
April 2nd, 2009, 06:42 PM
Amusing article concerning Linux.

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/pcworld/20090402/tc_pcworld/linuxneedscritics

Rich

Giant Speck
April 2nd, 2009, 07:08 PM
I really like this notion:



I've made a handful of blog postings recently that have been critical of Linux (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/pcworld/tc_pcworld/storytext/linuxneedscritics/31521093/SIG=12dsph5i6/*http://www.pcworld.com/article/160447/jaunty_jackalope_wheres_the_beef.html) (in the sense of pointing out perceived failings), and people hate it. If they explain why, it's usually a variation of the following: "Linux is free, so why are you complaining?"

The statement is an interesting one. It implies that Linux is inferior to commercial software because nobody pays for it. It supposes that the end-user of Linux just can't have the same expectations as with software he or she has paid for.

It also categorizes my comments as "complaints" when they're actually criticism--offered in good faith with the hope of making things better. There is a very important difference between a complaint (negative) and criticism (positive).

"You smell!" is a good example of a complaint.

The following is criticism: "Your body odor has become unbearable--it's clear your deodorant isn't working."

A complaint is offensive. It's a verbal attack. Genuine criticism is intended to help and often hints at a solution (get a better deodorant, dude!). Criticism might be blunt. It can be harsh. But it has genuine intentions.I've noticed that in this forum and others, people often confuse criticism for complaining.

abyssius
April 2nd, 2009, 09:15 PM
What Linux really needs is a much wider user base. This will naturally grow critics. For example, Windows has the largest user-base, and hence the largest accumulation of critics. I think that the Linux community has plenty of technical 'critics' that provide the feedback and testing necessary to improve the OS. What Linux needs is a growth of 'non=techie' end-users that get beyond the OS itself and begin to be productive with Linux applications.

IMO meaningful criticism must transcend the OS itself, and focus on the available apps. Many pile criticism on Windows but will still grudgingly boot it up to use Photoshop or Dreamweaver - because they've concluded that its the best app for the job.

Another problem I see with the premise of this thread is it shouldn't be as much "Linux needs critics", as it should be "Ubuntu needs critics" or "Fedora needs critics". 'Linux' covers such a big umbrella that blanket criticism is really meaningless. There's already plenty of 'techies' providing criticism of a given distro, or touting their favorite as being superior.

IMO, the set of applications available for the Linux platform is where criticism should be focused. For example, running Gimp on Ubuntu or openSUSE, or even Windows doesn't hold as much relevance as criticism of the mechanics of the Gimp application itself - since the experience is pretty much the same on each OS. In a nutshell, criticism should be directed at the apps available to end-users. For most end-users, once the OS is installed, simply booting up successfully and launching their desired app is their source of ultimate satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

koshatnik
April 2nd, 2009, 09:28 PM
What Linux really needs is a much wider user base.

It needs 3rd party apps. When it gets that, it gets a wider user base. Why would anyone use an OS with no recognisable and widely used apps? Alternatives dont count, and neither does WINE. Average users dont want to **** around with emulation. Until linux gets greater 3rd party support, it remains, on the desktop at least, an hobby OS.

t0p
April 2nd, 2009, 09:44 PM
One thing Linux ain't short of is critics. When it comes to Free software, everyone is a critic. Including people who have never used Linux and who hope never to use Linux.

aesis05401
April 2nd, 2009, 10:21 PM
I remember being a r0d3nt and heading off to post comments in response to articles like this back in the nineties.

But then I realized that all the site owners want is the traffic. They couldn't care less if their articles are informative or flamebaiting so long as they generate traffic.

PCWorld is not exactly a fount of technical insight, and I sincerely hope the users of this forum will consider excerising discretion and NOT visiting the PCWorld site to view this author's blog postings (linked from Yahoo).

Giant Speck
April 2nd, 2009, 10:33 PM
PCWorld is not exactly a fount of technical insight, and I sincerely hope the users of this forum will consider excerising discretion and NOT visiting the PCWorld site to view this author's blog postings (linked from Yahoo).

Why ignore this author's insight? What he writes makes sense. Linux really does need more critics and Linux users need to listen to criticisms without blowing them off as complaining. Linux has problems and flaws, just like Windows and OS X. The time of ignoring them because of some fanboy "Linux is perfect" mindset is hopefully coming to an end.

Also, he's the author of many award-winning books and guides on Ubuntu, so he's not exactly some geek who doesn't know anything about Linux.

aesis05401
April 2nd, 2009, 10:39 PM
Why ignore this author's insight? What he writes makes sense. Linux really does need more critics and Linux users need to listen to criticisms without blowing them off as complaining. Linux has problems and flaws, just like Windows and OS X. The time of ignoring them because of some fanboy "Linux is perfect" mindset is hopefully coming to an end.

Also, he's the author of many award-winning books and guides on Ubuntu, so he's not exactly some geek who doesn't know anything about Linux.

Then how can he claim that the dev community needs more criticism.

He completely misses the mark. The issue in the Linux community is that the criticism hasn't changed in several years and everyone can quote the valid criticisms like holy canon.

Everyone knows what needs to be fixed - hardware compatibility and user experience. Everyone can talk until they are blue in the face about personal experiences running into issues in these areas.

I have no doubt this guy wins awards, I also have no doubt that people posting comments on his PCWorld blog come off sounding like YouTube commentators.

Look at his literary devices for goodness sake - this guy is pandering to a YouTube level audience with a 5-10 year stale observation about the Linux community.

saulgoode
April 2nd, 2009, 10:50 PM
It's criticism when I complain about you. It's complaining when you criticize me.

Sealbhach
April 2nd, 2009, 10:52 PM
Start praising Linux on Digg, you'll see all the criticism you'll ever want.


.

rhcm123
April 2nd, 2009, 11:08 PM
I am not a programmer.
then why are you complaining? The idea of linux was to, instead of critizing it if you had a problem, write a program to fix it!

and i started this thread already :) http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1100810

Giant Speck
April 2nd, 2009, 11:11 PM
then why are you complaining? The idea of linux was to, instead of critizing it if you had a problem, write a program to fix it!

No! No! NO!

That mindset is what is wrong with the Linux community and what's keeping it limited to being nothing more than a niche operating system. It allows programmers to get away with allowing the flaws in their programs go untouched.

If I was complaining about a problem with my car, would you tell me to stop complaining and build a car myself? I don't think so.

abyssius
April 2nd, 2009, 11:13 PM
It needs 3rd party apps. When it gets that, it gets a wider user base. Why would anyone use an OS with no recognisable and widely used apps? Alternatives dont count, and neither does WINE. Average users dont want to **** around with emulation. Until linux gets greater 3rd party support, it remains, on the desktop at least, an hobby OS.

You're absolutely right. But, before that happens, 3rd party developers will need the motivation of a viable business model. However, if the cloud computing trend grows as predicted, then the importance of locally-installed apps may diminish and with it the necessity to purchase proprietary client Operating Systems.

rhcm123
April 2nd, 2009, 11:34 PM
No! No! NO!

That mindset is what is wrong with the Linux community and what's keeping it limited to being nothing more than a niche operating system. It allows programmers to get away with allowing the flaws in their programs go untouched.

If I was complaining about a problem with my car, would you tell me to stop complaining and build a car myself? I don't think so.

I know, i know. It's a bad idea, i agree. But, it was the philosophy linux was built upon. That's why you gotta stick with the big commerically-mainained distros and packages. and that's why we have to get into the more commercial markets. Didn't you read my thread linked?

frup
April 2nd, 2009, 11:52 PM
No! No! NO!

That mindset is what is wrong with the Linux community and what's keeping it limited to being nothing more than a niche operating system. It allows programmers to get away with allowing the flaws in their programs go untouched.

I fully disagree with you. I think it's the exact mentality software needs. It is the beauty of the GPL, if software doesn't fit your needs you can change it. Remember you don't have to do the programming yourself you could hire someone else to do the work for you. This is a route I think more people need to take. Personally I have donated more cash towards projects than I have ever spent on proprietary software; I am happy.

Linux development doesn't need pointless talk - It needs action. If you don't like something make sure it gets changed.

simtaalo
April 3rd, 2009, 12:01 AM
No! No! NO!

That mindset is what is wrong with the Linux community and what's keeping it limited to being nothing more than a niche operating system. It allows programmers to get away with allowing the flaws in their programs go untouched.

If I was complaining about a problem with my car, would you tell me to stop complaining and build a car myself? I don't think so.

the problem is alot of the people that complain don't take the time out to write proper bug reports/talk to dev's about the problem. most of the time they will come onto forums like this and just bitch which doesn't help anything.

billgoldberg
April 3rd, 2009, 12:04 AM
I really like this notion:

I've noticed that in this forum and others, people often confuse criticism for complaining.

I noticed the same.

People seem to confuse the two.

billgoldberg
April 3rd, 2009, 12:06 AM
then why are you complaining? The idea of linux was to, instead of critizing it if you had a problem, write a program to fix it!




Yeah, back in the late 90s.

DeadSuperHero
April 3rd, 2009, 12:06 AM
Of course Linux already has critics! Look at Microsoft, Apple, the BSDs, Linsux, the FSF, Ars Technica, etc.

Everyone's a critic, whether it be your competitors, a rival technology, a foundation, a satire site, a tech review site, or whatever.

cardinals_fan
April 3rd, 2009, 12:11 AM
No! No! NO!

That mindset is what is wrong with the Linux community and what's keeping it limited to being nothing more than a niche operating system. It allows programmers to get away with allowing the flaws in their programs go untouched.

If I was complaining about a problem with my car, would you tell me to stop complaining and build a car myself? I don't think so.
You bought your car. The important difference is between criticism and listening to criticism. Do you have the right to criticize? Absolutely! What's more, I believe that criticism is the seed of growth and improvement. However, unless you are a paying customer, it is important to recognize that the devs have no obligation to care about your criticism.

blackened
April 3rd, 2009, 12:22 AM
You're trying your hardest to mix two mutually exclusive ideas.


No! No! NO!

That mindset is what is wrong with the Linux community and what's keeping it limited to being nothing more than a niche operating system. It allows programmers to get away with allowing the flaws in their programs go untouched.

You have no right to leverage, except arguably through project donation, a FOSS developer into listening to your needs. You likely did not pay for the software you are criticizing and can thus make no demands of its developer. If you want to your needs pandered to, then write, or pay to have written, the software that suits you best.


If I was complaining about a problem with my car, would you tell me to stop complaining and build a car myself? I don't think so.

Now that's just silly. You paid for that car and have every right to make demands of that company who created it. You also have the right to choose not to buy another car from that manufacturer.

On the other hand, would you have the gall to complain, or criticize as you say, if someone were to give you a car with an air conditioner that didn't work? Of course not, you got it for nothing. You would, however, still be free to not drive that car when it's 100 degrees outside.

Phasmus
April 3rd, 2009, 01:46 AM
The name of the game is criticism ("It could be better if it were like this.") not complaints ("It sucks.") and not demands ("Do this."). A problem I see is some folks (mostly community members rather than developers, happily) take pretty much every critical remark as one of the latter two categories and dismiss them with prejudice. I guess there are a lot of complaints and demands out there and the lines between all can be blurry, but it can't be good to squelch the legitimate criticism along with the whining.

Our mysterious free-car-distributor might actually find its mysterious goals better served by including air conditioning, after all. Maybe it just never occurred to them. Couldn't hurt to mention it...

MikeTheC
April 3rd, 2009, 06:17 AM
What the heck happened to my earlier post in this thread? If it was excised by the admins, where is my notification of such, and what was the rationale?

3rdalbum
April 3rd, 2009, 11:52 AM
What Linux needs is more creativity and imagination.

Yashiro
April 3rd, 2009, 01:04 PM
It needs the video and audio infrastructure fixing and possibly having a system wide framework akin to DirectX.
This then needs to proliferate into other devices not because it's free but because it is BETTER than DirectX.

But I fear it is way too late now, and the whole multimedia and games aspect has been long lost to Microsoft.