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Thread: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

  1. #51
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    Re: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

    When I started using Linux in 2005, I was young, and everything felt exciting.
    I used to spend a lot of time on these forums back then. It's sad to see this place now. I can understand most people probably moved to reddit, so it's not like it's an indicator of the state of the community as a whole, but still...

    This is my personal experience over the years and my perspective. Moving from Linux to windows in ~2005 was amazing. There was so much to tinker with and it felt designed for that - it felt totally different from windows in that kind of way - you could massively customise things to make it look like or behave like any OS or workflow that you can imagine, and it even felt like you were encouraged to customise and explore everything, to make it your own, something that suited your specific needs.
    For sure it was more difficult and it wasn't always easy to get things working, but it was so fun. It exposed more details of computing that windows did at the time, and I got into scripting and programming and stuff partly because of linux.

    Then as life moved on, that sense of joy & excitement started turning to frustration. I'd get everything set just how I liked it and get it working great, then it was time to update to the next distro release and it'd break everything. It got to the point where I dreaded the next update in 6 months time because it was always a headache.

    As I started using the computer for more serious things like creative productivity tasks etc, that hassle of having my workflow thrown out the window every couple updates became bad enough that I started delaying updates.
    Like imagine you've got work to do and stuff to get on with, but you can't do it because you installed an update without thinking and suddenly your desktop looks and behaves completely differently (eg. a situation like the transition from gnome2 to gnome3) and you have to relearn how to use everything over again OR spend hours working out how to get the desktop to behave the way you're comfortable with again.

    Gradually, the atmosphere around Linux changed from what I was used to before. The aura of excited hobbyists making things to tinker with that was strong when I came to linux in ~2005 seemed to start getting replaced with an aura of serious corporate or serious professional software that discouraged tinkering.
    Gnome completely revamped into something wildly different seemingly overnight from the perspective of end users like me, and also started removing as many config options as they could, and GTK became more and more uncustomisable too.

    The aura changed so much - if you use gnome which is apparently still the most popular linux desktop environment overall (perhaps just by virtue of being the default in most distros? idk) it really feels like customisation is frowned upon, in fact they go to lengths to stop you from doing it. I've seen over the years how the gnome people started trying to make the linux desktop into something rigid and uniform with tight limitations on how you can personalise it.
    Now they even seem to actively hate tinkerer hobbyists, who seemed to be the main user base of linux in the mid 2000s when I was new.

    Also other things changed and it started feeling more fractured. I watched a bunch of bitter holy wars break out, like init vs systemd, X vs wayland, and Gnome vs everyone else etc.

    It stopped feeling exciting and just feels kinda bad and bitter when I think about it now. I'm on linux just because well I guess it's better than windows (that's low bar these days) and I can't afford a mac and even if I could, I could never give money to apple on ethical grounds.
    I'm running a 3 years outdated version of ubuntu because I have stuff I need to do and tbh I can't stomach wasting a week fixing bugs and dealing with whatever new horrible things the gnome people have prepared for GTK since 2021. it's usually GTK giving me the worst headaches

  2. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2024
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    5

    Re: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

    Quote Originally Posted by PatrickMay16 View Post
    When I started using Linux in 2005, I was young, and everything felt exciting. I used to spend a lot of time on these forums back then. It's sad to see this place now. I can understand most people probably moved to reddit, so it's not like it's an indicator of the state of the community as a whole, but still... This is my personal experience over the years and my perspective. Moving from Linux to windows in ~2005 was amazing. There was so much to tinker with and it felt designed for that - it felt totally different from windows in that kind of way - you could massively customise things to make it look like or behave like any OS or workflow that you can imagine, and it even felt like you were encouraged to customise and explore everything, to make it your own, something that suited your specific needs. For sure it was more difficult and it wasn't always easy to get things working, but it was so fun. It exposed more details of computing that windows did at the time, and I got into scripting and programming and stuff partly because of linux. Then as life moved on, that sense of joy & excitement started turning to frustration. I'd get everything set just how I liked it and get it working great, then it was time to update to the next distro release and it'd break everything. It got to the point where I dreaded the next update in 6 months time because it was always a headache. As I started using the computer for more serious things like creative productivity tasks etc, that hassle of having my workflow thrown out the window every couple updates became bad enough that I started delaying updates. Like imagine you've got work to do and stuff to get on with, but you can't do it because you installed an update without thinking and suddenly your desktop looks and behaves completely differently (eg. a situation like the transition from gnome2 to gnome3) and you have to relearn how to use everything over again OR spend hours working out how to get the desktop to behave the way you're comfortable with again. Gradually, the atmosphere around Linux changed from what I was used to before. The aura of excited hobbyists making things to tinker with that was strong when I came to linux in ~2005 seemed to start getting replaced with an aura of serious corporate or serious professional software that discouraged tinkering. Gnome completely revamped into something wildly different seemingly overnight from the perspective of end users like me, and also started removing as many config options as they could, and GTK became more and more uncustomisable too. The aura changed so much - if you use gnome which is apparently still the most popular linux desktop environment overall (perhaps just by virtue of being the default in most distros? idk) it really feels like customisation is frowned upon, in fact they go to lengths to stop you from doing it. I've seen over the years how the gnome people started trying to make the linux desktop into something rigid and uniform with tight limitations on how you can personalise it. Now they even seem to actively hate tinkerer hobbyists, who seemed to be the main user base of linux in the mid 2000s when I was new. Also other things changed and it started feeling more fractured. I watched a bunch of bitter holy wars break out, like init vs systemd, X vs wayland, and Gnome vs everyone else etc. It stopped feeling exciting and just feels kinda bad and bitter when I think about it now. I'm on linux just because well I guess it's better than windows (that's low bar these days) and I can't afford a mac and even if I could, I could never give money to apple on ethical grounds. I'm running a 3 years outdated version of ubuntu because I have stuff I need to do and tbh I can't stomach wasting a week fixing bugs and dealing with whatever new horrible things the gnome people have prepared for GTK since 2021. it's usually GTK giving me the worst headaches
    I get where you're coming from, *but*... What you're describing as some of the virtues of Linux here are exactly some of the major reasons why Linux isn't the leading desktop OS it ought to be and ought to have been for some time. Too many choices, too much configurability, too many 'flavours' of DEs, too many distros with too many forks, too much choice all round, too little innovation, and so on. The average computer user just wants something that "works out of the box", is easy to install, doesn't ask a myriad questions before getting going, and looks reasonably good visually, and is easy to use - granted, vanilla Ubuntu and Ubuntu Unity score quite well on all of those. Once you've made your install USB stick or DVD you can be up and running in no time at all, and allowing for a few minor differences it's an easy transition from Windows or macOS. What the average user does not want IME is too many choices. He or she doesn't want to have to tinker around. (It's the same problem we as a capitalist consumerist society have in general - far too many choices and options. And now we're drowning in our own waste.) The less he has to use a CLI the better - and for him it's not a common occurrence to have to use one in Ubuntu. He also typically isn't interested in customization. You only have to look at what's happened to the whole customization scene especially in Windows. There were once a few dozen customization apps for Windows, many if not most of them skinnable. Now there are maybe a couple of handful customization apps of one kind or another struggling to cling on, and the whole skinning scene is as dead as a dodo. Get my drift? Essentially, fewer choices the better for most users. Some of us may not like that very much or not at all, but that's the stark reality. And if that helps "sell" Linux to the average Win/mac user or computer virgin, then all the better. Goodness knows Windows 11 users are getting completely fed up in their droves with the way MS are mucking them about and are seriously considering switching. As regards community spirit, in the short time since I joined the Ubuntu forums I've found more of that still than in most other forums that I know. And yes, social media have more or less taken over everything, people's mentality has changed and not for the better mostly. (I remember when "forums" where a part of the old BBSes before the internet and that *was* community and fun!)

  3. #53
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    Jul 2005
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    I think I'm here! Maybe?
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    Hidden!
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    Xubuntu 24.04 Noble Numbat

    Re: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

    Surely one of the bigest problems that stops Linux becoming the No 1 operating system is down to the fact that 99% (?) of computers are brought with the worlds most commonly used OS, ie Windows preinstalled, and the huge majority of computer users would run a mile away from the task of actually installing an OS of any kind.

    I remember using a stack, of floppy disks to install oneof my first attempts at Linux though i I can't now recall what it was.

    And then along came Ubuntu, often given away on CD or DVD with computer magazines and my computing life changed. It was so simple to install with fewer options than nowadays; no UEFI vs MBR/BIOS; my computing life changed then, and it was much easier than installing Windows XP, which of course, most people never did anyway; they just bought a machine with it already on it.

    OK, it will never happen, but if more hardware was available with Linux installed at time of purchase it might become more generally used.
    But, of course, it might not!
    Do you recall when the small netbooks were first available, some with Linux Lindows installed, many of which were apparently returned to the sellers because they were deemed faulty as you could not install applications.
    Of course you could, but not in the way that most users were aware of, ie, search for a application, get the .exe installer and then double click that .exe file.

    So here we are still using what is to most people an unknown OS!

    And in all honesty, that's how I like it.
    Last edited by ajgreeny; May 21st, 2024 at 11:25 PM.

  4. #54
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    Re: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

    Alas, yes, the overwhelming prevalence of Windows coming preinstalled on PCs certainly has to be another major - and perhaps the major - factor in contributing to the small overall market share of Linux on the desktop. However, while it is true that most users wouldn't dream of installing an OS, in recent years it's been my experience that a lot of people are getting more and more curious about an alternative to Windows or macOS (yes, there are a few like that!) and one way or another have heard or read or whatever about Linux. All it takes is a little gentle 'education' and many of these people will be willing to give it a go, as long as somebody helps them or does it all for them. I usually go with a handful or so 'Live' sticks - usually Ubuntu, Ubuntu Mate, Debian, Fedora, and Mint as that's fairly idiot-proof and designed for the lobotomized - and show them how it's booted up, explain a few simple things, and then let them have a play, always ready to answer any questions they may have. That way, I've managed to move a couple of dozen people over to Linux, and they were delighted with it! Sure, there were a few who'd rather stick with Win or mac, but on the whole not many. One big factor in this - apart from people getting more and more fed up with MS mucking around - is also that more people are getting more and more concerned about their security and privacy online.

    Yeah, I remember installing an OS from an endless stack of floppies - OS/2 Warp 3*, around the same time as I got hold of a Slackware CD from a magazine I think for my first taste of Linux. Unstable as hell at that time and it took ages to succeed installing a WM/DE. (Hated all the crashing, and eventually gave up on it but from time to time kept an eye on one or another distro.)

    By golly, I do remember those little netbooks being returned as faulty - one of the funniest things ever. Sure had me in stitches!

    I'm not sure I'm happy for Linux to be relatively/comparatively unknown. I think it needs to grow, a lot. And not in the number of distros to bee sure! Grow market share, or eventually it will wither.


    *One of the best things about OS/2 Warp was that it had a native Bourne shell as well as a Korn shell available! And XFreeX86!

  5. #55
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    Re: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

    A lot of us maybe had interruptions IRL (in our real offline lives).
    I know some people left after Cannonical chose to lock and archive some of this actual forum.
    There were active solutions being given by freelancers and they were logged as [SOLVED] or whatever until Cannonical or UbuntuForums locked away the interactions.
    It's not as easy to find those needles in the haystack if they aren't active conversations. That's one reason I left for a handful of years. But some of the competitor websites turned out to be worse.
    There were hints of "tech support" being phishing for vulnerable users with the system audit and email address and system specs in hand (at the other sites). I've stopped interacting with them after they accidentally tipped their hand about that.

    I don't mean to sound cynical, but "it's a jungle out there" is kinda true.
    But I do like social forums for Linux stuff. It's a lot more fun and educational this way.
    And who else gets our silly Linux jokes when we joke around, right?


  6. #56
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    Re: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

    Hi everyone, I am new to the forums, and relatively new to Linux. I really enjoyed reading this thread, and agree that people nowadays lack attention spans. I would like to say that i look forward to getting to know all of you in this thread. Id like to share a little bit about myself and how I came to Linux. I am originally from the Midwest but moved to FL at 16. After getting my GED i tried to go to a local community college but couldn't get Student Aide. blah blah blah lots of cool stories but no real substance for numerous years. Anyhow, in 2018 I moved back to my hometown KC, MO. I was a very talented and skilled painter, doing residential, commercial, my most rewarding jobs as far as professional pride and whatnot was refinishing cabinets. Anyways The last winter i spent in MO it had gotten slow at work, so my boss got into retail doing amazon return pallet auctions and another store local to KC Cargo Largo who also had pallet auctions. One particular pallet had a large box with a tear in it and a bunch of other boxes that mostly had DVDs. at first my boss said we don't do DVDs no money in them, then i pointed out the larger box and told him to look in the hole, which you could see a computer monitor and what almost looked like an air hockey table, which turned out to be a Sharp 70" or close enough, HD computer monitor. He paid $45 for the pallet which ended up containing 15 laptops which had all come from Solar Winds IT company, and chargers docks jabra headsets and the like.. Well we couldnt just reinstall windows to make the laptops sellable, and while we could have just gotten new hard drives, that was when i remembered Linux. I did some research and ended up using Ubuntu, For some of the laptops i just installed Ubuntu on them and resold them, others i used Ubuntu to reformat the hard drives then reinstalled Windows on them so that we could sell them, which was the point in the first place. But that was what had got me hooked on Linux. I started doing some research on Linux, Ubuntu and wow was i surprised at how much of todays digital tech infrastructure relied upon Linux. This really reignighted my curiosity and got e back into computers like i was back in the days of dial up internet, the DSL and Cable Modems, lol. I am currrently enrolled in online courses at Full Sail University for a degree in cyber security, and i know linux systems are the most secure, and am using Kubuntu LTS with an ubuntu pro subscription. i was born the same yaer as Nintendo, in Japan or as it was know there Famicom system.

  7. #57
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wasilla, Alaska
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    586
    Distro
    Kubuntu

    Re: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    They typical users of Linux systems has changed drastically over this time. In 2005, it was mostly tech-nerds, willing and wanting to learn everything. These days, it is people asking "what do I type to make everything work now". There are plenty of nerds left, but that isn't the default.
    Take into consideration that a lot of Linux distributions, Ubuntu especially, have become much easier to use.

    Many programs that were once only available on Windows, are not available on Linux OS's.
    So, the transition from Windows to Linux is significantly easier, as people do not have to learn new software.

    I mean, at this point, you can move from Windows to Linux and still use Microsoft Edge and Teams...

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    People don't like to be talked down to. But if you do and they don't understand the answer, they are just as likely to be disappointed, or even mad, about the answer provided.

    Every forum has people posting not to actually be helpful. The UF moderators see hundreds, if not thousands of spam posts daily. If most of what you see is posts that clearly have alternative goals than helping others with Ubuntu, it would be easy to become a little disappointed or even jaded.
    This is one of the most outstanding things about the Ubuntu forums. I have RARELY seen anyone say something off-putting. I mean, no one is flawless, but it's the ultimate minimum here. Other Distribution forums can be much worse.
    Holy Cripes on Toast!
    Attention is the currency of internet forums. - ticopelp

  8. #58
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    Re: What happened to the Ubuntu community?

    Take a look at this: https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=popularity (page hits)
    Although, this one might be more appropriate because it's rank/review-based: https://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=ranking (likeability)

    Although it's not necessarily "pure popularity", it does reveal some page hits on distrowatch.
    Also, sometimes it's implied that:

    A: a distro might peak before dropping off into dormancy of success
    B: a distro in trouble might drop off into dormancy of failure or into discontinued
    C: a distro doing well in all 4 collumns i guess gets a lot of attention at distrowatch (maybe new users)
    D: a dormant distro might not need much support if it's working out--it might not be vaporware
    E: the popularity rises and falls whimsically

    maybe i'm making some faulty assumptions(?)
    Last edited by 909mjolnir; 1 Week Ago at 03:05 PM.

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