Why ubuntu sucks in keeping the distribution in good shape?

Tomer writes about Why ubuntu sucks in keeping the distribution in good shape?, which is related to posts I wrote at the past about Why does Ubuntu puts Firefox translation in gnome’s language pack ? and The disadvantage of language packs in Ubuntu. I’m not happy seeing these problems happening again and again.


Filed under i18n & l10n, Mozilla, Ubuntu

8 responses to “Why ubuntu sucks in keeping the distribution in good shape?

  1. Anonymous Coward

    I hate the fact that I have thunderbird-locale-en-gb installed, despite not having Thunderbird and having a en-US system!

  2. idunno

    Ubuntu, like all things Linux, is the perfect example of the classic Puter Nerd mentality. They will spend 20+ years in their basements building an electric powered rocket ship to the moon… and then right before they go to launch it……. they remember that they forgot to bring a really long extension cord.

    In other words, they can make something great that ALMOST works like it’s supposed to, but they spend so much time tweaking out on massive amounts of ways to customize and over complicate everything that they ignore the simplest functions so that the average computer user can’t use it. Why can’t GRANDMA use it?

    1. Running the very limited catalog of programs from the Synaptic package manager is easy… it’s the other 99.9% of programs that require entering code into the terminal or reading CHAPTERS of instructions on how to simply install them. Seriously, how hard is it for a genius puter programmer to write a simple program that will automatically run an .exe? Sorry but WINE doesn’t cut it. I’m not a computer programmer but a computer user. I really don’t think my wife is willing to compile source code for weeks so that she can watch her Netflix.

    2. Incompatibility with hardware

    3. Incompatibility with Windows & Mac

    4. 18 different kinds of media players to run a CD, DVD, MP3, or video clip.

    5. Most instructions written in l337 Speak as if everyone already understands 99% of what they’re talking about (because most people who read instructions just do so as a hobby anyway)

    Other than that, it’s a great OS.

    Don’t get me wrong, I detest the proprietary, resource hogging, unstable, insecure, over priced, Window$ garbage too… but it least it kind of works.

    I already know what all the Lunix fanboys are getting ready to say:

    “Yea… whatever. SHUT UP NOOB! You forgot to put a comma in the correct place in that one sentence dummy butt! FINE! Go use windows then NOOB.

    I will. And so will they. Because ALL Linux people use Windows or Mac if they actually need to use a computer that works… they will just never admit it 😉

  3. Anonymous

    Nah, I’m not a Linux fanboy, I’m sure I’ll come off as one though. Just going to touch on some things.

    I agree with what you’re saying. Linux is more complicated and less user-friendly than Windows or OS X.

    1) Limited? There are thousands of packages in the repos. Maybe not the same program as on Windows or Macs, but a program that serves the same purpose I assure you.

    Once you compile a program for the source once, the process is generally the same all the other times. You get the program, untar it, cd into it, ./configure, make, and make install. You can set flags during the configure process to manipulate the installer/program. I’m not saying that’s user friendly at all. I’m just saying it’s not that overwhelming.

    .EXE are strictly Windows compatible. Programs are written in code. The code that is compatible with Windows is not compatible with Macs or Linux. Wine is as good as it gets without running Windows. Not because the program isn’t good enough, but because it can’t get any better. If you want to run 100% of Windows programs, you’re going to need to run Windows.

    It doesn’t take weeks to compile something. It takes minutes once you get the hang of it.

    I am not saying you’re wrong, or calling you dumb, just providing some info.

    2) Linux is compatible with more hardware then anything.

    3) If you mean their programs, that is not the fault of Linux. Programs are written in programming languages. For example, Windows is commonly C#, Mac is commonly Objective-C, and Linux is commonly C. Each operating system interprets different languages, differently. Because of this it is simply not realistic to expect all programs to work across all OSs.

    4) There are multiple programs for that on Mac/Windows too. If you mean you need multiple programs to do multiple things, then there’s programs out there that do it all in one. VLC is a good example

    5) I don’t know where you’re getting that from. If you mean most instructions are written as if you know what you’re doing, then I can see what you mean. Once you learn Linux basics though it’s pretty easy to make sense of.

    I wouldn’t say all Linux people use Windows or Mac if they need a working computer. But I’m not going to lie, I’d be lost without my Mac.

    I employ Debian on servers I administrate.

  4. Absolute Linux n00b

    @ idunno and the Anonymous Contributer:

    I agree with Anonymous, and am not sure what distro you’re on, idunno, but maybe you’re overtaxing yourself. I personally run Xubuntu and am an absolute n00b at it. And yet I don’t seem to run into half the trouble you describe with Synaptic…I dunno. Here on Xubuntu it’s just search it, mark it, and apply it. And then it does it all for you. Unless you mean sudo apt-get, which I still cannot use ’cause I’m an idiot. And he also brings up a great point about VLC: it plays every darn thing you can chuck at it. Netflix too. If you want to be mean and pirate your DVDs, K3B can do that for you too. I have yet to find a legit free DVD Decrypter for Windows that has not yet been shut down.

    2. Incompatibility with hardware? I dunno about this one either. No matter what I shove Ubuntu into, it works fine; besides, whatever it doesn’t work on, it soon will work on – we have a global network of people just waiting to pounce on problems to attack and solve.

    3. Erm. Windows and Mac? Isn’t that kind of the point? You could also say that Mac isn’t compatible with Windows or Linux, or Windows isn’t with Mac and Linux. The whole point is that it’s different. Apples aren’t compatibile with oranges (for some odd reason I’m allergic to apples).

    4. Yes, yes, the sheer volume of programs might overwhelm you in the Add/Remove or Synaptic sections. A quick Google search will probably recommend THE best though, and, as Anonymous says, VLC (which I also use).

    5. Hmm. Again this seems largely distro-dependent. Here on Ubuntu, us noobs have no problems reading the help sections/documentation, but you might be mixing this up with the man pages (which I have no clue how to operate. Blasted “man” command). Besides, if you really need help, you can always pester the many Linux pros who are actually willing to help…I do it all the time. They’re always very nice (most of them, at least) and almost always can provide a solution. The one thing they couldn’t answer was “How to topple Microsoft”. They’re working on it though.

    Unfortunately the next thing I’m about to say falls right into what you covered: “I’ll never admit I run Windows”. I DO run Windows. My best computer runs windows. But that’s just because I don’t dare back up my files (need a good way to do it) and install Ubuntu on there. Currently I am on a P3 machine with less than 200 MB RAM. This has been my machine that “just works” for well over a year now. I have run into no problems whatsoever and actually have fewer headaches than my considerably-smarter-than-me friends, who regularly crash Chrome, Firefox, and IE; breaking MS word is a bonus at times.

    For a while the only thing keeping me on Windows was the GUI; true, I was a bit biased over that. Vista IS real shiny, ya know…but the discovery of Emerald Themes, Compiz Fusion and the world of customization (gnome-look.org, xfce-look.org) got me hooked. Then there was Google Talk (no voice enabled in Pidgin!), but Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic solves that with Empathy.

    Yes, I know I sound like a noob. Yes, I know I sound like a douche. But it’s just all IMHO, my 2 cents (for the record, they’re not worth much).

  5. The worst thing are the fonts, are very ugly, i installed the sharpfonts package but still not good. they should fix the fonts first. We should see the default font and size in our browsers not overwrite the default font and size with something else, is not nice. this upgrade should be paid or not but should exist as option for everyone.

  6. Dude

    If Linux isn’t limited, find me a free, parametric CAD program that actually works! Running 64 bit would also be nice, but I just want some basic mechanical usability. If I’m going to pay for it, I might as well get an industry standard (which run on Windows).

    Linux has a loooooong way to go in terms of programs that actually do what the end user wants.

    And yes I use Linux exclusively at home.

  7. dE

    Why Ubuntu sucks big time –

    1) apt/dpkg/aptitude… all suck… horrible dependency resolution.
    2) 3 interfaces to a single package manager.
    3) All sorts of bugs in various packages.
    4) Repos horrifically outdated.
    5) Slowest among all other distros.
    6) Community is rude
    7) Community consists of Windows migrants only.

  8. saddened

    I try to avoid commenting on things that are going to end up being just a huge “this vs. that” debate (though since almost every comment against Ubuntu is just an opinion regarding something the individual seems to have not experimented much in I would call it all ranting instead), but some of the opinions I’ve read here have sparked a need to make a comment.
    Firstly, I would like to address the comments about Linux never being perfect. Of course it is not perfect, nor will it ever be. The problem is that it is not brought forward that neither is Windows or Mac OSX (warning before I get started, I despise Apple and all it does, so though I may try to be unbiased for them, I apologize in advance if I slip. Also, just so that we can establish that I’m not simply pro-Linux, I will admit to any that I have great respect for Bill Gates, so please don’t consider me un-open to opinions). Until very recently I only knew Windows, and can promise you that once you that I ran into many imperfections (with both XP and 7), almost all of which were impossible to repair(and still are I imagine. Sorry on no examples but its been too long, though I remember the days of frustration well). Also, I do know a bit about programming and can tell you that even simple programs take quite a bit of time to write, and the though of even trying to work on something that’s already been done of that large a scale makes me shake. Yes, the hardest part is going back and trying to find that one missing letter or semicolon.
    Secondly, (I apologize to all elders, I mean no disrespect) “GRANDMA” can’t use Windows either, so don’t blame Linux based OS’s so fast. I have grandparents and parents that have had to ask me many times how to do simple things in Windows. I’ve shown many people UberStudent (my current Linux distribution), and have heard more people say they thought it was easier than Windows. I restate, don’t blame Linux based OS’s for elders’ trouble with technology.
    I’m gonna stop numbering, just to next now :). Next, the repositories are NOT limited, I have rarely had to find my software elsewhere, and even then only very specialized programs most people don’t need. Also, take on another statement, that .exe programs don’t run in Linux based OS’s. I won’t be rude and say “duhhhhhhh” but I will point out, as another already has, that .exe’s won’t run on MacOSX either, for many reasons that aren’t important to this point. There are .deb’s though, and they are much better. Why? In all of my year or two with Ubuntu and it’s derivatives, I have only ever once been asked a single question during an installation…ever. I don’t think I’ve installed more than five programs in Windows that didn’t have me click about five buttons before actually installing. Not to be judgmental, but I get the feeling from this statement that perhaps the term “Operating System” is misunderstood, and those who make such statements might want to do some research. It’s more than just a change of look.
    Next to hardware. I won’t say much more than (don’t take this as passing off the blame, this can be backed up, even by the guilty manufacturers) that this is NOT Linux’s fault. The lovely volunteers do their best to make Linux based OS’s recognize all hardware, but sometimes (probably every time you’ve had issues with hardware) the manufacturers won’t write drivers for Linux, or use chipsets that will not work with Linux, so if anyone is to blame, it is your hardware manufacturers for not making it compatible. On that note though, always check your device manufacturers site for drivers, I know Lexmark is good about Linux drivers :).
    In regards to other OS’s and compatibility, might I point out that a clean Ubuntu installation will allow me to view my windows partition, but Windows needs extra stuff to see the Linux partition. I am not sure, but I believe it is the same for MacOSX. Also, there are very few actual Windows file types that would even make sense for wanting to be compatible, most people are thinking of program compatibility, in which case I would say that most programs in Windows create a file type that can be read by the same program in Linux based OS’s or that there is another program that can read them. Most people would find the answers to their questions with a simple Google search.
    Next, for media players. I will again bring up the point that a Google search is in order, that will tell you media players that will play many media types, and most will support add-ons that will let them read all others you could want to play.
    As to explanations being too high for most people, I find that not to be true. If you add the word beginner to any of your searches, you will find that plenty of people have made guides on how to do things without doing much more than copy and paste or look at the picture.
    I have seen a lot of comments from Linux users being mean to the opposing argument, but I get that from Windows users too. It’s kind of like religion, some people will at least listen, some will consider, and others will try to drown you in holy water if you say one word against them, it’s just the way it goes.
    Next, Linux users using Windows…. I was actually offended when I read this. I have gone months at a time without using Windows, and only then for one program that is specific for one of my high school classes. It is too graphic intense for WINE or virtualization. Every time I do have to though, I find myself frustrated by it’s slowness and annoying habit of doing things in a redundant way.
    I’d love to say more, isn’t it awesome how you never realize how much of an opinion you have until you start, but I’m afraid I really must dash for now. Maybe I’ll come back later. Since I tried to keep the jokes back I’ll leave on one…. “In the end it’s all you choice….oh wait, Windows doesn’t give you choices.” Sorry, I’ve just never had the ability to change everything in Windows like I have with UberStudent and Ubuntu.

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