Friday, August 29, 2008


Thanks to the Phnom Penh Linux Users Group, I found this link;

Which is fun in places, but not everywhere. There are actually reasons for being unhealthily, politically incorrectly against the current Champion of the Open Source Cause.

There may not be a serious 10 of them though, but I promise I'll add them up as they appear/come to mind.

1. UBUNTU is a monster, an ogre, a spoiled kid with its pockets full of banknotes. It is build on a pseudo-quite-charity model and in more than ten years of existence, still hasn't come up with a credible Business Plan; they do better than others because they don't have to bring in a single penny. Is that Fair in any way? How long will that money last?

2. UBUNTU's so big it became selfish, putting back very few lines of code back to Debian or in the vanilla kernel; disregarding compatibility issues just because they are richer and then, move faster. The ones that commit the more lines of code to the kernel are the real businesses that really want the whole model to improve, namely RedHat, IBM and such.

3. UBUNTU devs truly works... for themselves, refining UBUNTU up until firing it up or installing it reminds you of XP: little control, all niceties. And a full wealth of Politically Correct Gibberish. Wouldn't a serious part of us be, like me, attracted by the Anarchy Side, the Dark side, the Resistance side of it? UBUNTU is playing Nice, Ideal Son-In-Law here, the one you wish your daughter would marry. Boring. At least, I still can prevent my daughter of using UBUNTU !

[It's all FEDORA here :) ]

4. Without any financial guarantees, your distribution of choice could as well be discontinued tomorrow; nobody knows how much Sutthelworth is ready to pay for his first travel on the Moon or anything like that.

5. By trying to set a foot into government, pre-installed on hardware and such, UBUNTU drives real money away from real businesses, people that need this money from DELL or the French Parliament, and really intend to keep on the good work with it.

6. UBUNTU will always be FREE, yes, mommy, sure; if they don't crash or disappear tomorrow, see above, then it's because after 10 years they realize they will have to start asking money sometimes. And start speaking about "enterprise" editions of which we foolish little creatures are being guinea pigs of.

7. And then, this mix of Money and Power makes them creating de facto standards, or at least push them: who want Zimbra? not me, I am not a yahoo customer. What's UNISON? I don't know, a .com that's supposed to help us communicate. and such, like Alfresco, a content management system.

8. Power and Money... Well, they have to get money from somewhere, don't they? Konversation, ekiga or spip will never buy space on the UBUNTU spins, neh? Yahoo, on the other hand...

9. UBUNTU weights a ton; even in xubuntu form, it is still slower than slackware with KDE!

10. I hate Brown. Praise them from going away from Blue, but I just can't stand it. I hate their T(h)ree-Hugging Spirit logo too; it's a fine distro, but my eyes just bleed when I stand in front of it.

Cheers all *nixers. Watch your back, stuff is happening!

Contigency Measures

!! Try them all, kiddo, that's the beauty of the Linux world: choice !!

"Yeah, and do they do Mayonnaise, too?" would've asked my mother. Let's focus on the important stuff: what's important to you? My wife and I are geeks, the laptop has to be sexy, nerdy, and do all the nerdy things we do with a laptop in a sexy fashion.


At first, your primary battle is still usability; even though there's been huge progresses, you still just struggle to past beyond the simple point of "Yep, It Boots, we should all be Happy".

I was astonished at first: the piece is cheap @ 1.000usd bought in a remote place like this; with 1gb ram and this 2.1 dual celeron the engine is quite on the high-end scale of the smallish (12.1, feels horribly heavy and wide to us) laptop scale. Well, for the next two months, for sure.

Then some part of the software went really OK, brightness screen on special keys, suspend from lid closed; I had to trick the sound system as expected, and to fiddle with the codecs, but that was still in the range of acceptable burdens of living the Open Source Fantasy.

Where it stopped being nice, is with F7 and F8 unable to accommodate a WPA wireless connection, UBUNTU 8.04 unable to do anything wireless while supporting the webcam out-of-the-box - and no, F9, which does WPA, does not bring the webcam to anything better than 2 frames a MINUTE with the same stk11xx driver.

Aren't we been told that Bug Reports are All-Important, and that it's Our Duty to follow up in order to help the community? I understand the post I left on the Fedora Forums to have overwelmed the modest capacities over there, but I wrote to the devs in their SourceForge Forum TWO weeks ago.

Yikes. It's all about what's important; years ago we'd be weening about having to pass special kernel options just to have a working tty terminal, now we are complaining the webcam is not functional.

Or is it? Yeah, with UBUNTU. Which can't handle wireless because... Just because their code isn't right, since the same applet works in Fedora!

All these people are pulling code from CVS, do their own tweaks to them, and pass it on to the community with rather poor testing. All this bleeding edge stuff that I love (F9 is great for that, LOT's of novelties) are using us as a testing ground for the commercial distros to follow. Even UBUNTU is now talking about an "Increased in Stability and Security Enterprise-Level Solution" (based on their current LTS releases).

So people, wake up: your average openSUSE, Fedora, UBUNTU package is not a free alternative to closed source OS'es in a closed source world; it's using our free time, our expensive hardware, our skills and patience to test for free whatever they are going to put for sale, at a premium, a little bit later.

All for the better in the better of worlds isn't ?