Not Just A Picking Choice

An article "Reasons to stick with Windows Vista and avoid Ubuntu" by Jonathan Schlaffer, one of Vista evangelist, have an interesting point: installing hassle free OS. Installing GNU/Linux Ubuntu system is sometimes not a trivial matter, especially when you want advances which differentiate GNU/Linux from another system.

For example, when we try to install a composite manager, we must edit some settings and install non-standard packages. This is different from Vista which we just have to download the necessity and let Vista rocks. This is even far more different from Mac which already built-in. Why 10+ years of GNU/Linux cannot create such descent installer? Why can't we see professional user interface for idiots?

Well, there are few things we must consider:

Clashing Ideologies

GNU/Linux is an OS with clashing ideologies. This is true due to nature that GNU framework (yes, the thing that uses linux kernel and most of your system dependent with) is created to have liberation of software usage, or in other word, it was created to fight commercial proprietary applications.

We may see many companies goes open source and some even comes with full support and donations, but not all of them are. Those who don't and with their EULA (read: the one that you choose "I agree" without noticing of giving your soul to the devil) makes a wall which FOSS supporters cannot come in and utilizing their products.

This barrier also making GNU/Linux distributor like Ubuntu cannot distribute the proprietary product due to some countries law (Okay, I know, it's just US) forbids them. Some countries (yes, yes, just US) even have algorithm patent which make an open source implementation cannot be exported nor considered as legal, which unfortunately make the product cannot be included in the standard package. Although, there are some important technology included in the standard package because of the patent holder is a faithful open source supporter (e.g. IBM) or they just a don't care one with a friendly attitude (e.g. Apple on TTF font hinting).

Fast Pace Development
We always heard FOSS people bragging about the fast update available when a security hole found. In a few minutes after its broadcast, critical bug find their doom in the new minor incremental update of a FOSS software. This amazing thing about FOSS is one of the feature of FOSS software that makes people who care about security make a crossover.

This feature, however, cannot be synchronized with the packaging business. The too fast arrival of a new product makes them cannot be packaged and distributed as fast as it comes. There are delays to make a new update comes (although the delay not that late).

Another thing about the fast pace is the ALPHA brand to a technology, e.g. Compiz. In FOSS, an alpha software doesn't mean that the software is unusable. It sometimes means the software is full of technological preview. The geek terms means the software architecture is not determined yet so it may and possibly would always change significantly. Compatibility is not an issue to be concerned with. The developers just try to make the thing shines and creative.

But, this compatibility issue makes the rest of the world in two stance. The first stance is the enthusiast whom would accept their system at high failure risk and contribute time to update regularly. The later stance is the people with Q/A standard whom would prefer a stable/non-changing API/ABI and standard technology.

Now, our dear distributor apparently is one of the Q/A people which is absolutely right when it comes to deliver great softwares. But, this would make them to throw almost new technology away. Even if it is included, it would consider as alpha and will not be supported until it becomes a stable one.

So, when you comes to GNU/Linux or to FOSS world, bare in minds that there are two things important: "clashing ideologies" and "fast pace development". In my opinion, the clashing ideologies is the main problem of most of FOSS software out there.


  1. Apakah alasannya juga termasuk artikel di detikinet ini?

    Sadis.. :p

  2. yap, ease of use (termasuk install update dsb) adalah kekurangan besar linux dibanding windows.

  3. @kunderemp:
    Hahahaha.... stres abis!
    Tapi gw ud baca ini artikel di Slashdot. Emang, deh, Win* dipake buat para tahanan. :P

  4. Gimana dengan BSD ?
    Katanya lebih tersentralisasi, dibandingkan Linux yg "chaotic" ?

  5. @anta40:
    BSD khan variannya gak sebanyak GNU/Linux. Masalahnya, di GNU/Linux itu initscriptnya aja bisa macam2 bentuknya. Ada yang BSD style, System V style, bahkan Ubuntu style juga ada. :P


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