What is the best distro for my business manager?

marbux marbux at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 00:15:07 UTC 2012

On Fri, Nov 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM, Christopher Chaltain
<chaltain at gmail.com> wrote:

> I wouldn't agree with this. Ubuntu switched to Unity three releases ago,
> so I wouldn't say Ubuntu is nuts these days or has major changes on the
> desktop. Debian is also undergoing a similar change in it's desktop with
> Gnome Shell, so all of the distributions and even other OS's are looking
> at making their decade old interfaces more mobile friendly.
> I'd actually recommend Ubuntu in this case. With Canonical behind it,
> Ubuntu supports a lot of OEM's and is even preinstalled by most of the
> top PC manufacturers, so the transition from Windows to Ubuntu should be
> pretty straightforward. You can also purchase support from Canonical for
> Ubuntu through it's Ubuntu Advantage program.

To each his own, but I am thoroughly disillusioned with the Canonical
organization. I used to run Kubuntu (KDE desktop on Ubuntu) but then
KDE 4 came along. Suddenly, I'm expected to take a major productivity
hit to learn how to do things again all for the sake of eye candy and
gadgetry. I switched to Ubuntu. Then along came Ubuntu with the GTK 3
desktop and another big productivity hit inflicted by the eye candy
and gadgetry crowd.  Again, I had to cut my billing rates because I
could not ethically charge my clients for my shop's loss in
productivity while we tackled the learning curve again.

Twice burned by Canonical to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars,
I (along with thousands of others) moved to Mint because of that
organization's public commitment to maintaining the GTK 2 user
experience. But the floodgates of Ubuntu users to Mint really opened
up when Canonical's Unity desktop landed on Ubuntu. Suddenly, settings
are reshuffled again, moved all over the GUI because Canonical's
decision-makers are far more concerned with their own desires than
their users' productivity.

Mint has seen its user base grow by leaps and bounds because the Mint
team -- unlike Canonical -- understands that for users of production
machines, continuity in the user experience matters greatly, that
change in that experience must be incremental rather than
overwhelming.  That is not to say that nothing changes on Mint; it is
only to say that the Mint team strives mightily to keep the major
changes under the hood and only changes the user experience when it is
clearly to the users' advantage.

On the other hand, Canonical has a stunning record of pursuing change
for the sake of change, for the sake of eye candy and gadgetry, and
very obviously does not care a whit about continuity in the user
experience and productivity. They see present users as interchangeable
with new users. They have no commitment to user productivity.

So from my view it's largely about how you want to spend your time;
you can choose between exploring a seemingly never-ending flood of
changes in Canonical's desktops or you can use Mint, Puppy, or one of
the other distributions with stable desktops and just get your work
done without worry that your desktop will radically change.

To me, computers are tools, not playgrounds. Every minute spent
chasing down where a control moved to and learning how its operation
differs subtracts from what's important to me, fulfilling the needs of
my clients. And Canonical has amply proved that its managers do not
share that  concern.

One of the major advantages of free (as in freedom and beer) software
and the release early/release often approach is that there is no need
to put a new coat of lipstick on the old pig to facilitate the sales
pitch that she's all new, different, and so much fun that users can't
live without it, so fork over your money. Change in the free software
user experience can be incremental. The Mint team has proved that,
despite the best efforts of Canonical, the KDE team, and the Gnome
team to thwart productivity.


Best regards,


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