What is the best distro for my business manager?

Christopher Chaltain chaltain at gmail.com
Sat Nov 24 15:04:52 UTC 2012

I agree it's all about choice, which is good.

I don't think Ubuntu switched to Unity just to change something for no
reason though. MS, Gnome and Ubuntu all realize that the personal
computing world is changing and mobile devices are more and more
important. I can't believe three organizations would all be changing
there interface for no reason. You may not agree with the reasons, and
you may not see a benefit in running the same interface on your cell
phone, your tablet and your PC, but not agreeing with someone's
justification doesn't mean that the change was made for no reason. I
know for my part, I would have felt more productive when I got my iPhone
if I hadn't had to learn a whole new interface. I also don't think we're
going to get to a converged interface by making incremental changes.

I also hear this a lot, that Unity and Windows 8, are dumbed down and
full of eye candy and gadgets. Frequently, I hear this label applied
with no details or justification what so ever. Again, it seems to be a
label people toss out when they don't like something. I guess I don't
see a problem with an interface looking nice, and I can see where the
right kind of gadgets would be great productivity tools.

I don't see how you were burned by Canonical twice. I see the switch to
Unity as only happening once. I also think your characterization of
Canonical is pretty one sided. Canonical does care about productivity
and doesn't change things just for the sake of change. Canonical has run
quite a few human factor studies on Unity and incorporated that feedback
into their design. True, people who don't want to change are going to
see this as a betrayal, but if Linux is going to compete with Windows
and Android, and if it's going to become a viable OS across all personal
computing platforms, it's going to have to move beyond the 90's.

On 23/11/12 18:15, marbux wrote:
> 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,
> Paul
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Christopher (CJ)
chaltain at Gmail

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