RunRev and Linux

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Sun Apr 11 17:47:58 EDT 2010

Peter Alcibiades wrote:
> Here are a couple links, the first being the redoubtable Caitlyn Martin, the
> second Warren Woodford.  These guys are serious people and should be
> listened to:
> The other is the case she does not mention, that of Warren Woodford of
> Mepis who moved away a couple of years back
> It makes no sense to 'standardize' on a distribution which is made the way
> Ubuntu is.  By all means use it if that is what one likes.  I have nothing
> against that.  But this is not about what we like, its about what we use for
> standardization, and the whole concept of standardizing on something which
> is built new every six months out of someone else's experimental packages
> makes no sense.

Both authors make some good points, but even Ms. Martin notes:

   To whatever part of the general non-geek public is even aware of
   Linux the names "Linux" and "Ubuntu" are all but interchangeable.

Markets are funny things.

Betamax was arguably a much better standard than VHS, and Mac arguably 
better than Windows.  We saw how those worked out.

And so it is with Ubunutu:  While its historical development paths may 
raise some questions, the bottom line is that Ubuntu, warts and all, is 
the leading distro today.

I didn't choose Ubuntu; the market chose it for me.

I used to use Red Hat when I was starting out, then switched to SUSE for 
a while. I liked both of them well enough, but I simply don't have 
enough PCs lying around to install every major distro out there so I 
decided to adopt the one most folks were using.

For a long time that was difficult to determine and often in flux, but 
in recent years Ubuntu has emerged as dominant on the desktop, and not 
without reason:  By focusing on the end-user experience, they've made an 
OS that just about anyone can use without a manual.  That's a BIG leap 
forward in a community that had historically earned for itself a 
reputation of appealing only to geeks.

It's not my job to tell my customers which OS they should be using.  My 
job is simply to deliver software products for the OS they already have.

I don't personally care which distro any individual chooses, or whether 
they choose Mac, or Windows, or anything else.  Diversity is good, it 
keeps competition healthy and maintains an efficient gene pool.

But for my products and those of my clients, we've focused on Ubuntu as 
our primary Linux target because that's where most of our customers are.

To the degree that they may favor a single distro in RunRev's offices, I 
suspect their thinking is similar.  It simply isn't their choice to 
make, it's the market's.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  Rev training and consulting:
  Webzine for Rev developers:
  revJournal blog:

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