RunRev and Linux

Richmond Mathewson richmondmathewson at
Mon Apr 12 01:25:12 EDT 2010

  On 12/04/2010 00:47, Richard Gaskin wrote:
> 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.

Reminds me of  a chap who came with his daughter to my school a couple 
of years ago and said "But how can those
computers work without Windows?"
> 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.

Yes, and an Operating System that loads from a ROM chip is probably 
better than one that loads from a ferro-magnetic lump!
> 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 have tried that many times (but, hey, I have an abrasive personality) 
and more often than not got the metaphorical
equivalent of a bloody nose.
> 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.
This point is really the same as your earlier posting: why RunRev might 
be putting more energy into R&D for Mac and
Win rather than Linux: we all know what puts bread and cheese on the table.

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