Rev for Linux (was Re: iPadding around?)

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Tue Feb 2 18:26:05 CST 2010

Peter Alcibiades wrote:

> The way you do Debian is, you stick with Stable, just getting the security
> and occasional really major application updates, for around 2 years.  This
> is done with
>      apt-get update
>      apt-get upgrade

And that's why I use Ubuntu.  :)

In Ubuntu, you don't do anything - the OS checks for updates and prompts 
the user as needed, an experience very much like OS X.

Mine notified me of updates just last night, and kindly reminded me that 
I was on battery power rather than AC, suggesting I might want to plug 
in because it would take a few minutes.  It's that level of 
fit-and-finish, letting me ignore the details of the OS and focus 
instead on the apps I use within it, that has me enamored of the Ubuntu 

> The idea some people advocate here, that Rev should somehow standardize on
> Ubuntu, or that the world should for that matter, is a misunderstanding of
> Linux, and its also just plain wrong about the standing of Ubuntu as a
> distribution.

For myself, my only advocacy at this point is that Rev standalones work 
well under Ubuntu, and if they work well there they'll work well in most 

But as for the Rev IDE product, I don't really care as much anymore. 
Developers will sort it out; if Rev used a Debian package it would be a 
little more convenient, but it's not at all difficult to put my Rev 
icons where I want them in my system myself even with just a Zip file as 
we have now.

Your earlier post about distros changed my mind about the details of how 
Rev plays on Linux; you raised many good points, and indeed I have come 
to agree that it doesn't hurt to have any number of distros available 
for every taste.

But I've been able to relax about the variety of distros only because 
one of those has done such an outstanding job of focusing on simplifying 
the newbie experience.  I'm referring of course to Ubuntu.

Yes, Ubuntu is not for everyone. There are plenty to choose from, so 
everyone can get the exact flavor they find most tasty.  There are some 
truly mind-blowing packages out there - I think it's safe to say that 
some of the boldest experimental UI work around today is being done in 
Linux more than on Windows or OS X.  With so many different flavors 
there's no need for all of them to play it safe, but the 
one-size-fits-all OSes don't have such a luxury, needing to cater to 
everyone with a single product.

But please remember that one man's limitations is another man's freedom. 
  For an experienced user like yourself Ubuntu's less frequent updates 
isn't helpful.  But for newbies, updating every day is a hassle. And for 
developers, less frequent releases means the platform is less of a 
moving target.

I used to be concerned that the unique value Linux brings to the table 
as the world's most mature and robust free OS would be hampered by 
distros catering only to initiates, those who've paid their dues with 
make files and shell commands and generally prefer what the average 
computer user might think of as a bit geeky.

Since then, Ubuntu has emerged as a leader for folks who want to enjoy 
Linux but don't want to learn it.  Sure, it's as Linux as any other, so 
if you want to dive into the deep end there's plenty of room to swim. 
But for the average computer user who just wants to get stuff done, 
Ubuntu's focus on the end-user experience makes it quite accommodating, 
requiring far less prerequisite knowledge to use it effectively than any 
other distro I've tried.

So for myself, and others who make consumer software products, Ubuntu is 
a very appealing target.  It's bringing the benefits of Linux to an 
audience who might otherwise remain just a bit too intimidated to try 
it, and that level of broad consumer adoption can only help the Linux 
world as a whole.  Indeed, it's essential in order to fix Bug #1. :)

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

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