Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

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Pjotr
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Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by Pjotr »

..... sometimes it's a thin line.

Ever since the unforgettable Ubuntu 6.06 (yes, 6.06 and not 6.04) Dapper Drake, I love Ubuntu for its consistent quality and ease of use. It's astonishing how this fine distribution has managed to become and stay the quality norm for desktop Linux in general.

Furthermore, it's generous gift of a free LTS and of the free use of its software sources by other distributions, is something to be truly thankful for. Mark Shuttleworth is doing the world some undeniable good, and not just for a short time either. He's one of that rare breed of long-term benefactors.

But (here, finally, is the but that has been looming in the air): in its desire to explore new things, Ubuntu also has a reputation for what in my view are rather frivolous trend setting attempts. When I'm in an unfriendly mood I might even call it chasing butterflies.

Examples abound: things like Unity, the back-and-forth shifting of window controls, ads in the desktop search results, etc. And now, in Ubuntu 20.04, the unfortunate central position of snaps instead of the normal repo's.

In the past this has led me to jump ship for the sake of Xubuntu, and some years later for Linux Mint. Although I'm happy with Mint, I'm still a bit saddened by the market potential opportunities that Ubuntu is missing because of its too enthusiastic embracing of unripe novelties....
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thx-1138
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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by thx-1138 »

...i'll 'disappoint' you with my reply i assume...but:
"the market potential opportunities that Ubuntu is missing because of its too enthusiastic embracing of unripe novelties...
Canonical does not miss any opportunities with Snaps, the very exact opposite.

Flathub May 2020: 815 results
Snapcraft Oct 2018: (supposedly) 4000 packages
And probably more nowadays (not gonna really bother myself figuring out the very exact current number)...

Side note: take also a note of the name of the author of the above statistics entry.
Yeap, he is indeed the well-known Dedoimedo blog. You're certainly familiar with it, hence, feel free to draw conclusions...
Examples abound: things like Unity, the back-and-forth shifting of window controls, ads in the desktop search results, etc.
And now, in Ubuntu 20.04, the unfortunate central position of snaps instead of the normal repo's.
Those are 'nothing' compared to Snaps. And that's where i'll 'disappoint' you:
next to no one with actual market power cares about Unity, the placement of desktop controls,
or even say the past half-baked integration of Amazon searching...
Only this or that end-user (due to differences in aesthetic tastes, being concerned about privacy or the likes).

Snaps (& Flatpaks) are a wholly different game altogether than such.
(Maybe Mir was probably something of a certain actual concern to...ahem, 'competitors' back in the day).
It's the attempt - and well, up to a certain extent, 'wet dream' if you ask me,
of corporate-oriented Linux distros, to add / introduce an Android-alike Store in Linux.

Whoever controls the manner / format of distribution of...'apps', is obviously the one with influence on the market.
That is not a 'fight' that i'd expect Canonical (or any other company for that matter) to give up easily.
Especially considering they're already ahead of the...'competition'.

It's 'all about the apps' by the end of day, a lesson that MS & Google learned way earlier.
With that said...imho: someone can't have the cake & eat it too. Not with corporate-backed distros anyways.
Eg. do see the OSTree / Flatpak experiments with Fedora Silverblue as well,
such will give you a pretty good idea what are some ideas / future plans from the 'other side' as well (heil Flatpak!)

Tldr; Snaps or no Snaps, as time passes by,
you can forget altogether 'traditional' packaging with corporate backed / oriented distros.
One way or another, this won't change, no turning back if you will.
Ubuntu is an...'innovator' in that sense, heh :P :wink:
That is, without implying in any manner that someone shouldn't necessarily use such distros
(different people different needs and all that jazz)...

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Portreve
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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by Portreve »

Pjotr wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:07 am
..... sometimes it's a thin line.

Ever since the unforgettable Ubuntu 6.06 (yes, 6.06 and not 6.04) Dapper Drake, I love Ubuntu for its consistent quality and ease of use. It's astonishing how this fine distribution has managed to become and stay the quality norm for desktop Linux in general.

Furthermore, it's generous gift of a free LTS and of the free use of its software sources by other distributions, is something to be truly thankful for. Mark Shuttleworth is doing the world some undeniable good, and not just for a short time either. He's one of that rare breed of long-term benefactors.

But (here, finally, is the but that has been looming in the air): in its desire to explore new things, Ubuntu also has a reputation for what in my view are rather frivolous trend setting attempts. When I'm in an unfriendly mood I might even call it chasing butterflies.

Examples abound: things like Unity, the back-and-forth shifting of window controls, ads in the desktop search results, etc. And now, in Ubuntu 20.04, the unfortunate central position of snaps instead of the normal repo's.

In the past this has led me to jump ship for the sake of Xubuntu, and some years later for Linux Mint. Although I'm happy with Mint, I'm still a bit saddened by the market potential opportunities that Ubuntu is missing because of its too enthusiastic embracing of unripe novelties....
In my view, Pjotr, a lot of this seems like "throw it against the wall and see what sticks". Everything you've named has come out of a desire to improve the experience, and probably all of these things have had and will continue to have an influence even beyond the grave.

I don't think Canonical is really doing what it should (and possibly could) to market Ubuntu sufficiently to get it noticed as a (primarily) Windows alternative. With Gnome 3, they're in a great position to market as a high-fashion-style replacement to Windows (where the GUI is concerned) and they could show how easy it is to find and install software.

Alternatively, maybe they should be looking more at the embedded market.

I feel, insofar as GNU+Linux marketing is concerned, that all distros (especially the bigger and more general purpose ones) are missing the ultimate golden opportunity. People have never been as pissed with Windows as they are with Windows 10, and never has Microsoft felt such a market weakness as they do now, between Windows 10 problems, forcing people to lease software, and the fact that the desktop has had its market share eroded to the point which presently exists. If I were Mark Shuttleworth, I'd be looking at getting self-branded hardware and putting it in Walmart, and probably other places. It's got to get public exposure if anyone's ever going to start buying from them.
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thx-1138
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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by thx-1138 »

Portreve wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 6:12 pm
With Gnome 3, they're in a great position to market as a high-fashion-style replacement to Windows,
(where the GUI is concerned) and they could show how easy it is to find and install software.
...they will, eventually - however, not as a 'replacement', but as an 'addition' to it :wink:

And nope, i am absolutely not trolling...(i'm being dead serious actually):
https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page= ... yland-Comp (!!!) :lol:
https://old.reddit.com/r/linux/comments ... n/fr5ztwt/ -> (straight out of the Gnome3 lion's mouth i would assume?)...

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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by ZakGordon »

Yeah there is a certain 'danger' to be aware of here as a simple end user.

As MS has desired to be more like Apple (ie make more money via control), the pull of that 'gravity' (to make more money) has certainly led some Linux development to have desires to be more like MS ;)

Ultimately every American led tech developer wants to be Apple! :(
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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by MurphCID »

I will disagree Gnome 3 is just too different to most windows users. Cinnamon and XFCE resemble the familiar desktop and make the transition easier for most.

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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by MurphCID »

No one?

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thx-1138
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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by thx-1138 »

OSes are moving to the next major paradigm 'immutable systems' (even macos and windows whose first attempt failed).
Redhat too is preparing this for desktops with Fedora Silverblue whose implementation has yet to mature then trickle down.

When discussed, discussion around snap and flatpak generally focuses on allowing LTS distros to feature newer software and making sure that old software (proprietary, old/paid games) will keep working even long after its dependencies are no longer part of the official repos (their purge was usually progressive, with the highest profile removal being the more or less complete purge of 32bit packages in many distros).

The above are however just desirable benefits. The real gain is to drastically increase the reliability of system installs by turning them into as close to a read-only system partition as possible. This has to be done progressively because snap and flatpak are still maturing and its more important to reduce mutability of systems than switching them immutable so suddenly 3rd-party software cant adapt - just last year, Valve warned that suddenly breaking Steam's library was unacceptable. They since have apparently been developping their own snap-like container system that will bring the exact same benefit, reduce dependence on system-installed packages and likely run similarly well on many more distros.
.............................

|wouldn't it make more sense just to embrace flatpak

Yes, but more so as to avoid fracturing the linux ecosystem.

Snaps just suit Canonical's objectives better, because theyre already popular with ubuntu core cloud servers and IoT so they must have figured that it would make sense extending snap to suit desktops apps too.

Even if snap rejection peaks, Canonical could still switch it with flatpak rebranded as 'new snap' and at least locked by default to their own flatpak/newsnap store to replace snapcraft, with flathub optional. They have a way out so they seem to be pushing early mover advantage with 20.04 LTS and later increasing profitability by reducing maintainance burden before considering an IPO (marketshare among non-paying users isn't worth much without exclusive technologies).

All this is really about fighting change and holding onto the existing normal for as long as possible, but it is almost unavoidable. After 25 years of mutable systems, their end is coming like.
................................

| 'immutable systems'
Can you do an ELI5 please?


Read-only system partitions. To update the system, you dont install new packages, you swap the old system image with a new system image that already includes all changes (new packages, modifications, changed configs). If anything breaks, you can easilly rollback to the previous working system image.

ChromeOS and Android are the most notable consumer-focused systems, but Android poorly handles that paradigm (all user data and apps reside in a separate partition, and immutability is badly preserved only by safetynet's online-only verification process that degrades your system's functionality if for example you root). Post-Oreo's A/B partition system was meant to bring another benefit but OEMs didnt play along.

In the webhosting industry, immutable systems have been very popular (Cloudlinux in particular is modified centos) and drastically improved the security and reliability of servers, since malware or admin error no longer modify installs to the point of breakage or performance degradation.
...among the usual witch-hunts, fan-boyism & pseudo-dilemmas in this relatively high-profiled r/linux thread,
some rather excellent comments from an openSUSE user by the handle HCrikki.
Not much of a fan of social media & their...'noise', quite the opposite actually, for once though,
I do have to admit though that my faith in the human race has been (at least temporarily) restored... :)

/out :wink:

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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by lsemmens »

To compete with Wingewoes and bits of fruit there is still a need for some of the major packages used by those platforms to be ported to Linux. Yes, there are many alternatives that can, and do, work in Linux, but Human nature being what it is, they like the familiar. M$ Orifice is the common one that people stick with. That, unfortunately will never see a Linux version. Although there are many good (dare I say it, better) alternatives in Linux, people will stick with the "familiar". Accounting and industry specific software is the big problem, until we can convince those to shift away from the Windows/Mac platform, we will fight a losing battle with the rest.
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Re: Setting trends or chasing butterflies?

Post by MurphCID »

lsemmens wrote:
Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:41 pm
To compete with Wingewoes and bits of fruit there is still a need for some of the major packages used by those platforms to be ported to Linux. Yes, there are many alternatives that can, and do, work in Linux, but Human nature being what it is, they like the familiar. M$ Orifice is the common one that people stick with. That, unfortunately will never see a Linux version. Although there are many good (dare I say it, better) alternatives in Linux, people will stick with the "familiar". Accounting and industry specific software is the big problem, until we can convince those to shift away from the Windows/Mac platform, we will fight a losing battle with the rest.
Sadly true, and so accurate. My wife for one, I tried to get her to use Libre Office, and she just vapor locked, and said she wanted "Office" back so she would do work.

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