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Ubuntu is not Linux - pass it on!

Date/Time Permalink: 03/25/07 12:03:38 am
Category: General

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OK, I've lost it.

Now hear this: could everybody PLEASE stop referring to Ubuntu as a Linux distro?

I'm sorry. The Windows people flocking to Ubuntu is getting like... how shall I explain... like Columbus visiting the New World and not only did he go back calling the natives the wrong name, but also thinking that America is only three miles wide and covered with sand because that's how far he got.

Ubuntu is a fork. It has less in common with the rest of Linux by now than BSD does. It clearly wants to go off on its own and be I-Cant-Believe-Its-Not-Windows. Let it go, folks! Cast it adrift, let it secede from the elitist geeks of Linux to become a TV set with a keyboard like it wants to be.

I will no longer be acknowledging Ubuntu as a Linux distro. I will consider it separate, as I consider HURD, BSD, and Solaris. This is neither to say that it's better nor worse. Just something else. I really get the feeling in my heart that Ubuntu would genuinely want this, and may even say so themselves. I just suggested it when it was too soon yet.

UPDATE: Holy cow, ten comments! You never know what will get linked.

Hey, I said I'd lost it right at the beginning. As in unhinged and raving. Thank you, I'm normal now.

While we're here, I'll try to put a better spin on it: Is it not so that the target market for Ubuntu is different from the target market for Linux in general? After all, the tagline for Ubuntu is "Linux for human beings", so what does that make the other Linux distros? "Linux for shambling beasts?" Ubuntu seems to be setting itself squarely apart; my idea is just to give everybody what they want.

It's before its time, but mark my word this subject will by brought up by others eventually.

Another pebble on this little pile: I did find this post on All About Linux which concludes with a plea to discard the one-size-fits-all principle. Hear, hear.

See, we have two opposing forces in the Linux-osphere. Camp (a), the original group, wants Linux to be a free replacement for Unix. Camp (b), the ex-Windows refugees, want Linux to be a free replacement for Windows. These goals are mutually incompatible. I (amongst others) have tried for a long time to sway ex-Windows refugees to ReactOS, but it doesn't seem to be taking.

Hence the New Idea: let Ubuntu become the Windows replacement, and quit holding it to the standards of a Linux system. Meanwhile, let the rest of Linux quit being held to the standard of being a perfect Windows replacement. And perhaps we can at last end this "elitist user vs. Joe Sixpack user" war; acknowledge that both sides can have what they want and that neither side's solution will work for the other.

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