2011-10-12

Ubuntu is a failure

Ubuntu is a failure

You might say, "Hey, Eldergeek. Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution out there, how can it possibly be a failure?" Just bare with me and allow me to explain my position. By their own admission, Ubuntu creates initiatives to make Ubuntu Linux better and advance Linux. Let's took at their track record. Here are some past initiatives

* Improved audio via PulseAudio
* Seamless video from boot menu to desktop
* 10 Second Boot Times
* Create a better looking desktop than MacOS
* Desktop notification System.
* The Unity Desktop metaphor

And Future Initiatives
* Wayland Video System
* 200 million users in 2 years

What do they have have in common? Ubuntu's track record of half-backed, half-done, left-for broke "improvements". Let's take a look at this list and see where we are.

Pulse Audio is far from perfect. Ubuntu has never lived up to their promise of getting pulse audio working anywhere near seamless for most users.

Ubuntu also said they would perfect going from a graphical boot manager, into a graphical kernel booting with animation into the gdm log in screen. Well, it works for some users and vidoe cards and not for others. Some get blank screens till booting is done. Some cant even boot unless they disable all of the advanced graphic boot stuff. Did it get some love from Ubuntu? Yes it did for 2 or 3 releases. When it turned out the problem was going to take a lot of work to resolve, what did Ubuntu do? Announce another initiative.

Yes, 10 second boot times will come to us in 1 or 2 releases. 6 releases down the road? Some people can boot in 20 seconds. But 10 second boot times have never happened. Canonical/Ubuntu are not working on those issues any more either as a major thurst of where the work is going.

Desktop notifications were going to make interaction with short term status messages beautiful and seamless. It was new, fancy and needed some work. It got it for 2 or 3 releases. Is it anywhere near perfect yet. No? So has that goal been pursued till it was perfected. I think we all know the answer to that question.

Creating a better looking desktop than MacOS. Well there was talk about that. We changed the theme color from orange/brown to purple/orange. A little work in icons and notifications, and of course plenty of changes to make things look more like a mac. But even this goal has been abandoned to chase after a new desktop metaphor.

Unity is getting the love now. But it has had 2 relases to be worked on. And it will get a 3rd release with working on it as the primary focus. But watch out, that will have to stop. There are further initiatives that must be worked on.

Wayland is due for 3 releases of love.

At that point. The 2 years will have passed. Ubuntu COULD have 20 million users right now. With all the half baked work on graphics, sound, boot times, eye-candy and new desktop. Do we really think that Ubuntu is going to gain another 180 million users in the next 24 months? Only if Ubuntu becomes the most popular phone OS ever!

Take a look at this list and ask yourself. Has Ubuntu ever accomplished one of its major long term goals? So far the answer is "No". Ubuntu is a failure. Every time the announce what they are going to fix on the desktop next, I know what system will still be half-done in 2 years time.

2 comments:

AdamPDX said...

I don't think that's true.

Ubuntu does manage to install itself on pretty much almost any desktop.

That's quite an accomplishment. Remember the Debian install horror stories? That's pretty much history now.

The ubuntu orange and purple makes NASCAR race days look tasteful and understated though. I spend my release days at the Kubuntu table now.

Unknown said...

"Ubuntu does manage to install itself on pretty much almost any desktop."

Mandriva does the same for ten years.