It nicely focusses on the various issues the Linux community still has to address; especially for a user migrating from Windows to Linux. The blogger has described an intersting situation:
Lot’s of Linux fans think that they are on a holy quest for spreading freedom and that they have every right they can think of. The most common zealot thinks like this: “I’ll install a good distro on their computer, set up their internet access, install open office and Firefox and we’re ready”. After convincing the user to try the new thing and ensuring him that windows will be left unharmed the install is made and the zealot puts a joker smile. The user starts fooling around with KDE and zealot goes home in peace. Next day Joe user calls zealot on the phone:
– Hey John
– Hey Joe, everything OK with Linux?
– Yeah sure, it’s fine, but I can’t find photoshop, where is it ?
– You can’t have photoshop on linux, try looking for GIMP.
– I found it but it’s a piece of crap and I don’t know how to use it. Anyway I can’t find my games too.
– There are some open source great games for KDE already installed.
– Haha ! Anyway i tried to make some copies of my DVDs to my hard disk and can’t find DVD ripping software on the net, can you help me with that ?
– Yeah sure, there’s a great guide on blah..blah.org, it’s only 12 pages in PDF.
– OMG. John can you come over and remove this Linux thing ? It’s taking 20GB of my hard disk for nothing.
– You ignorant capitalist pig, don’t wait for everything to work on themselves. Go read some manuals and leave me alone. God I’m sick of noobz !
Do you think Joe user will love the benefits of Linux ? Do you think he’ll go on the net reading manuals 2 hours a day for something he was already doing on windows without manuals ? Zealots think that. That’s why they turn “noobz” into Linux haters.
Linux is not ready for the average users so there is no reason for promoting it to them (yet).
Anyone in Joe’s place would never bother to read a long manual. We are used to Windows applications; change is rarely appreciated by anyone. But the users of Linux must realise that we can’t have exactly similar applications like Windows (copyright issues, I suppose).
The things that the Linux community still needs to work upon (according to me, of course) are:
1.) Have a common package system across all distros (it is quite difficult, I know. I read some time ago on OSNews that such plans are in place; but I suppose it might take a lot of time before it is actually available)
2.) A suggestion for KDE developers. I know how much you love the ‘K’ word but it confuses the users a lot. digiKam, korn, kexi, koffice, konsole seem really nice words, but it might be better to keep the name like KDE Office, so that beginners can understand it easily.
3.) Yes, about the release cycle. Fedora has a release cycle of 6 months, Mandriva too now has of 6 months. It is too short. A release cycle of about 2 years should be acceptable. We can have a Windows like Service Pack system, that would help (I suppose).
4.) And last but not the least, since Linux can’t be Windows, just do your best and keep it. 😀