Apr 16, 2008

What is to come

I'm looking at the feature list for Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" and wondering how they're trying to appeal to the masses with this list.

Xorg 7.3...Linux kernel 2.6.24...GNOME 2.22...as if these names and version numbers are supposed to mean anything. Fortunately I've been with Linux for a while and can understand what these mean, although the version numbers are usually news to me (I know that GNOME is version 2-point-something and the Linux kernel is 2.6.something). Who gives a shit about this stuff? the "Completely Fair Scheduler"! Stop the press! Why not just say, "things go faster"? Or instead of saying "dynticks support for amd64" say that it uses less power.

Instead of saying GNOME 2.22 and all this Nautilus/GVFS garbage, why not just say "You can now restore files from the trash" (something Windows has been able to do for a long long time, why did GNOME just get this now?) or "You can pause file copying or undo it" (pretty sweet).

PolicyKit looks pretty handy, although I don't really see how it makes anything easier. We'll just have to see when it's there.

PulseAudio - no idea what that is. Don't really care.

Firefox 3 Beta 4 - This is a bad idea. Don't ship beta software with your release. Beta software is beta because it's not supposed to be released yet. What are they thinking? Hopefully this idea gets changed before the actual release.

The first thing that I see on this list that actually is interesting is Transmission. Finally, a more useful torrent program. I can dump my bloated ass Java program or the one that only works under wine and have something that fits.

The next thing that raises my spirits is Brasero. Oh my god. A graphical application that burns CDs. I don't have to use Nautilus or cdrecord anymore. I can point and click. This is a large step forward for Ubuntu. It's a shame that such a mundane task has been neglected until now.

Never had to use Inkscape, but this will be good to have. Not sure why they have it installed by default though. Same goes for the virtual machine software, VNC and the world clock applet.

Wubi and umenu are excellent additions for promoting Ubuntu, although the spiel about "WinFOSS and the Windows...replaced by umenu" is pretty irrelevant, why would a person interested in getting Ubuntu care about this?

Ultimately, the only things that are interesting to me as an Ubuntu user here are Brasero and Transmission. To a non-Linux user, I have no idea what would be interesting about this showcase.

Maybe if they want to advertise to human beings, they should actually get a human being to write about the software and advertise it. Write about things that human beings actually care about, not underlying software that nobody actually knows the names for unless they actually research into it (I'm talking about you Xorg and Linux kernel).

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