[clug] MtM - content update

Nathan O'Sullivan nathan.osullivan at mammothmedia.com.au
Thu Mar 15 04:26:05 GMT 2007

On Thu, 2007-03-15 at 15:00 +1100, Chris Smart wrote:
> On Thursday 15 March 2007 14:51, Nathan O'Sullivan wrote:
> [snip]
> > I think the list should be Fedora, OpenSuse, Ubuntu. All 3 have large
> > newbie-friendly communities and are backed by large companies.  If a new
> > user cannot find something they like in those 3 then surely Linux is not
> > for them.
> True. What about Mandriva? It has commercial support and a large community 
> backing. If so, then these are the four I currently have listed at 
> makethemove.net. Maybe I shoudl leave off Debian and Gentoo or at least 
> mention them rather than recommend them (like I do Puppy and Damn Small for 
> older hardware).

I guess you could argue about the relative popularity of distributions
all day, and not get anywhere. It was certainly my impression that
Madriva usage - and hence, support community - was well below the above
3 above, but I will happily stand corrected!

Choice is a funny thing. I'm glad to have it, but I personally did not
get into desktop linux until the release of Ubuntu - and I was able to
make the switch for one reason: lack of choice. Ubuntu picked what they
felt was a good mix of applications, and with that I was able to get a
foot in on the desktop and proceed with my usual workflow.

Now that I'm settled I am happy to choose between the various packages
available, but when you're making the switch to desktop linux I think
there is at least some value to be gained from an initial lack of

I guess my point is, if it were up to me I would just say "Try Ubuntu,
if you do not like it linux is not for you". Course we have our funny
distribution-wars online so you have to end up suggesting multiple
things to avoid being labelled a zealot. 

But still, I personally think the less suggestions the better - how is a
new user going to choose between them? Could you say why Fedora is
better/worse than Ubuntu in a non-technical manner? 

If we cannot offer solid reasoning to choose between these
distributions, why are we trying to make a new user choose between them?
Informed choice is great, but sometimes we need to rely on other's
advice to get started. 

If we accept that we have to offer distribution choices, I would hope we
could at least try to make sure there are not too many.


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