Sometimes I hate being right.August 27, 2006
For your reading pleasure, Robert Scoble published a bit on why Linux is not ready for prime time: Fonts. His article is an interesting read as he goes into the tremendous expense involved in creating decent fonts. Who knew? So why is it that every office application and browser defaults to Times Roman? At least reading him and his comments prompted me to change the Firefox setting. Is Verdana that much different than Arial?
I found Scoble’s tidbit from Brent Roos’s place and his Goodbye Ubuntu post. Let’s talk about Roos before getting back to Scoble. Apparently his computer had a hardware meltdown of some sort, and he blamed Ubuntu for this. He then announces that he is going to be using XP from now on and then goes on to extol the virtues of Windows, while taking shots at Ubuntu.
His complaints about Ubuntu are probably valid, outside of his claim that it burned up his motherboard. It should be known that I am not a fan of this distro at all, and Roos totally illustrates why. He pretty much equates Ubuntu with Linux, generalizing all problems with Ubuntu to Linux and then goes on to sing the praises of the Windows OS. While Ubuntu has problems, Windows is NOT as pure as the driven snow! I left a comment for him which is still working its way through moderation. I give him credit for drumming up traffic, tho!
Basically I made a comment that Ubuntu was NOT Linux any more than AOL was the internet. I know, I’ve said it before. Using Windows is fine, but going on about how wonderful it is was a bit much for me (and apparently others) to stomach.
Now back to Scoble, who discusses a bit about the major downfall of Linux being the fonts, of all things. How many fonts does the average user use, anyway? Scoble’s comments actually evolved from another blog by Tim Bray and his posts about his experiences when his laptop (a Mac) went down. Tim decided to take another laptop he had lying around and install Ubuntu on it and use that until his Mac was fixed. He actually writes a pretty interesting article on his experiences, and Ubuntu does not fair too badly in the final review.
The bottom line is that Roos, Bray and the earlier review by ourtweaks.com, is that each and every one of these folks used Ubuntu (or tried to) failed and went back to their old OS’s thinking that they had given Linux a fair try. They’ve been there, done that. Bray actually did give the fairest of all the reviews, giving high as well as low points. Plus, the Mac OS is pretty solid and it should be for the price you pay for it. Roos and Ourtweaks went back to Windows in apparent frustration. But reading the comments on Scoble’s blog, as well as those on the Roos blog you would think Ubuntu = Linux. That is the mistake I’ve seen coming down the pike and I don’t see it has helpful. It is coming to pass exactly as I said it would. New folks are going to buy the Ubuntu hype, try it, get frustrated, and bugger off of Linux and back to Windows for good.
But now my curiosity is up about the font business. Are the newer Linux distros that far behind Windows XP? I’m going to try to remember to look when I get back to work on Monday and check it out.