Re: Change

My Linux Rig posted about Change.

As a Linux user, it’s kind of hard for me to wrap my head around. Because reading about the changes made in Lion, I thought users would be upset that they had lost some functionality (and, to be fair, some people are upset about that) and that some UI choices had been made without their input.

But Mac people just roll with it, trusting that Apple’s changes are improvements.

Compare that to the response to Unity, which was mostly negative. I would argue the negative response was driven by the fact that Canonical forced the change on users, rather than letting them opt-in to a dramatically new UI.

Part of me wishes the Linux community were more open to change, the way the Mac community is. And part of me is proud to be a part of a community that has so much choice, resisting change isn’t too hard to do.

I have a unique experience now in that I've been forced over to the Mac due to my college and have been trying to force myself into this ecosystem. As such, I have some things to say.

Naturally the Apple fans will enjoy what comes their way. I see it largely as a brand loyalty of the utmost crucial to a company's survival, but as for why and now, I can't understand. But trust is a very key point that Linux Rig goes on to make. I think a lot of the reason why I would use Linux over OS X is because I don't trust OS X. But I don't particularly trust Linux either, either as a whole community or as individual projects, but I trust some of them more than OS X at least

The reason why Ubuntu hit resistance in their Unity project is because they have no trust. They haven't earned it. Why would they? After years of creating endless issues mucking around with glibc and buggy Python apps, they're suddenly going to make their own desktop? This is a small project trying to accomplish big things. It's hard not to be pessimistic. If Apple had already released several iterations of the iPhone that were buggy and crashed and never worked, do you think users would upgrade to that?

Ubuntu comes off as a bleeding edge distro. You want to get the new release so you have the new Firefox, the new LibreOffice, etc. Every release is incremental, but you like seeing that progress. Why else have a six month release window? Otherwise risk becomes apparent, not only workflow but in system and desktop performance. This is in what used to be a relatively risk-free environment (Debian) king among all features. That forward motion can halt at any moment, and once we run out of road, what do we do?

Having purchased and used OSX Lion for several days, I can't say I'm entirely pleased. It seems like there's more animation, more cruft, more glitz and less control. It shouldn't have cost $30 for what it offers. But the real issue is why it was released at all. Change is nice, but where are we going with it? Why are we changing? For the sake of doing so? It's not useful change, or purpose-driven change. This is what OS X Lion, KDE4 and Gnome 3 felt like. They don't change in a direction that says, this is why and this is where. They just change because they are expected to, because they have to to get people to keep upgrading. It's up to consumers to figure out why.

KDE and Gnome spent years crafting very distinct, working desktops that looked great and operated smoothly. Then, two competing, inferior, buggier desktops with flashier graphics and little of the stability we once knew. OSX Lion? Suddenly my apps don't work, stability is lesser than Snow Leopard and my wallet is $30 lighter. Hell if change was worth it.

Change isn't always bad for Linux, I agree. I like incremental evolution. I like change I can see and understand, and plan for. I don't like change for the sake of change. There's no point to that.

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