Senin, 07 Maret 2011

The Quality of FOSS Blogs

You may or may not be aware that I am the current project leader for Bodhi Linux. As such, in addition to developing the distribution I've also done my best to contact various websites that do write ups about Linux related things to do write ups about Bodhi. After all, what is the use of developing something if no one is going to use it? Up until now most everything that folks had written about Bodhi had been, fair, decently objective, and at least a small bit researched.

This evening I read an article that struck a bit of a nerve with me. I had contacted the author of Dedoimedo a couple months back to see if he would be willing to take a look at Bodhi. He said he was interested and then sent me an email back letting me know:

"Just an early FYI, I started testing the distro. It's got lots of issues,
I'm gonna release that in the review, but I wanted you to know up ahead, it's only fair"

Great, I love constructive user feedback. Find an issue? Let us know and we will get it fixed - we are still in a "release candidate" stage with the Bodhi project so we know issues are bound to occur.

I had been wondering exactly what "lots of issues" he had encountered, we have a decent user base now and no one else had reported anything more than a few minor things. Earlier this week he finally posted his thoughts about Bodhi - I was a bit turned off that he had completely missed the point of the project. We are not trying to be Pinguy OS or Zorin. We do not think it is necessary to install "everything and the kitchen sink" for all users. In fact quite the opposite, we pride ourselves on the exact opposite - user choice by allowing them to easily customize their own system.

He spent most all of what he wrote complaining about the lack of pre-installed applications found in the minimalistic distribution. This is like purchasing a fork and then complaining that it is difficult to eat soup with said utensil - just utter non-sense.

He then goes on to complain about a few configurable features of Enlightenment, including how it handles window focus and the behavior of maximized applications and your shelves. Towards the end he also says:

"Getting the extra stuff requires a liberal use of the package manager, turning minimalistic into a saga of hard work"

Which further proves how little he actually looked into the project itself because installing software from our online software center is about as easy as it gets.

At the end of the day he did come across one actual bug with the distro - the fact that the default home page in Firefox was a "restore last session" message, a small oversight before building the disc image. This has been corrected in our latest release and we extend our apologies to all those out there than had to click the restore button before going on with their webrowsing on Bodhi 0.1.5

Odds are you have heard the statement "Linux is not Windows" before. This isn't a bad thing, in fact different is good - it is however a fair warning that if you try to use Linux thinking it is going to look and feel the same as Windows you are going to be sorely disappointed. In the same respect - Bodhi is not Ultimate Edition or Pinguy OS and we are not trying to be. We advertise what we are, so the user (should) know what they are getting before they download our latest release.

I guess all in all I am just a little disappointed that some where as popular as dedoimedo gave such a biased post with obviously little research into what the project was about. I guess in the end it is a healthy reminder that you need to take everything you read on the internet with a (sometimes huge) grain of salt. Why am I posting this rebuttal here? Because Dedoimedo is kind enough to have any form of commenting disabled on his website (I could guess a few reasons why). At the end of the day I guess "any advertising is good advertising" - Right?

What do you think? Was dedoimedo objective in his post and I am just overacting because I am personally involved in Bodhi or am I right in my annoyance with his post?

~Jeff Hoogland

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