Sunday, April 25, 2010

Friends Using Fedora part 2

The comments and email replies I received to my previous post seems to indicate that some people missed the point I was trying to make. A lot of people I heard from privately seemed shocked that I do not come running out the door, guns blazin', screaming USE LINUX! USE FEDORA! I'm not that sort of user. As I previously stated, if people are interested in Linux, I will answer questions. I will help them set it up too, but I do not have the time nor desire to become everyone's personal IT department. I don't even want to be my own sysadmin. Those days are long since over.

My main point was that, in general, Linux distributions have advanced to the point where most users can figure things out for themselves, much like they would have done on Windows or MacOS X. A decade ago, you couldn't really say that about Linux. It's really nice that usability in Linux has reached that point. My fiancée and my friends being able to figure out how to play movies, work with MS Office document formats, and so forth all without asking is nice. At one point in time in the Linux world, answering those questions meant sitting down with someone and telling them how to compile software. Fortunately we are way past that point.

The other point I was trying to make was that despite that fact that we still do development at a ridiculous pace and push releases out all the time, my friends still using Fedora Core 6 have no complaints and no problems. The people telling me that I'm horrible having them still use it because they are missing some security update simply doesn't matter. Most end users don't care about updates, ever. These users are like that. If they were running Windows on this system, they would still ignore updates. Would a Windows system of that age still be usable? I don't know. I'd like to think the Fedora system of that age holds up better.

If I had approached them each time a new Fedora release came out -or- made sure they were installing updates on an almost daily basis, they probably would have said to me, "you know, this is too much work, just forget about it." And they would have left it running whatever was on the system.

So, for those users, in the amount of time since Fedora Core 6 was released, the only thing they wanted that was newer was Firefox. In retrospect, CentOS probably would have been a better option for them. But really, I don't think it matters for them in the end.

Thanks for the suggestions for getting a newer Firefox to them as well as all of the concerns for them being vulnerable to countless security issues. I wanted to make sure knew the points I was trying to make.

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