[ale] Distro Question -- State of the Linux Nation

gharri2 gharri2 at emory.edu
Tue Feb 24 17:31:08 EST 2004

As a member of the masses, I might have some experience that confirms your
feeling. I started trying to use Linux some four or five years ago. In the time
since then, I've tried:
Red Hat
(Sorry, don't have the version numbers at hand--forced the CDs upon whatever
friend would stop moving long enough to take them.)

Each one, I used a little longer than its predecessor, before drifting back to
the Windows partition & discovering that I hadn't booted into Linux for a long
while. I guess what marks the period on each is:
Can I do what I do most on a computer better on Linux?

The answer has finally become yes. I'm not a programmer or a systems
administrator. I work in a library, I'm interested in mark-up languages and
digital texts; I try to find ways to use the latter for the former, so that I
can get paid for doing what I would do anyway.

I really & truly do not grok networks, & have only a dim, emerging, vision of
kernels. When I'm stumped by my installation's refusal to do what I want it
to--that is, what it was doing, but better, faster, shinier--I go looking for
recipes, not for understanding.
The reason I've stayed with Gentoo longer than with the previous installations
has been that there is a shorter lag between when I read about a some new tool
developed in the XML community and when I can use it on a stable configuration.
I'm really not interested in the header files; if I were, I probably would have
spent longer than two weeks at C, instead of washing ashore on the least
current of distraction.
So, in possible support of your sense--yes, they must have moved away from their
roots when I can do what I do on Linux better (faster, shinier, more
consistently) than on Windows, & do not need a thorough knowledge of each rope
in the rigging to stay on course. If the distros can accommodate someone like
me, then they are likely fraught with much that is not necessary.
Grady Harris

Subject: [ale] Distro Question -- State of the Linux Nation
To: Atlanta Linux Enthusiasts <ale at ale.org>

This is not really a question on how to do something as it is a question
concerning the state of distributions in the linux world and whether or
not people are happy with their distributions. 


My question for you is, has anyone else felt the same way about the
state of the linux world? That most of the larger distros have gotten
away from their roots, and are now moving on to please the masses?

I ask hoping that someone has an answer or an idea, not to cause a flame
war between distros.

Thanks in advance,

Eric VanWieren

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