Feb 01, 2011, 23:02 (16 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Byfield)
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"Why are newer versions of free software being rejected by
significant numbers of users? Three years after the KDE 4 series
began, some users continue to reject it, either preferring KDE 3 or
looking for alternatives. GNOME 3.0 and Ubuntu's Unity seem likely
to face a similar reaction -- and they are not even in general
release yet. Similarly, enough people reject the Amarok 2 releases
that Clementine, a music player based on Amarok's first release
series, seems to be thriving. The phenomenon is relatively new, but
very real, and seems indicative of changes in free software usage
that are going relatively unrecognized.
"Exactly how widespread the reactions might be is nearly
impossible to estimate. Because the unsatisfied are vocal, their
numbers are probably smaller than they appear. Certainly, they seem
less than half the total users, since many people seem more or less
satisfied with newer releases. My own unscientific impression is
that the unsatisfied are no more than 25-35% of all users, and may
be less than that.
"Whatever the numbers, there is nothing wrong with the reaction.
After all, free software is all about choice. If anyone cares to
keep KDE 3.5 or GNOME 2.32 alive, the licenses positively encourage
them to do so."