"Author Shirley Conran once said, "Life is too short to stuff a
mushroom". And so it is. Life is also too short to evaluate umpteen
different Linux distributions. Nevertheless, over the past 18
months I've done exactly that."
"Testing a range of distributions is not as daft as it might
appear. In my case, I can partly justify my actions because I write
about Linux and need a more complete understanding of the market. I
also have very specific needs so finding the optimum distribution
required trial and error. The other thing is that I'm just plain
"By constantly swapping distributions, I've had a front row seat
to watch how the open source operating system has evolved from
promising beginnings to something approaching desktop maturity in
just 18 months. This has convinced me of the value of the open
source model. If we make direct comparisons with Windows-style
operating systems, Linux has gone from something resembling the old
DR Gem interface to something resembling Windows 98 in the space of
"The best thing about playing with different distributions is I
now have a very clear picture of the state of the Linux market. And
the message I've got is that intense competition between the
various distributions really does deliver rapid progress."
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