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OSNews: The Paradox of Choice

Sep 19, 2004, 01:00 (17 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Adam Scheinberg)


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"Certainly, the word 'Linux' refers to a kernel. I believe, much like the old confederate flag, insistance on what it really is means little when most people perceive it as something else. 'Linux,' that is, what it means to most of the word, is a complete, rapidly developing, open source operating system. Each distribution provides a mostly unique spin on it, and generally, most people's perception of Linux is actually the spice added by their selected distribution. Some people think Gnome is Linux, some KDE, still others XFCE or Windowmaker. As a result, unsurprisingly, the choices a distribution maintainer makes affect not only their users, but the perception of Linux as a whole.

"If you ask me, I'll tell you straight out: I'm all for removal of choice from Linux. Choice is generally good, but too much choice, and worse, uninformed choice, is bad..."

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