Divining from the Entrails of Ubuntu’s Gutsy Gibbon

“According to the 2007 DesktopLinux.com survey, Ubuntu is the
distribution of choice for 30% of GNU/Linux users. The exact figure
is questionable, but Ubuntu’s dominance is not. For an increasing
number of people, Ubuntu is GNU/Linux. Yet, looking at the
pre-releases of Gutsy Gibbon, Ubuntu 7.10, I found myself becoming
disturbed by the degree to which this popularity has translated
into uncritical acceptance.

“Make no mistake–due to the energy that the Ubuntu community
and Canonical, its corporate arm, have put into improving the
desktop, this popularity is well-deserved. Yet, at the same time, I
find myself wondering whether user-friendliness must inevitably
mean discouraging users from exploring their systems or taking firm
control over them. This question keep nagging me each time I
installed, went through the selection of preloaded software,
explored the desktop, installed new software, or examined security.
Only once or twice did I find a balance between accessibility to
newcomers and a feature set for advanced users. At times, too, I
wondered whether the popularity might be preventing Ubuntu from
finishing some rough edges…”