Too much, Too late

Thor’s day and am I happy to put the hammer down. My sally to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill began with a visit to have the bandaging from the oral surgery so now I am in the mode of flouridizing the newly exposed roots so I can once more eat/drink stuff slightly different from body temperature. Coffee was DEFINITELY an adventure yesterday!

The gym was happily thin this morning, which rather matched with my absence of energy from the joy of food and drink yesterday. I listened to an episode of the English Ubuntu podcast and aside from the skit had little to gain from it. But it is noise of distraction.

Before I forget, today is the anniversary of the birth of Richard Feynman. I shall celebrate his memory. I may even draw a few diagrams or drag out the bongos.

And in typical Feynmanesque humor (maybe) I note an article [Link] entitled “10 reasons why Canonical and Ubuntu will connect the masses with Linux”. My colleague Magnetic Inductance Force shared with me and my discussion will largely follow his comments.

The thesis is that Canonical, via Ubuntu, will glue together userdom. The list is sadly stuttering but that goes with any list. It’s the sort of thing that defies good composition but is attractive to humans, even the majority who suffer dyscalcula.

I fear I have to put this prediction in the same pile as Laplace’s (?) that the seas would turn to lemonade. What Canonical now seems fated to do is flop. For several reasons:

  1. First of all, there is Unity, Canonical’s tile GUI. This abomination has been billed as the common interface for box/slab/phone. It does that, but as with most Swiss Army Knives, not well.
  2. Second, Unity works for people who either do not work or who work sequentially as opposed to cumulatively. For those of the latter, Unity is something to to avoided or, as in my case, blown away with some useful GUI like XFCE or KDE.
  3. Third, Unity is a tile GUI, just like Gnome 3 and whatever MegaHard calls ‘Metro’ this week. So all the folks running screaming in terror from W8 are not going to run to Ubuntu. One of the derivatives with a workable GUI maybe, but not Ubuntu.
  4. Four, the Ubuntu tablet is probably never going to be anything more that a niche market. Consider the abject dismality of MegaHard’s tablet sales. The average tablet user – mostly consumerist – doesn’t care about OS, only about app. Which means that they ain’t gonna learn a new OS that has few apps when they are already comfortable with Apple or Android.
  5. Five, the Ubuntu phone is probably a non-starter. Look at W8 phone sales. Same as with tablets but squared. The marketplace is pretty well dominated by Apple and Android and Ubuntu isn’t a camel to sneak into the tent.

That isn’t ten but it’s enough. I would be pleasantly surprised if Ubuntu does any good in the tablet or phone markets. I hope it does. I would like an Ubuntu tablet that I could do something useful on. After I replaced Unity with KDE, which already has a tablet and a tablet interface. I’m not sure about the phone. Maybe. That way I could get decent (maybe) email and calendar apps. If Thunderbird will work on a phone.

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