The audience groans …
“Ugh shit, Orca, couldn’t you find an even more old and misplaced pun about the innocent term elementary than this?
No, sorry. You know Anglisi isn’t my mother tongue and I’m kinda restricted by my very restricted vocabulary and so often my lame attempts of being funny do indeed backfire. Still, did you see me giving up on my blog? Did you see me giving up on blogging in this weird barbarian pseudo-germanic language? No! So, if I keep on relentlessly, so can you. In fact you should go on trying to read my very clever and informative scribblings. You may incidentally learn a thing or two. Believe me, it kinda works, as I learn something every time I research and write an article for Thar She Blows.
For example in this post, which is about a Linux OS [fill in general groan sound by the audience here] going by the name of Elementary OS. If you have heard about Elementary, or searched for it already, or read any Linuxy websites (all the things you didn’t do, obviously, and why should you?), you might know that the developers of that system caused quite some stirrup in the GNU/Linux and Free and Open Source community lately. In fact it went so bad that many users refuse to install, use or propagate Elementary OS anymore.
Why? Because the devs of Elementary have the audacity to kinda demand and expect to make a living from their efforts. Terrible peepel, eh? So they started a kickstarter project. Nothing wrong with that. But they did it under the wrong premise. They wanted money not for a result but for their labour. Not for a finished system but for maintenance. I guess the kickstarter didn’t work too well for them. Because it’s a stupid stupid way to approach your patrons. Then they implemented some payment option on their download site but left also the option for users to download the installation file for free, as it’s usual with every other Linux distro. Obviously this didn’t rake in the milions of dollars they hoped for so a while ago the chief retainer scribbled a kinda open letter to the community and flamed all Elementary users as fukn freeloaders. And on their official website you can’t indeed download the installation ISO anymore as long as you didn’t transfer at least 5 $ to them.
That shit didn’t go down too well with the community as you can imagine. But all that shouldn’t be our problem now as one can still download the ISO for fukn free from the Sourceforge site. And so did I. As my interest was peaked after I’ve readerded glowing reviews of the distro itself. As you know Orca ain’t one to shy away from struggles and opposing opinions but she also ain’t one to join a lynchmob without any evidence. And anyway, it’s not Elementary’s fault if its developers are fukn assclowns, now is it? So Orca got the ISO file from Sourceforge, hoping to find a simple, lightweight and fast system for use on her slightly underpowered Netbook.
Let’s see how it went, shall we?
Installation process was pretty straightforward as we know it from any other Ubuntu based distro. So, hello there Elementary, did your developers maybe not do too much innovation on their own? And why should they, as the money is just flying in by itself, doesn’t it? This installer is trusted in millions of cases. Anyhoo, just boot your PC from DVD or bootable USB-Stick, let the live system boot up and then click on the [Install] button. Follow the instructions, fill in your particulars and let the install routine run its course. As always, it’s a breeze in comparison to Microsoft’s endless story. 😉
Basically Elementary is Ubuntu with Gnome desktop, even if they claim that they changed a lot of stuff under the hood. We are n00bs, we don’t know shit, we don’t care about all those details. We just need an easy to install, easy to run, and reasonably fast OS for our underpowered and overaged hardware. Particularly for our very uptight and law abiding non-piratey elders. Linux is good since you get a lot of goodies for free … and perfectly legal! And Elementary is one of many Linux distros claiming to be just that. And, honestly, it delivers, it makes good on its promise. It is good for your old laptop and your clueless momma and poppa so they can still surf and mail on their stone age hardware, without catching any viruses and without having to wait 5 minutes or longer for the system to even start. Yeah, it’s the fountain of youth, if you so want. Not for mom’n’dad but for their kompchudah. 😉
Little disclaimer here: Gnome 3 is rather conflicting with huge parts of the community, Orca and her Guruine among others who dislike the Gnome devs. They are actively destroying Linux on the desktop and … arrgs, you don’t wanna hear my political rants, so let’s go on. If you never tried anything else you’ll not even see what I’m complaining about, you won’t feel my losses, you can be happy with this desktop! All in all Gnome3 is a clean DE, maybe even too clean, too lean, too poorly equipped to make spoiled Orca happy. And in regard to Elementary I still fail to see what they did so extraordinary, what places Elementary so far above all the other Linuxes that we should pay money for it. But you may see it differently, and why not? If Elementary is running nicely and makes you happy, by all means, go for it! Be a good girl and give ’em their 5 or 25 or million bucks.
It’s hard to explain to newcomers in Linux why I and many others dislike Gnome3 and call it the end of Linux on the desktop. It’s clearly to see Gnome3 is a step on the way to unification, one desktop to catch them all, one way to think and one way to operate. Why? So we’ll end up with one operating system that works on our desktops, on our tablets, on our smartphones, on our TVs, our fridges, our washing machines and in our cars. But hey, my desktop is an entirely different animal from my fridge. They aren’t doing the same work, they have different purposes, why the fük should they have the same GUI? Hmm, maybe let’s imagine LL takes the ability to fly from us in SL. Ya, bad eh? Walking walking walking … 😦 SL n00bs won’t even know what we oldbies are the fuck complaining about and they would call us inflexible and not willing to adapt and learn the new functionality. Believe me, I went thru exactly that scenario when LL tried to forcefeed their new viewer V2 onto us.
Ugh gaaawd, what to make of our problem child Elementary OS? On one hand it’s nearly perfect, simple, easy, fast and snappy and all that stuff. \o/ YAY! \o/ And I’m quite sure Elementary will set out to make many new users happy. It will probably pull many old and disgruntled Windows XP users over to the Linuxy side of life. That’s great. That’s great, isn’t it? Tell me it’s GRRRREAT!!! Pleez pleeez pleeeeeez!
Unfortunately, no, it is not that great. In fact do I think the price to pay for the speed and simplicity is too high. Gnome 3 is too compromised and restricted by focussing on the smallest common denominator. No problem, from tomorrow on we all get strawberry icecream. Oh yummy! Too bad Orca don’t want strawberry, at least not every day. She’ll like lemon, banana and vanilla the same if not even more than Strawberry. No biggie, she’ll find another nice system for her netbook, one she really fancies. One that offers the choice betweeen Strawberry and Vanilla. The choice that was the reason we went over to Linux in the first place, remember? However, you guys will be the first to know if and when that happens. And for you new users there is nothing to say against Elementary OS. It’s simple, fast, modern, looks simply elegant and stylish with that certain understatement we so like in our desktops. So there is only one kwestshun remaining: Would you pay for it?