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Last month, when the debate about the change in the position of window buttons in the next release of Ubuntu was at its height, I wrote a piece headlined "Ubuntu users, Shuttleworth doesn't owe you anything."


It discussed, at length, one obnoxious aspect that is common to many GNU/Linux users - they have a sense of entitlement and feel they are doing a favour to the developers of any distribution they choose to use. The fact that they are benefitting by doing so does not appear to register.

Yesterday, I discovered one more GNU/Linux user who appears to think that Canonical does owe its users something - reliability - and is prepared to vent about it in public.

One would be inclined to expect better from Caitlyn Martin, who claims to have used GNU/Linux from 1998 onwards, and also advertises herself as a technical consultant with a background in several tech-related areas. But, sadly, such does not turn out to be the case.

Under the heading "Ubuntu is a poor standard bearer for Linux" Martin vents on a blog provided by the publisher O'Reilly, with her starting point being that she could not cold-plug (corrected) a printer and get it recognised by her netbook which runs Karmic Koala, or version 9.10 of Ubuntu.

Martin wants to apparently stay on the cutting edge by constantly updating her distro but also wants everything to continue to work. She wants the same functionality that a long-term support version of Ubuntu offers to continue into the bleeding-edge releases which occur between LTS releases. What could be a more logical demand?

Her main grouse appears to be the fact that Ubuntu is now recognised as being more or less synonymous with Linux; other distributions, she claims, are better.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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