Opinion: Google Chrome is the new Platform?

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Kevin Tofel wrote an article for GigaOm entitled, How Google plans to rule the computing world through Chrome. That article seems to have gotten quite a bit of attention but when I last looked, there weren't too many comments... and I tried to comment... but even in two different browsers, I couldn't get the comment submission to work properly so I decided to post it here. What follows is my response to his article:

Google added an app store in Chrome some time ago... how many versions ago of Chrome was that? There was a little buzz shortly after it came out with players like the New York Times pitching their Chrome App... which works fine in Firefox too, btw. Then time passed. During that time, yes, Chrome Browser has gained more market share... but so far as I can tell, the Chrome App store, which is mostly just a fancier way to deal with bookmarks, really hasn't taken off.

Is there an opportunity for Chrome Apps to become more popular? Sure... if they can fill a niche and work well. Does that mean everyone will want to do everything in their browser... or via a browser-based although-works-fine-offline technology? Probably not. People are creatures of habit. Yes, they can change habits as well as add new habits but they aren't going to scrap everything they have just because there are more icons in a Google App Launcher thingie. It just ain't going to happen. Just moving the icon selector GUI from the Chrome browser window to an OS panel / dock is not going to be any revolution.

So many people seem to think that what they like has to win out over everything else... but that rarely ever happens. I think Google Chrome and Chrome/web-based Apps will pick up some market share and will do quite well... but it will be just another player in a crowded arena that is constantly getting broader with more choices... not less.

The zero admin functionality you speak of is nice and all but how will it not be laid to waste by similar security problems that have started to plague Android? If and when Chrome Apps become popular, then malware creators will also target it... and unless Google somehow does a better job with Chrome than they have done with Android, it has the potential to be a mess that completely negates zero admin... but at least it'll be cross platform malware now. Thanks!

In the end what empowers more people is quality free libre and open source software, not better marketed commercial apps.

Opinion: Censorship on Linux Sites isn't Cool

Most of the time I enjoy LinuxAdvocates.com. No, really I do... but there are times I disagree with the opinions expressed by one of the primary authors there (Dietrich Schmitz). He likes to write somewhat controversial articles... and I sometimes like to comment on them. In many cases there is no problem... but if you disagree with him you may very well find your comment deleted... and all of your future comments requiring moderation. What it leads to is a complete lack of opinion diversity.

Let it be known that the vast majority of the comments I have left have been civil and (hopefully) informative. I only left one that could be considered offensive but I apologized for that. It is ok for Dietrich and his buddies to say all kinds of disparaging things but dare to disagree with them and you are the bad guy.

Latest topic in question is an article entitled Systemd: An Accident Waiting to Happen. I mentioned that I'm pro-systemd and mentioned videos of presentations by the systemd creator that are available on YouTube as well as an article entitled The Biggest Myths that addresses most of the myths surrounding systemd... and splat, comment in moderation mode to never appear.

MontanaLinux.org has been around for more than 10 years and I think I've deleted 1 comment in that time (and the user that went along with it)... but other than that, not so much. This website is old and crufty... and not well suited to new users and comments so it is a different situation, but I'm just saying. :)

While I do appreciate Dietrich's hard work on LinuxAdvocates.com and all of the writing he does, being censored isn't fun. I think his site would be better without it... although I do agree with censoring obnoxious/cussing people.

Update: May 3, 2013 - Dietrich has responded with an article and I responded back with a comment to that article. Just in case anyone was curious, anonymous comments are turned off here and new account registrations are broken because this site is ancient and there are software issues. To anyone who wants to comment, feel free to email me directly (dowdle@montanalinux.org).

Opinion: Comment to SMLR episode 68

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I listen to several audiocasts and the vast majority of them are Linux related. I often feel compelled to comment on topics that are interesting / important to me. I thought hey... MontanaLinux.org always needs more content so why don't I start posting them here too? So here goes the one from today.

I watched the video stream of the raw recording for the Sunday Morning Linux Review episode 68. Embedded below. Note, they (mostly Mat) occasionally use "adult language".

My comments on the show:

Greetings again,

I started using Fedora 18 with the Alpha, and then shortly after the Beta was released I had switched to it on most of my personal systems (work, home). I run Fedora on desktops not servers.

Anyway... yeah the new installer was a big shock. I was horrified by it for probably a month... mainly because I was so used to the previous one and was a ninja at using it. Then when I realized I had to actually read the text on the screen and learn the new installer... and started doing so... it started making sense and it actually works well / fine. So far as I know the vast majority of complaints about the new installer and partitioning functionality in the Fedora 18 installer... are just people being resistant to change.

Some might ask if everyone liked the previous installer and were used to it, why did they change it? That is a rather complex question to answer but the Fedora people did blog about it and plan for a long time before doing it and they had very good reasons. I didn't spend a lot of time hunting down the exact links but this is a good starting point:


Those are anaconda related posts by Máirín Duffy who is a graphics designer who works for Red Hat who did all of the mock-ups along the way... and who blogged at length on the topic. You think I write a lot? I pale to her. :)

Regarding the feature proposal to make Cinnamon the default desktop environment for Fedora 19. That was a proposal but it'll NEVER fly. And in reality, who cares what the "default" desktop environment is as long as you can easily get what you want from other live media spins? The "installer only media" DVD lets you pick one or more desktop environments. Given the fact that there currently isn't a Cinnamon spin in Fedora... I'd say someone should start one first and get it going... before they start proposing making something default that doesn't exist.

Regarding Mat's comment that Richard Stallman should just go away... Everyday Linux also had a big rant against Richard Stallman in their most recent episode. I'm a big supporter of RMS but that doesn't mean I agree with everything he does or says... but all of this RMS hate needs to stop. A few developers left the FSF? Big deal. I'm sure it was a big deal for those developers and the software they were working on, but in the big scheme of things... this sort of thing happens all the time everywhere.

I've been listening to SMLR for about 6 months now and enjoy it greatly. Keep up the good work Tony, Mat and Mary!

Opinion: "Confessions of an Ubuntu Fanboy" Response

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Just got done reading, "Confessions of an Ubuntu Fanboy". While I'm glad the author has decided to be more practical in his promotion of Linux and Ubuntu, I strongly disagree with some of his conclusions and I'll cover them below.

I have been using Linux for about 15 years now and over the course of that time I've helped more people than I care to count with Linux installs, removals and everything in-between. I've seen people try Linux out for a few days and give up on it. I've seen people tough it out and become valued members of our local Linux community. Linux isn't for everyone and choice is good. I no longer advocate Linux for someone who isn't willing to learn new things. I quit trying to push it on people and now I'm somewhat selective in helping people the second they say they want to try Linux. I state up front that there is a learning curve and that they will need to expect it. If I sense that they don't have patience to learn new things, I don't even bother.

The problem with the article in question is that the author seems to want to try to make Linux for everyone and in doing so, he advocates violating some important tenants. He primarily focuses on Windows users but it could be any proprietary OS or applications.

A response to "World Domination 201"


cheesyone recently posted a link to a paper written by Eric S. Raymond and Rob Landley entitled, World Domination 201. The article is very interesting as Mr. Raymond (aka ESR) plots a strategy to have Linux take over the desktop starting in 2008. If you haven't already read it... GO READ IT.

I believe I'm qualified to comment on the article given a few factors:

  1. I lived through most of the computer history mentioned in the article
  2. I've heard Linus' original World Domination speech
  3. I've been using Linux since January 1995
  4. I've been working in IT with Linux since 1998

You know to click on read more link below for the rest, right?

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