Thanks to kornelix, I found this
, a quality article titled "Linux Opinion" which I think is true and trusted.
I hope someone have time to translate this into Chinese.
Linux desktop market share estimates
These numbers are based on counting web page visits by OS type, using web sites that should be neutral to the technology preferences of its visitors, e.g. sports.
Aug. 2007 Aug. 2008 Source
1.34% 2.00% w3counter.com
0.47% 0.92% marketshare.hitslink.com
There are two opposing ways to look at Linux, and both are largely true.
The Negative View:
o Linux has lots of geeky technical issues.
o Linux geeks are having fun. They don't care about us normal people.
o Freedom is next to Godliness - let anarchy reign!
o Documentation is boring and only for wimps.
o Linux is for the geeks and Windows is for normal people.
o Linux has thousands of great projects - and no management.
o Linux desktop share is 1%.
The Positive View:
o Linux is a solid operating system with a rich set of capable applications.
o All of this is completely free and can be modified as you please.
o The geek community understands the problems and is rapidly improving.
o Ubuntu is the new 600 pound gorilla that is setting standards and focusing the chaos.
o Major PC vendors are starting to offer pre-installed Linux (Dell, Lenovo, HP).
o Microsoft: quality, security and ethics issues are sending users to Linux (and Mac).
o Linux market share has nearly doubled in the last year.
The following is a somewhat disorganized recital of my own experience with Linux usage and programming, and the opinions I have developed as a result. I hope some readers will find this interesting and helpful. You can respond by writing e-mail to me (contact).
I started with Linux in late 2005 when I bought a Suse Linux retail edition with a DVD and user manual. Before that I had used Windows and wrote software for Windows. I had a hard time getting Suse to work properly on my PC, partly due to my ignorance and partly due to problems with Suse (drivers, bugs, poor or missing documentation). I gave up after a month or so and tried Fedora Linux, which worked better. About a year later I tried Ubuntu because it had a good reputation and the user web forums were extensive and friendly. It worked almost perfectly and I have been with Ubuntu ever since.
I got a Linux programming book and started to write software. My first problem was finding good technical documentation. This was scattered all over in many different systems and places. I often resorted to googling and web forums to get information, and I was not always successful. Much documentation is missing, outdated, or just hard to find. Some Linux heavyweights expect you to read their source code to get information. Diagnostics are often poor (cryptic messages in obscure places where you have to hunt for them, or no message at all - things just silently fail). Eventually I figured out enough to write some basic programs.
I chose to go with the Gnome windowing library instead of KDE, and I still do not know if this was the best choice. I am horrified that I had to choose at all. This choice should not exist - the two projects should join forces, but hell will freeze over before that happens. There are also several other windowing systems contending for developers and users.
In general, a Linux application must be built from source code on the same system (Linux vendor or "distro" and release version) as the target execution system. All applications are rebuilt for every release of every distro, using distro-specific libraries, tools, and packaging systems. The resulting programs only run on the distro and release they were built for. This lack of application portability (ABI compatibility) is a significant problem. Users cannot change distros and take their software with them, unless they have source code and the knowledge and time to rebuild everything. I should point out that each Linux distro comes with a huge library of popular applications freshly rebuilt for that distro. Most user needs are satisfied by this, so the problem exists only for less-popular or non-free software that is not included in the distro library. There are several different software packaging systems in use, each with its own thick how-to manual. The different distros have other technical differences that applications must sometimes take into account. The bottom line is that there is much anarchy in the Linux world, and this is hindering progress. Since Linux is mostly developed by independent volunteers who value their freedom, this situation is not likely to improve. There is an ongoing project (LSB) to improve Linux standardization and software portability, but this is seemingly not taken very seriously by the developer community.
Ubuntu has fewer problems than other distros I have tried, but there are still problems that should not be there. After installing Ubuntu 7.10 a few days after it was released, I had to go back to 7.04 and wait for 7.10 to become more stable. Gnome was released with too many bugs (hangups, crashes). Software for writing files to DVD no longer worked reliably. These problems had all been corrected when I tried 7.10 again a few weeks later.
I tend to tolerate and get around these kinds of things. The average PC user would not tolerate Linux for more than a few minutes. Now that Dell and others are starting to offer pre-installed and tested Linux, perhaps this will be acceptable for the average user. But if that user starts installing optional software that is not packaged for his distro, he will quickly dig himself into a hole.
Many helpful Linux geeks are active in the forums, along with the arrogant ones who tend to be more noticeable and are very good at driving people away.This is less of a problem now than when I started with Linux, and less of a problem with Ubuntu than with other distros.
Like most people, I do tend to complain about problems more than I praise what is going well.
Linux and its applications are created largely by programmers working independently from all over the world, and many (most?) of them are volunteers. It is hard to manage volunteers. This is one of the reasons why Linux is somewhat anarchic and variable in quality. There is no central management which makes a road-map and monitors quality - each software project and each distro does this for itself, with variable results.
Some developers release software that is barely tested, and expect volunteers and end-users to find and report their bugs. End users can fall into such a trap and come away feeling that Linux is crapware. Some large projects have many developers working on parallel development paths. This sometimes causes killed bugs to come back to life when a new development path is merged into the newest release.
Developers often ask for volunteers to do their documentation work, which is no way to get quality documents written in a timely manner. I can document technology that I create ten times as fast as someone else who must first understand everything I did - without documentation. Developers should understand that documentation is part of doing a good job. I am thankful for the many volunteers that publish FAQs and How-Tos, trying to compensate for the lack of good documentation from developers. But these documents are scattered over all creation and not very easy to find, and they are only partly plugging the holes that should not be there.
I have installed Windows from scratch numerous times. I think that Ubuntu is easier and faster to install than Windows. Synaptic is also a much better installer and update manager than Windows.
In early 2008 I installed gOS (an Ubuntu clone with mods) on an old Dell notebook. When I tried to configure the WLAN using their cute GUI tool, it kept ignoring or erasing my inputs and eventually hung up so bad that I had to reboot. I tried several times and gave up. I installed Ubuntu instead, and the WLAN functioned immediately. I find it incredible that such a crappy product like the gOS WLAN manager is offered to the public.
There are many outstanding examples of FOSS (free open-source software) that show what the potential can be - Firefox, Gimp, Open Office, Gnome, KDE, etc. It is the problem projects that stand out and give Linux a bad name. Why did gOS need to replace the WLAN manager that came with Ubuntu? They only turned gold into 囗囗囗囗. Linux is a mix of well-managed projects and badly managed ones, and the main way to find out what is good is to try it out yourself.
Freedom of choice is good. Freedom FROM choice (i.e. standards) is also good. It is hard to know where the best tradeoff lies. For example, the many windowing systems for Linux are both a force for good and a force for evil. We want competition and freedom of choice, but not confusion, compatibility problems, and fragmentation of development resources. Does Linux have many alternative windowing systems offering few advantages for end users? For me, the answer is sadly yes.
I am having lots of fun with Linux, even with the frustrations. But I am not like 99% of PC users who want a tool that works rather than a technical playground.
The bottom line: if you are persistent and willing to learn, and if you don't mind getting geeky, you will be satisfied with Linux.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.