Administrative note: check out the widget on your right to vote on the distro you hate the most! (feed subscribers, you'll have to visit the page, since Blogger doesn't let me put the poll into the main feed). In a week or so, we will have a little party to announce the most hated Linux distro. A sort of, anti-distrowatch if you will.
Back to ranting. Once upon a time, there was the conservative computer user. He'd get his hardware set up, his software set up, get it all working, then not change a thing for as long as he could. The only time he'd change anything was when he wanted some new functionality so bad, that he was willing to forget all his principles just to obtain it. And when he did so, he made sure to change as little as possible.
Actually, it turns out most computer users are like this. They don't like dicking with their system. They care much more about keeping the working shit working, rather than making the old stuff new again. My lady friend is kinda like that. She will happily let me fix stuff that's broken, but she will also often actively refuse my offers to install new software for her, out of the fear (though many times unfounded) that I will break something she relies upon.
Anyways, that's a little tangential to what I want to say. The point is that that most of the other desktop OS'es give you a choice. The choice to keep exactly what you've got, the way you've got it, or the choice to keep things mostly the same, and just go for bug-fix updates, or the choice to upgrade components one by one to get from here to there with the minimal amount of change.
Let's see how Linux stacks up here.
- You've got the choice to keep exactly what you've got. Though this isn't as good as it sounds, because chances are, something doesn't work to start with.
- The choice to go just for bug-fix updates? Again, not as good as it sounds, because upstream devs only work on the fun stuff. I mean, who cares about fixing bugs in old versions? People should just upgrade to the bleeding edge! Even kernel developers admit to this abysmal state of affairs.
- The choice to upgrade component by component. Oh yea, we talked about that before. That's not really a choice, unless you know how to install compilers and debug build errors, and you have a tolerance or even a fetish of being gang-raped. Not satisfied? Well then you can upgrade your entire system every 6 months! Hurray! And if you don't? well we're gonna stop supporting it in another 6 months, and then we're going to make you do the upgrade anyways when you decide in a year that you want to jump two releases. Suck it, lusers :-D! No really, we just don't care that a large portion of ordinary users have never installed anything.
In reality there's only one sad choice with Linux: try to first stand up on your two feet, and then try to keep your balance as they continually pull the rug out from underneath you. Either that, or use Debian stable, which is like already as useful as a beached whale when released, and won't go anywhere even if you tied it to Mark Shuttleworth's space rocket.