Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Target: Lusers

Just came across this wonderful email from the Fedora Advisory Board. In it, they try to describe who they're creating the Fedora distribution for. Here are their four criteria:

  1. is voluntarily switching to Linux
  2. is familiar with computers, but is not necessarily a hacker or developer
  3. is likely to collaborate in some fashion when something's wrong with Fedora
  4. wants to use Fedora for general productivity, either using desktop applications or a Web browser
This seems like a reasonable thing to do. I mean, it's always good to try to understand your user, right? Unfortuantely, the above description fails fantastically in so many ways. Look closely, and you'll see what they're really trying to say:
  1. You're a freetard. If you're voluntarily switching to Linux, so that means you already find intrinsic value in it. Well, the software itself isn't up to par with the other stuff around, so what does Linux have that other's don't? We all know the answer to that one: freedom. But you know, the best way to improve your general purpose operating system is to build it for the tiny number of specific people who have already chosen to use your system. Everybody knows that.
  2. You don't need any support, cuz you ain't gettin' any!
  3. You can tolerate bugs, because our shit is full of bugs. You are also willing to file bug reports, only to see them linger forever. Another way of reading that is: you don't actually have a real life and you don't have anything else that you need to get done.
  4. You only need a subset of features that Windows 98 had.

Brilliant! I think they've just created a nice 4-point summary why Linux is still on the sidelines of the desktop OS battlefield.