[CentOS] Thanks, good bye, and an observation from a newbie.

Dave Gutteridge dave at tokyocomedy.com
Sun Oct 16 15:47:52 UTC 2005

CentOS mailing list,

	Thank you all for answering my questions and being so supportive over
the last few months as I was running CentOS on my home machine.

	I have switched over to Ubuntu, and I will be devoting my learning
efforts to that distribution from this point on. However, while I'm sure
a new distribution will have the inevitable learning curve, a lot of the
tips and tricks I learned here will definitely help me get a head start.

	Because a "good bye and thank you" message on it's own would not carry
new information, I wanted to just offer an observation of mine which
might help this list in communicating with future newbies who don't
quite grasp CentOS objectives, as I did.

	It seems to me there is a division between a developer's focus on how
things work, and a newbie's focus on results.
	Taking my recent situation with finding an MP3 player, I would look at
PlayerA, and PlayerB, which both ran on CentOS. One had a great
interface, and the other had a good tag editor. But I hoped to find a
player that had both features together.
	Then I look on the web and discover PlayerC, which seems like it might
carry both the features I want. I download it, but it doesn't work.
	I come to the list and ask why, and I'm advised that CentOS is an
enterprise level distribution, and not meant for running cutting edge
applications. So I'm confused. After all, PlayerC doesn't do anything
that PlayerA and PlayerB don't already do on CentOS, it just happens to
do them together. How, I wonder, am I doing anything "cutting edge", or
that would threaten the stability of CentOS?
	It took me a while to realize that I was thinking about the results -
playing MP3s, for example. But when developers were speaking about
"cutting edge", they were speaking about the fact that the makers of the
player were using exotic techniques which were incompatible with CentOS.
Those techniques are opaque to me, so the miscommunication continued.
	So my parting advice is to suggest that the next time a newbie can't
grasp why CentOS doesn't do what other distributions do, or why some
applications don't work even though they are only doing something that
other working applications do, that you explain the difference between
results and methods.
	Had I seen that difference earlier, I might not have struggled with
CentOS so long. It's clearly not the distribution for me.
	That's my suggestion, for whatever it's worth. I hope it can help with
future newbies, as I would guess that I won't be the last to try CentOS.

	Good luck with making CentOS a preeminent enterprise class solution.
It's a great distribution, and deserves its due of appreciation.

	All the best.


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