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Old 10. Mar 2011, 02:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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I would like to try and evaluate Dedoimedo's review of Bodhi Linux. The conclusion of the review is that Bodhi Linux is "Minimalistic and pointless". Being minimalistic is one of the features of Bodhi Linux but saying it is pointless is quite a bold statement.

At the beginning of the review, Dedoimedo says and I quote "I remembered that I did not really like E17." Of course everyone has their own personal opinions so we can't blame the reviewer on this. During the course of the review, Dedoimedo raises a few issues which are summarized below. Hopefully I didn't miss anything too important.

1. There is a lack of softwares installed by default, eg. no screenshot utility, no samba, no media player, no plugins (I assume he means Flash Player and etc.) and no text editor. Only Firefox 4 and the terminal (and Vi) are installed by default, therefore making it a bit too minimalistic.

2. There is a small minor Firefox bug, which according to Jeff, has been fixed.

3. The default theme is "written in white on white, bad contrast, offset toward the top in an annoying manner, has weird shadowing, the bad font choice and it's four sizes smaller than Firefox own menu, which uses a completely different font." "Consistency wise, there's nothing here. For OCD people, this is bad."

4. Bodhi Linux is not worth 400MB, Puppy Linux did better with around 100MB (I rephrased it a bit, hope the meaning is still the same).

5. The repositories are unsigned.

6. Audio doesn't work.

7. Annoyance issues such as no Alt-Tab, no focus on active window and also, a fully maximized window covers the entire desktop which is "cumbersome and counterproductive".

8. There appears to be a bug in mounting and labeling of partitions (not too sure what the problem here is).

9. Too much work has to be done to turn Bodhi Linux into something more of a "typical desktop" (Again, slight rephrase).

Now to evaluate the reasoning and see how these issues (or reasons) support the conclusion that Bodhi Linux is "pointless".

1. The definition of 'minimalistic' varies from person to person (just like the different opinions about window managers) and different people have different needs and criteria to satisfy when choosing a Linux distro. Thus the problem here is likely to be the target audience, whether the user in question wants a more 'out of the box' desktop or a more minimalistic one. In the review, Dedoimedo seems to consider the target audience as the former and this slightly undermine the conclusion of Bodhi Linux being "pointless".

2. Not much to be mentioned here.

3. The default theme (first impression) can really turn a potential user away. Although themes can easily be changed with a few mouse clicks, having a default theme that isn't consistent and has a bad design to it is not a good sign.

4. This is rather strange as one would expect such a minimalist distro to be much much more smaller in size. Puppy Linux has more pre-installed softwares and more functionality than Bodhi Linux and yet it only weighs around 100MB. Almost 4 times smaller in size than Bodhi Linux!

5. Having an unsigned repository can potentially scare users away from installing softwares for fear of security risks and etc so having a signed repository would make a lot more sense but in can sometimes give users a false sense of security if the repository is compromised (although it rarely happens). Installing softwares is the user's responsibility and common sense must always be applied. This is more of a security issue.

6. Could be hardware specific, not much to be said.

7. Universal shortcuts such as Alt-Tab and some common settings being absent can compromise the user experience as the user will either have to set the shortcuts and settings manually or adapt to the new shortcut and settings (which can sometimes cause confusion to friends or when using a different OS). In my opinion, this is a big usability issue and can annoy some potential users.

8. Don't have sufficient knowledge to comment on this.

9. Not everyone wants a 'fully featured, out of the box' distro, some users may prefer to have more control over what is installed in their OS. Again, this is a question of target audience.

Note: It should be taken into consideration that Dedoimedo in his review, viewed the distro in the perspective of the "average user" and it would seemed that the definition of "average user" used is the average Linux convert or someone who don't know much about Linux, given that he questioned "Do you expect the average user to hunt for hundreds of missing programs and be able to tell the difference between Shutter, Shotwell, Openshot, and F-Spot?".

In conclusion, for the "average user", Bodhi Linux may seem to be a bit pointless when compared to the other available distros but if it is addressed to the proper target audience, then the review cannot conclude that Bodhi Linux is pointless.

Disclaimer: I have never used Bodhi Linux before but the point of this whole post is to evaluate the review, not the distro.

Wow, that was a long post. I think it's the longest one I've ever made, ever. Now I can't remember why I did all this in the first place...
A lot can change in a short period of time.
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