Why Ubuntu Still Sucks



I'm sorry, but it needs to be said: The new Ubuntu sucks - at least when
compared to Windows Vista. Yes, it's free. And yes, it's better than the
previous release, Ubuntu 7.04 "Fiesty Fawn" (Yawn?). However, at heart it's
still just another Gnome-based Linux distribution and, as such, remains well
behind the curve when it comes to desktop sophistication.

Case in point: Search. Much noise has been made about Canonical's decision
to switch to the newer Tracker search engine. Yet, I can't help but get the
impression that many of Ubuntu's most vocal fans have never even booted
Vista, let alone explored the depths of its search mechanism.

With Vista, search isn't simply an afterthought. It permeates every nook and
cranny of the Windows shell. And I'm not talking about the ubiquitous
"search" field in each explorer window (though this is certainly a great
feature). Rather, I'm thinking of the way that Vista exposes its various
search-based folder views.

For example: Click on a column header in any explorer window and you're
presented with myriad ways to shape and filter your view of the underlying
data. My favorite is the "Stack by" feature: Simply click the header (for
example, the file Type column), select "Stack by" from the drop-down list,
and voila! You have a dynamically filtered view of the entire underlying
folder structure, with each file type grouped into "Stacks" that can be
drilled-into or saved as persistent dynamic search objects.

The above is just one example of how integrated search can fundamentally
alter (for the better) the way you interact with your desktop environment.
And try as I might, I can't reproduce this capability under Ubuntu 7.10
"Gustsy Gibbon" - even after a weekend of trolling through the Synaptic
Package Manager looking for anything that would enhance the OS' otherwise
anemic search mechanism.

Bottom Line: Ubuntu, like all Linux distributions, is supposed to be all
about power and choice. However, when stacked-up against Vista's robust,
pervasive integrated search mechanism, Ubuntu looks more like a lightweight
poser than a real challenger.


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