23 October 2007

Spins, multimedia, Knoppix

We had recently a very long thread on the marketing list and, inevitably, at some point someone claimed the most important feature of Fedora and the reasoun use it is livna with its multimedia codecs (this is somewhat like Goodwin's law, if a thread is long enough, it have to get to the multimedia problem).
Personally, I am content with livna and consider it easy enough but here is some anecdotal evidence showing how some people leave Fedora due to its lack of multimedia abilities right out of the box and backing the argument about livna to some degree:

I recently meet an old buddy of me, cdriga, from OpenOffice.org, with whom I have not talked in a long while. He was a long time RHL and Fedora user, I even used to supply him with install CDs back when he had a flaky internet connection (around RHL 9, IIRC).
From topic to topic he told me "I am a Debian user now, by the way of Knoppix". My reaction: "WTF, is Knoppix still alive? Wasn't it killed already by Ubuntu/Kubuntu?" and his reply: "is very cool, you can install the live CD on your hard drive and you have alll the multimedia codecs right from the start, I installed it even for some relatives and they like it".

At this point I told him a few things about Fedora's latest developments with live media and spins, but this can't beat multimedia working out of the box! Maybe a couple of years ago, when, before a career change, he used to do a lot more programming, I could have lured him with the developer spin featuring the latest Eclipse on top of Iced Tea (and close the circle, as he talked me into using Eclipse).

However, do not listen to my anecdotal experience, better read cdriga's own words about his Linux history (I read it and my first reaction was like "Yuck! XMMS... I remember anow all the reasons I erased Knoppix from my mind.")

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