samrat rao wrote:
> That brings me to another question - What does the GNU/Linux community
> see itself as? As something that is a viable alternative to
> Microsoft/Mac OSes or as something that provides latest supports for the
> latest hardware (pardon me if i do not know the hardware support
> differences between MS and Linux)? What is the age group that actually
> uses Linux? Probably folks who have been around for 30+ years may not be
> that interested in using bleeding edge stuff.
Well, the “community” could be defined in many ways. In fact,
it’s probably wise to say there are “communities”, that is, for just
about every modus operandi out there, a community exists.
In general, most (but again, not necessarily all) FOSS developers
usually support only their latest branch. Thus, you could say that
the FOSS developer community wants to always look forward and not
backward. So… want the latest fix? Get the latest code… etc…
> Actually, i do opt for some of the latest packages, like Openoffice,
> Firefox etc, but if these are not provided, them i am not overtly
> concerned. But i am probably in a small fraction of such minded guys.
Hmmm… no… again, I don’t think there is a minority or majority
position. But if you want the latest, there is probably more “support”
since that’s where (in general) the developers are focused.
> The reason i opened this thread is that i in a couple of years will
> give my PC to my parents and i may not be around where they are. They
> will use the PC for basic stuff - mails, songs, movies, voice calls and
> the like. So an LTS release is beneficial for such people. I guess its
> also about the target group that one addresses, since Microsoft releases
> are essentially LTS ones.
Well… yes…err… no… you see, ideally if Microsoft supports things
well, then yes… you could argue that everything continues to work. But
realize some very important things:
The Microsoft OS come with only a FEW applications. And even if you
purchase more (like Office), realize that the majority of apps for Windows
do NOT come from Microsoft.
Microsoft, because of Linux distro competition (well, IMHO), has started
to move forward and leave some things behind. In fact your old peripherals
may well work better with Linux than with a newer version of Windows. In
some cases it is because the vendor died, in others it’s because the vendor
has moved forward… and if the driver was not considered as something for
Microsoft to move forward (Microsoft in general does NOT support vendor
drivers, they leave it to the vendor)… anyhow, this is becoming a
bigger issue over time.
In all fairness, there really is NOT a good answer to this. This is why
even in Grandma and Grandpa’s computer world, they just buy new machines
when things don’t work right… irrespective of OS.