Oh Snap – to boldly package where no one has packaged before
One of the great disadvantages of the Linux desktop is its software distribution mechanism. While the overall concept of central software repos works great and has been adapted into powerful Stores in commercial products, deploying and using programs, delivered as packages, is a tricky business. It stems from the wider fragmentation of the distro ecospace, and it essence, it means that if you want to release your product, you must compile it 150 odd ways, not just for different distributions but also for different versions of the same distribution. Naturally, this model scares away the big game.
Recently though, there have been several attempts to make Linux packages more cross-distro and minimize the gap between distributions. The name of the game: Snap, and we’ve tasted this app-container framework before. It is unto Linux what, well, Windows stuff is unto Windows, in a way. Not quite statically compiled stuff, but definitely independent. I had it tested again in Ubuntu 17.04, and it would appear that Snap is getting more and more traction. Let’s have another look.
Kubuntu 17.04 - the next generation
As usual, Kubuntu 17.04 does not give you any surprises. It is stable and reliable. It is reasonably resource-hungry. There are no wonders in this new release. Just a well-rounded distribution for everyday use.
Yes, there are small bugs or inconveniences here and there, but they are not huge and can be easily fixed, replaced or lived with. The biggest of them for me, of course, is the lack of multimedia codecs. You can heal that easily.
KDE vs. GNOME Design Philosophies
The days are gone when the Linux desktop was dominated almost entirely by KDE and GNOME. However, the influence of their design philosophy remains, with KDE favored by a third of users, and many modern desktop alternatives, from GNOME itself to Linux Mint’s Cinnamon and MATE using applications originally designed for GNOME. Broadly speaking, KDE’s design philosopy can be described as completist, and designed for users of all levels of experience, while GNOME’s is minimalist, and aimed particularly at new users — although all levels of users can appreciate GNOME design as well.
By “completist,” I mean that KDE applications try to include every function that could possibly be included in a task. Confusion is limited by the setting of intelligent defaults, but more functions are still visible than most everyday uses require. Perhaps the ultimate example of this design is digiKam, which over the year has calved new windows the way that polar ice caps calve glaciers.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, GNOME applications tend to include only the features for the most common use-cases. This choice makes GNOME apps easy to use, but can leave users stranded if any problems emerge. A typical example is Simple Scan, which is so uncluttered that at first it can almost seem confusing.
Kubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zaphod - Kawabuntu!
Let us continue with the spring season distro testing. Next on the menu: Kubuntu. After many years of offering bland, emotionless releases, we had a cautiously reasonable Yakkety Yak edition, so me hopes are high for today.
And for today, we will examine the latest Kubuntu, which officially bears the name of Zesty Zapus, but once again, like my recent Ubuntu review, my version of the distro's name is totally better. So allow me to ask thee, what is the answer to Linux, multiverse and constant forking?