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Introducing Ubuntu: Desktop Linux book review

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Ah, yet another book about Ubuntu Linux. Is there no reprieve from the bombardment of Ubuntu and beginner Linux books (and Ubuntu for beginners books)? For Introducing Ubuntu: Desktop Linux to impress me, it had to offer something new and unique, and it had to successfully address the reality of introducing a new operating system to a computer user. I'm impressed with the scope of the book's coverage on frequently encountered Linux problems, but I don't think this book was as good as it could have been.

Introducing Ubuntu: Desktop Linux's language is irritatingly long-winded (I really hate the "the author is your best pal" colloquial narrative -- it makes me feel like I'm being talked down to), and the subject matter is mired in too-deep explanations of trivial details, such as a breakdown of what every button on the OpenOffice.org Writer button bar does. Any information that can be obtained by mousing over an item and reading its tooltip is unnecessary in a book like this. Essentially, over-explanation of obvious functions implies either that the software is not user-friendly enough to be self-explanatory, in which case it is not suitable for non-technical people (which appears to be the book's target market); or that readers are too stupid to read tooltips and figure out obvious functions of desktop software that should already be familiar to them as Windows or Mac users, which is insulting. So the fact of this book's confused focus and target market is evident not only in the subject matter, but also in the style of the writing.

Editing-wise, Introducing Ubuntu: Desktop Linux seems to be quite sound. I did not discover any of the stupid mistakes that reduce the authority and effectiveness of so many other technology books these days. In terms of layout and construction, this book is in the top tier.

Putting the book to the test




More in Tux Machines

OpenSUSE fonts – The sleeping beauty guide

Pandora’s box of fonts is one of the many ailments of the distro world. As long as we do not have standards, and some rather strict ones at that, we will continue to suffer from bad fonts, bad contrast, bad ergonomics, and in general, settings that are not designed for sustained, prolonged use. It’s a shame, because humans actually use computers to interface with information, to READ text and interpret knowledge using the power of language. It’s the most critical element of the whole thing. OpenSUSE under-delivers on two fonts – anti-aliasing and hinting options that are less than ideal, and then it lacks the necessary font libraries to make a relevant, modern and pleasing desktop for general use. All of this can be easily solved if there’s more attention, love and passion for the end product. After all, don’t you want people to be spending a lot of time interacting, using and enjoying the distro? Hopefully, one day, all this will be ancient history. We will be able to choose any which system and never worry or wonder how our experience is going to be impacted by the choice of drivers, monitors, software frameworks, or even where we live. For the time being, if you intend on using openSUSE, this little guide should help you achieve a better, smoother, higher-quality rendering of fonts on the screen, allowing you to enjoy the truly neat Plasma desktop to the fullest. Oh, in the openSUSE review, I promised we would handle this, and handle it we did! Take care. Read more

Today in Techrights

Direct Rendering Manager and VR HMDs Under Linux

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    Intel OTC developers are working on support for huge GTT pages for their Direct Rendering Manager driver.
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Software: Security Tools, cmus, Atom-IDE, Skimmer Scanner

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