This is a work in progress. I have been reading alot lately on what is preventing linux from becoming more mainstream, and it is evident that there are 4 main consistent issues. Users should be honestly treated in what they should expect when trying out linux, and informing them of these issues beforehand would make it easier on them. Knowing is half the battle. (GiJoe)
The 4 main issues
- Software - This includes entertainment software (Nero for instance), productive software (photoshop for instance), and.....games. This is the largest obstacle facing linux, and users should be aware that their programs may or may not work on linux, may or may not have an equivalent, should know what the benefits/caveats of those equivalents are, should know if there is no equivalent whether it can be emulated, and should know whether emulation requires a purchase of additional software (crossover, cedega). For instance, when I first switched I didn't know that shockwave was not available to linux. And although you can use crossover, it does have some caveats... such as bug issues and some newer shockwave games still might not work since the one they emulate is an older version. Drivers - This is the next biggest issue. Mainly it concerns peripheral devices such as mp3 players, scanners, printers etc.... it also includes some wifi drivers (broadcom), and of course the ATI driver issue. When I first switched for instance, I had no idea that the ATI driver was shoddy... thats something new users should be aware of(mainly applicable to gaming).
Codecs - Many a newcomer are turned off from linux because their things do not work when it is all setup and they are not sure why or aren't sure what to install. This is a BIG issue which can be fixed. For instance... when I found the auto script for new users here: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=22646 life became alot easier with ubuntu. The main issue is the legality... can an auto script be included on the desktop like this one? Mandriva solves this issue legally:
- "One of the most convenient features of Mandriva Linux is the way it handles commercial DVD movies. Put an encrypted DVD into your DVD-ROM and the Kaffeine video player pops up a window that checks for the required libraries and codecs. If some are not found -- Win32 and libdvdcss are not installed with the distribution because of legal issues in some countries -- you're told where to go to get them. Click the provided links, download the RPMs, install them using Mandriva's software installer, and within five minutes you have DVD and Windows media file playback capabilities. Many distributions try to force you to buy proprietary DVD players or provide disabled versions of video players that can't use the libdvdcss decryption library, making it inconvenient for the user to add this functionality.