By italovignoli On 13 December 2010 In FOSS, Linux, Technology
Jolicloud 1.1 has just arrived, and is a nice upgrade to the previous version. The operating system now works on every PC and not just on netbooks, although – in my opinion – is really worth a try if you have a netbook. On other PCs, I personally prefer a more traditional OS like Ubuntu, just because I have a larger number of options.
In any case, Jolicloud is extremely interesting, and gives a flavor of cloud based OS. Being a digital immigrant, I still prefer applications installed on my hard disk, but on specific hardware the concept of cloud applications is definitely interesting.
Three things that really irritate me:
1. Product web sites (like that for Jolicloud) that fail to give one a clear, concise statement of what the product is. I looked all over the Jolicloud web site and still didn’t know what I would be downloading, should I choose to download. Finally, I had to resort to Wikipedia to learn that Jolicloud is “an Ubuntu-based Linux operating system” with an HTML 5-based user interface. Instead of putting a single sentence on their main page to that effect, they made me hunt all over their web site and then, in frustration, turn to a third party web site to figure out what they are offering.
In what world is that good marketing? Today I had the time to look them up in Wikipedia. Most days I would just close the browser window after a few minutes of hunting around their web site, and forget them entirely. If they can’t be bothered to tell me what they are offering in a clear and concise way that respects my time, then I certainly can’t be bothered to download and install their product JUST TO FIND OUT WHAT THE HELL IT IS.
Of course this problem is not limited to Jolicloud. Lots of open source (and proprietary commercial) projects make the same mistake — assuming that someone looking at their main web page knows as much about them as they do. They would all do well to feature prominently on their main page a clear, concise 1-2 sentence statement of what their product is or, barring that, just a prominent link to a sub-page that provides a more fulsome explanation of their product.
Contrast Jolicloud’s approach with that of the older (and presumably better known) Fedora project:
Prominently displayed on main page: “Fedora is a fast, stable, and powerful operating system for everyday use built by a worldwide community of friends. It’s completely free to use, study, and share.”
Further down the main page, a prominent link to “About Fedora What is Fedora anyway?” that goes to a subpage beginning: “What is Fedora? Fedora is a Linux-based operating system, a collection of software that makes your computer run …”
I will spare you the multitudinous examples of others who, like Jolicloud, fail to explain what their product is in a way that can be understood by someone who has no previous exposure to it.
2. Bloggers who don’t provide a prominent link on every blog page to a meaningful profile. You know who “italovignoli” is, but I don’t. So why don’t you do me a favor and tell me so that I know whether you are a grizzled industry veteran with decades of relevant experience under his belt, or just a pimply-faced 14-year old kid in his mother’s basement trying to sound like he knows more than he does. Don’t make me google you, too.
Ideas may be valid without regard to their origin, but I’m more likely to spend my time reading those of persons who, by dint of their experience, should know what they are talking about.
3. Anonymous commenters. Yeah, I said it, but then given the two irritations above, I think you deserve it.
1. My comments were not about the quality of marketing efforts by Jolicloud, and I do not think that Jolicloud can be compared to Fedora.
2. The About Me page has always been there, and for some unknown reason has disappeared. The page is now back, and it links to my Linkedin profile, where you can find all the necessary information.
3. If the About Me page had not disappeared, your comment would have been thrashed as any other anonymous comment. In any case, I do not like people that does not qualify, although the style of your gives a lot of information.