Sunday, June 8, 2008

Its the little things

I have been a fedora/RedHat user for a long time, and still am, where servers are concerned. However, I've started using Ubuntu on the desktop, and I'm impressed so far.

I started using Ubuntu because it was the only Distro that would work on my new laptop, a Dell Inspiron 1525. I tried Suse, Debian, Fedora, and several distros that came free in some Linux mags; they would install but not boot, or boot but not recognize major elements (USB, network, hard drives, etc.). I went on line and found that Dell was selling this machine in Europe with Ubuntu, whereupon I downloaded the latest Ubuntu and the rest is history. It works very well.

With one small glitch.

When I use vim, there was no context highlighting. I googled around and found this vim command:

:syntax on

So my question is: Why, why would this function not be turned on by default as it has been in every other distro I've used. What is the reasoning?

There are other weird little things. For instance, Dia on Fedora: When one is exporting a graph as a .png or .jpg, on Fedora Dia will ask you to define the size the graphic file (pixel width x height). But not on Ubuntu, with the exact same Dia version. Why? There is a way around this, of course, which is to run the export from the command line.

These are very, very minor issues. But why do different distros have different defaults for these very common applications? This, at least, should be standardized across all platforms.