The more options, the more indecision. That is in short what the paradox of choice formulated by psychologist Barry Schwartz says in the book of the same name 2004 year.
According to him, a greater variety of options does not usually cause happiness, but rather the opposite. Instead of a feeling of liberation, it paralyzes us: many possibilities to choose from, it reduces one to a state of crippling indecision. And, even if the paralysis is overcome, one feels less satisfaction than in a similar situation where there were fewer options.
Schwartz dismantles the idea that greater choice is beneficial, coming to the grim conclusion that causing remorse and anticipation of remorse in the user, forcing him to assess the costs of missed opportunities (decisions are painful when you think about what has been forced to resign) and causing an escalation of expectations that leads to a sense of guilt when they are not met (if one chooses a less than perfect alternative, with so many options available, the person responsible is one, who has made the wrong decision).
The psychologist goes so far as to blame the excess of options for the increase in depression in the developed world.
Obviously the problem of consumption is discussed here. But of course we can use this paradox to apply to the eternal problem of fragmentation in linux. Only it is not usually treated as a paradox but as fallacy. The fallacy is trying to justify oversupply with reasons ranging from the goodness of having freedom of choice to "because I can make my own distro and share it."
As I have been researching, one of the first articles that talks about the paradox of choice dates from September 2004 (a month before Ubuntu was born, but some time after Schwartz's book was released). But it was in 2008 that the fallacy of choice was born, with this message on RedHat mailing lists written by Alan Jackson
> Linux is about choice.
If I could only have one thing this year, it would be to eliminate that meme from the collective consciousness. It is a disease. It strangles the mind and ensures you can never change anything ever because someone somewhere has OCD'd their environment exactly how they like it and how dare you change it on them you're so mean and next time I have friends over for Buffy night you 're not invited mom he's sitting on my side again.
As a consumer, yes, you have lots of choices in which Linux you use. This does not mean Linux is in any sense _about_ choice, any more than because there are so many kinds of cars you can buy that cars are about choice.
The complaints up-thread about juju and pulse are entirely valid, but the solution is not to try to deliver two things at once. If you try to deliver both at once you have to also deliver a way of switching between the two. Now you have three moving parts instead of one, which means the failure rate has gone up by a factor of _six_ (three parts, and three interactions). We have essentially already posited that we have insufficient developer effort to have 100% -complete features at ship time, so asking them to take on six times the failure rate when they're already overburdened is just madness. Alternatively, we could say that we're integrating features too rapidly, but you do that at the expense of goal 1, to be the showcase for the latest and greatest in free software.
Software is hard. The way to fix it is to fix it, not sweep it under the rug.
There is a legitimate discussion to be had about where and how we draw the line for feature inclusion, about how we increase and formalize our testing efforts, and about how we develop and deploy spike solutions for corner-case problems like the one device class that juju happens to do worse than the old stack. But the chain of logic from "Linux is about choice" to "ship everything and let the user chose how they want their sound to not work" starts with fallacy and ends with disaster.
According to the blog post ohjeezlinux, the context of the message was when they released Fedora 8, the first release to include pulse audio, while in Fedora 7 the Juju Fireware stack was incorporated.
They both had their problems and there were those who proposed a checkbox to choose your audio system or your firewire stack. But the problem that arises is that a checkbox multiplied the work by 3 (each part, a different job), and potential bugs by 6 (3 parts and 3 interactions). 5 years passed from this ………
I also thought about blaming the lack of a default option, but that is something that in recent years has become difficult to sustain. There was an article in the linux haters blog about the lack of a default option SO IT WORKS for linux on the desktop, which Linux did on the servers (LAMP) and that is why Linux was successful on the servers.
But nowadays Ubuntu has become that default option for linux on the desktop. Do you want to develop something for Linux? Do it first for Ubuntu (Steam, baby). New drivers for linux? Try them on Ubuntu, etc, etc, etc. Steve Jobs Never I would have needed to read Schwartz's book to do what he did, but we might ask (and you can comment) What would Richard Stallman think about this paradox?
However an article in mybroadband gives a different point of view. There are just too many options for those trying Linux for the first timeBut for users with special needs and specific goals, having more than one option really benefits them.
On the other hand, since there are few machines that come with Linux pre-installed, it is expected that users make the decision which distro to install (and it gets more challenging when installing a paid distro is not considered).
Come on, the choice is only good for those who like and love itMay we enjoy the fact that there is no authority that says that distro should stay and that distro go, otherwise we would be inside another worse fallacy: that of the false dilemma, where you can only choose between a few options (Windows, OSX, GNU / LInux), discarding other alternatives (BSD, Haiku, OpenSolaris, etc) …………… ONE MOMENT !!! I just justified the oversupply. Forget this last paragraph.