Is the diversity of Linux its greatest strength?

Today in Open Source: Celebrate the diversity of Linux. Plus: An easy way to customize Android, and a tour of Ubuntu Touch 1.0

The Diversity of Linux

Sometimes people complain that Linux offers too many choices to users. TechRepublic strongly disagrees with this and thinks we should celebrate the diversity of Linux distributions.

The Linux community should be celebrating each and every success of all distributions, as well as lending a helping hand when failure rears its ugly head. To me, that makes perfect sense -- it's what the Linux community has always been (and should always be) about. Linux.... Salt, Pepper, Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Arch, Debian, Red Hat, Puppy, PCLinuxOS, Android, ChromeOS, SteamOS. It's all Linux.

More at TechRepublic

I couldn't agree more with the article. One of the best things about Linux is the sheer number of choices that it offers users, along with a level of control that just isn't found in most other operating systems.

It would be a truly terrible thing if there were only one or two Linux distributions available. Distrohoppers would become seriously depressed, and Linux would then become far too similar to other operating systems such as Windows or OS X.

Use Themer to Customize Android

Themer is a new Android app that makes it easy to customize the look of Android devices, according to the NY Times.

The problem is that creating the most striking and novel Android looks is a baffling chore, one that requires mastery of software that seems lifted from that Russian space capsule in “Gravity.” Take a look at the many how-to tutorials on YouTube, where Android theme designers — or themers, as they are known — offer step-by-step instructions so you can replicate their handiwork. It’s so confusing that it’s hard to get to the part that’s confusing.

But a new app, Themer, developed by MyColorScreen, a start-up in Irvine, Calif., hopes to bring Android customization to the masses. The idea is to cut out the inscrutable programs and endless tinkering needed to configure a stylish home screen. Users download Themer, which is free, and immediately have a library of smartphone themes, any of which can be installed with a single click of a button.

More at NY Times

I sympathize with those who just want a quick and easy way to customize Android. That's really how it should have been in the first place, so I'm glad to see Themer released. It should make it much easier and faster to personalize Android devices.

A Tour of Ubuntu Touch 1.0

We've got a brief tour of Ubuntu Touch here on ITworld.

Ubuntu Touch, the mobile-minded open-source operating system built by the community behind Ubuntu Linux, was quietly released to phone makers and developers earlier this month. What does Ubuntu Touch actually look like, and how does it run?

More at ITworld

It sounds like Ubuntu Touch is off to a good start, but more work needs to be done to polish it up. Still, I'm very glad to read that it's coming along. The more choices mobile consumers have, the better off we'll all be in the long run.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?