Corks? Or Screw tops? Why the experience matters

Cross-posted from my blog on the Yocto Project web site. Respond here or over there.

I've noticed a disturbing trend amongst a few of the high quality wineries in my state. They have abandoned the cork to close their high-end wine bottles and turned to screw caps.

This is good news to people who struggle with how to get a cork out of a wine bottle. And wine snobs will point to the countless studies which show that metal tops eliminates the possibility that the cork has gone bad and spoiled the wine.

I think this totally misses the point. These people are making a product that costs $40 US per bottle and up. Why in the world would anyone spend this much on a bottle of booze? They must be getting more out of it than just high-priced liquid. They are in essence buying into an experience which includes the ritual of pulling a cork. (And, I guess, the ritual of liver disease, dilerium and all the rest, but I degress).

This is in part why people fall in love with the iPhone. Every cell phone makes calls, many will allow you to take photos or load applications. But people fall in love with the magical experience that the iPhone offers. (I am quite immune to this love, by the way).

What does this particular rant have to do with embedded Linux?

The Yocto Project is still very focused on providing the best build system, metadata and application development toolkit that we for developing your own custom embedded Linux. In addition, we're trying to radically improve the experience that developers have, particularly first-time developers trying their hand at Yocto.

Why should we care? I have talked to a few people who don't have a terrific out-of-the-box experience with Yocto. These are not dummies - they are brilliant. I can only conclude that we can do better in this area.

I hope that this will make a big difference as the developer base continues to expand on the Yocto Project and helps make it easier for Linux to grow in embedded. I hope we can have a good experience as well as good wine.

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