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Old 01-13-2012, 07:01 AM   #1381
salasi
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Well, i think that there is a worthwhile point here, even if I want to quibble about the details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit2345 View Post
I now realize that Linux is still at the bottom not because it is under-developed and too simple. Rather, the issue is that it is MUCH too complicated for an average user. Windows assumes all users are idiots, which is true about 75% of the time. Linux, on the other hand, assumes everyone is a computer whiz.
At the bottom? What do you mean by this? Market share on the desktop? As a server (which wouldn't be true)? And what's so great about market share that we should sacrifice anything else (assuming that there would need to be a sacrifice of, eg, flexibility, security or something) to get it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit2345 View Post
Windows installer is straightforward: select your partition, and done.
The SUSE installer let me choose between ext4, ext3, xfs, jfs, reiserfs, etc. Most people don't even know what the hell a filesystem is, much less how to choose a good one. It's not the lack of features, it's too many choices. Dumb it down, as people would say.
Not seen a recent windows installer, but you can't make the choice between NTFS and FAT32, these days? That's interesting.

I would certainly agree that, in some cases, the choices could be made 'less techie' (either the 'choose EXT4 for a good, all-round, filesystem' kind of stuff, or 'Choose the simplified ("dumbed down") install options for the computer to make sensible choices for you' kind of thing). But it won't help...

It won't help because most people (either Windows users or Apple users) haven't even got this far. They haven't even tried to install Linux, and they quite probably haven't really tried an initial install of windows, either. They get a machine with an OS pre-installed, and they don't know how difficult it would be to install Windows, from scratch, and they know that turning the computer off and on again cures computer problems, and that make them pretty handy as a computer expert.

(There is also an 'enthusiast market' and that's rather different, but in that market computer users will probably have tried Linux, but there gaming performance and gaming availability are quite key items, and that area isn't Linux's most obvious strength.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit2345 View Post
Linux is great, but the command line scares a lot of people off.
That would probably be dinosaurs who believe that you are forced to use the command line for most things in Linux. You and I know that this is not true, but these are people who aren't going to spend lots of time scouring computer sites for the real truth, so how are you going to get through to them? Spend the non-existent Linux marketing budget?

Really, Ubuntu (and derivatives) was the one big effort to get Linux through to 'the masses', and that had some real success at first. But, by now, you'd have to say that Ubuntu's progress in pulling in new users has plateaued, and until there is some extra push (either 'Linux-on-a-handheld' kind of thing, or 'Come and see the new, easy, Linux' kind of thing), it will probably stay plateaued.

(I'm not saying that no one but Ubuntu can do this kind of thing, but I don't see who else is in any position to make the kind of marketing push to get this to happen.)

Now, if you consider Android to be Linux, you'll have hopes about what Android has done, so far. But whether Android actually does anything to get people to try a Linux Distribution (I think this is what you meant by Linux...It is difficult to see exactly what the crossover is between, eg, Fedora, and Android, as far as the average user is concerned, but I don't think that has much traction with average users).

But, right now, I think a new distro with a 'somewhat Android-like interface on your PC' would have better hopes in the wider market than 'a slightly less pedantic Slackware' - I'm not saying that Slackware is in any way bad, just not appropriate for this audience.

I really don't think that many people are actually very positive about Windows - they view it as an unpleasant necessity - unavoidable, maybe - rather than something that they actually like or want, but they don't see the alternatives as being for them. So, what is going to persuade them? It certainly won't be techie stuff that they never even find out about.

So, potentially, there is an open goal there, but I don't see what change is likely to happen to cause someone with the ball at their feet to make progress towards it. Suggestions?
 
Old 01-13-2012, 08:13 AM   #1382
Darkmaze
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the problem is computers are just like life some want it so easy they don't need to do anything and some want a challenge
 
Old 01-13-2012, 08:45 AM   #1383
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit2345 View Post
How are they supposed to distinguish between Slackware and Ubuntu? They can't.

Although it's dead f*cking easy to use for us, it's not the same for them.
Stop trying to speak for people other than yourself.
 
Old 01-13-2012, 08:51 AM   #1384
Roken
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Even being the bottom of the pile (in the desktop market) is no bad thing. It's a very big market, and the bottom is still a very big place.

The biggest barriers to widescale acceptance of Linux in the desktop arena are lack of mainstream exposure and MS stranglehold on system builders, but our future and the future of Linux don't depend on widescale acceptance anyway. Linux has been around a long time, and will continue to be around a lot longer. Choice of OS is not a religion (though I have no truck with that either). It's a choice. If the majority of people choose a paid for OS, then more power to them. We choose the freedom to do what we want with our systems, and to do it how we want to. More power to us.

I can never understand why these threads pop up periodically analysing why linux isn't the desktop on 99% of computers. It does rather well on servers and embedded systems. The desktop arena is simply not something that Linux needs. Besides, it's not a competition. People will always use what is either familiar or of interest to them as individuals, and I don't begrudge a single one of them for their choice. (Note: The choice to use Windows or MacOS fits in quite well with the Linux philosophy of "choice").

Last edited by Roken; 01-13-2012 at 08:52 AM.
 
Old 01-13-2012, 09:50 AM   #1385
cynwulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roken View Post
I can never understand why these threads pop up periodically analysing why linux isn't the desktop on 99% of computers.
It's the product of misinformation, ignorance and fanboyism.

It's difficult, if not impossible, to get most people to realise that popularity counts for bugger all...
 
Old 01-13-2012, 09:58 AM   #1386
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A few things:

1. I don't mean to imply that I don't love/appreciate/use Linux. I do.

2. Linux is built on a principle inherently different from anything else, open source. But ALL OS'es share the same need: hardware support. To say that Linux hardware support is good is to pretend the Earth is flat. Even after working with Linux for many years, new hardware always scares me a lot. More people are writing drivers for Linux now as its user base increases, but nobody can deny it is frustrating when your graphics card/printer/scanner/whatever does not work on Linux. Right now, there is a minor bug with the Intel display driver I'm using that incorrectly reports screen sizes. That is not to say bugs don't happen in Windows, but there is undeniably more hardware support for Windows than Linux. As advanced as some people may be with Linux, I can safely say that nobody would choose to write a display driver over a simple install-and-go.

3. Continuing on the car analogy, it's like saying this radio isn't compatible with your super sports car. Fine, a little extra work is to be expected, only the best. But every time you want a new radio, you have to spend hours to make it play sound correctly. Then you find out that the AM tuner doesn't work because there are some wires missing from the car. So now you have to rewire your car to make a standard feature work. Of course, there are people who will take the time to mess with their car, but wouldn't it be so much easier if your car got popular enough that manufacturers start making a radio to suit your car?

4. Yes, maybe Linux doesn't need average users. Maybe it's OK to post a sign that reads: "No idiots". But in any case, even computer geniuses need working hardware. The core issue really comes down to a simple idea: more users -> more profit for companies -> more HW support -> more users -> etc


thank you,
rabbit2345

Last edited by rabbit2345; 01-13-2012 at 10:22 AM.
 
Old 01-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #1387
Telengard
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Software diversity is a strength, not a weakness.

GNU/Linux rewards well informed users with power.

I don't need GNU/Linux to be a clone of any other OS.

http://linux.oneandoneis2.org/LNW.htm
 
Old 01-13-2012, 01:15 PM   #1388
rabbit2345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telengard View Post
I don't need GNU/Linux to be a clone of any other OS.
Not once did I say Linux should be more like Windows. I only said concepts that Windows uses might be beneficial for Linux as well, such as a simpler interface. But my main point is that regardless of how sucky or amazing an OS is, it still needs hardware support. And the best way to gain more support in a free market is to attract more users by making Linux simpler for more people. To attract lower-end users is beneficial to everybody in the community in that more software/drivers will be available to everybody.
 
Old 01-13-2012, 07:06 PM   #1389
foodown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit2345 View Post
... To say that Linux hardware support is good is to pretend the Earth is flat. ... Right now, there is a minor bug with the Intel display driver I'm using that incorrectly reports screen sizes.
Ah-ha! I think we have come upon the motivation for this thread ...

That's quite a bit different from ...


Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit2345 View Post
... Windows assumes all users are idiots, which is true about 75% of the time. Linux, on the other hand, assumes everyone is a computer whiz.

...

Linux is great, but the command line scares a lot of people off. All Linux needs are solid and simple user interfaces.
Ease of use has just about nothing to do with hardware support.

Linux is an industrial-strength computer operating system which is transparent in its function and will never leave you stuck, never betray your data to a third party, and never sell you out. Unfortunately, it will also never have hardware vendors releasing their own day zero drivers to ensure adoption of their devices, and some hardware will simply never work perfectly with it.

When using a "do-it-yourself" kind of OS, you'll always have to be more savvy than Johnny Generic is when selecting your hardware. An Intel display device has been a risky choice under Linux for a long time. If you wanted easier, more reliable operation, ATI(AMD) or nVidia would have been much better choices. The fact that you either didn't have a choice or made a bad choice isn't Linux's fault, it's yours.

If having to select hardware based on OS support seems too much, you can also select by system brand. Many companies, like Dell, IBM, and Lenovo cater heavily to IT professionals and companies, and as a result almost all of their chipsets are selected to work well with Linux. I haven't had a ThnikPad or Latitude fail to work out of the box in a very long time, regardless of distribution. Just about anything designed to ride on a rack in a data center will be fully-supported in plain Jane Linux; you'll only really encounter any superiority of Windows at all when it comes to hardware in laptops and desktops.

To continue the car analogy (perhaps one post too long), your International tractor-trailer may not easily accept that General Motors radio, but try to haul 200 tons with the Chevy Silverado the radio came out of and you'll find that to be even more difficult.
 
Old 01-13-2012, 09:40 PM   #1390
rabbit2345
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodown View Post
Ah-ha! I think we have come upon the motivation for this thread ...

That's quite a bit different from ...
Actually, they are both related. To get more support, you simplify the GUI so it can get more attention from low-end users. With a larger user base, we get more HW drivers. To attract low-end users is the quickest way to do so, but the bottom line is that we need drivers, regardless of how they come about. If doing a dance for Intel gets us drivers, then let's dance.

But I see what the community thinks, and I didn't mean to offend or piss anyone off. I just wanted to share what I thought about Linux is all. It's because we can discuss/argue things like this that I will never go back to Windows, freedom of expression is priceless. Thank you everybody for your input and have a great night! I believe I have dragged this thread out too long already...

rabbit2345
 
Old 01-14-2012, 01:04 AM   #1391
Bill@home
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbit2345 View Post
Linux is great, but the command line scares a lot of people off. All Linux needs are solid and simple user interfaces. The average user (including me) does not want to mess with commands to install software, something I have had to do numerous times. Developers need to hide the complicated/ugly looking stuff from normal users, but have to option of having full control over your system. In short, it doesn't have to work perfectly, just look pretty.
I doubt the developers will ever get rid of the commandline interface. It's the roots of unix. I am personally comfortable using both the cli and gui. In fact, I use the cli more than the gui tools. Then again, I 'm not an average user like yourself.

Mint and Ubuntu try to make linux as user friendly as possible with little cli usage as possible, but still others gripe it is still difficult.

I hate to repeat this infamous quote used here in LQ and maybe other places. Linux is not for everyone. People should just stick to windows if they can't handle linux.
 
Old 01-14-2012, 01:14 AM   #1392
Bill@home
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodown View Post
Ubuntu assumes that the user is a total dolt.

Gentoo assumes that the user is a paranoid know-it-all who wants to watch everything compile.

Debian assumes to some extent that the user is politically motivated.

Slackware assumes that the user is at least not a total mook.

Having a potentially infinite number of different distributions makes this point moot, don't you think?
Exactly. This is the benefits of linux. Most people like to use linux distros based on their comfort zone and knownledge of linux. My favs are arch, slackware and pclinuxos.
 
Old 01-14-2012, 06:33 AM   #1393
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post

That would probably be dinosaurs who believe that you are forced to use the command line for most things in Linux. You and I know that this is not true, but these are people who aren't going to spend lots of time scouring computer sites for the real truth, so how are you going to get through to them? Spend the non-existent Linux marketing budget?
It would be short-sighted to dismiss the command-line as something belonging to another era. It has stood the test of time and even Microsoft are starting to appreciate its value again: Windows Admins Need To Prepare For GUI-Less Server ( slashdot.org )

That's not to say that some individual command-line utilities don't have inconsistent or poorly designed syntax/interface, and couldn't be easier to use: but that's a different issue.
 
Old 01-14-2012, 08:05 AM   #1394
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Rabit, you haven't pissed me off; I just simply disagree. You use the term 'average user', i'm guessing this term could probably be applied to my girlfriend, mum, sister, mate down the street, ect. You say that the gui isn't suitable enough. I'm currently using Debian with gnome2, themed beautifully, and i think it's a much nicer gui then Microsofts guis. I will accept that setting up the theme, compiz and emerald may well be a bit much for the 'average user', but there are other distros that have that stuff pre-installed, and regardless of distro, kde looks pretty out of the box all the time. That's prettiness out of the way, so now how would the 'average user cope with the function, of the Gnu/Linux gui. I think they'd be fine to be honest. The fact is, that the 'average user' just wants to browse the internet, watch a few movies and listen to some music maybe, maybe type up a few documents, nothing complex at all, and all these things are very easy to do in Gnu/Linux. When the user needs to do some administrative task, that's when things become slightly more complex; but if the user is to 'average' to be able to handle it, then they probably would struggle to be able to accomplish the equivalent in Windows too. If the user can accomplish the task in Windows, then they're probably not the 'average user', and they would probably be up for tackling the task in Gnu/Linux too.
 
Old 01-23-2012, 08:36 PM   #1395
enine
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Operating systems are tools just like any other tool there are different ones. Years ago I started woodworking, bought a Sears table saw, drill, router, etc. Sears power tools are made by other companies and have to compete with others like Black and Decker, Ryobi, etc. So I bought a $99 plunge router and eventually the plunge handle wore some to where it would allow movement so I had to use the depth stops to lock it in place. Then the colet would occasionally let go of the bit, usually on an up cut bit where the cutting force is pulling on the bit. I built cabinets for my whole kitchen which is a lot more than it was designed for compared to the average hobbyist making birdhouses and such. So I realized I outgrew it and saved up and bought the $299 Porter Cable kit. I simply moved up from the consumer grade to the contractor grade.
Same with my OS. When I would try to OCR a 200 page scanned document and Adobe would crash windows 95 moved up to NT4 so Adobe would crash without taking down the OS. When I spent too much time every night updating my os and office and keeping the anti spyware up to date or fighting the flaky USB or fighting the memory management trying to run vmware workstation, I moved up to a better grade OS. Now I install the OS and it just works, no tinkering and tweaking. Same with that consumer grade router, its fine for light use but heavy use you need to constantly check and adjust it.
 
  


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