Make Linux easier for the general population! Please.
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View Poll Results: Do you want a Linux with an Interview Style Install and Setup?
I'm a newbie/novice and Yes, I love that idea. thats just what Linux needs.
I'm an occassional user, I don't care either way.
I'm an experience/hardcore user and I don't need it to be any easier. I am happy with it the way it is.
Originally posted by trickykid Linux was never intended to take over the desktop market and still isn't. Though major distro's push this as it's better for them cause it means more exposure and more money.
Stop comparing Linux to the Windows ease of use though, cause its never been intended to be a Windows, but the opposite.
Intended by who? There's no person controlling GNU/Linux. No control where it's going. So where do you know it from?
I think it is more to do with manufacturers. Most windows users will never have installed an operating system before. They just use the computer straight out of the box. Even if they reinstall windows they will usually have used a manufacturers disk complete with drivers for the hardware.
If manufacturers would build PCs with linux preinstalled and with a driver disk then most people would find it a lot easier.
Maybe this is an untapped market! Anyone fancy starting a business?
Originally posted by Mara Intended by who? There's no person controlling GNU/Linux. No control where it's going. So where do you know it from?
Individual distro's might be pushing Linux in whole to reach desktop and market shares, but the whole idea behind Linux itself from the beginning never intended it to get as far as it is now. Rmember, Linus started this as a hobby and I'd bet he still doesn't care if it ever reaches as the mainstream desktop OS wiping out Windows..
Oh well.. I should have reworded my first post better..
Originally posted by trickykid Individual distro's might be pushing Linux in whole to reach desktop and market shares, but the whole idea behind Linux itself from the beginning never intended it to get as far as it is now. Rmember, Linus started this as a hobby and I'd bet he still doesn't care if it ever reaches as the mainstream desktop OS wiping out Windows..
Oh well.. I should have reworded my first post better..
We can say the same about really many things in the software/IT world. Think about UNIX, about IBM and first PCs, about IBM and their OS for PCs... It's because we don't know the future.
"Stop comparing Linux to the Windows ease of use though, cause its never been intended to be a Windows, but the opposite."
The problem is most people these days (like myself) really only ever knew Windows (if we were lucky enough), we don't have anything else to compare it too. That or its the first time user who never used a computer before.
I think we have to remember that not everyone one has had the life long exposure to Computers and OS's as some of us have. We started back in the days of the Command Line OS, these days kids are stating in the GUI OS. They are use to the eye candy of Windows, and using the same stuff their friends are using at home, and what they will probably be using when they start working.
I did not intend for this to be another Windows vs Linux debate, so lets try to stick to the Basic topic again with out going off on a tangent again. Partly my fault.
****The point was making Linux easier for the general population....in regards to installation and Setup for the Newbie such as me. It has nothing to do with the experienced user, or seasoned professionals. (Although the Poll includes those groups for the sake of my Interview Install idea.
You have to realize, GUI or no GUI, if you apply yourself, your going to learn it no matter what. And kids, well their usually the one's that can catch on more quickly than older adults. Most who start out with Windows didn't know a thing even being introduced to a GUI, so there's no difference in the learning curve with any OS.
If I had my way, every OS would be CLI only..
And you won't be able to turn this thread around cause its only opening up doors to compare Linux, Windows and any other OS out there.
But like I said once before, Linux isn't hard, people just make it harder than it really is. But my point exactly Mara, there is not
Corporation running the show with Linux.. so all the people who know how to code for it and develop it, don't need it to be easier, like I said, its not made to be as easy as point here, click this, there your done.. Linux is already easy to those who develop and hack at it.
The point just seems to be lost on a lot of people that there is simply no operating system available for ethical persons who don't have a lot of time to devote to learning computer things, but who none the less need to use computers.
I don't know how to express it any more clearly, so I'm done trying.
There's been comments about people just wanting to get home from work, eat dinner, email, surf the web, and maybe pay some bills (or whatever baby boomers do online). The thing is, you don't have to tweek linux. Default installs of almost every distro I've installed work just fine. Before I get flamed, I know kernels can be modified, programs can be compiled, all sorts of stuff can happen. But if you want a word processor, a web browser, an email client, a finance manager, and a multimedia player, then you can get that with linux in about half the install time--unless you go with gentoo . (It took about 2 hours to upgrade to xp from me on my laptop, and 30 minutes to do basic mandrake install.) Here's a comparison: there are four computers networked at my house--mine and my 3 roomies. I'm the only one running linux. I restart my machine about once a month...i turn it off when I'm out of town and stuff. On the two computers with win 98, after running for about a week, the resources are so bogged down that nothing works right. The win 2000pc will go for about two weeks before it wigs out.
What I'm saying is this: Linux is easy to set up if you read (that's been said enough) and it allows you to just tool around without having to be a computer geek doing what you want to do. My roomies are jealous about how well my pc runs.
Originally posted by jonr The point just seems to be lost on a lot of people that there is simply no operating system available for ethical persons who don't have a lot of time to devote to learning computer things, but who none the less need to use computers.
I don't know how to express it any more clearly, so I'm done trying.
I know I'm weird but I consider myself mainly a DOS user and all these debates are about Windows vs. Linux like DOS never existed. And somehow how non-Linux users are used to a life of OEM bliss.
I've always been way behind the curve. Around 1992 I started with DOS 3.3 with some weird GUI. That computer ran *seven* years without a reinstall or, so far as I can recall, a crash. Yep - OEM bliss. I was never connected to the net and completely ignored Windows. Then the HD died. And I finally got on the net with a 486SX running DOS 5.0 and had my first look at Windows - Windows 3.1 - in 1999 - on a 2200 bps modem. And then I got a Pentium running Windows 98 and trashed the 486 playing around with the software. And then I got an HP with Windows XP just as the hardware in the Pentium broke. After awhile of using XP I took the old computers back out and started playing and learning. I rebuilt the 486 to OEM specs which required hunting for weird drivers and whatnot. Then I 'upgraded' it to DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11, then WfW3.11. Then I tried FreeDOS on it. And I played around with cracking the case and installing drives on the Pentium and rebuilding that system. Formatted Win98 off and installed Caldera OpenLinux and then VectorLinux. All this time, I was using DOS 6.22 a lot which was way better than 3.3. *g* Yeah - DOS 6.22 in 2002-2003. Go figure. And then I failed at getting MuLinux to run on the 486SX but eventually got BasicLinux to run off of floppy and a ramdrive and then got it to the hard drive booting from DOS using loadlin and then got it completely independent using Lilo. And have X in for the moment, as long as it doesn't blow my monitor.
But this is a long way of saying that I am used to the command line and I don't much like GUIs except for fun and I'm not averse to tracking down obscure files on the net when things don't work and downloading info and reading about it for hours and haunting used bookstores to find books on Linux. I've used Windows and I don't like it. I'm more comfortable using DOS and DOS apps than anything else. So I'm perfectly suited for Linux, right? Willing to work, learn, think, and happy with the command line or a simple console "graphics" file manager - not because I need it and don't understand how to do things without it but simply because 'arrow'ing and 'enter'ing directories is easier than 'cd'ing and 'cd ..'ing them. Delirously happy with half a dozen terminals and wondering what the hell you really need a GUI for with a command line like that.
And DOS freaking sucks. 8.3 names and single-tasking and no real operating system at all. And Linux freaking sucks. LFNs and multi-tasking and a fantastic OS but...
DOS is not case sensitive and spaces are not often required. The current directory is the first thing searched. Why the hell else would I be in that directory? DOS has a help program (finally - yeah, 9 years ago, but 3.3 didn't have it) where there is a discussion and a list of switches and their explanations. Then notes for exceptions and oddities. And then examples for how to actually do stuff. And the directory structure is up to me. And DOS installs automatically, essentially. So then I add the apps I want. And I have one mouse and one CD-ROM and so on - and I get the drivers for them. DOS doesn't try to include a zillion desktops and office suites. Why should it? It's supposed to be the operating system and essential utilities. Why would I want a bunch of crap on there when I'm going to buy or download something I like better anyway? Even BasicLinux comes with nano and e3 - so what I do but go download and install joe as soon as I can? - And I write two - count 'em, two - config files located in the root (unless I use Win3x and I have precisely two more in the Windows root). And if a program needs something weird like CWSDPMI it includes it, or it's easy to get. There are no libs or dlls or anything. No installers and no registry either. Unzip it and type the name in. Boom. Program. Don't like it? Delete the directory. Boom. No program. The only thing you have to watch out for is those programs that want to change your autoexec or config. That's why I have backups of those two files - well, one reason.
Want to learn about writing those two files? Hit the help for config commands and batch commands. And hey - they're cross-referenced via hyperlinks. It's like... why, it's like HTML. Wow! And all the stuff's going to be there because DOS is DOS is DOS. And there I am - I've written files using COPY CON and EDLIN and gotten real lazy with EDIT and incredibly lazy with my file manager's internal editor. I've written batch files to automate simple repetitive tasks or simply do neat things. I've added a 'locate' command and don't even need to 'updatedb'.
Etc. How is this possible? Cuz DOS sucks. It's incredibly weak, simple, and easy - though those stereotypical Windows zombies would be utterly lost, I'm sure.
Now what happens in Linux? I crack my knuckles on a really picky command line that is case sensitive and space requiring. I'm sure there's an advantage to this somewhere. Probably for the programmer. Not only do I have to type ./foo to get to something in the current directory, I have to type /foodir/foo all the time. Where the hell else is it going to start but root? Why the leading '/'? Again, I'm sure there's an obscure good reason for this. Instead of help I have docs... and I have man... and I have info. Mans and infos cross reference each other for the purpose of slamming the other system. Info requires a load of ridiculous EMACS BS to grasp. And man is a sheet. And docs are scattered all over literally *hundreds* of directories and *thousands* of files. And because Linux is better it's more powerful and versatile and has thousands of switches on every command. All of which are treated equally in alphabetical order and presuppose familiarity with all the other ones. No sense of priority or what is typical and what is arcane. The directory structure would make a Byzantine bureacrat happy. And I *can* change that - if I'm familiar with a million considerations and go to a *whole* lot of effort and only manage to break half the system even so. Linux installs by asking me about which of the thousands of video cards and monitors I have because it includes thousands of drivers for every kind except the kind I've got, probably. And good luck finding them - probably buried in some obscure package of drivers somewhere. But let's say xf86config is happy and you run X to take a look - all seems cool. Until my monitor fries. I ran *very* cautious settings - Win3x looked better - and still... my Pentium's monitor fried. DOS has certainly never done that and not even Windows. Now to configure... well, it *might* be your /etc/bashrc or maybe your /etc/bash-profile or maybe your ~/bashrc or maybe your ~/bashrc-profile or... no, wait - here it is! ~/bashrc-private. Until I switch distros and that one doesn't have that file. And that's for the shell. Of which I have to configure two - root's and user's. Now what about lilo.conf and /etc/fstab and init and xinitrc and - hell I've got half a dozen rc.d directories to go through and... Well, let's install some apps. Hm. Can I use a .tgz package or an .rpm - a Red Hat rpm or a SuSe or a.... - maybe a Deb package? Nah, let's install from source. Too much dependency hell (suspiciously like dll hell except that dll hell means having too many useless ones that don't bother you usually, rather than conflicting or missing ones). Oops. Compiling is *way* more problematic and I still don't have the required libraries. I've got glibbertygibbet.so.zo.8 but not glibbertygibbet.so.zo.9. Damn. I thought all the glibberytgibbets were in the glibbertigiblib? Now. Where did all this stuff go? I didn't unzip in foodir and it didn't go to C:\Program Files... let's look at the freaking programming script that tells the compiler what to do... because, after all, I AM a programmer. I'll understand it. Oh wait, no, I'm not a programmer. Crap. So writing shell scripts is pretty much out of the question, too, huh? Sure better than batch files... except I can write batch files.
Well, all I really wanted to do was edit a simple text file, anyway. Let's fire up an editor. Um - how come my arrow keys don't arrow? And my backspace backspace? And so on and so forth? Oh, I can edit a file to make my keys work? Thanks very much. That'd be very easy if my keys ALREADY worked. And what do you mean, it *might* be termcap or it *might* be terminfo or it *might* be...
Yeah. It's definitely because I'm SO FREAKING LAZY AND CODDLED AS A WINBLOWS USER that this seems a little too complicated.
And no, I don't want to use Microsoft. DOS is cool but it sucks at the same time and it's dead and it's still Microsoft. And Windows is lame through and through and it's Microsoft. And, no, I don't want to use Apple. It's more Windows than Windows, whatever the kernel, as far the user 'look and feel' is concerned. And Apple would be ten times as evil as Microsoft if they hadn't been ten times as incompetent at marketing - they would have had proprietary *machines* to go with a proprietary OS.
So, yeah - Linux could focus on some coherence and consistency and work on providing a scale of things - here are the basics and here are the more advanced things and on up to turning you into the compleat hacker. But, no, it's a thousand different programmers and a dozen different distros all conflicting with one another. But - what could be more basic than BasicLinux? Well, nothing, seeing's how it doesn't have 'su' or 'locate' so I have to run as root a lot and can't find anything anyway - and this after I downloaded the separate package to enable to me to add a user so I'd even have a choice about running as root. Now what package is 'su' and 'locate' in? Half the very few damn things I know how to use aren't even IN here. And I complain about a million switches on things but BL has a half-million switches missing from things like 'less' and 'sort' and whatnot. Thank you busybox, I suppose. So still too many switches and not the ones I need.
And if this post was too long and incoherent and hard to get through, you must just be a coddled windoze user who doesn't take the TIME to READ.
I installed WinXP Pro on a new machine over the Xmas holidays. It was one of the most frustrating things I've had to deal with in a long time. Why? Because I'm not familiar with it I suppose.
I've been using linux at work (construction management) since 1999 when I first installed SuSE 6.0 on my destop machine followed shortly by an installation on my Toshiba Satellite. In my life Windows OS's are the foreign object. Until last December I had spent at least 8 months a year for the last 11 years working away from home. Linux on the road was far easier for me to manage. I could rant on and on about why I feel GNU/Linux is a superior solution but I don't think I need to accelerate the holy war brewing in here.
I will offer this - Saying that "Linux should be more like Windows" is like saying that tea should be more like coffee.
I liked Digiot's rambling and feel the same way, including feelings about DOS. I was happiest with computers when I was using DOS. Things have gone downhill ever since.
"And Apple would be ten times as evil as Microsoft if they hadn't been ten times as incompetent at marketing - they would have had proprietary *machines* to go with a proprietary OS." Digiot said it right. And that--and the fact that I'm not wealthy--is why not MacIntosh instead of Windows or Linux.
But, McLeodnine, I don't see any holy war. This seems to be a remarkably civil discussion--though of course it's the same old territory that's been gone over again and again. (BTW I'm tickled with your screen-name, and wonder how many people know how to pronounce it.)