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Old 06-28-2003, 05:23 PM   #181
invictus
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Note: I seem to have missed about six pages of this thread when I wrote my reply. My apologies to all who've been unfairly abused by my words; I shall be revising upon completing my reading of the thread.

Oh geez... Y'know, people, it's the sort of elitism displayed in this thread that gives linux users their reputation. The whole concept of "I spent fifteen hours figuring this out, now it's your turn" isn't very friendly, user- or otherwise.

I've been toying with linux for numerous years, and generally was forced to give up before I got very far. The reason wasn't my stupidity, real or hinted in this thread though it may be. The reason was the absence of any sort of readable documentation and help.

I could give examples of my current experience (current OS as listed in sidebar), because a week after install, there are far too many. I don't think I've succeeded in installing a single package without major problems. I'm not even referring to "required package not found" sort of problems. I'm talking about sanity check failures, failure to locate installed packages, failure to simply name the required package...

The problem with linux, as I see it, is two-fold. First, there is the conceptual difference from Windows. Arun79 had pointed out one -- the mapping of partitions. C:, D: and so on is irrelevant, what's important is the obvious positioning of those. They're located in the "root" of the system, displayed first. You'll note that not only those, but other relevant information (My Documents, for one) was later moved to the top level of browsing in later Windows editions. /dev doesn't say a damned thing to a new user. For a regular end-user, it'd almost make sense to place a symlink to /home/end_user in / and stick everything, and I do mean everything else in /things_you_shouldnt_touch.

The other problem is inconsistency. M$ has the clear advantage, being the one to enforce standards on appearance and control structure above all. No end user cares whether the build of Galeon they're using is twice as efficient as the previous one. They will care, however, if the controls they so painstakingly learned suddenly get rearranged.

Try this: Under Wmaker open Mozilla and browse some. Then hit Alt+BackArrow to browse one page back. Now, hit Alt+NmLk4 which, under Windows, does the same thing. No such luck. That in itself isn't a problem. Now switch to Sawfish, repeat the process, and... Alt+NmLk4 works. Alt+BackArrow doesn't. It's slowly driving me insane as I write this.

I know all about remapping keys. I just don't see any reason to be forced to do so after such a trivial switch.

As a student of usability design, I can already pinpoint dozens of problems in a lot of linux applications. It's not about requiring brains, people. It's about forcing users to undertake major yak-shaving quests to achieve the most trivial things. Let the end-users spend time on things they actually want to do with their computer, and you'll have a mass conversion from Windows to Linux. Until then, all of Linux's undeniable advantages will remain restricted to a very small group.

Last edited by invictus; 06-28-2003 at 05:29 PM.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 07:00 PM   #182
invictus
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Please remove this post.

Oops.

Last edited by invictus; 06-28-2003 at 07:02 PM.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 07:01 PM   #183
invictus
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Please remove this post.

Oops.

Last edited by invictus; 06-28-2003 at 07:03 PM.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 08:15 PM   #184
totalcommand
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First off, all of us have to realize that we are not "normal" computer users (i.e. the majority of consumers). The normal user doesn't know what a mountpoint is or stuff like that. He or she only knows: point, click, double-click. We need to realize that these people will not take the time to figure out how Linux works. These people do not get excited about getting Linux up and running. They just use the OS as a base to run applications. They do not care about setting up mail servers on their computer so they can send mail. They do not want to set up web servers for their personal websites. That's why geocities and places like that exist. It's amazing how much development goes into Linux, and how far it is away from Windows in terms of dumb-person usability. I am not saying make Linux into Windows. I'm saying: If Linux is to become mainstream in the consumer market, it needs to make usability it's number 1 priority. Everything else - security, new features, etc. - needs to be put on the back burner. Question to people out there - what goal to developers have for Linux? If the goal is for linux to be primarily for software development/security/servers, I don't think Linux will have a chance to become mainstream. I think Linux should either branch into two paths, one for development and one for the dumb-user, or a new open-source os needs to come for the dumb-user. Remember, dumb-users are the majority of computer users, and control the majority of consumer money.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 08:23 PM   #185
invictus
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Quote:
Originally posted by totalcommand
I'm saying: If Linux is to become mainstream in the consumer market, it needs to make usability it's number 1 priority. Everything else - security, new features, etc. - needs to be put on the back burner.
Oh, heavens, no! If Linux developers were to discard (or stop developing) things like security, new features, mail servers, etc., why would anyone keep using it at all? Granted, it's pretty good as it is, but it'd become outdated soon enough.

All you need is a handler, of sorts. Something to figure out what's going on behind the scenes and present it in a better format. Not something like M$ Access, either. The major issue I've had with Access is that it cuts out incredible amounts from SQL and doesn't let you use them. Sure, you can switch to direct input and key in those commands, but... That's not really Access anymore, now is it?

What I'm wishing for is something along the lines of gnomecc, which just slaps a GUI on the config options. Granted, there are problems with gnomecc of its own, but those are getting smaller and smaller.

If anything, it's harder to do this with M$ software. Linux, in my understanding, is more modular, and so a GUI is easier to add on top of existing applications.
 
Old 06-28-2003, 08:35 PM   #186
totalcommand
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Quote:
Originally posted by invictus
Oh, heavens, no! If Linux developers were to discard (or stop developing) things like security, new features, mail servers, etc., why would anyone keep using it at all? Granted, it's pretty good as it is, but it'd become outdated soon enough.
Not discard or stop developing. Simply put more effort into user-friendliness than into security or new features. I myself am not sure if this is the right way for Linux to go, but I'm pretty sure that Linux will never be mainstream if it doesn't do this. Maybe some other open-source OS, or a distribution with more clout needs to go this route (Lindows is a half-ass answer). I really think once a user-friendly Linux comes around, it will easily rival Windows.
 
Old 06-29-2003, 06:25 PM   #187
Robert0380
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Code:


Try this: Under Wmaker open Mozilla and browse some. 
Then hit Alt+BackArrow to browse one page back. Now, hit 
Alt+NmLk4 which, under Windows, does the same thing. No such 
luck. That in itself isn't a problem. Now switch to Sawfish, repeat 
the process, and... Alt+NmLk4 works. Alt+BackArrow doesn't. It's 
slowly driving me insane as I write this.


most "average" users just use the "BACK" button anyway. I'd say that's a poor argument.
I seriously dont think key mapping
standards would flock the masses to Linux. I guess i get your
point though. Still seems like a weak one.


My opinion, no facts to support it, but i would say the average
home user plays games, browses the web and does some word
processing....all of which you can point-n-click your way to in
Linux from a default install.


Code:

I think Linux should either branch into two paths, 
one for development and one for the dumb-user, 


when people say Linux, they mean the kernel. You are talking about all that GUI stuff (KDE and Gnome for instance). Those
guys are doing that, making stuff point-n-clickable and adding
apps that cover up what really goes on. So "Linux" can't split i
into 2 parts....Linux is Linux.

Code:

Simply put more effort into user-friendliness than into security

The people at OpenBSD would have you hung for that...lol. You
NEVER EVER EVER compromise security for user friendliness. You
have a lot to learn it seems when you make comments like that.



i suggest you dont develop any software with your attitude of
features before security. your whole attitude towards security in
this last page is scary and you should change it.

Last edited by Robert0380; 06-29-2003 at 06:33 PM.
 
Old 06-29-2003, 06:31 PM   #188
Robert0380
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one more thing.....can we stop calling non-linux users "dumb-users" it's not very nice and i have lots of friends that use windows and they arent "dumb".

i prefer the term "average user". it's not nice to call people dumb.

Last edited by Robert0380; 06-29-2003 at 06:32 PM.
 
Old 06-29-2003, 06:57 PM   #189
invictus
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Nitpicky reply

Quote:
Originally posted by Robert0380
most "dumb" users just use the "BACK" button anyway.
Since neither of us had conducted studies to back that statement or negate it, I won't argue either way. I just pointed out a problem *I* came across recently.
Besides, first we'd have to agree on the definition of a "dumb" user :)

Quote:
I'd say that's a poor argument. I seriously dont think key mapping standards would flock the masses to Linux. I guess i get your point though. Still seems like a weak one.
Read my sig line. The code can be consistent ten times over and no user would give a flying ****. If it's not about the user experience, it's about nothing.

I might sound fanatical, but I was relatively recently employed by a company that did both specialized scientific hardware and software for it in-house. We have clients on record saying that they'd rather buy the slightly inferior and slightly more expensive competing manufacturer's hardware because our software is so damned annoying to use. And no, I don't mean random crashes and divide by zero errors. I mean interface. Company estimate was $5M/year loss of profits.


Quote:
My opinion, no facts to support it, but i would say the average home user plays games, browses the web and does some word processing....all of which you can point-n-click your way to in Linux from a default install.
Let's assume for the moment that you've identified the goals of the home user correctly. I have had to do three clean installs of linux in the last two weeks, all of the installs being Debian. Not a single one would have been capable of performing any of the above tasks after a default install. Problems cropped up with identifying hardware, running X-server, permissions, completely undocumented package incompatibilities, etc.

Not to mention that Linux doesn't have much in the way of games, so in most cases, the home user would have to use WINE or something equivalent. WINE isn't trivial to set up, either.


Quote:
when people say Linux, they mean the kernel. You are talking about all that GUI stuff{snip}
Just for the record, you've replied to two people in your post. I agree with your comment, this is a GUI (or rather, UI) issue, not anything to do with kernel or a good number of apps.

Quote:
You NEVER EVER EVER compromise security for user friendliness.
I second that sentiment. A system tends to get very un-user-friendly if some script kiddy's hacked it.

Quote:
i suggest you dont develop any software with your attitude of
features before security. your whole attitude towards security in
this last page is scary and you should change it.
Why? Microsoft's been doing it for years, and they don't seem to be having any problems :) (as above, I agree with the sentiment: Security's not to be compromised for any reason)

Edit I second the sentiment: Just because a PhD in Physics knows less than you about Mandrake doesn't make him dumb. "Average user" has my vote, too.

Last edited by invictus; 06-29-2003 at 06:59 PM.
 
Old 06-29-2003, 09:03 PM   #190
ricdave
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My opinion, no facts to support it, but i would say the average home user plays games, browses the web and does some word processing....all of which you can point-n-click your way to in Linux from a default install.

How about home user/SOHO user. More money in those two groups than the rest of the market combined. Home user includes the Gamers. Now you may argue that the average user is a dumb user if you discount the gamers and SOHO users. Gamers have driven the development of the PC and if SOHO users are so d__n dumb how come most of them have their own businesses and most of us don't? So much for the rant.
Fact is, if the user is not comfortable using the software, that is pretty much the end of it. It may be important to note that the dumb user is almost always the user tho BUYS the product.
 
Old 06-29-2003, 09:08 PM   #191
ricdave
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<< Just for the record, you've replied to two people in your post. I agree with your comment, this is a GUI (or rather, UI) issue, not anything to do with kernel or a good number of apps.>>

Actually it is very much about the apps. Your gee whiz ui or gui is all very nice, but if I can't run my software on it it is just, well, gosh darn gee whiz CUTE!!!

The closest thing Linux has to a wow factor is Lindows. And that is just awful!
 
Old 06-29-2003, 09:13 PM   #192
invictus
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Quote:
Originally posted by ricdave
Actually it is very much about the apps. Your gee whiz ui or gui is all very nice, but if I can't run my software on it it is just, well, gosh darn gee whiz CUTE!!!

The closest thing Linux has to a wow factor is Lindows. And that is just awful!
Nonono, I don't mean to say that apps are unimportant. I mean to say that a good app will remain in obscurity unless it has a good UI to go with it. This isn't about which is more important, it's about BOTH being important.

With the current mindset that code is more impotant than UI, I can't think of an example in which a program had good UI and shitty performance. But I can think of dozens of examples of good performance and shitty UI. Most of these have died, unless they had something else going for them *cough*Microsoft*cough*

Ah! Here's one! The teletubbies! They're cute but without any content value whatsoever.

At least until they come to you in your dreams and tell you to kill your parents...
What, am I the only one that keeps happening to?
 
Old 06-30-2003, 02:32 AM   #193
Dan46628
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Well after reading 13 pages....lol...I think the original quiestion was misinterpretted from the start. I am interpreting the question as being, "why isn't there more companies writing programs specifically for the linux platform?" It is a good question, but I have no idea other than it not being profitable at this time.

I don't think linux has matured enough to find a place in every home. I have been watching closely to see how many 3rd party manufacturers were using linux as the core to their products, such as TIVO, but not many out there.

What is needed is a few millionaires to post grants into the linux community so that programmers can start up companies specifically to writing commercial software for the linux platform, or producing hardware such as a coffee maker that I can network to my computer and start a pot brewing while posting this message with a click of an icon.

I do forsee linux as having a key advantage in the home networking arena where you will be able to control household appliances such as your home alarm, heating and cooling systems, or entertainment equipment from your desktop.

Well just my 2 cents worth...if you have any cents to spare I could use it, one day I would like to be able to give 6 cents worth....lol

Dan.
 
Old 06-30-2003, 08:00 AM   #194
invictus
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dan46628
Well after reading 13 pages....lol...I think the original quiestion was misinterpretted from the start. I am interpreting the question as being, "why isn't there more companies writing programs specifically for the linux platform?" It is a good question, but I have no idea other than it not being profitable at this time.
Actually, no But yours is a good question.

Quote:
I do forsee linux as having a key advantage in the home networking arena where you will be able to control household appliances such as your home alarm, heating and cooling systems, or entertainment equipment from your desktop.
Already being done, as far as I know.
This is a page on a
UNIX control software for Smarthome gizmos.

And, of course, A sourceforge X10 driver set.

Now all we need is better hardware.
Y'know the infernal x10 spy camera pop-ups? Yeah...
 
Old 07-31-2003, 01:31 AM   #195
Abe_the_Man
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I know i'm really late to this thread, but it's just so interesting. I have to say, that there needs to be a new more user friendly sort of linux. I'm new to linux. Really new, and if it weren't for my burning hatred toward microsoft i would have abandoned it after a week. Linux is a horrible beast to the initiate. First thing i did when i got linux up and running (which by the way i found very easy), i went to open some text file that i had saved from windows (a list of school links for my brother i think). So i opened a folder and typed into the command line 'a:'. When i recieved the message 'Couldn't find "/home/Abea:". Please check the spelling and try again' I was stunned. No a drive no c drive WTF is going on? Linux is soo alien that it will scare away possible users. And compiling. Don't even get me started on theat. I don't give a crap about the source code for a program. I want to click a button, install, click anothre button and be done. No ./conifgure, depend&&make and all that crap. Cammand line seems absolutely inferior to the average user.

Now I personally love linux. It's a bitch to learn but i'm doing okay now. All i'm saying is that the end user doesn't want to go to school to learn a new os.
 
  


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