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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. 906 53.83%
I'm an occassional user, I don't care either way. 222 13.19%
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. 555 32.98%
Voters: 1683. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-30-2004, 02:34 AM   #1456
awtoc123
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Hi cprogrck I can only fully agree with you.

Why are everybody so stuck with Windoze ? Windoze deletes drivers without warning, and there is this " Sorry this driver is not certified by M$ and can therefore not be installed " and every driver you need to Windoze you need install CD's and in some cases some fiddling. So stop nagging Linux and listen to cprogrck he is right, I say it again and again, Linux is NOT a COPY of Windoze and therefore it is not the same, and you have to do different things, and that is it once you sit down and discover the difference, you will most likely never revert back to Windoze, I had exactly the same problem back in 1995, and then it was really difficusl as very little or no GUI.
Regarding games I really don't know as I'm not playing we use the computers soley for business, and there Linux is light years ahead of Windoze, look at the worlds web servers 84% Unix based and about 8% Windoze so the figures speaks for it self.
 
Old 05-30-2004, 12:41 PM   #1457
EThitop
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I haven't read all of the posts because there are a ton, but there are two distrobutions that come to mind when it comes to making Linux "easier" (or more familiar) to use. They are Xandros and Linspire (previously known as Lindows).

Xandros Linux - http://www.xandros.com/

Linspire - http://linspire.com/

Give those a try, and by the way, tasks such as clicking on a file for it to install does exist, certain installers are that way, and some are not. OpenOffice.org's installer for example is as easy as that. But once you get "used" to doing things in the console it becomes second nature, no joke. After a while thinkgs just "make sense."
 
Old 05-30-2004, 10:02 PM   #1458
TomF
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Improving ease of install and configuration

You might think this is a complaint. It isn't.

I had to comment on the complaints about taking hours to install something new on Linux. I usually take days, and sometimes weeks. I still dual boot Windows XP, because, after a year, I have not been able to get my scanner working on Linux. (I think that the fix I was waiting for has been available for a month, but I have not had time to try it.)

I just spent several days trying to install fwbuilder to get an easier way to handle iptables to fix a problem that occurred in my NFS server. While I am doing that, I have to disable the firewall when I want to access files from other PCs on my home network. While going through dependencies hell, I decided that I needed to learn how to add channels to up2date on my Fedora Core 1 system. While doing that, I checked to see if there were better ways to do program management.

My biggest problem is finding the tools and documentation that I need. It took hours to learn that there was such a tool as fwbuilder and to compare posts about it to decide if it was worth installing. Hours to discover that none of the repositories supported by Fedora containd fwbuilder, hours to learn which repositories are compatible with Fedora, so I could eliminate ATRPMS (which was the only repository containing fwbuilder) from my search, but plan to use Fedora.US and Livna. In another hour, I concluded that I would have to go back to manual downloading and the rpm command for the fwbuilder RPM. The hours had stretched into days, and I couldn't work continuously on the problem.

Meanwhile, I had discovered a note describing how to get started with apt and Synaptic. I followed the instructions, and a few minutes later had Synaptic running. However, I still didn't know what repositories to use or how to configure them, so I checked Help. The Help section on Repositories was incomplete, but the same note had enough information to decide on the repository group and to set up the repositories in Synaptic. This was as far as I could go, since the repository group I chose does not contain fwbuilder.

I went back to the manual method, found the base RPMs, and downloaded them. I used the rpm command to install them, but got a list of dependencies. I decided to write a note suggesting that fwbuilder or a better tool for this purpose be added to the repositories I have access to. (Who knows? Maybe a better tool is already there. I don't know a way to find out without spending days more, while I have to use a clumsy, insecure way to bypass my original problem. I hesitated to ask in the forums, because I would have had to find the proper forum, and I didn't originally have a good idea of what questions I should ask. Several interactions might take a week.) While deciding where to write my note, I found this thread and decided to reply, so here I am. This note is just one more interruption to solving a problem I have been working on sporadically since May 26.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I knew the proper way to get started with program management, I documented it for newbies, and sent the results to the Synaptic developer, as a suggested update for the Help section, and to http://wiki.linuxquestions.org/wiki/...usly_installed

Now, anyone who can find my wiki page can solve in minutes a problem that took me four days to discover that I needed to solve it, to solve it, and to document the solution. To improve the chances that someone needing the information will find it, I placed links at several places in the wiki, in the Yahoo Finance - SCO forum, where a discussion of the ease of use of Linux was in progress: http://finance.messages.yahoo.com/bb...r=138513&dir=d

Further, anyone who looks at my wiki page can click on links in it to find related information. While writing this, I realized that I had not provided some links to descriptions of some terms. It took less than a minute to go the the page, add the links, preview and save the result, and return here. If anyone reading the page sees an unfamiliar term, he or she can click a button to edit the page, enclose the term by [[]] to create the link, and click another button to save. If the page describing the term exists, it will be linked to. If not the link will go to a blank page, ready for editing.

I think that the Linux Questions wiki is the most advanced tool available for rapidly improving the documentation of Linux. Users can find organized information in it, starting with their own requirement or problem, and any user that has to go elsewhere to find documentation can put a link to the information at an appropriate place in the wiki in seconds. Anyone who knows the appropriate place in the wiki but does not know the information to go there can insert a link to a placeholder page. Anyone who has better information than is on a page can insert it at the appropriate place in the page.

The Linux Documentation Project is also an important documentation tool. I think that synergy between LDP and the LQ wiki will raise Linux documentation to world class in a very short time.

As I mentioned, I think that the difficulty of finding information about Linux tools and facilities starting from a vaguely understood user requirement or problem is the greatest current shortcoming of Linux. The user should easily be able to find what tools might help with the problem and how they compare. When no tools are found, the user should have an easy way to request that tools helping with the task be developed. I think that, if the Linux Questions wiki catches on, these problems will be soon resolved. Please use the wiki yourselves, and encourage others to do the same.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IMO, the next greatest shortcoming of Linux is the difficulty of doing configuration viewing and modification. Most of this problem is because of the difficulty of finding information, addressed above.

Further, Linux distributions are well on the way to solving at least the subproblem of doing program management (e.g., finding, downloading, installing, and upgrading programs (RPMs)). The Synaptic and Up2date facilities have made made major improvements in the ease with which users unfamiliar with command language can do these tasks, and my wiki page has provided an easy way for users to get started using these tools. (My problem with command language is a poor memory: I forget even the names of the commands, but, with a GUI, I can navigate to the function I need.) I presume that the problem that Fedora Core 2 repositories do not contain applications such as fwbuilder, or pointers to improved replacements, is temporary, and will soon be resolved, hopefully by making a compatible extension of the two major groups of repositories.

Other configuration related shortcomings involve management of partitions, LVM, security, printing, running processes, menus, email filters, networks, NFS, performance, logging, requirements and troubleshooting, etc.

I am hoping that fwbuilder will greatly improve my ease of controlling security on my home network (let LAN machines do anything, and provide no services for machines outside the LAN. Yes, I know that I could do this easily with ipfilters if I could remember the syntax. When I do a command infrequently, I have to find the syntax and copy it to the command line.)

I don't see any reason why Linux couldn't have a single GUI application that supported multiple configuration view and modification operations in all the above areas under a single call. I don't see any reason why the device related facilities of this application couldn't combine the features of the Fedora installation disk druid, the hardware browser, parted, mount, kudzu, etc. The user should be able to see the system hardware configuration in overview or in detail, and should be able to modify it easily.

Bugzilla should be enhanced to make it easer to report bugs and requests for enhancement in any facility or application.

I am working to make these things happen. I hope many of you are doing it too.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Linux is currently fine for experts, anyone who has ready access to an expert, and anyone who needs only the facilities in a preconfigured system. These improvements, which I am hoping will be largely complete this year, will greatly enlarge the number of people that will find Linux easy to use.
 
Old 06-01-2004, 10:21 AM   #1459
gco10996
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Registered: Oct 2002
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peacebwitchu,
Now, that's what I'm talkin' about! If resources like FHS were either readily available or more widely published, the open source community would go a long way toward making linux ready for prime time.
A similarly structured CLI reference would be even better. Including something like this in all distros is a GOOD idea.

And yes, there is anarchy out there . . . for example, where various distros decide to put several key scripts, and their naming. Ifcg-ethx, and rc scripts, For instance. The workaround for installing VMWare tools on a Slackware VM is a good, easy to find example of this.
Another example would be our average user, reasonably well versed in Red Hat, Mandrake, and SuSE, installing Slackware for the first time. On a SCSI device. Yeah, it's not rocket science, but a typical first reaction is:, What does this mean, I have to select a kernel? So, which one DO I select?

All my posts in this thread (yeah, all THREE of them, including this one) have been more or less trying to keep with the originating post -- i.e. Make Linux easier for the general population . . .
The average user may not have the time or inclination to drill down and prowl the threads and forums to the extent currently necessary to accomplish what presumably was a rather straightforward task. Nor is s/he likely to enjoy being mired in MAN and Info pages, or peering at the 675th screen of Google hits for some glimmer of a clue relevant to the issue at hand.
What the average user who wants to not run Windows, for whatever reason, needs is a GOOD, comprehensive, well written first-stop reference. He's not geared toward getting those little happy little epiphanies only hours, days, and weeks of sometimes agonizing, usually frustrating tortourous discovery will yield, he wants a working computer. If not now, pretty damn soon.
How many out there remember the Pocket PC Reference (a.k.a. the little blue bible)? Why not something like that?


Device support (driver) and software installation issues, although getting better, will probably never completely go away.


Yes, Linux is more powerful, more resource efficient, and more stable than Windows. The very nature of its origins (the Open Source Community) however, lends itself to the kinds of frustrations voiced in this thread. But, if there is any real consensual groundswell out there to indeed make it "easier for the general population", the Open Source community, to the whatever extent it is of being an entity , must stop shooting itself in the foot and really make it easier to understand.
BTW, making something easier to understand is a communicative function, not a structural one. Linux can remain as wonderfully complex as you like, and doesn't have to be "dumbed down" (That's what Macs are for), nor does it have to hand one everyhing on a silver platter (That's what Windows is for) -- just document it well.
Otherwise, Linux will remain the realm of only IT pros, hobbyists, hackers, and script kiddies.
 
Old 06-01-2004, 02:37 PM   #1460
cprogrck
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Registered: May 2004
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well...

gco10996,

You make a few good points. I've used windows for a while and I've been using Linux for quiet some time too. However, I actually find the documentation on LInux better than that of windows. With that said, since the average person dosen't have Linux I can't go to any one of my friends (most of my friends don't use linux) and ask them a question about Linux, but I can ask them a question about windows (they can actually answer it). The big problem is a lack of "local" linux user that you can talk with personally etc. That applies for me anyway. I come from a smaller sized town and there's not to many people who use linux.. However like i said before and like awtoc123 said, in so many words, Linux is hard to use it's just different. Eventually when more people start using linux the documentation will get better. I'll be able to walk down the street and ask a buddy about the last Linux kernel. I must say, the documentation isn't a problem! If you want to know the problem it's advertisement. Most computers come with windows. Word of mouth barely carries any word of Linux. Linux isn't "popular", because most people don't know that it exist. We have to get a bunch of computer companies together with alot of Linux users. That's the only way. Until we can get Big companies like Dell, HP, etc. To offer Linux in their general models (I think Dell might offer Linux) with a good explanation of what it is then Linux will not be popular. That's the key right there. Windows runs better on my system (as far as drivers go, I can't get 3d acceleration working), because my computer shipped with Windows. It was easier to get printer support on Windows, because my printer shipped with windows drivers. It's not Linux's fault. Programmers can only do so much. The problem is marketing. Why would, and why should the average user duel boot their system? Why should they install linux over windows? Both operating systems look the same to the average user. The average person dosen't need a server, they don't need a compiler, all they want is a desktop. The honest answer is I don't care If Linux ever gets mainstream, because it dosen't matter. "popularity" is not the most important thing. Functionality is most important. Look at high school. Do you know how many great people were unpopular in high school? The point is, Linux is fine it's just unpopular right now. The world of computers change fast. Maybe next week somebody may make a break through in their garage and actually make linux easier to use, or invent that "Killer App" that everyone must use, but until then I wont harp on how popular an OS is. Look at it this way, Apple was popular for some time in the 80's, Then windows took over in the 90's. Maybe the 00's are for linux, and who knows the 10's could be for sun or something. Here's the question. Do you like Linux? If you do recommend and use it. If you don't then don't use it., and stop complain that it not exactly like windows.
 
Old 06-01-2004, 09:53 PM   #1461
kingkrill
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Registered: May 2004
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I think you are missing an option for your poll. I fit into the newbie category but feel the installation of linux is pretty good. I feel as though I would fit into category one and category three. I did not have many problems once I learned a few things about iso's and the installation process. As with most people who responded to this post I feel that linux has a large learning curve but if someone is really willing to invest the time and the effort to learn the payoff will be huge. I like that fact that I do not have to have printer drivers to run my printer server from my router. While I still have a long way to go before I really get good at this, I believe I will learn much more about my computer than I ever did with Windows.

Last edited by kingkrill; 06-01-2004 at 09:54 PM.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 12:37 PM   #1462
brian0918
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Linux is a joke. If all you want to do is browse the web and check your email, stick with Windows. There is no need to use Linux for stuff like this.
You'll end up spending hours setting it up, or in the case of the computers I use here at work, maybe even weeks. Last summer it took the tech support people about a month to set up and configure everything that someone else in my room would be using on his system. (They know what they're doing too, these few people set up the thousands of systems used by everyone)

You're fooling yourself if you believe you should use Linux over Windows for simple stuff. Most people in research that doesn't need the extra features Linux has to offer would rather use their brains to actually do the research than learn all this garbage. I'm forced to use Linux in order to interface with the clusters we use. What a hassle.

Last edited by brian0918; 06-02-2004 at 12:39 PM.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 12:42 PM   #1463
lyceum
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it sounds like you are working with a very large linux cluster, and setting this up is not something that the "regular" user will ever encounter (though a lot of us would love to). setup for a desktop system can be accomplished in little more time than a windows box if you don't have particularly esoteric hardware, and the end system will be far superior both from a security standpoint and also from the standpoint of the potential power that is inherent in the *nix os.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 03:02 PM   #1464
brian0918
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*yawn*

The average end user doesn't care about getting a little extra power out of a system, and, although linux systems are much more secure, it is much quicker (and easier) to learn how to protect a Windows system (to the extent that it can or reasonably needs to be protected) than it is to learn how to use a linux system.

"Viruses are bad. Use antivirus software. Don't open email attachments. Don't install random programs, they have evil bits."

vs.

"Have you ever used DOS? No??? Ugh... It's gonna be a long day...."


I was fortunate to have used the windows command prompt back when it was there, and caught on to linux quickly. Another person in my group who wasn't very familiar with computers (only used it to check email and write papers), but was going to have to do the same things I did, had a horrible time. Every 5 seconds he was asking me how to do the simplest things.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 03:40 PM   #1465
bruno buys
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Brian,
Ok, but you can't account familiarity on the "ease of use" of windows. Someone used to linux thinks linux is easy.

And a linux user who is familiar with the command prompt will have a hard time trying to find similar tools in a win computer.

Put this way: migrating is difficult. No matter from-to.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 04:38 PM   #1466
brian0918
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It takes more time to learn how to use a linux system, though. Once you know how to use it, of course it seems easy. But, you have to learn how to use it first. Going from a TI-99+ and DOS to Windows seemed a lot easier than going from Windows to linux.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 05:44 PM   #1467
bruno buys
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Once you know ONE system, its difficult to learn another, cause you will be trying the same things and comparing.
This is the same as to say that learning german is more difficult than learning english. Two babies learn either languages in the same time. But for an adult, it does make difference.
This is why the "linux is difficult" argument is used mostly by ex-windows users.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 06:05 PM   #1468
brian0918
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But, I once used systems that were radically different from Windows, and I found the transition from them to Windows much simpler than from Windows to linux. People learn things more easily in certain ways than others. Learning to click on pretty pictures to execute actions is much easier and quicker than typing commands. There's a reason why everyone remembers "In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" but not nearly as many know when the Pilgrims landed, when the Declaration of Independence was signed, or even when the War of 1812 occurred. Some things are just easier to learn when presented in a certain form.

Last edited by brian0918; 06-02-2004 at 06:08 PM.
 
Old 06-02-2004, 06:49 PM   #1469
bruno buys
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I completely agree. Things are easier when presented in a certain way. This explains in part why was windows so successful, and in my point of view, the linux people don't pay much attention to that. You have already said that, people do not care if system locks, or if they are getting all performance possible. They just want a system that they can use.
But any of the these issues can be accepted in a working environment, when a computer is part of your professional life. And I am amazed to see how little people in general know about a computer, even windows. If a cd burning session fails, they can't do anything but call the support. If the browser won't load pages, people just leave the machine and do nothing. If you say: Don't open files with extension .exe, it can be a virus, they'll all go: Whhhaaaattt?
Such an atittude can be acceptable in a home computer, but at work you should, as a rule, know what the heck are you doing there.

Last edited by bruno buys; 06-02-2004 at 06:51 PM.
 
Old 06-03-2004, 06:01 PM   #1470
cprogrck
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brian0918, what is your problem? Linux works fine for any user and it dose not take long to set up. Now, someone (who only needs a desktop) shouldn't install linux if they already have windows. However Linux makes a fit Desktop. Also note that it comes standard (most distros) with thing like open office, etc.
 
  


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