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sami 07-17-2002 05:14 AM

User Friendly Linux
Does making linux user friendly tarnishes or weakens the original theme and goal of the Unix OS?:Pengy:

lynch 07-17-2002 05:44 AM

I'd say "No".
If anything,all the original "Theme and goals" are still in place and making Linux "User Friendly" just strengthens those ideas.It doesnt tarnish ,it puts a shine on it.

acid_kewpie 07-17-2002 05:50 AM

the original theme and goal of unix back at bell labs in the 70's was to make an operating system for the compaies computers that was efficent and comprehensive. that was pretty much all, in a time when "user friendly" wasn't yet recognised as an issue. obviously that doesn't mean that the two guys that made it set out thinking "let's make it really difficult and obscure" because it wasn't an issue. just like 10 to 15 years before that all operating systems and programs were written in byte code, because that's all there was, not because it was cool and geeky.

Unix as a whole has never set out to be difficult, it just happened that Xerox's PARC computers opened up possibilities of user friendlyness and such, which have evolved now to the current level of Microsoft patronising it's users.

Many users (which naturally include many developers) take a knee jerk reaction against user friendlyness which is a bit cliched and silly at times, but then there's certainly a lot of truth in saying that if you make a program that's idiot proof, it will only be used by an idiot. Saying that, of course, without pointing any direct fingers.

But Linux becoming more user friendly is something that should be largely inevitable. It would be sad to see linux in 10 years time as something unrepresentative of what is started out as, with revenue seeking companies doing most of the development in order to make it idiot proof. something that a personal developer is unlikely to do. Typically an open source programmer will be involved in a project because they want the end result. whereas a corporation typically creates software that they can generate revenue from, and thus it will lean towards being as easy to use as possible.

It also seems to make sense to me that with user friendliness on the increase, free programmers and such will again suffer as issues like package managemenr come under the spotlight, requiring a much simpler way to install software. doing this makes the modular principles of Unix much harder to achieve, unless each package is going to have all these little home made libraries statically linked inside of it. If this were not to happen then alternative implementations of these libraries will possibly come inside the corporations programs, which then starts heading down the road to closed source, monolithic programs such as those that dominate windows. And then once that's there it would seem that the large companies would gain far too much sway over Linux in theory.

Certainly that's not to say that user friendliness CAN be greatly improved within the open source community it would just seem like it would have to be done for the sake of it, not because the developers want to. they will just want to make the most secure, most comprehensive, most felixible, fastest code, and not the prettiest.

nigelpereira 07-17-2002 07:43 AM

no way


sami 07-18-2002 12:49 AM

Suppose I say that there is a new OS just like Win XX in terms of its interface and then I say that its a new version of XXLinux (say).
Then where would be the difference in Win and XXLinux.
Because the power of linux is in its set of powerful, small and robust commands which are all replaced with mouse CLICKS!

acid_kewpie 07-18-2002 04:49 AM

sounds like you've had some sort of eureka moment.... erm.. heh ok basically you described Lycoris. Which is utterly crap and restrictive, and avoided at all costs. that is unless you jusdt want a free windwos clone, in which case all that linux developement gets completely wasted.

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