Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 10th Jan 2006 23:42 UTC, submitted by ishmal
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "This article fairly eloquently expounds some of the reasons why Linux's job is not to become increasingly Windows-like, nor is it Open Source's duty to merely provide free duplicates of every Windows-user's favorite program. The issue has never been anything about Elite Snob vs. Concerned Newbie. It is simply a misunderstanding of what the Linux and the Open Source world is all about. Linux is not about repeating Windows with its features and flaws. It is an opportunity to experiment with new and wonderful alternatives", says OSNews reader Bob Jamison.
Order by: Score:
Uhm ...
by Riddic on Tue 10th Jan 2006 23:52 UTC
Riddic
Member since:
2005-10-05

I don't want to nag, but hasn't this article been posted here just a few weeks ago? I still found it among my bookmarks (which means it can't have been that long ago ;)

Reply Score: 0

RE: Uhm ...
by Eugenia on Tue 10th Jan 2006 23:55 UTC in reply to "Uhm ..."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Before I posted it here, I made a search on the URL and couldn't find it posted on osnews. If it was already posted by Thom, it was using a different url, so I can't track it.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Uhm ...
by situation on Wed 11th Jan 2006 00:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Uhm ..."
situation Member since:
2006-01-10

It's a fairly common article, and a bit old, but definately highlights some important points and is still worth a read (or re-read).

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Uhm ...
by d0nk3y on Wed 11th Jan 2006 01:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Uhm ..."
d0nk3y Member since:
2005-12-15

On his blog, he says that he's recently changed his blog host. That could explain the different URL perhaps?

Anyway, I apparently missed it the first time round so thanks Eugenia! Great article.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Uhm ...
by ishmal on Wed 11th Jan 2006 13:17 UTC in reply to "Uhm ..."
ishmal Member since:
2005-11-11

If it's a dupe, I'm sorry. I look at OSNews daily, and I haven't seen it before, I swear. I would have remembered something like this. By the way, I'm not sure that I attributed the article to Dominic Humphries, so here it is.

Reply Score: 1

Great Article
by ma_d on Wed 11th Jan 2006 00:31 UTC
ma_d
Member since:
2005-06-29

First time I saw it, and I enjoyed it. Thanks Eugenia.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Great Article
by muskoka on Wed 11th Jan 2006 01:14 UTC in reply to "Great Article"
muskoka Member since:
2006-01-02

All kidding aside this was the first time I had seen this article. In my opinion, I wish it had been available years ago. The nail was hit directly on the head, I wanted "out-of-windows!" I have been hacking along with linux distros for years, and to say the least, I have enjoyed the experience as a whole. I made numerous attempts at different "flavors" of linux, but I was not going to quit.

Bottom line: I realize after reading this article, it is as much the philosophy behind linux that keeps me curious about learning more and more than it is my initial desire to leave the proprietary OS/software behind. Linux has been the only OS on this machine, and I plan never to return to anything less.

Thanx for sharing this article!

Reply Score: 1

Good Article
by GregV on Wed 11th Jan 2006 01:57 UTC
GregV
Member since:
2005-07-06

The one problem was with his "user-friendliness" area. User-Friendliness is not about taking the shortest direct route. Its about ease to the user, and how logical the progression is from Point A to Point B. Granted it might take 10x as many keystrokes in Notebad to copy text, but, its logical. And thats whats key.

Other then that, it was a great article. Good read ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Good Article
by ma_d on Wed 11th Jan 2006 02:12 UTC in reply to "Good Article"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I think user friendliness depends on what sort of user you want to appeal to.
But, generally, I think you're right; that'll help the most users.

I've actually never had a problem with the way emacs does it:
ctl+space #starts marking
up/down/pageup/pagedown/ctl+home/ctl+end
ctl+w/alt+w #cut/copy
move
ctl+y #paste

Or.
ctl+k 5 times
move
ctl+y

Then there's the mouse. That wonderful tool that is actually useful ;) .

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Good Article
by Sphinx on Wed 11th Jan 2006 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Good Article"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

I've never had a problem with the way vi does it. yank yank put!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good Article
by renox on Wed 11th Jan 2006 12:27 UTC in reply to "Good Article"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Agreed.
While vi and emacs are powerful, unfortunately they are quite hard to learn..

Also the lack of coherency between the application is a problem, for the shortcuts..
And unfortunately on Linux this coherency is not very good, sometimes even basic copy/paste doesn't work with app which use different toolkits.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good Article
by Ookaze on Wed 11th Jan 2006 13:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Good Article"
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

While vi and emacs are powerful, unfortunately they are quite hard to learn

Like Word actually. I'll even go as far as to say at least Emacs is easier to learn, you even have a tutorial with it. But the thing is, vi or Emacs are not the right tool fr the job, if you are just someone who want to edit some text.
I say that because now both vim (admitedly not vi) and emacs have graphical modes. So you can use them like notepad. But of course you won't be efficient with them working that way.
That's exactly how I see most people use Word and Excel (me included) : using basic (10 %) functionality of it (that would be more like 1 % in Emacs case).

Also the lack of coherency between the application is a problem, for the shortcuts

Actually it's not. If you know Emacs, you're knowledgeable enough to know that you can change all editors command in Gnome (and I think in KDE too) to Emacs mode if that pleases you.

And unfortunately on Linux this coherency is not very good, sometimes even basic copy/paste doesn't work with app which use different toolkits

The coherency have gone a long way since 1999, and now it is very coherent (even more than Windows on Gnome/KDE), but some external apps still don't behave. Like on Windows, that's not the fault of Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good Article
by bryanv on Wed 11th Jan 2006 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good Article"
bryanv Member since:
2005-08-26

Yeah, that cohearancy is really great.

Why then, if I copy a URL in firefox and then -close-the-window- does my clipboard magically forget I copied the URL?

WTF?! Cohearant? I don't think so.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Good Article
by renox on Wed 11th Jan 2006 19:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good Article"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Sure you can customise apps, but
1) it's not fun to have to do it
2) in some case the customisation isn't good: for example tcsh 'vi mode' sucks.
3) in other case, you can't change the default because you're not allowed to: shared account for example.
4) in other case also, only vi is available so you can say bye to bye to your emacs shortcut.

Oh all those points are not academic, all happened to me (I first learned emacs and then worked for military which provided only vi and no way to do any change), so I had to switch to vi.

For the toolkit incoherency, I don't know what you call external application but I can tell you that sometimes nedit (Lesstiff), Mozilla, kwrite and xterms do weird thing when going from one to the other from time to time.
And if you use CrossWeaver to have MSOffice, it's even worse.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good Article
by archiesteel on Wed 11th Jan 2006 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Good Article"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

While vi and emacs are powerful, unfortunately they are quite hard to learn.

Then use Kedit, Kwrite or Kate (or Gedit if you prefer Gnome apps).

And unfortunately on Linux this coherency is not very good, sometimes even basic copy/paste doesn't work with app which use different toolkits.

That's increasingly untrue. Most Gtk/Qt apps now share the same clipboard. Drag'n'drop also work between many Gtk/Qt applications.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Good Article
by renox on Wed 11th Jan 2006 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good Article"
renox Member since:
2005-07-06

Sorry but I happen to prefer Nedit and there's still problems, quite rarely but it still isn't perfect.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good Article
by jziegler on Wed 11th Jan 2006 12:54 UTC in reply to "Good Article"
jziegler Member since:
2005-07-14

Granted it might take 10x as many keystrokes in Notebad to copy text, but, its logical.

First, I I believe that user friendlines is _also_ about how fast I can do the task. Not only about how fast I can learn/find out _how_ to do it.

Coming back to your quote, what is logical about ctrl-x and ctrl-v? It only appears logical, because the majority of users know it. I'd suggest that ctrl-p (p as paste), or ctrl-i (insert) would make more sense than ctrl-v.

Looking from the opposite side, vi's command _do_ make sense. It's just that people don't know, what the abbreviations stand for. Such as y is for yank, d for delete. g for go, p for paste. You might have trouble remembering "y", but remembering "yank" should be easier....

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good Article
by AmigaRobbo on Wed 11th Jan 2006 13:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Good Article"
AmigaRobbo Member since:
2005-11-15

Ctrl and P for paste?

Just how big are your hands?

Ctrl and v handy for fast one handed operation, although as you say it dosn't make much sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Good Article
by jziegler on Thu 12th Jan 2006 10:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Good Article"
jziegler Member since:
2005-07-14

I got two hands, I can use them both ;) .

Actually, it should be better this way. In "clasicall" touch-typing, there was a rule that one should use the Shift key from the other half of the keyboard as the letter you are typing. I think that could be applied to the Ctrl key as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good Article
by Hands on Wed 11th Jan 2006 17:07 UTC in reply to "Good Article"
Hands Member since:
2005-06-30

His simplistic diagram showing two different routes from point A to point B shows a lack of thinking things through. Just because the shortest distance between two points is a straight line doesn't mean that the easiest or fastest path between two points is a straight line. People rarely go from one point straight to another in the real world. Even flight paths are curved because the world isn't flat. Obstacles often exist that keep us from taking what would seem to be the most direct route very easily.

The same can be true of software, and indeed a steep learning curve can definitely be a barrier to entry. The best programs are those that retain power, functionality, and ease of use. Programs that allow for a task to be accomplished in more than one way can enable a newbie to at least get the task done (even if it's not the most efficient way of doing things) while enabling a power user to use a deeper understanding of the program to accomplish the same task efficiently.

Removing functionality for the sake of ease of use is wrong, but forsaking ease of use in the name of functionality is also wrong. That can be like placing a roadblock on a mountain path because only experience rock climbers should be allowed to get to the top.

Reply Score: 2

But words are still thoughts
by moleskine on Wed 11th Jan 2006 02:16 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Any article that talks about "newbies" has got it wrong. This simply fosters the idea that Linux is some wierd cult involving initiation through humiliation. The same mistaken vein runs through some of the writer's subsequent comments, in particular the one in which he suggests that a developer would never produce a poor GUI, such a perception being entirely the fault of the "newbie" user. Alas, this is nonsense. GUI design is a highly skilled field, and it is no disgrace for a developer to be a brilliant coder but a poor visual designer.

Sigh. There are many good points in this article and many points to be thought through about Windows and Linux or foss and proprietory software. But such a one-sided appraisal bordering on the arrogant doesn't help. Despite the writer's claim that this isn't about elite snob vs concerned newbie this is exactly the impression the article manages to give. I suppose one saving grace is that very few concerned newbies are likely to read it. Just as well: they might then try Ubuntu or SuSE and decide they like Linux.

Only my 2 cents.

Reply Score: 5

RE: But words are still thoughts
by ma_d on Wed 11th Jan 2006 03:03 UTC in reply to "But words are still thoughts"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

The point of FOSS is that even if said developer couldn't design a good GUI he wouldn't be alone and someone would possibly help him.
However, there are some GUI's which are probably just bad.

But most "bad" GUI's are simply not what most users want. Or not what most reviewers consider good.
For example, most would likely consider emacs to have a bad GUI; I rather like it, it's largely unobtrusive and it usually helps if I forget a command.

I think most anyone can produce a decent GUI given the effort. It won't be spectacular, but it'll probably get the job done. And user-input can vastly improve it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: But words are still thoughts
by archlyn on Wed 11th Jan 2006 13:51 UTC in reply to "But words are still thoughts"
archlyn Member since:
2006-01-11

I disagree.

The author did NOT say that programmers don't produce bad GUIs, the author said that programmers do not INTENTIONALLY produce bad GUIs.

The author said that PROGRAMMERS WILL PRODUCE GUIS THAT ARE THE BEST SAID PROGRAMMER CAN MANAGE.

Admitedly, these are sometimes ridiculously bad, but as you said, GUI design is something of a high science, and programmers write code first and design GUIs later in Linux.

As the author points out, if a tool becomes reasonably popular, someone will probably write a GUI frontend for it. (K3b is a good example)

Weather that last part is a good general philosophy to follow or not is a matter of opinion.

Reply Score: 1

v How typical
by Lumbergh on Wed 11th Jan 2006 02:31 UTC
Long winded rant...
by Tuishimi on Wed 11th Jan 2006 02:49 UTC
Tuishimi
Member since:
2005-07-06

Sounds like a rant to me. The same article could, btw, be applied to Linux-only users who think they know oh-so-much about Mac OS X, Windows, BeOS and other operating systems.

I use FreeBSD, RedHat, and Mac OS X and Windows XP, btw. I wouldn't claim to "know-it-all" in any of them, but sometimes when something works well on one operating system (read: logical, performs well, whatever) why is it a crime to wish for it on another operating system? Because "it just isn't done like that?" That's balogna.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Long winded rant...
by ma_d on Wed 11th Jan 2006 03:05 UTC in reply to "Long winded rant..."
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

It's not. It's a crime to expect it :-p. It's a crime to give people trying to help you a hard time when you don't get it. And it's a crime to act like you deserve it. It's also a crime, and naive, to think it's the only way the platform can get users.

It was not a long winded rant. It was actually very coherent and cohesive.
It has a pretty good flow. It wasn't an essay or thesis paper, but it was not a long rant.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Long winded rant...
by Tuishimi on Wed 11th Jan 2006 06:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Long winded rant..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Hey! I'm warning you, if you stick your tongue out at me like that again I'll grab it!!

:)

Reply Score: 1

RE: Long winded rant...
by gilboa on Wed 11th Jan 2006 12:19 UTC in reply to "Long winded rant..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

"use FreeBSD, RedHat, and Mac OS X and Windows XP, btw. I wouldn't claim to "know-it-all" in any of them, but sometimes when something works well on one operating system (read: logical, performs well, whatever) why is it a crime to wish for it on another operating system? Because "it just isn't done like that?" That's balogna."

I've marked the part where your argument fails.
"Logical", "Performs well".
Logical to who? Compared to what?
Performs well to who? Compared to what?

When you say Logical, you should say: Logical for an ex-Windows user.
When you say Performs well, you should say: Performs like -insert-Windows-application-name-.

If you are used to Linux, Windows looks like a mouse-fest that never ends; for the life of me I can't understand how Windows lets application install themselves and worse, uninstall themselves (using MSI, install-shield, etc) or why do I need to reboot Windows if I update a running service or a non-core system-file. Oh... Any-virus? Pay for firewall software?
If I was used to Windows, I would have found Linux's service structure, file tree structure and configuration to be illogical at best. /etc what? Why doesn't it run Windows games out of the box?

Everything in life is subjective and relative to prior experience.
When I switched for DOS to OS2, I found the concept of all-controlling-GUI to be moronic at best... When I started playing with Linux (~93-4) I found myself annoyed because it lacked OS2 like GUI.

Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Long winded rant...
by Tuishimi on Wed 11th Jan 2006 15:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Long winded rant..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Logic is not subjective. Did you not take a logic class in college. Performs well means "Is it supposed to color the screen red in 10 seconds? Does it? It does! Good, then it peforms well". You are applying your own bias to my argument.

If there is an application on one platform that does something, and does not exist on another platform, but would be VALUABLE on the other platform then it makes perfect sense to want that feature.

How do you think operating systems mature? Do you think everything you have on your OS just "came with it?" No. Operating systems have historically shared ideas across platforms as well as software.

You would be wrong to say that this is not so or to imply that it is wrong.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Long winded rant...
by gilboa on Wed 11th Jan 2006 15:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Long winded rant..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

"Logic is not subjective. Did you not take a logic class in college. Performs well means "Is it supposed to color the screen red in 10 seconds? Does it? It does! Good, then it peforms well". You are applying your own bias to my argument."

I fail to see your point.
In Windows, in-order to change the IP address, I:
Control Panet -> Network Connections -> Select Interface -> Properties -> TCP/IP -> Set IP, Mask -> OK.
This look logical for you.

In Linux, I:
ifconfig eth0 192.168.10.1 netmask 255.255.255.0
This look logical to me.

If there is an application on one platform that does something, and does not exist on another platform, but would be VALUABLE on the other platform then it makes perfect sense to want that feature.

But he wasn't talking about missing software. If you need a certain software that isn't present in Linux (and cannot run using WINE), stick to Windows. Period.
We are talking about missing features / different approach to configuration / GUI /etc.

How do you think operating systems mature? Do you think everything you have on your OS just "came with it?" No. Operating systems have historically shared ideas across platforms as well as software.
You would be wrong to say that this is not so or to imply that it is wrong.


True... but I still fail to see your point.

I helped dozens of Windows users switch to Linux. (I'm now helping my own development team switch to development in Linux)
The difference between the ones that succeeded in switching and the ones that didn't is simple:
If they come with an open mind, really to learn Linux from scratch, they are now using Linux.
If they wanted Linux to be a Windows replacement, they failed.
It's as simple as that.

If Windows works for you and you are unwilling to start from scratch, don't bother trying Linux.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Long winded rant...
by Tuishimi on Wed 11th Jan 2006 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Long winded rant..."
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess I should reread the article. In my mind, features and software are nearly inseparable. People complaining that the network panel isn't in the right place, well, that's a different story from someone saying "I need to be able to connect to my windows share".

Also...

I cannot argue with that!

VVVVVVVVV
The difference between the ones that succeeded in switching and the ones that didn't is simple:
If they come with an open mind, really to learn Linux from scratch, they are now using Linux.
If they wanted Linux to be a Windows replacement, they failed.
^^^^^^^^^^

Still feels a lot like a rant to me, tho'. But I guess he is referring to people who just complain without reason and don't WANT to learn anything new.

THe OS's I learned to use in order where VMS, DOS, Mac OS, Windows, Unix, BeOS, Mac OS (again ;) , Linux, BSD. This over a span of (wow) 22 years. I guess I enjoy the idiosyncrasies of each OS. :/ Altho' I have to admit from time to time I wish a nifty utility that makes my life easier would be available on all the platforms I CURRENTLY use... (like TortoiseCVS - that's so cool ;)

Mike

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Long winded rant...
by Deletomn on Wed 11th Jan 2006 18:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Long winded rant..."
Deletomn Member since:
2005-07-06

With your example of changing your ip address. The answer of which is more logical is actually a little different than how you make it sound...

gilboa: In Windows, in-order to change the IP address, I:
Control Panet -> Network Connections -> Select Interface -> Properties -> TCP/IP -> Set IP, Mask -> OK.
This look logical for you.

In Linux, I:
ifconfig eth0 192.168.10.1 netmask 255.255.255.0
This look logical to me.


ifconfig would only be logical to you if you have it memorized. Otherwise you would never think of it. You would be forced to look it up. (In fact, if I was thinking of a command for configuring my ip address, I would sooner pop up with ipconfig, than ifconfig. Simply because we are talking about an ip address, not an "if" address.)

With the Windows example, all you'd need to have memorized is that Control Panel has your settings and that IP address has something to do with networks. (All very basic and general concepts.) Then you could easily stumble about and find it in just a few moments (at worst) via simple trial and error. No documentation or help required.

In fact... This is really the key difference between how to do things with different OSs (or other pieces of software)... Some are MORE specific to an OS or require more memorization, more looking of things up, etc... Than the equivalent on another OS, which is actually more general. (I'm not saying that Windows is always better in this regard)

If it is harder to make things work without prior memorization or documentation then it is substantially harder for new users (or at least users who are unfamiliar with the feature, I state this, because you can use an OS for many years and suddenly find you need to do something you haven't done before). If it requires more mouse clicks, keyboard strokes, or has less flexibility, then (generally) its harder for more experienced users.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Long winded rant...
by biteydog on Thu 12th Jan 2006 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Long winded rant..."
biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

I am coming to the conclusion that Linux (desktop style) is being given a bad press by forum trolls and sub-trolls who are probably acting with the best of intentions - take the IP adress thing -

'ifconfig eth0 192.168.10,1 netmask etc. etc.'

Yes, it is easy to do this - if you know how/can remember it/haven't got a hangover etc.

I've used Linux (more or less exclusively) at work for 5-6 years - I've set up a lot of networks - I don't usually do this (yes, I can, I'm not stupid). But what's wrong with -

Start Menu > System > Administration > Network > Ethernet Connection > eth0 > Configure host name and IP address > (fill in the little boxes)

I may not have remembered that right - but as the previous post (or someone) said - IT DOESN'T MATTER - I get a check-up on my memory as I go through it - so I get there anyway!

I saw a post from some poor noob on some help-site who wanted to configure an NFS network in a particular way on a distro with good tools available.

The first reply he received started with "download, compile and install <some obscure text editor>...." It went on for about a page. Fortunately the moderators intervened with..

"open /etc/fstab in Kwrite (it was a KDE distro). Insert the following line

<server-name>:/data1 /home/fred/documents nfs etc,,,,

Save"

Ok, so this was less than totally automatic, but what he wanted to do wasn't straight out of the box, and AFAIK wasn't something he could have done at the time in Windows anyway. the point is that left with the first guy's "help" he would probably have fled screaming and never touched Linux again - as it was his next post was

"Worked - great - thanks"

Linux can be easy, provided people don't fall into the hands of self-appointed experts with pet axes to grind. there are a lot of them about.

(EDIT) typos only

Edited 2006-01-12 13:16

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Long winded rant...
by Deletomn on Thu 12th Jan 2006 23:23 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Long winded rant..."
Deletomn Member since:
2005-07-06

biteydog: I get a check-up on my memory as I go through it - so I get there anyway!

Yep. That's essentially my point. You can even do it if you've never done it before, as long as you have some idea of what you're looking for. (Yes... I know this for a fact, because I myself did it this way once, without any form of help)


biteydog: Linux can be easy, provided people don't fall into the hands of self-appointed experts with pet axes to grind. there are a lot of them about.

Indeed. Linux isn't too hard for the most part and every OS has its rough points (and differences) from my experience. Some things can't be made easier for various reasons. But sometimes people make mistakes when they decide what to call something, how to organize things, describing stuff, or even with examples. Or... Giving someone a way to solve their problem that's more complicated than is actually necessary. (Like in your example)

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Long winded rant...
by gilboa on Thu 12th Jan 2006 16:03 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Long winded rant..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Well...
Here we disagree.

I find the idea of having to click-fest myself to death just to change an IP (let alone do something complex, like start/stop a driver) ilogical and less convenient then using the Linux CLI interface.
But again, this is subjective.

Can we agree on the following:
A. Linux is not Windows.
B. Switch to Linux if you specifically want what Linux has to offer.
C. Linux has its own logic; If you want to use it, be prepared to learn this logic. (Even if you rather follow the MS/GUI logic)

Cheers,
Gilboa

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Long winded rant...
by Deletomn on Thu 12th Jan 2006 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Long winded rant..."
Deletomn Member since:
2005-07-06

gilboa: I find the idea of having to click-fest myself to death just to change an IP (let alone do something complex, like start/stop a driver) ilogical and less convenient then using the Linux CLI interface.

It has nothing to do with CLI vs GUI. It's about naming and organization. (Personally... I prefer the CLI myself.) It's just plain easier to do the Windows version of your example than the Linux one, without a manual, documentation, prior memorization or some other kind of support.

As another example of poor naming in "Linux" (not actually the fault of Linux really) is xorgcfg and xorgconfig. What's the difference? (Without looking it up or having it memorized in advance.) No idea... No way to tell. Now if you knew that one is graphical and one is text based, can you guess which is which? No. There is no indication. Period. Only with "outside" assistance or prior memorization, can you determine which is which.

An example of the same type of thing in Windows is the Windows Registry (in general). Some parts of it are clear and easy to understand, but a lot of it is just kind of like "Ummm... Ok." Or a more specific example is under HKEY_USERS... Which user is which? They're all numbers! So it's a pain to find a particular account in it if I want to. Granted... I can if I choose to do so. Just like I know that xorgcfg is the graphical one. The point isn't whether I can do it or not, or how easy it is for me once I know how to do it. The point is how logical it is in general.

Or as an example that doesn't involve operating systems... It's like my library of books vs my pile of books of what I'm currently reading. The library of books is all divided into categories and alphabetized. Very easy. Try finding a particular book in my "pile" without my help. Very hard.

Also... It's more important to have infrequently accessed things to be organized and named properly than frequently accessed ones. Frequently accessed things are more likely to become memorized and become part of habit. So (generally) how quickly you can do it matters more than how recogniziable it is to someone else. It's the opposite for infrequently used things.

How often does a user change his IP address? Your typical user isn't going to be doing this often, if ever. I rest my case.


gilboa: Can we agree on the following:
A. Linux is not Windows.
B. Switch to Linux if you specifically want what Linux has to offer.
C. Linux has its own logic; If you want to use it, be prepared to learn this logic. (Even if you rather follow the MS/GUI logic)


These three points are quite good. It's like any OS vs any other OS.

Reply Score: 1

If this is true...
by Jon Dough on Wed 11th Jan 2006 03:28 UTC
Jon Dough
Member since:
2005-11-30

If this is true....

(Quoting from the article) "So, allow me to explain something that is fundamental to understanding Linux: The Linux community is not trying to provide the average Windows user with a replacement OS. The goal of Linux is not "Linux on every desktop".

....then why all the ranting on GNU/Linux boards about how awful Windows is and how everyone should get a clue & move to GNU/Linux?

Reply Score: 2

RE: If this is true...
by siride on Wed 11th Jan 2006 03:44 UTC in reply to "If this is true..."
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Because a zealot is a zealot is a zealot. A lot of the true hardcore Linux users I have come into contact aren't so childish and many want to keep Linux as Linux and not just a cheap MS Windows clone. Unfortunately, the zealots are louder than the level-headed Linux users and that's what the outside sees.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: If this is true...
by WorknMan on Wed 11th Jan 2006 04:11 UTC in reply to "RE: If this is true..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Linux's goal is to make a really good operating system. Developers are busy adding features, removing bugs, and improving existing implementations. They're not busy putting up billboards advertising how good their stuff is. That should tell you something about where their priorities are.

Of course, the developers aren't doing that, but it seems that every article with a forum or blog that even mentions Microsoft or Windows (especially if it's an article about a security flaw) will have about 80 zealots dismissing Windows users as idiots and admonishing them to switch to the almightly Linux. IMHO, the Linux community needs to work harder to silence those individuals who are doing the OS more harm than good.

As for the article, the author paints Windows as something that people use when they want a simple OS and like to be led around by the nose. Actually, I think that describes more OSX than Windows, afterall ... many people like OSX because "it just works." And this is not a bad thing because OSX does this job well.
But Windows doesn't just work. If you don't know what you're doing, you're gonna get infected with malware out the ass. If you *do* know what you're doing, then you know exactly why you use the OS, and it ain't for the OS itself.

I view Linux as an OS for geeks - people that like to tinker and use the kinds of applications they think everybody else uses. Web browsing, email, playing mp3's, typing documents ... you know, the 'bread and butter' stuff. By and large, having applications with every bell and whistle known to man is not high on their priority list.

I view Windows as an OS for power users. Some of us go nuts when it comes to applications ... we'll download and try 30 different applications that all do the same task, just so we can have the best tool. And once we do pick one we like, we tend to learn it like the back of our hand, exploiting pretty much all the features and learning all the shortcuts. In most genres of applications, Windows is very good for this. And most of the god apps are powerful, yet pretty simple to pick up on. Most power users aren't willing to use an app, even if it's very powerful, if the damn thing is nearly impossible to learn. We simply don't have that much interest in computers in general - we just want to use them in order to get work done - but we obsess about our work, lol ;) So if I'm a power user, why am I here? Actually, I'm sort of a cross between a geek and a power user ;)

Anyway, to present us with an app that has maybe half the functionality than the one that we're using and saying "Here, use this" would be like giving a Linux geek an OS in which he can't recompile the kernel. THE HORROR!! ;) My point here is that experienced users of one particular OS tends to know about the alternatives, but sticks with that particular OS because it fills a need. Whether that need is to tinker endlessly with the OS, use the most powerful apps in existence, have an easy-to-use enviroment out of the box, or to have something that looks 'purty' on their desk, there's really no operating system where one size fits all.

Oh, and one last thing ...
The article helped me to verbalize something that I always felt, but could never really explain. The author points out that many apps in Linux start out as CLI, and then have GUI tools built around them, sometimes (maybe often times?) not as part of the original app and sometimes not even by the same author. IMHO, this is ok, but only to a point. When you get too much of this going on, it tends to give the entire desktop experience a very 'stuck together' kind of feel. Like when I am running an app, I feel like I'm not really controlling the app, but simply running an app that controls another app underneath. Like the whole thing is stacked on top of each other like a house of cards. That make any sense?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: If this is true...
by poofyhairguy on Wed 11th Jan 2006 04:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: If this is true..."
poofyhairguy Member since:
2005-07-14

IMHO, the Linux community needs to work harder to silence those individuals who are doing the OS more harm than good.

How? Really. How would YOU do that? How do we stop those who are zealots in our community from posting on here and Slashdot and other places? Hunt them all down and rip off their fingers?

How?! Don't act like us normal Linux users can control this fringe element. Its not our fault Linux Zealots exist. Its other people's fault for taking them seriously.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: If this is true...
by gilboa on Wed 11th Jan 2006 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: If this is true..."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

Umm...

I'm not blaming all the Windows users in OSNews, just because "Linux is Poo" FUD every Linux piece in OS news.
We (as the Linux community) cannot control our zealot fringe, no more then the Windows, OSX and BSD community can control theirs.

I can personally do my best to ease to help explain what I consider Linux and FOSS to be a superior platform. I can help Windows users do that transition by answering their questions in the forums and mailing list I frequent.
But for the life of me I can't see how I can silence a Linux zealots that considers all Windows users to be inept idiots.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: If this is true...
by Ookaze on Wed 11th Jan 2006 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: If this is true..."
Ookaze Member since:
2005-11-14

it seems that every article with a forum or blog that even mentions Microsoft or Windows (especially if it's an article about a security flaw) will have about 80 zealots dismissing Windows users as idiots and admonishing them to switch to the almightly Linux

My experience is different. In the case of security flaws on Windows, most of the time, I see Windows power users blaming the users for getting viruses and spyware. Most of the time, I have to protect the poor Windows users, imagine that ! I have actually rarely seen Linux zealots. I rather see Linux people reacting to uninformed Windows zealots that try and disparage Linux, most of the time with wrong facts. Or Windows zealots trying to tell Linux users what they should do (the ones the article describe).

IMHO, the Linux community needs to work harder to silence those individuals who are doing the OS more harm than good

See what I said above ? Perfect example.
But I have yet to see a Linux user saying to a Windows power user that they should work harder to shut the Windows zealots, Linux users actually take the Windows zealots directly, while Windows power users are too lazy to do that with Linux zealots, it seems. Unfortunately, Linux users (like myself) are too productive on their Linux desktop at home to lose time doing disruptive things like this.

As for the article, the author paints Windows as something that people use when they want a simple OS and like to be led around by the nose. Actually, I think that describes more OSX than Windows, afterall

One thing I think sorely lacks from these articles, is that they are rarely dated.
I was about to say how some points were wrong, and then realised that perhaps this article is years old, which would explain some things on Linux that are wrong now, but that were true years or months ago.

I view Linux as an OS for geeks - people that like to tinker and use the kinds of applications they think everybody else uses

That's more or less what is described in the article. I recognised myself in 1998 till 2000, when I reinstalled Windows countless times, and tried 3-4 Linux distros. And then, I got tired and had no more time on my hands, and needed sth that just works. Fortunately, I was then knowledgeable enough to slowly fully migrate to Linux.

Most power users aren't willing to use an app, even if it's very powerful, if the damn thing is nearly impossible to learn. We simply don't have that much interest in computers in general - we just want to use them in order to get work done - but we obsess about our work, lol ;)

That's definitely NOT what I see. I see the Windows power users obsessed about tools, not about work done. I was one Windows user before too. I have gone through these apps that work one day and don't the next day. The one that worked have now disappeared, or their authors have abandoned them, and they are full of annoying bugs. Now I obsess about work.
One very showing example of Windows power users obsessed about tools : Photoshop. Windows users around me wonder how I manage to do anything without Photoshop, even though they don't know how to use it (they did not even buy it). Everywhere on forums, Windows power users disparage the GIMP, and yet, a lot of people (professionals even) do work with it.

Anyway, to present us with an app that has maybe half the functionality than the one that we're using and saying "Here, use this" would be like giving a Linux geek an OS in which he can't recompile the kernel. THE HORROR!! ;)

Well, exactly the Photoshop example. Of course, no normal end user would pay for Photoshop.
The problem is that when I present some Linux app that has the functionality that the Windows power user lacks on his Windows app, the reaction is the same : THE HORROR !!

The author points out that many apps in Linux start out as CLI, and then have GUI tools built around them, sometimes (maybe often times?) not as part of the original app and sometimes not even by the same author

That's why we need articles with a date or first appearance, as this is no longer true.

When you get too much of this going on, it tends to give the entire desktop experience a very 'stuck together' kind of feel. Like when I am running an app, I feel like I'm not really controlling the app, but simply running an app that controls another app underneath

No longer true either. For example, K3B never gives this feeling (except if you go in some advanced config), and yet it uses a lot of different command line tools.

Reply Score: 3

Re:
by archer75 on Wed 11th Jan 2006 04:05 UTC
archer75
Member since:
2005-10-17

No, linux is not windows. But if linux wants to gain any ground on the desktop they need to provide the tools that people need to do the things they do. If they did'nt, why would anyone use it?(aside from servers)

Yes, experiement with new things. New features and new and BETTER ways of doing things is always welcome. But is linux just trying to be different for the sake of being different?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Re:
by poofyhairguy on Wed 11th Jan 2006 04:52 UTC in reply to "Re:"
poofyhairguy Member since:
2005-07-14

But is linux just trying to be different for the sake of being different?

Some in the Linux Community are. Is that a bad thing?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Re:
by jziegler on Wed 11th Jan 2006 12:49 UTC in reply to "Re:"
jziegler Member since:
2005-07-14

"But if linux wants to gain any ground on the desktop..."

Linux is not a person. Linux does not want anything. People have wishes. People writing it, people writing software for it, people selling it, people supporting it, people using it.

However, these are all different people and have different wishes. I'd guess that e.g. people writing the Apache web servers do not care at all, how many desktop computers are running Linux. So there will be only a limited set of people, who are interested in dominating the desktop market and these people != Linux.

Reply Score: 2

Great
by korpenkraxar on Wed 11th Jan 2006 07:29 UTC
korpenkraxar
Member since:
2005-09-10

I'll show this to all my converter-potential friends. Food for thought for both newbies and expies. Shit, I'm late for work!

Reply Score: 1

Amen
by Anonymous on Wed 11th Jan 2006 08:07 UTC
Anonymous
Member since:
---

Funny, I've posted very symilar text on amigaworld.net. But this text is better and spot on. Emil, not logged

Browser: SIE-C75/11 UP.Browser/7.0.2.2.d.5(GUI) MMP/2.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 UP.Link/5.1.2.14

Reply Score: 0

RE: Amen
by Emil on Wed 11th Jan 2006 09:07 UTC in reply to "Amen "
Emil Member since:
2005-06-29

BTW: I've got 404 after posting that from a bus. But I see it's here. Maybe you could check if everything's OK with a code on mobile site.

Reply Score: 1

Another thing
by Lumbergh on Wed 11th Jan 2006 08:59 UTC
Lumbergh
Member since:
2005-06-29

He's talking about Gnome and KDE. He's not talking about Linux. Linux is just a kernel. The article seems like a feeble attempt to justify whatever perceived failings desktop linux (Gnome and/or KDE) has in getting people to "switch" over.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Another thing
by Emil on Wed 11th Jan 2006 09:09 UTC in reply to "Another thing"
Emil Member since:
2005-06-29

I agree with you on the most part. Linux is just a kernel, and GNU/Linux, some applications and XServer makes it desktop. OTOH, it would be pain in the bottom to say GNU/Linux/Xorg/KDE so people short it to the most important thing that makes it different from ie. BSD -- kernel.

Reply Score: 1

Sean Parsons
Member since:
2005-09-11

One concept hinted at, but not well explored is that complete computer novices will often have an easier time learning Linux, than a MS Windows power user. Much of the software KDE/GNOME/Firefox/etc., are as intuitive for first time users as their proprietary counterparts; but a MS power user wants everything to work the same.

While I understand that a long time MS Windows user will have attained a certain comfort and familiarity with their tools (which is part of a legitimate obstacle for non-geeks) computer newbies do not have this particular encumbrance.

A good example is my mother whom I provided with her first computer when she was 58 (she is now nearly 61). Her computer experience involved some punch cards in the 70's, a Word Perfect class on a PC running DOS in the 90's, and no real subsequent interaction with a PC since. Since I knew no matter what OS I provided on her PC, I was going to need to be her tech support I chose GNU/Linux. It freed me from worrying about malware, and with the addition of a few extra repositories, it was easy enough for her to try out various applications while only needing to browse through Synaptic to find them.

She regularly uses Firefox, Totem, Rhythmbox, Beep Media Player, gPodder, Gizmo, gCalctool, OOo, KPatience, gnome-dictionary, kNotes, and a few other tools more sporadically.

This past Christmas she went to sit at my brothers Win XP machine to look something up and was clearly uncomfortable trying to navigate it to accomplish her task. While not a Linux power user, she has gone the opposite direction of being uncomfortable with MS Windows.

My five year old daughter has been provided with all her early computer experience on a Linux box and is very comfortable sitting in front of KDE, GNOME, or Xfce.

So I would like to point out that GNU/Linux's ease of use is ready for the masses, but only if they are complete computer novices, or really want to learn and can appreciate the differences between OS's.

Reply Score: 5

biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

Hit the nail on the head here IMHO. I've often let the neighbour's kids (aged 4-13) loose on a Linux box to entertain them - they've just managed the conversion from Windows without comment or complaint, or any instruction from me. Writing/printing letters, drawing pictures, playing games, going on the net - no probs.

And they can't fiddle and break anything either from a guest desktop (well- so long as the 4-yr old has had his hands inspected for goo).

Reply Score: 4

Computers are for:
by AmigaRobbo on Wed 11th Jan 2006 11:58 UTC
AmigaRobbo
Member since:
2005-11-15

Doing your bidding, and making life easier, I may enjoy learning new things, and struggling to find way to fix stuff, think the old Dos games that took more work and satisfaction in getting the sound to work than you ever got from the game.

But does everyone? Yes there's some learning to be done, but the fiddling has to stop and the work begins at some point.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Computers are for:
by biteydog on Wed 11th Jan 2006 12:12 UTC in reply to "Computers are for:"
biteydog Member since:
2005-10-06

I've been working on (only) Linux since 1999, and not as a techie, as an artist/designer - my business hasn't collapsed, I haven't noticed any gaps in my software armoury - oh, and I very rarely touch a command line. So what's the fuss about?

Reply Score: 1

Good Ole Elbow Grease
by Bajan on Wed 11th Jan 2006 14:45 UTC
Bajan
Member since:
2006-01-05

Windows =| Linux.

That was the hardest pill I had to swallow in my linux experiences.Anytime I hit a snag, I used to fume that this doesn't work like Windows.Then I realised,it wasn't supposed to.Its not windows.It works by putting in that effort to make it work.Then it became a pleasure to use.

Way I see it no matter how much linux becomes user friendly it will require some computer savvy to get it going,thats the nexus windows tries to avoid alot of the time.

Reply Score: 1

Linux is a kernel...
by g__t on Wed 11th Jan 2006 15:43 UTC
g__t
Member since:
2006-01-04

...so why comparing it with an OS?
That's not simply a joke; while I mainly agree with the article, I think many misunderstandings (that may scare switchers) comes because often there is the tendence of confuse what properly Linux is (a kernel) with what usually mean (a distribution of the Linux kernel and lot of variously flavuored packed software) with more extended concepts like: *x like approach to programming, *x like approach to shared system files vs dllhell, *x like approach to resolving problem rather than point and clicking, Open Source philosophy vs commercial software etc...
What's scaring in using a Linux (or BSD, or Mach) BASED system?
If you dislikes "nags" you can have awesome *x based systems, like OSX that is higly reputed as user friendly, or PC-BSD were you can doubleclick .pbi installers that "just works" as well (or better!) than windows installers, or highly firendly DISTRIBUTION of Linux, with all of those *xes that comes with a more than respectable bundle of preinstalled high quality desktop and productivity software that usal Windows + OEM pack doesn't nearly match, requiring the non user friendly task to windows user to download and install a lot of third parts software before being nearly as productive than with an out-of-the box desktop oriented *x.
I think comparing Windows OS with "Linux" without clarifying what we mean with Linux (a model? the community? the platform of OS + software + drivers + developing tools + documentation? a specific distribution? the kernel?) will not help in make a meaningful comparison.
Certailny, *x environments usually tend to make user aware of what they are doing more than Windows environment, but that doesn't mean that doesn't exist *x environment (even free ones) even more user friendly that current Windows, neither means that on Windows you can do many things without even trying to be an aware user.

Edited 2006-01-11 15:53

Reply Score: 1

Yeah but...
by marmot4 on Wed 11th Jan 2006 16:50 UTC
marmot4
Member since:
2005-12-09

Point well taken. Linux is not windows, and newbs must keep that in mind and expect a learning curve.

But one has to keep in mind:
Usability = Ease of learning + Ease of use.

If something is easy to use but impossible to learn, only the people who wrote it will benefit.

This article is the "uber hacker's" view point. He wants linux to be by uber hackers for uber hackers; end of story. But I believe the community has matured beyond this recently. There are far more end users than hackers, and end users want ease of use AND ease of learning. Consider SUSE Linux and Ubuntu Linux.

This guy is saying that Linux is only for hackers. If that is the case then where is all this talk about Linux for the desktop coming from?

Reply Score: 1

Re:
by archer75 on Wed 11th Jan 2006 17:33 UTC
archer75
Member since:
2005-10-17

"Some in the Linux Community are. Is that a bad thing?"

Absolutely. They pass up many good ideas and ways of doing things just to hold to "different". It's stupid. Use what works best. And if nothing does then create a better solution.

All they are being is stubborn.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Re:
by poofyhairguy on Wed 11th Jan 2006 22:28 UTC in reply to "Re:"
poofyhairguy Member since:
2005-07-14


Absolutely. They pass up many good ideas and ways of doing things just to hold to "different". It's stupid. Use what works best. And if nothing does then create a better solution.

All they are being is stubborn.


No-they are scratching their own itch. Which is the point of all this Free Software.

Reply Score: 1