Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 15th Aug 2006 19:47 UTC
Novell and Ximian "I'm rather impressed. Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 is designed to do just that impress the user from the start, with a smooth and (mostly) simple experience that will satisfy the secretary through to the MD. It does still have some areas to work on, however." Read the rest at Tectonic's.
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Pole vaulting not limbo
by Sphinx on Tue 15th Aug 2006 20:00 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Sticking with the Windows manual on how a desktop should look,

Set the bar low enough and anything can get high marks.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Pole vaulting not limbo
by twenex on Tue 15th Aug 2006 22:31 UTC in reply to "Pole vaulting not limbo"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

True enough, however, after several years (!) of resistance I have come to the conclusion that Linux distro companies, at least (i.e. not necessarily Debian, Slackware) should be doing their damnedest to make Linux as Windows-user-friendly as possible. You can't move in a roomful of computer users without knocking into someone who uses Windows, and companies should be after increasing their userbase.

The old DIY-centered, hardcore distros haven't, if they're any good, gone anywhere; you can still compile your kernel and use WindowMaker/Fluxbox if you want to. And it's just so darn NICE to be able to plop in a DVD and watch it run up with no user intervention.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Pole vaulting not limbo
by Sphinx on Wed 16th Aug 2006 14:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Pole vaulting not limbo"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

For sure, being commercial compannies they should be focusing on the largest commercial market which would be those windows users. I like to think we could do better than just clone the tired, aging and rather silly windows desktop metaphor.

In the distro horse race may the best dependency handler with the most choices and best delivery system win. My money is on gentoo, the user friendly part may not be built until the very last but looking from the bottom up I see it as the strongest runner, with broadband access spreading so will it.

Reply Score: 1

Heads up
by IanSVT on Tue 15th Aug 2006 20:53 UTC
IanSVT
Member since:
2005-07-06

For anyone running a Novell Netware/OES based network, check out the public beta download section on novell's website for the Linux Client 1.2. It installs fairly painlessly on SLED10. I have had some issues with login scripts, but then again, my login scripts are littered with calls to old DOS utilities. When I have time, I'm going to try to wean all my admin type duties to a SLED10 box with ConsoleOne installed and use all the web tools (iMan,iMon,Norm). Plus the new Gwava 4 will be web based management. I might be able to get away with moving all my admin duties to SLED by winter.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Heads up
by mario on Wed 16th Aug 2006 08:28 UTC in reply to "Heads up"
mario Member since:
2005-07-06

Any NetWare admin gets +1 from me, expecially a DOS oldtimer one - like myself :o) All the best to you, my brother in arms, few of us are left standing.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Heads up
by IanSVT on Wed 16th Aug 2006 12:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Heads up"
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

Any NetWare admin gets +1 from me, expecially a DOS oldtimer one - like myself :o) All the best to you, my brother in arms, few of us are left standing.

Cheers. I'm just crossing my fingers that OES2 brings enough to the table to keep my organization away from Windows centric/AD servers. I don't want that headache.

map r i:=4:life

Reply Score: 2

usability is the key to a glowing review
by SEJeff on Tue 15th Aug 2006 21:20 UTC
SEJeff
Member since:
2005-11-05

Novell did some serious work and plopped down some dough for usability research in their software. They released the results to the OSS community to help see how people interact with desktops at http://www.betterdesktop.org

Even if certain kde developers *cough* A Siego went crazy about them not releasing Xgl/compiz, they did, and planned on it all along. Even if Xgl is a shortterm solution, it is an interim solution. I am much more OK with *a* solution versus nothing. Also, the AIGLX team is able to use ideas and some code from Xgl to make it better.

Although it's not perfect, SLED is damn good. Gotta love open source.

Reply Score: 5

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Even if certain kde developers *cough* A Siego went crazy about them not releasing Xgl/compiz, they did

And what would have happened if he didn't kick up a little bit?

and planned on it all along

Which strangely happened right after all the fuss.

Even if Xgl is a shortterm solution, it is an interim solution. I am much more OK with *a* solution versus nothing.

The problem is is that it doesn't work for everyday use, and is simply too unstable. It was merely a bit of a soundbite to say "Hey, we can do what Vista does". Anybody who thinks it is stable hasn't used it properly for long enough.

Edited 2006-08-15 21:55

Reply Score: 1

SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

I have used the cvs since it was first released... I run Xgl/compiz on 3 desktops one of them being the one at work where I am a 'nix admin.

If it wasn't stable and crashed all the time, I couldn't do my job as easily. Yes, I agree it isn't ready for primetime, but I disagree in that it is "unstable". Install a recent build of compiz from quinnstorm's fork @ compiz.net or use the official version in SLED where it is very stable. The only real problem with Xgl is the lack of DRI.

segedunum, I've read your comments for quite awhile and tend to agree with a lot of what you say (besides kde). This is not one of those areas. It's not a "Hey, we can do what Vista does." as much as it is, "Hey, Vista can't do 1/2 of what we can do with the same hardware and way less development."

Reply Score: 5

czubin Member since:
2005-12-31

"Novell has proclaimed this to be an enterprise distribution, and XGL is on by default"

Xgl is OFF by default and if your hardware doesn't have opengl acceleration you can't even enable it.
Heck you can't even turn it on* on old or rare cardsm,
for nvidia card(non legacy) they should all work without a hick.

If you don't like it then don't use it!

*you can still force it if you use the commandline

Reply Score: 3

SEJeff Member since:
2005-11-05

hmmmmm, the version of SLED that novell sent my employeer does not enable Xgl by default. No, it enables it when you enable it with the nice and pretty control panel and after you have the proprietary drivers installed.

In the last comment you quoted me in, you still sidestepped the point. Xgl is a showcase of Linux technology and what X is capable of. Granted it was just released, but from my superficial review, it looks like Aiglx + glucose + x.org == Xgl minus the hackish one x server layered ontop of another.
http://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/xorg/2006-August/017527.html

Regardless of any of that, Xgl has wowed companies like ATI. As a matter of fact (please don't make me find the public statement from ATI, but I can if you want) ATI said they will work harder with the Linux community on their drivers after they saw the SLED demo. Xgl was a sort of "push" that is starting a renewed interest in Linux and X eyecandy that is pushing the limits of the desktop metaphor.

Here is a great post from MacSlow (a brilliant OpenGL programmer) that was spurred from some compiz related posts:
http://macslow.thepimp.net/?p=78

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

hmmmmm, the version of SLED that novell sent my employeer does not enable Xgl by default.

Once you register and download the drivers it is on by default. Certainly was in mine.

In the last comment you quoted me in, you still sidestepped the point. Xgl is a showcase of Linux technology and what X is capable of.

Haven't sidestepped any issue. In an enterprise distribution you don't 'showcase anything'. It has to work, and XGL doesn't.

Reply Score: 0

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Even if certain kde developers *cough* A Siego went crazy about them not releasing Xgl/compiz, they did

And what would have happened if he didn't kick up a little bit?


For some reason, I'm suddenly reminded of an old Firesign Threatre bit about a commune where the guru has his followers thoroughly awed by his ability to make the sun come up every morning.

Reply Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

For some reason, I'm suddenly reminded of an old Firesign Threatre bit about a commune where the guru...

Although an amusing ditty, I'm afraid it doesn't go anywhere near to describing what actually happened.

The whole XGL thing was just the latest in a line of examples of why bringing the development of a whole open source project in-house, and then trying to merge the code at some later and undefined date, is a bad idea for everyone. There are any number of ways of restricting development to a group of developers, but generally keeping the public repository as your main one.

I'm somehow reminded of numerous occasions in the past (can't think of any specific examples right now) where someone gets found out, and when it is pointed out what they should be doing they claim that's what they were going to do anyway. Sometimes they even believe it themselves.

Reply Score: 0

butters Member since:
2005-07-08

It's just like all the other SLED 10 reviews: usability great, effects cool but unnecessary, software installation not so good.

Novell spent a lot of money on usability and the results are not only impressive, but a huge contribution to the GNOME desktop in general. You gotta respect the KDE guys and what they're going with the killer Qt4 toolkit, but the Linux ecosystem--both community and commercial--are gravitating toward Ubuntu and SUSE, which are relentlessly pushing GNOME to new heights. It's going to get interesting when KDE4 comes out.

As for XGL/compiz, Novell wanted it out the door for SLED 10, so they pulled it behind the wall temporarily to do some furious development. They likely completely broke it and put it back together in the process, which explains why they had to close their development branch for a while. While there's nothing really wrong about how they handled this, they could have been for forthcoming by telling the community that their branch wasn't stable enough for public testing.

Whatever happens with OpenGL support in Xorg, I think it's more important to standardize on well-designed technology and to stabilize the interfaces than to give us eye-candy ASAP. Especially given the current environment for graphics drivers and the pressure that the Linux community is putting on the graphics vendors, it is important to realize that it is hard to program for a moving target. The eye candy isn't so compelling that we should further alienate the graphics vendors.

Novell needs to realize that package management is hard, and the Linux community has been working on the problem for years. They took a nice package manager that had been one of SUSE Linux's biggest strengths, ripped it out, and replaced it with ZENworks, simply because of the branding. Well, it turns out that ZENworks DOESNTwork very well.

This is, IMHO, the finest Linux desktop ever created, once you get smart and ditch ZENworks. Sorry for the pun.

Reply Score: 4

IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

Novell needs to realize that package management is hard, and the Linux community has been working on the problem for years. They took a nice package manager that had been one of SUSE Linux's biggest strengths, ripped it out, and replaced it with ZENworks, simply because of the branding. Well, it turns out that ZENworks DOESNTwork very well.

This is, IMHO, the finest Linux desktop ever created, once you get smart and ditch ZENworks. Sorry for the pun.


Zenworks? Unless I'm missing something here, I wasn't aware that ZEN was handling package management on Linux at the workstation level. Zen, in any incarnation I've ever touched, is a server product for workstation tracking, imaging, patch management, inventory, application delivery, and so on. If what you're saying is correct, I'm slightly confused and Novell shouldn't be calling a package manager for Linux, Zen.

Reply Score: 2

The Hype and The Reality
by elsewhere on Tue 15th Aug 2006 23:36 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

I actually didn't mind the review. I usually tune them out as they more often than not turn into 5 pages of describing the installer and a couple of static shots of a default desktop.

Then again, maybe I liked it because it echoes many of my personal opinions. I had high hopes for Novell and the linux desktop, if only because they seemed to realize the truly viable market is business/enterprise and they had the game and legitimacy to tackle that space.

And then all I heard about was wobbly windows, spinning cubes, a photo app that uploads to flickr and yet another music player. Oh, and if you looked hard enough there was usually some passing reference to the fact that Novell had also addressed macro compatibility with Office in OOo2.

So I'm not convinced Novell gets it. I think there are people buried somewhere in the organization that understand it, because every now and then you see something intelligent like statements to the effect of SLED being targeted at specific purpose-driven niches or the importance of co-existing with rather than displacing Windows. But clearly the basic business principles of knowing your customer and understanding your market take a back seat to 3d effects and homegrown multimedia apps.

Novell has some brilliant developers, but doesn't seem to have anyone properly directing their efforts and messaging the product. The inmates are running the asylum, as it were. Seriously, when you're targeting a business desktop, structural improvements to OOo2 do not take a backseat to desktop toys on the feature list and marketing blitz. It's a case of priorities; you'll find that even Microsoft presents Windows differently to consumers (digital lifestyle) and enterprises (manageability, productivity) despite being the same basic product.

I'm not trying to slam Novell. I've been using Suse since 9.3, I do consider it to be one of the best all around desktop distros so I would expect SLED to be well received. But Novell needs to get their act together if they're really going to have an impact. If sexy desktops and multimedia sold enterprise platforms, OS X would be far more prevalent in business but it's not, and Novell should ask themselves why it isn't. Understand your customer's requirements and address them, and when you do, don't bury it under a wobbly window.

Oh well, it's still a step in the right direction, but neither a knockout punch or a giant killer.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The Hype and The Reality
by poohgee on Tue 15th Aug 2006 23:55 UTC in reply to "The Hype and The Reality"
poohgee Member since:
2005-08-13

Very good comment & also good review .

They are selling SLES 10 properly - but SLED10 - yes - they should be creating a working environment - get important progs ported to Linux or use good replacements - they propably could be furfilling a lot of issues if certain progs were in the base install and they told someone .

"elsewhere" your OSX comment is spot on IMO - a working environment need not be pretty to furfill its task .

Reply Score: 1

A so-tempted user
by flanque on Wed 16th Aug 2006 02:53 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

I am a user who is very tempted to switch to a desktop distribution but every time I try (most recently a fortnight ago with Ubuntu 6.06 LTS) I find myself frustraited and annoyed.

For one reason or another there is information that I need to extract easily from my computer, which in Windows I can get to within a few seconds, but on Linux I spend a good five or more minutes trying to locate where it is.

I was a linux (redhat) server admin a few years back for about two years total and seem to find the console far easier to get what I need done, done.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not slaming Linux in any way, but there are just various annoyances each time I try that keep me coming back to Windows.

Perhaps it's just that I have to learn new ways or places to find information, but not at the cost of being difficult to find.

And perhaps this is one of the biggest problems Linux on the desktop suffers from. People are so used to something (Windows) that a superior product which is just a bit different, finds it so hard to get a strong hold on people.

Imagine changing the QWERTY keyboard to a more efficient design. Almost impossible.

I guess the point I am making is that I agree with the above. Less focus on cubed desktop glitter and more on what makes the OS what the public wants.

Perhaps a www.betterlinux.org study is needed. The "desktop" is just one aspect of an OS.

Edited 2006-08-16 02:56

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Pole vaulting not limbo
by Soulbender on Wed 16th Aug 2006 03:05 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"companies should be after increasing their userbase."

Who are you to say what the goals of other peoples companies should be?

"The old DIY-centered, hardcore distros haven't, if they're any good, gone anywhere;"

Maybe they are exactly where they want to be?

Reply Score: 1

So what if it resambles Windows behaviour?
by mario on Wed 16th Aug 2006 08:33 UTC
mario
Member since:
2005-07-06

This is a desktop distro, and should provide easy transition for desktop users, which are overwhealmingly Windows.

Heck, even I, Linux user since 1996 (Slackware), like to have the keyboard shortcuts in KDE the same as in Windows. I don't want to learn new shortcuts - I'd rather spend my time cycling, thank you.

Reply Score: 4