Linked by David Adams on Mon 24th Aug 2009 09:21 UTC
Linux A reader asks: Why is Linux still not as user friendly as the two other main OSes with all the people developing for Linux? Is it because it is mainly developed by geeks? My initial feeling when reading this question was that it was kind of a throwaway, kind of a slam in disguise as a genuine question. But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I felt. There truly are a large amount of resources being dedicated to the development of Linux and its operating system halo (DEs, drivers, apps, etc). Some of these resources are from large companies (IBM, Red Hat, Novell). Why isn't Linux more user-friendly? Is this an inherent limitation with open source software?
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by l3v1 on Mon 24th Aug 2009 10:09 UTC
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User friendliness?

It depends: who are the "users"?

What do we need more: user-friendly tools, or user-friendly interfaces? Do (should, might) they exclude each other?

Friendly means nice and easy clickety, or friendly means powerful, flexible, lots of options, high customizability?

Are users developers? Are developers users?

Friendly to me, to you, to newbies, to devs, to pros, to grandma, to whom? Here flexibility and versatility can and can't [at the same time, even] mean friendly.

Friendly as flexible, or friendly as tight-wrapped with limited usage and options? Some can feel cozy moving around in a limited environment, some won't.

If I am the user, then I say it's friendly enough. But I'm not the user, I'm just a tiny portion of the user, if we think of the user as a humongous entity comprising all computer users on this planet.

A hope should be that convergence is a part of the process, development, polishing, and time maybe will provide a result that most would call user-friendly. And again, it might not. But, during that time even the meaning of user-friendly might change enough (given enough improvement and change in user behavior and knowledge and expectations) so that convergence happens faster.

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