Linked by Mike Martin on Mon 14th Jul 2003 17:42 UTC
Linux After reading yet another "why Linux is not ready for the desktop" article/discussion, I decided that, as someone who uses Linux exclusively at home, its about time I wrote my response to the attitudes expressed. I have been using Linux since January 1999 (Red Hat 5.2 off of a cover disc).
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: comparison
by Anonymous on Mon 14th Jul 2003 20:13 UTC

I think the whole 'ease of use' thing is over hyped. It's more like what you are exposed to as a brand spanking new computer user for the first time that deterimines certian aspects of what you will or won't like in the long wrong.[sic]

There is a certain amount of truth in this, but it only goes so far. That is, sure, people can learn anything, and do, but the question is how many do? More people in the world have the time and patience to learn a Mac, a few less Windows (even though they dwarf Mac users), a few less *nix.

As a guy who got started when computers were pretty primitive and who has designed Unix workstation hardware and written a lot of software, I still think that Linux is not quite ready for primetime. I love and use it all the time, but my experience trying to get a printer working the other night (hours) tells me we aren't quite there yet. Are we getting close? Yup, darn close. Things like OpenOffice have leveled the playing field tremendously for the average user.

The main problem I see is that things always seem to require a little bit of messing with to get right. Yes, I can do it, but the number of times I have to fiddle with obscure commands, man pages, blah, blah, is too high for the normal user. People on mailing lists respond with "Duh! Just download the source and recompile..." sort of answers that while helpful for getting me going again are not helpful for the average user.

In short, Linux needs to get a "just works" philosophy. I see that coming from the Ximian folks, for instance, and I think that's a good thing to support.

Again, we'll get there. But we aren't there yet.