Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of Lindows.com joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
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My thoughts
by Aric Wilisch on Thu 1st May 2003 12:07 UTC

From the sounds of it you just described Lindows. Of course you run into problems when you pick and choose what your going to install. If you pick kde and concentrate on customizing that to run on your distribution perfectly, but anything else just kinda works then you are going to alienate all the Gnome lovers out there, and vice versa. Then of course on the install you talk about adding all kinds of 'eye candy'. Persoanlly, I hate eye candy. I would rather just pick what I want, express install or custom, and get it done so I can start using my new system. I havn't taken a major poll on this but most people I talk with, in and out of the IS field, agree. So I personally would remove the eye candy and just get the install done as quickly as possible.

Don't really understand why you would restructure your filesystem. A typical new users, windows or otherwise, more than likely will not go past the gui until they are comfortable with the system. If you really want to make it worth while, I'd leave the installation as close to unix as you can and include a book on the linux system. You'd do well to cut a deal to include Linux for dummies along with it. Concentrate on making the graphical nice and clean, add lots of configuration tools and icons, redesign their 'start menu' so that they can find everything. They should be able to do anything on the system from their desktop. Some times are harder to do like creating symlinks to samba shares or things to that nature, but eventually I'm sure that could be worked out as well. With this type of configuration they are up and running on their new linux system, can do everything they need from the gui, AND they have a book that's simple to read if they want to learn more about the linux filesystem and how the system they are running works.

I agree that when your done with the install you should have defaults set. But you should pick these from your installation. Have a default set that if you pick express install it will set these as your defaults, like Mozilla and Evolution. But if you pick custom then you should at one point get one page that lists all the major clients, Web, FTP, Email, etc with perhaps drop down boxes next to each. Each box should contain all the currently installed packages for that field (ex: Web would list Mozilla, Galeon, etc). So when your done, you have all the main clients set for your distribution, but you allowed the user to pick them.

For the most part, your right that drastic changes would have to be done for linux to make a hit on the deskop for normal windows like users. I personally think distributions like Lindows and Xandros have a good idea and will probably work well to expand linux onto desktop systems. I personally wouldn't use one of their distributions, but that's cause I actually LIKE having options on my linux distributions. Just remember though that when you take away things like being able to install anything and have many different options like window managers, you are no longer running linux, your running the next version of Windows.

Aric