Linked by Martin Girard on Tue 12th Sep 2006 13:57 UTC
Linux You must remember the period where various electronic devices, from phones to radios, were available in transparent cases. You may have found them utterly cool. Yet the simple fact that you can't find these things on the shelves anymore (except for do-it-yourself PC cases) means the crowd doesn't find them nearly that cool. While you may not see the link yet, this is exactly why the Linux desktop will never be popular.
Thread beginning with comment 161526
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
What Absolute Rubbish
by charlieg on Tue 12th Sep 2006 14:20 UTC
charlieg
Member since:
2005-07-25

"In order to make the Linux desktop appealing to the average Joe, technology enthusiasts would have to betray their core values to such extends that it would be the operating system's undoing."

You have an OS with geek roots, yes. But this is hidden by increasingly smooth and uninterfering desktop software (e.g. Gnome) that makes using a computer a pleasure for novice users. Geeks can then just sub in their own geek land software (e.g. Fluxbox, Englightenment) and people are happy. We are constantly seeing software components developed for Linux/BSD/*nix that just work (e.g. HAL, GStreamer, XOrg) and are handled by the distribution. Combined with increasingly ergonomic applications (e.g. Totem, Banshee, Tomboy, Evince) and using your computer to do the basics is easy.

All the complicated stuff is handled by the distribution - Grandma doesn't need to know what the software is, just as long as she can see "Media Player", click on it, and play a movie or insert a DVD and watch it all happen for her. And on my machine, she can.

Have you installed Ubuntu or Fedora recently? Or even Linspire or Freespire?

The only failing of Linux so far is marketing. It needs to be preinstalled; it needs to be spoon fed to the public. The only reason it is not taking off like it could is because it requires manual intervention to use it.

This article is 100% flamebait and displays a total ignorance of the open source software movement.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What Absolute Rubbish
by RMSe17 on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:01 in reply to "What Absolute Rubbish"
RMSe17 Member since:
2006-03-06

I do not think things are that good yet. For example, last distro that I installed (and I forget which one it was, Ubuntu or SUSE 10.1) would not "out-of-the-box" play an mp3. I dont think I got a .wmv to play either.

The reason I don't remember which distro it was is because I didn't really care for that, I was testing other things, I just tried it to see if everything would work.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: What Absolute Rubbish
by Knuckles on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:06 in reply to "RE: What Absolute Rubbish"
Knuckles Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't want to flame, but COME ON!! This has been discussed hundreds of time, distros choose not to include mp3 and wmv and other multimedia support because it may be illegal (because of licensing and/or software patents in some countries).

But is that all you have to say? Because if it is, congrats to all opensource developers, they seem to have it all together, if all you can find to complain is that.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: What Absolute Rubbish
by Duffman on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:42 in reply to "What Absolute Rubbish"
Duffman Member since:
2005-11-23

This article is 100% flamebait and displays a total ignorance of the open source software movement.

No this article is only showing us that you are a Linux zealot, unable to get the facts.

I never read a so interesting (and neutral) article on OSNews.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: What Absolute Rubbish
by slight on Tue 12th Sep 2006 16:08 in reply to "RE: What Absolute Rubbish"
slight Member since:
2006-09-10

I have to agree with him I'm afraid. Once a modern Linux like Ubuntu is installed and configured (that includes setting up MP3, WMV and Flash) grandma can use it, and it's actually simpler than Windows.

I installed Ubuntu for my girlfriend. The only thing she ever asks for support on is OpenOffice because she's used to Office. She's perfectly happy with Gnome, Firefox, Gaim and Thunderbird, and she is *not* a power user.

Sorry but the article is just plain wrong, most of the development going into the UI of the major 'commercial' or 'desktop' distros (Gnome) is being done by major companies to human interface guidelines, not by random geeks.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: What Absolute Rubbish
by DoctorPepper on Tue 12th Sep 2006 15:48 in reply to "What Absolute Rubbish"
DoctorPepper Member since:
2005-07-12

Not quite rubbish.

There are different levels of technical capability. I have two elderly acquaintances, one that had never used a computer in his life. He is currently using Fedora (I forget which "core"), and has been for over three years now (he moved to Fedora from Red Hat). He has never used Windows, and doesn't miss it.

My second friend has worked around computers for a long time (longer than perhaps anyone on this site), all the way back to punch cards. I got her first personal computer for her, an HP Pavilion running Windows 98, back in 2002. I recently upgraded that computer to a bottom of the line Dell running Windows XP. While she has learned quite a bit in the four or so years she has used personal computers, I still get called over to help with (what I would consider) simple things. There is absolutely no way this lady could run Linux without being on the phone with me on an almost daily basis, no matter which distro she used.

Moral of my little story is some people are very capable of using Linux today. Some are not. The best thing would be to help those that can, and let the rest stay with what they are used to. I'd rather pass-up someone that shouldn't be running Linux, than to have the entire Linux community suffere a black eye because of me pushing them to use it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: What Absolute Rubbish
by arctic on Wed 13th Sep 2006 17:13 in reply to "What Absolute Rubbish"
arctic Member since:
2006-04-19

"You have an OS with geek roots, yes."

One thing people tend to forget is that ALL operating systems have geek roots. Ever seen a non-geek coding a line of a program? Ever seen a non-geek even thinking about becoming a progammer? I haven't. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: What Absolute Rubbish
by Bonus on Wed 13th Sep 2006 18:12 in reply to "RE: What Absolute Rubbish"
Bonus Member since:
2005-12-23

I think there is a difference between a geek and a nerd. A nerd just does his job and builds a product. A geek is more of a hobbiest. So sometimes Linux can become unweildly becase of all the versions and the main repositories trying to handle everyhthing.
I like how, in Windows, my config files are in the actual folders of the program. Also I have to re-download sourceccode in Linux as it's already installed in the repository most likely and I dont want to work in Super User mode. When I do that it's hard to reinstall it. Granted with Windows you have to install sourcecode dependencies manually but that's not a big deal to me.

Edited 2006-09-13 18:15

Reply Parent Score: 1