Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Thu 24th Jul 2008 04:32 UTC, submitted by snydeq
Linux Mark Shuttleworth today urged development of Linux models to rival what Apple has done on the desktop and mobile devices. Certainly on the desktop experience, we need to shoot beyond the Mac, but I think it's equally relevant [in] the mobile space, Shuttleworth said, outlining the challenge as figuring out how to deliver a 'crisp and clean' experience, without sacrificing the community process. Key to this will be services-based mechanisms for creating revenue for free software that go beyond advertising, Shuttleworth said, adding that cadence in free software releases spurs innovation, and that a regular release schedule, as well as meaningful ties to Windows, will be essential to fulfilling the vision.
Thread beginning with comment 324305
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Comment by Macrat
by Macrat on Thu 24th Jul 2008 06:24 UTC
Macrat
Member since:
2006-03-27

The Mac OS isn't popular because it has a "pretty" screen.. It is because the whole underlying user interface is easier.

The Linux user interface isn't going to be changing anytime soon as the average Linux user/developer lives in the command line.

Reply Score: 10

RE: Comment by Macrat
by Quag7 on Thu 24th Jul 2008 06:41 in reply to "Comment by Macrat"
Quag7 Member since:
2005-07-28

Not sure why someone would mod you down - I can see disagreeing with you but it's not like your post was a troll or abusive.

I'm curious how true that is. I'd be curious to know how many Linux users:

(1) use the command line for most of their file management

(2) use the command line for most of their package management

(3) use the command line to execute programs

(4) use a lot of custom scripts

vs.

How many people use Ubuntu basically like Windows most of the time. A friend of mine just installed Ubuntu and years ago I got used to doing things at the command line so I can't even answer some of his questions without fiddling around with my mouse to see how certain things work.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by reldruh on Thu 24th Jul 2008 07:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
reldruh Member since:
2007-02-05

For informational purposes, I've set up maybe a dozen people with linux and:

1. Nobody uses the command line for file management. Everybody's used to the folder paradigm and understands it whether it starts at C: or /. Besides which, there are great GUI tools for that kind of thing (konqueror springs to mind; whenever I need to help somebody with something I just ssh with konqueror. Much easier than ssh on the command line and cp).

2. Package management has been difficult to make people do at all. This is probably what I get the most calls about ("I want a program to do X, can you do that?") I show everybody adept but only a couple people use it. I just get a lot of calls the first couple weeks and then they have everything they need for 99% of what they do.

3. I install Kubuntu for most people and encourage people to use katapult (an amazing launcher that comes with kubuntu by default). Half of people pick that up and love it and the other half stick with the regular menu; it's there, they're familiar with it, it's a no brainer.

4. Again, nobody who comes to me for help has ever needed any scripts.

What ends up happening as far as the command line is that I use it when they need help because I find it more convienent than the GUI apps (especially package management. Why open adept, search for a program, hit install, hit apply when that's 1 line on a terminal?) but everything that they need has a gui.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by Tjebbe on Thu 24th Jul 2008 22:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
Tjebbe Member since:
2007-05-17

maybe because those users have discovered that the command line is, for a lot of tasks, both more powerful and faster than any GUI could ever be?

Both have their places. Most Mac users i know use the command line for a lot of things too.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment by Macrat
by DrillSgt on Thu 24th Jul 2008 07:00 in reply to "Comment by Macrat"
DrillSgt Member since:
2005-12-02

"The Mac OS isn't popular because it has a "pretty" screen.. It is because the whole underlying user interface is easier.

The Linux user interface isn't going to be changing anytime soon as the average Linux user/developer lives in the command line."


Actually Mac OSX is popular as it has a pretty screen. I find it's usability to be negligible. Certainly no more usable than any other interface. The single menu bar sucks rocks, and makes it almost unusable IMO. I want my active application to be up top, not what OS X thinks I should have.

As for the "average linux user...", most use the GUI these days. Please stop smoking crack before posting a comment. There is rarely a reason to drop to the command line. I drop to the command line more in OS X than I do in Linux to do basic things like ping, traceroute, etc. Unless there is a GUI tool I am not aware of in OS X that does that..which is more than possible. Please do not name one of the GPL tools either..as those are available on Linux without an extra install routine or a purchase.

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by shyouko on Thu 24th Jul 2008 07:14 in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
shyouko Member since:
2005-12-31

/Application/Utilities/Network Utility.app

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by exigentsky on Thu 24th Jul 2008 08:21 in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
exigentsky Member since:
2005-07-09

I've used Linux (dozens of distributions) for close to a decade and Windows for even more than that. Yet, last year I purchased my first Apple product, a Macbook. It wasn't for the "pretty screen."

I was curious and wanted to try a fresh alternative. I wanted to see an open source system (Darwin) with a unified interface and direction. Moreover, I wanted to get a glimpse into what Linux might be like if it had reasonable commercial support from Microsoft, Adobe and the other big companies as well as no hardware incompatibilities. Given that the price of a Macbook was identical to the Windows based models, from Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba etc., I really had nothing to lose. After all, I could always put Linux or Windows on it if OS X turned out to be a disappointing mistake.

While I still use Linux from time to time, my OS X experiment has been interesting and successful. Trying to get a hang of Applescript, Dashcode and Cocoa was fun and really forced me to learn new ways of doing things. Moreover, the interface is a pleasure to use once the learning curve is over. Having one menu bar for all programs gives a consistent target and saves screen real estate. Additionally, the Dock is a bit gimmicky but actually has some advantages over the taskbar. When you have ten or more programs open, it is much easier to distinguish the large icons. In a taskbar, the icons would be too small and the text almost unreadable. Moreover, it is useful in drag and drop operations. For example, I can drag a file to some program on the Dock and it will open it. Of course, it's not perfect. Apple has made some really silly decisions like having the cut feature only work with text. Moreover, Leopard's Dock has false perspective and the reflections are really just over the top distractions. That's why I disabled them and switched to a cleaner 2D look. Just write the following in the terminal:

defaults write com.apple.dock no-glass -boolean YES
killall Dock

And here we come to one of OS X strengths and weaknesses. The customization options are more limited than in KDE, XFCE, or GNOME, if you want them through a GUI. On the other hand, this means consistent and well-thought out defaults which have been tested thoroughly. It's a balance. Obviously I could write much more about this, but I don't want to make a record for longest post. I hope my account was insightful.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by collinm on Thu 24th Jul 2008 12:39 in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

most popular place for mac is usa

i know many university buy it...

but often mac lab is empty... example nebraska university...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by airjrdn on Thu 24th Jul 2008 16:15 in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
airjrdn Member since:
2006-07-27

"As for the "average linux user...", most use the GUI these days. Please stop smoking crack before posting a comment. There is rarely a reason to drop to the command line."


Every 8 months or so, I try Linux. The last couple of times, one of the distros I've chosen has been Ubuntu. From what I can remember, during the past couple of days, I've had to use the command line for:
1 - adding software repositories
2 - installing sound card drivers
3 - installing nvidia card drivers
4 - compiling kernel (for sound card drivers)
5 - installing software (virtualbox, rar support, etc.)
6 - uninstalling sound card drivers (get Error 2 if done from the GUI)

I'm sure there were more things, but that's all I can remember at the moment.

While some things could have been accomplished from the gui, the HowTo's I found did things from the command line, so that's how I did them. Some HAD to be done via the command line though.

I actually had to install it twice. The first time, sound worked for a couple of sessions, but stopped and wouldn't work again. As I could find no way to make it work again, I had to start over.

You might argue that installing things is what required my command line usage, not using things, and you "typically" only install things once. However, I can install and uninstall anything in Windows without using the command line.

Argue it all you want, but to this day, Linux still requires use of the command line MUCH more than Windows does.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by SyGo on Thu 24th Jul 2008 23:37 in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
SyGo Member since:
2006-07-08


Actually Mac OSX is popular as it has a pretty screen. I find it's usability to be negligible. Certainly no more usable than any other interface.


say...for example...blackbox? 'any' should be used with some caution there.


The single menu bar sucks rocks, and makes it almost unusable IMO. I want my active application to be up top, not what OS X thinks I should have.


well, here's the interesting bit: usability isn't really about what you think, it's about what the majority (in a group of users with several levels of experience) feels conformable with.

I'm still waiting to see the focus groups results of *any* linux window environment on a wiki somewhere. if not a pdf. anything really! are there focus groups? what are we letting bleed through as "usability"? randomness? a "hyea, that looks good there?" kinda' thing? that's not usability, that's freeware back when Pascal was king and we used zmodem as a protocol to download something at 2400 baud.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Macrat
by Softfailur on Fri 25th Jul 2008 20:58 in reply to "RE: Comment by Macrat"
Softfailur Member since:
2007-07-26

You know... There is a way to make you understand ideas about OS X UI: RTFM! ;-)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Macrat
by Moredhas on Thu 24th Jul 2008 07:53 in reply to "Comment by Macrat"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

I've been using various Linux distributions for about two years now (but before that I was toying with dual booting and never actually using it), and there are only rare occasions I use the command line.

The first is when a program I've just installed isn't running. I run it from the command line so I can get some error feedback. Usually just to find out I'm missing a particular library, then it's a simple matter of installing that.

Second, and rarest for me, is if I know exactly what I want to install, to the letter. It's quicker to type 'apt-get install' than it is to open Synaptic and search, when I know what I want to install.

The third case is often coupled with the first. Compiling a program from source. I know, a lot of fanatics (and normal people) compile everything from source religiously, but when I can double click a .deb or use the package manager, I will. Since I'm currently using Mint, which is completely compatible with the Ubuntu repositories, practically the only time I ever need to compile something myself is when the latest SVN version of a program has a must-have feature. More often than not, the version in the repositories is good enough, or sometimes, the program's site has a more recent .deb.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by Macrat
by ruel24 on Thu 24th Jul 2008 20:35 in reply to "Comment by Macrat"
ruel24 Member since:
2006-03-21

"The Linux user interface isn't going to be changing anytime soon as the average Linux user/developer lives in the command line."

Are you in the dark ages? I've been using PCLinuxOS for almost 3 years now and have yet to open a command line. Oh yeah, and last I looked, the command line was pretty popular in Mac OS X. They even use "sudo" just like Ubuntu does.

Edited 2008-07-24 20:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by Macrat
by cmost on Thu 24th Jul 2008 20:49 in reply to "Comment by Macrat"
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

According to your comment, "the underlying user interface is easier" on the Mac as compared to Linux. The underlying user interface of the Mac (e.g., below the "pretty screen" as you put it) is UNIX. The same (more or less) interface underlies Linux as well.

As for interfaces, where Mac has only one (Aqua) Linux has dozens. You can use Gnome, KDE, XFCE, and Fluxbox (just to name a few) or all of them! All of these interfaces are endlessly configurable to resemble Windows, Mac, Amiga, BeOS or any combination in between. Add the dizzying effects of Compiz-Fusion to the mix and configuration possibilities increases ad infinitum. In short, with Linux you can truly have your interface exactly the way you want it. It might take a bit of work on your part, or you can simply choose a distribution that shares your aesthetic ideals and comes pre-configured the way you prefer. Please don't put down Linux because you think its interface is somehow inferior...that just doesn't make sense considering the options available. Just my $0.02

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Macrat
by unoengborg on Fri 25th Jul 2008 22:15 in reply to "Comment by Macrat"
unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06

The Mac OS isn't popular because it has a "pretty" screen.. It is because the whole underlying user interface is easier.

The Linux user interface isn't going to be changing anytime soon as the average Linux user/developer lives in the command line.



The Mac OS is popular because it actually works, and the reason for that is that it runs in a controlled environment. Linux on the other hand is supposed to run on any odd PC that it is thrown at.

As for the Linux user interface not changing, I don't know where you got that idea. Gnome releases new stuff every six months, and then there is KDE4 that is evolving faster than any user interface I ever seen, it may not be ready for the masses just yet, but when it is, Microsoft and Apple will really need to watch out. It's not only skin deep, things like nepumuk will not only change how things look, but also change how we work with the Linux desktop.

Besides,whats wrong with the command line, it complements the GUI very well. Some things are better done in a script or a oneliner, even Mac users knows that.

Reply Parent Score: 3