Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 18th Aug 2008 23:33 UTC, submitted by Charles Wilson
Editorial GoboLinux is a distribution which sports a different file system structure than 'ordinary' Linux distributions. In order to remain compatible with the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, symbolic links are used to map the GoboLinux tree to standard UNIX directories. A post in the GoboLinux forums suggested that it might be better to turn the concept around: retain the FHS, and then use symbolic links to map the GoboLinux tree on top of it. This sparked some interesting discussion. Read on for more details.
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RE: Solving the wrong problem
by tupp on Tue 19th Aug 2008 07:11 UTC in reply to "Solving the wrong problem"
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

Filsystem hierarchy should not matter to the user, at least not the parts that deals with installed software. The user should just need to know that he adds new functionality, he shouldn't need to know where the files actually goes.


Disagree strongly.

The biggest usability blunder in the history of computer GUIs is the intentional hiding of the directories from the user by Apple (and, later, by Microsoft).

The directory structure is an important mapping model of the system, and shielding the user from this mapping has created a generation of helpless, clueless users, who have to call technical support every time they try to download an attachment from Yahoo mail.

In regards to computer usability, it is extremely beneficial for the user to know the basic locations and relative positions of the software and data.

Reply Parent Score: 7

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

yep, i still love the dos day when every app or driver was contained in its own dir that one could move virtually anywhere as long as one entered the right path into either config.sys or autoexec.bat.

say what you will about its userfriendlyness but it was simple. and the same level of simple is what gobolinux is aiming for imo. that it appears to be user friendly is just a side effect.

note for instance that rather then having init.d and friends in etc (or /System/Settings in gobolinux) there is a BootOptions file (setting stuff like how the ascii-art for the boot process should look like) and a BootScripts dir.

in that dir one find:

BootUp: a list of things to start on all boots.

Console: what to start if the machine is to boot into a command line login.

Graphic: what to start if its a X based login.

Shutdown: generic tasks for dealing with all kinds of correct shutdowns.

Halt: what to do when shutting down.

Reboot: what to do on a reboot.

some daemons are packaged with Task scripts that minic init.d ones, so that they can be started and stopped with StartTask and StopTask. both of those can be used in bootup and shutdown.

Reply Parent Score: 2

unoengborg Member since:
2005-07-06


The directory structure is an important mapping model of the system, and shielding the user from this mapping has created a generation of helpless, clueless users, who have to call technical support every time they try to download an attachment from Yahoo mail.


Yes, I agree with you that you need to know these things in MacOS-X or Windows, and if you don't you are lost. This is the problem. If users didn't need to know these things they wouldn't be lost.

You don't need to know how the phone system is wired to use a phone, even though the phone network and phone sytem is much more complex than even the most complicated computer desktops. So why is it be so impossible to make a usable computer desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

So why is it be so impossible to make a usable computer desktop.


It's not impossible at all.

The only people that can change the status quo are the developers. However, developers themselves are rusted stuck in old ways of thinking, and don't like change at all - and then they go and shout at users for being resistant to change.

Developers have themselves invested time in understanding and mastering the status quo. They are simply unwilling to let that investment go to waste, and as such, they prefer a crappy, old, incapable system that creates confusion and promotes messy behaviour simply because it's what THEY are comfortable with.

Many UNIX developers ridicule Microsoft for adding layer upon layer in Windows, but in the end, UNIX developers do exactly the same thing.

Reply Parent Score: 5