Linked by David Adams on Mon 24th Aug 2009 09:21 UTC
Linux A reader asks: Why is Linux still not as user friendly as the two other main OSes with all the people developing for Linux? Is it because it is mainly developed by geeks? My initial feeling when reading this question was that it was kind of a throwaway, kind of a slam in disguise as a genuine question. But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I felt. There truly are a large amount of resources being dedicated to the development of Linux and its operating system halo (DEs, drivers, apps, etc). Some of these resources are from large companies (IBM, Red Hat, Novell). Why isn't Linux more user-friendly? Is this an inherent limitation with open source software?
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If it is an inherent limitation...
by rajan r on Mon 24th Aug 2009 09:54 UTC
rajan r
Member since:
2005-07-27

Then things like VLC and Firefox would be just as user-unfriendly as Linux.

So why isn't Linux user-friendly? Linux is just a combination of too many different projects, many of them competing with other alternatives, and not all of them intended to primarily cater to end-users. "KDE or GNOME? Let the end-user decide, and throw in XFCE and maybe even E17 in too for good measure!"

All we need is one distribution with the courage and resources to infuriate the geeks. Too many distributions just put together everything, make sure they work well with each other and nothing horrible goes wrong, and then if they're hardworking they will change the look of the default DE and add some GUI control panel and package manager.

If distributions were done just like Linux is used for PDAs and smartphones, the world would be a better place.

Reply Score: 8

seishino Member since:
2005-09-10

To expand on this idea:

To me, user-friendlyness to a large part comes from the computer acting as if it had one voice and one mind. I.E. No matter what the user is trying to do, they know where the computer would put it, in the same way that they would know how late their roommate will be in paying the rent.

Linux, being made by many groups that all come together with an established history of what "user friendliness" means to them, lacks that overarching voice. There are dozens of different ways of doing anything, some of which may or may not work in any given circumstance.

Reply Parent Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Assembly and customization is the responsibility of the distribution; same with car manufacturer's assembling commodity parts and customizing the appearance; same with soup vendors taking the same vegitables and putting there own spin on the cooking and flavour; same with toothbrush manufacturers customizing the look and rigidity of a stick with bristles on one end; same with ... ...

I just don't get why it's somehow special when it comes to Linux based platforms yet no one has an issue with choosing a breakfast cereal or any other product category that offers more than one choice. If one doesn't like how one manufacturer assembled the car or Linux based platform, look at another manufacturer.

Reply Parent Score: 3