Linked by Allen Boyles on Mon 7th Nov 2011 09:46 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces In the commercial software world, user interfaces are generally designed by one group. Like Microsoft for Windows or Apple for Mac OS. Those desktop environments were designed by one company who did things like user testing and statistical analysis to try and make the desktop they thought would work best. Linux is different. Large groups definitely DO perform user testing and statistical analysis, but one group can also say "Here's what we want" and, if they have the ability to code it, their idea comes into being. It's pretty amazing, when you think about it. Linux lets people create what they want. If you don't like what's out there, fork it! Or start from scratch! You're in control!
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RE: This is not an either/or
by galvanash on Mon 7th Nov 2011 18:39 UTC in reply to "This is not an either/or"
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

I completely agree with everything you said here, but that isn't the big picture...

It isn't _just_ a lack of customization that is rubbing some people the wrong way. It is that the nature of many of the abstractions are changing. It is happening slowly to be sure, but it is happening. Menus are being systematically eliminated - hierarchical organization is being eliminated - these are being replaced by more dynamic methods of organizing things that are not exposed by the UI in the same ways - and the most efficient methods of doing these things under the hood will eventually change along with it.

If you look at how things have changed in Gnome 3 for example, it is obvious (at least to me) that there will be a point (that isn't far off) where recreating the look and feel of a Gnome 2 desktop will simply not be possible - or if it is it will be dramatically less efficient because the information to do so in a familiar way will become harder and harder to squeeze out of the system.

Abstractions change. Some people don't like it. You can't always customize your way out of it. I'm not taking a side here, I'm just saying that pervasive customization is not the solution to the problem - the problem is really about the abstractions themselves.

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