Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 10th Jan 2006 23:42 UTC, submitted by ishmal
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y "This article fairly eloquently expounds some of the reasons why Linux's job is not to become increasingly Windows-like, nor is it Open Source's duty to merely provide free duplicates of every Windows-user's favorite program. The issue has never been anything about Elite Snob vs. Concerned Newbie. It is simply a misunderstanding of what the Linux and the Open Source world is all about. Linux is not about repeating Windows with its features and flaws. It is an opportunity to experiment with new and wonderful alternatives", says OSNews reader Bob Jamison.
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If this is true...
by Jon Dough on Wed 11th Jan 2006 03:28 UTC
Jon Dough
Member since:
2005-11-30

If this is true....

(Quoting from the article) "So, allow me to explain something that is fundamental to understanding Linux: The Linux community is not trying to provide the average Windows user with a replacement OS. The goal of Linux is not "Linux on every desktop".

....then why all the ranting on GNU/Linux boards about how awful Windows is and how everyone should get a clue & move to GNU/Linux?

Reply Score: 2

RE: If this is true...
by siride on Wed 11th Jan 2006 03:44 in reply to "If this is true..."
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Because a zealot is a zealot is a zealot. A lot of the true hardcore Linux users I have come into contact aren't so childish and many want to keep Linux as Linux and not just a cheap MS Windows clone. Unfortunately, the zealots are louder than the level-headed Linux users and that's what the outside sees.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: If this is true...
by WorknMan on Wed 11th Jan 2006 04:11 in reply to "RE: If this is true..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Linux's goal is to make a really good operating system. Developers are busy adding features, removing bugs, and improving existing implementations. They're not busy putting up billboards advertising how good their stuff is. That should tell you something about where their priorities are.

Of course, the developers aren't doing that, but it seems that every article with a forum or blog that even mentions Microsoft or Windows (especially if it's an article about a security flaw) will have about 80 zealots dismissing Windows users as idiots and admonishing them to switch to the almightly Linux. IMHO, the Linux community needs to work harder to silence those individuals who are doing the OS more harm than good.

As for the article, the author paints Windows as something that people use when they want a simple OS and like to be led around by the nose. Actually, I think that describes more OSX than Windows, afterall ... many people like OSX because "it just works." And this is not a bad thing because OSX does this job well.
But Windows doesn't just work. If you don't know what you're doing, you're gonna get infected with malware out the ass. If you *do* know what you're doing, then you know exactly why you use the OS, and it ain't for the OS itself.

I view Linux as an OS for geeks - people that like to tinker and use the kinds of applications they think everybody else uses. Web browsing, email, playing mp3's, typing documents ... you know, the 'bread and butter' stuff. By and large, having applications with every bell and whistle known to man is not high on their priority list.

I view Windows as an OS for power users. Some of us go nuts when it comes to applications ... we'll download and try 30 different applications that all do the same task, just so we can have the best tool. And once we do pick one we like, we tend to learn it like the back of our hand, exploiting pretty much all the features and learning all the shortcuts. In most genres of applications, Windows is very good for this. And most of the god apps are powerful, yet pretty simple to pick up on. Most power users aren't willing to use an app, even if it's very powerful, if the damn thing is nearly impossible to learn. We simply don't have that much interest in computers in general - we just want to use them in order to get work done - but we obsess about our work, lol ;) So if I'm a power user, why am I here? Actually, I'm sort of a cross between a geek and a power user ;)

Anyway, to present us with an app that has maybe half the functionality than the one that we're using and saying "Here, use this" would be like giving a Linux geek an OS in which he can't recompile the kernel. THE HORROR!! ;) My point here is that experienced users of one particular OS tends to know about the alternatives, but sticks with that particular OS because it fills a need. Whether that need is to tinker endlessly with the OS, use the most powerful apps in existence, have an easy-to-use enviroment out of the box, or to have something that looks 'purty' on their desk, there's really no operating system where one size fits all.

Oh, and one last thing ...
The article helped me to verbalize something that I always felt, but could never really explain. The author points out that many apps in Linux start out as CLI, and then have GUI tools built around them, sometimes (maybe often times?) not as part of the original app and sometimes not even by the same author. IMHO, this is ok, but only to a point. When you get too much of this going on, it tends to give the entire desktop experience a very 'stuck together' kind of feel. Like when I am running an app, I feel like I'm not really controlling the app, but simply running an app that controls another app underneath. Like the whole thing is stacked on top of each other like a house of cards. That make any sense?

Reply Parent Score: 5