What is the best distro for my business manager?

Jude DaShiell jdashiel at shellworld.net
Sun Nov 25 16:46:47 UTC 2012

Pure art and computer programming mix to everybody's cost at the end of 
the day.  This is the same thing that happened to html back in 1995 and it 
is how and why the web is so often inaccessible these days.  How you 
protect accessibility usability and productivity with coding is to write 
things that first prevent adverse stuff from ever getting on the screen 
and then extract the useful stuff the adverse blocked pieces and convert 
the useful stuff into data/information that can be written to the screen 
in the desired interface.  Little if any of that has happened with the 
exception of edbrowse which has a subset of javascript used and has 
several of the really artsy effects disabled so nothing happens when 
edbrowse encounters them on the web.  Standards are only bandaids because 
so many of them exist and selective enforcement allows for many to be in 
use at one time. On Sat, 24 Nov 2012, marbux wrote:

> On Sat, Nov 24, 2012 at 7:04 AM, Christopher Chaltain
> <chaltain at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I don't think Ubuntu switched to Unity just to change something for no
> > reason though. MS, Gnome and Ubuntu all realize that the personal
> > computing world is changing and mobile devices are more and more
> > important. I can't believe three organizations would all be changing
> > there interface for no reason. You may not agree with the reasons, and
> > you may not see a benefit in running the same interface on your cell
> > phone, your tablet and your PC, but not agreeing with someone's
> > justification doesn't mean that the change was made for no reason. I
> > know for my part, I would have felt more productive when I got my iPhone
> > if I hadn't had to learn a whole new interface. I also don't think we're
> > going to get to a converged interface by making incremental changes.
> I agree that there are reasons for the Unity interface beyond eye
> candy and gadgetry, but not so for the Kubuntu switch to KDE 4 and the
> Ubuntu switch to Gnome 3. The switches to KDE 4 and Gnome 3 were far
> too radical changes in the user experience. And most of the radical
> change was due to eye candy and gadgetry, change for the sake of
> change. In both cases, it would have been made far easier had their
> been a one-click change to a KDE 3.5-style desktop or a Gnome 2-style
> desktop, as Mint has done with the Mate desktop. But it wasn't until
> KDE 4.4 as I recall that KDE finally got around to making it easy to
> return to something like the KDE 3.5 desktop. Until then, it took a
> huge amount of tweaking to slim down the eye candy and gadgetry that
> had shipped with Plasma.
> And at least with KDE, the destruction of the 3.5 experience was
> deliberate. I recall a gushing essay by the Plasma lead developer
> about their goals of redesigning the desktop from the ground up so it
> would break the mold of the traditional desktop experience and be far
> more beautiful. Not a single mention of the productivity hit that
> would be thereby inflicted on users. It was purely a case of the KDE
> community allowing the eye candy and gadgetry crowd to assert
> leadership when such creatures in reality need to be confined to a
> cage of restrictions that places maintenance of user productivity as
> an immutable law.
> > I also hear this a lot, that Unity and Windows 8, are dumbed down and
> > full of eye candy and gadgets. Frequently, I hear this label applied
> > with no details or justification what so ever. Again, it seems to be a
> > label people toss out when they don't like something. I guess I don't
> > see a problem with an interface looking nice, and I can see where the
> > right kind of gadgets would be great productivity tools.
> I can't speak to Windows 8 because it will never be installed on any
> system I own due to its UEFI bootlock and the app store atrocities it
> is inflicting on developers. Windows 8 is a radical change in
> Microsoft's business model and restraints imposed on users and
> developers, driven by Apple's approach that has proved to be such a
> financial success for Apple (not for app developers). I wouldn't
> describe them as "dumbed down.
> But Unity I can speak to. I wouldn't describe it as "dumbed down"
> because settings can still be changed or apps to replace features can
> still be downloaded. Rather I would describe it as needlessly complex
> because the methods to access settings were needlessly broken and the
> default apps and utilities are so woefully inadequate for a productive
> desktop.
> Example: the file manager defaults to display of large icons (as does
> Mint) but the settings to change to a default list view are no longer
> in a Preferences option on the file manager menu bar. They are
> elsewhere in the system and must be tracked down. The menu bar now
> includes only the minimize, restore, and full screen options plus the
> name of the current directory. All controls that were formerly on the
> menu bar are now hidden outside the window that is affected by the
> controls or available only by downloading and install a real file
> manager. This is idiocy, change only for the sake of change that
> breaks the continuity of the user experience and thus trashes
> productivity while the user hunts down how to change the setting or
> searches for and installs a file manager that can do the job.
> And why a default large icon view if the goal is to use it on
> small-screen mobile devices too? Large icons burn up scarce screen
> real estate and are horrible to work with when a directory contains a
> large number of files. A list view with larger type size would be far
> more appropriate on mobile devices.  (In my opinion, large icons in a
> file manager are a major PITA  even with a large screen.)
> I could of course download and install a full-featured file manager.
> But that doesn't cure the problem that the default installation is
> geared for people with scant understanding of computing. This kind of
> mayhem on productivity echoes throughout the Unity desktop. E.g.,
> where is the familiar task bar and menu? It's dropped in favor of a
> radically different "dashboard" approach that imposes its own steep
> learning curve and is wholly unsuitable for a system with many apps.
> Again, a task bar can be downloaded and installed and the dashboard
> disabled, but we're talking again about time being subtracted from the
> work the user wants to do with the computer.
> And the time spent on restoring something resembling the previous user
> experience all comes out of time better spent on the tasks the user
> wants to use the computer to fulfill.
> As with Ubuntu with the Gnome 3 desktop, it's far easier and faster to
> switch to the Mint Mate desktop instead where continuity in the user
> experience matters to the desktop developers.
> >
> > I don't see how you were burned by Canonical twice. I see the switch to
> > Unity as only happening once. I wasn't burned by Unity because I had already switched to Mint. I was burned by Canonical when Kubuntu switched to KDE 4 long before KDE 4 was ready for prime time and again when Ubuntu switched from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3 long before Gnome 3 was ready for productive use. That's when I departed for Mint, whose development team had publicly committed to maintaining and extending the Gnome 2 experience.
> I also think your characterization of
> > Canonical is pretty one sided. Canonical does care about productivity
> > and doesn't change things just for the sake of change.
> It doesn't care enough. As I said, its radical changes to Kubuntu and
> Ubuntu cost me tens of thousands of dollars in the productivity of my
> shop and I was ethically required to cut billing rates as a result. At
> the same time, the radical changes offered precisely zero increased
> productivity.
> Canonical has run
> > quite a few human factor studies on Unity and incorporated that feedback
> > into their design. True, people who don't want to change are going to
> > see this as a betrayal, but if Linux is going to compete with Windows
> > and Android, and if it's going to become a viable OS across all personal
> > computing platforms, it's going to have to move beyond the 90's.
> Which is why so many hundreds of thousands of Ubuntu users switched to
> Mint both after the introduction of Gnome3 and after introduction of
> Unity, yes? :-)
> I am not against change that boosts productivity or expands
> capabilities. E.g., when technology originally developed for the
> newspaper industry was redone as a successor to the electro-mechanical
> typewriter (word processors), the productivity gains from being able
> to edit work already keyboarded without rekeyboarding the entire
> document and to automatically process footnotes made the learning
> curve imposed by word processors well worthwhile, so I was an early
> adapter in the CP/M days and kept only one typewriter for addressing
> envelopes until word processors and printers were able to handle that
> task too.
> And in my experience, all IT innovations that succeed build upon what
> has already been done and offer increased productivity or new
> capabilities that offer a competitive advantage to their users. They
> don't succeed by scrapping what users have already learned to do
> without any corresponding quid pro quo.
> True, there can be some future advantages in using the same OS and
> desktop on all devices. But Ubuntu Unity isn't going to be it. The
> Ubuntu web site guesstimates that there are 20 million Ubuntu users
> (not just Unity users). Compare that with nearly 900 million Android
> Linux devices that have been activated as of February 29 of this year
> and a projected 1.5 billion some time next year.
> <http://www.asymco.com/2012/02/29/when-will-android-reach-one-billion-users/>.
> So there hasn't exactly been a stampede to the Unity desktop on mobile
> devices. In fact, Unity severely slowed the Ubuntu adoption rate.
> My best guess based on available evidence is that the majority unified
> Linux/Desktop will be based on Android (and its Ash window manager,
> which runs atop the Aura hardware-accelerated graphics engine), with
> Apple and Microsoft's walled gardens in the minority. But Android
> isn't completely ready for the desktop yet, although Google is working
> toward convergence with  its Chromium desktop OS (both use a lot of
> the same code, including the same Linux).
> Put another way, I strongly suspect that the convergence of devices
> and the Linux desktop will come from the world of mobile devices, not
> from the world of traditional Linux desktops, with Android being by
> far the major contender, which, in my opinion, is why both Apple and
> Microsoft are trying desperately to acquire a share of the Android
> revenue stream via patent infringement lawsuits filed against Android
> implementers.
> Given that this is my opinion on the likely convergence of a single
> Linux desktop for multiple types of devices, I see no net gain in
> hitching my shop to Unity, only loss of productivity. I'll worry about
> convergence when the market establishes one or more winners in that
> particular arena and consolidates.
> So I don't at least in my view qualify as one of the "people who don't
> want to change [and therefore] see this as a betrayal." It's just that
> in my business, the revenue stream comes from the billable hour; time
> is money and as a businessman I can't invest in change that does not
> result in a net gain in productivity and/or capabilities, that brings
> only a hit on productivity. And that is precisely all that Canonical
> delivered with its radical switches to KDE 4, Gnome 3, and Unity.
> I might feel differently had Canonical produced forks rather than
> switches and continued support for KDE 3.5 or Gnome 2 until they had
> minimized the impact of migrating on user productivity, as Mint is
> doing with its Mate and Cinnamon desktops.  But Canonical ceased
> package development support for the prior desktops instead and
> presented radical change as the only option.
> A computing hobbyist who doesn't value his or her time might feel
> differently; after all, learning is a lot of fun. But in general, only
> applied learning can produce income. There are very few jobs out there
> where you get paid for self-indulgence.
> But if you're in the universe of people whose main concern is work
> product and deadlines rather than hobbyist experimentation with
> software, radical change is only justified for a solid net gain in
> productivity or capabilities. Canonical's managers have zero respect
> for that user requirement.
> Best regards,
> Paul
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jude <jdashiel at shellworld.net>
Adobe fiend for failing to Flash

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