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Re: Killer apps/"selling" points of FC and GNU/Linux

On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 19:47:29 +0100, Ronny Buchmann
<ronny-vlug vlugnet org> wrote:
> On Friday 26 November 2004 15:34, Avi Alkalay wrote:
> > On Fri, 26 Nov 2004 15:25:01 +0100, Harald Hoyer <harald redhat com> wrote:
> > > Avi Alkalay wrote:
> > > > But personaly, I´m not really sure FC3 (not just Linux) is ready for,
> > > > say, my mother to use. And she does only browsing, e-mail and
> > > > messenger. She is already using Firefox on Windows though.
> > >
> > > So "using" Linux should be no problem for her, because "she does only
> > > browsing, e-mail and messenger", which FC3 can do just fine.
> > > "Installing and Configuration" would be a problem.
> >
> > I tried, really, but its not that easy...
> > There are some annoying details about usability.....
> >
> > I also tryied to put Thunderbird instead of OutLook.
> > My father used it for a while, and he liked the anti-spam features
> > (after learning how to use it). But after a week or so he asked me if
> > he can go back to Outlook, also because of some usability issues.
> Is usability probably mistaken for "used to"?
> Some people have learned to love bugs in software and get angry if they don't
> find the same stupid behaviour in other software.
> If people aren't willing to switch, even the best software cannot do much
> about it.

Hummm..... Maybe yes, maybe no. It does not matter, because this is
how the world is today. So if you want to change the software people
use today, you have to accept this fact and use it as a starting
point. Only functionality is not enough, because many commercial
softwares really excel in usability confort. And I don't think a
commercial software used by millions of people around the world, at
home and at work (Outlook), still has usability bugs. It is pretty
mature by now.

In this case of my father, usability is not "used to", because I
explained all the virus implications of using Outlook, and he used
Thunderbird for several weeks. It was simply related to how Thunder
organizes information, speed, etc. He finished saing "Don't worry
about security, I have an anti-virus". Thunderbird is still beta...
hopefully they'll improve it.

I want to say that again because this is very important:
Usability and Confort of use are not realted to software features (of
course they must have it too), but to the speed things are renderer on
the screen, super beautiful fonts, integration, no bugs on things
related to drag'n'drop, and underlying widgets code, and most of all,
people, psycologists, making tests with regular people on how they
feel using certain software.

So we need respectivelly excelent accelerated video drivers (I don't
care if it is open source or not), good hinted fonts with a
bytecode-enabled freetype, etc.

Specially about fonts (it is way more relevant than most techies may
think), those Tahoma and Verdana fonts were designed for confort and
to look beautifull on the screen. Luxi Sans (Sans on FC), Bitstream
Vera, and others available on the free world don't have their superior
quality. I experienced regular desktop users migrating from W to L,
and the first thing they want to customize is the fonts. Sans is too
big, Vera is not well hinted, and anti-aliasing  is bad for small

About usability tests, Mozilla team probably studied IE usability a
lot, and they worried about removing many menu items, and to mimic
other aspects. So sometimes many options aren't good. For example, on
KDE we have 3 editors that make the same functionality that Window's
Notepad: Kedit, Kwrite and Kate. Confusing?


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