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Re : Re: A little musing on Linux ( was Re: Zip files to multiple floppies)

On Fri, 04 Jun 2004 04:51:13 +1000, Daniel Stonier <snorri_dj operamail com> wrote:

On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 23:28:49 +0530, Parameshwara Bhat <pbhat ongc net> wrote:

That's greatly assuring.I think my initial not-so-nice experiences with various distributions Of linux have made me think a little harsh about the attitudes.As I said elsewhere on the list,security and other aspects for desktop installations should not be on the same footing as for a server.Also command line mentality still rules the roost.While granting their power,it is really a distraction for a guy like me twho wants to use computer only as a tool to get into their intricacies.Nice,functional GUIs and sensibly setup Desktop Environment spare me time to concentrate on my own job.

I am into Linux for long-haul.I have switched on a point of principle and not because in India here there is any dearth of easily available pirate copies of any new Windows versions.In fact in India,Linux costs and troubles far more than Windows.

Hope we will all be part of the Linux evolution into a nice desktop OS as user community.

I remember reading someone else's email on this thread earlier about
linux's emphasis on security first, usability second and the opposite
situation with windows. So where does a sensibly set up environment fit

If the OS is ever going to be used in secure situations, the last thing
you'd want is to have to undo many install configurations that have been
set up to make things easy for a home user, just on the off chance that
you miss one.

On the other hand, is it really that good to have a system set up in the
exact same way as a windows machine where anybody can hack and slash into
pretty much anything? I used to think it was a royal pain having to worry
about writing permissions, users, mounting permissions etc but I dont think
I have for a long while. Once I learned how it worked and got used to the
idea I much prefer its benefits. I think the best advice for new people is to
be open to the idea that it's doing things differently and be willing to
find out why (there's almost always a logical reason for it).

On a side note, creating gui's for everything would be great, but probably
an impossible pipedream. The amount of extra work to program a gui
is enormous and that's where one real advantage of programming and working
on the command line comes from. One simple program can be programmed
with literally hundreds of features on the command line - creating a gui
to handle the same thing would be a huge task, and might even leave you with a program that throws so much at you in the gui you end up getting lost in
a menu system. This is also one of the limiting features of a windows
box - forever having to wait for a programmed gui to come around.

Mounting filesystems for example - windows computers only
really deal with floppies, iso's and windows filesystems. Pretty simple.
Linux however gives you the ability to be able to mount pretty much any
filesystem you want along with a hugely configurable list of options. Writing
a gui to handle this that still wouldn't require the user to understand
much about it would be fairly nontrivial.

Nonetheless, I like GUI's where they can be put in :) Alot of the redhat-config gui's are great, even though they only implement the frequently used basic
features of various things. CD burning programs too. Worth remembering
that there's almost always more behind the gui.

I am becoming aware of the power of command-line and in no way discounting that.But GUIs are more user-friendly and they do not need to incorporate all features of the original command line as most users who use computer only as a tool,( I count myself among them ) do not really need all the intricate features.

Only concentrating on the failures of Windows and not acknowledging the many features which has endeared it to overwhelming majority of people is not going to help further the cause of Linux.

Linux must not ape Windows and it can do it's work certainly differently,but it must better.I think I have answered the other user in more detail if only to clarify and confirm my own position. Basically, I do not see any reason why usability and security are to be seen as inherently contradictory.


Cheers more,

Parameshwara Bhat

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