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Re: Fedora Core 2 - review.
- From: Michael <mogmios mlug missouri edu>
- To: For users of Fedora Core releases <fedora-list redhat com>
- Subject: Re: Fedora Core 2 - review.
- Date: Sat, 22 May 2004 01:06:09 -0700
I think the problem is the direction of Linux. Admit it: Linux is best
as a stripped down OS running on servers. But right now, everyone is
trying to make it "easy to use" and "just like Window$" At some point,
there needs to be a split.
Trying to be just like Windows, or MacOS, is a problem.. not because
Linux can't be easy to use but because Windows, and even MacOS, aren't
easy to use. You may have been brainwashed into thinking they're easy to
use but just start recording how much time you spend fighting with the
interface, fixing weird lil bugs, or just accepting that things are
going to be some weird quirky way. I've done a lot of work at using
Linux with users that have little or no prior computer experience and
they pick Linux up just as quickly and then upon trying Windows or MacOS
they make similar complaints as users from those OSs trying Linux..
except a lot more complaints about stuff breaking.
The server market and the home user market to completely different. In
my server room, I want stable, single-purpose machines. A web server
should serve web pages; a MySQL server should serve data. But at home,
I want a box where I can do everything. Listen to music, surf the web,
play a game. Sounds like I need 2 different OSes.
I've used Linux as my main desktop for years. I can't say I'm happy with
the direction Gnome or KDE has taken (to much copying Windows and
MacOS.. flaws and all) but it works as well as other alternatives. There
is no OS related reason that Linux is any less suited for the desktop.
The only issues are related to the Windows monopoly.. drivers and boxed
software not being available for Linux. I get a lot better multimedia
experience out of Linux than Windows but that does come at the price of
having to install a few things myself. IMO MPlayer is far and away a
better video player than anything easily available for Windows and it's
much easier to rip cd's and dvd's in Linux as well as to burn cd's or
dvd's. Surfing the web in Linux is much less painless. Sure, if you want
annoying plugins then you have to install them but it's no big deal.. or
you can do without them and have an even less annoying web experience.
Listening to music in Linux is easy enough.. xmms is standard with most
distros and there are other players with nifty features available for
download. Major commercial games are harder to find for Linux but it has
a wealth of small free games and many studies have show that this type
of game is actually played far more often than those huge 3D games.
Games, as are all apps, are becoming more available Linux also.
I like what Red Hat is doing with RHEL and Fedora, but they don't do
much for the average home user. I hear that Mandrake has filled this
gap quite well, but I haven't looked into it myself.
I think there is potential for a distro that is good for the average
home user but I haven't yet seen it. I do a lot of magic when I install
Linux for non-techies to use.. mostly in simplifying their desktops to
target their needs. I think distros should really work on that. My users
average desktop has less than half a dozen icons available to launch
apps from their toolbars and they like it that way. I leave other apps
available (by clicking a desktop icon for 'More Programs') but I am very
targeted with which apps are presented all the time. Also I never show
two apps with the same purpose on the toolbars. If they plan to watch
movies I put one movie player, if they plan to browse the web I put on
browser, etc. Don't overwhelm them but don't block off their choices
either. I really liked Gnome 1's 'Favorites' menu and hope it properly
makes it's way back into Gnome.. especially if it becomes more like
Windows where it automaticlly adds favorites as programs that are ran
often.. as well as letting users manually select permanent favorites.
IMO that was an excellent feature from a usability point of view. I'd
have a recently opened files menu available too but extended to do more
sorting by file types.. such that it might open a submenu that provided
'Recent music', and another for 'Recent movies', and another for 'Recent
documents'.. but showing only those that have actually had something
opened recently in them. Off the top of my head the last desktop feature
I'd add would be a wizard that could be popped up easily to reconfigure
the desktop.. changing the types of programs the user wants in their
quick access menu, making available (or removing) applets they might
want, etc. Do you want to listen to music? Y/N Are you interested in
seeing the current weather? Y/N Those sort of questions that could
configure things without needing to know how to make changes manually.
All that to say you need the right OS for the job. And if it ends up
being window$ or MacOS, so be it.... NAH! :)
I don't mind a bit if others use Windows or MacOS but I think you're
wrong if you're counting Linux out of the game for the desktop.
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