Paul Murphy's Blog. Clueless twaddle?

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Paul Murphy's Blog. Clueless twaddle?

Postby overflow » Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:04 am

I've just read this and was going to send some feedback directly but when I was confronted with their registration page of 8000 questions, I ducked out.

Is desktop Linux stuck on stupid?

The guy's an idiot.

Let's look at a few facts.

The desktop UI has evolved over the years and lots of companies have influenced it in lots of ways from its roots in Xerox. The list includes Apple, Amiga, Digital Research, NeXT Computer and Microsoft. (I've probably left out some important ones but it doesn't matter.)

Some of the ideas these companies introduced have worked and some have not. Like all good evolutions, the good stuff survives to the next generation and the bad gets dropped.

What we have in KDE, at least, now is what I reckon is state of the art for popular computing. Having used Konqueror for a while, I find Windows Explorer unusable.

You can't depart too far from the familiar WIMP foundation because people know it. And the only promising alternatives have demanded too much from the hardware. They'll come, I'm sure.

The problem isn't with the state of the Linux desktop. The problem is with people's perceptions.

Most people are scared of their computer. They found it hard enough to learn Windows in the first place. The thought of starting again with Linux is more than most can face. Constant evangelism is the answer.

I gave my mother-in-law a computer I'd picked up cheap. I told her she could have it for nothing but it wasn't going to run Windows but Linux. She is a very hesitant computer user but I gave her a quick tour of OpenOffice and DigiKam and she's been perfectly happy.

She prints her digital photos and writes letters. It does all she needs. She has never complained that she couldn't figure something out.

So there's nothing to stop the spread of the Linux desktop other than people's preconceptions and that's a fairly easy problem to deal with. It just takes time.
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Postby shifty_ben » Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:01 am

I agree with what you are syaing, when I first got into linux it was scary there is no denying that. Within months though i overcame that and after nearly 5 years of using linux i find Windows Explorer more than a little annoying, I have gotten so used to the convenience of opening multiple tabs, not to mention other useful little features.
I even discovered somethign the other day I had not realised, when you are using konqueror or firefox or whatever to browse the net, how many times do you clik in the address bar and press ctrl+a to select a very very long address? In IE you cannot do this, it simply selects everything in the page or even ignores it in some cases.
It has gotten to the point that when I am trying to help out a friend who is stuck because of whatever issue, I often become more frustrated than them. I hate not being able to work in the way I am now used to, take for example finding a file, in linux i simply open console and type locate filename, whereas in XP you have to bugger about with its GUI and even go to the point of saying include hidden and system files, how did I ever work like that.
Linux has never been about trying to replicate the Windows environment, granted some distros have tried, but Linux as a whole si not orientated in that way. If the KDE desktop ever got a simplified and unconfigurable as Windows XP is I would stop using it.
I love the configurability of Linux, and the fact that the CLI works fully.
I know that people have difficulty migrating from Windows, because they do have to learn certain things all over again, but they certainly don't need to learn everything about the operating system unless they want to, if all they need is word processing then thats all they really need to learn. OK so some users may go looking for their C: drive when what they want is /mnt/windows or whatever but its all part fo the learning curve. People who try to rate linux by its comparatibility to the Windows environment are idiots, Linux is not about being alike or disalike to windows, it is an entirely different operating system with its wn merits and letdowns.
Lets face it the letdowns in Linux such as gaming are being tackled with increasing ferocity, and will soon be gone, wherehas the letdowns in windows from my point of view seem to increase everytime MS makes their desktop "Fluffier."
As for the evolution, it is the way software works, MS had some really bad ideas, take for example Microsoft Bob, but they dropped the idea so whats the difference between that and similar occurences in the Linux world?
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Postby PLan » Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:24 am

The problem with the Linux desktop, and no it's not stuck on stupid, is that while there are lots of companies producing distributions there is no "800 pound gorilla" that can dominate the marketplace. Apple, with OS X , seems to get more big name commercial software support in the desktop arena and I can only attribute this to the fact that software companies can focus their efforts on a single OS that doesn't come in many "flavours".



Having said that the Linux desktop has been _fine_ for a very long time for basic office/clerical tasks - but until desktop Linux becomes synonymous with one distribution, or developer friendly universal standard, don't expect explosive growth. :|
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Postby ollie » Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:20 am

The last thing we need is an "800 pound gorilla" to dominate the Linux marketplace. One of Linux's (:? is that correct grammer :? ) great strengths is the diversity of distributions that can be customised for virtually every situation. I keep saying this - we need all of the distribution and application developers to comply 100% with the Linux Standards Base and Filesystem Hierarchy Standard so that everything is always in the same location - binaries, system binaries, configuration files, libraries, server repositaries, etc. This would make applications truly portable and system administration skills totally portable. This is also one of the reasons there are lots of applications developed for Apple Mac OS X - a standardised file structure means that applications don't suddenly find "lib*.6.so" is missing.

When this happens Linux will be the preferred Operating System of administrators, users and management.
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Postby alloydog » Fri Nov 04, 2005 8:27 am

Actually, I sort of agree with the guy...
Many in the Linux/Open-source fraternity slag off the Windows GUI/desktop, but to be honest most Linux desktops actually replicate it - so if the Windows desktop is "stupid", so too must the Linux ones...

And I'm afraid, I think some of you are giving flawed arguements, such as "whereas in XP you have to bugger about with its GUI and even go to the point of saying include hidden and system files" - What is wrong with that? For a regular user, why do they nedd to see systems files? I think you will also find that both KDE's Konqueror and Gnome Nautlius both have the option to show or hide system files.

I like KDE and Gnome, but still feel KDE is overloaded, and Gnome still seems to be around the Windows 98 mark.

How I read it, the main critism the guy has is that there is not enough real innovation in the development of Linux to really challenge Microsoft. Most companies jump on the Linux the bandwagon as a cost saving venture, and so probably prefer a close similarity to the all familiar Windows environment. He is not advocating dumping Linux, far from he is wanting to new fresh ideas.

<snip>"...but what he's trying to do is cement a lie in the reader's mind: the network computer is dead. But it's not - it's making a resurgence as people get over the stuck on stupid business of copying Microsoft's client-server architecture to go after the real desktop productivity killers: uncertain reliability, insecurity, and the limitations the fear of failure puts on user desktop experimentation."</snip>

It doesn't read as Linux bashing to me, more of a wake up call...
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Postby PLan » Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:08 am

ollie wrote:The last thing we need is an "800 pound gorilla" to dominate the Linux marketplace. One of Linux's (:? is that correct grammer :? ) great strengths is the diversity of distributions that can be customised for virtually every situation. I keep saying this - we need all of the distribution and application developers to comply 100% with the Linux Standards Base ...


I'm not against diversity except where it causes problems, like the desktop market. Why hasn't Linux taken off in this area when it's powerful and cheap ? Why aren't we seeing _large_ numbers of consumer PCs being sold with Linux installed ? The marketplace is the acid test and Linux isn't doing as well as we might hope on the consumer desktop. Yes, the LSB sounds great but some people aren't so enthusiastic about it - http://www.livejournal.com/users/udrepper/8511.html . :|
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Postby shifty_ben » Fri Nov 04, 2005 11:47 am

And I'm afraid, I think some of you are giving flawed arguements, such as "whereas in XP you have to bugger about with its GUI and even go to the point of saying include hidden and system files"


I think you've misunderstood the bit I was meaning, I wasnt refering to in Windows Explorer, I meant in the Find FIles Dialog, it used to be just a check box, but now its in a drop down bit. I agree that not all users need this, however for me it is an annoyance, I can after alll only state what I find annoying.

I have to agree with you on the KDE and Gnome points, KDE is overloaded for my purposes and Im not a huge fan of gnome, having said that there are lots of other GUIs available, WindowMaker is a very simple GUI, and is perfect for some uses, havign said that generally I prefer CLI so I dont suppose it makes much difference.

I can see your point that it is more of a wake up call, but Linux isn't about trying to compete with MS, its about having an effiecient flexible system among other things, and whilst it is good to get people to migrate to Linux, at the end of the day it is going to take time for this to truly happen.

Why aren't we seeing _large_ numbers of consumer PCs being sold with Linux installed ?


Sadly this is not entirely due to Linux's suppossed flaws, I was looking at a Laptop the other day, but it came bundled with XP Professional, Office and so on, so I said to the guy who was trying to sell it to me, I want this laptop but I don't want to pay 200 quid extra for software I'm not going to use, so can I buy the Laptop without Windows? The response was of course SOrry the company doesnt let us do that. A lot of the places I have spoken to have given me a similar response. Too many manufacturers have deals with MS to put XP onto new machines. Before mnaufacturers are likely to start supplying Linux on their machines there needs to be a large consumer base existing already. Linux users are still too far in the minority and we need to advocate more before manufacturers are going to ship Linux on their machines.
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Postby Nigel » Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:38 pm

shifty_ben wrote:Sadly this is not entirely due to Linux's suppossed flaws, I was looking at a Laptop the other day, but it came bundled with XP Professional, Office and so on, so I said to the guy who was trying to sell it to me, I want this laptop but I don't want to pay 200 quid extra for software I'm not going to use, so can I buy the Laptop without Windows? The response was of course SOrry the company doesnt let us do that. A lot of the places I have spoken to have given me a similar response. Too many manufacturers have deals with MS to put XP onto new machines. Before mnaufacturers are likely to start supplying Linux on their machines there needs to be a large consumer base existing already. Linux users are still too far in the minority and we need to advocate more before manufacturers are going to ship Linux on their machines.


It gets worse than that... I was talking to an HP sales-bimbo at the LinuxWorld show and she actually came out with the crap line that it wasn't legal to sell a machine without an operating system. And by operating system she meant Windows, as they don't sell them over here with anything else.
Guess who isn't supplying my next laptop !
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Postby M0PHP » Fri Nov 04, 2005 12:50 pm

Nigel wrote:It gets worse than that... I was talking to an HP sales-bimbo at the LinuxWorld show and she actually came out with the crap line that it wasn't legal to sell a machine without an operating system. And by operating system she meant Windows, as they don't sell them over here with anything else.
Guess who isn't supplying my next laptop !


Yep.. then say "well how can such-and-such a company sell me computers without an OS?" :lol:
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Postby ggreaves » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:03 pm

my reply on that man's blog:
Lets cast our minds back some 20 odd years ago. Wasn't the desktop a representation of that hard wooden or metal thing many of have the privilege to sit at? So in order to do this innovation as, discussed in the blog, there has to be a successor to the humble desk?

Your little write up isn't coherent, lacks conviction or substance. Lot of negativity though.

SuSE has not fallen. Its been embraced by a company that has now wised up to the opensource values. That in itself is innovation and that is what Microsoft fears. Apart from products that deliver what the user wants (which it can buy out as it usually does). Microsoft cannot compete against thousand of developers working for free, developing an OS and fix security issues. So it has to create a level playing ground. What facts do I have to back this up? Look at the number of patents Microsoft have been registering. If any opensource application uses one of its patents Microsoft can claim fees, which could force developers to charge for their software. Only then can MS mount a challenge. Also the Get the Facts road show frequently tries to put down having source code open for all and sundry to tinker with. And here is a final quote: On June 1, 2001, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."

The desktop, as it stands is here to stay. Vista does not have any innovation, to the scale your artical hints at. Its just a desktop that looks different. The winner will be the OS with ease of use, speed and the best security. Failing that Bill can buy it all.
Last edited by ggreaves on Fri Nov 04, 2005 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby shifty_ben » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:12 pm

It gets worse than that... I was talking to an HP sales-bimbo at the LinuxWorld show and she actually came out with the crap line that it wasn't legal to sell a machine without an operating system. And by operating system she meant Windows, as they don't sell them over here with anything else.
Guess who isn't supplying my next laptop !


Sorry but I love it when people who are trying to sell computers give you a stupid line like that, I was in PC World the other day, ahvign agreed ot go with someone despite the fact I said not PC World, and was looking at a desktop computer, the guy comes over and says as you can see the system runs very smoothly, the 128mb of RAM makes sure you have more than enough memory. Shouldve seen his face when I opened the system properties and said, yes but this one has 512mb of RAM in it so thats no big surprise. Cheeky buggers had fitted 512mb into a PC that they sell with 128mb so it would run smoother!
As for HPs take on it, having read that I think I may steer well clear of HP for everything from computers to printers.
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Postby linuxgirlie » Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:50 pm

Un-believable!!!
My knowledge comes with no warranty...........

Server operating system designed for schools:http://www.linuxschools.com
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Postby jjmac » Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:34 am

If all the sribes used, was a quill and a slab of clay ... all the peole would think it was just the bees kneess....

resistence will be encouraged of course,,,, but then again, resistence, also, is not futile...


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