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hotpotato
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Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 9:01 am    Post subject: What Linux NEEDS!!?? Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm a n00b/getting experienced quickly Linux user. But having most of my experience with windoze, I notice a few major differences:

1. Ease of use and setup (control panel).
2. Ease of configurability (related to hardware compatiblility).
3. Ease of installation of programs.

Now, once someone becomes experienced in Linux, these are no longer problems. But... What Linux needs in order to pull it into the mainstream are the things listed above. Once these are addressed I believe Linux quickly has the ability to surpass windoze in the desktop market.

For the desktop, Linux needs the following:

1. A streamlined user interface (easy to use, fast, but different to win/OSX)
2. A unified place of contol (some sort of control panel/configure place)
3. A system by which programs can easily be installed.

What it also needs is a way to hide all the scripts/txt config files/file permission stuff, in order to make it simplistic, and straightforward.

Once a distribution offers all these things (i.e. is well integrated, tidy and easy to use), it will surely get a place on the throne of desktop usage.

Mandrake is heading this way, but it still lacks compatibility and for the desktop user it needs to be more simple to use (hides advanced features, only shows basics).

Anyway, I gotta go now.. Just a couple of thoughts that were floating around in my head.

Laterz,
HotPota0
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Pigeon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(hehe, I won't tell you what my first reaction was, but my second was "Damn, I'm all high and mighty...")

Quote:
1. Ease of use and setup (control panel).


Have you tried linuxconf/webmin? There's an ebuild for webmin, just do 'emerge webmin'. There's no ebuild for linuxconf, and I don't think there are any plans to make one, either- I'm not even sure what the status on it is. Anyway, the both of them try to automate setting up.. well.. everything. (AFAIK you can even set up your counter-strike server in webmin. Serious.)

The trouble with this is that linux is, by necessity, controlled by lots of startup scripts/rc/.conf files. If you do it any other way, you run into lots of problems, mostly relating to modularity/encapsulation, as well as data integrity. What happens when you want to back up your system? You can't back up your entire "global configuration file" because you'll need to change some of your settings in your new environment. You can't back just the one file, because, well, you don't know which file that one single file is, but if there's a script/.conf file somewhere that you edit, you do. Also, making all the necessary options available in a GUI that you'd have in a .conf file is impossible. Look at some sample samba/proftp/apache config files to see what I mean. GUI based configurations simply don't have the flexibility to configure every last detail exactly the way the user wants it.

That being said, this is something that a lot of people need when starting out with linux. The /etc/*.conf paradigm cannot be replaced and have it still be linux, but people can make more tools to make those sorts of things easier. Webmin has taken a few good steps in that direction, Redhat/Mandrake have taken a few faulty ones, but still in that direction.

Quote:
2. Ease of configurability (related to hardware compatiblility).


I've never had a real problem with this. The only time I have is with proprietary hardware with closed source windows-only drivers.

Quote:
3. Ease of installation of programs.


Some of the "other" distributions have major problems with this- everything based on RPM's for instance- but with Gentoo it couldn't be that much easier.

Quote:
1. A streamlined user interface (easy to use, fast, but different to win/OSX)


Umm... Either fluxbox, waimea, gnome, kde, blackbox, icewm, enlightenment, ion, windowmaker, openbox, icewm, afterstep, xfce, ximian, fvwm, (ls /usr/portage/x11-wm.... ah! forgot some..) twm, treewm, orobus, lwm, flwm, pwm, or evilwm have what you're looking for. (apoligies if I forgot any) I refuse to believe that someone has tried every window manager on linux and not found what they're looking for.

Quote:
2. A unified place of contol (some sort of control panel/configure place)


KDE and Gnome especially have this. (ie, their own little app to control all the aspects of the UI) Many/most other wm's have most of their setup in one place too.

FYI, one of the things that I, and many other linux users, dislike about KDE/Gnome is that the best way to configure everything is in their 'control panel'. (for lack (of knowledge) of a better word) I like flux because I can be editing by start-up script in 11 keystrokes and fairly easily change every aspect of my UI.

Quote:
3. A system by which programs can easily be installed.


No OS makes it easier to install software than Gentoo IMNSHO.

Quote:
Mandrake is heading this way, but it still lacks compatibility and for the desktop user it needs to be more simple to use (hides advanced features, only shows basics).


Ok.. I'll bite... Mandrake does hide all the advanced stuff and only shows the basics. :lol:

Linux is one of those "learning curve" things. It's quite daunting at first, and you'll delete the wrong file or change the wrong setting at least 2 or 3 times and wind up in quite a mess, but once you're used to it, you won't ever be able to go back.
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hotpotato
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 10:10 am    Post subject: Yeah, I guess your right. Reply with quote

Hi again,

Yeah, I suppose alot of what you mentioned is true. Firstly, sorry... I didn't mean to sound "high and mighty"... When I first jumped into linux.. It was infact with Mandrake and **suprise, suprise** I deleted a config file and guess where that led? Anyway...

My point is, you mention a solution for everything, but the problem is all of these things need to exist in one unified interface that is easy to set up, and configure once installed.

After my experiences, from a n00b perspective, I think that to woo people away from windows, alot of the advanced options (i.e. configuring everything down to the very last detail) shouldn't be included, but I agree.. That when the user gets more experienced they should and can move on (to another distro such as gentoo)...

Anyway, it's just something I thought I would like to mention.

Cheers,
HotPotat0
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pjp
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 3:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Yeah, I guess your right. Reply with quote

hotpotato wrote:
When I first jumped into linux.. It was infact with Mandrake and **suprise, suprise** I deleted a config file and guess where that led?
It is possible to delete things in an MS OS that will cause alot of problems. Especially for a person 'new' to computers/MS Windows.

Quote:
but the problem is all of these things need to exist in one unified interface
Agreed. Someday it will happen.
Quote:
that is easy to set up, and configure once installed.
I disagree with this. Why? In the case of a Systems Administrator, I think they should know what they are doing before doing it. An 'easy to setup & configure' system is, IMO, counter to this.

Quote:
After my experiences, from a n00b perspective, I think that to woo people away from windows, alot of the advanced options (i.e. configuring everything down to the very last detail) shouldn't be included,
Hopefully you won't be in the decision making process :D. Just because it is there, doesn't mean you have to mess with it. I'd not disagree with an option to hide advanced features though.
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Pigeon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Firstly, sorry... I didn't mean to sound "high and mighty"...


nono, heh- I thought I was all high and mighty. ;)
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gsfgf
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LINUX can't take off into the mainstream until it can run windoze apps. Wine is makeing huge progress and hopefully the M$ antitrust case will make their job easier. Besides that i don't see much else. The graphical configurators are good enough to get one started. If they are interested thay can easily learn more as the want (or don't want). However until i can run my games on my linux box we won't be wooing anyone away from windoze
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therobot
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still confused why linux people want everybody in the world to start using Linux? I'm betting if it happened, a lot of these people would just move onto something else that wasn't so mainstream and dumbed down. I for one don't really want to see Linux turn into the open source version of what windows is now.
And most people don't want to use linux, they just want to be able to check their e-mail, play some games and use office. If they want to get away from windows, I think a better option would be to pick up a Mac.
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Valen
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2002 11:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Yeah, I guess your right. Reply with quote

kanuslupus wrote:

Quote:
that is easy to set up, and configure once installed.
I disagree with this. Why? In the case of a Systems Administrator, I think they should know what they are doing before doing it. An 'easy to setup & configure' system is, IMO, counter to this.


I would say this is a valid point assuming that some distributions will target regular users. Not everyone has a sysadmin in their household (or am I the only one missing out :D) and I think RPM does need quite a bit of work.
I really think it would be nice to see Mandrake/SuSE/Rechat with apt package management so you don't have to go through hell to figure out which dependancies come from where. This is exactly the reason I switched out from Mandrake after only a short time. For configuration it should be the application which provides some nice easy configuration script.

I also agree with the comment about not having Linux mimic Windows. I do agree that newbie distros should exist, I do not think they should have a blue screen of death built in. A friendlier installation of Debian might be a step in the right direction.
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