how can we make Linux more accessible for a bigger public?

Valter Mura valtermura at
Mon May 31 22:36:14 UTC 2010

lunedì 31 maggio 2010 Bas Roufs ha scritto:

> Dear everybody
> Recently I installed a dual boot system at a laptop of friends of me:
> Kubuntu 10.04 LTS next to Windows XP.  The friends in question are no
> computer experts, but also not totally computer illiterate. Moreover,
> they both have a beta background - biology, physics,  mathematics,
> etc. That's why, I thought the configuration I worked out for them
> would work for them. However, this was not the case.  One of the
> problems they mentioned was their difficulty to convert .odt files (OO
> Writer) into .doc (Microsoft Word 97-2000). In theory, they correctly
> acted: File > Save as > Microsoft Word 97 - 2000 - as I always do ever
> since I work with OpenOffice. But the difference between those 2
> friends on one hand and me on the other hand is apparently the way to
> deal with computer problems. In the case of conversion into .doc, I
> quickly managed to find out how to do it in such a way that it works.
> But this is apparently more difficult for those who do lack a certain
> "feeling" with computers. On the other hand: an ability to work with
> computers apparently does not automatically imply an ability to
> effectively clarify something to someone who has less feeling with
> computers. The basic problem is in fact, that the friends in question
> do not have the patience and creativity needed to solve the countless
> number of little problems which are still in Linux. Even though I
> cannot consider myself as an expert, I do manage to solve about 95% of
> such problems myself and about 4% via "Kubuntu users" and other Linux
> communities and 1% via other Linux users helping me directly. But
> still - not everything works "automatically" or "out of the box".
> That's why, I do not manage to convince those friends - they are going
> back now to Windows XP.
> I am afraid many computer users are like those friends - if an OS does
> not quickly work "out of the box" at daily level, they will not be
> able and willing to experiment with it. That is probably one of the
> reasons still about 90%? of the computers world wide work with an
> inferior system like Windows. That's why, I propose to shift our
> priorities with respect to open source software development -
> technical renewal is good, but making Linux more accessible for less
> experienced users is better. The main question is now: how can we make
> Linux more accessible for a bigger public?

A question suddenly arose in my little head: why do people still use 
proprietary formats and not open ones? Why do they do it? Which kind of 
culture is this and why throughout, on the other side, the world people use 
standards in other activities to understand and work to each others?
Let's start to learn and teach that in the software world everybody should use 
standards. We need to change the way our mind think.
After that, you are completely free to use the app program you desire to 
manage them. IMHO.

Registered Linux User #466410
Kubuntu Linux:

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