Ubuntu Domain Server
shentino at gmail.com
Sun Nov 22 19:31:05 UTC 2009
On Sun, Nov 22, 2009 at 11:54 AM, Chan Chung Hang Christopher <
christopher.chan at bradbury.edu.hk> wrote:
> >> Letting someone use gparted to partition his disk who doesn't know
> >> anything about partitioning will probably end in a big data desaster.
> >> And whom will this user blame for it? Certainly not himself for doing
> >> tasks he doesn't understand but the GUI for letting it do him (even if
> >> it has big warnings).
> > The user can blame anyone he wants. The rest of the world shouldn't
> > care about that. I find this whole blaming angle very unproductive.
> > Should Gparted not exist? Should Synaptic? Or the PolicyKit editor?
> > Rapache? The LVM manager? All can be used to destroy data or create
> > security leaks. But all are used to save time for those that
> > understand how they work.
> And we have no problem with that. We have a problem with those who
> believe that such tools should be marketed to the uninitiated. This
> thread was started with the premise of doing what?
> "What are your thoughts on having a server product that competes with
> Windows Server? Something which has a GUI, is very easy to manage and
> works best with Ubuntu workstations."
> "My theory is that people trying Ubuntu Server are probably Windows
> administrators and find it daunting that there's no GUI. If they don't turn
> away then, they turn away when they discover there's 48 chapters of Samba
> documentation to read through just to get a functional domain server. Very
> few administrators would see this as a viable replacement for their Windows
> You want to tell me that most Windows administrators cannot handle the
> command line and scripts? You want to tell me that Windows is 'very easy to
> manage'? Right. Maybe for setups that just use the bare minimum, does not
> use group policy and scripts.
> But guess what. Microsoft uses a predefined configuration and so they can
> release tools that automate that. I say give those in such situations a
> predefined configuration and a foolproof gui tool but then somebody opposes
> that. I point out that a gui that 'supports' everything is not suitable to
> the uninitiated then somebody accuses me of protecting my iron rice bowl and
> being some elitist jerk.
> So, short of an AI, I cannot think of something that will satisfy all you
> out there. If someone can use a manual drive, that one is free to drive a
> manual or an automatic. You don't blame the manual's designer if it cannot
> accommodate a person that only knows how to use an automatic nor a
> semi-automatic's designer if the person does not understand the effects of
> trying to start off in the highest gear.
It almost implies here that one of Microsoft's tactics is to dumb the user
down on purpose so that their minds are crippled and they come to rely on MS
doing the majority of the configurational grunt work for them. A form of
"lock-in by frustration" if you will that triggers whenever they try to step
out of the "windows penthouse".
Then, when we try to open them up to "the second choice" they promptly get
scared off or frustrated, or both, by the huge menu of options open to them.
My opinion is that for ubuntu to attract people from the windows admin crowd
it needs to mimic that sense of "opaque hood" that keeps them from ever
worrying about the guts.
I think that any spin of ubuntu catering to such users should have a
configurable setup option along the lines of "express" or "custom" or
"expert mode" or something, so that those folks who don't have a clue about
anything but pushing the high level buttons won't be forced to risk screwing
up. Any user who wishes to use "express" setup should be set up with a rock
solid default profile and have most of the configuration done for them.
Naturally, peppering it with "learn more..." or "under the hood" links to
where they can get themselves an education about what's REALLY going
wouldn't be a bad idea ;).
Deciding that those defaults actually would be is another kettle of fish
entirely and I surmise that a democratic process of some sort, perhaps
brainstorm, would be a good way to settle this inherently political section.
Finally, I think it's fair to give MS its due here. Whether by fair means
or foul, MS has a commanding presence in the market and we simply have to
accept that as the way things currently are. Any meaningful effort to get
market share away from MS needs to be able to successfully accomodate the
windows users and help them migrate, at least long enough for them to get
the feel for "The Linux Way (tm)".
People used to Windows that are trying out Ubuntu anything for the first
time are from their point of view venturing into uncharted waters.
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