Ubuntu-Studio-users Digest, Vol 32, Issue 7

Det mailtodet at googlemail.com
Mon Dec 7 05:54:47 GMT 2009

Karlheinz Noise schrieb:
> - UbuStu should ideally run perfectly on install, 

Well, indeed that is a perfect general objective.

But seldom people outside of development can estimate
what this means when they compare their one program
downloaded and installed in windows to a whole
OS + n programms combined in a distribution.

There are some many different loosely coupled
sources involved in something like UbuStu.

> ...without having to know
> about any config file editing or command-line use whatsoever. If a user
> has to take their hand off the mouse, you've failed.

Well, here I am a bit ambivalent.
I am perhaps a bit biased as being a developer myself
and having grown up on unix systems.
But I much too often found it much easier to 'state'
things on a command line and directly 'command' the system
instead having to click through a bunch of forms.

It feels a bit against the Unix philosophy to graphically
represent anything. Much too often I feel restricted and tied
by having to use the one and only GUI for tasks.

Linux is about providing freedom for power users.
Reflecting that in a GUI is a really, really hard task.
Too easy some people can feel restricted by having to
do things in this or the other way, the sorting of tabs
and panels a.s.o.; too easy other people can feel overwhelmed
by the mass of shown options.

>> The bottom line is that, by its very nature, F/OSS developers
>> have _no_ responsibility to the end-user community, whatever that may
>> be. None! Zarro! Zilch!! Open Source is developed in the context of
>> a gift economy.
> This statement really surprises me, as it would also surprise businesses
> like Sun or IBM (or even Microsoft, who are trying to get into the open
> source game). Even Richard Stallman doesn't like "open" to be confused
> with "non-commercial."

Well, your're right for the "open". But the term has the "F" in it.

> Simply put, software that provides a bad end-user experience is bad
> software. End of story.


>> Often F/OSS software is
>> written by geeks, for geeks, which is why some packages seem to be
>> perpetually in a state of flux, or poorly documented.
> That's true in some cases, but it ignores something that should be
> obvious: Idiot-proofing your software makes a programmer's life easier,
> not harder.

That's on one hand really true, I can say as a developer.

OTOH it is indeed NOT true. To get a software to the point that
it is idiot-proofed is a VERY hard task, as you must not fix it
for one idiot but the complete set of it. And every idiot is
very creative in his own to find way to misunderstand and misuse
the system.

So deploying a software that 'does its job' if you use it right
is less harder than the task to design it 'fool-proofed', in terms
of time and resources.

> - Even lusers have SOME knowledge, and if welcomed can probably
> contribute in some miniscule way.

Especially in UbuStu context, as the linux "lusers" may be
skilled "artists".

> As a final note: I've used Mac, Windows, and Linux now for a number of
> years. I can say with a good degree of certainty that Mac is the easiest
> system to use (provided you're rich). Windows is a distant second, with
> Linux being a close third (and thankfully catching up).

That is easy to say forgetting that Mac, Windows and Linux work
on very different basic situations.

The Mac power is mostly based on fixed and known hardware,
smaller and dedicated set of software.
Windows is second because it looses here. Very different hardware,
much too much sources of software trying to run on it.
Both are supported by commercial organisations behind it,
with a deep interest in monetising.
Linux lacks all of that.  It has to work on different hardware,
whose providers often don't support Linux like Windows.
Linux has very different software sources which have to be
integrated in the distros.
The software is often not supported by commercial organisations
in the background.

So the UbuStu community (not only the distributor, but the
create of every single software integrated in it) is more
a losely coupled bunch of people than one closely working
group. The resources are limited.
As long as we do not have an organistation with commercial
interest dedicated to backing the development of UbuStu
as a 'product', we will have a totally different situation,
which has to be considered when complaining here.

Beside that, I agree with most other things you said.


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