KDE Usability person
opn.src.rocks at gmail.com
Wed Mar 26 18:57:04 GMT 2008
Software is something that is written by humans. And we all know that
neither humans nor their software written is perfect. I am not saying that
it is not possible for a non-IT or a non-geek to use Linux, my mom used
Linux when she visited me 2 years ago and she liked how the menus were well
maintained and how fast and easy it was to use. (My desktop PC runs Xandros)
But when she went back home to Vancouver, she did not buy a Xandros or
Ubuntu PC, rather she ended up buying a Windows PC. When asked she said, I
do not know how to set it up and I need to call you if I have any issues and
there is no technical support to call. And her local PC builder did not
I saw my first MS DOS only in 1994/5, before that I was using SUN OS and
Solaris 2.3 or 2.4 with Open Windows. As I said, I am not a Computer
graduate, I am EE and specialised in Power Electronics and High Voltage
Engg, so really did not need a PC/DOS until I was ready to design PCBs
(Orcad and Orpcb) Anyway thanks for correcting me.
Even though MS has gone from Win 95 to Vista, you will see that their market
share has gone up so much compared to Linux as people correlate MS to
Desktop/PC usability and Linux to geeks and tech-nerds.
If you really want to know what Linux should really look like by now, look
at OS X. Even though it is BSD under the hood, there is no time (other than
hacking certain files or running ftp in command line mode) that you need to
access the command prompt or console or xterm. This is what is lacking in
I love Linux for many reasons, but I think it can be way better than what it
is doing right now, if only the developers think in terms of lay-man-terms
rather than engineering terms.
Rajiv G Gunja
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 2:26 PM, Joel Leininger <leiningr at comcast.net>
> Actually, since 1995-1996 Microsoft has moved from Win95 to Vista, not
> from DOS to Vista. DOS hit the streets in its earliest form in 1979. So
> there is a bit more of a head start, usability-wise, than you let on.
> And I disagree that Ubuntu cannot be used by non-geeks (like our
> Mothers) right now. I have a group of 6 or 7 of them, who don't know
> one another, who are doing just that, and with very little (if any)
> assistance from me.
> I have other non-geek acquantances using one form or another of windows,
> who complain regularly about tech-support issues not related to
> hardware. The quality of tech support aside, the real question is if
> windows is as easy and intuitive as MS would like everyone to assume,
> why is there any need for tech support at all?
> On Wed, 2008-03-26 at 14:05 -0400, Rajiv Gunja wrote:
> > I have to say that CNET has a point, even though core Linux Gurus might
> > disagree about it. Yes there is lack of leadership or lack of view as to
> > a normal person is going to use it. I asked this same question many
> > ago (2000 or 2001) to IBM Linux President or VP on a talk show with John
> > Dvorak, he was mostly concerned about Linux Server rather than Linux
> > Desktop.
> > Question:
> > When will Linux be ready for my Mother or my uncle who are not Computer
> > Savvy or my grand-mother who wants to view News, video and email without
> > having to know what OS is running?
> > Well to be frank, I have not yet used a Linux which does everything MS
> > Windows does. The key thing to remember is that with Windows, all you
> get is
> > the GUI there is no such thing directly available to you as a normal
> > If something happens to my Windows PC, I have no clue what to do with
> > but if it is Linux or Unix, there are a million ways I can debug it.
> > does not mean that Windows does not have internal debugging stuff, but
> it is
> > rather not obvious from the front end. With Linux each forum will talk
> > editing some file or the other or talk about super-user mode or sudo or
> > something like that which non-IT person will have no idea about and will
> > give up on it and buy Windows.
> > The only Linux I have used which is almost like Windows when it comes to
> > usage is Xandros. Yes it is not perfect, but is sure way better than
> > or Mandrake or Ubuntu or PCLinuxOS when it comes down to "USABILITY" or
> > friendliness. Their OS is so much closer to Windows than any other
> > distribution can come close to.
> > Yes they are not a true Open Source Linux and they are commercial, but
> > OS works, that is why you see it being the default OS on Asus EEE than
> > Fedora or Mandriva.
> > I have been using Linux as a user (I am not a developer) since 1995/6. I
> > have seen it grow from Slackware 1.0 to now Vixta or PCLinuxOS or Ubuntu
> > 8.xx or Mandriva 2008 beta. It has improved a great amount, but at the
> > time, MS has grown from DOS to Vista, which might be good or bad,
> > on what you are using it for.
> > As per to the Leadership he is talking about, I think he should have
> > that there is nobody pulling the reigns to the horse that is Linux which
> > going ahead, but might not be in the direction a user wants, but what a
> > developer or engineer wants.
> > -GGR
> > Rajiv G Gunja
> > On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 9:26 AM, Celeste Lyn Paul <celeste at kde.org>
> > > On Wednesday 26 March 2008 08:37:14 Matt Burkhardt wrote:
> > > > Sorry - I'm really bad with names and couldn't find the KDE
> > > > person on the members page
> > >
> > > THat would be me.
> > >
> > > > CNet has an interesting article about usability and the lack of
> > > > of it in open source -
> > > >
> > > > http://www.cnet.com/8301-13505_1-9903080-16.html
> > >
> > > Hmm.. interesting. Too bad he's wrong, or at least not exactly right.
> > > Leadership isn't the core problem, vision and understanding of users
> > > Leadership supports these things. (Infact, a colleague from
> > > and I are writing a conference paper on this exact topic).
> > >
> > > > --
> > > > Matt Burkhardt, MSTM
> > > > President
> > > > Impari Systems, Inc.
> > > > Phone: (301) 644-3911
> > > > mlb at imparisystems.com
> > > > http://www.imparisystems.com
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Celeste Lyn Paul
> > > KDE Usability Project & HCI Working Group
> > > usability.kde.org
> > >
> > > --
> > > Ubuntu-us-md mailing list
> > > Ubuntu-us-md at lists.ubuntu.com
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> > > https://lists.ubuntu.com/mailman/listinfo/ubuntu-us-md
> > >
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