[hoary] initial usability reactions

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Wed Nov 17 22:42:27 UTC 2004

On Wed, 17 Nov 2004 10:44:04 -0800, Hudson Delbert J Contr 61 CS/SCBN
<delbert.hudson at losangeles.af.mil> wrote:
>         Greg,
>         this is how i throttle usage of the context menu (rt click)

And I kill such throttling by disabling JavaScript!

>         i would not cfg a windoze box in this manner for most people
>         as it would be difficult for most. i think its important that
>         implementers play to the strengths of their user base and ubuntu
>         for the most part has done that except i see waaaaaaaaaaay to
>         much whinh about how windows dopes and how come ubuntu doesnt do
>         this or that like windows or osx. its not any of those. its a unix
>         clone, linux.

[aside] Interesting - I can barely understand your writing yet your
code was clean... different generation, different spelling skills?
(I'm at the very tail end of X-genners).

As for Windows dopes and OS X whingers whinging: isn't that the entire
point of creating Ubuntu? To make a Linux that can be _used_ by
people, not to be set up for programmers, by programmers. If Windows
dopes and OS X whingers don't whinge, then Canonical will have less of
a sense of what is working right, and what is working wrong.

There are enough distros out there that require the hacker's touch
that you don't have to worry about Ubuntu becoming easy to use (or,
are you afraid that if one distro pulls it off, every other one will
have to become easy to use ;). The cynics view of commercially
supported distros is that they'll never be easy to use because
otherwise you'd have a hard time charging people for support (who's
going to pay if you can do things yourself). I'm of the opinion that a
distro that successfully pulls off making a distro that IS MAC or
WINDOZE-like in behaviour, and especially Mac-like in design
philosophy, will make money for its commercial master. People
(especially businesses) will pay good money for an OS that works,
especially if Ubuntu makes it easier to use Linux than other
(commercial) distros.

The most important thing is that they their design philosophy down.
The current state of (chaotic) affairs has worked well to produce a
smorgas-bord of options, but now someone needs to go the one step
further and make sure that the options work well TOGETHER, and not
just by themselves. A focus on security is one (e.g. make sure that
it's easy to create non-admin users). A concerted effort is also
needed (& is underway) to eliminate the need to _ever_ go into the
CLUI for 100% of 80% of users, and for 95% of tasks that another 15%
of users need to do.

Getting rid of the CLUI _doesn't_ eliminate distros that thrive on it
-- don't worry, your way of doing things won't go away, it'll just
become optional.


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