[ubuntu-za] NEWS: 5 reasons LibreOffice and GIMP will not replace Microsoft Office and Photoshop

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Sat Sep 28 10:52:50 UTC 2013

Thank you Navdeep!!

I look after linux systems (mostly Ubuntu) at Stellenbosch University
library. Same problem as you about familiarity of the GUi with normal
users. I am only allowed to run 10 computers out of about 250 on Ubuntu for
GUI happiness reasons. Try as I do, to impress the OSS community that the
desktop GUI is important - no luck - it seems that the OSS community has
some kind of "mind lock" about not using a friendly GUI.

How are we to create mass adoption without friendly GUI software for normal
Android has done a great job on smartphones, so how do we do it on the
desktop where a normal users first impression is usually bad GUI software?

On the 10 pc's I run Ubuntu 12.04 with Unity that is radically stripped
down and installed Kingsoft office software. Now the librarians are happy -
sort of.



On 28 September 2013 11:49, Navdeep Singh Sidhu <
navdeepsingh.sidhu95 at gmail.com> wrote:

> (PLZ forgive my English & Lengthy mail ) I disagree with the person but
> not completely. He is right about newbies bcz people in transition from MS
> to OSS will find it difficult to learn all the tools. They have to face
> difficulties to perform simple task. But i think that's not a problem. Bcz
> each software has it's own approach to deal with problems & perform various
> tasks. But this is also true that User point of view is important.  Like if
> you are creating a tool for normal day to day usage it is important that
> you include User Friendly environment and give high priority to it in your
> SRS or in design. And you also have to keep in mind that your product will
> be used by various kind of users having different level of knowledge &
> experience of using gadgets.
> In case of libre & gimp i think artwork and interface needs some
> improvement so that user can operate them easily.(But that my personal
> point of view i'm not forcing my view to anybody).
> Also in case of MS vs libre or Photoshop vs gimp. most people around me
> use MS & Photoshop (believe me 99% of them using pirated software) that
> means if i have a problem related to MS or PS there is high probability
> that i will get solution for my problem easily.(People here in india use
> internet to access Facebook & gmail only lolz :-)), but if i have require
> any package of linux i can't go to anybody and ask him to give deb package
> of that software in pendrive. Of course i have to use internet for that.
> But that's my learning attitude because i want to learn about new things &
> technologies. Not everybody have that attitude most of them just want to
> solve their problems & perform their tasks so they just use the simple
> tools which are available in abundant around them (it never matters pirated
> or genuine).
> Let me share my experience with you. I'm pursuing my M.Tech (C.S.E) from
> GNDU, amritsar. From last few years internet in our hostel is not working
> (due to lot of technical issues also hackerz). So most of the boys use
> internet at Library's Lab. Believe me internet access at our very good we
> get 10MBps downloading speed from google or any other better server. there
> are 25 computer in our lab (haha that doesn't mean that we have only one
> lab, but thats the only lab where you have open access to internet). last
> year a junior came to me told me that faculty has banned usage of pendrives
> in lab. then i contacted head of technical dept (he is very generous guy&
> he is incharge there) at library &  asked him the reason for banning the
> usage of pendrives. he told me that windows got crashed after 2-3 days
> usage if you use pendrive on computers. At a glance i give him the
> alternative i asked him to use Linux on all the computers. Although he is a
> technical guy & he has a good experience with UNIX he told me that he used
> Linux in year 1999 & 2000 but it didn't impressed him. Then i told him that
> it was a long time ago, now linux has improved a lot. You have lot of
> choices in GUI like KDE, Gnome, cinnamon etc & it is totally virus free and
> easy to maintain and i offered him my help as a volunteer. He accepted my
> help and told me that let us give it a try. He only permitted me to install
> Linux on 4 computers so that he can check that if anybody reported problem
> with Linux he will cancel the idea of migration (he also permitted to use
> pendrives on those computers after i assured him). In the starting many
> user(non technical) misunderstood Linux mint 15 with Windows 8(and when i
> heard that i laughed, i was there most of the time to help people with
> linux). In first month head observed that technical team has to reinstall
> windows more than 5 times on each computer but on the other hand Linux is
> working very good. Plus users had reported virus problem  many times. Then
> next month he permitted me to install Linux on 4 more computers. believe me
> i was expecting the same from the beginning. in the beginning some users
> came to me (but less number that the admirers) and asked me that it is
> difficult to operate Linux but i gave them the reason (better than waving
> off them without giving any reason) that it is better now you can use your
> pendrives on those computers, and kind of they were satisfied with my
> answer. I'm also aware of that most of them were blaming me bcz now they
> can't access blocked sites by cyber roam bcz they can't use proxifier on
> Linux.However most of them want access facebook & porn content which is
> blocked by our network admin. I was newbie that time (still i consider
> myself as newbie) i only knew how to install Linux & other basic stuff.
> just for knowledge i asked for help on mailing list (ubuntu's & fedoras)
> but most of them gave their opinions without understanding my intentions
> even one of threatened me to complaint against me to my authorities.Only
> few of them really guided me with the option of tor but at that time that
> was blocked by our network admin ( he is my mentor & a PHD) so there was no
> way to use proxy on our connection even medibuntu repo was blocked that
> time. Luckily after few weeks our cyberroam crashed & they reinstalled the
> cyberroam but they forgot to block tor on network . that really helped me
> to having experience with tor (believe me before that i don't had access to
> video tutorials on YouTube). Getting back to main story after 3 months they
> found that computers using Linux are performing much better that computer
> with windows & even it is very easy to maintain them or i can say no
> maintenance is required (in that case). then he called me and permitted me
> to install Linux on all the computers (and i didn't made any of them dual
> boot). he is kind of happy with the performance of Linux. After 1 year now
> they are asking me more about Linux. I suspect that all the machines will
> operate on Linux in next coming 6 months. In my past year i faced people
> having compatibility issues with doc & docx file on libre. They had to face
> problem to take printouts bcz doc & docx file made in Libre got misaligned
> in Ms office old versions (As i told before MS is more in our enviornment)
> until i told them to export documents in PDF's. Many people are admiring
> linux bcz it's lighweight, it is secure no problem of virus until you
> install wine, stable & many more.
> From my experience i can say that people with learning attitude  find it
> easy to operate Linux, libre & gimp after few weeks. But not all the people
> are professionals so Open source has to keep it in mind that the tools it
> develop needs easy to operate by users with medium or low skills. Also
> after win8 bomb most of the people & companies are moving towards Linux so
> please also put efforts on GUI(i like GUI of linux & it's tools but not
> gives a nice first impression on Users with low tech skills).
> Standarization of GUI elements can be solution but i think that will kill
> or ruin competion between different products.
> He said he is not opposing OSS he just telling truth about the point of
> view of newbies. BCZ OSS products are too scary until you get offline help.
> Like in my case i was unable to access online videos until cyberroam
> crashed. & What can you expect from normal user if migration is so complex.
> --
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> ubuntu-za at lists.ubuntu.com
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*Hilton Gibson*
Ubuntu Linux Systems Administrator
JS Gericke Library
Room 1025D
Stellenbosch University
Private Bag X5036
South Africa

Tel: +27 21 808 4100 | Cell: +27 84 646 4758
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