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span
January 4th, 2006, 06:52 PM
I would like to hear others' opinions about what would make a distro so user friendly that the average Windows user would feel comfortable switching over to Linux. (Isn't that what the idea is after all?) If you are a firm believer that one must go through an effectual Linux hazing by having to sweat over line commands and complicated installations before you are invited into the club, and that anything that smacks of the odious WIndows system is like a cross to a vampire, your input is not what I would like to elicit. Below are my thoughts on this:

First, the distro should automatically recognize and install most hardware and the user should be able to surf the web, view videos and audio, read e-mail, use the printer etc. once installation is finished without spending lots of time tweaking, problem solving, searching for answers on the web, etc. and without having to throw out his/her present hardware in order to buy new Linux-friendly components.

I realize that lots of hardware can't be installed in Linux because the manufacturers' haven't released the specs. It's not the distro developers fault, nevertheless, I've installed Windows in dozens of machines and this is what I've always ended up with after an install, and what would make more people apt to convert to a Linux distro.

Second, the GUI should have a functioning link to almost anything the user needs to do. That is, the command line should be avoided whenever possible.

Third, the distro should make it easy for the newbie to do a dual boot so that both OSs are available. Few people are going switch over cold turkey, and a dual boot makes the transition process easier.

Fourth, the distro should have an initial desktop that is attractive. Yes, I know that you can modify it to your heart's content, but it is a good idea to wow the person with a spectacular desktop from the beginning. (Please don't flame me for it but in my opinion the brown Ubuntu default doesn't make the cut here.)

Fifth, there should be some good step-by-step documentation available in the distro itself. I don't consider googling for answers good documentation.

Any other ideas?

xequence
January 4th, 2006, 07:07 PM
What some seem to think makes a distro newbie friendly to me is crazy...

Like the fact linspire changed around things a bit to make a "Launch" button there where the start button on windows would be. And the PCLinuxOS made their gnome version like that too. Honestly, if someone likes the start button so much they should stick with windows. I personally find the default gnome setup on ubuntu to be very user friendly.

chimera
January 4th, 2006, 07:08 PM
Please, for god's sake don't dumbify Ubuntu's GUI even more than it already is.

xequence
January 4th, 2006, 07:51 PM
Please, for god's sake don't dumbify Ubuntu's GUI even more than it already is.

Im saying them making gnome/kde look like windows is stupid and doesent help.

chimera
January 4th, 2006, 08:21 PM
Im saying them making gnome/kde look like windows is stupid and doesent help.

Agree, they should aim for functionality instead of making it look like windows.

gw90se
January 4th, 2006, 09:36 PM
I read an interesting article the other day that did point out some possible problems with getting end users into the Linux world. It focused on the way programs are named. Their examples included...

Gimp or Photoshop

Windows Media Player or Xine or Totem

This did make a bit of sense with a new linux end user in mind.

deNoobius
January 4th, 2006, 09:46 PM
That is, the command line should be avoided whenever possible.


I hope you don't mean that you would actually eliminate command-line functions. Having a choice between GUI and CLI would be fine, but I don't think the CLI should be "avoided."

Lord Illidan
January 4th, 2006, 09:49 PM
First, the distro should automatically recognize and install most hardware and the user should be able to surf the web, view videos and audio, read e-mail, use the printer etc. once installation is finished without spending lots of time tweaking, problem solving, searching for answers on the web, etc. and without having to throw out his/her present hardware in order to buy new Linux-friendly components.

Ubuntu does that, you know. All my hardware was found and configured, except for my graphics card and printer. Printer had to be installed, and I had to download the NVIDIA drivers. As for videos and audio, it is illegal for Ubuntu to ship non GPL codecs..



Second, the GUI should have a functioning link to almost anything the user needs to do. That is, the command line should be avoided whenever possible.

I agree up to a point. The command line should not be thrown away, like as on Windows. However, most things just have to be done with the command line, like compiling programs or writing scrips. I can't visualise them being done with the GUI.



Third, the distro should make it easy for the newbie to do a dual boot so that both OSs are available. Few people are going switch over cold turkey, and a dual boot makes the transition process easier.


Yes, the partitioning of Ubuntu should be made easier, like Mandriva's, for example.



Fourth, the distro should have an initial desktop that is attractive. Yes, I know that you can modify it to your heart's content, but it is a good idea to wow the person with a spectacular desktop from the beginning. (Please don't flame me for it but in my opinion the brown Ubuntu default doesn't make the cut here.)

That's why there is KDE. I also agree with you, GNOME looks ugly. IMHO, the user should have a choice, however at installation, like as on SUSE. How about for example, a screenshot of default KDE and GNOME and the user can choose?



Fifth, there should be some good step-by-step documentation available in the distro itself. I don't consider googling for answers good documentation.

There is help in Ubuntu. Try pressing the life buoy!

briancurtin
January 4th, 2006, 09:59 PM
I read an interesting article the other day that did point out some possible problems with getting end users into the Linux world. It focused on the way programs are named. Their examples included...

Gimp or Photoshop

Windows Media Player or Xine or Totem

This did make a bit of sense with a new linux end user in mind.
if a potential linux user cant get over the fact that something is named "totem" instead of "media player" or "gimp" instead of "photoshop," then they can stay with windows for all i care. if someone is that set on the name of an application to the point where they wont look outside the box, then that is just god damned asinine.

homeboy
January 4th, 2006, 10:37 PM
Ok guys and gals listen up. I believe that there are a lot of you that need
a small dose of reality about the world out there.
The general public is not and I repeat "not" going to go for a computer os
that is not user friendly. I installed ubuntu on my system a couple of months back for something new to challenge my senses. I am by no means a computer
nerd "so to speak". I spent an awful lot of time getting my os to a point that I can use for almost everything that most of the general public could use.
I have been truly impressed by what all of you have created with the linux systems that are available. But , you must understand that that most of us don't want to hunt for something to add to our computers and the command line will NEVER be accepted by the general public.
When I read some of these forums I feel like I am in the midst of a bunch of spoiled, over-educated children. If you want the command line, then for
god's sake keep it. But if you are truly interested in giving microsoft competition then you are going to have to put forth a product that will be generally accepted by the masses and not just a fancy toy as some of you
give the impression.

bonzodog
January 4th, 2006, 10:39 PM
First, the distro should automatically recognize and install most hardware and the user should be able to surf the web, view videos and audio, read e-mail, use the printer etc. once installation is finished without spending lots of time tweaking, problem solving, searching for answers on the web, etc. and without having to throw out his/her present hardware in order to buy new Linux-friendly components.
<SNIP>
Fifth, there should be some good step-by-step documentation available in the distro itself. I don't consider googling for answers good documentation.

Any other ideas?

I'm sorry, but I nearly choked when I read that...

Windows never works out of the box!!!
I don't even have a usable screen with a fresh install, let alone my usb ports, printer, and ethernet card being out of order. Finding documentation inside windows is near impossible. I normally spend 1 -2 hours problem solving and tweaking just to make my machine usable in windows Xp. You cannot use IE on the web, it's too dangerous, so I download a copy of firefox on someone elses machine and install that, then immediately unistall what I can of IE, and remove as much of outlook, windows media player as is possible. Then I go straight to the AVG site, and download and install the latest definitions. My ethernet only worked last time after i had to hunt through the CD for 15 minutes looking for the driver for XP. It is SO difficult to use!

I am not joking when i say that ubuntu is a hundred times easier. At least all my hardware works out of the box, and I can be up on the net safely within 5 minutes of install.

The last time I went to XP I found the menu's unusable, and difficult to understand. oh, btw, it took 4 attempts just to make Xp install on my 64 bit machine. 3 hours!! just to install. I lost nearly a whole day doing the complete install just to make the machine usable.

Ubuntu IS easier to use than windows, and it has BETTER hardware recognition than windows.

dcraven
January 4th, 2006, 10:54 PM
I read an interesting article the other day that did point out some possible problems with getting end users into the Linux world. It focused on the way programs are named. Their examples included...

Gimp or Photoshop

Windows Media Player or Xine or Totem

This did make a bit of sense with a new linux end user in mind.
Agreed. Descriptive names such as Excel, Acrobat, Access, and Outlook should be used whenever possible.

Please.
~djc

deNoobius
January 4th, 2006, 10:58 PM
and the command line will NEVER be accepted by the general public.


Ah, how quickly they forget. Up until Windows 95 came out, and even for some time after, it was entirely common for the general computer use to use a CLI. It was called DOS. Even after programs were no longer made for DOS, a good number of people continued to use it for system functions like moving, copying, and renaming files.

Freddie.Ruddick
January 4th, 2006, 11:21 PM
Agreed. Descriptive names such as Excel, Acrobat, Access, and Outlook should be used whenever possible.

Please.
~djc

I really don't see in what way "Excel" is more descriptive than "Openoffice Calc" At least OO.o Calc gves some clue that it's for calculations. I don't really see the link between Excel and calculation. Similarly Acrobat vs xPDF, at least xPDF tells you it's for PDFs. Access vs OO.o Base? Neither's particularly descriptive, but I think Base is slightly more descriptive. Outlook vs Evolution? I see no difference.

Just my opinion.

aysiu
January 4th, 2006, 11:47 PM
In answer to the original question...

The distro would have to come pre-installed and pre-configured... just as Windows almost always is.

Most frustrated Linux migrants have never installed Windows from scratch and have no interest in installing an operating system.

MetalMusicAddict
January 4th, 2006, 11:49 PM
"What would make a distro newbie friendly?"

A tech support guy there to hold a "newbies" hand while they install their new playschool Linux.

Honestly at this point with Ubuntu its as easy as windows to install and post config. Especially if you really read the fourms. If they make Ubuntu easier thats cool but as a recent convert Ive had no problem.

In this week Ive come to realize that most of the computing world is completely ignorant about what their computer is doing. This is why stupid laws are comming about.

If you are having a hard time with Linux really learn you windows box 1st. So you have SOME idea of what it takes to work you computer.

OR....

If your new to computers ditch that copy of windows NOW before you learn their way.

Hopefully if MS doesnt kill Linux its all my kids will know. Or at least know 1st.

span
January 5th, 2006, 12:19 AM
My intention with starting the thread "What would make a distro newbie friendly?" was not to start a Windows sucksfest. Plenty of the posts on this forum provide such an outlet. If you feel, for example, that in order for a distro to be user-friendly it needs to be preinstalled on a machine just say so. Readers who would like a simple answer to the question posed in this thread will find it more infomative that way.

MetalMusicAddict
January 5th, 2006, 01:14 AM
I was a little hot when I posted but my points Ill stick with. Also there are a bazillion threads like this here and all over the internet. I just got a little peeved at seeing another one. ;)

Ill pose another question.

Why cant new users have more patience and take time to learn something new?

poofyhairguy
January 5th, 2006, 01:16 AM
Any other ideas?

The biggest things Ubuntu needs on this front all have to do with the installer I think. It would be great if on the install Ubuntu:

1. Resized the NFTS parition and installing Ubuntu dual boot style withou having to know what a partition is.

2. Copied the user's browser favorites, bookmarks, emails, etc.

3. Automount the NTFS driver with a link to it on the desktop (this one will happen first).

4. Give a tutorial about what things like multiple desktops and openoffice ARE.

poofyhairguy
January 5th, 2006, 01:21 AM
But if you are truly interested in giving microsoft competition then you are going to have to put forth a product that will be generally accepted by the masses and not just a fancy toy as some of you
give the impression.

I want to say this nicely. So please don't take offense- I will choose my words wisely.

Only new users to the Ubuntu community habor dreams of beating the MS monopoly with Ubuntu. New users that are used to a corporate computer landscape come in thinking that two programs (or OSes) that do many of the same tasks naturally compete.

After a while here you learn the truth- we are not selling Ubuntu so its not a competition. Its an alternative. If Ubuntu only gets used by those who don't want Windows or those who can't afford it than its a success. Heck, the fact the community is so large makes it a success. Marketshare does not matter in the long run.

Some Distros DO want to compete with Windows (Linspire, Xandros) and thats their choice. Here at Ubuntu we just want the best software we can make, no matter what is happening on the MS side of the pond.

Its a big world, room enough for us all.

mstlyevil
January 5th, 2006, 01:22 AM
I have three words to add to this conversation on how to make a distro more newbie friendly. Peinstalled and preconfigured. :idea:

aysiu
January 5th, 2006, 02:31 AM
If you feel, for example, that in order for a distro to be user-friendly it needs to be preinstalled on a machine just say so. I've said exactly that, and so has mstlyevil.

Preinstalled is the only way an operating system "just works."

If everyone had blank machines and had to install Windows and track down all the appropriate drivers and codecs, they'd realize that installing an operating system can be magic... or a nightmare, but it usually has more to do with the hardware being compatible than the operating system being capable.

Ubuntu was magic for me (almost everything worked straight away). Windows was a nightmare for me (nothing worked straight away--drivers and codecs were nigh-impossible to track down). I know for others, though, it's the exact opposite--Windows a breeze, Ubuntu a nightmare.

It's a fantasy to believe any OS would ever be "user friendly" enough to be installed from scratch by anybody on any computer.

mstlyevil
January 5th, 2006, 03:07 AM
If you feel, for example, that in order for a distro to be user-friendly it needs to be preinstalled on a machine just say so.

You must consider that 90% of the Windows users have never installed Windows on their machines. These people either bought their machines with Windows installed and configured or their computer was handed down to them with Windows already on it. My brother bought Win XP to replace Win ME on his computer a few years ago and after installing it he could not understand why he could not play a dvd or that certain web videos woudn't play for him anymore. His video was choppy because he did not have the proper drivers and his sound would not work. It had to b e explained to him that Windows does not just come with these things out of the box and that he needed third party software and drivers for them to work.

My brother is not the exception in the Windows world, he is the norm. People have the perception that Windows works out of the box but it does not nor never had it done so. If everyone was required to actually install and set up Windows like we do with Linux, their attitude towards Linux's usability out of the box might change.

For example when I install Windows, I have to install drivers to get my sound, ethernet/internet connection and even basic 2D video to work. I have installed on the otherhand Linspire,Suse,Ubuntu and Kubuntu yet everyone of these distros detected and configured each of these things to work properly out of the box. Also most distros already have most software applications average users would use out of the box yet you have to install all of these by third party vendors in Windows.

Finally, the argument that multimedia sucks out of the box on Linux is a bogus argument considering that neither Linux nor Windows have most of the codecs out of the box. Linux comes with certain codecs OTB that Windows does not have and vice versa. But to get all the codecs one may use requires third party software and codecs in both OS's.

So, what is the main difference when you compare Windows to Linux when it comes to peoples perception of being ready out of the box? The answer is that the MAJORITY of Windows users buy their PC's with all this done for them by the manufactuer while Linux users have to do it all themselves. Also most PC's come with a recovery disk (or partition) so the average user never actually has to reinstall anything since the recovery disk is a mirror of the system that was loaded on the computer by the manufactuer.

This is why I say newbie friendly distro is one that is preinstalled and preconfigured.

mohapi
January 5th, 2006, 03:10 AM
Speaking as a newbie (see my post counter :) ) working his way through his first Ubuntu install, what always pleases me is when things just work. I love it when the screen automatically switches to native resolution, or the wireless network opens up immediately.

Having said that, I don't blame anyone if things don't just work. There are too many individual pieces of hardware to track, and I don't expect everything to just snap into place. And God forbid if one or two of those things are incompatible.

And heck, if I had a dollar for each time Windows just didn't work ... well, you know where I'm going with that.

I tried Linux (I think it was Red Hat) about five years ago and found it just too esoteric to be practical for me. I could get nothing to work except the mouse, and didn't have the patience -- or the interest -- to figure out why. So I abandoned it, and went back Windows.

So it made me feel special when I got online with Ubuntu 20+ minutes after reformatting my drive. I know it had nothing to do with my infinitesmal Linux proficiency, but it was reassuring to think that Linux had (or perhaps I had) matured to the point of accessibility.

I like what I see so far, but I've got a lot to learn. Cheers.

aysiu
January 5th, 2006, 03:13 AM
I realize this is purely anecdotal, but just about everyone I know buys a computer with either Windows or some Mac operating system preinstalled.

The only people I know who build their own computers and install an OS from scratch are the people in the technology department of my workplace (a third of whom use some form of Linux) and... my dad (who just likes to tinker with stuff).

The rest all buy Windows or Mac preinstalled--co-workers, friends, relatives, random acquaintances, church members... just about everybody I know does.

The mythical "Joe Sixpack" does not want to and never wants to install an operating system, no matter how "user friendly" it claims to be.

dcraven
January 5th, 2006, 03:16 PM
I really don't see in what way "Excel" is more descriptive than "Openoffice Calc" At least OO.o Calc gves some clue that it's for calculations. I don't really see the link between Excel and calculation. Similarly Acrobat vs xPDF, at least xPDF tells you it's for PDFs. Access vs OO.o Base? Neither's particularly descriptive, but I think Base is slightly more descriptive. Outlook vs Evolution? I see no difference.

Just my opinion.
hehe.. I was being totally sarcastic. I guess I'll have to work on that ;)

~djc

stimpack
January 5th, 2006, 03:22 PM
Simple GUI configuration of Wireless. Combining ndiswrapper and wpa_supplicant in an invisable way to the user.

TeeAhr1
January 5th, 2006, 09:04 PM
I read an interesting article the other day that did point out some possible problems with getting end users into the Linux world. It focused on the way programs are named. Their examples included...

Gimp or Photoshop

Windows Media Player or Xine or Totem

This did make a bit of sense with a new linux end user in mind.
I'll bite: Calc or Excel? I calculate things, I do not excel them.
EDIT: Okay, someone else already hit that one. That's what I get for not reading the whole thread before replying.

TeeAhr1
January 5th, 2006, 09:10 PM
But , you must understand that that most of us don't want to hunt for something to add to our computers and the command line will NEVER be accepted by the general public.
No, I think you need to understand. The command line was accepted by the general public for some fifteen years before Windows came along. (Apple IIe, anyone? MS-DOS? Is any of this registering?) I was taught, in a public school, how to use the IIe command line in second grade.

OTOH, if you want to argue that Microsoft has created a generation lazy users, we can have that discussion.

Lord Illidan
January 5th, 2006, 09:16 PM
Regarding the names.. names like Xine, Wine, KDE, GNOME, Amarok, Firefox, Thunderbird etc are not descriptive. Cool they may be to some people, but to an end user, who is going to know what they do?
Luckily the icons give an impression.

TeeAhr1
January 5th, 2006, 09:20 PM
The biggest things Ubuntu needs on this front all have to do with the installer I think. It would be great if on the install Ubuntu:

1. Resized the NFTS parition and installing Ubuntu dual boot style withou having to know what a partition is.

*snip*
I respectfully disagree with this one (I think your other points, especially #2, were spot on, though.) I think one of the best things about Ubuntu is that it doesn't try to be Linspire. I like the idea of it being easy, but not so easy that you don't learn anything. It's good to know what a partition is, and what your partitions are called. It's information you may very well need later, if something actually does go wrong.

Maybe something like a beginner and advanced installation process? If you select "beginner," it'll still bring you through the steps, but with tutorials as needed. A dialogue will come up explaining, briefly, what a partition is, how they're named, where they reside in your filesystem, etc.

aysiu
January 5th, 2006, 09:30 PM
Maybe something like a beginner and advanced installation process? If you select "beginner," it'll still bring you through the steps, but with tutorials as needed. A dialogue will come up explaining, briefly, what a partition is, how they're named, where they reside in your filesystem, etc. I'm in total agreement with this. I like that right now there's a regular install, a server install, and an expert install.

I think at the beginning there should be these options:
1. Think for me.
2. Ask me a few simple questions.
3. Ask me a lot of questions.
4. I want to configure everything
5. I want to install a server

Derek Djons
January 5th, 2006, 09:38 PM
Second, the GUI should have a functioning link to almost anything the user needs to do. That is, the command line should be avoided whenever possible.

I don't completely agree with Span on this point. In the past years I've seen good GUI beings shred to 'My First Sony' designs with some psychedelic colors. I don't believe in colors which make it easier for the users to devide information. For example Microsoft isn't building operating systems for retards. Every normal person knows where his new application has been installed and that you can find it back by clickin on 'start', etc.

Also I still favor using command lines for they are faster to execute than working yourself through four menu's and sub-menu's. I don't see why a normal computer users would favor starting up five applications a day browsing through menu's when he could easily enter a command and hit enter. That kind of behaviour isn't present these days, but it's not something you can't learn a user!

In my opinion the best OS will be that one which adepts it's users to work and operate more efficient instead of GUI'ing everything to the max.

aysiu
January 5th, 2006, 09:44 PM
The command-line is a tool.
GUI is also a tool (point and click).

You don't hammer a screw or screw a smooth nail.

For the user, use whatever's most appropriate.
For the operating system, make both available whenever possible.

For example, if I want to install ten different applications through apt-get, it's much faster and easier for me to type
sudo apt-get install blah blah blah blah blah and list the ten names of the applications in one command than to open up Synaptic, search for each application and mark it for installation.

However, if I don't know the names of the applications, and I am a lousy typist, Synaptic will be faster and easier.

SteelValor
January 5th, 2006, 10:29 PM
I thought the Ubuntu installer was cake! The automatic updater was sooooo sweet. I think that would make the installer perfect if it was put back in ... it was taken out right. lolz

Stormy Eyes
January 5th, 2006, 10:31 PM
As far as I'm concerned, people who have not had to install Windows have no right to complain that it is hard to install Linux, since they have never installed an OS before.

rjwood
January 5th, 2006, 10:31 PM
The user!!!!!

Lord Illidan
January 5th, 2006, 10:34 PM
I'm in total agreement with this. I like that right now there's a regular install, a server install, and an expert install.

I think at the beginning there should be these options:
1. Think for me.
2. Ask me a few simple questions.
3. Ask me a lot of questions.
4. I want to configure everything
5. I want to install a server

I like that!! I'd opt for 3!
Also, about a GUI installation, since I have an NVIDIA card, many installers assign nv to the GUI installer. I dunno why, nv doesn't work with my card, thus I cannot use the GUI. This made Cent OS 4 and Fedora Core 4 unable to install on my system. It would be best if they defaulted to vesa. Both vesa and Nv being 2D there won't be a performance hit, I think.

carlosqueso
January 5th, 2006, 10:46 PM
Aysiu makes a good point. I've noticed a great hostility to the GUI in the linux world. The GUI and the CLI are not in competition with each other, they can both be used. For me, I use the GUI for tasks that I don't know how to do at the command line, anything involving graphics, and some simple file stuff that's just easier in a graphical file manager. These things are faster and easier FOR ME in the GUI. I use the CLI for a lot of things as well. Choosing the GUI doesn't make me stupid or a chimpanzee, it just shows the difference. I would agree with the OP that there should be as many GUI tools as possible for those who want a free operating system, but aren't interested in spending a lot of time learning commands (really, GUI is easier to LEARN, if not to use). Then it should retain the CLI (and put it on the panel by default dang it! ;)) for those of us who enjoy learning multiple ways of doing things and grew up using old DOS/Apple IIe computers. Linux is about choice, not command line elitism or bashing.

poofyhairguy
January 6th, 2006, 02:03 AM
I respectfully disagree with this one (I think your other points, especially #2, were spot on, though.) I think one of the best things about Ubuntu is that it doesn't try to be Linspire. I like the idea of it being easy, but not so easy that you don't learn anything. It's good to know what a partition is, and what your partitions are called. It's information you may very well need later, if something actually does go wrong.


Good call. You are right, this is not Linspire.

I mean, with Ubuntu there is many barriers to getting it installed. You have to know how to get your computer to boot from a CD if your computer does not do it automatically and many don't (this cuts out a lot of the potential users right here).

Then you have to get through the installer. Its easy as can be if you just want to nuke everything and go with Ubuntu, but I have never successfully resized a NTFS partition and set up Ubuntu as a dual boot for someone without Partition Magic. I know the installer technically does it, but that has never worked for me.

After all of that, you HAVE to have learned a little about your computer. Its ann interesting barrier to entry and maybe a good one since a lot of the current Windows users might prefer a Linpsire (with its codecs out of the box and its familiar look) over an Ubuntu.

Iandefor
January 6th, 2006, 02:31 AM
I want to say this nicely. So please don't take offense- I will choose my words wisely.

Only new users to the Ubuntu community habor dreams of beating the MS monopoly with Ubuntu. New users that are used to a corporate computer landscape come in thinking that two programs (or OSes) that do many of the same tasks naturally compete.

After a while here you learn the truth- we are not selling Ubuntu so its not a competition. Its an alternative. If Ubuntu only gets used by those who don't want Windows or those who can't afford it than its a success. Heck, the fact the community is so large makes it a success. Marketshare does not matter in the long run.

Some Distros DO want to compete with Windows (Linspire, Xandros) and thats their choice. Here at Ubuntu we just want the best software we can make, no matter what is happening on the MS side of the pond.

Its a big world, room enough for us all. How do you reconcile this with the stated intent of Ubuntu: a way to fix Bug #1? Just curious.

DirtDawg
January 6th, 2006, 02:58 AM
To help make Ubuntu in specific easier, I would suggest shipping it with extra repositories enabled by defualt. That way, new users could dive into stacks of new software. Users who would like them disabled, users who are also more likely to understand repositories to begin with, could disable them. I believe this was one roadblock which discouraged my father away from Linux.

But I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, so there's likely a reason they're disabled by default. If someone can clue me in, please do.

Nightwind
January 6th, 2006, 03:04 AM
I understand each person has his or her own way of doing things, learning ,what ever works for that person should be accepted by other people. I don't normally say anything about any ones post on any forum. I apologize in advance for anything I am about to say that causes any hard feelings, that is not my intent.

I have really taken offense to the following statement:
[QUOTE=Derek Djons]I don't completely agree with Span on this point. In the past years I've seen good GUI beings shred to 'My First Sony' designs with some psychedelic colors. I don't believe in colors which make it easier for the users to devide information. For example Microsoft isn't building operating systems for retards. Every normal person knows where his new application has been installed and that you can find it back by clickin on 'start', etc.]

You obviously have never taught a mentally challenged person or a senor citizen that wants to learn with a computer and been able to experience the joy that you get when that person LEARNS from the different colors.
Microsoft has done many good things to help people learn and they DO take the impaired people in the world in to consideration.
I have Linux, Windows, Mac here and I don't favor one over the other, they each have a use. I know that bottom line it's all about the money, but not everyone is cold hearted or coin operated.

Some people NEED different ways to learn and if it's colors or what ever they shouldn't be criticized for that but encouraged to learn how ever they can.

As for making Ubuntu or any other distro more newbie friendly, I'd say the actions of the moderators, the members that say "Google it" or read this with no further explanation. Some people want to learn but need it spelled out and a great deal of patience is involved in truly helping people learn. I've seen a lot of "read this or do this with no further instructions which would make anyone walk away from any Linux O.S including this one. If you are going to help then really help, don't make it worse by halfway helping the person.

poofyhairguy
January 6th, 2006, 03:13 AM
How do you reconcile this with the stated intent of Ubuntu: a way to fix Bug #1? Just curious.

Good question, I knew someone would ask.

Look at the actual bug, and not just its title:

https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+bug/1



Non-free software is holding back innovation in the IT industry, restricting access to IT to a small part of the world's population and limiting the ability of software developers to reach their full potential, globally.

Obviously the problem is that the lack of options created by the closed source software world. Mark blatently states here that the "Windows Way" is very limited in its appeal- it does not allow developers or users to reach their full potential.

Look closely and you will see the truth. Mark believes that expensive software restricts "access to IT to a small part of the world's population." I mentioned that Ubuntu is for those who cannot afford Windows and its closed source philosophy or those who don't want it.

Mark started Ubuntu because MS's flagship cannot serve the majority of the world- aka all those who can't afford to add $30+ (OEM prices) to the cost of a computer everytime. I have said on here before that "Ubuntu could become the most used desktop OS without a single Windows switcher" and I think Mark would agree with me. Its the truth. Most of the world currently lacks a Windows PC. And to a large part of the world's population the costs of Windows makes it have a limited audiance. The current solution in many nations is rampant piracy but that is not a stable/healthy/long term solution.

Ubuntu is the solution.

Windows and Ubuntu do not directly compete because Ubuntu does something Windows can't/won't do- cost nothing!

In fact no where in the bug report does Mark imply that Ubuntu must cater to Windows users to fix the problem. No where is a "we must have a system that is better than Windows."

No, whats there is the simple truth- computers can help the world but in many cases its only pratical if the software is free. So it is. Thanks Mark.

He then goes on about selling Ubuntu (as a default on computers and in a marketing sense). This is for those that want another option. Not to "beat Windows at its own game" but to give those who REALLY don't like Windowsland another game to play.

Like Me.

Its not a competition like many new users expect. Its not like, say, "Ford vs. Chevy." Its more like "personal transportation device (cars) vs. public transportation (free)." Someone might say "You are wrong poofyhairguy, those things compete." And maybe in a certain definition they do. But not in the way that new users who come in here making demands of Ubuntu so that it can be better Windows than Windows defines the word "compete."

The reality is that this is a whole new sort of animal. And its one I (and Mark) thinks will appeal to much of the world. Time will tell.

One thing is for certain- if we have to choose between "resources to help those without a legal/free OS who can't afford to buy Windows" (aka shipping CDs) and "resources spent to make life easier for Windows switchers" than we should NEVER pick the latter. Mark seems to sometimes agree. That is the nature of Ubuntu.

Choice matters, not marketshare. Yet by giving a free (without strings) option we might also pick up some marketshare. World domination is a side effect- this is a bug that will be fixed when Ubuntu is in the hands of all who its intended for. And THAT is a much bigger deal than finally seeing the MS monopoly fall.

poofyhairguy
January 6th, 2006, 03:22 AM
As for making Ubuntu or any other distro more newbie friendly, I'd say the actions of the moderators, the members that say "Google it" or read this with no further explanation. Some people want to learn but need it spelled out and a great deal of patience is involved in truly helping people learn. I've seen a lot of "read this or do this with no further instructions which would make anyone walk away from any Linux O.S including this one. If you are going to help then really help, don't make it worse by halfway helping the person.

I personally perfer to see bad answers in a thread rather than see an unanswered thread, but both are not the best possible situation.

Of course, it might be the best we can do till we start paying people to support Ubuntu like MS/Dell/etc. does with their products.

poofyhairguy
January 6th, 2006, 03:24 AM
To help make Ubuntu in specific easier, I would suggest shipping it with extra repositories enabled by defualt. That way, new users could dive into stacks of new software. Users who would like them disabled, users who are also more likely to understand repositories to begin with, could disable them. I believe this was one roadblock which discouraged my father away from Linux.

But I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this, so there's likely a reason they're disabled by default. If someone can clue me in, please do.

What is enabled by default is what is supported by the primary Ubuntu team. That is the actual distro- that is Ubuntu. If you call them asking for support (there is paid support) only stuff in the main is fully supported.

The rest is supported by a volunteer team. They do a GREAT job, but its still not the same level of support. Ubuntu can't support all 17000 with the same level of support- that is part of the reason Debian releases have so much time inbetween them.

So its a compromise.

mstlyevil
January 6th, 2006, 03:28 AM
I personally perfer to see bad answers in a thread rather than see an unanswered thread, but both are not the best possible situation.

Of course, it might be the best we can do till we start paying people to support Ubuntu like MS/Dell/etc. does with their products.

I have to agree with poofy. I would like to add that if a newbie does not understand the answer given to him/her, they can always ask for a more detailed explanation. Most newbies to Linux are usually people that have some computer experience because a computer newbie would most likely not try installing an OS by himself. If a newbie is smart enough to install Ubuntu then they are probally smart enough to ask questions when they just don't understand an answer given to them.

DirtDawg
January 6th, 2006, 03:43 AM
What is enabled by default is what is supported by the primary Ubuntu team. That is the actual distro- that is Ubuntu. If you call them asking for support (there is paid support) only stuff in the main is fully supported.

The rest is supported by a volunteer team. They do a GREAT job, but its still not the same level of support. Ubuntu can't support all 17000 with the same level of support- that is part of the reason Debian releases have so much time inbetween them.

So its a compromise.


Oh, well that makes sense. I would say something here about a script, but I'm sure that's been covered before too and it's off topic anyways. Thanks for the explination.:KS

aysiu
January 6th, 2006, 04:36 AM
As for making Ubuntu or any other distro more newbie friendly, I'd say the actions of the moderators, the members that say "Google it" or read this with no further explanation. Some people want to learn but need it spelled out and a great deal of patience is involved in truly helping people learn. I've seen a lot of "read this or do this with no further instructions which would make anyone walk away from any Linux O.S including this one. If you are going to help then really help, don't make it worse by halfway helping the person. I have five links in my sig of the most frequently asked questions I know how to answer. After a while, I got so tired of typing out the same explanations over and over again (and believe me... I typed out those explanations many times) that I figured why not just type out the explanation once and link to it.

If the link explains how to do things, why not link to it? If people have further questions after having read the generic explanation, then I'll offer more specific help, but most of the time, people don't even know where these resources and explanations are--that's why I say, "Read this."

The only time I recommend "Google it" is if I have no idea what the answer is, have no idea what link would help, and would otherwise just Google it myself in order to help.

poofyhairguy
January 6th, 2006, 05:18 AM
Oh, well that makes sense. I would say something here about a script, but I'm sure that's been covered before too and it's off topic anyways. Thanks for the explination.:KS


No problem. And we have a super script on the forum that unlocks this stuff- search for

Automatix.

TeeAhr1
January 6th, 2006, 05:36 PM
Good question, I knew someone would ask.

Look at the actual bug, and not just its title:

https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+bug/1
*snip*
Great post.

Iandefor
January 6th, 2006, 10:13 PM
Poofyhairguy: Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sating my curiosity :-D.

poofyhairguy
January 6th, 2006, 11:18 PM
Poofyhairguy: Makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sating my curiosity :-D.

No problem. I love to back up my statements when I can.

ghostbusters

senorcheaposgato
January 6th, 2006, 11:25 PM
Personally, I think this question is far, far more complicated than most (including myself) realize. What it comes down to is the wide range of users that are new to Ubuntu.

There are plenty of users who come to Ubuntu from another distro who have enough knowledge and background to get everything up and running with few questions, if any.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have...me. When I switched to Ubuntu, it was at the urging of my husband (then my fiancee, but you get the idea). He's my resident geek, and he'd been mentioning Ubuntu for awhile...in retrospect, I think it may have been a subtle mind-game to get me to switch. Here's the thing: if I did not have him in the same house, I would not have switched. I'm not incompetent with computers, but I'm no expert either--I know enough to do most things on my own, and I know my limits. If I don't know what I'm doing, I just wait until he comes home from work, then I politely demand an explanation. (well, it's usually polite...) My resident geek is the reason I don't have many posts, and no posts for support--I have him right there, so I don't have the need for community support.

If you want to make Ubuntu (or any distro) newbie-friendly, then my experience suggests living with someone who's familiar with it. Since that isn't practical, I think it really does come down to options and plenty of opportunities to learn (tutorials are a good thing!).

I love the idea of having options at the beginning of the installation process. I'm not saying that things should keep the user oblivious--I would strongly advocate having a "I'm clueless" install process that is simple and has tutorials for every step! I thought the install went very smoothly (thanks to my husband's help), especially when compared to upgrades I've done in the past. It was fast and easy with his help, but things can be very confusing for people who don't have help right there and who don't have any knowledge of the "behind-the-scenes" of their computer.

If I had to make just one suggestion for making Ubuntu more accessible to new users (short of coming preinstalled) it would be tutorials. Walk users through the installation process (if that option is selected), and have tutorials obviously and easily available once they're up and running--explain the filesystem differences, apt-get, command line...you get the idea. Ubuntu is great in that it is very usable with just the GUI. Let me make it clear, however, that I am not saying that the command line should be done away with. I'm not proficient with the command line (it's kinda scary for new users, even though I've used DOS in the past), but I'm learning. It's an important and powerful part of any distro, but it's something that I think most new users would prefer to ease into. It's important to understand how things work and why you're doing things in CLI--not having that knowledge is a good, quick way to screw things in a major way.

Look, if people don't know this stuff it's not their fault, and the fact that they're trying Ubuntu means that they're willing to learn. I think the key is to make the learning process as accessible and painless as possible. That's what kept me with Ubuntu!

ubuntu_demon
June 19th, 2006, 02:11 PM
What do non geeks want?

https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+spec/what-do-non-geeks-want
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WhatDoNonGeeksWant

I'm at Ubuntu Developer Summit in Paris
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=184671

I would like to make this thread about links to relevant threads. For example threads about average desktop users and threads about "categorizing" non geek users.

Here are some common problems for users :
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=98490

A Linux/Windows Comparison (by the user aysiu)
http://www.psychocats.net/essays/linuxwindowscomparison.php

Linux is ready for the desktop--but whose desktop? (by the user aysiu)
http://www.psychocats.net/essays/linuxdesktop.php

"Linux sucks for most consumers"
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=121631&highlight=categories+average+user

who *shouldn't* use Ubuntu
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=185005
my post in that thread :
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=1071877&postcount=17

edit :
This is a user who's switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu. Very interesting read :
http://linux-switch.blogspot.com/

How To: Convert Windows Users to Ubuntu (by poofyhairguy a fellow mod) :
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=58862

Life without Windows
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=business06_june27_2006

http://ubuntudemon.wordpress.com/2006/07/02/some-interesting-ex-mac-users-are-switching-to-ubuntu

http://ubuntudemon.wordpress.com/2006/07/03/some-interesting-ex-mac-users-are-switching-to-ubuntu2

Cold Turkey Ubuntu
http://nostrich.net
http://nostrich.net/archives/cold-turkey-ubuntu

az
June 19th, 2006, 10:42 PM
I'm subscribed to the spec. The thing that struck me the most was:

"talk with users in a systematic fashion to find out what they really need; we have to do more than just jump over the bar set by other OSs, we have to play to our strengths and deliver something surprising."

Now this could be a very important spec for the future of ubuntu. Beyond usability studies which typically point out where a certain button should be placed so that users fid it easier, we need to find a way to identify needs that ubuntu can meet that other OSes don't even recognise.

ubuntu_demon
June 27th, 2006, 06:33 PM
How To: Convert Windows Users to Ubuntu (by poofyhairguy a fellow mod) :
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=58862

G Morgan
June 27th, 2006, 06:36 PM
To be honest I think non geeks want Windows and any difference is the end of the world. I'm not sure such people should be the target of Linux though obviously we should target as many areas as posible.

bruce89
June 27th, 2006, 06:38 PM
To be honest I think non geeks want Windows and any difference is the end of the world. I'm not sure such people should be the target of Linux though obviously we should target as many areas as posible.
I don't believe the majority actually like windows, it's just that they either don't know there is a free alternative (Many know about mac, but are reluctant to have to buy new hardware) or they just don't want change.

ubuntu_demon
June 27th, 2006, 06:39 PM
Life without Windows
http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=business06_june27_2006

MikePnKY
June 27th, 2006, 07:05 PM
Well, I'm going to have to plop myself firmly into the non-geek category.

Everything I know so far I have learned from reading these forums, I've made a good deal of use out of cutting and pasting command I've found here, I've only actually tried typing them out a couple of times, with about a 50% success rate ](*,)

I used Windows because it was what was on the thing when I bought it. I thought that all the little bumps and hiccups it had were just the nature of the beast. A friend of mine gave me an ubuntu 4.10 cd set that he found somewhere, and it sat in a drawer for awhile till I finally tried it out.

What this non-geek wants: I want to be able to do my online banking without worrying about what all the little sneaky programs wanting internet access are doing behind my back, which XP seems to be full of. I want to be able to email my dad about the next vintage car show. I want to be able to look up goofy stuff on the internet, like what was the name of the blond actress in that old movie?? I take lots of pictures, but all I want to do with them is resize and crop them and put them on my webpage and a couple of forums about canoe camping, my cats and what not.

The first hour almost finished it for me, but once I got automatix figured out and got it to "do things", it started getting fun.

Brunellus
June 27th, 2006, 07:16 PM
I don't believe the majority actually like windows, it's just that they either don't know there is a free alternative (Many know about mac, but are reluctant to have to buy new hardware) or they just don't want change.

...and it's mostly the latter. I have written a brief essay (http://ouij.livejournal.com/161631.html) on the subject (essentially a rewrite of a post I put on this forum).

While I support the effort to make the OS better in general, mass adoption is almost certainly not going to come around as a result of millions of atomized indivdiuals seeing the light and embracing free software. Like every other "standard" technology, it will have to be imposed on them by economic pressure. That economic pressure is likely to come from big business--for whom both gratis and libre have the greatest potential benefit.

blueturtl
June 27th, 2006, 07:54 PM
Non-geeks and even some geeks are ready for computer-based appliances. I've already started on the subject with this thread I can't help but advertise:

http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=95265

For those who don't want to read the long text I'll make it brief: people don't want things that are as slow and cumbersome as PCs. They want something that will help them accomplish a certain task. The current PC is a byproduct of technologists or engineers and is currently the only way of accomplishing certain tasks. However, unlike a pencil, a microwave or a car a computer still requires way too much information and maintenance to operate. All our accusations on the ignorance of the masses are infact unjust, since most people think buying a computer is like buying a car: it should simply work. In my humble opinion, only Apple currently sees this. The Gnome project is also making good leaps in this direction and is one of the main reasons I use Ubuntu.

bruce89
June 27th, 2006, 07:59 PM
...and it's mostly the latter. I have written a brief essay (http://ouij.livejournal.com/161631.html) on the subject (essentially a rewrite of a post I put on this forum).

I remember reading that thread. I have to say the school thing is the worst. That is why MS give discounts to educational things, so they can get the people used to their software. It also means they need it at home too.

.t.
June 27th, 2006, 09:18 PM
I like this thread. It's a more intellectual approach to the problem of countering bug #1. Most threads like this one turn out with much "trolling" or "flaming", and people not listening. People are never going to be more co-operative, so this bug needs to be approached in a more outward, and eager way. Through this, I hope to convert people, but I also hate sounding like a cult, which the word convert does sound of.

On the schools issue, I have that problem at my school. I have an alias e-mail address that I have used to email the school systems administrator, however she did not respond. I mailed her the Stallman essay on "Why schools should use exclusively free software". I assumed that all technically-inclined persons should be interested in this world of freedom and liberty, but I was obviously wrong. I was offended by her rudeness, as a member of an institude I held in exceptionally high regard. This regard has now slipped, and I am consistantly finding more and more things wrong with the system. As a result, I am refusing to use the school computers, and am quite happy to do the work in my "own time", as teachers are all too fond of putting it. I wish society would lighten up a bit, but it is just never going to happen.

GuitarHero
June 27th, 2006, 10:01 PM
I see my self as a nono-geeky person with a geeky hobby. I rarely talk to my friends about computers or anything, but they know i know a lot about them by the three computers and monitors at my desk :) Push the ease of use and free factor and people will like it.

.t.
June 27th, 2006, 10:40 PM
I'm in the same situation as you, except I've only the one laptop. I talk to people and try and convert them to Ubuntu when they ask. I've shown a couple of people it, and they quite like it. One Mac user prefers it to Windows, but not to Mac, but it's gonna be hard to convert him. I'd call him a "die-hard". However, I also feel quite tech-savvy; but I must reiterate the non-geekyness, for I'd hate to be portrayed like that - to me, it appears a negative image, as I have a great life and don't spend all my time on the computer.

For the convertees, one thing that is good to be (and is being) pushed is eye-candy. I'm so surprised by the amount of headway this particular department has made in the last five years, since I first started using RedHat Publisher's Edition 7.1. I can't look at any other screen than my own without dismay!

Brunellus
June 28th, 2006, 01:01 AM
Macolytes are incredibly tiresome to deal with. I'm content to leave them to their own devices.

.t.
June 28th, 2006, 06:15 PM
Yeah, that's what I tend to do. As I said, I only mention Ubuntu when it crops up, or when a good situation for promotion arrives.

nickle
June 28th, 2006, 06:22 PM
To be honest I think non geeks want Windows and any difference is the end of the world. I'm not sure such people should be the target of Linux though obviously we should target as many areas as posible.

Man I hate this kind of trash. I am a non-geek and I have never owned a Windows system. I am glad that this forum is not generally represented by this kind of atavistic attitude.

What everybody should want are systems that "just work", and when they don't places like this forum where they can get help.

aysiu
June 28th, 2006, 06:27 PM
You know, I had to look up atavism in the dictionary:
recurrence in an organism of a trait or character typical of an ancestral form and usually due to genetic recombination b : recurrence of or reversion to a past style, manner, outlook, or approach <architectural atavism> I'm not sure how that applies to this situation.

While G Morgan's statement is a little too all-encompassing, it addresses a real phenomenon. Yes, there are people who have used non-Windows operating systems all their lives. Yes, some people have been on some kind of *nix forever, or they have been Apple users for a long time.

That does not invalidate G Morgan's observation. It just adds a qualifier--to a lot of non-geeks who currently use Windows, Windows is all they want. They don't want to learn something new.

Don't nitpick language and then get all angry about it. A more appropriate response might have been something like
G Morgan, what you say has some validity for a particular kind of Windows user, but not all non-geek Windows users are like that, and not everyone is or was a Windows user.

nickle
June 28th, 2006, 06:59 PM
Aysiu
You are probably right I could have adopted a different tone. But I still would never chose the words you use; "different folks, different strokes". Atavism is in fact quite appropriate (recurrence of or reversion to a past style, manner, outlook, or approach) in the context. Furthermore it is not just non-geeks who want windows!

There is no doubt that Linux started as a Geek thing; that was a long time ago and I no longer think it is appropriate to view it in that way with the great desktop distros that are available. However, it has had great difficulty in shaking of this image. Many people I talk to casually about all the great thing the could do in Linux often listen with interest but they come out with the "geek stuff" and say nay thats all probably too difficult for them. Often these conversations arise when they talk about how they had to pay to get their windows systems repaired.

When I see comments like G Morgan's, this is for me atavism: it is a reversion to the past. We all need to move on from this as this is not the case any more. I did say in my post that this forum has moved on; this is why it is such a success.

I have had a nice experience recently when I gave a friend with no computer experience my old computer with just Dapper installed and configured. And you know what, a complete IT newbie is now surfing, sending emails, ripping, and listening to music etc. I see the same with my kids, they just use it.

aysiu
June 28th, 2006, 07:04 PM
Ok. I think I get how you were using atavistic. It's wishful thinking on your part, though--that approach is not by any means a throwback to anything. It's quite prevalent, and I don't disagree with it 100% either. There are many Windows users who wouldn't switch to a new operating system that "just works," because it's an unfamiliar operating system.

A lot of my co-workers had growing pains even going from Windows 2000 to Windows XP.

nickle
June 28th, 2006, 07:13 PM
There are many Windows users who wouldn't switch to a new operating system that "just works," because it's an unfamiliar operating system.


I agree but it is not because they are "non-geeks". I know you are well aware the reasons are more complex than this:)

aysiu
June 28th, 2006, 07:16 PM
I agree but it is not because they are "non-geeks". I know you are well aware the reasons are more complex than this:)
Yup. I think we're on the same page.

.t.
June 28th, 2006, 08:24 PM
I think this thread's term "non-geek" was to read "computer user who has spent a long time on Windows, learnt it and doesn't want to, or can't be bothered to learn a new operating system". However, it is simpler to write plainly "non-geek" and assume people know what you mean.

And aysiu, I had to look "atavistic" up as well; but that's probably due to my age.

On a side note, I swear my post count is eight less than it should be.

ubuntu_demon
July 2nd, 2006, 08:04 PM
This is a user who's switching from Mac OS X to Ubuntu. Very interesting read.

http://linux-switch.blogspot.com/

I would probably tell him something like this :


Hi,

I'm a moderator on ubuntuforums.org

Here's a thread to help you with the multimedia stuff :
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=186792

To easily change what are the default applications to open a file(type) with do the following :
right-mouse-click on a file, go to properties, go to the tab called "open with"

Ubuntu is constantly improving. There are some specs which will improve the next release of Ubuntu (Edgy) a lot for the average desktop user.

good luck with Ubuntu :)

regards,

ubuntu_demon


But sadly I don't see an option to e-mail him and I don't want to register accounts all over the place.

Here are two relevant blog posts of mine :
http://ubuntudemon.wordpress.com/2006/07/02/some-interesting-ex-mac-users-are-switching-to-ubuntu
http://ubuntudemon.wordpress.com/2006/07/03/some-interesting-ex-mac-users-are-switching-to-ubuntu2

edit :
I also linked to this great thread on my blog : http://ubuntudemon.wordpress.com

g7kse
July 4th, 2006, 11:17 AM
By virue of the fact that I am now posting something there must be a bit of geek in me but I'll classify myself as a non geek with a geeky tick!

Having played around with various distros in the past the overiding factor that has kept me from switching is the fiddle factor. Windows and OS X are not perfect but their imperfections are accepted and tolerated. My experiences are that it takes me half an hour to install a flash plugin for firefox for example because of one thing or another. The same is not always true of the alternatives.

Linux unique selling points are not always the factors which are high on users need to have lists and I believe that unless user groups are formally introduced to add perspective then these issues will go unnoticed to some degree. A representative group form home users, hobbyists, office types, experts etc would give the breadth and depth needed to provide the 'customer' what he / she wants. If it's good enough for Bill and Steve then its good enough for Linux.

I'd love a very thin version of Ubuntu for web only applications but that wouldn't always suit everyone else, whats good for me may not be good for others.

thanks for listening, I'll get back in my hole now

ubuntu_demon
July 4th, 2006, 02:00 PM
Cold Turkey Ubuntu
http://nostrich.net
http://nostrich.net/archives/cold-turkey-ubuntu

nostrich
July 4th, 2006, 02:47 PM
Hey, I wrote that! ;)

It's not going as smoothly now (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?p=1212027#post1212027), though. :(

vayu
July 4th, 2006, 08:25 PM
What is considered a geek and what is a non-geek?

Exactly what kind of user does Ubuntu want to cater to and why?

I want a system that is geared for an intelligent, knowledgeable user but doesn't require an extraordinary investment of time to install and maintain.

Gnome itself has an aspect of simplicity that I enjoy, but I don't want that at the expense of flexibilty and control.

.t.
July 4th, 2006, 09:00 PM
Ubuntu caters for human beings, duh!

No, seriously, Ubuntu is supposed to be easy for everyone - the computer idiot to power user. It is not for Windows die-hards.

If you work with Gnome, you'll find it has a surprising amount of power. Look at all the config files and gconf. You don't lost anything for its simplicity.

Most people are not geeks. Geeks are those who are obsessed with their computer - not necessarily those who run Ubuntu; they are often Windows die-hards with plenty of hard-core games, although I don't want to be portraying a false stereotype here. I run Ubuntu for political reasons, its relative ease of use, and the power and beauty of it. I like running software produced by people for purely the love of having perfect software. Perfectionism is therefore beauty. Ubuntu has almost reached that perfectionism, but is pretty close in terms of beauty.

B0rsuk
July 4th, 2006, 10:21 PM
Non-geeks want a free windows replacement without the adds perhaps; and GPL, free, open software are their last concerns.

djsroknrol
July 4th, 2006, 10:26 PM
Sex, drugs & rock 'n roll (OMG...did I say that??..couldn't resist with that thread title ;) )

Non geeks want something that just works for them without all the hassle and problems that we take on without a care...bottom line....

'nough said....

.t.
July 4th, 2006, 11:06 PM
But it is important that we/they also learn. That is, we/they learn about what we/they are using, why it is free, what "free" is, and all the philosophy and politics behind.

royisr
July 5th, 2006, 07:04 AM
Non Geeks Wants (on my opinion) in the Next Ubuntu Edgy release:

A. Easy Windows Trasnfer/Usability:


A.1 - Very easy (Wizard based) Wine Integration, so they know how to install Windows applications if they wish - easily.
B.2 - Wizard based settings transfer (a program that will determine bookmarks, mail and other settings from windows and transfer them to linux).

B. Easy Localization - A Software that will allow easy change of langauage settings (+interface) in the X / Locale level. this software will have its own open community online updated database settings online, and it will read it during installation, or using a friendly "Control Pannel"/Configuration GUI.

C. Enable Commercial DVD Wizard - So you dont have to google to make it work):

allow DVDlabcss, but smartly: make a wizard that will warn the user and say: "Using this wizard is not legal in many countries, please press "next" only if this is legal in your country (country list + no responsiblity), by pressing yes you agreee that using this program is legal, etc." --> the software will add dvdlabcss ftp to sources for updates -> than download.

D. Friendly Drives Shows/Self explained: KDE show the users (in :sysinfo) the drives in the systes, in a way very similar to Windows (C: / D: + labels) - but GNome is not. This is the most preffered way - as most people don't want to search through directories like etc / dev, etc. It will be nice to make this easy and automated in GNome as well.

E. Fast "Answare Search" Integration in all Error Messeges/Notifications:

Sometimes linux gives error messeges, or notifications, that the user don't know what to do in the next step:
solution: it will be nice to have a open community driven Q/A (Wiki style?) database that will be automaticly be searched by Ubuntu and will give him a "suggested solution" right to the desktop.

Thats what I have in mind right now, hope this will get to any of Ubuntu Developers.. (Please give me feedbak if you like to royazr@gmail.com) - and sorry for my bad English.

Roy (Jerusalem).

Bavo
July 5th, 2006, 10:22 AM
Non Geeks Wants (on my opinion) in the Next Ubuntu Edgy release:

A. Easy Windows Trasnfer/Usability:


A.1 - Very easy (Wizard based) Wine Integration, so they know how to install Windows applications if they wish - easily.

I don't think this would be a good idea. People won't bother to try new linux-software, they will just want to stick with the old windows software they know.
It will give linux a bad image because their programs won't work as well as in windows.


B.2 - Wizard based settings transfer (a program that will determine bookmarks, mail and other settings from windows and transfer them to linux).

http://openmoveover.sourceforge.net/ might help. However i personally believe that this is something that would be used/useful only for a minority of the people



B. Easy Localization - A Software that will allow easy change of langauage settings (+interface) in the X / Locale level. this software will have its own open community online updated database settings online, and it will read it during installation, or using a friendly "Control Pannel"/Configuration GUI.

I'm using a localized version and everthing (apart from a few details) looks good to me. I don't really get your point here


C. Enable Commercial DVD Wizard - So you dont have to google to make it work):

allow DVDlabcss, but smartly: make a wizard that will warn the user and say: "Using this wizard is not legal in many countries, please press "next" only if this is legal in your country (country list + no responsiblity), by pressing yes you agreee that using this program is legal, etc." --> the software will add dvdlabcss ftp to sources for updates -> than download.

Agreed, i even think this wizard should be extended for other multimedia-formats also. It's silly that we (as in most non-Americans) can't play mp3's and stuff because of some stupid American patent laws.



D. Friendly Drives Shows/Self explained: KDE show the users (in :sysinfo) the drives in the systes, in a way very similar to Windows (C: / D: + labels) - but GNome is not. This is the most preffered way - as most people don't want to search through directories like etc / dev, etc. It will be nice to make this easy and automated in GNome as well.

We're linux, not windows. A normal user will only ever need his home directory and some external drives. Both are handled just fine by nautilus.
It will take some time to get used to the way linux handles its filesystem, but there is absolutely no need to be like windows.
In windows users also only use c:\Documents and Settings\, and they don't even know it.



E. Fast "Answare Search" Integration in all Error Messeges/Notifications:

Sometimes linux gives error messeges, or notifications, that the user don't know what to do in the next step:
solution: it will be nice to have a open community driven Q/A (Wiki style?) database that will be automaticly be searched by Ubuntu and will give him a "suggested solution" right to the desktop.

I don't know what errors you're talking about. But i can't disagree with a suggestion like this :)
Troubleshooting should always be as easy as possible, and a community driven system might be a good idea for this.

leech
July 5th, 2006, 10:36 AM
I can agree with everything that Bavo said, with the exception of the Mp3 patent law and DVD thing.

The thing is, it's not just America that is screwed up over that. The real problem needs to be just taken care of. That is a legal by all countries DVD player and mp3 playback. Quite frankly the Fluendo mp3 playback should be plenty for mp3, but for DVD playback, we'll have to wait for Fluendo to release theirs. This, in my opinion, is one of the really big problem with companies who are trying to sell pre-installed linux systems.

Leech

royisr
July 5th, 2006, 11:02 AM
Hey.. Thanks for the feedback.

Bavo:

a. I'm not sure you are right about the Wine thing. even though linux doesn't run Windows applications as well as Windows does, many people still need Windows Envrioment somethimes (for e.g. - some sites doesn't work in firefox, explorer runs preaty well in wine). Wine integration is good, and its only optional! - most people will use it as an option, but this option will be just much more friendly than now.

b. I don't agree with what you said about the folders issue. most people still uses Windows partitions (as seprate OS through grub). going to /etc /bin /linux folders is okey - but it's not very obvious and simple to most users! (Its not even that quick and easy..), I think the drives should have easy access mounted as C / D / E (the way KDE does it in sysinfo). but that can be optional as well. why don't we let users decide? - you will have a Wizard in the installation proccess that will ask you - "Do you want to add your original Windows drives as C / D in "Your Computer" in Ubuntu? <Yes/No> ..

c. Localization - many langauges still don't have native support in Ubunu. but I didn't asked for translated interface. my point here is very specific - you should have a tool to ajust locale (for right to left languages, for e.g.) the way Yast (Suse) have it - easy interface that will ask for your language, and you can switch it easiliy.

Roy (Jer, il)

burlap
July 5th, 2006, 11:20 AM
I have installed linux for a few non-geeks (different level of computer literacy), and my observations are:

1. Regular users DO NOT WANT TO INSTALL ANYTHING. Unless they are really forced to. They're used to install things that come with hardware (driver cds), but they are in general afraid of downloading and installing anything from the internet. (The mere fact that they have to install Adobe Reader or Java does not change much). They (almost) never click the update icon.

2. Regular users DO NOT WANT TO READ ANYTHING. Whatever tutorials, wizards or documentation we have, most users won't bother to look at it.

3. Regular users are neither patient nor curious. Do not expect them to "give linux a chance". If it doesn't work in 15 minutes, it's broken. They won't try 15 different solutions to make their sound card work. They won't go through 100 forums to find which setting to tweak to extend battery life by 5 minutes.

Basically, no-geeks don't need linux. Unless you set it up for them. Unless they can buy it preinstalled with hardware.

Biggest problems for non-geeks in my opinion (random order):
1. No flash 8.
2. No DRM support (and never will be).
3. No streaming support out of the box (windows media, mp3) - probably more important than playback support.

Look at Firefox/Thunderbird/OpenOffice adoption in the Windows world. To install those apps is trivial comparing to installing linux. And how many people install them? "More and more" seems to an obvious answer, but so far it is mostly geeks, curious users, aware users, and friedns of those three...

Regular users don't care about "free as in freedom" so much. One ideal solution would be to make "them" (spooky, "we" and "them") care to boost demand for free/open/libre solutions (meaning no DRM, no proprietary codecs), and hopefuly market will follow. How? That is the question.

turnkit
July 5th, 2006, 11:43 AM
like it or lump it... non-geeks (mom's) want porn filters for their kids.

I want to move an old win98 install to Dapper but they need their porn filter. I don't know how to easily set up Dan's Guardian on Dapper Dan. (hmm.) Would be nice to have some blacklisting / porn system out of the box.

jimmygoon
July 5th, 2006, 12:26 PM
First off, Flash 8: You're barking up the wrong tree. As long as Macromedia keeps it super closed up, Gnash (the FOSS alternative) will never be good enough, and as long as they continue to shun every single Linux user, we will never have Flash 8. Its not Linux's fault, its Adobe/Macromedia's.

Secondly, the naming convention as far as '/' versus 'C:'. I used to be annoyed and confused by it as well, but now I'm used to it. Besides the fact that you can't change the naming scheme do to EVERY single bit of the linux operating system demanding '/' '/dev' '/mnt' etc... It would also destroy a lot of the features to linux as far as how things are laid out in terms of security and creating home directories for users to plop them in. The fact is, it is quite literally impossible...

tageiru
July 5th, 2006, 12:44 PM
b. I don't agree with what you said about the folders issue. most people still uses Windows partitions (as seprate OS through grub). going to /etc /bin /linux folders is okey - but it's not very obvious and simple to most users! (Its not even that quick and easy..), I think the drives should have easy access mounted as C / D / E (the way KDE does it in sysinfo). but that can be optional as well. why don't we let users decide? - you will have a Wizard in the installation proccess that will ask you - "Do you want to add your original Windows drives as C / D in "Your Computer" in Ubuntu? <Yes/No> ..
Why copy a bad naming system from Windows? GNOME presents the drives in computer:// by either the size or type of the drive, a much more useful system than nonsensical C, D...

There is also no guarantee that the labels would correspond to the labels in Windows so it could confuse the user even more if the C, D and E system was used.

g7kse
July 5th, 2006, 01:08 PM
[QUOTE=Bavo]I don't think this would be a good idea. People won't bother to try new linux-software, they will just want to stick with the old windows software they know.
It will give linux a bad image because their programs won't work as well as in windows.QUOTE]

Herein lies a major problem.

Whilst your advocacy is admirable the thread is about what non geeks want and looking at the recent evidence with boot camp, like it or not there is an enormous amount of media interest in macs now after a transition aid like that. The linux community would do weel to look seriously into it.

There is a real perception issue with Linux and in some cases it's justified. It's harder for non geeks to get on with and perhaps the type of distro that is offered should be re-assessed against actual market reasearch.

Do users want a simplified system? probably not all but I can bet you that loads would do.
Simpler than windows? without a doubt but whats included? thats for market research to decide and its not rocket science but user requirements and market research build a specification which is then tested against the original spec. continue ad infinitum.

burlap
July 5th, 2006, 01:21 PM
First off, Flash 8: You're barking up the wrong tree. As long as Macromedia keeps it super closed up, Gnash (the FOSS alternative) will never be good enough, and as long as they continue to shun every single Linux user, we will never have Flash 8. Its not Linux's fault, its Adobe/Macromedia's.

For non-geeks this does not make any difference. You know it's not linux's fault. I know, forum readers know. Non-geeks don't. For then some pages do not work.

This was my conclusion: if more people are aware of "free as in freedom", they will demand all flashes, javas, drms and other proprietary technologies to open or at least work for linux too.

Horizon
July 5th, 2006, 01:25 PM
A. Easy Windows Trasnfer/Usability:


A.1 - Very easy (Wizard based) Wine Integration, so they know how to install Windows applications if they wish - easily.
Wine is not at the stage where we should be endorsing it to "Non-Geeks". And when switching OS it's important that users aren't lazy and try out different software. The chances are, if it magically works properly in wine there's already linux alternatives for it. At the end of the day, if you want to use Photoshop it's a windows/mac application, so I guess you better go get windows or a mac. If you don't have the time to get used to linux applications then I guess you don't have the time to be using linux at all. In which case you'd be better off going back to whatever OS you're used to and try linux again when you do have time.

B.2 - Wizard based settings transfer (a program that will determine bookmarks, mail and other settings from windows and transfer them to linux).
I think this isn't really something for us to implement, but the clients themselves. Most browsers already have export bookmarks and most mail clients have an export option as well. You can certainly import outlook exports in Evolution.

D. Friendly Drives Shows/Self explained: KDE show the users (in :sysinfo) the drives in the systes, in a way very similar to Windows (C: / D: + labels) - but GNome is not. This is the most preffered way - as most people don't want to search through directories like etc / dev, etc. It will be nice to make this easy and automated in GNome as well.
You can view all mounted disks at "computer:" and you can get more info from the disks manager or system monitor. I see no reason to go searching through etc / dev. Although I think "computer:" really needs a facelift for it to be as useful as it could be. It should have individual view settings for a start.

g7kse
July 5th, 2006, 03:26 PM
A. Easy Windows Trasnfer/Usability:


A.1 - Very easy (Wizard based) Wine Integration, so they know how to install Windows applications if they wish - easily.
[COLOR="Red"]Wine is not at the stage where we should be endorsing it to "Non-Geeks". And when switching OS it's important that users aren't lazy and try out different software. [COLOR]

It's not about being lazy, there is always an alternative but it's hard enough to migrate to an upgraded application that is already used for some people so having something familiar is a benefit for some users. Forcing change isn't going to work with a large proportion of users.

royisr
July 5th, 2006, 07:13 PM
Hmpff. Too bad My original message was kicked off to the Ubuntu Cafe (It was originally in "Ubuntu Edgy" Forum).

Will any of my suggestions will be directed to Edgy developers? (like "Suggested Solution" / Wine Integration / DVD Wizard Etc?) is there is another forum you can actually post suggestions and get reply by the developers?

Here (http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=1215536&postcount=32)- is my original post, if anyone intrested.

Roy.

Horizon
July 6th, 2006, 12:21 PM
It's not about being lazy, there is always an alternative but it's hard enough to migrate to an upgraded application that is already used for some people so having something familiar is a benefit for some users. Forcing change isn't going to work with a large proportion of users.
Misquoting is fun isn't it? Here the rest of that paragraph incase you missed it.

The chances are, if it magically works properly in wine there's already linux alternatives for it. At the end of the day, if you want to use Photoshop it's a windows/mac application, so I guess you better go get windows or a mac. If you don't have the time to get used to linux applications then I guess you don't have the time to be using linux at all. In which case you'd be better off going back to whatever OS you're used to and try linux again when you do have time.
No one's forcing anyone. If you NEED to use a windows program and don't want to put in the effort to use your skills in any linux programs then I guess you're stuck with windows. Life's just like that you see, you can't expect anything without being willing to put in the effort. Where I live that's called being a half-assed spoilt brat. It's a personal problem that you need to solve yourself. Sure other people could solve the problem for you, like you are suggesting but that will only create more problems. It will solve a short-term problem but create more in the long-run.

There are more important things that need to be done for linux and Ubuntu. I don't know about you but I'd rather not waste the developers' time on spoiling brats and instead have them working on things that will imrove Linux and Ubuntu, FOR EVERYONE. Not just for a select group of people coming from a certain OS. Maybe after linux and Ubuntu are further along and there aren't such major issues we will have time to discuss things like this. But right now I think it's better to focus on making linux and Ubuntu better rather than making Microsoft Windows software better on linux. Having windows software run on linux would be a big plus, and would certainly get more people to adopt linux. But what's the point when their graphics card runs like a piece of crap? when they can't even print and the critical-for-their-work media card reader in their expensive multimedia-orientated system won't work?

What the Wine project is doing is completely useless and actually harmful in my mind. If they want to do something useful then they should be doing something like the guys over in the mono camp are doing.

3rdalbum
July 6th, 2006, 01:47 PM
Flash 8 isn't that big a problem. Flash 8 can be installed into Firefox for Windows and then the whole lot run on WINE. Besides, Flash 9 will be coming.

g7kse
July 6th, 2006, 01:57 PM
Your horizon must be an interesting one and your attitude towards potential users frankly stinks and is really at the crux of the perception of Linux and it's current users, attacking individuals for expressing an opinion on what other potential users may make you feel important but it is neither helpful or productive. Especially as you have no idea of their background or skills. I'm also hoping that you have no involvement with cultural or behavioural change management.

If you represent the Ubuntu community then you're welcome to keep it to yourself.

Even having the desire to want to use Ubuntu or any other distro for that matter is something that should be encouraged and not shunned by the arrogance that the potential users should leave what they are comfortable with and wholeheartedly shift over to an unfamiliar OS. If they don't then they are spoilt. Do you really think this is a helpful attitude?

The intention was to highlight the fact that with some users who could be potentially be happy ubuntu users (and crucuially non-geek's) do not always want to fiddle around with this and that to get something working. By providing transitional tools to aid migration and to be able to offer familiar looking, sounding and behaving applications then potential non geeks would be more at ease with the whole thing.

Who do you mean by everyone?

aysiu
July 6th, 2006, 04:06 PM
The intention was to highlight the fact that with some users who could be potentially be happy ubuntu users (and crucuially non-geek's) do not always want to fiddle around with this and that to get something working. For those people, I would strongly recommend buying a System76 as their next computer instead of trying to install a new operating system from scratch, then.

http://www.system76.com

Horizon
July 6th, 2006, 04:27 PM
Your horizon must be an interesting one and your attitude towards potential users frankly stinks and is really at the crux of the perception of Linux and it's current users, attacking individuals for expressing an opinion on what other potential users may make you feel important but it is neither helpful or productive. Especially as you have no idea of their background or skills. I'm also hoping that you have no involvement with cultural or behavioural change management.
Read much? Your entire post reads like you either don't understand english or just didn't bother reading. Where in my posts do you see any personal attacks? The only personal attacks I see are from you.


The intention was to highlight the fact that with some users who could be potentially be happy ubuntu users (and crucuially non-geek's) do not always want to fiddle around with this and that to get something working. By providing transitional tools to aid migration and to be able to offer familiar looking, sounding and behaving applications then potential non geeks would be more at ease with the whole thing.
If you read my post properly you'd see it isn't about "migration tools", why would anyone be against migration tools? It's about wine intergration and encouraging the use of wine...


"If you represent the Ubuntu community then you're welcome to keep it to yourself."
Hyperbole much? What's that supposed to mean? Where in my posts did I give the impression that I represent anyone or anything but myself and my opinion?


Even having the desire to want to use Ubuntu or any other distro for that matter is something that should be encouraged and not shunned by the arrogance that the potential users should leave what they are comfortable with and wholeheartedly shift over to an unfamiliar OS. If they don't then they are spoilt. Do you really think this is a helpful attitude?
Arrogance? How is it arrogant to dislike encouraging people to use wine, an extremely flaky can't-be-considered-beta which leaves people using half-functional sub-par software? The question isn't "how can we get windows users to adopt linux/ubuntu". The question is "how can we improve linux and create a much better user experience". Attracting windows users or users of any other OS for that matter would just be a side-effect of that goal. I don't want linux or ubuntu to be a cheap windows alternative. I want linux to be the best. For that to happen I think we need to stop trying to attract windows users with half-working POS and create native applications that are truely better. Maybe after that wine *might* be useful.


For those people, I would strongly recommend buying a System76 as their next computer instead of trying to install a new operating system from scratch, then.

http://www.system76.com
I was thinking of buying that Koala Mini one just for the sake of it because it' so cheap and cute. Maybe I could give it to my sister if Im in a good mood (i.e. drunk) :p

matthew
July 6th, 2006, 04:41 PM
Okay, it seems like the discussion is getting a bit heated. Let's all calm down, go get a cup of coffee or something and come back when we can post in a calm and friendly manner. Please don't make one of us our moderator powers in what could/should be a friendly and fun discussion. If you can't post nice, don't post at all.

markbworth
July 6th, 2006, 05:36 PM
I guess you could say that I am in the group of "non-geeks". I just started using Linux about two months ago from using Windows. Before I started with Linux I didn't even know what kind of units hard drives were measured in.

What I wanted was OS that could do all the things that I wanted to do (email, internet, word processing, multimedia) without Windows. (I very much dislike windows, always have) Anyway, I found that when I switched to Linux and more. I had heard that it was "open source", but I didn't realize what that meant. I have since learned, and I am now trying my best to learn as much as I can. Even so far as to try to build a cluster. (For educational fun)

burlap
July 7th, 2006, 10:28 AM
About flash 8: flash+wine is a geek solution. Does not apply in this case. Flash 9 (for Linux) is coming in "early 2007", which may well mean almost a year without up to date flash...

System76: do they ship outside US/Canada? If they do, imagine shipping costs. In Poland you can buy a PC with Linux preinstalled (various distros) but they don't seem to be "designed for Linux" anyway, so it won't help non-geeks much. But it is obviously only the beginning, so it's worth supporting these companies. The more people buy computers without MS tax, the more aware market will become.


I had heard that it was "open source", but I didn't realize what that meant.

And this is the point. I can see two different scenarios in this post:

1. Converting Windows users: "Linux is a virus/malware/spyware-free Windows-like systems, where you can run all your apps and you don't have to change your habits. You can even make it look exactly like Windows."

2. Addressing non-geeks in general (including first-time users, or many people who don't even realize that "a computer" and "Windows" are separate entities): "Linux is free as in freedom, community-powered usable, safe and versatile system with apps for your every need and support coming from different companies."

If we go with number 1 only, we end up with proprietary technologies (flash, .doc), DRM and Windows-only apps (they run with wine, so why care?).

g7kse
July 7th, 2006, 12:51 PM
I don't think we'll see eye to eye on this one horizon. I can easily understand your opinion and it fairly clear that we both have differing views.

The question still remains 'What do non geeks want?' Not what you or I want any OS to be like as that is a purely individual perspective, but non geeks. We can only make assumptions based on prior experiences as I'd expect non geeks may not ever use forums!

Lets leave it at that and agree to disagree

Brunellus
July 7th, 2006, 02:49 PM
I guess you could say that I am in the group of "non-geeks". I just started using Linux about two months ago from using Windows. Before I started with Linux I didn't even know what kind of units hard drives were measured in.

What I wanted was OS that could do all the things that I wanted to do (email, internet, word processing, multimedia) without Windows. (I very much dislike windows, always have) Anyway, I found that when I switched to Linux and more. I had heard that it was "open source", but I didn't realize what that meant. I have since learned, and I am now trying my best to learn as much as I can. Even so far as to try to build a cluster. (For educational fun)
If you're building a cluster, you're a geek.

Non-geeks have ZERO interest in what makes their computers run. They have near-zero interest in making things optimally efficient. If you have any doubts about this, brows around MySpace and behold the craptacular layouts on offer by non-geeks: totally unusable, horrendously unstable, bandwidth-hosing....but "cool" and "easy," and thus ubiquitous.

At a very basic level, the problem with "Linux" isn't so much a technical one as much as a social one: most non-geek users are trained in a very narrow set of behaviors, all of which they see as non-transferrable. They are monkeys in a Skinner box, pressing levers and occasionally rewarded by good output (porn, music, productive output, whatever). That Skinner box is owned by Windows.

Conversions will not happen by sweet persuasion, nor by the non-geek masses suddenly having visions of bearded GNU Project Prophets pointing them towards software freedom. Conversions will happen by force, in large organizations that will use Linux as a means of cutting their margins and staying competitive. After all, MSDOS 3.0 wasn't a great OS by any means...but it dominated the market for the same reason.

As far as individual users: let the dead bury their dead. I'm putting my bets for massive Linux adoption on guys like Novell, RedHat, Sun, IBM, and, yes, even Canonical. Our job in the community is to fight politically to make the commercial end possible, legally. Provided all licenses are adhered to, there's no stopping us--it'll just take time.

markbworth
July 7th, 2006, 08:17 PM
If you're building a cluster, you're a geek.


Ok, I guess I will buy that. Never mind on the "I'm not a geek" then.

ubuntu_demon
July 16th, 2006, 11:18 AM
Installing Ubuntu: A comparison of Ubuntu 6.06 and Windows XP
http://rhosgobel.blogspot.com/2006/06/installing-ubuntu-comparison-of-ubuntu.html

ubuntu_demon
August 5th, 2006, 09:51 AM
All my favorite Linux desktop readiness threads...
http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=219243

Blondie
August 6th, 2006, 04:00 PM
If you're building a cluster, you're a geek.

Non-geeks have ZERO interest in what makes their computers run. They have near-zero interest in making things optimally efficient. If you have any doubts about this, brows around MySpace and behold the craptacular layouts on offer by non-geeks: totally unusable, horrendously unstable, bandwidth-hosing....but "cool" and "easy," and thus ubiquitous.

At a very basic level, the problem with "Linux" isn't so much a technical one as much as a social one: most non-geek users are trained in a very narrow set of behaviors, all of which they see as non-transferrable. They are monkeys in a Skinner box, pressing levers and occasionally rewarded by good output (porn, music, productive output, whatever). That Skinner box is owned by Windows.

Conversions will not happen by sweet persuasion, nor by the non-geek masses suddenly having visions of bearded GNU Project Prophets pointing them towards software freedom.

I think that the picture you paint is too black and white. Yes there are geeks and there are computer users who are just monkeys in a Skinner box, but the majority of computer users are actually somewhere in between. Consider the fact that at the moment about 12% of people browsing the web are using Firefox - the vast majority of whom are running it on some flavour of Windows. These people cared enough about better features, better security or the FOSS philosophy, or in probably most cases a varying mixture of all three, to actually reject the browser pre-installed and permanently locked into their OS and download and use Firefox. Are these 12% "geeks", if so then there's a hell of a lot of geeks out there, and their numbers seem to be growing.

To me most of those 12% are potential Ubuntu converts in the making, as are the people using Thunderbird, OpenOffice, GIMP or NVU on Windows. This is not a tiny minority of Windows users. Minority, yes. Tiny, no. They've all taken a first step on a road on which the logical conclusion is a move to Ubuntu or another user-friendly Linux distro. This becomes even more true as Linux becomes easier and easier.

I do think that the whole FOSS philosophy is part of that too, and shouldn't be dismissed as an effective selling point for Ubuntu. It's a selling point that a fair chunk of Windows users are willing to buy in to. Again, look at Firefox. Compare the adoption of Firefox on Windows to that of Opera.


Conversions will happen by force, in large organizations that will use Linux as a means of cutting their margins and staying competitive. After all, MSDOS 3.0 wasn't a great OS by any means...but it dominated the market for the same reason.

As far as individual users: let the dead bury their dead. I'm putting my bets for massive Linux adoption on guys like Novell, RedHat, Sun, IBM, and, yes, even Canonical. Our job in the community is to fight politically to make the commercial end possible, legally. Provided all licenses are adhered to, there's no stopping us--it'll just take time.

I do agree with this too, but again it's only one side of it. It's all interlinked. Some home users of Ubuntu may never have made the switch if OpenOffice didn't exist, but OpenOffice exists because of Sun's position on open source software. Similarly with Novell's work on XGL/Compiz. XGL/Compiz will, in my opinion, bring new users to Ubuntu, but it's Novell that is behind a lot of it. The "hobbiests" use the software and report bugs back to Red Hat, Novell etc. The more user friendly Linux is made by the work of the paid developers at Canonical, or Red Hat or Novell the more home users adopt it. Not of course forgetting all the unpaid developers. The whole thing becomes a symbiosis. You can't really compartmentalise it. Everyone in the chain is important in their own way.

aysiu
August 6th, 2006, 05:47 PM
Yes there are geeks and there are computer users who are just monkeys in a Skinner box, but the majority of computer users are actually somewhere in between. Consider the fact that at the moment about 12% of people browsing the web are using Firefox - the vast majority of whom are running it on some flavour of Windows. 12% is a majority?

burlap
August 6th, 2006, 08:45 PM
These people cared enough about better features, better security or the FOSS philosophy, or in probably most cases a varying mixture of all three, to actually reject the browser pre-installed and permanently locked into their OS and download and use Firefox. Are these 12% "geeks", if so then there's a hell of a lot of geeks out there, and their numbers seem to be growing.
It's a lot of wishful thinking. A lot of these people were advised by geeks, maybe even geeks installed most of these Firefoxes (I did this for some Windows users) - including those geeks that decide for IT departments and migrated whole organizations to Firefox. And Firefox comes bundled sometimes (Google software pack, perhaps Dell, I'm not sure) too.

Of course, my assumption is as much guessing as yours, but for sure at least some of these people did not take this decision themselves.

Why Firefox gets more adoption than Opera? This is more interesting, requires some research, insight into Opera policy towards enterprise customers etc. Off-topic in other words.

bobbybobington
August 6th, 2006, 09:57 PM
Non geeks just want it to work. They dont want to research. When something goes wrong they dont want some error that describes the problem, they need to know how to make it go away.(links on error messages to websites that describes what to do or live support would be an excellent start).Non geeks also need cool, eyecandy and other cool things give them an incentive to stick with ubuntu when the going gets tough, much the same as familiarity makes people stick to windows when it freaks out. Non geeks dont want to do anything, preinstallation is a big part of this. When i first installed linux it was a scary experience. The alternative to preinstallion from oems is to have others install and configure it.
most non geeks would just buy a new comp or take it to the computer repair shop than deal with it. I think getting computer shops to support ubuntu would be a big help. instead of researching and learning they could just take it to a shop and have it work. Perhaps repair shop support could be a new campaign?

Blondie
August 11th, 2006, 07:11 PM
12% is a majority?

I meant that of the 12% of people using Firefox, the majority of them are running it on Windows.

Blondie
August 11th, 2006, 07:16 PM
It's a lot of wishful thinking. A lot of these people were advised by geeks, maybe even geeks installed most of these Firefoxes (I did this for some Windows users) - including those geeks that decide for IT departments and migrated whole organizations to Firefox. And Firefox comes bundled sometimes (Google software pack, perhaps Dell, I'm not sure) too.

All of the above potentially applies to Linux adoption in the future.

E-Jey
August 24th, 2006, 04:25 PM
I really think whe shoult listen more to normal users. I've subscribe myself to this specification on launchpad: https://features.launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+spec/what-do-non-geeks-want. I'm new to launchpad and the ubuntu development. How does it actually work? When are the subscribed persons discussing about it? Is it on IRC, forum or mailinglists? Thanks in advance.

alsy
October 24th, 2006, 04:01 PM
I am somewhat of a newcomer to Linux wanting to eventually migrate from Windows. I have tried various live Linux CDs, & installed Suse 10.0, Fedora 5, Ubuntu (not sure which one I tried), pcLinuxOS, and Mandriva2006 (Crash city). Played around with each one as a way of short listing. They were not all installed at once, but erased once decided against and the next Linux took its place.

As I consider myself a Non Geek, I offer the following as one view of Non Geek wants in Linux. I dont know if what i share here has any resemblence to needs of other non geeks, but thougth its better chipping in than not, so here it goes;
1. Quick, simple & easy to use, find or make adjustments of any sort (including access of partitions & devices connected to usb.) (Whats easy for a Geek is not what is easy for a non geek)
2. Compatibility with every day devices such as, printer, screen, Scanner, mp3 player
3. Short/ Intuitive learning curve. Ubuntu seemed fairly easy to install & use applications already there. I went to the forums, and there are many friendly eager offers of support, but its predominantly in the form of “type this Code”. I DONT want to become a researcher of line code. I am not inclined to learn Line Code. research, research research. (NO thanks) All these little bits and pieces. It does my head in. I don’t have an issue with people using it, but Ubuntu is NOT a Non Geek distribution. Asking Non Geeks to use terminals and line code is asking them to become Geeks. Other Linux forums & systems I found easier in this respect, as they did not have the emphasis on terminals/ line code that ubuntu does. Which is the reason why I quickly put Ubuntu off my short list. I want; a Gen U ine FULLY G U I Linux which does not require line code EVER. May be ONLY a one off use, but I don’t want to waste my spare Sunday Googling for a line which I end up not finding. (Which I found in 5 minutes a few days before.)

After seeing the Ubuntu early/ mid year Survey results for 2006 http://eskar.dk/andreas/output/surveyshow.pdf , I realized why there is an emphasis on line code offerings as solutions to problems, and why it is a predominant way of doing things in the Ubuntu community;
50% of Ubuntu users are IT professionals. 55 % have a university degree majoring in either Computer Science, Mathematics, or Electrical Engineering. 80 % rate themselves Intermediate or better at PROGRAMMING. There is also a fair percentage of involvement in both open source contribution & development. In my mind, these statistics place a fairly large portion of Ubuntu users in the Geek category. Ubuntu predominantly serves the Geek users because they are the predominant users & contributors. There is no offence intended here, and I think it’s a great thing. Geeks being the frontiers of change in the Linux world. From some comments I have seen I get the impression that in a Geeks world, using a terminal is more efficient, normal, easy & an acceptable part of Linux use. However, a Non Geeks world is a different reality.

If Ubuntu is to realize its dream of “Ubuntu for Human Beings”, then how about us Non Geeks that just want to do simple things without spending copious amounts of time on the forums learning how to use, fix, adjust, or access some little thing that is a major stumbling block to operation. (& that is if you find what you are looking for)

I WANT to fully migrate to Linux but asking me to become a geek is like asking a Lawyer or a Surgeon, to become a Brick Layer. (Who knows, maybe a tiny fraction of Lawyers would want to) We each have our specialty. Some people are more visually inclined, some more kinesthetic, some more intellectual, some more creative,,,,,,,,,,,,

I love the freedom aspect of OSS :) , and I hope that it can be made easier for us Non Geek Users.:p

aysiu
October 24th, 2006, 04:21 PM
People do not ask you to type in code (you can paste by the way--you don't have to actually type the code in) because that's the only way to get something done in Ubuntu.

They ask you to paste the code in because that's the quickest way to do it, with the least room for user error, and the most useful feedback should something go wrong. If you click on something and then say, "Yeah, it looked as if it was going to launch but then nothing happened," that's very unlikely to help anyone solve your problem. If you say, "When I pasted that in, I got this error," someone will likely either know what that error means or be able to search for the error.

Terminal commands also do not assume you have XFCE, KDE, or Gnome installed--they work in all versions of Ubuntu. They are universal, and that's another reason people use them.

Until we get to the point where Ubuntu users magically show up at your doorstep and are able to look over your shoulder and say, "Here, click here. Then, click that button... no, that one," then you should suck it up and paste in the terminal commands people give you. You don't have to learn the commands. Just paste them in. Copy. Paste. It's not that hard.

There are very things that require the terminal, but as long as we're working in a written medium to help each other, you will continue to get terminal commands to paste in.

That said, you are partially correct--Ubuntu is the most terminal-dependent of all the "user friendly" distros. PCLinuxOS, Mepis, and Linspire have more point-and-click frontends for things.

That's slowly changing, though. If you ask people what the improvements are for each new version of Ubuntu (Warty to Edgy), you'll quickly see that new features are usually graphical frontends for things or implementations of things you used to have to use the terminal for.

alsy
October 24th, 2006, 06:17 PM
Yes, I do understand that terminal commands can be copied & pasted. One of the main issues or the experience of difficulty is in the searching process or finding code. Its also too much information to process. Its not a natural thing for me to do so. General Googling for information is one thing, but finding information such as line code to get things changed/ fixed etc in Linux has been quite a stress full experience. For someone working with IT day in and day out, they may experience the search with a far greater ease than someone else who does not do that sort of thing.
I do not expect anyone to hold my hand, but I do find some software more geared to the way I process information. I tend to be more visio spatial, and am more effective with software (or the processes associated) which is more intuitive than intellectual.
Each person perceives in their own way. What I find easy, you may not, and what I am trying to get at, is that we may experience things differently. And it is for that reason I thought that information coming from a Non Geek such as myself, may be usefull feedback. Especially with the fact that surveys were carried out by Ubuntu, and considering the title of this post.
If my input helps or contributes in some way, then that’s good. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. No big deal.
I do expect or rather envisage that eventually Linux overall will be much closer to what I expect from an OS. I will just use the easier Linuxes for now on a part time basis, until it reaches an easier to use level for me.

aysiu
October 24th, 2006, 07:16 PM
For someone working with IT day in and day out, they may experience the search with a far greater ease than someone else who does not do that sort of thing. I don't know why you assume others are involved in the tech industry. I work in admissions at a school. I used to be an English teacher. I was scared of the command-line, too, last year. Someone else on these forums is a truck driver. We all have various occupations and backgrounds. Some are, in fact, in IT; others are not.


One of the main issues or the experience of difficulty is in the searching process or finding code. Its also too much information to process. Its not a natural thing for me to do so. General Googling for information is one thing, but finding information such as line code to get things changed/ fixed etc in Linux has been quite a stress full experience. There were two things that helped me get over that--one, these forums; two, The Ubuntu Guide (http://www.ubuntuguide.org/). All the people on these forums were helpful and patient. No one told me "Read the f'in manual!" And the Ubuntu Guide had all the useful commands in one place.


I do not expect anyone to hold my hand, but I do find some software more geared to the way I process information. I tend to be more visio spatial I do understand the desire to have things visual, which is why a huge bulk of my tutorials (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu) include screenshots and step-by-step instructions.

.t.
October 24th, 2006, 07:24 PM
I'm not in the tech industry. I'm a bum on the street who happens to have a laptop and sleeps next to an external power socket and a building with an insecure wireless connection. Fortunately, I haven't been beaten up for my 'puter yet...

aysiu
October 24th, 2006, 07:36 PM
Granted, we probably have more tech-oriented folks in here than a "normal" forum, but if you check out What is your occupation? (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=93057), you'll see we have quite a spread.

alsy
October 25th, 2006, 04:18 AM
I hope my quotes come out okay (It does not seem show in the preview as it does in the posts)



I don't know why you assume others are involved in the tech industry.
__________________
Which was in reference to my quote


For someone working with IT day in and day out, they may experience the search with a far greater ease than someone else who does not do that sort of thing.
__________________
This is a reflection that I had the survey figures in mind, and was not intended as a specific, but more an example in order to point to my perception that human beings can & do experience and process the very same thing differently. My understanding is that this is already recognised in Neuro Linguistic Programming.

Asiu, your last post has brought a further clarity in my mind.
I use to consider myself quite technical due to my interest in electronics & experience in telephone system installations, but have discovered that there is a kind of threshold or overload point, which seems to be lower than some other people. I have also encountered people with a far lower threshold point than myself as well. (This is in terms of technical orientation/ aptitude)
This requirement of technical adaptability seems to me to be part and parcel of Linux use. Windows for home desktop use for me seems easier again in this regard, as it is fully GUI. When i first learnt how to use windows about 7 to 8 years ago, I taught myself by exploring with the mouse. My sister who has a high technical ability (absolutely amazing how she can find information on the net) has helped me to quite some degree in the past 3 years or so with technical matters with windows based software and some winows OS technical matters.


I will give the Ubuntu Guide a go. For whatever reason, have not been able to access it for the past 2 hours. In terms of which Linux I will run alongside Windows; I will still take the path of least resistance if there is a major difference. (Time permitting; I will still try out future releases of Ubuntu.)



I'm not in the tech industry. I'm a bum on the street who happens to have a laptop and sleeps next to an external power socket and a building with an insecure wireless connection. Fortunately, I haven't been beaten up for my 'puter yet...
__________________
ROTFL !!!!!!!!!!!

I am not the best at conveying my concepts, and hope the heart of where I am coming from and what I perceive comes through. I actually felt quite awkward with creating my posts, as It is unusual for me to go into labels such as Geeks & Non Geeks.
Human beings come in all manner of tone, size, and shape. We are each unique, and the labels I place on anyone is (in essence) a limitation and a barrier to my full understanding & ultimately myself. Any generalisation is simply a generalisation. Families do not have 2.3 kids, but it gives one an idea, as compared with no idea whatsoever.


Thanks all.

Before starter motors were made for cars, there were crank handles.
Once upon a time one could not run a computer without DOS commands.
Once upon a time, sometimes DOS was required for Windows use.
Once upon a time, DOS was nothing but a long lost memory.
Once upon a time one had to use command lines to install Linux.
Once upon a time…
I know some hard core terminal users find lines quicker and more powerfull, but will Linux wind up the same way, or will it simply run along side???

justinchudgar
October 27th, 2006, 04:48 PM
One of the biggest things non-geeks and geeks alike want is consistency and predictability. Life is manageable because a technique learned once is very often applicable in new, but similar, circumstances.

Windows and OSX developers have made consistency a very high priority. The benefit of this is that once a Windows or Mac user has learned to accomplish a task; he or she can accomplish many similar tasks with ease.

In the Ubuntu world however, this is not the case. Even the most basic of techniques, pasting text, is inconsistent. Sometimes it is <ctrl-v> sometimes <shift-insert>. If I install an application under Windows, I am completely confident that I can launch it by clicking the start button, clicking the Programs submenu and then clicking my program's button or submenu. If I apt-get install an application in ubuntu, it may or may not show up in my applications menu.

If it does not, and, if I can find the appropriate file in /usr/bin and add a menu entry for it; the menu entry will be without identifying icon, and may or may not show up until I restart gdm. Use synaptic to install the guessing games about animals... Synaptic indicates it is installed, nothing in the Applications menus... ls /usr/bin | grep "animal" gives no results... Inconsistent.

In the hardware realm, this is also a problem. Some things work flawlessly. Hook up a USB device and it show up clearly identified in the file system. Great. Hook up a 2nd video card and monitor... Nothing. Manual editing of /etc/X11/xorg.conf... Limited OpenGL support... Inconsistent.

These are the kind of things that become imperceptible to regular Ubuntu users simply because we have learned the inconsistencies and become innured to them. For users new to this OS, however, they are a great source of frustration.

In this case, asking people what they want does not provide the necessary insight. Rather, asking them what frustrates them is more useful.

aysiu
October 27th, 2006, 04:57 PM
You have a point about the menu entries, but the Shift-Insert thing applies equally well to Windows and Mac--the terminal behaves differently from the GUI.

Don't believe me? Try to Control-V paste into the MS-DOS shell in XP. All you'll get is this:
C:\Documents and Settings\username> ^V

justinchudgar
October 27th, 2006, 05:49 PM
You have a point about the menu entries, but the Shift-Insert thing applies equally well to Windows and Mac--the terminal behaves differently from the GUI.

Don't believe me? Try to Control-V paste into the MS-DOS shell in XP. All you'll get is this:
C:\Documents and Settings\username> ^V

You're technically right about the Windows cmd shell thing; but, most Windows users have never used the command line in XP and never have to. I'm hard pressed to think of a task for which there is not a Control Panel or an MMC (Microsoft Management Console ?) plug in. So, in the non-geek world, that inconsistency does not exist.

One of the major issues with Linux on the desktop is the vast array of GUI toolkits, window managers, desktop environments, etc. I know that in some ways, this diversity provides strength and creativity beyond any proprietary OS. However, it also make it incredibly difficult to get a uniform looking and working computing environment.

From my perspective, a user-centric distro should be working to remove much of the chaos of completely open development so that the user's perspective is not chaotic and inconsistent. Even simple stuff like the fact that /etc/apt/sources.list and /boot/grub/menu.lst are both lists, but have different extensions is a source of mistypes. I frequently find myself doing something like "nano /etc/apt/sources.lst", get the not found error and then retype. No big deal, but on other platforms that minor annoyance is not there.

When you count up the thousands of little, easily bypassed inconsistencies, the overall impression is very different from a proprietary OS.

maniacmusician
October 27th, 2006, 05:55 PM
shift+insert is kind of disconcerting, as someone who uses the keyboard more often than a mouse. I liked xfce-terminal, where I could do ctrl+shift+v, that was pretty easy. but shift+insert takes longer to get used to

aysiu
October 27th, 2006, 06:07 PM
I don't think Shift-Insert is that big a deal. If you're so GUI-driven as a user, you'd use right-click to paste, anyway, and that works in the terminal the same way it does in any GUI application.

Do you think it's consistent that Windows called Excel excel and Word winword or Explorer explorer but Internet Explorer iexplore? Do you think anyone who can figure out the Windows registry can't buckle up and learn the difference between /boot/grub/menu.lst and /etc/apt/sources.list?

The real problem is that most people are lousy typists, and that's okay, because I always advise people to copy and paste commands from tutorials instead of retyping them--saves time, minimizes user error.

Then you don't have to deal with typing unmount instead of umount or typing /user instead of /usr.

Honestly, bringing up comparisons to Windows and Mac is silly, because people don't stick with those operating systems because of their consistency but because of inertia. I don't know a single Windows user (in my personal life--not on these forums) who says, "Yeah, I've tried desktop Linux, but I stick with Windows because of its consistent interface."

It's preinstallation and inertia and omnipresence--nothing less.

Can we improve Ubuntu's interface? Sure. Is that what's stopping non-geeks from adopting Ubuntu? Dream on.

Brunellus
October 27th, 2006, 06:32 PM
Can we improve Ubuntu's interface? Sure. Is that what's stopping non-geeks from adopting Ubuntu? Dream on.

Amen.

Sayers
July 30th, 2007, 05:59 PM
They don't want to switch because they don't want to learn a new system. You can't take away the learning part. Your /not/ going to be able to make everyone use linux. There are people who are just to stubbern to switch.. Some are just to stubbern.

xhizors
July 30th, 2007, 06:02 PM
There's no doubt about a mass amount of people who are too pig headed to try something new, or make a change. I would just like to see enough people to make Microsoft **** their pants a little, little bit.

Sayers
July 30th, 2007, 06:13 PM
There's no doubt about a mass amount of people who are too pig headed to try something new, or make a change. I would just like to see enough people to make Microsoft **** their pants a little, little bit.

They haven't pissed on their pants yet but they are pissed off..

darksidedude
July 30th, 2007, 06:20 PM
well maybe the react OS project will help out the movement? its an open source windows clone, can't get any closer than that....:lolflag:

keyboardashtray
July 30th, 2007, 06:25 PM
I want to say this nicely. So please don't take offense- I will choose my words wisely.

Only new users to the Ubuntu community habor dreams of beating the MS monopoly with Ubuntu. New users that are used to a corporate computer landscape come in thinking that two programs (or OSes) that do many of the same tasks naturally compete.

After a while here you learn the truth- we are not selling Ubuntu so its not a competition. Its an alternative. If Ubuntu only gets used by those who don't want Windows or those who can't afford it than its a success. Heck, the fact the community is so large makes it a success. Marketshare does not matter in the long run.

Some Distros DO want to compete with Windows (Linspire, Xandros) and thats their choice. Here at Ubuntu we just want the best software we can make, no matter what is happening on the MS side of the pond.

Its a big world, room enough for us all.

I don't know if that represents the view of all veterans - I myself admittedly not one of them yet - but after all, Bug #1 (http://launchpad.net/bugs/1) is Microsoft has the market share. What impression is that supposed to give us? So maybe there is some over optimism/idealism, but I think it is cherry picking the philosophy/attitude when this is the response to how to make Linux appear more appealing to the Windows user. If some one is saying how great Linux is, some vets tend to say "See? Windows users should use Ubuntu/Linux!" But if someone is critical of an aspect of Linux/Ubuntu, or makes a how-to-appeal-to-Windows-users suggestion, then it's "We're not Windows, and we're not trying to be!"

aysiu
July 30th, 2007, 07:03 PM
well maybe the react OS project will help out the movement? its an open source windows clone, can't get any closer than that....:lolflag:
If you actually try to use ReactOS for more than ten minutes, you'll realize that a real Linux distro using Wine is more functional.

NJC
July 30th, 2007, 07:41 PM
It's a fantasy to believe any OS would ever be "user friendly" enough to be installed from scratch by anybody on any computer.

At this period of OS history, this needs fairly constant repeating. I need to hear this.

JN4OldSchool
July 30th, 2007, 07:51 PM
I don't know if that represents the view of all veterans - I myself admittedly not one of them yet - but after all, Bug #1 (http://launchpad.net/bugs/1) is Microsoft has the market share. What impression is that supposed to give us? So maybe there is some over optimism/idealism, but I think it is cherry picking the philosophy/attitude when this is the response to how to make Linux appear more appealing to the Windows user. If some one is saying how great Linux is, some vets tend to say "See? Windows users should use Ubuntu/Linux!" But if someone is critical of an aspect of Linux/Ubuntu, or makes a how-to-appeal-to-Windows-users suggestion, then it's "We're not Windows, and we're not trying to be!"

I have to agree 100% with poofyhairguy. This isnt my forum and while I use Ubuntu it really isnt my distro. In fact I hope Ubuntu keeps going down the path it is on and keeps trying to convert Windows users and making things as simple as possible. I remarked in the fedoraforum that this last install of ubuntu ce I did not touch the command line at all! Still havent! Granted it is a teenagers setup with nothing radical being done with it, but the point is I was able to do a complete install, nVidia and everything and update and install all the extras without opening a terminal. Come on, how much "easier" does it get? The last part of your quote, about Linux users turning criticle and saying "we arent trying to be Windows..." What can we say? It is only the people who dont know that play this game. Hairguy is right, most of us that have been using Linux over a year just accept it for what it is. Sure, we want to see more people using it, why not? But does it really matter? Linux is going to keep growing despite what you do. I almost hate to see it become too popular. There are a lot of disadvantages to even popping up on Microsoft's scope. Things are great right where we are currently at. People should only use Linux because they want to learn and use Linux. If you start looking for it to replace Windows you will just become disappointed. Once you learn how to use it, get used to it and start spreading your wings you will soon see that Linux by far surpasses Windows, even today. It is just a different system.

Depressed Man
July 30th, 2007, 08:02 PM
What do non-geeks want? Simple, install it for them. It's the same reason why they buy computers with pre-installed OS. Whether it's Windows, OSX, or Linux Dells.

In fact I bet if every manufacturer were required to install those three OSs on every computer sold (well maybe not OSX since Apple won't share) then we'd see people on both.

Well the people that grew with Windows won't change easily. Or they might. Depends on the person. As long as they can buy it preinstalled it's not a problem.

popch
July 30th, 2007, 08:24 PM
If you actually try to use ReactOS for more than ten minutes, you'll realize that a real Linux distro using Wine is more functional.
Who cares about 'functional'? Isn't it the primary design goal of ReactOS to produce a faithful clone of Windows? It is not their fault when they succeed in reverse-engineering the bugs before the other parts.

aysiu
July 30th, 2007, 08:27 PM
Who cares about 'functional'? Isn't it the primary design goal of ReactOS to produce a faithful clone of Windows? It is not their fault when they succeed in reverse-engineering the bugs before the other parts.
I mean you can't even use ReactOS for more than ten minutes without it freezing or crashing. It has nothing to do with compatibility with Windows. I'm talking about basic functionality--not functionality of installed Windows programs.

The developers aren't kidding when they say:
Please bear in mind that ReactOS 0.3.3-RC is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not feature complete and is not recommended for everyday use.

r4ik
July 30th, 2007, 08:28 PM
What do non-geeks want? Simple, install it for them. It's the same reason why they buy computers with pre-installed OS. Whether it's Windows, OSX, or Linux Dells.

In fact I bet if every manufacturer were required to install those three OSs on every computer sold (well maybe not OSX since Apple won't share) then we'd see people on both.

Well the people that grew with Windows won't change easily. Or they might. Depends on the person. As long as they can buy it preinstalled it's not a problem.

A on/off button at the max.

popch
July 30th, 2007, 08:32 PM
What non-geeks want in an OS?

Well, what do non-mechanics want in their car's gear box? Do they care about the metal the wheels are made of, or the shape or the number of shafts and so on?

The silly users even refuse to change the way they change gears while driving. And even the least stubborn of them blankly refuse to leave the car in order to change gears or directions or any other trifling parameter of their journeys.

samb0057
July 30th, 2007, 08:35 PM
Non geeks want something that works. Doesn't matter how or why, they don't care about partitions, bootsectors, etc. Some of them don't even care about wasting hundreds of dollars. If it installs and works with minimal or no problems they will be happy. This is Ubuntu's goal for now, to show users that there is a possibility better than Windows.

DeadSuperHero
July 30th, 2007, 08:48 PM
First and foremost, non-users are going to go for something pretty, and Linux users have that, to an extent. Beryl, Compiz Fusion, the dozens of docks and desklets out there...
However, at the same time, they just want their damn programs to work. So, give them what works. Give them audio/video tutorials if you want to, and put a nice little startup on the desktop.
Point is, they want something pretty, but also useful. Heck, I turned down a lot of perfectly good OS'es because they didn't visually appeal to me.

aysiu
July 30th, 2007, 08:54 PM
Non-geeks don't want tutorials. They want things to just work. That means getting a geek friend/family member to set things up for them or paying someone (like the Geek Squad) to set things up for them.

Non-geeks do not want to set anything up no matter how "easy" it's supposed to be.

smoker
July 30th, 2007, 09:41 PM
Non-geeks don't want tutorials. They want things to just work. That means getting a geek friend/family member to set things up for them or paying someone (like the Geek Squad) to set things up for them.

Non-geeks do not want to set anything up no matter how "easy" it's supposed to be.

this is so true, which is why i hope the dell ubuntu option is a complete success and is repeated with other computer manufacturers. most people i know would like linux, but only if someone else installed it for them and showed them the basics, and was on-call when required.

keyboardashtray
July 31st, 2007, 01:30 AM
I have to agree 100% with poofyhairguy. This isnt my forum and while I use Ubuntu it really isnt my distro. In fact I hope Ubuntu keeps going down the path it is on and keeps trying to convert Windows users and making things as simple as possible. I remarked in the fedoraforum that this last install of ubuntu ce I did not touch the command line at all! Still havent!

I agree that it should keep simple as possible and try to convert Windows users. That's what I'm saying here. Poofyhairguy was initially responding to Homeboy, who was saying (earlier) that the "command line will never be accepted by the public", and that "if you are truly interested in giving Microsoft competition then you are going to have to put forth a product that will be generally accepted by the masses" (and this is the comment that lead to the reply from Poofy, the one which I quoted).


Granted it is a teenagers setup with nothing radical being done with it, but the point is I was able to do a complete install, nVidia and everything and update and install all the extras without opening a terminal. Come on, how much "easier" does it get?

"Teenager's setup"? Huh? Well, anyway, I never said it was a difficult setup. Setup was a breeze, I followed Aysiu's tutorial (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu/installing) and everything went fine. But unless I completely misunderstand your tone, this is exactly the kind of techleetmanship that Ubuntu is trying to shy away from, and hurts the reputation of Linux.


The last part of your quote, about Linux users turning criticle and saying "we arent trying to be Windows..." What can we say? It is only the people who dont know that play this game. Hairguy is right, most of us that have been using Linux over a year just accept it for what it is. Sure, we want to see more people using it, why not? But does it really matter? Linux is going to keep growing despite what you do. I almost hate to see it become too popular. There are a lot of disadvantages to even popping up on Microsoft's scope. Things are great right where we are currently at. People should only use Linux because they want to learn and use Linux. If you start looking for it to replace Windows you will just become disappointed. Once you learn how to use it, get used to it and start spreading your wings you will soon see that Linux by far surpasses Windows, even today. It is just a different system.

Here you start to throw me for a loop - earlier you're saying that you hope Ubuntu keeps on it's path and converts more Windows users, and here you are saying you almost hope it doesn't, ala 'teenagers' who don't like their favorite underground band to get popular, they think success is equivalent to "selling out" (granted - my analogy, not yours). If I were to read into it a different way I might take away from that "come, but come on our terms".

And incidentally, indeed I am looking for Ubuntu to replace Windows, it by and large already has for me - it doesn't have to be Windows to replace Windows, if that's what you meant. But that also doesn't necessitate ruling out features to appeal to Windows users. Namely, continuing on the path Ubuntu is already well on: allowing someone to run it sans console.

(In general, not directed specifically at oldschool: )

If I may be so bold - after all, the thread is "What would make a distro newbie friendly" - I'm here now, and I am a newbie. I see so much discourse on "how can we appeal to the not-as-tech-savvy" and then the discussion ensues in typical forum fashion with the remarks of the most technically-experienced holding the most credence. If ever the case could be made where a reversal of that tradition is in order, it is on this subject. No amount of tech / Linux one-upmanship is going to make anyone else more qualified on the subject.

/end self-righteous rant

Tyggna
August 1st, 2007, 09:21 PM
I think, based on market research done by hardware companies, the top things that non-geeks want their computers to do are:

#1 email (by far and away, something like 89% of the people polled used this most)
#2 word-processing
#3 spreadsheet
#4 multi-media (video, music, ect)


The faster their computer does these things, and the fewer steps it takes them to get to it, the more they want it.

How ubuntu ranks against windows:

Web-based e-mail:

Firefox (1 click, loads faster than IE 6 or IE 7),
URL (varies in size, but Ubuntu seems to be more efficient on internet/networking applications),
Login (more secure in Firefox)

Three steps, two are better than windows on speed, one is the same.

I haven't done much word processing in Ubuntu yet.

Spreadsheet- Kicks Excel's butt. Loads faster, processes cleaner, and interface is straight-forward.

Multimedia- Music never skips in Ubuntu, and is easy to organize and use. Comperable to Windows in just about every way, except it's faster. Haven't done much in this area, though.


Here's the downside: Learning curve. Yah, people don't want written tutorials, they just want to see and then do.
If more people could just show them how to do those things, then the average Joe would love ubuntu--as the only difference on most counts is that it's faster and free.

So: take your time, and show people how to work Ubuntu. Once enough people learn the basics, then it could spread like wild fire.

popch
August 1st, 2007, 10:30 PM
How ubuntu ranks against windows:

Web-based e-mail:

Firefox (1 click, loads faster than IE 6 or IE 7),
URL (varies in size, but Ubuntu seems to be more efficient on internet/networking applications),
Login (more secure in Firefox)

Three steps, two are better than windows on speed, one is the same.

Multimedia- Music never skips in Ubuntu, and is easy to organize and use. Comperable to Windows in just about every way, except it's faster. Haven't done much in this area, though.


Eh - not quite.

I do not agree that Firefox loads faster than IE6. In all environments where I can compare, IE is quite noticeably faster than Firefox.

Besides, quite a few people don't do mail in the web. They do so using a mail client; however, the one supplied with Ubuntu is really quite good and easier to use than Outlook.

Office applications such as Word Processing and Calculation programs are commodities and as such quite exchangeable. Someone comfortable with Office 2000 could change to either Office 2003 or Open Office without batting an eye lash. There is no striking difference in speed, either.

Mutlimedia support in Linux (say, Ubuntu) is somewhat different from that in Windows. Here, every difference counts, and the conservative handling of Codecs and Players and such in Ubuntu is still a potential show stopper. People expect to be able to load and play content from the internet or from acquaintances without any fiddling.

Yes, the perception of people is asymmetric in this respect. If they can not play in Linux something they just downloaded, then Linux is rotten. If they cannot play the very same content in Windows, then the Authors of the web site they have the content from are inept fumblers since anyone knows how to put that particular kind of content on the web.

In that situation, it is still the windows users who are on the winning side. If you complain at the web site offering such content that the content is not usable with linux, you just hear 'sorry, we don't do Linux'; if it is not usable with Windows, they will bend over backwards to get it to run.

How then are you going to convince Pop and Mum that they are better off using Linux?

swoll1980
August 1st, 2007, 11:09 PM
I like the start button so much that I won't use a distro unless it has one. This is why I use Kubuntu rather than Ubuntu

rockin_goliath
August 3rd, 2007, 04:34 PM
Keeping in mind that there are some things the open source community cannot do (yet) due to intellectual property laws, here is what I, a non-geek, would like to see in Ubuntu:

GUIs for all functions related to configuring hardware, such as configuring dual monitors or adding new hard drives.

A great look out of the box. This will surely improve with the "composite by default" pursuit, but this also includes good looking fonts, panel setups and widgets.

Providing an easy avenue to proprietary codecs (including encrypted DVDs) and hardware drivers. Of couse don't distribute them, but at least make them easy to obtain and configure.

Browser plugins for Flash, embedded video, etc out of the box. This will also improve with the Gnash project (hopefully in Gusty).

Create/renovate GUIs to allow users to be administrators without holding a degree in computer science. This includes adding more options for user privileges and (oh my god this is painful to say) parental controls.

Resizing NTFS partitions is a fantastic idea. We should definitly elaborate on that, such as allowing you to resize the partition and install Ubuntu, and then later, if you fell like it, remove the partition entirely and have the Ubuntu partition fill the extra space.

While I am a firm believer in the GUI approach, I certainly don't think the command line should be done away with, because it provides an avenue for allowing programs to interact that is very hard to accomplish with a GUI (like getting a KDE alarm program to start playing a song in Rhythmbox). However, developers should provide information about basic command line functions of their programs.

Find ways to reach out to developers. Now, as you may have figured out, I am not a developer, but could difficulty and a lack of standardization be discouraging larger software makers from developing programs for Linux?

I might get a lot of crap from this, but I think that the Linux community could learn a lot from Apple and the way they make their operating system. Their GUI for changing system preferences is fantastic, and the interface is very nice to look at and gives you a real sense of integration (the panel setup is a little strange for me though). For example, when you are designing an Aqua interface for an Apple program, you are sure that it will look and feel just like Safari or the Finder, where as in Linux (and for that matter Windows) you never know what the interface is going to look like.

When I see these things (I think a year and a half is a good estimate) I'll be one happy open source fellow.

@trophy
August 3rd, 2007, 05:17 PM
words

So before the zealots start ripping you apart, I have to say Amen to everything you said... I'm a geek myself, but I favor clean, well-designed GUIs as much as I favor clean, human-readable code.

keyboardashtray
August 3rd, 2007, 05:38 PM
Yeah, I agree with rockin goliath on pretty much everything. I personally love the way it looks right now: I really like the themes, etc., but then again I don't really know what the deal is with the compositing managers (I know I couldn't run Cairo Clock right without one, but GDesklets did the trick for my analog clock). I guess everybody else but me is running one, though, and one is going to be in the next release I hear.

I understand why restricted types aren't packaged with Ubuntu, and I think it is good to encourage the free alternatives. For the most part, it hasn't been too hard to get restricted things running, although I think one definitive source would be nice, like Ubuntu restricted extras. I downloaded that, and all the other Gstreamer packages have been picked up on the run while browsing. The only one to not work for me after installing has been .wax file, at NPR.

Of course I don't think the command line should be done away with either (nor would it ever be), it is the big thing of Linux to so many. What I do think, though, is that there should always be a GUI alternative in Ubuntu, or at least, that should be the long term goal. Part of this is a community thing, too, I see a lot of advice given that defaults to a console command, when there is a GUI method available.

What I like best about Ubuntu (I guess "as compared to windows") is Add/Remove, Update Manager, Nautilus, the panel and customization of it, the menus and I also really like the documentation and Yelp so far. I also like that it didn't come with a bunch of redundant programs that I don't use but am scared to delete. Not to mention the whole freedom bit :)

the bioengineer
September 9th, 2007, 05:55 PM
I have read on this thread numerous arguments about the command line vs a GUI style.

Truth - Windows first used command line type functions in both it's first distro and in Win95, hardly any in Win98. After that one needed to know how to open the dos box to run any commands - the rest was GUI.
HOWEVER - when the first Win distro was presented most users were computer scientist/programmers. The rest of us were just plopped in front of this box and told "You'll type everything on this from now on." We went to re-education classes to learn where the darn ON switch was. The office personell had a little sheet of paper in their office that had printed instructions of how to boot and run Lotus 1-2-3 or WordPerfect or some other somesuch program that was needed for their job. After a while, we got used to the command line interface but that does not mean we accepted it. If there was total acceptance why would MS change anything? It was because all of my coworkers were sick of booting and entering commands that the GUI interface of Win 98 was so much applauded. Yes, Win 98 was a nightmare to get working correctly but at least we didn't have to memorize a set of commands.

Truth - Linux has nearly always used command style over GUI, especially for critical things like messing with the Kernel.
HOWEVER - Linux has usually been the realm of the computer literate. "Normal" people do not usually use Linux, computer geeks do - or people who actually want to know and learn about computers. When stating that "We cannot see anything wrong with the command terminal" you need to ask yourself if you are thinking from your educated point of view or from the viewpoint of a complete newb? Yes, there are things that must be done from the command line (which I learned of here in this thread). But No, I do not believe that a newb is going to be comfortable doing this.

I feel the need to stick up for homeboy. The real world is not ready for the command line right away. Maybe those users who are truly new to computers, those in other countries (not US, Europe, Chine, Japan, India, etc) who are not used to Win machines may be taught the command line first. But if you are actually trying to reach out to people who are used to a GUI interface than you need to accommodate them or they will leave.

And so the question truly is - are we trying to accommodate every user we can, the majority of users? Or are we trying to swell the ranks of the computer literate to the point where they may (or may not!) appear as snobbish as some find Mac users to be in a Win world? Will there be commercials saying "We're better than you" (sad to say that there already are) and so create a bigger divide? Will we go to lengths to defend the ways of the Linux past as to put off potential brothers/sisters who might like to see the Linux potential?

Can we not accommodate all? Is there not enough room to for both command and easily found GUI?

What is the word UBUNTU really supposed to stand for? I thought it was a principle of human acceptance and unification...

yatt
September 9th, 2007, 08:49 PM
They want it to be pretty out of the box, a web browser, msn, and a P2P client of some kind.

karellen
September 9th, 2007, 09:56 PM
full hardware support

bigbearomaha
September 9th, 2007, 10:06 PM
A non geek will not install an OS. they won't install Windows, Ubuntu Debian , PCLOS or Fedora. They will either a) buy one pre set up for them, or B) hire someone to do it for them.

It's like asking the average auto driver to repair the transmission in their car, or to install the motor. "motorheads" will do it because it's ether their hobby or their job or both.

everyone else, buys another car or hires someone to fix it for them.

Geeks on the other hand, will dive right on in to install and maintain an OS. it's their hobby or job or both.

I am a Geek, it's both my job and my hobby. I set up computers with Linux, various distros for non geeks ( what I like to call "end users" )

for end users, it's not about "how does that work?", more so it's just "please make it work."

for the most part, I can set up a linux box for my end users, even renaming icons, etc to "normal" names or descriptions. Makes the end users more comfortable and there is another happy Linux user.

other Geeks will likely never hire me or another Geek, we just come online to learn how to do it ourselves.

It's all good, it's all Linux

Big Bear

karellen
September 9th, 2007, 10:13 PM
A non geek will not install an OS. they won't install Windows, Ubuntu Debian , PCLOS or Fedora. They will either a) buy one pre set up for them, or B) hire someone to do it for them.

It's like asking the average auto driver to repair the transmission in their car, or to install the motor. "motorheads" will do it because it's ether their hobby or their job or both.

everyone else, buys another car or hires someone to fix it for them.

Geeks on the other hand, will dive right on in to install and maintain an OS. it's their hobby or job or both.

I am a Geek, it's both my job and my hobby. I set up computers with Linux, various distros for non geeks ( what I like to call "end users" )

for end users, it's not about "how does that work?", more so it's just "please make it work."

for the most part, I can set up a linux box for my end users, even renaming icons, etc to "normal" names or descriptions. Makes the end users more comfortable and there is another happy Linux user.

other Geeks will likely never hire me or another Geek, we just come online to learn how to do it ourselves.

It's all good, it's all Linux

Big Bear

I think you're exaggerating. you don't have to be a "geek" to install windows, somebody would be really dumb not to be able to do this simple task. for me geek means an expert in computers (programming, computer architecture) not someone who can install an os.
and the car analogy is false, I find it more difficult to fix a car's engine then click next-next on a screen...

Salpiche
September 9th, 2007, 10:15 PM
I want the start button to bring me coffee when ever I press it! :)

bigbearomaha
September 9th, 2007, 10:24 PM
I think you're exaggerating. you don't have to be a "geek" to install windows, somebody would be really dumb not to be able to do this simple task. for me geek means an expert in computers (programming, computer architecture) not someone who can install an os.
and the car analogy is false, I find it more difficult to fix a car's engine then click next-next on a screen...

I'm sure you do experience it that way, but neither you or I have the right to lay our experience or interests on others. It's all subjective.

I define "Geek" much more loosely than you do. to me and most of the people I associate with, a geek is to computers what a "motorhead" is to cars.

Someone who has a strong interest in working with computers. nothing more than that.

a "guru" is what we call an expert.

my point is, I don't assume what my customers know or are willing to learn. I let them decide for themselves what is "too hard" or "easy" again, it's very relative to each person.

Big Bear

trim17
September 9th, 2007, 10:35 PM
I think the main issue is familiarity. That's a tricky slope; obviously, Linux is not Windows and shouldn't try to be. But "non-geeks" are used to computers doing things one way, finding things in one space, etc. For example, I've been used to changing display settings in Windows, since 95, by right clicking the desktop and clicking "Settings". Is that intuitive at all, that most of issues regarding not just the look and feel of Windows, but also the resolution, screensaver, and monitor settings should be accessible by a context menu on the desktop? Not at all. But that's what Windows does, and it took me that extra five seconds to find themes under "System>Preferences>Themes."

That's not an egregious error that must be changed immediately, but just an example. Without a bit of googling and guesswork, somethings are a little trickier to find if you're coming from a WIndows perspective. Settings are here and there, everything's more customizable, and in general things can be as different or as similar to Windows as you want it to be, with some tweaking.

Now, this can't be too insurmountable a hurdle, because Apple somehow does it. Some of my less computer-literate friends have made the switch over OS X. Even so, one needed help getting wireless to work on his MacBook (I think that's a rare case; usually wireless works nearly flawlessly). The point is, they usually can adapt to OS X with only the slightest of hitches.

When I show them my Ubuntu Desktop, with its spinning windows and crazy Compiz'd effects, they tell me, "I'd never be able to do that. I don't even know how to start." I try to tell them about how it's usually as simple as checking a few boxes, they dismiss it as from the world of high-tech geek wizardry they'll never understand.

The RTFM attitude, the Google it first remarks, things like telling new members to go back to WIndows if they're frustrated or not helping because they didn't check if their hardware was compatible, etc. all perpetuate the disparity between Linux and Windows users. But there is a lot of useful help on the forums. In fact, I'd say most people could do nearly anything they wanted with Ubuntu, regardless of experience or knowledge, provided they had supported hardware and a willingness to learn and be patient and not get frustrated if something doesn't work. However, therein lies the problem.

I think what non-geeks want is a smooth transition to Ubuntu. Linux and Windows are fundamentally different in design, but so is OS X. Apple has very many talented designers; so does Ubuntu, yet Apple does a good job working from a non geek's viewpoint. Things like riding a bike or learning a language or becoming familiar with a city have a way of changing our perception: we can't remember what it's like not to have that knowledge. In the same way, Ubuntu developers should keep in mind that not everyone knows even the most basic things about Linux.

hessiess
September 9th, 2007, 10:53 PM
q) What do non geeks want?
a) never haft to use a cli, getting dumped to a command line if you mess up a config file can be quite scairy if you dont know what to do.

flick152
September 11th, 2007, 11:29 AM
Non-geeks don't know what they want!

However most expect to see Windows on a computer, because it's the only OS they know of. Others think with a new computer they'll have to learn it all over again, they are relieved when it is relatively similar.

Ubuntu has to be one of if not the easiest distros for newbies (me) and non-geeks alike.

I'm not sure if Ubuntu already does this but a windows auto-run on the CD to reboot onto the live CD is a must.
A really easy to understand tutorial (eg. A Big double click this icon to install message) Maybe some tutorial videos like Linux MCE
Something akin to MS files and settings transfer wizard. Make the new Ubuntu as similar to the old windows as possible (with backgrounds etc).
It's a pity an AOL-esque CD delivery is most likely way out of budget.
Automatic download and install updates - non-geeks don't do this.

MacOS really understands non-geeks so inspiration should be taken from there.

derekr44
September 11th, 2007, 09:20 PM
Widescreen resolution should work out of the box.

And no, it didn't for me. I've installed Ubuntu multiple times on the same machine, thinking that it was something I did during install. But I've had to manually reconfigure xorg to force it to work every time.


MacOS really understands non-geeks so inspiration should be taken from there.

Which is why they rely so heavily on the term "it just works." You have to remember that your average home user regards the computer almost like an appliance like a TV.

uzybear
September 11th, 2007, 10:07 PM
i'm a semi-geek and i'll tell you want i want; i don't want total control, i want TOTAL SIMPLICITY; i want EVERYTHING to work right away, with no command lines needed, no learning codes, instant, completely intuitive everything; i don't care whether it puts an extra gig or 10 on my harddrive, no one gives a ****, all we want is for everything to work, right off the bat

i've gotta say that so far my experience with ubuntu has been that's it's even more intuitive than windows, and i like that a LOT, but there's still some stuff i can't do, and some stuff i have to tinker with to get to work; if anything requires "tinkering" you've already lost 90% of computer users right there

uzybear
September 11th, 2007, 10:09 PM
IMHO, the ultimate goal of software is that it works FOR YOU, you don't work for it; the ideal should aways be absolute intuitive simplicity and perfect always-works stability and availability

i've been very pleased with programs like firefox, audacity, VLC, which tend to do this very well, as well as pretty much the entire gnome interface

theDaveTheRave
September 14th, 2007, 02:39 AM
There seems to be a general feeling that Mac are easier to use, true this may be, but we should also remember that for the same performance a Mac has a much greater purchase cost.

This accounts for why they can "make it easy" as they can really work on the "easy" side of things!

Support is the other big thing, we all know that Dell and MS offer superb suport, along with the MCSE for learning to do it yourselves.

So why not play them at their own game, re-sell a number of different hardware solutions, (entry, mid and high level), on the various formats (laptop, dekstop and server). Install Ubuntu and have it working effectively, just like any new pc bought down at the local dixons / radio shack (delete for your continent). Even better supply a copy of the install CD for any required disaster recovery, along with CD copies of the main software for the same purpose.



Then offer the best support on offer, the forums, have the main information forums tagged in the browser with instruction on how to customise your desktop.

I have had contact with windows forums and they seem to think that things should work the way it is set out in the MCP text (I never could get files and setting transfer wizard to transfer my files and setting - it ended up being easier to link the pc's and copy across!)

Then if people like what they see and decide they would like to learn more it is simply the case of allowing them to create a new user account that is a "blank sheet" and needs a lot of "tweaking" that comes with or without the tagged help screens - making the new learner have to enter the problems into the forum search bar.

For me this is the best part, I've spent the last "OMG is that the time!" hours trying to find a solution as to why I lost the sound on DVD in VLC but now music CD's??). I got reading this thread (and not more than a few other also!

All I know is that I would be more than happy to start a "distribution" point from my current location, and I'm sure a lot of other forum users would be more than happy to do the same also (I still love getting everything working effectively), I could do with a few extra pc's at home :lolflag:

Wiebelhaus
September 22nd, 2007, 03:45 AM
[SIZE="2"]I would like to hear others' opinions about what would make a distro so user friendly that the average Windows user would feel comfortable switching over to Linux. (Isn't that what the idea is after all?)

I stopped right there , hell no.

caligarn
November 30th, 2007, 05:58 AM
Hi, are people still interested in this thread...was just perusing the ubuntu-net, and found this: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/WhatDoNonGeeksWant/StandardQuestions...


and then came here.

I'm most curious about this last question: what would you like to see added to ubuntu?...because I'm interested in how can ubuntu not be different from other OS's, i think it should have various practical attributes that (Windows and Mac, and other distros) don't offer. I'll think about this more and try to continue this conversation if anyone else is interested....What are your ideas?

billgoldberg
November 30th, 2007, 01:15 PM
I would like to hear others' opinions about what would make a distro so user friendly that the average Windows user would feel comfortable switching over to Linux. (Isn't that what the idea is after all?) If you are a firm believer that one must go through an effectual Linux hazing by having to sweat over line commands and complicated installations before you are invited into the club, and that anything that smacks of the odious WIndows system is like a cross to a vampire, your input is not what I would like to elicit. Below are my thoughts on this:

First, the distro should automatically recognize and install most hardware and the user should be able to surf the web, view videos and audio, read e-mail, use the printer etc. once installation is finished without spending lots of time tweaking, problem solving, searching for answers on the web, etc. and without having to throw out his/her present hardware in order to buy new Linux-friendly components.

I realize that lots of hardware can't be installed in Linux because the manufacturers' haven't released the specs. It's not the distro developers fault, nevertheless, I've installed Windows in dozens of machines and this is what I've always ended up with after an install, and what would make more people apt to convert to a Linux distro.

Second, the GUI should have a functioning link to almost anything the user needs to do. That is, the command line should be avoided whenever possible.

Third, the distro should make it easy for the newbie to do a dual boot so that both OSs are available. Few people are going switch over cold turkey, and a dual boot makes the transition process easier.

Fourth, the distro should have an initial desktop that is attractive. Yes, I know that you can modify it to your heart's content, but it is a good idea to wow the person with a spectacular desktop from the beginning. (Please don't flame me for it but in my opinion the brown Ubuntu default doesn't make the cut here.)

Fifth, there should be some good step-by-step documentation available in the distro itself. I don't consider googling for answers good documentation.

Any other ideas?

1. All of my hardware was detected by gutsy after install (including giving me option to install closed ati driver). It also dectects my WD 250gb external HDD and Creative Zen Stone 1gb without problems.
On my laptop everything was installed by default, including wireless.
The only problem I have on my desktop is that even though my usb wireless card is recognized, when I enter the 64bit wep key, it doesn't connect. Using a cable right now, will fix the wireless issues when I feel like it.

2. In gutsy and feisty every thing is either in "applications", "places" or "system". Atleast the things you need on everyday basis.
Installing can be done in add/remove or synaptic. Thats very easy.
A little problem I had after installing gutsy, by default there weren't any repositories selected, so everytime I tried to install something it gave me an error. I took me about 5 min to figure out, but if you're new, or just testing it, this could be a problem.

3. If you have an xp or vista OS already installed and you put ubuntu on a new partition, grub gives the option to select ubuntu or windows xp home edition/windows vista home premium. Can it be any easier? When you install xp/vista after installing ubuntu, a google search is needed, but with most new linux users that isn't the case.

4. You have a point. I don't find the default xp attractive, but vista looks pretty good. What should they do? Install awn by default? Give you another theme like moomex or something by default, that wouldn't be good neither. They could include more attractive themes by default without needing to go to gnome look to search for more themes. Face it, the standard installed themes look like ****. Is there anyone that ever used the blue/yellow theme at any point in his life?

5. I find google a good source but thats my take on it. There is an icon on the top panel that leads to the help section of ubuntu, that pretty much answers the most basic questions.

Other ideas:

The main reason I heared of friends and family about not wanting ubuntu are:
- no decent looking good windows live messenger variant (I don't think microsoft will put out an linux version)
- Funny names. Most applications names don't have anything to do with there use. Amarok, Totem, Evolution, Pidgin, Firefox, ...
- Alot of windows users complain they can't find there files. They don't find the "program files", the entire filesystem is diffent. I like it better the way it is. The don't know where the C drive is.
- I find installing the mp3 codecs easy (double click an mp3 and a screen comes up telling you to install the codec) but if in gusty the repositories aren't selected by default, you just get errors.
- Samba isn't easy to set up. I haven't been able to do it, i'm only using ubuntu for a couple of months, but still. Trying to connect ubuntu to vista/xp isn't easy. Or connecting from windows to the ubuntu pc is even harder.
- another big problem is: most people haven't heared of it, or if they have they think of some uber nerd from an 199x movie typing code in a black window. Or they think "hacker"

If ubuntu were to air some tv spot (not mac style !!! that would make me toss ubuntu seconds after seeing it) it would get more people to use it, it's that simple.

ps: you say, what do non-geeks what. I don't consider myself a geek/nerd by any standard. I'm lift weights, do pretty good girls wise, drive a clark-truck, but I love computers and linux. A part of the problems is people here think everyone that uses linux is a geek and the non-geeks are the windows/mac users.

posterpaint
November 30th, 2007, 05:03 PM
Ubuntu gutsy is on the windows system for business open office stuff, runs great. However the studio work is apple mac G5 with adobe creative suite workflow. Now, ubuntu linux has ok design software, but maybe linux should stay with Open Office, networking or servers. Design and creative is a small percentage of users, take what we think with a grain of salt! :popcorn:

svtfmook
November 30th, 2007, 06:24 PM
honestly, common users want something that is familiar to them or something that is completely idiot proof. they also want something that has support. when something goes wrong, or something doesn't work, customers do not want to come to a website and sift through 40 some odd forums and subforums looking through fifty thousand posts without even knowing what they're looking for.

people buy windows because of the programs that they are familiar with. outlook, office, word, excell, etc. they don't think that there are programs similar to these on windows, let alone on linux.

for example, my buddy came over last night, who's an engineer, who gave me a copy of autocad a while back. he asked me how it was working out, i told him i couldn't get it installed for some reason, so i went with qcad through linux. he wanted to see it, so i showed him. he's never seen linux before, so he asked me, "can you go on the internet and email with that?"

people don't even realize that it's a full operating system. i think when people think linux, they think it's some sort of matrix numbers falling across the screen type deal.

ubuntu/distros have no marketing, they have no way to inform common users the capabilities of a good linux distro. and there's no real support besides web forums. but not many people even know how to use web forums.

think about dell/ubuntu. does dell sell a lot of ubuntu computers? not really. why? have you ever seen dell advertise them in one of their heavy campaigns? i haven't.

what would really turn the linux world around, would be hefty marketing to inform people of distros and applications and true tech support, or atleast a site like microsofts help and support site.

then again, this would all make "free" linux start costing money, imo.

viking777
November 30th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Very interesting thread. I haven't had time to read all the suggestions so I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of my ideas are just repeats but for what it is worth here are my ideas.

1) Bury the command line. Make it so difficult to find that even the autistic geeks that use it will have difficulty finding it. Of course before you do that you have to have adequate graphical configuration tools to replace it, the problem there is that whilst the luddite command line apologists continue to defend it we will never get those. If Linux programmers get the constant feedback that command line tools are great and everything that could ever be desired, then what motivation will they have to code sensible replacements? And before I suffer a tirade of abuse from those aformentioned cli enthusiasts, can I ask you one question.

If Mr. Gates' latest OS was called DOS 2007 do you think he would still be the richest man in the world?

It's called giving the people what they want.(OK and a lot of luck to go with it).

I was going to add points # 2,3,4,5 etc.but since everything I want to say seems to be covered by point 1 I won't bother.

sujoy
November 30th, 2007, 07:22 PM
1) Bury the command line. Make it so difficult to find that even the autistic geeks that use it will have difficulty finding it. Of course before you do that you have to have adequate graphical configuration tools to replace it, the problem there is that whilst the luddite command line apologists continue to defend it we will never get those. If Linux programmers get the constant feedback that command line tools are great and everything that could ever be desired, then what motivation will they have to code sensible replacements?

the very reason applications crash is because of the XServer most of the times (there are many different graphics architecture and manufacturer than processor).....so I cant even stand the CLI being replaced.......and the if all someone wants is GUI then I would even bother to make him shift to Linux........... the CLI adds power to the OS that is not possible by using the GUI.

we have small commands doing really simple things and we have things like pagers and pipes..........so the CLI enables us to do anything and everything..............on the other hand the same can never be applied on the GUI because How many options can you fit into a window? then there will be different applications for different tasks which will take away the modularity of the OS and ruin its very essence.

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 07:35 PM
the very reason applications crash is because of the XServer most of the times (there are many different graphics architecture and manufacturer than processor).....so I cant even stand the CLI being replaced.......and the if all someone wants is GUI then I would even bother to make him shift to Linux........... the CLI adds power to the OS that is not possible by using the GUI.

we have small commands doing really simple things and we have things like pagers and pipes..........so the CLI enables us to do anything and everything..............on the other hand the same can never be applied on the GUI because How many options can you fit into a window? then there will be different applications for different tasks which will take away the modularity of the OS and ruin its very essence.
No one has proposed getting rid of the CLI.

No one. Really. Not even the person you quoted.

You're responding to someone who proposed to bury the command line and make it difficult to find, not to eliminate it completely. It would be like Mac OS X, basically, which has a terminal and runs the same *nix commands as Ubuntu does, but the terminal is buried in Applications > Utilities.

hanzomon4
November 30th, 2007, 07:39 PM
No one has proposed getting rid of the CLI.

No one. Really. Not even the person you quoted.

You're responding to someone who proposed to bury the command line and make it difficult to find, not to eliminate it completely. It would be like Mac OS X, basically, which has a terminal and runs the same *nix commands as Ubuntu does, but the terminal is buried in Applications > Utilities.

Well the Ubuntu terminal is buried in Applications>Accessories.....

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 07:41 PM
Well the Ubuntu terminal is buried in Applications>Accessories.....
Well, not really if your X server crashes... and not really when there are tasks you need to accomplish that do not have GUI frontends.

Linuxratty
November 30th, 2007, 07:51 PM
Ok guys and gals listen up. I believe
When I read some of these forums I feel like I am in the midst of a bunch of spoiled, over-educated children. If you want the command line, then for
god's sake keep it. But if you are truly interested in giving microsoft competition then you are going to have to put forth a product that will be generally accepted by the masses and not just a fancy toy as some of you
give the impression.

Damn straight! Ive used Linux for almost two years and can use the command line with ease,if I know what to put in it...
I find the command line to be so very 1980 ish...In other words, primitive.
But you are right,most people do not want to go rooting around on forums to find some obscure command to do thus and so...Should these people not use Linux?
I think they have as much right to use it as anyone else..Most people have jobs,families,etc. and do not have time to **** with an OS to maker something work...Others just don't WANT to fiddle with an OS to make it do their bidding...And it's this nit picking complicated command line crap that causes people to shy away from Linux and for Linux to fall on it's face in the publics perception time and again.
Linux should just do what the user expects without all this extra:"Oh,and by the way,to get THIS to work you have to bla bla bla and bla bla bla." .
That is where Windows and Apple have Linux beat big time.
In all the times Ive had Windows (over 10 years) I had to use the command line twice.
For most people,computers are not a hobby,are not an obcession,they are a tool to get something done,and that is all.
people are not going to jump through multiple hoops to get something to work and insert paragraph after paragraph of commands to,say make the Beryl 3D work...if they can't just click a button and have it work,they are not going to bother.
Are they lazy? No. They just have better things to do with their time than mess with all the nit picky piddly command line BS.
I know this is not something most of you like hearing,but it is the truth.

viking777
November 30th, 2007, 07:58 PM
Let me make it clear, if you love the command line then I have no problem whatsoever in you using it, it is just that I, and a lot of people like me would prefer not to have to.

Most new users are absolutely bamboozled by command line antics (if you look at some of my other posts you will see that I am not) but Linux is about choice right and new users or cliphobes like me are not being given a full choice because adequate graphical configuration tools for Linux do not yet exist.

One of the most obvious examples of that to me is in disk imaging. I have used dd, imho it sucks. I have used partimage, it is not quite as bad as dd but it isn't far from it and any new user will run a mile from it. As committed as I am to Linux I still use my version of Acronis True Image which I paid for long ago when I was solely a Windows user, which works well and which I trust. There is no imaging solution in the Linux world that I can say that of, and imaging is just one example of many. I really wish there were Linux alternatives that are suitable for non geeks but I fear that at the moment there are not.

The title of this thread though is 'What do non geeks want?' Since non geeks account for about 90% of computer users it is important for the future of Linux to listen to them. And I think I have a handle on what some of them want.

sujoy
November 30th, 2007, 08:08 PM
No one has proposed getting rid of the CLI.

No one. Really. Not even the person you quoted.

You're responding to someone who proposed to bury the command line and make it difficult to find, not to eliminate it completely. It would be like Mac OS X, basically, which has a terminal and runs the same *nix commands as Ubuntu does, but the terminal is buried in Applications > Utilities.

oh well, if only buried then ok..but still I really cant think of the reason why people think so bad of the CLI...:confused: if you can scour the net for patches and then download it and extract from the zip file and click on an executable (that too months after the problem surfaced) ... why cant you just as well google out some lines of code and copy paste it on the terminal :confused:

I guess we need both the GUI and the CLI and let people choose whatever levels of comfort they like.

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 08:26 PM
but still I really cant think of the reason why people think so bad of the CLI
I guess we need both the GUI and the CLI and let people choose whatever levels of comfort they like. Well, you got at the crux at it here--answered your own question.

People think badly of the CLI because they sometimes do not get to choose whatever they want. Sometimes they want the GUI and get stuck with the CLI. The CLI is fine if you choose to use it. But if you have to use it to perform a task when you prefer the GUI, then it stinks.

holihue
November 30th, 2007, 08:44 PM
I read an interesting article the other day that did point out some possible problems with getting end users into the Linux world.


It is harder if you've used Linux all your life, and want to try Windows.

I ran Windows a couple of years ago, and I thought Windows was easy to use, and quickly...

And these first days I ran Linux, I thought it was stupidity to have a own program to change resolution.
But after getting into Linux, I found it much easier to find stuff.

So I really mean Linux(Gnome) is easier to use.

maybeway36
November 30th, 2007, 09:05 PM
You'll see a lot of terminal commands posted in the forums that could be done just as easily with the GUI. You don't usually need to use the terminal, it's just faster for people to tell you to copy and paste stuff :)
I really think one of the things that needs a good GUI is mounting remote shares in the fstab. Shared music libraries on networks are pretty common.

LaRoza
November 30th, 2007, 11:26 PM
You'll see a lot of terminal commands posted in the forums that could be done just as easily with the GUI. You don't usually need to use the terminal, it's just faster for people to tell you to copy and paste stuff :)
I really think one of the things that needs a good GUI is mounting remote shares in the fstab. Shared music libraries on networks are pretty common.

But the commands will work regardless of the users desktop preferences. If someone gives a "click here then here" advice, I won't not be able to follow it, because I use Fluxbox with a highly customized everything.

I also refuse to give KDE, GNOME, IceWM, Blackbox, RatPoison, etc specifc advice if the question is not about the desktop environment.

Dov
November 30th, 2007, 11:28 PM
Yes. A good GUI for mounting network fileshares and the like would be good. I usually just put my nfs fileshares in my fstab file, so I can mount them at any time from the 'Computer' window in nautilus, but that is difficult for a new user to set up.

I've set up several computers for people leaving Redmond's empire lately and the main problem to face is they still want some Windows based programs to run - I must admit I run some myself. I mostly set things up in WINE - which really is excellent these days - but there are still gaps.

I disagree strongly though with the idea that Ubuntu is hard for new users! While some people will not accept anything that looks vaguely different to what they are used to (the fear factor), most people can quickly be helped over this hurdle. I just set people down at their new computers and, without explicit instructions, give them several basic tasks to perform like opening a spread-sheet or changing the desktop background, going to google.com etc. This is the first experience I allow them of their new desktop AND IT BREAKS THEM THROUGH THE FEAR BARRIER AT THE START!

After that, everyone seems quite happy to explore and learn the new OS.

The second major hurdle for people to jump is installing new software. They just want to do it the windoze way.

A lesson or two in using Synaptic and encouraging them to use software LIKE the apps they are used to and this hurdle seems to crumble ok.

My best test case was unintended. A mate's wife (a Nepali girl with minimal computer experience and low confidence) needed to do some assignments, but their pc was down with viruses. I walked into the living room to find her not only on my laptop, but writing her assignment in openoffice, researching on the web with firefox and chatting on MSN!

The issue is not with the difficulty of Ubuntu for new users. The issue is with the Fear Factor when something is different. Break people out of that and you're laughing!

popch
November 30th, 2007, 11:30 PM
But the commands will work regardless of the users desktop preferences. If someone gives a "click here then here" advice, I won't not be able to follow it, because I use Fluxbox with a highly customized everything.

I also refuse to give KDE, GNOME, IceWM, Blackbox, RatPoison, etc specifc advice if the question is not about the desktop environment.

Nothing to say of the language differences. How do you direct a user to pick menu entries, click on buttons and so on if you don't even know what's written in the entries and on the buttons?

50words
November 30th, 2007, 11:37 PM
Here is what non-geeks want: less options.

Every application in any operating system should be set up with dummy-proof defaults and an "advanced options" button for geeks to use. Or even a system-wide "advanced mode," perhaps.

That's why everyone likes Macs. They give everyone a limited set of options that will be the right option--or at least a pretty good option--for 90% of regular users.

I get that the command line is powerful. I also don't care. Most of the time, I don't want power, just functionality.

I get that Linux gives me all kinds of options. I don't care. I want it to look nice and function smoothly. I don't care whether I can configure every button on my mouse. I just want to make a nice-looking invitation to my cocktail party next weekend.

(I like my Linux OS, by the way, but I find it hard to love it.)

aysiu
November 30th, 2007, 11:41 PM
That's why everyone likes Macs. They give everyone a limited set of options that will be the right option--or at least a pretty good option--for 90% of regular users. Well, not everyone likes Macs, but this is something Apple got right--limit the options for users, create sensible defaults (which Apple does most of the time, not always). But they also have a terminal that can run *nix commands for advanced users.

This is where Ubuntu is headed. They already have the limited options and sensible defaults. They just need more GUI frontends so that you don't ever need to use the terminal but you can choose to use the terminal if you prefer it.

ellis rowell
December 1st, 2007, 12:00 AM
As a fairly new Ubuntu user I have found it to be generally good. The real problems which exist seem to be hardware related, namely drivers for various hardware, printers, scanners, graphics cards etc. My impression is that the problem lies in the laziness (or incompetence) of the hardware manufacturers. Surely it makes sense to open your market to any group which you can sell your product to. Gutenprint and Turboprint seem to lag well behind the products on the market. Brother make an effort to supply drivers but again are well behind the models in the shops (I have a Brother DCP135C but the only driver available is for the DCP130C, totally different), and Xsane doesn't work for the scanner.

When they get these problems sorted, the world will take notice. Human nature shows that people do not willingly pay out a lot of money when they can get something for less, otherwise Ebay and Amazon would not do the trade they do.

hogwartsnigel
December 1st, 2007, 01:20 AM
Hi Ellis,
at risk of ofending have you written to the manufacturers of your hardware. I know it sounds lame and many threads on here say it does little, but it certainly doesn't hurt. If everyone did it the companies would atleast have an awareness of the demand and need. Maybe we should creat a hall of shame, a web page with contact address for complaint and downloadable default letters to eloquently express our dissatisfaction and dismay.
I use a on line host/ web page development program that only works for Mac and winDose based systems, have used it since 2000 and I am threatening to cease the service, they have posted a potential for moving toward linux on their site and are now making moves to meet this requirement. If they don't big headache for me and financial loss for them. Adobe is the same, as a graphic designer I hate the lack of familiarity and at times over complicated GUI of GIMP, and am struggleing but I am using it and each day means I get better, the GUI doesn't (I loved photoshop and hold 3 licenses and whenever I can I don't use it, I would maintain future licenses in Linux if I could...sorry I know that will grate on many but it is true for me.

My 5 systems exclusively running Linux distros give me great joy except for some manufacturer related issues and my inexperience..both of which I can actively do something about. The one dual boot is a tie that hopefully will be able to be severed once the dawning eventually truly happens.

As a business, professional and home user I couldn't be more happy with my Linux experience, and as any regular on the forums knows I have needed lots of help.

In direct answer to the title of this thread Linux would benefit if not legally unable to create user based package files for specific purposes, kind of a more selective repository sub section designed to incorporate the interlink libraries and applications needed to get to an end task...Gutsy comes close but still a flag or note for missing Libs, codecs etc would be useful, copyrighted playback being a prime example, MP3 full coding, ripping, saving and catalog. another. For an experienced Linux user I know this is like "well gawd he wants us to spell the alphabet for him.." and yes it is but from the depths of windows a new language in a strange country requires we begin with little steps.

As a footnote that sounds cheesy, the Linux (particularily Ubuntu) community have instilled a belief in humanity that was waning, helpful and attentive selfless individuals. So applause to all developers, users, volunteers and even those that are lost struggling to make it work.

Nigel

caligarn
December 1st, 2007, 06:41 AM
hi guys, i really love this topic! i hope that the things that are discussed here have some kind of impact on the future developments within the ubuntu experience (OS, and community, and more)...

one thing i want to make note of is the repurcussions with focusing on bug #1. I'm totally in support of the downfall of M$, don't get me wrong, but I don't agree with making ubuntu as Windows-like or Mac-like, in order to draw in more people. I would prefer it if we focused not on designing ubuntu like Windows or Mac, but to focus on the perfection of design. (like...a good balance of simplicity, power, functionality, etc. etc. with a very intuitive UI, granted, this is kinda abstract, but you get my drift)...I'm not sure, exactly, what perfection of design means, but you know beautiful and intuitive, i guess.

...and then, from there, gained our larger user population...so yah, i'm in favor of making things more beautiful and more intuitive. ideas on this?


two other ideas i was thinking in response to several comments earlier in the thread...


1. consolidating the user-developer community and help experience. (we've got forums, IRC, newsletters, magazines, ubuntu book, the help applet on the desktop, etc. etc.) can we meebo-ify all of this stuff? make it all visible on one webpage or something? or have a search-page like "torrentscan.com" or "torrentz.com" that routes to the best websites etc. (last note on this, is there a video out there that is, at most, 10 minutes long, that gives a complete basic run-down of how to use ubuntu? and can it come with the liveCD and be accessible easily?

2. I like this idea of cloud computing that google has been spearheading. Can we offer cloudbuntu? or wubuntu? where a person would get to sample what the ubuntu OS experience is like from online? instead of having to play with the liveCD. This might make it even EASIER for people to play around with the OS. How this would manifest, I have no idea.

3. one last question, what does and can ubuntu offer that the other OS's do not?

cheers.

brymux
December 1st, 2007, 06:53 AM
I would like to not have to mount my usb 400 gig drive everytime I reset or unplug it or at least not have to command line fdisk -l each time to find out what Ubuntu is calling it (it switches everytime from sda(any # to sdb,sdc,ect) so I can mount it back ...I would think it would stay mounted through a reset :( Also I would like to see my flat panel in its full resolution not just 1024x768 which seems to be the max on all linux flavors I've tried.
Other than that and a few other small things I really like my distro I'm using Ubuntu Studio 7.10.
I really like the theme and layout ,taskbars ,ect
I can say that I have not done any production yet,cause I am still trying to get everything set up to work how I want it.
Sudo apt what? is that a Japaneese TV show ?:)

brymux
December 1st, 2007, 07:07 AM
3. one last question, what does and can ubuntu offer that the other OS's do not?

cheers.
It is FREE , with an awsome support group,the logo looks cool on a T-shirt,nowadays you can build a decent machine for about 2-400$ if you add windows you have to add 30-100% to the price. All the programs for it are free,I have ones for my wife and kids loaded up from synaptic...
Used in a school setting it could mean the differance between kids learning on a computer or not (how much does 200 windows liscences cost?) almost as much as the machines they run on...
When I figure out just how to use linux properly I plan on installing Ubuntu on donated machines and giving them back to the community... (there are alot of machines out there that are corupted and people dont have back-up discs can't get them ,so they just buy a newer model with Windows on it)
These are just some of the things Ubuntu offers like its name says Ubuntu- free-dom.

caligarn
December 1st, 2007, 08:38 AM
It is FREE , with an awsome support group,the logo looks cool on a T-shirt,nowadays you can build a decent machine for about 2-400$ if you add windows you have to add 30-100% to the price. All the programs for it are free,I have ones for my wife and kids loaded up from synaptic...
These are just some of the things Ubuntu offers like its name says Ubuntu- free-dom.

I'm not totally satisfied with the answer that ubuntu is worth our time because it's free. If millions of users are going to come over to the linux world because it's free than i think expectations are low. I would hope that people would come over to ubuntu because of such things as its philosophy, open-source (the 'deeper' free), features, user-developer intimacy, simplicity, better programming, etc. etc. it being forever 'not-for-sale' is just an extra cream on top.

hogwartsnigel
December 1st, 2007, 09:42 AM
Caligarn,
I don't hink you can underplay the free side of open source OS. I have 6 xp licenses and am only using 1 because of the philosophy and superiority of Linux but the cost factor effects such things as large scale school deployment and therefore familiarity with winDose alternatives and the joys of the other non monetary freedom..
Nigel

quinnten83
December 1st, 2007, 09:48 AM
I'm not totally satisfied with the answer that ubuntu is worth our time because it's free. If millions of users are going to come over to the linux world because it's free than i think expectations are low. I would hope that people would come over to ubuntu because of such things as its philosophy, open-source (the 'deeper' free), features, user-developer intimacy, simplicity, better programming, etc. etc. it being forever 'not-for-sale' is just an extra cream on top.

you have to see the big picture: As in OMFG not only is it free, but you get all this totally fauxking awesome stuff with it, which you could otherwise only get with massively expensive paid for things....

personally, I would love better hardware recognition. admittedly that is not ubuntu/linux's fault. Still would have been nice to get my wacom bamboo 1 working OOTB (I still can't get it to work btw,the instructions on the linuxwacom project are less than good or specific).

Actually after reading this thread, I have started wondering if newbies even deserve Ubuntu. All i've heard so far is a lot of biacchin' and moaning about how Ubuntu is not this miracle cure for the common pc and stoopid users.

I work in support in a MS environment and let me tell you that MS isn't easy either. you can not explain the most basic of things to users. Installing windows? Try partioning your harddrive in a blue window with yellow letters. Oh yeah, total noobs can do that!!! "What is a partition?" "what is a harddrive?" Why isn't a computer like a television.
Is clicking "next, next, next finish" easy hell yeah, and then you end up with a java bar, a google bar, a live bar stealing 85% of the real estate in your browser window. You'll be lucky if you manage to look at that porn you were browsing for. But nooooooooo, we would rather have that than having choice and learning how to choose because learning is haaaaaaaaaard!!!
Want some software? Sure, I'd rather brave harsh weather and go out to a brick and mortar, shell out for overpriced almost amateurishly written piece of software, come back home install it pressing "next next finish", losing all the real estate in my browser window, have a stoopid service which I don't use 99% of the time install itself in the background and eat up all my processing power and memory, potentially opening gaping security holes and nagging me everyday about updating and upgrading the bars it installed, which I didn't want in the first place, but was too stupid to RTFM to avoid that problem, than learning how to use and activate a repos.
Why, because it is what I am used to. It's a miracle dinosaurs don't roam the space some people inhabit. You want super easy? PAY for a mac. (And I didn't find the mac that much easier either, just more restricting).


My point is that with any OS, there is a learning curve. Those who say Ubuntu isn't easy, just haven't tried. Linux is not windows, how many times does this need to be repeated? This conforming to the masses crap is bogus.

Having said that, I do believe we can make it easier for user to access information. Yes we have a help file, but a small demo on how to use this new thing on your PC, would be welcomed. Because then at least we would get people to think and realize that Linux is not windows. And we can ease people into their new OS. Ironically windows does this with an animated walk through the first time you install it.

if you are a newbie, or a non geek, or as I would to call it, as it is more politically correct, new to Linux/Ubuntu.
And you have done the work and effort, then please disregard my comments, as it obviously does not apply to you. And i think you deserve this experience, because you have expressed a willingness to grow and adapt. And you should be applauded.

viking777
December 1st, 2007, 11:37 AM
The argument given in some posts above that the command line is easier when describing fixes to people is one I fully concur with and it is indeed difficult to describe several different ways of troubleshooting a problem for several different window managers. That is not the point I am making though. If someone has a broken system and you are happy to spend your time helping them fix it then it is not unreasonable of you to describe your fix any way you want, and it would be very unreasonable of the recipient of that fix to say - "I am not using that fix because it is command line". The point is that if you have accessible and functional graphical troubleshooting tools then it may be possible for people who are not command line savvy to fix their own problems without having to ask.

The biggest problem for me with cli is that it requires immense feats of memory to come to terms with not only the commands themselves, but the myriad of switches and options that go along with them, all of which are case sensitive, syntax sensitive, and generally unforgiving. Not only that but there is no common ground between the various commands - an 's' switch in one command will do something totally different to an 's' switch in another command and an 'S' switch will do something different again. If you then add the almost unintelligible manner in which the command line man pages are written you are left with an impenetrable black hole to most users.

As an example I had a problem the other day which led me to try to use the command 'lsof' - I challenge anyone here to read the man pages for that command from top to bottom without slitting their wrists!

Incidentally the command did not help in the slightest in troubleshooting my problem and I eventually solved it using nothing more than Krusader file manager (root mode of course). It turned out that the trouble had been caused by my incorrect use of a cli command in the first place, and that was one which I thought I was familiar with.

hanzomon4
December 1st, 2007, 01:29 PM
Well, not really if your X server crashes... and not really when there are tasks you need to accomplish that do not have GUI frontends.

Naw, I'm sure it still stays in that little menu... But the same can be said for any OS. Whenever I had to fix my brothers computer because it wouldn't boot I had to run chkdsk from a CL prompt. And I'm sure OSX has some things that lack gui.

caligarn
December 2nd, 2007, 01:57 AM
oops

caligarn
December 2nd, 2007, 01:58 AM
I don't hink you can underplay the free side of open source OS. I have 6 xp licenses and am only using 1 because of the philosophy and superiority of Linux but the cost factor effects such things as large scale school deployment and therefore familiarity with winDose alternatives and the joys of the other non monetary freedom..
Nigel



I'm not saying that we should underplay or neglect to mention how it is free. I am saying that I would rather have people come over to ubuntu because it's a high quality OS not because it's a cheap OS. Obviously the price isn't drawing people over. This is why so many Windows users are still sticking with Windows, ubuntu's main reputation is that it's cheap and that it's linux (for geeks and semi-geeks), that isn't so appealing to people yet. We have to make it appealing...right? luckily gOS and other ubuntu-baby distros (Studio, Mint, Myth...) and other linux distros are gaining notoriety for their more significant fundamental qualitieis like usability, etc. This is what I think we should play up and focus on (especially in this discussion)...since it would help up see where and how we can influence development as the user community. of course, everybody wants things for free...now, what else do we want?



Actually after reading this thread, I have started wondering if newbies even deserve Ubuntu. All i've heard so far is a lot of biacchin' and moaning about how Ubuntu is not this miracle cure for the common pc and stoopid users.


My point is that with any OS, there is a learning curve. Those who say Ubuntu isn't easy, just haven't tried. Linux is not windows, how many times does this need to be repeated? This conforming to the masses crap is bogus.


I think that the more ubuntu users there are, the larger the community becomes, and thus the more input. The more problems that users have with it, the better it is for us all because more bugs'll get fixed and more helpful design tweaks will come into existence. (i.e. It'd be nice if psychologists got into this and gave us some tips on how best the brain organizes things and gave some visual design tips...haha...maybe that's too far out)

I agree with you that there is a learning curve. But as mentioned earlier in the thread, we need more and better tutorials for ubuntu, like Windows offers. Maybe, included in that, a history of linux...ideally, all these things on video, because people just like video.

hogwartsnigel
December 2nd, 2007, 06:19 AM
man,
what a discussion.
Caligarn i didn't suppose that you were, and point taken that we really can do without the plebians in our society subscribing purely because it is as close to free financially as you will get. Marketing of linux however is the key, A better product even if it was the price of windows, better flexability than windows, better and friendlier support than windows.....and as a matter of fact except for minimal cost it is for all intents and purposes free. Would most people be interested, you betcha they would.
The illegal (or should be) marketing od winDOSE pre-install is the killer. The populus ignorant of the benefits of any of the distro's will have no incentive to learn, read or alter anything. They'll complain and bitch etc and still plod along with their very fallable system and pay big dollars for upgrades and software to ease their pain. They may meet you or I in the street, at a party, wherever and we'll drop linux into their consciousness....try it, you see doubt and disbelief turn to excitement and curiosity...do they act, maybe in my experience they certainly do, whilst others stumble at the first hurdle many go on to dual or even wipe winDOSE.
The free is why they may try it, the political is why they'll try it..the product, support , philosophy will keep them using it.

Quinnten, wow dude you really blew your stack. Although I am not quite as ignorant as many I've seen bagging linux on here. I respect that it comes from being spoon fed crap and lies for what maybe a decade or more. I am sure for linux long time users their bitching can be frustrating, and their attitude sucks often...look what their expectations have been using M$ programs. Education, patience and assisting will win out, and as more and more join the ranks. More will turn to development, support promotion. Guys this is huge and you can almost tangibly feel that vista killed...well not the radio star but the station he worked for.

I was a winDOSE whinger, used it since '95 (messed around with Vics, commodores and sinclairs as a kid). I was winDOSE proficiant which means jack in the Linux world. I'm terrified but loving the use of the command line..its like dipping into a swimming pool on a cold day, all that fun you could have but the intitial bbuuuurrrggghh! as you get in. Have faith Quinnten, be polite and helpful, for people like me it instills great faith that people are out there volunteering their time to help. Linux is fast becoming a religeon. People I meet are asking if I have shares, but I passionately believe in the good of it. The OLPC is a fine example of where it can go.

Vikking I agree, without command line assistance I couldn't get my box looking as cool and functional as it is. Sometimes I wouild love command line help to come with a this is why text too like when you sudo fdisk-l I get the sudo what is the -l, I iknow what it does but why -l? gksudo enabled me to configure ownership of my usb drives why, how does gk prefixed to sudo do that and why gk.
I want to know but the time to learn a full os and the language of the distro is more than I have but the learning oppotunities with each assist? wow.
People are currently I guess scared of the command line because of all the rm stuff and some of the more disguised ways of vanalising users systems. That is scary one sticky post showed a fomulae imbedded in the text which reformatted the drive..I couldn't see it in the text at all...scary

Anyway I've waffled enough, I'll use and promote linux forever.

Nigel

allforcarrie
December 2nd, 2007, 08:30 AM
non geeks want codecs pre installed. non geeks want to start up their computer and play games, watch movies, listen to music. Linux doesnt seem to understand that. and NO, frozen buble isnt the kind of game i mean.

LaRoza
December 2nd, 2007, 08:36 AM
non geeks want codecs pre installed. non geeks want to start up their computer and play games, watch movies, listen to music. Linux doesnt seem to understand that. and NO, frozen buble isnt the kind of game i mean.

Many distros come with codecs, by the way, Windows doesn't come with all of them either, try getting Windows Media Player to play open formats.

There are some Linux games, and some of them are quite advance. I am not a gaming person, so I really don't care about that.

hogwartsnigel
December 2nd, 2007, 09:02 AM
All for Carrie,
The codecs issue I haven't found with gutsy at all and whenever something appeared to be missing it was a manufacturers issue for linux? I do like playing games and use my hacked xbox for that, but I hear what your saying..isn't that a supplier issue as well though as xp comes with solitaire minefield and oh yes patience...I guess you don't meen them either...LOL

Nigel

brymux
December 2nd, 2007, 09:07 AM
Yeah I want my stuff to work,went to actually do some work today and Jack won't connect spent 3 hours searching these forums and google still had to boot windows to get anything accomplished:confused:
I have saved free codecs for all the formats that I need ,no Windows doesn't come with them already installed unless you have OEM software bundled with Windows.
An installation video is a great Idea for people who don't know what a partition is and even people who do like me but thought a terminal was like a cash registar prior to installing Linux.:lolflag:
I am very disheartened right now and am probably going to reinstall Feisty and possibly Studio 64 and then just synaptic the Ubustu themes,
not sure yet.
I should note that when I first started using Windows I did have to spend hours on the support line to solve some problems running it on my old cpu it isn't as "out of the box" as people make it out to be.
I think really to bring more people over it should be more plug and play , but if an enormous amount of people start using it then it will gain the same security issues as windows does IMHO.
PS It needs a really freaking huge guy to serial flatten peole =avatar jk look above.

caligarn
December 3rd, 2007, 06:23 AM
Hi folks...not sure if ya'll stumbled upon this article yet, but i'll share it anyway...

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071101-ubuntu-developer-summit-lays-out-vision-for-strong-hardy-heron-release

and this...

https://blueprints.launchpad.net/sprints/uds-boston-2007/+roadmap

and this...

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IdeaPool

....i'm getting excited by all this ----^...get to see where the coders are wanting to head things. that's great! more transparency! now can we get an exclusively user-based website that nicely highlights the most interesting user-centered opinions and ideas on where development can go? Is anybody interested in setting this up also?

psyopper
December 3rd, 2007, 06:58 AM
Sorry, too lazy to look through 12 pages of arguing the semantics of application naming rather than answering the original question.

Has anyone mentioned Linux Mint (http://linuxmint.com/) yet? I haven't used it personally but it's an Ubuntu/Debian derivative (current release is based on Gutsy) and includes all that illegal media codec stuff that Canonical avoids.

caligarn
December 3rd, 2007, 08:47 AM
Sorry, too lazy to look through 12 pages of arguing the semantics of application naming rather than answering the original question.


hi psyopper thanks for reminding me of that need. I'm gonna spend the next few days compiling what i think are some of the most common points and posting them herer in a nice list for all to see (with seemingly most important points at the top of the list)...

To be honest, I'd like something like this to exist as a del.ico.us-esque platform...meaning the most commented points sift to the top...maybe something like that already exists...it's very hard to read the the stuff on IdeaPool and Launchpad. And we need a main site to go to that will be easy for newbies to navigate and contribute to. Maybe I'm thinking about this too deeply but...I also think it needs to be separate of the forums (although linked to obviously), and the more develop-y side of things, that way new folks'll feel comfortable and empowered.

What do folks think?

hogwartsnigel
December 3rd, 2007, 12:39 PM
I think it sounds great from an end user perspective , but I would have reservations about the dictorial aspect of what it could draw attention too. The developers are by all intents and purposes volunteers and working in their often pure gregarious acts, in the specific area of their own interests. So Whereas I would love what you have described I would be aware that it would still largely depend on the developers themselves to choose, and who would I be to tell them otherwise.
That said I think it could serve to identify end user issues that they may not be aware of....curious what others think?

stoodleysnow
December 3rd, 2007, 03:36 PM
What do non-geeks want?
A computer that works.

raveyd
December 3rd, 2007, 05:01 PM
I am just trying Ubuntu for the first time, after ditching PCLinuxOS for various reasons. Personally what I want is:
1. Faster printing. For me, Linux outperforms Windows in everything except printing. Painfully slow printing is the one major thing which makes me need windows. Being told to "buy a new printer which works better with Linux" is not an answer 'cos I ain't got the cash.
2. More logical application setup. I find some of the applications a bit obtuse and not as user-friendly as typical windows apps. The worst offender for me is GIMP. Makes no sense.
3. Some more / more sensible info from the operating system when something is not working.

Things I don't want but which the Linux community seems to think I want as a newbie are:
1. A GUI for everything => Not necessary.
2. Games.
3. Everything installed automatically when the OS is installed. What I really want is an option to install easily later.

disturbed1
December 3rd, 2007, 05:47 PM
I would like to hear others' opinions about what would make a distro so user friendly that the average Windows user would feel comfortable switching over to Linux. (Isn't that what the idea is after all?) If you are a firm believer that one must go through an effectual Linux hazing by having to sweat over line commands and complicated installations before you are invited into the club, and that anything that smacks of the odious WIndows system is like a cross to a vampire, your input is not what I would like to elicit. Below are my thoughts on this:

First, the distro should automatically recognize and install most hardware and the user should be able to surf the web, view videos and audio, read e-mail, use the printer etc. once installation is finished without spending lots of time tweaking, problem solving, searching for answers on the web, etc. and without having to throw out his/her present hardware in order to buy new Linux-friendly components.

I realize that lots of hardware can't be installed in Linux because the manufacturers' haven't released the specs. It's not the distro developers fault, nevertheless, I've installed Windows in dozens of machines and this is what I've always ended up with after an install, and what would make more people apt to convert to a Linux distro.

Second, the GUI should have a functioning link to almost anything the user needs to do. That is, the command line should be avoided whenever possible.

Third, the distro should make it easy for the newbie to do a dual boot so that both OSs are available. Few people are going switch over cold turkey, and a dual boot makes the transition process easier.

Fourth, the distro should have an initial desktop that is attractive. Yes, I know that you can modify it to your heart's content, but it is a good idea to wow the person with a spectacular desktop from the beginning. (Please don't flame me for it but in my opinion the brown Ubuntu default doesn't make the cut here.)

Fifth, there should be some good step-by-step documentation available in the distro itself. I don't consider googling for answers good documentation.

Any other ideas?

Non geeks don't want help files. They have never, and never will read them.

Non geeks would never dual boot. That's a pure geeky thing. A non geek wouldn't be able to decipher how to partition the hard drive.

Non geeks want a Web Browser that displays all web pages (means flash and java work), a simple office app like Abiword not Open Office. They also want a few time wasters that aren't geared towards 2 year olds.

Over the years, I've helped many non geeks make the move to Linux. Non Geeks are the easiest people to please, because they don't require much out of their PC. They only need the simplest of applications which provide limited features. It's the semi (I-Think-I-Know-It-All) non educated I want to be a geek, that causes the most problems.Non geeks want to double click an icon and go online. They want to plug in the digital camera and right click on a picture and choose print. They don't want to have to go to nVidia's site to download and install a driver. They don't want to figure what the difference between .net 1.x, 2.x, or 3.x is. They also can't figure out why they installed the newest bug-free version of .net 3.x but still need to hunt down and install 1.x.

Synaptic and the add/remove programs is a god send to these people. Double-click install.

In short, Ubuntu doesn't NEED to add anything to appeal to the non-geek crowd. The non-geek crowd just needs exposure to the OS. After all the non-geek doesn't know how or even why Windows geeks installed, they assume the OS and the PC is one. If the OS crashes, it's the entire PC that has failed. The exposure to Ubuntu has already started through Dell and Walmart, we just need more OEMs to advertise and put these machines in user's hands.

alanholpin
December 3rd, 2007, 07:04 PM
I agree with all your points being a relative newcomer myself, but especially the third. Yesterday i finally convinced my brother to give Ubuntu a try, he had sent off for the CD, bought a book, and yet at the end of his installation process he had Ubuntu installed but with no network connection (probably to do with a usb modem I think), and a broken windows XP! I'm not sure how long he will be staying with Linux. As for your other points, I recently tried out Linux mint, if they can have everything working out of the box - why can't ubuntu?

Linuxratty
December 3rd, 2007, 07:54 PM
To be able to change something using the GUI instead of the terminal...To easily undo something you want changed.

qqzhenyi
December 4th, 2007, 11:28 AM
this

23meg
December 4th, 2007, 11:39 AM
To be honest, I'd like something like this to exist as a del.ico.us-esque platform...meaning the most commented points sift to the top...maybe something like that already exists...it's very hard to read the the stuff on IdeaPool and Launchpad. And we need a main site to go to that will be easy for newbies to navigate and contribute to. Maybe I'm thinking about this too deeply but...I also think it needs to be separate of the forums (although linked to obviously), and the more develop-y side of things, that way new folks'll feel comfortable and empowered.

What do folks think?


I think it sounds great from an end user perspective , but I would have reservations about the dictorial aspect of what it could draw attention too. The developers are by all intents and purposes volunteers and working in their often pure gregarious acts, in the specific area of their own interests. So Whereas I would love what you have described I would be aware that it would still largely depend on the developers themselves to choose, and who would I be to tell them otherwise.
That said I think it could serve to identify end user issues that they may not be aware of....curious what others think?

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=383914

rune0077
December 4th, 2007, 01:04 PM
I do think that the whole FOSS philosophy is part of that too, and shouldn't be dismissed as an effective selling point for Ubuntu.


It should, in fact, be the selling point. Many government institutions (and other areas where you work under a strict budget) has long since started using OpenOffice on the sole premise that it is free (thus, allowing them to use their tight budgets elsewhere). The same theory could easily be applied to a userfriendly Linux distro.

If the average employee could learn Linux with relative ease and get on with the work, employers have every reason in the world to ditch cost-heavy Windows and start using Linux instead. And if the employee is forced to learn Linux at work (maybe even taking courses in it), he/she might also be tempted to give it a try at home.

malty
December 4th, 2007, 10:49 PM
It could be said that the very point that you are, as customers able to hold this discussion in among the suppliers speaks volumes about the attitudes of the Linux community.
Where the argument ( Linux vs Microsoft..which is BEST ? ) fails is the fact that they fullfill different needs. In its present form Linux cannot possibly compete and draw level with Microsoft in the market place where it dominates, Linux is prosumer, Microsoft consumer. I, like many other Microsoft customers think that they are, at best, the worlds luckiest company, right place, right time...copying Apples "point and cllck" made them. At worst they have set computing back 5-10 years. Can you imagine how different things would be if Adobe or Google had been around in the early days and got into O/S ? I can remember attending a seminar in the mid 1970s given by IBM in Newcastle and leaving in disgust at the tosser who was talking down to us, we mere non computer types, (also potential customers) I never did, nor would buy IBM. I put IBM and Microsoft in the same skip..partners in arrogance. Although to be fair to Microsoft they did not help H Himmler keep his tally of murdered Jews. Mind you they were not around at the time.
Back to Linux, I have been a Linux user for 6 months and would sum up....
High quality, reasonably stable, well featured, interesting, absorbing, free ? Lacking in any form of cohesive, well written, user friendlly documentation, honestly fellers, your documentation is awfull.
As for free, I do not have an issue with buying if the product is worth it. Free ? cost so far...
1/...DVDs £17
2/...Ethernet modem £35 ( USB would not work )
3/...Replacement printer...£80 / £120...not yet bought, My Dell 962 will NOT work (and yes, Iknow its a Lexmark)
I would advise the documentation writers to study 2 masterpieces .... models of clarity.
Alcohols how to for DVD d:::::::n ( Afterdawn ).
Geoffory Crawleys technical review of the Nikon F3 written in the early 90s and never surpassed in technical writing.
So...documentation, hardware, no CS3 or Lightroom, No J Rivers media player or Nero 6.
Not bad though, worth staying around.
Malty

aysiu
December 4th, 2007, 11:14 PM
Lacking in any form of cohesive, well written, user friendlly documentation, honestly fellers, your documentation is awfull. Really? Honestly, look at my documentation (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu) and tell me what's so awful about it or how it's not user-friendly. Then go to the Microsoft website and check out their tutorials. (http://support.microsoft.com/search/default.aspx?catalog=LCID%3D1033&1033comm=1&spid=6794&query=&pwt=false&title=false&kt=ALL&mdt=0&res=100&ast=1&ast=2&ast=3&ast=8&ast=9&mode=a&adv=1)


As for free, I do not have an issue with buying if the product is worth it. Free ? cost so far...
1/...DVDs £17
2/...Ethernet modem £35 ( USB would not work )
3/...Replacement printer...£80 / £120...not yet bought, My Dell 962 will NOT work (and yes, Iknow its a Lexmark)
I would advise the documentation writers to study 2 masterpieces .... models of clarity. The cost for me has been only blank CDs to burn Ubuntu to. I have not had to buy a new printer. I have not had to buy an ethernet modem. I have not had to buy DVDs.

Not everyone is in your situation. Sorry you happened to have incompatible hardware.

mulder_edu
December 5th, 2007, 02:07 AM
if a potential linux user cant get over the fact that something is named "totem" instead of "media player" or "gimp" instead of "photoshop," then they can stay with windows for all i care. if someone is that set on the name of an application to the point where they wont look outside the box, then that is just god damned asinine.

I believe the point is, "Media Player" is obviously where a newby will look if they want to play their music. "Photoshop" is the obvious place the newby is gonna look to edit their photos. The new user has no idea what to do with a button labelled "Totem". Ubuntu has changed its name to "Movie Player" to fix this problem.
User friendly means, when I click on my menu button, it's going to bring up a list of things that I can do. Not just a bunch of Icons with unrecognisable words. Ubuntu has done pretty good at accomplishing this (much better then Windows in many cases), but it could always be better. Gnomes main menu is helpful because it points you in the right direction (do I want to play a Game, edit Graphics, go on the Internet, use my Office tools, play Sound or Video, or maybe access System Tools or Accessories?).
I know it sparks conflict to mention taking any ideas from Windows, but a list of commonly used applications from the main menu is a very good idea.
Don't get me wrong. I choose Linux over Windows any day. Using Windows is like living in a box. You have to kick screem and cry to Microsoft to give you air. OpenSource lets us make our computer do whatever we want it to do.

kajillin
December 5th, 2007, 06:14 AM
this is the most retarded thread ever and should be closed. linux is "NOT" for noobs thats a fact. windows "IS" thats a fact. If you wan a more user friendly linux...... start up your own multi billion dollar corporation..... and complain there. Im pretty sure that the point of linux isnt to compete with any other OS, but to offer the more tech savy ppl with an OS that they can do whatever they want to, whenever they want to. And to whoever cant understand the ubuntu documentation...... LOL go back to school and learn how to read.

...Am i the only one who thinks this thread should be closed or deleted?

So if your having problems with linux.... DONT USE IT. it isnt for kids, its for people who want to experiment, tweak, and above all LEARN.

hogwartsnigel
December 5th, 2007, 06:15 AM
Thanks 23 meg, following the links and topics now, suggest everyone posted does...it does appear popular.

Thanks

Nigel

ImpressMe
December 5th, 2007, 07:33 AM
if a potential linux user cant get over the fact that something is named "totem" instead of "media player" or "gimp" instead of "photoshop," then they can stay with windows for all i care. if someone is that set on the name of an application to the point where they wont look outside the box, then that is just god damned asinine.

I think they have a problem with something far more serious; that Linux software generally is no match for Windows/Mac counterparts, that several programs can't exchange data at all or satisfactory through the clipboard and that upgrading to a new major version of the program can require a dist-upgrade.

Anyway, I like Linux as an OS, but the software is so far behind so I can't really use Linux for work.

But really, these program names are probably counter productive for branding. After a reinstall, if I didn't make a note, then I forget several program names.

The non-geeks want usability and logic, not your hobby.

I want professional software and it is just not there or just not ready.

caligarn
December 5th, 2007, 08:32 AM
hi guys, i've consolidated what i considered to be the main points of about 20 pages of the thread...so here you go...(in order of appearance, not importance)



1. Universal Hardware Compatibility (and GUI configuration)
2. GUI Suggestions/Tweaks?
3. Beautiful/Sleek/Intuitive Desktop look and feel
4. Better Documentation
5. Tutorials/Videos
6. Functionality vs. Playing To the Crowd
7. GUI vs. CLI
8. What are the best ways to educate users?
9. How can we advertise better?
10. Improving the dual-booting experience
11. Attitude towards bug #1
12. How do we make the changeover less painful?
13. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced options when installing
14. Improving the user-help experience: better online integration, consolidation, streamlining, easily searchable solutions (using google is the best way?)
15. The role of automatix?
16. Speed, Smoothness, simplicity, consistency, predictability and ease of use
17. Wine integration
18. Windows-files interface (unchaotic)
19. Interoperability
20. Short intuitive learning curve
21. Pre-installation
22. Help bubbles that follow the mouse?
23. Out of the box (codecs, important plugins like flash)
24. NTFS and Partitions
25. Total Control vs. Total Simplicity
26. Ubuntu should stand on its own beyond comparison
27. Less options

i like this thread that 23meg put up: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=383914

is there a way we could get a chance to vote on this list and other stuff not appearing above? Anyone?...:-)




Thanks 23 meg, following the links and topics now, suggest everyone posted does...it does appear popular.

I wrote something a few days ago, and I guess we're pretty much on the same page...but i'll just share it anyway (I wrote when my internet was down)...

i don't think developers should have full control nor do i think users should either. I think that we should have some share (not necessarily equal) of opinion upon how develpment shifts. I think this is considerably different from what Windows is producing, which is based upon what they want people to desire, and what they choose to program. I think what ubuntu offers, especially community-wise, is an experience where choice is abound. now, how can we, as users, who ascribe to a synchronous philosophy facilitate this? i think what has started here is great. and that we should continue the spirit that top people like Mark, Jono, etc. have produced. But we must find our own ways to do it, namely to continue the decentralization and enhance and/or diversify what we have commonly referred to as community.


A quiet distinction would help the more developer side of things to be. In example, if there were a website to go to, faciliated by users, for the developers to diretly connect with, that seemed to be general prominent "non-geek" ideas, this would be great. Because it would help generate a practical focus (obviously relatively flawed, all institutional forms have their limitations, but this does not undermine the idea that building focused community is important for development). Think about it, a developer may have run out of ideas, so then comes to the user-suggestion page and he/she will try some ideas found there.



So if your having problems with linux.... DONT USE IT. it isnt for kids, its for people who want to experiment, tweak, and above all LEARN.

But doesn't this line of thinking run directly counter to things like : "linux for human beings" and "bug #1"? But even without those two points as a part of my argument, I think it's good to consider this thread, titled "what's your career (job)?": http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=270435

A part of me feels that ubuntu is a move that is interested in bringing open source and it's possibilities and potentials to everyone. (especially to the everyday user, and educators). I think this thread and other one's similar to it address the issue of bringing choice to the user. Eventually, or at least ideally, I think user opinions about what they want could and should be heard, after all, that is kidna what web 2.0 is all about, right ? (uh oh, cheesy buzz word) user participation?

One last point. hee hee. there are also semi-geeks, like me...who are willing to learn a lot about the system but don't know how to code or program. But I can tweak. I think there are a lot of folks like that.

hogwartsnigel
December 5th, 2007, 11:26 AM
Caligarn,
The list looks good, for me though i am suspicious of [LIST]
No 27, (choice is an ethos behind Linux and whereas you or I do not recquire it others live for it)
No.24 I think is sorted in Gutsy
No.7 I see GUI and CL should be equally accessible options (linux command line happy users have no restrictions on the OS use, and for those wanting to go no where near it can acheive the same results using a GUI. so not GUI v's CL more "and"
No 23.A CNR style repositary that is specifically themed would assist in codecs etc..perhaps seperate codec install packages as options
No 22.
Urrrgghh maybe a right click specific help bubble option but not a bubbler.

Hey it is a cool start

The following I could not not comment on
this is the most retarded thread ever and should be closed. linux is "NOT" for noobs thats a fact. windows "IS" thats a fact. If you wan a more user friendly linux...... start up your own multi billion dollar corporation..... and complain there. Im pretty sure that the point of linux isnt to compete with any other OS, but to offer the more tech savy ppl with an OS that they can do whatever they want to, whenever they want to. And to whoever cant understand the ubuntu documentation...... LOL go back to school and learn how to read.

...Am i the only one who thinks this thread should be closed or deleted?

So if your having problems with linux.... DONT USE IT. it isnt for kids, its for people who want to experiment, tweak, and above all LEARN.

If linux isn't for noobs by definition it'll become extinct, Your isolitary and elitist attitude helps no one, why did you read a productive if maybe a little niave thread about noobs? Your antagonism is, what I'd expect of an M$, Mac user not a community based on eclecticism and unity, which the name Ubuntu suggests...I have been disappointed for the first time by a linux user...thank heavens you are in the minority. As many of your experienced peers realise that through unity of "geeks", "enthusiasts" and "noobs" alike comes the true nemesis of lame corporate restrictive and inferior operating systems.

Shame Shame Shame.

Nigel

hogwartsnigel
December 5th, 2007, 11:40 AM
Aysiu,
Psychcats pages have helped me heaps, and you are soooo right the whole of winDOSE documentational help was a contradiction in terms.
despite my retort in the above post some winDOSE whingers really should stick with that inferior software...whilst others realising they're priviledged to have had the opportunity to use a linux distro can make reference without any pre-determination to things they would like...until I write the code for the kernel or system I'll forever be humbled by those that do and rightly so, but also happy to express opinion.
The efforts of the linux community are not wasted on so many of us new converts and are greatly appreciated

Thanks

Nigel

mdsmedia
December 5th, 2007, 12:16 PM
this is the most retarded thread ever and should be closed. linux is "NOT" for noobs thats a fact. windows "IS" thats a fact. If you wan a more user friendly linux...... start up your own multi billion dollar corporation..... and complain there. Im pretty sure that the point of linux isnt to compete with any other OS, but to offer the more tech savy ppl with an OS that they can do whatever they want to, whenever they want to. And to whoever cant understand the ubuntu documentation...... LOL go back to school and learn how to read.

...Am i the only one who thinks this thread should be closed or deleted?

So if your having problems with linux.... DONT USE IT. it isnt for kids, its for people who want to experiment, tweak, and above all LEARN.Thanks, but I'm glad you're speaking for yourself.

I might even agree with some of what you said, but not much.

Linux is as much for nOObs as Windows is. In fact I think Linux is BETTER for nOObs than Windows is.

No, the point of Linux probably isn't to compete with Windows, but it doesn't hurt to listen to what new users want. They may be disoriented and not used to the differences, but that doesn't mean we dismiss them.

Linux isn't just for the "tech savy". Linux is for everyone. If you want to feel elite then feel free to live in your own ivory tower. Don't go alienating everyone else because it makes you feel better.

mdsmedia
December 5th, 2007, 12:30 PM
I think they have a problem with something far more serious; that Linux software generally is no match for Windows/Mac counterparts, that several programs can't exchange data at all or satisfactory through the clipboard and that upgrading to a new major version of the program can require a dist-upgrade.

Anyway, I like Linux as an OS, but the software is so far behind so I can't really use Linux for work.

But really, these program names are probably counter productive for branding. After a reinstall, if I didn't make a note, then I forget several program names.

The non-geeks want usability and logic, not your hobby.

I want professional software and it is just not there or just not ready.Why is it that MS Word can't open my OpenOffice Writer documents? Why can't Excel open my Calc spreadsheets? I can't see the world accepting these below par programs. They just don't work as well as their OSS counterparts.

What is it about MS software that it won't work in Linux? I mean, OpenOffice.org will install in both Linux and Windows, but Office won't install in Linux without a compatibility package. Firefox works in both, but Internet Explorer won't work in Linux.

These cheap MS only programs are really annoying. I mean, they're just not there yet!!

Program names like Excel are really counter-intuitive. I mean, you see a name like Calc and you know what it is. Access (the database program in Office) should be renamed to be more intuitive, like Base in OpenOffice. What about PowerPoint?? What a stupid name for a presentation program. Impress isn't wonderful, but at least it's better than PowerPoint.


And I could go ON and ON and ON...

hogwartsnigel
December 5th, 2007, 02:25 PM
Mdsmedia.......how right you are...but really we all no MS exists so we can easily see how crap things could be....LOL
Nigel

ImpressMe
December 5th, 2007, 05:29 PM
Why is it that MS Word can't open my OpenOffice Writer documents? Why can't Excel open my Calc spreadsheets? I can't see the world accepting these below par programs. They just don't work as well as their OSS counterparts.

What is it about MS software that it won't work in Linux? I mean, OpenOffice.org will install in both Linux and Windows, but Office won't install in Linux without a compatibility package. Firefox works in both, but Internet Explorer won't work in Linux.

These cheap MS only programs are really annoying. I mean, they're just not there yet!!

Program names like Excel are really counter-intuitive. I mean, you see a name like Calc and you know what it is. Access (the database program in Office) should be renamed to be more intuitive, like Base in OpenOffice. What about PowerPoint?? What a stupid name for a presentation program. Impress isn't wonderful, but at least it's better than PowerPoint.


And I could go ON and ON and ON...

Please don't. I am not talking about Microsoft products, I am talking about the whole lot of software available for Windows. And think about it... Microsoft isn't the only company that does not make software for Linux, it is almost every company out there. The user base is insignificant, just insignificant.

Open file formats is a good thing, amateurish and incomplete software isn't. People tend to notice it.

hogwartsnigel
December 6th, 2007, 02:42 AM
So Impress me,
your comment on the what do geeks want are better applications..yes? Forgive me but the matter of winDOSE comparison with any of the LINUX distros seems to be a little confused. Sure there are expensive fantastically complex and bloated applications that I am addicted too as a designer The CS3 Suite from Adobe a prime example..I can't do the same with Gimp as I can photoshop and as for flash animation NADA. Does this make me think LINUX is a bad OS...why would it, my system runs cleanly as far as the OS is concerned, everything I need to do from within Ubuntu just works and zero downtime.
winDOSE update, reboot yadayadyada and I pay for the priviledge. The update of LINUX as a superior OS is the point in question, the applications in the open source community are a mixed bag but are continually being developed and enhanced. Some exceed their proprietary counterparts, Firefox blows IE's lame copied browser out of the water, the security aspects of ALL the linux distros is certainly overwhelmingly superior to the ooops i did it again winDOSE. Bag LINUX for what it is as an operating system, come back after people that see the potential and realisation of opportunity, ensure its increased functionality with software, software that only works in winDOSE because of the illegal monopoly strategies of its promotion.
Did you EVER try to get XP64 to work..I did, I was a sucker that thought 64bit processing was the way to go...surrended my XP pro license to make the switch, had the pc and the OS...no drivers from any supplier or anything the functionality was terrible, microsofts answer lump it. The functionality of XP 64 was but still better than the original xp32 was irrelevant as I couldn't use it. My 6 xp Pro licenses are still mine but I choose to use Linux exclusively on 5 and dual on one. Why because the OS UBUNTU beats XP.
I think more proprietry software is coming on board for linux whether thats a good thing for all is debatable but the option and choice I guess, is generally good.
But please commit comments in reference to the OS and what the developers have control over..and get political it isn't our operating system it is or could be yours..fight for itj
I have made the switch for political reasons, and user functionality reasons, cost was second place but gawd I'll do anything to assist in its progress and the downfall of the selfinterested M$ tyranic rule.

Nigel

ImpressMe
December 6th, 2007, 07:41 AM
What is a "superior" OS without superior software?

People don't want to switch OS because of political reasons and they don't. They want to get the job done, and that requires the right software. If you make the switch to Linux you get rid of Windows problems and step into a world with just as bad Linux problems, if not worse. Usually worse problems. No drivers. No games. No professional software.

And, by the way, your Microsoft bashing way of writing really gives us the impression that you are unable to be objective. With a 1% market share Linux software developers REALLY must listen to its costumers rather than on the die hard user base they have had for many years, a user base who have been predicting the imminent arrival of the mythical "year of the Linux desktop" for a decade.

zugu
December 6th, 2007, 12:02 PM
While I consider myself a power user, I don't think about myself as a geek or nerd or whatever you want to call it. I am not interested in the internals of the software I'm running. I don't want and don't like to know the way the operating system "does stuff" deep inside.

I prefer a simplistic view of one OS + the rest of the stuff that runs on top of it (as in whatever I use on a daily basis - from web browsers and media players to games and IDEs). The OS is the base and the rest of the software is like Lego bricks I use and combine in countless combinations.

And here's the thing: I expect all these combinations to work. Most importantly, I want to be able to update/upgrade whatever piece of software I want, whenever I want. As in installing Firefox 3 from the official site in seconds, right after it has been released. I don't want to wait for the package maintainers to package it for me. I have always felt that it's the job of the developer to package and deliver his code, and that the package maintainer job is something that had to emerge because of the countless Linux distributions and/or packaging methods. I don't want to compile. It wastes my time and neurons. I don't want tutorials, I want good design that makes it possible for me to grasp the basics in a new application from the first clicks. I don't want to hunt for drivers. I just want it to work™.

While I reviewed the reasons for the decision to use centralised software management in mainstream Linux distributions, I am still against this reasoning.

The annoyances and the sheer amount of work needed to keep a repository sane far outweigh the disadvantages of a decentralized package management system.

This way, most of the responsibility is shifted to the developer - the user just has to update/upgrade when advised.

When mainstream Linux will decide centralised management of packages is bad, I will reconsider it. Until then, no amount of flashy Compiz and twice-a-year releases will impress me. It's so basic a need it outweighs everything.

Cheers.

Killer Cop
December 6th, 2007, 12:50 PM
I would like to hear others' opinions about what would make a distro so user friendly that the average Windows user would feel comfortable switching over to Linux. (Isn't that what the idea is after all?) If you are a firm believer that one must go through an effectual Linux hazing by having to sweat over line commands and complicated installations before you are invited into the club, and that anything that smacks of the odious WIndows system is like a cross to a vampire, your input is not what I would like to elicit. Below are my thoughts on this:

First, the distro should automatically recognize and install most hardware and the user should be able to surf the web, view videos and audio, read e-mail, use the printer etc. once installation is finished without spending lots of time tweaking, problem solving, searching for answers on the web, etc. and without having to throw out his/her present hardware in order to buy new Linux-friendly components.

I realize that lots of hardware can't be installed in Linux because the manufacturers' haven't released the specs. It's not the distro developers fault, nevertheless, I've installed Windows in dozens of machines and this is what I've always ended up with after an install, and what would make more people apt to convert to a Linux distro.

Second, the GUI should have a functioning link to almost anything the user needs to do. That is, the command line should be avoided whenever possible.

Third, the distro should make it easy for the newbie to do a dual boot so that both OSs are available. Few people are going switch over cold turkey, and a dual boot makes the transition process easier.

Fourth, the distro should have an initial desktop that is attractive. Yes, I know that you can modify it to your heart's content, but it is a good idea to wow the person with a spectacular desktop from the beginning. (Please don't flame me for it but in my opinion the brown Ubuntu default doesn't make the cut here.)

Fifth, there should be some good step-by-step documentation available in the distro itself. I don't consider googling for answers good documentation.

Any other ideas?

I agree with the most here. If Linux is to achieve a good slice of the computer market, the program must be userfriendly and friendly to convert to. Ubuntu has some good user friendliness to it, but I don't think it's enough especially with the command line. If Linux is to succed the command line must be dropped as a solution for fixing problems. I don't know the code for the command line, and I don't want to know it either. You won't have the general public to type lines they don't understand, especially when the forums have problems with people writing malicious code.

As I know Ubuntu doesn't support some hardware. But we can blame the manufactors for that, because they havn't released driver or anything really. Ubuntu can only achieve that by getting more popular, or pay some companies to make drivers etc.

caligarn
December 7th, 2007, 12:57 AM
Some interesting thoughts:


http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/entdev/article.php/3714986

ImpressMe
December 9th, 2007, 04:49 AM
While I consider myself a power user, I don't think about myself as a geek or nerd or whatever you want to call it. I am not interested in the internals of the software I'm running. I don't want and don't like to know the way the operating system "does stuff" deep inside.

I prefer a simplistic view of one OS + the rest of the stuff that runs on top of it (as in whatever I use on a daily basis - from web browsers and media players to games and IDEs). The OS is the base and the rest of the software is like Lego bricks I use and combine in countless combinations.

And here's the thing: I expect all these combinations to work. Most importantly, I want to be able to update/upgrade whatever piece of software I want, whenever I want. As in installing Firefox 3 from the official site in seconds, right after it has been released. I don't want to wait for the package maintainers to package it for me. I have always felt that it's the job of the developer to package and deliver his code, and that the package maintainer job is something that had to emerge because of the countless Linux distributions and/or packaging methods. I don't want to compile. It wastes my time and neurons. I don't want tutorials, I want good design that makes it possible for me to grasp the basics in a new application from the first clicks. I don't want to hunt for drivers. I just want it to work™.

While I reviewed the reasons for the decision to use centralised software management in mainstream Linux distributions, I am still against this reasoning.

The annoyances and the sheer amount of work needed to keep a repository sane far outweigh the disadvantages of a decentralized package management system.

This way, most of the responsibility is shifted to the developer - the user just has to update/upgrade when advised.

When mainstream Linux will decide centralised management of packages is bad, I will reconsider it. Until then, no amount of flashy Compiz and twice-a-year releases will impress me. It's so basic a need it outweighs everything.

I fully agree with this.

dekeller
December 9th, 2007, 06:18 AM
I have come all the way in computer systems from using a paper tape punch and reader, a card punch and a day waiting for a compile to get back to me, to using this wonderful Ubuntu system. Along the way I have taught many end users how to use computer systems. What we have with Ubuntu is a very nice user interface on top of a rock solid OS. I switched my wife over from her beloved XP after only a few weeks of letting her use it. Sure, it could be easier to get everything running on Ubuntu. It took be a couple of weeks to get everything running the way I wanted it. I had some trouble getting a Cannon IP1800 to work, but I found the answers in the Ubuntu forums. I had to edit a file to get my printers to print last page first, and I had to play around with my vid to get the correct resolution, but that was it. I just recently hooked up to a cable company internet provider and when the guy came out to install it he couldn't believe
how easy it was compared to when he had to hook up windows systems.

All in all, Ubuntu is very user friendly and technical support is much easier than sitting on hold for hours trying to get the one simple question. It would be great to get support for every piece of new hardware right out of the box, but in the world of free software it isn't going to happen. In fact in the world of purchased software it is often a failure. I could tell you some real horror stories about a very expensive CAD/CAM system that wouldn't work on a VAX 11/750.

Is this the best of all worlds? No, but it's not bad. Until hardware manufacturers realize that linux is a real force in the world we will always be playing catchup on device drivers, but on the software front with all the people contributing linux will win.

Darryl Keller

Snakob808
December 9th, 2007, 06:28 AM
I don't think the software issues, ease of use, pretty desktop have anything to do with it. If you want to learn about computers, have complete control over your system, and not worry as much about security... a Linux distro is the way to go. If you like to point and click, be taken for a ride ( as opposed to doing the driving ), and constantly scan for virii, adware, etc... stick with Windows.

This thread reminds me of an old Dead Kennedy's album title... Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.

aysiu
December 9th, 2007, 06:34 AM
I don't think the software issues, ease of use, pretty desktop have anything to do with it. If you want to learn about computers, have complete control over your system, and not worry as much about security... a Linux distro is the way to go. If you like to point and click, be taken for a ride ( as opposed to doing the driving ), and constantly scan for virii, adware, etc... stick with Windows.

This thread reminds me of an old Dead Kennedy's album title... Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death.
I disagree. Security should always be something you concern yourself with, especially since many security "exploits" rely on social engineering--in other words, it doesn't matter what OS you're running, as long as someone can trick you into doing something stupid.

Also, if you are discerning about what links you click and you run Windows as a limited user (with a separate administrative account for the few times you need it), you don't really need to scan for viruses, etc.

Snakob808
December 9th, 2007, 06:44 AM
Well put.

But...

...in all my years of using Windows, I have taken precautions, and have still gotten virii. I have used good judgement while clicking links, and I still received trojans and other malware. It was, and is, an ongoing battle. Sure, you can automate processess, but that's not the point. I have never had any kind of breach of security while using Linux... whatever the distro. Sure I take precautions, but no threats develop in the first place.

I definitely agree that security is a pertinent issue. I guess all I was trying to say was that, with Linux, I know that I am in control of my system... but, in the end... different boat, different float. Some people think cucumbers taste better than pickles, you know?

aysiu
December 9th, 2007, 06:51 AM
But...

...in all my years of using Windows, I have taken precautions, and have still gotten virii. I have used good judgement while clicking links, and I still received trojans and other malware. It was, and is, an ongoing battle. Sure, you can automate processess, but that's not the point. I have never had any kind of breach of security while using Linux... whatever the distro. Sure I take precautions, but no threats develop in the first place. Did you run as a limited user or as administrator? Just curious.


I definitely agree that security is a pertinent issue. I guess all I was trying to say was that, with Linux, I know that I am in control of my system... but, in the end... different boat, different float. Some people think cucumbers taste better than pickles, you know? No, you're right. You pretty much currently do not have to worry too much about security in desktop Linux. But, even though Linux is secure by design, if malware writers want to start targeting Linux, it won't be too difficult to breach security with social engineering--just create a "cool" .deb file or some kind of "codec installation" prompt on a website that a new Ubuntu user won't know is not really a codec.

Snakob808
December 9th, 2007, 07:01 AM
Honestly, I think I am running as administrator.

You are absolutely right about the social engineering. Being an informed user is a huge part of security.

aysiu
December 9th, 2007, 07:03 AM
You are absolutely right about the social engineering. Being an informed user is a huge part of security. And you're right that right now you don't have to worry about security in Linux.

And there are really types of security concerns, as far as I know: structural exploits and social engineering. Linux is pretty good as far as taking care of structural exploits. Social engineering can be dealt with effectively only through education and can affect any OS.

But right now there aren't any social engineering attacks against Linux that I know of, apart from malicious users telling newcomers to type dangerous commands in the terminal.

caligarn
December 11th, 2007, 05:27 PM
Hi guys, had a new query...check this out...
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Artwork/Incoming/Hardy/Alternate/BasicIdeals?highlight=%20CategoryArtwork%20#242256 48925543142719


what do you folks think?

When we're talking about intuition in a user interface...what do we mean by that?

what does intuition mean to you in a user interface...?

how does psychology help in this?

hogwartsnigel
December 12th, 2007, 12:35 AM
Thanks for the link Caligarn, I'm off to do some artwork tonight...it's my thing.

Blessings

Nigel

brymux
December 12th, 2007, 12:42 AM
Really? Honestly, look at my documentation (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu) and tell me what's so awful about it or how it's not user-friendly. Then go to the Microsoft website and check out their tutorials. (http://support.microsoft.com/search/default.aspx?catalog=LCID%3D1033&1033comm=1&spid=6794&query=&pwt=false&title=false&kt=ALL&mdt=0&res=100&ast=1&ast=2&ast=3&ast=8&ast=9&mode=a&adv=1)

The cost for me has been only blank CDs to burn Ubuntu to. I have not had to buy a new printer. I have not had to buy an ethernet modem. I have not had to buy DVDs.

Not everyone is in your situation. Sorry you happened to have incompatible hardware.
Very nice help page,It should be a sticky!
I use the computer mostly for media editing.I just spent a week trying to make JAD work....It is the closest to Windows I have seen yet, in fact you can install a patch to make it look like Windows XP. Unfortunatly JAD (me somehow) broke my windows install and had to use the recovery console to fix the MBR now my recovery partition wont work and It is no longer dual boot.
I have had to ask myself "WHY" am I using Linux distros when I own all the software I need for windows?
I have spent the last couple of months trying differant distros and ultimatly I break every one installing packages that (I guess)conflict with others and then Jack doesnt work...
Really I want to learn how to make it work so that eventually I can make my own install disc and have everything (codecs,players and editors) ready to go.
And also to be able to turn others on to Linux and give them a disc and say install this....
But alas I am not a geek .The only programing code I know is GCP+ (google,copy,paste)
And I have yet to make any distro do what I want(other than windows)
They all work for web surfing and e-mail,with a little google time getting codecs I can watch movies and play my MP3s.
But I still have yet to get Jack,Ardour,Wine,Fst,Hydrogen-to all work at the same time let alone together the way others say they will.
I am not giving up(but Im not reformatting my Windows partition either!)

brymux
December 12th, 2007, 01:45 AM
I have been thinking about my problems with (making friends with Linux)
and making Ubuntu Studio work for me :lolflag:
And I had this idea....
Would someone ( I was going to say could but I know alot of you in these forums are quite capable of this task)
make a program for learning the basics of Linux,more important with a emphasis on Ubuntu.Then after completing this little course the person would get an Ubuntu liscence(kinda like a drivers liscence)
This would be a prerequisit for being assigned a buddy to help with setting up (lets say mine for instance) computer.Using IM or remote desktop assistance.
I would like to learn what and how to fix things not just paste something in the terminal and hope for the best.
I think a buddy-mentor program would help alot of people (like me)
And requiring them to learn some basics beforehand would make it easier for them to make use of the help they recieve as well as showing a willingness to learn.Not just hey will you log into my desktop and make it do this...
I would be one who after learning would take great joy in teaching others.
This Idea would in my opinion get lots of new users switching to Ubuntu.:KS
If anyone would help me set-up Ubustu into an actual working enviroment.I would be forever grateful and do the same for newbies to come.

malty
December 12th, 2007, 09:43 PM
Really? Honestly, look at my documentation (http://www.psychocats.net/ubuntu) and tell me what's so awful about it or how it's not user-friendly. Then go to the Microsoft website and check out their tutorials. (http://support.microsoft.com/search/default.aspx?catalog=LCID%3D1033&1033comm=1&spid=6794&query=&pwt=false&title=false&kt=ALL&mdt=0&res=100&ast=1&ast=2&ast=3&ast=8&ast=9&mode=a&adv=1)

The cost for me has been only blank CDs to burn Ubuntu to. I have not had to buy a new printer. I have not had to buy an ethernet modem. I have not had to buy DVDs.

Not everyone is in your situation. Sorry you happened to have incompatible hardware.

I did not intend my comments to be followed up with a response, however............
I have studied your documentation and would comment as follows..............
One reasonably clear chapter does not make an outstanding book, I repeat, (and any open minded group of people which I am certain the Linux community is), will take on board constructive criticism and act upon it, the documentation is awfull.
Let me bore you rigid for a few paragraphs.

I have been around for a while, I have ran, and owned engineering companies, from space and defence contracting to tooling for the plastics industry. I have been a supplier to..ICL, British Aerospace, Hawker Siddley, etc, etc, etc.

I was there at the start, and have been through, manufacturings computer revolution, I go back to before field effect transistors. I have spent silly amounts of my companies money on computer systems when I was the guinea pig for the products.
I, to this day, would put my money on Unix and its derivitives, I ran Sun sparcs with Unix OS in the very early days (5 X Sun sparcs, networked, with software (Pro E) = £150000, 1 X IBM mainframe, with less computing power = £1000000) I leave you to guess which system I bought.
What I am saying is, that as a customer of, and supplier to, the computer industry, I think I have a tee shirt of some considerable size.
I have wasted vast amounts of my time through bad documentation and know the good stuff when I read it.

It is one thing to have a good / excellent product.
However, that product will not reach anywhere near its full potential if it has a communication problem !

Do not make the mistake of benchmarking against an inferior competitor ("just look at the Microsoft site"). Down that road lies failure. Staying ahead of the pack depends upon benchmarking the very highest standards, and then improving upon them.
The £17 spent on DVDs was not just for Ubuntu (benchmarking again)
I did not mention the £66 I spent on books on the subject of Ubuntu, most of which are out of date or crap.
Please do not take the above as a lecture, we all of us learn new things every day, I did feel however that a response was in order, I still think Ubuntu is a very good OS, pity it shares the same naming commitee as IKEA.
Kind regards
Malty