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stemount
April 24th, 2007, 07:20 PM
Hi there guys,

I had an idea of a website that converts Microsoft Windows users / PC Users to change to using Ubuntu as a alternative OS.

Now, do you know anyone who has done this already, and what do you think of this idea?

I plan to have a forum, website, wiki and possibly more add-ons if requested by users. Also, this will not be a bashing site against windows, it will just highlight all the better features, etc.

Also, if you are really interested, I am accepting voluntery jobs placements, so you can feel good for being part of the website promoting Ubuntu and open source 8)

Thanks,

Stephen

Please quickly comment the reason why you said Yes/No.. thanks!

reclusivemonkey
April 24th, 2007, 08:44 PM
Erm, I think you're already on the best forum for that...

stemount
April 24th, 2007, 08:52 PM
I mean, a full Windows guide, a website showing screenshots comparing Windows to Ubuntu, explaining all. I know these forums are the way to go for your questions / answers, but its not specifically windows users switching, which is the main point in my website.

Dragonbite
April 25th, 2007, 02:46 PM
Sounds like you're talking about a complete site for "soup-to-nuts" about switching from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu) that talks in reference to what a Windows user would understand?

May not be such a bad idea.

Translation :
I remember in the beginning how all of the programs, commands and terminology for Linux sounded like a 2nd language! For example Windows *IS* the desktop environment, not something you can choose.

Gimp? Konquerer? X? SSH? Gnu? None of these have a name that intuitively relates to it's function (and let's not get into how quickly "k" this and "k" that can get annoying ;) ). I know there are plenty of Windows programs to fit that bill too, but enough of them are intuitive if only for marketing (remember, they are in it for the money) purposes : Photoshop, Word, FrontPage, Yahoo! Messenger, etc.The (in)famous Command Line :
It wasn't until I took a class for something totally unrelated (PICK BASIC) did I get a chance to touch the command line and get comfortable with it. Afterwards, I moved to Gentoo that really gave me a chance to get comfortable with the command line.Ideology :
Then there are the ideological changes in thinking that seems natural to us, but is very daunting to a new person coming from Windows.

CHOICE
People are so used to going with what came with their computer, or what works with Windows, or what is the "industry standard", etc. Suddenly they can have a choice of programs, desktop environments, distributions, etc.
Free (as in Beer)
Since the computer costs money, Microsoft costs money and programs cost money then moving to where you have 100k programs not only available but at your fingertips is quite a change! Some people I've talked to have gone through that stage of downloading and installing piles and piles of programs... why? because they CAN!
Part of the appeal of Ubuntu is that it gives them enough to get them started in a pre-configured package, but leaves the door open to explore and benefit from the full power of Linux.
Configurable
For most Windows users the idea of configuring is moving the toolbars. They don't want to get into programming and most programs are pretty good about giving a GUI for customizing the programs. For those people who get more into it, it's a breath of fresh air to be able to modify the .config file by hand.
Williingness :
Forums are filled with people who have "tried" Linux and it failed miserably for them. They expect something that will look, feel and smell like Windows! The first step to any Linux migration is an understanding that this is not Windows and the willingness to learn.Site :

I definitely see a lot of Wiki use for people (selected members or people in general) to write individual "chapters" on usage including, as you mentioned, screenshots and side-by-side comparisons.
Getting Started
What IS Linux?
Navigating the desktop (Gnome)
Navigating the desktop (KDE)
Where's My Documents (how file structure is different)
What program to I use to xzy?!
I have a problem, who do I call?
How do I change my desktop?
Introduction to the Command Line
How do I use a Linux Forum?
(such as know who to listen to, how to phrase/word questions, how to avoid a troll, etc.)

Forums will be helpful for quick questions as well as making sure the flame-wars and MS-bashing is kept to a minimum. It can also be a good way to encourage new users to post their experiences which may be incorporated into the Wiki's (either updating an existing one, or an idea for a new one).

Static pages will be a good means for communicating, though I think the meat of the matter lies in the Wiki's.

Posting pictures of user's desktops help give an idea of "what can you do", which may inspire some people to think differently than just moving the taskbar from the bottom to the left, the right or the top as the extent of changing the desktop's look.

Some people are looking at Linux to see what the hype is about. Others come to Linux because they have something they don't like about Windows. Either way, their point of reference is Windows and while MS-bashing is par and course of Linux forums, it is a complete turn-off to somebody to find what they are familiar with is being attacked. The site should be as neutral as possible. Every time you want to point out a shortcoming of Windows (negative) , instead show how Linux does it better (positive). This will alienate fewer readers.

Alright, alright... if I am going to write this much for just a forum posting I might as well offer to help. I don't have much time (3 kids kinda take up a lot of time) and dial-up can be a bit of a pain but I'll help in some way somehow. Please keep me up on what is going on. (Not to mention, I've been looking for a reason to get a new keyboard at home ;) )

Also, what about getting Ubuntu / Canonical to sponsor this (provide location, tools, etc.) as a separate entity with its own goals and management (and domain ;) )?

JerseyShoreComputer
April 25th, 2007, 02:47 PM
Sounds like a massive undertaking!

Iceni
April 25th, 2007, 02:57 PM
Steal some testimonials from here:)

Sounds like a great idea. I'd like to help out, but It'll be from a newbie perspective. I just switched but got a grip on things rather fast.

got_nix
April 25th, 2007, 02:59 PM
Hmm.. i was gonna say just like the other guy.. that i think this site already does that .. but this just presents the info if you wanna. Your talking about giving em reasons as to why ubuntu linux is a better alterantive. though the information is there floating around on the net there is no data repository for em all..

Go for it dude. If i can help.. send me a pm... Will Contribute however I can - yknow my last line is the one of the main reasons i love the open source community so much people are always willing to help.. and i've adopted the same sentiments

Adamant1988
April 25th, 2007, 03:14 PM
Hi there guys,

I had an idea of a website that converts Microsoft Windows users / PC Users to change to using Ubuntu as a alternative OS.

Now, do you know anyone who has done this already, and what do you think of this idea?

I plan to have a forum, website, wiki and possibly more add-ons if requested by users. Also, this will not be a bashing site against windows, it will just highlight all the better features, etc.

Also, if you are really interested, I am accepting voluntery jobs placements, so you can feel good for being part of the website promoting Ubuntu and open source 8)

Thanks,

Stephen

Please quickly comment the reason why you said Yes/No.. thanks!

I feel this is a wasted effort. If you're really excited about helping out with getting the word out, by all means, talk to us at the marketing team. We can always use an extra set of hands. :)

ssodhi
April 25th, 2007, 03:35 PM
I admire your zeal, but you are overstepping the fact that the goal of Ubuntu is not to destroy Microsoft and convert Windows users. Ubuntu is an OS in its own right, and Windows users will slowly come to recognize and work alongside this. Given time, Linux will grow its natural market share. We can artificially accelerate this with marketing and ad campaigns that are run by, no offense to you, guys who really know their PR from a Linux perspective.

Part of what stops Linux from growing onto the standard desktop user is when the community takes one of two extremes. Either people chastise Windows users and shun them for their stupidity, or they are overly passive and thus cold toward new members. Your forum risks turning into the former right off the bat, and if not I could see overly cautious members take the latter stance, out of fear. This is largely irrelevant however, my point remains that evangelizing simply does not work.

Countless fanatical *nix fanboys have kept Linux from ever getting a reputation as a 'friendly' operating system*, and as a community it is still trying to break into the 'normal' market. Ubuntu has no doubt contributed significantly to the recent successes. Now, what did Ubuntu do so damn well? It didn't actively parade itself as a Windows alternative. It didn't go and tell people to come join up. People found Ubuntu. They saw what Ubuntu could do. As it evolved, it became friendlier and it had a community that could sustain migrations of a few Windows users at a time. No doubt a significant number of the conversions were due to the fact that people didn't feel threatened. They were in a forum for Ubuntu, just like anyone else.

Ubuntu didn't hate them for being Windows users. In fact, Ubuntu barely mentions Windows ever. I'm starting to become incoherent, so I will make the rest of this post rather concise.

Users will come, and actively pushing Linux on them is exactly what Ubuntu is not about. That kind of stuff is what kept Linux back for all of those years. Leave it out for now.

* I mean basically OSs based on the Linux kernel, for the record.

Once again, I respect where your heart is but this would do more harm than good.

-Sanjay Sodhi

Dragonbite
April 25th, 2007, 04:08 PM
I admire your zeal, but you are overstepping the fact that the goal of Ubuntu is not to destroy Microsoft and convert Windows users. Ubuntu is an OS in its own right, and Windows users will slowly come to recognize and work alongside this. Given time, Linux will grow its natural market share. We can artificially accelerate this with marketing and ad campaigns that are run by, no offense to you, guys who really know their PR from a Linux perspective.

Part of what stops Linux from growing onto the standard desktop user is when the community takes one of two extremes. Either people chastise Windows users and shun them for their stupidity, or they are overly passive and thus cold toward new members. Your forum risks turning into the former right off the bat, and if not I could see overly cautious members take the latter stance, out of fear. This is largely irrelevant however, my point remains that evangelizing simply does not work.

Countless fanatical *nix fanboys have kept Linux from ever getting a reputation as a 'friendly' operating system*, and as a community it is still trying to break into the 'normal' market. Ubuntu has no doubt contributed significantly to the recent successes. Now, what did Ubuntu do so damn well? It didn't actively parade itself as a Windows alternative. It didn't go and tell people to come join up. People found Ubuntu. They saw what Ubuntu could do. As it evolved, it became friendlier and it had a community that could sustain migrations of a few Windows users at a time. No doubt a significant number of the conversions were due to the fact that people didn't feel threatened. They were in a forum for Ubuntu, just like anyone else.

Ubuntu didn't hate them for being Windows users. In fact, Ubuntu barely mentions Windows ever. I'm starting to become incoherent, so I will make the rest of this post rather concise.

Users will come, and actively pushing Linux on them is exactly what Ubuntu is not about. That kind of stuff is what kept Linux back for all of those years. Leave it out for now.

* I mean basically OSs based on the Linux kernel, for the record.

Once again, I respect where your heart is but this would do more harm than good.

-Sanjay Sodhi
I agree with what you are saying Sanjay, and actually I breezed over this portion because I've read it so much I don't even notice it anymore.
I had an idea of a website that converts Microsoft Windows users / PC Users to change to using Ubuntu as a alternative OS.

Instead I focused more on the idea of
I mean, a full Windows guide, a website showing screenshots comparing Windows to Ubuntu, explaining all. I know these forums are the way to go for your questions / answers, but its not specifically windows users switching, which is the main point in my website.A single informational website from a Windows-user's point of view was the idea I was grabbing onto (for my bloated previous posting) so long as it is presented in a positive manner and not saying anything negative about Microsoft. I realize now this is a deviation from the original post.

If the Marketing Team has something up already I'd love to hear about it. I looked briefly through the Wiki and couldn't make a quick determination of where to go and as a "Windows user trying out Linux to see what is all of the fuss" it would be even less intuitive (IM(very)HO).

Thanks.

ssodhi
April 25th, 2007, 04:21 PM
I agree with what you are saying Sanjay, and actually I breezed over this portion because I've read it so much I don't even notice it anymore.

Instead I focused more on the idea of A single informational website from a Windows-user's point of view was the idea I was grabbing onto (for my bloated previous posting) so long as it is presented in a positive manner and not saying anything negative about Microsoft. I realize now this is a deviation from the original post.

If the Marketing Team has something up already I'd love to hear about it. I looked briefly through the Wiki and couldn't make a quick determination of where to go and as a "Windows user trying out Linux to see what is all of the fuss" it would be even less intuitive (IM(very)HO).

Thanks.

Well, there's no harm in evolving the idea. The problem is that you essentially have to describe Linux from the core outward, in very simple terms and that is where the challenge lies. Experienced folk tend to end up ranting on with the longest meaningful technical terms that they can find, and this would be counterproductive. The idea of an informational rather than a "HOWTO" site would certainly be something to think about. They don't tell you how to drive when they're selling you the car, after all. I'm sure you've seen some of the new "Ubuntu Beryl vs Windows Vista Aero" YouTube videos. They're getting rather stagnant already, and are not what one would want this site to end up being representative of.

I think I'd support your concept of an informational site, if the need be. Would the focus lie on Linux in general? On Open Source Software? On Ubuntu? Focus is really the key here, 95% of people get it wrong.

- Sanjay Sodhi

migla
April 25th, 2007, 04:24 PM
Sounds like a useful website, but it also sounds like it's very much work, which will be in vain, unless the site becomes hugely popular.

Maybe you should start off with some part of it... maybe writing a blog where you dig out interesting links relating to migrating, collect user cases, tips, howtos and news...

stemount
April 25th, 2007, 05:03 PM
Thanks for all the comments.

Hopefully other people comment on this, i really appreciate your interest...

Also, people who offered to help out, I will be in touch via Private message

ssodhi
April 25th, 2007, 05:09 PM
I'm not going to try and stop you, I've stated my opinion.

Might I request that you do summarize the contents of the PM for the General Public, at the least for prudency's sake.

-Sanjay Sodhi

Dragonbite
April 25th, 2007, 05:21 PM
Would the focus lie on Linux in general? On Open Source Software? On Ubuntu? Focus is really the key here, 95% of people get it wrong.Agreed, a good focus is key to any success here, and you bring up a good point about that. Chances are this would cross over the other subjects as a matter of their relations
Ubuntu is part of Linux which is part of Open Source
or for the more visually inclined

Open Source
. . .|
. . .+ Linux
. . .|. . .|
. . .|. . .+ Ubuntu
. . .|. . .|. . .|
. . .|. . .|. . .+ Kubuntu
. . .|. . .|. . .|
. . .|. . .|. . .+ Xubuntu
. . .|. . .|. . .|
. . .|. . .|. . .+ ....
. . .|. . .|
. . .|. . .+ Red Hat
. . .|. . .|
. . .|. . .+ ...
. . .|
. . .+ OpenOffice.org
. . .|
. . .+ ...


Sounds like a useful website, but it also sounds like it's very much work, which will be in vain, unless the site becomes hugely popular.To some degree, if anybody benefits then it should be worth it. If you are able to manage the project and manage the participation (minimize individual workload, maximize individual's output) then that would help a lot. That's where having a clear focus is essential, so everybody is pulling in the same direction (forward) and not 360 degrees (nowhere)!

Of course all of this is way easier said than done!

ssodhi
April 25th, 2007, 05:48 PM
I see what you're saying here.

To try and cover Linux is hard. You would be forced to go back to the *nix days, and would likely bog the user down in useless trivia, and then the user would face a barrage of a thousand different choices, largely technical, to make, without being informed enough to make any.. How about a conceptual division, as opposed to one oriented around specific implementations, and focusing largely on Ubuntu? When the audience is taken into account, the chances of anyone sticking around to read Linux Lore are slim to none.

How about something like:
Operating System
....Word Processing
........Abiword
........OOo
...........
....Gaming
........Steam under Wine
...........
....Servers
........Apache 2.x
........MySQL
........NFS
...........
....Graphics
........Blender3D
........GIMP
...........
....Sound & Video
........AmaroK
........XMMS
........Cinelerra
...........

My diagram isn't half as pretty, but you see the point. Play to the audience, they want to see what they're going to get, they don't care why just yet.

-Sanjay Sodhi

stemount
April 25th, 2007, 11:48 PM
Sanjay, This guide will not be mainly all about Linux commands, I will stick the guides to as much GUI as possible, this is to make windows users switch, not have to learn 1,000,000 commands to setup. I mean, mostly everything is in GUI form, so...

Apache, MySQL and NFS, will be on the site, but its not really something a normal user would have on their computer.

Steam under Wine... etc, gets a bit too complicated.

Word processing, obviously a must.

ssodhi
April 25th, 2007, 11:56 PM
I maintain that you have an inherent flaw in the foundation of the site that must be addressed, or you will be doing more harm than good. Perhaps a few members would be interested in writing a different guide, along less hostile lines.

-Sanjay Sodhi