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View Full Version : Have new OS features started to be more hurt then help?



pizzach
December 29th, 2005, 03:47 AM
I have been using computers for a while. I usually enjoy upgrading to a new OS (Mac Win or Linux.) But I have found in the last 3-4 years that the upgrades are starting to step on my feet more and more with features made for "new" users. Has anyone else felt this too? A lot of times some programs become two simplistic and have their usefulness hurt, or things become so automatic that they are annoying and obtrusive. Meh. Another good example is the infamous "backspace goes back" in a web browser. If you know and used other keyboard combinations it just becomes a pain because fo the accidental going back when typing.

AllenGG
December 29th, 2005, 04:04 AM
Another good example is the infamous "backspace goes back" in a web browser. If you know and used other keyboard combinations it just becomes a pain because fo the accidental going back when typing.
Hey pizzach, nice going, never noticed that before, but must have accidentally used it !!
And you're right, some things get oversimplified. So occasionally I use "apt-get" on Ubuntu, but it's way to easy to use the little red sign !
Allen

Deaf_Head
December 29th, 2005, 07:00 AM
YES!

There are companies who beleive that they can raise the level of abstraction for users one more level and make them so dependant of their software that they can't go anywhere else. Microsoft did this successfully, and remember when people thought AOL was the internet?

As far as heavily simplistic programs .. I think those are tailored specifically for teh programmers needs and style of application use .. which is good if you use your computer like teh developer .. heh

darth_vector
December 29th, 2005, 07:12 AM
im sure there are some old school, hardcore powerusers that reckon that an operating system that sets up hardware interupts for you by default is too oversimplified! i tend to agree with you, but i think it depends a lot on your level of computer expertise. most software vendors write software to cater for the lowest common denominator.

prizrak
December 29th, 2005, 08:24 AM
Simplistic software != featurefull (is it even a word?) software. Emacs has more features than some OS's you would be hard pressed to call it easy and simplistic ;) I think features are good as long as there is control over them. Ease of use is also a good thing as long as there is control over that as well. In this light Ubuntu would have to be the perfect example, you can never touch the CLI and use everything that is provided by default (and what you are missing can be done with Automatix) or you can run a server install, grab Fluxbox and edit the configs till you are happy :)

towsonu2003
December 29th, 2005, 08:26 AM
just throwing in an 'expert mode' should be enough... you click on it and, well, welcome to Slackware ;)

PS. I'm serious about the expert mode. every program has to have one (at least those like epiphany)...

futz
December 29th, 2005, 08:39 AM
I don't mind the noob features and hand holding as long as I have a way to turn it off and get it out of the way.

poofyhairguy
December 29th, 2005, 09:55 AM
I have been using computers for a while. I usually enjoy upgrading to a new OS (Mac Win or Linux.) But I have found in the last 3-4 years that the upgrades are starting to step on my feet more and more with features made for "new" users. Has anyone else felt this too? A lot of times some programs become two simplistic and have their usefulness hurt, or things become so automatic that they are annoying and obtrusive.

Thanks for putting into word why I HATE the program called iTunes. "Want to manage the music on your iPod?" Sure, as long as you bought it all from the iTunes store or ripped it from CDs in iTunes its simple. But add some songs at your friends house of his experimental new band one day an iTunes will make you regret it next time you sync up....



Meh. Another good example is the infamous "backspace goes back" in a web browser. If you know and used other keyboard combinations it just becomes a pain because fo the accidental going back when typing.

Yeah. Thank goodness that Firefox holds onto the content of what you were typing!

egon spengler
December 29th, 2005, 04:51 PM
The thing is though I have encountered very few "newbies" who use key bindings with their browser and so I would wonder how much of "dumbing down, newbie friendly" feature that really is.

I swear some people just love to complain and blame everything they don't like on an OS being dumbed down for newbies.


Hey pizzach, nice going, never noticed that before, but must have accidentally used it !!
And you're right, some things get oversimplified. So occasionally I use "apt-get" on Ubuntu, but it's way to easy to use the little red sign !
Allen

It's not cheating, you are allowed to use the update notifier. Using apt-get doesn't make you more worthy or anything

jc87
December 29th, 2005, 06:29 PM
It dependents on the type of features.

The reason why i use Ubuntu is because i love some of its features , apt-get is the ultimate-software-doom-installing-tool , and other things like having very powerful Desktop manager as Gnome , being able to configure how the OS should react to media being inserted (automatically reproduce a DVD , just mount it , show me a list of burning options , etc...) and much more .

In wintendo what happens is that most features are useless crap , im always being annoyed by them , they are always threatening me like i was a moron who never used a computer (and i cant change most of its configurations) , etc... and i just want to use a computer , not be nagged to death by it.

DevilsAdvocate
December 29th, 2005, 06:45 PM
Maybe it's dumber, I don't know. But what I do know is that I can do a heck of a lot more w/ my computer/OS today than I could 5 years ago. Maybe I could have done some of these things 5 years ago, but I didn't have the knowledge or time to figure it out. I do like the option of being able to configure things if you want to though.

BTW, I constantly hear the complaint the Windows is not as configureable as Linux. For some reason this struck me today whereas in the past it seemed obvious. What exactly can't you configure in Windows that you can in Linux? I mean, if you "googled and searched forums," what couldn't you figure out how to do?

prizrak
December 29th, 2005, 09:03 PM
Maybe it's dumber, I don't know. But what I do know is that I can do a heck of a lot more w/ my computer/OS today than I could 5 years ago. Maybe I could have done some of these things 5 years ago, but I didn't have the knowledge or time to figure it out. I do like the option of being able to configure things if you want to though.

BTW, I constantly hear the complaint the Windows is not as configureable as Linux. For some reason this struck me today whereas in the past it seemed obvious. What exactly can't you configure in Windows that you can in Linux? I mean, if you "googled and searched forums," what couldn't you figure out how to do?
Simple and obvious things off the top of my head. Themes, in Windows you need to either get a paid program or hack some dll file. WM behavior, such as focus follows mouse, one click vs double click, keep newly created windows out of focus, window shading, moving buttons around. Oh and yeah the ability to change the damn WM and DE instead of being stuck with one :)

egon spengler
December 29th, 2005, 09:51 PM
Simple and obvious things off the top of my head. Themes, in Windows you need to either get a paid program or hack some dll file. WM behavior, such as focus follows mouse, one click vs double click, keep newly created windows out of focus, window shading, moving buttons around. Oh and yeah the ability to change the damn WM and DE instead of being stuck with one :)

Nope. There are FOSS alternative shells on windows such as litestep (http://www.litestep.net/) and bblean (http://bb4win.sourceforge.net/bblean/) that can do everything on that list (actually off the top of the head I can't quite recall if litestep has inbuilt window shading, I think it might not) and need but a double click to install, no hacking files.

And those are just the ones that I am familar with , there is still xoblite, aston and others (I think aston might not be FOSS)

Litestep is capable of FAR more versatility than either gnome or kde and good litestep themes are much (http://www.customize.org/view/43277) nicer (http://www.customize.org/view/43448)

l0c0dantes
December 29th, 2005, 10:21 PM
oooh... Litestep... I used to love that soo bad, untill I found the perfect theme, and found out it had giant memory leaks in it :(

prizrak
December 29th, 2005, 11:00 PM
Nope. There are FOSS alternative shells on windows such as litestep (http://www.litestep.net/) and bblean (http://bb4win.sourceforge.net/bblean/) that can do everything on that list (actually off the top of the head I can't quite recall if litestep has inbuilt window shading, I think it might not) and need but a double click to install, no hacking files.

And those are just the ones that I am familar with , there is still xoblite, aston and others (I think aston might not be FOSS)

Litestep is capable of FAR more versatility than either gnome or kde and good litestep themes are much (http://www.customize.org/view/43277) nicer (http://www.customize.org/view/43448)
Sure if your replace the shell you can do things.... Litestep sux btw it might be more capable then Gnome or KDE but good luck getting it there. In my experience Litestep is actually slower than explorer. My original point still stands unless you hack (which litestep pretty much is) Windows is not customizeable.

egon spengler
December 30th, 2005, 12:26 AM
My original point still stands unless you hack (which litestep pretty much is) Windows is not customizeable.

Litestep is a part of windows as much as gnome/kde is a part of linux. In fact if you want to make the argument that without extra apps windows desktop appearance cannot be modified (and therefore windows is inferior) then where does that leave gnu/linux which without extra apps has no desktop at all?

DevilsAdvocate
December 30th, 2005, 12:39 AM
My original point still stands unless you hack (which litestep pretty much is) Windows is not customizeable.

But, that's MY point. If you can hack Linux, why can't you hack Windows? I guess what I object to is the insinuation that Windows is un-customizable. After thinking about it, I would say that Linux is, for obvious reasons, more inviting to hack, not more "hackable."

erikpiper
December 30th, 2005, 01:06 AM
Windows hacks are much more "hacks" than "addons" though.

egon spengler
December 30th, 2005, 01:29 AM
Well I am no expert on the inner functionallity of OSes but I do know that in Windows to use a replacement shell one line in the registry must be changed, to alternate between logging in to openbox and fvwm I alter one line in my .xinitrc file. It doesn't appear to be a tremendous difference to me and although the registry IS harder to edit than a plain text file windows replacement shells use scripts to modify it for you so in practice is is easier to implement.

The funny thing is though that the original gist of this thread was "making things easier is newbie friendly and thus bad", suddenly though when it comes to knocking Windows the goalposts move and out of the blue being "difficult" to configure is no longer a benefit

prizrak
December 30th, 2005, 01:29 AM
But, that's MY point. If you can hack Linux, why can't you hack Windows? I guess what I object to is the insinuation that Windows is un-customizable. After thinking about it, I would say that Linux is, for obvious reasons, more inviting to hack, not more "hackable."

Litestep is a part of windows as much as gnome/kde is a part of linux. In fact if you want to make the argument that without extra apps windows desktop appearance cannot be modified (and therefore windows is inferior) then where does that leave gnu/linux which without extra apps has no desktop at all?
This is the best way to put it

erikpiper
Windows hacks are much more "hacks" than "addons" though.
The thing about Linux is it was meant to be modular from the get go, while Windows was not. Litestep is a hack in the sense that you alter default system behavior (restarting Explorer if it turns off) in order to get the functionality.
Just to note I don't say that Windows cannot be customized, all I'm saying is that customizing it is more along the lines of modding (like you would with an xbox or PS to play burned CDs) than default behavior. In Linux customization is built in and provided for by the design.

DevilsAdvocate
December 30th, 2005, 01:36 AM
This is the best way to put it

The thing about Linux is it was meant to be modular from the get go, while Windows was not. Litestep is a hack in the sense that you alter default system behavior (restarting Explorer if it turns off) in order to get the functionality.
Just to note I don't say that Windows cannot be customized, all I'm saying is that customizing it is more along the lines of modding (like you would with an xbox or PS to play burned CDs) than default behavior. In Linux customization is built in and provided for by the design.

Your comments may very well be true. Talking about the inner workings of OS vs OS is territory I cannot comment on intelligently.

egon spengler
December 30th, 2005, 01:47 PM
Firstly I am not too sure whether using bblean or litestep constitutes a hack, the registry value that is altered is something along the lines of "default shell" (I can't recall it exactly), is it really "hacking" to change a setting? To me that appears no different than choosing your DE from gdm.

Regardless, whether theming xp requires hacks or not is besides the point, the fact still remains that you CAN modify the appearance and fucntionality of xp as easily as you can with linux. Whether the solution is idealogically pure is irrelevant, all that matters is that it can be done and is extremely easy to do.

Xp was reverse engineered to allow theme support for explorer file manager by hacking the uxtheme.dll that much is definitely true, so all of a sudden reverse engineering is a bad thing? With no reverse engineering there would be little to no hardware support for linux.

I am a believer in credit where credit is due, I see no reason to lie about windows to try and score a few points for linux.

prizrak
December 30th, 2005, 09:15 PM
Firstly I am not too sure whether using bblean or litestep constitutes a hack, the registry value that is altered is something along the lines of "default shell" (I can't recall it exactly), is it really "hacking" to change a setting? To me that appears no different than choosing your DE from gdm.

Regardless, whether theming xp requires hacks or not is besides the point, the fact still remains that you CAN modify the appearance and fucntionality of xp as easily as you can with linux. Whether the solution is idealogically pure is irrelevant, all that matters is that it can be done and is extremely easy to do.

Xp was reverse engineered to allow theme support for explorer file manager by hacking the uxtheme.dll that much is definitely true, so all of a sudden reverse engineering is a bad thing? With no reverse engineering there would be little to no hardware support for linux.

I am a believer in credit where credit is due, I see no reason to lie about windows to try and score a few points for linux.
I think you missed my point in this case. I didn't say that Windows can't be customized, it can. I was simply stating that the customization wasn't built into it, and that it is not very easy to customize it as opposed to Linux. I will agree with you that it is possible to customize and reverse engineering is a good thing :)

xequence
December 30th, 2005, 09:45 PM
To me its like this: Windows doesent give you any control whatsoever over your OS, and just assumes alot of things. Linux gives you more control, but not enough to make it hard, though if you want to you can make it hard and get all the control in the world. In ____BSD you have total control but its hard. Really hard.