[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [school-discuss] what pieces of software would you demo to K-12 teachers ?

Picking up an old thread and correcting top-posting....

on Thu, Feb 19, 2004 at 08:50:15AM -0600, Larry Herbison (lfh@frbhg.net) wrote:
> On Feb 18, 2004, at 9:19 AM, Tim Mansfield wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > If you had just a brief time in which to demo open source software to
> > a bunch of K-12 teachers...

> > ... what pieces of software would you demo?  (Again, just briefly, so
> > they get the gist of what it does & how they'd really benefit.)

> Has anyone taken a look at XPde (http://www.xpde.com) with respect to 
> luring reluctant Windows users? It is a sure-fire bone of contention 
> between Linux purists and those who want to ease the discomfort of the 
> uninitiated, but this thread brings it to mind because its aim is to 
> make Linux as familiar as possible to Windows users and still offer the 
> main benefits of using Linux. 

I've used it.  I've got a screenshot of it in my collection of desktop
shots, just to demonstrate "this is what GNU/Linux (can) look like".

That said, would I pitch it as a migration tool?


Here's why:

  - It's still very beta.  Some stuff works.  A lot of stuff doesn't.
    It gets twitchy in odd ways (window movement in particular).  You're
    welcome to try it, but it's still more a gimmick than a serious

  - Development progress has been slow.  Last I checked a couple months
    ago, no movement since summer 2003.  The project may not have legs.

  - More importantly:  familiar-but-not-identical is _worse_ than
    similar-but-different.  By way of analogy, in college, I spent
    several years in a duplex, which was twinned on the other side by
    its mirror image.  Every time I went next door, things were
    just...off.  XPde is like this.  The emulation is thin.  There is
    some stuff that's pretty well done (the task manager / system
    monitor in particular).  There's other stuff -- the Start bar, which
    _doens't_ behave the same as the legacy MS Windows equivalent.
    Specifics escape me presently, but IIRC you can't move the bar, and
    adding/manipulating icons is different.  There's some window
    management inconsistencies as well.  And deep stuff such as the
    Control Panel are either not there or nonfunctional.

The GNOME project has recently realized that aping legacy MS Windows is
counterproductive for the cognitive dissonance created.  People expect
to find things or behaviors, and get frustrated when they don't.

Better to provide an environment which provides similar cues, but is
clearly _not_ that which it is replacing.  GNOME, KDE, XFCE4, and
WindowMaker are all accessible but distinctive desktops.

> It is an X11 desktop environment that emulates the look-and-feel of
> Windows, but there is no effort (in the XPde project) to make Windows
> apps run on Linux.

That's a separate problem.  See WINE.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    Bush/Cheney '04: The last vote you'll ever have to cast.

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature