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Re: SEUL: Re: Comments

Star's End wrote:
> >
> > 1) We need more end-user applications.
> I keep hearing this on all the mailing lists I follow.
> What Apps do people want?
> This is my list, feel free to add anything else:

Great list.
> > 8) We need a "my computer" equivalent.  FVWM95 looks like Win95 but it
> > sure doesn't act like it.  A good file manager is a first step toward the
> > "no command line" motif (no pun intended).
> >
> I think you mean window manager not file manager.

Hmm, sounds more like a file manager to me.  It seems
people like to put random files directly on their 
root window ("desktop") like in '95 to more closely
match the physical world.  There are probably many people
who prefer file managers such as the Qt-based "explorer"
over programs like Tk...(what's the name of the famous fm again ?)
For these people the situation seems to be improving, not
only withing the Qt-based KDE environment.

> > 9) We need a tech support structure.  Just like Microsoft has and Red Hat
> > is trying to provide.
> I had to talk to tech support at Microsoft once. It was also the last time
> I talked to Microsoft tech support.

'You have problems with '95 ?  Just re-install the system' 
(That sort of "support") ;)

> Linux tech support is better than you can get at any company, but it isn't
> immediate. There is no one you can blame if your boss asks what is being done,
> and you may never get the answer. Its called the linux newsgroups.

My distribution even offered me a 60 days hot-line after
purchase included in the price of the CD.

> > 10 through 185) For (far) down the road, we should try and build a better
> > Windows emulator.
> I disagree. What we really need is people working on linux native apps.

I agree.  It would be great if people could eventually run
most of their legacy apps under WINE, though.
A Mac emulator would be a good thing, too :O)

> > > Throwing people (indiscriminately or not) into such editors as vi or emacs is
> > > the surest possible way to scare people back to the known, "intuitive"
> >
> > The worst part is that there are already plenty of freely available
> > x-windows and text-mode editors that are perfectly 'intuitive', at least
> > as much as the Windows are.
> Intutitve is a strange word. For a person like me who has been doing everything
> in vi for ten years, the windows notepad is not intutive.

Hmm, "intuitive" programs are based on the priciple
that if you know how to use the system in general (moving windows,
operation the mouse, using menu shortcuts, etc. in the case of
most modern GUIs) and you know your subject field, you
should be able to start working with an app immediately without
consulting the manual, and all features should be found
by a majority of new users which fulfil the requirements above
at first try.  This concept is somewhat questionable, it has
not been applied to many large application successfully on any
system (including Macintosh) and it has quite some cons.
(E.g. it's very hard to support new users and experienced
"power" users in the same application, usually)

> You need to use a
> mouse, and the hot keys are all wrong. I mean who thinks of <alt>fx to
> quit a program. Its always been :q! to me.

Well, I have lots of respect of vi users.  I've once
seen one in real life and I must admit that I've never
seen anybody shoveling around and typing in new code
before.  I was truly amazed.  But even though vi seems
to be prepared for top-speed and there isn't likely
to be anything better in this respect, I don't think calling
it "intuitive" is very appropriate.

If a majority of all apps could be used like vi, then
maybe, even though it would even then have a pretty hard
learning curve for an intuitive app (at least when learning the
vi principles which are fundamentally more advanced and harder
to remember then "point and click" for the first time ;)

> I think the real question being asked is what can be changed to make people
> who normally use windows more comfortable on linux.
> The answer has been given many times before. Make a distribution that is
> easy to install, complete, and preconfigured. That's all that windows is.

Yes, a bad point is that installing Linux usually means
installing a 2nd system while installing '95 often means
installing the only system on a computer.  This makes
things significantly more complicated.

And I don't want my mother to try installing the '95 OEM
Cd, as she most certainly wouldn't know how to fix the
batch files and add a "CD-ROM driver" :O)

Of all the systems I tried to install, only three worked
as described in the manual or magazine article
on first try: MacOS(1992), Slackware Linux(1994), and MS DOS
(back in the eighties) :O)  OS/2 was a nightmare (gave up on it -
lousy hardware support those days) and you have to know
DOS in order to install '95 on a _random_ intel box IMHO.

> Anyone who has had to fix anything that goes wrong on windows
> know exactly how hard and how cryptic everything is.

I still wonder how they manage to produce totally _random_
bugs.  And how they make them dissapear after a while :)
I get about 1-5 bugs a day (plus Netscape bugs) and
they don't seem to follow any common pattern :(
(E.g. I have to toggle the jumper of my CD-ROM drive
about every two months so '95 sees it.  Unfortunately
Linux CD access only works if the jumper setting is correct,
so I have periods without CD access under Linux ;)
About twice a month "Flying Windows" crashes, back in
Summer '97 I had a three month period when '95 complained
that it couldn't find the requested language - I had never
changed _anything_.  Fortunately these bugs all dissapear as fast
as the appear :O)  The registry is corrupted from time to
time, etc. ...

To put our competition in a more accurate light:
it is indeed necessary to re-install '95 every once
in a while on some hardware configurations (especially
if you don't have _at_least_ 32 MB of RAM, and at least for
old 68K Macs the same is true.

I have to do this for Linux, too, now, but I'm sure a UNIX
guru wouldn't even need to do that :)