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Re: SEUL: Response to Roger's survey

In message <199806050226.VAA21011@solve.net>, jholt@solve.net writes:
>The first item you must include in the survey on "what end users want in an
>OS" is what OS systems they currently use.  Especially  their experience
>with Linux.  

Yes, that is correct. That is part of the third question I list on

I'm not sure I'd say "especially their experience with linux" -- certainly
I am interested in figuring out the level of experience with linux that a
surveyee has, so I can know how to weight his opinions and views. But I'd
like to think that a Windows diehard could tell us just as much about what
he wants in an operating environment as a Linux diehard. And both points
would give us very valuable information, if we ask the right questions.

>I see two things that already indicate what end users want.  
>1.  The Linux OS is written by the Linux user's.  So I would think that
>Linux is already what the Linux user's want.  

This is false -- a growing proportion of Linux users out there are people
who did not write the OS. If we are satisfied with the current number of
users (and thus developers, and thus vendors), then yes, you're correct.
But this project, and many other similar projects, exist to allow those
numbers to expand. And even if we don't want any more users (and even if
all the current users are clueful programmers), it still isn't perfect.

>2.  A very large organization spends very large amounts of money in
>determining what end user's want, including testing with user's with all
>levels of expertise.  The result is Microsoft Windows.

I think Microsoft messed up. I think they bloated their software, they
failed to communicate with both their users and their department that
surveyed those users -- they failed to come up with an acceptable

>So, do we survey Linux user's or the rest of the world?  The world has
>voted, with their pocket book.

Woah. Many of the Windows users out there use it not because it is the
best operating system out there. They use it for a myriad of reasons:

* It's easier to find information on the Windows environment ("foo for

* Better commercial and vendor support -- there are (currently) many
  more Windows-based companies out there than there are Linux-based
  companies, and in the corporate market that shows.
* Their friends use it. Their companies use it. It has a lot of momentum.

I don't see any of these as "Windows is superior in every way to Linux,
so let's give up" or even "Why are you trying to work on user friendliness
if Windows has already done it?"

Take a look at our WhyLinux document (www.seul.org/docs/whylinux.html)
if you want a further analysis of this matter.

>Joe Holt