Is Linux nearing XP usability?


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mr_demilord
I've been stewing over this thread for a while now, and I think I'll reply this time.

Mr_demilord, I think it's been established that, when people refer to "Linux", especially in this thread, they mean the operating system. Yes, if you want to be pedantic, it is the kernel. But let's be realistic here. If you were talking about the kernel, then half of your post is redundant. That said, it does imply that Linux is so customisable that it is quite difficult to compare it to Windows, given that there is no one "standard" Linux system. You can have a basic system set up with no GUI, or with XFree86, or with X.org, and you could run KDE, Gnome, *box, enlightenment, or a number of other window managers/desktop environments. More than one on a system and, indeed, even multiple instances of them at the same time.

So, it all comes down to this: how do you measure usability? Is it merely where buttons and other widgets are located, or how easy it is to read the text in a window? Or is it how easy it is to get the system to perform some complex task? How easy it is to manipulate it?

Linux can be inconsistent at times, but it is usually nothing that ten minutes to half an hour (or a different program) can't teach you. That said, Linux can also be very consistent. It all depends on your choices, and how you want your system to be. In my experience, Windows usually does relatively well in the UI consistency department, but things can be quite cryptic and hard to find (and there are a few common programs that decide to go off on a complete UI tangent).

But for me, the command line is one of my most loved possessions. If I had to use a GUI for everything, how many clicks would it take before I could get a program to list all of the directories in a given directory which comtain over 5 MB, but whose name doesn't have "gcc" in it?

But usability is an extremely subjective thing. For a novice, the usability of a system might be simply being able to launch the web browser before lunch hour's up without worrying about whether clicking the blue thing will delete the harddrive. For someone a little more advanced, it might be all that and being able to find and modify certain settings. For someone like me, it means being able to make my system do what I want, when I want, with as much risk as I am willing to take at any time.

In that respect, Windows, in its current state, will never, ever be as usable to me as Linux is. In Windows, what can I do? I can install programs, I can use said programs, I can change a few settings, and I can reboot the computer. In Linux, I can do anything I want to the system. There is nothing stopping me from experimenting with, and learning about, the computer and what makes it run (and subsequently screwing it up beyond all repair), and that's exactly the way I like it. Windows just isn't at all usable in that kind of way. Every time I boot into Windows and try to get something done, it feels like I'm hiking up a mountain with a ball and chain hooked onto my foot while making friends with a boa constrictor.

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I totally agree with you, I've nothing more to say :yes:

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MiG-

hang about, but there is one major flaw that is always gonna stop most entusiasts from using any form of linux.

Most enthusiasts like games, or photoshop, movie editing or whatever.

I have never seen linux running any form of adobe photoshop, adobe premier, or even macromedia flash.

There is alternatives i know, but they are **** in comparison. they cost yes, but what you get for your money is a fully comprehensive program that there is millions of tutorials how to create professional pieces of work in under a minute.

Ive used linux, it may be fine for creating say a word document, checking email or watever.

but then again, open office is a pile of crap, and then i have to learn to use a new program because linux doesnt support microsoft office.

In terms of UI, linux is far more advanced than windows xp, it just looks better. But then again KDE is updated a lot, whereas windows XP is becoming to age, and when longhorn is available then i think linux with neither have that advantage.

Drivers are another enemy for linux. Windows allows you to download a driver that instantly works, and it works fine. Linux needs emulation software to let me use logitech's set-point software for my ?50 MX1000.

I have been using computers since a very early age, using dos, windows 3.1, 95, 98, ME and now XP.

ive tried various linux distros, and just cant see where the useability is for a enthusiast.

Servers work well on linux, im not saying linux doesnt have some advantages, but this thread is aimed at the consumer market, and even though linux is fully customisable, i found that it loaded a lot slower than windows, and that drivers are hard to find.

Another point is, what happens when i want to play cs:s, i have to subscribe to a program that allows me to do so. Windows is a much better gaming platform.

I see the use of a computer summarised below:

Apple Mac = Hardcore graphic designers, movie editing, basically digital editing.

Windows = Gaming, and basically everything.

Linux= cheap, but i would say just internet browsing and err. word processing.

You will not get the consumer to switch until u have programs that are advanced as microsoft office, adobe products, and also macromedia.

dont give me bull**** about linux being virus free, its entirely possible to write a virus for anything...

at the end of the day, the consumer will miss programs such as msn messenger, as even tho there are alternatives, it will never be the same as msn messenger..

I think Linux could become something good, but it cant get me to switch because of the lack of things i can actually do in it.

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ichi
hang about, but there is one major flaw that is always gonna stop most entusiasts from using any form of linux.

Most enthusiasts like games, or photoshop, movie editing or whatever.

I have never seen linux running any form of adobe photoshop, adobe premier, or even macromedia flash.

There is alternatives i know, but they are **** in comparison. they cost yes, but what you get for your money is a fully comprehensive program that there is millions of tutorials how to create professional pieces of work in under a minute.

Movie editing isn't just about premiere. Try Mainactor and Shake. I don't think you can honestly say that alternatives such as Shake are ****.

but then again, open office is a pile of crap, and then i have to learn to use a new program because linux doesnt support microsoft office.

Actually is the other way around, it MS Office who doesn't support linux. If you really need MS Office you can still run it on linux with CrossOffice.

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markjensen

I think that Microsoft and MiG:uK are a perfect match. :yes:

Anyone who requires genuine Microsoft MSN Messenger because Kopete, aMsn, Gaim and so forth just "suck".... well... Their preference in apps will force them to their OS.

EDIT:

plus, if someone has shelled out say ?400 for premire, and they are pro with it, i doubt they will find "shake" any where near as good as premier pro or pinnacle liquid.

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:blink::

Say what?!?!

http://www.adobe.com/products/premiere/main.html

http://www.apple.com/shake/

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MiG-

see, but again you have to use emulation...

plus, if someone has shelled out say ?400 for premire, and they are pro with it, i doubt they will find "shake" any where near as good as premier pro or pinnacle liquid.

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TruckWEB
Well, I believe Windows has the basic flaws that make it more of a target for hackers and malware dispensers. Look at all of the patches and security fixes for Windows. I just took a random polling of folks here. No one has posted that they got a virus or spyware on Linux.......

Barney

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Simply because it's not fun enough to write virus or spyware/malware for an OS with so little userbase. When you want to get to someone, better write something that will target as many as possible and that is Windows. If Linux where to become big with a very large userbase, you would begin to see virus and other bad things written for it.

Linux is NOT the only OS with no virus or spy/malware. Apple OS X is in the same league. Okay, it's not free, but it's still a good alternative. And you can use all the professional (commercial) software you need on OS X. Try that with Linux...

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MiG-

no, i dont require it, but think how many people actually do.

They like the curved interface, and all of the cartoony stuff.

u cant even have display pics, or most things on linux msn.

I DONT need these things, but how are you goin to convice the consumer that ****ty open office and gimp are better than microsoft office and photoshop.

You also forget that people are brought up on windows from an early age now, ppl and when ppl are windows experts when they are 20 they arent going 2 turn around and say : "well i can use office perfectly, i must now make a inferior product on linux."

hmmm.. the useabilty is not there for the consumer, and you seem to forget that.

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MiG-
Linux is NOT the only OS with no virus or spy/malware. Apple OS X is in the same league. Okay, it's not free, but it's still a good alternative. And you can use all the professional (commercial) software you need on OS X. Try that with Linux...

SUck on that mr 1337 linux user. lol

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MrCobra

I voted for XP on this one. I use both and I like both. For most people that have been in to computers before they were a house hold item, *nix is something for them to use, play with, tinker and whatnot. *nix is a damn fine system but IMO it does have a ways to go. It's getting there and been getting better as the years go by.

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markjensen
no, i dont require it, but think how many people actually do.

They like the curved interface, and all of the cartoony stuff.

u cant even have display pics, or most things on linux msn.

I DONT need these things, but how are you goin to convice the consumer that ****ty open office and gimp are better than microsoft office and photoshop.

You also forget that people are brought up on windows from an early age now, ppl and when ppl are windows experts when they are 20 they arent going 2 turn around and say : "well i can use office perfectly, i must now make a inferior product on linux."

hmmm.. the useabilty is not there for the consumer, and you seem to forget that.

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Are you talking "buddy icons"? Yeah, they are there. I see them on GAIM, anyhow.

As far as calling open office and gimp ****ty, I have no idea what point you are trying to make, other than leaving flame-bait in hopes that somone comes back at you in all-caps and starts flaming.

Please either discuss things in a reasonable fashion, or leave the thread. It is a shame it comes to this, but there it is.

SUck on that mr 1337 linux user. lol

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A good example of why your 'flame-bait' style is not welcome here. :no:
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Barney T.
SUck on that mr 1337 linux user. lol

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Terribly immature :no:

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glassofwater
so what do u actually do in linux ? give me examples...

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Absolutely everything I do in XP. Code, listen to music, watch videos, chat on MSN, browse the web, digital photography...

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MiG-

so what do u actually do in linux ? give me examples...

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CaKeY
ps8il.th.jpg Edited by CaKeY
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markjensen
so what do u actually do in linux ? give me examples...

586252442[/snapback]

All my everyday computing is in Linux. Email, web, family photos (and video archiving through firewire), some amateur web site building for my personal site. Office when people send me Word or Excel documents as attachments, or an occasional announcement for my kids' Cub Scouts or other events. I'm not much of a gamer, but I did buy UT2k4 because the demo was fun to play. Some chat in Yahoo/AOL/MSN/etc.

Normal stuff.

EDIT: CaKeY! :blink: Your image! Please provide a thumbnail, or other smaller image...

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David Scaife
Simply because it's not fun enough to write virus or spyware/malware for an OS with so little userbase.  When you want to get to someone, better write something that will target as many as possible and that is Windows.  If Linux where to become big with a very large userbase, you would begin to see virus and other bad things written for it.

Linux is NOT the only OS with no virus or spy/malware.  Apple OS X is in the same league.  Okay, it's not free, but it's still a good alternative.  And you can use all the professional (commercial) software you need on OS X.  Try that with Linux...

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The argument that there are no viruses for Linux because of it's relatively limited number of users is a load. I am not saying that it wouldn't contribute to the lack of viruses, but it certainly would not mean that nobody would write viruses for Linux. It's not black and white like that. Indeed, don't you think the person who gets a rush out of being recognised in writing viruses would be the first to attempt to write one for Linux that actually did some damage to the wider community?

Now, saying Linux is virus-free is a lie. There are viruses/malicious programs for Linux. But the chances of running into one in the wild are extremely remote, and the chances of one doing damage are even smaller. Most of them are entirely experimental, that curious people dabble with in isolated networks and labs.

As for the OS X rant... well, I don't know what to say about that. If someone wants to use the commercial software on Macs, then by all means, they should go and buy a Mac. Nobody ever said that Linux, or indeed any operating system, was the perfect choice for every computer user.

SUck on that mr 1337 linux user. lol

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:rolleyes:

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cork1958

Heck no!! Linux is not even remotely close. I've tried various flavors of Linux and to me, they all seem stupid as heck. Command prompts? What's up with that stuff? Might as well use dos for windows or windows 3.1 or some crap? Mounting drives that are already there? More stupidity! Linux makes you feel like you're still living in the dark ages, but that's my opinion.

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MiG-

ahh, u still havent answered how do i play my games....

and i bet photoshop is slow when u do anything..

i still only see fotoshop, no premier, no flash

i wanna see the recent versions, and that games actually play.

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markjensen
ahh, u still havent answered how do i play my games....

and i bet photoshop is slow when u do anything..

i still only see fotoshop, no premier, no flash

i wanna see the recent versions, and that games actually play.

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CodeWeavers runs MS Office, Adobe, etc. at Windows speeds. The apps are just x86 executable binary, so the only part that needs "translating" are the API calls.

A few games can run natively in Linux (doom, quake, ut), many more can be run through a translation like the CodeWeavers thing above. However a serious gamer may prefer to keep a Windows partition for games.

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MiG-

i just dont get how ure magically going to make every user think that linux is a good alternative... come on, installing a program is dodgy enough, nevermind using most of the bloody things.

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Barney T.
ahh, u still havent answered how do i play my games....

and i bet photoshop is slow when u do anything..

i still only see fotoshop, no premier, no flash

i wanna see the recent versions, and that games actually play.

586252471[/snapback]

Seems like no matter what what answer is given.... there is no understading here of what we are trying to say.....

Barney

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markjensen
i just dont get how ure magically going to make every user think that linux is a good alternative...

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You don't get it.

I don't care what you or other users use.

Most of the other *nixers here don't give a rat's behind, either.

We use Linux becuase it works best for us.

Most of us don't pop into Windows threads and bash the "****ty" apps/OS/whatever!

(and those that do get dealt with by me, and get post-restricted/banned if they need to)

No one is trying to convince MiG:uK that Linux is the best OS for MiG:uK.

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CaKeY

Photoshop runs just as well as it does in windows. Why wouldnt it?

I play UT2k4 (psst, it runs better in Linux thanks to native opengl, nvidia, and AMD64 support) ( my clan )

Photoshop is the only windows program I run. A couple years ago I also used Dreamweaver and MS Office 2000 and they ran fine.

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MiG-

but answer me this...

say for example im a teenager, basic computer knowledge.

i have to install linux, i have to decide to much.. i have to know wheter to have lilo or grub bootloader, and know what the hda0 part of my hdd so i dont wipe anything.

then i have to compile files to install a program, such as msn messenger.

you think u can get consumers by emulatiing windows, u need ure own, decent programs, like mac has.

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