[oclug]Linux too hard?
shad.young at sympatico.ca
Mon Nov 25 11:16:02 EST 2002
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben Hall" <bhall at scs.carleton.ca>
> Also, sticking to the releases in well-tested distros seems to help
> quite a bit. My girlfriend's PC is running RH 8.0. While I've noticed
> a bit of odd behaviour, for the most part both Gnome and KDE seem quite
> stable in it. At least comparable to any Win32 machine I've used
> lately. I'll bet that Xandros' well-tested KDE 2.2.2-based desktop is
> pretty stable too.
I have been fairly blessed in that my girlfriend is willing to indulge the
mayhem I create on our home PC as I try distro after distro :). I have been
double blessed in that she, being of open mind has no difficulty switching
between XP and Linux for common tasks.
The one thing that is missing from Linux and necessitates XP is Excel. Alas
there is nothing that comes close to Excel for spreadsheet usability and
features for doing statistical analysis, T tests, graphing etc. I tried hard
to show her all the various offering in Linux. To her credit she did try,
but they were missing to much.
Aside from that she doesn't find it difficult to navigate and perform common
tasks. She like the way it looks, and was actually resistant to XP going in
(she like many others have heard the horror stories and thought it was going
to be crap). She is a lot like me now. Sitting on the fence. I have
complaints with Linux, but that is because of arrogant claims to superiority
when it is clearly not. I have complaints with XP for its claims of security
and privacy when it is clearly not.
99% of my complaints would vanish if application authors built a help system
and properly documented in English (as apposed to techno-babble) with no
assumptions (remember the old adage?) of technical knowledge, *before*
releasing their app on the unsuspecting world. Reading docs that say things
like this app requires such and such and "set it up in the usual way" is
frustrating to say the least when you have no clue as to "the usual way".
IMO this is the biggest difference a professional capital driven project has
over a "build it and they will come" based application development path. I
know how hard it is to write docs and help files that are both technically
complete yet require little technical knowledge. I hate doing it myself. But
it is necessary.
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