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First, thanks for your help. Second, I'm amazed that no leaders in the Linux community see the value of the Mac and Windows Start Menu. You install new software on ...
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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Usability anyone?


    First, thanks for your help.

    Second, I'm amazed that no leaders in the Linux community see the value of the Mac and Windows Start Menu.

    You install new software on those platforms, and you instantly know how to access it. You install the same software on Linux, and you end up searching Google until you find this forum.

    This is another area where all Linux distributions drop the ball on usability.

    ::Moderator Note:: This thread was broken off from an older thread here:
    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/red...-question.html
    It was unrelated to the original post.
    Last edited by techieMoe; 08-02-2006 at 05:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardotis
    I'm amazed that no leaders in the Linux community see the value of the Mac and Windows Start Menu.

    You install new software on those platforms, and you instantly know how to access it. You install the same software on Linux, and you end up searching Google until you find this forum.
    That depends on the package you install. Most of the applications that you install using an rpm (or via yum) actually will also setup an entry for it in the menu. For utilities that you use in a terminal, it helps to know a little bit about the standard locations of software on linux box. (files and directories such as: /bin /usr/bin /etc/*.conf /lib/<name of package you just installed> etc.)
    If you want to know a bit more about this I suggest reading the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy. Reading the first paragraph of each chapter already will provide you with a basic insight into the different locations of the files on your system. Most distributions will also keep to this.
    http://www.tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Filesy...tml/index.html

    This is another area where all Linux distributions drop the ball on usability.
    I see things the other way around: the way KDE and GNOME organise their menus is something Windows could learn from. After setting up a windows XP box and installing a bunch of software to me the start menu always looks like a mess, and I find myself reorganising the complete menu. In gnome/kde all my applications are already organised in the right category. For me, that is much more intuitive and productive.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 235492
    That depends on the package you install. Most of the applications that you install using an rpm (or via yum) actually will also setup an entry for it in the menu. For utilities that you use in a terminal, it helps to know a little bit about the standard locations of software on linux box. (files and directories such as: /bin /usr/bin /etc/*.conf /lib/<name of package you just installed> etc.)
    If you want to know a bit more about this I suggest reading the Linux Filesystem Hierarchy. Reading the first paragraph of each chapter already will provide you with a basic insight into the different locations of the files on your system. Most distributions will also keep to this.
    http://www.tldp.org/LDP/Linux-Filesy...tml/index.html
    hello,

    Agreed that knowing the guidelines for the linux filesystem help, and thanks for the link. However, I would say that having to memorize these guidelines isn't too user friendly for basic software installation. Also, the names of my rpm's executables were different from the name of the rpm package. So, when I searched and scanned those directories, I still couldn't find my newly installed program. Heck, even the 'Date modified' didn't work because the executable was compiled a year ago. It was mixed in the middle of the other executables by date.

    Quote Originally Posted by 235492
    I see things the other way around: the way KDE and GNOME organise their menus is something Windows could learn from. After setting up a windows XP box and installing a bunch of software to me the start menu always looks like a mess, and I find myself reorganising the complete menu. In gnome/kde all my applications are already organised in the right category. For me, that is much more intuitive and productive.
    Yes, the default start menu categories in fedora are nice. I liked that part. However, when installing new software, I would rather deal with the problem of too many obvious links to my new software, than the problem of not being able to find it at all.

  4. #4
    Linux User cayalee's Avatar
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    i know its not rpm, but if youve used apt-get/synaptic it updates your menus automatically and its much easier to install stuff than on other OS's.
    'sudo apt-get install <program name>'
    done
    You know, aliens are going to come to earth in 50 years and kill the hell out of us for DDoSing their networks with this SETI crap
    registered linux user #388463

  5. #5
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    I've been using rpms for a few years now. Sometimes they're very easy to install and work with, at other times hugely irritating. They're definitely not perfect, but in most cases I've found I can install and launch applications with no bother.

    The whole question of what is 'user friendly' is also controversial. Some people find Macs user friendly, others don't. Apt was ported to rpm based distros like Mandriva a while ago, and it has few dependencies so you might like to try apt for rpm ... You'll find it lurking in certain Mandriva repositories mirrored all over the net.

    As for the Windows installer model - sometimes I miss it. It is simple to use, but even there I would have problems installing some applications. There is no system on earth which works perfectly all the time.

    For me, worrying about the finer points of rpm package management is like complaining of a sprained ankle in the middle of your own private diamond mine. Yes it hurts, no it's not very nice ... But wow! Look at all those diamonds!
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  6. #6
    Linux Enthusiast apoorv_khurasia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edwardotis
    First, thanks for your help.

    Second, I'm amazed that no leaders in the Linux community see the value of the Mac and Windows Start Menu.

    You install new software on those platforms, and you instantly know how to access it. You install the same software on Linux, and you end up searching Google until you find this forum.

    This is another area where all Linux distributions drop the ball on usability.

    ::Moderator Note:: This thread was broken off from an older thread here:
    http://www.linuxforums.org/forum/red...-question.html
    It was unrelated to the original post.
    Mostly the rpms/tar balls have a README associated with it. You can get it when you unzip the tar ball and many rpms have this README on the site from where you fetch them. In most of the cases the README contains vital information on how to install the software and access it. Because of the number of Desktop Managers people have it sometimes becomes very problematic to install a desktop/menu shortcut but I have seen people taking care of that in a very professional way. Many times you just guess (using tab!!!) on how to start the software from terminal. All in all Linux gives you freedom on how to manage things yourself and its worth paying the price in this form. Enjoy!!!
    "There is no sixth rule"
    --Rob Pike
    Registered Linux User: 400426 home page

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    I like window managers ahead of desktop environments because of the lack of traditional menus. I have my enlightenment menu customised down to a fine art, and spend most of my time on the command line anyway. If I want something specifc, I'll make it happen, find another way to do it, or warm up to the Englishman in me and make do without it and not complain

    There was an interesting article on user interfaces a while back (I'll try find it again) where the author spoke about the negative effect that modern computer UI's were having on computer usage. His point was the UI common to Windows, Gnome and KDE was too generic, and that specific UI's should exist for specific tasks.

    Slating Linux/BSD as "inferior" owing to usability is indicative of a scary trend in society. People are used to being spoon fed simplicity. Anything that requires one to move their lardy backside or shift their brain out of neutral is a bad thing. Maybe if your average user had to think a bit and not just double click themselves into a coma, they'd actually learn a little about the machine they spend all day working on, but know nothing about.

  8. #8
    Linux Newbie easuter's Avatar
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    mosat main-line distros (like SUSE or Fedora) have customized versions of KDE and GNOME, so that whenever you install a new piece of software it appears in the menu. some apps like WINE are command-line only tools, so it doesnt make sense to have them in the menus.

    on my family's desktop, i have fedora core 5 with GNOME. everyone finds it easy enough to use and nobody complained about it after i eradicated xp from the hard-drive.

    on my laptop i use fluxbox as my window-manager. i like to customize my own menus and settings. the scripts are very easy to follow, and anyone that just looks at the fluxbox menu script can just follow the patern and make changes at will. this can also be usefull to make an app start in a particular way, for example: instead of it just starting up as usual you can make it start up in a terminal so that if it crashes you can see the error message output.

    linux is already ahead of microsoft when it comes to desktop environments.

    2c
    All Empires rise and fall. The Microsoft Empire has already risen, only one way to go now...

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