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What the Mainstream Needs From Linux by Jake G. neoarmor@yahoo.com May 22, 2004 Feel free to re-post this article. I am a computer professional, programming hobbyist, and recent Linux user. ...
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  1. #1
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    What the Mainstream Needs From Linux


    What the Mainstream Needs From Linux
    by Jake G.
    neoarmor@yahoo.com
    May 22, 2004
    Feel free to re-post this article.

    I am a computer professional, programming hobbyist, and recent Linux user. The reason I am writing this is that I believe that Linux is a superior operating system and should become ready for the mainstream. This needs to happen because the reason for competition (as opposed to the Windows monopoly) and peer review (open source) is that they produce superior products. After a few weeks using ASP Linux 9 and Gnome, I switched to RedHat 9 a few weeks ago and started using KDE. My experience has shown a few counter-intuitive areas of Linux in general that experienced Linux programmers may overlook due to knowledge and years of usage. The points below are important. Linux initiates and programmers may sneer at the following suggestions or consider them petty; many of these things can be configured--but that is part of the point. Linux must be configured out-of-box in a manner ready for the mainstream: For Linux to become mainstream, newbie-friendliness is crucial.


    --Allow double-clicking zip etc. archive files - default ZIP assocation as ark or similar program
    --Make floppy usage easier (unmount floppy automatically?) - (why can't I click the icon, write to the disk, then take it out? Or open the icon, put the disk in, and refresh?) Sometimes, the disk won't even unmount ("device is busy") because the GUI is still trying to load image preview icons from it since the window is open.
    --Why Can't I click an obvious icon to just see my disk usage, mount info, and directory tree in one place?
    --If OpenOffice were configured (it should be default, but I have mine set this way) to save Microsoft Office (Word 97, Excel 97, PowerPoint) files automatically, it wouldn't confuse newbies who try to send (i.e. e-mail) OpenOffice documents to some Windows newbie with MS Office.
    --Auto-unmount CD's - (only in some distros, you must unmount first for the tray to open!)
    --CD Burner program with drag-and-drop for newbies. Multisession capable.
    --Link on desktop called "Documents" that links to /<username/
    --Save/Load dialogs in ALL programs auto-open to /<username>/
    --Mozilla should come with Flash (it's available, so it should be installed since it isn't automatically installed)
    --Some way to make tar.gz installers easier (in Windows, Winzip automatically unzips to temp folder and runs setup.*, install.*, or readme*.* if filename exists)
    --Audio editing or at least a simple sound recorder (that is easy to find)
    --Is an obvious icon for DV Editing too much to ask?
    --Get a grip and choose a desktop (KDE would be nice) or noone will want to learn "two" operating systems.

    Wine issues:
    --Autorun Windows CD's, including setup programs.
    --Installers should install right, and Windows Start Menu items should be copied to a "More Programs" subdirectory in the KDE/Gnome menu
    --Wine won't open the Toolbar menus (everything else works fine) in Caligari TrueSpace (www.caligari.com), which uses api calls and not regular MFC menus. They aren't always drawn, and they won't work by clicking or pressing Alt, and even key sequences while pressing alt won't run the corresponding command (i.e. Alt+F,L,S for laod scene won't do anything)--so they aren't merely invisible.
    --At first, The trueSpace window jittered all around the screen, until I got a better wine config from someone that creates a full 1280x1024 wine window and leaves black around the program if non-maximized (which works fine even in 1024x768 with the 1280x1024 window hanging off the screen a bit).
    --Make EXE files' default association wine (with config file that works right, see above!). I have my RedHat 9 KDE set this way (with the "run in terminal" option) and it is extremely easy, and I can drag & drop to make links to EXE's on the desktop and double-click them and wine launches them.
    --If Linux came with Winex (i.e. Mandrake Gaming Edition) standard, PC gamers might turn their heads. But as noted earlier, they need their windows installers, autorun, and start menu icons to work too.

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    ok well i understand that some of that stuff needs to come true for linux to become mainstream but who really wants it to become mainstream im sorry but i like linux the way it is i dont want it being dumbed down so ppl that are completely computer illiterate could use it. and the reason they dont have jst one desktop system is cause with linux you have choices and thats they way we like it so it will never change and if it does i will dump windows and pick up bsd untill the same thing happens there and then i will keep moving to an OS that not as many ppl use i like to have my choices and windows doesnt give that. and another is who needs wine i have never used it before in my life. and i dont feel i will ever use it so wine should jst die anyway, you can find plenty of free software that will run on linux and will do everything that you can do on windows. and dump wine and go completely open source thats the only way to go
    well thats my rant

    edit: well i also believe that for linux to go mainstream you will you to have software companys making software for linux, and not to try to emulate windows. but to get that you need alot of ppl using linux and since there is only a small chunk using it you wont get the software companys to port there stuff over to linux
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    yes but if you say that it is very important for linux to be more user friendly to become more sucessfull then why are there still some other linux distros that are more sucessfull and popular than LINSPIRE (aka LINDOWS)?; this OS is the most user friendly distro of linux

    but then its not free

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    1 pint of crack please

    point 1: Linux can already do all of the things you mentioned just depends on user skill level.

    point 2: we happy linux using few would never thats NEVER want it to be mainstream because that would just ruin a perfectly good product with a lot of bloated software which we do not need. Only the skilled computer public uses linux or unix so we don't actually worry much about having linux operate like windows nor should we. You have kde or gnome be happy and stop wasting our valuable air with garbage requests which have already been filled. Have you ever heard of automout or its crappy brother supermount wow what are those, for double click extraction of compressed files wow i do believe file-roller does that in gnome or you can make it do that in gnome if it doesn't. Thats what mandrake linux has it to do, hell the entire thing uses double clicks just like windows.

    Drag and drop Cd burning yeah thats available also i think k3b does it not sure since i use the command line but there are a few programs out there that do.

    much like in winblows mozilla doesn't come with flash so get off your ( y ) and go get it yourself as you would have to do in windows.

    Openoffice settings can be changed to whatever the user wants and it gives you diff file saving options when you go to save a file, don't like the options you get go to the blooding settings options. (repeating himself purposely)

    As for shortucuts and editing audio and everything else
    1. you can have all of that if you would just read the damn documentation for your bloody distro

    2. Just like in windows get off your ( y ) and go find programs that can edit audio and video see google stupid.
    And my final gripe:

    Desktops if you want kde use kde, if you want gnome use gnome mandrake linux gives you a choice of 6 bloody different desktops and automatically asks you which one you want to use.

    Last but not least stop posting stupidity on a forum because i had to register just to tell you that you should use a real distro and that redhat is garbage. If your a n00b use mandrake, suse, or cl 2.5 but do not for the love of god use redhat 9 or buggy fedora.

    Have a nice day oh yeah guess what i voted NOOOOOOOO!!!!

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    ^
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    Passion

    Or there's a big one being reeled in.
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    Couldn't keep away

    * Allow double-clicking zip - mine does just that.
    * Make floppy usage easier (unmount floppy automatically?) - Some desktops have supermount. You wouldn't ask that Q if you understood the security that comes from mounting. What happens when you remove a floppy/cd from a windows box when it's trying to access it?
    * Why Can't I click an obvious icon to just see my disk usage, mount info, and directory tree in one place? - Why would you want all those in one place? Anyways, try kdiskfree, I think it's called that.
    * -If OpenOffice were configured (it should be default, but I have mine set this way) to save Microsoft Office - Why? I get peed off when people send me proprietary MS file format which they assume I'm gonna have paid for a product just so I can open those docs. Read up on open source.
    * -CD Burner program with drag-and-drop for newbies. Multisession capable. - K3b, does dvds as well.
    * Link on desktop called "Documents" that links to /<username/ - My mandrake distro has one. It's called Home. You could add one yourself.
    * Save/Load dialogs in ALL programs auto-open to /<username>/ - Why? I save music in one directory, documents in another. Suits me.
    * Mozilla should come with Flash - It does if you buy a distro. But since it's not Open Source it can't be freely distributed with free editions of linux. Also why? I don't have it on my pc, don't want it, don't need it. Try navigating a flash based website when you have a visual impairment. Tis a bastard.
    * Some way to make tar.gz installers easier - I'm lost here. tar.gz files aren't installers, they're compressed files, why should they install?
    * Audio editing or at least a simple sound recorder (that is easy to find) - Audacity. Can't get easier than that.
    * -Is an obvious icon for DV Editing too much to ask? If you have the app to edit then just add whatever icon you fancy.
    * Get a grip and choose a desktop (KDE would be nice) or noone will want to learn "two" operating systems. - Ever heard of choice? I wake up in the morning and sometimes I'll fire up with KDE, othertimes with Gnome. If I'm feeling good then I'll use fluxbox. choice is good.

    Wine - Wine is an open source app. You want it to do all that then get coding or donating. Or you can try Winex from transgaming.

    What was the reason for posting that article btw?
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    What the Mainstream Needs From Linux - replies from author

    --As a newbie, I now see that I should get Mandrake 10, and it would've had more of the things that I had to configure myself in RedHat 9.

    --Some people seem to be missing the point. You keep saying that "that can be configured to do that" but my point is that linux needs to be configured this way by default (without losing any of the inherent power or customizability).

    --I concede to your point about having multiple desktop systems. You persuaded me to agree with you. I'll just use KDE since I like it.

    --I concede to your point about the software I want being available to download, but I still think that by default Linux needs to run Windows installers, start menu items, and programs. This avoids the problem of developers not porting to linux, and the quantity of retail Windows programs.

    --By "tar.gz" installers, I mean install packages inside tar.gz's. In Windows, winzip automatically installs the thing by looking for the installer binary or if not, showing the readme.

    --My reason for starting the discussion is as I said: "The reason I am writing this is that I believe that Linux is a superior operating system and should become ready for the mainstream. This needs to happen because the reason for competition (as opposed to the Windows monopoly) and peer review (open source) is that they produce superior products."
    The deeper reason is that I hate windows. As a computer consultant, the more I know, the more disgusted I am with the shabby programming and the deceit of Microsoft trying to make us think that finicky, unstable OS software is acceptable and normal. In addition, a customer recently tried to sue me (and failed) for a Windows ME rollback that wiped out their entire hard drive. I promote Linux for those reasons. I hope that linux takes over so that I can tutor, install, and upgrade computers without being blamed for Bill Gates' mistakes (notice I didn't say "repair" in my list of services, since if linux took over, there wouldn't be much repair needed, and I am happy to only do other computer services besides repairing Windows).

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    Morning ProtoArmor, good to see you back

    Mandrake 10 is light years ahead of RH9 in terms of being 'out of the box'. About the only thing I had to sort was my nvidia drivers which weren't included cos they're proprietary. And I expect as time goes on that the 'user friendly' distros will become even more 'user friendly'.

    As for installing progs have you ever tried installing OpenOffice.org or any of the games from Loki or LGP? Their installers truly are click and run, installing to default directories and bunging entries in the KDE/Gnome menus. The only issue arising from summat like this is the user/root aspect, although some installers do ask for a password if they're not started as root.

    In a way I expect that most of us are happy with the penguin. We have super friendly distros like Suse/Mandrake/Xandros/Linspire and the more geeky ones like Slack and Gentoo. And if were getting on in years there's always Debian. </runs>

    And as a endnote at the same time I installed mandrake 10 I re-installed Windows XP on the broods box. Guess which gives me more grief?
    Lansbury's Lido

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