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From GNOME to KDE and back again: old computing habits are hard to break

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on March 22, 2008 12:06 AM
I think the best for you is to use fvwm, adjust the colors, menus and whatever, once and for all times (easy text file to copy to every system), and avoid any fully blown dte. But thinking about dtes there is one experience i made with windows (explorer, the xp-dte, i don't know the vista one till now) and apple aqua alike: they don't invite one to understand what they do, and they don't provide a coherent view of the name space in your file system. That are related issues. The Windows "explorer" is not a starting-point, you get some shortcuts to some default places on the desktop, but you don't get an idea where you are in the file system - except if you know where to look, that is right-kicking on the "start" button and starting "explorer". Abstraction is powerful, and normal users don't know their place in the file system even using fvwm - what's the virtual terminal you're on? what is a virtual terminal? what is the root-console? why should i be interested in it? That are just matters for console-freaks with coding in mind, but normal users don't care, and they're right. But is this a reason to hide everything from them? Think of applications like "Mediaplayer" in Windows, or apples ipod software, i forgot the name, they produce another extra-view of the files system: That's not user-friendly, that's confusing and leads to usability-problems. A good dte should invite you to understand it's function, it's not good to give a user choices like "small company network" wile he is trying to connect to the internet, give him a technical descriptive choice, even a choice like "how does your internet-cable look?" is better than microsofts setup questions. I hope kde and gnome don't make the mistake to emulate microsoft or apple just because they are so popular. The reason for the popularity is not that they are good dtes, the reason is that they dominate the market, everybody has to learn these dtes because everybody needs to earn some money. On the other hand there are the ones who pay the money: they don't want to pay much, best not anything. They are not interested to educate anybody, they want everybody to work, quick and cheap, that's the reason for the success of the stupid abstractions in the most successful dtes. The Open Source Community's interest is better off with Desktops which invite to understand instead of Desktops which take the need to understand just to push intensity of workload.


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