Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Samba's Jeremy Allison On Linux's Future

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:01AM (#26119355)

    I don't know why, but whenever I try out KDE (every few years or so) there's something about it which drives me back to GNOME again. I'm trying out KDE4, which I really like but the real problem is program integration. The majority of useful utilities on Linux are written with GTK widgets rather than Qt, and while the Gnome-Qt bridge thingy which replaces GTK objects works for the most part, the different File Open/Save dialogue boxes grate on me.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cwAllenPoole (1228672)
      I find GNOME to be a better reflection of big-brand windows managers "feel". KDE strikes me as having a clunky interface akin to (God forbid) the early Win32 designs. But, for my money (or lack thereof), I'll go with XFCE.
      • by AndGodSed (968378) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:07AM (#26119931) Homepage Journal

        Like most linux geeks I have run a variety of Window Managers. My favourites (with reasons) are:

        1. Gnome.

        The only good reason I give here is that I am very familiar with it. I like the feel, and I enjoy the lack of fuss it allows me to do my housekeeping. I run it without Compiz these days, and the built in compositing does enough for me (basically "true" transparency and some nice shadow/launch effects) I like that I can make window borders and panels (toolbars to you Windows folk) as small as possible to maximise my screen real estate.

        2. XFCE

        I like the clean feel and quick response. It has theme customization options second to none, and is compatible with most gnome and KDE applications. Takes a while to get used to, but you don't even really need a panel, you can work the whole computer from your right-click menu.

        3. KDE3

        I used it extensively in the past, but it feels cluttered. It has some nice customization options. I especially like the unique desktop background for every workspace, and the cycling of desktop backgrounds is awesome. It is good for people moving on from windows, the problem with it though is that it is too complicated.

        4. Metisse.

        At first glance it looks identical to gnome. The real treat is when you start fooling around with windows. Rotation and 3d really gets new meaning. It is a bit useless for office drones though, who would read documents upside down or in reverse? The positive on this is that it has many possibilities for implementation in future computer interfaces such as table-top computers and so on.

        5. Enlightenment.

        I really enjoyed my time spent using enlightenment, but it was a bit buggy and still needed some work. It has some novel ideas, such as the desktops stacked on top of each other like a stack of papers. With a little work this will become an awesome desktop environment to work in.

        6. KDE4.

        Yep, bottom of my list.

        I used it, and tried to like it, but just couldn't feel at home. The lates releases are awesome, and I believe that this is a real desktop for the future. A few gripes I had included buggy plasmoid implementation, and the huge and chunky panel (taskbar.) I am fond of tiny taskbars, and why in KDE4 I cannot make it slimmer as in gnome, kde3 and xfce I do not know. The built-in compositing effects (transparency is cool...) is nice, but I generally do without. In fact, KDE4 and Vista Aero feels TOO similar to me, as if the two teams had a bet among each other who could create the best interface when measured along some very strict guidelines.

        So there you have it, my list of favourite desktop environments.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by TheCycoONE (913189)

          6. KDE4.

          Yep, bottom of my list.

          I used it, and tried to like it, but just couldn't feel at home. The lates releases are awesome, and I believe that this is a real desktop for the future. A few gripes I had included buggy plasmoid implementation, and the huge and chunky panel (taskbar.) I am fond of tiny taskbars, and why in KDE4 I cannot make it slimmer as in gnome, kde3 and xfce I do not know. The built-in compositing effects (transparency is cool...) is nice, but I generally do without. In fact, KDE4 and Vista Aero feels TOO similar to me, as if the two teams had a bet among each other who could create the best interface when measured along some very strict guidelines.

          So there you have it, my list of favourite desktop environments.

          I've been using KDE 4 as my desktop environment of choice for a couple months now. In KDE 4.1 the 'huge chuncky panel' can be set to any desirable size - though admittedly the process for resizing and placing it still needs some work. The 4.2 beta just released adds auto-hide as well.

          A lot of people used early versions of KDE 4.0 and gave up on it, but it is rapidly evolving into something much more usable, and very pretty.

          • by AndGodSed (968378)

            I used 4.1 for a while, and I must admit I seem to have missed where the panel resizing happens. Since I have no active KDE4 install at the moment I cannot check it out.

            There is no denying the prettiness of KDE4.

            I agree KDE4 is evolving rapidly, and I hope it will at least reach the heights of KDE3.

    • by quintesse (654840) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:25AM (#26119511)

      the different File Open/Save dialogue boxes grate on me

      Which is exactly one of the reasons why I prefer KDE. I don't know how you can stand the Gnome requesters! They seem horrible to me.

      But at the same time it grates that some applications only exist in their Gnome version, Firefox for example.

      Although most of the time I just look for a KDE version of the application (like using Kopete instead of Pidgin, although it is not as feature rich it at least integrates perfectly with KDE)

      • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:52AM (#26119805) Homepage Journal

        I use kopete instead of pidgin for the features, and I'm a Gnome user.

        I also use Amarok, for its features.

        I use Gnome as a desktop environment but I'm quite open to using Qt/KDE apps where they are superior -- I feel no need to be a desktop bigot :)

        • by quintesse (654840)

          Well I'm no desktop bigot either, heck I use Fedora, there's almost no way around using Gnome apps with that distro :)

          But I do look out for KDE alternatives, because the integration is quite important for me. The different look doesn't bother me at all (the "feel" on the other hand does).

          In the end I'm happy that, typical for the Free/Open software world, there are options to choose from.

        • I have yet to find anything, anywhere, available on any OS, which is even half as good as amarok.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Xabraxas (654195)

            I have yet to find anything, anywhere, available on any OS, which is even half as good as amarok.

            Banshee 1.4

      • by tjwhaynes (114792)

        the different File Open/Save dialogue boxes grate on me

        Which is exactly one of the reasons why I prefer KDE. I don't know how you can stand the Gnome requesters! They seem horrible to me.

        What's wrong with Ctrl-l (letter L)? Then just type with completion. Or just type - the GNOME dialogues generally are driven comfortably from the keyboard. I rarely use the mouse in GNOME.

        Cheers,
        Toby Haynes

        • by quintesse (654840)

          Well for one, the completions sucks! (Or it used to suck at least, haven't tried Gnome for a while)

          Completion has to work when you are looking at it or not. So if I type /usr/bin it should show /usr/bin, but in Gnome it would decide that because there is only one entry beginning with U you must mean /usr so in the end it would show /usrsr/bin. Auto-complete is nice, but it has to complete WHEN I SAY SO (by hitting TAB or ENTER or whatever key is defined).

          And of course Gnome is supposedly easy to use, so why

          • by tjwhaynes (114792)

            Well for one, the completions sucks! (Or it used to suck at least, haven't tried Gnome for a while)

            I can tell...

            Completion has to work when you are looking at it or not. So if I type /usr/bin it should show /usr/bin...

            That's what it does.

            And of course Gnome is supposedly easy to use, so why did I have to look for ages to find the Search function in the file dialog? There was no Search bar...

            It's in the Places sidebar on the left of the dialog. Indeed, it's the first option.

            Software does occasionally improve. You might be surprised at recent releases of GNOME.

            Cheers,
            Toby Haynes

            • by quintesse (654840)

              Software does occasionally improve. You might be surprised at recent releases of GNOME

              "Undoubtedly" and "I doubt it" ;)

              Do you regularly try KDE to see if it finally is better than Gnome so you can switch? Neither do I.

              But I'm really not here to turn this into a flamewar, my example was just one of many that I encountered during the years. Exactly the same when others say that after trying KDE for a while they switch back to Gnome it's the other way around for me.

              And in the end I just try Gnome once every year or 2 years out of curiosity because unless they come up with some mayor improvement

        • by KWTm (808824) on Monday December 15, 2008 @01:40PM (#26121587) Journal

          Sir, you seem to be familiar with GNOME, so I'll throw out some more questions about KDE equivalents in GNOME, and maybe you can convince me to switch.

          1. Customizing keyboard shortcuts in GNOME. E.g. I want the "reload" key to be "Alt-Shift-B" rather than "Ctrl-R" in Firefox (for example), or Win-Shift-D to bring up the clipboard list of items for cut&paste. How do I do this?
          2. Controlling GUI programs via command-line/script. The equivalent of DCOP in KDE3. If I want Konqueror (web browser) to go to the web page in Klipper (the clipboard) memory, I say: dcop konqueror-6500 konqueror-mainwindow#1 openURL `dcop klipper klipper getClipboardContents` I think GNOME uses either DBUS or something called "Bonobo". Same sort of scripting ease/flexibility?
          3. File requester dialogues, specific to each program. When I want to open a file in Kolourpaint (for example), the file search dialogue box has bookmarks which I can preset to jump to commonly used directories (see here: http://api.kde.org/4.0-api/kdelibs-apidocs/kio/html/kfiledialog.png [kde.org] for image). GNOME has the same, but I don't know how to get them to be program-specific. That is, the bookmarks for Kolourpaint, which point to my image directories, should be different from KWrite's bookmarks, which point to where my text files are stored.
          4. When I Drag & Drop in KDE, a menu pops up: "Copy? Move? Link?" If I press Ctrl before "dropping" the file (releasing the mouse), KDE will know I want to copy. If it's Shift, then KDE will move the file. If it's Alt, then it will link. Equivalent in GNOME?
          5. Equivalent of Norton Commander/Midnight Commander for GNOME? (In KDE, it's Krusader.)

          These are the main things that keep me with KDE. In particular, there are a whole bunch of scripts I've written with DCOP calls.
          There are a few things inducing me to consider GNOME.

          1. KDE is switching to KDE4. It uses DBUS, not DCOP. If I have to re-write my scripts, I'll take a close look at whether KDE4 really is better than GNOME.
          2. Ubuntu uses GNOME. Yes, there's Kubuntu, but it's treated like a second-class citizen. They don't address the weaknesses in KDE: "New! We're going to use Beagle search! Oh, it's not compatible with KDE? Ah, well, you guys go mess around with Strigi or something." They don't address the strengths of KDE: "Breakthrough: after pouring tons of man-hours into Ubuntu, we have improved utilities! What's that? KDE already had that three years ago? Who cares --don't you have to run along and go compile some code?" And the last straw: "Oh, we can't support KDE3 long term. But we're not supporting KDE4 long term either. In fact, we're decided to forget to mention anything about Long Term Support in Kubuntu."
          3. My mom and dad switched to Linux and are using Ubuntu with GNOME. They keep asking me how to set things, and I have no idea since I use KDE.

          So, if I can get comfortable with GNOME, it might be worth serious consideration.

          Thanks for any help you can give.

          • by tjwhaynes (114792) on Monday December 15, 2008 @02:58PM (#26122671)

            1. Customizing keyboard shortcuts in GNOME.

            "gTweakUI - menus" offers a GUI way to enable GTK apps to rebind keys on the fly. Or you can edit your ~/.gtkrc-2.0 and add

            gtk-can-change-accels = true

            2. Controlling GUI programs via command-line/script.

            qdbus or dbus-send allow this sort of activity and apply to both GNOME and KDE4 apps. Although for your example I'd probably use xclip and invoke firefox directly.

            3. File requester dialogues, specific to each program.

            Not that I'm aware of. Most GNOME apps seem to remember the last location a file was saved but I think that's it.

            4. When I Drag & Drop in KDE, a menu pops up

            Right-click drag in GNOME produces a menu (Copy/Move/Link). Left-click drag will move files if you are on the same filesystem, or will copy if you are crossing filesystem boundaries. The latter is useful when copying files to a USB key, for example. The icon changes to indicate that change in behaviour, and can be overriden using Ctrl (for copy), Shift (for move) or Alt (for menu prompt).

            5. Equivalent of Norton Commander/Midnight Commander for GNOME?

            GNOME Commander is one choice. I seem to remember others but I tend to either use Nautilus, Emacs or the command line for file ops.

            Cheers,
            Toby Haynes

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Dolda2000 (759023)

              Or you can edit your ~/.gtkrc-2.0 and add

              gtk-can-change-accels = true

              Minor correction: That seems to be gtk-can-change-accels = 1. At least my GTK did not accept true as a valid value.

    • by Spacelem (189863) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:33AM (#26119585)

      The usual arguments against GNOME are that it hides too much configuration, and that it is too slow compared to KDE. However, I find that GNOME usually has things configured correctly first time, and most of the options I do need are merely cosmetic (mouse focus etc), and these can be set in the preferences. Yes it hides things, but it makes the correct default options so most people probably never really need to find them. I've never found GNOME to be particularly slow, except for loading applications which probably does take too long, but once they're up they're fast enough. It's usually pretty easy to figure something out, and things usually work first time (e.g. CD burning, CUPS, HAL and D-BUS).

      The only things I find that let GNOME down are its slow loading applications, Nautilus, and Totem (which I have to wrestle with to do what I want). Fortunately I have the command line and mplayer which taker care of most of these things.

      KDE on the other hand, I find clunky, it's difficult to find where change the settings (which rarely default to the way I'd want them), and there are a host of little things which put me off, and I think GTK looks much better than QT. I can't put my finger on what exactly they are, but KDE always drives me back to GNOME after a few days' use. Really, the only thing I like about KDE is its wallpaper settings, which are not enough to make me switch, and Kile, which I can run quite happily under GNOME.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ByOhTek (1181381)

        > The usual arguments against GNOME are that it
        > hides too much configuration, and that it is too
        > slow compared to KDE. However, I find that GNOME
        > usually has things configured correctly first
        > time

        The problem is, that's subjective to the users. i I've yet to find any WM that looks decent the first time. That, sadly, only works if the WM you are looking at has most of what you want/need.

        > and most of the options I do need are
        > merely cosmetic (mouse focus etc), and these can
        > be se

        • by Spacelem (189863)

          > The problem is, that's subjective to the users. I've yet to find any WM that looks decent the first time. That, sadly, only works if the WM you are looking at has most of what you want/need.

          Agreed. I've tried to make it clear that this is just my opinion ("it seems to me", "I think"...). I see screenshots of Fluxbox, Xfce4 or FVWM, and I've thought they look fantastic. Actually trying to make things look like that myself on the other hand is quite tricky, and I usually fall back to things that look sim

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by tjwhaynes (114792)

          Last time I tried gnome, it took forever to get to auto-hiding panels, increasing font sizes, and getting colors set so my eyes didn't hurt.

          Lets take it from the top.

          Autohide in four clicks.

          1. Right-click panel,
          2. left-click Properties,
          3. left-click autohide,
          4. left-click close.

          Application Font size in five clicks.

          1. Left click Preferences->Look and Feel->Appearance.
          2. Left-click Fonts tab.
          3. Left-click "Application font" (for example)
          4. Left-click font size
          5. Left-click close.

          Changing theme colours in 4+3*N clicks.

          1. Left click Preferences->Look and Feel->Appearance.
          2. Left-click Theme tab.
          3. Left-click Customize.
          4. Left-click Colours.
          5. Repeat N: Click
      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Okay Maybe I am just a bit strange but I don't see that much difference between the two. I tend to use Gnome on my desktop because I have settled on Ubuntu and I find Ubuntu has a more finished feel than Kubuntu.
        I have not tried out KDE4 yet. The simple fact is that I can get my work done on XP, Vista, Gnome, or KDE. I can move between them all without much effort.
        Now Compwiz does make a real difference for me as far as ease of use. I love it and it really works well for me.

    • by MBGMorden (803437) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:40AM (#26119655)

      I have the same reaction. Back when they were in their 1.0 versions I was actually a KDE user (for as much as I "used" Linux back then - mostly I just played around in it because Windows had become boring at the time). Back then I remember hearing about some Linux standards group (I think related to Red Hat, and I think now irrelevant) deciding to officially back Gnome instead of KDE as the "official Linux desktop", due to licensing issues at the time with QT, and I was very sad at the news since at the time Gnome seemed almost like a toy to me.

      Somewhere along the way though (largely after the release of GTK2), Gnome started feeling more "professional". The interface became streamlined, and attractive, but not really flash. KDE on the other hand took the turn towards flash, cluttered interfaces IMHO. KDE4 reminds me a lot of Vista. Flashy and pretty in screenshots, but it doesn't flow well or feel good (to me; naturally this is an opinion issue) when you actually sit down to use it. It's style over substance IMHO.

      Both have their problems though. I'd really, really love for Linux get enough polish to approach Mac OS X. It's functionally a perfect desktop Unix system but the proprietary nature keeps on running on a limited subset of machines, with the source closed so the things that *ARE* wrong can only be fixed by Apple.

      I've been hoping for "the year of Linux on the desktop" since 1998. We're getting closer every year for sure, but it remains to be seen whether or not we'll actually make it one day :).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Spacelem (189863)

        Since I started using GNU/Linux exclusively back in 2002, I'd say that was the "Year of the Linux Desktop" for me. Every passing year I feel more sure I made the correct decision. I feel that Windows continues to get more difficult to use, and more intrusive, while Linux gets more applications and more choice, centralised installation programs and package management, everything gets easier to use, things look better. Yes, I have to trawl forums to makes things work sometimes, but the same is true for Window

        • by MrCrassic (994046)
          I really want Linux to be my main desktop operating system. It's just the stupid small things that take huge blocks of time to "solve" that prevent me from making the switch. Why would I want to spend tons of hours editing my xorg.conf to get an extended desktop that (a) doesn't work with Compiz because it's really a hack and not a solution, and (b) has to be reconfigured, by me, everytime I dock/undock my laptop? Getting dual-screens of any kind to work with Windows takes five minutes at the most.

          It's t
          • by Spacelem (189863)

            Oh god yes. I've used Linux for years, and I still find X to be a real pain. Sometimes it just doesn't work, and it can take hours of trawling forums and fiddling before it finally pops up (and note you either been continually rebooting, using another computer, or using a command line browser). Someone, somewhere, knows how to fix your problem. Things are improving slowly.

            Where I work (a biomathematics and statistics research and consultancy group in Scotland) almost everyone uses Linux, or dual boots betwe

          • by tjwhaynes (114792)

            I really want Linux to be my main desktop operating system. It's just the stupid small things that take huge blocks of time to "solve" that prevent me from making the switch. Why would I want to spend tons of hours editing my xorg.conf to get an extended desktop that (a) doesn't work with Compiz because it's really a hack and not a solution, and (b) has to be reconfigured, by me, everytime I dock/undock my laptop? Getting dual-screens of any kind to work with Windows takes five minutes at the most.

            More times than not, you can delete xorg.conf and just let Xorg set it up on the fly. I've had three or four systems work perfectly without a xorg.conf file (various laptops and desktops). The only /etc/X11/xorg.conf files I feel the need to edit now are the synaptics mouse pads which have some nice extras that aren't available in the vanilla configuration. You can find out what Xorg has actually done by looking in /var/log/Xorg.0.log - the internal configuration file is near the top and can be copied to /e

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by ion.simon.c (1183967)

            OH SQUEE!

            This is something that I ran into just last Thursday!
            I assume that you're manually entering your display config into your xorg.conf? Stop that. You *NEED* to be using xrandr 1.2. If you're using a modern distro, you ought to have xrandr 1.2 support.

            Check out the block after the first EDIT in this document for more info:
            http://simoncion.livejournal.com/307011.html [livejournal.com]

            Seriously, this stuff is slick as black ice. We're finally within pissing distance of Windows' multi-monitor configuration tools!

            Also, if

      • by MrCrassic (994046)
        Seriously, now that Compiz is mature as a desktop composition engine, using that with the latest GNOME not only looks a ton more elegant than KDE, but is also less cluttered and a lot more professional.

        I think that Linux will become a more serious desktop alternative when it makes serious headways in the corporate sector. Given that many (if not most) people get most of their computer exposure in that environment, this is the area that they should be attacking (and I seriously hope that they are).

        I be
    • I don't know why, but whenever I try out KDE (every few years or so) there's something about it which drives me back to GNOME again.

      I find the same - the other way around. Put it down to personal preference or different usage.

      The majority of useful utilities on Linux are written with GTK widgets rather than Qt

      Most of the apps (not quite the same thing!) I prefer are KDE. What I have open right now: Firefox, Kate, Konsole, Konqueror, Akregator, Epiphany, Kmail.

      the different File Open/Save dialogue boxes grate on me.

      I for prefer the KDE one.

      I do like some things about Gnome, and will continue to give it a try every so often.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lineymo (539729)

      If only GNOME had drawers for the panels which included text. I have RDesktop links to 15 Windows servers, I can see the name of the server next to the text when I add the custom menu on the panel in KDE. I can't do that in GNOME.

      So, in this case, KDE gives me flexibility that GNOME does not.

    • Gone is definitely better.

      KDE just feels like Windows too much. It does look as nice and it just doesn't feel right.

      It's not junk it just feels like it's being held back because it wants to be Windows.
      • by Chrisq (894406)

        KDE just feels like Windows too much.

        But you can'r really blame KDE for being copied in Vista.

      • by MrHanky (141717)

        I don't think you have used KDE. I'm in XP at the moment, and it doesn't feel like KDE at all. Windows don't snap to borders, window placement seems random, the menu is radically different (it is in Vista as well). The only thing that's pretty much the same is the lay-out of the taskbar, with the launcher to the left, then a quicklaunch, then the application tray, the system tray and then the clock, although none of the elements feel the same.

    • by Tatsh (893946)

      I prefer KDE over GNOME but my only problem lately has been worry of easily moving to another desktop. It does not look like it will be easy. I am not sure if this problem exists with other environments like GNOME or Xfce or even Rox.

      Basically, all of KDE's (and ALL app's) settings are in ~/.kde as one would expect. However, although (obviously) all settings file are open standards (for example, iCal, vCard, etc), it seems as though you have to hunt down these files, know what they are, in order to migrate

    • by pherthyl (445706)

      I think it's a matter of exposure. You say that most useful Linux progs are written with GTK, but really the only one that I use day to day that is Firefox, and that's not even a GTK app, it just happens to use some GTK widgets.

      Once in a blue moon I fire up Inkscape, and that's about it. VLC is now Qt, Skype is Qt, Google Earth is Qt, Konversation for IRC, Okular for document viewing, OO has a version drawn with Qt widgets, k3b for burning discs, plenty of good qt music players, Krita and kolourpaint for

    • by Hatta (162192)

      The majority of useful utilities on Linux are written with GTK widgets rather than Qt, and while the Gnome-Qt bridge thingy which replaces GTK objects works for the most part, the different File Open/Save dialogue boxes grate on me.

      If that's the biggest complaint you have, that really underscores how excellent the desktop options on Linux are. Personally, I don't care which I use, but every once in a while I'll come across a save dialog that doesn't have a text box to enter a path. That is pure evil, which

    • by bytor4232 (304582)

      I prefer GNOME as well, I've found GNOME with Compiz, Emerald, and AWN to be the most productive and most beautiful environment I've ever worked with. Right now I'm using the Aurora Leopard theme off off gnome-look.org.

      However, it is very resource intensive, and can't run it on everything I have in service in my home. I used to run XFCE on my old Athlon/256 meg Compaq Presario 700 Laptop, but the most recent releases of Xubuntu have been using almost as much resources as GNOME/Metacity.

      I've recently turne

    • I think it was an issue of back in the late 90's where Red Hat decided to push Gnome vs. KDE. Where at the time Red Hat was the main distribution out there... So GNOME got more funding and support. While most other distributions used KDE as default. I tend to like KDE of GNOME myself but not so much to make my life miserable switching so whatever WM my Distribution give I use.

    • I have used both KDE and GNOME for extended periods (total, over a year for each) and I just can't claim to have a strong preference for either. I like how KDE is configurable, but sometimes it is too cluttered. I like that GNOME looks cleaner, but it can be irritating when I want to change something but can't. I like KDE's ioslaves, but GNOME also integrates things like ssh into Nautilus fairly well. GNOME's defaults are good; by default KDE 3.5 makes a bunch of irritating sound effects.

      I have gone back an

  • by Andr T. (1006215) <andretaff@noSPam.gmail.com> on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:30AM (#26119567)

    I bought a laptop for my wife some time ago. It came with a extremely bad distro that tried to resemble Windows XP in every way - and, of course, it failed.

    So, I asked her if she wanted to try Ubuntu, and installed it in the laptop. I had some problems with drivers for the webcam (which still doesn't work) and the wireless driver (which works using ndiswrapper).

    She never typed a single 'apt-get' in the command line (in fact, I think she doesn't even know there is one) but, after the initial setup, I didn't have to help her at all. And now, even being an average computer user, she is trying to spread Linux to her friends and colleagues.

    • by Provocateur (133110) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:40AM (#26119653) Homepage

      Act 1, Scene 2:

      (Wife bursts into room with printout, and looks accusingly at husband, who turns to face her from his laptop)

      Wife: Did you write this? "average" computer user??

      Husband: (incredulous) You read Slashdot?? On your second day???

      (Cut to exterior shot of house. Smashing sounds ensue.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      by WiglyWorm (1139035)

      And now, even being an average computer user, she is trying to spread Linux to her friends and colleagues

      Which will be fantastic, until they have to set up the ndiswrapper themselves.

      I am an advanced computer user (I work in IT), and ndiswrapper caused ME to give up on Linux. I'll try it again when I have a card that plays nice, but I still think that what Linux needs is a friendlier interface than even Ubuntu can offer. Why should I have to type "apt-get"? Why don't the linux coders make a rich graphic

      • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:53AM (#26119813) Homepage

        Why should I have to type "apt-get"?

        You don't. Just go into the main menu and pick "Applications..." or whatever the menu option is. It pops up a simple, user-friendly interface for installing any major applications you'd be interested in, ordered by category (the same categories as present in the main menu, actually).

        Of course, if you want to get a little more advanced, you can always pop up Synaptic. But there's absolutely no reason whatsoever that an average user needs to run apt-get on the command-line.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by WiglyWorm (1139035)
          You call it "simple", I will call it "simpler". Yes, it is easier than apt-get, but it is still by no means user friendly. It feels (at least the last version I used) like selecting drivers manually in windows XP. Not exactly a pain, but not as easy as it should be. It should feel more (IMHO) like finding add-ons for Firefox.
          • by sumdumass (711423)

            I sure am glad Microsoft created XP.

            I remember the pains of windows 95 and 98 as well as the crap ware of ME. You wan't to talk about a pain, there you go.

            Anyways, you have to remember, Linux is not windows so don't expect windows or you will always be disappointed. It's like eating a ham sandwich and bitching that the roast beef doesn't taste quite right. If it's roast beef you want, then order it in the first place.

            Anyways, Typing apt-get or using the package manager or installing synaptic or whatever isn

            • Oh yeah, Windows 95/98 "Plug-and-Pray" compatability was a joke, I would rather have manually set IRQs than deal with some of the crap I had to back then. However it was a growing process and it works very very well in XP, and even better in Vista.

              I hope Linux will continue to grow as well. I find it interesting to hear Linux supporters say that they really want Linux to catch on, "Year of the Linux Desktop" and what not, but yet they expect the market they wish to target to adjust to them. That isn't the
              • by sumdumass (711423)

                I understand and agree with what your saying to a point. However, you mentioned that the package manager was like installing drivers as if it is some foreign concept. Windows Vista, in the programs dialog, has a very similar feature where you can buy programs from windows live and download them and install in much the same way you do updates. This is in fact, very similar to windows update if I remember correctly except that instead of running inside IE, it has it's own window. (note, I tried Kbuntu so it m

          • by Darundal (891860)
            Can I ask how that is different than finding add-ons for firefox? To me it seems to be the exact same thing, without firefox.
            • by grumbel (592662)

              One difference is that the Firefox pages often features screenshots, while the application installer in Ubuntu is plain text.

              • Can I ask how that is different than finding add-ons for firefox? To me it seems to be the exact same thing, without firefox.

                One difference is that the Firefox pages often features screenshots, while the application installer in Ubuntu is plain text.

                Good point! Not necessarily easy to implement, but you do point out something that would give a more user-friendly feel, since lay users find graphics less intimidating.

                Maybe, to cut down on CPU load, there can be a blank picture next to each program with "Clic

          • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:32AM (#26120203) Homepage

            You call it "simple", I will call it "simpler". Yes, it is easier than apt-get, but it is still by no means user friendly.

            How could it *possibly* be simpler? You literally select the category (say, "Sound and Video"), and then find something you like. I honestly can't conceive of a more user-friendly interface. Hell, it's *better* that the Firefox add-ons selector as it's a simple picklist ordered by category, as opposed to an interface where you have to know what to search for in order to find what you're looking for.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by WiglyWorm (1139035)
              Well, sometimes "simple" does not equate in to user-friendliness. The fact that it is a "simple pick list" is the issue. You're confronted with a list of applications, some well named, some not. Sorted by type... and not much else. If I look for a firefox add-on, to continue the comparison, I can sort by type or keyword, and get a brief description of the application click it for a detailed explanation as well as reviews and comments...

              I'm not BASHING Linux, keep in mind. I would like to see it catch on,
              • by Draek (916851)

                If I look for a firefox add-on, to continue the comparison, I can sort by type or keyword, and get a brief description of the application click it for a detailed explanation as well as reviews and comments...

                Same with Synaptic, except without the user comments. I do think, however, that level of information tends to scare away the more shy users, so I'm also happy the default install/removal app doesn't have it.

              • by mhall119 (1035984)

                The Add/Remove application shows the application name and a one line description in the pick list. If you select an item in the list, a more detailed description (usually with a link to the app's website) is displayed in the lower window. It also gives user ratings, and in the future will likely use the Debian screenshot database to show a picture of the application.

                While sorting is limited to application name and user rating, you can filter by type or run a keyword search. It is all very intuitive and I

                • It sounds like they've made some addittions since the last distro I tried, which was at least a year back. I will have to give it a shot again (i tried to earlier but it wanted me to break apart my RAID array which isn't gonna happen).
          • You're comparing apples to oranges.

            Lets say you want to install skype. You head over to skype.com, and you choose download. If you get the windows version, you'll then install using a more or less standard windows installer. If you choose to get the ubuntu version, you'll get a .deb, about equivalent to a windows .msi -- double click, wait, done. If you want to install applications that are equally supported in Windows and Linux, you'll get Linux installations that are as simple as Windows ones.

            Now, let's s

      • by Hatta (162192)

        Why should I have to type "apt-get"?

        Leaving aside the fact that you DON'T have to use apt-get directly, what's so bad about typing a command? Your brain devotes an immense amount of resources to the processing of language, surely typing a few words can't be too hard for you.

        Try making it through the day without issuing any verbal commands. It would be awfully difficult to get what you want by just pointing at things. Life is much easier and better when you can use words as commands to get what you want.

    • Thats the best part about Ubuntu IMHO, I've never messed with the commandline, and have no idea what is going on back there, and frankly, I don't care. I tried SUSE about 2 years ago and deleted it within the week as Google earth wouldn't work. It really surprises me the attitude of Linux users. They seem to think that not wanting to install from the command line is a flaw in the consumer.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday December 15, 2008 @10:40AM (#26119657) Homepage Journal

    Okay next to nothing about Samba 4, AD, or how about the potental for better integration with and possible replacing of Exchange now that the protocol have been documented and released?

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      If the possibility is there, why not take the initiative to get this project started or supported?

      Not saying you can't ask for it, but this seems like a personal itch you should look at scratching.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Actually there are some projects now starting to work on the exchange protocol. Samba 4 is currently under development. I just want more meat out of a front page slashstory than two pages that just sort of touch on Novell politics and and why somebody likes Gnome over KDE.
        Like the future of Samba and the future of FOSS solutions replacing Microsoft network services.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by somenickname (1270442)

      I agree. Jeremy Allison seems like a nice enough guy and his contributions are surely appreciated but, there was very little content to this interview. I'm not sure why this particular interview is worth putting on the front page other than getting people riled up into a Gnome vs. KDE war.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Riled up?
        It shouldn't even do that. He likes Gnome better. So what so do I but I can use KDE just fine and I don't hate it.
        Just blah... Not Jeremy Allison's fault at all. It was just a really bad interview. He his answers where fine it was the questions that sucked.

  • by jglov (1371125)
    Am I the only one who initially thought the name of this article was "Jennifer Aniston on why she loves Gnomes"
  • While KDE's speed and overall configurability are a huge plus, it is really the apps that make KDE win over GNOME for me. GNOME just can't come close to Amarok, Konqueror (KIO slaves [wikipedia.org] in particular), and K3B.
  • Gnome is a problem. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Poppa_Chubby (263725) on Monday December 15, 2008 @11:49AM (#26120359)

    Gnome is a problem because it doesn't encourage desktop use of linux in the sense that users use applications that are written to work and play well together. Gnome does nothing to encourage that.

    This is the reason why OSX (and even windows) is beating the crap out of linux on the desktop and why it always will.

    The average Gnome user (according to /.'s own roblimo) patches together a bunch of applications that are pretty much desktop agnostic.
    The other two cases are the "optimizer" that worries about the terminal program they're using taking up another half kilobyte of memory when they recompile their kernel, or a developer that doesn't care about the desktop because all they really do is development.
    All of these type of users would be just as well using Windowmaker or FVWM or any other window manager that we used to fight over last decade.

    KDE has its issues, but at the very least it attempts to encourage users to utilize the K* applications and those K* applications actually work together very well. Further, the environment is a fairly consistent development target for applications.

    At the moment, KDE is really the only coherent desktop environment that the free unix world has (with a possible nod to Xfce). Enlightenment development stalls out on a regular basis and as it stands now is years behind even Gnome for the most basic stuff. GNUstep was a great idea, but its in the same boat as E, too little, too late.

    Finally, let's remember why Gnome was initially developed -- as a political response to some issues with QT that no longer exist -- and more often than not Gnome is still chosen over KDE in distros due to politics.

  • by skeeto (1138903) on Monday December 15, 2008 @12:02PM (#26120491)

    Gnome used to be my favorite window manager, until I realized that the focus model is totally wrong, and there is no way to fix it. It lies in this principle,

    No window should ever steal focus ... ever. Don't even do it if the computer will blow up, or the world will end, if I fail to respond.

    If you are trying to maximize your computing efficiency, focus stealing is your worst enemy. It's entire purpose is to slow you down.

    Focus stealing breaks flow and can also be a security issue. Let's say you are typing away in a text editor and some other application decides it needs you to make a decision in the form of a pop-up window. Just as you are hitting enter in your text editor, the window pops-up, grabs your return keystroke and accepts it as your answer, doing whatever the default action is. Or the case where you are typing a password and a dialog steals focus and you type part of your password out in plain sight into the dialog.

    A lot of this can be blamed on Windows for having a really shitty focus model, which everyone else tries to emulate in order to appeal to mouse-driven Windows users, I guess. I have noticed that Vista has a slightly improved focus over XP, but still very wrong. This focus model is the same attitude that gets you the Windows update manager that bugs you every 10 minutes by stealing focus, or worse, automatically rebooting while you aren't even at the machine (this is simply unforgivable).

    Unfortunately, if you switch to a reasonable focus model, you will break poorly designed applications that are used to the broken focus models (OpenOffice, Matlab, any IDE, to name a few). These are applications that use a lot of pop-ups that don't "disable" the main window, which is when it is ok. For example, save dialogs are just fine for pop-ups: you can't have the main window in focus, so the change in focus to the dialog is natural and doesn't have a negative effect (it's not actually focus stealing).

    However, pop-up text-searching is always absolutely wrong, for reasons beyond focus stealing too*. You will find that removing focus stealing will (correctly) not give these search boxes focus, which really breaks things for these applications. (Firefox wins here, maintaining its fairly good usability, with the integrated, incremental search bar.)

    KDE does actually have a setting that can strictly stop focus stealing, in the form of a sliding bar. This works most of the time, but it's not perfect. New windows do in fact steal focus for a few milliseconds. This is enough to occasionally steal a keystroke, but I can live with it for now.

    At work, I only get to choose between Gnome and KDE, so some other window manager out there may get this 100% right and I haven't explored it. At home I use IceWM, which also has a broken, unfixable focus model. However, the software I use at home is better behaved, making it less of an issue.

    * Side rant here. For seasoned Emacs users, the incremental search function is frequently used for navigation [googlepages.com] (see item 4). If I need to move the point by more than a few characters or words, I start a text search (C-s, C-r) and type some text at the point I want to go. I do this all the time without even thinking about it. This doesn't work in a pop-up text search, even ignoring the fact that the aren't incremental either. When you bring it up, usually ctrl+f, there is always a delay to the window coming up. If I start typing my search right away, as I am used to in Emacs, it will go into my document rather than the search box. I find this incredibly annoying. I shouldn't be waiting for the computer like that.

    • I don't know how windows works low level but in X windows theres no excuse for focus stealing since its quite easy to make a window pop up over all the others but not take the focus so you still keep typing away in the window underneath.

    • Emacs (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kwabbles (259554)

      Since you mentioned it, I think Emacs is my favorite desktop manager. It's also my favorite CAD program.

    • by 0xABADC0DA (867955) on Monday December 15, 2008 @01:57PM (#26121821)

      If using compiz go to gnome configuration editor and change Apps -> Compiz -> Screen0 -> options -> focus_prevention_level to "2" (or whatever amount you prefer, see help text).

      Unfortunately, no GUI for this afaik and it gets reset from time to time during updates.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        No GUI??

        On Ubuntu 8.10, do following:

        System>Preferences>CompizConfig Settings Manager (we will say CCSM for short)

        In CCSM, click on icon "General Options".

        In this screen choose tab labeled "Focus & Raise Behaviour".

        Find option "Focus Prevention Level". Set to any setting you wish (mine is at high).

        ________

        I just described what you could do as per a ex-Windows user would be used to being told. Things just work, and settings- complex settings are easy to set.

    • At work, I only get to choose between Gnome and KDE, so some other window manager out there may get this 100% right and I haven't explored it. At home I use IceWM, which also has a broken, unfixable focus model. However, the software I use at home is better behaved, making it less of an issue.

      Mac OS (6-9) had this right. OSX lost it. Some patches have been attempted by third parties but they react too slowly. Drives me bonkers.

      A sibling content mentions Enlightenment. I'd be willing to put up with it if

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." -- Bernard Berenson

Working...