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Re: [tlug] epcEditor

On Thu, Mar 21, 2002 at 06:15:11AM -0800, Michael Moyle wrote:

> This is an interesting phenomenon. 
> vi vs emacs
> windows vs mac
> freebsd vs linux
> Of course, linux is my answer to the classic windows vs mac debate. Now
> I see this freebsd vs linux banter.

How about Plan 9 vs The World?

[ ... but it's *better*! :-)) ]

> > 
> > No, Linux will "succeed" in the wider marketplace when there is a bullet
> > and foolproof installation and a solid set of usable software. "Usable"

Bullet- and foolproof installation? I'd be interested to know what OS offers
that. Windows installation is easy because the vendors have already done it
for you. No argument about usable software.

> > meaning free of command-line and control-key arcana.
> I believe GUIs don't make things easier. This is a myth that people use
> to sell operating systems.

... and that the vast majority of users -- and maybe more importantly, 
corporate decision-makers -- believe. 

> A GUI is good for some things, but you loose
> power, and speed with no command line. Windows is a labryntine mess of
> GUIS. Look at the manuals for Exchange and ISA, they are huge. These
> systems are not easy to use. 
> Windows, through ease of installation, and tightly integrated systems,
> removes a huge barrier for entry and provides a gentle learning curve. 
> But once you are in swamp things get hard, and you realize the drawbacks
> of these systems. 

Well said. And I'm reminded of the aphorism that "Those who don't understand
UNIX are condemned to reinvent it -- badly." Except that these days it seems
the tables have turned, with two massive open source projects reinventing
Windows badly. To give just one example: copying the Windows Start Menu. 
The default position of that abomination, the lower left corner, is the worst
of the 4 corners (at least for right-handed people): how many physical tasks
can you think of that are well-performed by reaching across your body? And as
usability experts love to point out, the Start Menu could have been flush with
the edge of the screen (like the Mac does it); instead Microsoft, presumably
because of a misplaced sense of aesthetics, chose to separate it from the edge
by a few pixels, which requires dramatically greater skill with the mouse.

GNOME and KDE could have provided a better implementation of the Start Menu
and other concepts without altering the look enough to scare people away --
but it seems like there were no real GUI designers involved. Hell, I could
have told them some of this stuff, and I'm not a real GUI designer. But in
those days I didn't feel competent to participate in those sorts of projects.


OK, that's my rant for the day. We now return you to our regulary scheduled
Matt Gushee
Englewood, Colorado, USA

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