|FROM ||Ruben Safir
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: RE: [Hardhats-members] Open source and accessibility]
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Subject: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] [Fwd: RE: [Hardhats-members] Open source and accessibility]
From: Ruben Safir
Organization: Brooklyn Linux Solutions
X-Mailer: Ximian Evolution 1.4.4
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 17:07:23 -0500
> From: Ruben Safir
> To: hardhats-members-at-lists.sourceforge.net
> Subject: RE: [Hardhats-members] Open source and accessibility
> Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 15:43:11 -0500
> On Tue, 2006-03-21 at 10:57, Jon Parshall wrote:
> > > > Bottom line: I think *all* of the main desktop distros have
> > > > gotten better in the past three years. But are they at the
> > > > level of OS/X yet? Or even Windows? Uh uh. The gap is
> > > > narrowing, though.
> > >
> > > I disagree with this. My family and I moved from Windows to Slackware
> > > in 1996, and today, the family finds working with Windows and Aqua to be
> > > extremely limiting, difficult and time consuming.
> > This is all extremely ironic, of course, because *I'm* the guy who works for
> > the company selling Linux migration products, and yet *I'm* the one saying,
> > "It just ain't there yet!" ;-)
> Hello John
> This baits me into making some comments on the pluses and minuses of the
> work codeweavers have done over the years, which is something not
> germane to the discussion and something I'm not willing to get baited
> into at this time. If you want to move this conversation to the NYLXS
> mailing list, I can better give you an entire itinerary of what I firmly
> believe are mistakes by codeweaver over the last decade and so as well
> as a list of things that I believe they've done which is useful.
> I'm just going to say that IMO Codewaevers is not the gold standard for
> GNU Desktop production and support. And I will not address this
> discussion with regard to you as a member of CodeWeaver's any more than
> I expect to you to address your discussion on desktop usability to me
> with my credentials as leading proponent, organizer and educator about
> Free Software through NYLXS and other venues for over a decade. I will
> discuss this, however, based on the technical merits of the GNU
> Desktops, they're usability and how it compares to other desktops.
> > But I'm sorry, in terms of "perceived
> > slickness," Windows XP ain't really so bad, and OS/X just has it hands down
> > over everybody else.
> In regard to slickness, I have no comment on. Slickness is an adjective
> which has nothing to do with the function and usability of the GNU
> Desktop, or the XP or OSX desktop.
> > All the Wine hackers at my ranch want an iMac.
> I've never been an advocate of WINE as a project. Programs designed for
> the Windows Operating System and environment are always missing key
> desktop features do to the limitations imposed by Microsoft on Windows.
> It is, IMO, a waste of time and resources to invest in porting over
> Windows programs, which are fundamentally broken in key ways, to a
> system based on GNU software because the GNU systems offers a much
> richer selection of desktop and operating system features.
> Even the simple things, like cut and paste, become like pulling teeth in
> these environments. Its always been my opinion that rather than going
> feature for feature for Windows programs, that it is better to make a
> native GNU program that leverages the unique properties of Free Software
> including the X windows application server. Many of the features
> designed in these Microsoft based programs have hugely inefficient
> chunks of code designed to get around the programs of operating on that
> environment in the first place. Running these programs on WINE, IMO,
> makes even less sense.
> > Now,
> > some of that is certainly driven by the fact that we're pushing to get a Mac
> > version of CrossOver out the door, and it's hard to fix Mac-related bugs in
> > Wine 'less you've got yourself a Mac to hack on. But the *other* part of
> > the equation is that iMacs are just pure sex, and who wouldn't want one?
> Well, I don't want one. It's a closed system which is hard to get,
> although not impossible, a standard GNU based system running on. I also
> think they are ugly to look at. I can't stand it that if you open up
> Mozilla that it takes over the entire screen, taskbar and everything. I
> can't stand being locked into a single desktop screen, and the mouse has
> a LOT to be desired.
> > Even geeks like to be stylish (at least, sometimes).
> I like in NY. Stylishness is an obsession and one thing you learn that
> there is very different styles.
> When it comes to a desktop, however, I'm not interested in style. My
> focus is function. But if you want style, by all means, my SuSE 9.1
> distro has a dozen configurable desktops to choose from. Just pick one
> you feel stylish in.
> > > GNU desktops repeatedly out perform in nearly every fair minded
> > > condition. First, they are far more customizable. With six kids in the
> > > house, they would accept nothing less. They have far more security,
> > > greater network connectivity, interconnectivity and there are far more
> > > useful programming in SuSE than XP home edition.
> > I agree with all of that. But "out perform" is only one part of the
> > equation. There's a switching cost to make that happen, and the truth is
> > that most larger organizations aren't willing to make that transition (yet),
> > because either 1) the transition cost is still perceived as being too high
> > and/or 2) the long-term benefits of the transition are perceived as being
> > too low. Microsoft, of course, spends big money in PR and advertising to
> > feed both of those perceptions.
> Here you make excellent points that I agree with. The problem in
> promoting the GNU desktops is ***BINGO*** vertical applications for
> integrated business solutions. Its very frustrating and I've seen
> company after company blow big time business opportunities because they
> haven't used the resources that they have to promote the development of
> such vertical appliances in Law, Accounting, Pharmacy, Publishing, cash
> Registers, and dozens of other markets. What is weird about this is
> that this was the meat and potatoes of SCO's business model until they
> committed virtual business suicide. Businesses are taking the short
> term profitability route by making their server apps and client apps for
> W32. Its a mistake, one that Borland has learned the hard way.
> But in terms of the Desktop and its usability, there is no more advanced
> and usable system as a GNU based X Windows desktop. Nothing comes
> close. Not only is it ready, its been ready from the days that Macs
> lost their file system and Windows was still running in 16 bits on DOS
> > But at least in the case of the North
> > American market, and to a lesser extent in Europe, you don't tend to see a
> > lot of interest in the Linux desktop yet. That interest *is* developing,
> > but it's coming on slowly, organically. We haven't yet reached a market
> > tipping point where suddenly everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon.
> That's an issue of vision, familiarity and over turning misinformation
> such as "The Linux Desktop is not ready yet".
> > In my opinion, the real action on the Linux desktop these days is in places
> > like Brazil, South Africa, India, and China. *Those* are places that 1)
> > have a crying need for innovation, 2) view Microsoft (and American OS
> > hegemony in general) with great alarm, and 3) tend to have many more smart
> > young people than they have money. For them, investing the human capital
> > into making the transition to Linux is more of an easy sell. They'll
> > cheerfully take whatever they can get that's verging on zero software
> > licensing cost, and they'll readily bend it to their wishes be sticking an
> > army of homegrown developers on it. That's a great solution, because it
> > takes advantage of the openness of the underlying tools.
> There is an inner city business market which is being completely missed
> here in NYC.
> > But for someone like, I dunno, Owens Corning or Rubbermaid, it's a whole
> > different equation. For them, openness and licensing costs (while both
> > important) probably rank well below risk management--"If it ain't really,
> > *really* broke; don't fix it." Windows XP is probably working... okay...
> > for them. Yeah, they may have more sys admins running around than they'd
> > like. And they're sick to death of applying OS patches. But they also know
> > that if they put in a new desktop solution that causes too much pain among
> > the thousands of (mostly) docile cube warriors that they tend to, then hey,
> > they get their butts fired. It's all very simple. It takes a *very*
> > persuasive and/or powerful CTO/CIO type to push something like that through.
> This is of course a perception which your talking about. The key to
> changing perception, more so that a good product, is a good sales force
> and an always "On", always there marketing message.
> If Apple has been able to get so many users stuck within their
> ridiculously designed desktop environments like auto-trons, then just
> think what someone with real marketing skills can do with a truly "Sexy,
> Creative, Freedom Breeding" OS like GNU and X!
> X - Marks the Spot
> Get it now!
> > Now, some of those folks *are* serious about making a move. Many of them
> > have rage issues with Software Assurance (and that's right and proper). So,
> > some of them will eventually go, or at least *start* going, because if
> > nothing else they want to have a credible option to leverage back against MS
> > and Software Assurance licensing costs. But thus far, those organizations
> > remain in the minority in the domestic market. And hey, I oughta know! ;-)
> > > I personally work with wmaker on about 5 virtual desktops, with
> > > gtk-nautilus running as a desktop manager when I think I need to (which
> > > is rare).
> > And see, I'm sorry, no offense, but you've just revealed yourself as an
> > archetypal power-user ubergeek.
> Hardly. wmaker is a piece of cake to configure and use. Even my
> Ex-Wife does this. Here is a picture of the Ubergeeks in my family
> using a GNU Desktop!
> > You portray a desktop manager is something
> > optional.
> That is the DESKTOP MANAGER, not the windows manager. Something like
> KDE and Nautilus (gnome) is an appilication which sits (in theory) on
> top of a windowing system to provide what some might perceive important
> additional services on top of an already existing windowing system. In
> this regard, they've broken out some features of the window manager from
> the desktop manager and moved them into this environment which together
> resides and is (in theory) integrated with the windowing system. Such
> functionality might include font management, drag and drop capability,
> task bars, and such. I'm not much of a fan of this because it eats up a
> ton of CPU power and it doesn't integrate well with wmaker. In
> addition, wmaker gives me most of these services anyway. wmaker,
> interestingly enough. is based on NextStep. I like the programming
> libraries for it as well. They are straight forward and easy to use.
> > That's great; I'm glad you've got the moxie to pull that off,
> > because I sure don't.
> My kids can teach this to you in about 20 minutes.
> > Even after 4 years of working with Linux, I can't
> > even conceive of a time when I'd want to just work on a command line all
> > day. I live in my window manager. And frankly, for 99.9378%
> > (approximately) of your average "knowledge workers," the idea of living
> > without a desktop manager would be unthinkable. I don't need to "out
> > perform." I need to do my work.
> Thats a training issue. Most literate people would prefer to work both
> in terminals and in a clicking environment together, using either or
> both as needed.
> > > While devices will ALWAYS be a problem due to manufactures
> > > dreams of world domination and secrecy, in truth, devices that are
> > > supported, which is a hell of a lot of them, are better supported than
> > > the proprietary drivers in commercial operating systems. What more can
> > > we want? We have access to TV, Radio, Security Cameras, video
> > > production, image manipulation, we have a dozen or so scanners, digital
> > > cameras, video recorders and more.
> > Yeah, but not many of them simply plug and play.
> All of the devices I currently use are plug and play in SuSE 9.1
> That wasn't always the case, but it ALWAYS worked better than Windows.
> In any event, there is a reason we call Plug and Play "Plug and Pray".
> I'm certain that nobody on this board hasn't been victimized by a device
> that not only didn't work on a commercial OS. but that managed to screw
> up the entire system.
> And its not just OS's that suffer from this, but also mother boards.
> > In many cases, you have to
> > fiddle to make them go. And my personal kitbag of "Linux installation
> > tricks" is rather limited, and for most real human beings it's even smaller.
> > Hardware detection is still slicker in the other OS environments. At least
> > that's my perception.
> And how do you understand your hardware on the other OSs? At least on
> GNU you can always cat /proc when all else fails.
> > > And we run almost exclusively AMD 850 Durons in the house.
> > >
> > > Every time I have to deal with a non GNU system it is stifling. Those
> > > desktops are completely brain dead.
> > Yeah, but so are the majority of the corporate users using them. ;-) They
> > wouldn't know they they had "greater network connectivity" if you hit them
> > in the head with it. To them "Change = bad. Change = scary. I want what I
> > already know." Who can blame them?
> This is the core problem and the reason I've taken the time to discuss
> this (instead of busy getting kicked off of the NY Wireless Mailing list
> this morning). When a Mac use tells me how great their OS is, my eyes
> roll. NYLXS has wanted to run a study with children to see which OS's
> they learn fastest and gain the most productivity out of. The trick is
> to find children who have no previous biases or experience. It takes
> some money to do such a study, but we are dedicated to do it as a double
> blind controlled study for publishing.
> > All of this is *not* to say, don't go to Linux on the desktop. For many
> > people and organizations it can make sense. Particularly for those
> > organizations that have a handful of apps that comprise the "working" of the
> > majority of their day-to-day doings, moving to Linux can be a great move, by
> > bringing in the cost, maintenance, and other benefits that you rightly
> > mention above. Not to mention finally having *control* again (as a
> > customer) over the software you buy (what a novel concept). Call centers
> > are a perfect example of the sort of business that can benefit from
> > Linux--*lots* of people using essentially *one* application all day long.
> > Obviously, CPRS is an example of a similar sort of application (we hope),
> > which is why we're very interested in making it run under CrossOver. But
> > I'm not going to say "Linux is axiomatically better and slicker and easier
> > for everyone everywhere all the time." Because it just ain't so (at least
> > not yet.)
> Welcome to the crowd. :) Now you just need to stay on message and get
> some sales :)
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