The desktop wars
peter at thecodergeek.com
Tue Jun 20 02:22:48 UTC 2006
Steven Pasternak wrote:
> We aren't in the 1990's anymore. Firefox/Thunderbird are what many
> people use under windows, so there isn't really much transition there.
> OpenOffice works almost like M$, and even has file-format compatibility.
Good. The apps are cross-platform and interact well with other apps and
file formats. Now how does Granny User transfer her settings from
Windows Firefox/Thunderbird/OO.org/etc. to Linux? Currently no easy way
exists to do this (of which I am aware). By "easy" here, I want there to
be some way to have a dialog which says "I want to transfer these
settings/bookmarks/preferences/et al. from my Windows applications to my
Linux installation" with clickable options for Firefox, Thunderbird,
OpenOffice.org, Gaim) and the user could just click it. Even nice would
be things like transferring what we could of a user's MS Outlook setup
to the corresponding Evolution configuration or transferring a Trillian
buddy list to Gaim, etc. It would be very difficult to ensure everything
was transferred correctly, but I think it would really help people learn
to use GNU/Linux further without the trouble of reconfiguring their
client software for instant messaging, email, web browsing, etc. (Hey, a
geek can dream, right? :o)
> A lot of printers and most chipsets work out-of-the-box, only without a
> million driver discs, and KDE/GNOME make for a comfortable environment.
> Except for zero out-of-the-box mp3 support (which is stupid - but is an
> entirely different discussion), which is simple to get (livna,rpmforge,
> etc.), linux is in many ways easier that windows to use.
Not necessarily. Sure, it's easy to use for beginner computer users, but
even my own grandmother was rather proficient with Windows-specific
stuff. Admittedly, things like what you have mentioned, as well as
central and trusted software repositories (rather than downloading from
"cool-applications-example.com" or similar) are a major plus for
GNU/Linux and the Free desktop in general, many computer users would
need to relearn how to use GNOME or KDE (or another WM/DE) and how to
use which apps to achieve specific goals, etc. (Though, in this respect,
I very much appreciate the simple things like renaming the applications
in the main menu to their functionality and not just their name; i.e.
"Totem Video Player" instead of just "Totem" and "Word Processor"
instead of "OO.org Writer," etc.)
> They are starting. You can buy RHEL4 from dell.com if you dig deep
> enough. Linux kills in the server market, but you are right. The biggies
> do need to promote linux a little more that burying it in the shop
> section of their websites.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest defeats for the Free desktop currently
is lack of proper video driver support from major manufacturers, such as
NVidia/ATi. Thankfully, ATi's older stuff works well with the in-tree
radeon drivers and Intel has published specs and source code for the
drivers for their integrated Graphics Media Accelerator stuff; (Thanks,
Intel!) and the Open Video project looks very promising as well.
Peter Gordon (codergeek42)
GnuPG Public Key ID: 0xFFC19479 / Fingerprint:
DD68 A414 56BD 6368 D957 9666 4268 CB7A FFC1 9479
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