[LINK] Apple's Intel Desktop Move Threatens Linux Desktop,
glen.turner at aarnet.edu.au
Thu Jun 9 10:50:00 EST 2005
Deus Ex Machina wrote:
> the problem with linux and especiaslly linux users is they are so
> technology centric that becoming user centric is not really on the
That was probably true 3-5 years ago. But in the years
since usability has taken a front seat, because:
- Sun taking on GNOME, bring their first-rate usability
testing. If you want to get the attention of the
Linux community then having solid numerical support
for saying "it sucks" helps.
- The academic usability community discovering Linux.
They particularly like that differing UI solutions can
be coded in real software (not mockups). And the nature
of open source allows winning solutions to be incorporated
into the software.
- Competition. Once upon a time Linux users were happy
for any package in a particular field. Now that there
are many packages the most usable has the most chance
of being widely used. Look at the 'Grumpy editor'
reviews on LWN.net.
- Competition. MacOS X is FreeBSD with a pretty interface.
GNOME or KDE is Linux with a pretty interface.
- Usability is now seen as cool. Look at the kudos given
to the Firefox developers for their wonderful solution
to the "find in a web page" dialog box problem. So
your assumption that there are no "reputational benefits"
attached to usability is demonstratably wrong.
> this is a fundamental flaw in the FLOSS model. FLOSS is imo
> nothing more then a democratisation of r&d. like all good r&d
> it needs commercialising to make it palatable to end users. that
> commercialising today simply doesnt exist.
This depends if you think putting software in a box and whacking
on a logo and a pricetag makes software palatable to end users :-)
More seriously, commercialisation brings support and some circumstances
make attractiive the ability to say "this is now your problem, fix it".
I wouldn't go as far to say that this applies to most software -- how
many times have you rang Microsoft or Apple?
Also, commercial software support often isn't provided by the software
vendor but by someone else. In the SA gov that would be EDS. For a home
user the portion of the OS used for comms is supported by their ISP.
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