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2005 Jul 06 15:16

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox] Survey: What do YOU use Linux for?
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Re: [vox] Survey: What do YOU use Linux for?

On Wed, Jul 06, 2005 at 01:39:52PM -0700, Bill Kendrick wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 06, 2005 at 01:27:56PM -0700, Micah J. Cowan wrote:

(Norm's text:)

> > >   * even though they are typically not as flashy as commercial Windows
> > >     apps in terms of GUIs, they are often more powerful
> > 
> > This one I agree with absolutely. However, the flip of the coin is that,
> > because their GUIs are frequently not well-designed, there is usually a
> > very steep learning curve. As a hacker, that's sometimes actually a plus
> > for me (lust for learning); but for most folks it's a major setback.
> The little software I use on Windows is either abysmally designed and
> implemented (mostly Qualcomm development tools for cellphone programming)
> or are no better and no worse than what I'm used to on Linux/KDE.

Well, as far as software I use on Windows on a regular basis goes, I
pretty much play games, so I can't add much to this.

> The WinXP environment as a _whole_ is much twitchier and difficult to use
> than Linux, though.  (From both a shell-user standpoint, and, more
> importantly, from a GUI-user point of view!)

This comment surprises me, though. Obviously, from a shell-user
standpoint, there is no comparison. But my impression of the Windows
software I've used, compares very favorably GUI-wise to the GUI-based
Linux apps I use. However, I should add a disclaimer here and point out
that I don't use all that many GUI-oriented apps, and those that I do
are mainly GTK+- or GNOME based, which as I see from your comments
elsewhere in the message to which I'm responding, you do not view

But the kinds of comparisons I was primarily thinking of, and I suspect
Norm was too, are things like TeX vs Word or PageMaker, or mutt vs.
typical Windows mail clients. Or vim vs notepad.

In each of these cases, it is quite clear that the OSS ones are far
superior in terms of power (although, there are things that are easy in
PageMaker which are moderately-to-quite difficult in TeX, such as
flowing text around images). In each of these cases, there is also a
clear trend that the non-OSS ones with flashier GUIs are easier for
newcomers to grasp, and to hit the ground running with.

Of the examples I gave, mutt is probably the one that is easiest to
learn, relative to the GUI alternatives. But even there, you must edit
a configuration text-file, which is significantly less user-friendly to
most folks than the Wizards-style configuration in Outlook, etc.
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