[OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

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[OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Peter Alcibiades
The first link is to a comprehensive review of Gnome 3, the whole thing being worth reading, but which culminates in the following:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fedora-16-gnome-3-review,3155-16.html

The implications for the Gnome-Ubuntu usability project are quite devastating.  Basically this justifies all of Torvald's rants about interface authoritarianism

Then we have Carla Shroder's review of Bodhi.  Note in particular Hooglund's comments on the core issue:  one size does not fit all people or all devices.

https://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/556594-bodhi-linux-the-beautiful-configurable-lightweight-linux

The debate has turned from whether we like or dislike Gnome3 or KDE4, and has turned towards the core question:  is there one thing we should be imposing on people at all?

Finally, check out Linux Mint

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/linux-mint-12-offers-traditional-gnome-feel

Finally, we have the ongoing revolt over the interface vandalism that KDE4 represented, and the forking of the Trinity environment as a response.

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/trinity-kde.html

Basically, the Linux desktop world in the last few years has been testing an hypothesis to destruction.  This hypothesis was that there is such a thing as usability, with rules that can be discovered and implemented, and that if you do this, people will be grateful.  This hypothesis has been decisively falsified, particularly the part about gratitude.

In the course of testing this hypothesis what happened was that 'usability' ceased to have any relation to what real people actually do and want while using their machines, because actually the greatest usability feature is familiarity.  Never mind if other people find it politically correct, if I am used to doing it a certain way, its usable for me.

The predictable result was users are walking with their feet, first away from KDE4, and now away from Gnome3 and Unity, often towards xfce.  The less predictable result has been that the whole question of whether usability is a useful concept at all has started to be debated.  As Hooglund's remarks illustrate.

Me, I have moved to Fluxbox, because it gets out of the way and stays out.  Everyone I support will be moving to xfce over the next few months.  With any luck, they will not notice its not Gnome2....!

Peter

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Tim Jones
All very good points, Peter.  I am also an XFCE and OpenWindows (OLVWM in Linux speak) fan.  One important distinction to keep in mind here - GNOME is not GTK as KDE is not QT.  So long as developers keep that in mind when creating software, the desktop paradigm should not be a concern in delivering your applications in the Linux market.  Your GTK or QT based apps will run properly under any desktop manager so long as the GTK or QT libraries are installed.

Also, you can elect to install other desktop managers under Ubuntu if you do a manual install.  I always install FVWM and XFCE and then add BlackBox by building it from source and installing it.

If you really want to guarantee compatibility, toss those and look to xt and xlib.  Every other mid-level X11 framework has to start there.

Tim

On Mar 23, 2012, at 1:37 AM, Peter Alcibiades wrote:

> The first link is to a comprehensive review of Gnome 3, the whole thing being worth reading, but which culminates in the following:
>
> http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fedora-16-gnome-3-review,3155-16.html
>
> The implications for the Gnome-Ubuntu usability project are quite devastating.  Basically this justifies all of Torvald's rants about interface authoritarianism
>
> Then we have Carla Shroder's review of Bodhi.  Note in particular Hooglund's comments on the core issue:  one size does not fit all people or all devices.
>
> https://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/556594-bodhi-linux-the-beautiful-configurable-lightweight-linux
>
> The debate has turned from whether we like or dislike Gnome3 or KDE4, and has turned towards the core question:  is there one thing we should be imposing on people at all?
>
> Finally, check out Linux Mint
>
> http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/linux-mint-12-offers-traditional-gnome-feel
>
> Finally, we have the ongoing revolt over the interface vandalism that KDE4 represented, and the forking of the Trinity environment as a response.
>
> http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/trinity-kde.html
>
> Basically, the Linux desktop world in the last few years has been testing an hypothesis to destruction.  This hypothesis was that there is such a thing as usability, with rules that can be discovered and implemented, and that if you do this, people will be grateful.  This hypothesis has been decisively falsified, particularly the part about gratitude.
>
> In the course of testing this hypothesis what happened was that 'usability' ceased to have any relation to what real people actually do and want while using their machines, because actually the greatest usability feature is familiarity.  Never mind if other people find it politically correct, if I am used to doing it a certain way, its usable for me.
>
> The predictable result was users are walking with their feet, first away from KDE4, and now away from Gnome3 and Unity, often towards xfce.  The less predictable result has been that the whole question of whether usability is a useful concept at all has started to be debated.  As Hooglund's remarks illustrate.
>
> Me, I have moved to Fluxbox, because it gets out of the way and stays out.  Everyone I support will be moving to xfce over the next few months.  With any luck, they will not notice its not Gnome2....!
>
> Peter


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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Richard Gaskin
In reply to this post by Peter Alcibiades
Like Tim noted, any user of any current major distro who prefers Gnome 2
can install it and use it.   Ubuntu goes so far as to make this a
one-click option at login.

And it's Linux:  there are more than a hundred distros to choose from,
most of them almost infinitely configurable, so any Linux user
complaining that they can't get exactly what they want hasn't really tried.

Anyone who used Mac at the turn of this century has already been through
this sort of transition:  many folks hated OS X, and I know a couple
people who still prefer OS 9 to this day.

What Apple did (and will likely do again when they merge OS X and iOS
once ARM chips become strong enough to support that, or Intel's
post-Medfield line does) is what Microsoft did with the transition from
XP to Vista/7 and is doing again with the transition to Windows 8, is
pretty much the same thing that Gnome is doing with Gnome 3 and
Canonical is doing with Unity:  moving their OS designs from a more
homogeneous past into an increasingly diverse present.

Times change, audiences change, and OS designs change along with them.

Where Linux outshines the others is its diversity:  there are plenty of
options available for every taste.

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  LiveCode training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
  Webzine for LiveCode developers: http://www.LiveCodeJournal.com
  LiveCode Journal blog: http://LiveCodejournal.com/blog.irv

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Peter Alcibiades
Richard Gaskin wrote
Like Tim noted, any user of any current major distro who prefers Gnome 2
can install it and use it.   Ubuntu goes so far as to make this a
one-click option at login.
Richard, I wish that were true, I would simply do it.  But its vanishing from the repositories.  I am on Debian Wheezy, and neither gnome2 nor the old version of gdm are options.  You have to compile from source to get it.   What we have lost in gdm now is as serious as what has gone missing from gnome3 - we have lost the ability to set up xdmcp on the host.  We still have the ability to do remote connect from the client, but not to set it up in the painless way we used to have on the target.  We've lost gdm-setup.  I read on the blogs that gnome2 is vanishing from ubuntu repositories also.  I haven't checked the latest Fedora releases.

You can get back a lot of the gnome2 functionality in gnome3, the window control buttons for instance, and the desktop controls, but by all accounts you have to work at it, and for much functionality you are now reduced to editing text files.  Actually, its even worse.  It may not be terribly good practice to log on to a gui as root, but it can be very convenient sometimes.  Well, gdm allowed you to configure it to allow that.  gdm2 its not an option.  There is probably some way to do it by editing custom.conf.  But if you had it, why take it away?

This stuff turns too readily into a peevish complaint about gnome or kde.  But the point that strikes me as being of much wider interest is that the gnome project always has been motivated by a vision of usability and ease of use, naturalness in method.  They really worked at that.  So something very interesting has happened when the result of trying very hard to deliver that vision is in fact less usability for a substantial proportion of users.  And it has happened not only to gnome, but to kde as well.

Peter
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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Richard Gaskin
Peter Alcibiades wrote:

> Richard Gaskin wrote
>>
>> Like Tim noted, any user of any current major distro who prefers Gnome 2
>> can install it and use it.   Ubuntu goes so far as to make this a
>> one-click option at login.
>>
>
> Richard, I wish that were true, I would simply do it.  But its vanishing
> from the repositories.  I am on Debian Wheezy, and neither gnome2 nor the
> old version of gdm are options.

Then switch to Ubuntu, where it's an option at login.

Ironically, for all the flak Shuttleworth gets he seems to be doing more
for Gnome2 than the Gnome project.


> You have to compile from source to get it.

How badly do you want it? ;)


> I read on the blogs that gnome2 is vanishing from ubuntu repositories also.

Maybe, but it's there now.

The bottom line with old things like Gnome2 is that it's all open
source:  it can never die except for lack of interest.

If enough people want it, it'll be around forever.

If it's not around, not enough people wanted it.

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  LiveCode training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
  Webzine for LiveCode developers: http://www.LiveCodeJournal.com
  LiveCode Journal blog: http://LiveCodejournal.com/blog.irv

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Richmond Mathewson-2
In reply to this post by Peter Alcibiades
On 03/23/2012 10:37 AM, Peter Alcibiades wrote:

<snip>

  "Me, I have moved to Fluxbox, because it gets out of the way and stays
out. Everyone I support will be moving to xfce over the next few months.
With any luck, they will not notice its not Gnome2....!

<snip>

Since XFCE allowed transparencies and icons on the desktop it really is
95% GNOME 2 (the only beef I have
is that I cannot get the desktop icons to sort themselves into some sort
of order).

What annoys me is not GNOME 3 or UNITY or KDE 4.5 (even though I don't
like any of them), but that they have been
pushed at the expense of GNOME 2 and the earlier versions of KDE.

What should have been done, is that GNOME 2 and KDE 3.x were retained so
that people could choose.

What seems to be happening in the Linux world (well, the Linux Desktop
world at least) is remarkably similar to what
has been the case with commercial OSes since the year dot; a real case
of Henry Ford (black, black or black);
increasing restriction of choice, not for those in the know who are
happy to mess around with the dear old command
line and install Fluxbox, LXDE, Icebox and so on, but for people like my
Dad, who bunged an Ubuntu disk in his Laptop and suddenly
(at the age of 79) had to learn a new paradigm, something he could well
do without . . .

. . . or, put it another way; thanks to effing UNITY (United we stand,
United we fall - the latter being all too often the case),
my Dad and I spent far too long hunched over his laptop last New Year
when we could have spent the time on something
more rewarding (such as chewing over Zeno's paradox, ha, ha)!

While my example may seem banal and trivial, ultimately completely
rejigging a GUI without:

1. Let end-users know that they are suddenly going to get a rude
awakening,  and

2. Giving them a choice to revert (Ha, flaming-well ha, have you seen
the GNOME "fallback" thing - a sort of castrated GNOME 2
obviously designed to make people go "Oh, F***" and get on with learning
how to manage with either GNOME 3 or UNITY???)
to what they have got used to.

And my Father, far from being the exception, is fairly
middle-of-the-road for desktop users who have, at least, managed to
be seduced away from Windows XP (which, face it, is almost the same as
GNOME 2).

--------------

Tried MATE; not what it seems at all; but then why on earth should
anybody expect it to be anything at all; it is an
(admittedly brave) attempt to produce a GNOME 2 clone in no time flat;
unsurprisingly it doesn't really cut the mustard.

Tried Cinnamon; ditto.

But, then, these "clones" shouldn't be necessary; it is ONLY because the
Linux "Gods" (who, increasingly can be seen to have
feet of clay; or, maybe, feet that are inclined to dance the way of
fashion) have removed GNOME 2 from the repositories that
they were thought to be in the first place.

----------

Why is Richmond taking up so much space on a Use-List that is not, quite
frankly, aimed at people fussed about the Linux desktop?

Good question.

BECAUSE, ultimately, we all are involved to some extent or another, with
producing software that people will have to use on
all sorts of GUIs; and choice made about stuff such as UNITY and Windows
8 affect our work and decisions we will make about
our interface design.

------------

I am well aware that many of the people who read this Use-List are going
to snort a bit and say something rather like "Oh, there's nutty
Richmond, Peter and no-quite-so-nutty Richard again": but they would do
better to follow this discussion because, to misquote
a certain throaty-voiced singer of the sixties "The interfaces they are
a-changing".

Richmond Mathewson.

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Alejandro Tejada
Hi All,

How sad is this recent turn in Linux development! :-((

Many, many years ago, when a group of friends (software developers)
show me the Linux OS, I told them that, in a future, most computer
users would be using it. Of course, they laugh a lot of my comment
and proceed to show me why this could not happen.

They ask me how it was possible that me (being a Macintosh User,
at least in that specific moment of time) I was "wishing" that most of
the computer users will use Linux in the future. (no, not my wish but
a prediction based in the information that they told me)

According to them, my wish should have been that every computer
user had a Macintosh in their desk... WRONG.
Most of the time, I try to be impartial with my opinions and appreciations
and possibly because of this when I was a Mac user, I DO NOT joined
the club of Mac fans, who (at least in the country where I live) always display
a perverse joy in bashing Microsoft OS (Dos and Windows) and every other
Operating Systems, including OS/2, AmigaOS, Unix and (of course) Linux.
I strongly suspect that the company of that time (or their salesman)
cultivated and promoted this behavior.

What did I saw in Linux, that according to my opinion would make it
a success? That all Developers were colaborating toward a common goal,
instead of competing against each other... As simple like that.

At least from my humble point of view, this is the way how everything
that is worth and perdurable in this life come to existence, grows and
stays with us.

Eventually, these clashes about user interfaces will solve themselves, but
there is an important part of the Open Source movement that was
not created along with it: Open Schools that teach 1) how to use
these software (open source projects documentation is sorely missing or
arcane in best cases)
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/why-open-source-documentation-lags/6484
and 2) how to develop software in the programming languages most frecuently
used for open source projects. The Open source movement depends too much
from the availability and generosity of Business, Goverments and Professional developers
to fund their projects.

Al



 
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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Richard Gaskin
Alejandro Tejada wrote:

> What did I saw in Linux, that according to my opinion would make it
> a success? That all Developers were colaborating toward a common goal,
> instead of competing against each other... As simple like that.

I used to feel the same way, quite passionately so.  I think my early
posts in the Ubuntu forums may reflect that.

But over the years, after spending more time at Linux conferences, IRCs,
forums, etc., I've come to appreciate that one of the core values in
that community is diversity:  everyone gets exactly what they want.

Sometimes what people want is to work on really big projects and that
means tempering their own preferences in favor of the group's larger goals.

Other times it means just scratching an itch, making something you'd
like for yourself.  That's what started all this with the utils rms
made, and the same with Linus' post to Usenet when he started the kernel.

To have so many distros and desktop environments isn't competition per
se, any more than users of all OSes enjoy having many different apps
available to solve a given problem.

On the contrary, such diversity just gives us more choices.

Everyone gets exactly what they want.

Where Linux differs from single-company OSes is that with those your
ability to make any choices about how you spend your day ends with
applications; the design of the OS itself is decided by a small group of
people under one roof far far away, and you either like it or you don't,
but you can't change it.

With Linux, you can choose among hundreds of distros, and customize them
with the desktop environment of your choice, and then add all manner of
widgets and tweaks to ever further hone it to be exactly what you want
it to be.


> At least from my humble point of view, this is the way how everything
> that is worth and perdurable in this life come to existence, grows and
> stays with us.

In the natural world evolution favors diversity.

Since FOSS projects tend to reflect organic systems more than projects
driven by a single organization, it seems natural that diversity would
flourish in the Linux world.

The diversity that characterizes the Linux world isn't what's holding it
back.

The only thing holding it back is the simple human nature of consumers:

People buy whole-product solutions.

Linux is an OS, and an OS isn't a complete solution; it needs a computer
to run it on.

Very few people truly ever choose their OS per se.  What people buy is a
computer, and it comes with an OS already installed.  It's a complete
solution, hardware and software - just turn it on and enjoy.

It would never occur to the average person to replace the OS that came
with their computer with something they downloaded off the Internet.

Sure, more than 60 million people have done so, but those are a rare breed.

Linux can only become mainstream when you can walk into your corner
Walmart and buy a machine with Linux pre-installed.


Dell, Asus, Acer and others release new models nearly every quarter with
Ubuntu pre-installed, but mostly in markets outside the US (Italy,
China, Thailand, and Taiwan were the last batches I in late 2011).

But in general, PC vendors are working as hard as they can do destroy
shareholder value by refusing to differentiate:

No matter how much they spend on R&D, no matter how many design meetings
they have, no matter how much they spend on fabrication, all of it is a
waste of money because as soon as the user turns on the machine the
experience is identical across all computers from all of those vendors
down to the pixel: Microsoft Windows.

This refusal to differentiate has limited their ability to compete to
just one dimension: price. And they're paying for it dearly, with
margins plummeting year after year, and even the heavyweights like HP
and Dell are now wondering if they can remain in the PC game at all.

They seem to believe that the "Ultrabook" will raise their margins, but
once again they're missing the mark: if everyone sells the same thing,
the only leverage they have is on price. We can expect downward pressure
on "Ultrabook" price points later this year, ultimately bringing them
closer to traditional laptop prices, further eroding profits.

If there was ever a time for a major PC vendor to consider launching a
global line of systems with Ubuntu preinstalled, it's now - before most
of them go bankrupt.

As long as they all ship the same user experience in the OS, expect
further consolidation with some of them dropping out entirely before
2013 is done.

Here the clue train pulls into the station for PC vendors:

Differentiate or die.

Ubuntu is one opportunity available for that...

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  LiveCode training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
  Webzine for LiveCode developers: http://www.LiveCodeJournal.com
  LiveCode Journal blog: http://LiveCodejournal.com/blog.irv


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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Peter Haworth-2
Hi Richard,
This thread has been very interesting to me as I'm considering getting a
computer to run Linux.  The problem I'm having is illustrated by the
snippet from your post below.

I'm a computer savvy person and worked with them most of my working life
but I know nothing about Linux and really have no desire to spend much time
installing and configuring an OS.  I can buy a Mac or a PC, switch it on
and it just boots up and runs.

But where do I buy a computer that runs Linux and what version of Linux (if
that's the right term) I need?  I have pretty basic needs for this machine.
 Aside from running Livecode on it, I mostly need a web browser (I use
Google tools for just about all my daily needs) plus some way of playing
music.

I already have a Windows laptop that I only use for testing out the LC apps
I develop on my Mac.  I don't really want another computer.  It seems like
Apple has just about shut the door on running anything but OS X on their
computers.  Can I install Linux on my Windows computer a dual boot it
somehow?

I'm sure these are pretty basic questions for people who are familiar with
the Linux world, but I think they illustrate why the use of Linux is not
more widespread, no matter what advantages it has over other OS's.

Pete

On Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 3:13 PM, Richard Gaskin
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> People buy whole-product solutions.




--
Pete
Molly's Revenge <http://www.mollysrevenge.com>
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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

J. Landman Gay
On 3/24/12 5:48 PM, Pete wrote:

> I already have a Windows laptop that I only use for testing out the LC apps
> I develop on my Mac.  I don't really want another computer.  It seems like
> Apple has just about shut the door on running anything but OS X on their
> computers.  Can I install Linux on my Windows computer a dual boot it
> somehow?

I've had very good luck with Parallels. And lots of people are using
several other emulators too with good results, and many are free. I run
Win XP, Vista, Ubuntu (sort of, I'm way behind on that,) and Mac OS X
all from my iMac.

I don't see any reason these days to have several computers just to use
different operating systems.

--
Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     [hidden email]
HyperActive Software           |     http://www.hyperactivesw.com

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Warren Samples
In reply to this post by Peter Haworth-2
On 03/24/2012 05:48 PM, Pete wrote:
> I already have a Windows laptop that I only use for testing out the LC apps
> I develop on my Mac.  I don't really want another computer.  It seems like
> Apple has just about shut the door on running anything but OS X on their
> computers.  Can I install Linux on my Windows computer a dual boot it
> somehow?


If you have enough memory, it may be more useful, and simpler, to run a
Linux distro inside VirtualBox or VMWare. To make that even easier, you
can find, using your favorite search engine, downloadable, ready to go
virtual machine disk images of almost any Linux distro, in current and
older versions. For casual use, this would be my recommendation.

Good luck,

Warren

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Richard Gaskin
In reply to this post by Peter Haworth-2
Pete wrote:

 > Hi Richard,
 > This thread has been very interesting to me as I'm considering
 > getting a computer to run Linux.
...
 > But where do I buy a computer that runs Linux and what version of
 > Linux (if that's the right term) I need?

Every distro has its fans, some quite passionate.  There's a running gag
in the Ubuntu forums that whenever someone encounters an issue that's
hard to solve, the answer is "use Arch". :)

Personally I like Ubuntu, and as a developer it's important to me that
I'm working with the most popular distro (an estimated one-third of
Linus desktops are running Ubuntu).  With its mandate of "Linux for
Human Beings", it's provided a good experience for me.

Mark Weider uses Fedora, and I've enjoyed that one as well.   Linux Mint
is another good choice.

Whichever you choose, be sure to post all over the Internet that users
of other distros or OSes are stupid fanbois who just don't get what
Linux is all about!  That'll help keep the myth of the Linux community
alive for those who have no familiarity with it. :)


If you were in the market for a computer with Ubuntu pre-installed,
these companies are good options:

<http://www.system76.com/>
<http://zareason.com>
<http://linucity.com>

While all three are very reputable vendors, the last there, LinuCity, is
owned by my friend Aviv and I can personally vouch for the quality of
service he provides.

For more options, Canonical maintains a list of computers from major
vendors they've worked with that have undergone their certification process:
<http://www.ubuntu.com/certification>

Note that that's only a subset of computers Ubuntu is compatible with.
There are only so many hours in the day, and even a billionaire like
Mark Shuttleworth can't afford to certify everything it runs on.


One upside to Linux being mostly installed on computers designed for
some other OS is that it expects that challenge and usually meets it
pretty well.   In my own experience, every machine I've installed it on
has worked great out of the box.  The only time I needed a special
driver was for the NVideo card on my Dell Vostro, and Ubuntu identified
that and prompted me to install it with one click on first boot.


 > I already have a Windows laptop that I only use for testing out the
 > LC apps I develop on my Mac.  I don't really want another computer.
 > It seems like Apple has just about shut the door on running anything
 > but OS X on their computers.  Can I install Linux on my Windows
 > computer a dual boot it somehow?

And even on your Mac.  Apple's OS X EULA only prevents you from legally
installing it on anything other than "an Apple branded computer", but
their computers are frequently used by members of the Ubuntu forum for
running Linux.  Boot camp is a natural fit for that sort of thing.

Because Apple tends to get specialized components, it can sometimes be
trickier to get a solid install on a Mac than on popular PCs where the
components are in such wide use that there are plenty of good drivers
for them.

Dual-booting with Windows is a popular option, esp. among gamers because
Windows still rules the roost with the games market.  I've set up
dual-boot systems before and it's not hard (the Ubuntu installer
includes options for that), but personally I found I was booting into
Windows so rarely that I ditched that partition and put Windows into a
VM within Ubuntu.

In general, the sweet spot for Linux is computers between two and six
years old.  It can often run on newer systems, and even most older ones
(Puppy Linux can run on darn near anything), but if a computer's too old
it won't have the horsepower to deliver a great experience with the
latest Linux distros, and if it's too new there's a chance of needing a
driver that hasn't been made available yet.  Even then there's almost
always a way to get things to work, but for a simple first-time
experience the two-to-six years guideline may be helpful for systems
that haven't been certified.

Most of the popular distros allow an option to run the OS from CD or USB
drive, so you can try it out on a machine without having to install
anything.

If you grab the Ubuntu ISO disk image here and burn it do CD, you can
boot from that CD and see what works and what doesn't on your machine:
<http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download>

If you decide to install, the lovely Nixie Pixel teaches you how in her
five-minute video:
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhnLk3gviWY>

:)

Nixie's fun, but really the Ubuntu installer is so simple you probably
won't need any help with that.  I find it very similar to the OS X
installer, and much simpler than installing Windows.

Another way to explore Linux is in a VM.  I use VirtualBox on all my
systems (thanks to Mark Weider for the recommendaton), and here it
outperforms Parallels in restoring sessions, taking less than half the
time.  Doesn't hurt that it's also free (in both senses of the word):
<https://www.virtualbox.org/>


If you run into any snags feel free to drop me an email, or you can find
me in the Ubuntu forums under the screen name rg4w.

Have fun!  Let us know how it goes.

The LiveCode engine for Linux isn't quite on par with their engines for
Mac and Win, but it's been much improved in recent years and in most
areas runs like a champ.

--
  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  LiveCode training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
  Webzine for LiveCode developers: http://www.LiveCodeJournal.com
  LiveCode Journal blog: http://LiveCodejournal.com/blog.irv


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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Peter Haworth-2
In reply to this post by J. Landman Gay
Thanks for the reminder Jacque.  I had some not-so-grat experiences a few
years back running emulators on a Mac so that's coloring my opinion, but
they've probably improved a lot since then.
Pete

On Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 4:21 PM, J. Landman Gay <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On 3/24/12 5:48 PM, Pete wrote:
>
>  I already have a Windows laptop that I only use for testing out the LC
>> apps
>> I develop on my Mac.  I don't really want another computer.  It seems like
>> Apple has just about shut the door on running anything but OS X on their
>> computers.  Can I install Linux on my Windows computer a dual boot it
>> somehow?
>>
>
> I've had very good luck with Parallels. And lots of people are using
> several other emulators too with good results, and many are free. I run Win
> XP, Vista, Ubuntu (sort of, I'm way behind on that,) and Mac OS X all from
> my iMac.
>
> I don't see any reason these days to have several computers just to use
> different operating systems.
>
> --
> Jacqueline Landman Gay         |     [hidden email]
> HyperActive Software           |     http://www.hyperactivesw.com
>
>
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> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your
> subscription preferences:
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>
>


--
Pete
Molly's Revenge <http://www.mollysrevenge.com>
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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Peter Haworth-2
In reply to this post by Warren Samples
Thanks Warren.  As you and Jacque both pointed out the VM approach solves
the hardware problem.  So now I'm left with the question of which Linux
distro to go for....
Pete

On Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 4:28 PM, Warren Samples <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On 03/24/2012 05:48 PM, Pete wrote:
>
>> I already have a Windows laptop that I only use for testing out the LC
>> apps
>> I develop on my Mac.  I don't really want another computer.  It seems like
>> Apple has just about shut the door on running anything but OS X on their
>> computers.  Can I install Linux on my Windows computer a dual boot it
>> somehow?
>>
>
>
> If you have enough memory, it may be more useful, and simpler, to run a
> Linux distro inside VirtualBox or VMWare. To make that even easier, you can
> find, using your favorite search engine, downloadable, ready to go virtual
> machine disk images of almost any Linux distro, in current and older
> versions. For casual use, this would be my recommendation.
>
> Good luck,
>
> Warren
>
>
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> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your
> subscription preferences:
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>
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--
Pete
Molly's Revenge <http://www.mollysrevenge.com>
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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Peter Haworth-2
In reply to this post by Richard Gaskin
Thanks for all the info Richard.  I'm already feeling SO superior to all
those morons who don't run Ubuntu!

I will probably try out VirtualBox since it's free and probably also a dual
boot on my Windows 7 box since the only thing I ever do on Windows is test
out LC apps developed on my Mac, although it is a pretty new computer so I
may run into the driver issues you mentioned.

Pete

On Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 4:39 PM, Richard Gaskin
<[hidden email]>wrote:

> Pete wrote:
>
> > Hi Richard,
> > This thread has been very interesting to me as I'm considering
> > getting a computer to run Linux.
> ...
>
> > But where do I buy a computer that runs Linux and what version of
> > Linux (if that's the right term) I need?
>
> Every distro has its fans, some quite passionate.  There's a running gag
> in the Ubuntu forums that whenever someone encounters an issue that's hard
> to solve, the answer is "use Arch". :)
>
> Personally I like Ubuntu, and as a developer it's important to me that I'm
> working with the most popular distro (an estimated one-third of Linus
> desktops are running Ubuntu).  With its mandate of "Linux for Human
> Beings", it's provided a good experience for me.
>
> Mark Weider uses Fedora, and I've enjoyed that one as well.   Linux Mint
> is another good choice.
>
> Whichever you choose, be sure to post all over the Internet that users of
> other distros or OSes are stupid fanbois who just don't get what Linux is
> all about!  That'll help keep the myth of the Linux community alive for
> those who have no familiarity with it. :)
>
>
> If you were in the market for a computer with Ubuntu pre-installed, these
> companies are good options:
>
> <http://www.system76.com/>
> <http://zareason.com>
> <http://linucity.com>
>
> While all three are very reputable vendors, the last there, LinuCity, is
> owned by my friend Aviv and I can personally vouch for the quality of
> service he provides.
>
> For more options, Canonical maintains a list of computers from major
> vendors they've worked with that have undergone their certification process:
> <http://www.ubuntu.com/**certification<http://www.ubuntu.com/certification>
> >
>
> Note that that's only a subset of computers Ubuntu is compatible with.
> There are only so many hours in the day, and even a billionaire like Mark
> Shuttleworth can't afford to certify everything it runs on.
>
>
> One upside to Linux being mostly installed on computers designed for some
> other OS is that it expects that challenge and usually meets it pretty
> well.   In my own experience, every machine I've installed it on has worked
> great out of the box.  The only time I needed a special driver was for the
> NVideo card on my Dell Vostro, and Ubuntu identified that and prompted me
> to install it with one click on first boot.
>
>
>
> > I already have a Windows laptop that I only use for testing out the
> > LC apps I develop on my Mac.  I don't really want another computer.
> > It seems like Apple has just about shut the door on running anything
> > but OS X on their computers.  Can I install Linux on my Windows
> > computer a dual boot it somehow?
>
> And even on your Mac.  Apple's OS X EULA only prevents you from legally
> installing it on anything other than "an Apple branded computer", but their
> computers are frequently used by members of the Ubuntu forum for running
> Linux.  Boot camp is a natural fit for that sort of thing.
>
> Because Apple tends to get specialized components, it can sometimes be
> trickier to get a solid install on a Mac than on popular PCs where the
> components are in such wide use that there are plenty of good drivers for
> them.
>
> Dual-booting with Windows is a popular option, esp. among gamers because
> Windows still rules the roost with the games market.  I've set up dual-boot
> systems before and it's not hard (the Ubuntu installer includes options for
> that), but personally I found I was booting into Windows so rarely that I
> ditched that partition and put Windows into a VM within Ubuntu.
>
> In general, the sweet spot for Linux is computers between two and six
> years old.  It can often run on newer systems, and even most older ones
> (Puppy Linux can run on darn near anything), but if a computer's too old it
> won't have the horsepower to deliver a great experience with the latest
> Linux distros, and if it's too new there's a chance of needing a driver
> that hasn't been made available yet.  Even then there's almost always a way
> to get things to work, but for a simple first-time experience the
> two-to-six years guideline may be helpful for systems that haven't been
> certified.
>
> Most of the popular distros allow an option to run the OS from CD or USB
> drive, so you can try it out on a machine without having to install
> anything.
>
> If you grab the Ubuntu ISO disk image here and burn it do CD, you can boot
> from that CD and see what works and what doesn't on your machine:
> <http://www.ubuntu.com/**download/ubuntu/download<http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/download>
> >
>
> If you decide to install, the lovely Nixie Pixel teaches you how in her
> five-minute video:
> <http://www.youtube.com/watch?**v=GhnLk3gviWY<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhnLk3gviWY>
> >
>
> :)
>
> Nixie's fun, but really the Ubuntu installer is so simple you probably
> won't need any help with that.  I find it very similar to the OS X
> installer, and much simpler than installing Windows.
>
> Another way to explore Linux is in a VM.  I use VirtualBox on all my
> systems (thanks to Mark Weider for the recommendaton), and here it
> outperforms Parallels in restoring sessions, taking less than half the
> time.  Doesn't hurt that it's also free (in both senses of the word):
> <https://www.virtualbox.org/>
>
>
> If you run into any snags feel free to drop me an email, or you can find
> me in the Ubuntu forums under the screen name rg4w.
>
> Have fun!  Let us know how it goes.
>
> The LiveCode engine for Linux isn't quite on par with their engines for
> Mac and Win, but it's been much improved in recent years and in most areas
> runs like a champ.
>
>
> --
>  Richard Gaskin
>  Fourth World
>  LiveCode training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
>  Webzine for LiveCode developers: http://www.LiveCodeJournal.com
>  LiveCode Journal blog: http://LiveCodejournal.com/**blog.irv<http://LiveCodejournal.com/blog.irv>
>
>
> ______________________________**_________________
> use-livecode mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Please visit this url to subscribe, unsubscribe and manage your
> subscription preferences:
> http://lists.runrev.com/**mailman/listinfo/use-livecode<http://lists.runrev.com/mailman/listinfo/use-livecode>
>
>


--
Pete
Molly's Revenge <http://www.mollysrevenge.com>
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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Warren Samples
In reply to this post by Peter Haworth-2
On 03/24/2012 06:53 PM, Pete wrote:
> the VM approach solves
> the hardware problem.  So now I'm left with the question of which Linux
> distro to go for....
> Pete


Since you can test them so easily, I would suggest firstly not to be too
anxious about making the "best" decision. You don't have to decide
Before you start; you can decide as you go. Again, you can download
either fully set up virtual machine disks or run almost any distro from
a liveCD, which is also a fabulously easy way to trial a distro. I run
openSUSE, currently and ran Mint 9 and 10 before that. For what you
expect to be casual use, I would think that the Desktop Environment (the
Unity, KDE, Gnome, Enlightment, XFCE, LXDE things that people talk about
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_environment) will be the most
important consideration. You will need to find the one that is the most
intuitive to you. After that, the software management aspect may be the
second most important. This was much simpler in Mint than it is in
openSUSE.

I would recommend you try a Mint version first. I have no experience
with Gnome 3, but Mint 9 is the long term support version of that distro
and uses gnome 2. Mint 10 was very pleasant to use but it will lose
support next month. I had bad experience with KDE under Mint and Kubuntu
has a very poor reputation, so it's hard to recommend KDE in those
distros. Do a little research about desktop variants of whatever disto
you are gravitating to and (taking everything with heaping spoonfuls of
salt) you should find some helpful info.

Inside VirtualBox, you will probably find your desktop doesn't run with
effects (Compiz, KWin) so you save some memory. This somewhat equalizes
the playing field between the "heavy feature-full" (aka bloated) Desktop
Environments and the "light nimble" (aka primitive) ones. That *should*
mean you won't be making as many performance/feature sacrifices as you
look for what best suits your taste.

Good luck!

Warren

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Warren Samples
In reply to this post by Peter Haworth-2
On 03/24/2012 06:53 PM, Pete wrote:
> So now I'm left with the question of which Linux
> distro to go for....


FWIW:

http://dt.deviantart.com/journal/poll/1202084/

http://enigmacommunity.org/forums/topic/1099-whats-your-favorite-linux-desktop-environment/

http://www.muktware.com/survey/3444/poll-which-de-you-use

Warren

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Roger Eller
In reply to this post by Peter Haworth-2
On Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 6:48 PM, Pete wrote:
>
> I already have a Windows laptop that I only use for testing out the LC apps
> I develop on my Mac.  I don't really want another computer.  It seems like
> Apple has just about shut the door on running anything but OS X on their
> computers.  Can I install Linux on my Windows computer a dual boot it
> somehow?
>
> Pete


The easiest way for a beginner is a WUBI installation.  You don't need an
emulator or virtual box or parallels, etc.  Just a PC that is already
running Windows.  When you install Ubuntu via WUBI, it is just a series of
folders on the hard-drive (no dedicated partition necessary).  This method
sets it up to dual-boot, so you just choose which OS to run when you turn
the computer on.  To remove it, you just uninstall it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYw6dOXw3pc

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/windows-installer

~Roger
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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Warren Samples
On 03/24/2012 09:44 PM, Roger Eller wrote:

> The easiest way for a beginner is a WUBI installation.  You don't need an
> emulator or virtual box or parallels, etc.  Just a PC that is already
> running Windows.  When you install Ubuntu via WUBI, it is just a series of
> folders on the hard-drive (no dedicated partition necessary).  This method
> sets it up to dual-boot, so you just choose which OS to run when you turn
> the computer on.  To remove it, you just uninstall it.
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYw6dOXw3pc
>
> http://www.ubuntu.com/download/ubuntu/windows-installer
>
> ~Roger


That's interesting. I had never seen this. It seems a really simple and
great way to deal with dual-boot installation, provided that one wants
to run Ubuntu. However a dual-boot system is not nearly as convenient
for many purposes, such as "let me see real quick how this looks/works
on Linux and Windows". I see that convenience as a big plus for virtual
machines. Although I recognize the advantages of running the OS
natively, for a lot of purposes this is moot. Maybe it's a case of
choose the tool that lets you do the job the way you want it done ;)

Warren

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Re: [OT] A couple of links about Gnome and usability

Warren Samples
In reply to this post by Peter Haworth-2
On 03/24/2012 06:53 PM, Pete wrote:

>>  you can find downloadable, ready to go virtual
>>  machine disk images of almost any Linux distro, in current and
>>  older versions.

Here are some links to preconfigured virtual disk images.

http://virtualboxes.org/images/

http://sourceforge.net/projects/virtualboximage/files/

http://virtualboximages.com/Free.VirtualBox.VDI.Downloads

http://virtualboximages.com/

and info on how to get one running once you've downloaded it:

http://virtualboxes.org/doc/

Good luck!

Warren

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