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Poll: Why don't you use Linux?

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Poll: Poll: Why don't you use Linux? (34 member(s) have cast votes)

What are the showstopper causes for you to not use any Linux distribution?

  1. I am using Linux! (14 votes [22.58%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 22.58%

  2. I am lucky with my current non-Linux OS. (5 votes [8.06%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 8.06%

  3. My hardware is (partially) unsupported by Linux. (3 votes [4.84%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 4.84%

  4. (Some of) my games don't support Linux. (13 votes [20.97%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 20.97%

  5. (Some of) my paid non-game applications don't support Linux. (7 votes [11.29%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 11.29%

  6. (Some of) my gratis non-game applications don't support Linux. (6 votes [9.68%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 9.68%

  7. I don't want to invest the time needed to select a Linux distribution and learn to use and manage it. (12 votes [19.35%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.35%

  8. I have another reason that stops me from using Linux. (2 votes [3.23%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 3.23%

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#26 Shadow

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 02:55 PM

I have 3 big reasons why Linux can't work for me. Compatibility, Games, and Common Usage.

 

Compatibility: Linux is beautiful, colorful, or dark, depending what you want. Customization is its strength. Linux is a fiddlers dream, but most dev houses just don't make games for it because the installed $ base isn't there. Yes you can run WINE or something to get it to work, but that's a task for hobbyists. Many people just don't want to jump through hoops to get the compatibility.

 

Games: Most big games don't natively have Linux ports. I mean big dogs like GTA5 or Saints Row or Assassins Creed makes billions as an industry, but not on native Linux.

 

Common Usage: it does fine browsing the web and listening to audio is great, but in the corporate world the headaches begin. If I could possibly invest in all the time to get it to talk to Active Directory environments with all the right tools, my users would never embrace it. They just want things to work all the time in a common environment that everyone in the world understands, and don't care how I make it work, as long as it does. This is the strength of Windows. Everyone knows it. Even devices that run non Windows such as IOS are so easy to use and configure that it negates the point because they don't bog the user down with configuration options in obscure places.

 

Final Note: I know some can offend by things I said above, but I'd never tell anyone not to run Linux. I think it's just fine for many and can run great if you put the time into ironing out little kinks here and there. In my own experience I have installed about 5-6 different Linux distros in the past 20 years and just never could get it as stable as any Windows installation I have. Maybe just my luck...


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#27 jaxa

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Posted 18 February 2019 - 04:50 PM

Let's not forget that a lot of programs work well on WINE, and Steam has created its own fork of WINE for its own purposes.


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#28 kano

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Posted 19 February 2019 - 11:38 AM

Let's not forget that a lot of programs work well on WINE, and Steam has created its own fork of WINE for its own purposes.

Yeah Wine is a really impressive bit of work. I probably wouldn't have switched if I didn't get to keep my favorite retro games that I still play, like Thief.



#29 some1stoleit

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 04:18 AM

I've looked into switching to Linux or making it an alternative OS to windows. But the issues I have with Windows 10 isn't great enough to be worth the time to learn how to use it. Ever since I got the NBN upgrade for my Australian internet my biggest issue with Windows 10, the updates, is largely gone. Also I feel like switching will complicate running games.



#30 Narrator

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Posted 20 February 2019 - 01:43 PM

I switched to Linux Mint six months ago when I finally bought new hardware after seven years and learnt that Windows 7 wouldn't get drivers for a Ryzen-based platform. Switching to Windows 10 never was an option for me due to Microsofts EULA, the nearly impossible to control telemetry stuff and privacy concerns.

As I am not much of a gamer anymore I really do not miss that much. Linux so far works for most of my everyday needs. And for the rest there is still the Windows 7 box under my table, though I seldomly boot it.



#31 Fidcal

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 04:35 PM

Looking back at the current poll results, I can't help but feel more and more strongly that if a few knowledgeable enthusiasts produced a more configurable, and more easily configured version with a really idiot's step-by-step guide to setting up, downloading, and installing software, and possibly also how to easily configure a dual boot system  that many, many more might take up Linux as their main system and just boot up Windows for some games that won't run under Linux. A step-by-step guide is what I started with the Dark Mod guide on the Wiki - less theory and more do, show, and give examples. I learnt that lesson years ago when I studied a low-level programming book of theory for months before giving up having learned almost nothing but binary, operators, registry operations and so on. Fast forward six months and two simple pages in a monthly computer magazine opened up a whole new world for me with step-by-step examples that a child could follow. It grieves me that there is so much potential wasted.



#32 demagogue

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 09:36 PM

That reminds me of a comic I can't find right now but it's something like:

 

Panel 1: [disgusted looking guy] Ugh, there's 137 distributions and the whole field is a confused mess. Somebody needs to just simplify things with one central distribution that users can easily install and operate and it does everything they want. If no one else will do it, I'll do it myself!

 

Panel 2: 6 months later -- [another disgusted looking guy]. Ugh, there's 138 distributions and the whole field is a confused mess. Somebody needs to just simplify things with one central distribution that users can easily install and operate and it does everything they want. If no one else will do it, I'll do it myself!


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#33 nbohr1more

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 12:52 AM

When we get our new SSD, I'll probably get Linux rolling again.

 

I was gonna go fully Linux a few years ago but my wife was not happy with the look, feel and arrangement

of Ubuntu "get this garbage off the computer and put something normal on there...".

 

Since then I did have dual-boot setup for awhile but as we've lost more and more storage to the "photo collection" monster, there

hasn't been enough room to dedicate to a Linux partition to tinker with.


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#34 duzenko

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 03:33 AM

I was gonna go fully Linux a few years ago but my wife was not happy with the look, feel and arrangement

of Ubuntu "get this garbage off the computer and put something normal on there...".

Women! The ultimate test! Argh!.. :D

Makes you think about all the stuff you can't use without growing a beard while you're learning it.



#35 OrbWeaver

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 04:49 AM

Looking back at the current poll results, I can't help but feel more and more strongly that if a few knowledgeable enthusiasts produced a more configurable, and more easily configured version with a really idiot's step-by-step guide to setting up, downloading, and installing software, and possibly also how to easily configure a dual boot system  that many, many more might take up Linux as their main system and just boot up Windows for some games that won't run under Linux.

 

That's exactly what Ubuntu is aiming for. I'm not really sure what more they can do to make it "more configurable", given that almost every aspect of it can be configured including the entire look of the desktop environment, and the installation process is pretty simple too.

 

However, nothing is going to change the fact that installing and getting used to a completely different operating system is going to be confusing for some people, and as demagogue points out, creating yet another "easy to use" distribution is not going to make the problem disappear. There are always going to be edge cases where the Linux installation doesn't work with some of your hardware, or fails to set up the boot loader correctly (although this is pretty rare these days), and if you're a non-technical user you are going to be completely in the dark about how to fix it.



#36 teh_saccade

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 08:19 AM

// I think duzenko is right about the beard thing, heh. That explains a lot:)

Lately I used a laptop that was from early 00's, and I was a bit jealous at how quickly it booted up and ran the few programs the person had on there.
Was windows 7. It was faster than my laptop, that I had to put in the fridge to upgrade to win10 due to the overheating at 67% installation problem.

But, for running anything a little heavier - the thing ground to a halt. Tea break when launching open office.

From my experiences working with linux over 10-15 years, fedora and red hat for stuff like database and point-of-sales and kali for network testing, is that the people who use it end up becoming very familiar with the environment they use. The people are often into computer science or engineers and use it for a specific purpose, rather than a general operating system, such as windows.
General users often go with ubuntu and it's usually installed by someone else. I think mostly because its free.

Nearly everyone I've met who has used ubuntu has not really been "a computer person". A few have had windows on another partition and been happy to have ubuntu removed, so they know wtf is going on, how to use stuff and be able to run the programs that they need for work, friends, games, etc...

The other linux people i've met are the kinds to wear penguin tshirts and go to seminars on software. There they will splinter off into camps depending on the purpose for their using any partiular linux branch, database vs developers, and if they use java. If you say, "yes but linux doesn't run my games" they will say that you are not supposed to play games on linux, and bring out the sco unix beginner's guide to throw - but it's too heavy for their spindly geek arms to heft more than a few meters.


Edited by teh_saccade, 27 February 2019 - 08:21 AM.

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#37 Fidcal

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:13 AM

 

That's exactly what Ubuntu is aiming for. I'm not really sure what more they can do to make it "more configurable", given that almost every aspect of it can be configured including the entire look of the desktop environment, and the installation process is pretty simple too.

Mmm... that's not my memory of it, although I think it was more configurable than others. I tried half a dozen distributions last year and I think I narrowed it down to Xubuntu. I just dug out my dvds of them but the Ubuntu disc gave two errors and stopped during bootup while the Xubuntu was completely ignored. Both those discs worked last year on my previous PC. If I go to the boot menu Ubuntu is listed (with a weird name) but not Xubuntu. Anyway, I'm just downloading the latest Ubuntu image to give it another look.

 

Likely my idea of configurability is different to yours Orb. :D I had some fantasy notes somewhere of what my ideal OS UI might look like. Maybe I'll dig it out and bore everybody with it... Not that I'm measuring Ubuntu against it but I never understand why providers put their own arbitary limits in.



#38 OrbWeaver

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:43 AM

Mmm... that's not my memory of it, although I think it was more configurable than others. I tried half a dozen distributions last year and I think I narrowed it down to Xubuntu. I just dug out my dvds of them but the Ubuntu disc gave two errors and stopped during bootup while the Xubuntu was completely ignored. Both those discs worked last year on my previous PC. If I go to the boot menu Ubuntu is listed (with a weird name) but not Xubuntu. Anyway, I'm just downloading the latest Ubuntu image to give it another look.

 
All of the different "flavours" of Ubuntu are actually the same distribution, just with a different desktop installed. You don't need to use a different install media for each one, just install regular Ubuntu then install the package for the desktop environment you want. Off the top of my head, you can choose between:
 
GNOME (Ubuntu)
KDE (Kubuntu) — in my experience quite heavyweight and sometimes unstable, but KDE is known for its configurability
XFCE (Xubuntu) — somewhat lighterweight than GNOME
LXDE (Lubuntu) — very lightweight, aimed at low-spec machines
MATE (Ubuntu MATE) — continuation of GNOME2 for people who don't like GNOME 3

Cinnamon (not a flavour, but you can install it via a package) — another conventional GNOME2-style desktop which looks similar to modern Windows
 
All of those have their own unique behaviours and looks, which can be further customised either with tools such as GNOME Tweak Tool or just editing config files.

 

Likely my idea of configurability is different to yours Orb. :D I had some fantasy notes somewhere of what my ideal OS UI might look like. Maybe I'll dig it out and bore everybody with it... Not that I'm measuring Ubuntu against it but I never understand why providers put their own arbitary limits in.

They don't add restrictions; they just don't have the manpower to add in customisable options for every possible aspect of behaviour (because there are infinitely many such customisations that people might want). Every option they add needs to be tested, to have UI widgets added, documentation etc, and the majority of users don't actually need to customise everything (hence the popularity of macOS, which has very limited customisation — you can't even disable the horrible mouse acceleration without third-party hacks).

 

Perhaps you have very specific needs and requirements which can't be met by any of the existing desktop environments, but in that case you are probably not going to be well-served with any pre-made distribution, and would probably need to become a developer so you can produce a custom environment that does what you want.



#39 Fidcal

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 12:14 PM

Yes, this is why I said previously in this thread that before Linux can become really popular it needs a new Messiah for the Common Man who can speak plain English and provide a distribution that is EASY and FLEXIBLE with help always right at the point of use. Then it might really take off - well given enough software of course, that's the other deal breaker. I appreciate the current developers have limited resources and are working for free (I applaud that ethic) but I'm just describing the results of that situation and why Linux is not as mainstream as it could be.

 

I just figured out why my old Linux dvds wouldn't boot - the security in the BIOS. (would have been nice if the Ubuntu people had mentioned that on the download page.)  Anyway, I fixed that and downloaded the latest Ubuntu to remind myself. Pretty much how I recall - very limited configuration. I managed to get the dock bar to the bottom of my right monitor and made the icons as large as they allowed but it's fixed. The dock does not hide unless a Window is moved over it and  the bar at the top of the main screen seems to be permanently visible and permanently bolted to the top of the screen.

 

It seems there are many distros each configured how the developers like instead of letting the user set it how they like. This reminds me of the difference between an off-the-peg suit and one that is tailored to fit: chose the one that most nearly fits you but is never ideal. Am I wrong to aspire after an ideal OS?

 

I think maybe I will post my notes... <evil laugh>



#40 Fidcal

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 12:33 PM

This is my concept of an ideal OS user interface set up to serve the user and not the provider. I call it The Void but it would be delivered with a default UI similar to Windows 10 for the sake of familiarity with most users who just want to click and go. More knowledgeable users could quickly reconfigure the UI how they want it, and this is what they'd get when they do so:

No desktop. The concept of a desktop as a launchpad was always a bad idea. Let me illustrate with a short story.

A factory owner grew tired of chasing assistants to carry out tasks so he called in a few workmen from the factory floor to build him a new desk with loads of buttons on top. One button would summon his secretary, another his vice-president, and so on. They made and installed his new desk but once it was cluttered with his in-tray and out-tray, his blotting pad, keyboard, monitor, desk tidy, and so on, he had trouble getting at the buttons. He had his workmen bring up a couple of the bots from the factory so now when he wanted to find a button on his desk he first pressed a button on the side of his desk and the bot arms swung into action to move the clutter away to a side table - restoring the clutter afterwards.

You see how foolish the above notion would be. But that's what we have with Windows.

The Void begins with a swirling black cloud of nothing. It's not a desktop but a creation space. You can right click it anywhere and a menu lets you create any pane (panel, rectangle, window, box - choose the word you prefer but they are the same thing) or choose defaults. A pane is just a blank rectangle but you can right click it and configure it to be a menu or button holder or a mixture. Each item in a pane is simply a link to an app, a doc, a service, whatever. There are defaults so you might add all installed apps to a menu in one go but also remove or hide what you don't and add individual stuff if you want. You can configure the pane and everything in it to be any colour, any font, any size, any type, any transparency any border, any anything - you design the style - either to your preferred defaults or individually. When I say 'any' I really mean 'ANY' - not a range defined by someone else. You can resize or move any pane anywhere and optionally dock it with any other pane on any side. You can lock it or make it hide and appear - you set all the rules how it would do that. EVERYTHING is optional. Anything you object to can be fixed. Too much like hard work? Right click the void, select say, 'defaults - similar to - Win 7' and you're good to go, plus you can tweak it any which way.

All help is at the relevant point of use by right clicking. You won't normally have to use a separate search or scour the internet like now. Example: a couple of days ago I wanted to change a drive letter. I knew it had to be done through Disk Management but couldn't remember the route to it. I entered Disk Management in the Win 10 search. It suggested formatting partitions (which was the correct route to the task but not very helpful if you didn't already know) or search the web. A more useful OS would link to anything drive-related by right clicking the drive in a file manager where you'd naturally first look.

Most commonly there might be six main panes: a full screen picture as background, a service menu launcher, a start menu launcher, a running tasks manager, a task launcher, and a system tray - but there's is nothing special about each pane because you decide what goes where. If you like desktop icons then you could make the picture pane sit always at the back and permit it to accept shortcuts just like a conventional desktop. Or you can just use the task launcher pane.

The user is never restricted to some style or plan enforced by the provider. Not mass surveillance. Not bloatware pre-installed. Not updates. Not Users. Not logins. Not invisible passwords. YOU choose. You want multiple users? Fine, you add that property. Keep passwords visible? YOU decide to include what you love and exclude what you hate. Why should M$oft decide for you? Then change the style in each successive Windows or update? A default is fine, but give us freedom over everything.

Help can always be reached by right clicking at the point of use. Ultimately leading as a last resort to every conceivable keyword that might enter your head so you can find what you want. People now think it's normal to spend hours doing searches for the simplest task. I say, right click and follow the bread crumbs and virtually always find the info you need in 20 seconds or less. It IS possible! It needs resources, imagination, intelligence, creativity, integrity, and a desire to serve instead of making your customers serve you. Clearly M$oft don't have any of those qualities except the first: DOLLARS, but they're keeping those.




 



#41 jaxa

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 07:21 PM

ChromeOS market/usage/device share is somewhere between 1-5%, and it's larger than the equivalent Linux usage share.

 

Not only is ChromeOS easy to use, but newer models are gaining support for Android and Linux applications.

 

I'm surprised I am the only one who brought it up.

 

Even if you don't like GOOG, you should be able to easily wipe a ChromeOS device and put some other Linux distro on it.

 

One interesting thing is that they may try to replace ChromeOS (Linux kernel) with Fuchsia and Zircon.



#42 Sneaker

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 08:40 PM

ChromeOS isn't "Free and Open Source Sofware" though.  That's really my personal reason for using linux et al. and why I keep slogging through it warts and all.

 

I'd agree though, ChromeOS is basically the modern OS for grandmas.  Google made the Netscape dream a reality and was exactly what Microsoft was so afraid of back then.... the browser became the OS.  Google is now in the "extend" phase of "Embrace, Extend, Extinguish".  A lot of "features" work nice in Chrome, while "other browser 'bugs' (firefox/safari/etc.)" are left on the development floor to rot.  History just repeats.



#43 OrbWeaver

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:27 AM

Yes, this is why I said previously in this thread that before Linux can become really popular it needs a new Messiah for the Common Man who can speak plain English and provide a distribution that is EASY and FLEXIBLE with help always right at the point of use.

 

And my point was that such a thing is impossible. Not just impractical due to lack of development time or resources, but logically impossible because there is no universal objective standard for what is easy and flexible, and in many cases these goals are contradictory to one another (too much flexibility can cause confusion for new users, while too much ease-of-use can make things cumbersome or inefficient for advanced users).

 

Your idea for a super-customisable desktop variant is certainly interesting, but if you were to invest the time and energy to create such a thing, all you would have done is create Yet Another Option alongside GNOME/KDE/MATE/Cinnamon/whatever, and for every user who loved your desktop environment, there would be another who found it confusing or difficult to use. Perhaps some of these users would think "All of these options are confusing, if only someone would create One True Desktop that everybody could use..." and the cycle would begin again.

 

Trying to create a single unified desktop environment that everyone will magically agree is universally the best, is as futile as trying to create a single "best model" of camera, car, aircraft or anything else. You will either create something which meets some people's needs but not others, or end up with a half-hearted compromise that nobody really likes.


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#44 OrbWeaver

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:49 AM

I managed to get the dock bar to the bottom of my right monitor and made the icons as large as they allowed but it's fixed. The dock does not hide unless a Window is moved over it and  the bar at the top of the main screen seems to be permanently visible and permanently bolted to the top of the screen.

 

You might want to try the Ubuntu MATE desktop instead. It actually has the option to "make the desktop look like Windows/Mac", and you can have an auto-hiding macOS-style Dock at the bottom of the screen with 128-pixel icons if you want.



#45 Sotha

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 07:48 AM

+1 on what Orb said.

I have a completely different strategy of being happy with my OSes:
I customize nothing. I learn to use the OS as provided.

If I did customize my own OS and learned to use it, I would be immediately confused when I get exposed to another computer with different setup. If I learn to use the mainstream setup, I am familiar with every mainstream setup I encounter. Mainstream is more common than customized.

Hence, off with the customization! Weren't humans supposed to be the masters of adaptation and thus the dominant life form on this planet? There is great power in adaptation, I think, if you adapt to the most common setup.
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#46 chakkman

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 08:21 AM

I am a computer user. Not a computer administrator. I want my system to work, preferrably flawlessly. That's why i stay away from Linux. (I messed with it nearly 10 years, only with the bigger distros, like Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Open Suse or Fedora. None of them are nearly as stable and bug free as Windows or Mac OS are) Add to that the lack of vendor support, and Open Source drivers, which don't nearly have the same performance as factory drivers, or the lack of decent software alternatives to Office, photo editing, video editing, or, basically, any professional software, and, it becomes pretty apparent why it is no valid alternative. At least not if you're not religiously and ideologically motivated, and wear penguin glasses.


Edited by chakkman, 28 February 2019 - 08:23 AM.


#47 demagogue

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 08:54 AM

I've experimented more in the other direction, customizing a Windows shell. One can make a very Linux-like shell even in Windows, or pick and choose different elements.

In the end I'm also not such a hardcore user that I care enough to invest the time and energy for such things. It's fun to play around with for a while, but then life takes over and you just want to get work done without extra hassle.

 

I'm still very much into the open source & collaborate ethos, but more so for software (like ours) than an OS.

 

Well, one thing, I don't have any motivation to ever use macOS or iOS. Way too closed for my taste. So I do have my limits.


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#48 Fidcal

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 05:07 PM

Yeah, pity. And I thought a flexible, very easy to understand UI ready to run straight out of the box with no annoyances that you cannot simply remove or change how you like, and with clear, sensible help always at the point of use - I thought that would be popular. Oh well, what do I know. :D



#49 OrbWeaver

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 03:57 AM

To be honest this debate's becoming less and less relevant anyway, because desktops are on their way out — other than (non-console) gamers which need Windows for obvious reasons, and office users who will carry on using Windows until the end of time because it is the safe and well-known option.

 

Most ordinary users are using tablets and iDevices, not desktops, and if you include all of the Android tablets and phones, Linux is not only hugely successful but actually one of the most dominant operating systems.

 

And if this means we finally see the end of interminable "Linux will never be ready for the desktop until (insert my particular issue here)" flame wars, that can only be a good thing.


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#50 Fidcal

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 04:41 AM

The same principles I've described apply to all devices. I have an Android tablet and it's awkward to use. I'd like to tweak a few things but I can't so it is effectively unusable for me. If it had been Void-based then I could. You want limited configurability - and only that permitted by the UI provider whereas I want near-unlimited configurability - defined by me. I want freedom; you want restrictions. Flexibility does not preclude a default UI for the masses. Windows is somewhat configurable but it mostly requires digging and searching and hard work. It might need a hidden setting that only an internet search will reveal. It might need a registry hack. It might need 3rd party software. All bullshit. I want to right click anything and be led to all the info relevant to that item with good info what to do (or the direct confirmation that the system cannot do what I want so I need waste no further time!) Those who don't want that don't have to use it. I mean, if your pc, games console, smart device were more configurable than you need, and easier to do so, I can't really understand why you'd object to that since nobody would force you to reconfigure anything. I mean, if a friend asked you about your device would you say, not I can't really recommend this because it's so configurable you'd get confused so you'd have to leave it set to the defaults. "Is that a problem" he asks. "Erm... no but, why not get a different device with very restricted configurability?" says you.

 

I've never been able to understand objections to options which nobody is forcing anyone to use. With everything Void-based everyone could continue exactly as they are now anyway, and those of us wishing to change something can do so. It's win-win. Everyone's happy. Currently millions are not happy. It's a no-brainer. Just paste this into Google: Microsoft Windows faults OR problem OR errors OR annoyances - you'll get half a billion results (not that Google will permit you to see them all.) Those are web pages each with several or many users struggling to fix something and many of them without finding solutions for their efforts. Linux is more restrictive and less helpful than Windows frankly but has more potential to be GREAT than a profit-driven OS can ever be.

 

But the future is bright. Evolution is unstoppable and if something like my idea is better then it will out-survive the likes of Windows even if it takes centuries to reach that point because of obstacles like big business and lack of imagination. Linux, or something like it, is the most promising vehicle for that future.







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