Joined: Nov. 2007
||Posted: Nov. 30 2007,05:26
I'd like to start off by letting you know that I'm a very huge fan of this product and of the work that you do! I'm sure that I've said that before, and I will continue saying it. Please keep up the good work and know that there are many of us who are benefiting directly from your efforts and guidance.
The quality of the product that you are offering is second to none. I believe that DSL is the epitome of modern operating systems and should be considered the *premiere* operating system available. There is nothing else on the planet that approaches what you've put together. I intend to use it on all of my machines in one form or another. It's mind-blowing that it can be used as the tiniest usable liveCD or a full blown installed modern OS or anything in between that someone decides they want... nothing else compares to this!
If I've delivered my thoughts in any way that seems counter-productive, please forgive me, it was not my intention. One of the things that I value most about this community is the interaction that I'm seeing between people and I wanted to give my perspective.
My personal history begins with a DOS 6 386MHz Intel DX fifteen years... upwards and onwards through Windows 95 to Windows Server 2003. I've spent the last 15 years writing commercial software using LISP, C++, Win32 API, .NET etc etc. I've spent the last fifteen years cursing Microsoft for continuously and repetitively burying beneficial features and utilities in each and every iteration of their OS and for generating useless bloat and surreptitious drain on resources.
|I believe his post is targeted at me. Wanting these changes in the base iso.|
Indirectly, yes. Directly, no. Let me try and qualify that...
I know that you are the keystone in the development of this product... so, yes, my comments are directed at you. But I also think that the state of the base product also lies in the hands of the people who voice an opinion and bring ideas to the table for discussion... so my comments are directed at the entire audience who participates in this forum.
I'd like to see this product survive and gain ground. I'd like to see that happen because I want to be using this product twenty years from now and I think the only way that will happen is if it consistently attracts people and they are as happy with it as I am and they want to keep using it forever as well.
The closing statement "Windows users are more accustomed to a more consistent look and feel." Wouldn't that be JWM over fluxbox.
No, I don't think that having the same look as the Windows desktop qualifies as having a consistent look. Consistency comes from a homogenous set of objects. The 3.4 desktop is very, very close to achieving perfection in this sense. All of the icons have the same look and feel - are consistent in their density of color and gradation. They are very appealing, speak their meaning clearly and are uniquely identifiable... the nib of a pen is clearly a text application, the penguin with earphones is listening to music, the file cabinet holds documents. Bravo!
The only thing foreign on that desktop is the descriptive captions of each icon. xGZW is very, very hard to remember... what does it mean? why is it named that? these are the distracting questions that came to my mind when I first saw it and Siag.
|Your prior post was claiming the opposite, that users were comming to Linux for something different!|
No, I don't think I ever said that. I'm rereading the entry you mention and I can't see how that interpretation can be drawn from what I said. Thanks for starting this thread, I'm going to repost that entry immediately below this one as it definitely belongs here.
I remember saying that Fluxbox has some great advantages over the Windows model. I remember thinking that I'm exhausted by Microsoft making things more complicated with less benefit every major release.
If most other Windows converts are anything like me, they're going to come over to Linux because they're fed up of receiving increasingly complicated products that are bloated and overly hyped. The only really great thing Microsoft has done since delivering Windows XP has been the devlopment of the .Net Framework.
This user has come to Linux because DSL is a ten minute download, a 5 minute burn to CD, is up and running in 90 seconds and was (3.4) immediately usable because all the major applications were right there on the desktop one single click away! I ran the liceCD under virtualization and the system connected to my network immediately... I was reading www.dslos.com in Firefox two minutes after I finished my very first DSL download. I applaud this product publicly every chance I get... see Monday, Oct 1st in my journal.
This user has tried seven other Linux distributions since finding DSL and the only one that comes close to being interesting is Puppy and that is twice the size! Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, bloat, bloat, bloat.
|Renaming Linux apps. Well, am *I* supposed to know what "outlook" is? Explorer is that the file manager or the web browser.|
What is excel? iexplorer? I don't see generic names on Windows apps. What is sliverlight? I am lost on a windows machine.
That's my point exactly! No one should be lost. It's hard enough for a beginner user to understand what a computer does, why make it more complicated by using 'marketing' names? I bet you've tried to explain to your aunt how to use a computer and I bet she's said to you, "but why didn't they just name it [internet browser]? That would have been so much easier". Here's the chance.
|I thought icons were there to provide users a clue, both in Windows and DSL/JWM. Oh, but then you stated you didn't like icons or JWM.|
Yes. A picure is worth a thousand words... and a couple of words can reassure the user that they read the clue correctly. The caption is as important as the picture... ask my blind friend in Hungary.
I didn't say that I don't like icons. I love icons. What I don't like are the mini-icons on the command menus. They look amateurish and reduce the professionalism of the product. They are crude, ill-matched. They are so low in resolution that they are not easily distinguishable from each other and they are distracting when trying to read the commands on the menus. The same can be said of the heavy font that is used on these menus in JWM... it is too hard to read.
JWM is no better than the Microsoft desktop. Fluxbox offers functionality that makes it easier to organize the desktop.
|Does not Windows start with very few icons on the desktop. Don't most users drag there favorite app icon to the desktop?|
Why follow a bad example? Do you really want to create a copy of Windows?
|Does not Windows have tray icons as well?|
Shaded windows are better. They get out of the way and can be easily found. I have a feeling I'm going to really like tabbed windows too. I know that I'm becoming very fond of them in the web browser. Oh yeah, when Microsoft dumped their old model fo Multiple-Document-Interface (MDI) to go back to their older model of single-DI (SDI), I really thought that they mad a mistake... and then they came back to ridiculous MDI scheme that they call Grouped-Items... so that the task bar now has fold-up menus... they'll never get that right... shaded and tabbed, that looks very, very good.
The only advantage Windows offers over DSL are the System Tray icons that show the running state of daemons. Puppy has adopted this to some degree and show memory and CPU usage as System Tray icons.
|What is so inconsistent about DSL's presentation?|
First, the something that can be controlled... the capitalizations used for captions on the 3.4 desktop. They are whacky. Siag starts with a capital letter. xGVW doesn't. Maybe some are all lower-case. I don't have them all in my head, but I remember it's a hodge-podge. That's the very first thing a new user will see when they get to your desktop. Do you really want to mae it look like fifteen different people decided to name the different applications without talking to each other? Which brings me back to my earlier comment... it would look more polished if all of the captions had the same look and feel... [text editor], [file browser], [spreadsheet editor], [image viewer] etc. That would have a consistent, packaged feel.
|Do we really want 5 base icons + 17 app icons (ala 3.x) for a total of 22 desktops icons that would have to look good a 640x480, i.e., all bunched up in upper right hand corner?|
That's a very good question? Let me ask you a good question back... who are you building this for and for what purpose?
If your goal is to have a system that can be booted up in 90 seconds and that a user can immediately launch the program that they need in the next 10 seconds, my answer to you is unequivocally YES.
Why? Here's another good question... what is the profile of the user who will use this product without going so far as to make any modifications? My answer is... my aunt, and your aunt. Remember that old lady who barely remembers how to use the VCR? Well, if she wants to check her email, chances are really, really good that she's not going to remember how to dig through an icon named Apps to find a program named Sylpheed. Come on, you've got to admit it... if you've worked with anybody who isn't literati with computers, the scenario I just described is exactly true. And do we all really need more pained phone calls from our aunts just so we can try and make them remember the word Sylpheed?
I'd say the other major profile of the liveCD user will be someone who wants to fire up the machine and get on the internet to do something... banking, shopping, Yahoo email.
Any good user will be able to drag the icons off the desktop and move them into the Apps (should be named Programs) folder [thanks of course to the amazing work you've done with drag and drop!] So a regular user who wants a clear desktop can make it that way pretty damn quick and they're smart enough to be using backup.gz.tar and that setup persists for them.
|As for Firefox it is on the default desktop in the tray area.|
Only in JWM. That's a disservice to those who prefer Fluxbox don't you think?
|Are you suggesting new users don't see it, or that they know to boot with desktop=fluxbox option?|
Yes. Coming from Windows, the bootup options are a completely unfamiliar concept. It's a concept that I'm quickly growing fond of.
Has JWM become the default window manager because of a poll? Truly, out of innocent curiosity, how are these big decisions made now?
|I think this is falling under the statement; "You can please some of the people sometime but you can't please everyone".|
Of course. I think I glanced a message that said public response has been scant on the polls, I may be wrong... is there a consensus that one WM should be the default? I'm completely okay if this isn't a democratic process (remember I grew up in the land of Gates and Windows) but I'd like to know it before I make the mistake of thinking talking about it is valuable.
|With v4.x I wanted to implement drag and drop, folder and document centric computing using the same base as v3.x and being able to support existing extensions.|
Okay. I didn't use the product enough before this so I can't talk to pre-4.x except from the cosmetic perspective.
|The icons of ~/ and / should also be a tip off that DSL is not Windows.|
My aunt doesn't care if it's Windows or PineTrees as long as she can read her email from grannie in Florida. Hopefully, she'll just ignore those two icons because she'll never understand what she's looking at when they open up and it'll take me hours of looking at her confused face over the next family dinner to try and explain to her what a tree-view is. Good icons for me and you.
|Do I/We want DSL to not even look like Linux and only use generic names? What's next: DSGL?|
Who are we building this for? Us, who understand what's at hand... or our friends and family who want a simple computer to use? How far-reaching do we want this product to be? Is it a science project that will fade in time when we've all moved on to something else? or do we hope that it grows and becomes accepted by people who get scared when they see strange words that don't come from any language on our planet. Is this a tool for computer scientists or an offering for mankind?
|I really am open to suggestions and comments. But I am not convinced with anything so far.|
Good. Hopefully others will offer up their opinions and the two of us don't go looking like we're having a stupid fight about somthing trivial.
Please remember, I know that I can tailor my own versions of the system to suit my personal taste... so I don't feel boxed in at all.. I feel completely empowered and am grateful for the open minds that built DSL to allow this. What I'm hoping for is that I can show my friends and family the official version of the package and have them say, "Wow, this is really easy to use, I want it on my machine too." Problem is, most of my friends and family don't have the knowledge, time or energy to understand computers as well as I do and the best we can offer them is a machine that is ready for them to use right straight out of the box.
With my sincere regards,