Joined: Feb. 2007
||Posted: Dec. 04 2007,16:30
|This is a very important point, and a correct one in my opinion. I do think that it is not nearly as clicker-friendly in dfm as it is in windows explorer, though. In Windows if you click on a file that is not associated with an application you are presented with an "open with..." dialog (if I remember correctly).|
Yes, that's correct. And you can easily change that via right-click "open with." One of the reasons I like rox over dfm is because it has a similar right-click re-associate option.
|In dfm it seems the user has to know what file to edit and the syntax of that file, so as with many other things the user must read and learn something in order to understand how to make it work exactly as the user wants it. |
Doesn't dfm open non-associated file-types as text files in an editor (beaver) by default? Maybe this can be remedied with dfm by launching the dfmext tool when unassociated file types are encountered if rc files can be excluded.
|This is in heavy contrast with Windows, where the user does not have much choice in how the desktop behaves.|
I think Windows' behavior is as configurable as Linux'. My XP desktop is very OSX-like right now, down to a functional animated dock. (Screenshot is tinted with an overlay of enlarged text germane to something I posted against FSF/Busybox lawyers.)
|The main point I'm trying to make is that we're talking about Linux, which holds at least two very important traits that are often ignored by those coming from Windows:|
Linux is not Windows.
If you don't like something you can change it.
I touched a little on this subject in a blog entry last night, but from the standpoint that familiarity with common interface concepts is what either hinders or enables migration from one OS to another.
I don't think what's under the hood really matters to users so much as whether they can manipulate it via familiar concepts. The more novel it is to new users and the more of a learning curve they have, the less likely they'll bother. You can cover Linux with GUI tools that ease transition and break down the barriers because of familiarity with menus, buttons, icons, etc., and with features like file associations and dragging and dropping. There are also some "under the hood" things some (e.g., GoboLinux) have attempted to make Linux directory structures more familiar to those who are used to Windows. I have no problem with that because Linux is highly adaptable and it can be set up to suit a user's needs.
The greatest barrier to understanding Linux in general and DSL in particular isn't in the difference between it and Windows but rather the resistance to reading the available documentation. How many questions asked in the forums are answered in "Getting Started" or the wiki or elsewhere? I would suggest expanding "Getting Started" to include brief tutorials for more things but it seems like many people don't even bother reading it.
"It felt kind of like having a pitbull terrier on my rear end."
-- meo (copyright(c)2008, all rights reserved)