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#26 2013-08-05 09:29:08

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 13,970

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

you_have_pleased_fluttershy_by_physicallypossible-d3jcrlg.jpg

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Be excellent to each other!

#27 2013-08-06 06:35:25

tmillic
#! CrunchBanger
From: Fayetteville - Tucson
Registered: 2011-04-25
Posts: 217

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

That's awfully nice of you, but why try to reach a wider base? Well, I guess for many semi-educated users, it would be useful for them to switch to Linux.
I see the different distros the same way I see different tools. Users have different needs that are met by different tools. While for many, linux would be a perfect tool for what they're doing, no amount of altruism on the behalf of whoever we are would make them want to switch. If they're happy using a screwdriver on a nail even after you show them the powers of a hammer, let them stay happy. You've done your part. Don't change the hammer to be a screwdriver too. Multi-tools can do a lot if it's all you have, but they usually suck at everything they do as a compromise to fit all the different functions in. OK. I've beat this analogy to death.

Some people want to play WOW all day; Windows is fine for that.
Some people write programs to solve complex mathematical problems, Linux is fine for that.
Some people want to look pretty while tweeting at Starbucks, Apples are fine for that.
There's something for everybody, and that's just fantastic.

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#28 2013-08-06 16:45:42

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Well, really my point was just about challenging the notion that user friendlier Linux will be more widely adopted.

That was it, really.

P.S. If anyone has anything to say to me, any criticism to make, maybe a PM is a better medium than an oblique remark.

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#29 2013-08-06 17:29:08

tmillic
#! CrunchBanger
From: Fayetteville - Tucson
Registered: 2011-04-25
Posts: 217

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

I wasn't intending to sound critical. It's a nice intention to make Linux more available to the masses, and I respect you more for that than before I had any idea who you were. The challenge with making it more user-friendly is doing so without limiting functionality in the process and going down the route that Microsoft found itself. I can't help but recall an amusing moment in a bioinformatics class when the instructor was going over how to connect to the cluster for blasting genetic sequences and stuff. Another professor taking the class and sitting next to me with his Apple laptop, revolted at the idea of using the command prompt and said "I didn't pay $1500 for this laptop to work in a black box with text!" The class instructor then said, "It looks like death. Trust me. You'll love it."
These two professors demonstrated the challenge I mentioned earlier. The cluster has a specific task and many users. It runs Linux with users connecting via ssh. It's really the most appropriate setup, yet there are still users who balk at the idea of not having things simplified for them. To meet the expectations of the complaining professor would require changes to the cluster that would tie up resources and possibly add limitations to its functionality, affecting the other users. While the cluster environment is a specific application of Linux, there are many others. This is probably part of why there are so many different distros.
It's a very generous and caring suggestion to make Linux easier to use by the masses, but it would be quite a challenge, if even possible, to not limit the functionality of it. Making distros with gui applications to fit the needs of people who do things like just log into facebook would be feasible though.

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#30 2013-08-06 17:46:37

hinto
#! Windbag
From: Cary, NC
Registered: 2010-12-08
Posts: 1,487

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Rick Cook wrote:

Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.

Rick Cook
-Hinto


"Sometimes I wish I hadn't taken the red pill" -Me

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#31 2013-08-06 18:35:12

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Well, I don't want to bring Linux to the masses. But some people do.

I personally want Debian to maximise its potential and for people who throw away old Windows boxes that have got too slow to understand what is really happening with their computer.

Fair do's to Mark Shuttleworth, though. He has at least implemented his vision for Linux. Or tried to.

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#32 2013-08-06 18:37:11

hinto
#! Windbag
From: Cary, NC
Registered: 2010-12-08
Posts: 1,487

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

^Debian is really already there.  It survived the loss of its founder Ian Murdock, when he went to go work at Sun and OpenSolaris.
-Hinto


"Sometimes I wish I hadn't taken the red pill" -Me

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#33 2013-08-06 19:20:41

tmillic
#! CrunchBanger
From: Fayetteville - Tucson
Registered: 2011-04-25
Posts: 217

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

True about people throwing away boxes because they don't know what's going on with it. It's sad and ecologically tragic. Even with Windows systems, a lot of people could use some basic mentoring about things to avoid. There are still people who don't know the "Own a computer Put it to work" crap is bogus. There are still people installing viruses and spyware from links to porn or "warez" they were looking for, etc. They screw up their computer out of ignorance, throw it away, buy another one, and repeat the process. The quote provided by Hinto is spot on unfortunately.
Some neighborhoods have Free Geek groups that will take these old machines and fix them. They don't have the advertising funds to get the message out to the public that the service exists, and they're not in every town. It's a good idea though.

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#34 2013-08-06 21:30:29

kbmonkey
#! Die Hard
From: South Africa
Registered: 2011-01-14
Posts: 879
Website

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Dumbing it down? Guffaw!

In a culture of instant gratification there is something to be said for dedicating time and thought to getting something up and running.

I pride myself that I am willing to do this, and I will refuse anybody who does not. And I expect my fellow and fellowette tinkerers to share in that pride.

All hail the penguin king  8)

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#35 2013-08-06 23:23:14

AnInkedSoul
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2010-06-30
Posts: 232

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

hinto wrote:

^Debian is really already there.  It survived the loss of its founder Ian Murdock, when he went to go work at Sun and OpenSolaris.
-Hinto

Actually he was long long gone from debian when he went to opensolaris.

Heck, Bruce Perens probably did more to 'create' debian than Ian anyway.

Last edited by AnInkedSoul (2013-08-06 23:26:15)

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#36 2013-08-06 23:24:16

AnInkedSoul
#! CrunchBanger
Registered: 2010-06-30
Posts: 232

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

ubuntu



In ways you could say the purpose of any distro is actually to dumb things down, some more than others I guess.

Last edited by AnInkedSoul (2013-08-06 23:26:24)

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#37 2013-08-07 02:36:48

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

^That was what started this wink

The problem with Ubuntu is that it is bound by Canonical's needs as a commercial company. So the ultimate course of their Debian-with-a-human-face project has misled some people into thinking that the opposite of Debian/Slackware/Arch grizzlybearism/rtfmism is phoney [drum roll, cymbal crash] commercialism. It isn't. You can be charming without selling out or selling people things.

We have earned a reputation as a nice, friendly community. That's not part of the technical spec and yet surely part of the CrunchBang draw.

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#38 2013-08-07 03:16:15

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

pvsage wrote:

No matter how much we do to try to make it about the OS/distro/DE, what it boils down to for the average user is "What can I do with it that I can't do with what I'm already using?"

Well said.


Linux User #586672
Come and Die -- Kyle Idleman

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#39 2013-08-07 03:21:43

KrunchTime
#! Die Hard
From: not where I belong
Registered: 2012-03-02
Posts: 3,264

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

The "average user" doesn't want to fiddle with stuff to get it to work.  He/she just wants it to work.  I like to use the analogy of a motor head or car enthusiast versus the average driver.  The motor head likes to work on, customize, and understand how his/her car works.  Everyone else just wants their car to run.

Everyone has different interests.  There's not enough time in life to tinker with everything.

Last edited by KrunchTime (2013-08-07 03:23:42)


Linux User #586672
Come and Die -- Kyle Idleman

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#40 2013-08-07 04:00:44

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Careful readers will remember that the only reason I no longer boot into Windows at all is because I cannot figure out how to get all the drivers to work (no, it doesn't just find them - and its botched attempts to are even obstructive), the font-smoothing is terrible in some software e.g. Office, presumably on account of a missing driver, and catalyst no longer works properly. Simply put, I can't be bothered with all the tinkering.

But anyway, this isn't about Windows.

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#41 2013-08-07 04:11:06

anonymous
The Mystery Member
Registered: 2008-11-29
Posts: 9,419

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

I think the average computer user would just take the PC to a repair shop first than switch OS (if they even know about alternate ones).

Its important to consider time vs money. Some people do have the time to learn about computers and do tweaks/fixes themselves. Others don't have time but instead have the money to pay someone else to do the fixing.

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#42 2013-08-07 04:38:02

gutterslob
#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 3,207

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

"Dumbing down" something complex while still retaining the advantages of said complexity is harder than "smartening up" something simple while still retaining advantages of said simplicity, fyi.

Personally, dumbing down and smartening up are both way too trad for me. What I want is dumbing up. Gimme something that'll make me so dumb that I'll get high doing it and not give a damn what onlookers are thinking. An OS equivalent of something like a 300hp, 150kg, automatic transmission maxi scooter with an eject seat that transforms into a human sized hamster ball in the event of a crash. That's what I want.

Last edited by gutterslob (2013-08-07 13:25:21)


Point & Squirt

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#43 2013-08-07 08:35:03

ohyran
#! Member
From: Sweden
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 80
Website

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Why is it beneficial to be as many as possible doing something? Because that will create more people helping out developing it.
There is no "lone stranger" who on his or her own can go do something magical and unique because no one is an island and especially so when it comes to complex machinery that needs thousands of components to function.

"Dumbing down" is in my opinion incorrect - for example "Crunchbang" isn't dumbed down simply because it has GUI menu's. You could, as many do, simply ignore them and that would be the end of the argument if the wishy-washy nonsense term "dumbing down" really ment anything beyond "I am so smart, S-M-R-T! S-M-R-T!". It's made accessible not "dumbed down"

See it as wheelchair ramps to a school. To people who can walk the whole thing seems trivial and a waste of resources and space - but for those who can't its a must-have. We could leave it at that and pretend that there actually is just that dualistic competition between walkers and non-walkers, which would keep us at the "dumb down or not" debate, or we can see the benefits of having schools accessible to all; for all.

We who can walk will benefit from a society where a portion of us aren't refused education. We can see how a larger community of educated will in the end benefit all of us and that a ramp is tiny tiny price to pay for the huge benefits we gain. Not to mention the fact that a society that ignores the weakness of some to the temporary benefit of those without it is one which may one day turn on other weaknesses and in the end will be difficult to live in for all of us.

To make on OS tiered would make sense though, where the fiddly complex bits are hidden under a veneer of simplicity. Where things are interchangeable if you have the time to learn but if you don't you can stick to some rather simple GUI menus and interaction methods to edit things. This is one of the parts where Crunchbang in my opinion excel.

Yes when Linux is "dumbed down" that means that the simple and easy way in which some may get their status or through which some may purchase their identity is taken away but the benefits to that is simply greater than the temporary bruising of some egos.


>>>I draw pretty pictures for a living!<<<
>>>>>>>>>>>>#! Animal<<<<<<<<<<<<

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#44 2013-08-07 10:34:45

Basil15
Member
Registered: 2013-07-31
Posts: 20

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

>kbmonkey:  Hail, fellow Australopithecus Africanus, you sound like just the kind of person to consider patiently my favorite gripe in this area (I know the #! community are very well-mannered, but you kind of stuck your neck out...):

Why should it be so enormously complex  on many Linux distros including CB to install a package from a non-standard repository? I'm an obsessive environmental scanner and if I see a mention of an interesting package while browsing on a tech site, I'm going to right-click on the link to the *_deb.tar.gz file and download it then and there in the background to my /home/B15/downloads directory, oddly enough. Which never seems to be considered a likely, feasible or even permissible additional repository by synaptic, apt-get, aptitude etc. (Even temporary status would be OK, but how much better if it were accorded resident repository status. I promise that after installing downloaded packages I would move them to an Archives directory...) The least stuffed-shirted of these software flunkies do bend enough to contemplate the possibility that a package-containing CD or DVD might be introduced into your PC's reader, but I do not have time or patience to go burning many megs of files to an optical medium in order to please them. What's so threatening or immoral about a hard-drive directory as my own private repository?

Right now I have LibreOffice 4.1 sitting waiting for installation in said downloads directory, and an urgent production requirement for some of its specific features. It is not beyond the demonstrated capabilities of Debian hence #! to provide a facility for me to right-click on *deb.* filename and see an option to "Install package, if possible, on your own dumb head be it, and don't forget to type your root user password in this here box and do you want to watch the details of the process to see what goes wrong?" followed by all the stuff one would expect if the package were in the main Debian repo and I was using synaptic.

Disclaimer: I have no objections to CLI operations, except when the option to do what I want is missing...

(Where's the smiley for "Rant ends"?)

PS I'll just toddle over to Lubuntu 12.04 for immediate production, it installed without any objection there a week ago.

Last edited by Basil15 (2013-08-07 10:37:11)

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#45 2013-08-07 14:25:22

anonymous
The Mystery Member
Registered: 2008-11-29
Posts: 9,419

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

If you want a GUI, you can install deb packages using gdebi afaik.

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#46 2013-08-07 16:15:25

pvsage
Internal Affairs
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2009-10-18
Posts: 13,970

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

off-topic sidebar
@anonymous:  I'm pretty sure Basil15's mini-rant about trying to install LibreOffice 4.1 from a downloaded .deb describes his experience with using gdebi.

@Basil15:  You raise a couple valid points about the difficulties of dependency resolution in Debian-based distros, and I doubt that anyone would suggest that simplifying this is "dumbing down".  The APT development team has been making great strides, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
/off-topic

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#47 2013-08-13 19:50:28

Basil15
Member
Registered: 2013-07-31
Posts: 20

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Pardon delayed response, I've been out in the African bush without data link since 8/8.
Yes, I tried gdebi, but I also tried synaptic, apt, apt-get and aptitude, OK?
A bit (lot) of off-line manual-delving persuades me that there is a very simple fix involving a certain file somewhere, access to which could be facilitated by a simple script. Maybe I am under-estimating the difficulty involved, but my preferred (conspiracy-based) hypothesis is that it would become too easy to access Not-Yet-Officially-Approved packages, which would also cover free-but-not, you know, Stallman-free, packages. Thus the freedom that is Linux becomes an ideological trap carrying us all off to someone's visionary future willy-nilly?
(Where's the smiley with a tongue-in-cheek?)

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#48 2013-08-13 23:00:19

CBizgreat!
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2011-07-27
Posts: 1,865

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Against better judgement posting here again ! Arghhh !

Mainly to say LMFAO @ Hinto. lol Hilarious ... like many jokes funny cuz it's probably friggin true. big_smile

Just an opinion "Debian reach it's full potential" ? Nah it's not designed thatway from what I've seen/understand ... a big part of that is the no proprietary software principle the distro stands by. Leaves them way behind the curve and always will. But that's by choice, based on principle kinda thing.

Canonical Inc can pop right in, snatch up all the work/effort Debian central has done, mix in every proprietary driver or package imaginable and whamo they're synonymous with gnu/Linux. Buntu is everywhere etc. While the vast majority of what they do is in no way created by them even o course the proprietary software they include.

Think it's the reason why Debian is the most prolific gnu/nix base ever and sucking hind teat even though ironically they've done most ( or even all) the heavy lifting involved, shrugs. Agree with the person who said let folks do their thing and yeah not having to have a comp sci degree to install-use gnu/nix is obviously a favorable thing. Most people ( includ myself) do not have Comp Sci degrees and if it were a requirement guessing wouldn't look @ gnu/Linux twice.

Why would you ? When generally computers come with a M$ or Apple OS preinstalled that can do everything a normal pc user wants OOTB. If by dumbed down you mean Arch linux's approach ? There'd be 5,353 gnu/nixers in the world if you had to spend 5 mnths to get xorg to work. lol

Is NOT a criticism but again no matter what's said here it's a moot point imo. It's opensource and it's going to go-do-be whatever folks decide to do with it. Whoever-whenever-whyever < That's not even a word. tongue Exactly as it should, exactly as it's meant to be.

Though gotta say many of the "dumbed down" distro's are more complicated and borkage prone imo ( experience ) than a distro like #!, it's not dumbed down Debian is my thought, it's enhanced Debian, shrugs.

I know you are ... but what am I ?!?!?!? tongue


Vll! smile


Edit ... as usual I canna do justice to a subject anyway. Missed many folks ...

Kbmonkey +1's the All hail the penguin god(s) ! big_smile

and missed a comment by Slobsan ... basically = lmao again which is per usual, shrugs.

No doubt missed others and poss commentary ... Oh well.

Guessing overall IntoCB is making conversation ... Which is the purpose of an online forum ? With so many distros around there's definitely not a shortage. You want complicated you got it ... You want simple you should easily find it too. Ahhhh it's all good.

Last edited by CBizgreat! (2013-08-14 03:16:15)


Some common cbiz abbreviations. This will save me time and yet @ same time tell folks what the babble is supposed to mean.

Vll ! = ( Viva la gnu/Linux !)    Vl#!! = ( Viva la #! !)    Last but not least, UD ... OD ! = ( Use Debian ... or die !) tongue

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#49 2013-08-14 04:21:00

intoCB
Scatweasel
Registered: 2012-10-25
Posts: 2,412

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

"Debian reach it's full potential" ? Nah it's not designed thatway from what I've seen/understand

Debian has a social contract and a manifesto. It has very publicly thought about what it is. When I speak of potential, I simply mean that point at which people put down their tools and say "the job is done". The "job" is relative to Debian's own goals. Does Debian reach all the people it wants to reach is capable of reaching?

Ubuntu is not less geeky than Debian from a technical point of view. Canonical uses seductive words and images to give the impression that it's friendlier and easier to use e.g. providing smiley-faced places for support such as Askubuntu and maintaining a sense of something always happening in Ubuntuland through OMG!Ubuntu! etc. However, from a technical point of view, Debian is not much harder and even Ubuntu 12.04 was tough for me when I first discovered Linux.

Canonical uses marketing (aka seduction, BS, call it what you will) to "sell" what is effectively a tweaked Debian.

That is beneficial to Canonical.

Now, all marketing is ultimately evil. However, some of it is simply making the effort to think about what is happening in the other person's head, what is motivating him/her etc. People will sit up and listen when you sit up and listen to what makes them sit up and listen, as Harry Gordon Selfridge said.

And people can and do learn amazingly complicated things when motivated. A friendly community, for example, can be motivating. Take us for example.

Ubuntu has done many things right but since it's tied to a commercial company, it's aim is always ultimately to sell itself and make profit for the company. Debian doesn't have those requirements but it doesn't mean that we cannot use some of Canonical's techniques among users who are otherwise predisposed to using a free Linux-based operating system but who don't feel comfortable with some of the non-functional aspects. Debian is a quality product. It doesn't need to dumb down. It just needs to be more able to convince those users who have a disposition towards it that it's something for them.

Maybe we still need Ubuntu. Just not for all that much.

When I was a kid, there was a fearsome (and mercifully short-lived) pop act that went by the name of "The Reynolds Girls". Were the Reynolds Girls complicated or uncomplicated? I don't know but I know I didn't appreciate what they did. And so it is with Debian, except that the music's better. Funnily enough, the Reynold Girls' song is about not being taken into consideration.

Politeness and good manners cost nothing.

Now clear off, the lot of you. Go and bother a more interesting thread such as the really cool one about ElementaryOS.

Last edited by intoCB (2013-08-14 04:42:34)

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#50 2013-08-28 22:43:37

demifiend
#! Member
From: Pennsylvania
Registered: 2013-08-28
Posts: 75
Website

Re: Who says Linux needs to dumb down?

Scatweasel wrote:

It's sexiness and not simplification that will bring Linux to a wider audience. When running it will make your friends jealous and when people of the opposite sex will want to be with you. Apple's draw is its aura of status and exclusitivity. Oh yeah - and "interoperability".

We're already there, but most Android users don't realize they've got penguins in their pockets, and Google is happy to keep their use of the Linux kernel on the down low. Droid users probably wouldn't care, either; as long as their phones don't throw "kernel panic" error messages at them when they're trying to take nude selfies and send them to their SOs.  ]:D


"I defenestrate people for quoting Nietzsche at dinner." --Tamara Gellion

You can also find me on...
GitHub | Google+ | matthewgraybosch.com | starbreakerseries.com

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