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RE: A good charge against free operating systems

Hi Stephen,

> When did vi last break up in your hands?  Word's stability, 
> on the other
> hand...

Maybe I've been a little bit unclear in my previous mail. It was far from my
mind to discuss the overall stability of Windows vs Unix, either from an
application or operating system point of view. Can't remember my last kernel
panic (probably in days of twinking), whereas I saw a BSOD yesterday running

When I was writing about "breaking" applications, I was first refering to
the article at the origin of this thread, which criticized gnome and kde
stability. And those two ones happen to crash, from times to times (but it
becomes rare), and not necessarily while pushing the limits. What I wanted
to explain is that these issues are easier to deal with for a "basic" user
on a windows box (reboot) than on a linux box. (but an intermediate user or
above can handle the situation quite easily).

> The Great Myth of {Uni,Linu}x is that it's `too hard to use', which is
> Not True.  The problem is that it's difficult (not `too difficult') to
> _learn_.  The effort spent in learning early on is repaid 
> several times
> over later on.

I acknowledge. Though, problems are :

Most people have been taught in school using MS products, whereas using
{Uni,Linu}x is mostly taught in higher technical level schools (at least in
France). Even if this might change in the years to come [ and I hope so ;)
], people naturally tend to use what they already know. Lazyness is part of
the human nature, I guess. 
A small sample ? Everybody learns to use a qwerty (or azerty for us
frenchies) keyboard. Even if this keyboard pattern has been especially
designed to be counter-productive (it was to avoid too fast keystrokes and
jams on remingtons). How many people show interest in other, most efficient,
keyboard patterns, like Dvorak's ? Not much, even among those for whom it
would be a major improvement. Why ? Heck, who wants to restart learning how
to type ?

Lazyness ! ;)

In a work environment, people are often under pressure : they need to be
efficient, and quickly. So taking a short time learning a tool designed to
be easily learned (eg, Word) may be prefered to taking maybe more time
learning a more efficient tool. Even if it is less profitable on the long
term. People mostly act with a short term vision.

Note that the introduction of tools like StarOffice, more or less similar in
use to MS Office, has done a lot to promote linux on the secretary desktops.
[Even if I personnaly think StarOffice is a big piece of crap, mostly
because it tries to mimic MS Office :)]

> These days I find Windows, Word,
> etc. hard to use; they focus exclusively on easy to learn, so someone
> who knows what they want to do is hamstrung by the interface.  

But someone who knows a lot about Word can still be quite productive, even
if he would have been more efficient with emacs.

Btw, I regularly finf my self typing ":q!" in Word. Seems like I've got some
wired-reflexes now :)

> Just a mid-morning rant, ignore it if you want :)

Why ignoring interesting posts ?


Frederic Aguiard

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