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Re: The Debian Desktop Project (was: Re: Make Debian better (Re: Two Debian 3.0 reviews at Slashdot))

On 10/22/2002 12:08 PM, marco trevisani at marco@centrotemporeale.it wrote:

> In fact for this reason i would avoid taking Windows and windows XP as
> reference...not just, or not only ideologically. It is not a rational
> desktop/configuration design.
Heh.  Well, we are totally agreed on this point.  I have been running Apple
Macintosh's since 1985, and I can bitch about clunky Microsoft GUIs all day
long.  <old geezer mode> Why I was ripping on Microsoft back when all you
Linux kids were still running around in diapers. </old geezer mode>

Seriously though, from a user interface design perspective, there are a
number of areas where Win98/XP could stand some improvement.  Apple Mac OS
too for that matter.  I don't think Debian Desktop should try too hard to
emulate either one, but rather, offer default configurations that are
consistent with best UI design practices.

That said, I did post a query in this forum asking if Debian Desktop should
consider offering, during the install, IceWM tweaked to look like Win95/98
so that folks coming over from Windows would immediately be in a comfort
zone and quickly productive.  Haven't heard any response to that idea yet.
Heh, heresy met with silence :-)

> Curiously enough after many experiments
> she ended up (but at this point all major thing were set up in the
> machine) using xfce.
XFce isn't a bad choice - it is lightweight, and pretty quick and easy to
learn.  I hate the default color pallettes, but you can't have everything

> I'm not done...:-) One could say many things about Apple, but both, the
> old system <= 9.x and the new NeXTStep Appleised MacX are really well
> designed on the Dektop front including and in particular the Control
> Panel. Plus the transition from 9 to X is not traumatic,
Heh.  Oh, it was plenty traumatic for some of the old Mac OS diehards :-)

I won't get into a huge discussion of this issue here - not the appropriate
forum at all.  Let's just say that I disagree, for a lot of reasons, with
Tim O'Reilly when he says that Mac OS X is the ne plus ultra of Unix GUIs.
Not least of which, OS X is NOT software libre.

> That is
> the point, it isnt true that UNix it is either hard to configure or it
> needs a rewrite to become user friendly, it is instead true that for
> many reasons under GNU/linux a good configuration/system manager tool
> has never been created.
Mandrake, SuSE, Lycoris, and Red Hat have all deployed Control Panel type
system manager tools, with varying degrees of success.  So the Linux world
is working on this issue.

> On the lagnuage/semantic side i think it is important to notice that it
> is really relevant the name and sentece choices. *deamon* & *server* are
> considered something you dont want to put your hands on.
Good point.  Does the typical Windows user really know what a daemon is?

This strongly suggests that we should use simple, effective labels in the
menu for things like Folders, and applications.  That is part of another
thread which I will get into over there though.

Luke Seubert

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