The Design of Software (CLOSED)

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Once again about UI

Once Linus Torvalds says:
"I don't use Gnome, because in striving to be simple, it has long
since reached the point where it simply doesn't do what I need it to do.

Please, just tell people to use KDE."
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But isn't Gnome a good joice for user beacause of it simplicity? Or is it a live example of simplicity over-using?
Andrew Dashin Send private email
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
This has been done to death on Slashdot already today.
comp.lang.c refugee
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Either way.

I think the people who participate in KDE verses Gnome flame wars are kind of missing the point - simplicity is in the eye of the beholder.

It could be argued that one is better than the other for the vast majority of the population, but neither camp has really done any sort of useability testing (as far as I know).  They've done some tests, yes, but everyone who has tried Linux was willing to spend some time and effort learning how to use it.  We're still waiting for a company like IBM to force Linux on 20,000+ workers, no ifs, ands or buts.

I suspect Linus likes KDE simply because (last time I looked), KDE allows for a lot of customization and tweaking; it probably appeals a bit more to power users.  In other words, it also fits the "let me do exactly what I want and otherwise stay out of my way" mentality.

Gnome (again, based on dated perceptions) is simpler in that it does a lot of hand-holding or otherwise tries to hide a lot of the ugly details.  The downside is that if you need to change those details, it's anything but simple.
Anonymous Coward
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Which boils down to the classic Mac UI vs. Windows UI discussion.  Mac was simpler but more limited.  Windows was more complicated yet more powerful.  It's not terribly surprising that KDE is very much cloning Windows and Gnome developers spend a lot of time talking about how great the Mac UI is/was.
Almost H. Anonymous Send private email
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
In what way is the Windows UI more powerful than then Mac UI?
John Topley Send private email
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Blah. I hate unix desktops. The endless skinnability/customization means that no two desktops ever look or act the same.

And why bother customizing my window colors when the font-rending is still either jagged or blurry?

Give me a good old bash shell any day.
BenjiSmith Send private email
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Font rendering on Linux/X11 has stopped being blurry long ago.
Roman Werpachowski
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Benji - take a look at a recent version of good Linux distro like Ubuntu - fonts look great - you have to set the DPI setting to higher value and click couple time on the preferences to setup font rendering to your liking, but even by default they no longer look bad.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Meh...not really interested.

I'm not convinced that using a Linux desktop would offer me any advantage over my current preference: using WinXP on the desktop and SuSE on the server over SSH.

The last Linux desktop I used was about 2 years ago (that's when I got headaches from the substandard font rendering).

From what I remember about the experience, all of the development tools that I wanted to use from Linux were available in WinXP, but the same could not be said in the other direction. There's a lot of desktop software that just doesn't exist in a *nix world.
BenjiSmith Send private email
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
"In what way is the Windows UI more powerful than then Mac UI?"

It uses both mouse buttons, for one. ;)
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
And it allows you to use keyboard for almost everything if you want to, which is often simplier and faster.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
If you're interested about Mac vs. Windows, check out the programming for the Mac thread elsewhere on this forum.  In a nutshell, Apple extremely strongly recommends certain user interface conventions for consistency purposes (plus the fact that most Macs ship with one button mice) whereas Microsoft believes that the developers should get the benefit of the doubt when designing interfaces.

I think there are pros and cons both ways.
Anonymous Coward
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
The cons are most obvious in the dinkier shareware titles, sporting some really tormented UI.
Mr. Powers Send private email
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I grew up with computers, from using an Act Sirius before IBM-compatibles. I cut my teeth on DOS, then Gem, then Windows 3.1 and every version of Windows since. I've been a user, a power-user and a developer (web and desktop).

In all that time I dissed Macs as gimmicky. Then earlier this year I got an iBook running OS X. After 20 years of Intel-based machines there is no way I could ever go back to it having used the Mac. The UI is simpler, faster, more reliable (the only thing that's ever crashed this year is MS Word - predictably) and a joy to use and develop on.

The use of a single button took some getting used to, but works fine. As do many keyboard shortcuts.

To get back to the original point, the Mac shows that simplicity and power *can* be combined in the same UI. I've used Gnome and KDE, preferring the former. With KDE however they seem to have confused customisation with power. Too many options, too many menus, too many programs dedicated to individual tasks. A menu packed with options as if too say "look what we can do, you don't need Windows now".
Karl Cartlidge Send private email
Wednesday, December 14, 2005

From what I understand, Gem was "truly outrageous".

I've even heard some people say "truy truly truly outrageous".

Was that your experience?
BenjiSmith Send private email
Thursday, December 15, 2005
I think Snoopy prefers Gnome.
son of parnas
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Examples of how Mac OS is simpler and less powerful than Windows:

1. Windows allows the user to resize a window from any corner of the window. Mac OS does not.

2. Windows allows you to operate the whole OS via the keyboard. Mac OS comes with an option for this that is turned off by default.

3. Users can install Windows on almost any PC that has an x86 processor. Apple only gives you a few choices.
Wayne B Send private email
Friday, December 16, 2005

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