Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux User-Friendliness

Filed under
Linux

A reader asks: Why is Linux still not as user friendly as the two other main OSes with all the people developing for Linux? Is it because it is mainly developed by geeks? My initial feeling when reading this question was that it was kind of a throwaway, kind of a slam in disguise as a genuine question. But the more I thought about it, the more intrigued I felt. There truly are a large amount of resources being dedicated to the development of Linux and its operating system halo (DEs, drivers, apps, etc). Some of these resources are from large companies (IBM, Red Hat, Novell). Why isn't Linux more user-friendly? Is this an inherent limitation with open source software?

I won't pretend to give an authoritative answer to this question. All I hope to do with this article is posit a few possibilities and open the topic for discussion. First I think we should try to clarify the question by defining user-friendliness. ;Often, user-friendliness is conflated with beginner-friendliness, and this is a grave error. Just because the use of an object isn't immediately obvious to a new user doesn't mean that it's not well-designed or even that it's not easy-to-use. I have a nail pulling tool that's unquestionably the most effective nail-puller you can buy. But whenever I hand it to someone, even an experienced carpenter, who's never used one, they give me a blank look, and it usually takes five minutes or so to figure out how it works. They make nail pullers that are much easier to understand, but they don't work as well. They take longer and damage the wood more. But the thing about the slide-action pullers that I like is that even though they take a few minutes to learn, once you know the trick, they save you several minutes with each nail. Over a lifetime, a tool like this might save a professional carpenter several entire workdays. You could say the same for computer users.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

SUSE Leftovers

  • openSUSE Heroes meeting, day 2
    After a long, but exciting first day, we even managed to get some sleep before we started again and discussed the whole morning about our policies and other stuff that is now updated in the openSUSE wiki. After that, we went out for a nice lunch…
  • Installing Tumbleweed, November 2016
    The Tumbleweed system that I already have installed had desktops KDE, Gnome, XFCE and LXDE. But for recent intstalls (as with Leap 42.2), I have been going with KDE, Gnome, XFCE, LXQt, FVWM and MATE. So it seemed reasonable for the new Tumbleweed install to follow the same path. I also added Enlightenment for experimenting.

Android Leftovers

Linux Graphics

  • LibRetro's Vulkan PlayStation PSX Renderer Released
    A few days back I wrote about a Vulkan renderer for a PlayStation emulator being worked on and now the code to that Vulkan renderer is publicly available. For those wanting to relive some PlayStation One games this week or just looking for a new test case for Vulkan drivers, the Vulkan renderer for the LibRetro Beetle/Mednafen PSX emulator is now available, months after the LibRetro folks made a Vulkan renderer for the Nintendo 64 emulator.
  • Etnaviv DRM Updates Submitted For Linux 4.10
    The Etnaviv DRM-Next pull request is not nearly as exciting as MSM getting Adreno 500 series support, a lot of Intel changes, or the numerous AMDGPU changes, but it's not bad either for a community-driven, reverse-engineered DRM driver for the Vivante graphics cores.
  • Mesa 12.0.4 Being Prepped For Ubuntu 16.10/16.04
    Ubuntu is preparing Mesa 12.0.4 for Ubuntu Xenial and Yakkety users. It's not as great as Mesa 13, but at least there are some important fixes back-ported. Mesa 12.0.4 is exciting for dozens of bug fixes, including the work to offer better RadeonSI performance. But with Mesa 12.0.4 you don't have the RADV Vulkan driver, OpenGL 4.5, or the other exciting Mesa 13 work.

Games for GNU/Linux