Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The GNU/Linux Desktop and Borrowed Assumptions about Usability

Filed under
Linux

Is the GNU/Linux desktop headed in the right direction? Recently, I have started to wonder.

Despite the emphasis that major distributions place upon usability, nobody seems to ask the question about what definition of usability is being assumed, or what kind of users that definition produces. Or, whether those users will be capable of reaching the free software goal of being able to control their own computing.

The conventional wisdom is that free software began by mostly ignoring usability issues. It was software designed by geeks and for geeks, and functionality was more important than ease of use.

Then, gradually, influenced by documents such as the GNOME Human Interface Guidelines and the freedesktop.org standards, the community became aware of the need to consider usability, and came to rival the standards of proprietary software.

Now, with KDE and GNOME taking the desktop in new directions, Ubuntu overhauling usability, and OpenOffice.org revamping its look and feel via Project Renaissance, free software is in the middle of yet another great leap forward in usability.

rest here




More in Tux Machines

PfSense 2.2 Open Source Firewall Receives Important Security Update

PfSense is a free, open source customized distribution of FreeBSD that has been built to be used as a firewall and router. A new iteration has been released and the distro now sports the 2.2 version number. Read more

Linux-Powered Librem 15 Laptop Crowdfunding Campaign Is a Major Success

Librem 15 is a new Linux-powered laptop that will ship with completely free applications, drivers, and kernel. The crowdfunding campaign for this laptop is almost over and it has been a resounding success. Read more

Black Swift, the tiny wireless computer is on Kickstarter

Another beautiful board is coming to kickstarter: it’s tiny and powerful. Black Swift runs on OpenWRT Linux, and it can be programmed in a bunch of languages, ranging from C/C++ to PHP, Python, Perl, and Bash scripting (there’s also a Node.js port). Read more

Intel Broadwell: GCC 4.9 vs. LLVM Clang 3.5 Compiler Benchmarks

GCC 4.9.2 and LLVM Clang 3.5.0 were benchmarked using the packages provided on Fedora 21 x86_64. The same Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon was used for all of the benchmarks, the first Broadwell laptop/ultrabook at Phoronix and it features the Core i7 5600U that's dual-core with Hyper Threading and tops out at 3.20GHz. Fedora 21 was running with the Linux 3.17.8 kernel while testing each of the provided compilers. Read more