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

Today in Techrights

Uselessd: A Stripped Down Version Of Systemd

The boycotting of systemd has led to the creation of uselessd, a new init daemon based off systemd that tries to strip out the "unnecessary" features. Uselessd in its early stages of development is systemd reduced to being a basic init daemon process with "the superfluous stuff cut out". Among the items removed are removing of journald, libudev, udevd, and superfluous unit types. Read more

Open source is not dead

I don’t think you can compare Red Hat to other Linux distributions because we are not a distribution company. We have a business model on Enterprise Linux. But I would compare the other distributions to Fedora because it’s a community-driven distribution. The commercially-driven distribution for Red Hat which is Enterprise Linux has paid staff behind it and unlike Microsoft we have a Security Response Team. So for example, even if we have the smallest security issue, we have a guaranteed resolution pattern which nobody else can give because everybody has volunteers, which is fine. I am not saying that the volunteers are not good people, they are often the best people in the industry but they have no hard commitments to fixing certain things within certain timeframes. They will fix it when they can. Most of those people are committed and will immediately get onto it. But as a company that uses open source you have no guarantee about the resolution time. So in terms of this, it is much better using Red Hat in that sense. It’s really what our business model is designed around; to give securities and certainties to the customers who want to use open source. Read more

10 Reasons to use open source software defined networking

Software-defined networking (SDN) is emerging as one of the fastest growing segments of open source software (OSS), which in itself is now firmly entrenched in the enterprise IT world. SDN simplifies IT network configuration and management by decoupling control from the physical network infrastructure. Read more