DragonFly kernel List (threaded) for 2004-03
Re: Daemon's Advocate article
James Frazer wrote:
So you're right, Unix is a techie server operating system, however, many
of its user-un-friendly problems are not technical problems, but purely
neglected design problems. If the computer scientists spent as much
time optimizing their human-machine interfacing algorithms as they spent
optimizing his VMM algorithms then we wouldn't be having this
conversation right now.
Quite right what you say here. We have an installation of about 2500
Linux-clients at our university; I guess 2000 of them are dualboot-boxes
(Windows/Debian). The internal system and networking layout is quite
smart and lets one easily administer all those machines without any
problem (as far as Linux is concerned). Everything works like a charm.
All clients run a recent X and any window-mangager known to humanity.
Despite that, an overproportional part of users consists of students
from natural sciences. This is because they have no choice whether to
work with Unix during their studies or not, so they normally appreciate
the system mostly for it's scientific use. And don't care about how it
Completely different from a normal user, whose first spark of interest
is often induced by visual impression. They avoid a system that LOOKS
unfriendly and inaccessible from the beginning.
The computer centre experiments with design (literally) at the moment to
try changing the desktop and clickchains to a layout that an average
(not particularly in computers interested) student accepts as equal to
But the feedback by recent tech-blind testers was surprising positive,
since the only thing done at that time was a polish of the surface and a
goog documentation. Small improvements in that direction make big
differences. Apple for example has recognized the impact of the visual part.
Unfortunately, technical excellence and artistical talent go seldom hand