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Make Linux "Gorgeous," Says Ubuntu Leader 688

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the also-crash-less dept.
OSS_ilation writes "They say beauty is only skin deep, but when it comes to Linux and the free software movement, people like Mark Shuttleworth think looks have an important part to play. On his blog and an article on SearchOpenSource.com, Shuttleworth and a slew of open source end users say that the look and feel of open source is also a matter of wider acceptance among enterprise players who are used to Windows, yet crave Mac OS X and the functionality of Linux. 'If we want the world to embrace free software, we have to make it beautiful,' Shuttleworth said. "We have to make it gorgeous. We have to make it easy on the eye. We have to make it take your friend's breath away.' With the early success of Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, Shuttleworth and company may be onto something."
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Make Linux "Gorgeous," Says Ubuntu Leader

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  • Imagine... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nrbelex (917694) on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:52PM (#16646855) Homepage
    A person who has never used a computer turns on three which are arranged in front of them... A Windows box, a Mac box and a Linux box... all look identical on the outside. They receive no prompting. Which do they begin to try to learn to use?
  • Re:Imagine... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:55PM (#16646907)
    Windows. Next question. please.
  • by johnrpenner (40054) on Monday October 30, 2006 @03:57PM (#16646953) Homepage

    Fortune Magazine: What has always distinguished the products of the
    companies you've led is the design aesthetic. Is your obsession with design
    an inborn instinct or what?

    Steve Jobs: We don't have good language to talk about this kind of thing.
    In most people's vocabularies, design means veneer. It's interior decorating.
    It's the fabric of the curtains and the sofa. But to me, nothing could be
    further from the meaning of design. Design is the fundamental soul of a
    man-made creation that ends up expressing itself in successive outer layers
    of the product or service. The iMac is not just the colour or translucence or
    the shape of the shell. The essence of the iMac is to be the finest possible
    consumer computer in which each element plays together.

    On our latest iMac, I was adamant that we get rid of the fan, because it is
    much more pleasant to work on a computer that doesn't drone all the time.
    That was not just "Steve's decision" to pull out the fan; it required an
    enormous engineering effort to figure out how to manage power better and do
    a better job of thermal conduction through the machine. That is the furthest
    thing from veneer. It was at the core of the product the day we started.

    This is what customers pay us for--to sweat all these details so it's easy
    and pleasant for them to use our computers. We're supposed to be really good
    at this. That doesn't mean we don't listen to customers, but it's hard for
    them to tell you what they want when they've never seen anything remotely
    like it.

    http://www.fortune.com/fortune/2000/01/24/app6.htm l [fortune.com]

  • -1, Doesn't Get It (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hcdejong (561314) <`ln.tensmx' `ta' `sebboh'> on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:14PM (#16647267)
    People don't crave OS X because it's beautiful, but because it Just Works. The beauty of OS X is way beyond skin deep. To achieve it you need things like consistency, subtle cues that inform the user of what's happening, you need to remove clutter etc.
    You need to think about every element of the UI not in isolation, but in relation to all the other elements. Mere eye candy just doesn't cut it. Shuttleworth sort of admits this in the blog entry, but bulldozes over it earlier on, when he says I'm not talking about inner beauty, not elegance, not ideological purity... pure, unadulterated, raw, visceral, lustful, shallow, skin deep beauty.

    Sorry Mark, but you're starting at the wrong end here. You need inner beauty, in the shape of e.g. a consistent framework, and at the most fundamental level, just plain consideration of how the user interacts with the application, before you can start working on the skin.

    And that is why Linux distributions as we know them will never compete with OS X. You'd need to toss X and its bazillion GUI toolkits, and replace them with something new. Then you'd need to organize a Human Interface Police, whose job it is to kick developers who don't follow the guidelines. And I suspect that won't go over well among the Linux developer community with its "free to do whatever the hell I like" mindset.
  • by Kjella (173770) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:15PM (#16647295) Homepage
    ...is that it has to be applied regularly. New major version of the software, new config dialogs, new wizards, new documentation? Better start redoing a lot of polish. Also, let's not forget that a polished turd is nothing more than a polished turd. Polish is only something you need when you already have a solid product with rough edges. So while I think Linux could use a layer of polish in a few places, I hardly think it's a big driver. Yes, people will flock to Ubuntu over other distros with a little polish. But is that really what drives adoption of Linux as a whole? I think it's more hard questions like:

    - Does Firefox work on most webpages?
    - Does OpenOffice interoperate well with MS Office files?
    - Does GIMP support 16-bit color/CMYK separation?
    - Does Thunderbird interoperate well with our exchange server?

    The really hard work is being done all the time by the people making fundamental improvements to their applications. What Ubuntu is doing with polish is more like maxing the performance for the Olympics. While it's important to get the most out of the foundation you have, it's the foundation that has to improve. Though I suppose this is a case where I'd like to eat my cake and have it too...
  • by mbkennel (97636) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:15PM (#16647297)
    Of course you should have great ergonomics and eye candy.

    Mark Shuttleworth said that the problem that Linux didn't look good enough.

    That's not really entirely true, it looks OK. But the ergonomics still suck really hard for
    many things. It works reasonably nastily.

    Comparing to Windows isn't remotely good enough.

    When it starts to be an ergonomic horse race between Mac OS X and Billionaire
    Linux, then that's progress. We're about as far in that direction as Afghanistan is sending turbaned men to Mars.

    In fact, a number of Mac users have complained, rightfully, that some more recent
    MacOSX releases sacrifice ergonomics for eye candy.
  • by Khomar (529552) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:30PM (#16647601) Journal

    I wish I had mod points for you, because that was exactly my first thought. There is a huge difference between software that looks beautiful and software that is beautiful. A well designed application need not have visually fantastic features -- in fact, often the most "beautiful" applications have very simple interfaces, but they are very intuitive and a joy to use. I have not actually used a Mac in over a decade, but I am tempted to get one just because of the care Apple seems to take in everything that they do. In Windows Vista, Microsoft is doing exactly what Mark Shuttleworth has called for. They are trying to cover up the flaws and problems with Windows without actually redesigning the system.

    The problem with Linux for me has been its clunky feel. Most of the applications felt like hacks. There was no coherent organization for system tools, or there were multiple collections of applications that seemed to do the same thing but with slight differences (equivalent of two apps to change the screen settings, but one sets the resolution and background and the other the background and color settings). The applications felt poorly designed and half-baked with inconsistent interfaces. Now granted, it has been a couple years since I last touched a Linux distribution, so things may have changed since then, but somehow I doubt it. Installing new software was a chore, and was never as simple as it should have been. It seemed that most applications were even worse in Linux than in Windows for scattering files all of the file system. Many applications required edits to text files for configuration which while making some configuration possible to automate from the command line does not make things easy to use for the casual user (where was the config file again?).

    Really, from what I understand of OS X, Apple came much closer to what really needs to be done -- a complete revamping of the structure of Linux. Create a consistent, simplified and enforced directory structure to make application and driver installation much easier to manage. Replace all configuration with graphical tools while leaving the power of the command line available for those who wish to tap into it but out of plain view. Create a consistent user experience with well thought out conventions that create an atmosphere of familiarity throughout all applications that run in the system. Unfortunately, I am not sure that this is possible in the open source arena because you almost need a more totalitarian organization system to enforce it. Transforming Linux into a real competitor with OS X and Windows will take a great deal of organization and cooperation -- something that Linux seems to lack, especially when you consider how many flavors of Linux there are. Unity has never been their strong suit, but to accomplish what Mark Shuttleworth is suggesting, they will need a unified effort from the core systems all the way to the MP3 player to make it happen.

  • by dodongo (412749) <chucksmith@alumni.purdue . e du> on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:37PM (#16647771) Homepage
    I don't understand why you'd need to toss X, per se.

    And I would also point out that Ubuntu does make a concerted effort to ensure the GUIs it uses operate off the same toolkit, and they do push for strong unified look & feel.

    Apple needs HIG police, too, so says iTunes vs. Safari vs. Preview vs. Mail, for example. You're telling me that's the gold standard in uniform look-and-feel? My, we all have a long way to go, don't we? And that's just their in-house development, let alone goodies like MS Office and RealPlayer.

    Hell, RealPlayer for Linux is way more GNOME-HIG compliant than RP for OS X is to Apple's HIG.

    And I know, I know, I'm playing the old "gotcha" game, pointing out the relatively rare exception here and there. But the point remains that to default to these "Oh, Apple has done it so well and everyone should try to be as good as Apple" really overlooks some striking details. I think with some work, Ubuntu can be competitive in regular-user look, feel, and experience (perhaps not overall underlying polish, true!) with OS X without a major change of system architecture.

    FULL DISCLAIMER: Wrote this post on my iBook running OS X. Will read follow-ups at home on my Ubuntu Edgy box.
  • by Theovon (109752) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:44PM (#16647917)
    I agree that appearance is important. Humans function better when they have pleasant environments. It's also true that Linux distros often really suck when it comes to basics of HCI and even simple artistic elements that would make things a lot more pleasant and usable.

    But it really bugs me when people talk about aesthetics while the internal structure isn't sound. I'm happily using Dapper Drake, but it wasn't trivial to setup correctly with some of the hardware I wanted to use. But there's the recent slashdot article that mentions the upgrade nightmare when going from Dapper Drake to Edgy Eft. And there are even more fundamental problems with Linux. The graphics system in Linux is held together with duct tape. It's just WAY too easy to break, and there is no kind of structure to it. There should be APIs and standard mechanisms for handling graphics devices in a general, but they just don't exist (and don't tell me about DRI -- it's only one step in the right direction). I'm told that there are many other facilities, like networking, that aren't a whole lot better.

    Look at it this way: If Microsoft had gotten their shit together in the beginning and written a decent operating system, rather than cobbling DOS and some other crap together and sticking a GUI on top, then more of us would be using Windows. Instead, they shipped us crap, we figured that out, and we moved on to other systems. For a very long time, Mac OS (9 and before) was all surface, with an embarrassing OS under the hood. One of the few operating systems that was actually ENGINEERED well from the ground up was BeOS, but that didn't fair well against Microsoft's marketing.

    The fact is, "Linux" lacks coherency. It's not "Linux." It's a Linux kernel, some GNU tools over there, X11 bolded on over here, GTK or Qt slapped on over yonder... No two groups actually get together and decide to come up with an elegant system. Instead, they compete with each other, end up working around each other's mistakes, and then leave it up to the distros to try to make it all work together. Ha.

    I'll just tell you a dirty little secret from my experience with writing device drivers: The NT kernel's interfaces for handling devices like graphics cards, network devices, printers, and pretty much anything else you want to use, they put Linux to shame. NT may not perform as well, be as stable, or be as secure as Linux, but it's engineered with vastly more coherent internal structure. Linux is good code with poorly-designed interfaces, while Windows is lousy code with well-designed interfaces (actually, POSIX rocks, but I'm talking about kernel structure and device management).
  • by jdray (645332) on Monday October 30, 2006 @04:54PM (#16648101) Homepage Journal
    Here's one problem indemic to the open source paradigm: Things like "beauty" or "ease of use" or "how you ought to do things" varies widely from one group to another. Getting everyone that develops an app for Linux to agree on one set of interface standards makes for a pretty steep uphill battle. Take a look at Gnome versus KDE: Where does an "Okay" button belong on a dialog box, left or right?

    The opportunity that the open source community has is to leverage the capacity for development that has made FOSS a viable contender for hard drive space to develop something entirely new in computing. Projects like Open Office and the GIMP are great, offering alternatives to commercial software where options weren't available before. And development of those products should continue, but to what end? Sure, there's value in being able to provide a drop in, no training required replacement for the Microsoft software stack if it can be done with open standards and security. But if all you're doing is following the development of major software vendors, you're relying on them to set the pace of innovation. Even the venerated Linus Torvalds made Linux because he wanted to have a Unix-like system running on his commodity hardware (yeah, yeah, let the hatemail come).

    So, tell me, where is the group that comes along and says, "Here's a new way of using a computer. Everyone come help us build it, it's gonna be great" ?? Why, after all these years, am I still forced to use the paradigm of paper-based documents (PDF, RTF, e-mail, web) to communicate most information, even if it never hits paper? Why do I have to gather information by reading text, line by line, down a page? Where's the visual depth to our digital world? Where's the alternative information delivery?

    And I'm not calling for a bunch of new input or output devices that will change the way we work with a computer, though those are needed as well. Given what we have (mouse, keyboard, monitor), we ought to be able to come up with something better.

    Take, for instance, the Civilization IV interface as a model for systems administration. Replace cities with servers, continents become networks, nations become domains, etc. Pan and zoom around your network, click on users to see what they're up to, double click on servers to look at their configuration and make edits to it, adjust automation, etc. etc. User apps have other opportunities for data navigation, communication, resource location, etc. But we've got to get ourselves off of the paper paradigm first. How do we do that?
  • by xtracto (837672) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:02PM (#16648239) Journal
    I agree with one of your points, and it is one of the main problems I have seen with the several Linux distributions I have tried. I am writing this from my Ubuntu 6.06 laptop installation. I just recently removed Windows completely on favour of Ubuntu after it told me that "Windows cant prove the legality of this installation" and it did not allowed me to enter to MY computer even in the so called "safe mode" after I added 1GB of ram (WinXP).

    The previous is to show you pissed off I *am* of Microsoft offerings... and my Windows XP is so legal I've got a sticker under my laptop with windows serial number for WinXP. Thats stupid behaviour.

    But now, returning to Linux, at least to Ubuntu. Since I installed I have had so *many* problems specifically with one of the things you say, the software is flakey, it is terribly unstable. The hibernating function works half the time and the suspend does not work (you see a whole paragraph stating that it is "experimental").

    My wireless card is *supposed* to be supported and although it IS detected (broadcom 4093) it does not work so I had to add a PCMCIA card, neither ALSA or ESD work 100%, they hang half the time consuming 99% of processor, Amarok sucks as it is terribly buggy, some random applications just "die" in the middle of use without any message (the window just *disappears*).

    I pondered on upgrading to 6.10 but then I saw all the reviews and issues people has been having. If you go to Ubuntu forum you can see a poll where there among 1/3 of the users are having issues, 1/3 are having major problems and 1/3 say everything is alright hence upgrading is playing roulette and if you lose your system might become unusuable (with a probability of 33%).

    I would give good money for a replacement of Windows, I would love it to be based on Linux but I need it to JUST WORK. I know OSX might be what I am looking for, unfortunately it is not available for my platform of choice (HP Pavilion notebook) so I cant get it.

    I love linux, I work in it more than 8 hours a day (at work and at home) but I believe it strength is also it weakness, as someone else wrote on the Ubuntu slashdot story we need a distribution that enforces TERRIBLY STRONG QA policies for its packages, I do not care if it doesnot provides the bleeding edge useless 3D-cube-rotating effects but I like it to WORK.

    I wont update to 6.10, I wont make a clean install neither (as someone else said, if you have to reinstall your OS each time it is updated then it is broken); i do not have time to spend "working for my operating system" I need an operating system that lets me do my work.

    The ubuntu setup I have let me do this at 70%, Microsoft Windows is not an option (that fuckers telling me my installation is pirated when it came in my HP NOTEBOOK). I have come to understand what a friend of mine said once when I asked "which OS do you preffer?" and he told me he did not like any of them. Oh well lets wait other 10 years, we might get to somewhere.

    Is anyone here as frustrated as I am? or is it really too much to ask what I want?

  • by Shawn is an Asshole (845769) on Monday October 30, 2006 @05:55PM (#16649261)
    You said "Under Gnome"


    Correct. Gnome has made significant progress in creating an easy to use desktop. Pre-2.12 I could not tolerate using it more than a few days (I was a KDE user since early '99). 2.12 is what made me consider switching from KDE. 2.14 convinced me to do it. With 2.16, I now have no desire to use KDE at all. I've even dropped the few KDE apps I used for Gnome ones (amaroK->Exaile, Quanta->Bluefish+CSSED, K3B->GnomeBaker, etc) I'll give 4 a try, but it will have to be really good to get me to switch back.

    well I use KDE


    So did I, but IMHO, Gnome has finally surpassed it.

    they will cut the distro down to 2-3 Major distros (and one really customizable desktop).


    Isn't that pretty much what's happening? Who are the majors? Red Hat? Gnome. SUSE? A choice, but every screen shot I see anymore use Gnome. Ubuntu's getting popular and it's also Gnome.
  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:03PM (#16649409) Journal
    People don't crave windows because it's beautiful, they crave it because it runs their software .

    Aside from nicking the discs from the office (do people still do that in todays IT-managed world?) for home use, the bulk of the apps on the net are for win machines. Maybe I should clairfy - the bulk of the precompiled apps are for win machines. [insert virus joke here].

    Make all my stuff run on another platform, and I'm in.
  • Re:Imagine... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Tom (822) on Monday October 30, 2006 @06:42PM (#16650065) Homepage Journal
    because it has the big start button

    You are aware of the tiny historic fact that the animated "click here to start" thing that appeared in the task bar of windos 95 after a fresh install was put there as a last-minute hack because final tests on a new user group, totally new to the system, resulted in the shock finding that none of them thought about looking for Applications in a button called "Start" ?

    The phrase "starting a program" is geek-speak. It's not how your mum thinks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30, 2006 @08:35PM (#16651451)
    For beginners it's easy indeed. Power users can adapt. But experts (on the windows side) are the hardest to convert.

    Not only not knowing where stuff goes, but they also need to find suitable replacements for everything. Visual Studio? Learn other editors (vi/emacs), IDEs, debuggers and compilers (gcc?). The windows APIs we're used to? Gone. The widgets (winforms/winfx/whatever)? Gone. The frameworks? Gone. C#? Learn another language. Scripting languages you know? Learn perl instead. SQL Server? Learn another DB inside out.

    We've just got to flush 20+ years of expertize down the drain, unlearn everything we know, and re-learn it all on linux, using *TOTALLY* different apps, different languages, APIs, widgets, frameworks, concepts and everything else.

    Hell, I've tried moving to linux. I've tried ubuntu, but even after a half hour of trying, I couldn't replace the default theme. I installed apache, but had no idea where apache itself went (didn't ask where to install unlike it does under windows), no idea where the htdocs directory went to (again, it didn't ask for that either, and searching found nothing - and it was named differently and placed in different places on every distro I've tried seemingly), service wasn't installed by default (I didn't even know linux had services, and if I install a web server, chances are I might want that installed, no? Regardless, it didn't ask if I wanted to). Sound over spdif (sb live 5.1)? Needed something (can't remember what exactly) that I could never manage. Play mp3s over smb? Gotta install this xmms patch first (hell, I have NO idea where to start). Where the fuck is everything? The best help I could find to this crucial point (asking in #ubuntu and everywhere else)? Read some pdf that's over 200 pages of VERY DRY stuff that made no sense to me.

    For those who are experts on the windows side (programmers mainly), switching to linux is an absolute nightmare. I'd love to, but as soon as I hit a linux box, I'm the world's biggest n00b. Going from expert (I'll code anything) to the "how the fuck do I play mp3s" type of n00b instantly is pretty hard (I'm *COMPLETELY* lost!) Honestly, it'd be easier for me to find a job in another field than to ever become a programmer on linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 30, 2006 @11:45PM (#16652985)
    Long time lurker, first time poster. ( so please be gentle )

    The background:

    A coworker was about to go on a business trip. He had a Company laptop which had been "surplused" (no longer on the asset list). This laptop had originally been delivered with Win2K, but had been downgraded to Win95 to conform to the then corporate standard.

    The coworker requested the machine be re-upgraded to Win2K to make it more usable on the road (USB support, VPN capability, etc.). The IS department refused, then indicated that no "loaner" laptops would be available for his trip.

    The coworker came to me and simply asked if I could do anything to make the laptop more usable, support a USB drive, easier ability to connect to a network, the simple things you do on the road.

    I indicated I would see what I could do, promptly downloaded Ubuntu 6.10, and started working on the box.

    The "HOST":

    The recipient was to be a Compaq Armada E500 circa 2000. Celeron 650MHz, 256MB, 6GB HDD, CD-ROM, Floppy... As usual a single FAT32 partition utilizing the full 6GB.

    The expectation:

    Honestly, not much. I didn't even know if I could get Edgy to install, and if it did I didn't know if it would be particularly usable. I did know that if I could get it to load however I could provide the coworker with more functionality than the box provided as it then sat.

    The install:

    I hadn't done a Linux install since Debian Sarge was a pup, and my skills were rusty to say the least. I was also VERY pressed for time and did NOT have the time to properly sit down and RTFM.

    The above said however I had been reading about how much easier vanilla Linux, and Ubuntu specifically, had become to install and thought I would be able to get through the install fairly quickly. I was wrong...

    The "issues":

    I've quoted issues, because they are mostly mine, both from rusty skills and lack of time to RTFM. The issues are I believe some of the same ones which would stop many enthusiasts at my level or below dead in their tracks during their first Linux install. Worse, some might never return.

    Nothing was horribly broken. No horror stories of trashed boot loaders or lost kernels, just little things, and most needed just a little text in a dialog box to avoid the pitfall.

    When the install was attempted I reached the partitioning screen and was greeted with the use all of disk, or part of disk prompt. As Win95 had to remain available I chose the part of disk option, and of course it failed with the Ubuntu needs a / and a swap partition message. This is one of those points where a little text, or a popup dialog would have saved a lot of time.

    After remembering my earlier installs I told my coworker to clean up his disk, delete what he could and defrag. I then fired up Edgy again, ran gparted, shrank the FAT32 partition, created a / ext3 partition and a swap partition. Guess what? Edgy doesn't like that, the Edgy installer wants to create the / and swap partitions itself. Again, a little bit of text in a dialog would have went a long way!

    I backed up the install, fired up gparted, deleted the ext3 and swap partitions I had created earlier, and tried again.

    The result:

    Success, a successful Edgy install! Woe is me, my coworker wants to be able to access his Win95 partition. A quick look on the Ubuntu forums indicates that Edgy should have detected the FAT32 partition, but it didn't. Fire up a shell, edit fstab, and create a /mount/windows dir. Success, my coworker can see his Win95 files!

    This one needs more than a little text or a dialog box! The online help points to a Gnome utility at System -> Administration -> Disks which isn't there. Thus I end up at the Ubuntu site and back in a shell to accomplish the above. And why didn't it add the FAT32 partition to fstab as read / write by default? (NTFS I could understand, but not a FAT32 partition)

    Success! Edgy is loaded, my coworker can access his Win95 files, networking j
  • by syousef (465911) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:21AM (#16654319) Journal
    Okay I'm a Windows user primarily, but I've used KDE, Gnome and fvwm. I've also used Macs but not regularly for some time I'll admit. A couple of years ago the company I was working for bought an eMac for testing. I found the UI to be cumbersome and clunky. I certainly didn't think it was useful and it'sn ot just because I wasn't use to the Mac. (I wasn't use to KDE or Gnome, but I loved KDE, and could get along with Gnome most days).

    Why do Mac users go on and on about how useable and intuitive they are? I mean last time I looked this was still the OS where you move a disk into the recycle bin to eject it. Windows isn't intuitive. Neither is LInux. But neither is MacOS either.

    There's 2 good reasons Linux distributions don't compete:

    1) The arrogant RTFM attitude of most developers. Coming across as the unkempt social retard that most Linux evangalists come across as doesn't help, but there is no good reason (not even laziness of the user) to actually take the time to fire off volleys of abuse at the people you're trying to convince your software is best.

    2) The fragmentation. There's only one MacOS but good luck working out what command does what or where anything is when you sit down in front of a brand new Linux distro (of which there are hundreds). Don't worry though, with many different versions planned for Vista, and this mess with activation, I'm sure it'll start to compete with Linux for being the hardest to get into.

    I simply don't care if something's pretty. So long as it's not such an eyesore it's hard to look at, who cares. I want icons that represent the application I'm launching. I don't care if it's pretty, just make it representative. I don't care what colour things are so long as they don't cause eye strain. I don't want transparency and animation. They're just fucking distractions.

    As far as I'm concerned no one's got it right, and it's just constantly getting worse. Desktops peaked in the late 90s. People are now trying to solve problems that aren't there. They're trying to invent a better hammer and unsurprisingly making a pig's breakfast of it.

  • by bit01 (644603) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:44AM (#16654405)

    Some years ago somebody did a national survey to determine what the most popular/best font was. They discovered that in each city it was whatever the font of the major local newspaper was.

    People usually prefer whatever it is they're used to and will rationalize any way they can to justify that choice. The Windows DayGlo look and the more traditional Linux look are just two more examples of that.

    Personally, I dislike skinnability in general. If I can save a tenth of a second by having a conventional interface where I can find things quickly I'm all for it. Functional things are beautiful in themselves and for me eye candy doesn't even come close to competing.

    ---

    Don't be a programmer-bureaucrat; someone who substitutes marketing buzzwords and software bloat for verifiable improvements.

I put up my thumb... and it blotted out the planet Earth. -- Neil Armstrong

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