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  • What Linux needs to improve for the desktop

    Bass said:
    W3bbo said:

    Gnome and KDE have different philoposphy of what makes a good UI, Gnome is all about simplicity, they count the # of interactive widgets on a window. Something like more then 5 (not including OK/cancel) in most windows is considered too complicated. Smiley Basically Gnome says: simple = usable. It's like the Google doctrine.

    KDE is more of opposite. They think giving as much power as possible in the GUI is the best way to do usability. Because you know, if some feature isn't click-able to someone maybe you made their experience less usable. So typically KDE apps are more widget heavy, with less white space then Gnome apps.  KDE says functionality = usable.

    KDE in general is less HIG crazy, I believe they do have a HIG, but a violation of the HIG is a serious thing in Gnome that could get your app kicked out of the official Gnome desktop. Really my experience with Gnome development is the core team takes consistency to an almost religious level, which pisses some people who don't like the rigid UI guidelines. This also made Manip's post almost funny to me. Hell Gnome ships their own web browser partly/mostly because Firefox violates the HIG, and they won't have that kind of blatent UI abuse in their desktop. Smiley

    I don't know who is right, they might both be in a way (there is no right answer to usability IMO), but total consistency between KDE and Gnome isn't going to happen. You might as well ask for consistency between Mac OS X and Windows, it's about as likely. Scared

    I agree it's a problem though, but not something that could seriously imbede the Linux desktop. I think there are more problems like hardware drivers and software compatability that are far more serious. Linux STILL doesn't work with a lot of hardware, it's been getting better, but it's doesn't support as many consumer devices as Windows does. And applications are a problem, I think Linux needs Win32 support, but unfortunately Win32 is so huge it's a monumental task. If Linux had good hardware drivers and perfect Win32 support I think it would take off quickly.

    I dunno that consistency is a goal that's fully obtainable in the end, on any platform.  Are the desktop apps I use consistent with the web apps I use?  Should they be?  I use Emacs on Windows, should they be consist with each other?

  • Census - Linux

    Bass said:

    Linux is the reason I got interested in computer science. I find the Windows world too boring and corporate. Like the movie "Office Space". I also hate writing business apps or anything that involves the word "Oracle" for the same reason. My favourite kind of software is software that is so unique you can't even neatly categorize it with some standard three letter acronym or corporate buzzword. A lot of this stuff is very valuable to businesses but they aren't "business apps".

    But I do most of my development in Windows. I use Ubuntu 9.04 as a desktop, and run Windows in virtual machines.

    You know, I can avoid Oracle without too much problems. But Windows is what "everyone" uses and I'm forced to develop for it, or alienate a lot of people. My primary goal is to satisfy my customer base, not myself. So yeah, I end up using Windows a lot. But not because I like it.

    Is Oracle worse to work with than other popular RDBMS's (never worked with it), or do you just not like working with popular RDBMS's?

  • Can anyone at MS explain this...

    A) Create a FOLDER anywhere on the Computer and name it as "CON". This is something funny and inexplicable…

    Not so inexplicable: http://blog.bitquabit.com/2009/06/12/zombie-operating-systems-and-aspnet-mvc/


  • Windows 7 search confirmed to be slow in RC

    magicalclick said:

    No comment since I don't use search at all. I still don't see why. I can find my stuff without search just fine.

    Even if all your stuff is impeccably organized and you have constant total recall of where you put everything (which I doubt is true for most people, myself included):

    1. not everything on a computer is placed by you -- you may be looking for files created by programs etc.,
    2. search doesn't only allow you to find individual files, it allows you to query for classes of files e.g. "everything larger than 1MB", "everything last modified in January 2009", etc.
    3. even if you know exactly what you're looking for and exactly where it is, it can STILL sometimes be faster to navigate to it via search than node-by-node through the tree, or by typing the whole path.

  • Windows 7 search confirmed to be slow in RC

    I find W7 search to be a vast improvement over either Vista (about which search was my biggest complaint) or XP.  As for not wanting to look inside files, can't you simply search for "name:foo" instead of "foo"?

  • Census - Linux

    I ran Linux (Debian, later Ubuntu) almost exclusively on my home desktops and laptops for seven-odd years, booting into Windows only very rarely to try the odd game etc.  Lately I've mostly been using Windows although I've started booting into Ubuntu 9.04 to run PureData (an audio synthesis tool/language) because I can't get decent latency on Vista.  Technically, I have mixed feelings about both systems and it would be hard to get me to pick one.  I'm definitely a fan of the concept of open source/free software, but I don't think it's a criterion that trumps all others when assessing worth.

  • Expert to Expert*

    Charles said:

    I like it!  I'd also like to get together a Windows Azure Distinguished Engineer (sorry, can't be Cutler. He won't do it and his focus is on the kernel, not on an application framework positioned many layers above it. He's a Technical Fellow anyway), a Google App Engine Distinguished Enginner and Erik as MC. I play me (sorry). Both ideas are not impossible, mind you.


    +1 (for either of these ideas, but especially exoteric's)

  • What UAC Controversy?

    AndyC said:
    Charles said:

    And the tragic thing is, it is Windows 7s biggest problem. Yet the fix* is utterly trivial and Microsoft don't seem to have the guts to accept that. Aside from that one stupid default setting Windows 7 is an awesome OS and will undoubtedly still sell by the bucketload regardless. Windows 8, however, will be in the unfortunate position of having to maintain the single worst appcompat/security headache ever invented.

    *the "fix" being to ship with the slider all the way up to the top.

     Secure by Design. Secure by Default. Secure by Deployment and Communication

    We've seen a few different opinions here about the Vista default/W7 highest setting (and possibly other settings that may be morally equivalent e.g. Unix/Mac OS sudo):

    • some think it does provide real and significant security benefits
    • some claim it can be easily circumvented and is therefore pointless,
    • some think it's pointless because the whole concept of enhanced-security-through-least-user-privilege is pointless (because malicious programs can still mess with your personal data, etc.)

    While this debate is interesting and I have to admit I don't completely understand the proposed exploits that exist for Vista or sudo, and so am not sure which of the above I think is true, it doesn't actually matter for the purposes of assessing the value of W7 default UAC.  If the Vista default is worthwhile, crippling it into something that's trivially circumventable is a bad thing.  If it's pointless, a weakened version of it is still pointless and it should be disabled entirely (talking about the pretense of a Medium/High boundary here, not Medium/Low).  Regardless of one's opinions on other security settings and systems, there is no possible interpretation under which default settings that sometimes irritate the user, add complexity to the system, but present no obstacle to malicious programs make sense. 

    So, forgetting about Vista and Unix for the time being, what is the benefit of the Medium/High pseudo-boundary under W7 default settings?  Mark Russinovich mentions that it will force malware writers to change their programs a bit, which I guess will buy some time, but that time seems unlikely to account for a large portion of W7's lifetime.  I guess MSFT could continue changing their defense-in-depth features in equally broken but incompatible ways through patches and service packs -- "security through API churn".

  • What's going on with MS Singularity (and Midori) project ?

    If Midori is indeed about making a new production-quality kernel/OS from scratch using advanced ideas from the academic/research world, and doing it as a private incubation, it could be years before we hear much of anything about it since that's a huge undertaking.  If they really intend it to replace NT in Windows, we'll still probably get Windows 8 and 9 in between ...

  • Boycott Opera?

    LeoDavidson said:
    TommyCarlier said:

    I agree with that, plus the statement that this is just people who would never have used Opera in the first place "boycotting" it.

    However, there is an irritating combination with Opera that doesn't seem to afflict Firefox/Chrome: They're constantly whining about how they invented this and that and how they deserve a better market share though some god-given right, yet they cannot see that the main reason their market share is so bad is that their product sucks. (And that it used to cost money and suck.)

    I have all the major browsers installed right now to test some javascript stuff and Opera is by far the worst. Worse even than Safari (now that Safari has something resembling a standard UI). I'm surprised that it's so bad given the vocal praise it gets from a few people, but I honestly hate it and see a lot of other people feel the same. (I'm no fan of IE either, FWIW, esp. after finding so many bugs still exist in IE8's rendering engine.)

    I find the lawsuit ridiculous as well. MS should be sued when they tell OEMs etc. they cannot install competing software/OS (like they did wiht BeOS back in the day) but MS should be able to provide whatever they want with the OS, within reason, and MS should not be forced to distribute or promote other people's software.

    I'm a huge fan of an alternative file manager, and I think the built-in one is garbage, but I don't go around complaining that it's there, demanding that the OS ship without a file manager or demanding that MS distribute the one I like*. It's ridiculous. Of course more people will use the built-in one. That's life. If you can't improve on it enough to get enough customers (or advertising or whatever your model is) to survive then that's your fault, not Microsoft's.

    (*I have complained that there's no proper API or control panel for replacing the file manager like there is for replacing the web browser, but that complaint is bourne out of Windows making it fiddly to accomplish something, not the desire to have my choice forced upon other people.)

    I mean, what next? Make MS remove MSPaint.exe or bundle Photoshop? Ban Notepad.exe? Where does it end? Why are web browsers such a special case for so many people?


    Wasn't requiring MS to expose APIs/etc. they used to hook their browser into the OS to third parties part of the original antitrust settlement with the USDOJ?  I think this was a good thing, but I do wonder if the same thing would apply to file managers/window managers had history taken some alternate path.