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Re: Just got Mandriva

  • Subject: Re: Just got Mandriva
  • From: Aragorn <stryder@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 01 Jan 2006 17:18:25 GMT
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Organization: Telenet Internet
  • References: <dp8hpo$k7f$0@pita.alt.net>
  • User-agent: KNode/0.7.2
  • Xref: news.mcc.ac.uk comp.os.linux.advocacy:1067139
On Sunday 01 January 2006 13:29, Bob stood up and spoke the following
words to the masses in /comp.os.linux.advocacy...:/

> Well, well, local newsstand had an issue of Linux Magazine (which I
> never buy) but inside...was a...Mandriva CD! Whoa! Lo and behold. I
> know, you guys here go on and on about why don't you just d/l one and
> burn it, but most ppl, even advanced users, are just *not going to do
> that*.

While it is commendable and advised to purchase a boxed CD or DVD set
from a distributor, some distributions do not offer that possibility -
albeit that they may ship self-toasted media of their distro at
shipping costs, or that you can contribute to them in another way.

Mandriva is a commercial distribution, and its boxed sets feature
software which could not be included into their "download editions" due
to licensing reasons.

The above said, I think your statement of "most people are not going to
download a distro" is incorrect.  I do however acknowledge that
shipping a CD/DVD (set) with a computer magazine is definitely an
efficient method to getting more people to try out GNU/Linux.  Yet
"trying out" does not equal "switch to" or "use alongside of their
other operating system".

People who truly *are* interested in GNU/Linux and want to evaluate it
*will* find a way to get GNU/Linux on their machines, either through
downloading or through purchase.

> The price was about $12. Another Linux mag had Suse inside, but 
> the Suse disks had all been ripped out of the 3 copies of the mag. I
> cannot emphasize strongly enough how important it is for mags like
> this to bundle disks and then charge $12-13 a copy. A lot of us who
> have never run Linux are just going to buy the mag to get the disk,
> just for the Hell of it.

While that is partially true, I wouldn't overestimate this method of
distributing either... ;-)

> Looking thru the mag, I see that installation of Linux apps is still
> needlessly user-hostile (the (l)user wants one of those Windows
> packages that you double-click and away it goes) and mucking around
> inside of ordinary apps like Nero Linux seemed frighteningly complex
> (as in for programmers only).

Most distributions utilize /.rpm/ or /.deb/ packages, and indeed
installing them is relatively easy.  There may be a "dependency hell" -
as some call it - but the same applies to Windows "DLL hell".  Yet
people seem to accept that without any complaints, while they *do*
complain regarding dependencies in GNU/Linux.

If the user wishes to install software by simply clicking the package,
he'd need to run a filemanager as root - which is not recommended as
it's also relatively easy to screw up your system like that.  

The user could _technically_ also simply log in as root and work from
there, just as those users are accustomed to from the default Windows
set-up.  However, GNU/Linux _does_ require responsibility from the user
- something most Windows users are not willing to take, after which
they'd be the first ones to cry out that their machine has been
compromised by malware.  

A computer is not a toy or a gaming console.  If people want
reliability, they're going to have to accept responsibility.

The above said, your reference to /Nero/ /Linux/ is quite amusing,
considering that it's only a mere port to GNU/Linux of a proprietary
application that has existed for Windows for years.  In other words,
Nero on Windows is cool, but the minute you run it on GNU/Linux then
it's "for programmers only" and "frightening complex"?

Can you please enlighten us on how exactly you hope to give credibility
to that statement?

> I can only say that there simply must be Linux distros that are just
> as (l)user friendly as Windows and Mac OS. 

They all are as user-friendly as can be, given certain restrictions. 
Package management is greatly improving in most distributions. 
Mandriva will be featuring /smart,/ which they got from Lycoris, but -
to my knowledge - currently still uses /urpmi/ - with a GUI front-end.
(K)Ubuntu has /Synaptic./

The problem is not the user-(un)friendliness of GNU/Linux.  The problem
is the lax attitude of most users in regards to security.

> Otherwise, desktop Linux is headed nowhere in a hurry.

Nah, not in a hurry.  Microsoft sees to that.  But it is headed
somewhere.  Slowly but steadily.

> Reading more, it seems sad that Mandriva is still on rpm, which
> apparently involves some Linux version of dependency hell.

See above.

> BTW, is there a Linux distro out there as (l)user friendly as Windows
> and Mac OS?

Yes, most of them.  In fact, they are even more user-friendly.  Faster
and easier installations, more transparent configuration, easier set-up
of peripherals.  You know, the works.

You and your ilk may try all you want at picturing GNU/Linux as
user-unfriendly, but I can assure you that I find Windows to be far
less user-friendly.  For starters, its configuration is hidden in
deeply nested menus with cryptic $100 descriptive titles, and the
internals are entirely left in obscurity.

> You know, like clicky-clicky, GUI-GUI, applet-applet, 
> what-the-hell-is-a-command line?

Do you want a computer or do you want a coffee machine?

With kind regards,

(Registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

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