Linux world stepping up their UX?



  • I revived my mother's Vista era laptop with Linux Mint Xfce. The UI design looks kinda cool with the Mint Y theme, but more importantly, a lot of stuff Just Works. Plug in the printer and it's ready to go. (Whereas on Windows the driver installation is long.) Connect to Windows network shares no problem. Wireless worked even before installation with the live USB stick. No-nonsense GUI client for software and OS updates. Great search in the Start menu. File explorer app as good or better than the Windows one.

    Elsewhere I'm seeing stuff such as

    and

    http://solus-project.com/

    and

    that seem intent on creating a maximally user-friendly Linux experience.

    Discuss. Have you used these distros? Were they any good? Is 2017 The Year Of Linux On The Desktop? (It sure is for my mom.) Etc.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @marczellm I haven't used any of these, I've heard of ElementaryOS but I haven't tried it. I think it's good that people are trying to develop more friendly UIs, even though I personally wouldn't use these because any graphical UI is seriously affected by the way its designers think, and the way they think isn't necessarily the way I do. CLIs are obviously affected by the same problem, but to a lesser degree, and they don't change every time some hipster fuck gains enough influence to ruin a project - Ribbon in MS Office products and GNOME 3 come to mind.

    Linux, or FOSS in general, has problems much more severe than UI that will always stop it from gaining mass appeal. One thing is copyright law: I'm somewhat involved in a certain FOSS project as a documentation guy, but due to ridiculous laws I'm forbidden from writing about what most people want to know. The average user gives precisely zero fucks about GRUB2 configuration or about how to write a systemd unit file, they want to know how to install nVidia drivers and Steam and proprietary codecs so they can play games and watch movies and all the kinds of things normal people who don't live in their moms' basements use computers for - but I can't write about that at all, I can't even link to places that do write about that, due to legal bullshit which isn't about to change anytime soon.

    The other big problem is this positive feedback loop where a small user base means there aren't enough blogposts, tutorials, troubleshooting posts on forums etc., which in turn means the user base won't grow too much. When you have a problem with a printer on Windows 10, you just search for "how do I print" and chances are you'll eventually find something that fixes your problem. When you can't print on ElementaryOS, you search for "how do I print" and you get a billion hits about printing problems on Windows, none of which are even remotely relevant. If you're a bit smarter you search for "how do I print on ElementaryOS" and you get like five hits, four of which are completely unrelated and the one kinda relevant one doesn't help you. Yes, you could also search for "CUPS shit itself, wat do", but that's waaaaay beyond most people's skill level. Obviously this would get better if the user base was bigger, but at the same time, this is why the user base doesn't get much bigger.



  • @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    even though I personally wouldn't use these because any graphical UI is seriously affected by the way its designers think, and the way they think isn't necessarily the way I do

    Right; unlike those great CLI tools like Git which are universally accessible.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    CUPS shit itself, wat do

    0_1509768575192_f48fa2a0-1848-42d6-a56b-b149437807b6-image.png

    Literally unhelpful, though WTDWTF is still on the first page of results.

    0_1509768613284_6ccdb44a-b70b-401a-8173-36357a090e4a-image.png

    Google, why don't you marry the forum if you love us so much?



  • @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    When you have a problem with a printer on Windows 10, you just search for "how do I print" and chances are you'll eventually find something that fixes your problem.

    Ha, ha.


  • area_can

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    When you have a problem with a printer ... you'll eventually find something that fixes your problem.

    NOPE



  • @bb36e said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    When you have a problem with a printer ... you'll eventually find something that fixes your problem.

    NOPE


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    @bb36e said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    When you have a problem with a printer ... you'll eventually find something that fixes your problem.

    NOPE

    I have no idea how printer drivers actually work, but I cannot fathom for the life of me why it would be so utterly impossible to make a machine that presents itself to the computer as a device, to which you can write data in a defined format, and which will then interpret this data and print it onto paper, without all three of these behaviors breaking in every way imaginable and routinely giving IT noobs PTSD.


  • Dupa

    @marczellm I’ve been praising elementaryOS the past 3 years. It’s a great effort and I hope they’ll be able to finally obtain funding that would allow them to step up their game even more.


  • Dupa

    @blakeyrat said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    even though I personally wouldn't use these because any graphical UI is seriously affected by the way its designers think, and the way they think isn't necessarily the way I do

    Right; unlike those great CLI tools like Git which are universally accessible.

    Plus, @blek, stop thrashing ribbon. It’s what got us out of the UX dark ages into the modern world.

    Seriously, ribbon is a real feat of interface design. It’s much more accessible and can adapt to the current context. It is a big step up from the old “hidden in hundreds of menus” paradigm.



  • @kt_ said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blakeyrat said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    even though I personally wouldn't use these because any graphical UI is seriously affected by the way its designers think, and the way they think isn't necessarily the way I do

    Right; unlike those great CLI tools like Git which are universally accessible.

    Plus, @blek, stop thrashing ribbon. It’s what got us out of the UX dark ages into the modern world.

    Seriously, ribbon is a real feat of interface design. It’s much more accessible and can adapt to the current context. It is a big step up from the old “hidden in hundreds of menus” paradigm.

    I actually have to teach using Word, Excel and Powerpoint. I shudder to think how this would work if I still had to make do with the Office2003 interface.



  • @kt_ said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blakeyrat said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    even though I personally wouldn't use these because any graphical UI is seriously affected by the way its designers think, and the way they think isn't necessarily the way I do

    Right; unlike those great CLI tools like Git which are universally accessible.

    Plus, @blek, stop thrashing ribbon. It’s what got us out of the UX dark ages into the modern world.

    Seriously, ribbon is a real feat of interface design. It’s much more accessible and can adapt to the current context. It is a big step up from the old “hidden in hundreds of menus” paradigm.

    Did they finally solve the issue of tools randomly changing places while using them? If not, I'm gonna keep trashing them until they fix it.



  • @gąska said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @kt_ said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blakeyrat said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    even though I personally wouldn't use these because any graphical UI is seriously affected by the way its designers think, and the way they think isn't necessarily the way I do

    Right; unlike those great CLI tools like Git which are universally accessible.

    Plus, @blek, stop thrashing ribbon. It’s what got us out of the UX dark ages into the modern world.

    Seriously, ribbon is a real feat of interface design. It’s much more accessible and can adapt to the current context. It is a big step up from the old “hidden in hundreds of menus” paradigm.

    Did they finally solve the issue of tools randomly changing places while using them? If not, I'm gonna keep trashing them until they fix it.

    Do you have an example? Because I don't know what you're talking about.



  • @rhywden said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @gąska said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @kt_ said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blakeyrat said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @blek said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    even though I personally wouldn't use these because any graphical UI is seriously affected by the way its designers think, and the way they think isn't necessarily the way I do

    Right; unlike those great CLI tools like Git which are universally accessible.

    Plus, @blek, stop thrashing ribbon. It’s what got us out of the UX dark ages into the modern world.

    Seriously, ribbon is a real feat of interface design. It’s much more accessible and can adapt to the current context. It is a big step up from the old “hidden in hundreds of menus” paradigm.

    Did they finally solve the issue of tools randomly changing places while using them? If not, I'm gonna keep trashing them until they fix it.

    Do you have an example? Because I don't know what you're talking about.

    Same. The most I've seen the Ribbon "change" is that it's somewhat context-aware. You enter a table, you suddenly get a new tab for table controls kinda thing.



  • @gąska

    In the Office 2007 ribbon, controls were always in the same place. Office 2010 added the ability to customise the ribbon layout, but the initial layout is identical to that of its predecessor.

    If there's not enough room to display everything, the ribbon layout is compressed. First the labels of secondary buttons are removed, if there's still not enough room the entire group is replaced with a button which opens a flyout.



  • I am not buying it.

    Linux desktop has always been like that. Ooooh, look, pretty installer! Wow, 3D effects! Jeesh, do I even need Windows any more!? First 5 minutes are always magical.

    But then you start working for real, and here come the problems. You resize a settings dialog, and controls are suddenly unnaturally stretched and look ugly. You try to press a key combo and realize an unrelated program is blocking it. Wifi is losing signal randomly every hour or two. Copy-paste shortcut works from some screens, not from others (but a different shortcut works from those). You try to customize visuals a bit and only half your programs seem to respond to changes. If you have any problem at all, it's off to the terminal land for you.

    Finally, there's the software support. No office + no adobe + no games = no year of linux on the desktop.



  • @alexmedia said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    @gąska

    In the Office 2007 ribbon, controls were always in the same place. Office 2010 added the ability to customise the ribbon layout, but the initial layout is identical to that of its predecessor.

    If there's not enough room to display everything, the ribbon layout is compressed. First the labels of secondary buttons are removed, if there's still not enough room the entire group is replaced with a button which opens a flyout.

    But that's not "moving around". That's "grouping together due to space constraints".



  • @pie_flavor said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    I have no idea how printer drivers actually work, but I cannot fathom for the life of me why it would be so utterly impossible to make a machine that presents itself to the computer as a device, to which you can write data in a defined format, and which will then interpret this data and print it onto paper, without all three of these behaviors breaking in every way imaginable and routinely giving IT noobs PTSD.

    The terrible secret of space is that there's only like 4 or 5 data formats that all printers everywhere use, and Windows has generic drivers for all of them.

    PCL5, PCL6 (used by HP printers, depending on their age)
    PS or PS3 (used by also-HP printers, and almost universally recognized)

    At least that used to be the case, I'm not sure if things have gotten more complicated in the last decade.



  • @kt_ said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    Plus, @blek, stop thrashing ribbon. It’s what got us out of the UX dark ages into the modern world.

    Wow, I didn't even read his post that far. I stopped at the first really stupid thing he said.

    @gąska said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    Did they finally solve the issue of tools randomly changing places while using them?

    You mean the thing that's never happened ever? Yeah it's fixed. Also it never existed.

    @cartman82 said in Linux world stepping up their UX?:

    But then you start working for real, and here come the problems. You resize a settings dialog, and controls are suddenly unnaturally stretched and look ugly. You try to press a key combo and realize an unrelated program is blocking it. Wifi is losing signal randomly every hour or two. Copy-paste shortcut works from some screens, not from others (but a different shortcut works from those). You try to customize visuals a bit and only half your programs seem to respond to changes. If you have any problem at all, it's off to the terminal land for you.

    Not to mention all the X11 bugs every Linux distro inherits. Locking the screen is a horrible hack, all X11 apps can snoop the messages to all other X11 apps because it has no security, you have to reboot if you plug in a new monitor, it'll barf on non-square monitor layouts (or have they finally fixed that?), you can't set two monitors to different DPIs (nobody's going to claim this works well in Windows/macOS, but it works), etc.



  • @blakeyrat what's a non square monitor layout?


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