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Re: shiny desktop, anyone?

On Tue, 29 May 2007, Trond Danielsen wrote:

I do believe that most users actually care more about kernel hacks and
speedups than bling-bling on the desktop, they just do not know it.
Most of the people I know run Windows on their computers, and they can
roughly be divided into two groups: The non-technical users that do
not change anything, and the technical users that instantly switches
to the Windows classic interface once they get the chance. I think
they would be very upset if the support for their iPod was replaced by
drop shadows on windows :)

There are basically 3 modes that workstations are used in:

1. Sitting in PC World on display.
2. Being used by "normal folk"
3. Being used by "power users"

For (1) noone cares about the performance so long as it looks more shiny than the computer sitting next to it. This is probably also the mode you want to use when showing off your Linux desktop to people too.

(2) and (3) find performance more of a big deal.

(2) is just about running 1 or 2 applications well and having lots of GUI stuff to do simple operations.

(3) is about running lots of applications well, and the GUI bits need to do more since, lets face it, these users can do the more simple stuff from the commandline faster than using the GUI bits.

Even though I'd consider myself a "power user" (I really hate that term :) I still like shinyness so long as it doesn't harm the perceived performance of my machine too much. However, I may be more inclined to throw away shinyness and usability for a performance gain than the people in group (2).

adding support for new hardware to the kernel. The time that it takes
to boot a modern linux desktop and the time it takes to start up a
popular application like Openoffice, are also much more important to
gain attention from regular users.

Personally, I don't find boot time important - if I have to reboot then something has gone wrong since I don't shut down my computers, I just put them to sleep. However, I do realise that some people like to shut down machines (or for some people various software/hardware/firmware bugs prevent them from suspending) and it seems that Ubuntu have definately got the edge on fast boots so maybe we can take cues from them.

The time taken to fire up big applications is an issue though, and is one of the (many) reasons I use Pine instead of Evolution to read my email.


 - Steve
   xmpp:steve nexusuk org   sip:steve nexusuk org   http://www.nexusuk.org/

     Servatis a periculum, servatis a maleficum - Whisper, Evanescence

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