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Re: Will you recommend fedora to a newcomer?

>> Not a problem unique to Linux, though.  I've seen plenty of Windows
>> users who've just got used to <something> crashing while they're using
>> it, or they just give up using it.

Jacques B.:
> No question it's not unique to Linux.  But there is no arguing that MS
> Windows is more user friendly than most (if not all) Linux distros
> when it comes to installing applications, plugins, mounting drives,
> etc.  Can a Linux distro be made to be nearly as user friendly?

I don't really disagree.  I think things *can* be made easier, and
things have become easier.  Though I still think Windows can be quite
hard, and not user-friendly.  Things are fine when they work, but when
they don't you are left floundering.  Not to mention the ease that a
Windows box gets compromised.  It takes someone quite knowledgable to
avoid that with Windows, it tends to take the opposite with Linux (you
have to be able manually wreck your Linux system).

> But at the end of the day Win32 developers have an easy task of creating
> an install routine to automate installing their application for end
> users because of a common environment among the users.

Up to a point.  People do tweak their systems, or perhaps I should say,
muck them up in strange ways.  ;-)  And the wide spread use, still, of
everything from Win 95 to XP makes installations far from forthright.
Then there's the skill of the programmers, which is still evidently
lacking, when they try to install something on XP as if you were using
98 (priviledge levels, data and install locations, incredibly crap
drivers or stupid ways of doing something).

> Linux poses more of a challenge to a developer because of the various
> distros with differing packages installed (so some may lack
> dependencies that an application would require), different kernels,
> different folder structures - all which can impact a seemless install.
> Hence why they (MS) can develop a more user-friendly environment.

True about the variance, but I'd say that's more of a developer's
problem than user's.  The continuing effort to promote the FSH (file
system hierachy, in case I've got the letters in the wrong order) goes a
long way to improving this.  Developers, though, really need to get away
from hanging dependencies on you for silly reasons (e.g. forcing you to
install the whole of Mozilla, and maintain it, because they want to use
two small libraries from it).

> MS Windows is easier than Linux for end users who want a
> point and click OS that automates just about everything for them.  So
> if you are dealing with that level of user it becomes even more
> important to find just the right distro that best meets the user's
> daily requirements.  Otherwise you'll quickly lose that user.

Having just inflicted different OSs on less-than computer-literate
people, I find they don't cope particularly well with what the OS
imposes on them, for either system.  Also, they manage pretty much with
learning it, after a while, whichever they use.  The bigger difficulty
is someone making a changeover who doesn't really understand computing,
and has only learnt how to use what they have by rote.

I look after one person who continually flounders with Windows.  He
regularly completely breaks his system and gets me to wipe it out and
re-install.  Knowing what he does with it (what he wants to do with it,
and what he does that breaks it), I know he wouldn't have the same
problems with Linux.  However, because he doesn't understand what he's
doing, and probably isn't going to, it'd be a big hurdle for him to

> I use both OS.  I rarely face a challenge when trying to install
> something in MS Windows, or when a browser plugin tries to
> auto-install itself.  I can't say the same for Linux.

I have to differ, here.  For example, I have found it extraordinarily
difficult, at times, to get plug-ins to work on Windows.  Java and
Flash, for instance, has meant fooling around with their respective
sites, reading instructions left right and centre, rebooting and often
going through the install again.  It has been slightly easier with

Having said that, browser plugins are a particular problem.  You really
shouldn't make it too easy to install them.  Any website that can
convince you that you "need" some plugin can get you to install whatever
they feel like on your systetm.

(Currently running FC4, occasionally trying FC5.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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