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When will FreeBSD be ready to noobs for desktop use?

throAU

Aspiring Daemon

Thanks: 142
Messages: 910

#76
I think a huge cause of many of the problems of being user unfriendly is the hacker culture surrounding the free Unix circle.

Next / Apple proved that is is quite possible to make a user friendly unix, and in a fairly short time frame - given the motivation and a clear direction.

Unfortunately free software by it's nature is driven by individual developers with an itch to scratch and the level of co-ordination required to get something like say, OS X or NextStep done just isn't there. We can't even agree on a standard filesystem layout, init system, desktop UI toolkit, etc.

Continually having to learn a new UI (be it GUI, configuration file format, etc.) is simply not user friendly.
 

wblock@

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Developer

Thanks: 3,581
Messages: 13,850

#77
"User friendly" is subjective. Usually what people mean when they say that is "looks and works like Windows". Even that is not consistent, because in Windows there are generally three or four different ways to get to a menu entry or program option, and not even a common default used by most people.

Subjectively, I find FreeBSD's consistency to be pretty friendly.
 

lele

Member


Messages: 30

#78
wblock@ said:
"User friendly" is subjective. Usually what people mean when they say that is "looks and works like Windows". Even that is not consistent, because in Windows there are generally three or four different ways to get to a menu entry or program option, and not even a common default used by most people.

Subjectively, I find the FreeBSD's consistency to be pretty friendly.
"User-friendly" is subjective according to who the user is: beginner or power user. I'd say FreeBSD is very user-friendly towards power users, less so regarding beginners. FreeBSD forces you to deal with technicalities even when reasonable defaults are available. Beginner-friendly systems avoid that. For instance, neither Windows nor OS X nor Ubuntu ask you what desktop manager you want to use; they go for a default one. With FreeBSD, the facilities for beginner-friendliness are there, it's just a matter of polishing. And no, making FreeBSD more beginner-friendly wouldn't hurt power users.

To beginners, what matters is a discoverable UI, that is a menu-based taskbar in a window manager. KDE, Gnome, Xfce offer that already and I'd argue they are more beginner-friendly than recent versions of Windows (after Windows XP, the UI has become so bloated that it is not noob-friendly anymore).

For instance, a beginner-friendly setup would offer two options at the beginning: expert mode and beginner mode. Beginner mode would ask as few questions as possible. It's also a matter of avoiding technical terms, for instance why does a user must be acquainted with IPv4 and IPv6? Just say "Internet configuration".

Again, I've tried PC-BSD and ***it is not*** beginner-friendly and, on top of that, KDE and Gnome were buggy (maybe this is a problem for FreeBSD, too, because such desktop environments are Linux-centric). I've posted on the PC-BSD forums regarding this.
 

drhowarddrfine

Son of Beastie

Thanks: 821
Messages: 2,612

#79
Adding to what Warren brought up, consistency is the building block of a good user interface no matter the difficulty of the underlying item.
 

atmosx

Member

Thanks: 4
Messages: 79

#80
<off topic> I wonder how long this discussion would have last on IRC pre-web 2.0 </off topic>

If a user cares so much about user-friendliness, he should run far and away and buy a mac. End of the story, once he needs 'more' or 'less', he can start learning one thing or two about computers. That's my opinion of course not any sort of universal truth... FreeBSD is as friendly as it gets imho.
 
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