[lpi-discuss] What's New in the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

ross brunson ross at brunson.org
Sun Apr 23 10:16:16 EDT 2006

On Apr 23, 2006, at 4:47 AM, Anselm Lingnau wrote:

Wow, in your high-school yearbook did the caption under your picture  

"Most likely to climb a tower with a scoped rifle someday"?

Lighten up a little, it's all just a bunch of ones and zeros anyway.

> Yes, if you're willing to run closed, proprietary, crash-prone  
> graphics
> drivers from nVidia or ATI. Great »open source« desktop, indeed.

And the alternative is to run at 640x480 on the wonderful Open Source  
drivers that someone hacked together on their own???  I don't know  
about anyone else, but I have better things to do than tilt at the  
windmills of ATI and NVidia, if the drivers load and work, I couldn't  
care much less about if they are binary or source.  If I REALLY don't  
like what they do, I can refuse to own or operate any systems that  
would force me to use their hardware, but that's ridiculous.

> If you believe that all that has so far kept people from adopting  
> Linux on the
> desktop is the absence of utterly extraneous eye-candy à la Compiz/ 
> XGL, then
> I suggest you think again.

Evan's example of the Kororaa distro is very apt, it lets people try  
something new and get excited about it, which if you check with any  
user community they could care less about anything truly technical  
such as LDAP's ability to integrate with the PAM modules on their  
systems, they just want something that makes can take them out of the  
dull, drab grind of their existence, and if it takes spinning  
desktops and Expose-like functions to do that, I'm all for it.

> I could list a dozen things that would be more
> worth improving on the desktop, without even having to *start*  
> thinking hard.

Oh?  Were we talking about the entirety of the improvements that have  
been made to the desktop?  If you look at the listing of improvements  
I posted, you'll see that the finished product adds pivot tables,  
complete VBA Macro support, iPod and other player support, along with  
many others.

In XGL/Compiz's defense, how about the fact that I can now easily  
switch desktops without having to move my hands from the keyboard, or  
that I can now use Alt-Tab to peruse my open apps, and see the  
CONTENTS of the app window, allowing me to pick the right Firefox  
session out of the 20 or so, or that I can now easily see all open  
apps and choose among them quickly all on one screen?  Heck, I was  
the biggest skeptic at first, but now I use the above things  
routinely all day long, and it really does make a small difference.

> (Then again I wouldn't be surprised if you turn out to be right --  
> but that
> doesn't say much for our users, if they're willing to put up with  
> all sorts
> of other atrocities just because they get to rotate their virtual  
> desktops on
> the sides of a cube in real-time while watching a DVD video in a  
> window that
> oozes across the edge, Dali-style. Personally I need these  
> »features« about
> as much as I need a hole in my head.

Heh, it's all about how you can get people to care about something.   
Just think if all beer commercials were to tout a list of the  
ingredients, how the beer is brewed and then feature a series of  
quotes about how wonderful this beer is and you should buy some  
today.   Yawn.  Instead, the male animal being what it is, they mix  
in a little eye-candy (aka comely females in skimpy swimsuits) and  
suddenly they have the attention of the majority of the target  
market.  It's called marketing, and sometimes people don't care about  
things unless you GIVE them something to care about.

Bottom Line:  We can natter on all day about enhanced email clients,  
USB support and pivot tables, but that same stupid spinning cube and  
the other enhancements to the desktop have generated more interest in  
Linux on the Desktop in the last 3 months than I have seen in the  
last 3 years.  I don't care if we have to show them the desktop  
rolling on it's axis like a Vegas slot machine component, if it helps  
them get excited about it, I'm for it.  Once they get involved,  
they'll still have to do the due diligence of making sure it's got a  
good ROI for deployment, but at least they ARE looking at Linux for  
the Desktop finally.

> Give me a better e-mail client any day,

Evan said it best, this isn't a zero-sum game, if you want a better  
email client, then go give some structure to those development  
communities, I am sure they will appreciate the renewed leadership...


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