Desktop for linux needs to be more intuitive and actually work

This is all I’m saying. I spent ages trying to work out how to change the default application a file is opened with (in Gnome, for nautilus, Ubuntu fiesty).

You’d think system->preference->”preferred applications” would be the place to go. Or failing that, you’d go “right-click on a file”->”open with…” and then when you select an application it’d have a check box saying “always use this application for this type of file”. Maybe something similar to what Windows has. But no… instead, it’s under “right click”->properties for a file. Which makes no sense because it’s a global settings, not a setting for JUST that file, which is the only kind of thing that should be in a file’s properties window. I thought that lately, Gnome was all about usability?

And after wasting time on that, it turns out selecting from the list of applications doesn’t work. Just marvelous.

I actually stuck with the default Gnome setup for Ubuntu because I thought it’d be less bug prone then if I started using obscure software like I usually do. Turns out it doesn’t make any difference. I think I’ll go back to screwing around with Enlightenment, at least then I’m wasting my time doing something interesting.

I used to be very patient with linux. But as I have much less time to waste getting things working, I’m about ready to just stick with windows.

(I also spent 2 hours trying to get audio multiplexing working through alsa with dmix. It works alright, but 1. Multimedia Systems Selector has somehow disappeared from my Preferences menu, and 2. if I run gstreamer-properties manually, it doesn’t actually save any of the changes I make, and I can’t find the config file to edit it manually. Frankly I don’t know why dmix isn’t the default alsa device in a fresh install unless you’re one of the rare people that have a hw pcm-mixing audio device.)

I think people are still doing great work with linux, but it doesn’t seem any more usable then when I started using it in 1996. However, at least then I had the time to waste days playing with it.

Debian seemed to work much better, but perhaps I just expected it to require some setup? Whereas Ubuntu is touted as being ready for desktop users…



2 comments ↓

#1   Andrew Brown on 10.10.07 at 10:14 pm

I personally just don’t have the time. I used to really like to hear about advances, but the problem is, is that windows is one entity with thousands of full time people working on ONE product to work on anything, and linux has less people that are worse paid (if at all) and then they go and spread their efforts around many different ways of achieving the same thing. They’ll never win the battle that way. XP is pretty good these days with SP2, everything works pretty damn well and easy now. All they need is to make it so windows update can check sites other than microsoft.com for drivers and it’d just be about perfect for ease of us, pretty close to a mac anyway.

I haven’t used linux/bsd for ages now. I had a bsd server, but it was a pain in the ass because I had to piss around doing different stuff to get it to work and then it barely did. unix is even losing out in the server market, now THAT makes me sad, it really does, but then again, if they’re not offering a better alternative to windows (and “better” is from the perspective of the user, not what is theoretically better) then they’re going to keep losing out.

What can they do? Combine all their efforts for one and keep integrating wine more and more so that you can seamlessly run windows apps from linux like normal. Or just use OSX because it’s better than windows AND has a unix core.. What more could you want other than it being cheaper?

#2   Joel on 10.10.07 at 11:09 pm

Yeah, that makes sense.

I personally don’t have a problem with linux for server based stuff. I find it’s a lot easier to get things running since most server products I use are designed for unix and getting them working with Windows can be a real bitch at times. I guess it depends on what server stuff you’re doing…

I like the idea of OSX too, but alas, I’m still poor.

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