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11.07.07

Quick Mention: Novell Loses Channel Chief

Posted in Novell at 10:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Movell and Nicrosoft

The title says it all.

A Novell spokesman confirmed late Wednesday that Erdman had left the company, but he did not have information on why and when the channel chief departed.

Quick Mention: Increased Support for ODF and Linux in Germany

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, OpenDocument at 9:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Good news coming from the recent workshop:

The position of the German Foreign Office, as host of the event, was made very clear. The Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, in his opening word, called ODF “a completely open and ISO-standardized format”, considering it an “excellent basis” for “a free exchange of knowledge and information in a time of globalization”. The Foreign Office has already linked its foreign missions in a network using open-source programs and shifted to OpenOffice and Linux operation systems on their laptops and has in view to extend this program to all diplomatic workstations by the middle of 2008.

This comes shortly after Holland moved to ODF (in government). It also comes just months after the Italian and French cabinets have both decided to move to Linux. ODF can probably be assumed part of this migration.

Combating Unbundling: Patent Troll Fights to Enforce ”Windows/Patent Tax”

Posted in Antitrust, Asia, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, SLES/SLED, Vista, Windows at 8:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘PC acquisition/Windows tax’ is similar to (and can be
replaced by) Linux “patent tax”

The previous post was used to show that software patents can be used to put a price tag on Free software, such as GNU/Linux. In China, for example, Linux boxes are subjected to payments of ‘codec money’.

Speaking of low-cost computers in China (that’s what the previous articles discussed), Microsoft is sneakily fighting against what it calls ‘naked PCs’. Again! It fights unbundling in China.

The earlier agreement to preinstall Windows on Founder PCs helped fight piracy by reducing the number of systems that are shipped without operating systems.

If Microsoft wanted to stop ‘piracy’ (the term “piracy” is technically incorrect), then it could put an end to its crocodile tears and actually defend Windows. Consider the following good articles:

”If computers were ever to be stripped off Windows in Europe, would software patents have a new type of tax imposed?“‘Piracy’ helps Microsoft for the same reason IP ‘theft’ helps it. It gets people dependent on its software/protocols/formats/interfaces and at any time Microsoft can turn the table over and start charging money. Recall the MP3 lawsuit against Microsoft.

First they entice their prey and let it grow. It’s a bait. Only later, once it has become too mature (think about Mono' infestation') and the victim highly entangled should they attack, in order to gain from maximal damages. You can hopefully see how ‘Windows tax’ — that which one pays when buying a PC with unwanted preinstalled software — can be replaced by another form of ‘tax’.

Returning to the issue at hand, to China, the news is of course a big step back. In Europe, unbundling (i.e. no forced Vista installation) seems like the way to go, particularly after the EU’s ruling. Articles on this matter include:

If computers were ever to be stripped off Windows in Europe, would software patents have a new type of tax imposed? What if SUSE (e.g. SLED) was preinstalled? We already know that Microsoft gets paid for it, simply because Novell pays for mythical patents. This is yet another reason to weaken Novell and reject its software, unless it changes its way.

Prompt says 'No'

Message to Novell: Money is not a measure of success. It is sometimes a measure of how much you are able to exploit others, such as FOSS developers.

Today’s Lessons on Software Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Patents, Red Hat at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big Vendors Out Hunting

Andy Updegrove has just published another piece that describes Microsoft’s increased hunger for software patents. He also explains why this issue simply cannot be ignored, especially in the very few countries that actually honour this insanity, which is ownership of (and therefore taxation on use of) mathematics.

This leaves open source software, and particularly community software (as compared to FOSS that is supported by major vendors), more vulnerable to those that oppose it, or are threatened by it.

No Reform in Sight

It is very hard to believe that remedy is ahead given what we have seen in recent week. There is a very well-funded lobby against the needed reform. Too many companies have a lot to earn from a broken patent system [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. WIPO is a lost cause [1, 2, 3] although a discussion has just been held.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) will host On November 6, 2007, at its Geneva headquarters, the sixth in a series of colloquia on various aspects of the patent system to provide information on different patent-related topics and facilitate exchange of information among stakeholders.

More (Software) Patent Lunacy

Yet another lawsuit. The cause: patent licensing.

Alcatel-Lucent set up a trust to hold patents for MPEG-2 technology in violation of an agreement to share the inventions in the patent-licensing pool, MPEG LA said this week in a Delaware Chancery Court complaint.

This introduction of patents and intrusion into protocols that we all use (videos in this case) is unnecessary and unwanted. As the following new article tells, it hurts Linux too.

The gOS distribution can’t be redistributed freely because it includes proprietary software to support such patented media formats as MP3 and MPEG-2 files, as well as a licensed player for DVDs. Like other Linux distributions, nonetheless, it will offer an online software-update system, and Liu says that the company will be able to tell how many of the gPCs stay up and running with his company’s Linux.

Red Hat was in the same type of mess a couple of months ago. It leads to delays and definitely hurts the consumer. The next post will discuss these developments in China a little further.

Quick Mention: How About a Standards Conference?

Posted in Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Standard at 7:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Interoperability and standards should be considered mutually exclusive

XML and “interoperability” are at the centre of a new conference. Interoperability is not standards, however, just as the use of XML isn’t analogous to or synonymous with openness. Both are just tricky terms that have a positive connotation.

The use of words like “interoperability” ought to raise a brow because such terms are often abused. Their meaning has been degraded or corrupted by those who misuse them. It might have something to do with collaboration and sharing, but it also has a lot to do with binary-only software and software patents. The relationship is very exclusionary by design.

Oh. And look who is presenting.

Participants from the industry include Miguel de Icaza from Novell, Douglas Crockford from Yahoo!, Vijay Rajagopalan from Microsoft and other well known technology leaders from the PHP and Ruby community.

You may or may not know this already, but Yahoo, just like Novell, is a little too cozy with Microsoft. At times, Yahoo is even willing to fight Linux and Free software. Thus, the attendance that you see above is unsurprising. Friends collaborate with friends, but not with the industry as a whole.

Novell coupons warning

“Microsoft Admirer“ Hijacks Open Source

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSI, Virtualisation, Xen at 7:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When you can’t do it yourself, use a proxy

Microsoft’s plan to infiltrate the Linux and open source world is no news to us. To repeat some recent news, Microsoft openly expressed its intentions to buy open source companies. Quick flashback to last month:

“We will do some buying of companies that are built around open-source products,” Ballmer said during an onstage interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Microsoft’s CEO said this when he laid out plans to acquire about 20 companies per year for the next 5 years.

Some further analysis talked about the conseuqnces

Is Microsoft Hijacking Open Source?

[...]

In this context, the recent approval of two Microsoft licences as officially “open source” is only going to make things worse.

[...]

What we are seeing here are a series of major assaults on different but related fields – open source, open file formats and open standards. All are directed to one goal: the hijacking of the very concept of openness. If we are to stop this inner corrosion, we must point out whenever we see wilful misuse and lazy misunderstandings of the term, and we must strive to make the real state of affairs quite clear. If we don’t, then core concepts like “open source” will be massaged, kneaded and pummelled into uselessness.

Let’s return to an old issue that is covered here frequently. As one example among several we have XenSource, which was an open source company. It had pro-Linux bias before it got snatched by Citrix. We insist that Microsoft had involvement in this. It was strategic. Citrix bent Xen in Windows’ way very immediately (the announcement about the acquisition gave that away and spotted by Matthew Aslett). Can Citrix even deny its glee in the following new interview? It doesn’t seem so.

You said earlier this year that Citrix is an “admirer” of Microsoft for its innovation, Adobe for its strong brand and Apple for its easy-to-use products. After watching your swift acquisition pace and the kind of companies you target for acquisition, I would argue Citrix is patterned more after Cisco Systems. Do you think that’s a reasonable argument?

You are thinking of the acquisition point of view instead of the comments I made. Those were about role models. Cisco has not been a role model for our acquisitions. They are a fabulous company. We love Cisco. When I talk about Microsoft, Adobe and Apple, they are role models for the things I cited.

Cisco is another fine example of a Microsoft partner, which is bound to get betrayed. So there you have it. A self-confessed “Microsoft admirer” has bought a company too large for Microsoft to escape the radar of the FTC and various GPL watchers/enforcers. The more time goes by, the more pieces fall right into place. The puzzle is merely solved, but if only more people were aware of it.

Related articles;

The former Microsoft Latest News about Microsoft general manager is now vice president of XenSource, a Palo Alto, Calif., virtualization company with a growing outpost in Redmond, Wash.

This is what Citrix is paying for. That and a close relationship with Microsoft that looks likely to get closer. “We will be building dynamic virtualization services and management tools on top of Viridian,” Levine added. “We will build the same set of products we’ve built on top of Xen for Viridian. We’ve already hired a team to go do that up in Redmond.”

While Citrix maintained it will continue support for the Xen project, this deal is not about a proprietary vendor getting open source religion. It’s about grabbing an emerging player in a rapidly expanding sector of the market.

VMware, holding some 85 percent of the market, with its VI3 technologies offers a fully integrated stack and represents a third generation of virtualization technology, while Viridian and Xen-based products, including SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, XenEnterprise and Virtual Iron, remain second-generation products, the report stated.

Clarifications About GNOME

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Mail, Mandriva, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 6:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jeff Waugh has strongly insisted that this Web site is doing no justice to GNOME. We thought we ought to include (with his implicit permission) large portions of the conversation with him. Editing this would require a lot of time, but this should hopefully shed light on misconception that may have led to disinformation in the past. His input was greatly appreciated.

Jeff said:

You’ve just posted another embarrassing mess here, with serious lack of attention to relevant technical details:

http://boycottnovell.com/2007/11/05/gnome-mono-yelp/

You even refer to me in the article:

“This seems to shatter Jeff’s argument, after he requested a correction. For all it seems, GNOME is indeed becoming dependent on Mono.”

Didn’t that tweak something in your mind to perhaps get in touch, to ask if this is in fact the case? If you’re going to assert that my argument has been “shattered”, perhaps double-checking that would be a good idea before posting it to your site. You’re posting wild “revelations” from random folk who contact you, without doing enough fact-checking to avoid embarrassing yourself, when you have *full access* to people in the FLOSS community who will actually put these things straight from a position of deep knowledge.

Are you not getting in touch because you’re concerned that my refutations will have an impact on the controversy value of your stories?

I’ll refute this when you get in touch.

This is a fair point and I appreciate Jeff’s approach. Since the invitation was polite I carried on expressing my concerns more specifically.

I believe this has a little to do with semantics. When I refer to GNOME, perhaps I should clarify that it does not refer to standalone GNOME (to be compiled from source code, for example), but to GNOME when it’s packages in pretty much every major distro. In each such distro, it appears not to be trivial to remove Mono, and it’s becoming harder and harder all the time.

Jeff asked me to be asking questions.

That too is not the case. Again, you’re stating things without asking any questions. Why don’t you ask?

Quoting some links that have been accumulated I added:

Here is a list of URLs which indicate that Mono is put inside many GNOME (by default, with the exception of Mandriva) based distributions.

OpenSUSE:
http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-commit/2007-09/msg00634.html

Ubuntu:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntustudio/+bug/114957/comments/7

Fedora 7:
http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/rpminfo?rpmID=262838

Mandriva:
http://www.beranger.org/index.php?page=diary&2007/09/06/07/24/16-2-mi…

I worry that businesses will become heavily dependent on Mono and then receive demands for money (patent ‘protection’). KDE does not have such problems yet.

I know it’s not GNOME’s fault (I didn’t know this before), but those that build a GNOME-based environment might be giving GNOME an undesirable image, IMHO. Miguel continues to escape the issue.

The response was reasonable and welcome, albeit not so pleasant (the lack of vocal tone in E-mails might be blamed here).

Here is a list of URLs which indicate that Mono is put inside many GNOME (by default, with the exception of Mandriva) based distributions.

Okay, given that you’re STILL not asking ANY questions, I’ll interpret this sharing of sources as a request for more information as to why your analysis and conclusions are wrong.

OpenSUSE:

http://lists.opensuse.org/opensuse-commit/2007-09/msg00634.html

This does not indicate any dependency on Mono whatsoever. You’re welcome to *ASK* why. This is a packaging patch.

Ubuntu:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntustudio/+bug/114957/comments/7

This does not indicate any dependency on Mono whatsoever. You’re welcome to *ASK* why. This is a bug related to packaging file conflicts during a devel cycle.

Fedora 7:

http://koji.fedoraproject.org/koji/rpminfo?rpmID=262838

This does not indicate any dependency on Mono whatsoever. You’re welcome to *ASK* why.

Mandriva:

http://www.beranger.org/index.php?page=diary&2007/09/06/07/24/16-2-mi…

This does not indicate any dependency on Mono whatsoever. You’re welcome to *ASK* why.

I worry that businesses will become heavily dependent on Mono and then receive demands for money (patent ‘protection’). KDE does not have such problems yet.

As a dose of severe reality for you: KDE has plenty of problems with patent encumberancies, much like GNOME and the rest of the FLOSS world. Problems do not arise simply through bizaare attempts at conspiracy theory construction between FLOSS projects, Novell and Microsoft.

I know it’s not GNOME’s fault (I didn’t know this before), but those that build a GNOME-based environment might be giving GNOME an undesirable image, IMHO. Miguel continues to escape the issue.

Miguel has nothing to do with GNOME and nothing to do with decisions that individual distributions make with regards to the software they distribute. This conclusion in your email, much like plenty of statments on your site, is not related to the substance of the issue at hand. That’s a disappointing way to write, particularly about important community issues.

Again, I remind you: ASK QUESTIONS. I’ve given you an opportunity in every section above where you provide sources to ASK QUESTIONS. Do it, so you can get into the habit.

Jeff made some fair assessments which hopefully show places where we reported inaccurately. On the URLs, here is my explanation:

The URLs above were grabbed quickly from a comment which posted yesterday (not mine). Perhaps they do not demonstrate the issue I spoke about, but they show the presence of Mono in builds of these distros.

With regards to other projects, such as KDE:

There are other issues here:

1. Mono isn’t just an issue of patents. With .NET going shared source, SCO-like claims become a danger.

2. Novell signed a patent deal. Had it not signed it, Microsoft would find it harder to demand businesses to pay for patents.

I am not convinced there’s parity here.

The remainder goes as follows:

Miguel has nothing to do with GNOME and nothing to do with decisions that individual distributions make with regards to the software they distribute. This conclusion in your email, much like plenty of statments on your site, is not related to the substance of the issue at hand. That’s a disappointing way to write, particularly about important community issues.

The way I write as you call it does not disappoint /me/ while I still believe in what I write and I fail to be convinced that I was wrong, with a few exceptions where I corrected myself (e.g. about the future of GNOME, per the linux.com article)

Again, I remind you: ASK QUESTIONS. I’ve given you an opportunity in every section above where you provide sources to ASK QUESTIONS. Do it, so you can get into the habit.

I will do, Jeff. I appreciate your feedback. You must understand, however, that I can’t just parrot arguments which I am not entirely convinced are true (the example above, which relates to Novell, can be considered here).

The remainder of this:

The URLs above were grabbed quickly from a comment which posted yesterday (not mine). Perhaps they do not demonstrate the issue I spoke about, but they show the presence of Mono in builds of these distros.

No they don’t. Again, I note you haven’t asked any questions here. I suggest you do, as a matter of research. I could not have made it more clear in my answers that you need to ask questions.

1. Mono isn’t just an issue of patents. With .NET going shared source, SCO-like claims become a danger.

That was the case with Java for years. That is still the case with all kinds of things, including Samba. There’s a metric buttload of code out there that we as FLOSS developers can’t look at. This has and always will be an issue, whether the code is owned by Microsoft or not.

2. Novell signed a patent deal. Had it not signed it, Microsoft would find it harder to demand businesses to pay for patents.

Microsoft aren’t interested in getting people to pay for patents. They’re interested in using them to keep companies out of the market, and make sure they can defend themselves against other patent holders.

The way I write as you call it does not disappoint /me/ while I still believe in what I write and I fail to be convinced that I was wrong

But you haven’t asked *WHY* you’re wrong yet. I haven’t explained it because you haven’t *ASKED*. I’ve given you every opportunity. I’ve suggested it as clear as day. I have made this so easy for you, yet you still come back with statements, assumptions and NO QUESTIONS.

I’m trying to help you get in the habit, so I’m facilitating your ability to ask questions of a knowledgeable source, such that you’re more comfortable and likely to do it in the future.

Come on, I’m handing this to you on a silver platter: Please, please, please include a question in your next email. I can answer it, you can see how your statements (and “evidence” provided by whoever posted to your site) was not correct, and we can get on with actual details relevant to the issue of Mono and GNOME.

You’d rather have the right information, wouldn’t you? One question is all you need to ask. Just one question. Go for it!

Okay, I was hoping you would correct me where you believed I was wrong, so let me ask a question instead. Which Linux distributions come with GNOME but without Mono?

Another question would be, do you think it is ‘safe’ for businesses to use Mono amid times of saber-rattling? (I’m aware of the fact that Australia has ‘inherited’ the amazingly broken stance on software patents (America style), which is bad news to everyone and I sympathise)

Jeff then made a very strong argument which shows that GNOME and Mono are still somewhat independent in the sense that they can be separated safely.

Okay, I was hoping you would correct me where you believed I was wrong, so let me ask a question instead. Which Linux distributions come with GNOME but without Mono?

I’m not sure, I don’t track that very closely. Perhaps you could look at it from their point of view: Ubuntu and Fedora are comfortable enough with Mono to ship it. Perhaps you’re making a big deal about something that is less of an issue that you believe? (There are quite a few things backing that up.)

Anyway, you’ve asked the wrong question again, assuming that GNOME is wedged to Mono in some way. I’m sick of this idiotic conversation, so I’m going to give you the answer you’ve managed to stay away from asking for the entire discussion. Next time, do your research, and ASK QUESTIONS of people who know what’s going on, so you don’t make such silly mistakes on your website.

libbeagle is a C library with no Mono dependencies. It is simply an access method for C programs should they wish to interface with Mono. You can take all the Mono packages out of your system without removing GNOME. Sure, you will lose access to Mono-based software such as Beagle, Tomboy, F-Spot and Banshee, but if that’s your goal, you *CAN 100% ACHIEVE IT*. GNOME is not bound to Mono, even in the distributions that ship it. I will demonstrate on my Ubuntu machine:

# remove anything that mentions ‘mono’ in its package name… COLUMNS=200 dpkg -l | awk ‘{print $2}’ | grep mono | xargs sudo apt-get autoremove –purge
… (snip boring bits) …
The following packages will be REMOVED: banshee* banshee-daap* boo* f-spot* libart2.0-cil* libavahi1.0-cil*
libgconf2.0-cil* libglade2.0-cil* libglib2.0-cil* libgmime2.2-cil*
libgnome-vfs2.0-cil* libgnome2.0-cil* libgsf0.0-cil* libgtk2.0-cil*
libgtkhtml2.0-cil* libipoddevice0* libmono-cairo1.0-cil*
libmono-cairo2.0-cil* libmono-corlib1.0-cil* libmono-corlib2.0-cil*
libmono-data-tds1.0-cil* libmono-data-tds2.0-cil* libmono-security1.0-cil*
libmono-security2.0-cil* libmono-sharpzip0.84-cil* libmono-sharpzip2.84-cil*
libmono-sqlite2.0-cil* libmono-system-data1.0-cil*
libmono-system-data2.0-cil* libmono-system-web1.0-cil*
libmono-system-web2.0-cil* libmono-system1.0-cil* libmono-system2.0-cil*
libmono0* libmono1.0-cil* libmono2.0-cil* libndesk-dbus-glib1.0-cil*
libndesk-dbus1.0-cil* libnjb5* librsvg2.0-cil* libsgutils1*
libtaglib2.0-cil* mono-classlib-2.0* mono-common* mono-gac* mono-jit*
mono-runtime* tomboy*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 48 to remove and 252 not upgraded.
Need to get 0B of archives.
After unpacking 61.8MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? Abort.

See that? All of Mono gone. Completely functional GNOME desktop left for my use. Standard packaging as provided by Ubuntu. Yes, libbeagle0 will remain on my system, but it is *NOT* based on Mono, nor (as demonstrated so clearly above) does it depend on Mono.

Another question would be, do you think it is ‘safe’ for businesses to use Mono amid times of saber-rattling? (I’m aware of the fact that Australia has ‘inherited’ the amazingly broken stance on software patents (America style), which is bad news to everyone and I sympathise)

Ask Canonical and Red Hat, who ship Mono with their distributions, and do not have relationships with Novell or Red Hat. I have the impression that using the ECMA-standardised parts of Mono is safe, and there are plenty of defensive measures in place (such as OIN) for us and our users. I’ve worked to try and get Miguel (and other Mono folks) to separate the ECMA standard chunks of Mono from the rest of it, to make it clear what those in the FLOSS world who want to write software with Mono can use comfortably. That would be a bigger win than simply deep-sixing Mono for ideological reasons — I’m sure you’d say the same thing about Samba, Wine, etc. Should we dump them, or try to be in the best position to draw advantage from them without fear?

None of this implies that Mono is of strategic interest to the GNOME project (in fact the obvious conclusion is that it doesn’t, because both the GNOME and Mono hackers have had to do quite a bit of work to keep it technically at arms lenght), so please do not fall for that conclusion either.

Despite my frustration at your approach to this conversation, I am still here to answer your questions when you realise that research and knowledge are more important than making controversy. I will help you make your site accurate on issues related to GNOME, Mono, Novell, OOXML/ODF, etc., so that the accuracy and correctness of your claims assist with the mission of the site you run.

I would have to admit at this stage that, other than telling me that I asked the wrong question (i.e. not the question he wanted me to ask, I presume), Jeff made an excellent point and provided proof to show that GNOME-Mono dependency is probably a myth. I replied:

Thanks, Jeff. That has been very useful and I’m convinced on certain issues that I now understand better. Can I use parts of our correspondence to post corrections and clarifications? It needs to be clarified that GNOME and Mono are separate by all means, which I can now see.

Jeff concludes by clarifying and summarising some key points:

As I’ve said in previous mails, there are some ways in which GNOME and Mono are related (in the same sense that there are some ways in which GNOME and other FLOSS projects are related), so “by all means” is not correct. I’ll make it clear again:

* Tomboy, a Mono-based application, is included in the GNOME Desktop suite

* gtk-sharp is included in the GNOME Bindings suite, so that third-party developers can create GNOME applications using C# and/or the CLR

* No other Mono applications have been proposed for or included in the official GNOME release suites

* There is no clear agreement within the GNOME project to proactively adopt Mono or to avoid its use entirely

* There is absolutely no requirement to have Mono in order to run GNOME

Hopefully this establishes some key points and we can refer back to it in the future. I wish I had time to edit this properly, but I’m under a lot of workload at the moment.

Quick Mention: SUSE as Complicated as Novell’s Affairs?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 6:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Why can’t things be simpler?

This isn’t news and Neil McAllister even wrote about it in last week’s PCWorld review of OpenSUSE. The distribution can be daunting to new users and the following new review highlights this deficiency.

Today, I tried OpenSUSE 10.3. Installation went fine, although it was at least partially because I installed various OpenSUSE many times before. The installation process is definitely too long but I don’t have off hat ideas on how to make it shorter.

[...]

But the problem appeared when I pointed her this button. She clicked on it, and it took over 30 seconds for the new menu to appear. The new menu is a window, almost full-screen with huge amount of apps in a flat layout. That’s different to Windows, but nothing “bad”. Until she started reading the descriptions. “DMA channels”, “OpenGL”, “PCI”, “Partitions”, “SCSI”, “Samba status”, “Processor”, “X Server”… thank you! Stop!

Who the hell came with this idea? Let me guess… no one. No one actually took care to do this very freakin simple user action flow – login, click on Computer, click on Other Apps, read the first line, compare it with what the user expects to see. Hello!?

Clicking on “Home folder” icon on the desktop to see a window with “bin”, “public_html” directories and one file named “nautilus-debug-log.txt” is also something that should be considered as a suicide.

[...]

But in the end, it’s depressing that we still fail to provide the UX without very visible, simple to avoid, flaws. In Ubuntu, you have great chance to see something like “/dev/sda2″ on the very first desktop you open after logging in. In SUSE you hit “nautilus-debug-log.txt” in your virgin home folder and “DMA Channels” as an example of “other apps”.

I know that users will learn this. After one day, such problems disappear and new patterns are memorized, I know that people with motivation (and the motivation is easily raised by the blue screen of death) will switch and will be happy in the end. But all those “mistakes” looks like ignorance. Like if no one did actually install his own distro on an empty drive and SEE how it works. For 5 minutes. To make those 5 minutes perfect.

Steve Ballmer rides SUSE

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