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Editor's Note: Couldn't Call It Unexpected

Sep 25, 2000, 19:02 (34 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Reichard)

"It has come to this. Having failed to successfully attack Linux on the basis of too many distributions and of not having enough applications, the FUDmeisters are now coming after Linux for not being easy enough to use. The "usability" experts -- the kind that charge $40,000 a day in fees -- have proclaimed that the Linux interface is just too different to actually use...."

"My point isn't to highlight mass ignorance of tractor-control layouts, but to point out that usability is highly relative, and why Brandt's statement is just too bizarre. No, a GNOME or KDE desktop doesn't look like a Macintosh desktop, but anyone who has used a Mac could easily use a typical GNOME or KDE installation. The same goes for a Windows or CDE user. And you know what? Netscape on Linux works a lot like Netscape on Windows or even Internet Explorer on Windows. Corel WordPerfect for Linux works a lot like Microsoft Word. And so on."

"But listen to the usability experts, and they'll tell you that Linux is too difficult to use and could do with a dose of simplicity. (This is essentially what Eazel is trying to tell the Linux world, by the way.) But interface design is not advertising, and while the best advertising has the clearest message simply told, there's really no "best" interface for a computer or the "best" design for a Web page. According to the usability experts, the best Web page has a striking design and just enough data to draw out a user. Of course, Yahoo -- with its data-rich text-based interface -- pretty much blows the usability experts out of the water. (Come to think of it, a usability expert would have a heart attack after seeing the Linux Today home page as well.)"

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