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Linux.com: Linux: Growing Pains

Oct 30, 2000, 06:25 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Dominico)

"The Linux user base grows larger, but not without its share of growing pains. No longer simply a "hacker's OS," Linux has begun to more effectively target the "average user." Invariably, this tends to disturb some members of the "old guard," as attempts to make the OS easier to use are interpreted as "dumbing things down"...and the flame war begins anew."

"A recent example is the attempt by the Gnome group to provide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) scripting support in its office suite, to be known as Gnome Basic. For those unfamiliar with it, VBA is the scripting language used for automation in the Microsoft Office suite of applications. All Microsoft Office macros are written in VBA. In an effort to make it easier for users to switch to Linux from Windows, Gnome decided to provide compatibility. A user could simply import their existing documents or spreadsheets and have them function properly with no need to make changes. Sounds like a nice feature, right? (Note: My understanding is that KDE plans to provide something similar, as well as possibly a full-blown VB-like IDE, but I'm going to discuss only Gnome Basic here to keep matters simple.)"

"Unfortunately, it has been met with the all-too-familiar cry of, "You're dumbing things down!" Of course, there are other reasons why people are against the idea...."

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