Linux.com: Linux: Growing Pains

“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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