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[Rant] Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets?ANN.lu
Posted on 03-Dec-2003 02:10 GMT by takemehomegrandma79 comments
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As the Windows platform is getting more and more bloated, infected with viruses, spy wares, ridiculous EULA’s and other unpleasant things, more and more people are looking for alternatives. And not only people, even large organizations and governments are searching for new solutions to meet their computing needs. This has made many people in the alternative computing market full of hope for a broad future acceptance of their favourite OS. Linux currently has a major momentum in this field (and not only in the server market), much thanks to its buzz word name. But other not-so-difficult-to-understand OS’s might as well be winning from this. What is stopping them? What is needed to make a former niche OS acceptable as a desktop replacement for Windows?

Genesi is pushing the concept of the “Super Bundle”, a way to make sure that general usability is brought to a custom OS. I have personally enjoyed that effort for my MorphOS installation, but as far as I understand, the Super Bundle is not meant to be limited to MorphOS alone in the future. It’s a *Pegasos* concept, and the Pegasos is a *hardware* platform that is supported by lots of OS’s.

The Super Bundle is great. But applications are only one piece of the “mainstream acceptance puzzle”, what other pieces are there? The desktop will be another. From a *Pegasos* perspective, perhaps some kind of a “Pegasos Open Desktop” standard could be created? I’m not talking about a technical solution here, not a low level technical standard or API, but rather a behavioural (and expectational (is that a word BTW?)) standard from a “Joe User” perspective. The goal would be to create a common set of desktop behaviours that leaps across the Pegasos flavours of all its supported Operating Systems, obviously somewhat inspired by Windows.

Because like it or not, the Microsoft Windows is the de-facto standard when it comes to desktop OS’s. Perhaps the looks and graphical design isn’t the most important thing here, variations in appearance and visual looks may be accepted, but “the masses” are used to the way things are organized and managed in the Windows desktop environment. Windows actually defines everyone’s expectations of a computer desktop today.

And what is that? You tell me! Is it the “My Documents”, “My Music”, “My Pictures” folders? Could be! The Start menu, the quick launch field, the tool bar, etc? Absolutely! Right clicking on an icon and getting a context menu (including the “properties” option)? Yes! Right clicking on the desktop to get the option of setting the looks of the desktop, the screen resolutions, the screensavers, etc? Sure! The list goes on (feel free to fill in the gaps).

Mainstream people expect a desktop to behave in a certain way (the *Windows* way), and I am afraid that the tolerance for alternative ways of doing things in this area may be low among mainstream users. On Linux we see different window managers and desktop solutions; some are obviously striving to emulate the windows behaviour in several ways. This is no coincidence IMHO, neither is the fact that the PocketPC grew so fast, and that Windows enabled cell phones are gaining acceptance rapidly. Branding is only a minor part of the explanation IMO, the “familiar feeling” of the user envireonment may be more important. That lowers any entry barriers for the customer.

Well, how could this be achieved on the Pegasos platform, to make its OS’s more usable for mainstream desktop applications? A beginning would perhaps be to define a set of core user expectations of a desktop’s behaviour, like I started above. This would be quite easy. The more difficult task would be to implement these features on the various Pegasos OS’s without damaging the respective OS native feeling and unique benefits. This would be a delicate balance between niche and mainstream, between tradition x and tradition y, between unique custom solutions (with high learning curve) and broad acceptance, between geek only and broad success.

Could it be done? How? Is this needed? Is it wanted?

Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 1 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Bill Hoggett on 03-Dec-2003 02:02 GMT
A niche OS is suited to a niche market.

To make it have an impact on the main markets, you need to do away with the niche approach and improve overall quality, which niche OSs are notoriously bad at (they excel in some areas, but are totally pants in most others). Linux is not gaining popularity because of the buzz name, but because it has made considerable strides in improving overall quality in the areas mass markets require.

To break into the mainstream, you have to compete with the mainstream. That usually means taking on cut-throat competition and most niche vendors soil their pants in terror at the mere thought of doing so.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 2 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by JoannaK on 03-Dec-2003 02:45 GMT
As soon as MorphOS starts to Look and Feel Windows I'm gone.. Many Linux distro makers have this same illusion, they wan't to make their products more popular by emulatim somethign that ain't worth of it.

Belive me.. If you can't offer anything better than cloning M$ Gui then there is no point on making OS at all.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 3 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Dec-2003 02:54 GMT
..."but as far as I understand, the Super Bundle is not meant to be limited to MorphOS alone in the future. It’s a *Pegasos* concept, and the Pegasos is a *hardware* platform that is supported by lots of OS’s."

I'd like to see OS4 and superbundle in pegasos. Then it might be worth considering to buy it.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 4 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by gary_c on 03-Dec-2003 03:13 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Anonymous):
> I'd like to see OS4 and superbundle in pegasos. Then it might be worth considering to buy it.

This will be easier to know once AOS4 is released and we can compare it to MorphOS. I'm not sure how you can be so sure about it until then. Anyway, if AOS4 does end up having some unique features, it'd be nice if it were available for Pegasos.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 5 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 03-Dec-2003 06:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 3 (Anonymous):
/* I'd like to see OS4 and superbundle in pegasos. Then it might be worth considering to buy it.*/

Now that’s is a syntax error!!!

1. You can’t run AOS4 on Pegasos.

2. You can’t use the Super bundle on AOS4,
Unless you think of dual boot MOS and AOS.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 6 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Dec-2003 07:06 GMT
In reply to Comment 5 (Kjetil):
Niche OS survive mostly because their supporters don't want to be part of the mainstream. Why would otherwise reasonable and tech-savvy people put up with lack of drivers for their hardware and no applications? because they have a common, usually political cause. Go to OS News and ask people what they think of Microsoft and you'll get a deluge of bile. However, this raison d'etre is treacherous - most open-source projects (ie all non-Apple alternative OSs) tend to be short-lived, and their demise is either the people involved graduate and no longer have time to maintain them, or they get into fights, resentment increases and the project either forks or dies. Witness the recent split in the XFree86 project, that was 100% politics. Similar things can be said about BSD vs Linux or (closer to home) AmigaOS vs MorphOS. The few open-source projects that thrive (Linux, Apache, MySQL) usually do so because there are powerful people (usually some big company like IBM) funding the project and making sure the kids play along and don't break the porcelain. Getting closer to home again, I predict that because of this, only one of AmigaOS and MorphOS is going to survive, and that will be the one that gets bought out by a powerful corporation that relegates its childish leadership to a harmless figurehead role and concentrates on the realities of business. The other one will keep going, retaining its identity but relegated to the 'retro' status of the C64 and Sinclair Spectrum (if Genesi is the one this happens to, they will truely rue not having 'the name'). There will be a cottage industry of loyal fans making hardware to keep the ancient machines running until the next retro-party. The current Genesi vs Eyetech/Hyperion/Amiga spate is therefore completely pointless; in a few years all the major players will be marginalized, and the Amiga name will be widely known for its use in mp3 players and other single-function devices (much like the Commodore-branded USB memory recently seen on sale in Europe). Desktops will still belong to Microsoft (or whoever takes over from them), and maybe Apple, if Linux doesn't sink them before Microsoft embraces and extends it.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 7 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by hammer on 03-Dec-2003 07:38 GMT
Just a minor note i.e. the latest security breach for Linux refer to
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=12970
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 8 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Amon_Re on 03-Dec-2003 07:39 GMT
I've said it before, and i'll say it again, you guys all are forgetting to account for IBM & Sun.

Both are pushing their own favourites forward, IBM is pushing linux, SUN will be pushing JavaDesktop..

Compared to these, both MOS & AOS are way to small & lack too many tools.

AOS/MOS could break through, *IF* they get the needed applications.

Cheers
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 9 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Dec-2003 07:45 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (hammer):
This was bound to happen. As Linux becomes more popular, it will become a bigger target. I only hope Linux sysadmins are better trained (and less lazy) than their Windows counterparts, who leave systems unpatched for 6 monts at a time.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 10 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Atheist2 on 03-Dec-2003 07:48 GMT
Amiga Inc., AOS4+.x (or Genesi (truth be told)) COULD capture a market share that is bigger than Apple currently has!!

How?

The price of these systems (notice systems, not just motherboard) MUST be within +$250 US AND within -350 MHz (maybe able to get away with -500) to be considered for purchase by the almost common user.

Until that time, niche may be as far as it could go.

Only someone with deep pockets, who wants to try something new and exciting, can change the outcome of our desired platforms.


AmigaOne! AOS4+.x! New and Exciting!
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 11 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by treqie on 03-Dec-2003 08:12 GMT
One thing I don't like about MorphOS is the look, the skins. There are no -really- good skin. They all look like ordinary "user skins" if you know what I mean... either they lack something or are too flashy (ie unprofessional). :P

They all lack some.. what is the word I am looking for. Everything should blend in and have the same look, but it doesn't. Ah, I'm too tired to explain it better. ;P
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 12 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 03-Dec-2003 08:17 GMT
Dear Mr. Takemehomegrandma,


Don't forget the fact that we have old Amiga versions such as 3.1 and 3.5 a flexibile OS solution suitable for any Cell Phone and PDA actually in the market.

But thanks to Amiga Inc. and its predecessors we lost this market completely.

PDA's are stuck into WindowsCE and/or PalmOS!

JAVA provides interchange for stupid little games that seem a copy taken from C64, old Amiga's and Nintendo games

Another niche market lost...

AmigaDE was a good but unlucky idea, because is stuck with the PC Card hardware solution, while java-cell-games market is oriented to on-line buying services.

If you only think at how many people downloads a lots of games aimed at cell phones...

...giving IMMEDIATELY proper cash to the developers by simple composing java games distributors phone number!!!

Ah... Amiga Inc could have issued an on-line service to sell its DE games, only by setting up a server PC connected both to internet and phone services numbers...

...and they could have gained proper cash without deal with any shop distributors and waste money by realizing marketing campaign, packages, etc...

----------

About the Windows "Look and Feel" GUI properties to be added to our OSes, both AmigaOS4 and MorphOS I don't know the answer...

It could be a good thing, because it avoids people to learn again the concept of our OSes, while they already have Windows know-how,

But it could be also a Damocles Sword...

...because the market could perceive AmigaOS and MorphOS nothing than a clone of Windows...

...and to aim back ONLY at Windows because of the "originality" and mainly because of the price comparison...

----------

Superbundle is a good idea, but it lacks of programs considered a STANDARD into the Amiga world except for ImageFX LITE...

By the way is PageStream (even a Lite version) included into Superbundle?

Still not? Sad but true...

Is it included a good sequencer? A good 3D render program such as POVRAY or Blender?

(And consider the fact that we are still expecting for a MorphOS version of Blender, while POVRAY is still available thru '040 and '060 emulation, but it lacks of a GUI...

***Note the fact that none of the Morphos Programmer is working to port to Pegasos any of the Linux GUI's that existed now for POVRAY... And it could be an easy task to perform using GCC and just re-compiling original code***

Again, is a loss of time... we could use POVRAY and we are stuck in waiting for a working Blender version)

And to end it all, my humble statement is only one:

«Still none of these programs included into superbundle? What a pity!»



Ciao,

Raffaele
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 13 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Daniel Miller on 03-Dec-2003 09:03 GMT
tAKEMehOMEgRANDMA says: "...Windows actually defines everyone’s expectations of a computer desktop today. And what is that? You tell me! Is it the “My Documents”, “My Music”, “My Pictures” folders? Could be! The Start menu, the quick launch field, the tool bar, etc? Absolutely! Right clicking on an icon and getting a context menu (including the “properties” option)? Yes! Right clicking on the desktop to get the option of setting the looks of the desktop, the screen resolutions, the screensavers, etc? Sure! The list goes on (feel free to fill in the gaps). Mainstream people expect a desktop to behave in a certain way (the *Windows* way), and I am afraid that the tolerance for alternative ways of doing things in this area may be low among mainstream users."

You are right that many computer users, the majority I suppose, have never used a computer that was not running some variety Microsoft Windows. I think this is a real tragedy, because in modern age humans interface constantly with computers, and this human-machine interface has a deep effect on people's lives, and even the way they think about stuff. And therefore to the extent that Windows is a "bad OS" (however one defines that) Windows genuinely damages the way people think. And if you think Windows is a "good OS" then it *helps* the way people think. See what I mean? I mean that because people are so deeply intertwined with computers nowadays a bad OS is bad for people.

IMO Microsoft Windows is a bad OS.

Now like you refer to, there are certain behaviors that people expect: right clicking on the mouse brings up a menu of options, there is function or task-selecting bar along the bottom of the screen, etc. These elements are not necessarily bad in themselves. In order to provide a comfort zone for people, MorphOS could accomodate these elements. IIRC KDE desktop for Linux offers selectable behavior themes. With KDE you can click a preference button and your desktop acts more like Windows. MorphOS could do the same thing. By doing this and incorporating parts of Windows behavior, the user-friendliness of MorphOS is improved for people we want to switch over from Windows. And you know what, I don't think it requires a great allocation of development resources for MOS to have a preference button that reads "act like Windows" and changes a few things in the behavior of the desktop environment.

On a the other hand, on a separate subject, when you say "the goal would be to create a common set of desktop behaviours that leaps across the Pegasos flavours of all its supported Operating Systems, obviously somewhat inspired by Windows," that is something that would require a terrible amount of coordination and I don't think it is really practical. How is Genesi going to coordinate a common behavior theme across all the OSs that run on Pegasos, when these OSs are independently developed? The strength of having these different OSs is that they all do their own thing and independently try to do their best, what you are saying is that Genesi should step in and say "ok, but you should all act like this." So I think you are wrong about this one, but I agree with other stuff you said.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 14 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Dec-2003 09:40 GMT
I don't think copying the Windows interface is at all necessary. Nobody had any difficulty in moving from Amiga to Windows. It will be easier to move the other way - no harder than learning to use a new program.

What IS needed is file format compatability.

The web browsers must be able to correctly display all the pages that work with IE. Real and Windows media streams have to work. Logging on at Yahoo has to work. The DTP programs must be able to import Word docs (including layout and graphics). The audio programs have to work with WAVs as well as with AIFF, and support 24/96 like Windows programs. Spreadsheets must import/export Excel format.

It is about the data, not the GUI.

The GUI should simply be the best that can be designed - much better than the Windows GUI. The Linux crowd are making a big mistake in imitating Windows. Linux will be seen as just the poor man's Windows.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 15 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Dec-2003 09:46 GMT
In reply to Comment 13 (Daniel Miller):
"Now like you refer to, there are certain behaviors that people expect: right clicking on the mouse brings up a menu of options, there is function or task-selecting bar along the bottom of the screen, etc. These elements are not necessarily bad in themselves."

They are. At least, the Task Bar is. It reflects the limitation of Windows to a single screen, unlike the much more advanced Public Screen system used in Amiga/MorphOS. An Amiga screen contains only the GUI for the program you are currently using, without clutter of icons and rubbish.

A screens menu can easily hold a couple of dozen screens. The Task Bar gets crowded and hard to use if you have more than five programs running.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 16 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by takemehomegrandma on 03-Dec-2003 09:56 GMT
Bill Hoggett, JoannaK, Anonymous, I agree with you all. The point of my post was exactly to get posts like this.

The small OS's fills the small gaps (if any at all) in the market. But at the same time, many people, some companies, and some governments are hoping for a real alternative to Wintel for mainstream desktop usage. At the same time many supporters of small OS's are hoping for increased significance of their favourite OS. That is a driving force. Look at the Amigans for example, remembering the glory days when there were a number of computer platforms of importance and no one had the rock solid position as the Wintel has today, and we think "one day you'll see, the Amiga will do a comeback and once again become a platform worth keeping an eye on from outside this community".

Bill Hoggett: "A niche OS is suited to a niche market."

Absolutely. These small OS's will at best function as a back bone in a very specific hardware application, they will run in the background to drive some menus in a cell phone, a Set Top Box, a toaster or similar device. This is not bad. Not at all. It will be a great achievement for a small OS other than Linux to gain that much of significance in real life usage, most of the small OS's has no real point at all.

Anonymous: "Niche OS survive mostly because their supporters don't want to be part of the mainstream."

JoannaK: "As soon as MorphOS starts to Look and Feel Windows I'm gone.."

Me too, **And here is the paradox**, applications is one major piece of the puzzle to make any platform worth looking at. We want great applications for our "little" OS (not speaking about a menu system and TV tuner software in a STB here) that keeps up with *todays standards* in their respective areas. We want to use our favourite OS for similar things that we use Windows, but we refuse the things which might make the platform interesting for the developers of those serious applications that we will need. Sure, there are niche developers as well as niche OS's (doing "work of love" rather than expecting to actually live on their work until their pension), but making a 2004 level version of any *big* application will be *expensive* for any venture willing developer, in money, and (perhaps most of all) in time. The only way for the developer to hope for a small return of their effort is a broad (and I mean *really broad*, talking at least six figures here) acceptance for the OS they are developing on.

*Nothing* can threat the Wintel platform on broad desktop usage.

At the same time, *No OS* can survive and gain a sustainable evolution over time without serious applications comparable to those on the leading platform. The applications developers need broad support, but that won't happen in these small platforms.

Is there something in between?

Billions and billions of euros, and years and years of time, has been spent on ECDL training programs and similar, with the only purpose of making people understand what the start menu is, what happens if you right click on something, how to change your screensaver, how to start and use M$ Word, etc. Everything targeted towards the very specific *windows* and *Microsoft* way of doing things. Trojan horse or not, there *can not* be an alternative to Windows for desktop usage that does not emulate these things, because these are standards similar in significance as the alphabet, traffic rules, etc.

Some Linux flavours are hooking on to this to give it a shot, and is gaining some momentum too. Another effort is Lindows.

Other OS's may, as said before, find its role as backbones in various devices, thus the most important applications will be menu systems that can be controlled through your TV remote control and a light weight TV web browser, a TV mail client, a media player, an ICQ clone, etc ... **IF** a strong mother company can take it all on its own shoulders or find someone to share the burden (and the benefit). In the case of the Pegasos platform and Genesi, we seems to be lucky in this area.

But I can't help it. I am still dreaming "one day you'll see, the Amiga will do a comeback and once again become a platform worth keeping an eye on from outside this community". I am still dreaming about using MorphOS as *the only* OS, both for work and for pleasure. But I don't think that will ever happen, not for work anyway. I will always be stuck with windows to get access to the "real" applications.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 17 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by takemehomegrandma on 03-Dec-2003 10:36 GMT
In reply to Comment 13 (Daniel Miller):
@ DaNIel mILleR

> IMO Microsoft Windows is a bad OS.

IMO it's too!

> Now like you refer to, there are certain behaviors that people expect: right
> clicking on the mouse brings up a menu of options, there is function or task-
> selecting bar along the bottom of the screen, etc. These elements are not
> necessarily bad in themselves. In order to provide a comfort zone for
> people, MorphOS could accomodate these elements.

Agree!

> And you know what, I don't think it requires a great allocation of
> development resources for MOS to have a preference button that reads "act
> like Windows" and changes a few things in the behavior of the desktop
> environment.

Me neither thinks that the difficulties would be a matter of resources. But as you might see from some of the comments: "if it becomes like windows, then I'll leave". IMO this is a general feeling among us niche OS supporters. As I said earlier: "The more difficult task would be to implement these features on the various Pegasos OS’s without damaging the respective OS native feeling and unique benefits. This would be a delicate balance between niche and mainstream, between tradition x and tradition y, between unique custom solutions (with high learning curve) and broad acceptance, between geek only and broad success."

> On a the other hand, on a separate subject, when you say "the goal would be
> to create a common set of desktop behaviours that leaps across the Pegasos
> flavours of all its supported Operating Systems, obviously somewhat inspired
> by Windows," that is something that would require a terrible amount of
> coordination and I don't think it is really practical. How is Genesi going
> to coordinate a common behavior theme across all the OSs that run on
> Pegasos, when these OSs are independently developed?

This would only be interesting if one looks at the Pegasos as the common platform, and the various OS's as different options suitable for different needs, but still offers a common "Pegasos layer", a thing that binds them together on the Pegasos PPC hardware. It could be developed and maintained by Genesi, separate from the OS developments. People often ask "Why should I buy PPC hardware just to be able to run/develop for OS x/y when there is x86?". Well, how about the (option?) to make the OS (and it's applications) understandable to the general joe user, and thus at least removes an obstacle in the long way of a broad desktop acceptence and large number of sales? A "GenTop"? A "PegTop"? "TopPeg"? "To Peg or not to Peg?"
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 18 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by takemehomegrandma on 03-Dec-2003 10:39 GMT
In reply to Comment 14 (Don Cox):
@ Don Cox

> I don't think copying the Windows interface is at all necessary. Nobody had
> any difficulty in moving from Amiga to Windows. It will be easier to move
> the other way - no harder than learning to use a new program.

We are geeks. But not everyone is a geek. I still have to help some people at work with very easy windows related issues, often just a requester in which you have to click "OK" or something like that in order to move on, but some people just don't know how to do it. And this is still after:

"Billions and billions of euros, and years and years of time, has been spent on ECDL training programs and similar, with the only purpose of making people understand what the start menu is, what happens if you right click on something, how to change your screensaver, how to start and use M$ Word, etc. Everything targeted towards the very specific *windows* and *Microsoft* way of doing things."
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 19 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by opi on 03-Dec-2003 10:50 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Raffaele):
,,And it could be an easy task to perform using GCC and just re-compiling original code''

Sure, sure. It's just grab&compile. Just like any other application in C/C++. We shouldn't care about lack of GTK/QT/TK/whatever in MorphOS. It will work fine.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 20 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by itix on 03-Dec-2003 11:41 GMT
> Mainstream people expect a desktop to behave in a certain way (the *Windows* way), and I am afraid that> the tolerance for alternative ways of doing things in this area may be low among mainstream users. I dont think so. 99% of computer users never use My Computer or My Music or My Pictures... They just bootup their PC, launch MS Word, do what they are paid for, and go home. That is all.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 21 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Dec-2003 11:53 GMT
In reply to Comment 16 (takemehomegrandma):
"Billions and billions of euros, and years and years of time, has been spent on ECDL training programs and similar, with the only purpose of making people understand what the start menu is, what happens if you right click on something, how to change your screensaver, how to start and use M$ Word, etc. "

This is partly because the Windows GUI is hard to learn.

I taught the use of Amigas to hundreds of people, and in general they picked it up quickly. The basic principles such as "what is a file?", "what is memory?", "what is a disk drive?", "how do I get capital letters?", "how do I print?" is the same for both Amiga and Windows and Mac.

(So long as we keep the dreaded orthogonal persistence out of our OS.)

There _are_ things which can be made similar on all 3 platforms. For example, the first menu is the "file" menu on all. (Except in badly designed programs like Perfect Paint and FXScan that don't have menus.)

ZXCV are the same in all, you just have to remember to hold down the wrong key in Windows.

But the GUI of the Desktop/Workbench/Finder does not have to match. Nor does the GUI of various alternative Workbenches that we may see on AmigaOS, such as Magellan. (Is it technically possible to use an alternative Desktop on Windows, or Finder on Mac?)
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 22 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 03-Dec-2003 11:59 GMT
And by the way Mr. Takemehomegrandma,

You wrote:

>And what is that? You tell me!
>Is it the “My Documents”, “My Music”, “My Pictures” folders?
>Could be!
>The Start menu, the quick launch field, the tool bar, etc?
>Absolutely!

Absolutely dangerous...

My folder, My music, etc... are a way for M$ to oblige you to store data in certain places...


This will only help M$ Windows Media Player to trace your data and tell M$ what are your preferences...


And mainly are a SURE TARGET for the Viruses of the next generation...


Ahhh... the freedom to create a drawer labeled with a string I could prefer (instead of ***My-fuc##ng-obliged-name-folder***), and the liberty to put in it the datafiles I desire to store in...


Ciao,

Raffaele
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 23 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Dec-2003 11:59 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (takemehomegrandma):
"We are geeks. But not everyone is a geek."

No, but I think sales of real computers (as opposed to entertainment boxes) will still mainly be to people who are prepared to take a bit of time to learn how to use them. A real computer is for use for actually getting some job done that you want to do. It is a complex device, like a milling machine, and nobody really expects it to work without any intelligence on the part of the user.


" I still have to help some people at work with very easy windows related issues, often just a requester in which you have to click "OK" or something like that in order to move on, but some people just don't know how to do it. And this is still after:

"Billions and billions of euros, and years and years of time, has been spent on ECDL training programs"

I suspect that many of those courses were badly taught, and that a great many people in offices never had any real training. How many were shown a computer with the lid off, and had the RAM and disk drives pointed out to them?
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 24 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Dec-2003 12:03 GMT
In reply to Comment 22 (Raffaele):
"Ahhh... the freedom to create a drawer labeled with a string I could prefer (instead of ***My-fuc##ng-obliged-name-folder***), and the liberty to put in it the datafiles I desire to store in..."

But you are not forced to use those stupid folders.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 25 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 03-Dec-2003 12:17 GMT
In reply to Comment 16 (takemehomegrandma):
Also Mr. Takemehomegrandma wrote in msg. 16:

>Billions and billions of euros, and years and years of time,
>has been spent on ECDL training programs and similar,
>with the only purpose of making people understand
>what the start menu is, what happens if you right click on something,
>how to change your screensaver, how to start and use M$ Word, etc.

This is why Linux User Groups in Europe managed to realize guidelines to receive ECDL Driving Computer Licence even if the examination is based on Open Source Platforms...

And even if EU ECDL rules does not specificate it, this is perfectly valid...

If guidelines to achieve ECDL to relize final examinations on Amiga environment were already realized...

...then any person with an Amiga could achieve that licence by using it too...


And Mainly the LUG's of all europe are trying to force EU government to SPECIFICATE IN A CLEAR WAY that ECDL can be achieved by using other platforms too...

Ciao,

Raffaele


P.S.:

By the way, I think that European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is PURE CRAP!!!!

This is only a way to hire a tax by hidding it under another name...

...and MORE ECDL is intended to prevent people (who don't have ECDL itself) to partecipate examination for public jobs in the whole EU territory.


Bah... You could believe this is a way to prevent people which does not have computer skills to achieve public jobs of responsibility...

...but I think this skills MUST be acquired at the age that people goes to School and payed into the school taxes duties (i.e. CASH FREE)
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 26 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 03-Dec-2003 12:24 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Don Cox):
Mr. Don Cox wrote:

>But you are not forced to use those stupid folders.

I know it... You know it... We (who have computer skills) know it...

But a lot of people could think it is an obliged place to put data...

A little tricky done by our beloved M$...

Ciao,

Raffaele

P.S.:
Whoops I forgot to mention that YOU ARE FORCED to put your data in it...

...If you want to prevent Windows to overwrite it, if a Windows re-install is needed.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 27 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by takemehomegrandma on 03-Dec-2003 12:28 GMT
In reply to Comment 20 (itix):
> I dont think so. 99% of computer users never use My Computer or My Music or
> My Pictures... They just bootup their PC, launch MS Word, do what they are
> paid for, and go home. That is all.

And where do they save their work? The save requesters in most programs are set to these folders by default, so many people will use them just because of the ease. They will also look in the "My Documents" folder, when they want to find one of their documents. Some open requesters starts there by default. It becomes a habbit, thus a standard.

You are not *forced* to use those folders. But many people actually likes that system since it helps them getting a structure over their data, and they *might* expect folders like that on whatever desktop they sits down behind (allthough I don't think that those folders are one of the key points anyway).
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 28 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by takemehomegrandma on 03-Dec-2003 12:47 GMT
In reply to Comment 26 (Raffaele):
> But a lot of people could think it is an obliged place to put data...

Well, as long as you have some data you need to put somewhere, why not there? A small issue anyway ...
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 29 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Atheist2 on 03-Dec-2003 13:29 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Don Cox):
>>Ahhh... the freedom to create a drawer labeled with a string I could prefer
>>(instead of ***My-fuc##ng-obliged-name-folder***), and the liberty to put
>> in it the datafiles I desire to store in..."

>But you are not forced to use those stupid folders.

I created a custom tree, and it can't be found/gotten to using the "explorer" program (no, it's not marked as "hidden"). I have to use the find command to find and get to it.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 30 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Raffaele on 03-Dec-2003 13:30 GMT
In reply to Comment 28 (takemehomegrandma):
Mr. Takemehomegrandma wrote:

>> But a lot of people could think it is an obliged place to put data...

>Well, as long as you have some data you need to put somewhere,
>why not there? A small issue anyway ...

Well, this is for sure a benefit, because newbies have the tendency to save data into any directory they can, losing the paths where to recall them, corrupting demo files and MAINLY programs or system files...

BUT

Windows when saving opens an HUUGE requesters... a little info string on these requester windows could advice user to put his/her data into preferred directories, choosen by the user himself.

Or a pop-up alert (AND Windows is full of these Question Mark or Alert triangle annoying pop-ups) could advice the user he could save data even on different directories created by his own wish...

And mainly I wonder what will happen with Windows Longhorn release, where data could be phisically present everywhere due to WinFS file system...

A filesystem which hides the *TRUE* phisical postion of your data, obliging you ***the user*** to trust completely the OS capabilites to store and manage data...

And mainly an OS which has with WinFS capability of retrieve data files everywhere on the net letting you ***the user*** (and mainly ***the common user***) to believe these data come out of your phisical platform as a rabbit from a cylinder hat...

He who does not control his platform, has no proper control of his work, and mainly he has not the control of his freedom to choice different ways to manage his own data...

Ciao,

Raffaele
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 31 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Kolbjřrn Barmen on 03-Dec-2003 14:27 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (hammer):
That links doesnt explain what kind of exploit it is.

It's a local-root exploint, meaning a user on the system can become root by using the exploit. And FYI - root-kits is not something new in the history of Linux, or any other OS. With the free unixen though, the fixes are avaible almost instantly, allthough some distributers are slower than other; that's not a problem with the Linux as OS, but rather a problem with certain distributers.

As for _any_ Amiga-like OS; there is not need for local root exploits, local users and processes/tasks already have all accesses to the entire system. How smart is that on a network? Not smart at all. And that's the major reason why _any_ Amiga like OS _never_ will gain any marked share - it would be insane to make anything that fundamentally fragile (read flawed) "mainstream".
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 32 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by bbrv on 03-Dec-2003 14:38 GMT
This is a really good discussion. We will come back, but have to run to the airport to pick up some people flying in today. We will come back here. Thanks TMHG for kicking this off!

We need more of this kind of discussion!

:-)

R&B
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 33 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 03-Dec-2003 14:52 GMT
In reply to Comment 27 (takemehomegrandma):
A better way is to use the last directory opened by the program so you do not need to brows back to same directory over and over again, it makes it easier when you projects and are suppose to store images at same directory over and over again, a good program should remember the directory used to next time it started, what really makes programs that are designed for dummy’s silly is the fact they tend to scan for image types and media, so you can easier get to them, this future basically strips you of directory categorisation and work against the basic design.

As for AmigaOS already have the My Documents, My Picture feature built inn as assign’s, and partisan naming and that makes them more customizable then the windows design, the only difference is that they do not show up at the desktop, than again, how needs them as long as you have links and the possibility to put icons on the desktop. live out feature as it called,
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 34 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 03-Dec-2003 14:58 GMT
In reply to Comment 10 (Atheist2):
/* AmigaOne! AOS4+.x! New and Exciting! */

Yes I know, I all ready have a AmigaOne, the only thing missing is the AOS4.x++ thing.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 35 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 03-Dec-2003 15:15 GMT
In reply to Comment 14 (Don Cox):
/* The GUI should simply be the best that can be designed - much better than the Windows GUI. The Linux crowd are making a big mistake in imitating Windows. Linux will be seen as just the poor man's Windows.*/

Yes I agree, from a views point of angel, the KDE and Gnome is reflection of Windows, how ever Gnome as more of it’s own facility’s the KDE has, the only problem is that KDE is way ahead and Gnome in it design, the one thing I heat about Linux/Windows desktop is that you can’t find the same directory or categorisations on file level, the configurations all stored in text files and links are not real soft/hard links etc. volume names are almost never used etc,
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 36 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Dec-2003 15:42 GMT
In reply to Comment 33 (Kjetil):
I think there is atleast one patch which can show assigns as a icon in WB desktop. I can't remember it's name or where did I saw it.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 37 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 03-Dec-2003 15:52 GMT
In reply to Comment 27 (takemehomegrandma):
But if you just use "My Documents" then you might end up with total mess of different documents. I have seen that happen with many Windows boxes. Lot's of people just save their document there whitout any logical grouping. I think it's better that application filerequester opens from default directory. Default folder could be applications own directory, like PROGDIR: in amiga, or it could be last folder used.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 38 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Ilwrath on 03-Dec-2003 16:55 GMT
In reply to Comment 37 (Anonymous):
But if you just use "My Documents" then you might end up with total mess of different documents. I have seen that happen with many Windows boxes. Lot's of people just save their document there whitout any logical grouping.

Hmm... I actually think that IS the behavior most basic users expect. They don't care if it's a Word document, RTF, PDF, Excel Spreadsheet, text file, jpeg picture, whatever... They just double-click it, and it OPENS PROPERLY IN A PROGRAM THEY RECOGNIZE. If this doesn't happen, they are lost. It's why Linux doesn't work as a desktop OS, yet.

OpenOffice.org CAN open lots of Word documents, RTF files, etc... BUT it doesn't always do it in a logical or consistant manner. And, most often, you end up having to open the app, THEN import the document to get it to come in cleanly. I've found users refuse to take this step, as they don't know/don't care WHAT FORMAT the data is, just that it opens.

To a basic user, the apps ARE the computer. They don't know how to import/export anything. They don't bother to convert anything. They double-click to open. That's really the only behavior that is needed to gain acceptance. The bugaboo is implementing it in a sensible way.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 39 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Bill Hoggett on 03-Dec-2003 17:06 GMT
In reply to Comment 35 (Kjetil):
@Kjetil

Volume names are never used under Linux because everything is a file. It's a far more complex but flexible arrangement.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 40 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 03-Dec-2003 17:18 GMT
In reply to Comment 39 (Bill Hoggett):
This is my fstab, Se how I'm using volume names to mount my portions, it extremely important if you tend to remove or rearrange the harddrives on your computer.

<B>
LABEL=/ / ext3 defaults 1 1
none /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
LABEL=home /home ext3 defaults 1 2
LABEL=mp3 /mnt/mp3 ext3 defaults 1 2
LABEL=/usr /usr ext3 defaults 1 2
LABEL=local /usr/local ext3 defaults 1 2
LABEL=games /mnt/games ext3 defaults 1 2
LABEL=wine /mnt/wine ext3 defaults 1 2
LABEL=films /mnt/films ext3 defaults 1 2
</B>
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 41 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by TEST on 03-Dec-2003 17:46 GMT
[i]test[/i] test [I]test[/I]
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 42 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by TEST on 03-Dec-2003 17:47 GMT
In reply to Comment 41 (TEST):
I <I>TEST</I> test
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 43 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz on 03-Dec-2003 17:57 GMT
Haven't read the comments yet, responding to the article here...

> Linux currently has a major momentum in this field (and not only in the
> server market), much thanks to its buzz word name. But other
> not-so-difficult-to-understand OS’s might as well be winning from this.

Erm. Somehow, the "buzzword" excuse has become twisted to this scene over time. Initially, when Linux really *did* start hitting it extra-big-time (~1999 onwards?), it was a valid complaint from BSD users... and maybe from users of established niche OSes who really could see the TCO for certain 'niches' being lower, given what *NIX in general was still bad at at the time. (Desktop environments, 3D graphics, multimedia, etc.)

But obviously, buzz alone hasn't been enough to keep the momentum going. What's happened is that the GPL "Copyleft" really *has* sunk in as a solution to the EULA morass. (BSD, of course, remains as good from that perspective, but relatively ignored.)

It helps that the initial buzz got it over the hump regarding those weak points... and perhaps even convinced the "competition" to make relatively stupid calls... (compare/contrast a good Linux distro, with preconfigured Gnome or KDE, to an install of OS X. Is one really more or less mind-numbing than the other?)

> What is stopping them? What is needed to make a former niche OS acceptable
> as a desktop replacement for Windows?

Well, for corporate/campus type deployments... "Where the money is" for Linux, considering most home users install it for free... that EULA issue is a big one. Managers didn't have to care about Windows *screwing up* - they don't have to maintain it, they barely use it, they just sign the paperwork - but they do have to care when Microsoft makes *their* jobs more difficult.

Since this seems to be about MorphOS, well... all I can hit from Google is the Phoenix site, quoting "We have no EULA." However, as stated, that raises more questions than it answers... at least in the minds of PHBs, especially since both 'scene companies' here have long since established themselves as litigious.

If the intent *is* to sell commercially, on basis/protection of Copyright alone, there should be an EULA that states simply that. (And, um... I believe disclaimer of warranty boilerplate is usually always a good idea. Or are y'all confident MorphOS can be used in medical devices and life-support systems? ;))

...

To drag Apple back into it, notice the wave of iTunes backlash slowly building, as all the peons who bought into it given the press (apparently there was a big hippie spread in Time) finally discovered what "Rights Management" really means. People really are sick of this stuff across the board nowadays; I've yet to meet a mortal who can't accept that Free Software is a good thing, and the remaining excuses boil down roughly to "I'm too lazy," or "I want to reserve the opportunity to sue."

Presumably there's still some scratch to be made off the lazy ones - viz Apple's success - but of course, there are Linux companies targeting those types, too.

> Genesi is pushing the concept of the “Super Bundle”, a way to make sure
> that general usability is brought to a custom OS. I have personally
> enjoyed that effort for my MorphOS installation, but as far as I understand,
> the Super Bundle is not meant to be limited to MorphOS alone in the future.
> It’s a *Pegasos* concept, and the Pegasos is a *hardware* platform that is
> supported by lots of OS’s.

I'm not really out to bubble-burst, but to keep some perspective here... that's basically a *prerequisite* for a new OS launch. We had the A500 bundles; clonemakers used to toss in productivityware, OS/2 had a BonusPack, Linux distros now ship with something like 7 CDs of software (which was always a bit silly, given how fast things go stale these days, but not everyone had broadband), Windows bundled IE and Media Player ;)...

> The Super Bundle is great. But applications are only one piece of the
> “mainstream acceptance puzzle”, what other pieces are there? The desktop
> will be another. From a *Pegasos* perspective, perhaps some kind of a
> “Pegasos Open Desktop” standard could be created? I’m not talking about
> a technical solution here, not a low level technical standard or API, but
> rather a behavioural (and expectational (is that a word BTW?)) standard
> from a “Joe User” perspective. The goal would be to create a common set of
> desktop behaviours that leaps across the Pegasos flavours of all its
> supported Operating Systems, obviously somewhat inspired by Windows.

This sounds like a good idea, but the problem is, not only does it create modality ("Which OS am I running now?") -- which is generally anathema to 'usability,' the science of getting on with life without having to worry about crap -- it creates *hidden* modality. If you sit down to a Linux box, perfectly skinned to resemble OS X, you still won't be able to find iTunes (or you'll scratch your head when XMMS pops up instead).

Hmm, why does it keep coming back to Apple? In this case, they seem to have got something right once, and forgotten about it, or in some senses, had it 'devalue' into the base product for everyone. From the description of A/UX ( http://www.applefritter.com/ui/aux/ ), you could 'move up' from your piddly LC II or whatever to one of those old giant deskside servers they used to sell, and not only would the UI *look* consistent, but all your old software would 'just work' - meaning all that consistency served a purpose, as there was software to be consistent with.

So, this is as 'good' an idea as it would be for OS4/A1Linux or anything else, but it's important to recognize the limits, and not pretend you can offer more consistency than you, uh... can. It gets exceptionally confusing with MOS, considering it's all about the skins... and getting those selections to 'propagate' across all OSes on a system may be asking a bit much.

Which is why the 'Start Menu' becomes an example here in the first place... so pick one UI element (docks, maybe? Everyone likes docks this year... Everyone likes Start Menus, too, but that's got Microsoft's branding all over it), and some sort of standard iconset (aiee, iconics) for browsing/editing/media-playing/etc, while including enough reminders in the defaults for bundled OSes that a user can instantly identify the one they've actually got booted (desktop backgrounds, color codes, whatever), and avoid making stupid reflexive mistakes.

> Because like it or not, the Microsoft Windows is the de-facto standard when
> it comes to desktop OS’s. Perhaps the looks and graphical design isn’t the
> most important thing here, variations in appearance and visual looks may be
> accepted, but “the masses” are used to the way things are organized and
> managed in the Windows desktop environment. Windows actually defines
> everyone’s expectations of a computer desktop today.

Linux went through this three years ago, and finally got over it...

> And what is that? You tell me! Is it the “My Documents”, “My Music”, “My
> Pictures” folders? Could be! The Start menu, the quick launch field, the tool
> bar, etc? Absolutely! Right clicking on an icon and getting a context menu

It helps that Microsoft came up with those names because that's where everyone wedged their stuff *anyway.*

"My Music" and "My Pictures" are pretty arbitrary, except as defaults for installed software. (At least you can find where WMP will dump rips, say.)

A cute feature of OS/2 was the ability to make any folder a "Light Table," meaning it'd throw up image thumbnails... Which is probably where MS got the idea for 'My Pictures' from, though again, it's a fairly obvious feature. I *think* XP actually has come full-circle with that and you *can* make any folder behave like 'My Pictures' if you find the option buried in the preferences, but it's been a while since I touched the software.

> (including the “properties” option)? Yes! Right clicking on the desktop to
> get the option of setting the looks of the desktop, the screen resolutions,
> the screensavers, etc? Sure!

That creates a bit of a problem with the consistency Amiga-derived UIs *do* have... but adding some 'control panel' shortcuts to the Workbench menu or equivalent probably wouldn't be a bad thing. (Apple again - Classic wedged this on the 'control strip' for whatever reason, go figure. Even though the link to 'Control Panels' is right up there in the Apple menu anyway...)

> Mainstream people expect a desktop to behave in a certain way (the *Windows*
> way), and I am afraid that the tolerance for alternative ways of doing things
> in this area may be low among mainstream users. On Linux we see different
> window managers and desktop solutions; some are obviously striving to emulate
> the windows behaviour in several ways. This is no coincidence IMHO, neither is
> the fact that the PocketPC grew so fast, and that Windows enabled cell phones
> are gaining acceptance rapidly. Branding is only a minor part of the
> explanation IMO, the “familiar feeling” of the user envireonment may be more
> important. That lowers any entry barriers for the customer.

PocketPC finally took off these past few years because every other PDA sucks worse, really. Palm's practically been on hiatus (and has always been overpriced/performance, since "they're about usability," which apparently meant bad displays and lack of gesture recognition, Psion's been almost-dead, Zaurus is great but a little pricey and lesser-known, PocketCosmo never made it over here, and all the other Linux PDAs were either doomed from the start (VR3) or never really showed up outside the Asian market. (Every once in a while, I see a Yopy on eBay... but it'll be hard to justify it against an iPaq, which of course, gets tallied as a CE device even if I'd be buying it for Familiar/OPIE/whatever.)

The longer you use Gnome and KDE, the more you notice what they've cribbed from *everyone,* as usually happens in UI design. Originally, KDE actually reminded me more of OS/2 than Windows, and Gnome is... on crack. ;)

Amusingly, the only player left in the "copy Windows completely" camp is Sun; they came a little late to the party, but they should have some success now that Microsoft is toying with the look and feel. (It's bass-ackwards, y'see. When everyone *else* copied Windows, then you may as well have been using Windows. Now that Microsoft is off 'evolving' the Windows UI again, corporates are probably shuddering at the thought of retraining everyone or paying IT the extra minute of time to revert machines back to the 'classic' look... Since Sun seems to land those sort of bizarre, pre-post-conservative customers, I wager they'll have some luck with it after all.)

> Well, how could this be achieved on the Pegasos platform, to make its OS’s
> more usable for mainstream desktop applications? A beginning would perhaps
> be to define a set of core user expectations of a desktop’s behaviour, like I
> started above. This would be quite easy. The more difficult task would be to
> implement these features on the various Pegasos OS’s without damaging the
> respective OS native feeling and unique benefits. This would be a delicate
> balance between niche and mainstream, between tradition x and tradition y,
> between unique custom solutions (with high learning curve) and broad
> acceptance, between geek only and broad success.

I think there really is a line here... Either people are somehow (however they do doesn't matter) able to adapt to different systems... or they just aren't, and in that case, even reordering their 'Start Menu' or whatnot would probably be enough to throw them off.

It can't hurt to try, I'd like to see what actually *does* happen, but again, a little pessimism here.

> Could it be done? How? Is this needed? Is it wanted?

Well, if you rilllly wanted to propagate skins across all OSes, it could be done... but you'd need WMs compatible with the skins, and to cross your fingers that someone won't invent a new standard widget common among UIs on OS Y that completely breaks the skinning mechanisms...
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 44 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Bill Hoggett on 03-Dec-2003 18:08 GMT
In reply to Comment 40 (Kjetil):
@Kjetil

Without looking at it too deeply, it seems to me you're creating your own problem. It seems to me you should be labelling the mount points, not the actual physical location through fstab.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 45 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Don Cox on 03-Dec-2003 18:13 GMT
In reply to Comment 39 (Bill Hoggett):
"Volume names are never used under Linux because everything is a file. It's a far more complex but flexible arrangement."

Yes, but it is a fiction. There is a real difference between a physical disk, a partition, and a directory. For example, one drive may be removable and another not. Two partitions on the same drive may have different block sizes.

The Unix approach obscures this by trying to make everything look the same. It is just as confusing as "My Documents". The data storage system should make it clear where, physically, the data is recorded.

Especially now that there is such a variety of storage media in use.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 46 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Bill Hoggett on 03-Dec-2003 18:59 GMT
In reply to Comment 45 (Don Cox):
@Don Cox

> Yes, but it is a fiction. There is a real difference between a physical disk,
> a partition, and a directory. For example, one drive may be removable and
> another not. Two partitions on the same drive may have different block sizes.

So? Why should the user or even the application developer care?

You need to know how much free space you have left, but otherwise you really don't need to care which physical device the data is on. Removable devices are the exception, but not as long as proper mount points are used for them.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 47 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Kjetil on 03-Dec-2003 20:03 GMT
In reply to Comment 44 (Bill Hoggett):

<Without looking at it too deeply, it seems to me you're creating your own problem. It seems to me you should be labelling the mount points, not the actual physical location through fstab.>


well you need to attach partions to some where, or else how shoud the computer know where thay are located,

to assign label use "e2label"
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 48 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Bill Hoggett on 03-Dec-2003 20:53 GMT
In reply to Comment 47 (Kjetil):
@Kjetil

That's what the mount points are for. Those are looking at the physical hardware location. You are using labels to also attach to the specific hardware locations rather than doing it separately by attaching labels to the mount points, and that's what causes the problem.
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 49 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by greenboy on 03-Dec-2003 23:05 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Raffaele):
«Still none of these programs included into superbundle? What a pity!»

As far as Pagestream goes, it has been announced I think that it will be available. Superbundle, as has been said quite a few times, is not a static bundle. Just waiting to see more old apps improved and new ones get to the point they can be considered.

In case this has been answered - well, I've just not finished reading the thread yet ; }
Niche OS's for Mainstream Markets? : Comment 50 of 79ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous on 04-Dec-2003 03:08 GMT
In reply to Comment 46 (Bill Hoggett):
So? Why should the user or even the application developer care?

You need to know how much free space you have left, but otherwise you really don't need to care which physical device the data is on. Removable devices are the exception, but not as long as proper mount points are used for them.


well lets see if you gave two harddrives its nice to know which data is on which drive in case of HD failure or if you are going to use the HD to transfer data to another computer (I do it all the time fastest way to move gigs around, simply plug in a HD, power up, copy files over to new HD, power down and take the HD)

Also it is sometimes easy to simply backup to a second HD.

I can see huge problems with file servers as some tech rips out a HD and if there was proper file managment just break a few accounts yet your way probably break them all.

Lastly file managment. I do want to know what partition each file is on. This makes it easier to know where the file really is so ie if I am going to repartion I can move data to partition I'm not going to touch, or if a file is lost I can try and find it. Think about it what do you do if Windows spits up can't find c:\windows\system\some.dll you have to know file managment to put the file where windows is looking and it is not just windows other programs only look in certain directories for their files.
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