[PC-BSD Testing] PC-BSD 8.1 RC1 - thoughts and ideas

Mike Bybee mbybee at dometrilogy.com
Wed Jul 7 08:27:42 PDT 2010

On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 7:01 AM, Arthur Koziol <A-Koziol at neiu.edu> wrote:

> On 07/07/2010 4:25 AM, Johann Kois wrote:
>> Hash: SHA1
>> On 07.07.2010 02:20, Mike Bybee wrote:
>>> On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 4:19 PM, Johann Kois<jkois at freebsd.org
>>> <mailto:jkois at freebsd.org>>  wrote:
>>>     -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
>>>     Hash: SHA1
>>>     On 07.07.2010 01:02, finid at linuxbsdos.com
>>>     <mailto:finid at linuxbsdos.com>  wrote:
>>>     >>>
>>>     >>  I actually like the development tab and use it regularly - I'd
>>>     vote to
>>>     >>  keep it. Realistically very few actual 'end users' use PC-BSD,
>>>     but a lot
>>>     >  of devs do.
>>>     >
>>>     >  Mike, those "end users" are actually waiting, desperately waiting
>>> for
>>>     >  PC-BSD to become a lot more end user-friendly, so that they can
>>>     use it.
>>>     >
>>>     >  --
>>>     >  Fini D.
>>>     >   ___________________________
>>>     Hm, you want to clarify what makes the system so "totally unusable"
>>> at
>>>     the moment?  So that "the end-users" cannot use it?
>>>     jkois
>>>     - --
>>>      Johann Kois
>>>      jkois(at)FreeBSD.org
>>>      FreeBSD Documentation Project
>>>      FreeBSD German Documentation Project - https://doc.bsdgroup.de
>>> If you mean that seriously, I can provide notes from my most recent
>>> pilot project. If you're being facetious, then I would recommend you go
>>> find a random business person and ask them to use PC-BSD for 2 weeks.
>> I am always serious.  No time for joking around on mailinglists.  But if
>> such a statement as above is made (and "cannot use a system" for me
>> equals "is not usable, therefore unusable") I just want to know what
>> exactly the encountered problems are.
>> But that is not the real point here.  I agree there are several issues
>> regarding the usage of PC-BSD which will/can create problems especially
>> for end-users (by that I mean newer/less experienced users).
>> But:
>> - - Are all these problems documented somewhere?  And I am not talking
>> about a post on a mailinglist here, because it is pretty easy to miss
>> such reports within all the posts on the list.  Maybe they are all
>> reported on http://trac.pcbsd.org as feature requests/problem reports?
>> - - If they are all documented/reported.  Is there enough manpower to
>> investigate/implement all these changes?  Does the PC-BSD Project even
>> have the possibility to change/fix all of them?  I think we know the
>> answer to that questions (unfortunately) ...
>> - - What is/should be the ultimate goal of PC-BSD?  Making experiencing
>> "BSD on the desktop" easier?  Or make it the "perfect desktop
>> experience"?  In reality it is probably the first one, but what many
>> people would like to see is the second one (again mostly a problem of
>> available manpower/ressources).
> <two cents>
> I've been reading the posts and didn't want to chime in until now because
> the common theme
> I'm seeing running through some of the messages can be translated to: BSD
> to Windows users
> is alien because stuff is not where they're used to seeing it. And being a
> 20+ years Windoze guy,
> I can understand. It's not so much that this or that doesn't work, it's
> more so that the typical Windows
> user, given PC-BSD (or Linux), is coming from a very ingrained and
> conditioned purview and their
> first thought is "Where's Word? Where's IE? Where's the setting to change
> my wallpaper and screen
> saver? How do I do ___?" And so on, and so forth. For us computer folks and
> power users, we can
> make do with alternatives to the typical stuff that's out there even if
> there's a curve to learning it.
> Hey, I've played with everything From Plan9 OS to QNX, nothing scares me.
> *NIX is not Windows and
> you can't ever *make* it like Windows no matter how much we like or hate
> Windows. I oft wonder if the
> biggest Achilles heel to wider *NIX adoption is certain communities'
> partisan aversion to making it act
>  or look like Windows. After all, haven't you noticed how Vista and,
> especially, Win 7's GUI looks almost
> *EXACTLY* like KDE 4.x's GUI? Apparently, it hasn't stopped Microsoft from
> cloning KDE's looks.
> Sorry Gnome! :-D   I digress.
> Working for a big university here in Chicago, I see this phenomena when we
> hire student workers to
> work in our computer labs. Our "hiring station" is a Mac and we expect any
> student we hire to at least
> *know* how to use a Mac. 99% of the time I hear..."Uh, can I use a PC to do
> this test?" That's because
> most of the kids coming in grew up on Windoze. If familiarity breeds
> contempt, unfamiliarity must surely
> breed confusion.
> I think of it this way, Windows users (and quite a few *NIX folks) make fun
> of Mac users because Mac OS
> is so "dumbed down" and Mac users aren't exactly the brightest bulbs on the
> Christmas tree. It's this
> easy to use, any-idiot-can-figure-it-out, OS, right? I guess so. I have a
> Mac right next to my office PC
> and I am adept enough to get around it. But the fact of the matter is, I am
> *that* statistic of user who
> grew up on Windows because it's what was dropped in my lap wherever I had a
> job and what I had
> to use to get my job done. My segue is this: Why is it that the same
> Windows people (regular and power
> users) who make fun of Mac folks for being dumb, fumble and crumble like a
> house of cards when you
> drop a *NIX distro in front of them? It's like the reaction of one of those
> fainting goats.
> So, I know these gripes of Windows users when I've shown them PC-BSD. It's
> so ingrained in their
> head that what they see on the screen *must* be some new kind of skin you
> slapped on Windows
> but damn you where did you hide all the apps I'm *used* to seeing? I
> piloted PC-BSD 8 with my wife
> at home and within 5 minutes she was cursing me out. To her defense, she'd
> be more comfortable
> on Mac if you catch my drift. Maybe in Bizarro World, everyone uses PC-BSD
> and Windows is the
> foreign OS. :-)
> So, to sum it up, it's not BSD, PC-BSD, or Linux's fault. It's not a
> usability problem. It's probably
> not a lack of applications problem. I think it's that there's a glass
> barrier that exists and that the
> population in general has been spoon fed and conditioned to use one thing
> or that there's one
> way of doing something. Change doesn't come with a lot of bumps in the road
> and resistance
> in one form or another. What we can do as enthusiasts of the brand (should
> I copyright that
> phrase?) is to work at making it past the barrier and do what we can to
> introduce it to people
> so it can get wider adoption.
> </two cents>
> cheers,
> Arthur
> _______________________________________________
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> Testing at lists.pcbsd.org
> http://lists.pcbsd.org/mailman/listinfo/testing

I think you hit some of the issues on the head here - but even with
open-minded and technical people (like me, who's been on FreeBSD since
version 2.2.1 at least, and some of our Linux and AIX admins) there are some
things that are just plain broken. We curse at some of these images and
releases more than we'd like to admit ;)

Those things at least can be fixed, we can put our fingers on them. The
other things that you touched on are perception based, and that is SO much

On the upside, since my doomed pilot I referred to earlier, I've gotten a
lot of people to start using F/OSS apps on their Windows machines (Chrome,
FF, Pidgin to name a few) and that *does* help overall.

Mike Bybee
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