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

Arthur Koziol A-Koziol at neiu.edu
Wed Jul 7 08:54:38 PDT 2010

On 07/07/2010 10:27 AM, Mike Bybee wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 7, 2010 at 7:01 AM, Arthur Koziol <A-Koziol at neiu.edu 
> <mailto:A-Koziol at neiu.edu>> wrote:
>     On 07/07/2010 4:25 AM, Johann Kois wrote:
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>         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>
>             <mailto:jkois at freebsd.org <mailto:jkois at freebsd.org>>>  wrote:
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>                 On 07.07.2010 01:02, finid at linuxbsdos.com
>             <mailto:finid at linuxbsdos.com>
>             <mailto: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
>     _______________________________________________
>     Testing mailing list
>     Testing at lists.pcbsd.org <mailto: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 harder.
> 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.


Yes, winning hearts and minds is tough. It's a bit like teaching stick 
shift to a person who's always had an automatic.

I also have implemented the strategy of F/OSS at my university. At 
current count, I have no less than 11 F/OSS apps (Firefox, Seamonkey, 
WinSCP, FileZilla, Paint.NET, JCreator, 7Zip, Tera Term, DoPDF, 
Audacity, ODF Add-in for Office) in our computer labs. They get used 
which I am happy about and some of those are in PC-BSD too which is 
neat. The more I impart upon the students that these are *normal* apps, 
the more they *become* normal apps. Our professors like 'em too which 
helps to increase their adoption as well. If people see these apps on 
other OS, perhaps a light bulb will go off. It's sometimes better to win 
the battle than the war.

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