First impressions

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First impressions

Postby virtualcliff on Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:45 pm

First an introduction, then some initial impressions.

I'm a newbie to Linux. I've been with Windows since Win98, and worked on PC's before Windows existed. I was a mainframe programmer for twenty years, ending up in a Unix platform. I would have been happy to stick with XP but Microsoft decided otherwise.

I've now got a brand new machine running Mint 16 Petra. The Mint installation DVD came with a lot of decent software, and so far it all works really well. I've installed Chromium with no problems. It was easy coming from Windows to the Mint desktop. That's the good news.

The less good news is when you want to install a new application. In Windows you can browse the internet and download an installation file. Or there is the Google app store. On mac there is the Apple Store. In every case you can view details of the product, read reviews, see screenshots and choose the one you like best.

On this platform I have to choose whether to look at packages or programs. Straight away there is a problem: how do I know where to look? OK, I choose one of these and browse through the lists. I have never heard of any of these, so I read the description. Some are helpful. Some are terse sarcastic statements from the developer telling you what it isn't. It transpires that most of the things listed are not applications at all, but development libraries or algorithms: no use to me at all, and I was a programmer.

If you venture out and find some downloads from the internet, as I did with Hamachi, then it's farewell to the twenty-first century and back thirty years to the command line. It reminds me of my old Dragon 32. This is fine if that's what you enjoy, as I once used to, back in the day. But if you're a games or small business user, one look at the terminal screen and it's down to PC World for a copy of Windows.

So what do I suggest?
1) Separate out the developer interface from the commercial interface.
2) For the commercial interface, embrace the GUI, relegate the terminal to emergency use only.
3) Set up A Linux Store like Google Play Store for browsing and installing new applications.
4) Allow self-regulation of application software. Remember when the Post Office had to approve every new phone before you could use it? No you probably weren't born then. It was unsustainable.
5) Try to instill the idea of user-friendliness at all levels. I have seen some appalling rudeness by "experts" on the forums. This doesn't endear you to your users.

I'm optimistic. I really hope to be still using this platform in five years when it will no longer be considered odd.

Cliff
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Re: First impressions

Postby administrollaattori on Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:51 pm

virtualcliff wrote: 3) Set up A Linux Store like Google Play Store for browsing and installing new applications.

That is against the idea of Linux. Linux is free, from you to us and from us to you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License
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Re: First impressions

Postby kurotsugi on Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:36 pm

That is against the idea of Linux. Linux is free, from you to us and from us to you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_General_Public_License
nope. that's not always againts the idea of linux freedom. he said "3) Set up A Linux Store like Google Play Store for browsing and installing new applications." this idea have been implemented long time ago (although it's not nicely done) on synaptic. mint also have mintinstall tool which serves same purpose with better implementation and surely we can't ignore ubuntu's store with his nice UI.

the "free" in GNU doesn't always means "gratis". it has close meaning with:
1. free to use
2. free to distribute
3. free to modify
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Re: First impressions

Postby xenopeek on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:31 pm

virtualcliff wrote:The less good news is when you want to install a new application. In Windows you can browse the internet and download an installation file. Or there is the Google app store. On mac there is the Apple Store. In every case you can view details of the product, read reviews, see screenshots and choose the one you like best.

Have you tried using Software Manager? This comes installed with Linux Mint and is the preferred way to install new programs for new users. You van view the details of each program, read reviews (and write reviews), see screenshots and choose the one you like best.

Software Manager installs programs from a central software repository, using a "packaged" archive format--hence the name "packages" you see everywhere. The Update Manager that goes with Software Manager handles updating all your installed programs (or actually, let's get used to the term, packages :wink:).

All the programs are free (gratis; not necessarily free as in freedom) so you can try any freely. As you browse the Software Manager's categories, usually the programs with a GUI are found at the top of the list of packages, and have a unique icon. Those packages with a generic icon are usually console applications or libraries.

My topic on how to install software on Linux Mint may be helpful: viewtopic.php?f=90&t=97158

virtualcliff wrote:1) Separate out the developer interface from the commercial interface.

I don't follow the part about the "commercial interface" as Linux Mint is gratis and has a software repository consisting only of gratis programs.
virtualcliff wrote:2) For the commercial interface, embrace the GUI, relegate the terminal to emergency use only.

Again, I don't follow the part about the "commercial interface", but there is no need to use the terminal. Software Manager, Update Manager, Software Sources, and Synaptic Package Manager together will let you do most things through the GUI.
virtualcliff wrote:4) Allow self-regulation of application software. Remember when the Post Office had to approve every new phone before you could use it? No you probably weren't born then. It was unsustainable.

You can submit packages to Debian and to Ubuntu (the distributions used as package bases by Linux Mint), or if that is too much of a hassle for you then you can also set up a PPA on Launchpad (Ubuntu's build service that will build packages for you). What a PPA is I explained on the topic I linked to above.
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Re: First impressions

Postby fraxinus_63 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:12 am

Coming to Linux from WIndows, one of the things that took me a couple of years to really appreciate was how different Linux package management is from anything I was used to. However, stick with it and use the Software Manager (as xenopeek suggests) to find out what's available (searching the internet as appropriate to find out more about the packages on offer) - that way, you should virtually never have to use the command line to install software. I use Mint all day every day and I seldom need to use the terminal.

All the best with your experience of Mint. I know I haven't addressed your broader concerns and questions - but the Software Manager is a wonderful thing when you get used to it.
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Re: First impressions

Postby jahid on Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:03 am

virtualcliff wrote:The less good news is when you want to install a new application. In Windows you can browse the internet and download an installation file. Or there is the Google app store. On mac there is the Apple Store. In every case you can view details of the product, read reviews, see screenshots and choose the one you like best.

On this platform I have to choose whether to look at packages or programs. Straight away there is a problem: how do I know where to look? OK, I choose one of these and browse through the lists. I have never heard of any of these,


the good news is when you want to install a new application. In linux you can browse the internet and download an installation file (for assistance see this). Or there is the software manager. there is also a synaptic package manager. In software manager you can view details of the product, read reviews see screenshots and choose the one you like best.

On this platform you should look into software manager for programs or packages whatever your need is. the search system here is pretty rich. If you type in the search field "video edit" then all the vedio editing tools will be listed by their ratings, isn't that great. you just need to convice the software manager what you need, it will find you the right thing.
and of course, the names are a little awkward if you compare them with windows as for us bangladeshi's the names of people in another countries are awkward.

N.B: please don't take my qoute's negatively, i thought it will be more appreciable if i answered like that.
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Re: First impressions

Postby InkKnife on Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:21 am

Sounds like you are using synaptic instead of the software center.
Once you get used to the Linux way you will see how superior it is to the Windows way. Sure, with Windows you can download software from thousands of sites but then you are confronted by all sorts of screwy and evil custom installers that usually try to stealth install some sort of horrible crapware.
Then there is the great Linux advantage which is centralized updates. No more manually searching for updates to applications or dealing with several completely different updates popping up at you at log-in. Within Mint it is a one button process which will update everything.
After dealing with the drudgery of keeping Windows updated I absolutely love how easy software maintenance is on Mint.
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Re: First impressions

Postby virtualcliff on Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:46 am

Thanks for all your replies. I really hope to make a go of this. I didn't come here to sing the praises of Windows :!:

Just to clarify - when I said "Store" I didn't intend to suggest anything financial, just the presentation. And when I said "commercial" I meant "end user".

The ordinary user doesn't want to be looking for a program in Software Manager, and find, let's say, CLUCK (I hope this doesn't exist!) with the description "This won't solve all your display problems at a stroke". And that's it. There are plenty of real examples like this.

Most listed applications have one or two screenshots at most and a one-line description. This is inadequate, and it could easily be so much better.
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Re: First impressions

Postby lexon on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:19 pm

I came from W98SE in 2003.
Started with a PDP-8I in 1972 with ASR 35 TTY and paper tapes. The PC controlled a NASA high power tracking radar that had a 60 foot diameter dish. Hated the software.
I suspect you know now that as a Linux user, you are expected to fully convert so the issues you mention will not be a problem.
I still do not use Command line. To many DOS memories.

L
Lindows, Linspire, Freespire, Ubuntu, Mint 15 Cinnamon, Mint 16 XFCE, Mint 17 Cinnamon 64 bit.
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Re: First impressions

Postby daveinuk on Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:55 pm

Cliff, you've not said whether you're looking for software with the software manager or synaptic package manager? It does sound like you're using synaptic, I could be wrong?
Was just going to suggest trying software mananger instead, as that is, kind of, mints version of an 'app store'. . . . . you can still search online for software of course but the whole point of the software centre and synaptic is that you'd be installing tried/trusted software that's safe above all - being honest I prefer to install via synaptic, if I've done a little searching and know what I'm looking for, otherwise I do browse the SC now and again. Agreed, some of the descriptions I've seen in synaptic are a tad blunt, it appears a bedside manner doesn't always come installed with programmers . . . . . . :lol:
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Re: First impressions

Postby beauman on Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:20 pm

Hi there, I'm using Linux Mint for three month now. That were my first impressions, after three days or so. I was really impressed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBPjktjX9AM

Today I got even more impressed. I installed Deepin Linux just for fun. That's a Chinese derivative of Ubuntu. It's running so flawless, I couldn't believe it...
Running out-of-the-box, w/o a single command at the terminal or w/o any extension/tweaking/special config settings: dual-head with different solutions, Bluetooth data transfer to an Android phone, special media keys, wifi, mp3, mp4. The video player recalls the last position of a movie. Flash, pdf, screenshot, nice looking login manager. Good work. It's amazing how Linux is advancing at the moment...

http://www7.pic-upload.de/28.03.14/1xkwx7s9ucii.png
http://www7.pic-upload.de/28.03.14/vfc12jr1trk.png
http://www7.pic-upload.de/28.03.14/3e8ijfik8pvm.png
http://www7.pic-upload.de/28.03.14/3js3185fotj.png
http://www7.pic-upload.de/28.03.14/y7flnqt7ljsh.png
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