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Old 07-21-2012, 10:14 PM
David30 David30 is offline
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Post Why staying a "newbie" can really help
As a "newbie" to PC-BSD and a user of Ubuntu and Windows, I could provide plenty of feedback on how PC-BSD appears through the eyes of newcomers.

One thing that Ubuntu did to shoot itself in the foot was to force the Unity desktop on its users. The default GNOME desktop was removed and now users are presented with a bizarre vertical panel on the left, which becomes very confusing to use and it's easy to become "lost" when you have a program with many windows open e.g. a web browser with chatrooms.

If the developers of PC-BSD are happy for me to suggest usability issues and improvements, I can do that. I use PC-BSD for hours and hours and notice these things, which are probably very easy to correct. Here's an example: in the default KDE, if you left-click on something in the bottom-right of the screen (such as the calendar), the only way to close it is to left-click on the same place again; there's no "x" (close) and left-clicking elsewhere on the screen does not make it close. It's confusing.

I know this suggestion sounds very similar to my other thread "Desktop FreeBSD ideas", but I want to know how to communicate with the developers (such as Kris and Matt) and contribute to making PC-BSD a popular alternative to Windows and Linux. It would be great to install PC-BSD on a "second" computer mainly for web browsing, without the constant threat of malware that plagues Windows.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:43 AM
purgatori purgatori is offline
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Just to pick you up a minor point, the "default" Gnome desktop, as of Gnome 3, would also strike you as "bizarre." Ubuntu's Unity is an attempt to overcome some of the shortcomings of that desktop. It doesn't do a very good job -- for e.g. showing both application shortcuts and running applications in that same left panel thing -- but the "default" Gnome desktop that you're referring to is no longer supported.

Nevertheless, I do agree that the perspective of a newcomer can be really valuable, and your calendar example is a perfect illustration of that
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:56 PM
David30 David30 is offline
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I'm going to stay a "newbie" because it's the best way I can help towards making PC-BSD easier to use for newcomers. It will help me to see what confuses newcomers, such as technical terms like "ports tree", "jails" and so on.

Putting GUI front ends on the technical stuff makes it easy for newcomers to work with the operating system, rather than having to "learn" it. So far, I like what I've seen of PC-BSD and I like it that the newcomer does not need to type in cryptic Terminal commands in order to accomplish simple tasks e.g. installing new apps.

I'm using GNOME because I find KDE superfluous and it has too many annoying pop-up helpers e.g. KWalletManager, indexer etc. Also, on KDE it's too easy to cause something unexpected to happen, for example, a window will maximise if you accidentally touch the top of the screen whilst you're trying to move that window. This confuses users. GNOME is a good "no frills" desktop environment, which is very easy to use and quick to navigate, but not ideal for small netbook screens, because 2 bars top and bottom on a netbook screen "squashes" apps.

I would love to do a write-up about these things, in just a few pages. It could be the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle which makes PC-BSD become popular? Remember how Firefox broke the monopoly of Internet Explorer for instance? I bet nobody thought something like that could happen!

Last edited by David30; 07-24-2012 at 12:58 PM. Reason: Sentence correction.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:31 PM
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I think that calender issue is KDE setting/bug, rather than something we have control over.

There are also a significant number of improvements to our GUI front-ends (or brand new GUI front-ends) as well as updated versions of the window managers like KDE within the upcoming PC-BSD 9.1 release. If you want, you can give the current PC-BSD 9.1-Beta1 image a shot and see how it works out for you.... :-)
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:42 PM
David30 David30 is offline
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I'm using the 9.1 Beta now.

A great "no frills" desktop that uses minimal resources would be great for newcomers. Have you seen how fast ReactOS runs in VirtualBox on a modern computer (ReactOS a clone of Windows that's still in Alpha!)? A fast desktop will give users' a great first impression.

I would like to see the day when a Windows user can sit down at a PC-BSD computer and use it straight away. No learning, no unexpected things happen if you knock the mouse wheel, no annoying pop-up helpers etcetera.

As for some great examples of GUI designs already implemented in one OS, take a look at a page of examples by clicking here: http://productsdb.riscos.com/admin/ros_test.htm. You will be amazed by it - I guarantee that!
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Old 07-25-2012, 11:41 PM
mwatkins mwatkins is offline
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Originally Posted by David30 View Post
I would like to see the day when a Windows user can sit down at a PC-BSD computer and use it straight away.
That would be an admirable goal if one's objective is to draw Windows users away from Windows to another OS that looks just like Windows. Other than indulging in disdain or hatred for Microsoft, what's the point?

React OS, which goes to lengths to say they don't have a *nix core, wouldn't be my idea of an ideal OS. RISC OS talks about features that are available in other systems, and, being owned by Pace, isn't likely to go anywhere except perhaps on their HD PVR boxes in some form, if even that.

Of the commercial desktop operating systems out there I guess Mac OS X comes closest to something I'd call ideal. My superficial experience with it - running OS X for several months on my "hackintosh" box, was fairly positive. I like how applications are added/removed and can see that being advantageous (from an end user perspective) over package/port systems I'm used to on FreeBSD on Linux.

PC-BSD I feel has a lot of promise thanks to the underlying FreeBSD OS but both swim against the Linux dominated current.

My first reaction is always +1 for lighter desktops environments (I run dwm most of the time, XFCE sometimes, Windows when necessary) but at the same time I realize that, if a user wants all the working services -- auto mount, suspend/resume, power control and so on -- found in a modern OS implementation for mobile and desktop devices then some heft is to be expected.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:33 PM
David30 David30 is offline
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Originally Posted by mwatkins View Post
My first reaction is always +1 for lighter desktops environments (I run dwm most of the time, XFCE sometimes, Windows when necessary) but at the same time I realize that, if a user wants all the working services -- auto mount, suspend/resume, power control and so on -- found in a modern OS implementation for mobile and desktop devices then some heft is to be expected.

Assuming PC-BSD will be installed on a modern computer made during the past 4 years - even a second computer, like a spare laptop for internet use, the user would expect auto mount and other services which are taken for granted, like power control etc. Consider if other "features" like wobbly windows and fancy animations are really necessary or a waste of resources which makes the GUI "feel" slower?

A lightweight desktop can be anything, but underneath the desktop you can have just about anything running. LXDE would be good if it did not have complicated configuration right-click options and if you had better mouse control and the ability to turn off "tap to click" on laptop/netbook touchpads (this "feature" is one I find *very* irritating; the amount of times I've accidentally clicked on something because of it!).

How do you develop a lightweight desktop environment that works really fast, but has all of the services the user expects (mentioned earlier)?

Finally, the link to the page about RISC OS shows how well a good GUI should be designed, like being able to right-click menu entries without the menu closing every time (as it would if you left-click in the menu), and so on; here's the link again for anyone who has not read the earlier messages:
http://productsdb.riscos.com/admin/ros_test.htm

Last edited by David30; 07-26-2012 at 09:36 PM. Reason: Correction made.
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Old 07-27-2012, 06:15 AM
fluca1978 fluca1978 is offline
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Originally Posted by David30 View Post
I would love to do a write-up about these things, in just a few pages. It could be the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle which makes PC-BSD become popular? Remember how Firefox broke the monopoly of Internet Explorer for instance? I bet nobody thought something like that could happen!

David, seems to me the desktop is causing to you much more issues than it should, since your last threads have only this subject. We suggested you to post something in the dev mailing list. I believe we are talking about nothing here, so it will be great if you can write down your ideas and how to implement them, and then we will discuss starting from there.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:01 AM
David30 David30 is offline
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You mean this page:

http://lists.pcbsd.org/mailman/listinfo/dev

?

Will they be okay with a newbie coming up with ideas?
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:40 AM
fluca1978 fluca1978 is offline
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Originally Posted by David30 View Post
You mean this page:

http://lists.pcbsd.org/mailman/listinfo/dev

?

Will they be okay with a newbie coming up with ideas?
This is a commuity, good ideas are accepted from all other the world.
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