Friday, April 30, 2010

Leafpad made my Linux Life much easier !

I very clearly remember one incident in the early days of my linux based computing life when I wanted to have multimedia repository enabled for my Mepis Linux and one of my online friend asked me to open sources.list as root with Vim on shell and uncomment the line for debian multimedia. It took me a long time to understand what he wanted me to do and still at the end I messed up my sources list . I will not blame him for why he asked me to go through all those incomprehensible steps just to do something which was very minor and routine for him but not for me because I was a Windows rescuer who was exploring something totally different.

But I don`t remember when and how I discovered leafpad , but definitely things became very easy and simple once I got familiar with this simple text editor. Currently , no matter if its KDE , Gnome , LXDE or E17 the first thing I want to grab from repositories is leafpad . As I often stress upon , people like me , those who don`t want to face Windows related problems and still seek an easy and basic but linux based secure home and office computing will prefer easy to handle packages than technically smart and more complex ones.

I love leafpad and I will be more than happy if  a seasoned linux user at any IRC Help room  asks a newbie to uncomment his/her sources.list in leafpad than Vim :)

Thanks for reading my posts , I am off to bed now , good day to all of you ! 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Why Should I use Unity Linux ?

There is a huge list of different types of linux distributions available today with choice to choose any one according to one`s need . Some distributions purely suit home users and others do not at all . Every linux distribution presents variety of problems times and again . To overcome these problems every linux distribution developers offer some sort of support offered through forums,documentations and IRC help/support rooms.Those projects which offer any kind of support to the end users get more loyal users and survive for longer times as compared to those who do not bother to offer any help.

The success of a support system offered by a linux project depends on how well  organized and systematically maintained it is and then delivered to the end users. It  also depends on how best targeted it is according to the users demands and knowledge level . Another key point is the easy access of users to such help system and the quick response of the support team to emerging issues with easy and adoptable solutions.

Communications skills of the support team is of the highest importance because home users are not linux experts and gurus and they easily get discouraged if the support team treats them unprofessionally or ridicule them for matters which may be of little value for the developers but of great importance for home users.

Saying all this I will leave aside the good and bad things of Unity Linux at this moment and talk about its help and support system briefly. Unity Linux is a relatively new project and still at RC level of its development . But it has established a growing number of users because of its solid, stable  & systematically maintained  help & support system . Unity team members and developers try to help users at their level of knowledge and understanding without posing as "I know everything" .

As I said above if a linux development team follows simple rule of caring for their products users and does it in a methodical way there is no doubt that such project grows and have a long life. Unity Linux team has realized this core concept and if they stick to it I see this project as a potential Best Desktop Linux Distribution (DLD ) for home users of all times.

Good and Bads of LXDE

KDE4 has given much to the computing world at the cost of its bloated composition. GNOME is fast & flexible but mostly liked by hardcore conventional Linux users. LXDE is a relatively new and highly adoptable free and open source desktop environment . Although designed to work on the older resource-constrained computers it works very well on new generation computers .

LXDE is fast , uncluttered  & easy to work on . As a home user I prefer one package per task distribution installation and LXDE works very efficiently fulfilling my this demand.

LXDE puts less strain on my computer`s physical memory making it much easier for me to perform my daily tasks without my mind being diverted to the response rate of my computer as it happens on KDE4.

The one bad thing about LXDE is the lack of ability to move and place icons on desktop which is really annoying . I like to place and group different icons sets on my desktop according to my needs so I don not need to think and locate icons of different packages at times of need. LXDE leaves icons glued to one place and I feel pissed off with this always. 

LXDE panel also has limitations and it takes some time to learn how to adjust to LXDE according to one`s needs. 

LXDE also lacks a well defined control center as is offered by KDE and GNOME and this is a real big short coming. Many distributions supply custom made tools for LXDE management because of lack of a native LXDE control center. Openbox is used along with LXDE and it helps to overcome many shortcomings of LXDE.

To become a fully adoptable and popular desktop environment for home computing LXDE development team has to concentrate on these shortcomings . Home users who want to escape the bugs of Windows would not want to fall prey to the complexities of how to set a desktop environment according to their requirements and the decades of windowing will relapse back if Linux stops racing for the "latest & greatest" things and seriously address the pitfalls which are constantly ignored. Home users can never be Linux gurus and the will not bother to learn new computing skills . They need a flexible, safe and easily adoptable working operating systems and desktop environments. LXDE is one such highly suitable desktop environment but needs serious combing out for things which will play a role in its popularity in home users.