[TriLUG] Software for Linux newbies
28 May 2002 16:07:56 -0400
On Sun, 2002-05-26 at 23:53, Ben Pitzer wrote:
> Making an excrutiatingly long point somewhat less long, I'll just say
> that telling folks what they can use is infinitely preferable to telling
> folks what they should use. Recommending KDE, Kmail, Pan, Star Office,
> xmms, etc is fine. Tell the newbies why you think that they should use
> those. But don't sell them short. Also tell folks about some of their
> alternatives, and recommend that they explore those. Let them know that
> the Linux community has thousands of options, and that they are free to
> explore each and every one of them, almost entirely for free.
Ben, I think we're in violent agreement. One of the great things about
Linux is the matter of choice. However, for a newbie, especially one
from a MS environment, the variety can be somewhat bewildering. When I
loaded my first Linux distro, I had a choice of five text editors, six
or seven GUI/desktops, three word processors, three spreadsheets, two
presentation programs and a partridge in a pear tree. Trying to make
sense of all that was a daunting task. Fortunately, I'm used to trying
out software, so I was able to do some research and trial and error and
figure out what I needed.
While I could do that with ease, my wife would have just given up and
gone back to AOL. For her, and, I suspect, for many others, the number
of choices would be overwhelming, especially for those people who start
out simply wanting to get their work done.
More dismaying for me was that, out of the box, there were some critical
applications that were NOT there, e.g., a DVD player and MP3 ripper.
While I understand the legal issues surrounding those, most newbies will
expect those capabilities right away.
What I'm suggesting is not the One and Only Correct Set of Software for
Newbies, but, rather, a reasonable software suite that can be set up
quickly and easily and allow folks to catch their breath and be
productive as they explore the plethora of choices that is Linux.
> Now I'm going to wrap myself in the American flag and hum "God Bless
> America" until you all stop applauding.
Are you sure your name isn't really Oliver Wendell Douglas?
Thanks for the insights,