I’ve been using many different desktop environments over the years. Not only the many desktop’s available under Linux but also the various different iterations of Windows and Apple’s OS. Some allowed me to do my work quickly while others just frustrated me to the point that I spent more time fighting the computer than doing actual work.
I have been thinking about what causes this frustration for a while. In today’s Hacker Public Radio episode I draw parallels between my frustrations at trying to start an automatic car with peoples frustration with computer interfaces. I realize that my frustrations may be with my own expectations rather than with the interface itself.
In the computer world when I hear people say that “Linux is not ready for the desktop”. I have to look at all the people around me that are having no problem using Linux as their only computing environment. People across the spectrum of ages and abilities but the one thing they have in common was that they have no preconceived ideas of how a computer works. They approach it by asking ‘how do I…” as opposed to “why can’t I…”.
So if you are having a problem with the Linux Desktop perhaps it is because it’s to much like what you have used before. Fortunately with free software there is a choice of how you interact with your computer. You’re not stuck with an automatic or a stick shift. Try out other desktop environments until you find one you like and most importantly ask questions.