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digitalmars.D - [OT] Granny-friendly Linux Distros?

reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
We've got a lot of very reasonable, level-headed Linux folk on this board:

I'm helping my mom look for a laptop to replace her ~10 year old one, 
and given all the mess Windows Update has been making of things since 
about Win7 onwards, I'm temped to just stick her on Linux (especially if 
I can't find anything still using Win7). Heck, 90% of what she does is 
just web browser anyway, with the other 10% being pretty much Linux 
compatible stuff (Hmm...although come to think of it, only possible 
exception might be her iPhone...I'll have to look into that, I'm not an 
iOS guy...).

Any suggestions on a potentially granny-friendly distro? (If such 
exists.) Personally, I use Manjaro, but I definitely don't want to set 
her up with that: While I think rolling-release would be a good fit 
(avoid the mess of periodic OS re-installs), the Arch/Manjaro updates 
all to often wind up failing and require manual intervention to fix. 
I've been able to handle that for myself, but she wouldn't be able to 
and I don't want to be the on-call extended-family IT dept...

Ideally, some rolling-release that can auto-update (preferably in the 
background) and won't force-reboot, force-interrupt you, or pull the 
Windows prank of delaying startup/shutdown for several minutes (or 
more...) for "Installing updates...you may as well go watch an entire 
series on Netflix 'cause you ain't packing up your laptop *or* getting 
any emails sent anytime soon...". Supporting rollbacks as well would be 
fantastic, but I realize that's pretty rare in Linuxland (outside of 
NixOS/Guix, but I'd say NixOS/Guix would *definitely* be a bad fit for 
other reasons...)

Would Mint fit the bill here? It's been quite awhile since I've paid any 
attention to Mint, so I'm kinda out-of-the-loop on that one. But I know 
it's always intended to be non-expert friendly.

I'm not too terribly concerned about the initial installation and setup, 
since I can just take care of that. I just don't want to be getting 
regular tech support phone calls afterwords...
May 05
next sibling parent reply evilrat <evilrat666 gmail.com> writes:
On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 Would Mint fit the bill here? It's been quite awhile since I've 
 paid any attention to Mint, so I'm kinda out-of-the-loop on 
 that one. But I know it's always intended to be non-expert 
 friendly.
(Don't take my words as Linux expert, as I am not, my use case is just do Linux builds and tests) If you are after such experiments on your poor old granny then just pick Ubuntu. Mint is ubuntu anyway, but stability & quality... man this is something, they have their fancy desktop directly using python from package manager as dependency, I mean they literally put their modules inside that installation, guess what? when you update symlink for newer python version the whole thing collapses ahahaha... literally, no desktop, *poof*... if you are lucky you may have terminal shortcut on desktop, or other program such as VS Code or IDEA that has terminal so you can restore symlink. And that's just one thing, imagine what else they could have possibly messed up. Really, their prime product (which is desktop environment) relies on mere fact you won't upgrade python interpreter. They failed to manage software dependencies and packaging what I say.
May 05
parent Doc Andrew <x x.com> writes:
On Monday, 6 May 2019 at 01:35:00 UTC, evilrat wrote:
 (Don't take my words as Linux expert, as I am not, my use case 
 is just do Linux builds and tests)

 If you are after such experiments on your poor old granny then 
 just pick Ubuntu.
+1 for Ubuntu. I've used and enjoyed Mint but have run into issues after upgrades, where Ubuntu seems to "just work" no matter what, for me at least. For my day-to-day use I prefer something more lightweight, but for ease of use Ubuntu is hard to beat. -Doc
May 05
prev sibling next sibling parent DanielG <simpletangent gmail.com> writes:
On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 We've got a lot of very reasonable, level-headed Linux folk on 
 this board:
What about a chromebook or similar? Does the 10% non-web activity preclude that? As far as linux goes, how about Elementary OS? I don't use it myself but I believe its goal is to be a viable free replacement for casual win/mac users.
May 05
prev sibling next sibling parent Uknown <sireeshkodali1 gmail.com> writes:
On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
Ubuntu LTS is a good choice. Stable, secure and can update in 
background. You can configure it to auto update too (without 
forcing reboots).

As for Netflix, there is no native app on Linux, you have to use 
the browser, so you could set up a bookmark on the desktop or in 
the application launcher.

Wine has progressed a lot so if there is some software that is 
not replaceable, you can install wine and try running it.

As for the iPhone, without iTunes, it can't do anything with 
Windows. iTunes allows for backing up data to the local computer, 
and syncing movies / songs / playlists that are not purchased 
from Apple. You can set up her iPhone to back up to iCloud 
(probably on by default). As for songs, apparently Rythmbox can 
sync with iPhones, but you will have to verify.
May 05
prev sibling next sibling parent angel <andrey.gelman gmail.com> writes:
On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 We've got a lot of very reasonable, level-headed Linux folk on 
 this board:

 I'm helping my mom look for a laptop to replace her ~10 year 
 old one, and given all the mess Windows Update has been making 
 of things since about Win7 onwards, I'm temped to just stick 
 her on Linux (especially if I can't find anything still using 
 Win7). Heck, 90% of what she does is just web browser anyway, 
 with the other 10% being pretty much Linux compatible stuff 
 (Hmm...although come to think of it, only possible exception 
 might be her iPhone...I'll have to look into that, I'm not an 
 iOS guy...).

 Any suggestions on a potentially granny-friendly distro? (If 
 such exists.) Personally, I use Manjaro, but I definitely don't 
 want to set her up with that: While I think rolling-release 
 would be a good fit (avoid the mess of periodic OS 
 re-installs), the Arch/Manjaro updates all to often wind up 
 failing and require manual intervention to fix. I've been able 
 to handle that for myself, but she wouldn't be able to and I 
 don't want to be the on-call extended-family IT dept...

 Ideally, some rolling-release that can auto-update (preferably 
 in the background) and won't force-reboot, force-interrupt you, 
 or pull the Windows prank of delaying startup/shutdown for 
 several minutes (or more...) for "Installing updates...you may 
 as well go watch an entire series on Netflix 'cause you ain't 
 packing up your laptop *or* getting any emails sent anytime 
 soon...". Supporting rollbacks as well would be fantastic, but 
 I realize that's pretty rare in Linuxland (outside of 
 NixOS/Guix, but I'd say NixOS/Guix would *definitely* be a bad 
 fit for other reasons...)

 Would Mint fit the bill here? It's been quite awhile since I've 
 paid any attention to Mint, so I'm kinda out-of-the-loop on 
 that one. But I know it's always intended to be non-expert 
 friendly.

 I'm not too terribly concerned about the initial installation 
 and setup, since I can just take care of that. I just don't 
 want to be getting regular tech support phone calls 
 afterwords...
Ubuntu - an LTS release, i.e. 16.04 or 18.04. Your granny will never look back !
May 06
prev sibling next sibling parent Kagamin <spam here.lot> writes:
On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 Would Mint fit the bill here? It's been quite awhile since I've 
 paid any attention to Mint, so I'm kinda out-of-the-loop on 
 that one. But I know it's always intended to be non-expert 
 friendly.

 I'm not too terribly concerned about the initial installation 
 and setup, since I can just take care of that. I just don't 
 want to be getting regular tech support phone calls 
 afterwords...
Mint Xfce LTS. I tried Ubuntu and Mint twice, and both times Mint worked better, as a linux expert you can probably fix it if you know what to fix. As for laptop hardware compatibility can be a concern, I found linux works well on a laptop that had linux preinstalled. I think unattended updates are a myth, so yeah, if you want to work as a support service, leave them enabled.
May 06
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Cym13 <cpicard openmailbox.org> writes:
On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 We've got a lot of very reasonable, level-headed Linux folk on 
 this board:

 [...]
I know of DFLinux which is a debian prepared for very beginners, we used it to teach older people in my engineering school. However it's a french project and I don't know if their configuration is prepared for english-speaking users or if there is another suitable distribution with similar goals. Otherwise ubuntu might be a reasonnable choice, at least it's stable and about anything linuxy will install correctly.
May 06
parent Cym13 <cpicard openmailbox.org> writes:
On Monday, 6 May 2019 at 16:00:26 UTC, Cym13 wrote:
 On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
 (Abscissa) wrote:
 We've got a lot of very reasonable, level-headed Linux folk on 
 this board:

 [...]
I know of DFLinux which is a debian prepared for very beginners, we used it to teach older people in my engineering school. However it's a french project and I don't know if their configuration is prepared for english-speaking users or if there is another suitable distribution with similar goals. Otherwise ubuntu might be a reasonnable choice, at least it's stable and about anything linuxy will install correctly.
Link: https://dflinux.frama.io/home/
May 06
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
Thanks for all the responses. (Actually, it's not *my* granny, it's my 
mom, but she *is* a grandparent, as find I rather enjoy reminding her ;) 
Yea, I'm an ass...)

evilrat's comments about Mint's GUI are a bit worrying.

Ubuntu LTS certainly seems to be the common recommendation. But I have 
some (perhaps unfounded?) concerns:

- The LTSes are still, what, 3 or so years IIRC? I'm figuring her next 
machine will probably last her about another decade, so that's well 
beyond that. So what's the LTS-to-LTS upgrade process like? Is it 
basically an OS re-install like upgrading Windows traditionally is? Or 
is it as simple/transparent/painless as 'Uknown' describes Ubuntu's 
regular day-to-day update process to be?

- It's been a looong time since I last used Ubuntu, but I remember it 
being clearly designed to be very Mac-like (ie, OSX). She's not 
experienced with Mac, she's more WinXP-through-Win7. I remember 
alternative desktops like KDE/Xfce (along with Kubuntu/Xubuntu) being 
pretty much second-class citizens. Has this improved?

I'm not too terribly worried about the whole Linux-on-a-laptop thing. 
That's what my main machine is and in my experience Linux works pretty 
well on laptops these days. My main concern in this area is just making 
sure the BIOS (or...whatever the new thing is called now...) is 
unlockable so Linux can even be installed in the first place.

Chromebook's an interesting idea, but probably a no-go. She's gonna need 
more storage than that, plus something to backup her iPhone to, probably 
a bigger screen than those usually have, and definitely built-in CDR. 
She does enough audio recording (yes, actual audio recording, not music 
piracy) that external CDR would be too much of a hassle.

Netflix is no issue, she has one of those TVs with Roku built-in, so 
that's how she always does Netflix. (But ugh, I *thought* a RokuTV would 
be a great pick for her, but honestly, I'm seriously APPALLED at just 
how piss-poor the menu's responsiveness is (not to mention the boot 
time). It's absolutely absurd. Menus on my Apple II were more 
responsive, no joke. *Serious* blatant incompetence involved in these 
modern TVs these days. If I had it to do over, I'd go with a non-smart 
TV (if I could find one) and then just connect a Roku device. At least 
then, the Roku could be replaced without replacing the TV or worse, 
making her deal with two separate layers of Roku.)
May 06
next sibling parent evilrat <evilrat666 gmail.com> writes:
On Monday, 6 May 2019 at 17:01:21 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 - The LTSes are still, what, 3 or so years IIRC? I'm figuring 
 her next machine will probably last her about another decade, 
 so that's well beyond that. So what's the LTS-to-LTS upgrade 
 process like? Is it basically an OS re-install like upgrading 
 Windows traditionally is? Or is it as 
 simple/transparent/painless as 'Uknown' describes Ubuntu's 
 regular day-to-day update process to be?
Yep, 3 years I think, but recently some of them are 5 years. dunno about LTS->LTS updates, but regular to regular is as simple as - install all available updates (having all updates is a requirement, it just doesn't show that upgrade available otherwise) - click update distro in the same window (what is really sucks it doesn't show any progress, or i'm blind?) *or* sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade I don't remember if reboot necessary immediately after upgrade. LTS to regular migration is also possible, can't say the exact steps but you only need to mark that you are willing to get "unstable" updates and do upgrade. Updates will show small window on start up showing estimated download size (last few times it was just about 50mb for me, most of it are kernel stuff and libc), you can close it and do it later from updates app, or install immediately. Usually no reboot needed and it takes just few minutes. You can certainly put some older LTS on VM and see how it works for yourself. Having fast net connection this shouldn't take much time, an hour or two is probably enough to test the process.
May 06
prev sibling next sibling parent angel <andrey.gelman gmail.com> writes:
On Monday, 6 May 2019 at 17:01:21 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 Thanks for all the responses. (Actually, it's not *my* granny, 
 it's my mom, but she *is* a grandparent, as find I rather enjoy 
 reminding her ;) Yea, I'm an ass...)

 evilrat's comments about Mint's GUI are a bit worrying.

 Ubuntu LTS certainly seems to be the common recommendation. But 
 I have some (perhaps unfounded?) concerns:

 - The LTSes are still, what, 3 or so years IIRC? I'm figuring 
 her next machine will probably last her about another decade, 
 so that's well beyond that. So what's the LTS-to-LTS upgrade 
 process like? Is it basically an OS re-install like upgrading 
 Windows traditionally is? Or is it as 
 simple/transparent/painless as 'Uknown' describes Ubuntu's 
 regular day-to-day update process to be?

 - It's been a looong time since I last used Ubuntu, but I 
 remember it being clearly designed to be very Mac-like (ie, 
 OSX). She's not experienced with Mac, she's more 
 WinXP-through-Win7. I remember alternative desktops like 
 KDE/Xfce (along with Kubuntu/Xubuntu) being pretty much 
 second-class citizens. Has this improved?

 I'm not too terribly worried about the whole Linux-on-a-laptop 
 thing. That's what my main machine is and in my experience 
 Linux works pretty well on laptops these days. My main concern 
 in this area is just making sure the BIOS (or...whatever the 
 new thing is called now...) is unlockable so Linux can even be 
 installed in the first place.

 Chromebook's an interesting idea, but probably a no-go. She's 
 gonna need more storage than that, plus something to backup her 
 iPhone to, probably a bigger screen than those usually have, 
 and definitely built-in CDR. She does enough audio recording 
 (yes, actual audio recording, not music piracy) that external 
 CDR would be too much of a hassle.

 Netflix is no issue, she has one of those TVs with Roku 
 built-in, so that's how she always does Netflix. (But ugh, I 
 *thought* a RokuTV would be a great pick for her, but honestly, 
 I'm seriously APPALLED at just how piss-poor the menu's 
 responsiveness is (not to mention the boot time). It's 
 absolutely absurd. Menus on my Apple II were more responsive, 
 no joke. *Serious* blatant incompetence involved in these 
 modern TVs these days. If I had it to do over, I'd go with a 
 non-smart TV (if I could find one) and then just connect a Roku 
 device. At least then, the Roku could be replaced without 
 replacing the TV or worse, making her deal with two separate 
 layers of Roku.)
Ubuntu LTS is supported for 5 years, and LTS to LTS upgrade is supposed to be easy, and in most cases it is. These days Ubuntu has switched away from Unity (that was somewhat Mac-inspired) to Gnome (that is kinda a thing in its own right). Usually, prior to buying a laptop, I research whether the laptop I think of supports Linux well. Most of the "leading" vendors are Ok, Dell are even more so.
May 07
prev sibling parent reply Uknown <sireeshkodali1 gmail.com> writes:
On Monday, 6 May 2019 at 17:01:21 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 Thanks for all the responses. (Actually, it's not *my* granny, 
 it's my mom, but she *is* a grandparent, as find I rather enjoy 
 reminding her ;) Yea, I'm an ass...)

 evilrat's comments about Mint's GUI are a bit worrying.

 Ubuntu LTS certainly seems to be the common recommendation. But 
 I have some (perhaps unfounded?) concerns:

 - The LTSes are still, what, 3 or so years IIRC? I'm figuring 
 her next machine will probably last her about another decade, 
 so that's well beyond that. So what's the LTS-to-LTS upgrade 
 process like? Is it basically an OS re-install like upgrading 
 Windows traditionally is? Or is it as 
 simple/transparent/painless as 'Uknown' describes Ubuntu's 
 regular day-to-day update process to be?
Yes, they more or less are. I'm currently helping most of my friends with maintining Ubuntu on their laptops. All of them have a wide variety of hardware, some with dual GPU setups (intel + Nvidia or intel + radeon). Both work just fine, even across upgrades, but your mileage will vary. See the upgrade process : https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/installing-upgrading.html
 - It's been a looong time since I last used Ubuntu, but I 
 remember it being clearly designed to be very Mac-like (ie, 
 OSX). She's not experienced with Mac, she's more 
 WinXP-through-Win7. I remember alternative desktops like 
 KDE/Xfce (along with Kubuntu/Xubuntu) being pretty much 
 second-class citizens. Has this improved?
Lubuntu works fine for me. Kubuntu is facing some issues with shortage of manpower, so its better to install KDE on top of Ubuntu instead.
 I'm not too terribly worried about the whole Linux-on-a-laptop 
 thing. That's what my main machine is and in my experience 
 Linux works pretty well on laptops these days. My main concern 
 in this area is just making sure the BIOS (or...whatever the 
 new thing is called now...) is unlockable so Linux can even be 
 installed in the first place.
All new laptops come with UEFI. You just need to check up on safe boot parameters. These things are reasonably well documented. Some distros support safe boot, others don't. You'll have to see which ones do and adjust the settings accordingly, but this is a one time thing.
 Chromebook's an interesting idea, but probably a no-go. She's 
 gonna need more storage than that, plus something to backup her 
 iPhone to, probably a bigger screen than those usually have, 
 and definitely built-in CDR. She does enough audio recording 
 (yes, actual audio recording, not music piracy) that external 
 CDR would be too much of a hassle.
CD recordings are handled fine by K3B and a lot of other FOSS software, so you wan't have an issue there, regardless of which distro you select. Just make sure the laptop you buy doesn't have a discrete GPU. Those cost extra and likely won't be used, but will definitely give you some nightmarish updates. Intel integrated graphics has really good driver support so you won't have any issues with it. Another thing is, a lot of cheaper laptops of late are coming with dirt cheap touchpads which are unusable. If possible try checking out the touchpads on the laptop before you buy.
May 09
parent "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/9/19 12:07 PM, Uknown wrote:
 
 See the upgrade process : 
 https://help.ubuntu.com/lts/serverguide/installing-upgrading.html
 
 Lubuntu works fine for me. Kubuntu is facing some issues with shortage 
 of manpower, so its better to install KDE on top of Ubuntu instead.
 
Thanks. Good to know.
 CD recordings are handled fine by K3B and a lot of other FOSS software, 
 so you wan't have an issue there, regardless of which distro you select.
Yup, k3b is what I use on my machine. I agree, it works well. And I already have her using Audacity (cross-platform) to record audio. (The built-in Windows audio recording toy was introducing periodic audio slowdown - like playing back a worn-out old cassette.) Ultimately, I've never heard of a Chromebook with built-in optical drive, which is one of the reasons why, as I was saying, Chromebook is pretty much out of the question.
 Just make sure the laptop you buy doesn't have a discrete GPU. Those 
 cost extra and likely won't be used, but will definitely give you some 
 nightmarish updates.
Haha, yea, I don't think she'll be needing to spend the extra $$ on some NVIDIA gaming setup ;)
 Intel integrated graphics has really good driver 
 support so you won't have any issues with it.
Yup. That's what mine has and it's been working fine. Even handles most indie games and many last-gen AAA no problem. Hollow Knight 60Hz on 720p :) Not bad for a $340 five-year-old machine!
 Another thing is, a lot of 
 cheaper laptops of late are coming with dirt cheap touchpads which are 
 unusable. If possible try checking out the touchpads on the laptop 
 before you buy.
Ahh, I didn't know that, thanks! Luckily she usually just plugs in a mouse anyway. (Not too surprising - it's old enough to be from before touchpads became not-horrible in the first place.)
May 09
prev sibling next sibling parent Jacob Carlborg <doob me.com> writes:
On 2019-05-06 01:32, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) wrote:
 We've got a lot of very reasonable, level-headed Linux folk on this board:
lubuntu [1] would be an alternative to Ubuntu. It's within the same family. It has a more traditional UI, like Ubuntu had before. [1] https://lubuntu.net -- /Jacob Carlborg
May 06
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 5/5/2019 4:32 PM, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) wrote:
 Installing updates...you may as well go watch an entire series on 
 Netflix 'cause you ain't packing up your laptop *or* getting any emails 
 sent anytime soon...
I learned to fire up my laptop some time before giving the presentation. I've also had many overnight jobs fail because Windows forcibly rebooted to install updates.
May 06
next sibling parent reply "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Mon, May 06, 2019 at 05:01:58PM -0700, Walter Bright via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/5/2019 4:32 PM, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) wrote:
 Installing updates...you may as well go watch an entire series on
 Netflix 'cause you ain't packing up your laptop *or* getting any
 emails sent anytime soon...
I learned to fire up my laptop some time before giving the presentation. I've also had many overnight jobs fail because Windows forcibly rebooted to install updates.
Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, and a shame to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of nonsense? I mean, with all the talk about user-friendly UI's and designing programs with UI in mind, one would think *somebody* on the Windows team should have stepped back, realized what an insane nightmare of a user experience this kind of behaviour is, and piped up about finding a different way of doing things. What's the use of all that GUI eye-candy when the *actual* user experience is this horrible?? T -- Which is worse: ignorance or apathy? Who knows? Who cares? -- Erich Schubert
May 06
next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/6/19 8:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 
 Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, and a shame
 to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of nonsense?
*raises hand* Me too. I think users mostly just accept it because for 90% of people, any problems they face from Windows are just: "Well, that's just how computers are, right? That's why I don't like computers and usually use a phone or tablet instead." (Note, that *right there* was the *true* genius of the iPhone - it wasn't the touchscreen or pinch-zoom or aesthetic or any of that nonsense about it being "easy to use" - it was that fact that Jobs managed to get everybody to believe it wasn't really a "computer", it was a "telephone".)
 I mean, with all the talk about user-friendly UI's and designing
 programs with UI in mind, one would think *somebody* on the Windows team
 should have stepped back, realized what an insane nightmare of a user
 experience this kind of behaviour is, and piped up about finding a
 different way of doing things.
Yup, seriously. Makes you wonder just what's going on over there. Not enough workforce because everyone left for Google or Facebook?
 What's the use of all that GUI eye-candy
 when the *actual* user experience is this horrible??
Eye-candy on Windows? Metro? Eye-candy? Whhaaa...??? Eye-cancer perhaps...
May 06
next sibling parent reply Adam D. Ruppe <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Tuesday, 7 May 2019 at 00:52:38 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
(Abscissa) wrote:
 On 5/6/19 8:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 
 Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, 
 and a shame
 to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of 
 nonsense?
*raises hand* Me too.
ditto. I am a bit of a Windows fan in many ways, and some of the new stuff they are doing is legitimately cool. But the new update and antivirus policies are actually driving me away. Don't try to do a public presentation on a Windows box. It knows it is hooked to a projector and decides now is the time for a mandatory update. Ugh. And don't start to like a built-in program, an auto update will uninsall it later. Ridiculous.
May 06
parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 5/6/2019 6:19 PM, Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
 Don't try to do a public presentation on a Windows box. It knows it is 
 hooked to a projector and decides now is the time for a mandatory 
 update. Ugh.
BTW, I carry another copy of my presentation on a USB stick. It has saved my presentation several times :-) I also emailed a copy of it to Mike Parker just to be sure!
May 06
prev sibling parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Mon, May 06, 2019 at 08:52:38PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via
Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/6/19 8:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
[...]
 What's the use of all that GUI eye-candy when the *actual* user
 experience is this horrible??
Eye-candy on Windows? Metro? Eye-candy? Whhaaa...??? Eye-cancer perhaps...
LOL... *I* wouldn't know what qualifies as eye-candy, I'm the guy who runs Ratpoison for window manager so that X11 behaves like a glorified 80x24 dumb terminal! :-P Nothing is more beautiful to me than a blank screen with a bash prompt at the bottom. T -- Nobody is perfect. I am Nobody. -- pepoluan, GKC forum
May 07
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 5/6/2019 5:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, and a shame
 to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of nonsense?
Heck, it would be so much better if it installed updated on shutdown, not startup! The same goes for Ubuntu Linux, btw. When I log into Ubuntu, I want to do something now, not wait for 10 minutes clicking Ok, Yes, Install, Ok, ...
May 06
next sibling parent Timon Gehr <timon.gehr gmx.ch> writes:
On 07.05.19 07:20, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 5/6/2019 5:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, and a shame
 to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of nonsense?
Heck, it would be so much better if it installed updated on shutdown, not startup! The same goes for Ubuntu Linux, btw.
(It is not really the same, because the system allows you to change its behavior.)
 When I log into Ubuntu, I want to 
 do something now, not wait for 10 minutes clicking Ok, Yes, Install, Ok, 
 ...
 
You can disable the popup, but the default window manager is useless bloat anyway. If you use e.g. i3 [1], it won't bother you. sudo apt install i3 [1] https://i3wm.org/
May 07
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/7/19 1:20 AM, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 5/6/2019 5:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, and a shame
 to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of nonsense?
Heck, it would be so much better if it installed updated on shutdown, not startup! The same goes for Ubuntu Linux, btw. When I log into Ubuntu, I want to do something now, not wait for 10 minutes clicking Ok, Yes, Install, Ok, ...
I feel exactly that way about all those auto-updating programs out there (seems to mostly be on/from Windows as that traditionally didn't have a package manager.) "This web browser has an update, do you want to install it?" No, I want to go to a webpage. That's why I launched you. Go pick up after yourself on your own time. For OS-updates though, I'm not sure update-on-exit is much of an improvement. Imagine you're doing some work on your laptop at a coffee shop or a client's house, you finish up and need to leave, maybe get to a meeting on time...figure turn it off instead of sleep mode 'cause maybe the battery's quite low or you're just done with it for awhile anyway...aaaaand...Windows decides it NOW needs to spend ten, or even thirty or so minutes doing its update dance before it'll let you pull the plug and pack up. I've gotten roped into reinstalling windows for people I knew after their installation got corrupted because they'd regularly face exactly that dilemma. And that was with Win7. Win10 is even more forceful with updates. *That* is why people disable Windows Update. (Well, that and all their broken and/or malignant updates.) Amazing that MS have still failed to figure that out. Weren't they famous for dogfooding?
May 07
parent reply "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 12:09:31PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via
Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/7/19 1:20 AM, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 5/6/2019 5:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, and a
 shame to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of
 nonsense?
Heck, it would be so much better if it installed updated on shutdown, not startup! The same goes for Ubuntu Linux, btw. When I log into Ubuntu, I want to do something now, not wait for 10 minutes clicking Ok, Yes, Install, Ok, ...
I feel exactly that way about all those auto-updating programs out there (seems to mostly be on/from Windows as that traditionally didn't have a package manager.) "This web browser has an update, do you want to install it?" No, I want to go to a webpage. That's why I launched you. Go pick up after yourself on your own time.
Yeah, the first thing I do upon installing a browser is to turn off all those annoying auto-update nonsense, telemetry, and "suggestions" page -- I know very well exactly which website I want to visit, thank-you-very-much, I don't need annoying flashing suggestions telling me what to do. I've been looking for a keyboard-driven, no-frills but functional browser for a while now. I used to be an Opera fan, until they made that horrible decision to throw away the Presto engine and go chrome (ugh). So I switched to Firefox instead. But these days firefox is just such a bloated piece of memory-leaking, resource-hogging junk that I threw it out as well. Right now I'm using luakit, a webkit-based keyboard-driven browser driven completely by Lua scripts. But it seems outdated, and occasionally exhibits quirks and/or broken sites, for which I have to fallback to Firefox just to get anything done. For the most part it works well, though. But being webkit underneath, it still spawns that resource-hogging WebProcess processes that, left unchecked, will start nibbling away at my RAM until they grow into monstrous 2GB pigs that slow everything down. At least luakit is fast at starting up, so restarting is generally a lot less painful than firefox that sometimes randomly decides that now that the user asks for a webpage it's time to take a vacation to clean up its stale cache entries or internal database or whatever else it's doing for 5 entire minutes while 95% I/O-bound. (And don't get me started on the recent expired certificate fiasco that had 90% of plugins just up and die upon startup with no recourse whatsoever until Mozilla finally got their act together to fix it.)
 For OS-updates though, I'm not sure update-on-exit is much of an
 improvement.
If updates are really *that* important, what they really should be doing is to schedule it at a non-intrusive time, like 3am-5am when most users would be sleeping, power itself on with ACPI, update, then go back to sleep. And of course, for laptops, only while plugged in, lest the user wake up to discover their 90% battery had "conveniently" drained to 5% on the morning they need to make an important presentation at a venue that doesn't have an outlet close by.
 Imagine you're doing some work on your laptop at a coffee shop or a
 client's house, you finish up and need to leave, maybe get to a
 meeting on time...figure turn it off instead of sleep mode 'cause
 maybe the battery's quite low or you're just done with it for awhile
 anyway...aaaaand...Windows decides it NOW needs to spend ten, or even
 thirty or so minutes doing its update dance before it'll let you pull
 the plug and pack up.
[...] I have fundamental ideological problems with the concept of forced updates. The computer should be a tool, to be used at the *user's* convenience, not a loud-mouthed, demanding, temperamental spoiled brat that will NOT shut up until it gets what it wants. That's why I can't stand things like Adobe Reader, that regularly pops up notices at the most inconvenient of times demanding to install this update or that patch, or worse, advertising some Adobe product IN THE MIDDLE OF AN IMPORTANT PRESENTATION. The whole notifications system esp. on Windows is utterly atrocious for this. You're in the middle of an important conference at a moment that really should *not* be interrupted, and suddenly there's that annoying *ding* and an annoying popup that needs to be dismissed. Worst of all, if that ding came from Windows Update that has decided that enough is enough, you're updating "your Windows" NOW no matter what, and it will not tolerate any more procrastination. Welp, so much for that important sales pitch, it's all down the pipes now. It's pure evil, I tell you. Pure evil.
 I've gotten roped into reinstalling windows for people I knew after
 their installation got corrupted because they'd regularly face exactly
 that dilemma. And that was with Win7. Win10 is even more forceful with
 updates.
 
 *That* is why people disable Windows Update. (Well, that and all their
 broken and/or malignant updates.) Amazing that MS have still failed to
 figure that out. Weren't they famous for dogfooding?
IMNSHO, it's a deep-rooted ideological problem. In the early days it was all about pull media: i.e., the user initiates the action, and the user decides when, what, and where. For decades now MS has been pushing(!) for push media: the user is no longer the active party, the user is a passive couch potato that needs to be entertained and told what to do. We want to be able to push updates and ads to users, who cares whether they want it or not. It's great for entertainment and couch potatoes, but a joke for serious work. Sadly, nobody has gotten the joke yet. And nowadays everyone has followed suit and playing wannabe, and now it takes actual effort to disable all the push stuff just to regain the power of choice. T -- Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it! -- Mark Twain
May 07
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/7/19 1:05 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 
 I've been looking for a keyboard-driven, no-frills but functional
 browser for a while now. I used to be an Opera fan, until they made that
 horrible decision to throw away the Presto engine and go chrome (ugh).
 So I switched to Firefox instead.  But these days firefox is just such a
 bloated piece of memory-leaking, resource-hogging junk that I threw it
 out as well.
I'd been a looong time fan^H^H^Huser of Firefox, but I'd been getting fed up with it too. Aside from the constant stream of UI and feature-killing blunders, it would frequently render my ENTIRE DESKTOP unresponsive (even the mouse would lag and then just stop). I'd have to Ctrl-Alt-F2 to text terminal, htop, and kill FF's helper process. But imagine how fun it was BEFORE I figured out the problem was Firefox!! On top of that, Mozilla pretty much forced me to pin my installed FF version (which became fun when my system upgraded one of its dependencies, breaking it). Finally, I discovered Pale Moon just a few weeks ago. Managed to find (better!) alternatives to the add-ons that weren't compatible. It's been SOOOOO much better. Memory usage is still gigantic, but frankly I blame the web itself for that, and at least it doesn't go berzerk or pull any of the other anti-user crap Mozilla's been big on for the past decade. Don't know whether it would meet your keyboard-driven requirements though.
 
 I have fundamental ideological problems with the concept of forced
 updates.  The computer should be a tool, to be used at the *user's*
 convenience, not a loud-mouthed, demanding, temperamental spoiled brat
 that will NOT shut up until it gets what it wants.
Amen to that.
 That's why I can't
 stand things like Adobe Reader, that regularly pops up notices at the
 most inconvenient of times demanding to install this update or that
 patch, or worse, advertising some Adobe product IN THE MIDDLE OF AN
 IMPORTANT PRESENTATION.  The whole notifications system esp. on Windows
 is utterly atrocious for this.  You're in the middle of an important
 conference at a moment that really should *not* be interrupted, and
 suddenly there's that annoying *ding* and an annoying popup that needs
 to be dismissed.
I pretty much hate notification systems period (at least on desktop/laptop). I'm a KDE user and the biggest thing I hate about modern KDE vs KDE3, even moreso than bloat, is how it tries to use its smartphone-envy notification system for everything until you find the right hoops to jump through to turn that garbage off (especially for file copying). And...those hoops you have to jump through *keep changing*!!! Meh, but at least KDE *lets* you change things without needing poorly-maintained third party hacks...
May 07
parent reply "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 06:00:04PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via
Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/7/19 1:05 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 
 I've been looking for a keyboard-driven, no-frills but functional
 browser for a while now.
[...]
 Finally, I discovered Pale Moon just a few weeks ago. Managed to find
 (better!) alternatives to the add-ons that weren't compatible.
Glanced over it briefly. Looks very promising indeed. If it supports the Vimperator plugin, I may very well switch to it, since luakit appears to be only marginally maintained recently.
 It's been SOOOOO much better. Memory usage is still gigantic, but
 frankly I blame the web itself for that,
[...] I've been entertaining the idea of writing my own browser just so I don't have to deal with the crap anymore. It would be basically ELinks with graphics, with no (or very restricted) animations, and highly constrained scripting (I am very uncomfortable with the idea of promiscuously executing any old Turing-complete code obtained from any old random online source of unknown trustworthiness). Except I doubt I have the time/energy it takes to implement an entire browser on my own. My latest pet peeve with web bloatedness is those awful completely useless and pointless SVG/CSS spinners that soak up so much CPU that it makes the browser run slower than my 1MHz Apple II from the 1980's. It used to be that you could just block animated gifs or turn off JS, but now it's embedded in the lousy *stylesheet* (or worse, SVG embedded in HTML) so there's no sane way of turning it off. And it's sprouting up everywhere like mushrooms, 'cos everybody and his neighbour's dog just can't wait to see the world slow down to the bad ole pre-GHz days.
 Don't know whether it would meet your keyboard-driven requirements
 though.
If it supports Vimperator, I'm all set to go! :-P [...]
 I pretty much hate notification systems period (at least on
 desktop/laptop).  I'm a KDE user and the biggest thing I hate about
 modern KDE vs KDE3, even moreso than bloat, is how it tries to use its
 smartphone-envy notification system for everything until you find the
 right hoops to jump through to turn that garbage off (especially for
 file copying). And...those hoops you have to jump through *keep
 changing*!!! Meh, but at least KDE *lets* you change things without
 needing poorly-maintained third party hacks...
Yep, that's pretty much why I ditched the whole desktop metaphor clich along with its rodent mascot, and embraced the pure simplicity of a glorified 80x24 terminal in the form of Ratpoison. Throw out title bars and other useless deco, junk useless overlapping windows that you have to manually drag apart and maximize everything, and drive everything from keyboard so my hands never have to waste time reaching for that rodent. My CPU and RAM are now freed up to do the *real* work of computing solutions to real problems, rather than squandered on rendering eye-candy that do nothing except hog resources from computations that need it, and *man* is my computer responsive like never before. I can Get Stuff Done in a fraction of the time spent enduring the ritual of reaching for the rodent and manually dragging overlapping windows apart -- when the computer is perfectly capable of automatically solving the overlap problem in a miniscule fraction of the time and energy. (Such things shouldn't even *be* a problem in the first place -- the computer's job is to help me get stuff done, not to present me with a poor-man's simulation of the physics of sorting paper on a physical desk. It's supposed to get RID of the need to sort things on a desk, not to replicate the tedium in a digital facsimile!!) T -- A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos
May 07
next sibling parent reply Adam D. Ruppe <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Tuesday, 7 May 2019 at 22:46:07 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 I've been entertaining the idea of writing my own browser just 
 so I don't have to deal with the crap anymore. It would be 
 basically ELinks with graphics
try links2, it is already basically that. But I have also been tempted to do this, because my D libraries are actually... basically capable of it. I have html to text (which I use for my email) and even did a basic layouter with css support once. And it kinda worked - I could view my websites of the time. But meh, I keep being forced to use crappy websites that require crappy browsers so no point even trying.
 Throw out title bars and other useless deco, junk useless 
 overlapping windows
I find these things to be so useful it drives me nuts when programs try to remove them. Overlapping is useful when you disable click raises windows! You should write your own window manager tho. I still haven't exactly done it... I forked blackbox years ago for myself tho, so I still am using a custom one, just not from scratch.
May 07
parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 11:07:47PM +0000, Adam D. Ruppe via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On Tuesday, 7 May 2019 at 22:46:07 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 I've been entertaining the idea of writing my own browser just so I
 don't have to deal with the crap anymore. It would be basically
 ELinks with graphics
try links2, it is already basically that.
Interesting. I'll have to check it out.
 But I have also been tempted to do this, because my D libraries are
 actually... basically capable of it. I have html to text (which I use
 for my email) and even did a basic layouter with css support once. And
 it kinda worked - I could view my websites of the time. But meh, I
 keep being forced to use crappy websites that require crappy browsers
 so no point even trying.
What I'd love to be able to do, is to automatically extract website content apart from useless cruft so that I can, e.g., read articles without being inundated with banner ads, popups (JS, CSS, and whatever else these days), useless splash pages, and weird formatting / styling (like overly-wide, fixed-resolution layouts). Of course, given the general quality of your general crappy website, this probably has to be done on a per-site basis.
 Throw out title bars and other useless deco, junk useless
 overlapping windows
I find these things to be so useful it drives me nuts when programs try to remove them. Overlapping is useful when you disable click raises windows!
I used to use overlapping windows somewhat. These days, I just full-screen maximize everything, no exceptions. The only time I really need to see more than 1 window at a time is when copying/transcribing stuff. So really, all I need is (1) full-screen, maximized, and (2) split-screen, 2-panel (horizontal or vertical). Everything else is dispensible.
 You should write your own window manager tho. I still haven't exactly
 done it... I forked blackbox years ago for myself tho, so I still am
 using a custom one, just not from scratch.
I've been tempted to. While dipping my toes in Android development recently, I wrote a crude X11/Xlib wrapper module just so I can test GL code on my PC before the more painstaking and annoying process of uploading and running it on my phone. So I do have the beginnings of an X11 API module that would be necessary to write a window manager in D. I've also written a crude wrapper over libfreetype for my equation graphing project, so I do have the pieces necessary for primitive text rendering. (Not really interested in beautiful text rendering for a WM; it should most of the time stay out of the way anyway -- I can't stand wasting precious screen real estate on needless deco and other WM frills -- and only bare basics text rendition is necessary for the occasional WM interactions.) T -- Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool. -- Edward Burr
May 07
prev sibling parent reply ShadoLight <ettienne.gilbert gmail.com> writes:
On Tuesday, 7 May 2019 at 22:46:07 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 06:00:04PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky
[...]
 Finally, I discovered Pale Moon just a few weeks ago. Managed 
 to find (better!) alternatives to the add-ons that weren't 
 compatible.
Glanced over it briefly. Looks very promising indeed. If it supports the Vimperator plugin, I may very well switch to it, since luakit appears to be only marginally maintained recently.
[...] Something similar: https://addons.palemoon.org/addon/pentadactyl/
May 10
parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Fri, May 10, 2019 at 01:34:40PM +0000, ShadoLight via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On Tuesday, 7 May 2019 at 22:46:07 UTC, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 06:00:04PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky
[...]
 Finally, I discovered Pale Moon just a few weeks ago. Managed to
 find (better!) alternatives to the add-ons that weren't
 compatible.
Glanced over it briefly. Looks very promising indeed. If it supports the Vimperator plugin, I may very well switch to it, since luakit appears to be only marginally maintained recently.
[...] Something similar: https://addons.palemoon.org/addon/pentadactyl/
Yeah, I found that yesterday while browsing Pale Moon's addons. Perhaps it's time to give it a spin. T -- Question authority. Don't ask why, just do it.
May 10
prev sibling parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Mon, May 06, 2019 at 10:20:18PM -0700, Walter Bright via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/6/2019 5:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, and a
 shame to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of
 nonsense?
Heck, it would be so much better if it installed updated on shutdown, not startup!
They should've hired you on the Windows Update team...! ;-)
 The same goes for Ubuntu Linux, btw. When I log into Ubuntu, I want to
 do something now, not wait for 10 minutes clicking Ok, Yes, Install,
 Ok, ...
That makes me glad I don't use Ubuntu. :-/ I had an Ubuntu box once, but I just edited /etc/apt/sources.list to point to the Debian repos instead, and apt dist-upgraded out of Ubuntu into Debian. :-D T -- Long, long ago, the ancient Chinese invented a device that lets them see through walls. It was called the "window".
May 07
prev sibling parent reply =?UTF-8?Q?Ali_=c3=87ehreli?= <acehreli yahoo.com> writes:
On 05/06/2019 05:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:

 I mean, with all the talk about user-friendly UI's
The only way I can explain this is so called UI experts are not committed to serving the user. Perhaps the UI folk are actually normal but they under tremendous pressure by other parts of the company. Nick mentioned RokuTV. I cannot believe that Roku even took off as a product with the responsiveness that it had. The version that we have today is barely bearable. And it cannot be the hardware because I don't think there is hardware that slow today. I think they send every single click over the network. It's laughable. And they imitate responsiveness by making a "click" sound that comes a second after you click the button. Ha ha! :p
 *somebody* on the Windows team
 should have stepped back, realized what an insane nightmare of a user
 experience this kind of behaviour is
My dad's new laptop has Windows 10 in it. The unfortunate result is that he simply does not (more like cannot) use it anymore. While he is doing something else on the interface, a window pops up at the right-hand corner. He doesn't even see it. He is expected to click it? Sometimes some thin banner appears under the menu bar of some applications, warning him about something. He doesn't even *see* it with all the jumble of stuff on the screen. Mind boggling so much so that I don't think UX people are people at all. (I thought I would feel better; but it's getting worse; but thank for letting me write these. :) ) Ali
May 09
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/9/19 4:48 PM, Ali Çehreli wrote:
 On 05/06/2019 05:15 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 
  > I mean, with all the talk about user-friendly UI's
 
 The only way I can explain this is so called UI experts are not 
 committed to serving the user. Perhaps the UI folk are actually normal 
 but they under tremendous pressure by other parts of the company.
 
 Nick mentioned RokuTV. I cannot believe that Roku even took off as a 
 product with the responsiveness that it had. The version that we have 
 today is barely bearable. And it cannot be the hardware because I don't 
 think there is hardware that slow today.
There wasn't hardware that slow 25 years ago.
 I think they send every single 
 click over the network.
Oh my dear god, I think you may actually be right about that! It would explain so much...
 It's laughable. And they imitate responsiveness 
 by making a "click" sound that comes a second after you click the 
 button. Ha ha! :p
Yup. But one thing about your comments is disconcerting: This particular TV in question, AIUI, I based on Roku 2. And supposedly, Roku 3+ fixed the responsiveness issue. Is that really not the case? If so, that's even more pathetic than I thought. The part that *REALLY* gets to me, maybe even more than anything else, is that given full access to all internal documentation and tools, *I*, just by my singular little old lonesome, could do a FAAARRR better job. But like Megadeth pointed out years ago: "...But who's buying?"
  > *somebody* on the Windows team
  > should have stepped back, realized what an insane nightmare of a user
  > experience this kind of behaviour is
 
 My dad's new laptop has Windows 10 in it. The unfortunate result is that 
 he simply does not (more like cannot) use it anymore. While he is doing 
 something else on the interface, a window pops up at the right-hand 
 corner. He doesn't even see it. He is expected to click it? Sometimes 
 some thin banner appears under the menu bar of some applications, 
 warning him about something. He doesn't even *see* it with all the 
 jumble of stuff on the screen. Mind boggling so much so that I don't 
 think UX people are people at all. (I thought I would feel better; but 
 it's getting worse; but thank for letting me write these. :) )
"We keep making it more idiot-proof, but they keep making better idiots." My mom's the same way. If a dialog box pops up, she absolutely, WILL NOT read it, PERIOD. As a last resort she'll grab me to "help", but otherwise, to absolve herself the burden of reading and/or thinking, she'll look for a way to "click it away" (I have no idea where she ever got the phrase "click it away", but if I ever find out you'll know because I'll probably be incarcerated for manslaughter...(that's a joke BTW, just to be clear...)). But as far as her actually *reading* a popup dialog...nope...nuh-uh, *never* gonna happen. Stubborn ol'....*&%^ ^ ^& (* $(** &*.....*grumble* *grumble*....
May 09
parent "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/9/19 11:21 PM, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) wrote:
 On 5/9/19 4:48 PM, Ali Çehreli wrote:
 The only way I can explain this is so called UI experts are not 
 committed to serving the user. Perhaps the UI folk are actually normal 
 but they under tremendous pressure by other parts of the company.

 Nick mentioned RokuTV. I cannot believe that Roku even took off as a 
 product with the responsiveness that it had. The version that we have 
 today is barely bearable. And it cannot be the hardware because I 
 don't think there is hardware that slow today.
There wasn't hardware that slow 25 years ago.
 I think they send every single click over the network.
Oh my dear god, I think you may actually be right about that! It would explain so much...
Come to think of it, back when I "cut the cable" as they say now and ditched cable TV, one of the key reasons I ditched was because after the set-top's latest major update, things as simple as *changing the channel* would frequently involve...I shit you not...MORE than a full minute(!!) of delay. After several months of that complete and utter garbage, we even complained, had a technician sent out, the technician replaced some wiring a squirrel had allegedly chewed through, replaced the set-top box itself, aaannddd....*ZERO* change. So we told Time Warner (now more appropriately rebranded as Speculum) we were done. So maybe *that's* why Roku managed to take off despite its clear ineptitude: At least Roku's UI lag is on the order of seconds instead of (literally) minutes!
May 09
prev sibling parent reply Jonathan M Davis <newsgroup.d jmdavisprog.com> writes:
On Monday, May 6, 2019 6:15:07 PM MDT H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On Mon, May 06, 2019 at 05:01:58PM -0700, Walter Bright via Digitalmars-d 
wrote:
 On 5/5/2019 4:32 PM, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) wrote:
 Installing updates...you may as well go watch an entire series on
 Netflix 'cause you ain't packing up your laptop *or* getting any
 emails sent anytime soon...
I learned to fire up my laptop some time before giving the presentation. I've also had many overnight jobs fail because Windows forcibly rebooted to install updates.
Am I the only one who thinks this is completely ridiculous, and a shame to our industry, that users have to put up with this kind of nonsense? I mean, with all the talk about user-friendly UI's and designing programs with UI in mind, one would think *somebody* on the Windows team should have stepped back, realized what an insane nightmare of a user experience this kind of behaviour is, and piped up about finding a different way of doing things. What's the use of all that GUI eye-candy when the *actual* user experience is this horrible??
It seems to be that their current approach is their response to the problem that tons of people don't bother to update Windows (or actively avoid it), and they're sick of all of the fallout that comes from that - including Windows getting a bad rep for security issues than already have been fixed. And I can certainly sympathize with that, though as a power user, I don't like losing control over when and how my system updates, and they don't seem to have managed to go about things in a way that forces people to keep their systems up-to-date without causing problems. And I don't know how solvable that problem is. As a power user though, it's one more reason to avoid using Windows when I can. - Jonathan M Davis
May 06
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/6/19 11:02 PM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 
 It seems to be that their current approach is their response to the problem
 that tons of people don't bother to update Windows (or actively avoid it),
 and they're sick of all of the fallout that comes from that - including
 Windows getting a bad rep for security issues than already have been fixed.
I'll definitely agree with this. However...
 they don't seem
 to have managed to go about things in a way that forces people to keep their
 systems up-to-date without causing problems. And I don't know how solvable
 that problem is. 
It's entirely solvable. And conceptually speaking, not too difficult, either. Things like Nix, 0install, Arch, and probably most Linux distros at this point, all prove that quite conclusively (their only flaws in this regard are merely implementation and UI flaws, nothing theoretical or otherwise fundamental). All it really boils down to is: 1. Download/extract data to a new location. 2. Update the links, preferably atomically. 3. Have at the new data. 4. Don't go out of your way to add in things that people obviously don't want, like resetting their preference to disable cortana, knowingly add new vectors of directly invading their privacy, force-installing Win10 on Win7 users, random UI rearranging, and other such suit-and-arse-driven folleys that only serve to give people *more* reason to kill updates with napalm and hellfire. The mere fact that MS has spent so many years failing at these basics so incredibly badly (I imagine legacy has a lot to do with #1-3, though not #4) is the ONLY reason anyone even suspects that there might be something fundamentally difficult about it (which, again, there just isn't, as other systems and package managers clearly demonstrate...at least, to the minority of users familiar with non-Windows desktops/laptops).
May 07
next sibling parent reply Jonathan M Davis <newsgroup.d jmdavisprog.com> writes:
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019 1:17:55 AM MDT Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via 
Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/6/19 11:02 PM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 It seems to be that their current approach is their response to the
 problem that tons of people don't bother to update Windows (or actively
 avoid it), and they're sick of all of the fallout that comes from that
 - including Windows getting a bad rep for security issues than already
 have been fixed.
I'll definitely agree with this. However...
 they don't seem
 to have managed to go about things in a way that forces people to keep
 their systems up-to-date without causing problems. And I don't know how
 solvable that problem is.
It's entirely solvable. And conceptually speaking, not too difficult, either. Things like Nix, 0install, Arch, and probably most Linux distros at this point, all prove that quite conclusively (their only flaws in this regard are merely implementation and UI flaws, nothing theoretical or otherwise fundamental). All it really boils down to is: 1. Download/extract data to a new location. 2. Update the links, preferably atomically. 3. Have at the new data. 4. Don't go out of your way to add in things that people obviously don't want, like resetting their preference to disable cortana, knowingly add new vectors of directly invading their privacy, force-installing Win10 on Win7 users, random UI rearranging, and other such suit-and-arse-driven folleys that only serve to give people *more* reason to kill updates with napalm and hellfire. The mere fact that MS has spent so many years failing at these basics so incredibly badly (I imagine legacy has a lot to do with #1-3, though not #4) is the ONLY reason anyone even suspects that there might be something fundamentally difficult about it (which, again, there just isn't, as other systems and package managers clearly demonstrate...at least, to the minority of users familiar with non-Windows desktops/laptops).
No linux distro that I'm aware of actually forces you to ever update. They may bug you about it, but they don't force you (and in some cases, if you wait long enough, you actually _can't_ update without reinstalling the OS, which can be really annoying with machines that you don't use regularly). My point was that I'm not sure how solvable it is to force people to keep their systems up-to-date without it causing problems for users. I'm sure that MS could do better with that, and I'm sure that they could do better with updates in general, but trying to force people to update while not getting in their way is not at all straightforward, since in order to force them, you pretty much have to get in their way eventually if they keep putting it off. MS has of course made the situation worse with how they've forced unwanted stuff on people in updates, and they've screwed up enough updates that some people actively try to avoid updating, but even if you were starting from scratch with no reputation involved, I don't know if you can really force people to stay up-to-date without getting in their way. I'm not saying that forcing people is necessarily a good approach (as a user, I sure don't like it), but I can understand why they'd want to given the problems that they've had historically because of people who don't update or try to stay on older versions of Windows. And once you try to force people, I think that you're probably stuck with a sucky user experience with regards to updates. Overall, I get the impression that with the current CEO, MS' approach leans towards trying to treat users' machines the same way that they treat their cloud services, and IMHO, that doesn't work very well. Certainly, it goes in the opposite direction that I'd like to see things go, and it's very different from how open source OSes are handled. - Jonathan M Davis
May 07
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/7/19 4:33 AM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 [...]
 scratch with no reputation involved, I don't know if you can really force
 people to stay up-to-date without getting in their way. I'm not saying that
[...] All very good points. And actually forcing people to update, of course, isn't very good. But my point is that installing updates really doesn't *have* to get in anyone's way in the first place. Certainly not like it does on Windows. All you really need is something like this: 1. Check that the user hasn't disabled auto-updates. 2. *In the background*, download libfoo-2.1.archive, in a low-priority process 3. *In the background*, extract libfoo-2.1.archive to systemComponentsDirectory/libfoo-2.1, in a low-priority process 4. Do the same for the other components/packages in the update. 5. *In the background*, atomically journal a note of all the new packages. 6. Whenever you can, on startup/shutdown/whatever, spend the *fraction of a second* it takes to update the symlinks: systemComponentsDirectory/libfoo-active -> systemComponentsDirectory/libfoo-2.1 7. Keep systemComponentsDirectory/libfoo-2.0 around for awhile in case a rollback is needed. Done. Nobody had to be inconvenienced for more than about one second, and it was at their own leisure anyway. But of course, Windows updates don't even remotely resemble anything like the above. I have no idea how they've managed to come up with...whatever convoluted, insane, exponential-time bizarreness that Windows Update does in order to make an update happen...
May 07
next sibling parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 12:31:30PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via
Digitalmars-d wrote:
[...]
 But of course, Windows updates don't even remotely resemble anything
 like the above. I have no idea how they've managed to come up
 with...whatever convoluted, insane, exponential-time bizarreness that
 Windows Update does in order to make an update happen...
It's probably because they need to run a solver for an NP-complete problem in order to deal with Windows DLL hell. :-D :-D "Houston, we have a zero-day security flaw!" "Is the dev team on it?" "Yeah, they will have a patch ready in an hour." "Great, let's solve an NP-complete problem so that we can distribute this patch to users as slowly as possible." "Sounds like a great idea!" T -- I am Ohm of Borg. Resistance is voltage over current.
May 07
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Jonathan M Davis <newsgroup.d jmdavisprog.com> writes:
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019 10:31:30 AM MDT Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via 
Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/7/19 4:33 AM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 [...]
 scratch with no reputation involved, I don't know if you can really
 force
 people to stay up-to-date without getting in their way. I'm not saying
 that
[...] All very good points. And actually forcing people to update, of course, isn't very good. But my point is that installing updates really doesn't *have* to get in anyone's way in the first place. Certainly not like it does on Windows. All you really need is something like this: 1. Check that the user hasn't disabled auto-updates. 2. *In the background*, download libfoo-2.1.archive, in a low-priority process 3. *In the background*, extract libfoo-2.1.archive to systemComponentsDirectory/libfoo-2.1, in a low-priority process 4. Do the same for the other components/packages in the update. 5. *In the background*, atomically journal a note of all the new packages. 6. Whenever you can, on startup/shutdown/whatever, spend the *fraction of a second* it takes to update the symlinks: systemComponentsDirectory/libfoo-active -> systemComponentsDirectory/libfoo-2.1 7. Keep systemComponentsDirectory/libfoo-2.0 around for awhile in case a rollback is needed. Done. Nobody had to be inconvenienced for more than about one second, and it was at their own leisure anyway. But of course, Windows updates don't even remotely resemble anything like the above. I have no idea how they've managed to come up with...whatever convoluted, insane, exponential-time bizarreness that Windows Update does in order to make an update happen...
The amount of time that Windows takes to update - both with fetching the updates and with installing them - is insane. And it seems to happen far too frequently that windows update just gets stuck and never finishes. Regardless of the timing or whether they're forced, the actual update process for Windows is absolutely terrible. I've seen updates take several minutes on *nix systems, but unless you're installing a ton of packages, it's usually pretty quick - and most distros that I've used don't even grab anything in the background. It's _never_ quick with Windows. Even whatever they do when you reboot during the update process takes a ridiculous amount of time. However they've set up the whole mess, they clearly have fundamental problems with how windows update does pretty much anything that it does. - Jonathan M Davis
May 07
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/7/19 6:12 PM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 
 The amount of time that Windows takes to update - both with fetching the
 updates and with installing them - is insane. And it seems to happen far too
 frequently that windows update just gets stuck and never finishes.
 Regardless of the timing or whether they're forced, the actual update
 process for Windows is absolutely terrible. I've seen updates take several
 minutes on *nix systems, but unless you're installing a ton of packages,
 it's usually pretty quick - and most distros that I've used don't even grab
 anything in the background. It's _never_ quick with Windows. Even whatever
 they do when you reboot during the update process takes a ridiculous amount
 of time. However they've set up the whole mess, they clearly have
 fundamental problems with how windows update does pretty much anything that
 it does.
Yup. And on Win10, I've found that even the background-downloading process (I *think* that's what it was, IIRC...), despite being a background process, would consistently slow the entire computer down to the point of being completely unusable (We're talking, like full minutes for a single click or drag interaction.) And being windows, AFAIK, there's no Ctrl-Alt-F2 to get over to a text terminal and sidestep the desktop's slowdown. It's a shame, really. I actually used to be really huge on Windows. XP was really quite good in its day for the most part (once you disabled big blue playskool mode). The Linux of the same period was quite a pain, as this was before things like apt and automatic package dependency management. And, maybe it was just me, but X would constantly just suddenly decide on a whim it didn't want to boot anymore until being reinstalled. I'm SO glad Linux has improved as much as it has since then.
May 08
next sibling parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Wed, May 08, 2019 at 02:20:23PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via
Digitalmars-d wrote:
[...]
 It's a shame, really. I actually used to be really huge on Windows. XP
 was really quite good in its day for the most part (once you disabled
 big blue playskool mode).
I was never a fan of Windows, ever since the 3.1 days. Stuck with DOS until it was obvious it's a dead-end, then at the prompting of a friend jumped ship to Linux. Never looked back since. But, to each his own.
 The Linux of the same period was quite a pain, as this was before
 things like apt and automatic package dependency management.
Man, that brings back the memories. I remember my first Linux install. Too big to download all at once over dialup, so I had to use good ole SneakerNet to transfer package files from my uni's fat WAN pipe on 3.5-inch floppies to my home PC. And woe betide when I was missing a dependency -- there was no apt, I had to visit each package's page on debian.org, and manually write down each recursive dependency, then solve the knapsack problem to decide which package to put on which floppy in order to minimize roundtrips on SneakerNet. :-D Not to mention, installation of the OS was *completely* manual. You had to partition your drive manually to the right sizes and types using a manual partition tool, then run the bare-bones installer that basically installed just enough for the kernel to boot into bash. You had to download all other packages manually, and everything had to be configured by editing files in /etc. Which meant you had to read docs, lots and lots of docs and manpages, 'cos screwing it up as root often meant you had to restart the process ALL OVER AGAIN. :-D And that's assuming docs were even available. If not, you had to read scripts in /etc and deduce the right incantations to invoke.
 And, maybe it was just me, but X would constantly just suddenly decide
 on a whim it didn't want to boot anymore until being reinstalled.
It's not just you. In the early days X had to be manually installed and configured, which meant hours reading monitor manuals, video card specs, dual-booting into Windows to "cheat" by looking at the settings, then translate all of that into X Klingon-speak aka X11.conf and hope you didn't screw up an important parameter, 'cos hardware in those days did not have many safety mechanisms built in, and X can fry your monitor if you gave it the wrong frequency settings. Or more commonly, it would "sorta" work but then worked unreliably, or randomly decides to fail, or just barf for no discernible reason whatsoever. Even to this day, I dread upgrading the X server, because the last time I did that (sometime earlier this year) it started causing GPU lockups. The worst part of this is that I usually don't restart X (since I'm *on* it) while upgrading, and I'd also often upgrade from a remote session, so the currently-running X server is an older version that still works, but the version on disk no longer does, but there's no indication of any problem. Months later I reboot... and discover that X has crashed my GPU, again. Then it's a painstaking task of digging into the Debian archive for earlier versions of X (along with their complex dependencies) and downgrading by hand. That's why nowadays the first thing I do after installing X is to disable starting X during bootup. I just can't trust it anymore not to randomly break upon upgrading. It's almost as unreliable as Windows sometimes, and it's an embarrassment. Of course, recent versions of X have alleviated a lot of the earlier pains -- nowadays you don't have to deal with X config files anymore except in special circumstances: most hardware is auto-detected and auto-configured, and for the most part the default settings Just Work(tm). Still, on my older hardware it can still be temperamental sometimes. Once it works, it works very well, for the most part -- and can last for months, even years, without rebooting. Can't say the same for Windows, not by a long stretch. But upgrades can sometimes introduce random breakage.
 I'm SO glad Linux has improved as much as it has since then.
It's been good and bad. The installation process is much saner now, for one thing. And (mostly-)configurationless X is a *huge* improvement over the early days. But there are still bogonities in some places. Pretty minor ones, though, compared to what I experienced of Windows. And all fixable with a bit of delving under the hood and bashing(!) out some scripts. :-D So I continue to be a happy camper here, and have little inclination to touch Windows (except when the wife calls "tech support" :-P). The best part about Linux is that I can configure the heck out of it until it resembles nothing like what a default installation would give you, and things will still Just Work(tm). Tried that with Windows once, and man... you wouldn't believe how many things stop working as soon as you change a minor option, like lazy mouse focus. The option is *there* but nobody uses it, nobody supports it, and random programs randomly fail to work or start exhibiting pathological behaviour. You end up in the middle of Unsupported Territory, and there be dragons there. Good luck should you dare to venture in. I backed off and sailed back to Linux-land the very next day. Never again, I say! T -- Too many people have open minds but closed eyes.
May 08
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Jonathan M Davis <newsgroup.d jmdavisprog.com> writes:
On Wednesday, May 8, 2019 1:11:22 PM MDT H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 The best part about Linux is that I can configure the heck out of it
 until it resembles nothing like what a default installation would give
 you, and things will still Just Work(tm).  Tried that with Windows once,
 and man... you wouldn't believe how many things stop working as soon as
 you change a minor option, like lazy mouse focus.  The option is *there*
 but nobody uses it, nobody supports it, and random programs randomly
 fail to work or start exhibiting pathological behaviour. You end up in
 the middle of Unsupported Territory, and there be dragons there. Good
 luck should you dare to venture in.  I backed off and sailed back to
 Linux-land the very next day.  Never again, I say!
On Linux, whet you normally get is focus follows click (like Windows), but the scroll wheel on the mouse typically scrolls whatever windown it's over regardless of the focus. However, on Windows, it normally scrolls whichever window has focus. This drives me nuts. So, at one point, I switched Windows to focus follows mouse (which requires that you then make it not bring the window to the front when it gets focus, or it becomes unusable). And while this wasn't great, it was generally better with non-MS applications. _They_ did the right thing. However, applications from MS (such as visual studio) ignored the setting about not bring the window to the front when it got focus, making it a royal pain when visual studio did something like pop up a modal window. Similarly, when I messed with the color scheme, non-MS applications did the right thing, but MS applications ended up with the colors being applied in weird ways as if they didn't use the normal building blocks when putting their GUIs together. So, my experience has been that non-MS applications tend to behave properly when you muck with Windows settings, but MS applications do not. It's really quite weird. - Jonathan M Davis
May 09
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/9/19 8:34 AM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 On Wednesday, May 8, 2019 1:11:22 PM MDT H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 The best part about Linux is that I can configure the heck out of it
 until it resembles nothing like what a default installation would give
 you, and things will still Just Work(tm).  Tried that with Windows once,
 and man... you wouldn't believe how many things stop working as soon as
 you change a minor option, like lazy mouse focus.  The option is *there*
 but nobody uses it, nobody supports it, and random programs randomly
 fail to work or start exhibiting pathological behaviour. You end up in
 the middle of Unsupported Territory, and there be dragons there. Good
 luck should you dare to venture in.  I backed off and sailed back to
 Linux-land the very next day.  Never again, I say!
On Linux, whet you normally get is focus follows click (like Windows), but the scroll wheel on the mouse typically scrolls whatever windown it's over regardless of the focus. However, on Windows, it normally scrolls whichever window has focus. This drives me nuts.
OMG, that drove me absolutely up the wall as well, even when I was a Windows guy. Serious UI blunder: You can point-n-click, you can point-n-drag, but you can't point-n-scroll. And it's not just the window that needs to be active, but often the specific control as well: For example, open the standard 2-panel Win Explorer (file manager, not IE), and try to scroll the left panel and then the right panel. Doesn't work. You have to click which panel you want to scroll. *Then* scroll wheel will work on it - until you want to go back to scrolling the other... It's exactly the same as if you always needed to "activate" a button or hyperlink before you could click on it. It's just insane. Luckily, there's this: http://ehiti.de/katmouse/ I don't know how well it still works on the newer "Metro" versions of Windows though.
 So, at one point, I switched Windows
 to focus follows mouse (which requires that you then make it not bring the
 window to the front when it gets focus, or it becomes unusable). And while
 this wasn't great, it was generally better with non-MS applications. _They_
 did the right thing. However, applications from MS (such as visual studio)
 ignored the setting about not bring the window to the front when it got
 focus, making it a royal pain when visual studio did something like pop up a
 modal window. Similarly, when I messed with the color scheme, non-MS
 applications did the right thing, but MS applications ended up with the
 colors being applied in weird ways as if they didn't use the normal building
 blocks when putting their GUIs together. So, my experience has been that
 non-MS applications tend to behave properly when you muck with Windows
 settings, but MS applications do not. It's really quite weird.
Yea, see, what you and H.S. Teoh describe are exactly the sort of problems that happen when Unix Philosophy isn't used and software tries to pull that "vertical integration"[1] garbage instead. [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_integration
May 09
parent reply Rumbu <rumbu rumbu.ro> writes:
On Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 17:37:04 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
(Abscissa) wrote:
 OMG, that drove me absolutely up the wall as well, even when I 
 was a Windows guy. Serious UI blunder: You can point-n-click, 
 you can point-n-drag, but you can't point-n-scroll.

...
 I don't know how well it still works on the newer "Metro" 
 versions of Windows though.
On Windows 10 it's called "Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them" and it's enabled by default.
May 09
parent "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/9/19 4:39 PM, Rumbu wrote:
 On Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 17:37:04 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) wrote:
 OMG, that drove me absolutely up the wall as well, even when I was a 
 Windows guy. Serious UI blunder: You can point-n-click, you can 
 point-n-drag, but you can't point-n-scroll.

 ...
 I don't know how well it still works on the newer "Metro" versions of 
 Windows though.
On Windows 10 it's called "Scroll inactive windows when I hover over them" and it's enabled by default.
Oh thank goodness for that...*FINALLY*!!!! (A bit too little too late, but, hey...)
May 09
prev sibling parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Thu, May 09, 2019 at 06:34:09AM -0600, Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d
wrote:
 On Wednesday, May 8, 2019 1:11:22 PM MDT H. S. Teoh via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 The best part about Linux is that I can configure the heck out of it
 until it resembles nothing like what a default installation would
 give you, and things will still Just Work(tm).  Tried that with
 Windows once, and man... you wouldn't believe how many things stop
 working as soon as you change a minor option, like lazy mouse focus.
 The option is *there* but nobody uses it, nobody supports it, and
 random programs randomly fail to work or start exhibiting
 pathological behaviour. You end up in the middle of Unsupported
 Territory, and there be dragons there. Good luck should you dare to
 venture in.  I backed off and sailed back to Linux-land the very
 next day.  Never again, I say!
On Linux, whet you normally get is focus follows click (like Windows),
What, really?! When did that happen? Back when I still actually used a GUI, it was lazy focus (focus follows movement, no need to click). But mind you, my GUI days were long before KDE or GNOME, so my information is very dated. I tried to make Windows follow lazy focus once, and ... as described above it was Not Nice(tm). Just about *everything* started acting funny. I beat a hasty retreat. Heaven forbid I actually *change* a configuration option that the OS provides via a GUI menu to something other than what Everyone Else is doing. (As you can tell, this left an extremely strong distaste in my mouth for anything that resembles the Windows philosophy of "do it our way, or take the highway" aka programming by convention / anything by convention, really. If something cannot be configured, I refuse to use it.) [...]
 However, on Windows, it normally scrolls whichever window has focus.
 This drives me nuts. So, at one point, I switched Windows to focus
 follows mouse (which requires that you then make it not bring the
 window to the front when it gets focus, or it becomes unusable). And
 while this wasn't great, it was generally better with non-MS
 applications. _They_ did the right thing. However, applications from
 MS (such as visual studio) ignored the setting about not bring the
 window to the front when it got focus, making it a royal pain when
 visual studio did something like pop up a modal window.
IOW, the configuration "option" isn't really an option. Not a viable one, anyway. The cynic in me wants to say that it's only there to silence the complainers like me who clamor for configurability, but it doesn't *actually* pan out in practice.
 Similarly, when I messed with the color scheme, non-MS applications
 did the right thing, but MS applications ended up with the colors
 being applied in weird ways as if they didn't use the normal building
 blocks when putting their GUIs together. So, my experience has been
 that non-MS applications tend to behave properly when you muck with
 Windows settings, but MS applications do not. It's really quite weird.
[...] Probably an effect of the unclean coupling between MS products, i.e., the public API that everyone else uses is different from the internal APIs that MS products freely take advantage of, that competitors have no access to. T -- "You know, maybe we don't *need* enemies." "Yeah, best friends are about all I can take." -- Calvin & Hobbes
May 09
prev sibling parent reply "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 04:12:50PM -0600, Jonathan M Davis via Digitalmars-d
wrote:
[...]
 The amount of time that Windows takes to update - both with fetching
 the updates and with installing them - is insane.
[...]
 Even whatever they do when you reboot during the update process takes
 a ridiculous amount of time. However they've set up the whole mess,
 they clearly have fundamental problems with how windows update does
 pretty much anything that it does.
[...] Like I said, it's probably because every update requires solving the NP-complete problem of resolving DLL hell. Being Microsoft, of *course* they would represent everything as the equivalent of an arbitrary graph, complete with unnecessary labels (accompanied by needless icons), frills, wizard entities and un-asked-for OS upgrades -- after all, why settle for simple solutions to simple problems when you could throw a SAT solver at a complex problem for no good reason? -- then delegate it to the user's PC to run said SAT solver to sort out the resulting mess. (Or perhaps it's because all the additional frills they threw in on top of DLL hell have successfully turned it from an NP-complete problem into a PSPACE-complete one, which would explain why it takes exponential time *and* exponential space to run an update. :-P :-P Now that I think about it, that explains a LOT of things about Windows. Like why you have to download hundreds of MBs just for a few security patches. :-D) That's not to say Linux updaters don't have their own faults, of course. But at least on Debian, (1) you're not incessantly nagged with needless popups, (2) it doesn't strong-arm you into upgrading to an entire new OS release just to get *one* security patch, (3) it downloads stuff in a sane amount of time, and (4) it installs stuff in minutes rather than hours. (I've had the pleasure of experiencing upgrading from one major release to another with a single command (apt-get dist-upgrade), and having it Just Work(tm) without even needing to reboot(!). It was so painless I was even pinching myself afterwards in disbelief that I've upgraded to a new release and it *didn't* feel like a monumental achievement. On my wife's Windows laptop, the smallest of security patches requires rebooting, and enduring the process of upgrading to a new OS release was deserving of a medal.) T -- "I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet. " -- swr
May 07
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/7/19 7:06 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 
 (I've had the pleasure of experiencing upgrading from one major release
 to another with a single command (apt-get dist-upgrade), and having it
 Just Work(tm) without even needing to reboot(!).
Whoa, I'm jealous of that! Here on Manjaro, I've gotten into the habit of only doing an update if I'm ready to reboot immediately after, because too many times when I didn't, the update would cause the system to become unstable and quirky until I rebooted. (But then, I use KDE, so maybe that's why.)
May 11
parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Sat, May 11, 2019 at 02:35:39PM -0400, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via
Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/7/19 7:06 PM, H. S. Teoh wrote:
 
 (I've had the pleasure of experiencing upgrading from one major
 release to another with a single command (apt-get dist-upgrade), and
 having it Just Work(tm) without even needing to reboot(!).
Whoa, I'm jealous of that! Here on Manjaro, I've gotten into the habit of only doing an update if I'm ready to reboot immediately after, because too many times when I didn't, the update would cause the system to become unstable and quirky until I rebooted. (But then, I use KDE, so maybe that's why.)
Keep in mind, though, that this was about a decade ago. Things have changed, and with the introduction of things like systemd, you can't realistically upgrade to a new OS release without rebooting at *some* point. Also, upgrading anything related to that monster called X11 (including all GUI "desktops" built on top of that) pretty much requires restarting X11 and everything above it. While this can be done without actually rebooting, from the user's POV it might as well be the same thing. T -- People who are more than casually interested in computers should have at least some idea of what the underlying hardware is like. Otherwise the programs they write will be pretty weird. -- D. Knuth
May 13
prev sibling parent "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh quickfur.ath.cx> writes:
On Tue, May 07, 2019 at 03:17:55AM -0400, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) via
Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On 5/6/19 11:02 PM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
[...]
 they don't seem to have managed to go about things in a way that
 forces people to keep their systems up-to-date without causing
 problems. And I don't know how solvable that problem is.
It's entirely solvable. And conceptually speaking, not too difficult, either. Things like Nix, 0install, Arch, and probably most Linux distros at this point, all prove that quite conclusively (their only flaws in this regard are merely implementation and UI flaws, nothing theoretical or otherwise fundamental).
[...] To be fair, though, when a Linux update goes bad, things can go *really* bad. Distant memories of nightmarish updates come to mind like libc5 -> libc6, which if you're not careful could leave *all* your executables unstartable (including things you take for granted like 'ls' and 'cp'). Or that horror called X11, which to this very day I keep pinned to a specific version because new releases of the Radeon driver routinely introduce video card lockup bugs on my hardware, which, coupled with the recent trend of starting the GUI by default, can mean it locks up right on bootup before you have time to react. Only my "anachronistic" insistence on starting at the text mode console and knowing enough to be able to roll back a bad update by hand saved me from having to outright reinstall the entire system. A non-power user would have neither the knowledge nor the inclination to do that, and would be faced with what amounts to a bricked system. Of course, IME this seems to happen a lot less often than b0rken Windows updates, but still. Live updating of a running system is not as simple as it might seem, and newer doesn't always translate to better. T -- Кто везде - тот нигде.
May 07
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Vladimir Panteleev <thecybershadow.lists gmail.com> writes:
On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 We've got a lot of very reasonable, level-headed Linux folk on 
 this board:

 I'm helping my mom look for a laptop to replace her ~10 year 
 old one, and given all the mess Windows Update has been making 
 of things since about Win7 onwards, I'm temped to just stick 
 her on Linux (especially if I can't find anything still using 
 Win7). Heck, 90% of what she does is just web browser anyway, 
 with the other 10% being pretty much Linux compatible stuff 
 (Hmm...although come to think of it, only possible exception 
 might be her iPhone...I'll have to look into that, I'm not an 
 iOS guy...).
For all of my relatives (mom, dad, sister, pretty much anyone who comes with me with a problem requiring installing an OS), I have been installing Xubuntu LTS. It works great. The UI is simple, the UI stays always the same (unlike Gnome/KDE), and it's fast even on very old computers. I would not recommend a rolling release distro. A major upgrade of desktop environment can unexpectedly disrupt their day-to-day workflow. Ubuntu LTS releases have a very long support period, so even if you turn off automatic upgrades, you need to manually update/reinstall once every 6-8 years.
May 08
parent Vladimir Panteleev <thecybershadow.lists gmail.com> writes:
On Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 05:03:34 UTC, Vladimir Panteleev wrote:
 For all of my relatives (mom, dad, sister, pretty much anyone 
 who comes with me with a problem requiring installing an OS), I 
 have been installing Xubuntu LTS. It works great. The UI is 
 simple, the UI stays always the same (unlike Gnome/KDE), and 
 it's fast even on very old computers.
Here is my list of post-installation tweaks: - Add a weather widget to the task bar. Useful and makes a good impression. - Add a keyboard layout switcher widget to the task bar (almost everyone here is bilingual). - Go into language preferences and ensure all language packs for their preferred language (usually Russian, rarely Romanian) are installed. Essentially this means opening the dialog and clicking OK as Ubuntu doesn't install them all during OS installation for some reason. - Change the default save format in LibreOffice to Microsoft .doc - Install an ad blocker (uBlock Origin) in Firefox - Install Skype for Linux - If they have a printer, set it up (the only common hardware that doesn't work out of the box!) - If the user wants, move the taskbar to the bottom of the screen, and disable the screensaver lock.
May 08
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
Thanks for the input, all.

If you don't already know me by know, I'll warn you: There's a lot of 
ranty-ness the further this gets. But I *do* have a (tentative) plan...

So, for anyone curious, and for documentation purposes, my additional 
research tells me a few things:

- Apparently, Linux (libptp) and iOS both support PTP (ie, treating a 
USB device as a digital camera and transferring photos). Don't know what 
the UX is like on Linux, yet.

- PTP doesn't support videos (only photos), but the MS-created extension 
"MTP" does. It's apparently on Linux (libmtp), but I'm still unclear 
whether iOS supports it, or if not, whether there's another good way to 
transfer videos between iOS and Linux. (Again, I'm not much of an iOS 
guy myself...Hell, I don't even like Android, but that's what my phone is.)

- That alone (photo and video transfer) accounts for the main iPhone 
connectivity I was concerned with[...trying to get her to actually use 
since she's constantly low in iPhone storage space and doesn't know how 
to sync]. There *is* some iOS connectivity (unfortunately forgot what) 
that is still yet-to-be-working on Linux. But it seems that general, 
overall phone-wide iPhone backups are possible on Linux, which is an 
extra bonus on top of the photos/videos I'm mainly concerned with.

- Apparently it's possible these days to use ribbon-based versions of MS 
  Office (which she likes) through Wine. Although, TBH, she doesn't seem 
to use Word (or other Office tools) all that much anymore these days, 
AFAICT.

- I guess, as a last resort anyway, she can still just use her old 
laptop and a USB HDD for anything her new laptop has any issues with. 
(Although her old one doesn't do USB3, but still...feasible.)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Based on all of your helpful feedback, I've given a few of the latest 
versions of Ubuntu and Lubuntu a spin in the ol' Virtual Machine. 
(Aside: I was surprised - it seems I never touched VMs since I switched 
from Debian Testing to Manjaro back I-don't-know-when-ago, so I had to 
reinstall one. *Almost* had to give up on VMWare in favor of Oracle 
VirtualBox due to apparent Manjaro-host issues, but finally managed to 
get it working).

My (L)Ubuntu-client results:

- *Number 1*:
Lubuntu's homepage is <lubuntu.me>...It is *NOT* the outdated and 
rubbish <lubuntu.net> which search engine results would have you believe.

- These days, LXDE now has an offshoot I never knew existed, called LXQt 
(ie, Like the name suggests, it's LXDE, but based on Qt instead of 
& #!%* GTK).

- Newest Lubuntu LTS (18.04) still just uses LXDE, but newest Lubuntu 
non-LTS (18.10) is updated to use LXQt.

- Stock Ubuntu is just as OSX-envious as I remember from the pre-Unity 
GNOME 2 days, and MUCH slower.

- It turns out, based on actual hands-on experience, LXDE (Lub. 18.04) 
is still just as crap as ever (though vastly faster than stock Ubuntu), 
but LXQt (Lub. 18.10) is actually really, really, *REALLY* freaking 
*GOOD*. In fact, *so* freaking good, I'm REALLY tempted to ditch KDE in 
favor of LXQt myself!!!  (Biggest holdback is the fact that 
<https://github.com/papylhomme/diskmonitor> doesn't have a widget or 
systray tool for LXQt. God I wish [*proactive*!!] S.M.A.R.T. tools like 
that were more standard!!! It's an absolute SIN against computing that 
they aren't </rant>)

- As a side note, I'm still absolutely amazed, by how ALL the Win9x+ 
imitating desktops STILL, even *OVER* twenty years later in 2019, 
*still* completely and utterly fail to even *remotely* match (let alone 
surpass) the seamless UX simplicity of...adjusting the freaking 
taskbar...basic no-mess drag-to-resize it...basic intuitive reorienting 
of its mounted side (while having side-mounted panels actually 
*WORK*)...that Windows was *perfectly* capable of **24 YEARS** ago!!! 
Pathetic, linux. Absolutely pathetic!! (*This* is why I'm still very 
tempted to make my own DE, even though I don't know the first thing 
about hooking a home-spun DE into a linux desktop.)

- Trying to convert stock Ubuntu LTS to LXDE (let alone LXQt) 
is...well...absolutely INSANE. I can't even find a freaking way of 
*querying* whether I'm using LXDE vs LXQt (other than the 
overly-objective question of "Does the UI seem crap or good?"), let 
alone which version of which I'm running (and no, the package managers 
don't help because even on Lubuntu they report I have *NEITHER* LXDE 
*NOR* LXQt even installed!!!), let alone trying to get Ubuntu LTS to use 
something Lubuntu added in a non-LTS...just...forget it, screw the whole 
"replace stock Ubuntu's godawful, Apple-envious, slow-as-f*** DE" notion 
entirely...

"Summary" (That's "TL;DR" for you nerds...):
------------------------------------------------

Unless I hit upon unexpected roadblocks, my current plan is:

1. Get a machine meeting the various correct physical requirements that 
also supports unlocking the bootloader (so I can kill Windows in favor 
of Linux). I suspect we can get this pretty cheap, as long as the 
onboard-CDR-in-2019 requirement doesn't prove TOO esoteric (Modern PC 
manufacturers *LOVE* artificially limiting their machines to iPad 
capabilities for inexplicable reasons...).

2. Get a modest USB3 HDD to handle archival needs and shuffling data 
between old-and-new PCs (Because even today, direct LAN data-transfer 
across different OSes (or even the same OS in many unfortunate cases, 
especially if mobiles are involved) is still a royal PITA).

3. Then I'll dual-boot-install Lubuntu 18.10 (non-LTS), but retain an 
optional OEM Windoze partition just-in-case. I'll get what she needs 
up-and-running on that, figure out how to set up automatic updates, and 
leave it at that until Lubuntu has their first LXQt-based LTS...at which 
point I'll update the system to that, re-enable automatic updates, and 
laugh maniacally until either A. It becomes clear I've made huge a 
mistake somewhere or B. It becomes clear it's time for her NEXT new 
computer and I'm forced to prepare ANOTHER round of questionable 
compromises for the alleged sake of "progress"...

Speaking of which...I don't suppose anyone knows where I could find for 
myself...a laptop with:

- SSD+HDD
- DVD-RW (because peripherals are the *obvious* enemy of portability)
- Hardware killswitches for things like WiFi/bluetooth/webcam(if 
any)/mic(if any)/gps(if any) (because why *wouldn't* any reasonable 
human want that? But I guess "reasonable" must be the sticking point...)
- A non-glossy matte screen (again...*duh!!!*...Bonus points if it isn't 
short-screen)
- Good battery life when GPU is NOT active.
- HDMI-out (duh!)
- An actually *sufficient* number of USB (and USB3) 
ports...(again...peripherals are the *obvious* enemy of portability, and 
laptop keyboards are *always* crap).
- AND...perchance...to dream...a competitive CPU/GPU that would allow me 
to play the few AAA games I actually care about with a Steam controller 
rather than DualShock/XBox, and **maybe** even Oculus/Vive? I figure 
that would be $$$, granted, and would obviously kill battery whenever 
the GPU is active, but...but is it *really* too "lack of completely 
unnecessary compromises" to even consider???

If so, even if its $$$, then you would *totally* be my hero (and, yes, I 
realize that's such a *HUGE* honor, but please, don't trip over each 
other reaching for such a star!!!) ;)
May 25
next sibling parent reply Yatheendra <3fg4 gmail.ru> writes:
On Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 07:16:59 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
(Abscissa) wrote:
 Thanks for the input, all.

 If you don't already know me by know, I'll warn you: There's a 
 lot of ranty-ness the further this gets. But I *do* have a 
 (tentative) plan...

 [...]
Have you looked at https://elementary.io/ You have to pay for it, but it is a pretty good Linux option (for you too, if I may guess at from your comments).
May 25
parent reply lagfra <me fragal.eu> writes:
On 05/25 12:10, Yatheendra via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 07:16:59 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) wrote:
 Thanks for the input, all.
 
 If you don't already know me by know, I'll warn you: There's a lot of
 ranty-ness the further this gets. But I *do* have a (tentative) plan...
 
 [...]
Have you looked at https://elementary.io/ You have to pay for it, but it is a pretty good Linux option (for you too, if I may guess at from your comments).
You don't have to pay for it, it's sufficient to put 0$ under the "Custom" menu and you can download it for free. Donations are just encouraged, I guess. I've used EOS for this exact purpose a while ago (introducing a friend to linux), but it seemed a bit confusing since its DE relies heavily on "magic" screen angles and mouse scrolling to move between windows and workspaces. Could be good with a powerful laptop though, especially if the user in question comes from the OSX environment. IMHO the easiest and most complete DE for a beginner is Cinnamon with Linux Mint, but if your laptop / PC is constrained on resources I strongly advise setting up Devuan with XFCE: https://devuan.org/ It is apt-based, lightweight and doesn't use systemd, which makes it a lot easier to reason about and straightforward if you need to debug some system errors.
May 25
parent reply Yatheendra <3fg4 gmail.ru> writes:
On Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 17:33:42 UTC, lagfra wrote:
 On 05/25 12:10, Yatheendra via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 07:16:59 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
 (Abscissa) wrote:
 Thanks for the input, all.
 
 If you don't already know me by know, I'll warn you: There's 
 a lot of ranty-ness the further this gets. But I *do* have a 
 (tentative) plan...
 
 [...]
Have you looked at https://elementary.io/ You have to pay for it, but it is a pretty good Linux option (for you too, if I may guess at from your comments).
You don't have to pay for it, it's sufficient to put 0$ under the "Custom" menu and you can download it for free. Donations are just encouraged, I guess.
I didn't know that (but I feel one should still pay for libre software maintainence).
 I've used EOS for this exact purpose a while ago (introducing a 
 friend to linux), but it seemed a bit confusing since its DE 
 relies heavily on "magic" screen angles and mouse scrolling to 
 move between windows and workspaces. Could be good with a 
 powerful laptop though, especially if the user in question 
 comes from the OSX environment.
I suggested Elementary because I am a fan of the Enlightenment desktop that it uses. I feel any non-techie can figure out most software if its aesthetics are up to scratch.
 IMHO the easiest and most complete DE for a beginner is 
 Cinnamon with Linux Mint, but if your laptop / PC is 
 constrained on resources I strongly advise setting up Devuan 
 with XFCE:
Is it a proper DE, with auto-mounting of USB sticks, controls for WiFi, etc. I thought only GNOME and KDE did that.
 https://devuan.org/

 It is apt-based, lightweight and doesn't use systemd, which 
 makes it a lot easier to reason about and straightforward if 
 you need to debug some system errors.
After moving to Gentoo Linux, I realized how crippled most pre-compiled software is on other Linux distributions. For example, IceWM looks so much better with proper font support compiled in, which most distributions don't compile it with.
May 26
next sibling parent rikki cattermole <rikki cattermole.co.nz> writes:
On 27/05/2019 8:35 AM, Yatheendra wrote:
 IMHO the easiest and most complete DE for a beginner is Cinnamon with 
 Linux Mint, but if your laptop / PC is constrained on resources I 
 strongly advise setting up Devuan with XFCE:
Is it a proper DE, with auto-mounting of USB sticks, controls for WiFi, etc. I thought only GNOME and KDE did that.
Yup Cinnamon does that too its a very good DE and is very "granny-friendly" from experience. Hence why I would use it for anything serious (although I do like LXDE for VM's).
May 26
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Yatheendra <3fg4 gmail.ru> writes:
On filesystems for portable disks (as in, portable across OS'es), 
I have been happily following a suggestion I came across online: 
format drives as UFS, the open standard filesystem present on 
DVD's. Apparently, it just happens to be adopted for use on DVD's 
(hence the cross-OS support), but it is a general-purpose 
filesystem.
May 26
parent reply Uknown <sireeshkodali1 gmail.com> writes:
On Sunday, 26 May 2019 at 20:42:34 UTC, Yatheendra wrote:
 On filesystems for portable disks (as in, portable across 
 OS'es), I have been happily following a suggestion I came 
 across online: format drives as UFS, the open standard 
 filesystem present on DVD's. Apparently, it just happens to be 
 adopted for use on DVD's (hence the cross-OS support), but it 
 is a general-purpose filesystem.
I know about UFS. However it isn't very good for large disks. I use it for small pen drives. It isn't optimised for constant deletions, so it will end up performing poorly. Its much better than any of the FAT series or NTFS though.
May 26
parent reply "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/26/19 10:58 PM, Uknown wrote:
 
 I know about UFS. However it isn't very good for large disks. I use it 
 for small pen drives. It isn't optimised for constant deletions, so it 
 will end up performing poorly. Its much better than any of the FAT 
 series or NTFS though.
Really? Better than NTFS in what way? (Not surprised about it being better than FAT, of course, given FAT's filesize limits and lack of journaling).
May 27
parent reply Uknown <sireeshkodali1 gmail.com> writes:
On Monday, 27 May 2019 at 17:08:24 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
(Abscissa) wrote:
 On 5/26/19 10:58 PM, Uknown wrote:
 
 I know about UFS. However it isn't very good for large disks. 
 I use it for small pen drives. It isn't optimised for constant 
 deletions, so it will end up performing poorly. Its much 
 better than any of the FAT series or NTFS though.
Really? Better than NTFS in what way? (Not surprised about it being better than FAT, of course, given FAT's filesize limits and lack of journaling).
Wait, I got confused between UDF and UFS. UDF is Universal Disk Format. Its meant for DVDs and Blurays, but since its supported by all OSs, its better than NTFS in interoperability. macOS by default doesn't allow writing to NTFS. You need to install Fuse, or enable experimental write support in macOS. Plus UDF also supports Unix permissions, which is a nice extra. Its great for small pendrives. I still use ExFat for my USB3 hard disk. I don't know about UFS. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Disk_Format
May 27
parent reply Yatheendra <3df4 gmail.ru> writes:
On Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 04:05:48 UTC, Uknown wrote:
 Wait, I got confused between UDF and UFS.
 UDF is Universal Disk Format.
I beat you to it :-[] Thanks for correcting, I did mean UDF.
May 28
parent Yatheendra <3df4 gmail.ru> writes:
On Wednesday, 29 May 2019 at 03:00:32 UTC, Yatheendra wrote:
 On Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 04:05:48 UTC, Uknown wrote:
 Wait, I got confused between UDF and UFS.
 UDF is Universal Disk Format.
I beat you to it :-[] Thanks for correcting, I did mean UDF.
Well, let me take back the UDF suggestion. I have to replace it on my backup disk too now. Recently, I learned Linux has zero support for UDF in an aspect I had taken for granted: consistency checking! Apparently, not only is 'fsck' for UDF not working, it is an empty stub that doesn't say so! For just Linux+Mac compatibility, the Mac's own HFS+ filesystem seems to be a good bet if you don't have ultra-large disks. Otherwise, NTFS?
Jun 16
prev sibling parent lagfra <me fragal.eu> writes:
On 05/26 08:35, Yatheendra via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 17:33:42 UTC, lagfra wrote:
 On 05/25 12:10, Yatheendra via Digitalmars-d wrote:
 On Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 07:16:59 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)
 wrote:
 Thanks for the input, all.
 If you don't already know me by know, I'll warn you: There's > a
lot of ranty-ness the further this gets. But I *do* have a > (tentative) plan...
 [...]
Have you looked at https://elementary.io/ You have to pay for it, but it is a pretty good Linux option (for you too, if I may guess at from your comments).
You don't have to pay for it, it's sufficient to put 0$ under the "Custom" menu and you can download it for free. Donations are just encouraged, I guess.
I didn't know that (but I feel one should still pay for libre software maintainence).
Yes, I totally agree.
 IMHO the easiest and most complete DE for a beginner is Cinnamon with
 Linux Mint, but if your laptop / PC is constrained on resources I
 strongly advise setting up Devuan with XFCE:
Is it a proper DE, with auto-mounting of USB sticks, controls for WiFi, etc. I thought only GNOME and KDE did that.
XFCE is one of the most lightweight and consistent DEs in my opinion, of course if one requires everything to work out of the box the choice is restricted to the heaviest ones. XFCE surely needs to put some effort into configuration, yet it is very flexible and everything can be customized through GUIs. Cinnamon supports all the features you list out of the box (at least on Mint).
 https://devuan.org/
 
 It is apt-based, lightweight and doesn't use systemd, which makes it a
 lot easier to reason about and straightforward if you need to debug some
 system errors.
After moving to Gentoo Linux, I realized how crippled most pre-compiled software is on other Linux distributions. For example, IceWM looks so much better with proper font support compiled in, which most distributions don't compile it with.
I'm a Gentoo user too, and while it is true that pre-compiled software is crippled sometimes, I wouldn't recommend Gentoo to a novice or to someone who doesn't use his machine for development. Gentoo is great for programming and it can be configured to be stable as hell, but it takes practice at the beginning.
May 27
prev sibling parent reply Uknown <sireeshkodali1 gmail.com> writes:
On Saturday, 25 May 2019 at 07:16:59 UTC, Nick Sabalausky 
(Abscissa) wrote:
 Thanks for the input, all.
 [...]
 - Apparently, Linux (libptp) and iOS both support PTP (ie, 
 treating a USB device as a digital camera and transferring 
 photos). Don't know what the UX is like on Linux, yet.

 [...]
MTP works fine with Android. However, MTP by design is very unreliable. Its practically useless for large files. With android phones though, KDE connect helps a lot.
 - That alone (photo and video transfer) accounts for the main 
 iPhone connectivity I was concerned with[...trying to get her 
 to actually use since she's constantly low in iPhone storage 
 space and doesn't know how to sync]. There *is* some iOS 
 connectivity (unfortunately forgot what) that is still 
 yet-to-be-working on Linux. But it seems that general, overall 
 phone-wide iPhone backups are possible on Linux, which is an 
 extra bonus on top of the photos/videos I'm mainly concerned 
 with.
If you want to transfer large videos to the iPhone, you can try MTP. If it doesn't work, iTunes on Wine might be the way to go.
 - Apparently it's possible these days to use ribbon-based 
 versions of MS
  Office (which she likes) through Wine. Although, TBH, she 
 doesn't seem to use Word (or other Office tools) all that much 
 anymore these days, AFAICT.
You can also install the latest LibreOffice as a back up, and configure it to use the ribbon UI. https://itsfoss.com/libreoffice-5-3-released/ Its just selecting the right view in the view menu.
 - I guess, as a last resort anyway, she can still just use her 
 old laptop and a USB HDD for anything her new laptop has any 
 issues with. (Although her old one doesn't do USB3, but 
 still...feasible.)

 [...]
As a Lubuntu user, didn't know this. Thanks.
 - These days, LXDE now has an offshoot I never knew existed, 
 called LXQt (ie, Like the name suggests, it's LXDE, but based 
 on Qt instead of & #!%* GTK).

 [...]
GNOME is pretty much OSX + iOS
 - It turns out, based on actual hands-on experience, LXDE (Lub. 
 18.04) is still just as crap as ever (though vastly faster than 
 stock Ubuntu), but LXQt (Lub. 18.10) is actually really, 
 really, *REALLY* freaking *GOOD*. In fact, *so* freaking good, 
 I'm REALLY tempted to ditch KDE in favor of LXQt myself!!!  
 (Biggest holdback is the fact that 
 <https://github.com/papylhomme/diskmonitor> doesn't have a 
 widget or systray tool for LXQt. God I wish [*proactive*!!] 
 S.M.A.R.T. tools like that were more standard!!! It's an 
 absolute SIN against computing that they aren't </rant>)

 [...]
Well a lot of the major DEs have manpower issues, and to add to this a massive transition from X11 to Wayland. Kind of hard to work on "minor" issues.
 - Trying to convert stock Ubuntu LTS to LXDE (let alone LXQt) 
 is...well...absolutely INSANE. I can't even find a freaking way 
 of *querying* whether I'm using LXDE vs LXQt (other than the 
 overly-objective question of "Does the UI seem crap or good?"), 
 let alone which version of which I'm running (and no, the 
 package managers don't help because even on Lubuntu they report 
 I have *NEITHER* LXDE *NOR* LXQt even installed!!!), let alone 
 trying to get Ubuntu LTS to use something Lubuntu added in a 
 non-LTS...just...forget it, screw the whole "replace stock 
 Ubuntu's godawful, Apple-envious, slow-as-f*** DE" notion 
 entirely...

 [...]
Never worth converting the DE on most Distros. Use what ever you got. Otehrwise you end up with broken system or a lot of bloat.
 "Summary" (That's "TL;DR" for you nerds...):
 ------------------------------------------------

 [...]
Dell laptops are actually sold with Linux (developer editions)
 2. Get a modest USB3 HDD to handle archival needs and shuffling 
 data between old-and-new PCs (Because even today, direct LAN 
 data-transfer across different OSes (or even the same OS in 
 many unfortunate cases, especially if mobiles are involved) is 
 still a royal PITA).
USB3 HDDs are fairly cheap. Unfortunately we don't have a proper file system other than good old FAT32. You can try ExFat, but you will need to install extra software (I think its not necessary for Lubuntu)
 3. Then I'll dual-boot-install Lubuntu 18.10 (non-LTS), but 
 retain an optional OEM Windoze partition just-in-case. I'll get 
 what she needs up-and-running on that, figure out how to set up 
 automatic updates, and leave it at that until Lubuntu has their 
 first LXQt-based LTS...at which point I'll update the system to 
 that, re-enable automatic updates, and laugh maniacally until 
 either A. It becomes clear I've made huge a mistake somewhere 
 or B. It becomes clear it's time for her NEXT new computer and 
 I'm forced to prepare ANOTHER round of questionable compromises 
 for the alleged sake of "progress"...

 [...]
Kill switches are offered by the Purism brand laptops : https://puri.sm/products/ They also satisfy most of the other requirements. They're a privacy oriented brand, and they have linux pre-installed. might be worth checking out. I have no experience with their products though. There's also System 76 https://system76.com/laptops for more performance oriented stuff.
May 25
next sibling parent Russel Winder <russel winder.org.uk> writes:
On Sat, 2019-05-25 at 13:34 +0000, Uknown via Digitalmars-d wrote:
[=E2=80=A6]
 GNOME is pretty much OSX + iOS
[=E2=80=A6] Noticeable though that some features appeared in GNOMEShell before appearing in OSX! --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk
May 25
prev sibling next sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/25/19 9:34 AM, Uknown wrote:
 
 MTP works fine with Android. However, MTP by design is very unreliable. 
 Its practically useless for large files. With android phones though, KDE 
 connect helps a lot.
Thanks. (I wonder if KDE connect can be used outside of KDE Plasma...)
   If you want to transfer large videos to the iPhone, you can try MTP. 
 If it doesn't work, iTunes on Wine might be the way to go.
More concerned with copying videos off of the iPhone, given her limited storage space on it. But thanks, didn't realize iTunes on Wine might be viable.
 You can also install the latest LibreOffice as a back up, and configure 
 it to use the ribbon UI. https://itsfoss.com/libreoffice-5-3-released/ 
 Its just selecting the right view in the view menu.
Ooh, I had no idea LibreOffice supported the ribbon interface now! Personally, I can take it or leave it, but she definitely prefers it.
 GNOME is pretty much OSX + iOS
The previous time I had tried GNOME3 it seemed quite esoteric, but on latest Ubuntu I'd definitely agree with you that it's pretty much OSX + iOS (but with the rather odd..."feature"...of certain windows being immovable...) It's definitely what I'd recommend for any Mac fan. I wonder how much customizing Canonical does over top the stock GNOME3.
 Never worth converting the DE on most Distros. Use what ever you got. 
 Otehrwise you end up with broken system or a lot of bloat.
Yea, certainly seems to be the case.
 Dell laptops are actually sold with Linux (developer editions)
Yes, Dell is definitely on my mind. Only problem is their website makes it nearly impossible to search for the small handful of models that still have an option of built-in optical drive, and compare them. Pretty much have to check every...single...model...they sell...individually, and they have TONS.
 USB3 HDDs are fairly cheap.
Oh yea. I've got a 5TB right here I got for not much more than $100. Very nice.
 Unfortunately we don't have a proper file 
 system other than good old FAT32. You can try ExFat, but you will need 
 to install extra software (I think its not necessary for Lubuntu)
I've found that whatever default filesystem they format them to these days has been working perfectly fine for me (Manjaro). Hmm, it appears to be NTFS (just checked). Linux does have pretty decent support for NTFS these days in my experience (I've been using my old Windows partition as just extra storage space).
 Kill switches are offered by the Purism brand laptops : 
 https://puri.sm/products/
 They also satisfy most of the other requirements.
 They're a privacy oriented brand, and they have linux pre-installed. 
 might be worth checking out. I have no experience with their products 
 though.
Yea, I'm familiar with Purism and would love to get one, but they don't have anything at all with built-in optical drive. And I really get tired of my so-called "portable" devices requiring ever-increasingly more and more peripherals. Kinda defeats the point of a portable. Guess I'll have to make a choice between built-in optical vs hardware killswitches for my next machine.
May 25
prev sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa)" <SeeWebsiteToContactMe semitwist.com> writes:
On 5/25/19 9:34 AM, Uknown wrote:
 - It turns out, based on actual hands-on experience, LXDE (Lub. 18.04) 
 is still just as crap as ever (though vastly faster than stock 
 Ubuntu), but LXQt (Lub. 18.10) is actually really, really, *REALLY* 
 freaking *GOOD*. In fact, *so* freaking good, I'm REALLY tempted to 
 ditch KDE in favor of LXQt myself!!! (Biggest holdback is the fact 
 that <https://github.com/papylhomme/diskmonitor> doesn't have a widget 
 or systray tool for LXQt. God I wish [*proactive*!!] S.M.A.R.T. tools 
 like that were more standard!!! It's an absolute SIN against computing 
 that they aren't </rant>)

 [...]
Well a lot of the major DEs have manpower issues, and to add to this a massive transition from X11 to Wayland. Kind of hard to work on "minor" issues.
Well, yeaaaa....and I certainly sympathize with those manpower issues, buuuuut, even still... Dragging an edge, or an item...mounting a panel...resizing something...even if it isn't a uniform resize... ...seriously, these are things that just about any Indie game dev could do practically *in their sleep*. And these DE's have had **24 YEARS**...nearly a quarter of a century...to *copy* it. *AND*, TONS of that time was *WAAAAAY* before Wayland was even a thing! And yet...nothing... Hell, I'd even do it myself, but I've long since run out of patience for big C and C++ codebases. D ruined me ;)
May 26
prev sibling parent aberba <karabutaworld gmail.com> writes:
On Sunday, 5 May 2019 at 23:32:46 UTC, Nick Sabalausky (Abscissa) 
wrote:
 We've got a lot of very reasonable, level-headed Linux folk on 
 this board:

 I'm helping my mom look for a laptop to replace her ~10 year 
 old one, and given all the mess Windows Update has been making 
 of things since about Win7 onwards, I'm temped to just stick 
 her on Linux (especially if I can't find anything still using 
 Win7). Heck, 90% of what she does is just web browser anyway, 
 with the other 10% being pretty much Linux compatible stuff 
 (Hmm...although come to think of it, only possible exception 
 might be her iPhone...I'll have to look into that, I'm not an 
 iOS guy...).

 Any suggestions on a potentially granny-friendly distro? (If 
 such exists.) Personally, I use Manjaro, but I definitely don't 
 want to set her up with that: While I think rolling-release 
 would be a good fit (avoid the mess of periodic OS 
 re-installs), the Arch/Manjaro updates all to often wind up 
 failing and require manual intervention to fix. I've been able 
 to handle that for myself, but she wouldn't be able to and I 
 don't want to be the on-call extended-family IT dept...

 Ideally, some rolling-release that can auto-update (preferably 
 in the background) and won't force-reboot, force-interrupt you, 
 or pull the Windows prank of delaying startup/shutdown for 
 several minutes (or more...) for "Installing updates...you may 
 as well go watch an entire series on Netflix 'cause you ain't 
 packing up your laptop *or* getting any emails sent anytime 
 soon...". Supporting rollbacks as well would be fantastic, but 
 I realize that's pretty rare in Linuxland (outside of 
 NixOS/Guix, but I'd say NixOS/Guix would *definitely* be a bad 
 fit for other reasons...)

 Would Mint fit the bill here? It's been quite awhile since I've 
 paid any attention to Mint, so I'm kinda out-of-the-loop on 
 that one. But I know it's always intended to be non-expert 
 friendly.

 I'm not too terribly concerned about the initial installation 
 and setup, since I can just take care of that. I just don't 
 want to be getting regular tech support phone calls 
 afterwords...
IMO, there are three great/safe/reliable Linux distros to choose from: 1. elementary OS (https://elementary.io): super polished, clean and easy to use. Its what I use since I care about design and user experience...and has an ecosystem of app in its AppCenter. Have been using is for 3 years and still liking it. It's sold at a pay-what-you-want price so you can enter 0 to download for free.
 The fast, open, and privacy-respecting replacement for Windows 
 and macOS
2. Ubuntu: stable, reliable, easy to get support for just about anything. 3. Fedora: pretty stable these days, on-click upgrade between releases, newest stuff, not quite popular among regular users but is the purest in terms of new software stack.
May 29