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Eazel: Easy Linux

By Philipp in News
Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 11:19:09 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)
Software

The final step to world domination may be Eazel, a newbie friendly user interface for Linux. A article in Salon describes how a team of star talent (the former CTO of the Sun-Netscape Alliance, members of the original Mac team) are trying to make Linux easy to use. The project is based on GNOME. Automatic software install, intelligent interfaces, ... and of course the whole thing is open source. Isn't amazing how everything comes together recently?


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Eazel: Easy Linux | 21 comments (21 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Old news got on slashdot a while ag... (none / 0) (#4)
by kraant on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 10:53:31 AM EST

kraant voted -1 on this story.

Old news got on slashdot a while ago.
--
"kraant, open source guru" -- tumeric
Never In Our Names...

not really (none / 0) (#5)
by neonman on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 11:49:14 AM EST

No... not really.
There was an article a while back about Eazel linked to by slashdot, but this is a newer article. If you look at the date on it, it was posted on Thursday. That isn't the point of this message, though. I really don't see why something being posted on slashdot is a reason not to cover it on kuro5hin.org. For one, I like the discussions on kuro5hin a lot more than the ones on Slashdot. I find the comments on slashdot to be highly repetitive, poorly moderated, and often unfriendly. Slashdot discussions often amount to massive flamewars over stupid crap. Don't get me wrong; I still read Slashdot religiously. I would just like to eventually see a community that doesn't have the problems that slashdot has.

Incedentally, when I started getting tired of slashdot, a couple of friends and I got together and started writting a perl backend for a weblog of our own. It still needs major work, but you can check out how it is doing at stufflikethat.org. At some point, we hope to post articles, thoughts, news, etc about technology and whatever else we feel like. I suppose everyone has a weblog these days, though.
_________________________
Aaron Grogan
aaron@stufflikethat.org
http://stufflikethat.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: not really (none / 0) (#6)
by bmetzler on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 12:25:12 PM EST

That isn't the point of this message, though. I really don't see why something being posted on slashdot is a reason not to cover it on kuro5hin.org.

Me either. I hardly ever read /. anymore, due to the lack of intelligent conversation. It seems like all threads follow the same theme. "Microsoft is evil. Linux is better then NT/Solaris/Mac/AIX. Big business is all evil. Crusoe is dumb, because I haven't seen it yet. Mozilla is a failure, because it isn't done yet. blah, blah, blah". So I want to see interesting stuff posted here. Even though it's already been the subject of a /. flamefest.

-Brent
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
[ Parent ]
Re: not really (none / 0) (#7)
by rusty on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 12:26:21 PM EST

Scoop (the software that runs this site) is GPL, and written in perl, if you ever feel like playing with it. :-)

I agree with you about posting stories here vs. Slashdot. Those couple of times a week when something interesting goes up there, no reason not to post it here. I, and several other kuro5hin readers that I know of, have basically stopped reading slashdot altogether, in disgust. So I will generally not even know if it's a repost of a /. article.

If it's interesting, post it. Now-- the original start of this thread was a -1 vote, because the voter had already seen this on slashdot. That's a perfectly valid vote (well, by definition, all votes are valid) -- not so much because it was on that other site in particular, but because the voter had seen this before, and didn't think it was worth seeing again. I think we see more of the "saw it on slashdot" than any other site just because our interestes overlap somewhat.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

I'm interested in how the Eazel peo... (none / 0) (#3)
by neonman on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 10:58:25 AM EST

neonman voted 1 on this story.

I'm interested in how the Eazel people intend to make money. (aside from an IPO :) They are going to be helping out with Gnome development, but what will be their product and how do they plan to distribute it? Do they want to build a whole distro or do they want to bundle their software with someone else's. Are they going to run a support-based company? The article doesn't seem to explain their business model.
_________________________
Aaron Grogan
aaron@stufflikethat.org
http://stufflikethat.org/

Re: I'm interested in how the Eazel peo... (none / 0) (#10)
by Anonymous Hero on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 02:21:18 PM EST

Either sell it as a product in the shops ("You've heard of Linux? The Next Big Thing? Well, now you can have the power of Linux with the ??? of a Mac!") or sell it through Red Hat et al distribution channels.

[ Parent ]
Even though this is old news, I thi... (none / 0) (#2)
by bmetzler on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 11:01:24 AM EST

bmetzler voted 1 on this story.

Even though this is old news, I think that it is still interesting. Will innovations like this really help get Linux to be used in computing devices by mass comsumers, or is it just basically a nice frill?
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.

Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#1)
by ebunga on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 11:19:09 AM EST

ebunga voted 1 on this story.

Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost all widgets just look like crap. Windows may not work very good for most things, but atleast it looks good.

Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#8)
by Emacs on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 12:28:28 PM EST

**Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost all widgets just look like crap. Windows may not work very good for most things, but atleast it looks good.**

That's funny because I used to think that way also. But I've changed my mind a bit. First off, Im a function or style kinda guy. I want my stuff to WORK first and foremost. Then I want it to look nice. So I'm not always the guy to ask about pretty UI's, they are secondary in my mind.

I was looking at the beta of Win2K we have running at work... and I was thinking.. why didn't they dress this up a bit. They didn't have to do much, but MS could have tweaked the UI a bit to make it look better. I don't know, maybe I've been spending too much time tweaking my KDE desktop, but I really think that Windows looks kind of tired.

The neat thing about the X widget design is that you can make your own widgets. You are not just stuck with what anyone thinks you should have. Sure there is work involved and you will spend some time, but it's possible.

My problem with X is the mouse. The mouse is soooo smooth under windows, but under X it's seems kinda klunky (for lack of a better word). It might be XFree too...I"m not real sure. I have Solaris X86 on my box running CDE and the mouse seems smoother there (using Suns implementation of X - whatever that is :)

Anyways, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

[ Parent ]
Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#9)
by rusty on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 01:14:48 PM EST

Ugly? Here's a screenshot. That's ugly? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I personally hate using windows now, because it's butt-ugly. :-)

The shot above is Gnome/Enlightenment 0.16, with the eMac E theme and the minEguE (QNX sytle) GTK theme. The thing about X is, it's a little overly configurable. It takes some time before you find the combination of desktop/window manager/themes that you like. But when you do, it's so much better than being trapped in the default Win look, IMO.

Tip-- for maximum prettyness, stick with GTK apps, or the newer KDE/QT stuff. Most of the "ugly" in linux comes from Motif (*shudder*) and Lesstif.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#11)
by Matthew Guenther on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 02:32:19 PM EST

Motif is nothing, ugly is defined by the athena or xaw widget sets. Aaack! It's hideous, run for the hills! :) I totally agree with your statements about themability, the combination of window manager and GTK themes allows a lot of flexibility, though it can take a while to find something you really like. (I know I have trouble actually settling on a look for any appreciable length of time.)

However, I think this article wasn't very good, it seemed to be a little too much hype, with a lot of features thrown around casually that could take months to implement correctly. I also got the impression that the authour of the article has never actually used GNOME or KDE, as she seems to point out all these "new" things that Nautilus can do that GNOME has always had the capability for.

Regardless, I still can't wait for Nautilius to get usable so I can try it.

MBG



[ Parent ]
Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#12)
by rusty on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 02:51:00 PM EST

The article itself was in the grand Salon tradition of "star worship." As in, these are "star" mac programmers, so whatever they're doing must be cool and original. Not to say that it isn't, but the justification Salon uses is, IMO, far from absolute. But what do you expect from a webzine named after a beauty parlor? ;-)

The project is interesting though, and partly because of these people. I'm interested to see what they come up with. The article does mention that Eazel is working with the GNOME team, so that's probably where all the "new" features stuff came from. I think you're right, that the author of the article is not a linux user. The "icons instead of command line" bit tipped me off. It amuses the hell out of me when the linux interface is assumed to be CLI-only by clueless journalists. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#13)
by bmetzler on Fri Feb 25, 2000 at 05:32:16 PM EST

It amuses the hell out of me when the linux interface is assumed to be CLI-only by clueless journalists. :-)

Well, if the visible presence of Eazel is what it takes to get journalists to recognise that Linux is not a CLI based OS, any more then Windows is, then I'm happy.

-Brent
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
[ Parent ]
Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#14)
by Paul Dunne on Sat Feb 26, 2000 at 05:18:15 AM EST

But Linux is a CLI-based OS. You can put a graphical wrapper over it, though I know of none that is comprehensive, but at the end of the day it's still stuff like "# shutdown -r now" and "$ vi yet_another_fab_article". This is a good thing! The naive journalists are right in a sense: if the prospective Linux user balks at the thought of the command line, then Linux is not for them.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#16)
by rusty on Sat Feb 26, 2000 at 07:50:44 PM EST

But it's not CLI-only. What I meant was that I frequently (still!) see articles containing statements along the lines of: "Finally the superstar code jocks of Project GewGaw are going to provide a sorely-needed GUI environment to save you from the arcane and mystical linux command line, which until now has been your only choice!"

I'm right there with you, that at heart, linux is and will always be a CLI system. And that for some tasks, no GUI will ever live up to the ease of using a couple commands, piped together.

But there are people who simply refuse to believe that, and there's no reason that someone who wants to read email and browse the web should have to learn anything, if they really don't want to. Basically, I think theres room in the barn for all types, and more is usually better. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

test (1.00 / 2) (#21)
by Anonymous 6522 on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 11:35:58 PM EST

abc

[ Parent ]
Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#17)
by bmetzler on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 01:58:05 PM EST

But Linux is a CLI-based OS.

But only as much as Windows 98 is. If users are scared of the command line in Windows 98, they'll also be scared of the command line in Linux. But, if they don't use the command line in Windows, there's no need for them to use a command line in Linux.

New users have no need at all to care about the command line, whether it's in Windows or Linux. In Linux, my boxes boot up to a graphical login screen. All the applications that users need can be run from the menu. And if they ever need to shut the comptuer down they just choose 'halt' from the log-off menu.

-Brent
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
[ Parent ]
Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#18)
by Paul Dunne on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 02:56:40 PM EST

That's fine as long as everything keeps working. What if something goes wrong? For example: what if you need to boot in single-user mode and run fsck manually, after a power cut?
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
[ Parent ]
Re: Simply put, X is butt ugly. Almost... (none / 0) (#19)
by bmetzler on Tue Feb 29, 2000 at 10:50:45 PM EST

That's fine as long as everything keeps working. What if something goes wrong? For example: what if you need to boot in single-user mode and run fsck manually, after a power cut?

No different then needing to do some 'emergency' work from the DOS prompt. Okay, maybe it is. You can't defrag from the DOS prompt at all. Which is kind of bad, because I have never been able to defrag my hard drive, because some software is always writing to the hard drive and making defrag restart. It's a pain.

-Brent
www.bmetzler.org - it's not just a personal weblog, it's so much more.
[ Parent ]
Re: Eazel: Easy Linux (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by Paul Dunne on Sat Feb 26, 2000 at 05:25:23 AM EST

The thing I like most about this project is that it is not imitating Windows, or anything else for that matter. Those involved seem to have sat down and thought a lot about what goes into making a productive, friendly GUI environment; and then set about creating it. X, or more accurately its users, has suffered for many years because of the assumption that the state of the art in GUI design is represented by MS Windows -- vide Motif, for example. It can only be good for some new ideas to be tried out.
http://dunne.home.dhs.org/
test (1.50 / 2) (#20)
by Anonymous 6522 on Fri Nov 17, 2000 at 11:33:15 PM EST

abc

Eazel: Easy Linux | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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