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Thread: 2009 Linux Graphics Survey Results

  1. #11
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    Mar 2009
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    It's rather sad to see that in 2009/2010 that so many users continue to modify their configuration files by hand that there aren't graphical or CLI utilities available (or that they are aware of) that can suit their configuration needs. If Linux is to become a mainstream operating system with consumers, they must not need to be introduced to editing the xorg.conf themselves.
    I couldn't disagree more. The number of people configuring xorg.conf manually doesn't indicate either lack of a good graphical utility or a poor user experience. This survey was for the most part answered by enthusiasts who are comfortable editing /etc and do it that way because they want to, not because they have to. I for one would continue to maintain an xorg.conf manually no matter what graphical utilities are available, even though X normally auto-detects my hardware and starts up just fine without even any xorg.conf present.

    I use krandrtray for simple resolution adjustments, the CLI xrandr utility to adjust multi-display settings, and xorg.conf for advanced driver and hardware options. I generally use Xorg -configure to build a base config file and then tweak a few things from there.

    It really doesn't have anything to do with bad front-ends and certainly doesn't degrade the user experience. A new user coming to Linux doesn't need to know anything about xorg.conf.
    Last edited by Smorg; 12-09-2009 at 07:13 AM.

  2. #12
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    Dec 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smorg View Post
    It really doesn't have anything to do with bad front-ends and certainly doesn't degrade the user experience. A new user coming to Linux doesn't need to know anything about xorg.conf.
    I can agree that the survey question didn't help clarify if the GUI tools were adequate, but if people find it easier to go to the conf files, then that is disturbing.

    When you need help with something in Linux - the knowledgeable users like yourself send the inexperienced user to the CLI, have them edit conf files, or worse ripping out whole parts of the system and installing different packages. It's more likely to scare a user away than "educate them", and certainly (beyond reading tonnes of man pages), makes the system relatively 'un-discoverable' (easy to learn once shown once)

    And one's comfort in using multiple tools/user interfaces to modify a system has created an inconsistency in the user experience. I find most GUI tools come up shy of complete due to the acceptance that one can always go to the CLI.

    If things work perfectly, it's a nice little system; otherwise things get unfriendly pretty quickly. (I've been inclined to leave things broken out of lack of desire of getting into "linux" style fixes)

  3. #13
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    Aug 2009
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    I configure my resolution and refresh rate from the KDE system settings. Anything else should be left to the distro makers in having working drivers by default.

    Nobody should have to touch the inner workings of a Linux based OS, but they should be able to.

  4. #14
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    Mar 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig73 View Post
    I can agree that the survey question didn't help clarify if the GUI tools were adequate, but if people find it easier to go to the conf files, then that is disturbing.

    When you need help with something in Linux - the knowledgeable users like yourself send the inexperienced user to the CLI, have them edit conf files, or worse ripping out whole parts of the system and installing different packages. It's more likely to scare a user away than "educate them", and certainly (beyond reading tonnes of man pages), makes the system relatively 'un-discoverable' (easy to learn once shown once)

    And one's comfort in using multiple tools/user interfaces to modify a system has created an inconsistency in the user experience. I find most GUI tools come up shy of complete due to the acceptance that one can always go to the CLI.

    If things work perfectly, it's a nice little system; otherwise things get unfriendly pretty quickly. (I've been inclined to leave things broken out of lack of desire of getting into "linux" style fixes)
    I guess I don't think config files are intrinsically a bad thing. Maybe its more like graphical tools for administration are generally harder because they aren't universal and you have to learn/create a new one with every system you want to configure. They aren't expandable or scriptable either - which violates the unix principle of everything-as-a-file, and the interoperability that comes along with programs working with stdio.

    Unfortunately I don't see a good way to remedy this. Linux graphics aren't one size fits all. Most GPU manufacturers have multiple choices when it comes to drivers and there's so many more considerations that go into Xorg, window managers, desktop environments, different distros, etc etc. Having lots of choice is a good thing which comes at the cost of having homogeneous interfaces; and the only real homogeneous interface that makes sense is config files, man pages, and the CLI.

    I'm all for making Linux more digestible for beginners so long as we don't have to sacrifice choice or power. Then, I use Xmonad and Gentoo on my primary workstation. If you think xorg.conf is bad... full Haskell configuration is some serious power, yet I suppose a bit inaccessible for many.
    Last edited by Smorg; 12-09-2009 at 04:50 PM.

  5. #15
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    May 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by V!NCENT View Post
    The first thing that I notice is the percentage of VESA users almost equals the percentage of VIA users.
    I suggest that for some people, VESA is the only driver that they know about so that's what they wrote on the survey. My knowledge of graphics is somewhere between the "Vesa" users and yours. I would guess that some of my responses were wrong. (X-server?)

    Next year, you might add a little note below each question: (To see which X-server you are using, do this ...) You will get better data and you will help educate some users

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    21

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    There is much to be said for users of S3 graphic chipsets used around the world and their driver usage.

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