Make. It. Simple. Linux Desktop Usability — Part 6

Drag and drop

Early Macintosh

Unpublished development version of the Macintosh System. Source: Mac GUI

NeXTSTEP and Mac OS X

Mathematica.app in NeXTSTEP 1.0 from 1989 appears as one object in the GUI but is actually a directory as seen on the Terminal
Install gedit on macOS by simply dragging its icon on the Application folder

The Linux desktop today

“GNU/Linux” only gives source code that needs to be compiled while “Windows” and “macOS” give binaries that can be downloaded and run
GIMP download page as of December 16, 2017
  • The distribution usually has an outdated version (especially true for Enterprise-grade and Long Term Stable distributions), and
  • “Average Joe” does not know how to, nor should have to know, what a compiler is, how to install the required build-time dependencies, and compile a complex piece of software such as GIMP
Krita is available for download for the three major desktop platforms
Krita for cats: Download, put in a folder of your choice, and run. Artwork: David Revoy using Krita
AppImage aims to be the .exe or .dmg of the Linux world
AppImages of several Krita versions happily alongside each other. Artwork: David Revoy using Krita

Handling known files gracefully

Linux application (ELF) without the executable bit set

File associations

/private/var/folders/**/**/-Caches-/com.apple.LaunchServices-*.csstore
NeXT Workspace Manager automatically handled file associations in 1989 using the Apps directory

The filesystem

Cryptic shorthand directories

NeXTSTEP 1.0 filesystem in Terminal vs. Directory Browser GUI
NeXTSTEP 0.8 Directory Browser GUI showing the cryptic Unix directories

The /usr merge that did not really happen

Icons

elfres icons for ELF executables. Source: http://www.compholio.com/elfres/

Keyboard

Why does it “just work” on the Mac without the need to “eliminate dead keys” (which makes it impossible to enter é)?

Is the Linux desktop doomed to become ever more complex?

@elementary apparently thinks I am a troll. Do you, too?

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Author of #AppImage and contributor to hundreds of open source projects. #LinuxUsability, digital privacy, typography, computer history, software conservation

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probono

probono

Author of #AppImage and contributor to hundreds of open source projects. #LinuxUsability, digital privacy, typography, computer history, software conservation

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