Ease of Use?

Hi all.  (Sorry bout th length, a few beers seems to streatch most

I am curious as to the general feel of GNOME users on the ease of use

To state my position, I have been around computers since the days when
it was Vic20/C64 vs Apple II rather than windows vs (insert any OS here)
so nearly every thing is easier to use than it was ;o)

But I am now a GNOME user, have been for a little over a year, and
watching things move in a goodish way, but developing some questions. 
In th effort to attract users, and the almost slavish imitation of
amiga/mac/windows style GUI are we missing something?

To explain, my partner is the clasic newbie forever user.  She does not
want to know anything other than how to load a web browser, send email
and type "word" documents (thank god she has not heard of "xl's" yet, M$
marketing is pretty good huh?).  

So, the other week we were creating "word" documents in WordPerfect... 
and she keept forcetting to add the .doc to the file name so her
recipients can read them (being non geeks as well they cant use the
windows open with feature, mind you neither can M$, if you use the open
with on a misnamed word.doc file it open as plain text!  What crap is

I tried to show her how to use GMC to rename, and also copy files to the
floppy etc.  But, when talking her through it over the phone from work I
decided on the command line rather than try to interpret her screen

So I talked her through the mv command, mcopy etc...  And now she is
happily doing this herself.  When she could never quite remember how to
use the GUI she 'gets' the CLI to the point where it makles enough sense
to remeber it!

Now I have been watching the delvelopment of Evolution (so that she can
finaly ditch netscape and stop loseing mail) and it's so like outlook in
appearance that (see the contact manager - have we no imagination any
more?), and reading articles about UI's and finding out this and
that...  In particular the idea of a combined GUI and CLI as in EFM (for
enlightenment) and the emacs style of a GUI with a commandline buffer. 

So I am currious, is Windows (and it's clones - meaning us) too easy to
be used?  I admit that at work I am pineing for a decent term (one that
has tab completion and a history buffer) rather than the cut and paste,
drag n drop file management...  But then again M$ Access GUI is much
easier to use when setting up a DB than a comamnd line DBMS...  

So what doi you think?  Is it our job to make changes to culture?  Can
we take things to the next level?  are we doomed to wander in circles as
the MAC and Windows worlds have for the last 15+ years?  What is the
next level?

I think that if Leanne can get more use from a CLI than a GUI for basic
operations then (no disrespect to her, she is an inelligent woman with
two university degrees who simply thinks cars and computers belong in
the same box) maybe the GUI is not the be all and end all.  If that is
the case what can be gained from including some of the CLI into the
GUI?  Take Evolution as an example, what benefit can be imagined from a
commandline buffer if any?

Just curious, but very intertested in the replies...


  Rob Brown-Bayliss

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