As I have been trying out different distributions lately, it has left me thinking about the importance of the GUI.
One thing that has become very apparent over the past few years is that people like GUIs that are graphically… amazing. Sure, Windows XP may look “Play-School-ish” by now, but when it first came out in 2001 it was a major step foward from the Windows classic look. Next, Mac OSX came out, and was the most amazing GUI people have ever seen. Now, Mac OSX’s look has been refined ever more with each release. Windows Vista also has a smooth look and is a major improvement over XP, with transparent and 3-D effects that are truly amazing.
Another important piece of a good GUI is consistency. Apple has strict development guidelines for applications that are written for the Mac OSX, so that all of the applications look as if they are a part of the system. Vista does not have any guidelines to speak of, but there seems to be some dedication from developers to make sure that their programs look good, if not like Vista itself.
Linux is fighting an uphill battle when it come to proving to people that it is not just a geek’s hobby. For years, Linux looked old and outdated. Thankfully, advancements have been made. KDE has an updated look, GNOME’s Tango icon set received a much needed update, and many applications have received an updated look. Need I even mention the recently merged transparent/3-D window managers Beryl/Compiz? Today’s systems, Ubuntu, Fedora, PCLinuxOS, LinuxMint, Debian, and the list goes on – have very nice looking systems, and all available for free. Keeping the icons and application themes both professional and clean is one of the key parts to Linux success.
Alright, now that I have that off my chest, I am going off the topic of Linux to something called Nivio, which is a Windows (XP…?) virtual machine that runs in your browser, basically a web os (think eyeos, symphonyos, ect.). I had signed up for the beta, since I thought it would be interesting to see what it is like. You can run all the official Microsoft applications, and any others for that matter which are compatible with Windows.
So, I signed up for the beta, and soon after I received a confirmation email to confirm my adress. Well, one out of hundreds of people beta testing sent an email to the team thanking them for letting them beta test, a kind gesture and not uncommon… and the email went to all the beta testers. The emails then started coming – starting with a few, and then escalating to a full-out spam fest. The emails are almost all the same, with the “plz stop cc-ing this message!” remarks coming in ever other second, with blog ads now and then. This morning alone I have received close to 50 emails. With this in mind I have decided to review one handy feature in GMail that certainly comes in handy. This feature is the “report as spam” button. I have marked all conversation resulting from this mess as spam, as I imagine most others who did not add fuel to the flame have as well. Reporting spam stops the sending of these emails to anyone. This whole thing would not have happened if, not if the original sender sent the email, but if people did not reply back, and left the list alone.