On Sat, 2008-04-26 at 16:31 +1000, Da Rock wrote:
> On Wed, 2008-04-23 at 11:39 -0600, Robin Laing wrote:
> > Alastair Neil wrote:
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Apr 22, 2008 at 10:23 PM, Ric Moore <firstname.lastname@example.org
> > > <mailto:email@example.com>> wrote:
> > >
> > > On Tue, 2008-04-22 at 13:05 -0700, Francis Earl wrote:
> Servers are where the money is, no doubt. But, it
> > > is better IMHO to have the future admins loyalty through the user
> > > desktop by catering to them. I spent years in Marketing. I learned to
> > > never EVER disregard the little guy. He might become the next purchasing
> > > agent and/or decision maker. My two cents, Ric
> > >
> > >
> > > An where has it got Microsoft? 20 years and countless billions invested
> > > in marketing and they still manage only 30% of the server market.
> > >
> Red Hat has focused its
> > > desktop efforts on crafting a distribution that is best in class for
> > > administering servers, just as SUSE is crafting a business productivity
> > > centric desktop distribution with an emphasis on Windows
> > > interoperability (thus Evolution, Mono/silverlight and "Don't Sue us
> > > please Bill!" agreements). These distros have carved their own niches,
> > > I don't as yet know what Ubuntu's niche is - windows malcontents? home
> > > tinkerers/hobyists? Small Home Office? You could argue that this is
> > > exactly the way linux started and who knows in 10 or 20 years maybe they
> > > will have a significant enterprise share, however, I doubt it. Being
> > > able to play MP3's out of the box rarely makes it onto a enterprise
> > > server deployment specification.
> > This is an interesting comment. Just a few days ago, I read an article
> > about Microsoft pointing out companies that have moved from Linux
> > servers due to the desktop support as well as gui management tools. Of
> > course I hear that they are now adding more command line tools for
> > administration due to demand.
> > I see two aspects to this part of the debate.
> > If people use Linux at work, they will be more likely to use it at home.
> > They will use what they are familiar with. Most computer users are
> > not that intelligent to using their computers. Some cannot even figure
> > out how to update their computers.
> > As for MS not getting a larger server share, this is a strange aspect.
> > Part of the issue in the past has been many admins that new Unix found
> > it easier to move to Linux from Solaris or other versions. The share of
> > Windows servers from what I am reading is increasing. I see this as a
> > result of the new point and click mentality. If you cannot click it,
> > then you cannot manage it. Damn kids today.
> I know thats the mentality, but my god thats bullshit! I'll use cli
> anyday for major tasks- try migrating stats support on a IIS server with
> 400+ sites then you'll know!
> keep up then the software is rendered useless. Ie MPlayer and codecs...
I cut out some of the amplifying stuff, just to get a bit more
CLI has an advantage because of the ability to express compound and
unique capabilities using small tools.
That particular capability has not made it to the "drag and click"
crowd, not because it cannot be done, but because of a lack of vision in
understanding what they are missing. The closest equivalent is the
ability to create compound database relationships in Microsoft SQL with
the GUI, but even there it is not well implemented. And you still have
to use the keyboard to express some aspects of the process. And this is
the major strength of UNIX, small programs that do one thing well,
coupled with the ability to combine them with pipes, scripts and
redirection to accomplish complex tasks with a minimum of effort. That
is why most admins with experience in all kinds of systems generally
support them via a CLI of one form or another. Additionally many of the
tools and techniques of UNIX and other CLI systems have been expressed
on other systems simply because they give the user that power.
Point and click is faster for things you do repetitively on single
items, CLI scripting, piping and redirection work better in a more
flexible way to perform complex operations on a one time unique basis
across a number of similar items, or for a really difficult complex task
that must be done repetitively. These last two describe most of the
Admin tasks. The first most user tasks. Additionally GUI's restrict
input to only effective operations and minimize errors of entry, so they
are making inroads to Admin tasks for things done less often that are
prone to input errors, such as the add-user add-group and other
occasional somewhat unique tasks done by Admins.
Personally I am a programmer. I appreciate that some kinds of programs
could or can currently be automated better with a GUI, but I also know
that a GUI is limiting in some aspects, while freeing in others, and the
issues for programmers is where does one become more valuable than the
other. In other words, we need both tools and concepts to be the most
effective in our class of work. I really like dabbling in the bits and
stuff on unique things. I hate having to regenerate a "window
application" in C code, and would much prefer to find a GUI that will
create a good basic Window or two that I can then flush out with the
appropriate code. One of the best things about GUI's I think are the
"balloon hints", which can help you understand the "next step" or an
error on the fly. These reduce debug times, increase my effectiveness
and let me concentrate on the "good stuff" rather than on the mundane.
But finding, or creating such tools is difficult, and finding the
correct balance a truly mystifying task to a bit oriented guy like me.
On Linux and networking and the bits for networking, I know the
underlying formats, protocols and even a lot of the code, but I still
don't have a good clear "big picture". To me it is like examining an
elephant through a microscope. I know what the hair, hide, blood, and
veins look like, but I have no concept of the elephant yet. (a bit of
an exaggeration, but I am sure you get my drift).
A gui that shows a network with my system, my router and my other local
systems would help me see that. Balloon help to describe each bit and
what it does would be even better, so I could mouse over the router, and
it would bring up the router system window and tell me what it does.
Mousing over the workstation would show me the required bits to make it
work with the router as a menu, and each would then have a good
explanation of how it interfaces to the rest of it. Then I could get a
graphical view of the elephant.
None of this network, admin stuff is difficult, it is just very complex
by the number of bits that all have to be right to make it work
effectively and without errors. As I tell my students in programming,
there is no magic, just misunderstood technology. (and yes I know there
is a quote about this or maybe three or four, but I didn't know that
when I first started using the phrase in the 70's.)
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