DEs are shifting to touch friendly paradigms

Discussion in 'Desktop / X' started by Jamsers, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Jamsers

    Jamsers New Member

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    I've noticed that most new interfaces (not only in Linux) are becoming increasingly touch friendly. There's no problem with that in itself, but the problem is that in their quest for touch friendliness, they make things inefficient and clunky for those of us who still use the keyboard and mouse. Prime examples of this are Unity, Gnome 3, and the worst of them all, Windows 8.


    Should we just accept this change as part of the evolution of how users interact with their computers? To me it kinda seems like a regression, giving up the efficiency and precision of the mouse for the clunky and fuzzy touch. Plus these desktop environments are mostly being used by people who still use a keyboard and mouse, why shift over to the touch paradigm? It just seems like you could do more in less time with a mouse than you can with touch. And it's easier to just keep your hand on the mouse and move the cursor around the screen than it is to actually reach over to your monitor and touch whatever button you have to click. Touch may work well for smartphones, but I don't think they have a place in the desktop world.
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  2. |)/-\|)

    |)/-\|) Member

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    I'm like you. And why should I have to carry the bloat of and input method I can't use? That's one of the reasons I left Win, even though the driver's might not be loaded they are almost always on the hd somewhere.

    Even though it would cause some extra work, distro's should probably be broken specifically into touch, keybord and combo editions.
  3. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

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    :confused:
    What do drivers have to do with GUIs? The video card needs a driver. And how much space does a driver take up? A few kilobytes? A megabyte or three?

    I half agree. GUIs should have computer, tablet and telephone versions. There is no need for a distribution to have different versions, since any GUI can be used on any distro.
  4. |)/-\|)

    |)/-\|) Member

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    My point is that distros seem to heading they way of Wingdos, ie code bloat. I got Slackware v2.0 and it runs with gui on mmx/64MB machine without thrashing disk, but can't get anything over Ubuntu v9.04 to live boot on it (and some distros cause "illegal instruction" panics).

    I'm jus' say'n' the kernel's getting hungrier and so is everything tacked on after that. Look at emacs from version 6 or 8 compared to todays ver.:)
  5. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

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    Yes, Linux distros and BSD systems have gotten a little larger as they became more "sophisticated", but they are still small compared to Windows. Of course the current version of Slackware needs more powerful hardware than version 2 did. The current version of Windows would not be able to run on a thirty-year-old computer. It is not because Windows is too bloated. (Actually it is bloated, but that is a problem with its design unrelated to the current topic.) It is because the system grew to take advantage of advances in hardware. Linux systems cannot ignore the changes taking place in the spheres of hardware changes and users' desires.

    Having said that,
    is nonsense. The kernel is getting hungrier? How big do you think the kernel is? Almost all of a system is what goes on top of the kernel.

    I cannot help getting the impression you are confusing two different issues. [And not understanding the (fundamental) reasons systems have gotten larger.]
  6. |)/-\|)

    |)/-\|) Member

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    Mostly agree, kernel is fractional size (36KB?) of almost anything graphical, but it is growing (security lockdowns, code/data alignment bounderies (8 byte vs 4 byte words), irq scheme change. I'm no expert on this anymore (don't really want to be this late in life and not having much to do with computers for 8 yrs), but I am getting re-educated and seeing some trends that have me wondering if linux is just gonna be free windox. It's ok if that happens, but I'm trying to reuse all of my old iron I've invested so much in over the years.
  7. JohnSerrano

    JohnSerrano New Member

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    i am too not in favour as look at the scenario of the touch type as you have to move your arm from the joint to access the whole screen and for the longer duration it is going to be painful along with taking much more time in comparison of working with the mouse and clicking on with an immense ease quickly
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  8. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    As computers get more advanced, so too must the OS.

    There will always be distros designed for older hardware..there will always be distros that use the latest and greatest hardware.

    Remember that the kernel can be slimmed by custom building. Kernels are as big as the user wants them to be. Want a super light kernel? turn off all the unessential parts.

    I personally don't mind if the distros get larger and more sophisticated. It just means the downloads take longer and there is more automation. My Arch linux with both KDE and Gnome is till using less then a fourth of what Windows 7 is using at any given time.
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  9. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    Apart from using a bit more resource and draining my battery much faster, meaning 2 hours less fun when cordless, I don't really see how so many hate Gnome 3, it's pretty fast even on moderately old machines, and I can simply log into my openbox session while using battery power.

    Plus, it's not that touch-oriented, since its keyboard control is amazing. When people can run it without performance issues, they can only hate it for the same reason of being very used to a given operating system: the learning curve pain. It seems they forgot what it was to get acquainted - and intimate, past a good time - to new environments.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
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  10. ainteinstein

    ainteinstein Member

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    And this has to be the, are you kidding, why I don't like touch screens reason...you get fingerprints on your screen and LED screens are not easy to clean. I get peanut butter on my mouse or keyboard...that's an easy clean but an Led screen? Forget about it. I like things simple, keyboard gets dirty, throw it in the dishwasher...
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  11. |)/-\|)

    |)/-\|) Member

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    Yes, and grape jelly oozes into everything when everything gets hot!:p

    I love all the eye candy, and like a lot of people out there I use a variety of devices. It's insane that my cell phone and e-book reader have more RAM than my main machine.

    Not a bad response rate for a year-and-a-half-old post. ;)
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  12. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    Hah I didn't even see how old the thread was, just picked it from the main page thanks to your necromancy. Good that it's got a lot of answers now, this is a growing subject.

    Anyway, I really don't get all that whining. I don't have touch and find that all the environments cited by the OP are very keyboard-friendly after learning pretty basic shortcuts. Maybe people prefer clicking.
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  13. |)/-\|)

    |)/-\|) Member

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    Just trying to get people thinking about what they have and where it is headed. I love linux but I just don't want it going the way of the commercial OSs (although I will keep using it). Where else can you find an OS for free that has a lineage descended from an OS that cost thousands (base license and additional per seat license)?!

    I particularly enjoy your keeping me honest with your responses. I've been away from technology for the past 8 yrs and have forgotten much (including how hard it can be to express my thoughts. "If I could hold on to just one thought long enought to know..." re Neil Young form "Barstool Blues" on ZUMA;)).

    As for necromancer hrs, just started training for new job with off the wall hrs.:)
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  14. MikeyD

    MikeyD Active Member

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    I'm not really worried at all. I see it as more of an evolution of the GUI than the desktop as a whole. There is no doubt the keyboard/mouse is the best way to play "real" games (trying to play any racing or 3rd person perspective games on a touch screen is terrible no matter the UI) and the only way to really get work done.

    I think it may be an evolution for desktops like Windows where there are no choices (don't like it? tough. - Micro$oft mission statement), but it seem like in the Linux world minimal and customizable distros are growing in popularity. Distrowatch has Arch, Manjaro, Crunchbang, Slackware, Puppy, Kali, Sparky are all in the top 20, even ahead of Ubuntu derivatives like Xubutnu and Ubuntu/Gnome.

    Even still, I feel like the "desktop touch" phenomenon is a fad that will pass as people see there really is no point. Keep touch screens relegated to mobile devices and let people who utilize desktops (these days mostly gamers, techies, and people doing CPU/memory intensive work) focus on what they want to do.
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  15. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

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    Eventually computers will be only touch screens. Probably a clear, flexible screen that one unrolls, then is rolled up and put back in its case after use. The "keyboard" will simply be icons that are touched. But that day is not here yet, so DE developers should stop thinking about fifty years in the future and start thinking about the present.
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  16. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    I just don't get it. I can do about everything with the keyboard on unity, gnome 3 etc. You can even make your own hotkeys, if you don't wanna learn the system defaults. If people prefer windows-like taskbars and trays full of blinking icons, they're obviously mouse fans.
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  17. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Super Moderator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    I try to use the keyboard as much as possible. I am too lazy to move my wrist over to the mouse. :p

    Whoops, typo. I meant to say mouse at the end, not keyboard.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
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  18. MikeyD

    MikeyD Active Member

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    I personally hate touch screen keyboards as well, no matter the size. I like to have the feeling of each key I am pushing, much less error and typo-prone and using the little "J" and "F" dots means I never have to look at the keyboard. I feel like you can't get this with touch screen keyboards and they are more suited for 1-2 finger typing that true ambidextrous typing, but maybe that will change with time.

    I still don't think mechanical keyboards will ever truly go away. If something is efficient and well-designed there is no need to change it, just look at our favorite OS :D
  19. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    True... A high-end tablet without a physical keyboard can often be a waste of time :p
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  20. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

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    Never under-estimate the number of people with the stupid desire of change for the sake of change and their will to achieve it.
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