The USS Quad Damage

How to fprot a n00b's tarball

Despite being a technical person, and liking Linux for all it's technical abilities, I've often been both impressed and miffed at it's usability. Impressed because of the speed at which these issues are fixed. D-Bus and Beagle most recently, but also things like udev, hotplug, and the event architectures. The freedesktop and xorg projects have also been pivotal in making the desktop more usable, interoperable, and... well... pretty.

I'm miffed because there's still a long way to go, and there's some pretty small things holding the whole experience back. One of those things is the new xorg server. It's become more modular, and Ubuntu at least is now giving xorg out in little chunks, but it still uses a conf file to configure it. Granted, the conf file is slowly being reduced in size, and a lot more of the settings are auto-detected, but there's still often reason to stop the X server, change some setting, and start it again.

One of the examples here is the mouse & keyboard, and maybe other things. And by that I mainly mean the mouse. I've always been envious of the windows users who can plug in a USB mouse and it works. I have to plug it in and restart X. Understandably, it's not often that you have to plug in a new mouse and have to get it to work instantly, but there's absolutely no reason why a mouse shouldn't be plug & play. The new evdev driver should (I think) combat this, but upon installation at my work PC evdev crashed my computer. WTF!?

The other problem I have is sound cards. In Debian specifically, sound cards are all started as a service, and they refuse to stop if they're being used. So, if you add a sound card and want to restart the alsa-sound service, you have to stop everything from using the sound card. This is not only unnecessary, it's tougher than it sounds. Gnome tends to start the esd daemon, which keeps your sound card occupied for as long as you're logged in.

Point is, Linux is really bloody good at being user friendly now, so the little things are starting to become more annoying.