Is Open Source More User Friendly Than Closed Source?

We have heard of free software, but we sometimes don’t really think about whether the free software is good enough for us. Some programs that are free can be bad to use or are otherwise difficult to understand.

Open source software tends to be similar, or is that a myth? It can be a myth, but it depends on every single program or software, and it cannot be put in a general statement. Neither is all of open source software user friendly, nor is it hard to understand.

Compared to closed source, the story also varies from program to program. Here are my thoughts on things.

GIMP Vs Photoshop

This is a typical battle that often takes place, where people say that GIMP is unintuitive, but these people often come from years of using Photoshop. How can it be unintuitive if you expect the same interface from a closed source program that is unintuitive to any user who has not edited photos before.

An interface is an interface and you have to learn one anyway if you want to work with a program. Photoshop has better documentation and perhaps community support from all the uses who use Photoshop, but GIMP also has a huge community of supporters.

7-Zip – Simple and Straightforward

No program is simpler than 7-Zip, a compression and decompression program, for all your archive needs. Compared to programs like WinZIP and WinRAR, it is a masterpiece which doesn’t really get in your way. It is easy to install and use and has clear labels on its buttons, so you will know what to do just by opening the program.

OBS – It Takes Learning

OBS is a bit more difficult to understand at first, but is also relatively clear and there are really no closed source programs worth mentioning, when OBS does everything right from the very start. There are repackaged versions of OBS which dumb things down even further, so that you don’t have to do any research to use the application. 

Blender – It Gets Trickier

Blender is a great 3D modeling tool but a really hard to understand video editor. Compared to other video editors like DaVinci Resolve Studio and Premiere Pro, Blender really tries hard to make you work for that editing section.

You have to check all the boxes if you want to simply render your whole video duration, and not the fixed duration upon opening a project. Other programs label things clearly where Blender doesn’t bother and Blender is an industry standard for making 2D and 3D animations.

Linux Vs Windows – A Nightmare for Many

Lazy Windows users who turn to Linux feel like they have to do too much to get their programs working, though that is them simply not reading what is on a page, written clearly in an instructions section.

Linux users hate Windows because it does things on its own, without asking the user for permission, like updating the system and then breaking itself because the update installs drivers which don’t match what’s in the registry.

Either way, both can be problematic if the person is not ready to do some research and make a compromise.

Open source isn’t by default better than closed source, nor more user friendly but neither is it the other way around. It depends on the program, the person operating it and their expectations and desire to learn and improve. 

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