Point taken, but then we accept the fact that Linux, and LWN, is primarily for programmers and system administrators, with the typical user/reader being likely an expert for either vi or emacs, but a beginner in such areas as multimedia editing so that a review of a particular program needs to mostly consist of an explanation of its basic underlying software concept - fine. But for example, the Linux audio application reviews by Dave Philipps and others that are often referenced here on the site don't explain the basics of multitrack audio editing or sequencing either.
Besides, the article fails to mention a detail of crucial relevance for beginners, namely that OpenShot (just like most other Linux video editors) does not support proxy files, GPU acceleration or intermediate editing codecs. This means that editing HD video from your average camcorder, smartphone, recent digicam or Flip camera - typically 720p or 1080p video encoded in h264 - is virtually impossible, or at least not with real-time playback/preview in the editor. I am also suspicious that the many crashes the reviewer experienced may have resulted from trying to edit h264 video directly in the program. (Openshot will import such videos without a warning message, but that doesn't mean that they can be safely played and edited.) Editing anything but video from old PAL-/NTSC-resolution (SD) cameras such as MiniDV will be a problem, or can only be solved with expert workarounds.
Openshot has a nice, friendly GUI, but the underlying MLT engine was not built for today's requirements of HD video. Unfortunately, this is a problem because users will be easily tempted to make use of the real-time multitrack editing features, video effects etc., which all will not work reliably with the video of today's cameras. For beginners who want to painlessly perform some simple trims and cuts on their video files, I would strongly suggest avidemux as an alternative. (Since avidemux is not a real-time editor, the above problems do not occur.)
And unlike what was suggested in the article, (I hate to say that...) iMovie is a great, simple yet powerful and well-designed program, and finding some Mac running it might be a pragmatic solution for the time being. (Think of iMovie as the micro emacs or nvi of video editors.) Professional filmmakers edit in iMovie, one iMovie-edited film even won the Sundance festival.