Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Aug 2009 19:08 UTC
Linux A complaint you hear quite often is that the Linux desktop environments, which mostly refers to KDE and GNOME, are trying too hard to be like Windows and Mac OS X. Now, even James Bottomley, Distinguished Engineer at Novell, Director of the Linux Foundation, and Chair of its Technical Advisory Board (put that on your business card) states in an interview that he believes the Linux desktop is too much like Windows and Mac.
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Thanks for the clarification, as it made me revisit and refocus my thoughts on this issue. (While I'm aware of the distinction between a WM and a DE, by default I usually just think of a DE as simply a WM with some extra stuff thrown in.)

If someone chooses a WM, and then installs a file manager and extra widgets, and customizes/creates their own "themes", have they not arrived at a DIY desktop environment?

It seems to me that the pre-packaged DE's (KDE, Gnome, etc.), by buying into the supposed "desktop allegory", doom themselves to seeming very close to Windows or Mac. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, however, if it helps newcomers migrate from Bill's OS into the world of FOSS by giving them some measure of familiarity.

As someone becomes more advanced at Unix, however, and gets more used to customizing things at a granular level, the less they desire a DE that makes them say "I can't believe this isn't Windows!"

Edited 2009-08-28 14:11 UTC

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