Linked by tessmonsta on Tue 16th Mar 2010 08:55 UTC
GNU, GPL, Open Source Today's mobile space is owned by the likes of Nokia, RIM, Apple, and Google. While some of these corporations have embraced some open source components, a full FLOSS solution has yet to gain traction. Why? Blogger Bradley M. Kuhn posts thoughtful analysis of the current state of Open Source in the mobile space.
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I agree with what you're saying in principle, but proprietary software doesn't always get it right either.

Take Windows for example:
* You have a range of APIs from .NET and Win32 through to DirectX. So you end up with half a dozen different APIs that can be used to do the same job.
* There's no standardisation of interfaces between the numerous Office versions, let alone Office, Visual Studio, and basic windows apps (Explorer, Notepad, etc).

And that's just Microsofts in house projects.

When you take the wider Windows platform you have:
* Java which looks and behaves hugely different to .NET / Win32.
* countless 3rd party projects that don't adhere to Microsofts UI (often creating their own widgets and toolkits)
* countless application duplication (from professional studio suites to freebie config toys).
* several different codecs for the same media (video / audio) file types
and so on.

The point is, sometimes duplication happens because users like to have a choice of application as different projects tackle the same problem differently. So what might be intuitive for one person might not be as intuitive for another.
Sometimes duplication happens because the existing tools available aren't up to scratch and it's easier to start from a clean slate than to fix something that's broken.
And sometimes duplication happens simply because developers just fancy a personal challenge.

But either way, I consider the variety available for Linux an asset rather than a draw back.
The problem is polishing enough products so there's alternatives to choose from if you want rather than alternatives users are forced to investigate because the defaults are buggy.
So users shouldn't need to know about the different GUI toolkits nor sound engines so long as there is themes / wrappers / etc bridging the differences to make applications and utilities use widgets or sound in the same seamless way regardless of the developers API preferences.

And that my friend is the problem with Linux. NOT the variety, but the lack of coherent compatibility between the different APIs.

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