Linked by David Adams on Thu 29th Sep 2011 23:47 UTC, submitted by lucas_maximus
Linux Linux is struggling on the desktop because it only has a small number of "great" apps, according to the Gnome co-creator. Miguel de Icaza, co-creator of the Gnome desktop, told tech journalist Tim Anderson at the recent Windows 8 Build conference "When you count how many great desktop apps there are on Linux, you can probably name 10," de Icaza said, according to a post on Anderson's IT Writing blog. "You work really hard, you can probably name 20. We've managed to p*** off developers every step of the way, breaking APIs all the time."
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I did not say "all," I did not say "they suck."

However, from a practical standpoint, clone apps like GIMP and LibreOffice do not strive to develop competitive features that draw in users, they merely aim to match the most commonly used ones.

The FOSS movement is consistently held back by the programmer's mantra "I'm representative of my user base" which results in uninspired feature sets, dismal and frustrating UX, and very little incentive to improve.

If LibreOffice had research tools or business tools that Microsoft Office did not, if GIMP took the notion of professional image editing seriously, if there were a music player that also had dead-easy mashup tools...

... if there were a single Linux-only desktop app that did something original, did it well, and whose developers did not immediately crosscompile it for other platforms, desktop Linux would have had a glimmer of a chance.

I am a web developer. My job is to prioritize platform neutrality so I constantly evaluate OS X, Windows and Linux. Across the three OSes, there is no web development platform comparable to Dreamweaver, either inside or outside FOSS. And DW is not in any sense uncloneable. But, and this is a big but, its useability from beginners to veteran power users is second to none.

Automator is great software. You can argue that shell scripting is more powerful, but you're expecting most people to become shell scripters. Again, FOSS has to develop with real end users in mind, people like your grandparents and your neighbors and those ditzy girls who live in their cellphones.

"Good enough" has damned FOSS desktop apps. Desktop Linux proves, proves that competence without imagination is always going to lose in a competition with commercial products.

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