Linked by Perry Helion on Fri 15th Mar 2013 18:20 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Ubuntu has come under a decent amount of flack over the past few months, particularly over their decision to use the 'Dash Search' to return results from Amazon by default in their most recent release.
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RE[5]: Picking sides...
by hhas on Tue 19th Mar 2013 02:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Picking sides..."
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your logic is a bit hypocritical, you criticize those who reinvent the Desktop Environment, yet you propose doing exactly that for email because you feel it should work differently

This is getting sidetracked from my original point, but one of these things is not at all like the other (and hence not hypocritical at all):

1. Email falls short in a whole bunch of ways, not least modern essentials like security and trust. It's a creaky, clapped out old platform, and most folks are blind to its failings only because they're so conditioned to it that they can no longer conceive of anything different. There are excellent reasons for replacing it with something radically new and better.

2. The plethora of Linux desktops available today are all mostly just tired rehashes of the same handful of HCI concepts that date all the way back to PARC in the 1970s, plus whatever superficial eyecandy is the fashion of the day. Were any of them actually doing anything truly innovatory, I'd be praising them like a shot. But merely retreading the same ground over and over again with, at most, minor differences in superficial form, is starting to look like a bit of a circle-jerk.

To give one example of how DE creators could genuinely innovate for a change: Imagine a Linux DE that fully embraced Unix Philosophy by being constructed from ground-up as a wholly component-oriented architecture (think a modern version of OpenDoc). That would be great for GUI application developers because it'd make it much quicker and easier for an individual developer to write a complete component that does something useful when plugged together with other components. OSS developers wouldn't be shackled to vast, slow-moving, monolithic projects like Open Office any more, forever trying to catch up with MS Office by playing by MS's rules. Instead, they could churn out lots of lightweight components, rapidly iterating and refining, figuring which work best and tossing away the rest (which is easy to do when they don't require a crippling investment to create and maintain in the first place).

"And that's the sort of crafty lateral thinking that the FOSS world could do wonders with, if only they had a bit more of vision and boldness. Cheers."

This is trolling.

Oh please. Someone points out that the Linux community lacks a soup├žon of imagination, and that's trolling? Back under your own bridge.

Let me make a suggestion here: If you really do have an interest in certain types of projects, you could do some research and join existing FOSS projects that you are interested in to see what kind of help you can offer.

I have created and supported my own OSS projects in the past, and provided input to others. Right now I am working towards releasing a dual OSS+commercial licensed project (end-user programming plus automation). At some point I will probably do some OSS work relating to HTTP+REST (I don't imagine I will be able to undo all the mess that many thousands of web developers have been making over the years, but maybe I'll put some small dent in it, and might also help clarify my own ideas of what a cloud-based www ought to be all about). Were I to run across an OSS project that was doing really interesting HCI work I would certainly consider getting involved in that.

OTOH, I have no interest in just hopping onto some random FOSS project just so I can inflate their tribal headcount or feel important now I'm part of the larger whole. And - as has already been illustrated, there are plenty in the Linux world who really don't much care for being disrupted - even when that's exactly what's needed. I may occasionally blow off some light steam on osnews or whatever to relax, but if I'm going to make a full-on commitment I'd better know in advance that there's a non-zero chance I can make a substantive difference by doing so. I already have a history of approaching more orthodox devs offering constructive criticism, being rebuffed (something about challenging their world view...), and in response going off and writing my own product that consequently boots theirs into oblivion. (So...hey, instead of me joining someone else's project, perhaps others should try joining one of mine for a change?:p)

Edit: I do understand your motivation for wanting to improve email systems

Actually, I want to see the entire email system nuked out of existence. Coming to software from the art world, it horrifies me to see the pathological pack-rat clinginess, inextricably entwined egos, and raging resistance to any sort of self-disruption. As my old art teacher taught me, the moment you realize you've fallen into that trap, you tear up that work and start afresh. Otherwise you spend all your time congratulating yourself on your wonderful skills while the work itself degenerates into crap. It's very freeing; y'all should try it.

I do too, but please consider that blanket criticism of linux distro devs gets us no further to realizing these improvements. We'd need the widespread cooperation of millions of people and corporations to pull it off: banks, governments, ISPs, schools, end users, software providers, etc. It's a much larger problem than FOSS can handle alone.

That's pure defeatist talk: "we can't do everything ourselves, so let's do nothing". Not to mention complete and utter bollocks - remember, it took just five guys to found the entire freaking WWW [1][2]. I rest my case.


[2] (Plus a hundred thousand to find ingenious ways to screw it up again.)

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