Linked by Adam S on Wed 30th Apr 2003 07:26 UTC
Linux Lately, we've all read a lot of articles about desktop Linux - so many that it's getting hard to tell them apart. One says "Why Linux Sucks," the next "My Success With Linux." Even Michael Robertson of joined the fun with his "Why Desktop Linux Sucks, Today." But very few people have proposed anything radical, and I believe that's what's needed to take GNU/Linux to the next level.
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Rolleyes and my dream
by Spark on Tue 29th Apr 2003 18:45 UTC

I somewhat agree with Benny Siegert. This plan doesn't really sound like paradise, more like hell. Even more incompability won't change a damn thing. ;)

My vision of a future free operating system based on GNU/Linux (yes GNU/Linux, not FreeBSD) would be more like this:

Let's assume Red Hat 9 as the status quo.

100% GUI driven
RH 9 is heading this way but it's still a long way to go. RPM handling via the GUI needs to be more reliable. The "ask for password" concept if needed is great but needs to be extended. For example sometimes you _need_ to be able to modify a configuration file on your root filesystem. This is nothing evil in itself, but it is neccessary that the user can find the file with Nautilus and edit it with gedit, not find it with 'cd' and edit it with 'vi'.
KDE has this "run konqueror as superuser" features which is better than nothing but a bit ugly.

I don't believe that twenty symlinks will make the filesystem more easy to read. All it would do is create even more folders there to confuse the user. I rather believe in abstraction and that a regular user should not be exposed to it. I don't know MacOSX but what Benny wrote makes sense (the finder not showing system folders). It should not show them usually but still keep everything in place and accessable for maintenance by experts. Note that this does not stop anyone from becoming an expert if he _wants_ to. It should not be necessary though unless something is broken (in this case you could pay someone to repair it or do it yourself, just like you can do with a car).

Instead of trying to force everyone to use your libraries, interoperability and consistency should be reached through open standards. This is already in heavy process, the system tray is a great example for this. Those things have to just work and developers need a way to support it without beeing forced to use a desktop- or toolkit-dependant library or method. Another important piece is a common freedesktop HIG. Both parties (KDE and GNOME) need to drop any kind of NIH, sit together and come up with something unique that at least covers the most general parts. This would allow third party developers to create applications which integrate well into the free desktop, no matter how it was developed.

Software Installation
I believe that there is nothing wrong with RPM, but that there should be an alternative way to install "applications" (as opposed to system libraries). It has to be a distribution independant system to distribute binaries of your application and it should work without explicit support by the distribution. Thus everyone who creates a package in this format would know for sure that everyone on a unix desktop can install it. In other words, something like the Autopackage project tries to offer.

Better Performance and even more Polished Interfaces
I don't think I have to explain this. ;) More stability wouldn't hurt either.

I strongly believe that all of the above can and will (eventually) provide a free Linux desktop which works very well. Not like Windows, like BeOS or like MacOS, but simply good. RedHat has my support, because I think they are on the right track.