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 Lindows.com 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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I've been saying for 5 years...
by Nathan Aschbacher on Tue 29th Apr 2003 21:54 UTC

That the Linux folks should be looking at systems like OpenStep and MacOS X if they are serious about adapting an environment based on Linux to become a desktop OS.

Most of the problems with Linux on the desktop are caused by an inability to just junk the broken system that's causing you the problems of usability in the first place and rebuilding a new system in it's place.

It seems clear that both NeXT and Apple did this with their OS's.

MacOS X isn't any more or less UNIX-like than Linux, the difference is that when building OS X Apple took special care to consider the problems of the metaphors or lack there of in the system and how they would effect not only the user, but the rest of the system as it were to be built on those metaphors.

For the last 6 months I've been wanting to build my own Linux distro which solves some of these problems, but time hasn't been available.

Most of the obsticles are really quite trivial, they have just never been addressed. Creating a clear yet bridgable division between the user environment and the underlying UNIX-like layer of the OS is the key.

A good way to achieve this is to start with a notion that to the user the desktop environment should seem like the whole OS. Adding support for something like application bundles and framework bundles, giving the DE seemingly it's own autonomous organized and complete structure in the file system which is descriptive and clear in it's partitioning scheme. Much like how /System/Library, /Library, and ~/Library are in MacOS X.

Well anyway the solutions are already there to be implemented. Somebody else already had the expense of thinking them up and implementing them first. Mimicking them ought not to be overly difficult.

"Well why don't you just do it yourself if you think you know all the answers?", I hear coming from the crowd.

Okay fine I will.

-Nathan