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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Problems from the start
by Anonymous on Wed 30th Apr 2003 00:09 UTC

This article has some good ideas, but there's some pretty bad ones that would cause problems right from the word go. For example:
My developers are going to meet and agree on ONE desktop environment. Yes, we'll include the libs for the other major one we leave out.
Already you've fallen into the trap of pandering to the existing Linux crowd. Why ? Most of the other things you're doing are already going to drive away these people. Pick (or create) a GUI. Stick to it, customise it, tweak it "just so". Don't waste any developmental effort on another - let others do that if they _really_ want to. Every minute spent on including or developing stuff for the "other GUI" is time you could have spent making yours better.
[...] graphical, heavy on eye candy, with few visible options but lots of "Advanced" buttons.
Bad idea. "Advanced" buttons just allow for more mistakes to be made by newbies. If you *really* want to give the option for users to perform an "advanced" install (in which case you should really sit down and ask yourself *WHY*), then make it a well documeted *boot-time* option that can't be stumbled on accidentally. SImilarly with things like filesystems - pick on and stick to it.
I'm already stripping out a number of apps, so what I'm not going to worry about are libraries and system files. Even the minimal install will include every common system tool my develops can think of.
This is another bad idea. It's this sort of reasoning that *causes* library versioning problems. Include _only_ the libs necessary to support your included software and development on your "default" platform. Again, if other people really want to get app XYZ that requires libs ABC and HIJ to get working, they will. The only time this might be an issue for you is when your users are asking for a service your existing software doesn't provide.
On the whole, the ideas here are pretty good. It's obvious your objective (dream ?) is to create an OS X equivalent on x86, which is an admirable (and achievable IMHO) goal. However, you're also trying to pander to existing userbase by including options for this, options for that, etc. Don't - it's one of the biggest reasons Linux distros are difficult to approach for people who don't have the knowledge to make the necessary decisions between all those options. If you _really_ want to make "something new" then you have to make choices and stick by them. Certainly don't go out of your way to hinder people trying to port/develop for the new platform, but by the same token don't waste any of your development time and money re-implementing features (note: *features*, not specific bits of software) that already exist on your platform, just because a handful of users prefer a slightly different version.