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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I cringed.
by Greg on Wed 30th Apr 2003 00:30 UTC

Please. While, yes, graphical installers/conf tools are necessary, I don't see how your model could improve anything. If I were to fire up my gentoofm and see a listing of /Apps, /System, /ThisIsWhereThoseNiceConfigurationFilesGo, I would vomit and find myself some ArcaneUnixBasedOS v. 0.0.3 to make myself feel 31337 over. I like Linux, and I want to keep using it, and I very much wish it had the graphical glitz of BeOS. This "distro" is basically a somehow even more brain-damaged version of (Lindoze | Linblows | Lindow$). I like my Linux on the desktop, not least because it runs on a Celeron 433, and I want it to be everything for everybody. This strand of "make Linux better for the desktop by making it worse for the poweruser" is troubling to me.

(This is slightly OT, but I think the problem with Linux on the desktop is the lack of a good DE. I like IceWM, and Gnome, and KDE. However, these have problems. The mistake Linux DEvelopers seem to make is emulating Windows, rather than OSX. The latter is an example of an advanced, well-integrated environment, and while I would hate to see an exact copy, I'd love something that has as much of a feel of "I can have as many useless doodads and bells and whistles as I want". I'm sure that with the 2.6 kernel, this thing could run without embarassing latency. KDE is making progress this way, but it is way too Wind-y. Of course, more power to those that want an XP-like, or Workbench-like, or Photon-like DE. Linux == choice.)

There is absolutely no reason to make such a change to the FHS--come on, I've only been using a non-Windows OS (Debian) for 6 months, and I wouldn't think of changing the file system. What would be nice, is if your standard file manager (Nautilus, say), would take a tip from MS and special-case the FHS directories, so explanatory tooltips would pop up. Advanced users can switch to another file manager (Nautilus/Konq are bloated, IMHO).

It is possible to make Linux better for the newbie home user WITHOUT destroying its 1337ness. Many of these changes only need to be made within a desktop environment, or file manager, or whatever. I sort of fail to grasp the reason for the lack of a "install-this-package-in-user's-home-dir" option anywhere--it could be disabled for better security. And the rpm and deb packaging systems lend themselves WONDERFULLY to "Add/Remove Programs" schemes!

In short: I like my Linux. I like my BeOS. I like evolution, I like tradition. But please, don't kill the tradition only to degenerate it.