Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 17:45 UTC
X11, Window Managers Apparently, my article a few days ago caused a bigger stir than I had anticipated, not at all unrelated to the fact that my wordings may not have been optimal. So, let me clarify things a bit.
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You're not seeing the big picture
by arbour42 on Sat 23rd Dec 2006 23:31 UTC
Member since:

What a lot of commenters aren't seeing is that Linux desktop really has no "traction", as us old Be'ers used to say. It has not been widely adopted. To get widely adopted (if that's your wish) demands major major improvements to the overall user experience. And these improvements don't appear to be on the near-term horizon, nor even the medium term. Like it or not, Apple and Microsoft are dramatically ahead of Linux desktops.

Since '99 I've been following these bitchfests, everyone saying how close Linux desktops are to widespread use. What a joke. This splintering between Gnome and KDE, and the fragmentation between different distros, is a disaster - and many of us knew it 7 years ago, but you always have people saying "more is better" - well it isn't - neither desktop can keep up with Apple or MS, and frankly, it's a mess.

App vendors and users want ONE set of desktop API's, not multiple, constantly moving targets. At this point, I never see Linux going anywhere on the desktop. The only hope for open source desktops will have to come from newcomers like Syllable, or hopefully Haiku/Be.

Edited 2006-12-23 23:35

Reply Score: 5

twenex Member since:

Congratulations on saying nothing new, and nothing right.

If new users were so bothered about consistency they wouldn't download Ubuntu and then immediately download kde-desktop.

Indeed Kubuntu/Xubuntu wouldn't exist at all.

Reply Parent Score: 5

D3M0N Member since:

I couldn't agree anymore with you. Linux needs to standardize to go anywhere. Every year has been deemed "The Year of Desktop Linux" since the early 2000's, and yet all I see more and more every day are just politics with Linux.

Don't get me wrong, I love Linux and the idea of it; however, it needs to unify. Choice is good, too much choice is just confusing. "Desktop" Linux OSes try to do things right, but are often rejected because they typically employ proprietary technologies to get the job done.

Your mom and pop new users are NOT going to download Ubuntu and then fumble around trying to install "kde-desktop". I was around Lycoris for a couple of years, which developed a now defunct Desktop Linux distribution that *really* tried with unification of the UI and applications. It was also KDE centric. There was no GNOME libriaries, let alone the desktop. The only people asking in the high active community for GNOME libs was really only the "power users". The new users had enough trouble without having to worry about which desktop to use.

Sorry for taking this even further off-topic than it already is.

Reply Parent Score: 5

tux68 Member since:

What a lot of commenters aren't seeing is that Linux desktop really has no "traction"

The big picture is that the Linux desktops are developing very nicely. Let's be frank, if mass adoption ever happens it'll be years down the road, there's no reason to panic.

How many years did it take Apple to get wide adoption? The Apple Macintosh had a better desktop than Windows for _years_ and still didn't get much traction. Proving I think that the Desktop is not the end all and be all.

Nevertheless, there are great things happening in the open source desktop world with many unification projects and such, some of which are hosted on if you want to check them out.

Apple and Microsoft are dramatically ahead of Linux desktops.

Would you _please_ list a few areas where you think this is true? It does no good to just keep repeating that over and over.

App vendors and users want ONE set of desktop API's, not multiple, constantly moving targets.

LoL, you just got done explaining how _TWO_ different API's are surviving and thriving (Apple & MS). Perhaps there's more room for API's than you imagine? Besides, with more cross platform programming tools being offered all the time; this is becoming less of an issue.

Edited 2006-12-24 00:06

Reply Parent Score: 5

The Money is gone
by arbour42 on Sun 24th Dec 2006 03:49 in reply to "You're not seeing the big picture"
arbour42 Member since:

Also, Linux has had its chance to build a desktop - it had a chance with literally tons of Venture Capital thrown its way, and now the money is gone.

There's not going to be any more money to throw at it. The stock market/dot com boom is gone. The housing bubble is currently imploding. The U.S. is already in a recession (as long as you aren't a Government economist). The money is gone, and Linux could never get its act together. If there's no money now for developers to keep these projects going, there sure isn't going to be any more money coming in the next 3 years.

Linux had its chance - noone wanted to listen to adults and standardize on one desktop environment. Noone wanted to standardize on one distribution layout, and then have companies form services around THE STANDARD. If that had happened, you would be light years ahead in terms of desktop development now, and would actually have more than a miniscule share on the desktop.

Remember the insane VC's actually funding Nautilus, for millions? Insanity over a lousy file explorer! Novell wasted millions on Ximian! Now it's gone, and there's no more money. That's the reality. The debt overhang in the U.S. is unreal, and it's all coming down. Imagine what you will, but in the end money talks, and the bubble money (meaning phony Fed-created money) is history, and after every phony boom is a horrifying debacle. And people don't volunteer during debacles - they just try to feed their kids.

This might be a good essay topic: How the collapse of the housing and bubbles and the resulting recession will impact open source development over the next 5 years.

Reply Parent Score: 3

spikeb Member since:

users don't care about APIs. vendors, however, do. and can choose one.

Reply Parent Score: 2