Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 22nd Jan 2010 17:06 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes Taking a break from reporting on the latest netbook or phone rumours, Engadget posted an article yesterday about several elements in desktop operating systems writer Paul Miller finds outdated. While there's some interesting stuff in there, there's also a lot to discuss.
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The are good complaints but mostly due to use of Windows.

1. back in the day when I first chose Enlightenment due to it's fantastic theming, themable applications would have been bliss. These days I feel the same as use; even Aero is wasted on me. I want some aesthetic appeal but if I wanted a 3D video game, I'd be playing a game. I don't need my desktop to look like 14 year old's design of a gaming interface anymore. If programs must have a theme framework, at least include a plain native widget for when I disable theming. This need to put bubble gum interfaces on applications isn't unique to Windows either though.

2. The irony is that Windows applications where nice and portable when they stuck with .INI files in the program directory tree. I suspect a big motivation is that it did make programs so easily portable. Now you either need someone with some regedit skills or the original install media to move the app from one machine to another. I think it would be a step forward to go back to .INI or program directory hosted reg databases. Other platforms manage the programs differently with varying levels of portability. In the few cases where I've had something on Backtrack or another distribution that I couldn't live without, I've been able to simply copy the binary over to my Debian and go with it. (eg. aircrack related scripts, an odd binary or two) Apple is probably easiest as it's pretty much just a drag and drop the program icon; uninstall sucks though.

3. unified program managers are the norm on other platforms. Microsoft only includes drivers and MS product updates. I'd love to see third party installs and updates also available through Windows Update but it's not likely to happen what with the need to maximize barriers to competition. Apple's updater covers more but Apple's base platform also covers more. Outside of a new iTunes update nearly weekly, I haven't seen much else coming in though. On my Debian boxes, a single command between logging in and starting my GUI updates everything. Of course, starting the GUI automatically is the norm and there is an updates notice in the icon bar for those who prefer it.

I shure wouldn't complain if MS dared to provide a more portable config storage framework and more repository style software delivery. (be nice if the default wasn't for applications to steel focus on the screen too)

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