Linked by David Adams on Fri 18th Jun 2010 19:17 UTC
Linux Linux Magazine has a profile of Daniel Fore and the Elementary project. Elementary is a Linux distro that's committed to a clean and simple user experience, but it's more than a distro - it's actually a multi-pronged effort to make improvements to the user experience for a whole ecosystem of components, including icons, a GTK theme, Midori improvements, Nautilus, and even Firefox. The work that elementary is doing isn't limited to their own distro, and some of their work is available in current, and perhaps future, Ubuntu releases. The results are really striking, and I think it's probably the handsomest Linux UI I've ever seen.
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Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Oh but you *can* always have the latest releases, or even pre-releases, with either rolling-release distros like Arch, "testing" repositories, or downloading and installing a .deb/.rpm of the update.

I prefer not to do so when I don't need to, because I prefer the increased stability of a stable installed base. But you can do that. As an example, my old Ubuntu box had repositories for GIMP betas and Emesene nightlies. Others have one for Opera.

Just imagine one second, knowing the famous quality of Nvidia and ATI drivers on all platforms, that they were always updated to the latest release on Windows. Your computer would effectively be broken quite often.

Edited 2010-06-19 05:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

jtfolden Member since:
2005-08-12

Option 1: "Rolling-release" distros *are* essentially upgrading portions of the OS as you upgrade apps, etc... it just comes pouring down the wire and stability suffers, as a result.

Option 2: "Testing" repositories are not a solution at all, because a) not every app has one, and b) you generally have to manually set up the repository for each one (that might, possibly, maybe, happen to be available).

So, Option 1 is the equivalent of having to continually install beta releases of Windows or OS X just to get the newer apps available. Option 2 is not particularly user friendly and it's incredibly spotty at best.

Neither of these options provide the previously mentioned easy of use in comparison to Windows or OS X. Heck, I think just about all the apps I currently use on OS X even check for their own updates and install them for you, upon approval, without me ever having to do a thing - and I never have to worry about the stability of the OS or that the core might be tampered with...

Remember, I never said that there weren't ways to possibly upgrade apps, but these kludges are simply not suitable in a modern desktop operating system. The OS and the applications should not be so tightly bound to one another and I think the main failing here is the way libraries and resources are handled by the OS.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

What about option 3 ? Not every application provides binary packages, but most of the big ones (the ones you probably want to upgrade) actually do so, just like on Win/OSX...

Reply Parent Score: 3

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Remember, I never said that there weren't ways to possibly upgrade apps, but these kludges are simply not suitable in a modern desktop operating system. The OS and the applications should not be so tightly bound to one another and I think the main failing here is the way libraries and resources are handled by the OS.


Hit the nail on the head. With disk space as abundant as it is today, app encapsulation is the way to go.

Actually, the overall layers of userland libraries need to first be better defined. When it comes to e.g. graphics and multimedia libraries there is no standard base. So it's an all-or-nothing approach--every library depends on every other library all the way down to the core of the system. So it makes app encapsulation quite a bit more difficult.

Reply Parent Score: 4

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

I've gone over this a 1000 times here so don't waste too much energy with the status quo defenders.

Program management in Linux is an insult to software engineering. I'm glad that I'm not the only person that can see this.

Have a nice day sir.

Reply Parent Score: 3