Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Oct 2010 19:00 UTC, submitted by sjvn
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Well, this is sure to raise a few eyebrows here and there. Today, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit, Mark Shuttleworth held his keynote speech, and in it, he announced that Ubuntu will switch to the Unity user interface come release, for both the netbook as well as the desktop, leaving the GNOME user interface behind (but keeping the GNOME platform).
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RE[4]: Comment by Luminair
by sorpigal on Tue 26th Oct 2010 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Luminair"
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

People say fragmentation is holding Linux back, but then do not back up the assertion by describing *how*. As far as desktop environments and toolkits go I don't see many third party developers who are avoiding Linux due to toolkit confusion or intimidation. You can say, in general, that more than one is fragmentation and fragmentation is bad, and we can allow that for the sake of argument--it may even be true! But to say that "Desktop Linux" is being hurt by fragmentation specifically requires that you provide at least some anecdotal evidence.

I'll start: "My friend Timmy was going to port his friendly checkbook manager to Linux but couldn't decide on GTK or QT, so he didn't." Does this makes sense? "My friend Timmy wanted to support Linux for his application but since no one would tell him the correct order for OK and Cancel buttons he didn't." Do you see where I'm going here?

People who want to support Linux don't get stopped by multiple toolkits or DEs. Some really do get stopped by multiple installation mechanisms and a more get intimated by the plethora of distributions, but even those will mostly say "Red Hat only" and just do it.

Spread your FUDbutter somwhere else. Don't repeat things you hear said just because it seems to make sense when people say it. If you have some actual facts, figures, or any kind of evidence, that suggests that Desktop Linux is being hurt by the KDE/GNOME/XFce/etc split, bring them up now.

Please, please don't start in with "Development effort" or "wasted time" because these things don't make any sense when talking about volunteer-driven projects with effectively unlimited pools of manpower. It's not like in a company where I have ten developers and have assigned six to GNOME and four to KDE and could make GNOME better by reassigning those four. Nobody can be reassigned.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Comment by Luminair
by nt_jerkface on Tue 26th Oct 2010 16:56 in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by Luminair"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

But to say that "Desktop Linux" is being hurt by fragmentation specifically requires that you provide at least some anecdotal evidence.


It doesn't require anecdotal evidence.

Porting from Windows to two Linux distros costs more than porting to OSX, especially if the application uses sound or video. On that basis alone you can argue that fragmentation holds desktop Linux back. Keep in mind that porting for a commercial ISV include testing and support, which is further increased by distros like Ubuntu that are constantly releasing major updates.

Linux is a PITA for commercial developers and it has been that way for years. Distro differences are mitigated by releasing the source and then having package maintainers handle the porting and distribution. Once you step outside this model the costs go up.

You can't argue that fragmentation is a net positive or neutral aspect for commercial developers when there is clearly an additional cost involved.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: Comment by Luminair
by fepede on Tue 26th Oct 2010 17:15 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Luminair"
fepede Member since:
2005-11-14

"But to say that "Desktop Linux" is being hurt by fragmentation specifically requires that you provide at least some anecdotal evidence.


It doesn't require anecdotal evidence.

Porting from Windows to two Linux distros costs more than porting to OSX, especially if the application uses sound or video. On that basis alone you can argue that fragmentation holds desktop Linux back. Keep in mind that porting for a commercial ISV include testing and support, which is further increased by distros like Ubuntu that are constantly releasing major updates.

Linux is a PITA for commercial developers and it has been that way for years. Distro differences are mitigated by releasing the source and then having package maintainers handle the porting and distribution. Once you step outside this model the costs go up.

You can't argue that fragmentation is a net positive or neutral aspect for commercial developers when there is clearly an additional cost involved.
"

Yes, I do agree with the answer.

Just consider another example: packaging the same program for 20 distros waste 20 times time needed for just one distro.

Getting a specific version of an app packaged for your distro is almost impossible (so you have to use the version shipped with the distro while you could use a more recent one, if someone packaged it)

Fixing problems and helping other users supporting them is time consuming because you need to know the "internals" of every distro on the planet, which is impossibile.

Deploy working solutions requires you to test on 200zillion distro. Or at least you have to develop in the same environment where you are going to deploy (which could be hard or impossible if you need to work for several customer at the same time)

Non-professional user may not be able to use another user's Linux machine because it may act / feel completely different from its own setup.

We can go on forever with these scenarios.

So, and I'm writing to the one who says that fragmentation is not bad, what are your evidence that is is good? (or at least, neutral?)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[6]: Comment by Luminair
by sorpigal on Wed 27th Oct 2010 13:06 in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by Luminair"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Porting from Windows to two Linux distros costs more than porting to OSX, especially if the application uses sound or video.

First "Porting to two OSes costs more than porting to one." - Is anyone even surprised? Second, I was talking about (and we were discussing) Desktop Linux fragmentation in the form of GNOME vs KDE, not distro fragmentation.

Keep in mind that porting for a commercial ISV include testing and support, which is further increased by distros like Ubuntu that are constantly releasing major updates.

Pick a version target and stick with it. This is why enterprise distros and Debian are good. Again, don't change the subject: Multiple DEs are not the problem here.

Linux is a PITA for commercial developers and it has been that way for years. Distro differences are mitigated by releasing the source and then having package maintainers handle the porting and distribution. Once you step outside this model the costs go up.

Which has exactly what to do with a choice of Desktop Environment? Pick a distribution and target it, pick RHEL if you want a stable target.

You can't argue that fragmentation is a net positive or neutral aspect for commercial developers when there is clearly an additional cost involved.

All I have to show is that fragmentation is not a net negative, or that it cannot be proven to be a net negative. But I don't even need to do that: I am not arguing against various platform problems surrounding Linux in general, I am arguing about whether GNOME vs KDE vs GNOME+Unity fragmentation is hurting Desktop Linux. It isn't. You still haven't even attempted to describe how it might.

Reply Parent Score: 2