Linked by David Adams on Wed 17th Aug 2011 17:48 UTC, submitted by suka
Gnome In an extensive interview with the Austrian tech site derStandard.at/web GNOME3 designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME3 - and why it's all about the apps - why he is convinced that KDE and Ubuntu are actually different operating systems and also reacts to the outspoken criticism against GNOME 3 which has been making the rounds lately.
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lemur2
Member since:
2007-02-17

I think the main reason is because Linux doesn't do the jobs people want it to do on the desktop. For computer manufacturers it doesn't help them make a competitive product. They can't offer a unique Windows experience with it and they can't offer a cheaper or higher end Mac experience with it. (Very few are bold enough to define their own experience since most of them started out as IBM-PC clone companies.) For users it doesn't run most applications and it doesn't work with some external devices and accessories (eg. Printers, Wifi-adapters). That's the reason most people bother with an operating system in the first place.


Nice theory, it is a shame it is utterly incorrect.

Not.one.single.thing.right in your whole post.

Linux has by far more working drivers than any other OS.

Is the Linux Desktop "On Par" With Mac and Windows? No Way!

http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/483462-is-the-linux-desktop-qo...

Unfortunately the discussion usually starts from the wrong premise, that the Linux desktop has only recently achieved parity with its Mac OS X and Windows cousins. Not so! The Linux desktop has been superior since its early days, and would have to go backwards to achieve parity.

67 Open Source Replacements for Really Expensive Applications

http://www.datamation.com/open-source/67-open-source-replacements-f...

Why spend thousands or even hundreds or thousands of dollars on a closed source application when you can get a comparable open source app for free? Even if you need commercial support, many open source programs now offer paid support that costs much less than the alternatives.

No, the ONLY real reason why Linux isn't on almost every single desktop is that ordinary non-computer-expert people are simply not offered it to buy as a consumer item in most stores as an option, side by side with comparable machines.

Perhaps there is one other reason also ... there seem to be a largish number of people who are prepared, for some reason, to parrot UTTER LIES about Linux on the desktop all over Internet forums, endlessly.

Edited 2011-08-17 23:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

Nah, the reason you don't see Linux based OSes on the screens of computers around the world has a lot to do with both momentum and the natural tendency of the market to prefer standardization.

For a Linux based OS, note I don't say "Linux" as a whole, to get significant market traction. You'd need to see software vendors opening up their offerings to said OS. You'd need to see hardware vendors marketing machines with the OS as a featured selling point.

More importantly though you'd need to see employers and schools swap over to using it to some significant degree. If your average Joe User type spends all day at work using Windows, and their kids spend all day at school using Windows then it's a pretty foregone conclusion that most of them are going to go with the system they're most familiar with when they buy personal machines.

Reply Parent Score: 4

ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

As a realist who wants Linux to be THE desktop and uses Linux 24/7 and runs his mother's computer on Linux, I can say that you're generally right... but there are two big flaws:

1. Linux still has rough edges as far as failing safely goes. If a video driver crashes and needs adjustment or the package manager gets left in an "interrupted" state, users are expected to know that command-line.

That's NOT good enough for the average user in 2011... as much as I wish it was.

Compare, for example, my brother's Windows Vista where, if his nVidia drivers crash, all that happens from the user's point of view is that the display stalls for a moment, flickers, then displays a "your video drivers crashed" message in a speech balloon.

2. People like my brothers who are primarily gamers aren't willing to fight with Wine the way I am. They want guaranteed, publisher-supported compatibility between their games and their OS of choice.

(And people who are really like my brothers scoff at the idea of playing FPS games or Strategy games with a gamepad on a console and are also hooked on how convenient Steam is)

Edited 2011-08-17 23:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

orestes Member since:
2005-07-06

1. Linux still has rough edges as far as failing safely goes. If a video driver crashes and needs adjustment or the package manager gets left in an "interrupted" state, users are expected to know that command-line.


The usual Windows response to serious system issues, like the installer getting borked, isn't much better. Something major happens to a non-techie sort on Windows their options are typically phone a friend and pray or the infamous four R's.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As a realist who wants Linux to be THE desktop and uses Linux 24/7 and runs his mother's computer on Linux, I can say that you're generally right... but there are two big flaws: 1. Linux still has rough edges as far as failing safely goes. If a video driver crashes and needs adjustment or the package manager gets left in an "interrupted" state, users are expected to know that command-line. That's NOT good enough for the average user in 2011... as much as I wish it was. Compare, for example, my brother's Windows Vista where, if his nVidia drivers crash, all that happens from the user's point of view is that the display stalls for a moment, flickers, then displays a "your video drivers crashed" message in a speech balloon.


Xserver and Wayland are both approaching the point now where they can run with normal user priveledges.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=NzM2MA

When this happens, Linux desktops will then (I think) gain the same ability as you note for graphics on Windows.

Of course, the significantly better behaviour of Linux as a desktop OS will still be retained everywhere else:

http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/483462-is-the-linux-desktop-qo...

"Here is a partial list of things Linux can do, some new, most old, many of which Mac and Windows still can't and won't even try, or only with expensive third-party add-ons:

Multiple window managers to choose from.
Multiple desktop environments to choose from.
Multiple virtual desktops, as many as you want and your hardware can handle.
Live bootable CD, DVD, USB.
Portable applications that run from USB on any computer.
Easy to get what you need to fix it-- you don't have to keep the exactly right installation media for each PC you own, or the special secret codes, or hope and pray the authentication server actually works for once.
Adaptable to multiple roles, from tiny low-power embedded systems to giant workstations with multiple monitors.
Multiple mouse buttons.
Complete keyboard controls.
Endlessly customizable: make it your own.
Give it your own corporate branding, roll your own customized distro and replicate it all you want to.
Secure remote graphical desktop and helpdesk.
Classrooms via remote graphical desktop, with the options to let users make changes or lock them out.
Seamless integration of command line and graphical environment. You can have the console, graphical environment, and X terminals all going at the same time.
Hall of mirrors: run multiple nested graphical sessions.
Multiple simultaneous graphical sessions, not nested.
Multiple monitors in all kinds of configurations.
Easy software installation over the Internet.
Secure remote networking.
True multi-user.
Easy patching and updates.
Or manage software manually, from source code if you prefer. Say, Apple and Microsoft, where is that source code?
Better Mac and Windows rescue tools than Mac and Windows offer.
No silly artificial distinctions between desktop and server, business and home, big business, small business, etc. designed only to pry more money out of your bank account.
ncurses: graphical environment without X11.
All this newfangled compositing and fancy special effects are not my cup of tea, but I recognize their coolness, and they should drive video hardware support past its current dismal state.
KDE4 Activities turns virtual desktops and multiple screens into independent environments, which is something nobody else does.
You can be a fan and make suggestions without having attack lawyers sicced on you, like Apple did to a little girl.
You can wade in and contribute without having attack lawyers sicced on you.
You can talk directly to developers, or at least read their deep unfiltered thoughts on their blogs and mailing lists.
Real interop, not the fake kind the Brand Xs peddle."


2. People like my brothers who are primarily gamers aren't willing to fight with Wine the way I am. They want guaranteed, publisher-supported compatibility between their games and their OS of choice. (And people who are really like my brothers scoff at the idea of playing FPS games or Strategy games with a gamepad on a console and are also hooked on how convenient Steam is)


We are taliking about desktop systems, not games consoles.

Edited 2011-08-18 02:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

Why isn't Linux offered as a option side by side with comparable machines?

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Why isn't Linux offered as a option side by side with comparable machines?


Microsoft offers heavy discount to vendors, which is conditional on said vendor not offering Linux as an option. Without the Windows discount, commercial retailers cannot offer Linux machines side-by-side with Windows machines unless the Windows machines they offer are significantly more expensive than similar Windows machines in other stores (which do get a discount).

There are a very few vendors who offer Linux machines on-line, some of them offer ONLY Linux machines, whereas others, such as Dell, make people jump through many hoops in order to get Linux pre-installed. AFAIK no mainstream bricks-and-mortar store has ever even tried to offer undiscounted Windows, Mac and Linux side-by-side on similar (or identical) hardware. If they offer Windows, they always try to get the Windows discount, and therefore they will ONLY have Windows machines, and possibly Mac as well, in the store.

Microsoft have been able to get even further back in the supply chain in some markets, so that OEMs sell only machines with Windows pre-installed. here is an example of a retailer in my country who is perfectly willing to sell Linux, but apparently they can only do so by removing the already-paid-for Windows from the machines they get from OEMs.

http://www.vgcomputing.com.au/dsintro.html
http://www.vgcomputing.com.au/linuxinfo.html

Because the Windows OS that OEMs install on machines is heavily discounted, it still turn out way cheaper for end users to have the retailer (such as vgcomputing) wipe the Windows OS from the OEM's install and install Linux plus Linux desktop applications. You will be amazed at how many people are not aware of this fact, however.

BTW, even though they never end up running Windows even once, machines such as the Linux machines sold by vgcomputing are still counted, as far as market share statistics goes, as Windows machines, because that is what they were when the OEM shipped them.

Some vendors (such as Wallmart) have, from time to time, offered very low-end, low-powered Linux machines without any directly comparable Windows machines in the store. Even for these offerings Microsoft has eventually been able to pressure retailers to remove them from stores. A very similar thing happened with the first netbooks, when Microsoft revived Windows XP Home out of end-of-life, and gave it away to OEMs. One suspects that Microsoft even paid OEMs to ship Windows XP Home instead of Linux. Although it was never admitted, I observed at least one local store where there was plaenty of stock of Linux netbooks one day, and overnight they were all removed from the shelves and only Windows XP Home netbooks were able to be bought the very next day.

Edited 2011-08-18 02:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

No, the ONLY real reason why Linux isn't on almost every single desktop is that ordinary non-computer-expert people are simply not offered it to buy as a consumer item in most stores as an option, side by side with comparable machines.


Then again, I am one of the people who used to use Linux on their desktop PCs daily for almost ten years, hoping that it would one day Just Work(TM), and then finally getting tired of it never reaching that status and going for a proper OS. In my case Win7.

Oh well..

Reply Parent Score: 1

saynte Member since:
2007-12-10

Different strokes for different folks, as they say ;) .

Not that you have done so at all, but I see a need to reduce the cheerleading of OSes. What I consider the "main" 3 (Windows, Linux, Mac) all perform their task quite well, but they have different styles.

I think your comment proves that we all have different preferences: even using Linux for a long time you choose Windows. Thanks for bringing this up, that even those that appreciate Linux may see the value in other choices.

Reply Parent Score: 1

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I share the same pain.

I am typing this on Linux now, but I am usually on Windows 7.

On the last years it has been hard to find Linux distributions that just work on laptops. And I am speaking about proper laptops, not consumer brand ones.

Now I finally managed to have a workable laptop where everything works with Linux, but this is not always easy.

As I aged and experienced the life of software development in big corporations, I got to understand a lot how Microsoft works and nowadays I use tools. No need to get religious about programming languages or operating systems.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Tom Janowitz Member since:
2005-12-05

Linux has by far more working drivers than any other OS.


May be .. but we don't install "Linux", but a distro of choice. My - carefully chosen after years of experience - won't support (will work .. but then it crashes) 2 Ati cards .. one is to "old" (actually it's not old, bu integrated, so it's kind of make it look like old) or the other to new. Either way.. your claim means absolutely nothing when we speak about real life user desktop experience.

Is the Linux Desktop "On Par" With Mac and Windows? No Way!

http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/483462-is-the-linux-desktop-qo...

Unfortunately the discussion usually starts from the wrong premise, that the Linux desktop has only recently achieved parity with its Mac OS X and Windows cousins. Not so! The Linux desktop has been superior since its early days, and would have to go backwards to achieve parity.


I use both Linux (school & home) and Windows (work) and I must say - it was *NEVER* my impression, that Linux is better than Mac OS X or Windows XP .. Which Linux ? Is it operating system ? A kernel ? Any standard to anything ? Desktop shell, music player, package management .. anything ? Aaaaa!.. you have the choice .. you can choose to loose ;) And you can customize your @$$ to death (that requires only about million hours of free time every month of playing with your desktop instead of actually doing something with it). It's "better" only in that it can be free (as in beer). I would prefer to pay for quality than to tackle the obstacles of a "free" (as in speech) open source (like i do care) software... that's my opinion .. as the one above.


67 Open Source Replacements for Really Expensive Applications

http://www.datamation.com/open-source/67-open-source-replacements-f...

Why spend thousands or even hundreds or thousands of dollars on a closed source application when you can get a comparable open source app for free? Even if you need commercial support, many open source programs now offer paid support that costs much less than the alternatives.


To get the job done better, faster and in easier, more user friendly way ? What do you mean "comparable" ? You can compare everything .. Comparable is not enough. What is Gnome music app ? MusicBox ? .. what would you like to compare it to ? Amarok is fine .. but it's QT .. ok - again - inconsistent desktop .. i can bite this .. it has cool feature of getting lyrics & info for the song i listen to .. it broke one day because amazon sth .. or wiki sth (don't remember) .. distro won't update it's scripts .. choice I have ? Build app from source .. when ? Do I have time for this ? Do I really have to do this ? A.D. 2011 ? Really ?


No, the ONLY real reason why Linux isn't on almost every single desktop is that ordinary non-computer-expert people are simply not offered it to buy as a consumer item in most stores as an option, side by side with comparable machines.

It is by far the most stupid thing you uttered. There is no single reason for Linux adoption on desktop. There are thousands of them ... hundreds of distros (fragmentation), thousands of apps (variable support), many drivers (so what that I can have a driver for some ancient radio receiver stuff which I don't have, when I don't have for driver for my not so recent PCI-E tv tuner card !??), many DE's .. ok - I have a choice .. but this attitude is not task oriented. It won't help me do my things quickly without additional hassle of learning 1000 new things in a months, of which most will be obsolete by the end of year (yes, I exaggerate).


Perhaps there is one other reason also ... there seem to be a largish number of people who are prepared, for some reason, to parrot UTTER LIES about Linux on the desktop all over Internet forums, endlessly.

[/q]
Agreed on that ;)

And .. I apologize if I was to harsh few times ..

Reply Parent Score: 1

vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Just recognize there are always trade offs:
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9216654/Windows_7_s_malware_...

That being said, Linux is not for everyone. It does have a learning curve, which personally I think is good for people, but most people don't want to learn. Contrary to popular opinion, I don't spend all my time fiddling with Linux, KDE or writing scripts or patches, etc. PCLOS just works for me.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sreque Member since:
2010-09-10

Whoa! Someone has a strong opinion about Linux.

I like Linux and have used it for years, however, I bought a new laptop recently and tried installing Linux on it. I couldn't even get the installer to run at all without using custom flags that I had to type in manually. Even after hours of labor, I still can't get the machine to recognize my graphics card, even though the latest nvidia driver claims to support it on Linux. Some of the fixes I tried rendered the system unbootable and I had to fiddle with xorg.conf to get things working again.

That kind of user experience, regardless of whose fault it is, will always keep people from switching to Linux. Linux does a lot of things well, but being a good desktop OS for PC-compatible machines currently isn't one of them.

Reply Parent Score: 1