Linked by David Adams on Thu 29th Sep 2011 23:47 UTC, submitted by lucas_maximus
Linux Linux is struggling on the desktop because it only has a small number of "great" apps, according to the Gnome co-creator. Miguel de Icaza, co-creator of the Gnome desktop, told tech journalist Tim Anderson at the recent Windows 8 Build conference "When you count how many great desktop apps there are on Linux, you can probably name 10," de Icaza said, according to a post on Anderson's IT Writing blog. "You work really hard, you can probably name 20. We've managed to p*** off developers every step of the way, breaking APIs all the time."
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snozzberry
Member since:
2005-11-14

I did not say "all," I did not say "they suck."

However, from a practical standpoint, clone apps like GIMP and LibreOffice do not strive to develop competitive features that draw in users, they merely aim to match the most commonly used ones.

The FOSS movement is consistently held back by the programmer's mantra "I'm representative of my user base" which results in uninspired feature sets, dismal and frustrating UX, and very little incentive to improve.

If LibreOffice had research tools or business tools that Microsoft Office did not, if GIMP took the notion of professional image editing seriously, if there were a music player that also had dead-easy mashup tools...

... if there were a single Linux-only desktop app that did something original, did it well, and whose developers did not immediately crosscompile it for other platforms, desktop Linux would have had a glimmer of a chance.

I am a web developer. My job is to prioritize platform neutrality so I constantly evaluate OS X, Windows and Linux. Across the three OSes, there is no web development platform comparable to Dreamweaver, either inside or outside FOSS. And DW is not in any sense uncloneable. But, and this is a big but, its useability from beginners to veteran power users is second to none.

Automator is great software. You can argue that shell scripting is more powerful, but you're expecting most people to become shell scripters. Again, FOSS has to develop with real end users in mind, people like your grandparents and your neighbors and those ditzy girls who live in their cellphones.

"Good enough" has damned FOSS desktop apps. Desktop Linux proves, proves that competence without imagination is always going to lose in a competition with commercial products.

Reply Score: 1

karunko Member since:
2008-10-28

However, from a practical standpoint, clone apps like GIMP and LibreOffice do not strive to develop competitive features that draw in users, they merely aim to match the most commonly used ones.

Maybe because the most commonly used are the ones you really need or, at least, going to use on a daily basis? Seems like a sensible approach, if you as me.

Except for that, I sort of agree with the rest of your post. Some Linux applications are ugly and/or buggy, or both, some are half baked and some never make it past the alpha stage.

However, let's not forget the quote that started it all: "When you count how many great desktop apps there are on Linux, you can probably name 10. You work really hard, you can probably name 20." See? The subject of contention, so to speak, is not the merits (or lack thereof) of Linux and/or FOSS as a whole, but the lack of "great" applications -- whatever that means.

The applications available on Linux and *BSD may not be great, but surely get the job done and, again, make for a perfectly viable, alternative platform for people who actually "think different". In other words, that statement is perfect trolling material and, judging by the number of posts in this thread, it got its job done! ;-)


RT.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

In other words, that statement is perfect trolling material and, judging by the number of posts in this thread, it got its job done! ;-).


I aim to please ;) .

But in all seriousness ... Changing API/ABI is a good way to piss devs off and just drives people away from your platform.

Say what you like about Microsoft they love their devs. The new WinRT framework I can use all my existing HTML and JS skills to create Metro Apps ... so for me there is a very low level for entry for making metro apps.

Edited 2011-09-30 20:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

The FOSS movement is consistently held back by the programmer's mantra "I'm representative of my user base" which results in uninspired feature sets, dismal and frustrating UX, and very little incentive to improve.


That can be true; I don't think that it's a given that Linux should be aiming to take on Windows and OS X on "average" user's desktop OS's in the first place. There clearly are a lot of users, mostly tech-savy users, for whom Linux is the optimal choice of operating system, and there are also many more users for whom it's not. That isn't a bad thing; that Linux doesn't work for you doesn't make it stop working well for me.

Reply Parent Score: 4

lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

This! I can't vote you up ... but +1

Edited 2011-09-30 20:10 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2