Linked by Allen Boyles on Mon 7th Nov 2011 09:46 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces In the commercial software world, user interfaces are generally designed by one group. Like Microsoft for Windows or Apple for Mac OS. Those desktop environments were designed by one company who did things like user testing and statistical analysis to try and make the desktop they thought would work best. Linux is different. Large groups definitely DO perform user testing and statistical analysis, but one group can also say "Here's what we want" and, if they have the ability to code it, their idea comes into being. It's pretty amazing, when you think about it. Linux lets people create what they want. If you don't like what's out there, fork it! Or start from scratch! You're in control!
Thread beginning with comment 496302
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
mlankton
Member since:
2009-06-11

dropping X would get people away from the alphabet soup of toolkits and libraries and get us out of the quiltwork mess that is the X desktop.

We've had this argument before though. I know what the arguments for sticking with X or moving to a proprietary windowing system are.

I'll stand by the claim that, to me, the Linux desktop doesn't look a whole lot different than it did 15 years ago.

Reply Parent Score: -1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The Linux desktop doesn't look that different than Windows 7, or OS/2 2.x or Mac OS classic or AmigaOS.

It is called the 'Desktop Metaphor' for a reason. Besides that - xorg isn't the real culprit behind the gazillion toolkits found in software today (proprietary and FLOSS alike).

I'll go as far as claiming the X-server is a Good Thing. The large number of toolkits have nothing to do with the X-server or any particular implementation of it.

Reply Parent Score: 5

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

That's simply untrue.

Reply Parent Score: 3

MacTO Member since:
2006-09-21

The Linux desktop has changed radically, even with X still being at the core. Heck, let's take X as an example: you now have things such as automatic hardware configuration. Or the window manager: most GUI applications include a desktop launcher. Or UI consistency: most users will get away with using gtk+ or Qt applications. And those examples ignore an abundance of under-the-hood changes, from the kernel up, that affect usability.

Saying that the Linux desktop hasn't really changed because X is still there is kinda like saying that Windows hasn't changed since the registry is still there. Both examples are a critical parts of an overall system that do have their failings. Yet those failings are not critical and they also have benefits. For the most part, the people who spend an inordinate amount of time criticizing them are doing so because they simply need something to criticize.

Edited 2011-11-07 15:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The Linux desktop has changed radically, even with X still being at the core. Heck, let's take X as an example: you now have things such as automatic hardware configuration. Or the window manager: most GUI applications include a desktop launcher. Or UI consistency: most users will get away with using gtk+ or Qt applications. And those examples ignore an abundance of under-the-hood changes, from the kernel up, that affect usability. Saying that the Linux desktop hasn't really changed because X is still there is kinda like saying that Windows hasn't changed since the registry is still there. Both examples are a critical parts of an overall system that do have their failings. Yet those failings are not critical and they also have benefits. For the most part, the people who spend an inordinate amount of time criticizing them are doing so because they simply need something to criticize.


Exactly so.

Here is a video of someone going completely overboard using a recent version of KDE4 (KDE SC 4.7.2, running under X)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AIgyGmHH50

You couldn't do that 15 years ago.

Now you don't have to go overboard and do things as complex as this video, but that doesn't mean that there should be no ability to do it for people who do want, and appreciate, this kind of power and flexibility.

Just because Windows can't do it doesn't mean that no-one wants to do it.

Edited 2011-11-08 03:52 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

dropping X would get people away from the alphabet soup of toolkits and libraries and get us out of the quiltwork mess that is the X desktop. We've had this argument before though. I know what the arguments for sticking with X or moving to a proprietary windowing system are. I'll stand by the claim that, to me, the Linux desktop doesn't look a whole lot different than it did 15 years ago.


Circa 1996
http://www.kde.org/screenshots/images/medium/matthiase1.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KDE_1.0.jpg

Latest
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KDE_4.png
http://kde.org/announcements/4.7/plasma.php
http://kde.org/announcements/4.7/applications.php

The latest KDE4 desktop can run under Wayland as well as X.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayland_%28display_server_protocol...

"KWin, the KDE window manager, added support for OpenGL ES output. It shipped with KDE SC 4.7. So far KWin has received its initial port to Wayland. In January 2012 KDE hopes to support Wayland under X with release KDE SC 4.8 and to run directly on Wayland in summer 2012 in the KDE SC 4.9 release."

Wayland isn't proprietary.

Desktop users don't see, or care about, the list of or thw exact spellings of the names of the desktop rendering libraries.

Edited 2011-11-08 03:09 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

dropping X would get people away from the alphabet soup of toolkits and libraries and get us out of the quiltwork mess that is the X desktop.


The lack of X hasn't prevented a patchwork quilt of GUI toolkits on Windows. Even MS' own applications use multiple GUI toolkits. Just compare the looks of all the apps that come with Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, with the looks of the various releases of Office.

I'll stand by the claim that, to me, the Linux desktop doesn't look a whole lot different than it did 15 years ago.


15 years ago, Motif was the dominant (only?) X GUI toolkit. KDE 1.0 was barely there. GNOME 1.0 was barely there. CDE was probably the only real DE around. And you think that looks the same as a GNOME 3/KDE4/XFce4 desktop?

Reply Parent Score: 3