Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2012 22:52 UTC
Linux Miguel de Icaza: "To sum up: (a) First dimension: things change too quickly, breaking both open source and proprietary software alike; (b) incompatibility across Linux distributions. This killed the ecosystem for third party developers trying to target Linux on the desktop. You would try once, do your best effort to support the 'top' distro or if you were feeling generous 'the top three' distros. Only to find out that your software no longer worked six months later. Supporting Linux on the desktop became a burden for independent developers." Mac OS X came along to scoop up the Linux defectors.
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Linux desktop has never has a chance
by dariapra on Thu 30th Aug 2012 00:01 UTC
dariapra
Member since:
2012-02-27

Linux desktop - supossing it has ever existed, since there have been always several Linux desktops - never had a real chance.

While I agree with de Icaza in some points, I think he misses the general picture. The average user do not use an operating system; in fact, many of them ignore what an operating system is ("Linux? Operating system? What on earth is an OS?"). What this kind of user actually uses is a set of applications. And the relevant fact is that there has never existed Linux versions of very popular applications like AutoCAD or Photoshop, to mention just two best sellers. Applications like these are the ones selling Windows machines.

That is, as somebody wrote, when a user buys a Windows powered machine, what is buying is a fuzzy feeling that the applications he is used to work with will remain available. That's why Microsoft has managed to survive to a fiasco as big as Windows Vista and myriads of little and daily fiascos like blue screens of deaths, painful updates or security vulnerabilities.

Edited 2012-08-30 00:02 UTC

Reply Score: 5

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

And the relevant fact is that there has never existed Linux versions of very popular applications like AutoCAD or Photoshop, to mention just two best sellers.


Well yeah, of course. But a big reason why this is so is because of the stuff the he points out, which will never be fixed, because too many Linux Evangelists are convinced that having 900 different distros competing with each other is a good thing. And, well.... maybe it IS a good thing, but not if you want people to actually use it. And those of us who don't use it have been pointing out the same issues as Icaza for over a decade, but nobody listens to us. Hence, the reason why desktop Linux has been such a spectacular failure, and will continue to be so. Hell, most Android variants can utilize the same app store, and even still people are pissed at the fragmentation.

Reply Parent Score: 5

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

The problem is not that 900 distributions compete with each other. As Miguel pointed out the problem is incompatibility even in versions of only one (or the 3 top) distributions. He goes on to name (indirect) Red Hat, PulseAudio and Systemd as examples.

Those backwards-compatibility breaks are indeed serious and omnipresent. It seems like every 6 months a shiny new thing replaces working stuff in the stack and breaks compatibility all along. The gain is minimal compared to the lose.

Reply Parent Score: 1

UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

I must be different then, because I never had the need for a bitmap editor as extreme as Photoshop, and I never had a need for *any* CAD software outside of school. Hell, no one I know probably even knows what AutoCAD even is, and those that have Photoshop probably pirated it.

Me? Well, I bought a copy of Jasc Paint Shop Pro years ago, and after that I started to really like Paint.net during my last few years with Windows. I have toyed around with "trial" versions of Photoshop to see what all the fuss was about, but it has to be the most overkill, confusing, slow and bloated bitmap editor I have ever used. I was not impressed, and you would truly *need* to have some damn special requirements to actually want to pay 700-1000 bucks for a god damn bitmap editor. I honestly don't get it why so many people pirate it and then brag about it... I guess just to say that they got an ~$800 piece of software free?

Having been on Linux exclusively for over half a decade now, I do still miss Paint.net (it really was a pleasure to use), but I can get over it. I've been doing just fine on the GIMP, and I have got used to its multi-window approach years ago (which is actually very nice on a widescreen monitor). I'm actually anticipating trying out the new single-window mode, that should be interesting. But I can say that Windows has something good going for it with Paint.net.

Edited 2012-08-30 01:16 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 8

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Photoshop and AutoCAD are the de facto standard in some areas, and some people make a living using them. I know using the computer for professional purposes, what a weird concept...

Reply Parent Score: 1

c0m47053 Member since:
2011-05-12

There is a project on Google Code to port Paint.NET to Mono, but it hasn't had much activity in the last few years.

http://code.google.com/p/paint-mono/

Oddly, the last commit is by Miguel De Icaza. It was a fix for Mac OS.

Reply Parent Score: 3

tanishaj Member since:
2010-12-22

Having been on Linux exclusively for over half a decade now, I do still miss Paint.net (it really was a pleasure to use), but I can get over it....But I can say that Windows has something good going for it with Paint.net.


If you like Paint.net you should check out Pinta:
http://pinta-project.com/

Reply Parent Score: 3

r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

You might want to take a look at Pinta, which is a project inspired by Paint.NET. http://pinta-project.com

Edit: Never mind, I need to refresh my pages more often.

Edited 2012-08-30 11:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24

And the relevant fact is that there has never existed Linux versions of very popular applications like AutoCAD or Photoshop, to mention just two best sellers. Applications like these are the ones selling Windows machines.

Lol wtf? Autocad? Are you insane? Autocad is a highly specialist application which not even 0.01% of Windows users have installed on their machine.

Photoshop on the other hand is the best photo editing software bar none which is not something just professionals have use for, however the reason it's on most people's machines is that you can easily pirate it. If people had to pay for it then it certainly wouldn't be near ubiquitous outside the professional realm. Also it's available for OSX so you don't have to get Windows for it, and AFAIK it runs under Wine on Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 4

dariapra Member since:
2012-02-27

For those who say that AutoCAD and Photoshop are applications aimed to a tiny set of professional users, I would like to stress that what I said is that average users buy is a fuzzy feeling of that the applications they are used to work with will be available if the machine is powered by a Windows operating system. AutoCAD and Photoshop were just two examples.

The average user might has never worked with AutoCAD, Photoshop or the like, and do not expect to ever do it. However he is aware of that most of the applications will run on a Windows powered machine, being one of the reasons that he knows people who pays their bills by working with tools like AutoCAD or Photoshop - to mention two examples -, which are only available for Windows.

As somebody wrote, it is software what actually sells hardware. I add that applications are what actually sell operating systems. And I insist that this fact is what allowed Microsoft to survive to a fiasco as huge as the crappy Windows Vista: for most users there was not alternative

Reply Parent Score: 1

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Windows Phone is now in exactly the same situation, still it makes strides.
If it indeed becomes the 3rd ecosystem, it proves that no-app chicken and egg look can be overcome.

Reply Parent Score: 2

dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I generally agree. The slow uptake of 64bit windows (evidenced by the fact that PC memory configurations have generally stalled at 4G for several years) that doesn't guarantee such compatibility is a prove to that.

Reply Parent Score: 2

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Uhhh...its stalled because most OEMs aren't paying for 4 RAM slots (the race to the bottom means every slot counts) and it is only VERY recently that 4Gb DDR 3 RAM sticks have become reasonably priced, and that is on the desktop. With laptops you often have one slot, two if you are lucky, and again the RAM prices have kept the OEMs from going higher. Hell my netbook holds 8Gb easily, only came with two even though it had Win 7 X64 installed.

If it was for compatibility reasons they wouldn't install X64 on those systems, they'd install X32.

Reply Parent Score: 2