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.
Thread beginning with comment 533145
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Bitter Miguel
by Valhalla on Thu 30th Aug 2012 06:43 UTC
Valhalla
Member since:
2006-01-24

Linux has never had any real momentum on the desktop, and Miguel's flamebait use of 'killed' just shows how bitter he is that it didn't actually go up in flames once he left. Looking at some of his points, codecs for watching movies, really? Is there any Linux user out there who has problems with codecs for watching movies? PDF Viewers?

Miguel left Linux once his attempt to push Mono onto the desktop (both user and enterprise) failed utterly and now he has 'seen the light' in Iphone and OSX where he is selling MonoTouch but of course due to his bitterness he can't let go and thus tries to paint the Linux desktop as having been 'killed'. (pause for dramatic effect)

Apart from Ubuntu there's never been any serious push to put Linux on the mainstream desktop, and while it has become the most popular distro I don't think it attracts alot of people who were already using Linux because they are drawn to Linux for it's flexibility, not a one-size-fits-all-solution.

For mainstream users to move to the Linux desktop in any serious number there has to be something drawing them there, and there never really has been, your facebook page will look the same in Windows, you can listen to your music, watch your videos and unlike on Linux you can play just about every game for the pc platform. Add to this that the OS comes preinstalled with the machine you buy, there's really no incentive for the mainstream users to switch.

Linux on the desktop has always been the haven for developers/tinkerers people who want a great level control of their system and be able to customize it to their needs, this is not what the overall user wants.

In fact the overall user generally don't give a crap about the OS as long as it allows them to do the aforementioned (surf, watch movies, play music and play games comfortably), Windows does this perfectly well.

Linux on the desktop is chugging along just as it always was, and like the kernel the surrounding components are pretty much always in heavy development, sometimes breaking backwards compability and requiring recompilation of affected binaries.

That's the 'price' you pay for this development model which is not controlled by a central authority, if you can't live with this then yes, you are better off with something else than Linux, or at the very least stick to a distro like Ubuntu which moves very slowly and works on ensuring compability between it's versions.

So no, I don't ever think Linux on the desktop will reach any 'critical-mass',but it sure as hell is never going to be 'killed', and Miguel's departure certainly hasn't made a lick of difference one way or the other, even though he really would want it to be so.

Reply Score: 12

RE: Bitter Miguel
by lucas_maximus on Thu 30th Aug 2012 08:36 in reply to "Bitter Miguel"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Getting codecs etc working is a ball-ache. This shit is a piece of piss in Windows.

You might be able to get them working, I might be able to get them working ... but it is still more effort than it needs to be.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Bitter Miguel
by kwan_e on Thu 30th Aug 2012 08:51 in reply to "RE: Bitter Miguel"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Getting codecs etc working is a ball-ache. This shit is a piece of piss in Windows.


Yeah. If you use VLC...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Bitter Miguel
by Valhalla on Thu 30th Aug 2012 09:20 in reply to "RE: Bitter Miguel"
Valhalla Member since:
2006-01-24


You might be able to get them working, I might be able to get them working ... but it is still more effort than it needs to be.

Ehh, sudo pacman -S mplayer or sudo pacman -S vlc automatically installs the 'codecs' I could possibly need as dependancies together with either of the aforementioned programs on my distro (Arch).

I seriously doubt it's much harder on other distros (perhaps you need to enable a particular repo which is no harder than to google for and install cccp-codec-pack or whatever the rage is these days on windows).

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Bitter Miguel
by dsmogor on Thu 30th Aug 2012 10:06 in reply to "Bitter Miguel"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

Miguel attempts with Mono are perfectly in line with his claims.
It was basically the last sensible effort to equip Linux with set of binary stable systen apis for applications as even GCC apparently sucks hard at this (even, GLIBC breaks binary compat from time to time).
Assuming he perceives 3rd party commercial software as customary of success for OS (that's a view most of the world agrees with) I see this as a honest effort to spare Linux desktop from irrelevance.

If you look at this from the distance this is exactly what Google did with Android, and given its success it's not hard to imagine Linux could have a shot in e.g. form factor that wasn't well served by windows (like netbooks).

Edited 2012-08-30 10:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Bitter Miguel
by dsmogor on Thu 30th Aug 2012 11:34 in reply to "Bitter Miguel"
dsmogor Member since:
2005-09-01

I don't agree Linux never had momentum. There were times where mainstream tech magazined pitched it against windows on front page articles.
I still remember where about the only Windows advantage was its binary compatibility. It was more resource hungry, much less stable and completely unprepared for looming internet era. Linux desktop solved real problems for people at that time. It seems unimaginable how MS managed to capture desktop dominance with such a piece of crap but they did. The irony is now that Windows is decent MS is on the verge of loosing OS game.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Bitter Miguel
by ze_jerkface on Thu 30th Aug 2012 13:40 in reply to "RE: Bitter Miguel"
ze_jerkface Member since:
2012-06-22

That's because the layers on top of Linux were crap and still aren't as good as the competition.

X isn't as bad as it used to be but it is still the weakest link in the chain.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Bitter Miguel
by toast88 on Thu 30th Aug 2012 21:02 in reply to "Bitter Miguel"
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23


Linux on the desktop is chugging along just as it always was, and like the kernel the surrounding components are pretty much always in heavy development, sometimes breaking backwards compability and requiring recompilation of affected binaries.


This is actually not true. The ABI/API of the kernel towards the userland has been pretty much stable for years. People keep on confusing *INTERNAL* kernel APIs with the ones towards the userland.

While the former are subject to frequent changes (which is why kernel developers encourage anyone to get their kernel-related stuff *INTO* the kernel), the latter are very stable.

I have never had any single binary which wouldn't run on a modern Linux kernel because there was an API mismatch.

The last change in this regard was the jump from libc5 to libc6 and that happened AGES ago.

On Windows, on the other hand, userland APIs change very often and without prior notice. Microsoft keeps on introducing and dropping stuff.

Have you ever wondered why Steam reinstalls DirectX for every game? Well, it's because DirectX is constantly changing:

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=23759166&postc...

Adrian

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Bitter Miguel
by Slambert666 on Fri 31st Aug 2012 17:38 in reply to "RE: Bitter Miguel"
Slambert666 Member since:
2008-10-30

On Windows, on the other hand, userland APIs change very often and without prior notice. Microsoft keeps on introducing and dropping stuff.


Dear Adrian.
I....
You...
Ah.. Forget it...

Reply Parent Score: 2