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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RE[8]: Bitter Miguel
by Valhalla on Fri 31st Aug 2012 12:43 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Bitter Miguel"
Valhalla
Member since:
2006-01-24

Sorry you do need to know what packages and dependencies are or at least have some concept of them, because when you want to install something outside of the package manager or outside of the repositories you have to either add repos or add them using a tool like dpkg or rpm.

That's hardly something many users need to do as even if the application is not available in the official repos then it most likely is available in the user repo where someone has packaged it for you, just like on Windows where someone has created an installer with dependancies or a self contained .zip file.

If you are forced to build it yourself from scratch then I don't see how it's any different when doing the same on Windows, you have to make sure you get/build the dependancies manually.

Spotify, Dropbox and Skype come to mind (Spotify is a mare to setup on anything than Ubuntu).

Of those I'm only using dropbox, and that was no hassle at all.

No it is not hard if it all works properly, but it is rarely the case and works differently on pretty much every major distro

Well I disagree with your notion that it 'rarely works properly', if it rarely worked properly then I certainly would not use Linux as my day-to-day desktop system.

... that is fragmentation which is what Miguel's comments were about.

I have not denied any fragmentation, I'm saying that it hasn't anything to do with Linux lack of desktop penetration (the reasons for which I've listed above), you don't have to learn how to use 10 distros, you only need to learn how to use one distro, just like you don't need to learn Windows to use OSX.

Fragmentation, or rather diversity is a natural part of any ecosystem where there is no authority calling the shots.

Looking at the Linux desktop, Gnome developers want people to use Gnome! KDE developers want to use KDE, XFCE developers want people to use... ah, you get the idea.

None of them can force people to use a their offering so not surprisingly it will be diversity as there are many different preferences out there.

The only way to get everyone to use the same thing is either by removing the choice (hello Metro!) or by creating something which gains critical mass because it simply appeals to just about everyone, which is pretty goddamn hard.

This is were distros come in, some of them will say we will use this desktop environment and that's what we will support, we make this choice for you, at the cost of flexibility but you don't have to maintain anything yourself. Ubuntu would be a prime example of such a distro.

On the other side of the spectrum we have distros like Gentoo, Arch, Slack etc which basically say we provide you with the tools and a large repository filled with everything you need to setup your system the way you want it, get at it.

You choose the distro based upon your preferences, in practice the distro is the equivalent of choosing an operating system, like choosing between Windows or OSX, only the distros naturally share alot more between them then Windows and OSX does on the system level.

The only way a standard 'Linux desktop' could emerge would be if a distro would become so popular that all other would simply die out due to lack of interest, but I don't see that ever happening, nor would I want it to except of course if the emerging 'Linux desktop' would be exactly according to my preferences, which is unlikely to say the least.

I prefer the diversity and being able to pick and choose between a wide range of offerings and get a system that is perfectly tailored for my needs, YMMV.

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