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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A repost from 2007-07-20 ...

I've been arguing the same point about fragmentation for nearly ten years now all the while being told how I'm wrong, how Linux will rally around vendor supported distributions. Linux zealots refuse to recognize that open source is a double edged sword.

Vendor X merely needs follow the GPL and then they can blame vendor Y for not implementing X's solution to problem ABC. Vendor Y says "our solution is better" as vendors tend to do. In the end users are left with software that isn't interoperable. Of course they are free to pay us to implement it which wins support for Linux but doesn't solve the root problem.

Zealots insist that people want choice - they just can't understand that people don't want to be forced to make them. People a good default and the option to replace it if they don't like it. The constant KDE vs Gnome, Distro X vs. Distro Y has, in part, crippled Linux adoption on the desktop.

Of course the fact that it relies on X11 only makes it worse. Which distribution? Which desktop environment? What window manager?

The proof is in the pudding.

I mean why not include five WMs, desktop environments, browsers, file systems, etc. and make the user pick during installation?

That is a hideous kind of thing to do to all but the most advanced users. The fact that Linux is contrary to its own philosophy in that almost every vendor provides a default and the options thereafter but yet the Linux market just can't seem to offer that same kind of standard to those on the outside looking in.

Argue till you are blue in the face about it - it won't change the facts that people only want the option of choice and that nobody likes to be forced to make any decision. It is true that nobody is holding a gun to anyone's head however we are asking the world to adopt new technology and it wouldn't be the first time the technical and scientific communities were in error to do so.

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