Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Moving Toward a Single Linux UI?

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the everything-that-rises dept.

GUI 441

Anonymous writes "With the releases of Fedora 9, Hardy Heron and OpenSuSE 11 so close together, it's looking more than ever like an evolution to a common interface for major Linux distributions. Here's a compilation of screen shots and descriptions that make it appear to be the case. Would this be a good thing or a bad thing?" There are plenty of other options out there, of course, even considering only Linux distros that are based on Gnome and KDE, and plenty of wilder (or at least less common) desktops to choose from besides.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

They already have a common UI. (5, Funny)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425588)

80x25 white on black bash, baby.

Re:They already have a common UI. (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425618)

80x30 grey on black.

Re:They already have a common UI. (1)

yuriyg (926419) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425660)

As long as we are going monochrome, I prefer smoothing slashdot green.

Re:They already have a common UI. (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425706)

80x25 white on black bash, baby.

If I wasn't such a geek, I would have interpreted in such the wrong way. :P

Re:They already have a common UI. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425964)

What's funny about this?

Re:They already have a common UI. (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426182)

What's funny about this?
What's funny about this?

Re:They already have a common UI. (2, Funny)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426294)

What's funny about this?

What's funny about this?
What's funny about this?

Re:They already have a common UI. (5, Funny)

prestomation (583502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426432)

I think my head just exploded...

Re:They already have a common UI. (5, Informative)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426064)

I love command line, but why use default 80x25?!

Add this to your boot prompt in grub on the
vga=775 and get some good 160x60 loving 1280x1024.

Re:They already have a common UI. (5, Funny)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426200)

Because I can waste more time "reading log files" by having to scroll right on every line. :)

(Whenever someone walks in my office I just go "hmmm......" and act like I'm seeing something interesting, then they leave and I go back to sipping my drink and daydreaming)

Re:They already have a common UI. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426522)

I love command line, but why use default 80x25?!
Because I'm using the same computer I used ten years ago.

And haven't rebooted it once.

Re:They already have a common UI. (5, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426298)


I prefer black on white, and I always have terminals beyond 80x25, but aside from colors and window sized, I think that the cli is _the_ UI for Linux, and it is better than any other *NIX out there in that department. Most other *NIX's have died out, but the cli for Solaris makes me type date and make sure that it really is 2008. I'm not knocking Solaris in terms of its kernel and Sun's hardware can be good (sometimes it sucks). But in 2008 if I do vi /var/adm/messages and it tells me that my window is too wide, I am forced to type the date command again.

A little more on topic, I think that it will really take a commercial company to make a GUI for any *NIX that is worthwhile. It just seems too big of a project for open source to come together and do. The best that we have to date are two windows ripoffs with the groovy option to have wiggly windows and stuff.

My rank orderings of GUIs are:

1) OS X
2) Windows
3) other

Hint. I don't use windows, and I don't see that happening for another 5-10 years. I'm a Linux/UNIX fan. I like what is under the hood, and to me it just "makes sense". For me, windows does not, under the hood nor the shiny exterior. Today, OS X is UNIX with a good GUI thrown on top. Sure, its not perfect, but I'm at home and looking at my nice OS X GUI after looking at my Gnome desktop all day at work makes my eyes feel better. I also find it ironic that of all the terminal apps I've used, OS X has the best Terminal app out there. Its also nice to have the hard stuff in Linux taken care of by the GUI in OS X.

Now the BIG difference here, is that I would not want to run OS X on all of the servers that I manage under Solaris and Linux. Why? Like Windows, the GUI is the OS.

This is really tough, but there needs to be a GUI that works with Linux that can help novices with the basics, but those GUIs can't break if a "power user" comes in and modifies the config file in a text editor and now the GUI is either broken or it screws up the config file. This is _NOT_ a trivial task to accomplish, and this is one of the reasons that a good GUI has not come to surface for Linux.

In fact, I think that the GUI experience was better like 10 years ago under Linux with things like AfterStep and WindowMaker, and Enlightenment. I even know some older *NIX folks that still use FVWM, and I liked that back in the day too. So, I dunno, maybe 2009 is the year of Linux on the desktop. However, unless an excellent GUI comes out for it, I don't think this will be the year.

 

Re:They already have a common UI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426466)

Am I the only one who thought of sex?

Oh wait, I must be new here...

Re:They already have a common UI. (5, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426576)

80x25 white on black bash, baby.

GREEN on black, you infidel!!!

(in a pinch, 'amber' will do instead of green, but never WHITE!)

Slackware? (5, Informative)

MikeDawg (721537) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425612)

Ouch, Slackware, never gettin' no respect. Slackware 12.1 was recently released as well.

Re:Slackware? (1)

incripshin (580256) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425970)

There was an article. I'm not sure if the article made the front page or if it was just a headline.

Re:Slackware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426104)

Real Slackers know when new version is out... the others, well, if they don't know, they don't deserve to know ;-)

No, seriously, I was thinking the same and went on to read more just to see if anybody did mention Slackware. Because since omission of 2.4.x kernel Slackware has become the most elegant distro out there again and 12.1 is pushing this even further (the refined adduser sript is the perfect example).

I can show you what the future looks like (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425632)

Right here. [apple.com]

Re:I can show you what the future looks like (0, Redundant)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425932)

[offtopic MacOS troll]

Yawn

Probably a bit of both (5, Interesting)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425634)

I guess that if we're keen on getting more people into Linux, then some commonality across the major distros might be a good thing. On the other hand, it's not so great for the smaller distros if we get a kind of monolithic Linux which dominates the market and means that people are less willing to try something different.

Still, there'll always be enough of us who want to use things because they're different - and because they are better at doing exactly what we want rather than being more generic, suit-everyone tools.

Re:Probably a bit of both (1)

Ironchew (1069966) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425672)

Still, there'll always be enough of us who want to use things because they're different - and because they are better at doing exactly what we want rather than being more generic, suit-everyone tools.
Isn't that the reason why applications have their own interfaces?

Re:Probably a bit of both (5, Interesting)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426244)

On the other hand, it's not so great for the smaller distros if we get a kind of monolithic Linux which dominates the market and means that people are less willing to try something different.

I hardly think it would stifle innovation (open licenses are so important in all of this). But it might make people think a little more carefully before innovating. That is, there will be yet greater emphasis on integration and interoperability with the other available applications.

And if anything, the need for lightweight desktops and specialized linux distributions is growing with the accumulation of older computers and the advance of the second and third worlds to the computer age.

Multiple UI is probably a good thing. (5, Interesting)

jfbilodeau (931293) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425648)

I'm all for choice. True, that can make it a challenge for Linux adoption, but we all know what happens when a product becomes a defacto monopoly.

I'm convinced that 'competition' between KDE and Gnome has only help to improve the quality of both interfaces. Furthermore, having Xfce, KDE, Gnome, etc, gives the user choices not just in the colour, but in the actual design and philosophy behind the UI. In other words, there is plenty of room to try out new and exiting idea that would be difficult would there be a single, monopolistic desktop UI.

My $0.02 CAD.

Re:Multiple UI is probably a good thing. (4, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426002)

Plus, KDE and Gnome are both getting quite bloated and complex. Sure, I use KDE on my main 3GB multicore desktop Linux machine, complete with all the Compiz thrills and wobbly transparency wow's. But they are completely unsuitable on my thin clients. IceWM to the rescue!

Anyway, I agree with you that Gnome vs. KDE probably has improved both a lot. But there is no denying that it also holds back some types of application development. I don't know the answer, but just try to enjoy the ride.

The UIs are not the problem (5, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426016)

I don't mind the different eye candy.

What matters far more is standardising the way the distros handle other things so that HowTos, installation scripts/instructions for printers etc can be written once without a whole lot of "On Ubuntu do this, on Fedora do that" stuff. Things that would help a lot:
*Pick one printer handling mechanism.
*Pick one package manager.
*Standardise one one usb/udev/pam.
*Pick one wireless management policy. Hide madwifi/ndiswrapper etc.

Re:The UIs are not the problem (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426158)

That's all still part of the user interface, just not the graphical part of it.

Re:The UIs are not the problem (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426168)

But, some of the things make Ubuntu Ubuntu and Fedora Fedora. For example, having no root account by default makes Ubuntu different, it also makes it more secure then say Fedora which you use su to get to the root account. That will make scripting different because if it is Ubuntu you put sudo if it is Fedora you use su. Ubuntu is more likely to add more proprietary drivers for things to make them "just work", Fedora on the other hand prefers to use 100% free software and may make things a bit more complex to set up some things. Then there are other differences, Red Hat developed Anaconda therefore it is more likely to use it then Ubiquity, Ubuntu's installer. Red Hat developed RPM, Ubuntu is from Debian which developed Deb, therefore there will be differences. This isn't a bad thing though, RPM lately has had to become faster and better to compete with Deb and both Anaconda and Ubiquity are trying to make the distro as easy to install as possible.

Re:Multiple UI is probably a good thing. (1, Flamebait)

penguinstorm (575341) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426206)

You've acknowledged that this:

> I'm all for choice.

and this:

> True, that can make it a challenge for Linux
> adoption,

are somewhat contradictory statements, which makes me impressed with your willingness to not make bold biased statements with little merit or grounding in reality.

The "right" answer depends on your goals, and there's probably more than one right answer.

Re:Multiple UI is probably a good thing. (1)

jfz (917930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426516)

I think that competition is good as well. However, I would like to make the prediction that due to market forces, we will indeed see, or should see some common behavior between UI's being pushed by commercial venders in the future, especially in the area of system/OS configuration (ALA Control Panel). This can only improve usability and provide a lower barrier of entry. I do not think that the kernel API is adequate, nor are the gnu console tools -for end-users. There must be a middle ground between those and competing UI's.

UI maturity (5, Insightful)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425676)

The Gnome and KDE desktops are fantastic for mid-to-high-end machines, particularly when used with enhancements such as Beryl or Compiz/Fusion. For those still on Pentium I boxes or those who just want a more responsive experience, "flat" window managers such as Icewm or fvwm(?) do the job just lovely. They all have their own quirks and other ways of doing things (such as rclick application menus or Darwinian "docks" or even NT-like interfaces, but it's that kind of choice that draws me to Linux for pretty much everything. The simpler interfaces also make it easy for Grandma to use (ever tried administrating Vista? NIGHTMARE!) but there is always room for improvement. Come to think of it, you don't even need a GUI. The ultimate speedfreaks among us can use the command line for even more speed and not only that, even more control over applications.

Re:UI maturity (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425792)

What you describe is a window manager and maybe a desktop panel, but not a whole interface. The simplicity and speed of fvwm makes no difference to how easy it is to configure wireless networking or connect to your IMAP account or burn a CD.

Re:UI maturity (2, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425834)

I haven't used a gui in linux for years. Ok, three years. I really like Linux for programming and running processor intensive applications, but see no reason to use anything but the console for my work.
Why hamper the performance of a decent Linux based system with a processor hogging gui?

vim+gcc is a powerful combination, and doesn't benefit from a gui one jot, or even 0.5 of a jot.

Re:UI maturity (3, Insightful)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426470)

Why hamper the performance of a decent Linux based system with a processor hogging gui?
Because a few people want to use Linux for things like web pages, photographs, and videos.

Re:UI maturity (5, Funny)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426560)

That's crazytalk....

Re:UI maturity (1, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426090)

ever tried administrating Vista? NIGHTMARE!
I dispute this. What tasks did you find difficult to accomplish? I ask because I've had no problems whatsoever with Vista's UI (although I guess I could be said to have an advantage, since I've been using it as my main OS for over a year).

UI choice (3, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426512)

I'd have liked it if Fresco/Berlin had been able to sustain development. It died a while back, but looked like a serious contender for competing with X11. Of the X11 window managers and environments, I miss things like panning windows - a feature of OLVWM - where a desktop could be larger than the physical screen. Tiling physical screens with a desktop selector just isn't the same, especially when some applications force the windows to be oversized. It's a pain to flip desktops, rather than scroll. Likewise, I miss the Rooms concept, where desktops could themselves contain desktops. Heirarchical systems like that are a clean way of subdividing things.

My main bone of contention with X11 is that it's not being developed seriously as a GUI interface for modern machines. It seems that most of the development is going into code cleanups (important), bugfixes (important) and other maintenance functions. But that's just it - this is all maintenance stuff. The tree needed the reorganization, the code needed to be more modular, etc - nobody is disputing that. On the other hand, threading is overdue and secure X11 channels are insanely overdue. The configuration file changes make things simpler, but it makes it harder to maximise the use of the monitor and graphics cards, even though it's easier (and safer) for the "standard" modes. Simplification is good, but any loss of capability is a regression.

The console is good - and fast - for many tasks, and with the introduction of framebuffers some time back, is capable of many of the tasks people had to use GUIs for in the past. To make the best use of it, though, you really need GNU Screen, and Screen just isn't being maintained that much any more. Really, with framebuffer support and other graphics features for consoles being considered, some of the features of Screen might have to be moved into the kernel in order to function correctly.

I don't use the option of serial-port consoles, so I'm not sure how capable those are these days. PCs are not in the same league as minicomputers or mainframes, so I doubt anybody is looking to hook up a couple of hundred VT220 terminals any time soon, but it is an interface and the underlying code for a terminal is independent of where that terminal is physically located. It should make no difference to Linux whether you are using the local keyboard/screen, a terminal on the end of a serial cable, or indeed a terminal on the end of a USB line.

Precisly the missing part of Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425694)

is a satisfactory UI. See, a really good UI is what makes OSX stand out of Unix and makes it popular.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (4, Interesting)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425826)

I think the opposite goal is more desirable - a platform standard which allows you to run your GUI on any machine.

Why should I learn Gnome or KDE if I already know Aqua, or vice versa?

The best solution would be an interface definition standard that lets you use KDE on Windows, Mac or Linux with no installation or configuration necessary - just download your profile from a server or USB key.

Oh, yeah, and I'd like a pony too, as long as I'm wishing on pipe dreams...

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425912)

There is a limit to the degree this is possible, of course. Aqua relies on more than just a proprietary widget toolkit; its components are also tailored to the proprietary configuration backends of the OS for which it was designed. The popular Linux desktop environments tend to be easily adapted to other more similar Unixes like Solaris or BSDs, but would not work well on Windows, which features a fundamentally different design.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (3, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425940)

Well, KDE 3 can be configured to look and act very much like OS X -- right down to the menu bar at the top. (KDE 4 has some of the newer desktop effects toys, but it also has about half the features of GNOME, which has less than half the features of KDE 3.)

But actually, we do have something like that -- it's called X. The problem is, of course, that Windows and OS X both threw away decades of work and started from scratch, so you can't just write an X window manager and expect it to work anywhere but Linux. (Or BSD. Or OpenDarwin. Or Plan9. Or Solaris. Or Cygwin. Or...)

Personally, I think the better solution would be a common runtime -- either high level (think Java, or the Web/AJAX) or low level (think x86_64 + Linux + X.org) -- so that I can customize my environment as much as I want, and then run the apps I want in that environment. Much more flexible when I can actually write brand-new window-managing software than try to create a common spec for configuring existing window managers.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425874)

No, I don't think so really. The problem is a Mac is considered to be a Mac, it has its own interface that people are willing to use because it is a Mac, not a PC but a Mac. When someone installs Linux, they expect it to be like Windows because it is on a machine that had Windows on it, when it isn't the cheap copy of Windows they were looking for they don't bother to learn it and dismiss Linux as having a horrible UI because they won't learn it. The concept of an operating system that runs on most computers has been lost and is replaced with Windows running on X86 based computers (PCs) and OS X running on Macs, so often it seems that in order to explain what Linux really is you have to compare it to Windows, from there people get the wrong idea that the interface is just like Windows and see it as a free copy, when they see GNOME/KDE/XFCE they are confused as it isn't Windows.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425968)

Linux is unlike Windows... because, of course, Linux is Not Windows. [oneandoneis2.org]

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426288)

When someone installs Linux, they expect it to be like Windows because it is on a machine that had Windows on it
I assume you mean that's what you expect. I ran Mac OS before I started using Linux. I never ran Windows on one of my own machines.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426358)

But then you wouldn't have the problem of expecting your machine to behave like Windows because it previously had Windows on it now would you. And I was referring to the many people who wiped their Windows machines for Linux

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425908)

Being thought out and consistent is important. OS X (and NextStep) gets it right (though Apple breaks that consistency with some of their apps, like Logic). BeOS was also consistent. Microsoft... mostly consistent, but there are some old windows 3.1 holdeovers (control insert to paste) and a lot of their apps don't adhere to the look and feel (Expression, for example). X is probably the worst in this regard, being a hodge podge of different toolkits, raw xlib, control-v vs alt-v vs middle click to paste, etc.

Personally, I wish GNUStep had more recognition.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (4, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426256)

Microsoft... mostly consistent, but there are some old windows 3.1 holdeovers (control insert to paste) and a lot of their apps don't adhere to the look and feel (Expression, for example). X is probably the worst in this regard, being a hodge podge of different toolkits, raw xlib, control-v vs alt-v vs middle click to paste, etc.
Right, yes, Microsoft has a very consistent GUI [arstechnica.com] . Those are the latest versions of Microsofts own appliactions. Not only is the look different from one application to the next, but how the program actually operates is different. Some have menus, some don't. The menus aren't even consistent across the set of applications that do have them. Several applications, while similar, just work slightly differently for various things like opening files, or setting preferences. Hell, they can't even decide whether the text of the titlebar is supposed to be centered to left justified!

But what about X11? Well, these days, if you're using GNOME, or KDE, or Xfce, and applications written for those environments (which is to say most modern applications for X11 desktops) then you only have two toolkits, which can be themed so they render using the theme of the other (using either GTK-Qt theme, or QtGTK Style), and has consistent cut and paste that works across (and between) them all. Yes, you can get some Xlib applications if you hunt around, but then you can get ugly Tk applications on Windows if you hunt around (or X11 applications on the Mac). The reality is that, these days, the Linux desktop really isn't that much more inconsistent that Apple or Microsoft. Actually, I would go so far as to say that it is actually more consistent than what MS is currently producing.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426338)

The different widgets in that screenshot didn't bother me so much as the fact that all those semi-translucent window borders all over the screen make so much of the desktop into a blurry smudged mess.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (2, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426178)

It's "easy" to throw away pretty much all legacy technology (like MacOS 10 did) and write something totally new (Aqua/etc) in a "proprietary" system that makes it "stand out", as you say. But you have to respect that Linux distros can do what they do and still remain with the very flexible and well-known X, all the while remaining completely open.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the tools and UI available in Linux distros when compared to MacOS. It is just a matter of the lack of a centralized company that strongly enforces consistency and a single set of tools. Also, development effort is split between competing UI's under Linux. Is that a good thing or a bad? You decide... good arguments can be made on both sides of the table.

Anyway, if you run a KDE environment and use ONLY KDE applications (or Gnome and used ONLY Gnome applications), things look, feel, react very consistently and pretty seamlessly and with a modern look and feel.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426262)

Anyway, if you run a KDE environment and use ONLY KDE applications (or Gnome and used ONLY Gnome applications), things look, feel, react very consistently and pretty seamlessly and with a modern look and feel.


Exactly, I don't see how this is so major in Linux. In Windows just about every app has a different look and feel to it, some resembling Windows 9X, others XP, others Vista some others even seem to be more at home on the Mac while yet others seem to be totally original. With Linux, most anything starting with a "g" will look just fine on Gnome and just about that starts with a "k" will be good on KDE. About the only OS that everything seems to flow together like how everyone thinks Linux should would be Mac OS X and that is mostly because most of the applications people use are written by Apple themselves.

Re:Precisly the missing part of Linux (5, Insightful)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426320)

See, a really good UI is what makes OSX stand out of Unix and makes it popular.
Nah, it's money and marketing that makes it popular. We don't have fashionista-designed shopfronts for Linux in every town, for example.

From TFA ... page/slide 8 ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425702)

"Missing out on the desktop effects in Mac OSX and Windows Vista? Don't worry, as Ubuntu has them, too: Wobbling Windows, Cube Switching, Flame Effect, and all. Ubuntu's developers introduced these Vista-like desktop effects in..."

Vista-like effects? Somebody PLEASE show me how Vista does the multi-faceted 3D cube, the wobbly windows, the multitude of enhancements and customizations to the UI, etc.

I yearn for the day when IT reviewers in supposedly "mainstream" publications stop sucking on the teat of MS marketing shills and actually do some friggin research

Re:From TFA ... page/slide 8 ... (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425786)

That is not "Ubuntu has them", that is "Linux has them". Ubuntu is not *THE* Linux, it is *A* Linux. Beryl and Compiz have been used in plenty of other distros for a loooong time. Mandriva had integrated packages BEFORE Ubuntu, for example.

But yes, you are right that Vista effects very much pale in comparison to Compiz. And I bet the Compiz team was a tiny fraction of the size of whatever the MS team was...

Re:From TFA ... page/slide 8 ... (2, Interesting)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426044)

That is not "Ubuntu has them", that is "Linux has them".... Beryl and Compiz have been used in plenty of other distros for a loooong time.
First: Beryl is dead, long live the Compiz merge.

Second: Does Mandriva use them as the default, "integrated" or not?

Ubuntu is big, and popular, and distributed by Dell. What does Mandriva have that Ubuntu doesn't?

But more importantly, I think it is quicker and cleaner to simply talk about a distro, without mentioning Linux. It won't piss off RMS quite as much, as we are clearly talking about a distribution and a derivative work -- it's Ubuntu, not Ubuntu/Gnu/Linux. And it'll avoid people making embarrassing mistakes by mentioning a feature that "Linux" has, but might only be present in KDE, or only in GNOME -- or only in proprietary software, or, in fact, only a particular distro.

Ubuntu has them. Mandriva also has them. Both of these statements are correct.

"Linux has them" is actually less correct, as Linux is just a kernel, and you can have a working Linux systems in all kinds of places which physically don't support a GUI, let alone desktop effects.

Re:From TFA ... page/slide 8 ... (4, Informative)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426444)

Oh please, give us a break.

Rather than potentially BREAKING the GUI on a significant number of machines, the last SEVERAL releases of Mandriva have it ready to use and integrated with one click on "3-D desktop". Having it as the "default" isn't necessarily a good thing, nor does it make it the sole domain of Ubuntu.

Mandriva has been around before there was an Ubuntu. It is just as or more pretty, powerful, flexible, stable, easy to use, and polished. It was distributed on HP's and several other hardware vendors long before Ubuntu was offered on Dell. Unlike Ubuntu, a single Mandriva DVD can install a default KDE or Gnome or combined (or other) system... they don't seem to have the need to have separate Gnomedriva and KDEdriva distro versions. Of the people I know that use both (*untu and Mandriva) regularly, they all tend to like Mandriva better. That doesn't mean that Ubuntu isn't wildly popular nor deserving of praise. But people should not feed it credit and sole spotlight for things common to other if not many distros.

Every time I see ANY article/posting refering to something that applies to all Linux distros under a single distro name, it is almost always Ubuntu users who do it. It is tiring, arrogant, and insulting to users and developers of other distros.

Keep in mind that you are the one trying to turn this thread into an Ubuntu vs. Mandriva thread. My point was that you should not use the term "Ubuntu" instead of "Linux distros" when it is something that really refers to many, most, or all distros.

Re:From TFA ... page/slide 8 ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426172)

Mandriva had integrated packages BEFORE Ubuntu, for example.
Ubuntu is, at its core, Debian. Debian has been using the apt-get packaging system long before urpmi was invented (and implemented into) Mandrake.

It's true that Mandriva used packages before Ubuntu, but only because Mandriva is older than Ubuntu.

Re:From TFA ... page/slide 8 ... (1)

nawcom (941663) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426202)

wouldn't it be more correct to say "X has them" or "X11 has them" or "X.org has them"? I have them on FreeBSD on my laptop. It all comes down to running X.org 7.* with compositing support, and dri support for that video card in the kernel. I dunno, I'm hating how certain software technology is labeled as an Ubuntu thing, or a Suse thing, or whatever. It's not just a feature of a Linux distribution, or the Linux kernel, it's a feature of X! meaning it can run on an OS that has the needed support. If you want to list what has these features, at least don't forget the BSDs.

Re:From TFA ... page/slide 8 ... (1)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426066)

Not only that, but AFAIK - correct me if I'm wrong - Ubuntu ships Compiz, just like other distributions do. The way it is written makes it sound like Ubuntu developers made up the whole thing from scratch and it's something unique to it.

That Ubuntu user base does't know this things is to be expected (since most are new and just assume that everything is Ubuntu, even the kernel is Ubuntu) but on an article...

mod me down, but picking just one would be great (3, Interesting)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425748)

I think the best thing that could happen for Linux on the desktop is for one of the two major environments (I don't care which) to become THE standard, supported Linux X desktop standard.

I know, choice is good. So is focusing your efforts on making one usable product that people can standardize on. Don't even think of it as a product, think of it as a protocol. HTTP won out over Gopher, and the first is everywhere and makes all kinds of apps able to talk to each other; the second is a (fondly, for me) remembered also ran. And that's a good thing.

Re:mod me down, but picking just one would be grea (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425804)

Which one do you use, out of curiosity?

Re:mod me down, but picking just one would be grea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426008)

I kind of agree with this and only started to do so recently. I've always prefered gnome but after the KDE4 release I like the look of the desktop much better. There are still a few things about KDE4 that make it unusable to me such as adding a 2nd panel and the overall configuration limitations. Knowing linux I think this this problem will go away after the next few releases and would not be surprised if some of my complaints are already fixed. I don't think I've tried any update releases yet, only 4.0.0. I do like the fact that linux has several alternatives for desktop environments but as long as there are 2 major ones competing people will complain.

Re:mod me down, but picking just one would be grea (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426020)

I agree! What the Linux Desktop needs is consistency and then it will be manageable to support and I can move everyone over to it.

Re:mod me down, but picking just one would be grea (5, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426060)

I think the best thing that could happen for Linux on the desktop is for one of the two major environments (I don't care which) to become THE standard, supported Linux X desktop standard.

I know, choice is good. So is focusing your efforts on making one usable product that people can standardize on.
People keep bringing this up, but it just isn't going to happen. FOSS developers will work on whatever they want to work on, and as long as there are different philosophies involved different projects will attract the interest of different developers. And there are very different philosophies driving the different desktop environments: GNOME is pitching for something simple and elegant above all else; KDE is far more interested in being configurable and cohesive; Xfce has efficiency as one of their primary goals; and the list goes on. With such divergent focus you are not going to get people (neither developers nor users) to all agree on one philosophy.

What you can do, however, is work on standards and interoperability of protocols that underly the environments. You know, like Freedesktop [freedesktop.org] do. That means common standards for inter-application communication (from cut and paste to DBUS), standards for how applications expose themselves to menus, standards for syustem trays, and so on. This effort is still ongoing, but the end result is that GNOME, KDE and Xfce can share application menus, system trays, clipboards, icon themes, and more. With other things like the GTK-Qt theme [kde-look.org] and the QtGTK Style [trolltech.com] , we're steadily heading toward the point where applications will be able to slot in seamlessly competing desktops.

So in some sense what you want is being done, but it is not going to involve one desktop to rule them all. For that you need dictatorial control from on high to simply say what is "right". You won't get that in FOSS; it's just not how it works. If you want that you need something like Apple or Microsoft, and the consequences that come with such choices (although, to be honest, I'm not sure they offer models [bla.st] of perfect consistency [arstechnica.com] either).

Re:mod me down, but picking just one would be grea (2, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426238)

Well, X is a standard. So is dbus. Gstreamer will be supported by Phonon, so KDE4 will natively support it the way Gnome apps do.

Various pieces are often turned into libraries which are intended to work on both. Wrappers are often written so that you don't have to think about it -- I can check one little checkbox and all my gtk apps will use a qt theme, so if I wasn't a tech, I wouldn't even know Firefox wasn't a KDE app.

In order to do this, though, you have to understand just what it is you want to standardize.

Tell me one thing: Which problem are you trying to solve?

Are you trying to solve the problem of apps working on one system or the other? Completely solved. I use KDE, but I often use Firefox, and occasionally VLC -- both use gtk+, and were likely written for GNOME.

Seriously, I can type "sudo apt-get install foo", and I'll get an entry "foo" somewhere in my launch menu. Hell, even Wine can do that now -- I can double-click on an EXE and Wine will run the installer, drop menus in my Launch Menu under "Wine", and place shortcuts on the desktop. Yes, the desktop -- a folder called (surprise!) "Desktop", and shared between GNOME and KDE.

Are you trying to solve the problem of users having to choose at install time? (Oh no, a choice! Woe is me!) That's easy, too -- give them Ubuntu. It makes the choice for them -- they get GNOME. Those who later learn enough to care might switch to Kubuntu and KDE -- that doesn't even require a reinstall.

Are you trying to solve the problem of wasted effort within the projects? Don't bother. The GNOME people aren't ever going to provide as much configurability as KDE (I can choose what happens when I middle-click on a title bar!). But GNOME is the default choice for Ubuntu, so it gets a lot of polish -- it won't ever completely die.

Besides, competition is good. Each project does things the other won't. Each project is often improved in an effort to compete with the other.

And again, the big, important stuff often ends up being shared.

Are you trying to solve the problem of RAM usage? If that's a problem, in a day when often the minimum you'll get is 2 gigs, you've got bigger problems. And if you really do have those bigger problems, you can probably use a slimmed-down KDE or XFCE -- you'll probably be choosing apps specifically for low RAM usage (ruling out Firefox, maybe?) so all this means is you have to consider toolkit, also.

Or you just install Xubuntu and be done with it.

"wilder" desktops to choose from (3, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425756)

Because that's my first thought when someone mentions that they use xfce or CDE -- "wow, that desktop environment sure is WILD!"

Re:"wilder" desktops to choose from (1)

thereofone (1287878) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426014)

Look at tiling window managers like dwm and xmonad, my interface of choice. They're keyboard shortcut driven and just completely dispose of the desktop metaphor. Combined with my thinkpad nipple mouse I never have to leave home row! And I get to utilize the full screen real estate in the most efficient way! THE FUTURE IS THE PAST BUT THE NOW.

Re:"wilder" desktops to choose from (2, Informative)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426054)

E17 perhaps? Maybe some day... Enlightenment rocks. Here are a couple of screen shots of mine from back in 1999 (my other name back in the day was EvilGNU): http://xwinman.org/screenshots/enl-dfree.jpg [xwinman.org] and http://xwinman.org/screenshots/enl-dfree2.jpg [xwinman.org]

Enlightenment was the only reason I ever brought up a Linux machine at home. I was perfectly content with the BSD machines I had access to.

http://www.plig.org/xwinman/screenshots/enlightenment.jpg [plig.org]

that's the shot that made me "fall in love."

I mean, GNOME is nice and all, but seriously -- chasing after Windows' look and feel to try and bring in "converts" for some ill-defined reason seems doomed to failure to me. Show me something totally cool and awesome -- that's what got me, although I got my first UNIX exposure when I was 12 and was Captain of my high school's computer programming team (C/C++) for 3 years in a row, and captain of my college's ACM Team B my freshman year. I'd have ended up with it anyway. But to a 13/14 year old kid, Enlightenment screenshots were the sort of thing that made me go "so THAT'S what I can do!"

Re:"wilder" desktops to choose from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426124)

Was about to say doesn't anyone remember enlightment!!!! what is Rastaman working on these days anyway.

Why go through all that trouble to make a gui look like a half ass windows, when i had the cool UI's they show in future UI movies in 1998.

Re:"wilder" desktops to choose from (2, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426186)

I found Slashdot BECAUSE OF Enlightenment. I found CmdrTaco.net trying to get ePlus (side bar thing): http://cmdrtaco.net/linux/e.shtml [cmdrtaco.net] .

Re:"wilder" desktops to choose from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426434)

O dude no shit i don't think i ever put 2 & 2 together but thats exactly what got me here 2!!! (too bad i don't remember my login from those days or i wouldn't be AC)
Enlightment rocks and i can answer my own question i guess

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenMoko [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carsten_Haitzler [wikipedia.org]

Desktop work was cooler

Re:"wilder" desktops to choose from (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426284)

Well, there's always things like wmii, which is so minimal that it's often distributed in source form, so you can "configure" it by editing a header and recompiling.

And there's things like window managers which actually manage windows -- you generally don't get to resize windows, position them, etc; you work at a higher level. And some I'd call "wild" simply because you'd have to be insane to use them -- no window manager and an xterm, or Fluxbox with no panel or menu and a hotkey for a 'run' command. (I did that for a very long time, and even worked the same way with Beryl for awhile, before finally switching to KDE.)

There are even systems which use Firefox (heavily extended) as a window manager and desktop environment.

Website (Ad) Content UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425794)

I'd love it if websites, such as the linked one, moved away from the single Website Ad Content UI - One piece of information and one ad per page. Click next to see the next ad, err, piece of information. Throw in a buzzword in there and it's gold!

Winners and losers (0, Flamebait)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425852)

Anyone looked at KDE 4.0?

I cranked it up in a VM and had to look twice to be sure it wasn't GNOME. Most of KDE's signature customizability is gone, and (like GNOME) it's not just a matter of missing GUIs for tweaking settings; the settings themselves are gone into hard code.

Whether we like it or not, turnabout is nearly complete: GNOME, which started out as a GPL-purity alternative to KDE, has become Microsoft .NET for Linux; at the same time, KDE (although still pure GPL) has set a new direction of becoming a GNOME-alike with different internals.

Let me be the first to hail our new diminutive overlords!

Re:Winners and losers (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426068)

Dunno...
In the whole KDE vs GNOME thing, I lean very heavily in favor of KDE 3.5 and would choose it over GNOME in any situation.

Yet I would much sooner use GNOME than KDE 4, as things stand.

Re:Winners and losers (5, Informative)

proxima (165692) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426086)

Anyone looked at KDE 4.0?
  I cranked it up in a VM and had to look twice to be sure it wasn't GNOME. Most of KDE's signature customizability is gone, and (like GNOME) it's not just a matter of missing GUIs for tweaking settings; the settings themselves are gone into hard code.

This is temporary, and is a common complaint about KDE 4.0. The idea with KDE 4.0 was to ship what they had to encourage further application development. There are lots of changes to KDE, including using a new version of QT (the underlying toolkit).

The basics are there, but customizeability, as you noted, is lacking. From what I understand, that flexibility (especially in terms of the main panel) will return with KDE 4.1, to be released this July.

KDE 4.0 isn't for everybody. After reading about some of these limitations, I decided to wait until KDE 4.1 before upgrading my Kubuntu laptop's KDE version. As I understand it, KDE 4.1 will bring applications like the PIM framework up to speed, and I should be able to make my desktop look and work like I'm used to with KDE 3.5 (a substantial alteration from the default).

KDE hasn't abandoned the philosophy of a very flexible user interface, it's just taking time to re-implement the features in the serious overhaul that is KDE 4. I can wait.

Re:Winners and losers (1)

AaronW (33736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426270)

The KDE developers have stated that KDE 4.0 is more of a technology preview. A lot of functionality is still missing and is due to be added in the upcoming KDE 4.1 due out in July. As a long-time KDE user I'm sticking with 3.5.9 until this is resolved. Though KDE 4.0 looks a lot nicer, the missing functionality kills it for me. And when I hear people say that they should remove functionality because 90% of the users don't use it just makes life difficult for the 10% who do. I make heavy use of some of the less common options. I can't even use Compiz because some custom keyboard shortcuts I've added won't work in Compiz (i.e. I map Ctrl+Alt+F to toggle raising and lowering a window) since I often have 20 or more applications open at any given time. I really hope they keep the customizability and hope they just move the more advanced, rarely used options into an advanced tab or something.

When this happens... (3, Funny)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425880)

Not only will it be year of the linux desktop.. but hell will freeze over.

Lets face it, linux users love choice. And since they're more likely than not to be fanboys (c'mon, everyone knows a linux convert is preachy about his newfound OS), then they're probably also fanboys about UI.

Fanboys can... (1)

marxmarv (30295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426152)

tar xvjf pidginwm.tar.bz2; ./configure; make; make install; exec >/dev/null

Not one - just a default one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23425886)

To be honest?

Out of the box, give me the basics with a nice picture of some sunshine or a beach on the desktop, and all the usual programs easy to find - surf, mail, write, draw, edit pics - basically just do stuff.

As a fairly non-techy linux, mac and windows user, I just want to install the thing, get a desktop and then customise / install / move stuff. Much the same as if I would do with OSX or Windows - your parents install it and do very little other than use the default programs, which is fine and easy to support as 'son who knows someting about computers'. I would install it and change it around to the way I like it. My kids would install it and turn it into something quite freaky, but each to their own.

If I had the bucks (anyone?) I'd spend it on an open source desktop initiative to produce a common interface for all as a base. And let the techs get on with the OS. Once my Mum can install and use it, and rings me to say how great it is, then we're there.

Re:Not one - just a default one (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426038)

The problem is though, what I find is easy might not be what you find is easy. What a lifetime Mac user finds is easy isn't what a lifetime Windows user thinks is easy. There are interfaces that are "easy" already out there, the problem is, to many, easy is simply little customization available. A common interface though, isn't what every computer needs though. For my aging Pentium III, JWM might be great for it, for someone with a quad core CPU and a fast graphics card Compiz-Fusion might be great for it. My aging Dell with a Pentium 4-era Celeron is great when using Xubuntu, however regular Ubuntu or Kubuntu is too slow for it. Different situations need different solutions. Different people need different solutions. Myself I find that Ubuntu is by far the easiest to give to a new computer user, for the long-term Windows user though, Kubuntu seems to be better. The thing that makes Linux great is there is no one thing that a Linux distro is, and thats part of the reason it is growing.

Mandriva & Slackware (3, Informative)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425888)

are also popular Linux distros and both also had recent major releases which the article neatly ignores. Oh well. Lots of choices.

In any case, let's place bets if the thread degenerates into KDE vs. Gnome... ug!

twm for me (4, Insightful)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 6 years ago | (#23425998)

I am an atypical user for sure. Check my Slashdot ID, I've been around a while. I'm 35 and have used the SAME X11 configuration since I was a 19 year old sophomore at CMU in 1991. That's 17 years of twm goodness. I have no window decorations of any kind - no titlebars, resize grab areas, etc, etc. Moving, resizing, iconifying, etc, are all accomplished by either keystrokes or keystroke/mouse button combos.

I would not recommend my environment for anyone but myself. I've been with my wife since 1996 and she has NEVER been able to figure out how to do anything when sitting down at my Linux desktop. If I open a mozilla window for her she can just stay in there and be fine. But anything else, forget it.

The first thing I do when I install a modern Linux distribution is turn off all of the services that support Gnome and KDE programs. D-Bus, avahi, etc, etc, there are tons of them and they all just choke up the system when you are not running Gnome or KDE (and even if you do, but at that point they are a necessary evil). It's getting harder and harder to install new Linux distributions and manage to clean out all of the desktop related stuff that they install and run. All I want is X11, twm, mozilla/firefox, emacs, xterm, and a few other odds and ends. It annoys me when I install programs like ImageMagick and they require libgnome. Why? I don't run Gnome, why should the program require it? But I am being pretty curmudgeonly here. Aside from the minor annoyance of having to have libraries on my system that I "shouldn't need" (to continue to live in the early 1990's), there's really no harm in it.

I keep telling myself that someday I will have to suck it up and start using Gnome or KDE. But that day never seems to come because I don't *need* those things, and they never work seamlessly enough anyway to make them worth my while. I know that eventually I will *have to* because no Linux distribution will support my ancient way of working someday. But until that time comes I am unlikely to change.

Re:twm for me (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426196)

"I have no window decorations of any kind - no titlebars, resize grab areas, etc, etc. Moving, resizing, iconifying, etc"

Your 35 and you haven't lived at all~

Re:twm for me (1)

Tatsh (893946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426328)

Agreed, twm burns my eyes!

Re:twm for me (1)

geekgirlandrea (1148779) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426352)

Okay, you've got my 12 years of fvwm beat. :)

Re:twm for me (5, Insightful)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426386)

Gentoo, or Linux From Scratch. You should use it.

Re:twm for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426492)

>All I want is X11, twm, mozilla/firefox, emacs, xterm, and a few other odds and ends.

Run slackware!

Also, try out vtwm [vtwm.org] . ;-) I think you might like it, and you probably won't need to do much to get your present twmrc working with it.

(Still using fvwm2 here, myself, would use vtwm again but I'm too lazy to install it. Pretty much for exactly the same reasons as you, although I don't reconfigure it all that much.)

Perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426000)

I think it all depends on the perspective. If you (as a collection of distros) want the mainstream to 'accept' you on the desktop, uniformity is the way to go. Customers say they want choices, but deep down they don't want that at all. They want to swallow what is presented to them.

Does it matter? (4, Insightful)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426006)

Would this be a good thing or a bad thing?
I would say, neither.

If you're using Ubuntu, Fedora or Suse, then there's a possibility that you're an average Joe and you use your computer for general things like web surfing, email, word processing, perhaps even movies or managing your music collection. Or, you use it at work and only care about its general productivity applications. If you're this person, then a uniform interface across distros isn't a big deal. If you can point, click, and drag, then you probably won't ask for much more than that.

If you're a "power user" on any *nix distro (be it the three above or any others) and you like to customize every aspect of your kernel, desktop environment, and everything in between, then you'll already know which environment is your favorite and you're going to set it up the way you want it, anyway. So it doesn't really matter what the distro has by default.

So whatever a distro has by default really shouldn't matter, be it varied or vanilla.

No need to RTFA... AKA 8 pages of nothing at all (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426010)

One paragraph per page, with no particularly insightful or unique commentary. How flippin' lazy are /. editors these days? A horrible article - and some wanker just got thousands of page views for phoning it in. Ptooey!

What is this about anyway (5, Insightful)

jadrian (1150317) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426036)

"Here's a compilation of screen shots and descriptions that make it appear to be the case" I honestly don't get it. Those screenshots and descriptions do not have no connection to the summary. The summary makes no sense. What's the point of this story really?

Convergence (3, Insightful)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426082)

The more all these distros converge and provide nearly identical desktops, the clearer it will be that most of them don't actually need to exist in the first place.

Re:Convergence (1)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426406)

The problem with Linux (and usually large open-source projects) is that the openness of its source encourages everyone to make it better. Unfortunately everyone has these wonderful ideas that instead of meeting into one distribution they spread among several ones and that's why we keep getting these "niche" distros with "great speed", "super package management", "super server performance", "enhanced security", etc. I have to agree with you that eventually all the ideas will be gathered in one place.

Wait a minute! (0, Offtopic)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426114)

When did the gnome icon on /. change? it used to resemble a penis, but it was an old version. Gnome asked /. to update to their new icon, and /. so "no, cuase that looks even more like a penis".

Now it doesnt look like a penis at all! I have mixed feelings over this.

The article is a carier of misinformation (1)

Idimmu Xul (204345) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426142)

Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS comes with just the core engine and very basic support. This is a very different experience from all the other distributions where they bundle more than necessary applications (OpenOffice on a server distribution? Really?).

For a long time most distros have had some kind of 'server' install to avoid this, infact I think it's always been that way.. the entire piece is just rubbish fluff.

Distribution-specific customization (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426296)

Is there really such a move towards a common UI as long as the major distributions have distribution-specific customization? Of course, the distributions have every right to do them, and many of them are helpful. They also serve as some of the most visible differentiators between the distributions.

But I don't think that a common UI will be achievable when there are significant differences out-of-the-box even among flavors of the same desktop environment.

It is a necessity to have a common GUI (2, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426306)

Think about what it would be like if the command "ls" was named something different in every linux distribution. Part of Microsoft's success is that there are GUI contracts that are very rarely broken so you almost always know how to do basic tasks with a new program.

Don't We Deserve a professionally Written Article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426340)

The fanboys are missing the point: this article was crap and obviously written by someone who doesn't know fsck from fuck.

Some things are wrong (disk encryption does nothing to prevent data "loss" unlike RAID and backups. It might prevent the use of data that has been stolen or hide porn from your wife.)

Some things are old. (Install Linux to a filesystem in a file on a Windows partition? Benn done years ago.)

As for "slimmed-down" installs, just don't install everything, And when did a lack of install choices become a benefit in Linux?

The only significant differences between distros are init style, package management and unique system management tools; everything else is a preference. Do we now choose a distro because it's pretty?

What utter crap. This article deserves to be removed from Slashdot.

choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426376)

One of the major plus's of Linux is choice, if I want some rubber stamped boiler plate do it this way and only this way then wouldnt I be more happy with some other OS...

BOTH Gnome and KDE seem hell bent to imitate another less usable OS showing as little innovation too - a real shame, why would anyone want an homogenized kludge?

good for me ... (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23426392)

Single interface for ALL casual *nix lusrs? Of-course. GUI skimmed down to a minimum, with zero ( -0- ) options ?? Of-course. Good for me, bad for byteboyz. Long feckin' overdue they found an icefloe and drifted ... away. Hooo-rey.

Where have I heard that before?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23426562)

For all of you who are too young to remember back too far back, the big UNIX companies decided on the CDE otherwise known as the Common Desktop Environment.

Basically CDE was the HP-UX VUE, or Visual User Environment.

I guess the more things change the more they stay the same.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?