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Is SaaS Killing Native Linux App Development?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the won't-somebody-think-of-the-penguins dept.

Cloud 330

jfruhlinger writes "In a world where 'app' is the new buzzword, the development of native Linux apps is lagging. Some of this can be attributed to the usual community infighting (the latest version of which is argument about Ubuntu's Unity interface), but there may be something deeper at play: Linux advocates have for so long advocated browser-accessed software as a service as a way to break out of Microsoft's proprietary desktop. Now that this world has arrived, there's less incentive to work on native Linux apps. But of course, entrusting your functionality and data to a cloud provider like Google has its own set of concerns for free software fans."

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SaaS = Vendor Lock-In As A Service (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37947810)

The hardest most expensive portion of SaaS is hosting it. That's why native apps are lagging.

Re:SaaS = Vendor Lock-In As A Service (0)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947850)

Which is even more true for Google's services. At least when I buy Office from Microsoft I know the software will continue working and they don't care about datamining me, as they got my money already. Google can, and does, shut down their services at will. It's DRM^2^2.

Lock in? Take out. (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947966)

Google can, and does, shut down their services at will. It's DRM^2^2.

How, when Google offers Takeout to copy your data out?

Re:Lock in? Take out. (1)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948006)

Yes, like you can "take out" your data from Office too. Still people are crying about Microsoft using their own file formats.

Re:Lock in? Take out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948538)

No... you cannot. The local copy of an Outlook-Exchange email database is Microsoft proprietary-encrypted and cannot be exported out of Outlook.

Re:Lock in? Take out. (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948676)

And yet, oddly, it can be imported into Thunderbird when you install it on a system that has Outlook installed....

The challenge... (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947998)

I always go with local applications rather than webapps when possible. The issue is that with the google products I used, the critical aspect was how to get data to and from other people. Google reader takes away the only feature that made me use that instead of something else, but something else simply cannot realistically replace the 'sharing' capability without relying on some service that can be shut down at the whim of the provider.

Incidentally, why the hell did everyone start going with 'SaaS' instead of 'webapps'? The concept is nearly as old as the web itself.

Re:The challenge... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948226)

Get your own domain, and host your e-mail on it. Then you can share whatever you want. You can even use Google Apps for this; if Google decides to shut down Google Apps, you can switch your e-mail hosting to someone else.

Re:The challenge... (3, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948274)

Incidentally, why the hell did everyone start going with 'SaaS' instead of 'webapps'? The concept is nearly as old as the web itself.

Because SaaS is on the cloud, whereas webapps are on the internet.

Re:The challenge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948350)

No it's not, it's simply what it says, Software-As-a-Service. Leased. Nothing to do with the cloud specifically, it's just the latest buzzword for a the that centralized controlled thin-cliented model.

check out this awesome song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37947890)

put on your best cookie monster voice and sing along with me!

D is for download, that's good enough for me.
D is for download, that's good enough for me.
D is for download, that's good enough for me,
oh! Download download download starts with D.

hang on why are we singing about downloads again?

oh yeah linux software [freshmeat.net] :)

my damn alzhbergers is playing up :(

Re:check out this awesome song (2)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947928)

Freshmeat is now called freecode.

Re:check out this awesome song (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37947978)

And what the hell was the guy who came up with Freshmeat thinking? LOL

Re:check out this awesome song (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948012)

Great stuff, As a vegetarian I always had a "yuck" factor when going to that site.

Re:check out this awesome song (1)

SharkLaser (2495316) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948092)

Meat is actually extremely healthy food. It's low on carbs, it has the good fat, and is high on protein. Bacon, eggs, whole-meat sausages and steaks are the same. You get a much healthier lifestyle if you avoid eating carbs. Yes, it means giving up on french fries, hamburgers and pizza, but that's easily solvable by making more bacon. I lost almost 30kg that way and still felt good while in low carb diet, after the first week anyway.

Re:check out this awesome song (1)

f0rk (1328921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948768)

You get a much healthier lifestyle if you avoid over eating or over doing any of the three main nutritional groups.

There, fixed that for you.
Carbs ain't bad for you. Shit loads of carbs is. To little carbs is also bad for you.

Btw, there's more stuff in meat then just protein, carbohydrates, and fat. A lot of it is carcinogenic, even more in cooked meat. To much meat ain't good for you either. A balanced diet of everything is the best.

I'm a vegetarian my self, and restrain my self from eating meat out of political reasons (i'm an anti-consumerist). I can get all the nutrients I get from meat, from veggies. It just requires you to do some reason your self.

The problem I see (and experienced*) with a special lower-then-normal-carb diet, is that as soon as you hit your desired weight. You will go back to your old habits.
This is cuz' a diet ain't permanent, only temporary, to solve a temporary problem you have with your weight.

What I'm trying to say is that it's a typical scenario of "Don't medicate the symptom, medicate the cause". Special weight loss diets are medication for your symptoms of overweight, not your problematic lifestyle. Think about it, your not going to WANT to eat Weight Watchers crackers for the rest of your life.

* I went from 130kg to 80kg with a low-carb diet in just under a year. Then jumped back to 120kg within 2 years. Now I'm at 75kg, cuz' of a proper lifestyle, free from over sweetened food, additives, and cheap meat (If you want to eat healthy meat, it will cost you. It will cost you a lot, cuz' proper meat ain't cheep).

Argument about Unity? (5, Insightful)

Chonnawonga (1025364) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947898)

There is no argument about Unity. We all agree that it sucks. There is minor disagreement about the degree to which it sucks.

Does that really stop anyone from writing Linux applications?

Re:Argument about Unity? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947986)

Does that really stop anyone from writing Linux applications?

Developers don't really like using a tablet GUI on their desktop machine.

Oh, but at least Windows 8 will level the playing field there...

Re:Argument about Unity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948420)

Unity is used by one (1) distribution. If you don't like it, switch to a different one. I did; it isn't hard.

Re:Argument about Unity? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948658)

Unity is used by one (1) distribution. If you don't like it, switch to a different one. I did; it isn't hard.

The problem is that the other distros are switching to Gnome 3, which sucks just as much but in slightly different ways.

Bad design sense doesn't bring in new business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948010)

The lack of a really good desktop environment discourages myself and most people at my firm from even using linux for our personal computers.

Bad design sense doesn't bring in new business.

Re:Bad design sense doesn't bring in new business. (1)

Darfeld (1147131) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948236)

Well for that matter, I don't know really good desktop environnement outside Linux either. I mean, I'll choose Gnome or KDE over any windows env any day. Not sur about OSx though, cause I don't know it enough, but It doesn't seems ultimate to me. Sweet all right, but still...

Now the desktop env shouldn't really matter when writing app. In the end it's more or less a matter of windows decorator...

OSX interface FTW. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948610)

OSX interface FTW.

Re:Bad design sense doesn't bring in new business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948378)

You obviously haven't tried any.....

Re:Bad design sense doesn't bring in new business. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948662)

Check out KDE 4. It's really good.

Re:Bad design sense doesn't bring in new business. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948754)

</sarcasm>

I use KDE4 every day, sadly.

Re:Argument about Unity? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948034)

There is no argument about Unity. We all agree that it sucks.

The guy that wrote it probably doesn't

Re:Argument about Unity? (-1, Flamebait)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948134)

He can't possibly still be alive? I mean, whether suicide or mercy killing, he must be gone, right?

Re:Argument about Unity? (0)

slydder (549704) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948426)

I'm betting suicide.

How did Sam Kinison put it... "I hope you slide under a gas truck and taste your own blood!!!!!"

yeah. if not then hopefully somebody helped him. ;)

Re:Argument about Unity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948372)

I've used Leenooks since downloading Slackware 1 on 20+ floppies some 17 years ago or something. I like Unity. Fook you.

Re:Argument about Unity? (1)

diegocg (1680514) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948804)

Many people like it.

Native GUI app development is a pain (3, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947934)

Due to lack of good tools. With MS Visual studio / VB any old monkey can make GUI apps easily, with Linux its not that easy There are plenty of GUI creation kits out there for Linux apps that are

*Easy to use
*Widely supported
*Actively maintained
*Designed for use with a somewhat mainstream language

But it seems to be a case of "pick any 3", or sometimes only 2.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948108)

Nonsense! Qt Creator is a perfect counterexample!

*Easy to use: Check
*Widely supported: Check
*Actively maintained: Check
*Designed for use with a somewhat mainstream language: Ch... well... ahn... wait, but what is a "somewhat mainstream language" anyway?

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948174)

Qt Creator works well with C++ and Python, I'd call those both pretty mainstream.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (1)

TheGreatOrangePeel (618581) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948312)

Another vote for Qt. Also, if you can show me an IDE that is easy to use, widely supported, actively maintained, but isn't using a mainstream language, I'll show you open-sourced VB6 that never actually went open-source.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948224)

This is exactly what I came here to say!

Much as I dislike Windows, I have to admit that visual studio is a very well put together package and lets you hammer out those GUI apps very quickly. We do have some ok-ish GUI designers (like Qt-designer) .. but nothing with the kind of "drag a button to the screen.. double click.. insert logic" workflow that VS has.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948334)

http://qt.nokia.com/products/developer-tools/

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (4, Informative)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948352)

wxglade works well with me, and being XML based can work with any language you want (and uses native widgets on all the OS'es, so it always looks well integrated). I use it with Python primarily, but it should work for anything (look on their site for officially supported languages).

Have a look here if you're interested: http://wxglade.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (1, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948408)

Eclipse, Netbeans and Java.

As a bonus, your programs will work on Windows too.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948614)

And amazingly none of those are *native*

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948736)

And amazingly none of those are *native*

If Eclipse isn't native, how come it's sucking up two gigabytes of my RAM?

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948436)

Personally I like Qt which I'd say ticks all 4.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (1)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948440)

Really? I always thought developing in Linux was way easier, and I am no software engineer. The few times I tried to compile Win32 binaries I found it painful and slow...

Seriously, just with Geany and a few packages and I am ready to go. That takes like 3 minutes during a Linux install.

Then again I am a C/Lua/SDL/GL guy, maybe that's why.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948732)

Yes because compiling binaries is the bulk of the time/work spent developing software. You are doing it wrong, or certainly not for any meaningful living.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (5, Interesting)

zlogic (892404) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948478)

Qt is an incredible toolkit. The only problem is that it looks "different" in Gnome, but about a year ago this problem seems to be solved.
Qt Creator is one of the highest-quality IDEs - very easy to use, powerful and not getting in the way.
Plus as a bonus Qt apps can be easily ported to Windows and MacOS, especially if they aren't using anything outside the Qt toolkit - many apps will simply compile and run with zero changes. Qt includes stuff like XML parsing, sockets, OpenGL etc. so you can probably will never need anything except Qt.
The only thing some people don't like about Qt is the need for a preprocessor and duplication of C++ stdlib stuff (like containers, I/O operatuins), which supposedly fragments C++ development. But I actually like this - no need to use use multiple library dependencies, everything is included in Qt SDK, along with great documentation and works out of the box.
There are concerns about Qt's future, since it no longer fits in Nokia's strategy. But it's quality definetly exceeds most toolkits like wxwidgets, gtk, mono and many others. Probably because the "boring" stuff like documenting and testing was done by full-time employees.

Oh, and Windows native C++ development is horrible. Just look at how you're supposed to display the standard "open files" dialog and get the selected file names.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948672)

Oh, and Windows native C++ development is horrible. Just look at how you're supposed to display the standard "open files" dialog and get the selected file names.

And have you tried doing that in native X? At least doing it in native Windows is feasible, for those who have never heard of frameworks or libraries.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948546)

Yes, with Linux it is that easy.

Gambas is basically (pardon the pun) a clone of VB for Linux. It's amazingly easy to install and use and has great documentation. Anyone who can use VB to make Windows apps would have no trouble making Linux apps with Gambas. It's actively maintained.

Qt Creator is at least as easy to use as MS Visual Studio. Making C++/Qt apps is point-n-click simple. It's widely supported, has great documentation and is actively maintained.

Eclipse for Java development, also very popular, widely used (on both Linux and Windows), lots of documentation, etc.

So unless you consider C++, Java and BASIC not "mainstream languages" I'm afraid your argument doesn't hold water.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (1)

Robert Zenz (1680268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948700)

With MS Visual studio / VB any old monkey can make GUI apps easily...

And I'm happy that the "I know how to code in MS Access", "Who needs Object-Orientation in VB.NET? I can code like in VB6!" and "What is a parameterized query?" stays away from my platform of choice. Microsoft might have the bigger ecosystem of developers, but they're also crappier for the most part.

*Easy to use *Widely supported *Actively maintained *Designed for use with a somewhat mainstream language

Eclipse, NetBeans, QtCreator, MonoDevelop and CodeBlocks come to mind. I'd consider those all 4 (well, except MonoDevelop maybe) of your points. I mean, if you consider Java and C++ mainstream...it was at least for the last 15 to 25 years.

Don't get me wrong, I know what you mean...but it isn't like that anymore. I'm using Visual Studio everyday...and there's not one day I don't want to stuff it down someones throat or light it on fire...

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948836)

And I'm happy that the "I know how to code in MS Access", "Who needs Object-Orientation in VB.NET? I can code like in VB6!" and "What is a parameterized query?" stays away from my platform of choice. Microsoft might have the bigger ecosystem of developers, but they're also crappier for the most part.

No, that crowd is on that platform, too. They just use different tools, like PHP and MySQL*.

* Note, I am not claiming that the tools themselves are responsible. Good code and bad code can be written on any platform using any tool set, but some tools have lower barriers to entry and as a result they attract those with less experience and knowledge of the fundamentals of good design.

Re:Native GUI app development is a pain (2)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948750)

I have to say Qt and Python with various GUI technologies not only prove idea wrong, but I would say you can develop faster with them.

That said, I wish there was a Linux equivalent to visual studio - although, Qt Designer is pretty damn close.

I hate this aspect of the 21st century (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947938)

"App" is short for application, of which Linux (and any OS worth its salt) has plenty of.

Re:I hate this aspect of the 21st century (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948266)

Linux (and any OS worth its salt) has plenty of [applications].

GNU/Linux has plenty of free applications but not a lot of well-known non-free applications. There are some kinds of applications for which nobody has figured out how to make a free software model work [pineight.com] . Let me know when these applications [slashdot.org] get ported.

Re:I hate this aspect of the 21st century (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948386)

Linux (and any OS worth its salt) has plenty of [applications].

GNU/Linux has plenty of free applications but not a lot of well-known non-free applications. There are some kinds of applications for which nobody has figured out how to make a free software model work [pineight.com] . Let me know when these applications [slashdot.org] get ported.

Oh not one of these again. Let me fix that for you.

Netflix Watch Instantly - Admittedly limited (VM or Duelboot, Use Hulu)

Adobe Photoshop, including those high-end features that distinguish it from GIMP mods such as GIMPshop - wine

Adobe Flash CS3 - wine

TurboTax - wine

Stone Edge Order Manager - wine

Sonic 3 & Knuckles - wine

Diablo II - wine

Starcraft - wine

Street Fighter IV - wine

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 - wine

According to WineHQ these applications don't present a problem. Here's your precious photoshop

http://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?appId=17 [winehq.org]

Gold/Silver consistently!

Was that hard?

Re:I hate this aspect of the 21st century (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948526)

So in other words, it appears you're telling me it doesn't matter one bit whether or not developers make and publish Linux-native applications when they can just make a Windows-native application and foist all the compatibility work on the Wine team.

Re:I hate this aspect of the 21st century (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948574)

No, I'm telling you that "like omg my favorite app don't work on de linuxes" isn't an excuse to say that Linux isn't useful.

Then what's the selling point? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948776)

If GNU/Linux doesn't work out of the box with a random sample of ten different users' respective favorite applications, then it isn't likely to work out of the box with other users' favorite applications either. If people have to buy a copy of Windows (retail) to run their needed applications in virtualization, which costs more than getting Windows (OEM) for nearly free with a new PC, then what's the advantage of running GNU/Linux on a home or small business desktop over sticking with Windows?

Re:I hate this aspect of the 21st century (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948536)

GNU/Linux has plenty of free applications but not a lot of well-known non-free applications.

Probably because the commodity applications (word processing, basic image editing, etc) are already 'good enough' and there's not enough of a market for more specialised apps. I almost exclusively use the native Linux apps, but I have Wine installed to run Windows apps for screenplay and novel writing, for example; though the novel writing app is supposed to be coming out native for Linux sometime soon.

Actually, there's even a Linux version of my video compositing app but I've never sat down and figured out what I'd need to do to get the DRM working. If Avid supported Linux too I could probably get rid of Windows.

SaaS killing any native app development (3, Insightful)

MrBoring (256282) | more than 2 years ago | (#37947950)

This triggers my rant reflex...
I started my career in native development, and only in the last say 5 years have I done almost exclusively Java based web development, mostly due to market demands and needing a paycheck. I miss the quick response times, quicker builds and simplicity where it was appropriate. I suspect the best hope for any native development now is maintaining legacy systems and mobile apps. People used to be in client/server development, but that's largely been replaced by the SaaS model due to comparative simplicity, but now we have a myriad of new technologies and frameworks globbed together. The industry's answer to any amount of complexity is yet another platform or framework and more indirection. It's hard to secure and know that it's done properly, and harder to know that someone else did it properly.

Go ahead and shoot me, but I miss the real native development days, regardless of the platform.

Re:SaaS killing any native app development (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948058)

Go ahead and shoot me, but I miss the real native development days, regardless of the platform.

I guess you never used DCOM then.

Re:SaaS killing any native app development (1)

omglolbah (731566) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948102)

Ugh..... DCOM...... kill me

Re:SaaS killing any native app development (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948682)

I see that didn't make you puke. Did I mention... CORBA?

Re:SaaS killing any native app development (1)

coder111 (912060) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948796)

Actually I think you can expose services via RMI-IIOP using Jboss easily. I haven't tried invoking any services from Java over IIOP though.

http://www.jboss.org/jbossiiop [jboss.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMI-IIOP [wikipedia.org]

--Coder

Re:SaaS killing any native app development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948772)

Ugh..... DCOM...... kill me

Don't worry, in your next life you'll be doing MFC.

Quick question. (-1, Troll)

TruthAmongFanboys (2500810) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948008)

Between Gnome 3, KDE 4 and Unity this talk of desktop Linux should be completely dead. Exactly how much do they need to fuck up to make you realize it's over? Is Xfce - the complete reimplementation of the Windows 95 UI - your last hope or are we going to try to convince the masses to learn Haskell and configure Xmonad after that? Just how low do we need to go here?

Re:Quick question. (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948278)

Yup, they screwed it up big time!

Us geeks down here are happy with our favorite window managers (I like openbox personally).. but we've lost all the major desktop environments as champions for new users.

So why would i need native apps again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948024)

Everything i need to do today should be technically possible via a browser. I'm sure there's still some use cases for native apps (multimedia, 3D), but hey are getting thinner every day.

Not SaaS it's FAIB (2)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948054)

It's not SaaS Killing Native Linux App Development it's the FAIB (free as in beer) crowd doing it. Basically there is no money to be made in desktop Linux development out there since people simply are not paying for the software.

Most developers would use Java or QT and do all their work in Windows and then do a quick port and QA to Linux - if you're lucky.

Re:Not SaaS it's FAIB (4, Insightful)

jerryjnormandin (1942378) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948340)

Wrong dude. There is plenty of money to be made Native Linux App development. It's called support! I think this post is just FUD. Have you ever checked out Freshmeat.net or Sourceforge ? There are lots of new applications being developed for Linux.

Desktop standards (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948056)

It's not web apps--native apps are actually experiencing a major comeback, especially on mobile devices. Native Linux app development sucks because of a lack of standardization. Conflicting projects, changing APIs, and aggressive attitudes from the community have all contributed to the failure of native Linux development. If a company wants to develop a commercial product for Linux, it will get attacked right out of the gate for being closed source and not be available for free, and the company has to support a staggering number of possible desktop environment configurations and APIs--many of which might get supplanted by something else in a couple of years.

Native Linux development will always suck until it's worth it to actually develop for.

Re:Desktop standards (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948296)

"Native Linux app development sucks because of a lack of standardization. Conflicting projects, changing APIs, and aggressive attitudes from the community have all contributed to the failure of native Linux development."

No not really. Statically compile your binaries and call it done with the stupid dependency hell and API change hell. That way you can release binaries that "just work"(tm) instead of the 6 hours to get this damned bullshit app to run that uses hyper alpha library Development version 6.32.01.2 and anything else will not work because the programmer is a fricking moron.

Honestly, why did linux embrace the "spread crap everywhere" windows software installation model, instead of the Apple software install model? IT's retarded to have to install files shotgun style all over the fricking FS.

Re:Desktop standards (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948454)

Honestly, why did linux embrace the "spread crap everywhere" windows software installation model, instead of the Apple software install model?

Because we don't want to waste vast amounts of memory loading the same libraries in different applications and don't want the security nightmare of every application having its own copy of DLLs with ancient security holes that will never be updated?

Re:Desktop standards (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948770)

Apple software isn't statically compiled. It either installs frameworks to a system folder or ships them in the application bundle.

Static compilation would not solve the problems of their being no standard desktop environment, no standard configurations for commercial developers to support, and anti-closed source attitudes from the userbase.

Re:Desktop standards (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948348)

The big problem I see is that the stuff you describe is part of what makes Linux great for geeks like me.

Standardization tends to run up against flexibility. Linux is a hackers platform.. screw with anything you want.. you have the code! Don't like how something works.. make your own version of it!

This of course, as you said, makes Linux a nightmare for commercial development. For open source software, people can make the little changes necessary to make it work on their particular distro.. with closed source software, you can't do this.

The reasons behind it (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948062)

Really this is not an argument about "in the cloud" or "webapp vs native app." One has to look at the reasons this is happening. The major reason is because most webapps are universally cross platform and usable anywhere. Other bonuses include that they are generally lightweight, don't require an install, and they sync your data between computers. Looking at that list of reasons, it is entirely possible to make native apps which do this, its just that most developers can't be bothered to do so (or aren't allowed to do so).

Saa (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948086)

The architecture (thin v fat client) is tangential to whether you in-source or outsource system administration.

Most of the software we rely-on most is accessed via the browser:
Roundcube, Gallery, phpMyAdmin, LDAP Account Manager, Trac, and most importantly our own internal systems.

Once LibreOffice makes the switch my work will probably go days between firing up a GUI besides Firefox.

Is SaaS Killing Native Linux App Development? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948094)

Maybe. Why do you ask?

Does anyone use Linux native apps? (1)

spike_gran (219938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948190)

Despite being in free software for a bajillion years and using it as my desktop, I can't say that I've used any native Linux apps for anything really. For the past few years, it has just been a way to get a webbrowser running and to get online, and as a place to cache content. I also use Emacs and the dev environment to make my own (web) apps, and Apache to serve them.

The only native apps I use are games that need native audio/video control.

App to edit photos and make illustrations (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948322)

What application do you use to edit photos and make illustrations? Or do you consider that application part of "the dev environment"?

Re:App to edit photos and make illustrations (2)

spike_gran (219938) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948738)

That's a fair point. I guess I do think of a photo editor as part of the dev environment, but, that is really stretching the definition of "dev environment" too far.

But the point I was trying to make, I guess, is that the native apps I use are used in my role as a developer. Rarely do I use native apps in the role of end user.

Or, maybe Linux is dying... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948214)

Linux is dying (or perhaps dead). At least it is on the desktop. It was stillborn and never really had a chance. Everyone (myself included) spent so much time worrying about Microsoft that we ignored what Apple was doing - and then *wham*, OS X comes out. A Unix-backed desktop OS with a gorgeous UI that non-techies can actually use.

Without a strong desktop presence, there is very little need for native apps. We sysadmins prefer our command line tools - and nobody can argue that there aren't a lot of those ... but general app development on Linux dropped off years ago and I don't see it improving anytime soon.

And you know, I really don't have a problem with that. I started with Linux in the early 90s, with one of the first releases of Slackware. Back then monitors were fixed-frequency and you had to calculate your video card's dot-clock & other timings in order to not blow up your monitor... I became a full-fledged sysadmin in 1995 and worked for a number of big Linux companies. I drank the kool-aid... all my machines at home ran Linux and it was good. In 2000 I switched gears and became a Linux developer - working on both embedded and desktop projects. Had some great experiences back then.

But somewhere around 2002 I started to feel betrayed. Here I was, nearly 10 years later and Linux still wasn't on the desktop - at least not in any kind of meaningful way. Sure I kept hearing how 1997...1998...1999...2000...2001 were all going to be the "Year of Linux on the Desktop" - but it never happened. The various Linux forums were the same old thing - people complaining about Microsoft (and now Apple) - all the while lifting as many UI ideas as they could from each OS, expecting that someone a floaty OS X dock-like thing would attract hundreds of thousands of new desktop users to the platform.

Here we are in 2011 and I'm seeing the same old shit. I'm just about ready to give up Slashdot because 90% of the Linux-related news stories just remind me that we haven't made any progress (and yes, as a developer I tried to help out in that area). Ubuntu's now saying that they're going to make a tablet UI. Yay ... only they haven't cracked the desktop (they made a lot of progress and undid it all with Unity).

*sigh*

Re:Or, maybe Linux is dying... (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948286)

Oh man, only an anonymous coward would post something like that. Mod this -1 Flamebait.

Re:Or, maybe Linux is dying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948460)

no i won't. cower in my shadow you ignorant hypocrite.

Re:Or, maybe Linux is dying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948588)

Linux is dying (or perhaps dead)

It's not over until we win, or we all give up ...and I and my fanatic friends will never give up. You underestimate our fanaticism.

Re:Or, maybe Linux is dying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948680)

We're all well aware of your fanaticism, we doubt your ability to win.

Or maybe Linux is everywhere and you don't notice (4, Insightful)

cozytom (1102207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948632)

Lets see, I am typing this in Linux, on my desktop at work.

I first saw the story on my android phone, running Linux.

There was a WiFi router that was running linux that sent it to my android phone.

Nope, not the year of the desktop.

Re:Or, maybe Linux is dying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948718)

I am not really sure if I want more `GUI-user-oriented' Linux though. I have noticed with Ubuntu, the main push is to make the system `easier to user' meaning easier to do the simple things, which, strangely, leads to much harder times for users who prefer thing like CLI, etc. `Make something that even a fool could use and only fools will use it' someone said and to my astonishment, this is certainly true with almost anything on the desktop. I do not want a fancy crippled DVD player, I want a real computer instead.

Re:Or, maybe Linux is dying... (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948834)

Linux is dying (or perhaps dead). At least it is on the desktop.

Linux desktop seems steady at around 1%. Since computer usage is growing, that also means Linux desktop usage is growing. If I ever capture 1% of the global computer market, I would consider it a success beyond anything I could comprehend. So, you have a very odd definition of "dead".

general app development on Linux dropped off years ago

Huh? Like what? There are now decent 3D modelleers (blender), audio editors, photographic maniuplation, drawing, image stitching programs, indie games, etc. There is so much more than there was 10 years ago.

But somewhere around 2002 I started to feel betrayed. Here I was, nearly 10 years later and Linux still wasn't on the desktop - at least not in any kind of meaningful way. Sure I kept hearing how 1997...1998...1999...2000...2001 were all going to be the "Year of Linux on the Desktop" - but it never happened.

So you feel betrayed that the rantings of a bunch of usenetters didn't come to much? Wow. You have a low threshold for betrayal.

all the while lifting as many UI ideas as they could from each OS

Yeah well, that does kinda suck. The blind copying is making a mess of the Linus desktop experience.

Here we are in 2011 and I'm seeing the same old shit.

Like...?

I'm just about ready to give up Slashdot because 90% of the Linux-related news stories just remind me that we haven't made any progress

C' ya

Broader concept (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948270)

It may be orthagonal to the point - or on the point - I can't tell - but one thought immediately came to mind.

---

If by "app" you are talking a "user application", meaning one with a whole user interface (i.e. GUI), etc. - I'd say that is eroding. I wouldn't say that "SaaS" is what's eroding it however. I've been using Linux for almost twenty years, and only have written a single GUI-based (Glade) application for it. I see Linux as a "back-end" system, and have always used Windows, or a Mobile platform as the "front end". When I need to write, let's say a "management" interface for something, or something else that requires something prettier - like a GUI, I've always implemented this as a web service.

This is more of an effect of the fact that Linux has never really made it big into the desktop arena. Conversely however, Android is making it mainstream in the tablet and smartphone space (albiet, under Java for user-apps) - so as tablets and phones eclipse desktops in the user-oriented space - Linux, ironically, stands to become the dominant force in "user" systems, they just won't be "desktop" systems as we think about them today.

Run the server locally (3, Interesting)

jonsmirl (114798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948272)

HTML5 is just another GUI front-end library. In no way does it require you to write cloud based apps. If you want a native Linux application write the GUI in HTML5 and run the server on the same machine as your GUI. Hmmm.... something kind of like the Xserver model, but brought 30 years into the future?

When people whine about the ending of location transparency with the Xserver, what is going away is the Xserver as the primary GUI library, not location transparency in general. The Xserver needs to die, it is pass its prime and we need to move onto newer GUI technologies.

So stop writing native Linux applications and instead start writing HTML5 applications that ship with a built-in server. The cool thing about apps in this model is that the GUI works on Linux, Mac and Windows plus you can run the server locally or in the cloud - your choice. If you want to help out convert some native Linux apps into the HTML5 model.

Wayland is a key transition technology. It allows apps like Chrome/Firefox to be written directly to EGL. Plus you can run a user space Xserver as a legacy tool.

Re:Run the server locally (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948414)

If you want a native Linux application write the GUI in HTML5 and run the server on the same machine as your GUI.

A few issues:

  • That runs into all sorts of firewall issues when the operating system blocks applications from listening on localhost.
  • On which port of localhost does your application listen that isn't already used by the other running applications?
  • Pop-up blocking features make notifications more difficult.
  • To what extent do all deployed web browsers support drag and drop of objects between the web browser and other windows?

Re:Run the server locally (1)

jonsmirl (114798) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948564)

All of these problems can be solved. I believe the rest of the world is going down the browser GUI path, so it is up to the Linux community to decide if they want to follow. Gnome/KDE are almost certainly dead ends.

This is not an overnight switch. It will take a decade to fully transition to an HTML5 plus local server model.

One reason why so many people don't like SAAS is because the server side of the app has been implemented closed source. Providing open source servers is one way to address that problem. For example convert Open Office to a HTML5 plus local server model as a response to Google docs.

Re:Run the server locally (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948704)

For example convert Open Office to a HTML5 plus local server model as a response to Google docs.

Why the fsck would I want to convert Open Office to HTML5 when it already works fine as C++?

Re:Run the server locally (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948744)

All of these problems can be solved.

Let me know when they are.

Re:Run the server locally (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948514)

Anonymous post in case my employer reads this. I'm involved with implementing a new version of what is really a desktop application this way. And it sucks. You loose all the advantages of maintained state, plus you spend the usual amount of extra time fighting CSS and all those other irritations, because you haven't got a decent widget set to work with.

Actually, my belief is that the real way to go is "web" applications that are written as proper GUI applications in the browser, and use the server as a data API. But, you use a widget library that sits on top of HTML and CSS and hides it - and the library does decent layout management so you avoid the layout abortion that is CSS. Pity one is stuck with Javascript, maybe Dart is the answer.

hmm (3, Interesting)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948284)

Could it be because the set of target environments is so large compared to Windows / OS X? You've got to support multiple distros (and versions of distros), multiple desktop environments, etc.

I think that... (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948332)

I think that the majority of problems that were in the native environment are solved.
Most of the desktop applications are mature and complete and a big part of the commandline never had problems that werent solvable to begin with.
The last 10 years just caused a lot of problems to be solved on the web platform, now that HTML et al. are getting in mature state as well we will see coming 5 years that most problems on that platform are getting solved too.
Even scalability problems are getting solved with virtual computing.
This means attention is shifting to new platforms like mobile and pad until something new comes round the corner.

Right... (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948360)

That is why everyone wants VLC to be ported from Linux to mobile devices to finally get a decent player out there. That is why mplayer despite having no interest in doing windows support has people working on turning it into a windows version to get an even better player out there?

What apps are we talking about exactly? Fart apps? Angry birds?

There is a ton of software available for free install. What more do you need?

Or maybe the author is talking about payed for apps? Maybe the genius that wrote synergy should start charging for it? Maybe pay a buck here and there and then it suddenly counts? Okay, my pc will also then cost me a few hundred bucks but hey, at least we got APPS instead of applications. And we can only search for them by the broadest terms and their are ranked by how much their owners spams them.

Seriously, where is the issue?

just extend android app platform ... (0)

swframe (646356) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948398)

I don't want to rewrite my app for a small market. Just make it easier to build android apps to run on desktop linux.

Well...good? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37948482)

As a developer and a Linux user, I'm not sure why I'd write a native app for any OS unless there was a good reason why it couldn't run in a browser. Easy discovery, no installation headaches, no local machine capabilities/libraries/etc. headaches, write once run anywhere (old versions of IE can suck it), easily extensible/mashable via API's, ad nauseam. How many "native" iOS and Android apps are thin wrappers around webkit to get around device API access limitations?

I don't see that as a problem for Linux. Just the opposite. The less you make the OS a central part of the equation, the easier it is for not-Windows OS's to prosper. Who needs to shell out money for Windows if all you need from the OS is to fire up a web browser? With the latest GTK apps you can do HTML5 rendering.

Of course, we're a long way from eliminating the need for native apps, but even in this area Linux is leading. With GTK 3.2 you can render GTK applications in decent (HTML5) browsers. I've seen demos of fairly intensive apps like GIMP running in Firefox.

Slashdot madlibs (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37948722)

Is _____ (Suggestions: Apple, Microsoft) KILLING Linux/Google/Bitcoin _____ ?

For example:
Is MICROSOFT BING KILLING Google SEARCH?
Is APPLE SANDBOXING KILLING Bitcoin MINING?

I think I have the formula fogured out, these articles are actually heuristically generated from statistically high word count topics, and kdawson and Soulskill are actually AIs.

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