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Has the Desktop Linux Bubble Burst?

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the crushed-by-osx dept.

KDE 677

El Lobo writes "For the Linux desktop, 2002 was an important year. Since then, we have continuously been fed point releases which added bits of functionality and speed improvements, but no major revision has yet seen the light of day. What's going on? A big problem with GNOME is that it lacks any form of a vision, a goal, for the next big revision. GNOME 3.0 is just that- a name. All GNOME 3.0 has are some random ideas by random people in random places. KDE developers are indeed planning big things for KDE4 — but that is what they are stuck at. Show me where the results are.KDE's biggest problem is a lack of manpower and financial backing by big companies. In the meantime, the competition has not exactly been standing still. Apple has continuously been improving its Mac OS X operating system. Microsoft has not been resting on its laurels either. Windows Vista is already available. Many anti-MS fanboys complain that Vista is nothing more than XP with a new coat, but anyone with an open mind realizes this is absolutely not the case."

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677 comments

The bubble was never there. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336848)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the Quake 3 installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on quake3.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound in Quake 3. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install Quake 3 in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

Re:The bubble was never there. (5, Informative)

rwven (663186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337096)

There ARE easy alternatives to "apt-get" and things of that nature. I think what people hate to admit is that in order to sell Linux to the masses, it's going to have to be dumbed down. Companies like linspire have done a great job of this IMHO, but lack the funds for properly propogating and marketing their works. Linspire is usually a great hit when newbies use it. It's got everything that all the other distros are lacking from a newbie standpoint. The dumbed-down side of it is that there is no compiler... But then again, my mom doesn't want, or need, one.

The problem with many linux users is that they fail to realize that your "normal" computer user is NOTHING like they are. Linux CAN succeed but it really needs a set of standards to follow. People don't like inconsistency. They really don't even like choice. They don't want to have to choose one of the 300 active distros. They want "Linux" and they want it to work as easily as Windows does.

Re:The bubble was never there. (4, Funny)

El Torico (732160) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337264)

To be blunt, most of the linux community are geeks, and geeks basically don't like non-geeks. Linux developers are uber-geeks, and uber-geeks don't like anyone, not even other uber-geeks.

Yeah, that was a bit harsh, but someone had to say it.

What laurels? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336854)

Microsoft has not been resting on its laurels either.

Microsoft doesn't have 'laurels'. Just many large sacks of cash.

Re:What laurels? (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336986)

Microsoft doesn't have 'laurels'. Just many large sacks of cash.

Laurels are pointy a mean, sacks of case are soft and comforting. I know which id rather have.

Re:What laurels? (1)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337148)

"Laurels are pointy a mean, sacks of case are soft and comforting. I know which id rather have."

I got this one...

Laurels are pointy and mean, and sacks of cash are soft and comforting. He knows which, between the two, he would rather have.

Desktops? (5, Funny)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336862)

Are gnome and KDE -really- the only choices? XFCE? ICEwm? Hell, CDE even?! ... or dare I suggest ... Bash ?

Re:Desktops? (5, Funny)

Der PC (1026194) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336960)

Yeah, that's the spirit ! :)

When the user dislikes the GUIs that actually attempt to be (somewhat) user-friendly, just feed him/her a GUI that is stepwise worse and more user-hostile than the last one.

"What's for dinner honey?" - "Caterpillars and worms. And if you don't like it, we have wooden splinters, glass shards and iron filings."

Re:Desktops? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337014)

blackbox and enlightenment :)

Re:Desktops? (1)

salgiza (650851) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337034)

> Are gnome and KDE -really- the only choices? XFCE? ICEwm? Hell, CDE even?! ... or dare I suggest ... Bash ?

I'm not quite sure whether you were being funny, or you misunderstood the fact that this article was about replacing Windows Desktops with Linux ones. Nevertheless, the thought of offering my boss to migrate our desktops from Windows to Bash (+emacs) made me smile :).

Re:Desktops? (5, Insightful)

Salvance (1014001) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337094)

They certainly aren't the only options, but for your average non-techie desktop user they are probably the best answers. The problem is that there isn't any plan for creating a better user "experience". Developers typically hate creating non-functional "fluff", or even functional fluff ... but all the fluff that make up Windows and Mac systems is what the average user wants, and what makes it more difficult for them to transition to Linux.

I think it's pretty funny that the article is titled "Has the Desktop Linux Bubble Burst?" When was there a bubble to begin with? Doesn't there have to be rather widespread adoption or growth to constitute a bubble? Has the Linux desktop ever gained more than ~1% of the desktop market?

A Stinging Indictment Of Desktop Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336866)

Go to any Linux distro community forum and what do you see?

"How can I make my Linux desktop look and function like this: "

http://images.apple.com/macosx/leopard/images/inde xdesktop20060807.jpg [apple.com]

Re:A Stinging Indictment Of Desktop Linux (1)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337060)

But it already can.

What can OS X do that KDE can't?

The sticking point now isn't even driver support - my jaw drops nowadays at all the stuff that works with Linux, even syncing my Palm works now.

The sticking points are games, and certain hobbyist things like converting AVI/WMV to MPG, and DVD ripping.

Re:A Stinging Indictment Of Desktop Linux (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337222)

"What can OS X do that KDE can't?"

Someone needs to sitting you down in front of the two desktops and slap the shit out of you as they step by step go through every single detail of OS X...

Drag and drop application installation...
Drag and drop between desktop and application and application to application and both in conjunction with Expose...
Text, fonts, spellchecking(could spend an entire day just on that one vast area alone)...
Even just basic functionality like a standard way for app notifications to the user

An OS X user could sit in front of an OS X and KDE desktop and generate a list thousands of items long in just simple basic functionality that KDE fails at.

KDE is a shitty and amateurish desktop that is barely functional enough to be used in a locked down business environment where users are limited in what they are allowed or need to do.

Re:A Stinging Indictment Of Desktop Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337066)

There are many reasons why KDE and Gnome are so bad compared to OS X as desktops.

1. Archaic 'package management' for home user applications. The tech to implement application bundles with the ability to simply drag apps to a /Applications folder/directory is out there right now.

2. Hideous and retarded GUI toolkits. The two major Linux GUI toolkits are FUCKING ABOMINATIONS. They are so bad it would be best to just throw them the fuck away and clone some subset of the OS X application APIs. For years Linux developers have gotten away with the juvenile excuse that it is just different taste in 'skinning' between the various Linux desktops and OS X. The sad fact is that the amount of UI capabilities in OS X are light years beyond anything Linux has to offer. The fact that Linux GUI toolkits are so FUCKING clunky and ugly just hides that deeper problem.

3. No reason for any competent desktop UI graphic artists to devote their time to desktop Linux. Design by committee with no single person being able to enforce an across the board level of quality you see in OS X.

Re:A Stinging Indictment Of Desktop Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337250)

OS-X is so wonderful because Otakus like you are completely deluded. Much of the OS-X functionality is actually less user-friendly than KDE.

For instance there was no way to intuitively of setting a printer into draft mode for quick printing. Come on! The more I use the fruit, the more I like KDE.

a picture of apps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337212)

...open on a screen? As in big deal? That's all a desktop is. Apps open in windows on a screen. With linux you can have what is in that picture, then another desktop with different apps, then another, all a mouse click away. Want them on different monitors as well, do-able. Where's your beef again on that bragger bun?

  Desktop "experience" is way more about what hardware you have now than anything else. Big and widescreen, massive video cards or dual vidcards, fast processor, gobs of RAM, then having a user capable of modifying what they are looking at to suit taste if they want to. Hardware+apps+user experience & skills = "desktop and how functional it is". There's so much variation there now you can't even point at any single "linux desktop" to compare.

You want to see what linux is capable of compared to apple or windows? Load up any of the decent 50 meg run-from-RAM linux OSes like damn small or puppy or austrumi with e17 or slax, etc. Show me where apple or windows can have something like that with only 50 megs, something that good that will still run on ancient hardware and be faster than the best windows or apple can pull off now with their harddrive installs. Show us where you can more or less easily remaster your own complete OS using windows or apple products. Show us where, with a single disk from either apple or windows where you can get hundreds of decent functional applications on default install, where within that same default install you have the ability to call out seamlessly and find even more applications with a few mouse clicks, all of which are automatically updated on demand or with a system call, all for *free* to the user if they choose that option, or for a few dollars snail mailed to you.

The only remaining differences lie solely on applications designed exclusively to run on either apple or MS products, and that is up to the developers/companies to decide, none of that has anything to do with linux or a linux desktop, it is out of their hands for the most part.

Wishful Thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336878)

You get what you pay for. It's free and no one makes money from it. It is wishful thinking to expect Gnome or KDE to beat the real money that M$ and Apple spends on their systems.

Re:Wishful Thing (1)

daskinil (991205) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336948)

At least with KDE 4, I can finally get truly free software, not - its free if you use our free OS. I love the idea of building a desktop OS that's multiplatform and X11 independant. I plan on compiling standalone apps like kate to run on my Vista computer. Its truly the best of both worlds.

Re:Wishful Thing (2, Interesting)

wdnspoon (560602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337092)

"You get what you pay for"? I cannot imagine a bromide that's been refuted more often by people on Slashdot than that one. People do productive work because they're given incentives. Money is a common one. In the case of a desktop environment, there is an incentive to get these systems to work well: the people who are running them are the same people who are programming them. If there's any one force that would counter this incentive, it's that the people who are attracted to Linux are interested in it for other reasons than having a user-friendly desktop; development for the desktop becomes a secondary goal. Therefore, it's a matter of the demands of people who run Linux and not a matter of lack of money. You see the exact same thing on commercial platforms which are geared towards a similar demographic -- notice how little interest there is in 'desktop-Solaris' or 'desktop-AIX'.

Lord, I hope it hasn't... (2, Interesting)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336884)

... as I'm just setting up my first 'official' linux box for someone. This person has never owned a computer and professes to know about 10% on how to use one, so I'm going to toss Ubuntu on it and hope for the best.

Of course, I'm guessing they won't even have 'net connections unless they can leach off their neighbors- doubtful- so who knows for certain how much they'll use it for. Even if I have a winmodem that will still function after 8 years of idle sitting (static bags, yes...) I hear there aren't any drivers for them.

So yes, I hope the linux desktop growing somewhat- there's definately room to improve on Windows and a little competition never hurt anybody.

Re:Lord, I hope it hasn't... (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337006)

I don't want to start a flame-fest, but I know Ubuntu has become the default distro for so many as the place to start. Many love it, and I'm not here to start a war, but please understand it certainly isn't the only distro out there. In my opinion it is far from the best one either.

My only advice is to look around at least towards the major ones and understand which one is right for you.

Dead to me... (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337098)

I was a big proponent of Linux on the desktop for a while, but these days it's not installed on any of my desktops. Instead, I have a MacPro. The Mac offers me all the Unixy goodness but with a much better interface and overall integration. On Linux I was constantly wrestling to get everything to work, but on the Mac, it just works.

Overreacting some? (4, Insightful)

SumeyDevil (906408) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336896)

The voice inside my head tells me that it's wrong to make inferences and predictions on the general trend of desktop Linux based solely on the development of the WINDOW MANAGER.

Re:Overreacting some? (2, Informative)

javilon (99157) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337166)

That is absolutely right.

Now we have HAL, DBUS, udev, beagle and xorg composite extension.

If you put all of this things together the desktop experience is much improved.
Also, many of this things result in the same sort of functionalities that have appeared in OSX and Vista, but they dont necessary belong to KDE or GNOME.

Re:Overreacting some? (1)

hal9000(jr) (316943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337176)

Yeah, but the Window Manager is the fist thing people see. I think the Window paradigm sucks in general and I don't have a suggestion for anything better, but unfortunatly, that is where the market is. It is difficult for most non-techies users to convert from Windows to MacOSX, which are actually pretty similar. The current crop of windows managers fir Linux are sufficiently different to make the transition even more difficult.

Sorry man.

Re:Overreacting some? (2, Interesting)

Bastian (66383) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337240)

You're right, that is a little bit off. Much better to make inferences on the general trend of desktop Linux based on the sole development being window managers.

Comparing 6 years ago to today, Linux has made just about zero progress on improving user experience when it comes to hardware configuration, software installation, and system maintenance. (You know, the stuff that people who are honestly evaluating Linux as a desktop OS always complain about.) The only thing I've really seen move forward is the desktop environments, and even then the only one I've seen make what I'd personally call a whole lot of valuable progress is Xfce. Every time I take another look at GNOME or KDE my first thought is "Meh, I already have a Windows box."

I can't help but think that the past several years of Linux-on-the-desktop development are best described as "cargo cult OS design." Great strides have been made in making the whole mess look similar to the two most popular OSes, but nobody has grasped the real nature of the problem: It still behaves like Unix.

Ridiculous... (5, Funny)

garion888 (1042184) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336900)

"Many anti-MS fanboys complain that Vista is nothing more than XP with a new coat..." Ridiculous...It's nothing more than OS X with a new coat...

Re:Ridiculous... (1)

sgholt (973993) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337070)

"Many anti-MS fanboys complain that Vista is nothing more than XP with a new coat..."

hmmm...who's the fanboy here...???

Re:Ridiculous... (2)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337084)

I thought it was XP with a new coat of paint, and new and shiny DRM thrown in. And without so much stuff that actually works.

XP with a new coat? Nonsense! (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336908)

Many anti-MS fanboys complain that Vista is nothing more than XP with a new coat, but anyone with an open mind realizes this is absolutely not the case,

I absolutley agree - it's a copy of Tiger!

Re:XP with a new coat? Nonsense! (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337040)

I think this is the most ridiculous sentiment that people keep passing around.

Clearly it is a visual upgrade from XP, and people liken the visual style to something Apple would design. And I don't care for most of Vista, but Vista is a huge upgrade, the least of which is the visual style. 99% of what has changed between XP and Vista has nothing to do with Tiger, nor copies Tiger in any way.

Perhaps you should look into what major changes are there rather than look at one desktop screenshot and judge an OS simply by it's visual style.

GNOME less random than it appears (4, Interesting)

wdnspoon (560602) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336910)

On the surface, one may look at GNOMEs development model and believe it to be nothing but random additions by random people. To me, I can see some method in it. When you have such a level of openness taking place, you will end up with a system that's completely reactive to additions in commercial products. GNOME is not stagnant, but simply reactive to changes in the major desktop systems (Windows, OSX). Yes Microsoft has "already" released Vista -- it is a matter of time before those in the GNOME community see things they like in Vista, and incorporate their favorite ideas into GNOME.

Desktop Linux is a bad joke (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336922)

It is good that people are starting to realise what a joke
Linux on the desktop has always been. When there is no central
coordination to provide this "vision" all you are left with
is a mess of non-integrated applications, poorly written "standards",
no sense of usability (gnome usability study: stick a pc in a conference
and get comments from geeks that already use linux) etc etc

If anyone thinks that all the latest "glitz" in the form of 3d accellerated
desktops are going to push desktop linux he is having major delusions.
Especially when all that these technologies (in the way implemented in linux land)
represent is all candy but no depth.

It'll take more than that to be competitive with OSX and even Vista and somehow
i don't think that Gnome or KDE are going to cut it.

Rename please... (4, Insightful)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336928)

In the interests of continuity, could someone please retitle this story as, "Could 2007 be the year of Linux on the desktop?".

The change in emphasis shouldn't be a problem, by now we are all experienced enough to know the answer.

Yes! And I love it! (3, Interesting)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336932)

The bubble has burst! Now with compiz/beryl, windoz is an antiquated, patched together qui! If you haven't seen what compiz/beryl offers the desktop, go to youtube and look. It simply blows any other gui away (including MAC).

Re:Yes! And I love it! (4, Informative)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336990)

I have both installed. Yes, it blows them away. Its fun, stylish, and some of the features even increase my productivity. However they're both horribly unstable. Lots of blank windows, crashes, freezes, and random quirks. They have a ways to go before they actually surpass windows and mac for production environments.

A Few Things (2, Insightful)

MankyD (567984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336934)

1) Simple Hardware Support. I know this moves beyond the desktop environment and into kernel type stuff, but I want the desktop to pop up and say "You have new hardware" and then guide me along the correct path towards setting it up. This is really more of a service, perhaps one provided through a closesly monitored and updated website.

2) Better QA for all end products. Most of the time, I'm quite happy with gnome. Its the features and addons and enhancements that I add that don't always play nice. Perhaps a documented UI standard that other developers can adhere to, and a simple set of interface libraries that make desktop environment integration brainless for basic tasks. Maybe this stuff already, but for whatever reason, a lot of OS desktop software seems to be of poor quality and stability (major players excluded.)

Re:A Few Things (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337128)

2000 called. They want their complaint back. Most USB and PCI devices just automatically work not; there's no "correct path towards setting it up" since it's set up within seconds of plugging it in.

Closed doors, trashed windows. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336938)

"Many anti-MS fanboys complain that Vista is nothing more than XP with a new coat, but anyone with an open mind realizes this is absolutely not the case."

An open what?!

I want to mod the article flamebait... (5, Insightful)

testadicazzo (567430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336944)

What a pointless article. It's entirely emotional and opinionated. It has nothing to say besides "Linux Suxxors". What the hell?

I don't think there's any point to responding to this, but I feel compelled to put my two cents in. People like to complain about something being "user friendly". I'm actually really tired of that phrase. I don't think Microsoft's stuff is very user friendly. I keeps making me do stupid repetive tasks that cause me carpal tunnel syndrome (from repetetive mouse clicks), keeps making me answer the same stupid questions over and over again, keeps reinstating the stupid sample photos and subdirectories into the one part of the OS that should ostensible by mine (the "My Documents" folder), keeps forcing onerous, impossible to read EULA's on me, keeps preventing me from doing legal things I want to do because they don't want me violating their copyrights... the list goes on.

What most people mean when they say "user friendly" would be better called "newbie friendly", or "neophyte friendly", or maybe "diletante friendly". I use Linux on my desktop becuase it's more friendly to the stuff that I want to do, and for the most part lets me do thing the way I want to do them.

Oh, and nice job calling linux on the desktop a "bubble". As george orwell statet, a writer mixing their metaphors is a sure sign that they aren't actually thinking about what they are writing.

MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336988)

Pretty much on target with this.

I want to pop this blister. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337090)

"Oh, and nice job calling linux on the desktop a "bubble". "

Better than "blister". "Oh my God! The Linux on the Desktop blister has popped. Eeeewww!"

Re:I want to mod the article flamebait... (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337174)

Oh, and nice job calling linux on the desktop a "bubble". As george orwell statet, a writer mixing their metaphors is a sure sign that they aren't actually thinking about what they are writing.

That's arguably a poor metaphor, but it's not a mixed metaphor. "Has the Desktop Linux Bubble Jumped the Shark?" would be a mixed metaphor.

Hey, I'm the last person still coming to work... Come to think of it, aren't we overdue for a slew of "2007 Is Going To Be The Year Of Linux On The Desktop!" stories?

Re:I want to mod the article flamebait... (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337262)

Come to think of it, aren't we overdue for a slew of "2007 Is Going To Be The Year Of Linux On The Desktop!" stories?
Surely they'd get rejected. After all, they'd just be duplicates, more or less, of the 2006 stories. And the 2005 ones.

You what now? (2, Insightful)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336956)

When I first got my powerbook OS X was a pretty decent improvement over Linux. A few things were more advanced (especially with the nice hardware support) and I could see why people were defecting in large numbers.

In my experience this has now switched around. There have been no big upgrades (except Beryl) but there have been so many little ones it makes my head hurt. Kubuntu 6.10 on a powerbook looks *better* than the latest release of OS X. All the hardware is supported (including the shut-the-lid-and-it-goes-to-sleep-in-0.5-seconds suspend mode). We have more (useful) 3D effects (blur behind transparency is GODLIKE), more desktop widgets, better support for fonts.

There is better support for advanced networking, connectivity, roaming. There is better support for media, both video aand audio. Hell, there is even better support for the iPod than there is in OS X. The desktop (even with integrated KDE/Gnome) looks more consistent and with window shading, katapult app launcher, better virtual desktop support, sensible ways to organise windows and all of the rest of the features is miles ahead of where it was in 2002.

Up until now there has been no need for a big leap. The incremental improvements have given us the desktop Linux we wanted so badly back in 2002. I'm excited to see what the next generation of innovation will bring (a break from the me-too Windows/OSX style desktops) but Linux today is already cutting edge.

Re:You what now? (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337230)

Up until now there has been no need for a big leap.

Can you really have a "big leap" with the Linux development model? With Windows, Microsoft can develop an OS for 5 years and keep lots of things under wraps. When it finally hit's people's desktop, if people like the improvements, there's a big "whoa" factor. There are a whole lot of changes.

But if Windows was open-sourced with no secrets, and had a 6 month release schedule, I suspect it would all feel like a whole lot of little incremental upgrades and bug fixes. There wouldn't be much anticipation or many surprises. The upgrades feel more mundane. Like you said, though, there have been substantial improvements to desktop Linux distros since 2002, but when all those improvements are trickling out every 6 months over a 5 year period, they just don't feel that big.

Beryl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336958)

Doesn't Beryl count as a significant improvement in the Desktop area? Granted, it isn't KDE or Gnome, per se, but it does for a beautiful environment.

I disagree (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336966)

Linux played catch-up not only in market share, but in features for a long time. While we can all agree that Linux generally beats down Windows in reliability and is generally a much better server solution, we're talking about the desktop here. On the desktop, Windows has been much easier to pick up and just work out of the box doing everything a person wants it to do.

While the author of the article feels Linux hasn't grown, I believe it has. It is not only fully on par with Windows, but I feel considerably more feature-rich, easier to install (for some distros), easier to maintain, has better performance, and has gained in two major areas.

1 - Windows app compatibility
2 - Gaming

Linux is very much a viable and reasonable desktop alternative to pretty much anyone on the planet today, where as that hasn't always been the case.

If that isn't significant growth, I'm not sure what is.

And let us not forget the strides that are being made in desktop search (programs like Beagle) and the 3D Desktop like Compwiz. Linux is beginning to innovate, and the big boys are trying to follow suit.

This is all BullSh** (0)

tomtom2006 (992338) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336972)

My Intel Mac Mini dual boots to Ubuntu's Edgy by default (on the HD). OS X is the 2nd OS on the box, the one I run every now and then. If you look at the menu system systems and layout between Ubuntu's Edgy and Mac OS X, you see a ton of similar features. The UI polish and consistency across applications is there yet, but these systems are far more alike than different. I haven't seen Vista, but the guy at my local computer store said that compbiz running on opengl Linux made Vista look like a turd. My $0.02

Let the flame wars begin! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336974)

I thought everyone realized by now that Linux is not a desktop? It's a barebones box. It's a bargain-bin discounted piece of hardware you have to assemble yourself to save some money and get it to work the way you want.

Linux is as much a desktop as Mac is a development platform. There's an illusion that you can get things done, but it's all a facade. Windows is the only major platform that is both a good desktop AND a good development platform.

I am an open source developer, Linux SSA, etc so if anything i'm a Linux fanboy, but I don't have any illusions about a Linux desktop. MY Linux desktop is windowmaker on slackware, and I love it, except when it comes to playing games or multimedia or running popular productivity suites (and don't forget downloading movies!)

actually (5, Funny)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336976)


A big problem with GNOME is that it lacks any form of a vision

Actually gnomes have the ability to see in the infrared spectrum, and get +2 to constitution / -2 to strength.

Yes, no, maybe (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336978)

Nothing like a little pointless speculation to liven up the day.

The desktop gui's that are available are good enough for most users. The thing that slows adoption is most business' dependence on microsoft's office/email suite...Provide that stuff through terminal services, and no one complains about what the desktop looks like, but then you lose the cost savings, so why not go with windows native?

If online ajax services actually start living up to the hype, and start supplanting Office-type software, you'll see linux on the desktop like you've never even imagined.

What bubble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17336980)

GNU/Linux on the desktop is going to still be a slow, but ever forward, moving process. No bubble and no wild "take over the world" marketshare either. Some people will continue to move to GNU/Linux and Mac OS X from MS Windows but not overnight and not everyone. Give it another five plus years.

As for Mac OS X marketshare I see it like owning a really dependable Porche: beautiful workmanship in and out, a dream to drive but at a price just a little bit more than the masses are will to pay. Porche isn't going away anytime soon but they've never have a great marketshare either. (Ok, poor analogy but you get the point.)

Bah, Humbug. (4, Insightful)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 7 years ago | (#17336994)

"Linux on the Desktop", to me, is like the "Global Domination" slogan that Linus used a few years back. It's a nice slogan, but we are not there yet. Maybe never. But who cares, as long as people are having fun getting there? I have been interested in, and using Linux since, well, something like 1995. It was a perfectly acceptable desktop then, and it has only improved since.

This article is FUD, pure and simple. "Linux is Dying", "Linux is Insecure", "Linux is a Toy", "Linux is for Hobbyists" and "Linux is a Rabid Communist Terrorist Cancer that will steal your money, destroy the economy, kill your cat, burn your house down and crash your car" are all pseudo-ideas that came, were disproved and disappeared.

These days it's "OMG! Linux is Not Ready for the Desktop!!!". This, too, shall pass. Remember: even Mighty Microsoft, the saviour of the American Economy, has a finger in the Linux pie now. Soon, they will stop screaming and throwing feces at Linux and admit the inevitable: they don't stand a chance.

Re:Bah, Humbug. (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337108)

I don't think Microsoft will ever say they don't have a chance to compete with Linux on the desktop market, because it can be very hard to reverse market share regardless of the quality of the products.

Microsoft is realizing that Linux and all Unix environments keep becoming more popular in the Server environment. They are trying to stop people from complete migrations away by allowing interoperability, to perhaps keep people using some MS products.

They are also trying to stop the development of certain products for which Microsoft has little competition.

I don't think Microsoft will ever, ever bow down to Linux. But I wouldn't be shocked to see something like Exchange Server run on top of Linux.

Re:Bah, Humbug. (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337170)

Ten years ago the Linux fans also said that. And ten years from now they will still say it. As long as there is no support for office suits and games by big companies on Linux, it will stay a niche OS. And these companies will only make software for Linux if there is a demand. We're in a viscious circle here...

The same goes for distributions (1)

VincenzoRomano (881055) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337002)

It seems to me that the same can be told about linux distributions.
A lot of improvements, a bit of cosmetic lift ups, but no plans at all and much less stability.
What is lacking in the world od linux for desktops is a vision, plans and roadmaps.
These things are quite complex and some sort of projection is badly needed.

What is this? Open source has a flaw?! (0, Troll)

VineyardRay (934475) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337026)

How can it be true? I thought open source was going to save the planet and cure diseases and make a Sunni hug a Shi'a. I can't believe that there is no cohesive vision. Sarcasm aside, this is the problem with open source that no one will discuss. The notion that software is better simply because the source is open is intellectually dishonest.

What do users want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337030)

Users buy computers to run applications. The purpose of the operating system and the desktop manager is to run applications. Most users never use even a tenth of the capabilities of their os or desktop manager. They do care about some basic things though like cutting and pasting between applications and being able to play any video that they click on.

Based on the above, I think Linux/KDE/Gnome are ready for most desktops. If the features on the desktop are a couple of years behind the times, most users won't care.

There was a bubble? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337038)

Seriously, when was there even a bubble. Growth sure, but a bubble generally implies lots of hype causing things to expand rapidly (which hasnt happened). Journalists just LOVE to use the "bubble bursting" cliche, kind of like jumping the shark.

What bubble? (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337052)

What bubble? In order for there to be a "bubble" in the first place, there would have to be widespread acceptance and usage. Linux on the desktop has *never* has anywhere near widespread acceptance and usage. It's never taken off, and won't any time in the forseeable future, because Linux on the desktop isn't solving a problem. Windows works. OSX works. Nobody cares about desktop OS's any more. The "OS wars" have been over for 10 years.

Almost ready for the desktop (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337068)

When I started using Linux in 1996 it was 'almost ready for the desktop'. And now we're just as close to the desktop as we were then. I got tired of waiting and switched all my desktop work to the Mac. I keep my Linux box as a file server thouch. Linux has always been good at that.

What do Linus and his lieutenants say? (4, Interesting)

br00tus (528477) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337078)

If you have listened to Linus and his lieutenants (Andrew Morton etc.), they say they are not focused on the desktop. They are focused on the high-end. Which makes sense to me - Microsoft dominates the desktop, the high-end is up for grabs right now. Linux has improved a lot for the high-end, but still needs work done. I just was speaking with someone from Oracle recently who told me how in an environment with a lot of Linuxes connected to a lot of SANs, the 2.4 kernel was complete junk. He did say things were getting better with the 2.6.

Hey here's another example - what if I want a fricking kernel dump when my system crashes? What, I can't dump it to disk like Solaris and every other enterprise UNIX does? I have to send it over the network (which comes to a host of problems which I won't go into here)? Yes, yes, I know about the problems of doing this for a variety of hardware, but this is the sort of thing I'm talking about

Linux is not there yet for high-end enterprise, although it is getting there. Linux should concentrate on that, which it has been doing, which is good. Trying to crack Microsoft's desktop monopoly while the high-end is up for grabs is dumb. Take the high-end and then go for the low end. Of course, people are free to work on the Linux desktop if they wish. But I'm glad the core team is concentrating on making Linux a real enterprise UNIX system.

Competition is a result (1)

camcorder (759720) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337116)

It's evident that there's a competition. But it's lack of knowledge that GNOME or KDE developers are trying to compete with propriatory software. It's different market. If you don't care about freedom, then you would not care philosophy behind the things. And you would use whatever feasable for you, either with paying for it or not. You can't ignore the development pace of Linux desktop environment, when windows xp released GNOME desktop was really lacking lots of functionality. However currently it's much more better than Windows XP, and will be better than Vista or Tiger with developers get idea of best user experience ideas (call it steal or whatever) and will try to improve them.

Don't forget that developers use the desktop, and they will rely on others feedback about desktop apart from their own use. If users complain about something they will get motivated to fix stuff or add new features. If they were motivated to compete with other desktops they would behave differently and try to mimic stuff from them. But that's not the case with Linux Desktop. It's all about making computer experience better for its users. It all boils down to personas using these environments. Currently, to say, GNOME users are not newbies. Once more adoption takes place you will see that it will be more user friendly -to newbies-.

There're also technical obstacles in front of developers of Desktop environments, and these obstacles are dissepearing by time. Remember you needed to be root to mount cd or usb stick? Thanks to HAL not that's not a necessity. Now desktop developers can eaily use shinny graphics into their applications thanks to cairo and accelerated desktops.

To judge Linux Desktop, you need to check the development pace. Then compare them with time scales. I'm pretty sure anyone doing some research about features and bugs fixed by Microsoft or Apple and Linux Desktop from year 2000 to 2006, will be really amazed with the amount.

Was waiting for KDE 4 also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337118)

But after all this time and also reading the core-devel mailing list i realized that they are nowhere near ready.

Even worse is the fact that nextgen desktops from Microsoft and Apple (in '07) will make it almost obsolete before it has been completed.

I was such a big fan of kde (using it since version 0.12, when kfm did not have the gears) however i guess i needed a more functional and easy to use "business" laptop, so last week a went and got a Macbook Pro and thanks to the fact that it is unix under the hood i really will not be looking back.

Best of luck to the KDE team (because it had the potential to broaden the Linux desktop community) but i believe that they have missed the boat !

true (1)

ErGalvao (843384) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337120)

Many anti-MS fanboys complain that Vista is nothing more than XP with a new coat, but anyone with an open mind realizes this is absolutely not the case.

Weather Vista is this or that it's not the main issue here. The problem is: Everyone is moving, so why linux desktops aren't?

OSX (2, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337136)

Article is right on one thing: OSX was the deathblow to Linux-on-the-desktop.

I've been a fanatical Linux fanboy since about '95.

Today, I own a MacBook Pro and run OSX. My servers run Debian. But for the desktop, OSX is what Linux will never be: A Unix with a state-of-the-art GUI.

whatever (1)

archen (447353) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337138)

"Show me where the results are."

And why does the KDE team have to show you ANYTHING?

KDE's biggest problem is a lack of manpower and financial backing by big companies.

Proof?

Microsoft has not been resting on its laurels either. Windows Vista is already available.

After how many YEARS? Sorry but everyone seems to agree that the Vista development has been a cluster fuck and that with 80% of the targeted features thrown out, it's not the revolution that MS claimed it was going to be.

KDE finally became my desktop some years ago around 3.2, and let me tell you I eagerly await each minor revision, because I'm seeing real results and improvements. KDE works just fine and is improving at a good rate. KDE is also working quite hard in many aspects under the hood, not just wiz bang 3d windows flying around. The adaptation of dbus by both Gnome and KDE is going to show some real results towards bridging the gap between environments. KDE is STILL the only freaking window environment that gives me freaking previews of images that I may overwrite instead of asking me if I want to overwrite the old 001.jpg with the new one. How about the damn simple button to suggest a new name automatically instead of requiring me to make one up in the case of overwriting? If I recall correctly MS and Mac don't allow you to even change the name, they just abort the copy/move operation.

The KDE team has done just fine in my opinion, and I have full confidence that they will continue to make my computer less of a pain in the ass to use in the future.

Re:whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337278)

And why does the KDE team have to show you ANYTHING?

Forgive me if I'm wrong but as an end user of their product we have a right to question.

While the product is free obviously someone has some monetary interest in it somewhere. That makes us the customer. If KDE doesn't want to support the customer all they have to do is say so and we can go elsewhere just like any other customer.

Sorry but everyone seems to agree that the Vista development has been a cluster fuck and that with 80% of the targeted features thrown out

To quote you; "Proof?"

Frankly it's statements like this that make me think you're little more than a troll. You ask proof from another but turn around and make sweeping statements that are unsubstantiated in your own post. I want written proof and not you're made-up bullshit to support that 80% of the features are gone.

GNOME's model is right on (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337144)

GNOME has the right model. Release early, release often. Users see actual improvements, developers get actual user feedback. And Ubuntu gets the latest GNOME release in the hands of users.

Seems to make sense to me.

WHAT LINUX NEEDS NOW 1, 2, 3 (1)

RationalRoot (746945) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337168)

Is it too much to want : 1) To be able to use my wireless lan from out of the box. 2) To be able to print photos on my photoprinter out of the box. 3) To work on a laptop out of the box. If anyone has read the various trilogies written by people trying to get the above done they know why I use Linux on my server and Windows my laptop. For the moment I'll stick with XP for my laptop while the world evaluates Vista. I'm waiting to see what I actually get by upgrading. Oh yes, and for the sound systems to work more often than not would help a lot. Both the speakers _AND_ the microphone ?

Re:WHAT LINUX NEEDS NOW 1, 2, 3 (1)

openldev (925511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337234)

The problem is that it is the luck of the draw. Everything on my laptop including sound, wireless, printing, etc worked out of the box. It will come down to some of the bigger Linux companies pulling their weight and forcing hardware companies to make Linux support a priority. However, it's such a big chicken and the egg problem ...

Re:WHAT LINUX NEEDS NOW 1, 2, 3 (1)

petabyte (238821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337284)

I bought a new Dell Inspiron laptop. I have 1 and 3. I can't comment on 2 as well, I find it cheaper to go to walmart for the 2-3 photos a year I want in hard copy.

Yeah, KDE's "only" developing as fast as MS (5, Interesting)

rbrander (73222) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337180)

The Calgary Unix User's Group got a great lecture from Aaron Seigo of KDE last week,

http://www.cuug.ab.ca/past-meetings/meetings.06-07 .html [cuug.ab.ca] ...during which he either lied through his teeth about easily checkable claims for the near future, or KDE 4 is coming out in 2007 with significant improvements, and not just "chasing the taillights" of Mac and Vista, but leapfrog improvements upon them.

Assuming KDE 4 does come out in 2007, that'll be exactly 5 years behind KDE 3, about the same time from XP to Vista. They're developing as fast as a $100 Billion corporation, exactly how much more do you want?

The headline on this article is certainly senseless - in a "market" overwhelmed by a monopoly provider, there can be no bubbles to start with, at best you can incrementally develop a market share in small fringe areas where the monopoly's hold is weak. Mostly meaning non-US regions concerned about a lock-in by a foreign provider, especially governments. Also, particularly poor customers that can't avoid the $50 MS "tax" by piracy, because they have to play honestly, like educational institutions.

And in those areas at least, there's been slow but encouraging growth through 2006 and prospects for more. That's only a "bubble bursting" if you were deluded into imagining some take-off point of explosive growth was coming.

Choice of languages and documentation (1)

synthespian (563437) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337184)

I wonder. Does anyone think this is the effect of huge C/C++ projects crumbling under their own weight?
Also, how about the documentation? Is the GTK+ documentation adequate (or sufficient)?
Wrt GNOME, about a year ago there was a huge brouhaha with ex-OSNews editor Eugenia Loli-Queru when she pointed out that GNOME didn't implement or care about what usability issues put forward by users. Nor patches.
GNOME has had a bad attitude problem for years (witness the brawl with OpenBSD; and FreeBSD developers say GNOME developers don't really care much about anything that isn't Linux). Would this be part of the problem in the shortage of developers?

hopes for linux desktop victory elswhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337188)

there are alot of windows only webisites offering video service. I feel discriminated against running linux based on the number of services available to me.

Bubbles bursting here and there (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337200)

Linux: Has the Desktop Linux Bubble Burst?

Ok, so what does it mean that a bubble bursts? Well, first of all, there must have been a bubble. It never was. Linux has slowly gained users. That's all.

For the Linux desktop, 2002 was an important year. Since then, we have continuously been fed point releases which added bits of functionality and speed improvements, but no major revision has yet seen the light of day. What's going on?

What's going on is that both KDE and Gnome are maturing products that are constantly being refined and improved upon. Since there has been no pressing need to do dramatic changes to the underlying infrastructure, the developers have been able to add new features without creating a new major revision. This is a bonus for most users.

A big problem with GNOME is that it lacks any form of a vision, a goal, for the next big revision. GNOME 3.0 is just that- a name. All GNOME 3.0 has are some random ideas by random people in random places. KDE developers are indeed planning big things for KDE4 -- but that is what they are stuck at. Show me where the results are.KDE's biggest problem is a lack of manpower and financial backing by big companies.

I disagree with both notions. There are people heavily involved in the GNOME project with vision, and many of these people even share the same vision. As a result, the improvements in GNOME in recent years have been focused and in tune with other GNOME improvements. I haven't followed KDE closely, but I guarantee you that it's not the same as in 2002. Things have improved.

In the meantime, the competition has not exactly been standing still. Apple has continuously been improving its Mac OS X operating system. Microsoft has not been resting on its laurels either. Windows Vista is already available.

I'm sorry. Windows and Mac OS X aren't "competition". Linux isn't out there to "compete". It's out there to offer a free unix-like operating system to people who are interested in that. If people prefer to pay for Windows or OS X it's not a big loss for linux. Only when developers prefer Windows or OS X does it become a problem for future linux development. Even then, linux users should worry more about having fun, than dominating the market. Even if every computer on earth ran linux, it wouldn't put a cent in your pocket!

Many anti-MS fanboys complain that Vista is nothing more than XP with a new coat, but anyone with an open mind realizes this is absolutely not the case."

Oh, I guess I don't have "an open mind" then, whatever that means. Sure, there are some real improvements compared to XP, but as I remember it, most of these improvements were in NT 3.5 too. Basically, it's the latest version of Windows, even if they prefer to name their releases instead of giving them numbers.

KDE4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337202)

KDE developers are indeed planning big things for KDE4 but that is what they are stuck at. Show me where the results are.KDE's biggest problem is a lack of manpower and financial backing by big companies.
Hmmm ... agree and disagree, here. Firstly, the activity in KDE's svn is - and has been for a while, now - absolutely white hot, so in a way this belies the "lack of manpower" statement, or perhaps shows that a nucleus of top-notch coders - your Faure's, Rusin's and Montel's - can make progress that outstrips a larger team staffed of mere mortals ;) Having said that, there are many areas where GNOME is strides ahead - e.g. Compiz has been available for - what - about a year now? while KDE has only just starting working on their equivalent a few months ago, and the lead coder didn't even know OpenGL [kdedevelopers.org] .

The lack of financial backing is certainly a fact of life for KDE, but this has really always been the case - Redhat has been a huge backer of GNOME/ Gtk from the outset; Mandrake, which defaulted to KDE, always wrote its apps in Gtk, etc. The only real change here has been the subsumation (and consequent GNOME-ification) of SuSE, but I'm not sure how many KDE devs lost their jobs over this. KDE has always done very well with meagre resources, and I see no reason why this should change for KDE4.

The level of user-visible output is certainly a worry, and makes Zack and Aaron's hype of yesteryear, frankly, embarrassing. For a recent discussion of this issue, see e.g. http://dot.kde.org/1166224792/ [kde.org] Time will have to tell on this one, but it seems to me that the KDE dev team is currently on fire re-working the backends, although the "Pillars of KDE" may well be pretty uninspiring when they see the light of day.

the future, not the past (2, Interesting)

alucinor (849600) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337208)

In this article, the author is concerned about FUTURE progress of the Linux desktop, citing an imbalance in both the Gnome and KDE communities as cause for his concern:

1) Gnome: Plenty of money, few developers
2) KDE: Plenty of developers, little money

He also argues that because we're only seeing point releases from Gnome, progress there is slowing down, while in KDE, we no longer have significant point releases because everyone's focused on KDE 4, though there hasn't been any visual results yet out of the Plasma project.

In my opinion, this article is a lot of worry-worting. Sure, Gnome and KDE could *always* use more cash and developers, duh. But are the projects hitting some sort of dead end or breaking point where they'll cease to be effective? Hardly. Will they be able to surpass Vista and/or OSX in functionality? Depends on what you're looking for. Even now, some people prefer Windows, others OSX, and others Linux. Most people just put up with Windows, actually.

Thom is really into OS development, but I'm not sure how technical he is, so I think he may be more interested in what happens in the visual department. KDE 4 has little to show there, but a lot in the libraries that Plasma will sit on top of. I'm especially excited about Kross, which rivals MS's (as yet unreleased) Monad/Powershell.

What's unique about KDE4 (and why we really need it in addition to Gnome) is that it's going to be installable on Linux and BSD as well as Windows and OSX. That's pretty innovative if you ask me.

I don't think Plasma in KDE4 is going to bring about the radical changes some may be hoping for. There have been some interesting posts in discussion boards for both Gnome 3 (Topaz) and KDE4 for radical shifts, but usually these people are directed to look at Symphony OS, since most suggestions seem to revolve around creating a task-oriented desktop or else merging the desktop and browser into one environment.

All in all, I see nothing wrong with Gnome and KDE taking a more evolutionary approach. This is natural for any software so mature. The OSS kernels aren't going to see HUGE gains, just incremental improvements, but over the course of a year, you can see a lot of new innovations, just as you will with Gnome and KDE. An evolutionary approach to software development might not be as exciting for journalists and fans, but it sure makes more sense from a technical perspective: release early, small, and often.

But... but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337210)

"KDE's biggest problem is a lack of manpower and financial backing by big companies."

That's the old propietary closed source way of thinking. Open source solves all of these problems by magic. No, really!

Coordinated Efforts (1)

SirCyn (694031) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337216)

I've thought to myself before that much more progress could be made if fairly standard APIs could be agreed on for more things. Printing for example, how many unix "printing" solutions exist? It's no wonder than the desktop environments don't have the same ease in setting up and using printers as Windows does. A significantly higher level of cooperation, coordination, agreement, and standardization could take the linux/bsd/*nix platforms a long way.

I'm not some crazy saying we need to decide on a single widget set or should merge Qt and Gtk. But a flexable and extensible layer that is stable and mature would make developing easier. I think something generally eqivelent to Visual Basic would help too. The platforms would be much more attractive in general if there was some really "easy" development tool; Windows capitalized on this in the 90s; learn a lesson.

I don't pretend to have all the answers, but working together more sure seems like a good start.

Sadly, I think integration is the thing :-( (1)

gentimjs (930934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337218)

Ive tried some linux desktops here at the company I work for, and the single biggest "how do I?" I get is users asking how to drag and drop between disconnected applications.
For example, user using thunderbird for email and KDE desktop... wonders why they cant drag'n'drop the icon in thunderbird which represents an email attachment onto thier desktop and have it copy the file "like outlook does". (Yes, I know that tbird cant even do that on the windows platform.. :-/ )
When I explain that thier desktop is disconnected from thier mail application, or thier IM client, or whatever else I get hit with "but .. drag and drop has been around since the old mac stuff in the 80s? why cant they do it?"
-I- understand the logic of the *nix userland paradigm, but my users dont ... and they dont care ... they just want to drag'n'drop a movie clip into the body of an email, and have it work. It doesnt matter if they really shouldnt be doing that, its what they want.
Until all that BS "works" like they expect it too, the most I expect to get from end users is "yeah its neat, but I dont think I can get used too it"

Bubble burst? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337256)

Drat! I missed it.

Well, I'll guess I'll just have to wait for the next bubble to come around.

Never underestimate a stubborn cuss who doesn't know when he's beat. Especially if he works for something other than money. As they say in Klingon, "La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid."

What Linux Needs to Succeed (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337280)

1. Simple, easy to use software for managing program installations. Synaptic is pretty good.
2. Simple, easy to use software for using Windows applications. Crossover office sucks. I haven't tried the Parallels solution for Linux yet.
3. Simple, easy to use software for system management. Linux has no Control Panel/System Preferences. All of that sort of configuration needs to be in one place.
4. Simple, easy to use network wide administration interfaces. I can plug in SBS 2003, babysit the installation for five hours, and have an e-mail server, web server, automatically installed groupware with a web interface, and a unified interface to administer the whole thing. Where is the Linux equivalent?

Command line programs are not simple or easy to use. While they become quicker over time as you learn all of the quirks, simple GUI interfaces for configuration don't require remembering arbitrary --configure-with-pears options. GUI interfaces to the command line interfaces make the most sense -- easy one-time setup, with fully exposed options for scripting.

And no, I will not pick up an editor and get to work. I only had to pay Apple $2000 for a laptop that was preprogrammed with the options I want.

Show me where the results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17337286)

Here are some results:

You can easily find a ton of others companies/organizations switching to GNU/Linux. Our company did last year, I'm positng this message from Debian worstation. KDE surely beats the hell out of XP, I wish we would/ve done the switch sooner.

Why is version so important (1)

rajivvyas (597870) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337288)

From the article, the gist I got was that GNOME was still stuck between version 2 and 3 and KDE between 3 and 4. Why is the author so focused on the version number? Most Open Source software aren't big on high version numbers. By his argument, Linux kernel is a has been "server OS" because it is still at version 2.67. Many people would argue that Vista is nothing but Service Pack 3 and not a huge upgrade from XP. And some would even say that in its 25 years of existence, Windows XP was the first true operating system. My2cents: version numbers are not important. The author should compare improvements, new features and stability of GNOME 2.8 vs. version 2 seven years ago.

Who's doing frequent major releases? Not MS! (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17337292)

For the Linux desktop, 2002 was an important year. Since then, we have continuously been fed point releases which added bits of functionality and speed improvements, but no major revision has yet seen the light of day.

Some people consider Windows XP to be a point release of 2000. But even if XP was a major release, they still went from 2001 until Jan 2007 before making a new release (to consumers, anyhow). Sounds like KDE has until 2008 to make a new release before they're any worse than MS, if you're going strictly by "major" releases.

But even just looking at the point releases... KDE got tons better in 3.2, then again in 3.3 then in 3.4, and now 3.5... It really compares more against OSX's almost yearly "point" releases, which have all had quite a few improvements in functionality and style. Personally, after playing around with KDE for a while and enjoying it's earlier support for compositing, I went back to Gnome, and thoroughly enjoy using it (and now with Beryl/Xgl, the transparency in KDE isn't an exclusive feature in the Linux world anymore). I like Gnome, so I'm not really looking for any major changes to it... I don't want changes to get in the way of how I like to use it. It helps me use and enjoy my computer.

I do have one of the Vista RC's in a dual-boot setup on my laptop, but I only use it for work, where the software is Windows-only. I don't care for Vista. I have a hard time understanding why Vista can't pull off cool effects on the same hardware that Beryl/Xgl work so well on. But even if it could, MS is trying so hard to make an appealing product, when Gnome/KDE/Apple just plain make great products. MS wants to let us all know how hard they're trying to be cool, but in the end, they're just trying. Sure, Microsoft has a new major release coming out right now, but it has actually complicated the experience of using my computer, making me that much happier with Gnome.
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