Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Year of the Linux desktop? Who cares!

Filed under
Linux

The words "This is the year for the Linux Desktop" has become a cliche. Its a serious over-simplification of a large issue.

The key thing though, regardless if "This is the year for the Linux Desktop" or not, is that we really should be focusing on improving and contributing (directly or indirectly) to the community, instead of getting ourselves involved in these types of never-ending trivial discussions and issues that drag out to an area of pointlessness.

We waste a lot of time trying to defend Linux when we don't need to. Let people think what they think. BUT, let our contributions speak for themselves. And finally, let the user decide if Linux is right for their desktop. The ultimate decider has, and always been the user. People and companies can trick them for now, but eventually, the truth or benefits of alternatives will spread to them. (Whether it be by word of mouth, or some clueless journalist just realising a change in tide of the IT industry).

Remember, the difference between open-source and companies like Microsoft, are that they corner or "encourage" the user into their specific way or solution. (often with the ultimate goal of profit). We don't. We stand for the right and freedom to choose. Just remember that when someone is talking about MS Office 2007, and how they are unable to go back to the older user-interface that they are familiar with. (That's right, people have to re-learn Office 2007's way of doing things.)

Everybody knows open-source is inevitable. (Even Microsoft).

If you don't believe me, just look at these examples...

(1) Microsoft Shared Source Initiative
=> http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/default.mspx
(Its like open-source...But not).

(2) MS Research Facility to study Open-Source solutions.
=> port25.technet.com
(To fight and kill your enemy, you must understand and study him).

(3) CodePlex
=> www.codeplex.com
(Microsoft's attempt to copy SourceForge.net)

(4) Novell and Microsoft — Working Together for Customers
=> www.novell.com/linux/microsoft

Need I say more?

What we should be focusing on, is ways that we can help improve things for everyone. That's what open-source is about. The community. It could be coming up with an idea that fills a current niche in open-source, etc. Even if you want to make a business or money out of it, it doesn't matter. If we all put a little bit in, it doesn't matter what some weenie from an ad-filled tech site says OR even what Microsoft does/says.

So avoid and ignore blogs, opinions, editorials, forum posts that don't specifically ask for help or provide useful information, but bring up trivial discussions. They're time wasters, that's a fact. You don't actually learn anything out of them. (such that you can use the information in the future). IF you really want to be productive, focus on looking at or making guides (even for newbies), online technical stuff, maybe learn to program, etc.

By the way, you don't have to be an engineer or a computer scientist to learn how to program. You can do it as a hobby. A self taught thing...Some of the most skilled and influential people in the world are self learners. Take for example, guitarists like Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. (Both taught themselves how to play a guitar). And what of "DVD Jon" (Jon Lech Johansen)? He is a self-taught software engineer. Look at his contributions!

I'm using these to start off...

How to Think Like a Computer Scientist: Learning with Python
www.ibiblio.org/obp/thinkCSpy

How To Think Like A Computer Scientist: Learning with C++
www.ibiblio.org/obp/thinkCS/cpp/english

ShowMeDo
http://showmedo.com/

...And look at examples. (This is where downloading the source code comes in handy...Don't you just love open-source?). Be sure to post your own code in programming forums. Ask for criticism and feedback, as you learn. (Always question: Why does my way suck? Why should I try someone else's suggestion? Are their's better? In what way?)...The difference between a winner and a loser, is the winner learns from their mistakes and understands the goals of what they want to do and never let up.

We can clearly see the weaknesses of Linux for the mainstream, non-techie user. (If you don't, just visit any newbie section in forums of any distro)...The biggest one is compatibility with Windows applications. (Games for enthusiasts and specific apps that businesses rely on).

So what do you folks want to do? Talk about trivial subjects until the cows come home? Or actually do something about it, and make a REAL difference. (You never know, you may even end up making your mark in open-source history books!)

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who complain about the weather, and those who do something about. Question is...Which are you?

Its about what we do right now, that will make a difference for tomorrow. In this case, if you really want Linux to get a good foothold on the desktop; you, me, and any other experienced Linux user needs to step back, clearly identify issues and the problems faced by the non-techie Jane/Joe PC user, and figure out GOOD solutions for them and anyone else who can benefit.

There will never be a clearly defined year that will be the year for the Linux desktop. Such discussions are pointless and trivial, as its a gradual thing to see over time.

I'll think I'll end with some words that have inspired me...

The most important thing the hacker community does is write better code. Our deeds are the best propaganda we have. Most of us, most of the time, shouldn't be distracted by worrying about beating Microsoft's PR or countering their political moves, because writing good code is in the long run a far more potent weapon than flackery. -Eric S. Raymond

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

re: Year of the Linux desktop? Who cares!

Nice article, I agree full-heartedly.

stmok wrote:

There will never be a clearly defined year that will be the year for the Linux desktop. Such discussions are pointless and trivial, as its a gradual thing to see over time.

This about sums it up.

You need to be heard

I'm sure this idea was said, discussed and even fought over repeatedly. You, and many others like you before, are of course right. We should stop this senseless propaganda and concentrate more on what we can do to help, even if it is just to assist a newbie into the familiarity of a Linux desktop.

People who have read you and heard this idea, should think it over long and hard, and perhaps that would be the time we would have a strong, united community of Linux users.

Registered Linux User No. 401868

More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Security Leftovers

  • The long road to getrandom() in glibc
    The GNU C library (glibc) 2.25 release is expected to be available at the beginning of February; among the new features in this release will be a wrapper for the Linux getrandom() system call. One might well wonder why getrandom() is only appearing in this release, given that kernel support arrived with the 3.17 release in 2014 and that the glibc project is supposed to be more receptive to new features these days. A look at the history of this particular change highlights some of the reasons why getting new features into glibc is still hard.
  • Maintainers for desktop "critical infrastructure"
    That work is great, but it is limited by a number of factors: funding and the interests of its members, primarily. Few of the companies involved have much, if any, interest in the Linux desktop. Some might argue that there aren't any companies with that particular interest, though that would be disingenuous. In any case, though, desktop Linux is a community-supported endeavor, at least more so than server or cloud Linux, which likely means some things are slipping through the cracks. Kaskinen left his job in 2015 to be able to spend more time on PulseAudio (and some audio packages that he maintains for OpenEmbedded). For the last four months or so, he has been soliciting funds on Patreon. Unlike Kickstarter and other similar systems, Patreon is set up to provide ongoing funding, rather than just a chunk of money for a particular feature or project. Donors pledge a monthly amount to try to support someone's work going forward.
  • Important CentOS 7 Linux Kernel Security Patch Released, 3 Vulnerabilities Fixed
    CentOS developer and maintainer Johnny Hughes is announcing the availability of a new, important Linux kernel security update for the CentOS 7 series of operating systems. CentOS 7 is derived from the freely distributed source code of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 operating system series, which means that it also benefits of its security patches. According to the recently published RHSA-2017:0086-1 security advisory, which was marked as important, three security vulnerabilities are patched.
  • Trump's New Cyber-Security Advisor Runs a Very, Very Insecure Website
    According to Phonos Group founder Dan Tentler, Giuliani's security company website runs a very, very old Joomla distribution, an open-source, free-to-use CMS. That's Joomla 3.1.1, released in April 2013. Since then, two major zero-days have plagued Joomla, so grave that they could allow attackers to take full control over a Joomla installation. Those are CVE-2016-9838 and CVE-2015-8562. But that's not the worse of it. The Joomla admin panel login page is also freely available, meaning anyone could access it and attempt to brute-force the admin password.
  • Reminder: Microsoft to no longer update original Windows 10 release after March 26 [Ed: Microsoft will leave even more Vista 10 back doors open, unless you install the latest doors]
    As Microsoft noted last year, the company plans to update only two Current Branch for Business versions of Windows 10 at any given time.
  • St. Louis' public library computers hacked for ransom [iophk: “Those who installed Windows on them have not been brought to justice”]
    Hackers have infected every public computer in the St. Louis Public Library system, stopping all book borrowing and cutting off internet access to those who rely on it for computers. The computer system was hit by ransomware, a particularly nasty type of computer virus that encrypts computer files. This form of attack renders computers unusable -- unless victims are willing to pay an extortion fee and obtain a key to unlock the machines.
  • Microsoft Targets Chrome Users With Windows 10 Pop-up Ad
    Microsoft really wants you to use its software products as well as running Windows 10, and that includes the Edge browser. But it can't stop you choosing to use an alternative web browser. However, if you opt to use Chrome, then expect to start seeing adverts right on your Windows desktop.
  • United Airlines Domestic Flights Grounded for 2 Hours by Computer Outage
    All of United Airlines' domestic flights were grounded for more than two hours Sunday night because of a computer outage, the Federal Aviation Administration said as scores of angry travelers sounded off on social media.
  • There’s no glory in patching
    Regular patching is essential but not without risks. Missing a critical patch is an easy way of getting your service compromised but insufficient testing is an even easier way of getting it to fall over. Here at drie we talk a lot about why trying to build your own infrastructure around AWS can be, to put it mildly, a bit of a pain. Today I’d like to go a little deeper on one issue most people encounter when going it alone in AWS and why you’re better off making it someone else’s problem. While it may seem like a mundane concern, keeping up to date with the latest patches and security fixes for your dependencies is a significant undertaking and neglecting server patches is a swift route to getting your infrastructure hacked.

All You Need To Know About Swap Partition In Linux

So somewhere while installing your favorite Linux distro you came across the word “Swap” and now you are here to know what is Swap. Well, I will tell you it in the simplest sense. Read
more