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

Feral Interactive Ports Life Is Strange to Linux and Mac, Episode 1 Is Now Free

Feral Interactive has recently announced that they have managed to successfully port the popular, award-winning Life Is Strange game to GNU/Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. Read more

Introduction to Modularity

Modularity is an exciting, new initiative aimed at resolving the issue of diverging (and occasionally conflicting) lifecycles of different “components” within Fedora. A great example of a diverging and conflicting lifecycle is the Ruby on Rails (RoR) lifecycle, whereby Fedora stipulates that itself can only have one version of RoR at any point in time – but that doesn’t mean Fedora’s version of RoR won’t conflict with another version of RoR used in an application. Therefore, we want to avoid having “components”, like RoR, conflict with other existing components within Fedora. Read more

Our First Look at Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon

Now that I’ve had about a week to play around in Mint 18, I find a lot to like and have no major complaints. While Cinnamon probably isn’t destined to become my desktop of choice, I don’t dislike it and find it, hands down, the best of the GNOME based desktops I’ve tried so far. Anybody looking for a powerful, all purpose distro that’s designed to work smoothly and which can be mastered with ease would be hard pressed to find anything better. Read more

The subtle art of the Desktop

The history of the Gnome and KDE desktops go a long way back and their competition, for the lack of a better term, is almost as famous in some circles as the religious divide between Emacs and Vi. But is that competition stil relevant in 2016? Are there notable differences between Gnome and KDE that would position each other on a specific segment of users? Having both desktops running on my systems (workstation + laptop) but using really only one of them at all times, I wanted to find out by myself. My workstation and laptop both run ArchLinux, which means I tend to run the latest stable versions of pretty much any desktop software. I will thus be considering the latest stable versions from Gnome and KDE in this post. Historically, the two environments stem from different technical platforms: Gnome relies on the GTK framework while KDE, or more exactly the Plasma desktop environment, relies on Qt. For a long time, that is until well into the development of the Gnome 3.x platform, the major difference was not just technical, it was one of style and experience. KDE used to offer a desktop experience that was built along the lines of Windows, with a start center on the bottom left, a customizable side bar, and desktop widgets. Gnome had its two bars on the top and bottom of the screen, and was seemingly used as the basis for the first design of Mac OS X, with the top bar offering features that were later found in the Apple operating system. Read more