Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open Source is Not a Democracy

Filed under
OSS

Design and themes have been a key part of the Linux buy-in for as long as I can remember.

In fact, once upon a time, the look and feel of application was actually used as its primary selling point to me. Back in 2000, at the LinuxWorld at Javitts, I made a comment about some app being very buggy (I don't recall which), to which the enthusiastic developer actually replied, "yes, but look at how cool it looks!"

Yes, well, DeLorians looked cool, too.

While I never thought looks should be the main reason you should try something--and thank $Deity my wife subscribes to that view, too--there's no denying that the design of Linux distributions and their component apps play a role in attracting users. We're human beings, with brains wired for visual stimulus-routines. Pretty->acquire is a very base reaction.

The folks at Canonical certainly understand that. I have watched with some interest as Canonical has put a lot of energy into the design and branding of its Ubuntu distribution over the years. I know that that founder Mark Shuttleworth has emphasized it more lately, pointing out the work his design and interface teams have done, Canonical has definitely highlighted the new Light theme coming out for Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop Edition.

Of course, branding with such ferocity can have its drawbacks. True story: a contact at Canonical sent me links to the new branding package, which I followed. I messaged back: "Huh. It's purple now." The reply: "It's eggplant. Actually aubergine."

rest here




aubergine

aubergine - <jargon> A secret term used to refer to computers in the presence of computerphobic third parties. (foldoc)

Huh?

aubergine [ˈəʊbəˌʒiːn]
n
1. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Plants) a tropical Old World solanaceous plant, Solanum melongena, widely cultivated for its egg-shaped typically dark purple fruit US, Canadian, and Australian name eggplant
2. (Life Sciences & Allied Applications / Plants) the fruit of this plant, which is cooked and eaten as a vegetable
3. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Colours)
a. a dark purple colour
b. (as adjective) an aubergine dress
[from French, from Catalan alberginia, from Arabic al-bādindjān, ultimately from Sanskrit vatin-ganah, of obscure origin]

re: huh?

Comment viewing options

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

More in Tux Machines

Simplenote want developers to make a GNU/Linux implementation

Matt Mullenweg founder and CEO of Automattic which is responsible for WordPress.com has reached out to people who develop software on the GNU/Linux platform to find someone who will bring the Simplenote application to GNU/Linux. Read more

How to set up Raspberry Pi, the little computer you can cook into DIY tech projects

You don't need an electrical engineering degree to build a robot army. With the $35 Raspberry Pi B+, you can create robots and connected devices on the cheap, with little more than an Internet connection and a bunch of spare time. The Raspberry Pi is a computer about the size of a credit card. The darling of the do-it-yourself electronics crowd, the Pi was originally designed to teach kids computer and programming skills without the need for expensive computer labs. People have used Raspberry Pis for everything from robots to cheap home media centers. The Pi sports USB ports, HDMI video, and a host of other peripherals. The latest version, the B+, sports 512MB of RAM and uses a MicroSD card instead of a full-size card. Read more

LibreOffice Ported To 64-bit ARM (AArch64)

As more and more open-source programs get brought up for 64-bit ARM, LibreOffice is the latest to receive such AArch64 enablement. As of today in LibreOffice Git is the initial AArch64 support. Over one thousand new lines of code were added to LibreOffice by Red Hat's Stephan Bergmann for allowing the open-source office suite to build on the ARMv8 64-bit architecture. LibreOffice already runs on many CPU architectures from x86 to Alpha and SPARC with ARM64 just being the latest. Read more

SUSE's Flavio Castelli on Docker's Rise Among Linux Distros

Docker has only gained traction since its launch a little over a year ago as more companies join the community's efforts on a regular basis. On July 30, the first official Docker build for openSUSE was released, making this distribution the latest among many to join the fray. I connected with Flavio Castelli, a senior software engineer at SUSE, who works extensively on SUSE Linux Enterprise and has played a major role in bringing official Docker support to openSUSE. In this interview, he discuses the importance of bringing Docker to each Linux distribution, the future of Docker on SUSE Linux Enterprise, and other interesting developments in the Docker ecosystem. Read more