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Man from Red Hat, he talk sense...

Linux desktops have always been confusing things. They've tried to be all things to all people, taking elements from Mac OS, the CDE, Windows, Motif and popular X Windows managers, and throwing them into a melting pot. And they all come out different, leaving us with Gnome/KDE religious wars instead of an easy to use, easy to configure desktop operating system.

Red Hat is currently betaing a version of its OS that attempts to offer similar looks, feels and functionality for both Gnome and KDE - to a mix of praise and derision. Well, file my vote on the side of praise - especially in the light of this essay from Owen Taylor at Red Hat. He makes a lot of sense on why they've done this, and on what it should mean for Linux desktop developers.

Sure, the L33T can skin away as much as they like, but folk who need to get work done as soon as they've installed the OS will find this move an important one, and one that will benefit them in both the long and short run, improving usability first and performance over time.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2002 10:26 am (UTC)
Well, let's see, they could just go for a single desktop without the X Windows inbuilt balkanisaton (which the Linux world managed to turn into a civil war with street by street fighting for minor victories in a ruined city) and make the entire process much much easier. The desktop could have a bunch of toolkit API's which enforce much of the look and feel and give developers a powerful set of inbuilt fun...

Oh, hang on, that's MacOSX innit.

(Deleted comment)
Sep. 16th, 2002 11:50 am (UTC)
Re: Er...
No, no, not SunOS. SunView was horrid in practice (no meaty display primitives, very simple model). NeXTstep was much more like what the world needs... Unfortunately we lost a lot of essential NeXTyness in the transition to OSX, but OSX still comes out as the best of the user oriented Unix's by far. Making KDE and Gnome look the same as Red Hat are doing is cosmetic tinkering and unfortunately X is hard wired into the Linux psyche. But then there's a lot of things hardwired in the Linux psyche (like the Slashdot thread which sought to deny OSX Unix status becaue it didn't run gcc.... which was an argument so flawed it isn't worth going into).

I used to be a huge fan of X, but I'm better now.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )