Linux Desktop Rehashed

Objectivity is falsifiability, subjectivity is individuality.

That applies to a blog post by OSNews regarding Miguel de Icaza’s concept of great desktop apps on Linux:

Linux is struggling on the desktop because it only has a small number of “great” apps, according to the Gnome co-creator. Miguel de Icaza, co-creator of the Gnome desktop, told tech journalist Tim Anderson at the recent Windows 8 Build conference “When you count how many great desktop apps there are on Linux, you can probably name 10,” de Icaza said, according to a post on Anderson’s IT Writing blog. “You work really hard, you can probably name 20. We’ve managed to p*** off developers every step of the way, breaking APIs all the time.”

We all know that open source breeds software sprawl, hence apps are susceptible to backward incompatibility with previous versions, not to mention incompatibility with window managers, package management systems and the like.

That is the good and bad of open source software: good in the sense of having the freedom of creating/distributing/modifying software but bad at the expense of non-interoperability.

Non-interoperability is a problem not only with open source software but with proprietary software as well. In economics, it translates to vendor/developer/platform lock-in and high switching cost for customers. In IT management, it is a headache.

One way to mitigate non-interoperability is through standards. But software economics, like any other chaotic systems, is anything goes!

Ultimately, it all boils down to what great means to every individual.


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