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KDE Open Source News

Are Open-Source Desktops Losing Competitiveness? 663

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Penz has been a user of KDE since version 1.2, and he led the development of the Dolphin file manager for the past six years. Now, he's quitting KDE development and handing off Dolphin. His reasons for quitting KDE development are described in a blog post. Penz speaks of KDE losing competitiveness to Apple and Microsoft due to increased complexity and other reasons. 'Working on the non-user-interface parts of applications can be challenging, and this is not something that most freetime-contributors are striving for. But if there are not enough contributors for the complex stuff behind the scenes and if no company is willing to invest fulltime-developers to work on this... well then we are losing ground.' Are open-source desktops losing?"
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Are Open-Source Desktops Losing Competitiveness?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:48PM (#40456871)

    *nix users have been moving to OS X on the desktop for a long time. If you defend the X desktop in a lot of circles where it would have been popular in another time, prepare to be mocked, ridiculed and told to just "buy a Mac".

    Under these conditions it doesn't surprise me that KDE is stagnant. Fewer people are interested in it these days.

    - Still an X11 user when I have the choice.

  • "No" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:51PM (#40456939)'s_Law_of_Headlines

    This is a really bizarre troll-baiting headline, and based on sample size of 1? By an "anonymous reader" nonetheless. Y U NO require a pseudonym, at least?

  • OEM Investment (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Microlith ( 54737 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:53PM (#40456981)

    Now that Microsoft has thrown sand in the face of their OEMs, perhaps the OEMs won't be so afraid of pursuing and investing in non-Microsoft operating systems. Microsoft may have a legacy, but much of that legacy could be emulated or relegated to VMs if necessary. And here's a perfect example of such an opportunity.

    If anything, now's the time to do it as Microsoft won't be able to punish the OEMs without being blatantly anti-competitive. And it'd breathe some life into the stagnant PC space.

  • by Githaron ( 2462596 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:55PM (#40457009)
    I hate the global menu bar in Mac. I want my menus as close to my mouse as possible.
  • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geek ( 5680 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:56PM (#40457019)

    Of course, by "yes" I mean, "never had a prayer."

    I love Linux. I have a great life thanks to Linux. But Linux on the desktop is complete shit and always has been. Especially now with Gnome 3, Unity and KDE 4 giving the finger to users and designing craptastic interfaces.

    I'm using Cinnamon at the moment just for a semi usable desktop experience. XFCE is also good. But by and large, desktop environments on Linux are a disaster and it's only getting worse with Gnome pushing systemd on us and Fedora fucking everyone by forcing restarts all the damn time.

    I'll stick to server OS's with crappy window managers that I can tweak myself from now on and keep a Mac around for anything desktop related I really want to do. I'm tired of fighting with the fucking desktop environment. I have real work to do.

    Gnome devs and KDE devs pissed away promising interfaces and aren't even taking community feedback into consideration anymore. The best thing anyone says about these environments these days is "It's not as bad as it used to be." or "It doesn't crash every 15 minutes like it used to"

    People like me moved to Linux because we were sick of Windows 95 crashing all the damn time. We laughed at Bill Gates when Windows 98 crashed during a live demo presentation to the world. Now suddenly we have desktop environments that are worse than 95/98 ever were and we're expected to stick around for this shit? Fuck no.

  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:58PM (#40457067) Homepage

    So it's exactly like Windows 7?

    Seriously though, I actually like Unity's interface quite a bit. What I don't like is the bugginess of Unity (and Compiz) which makes it nearly impossible to use with more than a few windows open. You wind up with windows flying every which way, like one of those cheap video games with a broken physics engine.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:00PM (#40457087)

    Yes, I love my Win7 laptops at home, but at work we're all still very comfortable running XP. I have less than no interest in adopting Win8, or even The Ribbon. Meeting increasing challenges of hardware, web standards, etc. is necessary (maybe,) but the thing that XP-7-8 has taught me is that needless complications are needless. Maybe it's time the open source community starts asking *why* a particular change is desirable or necessary to the userbase. (Are you listening, Mozilla???)

    Honestly, probably 80% plus of my Word Processing work I could still do in WordPerfect 5.1, if only there were an OS that could handle it.

  • by geek ( 5680 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:02PM (#40457117)

    Getting FOSS developers to merge projects is like herding cats. The vast majority of it is ego driven, merging and potentially taking a backseat to someone else is rarely an options.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:07PM (#40457191)

    "never were" -- competitive, or losing competitiveness?

    Both. They never were competitive. You can't lose something you don't have, so they can't be losing competitiveness.

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:07PM (#40457199)

    +1 A teachable moment.

    The real reason if you RTFA is "I'm doing this project in my spare-time and usually have spend around one evening per week on Dolphin. Especially during the last 2 years this time has increased." -- So basically this guy has a life. He was willing to volunteer one day per week, but nothing beyond that, so he's decided to stop participating.

    Also: "As user I always had the impression that I can do my regular tasks..... in a more efficient and comfortable way than on the other desktop-environments. But at least for my regular tasks as user this has changed during the last couple of years." -- I suspect it's because both Apple and Microsoft have improved their user friendliness over the last half-decade (well except for "where's the damn command?" Ribbon interface). Maybe he should try LXDE (lubuntu) which is not only lightweight on memory, but also nice and friendly.

  • by homey of my owney ( 975234 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:08PM (#40457205)
    I used a linux desktop for 7 years. I dutifully updated when any improvement was made.

    Linux desktops were in my experience never competitive because they require too much technical knowledge. That is an obstacle easily overcome by technical types, but *not* the majority of the user population. It just isn't sustainable to say "Here, tinker, it's cool" to everybody - or more accurately ANYbody outside of technical folks who enjoy the work necessary to update one application or another. It's why many have grown tired of Windows. It's why OSX, with its draw backs, is becoming more popular - the user population at large want an experience that doesn't require at lot of work to keep working. imho.
  • Love KDE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheNinjaroach ( 878876 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:09PM (#40457223)
    Am I the only one who loves KDE? I like the desktop. I like Dolphin. I think kio_slaves (if they are still called that) provide enormous out-of-the-box connectivity to nearly every remote system I need to connect to.

    And KWrite rocks.
  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:15PM (#40457305)

    KDE tries to be too much like Windows and actually does it. There are soooo many services, extensions, config files, dot directories (aka crap strewn all over the place) that it's simply become a bloated buggy mess. Gnome/Unity did some really strange and confusing things but in the end ended up being railroaded into the Mark Shuttleworth Agenda and is pretty much a tablet UI on a PC desktop now.

    This is the evolution of FOSS. Things which start to suck tend to get replaced by things which suck less. The open source desktop isn't losing, it's just KDE has jumped the shark and Gnome (Unity) has gone insane. Two of the earliest game changers of the FOSS Desktop. Luckily, people with more time than I have saddled themselves with the task of changing what sucks (Thanks guys/gals) about these two Desktops and we've got some alternatives. You can't do that with Windows or Apple. You get only one and if it sucks, too bad. Buy the next version and hope.

    PS: have a look at LXDE [] or Cinnamon [] for something similar, yet different.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:15PM (#40457311) Homepage

    I really don't see the great appeal of the Mac desktop. While some complexity is hidden, other things are crippled to the point of being not useful. If you have demanding requirements, you may find yourself right back at the console.

    Perhaps there are more things you can BUY for MacOS, but Windows is much better in that respect.

    Buy a Mac? Why bother?

  • by bky1701 ( 979071 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:19PM (#40457377) Homepage
    It has been the Year of the Linux Desktop since I started using Linux primarily. Everyone else I attribute to measurement errors.

    Don't tell me I don't understand statistics!
  • Re:Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by igb ( 28052 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:20PM (#40457393)
    If you've spent any time around amateur theatre or amateur orchestras, you'll know that the real objective is to provide entertainment for the participants, and the interests of the audience come a long way down the list. If you go along to a concert by an amateur orchestra (and you don't, unless it's your wife or your child playing), then you simply don't have the same expectations as if it's professional, because the orchestra wants and audience so long as it doesn't have to compromise its own interests.

    And so, Linux desktops...

  • Like the herd of wandering drunken sailor-cats we call "open source developers" could agree on anything more meaningful than that the analog clock app should have a hundred dozen different skins so you can always find one you like.

    Everyone critisizes the horrors of proprietary software development where some dumbshit schizophrenic customer jerks your chain around constantly and you can't actually write good code as a result. Or your idiot boss gives you half the time you would've needed to do it right at the start, then changes course halfway through and shaves several weeks off the due date along the way. Unfortunately the Linux desktop environments have gone the exact opposite way and it's just as bad - now with no one to make difficult decisions, we get horrible interfaces that stay horrible forever because there's no one to tell the developers (who of course don't see what's wrong with it, they fucking wrote it) "this piece of shit interface needs to be completely rewritten" and no one to make them actually do it, no matter how badly it needs to be done.

    So you get these little groups, disconnected from reality, floating along in their own virtual stasis (try playing bzflag and suggest after a while that tanks should have hitpoints. Just try) having no idea that no one outside their little in-group who isn't a masochist can possibly use their programs. And just wait, I promise you I'll get a "Well you should be thankful for whatever they give you" response from the same group who complains so loudly that people don't use FOSS... Well which is it:: Do you want to do your own thing or do you want to write software people will use?

    /Rant over. ps, love you xfce, you saved me from the horror of kde4
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:20PM (#40457401)

    Hmm, not working. I guess that would be because I have two monitors and I am not always on the primary one.

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:24PM (#40457459)

    create one new master desktop

    That's the mistake. There is no one master desktop. Its like convincing a bunch of book authors instead of writing a bunch of pulp, they should all cooperate to write the one great american novel.

    10000 religions all claiming the other 9999 are wrong? Eh, they should give it up and all cooperate on the one master religion. (with our luck, unrestrained crony capitalism?)

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:36PM (#40457669)

    And how many of you Linux guys just chuck the UI and go for the command line because it's actually easier?

    A keyboard is an immensely higher bandwidth user interface.
    10 fingers, 104 keys on a IBM type M, at 100 wpm vs a mouse with "a" button on a mac or maybe two on a PC and maybe a scroll wheel is no contest.
    Computers are supposed to be FOR people who have no patience, not a challenge for impatient people.

    Also I can't understand GUIs. Too hard to use. Something to do with eye focus. I can read and write text about 2 to 4 times faster than the fastest speaker, but I can't figure out icons, like little standardized test puzzles. Click on the mating centipedes to configure. No wait the Fing centipedes means paste. Where's my gmail, ah a red letter M how .. incredibly unobvious. Ah click on the folder on the desktop to open outlook, no wait thats a directory, click on the yellow folder, no the other yellow folder, no the yellow folder with a round thing on it to open outlook. I don't know what that's even supposed to symbolize. Why do I have to solve symbolic graphic arts puzzles to imperiously give commands? Julius Caesar never held up cryptograms to invade Gaul, although I'm sure there's some fool UI designer working on it now for .mil. Google chome icon thats a saw blade on lsd, right? So not obvious. Why can't I just type "chrome" to run chrome or "configure" to configure stuff or "outlook" to run outlook or something simple like that? I want to stop so I click the start button, just like when I want my car to slow down I press the accelerator, right? F GUIs. CLI forever. Just too freaking easy to learn and use.

  • by BlackCreek ( 1004083 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:37PM (#40457705)

    Some 10 years ago, the Linux desktop was The Challenger. The first alternative to Microsoft. The cool OS to use for all the cool tech headed people. All people I knew working in academic research in 'hard science' fields used Linux.

    That moment is gone.

    All the younger cool tech-headed kids I know use Macs. Most people that I know that used Linux in the late 90's early 2000 years have migrated to Mac computers. Actually I can say that with one or two exceptions everyone migrated to Macs.


    Personal annecdote:

    Started using Linux in 1995. Worked as a Linux sysadmin when I was a student. Use Android phones and installed OpenWrt in my router (previous one ran Tomato). Own a Linux NAS (Debian based). I have a subscription. My work computer runs RHEL. My parents computer (I bought it and maintain it), runs Ubuntu.

    When my wife needed a new laptop, I bought her a MacBook Air. Not a chance I would inflict Gnome/KDE/Whatever on her.

    I have a kid, little spare time and a fair amount of disposable income.

    With the Linux desktop:
    - Do I have a polished, easy to use, easily discoverable video editor? No.
    - Polished, high quality photographic manager and processor for Linux (Like say, Adobe Lightroom)? No.
    - Something easy to use for creating good looking family photo albums for printing? No.
    - Decent priced PDF editor for filling in PDF files? No. (sorry, I am not buying Acrobat for that).
    - Does my kick-ass Lenovo work laptop running certified RHEL has the fan on at all times? Yes.

    If I went out of my way to find sort-of-good-enough alternatives for these things, could I do it? Probably.

    Do I want to spend my time doing that? No.

    The question on my mind right now, is which configuration of the new Retina MacBook Pro to order.

  • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:39PM (#40457753)

    I guess it depends on what you mean by "competitive". For me, KDE used to be the best desktop experience available, under any OS. That changed with the 4.x series -- now KDE has degraded to the point where it is not substantially better than Windows or Mac. So in my view, KDE has indeed become less competitive.

  • by causality ( 777677 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:47PM (#40457943)

    Linux desktops were in my experience never competitive because they require too much technical knowledge. That is an obstacle easily overcome by technical types, but *not* the majority of the user population.

    Am I the only one who doesn't see that as a problem?

    Average users who don't want to learn new things about their systems are already well represented. They have several good options. What's so wrong with an OS for those who like learning and want to understand how the system works?

    As a long-time Linux user, why would I feel a need for the masses to join me? I'm fine with people choosing what suits them best. I don't need them to choose what I choose. I like the choices I made in a way that doesn't depend on what someone else does.

    Linux already has what it needs: enough of a userbase that there is active development and the attention of various companies which can contribute. I don't want it to become so thoroughly obscure as to lose that, because that is a good thing. I for one feel no need to "beat Microsoft", as though popularity indicated quality. Anyone who has seriously considered that question has already observed that it frequently indicates the opposite.

    Why does Linux need tons of non-technical users who are unlikely to appreciate and understand the Open Source ethic? So that companies will include Linux drivers by default with hardware you buy? I've personally never had problems getting hardware to work, but then the correct way to do this is to match the hardware to the OS. Doing that, I found I had a very wide selection of hardware covering a large range of prices and capabilities. If that's what drives the desire to "go mainstream" more than Linux already has, it seems designed to solve what is not actually a problem. If that's not what drives this urge, then what does?

  • by BlackCreek ( 1004083 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:49PM (#40457981)

    IMHO Most people could care less about a desktop's work flow. If it works in *some way* you learn that and get over it. The reason people have computers is to run programs in it.

    For one, loads of people need MS Word. Not OpenOffice (or whatever is the new name for it). My sister (pro-photograph) needs Photoshop, not the fscking Gimp. You can argue they /truly need/ it. But one way or another, why should they run an OS that lacks they prefered applications, when they run one that has?

    If Linux doesn't have the programs you need or programs which are `good enough for your needs`, and Windows7 or OSX have them. Linux has great browsers, but great applications are really far and few in between.

  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @05:01PM (#40458161)
    That OS X has a UNIX console is one of its strengths when talking about UNIX professionals moving to OS X so I don't know why you're holding it up as a negative.

    I have used OS X as a Linux Administrator before I missed 2 things that made me get a Linux box at work - middle-click paste and kde io-slaves (fish:// in Kate, so really I missed Kate). However, I never considered OS X 'crippled to the point of being not useful.' Assuming you're not just trolling, what exactly was wrong with OS X for you.
  • by geek ( 5680 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @05:10PM (#40458279)

    It's also in perpetual beta. They've been bragging about E17 since the 90's. Enlightenment is going nowhere fast.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @05:17PM (#40458397) Homepage

    My KDE desktop worked great "out of the box". No tinkering required. However, tinkering is an option if you want to take that road.

    No, tinkering is what you end up with when things don't work as expected. Small things like my side mouse buttons not working, or the wifi actually being supported but requiring a very bleeding edge kernel, the sound volume resetting to 0 on every reboot, the upgrade process failing and all sorts of little shitty things I've had to deal with. And the KDE launch bar has crashed on me more times than Windows explorer has. And I've done the distro/version/reinstall merry-go-round as people insist it must be my borked distro/version/install that is the problem only to find it's a great waste of time as they all have different bugs. At best you solved one bug and got one new, at worst it solved nothing and gave you two more.

    I still hear that now, that the next version that came six months after I left for Windows 7 fixed everything and now it's all good. Except I heard that being repeated 6-7 times for the 3.5 years I ran Linux and it was never true, why should I believe it now? It's been cried wolf too many times for me to believe in. I'm not sure I like where Windows and OS X is going, last time I switched from Windows XP to Linux over Vista. But this time I'm not switching again, it's more the "You can wipe Win7 from my computer over my cold, dead body" style. And hope that somebody comes to their senses, but I'm not betting on it being the OSS crowd. I am considering Android though, but it's not exactly run by the community.

  • by causality ( 777677 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @05:29PM (#40458563)

    That OS X has a UNIX console is one of its strengths when talking about UNIX professionals moving to OS X so I don't know why you're holding it up as a negative. I have used OS X as a Linux Administrator before I missed 2 things that made me get a Linux box at work - middle-click paste and kde io-slaves (fish:// in Kate, so really I missed Kate). However, I never considered OS X 'crippled to the point of being not useful.' Assuming you're not just trolling, what exactly was wrong with OS X for you.

    I don't personally consider OSX to be crippled. I do wonder one thing, though.

    As someone very satisfied with Linux, what would OSX offer me? Any "Unix professional" can handle Linux. This isn't someone who is afraid of the command line, or of making technical decisions. That alone destroys most of the appeal of OSX (a system that has worked beautifully for several non-techies I know who didn't want to deal with those things). For me, moving to OSX would mean gaining nothing I don't already have, plus having to pay a premium for it. I also very much value software freedom as implemented by the GPL, and I don't believe Apple is willing to negotiate on that one.

    What would possibly make me consider OSX? I assume I am well outside of their target market, but I am willing to consider your answer.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @05:34PM (#40458627) Homepage

    That's not "keeping it going". That's tinkering.

    If you don't bother to know what you are buying, you can end up with a lemon. The fact that you are running Windows doesn't alter this. Stuff still needs to be fit for your purposes, reliable, and fast enough.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @05:44PM (#40458801) Homepage

    The GUI's not having all of the options is not a problem limited to Linux. A cursory search of enabling TRIM in Windows and MacOS quickly led me to references for command line tools.

    The last time I looked into enabling GPU video decoding in Windows, the instructions weren't for the faint of heart either.

    Everyone assumes that there's never any problems with Windows or even MacOS and it's all some idealistic fantasy. It isn't necessarily.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @05:59PM (#40459013) Journal

    It made sense on 15" monitor fifteen years ago. Today, not so much, because after you slam your mouse all the way up and make a selection, you then need to bring it back to the document window you were working with, and it's suddenly that much further away.

  • by countach ( 534280 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @06:30PM (#40459425)

    I can tell you why I gave up on Linux. I used it for a really long time, starting from kernel 1.0.

    1. Breakage. I got sick of every software update from Redhat or Debian or whatever arbitrarily breaking a bunch of stuff. You might have spent a whole day figuring out how to get printing to work with your printer etc, then they'd swap to a new version of lpd or something and you'd have to start again. Even for a tinkerer, this eventually gets old. The big vendors do better in smoothing things over with upgrade paths.

    2. Hardware support. Shopping for hardware is exhausting when you've got to spend days of research trying to figure out what hardware works, and even then you make mistakes, and/or are disappointed when it doesn't really work right. This problem is even more acute with the general trend towards laptops.

    3. Speed of change. Often free software just evolves too quickly in directions that are questionable. I haven't followed KDE for a long time, but I'm hearing voices that this happened with KDE. Just when you learn some software and come to deal with it, the whole thing changes completely from under you. Yes of course, the big vendors do this too, but nowhere near as often, and not as arbitrarily.

    4. KDE vs Gnome. I've never bought the "choice is good" mantra. Linux is too small to support 2 different environments. Any enthusiasm I had for developing for Linux was squashed by the continual doubt in my mind about which environment I should develop for, or which one would survive. I'm surprised one or the other hasn't died by now. Having an overlord to make tough decisions in this area would be good IMHO.

    I think free software ws always at its strongest when it is copying an already existing design, like the kernel itself. When it goes its own way, with hundreds of developers, it can lose its cohesiveness. I think without a corporate benefactor to pay for a lot of development, it would be better off copying OSX. Not because OSX is the last word in OS but because at least it is well thought out, and lots of people know how to use it.

  • by sirwired ( 27582 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @06:34PM (#40459471)

    My computer is a tool. I have no desire to spend any intellectual energy whatsoever in making my computer work. I have work to do, both at work and at home, and I would prefer my computer simply never stand in the way of getting that work done. (At work, my job is protocol-level network equipment diagnostics, at home it's your typical surf, e-mail, light office work, games, etc.)

    Just like I am mostly ignorant of the metallurgy and exact mechanical parts of the torque wrench I used to change out my brakes today, I have no need nor desire to understand the inner workings of my operating system. I understand the knowledge I require to do my job, just as I understand how brake calipers, pads, fluid, and rotors interact to stop my car. Knowing the secrets of torque wrench construction or OS operation is not something I have or want. While knowledge is a good thing, I have limited hours in my day, and do not have time to learn everything.

    To be blunt, I have better things to do with my time than to use it making my computer work properly. I spend all day, every work day, making enterprise computer equipment work, and I do not want to dedicate any resources there, or at home, making my personal computers work properly also. For all its many faults, Windows works well enough to get my jobs done. Linux, with the tweaking, endless GUI "wars" (HOW long has the Gnome vs. KDE thing been going on?), driver morass, and stacks 'o Googling required for general operations, does not. The cheap Windows laptop I'm typing this on has never required more than occasional reboots for updates or crankiness. It has not required one iota of tweaking or a single download of some obscure driver or utility, nor the editing of a single configuration file, to make it work.

    There is nothing wrong whatsoever to wanting something to "just work." Knowing HOW it works can be a valuable and enlightening process (there is a reason I have a degree in Computer Engineering, and I DO largely know how it works on a low level), but it should never be required, unless it is your job.

  • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:02PM (#40459837)

    Don't worry. We'll get our chance to ridicule Mac users when Apple does something stupid with OS X. The lack of software freedom will bite them eventually.

    LOL! Yeah you just keep thinking that, it's been well over 2 decades and even the significantly more locked down Microsoft Windows still hasn't done anything that has caused its users to abandon it in favor of free OSes. If through all that unloved Microsoft has done isn't biting anyone in the ass hard enough to change then I don't see it happening to Apple either.
    You can keep trumpeting software freedom and that the YOTLD is coming, but i'm certainly not seeing evidence of change, in fact the popularity of iOS suggests the opposite is true.

  • by Alex Belits ( 437 ) * on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @07:03PM (#40459839) Homepage

    For one, loads of people need MS Word. Not OpenOffice (or whatever is the new name for it). My sister (pro-photograph) needs Photoshop, not the fscking Gimp. You can argue they /truly need/ it. But one way or another, why should they run an OS that lacks they prefered applications, when they run one that has?

    That's a problem with ADVERTISEMENT. People use whatever they hear about all the time.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @09:50PM (#40461761)

    As a long-time Linux user, why would I feel a need for the masses to join me?

    Because it is a hell of a lot easier to draw money and talent to the development of client applications --- programs ---- that have a reasonable prospect of running on the systems used by 99% of their potential market.

  • Re:Love KDE (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DeadS0ul ( 784783 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @10:25PM (#40462121)
    KDE is my favorite. It's configurable and lets me set up my desktop the way I want. When I switched to dual monitors it was easy to configure a new task bar and menu bar at the top of the screen. The apps are great. Amarok kicks ass, Digikam is awesome, I can still get on irc easily with konversation, or have chats with anyone on facebook or msn etc, browse, email, torrent, everything. I'm also happy with the progress they're making on the cloud front with owncloud ... best desktop ever.
  • by dudpixel ( 1429789 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @11:39PM (#40462867)

    You could've just shortened it to this:

    I've never bought the "choice is good" mantra.

    and that is why a mac is what you need.

    Great for people who don't want choices, but it sucks for those who do.

  • by walshy007 ( 906710 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:23AM (#40463699)

    When the choice is between open and better, the latter will always win.

    #define "better", to me, kde is far more functional than os x, I recognize others don't think the same but they likely aren't using it in a similar fashion as to what I am. Without criteria defined there is no such thing as "better".

    To some users, windows has better usability for them than os x because different is seen as unwanted. Familiarity is weighted into it. I imagine this mostly comes from people adjusting their workflow to that which their present environment allows, once you have it fine-tuned people rarely wish to change.

    My usage of UI is quite simple, I want to be able to hit alt-f2 and type a program name to run it, and have a bar at the bottom for quick selection of the various windows I have open. My entire workflow never uses a double click ever even in file managing situations with konqueror. Once you run single click for all double click seems awkward and superfluous. Do others have different needs than I? of course, but I would hardly call my UI preferences "worse" than others.

    Long story short, to some people, OS X has a crappy interface, to some, windows has a crappy interface. All depends on your criteria and means of working.

  • by BanHammor ( 2587175 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @02:04AM (#40463921)
    Frankly saying, yes, Windows is the lowest common denominator, everything works under it. But don't you dare say that it doesn't suck. DLink WIFI adapters suck a magnitude more under Windows because of the unstable user interface. Your electric shaver may require a kitchen sink of a driver to work. Non-UVC cameras under Win7 are a nightmare. I have kind of determined that, if something works without much hassle in Linux, it probably works better in Windows too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @05:03AM (#40464859)

    For me, Windows requires far more tinkering than Linux (yes, with KDE as win manager). Both during install and simple day-to-day maintenance.

    - My drawing tablet acted was very wonky without doing some really obscure registry editing. Sketching short strokes rapidly would cause its input to stutter, making it completely unusable. Not so under LInux, where it worked out of the box. Without digging out an old forgotten disc somewhere or digging through some company's stupidly designed site in search of the drivers.

    - Tethering my phone required installing some awful crapware manager program, that pops up a tonne of useless little notifications and insists on starting every time I start the computer. Under Linux, I just plugged in my phone and it was automatically detected as a 3G modem and worked flawlessly after selecting my operator.

    - More generally, when buying a new peripheral, it's always a fucking inconvenience under Windows, with having to install drivers from disc or by download, crapware manager programs, non-standard interfaces, yet another icon in the tray, and so on. Meanwhile, most of the time things just work for me under Linux, using the window manager default means of doing so (cameras and phones appearing more or less like mass storage devices even when their idiot manufacturer designed them otherwise, for instance). Sure, I spend a bit of time before buying things to make sure they work, but I spend a lot longer researching their other capabilities, price, performance, and so on. The compatibility research time is insignificant compared to the overall research time.

    - Keeping software up to date is a pain in Windows. Sure, many third party program run some kind of update manager/service, but every time you start the computer every last one pops up and shouts at you. Or else they do so when you launch the program. Then there's the host of applications that don't update at all, except manually. This situation is nowhere near comparable to a package manager, it's just so retardedly behind. (Some of MS's own software and a few drivers do a better job here, allowing themselves to be kept up to date by Windows Update. But then, Windows Update is really obnoxious in and of itself, nagging at you to restart all the time or even outright restarting without asking permission -- yes, that has happened on multiple occasions, once even while I was in the middle of a bloody game!).

    - Considerably more frequent crashes, and much "harder" ones at that. I can't recall when last I had to restart my under Linux due to a crash, but I can recall when I had to with Windows. This is quite consistent across the computers I use (two at work and two at home, of which three either dual boot or run Windows in a VM).

    And don't get me started on the stupid UI. No virtual desktops. Can't mouse scroll in a window without giving it focus. Absolutely horrible command line. No tabs or split views in default file manager. Only brings out the top window of an application group if clicked in the taskbar (the reason I clicked the grouped icon was because I wanted the damn group, not whichever one happened to have focus last). I can go on, but I think I've made my point.

    Though in the end, it is just as anecdotal as yours, and probably won't convince anyone of anything anyway.

  • by jeremyp ( 130771 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:07AM (#40465717) Homepage Journal

    I've never understood how anybody thinks focus follow could possibly be a good idea. I like it to be me that chooses the window I am working in and I want it to stay that way until I make a positive decision to work in a different window. The idea that this should be done by positioning the mouse pointer in the window you are working in is totally brain dead.

    Firstly, it means the mouse pointer has to be obscuring part of the window you are most probably looking at. Secondly, the last thing I want is for my keyboard events to accidentally be sent to the wrong window just because I - or somebody else - jogged the mouse.

    There's a reason neither of the popular desk tops use focus follow: it's because most people don't want it.

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.