Fragmentation on the Linux Desktop (Is it Normal?) (Datamation)
Posted May 9, 2012 11:55 UTC (Wed) by pboddie
In reply to: Fragmentation on the Linux Desktop (Is it Normal?) (Datamation)
Parent article: Fragmentation on the Linux Desktop (Is it Normal?) (Datamation)
If you are convinced that RPM and dpkg could be merged into one thing and - here's the important part - support the distribution policies that rest on each of those solutions, then why not share the insights into how it could be done. Herding the maintainers in a room and shouting "Think! Think!" isn't going to do it.
I'm not saying that there couldn't be more sharing when it comes to competing solutions, but sharing is indeed the best way to bring projects together, instead of just getting people to abandon their work for something else. The latter approach is doomed to failure because the people who "jump ship" have to be really enthusiastic to work on another project, so you lose any momentum that their work had in their old project as they struggle to apply their work and knowledge to their new environment (and many of them will just give up and do something else, as seems to be the case with the KDE 3 to KDE 4 transition), and you'll always get a bunch of other people taking over that abandoned work, so you'll only end up shouting at a bunch of different people to "Stop doing that, you're killing Linux!"
What I think is missing from the Free Software desktop is the stamina to make a complete and coherent environment. Some people might call that attention to detail, but that label has been repurposed by the kind of people who regurgitate commentaries about Apple and who obsess about pixel counts, gradients, button placement, transition effects, and the like. The major environments have emulated Microsoft and Apple without questioning the quality of their inspirational material; poor design originating from Apple, particularly, is waved through because no-one dares to question the "accepted" quality of the work. People need to assess whether the interfaces really do their job, and not just in a number of narrow use-cases that potentially reflect the lifestyles and limited imaginations of the developers, before signing off on them.
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