Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME
Posted Aug 10, 2012 22:59 UTC (Fri) by khim
In reply to: Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME
Parent article: Dricot: A freasy future for GNOME
By that line of thinking, GNOME wouldn't even exist. Wasn't it too late to create a free software desktop after Windows 98 had already "won"?
No, because it was not created for the desktop which Windows 98 won. That desktop was (and still is) untouchable for the likes of GNOME! Instead GNOME (and KDE) filled the void left by demise of the commercial UNIX. FreeBSD and Linux filled the void on "classic, text-based server" since GNU tools were already in wide use when said demise happened, but OPEN LOOK (later OpenWindows), CDE and others were not available - they were proprietary and their creators only freed them years later, when GNOME far surpassed them. Thus GNOME had small yet quite desperate group of potential users who adopted and supported it. From the beginning to now this group is the same. But it's shrinking now because people have a nice alternative: MacOS. Sure, they are not the target group, but if you want "Unix with nice GUI" then MacOS is quite usable replacement novadays.
This is where Lionel loses the track: some people care about freedom, but most people don't. At least they don't care enough to drop convenience of Android and/or iOS. Think about it: most Linux users use it not because it's free but because it's cheap (I'm talking about server and emdebbed here, obviously, not about desktop: on desktop, indeed, most users prefer Linux because it's free… and we all know how many of these are out there — one or two users out of hundred care about freedom, tops). If you want to attract users to GNOME-based tablet then you either need to offer something for cheap (but Android has this base covered) or you need something unique (and no, freedom is not a good selling point as shown above). Easiness of install??? Pushlease: no matter how easy you'll make it it'll be harder then pre-install anyway. We are comparing zero efforts here with non-zero efforts! Thus yes, easiness of installation is cool, but this only lowers the entry bar, you still need some attraction to get users. Because without users eventually your platform will lose developers, too, then it'll become a zombie.
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