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Dividing the Linux desktop
Posted Jun 18, 2013 3:58 UTC (Tue) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953)
The beauty of open source is that if it does succeed its ideas will be incorporated elsewhere and if it doesn't users will simply flee and the software will die. Open source simply can't fragment like Unix did.
Posted Jun 18, 2013 11:02 UTC (Tue) by roc (subscriber, #30627)
Posted Jun 18, 2013 11:39 UTC (Tue) by micka (subscriber, #38720)
The only way to run an app that uses Wayland and an app that uses Mir side by side is to have both wayland and Mir run inside X.
If you don't want to do that, you need to write a Wayland-over-Mir or a Mir-over-Wayland, unless it is a Mir-over-X inside a XWayland.
Posted Jun 18, 2013 14:07 UTC (Tue) by drag (subscriber, #31333)
KDE applications would get all crappy looking and malfunction when ran on a Gnome desktop and visa versa. It took a huge amount of work and creating new windows standards to get them to work rather decently together.
Even then you had a shitload of problems with the Linux audio stack being basically completely broken with a mixture of OSS and Alsa with Artsd on it.
It's not like 'Oh X11 made it possible to run KDE and Gnome side by side'. That's utter bullshit and misleading. It took a huge amount of work and it works largely despite X11 rather then because of it.
It seems odd that all these people have forgotten how terrible things were and how a huge amount of work went into creating a desktop that people can just customize and throw together random shit and expect it to work half-way decently. I don't think it is worth it anymore because even after 30+ years of effort and standardization up the ying-yang it's still a huge pile of dung in terms of typical user experience and worse for application developers.
I think that going with a silo approach is probably much better.
Because if people actually care about portable desktop applications they are NOT going to give a shit about FreeBSD or Ubuntu or anything like that first. The first thing they are going to care about is Windows. Next thing they are going to care about is OS X.
And it's going to be a hell of a lot easier for them to deal with MIR Ubuntu application stack and a separate Fedora Wayland stack then 100,000 possible variations of X.Y.Z that the current Linux desktop represents.
Posted Jun 18, 2013 14:56 UTC (Tue) by micka (subscriber, #38720)
I didn't say it was nice. I said it was possible.
And it isn't possible at all if the programs use different displays.
Posted Jun 18, 2013 18:28 UTC (Tue) by Kayden (subscriber, #89093)
Yes, the look and feel wasn't terribly integrated, but that wasn't something I minded...the advantage of actually being able to use the one app I liked better in whichever environment I liked better trumped all of that.
So I think Jonathan has a good point. For a while it wasn't feasible to replace X, since, for example, it had intricate knowledge of every piece of display hardware. Since X was the only viable solution, everything ran on X - GNOME, KDE, TWM, you name it. Now that most of the hardware knowledge has been moved to kernel drivers, it's become viable to create alternatives to X - and multiple, incompatible alternatives.
Let's say, hypothetically, GNOME/GTK+ decided to use Mir and KDE/Qt decided to use Wayland. Without a bunch of extra work on interoperability, that would be the end of running GTK+ apps in KDE, or Qt apps in GNOME. I would be very sad to see that day.
Thankfully, it doesn't look like it's happening.
Posted Jun 19, 2013 11:53 UTC (Wed) by pboddie (guest, #50784)
Certainly, running KDE and GNOME things together was routine by the time Bluecurve came around in Red Hat Linux 8.0 back in 2002. Before then, maybe stuff didn't look much like each other in terms of styling, but you run that risk today as well.
Posted Jun 18, 2013 5:04 UTC (Tue) by b7j0c (subscriber, #27559)
go to the ubuntu homepage. search for the text "linux". not there.
ubuntu has never claimed to solve the linux desktop. they are making their own thing. you are free to use it or not.
i don't use unity but i am thrilled with what ubuntu is doing. there are already dozens of distros successfully failing to make desktop linux happen, why should one more join the race over the cliff? if ubuntu is wrong in choosing its own path then the community will leave them and they will ultimately wither. given that ubuntu is thriving, its clear that despite the vitriol, users are not rejecting their approach
Posted Jun 18, 2013 6:01 UTC (Tue) by geofft (subscriber, #59789)
It's a perfectly reasonable point of view to think that Ubuntu is generally doing a good job, but some things it's doing is misguided.
For instance, nobody else is doing anywhere near as competent a job of delivering desktop Linux based on Debian packages on a somewhat frequent release cycle with a good chance of working on most hardware. This by itself is enough to make me use Ubuntu.
I can still disagree with whether I think their desktop strategy, or their init system strategy, or whatever else, is correct. And they can be wrong about those things, and still succeed, provided they're doing a better job actually delivering a desktop Linux than anyone else out there -- which they are, despite it (allegedly) not being their primary focus.
So I don't think it's true at all that Ubuntu continuing to be so popular is evidence that everything they're doing is correct. It's only evidence that the major stuff is correct.
Posted Jun 18, 2013 10:54 UTC (Tue) by sorpigal (subscriber, #36106)
There are a variety of Ubuntu derivatives that could just as easily continue from a Debian base and provide this sort of thing. Mint seems like the prime example since they do this already.
Posted Jul 5, 2013 19:56 UTC (Fri) by The_Barbarian (subscriber, #48152)
Except, you know, Debian.
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