Year of Linux on the Desktop
Let's face it: The Year Of Linux On The Desktop will arrive finally, when the normal desktop computers are extinguished (in the sense that dinosaurs are). Then the last desktop user will probably still use some Linux Desktop. And then we'll see 100% Desktop coverage by Linux. Sad.
I for one have been using Linux almost exclusively on the Desktop for the last 13 years. Exceptions: Application for research funds (need to be done in Word, 100% correctly formatted), OrCAD (doesn't run on Linux, neither with Wine).
13 years of misery, going through a bunch of distros, and Desktop Environments (DEs), forth and back. Gnome, KDE, Xfce, Gnome, KDE. Why? Just to avoid the seriously crappy and limited UI offered from Redmond. No, for me it doesn't "work better".
Why? Why? Because Gnome had to be just for the sake of licensing. Then others had to be, and KDE had to go to 4.X, and Gnome from a great 1.4 to a miserable 2.X and, after it had been set back on track, a worse 3.X.
And we had others, Xfce, which also didn't fulfill all promises. At times I was just happy with fluxbox. And still, on the longer run it is just too frugal.
Why? Why? Because the promise of choices fragmented any chance to a Linux-On-The-Desktop year down to zero. Which is reflected by the applications:
- from an 'almost' MS-Office-like Suite named OpenOfice through KOffice, 'G-Office' (Abiword, and a very promising Gnumeric)
- to a horrendous number of CAD-programs. Multiple crews starting almost in parallel, and nobody reached the finish. KiCAD fails towards the end, and does not work as simulator. Qucs is partially much more handy (and clever) than OrCAD; but abandoned on the track.
You get the drill. In the end, forking and rewriting leaves us (that is those who want Linux on the desktop) with half-brewed choices, and mostly wasted efforts. My kudos to Linus, because the kernel is the only non-forked, non-rewritten software, and an enormous success. We could have had the same with DEs and applications, had all efforts been done in synergy instead of competition.