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Article Watch: Linux Desktop Development too slow? December 23, 2006

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in Article Watch, Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Linux.

I read this article recently, and I must admit that it did shake a little of my pro-Linux optimism. Then I read the counter counter article, and I was passified… a little.

In short, the Linux Desktop Buble Burst article argues that Linux Desktop development, especially evident in KDE and GNOME is too slow, and lacks vision, especially in comparison with Macs and Windows. The article ends by saying, “The Linux desktop world will not have any answers ready to Microsoft’s and Apple’s big releases for at least the coming two years. Has the desktop Linux bubble burst? I would not go as far as saying that; however, it is certainly about to, and unless the KDE and GNOME team get a move on, it will do so shortly.”

In contrast, the Counter Article argues that Linux Desktops are flourishing. And to support his claim, the author points to SLED, Fedora and Mepis as fine examples as Linux Desktops. The author mainly says that in terms of looks/stability and even interoperability, Linux Desktops have been doing better than they have ever done before.

Of course the second (counter) article views the ‘problem’ differently. For the author, the growth of the Linux Desktop is seen in the finished distribution. Ie. SLED 10’s desktop is the test, not KDE or GNOME. And I guess, that is correct. The fact that Microsoft Vista and the Mac, are complete Distro’s the comparison must be made between Distributions, and not Desktop Managers.  Yet the author does not address the author concerns raised by the first author (not that he needs to do). Ie. Is KDE 4 and GNOME 3 going to be able to match the eye candy and stability of OS X and Vista?

Maybe/Maybe not, I guess. But the second author rightly says, at least, that the real comparison must be between SLED etc and Vista and not KDE and Vista.

On a further not, honestly, while I know I need not ever question the commitment of Linux developers, nor do I need to fear for the commercial (read general acceptance) of Linux (meaning, that is an agenda of a few, not all),  still it is sad to read such an article (the first one) because I really am rooting for Linux (even Linux Desktop) success. And so, when I see such stories, it just makes me wish that more developers were on Linux, and more companies were supporting the Linux movement.

However, to expect profit-making organisations to support non-profit goals is a contradiction best left to a Utopian (perfect) world, right?



1. Yog Barbarian - January 3, 2007

Recently I tried some linux distros and I think there is progress.

What I dont like is the poor usage of the hardware, I have good NV videocard, 19” monitor …etc.
All distros by default used driver “nv” and best monitor frequency(vertical) was 85Hz. OK, I can “fix” manualy the frequency by editing the config files and make it 100…

But still the window management is slow and clumsy.
If you have many windows open and try to drag one – you can see CPU usage 10-20% by Xorg…

I tried Gnome, KDE3, XFCE. None of them can come close to Win XP…and Win XP soon will be deprecated and replaced by Vista.

video GF-EN7300GT, ram 1G, cpu K8 2.4G

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