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If you thought the Mac vs. Imagine the mind numbing tedium of listening to arguments about which type of kernel is more efficient. Popular wisdom seems to suggest that a microkernel is better — more portable and so on — but it can be a bit slower. For those who care, the difference is that microkernels are very small pieces of code, pushing out all services to external files, whilst monolithic kernels are large and, allegedly, clunky. Do we care? Hell no.

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Mobile gets a little more attention these days. But that seems to also be stuck in a rut. I meant experimental forks. Ubuntu foisting unity upon people was pretty damaging. Instead of creating a mess. With age some tasks have become harder for me. I used to be quite a whizz at dragging and dropping, and fine pointer precision. Now I'm a bit of a fat handed twat, and my eyes aren't that great. I really do need a 10ft display with simple controls.

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A lot of this is stuff is usability and ergonomics I ended up just going Blackbox or WindowMaker! And yes, there are likely some who will look with disdain on my choice as if it prevents me from having valid opinions on the other DEs or UIs. I use OSX at home mostly, and Windows at work. Experimental forks would be a safer way to go. It would satisfy everyone who wants to go and invent the future and do exciting new things which will likely revert to how they should be when real use of them occurs.

I imagine the "let's maintain the existing" team would shrink. Do you use a mouse or touchpad? My current window manager is pretty basic. But that's because I haven't been arsed to script up something, that would help me with window tasks. I tried double monitor for a while, but the main OSs sucked with the way they dealt with more than one.

I gave up in the end, so just use a couple of workspaces and window cycle mainly.

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Main drive is mostly a laptop. Pointer nub is too stiff, touchpad is okay - nothing fancy. There are dozens of us! But how do you see the push Canonical did with Ubuntu? As I remember, the sentiment was that they were going to make Linux usable and easy for the average user, instead of going after advanced users.

And IMHO they really succeeded in doing that, surely you're not saying that was all there before? Both my wife and roommate use ubuntu referbished laptops I supplied. Neither knows what a terminal is or how to use it. It just works tm. But even distros like Mepis or Knoppix were good pre-ubuntu. When hardware works out the box, everything is fine and dandy. As soon as it doesn't like with many OSs, it's a time waster, you loose your confidence with the entire project. Anything that is able to run a recent browser is good enough.

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If you look at the engineering workstation segment, there are companies with hundreds or thousands of seats pooling FlexLM licenses of very expensive software, namely for microelectronics design. Not prime time news, but not pocket change either. All things that non-technical consumers don't care to pay a dime for, but they usually buy shrink-wrapped software, even if on digital form. Fnoord on Jan 12, True, but it also boosts the non-traditional Linux desktop. Something like the Chromebook would be a flop 15 years ago.

I don't consider Chromebooks a Linux desktop, because normal people don't even know what is Crouton. Google can release a Chromebook without any access to Crouton, replaced the Linux kernel by something else, and no USA school buying Chromebooks would notice. Same applies to Android, specially after the Android 7 locked on linking to private shared objects. Yup, that was the exact time when I switched to Linux. KDE 3. Firefox called Firebird at the time also had the first release.

For webdev work, it was great. You could deploy websites to remote server without having to care about Windows vs Linux filesystem differences.

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The only real problem which you missed is the hardware. Hardware support on Linux wasn't really good these days.

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I had to buy a new printer and scanner and setting the CRT monitor to work at acceptable framerate took a lot of fiddling with Xorg config. You could drag and drop within a Xaw application, but not from a Xaw application to a Qt application. A lot of distros routinely shipped with like 5 windows managers, besides KDE and Gnome. There was a very brief period, between cca. Then everyone started having delusions of grandeur again, in an earlys-Unix manner, and things have been pretty much degrading ever since.

A development that's largely unsurprising between KDE's architecture astronautics and Gnome's see no feedback, speak no feedback, hear no feedback attitude that GTK, sadly, adopted for a pretty long time. The unpleasant consequence is, of course, the "app problem" you speak of. Two major rewrites later, they haven't re-accumulated this wealth of applications and some of the ones that they do ship or advertise today are practically abandoned or remnants from the KDE 3 days. Some of the developments have been outright catastrophic, like KMail, which was turned from a very useful mail client to something that borks in a gazillion unpredictable ways as soon as you try to configure more than one account.

Similar things are happening in Gnome land, where they've chased feature-parity with Gnome 2 for years as they've been scrambling to fix everything that wasn't wrong with it and the horde of bugs that ensued from these fixes. Which, in fact, is why they have three forks in the first place. Nowadays we have people trying to keep a KDE branch that hasn't been developed in almost ten years alive, and actively using it TDE.

That's because, for all its flashiness, Apple and design fetishism, the super-disruptive community of desktop developers has failed to develop anything that's convincingly better than what was available ten years ago. The Linux desktop today is far less fragmented, but that's because a most of the people who could fragment it by developing fragmenting applications have long given up and use Macs and b a lot of the traditional functions of a computer's desktop and applications have been eaten up by the web. There's little fragmentation to have when virtually all you use now is a web browser, the terminal and maybe a mail client.

Sadly, it never gathered much attention outside the former NeXTStep users crowd, save for a small resurgence of interest back OS X adoption soared and a lot of people began to actually like Cocoa. Which is quite a shame.

Seems Darling is still being developed as we "speak". The Github repo is showing commits as recently as 2 days ago. And it builds on Gnustep in an attempt at supporting OSX software running on top of Linux from what i can tell.

GNUStep is still being developed, much to my amazement, but somewhat slowly.