Silence? Silence is what I hear?

Funny how most Linux desktop developers haven’t editorialized over Apple’s x86 switch. They are unusually silent (not a single post about it on planetkde, and only 2 ‘simple mentions’ on planetgnome) even after my, Dvorak’s and eWEEK’s editorials over the repercussions of the switch. I think that they understand what this Apple switch means for their incoherant/buggy/bloated X11 desktop environments (mostly KDE, secondly Gnome) and it obviously hurts them. Linux servers won’t see a decline in adoption because of Apple but desktops will.

So far, Linux enjoyed the hype of the “most usable Unix-like desktop for x86”. Now, Apple is going to get that title off their hands, overnight.

Linux desktop devs had at least 5 years to make it right (since Linux got on the uber-hype bus in 1999 and lots of money and support got thrown in it), and yet they failed for the most part. Also, no distribution had the balls to fork SOME parts of Gnome/KDE (when it needed to do so) and BUILD around it the way Apple did with FreeBSD/Mach. Instead, they made minimal integration work between the desktop and the underlying Linux code, and simply recompiled on top the generic solutions of KDE/Gnome. They did not innovate and they did not took KDE/Gnome ONE STEP FURTHER (even if they had to fork a few libraries if the kde/gnome projects did not like their ideas). The biggest blame goes to these distributions, and secondly to the KDE/Gnome projects and their lack of real communication between them, the distributions and the kernel & X11 devs. They did not create an INTEGRATED solution, we still bang our heads to the wall recompiling the linux kernel just to make the damn Beagle work with inotify. We shouldn’t have to. Or, having Cairo integrated to GTK and not to X11, adding one more stupid incosistency and incohesion between the toolkits. Or, having Gnome not being able to decide (ever?) what its next generation language will be. It’s things like this, all over the place, that steal the glory of the Linux desktop. Commercial Linux desktop distributions did not get their act together to deliver the promise of the “linux hype”.

So, have Apple in your ass now, losers!

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