Where do you want Linux to go today? Brian Proffitt maintains
that the Linux desktop isn't dead, but it's ensnared in conflicting
visions and the occasional misplaced need to match Microsoft
feature for feature while forgetting the value of incremental gains
in basic end-user functionality.
"...The question I put to you is this: should Linux try
to make a move on the desktop?
If you want my answer, and I am assuming you do since you're
reading this, I say let's go for it. With some caveats. The desktop
in Linux is clearly the area of technology that most wants to be
like Windows when it grows up. Gotta have a cool file manager,
gotta get that office suite and integrated mail client. Don't get
me wrong, these would be handy tools to have on my Linux machine.
But perhaps we should not try to catch up with their Windows
counterparts in one fell swoop. We should push functionality over
aesthetics. Tools over interface.
I submit Opera 5 for Linux as a recent example. The interface
did not significantly change during the beta trials and yet some of
the functionality and stability was problematic right up to Beta 8.
Actually past that. I had some issues getting my printer to work
with a new Red Hat 7.1 installation when I reviewed Opera last week
and so could not test the printer functions of that browser. I
found out later that there were still--still!--printer problems