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The Linux UI future; more complex than ever

Jun 16, 2009, 19:01 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dj Walker-Morgan)

"Linux, the kernel and its immediate subsystems, has never been healthier and its openness has made it relatively easy for developers and manufacturers to get an operating system onto a new class of mobile devices. However, consider the two leading strains of mobile Linux; Android and Moblin. Both start with Linux at the core, but if you move up to the user interface, they diverge. Moving on with mobile Linux

"Moblin is the closest to typical desktop Linux. It uses the X Window system, so most common Linux applications can run. The user interface though, and this is the element that has won the plaudits, is unlike any previous Linux user interface. Optimised for the small screen, the Clutter UI uses simple, clean design lines to present multiple workspaces, called zones. Each zone displays a running application. The Moblin user interface is impressive and unlike any desktop Linux environment, but it does maintain a good level of compatibility, hence the range of Moblin editions announced by Canonical, Xandros, Novell and others. There is a problem though in terms of perception; if someone is won over by the stylish Moblin user interface and thinks "What about Linux on the desktop", they won't find a similar desktop Linux experience off-the-shelf, from any of the major distributions.'

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