Nov 17, 2009

I'm so excited about the (Linux) World in motion

I follow a lot of "planet" feeds (mainly planet.ubuntu.com, planet.gnome.org). I like getting the information on the latest and greatest features of various apps I use daily. I get the feel that Linux (I mostly watch Ubuntu stuff) is getting more and more momentum with each release. I think that Gnome, Debian, Ubuntu are definitely going into the right direction and more and more people start to jump in. Really great to see this.

Also I'm always looking out for the next good improvement. For example each time I see the default Gnome font dialog I hate it. With a few 100 fonts installed its just not usable. I'm glad I recently found this http://live.gnome.org/Design/GTKFontDialog which aims to redesign the old dialog. I like to see work on these problematic but very basic areas of a OS a lot.

There are areas of Linux where I would say its ahead of other OS systems, other areas where its about equal and there are still areas where it's behind the others. The font dialog is such a area which reminds me more of Win95 than anything modern. Gnome this needs a fix badly!

An other thing is Gnome Shell. I'm still not convinced that the Gnome Shell project really brings the usability improvements it aims (or claims) for. I installed it and gave it a short try. Its not bad at all but still I don't see the benefit I get from this. It makes just switching and launching applications more time consuming but easier to follow (good for a newb). What it really achieves is to make the old broken system of virtual-desktops usable for the first time. I just ask myself if that's worth it or not ...

But it's not finished so I wait and hopefully on it's release it will be an improvement to the current Gnome Desktop. It wouldn't be bad especially from the diversification point of view. Gnome (and Linux) should not be too similar to other OS systems as with that people start to think that things should work exactly the same. They just don't understand that Linux is different and works differently. Thats also an issue I see that the new Gnome Shell addresses neatly. But still if there is no benefit from it people will simply not use it.

Oh and btw. I tried Moblin on my netbook as well. It uses a similar concept to Gnome Shell and is very usable for that type of UI. But I still wouldn't use it on a desktop.

Still I'm excited about the future of Linux, great times ahead :) ..