Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Unix Envy

Author:Tim Moore
Posted:3/11/1999; 3:46:12 PM
Topic:Unix Envy
Msg #:3988 (In response to 3902)
Prev/Next:3987 / 3989

Let me add to this that Dave seems to be sending conflicting messages.

On the one hand, he's saying that Unix needs to standardize on a single desktop (or, more accurately, a single API).

On the other hand, he's saying that we Unix users need to embrace the heterogeny of the computing world, by being more accepting of Mac OS and Windows.

At the same time, he does have some important insight. The Unix community as a whole tends to show an arrogant face. This, of course, is not to say that all (or even most) Unix users are arrogant, just that there is a certain condescention easily apparent. Unix is old, and a lot of people suffer under the misconception that the old way of things must be the perfect way of doing things since it's worked this long. One of the reasons that the Unix GUI is so impoverished is that users seem to think that GUIs are more or less useless to advanced users. This attitude is understandable, given the awful state of UI design in the industry, but wrong.

I also agree that there should be a standard API for, well, everything. Having multiple widget sets really doesn't do anyone any good. I'm all for user customization, but the plethora of desktop environments actually restricts user choice. Furthormore, it creates a chore for developers, since they have to sort through the various options and choose the best one. I disagree that competition helps an open-development project, since the outside influences are coming and going all of the time. Really it just splits the effort, so that the paint program uses one and the MIDI synth uses the other and they look different and can't talk to each other.

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