like, definitvely, until the *nix scene collectively starts giving as large a shit about design as they have about supporting 1048 CPUs, desktop linux will never, ever, ever be a thing. it's equally important to the success of software as like, developing software

@angel when you say design do you mean aesthetics of desktop environments? because the design of the OS itself is really nicely layed out (filesystem, permission system, easy configuration of services/programs if you know the file, etc).
is design not development?

@7even i think there are some distros that have very pretty desktops but graphic design is not the end all of design otherwise i'd use os x mountain lion exclusively. UX, usability, discoverability, etc.

as for design v development - that's not an unfair position to say they're the same, but i'm talking about "planning what the software is" vs "planning how it is implemented".

@7even don norman - an old timer unix nerd himself, and former bigwig apple designer - wrote the bok on being frustrated with unix's design... literally. i just found out today and was surprised because i'd been wondering what he'd say about all this. (it's called the unix hater's handbook)

small illogical things add up. why the hell are commands given names like grep and awk? how about package management before things like apt-get?

@angel Thing is, those three design points are all highly dependent on relevant experience. A grandma and a sysadmin clearly have different ideas about them; so let grandma have her easy to use windows and the sysadmin their highly configurable gnu/linux. Its all about learning curves and their standards.
What would you name them? . And the pkg and ports managment tools in FreeBSD has been around since version 2.0 which was late 94 when the internet was becoming more feasable and able to use remote repositories in 99 when it was. (and it predates apt by 4 years. dpkg released in 95 but it wasnt really ready until 1.1 in 96 with the whole ELF system).
I dont know a whole lot about the UNIX systems that preceeded these, but i think it went: compile program and all very specific dependencies and link it to an executable probably in /usr/local/ => makefiles for easier compilation as long as you have dependencies => autoconf scripts to make compilation even easier by reading your OS configuration => simple package managment to control file localtions and ability to use binaries instead of compiling => full dependency checking the whole system/updating/deletion through metadeta and such.

@7even if your response is, in essence, "linux on the desktop doesn't *need* to be A Thing", then i can't really argue with that (although i still won't call vim or bash Well Designed just because they offer a lot of power). that mainly means you aren't really who i was addressing.

also, i just plain don't think dpkg is as good as apt-get.

@angel im not saying that, im saying it already is this mystical "thing" as it does what its designed to do and is therefore well designed (or is this thingness based on popularity or ? because if your argument is if its popular it must be well designed then i cant argue with that except point to the blindness of large groups). To put it back in your original terms, do you really value the 'thingness' of popular design more than cool old hardware/cpu support?
never said it was, but if we're throwing out opinions; pkg is the best. the autoremove and database backups alone are wew

@7even whether something is "A Thing" or not is much the same as whether or not fetch happens in mean girls. like, bing is real, people use it, but is "binging" a thing? is bing A Thing? no.

my argument is absolutely not "if it's well designed, it must be popular", nor did i ever argue anything *close* to that. if it's poorly designed, it will be *harder* for it to become popular, regardless of how much that didn't stop, say, ie6.

@7even sublime text is just better designed software than vim - and i'm confident in saying that not just because of "people who are used to regular desktops can get it easily" (read: most of the planet), but because even experienced unix/vim users can get frustrated and annoyed with its more obscure choices, with things like vimscript, etc. design is not just graphic design. user experience is not just how pretty the file menu is.

@7even regardless - if you're saying "let grandma have windows and let sysadmins have debian", that is basically, saying "destkop linux does not need to be A Thing"

@angel No, for the second time, im not saying that. Im saying this thingness doesnt really relate to good design. Theres too much disparity in the experience and therefore mandatory requirements of the desktop for it to be designed as both a user friendly and powerful tool for the majority in order to reach your mean girls type of thing.

>if it's poorly designed, it will be *harder* for it to become popular
Dont forget people are more afraid of change and the unknown than bad design. Even if it ends up being good for them the adoption of'weird' new things will be slow as they were still afraid of the difficulty of learning from the risk. ie Ergonomic designs not made a thing yet theyre better designed.

@7even users fundamentally don't want to think about how to use the software to make it do what they want. sometimes, that's unavoidable (shell scripts are exhibit a) - and the users willing to learn those kinds of things are willing to accept that. sometimes it's *entirely* avoidable, like GIMP vs photoshop.

@7even to add - i don't think windows is well designed either. i think a lot of things about it are *very* unintuitive to people new to computing. that's why my mum is committed to macOS now. the attention apple pays to design is the sole reason it has its niche in the desktop market

@lucy if that's the case i got *really* confused somewhere

@angel why?
apt connects to repository servers and downloads new *.deb files. dpkg installs *.deb files (downloaded by apt).

@angel what do you mean by "a thing". There are plenty of definitions by which it definitely is a thing.

That said, I'm pretty sure what you're getting at: a standard environment "everybody" are using.

I don't think that'll ever be a thing. I think the use of desktop computers will go back to what it was in the 80's (only professionals used them) and most people will be using mobile operating systems.

The biggest one of those happens to be Linux, so it's already a thing?

@loke it's hard to define "A Thing" but it's telling that most major commercial software straight up doesn't bother to release versions for linux systems (and given distro incompatibilities, who can blame 'em)?.

that said, a good metric for whether desktop linux is a Thing or not is simple - how many non experts do you know who know about it for reasons outside of say, xkcd, who want it?

@loke mac has 8 percent market share in the desktop scene. if linux can manage 5, including being consistently sold as an onboard operating system outside of specialized sellers and Dell's US only scheme without being dropped for being unprofitable by Asus, then i think it's fair to say desktop linux is getting somewhere, but still not a Thing(TM).

@loke as for your prediction about desktop trends... i very, very, very much doubt it. i'll be shocked. not if laptops become the norm though at the very least, but given the intense reliance on windows by business sectors, it's hard to imagine that going somewhere

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