Interesting read on MacOS:

"People who spend their working day making use of free software (and in many cases even contributing or maintaining free software) won't run a free software OS because doing so would require them to compromise on things that they care about. Linux would give them the same terminals and web browser, but Linux's poorer multitouch handling is enough on its own to disrupt their workflow. Moving to Linux would slow them down."



Reading through this and the comment actually provides an interesting reflection of virtually everything that's wrong with desktop today. Example mjg59.dreamwidth.org/31714.htm :

"Apple and Microsoft have showed that the way to make progress is to pick something [...] and refine it. Free software makes one thing, and before it's finished throws it out and replaces it with something completely different, and then repeats the cycle. Nothing ever gets refined because nothing *can* be refined."

@z428 I've always felt our biggest asset is in fact our biggest failure; Choice.

How many text editors out there for example? No matter how passionately you defend lets say Leafpad the law of averages proves that it must be watered down by the very fact of the amount of work being done on alternatives. Imagine if all those awesome, talented people worked on just two or three offerings?

@dick_turpin @z428 Absent money, developers choose what to work on.

Sometimes this results in amazing software that no for-profit company could afford to release. Sometimes it results in 1,000 text editors.

It's fair to treat Microsoft and Apple as a single entity since they pay a bunch of people to work for them, but FOSS is a million or so people who have no reason to agree to top-down authority.

@dick_turpin Yes. That's what makes me wonder as well. I'm pretty sure @CharredStencil is right here - it's a million of people without any reason to agree upon shared goals. But unfortunately, people apparently also don't seem to see a reason to do so in aspects such as, well, sustainability or the desire to be a "serious competitor" to players such as Apple or Google. It's not the self-organizing, consensus-driven community some of us were hoping for. Maybe not anymore. Maybe it never was.


@z428 @dick_turpin "Scratching your own itch" seems to naturally work in the FOSS world.

Maybe that explains why we see a huge variety of programming languages, web servers, cloud infrastructure, etc. that are FOSS, but multitouch is not supported - The developers who write the most FOSS code probably don't use touchscreens much, but they do have day jobs running web servers.

One more thought...


@z428 @dick_turpin Specifically for multi-touch, that sounds like the kind of feature that cuts across every GUI application that could ever be installed on a computer. That is not something you can tackle with less than a committee of motivated people. Maybe Freedesktop will get around to it one day.


@z428 @dick_turpin There is an old Unix parable:

A novice asks Master Foo, "What is easier to write, an operating system kernel or an accounting suite?"

Master Foo replies that the operating system is much easier to write, because it only requires knowledge of the computer. The accounting suite requires knowledge of both the computer and of accounting.


@CharredStencil @z428 You've missed one other crucial variable. EVERYONE thinks they can do it better so you get fork after fork after fork just look how splintered Debian is. wiki.debian.org/Derivatives/Ce and the consider, for example, how splintered Ubuntu is?

Mark Shuttleworth's original dream was to have MS, Apple and Ubuntu and to be fair, he was probably right. In the normal world there would have matured a clear winner but that's the problem with Freedom there's nobody to say "Oi! No!" 🤣


@dick_turpin Valid point. Plus, still it seems very much easier to start something anew than to try to work in an existing project with an existing developers culture and a large, maybe "grown" / older codebase. Few people want to do that in their spare time, especially devs who suffer well from that in their day-to-day work... 😉


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