11.07.13

Gemini version available ♊︎

UNIX and GNU/Linux: The More, The Merrier

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE at 6:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Why in the world of GNU/Linux and UNIX/BSD, having more diversity is a good thing, not a thing to be feared and rejected

IT HAS long been recognised that cooperation combined with some competition leads to faster development and elimination of weaker concepts/implementations. We see a lot of this in the aviation and automobile industries. Many planes and cars use components from the same suppliers, but they still integrate uniquely in order to compete. Their improvements and integration work set them apart. The Linux Foundation, a unifying force in the world of Linux (kernel) development, says that “Competition Among Open Source Projects Delivers Better Technology Faster” [1]. Remember there even within Linux (and UNIX) there is a lot of competition, e.g. between file systems. There are pros and cons to each candidate and weaker ones cease to be developed.

What people call “Linux” is much more than a kernel; in a practical sense they often refer to Linux/X/GNU/KDE/Mozilla or something along those lines. The abbreviation “Linux” for what would better be described as the Free/libre operating system (not necessarily just GPL-licensed and not necessarily desktops) is so deeply rooted in society that it would be virtually impossible to change now, but let’s look at the desktop layer for a moment, taking into account recent news.

“It is disheartening to see a lot of anger directed at those who conceptualise and then implement their own alternatives which they deem technically better.”GVFS, which causes me much trouble at work, has a new release available for testing [2] and the same goes for GNOME Notes [3]. Cinnamon [4] and Wayland [5] help show that Shell and X are no longer the only game in GNOME town, demonstrating diversity in other layers of the stack too (GNOME does not necessarily run on GNU/Linux, either). GNOME is probably the most widely used Free/livre desktop environment, but over time it becomes easy to see that it branches off in many directions.

When it comes to KDE, which has a lot of power [6] and is actively developed by a very large group [7,8], the same is true. KDE can run on almost any operating system, with varying degrees of compatibility and integration. It’s not just for desktops, either. That’s why KDE was pretty much renamed/rebranded a “Software Compilation” a few years ago. My wife uses KDE because KWin makes it easier to use and it is more visually pleasing. But it’s not for everyone.

Let’s not forget others players like Xfce [9] (usually considered third in popularity) and of course the plethora of tools which make the command line so powerful [10,11,12,13]. On servers where performance comes first, command-line tools are a must.

When the “Free Desktop” expands to other form factors, supports more desktop/interface environments, initialisation systems, file systems, graphical servers etc. we should expect it to evolve faster, not more slowly. The development community grows when diversity increases. It is disheartening to see a lot of anger directed at those who conceptualise and then implement their own alternatives which they deem technically better. It’s not the spirit of GNU to just slag off those who come up with new solutions, seeking to replace — based on merit — what’s currently popular among users. It is okay to criticise those who try to leverage software patents to ban or tax their competitors (like Novell did with Microsoft), but to berate companies for doing GNU/Linux their own way (under copyleft) is worse than a waste of time; it’s very counter-productive and it distracts from the real threats.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Competition Among Open Source Projects Delivers Better Technology Faster

    Today we’re pleased to announce that The Linux Foundation will host the Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA), the organization dedicated to education and advocacy for KVM. KVM is growing in popularity among businesses and open source communities like OpenStack with a 50 percent increase in deployments this year, according to IDC. We will work with OVA to extend education and advocacy that supports and helps advance the important work of this developer community.

  2. GVFS 1.19.1 Is Now Available for Testing

    The first development version towards the GVFS 1.20 application for the GNOME 3.12 desktop environment was announced a few days ago, introducing various fixes and improvements.

  3. The First Development Release of GNOME Notes 3.12 Arrives

    The first development release towards GNOME Notes 3.12, a nice and simple application designed to create, view, and edit notes on the GNOME 3.12 desktop environment, has been announced on October 27, 2013.

  4. Cinnamon Desktop: Breaks with GNOME, finds beefed-up Nemo

    The Cinnamon Desktop project recently released version 2, a major overhaul of the desktop environment that’s best known as the default option for Linux Mint’s flagship release.

  5. Running The Latest GNOME Wayland Shell On Fedora 20

    With the Fedora 20 beta coming up I decided to see where the latest Fedora 20 packages are now at for their support of Wayland and the GNOME Shell Wayland session. In particular, looking at whether the session is still buggy and how the XWayland performance is for Linux gaming.

  6. How-to configure keyboard layouts in KDE 4 (video)
  7. KDE Commit-Digest for 13th October 2013
  8. KDE Commit-Digest for 20th October 2013
  9. I installed the Whisker Menu for Xfce

    I just read about the Whisker Menu for Xfce at OMG! Ubuntu and installed it on my system from the Fedora repositories.

    While I’m happy with my panel on the left and the traditional Xfce Application Finder, I thought the Whisker Menu would be worth a try.

  10. Special laptop keys with Linux

    Laptops often have special keystroke combinations for certain functions or commands

  11. Bloated Audio Players? No Thanks!

    The term lightweight is a label attached to computer software which is relatively simpler or faster than its counterparts. Feature bloat is endemic in software especially commercial software. Often, the easiest way to persuade users to upgrade to the latest version is to add new spangly features. This happens with open source software (to a lesser degree), and open source music software is not immune to feature bloat. Music players can often seem to be designed for everything except actually listening to music with tons of bloat that you do not actually need.

  12. In Depth Look at Linux’s Archiving and Compression Commands
  13. Linux rsync command with practical examples
Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 21/05/2022: GitLab at Fedora and Pipewire in Next Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/05/2022: HP Teams up with System76

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 20, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, May 20, 2022



  4. Links 20/05/2022: Thunderbird Revenue Rising

    Links for the day



  5. Outsourcing Sites to Social Control Media is an Outdated Mindset in 2022

    Centralised or federated censorship/filtering platforms (also known as "social [control] media" [sic]) aren't the way forward; we're therefore a little surprised that Linux Weekly News (LWN) bothers with that languishing bandwagon all of a sudden



  6. Links 20/05/2022: Plasma's Latest Beta in Kubuntu 22.04, Kapow 1.6.0 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Turkey's Migration to Pardus Linux and LibreOffice Explained 2 Months Ago in LibrePlanet

    This talk by Hüseyin GÜÇ was uploaded under the title “Real world GNU/Linux story from Istanbul”



  8. In Turkey, Windows Market Share is Down to Almost Nothing, 'Linux' is About Two Thirds of the Connected Devices

    Watch this graph of Windows going down from around 99.5% to just 11.55% this month



  9. The Lies and Delusions of António Campinos

    Monopolies and American corporations (and their lawyers) are a priority for today's EPO, Europe's second-largest institution



  10. Links 20/05/2022: Fedora BIOS Boot SIG

    Links for the day



  11. Links 20/05/2022: Oracle Linux 8.6 and VMware Security Crisis

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 19, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 19, 2022



  13. Links 19/05/2022: Rust 1.61.0 and Lots of Security FUD

    Links for the day



  14. EPO Eating Its Own (and Robbing Its Own)

    António Campinos is lying to his staff and losing his temper when challenged about it; Like Benoît Battistelli, who ‘fixed’ this job for his banker buddy (despite a clear lack of qualifications and relevant experience), he’s just robbing the EPO’s staff (even pensioners!) and scrubbing the EPC for ill-gotten money, which is in turn illegally funneled into financialization schemes



  15. [Meme] EPO Budget Tanking?

    While the EPO‘s António Campinos incites people (and politicians) to break the law he’s also attacking, robbing, and lying to his own staff; thankfully, his staff isn’t gullible enough and some MEPs are sympathetic; soon to follow is a video and publication about the EPO’s systematic plunder (ETA midnight GMT)



  16. EPO.org (Official EPO Site) Continues to Promote Illegal Agenda and Exploit Ukraine for PR Stunts That Help Unaccountable Crooks

    epo.org has been turned into a non-stop propaganda machine of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos because the EPO routinely breaks the law; it’s rather tasteless that while Ukrainians are dying the EPO’s mob exploits Ukraine for PR purposes



  17. [Meme] EPO Applicants Unwittingly Fund the War on Ukraine

    As we’ve just shown, António Campinos is desperately trying to hide a massive EPO scandal



  18. EPO Virtue-Signalling on the Ukrainian Front

    António Campinos persists in attention-shifting dross and photo ops; none of that can change the verifiable facts about the EPO’s connections to Lukashenko’s 'science park' in Minsk



  19. Links 19/05/2022: PostgreSQL 15 Beta 1 and Plasma 5.25 Beta

    Links for the day



  20. A Libera.Chat Anniversary and Happy Birthday (Maybe the Last) to 'Leenode'

    What became known as the so-called ‘Leenode’ is a cautionary tale, but maybe it is also a blessing in disguise because IRC as a whole seem to have become a lot more decentralised (as everything should be)



  21. Links 19/05/2022: The Gradual Fall of Netflix/DRM

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 18, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 18, 2022



  23. Links 18/05/2022: Qt Company Loses Chief; OpenSUSE Leap Micro 5.2 and RHEL 9 Final

    Links for the day



  24. Jim Zemlin's Wife is Funded by Puppies (Microsoft)

    Jim Zemlin — like his wife — is bagging millions from Microsoft, but that’s clearly a conflict of interest for the Linux Foundation



  25. Links 18/05/2022: More Defections From WordPress to Gemini

    Links for the day



  26. Links 18/05/2022: PikaScript and cURL's Annual User Survey

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 17, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 17, 2022



  28. Phoronix: Microsoft and Phoronix Sponsor (and Close Microsoft Partner) AMD All Over the Place

    When you’re taking massive 'gifts' from AMD (and also some from Microsoft) maybe it’s not surprising that editorial decisions change somewhat…



  29. EPO Has No F-ing Oversight

    Earlier today SUEPO mentioned this new article demonstrating that EPO President António Campinos can very obviously and blatantly violate the Code of Conduct of the Office without facing any consequences; there are translations too, so the report is now available in four languages



  30. [Meme] Linux-Rejecting Foundation

    The Linux Foundation never really leads by example; by default, it uses proprietary software


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts