Okay, lets begin with a little introduction.
Who Is This Guy?
I am a GNU/Linux user from Finland and started experimenting with linux in 2006 with Ubuntu 6.06. Not everything worked out of the box in those days but I could immediately see the great potential in open source computing. Everything is transparent and if you don’t like the way your desktop behaves you can customize it, change to a different desktop environment or just use a window manager with additional components to add functionality. You can’t beat that kind of freedom!
Interest in open source has also taught me about sharing and freedom in general. That is also why I advocate The Venus Project and The Zeitgeist Movement. The direction they promote in general seems more reasonable than a society where people are basically money driven. I probably start another blog about that but…
…To the Point Already!
That is enough about me.
Linux desktop is changing and evolving (some conservative users might say it is devolving). There has never been as many choices than what we have now. We have the more familiar desktop environments (DEs) such as XFCE, LXDE and KDE. We also have interfaces that are willing to change the way we interact with our desktops, primarily GNOME Shell and Unity.
The new interfaces have been received as controversial and people have been jumping ships to more traditional environments. Are the new interfaces really worse? Are they taking freedom away from the users? Are they dumbing down the desktop experience? Is commercialization of Ubuntu and GNOME Shell for the good or bad? What is the right workflow or is there any? These are the questions that came into my mind when Ubuntu 11.04 came out with Unity and GNOME Shell was shipped in Fedora 15.
They say that progress is always faced with resistance and in the physical world that seems to be the case. Idea about the earth revolving around the sun was faced with criticism. The theory of evolution was just blasphemy and in some religious circles it still is even today. When people rallied against racism in the US their buses were burned and they were beat up. Even the fight for women’s rights was a struggle. These are some harsh examples but I believe you get the point. It is all about cognitive dissonance where old information contradicts the new. Even if the new information is perfectly logical it still won’t be accepted by the majority until time passes on.
Is this what the flame wars against new interfaces are all about or is it something else – such as common sense?
This blog is about examining the approaches used in new desktop environments and talking about the idealism of open source in general. This blog is a project I have wanted to start for a long time and I hope that in this way I can contribute to the Linux community in some way – at least give food for thought. This is also a good way to fine-tune my English skills.
I hope you liked reading my ramblings because there’s more to come. Here’s a little video to officially open this blog: