Mac lovers hurting the Linux desktop?

Could a group of Mac addicts hurt the Linux desktop morre than it's already hurting itself? Doubtful.

I had to laugh when I read The Register's title of a recent post:

Mono man accuses Mac Gtk+ fans of jeopardizing Linux desktop

Umm...I don't think the Linux desktop faces any real threat from a group of developers advocating for change. I'm not sure a group of Mac fans could possibly do the Linux desktop more harm than it has done to itself. The Linux desktop is already in serious jeopardy, and it has nothing to do with which developer kit people use to build it, or changes to Gtk+. Miguel de Icaza disagrees:

According to de Icaza, developers working for Gtk+ specialist Imendio pushing the proposal have "given up on the Linux/Gnome desktop." Having switched to Apple's OS X as their main desktop, they are focused on source code compiling to Macs with some changes, instead.

The Linux desktop isn't broken, per se, but it needs a shot in the arm. Miguel is concerned about what a shift away from Gtk+ will do to the ISV ecosystem. What ecosystem? Novell, Red Hat, and...?

Miguel's larger point - "Let's all stick together because it's hard enough work as it is" - is a valid one. And he's right that the communication/process needs to be better before heading off in a markedly new direction. I'm just not sure he's choosing to rally around the right flag. The Linux desktop community needs to do something different. Perhaps it's this?

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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