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Moving Toward a Single Linux UI? 441

Posted by timothy
from the everything-that-rises dept.
Anonymous writes "With the releases of Fedora 9, Hardy Heron and OpenSuSE 11 so close together, it's looking more than ever like an evolution to a common interface for major Linux distributions. Here's a compilation of screen shots and descriptions that make it appear to be the case. Would this be a good thing or a bad thing?" There are plenty of other options out there, of course, even considering only Linux distros that are based on Gnome and KDE, and plenty of wilder (or at least less common) desktops to choose from besides.
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Moving Toward a Single Linux UI?

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  • by kwabbles (259554) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:19PM (#23425588)
    80x25 white on black bash, baby.
  • Slackware? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MikeDawg (721537) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:21PM (#23425612) Homepage Journal
    Ouch, Slackware, never gettin' no respect. Slackware 12.1 was recently released as well.
  • by psychodelicacy (1170611) * <bstcbn@gmail.com> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:24PM (#23425634)

    I guess that if we're keen on getting more people into Linux, then some commonality across the major distros might be a good thing. On the other hand, it's not so great for the smaller distros if we get a kind of monolithic Linux which dominates the market and means that people are less willing to try something different.

    Still, there'll always be enough of us who want to use things because they're different - and because they are better at doing exactly what we want rather than being more generic, suit-everyone tools.

    • by mrbluze (1034940) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @07:10PM (#23426244) Journal

      On the other hand, it's not so great for the smaller distros if we get a kind of monolithic Linux which dominates the market and means that people are less willing to try something different.

      I hardly think it would stifle innovation (open licenses are so important in all of this). But it might make people think a little more carefully before innovating. That is, there will be yet greater emphasis on integration and interoperability with the other available applications.

      And if anything, the need for lightweight desktops and specialized linux distributions is growing with the accumulation of older computers and the advance of the second and third worlds to the computer age.

  • by jfbilodeau (931293) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:25PM (#23425648) Homepage
    I'm all for choice. True, that can make it a challenge for Linux adoption, but we all know what happens when a product becomes a defacto monopoly.

    I'm convinced that 'competition' between KDE and Gnome has only help to improve the quality of both interfaces. Furthermore, having Xfce, KDE, Gnome, etc, gives the user choices not just in the colour, but in the actual design and philosophy behind the UI. In other words, there is plenty of room to try out new and exiting idea that would be difficult would there be a single, monopolistic desktop UI.

    My $0.02 CAD.
    • by markdavis (642305) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:49PM (#23426002)
      Plus, KDE and Gnome are both getting quite bloated and complex. Sure, I use KDE on my main 3GB multicore desktop Linux machine, complete with all the Compiz thrills and wobbly transparency wow's. But they are completely unsuitable on my thin clients. IceWM to the rescue!

      Anyway, I agree with you that Gnome vs. KDE probably has improved both a lot. But there is no denying that it also holds back some types of application development. I don't know the answer, but just try to enjoy the ride.
      • But they are completely unsuitable on my thin clients.

        How thin are you talking? KDE 3.5 runs pretty good on my K6-3/333MHz laptop with 384MB of RAM, and it's actually fast on my Eee PC at 630MHz.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by markdavis (642305)
          Thin clients don't run applications on local machine, only X. Applications (including the window manager) run on the server. Typically, there is far too much RAM, CPU, and network overhead on the server to push full KDE environments to over 140 thin clients. Plus, trying to lock down and control KDE (like not allowing shell escapes, not allowing anything that would cause animation, etc) is FAR more difficult. For such uses, ICEwm is ideal.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:49PM (#23426016)
      I don't mind the different eye candy.

      What matters far more is standardising the way the distros handle other things so that HowTos, installation scripts/instructions for printers etc can be written once without a whole lot of "On Ubuntu do this, on Fedora do that" stuff. Things that would help a lot:
      *Pick one printer handling mechanism.
      *Pick one package manager.
      *Standardise one one usb/udev/pam.
      *Pick one wireless management policy. Hide madwifi/ndiswrapper etc.

      • But, some of the things make Ubuntu Ubuntu and Fedora Fedora. For example, having no root account by default makes Ubuntu different, it also makes it more secure then say Fedora which you use su to get to the root account. That will make scripting different because if it is Ubuntu you put sudo if it is Fedora you use su. Ubuntu is more likely to add more proprietary drivers for things to make them "just work", Fedora on the other hand prefers to use 100% free software and may make things a bit more complex
        • by beav007 (746004) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @09:21PM (#23427502) Journal

          But, some of the things make Ubuntu Ubuntu and Fedora Fedora. For example, having no root account by default makes Ubuntu different...
          Last time I checked, Ubuntu did have a root account, but the password hash is set to a single bang (!), which is impossible to match. Enabling the root account is as easy as changing the root password.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by penguinstorm (575341)
      You've acknowledged that this:

      > I'm all for choice.

      and this:

      > True, that can make it a challenge for Linux
      > adoption,

      are somewhat contradictory statements, which makes me impressed with your willingness to not make bold biased statements with little merit or grounding in reality.

      The "right" answer depends on your goals, and there's probably more than one right answer.
  • UI maturity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tastecicles (1153671) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:26PM (#23425676)
    The Gnome and KDE desktops are fantastic for mid-to-high-end machines, particularly when used with enhancements such as Beryl or Compiz/Fusion. For those still on Pentium I boxes or those who just want a more responsive experience, "flat" window managers such as Icewm or fvwm(?) do the job just lovely. They all have their own quirks and other ways of doing things (such as rclick application menus or Darwinian "docks" or even NT-like interfaces, but it's that kind of choice that draws me to Linux for pretty much everything. The simpler interfaces also make it easy for Grandma to use (ever tried administrating Vista? NIGHTMARE!) but there is always room for improvement. Come to think of it, you don't even need a GUI. The ultimate speedfreaks among us can use the command line for even more speed and not only that, even more control over applications.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thermian (1267986)
      I haven't used a gui in linux for years. Ok, three years. I really like Linux for programming and running processor intensive applications, but see no reason to use anything but the console for my work.
      Why hamper the performance of a decent Linux based system with a processor hogging gui?

      vim+gcc is a powerful combination, and doesn't benefit from a gui one jot, or even 0.5 of a jot.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bigstrat2003 (1058574) *

      ever tried administrating Vista? NIGHTMARE!
      I dispute this. What tasks did you find difficult to accomplish? I ask because I've had no problems whatsoever with Vista's UI (although I guess I could be said to have an advantage, since I've been using it as my main OS for over a year).
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Yeah, well I've been using it as my main OS for 5 years! At least, according to my resume, which I carefully prepared according to the job description.

    • UI choice (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jd (1658) <imipak@yaCOLAhoo.com minus caffeine> on Thursday May 15, 2008 @07:36PM (#23426512) Homepage Journal
      I'd have liked it if Fresco/Berlin had been able to sustain development. It died a while back, but looked like a serious contender for competing with X11. Of the X11 window managers and environments, I miss things like panning windows - a feature of OLVWM - where a desktop could be larger than the physical screen. Tiling physical screens with a desktop selector just isn't the same, especially when some applications force the windows to be oversized. It's a pain to flip desktops, rather than scroll. Likewise, I miss the Rooms concept, where desktops could themselves contain desktops. Heirarchical systems like that are a clean way of subdividing things.

      My main bone of contention with X11 is that it's not being developed seriously as a GUI interface for modern machines. It seems that most of the development is going into code cleanups (important), bugfixes (important) and other maintenance functions. But that's just it - this is all maintenance stuff. The tree needed the reorganization, the code needed to be more modular, etc - nobody is disputing that. On the other hand, threading is overdue and secure X11 channels are insanely overdue. The configuration file changes make things simpler, but it makes it harder to maximise the use of the monitor and graphics cards, even though it's easier (and safer) for the "standard" modes. Simplification is good, but any loss of capability is a regression.

      The console is good - and fast - for many tasks, and with the introduction of framebuffers some time back, is capable of many of the tasks people had to use GUIs for in the past. To make the best use of it, though, you really need GNU Screen, and Screen just isn't being maintained that much any more. Really, with framebuffer support and other graphics features for consoles being considered, some of the features of Screen might have to be moved into the kernel in order to function correctly.

      I don't use the option of serial-port consoles, so I'm not sure how capable those are these days. PCs are not in the same league as minicomputers or mainframes, so I doubt anybody is looking to hook up a couple of hundred VT220 terminals any time soon, but it is an interface and the underlying code for a terminal is independent of where that terminal is physically located. It should make no difference to Linux whether you are using the local keyboard/screen, a terminal on the end of a serial cable, or indeed a terminal on the end of a USB line.

      • Re:UI choice (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SirTalon42 (751509) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @09:28PM (#23427562)
        >My main bone of contention with X11 is that it's not being developed seriously as a GUI interface for modern machines.

        Ever heard of XCB (replaces Xlib and is asynchronous to make multithreading easier, and provides an xlib implementation on top of XCB to ease porting), Gallium3D (a new graphics stack that'll be easier to port and work much more like modern video cards, includes software fallbacks for everything), Composite (which should make it easy to make a panning window manager), XRandR 1.2 (greatly improved the hotplug-ability of X), Glucose (experiment to attempt to accelerate X rendering operations using X11, haven't heard much from this one lately), and several other projects?

        Basically there is work going on in Xorg that you're wanting, it just takes time (thanks to the state of massive bitrot it'd developed into during the age of XFree). Many of the projects (like Composite, XCB, XRandR, and AIGLX) are just becoming mature (look at all the craze over compiz/beryl/compizfusion thanks to Composite+AIGLX), but the more fundamental changes need more time (like Gallium3D and the TTM Memeory Manager for video cards) before people can really see the fruits of their labor, and for others no one will really notice the new abilities until some crafty developer finds some way to do something nifty with them (like XCB).
  • by Reality Master 201 (578873) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:33PM (#23425748) Journal
    I think the best thing that could happen for Linux on the desktop is for one of the two major environments (I don't care which) to become THE standard, supported Linux X desktop standard.

    I know, choice is good. So is focusing your efforts on making one usable product that people can standardize on. Don't even think of it as a product, think of it as a protocol. HTTP won out over Gopher, and the first is everywhere and makes all kinds of apps able to talk to each other; the second is a (fondly, for me) remembered also ran. And that's a good thing.

    • by Bryansix (761547)
      I agree! What the Linux Desktop needs is consistency and then it will be manageable to support and I can move everyone over to it.
    • by Coryoth (254751) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:52PM (#23426060) Homepage Journal

      I think the best thing that could happen for Linux on the desktop is for one of the two major environments (I don't care which) to become THE standard, supported Linux X desktop standard.

      I know, choice is good. So is focusing your efforts on making one usable product that people can standardize on.
      People keep bringing this up, but it just isn't going to happen. FOSS developers will work on whatever they want to work on, and as long as there are different philosophies involved different projects will attract the interest of different developers. And there are very different philosophies driving the different desktop environments: GNOME is pitching for something simple and elegant above all else; KDE is far more interested in being configurable and cohesive; Xfce has efficiency as one of their primary goals; and the list goes on. With such divergent focus you are not going to get people (neither developers nor users) to all agree on one philosophy.

      What you can do, however, is work on standards and interoperability of protocols that underly the environments. You know, like Freedesktop [freedesktop.org] do. That means common standards for inter-application communication (from cut and paste to DBUS), standards for how applications expose themselves to menus, standards for syustem trays, and so on. This effort is still ongoing, but the end result is that GNOME, KDE and Xfce can share application menus, system trays, clipboards, icon themes, and more. With other things like the GTK-Qt theme [kde-look.org] and the QtGTK Style [trolltech.com], we're steadily heading toward the point where applications will be able to slot in seamlessly competing desktops.

      So in some sense what you want is being done, but it is not going to involve one desktop to rule them all. For that you need dictatorial control from on high to simply say what is "right". You won't get that in FOSS; it's just not how it works. If you want that you need something like Apple or Microsoft, and the consequences that come with such choices (although, to be honest, I'm not sure they offer models [bla.st] of perfect consistency [arstechnica.com] either).
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Well, X is a standard. So is dbus. Gstreamer will be supported by Phonon, so KDE4 will natively support it the way Gnome apps do.

      Various pieces are often turned into libraries which are intended to work on both. Wrappers are often written so that you don't have to think about it -- I can check one little checkbox and all my gtk apps will use a qt theme, so if I wasn't a tech, I wouldn't even know Firefox wasn't a KDE app.

      In order to do this, though, you have to understand just what it is you want to standar
    • by Bralkein (685733) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @07:45PM (#23426624)
      If there was a clear favourite in terms of Linux desktop environments then maybe you would have a point, but this big split between KDE and GNOME seriously undermines the credibility of this solution. Having some group of bigwigs who have provided themselves with a mandate to make one DE a standard by decree would be an incredibly destructive move. Relations between KDE and GNOME would be damaged, which would in turn cause harm to interoperability efforts. Users (especially users of free as in freedom software!) would become defiant in the face of this attempt to push them towards the One True DE, which would also cause problems.

      I agree that standards and interoperability between DEs are important, but I think that trying to corral people into the DE of someone-or-other's choice is self-defeating, trying as it does to work directly against human nature. I favour the encouragement of collaboration between the DEs seen in projects like freedesktop.org. Nobody can make this desktop divide go away, so instead of undertaking mad social engineering projects I think that we should embrace diversity in a pragmatic way, trying to smooth over the bumps where possible but also reap the benefits (and there are some!) where we can.
  • by commodoresloat (172735) * on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:33PM (#23425756)
    Because that's my first thought when someone mentions that they use xfce or CDE -- "wow, that desktop environment sure is WILD!"
  • by PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:41PM (#23425880) Journal
    Not only will it be year of the linux desktop.. but hell will freeze over.

    Lets face it, linux users love choice. And since they're more likely than not to be fanboys (c'mon, everyone knows a linux convert is preachy about his newfound OS), then they're probably also fanboys about UI.
  • Mandriva & Slackware (Score:4, Informative)

    by markdavis (642305) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:41PM (#23425888)
    are also popular Linux distros and both also had recent major releases which the article neatly ignores. Oh well. Lots of choices.

    In any case, let's place bets if the thread degenerates into KDE vs. Gnome... ug!
  • twm for me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bryan Ischo (893) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:48PM (#23425998) Homepage
    I am an atypical user for sure. Check my Slashdot ID, I've been around a while. I'm 35 and have used the SAME X11 configuration since I was a 19 year old sophomore at CMU in 1991. That's 17 years of twm goodness. I have no window decorations of any kind - no titlebars, resize grab areas, etc, etc. Moving, resizing, iconifying, etc, are all accomplished by either keystrokes or keystroke/mouse button combos.

    I would not recommend my environment for anyone but myself. I've been with my wife since 1996 and she has NEVER been able to figure out how to do anything when sitting down at my Linux desktop. If I open a mozilla window for her she can just stay in there and be fine. But anything else, forget it.

    The first thing I do when I install a modern Linux distribution is turn off all of the services that support Gnome and KDE programs. D-Bus, avahi, etc, etc, there are tons of them and they all just choke up the system when you are not running Gnome or KDE (and even if you do, but at that point they are a necessary evil). It's getting harder and harder to install new Linux distributions and manage to clean out all of the desktop related stuff that they install and run. All I want is X11, twm, mozilla/firefox, emacs, xterm, and a few other odds and ends. It annoys me when I install programs like ImageMagick and they require libgnome. Why? I don't run Gnome, why should the program require it? But I am being pretty curmudgeonly here. Aside from the minor annoyance of having to have libraries on my system that I "shouldn't need" (to continue to live in the early 1990's), there's really no harm in it.

    I keep telling myself that someday I will have to suck it up and start using Gnome or KDE. But that day never seems to come because I don't *need* those things, and they never work seamlessly enough anyway to make them worth my while. I know that eventually I will *have to* because no Linux distribution will support my ancient way of working someday. But until that time comes I am unlikely to change.
  • Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tarlus (1000874) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:49PM (#23426006)

    Would this be a good thing or a bad thing?
    I would say, neither.

    If you're using Ubuntu, Fedora or Suse, then there's a possibility that you're an average Joe and you use your computer for general things like web surfing, email, word processing, perhaps even movies or managing your music collection. Or, you use it at work and only care about its general productivity applications. If you're this person, then a uniform interface across distros isn't a big deal. If you can point, click, and drag, then you probably won't ask for much more than that.

    If you're a "power user" on any *nix distro (be it the three above or any others) and you like to customize every aspect of your kernel, desktop environment, and everything in between, then you'll already know which environment is your favorite and you're going to set it up the way you want it, anyway. So it doesn't really matter what the distro has by default.

    So whatever a distro has by default really shouldn't matter, be it varied or vanilla.
  • by jadrian (1150317) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:51PM (#23426036)
    "Here's a compilation of screen shots and descriptions that make it appear to be the case" I honestly don't get it. Those screenshots and descriptions do not have no connection to the summary. The summary makes no sense. What's the point of this story really?
  • Convergence (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @06:54PM (#23426082)
    The more all these distros converge and provide nearly identical desktops, the clearer it will be that most of them don't actually need to exist in the first place.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by turing_m (1030530)

      The more all these distros converge and provide nearly identical desktops, the clearer it will be that most of them don't actually need to exist in the first place.

      That's an emergent property of FOSS. It's basically evolution by intelligent design AND natural selection, if that makes any sense. You've got a bunch of different codes. The best become the most popular in their niche, the rest don't. That's the "natural selection" bit.

      Instead of sexual reproduction/mutation enabling variation among different

  • Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS comes with just the core engine and very basic support. This is a very different experience from all the other distributions where they bundle more than necessary applications (OpenOffice on a server distribution? Really?).

    For a long time most distros have had some kind of 'server' install to avoid this, infact I think it's always been that way.. the entire piece is just rubbish fluff.
  • by Dan667 (564390) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @07:15PM (#23426306)
    Think about what it would be like if the command "ls" was named something different in every linux distribution. Part of Microsoft's success is that there are GUI contracts that are very rarely broken so you almost always know how to do basic tasks with a new program.
    • by Coryoth (254751) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @08:32PM (#23427076) Homepage Journal

      Think about what it would be like if the command "ls" was named something different in every linux distribution. Part of Microsoft's success is that there are GUI contracts that are very rarely broken so you almost always know how to do basic tasks with a new program.
      Sigh. Time to trot out the screenshot [arstechnica.com] yet again. All those Microsoft applications in that screenshot all work the same right? The menu in notepad is just like the complete lack of a menu in Word and Media Player? And while IE and Windows Explorer look the same at first glance, having the spacing and arrangement ever so slightly different is all part of some master plan? The (complete lack of) consistency in how toolbars are presented in Word, Outlook, IE and Blend is carefully arranged?

      In the meantime GNOME and KDE both have Human Interface Guideline documents that spell out how applications should work to be consistent, and, oddly enough, most applications for the respective desktops hew to them rather well. You can certainly expect a more consistent environment than Windows apparently is these days (even if you stick to MS software)!
      • by SEMW (967629) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @11:53PM (#23428702)

        Think about what it would be like if the command "ls" was named something different in every linux distribution. Part of Microsoft's success is that there are GUI contracts that are very rarely broken so you almost always know how to do basic tasks with a new program.
        Sigh. Time to trot out the screenshot yet again. All those Microsoft applications in that screenshot all work the same right? The menu in notepad is just like the complete lack of a menu in Word and Media Player?
        You've missed the GP's point. A User Interface Contract is not necessarily about appearence; and the important ones aren't. For example, there's nothing in the Windows UI guidelines that says that a toolbar must be grey. And, indeed, a lot of the toolbar's aren't grey. This is not a bad thing: a different colour toolbar does not impede UI knowledge transferability, but does help identify different applications.

        But a number of important things stay the same. For example, in any document-based application, Alt,F,S and Ctrl-S both give you Save. Always. Everywhere. Now, I've never used IE7 (I'm currently using Opera on Ubuntu...), and from your screenshot it doesn't seem to have a menubar. I don't know whether it just doesn't have a menubar, or whether it's hidden by default. But somehow I can be pretty certain that, whichever the answer is, pressing Alt,F,S will still give me save.

        To be fair, Gnome now does this just as well as Windows. All the standard Gnome apps conform to the same guidelines. So let's look at a related area: well-defined boundaries in keyboard shortcuts. For example: in Evolution, check mail is F9; but Compiz uses F9 for its widget-gadget-dashboard thing by default. Problem: if you turn on 'extra effects' in Compiz, every time you check mail, you get your screen taken over by a moded widget overly .

        Now, why does this happen? F9 is check mail in Evolution because that's what Windows uses; and F9 is Dashboard in Compiz because that's what Mac OS uses. In Windows, F? keys on their own are per-application shortcuts. On a mac, F? keys on their own are system-wide shortcuts. On Linux, there is no one dictated standard, so everyone picks whichever convention they prefer, and you get conflicts.

        Having well-defined app/system keyboard chord boundaries is a lot less sexy that mandating the colour of all applications toolbars, to be sure. But, as a UI contract, it's the more important of the two.
  • UI in the middle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by icepick72 (834363) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @07:44PM (#23426610)
    One problem causing lack of a unified UI is that *nix is less about the UI and more about what underlies it, always has been. UI is secondary. While *nix works forward to a UI, Windows is working backwards to having better innards. It's very interesting.
  • by Sloppy (14984) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @08:16PM (#23426908) Homepage Journal

    A common UI for Linux would suck, because not everyone wants the same thing. If there's a common UI, then that means a bunch of people are going to lose something.

    A common UI for "major Linux distributions" is probably a good thing, since even though not everyone wants the same thing, a vast majority are happy to settle for the same thing even if it doesn't fit them well (ever heard of "Windows"?). Those people are the most likely to use "major Linux distributions" and those same people are probably the ones you're most likely to end up having to talk to on the phone. "Click on the foot or gear icon, and then..." Talking grandma through an UI that you know (because you're used to talking people through that one, even if you don't use it daily yourself) is easier than talking her through one of a hundred UIs that you vaguely remember having tried out for a couple days two years ago.

  • It's about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Thursday May 15, 2008 @08:20PM (#23426954) Homepage
    Seriously, I have been a Linux user since 1995 and all I can say now is it is about time. I honestly don't care anymore about this cry for choice and freedom... no one is taking anything away, just simply standardizing the base distro on one vision.

    Unification of the UI throughout all apps and windows is a must. You just simply cannot hit a moving target. Get a solid base foundation built and then have at all of the niche and one-off app and distros you want.

    My personal dream day is when a major distro finally comes out with one look, one of each type of app which is as polished and unified as possible, and one window manager. No more ridiculous things in the kernel like IBM PS2 micro channel controller drivers or similar outdated garbage (yes I know they are modularized but still). Give me streamlined, solid, stable, fast, and straightforward.

    My only hope right now is that a company like ASUS will continue on their way and accomplish it that way. Which is something I never thought I would say. Lets stop playing games and stupid idealistic crap and make Linux a true contender. Right now as sad as it is to say OS X has matched my wishlist for Linux in a few years as apposed to the past 13 I've spent with Linux.
  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Friday May 16, 2008 @12:30AM (#23428948)
    If we use a single UI for all Linux PCs everyone will have to share one monitor! I don't think that's very convenient.

    Maybe we can work out a compromise - like one UI every 100 square kilometers. The monitors could then be made really big and attached to blimps. Would that be acceptable?
  • Dumb idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nullav (1053766) <moc@NosPAm.liamg.valluN> on Friday May 16, 2008 @10:16AM (#23432916)
    Who cares about having a single UI? Do you want the exact same room as everyone else with the exact same paint - that black bar at the bottom, those mountains in the background, and the news/weather to the right? It may seem silly, but it's the screen we spend a good portion of the day staring at, it's practically another room.
    You're going to have a hard time convincing those working on FVWM, XFCE, Fluxbox, and all the other non-KDE/GNOME desktop environments that a universal paint color has been decided upon and that they should all just roll over and accept it.
  • gKDE (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjhs (453964) * on Friday May 16, 2008 @10:36AM (#23433272)
    Here's an idea: create one UI that is flexible enough to be customized however you like--even customized to have fewer settings to customize ;-o (lots of programs have a choice between "basic" and "advanced" settings anyway). That way you not only have choice, but you can have a "best of both worlds" interface with your favorite features from one together with your favorite features from the other.

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