July 19, 2005 Why Gnome Can’t Make it To Your Desktop Interesting post by Joshua about some things going on on the Fedora mailing list: “Iâ€™m not sure why someone who uses the computer for surfing the net, checking email, and writing papers would want to learn these commands, but a very vocal group of people on fedora devel thing were doing them a disservice by not making them memorize them.” You should read it, but in summary he’s wondering how these folks who say they want Linux on the desktop are ever going to get there. The answer is that they won’t. He dances around the reason why, but luckily for you I know why! 🙂 It’s because there’s no USERS in the process. Sure the developers “use” it but that doesn’t count. The guys are hard core talented programers, but that’s the problem. There’s nobody around to say “hey what’s that big E do” or “why isn’t there a little disk icon so that I can save my work?”. And the reason there’s no users is because there’s no ways for regular users to get involved at a fundamental level. If you’ve ever looked at one of those mailing lists you know that they can’t go there. Same with the forums. So here’s the kicker. They’ll never get on the desktop because they have no offices, they’re entirely virtual. This gives MS a huge advantage. Why? Because at this point Microsoft is comprised as much with non technical workers as tech. So when the programmers get out of line some guy from marketing who only uses Word is there to say “I don’t get it”. That’s a very important function, because if he doesn’t get it then alot of other people don’t either. MS has a built in way for users to get involved, where as OS Linux developers don’t. I know what you’re thinking, that’s the kind of stuff that leads to crazy wizards and overly simplified UI. True, but that’s way better than a UI where you have to be a geek to understand that dropping down to the command line and using cp is superior to copy and pasting your file between folders.