Originally Published: Sunday, 10 October 1999 Author: Rudy Hartmann
Published to: featured_articles/Featured Articles Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

What Would The Best GUI for Linux Be?

This article originated in osOpinion and is provided under the OpenContent License.

There have been quite a few desktop environments competing for the top honors as the de facto standard GUI for Linux. Gnome is interesting, but there's something about it that isn't quite there yet. The little foot thing is kind of cute, but the interface looks unpolished. Cute and valiant attempt, yes. Ready for prime time, no. Then of course there is KDE. I like KDE better because it looks and feels more professional than Gnome. It reminds me more of, dare I say, Windows too. Still, Linux can run just about any kind of GUI and KDE only looks like a best start....

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This article originated in osOpinion and is provided under the OpenContent License.

There have been quite a few desktop environments competing for the top honors as the de facto standard GUI for Linux. Gnome is interesting, but there's something about it that isn't quite there yet. The little foot thing is kind of cute, but the interface looks unpolished. Cute and valiant attempt, yes. Ready for prime time, no. Then of course there is KDE. I like KDE better because it looks and feels more professional than Gnome. It reminds me more of, dare I say, Windows too. Still, Linux can run just about any kind of GUI and KDE only looks like a best start.

Rumor has it that Microsoft has a version of the infernal Windows GUI for Linux. The Windows GUI is pretty nice, but the foundation sucks. So does the object orientation it never did have. Don't flame me on this one either. I don't care for Microsoft either. The Windows GUI has never lived up to its promise of an object oriented GUI that Microsoft led us to believe it would evolve into.

Which brings me to another point. OS/2 Warp has a great object oriented GUI. We all know what happened to OS/2. I loved it, but it never quite caught on like it should have. Now IBM has embraced Linux, the king of open source software. Many people have begged IBM to make OS/2 open source. Ralph Nader did for one. I don't think that will happen, but there is another way. What am I getting at? IBM should port OS/2's GUI to Linux! Make just the GUI open source and leave the rest alone! Voila! Instant object orientation that Microsoft still hasn't come close to and a great standard desktop! Besides, if Microsoft is really working on a Windows GUI for Linux, you know they'll NEVER make it open source. All the large OS/2 corporate customers and banks could run Linux with the new GUI and never even know it. It would be an almost pre-made market!

This would be great PR and a technical coup for IBM, while clipping the wings of the company we all love to hate. Awesome drag and drop. Great utilities and pretty face. Think about all the cool ramifications of this! A ready-made Linux for the desktop!

It might even reduce my analgesic budget. You see, the thought of Microsoft Windows for Linux makes my head hurt.

Rudy Hartmann can be reached for response to this column by e-mailing him at rudy@mail.ixoye.com.





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