The article is basically right

Story: The New Desktop Paradigm: Blame the Success of Linux on the DesktopTotal Replies: 8
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Apr 27, 2012
9:56 AM EDT
The new interface type started on Linux Netbooks, where it made sense because of limited screen real estate.

The only thing I can't fathom is the decision to use the limited resources interface as the basis for an interface on machines with ample screen real estate. Why take the trade offs for a system where pixels are at a premium and stretch it over its limits on a system where pixels are a dime a dozen?

Mobile formfactors used to suck because a traditional desktop paradigm was crammed on it (e.g. Windows CE and Mobile). This changed when the formfactor got fitting interfaces. Now our "visionaries" think they have found the holy grail of UI design and they repeat the same mistake the other way around. They stretch a predominantly mobile interface to barely work on a traditional desktop.

I simply don't buy in to the bunk of "a unified experience". I don't need a unified experience. I need an excellent experience on all form factors and looking and behaving the same is definitely not a requirement. I don't use a hammer to fasten bolts and I don't use a wrench to drive in nails.

Anybody mentally unfit to use different tools for different tasks should refrain from using such tools. I also don't believe in the mythical Average Joe, who according to the myth can't do this. If people (who stand model for Average Joe) can lead companies, govern countries, build skyscrapers, get children and raise them to be upstanding citizens, can fly jet aircraft, can plan parades, can write epic books, etc., they can (and daily do) successfully adapt to highly different interfaces.

The only refreshed DE project to get it right is KDE. Same code base, different UI's. It's just too bad I have a strange attraction to GTK.

Apr 27, 2012
11:51 AM EDT
I agree with you wholeheartedly. A "unified experience" is great for developers because they only have to build and maintain one interface. I think the "unified experience" is about keeping costs down and profits up, not about what the user community wants. Thankfully, as Linux users, we have lots of choices, unlike some proprietary operating systems I could mention.

Apr 27, 2012
12:37 PM EDT
That bit about choice is crucial and it's what keeps me on FOSS. Even when the ride sometimes gets bumpy. After years of proprietary systems, FOSS was the saving grace for my computing needs.

Apr 27, 2012
7:44 PM EDT
Yes I believe KDE are the ones who have got it right, a different Ui for each form factor, give us a [near] perfect desktop experience for those form factors. That is way preferable to the current fad of providing a desktop that doesn't quite fit any.

Apr 27, 2012
11:28 PM EDT
The myth about users not being able to adapt to new UIs on different form factors is well and truly debunked with the advent of radical new UIs on mobile devices like Android and iOS.

If they're intuitive and pretty, people will use them.

Agree totally.

Apr 28, 2012
12:44 AM EDT
They don't even have to be "intuitive" (whatever that actually means as applied to software), just "cool" or well-marketed.

Apr 28, 2012
1:23 AM EDT
Lots of great comments here and nothing I'd disagree with. @tracyanne: my only quibble with KDE Is that it is still quite resource intensive, which is why I still use Xfce quite a lot. Conceptually, though, I agree with you that they do it right.

Apr 28, 2012
2:00 AM EDT
I live in hope that the KDE devs will manage to improve performance and reduceresource requirements. On the other hand KDE Workspaces, as they call it, works quite well on my 64 bit 8 gig RAM machine. Currently I'm waiting to be told when my KDE Plasma tablet will be ready.

Apr 28, 2012
11:49 AM EDT
Quoting:I live in hope that the KDE devs will manage to improve performance and reduceresource requirements.

I believe those will be coming with the KDE 5.x as a consequence of the performance improvements being done in Qt 5.

Also, many of the performance enhancements and code optimizations that are being done on Plasma Active for the tablet are going to be backtracked in KDE 5.

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