I Moved to Linux and It’s Even Better Than I Expected
Dan Gillmor

I’m going to push back on the unicorns and rainbows here. Few people, even Linus himself, would really say Linux is a viable desktop platform 15 years after we started saying next year will be the year of the Linux desktop.

While I share the concern that large corporations like Apple are too distracted by the mobile masses, and are not focused enough effort on the Professional desktop community that they built their companies on… the open source community is in a much much worse situation.

We have a couple of guys who are dedicated to their linux boxes in our space. And it is a problem. Too little access to too little software, and too little exposure to a “big world” of solutions, and no experience to what good UX looks like. Their world has been so limited, that solutions come in the form of programming in python, what should be done in say, excel, in minutes not hours. Lack of experience with quality drawing, 3D, CAD, and engineering software has made these guys narrow and limited, not “all-of-the-above” problem solvers. Good software not only on-board users with ease, but teaches new skills and new ways of thinking. Open source software rarely even gets enough effort put into it to even ask questions like “what is good UX”, leaving the community to the command-line programming guys who don’t care. Their odd complicated-is-good-cause-only-I-can-understand-it “elitism”, not only tends to keep these programmers in the dark-ages, but doesn’t encurage cooperation with UI/UX designers in open-source leaving even brand-name open source software clunky and barely usable.

For example, even Libreoffice is fairly clunky and has a poor UX adopted largely from a 1990s MS office view of the world. If you have used iWork or even modern MS office, you could see the glaring problems. That translates into poor work flow, bad looking output, but also a lack of knowledge “what is possible” which is important if you are a technologist.

At the end of the day, I select software for efficiency and “all-of-the-above” capabilities, not a political adenda. I think people should build inovative software and get paid for it. And so does the rest of the world.