The Linux desktop is in trouble | ZDNet
Jason Hicks, Muffin maintainer and member of the Linux Mint team, observed on Reddit, as reported by Brian Fagioli:
“I also have a life outside open-source work, too. It’s not mentally sound to put the hours I’ve put into the compositor. I was only able to do what I could because I was unemployed in January. Now I’m working a job full time, and trying to keep up with bug fixes. I’ve been spending every night and weekend, basically every spare moment of my free time trying to fix things.
There’s also been tension because we’re 1-2 months from a release. We’ve had contentious debate about input latency, effects of certain patches, and ways to measure all of this. Other team members are going through their own equally hard circumstances, and it’s an unfortunate amount of stress to occur all at once at the wrong times. We’re human at the end of the day. I wish these aspects didn’t leak into the blog post so much, so just wanted to vent and provide some context. If you take away anything from it, please try the PPA and report bugs. We need people looking for things that might get stuck in cinnamon 4.2.”
I’ve heard this before. There have been a lot of Linux desktop distros over the years. They tend to last for five or six years and then real life gets in the way of what’s almost always a volunteer effort. The programmers walk away, and the distro then all too often declines to be replaced by another.
It is not easy building and supporting a Linux desktop. It comes with a lot of wear and tear on its developers with far too little reward. Mint is really a winner and I hope to see it around for many more years to come. But I worry over it.
Looking ahead, I’d love to see a foundation bring together the Linux desktop community and have them hammer out out a common desktop for everyone. Yes, I know, I know. Many hardcore Linux users love have a variety of choices. The world is not made up of desktop Linux users. For the million or so of us, there are hundreds of millions who want an easy-to-use desktop that’s not Windows, doesn’t require buying a Mac, and comes with broad software and hardware support. Are you listening Linux Foundation?