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20 Desktop Linux Fixes
A Gaggle of Fixes
November 2, 2010
A hardware compatibility checker, more emphasis on the casual user, less politics, monetize it, more data sync-- Matt Hartley has 20 ideas on improving the Linux desktop.
I love using Linux. I enjoy the control over the computing experience it affords me and how I can choose exactly how my desktop is to be run.
I'm not some guy writing Linux articles on a Windows box or a Mac. I "live Linux" exclusively, every-single-day. And I have done this for years.
That said, I���ve put myself into the position of those who are new to desktop Linux or simply overwhelmed by something within the platform. With this article, I hope to address new ideas alongside some challenges that I believe, if dealt with realistically, would make using Linux more accessible for everyone.
1) Focus on the casual user first, geek second.Many among you will likely point out that nine times out of ten, a Google search holds the answer to the most common questions people have when working with desktop Linux.
Unfortunately, not everyone out there knows the right questions to ask Google in the first place. What���s needed is some kind of easy-to-use GUI troubleshooting tool that can be used to gather debugging information. This would make a trip to the various Linux forums a lot more productive for everyone involved.
2) OTA data sync options.I think we're going to see more companies (than just Google and Canonical) heading in the direction of over-the-air data (OTA) synchronizing options.
Despite the fact that Google has managed to take some of the sting out of syncing our smartphones with our Linux desktops, the sad fact is that users of the iPhone are often an iOS release behind when it comes to keeping our music in sync.
The only viable solution I've found is the new service offered by Canonical with their Ubuntu One music hosting. The service allows me to listen to my tunes without needing to sync anything locally, instead doing so remotely from just about anywhere I choose.
The problem is the software provided for the iPhone is very young in its development and lacks critical features like continuous play and playlist management. Now imagine if more resources were dumped into Canonical's efforts with Ubuntu One. The possibilities are endless, once we���ve dealt with the issues seen currently today with Ubuntu One's music services on mobile devices.
3) Less software politics.Opinions ��� everyone has at least a few passionately held ones. And the passionate opinions surrounding FoSS vs. proprietary software tend to fuel essential debates about this topic...
Read the rest of Matt Hartley's desktop Linux story at Datamation