The DistRogue

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Year Of The Linux Desktop

What is this mythical "Year of the Linux Desktop"? Simply put, every time a feature appears in the Linux world, whatever year it makes the greatest progress (in other words, the year Ubuntu merges it into their repositories) is called the "Year of the Linux Desktop". 2006 saw the widespread adoption of Compiz, so it was the year of the Linux desktop. In 2007, Compiz-Fusion was created, along with bulletproof X, so that was the year of the Linux desktop. And now, in 2008, Ubuntu 8.10 "Intrepid Ibex" is supposedly getting a font makeover in the alpha versions, so 2008 will be the year of the Linux desktop.
Stupid idea, right? So what was/will be the real year of the Linux desktop?
They all have been, and they'll continue to be. Every year brings some improvement that the entire community flips out over (watch the Digg counts soar!), but they're all small stepping-stones accross the lake of building the perfect Linux desktop system. How long has Microsoft been improving Windows and turning it into what it is today? The road to Vista (not to mention whatever's next) started in 1985 with the release of Windows 1.0. Look at how much it's changed since then. Linux is a similar case. Hardware and software compatibility problems continue to plague it, and they'll improve slightly each year, along with the release of some killer app like Compiz. Crazed swarms of fanboys will continue to eat it up year after year after year after year after year, but the truth remains: Linux is, has been, and will be for a while a work in progress, and will continue to be for several years. Every year can hold the meaningless title of "Year of the Linux Desktop", yet something even better- in the eyes of the countless fanboys that make up the Linux world- will always be waiting next year.