Hello everyone. I’ve been patiently waiting for Linux to get more popular on the desktop (popularity being a key ingredient for it becoming any new pop-culture-favored normal, and not any sort of second-class citizen, in comparison to Windows or OS X), but it’s coming along at such a sluggish pace (when expressed as a percentage of total market share), that it can feel discouraging at times.
It’s seems the Linux desktop just can’t seem to rise above a glass ceiling of about 2-3% of the total market. This is after decades. Why can’t we rise above that glass ceiling? In what way are we all collectively mentally challenged, as a group, such that we can’t move on from this limitation?
There is so much forking of distros that it’s bewildering. Every major distro covers most desktop environments as well, (calling these “spins”, or “re-mixes”; for example, all the *buntus). All those permutations try to cover all the possible bases, but, IMHO, only serve to muddy the waters, in offering people way too many choices. Humans can famously only remember a running list of 5-9 things, and they don’t like being overwhelmed with too many things at once.
One good friend I painstakingly showed Linux to, explained the bewildering choice of distros this way (after I tried explaining all the different relevant distros to him): “if you want chocolate cake with strawberry icing, you can have chocolate cake with strawberry icing”. He made a subtle point that not all permutations of possible choices are actually likeable, to more than a small handful of eccentric geeks.
So as much as we all like the ability to fork Open Source Code (as it acts as a protection of sorts, against foul play), do we also overuse that freedom, and thereby hold ourselves back, by stunting our popularity, with no clear-enough vision, no clear-enough, circumscribed choices in direction or course, that everyone can unite around?