View Full Version : Learning lessons from the smartphone

August 30th, 2009, 01:44 AM
The success of smartphone operating systems can teach the desktop a few lessons. but there are 2 that I would really like to see. Linux has long considered itself to be an innovator (a lot of the innovations popularized on windows and mac were originated on linux), so to stay ahead of the game there are 2 things I want to see linux do.

1) Create more interopability between applications. Why is it that most applications seem to live on an island? There are certain "types" of applications, and it seems to me that these should be categorized either by the OS or by the DE. Gnome should be holding my email account information. Not Evolution or Thunderbird. Evolution and Thunderbird should only ask to use existing accounts. This is just one example, but think of the possibilities. Just this example, any application that needs to send an email (non email clients) could then have the ability to do so. Saves the user a ton of time and makes things more integrated. Like I said, this is just one small example. On Android you can "share" content with any application that is categorized as being a a communication application... which means email, SMS, Twitter... and possibly many others.

2) Embrace the cloud. I know this one will be controversial because many linux users are paranoid by nature. I don't think people should be forced to use the cloud, but I certainly thing that linux developers should do so and give the option. Open Office / Abiword should have the ability to edit cloud documents, on Google Apps and Zoho for example. There needs to be Standards created for online backup and this should be built into gnome services, if not the kernel itself.


August 30th, 2009, 01:52 AM
Integrating into the DE would make the OS DE-dependent. This removes options, customization, and adds bloat. What if, like me, you don't ever have any need for your computer to know anything about email unless I'm at gmail.com?

What you suggest is a Desktop shell, not a desktop environment. Alot of distinctions have been made in the past. I think moblin is largely a Shell, as is Enlightenment. They might be interested in these things.

Gnome is a Desktop Environment. It is designed for flexibility, to meet every users needs, not the majority or some. Adding features not everyone will use causes bloat.

August 30th, 2009, 03:30 AM
Linux has long considered itself to be an innovator? What does that mean and who is Linux?

August 30th, 2009, 03:56 AM
For some odd reason, this reminds me of Apple's old Cyberdog (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberdog) program. I don't know if one could revisit this in Linux now (or if one would want to) but I think this is possibly a little bit useful for achieving what the O.P. is on about.

EDIT: See also OpenDoc (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenDoc)