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Linux desktop progress: Innovation vs. power-user backlash

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Recently word spread like wildfire across the net that Linus Torvalds, Father of Linux himself, had proclaimed GNOME 3 an “Unholy Mess.” The hatred for all things GNOME 3 didn’t stop there. Pundits, grand-standers, tinkerers, and media-types alike went on and on about how GNOME 3 had become nothing more than a failure. At the same time, Ubuntu Unity had been given a similar title as a nearly worthless desktop.

Let’s step back in time a year or so ago when KDE 4 came out of the starting gate. Yes it was hampered by a complete rewrite, but like it’s GNOME brethren, KDE was lambasted as too buggy to ever work correctly.

From this I seem to be seeing a conclusion on the horizon — people don’t like change. This is especially become apparent in the open source community. But from my perspective, this condemning of change is a bit short sighted. Let me explain.

I want to begin this with a question: Who is the average computer user? Let that question settle in your brain for a moment while I move on.

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