Elementary OS is a Linux desktop distribution that’s being primed as a “fast and open replacement for Windows and OS X.”
It’s safe to say that that’s the goal of every Linux distribution. Some distributions have, to a large extent, succeeded, while some are partially or completely misguided. Elementary OS, even though it’s still just at version 0.3, belongs to the first group.
Some of the design decisions make it slightly painful to use, but as a unit, the distribution is moving in the right direction. Will it ever get to the point where it replaces Windows and OS X for all users? No, because there’ll always be those that love Windows and Mac OS X no matter what. And there are still applications that have no real alternatives in Linux.
Evolving KDE: Lehman’s Laws of Software Evolution In The Community
The board of KDE eV has launched a new initiative to ensure that KDE remains awesome and relevant for the foreseeable future. Unlike previous approaches it is not a point-in-time solution, it is a continuous process of improvement. And it is a good thing.
Previously, I have written/spoken a lot about the role of Brooks’ Law in the context of Free Software. Brooks’ Law teaches us to be careful about the management of growth in our communities. Especially treated in consideration with the grossly under appreciated Conway’s Law. There are, of course, other laws of Software Engineering that apply to Free Software development.
How open source grew up
When I was writing daily about Linux, the operating system and open source apps were already hard at work in data centres, on servers and on high-end workstations.
The IT market was still moving away from a model where servers came with an expensive to buy and expensive to support operating system linked to the hardware maker.
Some of those OSes were fully proprietary. Others were versions of Unix although they often had proprietary branding and non-open components.