Linux is the supercomputer operating system of choice; thanks to Android, Linux is becoming the most popular smartphone operating system of them all;and Linux continues to make gains in the server market. But, when it comes to the desktop, no matter how you measure it, Linux has never how more than a tiny share of the desktop market. Why? Well, I can give you lots of reasons, but one that Mark Shuttleworth founder of Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, has pointed out that there’s a lot of disorganization and disorder in Linux desktop developer circles.
The specific problem that started the current discussions roiling the Linux desktop waters was explored by Dave Neary, a member and former director of the GNOME, in a commentary on how Canonical and Ubuntu people claimed that “We offered our help to GNOME, and they didn’t want it.”
The technical problem behind the dispute is that GNOME rejected the Ubuntu Ayatana system status indicators. These indicators, and their messaging application programming interfaces (APIs) would be used on the Linux desktop to convey such information as “Whether you are connected, what the time is, whether you are online, whether your battery will last long enough for you to finish your work, whether you have messages,” etc. etc.
I think we can all agree that this is useful information for desktop users. The devil, as usual, was in the hard work details of getting it to work.