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Ever since it became clear that GNOME 2 would have an ongoing future in the desktop Linux world after all, flowers have been blooming unseasonably early throughout the Linux blogosphere. It all started with the appearance of MATE and Cinnamon; then it was SolusOS. Since then, Fuduntu made its official debut, as did Consort," SolusOS's brand-new GNOME Classic fork. Not to mention, of course, news of GNOME's own "Classic Mode." The daffodils are thriving, and the message is clear: Classic Linux desktops are here to stay.
I'd guess that most of the folks creating Linux distributions are more packagers than they are developers. Building what amounts to a tweaked LiveCD can be done without any development skills.
Still, the point about needing more attention focused on application development is very accurate. I imagine the same issues -- cultural and otherwise -- that kept Unix from developing a vibrant cadre of independent application developers is at play in Linux. Certainly, there's nothing going on here to compare with the OS X indy developer arena.
The fixation on Gnome 2 is illustrative, in part, of a conservatism in Linux that often values repurposing existing tools -- the "good enough" approach -- more than taking the risk of innovation.
Again its spoiled dev syndrome, nobody can be a team player and work to build anything, nope its "do your own thing" which dilutes the userbase and brand so badly that a good 90% of the distros on distrowatch could hold a convention in your average large city HS gym and have tons of seats left over.
But I have seen the future and the future is NOT Linux, its Android. By taking the ball away from Torvalds and all the spoiled devs and saying "We ARE gonna run the show, things WILL be this way" they have brought much needed consistency and order...its just too bad that it looks like Google is gonna turn out to be JUST AS NASTY as MSFT ever was.
If you want to see the future just pick up that new Acer ChromeBook, here you have bog standard X86 hardware so locked down that a standard X86 distro won't even run on it! Sadly by refusing to work together, gather strength in numbers so they could show hard figures making Linux users worthy of serving the Linux community has only themselves to blame when they try to pick up a new system and find they can't run anything but the corporate approved disc image it comes installed with.
Its a shame, that's what it is, as never before have we had powerful hardware so cheap but by letting Linux remain a fragmented mess with everybody re-inventing the wheel a billion times over the community never let Linux build momentum so it could compete and now its too late.