Had an interesting experience this week, I had some spare time at work and a spare hard drive. So I decided to give ubuntu and kubuntu a go outside of a virtual machine.
Desktop Linux has definitely come along but there are still some pretty big issues. Plus I came across some pretty glaring bugs. Like, for example.. don't install Ubuntu or Kubuntu with more than one monitor connected to your machine because it fucks things up.
On Ubuntu it got to loading the background image and that was it, I could move the mouse around but the installer window didn't appear. (oddly ctrl-alt-backspace or ctrl-alt-f1/f2 etc didn't work)
Similar with Kubuntu although after messing around I managed to get it installed but it consistently hangs after login.
I managed to get Ubuntu working after some messing around and after getting the nvidia driver got compiz up and working. The default extras is nice but the wobbly windows is quite possibly the worst default idea I have ever seen, wobbly windows are fucking horrible. Had to install the compiz config just so I could disable the bloody horrible things.
After getting my dual monitor setup working I came across another issue, 3d effects across dual monitors pretty much freezes up the display, I had to switch to console (ctrl-alt-f1) then back to the x display (alt-f7) to get it working. For example, the expo effect.. works perfectly fine on a single monitor, but the moment you enable a second monitor it fucks things up royally.
Also, on the KDE/Kubuntu front. I separately have a Kubuntu install in VMWare. Let me just say that getting rid of the concept of the desktop icon space and replacing them with the window/plasmoids thing is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas, there's a reason why MS and Apple use them in their desktop OS'. It's because its the best concept and it works. I see lots of potential in KDE, more than Gnome. But they really need to sort out their usability/interface issues. That has always been KDE's weakness all the way back to KDE 1. (yes, I've been using KDE that long)
I've said this one before, Gnome and KDE need to steal Apples concept of the
Having a repository is all well and good but it will never be able to keep up or contain all the software around.
The app concept needs to be part and parcel nicked from Apple and there needs to be some kind of abstraction from the ABI with Gnome and KDE apps to prevent the apps from breaking every time the kernel changes the ABI. That way there could be some kind of guarantee of apps working without having to worry about binary interfaces etc.
Also, Gnome feels a lot smoother/better with a compositing engine. I also think whilst you should obviously have the compiz settings thing as an optional to install there should also be by default some kind of "personalise" button with simplistic options for the visual effects. Because people will not like some of the effects or will want to change basic things. (like disabling that horrible wobbly window effect)
This was on (K)Ubuntu 8.10.