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Will The Free Software Desktop Ever Make It?

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  • Stable APIs are evil; only those who haven't learned from the Windows debacle would even consider imposing them on Linux. The funny part is that people keep demanding stable APIs in Linux right at the time where the stable APIs in Windows have changed from a selling point to a curse.

    That doesn't mean that you should change the API every day for the heck of it, but continuing to support ancient, insecure, poorly-designed APIs or refusing to change them just so some ancient program will continue to run is insane. The only people who need stable APIs are developers who want to ship closed source binary software and never support it afterwards.


    • There is no hard and fast rules on what you should and you should not do. You have to be flexible.

      The 100% entire point of having a desktop at all is the ability for you to run applications on that desktop. It exists for the sole purpose of facilitating the development and streamlining the use of other applications.

      The hierarchic of importance is:

      1. Applications
      2. Desktop environment.
      3. OS
      4. Kernel
      5. Hardware.

      Applications dictate OS and hardware. Not the other way around.

      With Linux there is and always has been a shitload of stable APIs and ABIs. The Linux kernel has stable APIs. Gnome has stable APIs. Everything. That is the only thing that makes the system usable.