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There are only two BSDs that matter: FreeBSD and OpenBSD. Both are very nice and have their pluses and minuses.
And when I say 'matters'... I mean software that people actually use. There are lots of projects out there that do interesting thing and they matter to the people that care about them... but i don't care because they are not useful for doing something other then messing around with operating systems.
The problem is that with Linux it is progressing much faster on the desktop then FreeBSD is. OpenBSD is not on the map really.
People want to implement new ideas, get things faster, and get things working easier for the end user... but you can't do that just by fucking around with the top-level UI.
You have to work on improving the entire OS top to bottom. From your browser to the kernel. And if you want to be portable to other Unix OSes you cannot take advantage of improvements top to bottom. You have to wait until BSDs have the same functionality as Linux to implement improvements in order to improve the desktop if you focus entirely on portability.
AND if you only focus on Unix-like systems for portability on the desktop then you miss out entirely on portability with desktops people actually use... which are Windows and OS X.
Lets look at this really quick:
People that use Desktops in the real world:
~90% use Windows
~10% use OS X
~2% use Linux
~0.02% use FreeBSD
~0.002% use Solaris.
So if people care about portability on the desktop why only concentrate on caring about FreeBSD or Solaris?
... Because those are the only OSes you actually have a remote hope for true portability. Windows and OS X are different enough that making your desktop OS work well on them is just a waste of resources. It can be done, but it's just a waste because if people using Windows or OS X cared about using a Gnome desktop already they wouldn't be using Windows or OSX.
A Gnome OS idea actually has merit. Linux needs a desktop focused OS. Just cut away all the 'Server OS' bullshit and stop caring about that sort of stuff. Just go full-bore .... Make the desktop the best it can possibly be using the newest technology available.
If you want to run a server OS on your desktop your far better off just running it in a virtual machine. The technology has progressed to such a point that running something like OpenBSD on your system actually works better if you do it in a Linux-KVM container.
I love KDE and don't like Gnome, for a GTK desktop I prefer XFCE. But I think that Gnome is a proyect lot of people likes, and I think it's worth. But, ?developing only for Linux? Maybe, better for KDE, but I see it as removing opportunities...
According to a user's limited perspective, this may possibly be the case.
Gnome is not just a UI.
It's a desktop environment. It provides application APIs, development interfaces, tools, inter process communication, hardware management, application launchers, file managers, editors, configuration management, and a whole host of other stuff necessary to be a full fledged desktop operating system.
And when you add all those together what do you have? I'll tell you... its called a UI. Not an OS, not by ANY stretch of the imagination.
Lets put this into perspective.... If you start in runlevel 3, does the computer still process? If the answer is YES, then GNOME is NOT part of the OS, but rather just junk added on top of it.... specifically, the UI.
Red Hat is actively sabotaging the BSD since quite some time.
RH is the driving force in technologies like Wayland and RH is also responsible for relicensing Wayland away from a BSD-friendly MIT license to LGPL.
RH could've opted to release such code under MIT license: It's GPL compatible and the BSD teams could copy chunks of the code to make the new features available under the BSDs more easily.
Thanks to this story I was also made aware that hurting BSDs also means hurting Debian ? probably RH?s biggest Linux contender.
Even if what you said was actually correct, you could easily turn your argument around and ask why BSD can't use LGPL. Not everybody wants their code to be stolen by microapple. If BSD can't deal with a free license that actually protects the rights of the developer, then they are digging their own grave.
I believe OpenBSD has pretty good Gnome support. It's not my cup of tea (I like the default: Fvwm) but I'd be sorry to see it go - choice being good and all that. OpenBSD meets all my requirements of a desktop OS with the exception of games and Skype.
Lots of people say that BSD is a server OS/not an appropriate desktop OS but I just don't see it: it's quite possible that the things people regard as required for a desktop OS are those that I'm indifferent to, but I'd like to ask: what specifically am I missing out on? Yes, Mesa updates and KMS are being slower to arrive (as one would expect with fewer devs) but is there anything else?
Most BSD people don't even use BSD for a desktop OS. They use Windows or OS X and scoff at Linux people for trying to make a desktop.
I'd like to see your justification for that, and what makes a "BSD person"?
The technology has progressed to such a point that running something like OpenBSD on your system actually works better if you do it in a Linux-KVM container.
I've never run a comparison: may I see the result of yours?
drag: "You have to wait until BSDs have the same functionality as Linux to implement improvements in order to improve the desktop if you focus entirely on portability." The suggestion wasn't to stop focussing entirely on portability (was the focus ever entirely on portability?), but to refuse to abandon the idea of portability altogether.
The *BSD people simply do not have the resources to keep up. When the time comes that they stand in the way of progress and become a burden, it's time to say goodbye.
BSD won't disappear, it ... will remain a slow moving hobby for a few people, who want to get hired by Apple.
I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, if not then can you explain why you think they want to get hired by Apple?
It's interesting to see some Linux user's view of BSD: it seems similar to many Windows users' view of Linux: "That's a niche OS: slow to move on, good for servers, but don't try to run a desktop on it."