Inspired by Linux Format’s 24 things we’d change in Linux, I got thinking about the things I’d like to see changed in Linux. Here’s my top 10 (in no particular order).
Update: Just to make it clear, I’m not talking about stuff that stops ME from using Linux but I’m talking about stuff that makes it confusing for new users/turn off new users. If you truly believe that open source software is the only ethical way to develop software, and I believe it is, then why develop a system that will turn off most general users? It seems like a waste of resources to work on a super-system and fail at making it user-friendly. Are we developing for a little private club or for the whole of humanity?
1. Why are apps packaged differently for different distros? Rpm, deb etc I’d like to see an open standard for this.
2. Clearer organisation for data and settings saved by apps would be great. Whenever I look for data or settings saved by an app, I need to google to find out which folder that app saves its data and settings to.
3. Make it possible to alter the visible columns in Nautilus by right-clicking on the mouse. It’s annoying to have to go to the menu everytime! Also, make more options to view the files in a folder, like different sizes for icons etc.
4. I’m confused as to what is the difference between “preferences” and “administration” in Ubuntu. How about a central control panel?
5. Why am I seeing several versions of Linux at boot-up? This is messy.
6. Users shouldn’t have to use the command line, only developers/tinkerers should. Make everything available via the GUI, including the documentation.
7. Obviously, nothing is perfect and apps do crash on Linux sometimes. However, I’ve never seen an error message as to why. When there is a fatal crash, an alert dialog wouldn’t go amiss. Yes, I’m sure I can go and look for info in some log but are you expecting a user to do this? A simple “out of memory” error message would help for example, to let a user know that his/her machine is low on memory to run a certain task/app. Or even if it’s a “Error 456845″ message – the user could then google that and find out that this happens when memory is low for example.
8. Distro updates tend to crash my computer. Every time, I spend a couple of weeks getting my Ubuntu back up to speed. I’m not sure what the solution is to this but distro updates are defo a problem.
9. If you go to Synaptic package manager, you need to know the name of the package. When you use Ubuntu software center, you can search through apps in areas (like Internet, File Sharing for example) but a lot of app names aren’t what I call human readable, they are written in CamelCase or similarly difficult to read notations, this is ridiculous.
10. I don’t see the point of two different heavy GUI desktops (KDE and Gnome). I see the point of desktops lighter on resources for niche uses but not two mainstream GUI desktops. Unite and you will be able to offer an even stronger mainstream GUI desktop.