There had been some news around the desktop these days:
First the instant messaging front: yahoo and msn will cooperate to connect their networks. This will form a alliance against the still ruling icq network (read something around 56% they have in these days) and this alliance will secure them a little bit more against the google talk which hasn’t spread now as far as I see.
Speaking about google talk: they have hired the gaim main developer! That’s really surprising, and a good sign – they really try to open up their google talk. Ok, they have no other choice if they really want to roll up this market, but it’s a nice move. So we can hope that soon the important instant messanger of the open source field (gaim, kopete, miranda) will be able to use google talk natively
Second, the desktop itself moves a little bit at the moment. The Tango project tries to uniform the both dekstops, kde and gnome. Therefore they provide some guidelines and a subsystem for standardisation – it would be nice if it really works.
On the other side there is a small developer group which tries to build up a complete new desktop focussed operating system based on Linux kernel and the Qt library. They will use the standard components of a typical Linux distribution but they want to melt it together to not have the variations which you have with Linux. The name of the new project is mockup – and I must say that although I really like the variaty you have on a Linux system and that I think that these possibilities are one of the strengths of Linux, this project looks nice and looks promising – in the worst case it’s just one project more which will not hurt anyone
The only think what I do not like in this news is that no one really sees the problems we have with the software installation – it is nice to talk about not unified desktops, but when I look at the desktop of the windows-friends I have I see a winamp next to Office 2003 and they work with Firefox and Outlook (yes, I am working at this – step by step I influence them and bring them to the other side of the force :-D) – these interfaces are all not unified. They are much more different then the qt and gtk applications on a Linux distribution.
Hey, friends: you can have a look at unifiying, but please heave a close look on another real hard problem: you can not install software on a Linux system if you are a non experienced user! It’s almost impossible!
So, please, invent the magic installation tool I mentioned several times😉