I quake in fear every time I approach a projector for a presentation because I know the chances of it Just Working with my Ubuntu laptop are slim to none. Few people are willing to tolerate a UX like that.
To make that happen on the Linux desktop, a really talented developer with good design skills, have to start over from scratch. Leave the legacy toolkits.
He will have to be a dictator, uncompromising in the design vision. Good user experiences cannot come out of a committee, or the "open source development model". GNOME and KDE is great, I use them, but they sure do lack the "magic".
I have no idea what the OP is trying to say here.
Edit: I just checked up on Wikipedia. Audacity has made a good deal of progress since I last used it. It's still not Logic caliber, but my analogy is definitely an exaggeration.
It's just a few steps to full desktop love. It's got most of the features I need, now I just want a bigger screen.
Bigger than your TV? What are you planning on doing?
Ubuntu runs smoothly, with simple but nice effects, clean windows and (since 10.04) some very nice themes. Perfect? No, but definitely in the same league as OS X.
I'd say what is lacking most in Ubuntu is elegance, which I define as it having strong vision about how things should look and behave. On a Mac you can quite clearly see when an application does not fit, for example Google Earth and Firefox. I think this is in large part due to the elegance of the platform.
Ubuntu is also somewhat lacking in simplicity. I think in large due to their attempts to hide accidental complexity instead of working to fix it. This has gotten a lot better, but as an example, Ubuntu still spews files for applications all over the place instead of having them as an application bundle as on a Mac. Then you get desktop files to give you a single icon to click, but they hide the complexity instead of removing it.
Reading what I wrote I realize that there is quite a bit of overlap between simplicity and elegance. App bundles are both simpler and more elegant than spewing files for an application all over the place.
While 'normal people' may desire a clean look and fancy animations, there is a more fundamental problem. Linux is not easy. It's not easy to set up, it's not easy to use, and it's not easy to maintain.
A normal person can go into a store today, buy a computer with Windows on it, start it up, and be on their way. You can't do that with Linux. And if a normal person somehow discovers how to download and burn a disk image, once they get it on their machine, they will be presented with the inevitable task of getting everything to work. I have never installed a Linux distro that had functioning drivers for all of my hardware. I usually have to spend a few hours just configuring everything to work properly. It is ridiculous to expect that a nontechnical person is going to be able to do this.
Does this not make sense to anyone else?
See also: iPad vs. Netbook. iPads are strictly for consuming other people's creations. Netbooks are open-ended.
I both hack and consume in prodigious amounts.
So if you write your own OS then you build your own computer from scratch, dig out your own toilet, build your own house, make your own clothing, grow your own food?
I'm certain that most hackers are also consumers.
Hackers can still be consumers. In fact, I challenge you to find a single Hacker who doesn't also consume.
Consumers can be hackers. Hackers are consumers.
Everyone creates, be it an email to their friend, or a picture for their photo album. Everyone consumes, perhaps reading a book from time to time or watching a movie.
But some devices push you in one direction, and others push you in the other. Log into a Linux box with xmonad, emacs, and rxvt-unicode, and you have no choice but to create. That makes you a hacker.
Get an iPad, and with easily-available movie downloads and an infinite supply of blogs and no way to enter text efficiently, and you aren't going to be doing much creating. That makes you a consumer.
Log into a Mac, with iLife with Garage Band (what? Creation != programming), easily installable XCode and cheap, good graphic programs and you can create whatever you want.
By forcing people to code you're not creating "hacker" nor "creators". You're replacing musicians, graphic artists, designers and other creatives with frustrated code monkeys.
"Get an iPad, and with easily-available movie downloads and an infinite supply of blogs and no way to enter text efficiently, and you aren't going to be doing much creating. That makes you a consumer."
Also, with graphic software, many ways to relax, and a Mac or PC that you sync to.
And a system that gets out of your way so that you can do what you want, possibly something more interesting that 10kline .vimrc.
I'm going to go the other way - for most people Linux is counter-creative. Instead of either making that (possibly stupid) clip, they have to configure the damn thing and somehow get the network drivers and the touchpad work at the same time. Effectively, they are consuming forum posts. Instead of relaxing by consumption they get frustrated, the only skill that's really developed is hard-core toner replacement and desktop computer troubleshooting.
In contrast, MacOS (usually) gets out of their way, even brings some fun, creative software OOTB. And the iPad is all about relaxing and finding fun stuff. You know, inspiration.
Linux is good for people who actually know what they want to do with it. So is an Arduino, a guitar and a large block of marble.
To make help make my argument clear, I picked two extremes of creation and consumption -- you aren't going to be buying anything from iTMS on that Emacs machine, and you aren't going to be reprogramming your OS on the fly on your iPad. The idea was to show contrast.
I also wasn't making a value judgement.
(Also, nice description of Linux from 15 years ago. Do Macs have non-cooperative multitasking yet?)
How true is that! =)
I think the problem is your making it sound like a hacker or a consumer is just a person, rather than a person using a particular tool at the time.
* Auto-configuration that can avoid requiring the users to manually fix rough edges.
* Innovative or at-least consensus following UX designers.
Other proprietary OS's provide you with a desktop environment that is more about fashion than usability.
Linux has choice. That's a good thing.
Nope. It's XML.