Why would that not describe any major Linux distro?
Because Linux distros don't build or spec hardware. A hardware company can make a platform that is 100% supported by a software distribution, but it is currently impossible for a software distribution to be 100% compatible with a HW platform which won't release details of its implementation. One of the things I like about the OLPC XO-1 was that everything was documented. Very cool that.
Trendy example, look at the Raspberry Pi. Now look at the graphics blob, now back at the Raspberry Pi. Can't get there from here. So there is an opportunity.
Hmm, that sounds a bit snarky. I wasn't going for snark, that is a list of things that I run into at least one of them and often more every week. My latest was trying to get some sort of drawing tablet support out of Wacom for Linux. They point you here: http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/linuxwacom/index.php?t... What is wrong with that picture?
I really disliked the Windows95 window system which I was thrust into when I left Sun for a startup. But over time I learned its quirks so that I could get stuff done in spite of it and eventually came to appreciate what the developers were going for when they shipped it.
But had there been any way to go back to something like the Sun desktop when I first encountered it, I would have in a heartbeat. The change interfered with my productivity.
Linux gives you that chance, you can stick with what ever window system you want as long as your willing to recompile from source if it stops getting maintained. And maintain all of the packages that go with it, and maintain all of the utilities that adjust it, and maintain all of those 'throwaway' apps that you use from time to time. It wears on one to do so.
Most software packages do not need to know what window system you are using, and when they do, it is almost always for non critical conveinces in OS integration.
>Linux gives you that chance, you can stick with what ever window system you want as long as your willing to recompile from source if it stops getting maintained. And maintain all of the packages that go with it, and maintain all of the utilities that adjust it, and maintain all of those 'throwaway' apps that you use from time to time. It wears on one to do so.
That rarely happens with popular software. The most common thing to have happen is your preffered distribution swithces window systems, in which case the actual maintainer of the system will continue to maintain it. Or in the case of Gnome, the old version will get forked and maintained by another group. The only time the problem you describe will happen is if the developers of the window system abandon it, and it is not a highly popular system. This is far less frequent than the OS maintainer deciding that the software is not the one true way.