I realised recently that I’ve been neglecting my thoughts. Or to be more precise, not releasing them from the confines of my head!
So this is an attempt to try again (I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said this, which I am sure is true of most developers – too busy tinkering!).
My current thoughts are concerned with User Interfaces. Mostly because I’ve been locked in battle with linux for the past few days. I seem to be one of the few developers who likes Windows 10. I can do my work, play games, be productive (sometimes!!), but I thought if I set up my system to dual boot with linux it might make my development time a bit more pro-active given the amount of procrastinating I can do in Windows 😉
Previously I did all my web work in a virtual environment, using Debian (it took a while to find I preferred this flavour of linux) so naturally I wanted a familiar environment as my base. After a lot of researching I found Sparky Linux which is based on Debian Testing so it’s got all the latest versions (I like to be current).
Once installed I got a shock!
I have dual monitors so I expected the experience to be like the one I have in Windows (2 taskbars, programs on whichever screen show up on that screens taskbar). Not so, I have a taskbar on one monitor and the desktop spans both screens. I’ve lost count of what window managers I’ve gone through looking for the functionality I want; current search results suggest Enlightenment or Xmonad might have this functionality as standard.
I used to be an advocate of linux but I’m slowly starting to realise that it isn’t (and probably never will be) a decent desktop for mere mortals. It’s fine if you have one screen and the usual hardware, but as soon as you stray from the path, the headaches start, desperation sets in trying to find the right search words to use because there’s usually someone else out there that’s had the same thought.
I don’t mind editing config files but it would be a whole lot easier if the developers had the foresight to provide a GUI to make things easier, after all that’s what computers are supposed to do – make life easier.
This leads me onto a recurring thought I keep having lately. A Universal desktop, one that can run windows, osx, or linux software. I think Microsoft is surprisingly making this possible with Windows 10 having the “Windows subsystem for Linux” for developers. Okay, it’s only an Ubuntu bash shell but it could be the start of something interesting!