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Old 10th December 2013
harishankar harishankar is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 31

I do understand the open-source philosophy, though I think that doesn't have much relevance to the specific issues I raised in my post above.

The real reason I wrote the above post is that I find that, not surprisingly, none of the UNIX-like OSes are desktop oriented in any way at all. All of them have their roots in code written way back in time and Linux also based its philosophy on that. All the desktop enhancements/additions appear to be after-thoughts. The very existence of a separate GUI layer called X Windows is proof of that. I do understand that history plays its part here and that around that time of UNIX development, the very concept of a desktop computer had not yet evolved.

But I find that BSD folks seem to bitterly resent that fact that Linux has a lot of abstractions and "bolted-on" features that make it easier to work as a desktop OS and are tied down to Linux, but when it comes to solutions, I don't see any BSD developers putting their hands up to work on true desktop features. I understand that their itch is different and that they aren't interested in making BSDs more desktop oriented. I just wanted to know why.

But the surprising fact is that, in the modern era, barring a few, there seems to be no real OS that is single-user, desktop based written from the ground up.

Even Windows or MacOS X are not truly desktop oriented OSes from the ground up. I think Mac Classic is probably the most prominent commercial and proprietary desktop OS.

The only other example I can find of a truly 'from-scratch' attempt at a modern desktop OS with at least a bit of visibility appears to be BeOS in the last decade of the 20th century.

Although considering that the desktop market has grown to be a significant part of the computing industry in the last couple of decades, the only reason I can see for this is that OS development is one of the biggest challenges in computing requiring huge manpower and resources, particularly for mainstream usage.

Why not an Open Source OS that is based on the BSD kernel but built to be a desktop OS from scratch and thus cleanly coded? Are there any technical challenges in this, apart from the obvious issues of manpower, developer interest etc?

Last edited by harishankar; 10th December 2013 at 01:54 AM.
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