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Linux Desktop Wishlist

I thought I'd post one of my tomboy notes as my first post at the new linux.com. The note is titled "Linux Desktop Wishlist" - it is basically things that I think could be improved or added to make the desktop "Perfect." Feel free to add more.

* Beagle Index Thunderbird Contacts (GNOME-Do does)

* VirtualBox Drag and Drop Files

* VirtualBox DirectX Support (OpenGL Now Working!)

** Improved OpenOffice (Equation Editor / Speed)

* MSN/AIM/Yahoo Voice/Video/Games

** Silverlight (Moonlight 2.0 For Netflix Watch Now)

** Move Media Player (ESPN360.com ABC)

* Better Video Editor

* GIMP CMYK

** WINE Imp. (EPSN360/Silverlight)

** Improved wine app install (wine-doors could be better)

** PowerDVD/FFMPEG Easy BluRay Playback

* Add Link to Scripts/Themes at Gnome-Look

* Skype SMS / PulseAudio (2.1)

** MythTV Nicer Integration of WebVideos ( Something like Boxee)

* Better Looking GDM (Seriously it looks like crap after the rewrite)

* Better Default Desktop Icons

* Make Dust Default Theme

* Docky Workspace Options

** Synaptic AppStore

* Easier Way to install Repos - Perhaps have a list of common ones that you can just click and choose.

** Banshee Auto Bookmark Songs in Tracks

Comments

  • tuxmaniatuxmania Posts: 19
    I for one would much rather that either Microsoft supplied an official Silverlight plugin for Linux than we using Mono/Moonlight and the patent threat that dangles from it.

    Better video editor is something i can agree on. Linux needs one that is dead simple for normal users (most for Windows arent that simple to use imho).

    Im not that much of a fan of OpenOffice to be frank. Id much rather see a native, faster and more stable office application rising.

    A better default theme for Gnome/GDM/Icons would do wonders. Right now it looks rather dated even if it works very good.

    A common place where all various companies selling applications for Linux could gather is also something thats been on my wishlist for very long. CNR just died wich was very sad.

    I and many with me arent in Linux just because we are cheap and are infact more than ready to shell out some bucks for a well written application even if its GPL. The problem in my case has been finding things like PaperPlanes and such. You have to look very hard to be able to spend money on Linux.
  • Good list and good start.
  • jdeslipjdeslip Posts: 9
    I thought that Novell's development of Silverlight was in collaboration with Microsoft. So, there couldn't be a suit. Anyway, I don't care how it is done - my request is mainly just that netflix watch it now work without a VM. I would even accept wine as a temporary solution.
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    By your post it looks like you are an ubuntu user, if you dislike some of he components of the default desktop installation or the visual appearance of gnome I would recommend trying other distributions or window managers. Most of the issues you are referring to aren't in fact an issue with Linux desktops, but rather an issue with vendor support. if you want some of these items which exist on windows I would recommend contacting the developing companies and asking them if they have considered making an official release of their software for various Linux distributions.

    As for your recommendation about a better way to locate repos, you can run apt-spy which will find the best debian based repo for you based upon distance and speed tests between the servers and your system.

    I for one won't let moonlight, silverlight or mono on my linux machine because I don't know how much I can trust such a large propriatary package when it is installed as a service.
  • jdeslipjdeslip Posts: 9
    I use both Fedora and Ubuntu. Although, I admit, the desktop experience on those two is pretty close.

    I complained about certain features of certain programs, because those are the closest programs to satisfying my desires that exists.

    I compained about lack of automatic bookmarking in Banshee because I find it closest to perfect among the audio players. Amarok is close second but I like banshee better because it integrates better with GNOME.

    I complained about things in VirtualBox because to me it is the closest VM solution to my (as a desktop user) desire. VMware Workstation is better but it is 100's of dollars so I exclude it.

    Does apt-spy just find the best mirror? Would it actually help me install medibuntu for example? Or, better yet, tell me that something like medibuntu exists.

    Not to put down other distros (the more the merrier), but I think it is particularly important because that is the distro potential new users are most likely to see. It would be good if the default icons didn't look like they are from the 90's.
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    If you like the pretty and simple window manager, then I would like to recommend for you to try Enlightenment DR17, it is only a beta, but it has great potential.

    If your application desires are beyond the current capabilities/features of opensource applications then you are always free to recommend changes to the development teams or better yet submit an update to the application which will add those capabilities.

    Per my knowledge apt-spy currently points to the best debian mirrors, not ubuntu. I think it would be a good idea to contact cannonical to ask them to modify the the functionality of apt-spy within their distro to utilize a list of ubunut specific repos and even give an application option in gnome to allow users to trigger it through the gui.

    By then again I use Slackware and don't touch gnome, gnome based apps or even the apt system, so an advanced ubuntu user is welcome to pitch in and correct me if necessary.
  • KhabiKhabi Posts: 6
    Direct3D support is actually being worked on in VirtualBox already (I believe it might actually be in the dev repository for it if you feel lucky). From my understanding they're wrapping the Direct3D stuff in OpenGL using a few dll files (I think this is how WINE does it too). So you would just have to install a few dlls in your windows virtual host and off you go.

    Its not official, but I'm willing to bet sometime soon it will be in VirtualBox driver install package for your virtual host.
  • I think you could have distilled your post down to two items.

    1. More windows support.
    2. More eye candy.

    These are pretty low priorities on my list.

    Supporting more lame video players, when there are several that work very well, is a super low priority, and will remain so. Let those players die out from lack of a user base.

    Several of the features for individual desktop apps you mentioned are already under development or deployed.
  • jdeslipjdeslip Posts: 9
    Hey. To each his own...

    I think being able to watch all web-based video (ABC,ESPN360,Netflix) is pretty important in getting more users. I think eye candy is also important for this. Perhaps what we disagree on is whether linux really needs these types of users... I am guessing you think, no.
  • jdeslipjdeslip Posts: 9
    Khabi wrote:
    Direct3D support is actually being worked on in VirtualBox already (I believe it might actually be in the dev repository for it if you feel lucky). From my understanding they're wrapping the Direct3D stuff in OpenGL using a few dll files (I think this is how WINE does it too). So you would just have to install a few dlls in your windows virtual host and off you go.

    Its not official, but I'm willing to bet sometime soon it will be in VirtualBox driver install package for your virtual host.

    Is this the way VMWare does it? I am worried about robust the mapping of direct3d to opengl is. We all that lots of windows games don't work in wine for example. VMWare's implementation seems pretty robust, though.
  • mfillpotmfillpot Posts: 2,180
    jdeslip,
    In response to the previous discussion about spt-spy, it looks like Ubuntu has it's own implementation.

    [ol][li]Go to System -> Administration -> Software Sources[/li]
    [li]on the ubuntu Sfotware tab go to the "Download from" drop down box[/li]
    [li]Choose Other[/li]
    [li]Click on the "Select Best Server" Button[/li]
    [li]When the search is done click on "Choose Server"[/li]
    [/ol]

    As for the opinions about the desired user base. I have spent some time helping others on IRC boards, forums and in person with Linux related issues, in which I expect that a certain amount or research has been done prior to asking for help. The users who want the aesthetics and high multimedia benefits will most likely be so used to the point and click style that they will not take the time to research, or even state that distribution and window manager they are using, they will expect the open source community to fix their problems with insufficient information which will drive many like myself away from the free support venues.
    It would be beneficial to have their numbers push us to a higher market share, however the potential decrease in free support communities can hurt our cause more than helping us.
    To obtain the users you want I would greatly recommend that the support vendors who will be tasked with helping those users and stand the greatest benefit from that user base contribute to the appropriate development teams to lure those users to Linux

    At this point my time and money is being spent on getting the capabilities that I want and need, not pushing to fulfill the expectations of windows and mac users. I have nothing to gain from them but headaches, which I won't accept unless properly compensated.
  • KhabiKhabi Posts: 6
    jdeslip wrote:
    Khabi wrote:
    Direct3D support is actually being worked on in VirtualBox already (I believe it might actually be in the dev repository for it if you feel lucky). From my understanding they're wrapping the Direct3D stuff in OpenGL using a few dll files (I think this is how WINE does it too). So you would just have to install a few dlls in your windows virtual host and off you go.

    Its not official, but I'm willing to bet sometime soon it will be in VirtualBox driver install package for your virtual host.

    Is this the way VMWare does it? I am worried about robust the mapping of direct3d to opengl is. We all that lots of windows games don't work in wine for example. VMWare's implementation seems pretty robust, though.

    I actually *think* (I can't find evidence of this however, but its the buzz on the internet) that is how vmware does it.

    I can see how its easier. You know what calls OpenGL will make since its an open standard. You write for that, then try to match up rendering functions on the host so you only have on API to code for. I'm sure there will probably be some graphical hiccups because of things D3D supports that OpenGL might not yet, but over time it should work its way out.
  • My Desktop wishlist:
    - Less applications requiring runtime environments (Mono, Java...) in default installation
    - less redundancy in core components (OSS, Alsa, PulseAudio for example)

    Otherwise - I'm using Linux because it has everything I need and it has it out of the box.
  • atreyuatreyu Posts: 216
    IMO, the "desktop experience" is tied very tightly to the distro, which in my case, is usually Fedora and family. As it stands, I have nothing on my list that screams to be fixed or added. I don't watch video or listen to music on Linux, though, so that's probably why. I like the choice of default desktop environment (GNOME), the lack of unnecessary bloat-ware at login, the disabling of eye-candy by default (at least on my "ancient" F8 boxen - which for me is cutting edge), the clean desktop and usually a decent resolution auto-detected. I do wish that changing video/monitor settings was a smoother experience but I know that is partly an xorg issue.

    The shakiness of Flash (and, yes, the alternatives) drives me bananas, this is definitely my biggest beef when using Linux as a desktop computer.

    Oh, and I wish Fedora would incorporate these into their repos:
    TightVNC
    TrueCrypt
  • rankerranker Posts: 1
    Very good list ...
  • LegacyUserLegacyUser Posts: 0
    Top on my list would be a rewrite of F-Spot in C++, like the rewrite of Tomboy (Gnote). That would mean I could remove mono completely from my system.

    Second on my list would be an API that beats OpenGL and the usability of DirectX for things like games. Something that could be common across operating systems, easy to program for and encourage game developers to use for cost and ease of cross platformability (made up word).

    Third would be a sorting out sound, maybe through improving pulse audio. Again this could be very multi-platform which benefits Linux from an ease of porting pov.

    In no particular order:

    I'd like the final 10% of polishing work to be done on desktop apps so that they don't fall over so easily. Which runs into the next point.

    I'd like to know whether people want bug reports before I waste my time making them. If I report a bug from a user perspective, without digging into the code I've found it's mostly a waste of time and sometimes it is a waste of time even with a patch at hand.

    I'd like Gnome to feel lightweight and responsive on a core duo cpu @ > 2GHz and 2G of RAM. I'd like Gnome to feel lightweight and responsive on 1/4 of that.

    I'd like for people I've installed Linux for to be able to go to a website and download a program without knowing what distro they are running, what version of said distro, and whether it's 32 or 64 bit.

    I'd like eZoom to have text caret support.

    I'd like my Ubuntu system to boot in the time it takes xpud . Then I would feel they could crow about the boot time.

    But there is one other thing on my wishlist (for now). I'd like to spend time writing programs and patching stuff for the Linux desktop rather than doing server stuff.

    OK it's a highly personal wishlist and I think it lacks some important things that the first post in this thread and subsequent posts have. But there you go.
  • OjMOjM Posts: 8
    Top on my list would be a rewrite of F-Spot in C++, like the rewrite of Tomboy (Gnote). That would mean I could remove mono completely from my system.
    Yes, that should be the way to go. Less mono and more freedom.
    Second on my list would be an API that beats OpenGL and the usability of DirectX for things like games. Something that could be common across operating systems, easy to program for and encourage game developers to use for cost and ease of cross platformability (made up word).
    Start developing it, I'd bet OpenGL people is trying their best. You also need to get hardware to recognice yourGL.
    I'd like Gnome to feel lightweight and responsive on a core duo cpu @ > 2GHz and 2G of RAM. I'd like Gnome to feel lightweight and responsive on 1/4 of that.
    I had a computer with that 1/4 and it ran Gnome really well. I now have a laptop with C2D and 3G ram and Gnome flies. It doesn't use even that 1/4 of ram, so it does not matter if I have 1 or 3GB.

    If you are doing heavy compiling, rendering and such at the same time, it's not the fault of Gnome if it does not run well. Anyway, I have gone for Openbox and I'm looking for ways to go lighter with command-line tools. You want a lighter system? Build it or choose one. It helps nothing to whine that "I want this and I want that" when you do not bring anything new to the conversation.
    I'd like for people I've installed Linux for to be able to go to a website and download a program without knowing what distro they are running, what version of said distro, and whether it's 32 or 64 bit.
    No you don't, you want them to "sudo apt-get install whatever" or to use the lovely add/remove program thingy. They should not install everything they find from the internet. That's what repositories are for.
    But there is one other thing on my wishlist (for now). I'd like to spend time writing programs and patching stuff for the Linux desktop rather than doing server stuff.
    Yay! If you have things you'd like to change, just do it. It's good to scratch your personal itches first. I have some things I'd like to do and I'm actively learning how.
  • think_nixthink_nix Posts: 2
    OjM wrote:
    Top on my list would be a rewrite of F-Spot in C++, like the rewrite of Tomboy (Gnote). That would mean I could remove mono completely from my system.
    Yes, that should be the way to go. Less mono and more freedom.

    also would create less bloat Amen ! In general less Mono dependant apps , sadly imho so many things are gearing towards a "mono Desktop" = puke. It amazing how some distros (I wont name names to avoid flame war) are really trying to shove mono down the end users throat, you cant even hardly install a desktop because of the dependancy monoJungle.
    Second on my list would be an API that beats OpenGL and the usability of DirectX for things like games. Something that could be common across operating systems, easy to program for and encourage game developers to use for cost and ease of cross platformability (made up word).
    Start developing it, I'd bet OpenGL people is trying their best. You also need to get hardware to recognice yourGL.

    Agree with OjM exactly ! Problem is you need to get game developers to start using the opengl api instead of directX. Opengl is powerful.
    I'd like Gnome to feel lightweight and responsive on a core duo cpu @ > 2GHz and 2G of RAM. I'd like Gnome to feel lightweight and responsive on 1/4 of that.

    It does if you get rid of the bloat e.g Mono, Beagle, etc etc. Or like the pre poster said build your own.
    No you don't, you want them to "sudo apt-get install whatever" or to use the lovely add/remove program thingy. They should not install everything they find from the internet. That's what repositories are for.

    my words exactly thank you.
  • scottco229scottco229 Posts: 15
    I will use my wife as an example...she is computer illiterate...however I installed Fedora on her laptop..and installed VMware, with XP in the Virtual machine. with about 5 minutes of tutoring, she can do everything just fine.

    Fedora 10 is a nice set up and I like it quite abit...if only I could get it to work on my laptop...

    Anyways my gripe is really towards OpenOffice. Linux isnt suffering from applications...it already offers more than most will ever use or could. It already offers alot of selection and freedom...I love it...however if it is going to get to people...who arnt "geeks" (sorry, but its true), it will need to focus its efforts on the things non-computer geeks, the people who push a button and want the computer to start up and work, to do documents, powerpoint, excel...until office or open office can truely compare to office, from a non-geek perspective, it will avoid mainstream...think of it like a car with out electric windows, or airconditioning or a radio...will your car run good or even great with out any of those items...yes it will,but why would you buy the car when all of the other cars have those options? just my opinion.
  • kreggzkreggz Posts: 3
    If all the new games came out on Linux I would be very happy
  • Ubuntu_CatUbuntu_Cat Posts: 3
    Thunder Bird ( as default email client)
    xfce on more distributions as derfault desk top invironment
    flurndo mega bundle plugins for audio & video in the repositories
    Graphical front end for iptables firewall condfigurationh
    Better interoperability with Windows and OS X
    Option to purchase and install softwarer similar to Click and run for Linspire/freespire (for ubuntu abnd Slack ware)
    Ouyt of the box support for Broad Com BCM 4312 wifi cards
    supporst for the freebsd port and packages
  • Xipher_ZeroXipher_Zero Posts: 48
    Only really 1 big one for me.

    PLEASE DEAR GOD FIX THE AUDIO CLUSTERF*SK! (Okay got that out of my system...)

    As a quick explanation I help many people get migrated to Linux as their primary desktops and easily the #1 desktop issue that they have (Outside of the oddball peripheral not cooperating) is getting sound outputting to the correct channel (This normally works okay) or more problematic getting the correct input channel setup. I have run into very few chipsets that alsa lists the 2 or 3 ouput channels (Digital, Analog, Headphone) and 2 inputs (Desktops its usually a Front Mic plug, Main Mic plug) (Laptops an integrated Front Mic, Headphone Mic plug) without dumping MANY other options in which confuses the heck out of the person who just migrated (And me when they call and I haven't run into their particular audio setup before). To complicate this pulse tries to guess what to use and usually guesses wrong adding an other layer of confusion to the mess. I don't even want to get into setting up skype for people and getting the mic to work.

    Anyway there are other things I wish would be done, but for the moment Audio is a biggie!
  • CalixteCalixte Posts: 2
    Ubuntu could come with new looks. It's all there, I don't know why they don't just do it.

    I'd like to see a real community forming around enlightenment.
  • Calixte wrote:
    Ubuntu could come with new looks. It's all there, I don't know why they don't just do it.

    I'd like to see a real community forming around enlightenment.

    I agree, it would be nice if Ubuntu would come up with some nice new themes. The first thing I think most people do once they get Ubuntu installed is change the default theme to something more pleasing to the eye.
  • Mash173Mash173 Posts: 1
    Make more softwares, business friendly , gamers wishlists and great internet interface! and being great looking!
  • Only thing I wish...

    To the developers; keep up the good work. :)


    Ok, perhaps I have another... Seeing Linux break into the Enterprise workstation area would be great. The problem is that many enterprise level businesses are so deeply in bed with some of those evel software companies that they get scared to take a leap in good direction (even in the server area).

    Here is hoping... they keep on keeping on and waking up....
  • fordford Posts: 24
    This is the thing about Linux, if you want those things, do it yourself, you are free to do so. Personally, I do not want any of that. I think that's good to have for people like yourself, but I really just think we need to go old school and let me deselect 99% of the software and customizations during install.
  • That's my Ubuntu with Mac4Lin and GTK Global menu (and of course AWN window manager).
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