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      If there is a convincing argument in there somewhere, it’s buried under “insult everyone who disagrees”.

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        Yep. This should’ve been tagged rant.

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          I wrote it and it absolutely 100% was a rant, yes.

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      every written language ever goes from top to bottom, not the reverse. Some to L to R, some go R to L, some do both (boustrophedon) but they all go top to bottom.

      Well that’s not true. https://omniglot.com/writing/direction.htm#ltrvbt

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        Note Tagbanwa is traditionally written in vertical columns running from bottom to top and from left to right, however it is read from left to right in horizontal lines.


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        [Author here]

        Fascinating. Never heard of those before: thank you!

        I tell you what, though, I don’t fancy trying to learn them. I am a left-hander who lives in a very right-hand dominated world and when I was a child it caused me major difficulty learning to write in the direction righties do.

        But you do more or less have to pick a direction, and I suspect that it’s no coincidence that L-to-R scripts dominate a mostly-right-handed world. I tried to learn to write boustrophedon, just for fun, since when I was under 10, R-to-L was much easier for me. I could do it, but it’s not easy, and it causes issues with numbers and so on. You really need at least a convention for which direction to start in, and I think at the end of the day, staying going in that direction works and simplifies matters.

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      It’s posts like these that make me want a flag for ‘overly incendiary’.

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        usually inflammatory bait is removed by pushcx

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      The mention of Chesterton’s Fence seems a little ironic when OP assumes Gnome made choices due to a lack of knowledge, rathert than considering these choices might have been intentional. They certainly don’t have the same priorites as OP when it comes to desktop interface design.

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        [Author here]

        I only recently discovered the logical argument, or else I would have mentioned it when I wrote this, more than a decade ago, which explains what I still feel were the real reasons for GNOME 3, Unity and so on:


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      They don’t know what the top panel is for, but all the desktops they know have one, so they kept it. But they don’t know how to use title bars, so removed them. Desktop icons were hard, so remove them.

      What? They don’t know what X is for so they removed it, but they don’t know what Y is for and they kept it? Maybe the real truth is GNOME designers chose features they want to implement.

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        I think if they did, they’d have done a better job of it, and there wouldn’t be so many customisations and extensions and forks of GNOME around, from Cinnamon, to ZorinOS, to GNOME Classic and GNOME Flashback, to DashToDock and DashToPanel and all that sort of thing.

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      I don’t necessarily agree with the decisions GNOME has made but I give them credit for at least trying something other than cloning Windows 95 or NeXT.

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        [Author here]

        Given that I know of precisely one clone of NeXT ever, which is GNUstep, I would be interested in what other clones you have in mind.

        As far as Linux desktop diversity goes, I wrote about this recently: https://www.theregister.com/2022/05/17/linux_desktop_feature/

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          I was including what macOS did with NeXT, which I realize is really a descendant relationship, but I digress.

          (And, technically speaking, AfterStep is, I think, a distinct project from GNUstep and tries to clone some of the feel of NeXT from a UI/UX perspective, if not an API/application level.)

          And Elementary more-or-less clones the big features of NeXT as well.

          (And having used Windows 11 for the first time last night…well…)

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            AfterStep does, yes, but it’s a window manager, not a desktop environment. GNUstep doesn’t even include a window manager, although it recommends Window Maker.

            I can’t offhand think of anything Elementary does that’s NeXT-like in any way. It doesn’t have Miller columns. It doesn’t have tear-off menu bars, or indeed, menu bars at all. It doesn’t have single-folder apps. It has a thing quite like a dock, if that’s what you mean, but there are dozens of those.

            I often hear it called Mac-like, but I reviewed it: https://www.theregister.com/2021/12/21/elementary_os_61/ … and my takeaway was that it has the shallowest cosmetic resemblance to macOS and nothing more.

            GNUstep is very NeXT-like. NeXTspace completes that: https://github.com/trunkmaster/nextspace

            Étoilé ( http://etoileos.com/ ) was going to deliver that – a project initiated by our fellow-Lobsters David Chisnall I believe – but AFAIK it didn’t actually get to a 1.0 release, sadly.

            I don’t know if what is there is actually amenable to being packaged up and put out as a release. I think it deserved it. It sounded very promising indeed to me.

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      Lets write a rant at the author for incompetently using the term “bitrot”.

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        Do tell?

        It works, and I am typing into a Unity desktop window right now.

        Small things are gradually malfunctioning as the desktop goes unmaintained for years. As examples: my volume control now works backwards; down is increase volume, up is reduce it. Firefox no longer has working global menus (but Waterfox and Chrome do).


        « Programmers are often good wordsmiths, and one of the better terms floating around today is bit rot: what happens when software that once worked well fails unexpectedly.— Peter Wayner »

        Is that not exactly what is occurring here?

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          ah! I was searching for alternative definitions, and indeed “bit rot” has many: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_rot. You are talking about “software rot” and I was talking about “data rot”, (which is the most commonly used one I think).

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      Blimey. Passing comment I CnPed into my blog for possible future expansion, and here it is shared… and attacked. Wow.

      Er, well, thanks for sharing it, I guess?

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        SRP says you shouldn’t use your public blog as a scratch space :P

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          :-D Fair comment.

          I find multiple definitions of “SRP” online. Which one did you have in mind?

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            Single Responsibility Principle