Say Hello to Linux again

Article Outline

I wrote this post using Arch Linux.

The last time I used Linux as the desktop was around 2013, and then I switched to macOS.

There were two reasons that I switched to macOS: the first one is that I have a job at that time so I didn't have enough time to deal with frequent Linux issues; the second one is that I once believe that by using macOS is a good way to improve my aesthete sensitive.

For now, those reasons are not important anymore: the situation of Linux Desktop improves a lot, I don't need to care about "the usability issues"; I don't need macOS to "enhance" my good taste. Actually, I think recently years Apple is continually lost their good tastes that inherited from Steve Jobs.

The reason I decide to go back to Linux is the privacy aspect. In 2010, Steve Jobs once said that:

"I believe people are smart and some people want to share more data than other people do"

"Privacy means people know that they're signing up for. In plain English, and repeatedly. Ask them, ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them, if they tire of your asking them"

"That's what we think."

But now apple appears to backing out of its promise to users. They decide to scan user's data on user's phone and other Apple devices.

If you would have told me 5 years ago about this news, I would have laughed at you and told you that Apple is the last company who would sell your data.

Anyway, I am using Linux now.

Not limited to a PC anymore

I think the native Linux desktop applications only make a little progress compare to macOS and Windows. But I am sure the experience of using Linux is much, much better than 10 years ago. It would not be a problem for any regular users who install a user-friendly Linux distribution (like Ubuntu and Mint) on their PC or laptop properly.

Why? I propose it could be explained that people prefer to do variety things on different devices. For example, people watch series on TV, play games on consoles, enjoy the amusing things on their smartphones, only work on the computer.

That's brilliant, people have many choices to do those things rather than using a computer. In most of the cases, computer is just a productivity tool, which Linux has the great ability to be.

Web is eating the world

Beside that, there is another reason that promote Linux at a competitive level in productivity aspect: the web technology.

When I was a student, it was 2012 i remember, I had an intern interview with a small startup. The interviewer is the CTO and we had a good 1 hour interview experience.

In the end, he asked me a question: HTML 5 and Apps, which would be the winner in the end?

"the Web", I answer with no doubt.

"Why?" He is a little surprise.

I explain that the web technology is open so it have a better potential to lead a future success than the Apps. Of course, Mr. CEO doesn't believe that, but it doesn't matter.

Over the last decade, more and more applications are built with Web technology (like Electron), which makes them are no longer be limited to a single platform. Even more services are just rich website, aka Web Application, can run in any modern web browser like Chrome and Firefox.

I can list a lot, all of which are much better than their predecessors:

Web-based Native App
Office Google Docs MS Office
Meeting Google Meet, Zoom Skype,
Development Code VS, XCode
Design Figma Photoshop, Sketch
Team chat Slack, Discord Confluence
Chinese Hammer Lark WeChat, QQ

Those better web-based successors are very easy to run on Linux, which let working on Linux no longer be a difficult thing.

The new applications are no longer so called "alternatives". Instead, they are the first-class applications who provide excellent services to users from different platforms, include Linux users.

Although most of the new applications are still not free/open softwares. they provide an opportunity for people who have the willing to enter the free world at least.

Openness and innovation

As a previous Linux desktop developer, I fell gratitude to all the desktop software contributors, for keeping Linux desktop alive.

The developers' efforts give people the possibility when they wanted to escape from the proprietary softwares, the censorship of proprietary companies and the governments.

I don't like the future asserted by these companies: especially, Apple. The future of technology should keep the Internet be an open, public area, rather than some closed, private zones.

Why is the openness important for us? It's because the openness of the Internet is a key to help information flowing without no man-made barriers, and the information, aka, is the wealth of this era.