Some of the comments were Pavlovian and entirely missed the point of my story, as if I am disregarding open source choice by suggesting standardization.
Quite the opposite. I cherish choice as much as anyone else.
The point of the story, missed by some, is that programmers follow standards and protocols all the time, some are elective and some are mandatory.
For example, take TCP/IP. On a network, not much would happen without it.
Nor, for that matter, would anything happen if there wasn't DNS, SSL, SSH, ARP, BSD sockets, SIP, GnuPG, Standard C or POSIX, to name just a few protocols.
I submit that there is a difference between a desire to innovate to achieve a realized improvement and the desire to take 'shortcuts' so as to 'avoid' obstacles or perceived unnecessary work.
That sentence has the word 'perceived' in it. From a programming perspective the work may be real and required or perceived as being unnecessary. If by chance the programmer elects to 'avoid' a volume of coding (required or unnecessary) to reduce his/her workload, that introduces the possibility for variation and not necessarily for 'the better'.
I've coined the Linux Desktop User Experience (UX) to cover the all-encompassing experience a user has from opening a newly purchased Linux system, unboxing, setting up, signing in to ongoing UX core issues.
One commentor, Mark Wiygul, on the 'Mess' post wrote:
The big distributions should get together with bi-annual ad-hoc committees to form a common, agreed upon core user experience of the most basic desktop user functions.. and then when the distributions implement one of those functions, do it in a standardized way, AND with a common user trademarked "linux-desktop" logo besides it, letting the user know that when they see function implemented on any "linux-desktop" that its implemented the same way. For instance, define a common "linux-desktop" file explorer in the bi-annual committee. IF the linux-desktop uses the "linux-desktop file explorer" then it has the common logo that users know.. "ahhhaaa!! I know how to use this explorer. If the committee defines BASH as the common terminal, put a trademarked logo besides it letting the user know.. "ahhaaa!! I know how to use this terminal window". Every two years define what the linux-desktop file explorer, web brower, notepad, spreadsheet, word processor, paint program, start menu, search button, etc look and act like. If the distribution is a "linux-desktop" then the user knows that she can look for the common logos and get common experiences. If the linux-desktop doesn't implement the defined standard, they don't use the defined logo for say, there unique word processor. If the distribution doesn't want to be a "linux-desktop" then fine, it can do whatever it likes how it likes it. This increases consistency between COMPETING distributions without destroying the competition between Distributions that linux users love.
Is it far-fetched to think that arriving at a set of common core user experience criteria would be a good thing?
And, if that set of common core criteria provides a net benefit to OEMs in terms of certification and reducing support issues and improves the overall user experience, how is that a bad thing? Isn't this already happening with Google's Chromebook? The OEMs love it because it is certifiable, reliable, hard to break, and safe, all minimizing potential returns and ongoing costly support issues.
I am in agreement with his comments and do feel that a singular FHS and package management system would greatly reduce the burden of implementation and certification of application software for Linux.
And, I would add that it would not turn Linux on its head and would not impinge on choice and having Distros labelled LUX-certified would be in the developers best interest to comply with.
Computers purchased with a (much like a Windows medallion for certification) LUX-certified badge of common criteria would enable prospective buyers to safely assume that even if the machine is using Distro X (vs. A, B, C, ....), they can be to some extent familiar with the operation of said equipment.
It seems to me that this is a 'good thing'. Your thoughts?