The year is 2030, certain people are still using the IBM Model M keyboard, where do you think Linux is? What does it look like?
Definitely the year of the Linux desktop!
No no no that’s next year!
In all seriousness it is fun to think about. I do wonder what role Core and/or virtualization will play in our everyday desktop experience that far in the future.
It’s bizarre to think about because if as much changes in the next ten years as has changed in the last ten years, who the heck knows I think core will play a growing part and virtualisation will more commonplace but I can also see those things happening in the next five years. In ten years I’d imagine there’ll be lots of new new things.
I’m going to ask a charged question that I am both sincere about but also realize it’s absurd: what has truly changed that dramatically since 2011 about the way we desktop compute today?
I have at least one big answer in mind but otherwise it doesn’t seem like that much. It’s also possible I’m forgetting what desktop computing in 2011 was like.
And for fun and to illustrate my point about foundational shifts here’s a video of Ubuntu 11.04:
Well, that’s a question an a half. I imagine (and would hope) everyone working on desktop compute would have a lot to say. Especially since a lot of the engineering work has likely been in favour of keeping a consisten experience, if it had changed too much on a surface level there would be a problem, so the changes, I imagine, are under the hood.
I only needed to watch a few seconds of that wee video to see though that a lot of design and surface-level improvements have been made, with the general look and feel, with smoothness etc. But I see what you mean, on the face of it, it doesn’t seem like a lot. And as I say, for the average user that’s probably intentional, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, but the improvement is undeniable.
For the non-average user though, well. I don’t know enough about desktop compute specifically but you can very easily look at everything you can now do with your Ubuntu Desktop. This is, for me, one of the biggest pulls to Ubuntu. Look at all the stuff you can do, all the companies and other technologies Ubuntu is right up there next to. To name a few, from the sky to the field:
Clouds are made of Ubuntu (not water), rolling with upstream Kubernetes support, data centre and cloud orchestration tools and services, security coverage and patches for seemingly all of open source, active directory control for ‘fleets’ of desktops, support for most any language you’re interested in, support for most any middleware or framework you’re interested in, support for x86, ARM and most any architecture you’re interested in, LXD and Multipass for virtualisation, naps and the snapstore bring their own shed of value, certified and rigorously high tech-ly tested hardware and heck you’ve got support for Raspberry Pi - All that plug and play on your Desktop. So I suppose it’s not just what has changed in the Desktop but also what the Desktop can now do and will be able to do in 10 years.
I’m excited for when, with a single command or less, I can just crack on with some open source AR/VR application that, no doubt, was developed on Ubuntu, for Ubuntu certified hardware and only know it’s ‘Ubuntu ready’ because I pay attention but Ubuntu puts the application first. You?
RIght, of course that is true. And the polish the Ubuntu experience has received is phenomenal. As well as you mentioned a consistent user experience is definitely beneficial. I’m a big fan!
I was merely pointing out that as fun as it is to think that in 2030 the desktop compute story might be absurdly different (and it still could) history tells us that at least it’s probably unlikely.
The two big things that have changed, for me, are desktop virtualization and integration and application containerization. One is perhaps more about a developer experience than it is a user experience and the other we’re perhaps just at the beginning of really. But those both are changing a lot about my daily experience.
I am also using microK8s quite a bit now and that’s fantastic. Prior to that was using both LXD and Multipass a lot as well. So definitely agree there.
To be clear; my question was in no way about the value proposition of Ubuntu OR that it had not changed in those 10 years. It 100%, definitely has; increased substantially.
It was mostly a question to solicit discussion from anyone interested! So, to anyone else interested: what’s changed in those 10 years about your Desktop compute experience that is notable?
I personally see computers still being like our desktops now. However I do think that the devices we use tiny or not will end up being like our desktops. I think applications will eventually be smaller or maybe bigger just more specific to the task it is handling, perhaps way more personal also. As far as kernels go, I think they will be so diverse it will be hard to keep track of all the distributions available. For me this can be a problem or a blessing. I really do not know. I say this about kernels because of the way containers are being used today. Tiny Linux is a technology I personally am very interested in and would love to be able to work with it in a more practical way. I actually have a personal dream of creating some sort of firewall enabling device like a Rasberry Pi to handle all the networking problems we face today, especially when it comes to IOT devices that run a house, and their security. I also think with the utilization of KVM and other virtualization software that Linux will remain King for quite some time. I am a student, and definitely a Linux enthusiast. Linux is great to me because the information is so much you have to keep learning. I guess I want to keep learning because I love the technology and for some reason for quite some time have been drawn to it.