The Linux community copies the inventions of Microsoft out of necessity. This is partly because of the pressure to conform to the dominating standards of look and feel. But also, part of the reason is the Wintel background of the open-source movement. Not everyone in the movement, mind you, just most of the participants. The various user interfaces are compared with Windows. Programs such as GIMP are compared with Windows programs. Though the Linux community does not want to admit this, Linux has become a pale imitation of the evil OS it intends to replace. On some levels, Linux is better, but from most perspectives it is summarized as “not quite as good but a lot cheaper.”
So what needs to happen? First of all, the desktop-window metaphor has had a good run and has its place, but can’t we try something different? Before Windows came out, IBM attempted the TopView paradigm. The odd Canon Cat computer came and went, showing a new idea and a new model for computing. Nothing is wrong with experimenting. During the CD-ROM era, numerous experimental interfaces were on the market. Many games have interesting new interface ideas. Yet we get the same old command line and WIMP (windows, icons, mouse, and pointer) interfaces in Linux.
Agreed. This is where we are working on our Digital Dashboard project, to give an alternate screen to users, especially the new users.