Kamilion over at LWN.net ( One of my favourite technology websites ) recently added to the comments of a thread one of the best analyses of Windows 7 Beta that I have read so far. Kudos to the LWN community for this,Â it is consistently a great source of interesting and thorough discussion (Even articles as this might be) to be had there.
I'll quote my own rebuttal comment here, Just for posterity:
Thank you. This is one of the best reviews of Win7 that I have read so far, and neatly sums up some of what I've seen myself there.
Ideas to steal/get hacking on: Meatacity composition (For Gnome based derivates, Kwin already does it) and solidifying the composition/3D-effects. (Hi Beryl)
Location awareness is just adorably sweet. Would be lovely if policykit could implement it. "Unlock my SSH keys when I am at home, drop them when I leave home" would be perfect. Along with a "timeout my SSH keys when screensaver activates at work". Yes Please.
Getting functioning search&indexing to work on *nix. Sorry, Beagle seems stale to dead. ( almost a year without releases ) tracker simply fails. ( Searching for "vidoc" doesn't show you the indexed files named and in a folder called "Vidocq", utter failure for a search function. Especially when it "helpfully" suggests something else. Nepomuk needs to actually release something before it can talk )
Speed/Power performance: Still hasn't trickled out into mainstream. After a few months running a desktop bootup slows to a crawl without reason sometimes. Erm. oups? ( partial/old crash sessions and sometimes DNS lookups along with badly fragmented/distributed files seem to be at fault, but it's not reliably debuggable in a distribution as they ship)
The audio stack issue on *nix. "Trust dmix and get odd latencies due to the behaviour" is the only thing that today works. Pulseaudio has a way to go before functionality ensures due to how it exposed and still expose strange behaviour and expectation in software. And the other ways are just "trust in dmix", unless you go to 4Front's OSS4 and move the mixer into kernel space, not quite a solution either.
On demand spawn of processes. Why isn't this the default yet? Why is cups starting every boot on my laptops default installation even when I don't have a printer attached/network connected? Arjan and others had it configured to "launch on demand" (xinetd?) why isn't this default?
Same for samba and others. "It's not much" but it's still something, please fix, distributors.
As a whole the OSS development scape lags behind because we suck at finishing projects. Developers are sometimes fickle, realise the warts on a system and go to make it "perfect" in the new edition. Which lags behind and leaves something that feels abandoned and warty, while the replacement "still doesn't do all that I want". It's a social issue built into our landscape, and the concentrated focus of developers with a coherent plan is one of few ways to get over it. This is where the distributions can either shine, or release a mish mash of incoherence. ( Desktop projects are also generally good here)
Still, We're not doing badly, but we do tend to lag behind at times.