back to article Endless OS 6: How desktop Linux may look, one day

EndlessOS 6 is a toughened and much-simplified immutable Debian 12 with a friendly GNOME-based desktop, aimed at kids, education, and novice users. It's the latest version of Endless OS, a radical Linux-based OS and possibly the longest-established immutable distribution around. We looked at Endless OS 5 early last year, and …

  1. Mage Silver badge
    Linux

    Wayland?

    Has that left Beta then?

    Also I fail to see how it's better for kids than Mint with Mate desktop. Novice 11 year olds can use it fine.

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: Wayland?

      I'd hazard a guess that being so locked down is a bonus in a school environment where some kids may be tempted to try trashing or screwing with parts of the system they shouldn't do.

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: Wayland?

        Wot he said plus several million. There's a whole raft of abuse levels from malice, through ignorance (by way of best intentions) down to utter stupidity. I'm just worried that, once something idiot proof has been touted, the world will simply shrug and spawn a better idiot.

        1. Dr Fidget

          Re: Wayland?

          You can make something idiot-proof but you can't make it proof against deliberate malice

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Wayland?

            Or is it the other way about?

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: Wayland?

              In a teaching environment I have a process to re-image a broken os back to it’s starting point in just a few minutes.

              1. MyffyW Silver badge

                Re: Wayland?

                Good, but not - I suspect - enough to prevent the little tykes from inserting paper clips into various ports until they either break the machine or electrocute themselves. Apparently.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Wayland?

      "Has that left Beta then?"

      Doesn't much matter. It's inherently b0rken, to the point of probably never becoming a true standard without a complete re-write.

    3. jake Silver badge

      Re: Wayland?

      The 11 year olds around here have been using Slackware and KDE for over half a decade ...

      1. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: Wayland?

        Pah. When I were a lad we 'ad to use Gentoo and compile our own kernels on every update. If we were naughty wor da' would make us install Linux From Scratch - twice - before tea.

        1. tinpinion

          Re: Wayland?

          You were lucky to have Linux From Scratch! We 'ad to wake up at two in the morning, find all the dependencies ourselves, assemble and link everything by 'and, power the computer all day by running in a tiny 'amster wheel, and our tea was superheated steam being sprayed at us if the machine crashed.

          1. Scotthva5

            Re: Wayland?

            Brought a tear to my eye that did. However you're missing the "snow and uphill both ways" component.

          2. Dickie_Mosfet

            Re: Wayland?

            LUXURY! In our house, we had to get up 10 minutes before we went to bed, build our own computer from bits scavenged from the skip behind Dixons, write our own device drivers in QL Basic, assemble and link the kernel using Esperanto — and if the machine didn’t work, our dad would thrash us with a PDP-11.

            1. mcswell

              Re: Wayland?

              ...and the cat got your mouse.

            2. LybsterRoy Silver badge

              Re: Wayland?

              You've upset me - QL Basic was quite good - now the microdrives - shudder

          3. Bebu Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: Wayland?

            You were lucky to have a tiny 'amster wheel.

            We had to wire wrap the 486 cpu out of TTL nand gates and power the system with old telecom hand cranks magnetos* from phones once used with manual exchanges.

            * Don't laugh we had this phone, including the two Eveready N°6 cells, in the antipodean back blocks until 1968.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Wayland?

              Bloody luxury. We used t' use old rusty bean tins wi' a length of us own guts instead of namby pamby string. And if we do much as flinched our dad's would kill us wi' a shovel that we'd 'av ter buy out of us own pocket money and bury us int' coal house. And we 'ad ter dig us own holes.

              But we were 'appy.

            2. Baximelter

              Re: Wayland?

              True story:

              When I was a child our phone also had a hand crank. We were on a party line and our ring was 1 long and 4 short. A single short woke up the operator. We would give her the number we wanted and she would connect us.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Wayland?

          Old Yorkshiremen not withstanding, my point was that I put Slackware on virtually every desktop computer around here. When we turn the kids loose on them, they are usually in the 5 to 6 year old range (varies by individual). They use Slackware, or they don't use the computer. To date, they have all used the computer.

          I don't believe in teaching them how to use an ever-changing interface provided by a clueless marketing department. Instead, I teach them how the computer works. They become their own first line of tech support quite quickly, and by the time they are 11 years old, they are teaching the 5-6 year olds, and I very rarely get called to fix something. Isnlt that how computers are supposed to work?

          And all this with x.org, KDE, and Slackware's amalgam of SysV and BSD inits ... Some things just work and don't really need "fixing", regardless of what the marketing departments of multi-billion dollar international advertising companies would have you believe.

          And no, the so-called "good old days" of computing weren't ... but some bits developed a while back definitely ARE.

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Wayland?

      > Novice 11 year olds can use it fine.

      'Novice' is a level that 11 year olds pass through in about 20 milliseconds or thereabouts. Okay, I didn't use a stopwatch, but there was a Whoosh! noise as they passed.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Wayland?

        Some people want to use tech without being techie.

        As the man said, I don't know how to use my phone any more. An upgrade too many. :-)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Wayland?

          "Some people want to use tech without being techie."

          We see the problem with that concept every time we drive a car, now don't we?

          "As the man said, I don't know how to use my phone any more. An upgrade too many. :-)"

          That will bite you one way or another, eventually. Ever watch a liberal arts major[0] trying to use a lathe for the first time without proper instruction? It's spectacularly dangerous for onlookers, but funny in a morbid kind of way. Why would you expect using the vastly more complex and complicated phone to be trivial?

          [0] Was the owner of the company. Nobody died. He lost a finger. He was lucky. There were people there to stop the bleeding and get him to the ER.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Wayland?

            "Why would you expect using the vastly more complex and complicated phone to be trivial?"

            At least the mobile phone doesn't have heavy, fast-moving parts.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Wayland?

              "At least the mobile phone doesn't have heavy, fast-moving parts."

              You don't drive a modern car, do you?

              1. Jugularveins

                Re: Wayland?

                Well, actually I do ... but in all fairness one has to pass a driving test before one gets the license. And there are / were at least some common design principles when it comes to a car.

                Getting into most current cars and start driving ist not that hard. Even switching between continental and island driving can be managed with enough prudence.

          2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

            Re: Wayland? [Not RTFMing]

            Ever watch a liberal arts major trying to use a lathe for the first time without proper instruction?

            I don't think this sort of Bad Event happens only, or primarily, to liberal arts majors. I think it's to do with people who lack imagination, and hence lack any sort of danger-sense, compounded by (a) a worldview where they are so 'special' that they believe nothing bad will ever happen to them, despite contrary experiences, (b), are 'too busy' to RTFM, and (c), are baselessly confident that They Know How to Do It.

            So, executive material.

          3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: Wayland?

            The phone, and the car, probably have "no user serviceable parts inside".

            My point is that that if you do know how to drive the thing, and to feed it when required, then... you can use a word processor productively for file creation without having more than a vague idea of what a "file" is. Likewise, you can drive a stick shift (gear lever) car without really understanding what is at the other end of the stick. Only that you do this, and this, to make that happen.

            I've been told that that's approximately how to fly a helicopter; wiggle the stick (different from a car stick), watch what happens to the helicopter, and when you can that to happen again, that is what to do with the stick. But maybe it's less... hit and miss... than that.

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Wayland?

              Of course almost anything can be learned like that. The problem is that people wouldn't try to learn to fly a helicopter like that because there's always a chance that what you've just learned how to do as often as you want is to crash the helicopter containing your squishy self into something that is far less squishy. I think most people learning to fly helicopters take a safer approach to learning, and those who don't are pilots I'd rather not fly with if they managed to survive it.

              People see computers and assume that, because no body parts will end up in a different place as the rest of the body, they don't have to. And they're sometimes right because we (programmers) put up lots of guardrails and convenience modes to make it as easy as possible. That's what we should do. Still, it might help some people to put at least a little effort into deliberately learning what is happening rather than trial and error their way through any computer-mediated activity, because although it won't cause you as much harm as a helicopter crash, it's still a system with lots of parts which has the capability to do things you really don't want.

  2. Robigus
    Pint

    Liam

    I always enjoy reading your articles.

    Have a pint.

    1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge
      Pint

      Re: Liam

      I second this! (That's at least 2 pints. What time is it across the pond?)

      1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

        Re: Liam

        Mid 18th century.

  3. jake Silver badge

    Gnome? Friendly?

    Never thought I'd see that in print.

    1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Gnome? Friendly?

      I've not had enough downvotes recently, so here goes...

      I don't hate modern Gnome. I do hate the out of the box Gnome experience, but with the right extensions (for me currently that means Dash-to-Panel, ArcMenu, and the Forge auto-tiling extension), it's my favorite desktop. Oh, I also have to restore the minimize and maximize buttons, and probably one or two other small tweaks that I'm forgetting. It takes me no more than 30 minutes after getting Gnome installed to get there.

      This is not to say there aren't some headaches involved. Extensions break with Gnome version updates way too often is my biggest gripe, but I usually just try to wait a bit before updating and new versions of the extensions appear soon enough.

      If I want a very good experience with no customization needed, Cinnamon is probably my top choice, and after that I'm not sure, maybe Xfce. KDE, MATE, LXQT, and plenty of others are decently usable also. I will definitely be giving Cosmic a go when it's officially released.

      I guess I will probably be using KDE a decent amount over this weekend, as I finally broke down and ordered a Steam Deck recently, and it's to be delivered today.

      1. Scotthva5

        Re: Gnome? Friendly?

        Same here, Gnome is fine once you've beaten it about the head and shoulders with extensions and tamed some of the Gnome Foundation's worse "innovations". To me it's like an old pair of jeans: rough around the edges and smells a bit but I can't throw it in the bin just yet.

      2. C.Carr

        Re: Gnome? Friendly?

        No downvotes from me. It's _fine_ with a few extensions. Sort of spiffy, even.

        Manjaro has some decent Gnome setups out of the box.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gnome? Friendly?

        It's a reasonable take -- no downvote necessary.

        For me, Gnome reached and then went past the point of camel's back straws a while ago. The list of extensions and tweaks to add, and Gnome design decisions to un-do, to get back to the comfortable environment I was used to, grew enough to be more than just an annoyance. And it felt somewhat like a moving target, because things changed across releases. More than I was comfortable with, anyway.

        I didn't look long before landing on XFCE. I think my "start up" steps to configure it might be a little more effort to get what I want, but after that it's essentially stable. I don't have to worry much about something changing out from under me after logout/login or upgrades etc.

        Basically I just figured that if I was going to have to tweak Gnome that much to (not quite) get what I wanted, I might as well tweak XFCE instead and get what I do want.

      4. jake Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Gnome? Friendly?

        Why would anybody downvote an opinion?

        Have a beer.

        1. Montreal Sean
          Joke

          Re: Gnome? Friendly?

          You must be new to the internet.

      5. Jedipadawan

        Re: Gnome? Friendly?

        Don't worry. I have made the comment on GNOME that WILL get the downvotes, I assure you!

  4. Nathan 6

    Yet another distro

    And yet another distro aiming to solve a problem that's already been solved by products already in the market place. And folks wonder why Linux (not android or chromeos) hasn't gone anywhere on the desktop.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Yet another distro

      Which products are those? And be careful to identify the problem correctly.

      See corb's post below.

      1. IGotOut Silver badge

        Re: Yet another distro

        Well there was that brilliant hardened version of XP that effectively created a live image that allowed for updates...but then they decided to not bother with it after XP.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Yet another distro

      It's ideal for someone like my dad who just uses a few programs and likes to watch YouTube and look for stuff they want on the internet, then get me to buy it for them.

    3. Jedipadawan

      Re: Yet another distro

      Weeelllll, Linux desktop use has increased by 300% in the last 18 months.

      In the USA Linux now runs on 12% of desktops.

      It does seem, despite the mass of distros, Linux is getting traction.

      1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

        Re: Yet another distro

        Where are you getting these numbers? I've never heard anything near 12% Does that include chromebooks?

        1. Jedipadawan

          Re: Yet another distro

          Loads of videos on Youtube in shock and awe on the figures. Best I can offer as an accessible source.

          This is excluding Chromebooks.

          Linux is taking off.

          I can kind of confirm that where I am. I now live in a poor rural Area in Indonesia. It's not the middle of the jungle AT ALL but the locals do not have disposable income and if they have any money they spend it on building their house or buying land. Here land and property are deeply associated with status, even personal identity. Many see owning a house a religious duty, and not in a metaphorical sense. I did not know that when I married and I HAD to start building the house a few years ago lest... consequences.

          As a result, the locals have neither the money nor the inclination to buy new tech for Windows 10, forget Windows 11 and upcoming 12! They stagger on with 10 year old laptops running broken versions of Windows 7 and, in one case, 8. In order to keep these machines running I have been installing Linux and help fitting SSD's in some cases. That way they can run up to date software and carry on running Google apps which is now firmly the standard for schools and the coming generation. Microsoft Office IS being squeezed out by Google. The parents just use smartphone but the kids need a laptop to run Google apps for school.

          So I can confirm people are being forced onto Linux just by dint of the cost of new tech. A lot of people do not have the money now and that is before we start talking 'Recall.;

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Yet another distro

            "In order to keep these machines running I have been installing Linux and help fitting SSD's in some cases."

            Afraid I only have one upvote to give.

          2. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

            Re: Yet another distro

            So your personal experience is in Indonesia, but your claim of 12% desktop usage is for USA, and the only "sources" you can provide are "go look on YouTube"...

            Sorry, but whatever you watched was either flat-out wrong or you misunderstood it. I follow the Linux space fairly closely, and the 12% in the USA claim is bollocks. The highest estimates I have seen are under 4%, when not counting chromebooks, and even when you do include chromebooks, you don't get to 12%.

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I lost interest when I saw 'Gnome'

    Something that I avoid like the plague. At some point, the devs seem to have caught the Microsoft 'disease', and keep changing things in ways that nobody asked for or wanted - and always for the worst!

    1. boblongii

      Re: I lost interest when I saw 'Gnome'

      It's the curse of professionalising software development for direct commercial reward - if the product is "done done" then you're out of a job. When dealing with something completely subjective like UI design, you can "justify" new releases forever, or until you retire anyway.

      1. Jedipadawan

        Re: I lost interest when I saw 'Gnome'

        To be 'fair' to GNOME, the GNOME foundation is heavily supported by major corporations who have to 'eat their own dog food.'

        GNOME makes sense as a dumb user workstation OS for use by office drones where the system MUST be locked down and management want a less a DE and more an app launcher and where the solution to every attempt to do anything beyond run and app or copy a file is "Talk to the IT department."

        To my mind GNOME makes perfect sense in that context. No joke. I think GNOME 3 had divergence in mind when being designed and the will of Red Hat and co. to remove features not deemed suitable for staff.

        I understand GNOME can be made into a real UI with extensions so there is A Route, though I notice original GNOME were very set on "No extensions, no new functionality" but they had to relent eventually. A bit.

        So I do not think GNOME is about always re-inventing the UI as much as Management.

  6. Mockup1974 Bronze badge

    What's the difference to Fedora Silverblue? That's also immutable + ostree + Flatpaks + GNOME. At least Silverblue supports layering RPM packages and you can use toolbox or the superior distrobox.

    In any case, Gnome is a no-go for me.

    1. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      [Author here]

      > What's the difference to Fedora Silverblue?

      Several. Fedora is a geek's distro, which intentionally omits non-FOSS drivers, codecs and firmware.

      Endless is a simplified OS for newbies, with a "batteries included" mindset, and lots of content, apps, games, encyclopaedias and other education material included so it's useful offline or if you have a very slow internet connection.

      I also must query Silverblue if you're anti-GNOME. Surely Kinoite or something would be preferable then?

      1. Jedipadawan

        EndlessOS did come pre-installed on laptops here in SE Asia at one point. I would buy Asus laptops with it preloaded to ensure Linux compatibility.

        OK, I would always REMOVE EndlessOS as the gargantuan OS and GNOME did not suit me, but it made a nice start and I was happy to see EndlessOS as an option, especially as wifi access n the deep rural villages is still pretty 'iffy.'

        However, that has gone to Dodo land and now all non-Apple Laptops here come with Windows. End of.

        Not something I am happy about.

  7. corb

    EndlessOS isn't targeting Linux enthusiasts and current users, including kids. Evaluating it from that perspective misses the point. It specifically targets educational uses and "tackling the global digital divide". To that end, it offers 12-gig+ install images intended to be useful without a network connection, in addition to the standard ISO image.

    I suspect most who install Endless have never heard of Linux. I gave it an install. It works as advertised. It's polished and well done. I felt confined and limited but that is a selling point elsewhere. Its approach to updating and app installation is, I think, the best in the atomic/immutable arena, where other distros layer complexity onto what is intended to be a simplified architecture by adding gizmos to allow "choice". Most people do not want to tinker with or configure their computer. They want it to work well and look nice out of the box.They see post-install configuration as an annoyance. They want to install apps and use them. They don't want to leverage an operating system. They don't want to be bothered with updates. So, yes, like a phone. That's what most people on the planet want.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Perfect for elderly relatives

      This looks perfect for my mum and other elderly relatives who want something that just works. They absolutely don't want to have to do configs or muck around with installing apps, and absolutely don't want to be able to break it.

      I'll install this on my mum's laptop sometime soon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Perfect for elderly relatives

        Downvotes for what? Wanting something simple?

        You people are fucking weird.

        (Not AC above)

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Perfect for elderly relatives

          Being over 12 years old and caring about downvotes is fucking weird.

          No, it wasn’t me that downvoted. I don’t use the voting system because I am much older than 12.

      2. Bebu Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Perfect for elderly relatives

        And now I are an elderly relative. :)

        Seriously though the better half only uses Firefox to browse and read/send her email and libreoffice to prepare documents for which wordpad would be overkill and all on Win7 (I finessed the extended updates on to it but those are finished too.)

        This distro might be just the thing to replace win7.

        The web interface of gmail keeps changing which confuses her which subsequently irritates me. A simple mail client that can do google oauth2 would be nice. Simpler than evolution or thunderbird. ;) The browsing is mostly FF on an aging tablet.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Perfect for elderly relatives

          I think I can see your problem. It's gMail.

          Free email providers are all very well until you realise you're locked in and they morph into something you don't like.

  8. CAPS LOCK

    FOSS software stands or falls by its community...

    I looked on the EndlessOS forums and found they are quiet and a number of questions go unsolved. A beginner friendly OS needs more effort going into solving new user problems. Failing that users will be put off Linux in general: "Oh, I tried Linux but it doesn't work".

    1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

      Re: FOSS software stands or falls by its community...

      To be fair, I don't think many of the users they are targeting are the sort who would go to forums to solve their issues. Most probably aren't installing the OS themselves, and will go to whoever did with their problems.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I think this is the first time I've grokked the point of Endless OS. For that it appears to be a good solution, much better than Windows. However if that was what desktop Linux as a whole was like I'd be using something else.

    1. keithpeter Silver badge

      "However if that was what desktop Linux as a whole was like I'd be using something else."

      So would I but I don't think we are the target market for this particular project.

      I'm downloading the basic version now to have a look-see. It is the summer so I'm in admin mode and planning for next year's teaching. I have to do teams/zooms with managers over the next couple of weeks so I'll see if I can do the documents and the meetings in this thing.

      1. keithpeter Silver badge
        Windows

        Live basic version

        Posting this from 'Web' on a live session based on the basic download (4Gb).

        Live image seems to have persistence set up. You go through the username/password/ languages dialogue and pick 1 language (see other posters for critique of language/input). Then connect to wifi and identify time zone. There is a licence to agree to (PDF file, about 7 pages). There is an opt-in to send stuff back to endless (on by default but in your face and easy to switch off) along with location services (again big off switch next to heading, not hidden in small fonts at bottom of screen). Optional wifi login (has drivers for the Intel card in my Thinkpad X220).

        You get the usual debian desktop session but with Chromium instead of Firefox, and Evolution for email instead of Thunderbird. Libreoffice is there, as is Shotwell, Videos and an audio application called 'Decibels' which appears to be designed for playing back speech recordings with facilities for skip and playback at different speeds.

        The live session is a bit slow and bumpy on this i5 / 8Gb RAM laptop, which is odd because the Debian live iso is pretty fast. I'm assuming it would be native speed from a hard drive. Terminal is available, and sudo su - gets you into a root account. fdisk -l suggests 12Gb of zram mounted on /dev/zram0. My physical hard drive is not mounted or touched at all.

        I might put this on a spare old laptop and see how it goes through an upgrade cycle.

  10. abufrejoval

    Missing German, immutability clashing with increasing internationality

    I speak every language they offer, except Portuguese (I understand Gallego pretty well), and have to juggle with all pretty much in parallel on top of my native German, which I still prefer as a default on my computers, but others in the family prefer English or French. And in my workplace things quickly get more complicated, just my Swiss, Belgian and Spanish colleagues routinely deal with 3-4 languages, and that's only witin Europe and a Latin alphabet.

    I think the myriad of linguistic permutations are the worst issue with these immutable images, because there are quite a lot of places in the world, where people routinely need to deal with several languages and input systems at near any level of granularity, from per sentence or conversation, to per application, time of day, or day of week.

    I don't know if they should try an EU edition and perhaps some other clusters for areas where people are multi-lingual and multi-alphabet by default. It could get out of hand quickly.

    So perhaps they need to build some kind of a staging cache, which allows automated builds of multi-language images, so that you still have the advantage of immutability on the client, yet offer a degree of customization, while maintaining reproducibility and the ability to fail-back.

    1. Yankee Doodle Doofus Bronze badge

      Re: Missing German, immutability clashing with increasing internationality

      This is an issue that I, as a dumb American who speaks only one language, would not have considered. (I understand a little Spanish and German, but not near enough to actually communicate anything of value.) Luckily there are plenty of more worldly people than myself to point these things out. Cheers!

      1. abufrejoval

        Re: Missing German, immutability clashing with increasing internationality

        It's been rather interesing to observe just how different this can be. In Brussels, just everybody is at least bilangual between French and Dutch, because as much as the two groups are at each other's throats outside the capital, inside you just can't avoid speaking both, it would be a total breakdown otherwise: very few people risk annoying 50% of their customers over something so trivial. And when the francophone speak Dutch, it's slow enough for me to undertand as a German. And in some corners of Belgium, you'd have to add a German dialect to the mix, with language barriers often running along a street in the middle of a town and the the only bakery on one side: food is such a catalyst!

        Somewhat similar in Spain, especially in Catalonia where the language issue between español and català is politically charged, yet you'll just have people juggle between those two and switch in a heartbeat in Barcelona without even thinking about it. Among my colleagues many then add French and English, simply because they spend hours each day with them in conference calls. And the French for some reason, very unlike their close cousins just behind the borders North and South, just don't manage foreign languages very well at all, something they share with their stray subjects across the Channel for some reason.

        A little further South all across the Southern seaboard of the Mediterranean nearly nobody can make do with only one language. And even if if they only speak Arabic, that's already two, the local variant and what they speak on TV. In the Magreb region, most will have school or university in either French or Spanish, plenty of Arabic at the mosque and then one or two of the various Tamazin dialects at home.

        I've met colleagues from all of those places and several more working together in Dallas for a project some years ago and was trying to enjoy the internationality of the setting.

        But evidently I was the only one, because starting with the Hispanics, almost no one dared to speak anything but English, even the French (well the Canadians had no issues with Quebequois, but that could have been Zulu as far as I could tell). The peer group pressure to speak nothing else was quite astonishing and a total surprise, because it carried over to places like restaurants. While family owners evidently saw no issues speaking Spanish among themselves, they acted as if they'd been caught in an illegal act, when I addressed them in my slightly Southern Malageño, which is very close to what got exported to Latin America.

        I learned my first variant of English in small town USA, South Eastern Ohio. And it's still somehow the easiest and most natural for me to use. But I've spent four decades of my professional life mostly with either Brits doing RP or Europeans slaughtering it. Continuing with my Appalachian seemed like running a false flag operation and clearly would have had me stand out for something that wasn't even me. As a result you'll catch me zig-zagging in a mixed group or just following whoever started the conversation. I remember a project with some Spanish and mostly Brits from the UK's North-West, so I used my finest RP for months. Then this Kiwi or Aussie walked in one day and started some friendly banter, which had me answer in the closest variant in my portfolio, which was my good ole Mid-West... People who'd been working with me all those months were completely stunned and and looked at me agape or as if I'd suddenly turned a spy or traitor...

        Even accents are so political and in these days I can't identify with either country nor with any of the many classes in the UK.

        The strong political pressure for English-only in the US has definite advantages, eliminating a lot of complexity that many other places have no choice but to deal with.

        Yet, somehow I think that the bilangual approach a lot of countries with dozens if not hundreds of local languages (China is estimated to have 600 different ones) have chosen with Mandarin even spoken in the global Chinese diaspora, is going to remain a global minimum, three or more rather more normal the more globally we work.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Missing German, immutability clashing with increasing internationality

          French are very good at English these days.

          I know this as a frustrated native English speaker who wants to use French, they all keep speaking English.

          1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Missing German, immutability clashing with increasing internationality

            As a {cough} mature {cough} Englishman, since I started traveling to the continent I've tried to learn both French and German. So far the results have been painful for anyone I've tried to speak to in those languages.

  11. Jedipadawan

    GNOME?

    I pray to the Lords of Kobol that whatever the future holds it involves is less GNOME.

    Many of us like a Desktop Environment and not an app launcher.

    Still, with the new CEO and her plan to solve GNOME's budget issues through appealing to the great Greek God Dieversitee and the Goddess Incluesivitee, especially in hiring new talent, my sacrifices of raisen cakes and 100 first born, unblemished SSD's appear to have been found favour with the Atheanian Lords(TM.)

    Disclaimer: I am find with GNOME being GNOME. I know GNOME has a great many fans. I am aware of the many benefits of GNOME and I have a saying A man's desktop is his castle" s o if GNOME works for you then great! I do not wish GNOME to disappear.

    But I do wish to the mighty Lords of Kobol it was not this de facto standard. "Oh, if in doubt, give em GNOME! That way the user can't muck it up by doing anything."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GNOME?

      I'd have upvoted you if it wasn't for the bigotry dogwhistle.

      GNOME sucks, which is really sad. 1.0 had such promise.

      That doesn't make diversity and inclusivity bad things, we need more of that everywhere. Companies are fortunately starting to learn that they will either go woke or they will go broke.

      1. Jedipadawan

        Re: GNOME?

        >"Companies are fortunately starting to learn that they will either go woke or they will go broke."

        Watch Hollywood.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: GNOME?

        I read it more as an observation on the cynicism of CEOs going woke.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: GNOME?

        >That doesn't make diversity and inclusivity bad things

        They are, if they are just leading to racism. Seem IBM and their anti-White hiring policies.

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