Minimally Competent Linux Apps

Yesterday's question and the Linux user response bugs me:

"because they are writing actually useful software, and not bells-and-frippery bullshit."

That's just a horrific anti-user attitude. I want nothing but suffering for the developers & maintainers of Linux, but the poor bastards using it are still people, and people deserve software that doesn't suck.

So I duckduckwent for some clickbait and picked out some non-system apps.


I'm going to mark these X for Cross-Platform, L for Linux-only, or NL for Not on Linux, and a completely biased first impression (unless I've used it) star rating:

  • X ★★★☆☆: VLC Media Player: Generally quite awful but it works, sometimes the only thing that does on random torrented videos.
  • X ★★★☆☆: Firefox: Meh. The Meh of browsers, leftover squeezings from the corpse of Netscape/Mozilla. The old rendering engine was good, but then the web moved on, and the new engine struggles to keep up. But not unusable.
  • X ★☆☆☆☆: GIMP: Now you're just being mean, Techradar. Nobody deserves to be GIMPed, and it may be against the Geneva Conventions.
  • X ★★☆☆☆: Deluge actually looks kind of decent for a generic torrent client. Hate those stock GNOME(?) toolbar icons.
  • X ★★☆☆☆: Thunderbird: Oh, I remember that. I briefly used it between mutt on BSD, and Apple Mail once I trusted the Mac. I'm sure it's as annoying to use as ever, but it works.
  • X ★☆☆☆☆: LibreOffice: "Because libre is free, man" (tokes). Sure, it barely opens Office documents and often corrupts them, and its feature set is spartan to nonexistent, and it looks like ass, but… uh… I guess it's all you got on Linux? Microsoft Office now runs on Mac, iOS, and Android, so maybe you could run the Android Office instead?
  • X ★★★☆☆: Pidgin: I think this is developed first on Windows, and then they also have a Gtk+ port that runs on Mac & Linux. There's just kind of an antiseptic, joyless smell to Windows software even with a filthy pigeon mascot.
  • X ★★☆☆☆: Audacity: Hideously ugly, impossibly awkward, but often the only audio editor that solves quick editing of multi-track WAVs. I loathe Audacity but use it a couple times a week.
  • X ★★★★☆: Chrome: Competent Google behemoth browser, if there was no Safari I guess I'd use Chrome. Instead it's my Flash-running trash silo.
  • X ☆☆☆☆☆: Copay: I don't consider Ponzi scams legitimate software. How do intelligent people fall for this shit?
  • X ★☆☆☆☆: Fucking Skype: Fucking Skype, can you hear me? Can… Can you hear me calling? Shit everyone hang up and call back in. No, now you sound like a robot, too. FUCKING SKYPE.
  • L ★★☆☆☆: Corebird: No shit, a Linux-only, Gtk+ Twitter client. Supposedly full-featured, at least until Twitter shuts off the API. I hate the big buttons and the weird padding and text boxes that don't fill all horizontal space, it's simultaneously claustrophobic and agoraphobic, which is amazebad. Icon is a bird with its brain exposed like Hannibal Lector is about to scoop it out. I… This is a work of comedy genius, or insanity. But kudos, Linux guys, on your first app.
  • L ★★★☆☆: Evince: Like Preview on Mac, a thing you don't realize is even software. Which is about as high praise as you're gonna get.
  • X ★★☆☆☆: Clementine: I've tried this on the Mac during one of my fits of temper at iTunes. It's functional but not as nice as iTunes (!!!), but for Linux I'm sure it's intolerable since they can't play music without it stuttering or being interrupted, because Linus is an incompetent bozo who doesn't realize real-time audio matters. Also hasn't had an official release or news in 2 years, tho the github repo shows more recent activity. Have fun compiling and running from HEAD!
  • NL: Dropbox: Linuxhint tells people to use Dropbox website despite having no Linux app. That may be the saddest thing I've seen all day, and I just watched a TV show where a man saw two of his sons shot dead, and then he was shot dead and his other son is in prison now. This is the weeping song
  • L ★★★★☆: Cumulus QT: Real-time weather in a nice UI. No web site, just a github repo, but seriously, the first good thing I've seen in this entire mess.
  • X ★★★★★: Krita: A cross-platform but really excellent paint program, somewhat in the style of Fractal Design Painter or any of those. I wasn't even aware it ran on Linux, it's been around in the Mac & Windows world for a while. Doesn't really replace Photoshop/GIMP/Acorn/GraphicConverter for pixel-fucking, but for painting on the computer it's quite good.
  • X ★★☆☆☆: OpenShot: Video editor, awful generic UI and more GNOME icons, and I've heard it described as slower than paint drying, but not my kind of thing to even evaluate.

So that was a parade of mostly the shittiest cross-platform apps ever, that I wouldn't allow on my computer. A couple are respectable. It looks like Cumulus and maybe some GNOME people are the only decent desktop devs on Linux? There are good cross-platform apps not listed, so I suspect "Linux users have no aesthetic sense" is a big part of this, no recognition for even trying.

I'm not going to attempt this for Windows, ain't enough whiskey in the world for that.

3 thoughts on “Minimally Competent Linux Apps”

  1. @dgold Nobody running Linux is "in disadvantage", it's all rich white nerds who choose to live as hippies. Actual poor people, the 6 billion not in 1st world countries, just pirate Windows and Microsoft Office, and have a better office suite.

  2. @dgold As for LibreOffice, people do need to read and write documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, for business or home, and LibreOffice is not a good solution.

  3. @dgold They don't use desktop apps because the few desktop apps they have are awful. It's a cycle of misery, but it can be broken by learning to make nice apps.

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