I’d say that depends on the extent of our super-powers. Do we have any super-powers? What are they? What can we do with them? What do we WANT to do with them? Do we want to bother?
It’s easy to ride along and bellyache occasionally. People are naturally lazy. Especially programmers, if we weren’t the laziest creatures on the planet we’d be doing actual work instead of writing code.
On the other hand, if you can actually get a developer interested in something, you’re likely to find a new toy on your doorstep just a few all-nighters later. Assuming that the nest of gotchas hidden in umpty-dozen libraries don’t make the fellow crazy before he can get the job done.
Sure, we can let they boys at RedHat own this, and the boys at Canonical own that, but that’s been the process since forever, letting corporate interests drive things, basically because we all have to pay rent, and i’m not seeing all that much benefit coming out of the GNOME group, every release is more dumbed-down and less-capable than the previous ones because everybody wants to be rich and famous, they want to make computers run on emojis so 4-year-olds can use them. That’s great for the 4-year-olds, they can have their worldviews shaped by the paradigms people thought of 5-10 years ago and didn’t work out thoroughly because they were in a hurry to pay the rent. But what about people who want to do some computing instead of play the latest games or watch the latest videos?
The linux kernel rocks. userspace not so much. GUI-space even less imo. Too many libraries, too many conflicting details, it’s a mess. The symptoms are clear enough if you just look at grub. Grandiose Unified Bootloader, trying to do everything for everybody, so everybody will love it for having done the two things they actually need done. The “capture-and-hold-customers” game has just about ponzi’ed itself out of existence, the customers have been captured and held and are getting restless about being held captive in this garden or that, you can hear the drums if you listen for them.
Okay, talk is certainly cheap, no argument there. And i’m off in my own little world working toward cross-system binary portability, so i’m not much use. But here’s the thing…
When i was in college studying computer-science, there were a few guys actually excited about software. And some of them are probably still interested in software even if they’ve mostly been beaten into conformance. And those guys are retiring now, those of us who aren’t already retired. When i retired from the world of conforming to other peoples’ standards it took at least a decade to scrape the crust off my thinking and get back to my own standards. Retired people may have to pay rent or not, but the survivors have time on their hands.
I say they’re gonna start showing up any time now, asking “where’s the beef?” We don’t all have to sit on our hands all the time until the bosses give permission to wear jeans on hawaiian shirt day. The thing about computers is that if you can decide what you want you can make one.