I figured since the holiday was fast approaching I should probably pull my old OSCWL out and see what it has to offer this year. So, without further ado...
1) Please Steve Jobs - just open up the SDK for the iPhone. I know, I know...you're worried that if you open it up that it will become a security nightmare for the iPhone. I say, "Not so!" Linux has been open since inception and do you see a plague of security issues? Windows, on the other hand, has been closed since inception and, well, need I say more? And, Mr. Jobs, if you're that worried about it - set up an accountability program. Have everyone wanting to create apps for the iPhone be required to send them to Apple for inspection. Sure it would be time consuming but it would be well worth it. Once a program was inspected, post it for users to install. Simple, effective, safe. Open that puppy up!
2) And while I'm on that topic - release a version of iTunes for Linux! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE gtk-pod and numerous other audio players/organizers for Linux. But it sure would be nice to NOT have to have a machine set up who's only use is syncing my iPhone.
3) Red Hat - please come out with a non-enterprise desktop OS again. I was such a huge fan. You were, after all, my first. But now you give us Fedora - a cutting edge distro that isn't worthy of "cutting teeth" (newbies need not apply.) Fedora is fine but every time a new release comes out, it's one headache after another to get it up and running to the users' satisfaction. Let Fedora be, but release something stable and useful for the new to average user.
4) For the developers of Enlightenment: For the love of TUX hurry up and release E17 to the wild! Yeah, yeah I know I can check it out via CVS or get a live distro with E17 but I want E17 my way - with apt-get or yum. I've been waiting for this release for so long, I can't remember the first time I saw screenshots of the release. It looks uber sweet but it's doing me no good by just being a screen hot on someone's server. I want E17 and I want it now!!!!!
5) For the developers of GNOME - catch up. It seems like every other time you release GNOME, you take a step backwards. Sure it's nice and stable, but it still looks like a desktop circa mid '90s. Take a gander at where KDE is going. They are about to release KDE 4 and, when it comes out, people will be wowed! What do you have in store for us? A more stable release of Nautilus?
6) Better WEP support. Need I say more?
7) More pre-installed Linux on machines sold at Walmart. This was really a huge step forward because it brought Linux to a user-group that probably wouldn't know what an OS is if it slapped them across the face with a Jeff Gordon leather jacket.
8) Prosperity to companies like Zonbu. You've heard my pitches for this company. They are bringing the true "missing link" to the PC community at large - you know, those millions of people who think a PC is used for nothing more than surfing YouTube, MySpace, and eBay, sending e-mail, and MAYBE writing a paper or two. The likes of Zonbu are doing the Linux community a HUGE favor. So to include in this wish, I would like to add support to Zonbu (and the like) from the open source community.
So there you have it. It's a pretty simple list but it covers a lot of bases. Now, it's your turn. What is on your Open Source Christmas list?
Thank you all for reading my column this year. Have a happy and healthy holiday!
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.