...but I do have a couple of issues. Most notably, many of your points are two parts of the same issue.
1: Ubuntu needs to drop Unity
No argument, but perhaps it should once again be about choice. Gnobuntu anyone? Please?
2: Classic GNOME should be forked
Nope. You go on in point 10 that "lightweight versions of EXISTING desktops should be created for low-powered and netbook machines" and you are right. Sorry, I do not see classic Gnome working for a small computer (800MHz embedded or older PIII laptop) better than XFCE or other lightweight window manager.
3: A uniform compositor should be used
Big fan of the compositor too. It's probably the most useful and fun part of the Linux experience for me. Nothing beats the look on a Windows user's face when they see the cube in action for the first time.
4: Distributions need to make alternate desktops easy to install
No doubt. I want to be able to pop into Ubuntu application center and install any desktop I want. No fuss, no muss, just like everything else.
5: Distributions need to stop modifying desktops
Again, we agree. Remember the fuss when Ubuntu moves the window buttons to the left side? Windows Vista or Seven moving the add / remove programs? Little things add up to big things.
6: GNOME Shell should be more configurable
I have not played around with Gnome3 enough to comment, but if it is locked in, how long before someone releases a tweak tool? Betcha one is already in the works.
7: Alternate desktops need more exposure
This goes back to the ease of installation issue. Make it easy enough to try without having to reload the OS and people will start to play with them.
8: All desktops need a more standardized configuration
Okay... I am confused. Jack, do you want more configuration or more standardization, or is it that you want all the defaults to look fairly much alike? I will agree that the menus need standardization and that a common starting point would be helpful in selling the product to corporate or not-so-savvy users, but I don't want to crack open my C++ reference guides to make my window borders transparent.
9: Distributions should decide who their audiences are
Ummm... no. The distro should be independent of the window manager. The window manager and default apps determine the target audience, but ultimately its the users who determine which distro fits their use, not the distro that chooses the client. This would be different if marketing dollars were being spent, but this is not the case. While I am sure the developers have a target client in mind and this target shouldn't wander, Linux is built by user demand to scratch an itch, not by companies pandering to the client base market research points them at.
10: Lightweight versions of EXISTING desktops should be created for low-powered and netbook machines
I will agree, but rather than reinvent the wheel, just use XFCE or one of those. If you have one of those underpowered early netbooks sitting around (check your bookshelf, they make great book ends), try Xubuntu on it.
Time for a Linux revolt?
When isn't it? Linux IS a revolt, but rather than a revolt against the tyranny of MS, Mac, or any other convenient "evil empire", I submit to you that Linux is a revolt *for* choice. When someone asks why I run Linux (on everything), my answer is "because I can" not "because you can't". Think of it as a positive benevolent revolution, a constructive, bloodless coup d'etat.
Rather than tell people what doesn't work or prevent users from using the tools they are used to, build or find a better mousetrap. My dad used to tell me of the ten shortest words of greatest power: "if it is to be it is up to me". It's the Linux way.
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