Gnome Founder Miguel de Icaza Solves Identity Crisis, Moves To Mac

de Icaza

Today in his personal blog, Miguel de Icaza, founder of Gnome, and one of the most polarizing personalities in the free software world, announced that he is finished with the Linux platform –at least for personal use.  Icaza has made a number of unpopular decisions over the years that have been rejected for the free software community at large, and has even been the target of serious criticism from the FSF and Richard Stallman, among others.

This revalation in chronicled in his latest blog post How I ended up with Mac.

On his strict practice of “dogfooding”:

I invested years of my life on the Linux desktop first as a personal passion (Gnome) and when while awoken for two Linux companies (my own, Ximian and then Novell). During this period, I believed strongly in dogfooding our own products. I believed that both me and my team had to use the software we wrote and catch bugs and errors before it reached our users. We were pretty strict about it: both from an ideological point of view, back in the days of all-software-will-be-free, and then practically – during my tamer business days. I routinely chastised fellow team members that had opted for the easy path and avoided our Linux products.

On the revalation itself:

To me, the fragmentation of Linux as a platform, the multiple incompatible distros, and the incompatibilities across versions of the same distro were my Three Mile Island/Chernobyl.
Without noticing, I stopped turning on the screen for my Linux machine during 2012. By the time I moved to a new apartment in October of 2012, I did not even bother plugging the machine back and to this date, I have yet to turn it on.

Even during all of my dogfooding and Linux advocacy days, whenever I had to recommend recommended a computer to a single new user, I recommended a Mac. And whenever I gave away computer gifts to friends and family, it was always a Mac. Linux just never managed to cross the desktop chasm.

It is what it is.  Icaza’s personal politics aside –and any rotten tomatoes you might want to throw at him –he has been at the forefront of open source technology for sometime, and is the catalyst behind one of the most beloved desktop environments of all time, the Gnome 2.x series.

Source |

Via | Phoronix

About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.
  • Sasha Shepherd

    Gnome 2.x > OSX. Just sayin’ 😉

  • Christopher Boyer

    Simply sating that compatibility is the issue is a very lazy reason. No less than 3 major vendors provide hardware guaranteed to work OOTb with linux. Last I checked, Macs had one. Calling him on BS on this one.

  • Grepnix

    Gnome and Mono? …and now he prefers Mac OSX? He’s either the troll of all trolls/ stupid/ or the devil incarnate…

  • zman58

    Ok. Fine. He gave it a commendable shot…helped drive Gnome 2 development, BUT then tried to merge the Microsoft .NET world into the Linux camp with Mono. Right there, at that point, is where he went wrong–dragging proprietary and heavily guarded “IP”, as some folks refer to it, along with a flimsy “promise not to sue” into an unbounded totally free landscape. ….A certain sense of platform pollution and question of unspoken interests prevailed after that. We might say that a credibility issue ensued.

    Just because you are capable of doing something does not mean you should. Think it through first.

  • 2eurocents

    He _does_ have the right haircut…

  • zman58

    The fragmentation of Linux is what provides its very strength and ubiquity. That is why you find it literally everywhere. It goes anywhere and does anything in IT. It is the workhorse of the IT industry. Perhaps the most efficient work horse ever invented–a great human achievement which continues to grow. It provides more revenue opportunity and user cost savings than any other OS on the planet. Don’t believe it?.. just ask Google, or IBM, or RedHat, or me!

  • Symon Cadwalader

    Don’t let the door hit you on your way out…..

    • gert

      Damn you !!! You took the words out of my mouth!!!

      More that all the manure he has spewed, he will be remembered as a hypocrite the most.

  • Jon Valentine

    What a cop out! Linux is an OS that was made to be free to download, copy, install, and modify so he should have expected that with the advent of the some what unpopular Gnome Shell and Gnome 3 DE. What a TRAITOR!

    • Luya Tshimbalanga

      De Icaza has nothing to do with Gnome 3. He stopped contributing on since 2005 focusing on Ximian. Gnome Shell is actually a welcome change in Linux community instead of stucking in the past (Windows 95 era). With its soon integration with systemd, it will improve desktop experience.

  • Carling

    He will make mac users happy, when he brings a new spark of life into Mac os/x He can tell them that he learned it all by working with the world best Programmers The Linux geeks, I wonder how much Apple paid him for that plug,,,,,Miguel Linux runs on the over priced over rated apple box try it,

  • tracyanne

    Hopefully we will no longer have to put up with his whinging that Linux is ‘fragmented”. Given that he is obviously not interested in supporting Linux operating Systems with his software, and his lame excuses are just that, he will not be a loss.

  • vishwaje

    He’s getting lazy.. That’s it..

  • stephen murcott

    Lots of people like Mac OSX, some very clever guys I know use it for personal use… and then write software for deployment on Linux servers. I’ve seen them frag desktop after desktop somehow and distro hop, this I guess is some people’s experience. Perhaps I am just really lucky and careful and read the man pages cos my experience is very different.

    Migel is entitled to his choice. I personally have loads experience wth Gnome (X), KDE, XFCE and E17 and would rate any of them over OSX… Mainly because I have found them tweakable, fast, stable – ok not every release, and most importantly they come with the Linux toolkit. My favorite is E17 since recent developments… I found the vendor lock in thing and smugness of the MAC community really annoying.

    Guess if you don’t care that you don’t know what your system is doing or how it fits together and you just want a system that comes pre-installed on supported hardware and contains DRM to the MAX then a Mac is great. Although have seen the spinning beachball of death more than once (usually associated with updates) and smiled quietly knowing that there is nothing they can do about it themselves and the community will point them at a vendor.

  • minnesota linux
  • Jacky Alcine

    Fucking hate this guy; so two-faced.

    HE CAUSED 100% of the fragmentation with his STUPID toolkit!

  • Kamikaze Scotsman

    Wow, you people need to calm down. All OSs out there have their merits. If someone prefers OS X over Linux, fine, that’s their loss (or gain; it’s all opinion, after all).

  • Robin Jacobs

    If fragmentation is bad, that means you want one company/project to have a monopoly over the entire “market”? Ok, that explains it. He’s just disgruntled that not every Linux user out there uses Gnome.

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  • Moi

    Yay !

    Send him on his way !!!

    Imagine how much damage this guy could do to the Mac ecosystem …

    Just got to get him a job at Apple …


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  • P.Woods

    “whenever I gave away computer gifts to friends and family, it was always a Mac.”
    Someones being paid way too much!

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