John “Daring Fireball” Gruber has posted an update on his previous Ronco Spray-On Usability article, responding to e-mails and comments:

…Perhaps the biggest misconception is that I’m somehow “rooting against” desktop Linux. I really don’t see how anything I’ve written implies that, unless you subscribe to the “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” school of thought.

Regardless, it’s not the case. I’m not rooting against desktop Linux, nor have I ever claimed it can’t succeed. What I am saying is:

1) It hasn’t succeeded yet.

2) It’s unlikely to succeed without direction and substantial commercial support.

Where by “succeed” I mean “provide a terrific user experience”.

The key is that there’s never going to be a good desktop user interface for Linux that pleases the Linux nerds who don’t care about usability. If the reason you use Linux is that you value tweakability over usability, or if you get off on the fact that a normal person couldn’t sit down in front of your computer and figure out how to use it, you’re probably not going to like a system that doesn’t even have a replaceable “window manager”. Trying to create a cohesive GUI system that appeals to these guys is like trying to write music that appeals to the tone deaf.