Tobias Bernard, is a Gnome designer who works for Purism to bring the environment on the company's mobile devices, the "Librem 5" the comments that the real Linux problem is that, Unlike Windows and macOS, there really is no Linux platform.
While Linux is the largest community project in the development world and despite this we continue to listen the famous phrase, "This year is the year of Linux" basically like saying "this year is the good one", but this does not happen. Linux, as much as it integrates innovations, continues to fail on the desktop and even though several have tried to explain this for many issues, including the lack of manufacturers offering pre-installed Linux PCs, support for proprietary software and drivers, user interfaces that people sometimes find very basic, or the problem of ecosystem fragmentation.
Despite this many efforts have been made to improve the ecosystem on Linux more and more, since previously one of the big problems due to fragmentation were the applications, because even this suggested a problem for developers since they offered their application through the compilation option to avoid having to invest more time in the creation of specific packages for the different Linux distributions or basically they invested that time in which both cases were part of the trouble.
Even though this has changed over time and the arrival of universal applications for Linux, say "Flatpak", "Snap" or AppImage, for Tobias Bernard this does not solve the root of the problem.
Well he says:
“I think the heart of the matter is actually the bottom layer: before we can have healthy ecosystems, we need healthy platforms to build them.
For him, successful platforms are distinguished by different elements that can easily be lost just by looking at the surface.
On the developer sideEg they have an operating system that developers can be used to build applications and offer an SDK and tools built into the operating system.
As well need documentation from the developer, tutorials, etc. so that people can learn to develop for the platform. And once the apps are created, there must be an app store to submit them.
But lDevelopers can't build great apps on your own. Having said that, you also need designers. And designers need tools to simulate and prototype applications, user interface templates for things like layout and navigation.
On the end user side, Tobias Bernard explains that need an operating system for the consumer with an integrated app store, where people can get apps created by developers.
The main operating system may be the same as the developer operating system, but not necessarily (for example, this is not the case for Android or iOS).
Users they must also have a way to get help or support when they have problems with their system (be it physical stores, a help website or whatever).
In other words, Tobias Bernard believes that you can not talk about a platform before meeting four essential conditions: an operating system, a developer platform, a design language, and an app store.
Linux, No, because Linux is a kernel, which can be used to create operating systems around which platforms can be built, as Google has done with Android. But a kernel alone does not meet all four conditions and is therefore not a platform.
Ubuntu is not yet a platform, because does not have the most critical elements, i.e. an SDK or a technology stack for developers and a design language. Other distributions are in a similar situation to Ubuntu, but worse because they don't have app stores.
While in the case of Gnome, he comments that it is a desktop stack most popular in the free software world and has an SDK and a design language. However, it does not have an operating system. Many distributions come with GNOME, but they are all different in one way or another, so they do not provide a unified development goal.