I was reading the Road to KDE 4 series on http://dot.kde.org/ this week and it got me thinking about porting native Linux apps to other operating systems like Windows and OS X, and whether or not it's a good thing. The answer depends on who you are and what your objective is, but overall I think it's a positive. Here's why.
I've always intended Linux App Finder to have a section where you can start with a Windows app to find an alternative that runs on Linux, and I'm pleased to announce that it's complete. Click over to the Windows section to check it out.
There is a good list of Windows titles there now, but anyone who's logged in can add new ones. In addition to the Windows list itself, links appear just under the tags on a Linux app's page to show what Windows software it is an alternative to.
If you didn't just recently start using a computer, chances are your first time using Linux comes after switching from Windows. For most people this involves two key challenges: getting used to a different windowing interface; and learning to use new applications. These days the first challenge is getting ever easier with the KDE and Gnome desktops continuing to improve and distros adding better hardware configuration tools. It's the second challenge, however, that still continues to confound many of us.
Years of training in Photoshop is hard to replace overnight, and even though programs like the GIMP are feature equivalent in the areas that most users will ever need, there might be that one feature that you can't live without.