Yesterday, I went out with a few friends for some billiards. Of course, since we're all nerds, we got to talking about open source software for 3 hours at Tim Hortons. This happens pretty much every time I'm in Toronto and hang out with these people. I love it. We play pool, drink coffee, and talk about technology. I enjoy having a group of friends that I can have these conversations with. :)
Anyway, yesterday we touched on the topic of Linux becoming a popular operating system for the masses. One friend thought that Linux was on it's way to become a popular OS for the average computer user. I disagree. Linux still has the image of an operating system made for experienced computer users. Until they break this image, they will never be accessible to the average user. For example, look at troubleshooting in Linux. Google any common problem you might have in Linux, and the first page of results will all be cryptic command line tricks to get something to work. The language used is often way over the head of a lot of computer users. The average computer user will be intimidated by this. Until Linux changes this culture of just encouraging people to use command line to solve any problem, they're never going to become popular with average users.
So is this command line culture ever going to change? Maybe. But not anytime soon. A lot of members in the Linux community probably don't consider making GUIs on top of a few simple commands. Even though this is exactly what it would take to get people to use Linux more. I would argue that this community is not thinking about usability as much as they should be.
What do you guys think? Do you see this as a problem for Linux? Do you see it being solve any time soon?