I love Linux and answering these questions makes my stomach feel funny, but I do it for the good of the community...
1- Game design software? What did you have in mind?
A casual peruse through Ubuntu's repositories turns up more 3D/MUD/FPS/TM engines than you can shake a stick at. I guess there's more to games than that, but that's where the money comes from...
The point is, f0dder's right. Drag 'n drop game software is fun and has its uses, but REAL games get done where the function call meets the stack pointer...
2- Once again, more of these than you can shake a stick at, but none of them are 100% complete. They should be written by the guys who have their hands wet with the environment you're in (KDE tools should come from the KDE team, etc. IMO it's their responsibility...), follow the standards where they apply, and have an intuitive interface.
3- If you're using C++ and GTK+, try Glade
. Also, look into Lazarus
if you're into Pascal.
4- Autohotkey came about because Windows fell far short of what was needed in this area. Linux is constantly lauded for the power of it's shell scripting and many equivalents of Autohotkey's functions can be found in the average distro's /bin and /sbin directories, but I agree there's not a simple tool for writing simple scripts. Kommander
looks promising, and Zenity
is nice for adding handy pop-up dialogs to your shell scripts. A feature-for-feature Linux equivalent of Autohotkey would be exciting, but until then you could always learn Ruby
1- You're right, and the community would go ballistic at the proposition of being 'forced' to use one look anyways. Personally, I like Windows' consistency, although the skinning community exists because they DON'T.
IMO, Differing environments/distros/window managers are only half the problem. What's happening is that Linux is always being evolved and a lot of very useful apps are written (and still being written) with ancient toolkits (xforms, tk, pre-1.0 gtk, etc.) and since it 'just works' we all live with a GUI that looks more like Windows 3.1 than KDE, Gnome, etc. I don't think a consistent interface is an impossible goal, but some things have to be set straight. The different elements which make up the 'look-n-feel' should be separate objects, each one completely responsible for it's job. The toolkit should call the theme engine, which should be part of the environment but autonomous so whichever one you prefer can respond to whatever window manager/environment you're using. For example, the toolkit says "context menu", the theme engine should say "blue with white edges, a gradient on the title block and Helvetica for the font", and the environment should say "snappable to the screen edge, and on top of the root window using the Foobar icon set."
2- I disagree, to a point. Sure, new users shouldn't have to know or even think about what the heck /dev is, but I think if there is ONE hurdle new Linux users should understand is that Linux is not Windows, My Documents/Computer/Pictures doesn't exist (there's no place like '/home'...) and it's not profitable to go snarfing around the filesystem looking for goodies. Give them a manual that tells them what everything is, skipping the details, but enough that when someones mentions it they don't panic.
3- Grrr... I HATE that. Man pages are useful IF they have real-world examples, but carefully commented code does NOT equal documentation. EVAR!!!
4- I couldn't agree more. Although the reason for the cry for open source drivers is BECAUSE of the poor Linux support most hardware companies have given. If they made decent drivers, I don't think too many folks would care...
Now for my own 2 cents.
1- Make simple things simple. I shouldn't have to hand-write a .desktop file with root privilege just to stick something in the Applications menu. Really. And I second f0dder's vote on hand editing xorg.conf. Even though I know how to do it blindfolded, I shouldn't have to jump through that hoop for 1024x768, let alone dual monitors.
2- Second vote for a consistent interface. Use whatever toolkit you want, I don't care, just let the environment's theme engine take care of the chrome.
3- Seconds on the startup scripts. Although they should never have to be touched by human hands, they should at the very least be logical and humanly understandable JUST IN CASE I need to get at them in an emergency. A GUI would be nice, but that's up to the distro to provide. I don't mind hand-editing if something is really wrong and that's the only way to go about it, and I could count on one hand the times I have HAD to do that, but it was never pleasant. Geez guys, I understand shell script kung-fu is necessary, and the comments are helpful, but don't make me paw through 17 different files just trying to figure out how my $PATH got set.
4- Consistent printing interface. Don't even get me started...
My printer works beautifully, mind you, and CUPS is very good at getting things to work, but... If I want to do more than set the papersize...