It's like a cancer: a creeping, deadly disease that slowly erodes all that's good and clean, replacing it with a swill of malignancy and decrepitude.
I'm speaking, of course, of the recent appearance of Linux UI conventions under Windows. From the simplest open source utilities to the most polished commercial offerings, the stench of Linux is now permeating many of my favorite programs.
Case in point: FileZilla. I live and die by this robust little FTP client. It's fast and flexible, and it simply gets the job done. However, each time I use it I'm reminded of its disease-ridden ancestry. FileZilla is, after all, a cross-platform program, one that has near-identical ports to Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X. This subtle malignancy rears its ugly head in a variety of places throughout the UI, and it irks me to no end.
[ See Randall C. Kennedy's top 10 picks for the best Windows open source software. ]
Then there is VirtualBox. I really want to love this program. It's carved a place in my heart as the only remaining David to VMware's Workstation Goliath. However, lately, David has been giving me heartburn. It has to do with those interminable error-handling dialog boxes. Each one is uglier than the last, sending me reaching for medicine cabinet. Pepcid, here I come!
Another example: the uncannily named GIMP, a travesty of camel engineering. How this freak of nature, with its disjointed UI and indecipherable iconography, managed to worm its way onto so many Windows-based PCs is beyond me. Must be a sympathy play, sort of like when you take pity on a deformed puppy. It's so unlovely you just want to snuggle it a bit before putting it to sleep.