I was arguing with a friend who said that both terms means the same thing. In my opinion desktop is just the primary user interface(background image plus shortscuts,icons etc) while the desktop enviroment contains the window manager,file manager and its responsible for the whole gui experience.Can someone give a clear definition of both terms?
closed as off-topic by heavyd, Xavierjazz, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Tog, Dave M Dec 17 '13 at 13:45
This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:
The core problem is using a metaphor to define a new concrete idea. On a real desktop I can set my lunch, my hat, my papers and my pencil. The desktop metaphor allows you to draw on your knowledge of real items when working in digital environment. It has virtual paper, virtual pencils, calculators, etc. It is however not perfect. (You can't email me lunch.) Programmers will look at you real strange if you ask if a desktop element would work better if you used dovetail joints instead of mortise and tenon.
The real problem is that poetry makes terrible engineering specifications. If you take the poetic idea that a screen is a desktop (metaphor), and start dealing with measurables such as process separation, you end up with poets wielding slide rules and engineers quoting Roger Rabbit, "How do I love thee, let me count the ways, one one thousand two one thousand . . ."
Metaphors are by their nature fuzzy, and imprecise. failing to realize this leads to flame wars.