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KDE Developer on the GNOME Foundation

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the war-rages-on dept.

X 369

The ongoing debate between KDE and GNOME has calmed down a lot in the last year as each system became stable and usable. Recent announcements regarding the Gnome Foundation has caused some tension (ranging from words to DNS hijaacking). Kurt Granroth, a KDE Core Team Member, and the KDE US Press Rep has submitted his opinions on the subject, are in some cases very good points, and in other cases extremely inflammatory, but in both cases, worth reading.

The following was written by Slashdot Reader and KDE Core Team Member, Kurt Granroth

One developers Opinion of Sun + GNOME

Recently, Sun and HP (but mostly Sun) announced that they will be using Gnome as their default desktop. As a member of the KDE Core Team and as a US press-rep, announcement, I have been asked more then a few times what KDE thinks of this. I have also been asked if KDE user should be worried about the future of KDE now. I've given a rough idea of what "KDE thinks" to those journalists.. but the answer must be pretty generic since KDE is too distributed and diverse to permit me to speak for everybody.

But the wishy-washy answer that I am forced to give doesn't mean that I don't have strong *personal* opinions on the matter -- I do. So I'd like to take this time to offer a few of them for your enjoyment.

I look at the Sun announcement and I try to imagine how it can effect the KDE project. Let's look at the absolute *worst* case situation (from our point of view). Say Sun and HP contribute a significant amount of top-notch programmers towards the Gnome project and as a result, they overtake us. Perhaps for the first time, Gnome is better designed, easier to program for, easier to use, and more stable then KDE. Meanwhile, with the momentum gained by it being the "commercial Unix standard", more and more vendors use Gnome in porting their apps without giving KDE a second thought. Maybe as a result, even "Joe Hacker" in his dorm room might not want to work with KDE.

That's the "worst" case. But say, even if that *did* become true (doubtful, see below), it still wouldn't take away from the fact that KDE is very well designed, incredibly easy to program for, intuitively easy to use and rock solid stable. We have managed to attract hundreds of developers and millions of users to KDE and we will continue to attract the numbers after words. Remember, even if Gnome does become a great desktop, that doesn't mean that KDE will stop being a great desktop. Put another way, KDE will always be around and it will always be a worthwhile desktop to use and platform to develop on.

But let's back-pedal just a bit. I personally find the above scenario *incredibly* unlikely. It has never been shown that throwing more developers on the project will guarantee that the project will succeed, and you can show that it often makes no difference at all. Sun may have a lot of developers, but it remains to be seen if it will matter.

I have reason to be skeptical. Let's not forget just how the backers of the Open Group/Motif and CDE were. That's right -- Sun and HP. Two large companies with all their resources thrown at this that couldn't compete with *either* Gnome or KDE. The Sun website talks glowingly of all the really cool things they will do with Gnome... but those with a memory (and a web browser pointed towards the Open Group's website) will remember that Sun said pretty much the same thing for Motif/CDE.. and look where that went.

No, Sun's developer resources don't worry me in the slightest. We have already shown that we can take them on and win convincingly. I don't see that they will magically change anytime soon.

I do worry a *little* bit more about the PR aspects of this, though. There will be a temptation among the less-dedicated journalists to say that now that Sun and HP and RedHat all favor Gnome, then it must be a standard for Unices. After all, everybody knows that Linux *is* RedHat, right? I am already seeing mentions of this and as people jump on the bandwagon, we'll likely see it even more.

This may have nothing to do with any kind of reality, though. Already, for every new Solaris or HP workstation, there are likely several computers running Linux. Looking at the demographics of all the Linux distributions worldwide, we see that KDE focused distributions are still the norm. All in all, there are likely a LOT more workstations running KDE then there are running something else.

This somehow brings me to the another question that has been frequently asked: Will KDE ever have a corporate-backed "foundation" deciding it's future? While I'm not arrogant enough to think I can guarantee what the future will hold, I am still reasonably secure in saying that pigs will probably fly first. A board like that flies square in the face of everything that the KDE project stands for.

KDE is, has been, and always be governed and managed by those *developers* that actually do the work on it. Working code is what matter, not your market capitalization. Commercial entities may sponsor development on various aspects of KDE, but they will never be allowed to decide what KDE will become. KDE is a desktop "by the people and for the people" and if we were to prostitute ourselves to big-money for the chance of being a media-recognized standard, we would be stomping on all the people that have supported, developed, and used KDE throughout the years. We can honestly say to all developers that if you contribute good code to KDE, we will welcome it and assure you that it will never be subject to the whims and fancies of a company under the gun from shareholders. Your code will be judged purely on it's merits. More to the point, your contribution will make a difference -- it will *matter*.

I do find it ironic, though, that it is *Gnome* taking this step. Could anybody have possibly imagined this when Gnome started? Weren't they the "hacker desktop"? Didn't they have all the "desktop for the people" principles? Hmm... times change, I guess.

But back to KDE and the possibility of a great Gnome. I get the feeling that most of the people that are comparing Gnome and KDE are doing so with current Gnome and KDE 1.1.2 (or less). Even though a version of KDE that *old* still compares favorably, it's a pale shadow to the upcoming KDE 2.0. A comparison between current Gnome and current KDE (in my opinion, of course), shows KDE really shining. I *strongly* urge everybody to check out 2.0 before jumping to any kind of conclusion -- it is a truly kick-ass desktop with by far the best development architecture out there.

So I'll end this longish, partially incoherent ramble with this disclaimer: These are all my personal (largely un-filtered) opinions on these matters. They *may* reflect the views of other KDE developers, but there is no possible way I'm going to be presumptuous enough to claim that they *do*. I may be a little bit pro-KDE in thinking it is superior to Gnome, but I still have the utmost respect for the Gnome developers themselves. I've met a number of hackers -- both "free-agent" ones and HelixCode/Eazel/RedHat paid ones -- and all have demonstrated immense talent and a genuine hacker mentality. Please don't take any of what I said as a attack on *any* person or persons.

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Personal choice is what? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#845177)

Desktop choice is a truly personal thing, but now that more and more non-hackers are running Linux, is the average 'personal choice' based on architecture? I think not. For most newbies--and where else is Linux user base growth going to come from--personal choice is probably based on look (okay, look and feel) and ease of installation. And Gnome has been winning there, albeit I must confess I haven't checked out KDE 2.0 (and I certainly will after reading this).

What will prevent the prettier, easier-to-install desktop win the battle?

Serious question: What are a project's goals? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#845179)

If you want KDE or GNOME to produce the best possible desktop environment for a given skill level of user, then the projects should do what they were all along--working hard to add features they deemed necessary, fixing bugs, etc.

But if you measure your project by the number of users it has, and how much it unifies the desktop, then you're getting into marketing territory, and that's where things like being able to trot out the names of corporate backers like Sun comes into play. That means nothing to most of us here, but to the people who control desktop software in large organizations, it means a LOT. That's what has a lot of the KDE faithful (like me) upset--the fact that GNOME is suddenly playing a different game by different rules. And it sure looks like they threw their principles overboard when they made the change.

Next round! (1)

deno (814) | more than 14 years ago | (#845181)

So, Gnome gets official Sun and HP blessing. Good, but "so what"?

Both KDE and GNOME are doing quite nicely (with or withouth HP/SUN), and both have their appeal. HP/Sun backing one or the other will not change much, I think. And there is backing for KDE too: SuSe does it, Mandrakesoft does it, and I'm sure other companies do or will do it in the future too. The only thing which COULD kill a KDE at the moment would be some wide-spread mad-programmers desease among KDE developers: rather unlikely in my opinion.

One is sure: Gnome vs. KDE wars are going in the next round. Some people will prefere GNOME, other will stick with KDE, there will be a cute flamewar to talk about during the cofee break...

Is this bad? No. As I said, we have something to talk about, both Gnome and KDE get a lot of free publicity, and all are happy. And, in the meantime we'll get TWO wonderfull desktops, so that is fine with me. .-)

So, because others use it you don't? (1)

bkosse (1219) | more than 14 years ago | (#845184)

That makes a whole lot of sense there. Why are you even using Linux? Shouldn't you be using something not often used like OS/2 or Eros or something?

Ben Kosse

Market Capitalization? (1)

seppy (2431) | more than 14 years ago | (#845194)

I think alluding to market capitalization as being the driving force of gnome is just a wee bit off base. Just because HP and Sun jump on an open source project as their standard doesn't mean the hacker developers behind gnome have somehow become greedy and lost their original focus. I

Re:Well said... (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 14 years ago | (#845209)

Besides, Helix in particular seems to be pretty unfriendly to even some versions of Linux. How do they expect to take over the UNIX desktop market if they don't even have a working Slackware installer?

t-10m I was excited when I downloaded the sources, you can compile the Helix installer myself.

t ... if you already have GNOME installed. *sigh*

Re:Let the code wars begin!!!!!!!!!!! (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 14 years ago | (#845210)

Gnome will force kde to be better and kde will force gnome to be better:}:}

The war has begun long ago. GNOME and KDE have already been improving each other. We *are* already winning.

Re:IMHO (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 14 years ago | (#845211)

KDE and Gnome both suck, FVWM is still the best window manager in the world.

Then use it within KDE or GNOME instead of Englightenment (or the new GNOME wm) or KWin (kwm's successor).

KDE and GNOME are desktop environments with integrated applications and services. You might not need any of those, but they are in a way different league than regular window managers so don't compare them to those.

Re:Let the code wars begin!!!!!!!!!!! (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 14 years ago | (#845212)

If Linux is going to make it on the desktop, there needs to be a single, unified desktop layer. Fragmentation is bad.

How about.. if Linux is going to make it on the desktop, you need to stop trolling?

"extremely inflammatory"? (1)

maskatron (7560) | more than 14 years ago | (#845214)

huh? the guy is a bit skeptical maybe, but i wouldn't say inflammatory...

Code dollars (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 14 years ago | (#845217)

I was told some years back from a member of the CDE development team that the collective backers of CDE (IBM, DEC, HP, SUN) spent $30 million to get CDE to V1.0.

The conclusion I draw from that is that big money doesn't always produce brilliant results.


-- The wonderful thing about standards, is that there's so many to choose from --

Only silly thing (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 14 years ago | (#845224)

The only silly thing in this article is the whole rant about GNOME being *gasp* commercialized. As long as it stays largely GPLed, I don't care.

On a side note...
I remember casually evaluating GUI libraries several years ago, and thinking to myself 'xforms, this is stupid, positional geometry instead of contraints based is clearly the wrong thing', and 'QT, this looks nice, but I don't like the liscensing, why is anybody basing anything 'Free' off this toolkit?', and 'GTK, hmm, why on earth did they do this in C? And this signal thing seems hokey. The Gimp sure seems nice though.'. This was completely independent of any of the debates on the Net as I wasn't even aware of them.

Just my two cents.

Re:You're forgetting something (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#845230)

Yeah, but I try not to. It's a pretty big strain when you are using QT, GTK, kdelibs, and gnome-libs all at the same time.

I use both, but I use them on different computers.


Re:Hmm.. (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 14 years ago | (#845235)

Woops, I forgot one thing:

  • Qt scroll bars (or at least the ones that most KDE apps use) don't let you middle-click to position them. That is a major pain, since it is a big departure from standard *nix look-and-feel (well, Motif, but in some regards it is a good standard). Since this causes me to run mostly Gnome apps under KDE, I feel a lot more pull to just switch to Gnome entirely.

Historical perspective... (1)

Taurine (15678) | more than 14 years ago | (#845240)

"calmed down a lot in the last year as each system became stable and usable" I am not trying to troll here, but I think they were trying to avoid saying "calmed down a lot in the last year as GNOME became stable and usable". I have been following the development of both KDE and GNOME since KDE 0.99beta1 (pre-GNOME AFAIK). I have been using KDE predominantly since then (what is that, two and a half years?). And since the first GNOME releases, I have been wanting to use GNOME, but have always found it lacking. At least once every six months I download the sources to the latest GNOME and try to live with it for as long as I can. GNOME 1.2 is the first version I have tried that had enough stability that I really felt I could use it properly. By contrast, KDE 1.0 was close to rock solid two years ago. Of course the current KDE-2 betas are unstable - they are betas after all, but other than those, KDE hasn't had a release in the last year, so further it cannot have improved in stability. One could argue that certain key apps have seen maintenance work, such as KMail, but the flip side is that the distributions don't seem to update individual apps. I know a number of people in my local LUG who use recent versions of SuSe, Red Hat and Mandrake have found they still contain the 1.1 release version of KMail. GNOME 1.2 is great, but face the truth, a big reason for KDE's historical success was its stability. Now that GNOME has caught up in terms of stability, competition can only get hotter!

Re:Intelligent (1)

Ratface (21117) | more than 14 years ago | (#845247)

Yeah, but he's being sarcastic there I think you'll find.
"Give the anarchist a cigarette"

I some way I would be worried. (1)

exor (21736) | more than 14 years ago | (#845249)

-No, Sun's developer resources don't worry me in -the slightest. We have already shown that we can -take them on and win convincingly. I don't see -that they will magically change anytime soon. I have seen SUN programers at work, and it is not a pretty sight. I think this is a desperate attempt by both company to stay afloat in the unix world by trying to look like LINUX.

isn't it too soon? (1)

JBv (25001) | more than 14 years ago | (#845251)

For me, a proud user, the gnome foundation is meaningles in the short-term. Before any of benefits of the foundation become availiable and stable, I will be using KDE 2.1, or bigger.

People should judge these announcements on a less emotional base, and project conservatively into the future.

Remember when gnome started. Reading posts and news it sounded as if gnome would just delete KDE from the desktop in a few months in terms of features and licencing... I've tried one or two releases of gnome and I am still waiting for the gnome release that will put me off the cleaner integration of KDE.


Re:Hmm.. (1)

mitchy (34242) | more than 14 years ago | (#845264)

{warning: END-USER opinion follows}

Hi. I'm JUDU (Just Another Desktop User). Pretty much, I could care less whether something is in GNOME or KDE, and most likely don't even comprehend the difference.

Chances are, I need a specific application that does something VERY important to me, and that application will either be written for GNOME or KDE. So, I will use whatever environment supports the application that I must have. For me this app is currently bluefish, BLUEFISH ROCKS THE HOUSE! But, thanks to something about gnome (or gtk, I forgot), bluefish cannot show me line numbers, and that's a MAJOR drawback. On the other hand, kunit (thank you Jan) has managed to keep this american from buying shoes in Europe that would require his toes to be amputated.

My experience is that KDE (in the 1.X series) was quick, solid as a rock, and missing 70% of what I needed. So I got sick of waiting and switched to GNOME.

GNOME was pretty, had 70% of what I wanted, and either repeatedly crashed, refused to inter-operate (address books, for example), or just behaved in a fashion completely counter to what I was expecting. No, wait a minute, that was Enlightenment.(drum crash)

Either way, the Linux desktop just is not there yet. And until it is, multiple efforts can only yield choice; and the developers can (and probably do) borrow any great ideas that the other team might have.

I can't wait to try KDE2, but I REALLY can't wait for that cable modem...

{END-USER DISCLAIMER: before I get modded down by the oh-so-tiring "then write it yourself!" snivelling, remember that I clearly identified myself as an END-USER. I am an END-USER because I am building other stuff, be it databases, websites, or tacos al pastor. User 222722 asked for an opinion, and here it is.}

Another thing to consider (1)

jammer 4 (34274) | more than 14 years ago | (#845265)

Now that GNOME and KDE have become solid top notch desktops we should actually be thankful to have both. In the windows world there's really only one choice. At least on UNIX we have a choice of two desktops that are similar enough that people can move between the two (from a user perspective), yet different enough to give developers a real choice in what side they want to work with.

Re:Intelligent (1)

thimo (36102) | more than 14 years ago | (#845269)

That bothered me. He's trying to convince us that he is right, using braindead arguments. I quote:

I do worry a *little* bit more about the PR aspects of this, though. There will be a temptation among the less-dedicated journalists to say that now that Sun and HP and RedHat all favor Gnome, then it must be a standard for Unices. After all, everybody knows that Linux *is* RedHat, right? I am already seeing mentions of this and as people jump on the bandwagon, we'll likely see it even more.

Especially the "right?" part. This writing needed the <RANT> tag. He obviously is pissed that Gnome is backed and not KDE, the desktop that is soooo superiour to Gnome. Well, this is your wake-up call, maybe Gnome isn't so bad after all. Maybe the big boys think it has a good feature in front of it. Get over it, get back to coding...




Re:Hmm.. (1)

superlame (48021) | more than 14 years ago | (#845275)

OK, as an end user, I find gtk to be more intuitive, and since gnome is based on gtk, I naturally prefer it. However, I don't use gnome that much, prefering ye ol' rxvt. That's what I get for starting out on unix by dialing into Suns.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

superlame (48021) | more than 14 years ago | (#845276)

Oh, BTW, for anyone reading old posts of mine and realizing that I do development, I thought I should disclaim that I some times use GTK to wrap an OpenGL context, but more and more I expect to be using SDL for my major apps, and whatever is convienient for minor utils.

In case your wonder why SDL for major apps, I think that what I want to do is move towards having my apps run full screen, ala inferno, softimage, and other great SGI programs. I do plan to update the paradigm a little. At a minimum, I want my programs to be friendly for usage with virtual desktop, and while I will be using pretty much all custom widgets, I want my widgets to operate in a manor obvious to people familiar with the platform (meaning a different version of the widgets for Windows, MacOS, and Linux).

Troll Foundation. (1)

goodlogin (57753) | more than 14 years ago | (#845282)

What about interviewing developers on the fucking troll foundation ?

End user comment (1)

jpl (58317) | more than 14 years ago | (#845283)

I've never contributed a line of code to either Gnome or KDE, but I use them daily.

I find the comments of Mr. Granroth to be quite insulting to my intelligence. Does he honestly believe that the end users of Gnome and KDE based their decision to use either on corporate backing?
Is there anything Sun Corporation can say or do that will FORCE me to do anything? Of course not.

I find his comments about Redhat to be quite telling. Is he so shortsighted as to have forgotten that only a few releases ago, Redhat did not even include KDE? It was the end users that kept downloading KDE and installing it on Redhat, until finally they HAD to include it. We (end users) hold the power, not corporate might.

Mr. Granroth, your comments come across like those of a whiny loser, and there is no need for it! Keep releasing a high quality product, and people will keep using it. End of story. Stop embarrasing yourself and the KDE project. This "we are the victims, look at us" attitude has got to go.

One final comment. We do not live in the world of proprietary software any more. We are free (RMS definition) to do what we want. If every company in the world backs Gnome, we can STILL thumb our noses at them, and use KDE. You can take the best technologies from Gnome (remember the GPL!) and place them into KDE. You could develop a KDE version of StarOffice. It is so frustrating to see that one of the head developers of KDE still just doesn't GET THIS.

KDE and GNOME *MUST* merge (1)

gazdean (71600) | more than 14 years ago | (#845291)

How else can I get a
DEMONKEG on my desktop :-)

KDE Troll bait? (1)

Zombie_Magick (71703) | more than 14 years ago | (#845292)

For someone who claims to have no strong feelings he seems to be veiling them poorly. I notice a lot of the language he is using implies a certain amount of anger over the situation. Its hard for me to put my finger on it but something in the back of my head says "Whoah this guy is really angry over this and is trying to hide it"

You don't really see the Gnome camp doing this (or do you?) and they seem to have a good healthy attitude of competition, which is what I expected to read in this article. Yet it seems a lot of bitter resentment (note the bitterness in the "wasn't this the hacker desktop" comment)

Any Sociology or Psyhcology types care to comment?

Yes, I am a Gnome user only because when I started out I thought that it was "shinier" and "cleaner" looking than the stable and application rich KDE. Everything I have ever read intended for Linux starters says to use KDE because its more robust ans stable, I guess I just like the look of some things regardless of how unstable (which explains why Windows is still on my system)

Not worried? Should be... (1)

Mike Connell (81274) | more than 14 years ago | (#845296)

This is going to give a lot of mindshare to Gnome rather than KDE. It should be clearly obvious *why* this is a huge win for the Gnome camp: I know there will always be a KDE, and a Gnome - whatever the future brings. Likewise there will always be a kppp and a g equivalent.
What there might not be is a k[killer-app], but there'll be a g[killer-app]

If you want to write a big UI driven app, you will be able to target Gnome - with all the bells and whistles - and do linux/sun/hp ports for almost free. If you want a KDE version you'll have to buy or write a portability layer to abstract everything away, and I think we all know how much fun that is.

I *really* dont have a problem with KDE, it looks good to me in my role as joe 'free linux using software only' user - as does Gnome, but if I was writing a UNIX app, I now see a big reason to go with full-on Gnome support rather than KDE.

best wishes,

A user 's view (1)

davidc (91400) | more than 14 years ago | (#845309)

>I *strongly* urge everybody to check out 2.0 before jumping to any kind of conclusion

Exactly what I did. I used to use KDE 1.1.2 and recently tried KDE 2 (1.92? latest beta anyway)

I now use Gnome with Helix.... 'Nuff said?

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Donavan (116398) | more than 14 years ago | (#845333)

I've used Helix Gnome and KDE 2.0 as an end user. Both have their strong points.

I'm currently using KDE 2.0 and it marginaly has an edge over Gnome for me but from the user perspective it's not "all that and a side of fries"..

I will say the I absolutly loved working with Qt.. I haven't tried GTK though.

Getting a DEMONKEG (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 14 years ago | (#845336)

By installing both GNOME and KDE libraries and running both GNOME and KDE apps.

By installing an X11-based NES emulator [] and running GNOME vs. KDE [] : Battle of the Desktops.

That will give you your DEMONKEG (anagram for GNOME KDE).
( \
XGNOME vs. KDE: the game! []

GNOME vs. KDE: the game (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 14 years ago | (#845337)

Gnome is meant to battle KDE

I know. And if you have an NES emulator, you can join in [] .

And here's your normal bird:
( \
XGNOME vs. KDE: the game! []

(half OT) GNOME and KDE fight it out (1)

yerricde (125198) | more than 14 years ago | (#845338)

What if there were a video game where you could play for the GNOME team or the KDE team in a competitive virtual sport? Pull out your NES emulators, it's the Battle of the Desktops [] !
( \
XGNOME vs. KDE: the game! []

I do not undertand all this. (1)

stikves (127823) | more than 14 years ago | (#845344)

Well, when I was new to Linux I was using KDE, then I saw a screenshot and fell in love with GNOME.

The gnomefoundation will hopefully be do "cool" things for GNOME. But what I don't understand is why this upsets KDE community. It's all a matter of choice, and the foundation will give GNOME what KDE already has (Mozilla for Konqueror and StarOffice for KOffice)

Let's play nice and live in peace forever.

Re:Well said... (1)

stikves (127823) | more than 14 years ago | (#845345)

Slackware ... ehm you talk about my distro. Well the Slackware team is not making a new pakage managment system. Maybe we will be able to see more Slackware friendly apps after that. You may want to check

I would be better if... (1)

Kailden (129168) | more than 14 years ago | (#845347)

When I read the title to the article, I thought that Slashdot was announcing that a KDE developer would have an advisory position in the GNOME Foundation....That's what we need....I'm all for diversity, but it would be nice to have a few more liasons between GNOME and KDE, they both have merits....I use them both...depending on my mood.


Is it just me or.... (1)

cdgod (132891) | more than 14 years ago | (#845348)

Shouldn't there be one great linux desktop where all the development resources work together against all non-open source alternative?

Why is it that a free society is fighting amongst themselves when they could be collaborating they talent and efforts to create a strong and well-adopted standard desktop for the world?

I know competition leads to innovation... and there is competition - the closed-source software developers.

I wish open-source luck with all these developers being jealous of each other's successes. They should be proud of the recognition the community is getting and always willing to improve the quality of their applications.

He's right, except that KDE ain't superior (1)

kalifa (143176) | more than 14 years ago | (#845356)

I wholly agree with his comments on the "benefits" of big corporates, and with his worries on PR distorsions.

However, his statement on KDE superiority is far more questionable, and this also holds for KDE 2.

Two technical and childish "details", yet at the end of the day, this is what really matters:

- Gnome is fundamentally slicker than KDE. When you start an Helix Gnome session, and type "free", you simply have 9 or 10 more free megs than when you start a KDE session (1.1.2 or pre 2.0), for similar functionnalities. Free software was supposed to bring "obsolete machines" back to life, or at least to slower the rythm of obsolescence. So, yes, this matters. The situation is similar when it comes to speed. Besides, most Gnome apps are significantly smaller than their KDE counterparts, whether we're talking about spreadsheets, text editors, bitmap graphics software, vectorial graphics software, ps viewer, image visualizers, word processors, config tools, help tools, etc... In average, a Gnome/Gtk tool is ~30-40% smaller than its KDE/Qt counterpart. Let me remind you that one of the main reasons why KDE dropped Corba was performance issues... talking about this:

- KParts seems to work pretty well, yet it's just a smart ad hoc and proprietary hack. Roughly, it replicates OLE/COM. Bonobo is about to succeed where Opendoc failed, and this time it is really about "components", not just bloatwares with an ability to communicate with other bloatwares. I think most KDE developpers know this, actually.

I won't tak about Gtk+ and Qt, yet there's also a lot to say about this.

Re:Intelligent (1)

gi_wrighty (152031) | more than 14 years ago | (#845360)

> good, well balanced bunch of comments


I quote:
Linux *is* RedHat

Who needs to bother with context? :)


Re:Intelligent (1)

gi_wrighty (152031) | more than 14 years ago | (#845361)


Re:Intelligent (1)

gi_wrighty (152031) | more than 14 years ago | (#845362)

"That's it children, poke the AC - not too much though, just enough to get a response."

"James, stop that, there's no need to use cattle prods."

In Related News... (1)

suwalski (176418) | more than 14 years ago | (#845374)

I have a theory.

It has to do with Cowpland's recent leave from Corel. In the theory, Cowpland has also seen the media as a bunch of people who will now favor GNOME entirely, and has decided that since Corel Linux uses KDE, the Corel PR will go even worse than it presently is.

Maybe he predicted that the GNOME foundation would cause Corel Linux to bomb.

Just a theory. No flames, just good discussion, please...

Re:Your views (1)

darial (177051) | more than 14 years ago | (#845377)

Uh, KDE has nothing comparable to gnumeric? How bout kspread? Stop the FUD and check before you post.

RE: KDE vs Gnome (1)

djve (191622) | more than 14 years ago | (#845382)

Personally I've used both Gnome and KDE and I think both have their strenghts. A strong KDE development group is good and the Gnome+Sun announcement is not the end of the world. I like diversity and I see this as Linux vs which ever version of BSD you like type of affair.

Two is better than one. (1)

AdhSeidh (193409) | more than 14 years ago | (#845383)

K and G need each other they push each other in the way competition is meant too. As far as resources from Sun and HP only time will tell, though Sun commitment to open source is high on rhetoric and low on follow through. (don't flame me too much) Adh Seidh

Three letters (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 14 years ago | (#845390)


Re:Next round! (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 14 years ago | (#845391)

HP/Sun backing one or the other will not change much, I think.

Wrong. It will make Gnome the "obvious" default alternative for corporate Linuxen. There is some strength in standardization, and lots of strength in FUD. I saw this coming, and many other people (and Red Hat) did too.

Obviously, there will still be a place for KDE. There is a place for fvwm, twm, IceWM, WindowMaker, blackbox, wm2... and QT will obviously be used, considering it's alleged excellence. But the license makes it dangerous for people with heaps of money involved (Sun).

Gnome vs KDE is a moot point (1)

The_Ronin (202785) | more than 14 years ago | (#845392)

Let's get down to the real crux of this story. It doesn't matter who backs what desktop.

The underlying greatness of this whole argument rises above just KDE vs Gnome. The greatness is in the fact that we have a CHOICE of what we want to see and how we want to see it. I like KDE and Gnome.... but I also use WindowMaker and AfterStep. It depends on what mood I am in and what I want to see that day. Not to mention some of the other desktop managers out there (IceWm, fvvm, etc...).

The whole beauty of it is that I am NOT locked into seeing the MS Winblows desktop everytime I start my computer. I have a choice. The choice will never be taken away from me. I wish the best of luck to both the KDE Project Team and the Gnome Foundation. I want to see them both succeed. I still want to have my CHOICE.

Of course, this is all IMHO.

I don't drink to because I have to.... I drink to stop the voices in my head!

IMHO (1)

timtom (205251) | more than 14 years ago | (#845393)

KDE and Gnome both suck, FVWM is still the best window manager in the world.

Re:-1 FlameBait (1)

axel from afkmn (212053) | more than 14 years ago | (#845399)

I agree with this post. Clealy, article is a



Re:Let the code wars begin!!!!!!!!!!! (1)

axel from afkmn (212053) | more than 14 years ago | (#845400)

I do not agree with this post.

If Linux is going to make it on the desktop, there needs to be a single, unified desktop layer. Fragmentation is bad.


I like freedom to choose (1)

jfk3 (215200) | more than 14 years ago | (#845406)

When everyone starts saying things like "you have to have Microsoft..." or "Redhat is the only rational distro to choose" or whatever - That's when I'm looking for something else to use. I prefer KDE. I have no karma!

Gnome (1)

Vladimator (216904) | more than 14 years ago | (#845408)

Gnome is better than KDE, in my opinion. My "Rob Malda naked & petrified" wallpaper looks a lot better in Gnome.

Fawking Trolls! []

Re:Intelligent (1)

gmm (218993) | more than 14 years ago | (#845412) been on that 3$ crack again. Why is the parent to this Flamebait?

If this is gonna turn into a poll, my vote goes to Gnome.

Reason? Because it looks better to me. It's totally down to personal opinion and you could argue the pros and cons of each until the cows come home.

Re:Intelligent (1)

The Troll Catcher (220464) | more than 14 years ago | (#845415)

And you haven't tried KDE2, right?

KDE2 looks VERY LITTLE like KDE 1.

The widgets are no longer ugly, and there are some very COOL looking widget themes.

And KDE supports GTK+ pixmap themes.

Hmm.. (1)

mckinlay (222722) | more than 14 years ago | (#845420)

Is there *anybody* out there who isn't biased either way and has an opinion on this? If it's not a KDE developer, it's a GNOME developer - how about some END-USER responses for a change?

What happened to choosing? (1)

TillmanJ (223874) | more than 14 years ago | (#845421)

It really sucks to see this kind of thing even taking place. What happened to a *NIX world in which (as long as you didn't care about X/Open :)) you got to choose the desktop/window manager you used? I am not saying that you can't still do that, but it is fairly obvious that this is the direction that WM devel under Linux is going. I assume that is in part due to the media, and part due to the new users that the same media coverage is bringing in, users who have never had that kind of choice, who thought "themes" were kick-ass... It seems that the idea has infected everyone involved, right down to the developers, that there will only be one desktop for Linux eventually... *********************************************** Jon Tillman LINUX USER: #141163 ICQ: 4015362 *********************************************** Help Jon build a network! Looking for giveaway computers & parts Current Need: Tape Drive & PI/PII processors Email me to find out how you can help ***********************************************

Re:What happened to choosing? (1)

TillmanJ (223874) | more than 14 years ago | (#845422)

Damn I suck...
so much for good first impressions....
hows about that sig again, perhaps in human-readable format:

Jon Tillman
LINUX USER: #141163
ICQ: 4015362
Help Jon build a network!
Looking for giveaway computers & parts
Current Need: Tape Drive & PI/PII processors
Email me to find out how you can help

A plague on both your houses (2)

joss (1346) | more than 14 years ago | (#845431)

This daft window metaphore crap is largely responsible for reducing the most powerful invention of the previous century to just another time-wasting useless idiot-box where humanity's natural sloth and aversion for thought can reign supreme.

"A picture is worth a thousand words" - it's a myth. Draw me a picture of "love". The trouble with GUI interfaces is that they are predisposed towards the computer transfering information to the human. They are not an efficient mechanism for humans to transfer information to the computer. There is a good mechanism for this - one that has been used for millenia and which are brains have even evolved to use effectively. And that mechanism is language. This is why text based interfaces will always rule over this GUI shit. The "integrated" desktop is doomed to forever strive for the level of power, speed, simplicity and componentisation already provided by the shell tools.

Why use a metaphor for a work-style whose time has past (WIMP - "desktop") when the reality of the computer is orders of magnitude more powerful and more flexible. Even as programmers deny this, and preach the religion of GUIs they implicitly acknowledge that to do anything powerful, you need to use a language - a programming language.
"Oooh, but that's too complicated for my users..."

Am I saying that every computer user should be a programmer ? Yes I am, but only to the extent that it makes sense in the domain. For instance, any real power-user of autocad will write small lISP programs. How could a commerical company make a fully functional, mathematically pure programming language as the basis of an interface for a program intended for draftsmen ? Because they understood that stupidity is like work - it expands to fill the space allocated to it. Expect intelligence and you will receive it. Autocad dominated their market like this. This approach would work in other markets if programmers had the humility to admit that their "users" were as smart as they were, and deserved the same power that programmers reserve for themselves.

If I want to do GUI programming (which *is* good for computer->human interaction), I'll use fltk [] , a far more powerful and better designed toolkit than either Gnome or KDE. Plus it's cross platform, and LGPL. If I want to knit things together, I'll use a bloody pipe.

There are some assumptions made... (2)

jd (1658) | more than 14 years ago | (#845434)

The biggest assumption is that an announcement is the same as action. We all know Dell's infamous comments about how Linux would never amount to anything, Sun's claims that Linux would never be a serious OS, Microsoft's claims that nobody had ever talked to them about Linux, etc.

Let's be realistic, here. We've heard some words, but words are just that. Words. Hot air. Now, there's nothing wrong with hot air - without it, hot air baloons would not go very far - but until until it's translated into -some- motion of some kind, it's nothing.

My concerns about the GNOME foundation (2)

Tet (2721) | more than 14 years ago | (#845437)

The Sun website talks glowingly of all the really cool things they will do with Gnome... but those with a memory (and a web browser pointed towards the Open Group's website) will remember that Sun said pretty much the same thing for Motif/CDE.. and look where that went.

That's precisely why I'm not entirely convinced by the GNOME Foundation. The took HP's (already grim) VUE desktop and threw in a bunch of designed-by-committee stuff to end up with the nightmare that was CDE. I'm just worried GNOME is going to be heading in the same direction. I presonally couldn't care less about KDE. I tried both, and absolutely hated KDE. It's just not for me. I'm not convinced that GNOME is either, but time will tell on that one. I wish both groups luck, but I remain unconvinced that I'll be using either of their products in the future.

...and the beat goes on. (2)

planet_hoth (3049) | more than 14 years ago | (#845439)

"[...] if we were to prostitute ourselves to big-money for the chance of being a media-recognized standard [...]"

"[...] but I still have the utmost respect for the Gnome developers themselves."

LOL. Cognitive dissonance, anyone?

Re:Standardisation (2)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 14 years ago | (#845443)

Why aren't both Gnome and KDE getting interoperability right so that Gnome vs KDE stops being a monolithic decision and becomes a matter of personal choice?

They _are_ getting it right. They share the .desktop principle for desktop/menu links, there has been work on more compatible WM hints and both use the same drag-and-drop protocol. KDE2 will also include support for importing/exporting GTK themes.

There is plenty of reason between the two teams and the majority of developers strives to interoperability.

Motif Problems (2)

rnturn (11092) | more than 14 years ago | (#845447)

I never thought that Broook's Law had anything to do with Motif's lack of acceptance or inability to compete with GNOME and KDE. I always thought it had everything to do with the boneheaded licensing requirements attached to it.

Let's see: I'm a small software developer writing X applications for a new PC-based operating system that's available for a pittance. Do I select a windowing environment that's free like GNOME and, to a slightly less free extent, KDE? Or do I choose one that has a licensing requirement that raises the cost of each development system by about US$1000 per seat? Hmm. That's a tough one. Oh, sure! Let's choose the expensive one! If it costs more it must be better, right?

At least that's the choice that I figure the Motif licensors were hoping everyone would make. If only Linux, GNOME, and KDE had been around about the time I was looking for a UNIX to run on a PC back in the very early '90s... one less UNIX Labs royalty would have been paid.

It's too bad that Motif went this route. By tying themselves to the giant, commercial, and ridiculously expensive vendor-specific UNIX versions, they pretty much ensured that they couldn't be part of the PC UNIX game. And I rather liked Motif. If it hadn't become so closely associated with the big computer vendor's UNIX products, it might have evolved into something a little less, shall we say, ``resource intensive''.

But saying that it didn't succeed in spite of the programming resources that Sun and HP threw at it? No way. It was the costs that were passed on to the consumers and the small developers. It certainly can't compete in a open source development environment. A grand is a pretty steep entrance fee into the bazaar.


Intelligent (2)

Ratface (21117) | more than 14 years ago | (#845461)

Those seem like a good, well balanced bunch of comments. It sounds as though the Gnome and KDE teams have a good working relationship, where what counts is the software - not some dumbass rivalry between the two teams.

Let's face it, desktop choice is a truly personal thing. Everyone has a polarised view, which means there is more than enough room for both the K's and the G's of this world.

... if only more people realised that to be competitors doesn't mean that one has to do everything within one's power to destroy each other...

"Give the anarchist a cigarette"

Re:Intelligent (2)

GregWebb (26123) | more than 14 years ago | (#845466)

... or maybe the big boys didn't want to get burnt by the licensing issues that make KDE possibly illegal to distribute.

I'll freely admit here that I use Windows on my main box, and don't currently have a Linux setup. That's changing soon, but I don't have the time or resources to do it yet.

However, back when I was at university earlier this year, my department had one lab full of Linux bixes. So, I played. For a while in KDE, then for a while in GNOME.

GNOME shocked me. Menus appearing in the wrong places and a dreadful taskbar implementation are the two things that stick in my mind.

Speaking as an educated (but, in this respect, novice) user, KDE won hands down. It just worked better and was always clear and logical. GNOME annoyed me and showed little evidence of people caring that much about the user experience.

Note that this is a quick sample from a few months ago and that I have no idea what versions I was using. Based on that evidence, though, KDE absolutely walloped GNOME. If it was still like that, I wouldn't even think twice. Hence my wonder whether the main motivation is that GNOME is plausible and definitely legal, rather than that they think it's better.

Re:Intelligent (2)

Garpenlov (34711) | more than 14 years ago | (#845470)


Let's look at the absolute *worst* case situation (from our point of view). Say Sun and HP contribute a significant amount of top-notch programmers towards the Gnome project and as a result, they overtake us. Perhaps for the first time, Gnome is better designed, easier to program for, easier to use, and more stable then KDE

Wow, it'll take the combined effort of all of Sun and HP to make Gnome as good as KDE! It must be vaporware now!

(Personally, I couldn't care less -- I use windowmaker or a console.)

Re:me ? (2)

jovlinger (55075) | more than 14 years ago | (#845474)

You're right...

in a way. How many people here actually want desktop integration? I know that i don't. I like having to start programs on the cmd line and not having things happen by default.

Take redhat; I recently installed it on a laptop, and first thing I had to do was to figure out how to disable that crap gnome/enlightenment environment and just get a normal window manager up and running. one without fsking session management. I get really uncomfortable when I have to trace four layers of scripts to figure out why this and that program was started.
Magic is great in fiction, but I hate it on my desktop.

Ok, in retrospect I perhaps shouldn't have chosen the gnome workstation install, but I wanted the libraries installed.

Re:Hmm.. (2)

marvin_cg (66608) | more than 14 years ago | (#845482)

just switch to motif style (or any of the
advanced KDE 2.0 styles) and they will
behave like Motif or GTK.
windows style sucks.

Re:Personal choice is what? (2)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 14 years ago | (#845483)

What will prevent the prettier, easier-to-install desktop win the battle?

How about ease of use, speed and overall gracefullness, combined with rock solid code stability?


Gang Wars (2)

Tom7 (102298) | more than 14 years ago | (#845490)

Well, competition is good, I guess. But what will be the casualties of these Gang Wars? standards? or will the unix desktop instead flourish in the enriched gene pool?

While I think this article is some pretty serious flamebait, I do have to agree with the guy that KDE is currently a lot more intuitive and stable (and prettier, etc) than Gnome.

Linus likes PowerPoint and Thinks VB is good, (2)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 14 years ago | (#845491)

You don't say good things about the compitition (When was the last time you heard Linus say Windows was great?).

Here's a link to an interview where Linus says he likes PowerPoint and thinks that VB is a good product [] . Last I checked they were MSFT products that only run on Windows(TM)

Being in competition does not give you a warrant to badmouth or even dislike your competitors. And even if they do, it does not mean that you should sink to their level.

PS: So what was your point again?
The Queue Principle

Let the code wars begin!!!!!!!!!!! (2)

banbeans (122547) | more than 14 years ago | (#845496)

compitition makes for better code!
Just look at windows for an idea of what happens when the compitition is not there. Gnome will force kde to be better and
kde will force gnome to be better:}:}
The users win!!!!!!!!
Linux/gnone/kde will force windows to be better
and who wins? The users:}

How to settle the fight between GNOME vs. KDE (2)

yerricde (125198) | more than 14 years ago | (#845497)

Pull out your NES emulators and play GNOME vs. KDE: [] Battle of the Desktops.
( \
XGNOME vs. KDE: the game! []

Re:Linus likes PowerPoint and Thinks VB is good, (2)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 14 years ago | (#845498)

Actually, there is a PowerPoint for Mac, so at least one of those programs isn't exclusive to Windows. More to the point, though, every time a Free Software hacker decides to create a free version of a commercial program, he's implicitly stating that he likes the original. After all, he likes what it does well enough to copy it!

Re:Hmm.. (2)

Mr. Adequate (138862) | more than 14 years ago | (#845499)

Why would end users be any less biased than developers? At least developers have valid technical reasons for developing for a particular platform. For an end user, Gnome and KDE are functionally so similar (especially when you ditch KWM in favour of $WINDOWMANAGER), that preference for one over the other is quite likely to be irrational. As it is with me: I use Gnome for several spurious reasons.

  • Superior eye candy. I just like Gnome's icons, themes etc. better than KDE's. I'm fully aware that I could just take this stuff from /usr/share/pixmaps and stick it into the corresponding KDE directory, but I'm a lazy bastard.
  • Warm GPL fuzzies. I know that the QPL is just as free as the GPL, or as near as makes no dammit. But it ain't the GPL.
  • Neato software. There's a ton of stuff out for both Gnome and KDE. These programs pretty much cover an identical scope of functionality, but the Gnome stuff just seems, y'know, neater.
Enough irrationality? You want more? I saved the whopper for last:
  • KDE tries too hard to look like Windows. This is really just a variation of the eye-candy argument, but consider this: For years now, I have been delighted with BSODs, ludicrous error messages and B&D user environment courtesy of Microsoft. I don't want to be reminded of that every time I switch on my screen. I run a different OS now, and it should look different as well.
There. If that didn't teach you not to look for unbiased views from end users, nothing will.


I disagree (2)

AbbyNormal (216235) | more than 14 years ago | (#845501)

Now repeat afterme: There's no place like Gnome...There's no place like Gnome...There's no place like Gnome.

A sig is a terrible thing to waste


You're forgetting something (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#845502)

It is possible to have gnome apps and kde apps installed at the same time.

Should be interesting to watch (3)

Eccles (932) | more than 14 years ago | (#845504)

I think this whole situation will be an excellent comparative case study. We get two projects with, arguably, reasonably similar status. One gets corporate backing, one does not. What effect does the corporate backing have on the project? In a few years we can look back and see.

Re:I do not undertand all this. (3)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 14 years ago | (#845505)

But what I don't understand is why this upsets KDE community.

Some (note: *some*) KDE developers feel that GNOME has not really contributed so much yet and that there are more words than there is code.

GNOME seems to pull existing projects into its base, such as Gecko, AbiWord, now StarOffice, etc. While "joining" these efforts and binding them (see GNOME as the glue) is a nice accomplishment and a great effort, some KDE developers feel that the actual coding progress is within KDE, having it's own Office suite, it's own HTML renderer, etc etc. Despite all the external contributions GNOME still hasn't caught up and some developers like to express that.

Personally I wanted not to have any KDE reaction on the GNOME foundation, as (in practice) it doesn't affect KDE development at all. Most KDE developers are coding right now, not engaging in this discussion.

Re:Hmm.. (4)

ethereal (13958) | more than 14 years ago | (#845518)

OK, I'll bite. I installed Mandrake+KDE on my home desktop machine because I promised my wife that Linux would look almost exactly like windows. That's more-or-less what I got with KDE (I have some different themes that I use but she's sticking to plain vanilla KDE look and feel). The only bugs that cause us real trouble are the usual Netscape 4.x problems (hopefully soon to be a thing of the past), and some minor issues with kmail and the KDE biff program. However, if I had to do it all over again, at this point I'd probably install Gnome. Here's why:

  • Gnome seems to be under active development more right now. I know that KDE 2.0 is sucking up all of the KDE development team's time right now, but for a long time their efforts weren't publicized and it seemed like they were resting on their laurels. Gnome on the other hand suffered some bad PR for going 1.0 a little early, but has more than made up for that since then. Gnome seems to have taken more of an evolutionary path whereas KDE 2.0 is going to be revolutionary, but I would have liked to see some of the improvements from KDE 2.0 rolled back into the 1.x line for those of us who have been using 1.1.2 for a while. I prefer gradual incremental changes to major disruptions.
  • The KDE team hasn't been real responsive to user-submitted bug fixes. I had some problems with kmail, found and fixed a bug, and sent it in to I heard nothing. Two or three months later I got an email saying that although it was a good fix, few people would ever see the bug and thus it would not be applied. I consider this bad user relations - I see this particular bug often (it concerns date handling for emails you receive from other email clients with broken date handling) and it wouldn't hurt the other 99% of users to pick up such a bug fix, but it would help the 1% who do see the problem. So that sort of left a bitter taste in my mouth. I was corresponding with one person and not with the whole KDE project, so I don't want to tar the whole team with this brush, but it really was a different response than the other open source projects to which I've sent bug fixes.
  • At the time that I installed Mandrake+KDE, I hadn't had any real experience with Gnome. After having looked at it some more and seen the neat things that the Helixcode and Eazel groups are doing, I'm much more interested in trying Gnome. This, combined with the fact that I'm not liking Mandrake so much any more, means that my next install will probably be Debian+Gnome. The biggest reason that I picked KDE in the first place was so that it would look like windows for my wife, but Gnome has a task bar, a desktop, etc. like she's become used to in KDE, so I don't think switching to Gnome will be too tough for her now.

Note that these are all my personal opinions and perceptions based on my experiences, not a flame directed at any of the development groups. I appreciate the efforts of the many desktop environment hackers out there and am happy to be able to make use of their efforts at home.

Now, aren't you sorry you asked?

Your views (4)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 14 years ago | (#845520)

I thank you for expressing your views on the matter, and it pleases me that the KDE team are not daunted by publicity and commercial backing of Gnome, indeed - I would be somewhat dissappointed if they were. I think that a major push for Gnome will have the effect of 'raising all ships' for *nix's so KDE could well see a nice boost in developers and users as well.

I am rather dissappointed in your numerous backhanded slaps that you have made at Gnome - it is true that the 'old tech' that is KDE 1.2 compares quite favorably with Gnome 1.2, and that KDE 2.0 looks like it has a lot of great stuff going for it. However Gnome has some great stuff going for it to - have a look at Evolution, Gnumeric, or Nautilus - these are wonderful tools that KDE has nothing that really compares. And these are all in the early stages, I fully expect them to blow away ANY commercial offerings not long after 1.0.

So again, both teams have a lot going for them and both have different strengths and weaknesses.
It should not be an either/or choice - because neither are a complete solution.

Tom M.

Utmost respect? (4)

hey! (33014) | more than 14 years ago | (#845521)

It's hard to see how you can have the "utmost respect" for a hacker and yet say his products are, well, second rate, not to mention to come within spitting distance of calling him a sellout and corporate drone.

I have both KDE and Gnome on my computer and regularly switch between them. Although most of the time I work in plain ole IceWM, KDE has regularly remained my favorite desktop. The continual torrent of great new features and improvements each team has made over the last year simply amazes me. My hat is off to them -- as hackers they're in a league way beyond me, and coming from a arrogant old sinner like me that's something of an admission. The fact that both teams are so productive means there's no reason to resent resources the other one scores -- its hard to make really big improvements when you're already doing a great job.

The idea that the Gnome foundation somehow hurts KDE is rubbish. I know Kurt says he believes this too, but I wonder if he may not entirely believe it; at the very least he sounds like he has a little case of sour grapes. No matter. When KDE2 comes out, the KDE team will have all the vindication they need.

Sun worried? (4)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 14 years ago | (#845522)

I don't think that Sun is worried at all. For all of Linux's positives, it doesn't even begin to compete with Solaris on the type of big boxen that Sun likes to sell. Sure, Sun still sells workstations, but its been quite a while since the public has thought of Sun as a work station company. Sun's core business is big honking servers. When Linux begins to deal well with 64 CPU servers with Gigs and Gigs of ram, then Sun misght start to get worried (and Beowulf class clusters only count for a very limited domain of problems).

And even then, when Linux becomes the equal or superior to Solaris in every aspect, Sun will still not have anything to worry about because Linux will run on Sun's hardware, from whence the bulk of Sun's income comes from.

What Sun and HP are likely after is someone to do free work for them. Right now, its likely that both Sun and HP are spending a good deal on supporting and maintianing CDE. Moving to Gnome frees up a lot of resources people wise, time wise and money wise.

Further, if they sanction and support Gnome on their proprietary Unixes, all of a sudden it becomes much easier to run thousands of (currently) Linux only apps on HP/UX or Solaris. This is a wise move that could conceivably increase marketshare for workstations which are profitable for Sun, even if no longer their core business.

Just my two cents.... Eat them for what their worth.

Re:-1 FlameBait (4)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 14 years ago | (#845523)

Yes, perhaps just a link to the article would have sufficed...instead of embedding it in Slashdot giving the feel that it may be Slashdot sponsored. I would expect that we have a feature on the opinion of *GNOME* on this issue coming up soon?

-1 FlameBait (4)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 14 years ago | (#845524)

I am ashamed that Slashdot printed this article.

This developer not only dissed the quality of Gnome but also their principles. Then believes that a quick backpedal at the end "I think some of them are cool hackers" will make up for this. This is unconscionable, CmdrTaco, I know flamewars drive page views but causing enmity between KDE and Gnome by printing this obviously flamebait article will only hurt Open Source.

This is truly sad.
The Queue Principle

Re:-1 FlameBait (4)

molog (110171) | more than 14 years ago | (#845525)

KDE 2.0 (still in beta) has features TODAY that the Gnome guys are TALKING ABOUT ADDING AT SOME UNSPECIFIED TIME IN THE FUTURE.

Not to be too pissy, but what features are you talking about? Could you please give some examples of what you mean and maybe some links to both projects to confirm this?

So Linus, what are we doing tonight?

Same Ole'Debate (4)

mirko (198274) | more than 14 years ago | (#845527)

What I see here is that this kind of debate is generating some stupid competition in which you have the technologicaly-happy (KDE) and the ethically-happy (Gnome).
IMHO, KDE is smoother and more complete than Gnome. Like it or not.
But now, if we just let people choose ONE solution instead of us then we might encounter a problem similar than the Windows one we just start to solve by bringing variety to the desktop market.
So ? What is the best UI ?
This is the one you'll take time to choose, not the one (whether goods or bad) that somebody will have decided that YOU will install on your Personal Computer.


The Real Reasons... (5)

Amphigory (2375) | more than 14 years ago | (#845529)

I suspect that the real reason that *n[ui]x vendors are attracted to GNOME is that it is in C.

The problem is simply this: there is no standard binary formats for C++ object files, even on the same platform. So, code compiled in g++ will not link with code compiled in Sun C++ will not link with... While there is a draft standard for object format, no one is following it yet, and probably everyone won't for years.

This makes KDE unacceptable to a UNIX vendor, because half of their customers buy C++ (at great expense) and the other half use g++. Which half will the support? GNOME, based in C, doesn't have this problem. So it gets tapped even though (IMNSHO) KDE is the better desktop.


Let the licensing flamewars begin... (5)

David Jao (2759) | more than 14 years ago | (#845530)

The subject line above is a joke. Nevertheless, I can't help but wonder if KDE will ever win corporate backing from any large software company with lawyers, given the immense uncertainty hanging over the GPL-compatibility of Qt.

Based on my personal (and possibly naive) readings of the GPL and QPL,

  • I can distribute Qt source code, without problems.
  • I can distribute KDE source code, without problems.
  • I can distribute Qt binaries, if I provide source as well.
  • I can distribute KDE binaries, if I provide source as well.
  • I can not distribute KDE binaries along with Qt binaries, if the one links to the other, unless I provide both under the terms of the GPL (which is plainly impossible, as I do not have rights to license Qt under the GPL).
(The above analysis may make it seem as if I have something against KDE. I assure you that any such impression is purely a product of the reader's imagination. I think KDE is excellent software and that it is useful regardless of binary licensing issues, since the source code is a valuable asset and may unquestionably be compiled, copied and modified under the terms of the GPL. Also, the authors of KDE are free to release KDE binaries along with Qt since the GPL license terms do not apply to them.)

Common responses which I have gotten back from the KDE people include:

  1. Qt is not a part of KDE, so when giving KDE to other people you don't have to provide Qt under the GPL terms that would be required if they were one work.
  2. The fact that KDE was so obviously designed to work with Qt confers to the general public an implied license to ignore the GPL source-providing requirement of KDE with regard to Qt.
Let's not discuss the merit of these points (since that would lead to a licensing flamewar). These responses certainly represent a valid point of view. But are big companies going to buy it? Lawyers at big companies are very careful and don't want to get caught doing anything illegal. I simply cannot see companies such as Sun, IBM, and HP embracing KDE on a large scale as long as the legality of distributing KDE with Qt is unclear.

For now, commercial support of KDE really does seem to be limited to newer companies such as Red Hat, Caldera, MandrakeSoft, etc. who maybe aren't as worried about the licensing issue. Not that this is a bad thing--as Granroth says, large corporate backing certainly didn't help CDE/Motif get anywhere.

One Good Point. (5)

Kid Zero (4866) | more than 14 years ago | (#845532)

Corporate Backing does not insure a great program. Or success of a program. OS/2 was great, but unsupported. Sun/HP have gone this route before, why did they suddenly choose Gnome? Cheap?
1,2,3,4 Moderation has to Go!

Please keep in mind.. (5)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 14 years ago | (#845533)

KDE is too distributed and diverse to permit me to speak for everybody

Please, please keep this in mind when replying.

You can disagree with Kurt's views, but don't take it out on KDE as a whole. As active member on the kde and kde-devel mailinglist I can tell you that this is not at all the general thought, there are plenty of developers who rather look at their own efforts than paying a lot of attention to GNOME, especially with the nearby release of KDE 2.0 and a heavy debugging rage among the developers.

Let's keep this discussion informative, insightful and interesting. There are obviously hard feelings between the KDE and GNOME teams but let's not degrade ourselves to such nonsense.

No clever subject, I'm too lazy today (5)

finkployd (12902) | more than 14 years ago | (#845534)

While he has some good points, it seems he is struggling to keep his rage in check while writing this :)

Personally, I like both and use GNOME at work, and KDE at home. I would have liked to have seen a little more positive supporting of KDE and showing off of KDE's strengths as evidence that they aren't worried instead of backhanded accusations of GNOME whoring itself out to the highest bidder. I kind of reminds me of whenever a punk band gets signed to a record lable, all the other punk bands jump over themselves attempting to cast them as "sellouts" :)

The thing to remeber is that this is open source. SUN and HP do NOT control GNOME, the devlopers do, and if for some reason the devlopers give in to all that money and become corporate puppets and screw up GNOME, it simply forks and continues like nothing happend. We've seen this before people.

However, the point that throwing money and devlopers at a project does not mean it will suddenly improve is well taken, and nobody should assume the GNOME foundation will succede simply based of this this reasoning.


Well said... (5)

nitehorse (58425) | more than 14 years ago | (#845535)

What I'd like to know is why the GNOME project is making such a big deal out of the things like Bonobo. Bonobo is a great technology - IN THEORY. I'm posting this from Nautilus right now, and I can say that honestly, even if it had ALL of the features that they claim it will, I would still use KDE2.

Konqueror still boasts several features which I don't see in Nautilus, and likewise vice versa. But I don't need a filemanager that plays my MP3s when I hover over them- I'd rather have one that embeds an MP3 player when I click on them instead. KDE2 is making some great strides forward for UNIX desktops in general, not just Linux. Besides, Helix in particular seems to be pretty unfriendly to even some versions of Linux. How do they expect to take over the UNIX desktop market if they don't even have a working Slackware installer? Things like this boggle the mind...

Standardisation (5)

GavK (58709) | more than 14 years ago | (#845536)

I understand the views, I just disagree with it being an issue.

Why aren't both Gnome and KDE getting interoperability right so that Gnome vs KDE stops being a monolithic decision and becomes a matter of personal choice?

I want to drag a block of text from kword into an openoffice spreadsheet, and embed that openoffice spreadsheet in the afforementioned kword document while running either desktop (Maybe I feel gnomic one day and troll-techy the next), and have the system stay stable.

Actually I don't, because I'd have to be even more insane than I am to want to do that, but I want to be able to, dammit!

What we really need.... (5)

Denor (89982) | more than 14 years ago | (#845538)

That seemed like a pretty reasonable exchange, nothing too harsh, and everyone acted like adults.

People, that's just not going to work at all.
I mean, civilized debate is nice these days, but it's just not going to pull in the pageviews and generate the advertising money. What we need is something more like:

National Enquirer: "David Talbot, the 'D' in KDE, to join new GNDOME initiative!"
Weekly World News:"9 out of 10 alien anal probe devices run KDE!"
Jerry Springer:"My wife is cheating on me with a GNOME developer"

Then, and only then, will Slashdot get the attention and pageviews it deserves!

me ? (5)

vapour (102049) | more than 14 years ago | (#845539)

I just prefer VT100 :)

Motif/CDE is a poor analogy ... (5)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 14 years ago | (#845540)

The spectre of the failed CDE desktop has been bounced around a lot in the wake of the Gnome foundation announcement. The reasons for its appearance are obvious - commercial Unices have dipped their hands into the waters of a standard desktop before and then messed around with the concept without really going anywhere with it. I have access to CDE on the AIX systems I work with, and while it has some plus points, I opted to use FVWM instead as being a more customizable interface.

But why should we be tarring Gnome with the same brush as CDE? The motivations are different - Gnome has arrived as an already competent desktop object model. It is not perfect, not is it complete, but it covers enough now that it is fully capable of most tasks. It has been written by people who wanted a GPL'd desktop model and decided that the licensing issues with Qt were sufficient motivation to not develop KDE instead. And why do these commercial Unix vendors suddenly care about Gnome? Because it is eclipsing their own offerings in available scope and applications written for it. It makes perfect sense from their perspective that they should go with the flow and convert, support and maintain a widely used desktop system. I don't suddenly see this 'Big Brother Unix' appearing on the shoulder of Gnome and controlling its destiny. Rather I suspect that we will see bug fixes initially as these vendors get their paws on Gnome, followed by patches and new bonobo objects, new applications under the GPL or otherwise, and greater integration of Gnome into their own offerings.

All those who think that these commercial offerings will subvert Gnome into some corporate whipping boy have forgotten the Linux philosphy - choice. If we don't like it, we don't have to take it or use it. And that applies to piecemeal offerings and patches equally as to whole applications.


Toby Haynes

Ahh. Ignorance is Bliss (5)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 14 years ago | (#845541)

I do find it ironic, though, that it is *Gnome* taking this step. Could anybody have possibly imagined this when Gnome started? Weren't they the "hacker desktop"? Didn't they have all the "desktop for the people" principles? Hmm... times change, I guess.

Those who don't understand the Free Software ideal (as very distinct from Open Source) are doomed to say really stupid things about it. It seems really obvious to me that a person who would make the quote above doesn't understand the principles that he's complaining about. Complaints about QT were not about corporate involvement (as the above quote seems to suggest is the big sin among the FSF crowd) but about lack of programming freedom.

Part of the FSF ethic is that anyone is free to hack on the programs, and that "everyone" includes big corporations. To tell Sun and HP that they mayn't become involved is actually more contrary to the spirit of the GPL than accepting big corporate money. The problems come when people try to place restraints on the code. Given that everything is going to be kept open by the GPL, I don't see this as being a big problem.

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