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New Qt Based Desktop Environment

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the this-is-not-the-gnome-you-were-looking-for dept.

GUI 241

aglider writes "Phoronix has an interesting piece of news about a new emerging desktop environment. And it's Qt based! From the project home page: 'Razor-Qt is an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface. Unlike most desktop environments, Razor-Qt also works fine with weak machines.' Someone has already tagged Razor-Qt as 'a KDE ripoff.' What we have so far is version 0.4, ... and ... a number of easy ways to install and test it on a few main Linux distributions. Maybe time has come for something really new in the desktop environment arena almost completely occupied by GNOME and KDE." The project site has a few screenshots, and the source is available under a mixture of the GPL and LGPL. It looks pretty pedestrian in its current form, but then XFCE wasn't much to look at in its early stages either.

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241 comments

It looks awesome. (5, Insightful)

spaceplanesfan (2120596) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433316)

I for one welcome new razor-qt overlords.
Seriously though, completion is the best, and its really time to teach Gnome folks the lesson.

Re:It looks awesome. (2)

astropirate (1470387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433604)

YES! I'm a huge fan of Qt but don't like any of the current DEs (including KDE) real competition = good indeed.

Re:It looks awesome. (1, Insightful)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434986)

Which one you prefer, competition or alternativies?

As competition means there are no standards, no compability, no teamwork, no quality in products and less jobs
While alternatives means there are standards, compability, teamwork, better quality in products and more jobs

What competition means? http://xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com]

Competition always means that there can only be one winner. And every competitor does everything what they can to win other(s).

You know the phrase "It isn't personal, just business"? Well...
You know the government demands to ask price offers from competitors and give job for one who is cheapest? You only end up having crap in your hands.
How about projects where your timeframe is shorter and shorter all the times and budjet is smaller and smaller? Thank competition.
Or co-determination in corporations, where corporation lays off people because expensives... thank competition again.

Next time someones kid does not win, parent should just say "Shut the fuck up and next time you crush your fuckin enemies without any reasoning, my kid does not live as a loser but as a winner so learn to cheat and use violance to solve problems if needed!" instead saying "It does not matter who wins, but that it is a fair play"?

Software patents are all about competition. Propietary is all about competition. Monopolies are results of competition. Abusive of dominant market position is all about competition. Bigger corporations are free to crush smaller ones how they like. Richer corporation has much better situation than a start up company because they can pull multiple different market share products where start up can only focus to one or smaller market.

In other hand. Open Source (GPl not the BSD) is about teamwork and possibilities to offer a alternativies if wanted. With Open Source (GPL license in this case, not the BSD) licensed software no one can build a monopoly or abuse a dominant market position (unless abusing the license). Bigger corporation can not own the products or customers. There is always a change that someone get better idea and implements it and this way product developes better one.

When you replace "Competition is good" to real meaning what it is... you get "War is good". And thats is it. How many thinks war is good for anyone? Customers are civilians and they are those who suffer most. Bad products, limited choices, less jobs, smaller payrates... Everything bad comes from competition.

There ain't KDE vs GNOME vs XFCE vs LXDE vs XYZ...
There are just KDE, GNOME, XFCE, LXDE and XYZ's.

Those are not competiting projects, they are alternatives.
Competition is hostile by nature. While alternatives are about teamwork and goal to find out best result what to use and same time research and develop a alternativies with new ideas what to choose again together what is best to be used.
Standards are great thing and they are all about teamwork, not about competition.

If we would have free markets, everything would be ruined.... If we would have free markets, we would have fucked up situation on economy... good thing is that we don't have fr..... Oh wait... what is situation on world economy? US Dollar and EUR situation is pretty bad...
What is situation on computer markets? Software patents, market positions abuse, all legal fights, poor quality on software and their support and.... And people are rised from child to prise the competition as "there is nothing wrong on competition".

Razor-Qt is good thing, because it brings one new choice for users. It use existing technology, it follows FDO standards and it is Open Source (GPL/LGPL).
It is new choice, not a new coalition for war.

Good or Bad thing? (1, Offtopic)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433350)

Is it me, or are the people at QT trying to make QT into something more than it should be. I always though of it as a GUI library.

Next step, QT OS!

Re:Good or Bad thing? (1)

astropirate (1470387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433424)

Its just you. Qt is a GUI library, just like GTK+ which is what Gnome and LXDE, and a whole bunch more are built on

Re:Good or Bad thing? (4, Informative)

RedK (112790) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433478)

I think his point was how QT is much more than just a UI library. It has support for primitive types, it has a socket API, it has low level operating system abstraction. It's basically a portable framework for making rich applications with the least possible amount of platform dependant code. Quite off topic.

Re:Good or Bad thing? (2)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434416)

I noticed applications built using QT cannot be automated fairly easily by users with tools like autoit... and that sucks. Or perhaps I'm mistaken what computers are for. I thought they were to automate difficult things into easier to use and re-use interfaces.

Re:Good or Bad thing? (5, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434612)

Qt is a full application portability toolkit, not just a collection of widgets. It's Neuron Data's Open Interface concept reworked as open source and delivered on steroids. Not a new concept, but a very powerful one, and not to be confused with a basic widget library like Motif of GTK+ that only deal with widgets and have no concern for portability at their heart.

A completely different animal, despite it's lineage.

As to people claiming this new GUI is a KDE rip-off: KDE is a collection of applications and a desktop/window manager based on Qt. KDE is not the underlying Qt technology on which it's built, but an application of that technology.

Qt predates KDE by many years, and was originally delivered by Trolltech as a hybrid GPL/commercially licensed product before eventually being bought out by Nokia and released as fully LGPL open source when they opted to abandon the tiny revenue stream of Qt/Windows users who were paying for licenses in favour of wider adoption of the toolkit.

Re:Good or Bad thing? (5, Informative)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433490)

Well first of all this isn't Qt, it's a system built using Qt like KDE. Secondly, I don't know when Qt was ever just a GUI toolkit. It's trying to be a full on standard library - not like stdlib, but like Java, C# etc. covering GUI, file systems, networking, databases, multimedia, threads, collection classes and so on - basically you're supposed to be able to write fully functional applications without ever using anything but Qt classes.

Re:Good or Bad thing? (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434270)

basically you're supposed to be able to write fully functional applications without ever using anything but Qt classes.

Actually I am even able to do this without Qt classes. ;-)

Re:Good or Bad thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38435020)

I am able to do it in ASSEMBLER, oh, wait!! I am able to write directly into the memory chips using my MICROWAVE OVEN!!!

KDE ripoff? (1, Interesting)

An Anonymous Coward (236011) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433362)

Someone has already tagged Razor-Qt as 'a KDE ripoff.'

And KDE is just a Windows ripoff. So really, Razor-Qt is just another Windows look-alike. That was actually one of the things I liked about KDE, the interface was so familiar to what I already knew, it made transitioning easier.

Re:KDE ripoff? (2, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433408)

And say what you want about Windows: Windows interface is to this moment unsurpassed in it's functionality and simplicity (at leat the classical 95/2000 on which KDE is based). OSXs finder with all it's annoyances and ,,so shiny/no content,, is, unfortunately gaining terrain with copycats (god save us).

Re:KDE ripoff? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433576)

Windoze sucks!!!!

It is not intutative at all, it is not simple, and barely functional. Blow OSX all the crap you want, my mom can figure it out - it is unsupassed right now under version 10.6.x.

Look to NeXT, BeOS, Amiga, DragonFly, - get something new already. Look beyond the mundane. Linux people are to the point where they are hoping they can make their little linux box look like windoze. OOOOOOO - get windoze then.

I want a better OS and a better GUI - no more of the same old crap.

Re:KDE ripoff? (0)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433914)

I want a better OS and a better GUI - no more of the same old crap.

Then either make it yourself or keep sucking Windoze.

Re:KDE ripoff? (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434540)

Well, thank you Mr. Grumpy. Actually, thank goodness, he has other options than to listen to your ultimatum. There are any number of DE's already available that break new ground and that anyone will agree (pro or con) are not "more of the same old crap."

Re:KDE ripoff? (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434292)

Look to [bunch of old OSes] - get something new already

Ummmmmm. Okay. If you're that desperate for something new, how about coming up with something new?

There's also something to be said for not fixing what ain't broken. New for the sake of new is why we end up with so many bugs, and pieces of awful, incomplete, crappy window managers like Unity and Gnome Shell being used in stable release versions of popular Linux distros when they are nowhere near ready for prime time.

Re:KDE ripoff? (2)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434472)

Windoze sucks!!!!

It is not intutative at all, it is not simple, and barely functional. Blow OSX all the crap you want, my mom can figure it out - it is unsupassed right now under version 10.6.x.

Look to NeXT, BeOS, Amiga, DragonFly, - get something new already. Look beyond the mundane. Linux people are to the point where they are hoping they can make their little linux box look like windoze. OOOOOOO - get windoze then.

I want a better OS and a better GUI - no more of the same old crap.

Parent should not have been modded down. He has some valid points and touches on key issues. Beating parent on the head with a stick is childish and does not improve the discussion.

I happen to disagree that OSX operations are discoverable by the novice. It seems to me by observing novices that Windows UP THROUGH XP was, with the exception of certain operations, extremely easily understood by novices. Reasonable people can disagree on this, but one thing they cannot reasonably disagree on. A huge portion of the population now has a reasonably good understanding of, and facility with, Windows. So it seems to me that sticking within the dominant desktop paradigm does have its advantages.

That does not mean it has to look exactly like Windows, or copy obvious details where Windows just flat blows it!

Re:KDE ripoff? (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433622)

OSXs finder with all it's annoyances and ,,so shiny/no content,, is, unfortunately gaining terrain with copycats (god save us).

If you can't make a point without insulting something then your point isn't that good to begin with.

At the very least learn about whatever you are insulting so you don't look stupid and we could take you seriously. I use OS X and Linux and I like my OS X desktop just fine. I don't want widgets on my desktop. The ones I do have are out of my way on the dashboard. I do not use "mission control" and I don't have to. I just click on my Applications icon on my dock as I always have and I continue business as usual. I can press command-spacebar and spotlight will help me find my relevant emails, files, and web pages visited and or googled. I can define "workflows" with applescript that perform some of my repetitive tasks that I do on a daily basis. Workspaces is nice to organize my windows. This desktop does what it is suppose to do and that is to stay out of my way.

I don't know why people obsess so much about the desktop. I spent more time in my editor and ssh terminal than I ever do on my desktop. Geez you'd think we have better topics for a fanboy war.

Anyway on the topic at hand which is "KDE is just a windows ripoff". I have to agree that KDE does its best to emulate the Windows experience on Linux (warts and all). However the real question is this a bad thing? I don't think so, since I'm not forced to use KDE if I don't like it.

Re:KDE ripoff? (4, Funny)

mickwd (196449) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433988)

"If you can't make a point without insulting something then your point isn't that good to begin with."

"At the very least learn about whatever you are insulting so you don't look stupid and we could take you seriously."

Interesting two sentences to write next to each other.

Re:KDE ripoff? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434064)

There is a difference between looking stupid and being stupid. If you don't point out the consequences, how are they suppose to learn?

Re:KDE ripoff? (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434956)

And say what you want about Windows: Windows interface is to this moment unsurpassed in it's functionality and simplicity (at leat the classical 95/2000 on which KDE is based).

What's so simple about having to reboot your computer every five minutes? You are talking about older versions of Windows, although you still need to reboot whenever you install or update anything whatever, unlike Linux.

What's so simple about having to reopen all your programs and documents after a boot? KDE opens to the same state it was in when you closed it, all open docs and apps are reopened. You can, of course, change this to mimic Windows.

What's so simple about the double click? Those of you in their twenties don't remember learning how, so it just seems natural to you, but it isn't. Back in the nineties when PCs first got Windows, the double click was the hardest part of teaching someone how to use a computer, and it's completely unnecessary. Your mouse has two buttons. KDE needs no double click. Of course, you can make this like Windows, too.

What's simple about Windows Registry? IMO they should have simply kept .ini files.

Windows is NOT simpler than KDE, and it is NOT more "user friendly." KDE is more than user friendly, it's user obedient. It does things the way you want it to, Windows insists on you doing it the Windows way.

Re:KDE ripoff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434968)

Yes, classic, but that is about it.

WinVis7a interface is god-awful.
Then we have the casual Office "users" claiming "RIBBON SAVED MY BABIES FROM PEDOSATAN" or other such nonsense because they are unwilling to learn simple toolbars and menus so must be spoonfed.
This leads to Microsoft thinking anyone gives a damn about Ribbon besides the casual Office kiddies.
Worse, even Microsofts own research suggests otherwise, BUT THEY IGNORE IT AND THROW MORE RIBBON IN WINDOWS 8.
"HMM, SEEMS NOBODY IS NOTICING OUR BRAND NEW SUPER COOL USEFUL RIBBON INTERFACE, WE MUST MAKE IT BIGGER AND ADD MORE OF IT, THAT SHOULD HELP!"
Someone fire that ass, seriously, he is the worst thing to have happened to Microsoft.

"Oh, you heard about our fantastic new Aero interface? It is SOOOooo shiny and sleek, we use your graphics card to run it because what's the point of having that big ol' graphics card and not using it? Stupid right?"
NO, I DON'T WANT WANT TO USE MY GPU ALL THE TIME, IT COSTS MONEY YOU KNOW.
There is an absolutely extremely tiny reason for you to ever need decent transparency in an OS, and that is for simple sliding animations, such as fade in and fade out, icons perhaps, cursors, and the odd cases where you might need to set a window transparent to, say, trace or whatever.
And those are bad, at best. Software is fine.

Classic interface is the only Windows interface. Everything else after it is for babies and people with no eyes, or those poor, tortured people being managed by the former groups.

Re:KDE ripoff? (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434264)

I don't believe Razor-Qt is a KDE ripoff. As Razor-Qt doesn't force the user to run those bloated monstrocities called akonadi and nepomuk, and as it doesn't show any nasty rendering "artifacts" which plague KDE4 since the 4.0 days, it is a considerable improvement when compared to KDE.

If only it had a network/wifi manager...

Re:KDE ripoff? (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434520)

It looks more like LXDE than it does KDE, anyway. And it appears to be using nm-applet for the wireless manager, in at least some of the screenshots. :)

I question the *need* for another system like that, but I don't question the work they've done. It looks pretty clean to me, and like it's a good alternative. But considering that I use E17, I'm definitely not in their target market, nor would I consider switching, when E17 will happily run on a PII-250 with 64MB of RAM and still be quite zippy, even with the bling/compositor effects turned on.

Re:KDE ripoff? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434620)

For it be a true KDE ripoff, it would have to have a useless, resource-consuming "semantic desktop" system tacked on, and at least 40% of the devs' time devoted to useless widgets at the expense of actual desktop usability.

Re:KDE ripoff? (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434826)

Maybe KDE was a "Windows rip-off" for 1.0, but the latest releases look nothing like Windows. Microsoft did not and never claimed to have created the concept of the window-based GUI -- even they credit Xerox/PARC with that.

I'm not a fan of KDE myself, but I am a HUGE fan of the Qt approach to applications development, having spent almost 15 years working with an older commercial product called Neuron Data Open Interface that had the same goals back when portability meant X/11 for Unix, Apple, and Microsoft implementations of the abstract widgets using the native widgets of the platforms in question.

On a side note, Java's JFC is similarly a Java-based implementation of a Qt-style widget framework, with Java itself providing the "OS API" portability. JFC has native windowing systems renderings of it's widgets, adapting it's look and feel to the native platform as best it can.

A key characteristic of Neuron Data like systems is their use of graphics primitives by the toolkit to support fully custom cross-platform widget development. You are NOT restricted to the set of common primitive widgets that are available across all platforms, but instead have the tools to implement ports of uncommon and new widgets using the graphics primitives. This slows down the rendering a bit, resulting in occasionally sluggish performance for JFC, but I haven't found native widget binding approaches used by Eclipse to perform better enough to be willing to sacrifice the ability to develop fully custom cross-platform widgets.

Neuron Data was good to me. They kept me profitably employed doing custom applications for almost 15 years of my early career. I learned a LOT about applications portability through the Neuron Data headers and macros, far more than I ever did from any other approaches I've seen to source code portability.

Yes, I'm a fan of the macro hell that some portable application programmers despise. I spent too many years working with such technology to slough it off as being a bad idea; it's a GREAT idea.

Featuritis will make it grow, soon (4, Funny)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433364)

"It looks pretty pedestrian in its current form, but then XFCE wasn't much to look at in its early stages either."

Wait. Featuritis will make it grow, soon... ;)

Re:Featuritis will make it grow, soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433696)

The two look nearly identical to me. Which is to say, both look like windows 95 with bigger icons. Probably best to leave the ambitious stuff to the big envs and let these two fight it out over the "everything old is new again" group. Whoa... hipster nostalgia desktop snobbery...

Re:Featuritis will make it grow, soon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433890)

Pedestrian alright...it reminds me of the various linux's I tried 10 years ago when I was an avid distro-hopper. I think most people have moved on really...the basic win95 look is just old, it hurts my eyes now...

Whenever I look at xfce i can't help the feeling that its 5 years behind the curve. Razor looks closer to 10...

This is awesome. No, not really (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433402)

Cool!!, just what we needed, another desktop environment to fragment even more Linux community.
Don't we have enough of them already?

Re:This is awesome. No, not really (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433698)

Don't we have enough vehicles? I mean, you've got Chevrolet, Ford, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Chrysler, Dodge, and seemingly endless others. Then you've got foreign-built cars from Mazda, Toyota, Honda, BMW and others. And to make matters worse you've got different types of vehicles including cars, trucks, vans, sports cars, gas guzzling super heavy duty trucks and SUVs, hatchbacks, convertibles, T-tops, luxury cars, four-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, diesel, gasoline/electricity hybrids--you name it. And colors--not the colors! You'll see cars from white to black and every visible hue and shade in between, with different types of finishes even. It has to end--there's too much fragmentation of Chevy vs. Ford lovers, car drivers vs. truck drivers!

And that's just a car lot analogy. Step into your local supermarket, walk down an isle--any isle--and you'll see something similar. Want cereal? Plastic storage bags? Garbage bags? Games, movies, CDs? Choice can be a bitch, but it's a good thing.

Hoping for a new generation of Desktop Enviroments (1)

VorSec (2535782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433426)

Lets hope this is the start of a whole new set of Desktop Environments, and I don't mean the bloated, needlessly flashy, touchscreen optimised, BS that looks like children's toys.(Yes KDE, Unity, Gnome I'm looking at you.)

Re:Hoping for a new generation of Desktop Envirome (4, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433702)

Lets hope this is the start of a whole new set of Desktop Environments, and I don't mean the bloated, needlessly flashy, touchscreen optimised, BS that looks like children's toys.(Yes KDE, Unity, Gnome I'm looking at you.)

It is the bloat that turns lean window managers into actual desktop environment. Take LXDE, it is basically openbox with a few panels. By the time you add a printing subsystem, notification subsystem, and all the other things that truly make up a desktop environment, then it is no longer so lightweight. It is not the eye-candy that makes KDE and Gnome so heavy, it is all the other services provided in the background.

Re:Hoping for a new generation of Desktop Envirome (2, Interesting)

peppepz (1311345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434034)

Still, I think that you can make a nice desktop environment without requiring a full-blown MySQL instance to be running all the time, or 4 different programming language runtimes in memory just for the core environment, or generating log files that completely fill your hard drive in a couple of hours. Graphics aside, Windows '95 had probably more features than many of the current DEs - and it ran with 4 MB of RAM.

P.S. I confess that I even *like* the graphic appearance of Windows 95, but I guess that's just me getting old.

Re:Hoping for a new generation of Desktop Envirome (2)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434734)

RE: "P.S. I confess that I even *like* the graphic appearance of Windows 95, but I guess that's just me getting old."

me too, that why i run IceWM with rox-filer drawing the desktop icons and wallpaper = basic and lightweight, but still quite usable

Re:Hoping for a new generation of Desktop Envirome (3, Insightful)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434138)

It is not the eye-candy that makes KDE and Gnome so heavy, it is all the other services provided in the background.

This is a consequence, which cannot easily be avoided. The only thing I'd wish for is a better modularization. The current desktop environments are close to all or nothing. You can drop the one or other service, but the minimal set is still huge and in my view very intrusive.

Re:Hoping for a new generation of Desktop Envirome (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434760)

Never used a distro with E17, have you? :) the Enlightenment libs are designed from the ground up to be modular, and to allow you to pick and choose which parts of the system you want loaded, but even with bling effects (compositor) enabled, and stuff like dancing penguins on your desktop, it can still fit in less than 128MB of RAM. It's light-weight and responsive without sacrificing the eye candy or functionality.

And thanks to the modularity, it can be shoehorned into very low RAM configurations: I have seen it fit in less than 40MB of RAM without sacrificing the compositor, or any of the functionality most users expect from their desktop, just by unloading modules that you wouldn't need.

Rip-off? (4, Funny)

Ardeaem (625311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433448)

Someone has already tagged Razor-Qt as 'a KDE ripoff.'

Oh no, someone call the police! Someone is ripping off an idea from an open source project! We must stop this "open" madness!

Re:Rip-off? (5, Interesting)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433532)

Indeed - it looks like it's reusing a load of artwork from KDE *which is good*. With open source there's no reason not to slot in existing professional artwork straight away in a new project. They're even planning to make it easy to contribute their patches to common code back to KDE, so they're even being actively co-operative, which is always nice to see.

If they come up with something that looks nice and is lighter-weight than KDE then I might want to install it on my ancient netbook or in virtual machines. KDE is still my preference on my desktop.

Qt is a nice toolkit and it's good to see more development based on it. There's also the Trinity Desktop Environment, for folks who want a KDE-like lightweight desktop - it actually *is* KDE 3, further developed. It looks like (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Trinity#Trinity_Build_Dependency_PKGBUILDs) that's based on Qt 3, whereas Razor-Qt can presumably use newer Qt versions from the start. Variety is nice, it's all cool.

Re:Rip-off? (4, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433596)

My complaint about that is that...

A project focuses on making a new desktop environment based on a GUI toolkit used by one of the major desktop environments, but with the aim to be lightweight...

And they are calling it a KDE ripoff? Shouldn't it be an XFCE ripoff?

Re:Rip-off? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433660)

My complaint about that is that...

A project focuses on making a new desktop environment based on a GUI toolkit used by one of the major desktop environments, but with the aim to be lightweight...

And they are calling it a KDE ripoff? Shouldn't it be an XFCE ripoff?

Technically, this isn't a desktop environment, any more than fluxbox is a desktop "environment." To be an environment, you have to provide additional services and functionality. Xfce is an environment, but not as feature rich as Gnome or KDE. So,if you want to be accurate, this is not a KDE ripoff, but an LXDE ripoff (which is also not a true desktop environment).

Lame - pathetic windoze paradime (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433506)

Why is it that people are stuck on the sucky windoze look and feel? Not good to begin with. If you are going to start a new project, put a little effort into making it more usable. Check out NeXT, Amiga and BeOS (and the open source version there of) - even though the latter two have gravitated towards the same stale look.

Me thinks a programmer needs to meet up with a human factors engineer and figure something out already.

Windows is what it is. Hell, you want to drive a Chevy Cavalier (Windoze) all your life or do you aspire for something better?

Re:Lame - pathetic windoze paradime (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433566)

While I agree with your sentiment, hiring human factors engineers, in my experience, only leads to more-yet-friendlier Windows-like environments. I was in a grad program, and all it did was reinforce best-practices for desktop-metaphor based operating systems. Disappointing indeed.

Re:Lame - pathetic windoze paradime (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434728)

Disappointing or not to your psyche, you might want to consider that perhaps there is a reason why human factors engineers find a lot to favor in the Windows environment (and I'm thinking of up through XP here; it has been a huge wreck in usability since then). It basically does not get better than IBM CUA, which was the real genius of the Windows 95 environment, and which was itself standing on giants in the form of Xerox PARC shoulders.

Re:Lame - pathetic windoze paradime (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433730)

Just as an addition to the above post, I stumbled upon this site the other day and was rather impressed by it - http://www.chiptune.com/ [chiptune.com]

It brought back a lot of memories of the Amiga and for those of you who have no idea what Workbench looked like, it's a quick way of playing around without having to install anything.

Re:Lame - pathetic windoze paradime (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434108)

I don't like what I see when loading that page with NoScript enabled. A plain text button linking to https : //www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr which gets hidden by the JavaScript animation. I won't click anything in that page.

Re:Lame - pathetic windoze paradime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434866)

Because it's a remake of an operating system, with a window manager and everything which would obviously not work without javascript? You're still free to not enable javascript and yes they could have made a better noscript element for that but that's why it looks like that.

Re:Lame - pathetic windoze paradime (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433796)

It's easy to just say "do something different and better!" when you're not giving a single concretic example yourself. The way Windows and most DEs and WMs work just happens to work reasonably well in conjunction with a mouse and a keyboard whereas for example gestures usually work very poorly with such input devices. There are only a limited number of ways of presenting information or interacting with it, it's not an endless pool from which to just pick what you like, especially because displays themselves are still purely 2D.

"paraDIME"?!?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433944)

You have an inflated sense of the worth of your two cents.

Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (5, Interesting)

psergiu (67614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433556)

Why the heck all the Linux Window managers are copying Windows 95-XP with the placement of the window close/minimize/maximize buttons ?

Also - why are all the GUI shortcuts With Ctrl and not Alt or Meta ?

Is Windows THAT GOOD so the purpose of all those GUIs are to become a perfect copy of it ?

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (4, Funny)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433688)

Why using windows at all? All computers do this. Maybe get rid of monitors after all... Content is made available by a combination of morse code and whistles.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433690)

Because every possible alternative is worse.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (4, Insightful)

xSander (1227106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433788)

Because every possible alternative is worse.

This. IMO there is nothing wrong with the placement of close/minimize/maximize in Windows. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Besides, transition from Windows or other DE's with the same placement is easier that way. That goes for keyboard shortcuts too.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (4, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433704)

As opposed to just being different for the sake of being different?
Does it really matter what order minimise/maximise/close is? I mean, can you actually give a good logical reason why the order or placement should be anywhere else? If not, then why not just keep it the way everyone else does it?

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

psergiu (67614) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434104)

Which "everyone else" ?
It's different on Motif, NeXTStep/OpenStep, Win 3.x, MacOS Classic & MacOS X.
Microsoft just copied OS/2 (and switched the buttons around)

Let me tell you a reason: "Cascading" Windows. If you have a lot of them, if you want to select one of the windows in the middle of the stack, you're likely to push the "Close Window" [X] button. Never happens when the close window button is on the left.

As all the displays are now Wide Screen, something like WM2 [all-day-breakfast.com] , with the window controls on the side would be more appropriate.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434294)

"Everyone else" is the majority of computer users out there, i.e. Windows. I know, it sucks but no matter what way you swing it, it does have 90%+ of the desktop market. The server market is different, but who cares for UIs on a server?

I also disagree with your cascading windows suggestion, it doesn't make a huge difference because the "Exit" button is on the side of a window, all that really differs is which side. Plus, on today's widescreen monitors, the "gap" between the left and right side of the window is absolutely huge (I just tested it with about 60 open windows). You'd have to have literally hundreds and hundreds of cascading windows for that to be an issue and by that point, a different way of switching windows is probably more ideal.

However all that said, I cannot understate how much I do agree with your latter point - having the controls at the side of the window does seem to make a lot more sense. Might take some getting used to, but I can definitely see that being useful and unobtrusive, especially as vertical screen real estate is in such high demand these days.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (3, Insightful)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434160)

I mean, can you actually give a good logical reason why the order or placement should be anywhere else?

Because destructive operations (like close) should be kept separated from non-destructive ones (like maximise/minimise). NeXT (and by inheritance WindowMaker) get this right. Fortunately most window managers also make it easy enough to change, which I usually do.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434438)

Because destructive operations (like close) should be kept separated from non-destructive ones (like maximise/minimise).

Says who? Your opinion. A valid one, but there are different ones, which also have some merit, e.g. to be able to access all controls when the windows are stacked in a way that one corner is always covered.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (2)

rapidreload (2476516) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433728)

Is Windows THAT GOOD so the purpose of all those GUIs are to become a perfect copy of it ?

Actually, it IS that good. I've always thought Windows XP managed to obtain a very nice interface that allowed efficient window, program and file management. Windows 7 just added extra stuff but still kept the basics because if it works well, why rock the boat? Linux doesn't have to be totally different in GUI - GNOME 3 and Unity should be enough evidence that trying something different for the sake of change isn't necessarily going to work out well.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (3, Insightful)

calibre-not-output (1736770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433768)

Yes, it is. It's also what most people are used to, which is important for gaining a large userbase.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433772)

1- Why not ? You have inside info on where god intended them to be ?
2- Same: why not ? Ctrl is easier to find too, on the edge of the keyboard.
3- Well, if what you're anxious about is windows control placement and shortcut key, Windows is as good as any OS. And it don't hurt to keep things familiar, changing things for the sake of changing them is pretty gratuitous. BTW, you can swap ctrl and alt via a keymap, if you're really hurting for it.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433994)

Xmonad is what god intended.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433840)

Is your point that they should differentiate just for the sake of differentiating? That's a terribly poor reason for doing that. If using alt instead of control for example did provide some real tangible benefits to it, then yes, it would make sense. But it doesn't: there is absolutely no benefit from just replacing control with alt in keyboard shortcuts, especially since people are already used to using control. It would be counter-intuitive and a disadvantage, not a benefit.

The Right Reason(TM) for doing something differently than what people are used to is because it provides some actual tangible benefit.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434058)

"Why the heck all the Linux Window managers are copying Windows 95-XP with the placement of the window close/minimize/maximize buttons ?"

Why not?

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434130)

And everyone who responded to you missed the point. The CLOSE button should not be next to any other window control. It should be on the opposite corner of the window. This avoids the VERY common annoyance of overshooting the minimize/maximize button you wanted and hitting the close button instead.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

allo (1728082) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434358)

maybe you need a better mouse. or set your window controls to be bigger. I never accidentally hit the close button ...

or you need gnome3, without max/min buttons.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434836)

Well, if you take for example, Windows 95 as the starting point, the opposite corner is the lower left. Doesn't sound very logical to me.

I understand the reasoning, but how ARE you going to arrange the buttons then? It's just as bad to put Close next to the Window Menu on the left. Would you move the Window Menu to the right where Close it now, and vice versa? I guess that would work.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (2)

dpilot (134227) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434142)

I'm not one to blindly copy Windows, but neither am I one to change simply for the sake of change. I've grown rather accustomed to the buttons on the title bar, and they've been pretty common through a lot of UIs, WMs, etc, and that even predates the "copy Win95 era".

I'd like to see someone "do the OS/2 WPS UI right" some time, even though everyone seems intent on "doing Windows right." The OS/2 WPS was the one GUI that managed to attract me away from the command line more of the time than any other. I'm using GNOME because that's the "standard platform" at work, but I spend almost all of my time at a command line. (In multiple xterms on multiple desktops) By the way, the WPS used the "standard" menu bar button placements, and that was legacy predating Win95.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434850)

Do you seriously use xterm in place of Gnome Terminal, or, better yet, konsole? Why?

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

noshellswill (598066) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434618)

Yes, WIDOOZ **human factor** behavior is that good ... world class ... the very best. That's why we **PAY** them! That's why iCRAP steals from them. That's why M$ owns 95% of the computer desktop market. Snot-nosed drooling byteboyz Linux HUIs (Hardly Useable Interfaces hahaha) can take a lesson. When you own 0.97% of the desktop market you **better** take lessons. Yes, I have used Linux exclusively for four years, but will soon be killing one Ubuntu system and installing Windoz to use hardware interactive software that **only** functions on M$ products.

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434668)

because they're a good placement style. as opposed to osx style for example - or even beos style.

maybe they should go osx and place the buttons at upper-left corner - to be different you know. and then in their own built in apps move those to be on top of each other. and then place another fill-screen button at the right corner?

Re:Window close/minimize/maximize buttons (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434798)

Why the heck all the Linux Window managers are copying Windows 95-XP with the placement of the window close/minimize/maximize buttons ?

I totally agree. With the advent of wide-screen monitors the layout is all wrong. Vertical space is at a premium, so the "panel" should be to one side or the other. I have a number of ideas on how this should be laid out to make it useful. Notice that browsers have adopted "tabs" because the traditional win95 method of switching tasks sucks - or they maximize the browser because they need the vertical space. I've been meaning to do a mock-up of this layout that's stuck in my head.

Looks interesting. But.... (0)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433620)

...one of the more important reasons I stopped using KDE and never started with GNOME was bloat. With bloat I don't mean featuritis, if it as only features, I could ignore those I don't need, but there was dependency hell. I started KDE and it started dozens (slight exaggeration) of services, which I don't need and don't want and suddenly everything looks different. Programs, which have nothing to do with KDE suddenly have a different fileselectorbox. A sluggish one. Ok, if I start KDE maybe I should not complain to get KDE style. But also suddenly some imbecile programs cluttered my console with warning messages. Made development really hard, because I hardly was able to see my own temporary debug output, as it was drowned in a mass of junk messages. And no, not all of them could be disabled. When I tried to contact the KDE and application developers about that, the started playing responsibility ping-pong.

A nice Qt based desktop environment would be fine. But only if it depends only on qt libs and only if it does not hijack the whole computer.

Any of these ported to Windows? (2)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38433678)

This might be a really stupid question, but has anyone ever ported any of these UI's (KDE, Gnome, etc.) to Windows?

Now before you tell me off for being stupid, there would be a good reason for it - anyone that prefers *nix and has to use a windows machine (say at work) can at least get some of the familiarity by using their favourite GUI. For those of us, like myself, who have tried to switch from Windows so many times but got cold feet because everything is so unfamiliar and different, it'd be a great way to familiarise with it.

Sure, there's a lot more to *nix than just a different UI, it's almost a different ethos, a different way of working - but every little helps.

Re:Any of these ported to Windows? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434086)

No, the problems with Window's UI go far deeper than which side of the title bar the close button is located. Someone familiar with UNIX who finds themselves on Windows would do best to just install Cygwin.

Re:Any of these ported to Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434110)

http://windows.kde.org/

KDE is. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434128)

KDE is ported to Windows. Check http://windows.kde.org/ [kde.org] for the installer. It works sort of like synaptic, where you pick the applications you want and it deals with dependencies for you.

Some things in it work better than others, and you'll have to download a lot of Qt and KDE dependencies at first. The applications generally work pretty well but aren't all feature-complete compared to their *nix counterparts (but Kate and IOslaves work! aweosme.)

I'm not sure about the state of Plasma itself (the desktop, widgets, etc.) but it's been available for a while. I don't think Kwin is available, so it will still use the normal Windows window management (ick)

Re:KDE is. (1)

boristhespider (1678416) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434384)

mod parent up, i got sidetracked reading about how to actually go about putting kde on windows and ended up posting much less info, five minutes later

Re:Any of these ported to Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434736)

you can configure windows XP to use a shell other than explorer by default. I did that in college and used kde running on cygwin. it worked quite well.

Sloppy Focus (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38433866)

Anything without sloppy focus (Or focus follows mouse) as the standard method is not worth having. (I don't even dislike Windows 7 because you can get it with a registry hack).

I really don't get it Nextstep had this but they went backwards with Mac OS X

Lack of class and design (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434196)

My biggest problem is the complete lack of actual class and design and refinement with most open source projects. They are all done by techie, mostly youngish males, without any sense of design or art. I mean, a pizza cutter? Really? Seriously, this is the kind of thing that has bugged me since the early 90s with Linux and it just never gets better. With a unified vision and goal look at where OSX was able to come in relatively short order while Linux still flounders around creating 200 desktop environments instead of one or two good ones. This is where the bazaar and the cathedral concept fails, sometimes chaos really does just fall short.

Re:Lack of class and design (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434272)

"sometimes chaos really does just fall short."

Says the being, evolved via chaotic natural selection...  Clearly, your own existence proves you wrong.

Re:Lack of class and design (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434642)

Well, I sure as hell would hope that after 2.3+ million years Linux would finally have some great design. I guess that makes my 21+ years waiting seem minor in comparison.

Goodbye Gnome 3 and Unity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434316)

Well done for doing the open source way of if you don't like it write your own. I have mostly switched to lxde on my Linux virtual machines due to the boneheadedness of the mentioned desktops but this project looks promising too. But the desktop war has unfortunately been lost. Remember the Linux netbooks a few years ago? Now it's Windows everywhere and Android tablets are mostly for nerds while iPads get mainstream. Not even the successful on servers argument sways me anymore since servers work just as well on BSD/Proprietary Unix/Windows.

In 2021 we will be arguing about the next desktop environment of the month while Gnome 4 will be ruining peoples lives.

it built & installed and runs just fine (2)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38434654)

on Slackware 13.37

it seems to run okay (fast and stable), it makes a nice lightweight desktop, it wants to use Openbox to manage applications,

"New"? You got to be freakin' kidding me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38434840)

Is that what small-minded inside-the-box-thinking individuals think is "really new"?

It still got buttons. Menus. Icons. Windows. Task bars. Focus on being mouse-based. Monolithic applications. Is not file-based. Is not scriptable. Has dialogs, for god's sake! It still got the same crappy concept of dialogs, that was already FAIL when it was invented!

This is as much "new" as the VW Golf x+1 is "revolutionary" compared to the VW Golf x!
In other words: It's still exactly the same shit as every other "mainstream graphical desktop environment" on the planet!

Fuck this shit, I'm outta here!

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