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Eazel Come, Eazel Go?

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the back-to-KDE dept.


An AC writes: " claims that Eazel (of Nautilus fame) closed down today. A column lends some credibility to this report." It isn't clear whether Eazel went down today, or will close next week, but the end seems certain.

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New economy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#228541)

I wonder if this heralds the closing of other open source initiative companies. What with the economic downturn and all.

It'll be a wonder if many developers are able to stay afloat during this time.

Re:uh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#228542)

this either wins the "Most Obvious Comment" Award ...

or the "Most Genious Slashdot Comment Of All Time" Award

I vote for the latter. I laughed out loud.


This is by no means the end. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#228543)

Listen fellas... The code is GPL'd, isn't it? So who needs a company to develop it? Anyone who wants to can pick up the code and maintain it. Anyone who tells you that nautilus is dead and burried is ignorant of the true meaning of this platform.

You don't need a company to develop software, or rather, to develop a dream. The founder of Eazel could extend and maintain it himself, on his own time, and the dream does not have to die. If none of the original team wishes to do so, someone else can pick up the code, someone surely will, and it's no big freakin' deal at all.

Let me get this straight... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#228544)

The demise of a poorly-run company who produced a slow bloated product that the majority of the community didn't really even think they needed, will somehow allow a competing desktop to skip ahead a generation?

I lost you somewhere...!

Eazel and mozilla bloat and ximian slowness (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#228545)

Nautilus is slow because it's largely based around Mozilla, which was suppose to have a 1.0 release many moons ago.

Mozilla (even 0.9) is slow as a turtle on linux (Although I'm using the Windows 0.9 version right now, and it's very fast-- why IS that?).

Not sure if it was a mistake for Nautilus to base so much around Mozilla, but it sure will make the companies who own other open-source projects rethink their strategies.

And then there is Ximain, which is the defacto Gnome distribution (They probably have the largest and most active user base); and took weeks to release Gnome1.4 with the new Nautilus. How long will it take Ximian to release Nautilus1.0.3? I'm too busy to install this stuff myself.

The moral of the story here? Work with other projects, but don't base your entire future on projects that are out of your control.

Anyways, thanks to the Nautilus developers for your product. It's pretty, but slow, and better then gmc

uh (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#228549)

if i told you that i was going to start a company based on a free file manager for a free operating system, what would you have told me?

that's right, you'd have said, "dude, you're a fucking moron."

this company never should have existed, it had no business taking VC from anyone.

IT'S A FILE MANAGER. see? see how stupid that sounds?

Funny observation about Slashdot people (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#228552)

When a company announces it's "doing something for Linux," ....everyone is excited. But when that company fails...damn...the dogs come out... Indrema. When this thing started, I could only read good things about an open source game console. When it failed, the hindsight kicked in. All I read about was the "I knew it would fail" messages. Eazel. Everyone on Slashdot (save the KDE goons) loved it. Now that there is word of closure, the hounds circle again. My bet we'll be seeing Loki bashing again shortly... No need for flames, just an observation... Oh yeah, to appease the Slashdot people - M$ sucks!

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (2)

Micah (278) | more than 13 years ago | (#228557)

I don't think you'll get GNOME developers to move to KDE. Remember...

* GNOME is the official desktop of the GNU project. There are hundreds or thousands of people that will keep developing it for that reason alone.

* There is much more to GNOME than Eazel and even Ximian. It's largely worked on by volunteers.

Hopefully they'll be able to keep developing Nautilus. I used it a bit and liked it.

I believe GNOME and KDE will both exist and have loyal followings for at least 4 more years. One will probably emerge the victor. I agree with you that KDE has the best shot. But GNOME is by no means out.

Disclaimer: I'm a KDE user myself, even after playing with Ximian. But I love Gnumeric!

SO-5.2 was almost a KDE app [Re:Is Gnome next?] (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 13 years ago | (#228564)

when you install Star Office on KDE it gets placed into the menue structure. At least SO 5.x did on KDE 1.x

This is what a desktop is about. It's just that back then Gnome didn't have a clear enogh set of standards for them to try and comply. I sospect the next version will integrate with both or perhaps tow the company line and be Gnome only.

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (2)

Forge (2456) | more than 13 years ago | (#228567)

For the record you don't have to pay for QT until you actually start selling your product. This means that you can design and build it for free and then if it looks viable you pay Troll and put it on the market.

If you aren't going to make $1,200 (the full list price of QT) in very short order you probably have a dud product that's not commercially viable. You know something of the caliber of Linux-0.0.2 and which should be treated in a similar manner.

As for those pore students and struggling commercial developers on Windows, guess what? If the development environment didn't cost them over $1,200 then they are using just the GNU tools etc... If they are using simplified GUI toolkits or an IDE for less it means pirated software.

Finally. KDE has clearly defined standards, UI requirements and communications protocols. You can build a full KDE application without actually using the KDE or QT libs. Star Office came very close in the last couple versions.

In short if Gnome was to disappear it wouldn't make QT a monopoly. An advantage perhaps but not a monopoly.

Nautilus is not a web browser! (1)

Coverfire (5929) | more than 13 years ago | (#228577)

Just to clarify, Nautilus is not a web browser nor was it ever designed to be one. BTW: Nautilus 1.0.3 fixes everything that was annoying about Nautilus and makes substantial speed improvements. It is a trule amazing piece of software.

Does it matter? (3)

enterfornone (7400) | more than 13 years ago | (#228585)

I don't think you can really say that Eazel died because Nautilus sucked. The software is independant of their business model.

Sure Eazel were the people who created Nautilus, but it doesn't just disapear now that they are gone. All that goes is a bunch services that no one used anyway.


KDE vs GNOME vs KDE (5)

FFFish (7567) | more than 13 years ago | (#228586)

Daft buggers, all of you.

It doesn't matter what you hacker geeks think is the better windows manager, whether you prefer C or C++, whether Qt is evile or saviour, etc.

What matters is what the majority of end users prefer.

And at some point, the majority are going to be people like me: people who use the computer as a tool, and choose our software not for geek-karma, but for how productive it can make us.

I don't give two short strokes whatthefuck OS or general GUI I'm using. I spend so little time with either, that they're both irrelevent.

What's important to me are my bread-and-butter applications and how they make me work faster or better. Yes, their GUI component is a factor, but these days, all GUIs are pretty darn similar once they hit application level.

So is it gonna be KDE or GNOME or what that wins? Answer: it's gonna be whichever one gets the killer "office" applications first.

And given that there's a dearth of killer Linux "office" apps right now -- yah, sure, StarOffice and Applix and Corel and shite, but none of the are primo and complete -- it's probably all moot.


Re:uh (2)

Servo (9177) | more than 13 years ago | (#228590)

I think you hit the nail on the head here, the MARKETING people came buzzing. Marketing Departments are the root of all evil in today's economy. They try to sell things that they do not understand, and give false hopes all the way around.

I just had a revelation. Somewhat offtopic, but, does anybody realize that in order to have free software, we must have proprietary software? Somebody somewhere has to pay these programmers, or they'll starve to death. If you are going to live in a capitalist society (which most of us don't really have a choice), then you gotta do SOMETHING to make money to survive.

Re:Standard X desktop? (5)

landley (9786) | more than 13 years ago | (#228591)

The problem is a lot of people don't trust the KDE team's judgement.

This is residue from when QT was a "source under glass" library. Yes, that has now been fixed, but back when that was the case, THE KDE PEOPLE DID NOT HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT.

Anybody remember Unix? Everyone blissfully ignoring AT&T's unenforced copyright for fifteen years, then out of the blue "oh, by the way, all your bases are belonging to us". That kind of thing leaves a scar on a community.

More recently, the reason 90% of the Java development momentum drained away into Linux in 1998 was that everyone realised that Sun was never going to release Java to the ISO. We all remember how Microsoft was all sweetness and light compared to IBM, at first. And how IBM's commodity PC was saving the world from (pick one: Apple, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM's own mainframes, Somebody Else. Until the PS/2, anyway). But Sun wouldn't even port the JDK to Linux (which annoyed people who had never even HEARD of Linux). If they support that, what else wouldn't they allow?

Nobody ever REALLY trusts a "benevolent dictator", they're only happy if they know they have a way out. They may never really believe they'll need to use it, but people get claustrophobic otherwise. Even the best of the lot, Linus or Guido Van Rossom or Larry Wall, COULD BE REPLACED. If necessary. Everyone's sanity depends on it. If any of them came down with a brain infection and started going after people with an axe, a new leader would be ready and the community would go on. It ISN'T currently necessary, and we're happy that's so. But we couldn't sleep at night otherwise.

The KDE people -ARE- happy inserting proprietary technology into the fundamental infrastructure upon which we're all trying to build shared code. And that ALWAYS winds up causing a problem, it's just a question of how long it takes to snowball. But they don't SEE it.

The fact that this instance of the problem has been fixed doesn't mean the Gnome folks have started to trust the KDE people's judgement, because they WON'T ADMIT THEY MADE A MISTAKE!

Nothing against TrollTech. Nice people who simply didn't understand the benefits of dual licensing, and their code IS now GPL. But it was just wrong for KDE to pick the poisoned apple no matter how tempting, and the fact they still don't seem to understand why is a problem.


Re:Good luck andy (2)

RAruler (11862) | more than 13 years ago | (#228599)

wow, thats quite impressive. I only hope I can still be a l33t h4x0r when I get to your mightily impressive age. Granted, I want to live forever.. but thats another story..


Re:Standard X desktop? (1)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 13 years ago | (#228600)

The KDE folk have made a mistake from your point of view but are you some sort of moral dictator? No you're not. KDE can do whatever the fuck they want to do. They inserted proprietary technology into their products because they were trying to one up Motif/CDE which is still considered a standard today. TrollTech provided that in a time when there weren't many options for people who said they wanted to give away their code. Qt was made available for them to use without paying beaucoup royalties, that ought to have been good enough. However GPL/RMS hardliners such as yourself have a hard time digesting the concept. You ought to look a little deeper into the dogma of your source code religion, you'll sacrifice functionality over licensing issues. You've been too pampered with computer systems that are fast and inexpensive. Functionality should remain important; if functionality was still key above all else programming science would be at a level far above what it is today.

Re:It has to be said... (2)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 13 years ago | (#228601)

Way back when everyone used CDE, mwm, and Motif widgets for all their desktop applications. That was back in the days though. Motif for a long time wasn't open so all the free Unix distros and whatnot said hey we'll do our own thing. For the same reason they dropped CDE. Of course with the free software folk everyone had to use something different. Now you've got people writing shit for half a dozen different desktop libraries and communication schemas. Maybe if you'd been using the various commercial unicies years hence you would have had the common desktop you want.

Re:BeOS in the toilet too -- and it ain't free (2)

Graymalkin (13732) | more than 13 years ago | (#228602)

Be was founded when? 1992? That puts its founding outside the era classified as the internet bubble by economists. They failed because they didn't market a superior product correctly. Windows98 wasn't popular for being a good product, it ran all the shit people wanted or needed to run. Had Be run all the shit people wanted or needed to run and let the world know it had that stuff it would be in a different position today. Conventional business models are not inherently superior to anything. Every business needs to sell their product to somebody in some form to survive. Your product can be service or goods but you need to create a demand and then meet that demand. Both Eazel and Be have failed to create and meet the needed demand.

Re:uh (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#228603)

Not that it was necessarily a great business plan, but they did have more of a plan than that, you know. Something about selling additional services as part of the file browser, kind of an ASP/network storage thing.

It was (as Dennis Powell pointed out the other day) a breathtaking amount of money for a file manager, though. Whew!

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (1)

Quikah (14419) | more than 13 years ago | (#228604)

GTK is LGPL [] . ie it can be linked into proprietary programs. This is a bit friendlier for developers of commercial software.

Truly sad, however... (2)

PenguinX (18932) | more than 13 years ago | (#228610)

Perhaps Eazel will not make it, which is truly a sad event. However the legacy can live on in its entirety. For instance Ximian can easily obtain the source, perhaps even some of the developers and continue the product line into their own.

Why KDE won't be on the standard X desktop. (2)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 13 years ago | (#228613)

There is one main reason that KDE won't become the "standard X desktop" (meaning running on Linux, Solaris, etc etc etc).

Once again it's licencing. You can't develop proprietary software with QT without paying Trolltech for a licence. With the central bits of both GNOME and GTK available under the LGPL rather than the GPL, GNOME and GTK are much more appealing to the existing big players in the Unix world who will want to continue to produce proprietary products, along with their open contributions.

Re: More than can be chewed (1)

5foot2 (24971) | more than 13 years ago | (#228615)

It was a god DAMN file manager. What a load of crap your chewing on.

Re:Is Gnome next? (1)

5foot2 (24971) | more than 13 years ago | (#228616)

Oh Please. You get the same crap from the Gnome/Helix/Ximian crowd.

Re:Is Gnome next? (1)

5foot2 (24971) | more than 13 years ago | (#228617)

An hour? Really? Hey I have an Idea. When you install something, read the docs that come with it. They're like magic, they hold all sorts of great info. Like how to start the thing.

Re:Is Gnome next? (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 13 years ago | (#228627)

Because C++ is an unstandardized language that gives you no end of portability problems, including, but not limited to, code only compilable on a certain compiler, version of compiler or platform. Virtually every language can do calls to C, and language bindings to C libs are common, while C++ toolkits like Qt have very few bindings.

C++ in general causes far more problems than it solves, and with the way things are going I suspect it wont get worked out for the next decade.

Re:Standard X desktop? (2)

Znork (31774) | more than 13 years ago | (#228629)

And those who compromise and tread on dubious ground have been faced, time after time after time after time, with all their work having the rug pulled out from under them. It's not about dogma, it is about experience with the reality of the buisness world. Functionality is important, but you have to be able to trust that the functionality will remain there in a decade or a century, otherwise the appearance of functionality is just a tempting mirage.

Best post ever! (1)

fuckface (32611) | more than 13 years ago | (#228637)

I've been trying to say exactly that for the longest time. I've never even coded a GUI app but as a free software user I felt stung by the original QT license as well as KDE's decision to use it regardless. I still don't run it. And get upset when I hit some random K based app on my system and it launches 5 or 6 daemons that don't go away even tho I never wanted them.

Austrian cycle theory in action again (2)

briggers (32641) | more than 13 years ago | (#228639)

We should not be pondering the circumstances surrounding Eazel's demise - these facts are more or less irrelevant. The big questions are:

(a) Whose bright idea was it to give them venture capital?
(b) Where did the credit to fund ridiculous indulgences like Eazel come from?

The Austrian theory of the business cycle - as expounded by Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek et al [] states that the expansionary policies of the central bank (ie. low interest rates and the general printing of money during the Dot Com Boom) create a cluster of investments in higher-order capital industries which are later revealed to be erroneous. Eazel is simply one of many of these 'business errors'. How many more companies riding the Linux bandwagon are revealed to be similarly hopeless? (Almost all of them, most likely).

It may be that Free Software is a noble aim. However, the notion that it is possible to base any kind of business model around it - apart from vanilla software contracting - is not a reality, unfortunately. (And don't come up with the usual half-dozen 'examples' with which to counter this notion - I will bet you that the majority of their revenue comes from other sources).

So how long before Helix / Ximian chews up its VC? Six weeks at the most?

Who said Gnome is dead too? (2)

didjit (34494) | more than 13 years ago | (#228644)

I don't know why all the KDE marks want to claim Gnome will inevitably die because of this. Eazel made a decent product. Ximian's is still good. Not to mention that Gnome was around (and open sourced) long before Eazel, Ximian/Helixcode, or even the Gnome Foundation existed. Not to mention the fact that one of main players in the whole situation, Miguel de Icaza, helped work on Gnome for a long time before any of these organizations, and if they were to fold, I'm pretty sure he would continue to work on Gnome. Why would he give up on a project he's spent so much time on and which has blossomed into one of the better GUI's available and one of the best pieces of graphical software for linux. And if you want to involve yourself in petty kde vs gnome flame-wars, just go back and read the hall of fame article about kde vs gnome. I'm sure you'll find plenty of interesting comments there without wasting the time of people reading this thread. If you want to use KDE, then fine, its pretty good. But so is Gnome, and I'll continue using it as long as I think its a great product, which it is.

Just as it was getting good too (1)

collar (34531) | more than 13 years ago | (#228645)

<p>I have been using nautilis since I downloaded ximian gnome 1.4 and I must say I have been impressed. Sure, there are improvements that could be made, and some of the features are a little gimmicky, but its customisable enough to make that not so much of an issue. </p>
<p>It is disapionting that one of the projects linux desperately needs (for mainstream use anyway) is a good graphical file manager. I wonder if Eazel does go under, if an indapendant group would be able to take over. One of the things needed for a good user interface is consistancy of vision which is always hard when dealing with a multitude of developers. We can only hope</p>
<p>RIP Eazel, I have no idea how you ever though you could make any money, but so long and thanks for the file manager.</P>

Re:Just as it was getting good too (1)

collar (34531) | more than 13 years ago | (#228646)

Yeah Yeah, I know, I forgot to select HTML and didnt use preview ;)

LOL.. (1)

yomahz (35486) | more than 13 years ago | (#228647)

It's great seeing [] (which is a faction of Stile Project [] ) being sponsered by Save the Children [] !!!!

It makes my heart just a little warmer.

Nautilus was crap anyway (3)

ikekrull (59661) | more than 13 years ago | (#228666)

Maybe it's just me, but i thought Nautilus was an extremely poor example of a desktop app. It was slow on my P3-500/256MB of RAM, and excruciatingly slow on my Dual P-Pro 200/96MB RAM machine. It was unusable as a web browser because it took so long a) to render the page and the b) to render the buttons which gave you the option to view the page in other browsers. It took too long to bring up a folder listing, even in list view, and even with few files in the folder. It makes a worse file manager than gmc - at least gmc seems fairly fast, and doesn't hog resource, nor go into 'D' uninterruptible sleep on the 2.4.3 kernel. It was plain ugly - this 'the web browser is the OS' paradigm is wasteful of screen real-estate and looks stupid. the giant 'Eazel' throbber was unnecessary, and pointless. Its root window integration is abysmally poor - shutting out all other apps which also use the root window. It had yet another theme layer, meaning it can't use GTK, KDE or Mozilla themes, instead providing its own themes. Font antialiasing was bad. Text was just blurry, not 'antialiased' - whatd they do, run a gaussian blur filter over each of the glyphs in the font? Frankly, there was nothing good about Eazel accept the ability to thumbnail images, which isn't a capability i'd choose to label a 'revolution in desktop functionality' Does it really surprise anyone that a company shipping a half-assed product like Nautilus goes straight down the drain? If i tried to sell a similar product for Windows or the MacOS, i doubt i'd make a dollar either.

The death of Linux app developers. (1)

pipeb0mb (60758) | more than 13 years ago | (#228667)

Wow...what a spring this has been.
Chilliware [] , then that Linux game machine company (too lazy to look it up), and now Eazel [] . Who's next?
Can you say OSDN boys and girls?*

*I knew you could.

Re:Selective clippings? (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 13 years ago | (#228672)

Probably because everyone's at the party mentioned in the dotcomscoop article [] .
Commisserating with your soon-to-be-ex-coworkers is more important then releasing bad-news on a Friday afternoon.

Can't use a TK with a lang it wasn't written in? (2)

Nailer (69468) | more than 13 years ago | (#228674)

GTK was written in C. Qt was written in C++.

That said, there each has, AFAIK, bindings to C, C++, Python, and more. There's no reason why a developer couldn't use either. IIRC, most OS use a single toolkit or multiple toolkits with a massive amount of fucntionality in a common layer, and developers see no reason to create new toolkits because they don't liek the language the regular toolkit was written in.


Re:Well, I guess it didn't work out as I had hoped (2)

Nailer (69468) | more than 13 years ago | (#228675)

Linux does need a top-notch file manager - and Nautilus showed promise (but from reports I've heard it wasn't quite there yet).

I could have sworn Linux already had a top notch file manager - Konqueror. And the last time I checked, user didn't care about tooolkits as long as their apps behaved consistently (something which definitely needs work, but is OT).

Re:Last summer, Andy Hertzfeld got a standing ovat (2)

Nailer (69468) | more than 13 years ago | (#228676)

After all, the GPL is intended to cause software companies to fail, and while some are more robust than others they will all eventually fail if they do embrace it. (This isn't a religious argument -- just basic business principles. If you can't charge for your products, you fold.)

There's a serious flaw in your logic. You assume one can't charge for GPLed products? Red Hat made money every quarter until they started doing the Venture Capital thing, have repeatedly exceeded analysts expectations when announcing their results, and are generally thought to be in the black very soon. I've never purchased a boxed copy of their OS. I have however, paid $Au2000 to sit and RHCE, and asked a company I work for to purcahse a Dell system with the OS preinstalled and a support arrangement. True, not everyone does this, but Red Hat's results will speak for themselves.

--Mike MacCana

Good riddance to yet another bad business model! (4)

burtonator (70115) | more than 13 years ago | (#228678)

I can't say I will ever miss Eazel. They had a terrible business model, and a terrible product,

VC: Let me get this straight. You want to build a company that makes a "really awesome" desktop.

Eazel: Yes. It will be awesome!

VC: How will you make money?

Eazel: We will integrate out technology and sell our backend services.

VC: So what makes you different than all the other companies that sell backend services?

Eazel: We will use the very hyped Open Source model and run on top of Linux. BTW. The founders are "geniuses" that wrote the original Apple UI.

VC: Wow... here is 11 million!

.... 1 year later and 11 million down the drain they only come up with bloated, and buggy file manager. What a waste of money. I could have done this myself for only $5 million :)

If I remember correctly KDE was developed with $0 and Konqueror is much nicer and faster than Nautilus.

Eazel was founded on Hype. OSS hype, Linux hype, services hype, and the hype that it's founders were geniuses. (obviously they are not)

The Internet hype that has been going on needs to die if we are going to move forward. As Internet professionals we need to prove that what we are creating is real! We need to prove that we aren't getting VC money based on hype but on a real idea which is economically responsible.

I think this is another nail in GNOME's coffin. When Qt was proprietary I was gung ho for GNOME to succeed. Now that Qt is Free Software and GNOME is technically inferior to KDE, the GNOME developers should start to move over to KDE.

Obviously this should be a responsible step by step sequence which keeps the GNOME code base but starts to migrate it into KDE. If not GNOME will just die because KDE has a superior code base and is moving much faster IMO.

I can't imagine that Nautilus will have the same level of support that it had when Eazel was a company with funding. I would imagine that only a percentage of the developers will continue working on Nautilus. This gives the GNOME
project the burden of supporting a thick code base (Nautilus).

KDE/Konqueror does not have this problem. I really see that this will allow them to leap-frog over GNOME by one generation.


Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (2)

dimator (71399) | more than 13 years ago | (#228679)

I have no idea what your argument is. You state that QT being GPL is a bad thing for people wanting to develop commercial products and sell them. If they want to do that, they can spend $2k on the license, and do what the hell they want, closed, open, whatever; windows, *nix, and (soon) mac. I think that's a strength of QT.

Can they do that with GTK? Isn't GTK GPL-only? Isnt that equally bad for "people who want to develop commercial products and sell them"?

My brain's parser fails on your last paragraph...


trolling... (3)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 13 years ago | (#228681)

Wow, this is really a shame. I have to say I'm not surprised at all though, their business modem really didn't seem to make sense. I didn't get what their services were supposed to be all about, how can you add services into a file manager that are strong enough to base a business on?

Anyway, I'm noticing a lot of KDE trolling going on here... It may just be me, I'm not sure, but it really seems to me that a lot of KDE users like to cut on Gnome really badly. I don't see the same thing coming from Gnome users, I wonder why this is, I'm not inferring anything, I'm honestly curious.

In any case, since there seem to be so many people trolling for KDE, I figure I'll just become the first Gnome troll, so, here it goes...

I like Gnome because...

1. It's pretty
2. It's pretty
3. It's pretty
4. It works pretty well
5. Corner panels ROCK!

Things I would really like for Gnome

1. An icon box type thing exactly like in Enlightenment.
2. Nautilus, completed... bugs fixed, performance enhanced, theming features complete. Hopefully someone will continue developing it.

Things I absolutely *HATE* about KDE

1. It's ugly
2. It's ugly
3. It's ugly
4. Let me explain ugly, when I say ugly, I mean that it just doesn't feel right... at all. To me, it just looks/feels like it's trying to be an exact ripoff of windows while at the same time adding eye candy. Now, that's not entirely bad, but it just falls way short. The look and feel is just slightly off which is extremely irritating. The eye candy just doesn't work either. Take a look at Konqueror, it has the UGLIEST interface I've seen since I stopped using motif apps. Look at the buttons, they're hideous! And they way they are dithered when they are inactive, it's God awfully hideous looking!
5. I *HATE* panels that stretch across the whole bottom/top/side of the screen. I don't need that many buttons, please, corner panels just save so much screen real estate.

To be fair... things I like about KDE.
1. It works
2. There are some great apps
3. Everything is integrated a little better than in Gnome, especially the WM.

Anyway, back on topic... Nautilus was a great step up for Gnome, I really hope development is continued, it really completes the Gnome desktop.

I hope I don't start a flame fest, that's not my intention...

Failed business model? (1)

redpants (85084) | more than 13 years ago | (#228682)

There has already been a large number of posts here about how Eazel didn't stand a chance from the start. Posts to this affect: How the hell could anyone make money off of GPL software? You obviously can't since Eazel failed. You can't make money off of services alone in the software world.

Eazel didn't get a chance to even try it's business model. If Eazel would have not GPLed their software, they'd still be gone now. It's truely sad to not see Eazel's ambitions come into affect, they could of had quite an impact and that can be seen by the quality and innovation that is nautilus. And they could have proven this free software/pay services software model.

It has to be said... (2)

jacobcaz (91509) | more than 13 years ago | (#228687)

What Linux (and the unix world in general) needs is *not* another file manager or window manager.

What Linux (and the other unix flavors) needs is a BETTER windowing environment.

I have played with X windows off and on for a long time and I have played with tons of window managers (from vanilla to gee-whiz). There is just to much out there; to many choices.

Because of this my FreeBSD and Linux boxes are regulated to standard CLI duty. "Comon' boys, let's run some services, but no GUI for you!" is my unix motto.

It's sad, but the standardized "no choice" operating systems do more and allow *me* to do more.

I use some flavor of Windows for games and MacOS for *real* work. Is it because of "marketing hype?"

Nope. It's because those simply work better for me. I imagine they do for quite a few slashdotters as well.

When I have a single, well implemented and standard GUI that I can *USE* to be as productive under unix I will. That pancea isn't here yet, and I would wager that's what keeping Linux/FreeBSD/your-flavor-OpenOS-here from really taking off and being a major player in the office and home desktop market.


Thank goodness it's 1.0 (2)

steveha (103154) | more than 13 years ago | (#228700)

Thank goodness Nautilus has already hit the 1.0 level. Even if this story is true and Eazel is gone, we get to keep Nautilus.

Mozilla took ages to get rolling because the initial source release was such a mess. (It didn't even build when first released.) One of the lessons of open source development: it goes better when the source actually works. It's easier to take something that works and make it work a little bit better, than to take a mess and make it work.

Eazel, thanks for Nautilus.


Re: More than can be chewed (1)

MaxVlast (103795) | more than 13 years ago | (#228701)

> This project was a daunting task

The project was crap! Not to be a troll, but it didn't bring anything new to the table. Nautilus was the same (and just as crappy as) all of the other options at the table.

Max V.

It was a matter of interpretation.,, (5)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 13 years ago | (#228702)

It was NEVER illegal to distribute KDE, OR QT. It was questionable whether you could SHIP KDE already compiled with QT. It was a theoretical arguement, and a silly one. More importantly, it was a dispute. The KDE team maintained that the GPL did NOT prohibit what they did. RMS maintained that it did. RMS wrote the thing, but that doesn't mean that he is correct. I think that the KDE camp likely was correct, because in the unlikely scenario that someone would press the charge, I think that KDE (and whoever distributed it) would prevail.

Go to and read about the RMS tirade. RMS's licensing views ARE NOT appeased by making everything GPL'd. He is on a political movement and the politics are what matter to him, not the quality of code.

Linux allows closed source binary modules in the Linux kernel, should everyone here boycott Linux? He is allowing the core of the OS to be dependant on proprietary components, let's throw a temper tantrum.

TrollTech wasn't misguided, they DISAGREED with RMS's theory of a derivate product. The maintained that linking against QT didn't make you a derivative. They have since decided to accept the community's theory (not really tested) and release under the GPL.

TrollTech is making money on their commercial contracts, and they are happy to let KDE build off of it. They even GPL'd QT to help KDE's adoption. Does QT benefit from KDE dominating, yes. But note that QT includes an IDE, and now KDE has one that competes with it (for free). At this point, the ONLY reason to buy QT is a commercial product OR a QT-based product without KDE.

KDE offered us a useful GUI for a while, and busted ass. GNOME started to spite KDE, and RMS used it as a soapbox.

I TOTALLY respect RMS's works and I respect his views, but sometimes we need to ask ourselves the goal.

UNLESS you buy 100% into his philosophy on free software, then you NEED to REALLY evaluate this. If you are not a TOTAL Free Software diehard, then ask yourself if TOTALLY Free (GNU's GPL in fact) desktop with great code is good enough, or you need to be pissed off about a resolved licensing dispute.

It's time to move on. KDE is cranking, GNOME is press releasing.


Re:New economy (1)

Arctic Fox (105204) | more than 13 years ago | (#228703)

It's not open source per se. It's a problem with the whole idea of the license. I can't "add value" to a product because by virtue of adding value, I'm forced to give it away for free.

Stick with one of the other opensource licenses, BSD, or the Apple on or even IBMs.

Selling something that can be gotten for free, isn't going to work anywhere.

Coke sells carbonated water (mostly), but they add value to their water, by using formula 7X. The Colonel's 11 herbs and spices? It's just friggin chicken! These things are "secret" because they make a product better than the ones without it.

Granted, some code can be GPLd, and if you want to do it, that's great, however, if you're expecting to make money off it, forget it. It wont happen.

Upsetting (2)

Satai (111172) | more than 13 years ago | (#228706)

Eazel was always the company I was glad to look at and say, you know, these guys might make it. They had a great staff - hell, they had the ultimate staff - some great ideas, even good funding.

Then Nautilus was released. It was good, even great. I like it - even though it does more than I really want, I recognize that it's the file manager for new users. And now Eazel is dead, or will be soon.

However, there is a bright side. The GPL is here to save the day again. We, the community, have been given the code - we have the assurance that the code will never go away.

I bet within the next, oh, month or so, an article will show up on Slashdot proclaiming that Eazel development has been moved to sourceforge [] , that a dedicated group of volunteers has taken hold, and that soon enough OpenNautilus will be on its way toward becoming a reality.

(OpenNautilus being a farcical term, since the code is already open.)

Companies come and go - but code remains forever.

Good innovations (Re: Nautilus was crap anyway) (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 13 years ago | (#228707)

I tried Nautilus many times, in many revisions starting from earliest betas. Most of my boxen @work are 400-450 MHz K6-II and K6-III, so we are talking about 1000 BogoMIPS here. Nautilus was always very slow. I managed to upgrade to latest GNOME a week ago, it contained released Nautilus and felt a bit faster. But it is still too slow, compared to gmc and to practically anything else.

I haven't looked at the code yet but it appears that developers managed to make more than one performance-impeding mistake. If the code gets moved to SF then it will be even beneficial to the project - because more people will be able to contribute and to make changes.

Some ideas of Nautilus I really like, some I don't care about and some I do not like.

I like selection shading - it is much nicer than traditional dashed line. I like MP3 preview (when it worked). I like thumbnailing of images - when I want it. I like the idea of pluggable viewers and document handlers, though not many are available yet. Resizable icons are of no value to me, too time-consuming to resize an icon; easier just to open the file. Text inside of icons is totally useless - who works with text files today to start with, and even who does (sysadmins) how much they will learn from few lines of the content?

I don't particularly care about services. That part of their business plan was surely shaky. Companies like X-Drive offered some disk space year(s) ago. But who would even want some 25 MB (good for 5-7 mp3 files or 10 Word documents) over slow Internet link?

I absolutely hate Nautilus's performance. It is unacceptable for normal people. Geeks understand what's going on inside and may be inclined to tolerate slow operation. Non-geeks (like my boss) ask "what's going on, I already clicked here!" - or even worse, click again and again (or move objects again and again), with likely disastrous results.

Themes are one of problems indeed. I tried several and haven't found a single one that I would like. They are either too dark, or too hard to render, or hard to understand. Antialiased fonts are unusable (too blurred), and probably this piece of code better be removed in favor of native support of antialiasing in X.

Medusa and emblems are very weird. They needed to extend the filesystem to hold extra attributes of each file, so they decided to drop a dot-file in every directory. However this approach works only inside of Nautilus; commands that do not know about that magic file won't copy these "attributes". It is very portable though. But Medusa runs too aggressively and consumes too much CPU and disk activity. Eazel said that Medusa is required for good search - what search? I don't think I ever used that feature.

Builtin browser (piece of Mozilla) is unusable. It is not a complete Mozilla but just a restricted version, with very little customization. I do not understand why I (or anyone else) would want browser without decent controls if the full, complete browser is also installed (and even requred). I'd rather run Mozilla instead. This embedded browser business is not needed.

But generally Nautilus is an interesting, significant development. It needs many usability fixes, speed and good default theme being probably most important. After that it may be released onto unsuspecting users.

Re:Is Gnome next? (2)

Woko (112284) | more than 13 years ago | (#228708)

Before you badmouth GTK+, write a fully object oriented library in vanilla C.

But why would I when there's C++ available?


KDE's flagship product is a file manager too (1)

salimma (115327) | more than 13 years ago | (#228712)

Lest you forget, Nautilus' appeal is exactly the same as Konqueror's. A universal browser extensible using components.

This is not a flame - I do use KDE-based programs (kMail, licq + kde plugin, konqueror for web browsing) and KDE is at the present moment ahead. GNOME is ahead in the 'pretty icons' department at least, though. And Pango looks great.

I agree (1)

salimma (115327) | more than 13 years ago | (#228713)

That's why I use Ximian GNOME as my desktop (purrty icons) but rely on several key KDE programs. Adopting the Enlightenment philosophy, the desktop != the apps :)

Programming smarts != business smarts (2)

Gogo Dodo (129808) | more than 13 years ago | (#228724)

Eazel was founded on Hype. OSS hype, Linux hype, services hype, and the hype that it's founders were geniuses. (obviously they are not)

The founders are probably quite intelligent. However, one has to have a different level of intelligence than software programming intelligence to be business smart.

Re:Standard X desktop? (1)

dan_bethe (134253) | more than 13 years ago | (#228726)

No kidding! That post helped me to just realize why I've always had a subtle aversion to the idea of using KDE, even now. It was one of those subtle but obvious ideas that I didn't totally realize. I couldn't explain it until I saw this post.

I sort of understood that I didn't really trust the KDE project's background, and that I have always had to remind myself that QPL is now an open source license every time I thought about it. The reason I didn't fully realize it, was because I always try so hard to be open minded, compassionate, and empathetic; I could understand Troll Tech's misimplemented intentions, and I assumed that the KDE developers probably believed that a licensing solution would eventually arise.

I now see that my mistrust was because I didn't know whether they thought it was a problem at all, or what they intended to do about it.

Does anyone have a link to any rhetoric from the KDE leaders which discussed the non-open source QPL back then?



VCs == prude? (3)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 13 years ago | (#228729)

From the article: ...said rumor control professional Diane Carlini...But investments at this point in time are a little trickier because the VCs are not putting out as much as they were six months ago.

VCs not putting out? Seems to me like they're having a field day fucking people lately...

Re: More than can be chewed (1)

Jebediah21 (145272) | more than 13 years ago | (#228736)

This project was a daunting task. I think it would have lasted longer had it not come at such a bad time for funding. Look at how long it has taken for Mozilla to become something that many use as the default browser on Linux. M18 was totally unuseable for me on my Pentium II 300, and now Mozilla .9 works great. I can only wonder what would have happened in Eazel used a method similar to Mozilla development. Nautilus was pretty rough in some areas, but then again, so was Mozilla.

In any case I wish the best to Andy as well.

Re: More than can be chewed (1)

Jebediah21 (145272) | more than 13 years ago | (#228737)

Mozilla is a god DAMN web browser. What a load of crap you are chewing on.

Nautilus was trying to put a lot into their file manager. When was the last time you saw one that easily let you keep notes, scan images, text files, and look pudry. You haven't.

By the way, learn to use contractions.

Re:Standard X desktop? (4)

e_n_d_o (150968) | more than 13 years ago | (#228742)

Eazel is in no way an important piece of Gnome.

Nautilus *IS* an important piece of Gnome, and the only concern is whether development of Nautilus can continue without its developers being funded by this now defunct company. We'll have to wait and see who will stop development on Nautilus, and who will take over for them. The product might die, or it might reach goals that it never could have under the direct control of a for-profit company.

The loss of Eazel's services infrastructure won't be a blow to the Gnome community. Ximian offers many of the same services, as does Red Hat, and other distributions.

Regardless of what happens, thank you, Eazel, for GIVING us Nautilus. While born prematurely and still needing much work, this file manager has the most potential of any I've seen. If development continues and Nautilus is pushed to be the best at what it was always meant to be (just a really nice file manager), I think it may someday be hands down the best product of its kind.

Well, I guess it didn't work out as I had hoped. (3)

proxima (165692) | more than 13 years ago | (#228749)

I was really hoping that Eazel would be bought out for a bargain by some big name - IBM, HP, Red Hat, other another large distro company. Linux does need a top-notch file manager - and Nautilus showed promise (but from reports I've heard it wasn't quite there yet).

Unfortunately, as others have said, they had insufficient profit-making plans. As I browse through their web site, most desirable software and services are completely free (including free online storage space). This is obviously not the type of company that can survive on its own.

Instead, this company was creating a potentially essential project to many new and experienced Linux users (those willing to use a GUI at times instead of console). The companies to gain from this software are the Linux distributions themselves, because an excellent file manager is needed to help new *nix users get used to a non-Windows OS. Unfortunately, it would seem that the companies I hoped would take up the Eazel cause at a loss (the gain would be to help the parent project, not to make money as a branch division) did not. I would imagine that Eazel could have sold for quite a bargain - relatively (judging by the VC they used up, $11 million).

Perhaps this isn't true, or perhaps there's still time for some big company to step in and take up the development (after all, it is GPL, but it'd be nice to have the original dedicated developers too).

If a company fails to sponser this, it will only be a small amount of time before the open source volunteers take charge. We'll see what happens.

This is, of course, assuming the information is true.

Better wait... (1)

felipeal (177452) | more than 13 years ago | (#228750)

...until next week.
This kind of news doesn't makes sense in a Friday night (especillay not it being April 1st :)

Re:uh (1)

felipeal (177452) | more than 13 years ago | (#228751)

>IT'S A FILE MANAGER. see? see how stupid that sounds?

If that was so simple, Micro$#&t would not being sued for integrating its "file manager" with its "OS"!

KDE2, AOL execs (1)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#228752)

And yet, there was KDE2 with an equally easy and useful interface. And it was good. And there was much rejoicing.

Actually, come to think of it, does anyone else feel a small bit of relief that former AOL execs are moving away from one less project in Linux?

Future of Desktop GUIs (1)

juggla (179339) | more than 13 years ago | (#228754)

I thought Eazel was a step forward not just for *nix GUIs but for Desktop GUIs in general. Sure it had its problems, but no GUI is perfect (especially not Windows which has been designed after millions of dollars worth of "research").

However, is this the end of Eazel? NO! That's what open source is all about, someone will pick it up, whether it be IBM or some guy living in a basement. Eazel will not die this easily.

Re:Last summer, Andy Hertzfeld got a standing ovat (2)

zsa (183365) | more than 13 years ago | (#228756)

If you can't charge for your products, you fold.

Granted, but Eazel's product was not Nautilus. It was support services and whatnot for Nautilus. They never got to the point of really trying the business model to see if it would work.

Re:Is Gnome next? (2)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#228759)

The Gnome foundation can drop a lot of names. They've got a so-so toolkit (and before you tell me otherwise, try programming with it) that was based off a Photoshop clone and has had widgets undergo major (ie: developer's nightmare) changes from 1.0 to 1.2 to the proposed 2.0. They've got many divergent projects, no complete Office Suite, and have a FILE MANAGER as their flagship product. They haven't reached their second generation of desktop yet, and while that might be (and probably everyone's going to argue is) because they have a different set of standards, I don't think anybody can sit there and say with a straight face that the Gnome foundation has been pumping out the software in the same volume that KDE has. Furthermore, they keep changing names (Gnome->Helixcode->Ximian->What Next?).
This sort of thing is exactly why I've decided I don't want to be part of the KDE Community (should that be Kommunity?). The pro-KDE stuff I can live with, but the GNOME bashing seems to be getting worse all the time and it puts me off. Maybe it's because KDE seems to be gaining support and the more people that use it the more vocal advocates there are. I'm not even entirely sure what people are trying to achieve with GNOME bashing. If KDE's so much better than people will use it without that sort of nonsense.

Nautilus is open source already... (2)

Yam-Koo (195035) | more than 13 years ago | (#228762)

I've got the tar.gz sitting on my work computer... why would Ximian need to obtain the source?

Sad to see people lose jobs, but otherwise... (4)

Yam-Koo (195035) | more than 13 years ago | (#228763)

...I'm not really sad about anything else related to this.

I didn't like Nautilus. I've tried to get used to it, it's ALWAYS slower than command line for me, and I've only been using CLI for about 9 months.

I didn't like Eazel's attitude about distros other than Red Hat, especially early on when I was trying to get into the project. For the longest time during the preview phase, only RH6.2 binaries were available. It took a lot of effort to compile early Nautilus on non-RH systems.

I didn't like the totally half-hearted feel of everything in Nautilus. The .desktop issue, rejection of the Cut/Copy/Paste idea without any substitute, glitchy themes, millions (exaggerating) of processes, the "My Documents" wannabe folder, services that NEVER EVER worked on any of my systems (I didn't spent more than ~30minutes trying to get them to work, but why should I have to try?), few file managing tools (lots of sugary file browsing tools...).

I dunno. I can't claim to have produced much useful software myself. I do lots of bug reports and I give lots of feature feedback.

I sort of think that Nautilus became such a mixed up, inconsistant, gnarled project because it was so corporate and so under the gun. So many pieces of Nautilus seem like they're just self-justification of Eazel's existance. There are some decent features in Nautilus, I don't feel it's crap. There were SO MANY boneheaded problems along the way, though! It's just so sad to see something that could've been good, but was just planned so poorly and executed so hurriedly.

Anyway, I just hope people don't get the idea that Nautilus is the example of the rest of GNOME, and than the rest of GNOME is somehow gonna break down because they lost their newer file manager... there's PLENTY of great app development happening in GNOME, it'll become more apparent as GNOME gets closer to 2.0 and the piece's really start to come together.

Re:uh (3)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 13 years ago | (#228764)

I actually met the main developers at Linux Expo in New York Last Winter and believe me they were clueless. I am not saying anything bad about it technically but here is my expereince.

I walk to the booth and immediately the guys with the tags from marketing quickly buzzed around me like fly's around a bowl of potato salid. I work for a finicial company according to me i.d. tag ( I do hardware support, not a stockbroker ) and they assumed I was an investor.

He mentioned how Eazel was going to take over and that even gnome-helix would fade away as Eazel would take gnome into the sunset.

I then asked him simply, how is eazel expected to make an income?

he replied, well netscape was free and made it big and we expect to make it big like netscape. Marc Anderson made millions of dollars off of netscape??? What the hell?

I mentioned to him that netscape was not free until microsoft began shooving its nose into the gorund with IE/Windows product tying. He then mentioned, well since gnome is going to be number one because sun and redhat said so, means nautulis is also going to be number one because were the best. ???

I was about ready to ask again for a more clean answer how Eazel was actually planning to make money and then a ral investor stood behind me so I did not want too piss anyone off so I nodded my head and walked aay in disbelief.

You mentioned that its a file manager and nothing else but the point is that it has no value. with helix you get constant updates and a few apps you would not get elsehere. With Natiulus you get uh wwll frankly natiulus.

Its a shame that a few brilliant software engineers can do something so stupid that even soneone wiht an i.q. of 80 can relise it was bound to failure.

I do not regret them going out of bussiness but I do fear that Microsoft will use this as proof that all free software is bound for failure.

I can see it now Steve Balmer: "Just look at linuxcare, turbolinux and now eazel, omg redhat may be next! Free software really doesn't work. See I told you so."

Good luck andy (2)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#228765)

Andy Hertzfeld is a genius who helped shape the future of personal computing with his work on the Macintosh.

In this case, I think he may have bitten off more than he can chew.

It's one thing to build a user friendly GUI from the ground up on a new OS, but it is another thing entirely to bold a friendly GUI onto an admittedly difficult OS such as Linux. Even if their GUI was great, it's hard to make a dent when the rest of the OS is hard to grasp for beginners.

Best of luck to Andy and his team.

[OT}Re:Shame.... (1)

AntiTuX (202333) | more than 13 years ago | (#228766)

actually, I have. My commute time has been cut down by about a half an hour. It's also a lot easier to get the really good parking spots at work now.. maybe because there's only like 30 people working in my building anymore (netscape employee).

Whatever!!! (1)

bunhed (208100) | more than 13 years ago | (#228768)

Yeah, Linux needs another file manager. It could use a few more gui FTP clients as well. And maybe another window manager wouldn't hurt either. All this while there isn't one realiable mail client. WTF is wrong with this picture???

Very sad indeed (1)

myatt (209809) | more than 13 years ago | (#228770)

Yeah Nautilis isn't perfect, but it has a lot of potential. This product really was innovative, more so that most of Microsoft's products. Maybe someone else should take up this project. I'm sure it could be successful if the business side of things was done properly.

Sux, (3)

angry old man (211217) | more than 13 years ago | (#228771)

Back in my day, we didn't have nice friendly community businesses closing down to the greedy cut-throat ones. I guess it's a sign of the times all you young whipper-snappers.

Re:Good luck andy (5)

angry old man (211217) | more than 13 years ago | (#228772)

I agree with this young lad, that it is hard to make a dent on the OS, yet the Nautilus dent is big. I mean, look at me! I'm an 97 year old senile man and I can still use linux with the best of them. That's because my background comes from VAX systems in the late 60s (when I was still a senile old man).

All you young bucks think that you need a GUI file browser to make your system friendly and easy to use. Bagh! Major leaps in System useability didn't occur with the advent of the file browser. They occured when linefeed printers became Cathode Ray Tubes, and when Reel-to-reel tape drives became Cassettes or CD-Roms.

I'm angry, and I'm old, and the 2nd half of this post seems to contradict the first half, but that's just the viagra speaking.

Re:Standard X desktop? (2)

aussersterne (212916) | more than 13 years ago | (#228773)

I don't want to start a flamewar, but I think you're right... KDE is probably going to "win" -- if it was ever about winning at all [and I don't think it was].

Disclaimer: I have both GNOME 1.2 and KDE 2.1 installed. I switch between them and WindowMaker.
(Yes, I know that GNOME 1.4 is out, but Ximian no longer supports my distro with binary packages.)

I think that it's not quite a done deal yet that KDE will become the de-facto desktop for Linux, but it's getting close. Why? Guts. KDE has them, GNOME seems to have far less.

KDE is undeniably uglier than GNOME and just not as viscerally exciting somehow. But KDE works, and that's what it's all about. KDE has a very nice IDE, a truly remarkable [given the development time] file manager and browser in Konqueror, and things like DCOP are just icing on an already very together functionality cake. I guess KDE is like the Microsoft of the Linux world. People hate the KDE people. They've done things to alienate the open-source guys. They make visually ugly products that are very highly integrated. But KDE and KDE applications are everywhere, and KDE is easy to install, use, and use in very powerful ways. In short, it's "nearly fully cooked" today, as things stand, with KDE 2.1.

GNOME on the other hand is much more attractive and somehow much more "Linux" but also is lacking a lot of core functionality by comparison. When using the two, KDE honestly feels like the "next step" in Linux desktops, technology-wise -- it just kind of stands alone. It's like GNOME is several years behind and not even gaining any ground because KDE seems to be moving faster.

I'm not happy that either one "wins" or doesn't. I'm not even sure it's a good thing that one will become the de-facto standard and the other merely the alternative... But it seems inevitable, and right now, especially with Eazel and Ximian appearing to be in serious financial trouble, KDE seems to be nearly running away with it. In the final analysis, most people will use what gets the job done.

That's why so many of us are still dual-booting into Windows for so many things...

Re:uh (1)

baywulf (214371) | more than 13 years ago | (#228774)

No idiot, they were sued for integrating its web browser with its OS.

Standard X desktop? (5)

infiniti99 (219973) | more than 13 years ago | (#228777)

As many posts already have speculated, maybe KDE will become the standard X desktop? Eazel was a very important piece of GNOME, and surely their absence will be quite a blow to the project. This really sucks for the GNOME users and developers. But what can you do?

Anyway, I know it's depressing for these people, and I don't think the GNOME developers are going to just throw in the towel, but I began pondering what unix would be like if KDE were the only desktop to worry about. Sure, there would be other window managers, but KDE would be the only desktop environment / component framework to deal with. This would solve the problem that commercial developers face when they have to "choose which desktop to develop for."

In the past there was CDE, and KDE was supposed to be the replacement. It's been quite a history since, and the whole QT licensing fiasco plus GNOME's rise would make an interesting bedtime story. Perhaps it is time for KDE to finally reach its goal?


Is Gnome next? (3)

wrinkledshirt (228541) | more than 13 years ago | (#228780)

Heh, I guess all my karma are belong to your -1, Flamebaits... Please don't take this as a troll, though. I'm genuinely concerned.

KDE has spent a great deal of time building a GUI desktop suite with little to no corporate involvement. KDE is already up to their second generation desktop, working with a toolkit that's at its third generation, has bragging rights on arguably the most esteemed web browser Linux has right now. They've built their own development IDE based on C++ (arguably the most popular development language for large-scale projects). They've even got mindshare in the annoying but effective branding sense -- nobody's going to mistake any of their projects as being from anybody else, thanks to that K at the beginning of everything.

The Gnome foundation can drop a lot of names. They've got a so-so toolkit (and before you tell me otherwise, try programming with it) that was based off a Photoshop clone and has had widgets undergo major (ie: developer's nightmare) changes from 1.0 to 1.2 to the proposed 2.0. They've got many divergent projects, no complete Office Suite, and have a FILE MANAGER as their flagship product. They haven't reached their second generation of desktop yet, and while that might be (and probably everyone's going to argue is) because they have a different set of standards, I don't think anybody can sit there and say with a straight face that the Gnome foundation has been pumping out the software in the same volume that KDE has. Furthermore, they keep changing names (Gnome->Helixcode->Ximian->What Next?).

I hate to say this, but it really looks like the Gnome foundation has been playing open-source politics whereas the folks at KDE have been diligently working on software. I don't want to hear about GUADEC, I don't want to read about Miguel getting political when Linuxplanet criticizes the Foundation, I DO want to see some coding coming out of these boys. They should have a more polished product by now, given the amount of corporate support that they're getting, and it's not like the community hasn't been encouraging.

And another thought, why don't one of these two (or both) take the chance on rolling its own distribution? That could open up revenue streams that neither really has access to. And that's real revenue (sales, support & service contracts, printed documentation), not just investment- or donation-based. Plus, they could tailor aspects of their distribution to match their GUI desktop, and would probably be able to get a user-friendly distro faster than anybody. KLinux? If buying a copy would support those guys, I might just do it. I don't know if I'd bother buying a Gnome Linux, though. They look like they've secured enough funding for now. Let's just hope that something's left when it runs out.

Re:Is Gnome next? (1)

sumengen (230420) | more than 13 years ago | (#228781)

>no complete Office Suite, and have
>a FILE MANAGER as their flagship product.

Can we please separate the idea of an office suite and desktop GUI. Yes you need a good office suite for linux to successd on the desktop area but gnome doesn't need to have its own office suite to succeed. People can use any OSS office suite, such as star office or Koffice.
An yes, FILE MANAGER should be a flagship product.

Of course you also need a better installation skim for software installations and their integration to the gnome menus. Right now I install something like staroffice and then I am lost and I spend next hour to find out how to start up star office. I think by coincidence I discovered that typing soffice on the command line starts up Star office. I found it after trying every combination of the words "star", "office" and "sun".

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (1)

sumengen (230420) | more than 13 years ago | (#228782)

Yes I know and it is very expensive. I specifically mentioned about poor (moneywise) developpers and students trying to develop commercial products. That is why I said that you need VC money to develop a QT based commercial product.

Why is perl so successful in the commercial area. You can develop commercial software in perl easily without paying anything to anybody.

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (1)

sumengen (230420) | more than 13 years ago | (#228783)

GTK is LGPL. You can use it in commercial products as far as I know. And moreover even your software is not commercial, if you use QT, you need to release it under GPL. That just limits the freedom. How about if I want to release my software under some other licence.

And my argument was that not everybody can pay 2k on the licence if they want to create a closed source freeware or a shareware maybe.
If you want these developers to go to wondows instead of linux, then support QT.

Get rid of the browsing part (1)

sumengen (230420) | more than 13 years ago | (#228784)

One mistake eazel was making was to integrate the browser to the file manager. Just use mozilla or maybe galeon instead of embedding it. Clicking on a url in general should start an internet browser, period. Even that is the case on windows.

Re:Is Gnome next? (1)

sumengen (230420) | more than 13 years ago | (#228785)

Tell that to the new users of linux that came from windows. And I am an electrical engineer and software developer.
And how would you know where the docs are when you installed something from an RPM. I am not saying that I can't find them, I am just saying that they just don't pop up on the screen.
Moreover, nobody wants to read the docs if they just want to try out the product. Of course I am spending much more time on my mysql installation.

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (1)

sumengen (230420) | more than 13 years ago | (#228786)

Yes, those are good theoretical arguments but they don't work in real world. If you are linux with 3-4% desktop share, and if you want to attract developpers, you need to give something back.
On another note, people might not mind not making money out of their shareware products, but they mind if they pay $2k and not make money.

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (2)

sumengen (230420) | more than 13 years ago | (#228792)

That is stupid. Because investors, in general, have a temporary problem of not investing these days, doesn't give you the right to spread FUD around.

Konqueror is a windows clone and it is not the best file manager. I respect the developers of konqueror but I like the look of Nautilus more. I want it to succeed. That is my opinion. It is missing several major things but those will be fixed when gnome gets more mature and standardized.


This is so much BS. QT is not the best way to go for some people. QT is GPL on Linux doesn't make it the preferable platform. Poor people want to develop commercial products and sell them. They can't do it with QT, and not everybody is willing to spend their liife writing GPL programs.
You complain about eazel getting VC money. Making QT monopoly will force every linux software company need VC money. A student can write windows programs and sell them and make money, but not linux programs. GTK is important for linux desktop. QT is also good for big software companies or GPL software development.

Early Eazel Experiences (5)

lwagner (230491) | more than 13 years ago | (#228793)

Back in early 2000, when I alarmedly learned that Eazel was developing "just" a file manager, I faxed Bud Tribble about the possibility of developing/using something like GNUstep [] instead because it had roots with NeXTSTEP and MOSX. At that time, it seemed like one could tap into the marketable aspect of similar API's. Apple had just announced the layering of MOSX with Darwin; it seemed like an interesting thing, particularly because Tribble was from NeXT and Andy et al. were from 0ld sk00l Apple.

Tribble responded intelligently, which showed me that, although the idea was (of course) a pipedream, he actually had heard of the technologies enough to talk about it. For me, I think, that's the difference in my mind between Eazel and the normal dot-com carnage - the Eazelites are geeks who got caught up in the 99-00 goldrush and were burned. We can fault them severely for that, but I think that, collectively in the community, there seems to be a very silent sense of respect for what they tried to do.

I will miss Eazel... :-( (2)

plastercast (234558) | more than 13 years ago | (#228794)

I for one will miss Eazel. I very much enjoy Nautilus, and use it full time. Too me it seems more polished and just overall more fun. (Whens the last time you described a file manager as fun!) Regardless, I hope that the community that has surrounded the company continues to improve upon Nautilus, I know I will. Anyway, a general thank you to Andy and all the rest from Eazel who took a chance and built a fantastic product.

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (2)

pimpinmonk (238443) | more than 13 years ago | (#228795)

I was about to write this comment because it reflected on my views of the whole VC-dumping-money-into-OpenSource-startups thing. It was really starting to tick me off. I mean, I read that story about all the .com execs getting their nice new cars towed because the money was all gone. It was a really wrong business model to essentially pay the companies and say "oh, give me some products when you get a chance." You just get $11 million to share among a handful or two of developers, like hell you are going to have the same motivation as a group that is scraping to get by, coding the best they can with the hopes that they can pump out an awesome product that will reward them later. Just look at Croteam, developers of Serious Sam (the game for PC). It's awesome, and was an extremely low-budget game. Now it's a very good seller. Now look at all the .com companies full of people who got money up front. It's pretty hard to be motivated. It's the same as if in school at the beginning of each term they'd say "here's an A, you can give me the work sometime in the future." You really get bitten in the ass come final time, because if you already got the A each term why would you want to do the work? I think that money is a constant in the world. There are winners, and there are losers. People who got loaned money to start .coms really had few tangible, meaningful products that were really truly worth the millions invested in them. Still, these bright minds got paid to perhaps get some work done, perhaps go for a ride in their ferrari, who knows? By no means do I say that all .com people are lazy, because many work hard and it does show (I can't think of any examples off the top of my head, and no, I could never see /. as a real company...) But I think that they should work first and get paid the amount they deserve for what they produce. Ok, I did write alot but I hope I can spark some interesting discussion.
_____________________________________ _____________

Re:Sux, (2)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 13 years ago | (#228796)

It has nothing to do with who's community and who's global. It may have something to do with who's generous and who's cut-throat. Certainly, it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with whose "day" it happened in. It has everything to do with the viability of their business model.

Linux distribution vendors do not make most of the product they distribute. If they are for-profit, they make money from value-added services. Then here comes Eazel, which thinks it has the time and money to both make a free product and sell the value-added services. Does anyone else see anything wrong with this business model?

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (1)

Natalie's Hot Grits (241348) | more than 13 years ago | (#228797)

To legally develop and sell a product on the microsoft platform, you must pay $150 for a windows license, and another 900 for the MSVC++ license. this is close to the price of QT for a single developer. To top it off, if you use QT, you can port your application to all the platforms QT supports for the same price, something you cannot do with the lockdown that is known as MS.

Re:Good riddance to yet another bad business model (2)

Garen (246649) | more than 13 years ago | (#228800)

I think this is another nail in GNOME's coffin. When Qt was proprietary I was gung ho for GNOME to succeed. Now that Qt is Free Software and GNOME is technically inferior to KDE, the GNOME developers should start to move over to KDE.

I think a big reason why that probably won't happen anytime soon is a kind of cultural/technical difference: GNOME in C, KDE in C++. For those not real well versed, comfortable with, or who don't prefer the latter, they aren't really "convertable" to KDE developers.

Re:Future of Desktop GUIs (1)

Fat Casper (260409) | more than 13 years ago | (#228805)

Eazel does not equal Nautilus. Separate them. If today (oops- yesterday)'s news is solid, then Eazel is dead. Most of the geeks were laid off the day 1.0 was released, and now the rest are gone. A bad company (not in any objective value sense, but in the business sense) is gone. Their source is out there. Nautilus can live.

If you really liked Nautilus, stop using the word Eazel. If they are remembered 5 years (hell, even 3) from now, it will be as a joke, an illustration of the overvalued stock market from the '90s, the VC/IPO craze and the retards who E-Traded their retirement (or kids' college) savings into the shitter. Nautilus is something you like. I've never tried it, but that's my problem. It's the product you like, not the company. The company is nothing but a bad joke now.

The Emperor's New Clothes (5)

Fat Casper (260409) | more than 13 years ago | (#228806)

Some time ago Eazel sent two guys on tour, and they came and spoke at our LUG, gave out a few Eazel tote bags, etc. I didn't get it. I really felt like an idiot. I don't work with computers, I've just been playing with them at home forever. I'm not really a part of the culture, and the first I had heard of Eazel or Nautilus was when I walked in the door and read the sign announcing the speakers.

Everyone was excited that they had come to us, so I figured they were something big and I was just some dolt living in a cave or something. I listened raptly and watched while they navigated and tweaked on the overhead, looking for what I was missing. I understood that the browser was free, and what they were selling was a subscription sercice. The only problem is that I don't need another browser (although I do like my file manager and web browser to be different apps) and I can't see Linux types being suckered into a subscription service.

I walked out of the meeting very confused. Everyone was happy with the presentation and I couldn't see through the hype. Rather I thought I was failing to see through the hype. It didn't occur to me that there was nothing to see beyond it. Open Source types (even the .com flops that give the movement a bad name in the business world) not being on my list of people to whom I bear ill will, I'm still relieved to see Eazel go. I feel sorry for the workers, I even kind of feel sorry for the founders. I don't feel sorry for the funders. What I really feel is closure. I can say no, it's not just me. Good luck in all your future endeavors, guys, but please think them through.

Re:Upsetting (1)

Genyin (415163) | more than 13 years ago | (#228815)

Companies come and go - but code remains forever
Companies come and go - but code remains until the MPAA deems it content control circumvention.

Re:It has to be said... (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 13 years ago | (#228819)

What Linux (and the unix world in general) needs is *not* another file manager or window manager. What Linux (and the other unix flavors) needs is a BETTER windowing environment.
Yeah, I'm running that right now. It's called Aqua. MacOS X is BSD plus Nextstep plus Nautilus. The Finder app in MacOS X does about 98% of what Nautilus tried and failed to achieve.

Shame.... (3)

Techfocus (449907) | more than 13 years ago | (#228821)

I thought Eazel was pretty decent, but as with everything internet, it seems that the bloodshed continues without mercy.

Has anyone else that works in the valley noticed the drop in commute time? I've shaved 15 minutes off in the past 3 months.

On Men and Casettes (3)

blang (450736) | more than 13 years ago | (#228824)

Apropos Casettes, while we are cruising on memory lane: I remember back when I was a pimple face and the prowd owner of a 48K ZK Spectrum from Sinclair, back in 1984 or so. The storage medium was casette, and you could save or load files by recording to or playing back from any tape recorder.

The cool thing was that I could exchange programs with a buddy of mine over the telephone, by cracking open the handset and attaching the speaker/mic wires to the appropriate Spectrum wires. I'd hit Save, my friend hit Load, and in 5 minutes or less we could transfer up to 48K. I had never heard about a modem, BBS, internet, datacomm or anything like that. Seems pretty lame now, but back then I thought we were very clever.

you'd think that by this iteration... (1)

gkuchta (451185) | more than 13 years ago | (#228828)

Is this a surprise to anyone? I don't mean to be an ass, because there seemed to be good minds over at Eazel, and they seemed to have made a nice product, but.. I don't see how they thought that they'd make any money off of the idea. When you have things likes KDE/Gnome already fairly well entrenched for newbies, and things like blackbox for people who're a little more technically adept, how did they expect to turn a profit? Honestly, I don't know of anyone that would pay for a product that was comperable to already established items which were freely available. It seems like the whole Gnu/Linux vs. Windows thing in reverse.
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