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KDE And Gnome Cooperate On Interface Guidelines

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the which-is-smart dept.

GNU is Not Unix 317

An anonymous reader submits "Competing infrastructures may foster improvement in each desktop, but the Gnome and KDE hackers still know how to work together when needed. The Free *nix desktop has been improving quickly. Red Hat's unified desktop was controversial, but obviously the right decision for regular users. Now that KDE and Gnome have decided to combine their Human Interface Guides, it can be done right--by the developers themselves. Note: they also want to involve 'people working on other non-KDE non-GNOME HIGs.'" Update: 02/03 20:19 GMT by T : Apparently not everyone's browser can read http://freedesktop.org, so the initial link up there now sports a "www" as well. And it's .org -- sorry.

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317 comments

They got the hint (-1, Troll)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5216983)

from RedHat 8.0.

Re:They got the hint (1)

arglesnaf (454704) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217257)

Or if you look at the bottom of the page, the site is hosted by Redhat. Perhaps the same people who had the hint at Redhat tried to move the effort out into the community in general.

3rd post! (-1)

thr0d ps1t (641973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5216985)

This thr0d ps1t is brought to you by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's Model Thr00 Thr0d Ps1t Generator.

Share and enjoy!

YOU DID IT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217034)

You got the exact post that you claimed! YUO = TEH SUCCSESS!!!1

Don't shoot at me!

-A

In a related story... (3, Funny)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5216986)

Presidents Bush, Chirac, and Hussein were found making out in a hot tub.

Re:In a related story... (-1, Offtopic)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217121)

Well... I can certainly foresee Hussein in a hot tub, HOT HOT HOT tub, nuclear hottub!

Alternatives are still good (0, Offtopic)

3.1415926535 (243140) | more than 11 years ago | (#5216987)

As long as we always have things like Fluxbox in addition to KDE/GNOME, I'll be happy.

KDE *and* Gnome co-operate? (0, Flamebait)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 11 years ago | (#5216992)

Hell must be frozen over now.

Re:KDE *and* Gnome co-operate? (4, Informative)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217095)

I know this was probably ment in jest, but just
in case you were serious, you should have a look
at the various mailing lists. I think that you
would find that there has always been a fair
amount of cooperation between developers of the
two projects.

Re:KDE *and* Gnome co-operate? (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217147)

Yes, it was in jest, I have no idea what KDE and Gnome are, beyond a GUI...I only have heard that there are 'disagreements' from the /. crowd. I use BeOS myself and we don't have GUI problems :)

Re:KDE *and* Gnome co-operate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217318)

Yeah well at least people give a rats ass about our OS.

Oh dear god. (0, Flamebait)

Kenja (541830) | more than 11 years ago | (#5216994)

Cats and dogs... Living together. Panic in the streets.

Re:Oh dear god. (-1, Offtopic)

leviramsey (248057) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217021)

C'mon now:

I love football on TV,
Shots of Gena Lee,
Hangin' with my friends,
And twins.

I love burritos at 4 am,
Parties that never end,
Dogs who love cats,
And, and, twins.

And I love you too!

cooperation (-1)

CyanideHD (132907) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217004)

I am very glad that they are teaming together to set guidelines. Although I run Linux as my webserver, I am too incompetant to hack Gnome and KDE. Perhaps this will be much easier.

We're losing sight of the important issue. (5, Funny)

OpCode42 (253084) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217005)

We're losing sight of what the most important issue is here. Should a unified desktop be called GNODE or KNOME?

Re:We're losing sight of the important issue. (5, Funny)

Dr. Smeegee (41653) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217132)

How about KMODE?

What is it about that acronym that sounds familiar?

Re:We're losing sight of the important issue. (0)

perdelucena (455667) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217299)

I used to send fax through fax/modem using kmode, whatever that means.

Re:We're losing sight of the important issue. (4, Funny)

La Temperanza (638530) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217191)

G-NODE - the quasi-mythical IP that brinks geeks to orgasm when pinged.

Re:We're losing sight of the important issue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217252)

"Should a unified desktop be called GNODE or KNOME?"

It should be called KDE. All traces of gnome should be purged from the internet at the earliest opportunity. Anyone who dares mingle the pure, sweet code of KDE with the demented, idologically tainted effluent code that is gnome shall face the wrath of the net.gods!

Get XFCE involved.... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217006)


They are a great minimalist "desktop environment" and should get a say in all this.

-

Re:Get XFCE involved.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217027)

That's a window manager, not a desktop.

Re:Get XFCE involved.... (1)

Wdomburg (141264) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217171)

>That's a window manager, not a desktop.

Funny, the author disagrees with you:

XFce is a lightweight desktop environment for various UNIX systems.

The window manager (XFwm) is only a component of the entire package.

Matt

Well... (4, Insightful)

DwarfGoanna (447841) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217025)

People wondered what impact Apple and their interface would have on the other 'nixes. I am pretty stoked to see what comes of this. We could be looking at the golden age of desktop 'nix right around the corner. If KDE/Gnome can just come up with something unique and useful , and chuck the Win98-ish crap....

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217330)

Well you'll get the usual answer, there is GNUstep, and what I'd like to understand is why it was shunned in favor of another windows clone. I.e., why this [pigdog.org] :

RS: GNUStep I think is sort of --

LE: It's a framework.

RS: It's a framework, and I guess it, you know, I think it interoperates with Gnome now, and there's lots of people on that, so...

NM: I've been using WindowMaker for a long time now. That's, that's the window manager for GNUStep. And I know that there's a page called GnomeMaker, which is how to get Gnome and WindowMaker together, so... It proves that they are working together.

RS: So, uh, I don't if WindowMaker is build using GNUStep. I think it just works with GNUStep.

[General assenting noises]

But I think that uh, I think that uh, GNUStep works on their stuff to make it work with Guile and interoperate with Gnome. I think. I'm not sure how far they've gotten. Uh, I don't give, uh, I don't give GNUStep as our focus. It's something some people work on because they like NextStep and they want something like that on top of... I'd be happy to have them working on it, but, uh, that's not the GNU project's desktop focus.

Gnome is the project's desktop focus.

RM: There's a current editorial by Jim Dennis urging the Gnome and GNUStep people to join forces in some fashion. I haven't read it yet. [Then maybe you should pipe down, Rick!]

RS: Wholly I agree. I've been talking to the GNUStep people all the time, saying it's important to work well with Gnome. And I, I don't remember exactly what they said, but my vague memory is that they said, "Yeah." So I don't think that there's any need to, to cajole people. I think that they are working in that direction already.

Can the new HIG even accomodate GNUstep, or is it just doomed to converge to a windows HIG?

Penis! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217026)


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Penis every single night and day,
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A faggot like Cmdr Taco,
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Penis juice on my lips.
A manly man grips your hips!

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uniformity is good (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217032)

One of the thing that is really bothersome about Linux Applications is that they all operate differently. Dialog boxes are arranged strangely, different Window Managers put different buttons for managing different windows in different places. There are way too many save and open dialog boxes, with more appearing each time a Developer writes a new Linux Application.

The situation is quite a bit better if you settle on KDE or GNOME. Each one has user interface guidelines. The problem is still pretty acute, though, since neither one ships only (or even mainly) with programs that conform to their respective user interface guidlines! And of course most third party applications conform to the guidelines in the same way that Krap and Garbage conform to the formal dress guidelines for a wedding.

It is very encouraging that KDE and GNOME are working to standaradize their guidelines throughout Linux. It would be a lot better for the two if Applications from one didn't look like they fit into the other, but at least familiar buttons, dialogs and shortcut keys would operate in the same manner. This is almost as encouraging as it was discouraging when Apple decided to throw away their excellent interface guidelines and develop new and bad ones for OS X.

NOOOOO!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217037)

What's next, vi & emacs developers frolicing in the fields after a nice picnic? Then what? What fuel have we then for the flame wars?!?

Re:NOOOOO!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217168)

We can always fall back on 1 versus 0. There'll always be fools who prefer 1.

Obviously right == controversial? (1, Flamebait)

Mendax Veritas (100454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217045)

If Red Hat's decision had been "obviously right", it wouldn't have been "controversial".

Re:Obviously right == controversial? (2, Insightful)

yomahz (35486) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217158)

If Red Hat's decision had been "obviously right", it wouldn't have been "controversial".

You can never please everyone :)

Wow, I'm being shot at from both sides. That means I *must* be right. :-)
-- Larry Wall

Re:Obviously right == controversial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217183)

He said that it was obviously right for regular users. You may disagree with that (or not) but it's perfectly possible for something to be obvioously right for regular users and still controversial amongst irregular users.

Re:Obviously right == controversial? (1)

andrewski (113600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217213)

How do you figure? Or does using "quotes" make your "arguement" "valid"?

Re:Obviously right == controversial? (4, Insightful)

gwernol (167574) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217216)

If Red Hat's decision had been "obviously right", it wouldn't have been "controversial".

Timing is everything. Lots of ideas that we come to believe are "obviously right" are indeed highly "controversial" when they are first put forward. Obvious examples include almost everything Einstein wrote, Darwin's theory of evolution, Copernicus' theories of astronomy, Newton's laws of gravity. Indeed most major scientific advances were controversial when introduced.

So I disagree. Red Hat's decision can be both obviously right (especially in hindsight) and controversial.

Whatever happened to "best fit" (3, Interesting)

amigaluvr (644269) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217047)

Best Fit is when something is made so that it is as good as it can be, not when it is weighed down by things that are unnecessary

The idea of human interface guidelines is restrictive from the start. Nobody know's better than the coder who codes and application how it should work. Having guidelines written beforehand that should say how it works doesn't make complete sense.

Look at apple and their rejection of tabbed browsing. Thats something that has adapted from systems that work well, yet they're saying "no not on our turf".

Then turn around and the apple web site is all tabbed anyway. Websites have better interfaces as they are made to fit each purpose.

Each application needs freedom. Having them all with exactly the same system is like a monoculture.

What? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217093)

You're joking, right?

Re:Whatever happened to "best fit" (1)

Gortbusters.org (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217097)

This is true, it almost breeds monoculture... a mono-techno-culture. On the other hand, usability concerns are real. If you're a technician assigned to debug/setup/repair some piece of equipment, you have billable hours. If you spend too much time going through a clumsy interface the client is loosing money.

Seconds saved for one task, for hundreds of technicians, for thousands of hours worked equates to big money.

Re:Whatever happened to "best fit" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217118)

NINNLE Linux solves this problem.

Re:Whatever happened to "best fit" (5, Insightful)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217138)

I don't agree.

In my experience, the coder is the last person
who should be designing the user interface for just
about anything beyond command line tools.

Let the coder design the interface between the
code and the UI, but let someone with more
relevent training and experience design the UI.

Re:Whatever happened to "best fit" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217174)

Absolutely. Without some level of consistency across apps, there is a substantial amount of people-time wasted on the slowdown needed to cross from one mode of thought to another. It's noticeable when switching from Windows to MacOS to KDE, without having to then deal with every app working slightly differently according to the unique group of coders who created it.

The slowdown may only be something small like 5%, but taken that across every user in ever organisation and it adds up. Combine it with tech support issues and you're multiplying again and again. Those were the bad old days.

Fortunately, all apps packaged for NINNLE linux are re-interfaced, using ninnle's own wrappers. There's no more consistent UI in a linux distro

Re:Whatever happened to "best fit" (4, Interesting)

sporty (27564) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217254)

Best Fit is when something is made so that it is as good as it can be, not when it is weighed down by things that are unnecessary


There's a problem with best-fit. Sometimes, you wind up with two interfaces on two different systems, that use similar widgets, but do totally BAD things. For instance, a simple good thing.

I hit google.com, the cursor is defaulted to the search box. It speeds up my day by a fraction, but I like the convienence of not having to tab a bunch of times. Well, i never counted, because I noticed the behavior.

Now for a bad one. My school uses something called WEBSIMS. You login, you can see your bill, and register for courses. It's a type of middleware. The one thing it does that pisses me off, only because it is the odd-man-out, is when I finished typing in my fixed-length id number, it auto tabs to the password field. I usually fill out forms, hitting tab to go to the next field. It makes for quick input for me, since I'm a touch typist. Now when websims login page does that to me, i wind up hitting tab, and going not to the next field, but to a button. Great, now i have to shift-tab or use the mouse. It's annoying since it's unexpected behavior.

Guidelines are good. They get people to do things consistently, so menu's, buttons and widgets are used in some similar fashion. Some guidelines don't work out. Apple's no-tabbed-browser is just one thing they stick by. Nothing wrong with that. They just don't use MDI very often, if at all. That's their rule, you don't have to follow it, but for the sake of consistency, it's advised not to.

Having your systems all behave in similar fashions isn't a monoculture unless they all do the save behavior in the same fashion down to a tee. Guess what I'm saying, it's not so black and white. Restrict some things but give enough freedom to do things right.

Re:Whatever happened to "best fit" (2)

teks0r (622346) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217307)

Nobody know's better than the coder who codes and application how it should work.

I would have to disagree. Much software (and especially free software, seem to have interfaces that leave something to be desired. The coder knows the program, and appreciates the project from a very functional point of view, but they tend to lose sight of the usability of the interface.

I'm not saying that coders aren't good at designing human interfaces, but from my experience it's often more beneficial for someone else altogether to design the HI, from the perspective of an "outsider."

Re:Whatever happened to "best fit" (2, Interesting)

patter (128866) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217323)

Nobody know's better than the coder who codes and application how it should work.

Yeah right, so we should just let everyone make their own decisions on what order menus go in? Or perhaps you'd like to go back to early GUIs (kinda) like Windows 3.1 in which every applications file dialog was different.

Sorry, most programmers don't have a hot damn clue when it comes to users. We're too far removed from the average luser's problems.

All it took for me to have to 'help' lots of users in some environments was for some application to have something 'relocated' because the programmer knew best.

Users don't want clever, they want consistent, move one item in a menu because you 'know better' and you render your application unusable to the vast majority of users.

Guidelines should be negotiable, but Apple who's really always had a leg up on the competition has consistency from what little experience I have with them above all else. At least in the basic things like where things are in the interface.

Once the platform has established an idiom, if we're too dumb to figure it out as programmers or think we know better, we need to be slapped down.

Yes, I'd agree about _some_ websites. However, I've seen enough that cause me trouble to say that that freedom is a bad thing. ;).

Who's with me... (5, Funny)

DenOfEarth (162699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217057)

This is just great...I can't believe they want to combine the human interface guidelines into one document for everyone. What's happening to the open source community, people? Let's start a new project aimed at making things back the way they are supposed to be, with a different interface for every window, just like the command line has different forms for every command.

it's a bummer that sarcasm is so hard to write via text

mistaken (4, Informative)

Boromir son of Faram (645464) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217068)

Actually, they are just hosting both of the sets of guidelines on the same site, not agreeing on one set of guidelines for both toolkits. In the end, this is a good thing, because the two widget sets are radically different on a few key points, making agreement on human interface guidelines fundamentally improbable.

It is a sign; the free desktop guidelines were sent to us to aid in our defense.

may i suggest a starting point.... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217076)

start here [apple.com]

finally ego's are starting to subside and we are working together. i have dreamt about this for years, a common human interface guide, that will work consistently. i do not need 100 differnt ways to do something.. nor do i need 100 different widget sets. i just want something that works the same way every time

TROLL ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217096)

Red Hat's unified desktop was controversial, but obviously the right decision for regular users.

It was neither the obviously correct decision, nor the correct decision. Give me a vanilla KDE desktop any day over the monstrosity that is Blue Curve.

Re:TROLL ALERT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217242)

So your opinion makes for the correct decision? Idiot.

Maybe they'll both read... (1, Redundant)

alispguru (72689) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217100)

... the longest-used, most consistently enforced set of user interface guidelines [apple.com] in the industry for some ideas.

sure hope not.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217170)

because not everyone likes gay porn, especially Apple's style

Re:Maybe they'll both read... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217180)

that's a good point. Apple's Human Interface team has spent more than a decade of *serious* effort aimed at interface design.

Why re-invent the wheel? Why not just adopt Apple's guidelines as-is? Or is the point of this exercise to just try to cobble together in a year or two a set of guidelines that aren't half as good as what has already been developed?

For some reason i'm having flashbacks to a time when we had 20 billion crappy ftp clients for linux instead of one really good client that folks cooperated on... oh wait, that's today...

I saw one poster criticize Apple for "not invented here syndrome", but Apple's got nothing on the open source movement. Years of competition in desktop environment's of all things should be a hint as to who really needs to deal with some issues...

Re:Maybe they'll both read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217187)

what, and get both their asses sued into oblivion by Apple for 'stealing' their guidelines?

Correct Freedesktop.org link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217110)

Apparently the www matters [freedesktop.org] .

Re:Correct Freedesktop.org link (1)

Iguanaphobic (31670) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217284)

Totally. This is a good example of where a consistant implementation would help. Either let us use domain.com and www.domain.com or one or the other. But not one sometimes, but not the other or the other sometimes, but not the one. Aaargh!! Try this one: adobe.com

Reading too much into it? (2, Insightful)

spells (203251) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217113)

When I read the overview I thought they were working together to produce a single guideline, however the article talks about multiple guidelines combined into a single reference document.

At least it will be possible to quickly identify the differences between the guidelines now, but not as much as I hoped for.

The worst possible people to do the UI... (5, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217115)

are the developers.

They think and know too much about *how* the system is *implemented* rather than how it will be *used* - which is a very different thing. They tend to be function oriented rather than task oriented.

On the plus side, having UI design guidelines is a good start and at least it gives something that can serve as a basis for discussion.

Re:The worst possible people to do the UI... (1)

snofla (236898) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217167)

And open source users who think they have a clue about user interfaces. That's why most open source applications have so many options.

Re:The worst possible people to do the UI... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217234)

Whoever designs the UI is, by definition, one (or more) of the developers.

Bad link...thanks... (1)

QwkHyenA (207573) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217117)

Apparently FreeDesktop's [freedesktop.org] web admin doesn't know what a ServerAlias [apache.org] directive is.

Re:Bad link...thanks... (2, Funny)

ahaning (108463) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217331)

Directive ServerAlias
Syntaxe : ServerAlias hôte1 hôte2 ...
Contexte : hôte virtuel
Statut : noyau
Compatibilité : ServerAlias est disponible à partir de la version 1.1 d'Apache

La directive ServerAlias défini un nom secondaire pour un hôte, utilisable dans le contexte d'hôte virtuels nommés.

Voir aussi : Hôtes virtuels sur Apache


I'm not surprised.

Not quite what it sounds. (4, Informative)

TheFrood (163934) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217122)

The article makes it sound like KDE and GNOME are going to share the same set of interface guidelines. In fact, if you read the linked letter, you'll see that they're only planning to co-locate the HIGs for the two desktops.

The goal seems to be to make it easier for developers to access the different HIGs for the two desktops, not to create a single HIG for both desktops.

TheFrood

Re:Not quite what it sounds. (3, Informative)

jordan_a (139457) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217278)

Having a shared document will also allow us to start looking at commonalities
between the documents and perhaps create common chapters or sections on basic
guidelines and lessons that are desktop and toolkit-independent


The end goal of all of this is to create a single HIG for both desktops.

Its was easy (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217127)

It was actually very easy for the two organizations to combine their UI guidelines, since both of them were the same: "Copy Microsoft."

Re:Its was easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217207)

Betchya get modded down for that.

You're damned right all the same.

None too soon! (3, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217131)

As a mac (os X) user at work and a XP (GASP!) user at home, this news comes none to soon. This is what will get linux ready for dumbasses like me to use on the desktop.

I love how everything in OS X seems to be well thought out; XP on the other hand, may have been assembled after the MS Christmas party, you know the one where Ballmer dry humped Bill's leg and everyone laughed, got fired, and re-hired in the same night.

I hope that linux can get moving with the standardized (yet infinitely customizable) interface. Maybe throw in those spiffy vector icons (eye candy!), some way to never visit the CLI if I don't want to, and a way to make configuration eaiser.

But I digress. A standard desktop will only encourage linux. Those who want to run the u1tr4 l33t desktops can still do so, and the people who just want an easy alternative to windows will have one. Or buy a mac :)

Desktops.. (4, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217150)


So for many, many months I was using my OpenBSD machine thinking "Man oh man this looks like Windows. It even has a Start menu." Everything worked exactly as a Windows machine except for pokey games and the slight lags I'd notice once in a while.

My dream was shattered when I realized I was just VNC'd to my Windows machine.

Sort of off-topic (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217155)

But I hope that application designers will work to ensure that their applications are tiled window manager friendly. Popping up new windows is harmful to the interface, and screws up the display in tiling window managers like ion [cs.tut.fi] .

Oy (-1, Flamebait)

dlb (17444) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217161)

This is just like having two girlfriends living in the same house with you, and expecting them to perform the same.

--But I suppose 99% of you wouldn't know anything about that...

~dlb

Bitstream Vera the default font? (5, Interesting)

PRR (261928) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217172)

Since the Bitstream people were kind enough to be the first to donate a good TTF for use with Linux, would it be likely that Gnome/KDE would standardize on Bitstream Vera as the default (true type) font for their desktops?

Minor Gripe (1)

gotw (239699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217182)

This post was confusing for me "obviously the right decision for regular users" I'm not sure if that is meant in the real meaning of the word, people who use regularly or used to mean normal. I think it's the second. It's a little nitpickey, maybe I'm just confusing myself

people actually care? (1)

diablobynight (646304) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217184)

Wow I suprised to see how many posts there were to this article, I mean does anyone really care? So their combining, were they so different that this will cause any form of true annoyance?

Perhaps this is an Ask Slashdot... (4, Interesting)

thatguywhoiam (524290) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217190)

But this seems as good a place as any...

I'm a graphic designer who's done a lot of interface design, as well as being an avid follower of human-computer interface trends and issues.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how someone like myself would help contribute to an Open Source project? While I am not a programmer by any means, the interface is definitely somewhere that can use some help in all the Linux distros I've seen and used.

Also, being a Mac person, I don't really know which direction to turn in; i.e. does Gnome need help? Debian? etc. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Re:Perhaps this is an Ask Slashdot... (2, Interesting)

LinuxGeek8 (184023) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217298)

If you want to give feedback, or help out with design an interface, you could join a mailinglist of Gnome or Kde, I assume both projects have mailinglists for this.
You could also join the mailinglist of a distro, and see if the installer, or the config utilities need some suggestions. I'm not sure if the debian distro would be a good choice, most of their tools are not graphical, but of course they have an interface.
Maybe the best thing is to just join a mailinglist of a project with which you can feel attached. If you like Gnome, and have something with it, it will make it interesting for you. As a mac person, Gnome might be that for you, the Gnome2 interface is modelled more after the mac than the Kde interface.

Re:Perhaps this is an Ask Slashdot... (4, Informative)

Roberto (1777) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217301)

Well, you can do it like this. I will give a KDE example, because I am more familiar with it.

a) Start using KDE
b) Find an app whose UI you think needs work
c) Politely contact the app author, offering your help
d) Don't barge in saying "hey, fool, this is how it's done" ala Eugenia Loli-Queru from osnews.com
e) Try hacking a better UI through Qt designer (it's pretty easy, and if you are lucky, you won't even need to rebuild the app).
f) Volunteer to take bugreports regarding UI for that app
g) Don't propose changes that would involve huge refactoring and throwing away of code. If you do, noone will care, and you will be frustrated.

That is about it.

The comment links to www.freedesktop.COM (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217212)

Should be .org. .com is some crappy ad site.

correct the correction (3, Informative)

chrysrobyn (106763) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217227)

Please note the corrected URL points to www.freedesktop.org, while the old one was freedesktop.org, NOT freedesktop.com.

If we can't keep the org/net/com/new TLD of the day straight, how can we expect others who just want it to work to keep it straight?

freedesktop.org != freedesktop.com (3, Funny)

stevenj (9583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217235)

A hint to the Slashdot editors, who somehow managed to forget to proofread their post and URLs for the first time in memory. What is happening to Slashdot's high journalistic standards?

NO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217238)

We KDE users will never mingle amongst you gnome-using elitist beardie weirdies! gnome is dead, long live KDE!

Re:NO! (1)

xutopia (469129) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217256)

because of ignorant people like you Windows is on 95% of desktops out there. It's high time that efforts are put in the same direction. When using Linux is easy for the average Joe Blow we'll have a better world.

Hosted by the makers of blue curve (4, Interesting)

thinkliberty (593776) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217282)

http://www.freedesktop.org/ Website hosted by Red Hat, Inc. Is this a cry for help? They need to fix the abomination that is blue curve?

Wrong link (1)

poincaraux (114797) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217296)

The link at the end of the story that points to freedesktop.com should probably point to freedesktop.org [freedesktop.org] (or even www.freedesktop.org [freedesktop.org] since the non-www version seems to cause trouble for some people). Unless, of course, slashdot really meant to provide some free advertising to the lucky folks at freedesktop.com.

Thanks Timothy! (4, Funny)

fobbman (131816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217303)

"Update: 02/03 19:56 GMT by T: Apparently not everyone's browser can read http://freedesktop.com, so the initial link up there now sports a "www" as well."

Appreciate that. I'm stuck with this low market-share browser [mozilla.org] that couldn't handle the URL. Appreciate the bone.

This can only be good . . . (4, Insightful)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217313)

This can only be a good thing for both desktops. It will also make life easier for programmers who wish to support both desktops.

It shows that KDE and Gnome can have healthy competition while at the same time, work for a common goal, unlike unhealthy competition where one tries to be incompatible in the hopes of gaining an advantage. It is too bad that some proprietary companies don't understand the long-term benefits of healthy competition verses unhealthy competition.

UI Review (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5217315)

Hello readers,

Please allow me to introduce you my UI review which I've written a couple of days ago. It explains various aspects of the current GNOME GUI situation and illustrates them by using a bunch of pictures. I think posting this here is a good idea so you as programmer get a sight of the whole situation that personally I see. This text has been discussed with the members of the GNOME germany community on IRC and various other members of the GNOME community that work directly or indirectly with the modules on CVS. It has been read, verified and signed to be a good source of information. I really like to encourage you to read this so you can avoid problems within your future projects if you see the system as a whole. This text can be found here [gnome.org] and was sent to the mailinglist which can be read here [gnome.org] and last bot not least OSNews.com announced it big on their mainpage where many people can read and comment about it here [osnews.com] . A copy of the text has been sent to Bill, Callum and Seth.

In case you read the text already. Let me encourage you to read it again because I made some heavily updates to it (also verified by the community).

Greetings.

oGALAXYo

Subliminal??? (1)

mobiGeek (201274) | more than 11 years ago | (#5217324)

How much was /. paid for this ad? :-)
Update: 02/03 19:56 GMT by T:Apparently not everyone's browser can read http://freedesktop
.com...[sic]
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