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HP Drops Gnome 2 Efforts

timothy posted about 11 years ago | from the but-gnomeses-is-gentle-yesss dept.

GNOME 141

nauta writes "Now is official, HP will not make further investments in Gnome. They will stick with the old (and crappy) CDE. Here is the announcement This is the official statement if they are pressed for an explanation: 'The open source development of GNOME v2.0 was still on-going at the end of 2002, and did not stabilize in the timeframe that HP had earlier anticipated. This and other business and industry factors required us to re-assess our plans.'"

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141 comments

So? (2, Insightful)

infernalC (51228) | about 11 years ago | (#5746582)

The inertia of GNOME and KDE will eventually cause commercial UNIX vendors to at lease include them.

It's not over until the fat lady sends a KILL signal.

Re:So? (1)

infernalC (51228) | about 11 years ago | (#5746616)

I meant 'least' no least. Perhaps a nice improvement to the submit form would be to place the "preview" submit element to the left of the "submit" submit element.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5746713)

Blame the developers for your mistake. Typical immature OSS attitude there.

Re:So? (2, Funny)

stubear (130454) | about 11 years ago | (#5746719)

You should have checked your correction with preview too. I think you meant to say "I meant 'least' not lease". [Corrections are in bold]

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5747957)

Drupal/Kerneltrap.org reuires you preview your comment. I think adding that to slashdot would cut down on first posters.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750022)

Too hurried to get first post, right?

timeframes and open source (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5746599)

This seems to be a problem with other open source projects too (mozilla).

Is there a general trend in free software to move slower than business likes?

If HP would have forked the code, would they have been happier with the results, since they could proceed without community approval?

Re:timeframes and open source (5, Funny)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | about 11 years ago | (#5746710)

I have 3 words for you.

Duke. Nukem. Forever.

Re:timeframes and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5749805)

Sorry for the ignorance but what is this post talking about? I know that Duke Nukem is/was a game but that is about it. Is Duke Nukem Forever a Open Source version/fork of the game?

Re:timeframes and open source (2, Insightful)

pmz (462998) | about 11 years ago | (#5746809)

Is there a general trend in free software to move slower than business likes?

Yes, and it is a good thing. Because Free software can evolve indpendently of corporate timetables, it will evolve at a much more natural pace. One thing Microsoft can do nothing about is the fact that Free software is always moving forward (on average, of course).

One day, there will be no desktop, browser, or word processor that companies like Microsoft can compete with, and this, too, is a good thing. These are types of software that are long overdue for the public domain. Proprietary document formats are dinosaurs of the early battles that led to Word's dominance. They simply need to go away once and for all.

The slow-ness of Free software is only a percieved disadvantage, because it tries our patience. It is unfortunate that Windows XP will remain the only choice for many people for several years to come. However, it is very important for us to understand that companies like Microsoft, who dominate on commoditity software only, will eventually become obselete. This is inevitable and not optional for them, IMO.

Re:timeframes and open source (1)

sydb (176695) | about 11 years ago | (#5747230)

Yes, it seems inevitable to me too. However, I am occasionally sobered by the thought that Marx said the same thing about the ascendency of the proletariat.

Re:timeframes and open source (2, Insightful)

bofkentucky (555107) | about 11 years ago | (#5747381)

Straying OT but...

for Marxism to work, human nature (developed through [creation|evolution|your theory on the origin of man]) would have to be scrapped. Humans are not the most altruistic species on the planet, the natural drive to kill a bigger mastadon, have a bigger cave, and to spread your genetic info on to the next generation are in us from birth, until Marx or his intelectual decendants can move this feature out of humanity (socialism|communism) can not work.

Software development (and any other venture IMO) thrives on competition though, the drive to build a faster, less resource intensive, and more feature rich product is what drives the free software movement at its core. HP has decided to stay maintain a symbiotic relationship with the mastadon that is CDE, when Gnome (or some other product) finally trounces the old "top predator" in the niche, the symbiote has no other choice but to find another host (the victor) or die (like I wish HPaq would).

Trading one historicism for another (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5747777)

I'm sorry, but your one line explanation of human nature and how it drives history is certainly no more convincing that the extensive historical analysis of _Capital_.


Not that I believe the latter, by the way, but it deserves a bit more trenchant critique than the ol' mastadon and cave.

Re:Trading one historicism for another (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | about 11 years ago | (#5751022)

Yeah, I was at ork and really didn't have time for a masters thesis on civilization tempering the drives of mankind, a quick anecdote was sufficent to state my position on the situation though.

Re:timeframes and open source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5749683)

like I wish HPaq would

Why? what's wrong with them, compared to, say, Dell?

Re:timeframes and open source (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | about 11 years ago | (#5751089)

Nothing other than
  • The shoddy HP Pavillion that was the family's first PC still makes me cringe.
  • Telling the board to go screw itself IRT the Compaq merger
  • HP-UX 10.20, the Unix I cut my teeth on, It is my least favorite commercial Unix that I have used

Re:timeframes and open source (1)

adri (173121) | about 11 years ago | (#5749736)

The one thing that really does define us as humans is our ability to train ourselves not to act on our instincts.

(Let the flood of counter-examples speweth forward.)

Re:timeframes and open source (1)

bofkentucky (555107) | about 11 years ago | (#5750704)

True, but that repression of the core drives may be flawed in some cases. Few would argue that basic laws we have against murder, robbery, and rape are bad outgrowths of man's ability to repress their natural urges, but the same framework that gives us those laws gave us prohibition, the DMCA and a Progressive Income Tax.

I think that business competition is good, if HP can make a faster, more stable, and more feature rich unix machine with CDE instead of Gnome, let them try it, but I do think that they are making the wrong choice here. Sun's approach of shipping CDE but funding the devel of gnome as a future replacement makes more sense to me, but I'm just a lowly sysadmin.

Re:timeframes and open source (1)

Tackhead (54550) | about 11 years ago | (#5747687)

> > Is there a general trend in free software to move slower than business likes?
>
> Yes, and it is a good thing. Because Free software can evolve indpendently of corporate timetables, it will evolve at a much more natural pace. One thing Microsoft can do nothing about is the fact that Free software is always moving forward (on average, of course).

As living proof of the superiority of Free software's "more natural pace" approach to software development, observe naturally-paced Netscape's total and absolutely dominant market share domination over the rush job that was Internet Explorer. The infidel dogs from Redmond continue to throw themselves suicidally into the flames gushing forth from the mighty lizard.

Re:timeframes and open source (2, Funny)

sydb (176695) | about 11 years ago | (#5748008)

Well, Mozilla and Netscape truly are better than IE, that's for certain!

The fact the world hasn't caught on to this is simply a glitch.

Re:timeframes and open source (1)

Tackhead (54550) | about 11 years ago | (#5752309)

> Well, Mozilla and Netscape truly are better than IE, that's for certain!
>
> The fact the world hasn't caught on to this is simply a glitch.

The problem is, both of those statements are akin to calling the Grand Canyon a "ditch" :)

That nasty marketplace (2, Informative)

fm6 (162816) | about 11 years ago | (#5748725)

Yes, and it is a good thing. Because Free software can evolve indpendently of corporate timetables, it will evolve at a much more natural pace. One thing Microsoft can do nothing about is the fact that Free software is always moving forward (on average, of course).
That picture is much too black and white. Yes, corporations often impose silly deadlines on their development teams. But if the only alternative is the "we'll release it when we're finished" attitude, the Corporate Timetables are actually a good thing.

There's more to a successful product than quality engineering. Every product has a finite window of opportunity. If you miss that window, all your potential users have gone on without you, using some other product to satisfy their needs.

Look at Mozilla. That project has been wandering in the wilderness since 1998. If they had produced a useful, stable product back in 1999, when Internet Explorer still only had half the market, people might have resisted the pressure to switch.

In 2003, IE has ninety-six percent of the market. That's a huge mass of people who have every motivation not to switch back. So what if Mozilla is now technically superior? There are a zillion web apps that are designed around IE's quirks and "innovations". Users of these apps will never switch back -- and Mister Bill gets to dictate how web browsers "should" work. Depresssing thought.

Re:That nasty marketplace (1)

pmz (462998) | about 11 years ago | (#5750900)

Every product has a finite window of opportunity.

This is too black and white, also. Free software could be described as working best for software that has no finite window of opportunity. For example, word processors were relevant twenty years ago, are relevant today, and will be relevant twenty years from now. All that matters is that the Free software projects keep marching on forward to create the word processor that finally can displace the proprietary ones.

The windows of opportunity exist more for either low-end fashionable software or high-end niche software. For example, high-end CAD vendors are always leap-frogging each other in one way or another to stay competitive. They have to to survive. Additionally, I don't see any Free software project that could take on the unforgiving complexity of CAD/CAM.

If they had produced a useful, stable product back in 1999, when Internet Explorer still only had half the market, people might have resisted the pressure to switch.

IE's dominance is temporary, because the WWW, by its nature, requires non-proprietary commodity software to succeed in the long-term. If Microsoft can continue to dominate perpetually, then that will be the once-and-for-all failure of our free society, because everyone will have given up and settled into the comfortable Windoze ooze, sucking their thumbs, and smiling at their corporate overlord.

Projects like Mozilla are steadily, but slowly, gaining acceptance. It really is just a matter of time before IE has to "play along".

woo hoo... (0, Flamebait)

charstar (64963) | about 11 years ago | (#5746691)

HP-UX on the desktop is just a dumb idea anyways.

Re:woo hoo... (1)

sydb (176695) | about 11 years ago | (#5747249)

X11 features network transparency; I can run CDE on my Windows desktop by using XFree86 under Cygwin, or some other Windows X server.

HP workstations used to be quite popular. PCs are too fast nowadays for non-PC hardware to be big on the desktop, but there are still many situations when it's nice to run the servers native GUI environment while you sit at your desk.

Re:woo hoo... (1)

__past__ (542467) | about 11 years ago | (#5747421)

I can run CDE on my Windows desktop...
This may not be the best example to explain why network transparency in X11 is a good thing...

Re:woo hoo... (1)

Arandir (19206) | about 11 years ago | (#5749324)

How about "I can run Framemaker on my FreeBSD box?" When you think about it, that's pretty damned cool.

This hurts HP way more than GNOME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5749710)

HP sells a really grotty OS. HP-UX gets awards for being one of the worst UNIX environments available. Lousy compiler. It's losing market share to Linux.

GNOME's popularity has steadily been waxing. UNIX folks are familiar with it.

I said this before... (2, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | about 11 years ago | (#5746700)

...and I'll say it again. If OSS wants to play in the world of business they need to adopt some business attitudes and play by their rules. Deadlines and shipping dates reign supreme and the attitude of "it'll be done when it's done, no sooner" doesn't wash with the suits.

Re:I said this before... (2, Insightful)

zmotula (663798) | about 11 years ago | (#5746731)

BSOD washes greatly with the suits. Conclusion?

Re:I said this before... (1)

The Bungi (221687) | about 11 years ago | (#5746771)

At least you can get stuff done between them.

And if you switch to Windows 2000, well, no more "BSODs".

Apparently, you got lucky (3, Informative)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 11 years ago | (#5747119)

While W2k is an improvement over NT in terms of reliability, it still bluescreens occasionally. I note that the oldest IIS webserver finally managed to rack up 2 years, just in time for Slammer - but that every Unix and it's dog routinely exceeds that. And XP is a reliability unimprovement. And Foghorn Leghorn - er, I mean, Longhorn, or BlackComb, or whatever it's called today is gonna be all shiny new and with a fabulous and innovative range of unforeseen bugs too.

Meantime, I get plenty done and there are no Windows machines in the house at all to "do stuff" with. I may not have the latest frilly border on my documents, and each screen I face may have more than three things to click on, but my documents and programs do come out hot and on time.

If you ever come to visit Western Australia, call ahead. I can show you a bunch of kids doing video editing on their Linux boxes and a highly productive office kitted out with nothing but Linux. No Windows, no bluescreens, yes productivity.

Re:Apparently, you got lucky (2, Informative)

The Bungi (221687) | about 11 years ago | (#5747267)

Ah, one of those urban legends post trying to prove than [Linux|BSD|OSX] is better than Windows.

While W2k is an improvement over NT in terms of reliability, it still bluescreens occasionally

So does my Debian box running Gnome, and so does every other OS ("blue screen" being whatever passes for that elsewhere). The assertion that operating system X fails more than operating system Y is about as valid as other apples-to-oranges comparisons because I'm sure as heck not doing the same things with my Windows boxes as you are with Linux.

finally managed to rack up 2 years

Server uptime is a nice statistic that is irrelevant for people who buy computers to play games or send email to grandma. Windows 2000 has absolutely fantastic uptime compared to NT4, and yet that's irrelevant as well even in the server space. What matters is service availability. I really don't find it amazing that a box can serve static HTML for six years in a row without crapping out. In the real world, I don't care if the box never dies, it's being rebooted at 4:00 AM on a Sunday. Why? Because. It doesn't matter which OS it happens to be running. And since you can cluster Windows boxes very easily, you have 100% service availability. Period.

BTW, Slammer is not an IIS worm.

is gonna be all shiny new and with a fabulous and innovative range of unforeseen bugs too

So is the next version of Oracle. So your point is?

I may not have the latest frilly border on my documents

Good for you. I use Windows to write code, mostly and play games. In three years I've had exactly two blue screens, both caused by crappy Creative drivers. At work my workstation has had exactly zero blue screens in two years. These are boxes that get turned off about once a week.

No Windows, no bluescreens, yes productivity.

More power to you.

Re:Apparently, you got lucky (1)

ralphclark (11346) | about 11 years ago | (#5747652)

So does my Debian box running Gnome, and so does every other OS ("blue screen" being whatever passes for that elsewhere)

Hmm. I've been running a Linux network comprising a variety of hardware since Slackware 2.0 (about 1993 I think) and the only setup that ever forced me to reboot was Red Hat 5.0 (a famous turkey if ever there was one - around the end of 1998?). I replaced it with the then-current version of SuSE (5.4 or something) a few weeks later and that was the end of that. No system lockups or crashes in the past five years. Remember this is several machines too (three or four) so my data set is almost big enough to be a statistical sample :o)

If you really are getting crashes or lockups on Linux therefore it's most likely you have hardware problems, e.g. you're running your systems too hot, or you're using cheap RAM, or you have a motherboard with an early revision (i.e. buggy) chipset.

Re:Apparently, you got lucky (1)

The Bungi (221687) | about 11 years ago | (#5748623)

If you really are getting crashes or lockups on Linux therefore it's most likely you have hardware problems

I have an older (~3 year) box, a Gateway with some mods. I boot to both Debian and RedHat 7.x (or maybe it's 6.x, it's the "Valhalla" build) on it.

RH works fine. Debian crashes once in a while, especially when using Mozilla and/or xmms. Sometimes the OS as a whole will begin to get unresponsive to the point I have to reboot. All is well for a few hours after that.

I don't consider myself a Linux expert since I've only been using it for about two years, but I can't find anything that would point to the reason for this.

I'm probably at fault, but that doesn't mean that a) Linux sucks; or b) Windows r00lz. It just means that sometimes you can screw it up just as happily with the "superior" OS.

Re:Apparently, you got lucky (1)

ralphclark (11346) | about 11 years ago | (#5750820)

Kernels shouldn't crash due to software errors. At all.

Conventional wisdom says that the acid test is kernel compiles (this is because it works the machine harder than just about anything else). If you have a working kernel .config that in a repeated test sometimes completes compilation and sometimes doesn't, this is usually caused by segment violations due to memory errors. This can be caused either by poor quality DRAM, or a BIOS config or jumper configuration running the DRAM outside its rated spec, or by timing errors on the memory bus which is down to the chipset.

You could try putting memtest on a floppy and running a comprehensive memory check for 24 hours. If there is a problem with the DRAM or with bus timings it *might* show up there.

Take a look at your motherboard - does it have "Rev: 1.0" stencilled on it anywhere? Actually some motherboards didn't get stable until revision 1.4 or 1.5...this is most likely if the board was one of the first to implement a new chipset.

Face an urban reality (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 11 years ago | (#5748707)

In brief (busy, busy, too much Linux work to do)...

I have a Linux user with a workstation uptime in excess of two years.

Slammer may not be an IIS worm (but it's one of the few that aren't... sorry, couldn't resist :-) but it did kill that IIS server by raping MS SQL Server on the same machine,

Betcha Longhorn has more bugs than your front lawn when it comes out, and Oracle has maybe a few hundred.

I use Linux to write code and play games, too. What a coincidence! (-:

I also use it to write articles, do graphics work (crappy craphics work, I'm no artist), fix broken Word documents, build (and sometimes show) presentations, remote administer a few score servers around town when they need it (rare), and only ever have problems with dodgy hardware. The only things standing between it and infinite uptime are that I power it down to plug people's hard disks into it from time to time, and every month or two I lug it off to a bandwidth party. Oh, and I just blessed it and my wife's machine with a kernel update (actually, total upgrade from Mandrake 9.0 to 9.1), killing about 3.5 months of uptime on hers (last power failure). My wife's machine and the gateway in the shed (Debian 3.0) stop only for power failures. No exceptional hardware, no special care. My LAN-attached neighbour (community networking at its best) kills his shiny new XP machine about once a day.

Oh, and the ext3fs journalling actually works. I routinely pull the plug on working machines to add hardware or move them, and haven't had a blip yet. My experience with NT and 2000 has been... less sanguine.

More power to anyone who uses it. (-: That's the whole point :-)

Re:I said this before... (1)

theCoder (23772) | about 11 years ago | (#5747916)

And if you switch to Windows 2000, well, no more "BSODs".

So, is that because the default in Win2k is to just reboot instead of showing the blue screen? :)

Re:I said this before... (1)

sporty (27564) | about 11 years ago | (#5747004)

One problem. A lot of OSS happens in spare time. I can't sleep, I write some code. Im too sleepy, i don't.

You can't deliver a product easily when your staff has erratic schedules. Moz and freebsd do well, probably, and I'm guessing, because they have a lot of people doing work in real life.

Re:I said this before... (1)

__past__ (542467) | about 11 years ago | (#5747441)

But what if OSS doesn't want to play in that world, but rather to build stuff that works?

Re:I said this before... (2, Insightful)

JJahn (657100) | about 11 years ago | (#5747663)

And when you aren't getting paid for developing, you probably won't give a fuck what the deadlines are.

Re:I said this before... (2, Insightful)

m1a1 (622864) | about 11 years ago | (#5749244)

Deadlines and shipping dates reign supreme and the attitude of "it'll be done when it's done, no sooner" doesn't wash with the suits.

It "washes" fine with those interested in quality. Have a look at any Blizzard game, AMD's Hammer, and id's Doom III.

Sure, everyone wants things out the door fast, but those who pay attention to quality over rushing are rewarded not only with some nice $$$ but with consistent trust and respect from customers.

I drop $50 on a blizzard game without ever having played it before because I know they have standards of quality. For other games, I go to edonkey.

CDE bashing...getting old. (3, Insightful)

pmz (462998) | about 11 years ago | (#5746705)

They will stick with the old (and crappy) CDE.

The redeeming qualities of CDE are exactly those that people criticize. It is a dry designed-by-committee desktop that is really good for day-to-day engineering and other technical work. It is simple, mature, stable, and predictable.

It is unfortunate that the mass market feels it necessary to have a one-size-fits-all Windows XP or GNOME eye-candy orgasm whose users somehow equate experiencing its visual greatness to getting work done.

With CDE, users don't have to deal with the volatility associated with the other mainstream desktops, becase CDE is an industry standard and has the inertia of some of the biggest corporate bureaucracies behind it.

I can understand why HP is questioning GNOME, even Sun's new GNOME 2.0 release has a long ways to go before it reaches the usability and stability of plain-ol' CDE.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (1)

elmegil (12001) | about 11 years ago | (#5746927)

CDE may be simple to look at if you accept the defaults, but it is way more a PITA to configure than even Gnome, and Gnome is no picnic sometimes.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (1)

pmz (462998) | about 11 years ago | (#5747022)

...it is way more a PITA to configure than even Gnome...

I disagree with this, because CDE's customization is performed primarily through the "Style Manager" and the "Create Action" tools. Actions can be dragged-n-dropped onto the workspace manager to customize the pull-up menus. Once these basics are covered, CDE is pretty trivial to keep up with.

Also, Sun's on-line CDE documentation is thorough and even covers the file formats stored in the user's .dt directory. This allows a sysadmin to create site-wide configurations relatively easily.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (1)

elmegil (12001) | about 11 years ago | (#5747063)

How does one map Meta-F1/F2/F3/F4 to switch workspaces? Finding this in CDE took me ages to discover when CDE became the default (perhaps docs have improved by now); this was key to usability for me because I had relied on this function under olvwm. Finding the equivalent in Gnome took me a couple hours of research.

This is just one example where drag-n-drop doesn't do me one bit of good. I'm sure there are plenty of others.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751516)

Under "Desktop Applications" in the Application Manager there is a program called "Hotkey Editor". Want to guess what it does? It's been there since Solaris 8 (that's going on 3 years now).

The the risk of starting a flamewar... (2, Insightful)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 11 years ago | (#5747164)

This here KDE 3.1 desktop seems mighty stable, and it's easy to configure, too. You can have an "eye-candy orgasm" (excellent buzzphrase!) and still keep your I-am-an-accountant-I-am-so-boring-people-forget-to -breathe-in-my-presence shirt on.

I've not had any noticeable issues with GNOME recently, either, and I can't see that there's enough of an issue for Hewlett-Pacquard to throw a hissy fit over it, especially given that most of the desktops hp ships are laden with oops-another-special-case Windows.

Re:The the risk of starting a flamewar... (1)

elmegil (12001) | about 11 years ago | (#5747869)

KDE unfortunately relies on Qt, which, if you want to resell or redistribute in the normal ways starts becoming expensive to distribute as a corporate entity. Personally I prefer KDE, but I understand why Sun and HP don't adopt it.

Re:The the risk of starting a flamewar... (2, Insightful)

Arandir (19206) | about 11 years ago | (#5748729)

starts becoming expensive to distribute as a corporate entity

Huh? It's free to distribute! Even the proprietary version!

But it's not free to develop for. You need a per-developer license to create non-free software with Qt. But once you've done that, you can distribute the finished product any way you want, including in ways in which you don't have to pay any with no royalties for anyone. You can even distribute the Qt runtimes royalty free!

No, it's not free-beer, not even for billion dollar companies like Sun and HP that might have twenty or so people actually developing with Qt. But you don't have to pay to distribute your Qt software.

Re:The the risk of starting a flamewar... (1)

elmegil (12001) | about 11 years ago | (#5748776)

Given how many developers use Solaris, and some apparent confusion over who pays (the developer? Or the distributor?), you don't see that as expensive to distribute? It's an entangling license that incurs costs and liabilities easier done without by using Gnome. I didn't say that it wasn't Qt's right to license it however they want, btw, just don't be surprised when people don't adopt it.

Re:The the risk of starting a flamewar... (2, Interesting)

Arandir (19206) | about 11 years ago | (#5749246)

If you check, you'll find that Qt based Kylix (as well as other commercial Qt based libs and tools) doesn't require developers to pay Trolltech. Ever wonder why? Because Borland, which is significantly smaller than Sun, negotiated a simple deal with Trolltech. I don't know what the details are, but I suspect it's a small percentage of each Kylix purchase. Sun could easily do the same thing with the same triple licensing that Trolltech uses, so that non-commercial development on Solaris would be free.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (3, Interesting)

4of12 (97621) | about 11 years ago | (#5747162)


I remembered being offered the opportunity to run CDE on my early 1990's vintage RISC workstation.

I didn't consider drag n' drop advantage and integration (there weren't lots of "dt... " applications) worth the performance hit compared to running ctwm under X.

Maybe now, on current hardware, CDE performs tolerably.

It still seems to lack "pizzazz" compared to either Gnome or KDE. I think the OSS efforts tend to attract people who fervently believe they are working on the most important thing in the world.

If you choose to work on some project without being paid to do it, then you must feel motivated that you are doing something really worthwhile.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (1)

tungsten alloy (664361) | about 11 years ago | (#5749203)

I think the OSS efforts tend to attract people who fervently believe they are working on the most important thing in the world.

That's a bit farfetched. My humble motivation for participating in OSS efforts is to learn stuff and build my resume. This chould enhance my ability to get employed and/or get customers for my own business. That others could benefit from my OSS efforts is not particularly relevant.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (1)

pmz (462998) | about 11 years ago | (#5750776)

I didn't consider drag n' drop advantage and integration (there weren't lots of "dt... " applications) worth the performance hit compared to running ctwm under X.

It's ironic that, now, CDE can be considered "fast". It's bascially the same scenario you describe but on 400MHz+ RISC workstations rather than 40MHz+ RISC workstations.

CDE runs well enought that it really isn't worthwhile to run twm or fvwm, unless you really want it. GNOME is noticibly less responsive than CDE, but it's still usable.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751554)

Maybe now, on current hardware, CDE performs tolerably.

I use CDE because Gnome and KDE are intolerably slow. I also have never had stability problems with CDE, unlike my Gnome or KDE experience.

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (2, Interesting)

Pierre (6251) | about 11 years ago | (#5747845)

I hear what you're saying but...

using CDE cuts my productivity. given the choice between a good HP workstation running CDE and a good PC running linux - i'll take the linux box for the UI alone.

weirdly - my kde3.1 setup looks so much like cde that's it confuses cde users... and the cde users look at my linux box as a toy.

i was thinking that this was why hp was ditching gnome. the established cde users see gnome as eye-candy from a toy os. nothing really to do with cde or gnome... more just momentum

Re:CDE bashing...getting old. (1)

pmz (462998) | about 11 years ago | (#5750686)

I hear what you're saying but...

using CDE cuts my productivity.


I'm not sure I understand how the desktop can cut productivity. I've experienced the same overall levels of productivity regardless of desktop: fvwm, olwm, CDE, GNOME, KDE, whatever.

IMO, the things that have first-order impact on productivity are shell scripts, sed, awk, perl, etc. rather than the look and feel of the desktop. All the desktops are approximately the same in the time it takes to do something, such as switch virtual desktops and launch an application.

haha (3, Funny)

Flamerule (467257) | about 11 years ago | (#5746732)

Quoth the marketer:
The open source development of GNOME v2.0 was still on-going at the end of 2002, and did not stabilize in the timeframe that HP had earlier anticipated.
Erm, so HP needed development on GNOME 2 to stop, by the end of 2002, so that they could use it? What the hell?

What does "stabilize" mean, anyway? Halting devel work on GNOME 2 because work on GNOME 3 has started?

Moving targets (2, Informative)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | about 11 years ago | (#5747461)

What does "stabilize" mean, anyway?

Are you kidding? That has to be one of the top complaints regarding alot of OSS development, including Gnome.

I do alot of testing and bug stomping for some Gnome packages, and I've frequently heard Gnome developers describe many Gnome and Linux libraries such as GTK as "moving targets". By the time you finish developing for version a.b.c, version a.e.f was released, and it breaks compatability with version a.b.c.

As a Gnome user, I've tried to compile everything from Source on a number of occasions. The dependancies drive me up the wall.

I use prepackaged products such as Gargnome [gnome.org], but it only solves some of the dependancy hell. If I want that new version of software X, I need to go and find and compile the newest version of several other packages.

Re:Moving targets (0, Flamebait)

JJahn (657100) | about 11 years ago | (#5747685)

I've compiled gnome from source before. Here's what I did:

emerge gnome

I really love Gentoo's portage, in fact I wish every distro including something like it or Debian's apt (another great package system).

Re:Moving targets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5748093)

Who gives a shit what you did? What does what you said have to do with what the parent that you are responding to said?

NOTHING.

It's almost as if all you gentoo zealots are monitoring every messageboard just in case you get an opportunity to mention how incredibly elite you are.

Re:Moving targets (1, Offtopic)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | about 11 years ago | (#5748203)

Anyone else getting sick of these "My Gentoo is so superior to your distro" responses?

You know, I'm sure gentoo is a good distro, I like the idea of a ports-based system, and maybe I'll try it in the future; but what do you Gentoo folks expect me to do? Rip up and replace my entire system?

I actually need my computer for work. My work on Gnome doesn't require a whole new paradigm... Gentoo does.

Re:Moving targets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5748519)

You're the one that complained about having to find and recompile program X to work with library version Y. The other was offering a solution. If you want another solution: Drop Linux and go with FreeBSD and use the ports system.

Re:Moving targets (1)

JJahn (657100) | about 11 years ago | (#5750759)

No I DON'T expect you to rip up your system. I'm sorry you must have misread...because I didn't say that. I think the major distros should trash the shitty RPM standard and move to something like Debian, FreeBSD, and Gentoo have already done.

For the record though I'm not a Gentoo "zealot"...my router runs FreeBSD, which also has a great system (although I don't get to install many packages on a router)

Re:Moving targets (1)

Arandir (19206) | about 11 years ago | (#5748567)

Ooh ooh! Elitist alert! He thinks his system is better than mine.

Bollocks! All I need to do to get a complete GNOME installation under FreeBSD is:

make install

p.s. Yeah, I omitted the cvsup step, but you omitted your rsync step as well.

p.p.s. I can also install prebuilt binary packages so I can use GNOME now, and save the compile for a 2am cron job.

Re:haha (0, Flamebait)

Tackhead (54550) | about 11 years ago | (#5747753)

> What does "stabilize" mean, anyway? Halting devel work on GNOME 2 because work on GNOME 3 has started?

Hint: If you're using an HP workstation, you're probably not using it to keep up with the state of the art in fancy desktops.

If my boss is paying me $100K per year to do CAD, and then he buys me a brand-new $20K CAD package that runs fine under CDE, and it just happens to work under GNOME (for about a week before another dependency makes it stop working again), guess what desktop I'm gonna be using?

Re:haha (4, Insightful)

Arandir (19206) | about 11 years ago | (#5748633)

What does "stabilize" mean, anyway?

Well, since you're a GNOME user, I can understand why you don't understand the term, since it's so rare to see it. [ducks]

"Stable", among other things, means that the development APIs are not changing. It does NOT mean that development has stopped, only that they have finalized the interfaces, allowing other people to develop for it.

A stabilized GNOME 2 means that you don't have to rewrite your application next week when things change. Ideally, you shouldn't have to rewrite it when GNOME 3 comes out either. Consider the great unwashed evil that is KDE: the API is stable. It doesn't matter if you love or hate KDE, if you look at the project with an honest perspective, you have to agree that they have a relatively stable API. They may add new interfaces, but they keep their old ones as stable as possible. I ported several KDE 2 applications to KDE 3 for the FreeBSD ports collection. Average porting time was half an hour, including compilation and testing. And this was between MAJOR release versions!

An unstable API is a public announcement that the developers do not feel that the project is ready for public use, regardless of other statements to the contrary. GNOME is not alone in this regard, but that doesn't make the practice right.

Gnome 2 on SUN but not HP-UX (2, Interesting)

mhesseltine (541806) | about 11 years ago | (#5746751)

Ok, I don't get it. Gnome 2 is good enough for SUN Solaris, but not HP-UX? Which OS has a larger user base? (seriously, I don't know and a quick search turned up little) If SUN is willing to put it's faith into the Gnome developers and their own, why wouldn't HP just ride the coatails and get a good Gnome 2.0 for their OS as well?

Re:Gnome 2 on SUN but not HP-UX (3, Interesting)

pmz (462998) | about 11 years ago | (#5746865)

Gnome 2 is good enough for SUN Solaris, but not HP-UX?

GNOME 2 is not yet good enough for Sun. They have released it only in an unbundled package, and for good reason, too. There are still several severe usability issues, especially related to desktop customization. I would bet that after another year or so of refinement, it would finally be good enough to replace CDE as the default. Even then, it would be hard to beat the fact that CDE has been around for years, and GNOME 2 is just a toddler by comparison.

Re:Gnome 2 on SUN but not HP-UX (1)

elmegil (12001) | about 11 years ago | (#5746912)

But Sun is pretty deeply committed to helping get it to work. Sun won't replace CDE as the default until its ready, but it seems ludicrous to say "well, they're not making our time to market goals, so we pull out completely." Sun at least sees that the future is not CDE.

Re:Gnome 2 on SUN but not HP-UX (1)

pmz (462998) | about 11 years ago | (#5747178)

Sun at least sees that the future is not CDE.

More encouraging for me is that Sun hasn't caved into the buzz surrounding GNOME while still finding a way to embrace it. They are approaching it they way they should be: engineering before marketing. HP, as we all know, appears to have become a marketing-first company, which is unfortunate.

Re:Gnome 2 on SUN but not HP-UX (2, Insightful)

ianezz (31449) | about 11 years ago | (#5747346)

Ok, I don't get it.

Hint: I see OpenOffice for Solaris on Sparc, but I don't see OpenOffice for HP-UX on PA-RISC. Why?

I'd guess that (some) people at Sun believe that one day Solaris will make it to the non-techs desktops at large, while people at HPAQ basically don't.

In order to make it to the desktop, Sun needs (badly) something to replace the CDE, which is almost wasted disk space by today's standards (and IMHO also by yesterday's standards: NeXTStep provided a infinitely more useful desktop than CDE, and that was before the CDE was born in early '90).

Re:Gnome 2 on SUN but not HP-UX (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 11 years ago | (#5748133)

In order to make it to the desktop, Sun needs (badly) something to replace the CDE, which is almost wasted disk space by today's standards (and IMHO also by yesterday's standards: NeXTStep provided a infinitely more useful desktop than CDE, and that was before the CDE was born in early '90).

Interestingly enough, Sun (along with NeXT and HP, IIRC) did the OpenStep specification, which GNUstep and Cocoa are based on. There were beta OpenStep frameworks for Solaris and HP (as well as WindowsNT).

It never made it past beta, though -- Sun went with Java (which is strongly influenced by Objective C and the OpenStep Foudnation Kit). They had that Java-based browser for a while, so they may have been thinking that Java could provide the foundation or their next generation desktop. Of course, we know java and gui aren't as nice as they could have been.

Re:Gnome 2 on SUN but not HP-UX (3, Informative)

Arandir (19206) | about 11 years ago | (#5748694)

HP wants to write commercial proprietary applications for GNOME. They cannot do that when the development has not stabilized. HP does not want to develop for and support a moving target, and their customers won't want to install a patch every week just because someone at GNOME changed the API. Geez, even Windows managed to keep a stable API through three different desktops, nine major release versions, and one complete decade!

Re:Gnome 2 on SUN but not HP-UX (2, Informative)

KeyserDK (301544) | about 11 years ago | (#5750010)

gnome/gtk libs has been ABI/APIstable since 2.0. It seems they are pretty comitted to do just what you want.

Was this a good marketing move for HP? (2, Troll)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 11 years ago | (#5746817)

HP should have thought more clearly about this. What is the cost to HP of Timothy of Slashdot calling HP software "crappy"? It is difficult to imagine that it is less than the cost of continuing development.

Bill Won -- Deal with it (2, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about 11 years ago | (#5746830)

It's tempting to blame the usual politics and infighting and general flakiness for Gnome's "instability". But if Gnome were at all important to HP (or to Sun, or to the other corporate backers of the Gnome Foundation), they'd pony up the money or the programmer expertise needed to stabilize it.

Or just accepted its current level of stability. I'm no expert, and I'm not even a Gnome fan, but the Gnome appears to me to be at least as stable as CDE!

You have to look at the reasons so many people jumped on the Gnome or KDE bandwagon starting around 1999. They'd been fighting with Microsoft for access to the desktop for a long time. They saw the sudden emergence of open source desktops as one last chance to offer a serious competitor to Windows.

Which it wasn't. Microsoft won the desktop wars a long time ago. There will always be people struggling to offer alternatives to the Microsoft monopoly. (At least I hope there will.) But the notion that massive numbers of users were going to forsake Windows in favor of Java boxes or Sun workstations or HP workstation, or whatever is just a pipe dream.

And even if it were possible, there's no longer any point. The traditional "personal" computer market is saturated. It won't see any more drastic expansions until the next Big Idea (a solution to the last mile problem? cheap mobile computing? if I knew I'd be off building it) makes its splash.

Bill cheated - deal with that (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 11 years ago | (#5747286)

But the notion that massive numbers of users were going to forsake Windows in favor of Java boxes or Sun workstations or HP workstation, or whatever is just a pipe dream.

Don't look now, but they're doing it already.

Bill's desktop may be pretty, and officially possessed of useability, but if that were what really counted then Apple would long ago have won the desktop wars, wouldn't they?

A lot of things go into making a desktop corporately acceptable, and many businesses are waking up to the fact that if they run Windows, Microsoft to some extent runs their business - and Microsoft is working very hard to drive their claws deeper into every business they can reach. Anyone who thinks that's a safe move [billparish.com] from the individual business's perspective is invited to continue headbutting the walls of their cell.

Meanwhile, businesses are also discovering that if they want their desktops to be within cooee of stable, they have to spend time and/or effort locking them down. Locking down KDE or GNOME (or for that matter Ice, FluxBox etc) is relatively trivial, especially en masse, and can be done without the one-idle-change-in-Tahoe-wrecks-systems-in-Boston- and-Vancouver risks of Active Directory.

What's your point? (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 11 years ago | (#5747394)

That Microsoft shouldn't have won the desktop wars? You think only people with superior products ever get to dominate the marketplace? Get real!

Perhaps you missed it? Bill cheated. (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | about 11 years ago | (#5748981)

The wars were not "won" as such.

Also worth noting that the "war" is not over, but that Microsoft's contributions to it may well be over with shocking suddenness.

Re:Bill Won -- Deal with it (1)

Christ-on-a-bike (447560) | about 11 years ago | (#5747835)

Gnome and KDE, like Linux and free software generally, are international projects, funded and written by many different organisations with different needs and resources. (The German government, RedHat, Sun...)
And even if it were possible, there's no longer any point. The traditional "personal" computer market is saturated.
Been to China [com.com] recently? How about India [rediff.com]?

And even if the market for desktop PCs was 'saturated', there would still be a market for operating systems!

Re:Bill Won -- Deal with it (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 11 years ago | (#5748408)

Been to China [com.com] recently? How about India [rediff.com]?
Ouch. Good point. We in the west, particularly the U.S., tend to think the technological world begins and ends with us. Whereas China or India each outnumber us 5 to 1. And both countries have their share of techies. Still...

I used to be part of the team that created Kylix [borland.com]. Now, you can use Kylix for many kinds of development, but where it really shines is developing GUI applications. So I'm not giving away any secrets when I say that Borland created Kylix mainly to tap into the impending boom in Linux desktop apps.

Except that the boom never happened. There was a reasonable demand for Linux software in a lot of places, including South and East Asia (with their 2 billion potential users). But nothing like a boom.

Probably the day will come when there are more computer users in the East than in the West. But it's not going to be for a few years yet. And when that day comes, I suspect the systems will be much better suited for conditions in that part of the world than anything we're using now.

Besides, suppose there was a sudden surge in demand for computers from the East. Hundreds of thousand of desktop systems at once. Where would they buy them? Not from HP or Sun. They'd buy x86 boxes, made in white box factories. Probably Asian factories.

Re:Bill Won -- Deal with it (1)

Arandir (19206) | about 11 years ago | (#5749275)

Gnome appears to me to be at least as stable as CDE!

Stable does not merely mean that the software doesn't crash much. It also means that the software has a consistant and reliable API.

Not only do you want your desktop not to crash, you also want the software you write for it today to be valid tomorrow.

Re:Bill Won -- Deal with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750871)

It's tempting to blame the usual politics and infighting and general flakiness for Gnome's "instability". But if Gnome were at all important to HP (or to Sun, or to the other corporate backers of the Gnome Foundation), they'd pony up the money or the programmer expertise needed to stabilize it.

From what I gather, Sun has "ponied up the money" and a lot of engineering time and experience to work on GNOME. When it's ready, it'll be the new, official desktop of Solaris. CDE will still be there for standards compliance.

GNOME is dying! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5747274)

HP confirms it: GNOME is dying. You don't need to be Miguel de Icaza to know GNOME's future direction. GNOME has no future because GNOME is dead, and most of its developers have left to write VB.Net code or work on KDE.

haha, nice try (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5747711)

HP was never crucial to the gnome plan, nice, but not essential. anyone who actually uses gnome instead just hanging out masturbating while trolling slashdot knows.

So sad to see HP go (4, Funny)

SewersOfRivendell (646620) | about 11 years ago | (#5747400)

He did such a great job on fontconfig and metacity. Maybe he'll bring those innovations to CDE, if he doesn't decide to work on improving xfontsel and twm instead. Good luck, Havoc!

What does this mean for Ximian? (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | about 11 years ago | (#5747506)

According to HP, Ximian GNOME for HP-UX was developed under a partnership with Ximian Inc [hp.com].

I'm pretty sure that Ximian doesn't make alot of money by selling Ximian Desktop to end users (I bought it, but most people don't buy, they download for free). Many of Ximian's recent headlines talk about their deals with large companies like HP and Sun. Now that HP is dropping out, will Ximian lose some of the planned contracts?

I hope not. Ximian are some of the best contributors to the Gnome project.

Translation (1)

mmcshane (155414) | about 11 years ago | (#5747594)

We couldn't get all these Open Source developers do do everything we wanted for free so we're going to take our ball and go home and play Techmo Bowl.

the real reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5748159)

I wonder if this has anything to do with them having fired Bruce Perens... he was their biggest (and only?) open source advocate. I don't want to bring up rumours an innuendo, but my cousin is a manager at HP, and he said Bruce's departure was a mess...

Slashdotted?? (1)

jn42 (586210) | about 11 years ago | (#5749155)

Following the posted 'announcement' link:
"The connection was refused when attempting to contact h21007.www2.hp.com"
So much for HP servers...

j

s/stable/stagnant (2, Insightful)

kinema (630983) | about 11 years ago | (#5749810)

I don't know much about CDE but isn't it's development more stagnant then "stable"? Or does "stagant==stable"?

No wonder (0, Troll)

avdi (66548) | about 11 years ago | (#5751567)

I want to like GNOME2. But after years of development, it's still unbelievably slow, feature-free, buggy, and crash-prone on my Debian system. I've never seen Nautilus stay up and running without crashing for more than a few minutes. Whatever development methodology went into the GNOME rewrite, it clearly didn't work out; and I don't blame HP for cutting their losses and staying with something that's at least stable, if butt-ugly.

Re:No wonder (1)

turgid (580780) | about 11 years ago | (#5751739)

The whole point about vendors supplying CDE with their UNIX is that CDE is an official standard, another check box, which many companies insist on. There is nothing stopping you installing another desktop or window manager on your machine. Maybe HP will ship KDE or XFce as well? There would be nothing stopping them. It certainly hasn't stopped Sun.

HP is being level headed in ditching.... (1)

cuteface (450372) | about 11 years ago | (#5751926)

GNOME which unfortunately had been known (correct me as this is what i have read and witness when the programs i tried to compile with different versions of glibc breaks) to yank the API rug from beneath application developers.

Compared to Sun, i always have the impression that HP is willing to work with Microsoft, IBM, Linux, Sun or anyone as long as the business gets done. Some may see this as not being principled while some may see this as being profit minded. Say what you want, but you have to admit they DO have a point there and HP is currently stronger in market fundamentals than its major competitors.

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