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Friedman on Linux Desktop Expectations

CmdrTaco posted about 10 years ago | from the they-can-only-go-up dept.

Linux Business 347

An anonymous reader writes "SearchEnterpriseLinux.com is featuring an interview with Novell/Ximian's Nat Friedman on the increasing interest about the Linux desktop. Quote from the interview - "A day doesn't go by when I don't talk to a Fortune 1000 customer from the financial services market, automotives or others that are not looking at dipping their feet into the Linux desktop." And by the way, both Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza's April 12th blog entry have a picture of Miguel and Nat dancing with David Vaskevitch, CTO of Microsoft. Now that's something you don't get to see everyday!"

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OOoo, first post! (5, Funny)

Trogre (513942) | about 10 years ago | (#8865941)

"A day doesn't go by when I don't talk to a Fortune 1000 customer from the financial services market, automotives or others that are not looking at dipping their feet into the Linux desktop"

No no, not more triple negatives!

Karma cap moderators, mod parent down. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8865964)

The parent needs to be censored because it's critical of Linux. Mod it down and dock this dickhead 10 karma points for being lame.

-- Michael Sims
michael at slashdot dot org

Re:OOoo, first post! (2, Funny)

Esion Modnar (632431) | about 10 years ago | (#8866129)

...dipping their feet into the Linux desktop

You would probably get electrocuted doing that. Licensed metaphor mixologist.

Seriously though, the Linux desktop will be ready when the average user never has to know all the gritty details of the mount command.

David who? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8865944)

a picture of Miguel and Nat dancing with David Vaskevitch, CTO of Microsoft.
What? Was Steve Ballmer unavailable? Just wait until he hears about this. He's gonna flip. (literally)

We need a new toolkit... (5, Interesting)

kcbrown (7426) | about 10 years ago | (#8865945)

I sent this in response to this [slashdot.org] , but I think it's quite relevant here, too, because it addresses the problem of desktop consistency:

Btw, if you have been following my posts on my blog and on the desktop-devel-list, you will know that my feeling is that all of the existing toolkits today (Gtk, Qt, XUL and VCL) will become obsolete and we need to start looking at the next generation toolkit system.

If you're going to do a next generation toolkit system, then do it right: start by creating a network protocol for it.

You heard me right. The right way to do a toolkit is to make it networkable in a client/server fashion. There are a few reasons for doing so:

  1. Speed over the network. Instead of having to transmit low-level graphics primitives, you now only have to transmit higher-level widget information. This should represent an order of magnitude reduction in the amount of network traffic required. It also means the bandwidth between the code that draws the widget and the code that renders it will likely be as high as possible (a local socket or some such).

  2. Consistency. With a client/server widget architecture, all applications running anywhere will have the same look and feel when they're displaying through your widget server. Additionally, changing the theme in use will change the look and feel of all the applications using the widget server (which, ideally, should be all of them).

  3. Abstraction. Because the widgets are implemented on top of a protocol, widget libraries simply have to all talk the same protocol. This means that it doesn't matter what the widget library itself looks like, what language it's implemented in, what object paradigm it uses, or anything else: the look and feel will still be the same. This is markedly different from the current situation with GTK, QT, and all other Unix widget sets, each of which implements its own look and feel. A client/server architecture can, and should, abstract out the look and feel of the widget set.

Do it that way and I think it's likely that you'll finally eliminate the one big problem on the Unix desktop: the disparity in look and feel between applications written for different widget toolkits.

Re:We need a new toolkit... (3, Interesting)

Jameth (664111) | about 10 years ago | (#8866032)

I quite agree. However, there is an unfortunate problem with making a new toolkit: Cross-Platform.

Qt is great because it is cross-platform. GTK has that too. The amount of things that will run native cross-platform are fewer than those that will run on a single platform.

Also, you are arguing for a widget server, which will work best when it is the dominant/only widget set. Windows can do this. Linux is still too diverse.

Still, I think you're right. Completely right. I just was noting a few things.

Re:We need a new toolkit... (3, Informative)

be-fan (61476) | about 10 years ago | (#8866231)

Windows cannot do this. It is way to diverse as well. Hell, Microsoft itself uses 3 different toolkits for its major app lines!

Re:We need a new toolkit... (4, Informative)

phok (704836) | about 10 years ago | (#8866102)

If you're going to do a next generation toolkit system, then do it right: start by creating a network protocol for it.

*cough*Y-Windows [y-windows.org] *cough*

They seem to be working on a widget set to go with their protocol. I agree that this is the way to go. Someone will hack $WIDGET_LIBRARY to use the protocol, and we can unify the look and feel. This is a lot more elegant than hacks like GTK-QT [kde-look.org] because they must all interface to the one widget set to rule them all.

Abstraction. Because the widgets are implemented on top of a protocol, widget libraries simply have to all talk the same protocol. This means that it doesn't matter what the widget library itself looks like, what language it's implemented in, what object paradigm it uses, or anything else: the look and feel will still be the same. This is markedly different from the current situation with GTK, QT, and all other Unix widget sets, each of which implements its own look and feel. A client/server architecture can, and should, abstract out the look and feel of the widget set.

You're right, it is a significantly different approach, but as I said above, this is not completely incompatible with current widgets.

Re:We need a new toolkit... (3, Insightful)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | about 10 years ago | (#8866113)

I agree, but here's what I want:

EASE OF PROGRAMMING.

All the existing toolkits have APIs that are daunting to say the least.

X works just fine thank you (4, Interesting)

codepunk (167897) | about 10 years ago | (#8866162)

I dont seem to be having much in the way of bandwidth problems running 150 desktops off of a single server. It takes about 150 k sustained bandwidth to suppor that. Now come back when you know what you are talking about.

Re:X works just fine thank you (3, Interesting)

buttahead (266220) | about 10 years ago | (#8866228)

I'd like to see some examples of the use on those 150 desktops. In my experience 10kbps is not enough to have a smooth desktop experience. I'd alos like to see the latency you have. Say, at 200ms mozilla takes about 1 minute or more to load, and vnc is just barly usable.

Re:X works just fine thank you (2, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | about 10 years ago | (#8866250)

Really? Try running an X app over dial-up, or even DSL. MS's RDP can do it, and do it well. How come X can't? Because X is bandwidth hungry. For a LAN it's okay, I guess. Add to this the other problems the grandparent post mentions, and you'll quickly realise its time has come.

If there are other ways to do the same job better, shouldn't they be explored? Assuming that X is some perfect protocol is just stupid.

Re:We need a new toolkit... (4, Insightful)

demachina (71715) | about 10 years ago | (#8866258)

"Do it that way and I think it's likely that you'll finally eliminate the one big problem on the Unix desktop: the disparity in look and feel between applications written for different widget toolkits."

Actually, I think you will just pile another GUI toolkit on to an already large pile, and create a new set of applications with a whole new look and feel. In particular you seem to be understating the major effort you are proposing either intentionally or unintentionally.

First off it takes a lot of work to develop a complete GUI toolkit from scratch. Once you do it then you have to migrate a large body of applications to it which is probably a larger effort than developing the toolkit in the first place. Are you planning to rewrite all the applications in GNOME and/or KDE, OpenOffice, Mozilla etc. How long do you figure that will take. It would take a long time and it would be time spent not developing the capabilities of the applications. In many respects it would be hitting a master reset on the Linux desktop and starting over, which isn't likely to lead to world domination for at least a few years.

Chances are you wont even get a majority of the developers on some of these major projects to buy in to your new toolkit, though some probably will so you will probably end up with a bunch of new splinters.

I'm just not sure what it is about GUI toolkits and window managers that exert this constant allure on geeks, compelling them to constantly develop new ones, the vast majority of which never develop critical mass.

But hey, maybe through superior uber geekness you will develop a new superior uber geek toolkit and you will be able to migrate a complete set of applications to it, and all others will be abandoned in the face of its superiority. Its just seems like something of a long shot. One thing positive I can say about this plan is it might be the only way to end the death match between GNOME and KDE.

Exactly how much time were you estimating to achieve this grand unified GUI?

Re:We need a new toolkit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866300)

http://forums.anti-slash.org/viewtopic.php?t=169

look at him brag

quite simply ... (4, Interesting)

Neuropol (665537) | about 10 years ago | (#8865946)

people will expect things to 'just work'. email, spreadsheet, document editing, and other office functions are all well covered on the desktop.

it's the little things that will get people turned off fast: like browser plugin integration, javascript issues, etc. even though MozillaFirebird(rip), and the like, are great for allowing instant plugin installation, there is yet a large hole for media plugin usage considering all of the formats that microsoft and mac have floating around. this is a current limitation, imo. not necessarily a negative on the linux part, but an obstacle created by microsoft and other companies that continues get in the way of total success. that's potentially a major issue and a lot to overcome. i think it's possible to break the stigma regarding linux on teh desktop. it's come miles in the last few years. on the path it follows now, it will over come the general fear that it just doesn't do what windows can. because it can. time has brough a lot of things closer to completion. hardware compatibilty is no longer an issue if you are running current distributions and licensing is an age old argument but if you're in to function for a small fee then why not?

personally, i'm waiting for the linux desktop that comes loaded with enlightenment (absolutely manadatory!), and all things audio editing, and every funky/odd thing that was available in the rh7.3 stage of development. then i will be satisfied.

Re:quite simply ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866030)

yes, enlightenment is a must :)

btw, I read rumblings on Sonar's forums that they may be considering a port to Linux. Although it's not cubase or logic, it could be a really good thing for linux audio enthusiests.

Re:quite simply ... (2, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | about 10 years ago | (#8866173)

it's the little things that will get people turned off fast: like browser plugin integration, javascript issues, etc. even though MozillaFirebird(rip), and the like, are great for allowing instant plugin installation, there is yet a large hole for media plugin usage considering all of the formats that microsoft and mac have floating around.
Win4lin still has a place. All those old win98 licences are now worth something for all those little things that linux and breeds of NT will not run.
personally, i'm waiting for the linux desktop that comes loaded with enlightenment
Mandrake.
and all things audio editing
Snd has been around for many years, while ecasound is there if you want to do complicated mixing or filtering in batches.
and every funky/odd thing that was available in the rh7.3 stage of development
The code is still out there, even if the projects are not in development. If they won't run or compile on your current setup there are relatively simple ways to install the old libraries they depend upon - linux does not suffer from DLL hell, you can have a few versions of the same library on the same system, since they are named by version number.

Triple negative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8865950)

doesn't... don't... not...

Re:Triple negative? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866010)

You best not don't complan about sthe spalling, grammer and what not here at ./ It always never helps and you usualy don't not get modded in the non negative way which isn't never bad so to speak.

triple negative (4, Funny)

mattdm (1931) | about 10 years ago | (#8865951)

"A day doesn't go by when I don't talk to a Fortune 1000 customer from the financial services market, automotives or others that are not looking at dipping their feet into the Linux desktop."

So, to rephrase with the first part in the positive: "Every day, I talk to a Fortune 1000 customer who has no interest at all in Linux."

Is that really what he meant to say? It may be true, but y'know, I talk to people who have no interest in various things all the time....

Re:triple negative (5, Funny)

Swamii (594522) | about 10 years ago | (#8866007)

"Erkie gee whizzle guys that's a triple-negative!", shouted the nerdy-looking young fellow. Just then, a pig-skinned covered ball sailed through the air, breaking the glasses of the poor, grammatically-correct soul.

Re:triple negative (2, Funny)

bersl2 (689221) | about 10 years ago | (#8866126)

That cannot be what he meant to say. It contradicts what was said in the summary.

Of course, maybe if I just RTFA...

Re:triple negative (4, Funny)

donnz (135658) | about 10 years ago | (#8866224)

The golden rule -

In English a double negative makes a positive. This is not the case in all languages.

However, there is no language in which a double positive makes a negative.

YEAH, RIGHT....

Young (2, Funny)

agm (467017) | about 10 years ago | (#8865957)

Is it just me or is the world of developers getting younger? No offense to Nat but it looks like he'd have trouble getting into an R16 movie.

OMG (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866074)

God damn! I feel old!

Re:Young (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866237)

No. You're just getting older.

Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on any (4, Interesting)

zymurgyboy (532799) | about 10 years ago | (#8865958)

Friedman: The No. 1 misconception is that usability is a major barrier to adoption and that's not true. It used to be. There was a study done recently with a group of 20 users who had never used a computer before. Ten were put at a Windows PC, 10 at a Linux PC and they were given a list of simple tasks like sending an e-mail, surfing to a Web page and the usability results were pretty much the same.

Yes! This is so true. A lot of users I've had to support over the years have trouble doing the very basic tasks Mr. Friedman describes. Why would it make any difference which desktop OS they get minimal training on to do these tasks with?

If serious inroads are ever made in the US the argument for staying with Windows for compatibilty with clients or customers would fade pretty quick, weather this happens with Linux- or OS X- or whatever-on-the-desktop.

Even more likely to take off if more people start using Apple's at home. They're less afraid of this when things they make with their computer are as useful at work as they are in their livingrooms.

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (1, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | about 10 years ago | (#8866079)

This just shows that Microsoft Windows and Linux .* are as unusable as each other. Put a Mac into the mix and you'll see a dramatic different in usability.

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (1)

zymurgyboy (532799) | about 10 years ago | (#8866117)

Maybe. The type of luser I was describing would be just as lost in front of a Mac as anything else. Although "Mail" for an app name makes e-mail boneless enough for them even. Simplicity has it's advantages, for certain.

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (4, Insightful)

Jason Earl (1894) | about 10 years ago | (#8866244)

If anything this just goes to show how much the average consumer cares about usability. Most consumers don't really care how usable their software is. Usability and $0.50 will get you a Snickers bar. Don't get me wrong. I think that Apple really does have the edge when it comes to making usable systems. Especially if you don't have to share documents and files with Windows users. However, when push comes to shove, consumers want "usable enough" at the lowest price, and that's not Apple.

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 10 years ago | (#8866273)

Windows users pull their hair out. Many of them say "damn it, this is just too hard" and go buy a Mac. Many Windows users say "good riddance".

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866265)

Ten were put at a Windows PC, 10 at a Linux PC and they were given a list of simple tasks like sending an e-mail, surfing to a Web page and the usability results were pretty much the same.

That doesn't make any sense at all! Sending email and surfing a web page are tasks one does through an application. You don't send an email using Windows or Linux, you send it using Outlook, Mozilla, Eudora, etc. Whoever tries to judge the usability of an entire OS by throwing around test results for unnamed applications is a total moron.

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (1)

zymurgyboy (532799) | about 10 years ago | (#8866278)

It will happen with OS X before it will ever happen with Linux. Why? People who know nothing know what Apple is all about. Dependable, useable, pretty.

Linux has something of an image problem to overcome. Not to say Linux can't be made to be all of these things as well, but it doens't seem that it has this perception about it with anyone I've ever talked to with anti-Linux on the desktop leanings.

Software offerings for certain niche markets are still one of the biggest shortcoming for OS X. Windows software has a lock on the litigation support market, for instance. Why doesn't anyone develop apps for OS X or Linux for a market like this? I'd try 'em if they existed and competed with Windows equivalents, but nothing even attempts to compete. There are a lot of small but high-margin markets waiting for software to be developed such as this. Where's the software?

And no, I'm not writing my own.

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866323)

Your argument is backwards: Apple has the image problem of being expensive, proprietary, and incompatible. Hell will freeze over before there's any significant corporate move towards Apple. Linux has the reputation of being cheap but untested and improving.

Why does Apple has no vertical market software? They did long ago, but the vendors got sick being treated like shit, Windows had way better development tools, the end.

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (0)

PretzelBat (770907) | about 10 years ago | (#8866285)

There was a study done recently with a group of 20 users who had never used a computer before. Ten were put at a Windows PC, 10 at a Linux PC and they were given a list of simple tasks like sending an e-mail, surfing to a Web page and the usability results were pretty much the same.

Yes, but did they do it with MONKEYS? [guardian.co.uk]

Re:Basics tasks & understanding of the UI (on (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866287)

Keep in mind that he's talking about corporate users, and the usual debate on slashdot is about home users (configuring printers, installing programs etc).

"Usability" in the corporate world is defined more on the application level -- how easy is it to access/create/share corporate information. (These are people who got along using Windows 3.1, because it allowed them to run MS Office/Lotus Notes/Netscape/etc.)

There's all too much Start Menu debate on slashdot -- for business desktops, it doesn't really matter. Having StarOffice come up short against MS Office is a far bigger issue.

huh? (0, Redundant)

mz001b (122709) | about 10 years ago | (#8865959)

A day doesn't go by when I don't talk to a Fortune 1000 customer from the financial services market, automotives or others that are not looking at dipping their feet into the Linux desktop.

Hmmm... a triple negative. So are they considering Linux or not? I'm confused.

Re:huh? (2, Funny)

zymurgyboy (532799) | about 10 years ago | (#8865989)

They're trying to use the Linux desktop with their feet??? Maybe that's why it's not working for anyone yet.

No mention of Mono (2, Interesting)

GnuVince (623231) | about 10 years ago | (#8865962)

He doesn't talk about how Fortune 1000 see the Mono initiative, that would be interesting.

Re:No mention of Mono (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866103)

Most of the Fortune 1000 companies that I deal with don't really care for mononucleosis. They would really rather you stayed home if you have it so perhaps, it is best not to mention that you have mono.

On the other hand, if you have VB they would probably like to talk to you.

Ximian Bails Out (5, Interesting)

geomon (78680) | about 10 years ago | (#8865966)

"A day doesn't go by when I don't talk to a Fortune 1000 customer..."

Not *exactly* true.

We had Nat scheduled to show up and he blew us off. I was left standing in a conference room for nearly 1/2 hour telling participants that I was sorry that Ximian bailed on us.

I had to apologize for their no-show. Not a great feeling.

Guess a national laboratory isn't the market segment Ximian was interested in.

National lab? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866118)

Nat is always very interested in National labs. You on the other hand...

Re:National lab? (4, Insightful)

geomon (78680) | about 10 years ago | (#8866211)

Nat is always very interested in National labs.

Then I guess he's going to have a hard sell to make. After pulling a no-show with nearly 100 participants planned (most of whom are in a position to make purchasing decisions), we are certainly going to be taking any claims regarding customer service with a sizable grain of salt.

Had we given Microsoft's representative a similar opportunity, they would have crawled over broken glass with a killer fever to make the meeting.

Determination to meet the client on their terms and on their time is what makes a sale. Having a superior technology with crappy customer service will not make it.

Re:No thanks (3, Funny)

flacco (324089) | about 10 years ago | (#8866154)

We had Nat scheduled to show up and he blew us off.


based on his picture, i'd guess your meeting was scheduled past his beddy-bye sleepy-time.

Windows on the way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8865968)

What will Microsoft do in 2008 with less than 60% of the market share?

Re:Windows on the way out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866233)

Dream on.

The BIG Migration is coming...soon. (2, Interesting)

qualico (731143) | about 10 years ago | (#8865975)

"We're developing a Windows migration program to make it easier to move to the Linux desktop with training and documentation and migration tools that automate tasks"

Migration Tool #1: fdisk - delete Windowz partition.

Sinicism aside, it would expedite things if Linux had an emulation package that supported a greater number of Windowz appz. Wine and Win4Lin just don't seem to cut it.

Novell is being very smart by aligning its business model with Linux.
Although, I hope they don't UnixWare it to SCO this time.

Time for some of the major apps to start porting over.

Adobe and Macromedia Petition for Linux
http://www.petitiononline.com/adMaLin/petit ion-sig n.html
(Take out the space after the dash, Slashdot has a bug sometimes in "Plain Old Text" posting of html items that wrap)

I'm *not* much of an Adobe fan though.
They make bad software IMO, save for the satisfactory Photoshop CS.

Macromedia is good but could be better.
They are supposedly going to begin testing on Linux.
http://news.com.com/2100-7344-5170061.html

Starry Night Pro would be great on Linux.
At least there are some good freebies for now like KStars.

Applications may start to take the Web route also.
Accounting for example.
I'd love to pair up with some geeks on here to start up a company to develop a full web based accounting system in LAMP, seriously lacking in the Linux community.

Also, hardware vendors are going to have to jump on the bandwagon in bigger numbers.
Otherwise, we are going to have to wait for all those legacy scanners, printers cameras and other accessories to expire before typical users take the plunge.

So that just leaves games.
Well DirectX is not something I see on Linux in the near future.
Regardless, businesses thinking to migrate won't shed a tear because Barbie Pet Rescue can't be installed.

In summary, the big migration is coming.
The challenge will be converting those tight ass business folk clinging to win 3.11/95/98/ME because they don't want to move forward or rub two nickels together.
Same problem that plagues Micro$oft to this day.

Re:The BIG Migration is coming...soon. (1)

flacco (324089) | about 10 years ago | (#8866193)

Applications may start to take the Web route also. Accounting for example. I'd love to pair up with some geeks on here to start up a company to develop a full web based accounting system in LAMP, seriously lacking in the Linux community.

it's written in perl, but - have a look at sql-ledger [sql-ledger.org] ... i think a consulting crew who customized SQL-Ledger for businesses could make some bucks. you could partner with general-practice linux consulting companies who need a subcontractor to take care of their clients' accounting migration needs. you could even offer hosted accounting.

Re:The BIG Migration is coming...soon. (1)

bgog (564818) | about 10 years ago | (#8866198)

Well DirectX is not something I see on Linux in the near future.
While not perfect, WineX is basically DirectX for Linux. You can run several hundred recent windows games on linux.

Re:The BIG Migration is coming...soon. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 10 years ago | (#8866248)

Sinicism aside, it would expedite things if Linux had an emulation package that supported a greater number of Windowz appz. Wine and Win4Lin just don't seem to cut it
The problem is, if you just go halfway there you may never get any furthur. People will be confused by the little changes as well anyway, and if you are going to have a linux desktop that behaves exactly like windows you may as well be using windows. There are more advantages than just cost.
Otherwise, we are going to have to wait for all those legacy scanners, printers cameras and other accessories to expire before typical users take the plunge.
Hardware is getting more and more standardised now, there's a lot of cameras out there now that pretend to be a USB drive when you plug them in.
The challenge will be converting those tight ass business folk clinging to win 3.11/95/98/ME
No challenge there - the hardware is not fit to run XP and a lot of the software packages they use would be more likely to run in Win4lin with Win98 than XP anyway - the compatablity settings don't handle a lot of win95 era software. There's a lot of people out there that depend on old crappy software that will not run on anything newer than 98SE.

Nat (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8865977)

God Nat Friedman is a sexy piece of ass.

"evangilists" (0, Flamebait)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 10 years ago | (#8865978)

"A day doesn't go by when I don't talk to a Fortune 1000 customer from the financial services market, automotives or others that are not looking at dipping their feet into the Linux desktop."

Red Hat's loss will be Novell / SuSE's gain. Just like Microsoft has "evangilists" it now seems Linux has some real ones that the big boys are listening too, also. Good. Very good. And a big "I told you so and fuck you too" to Red Hat for FLAKING OUT.

KILLING JEWS IN OVENS IS FUN niggers (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8865979)

gayyyyyyyyyyyyy fucking sex
i eat poo and diarrhea

I want to dip my feet into linux too.. (4, Funny)

nmoog (701216) | about 10 years ago | (#8865981)

..or others that are not looking at dipping their feet into the Linux desktop
I understand their feelings. If I can't get python running on my slackware machine by this afternoon, I am going to dip my foot so hard into the linux desktop it's going to wish Linus never invented it...

Re:I want to dip my feet into linux too.. (1)

PoesRaven (623777) | about 10 years ago | (#8866146)

just install swaret (swaret.org) swaret --update swaret --install python

Nerd alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8865990)

NERD ALERT! whoop whoop whoop whoop NERD ALERT. abandon base, all hands on deck, make a lovely boquet!

What will it take? (3, Interesting)

brutus_007 (769774) | about 10 years ago | (#8865997)

"A day doesn't go by when I don't talk to a Fortune 1000 customer from the financial services market, automotives or others that are not looking at dipping their feet into the Linux desktop." With all the tools, utilities and applications currently available, why isn't Linux on the desktop happening already, or why aren't they jumping in rather than just "dipping their feet"? Is there something missing? Do we need THE killer app to be created which would run solely on Linux (which would basically require it to be closed source to stay on top, and difficult/involved enough to duplicate it on Windows to wait around for a port/clone)? Is it perhaps that larger companies are contractually obligated to fulfill order quotas for equipment or application licenses (MS Licensing v6 anyone?) that breaching the contract would be too financially devastating to make a conversion worthwhile or financially sound?

Re:What will it take? (1)

The_Mystic_For_Real (766020) | about 10 years ago | (#8866147)

Why should the head of a large corporation, which is not in the computer industry, get up and change all their computer systems from an OS that seems adequate that has the backing of another major corporation to some OS that is unknown to its employees and unfamiliar to them? I think that most of the reason that Linux hasn't gained widespread acceptance is inertia. Until the "killer apps" leave microsoft and come to Linux, progress will continue to be slow.

Can desktop linux ever be sold? (3, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#8866002)

One of the key problems that "desktop Linux" seems to be facing is that it's hard to make money as a distro maker. Unless you build your distro to be tied to your mothership for patches, what other models are there?

- Pay-per-seat? No way, the GPL lets you get undercut by "Free" if you do that.
- Pay-for-support? Double edged sword. Means your user interface has to suck, otherwise they'll keep using it without the needing to pay for the contract.
- Selling-add-ons? That's a risky play, not likely to cash-in.

And without the money... just where is the business-friendly distro going to come from? GPL projects have a bad habit of going programmer-friendly instead of user-friendly when left unpaid...

Another osnews.com story (0)

davidoff404 (764733) | about 10 years ago | (#8866003)

This was on osnews.com yesterday too. Has anyone else noticed that the same stories seem to be cropping up on /. after osnews gets them?

If slashdot can't get original stories, can it at least try to get them out quicker than the competition?

Re:Another osnews.com story (1)

mabinogi (74033) | about 10 years ago | (#8866310)

Slashdot does not publish news. It links to news on other sites.

By _definition_ this means that someone else has to have already carried it.

And due to the sheer volume of crap that people submit, it's likely to have been on a number of news sites before Slashdot figures that enough people have submitted it for it to be something people are interested in.

...and the Cubs Will Win the World Series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866031)

yeah right.

surefire mod +5 funny comment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866037)

insert "if you dance with the devil" comment here

FIRST POST TRIPLE NEGATIVE (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866047)

Where else did I Fail It(TM*)? -3 Triple redundant mods of this redundant post.

*of the Rand Corporation.

Linux will take-off... (0, Troll)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 10 years ago | (#8866055)

... as soon as it is as "easy" and "intuitive" to use as Windows.

Re:Linux will take-off... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 10 years ago | (#8866104)

... as soon as it is as "easy" and "intuitive" to use as Windows.

Not just use, but also administer. Point-and-click network software deployment is a must at even a relatively small company. Roaming user profiles controled by logons is also something that Windows does well but Linux doesn't do out of the box.

When it comes down to it, Linux has great low-level admin tools, but there doesn't seem to be much out in the "business network management" class.

Re:Linux will take-off... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866122)

What exactly is "intuitive" about Windows?

Think about it really, if you hadn't been using it for so long, would it really be "intuitive"?

Also, did clippy reccomend the "quotes" around "intuitive" and "easy"? ;)

Linux will take-off...Earth Mac's are easy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866155)

"... as soon as it is as "easy" and "intuitive" to use as Windows."

A lot of people say this, but Mac's and Window's 90% marketshare prove that this is a lie.

Re:Linux will take-off... (2, Interesting)

imroy (755) | about 10 years ago | (#8866230)

... as soon as it is as "easy" and "intuitive" to use as Windows.

It's appropriate that you put quote marks around "easy" and "intuitive" because Windows really isn't as easy or intuitive as most people think. It's just that most people haven't used (or even know of) anything else. If anyone has problems, they can usually find someone else that can help them with Windows or can at least sympathize with them (most computer-illiterates will blame themselves rather than MS or Windows). Then you have the business types that reason Microsoft must make better software than everyone else simply because they make the most money.

The nipple is intuitive, everything else is learned

Re:Linux will take-off... (1)

dj245 (732906) | about 10 years ago | (#8866239)

. as soon as it is as "easy" and "intuitive" to use as Windows.

"easy" and "intuitive" is basically a measure of how closely something fits expected behavior. When I buy a car, the volume control better turn anticlockwise for "up", if it is to be consistent with expected behavior. There is not, however, something in human DNA that makes people think that turning a knob clockwise will result in more volume and turning anticlockwise will result in less volume. Most home stereos, in fact are completely opposite. But in a car, it is expected to turn them clockwise, and at home, it is expected to turn them anticlockwise for more volume. That is consistent with expected behavior. There is no intuitive.

Re:Linux will take-off... (1)

PretzelBat (770907) | about 10 years ago | (#8866252)

Linux will most likely NEVER be as easy to use as Windows for a couple of reasons:

1) As a reader earlier pointed out, without sufficient driving economic incentive, OSS is likely to remain far more programmer-friendly than user-friendly. I can tell you that even as a fairly adept Windows user, compiling software (and my own kernel!) and spending hours on googly trying to figure out which config file to edit (and the exact syntax to insert) is not exactly a cup of tea. These are tasks programmers (and evidently all *nix users) are familiar with. I felt completely lost. Nevertheless, these "features" of Linux are a direct result of its OSS origin.

2) Security. As the system becomes more user-friendly, it must necessarily reduce the number of configuration options a user must deal with. Further, the options it sets must be those that allow all expected functionallity without tweaking. Yes, it is best to have a firewall installed (either hardware or software or both), but it is a pain in the butt for your average home user, and most people aren't willing to deal with it. Yes, it is better to refuse almost all cookies. No, it is not easy or user-friendly to do so, because people want web sites to work without any hassle.

Although it is improving in many ways, I just don't see Linux heading in the direction of one-size fits all and works for everyone without hassle. It would require too many comprimises of the very reasons Linux users use Linux (with the obvious exception of the damage it would do to MS, which seems to be the passion of many here.)

This is NOT a knock on Linux. I think its a great OS--I just don't see it gaining the mainstream acceptance people keep talking about without becoming significantly--and uncomfortablly--more like Microsoft Windows (in a bad way).

Icaza (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866066)

Icaza is a Microsoft punk.

Blimey! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866077)

Blimey! Everytime I cross the pond I have to get fingerprinted? I'd better stop wearing women's clothing. Bloody 'ell, those damn Yanks. Well, I best be catching me a lorry so I can have tea with me mum. Hope I don't break me arm cause I'd hate to have to wait 18 hours in searing pain in the emergency loo. 4 pounds sterling for a petrol of gas? Well, at least it isnt 4 pounds 50 like last year. God hail the Queen for providing for us. Bob's your uncle and all that. Cheerio.

You know what this means, right? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866120)

This is going to be The year of the linux desktop!

Re:You know what this means, right? (3, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 10 years ago | (#8866160)

If anyone can make this happen it is Novell. They understand the corporate market better than anyone and can deliver corporate desktop solutions that work and have a name that people trust.

Fortune 500 TRIES anything, uses a few (3, Insightful)

MrChuck (14227) | about 10 years ago | (#8866130)

I work at a Fortune 500 corporation.

They have some Linux around. Little utility type functions.

At a company > 10,000 people, there is a difference between "interested" & "using" and in "we are using it for critical systems and rely on it and recommend it and tell our partners to use it."

But then, lots of large fortune 100 wall st companies have had "the future" of desktop unix years ago. They just forget the part where I could fix problems around the world without moving my chair. When admins cost more, but you needed half as many.

Re:Fortune 500 TRIES anything, uses a few (1)

bgog (564818) | about 10 years ago | (#8866165)

You dolt. It's about 1000 times easier to fix problems around the world with linux than it is with windows.

I'll even admit that there are reasons linux isn't ready for the corporate desktop but remote managability is NOT one of the those reasons.

Re:Fortune 500 TRIES anything, uses a few (1)

Doppleganger (66109) | about 10 years ago | (#8866187)

Uh.. yeah, that's what he said. Why'd you call him a dolt if you agree with him?

Re:Fortune 500 TRIES anything, uses a few (1)

bgog (564818) | about 10 years ago | (#8866249)

I retract. My appologies. When I read it the first time, it sure sounded like he was claiming that windows was easier to administer.

I abvoisly need more coffee.

Linux needs name brands. (3, Interesting)

huchida (764848) | about 10 years ago | (#8866157)

Linux can and should be known as the web developer's platform, in the same way Apple is known for video, publishing, and graphic design.

Adobe's probably a lost cause, but Macromedia would do well to port its projects over. Dreamweaver, Flash, Freehand, Fireworks...

What is so strange... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866163)

...about Miguel and Nat dancing with a MS CTO? Aren't they MS employees?

Huh? (1)

soundsop (228890) | about 10 years ago | (#8866171)

A day doesn't go by when I don't talk to a Fortune 1000 customer ... that are not looking at dipping their feet into the Linux desktop.

If only I didn't have a nickel for every time someone didn't tell me the exact same thing, then I would definitely never be not rich, no?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866257)

When the hell are you people going stop not continuing to make the same remark about something that wasn't not ever funny to begin with?

What the picture doesn't tell... (1)

clifgriffin (676199) | about 10 years ago | (#8866188)

Is about too many drinks, a hot tub, and unspeakable perversion.

I know because...I... *cough* *choke* *die*

*sneaks off*

Dipping their feet? My boss too! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866194)

He's always coming into my office saying, "If you don't quit farting around with that fscking linux box and get back to work I'm gonna dip my foot in your ass. You think kernel panic is bad? I'll give you something to panic about. I'll kick your fscking ass, you fscking hippy." (and he really says 'fusucking' just to mock me I'm sure)

Why the interest? (3, Insightful)

bladernr (683269) | about 10 years ago | (#8866205)

Nat Friedman on the increasing interest about the Linux desktop.

In a vacum, this is not impressive. Is the interest in Desktop Linux due to quality of the platform, available technologies, developer friendly environment, ease of integration, or is it simply based on cost.

If its simply cost then, well, where is the pride in that? As a true propeller-head, I find winning on price, well, cheap.

Re:Why the interest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866238)

Its spelled vaccuum, fool. And where is your question mark at the end of your second sentence. Plus, its it's not its.

Microsoft Office (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866264)

Microsoft Office and any application that makes Microsoft Office files by default. Think about it.

"How Do You Know?"
by Janis Cortese

This has got to be one of the most common of the Questions That Have No Neat Answer. Bandied by heterosexuals and gay people alike, wondered at by disquieted people late at night, it's surprising just how fuzzy a question it can be.

Part of the confusion lies in the way that homosexuality is presented in the culture at large -- a homosexual is defined as "one who has sex with a member of the same sex." It seems simple enough, and to say that it's not that easy can at first glance appear crazy. What do you mean it's not that easy? Come on, that's what homosexuality is all about! Who you have sex with -- no grey areas at all.

Well, as with most things, the reality isn't as easy as the ten-second quiz that is often used to study it, and while most heterosexuals would be quite ready to agree to this definition of homosexuality, you would find damned few lesbians, bisexuals, or gay men who would be so ready to reduce so complicated an issue to a ten-second sound bite.

What I'd like to do here is address a few of the more common misconceptions about a person's discovery that they are in fact, lesbian, bisexual, or gay and explain why these issues are in fact much more complex than they would appear at first.

What Does Gay Mean?
Before you go too much further with this question, it's important to understand what you are thinking when you say "gay." For a lot of people, the word means different things, and you need to know what you are thinking when you ask "Are you gay?" You need to know what you are calling gay before you can determine whether or not you or anyone else meets the criteria.

A very important thing to remember for the arrow-straight person who is trying to learn more about what "gay" means is not to attempt to define it too rigorously yourself. Listen to lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men when they tell you what the words means from inside their own skulls. One of the most irritating things I've ever experienced was attempting to discuss this topic with a woman who would not admit to homophobia who nonetheless felt that, as a straight woman, she had the right to veto my definition of bisexuality, along with my experience of it. Remember all of those times when women would read books written by male doctors that defined "what it means to be pregnant?" Very often, not only would these men act as if they had the right to define something that they never experienced, they also considered that they had the right to tell us that we were wrong when we tried to tell them what it was really like.

Similarly, if you are interested in really learning what it means to be lesbian, bisexual, or gay, you have to admit to yourself that lesbians, bisexuals, and gay men will know more about this than you, assuming you are straight. If they tell you what it is like to realize that you are LBG, or what their personal definition of it is, they are telling you how they feel, and they know that best. A straight person taking issue with a lesbian's explanation of what it means to be lesbian is similar to a woman explaining what it's like to have cramps only to have a man say back, "Well, you see, I disagree completely . . . " If a LBG is taking the time to explain something to you that is very personal, be polite and thoughtful -- and be reasonable. They understand it better than you, and you can safely take their word for it regards what it means. They may still be in the process of thinking it out for themselves, though, so try not to treat them like a textbook.

For a lot of people, straight people and LBG's who are still learning about the concept themselves, the definition of LBG is a complicated thing:

* Some people consider that everyone, including straight people, have the potential to love a member of the same sex sexually.
* Others consider that homosexuality is an innate thing, and that you're born that way or you're not.
* Still others think that you might be born that way, but it is the act that renders one LBG, and until an LBG person actually sleeps with a member of the same sex, they are not LBG.
* Others think that if you so much as idly fantasize about sex with a member of the same sex, you are queer period.

Many definitions hold depending on who you talk to. The most I can tell you is that you'll have to be honest about what your definition is. I can also be honest with you here and state that for myself and most of the LBG people I know of, the first two opinions are oversimplified, and the last two can be extremely offensive.

While most people have a bit of flexibility regarding what they could be attracted to, sexual orientation does seem to be an innate thing, and this is the case for straight people as well as LBG. Many LBG's have in the past considered themselves to be "heterosexuals with problems" but this does not necessitate that all straight people could be LBG if only they tried. LBG people often go through horrible contortions to convince themselves that they are straight, and fail. Straight people would likely be just as unable to alter their orientation within large limits as we are -- the difference being that they are never encouraged to try.

Homosexuality is widely, and more accurately, regarded nowdays as an innate thing, similar to handedness. While you might be able to force someone to write with their nondominant hand, chances are that it will always be clumsy and an unhappy experience for them, and will not be nearly as smooth and enjoyable as writing with the proper hand. They could conceivably choose to write with their nondominant hand all their life, but their brains are irrevocably hardwired to prefer the other hand. It's a matter of whether you consider innate tendencies or actual acts to be the deciding factor. Since most LBG's tend to go through horrible hell trying to convince themselves that they are in fact straight, even to the point of suicide in many sad instances, it's safe to say that it is innate. If it were so easily changed, few people would actively choose to be gay. While, ten years after coming out to oneself, it could be part and parcel of the most beautiful parts of your personality, the coming out process itself is often horrifically painful to the person going through it, who can't see that things will get better a few years down the road. At the time, few to no LBG's would freely choose to go through that hell.

Considering that the act is what renders a person LBG or straight can seem at first to be useful since it is unambiguous, but in reality it doesn't work very well for the following reasons. Whereas LBG people are often placed under "burden of proof" before being called LBG, straight people are under no such burden to "prove" their heterosexuality first-off. If this label were truly applied in a fair manner, then straight people would also be nebulously and hazily defined sexually, just as the celibate LBG who has not yet had sex with a member of the same sex would be. And yet defining homosexuality as requiring the act of engaging in sex with another person tends to translate to defining everyone as straight until proven otherwise, which is neither fair nor accurate. Also, using the act of sex to define a person's sexual orientation dismisses and brushes off as unimportant the entire complex and painful process of coming out that every LBG under the sun has had to go through. Few LBG's realize that they are LBG after having sex with a member of the same sex. For some people who have suspected it about themselves, it can be a confirmation of their guess, but for many people, the gut-wrenching and terrifying process of coming out happens long before they ever engage in sex with a member of the same sex. Defining homosexuality as requiring the act dismisses this entire self-examining process as unimportant. Not only is this inaccurate, but it is also rude and thoughtless in the extreme.

Considering that even a simple fantasy renders one homosexual is also a dangerous way to think, particularly for a straight person, although some LBG's can also fall into this definitions as well but often for different reasons. This attitude is dangerous and can be offensive when coming from straight people because it walks very close to the fine line of considering someone "tainted" if they so much as walk too close to another LBG. This can be disturbingly similar to the old definition of black person as "anyone with 1/16th black blood," which treated blackness as a pollution that could sully you if you contained so much as a drop of it as opposed to a cultural and personal reality.

So you see that any definition has its pitfalls and dangers -- this isn't because of any native intractability of the topic of homosexuality. It's more because the topic has been treated so badly by most people. It's not that the definitions make no sense, it's the bigotry that makes no sense. If homosexuality is at times hard to define, it is only because it has been so cruelly treated.

It's perhaps best to consider it in terms of handedness -- a lefthander can force themselves to write with their right hand, but this will not change the hardwiring of their brain, which will compel them to favor the left hand regardless of this. They might be able to muddle through with their right hand, but they will never become the great artists that they may have the potential to be. And although a lesbian or gay person might be able to force themselves to have sex with a member of the opposite sex, it will never be the profound and loving experience that it could be with the right lover and will instead replace the beautiful human experience of sex with one that is mired in denial and self-hate.

The Sexual Spectrum
The way sexuality is often regarded in this culture is along the lines of the following:

* Gay: completely turned off by the opposite sex.
* Straight: completely turned off by the same sex.
* Bisexual: equally turned on by both sexes.

As with most things, this isn't the whole story. Many bisexuals do have a preference for one sex or the other, and there are many gay people who have felt a tugging towards a member of the opposite sex, to say nothing of the straight people out there who have engaged in same-sex activity but often relegate it in their minds to the "frivolity of youth" or "experimentation."

A good way to think of human sexuality is as a spectrum, with 100% gay at one end, and 100% straight at the other. People can be located anywhere along the spectrum, and can have a variety of flexibilities around their location. Far from your average bisexual being completely turned on equally by men and women, many are instead located not at the halfway point, but to one side or the other (#1). Also, given that humans are flexible in their preferences (someone who hates most seafood might nonetheless like a good swordfish steak if it's done a certain way), thus person #1's position on the sexual spectrum might move from one point to another within certain limits. Person #1 is located a bit closer to the gay end of the spectrum than the straight, but is less likely to shift around on the spectrum. Person #2 is much more strongly straight, but shows a greater flexibility, a greater likelihood to move around on the spectrum than #1.

So, far from the old picture that says that a gay/straight person is completely one way or the other, and a bisexual is dead in the middle, the better picture (maybe not the best, but better than the old one!) says that people instead are located somewhere on a spectrum, with a certain amount of flexibility in their location.

A lesbian or gay man might prefer the same sex but be willing to try out the opposite sex. Or they might really dislike the concept of sex with a member of the opposite/same sex and be pretty definitely one way or the other. A bisexual person might still prefer one sex over the other. What we see is that everyone has a certain extent over the spectrum, even if it is a small one. This could either define everyone as bisexual (not a terribly useful definition), or it could hint that the standard definitions aren't that useful as they are now, and that instead of using the words "gay/straight/bisexual" to define people, that instead a location and flexibility might be more constructive.

There are certain things to be careful of with this definition, though -- pitfalls that can trip you up:

More flexibility is not necessarily better, just different.
Some people have broader tastes and while that can be a good thing, it does not follow that people "should" make themselves more flexible. This spectrum doesn't tell people what they should be, it just describes them, so if you're sitting there thinking that anyone "should" be more or less flexible, or that you're "better or "worse" than anyone else because you're "more/not as flexible," then put that thought out of your head. This is a description, not a proscription.

Many 100% gay people, however, do not appreciate this topic very much, so please be aware of this.
In their experience, for lesbians and gay men to admit that there is a bit of flexibility in their orientation is often followed by frantic pleas from family and friends that, "Yes, you really really really could be straight if only you tried hard enough!" These people who are responding this way are simply not hearing what the gay person says or interested in learning more about them out of politeness or affection, but are instead grasping at any indication of affection for the opposite sex as signs that their "prayers have been answered," or what have you. As a result, discussing flexibility in sexual orientation is a dangerous thing for LBG's to do. Please be thoughtful and do not use this information as a means by which you will attempt to undermine the self-definition of a gay friend or family member. Sometimes all it takes is the slightest bit of material flexibility on the part of the square peg for those around to figure that they can get it into that round hole if they just pound a little harder, by God.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you fantasize about members of the same sex, does this make you homosexual?
Believe it or not, not necessarily. Many straight people, although most of them would rather get dragged over carpet tacks and dipped in rubbing alcohol than admit it, have the occasional fantasy revolving around a member of the same sex. Many people also have fantasies about bungee jumping or skydiving. This does not mean, should they find themselves at the top of that tower with the rubber band tied to their ankles or sitting in the bay of a light airplane with a parachute strapped to their back, that they would not freeze in terror and be incapable of going through with it. It's the same way with sex -- a person might have the occasional late-night fantasy or hazy dream of romping with another woman in the wee hours, or might idly wonder what it would be like to kiss the male rock star who is in close-up at that moment on MTV -- but this doesn't mean that they would not swallow their gum and freeze in mortal fear should they find themselves given the opportunity to do it in vivo.

This is connected very closely to the way that most people have of thinking about fantasy -- what a fantasy is, what it stands for, and what it might mean. It might help to understand this concept if, instead of thinking of a person's fantasy as "what they secretly, deep-down, are really hoping for" you thought of it as the brain's way of playing at "What If?" It might indeed indicate that someone is LBG, but then again, it might be your mind's way of presenting you not with "what you secretly want" but with "what you would never have." It's your mind's way of being subjunctive.

So if you're reading this little guide idly and wondering if that split second you had of imagining climbing in bed with Rosie O'Donnell (a fine thing to imagine, I must say!) or frenching Trent Reznor (another mental image that has a great deal to recommend it) -- it doesn't necessarily have to mean that. If, however, it's accompanied by a number of the other things mentioned here, it might indeed be an indicator that you lean in this direction.

And the converse is also true -- many a lesbian or gay man has had the odd fantasy of sex with a member of the opposite sex. This no more means that they are secretly straight and just have to "work a little harder" than the occasional same-sex fantasy of a straight person means that they are irrevocably gay.

If you don't like sex with a member of the opposite sex, might this mean that you are LBG?
Again, it might. One of these things taken by itself doesn't mean that you're gay. It's only when you find yourself wondering about several that the probabilities start piling up.

For women, especially (and since this is a site aimed at women, I think I can concentrate on us without apology) this can be a very hard question. In this culture, women are not exactly raised to be aware of our sex drives. Adult women might feel that they are quite well in touch with themselves, but I wager that if you asked these same women how well they knew what they wanted when they were teenagers, the responses would be quite different. Many young girls and young women are not encouraged to be autonomously sexual -- remember that a boy who chases skirts is an admirable stud, whereas a girl who chases trousers is a skank or a slut and "deserves what's coming to her." Remember that Patricia Bowman's underwear was passed around the jury when she levelled rape charges at Willie Smith. Remember that even just wearing a pair of shorts can be enough to have the man who raped you acquitted, or at least provide him with an excuse.

So society at large tends to penalize women who express sexual drives openly, particularly women who are not married and hence seen as being under the protection of an individual man. Not feeling at all strange about discussing your fantasies with your husband of ten years is quite a different matter from admitting to your friends around the high school lockers that you had the best time behind the gym with that cute senior at the last weekend mixer, be the senior in question a boy or a girl. The first expression of sexuality is seen as a perfectly "acceptable" expression -- a woman giving herself to the man who, by all rights, owns her anyway. The second often means getting those "Ohmygodthat'ssoweird" looks that we all remember from school, followed by finding oneself the center of school gossip and labelled the class Slut for the rest of your high school career. Add that to a lifetime of fairy tales that paint getting married or having sex as exiling the mermaid from her undersea home, forcing the witch to give up her magical powers, or making the psychic lose her ability to read the future, and any intelligent young woman might grow to see sex as a loss -- both of her independence and of her specialness, and an endangerment. Because of this, far too many girls and women see being nervous or afraid of sex, even after having experienced it with a loving partner, as just part of being a woman.

This can catch women in a double bind -- the straight woman may not realize that she has choices in her sexuality, but might simply figure to herself that not enjoying sex is her lot in life. The lesbian who is still in the process of discovering who she is might not realize that being profoundly uncomfortable at the thought or deed of heterosexual sex means that it is in her best interests to investigate other options.

Aren't you gay when you first have sex with a member of the same sex?
Did you have to have sex with a member of the opposite sex before you were classified as heterosexual? Nope. (Assuming that you, Gentle Reader, are straight in the first place, which is not necessarily true.)

But then there are those people who say they knew they were different from everyone else even as small kids. What about them?
What about them? There isn't one set way of coming out to oneself or of realizing that one is LBG that applies to everyone. Depending on who you ask, the dialogue can go anything like:

"How did you know you were gay?"
First woman: I didn't ever not know. It was something I was aware of on my own since as early as I could remember.
Second woman: For years, I kept going with my marriage to my husband and just figured that if I didn't enjoy myself, well I wasn't trying hard enough, or I wasn't a good enough wife. It wasn't until I met So-and-So that I realized what was really up all those years.

I'm having a hard time believing that a woman who is lesbian could ever not know it.
It's a hard thing to understand, yes. Think of it this way -- women are not encouraged to listen to our little Inner Voice regards sex anyhow. Despite decades of phenomenal progress on the part of women's issues and feminism, we are still daily bombarded with movies and fairy tales and admonishments on how a woman's sexuality is something that simply and magically flowers when we meet Mr. Right. As a result, many women just don't pay much attention to what our bodies tell us they want. We may not listen to the little voice, thinking that when we meet the Right Man, his mere presence will Reveal All to us, and the bud of our sexuality will flower and open without any real work on our part.

This applies to lesbians and bisexual woman as well -- we are all told the same stories and see more or less the same movies and TV shows, by and large. But when you add that to the unconscious realization on the part of the young lesbian still to discover herself that her inner voice not only has to be ignored but appears to make no sense even when she does bend an ear to it, it's much easier to see how a woman could be a lesbian without realizing it until she's in her 40's. (This goes double for bisexual woman, who may figure that if they like looking at men, they are straight and that's that, and who hence have to be knocked in the head with it before realizing that they, too, are queer. It's not like anyone's really encouraged in this culture to think deeply about these things.)

Think of a television set that is on at a low volume but that appears to be playing meaningless noise. If this goes on long enough, you will simply stop paying attention to it. You'll turn off that part of yourself that isn't giving you "useful" information -- in effect, you will turn off the sexual part of yourself. This helps to explain why fantasy might not indicate anything; a woman who is lesbian may simply not fantasize about anything because since her fantasy machine doesn't churn out anything that she connects with, or that she recognizes as making sense according to the rules of the world she lives in, she simply stops listening to it. It can take long years before she realizes that the TV set wasn't playing meaningless static after all, but instead was telling her something vital. It can take even longer for her to figure out how to turn it back on, and how not to shy away from what it tells her.

"So how the hell do you know?!" I can hear you cry. Well, as I said before, it's a complex thing. Often, the light bulb goes on differently for different people, and we encourage you to read our stories of coming out so that you can appreciate the different ways that women come to these realizations. If your situation isn't indicated on the coming out page, please help us demonstrate the variety of ways that this process takes place and send mail to Email Us so that we can give any people reading this page, particularly teenagers, an idea of what this issue involves. All responses will be anonymized unless you indicate that you would like to have your e-mail address or homepage linked.

For many women, as I said earlier, they knew from their earliest memory. For others, they were completely oblivious until they flat-out fell head over ears in love with another woman. Sometimes, a lesbian who is still in the process of coming out can be in love and know it, and still not know if she is able to have sex with another woman.

By and large, I'd say that no one of these factors (not enjoying straight sex, fantasizing about other women or men) means that you are irrevocably lesbian, bisexual, or gay. Each of these indicators is like an arrow pointing at a possible path, the path of loving those who are like you. If one arrow points in that direction, it could just be random. But if several point there, well -- you're probably best to take a walk up that path and see what you can learn about yourself.

The only reliable way to know is to know. I realize that this doesn't make it any easier, but it is the truth. There is a time when the only thing you can say in response to the question, "How do you know if you are homosexual?" is:

Well, you just do.

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Copyright 1996 Janis Cortese.

-1 Redundant (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866325)

All the faggots 'round here know all this.

A developers view of GNOME (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#8866290)

That's quite an facile editorial but you can't expect better from normal users. My screenshot looks better than yours. Evolution is better than KMail, GNOME looks more polished than KDE and so on. I do use XChat, Abiword, Rhythmbox.... ...usually you get stuff like these from normal users. And this is ok since you can't blame them for stuff they simply don't know about or don't have a slighest knowledge about.

Such editorials are hard to take serious since they are build up on basicly NO deeper knowledge of the matter. Most people I met so far are full of prejudices and seek for excuses or explaination why they prefer the one over the other while in reality they have no slightest clue on what parameters they compare the things.

If people do like the gance ICONS over the functionality then it's quite ok but that's absolutely NO framework to do such comparisons.

I do come from the GNOME architecture and spent the last 5 years on it. I also spent a lot of time (nearly 1 year now if I sum everything up) on KDE 3.x architecture including the latest KDE 3.2 (please note I still do use GNOME and I am up to CVS 2.6 release myself).

Although calling myself a GNOME vetaran I am also not shy to criticise GNOME and I do this in the public as well. Ok I got told from a couple of people if I don't like GNOME that I simply should switch and so on. But these are usually people who have a tunnelview and do not want to see or understand the problems around GNOME.

Speaking as a developer with nearly 23years of programming skills on my back I can tell you that GNOME may look polished on the first view but on the second view it isn't.

Technically GNOME is quite a messy architecture with a lot of unfinished, half polished and half working stuff inside. Given here are examples like broken gnome-vfs, half implementations of things (GStreamer still half implemented into GNOME (if you can call it an implementation at all)) rapid changes of things that make it hard for developers to catch up and a never ending bughunting. While it is questionable if some stuff can simply be fixed with patches while it's more required to publicly talk about the Framework itself.

Sure GNOME will become better but the time developers spent fixing all the stuff is the time that speaks for KDE to really improve it with needed features. We here on GNOME are only walking in the circle but don't have a real progress in true usability (not that farce people talk to one person and then to the next). Real usability here is using the features provided by the architecture that is when I as scientists want to do UML stuff that I seriously find an application written for that framework that can do it. When I eye over to the KDE architecture then as strange it sounds I do find more of these needed tools than I can find on GNOME. This can be continued in many areas where I find more scientific Software to do my work and Software that works reliable and not crash or misbehave or behave unexpected.

Comparing Nautilus with Konqueror is pure nonsense, comparing GNOME with KDE is even bigger nonsense. If we get a team of developers on a Table and discuss all the crap we find between KDE and GNOME then I can tell from own experience that the answer is clearly that GNOME will fail horrible here.

We still have many issues on GNOME which are Framework related. We now got the new Fileselector but yet they still act differently in each app. Some still have the old Fileselector, some the new Fileselector, some appearance of new Fileselectors are differently than in other apps that use the new Fileselector code and so on. When people talk about polish and consistency, then I like to ask what kind of consistency and polish is this ? We still have a couple of different ways to open Window in GNOME.

- GTK-Application-Window,
- BonoboUI Window,
- GnomeUI Window,

Then a lot of stuff inside GNOME are hardcoded UI's, some are using *.glade files (not to mention that GLADE the interface builder is still not aware of the new Widgets in GTK and even not aware of the deprecated ones), then we have *.xml files for BonoboUI windows etc. As you can see it's a pain to maintain all this junk. These are just a little spot on the entire Mountain. I can countless bring up more stuff. Sure these things are being worked on. No doubt but as I said they WORK on it this means that there is NO real progress for the future since people write new apps for GNOME and probably use old API and then they need to change huge parts of their code only to adopt the new API rather than working on the application itself to bring it forward with better features the user needs.

Why do I say these things in public and still use GNOME. Well when I started, I was developing stuff using the Motif widgetset and during that time around 1999 KDE and GNOME were looking quite similar from features and stuff. So I decided to work on and for GNOME although I am not quite happy with many so called 'solutions' inside GNOME and I think that we need to discuss them (on whatever place it is) to make people who like to contribute to GNOME know where the problems are and how we can solve them (if possible).

From my person experience KDE is far far superior of the inferior GNOME when it comes to technical aspects. Even if there are a few Menu entries to much or the Toolbar is overblown in Konqueror these are all cosmetical things that can be changed if needed (and if the developers think it's a good thing) but looking at the amount of KDE users and applications that got stomped out of nothing I do believe that there are a lot of people simply happy how KDE is as it is now.

If they change the Fileselector in KDE then it's inherited by other applications. So the author doesn't need to change huge leaps of code since they simply inherit it. If someone changes the Addressbook object then it's being inherit in other applications, same for Clock, Bookmarks etc. The Fileselector looks similar in all apps, the Toolbars and Menu look similar in all apps etc. They have quite nifty features that I am missing in GNOME. Even nowadays I ask myself if the developers working on GNOME are still on track of what the user really wants or if they are not caught in a tunnelview here by doing something no-one can really use.

When I hear people talking about all these cool usability studies SUN made then I need to smile here since this thing is laying back a few years now. And SUN already started working on their GLASS Desktop based on JAVA (no it's not GNOME based). The reason why SUN still works on GNOME is as far as I was told is that they had a 5 years contract with GNOME to do so. Anyways you can't depend on old usability tests. To warranty true usability these tests needs to be re-done every now and then so you can guarantee some sort of quality assurance that the stuff is still on track and truly usable for people.

Usable not as in which button to press, usable as in 'can I find the apps I need to do my business work'. or 'can I copy files and subdirs from FTP and have the stuff arrive correctly on my Desktop' (gnome-vfs still horrbly fails here).

Well I think people should really do an article based on these things since they are elementary for a Desktop. Neverthless I do believe that both sides KDE and GNOME do work hard on their Desktop but truly I believe that KDE makes better steps forward and imo in the right direction too. Even alternative stuff such as MorphOS or XFCE are far more useroriented and friendlier to use than what GNOME offers today.

> Perhaps GNOME is a bloody mess inside and KDE is a
> masterpiece, but does that really matter to the user?

Yes it does matter. We today place the stones for the road tomorrow. And we should decide wisely which stones we lay on that road. Should be go for an inferior Desktop which stagnates because developers are messing around in the Framework or should we go for a technical supperior Desktop ? Yes USERS do care a lot and it matters a lot of them as well. Since these users want to use polished applications, applications that are tightly integrated, that share one database for their Addressbooks, one database for their Bookmarks, they simply want to put all their Addresses in one database and be sure they can use these things in their Word like application (serial letters) in their Cellphone syncing app, in their Palm or PowerPC syncing app, in their Email client and so on. It matters a lot for the user if he can reliable use a FTP client or Filemanager to copy a bunch of files from A to B without worrying whether the stuff appeared correctly or not. And yes it matters a lot for the user whether he can be sure that new applications can rapidely be developed (even by himself) in a short time due to taking objects. And yes it also matters for us all whether a nice Desktop is being used which works reliable in all areas and guarantees new applications since we wanted to demonstrate outside world (non Linux people) how far Linux and the Desktop really are. How can we demonstrate the world outside that KDE is in many areas even far supperior over WindowsXP (in Desktop functionality) if we show people how nice icons GNOME has and as soon they start using it figure out that it's a mess ?

And yes, there is nothing wrong for KDE being similar to Windows. I want Windows for Linux. At least it offers me a cool Desktop with similar functionality and cool stuff. Hell I don't even come from Windows I used to be an AmigaOS person before that.

Better a Windows look and behave like rather than a Desktop that fit's nowhere where people and industry needs to spend hours and probably millions of Dollars into teaching their people how to do simpliest things. Now tell your customers who pay for your service how to use gconftool-2 for example. They will chop your testi**es off and put them in a glass with alcoholics.

> the difference is that Gconfig it is aimed for advanced
> users and Kpanel for general use.

And here is the problem. GNOME these days aims for the unexperienced users. Quite a contradictorily to the aims of GNOME don't you think. Most important settings are simply hidden behind GConf (and not Gconfig better you get off and learn some basics before teaching knowledged people what the differences are).

> I don't want I windows on Linux, the reason I use Linux is
> to get off MS, and what about Mac users who don't like
> Windows and want something else?.

Honestly, KDE is closer to both of them than GNOME. KDE offers the MacOSX way of Menu system (Top Menu), KDE has a cool Liquid Theme, KDE can look quite close to anything you like. It can even look like MorphOS.

But back to a normal conversation. You should look back in the mid 80's and compare the things today. Most Desktop solutions are all the same.

- Window
- Window can be moved,
- Icon on Desktop,
- Icon on Desktop can be moved,
- Filemanager,
- Filemanager can do things,
- Panel, Toolbar, Top Menu

So saying that Mac Users won't like KDE is plain stupid, the same stupid way saying Windows users don't like KDE etc. There can also be people who do like GNOME, there is no problem. But we should clearly look for the superior Desktop solution and it should be even clear to you that KDE is technically FAR superior. It's so much superior that comparing KDE and GNOME is plain wrong. It's like comparing a Ferrari with an Austin Mini.

> I do feel that Gnome is more likely to be successful on
> the corporate workstation than KDE

I don't believe so. Even corporate people have eyes in their head and a brain they can use. When they spent some time into Linux and know more about the technical stuff and probably the two desktops they then will decide wisely. I recently had a conversation with someone who wanted to change his entire company (1200 Desktops) to GNOME but then they decided to use KDE after they figured out how messy GNOME really is.

> because there are less option to fiddle around with and it
> seems simplier to get things done

What things do you think they get done that simple ? I would know a couple of examples of the things you can do simplier on GNOME than e.g. KDE ? But ok be it like that, this still doesn't change the broken Framework issue which is basicly the all and everything for a Desktop. No matter how less options you have, no matter how clean you assume the desktop to be, no matter how polished or nice you find it yourself. It still won't change the broken junk inside it. As many people already explained (since they elaborated correctly) GNOME will take years (IF EVER) to reach quality of KDE.

Forget the ugly icons, forget the bazillion of Menu entries and forget all the tons of Options. These are all things you can change easily and quickly. Unfortunately you can't easily change the broken stuff in GNOME that quickly. I wish it would be possible but as sad and realistic it sounds, it won't happen.

> sure stock Gnome isn't as polished as KDE, but Ximian
> Gnome is. Gnome 2.6 looks like it might just Gnome that
> extra bit of polish that it needs as well.

Yeah but thre rest remains GNOME, the same incomplete and unfinished Framework. Ximian GNOME may be a name in the public, but new apps need to be developed as well and that's still the same problematic issue than using stock GNOME. You still deal with the problems I have described above.

We need a stable desktop, a desktop with good framework, nice applications and where we can be sure that rapid application development is possible. A Ximian GNOME won't change anything here.

> Computer users usually don't know much about computers, I
> can't imagine a customer trying to find and specific option
> here.

Excuse me, but why do these people want to use Linux then ? If they have no clue what they are doing they better head off using Windows. Every farmer can give help with Windows, every neighbour can and even every WalMart store can help these people in Windows related questions. Why do they want to bother with Linux then ?

New people unfamilar to computers make their first touch with Windows. They learn to use it, they using it fine and they strangely get their stuff done the way they like and Windows is overblown with configuration options.

Even my sister is far better in Microsoft Word than I ever was or ever will be (not to mention that I am not interested either). But you see that people as unexperienced they are are usually willing to learn and do it. They learn by mistakes and don't make them again the next time.

Every now and then my sister comes up to me and tells me that her printer doesn't work. Hell it's even easier for me as Administrator and even as long years of Linux user to fix her 1 second problem with the printer on Windows rather than on Linux. Windows is dead simple but yet full of configuration stuff. People not interested in config stuff won't fiddle with the things either.

Even cars, videorecorders, cellphones, pda's, dvd burners, mp3 players are getting more features and things. And when I see people talking about technical stuff they usually go for the things with many options because they think it's correct with their price.

Anyways you should clearly read my comments. All the options, icons and much menu entries you can IGNORE since these are things you can easily CHANGE. Changing all the stuff in KDE is far easier than fixing the broken Framework in GNOME.

> Yes people are willing to learn, but they are more worried
> aboyt getting their work done as fast as posible, less
> clicks, less options, just do what they need.

Ok and what WORK do these people get done with GNOME they can not get done with KDE ?

For my knowledge they can get the same work done with KDE as they would get done with GNOME. So far we hopefully agree.

Now let's get a look beyond the tunnel (having a tunnelview is kinda pointless here).

Say that person wants to get REAL work done. Say he or she want's to do some astrological stuff. Where will he get the software to get the work done ? GNOME doesn't offer such a software so he or she can't even start to work.

Say people come in #gnome every day complaining there is no CD burning application like K3b now how can they get their work done if the application is missing ?

Say people want to do presentation stuff like PowerPoint, where is the application on GNOME so these people can get the work done ?.

Say people want to do 3D stuff for their mechanical course, where do they get the application for GNOME ?

Say people want to do UML for their university course, where do they get that program for GNOME ? DIA ? Hell I am a practical example here that DIA is unusable to do a shite.

Now where is the software on GNOME to get exactly that work done ?. Looking over to KDE the software is existing already.

Ok I am not blaming GNOME for not having all this. NO. But I wanted to make you understand that a good Framework is required to guarantee rapid application development. Rapid application development means that the users do not need to wait 2 years until they get the work done, since they already have the software today to get the work done. And this software is in a way to be improved. They have no problems changing huge parts of their Code to fit the fixed Framework since the Framework on KDE is already in a very good condition. The developers concentrate on the fun stuff improving and echancing their applications rather than fixing stuff or get their app understanding the new changed API.

You know, a good Framework means that you can quickly develop programs. Programs that people can use to get serious work done.

I always wished GNOME would have such a great development Framework like KDE has but it sadly hasn't and this is what I like people to understand. There is no point blaming one desktop and favoriting another one just for the Icons of for the Themes (as this editorial shows) it matters more that we have a good framework for the future and guarantee that apps are being written in masses.

This is all I wanted to say, nothing more, nothing less. If you are not willing to understand this (or not able to understand either due to limited knowledge) then this is your problem not mine. I took quite a lot of time to explain these things to you. By now everyone else reading this should have understood the points.

Let me give you a view examples of what I think of being a broken framework:

a) When I implment new features but do it just half. Adding GStreamer to GNOME for example which is indeed a nice thing but adding it only to half of the apps and skipping the others is a bug.

b) Fixing half of the stuff in apps. Say you committ a patch that fixes 2 dialogs in Nautilus but leaves the others as they were 2 years before is imo a bug. Makes using the app become, well ugly.

c) Offering multiple ways to open a Window in GNOME is a bug. GTK+, GnomeUI, BonoboUI. This leads to inconsistency and total clutter.

d) Writing a new Fileselector but have the default apps use a mixture of old and New Fileselectors is imo a bug. By the way why should a developer waste time fixing all old and new Filedialogs ? If the stuff is properly written then you simply inherit the new Fileselector without noticing it. It's simply there. Here is a proof that not everything in GNOME 2.0 is re-written. Much of the stuff is simply ported from 1.x.

e) When copying files via Nautilus (say ftp.gnome.org) and you copy a subdir which includes MORE directories and files from that FTP to your Desktop and you get stuff like

(copying file 98 of 23)

Or get 0byte files copied from that FTP to your Desktop then this is a bug.

f) Gnomifying OpenOffice is an even bigger bug. The entire OpenOffice framework is based on the Staroffice Foundation Class (Their own Widgetset). Gnomifying all this is simply an idiotic task and leads to fragmentation in the code. Again they will do this work only hal. Only what you see will be changed not the rest. So the result is a mixture of old code and new changed User Experience.

g) Hardcoded UI is a bug (at least under GNOME), it leads no space for UI designers to fix all the stuff without code skills. Where should they start ? In the Hardcoded stuff ? In the *.glade stuff ? In the .xml stuff ?

h) Having all apps do their own bookmarks system is a bug, There is no central bookmarks solution. Same for Addressbooks etc.

i) When I call out for a bounty and have people called up to 'tweak and fiddle' Evolution support into the Panel Callendar then this is a bug and not a feature. A feature would be if I changed the Callendar Object so when I inherit it into other applications that all these apps will benefit from the Evolution support and not just one.

----
And yes what you write is indeed also a big problem (at least your text is partially right). A lot of undocumented API changes. A lot of undocumented changes itself.

E.g. I wrote a little Application which uses a GtkCombo I was in the assumption to use a good API from GTK and then one day they changed the Widget and marked this one DEPRECATED and this in a new App that I wrote.

The changes are quite huge and I feel quite frustrated having this one changed to adopt the new Widgets. It's not just trivial changes these changes I have to do are quite huge and will take me a couple of days. The days I usually have to stay motivated to do the work. Now instead of improving my application I need to fiddle around to remove the old stuff, go through 10 source files and remove the stuff. Not to mention that I also need to re-write huge chunks of code only to fix the stuff.

While the old GtkCombo allowed me to simply attach a GList to it (my 'History' function is based on a GList which contains 5 Listentries which have Data applied) I now need to create an entire TreeModell again and populate that Tree with these values.

What I do here is changing a well thought interface (which I spent hours to figure out before) into a new interface and what I do is tweak and fiddle the stuff in a way to make it fit there. Which then leaves other parts of my code get slightly unoptimal as I used to have in mind before.

Why so frustrated and why attacking my person ? Do you fear that I could be right and you not ? Your reply is far to ridiculous and only a try to publicly destroy my creditibility rather than a sign of willing to accept the critics as I write them (since they are right) and start discussion with the community and have these problems solved. People like you are more up to attack those who bring up constructive criticism and feedback rather than true willing to change the true things.

> What are you actually trying to say. Does every
> application need to add GStreamer? Why don't you specify
> precisely what features are not implemented and state
> where GNOME has stated officially or unofficially not to
> implement it.

Not every application needs to embedd GStreamer that's pure rubbish. But the audio stuff should and should do that correctly. Right now in GNOME we deal with direct Xine calls and GStreamer calls. Developer have been chosing Xine in many tools (Totem and Rhythmbox) due to stability reasons because GStreamer still is unfinished, no stable API and no general stability. They do still offer the posibility to include the GStreamer stuff but what benefits does it give when it locks up during playback or simply doesn't play back at all. Go and get a look in the code yourself id you don't trust my words. Let's continue with the new GMixer, it was hyped that it now supports the GStreamer stuff but yet it doesn't. When I select 'alsasink' in GConf-Editor then I would like to be able to Mix the alsa stuff and not get a dialog that the sound devices an not be found. The reason why it can not be found is it still expects the OSS emulation in Alsa to be active so it just mixes the OSS part of alsa but not the native part. I thought it uses GStreamer here, so I do assume it to use the right sinks and right devices to Mix. Just one example.

> Still short on specifics. If you are such a great software
> developer and you claim to have been working for GNOME but
> yet you have not been able to solve even one of the
> problems you whine about years on end.

The problem here is you can't simply sent in bugfixes or patches when your innerst tells you that this is plain wrong and needs to be re-done correctly. See it like a house where you continue glueing stuff into it. A bit here, a bit there a bit in another place and you see how the stuff you are doing makes no sense but yet you continue because you can't convince the other owners that it would be better to trash the entire house and start from scratch.

> Where are all the bug reports you have filed? Where are
> all the patches you are submitted that the GNOME 'people'
> have refused to commit. Please give us more facts, and
> soon.

They are either on bugzilla.gnome.org or made their way in the Applications in case they got accepted. I know you are trying to pick here but you won't be successful. For further information you can look into ChangeLogs. But this isn't your point at all, you will reply and tell me that you wasn't able to find a shit (many others have tried this before). I think you should get out of your tunnelview and your evangelism here and start looking into the real problems. Guess why there aren't any changes in GNOME because people and developers fear to do these changes or raise constructive criticism because it ends in things like this. Ignorance, Elitism, Tunnelview and even worse Namecalling.

> How about you give an example of the clutter that this
> causes. Are you complaining that GTK+ has only one way to
> open a window, or that GnomeUI has only one way to open a
> window or that GTK, GnomeUI and BonoboUI altogether have
> three ways to open a window?

The problem here is interoperability with the rest of GNOME. Try opening a couple of applications on your GNOME desktop. Say one program written using GnomeUI, one written in GTK+ one written in BonoboUI. Now go to:

Desktop-Preferences -> Menus&Toolbars

And fiddle around with the values there. You will see that some programs imidiately change the Toolbar and Menu behaviour, some not, some change their appearance after they got opened and closed and some even do not react on these settings at all. Just one example only to satisfy your questions here.

Technically they are a pain to maintain too. Specially for UI people, those who go from app to app fixing all the paddings, Layout of buttons and widgets etc. There is a big difference if you use one GUI designer or one system to change all this or need to learn 3-4 different but common used ways to change all this.

It is problematic having hardcoded UI in the code (which requires that an UI expert needs to learn to programm to solve these things) or if you use GLADE (which can create *.glade files or simply embeddable code) or if you use BonoboUI with it's *.xml files. They are all totally differently, different attributes, different behaviour etc. And yet I do see people using all these things in their own apps over and over again. Sure core developers may use the correct way for their upcoming products but not the new developers who start working on their apps. They use GLADE to build the interface but forget or don't know that GLADE isn't aware of all the new DEPRECATED widgets or new widgets that have been introduced lately. Go and look yourself.

> just tells me that you don't know or understand sh*t about
> things in GNOME as you claim all the time. It also brings
> doubt your claimed knowledge about software development
> because I don't need to remind you of what happens during
> API changes such as the one going on in the FileSelector.

No I was more demonstrating how good the KDE framework for these kind of things are. They change the Object Fileselector one time (regardless what changes they do) and it's automatically inherit into other apps. While in GNOME they now offer 2 Fileselectors the old and the new one. Different API is a problem here but this is a sign that the stuff is simply an artifact from GTK 1 and GNOME 1 times. If it was a total rewrite as you want to make me believe then this would have been introduced far earlier.

What I also speak about is the consistent look of these Fileselectors. The new Fileselector now offers this stupid 'expander' widget where you first get a locationbar (at least some apps show this) and then need to press the expander to get the rest of the files shown. To much magic and to much 'usability experts' have made a huge mess once again for a simply shitty fileselector. Jesus we use Fileselectors of 20 years and longer they do what the name says showing files and directories where we can simply dive in and do the task. No magic techno stuff that yet requires 3 mouseclicks to actually do what I want.

> This one and all the rest of your 'examples' are just too
> funny. You have just gone to 'bugzilla' and copied things
> over.

No I didn't copied them but it's ok for me that you confirm these problems to exist. Now we have GNOME 2.6 in a couple of days and these problems are still there since GNOME 2.0 or even earlier who actually knows. You seriously want to go enterprise with these problems ? And when will they get fixed ? Is it even possible to fix these issues ?

> Unless you can show an official or unofficial policy
> from GNOME not to fix these issues, they are moot. Just
> because they are not fixed when you want does not make the
> framework broken.

As long these things are not fixed and even unknown whether they can be fixed at all - yes I do have the tendency to say that these things are broken. People who write a FTP client for GNOME use an alternative library to do these things since they can not reliably use the ones offered in the GNOME framework due to these errors. People writing a Webbrowser for example can't use the HTTP backend of gnome-vfs due it not to work reliable not doing redirections for URL's etc. Sure there are always bugs in such projects. I am the last person admitting that there aren't bugs. Every bigger project has a lot of them and this is natural and just the way it is.

But here are the fundamental problems I do see in GNOME. They spent to much time rewriting stuff over and over again and want to do everything the right way (excuse me, there isn't something as the right way, there is just one way and another way but the right way doesn't exist). You need to finish a project and then head over to the other one and make sure that with increasing version of GNOME that the stuff you offer to the people is less painful and usable.

Nautilus used to show signals of becoming a well not as crappy Filemanager as it used to be and now it has been changed into a Spatial Filemanager. This is a drastical change for the Users. While they have done such drastical changes in the behavior of Nautilus they forget to fix the other things due to lack of resources. Imo it would have been better fixing gnome-vfs and all the other tiny bits and bytes rather than re-writing stuff that has been written before and has shown signal that they work. This is going over and over in GNOME and still no sign or signal where we as users can see (look here the evolution of the software is finished, we can have it stay that way and lets continue working on other bits). No they are busy throwing over concepts and re-write them over and over again. And all the developers outside who work on their own software need to play catchup to have their app following the new changes. Instead doing the funstuff to continue improving their app they stick into all these messy changes.

And hey, this is just my very own opinion. That's why I do fullheartly welcome the Quality and Assurance team in KDE. They will clearly signal the developers 'hey what are you doing now ?'.

> I'm sure I'm not the only one tired of seeing all these
> verbose spillage of fud from you every time a GNOME
> article shows up.

Whatever you think. There are people outside who agree with me there are people outside who agree with you. That's life but I do see a reason here to make people understand these things before writing editorials like these. A good solid framework and nice applications are important.

If people come over and over again with their counted Applications they like to use and others come over with the same old junk over and over. The same way I come over with the same stuff to make people understand the problems here.

GNOME has copied a lot of stuff from MacOSX and Windows in the past months and years. Sadly the wrong bits were copied.

A last thing to add from my side that people do not think about. KDE already offers all these things already. Two years ago when I used KDE 3.x I already noticed a lot of stuff in KDE that were missing and still are missing in GNOME.

I do know that one day someone will fix the broken gnome-vfs. But when ? As long as these things are not working properly people use other libraries to solve the solutions they need to solve. GNOME may (or may not) get all these things one day. Say in 2 years by now. But KDE had exactly all these things 2 years ago already. There is a development difference of 4 years between both Desktop solutions. While GNOME is catching up to what KDE offered 2 years ago KDE continues to quickly expand in all areas and the applications it offers are growing as well and new applications can easily be developed in a short timeframe.

These things you should take into account to when doing such editorials. Not just looking at fancy icons and compare two screenshots. I would say the same things about GNOME if GNOME were in the position to be much enchanced over KDE. Although even KDE is lacking a bunch of things that I would see more improved.

- Split out applications in own Modules like in GNOME rather than having all put into kdelibs, kdebase, kdeutils etc.
- More clean layout of includes in the includes directory like GNOME does (by default and not per distro excuse during install).
- Make sure the .po files come with the module rather than a separate huge translated tarball.

I here again do like the way GNOME does it. As you see neither of both are perfect.

He sure looks young (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | about 10 years ago | (#8866298)

Nat Friedman: Part of that question is about our expectations around the next 12 months. Linux on the desktop is in an early, very early stage. I've lived in this world for six or seven years . . .

Yeah, that sounds about right.

No ... (1)

boarder8925 (714555) | about 10 years ago | (#8866301)

And by the way, both Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza's April 12th blog entry have a picture of Miguel and Nat dancing with David Vaskevitch, CTO of Microsoft. Now that's something you don't get to see everyday!
No, it's something I don't
want to see every day!

I take that back. It's something I don't want to see at all!

Making a company standard desktop (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 10 years ago | (#8866316)

In a lot of well set up places you have desktops set up to follow guidelines - like everyone has a dozen different icons that launch ssh on a dozen different machines, then the icon to mozilla next to that etc. One place desktops like gnome and KDE could be improved is if there was a simple way to copy the configuration of one user on one machine to another user on another machine. For instance on gnome, if you copy the files over you don't get anything useful, and the documentaion the subject is dismal. The assumption that each user will customise their desktop doesn't hold - they expect something usable the first time they sit in front of their screen. Being able to take the environment the another user with the same tasks has tweaked over months would be a huge advantage. Fvwm could be treated that way, but gnome has weird uncommented configuration files named after the three stooges (look if you don't believe me). Gnome may be intent on replacing the look and feel of MS Windows, but heading towards something as arcane and tempremental as the MS Windows registry is going too far.

Interest or hope? (3, Insightful)

LenE (29922) | about 10 years ago | (#8866326)

With ever increasing Windows problems, it may be more of a hope for Linux Desktops to finally be useable enough for enterprise users, rather than genuine interest. How many non-geeks even know what the various linux desktop systems are, besides not Windows. Linux geeks know that Linux is the kernel, and nothing more, so what desktop is the Linux Desktop?

Today's Linux desktops fall over themselves trying to act similar to Windows, while having the unfortunate problem of not being even as consistent as Windows. This problem is rooted in the whole X11+Gnome+GTK+KDE+Qt+Ximian+Lestif+kitchen sink quagmire that is required to supply the pieces of this quite disjointed user experience.

In my not so humble opinion, the interest for the Linux desktop is the hope of Microsoft liberation, without scrapping existing hardware. This is quite silly, as the cost of the disruption in retraining all of the users, will far outweigh the cost of either switching to a useable, coherent UNIX desktop like Mac OS X, or staying on the MS Treadmill. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix here, as the bazaar is not willing to collaborate on a unified, coherent Linux Desktop.

-- Len
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