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Eazel Come, Eazel Go?

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

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

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

    IT'S A FILE MANAGER. see? see how stupid that sounds?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Tell me something.
    Instead of the way things went, what would have happened if Trolltech was bought out by MS, and Qt suddenly became off-limits overnight?
    The KDE team would had to have rewritten Qt from the ground up (which there at one point was a project for called Harmony, but KDE refused to switch over to it when it became usable because it didn't offer identical features to Qt).

    The viewpoint of the KDE team was always "we'll cross that bridge when we get there". But in some situations it is just too costly to cross that bridge, and the project dies out. If AT&T hadn't messed with UNIX as it did, Windows NT could very well never have even existed, because Microsoft would have stayed out of a marketplace with such a dominant, free, OS spanning the crown. But instead everybody knows what happened, and now BSD is only a shadow of what it could have been, and linux, which WAS written from the ground up, leads the pack.

    The point is, as soon as you introduce something non-Free into a Free project it becomes tainted. From there on out the future of your project is out of your hands, no matter what features you add. And the only thing you can hope for is for the non-Free thing to become Free, as with Qt. KDE got lucky, really lucky, and that they, and the KDE fans, won't admit to that is ignoring the truth.

    Having said all that, it is one hell of a desktop, and having seen the latest version in action yesterday I might just start running it myself. But I was vehemantly anti-KDE as long as Qt wasn't GPL. And so, as the original author, I still don't trust the KDE leadership.
    But that's not important anymore, because I don't trust the GNOME leadership anymore either. Even though the GNOME codebase itself has never went through a KDE/Qt-like debacle, the GNOME leadership is mired in political and commercial movements. There's nothing wrong with making money, but somehow I get the gut feeling GNOME isn't following the direction best for the users (looking at Nautilus and all...)

    I guess we can learn a very simple thing from this: no matter what the theatre is, there will always be a show to watch, and someone to boo at.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    >KDE has spent a great deal of time building a GUI desktop suite with little to no corporate involvement

    Are you HIGH?
    KDE is a DEMO for Troll Tech. Why do you think people didn't take them at their face value, when they were brazenly trumpeting their "misunderstanding" of the GPL?

    Unlike many of the die-hard GPL folks, I don't object to proprietary stuff on Linux. In fact, I buy lots of it (Q3, VMware, Might and Magic, Photogenics...).

    What I *do* object to is a private company gaining strong leverage of Linux... be it in the kernel (as most would object to) or in the desktop (as some/many would object to).

    Remember, Microsoft started with just a DOS. You'd have to have your head in the sand to not see the Microsoft emails where they conspired to "fix" Microsoft apps (including Windows) so they would fault under DR-DOS.

    Maybe Troll Tech wouldn't stoop to such things, but maybe they would. They are a for-profit corporation, and have a legal obligation to their shareholders to generate profit by any means possible. Multinational corporations control ENOUGH of our private lives.. why cheer our conceeding yet one more freedom?

    Remember, the largest faction of KDE developers are on the Troll Tech payroll. Remember the Harmony project... the KDE developers told them that even if Harmony was a plug-in substitute for Qt, and it was better by being thread-safe... they STILL wouldn't use it.

    I write crossplatform apps in Python. Every time I curse Tk, I also curse Troll Tech because I can't develop GPL software using Qt, if that software may be used on Windows (don't give me bunk about it's because Windows isn't free... Solaris isn't free either!)

    Personally, I wish TT would make Qt totall GPL (all platforms), maybe keeping the very latest stuff under the QPL on Windows. I don't need the fancy stuff in the latest Qt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:32PM (#228552)
    When a company announces it's "doing something for Linux," ....everyone is excited. But when that company fails...damn...the dogs come out... Indrema. When this thing started, I could only read good things about an open source game console. When it failed, the hindsight kicked in. All I read about was the "I knew it would fail" messages. Eazel. Everyone on Slashdot (save the KDE goons) loved it. Now that there is word of closure, the hounds circle again. My bet we'll be seeing Loki bashing again shortly... No need for flames, just an observation... Oh yeah, to appease the Slashdot people - M$ sucks!
  • excuse me, but would you mind taking a look at Ximian business plan? then compare it to reality?

    Sure, they got $15 million from investments, but they only recently got CEO, so I assume they burned lots of money without almost getting any money in - those really great booths in Linux World, the stuffed monkeys that they gave, T-shirts, etc - do costs lots of money you know..

    So go look at CNet report about Eazel - they tried to get some money from Sun, who, in returned kicked a polite "NO" back to Eazel. Why do you think that Sun will give money to Ximian if they'll be on the red bar in the financial terms (and they will if they won't start pulling their heads out of their butt and start charging for services like Red Carpet etc)..

    If my calculations are correct (based on things I hear from people close and in Ximian) - unless they start making money NOW - they won't be existing in the next 4-5 months..
  • I don't think you'll get GNOME developers to move to KDE. Remember...

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

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

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

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

    Disclaimer: I'm a KDE user myself, even after playing with Ximian. But I love Gnumeric!
  • The issue with the Qt license was that it is incompatible with the GPL, but was being used to adapt GPLd applications to the KDE desktop. This violated the terms of licensing of the GPLd software in question. I believe you've misstated the objection -- it wasn't against Qt-GPL but against Qt-QPL.

    While the LGPL allows use in proprietary software, it is also compatible with the GPL.

    The issue was license compliance, not status, per se. If people start making a general practice of flauting the terms of the GPL, there's a problem.

    What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?

  • Damn straight. I can barely code, compared to a lot of people, but I wrote software [airwindows.com] to do high-quality dithering from 24 bit to 16 bit for CD mastering. Plus, I've added a lot of tweaks to it- and I kluged together AIFF reading routines, came up with several groundbreaking dither algorithms based on quadratic and primitive root residues, and made it GPLed in hopes other audio hackers can use the code.

    You can't bitch about not having code because other people don't really owe you anything. I develop 'Mastering Tools' at my own pace to suit my own needs. The point is, through _developing_ free software I make it possible for other people to develop other things, offshoots in which the hard work is done. I don't think anyone without a mastering-grade studio could have tuned the dithers I've written- you need specialised monitoring to do that. But now anyone can make a simple little app that just sticks a different GUI on it, or uses some of the dither routines for, say, a game in which it's important that distant footsteps _sound_ distant, in which depth cues are actually well handled instead of sound blaster crap. This is the way the world works- or should work.

    And if nobody re-uses my GPLed routines, that's fine too- I wrote them for _me_ and have already got my investment in time back many times over, in the effectiveness and quality of my new CD mastering processes.

  • meanwhile other KDE developers worked on a free Qt version
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but as I remember it the main KDE developers didn't help with the free Qt (Harmony), and even worse, they wouldn't commit to using it even when it was finished. If they had actually backed Harmony I don't think Gnome would have existed.

    That was when I saw that the KDE people not only were willing to make serious compromises to expediate their goals, but weren't really committed to Free Software or doing the right thing.

    And if it wasn't for Harmony and Gnome and Debian, Qt never would have had its foundation, the QPL, or eventually the GPL. Those things didn't happen because of pressure from KDE developers, they happened because of pressure from the (idealistic and uncompromising) Free Software community.

  • by dangermouse (2242) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @01:17AM (#228563) Homepage
    I'm fairly sick of seeing posts from "average users" who have decided to descend from on high and enlighten the "geeks" as to what it is they need. So I'm going to postpone sleep for a few minutes and address those posts, which go something like this:

    I'm a Typical User, and what you geeks just don't get is that we Typical Users don't care about our OS or our window manager. All we're interested in is whether the applications we need exist and help us do our jobs more efficiently.

    Yeah, we know.

    We get it. You only care about the apps. Freaking great. You know what? You still need an OS, and you still need a GUI. In fact, you need an OS and a decent GUI/toolkit before you can seriously even consider writing applications.

    Well, we've got the OS part more or less licked, but it's an interesting realm for us "geeks", so we're going to continue to work on it, continue to talk about it in our little net-centric communities, and maybe even continue to recommend that you Typical Users use a decent OS. The GUI is also interesting, it's shiny, and it's where a lot of development is happening now... so we're going to work on it and talk about it and maybe even recommend a good one of those to you as well. Get over it.

    We know you need applications. We need them, too, because we aren't all full-time "geeks". So don't feel the need to interject into every OS or GUI discussion with some crap about applications, and don't pretend as if we're just too stupid to realize you need them. It's irritating and repetitious beyond belief.

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

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

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

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

    In short if Gnome was to disappear it wouldn't make QT a monopoly. An advantage perhaps but not a monopoly.
  • by Squid (3420) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @02:01AM (#228570) Homepage
    Be failed because Jean-Louis Gassee didn't WANT to succeed. Read through the Be Newsletters - you can actually WATCH him backpedaling from every success! Every time BeOS came close to being a big hit on any platform, he throttled back - when the BeBox was selling decently well he canned it, when BeOS on Power Mac was popular he committed to an x86-only strategy (and denied he was on such a strategy for two years while making up brain-dead excuses for not porting to the G3), when BeOS PE was a runaway success he decided to refocus the company on "internet appliances". On one hand he'd offer BeOS x86 FREE to any PC vendor willing to preinstall it, and at the same time turned down PPC system vendor Pios (now Metabox) when they wanted to license it (for money) and even offered do the port details themselves! Hell, just COMPARING what JLG said in a newsletter to what the company actually did six months later should be an eye opener - assuming the newsletters are even still available online (somewhere at be.com I'd guess - frankly, I'm too livid at JLG's handling of it all to even visit the site to check!).

    As to BeOS running what people wanted or needed to run, the apps would have come, had Jean-Louis not blown it. I still don't know what he did to piss off Adobe, but one week they were porting Photoshop to it, and the next they weren't.

    BeOS wouldn't have needed to run EVERYTHING - just enough to establish a base. As a dual-boot toy it was beginning to catch on. As a dual-boot work environment with a reasonable spread of applications and SOME amount of file-format compatibility, I think it would have started raking in market share. Indeed, if it had been allowed to actually become what JLG originally said he wanted - a content-creation system, with at least one each of paint programs, 3D modelers, video editors, and music programs - it wouldn't have NEEDED to run Microsoft Word, it would have found its own niche replacing Amigas in multimedia shops and TV studios. (Especially back two years ago when there WERE still Amigas in TV studios.) Instead it never became much more than a proof of concept, and once the company goes away, the source code will probably go down with it.
  • You're very eloquent, but that doesn't mean you're not speaking nonsense. Like it or not, the learning curve is part of what makes us productive--or fails to make us so.

    Could I use Emacs or vim as a word processor? Absolutely. But sit down two people who had a 'secretary-level' competence with computers, one in front of Emacs or vim--your choice--and the other in front of any good GUI word processor (or even most DOS word processora), and tell them to transcribe a standard, one-page business letter, block letter format, and print it. A standard 12-point Times Roman font.

    This is a ten-to-fifteen minute process for most people in that situation with the GUI program, based on my experience watching customers at Kinko's a few years back. Now, how are you going to do that in Emacs? Remember, you have to set a font and print this. You need a print formatter! Let's teach the secretary LaTeX or groff. That'll go quickly.

    You may think this is a silly example, but it's a real-world example. If we change things to a complex document, the GUI tools don't necessarily start falling behind, either. I'll do a full-page magazine ad layout--headline, line art, text that flows around that line art, that sort of thing--in Quark Xpress, a program I've used for about 10 minutes. You use whatever non-GUI tools you're an expert in. Mine will be finished and printed before yours. Guaranteed. There are things TeX does better than Quark, sure, but there are things Quark does better than TeX. This isn't GUI snobbery, it's reality.

    I'm often a Unix nerd myself, but I've used enough GUIs to not have a knee-jerk reaction to them. Ease of use often does help people to be more productive. Don't knock it until you've tried it.

  • Actually, they can do it with gnome, because the gnome libraries are mostly LGPL, which allows proprietary programs.
  • Actually, Ximian _is_ making money. HP (and Sun, I think) are paying them to give their hardware first-class ports of GNOME. Why? Because it makes their hardware more valuable.

    Ximian does have an income flow. However, I don't believe it is currently at a level that makes it profitable. But at least they do have income, and plans on how to make more.
  • It didn't lack consideration. They, like many companies, planned on having a second round of funding. That was a part of the plan. The dot-com bust prevented that second round. It happens. It's not the way I would run a business, but it's probably on better footing than a lot of other businesses in the last few years.
  • Just wanted to point out that even ESR doesn't envision a business plan where open-source software development itself is the core business. All the models in his essay are for companies that use the software in their real business, or that use it to add value to support, hardware, proprietary software, trademarks, content, t-shirts, etc. So maybe future businesses should take heed of this and work on their actual profit center first.

    As we know, however, Eazel went into business developing open-source software because it was a useful buzzword to raise capital with. Nothing wrong with that, really. Like Super Chicken would say, they knew the job was dangerous when they took it.

  • by paul.dunne (5922)
    OK, so no more Eazel. Maybe now IBM will finally wise up and implement a version of OS/2's Workplace Shell for Linux. It's hard to believe: I was using this superior GUI in 1994, and 7 years later everyone is still enthusing about the possibilities of making Linux into a "like Windows only not as good" system.
  • To me that just says they're naive. Look at the history of BSD if you want to know why trusting someone who could negatively affect your work is a bad thing.

    No, it's naive to trust everything and everyone. It's paranoia to trust noone at all, ever.

    It's perfectly normal to trust a few, based on the situation, which is what the KDE team did.

    Besides, alienating yourself from people who you distrust is not the way to go. Had everyone who distrusted the Trolls worked on the free Qt replacement (Harmony) instead of GNOME, we would have had one desktop now and less flamewars.

  • by Rob Kaper (5960) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @02:27AM (#228582) Homepage
    But it was just wrong for KDE to pick the poisoned apple no matter how tempting, and the fact they still don't seem to understand why is a problem.

    That, or you could admit that the trust the KDE team placed in Trolltech was just.

    • On June 22, 1998 they KDE and Trolltech created a foundation to ensure Trolltech couldn't lock Qt away
    • meanwhile other KDE developers worked on a free Qt version
    • Quite a few KDE developers work for Trolltech (some at key positions) so the relationship is quite good and there is a good understanding within the Trolls of the needs of KDE
    • Trolltech developed the QPL almost specifically because of KDE issues
    • Trolltech released Qt under the GPL, again to benefit KDE

    Over the course of 5 years (1997-2001), Trolltech has never had the intention to screw up KDE or free software. Trolltech always accepted patches and even gave official permission for some alternate distributions.

    The KDE team trusted the Trolls. I can understand why you were wary of KDE for doing so, but in the end it looks to me like that trust was just well-placed.

  • Compiling GNOME takes about 90 minutes on hardware I bought six months ago, including Nautilus and Gnumeric. I'm not sure where this two days business came from. I think my Multia could compile GNOME in 2 days. You are also ignoring that you don't always have to compile from scratch. A major part of the compile time is gtk+ and gnome-libs, but these come out with relative infrequency.

    Anyway it isn't as if you have to just look at your xterm while it compiles. Just run a compile script and get on with your life.

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

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

    --
  • by FFFish (7567) on Friday May 11, 2001 @11:10PM (#228586) Homepage
    Daft buggers, all of you.

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

    What matters is what the majority of end users prefer.

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

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

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

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

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


    --
  • by Servo (9177)
    I think you hit the nail on the head here, the MARKETING people came buzzing. Marketing Departments are the root of all evil in today's economy. They try to sell things that they do not understand, and give false hopes all the way around.

    I just had a revelation. Somewhat offtopic, but, does anybody realize that in order to have free software, we must have proprietary software? Somebody somewhere has to pay these programmers, or they'll starve to death. If you are going to live in a capitalist society (which most of us don't really have a choice), then you gotta do SOMETHING to make money to survive.
  • by landley (9786) on Friday May 11, 2001 @10:29PM (#228591) Homepage
    The problem is a lot of people don't trust the KDE team's judgement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rob

  • Big Projects take a large amount of time to become stable, and also to become mature.

    Based on the code size, a project I shipped of the same approximate size and complexity took four coders a year (three person years really) -- approximately, with overhead and marketing $1mil. Double that for Silicon Valley and double it again to be generous and that's still only 40% of what Eazel spent.

    _Deirdre

  • Well, some of us have been through more than one recession in the industry. I was told by a recruiter the other day that coders with 2-3 years experience were still trying to bill $100 an hour as Java people -- and not getting any work. One wonders why. ::cough::

    There will be boom-and-bust cycles with "the next best thing" (a few years ago, it was biotech) but, by the time they become hyped, it's almost always too late to start one. Look at the Linux companies doing well: they were all around *before* Linux became a household buzzword.

    And, really, I didn't say anything bad. The way the whole venture capital thing works is very simple: they invest in you because they expect to get their money back -- plus some extra. Then they take that and invest it somewhere else. And so on. It's like the classic "don't break the chain" chain letter thing -- and Eazel broke the chain.

    _Deirdre

  • Actually, It was not all that big # of coders-wise

    Oh? Let's see:

    First version of Aldus Persuasion: written by one person. First version of PageMaker: written by two people. First version of Internet Explorer for the Mac: written by four contractors. The original Macintosh Finder? Written by four people. OmniWeb, a great web browser? Written by two people -- part-time.

    It's only when you get to feature bloat that you need a lot of coders.

    The commercial apps I've worked on and shipped were all written between one and four people.

    I *know* Eazel had more coders than that.

    The question remains: how many QA staff did they have? Afaik, zero.

    What the smart venture capitalist might now be saying is: if it costs a couple mil to launch a proprietary app AND its sales will produce some sort of revenue stream, and our experience with open source shows that it costs more and we don't have the revenue stream, maybe we should invest in proprietary software companies instead.

    I suggest that anyone else considering getting funding for their company seriously consider how they will make revenue rather than burn this bridge for everyone.

    _Deirdre

  • by deeny (10239) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @04:35PM (#228595) Homepage
    What Eazel really did was dry up venture capital for Linux software businesses in the future that might *have* a viable revenue model. So, while there's a rough version of Nautilus out there (on the basis of a proposed revenue stream on *another* product that wasn't designed or implemented), that development was funded by people who wanted their money back.

    So, for those people who think it's "cool" that Eazel "gave" Nautilus to the Linux community, realize that they did so solely and only to buy your trust -- and they bought it with other people's money.

    Money that, had it not been blown on the biggest self-indulgent hackfest in the open source community's history, might fund your job next year or two years hence. But now it won't.

    _Deirdre

  • My point is that saying "project XYZ is dead stop hacking on it" is detrimental to everybody. First it won't bring the hackers from XYZ into another project (well I doubt it !) so others won't benefit from it, and second asking to stop a project also mean that another project won't benefit from the code which could have been generated would the authors have continued working on it.

    It's very hard to tell in advance what within a large set of code would survive in the long term. The same kind of arguments have been done when linux started ("use BSD instead" , or "improve Minix" were similar messages one was getting in 92-94).

    My point is really that any message calling to stop working on a free software project is unlikely to bring anything good as a result.

    I would far prefer hearing messages about reuse of code and cooperation/exchanges between projects (and not just between KDE and Gnome) than what I have heard in the original message.

    Daniel Veillard

  • by DV (10611) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @06:36AM (#228597) Homepage

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

    Hum, I appreciate this SOOOOO MUCH

    After all I coded 95% of the XML and XSLT Gnome libraries. And who's using them now ? I'm all about reuse, I like it, but I hate your attitude.

    Let's face it, I appreciate working with the KDE guys involved in the reuse. But I'm fucking tired of hearing this kind of stupid rants.

    Yes I'm part of the Gnome fundation, mind you I was elected, and we all collectively believe in this project. Go code on your side, but don't come to piss people off on public fora.

    Daniel Veillard

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

    ---
  • Way back when everyone used CDE, mwm, and Motif widgets for all their desktop applications. That was back in the days though. Motif for a long time wasn't open so all the free Unix distros and whatnot said hey we'll do our own thing. For the same reason they dropped CDE. Of course with the free software folk everyone had to use something different. Now you've got people writing shit for half a dozen different desktop libraries and communication schemas. Maybe if you'd been using the various commercial unicies years hence you would have had the common desktop you want.
  • Be was founded when? 1992? That puts its founding outside the era classified as the internet bubble by economists. They failed because they didn't market a superior product correctly. Windows98 wasn't popular for being a good product, it ran all the shit people wanted or needed to run. Had Be run all the shit people wanted or needed to run and let the world know it had that stuff it would be in a different position today. Conventional business models are not inherently superior to anything. Every business needs to sell their product to somebody in some form to survive. Your product can be service or goods but you need to create a demand and then meet that demand. Both Eazel and Be have failed to create and meet the needed demand.
  • The general phenomenon is called blaming the victim. True, this particular case is more complex (it always is). If you make what happened to them "fair" and "reasonable", then you feel safer. And people like to feel safer. They like it so much, that they ignore whether or not they actually are any safer.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • No, it didn't become a problem. It won't become a problem. But if it hadn't been fixed, if probably would have become a problem.

    Planning for the future requires "theoretical arguement". The future isn't here yet, and one doesn't know just what shape it will take. To minimize damage, one must take into account the possibilities, not just what one wants to have happen. And with the license as it was, QT could have forbid anyone else to develop it, and changed the license. That possibility needed to be avoided. That really was a strong threat to the community, even if it wasn't an immediate one. Proper steps were taken, and the threat was avoided, but calling it a silly argument shows, at best, lack of judgement.

    Please remember. QT is a business, subject to the pressures and legal constraints that businesses experience. If they ever went public they would be legally required to act in what they saw as their shareholders best interests. A change in management, and who can tell what decision would be made as to what those were. Nobody in this universe can tell, because in this universe, the GPL protects non-commercial use of the code (well, and commercial use, in a strange way, but that's beside its purpose). And this means that there are some decisions that they can't make.

    P.S.: I am very fond of the GPL and think it well founded legally, but under this doctrine espoused here, I am quite glad that there are a multiplicity of Open Source licenses. That way if one falls, everything is not lost.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • But in this situation the obvious choice would be MSVC and MFC platform considering the windows user share.

    Hmm,I know at least two (relativly big) companies which use QT on windows just because the think it's better than MFC.
    Portability was never an argument for them, just quality of the libs and ease of development.
  • Perhaps Eazel will not make it, which is truly a sad event. However the legacy can live on in its entirety. For instance Ximian can easily obtain the source, perhaps even some of the developers and continue the product line into their own.
  • This is true, however in the corporate mindset once a company goes under all the IP and work tends to go with it. In an open source business model this is not the case. It wasn't so much of a fundamental statement of who will support the source for Nautilus but more of a retort to what has been said throught the past few weeks (open source doesn't work, GPL doesn't work, etc. for business) and months from companies such as Microsoft.

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

    Once again it's licencing. You can't develop proprietary software with QT without paying Trolltech for a licence. With the central bits of both GNOME and GTK available under the LGPL rather than the GPL, GNOME and GTK are much more appealing to the existing big players in the Unix world who will want to continue to produce proprietary products, along with their open contributions.
  • "It was slow on my P3-500/256MB of RAM, and excruciatingly slow on my Dual P-Pro 200/96MB RAM machine"

    When did you try it last? The latest releases of Nautilus is pretty snappy on my Celeron 400/128MB. It actually starts just as fast as Konqueror from WindowMaker, which mean that neither has had the chance to preload their libraries.

    Nautilus 1.x was never intended to be a full feature web-browser, and if you don't need it to be a webbrowser, then don't USE IT AS SUCH. There is nobody stopping you from not installing nautilus-mozilla (the package that lets nautilus browse the web) at all.

    The giant "eazel"-throbber is just part of the theme. Switch theme!

    Btw, Nautilus DOES use GTK-themes. Look at the toolbar and at the dialogs. It just recognizes that the GTK-themes doesn't cover all the stuff that Nautilus needs to be good-looking.

    Font antialiasing could be better, but you can turn it off, and buy yourself some extra speed as well.

    There is plenty of good things about nautilus. It is a functional and intuitive file manager, much more so than gmc. It has good looks, it can preview text, sound and images. It even has the ability to eazily extend the functionality with scripting.

    It may not be revolutionary yet, but the design and idea behind it has an awesome amount of potential, if you'd ever care to check. It has the potential to provide a specialized view for all kinds of folders (like music, document or image-folders), and to put a much easier abstract layer above the Unix file-hiearchy.
    It has the potential to be the easiest to use of all desktop-managers ever.
  • The way of using specialized displays for different types of directories is rather revolutionary. It is currently only used for displaying mp3-directories like a playlist, but should be used for different types of directories later on. F.eks. having more image-functionality for image-directories.
  • When was the last time you saw one that easily let you keep notes, scan images, text files, and look pudry

    Why would anyone need a file manager that does these things? I thought a file manager was for managing files.

    That said, I think that Nautilus really aims to be more of a file browser than a file manager. By that I mean that it seems to be for looking around at stuff using as much eye candy as possible. Actually doing any sort of filesystem maintenance is really a hassle with nautilus, especially when you are dealing with lots of files and directories.

    Don't get me wrong, I like GNOME quite a bit, but I don't think nautilus is really a project that the community needs, at least not the long-term members of the community. Judging by discussions on Gnotices and the mailing lists, nautilus hasn't been very well received by the community. Maybe Nautilus will help out the newbies, but I think GNOME really needs a lightweight, highly functional file manager that still "looks purdy".


    --------------------------
    "Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
  • And those who compromise and tread on dubious ground have been faced, time after time after time after time, with all their work having the rug pulled out from under them. It's not about dogma, it is about experience with the reality of the buisness world. Functionality is important, but you have to be able to trust that the functionality will remain there in a decade or a century, otherwise the appearance of functionality is just a tempting mirage.
  • Why any company would think that they can break even, let alone make a profit, from software that, after they spent the time and money developing it, they would be forced to give away.

    If you can't charge money for your services you won't be able to provide those services for long. Non-profit entities that have actually managed to stick around learned that lesson a long time ago. Some seek public funding, others charge a nominal fees for their services. In either case it is known and understood that you've got to make money to spend that money to further your cause or achieve your goal.

    Why anyone with a lick of sense thought they could base a for-profit company off a model that won't even work for a non-profit firm is something I'll never understand.

    When are people going to realize that free as in speech doesn't necessarily have to mean free as in beer? If Easel has been able to create their own license, such that while anyone can use Easel for free, and anyone can do what they want with the source for free, anyone who wanted to bundle it for sale within a larger package would have to pay for the privilege. In other words when you bought a copy of RedHat, or Caldera, or you name it, part of the money you spent would be going to Easel to further finance their work.

    The inextricable binding of free speech to free beer is the surest way to introduce a free rider scenario that I've heard of in a long time.

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Ok, now I'm even more confused.

    RMS bitches about Qt-GPL, even though using it forces your program to be GPL.

    But he pushes GTK, which lets you write as much closed-source software as you want.

    Isn't closed-source software exactly what RMS is against.

    I think an apology is in order. :-)*
  • Y'know, I hated C++ until I started playing with Qt. By simply doing the tutorial and going through the class docs, I had an epiphany. I would no longer ever imagine doing something large in C. I saw exactly how C++ can be used in the real world to make large projects very easy to do.

    I have to thank Qt for teaching me that.

    Streams are still evil, though.
  • Whilst he was certainly critical of it prior to that I'm not aware of him making any complaints about it being under the GPL.


    He demanded an "apology" from everyone who used Qt, specifically, the KDE guys.

    He later realised that he was pushing it way too far and abandoned ranting about it.
  • I don't know why all the KDE marks want to claim Gnome will inevitably die because of this. Eazel made a decent product. Ximian's is still good. Not to mention that Gnome was around (and open sourced) long before Eazel, Ximian/Helixcode, or even the Gnome Foundation existed. Not to mention the fact that one of main players in the whole situation, Miguel de Icaza, helped work on Gnome for a long time before any of these organizations, and if they were to fold, I'm pretty sure he would continue to work on Gnome. Why would he give up on a project he's spent so much time on and which has blossomed into one of the better GUI's available and one of the best pieces of graphical software for linux. And if you want to involve yourself in petty kde vs gnome flame-wars, just go back and read the hall of fame article about kde vs gnome. I'm sure you'll find plenty of interesting comments there without wasting the time of people reading this thread. If you want to use KDE, then fine, its pretty good. But so is Gnome, and I'll continue using it as long as I think its a great product, which it is.
  • by PhiRatE (39645) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @07:38AM (#228648)
    I find this comment highly amusing. Your office suite makes you so productive? your GUI file managers and your bloated "word processors" and your pretty point-and-drool email clients make you productive?

    I utterly disagree.

    The only advantage to these shiny toys is the extremely low level of time needed to learn how to use them. Thats it, right there.

    For email productivity, watch a "hacker geek" use mutt, for editing, vi or emacs or joe, for file management, a command-line, the find command, for statistics and analysis, perl, gnuplot, whatever.

    The simple fact is that the "majority" you stand there and speak of is the lazy majority, those who don't use the computer as a tool, they use the computer as a shiny toy. Check this out! I can pick up my shiny toy and play with it for 10 minutes and end up with a sandcastle! joy!

    Wanna build a house? take yonder "tools", the hammer, the nail, the pieces of wood. Simple aren't they? Can you build a house? don't be stupid, you could try, it'd take you ages and it'll most like fall down unless you're a builder.

    Being productive, fast, effective, this requires learning, it requires an investment of time in understanding the physics of wood placement, in gaining the experience to know how much wood you need, what to hit, where, when, why.

    Sure everyone and their kid sister can write a document using Word. Yay. But don't for an instant believe that these shiny toys designed specifically to allow you and your kid sister to write a document without having to invest much time is in any way "efficient".

    All that code, all that bulk, all those buttons and threads, and GUIs and windows and context sensitive helpbars, are there because you need it.

    You are directly responsible for the inefficiency of the software you use.

    Think what this really means. It means that instead of suffering a high initial startup cost, in learning an effective and efficient method of communication with your computer, you are forever stuck with a higher-cost interface.

    You cannot control your computer effectively, you cannot make it work for you as it should. If you were only going to touch your computer 10 times in your life, this would be no big deal, but the fact is that everyone is moving to computers, everything is moving to computers. You wanna do anything in an office today? you're most likely going to use a computer.

    Every moment that you stand there waiting for a GUI to load, every second that you spend recovering from Windows crashing, every idle tap of the mouse that goes by as you wait for Word to load so you can send out a memo, is your wasted life.

    You're dying of fear. You fear you'll break it, you fear the unknown, you fear that somehow you don't have the time to learn all that you need to learn.

    You don't have a second to lose. Learn, now, quick, before you lose another second of your life to your "productivity" software.

  • QT is not the best way to go for some people. QT is GPL on Linux doesn't make it the preferable platform. Poor people want to develop commercial products and sell them. They can't do it with QT, and not everybody is willing to spend their liife writing GPL programs.

    They can't do it with Gnome [gnome.org], because Gnome is GPL [gnu.org] and only GPL, and stuff you develop using GPL licensed libraries has to be GPL. They can do it with QT, because the nice people at Trolltech [troll.no] will happily sell them a commercial license.

    Or are you one of the people who think you should be able to take the Trolltech people's work and make money out of it, without giving any of the money back?

  • by Simon Brooke (45012) <stillyet@googlemail.com> on Saturday May 12, 2001 @05:55AM (#228651) Homepage Journal
    This sort of thing is exactly why I've decided I don't want to be part of the KDE Community (should that be Kommunity?). The pro-KDE stuff I can live with, but the GNOME bashing seems to be getting worse all the time and it puts me off. Maybe it's because KDE seems to be gaining support and the more people that use it the more vocal advocates there are.

    Look, get real here. I'm not a member of either camp - I program in Java. I happen to use KDE as a desktop because it's stable and functional and looks good and works for me. But I've been using Linux since before either of these projects started and I do remember my history. Gnome was founded purely and simply as an ideological KDE bashing exercise, and it's gone on being more offensively political ever since (such as when Ximian bought 'KDE' as a keyword on Google, so that anyone who did a search for KDE would get an advert for Gnome).

    Yes, some KDE 'supporters' have bashed back against the persistent KDE bashing from senior members of the Gnome camp, and it would have been better if they hadn't.

    But to claim that KDE are the ones guilty of bashing in this saga is a weird distortion of history.

    Let's face it, there's always been room for several window managers. There's plenty of room for more than one desktop environment. Linux is not forced into a homogenous straight-jacket, and thank $DEITY for that.

    If you like Gnome, use Gnome. If (like me) you prefer KDE, use KDE. But for heaven's sake stop bashing!

  • However GPL/RMS hardliners such as yourself have a hard time digesting the concept. You ought to look a little deeper into the dogma of your source code religion, you'll sacrifice functionality over licensing issues

    To be honest, I don't believe (and have never believed) that the KDE/Gnome row had much to do with licences. I think it is fundamentally about geography. The KDE team started in Germany and is still largely European; the Gnome team is largely based in the American continent. I think what we're seeing is American users of a Finnish operating system geting flustered because these upstart Europeans think they can build a desktop. People are very odd...

  • will you PLEASE learn to USE italics or STOP talking like Capt'n Kirk!
  • werd. You should also understand that 99.9% of the time, we dont give a fuck. Yah, you want you want you want, think yourself lucky we give you anything. Go use Microsoft, just dont come bitching to us when you're pissed off that some stupid little feature doesn't work the way you like. If you learnt to fucking code you could fix it and get on with your life. But no, that's just too damn hard. Warning: Useless analogy ahead! You're the kind of people who get a flat tire and call the autoclub cause you cant figure out how to use a tire iron. We're not asking you to make design decisions here, just learn how to read code and change that one specific bit that is broken (or doesn't do exactly what you think it should). If you understood what freedoms you were giving up by using proprietory software you would not be so willing to hand them over to billy boy. But no, you're happy being pissed off every day because you forgot that you had to click the print preview button and wait 30 seconds before you could press the print button that doesn't use anything from the print preview view. You're happy having no way of stopping those annoying javascript windows popping up or dismissing a dialog box only to get that same dialog box back in an infinite loop and having to go to the task manager that cant figure out that you want it to have a higher time slice (well fucking duh!) and killing the app that is taking up 99.9% of your processor and causing insufferible locks. You're happy to live with all this shit as long as you dont have to learn anything and risk the possibility of becoming a "geek".
  • If you are going to live in a capitalist society (which most of us don't really have a choice), then you gotta do SOMETHING to make money to survive.

    I'm pretty sure work has to be performed in Socialist societies, too.

    On another note, since Douglas Adams died today, we should do something in his memory, to memorialize his great contribution to our culture. I suggest that we load up all of the marketing people onto "B" Ark and send it on its way... ;)

    - - - - -
  • You do know that you can configure the width of your panel in the little "Preferences..." dialog, right?
  • by ikekrull (59661) on Friday May 11, 2001 @10:12PM (#228666) Homepage
    Maybe it's just me, but i thought Nautilus was an extremely poor example of a desktop app. It was slow on my P3-500/256MB of RAM, and excruciatingly slow on my Dual P-Pro 200/96MB RAM machine. It was unusable as a web browser because it took so long a) to render the page and the b) to render the buttons which gave you the option to view the page in other browsers. It took too long to bring up a folder listing, even in list view, and even with few files in the folder. It makes a worse file manager than gmc - at least gmc seems fairly fast, and doesn't hog resource, nor go into 'D' uninterruptible sleep on the 2.4.3 kernel. It was plain ugly - this 'the web browser is the OS' paradigm is wasteful of screen real-estate and looks stupid. the giant 'Eazel' throbber was unnecessary, and pointless. Its root window integration is abysmally poor - shutting out all other apps which also use the root window. It had yet another theme layer, meaning it can't use GTK, KDE or Mozilla themes, instead providing its own themes. Font antialiasing was bad. Text was just blurry, not 'antialiased' - whatd they do, run a gaussian blur filter over each of the glyphs in the font? Frankly, there was nothing good about Eazel accept the ability to thumbnail images, which isn't a capability i'd choose to label a 'revolution in desktop functionality' Does it really surprise anyone that a company shipping a half-assed product like Nautilus goes straight down the drain? If i tried to sell a similar product for Windows or the MacOS, i doubt i'd make a dollar either.
  • Right on! If we charged money for the code, then the users would have been the customers. But no, that's not how it works. In open source, the users are peers and freeloaders. We write what we need when the situation bugs us enough to do so. We don't owe anyone the customer service.

    "but I paid $70 for Red Hat!." Well, did you pay for the office apps you want? No? quit whining. Yes? Whine to Red Hat.

    Telling the programmers that thier FREE code isn't good enough is sort of like our showing you our new born baby and you say, "What an ugly baby. If I pay MS $x then I can get a beautiful baby." It hurts. It doesn't help anyone and we get pissed off.

    Many "users" tend to believe that they are the customers and demand things. They don't realize that they are actually "freeloading" the contributors. Customers, by definition, PAYS. Open source programmers are not taking a penny and therefore not responsible for whatever the user's complaint is. So there's no good free office software? You can either buy one or write one but you cannot whine because we don't owe you nothin'. If MS has a office suit that you like, go for it. We will let you know when we make a good one. Wierd, when I tell people to go for MS product, they think I have attitude problems and I am trying to be leet.

    Open Source applications take time. When they aren't ready, they aren't ready; you cannot pressure us into making something. The user base doesn't want to give us time and the user base doesn't want to help. IBM says they will invest 1 billion in Linux, but doing PR stuffs instead of writing us a good office suite, so even IBM (the big customer?) have no right to whine about the office suite. And luckily, they don't. I am almost sure that if they did try to write office it will bomb, too. What makes you think other people have the right to pressure the programmers? You are giving the same "suggestions" again and again and again and again. That does not help. So either start coding or throw some money at office application sellers, now quit bugging us, OK?
  • Hey, they have this great new invention called a sentence. [commnet.edu] Should I submit this on Slashdot? Its "News Nerds Could Use."
  • by vrt3 (62368) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @12:52AM (#228671) Homepage
    Somewhat offtopic, but, does anybody realize that in order to have free software, we must have proprietary software? Somebody somewhere has to pay these programmers, or they'll starve to death.

    I suggest you read Eric S. Raymond's "The magic cauldron" for a thoughtfull essay on that subject: http://tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/magic-cauldron/ [tuxedo.org]

  • I think all of you should remember that Nautilus is in mere infancy.

    I agree that it is somewhat bloated and buggy. I also agree that they jumped the gun at releasing v1.0 .. That shouldn't have happened for a long time.

    However, those who are just bashing it saying that it's a bloated buggy and crappy file manager and that X filemanager which has been around for ages is better. That's a bit short-sighted if you ask me.

    Look at Mozilla. I started using it at Milestone 5. It was complete crap back then, I used it for like two seconds and had to switch back to Netscape because I couldn't use it as my main browser.. From then I would download each new Mozilla version, and each time I would go back to Netscape, because Mozilla was slow and buggy, it would trash web forms, and it was unstable.

    This trend continued up until the new version 0.9, that's right! Mozilla 0.9 is actually the first time that I'm pretty sure I can say goodbye to Netscape once and for all. Mozilla 0.8 was close, but it was too slow. The speed increase in 0.9 shows promise, but it's still not perfect. With this in mind, I must say I've never seen anyone bashing Mozilla on here. Maybe the Mozilla developers will have to go bankrupt before that happens.

    Big Projects take a large amount of time to become stable, and also to become mature.

    To compare something like Nautilus to KDE's Konqueror is obsurd, and unfair.

    I agree that some of Eazel's ideas about doing things are way off-base. If the rumour is true, I can only hope that Nautilus is continued by either Ximian or the Gnome people (which they are basically the same people anyway); I have confidence that eventually it will lead Nautilus into success.

    I use Nautilus because I hate GMC. Basically I think Nautilus is a good product.. They just need to speed it up, just like they [still (IMO)] need to do with Mozilla, and they also need to get rid of that silly-ass backgorund management, but I have confidence in Gnome developers.

    It's funny how everyone's always trashing Gnome, usually with references that KDE is better. Gnome hasn't been around as long sa KDE, but Gnome suits my needs... although my gnome-session is pretty tweaked out, with just a small panel and Blackbox. It does the job for me.
  • GTK was written in C. Qt was written in C++.

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

    Sigh.

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

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

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

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

    --Mike MacCana
  • RedHat don't make money on GPL'd products. They make money on services, training and stuffed penguins.

    Ie, thay make money from their GPLed products, but not directly. The basis for the consulting and the training and the OEM deals and the support calls is the GPLed product. How many times have you ever paid directly for commercial television?
  • by burtonator (70115) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:20PM (#228678)

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

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

    Eazel: Yes. It will be awesome!

    VC: How will you make money?

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

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

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

    VC: Wow... here is 11 million!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    --
  • by Ender Ryan (79406) <TOKYO minus city> on Friday May 11, 2001 @10:09PM (#228681) Journal
    Wow, this is really a shame. I have to say I'm not surprised at all though, their business modem really didn't seem to make sense. I didn't get what their services were supposed to be all about, how can you add services into a file manager that are strong enough to base a business on?

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

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

    I like Gnome because...

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

    Things I would really like for Gnome

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

    Things I absolutely *HATE* about KDE

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

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

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

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

  • Our "death toll" is still well under that of companies that developed for DOS/Windows until Microsoft killed them.

    I dont think Ballmer would dare use that line anytime soon

  • Gtk-- provides C++ bindings for Gtk and is quite nice to work with. And its signal system is very slick and does not require a pre-processor.

    I never did see the use of file browsers. All they ever do is allow your newbies to screw up their filesystems more quickly. I simply cannot fathom how one could spend $11 Million on one. Ahh well...

  • Got a screenshot here. [flying-rhenquest.net] I hope the guys at Square have a good sense of humor and don't take me into court...

    Having a good looking desktop is one of the best things you can do to advocate Linux. I get a lot of Windows users asking me, "What the hell is THAT? How can I make my system look like THAT?" Of course, a lot of Linux users ask me that too ;-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    -----
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon@@@gmail...com> on Saturday May 12, 2001 @03:33AM (#228688)
    I don't mean this to sound like a flame, but you must be trippin! Nautilus is Open Source(GPL'd even). Unless Eazel's code REALLY blows, I see the GNOME project taking this over, and hopefully improving it. Then again, this all depends on the source and what it looks like. Heck the Eazel developers may still end up working on it.Unfortunately, noone will know until the Eazel speaks!
  • by rweir (96112) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @08:38AM (#228689) Homepage Journal
    Here's my semi-conspiracy theory for the day:
    Imagine that you want to make Linux more user friendly, easier for people familiar with Windows or MacOS to switch to. You decide that you the solution is to build a new file manager and release it as Free Software, but you need money to bay for programmers, computers, bandwitdt, etc. What could be the solution?

    Maybe you could start your own company, and get venture capital to pay for it all. With all the Linux hype at the time, it's probably not too hard to find. You come up with some vague but plausible sounding plans for making money at some point in the future with 'backend services' or 'web integration' or whatever buzzwords you can come up with. Now, you're going to release your file manager under the GPL, so you code away for a year or two, and then reach a v1.0 release. All of a sudden, you announce that you have no money left, and no chance of making any soon. You go bust, the venture capital company loses a bit of cash, and the community gets an outstanding piece of software FOR FREE. That's right, you just got a venture capital company to pay for it, and now the source is out there, Free for the taking, with source code!
    Doesn't this sound like the ultimate investment hack?

  • and kde already maintains their own qt-copy CVS, which, while it generally isn't too divergent from TT's official versions does sometimes get things like font-AA first. The infrastructure for it to be a real fork is quite soundly in place, should such a move every be necessary (hopefully it never will be though!)
  • I don't think free software versus proprietary software is really the issue here, they had no real plan to make money, at leastnot in the term that they needed it - they spent their 11 million before their file manager was even finished.
    Actually, maybe religion is the issue here. (Note how my post two levels up from here was moderated down from 2 to 0 simply because it suggested that the GPL might not have been the best way to go!) My personal impression, after talking to them, is that Andy & Company were so swept away by ideology that they were blinded to the fact that they did not have a business plan.

    --Brett

  • They built their project on a proprietary library

    While writing a free replacement

    they were told about it, refused to change it

    So how would you change it when the free replacement isn't ready yet?

    and eventually had to be forced into changes

    Umm... By who? Nobody forced Trolltech to GPL Qt, yet they did.

    TrollTech extracts a developer tax on KDE apps

    on proprietary KDE apps, that is. And that's fair - what's the problem?
    Everyone can contribute - if someone decides not to contribute with his code, why shouldn't he be forced to contribute by paying the people who work on the library?

    People writing proprietary software do it for the money. There's no reason they shouldn't share their profit with those who made it possible.
  • It's also pretty much a C vs. C++ thing - most people who prefer Gnome also hate C++.

    Coincidentally, many Americans I know hate C++, while many Europeans I know like it.
  • KDE is a DEMO for TrollTech

    While they may look at it as one, it isn't - KDE has many more lines of code than Qt.

    [Possibility of TrollTech doing Microsoft-like games to prevent competition]

    Even if they wanted to do that, they couldn't - how do you hide this sort of thing in GPL code?
    Somebody WOULD patch it out and, if necessary, fork the product. If nobody else did, I would.
  • So that's how the history books are being rewritten now

    Not quite - it's been that way. Ok, not everyone backed Harmony (the free Qt rewrite), but it did get to a point where it was nearly usable.

    KDE never switched over to it simply because it wasn't completed (and eventually discontinued when Qt was open sourced).

    How about not basing it on a proprietary toolkit in the first place

    KDE didn't start as a "Hey, my OS lacks a decent interface for beginners, let's write one!" project, but as a "I've had a look at Qt, it seems to be possible to do this quickly..." project.
    There was no specific plan or development group involved.

    Besides, waiting for a decent free toolkit would have delayed the process for quite a while. Or can you name a usable toolkit that existed at that time?

    IMO, making use of a proprietary library is OK if it's a temporary thing. Especially when that library is semi-open (you could always port it to your favorite OS and stuff).

    The KDE project was dead meat with the original Qt license

    If that is so, please explain why Caldera and Corel didn't include Gnome even when Qt was not fully open source. There must have been at least a number of people who disagree with you. (I agree with you though, unless we can assume Harmony would have been finished in Qt's license hadn't changed (and I think so)).

    So you are ok with all libraries used in Linux being GPL?

    If you have the option to buy different licensing at a reasonable price, yes. I don't see a problem with everyone having to contribute - if someone doesn't want to release his code, have them contribute in other ways.
  • by bero-rh (98815) <beroNO@SPAMredhat.com> on Saturday May 12, 2001 @06:06AM (#228699) Homepage
    You probably didn't follow KDE development at that time closely enough.

    Many KDE developers have always had a problem with the Qt 1.x license, to the point of starting the Harmony project, which was basically a free rewrite of Qt. The project was dumped after TrollTech's announcement that Qt would fall under the BSD license if they stopped developing it (meaning no new release in 6 months), and that Qt 2.0 would be truly Open Source.

    The KDE people -ARE- happy inserting proprietary technology into the fundamental infrastucture

    Not true (at least not anymore). Even for Qt 1.x, a free replacement was underway.
  • Thank goodness Nautilus has already hit the 1.0 level. Even if this story is true and Eazel is gone, we get to keep Nautilus.

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

    Eazel, thanks for Nautilus.

    steveha

  • by alexhmit01 (104757) on Friday May 11, 2001 @11:53PM (#228702)
    It was NEVER illegal to distribute KDE, OR QT. It was questionable whether you could SHIP KDE already compiled with QT. It was a theoretical arguement, and a silly one. More importantly, it was a dispute. The KDE team maintained that the GPL did NOT prohibit what they did. RMS maintained that it did. RMS wrote the thing, but that doesn't mean that he is correct. I think that the KDE camp likely was correct, because in the unlikely scenario that someone would press the charge, I think that KDE (and whoever distributed it) would prevail.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Alex
  • by nullity (115966) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @03:58AM (#228714) Homepage
    Your post is based on the (rather poor) assumption that the demise of Eazel is a step in the ultimate degredation of the GNOME project. Even as an (ex) Eazel employee I think you underestimate the resilience of the GNOME project. For one thing, many of us who worked on Nautilus as Eazel employees will continue to work on Nautilus. The reason Nautilus appears to have relatively few volunteer contributors is it tended to hire people who made significant contributions! I'm sure most of us who started that way will continue to hack on Nautilus.

    It saddens me greatly to see so many in the free software community scrambling to exploit the fate of their brothers. Do KDE users truly enjoy seeing their fellow project suffer setbacks, or is it the out-spoken minority? Though I can't speak for other GNOME developers, I personally feel more of an affinity than dislike for the KDE project. We're doing the same thing. We're working for the same goal. Doesn't that make us comrades rather than enemies?!?

    "but KDE would be the only desktop environment / component framework"

    I might remark snidely that KDE does not yet have a component framework. It has a method for inter-program embedding (KParts), but this is not the same as a component framework. poke, poke. This is a great example of how it is *still* beneficial to both projects to have the other around. True, there is some duplicated effort, but my hope is that Bonobo and OAF will prompt the KDE project to strengthen KParts to the extent that it is a full component framework. Similarly, there are ways where we (the GNOME project) are lifting useful features from KDE. Lots of people seem to pay lip-service to competition but get squeemish when they see it at work.

    "This really sucks for the GNOME users and developers. But what can you do?"

    The same thing we have always done: Write code. Fix bugs. Write documentation. Translate. Polish. Add features. Keep improving. What do you do?

    -Seth (seth@eazel.com)
  • by cliffiecee (136220) on Saturday May 12, 2001 @04:39AM (#228728) Homepage Journal
    Yea, my boss helped me reduced my commute time to zero.
  • by coolgeek (140561) on Friday May 11, 2001 @11:42PM (#228729) Homepage
    From the news.com article: ...said rumor control professional Diane Carlini...But investments at this point in time are a little trickier because the VCs are not putting out as much as they were six months ago.

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

  • by e_n_d_o (150968) on Friday May 11, 2001 @10:12PM (#228742)
    Eazel is in no way an important piece of Gnome.

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

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

    Regardless of what happens, thank you, Eazel, for GIVING us Nautilus. While born prematurely and still needing much work, this file manager has the most potential of any I've seen. If development continues and Nautilus is pushed to be the best at what it was always meant to be (just a really nice file manager), I think it may someday be hands down the best product of its kind.
    --
  • by proxima (165692) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:37PM (#228749)
    I was really hoping that Eazel would be bought out for a bargain by some big name - IBM, HP, Red Hat, other another large distro company. Linux does need a top-notch file manager - and Nautilus showed promise (but from reports I've heard it wasn't quite there yet).

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

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

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

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

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

  • by Yam-Koo (195035) on Friday May 11, 2001 @10:50PM (#228763)
    ...I'm not really sad about anything else related to this.

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

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

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

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

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

    Anyway, I just hope people don't get the idea that Nautilus is the example of the rest of GNOME, and than the rest of GNOME is somehow gonna break down because they lost their newer file manager... there's PLENTY of great app development happening in GNOME, it'll become more apparent as GNOME gets closer to 2.0 and the piece's really start to come together.
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:37PM (#228764) Journal
    I actually met the main developers at Linux Expo in New York Last Winter and believe me they were clueless. I am not saying anything bad about it technically but here is my expereince.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • by angry old man (211217) on Friday May 11, 2001 @08:55PM (#228771)
    Back in my day, we didn't have nice friendly community businesses closing down to the greedy cut-throat ones. I guess it's a sign of the times all you young whipper-snappers.
  • by angry old man (211217) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:04PM (#228772)
    I agree with this young lad, that it is hard to make a dent on the OS, yet the Nautilus dent is big. I mean, look at me! I'm an 97 year old senile man and I can still use linux with the best of them. That's because my background comes from VAX systems in the late 60s (when I was still a senile old man).

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

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

  • by infiniti99 (219973) <justin@affinix.com> on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:47PM (#228777) Homepage
    As many posts already have speculated, maybe KDE will become the standard X desktop? Eazel was a very important piece of GNOME, and surely their absence will be quite a blow to the project. This really sucks for the GNOME users and developers. But what can you do?

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

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

    -Justin
  • by wrinkledshirt (228541) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:47PM (#228780) Homepage

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

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

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

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

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

  • by lwagner (230491) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:38PM (#228793)

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

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

  • by Fat Casper (260409) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:59PM (#228806) Homepage
    Some time ago Eazel sent two guys on tour, and they came and spoke at our LUG, gave out a few Eazel tote bags, etc. I didn't get it. I really felt like an idiot. I don't work with computers, I've just been playing with them at home forever. I'm not really a part of the culture, and the first I had heard of Eazel or Nautilus was when I walked in the door and read the sign announcing the speakers.

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

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

  • by Techfocus (449907) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:00PM (#228821) Homepage
    I thought Eazel was pretty decent, but as with everything internet, it seems that the bloodshed continues without mercy.

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

  • by blang (450736) on Friday May 11, 2001 @09:29PM (#228824)
    Apropos Casettes, while we are cruising on memory lane: I remember back when I was a pimple face and the prowd owner of a 48K ZK Spectrum from Sinclair, back in 1984 or so. The storage medium was casette, and you could save or load files by recording to or playing back from any tape recorder.

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

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