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Solaris 9 Will Be Updated WIth Gnome 2.0 374

Posted by timothy
from the pitter-patter-of-little-feet dept.
JAZ writes: "According to this article, 'The newest version of the GNOME open source desktop will not be ready in time to ship with Solaris 9 next year, but it will be included with a subsequent Solaris 9 quarterly update ...' Go Gnome!" I wonder if anyone truly prefers CDE.
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Solaris 9 Will Be Updated WIth Gnome 2.0

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  • GNOME 2.0 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Lolaine (262966)
    By the way... Gnome 2.0? What enhacements will they implement? I think its better to make it usable rather than making new versions. Un*x desktops have one handicap, Win-Mac are still far more usable than any combination existing on Un*x OSes.

    Btw, Fp
    • Re:GNOME 2.0 (Score:2, Interesting)

      by snoozerdss (303165)
      I think the reason for this is that Unix was never intended to be a desktop for the everyday home user. Sure people are trying to change linux int this and thats great but Solaris? I doubt it will ever make a dent in the desktop wars it just wasan't built for that. I use Sloaris at work and Linux at home but I couldn't picture my mother using Solaris, mandrake maybe...........
  • by terpia (28218)
    Yes I DO prefer CDE. Maybe its just because Ive been using it for so long, but if given a choice between Gnome and CDE on a solaris machine - I choose CDE.

    • me, too (Score:1, Insightful)

      by poemofatic (322501)
      Although gnome is yummy snd cool, it's main drawbacks (to me) are

      1) not stable enough. Maybe 2.0 will be different, but my win98 box crashes less frequently (although by "crashes" I should say "freezes up" I can always kill enough processess to get going again.)

      2) no .init file. I miss my one stop init file.
      3) slow slow slooow (maybe 2.0 better)
    • That the important thing - for the next few versions of Solaris - Gnome may be the default, but you will have a CHOICE. A CHOICE to install CDE instead - and that's good. I personally do not prefer CDE, but if you like it, that's cool.

      (for a while, until they stop supporting CDE :) )

  • Well, I'm just learning *nix, and I was wondering what windowmanager would be more useful to know. It looks like now I have my answer.
  • Yes, I Prefer CDE... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Coventry (3779) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:19PM (#2508416) Journal
    Why? Because its smaller and runs faster - nuff said, I'm a speed freak. I don't need bells and wistles on my Sun's desktop, I'll save em for machines that aren't expected to compile large programs on demand and as fast as possible.
    • fast? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yobgod Ababua (68687)
      If you really prefer speed over bells, why don't you use something like fvwm?

      As an administrator I found CDE to be overly complex, difficult to use and customize, and generally a pain in the ^@$@! Having Gnome availible on Solaris in a pre-packaged, official distribution is nice even if you don't use it as your desktop just for the included applications, which can be a pain to compile properly otherwise.

      On my current desktop I'm using Gnome and sawfish and it's quite reasonable. On my Sun cluster (used solely for remote computation) I don't install CDE OR Gnome.
    • The first time I ever customized any of the my environment files was because CDE was an ungodly slow hog.

      I switched to fvwm. There was no fvwm2 at the time.
    • Try blackbox. You don't get smaller or faster than blackbox.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I liked GNOME -- until I realized that IceWM was faster.

      To me, GNOME is just too fscking slow at drawing menus. Try this experiment if you're using IE (i.e. 99% of you). Click on File, and quickly move the mouse pointer back and forth between File and Help. You see how quickly Windows draws those menus?

      Now try it with a GTK application. You can actually glimpse each individual menu being drawn, and that, to me, is unacceptably slow, and it's even slower if you have one of those pixmap themes loaded (Gradient, bubbles, marble3d are particularly slow). EVEN WITH ICONS TURNED OFF, you can still glimpse each button highlighter and menu being drawn.

      GNOME's switch to Nautilus is even more retarded. While GMC wasn't the greatest file manager in the world, it certainly kicked Nautilus's ass in terms of speed and stability. Starting GNOME with Nautilus adds at LEAST 10+ seconds to the splash screen. Is it really that difficult to write a file manager that shows desktop icons without it being slow? Microsoft seems to have done a good job with Windows 9x.

      IceWM rocks. It's fast, has a themeable interface, combines the desktop environment AND window manager into one, and provides all the applets I need without my system slowing to a halt.

      What amuses me the most is that while Slashdotters bash Netscape on Linux and complain how slow and horrible it is at rendering, the other browsers aren't much better either.
      • GNOME's switch to Nautilus is even more retarded. While GMC wasn't the greatest file manager in the world, it certainly kicked Nautilus's ass in terms of speed and stability. Starting GNOME with Nautilus adds at LEAST 10+ seconds to the splash screen. Is it really that difficult to write a file manager that shows desktop icons without it being slow? Microsoft seems to have done a good job with Windows 9x.
        Yeah, really. OS/2's WPS is STILL far more advanced in the way all GUI (OOI) objects interact...and they did this in 1994, on 486's with *ONLY 4 MEGABYTES* of memory!!!

        Now...back to the subject of nice environments in X11. Here's what you do:

        1. Pick a nice windowmanager (Windowmaker, XFCE, Blackbox, Sawfish, ICEWM, whatever)
        2. Use ROX-Filer [sourceforge.net] as a file manager and also to display desktop icons (pinboard) and taskbars (if you like those dumb things)
        3. Go to my site and get my ROX Filter [homeip.net] and my ROX Mime Stuff [homeip.net] if you want a prettier (IMHO) look.

    • Because its smaller and runs faster - nuff said, I'm a speed freak.

      Excuse me - are we talking about the same CDE?

      When CDE first came out and I had to run it on a SPARCStation 2 it was slower and bloatier than anything. It might be tolerable on current era UltraSPARC II hardware, but I got so burned up about the speed and size back then that I still run fvwm to this very day on my UltraSPARC II.

      Probably I'm being unfair - I'm sure that running Gnome on a 486 is a different experience from running it on a 1.4 GHz Athlon.

  • I'm not too savy on Solaris, but I do know that I like that CDE!
  • Try XFCE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by snoozerdss (303165) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:20PM (#2508425) Homepage
    I'm not big on Gnome or CDE but XFCE is a great WM I use it with Solaris and Linux it's similar to CDE but a bit more flexiable and quicker. IMO I don't see the big deal if Gnome ships with Solaris or not bacause you can always download it. But then again that may suck for people on a dial up connection.
    • Re:Try XFCE (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pii (1955)
      I dare say, the vast majority of people running Solaris will not be using it behind a dial-up connection.

      As for whether or not it's inclusion is a big deal, it absolutely is. Having Sun adopt your product is a very serious endorsement, and will lead to industry wide acceptance. (Another poster already mentioned that HP was looking to include it in the next HP-UX release.)

      What is interesting to me is the fact that Solaris will not be including KDE by default, even though most would concede that it is a more mature, and more polished product. I have to conclude that this "snub" is related to the Trolltech Qt licencing...

      Early in the KDE v Gnome debate, the Gnome folks stated that the Qt licencing issues would be KDE's undoing. While KDE continues to improve, it may never find it's way onto the installation CDs of the commercial *nixes.

      Anyone read that differently?

      • It is not just about licenesing but also about the choice of programing environment. My understanding is that KDE pretty much forces C++ onto you. That is fine if everything is only ever built with on compiler which is using the same revision of the C++ ABI and interepretation of the standard. For Sun customers that wouldn't work because the Sun compilers and gcc and others all get used on Solaris by different groups of people for diffrent reasons.

        Note this is my personal interpretation and is not to be taken as an official Sun position.
      • I agree with you regarding the the fact that KDE well may never make it on to the commercial unixes as a shipping package. Just want to clarify why slightly:

        If Gnome is used, commercial companies can develop closed source apps that use Gnomes libs without paying a thing to anyone for using the functions in said libs.

        As it currently stands with KDE any closed source for profit software that wishes to use desktop functions needs to link again against QT, which the closed source company must pay a license to trolltech.

        It makes more sense for Sun to go with gnome for 3rd party developer support.
  • I wonder if anyone truly prefers CDE.

    I do. As long I still use the older 32-bit Sun workstations (SPARCstation 10, 20, etc.), I will use CDE (or at least something lighter than GNOME).

    For example, I tried GNOME on an older SPARCstation model, and the CPU utilization meter alone utilized 50% of the CPU! Talk about irony.
  • Solaris's CDE has great feel to it; gnome is great in concept, but without enforcing repaint discipline it's annoying to watch all the little objects bubble-up to the current state of the gui. CDE doesn't do that.

  • by devphil (51341) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:24PM (#2508466) Homepage
    I wonder if anyone truly prefers CDE.

    You're only wondering that because you haven't experienced the pain of OpenWindows[tm], winner of the [entirely fictitious and just-invented] Most Unintuitive Interface In The Entire Fscking World Award.

    Drop-down menus are dropped down with which button? The first, you say? Oh no, that would be far too obvious and industry-standard. The third button drops down a menu. If you press the first button, it activates the first entry in the menu, without ever dropping the menu down. Sort of a speed-select. Confusing as flaming fuck to people who don't expect it: if the first entry is "New Window" then you merely have windows popping up. "I clicked on "File" and a new window popped up? Huh?"

    If the first entry is more, shall we say, "proactive," then you just lost data. Or had a file overwritten when you were just experimenting. Or... who knows what just happened, since there may not be any visual feedback to whatever the fsck the first menu entry happens to be.

    I and my users were both extremely happy when we were able to move from OpenWindblows to CDE. They will be happier still if I ever get the chance to build KDE 2.2 for my SPARCs.

    • Well, OpenWindows was basically a port of the old SunView system, which was the original windowing system, to X11R3. SunView was rather revolutionary at the time and, I think, predates X by a number of years. Hence, it doesn't "follow industry standards" because it pre-dates them.

      The Openwindows (or OpenLook) libraries are pretty well call for call compatible with the SunView library calls and look nothing like the normal X library stuff.. and are arguably easier to use, hence they were used quite widely in scientific applications.

      For those who are used to the interface, moving to the other windowing systems and desktop environments can be quite a culture shock.

      On our systems we have Openwindows, CDE, KDE 1, KDE 2.2 and GNOME 1.4. There are a number of people who I can't get to move from Openwindows, others who PREFER CDE, a lot who prefer KDE 1 to KDE 2 etc.

      Each to their own, I say.
    • Oh, OpenWindows. Just SO many good memories. :)

      I got to discover OpenWindows' many qualities (sigh) when working in Denmark. My machine, a SPARC, was oooold as hell. So old that I actually saw a configure script tell me:
      System type: SunOS version x.y
      (Wow! I didn't even know those still existed!)

      Humiliating. :)

      This said, it's OpenWindows that got me hooked on the 'focus follows mouse pointer' scheme. Guess it wasn't entirely bad after all. :)
    • OpenWindows[tm], winner of the [entirely fictitious and just-invented] Most Unintuitive Interface In The Entire Fscking World Award.

      A comment I made during the Unix International/OSF wars, when it was Sun and AT&T vs. Everyone Else with Open Look and Motif their dueling GUIs:
      "This just shows that it's not only about look and feel, but also smell."

  • by z4ce (67861) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:24PM (#2508468)
    I thought this statement from the article was rather strange:

    "The other nice thing about GNOME is you can continue running your standard CDE motif applications, they just run on the GNOME desktop. Also, Java
    applications can run on the desktop, so you really end up having the best of both worlds."

    Under that logic couldn't you argue that since you can use gnome applications under CDE is the best of both worlds? If they still have motif applications you're not getting the best of both worlds, you're getting gnome with some nasty motif flavored bits :)

    Ian
  • I hope they will continue to include the OpenWindows desktop as well, does anybody know if they are planning to drop OpenWindows in favor of Gnome, or will Openwindows, Gnome, and CDE all be available?

    Even though I like OpenWindows, I almost always have my default sessions set to use CDE, since that way I can easily have my window manager the same on all the UNIX platforms I use (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, OSF/1), with the exception of IRIX. :)
    • OpenWindows has been completely dropped with Solaris 9; you only get CDE. Good riddance.
    • Even though I like OpenWindows, I almost always have my default sessions set to use CDE, since that way I can easily have my window manager the same on all the UNIX platforms I use (AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, OSF/1), with the exception of IRIX. :)

      If you really want CDE for IRIX, call up SGI telesales and request "CDE 5.0" (part number SC4-CDE-5.0). It's free of charge, though you will have to pay for shipping and handling. Great for someone that wants or needs to have the exact same desktop environment on all of his machines.
  • Solaris + Gnome? (Score:4, Informative)

    by CrisTUFR (533587) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:26PM (#2508481)
    Not to bash Gnome, but I've had plenty of troubles getting a clean install of any linux disto w/ Gnome as the default work consistently among more than 2 reboots. Icons disappearing, bitmaps getting corrupted out of the blue, etc... It seems a bit odd that Sun is making Gnome the default desktop just out of the blue like this without first distributing it as simply an 'alternative'. Does anyone agree? Am I misinformed about Gnome becoming the new default. -C "All the world is like cereal. If you're not a fruit or a nut, you're a flake."
    • Maybe you're just unlucky? I haven't had any of the problems you've described, either with the Red Hat 7.0 & 7.1 default GNOME installs or with Ximian GNOME. I've actually gotten to the point where I prefer using GNOME over Windows. (And I prefer anything over CDE)

      I do agree that GNOME is still very much a work in progress, and that there are still loose ends, but it is shaping up very nicely.
  • People actually use CDE? What on earth for? It's buggy, slow, ugly, has no apps, poorly documented, closed source and bloated. In short, it has absolutely *no* good points.

    I'm flabbergasted that anyone can prefer the steaming pile of crap that includes "dtterm" and that lame "tool bar" that takes up 12% of the screen and offers no noticeable benefits. I forget what that piece o' junk is called, the "control pane" or somesuch. It's the only thing worse than the Windows tool bar in terms of incomprehensibility and unusability.

    It just goes to show you - you can sell about a thousand of anything.

  • I love CDE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dimwit (36756) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:28PM (#2508505)
    And I'll tell you why...Three reasons:

    1) I do 90% of my work from a terminal. The only reason I even run X is to have Netscape, XMMS, and SDtMail. I actually tried running just console for a while, and didn't notice any degredation in my productivity - it was just hard to read UserFriendly.

    2) This is Solaris, and GNOME is very Linux-oriented. I don't care what anyone says, it is. I don't like not having access to some Sun-specific keys in the hotkey editor, or having all these "Unknowns" pop up in my sysid.

    3) It's slower and less mature than CDE. GNOME is trying to hit a moving API, and there is the one problem with Open Source development: The second-system effect. CDE knows what it does, and does it well. GNOME tries to do everything - which I don't want. I like that it just manages my workspaces, windows, cut'n'paste buffers, etc...And doesn't browse the web, grab the weather report, make julienne fries...

    Anyway, just my two cents. But CDE is a good desktop if you want a more UNIX-y (small tools doing one thing well, instead of Nautilis trying to be a web browser, file manager, PIM, etc.)
  • If they can port GNOME to Solaris and offer users a choice between the two desktops, why can't they port KDE as well, which, IMHO, is far superior to GNOME?
  • by Sanity (1431) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:31PM (#2508537) Homepage Journal
    Although the mention of KDE in an article about Gnome is just asking for a [-1 troll] rating (wouldn't it be terrible to allow any real debate on Slashdot?), you really have to ask whether Sun gave KDE fair consideration in making their decision. My bet is that their decision to use Gnome has more to do with the geographical location of its core developers than the code itself.
    • Gnome if free both ways. KDE has to be licensed for commercial use. At a hefty price, too. If they want to sell thousands of workstations they will want to keep the marginal costs low.
      • AFAIK Qt only has to be licenced for commercial development, something Sun can certainly afford. Still a major drawback, but one customers won't directly suffer from (though indirectly the cost of their software will rise).

        The real reason why Sun's going for Gnome is C. The developers at Sun are more used to C than C++ and Gnome==C, KDE==C++.

        • by Sanity (1431)
          QT does not have to be licenced for commercial development, provided that the result is Open Source. The GPL which Gnome is distributed under also prevents use of Gnome code in closed-source applications.
          • Re:Double Nope (Score:3, Informative)

            by big.ears (136789)
            Although QT does not have to be licensed for 'commercial development', it does need to be licensed for non-Free (non-gpl) development. (see this link [trolltech.com].)

            On the other hand, gnome libraries are licensed under the LGPL, which allows non-gpl (closed source) development based on it.

            Although I believe this was one of the deciding factors--potential software partners would not need to depend on an external company to develop, this is currently true with Motif, so it probably wasn't the only factor in their decision.
            Probably Sun engineers felt Gnome was more true to unix traditions than KDE, felt more comfortable with it, and felt they would have a bigger say in the direction it ultimately took.
            • You don't need to pay anybody to develop Motif applications: it comes with the OS for free, and you write your applications for it. Furthermore, Sun already is part of the consortium that owns the rights.
    • it had more to do with who application developers would have to look to for the tool kit. GTK+ is controled by GNOME and is free and is LGPL so you can link the libs to a proprietar program.

      QT is GPL if it is a non-comercial application, comercial apps pay big bucks for the QT licence.
      so unless you are going to GPL your app, you will have to buy a licence from QT to link to the QT libs.
      • by Sanity (1431)
        You are about 2 years out of date. The QT licence prevents you from using the free version of QT in closed-source code, the same is true of Gnome's license.
        • No, YOU are wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

          by woggo (11781) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @04:03PM (#2508749) Journal
          This is one of my least favorite Stupid Slashdot Misconceptions (tm).

          The "QT Free Edition" is licensed under the GPL. The GPL dictates that if you wish to distribute a derivative work of a GPLed program (or a program linked to a GPLed library), you must distribute it under the terms of the GPL. The set of all GPLed closed programs is closed under the operation of derivative work creation.

          The GNOME libraries (with the sole exception, IIRC, of the non-essential libgtop) are licensed under the LGPL, or Lesser (ne'e "Library") GPL. The LGPL allows linking with closed source code; it merely stipulates that you must re-link it with new versions of the library and/or supply customers with .o files so that they can re-link it themselves. (That's no big deal -- commercial UNIX software has been distributed in .o format for years.)
          So, to recap: an LGPL library allows closed-source applications to link with it. It is possible to write closed-source GTK+ and GNOME apps. A GPLed library, on the other hand, can only be linked into GPLed software, so if you want to make closed-source Qt programs, you're stuck forking over the ducats to trolltech.

          It is not in Sun's best interests to force Solaris application developers to pay royalties to trolltech for commercial applications.
          • by Sanity (1431)
            You are right, I misread the post to say that QTs licence procludes integration with commercial applications (which is no more true of QT than it is of the Linux kernel).
          • The "QT Free Edition" is licensed under the GPL.

            In fairness to Sun, I don't believe Qt was distributed under GPL at the time Sun made their actual commitment to Gnome. (quite awhile back) .. it was still QPL only. In fact, Qt going GPL seemed like a reactionary move.

    • by psavo (162634)
      (speaking of KDE) My bet is that their decision to use Gnome has more to do with the geographical location of its core developers than the code itself.

      I read this some tim ago on KDE KT Cousin [zork.net], basically they say that KDE isn't that portable, and port to Sun asch is going to take a while. GNOME is plain C and has ran on Sun for a long time, so there's not so much trouble to go through.
      Consider also that KDE uses C++, and Sun's own compilers isn't maybe so good at C++ and g++ sucks on Sun too...
      And.. If Sun used KDE on their arch, they'd had to pay Qt $$. That's pretty hard to explain to shareholders when there's equivalent totally FREE option available.
      I'm not talking about government however ;P

    • by Anonymous Coward
      My bet is that their decision to use Gnome has more to do with the geographical location of its core developers than the code itself.

      ...and you base this on WHAT?

      Oh, just a hunch, right?

      Sure, it probably has nothing to do with the fact that Sun's developers are more familiar with C (GNOME) than they are with C++ (KDE) [linuxpower.org].

      From that link: This came down to a comparison of QT to GTK+. We favoured GTK+ mainly because it was C based. We have more experience with C, it is more portable, we wouldn't be exposing C++ interfaces that might cause problems with different compilers and we would still get a nice object framework to work with which is well suited to GUI development.

      You said... you really have to ask whether Sun gave KDE fair consideration in making their decision

      No you don't. All you have to do is a little bit of reading. Again, read above referenced article, which was posted some time ago.

      If you keep making "bets" on shit you know absolutely nothing about, you're gonna lose.
    • by mill (1634)
      AFAIK Sun's core GNOME developer is located in Ireland so using that logic KDE would be the preferred choice.

      Of course that is not the reason they chose GNOME. The license of gtk+, use of CORBA, influence over the implementation of gtk+, and C instead of C++ are probable reason.

      /mill
  • by sawilson (317999) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:31PM (#2508546) Homepage
    I work in a sun shop. I'm allowed to run FreeBSD on an old poweredge instead of using solaris on a blade or ultra5. Almost every person around (all sun) has grabbed the gnome addons cd and installed it. At first it's so they can get xmms installed easily. As soon as they see someone else running the gnome desktop and ask about it, they are hours away from running it themselves. I pretty much compile and run blackbox on everything including solaris when I'm forced to use it. :)
  • The thing I like most about Gnome is the pretty icons and graphics. For general ease of use, I use KDE. If KDE would get some cooler icons, or just 'borrow' Gnome's....
  • CDE... *shudder*

    OpenWindows... *shudder*

    GNOME... only used it once or twice, but I think anything is better than either of them. I can't stand the unconfigurability of CDE... I literally spent HOURS trying to figure out how to customize the menus in the control panel thingy (not sure what it's called... it's ugly and silly), and it STILL doesn't behave the way I want it to. *Sigh*. Now, if only I can figure out where an unb0rken C compiler is on this miserable system, perhaps I have a chance of compiling VTWM (which, in spite of its flaws, is still my favorite WM).

    But on another note... isn't it interesting how bigshot Sun is adopting a free desktop? Just a thought...

  • by (H)elix1 (231155) <slashdot.helix@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:37PM (#2508596) Homepage Journal
    I'm struggling _now_ to get mozilla up and running on Solaris (sparc). I'm past adding gunzip and make, grabbing gcc now, and have the source to the gtk tool kit. Less painful then setting up Oracle on Linux, but still...

    This is GREAT news for those of us (me) who are not use to "using the source" and working from scratch. If they are bundling Gnome, they will have the GTK toolkit installed too! Its hard enough for a Solaris newbie like me to get an app installed, much less this plumbing. I've really gotten spoiled by Linux distros -- a C compiler and all the other parts are usually just there.

    Wish it was bundled in there now. That which does not kill us...
  • Worth Mentioning... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Misch (158807) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:38PM (#2508597) Homepage
    It should be worth mentioning that this story is an "update" to a previous story here [slashdot.org] on /.
  • CDE (Score:3, Informative)

    by ixo111 (531660) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:39PM (#2508607)
    It depends on what you're after and what you have the time for. CDE is simple and doesn't seem to get in the way. Having been forced to use either CDE or OpenWindows for several years, and having found OpenWindows to be a royal pain, CDE was what i stuck with. I use KDE now, because it most closely resembles CDE for me. I've tried some of the more feature-laden (or ridden) window managers - tho some of my acquaintences may grouse and complain that i don't give things a fair chance, i require two things from a window manager : that it doesn't make me use the mouse any more than necessary, and that it doesn't force me to eat up screen real-estate with whizbangs and visual funthings. I'm definitely a terminal power-user, and would operate in text-mode exclusively were it not that I require a web browser (feh). If you gave me a choice between Gnome and CDE, i'd take CDE, just because i'm not convinced spending X amount of time learning how to deal with another environment will buy me anything - it certainly won't improve my productivity, as I am definitely of the opinion that GUI's hamper productivity (unless you're doing something visual).
  • At least CDE supports the Xinerama extensions!


    I've tried for ages to get Xinerama support using XFree86 under Solaris - no dice, until recently I got it all compiled. Of course, documentation is extremely scarce, and I'm pretty sure I don't need an XFConfig file for the Sun framebuffers, but there isn't one included, either. Haven't gotten it to work yet...


    The problem with Sun's out-of-the-box implementation is that there are no header files or some such (can't remember exactly right now) and it works with CDE, but nothing else! That is, you can't compile sawfish or enlightenment, etc. against their libraries due to missing files. CDE which is pre-compiled by Sun, of course, works.


    So unless Solaris 9 w/GNOME supports Xinerama, guess what I'm choosing to go with my two 21" monitors?

  • by pq (42856) <rfc2324&yahoo,com> on Thursday November 01, 2001 @03:50PM (#2508654) Homepage
    As a regular Solaris user, I dread this switch.

    FWIW, I actually use OpenWindows as my desktop (oh, the horror, the horror!) and along with olvwm, it does its job and stays out of the way. All my real work is done with xterms, gcc/cc, emacs (so go on, flame me) and custom astronomy software. If you ever had the misfortune to use AIPS [nrao.edu], you'd be into B&D too.

    With Linux (and gnome) on my laptop and on our newer production machines, I just don't know: it looks (and feels) clunky. What 5 year old drew those ugly icons? Even with the "tiny icons" on my laptop Gnome toolbar, the only icon I actually like is the simple red star of Mozilla. And my work is all at the command line, I don't use icons! But I still can't convince Gnome, even with repeated "Save settings," that I'd rather not have an icons for /dev/fd0 and /dev/hda cluttering my desktop. Non-intuitive, hard to learn (this from an OpenWindows user!!) and ugly: is there any reason for Sun to switch to Gnome besides saving development costs?

    I, for one, am not impressed.

    • is there any
      reason for Sun to switch to Gnome besides saving development costs?



      Umm, yeah: sucking up to Linux freaks. It's the latest marketing gimmick. ;)

    • Dang, I was really hoping someone would reply to you with instructions on preventing those damn drive icons from appearing. Other than that, Gnome does stay out of the way for me.

      -Paul Komarek
    • For most people, Gnome certainly beats OpenWindows. But if you don't like the Gnome desktop (I don't particularly) and the icons, you certainly have enough choices: XFCE [xfce.org], icewm [sourceforge.net], and many others. That's the nice thing about X11: you get the choice.
  • by elliotj (519297)
    I'm very excited for Gnome 2.0, not the least b/c it will support anti-aliased fonts. I know this is childish and stupid, but nothing makes your GUI look more professional that anti-aliasing. I use KDE for this at the moment, but KDE is lacking in other parts of the visual department. Gnome 2.0 sounds like just what I've been waiting for.

    Anyone know how far off this really is?
  • Is it just me, or does everyone who likes CDE like it because it doesn't do that much? Maybe it's because I've only used it on HP/UX, but it seemed like CDE managed to botch every single thing it did. Admittedly, you can almost entirely avoid it, but "it's almost as good as nothing, and better than many other things" is not really a good sign.

    I have to admit, it does include a window manager that lets you move, resize, and iconify windows and change the keyboard focus. But, other than that, just using an xterm would be nicer.
  • Get a job, Tim (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hatless (8275) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @04:34PM (#2509002)
    Lots of people prefer CDE of GNOME. Many Solaris desktops are X Terminals in large companies--say, at banks, financial services companies and so forth. The people who use them access e-mail, do data entry, and query old big-iron databases. You want such a system toi be free of distractions and clean and easy to use.

    Few things are cleaner and simpler than a stripped-down CDE desktop. A drawer with the 4 or 5 most common applications, a clock, a trashcan, and a drag-and-droppable printer icon. No taskbar, no nested program menus, no disk icons, no desktop clutter.

    It may be awful for an engineer (but then, maybe not; if you primarily use the command line, who needs all of GNOME's gizmos?) or a "power user", but CDE is great for heads-down managed environments like call centers, trading floors and so forth.

    Yes, a modern, flexible desktop comparable to what MacOS and Windows offer is necessary for home and small-business use, and for some breeds of power user, but that's mostly because such users have to do nearly all of their own file and system maintenance. For someone who has no need for that--and that's true of many a work environment--the empty simplicity of CDE is a virtue. Not to mention easier to deploy, maintain and support on a network. CDE is terrible as a "general purpose" desktop. GNOME and especially KDE are far better for that. But the work that has to go into stripping down and locking down GNOME or KDE for ease of use in a 100-seat call center makes me cringe.

    Maybe someday, Tim, you'll work for a company where Unix people have more than 20 desktops to worry about, where most of the people using those dektops aren't techies, and servers really have to be up 24/7.
    • But the work that has to go into stripping down and locking down GNOME or KDE for ease of use in a 100-seat call center makes me cringe.

      Maybe Sun will realize that and distribute a stripped down option. If they don't, maybe you could do so. After all, it sounds like a common need.
  • Great Scott,

    Is this some kind of conspiracy from Taco to post actuall trolls as stories to circumvent the noodnick trolls who post comments? First the slackwear troll and now this... I mean, really.

    Well anyways, I LIKE CDE, ya rat jap bastards. It's light and fast, even on my butt slow sparcstation. I shudder in uncontrolable spasms to think of how KDE or Gnome would behave on my box. Yeah, CDE is far from pretty, but hell, it's running on solaris so it all makes perfect sense if you think about it.

    Okay, so there you go, IHBT, IHL, HAND.
  • by SomeOtherGuy (179082) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @05:04PM (#2509204) Journal


    But most Solaris boxes I deal with are rackmounts through a Telnet session. Maybe I have just slept through the "Solaris as a desktop" revolution. Please someone fill me in on what I missed.

    • Sun was originally primarily a workstation vendor, their servers was just something for their workstations to connect to.

      They have moved thei focus from workstations to servers recently, as NT and Linux have taken over the workstation market.

      You experience with Sun is probably after this happened.
  • by green pizza (159161) on Thursday November 01, 2001 @10:17PM (#2510544) Homepage
    Prepare to lose all karma.

    I actually prefer many of the older, commercial desktop environments and window managers. These include not just CDE but vanilla Motif (mwm, the Motif Window Manager) and OpenWindows.

    Why on earth would I say this, especially when GNOME is free *and* certainly looks better??

    Because OpenWindows and Motif/CDE have worked. They still work. They'll most likely continue to work well into the future. And they work well with the software I use. As much as I like to fiddle and futz with GNOME (and KDE) on my Linux box at home, I'm actually glad I don't use them for work. Openwindows was fast and extremely configurable back when I used a SPARCstation 2 as my desktop workstation. Because it was running atop the X Window System, I could do far more with it than my buddies on Windows 3.1 boxes down in accounting. Several years later I moved to a SPARCstation 10 with Motif which was quite a change, but by that time most pointy-clicky gui-based software for SunOS/Solaris was becoming Motif based so the move made sense. A year later I tried CDE and found it to be a pleasant yet simple extension to the minimalist Motif/mwm desktop I had been running. Most of the time I didn't notice the difference as I had the CDE Front Panel minimized and was busy working in my own apps anyway. By early 1996 I moved to a Ultra 2, a machine that stayed with me (albeit with two new cpu modules in 1999) up until this past summer when I upgraded to a Blade 1000.

    The experience has been great. Never once has the desktop gotten in the way or clashed aesthetically with Matlab, Xilinx, or any of the other tools I work with. I was never working with a piece of artwork, mind you, but it looked good enough and wasn't bothersome. OpenWindows was lean and fast back in an era when it had to be. Motif brought about some unix-wide standards (even SGI uses slightly modified Motif). In fact, I would be willing to bet that Motif has been documented moreso than even Microsoft's GUI libraries. CDE gave us a few extra goodies based on Motif. While I don't use CDE's mailer, text editor, or calculator, I do find myself relying heavily on the simple but quite useful calendar manager. These days it'll even sync with my Palm. A few other utilities are great for the little things I don't do too often (such as change the color scheme, screen saver, or fiddle with the print queue). Even the login manager is quite nice, especially for its age. Like many of the newer freeware options (gdm, kdm, etc) it allows the user to select a desktop environment at login. Quite handy when trying out a few other the up and coming environments (I tried Sun's version of GNOME 1.4 several months ago).

    I say all of this as a combination hardware and software engineer, mostly working in the embedded RISC world. I'm not a sysadmin with every script, utility, flag, and manpage memorized. Nor am I a graphic artist with a need for a PowerMac and its Postscript, ColorSync, and FontSync. I'm just a guy that needs to get real work done on a platform that's both flexible and not going to give me problems. Thankfully the past 11 years have be extremely nice to me. Of the 5 workstations I've used, each has had it's OS installed only once (with the exception of the Ultra 2 which I upgraded from Solaris 2.5.1 to Solaris 7 [2.7]). I only had to install my software packages once. Of all this, the gui toolkits and windowmanagers played a very small part. But they played that part with exemplary performance. They weren't wiz-bang, but they weren't a moving target either. They did their job - well. As for me, I am going to continue working with my current setup. I don't need the toys and whistles while I'm at work and thus will continue using CDE. I'll let my two UltraSPARC III CPUs spend their time working on my code.

    That said, I'm glad Sun has an open mind and is working with GNOME. I personally don't think GNOME (or KDE) is the long term answer, but at least they're looking in other directions. Motif and CDE are old, but well used and well documented. For many, it's time to move on. Lets do so with some common sense and a historical perspective.

    Calculus and alcohol don't mix. Never drink and derive.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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