Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
GNOME GUI

Sun Increases Commitment to GNOME 312

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-thats-a-lot-of-commitment dept.
Ur@eus writes "Mark McLoughlin of Sun mailed the gnome-hackers mailing-list today announcing the deal between Sun, Ximian and Wipro. The deal means that Wipro will assign up to 50 people to work on GNOME including hackers, QA people, documenters and more. These hackers come in addition to the Sun hackers already working on GNOME at their Desktop Division in Ireland. The official announcement from Sun will come in a few days."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sun Increases Commitment to GNOME

Comments Filter:
  • Okay, let me be sure I understand this - Miguel and his gnomies wanna base GNOME on MONO which is an open source implementation of .NET - which was developed to compete with Sun's Java - and Sun's throwing developers at this? No wonder why they are hurting so bad right now at Sun - wake up and smell the java Sun...
    • Ummm, no. Gnome isn't, and will never be "based on mono". Mono may become just another way to develop gnome apps, along with C/C++, Perl, Python and so on.

      /Janne
    • Good point.
      On the other hand, Sun doesn't always think through their decisions and announcements, and later changes their minds. However, they were planning on releasing Solaris 9 with GNOME originally. Now, it looks like it will be bundled in a later release of the OS.

      What they're really trying to do is give people a classier environment than CDE bundled with the OS. At least that's my opinion. If the performance of GNOME/Solaris ever equals GNOME/Linux, I'll be surprised.
      • IIRC, Sun committed to GNOME 2.0 shipping with Solaris. Since Solaris 9's gate is going to be closing in a few weeks, GNOME 2.0 won't be ready by then to actually integrate, test, and ship with the first cut of Solaris 9.

        [Which illustrates a difference between open and closed source: with closed source, you actually have a date that you have to meet and produce a product. To make that date, sometimes you have to cut features/additions/etc.]

        • [Which illustrates a difference between open and closed source: with closed source, you actually have a date that you have to meet and produce a product. To make that date, sometimes you have to cut features/additions/etc.]

          No, which illustrates the difference between commercial and non-commercial software. Commercial software has deadlines, because commercial software needs to make money before the company producing it goes out of business. Non-commercial software doesn't have this problem and therefore may not have deadlines (it may have deadlines due to other reasons though).
          • MS has been notorious for late delivery (the NT replacement of the DOS Windows derivatives was originally scheduled for what, 1999? 2001, that's for sure).

            Therefore WinXP must be 1) open source and 2) non-commercial.

            Very cool ...
      • by luge (4808) <slashdot@tiegUMLAUTuy.org minus punct> on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:05PM (#3060793) Homepage
        If the performance of GNOME/Solaris ever equals GNOME/Linux, I'll be surprised.
        Part of the Sun work will involve serious performance analysis and work. Hopefully this will benefit both GNOME/Linux and GNOME/Solaris, but obviously it'll be focused on GNOME/Solaris, and should make GNOME/Solaris a lot snappier.
      • Interestingly, while Sun are funding a lot of Gnome development, IBM have already shipped AIX5L with both Gnome and KDE available alongside CDE as the desktop.
    • by miguel (7116) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @12:40PM (#3060726) Homepage
      I do not think you have understood my position when it comes to Mono and GNOME yet. There is a detailed explanation about this here: http://mail.gnome.org/archives/gnome-hackers/2002- February/msg00031.html

      The short version of this is:

      * I do not have any maintainership control over any piece of GNOME anymore.

      * I like everyone else have an opinion on how GNOME would benefit the most.

      * People will be free to use the tools the Mono project produces or not use them.

      * Mono will integrate with GNOME right away, just like say, Java/GNOME is integrated with GNOME right away.

      * So I believe that building apps with Mono will be a nice experience for people in the GNOME world.

      I like different technologies from different companies. I like the .NET Framework a lot more than I like the Java platform, but that is my personal choice; And I do like the UltraSparc cpu over any other cpu, and I still love the fact that my IBM laptop is so cheap ;-)

      So there is a lot of love for different companies and technologies. There are choices for everyone to pick from.

      Miguel.
      • So there is a lot of love for different companies and technologies.

        It's that rough anal sex from Microsoft I could do without.

      • by jsse (254124) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:08PM (#3060806) Homepage Journal
        I like different technologies from different companies. I like the .NET Framework a lot more than I like the Java platform, but that is my personal choice; And I do like the UltraSparc cpu over any other cpu, and I still love the fact that my IBM laptop is so cheap ;-)

        Oh I love Java platform a lot a lot more than .NET Framework, get me my flamethrower!!...but wait, isn't that freedom of choice we are long for?

        Hat off to Gnome dudes! Way to go man!
      • I'm sure you've got better things to do than explain a month-old 'out of context' quote to everyone, but I really appreciated seeing you jump into the fray, as always. I have a question for you that has nothing to do with Mono... Have you tried the Rox file-manager/desktop? What are your impressions? I've just started using it, and love the direction it's going. Do you think we might see a 'gnome-lite' ditching some of the heavies like Nautilus for Rox or equivelent? I know I can obviously do this on my own without you; but I'm really curious what your impression of Rox is. I run a tiny little project we've dubbed The Mandrake Mosix Terminal Server Project [dynu.com] and I'm concidering ditching GNOME and KDE for the fast-as-hell Rox with sawfish/pygtk. Your impressions/comments are highly anticipated. Thanks.
        • by miguel (7116) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @03:01PM (#3061315) Homepage
          Yes, I have seen the Rox file manager, and I do like it.

          You have to understand that the different file managers that you see have different requirements and target audiences. For example, although most of us are running high-end computers these days that have enough CPU power to do all kinds of graphics intensive user interface improvements, and can handle all sorts of situations and combination, many users in the third world countries are stuck with very old machines.

          There is no reason why we should marginalize them as users. And I believe that both Rox and gmc fit that bill nicely.

          I do not believe that there is a single true solution to all problems. Unix is being used in so many scenarios that it is hard to predict or generalize its use. You see people making Linux run on extremely low end PDAs, sometimes you are memory constrainted; sometimes your are CPU constrainted; Sometimes you are constrainted by the size of the application, and not by the size of available memory; Sometimes you have plenty of CPU to spare.

          Although I would love GNOME to have an effort to ship a "light" edition, all I can do is suggest its use. For things to actually happen, interested parties (like yourself) have to take an active role and push for this kind of things to move forward. And by pushing i mean, contributing, packaging, testing, integrating, coding, and everything related to this.

          I think its a great idea, and we should have a light version, and a high-end version of GNOME.

          If Rox and sawfish fit the bill for your low-end terminals, please go ahead and use those pieces. Your experience will be useful to other people trying to deploy Linux on similar scenarios to you (and there is a lot of impact outside the first world for this kind of setups).

          Even if you go with Rox/Sawfish, if you need to run a GNOME app or a KDE app, you will still be able to, but you could manage some precious bandwidth in this particular scenario you describe by using a lighter product.

          Miguel.
          • Sorry but the beauty of ROX isn't just that it beats every other Filer hands-down in terms of speed. It's (a) its efficient use of screen-estate (which you can NEVER get enough of) and (b) the innovative use of the AppDir meaning all of an applications files are in one directory. No package management any more. Delete directory and delete entirety of application. Something a decade old for Acorn users but revolutionary in the Linux world.

            Phillip.

      • After you finish Mono is the goal to make it a clone of .Net, or make something better.
        If technology is the purpose, whys compatibility so important????? Mono is sounding alot like Wine.
    • Although I'm on the KDE side - I would like to correct you on this issue:

      Miguel has expressed his desire to use some parts of MONO inside Gnome 4.0 (and maybe 3.0 - not 2.0 which is in feature freeze state right now if I'm not mistaken)..

      I congratulate Sun for contributing some work towards GNOME, making it better. Help for open source projects is always welcome...
    • by Wdomburg (141264) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:01PM (#3060777)
      >Okay, let me be sure I understand this - Miguel
      >and his gnomies wanna base GNOME on MONO which \
      >is an open source implementation of .NET - which
      >was developed to compete with Sun's Java - and
      >Sun's throwing developers at this?

      A few things:

      The only developer who has said they are interested in making Gnome "based on" Mono is Miguel. Your inclusing of "and his gnomies" seems to imply that this is a widespread intention; it is not.

      The term "based on" is misleading. As Miguel himself said:

      Rewriting GNOME in C# with the CLR would be a
      very bad idea, if not the worst possible idea
      ever.

      And furthermore Mono is being based on Gnome technologies, not the other way around:

      Libart will be used to implement the
      Drawing.2D API; Gtk+ and the GNOME libraries
      will be used to implement the WinForms API and
      of course Glib and libxml will be used in
      various places

      If anything, it would be more accurate to say that Mono is being offered as an alternate API for accessing the Gnome libraries, and that Miguel has belief that this API offers signifigant enough advantages that future code may be based on Mono, or embed the Mono runtime.

      The next thing is that this has nothing to do with Gnome 2.0, which is the project that they will be working on. Miguel stated he would like to see Gnome 3.0 have Mono ties, but he has also stated that his guess is that Gnome 4.0 would be when developers start seeing the benefits of it.

      And of course, the more important point - Miguel does not have maintainer control over ANY package in Gnome. He has long since given maintainership on every project he worked on to someone else.

      What this means is that the only thing that will move Gnome to dependency on Mono is if it is reached as a consensus among the Gnome developers.

      Matt

    • Another way of looking at it is that the key existing developers want to take GNOME in a direction most of us, including Sun, are unhappy with.

      There are two ways of dealing with it, reduce the number of key developers so that the only ones left are the Microsofties, or bring in your own developers into the project so you have more control of the direction its going to take.

      Looking at GNOME and what it's doing, it's clear that they do not have a shortage of developers at the moment - they're developing a project which is getting increasingly more complex and "feature" ridden yet is generally following a time plan its supporters would agree with. Sun's decision to throw developers at the project suggests to me that they're as worried about Miguel's direction as the rest of us are.


    • Leaves mailing lists of programmers arguing for days at a time. Thats why KDE is ahead of Gnome, Gnome programmers are too busy fighting why kde is coding
    • and then actually build some useful applications using it and we'll see ...

      Are there any real java applications out there? Unlike perl, Python, C, C++ etc java seems to have not a lot of really functional, fast widely used applications. Applix was a great office suite that (unlike Corel Wordperfect) really was ported to java and ran fast. It never got widely used and it's mostly dead now. Does Sun have any sample applications or any **proof** that java actually works?? (perl and Python we know work C# .NET we are waiting for ...). Java has had 5 years - where's the beef?
  • Countering .NET? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JohnBE (411964) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @12:21PM (#3060677) Homepage Journal
    Is this in any way related to Miguel De Icaza's .NET comments? It'd make sense for SUN's purposes. Does this mean that they'd push for heavy Java (J2SE) integration? If so, what JVM?

    It's interesting that they are targetting the small Windows server with Cobalt, I think they'd need some kind of .NET competitor complete with J2SE integration.
  • Co-operation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Sunday February 24, 2002 @12:26PM (#3060690) Homepage
    Really those hackers should be working on getting KDE and GNOME to work together better, more than anything else. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for competition, but that has to be balanced with co-operation to make Linux easier to use for everyone.

    Also, doesn't anyone get the feeling here that Gnome is becoming less a desktop and more a political pawn every day?

    • Re:Co-operation (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JanneM (7445)
      Exactly what do you see as missing? We have a common window manager standard, we have a common standard for menus, with QT3 the clipboard should be interoperable, and there is quite a bit of talk about fixing some kind of standard for desktop themes - though that last one is difficult.

      Is there anything else needed?

      The projects will never settle on one toolkit, that's for certain; that cuts right to the heart of each projects goals and identity. They're unlikely to ever agree on a common component model either (although there's been attempts to bridge between them). None of that is really needed, however. If the applications can interoperate on the user-visible level, that really is the best of both worlds - the developers can choose whichever project they prefer to write the software in, and the users can run it fine either way.

      /Janne
      • I want all apps to look the same and act the same, at least to the extent they do on windows (I'm not even asking for MacOS-like integration here!) The current situation in Linux is pitiful. Hell, even searching is not standardized. Galeon by default uses CTRL-F while gedit uses F6!
        • Re:Co-operation (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Pentagram (40862) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:39PM (#3060921) Homepage
          I despair on ever having a standard for keyboard shortcuts - the legacies are too long and people too used to them (I'd like C-s, to fit with emacs, but that's common for saving a file.)

          However: shouldn't it be possible to have some sort of user-definable GUI-wide setting for each shortcut? Instead of adding C-s in the code of an app as a shortcut, bind the action to the standard "save-document" keystroke and have the app notified when it occurs. Allow the user to override the action for certain apps. It's surely not beyond the reach of human ingenuity.
          • You can (re)define keyboard shortcuts for any menu item in any GTK application. Just select (don't click) the menu item, and press the shortcut you'd like.

            I don't think you can set system-wide defaults for an option, though.
        • The current situation in Linux is pitiful. Hell, even searching is not standardized. Galeon by default uses CTRL-F while gedit uses F6!


          That has little to do with GNOME/GTK inconsistancies, though. Probably one of these apps uses the GNOME key bindings and the other app uses is GTK only and had to come up with its own.


          I see the same inconsistensies in Windows too, though. Most modern apps for both GNOME, GTK, KDE and Qt seem to integrate well, all using the same technologies mentioned in parent post.


          Of course, there are areas which can be improved. Sign up for a GNOME or KDE usability test and let us developers know.

        • Re:Co-operation (Score:2, Informative)

          by damiam (409504)
          One of the nicest features of GTK is dynamic key bindings. Just hover your mouse over the Find menu item in gedit and press Control-F and the keybinding for Find will change to Control-F, just like Galeon. Or you could do the opposite thing in Galeon and the rest of your apps, to get searching standardized on F6.
      • Have you tried using Konqueror using a window manager other than kwin? Really, have you done this?

        It does not work very well. First of all, QT has a bug where it expects to receive a certain X message before it accepts the input focus. Most window managers don't send this X message when the keyboard is grabbed, so QT apps won't take keyboard input. Try this: launch twm or an older version of WindowMaker, launch a QT application and try using Alt-Tab to cycle to the application (you'll need to configure twm to allow you to do this). It will no longer take keyboard input even though it is the focus window.

        Try setting up Java to work with Konqueror in any window manager except kwin. You'll fail. That's because Konqueror's java support requires DCOP communication with the window manager. It could do the communication via X atoms (which means your favorite window manager such as WindowMaker could implement it), but it uses DCOP instead. Konqueror will never fully work on any window manager except the KDE window manager.

        So what have KDE and GNOME standardized? They have a common way of creating application links on your desktop and they have the _NET_WM stuff. Theoretically, this would mean that you could use the KDE pager in any window manager that supports the EWMH (the _NET_WM hints). Try using kpager (the KDE pager) with fvwm+fvwm_ewmh module. It won't work very well. Kpager won't work very well at all unless it's engulfed in kicker (the KDE taskbar).

        The GNOME-KDE cooperation is mostly useless at this point. It's even worse if you don't want to use KDE or GNOME but only want to use a KDE/GNOME application under a non-KDE-GNOME environment (like using Konqueror under WindowMaker or blackbox, etc.).
        • Re:Co-operation (Score:3, Informative)

          by Dr. Sp0ng (24354)
          It does not work very well. First of all, QT has a bug where it expects to receive a certain X message before it accepts the input focus. Most window managers don't send this X message when the keyboard is grabbed, so QT apps won't take keyboard input. Try this: launch twm or an older version of WindowMaker, launch a QT application and try using Alt-Tab to cycle to the application (you'll need to configure twm to allow you to do this). It will no longer take keyboard input even though it is the focus window.

          Yes it will. The problem is that the alt from the alt-tab causes the menu to get selected, and kwin works around this. Look up at your menu bar and you should see the first menu item selected. Tap alt again to unselect it, and it'll work fine.
  • You would think that Sun, of all folks, would do a separate desktop based around Swing to showcase their Java technologies just as Trolltech contributes to KDE to showcase their Qt.

  • I wonder with all the talk of MONO and .NET being looked at as an option fro Gnome, how much of this is intended to keep Gnome going in the direction it is already.

    Sun I am certain would HATE to see MONO/.NET implmented in ANY core Gnome technology.

    This is good for Gnome, either way if its sincere, and the help is actually there, and not just in a press release. I still have to wonder how self serving it is to keep .NET out of the equation.
    • If your going to guess that about the Sun+Gnome+MONO/.NET connection, why would you guess that they are doing it to keep it out?

      diffrent conspiracy theory?
      Maybe they are doing it as a back door way to get some control over a new standard Microsoft is pushing.

    • [Ximian hat on] This contract doesn't affect our work with Mono in any way, nor does it affect the interaction between GNOME and Mono (none of which would be happening for years anyway.)
      [Ximian+Sun hat off] How does it benefit Sun to keep Mono off their platform? Either .Net takes off, in which case Sun needs Mono to remain competitive, or .Net fails, in which case it still doesn't hurt to have Mono around just in case. Mono is not going to decide whether or not .Net succeeds- it'll stand or fall on MS's own skill in promoting it and FUDing Java.
  • So the consensus on Slashdot and LinuxToday, to me at least, seemed pretty comprehensively to have ticked box marked "Miguel is smart but misguided, .NET is evil and you must never trust Microsoft." And there were many comments along the lines of "Sun will now have nothing to do with GNOME cos they will never have anything to do with .NET." Well I reckon Sun do better due diligence on such things than the average /. gasbag (like me =) so, whatever they think of .NET, they're not worrying about it affecting Gnome for at least the next couple of years.

    Does this mean we get another couple of years of Slashdot flamage? Suits me, I like a good flame war ;)

  • Wipro (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AirLace (86148) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @12:46PM (#3060740)
    I've had some experience with Wipro in the past. It's a software [redherring.com] sweatshop [isanet.org] based in India. I guess that's how Sun can affort to devote 50 whole programmers to GNOME. Does the GNOME community really want to be associated with this kind of establishment?
    • Re:Wipro (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Ami Ganguli (921) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:04PM (#3060785) Homepage
      Does the GNOME community really want to be associated with this kind of establishment?

      Definately. At worst, pumping some money into India will do nothing to help India's poor. At best, growth in the Indian economy will help everybody at least a little (even if it's just through an increased tax base).

      I fail to see how this can be considered a bad thing.

    • I would hope so (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:14PM (#3060828) Homepage
      More high tech job in the third world is good for everyone. It will help establish an educated middle class which will bring local stability and wealth, and ultimately be a market for first world companies, increasing prosperity here as well.

      I'd really hope a community build around a project started by a Mexican will appreciate that.
      • Re:I would hope so (Score:4, Insightful)

        by danheskett (178529) <danheskett@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Sunday February 24, 2002 @02:13PM (#3061090)
        Yeah, but there are larger reprecussions.

        This type of overseas farming is interesting. Right now, countries like Pakistan, India, Indonesia, etc are working hard to create an educated middle and upper-middle class. The problem is that many of these students simply take their knowledge (often paid for by The State) and move to the US, Canada, Europe, etc. It can literally kill a country when you have 95% of your educated people trying to emmigrate to the US.

        Keeping these people in country is a good thing for other reasons - it will bring money into the country (and from a stable currency, like the US dollar). A programmer making $40k US who lives in New Delhi is a major earner by foreign standards. In a sense its Trickle-Down economics.

        But of course, there are problems. First, there are social problems. Is the place in question a sweatshop? Is it an immoral and hideously profane working environment? What is the quality of the code produced? What is the commitment to the OSS ideal?

        The next questions are obvious. As these places start to gain credance and acceptance their fees will rise. And that will price them out of the range for some of the very people they were trying to attract. Which country gets to get on the treadmill next?

        Don't be fooled by it all. The American economy depends on sub-serviant nations to produce our low cost good (whether they by sneakers or code). About a hundred years ago the Northeast of the United States produced 80% of all leather shoes sold domestically. Now, that number is about 5%. Everyone else has moved off shore. Where will commerical coding be in 100 years? Is that what we really want?

        The bottom line question is: does the benefit provided by GNOME being improved outweigh the overall costs of supporting the chain of national dependencies?

        Thats a tough one.
        • Re:I would hope so (Score:3, Insightful)

          by luge (4808)
          The bottom line question is: does the benefit provided by GNOME being improved outweigh the overall costs of supporting the chain of national dependencies?
          Speaking personally, not for Ximian: this question assumes that GNOME is in some way 'American'. That's... fairly wrong. Ximian has employees all over the place; GNOME definitely has contributors on every continent, except maybe Africa, and Sun's GNOME effort has always been based in Ireland. And of course the project was started by our favorite Mexican. So... I don't know. The answer to your question might be interesting or relevant if GNOME were an American project. But it isn't, so the question is at best misleading and at worst just dumb.
          • GNOME definitely has contributors on every continent, except maybe Africa

            GNOME has contributors from Antarctica? Cooooool.

          • No, I have to respectfully disagree.

            I am not assuming its American, but what is going on is really a battle of Rich v. Poor. The American and actually much of the industrilized world depends on "third" or "second" world nations to do work that could possibly be done domestically. It in effect it raises the bar for what is skilled labour. In the United States skilled labour used to be largely manufacturing, work that is now decidedly unskilled in parts of the world.

            The ramifications of this, are interesting and socially relevant in a larger sense.

            But, you have a point about the phrasiology of the question. Perhaps it would be better phrased as:

            Do the benefit provided, specifically the improvement of GNOME as a whole, outweight the risks to the nations that provide them?

            The real point is that maybe the OSS community as a whole does not want to get involved with corporations would gladly perpetuate and extend the increased sub-serviance of third world nations. The organization in question has a reputation for being a code-sweatshop - now whether or not this true, I can't say. But the question, nonetheless, needs to be addressed.

        • Yeah, but there are larger reprecussions.
          ...
          Keeping these people in country is a good thing for other reasons - it will bring money into the country (and from a stable currency, like the US dollar). A programmer making $40k US who lives in New Delhi is a major earner by foreign standards. In a sense its Trickle-Down economics.
          ...
          The bottom line question is: does the benefit provided by GNOME being improved outweigh the overall costs of supporting the chain of national dependencies?


          This statement misses an important fact (that you even mentioned earlier in your post) -- making software, even is a "sweatshop" environment -- is fundamentally different from making shoes. You can't write software unless you're educated, and if you're paid too little it's relatively easy to migrate somewhere else because the demand for programmers is high. Thus, as you say, this practice will only increase the size and power of the educated middle-class, which every economist in the world has acknowledged is one of the most best economic stabilizers you can get.

          The wonderful thing about a large educated middle-class is that it tends to be self-supporting, economically speaking, as its presence tends to drive both the production and consumption of goods and services. (Say what you will about consumerism ... I think Americans take it waaaaay too far, but a little bit is really necessary to keep everyone employed.) So once these programmers standard of living rises enough to price themselves out of the cheap-overseas-labor market, they'll probably have jobs waiting for them in the local market. Meanwhile, some other location gets to reap the benefits of this process.

          So, by all means support the use of overseas programmer farms (and international knowledge workers in general), even if like me you don't buy shoes from Nike.
          • Re:I would hope so (Score:3, Insightful)

            by danheskett (178529)
            Right, right - I see your point and its indeed valid.

            But the problem is with the emmigration. Imagine the difference in national character if everyone who graduated from college in the US left the country to work and live somewhere else. Imagine if everyone in the country had a high-school or lower level of education. Somethings would hardly change. And somethings would be vastly different. Like it or not, the highly educated top students are rather productive citizens. They start businesses, they create and innovate, and they create opportunity that spreads throughout the economy. This is not to say that they are the only ones who do this, but statistically speaking, it is a reality.

            In certain countries - India and Pakistan are great examples - the national governments have worked hard to create these types of skilled middle class workers. They invested in the infrastructure believing that they were going to change the entire country and elevate the living status off all citizens. And for the most part they are suceeding. But supporting these types of "code sweatshops" - if indeed they are best defined as such - is detrimental in many ways. These places are usually stop over points before programmers move on and out of the country. And that was my point, I think. Supporting these sweatshops per se is dangerous in many ways because, like all sweatshops, they only exisit so long as the labour goes for the right rate. One of two things happens to these places - either they paying the people the same rate and have high turn over (with the exiting programmers going to foreign lands) or they raise rates to reflect their staffs increasing expertise and skill. If the rates continue to rise, then bamo, we pull support from that sweatshop and go to the next.

            And that is exactly like shoes. If some country offers to build Nike a new factory and get 1,000 employees for 50% less than Indonesia or whoever the Nike whore of the day is, they would take it an instant.

            I am not saying we should unequivocally refuse to due business with the places in question. But, in fact, there are much larger reprecussions to consider than just the benefit to Sun or GNOME. And I have seen very little (with this thread as a notable exception) dialog to suggest that this type of consternation is taking place at the higher-up levels.
        • The USD isn't particularily stable, not seen from here at least. In the last few years, it has fluctated between 5 DKK and 9 DKK, unlike the EUR, which is stable at 8 DKK. Of course, this is because the DKK is bound within a narrow margin to the EUR. My point is that stability depend on your point of view.

          The workplace is obviously a better environment than any of the alternatives given to the people who work there, so a project like this can only improve the working conditions for Indian programmers. This, of course, should not be an excuse for first world consumers (in this case Sun) not to insist on some reasonable standard for the working conditions, but keep in mind that it a priori is an improvement.

          The Gnome project should only accept quality code, this doesn't depend on whether the code is from Sun programmers in Ireland or outsources in India.

          Their motivations should not matter, just the license and code quality. Any commitment to a postulated OSS ideal is beside the point. I'm sure Sun does this for purely selfish reasons.

          It is true that once at the level of first world countries, cheap labour will be found elsewhere. Former third world countries like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan now has to rely on their skill and highly developed infrastructure to compete with other first world countries. As this continues, eventually, we may run out of third world countries to provide cheap labour. I consider this a feature, not a bug.

          US is probably the nation in the world that is most self-reliant, so to say that it "depend on sub-serviant nations" is stretching it. While restricting free trade always has a cost, US could survive economic isolation better than anyone else, and certainly a lot better than the so-called "sub-serviant" nations. In the US, prices would rise, unemployment would rise (irionically, since the pro-isolation pinheads can't think beyond "they steal our jobs", to the many more jobs created by an improved economy), but the economy would survive on a lower level. In much of the rest of the world, the economies would collapse, as most other nations are much more dependend on trade than the US.

      • Re:I would hope so (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SpinyNorman (33776) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @02:16PM (#3061101)
        I disagee.

        Global trade is the CAUSE of wealth imbalances, not the solution for them. Creating a wealthy elite in third world countries will just raise local prices even further out of the reach of the poor, adding to the problems caused by local goods being sold at global (i.e. western) prices. Using cheap overseas labor will just exacerbate the problem by increasing ocrporate profits at home thereby increasing wealth here and leading to even higher global prices.

        Also purely from a selfish POV, I don't want to see my salary capped because some shortsighted manager is trying to increase his bonus by reducing costs by exporting jobs overseas. American companies sure seemed to be patriotic when it was an issue of "buy american", but apparently it's a different story when it comes to "support american workers".

        A start to a real solution at eliminating global wealth disparities would be for us to start importing grain and to encourage cooperatives in third world countries which would help the little people sell into the global market. Instead we currently prefer to subsidize domestic production thus keeping prices artificially high.

        • Boy are you confused. On the one hand, you say:

          Global trade is the CAUSE of wealth imbalances, not the solution for them

          And on the other...

          A start to a real solution at eliminating global wealth disparities would be for us to start importing grain and to encourage cooperatives in third world countries which would help the little people sell into the global market.

          Trade is not the solution! Trade is the solution! Make up your mind.

          The rest of your argument is specious. Trade does help other countries's citizens, as well as our own. This has been established for centuries, if not millenia.

          Other countries have internal problems, such as a lack of property law and (therefore) huge underground economies. We can't fix that directly. But if we trade with the citizens of those countries, the underground economies composed of regular citizens will one day become the above-ground economies. It happened in the U.S. It happened in Western Europe. It can happen other places. Read The Mystery of Capital by Hernando deSoto, a Peruvian economist.
        • Global trade is the CAUSE of wealth imbalances, not the solution for them.

          Nope. A lack of global trade is an obstruction to social mobility. It results in an aristocracy of citizenship. There are obviously people with a vested interest in creating and maintaining such a thing (namely, lower/middle class citizens of wealthy countries). But a lack of global trade is certainly not good for curing wealth imbalances.

          Creating a wealthy elite in third world countries will just raise local prices even further out of the reach of the poor, adding to the problems caused by local goods being sold at global (i.e. western) prices.

          This goes against all existing experience. A country can use taxes and social problems to redress social inequalities. Currency increase is rarely bad for the economy. Countries with strong currencies have high standards of living, countries with weak currencies have low standards of living.

          Also purely from a selfish POV, I don't want to see my salary capped because some shortsighted manager is trying to increase his bonus by reducing costs by exporting jobs overseas.

          Right on! You are one of the people with a vested interest in maintain an aristocracy of citizenship, and you aren't really that interested in fairness. In fact, fairness probably isn't in the interests of most people in western countries

          American companies ...

          American companies have their own interests too. They are neither moral or imoral. They are indifferent to morality.

          A start to a real solution at eliminating global wealth disparities would be for us to start importing grain

          Question 21: Based on the above, the authors goal is:

          • To put American farmers out of business
          • To prevent third-world countries from developing brain economies
          • To create a dependency on other countries for essential food resources

          Instead we currently prefer to subsidize domestic production thus keeping prices artificially high.

          Now I'm confused. Is protectionism good or bad ? First you were saying it's good, and we need more of it, and now you're attacking it.

        • > Global trade is the CAUSE of wealth imbalances,
          > not the solution for them.

          Right. Ignore that just about anyone with any kind of economic background will disagree, they are probably brainwashed or belong to some interbational conspiracy. And also ignore that every country that have practiced economic isolationism (like Albania or North Korea) have ended up being by far the poorest countries in their region.

          > Creating a wealthy elite in third world
          > countries will just raise local prices even
          > further out of the reach of the poor,

          Right. Just ignore who *creates* the local goods, and sell them to the new middle class... or rather "wealthy elite" as you prefer to call these programmers who just a moment ago wos "poor oppressed sweatshop workers".

          > adding to the problems caused by local goods
          > being sold at global (i.e. western) prices.

          Right. Of course, those who actually study global economics say the problem is the opposite, that the global prices are made artificially lower than the western prices, by trade protection and heavy subsidicing western farmers. Which, had it been true, would mean that third world farmers, who get no subsidicing, get paid a lot less than they would in a free market.

          > Using cheap overseas labor will just exacerbate
          > the problem by increasing ocrporate profits at
          > home thereby increasing wealth here and leading
          > to even higher global prices.

          It all sound so logical when you explian it. Lower production costs lead to higher consumer prices. This gives me an idea: How about we doubled, nay, trippled all our salaries? In that case, profit would disappear or become negative, and consumer good would be free!

          Ah, I like your sort of economy so much better than the conventionel sort.

          > Also purely from a selfish POV, I don't want to
          > see my salary capped because some shortsighted
          > manager is trying to increase his bonus by
          > reducing costs by exporting jobs overseas.

          Right. We would not want any manager to increase his bonus by reducing costs. What's next? We have already established that reduced costs leads to higher prices. And what's next? Managers increasing their bonus by improving quality? We don't want that to happen, do we. In the end we might end up with increased prductivity, and if world history has taught us anything, it is that wealth is inversely propertional with productivity. Back when we were hunters and gathers, everyone had their personal jet and lives on private palaces on Fisher island (thus the name). Every time we have invented something to do our work easier, we have become materially poorer.
  • by Derkec (463377) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @12:56PM (#3060766)

    The last few weeks, I've been reading post after post which says "Sun is alienating the entire open community" or "Sun is out to destroy Linux" or something similar. I'm curious what you people think of this action. Is Sun's entire motivation to improve a desktop environment that can be used on Solaris or are they trying to make *NIX more competitive on the desktop? Or - now just maybe - is Sun at least a little bit motivated to give back to the community like it says it wants to.
    • by qweqwe (104866) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:06PM (#3060798) Homepage
      Sun is Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde, good cop and bad cop, the good twin and the evil twin rolled into one. Companies as large and diverse as Sun and IBM don't speak with one voice. They have multiple personalities.
    • Didn't you get the memo?

      What is fashionable now is to be pragmatic under all circumstances, but when it comes to Sun or any of their products (specially Java and Solaris). Being critical of Microsoft technologies is now "passé". Here are some simple guidelines so you don't look funny when posting:

      1. If ever you make an argument against any company or technology (specially against MS), you have to always counter with something in favor. This a is not optional, it is a mandatory practice. If you fail to do so, you will look like a zealot lacking any critical thought. By opposition, if you are attacking Sun, it is always very clear-cut: it's black or it's white (and coming from Sun, it can only be black).

      2. You must always use shorter yardsticks to measure MS. If S.B. says that Linux is a cancer, it's normal. Hey, they are the competition, what can you expect? If B.J. says that C# has not being designed to be completely secure, open fire. Obviously he is way of base, he is completely sold out and hasn't even read correctly the .Net doc.

      3. If referring to similar products, even if one has been proven and is widely used, always take down Sun's. For instance, Java is slow and if I want to change a standard API I have to go throughout a community process that sux because there are to many companies involved. .Net is very well thought of, even if it's a copy of java and is an ECMA standard, that guaranties that I would never be screwed. In theory, some day in the future, if someone implements it, I will be able to program in my favorite language and maybe for my favorite OS. Even if nothing forbids anyone to implement a compiler that generates Java bytecode form Perl, .Net is the real Multilanguage thing since MS is hyping it like its really a good idea to make for their lack of OS portability.

      Finally, as a general principle, be always suspicious of all things Sun. If they do something that may appears good for the open source community, there is certainly a bad reason. If you can't find any bad reason right away, just remember that they haven't made Java nor Solaris open source and they don't want to certify JBoss for free.
    • I've never seen any evidence Sun is evil. They opened services like YP and NFS and released (BSD-style) free source code before open source became a buzz-word, they bought out StarOffice and turned it into an open source project, and most important of all they supported Unix during the dark times, when it was virtually the only open platform in existance.

      There are complaints about Java not being open source or free, but what did anyone expect them to do, given the 5000lb Gorilla that would have destroyed what they were trying to achieve before it stood a chance.

      Sun is on my list of the "good guys". But I guess it all depends on where you stand...

      • Mod the parent up:

        " I've never seen any evidence Sun is evil. They opened services like YP and NFS and released (BSD-style) free source code before open source became a buzz-word, they bought out StarOffice and turned it into an open source project, and most important of all they supported Unix during the dark times, when it was virtually the only open platform in existance.

        There are complaints about Java not being open source or free, but what did anyone expect them to do, given the 5000lb Gorilla that would have destroyed what they were trying to achieve before it stood a chance.

        Sun is on my list of the "good guys". But I guess it all depends on where you stand..."

        He's right. Other than pull Java out of the standards bodies, what exactly has Sun done that can be seen as negative by anyone other than MS?

        Unlike Intel, their first attack method isn't to sue, they've said over and over (for years) that they want an open system with lots of competition, as mentioned they've made NFS and NIS Free, they constantly innovate (with things like Java) and they seem to be doing a good job of taking over, and often opening, other companies.

        Cobalt is doing just as well now, StarOffice is turning out great, NetBeans is now Free and improving, Java, while not yet as open as many would like, is progressing well and is available for Linux and FreeBSD, Sun's pouring lots of resources into Gnome, StarOffice and other technologies that directly benefit the OSS community, and they do all of this while putting up with all of the sniping from the very community they're working so hard to help.

        Personally, I think people should be a touch more suspicious of IBM and a bit friendlier with Sun.
  • by JPMH (100614) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:03PM (#3060782)
    ... all because Miguel threatened to replace Bonobo with .NET ? :-)
  • Uh oh, WIPRO. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrsam (12205) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:06PM (#3060799) Homepage
    At my day job (a huge corporate behemoth), they decided to use WIPRO to build a business-critical application. Well, they've been regretting this decision for two years now.

    Everyone had dollar signs in their eyes at first: using cheap overseas labor, how much money they'll save, yadda yadda yadda...

    Well, the PHBs discovered that if they wanted cheap overseas labor, that's exactly what they got with WIPRO: cheap, shoddy labor. Spaghetti, unmaintainable code all around.

    I really hope that WIPRO's "contributions" to the GNOME project would undergo the same scrutiny and vetting as anyone else's submitted patches and contributed code.

    • Re:Uh oh, WIPRO. (Score:5, Informative)

      by luge (4808) <slashdot@tiegUMLAUTuy.org minus punct> on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:14PM (#3060827) Homepage
      A number of Wipro patches have already been rejected and sent back for reworking. Ximian and Sun can not and will not force maintainers to accept patches from them. Of course, Sun may apply those patches to their own builds of GNOME, but they could do that no matter what. It's important to remember that using GNOME doesn't make sense for Sun if they destroy the community in the process.
      • Re:Uh oh, WIPRO. (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510)
        Luis, you've got your work cut out for you. I've seen the effect of outsourcing development and even just maintence work to third world countries. Typically the programmers jump in and start producing patches way before they have enough domain experience to know WTF they are doing. I've seen companies blindly trust the 3rd world developers to do things right and let them check into the tree themselves. Worst mistake those companies have ever made, at least one company spent 3 months just trying to recover from it.

        You guys are going to have to be exceptionally vigilant in dealing with the output from wipro's people. I expect that for the first year or so, while they are getting up to speed, their contribution will be net negative because of all the work everyone else has to do make sure they don't F it up.
        • Re:Uh oh, WIPRO. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JanneM (7445) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:53PM (#3060982) Homepage
          But this is not really too different from the normal open-source process. People just starting out is going to write poor code, reinvent the wheel and seeing their patches being rejected quite a lot. As their domain experience grows, so does their skill.

          the difference here is of course that Sun has a stick and a carrot available by virtue of paying them, and are being able to determine what they will work on, and can demand a higher level of professionalism.

          /Janne
    • And the great thing about open source is?

      Nobody can stop improvements..... But getting things layed out, even if wrong.....

      It's easier to improve then to originate.

      :)
  • Too many cooks... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psiren (6145) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @01:09PM (#3060809)
    This just makes me wonder if the number of people working on Gnome has increased too much. There's been plenty of examples of throwing developers at a project to speed up development, only for it to have the opposite effect. It takes time for new developers to learn the innards of a project. I can only see this making things worse.

    I gave up on coding for Gnome about 6 months ago because I got fed up chasing my tail with new and incompatabile libararies popping up every five minutes. It seems to me that this occurred because of a lack of communciation between all the developers. How adding a whole bunch more of them to the mix will help this is beyond me.

    Having said all that, I hope it does work. Too much effort has gone into Gnome for it not to succeed. And I see KDE vs Gnome as a good thing. I think it keeps everyone on their toes.
    • by bogie (31020)
      KDE v Gnome was a good thing years ago. But now it is largely a duplication of efforts. Granted its pie in the sky, but imagine how far along the linux desktop would be if all those developers coded for one and not two projects. The bazaar model is not always the best. The problem is how do you tell someone who codes for free what they should work on? And even though I don't like KDE v Gnome I'm certainly not going to tell someone what they should code.
      • . Granted its pie in the sky, but imagine how far along the linux desktop would be if all those developers coded for one and not two projects.

        Ii don't agree. Competition keeps people moving. Linux didn't patch the kernel until the major branches became a threat.

        Now, if only we could junk X windows and replace it with display postscript and other MacOS X goodies...
      • I love the duplication of effort. Don't ever stop it. Why? Simple. Because the desktop I want to use might not be the system you want to use. I'm serious. We just might disagree on whether the enforced and mandatory destkop should be Gnome or KDE.
      • But now it is largely a duplication of efforts. Granted its pie in the sky, but imagine how far along the linux desktop would be if all those developers coded for one and not two projects.

        You are assuming that all developers who work separately on GNOME and KDE could have moved to a single project and made the resulting destkop better and faster. This is probably not true.

        It is likely that some developers who are working on GNOME or KDE now would not be working on any desktop project if the only choice had been the other destkop environment. There are some significant technical and conceptual differences between both projects and some programmers are much more likely to contribute to a project that fits the way they think. The first difference is in the programming languages: although both projects use object-oriented concepts, the GNOME libraries are written in C (which makes it easier to add bindings for other languages such as Perl or Python) and the KDE libraries are written in C++ (which makes the development faster if you stick to C++). This is just an example; there are many other differences in the architecture of both systems.

        The problem is how do you tell someone who codes for free what they should work on?

        Nobody should tell them. They should work on whatever they feel comfortable with. Some developers will prefer GNOME because they prefer the way the GNOME libraries are designed. Some of them will prefer KDE because they prefer the way the KDE libraries are designed. There are not so many experienced programmers who would feel equally at home in both environments. So let them choose whatever they want and work on what they like best. There is not much duplication of effort anyway.

    • Re:Too many cooks... (Score:2, Informative)

      by martijn-s (456925)
      Thinking up new stuff is really fun, and probably the main cause of all those libraries popping up. Hobbyists will do this fun stuff all the time, but these people are paid do to an entirely different job.

      Don't forget they've been assigned mostly clean-up, ready for commercial rollout jobs. They are not designing completely new libraries (except for maybe that accessability thing).
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @02:06PM (#3061059) Homepage
    As touched on above, yes, Sun is very committed to the GNOME project. It will become a "supported" desktop mid this year. Later, it will become the preferred desktop for Solaris.

    People are correct in pointing out that Sun has slipped on their deadline for integrating GNOME into a Solaris release.

    I certainly see this is a win for Sun. I'm hoping that the GNOME people are seeing Sun's contributions as a win, too.

    Me? I've used Ximian Red Carpet to install GNOME + goodies on my Solaris 7 box. My only unhappyness is that all my keys on the left hand side of the keyboard (copy, paste, raise to front, etc) aren't working. Some of that can be handled in the configuration, though.
  • by aminorex (141494) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @02:11PM (#3061078) Homepage Journal
    NeWS, Motif, CDE, now Gnome. I think the CDE
    experience blinded Sun to the KDE advantage,
    because KDE incorporates too much CDE icing.
    It's really too bad, because KDE provides a
    superior component architecture, and it much
    more advanced in it's functional development
    than is Gnome.
    • Superior component architecture? Superior to what? Definetly not superior to Bonobo.
      • by Karma Sucks (127136) on Sunday February 24, 2002 @03:57PM (#3061571)
        Is this why Bonobo is being replaced by .NET? Step back and look at Bonobo again. Where is it now? Who is using it? Who *likes* it besides the GNOME promotion department? Where is it going?

        It should tell you something that to launch Evolution you have to run at least 5 other processes! This is a horrible idea with horrible consequences. Not only is it stupid on a local machine, but it doesn't even *work* on a distributed network. So what's the point?

        Most GNOME elements can't even talk to each other on the desktop. In KDE, *all* of them can. That's DCOP. In KDE, component embedding is a *piece of cake*. Can't say that for Bonobo.

        Bonobo is the whole reason people are looking elsewhere to improve the GNOME development platform. I'm sorry, but the Network Object Model of GNOME never was. Come back when you have .NET-based GNOME, then I will be truly impressed.

    • Actually I'm pretty sure it'll be something to do with the fact that Sun don't want to have to tell people like Veritas, Oracle and other ISV's, "Errrrm, sorry guys you're going to have to pay arbitrary fees to TrollTech, cos we've decided to go with a desktop toolkit that doesn't belong to us".

      Just think of the stranglehold that'd give TrollTech over Sun and any software vendors that deploy on Solaris, can you imagine Microsoft giving another company control of the windows desktop toolkit?

      Before you reply back with "they can afford it" or any other such arguments, I'm sure Sun's view was that despite KDE's advantages, it'd be easier to take gnome and bring it up to KDE's level, than hand over control of their desktop to a 3rd party.

      Alex
    • What the hell does KDE have to do with CDE? What is "CDE icing" and why is it "too bad"? What does CDE's archecture have to do with blinding Sun? I use CDE every day, so please explain this to me...

      How the hell did this post get modded up to Insightful? Is it time to differentiate Geek Karma from Polictical/Social Karma? The one group knows nothing about the other, and those that get a bunch of Karma by moderating Katz' insipid pieces jump into technology discussions with mod points burning a hole in their pockets. The result is embarassing, IMHO.

  • So Sun is developing this version of one of the two major destop environments for Linux - the OS that it's busy badmouthing saying that it can't keep up with what they have? Sure, I get it - GNOME is a good desktop environment and is NOT the OS - but try telling that to Bob the Mid-Level Manager. And then you also end up losing recognition...
    • What about the fact that Sun now uses CDE, the same environment used on other commercial Unices? If anything, this will make them stand apart. Plus, although Gnome development started out Linux-centric, it really isn't a desktop environment for Linux, it's a desktop environment for Unix, and Sun's effort strengthens that position.
      • Rephrase: one of the two major destops environments commonly found in Linux distributions. I just think that Sun needs to be careful to not blur Solaris and Linux (yeah, I'll never be unable to tell those two apart. But it's Bob the mid-level manager that you don't want to confuse. He still holds the cash).
  • It's funny, we don't hear of *any* contributions from Sun to KDE. It's as if they are trying to create a divergence in the community.

    The fact that KDE has been progressing leaps and bounds without Sun's help, is on schedule, and works *better* on Solaris than GNOME itself, must be a truly worrying prospect for Sun. Add in Mono, and they've got a problem.

    However, despite being a KDE'r I wish the GNOMEs luck with their 50 Indian developers. It'd be instructive to see what they can do against the handful of volunteer KDE developers.
  • Desktop Sun (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Snowfox (34467) <{ten.xofwons} {ta} {xofwons}> on Sunday February 24, 2002 @05:42PM (#3062016) Homepage
    I'm curious; please believe that this isn't a troll: Does GNOME on Sun really matter?

    Where are Suns being used as something other than a server? Are there business sectors where Sun workstations are common?

    I thought SGI pretty much owned the UNIX workstation market.

    • Re:Desktop Sun (Score:2, Informative)

      by ogren (32428)

      Snowfox asks: I'm curious; please believe that this isn't a troll: Does GNOME on Sun really matter?

      Where are Suns being used as something other than a server? Are there business sectors where Sun workstations are common?

      I thought SGI pretty much owned the UNIX workstation market.

      Nope. Sun has 76% marketshare for the RISC workstation market. SGI does well in the graphics workstation market, but Sun has the technical workstation space.

      Yahoo article on workstation marketshare [yahoo.com]

    • Re:Desktop Sun (Score:2, Informative)

      by rnash (530673)
      Where are Suns being used as something other than a server? Are there business sectors where Sun workstations are common?

      I work (or more exactly am being rent by) for a company working in the private mobile radio area (selling to corporations or public safety).

      And there I see 200 people develloping on Sun workstations and behind them lie Sun servers. They've been using them with Rational Clearcase (plus debugging tools) for years before Clearcase became fully functional on Linux (seems like only RedHat is officialy supported by Rational, full power since R4.1).

  • Bye Bye Open Windows (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hfk (539863)
    As a side note, Open Windows will not be included with Solaris 9. Remember all those pop-ups in Solaris's Open Windows warning of it's impending abandonment? They meant it.
  • now even more developers will argue and fight on mailing lists instead of coding
  • As a company that doesn't know shit about UI, Sun beats them all. What else beside Gnome for Sun? CDE? Give me a break!

    When I think that they had the opportunity to use OpenStep 7 years ago when they licensed it from NeXT. Idiots!

    Oh, and the metal look is just a windows knock off. Better, if you want to have a good laugh, just read the "Designing UI for Java" by Sun Press. Hilarous!

    If MS is a company that doesn't have taste (according to SJ), then Sun must be the company that has no taste at all.

    PPA, the girl next door.

Passwords are implemented as a result of insecurity.

Working...