Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
GNOME GUI KDE Software Technology

GNOME and KDE Devs Wrangle Over 'System Settings' Name 289

Posted by timothy
from the keyboard-chooser-by-any-other-name dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The developer of the KDE System Settings application has launched a formal complaint against GNOME for renaming 'Control Center' to 'System Settings' in GNOME 3.0. This developer is demanding that GNOME immediately change the name of their control panel area. Developers on both sides are now discussing this act."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

GNOME and KDE Devs Wrangle Over 'System Settings' Name

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23, 2011 @01:35PM (#36857736)

    Seems both KDE and Gnome are making themselves irrelevant. Switched to XFCE, not going back.

    • by JamesP (688957) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @01:42PM (#36857780)

      [2]

      No, really, this is ridiculous

      KDE for breaking and rebuilding everything, while making it half-assed.
      Gnome for dumbing-things down excessively (we may call it 'retarding-it-down')

      Switched to XFCE. Next computer is going to be from that company from Cupertino

      This whole kind of idiocy is why we can't have nice things...

      • by mhh91 (1784516)

        I'm sorry, KDE is far from half-assed now, it might have been unstable back in the days of KDE 4.0.x

        I'm using 4.6.5 on Arch Linux right now, and it's even more stable than GNOME 3.0, I know it should be, but yet again, 4.6.5 is the latest stable release, it hasn't been tested that thoroughly, either

        Not to mention that Arch is known to be bleeding edge, so it's not the most stable distro around.

        So yeah, I chose to go with KDE, at least for now, it's more reliable and customizable than GNOME 3.0.

        • by lattyware (934246)
          Same situation here. I gues to run Gnome, switched when Gnome 3 couldn't handle my triple monitor set up. Now using KDE and liking it a lot.
        • by JamesP (688957)

          True, I like(d) KDE, last time I tried it was 4.2 IIRC

          Also, there's an issue with distros not properly supporting it. Even Kubuntu is so-so.

          I LOVED KDE 3, KDE 4, even without the problems, I'm not a huge fan

          But it's KDE anytime over Gnome. And what I like about XFCE is that it keeps the customization aspects of KDE while being lightweight.

          • Oh, KDE 4.6 (and upcomming 4.7) are miles ahead of 4.2. After all, it is 2.5 years of development since you last checked...

            Free software is not like closed source, it moves continuously: there is no particular incentive for big releases which mpres customers. But the progress accumulates just the same.

        • by HiThere (15173)

          KDE4 is currently much better than it was, but it's not yet as good as Gnome2, much less as good as KDE3.x. I'm not, however, saying that it isn't better than Gnome3 will be. Early appearances are that it's better.

          Whether I'll switch back the KDE4, or switch to LXDE when Gnome2 is withdrawn is not something I've decided upon. Maybe there'll be a successful revival of KDE3. (I know it's being worked on. The last time I looked, the repositories weren't working.)

      • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @01:52PM (#36857856) Homepage

        No, really, this is ridiculous

        They're just following the Microsoft model of renaming/moving everything just when you get to know where things are and what they're called.

        Microsoft spends millions of $$$ a year on usability studies so it must be the correct thing to do.

        • by Darinbob (1142669) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @04:11PM (#36858664)

          When you get to the phase where your new features all involve renaming things, rounding corners, or improving "user experience" then you know it's done and you should pick a new project to work on.

          I'm sort of serious here. Early on in a project there are lots of important changes and each release has some big improvements. Later on though the devs/company wants to keep up having recent releases so they start reaching deep in the barrel to find things to keep the feature list full.

          • by zooblethorpe (686757) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @05:39PM (#36859088)

            When you get to the phase where your new features all involve renaming things, rounding corners, or improving "user experience" then you know it's done and you should pick a new project to work on.

            My wife spent some time in serious art-school mode. One of the profs that she greatly respected told her that making great art requires two people -- 1) the person capable of making the piece, and 2) someone else to shoot the first person when they're done. This is because most folks can't leave well enough alone and keep futzing until what was great (or at least on the cusp of it) is munged beyond the pale.

            It does indeed look like at least some of the Linux DEs are at the "shoot the artist" stage.

            Cheers,

            • by Hatta (162192)

              2) someone else to shoot the first person when they're done.

              Oh, an editor.

            • It does indeed look like at least some of the Linux DEs are at the "shoot the artist" stage.

              Gnome is well past that point. And Unity either hasn't reached it, or was there before it started.

      • [2]

        No, really, this is ridiculous

        No, really, it's worse than ridiculous. KDE shouldn't be calling their's "System Setting" either:
        https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=199326 [kde.org]

      • by jimicus (737525)

        Next computer is going to be from that company from Cupertino

        I did the same thing about six years ago. Frankly, even then it was obvious that F/OSS on the desktop was going to be in a constant catch-up with Microsoft (who themselves are frequently in a catch-up with Apple) - and I was no longer prepared to spend ages messing around because the Latest Greatest Distro has so many bugs (however minor) that I have to spend hours fighting with it.

        • Next computer is going to be from that company from Cupertino

          I did the same thing about six years ago. Frankly, even then it was obvious that F/OSS on the desktop was going to be in a constant catch-up with Microsoft...

          That's odd, your experience apparently does not mirror mine. From time to time I run a Microsoft PC and these days it always feels like slumming compared to my KDE/Linux experience. Why does Microsoft think it is a good idea to end your scroll drag if you happen to drift more than X pixels to the side of the scroll bar? And what is this double clicking nonsense? I don't have to double click on a web link, why should starting an application be different? There are so many little issues of fit and finish like

          • by jimicus (737525)

            That's odd, your experience apparently does not mirror mine. From time to time I run a Microsoft PC and these days it always feels like slumming compared to my KDE/Linux experience. Why does Microsoft think it is a good idea to end your scroll drag if you happen to drift more than X pixels to the side of the scroll bar? And what is this double clicking nonsense?

            This was a few years ago, and TBH it wasn't the polish of the desktop environment itself that pushed me. It was the fact that (at the time at least) it didn't take very much work to turn yourself into a corner case that was poorly supported and even more poorly tested. Multi-monitor support was dire, if I bought a modern inkjet printer I'd typically have to wait 6-12 months for it to get good support (which is a PITA when your average inkjet is only on the market for 12 months or so). There was no single ev

            • That's odd, your experience apparently does not mirror mine. From time to time I run a Microsoft PC and these days it always feels like slumming compared to my KDE/Linux experience. Why does Microsoft think it is a good idea to end your scroll drag if you happen to drift more than X pixels to the side of the scroll bar? And what is this double clicking nonsense?

              This was a few years ago, and TBH it wasn't the polish of the desktop environment itself that pushed me. It was the fact that (at the time at least) it didn't take very much work to turn yourself into a corner case that was poorly supported and even more poorly tested. Multi-monitor support was dire, if I bought a modern inkjet printer I'd typically have to wait 6-12 months for it to get good support (which is a PITA when your average inkjet is only on the market for 12 months or so). There was no single event that pushed me, it was more a "death by a thousand cuts" kind of thing that eventually led to me saying "Enough! If I'm going to battle with a desktop OS, I'm going to be paid for it!"

              YMMV and all that.

              Indeed, my mileage does vary, I enjoy not having to put in a driver disk to install a printer. My printer experience on Linux lately has been that you plug in the USB cable to whatever printer, new or old, and it prints. And you can generally expect printing to continue to work properly even after many years of system updates. No doubt there are exceptions to this rule, I just haven't hit any recently. And Windows PCs are hardly immune from printer problems [google.com].

              • by jimicus (737525)

                Oh, these things all worked in basic terms, that wasn't the issue. But you don't buy a fancy photo printer that is sold with the ability to print on CDs and right to the edge of the paper for fun.

                Those features - minor though they are - simply did not exist on Linux at the time. The "print on CDs" feature was only implemented by sheer chance when someone pointed out that Epson had re-used a well-known command to instruct the printer to load the CD tray.

                Upshot: Yes, you can get basic functionality on Linux q

            • by arth1 (260657)

              Multi-monitor support was dire,

              It still is. It's a shame that if I want to use two monitors and screen locking, I can't run Gnome. Because each display reports non-use separately, so in the middle of typing a document, if I bump the mouse over to the other display, the screen saver locks both of them, due to one of them not having been used for a while.
              Then there's gdm and the login prompt that doesn't see the monitors in the same order as the desktop does. Makes for some interesting mousing, especially with four monitors.
              Oh, and like

      • by couchslug (175151)

        "This whole kind of idiocy is why we can't have nice things..."

        XFCE _IS_ nice!

        • by JamesP (688957)

          "This whole kind of idiocy is why we can't have nice things..."

          XFCE _IS_ nice!

          Agree 100%! Using XFCE right now!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      e17 ftw. :) Lighter than XFCE, even more customizable. Don't regret installing it for a moment. :)

      • by Stiletto (12066)

        Lighter? What, does it make my laptop weigh less? What does that even mean anymore?

        • by bhcompy (1877290) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @02:29PM (#36858114)
          There's that word again; "lighter". Why are things so much lighter in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?
          • The windows are all rendered in pastels.

          • There's that word again; "lighter". Why are things so much lighter in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?

            You'll know in 1986,
            I can't believe that nobody got the BttF quote!

          • There's that word again; "lighter". Why are things so much lighter in the future? Is there a problem with the earth's gravitational pull?

            Wrong "lighter" -- They're talking the portable device that "can summon up fire without flint or tinder."

            "This new battery makes my laptop lighter." Which is to say: The battery is now responsible for the device's spontaneous combustion capabilities.

            Software that is very flawed can contribute to overheating, really bad code (especially in firmware) may cause a meltdown or small lap flame.

            I'm positive that widespread pyromania is responsible for the term's proliferation and mistaken "positive" connota

        • by Osgeld (1900440) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @02:39PM (#36858174)

          go get a early pentium4 with 512 megs of ram, run gnome and then run xfce (try your best to not infect it with too many gnome libs) you will see what lighter means instantly

          on a much more extreme example take my powermac 9600/300. yea its slow but perfectly usable in xfce, in fact I had to use it for a couple weeks when my main desktop took a dump, uses half of its 256 megs of memory and suits its needs as both a daily electronics bench machine and retro computer (its 14 years old). I installed *something* that installed and started a gnome process and it doubled the boot time and left me with like 3% free memory, then failed to load the application.

        • by mcgrew (92797) * on Saturday July 23, 2011 @03:10PM (#36858338) Homepage Journal

          It's the politically correct term for "not so damned fat and bloated", although "leaner" might be more PC.

          I thought it was silly too until I rtfa. KDE is right, it will cause problems for folks using both.

        • by Darinbob (1142669)

          It makes your laptop weigh less. That's simple enough to understand. You see as we spend more and more time computing, even to the point where we are carrying out laptops out of our cubicles to our homes, working on weekends and vacations, we start to lose more and more muscle mass. So the lighter laptops are required in order to keep us slaving away.

      • by lattyware (934246)
        Also ugly as sin and horrible to use. I tried it a while back when Gnome stopped supporting my triple monitor setup, couldn't stand it. I ended up going to KDE.
      • by thsths (31372) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @03:20PM (#36858404)

        I have to say that XFCE is getting mighty fat recently - it is no fun on an old PC or even in a virtual machine. Which means that I am moving on to LXDE - it does just what I want, and it does it quickly.

        Is there a law that says software has to get fat over time? Because that is surely the way it is going. KDE 1.0 was pretty light at some point, and up to KDE 3 it worked well in a virtual machine. I guess I could always use trinity instead - but then again I really like okular over kpdf...

        • by Raenex (947668)

          Is there a law that says software has to get fat over time?

          Yes, it's the natural order of software. "Gee, wouldn't it be nice to have feature X?" And usually the answer is "yes", at least for a large enough number of people. Repeat that over enough years and your software will become bloated.

          The cycle starts anew when the bloat becomes too much, and people flock to a lightweight competitor.

    • This is ridiculous!

      Of course it is. Even I know to use mv to rename something in Linux.

    • by danbuter (2019760)
      I've switched to XFCE, and I like it a lot. Much better than either the current Gnome or KDE.
    • by Baseclass (785652)
      I switched to XFCE about 6 months ago and I couldn't be happier.
      It's fully functional and lightweight, the way a DE should be IMHO.
  • Is that the biggest issue we face? Are we turning in to commercial software companies now? Did he request it in the Eastern District of Texas?
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 23, 2011 @01:42PM (#36857786)

      RTFA. The real issue is that duplicating the name is causing system conflicts for those with both installed.

      • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

        Then why not instead make it so having both installed with the same name doesn't matter...? I can think of a few easy fixes and my day job is not programming... Instead they want to act like three year olds, which frankly is silly.

        • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday July 23, 2011 @02:13PM (#36858010) Homepage Journal
          If you have two menu items with the same name, how do you decide which to choose? The short-term solution being proposed in the thread is to rename the "System Settings" of whatever desktop is not in use: call GNOME's app "GNOME System Settings" when in a KDE desktop.
          • by Shadow99_1 (86250)

            The easiest solution is to add a check on the area your using (whether this is on disk or in memory) and see if what you want is actually there. Not being a programmer I can't tell where specifically they currently overlap, but adding checks to verify the state of something is 101 level comp sci stuff I learned back with basic in high school.

            In the worst case were they directly are overwriting the same data and messing everything up a small utility which can even separate the settings by app within the same

          • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @06:34PM (#36859388) Journal

            That is precisely how they decided to solve it [gnome.org], to everyone's satisfaction [gnome.org]. Nothing to see here anymore, move along.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          It really depends on how and where they conflict. For example, if both insist on using the same directory name in the same menu/subdirectory, it might not be easily resolvable. There could be cases that would require one of the projects to change names of file, directories, menus, whatever. "Fixing" it without either side changing anything in their own projects could require a lot lower level fundamental changes to other areas.

          And since you're right, they are both acting like 3 year olds, I doubt those w

      • The developers probably don't see that as a problem; it's something like an "unpermitted use case", which is code for something they'd never do, hence nobody else should.

      • RTFA. The real issue is that duplicating the name is causing system conflicts for those with both installed.

        Aha! So the true culprit is Linux, for not providing a proper namespace mechanism.

        • The real problem is themselves, for not providing a menu system that allows for any other environment to be simultaneously installed.

        • Not so much Linux, the kernel knows nothing about these files. The structure they are using to specify menu entries is specified by freedesktop.org, who are suppose to provide specifications for ensuring desktop environments are compatible so in a sense it's their fault. Suddenly the Windows pseudo-standard of CompanyName -> Application Name makes a little more sense.

      • by erroneus (253617)

        I read the article and the thread. There is a perfectly good solution presented and that would be to use the OnlyShowIn option on the .desktop files. That option was created specifically to handle situations like these and it would be proper to utilize them.

        While the KDE side would like to see different names as their form of distinction, I would argue that it is actually more advantageous that the names be identical to help the user when switching between KDE and GNOME. As pointed out, having two simila

      • RTFA. The real issue is that duplicating the name is causing system conflicts for those with both installed.

        Nor is this the first time something like this has happened between KDE and Gnome:
        https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=632044 [gnome.org]

  • This is definitely something worth arguing about.
    • by llindy (1030642)

      This is definitely something worth arguing about.

      You're right, as I DO use both kde and gnome. One does say System Settings, the other is Control Center. Hence, I've run into the same situation with "screensaver: which now I have 2 entries, both of which are identical, but alas, click the wrong one, and it asks you if you want to shut down gnome. What a pity that Gnome & KDE devs have to act like a couple of kids in a sandbox, and you stole my toy.

  • Quote from TFA: "He says that it will cause packaging problems if there cannot be two System Settings entries in a desktop menu, as such when running GNOME the KDE System Settings application may not appear listed".
    If that's the case it's a bit ridiculous. Maybe it'd be good to add some kind of namespace system.
    Anyway...this doesn't deserve to be on slashdot front page.
    • by wagnerrp (1305589)
      While I might understand if they're talking about actual command line applications, as that will cause file conflicts in package managers, but that can be solved by simply prefixing each with there DE name, as should have been done in the first place. If you're running the GNOME desktop environment, why would you want to run the KDE System Settings application?
    • by Laser Lou (230648)

      Anyway...this doesn't deserve to be on slashdot front page.

      Slashdot is "New for Nerds", right? Can you think of anything more nerdish?

  • Well, I also think that naming conventions should be enforced strictly to avoid getting in the user's way. For instance, there's a "feature" of latin languages (such as Italian, my native language) that can lead to lots of problems if one doesn't stick to the appropriated name conventions: the word order in expressions such as "Foo options" or "Foo settings" is the opposite with respect to English. Therefore, when you want to configure a network card you never know if you have to search "Network" or "Option
    • No, that's a different problem. That problem is that you're searching for the name of the thing you want directly, rather than a tag, or a word IN the name of the thing you want.

      If your files and panels and whatnot are indexed properly, then when you search for network, you get all of the network related panels, and when you search for network settings, it doesn't just search for the string "network settings" but for all of the panels tagged, "network" which are also tagged, "settings." or have both word

  • Are the requirements so different that the KDE and GNOME guys can't work together to establish a common framework that would work well for both of them, and free up some additional cycles, say for keeping virtuoso from filling up the disk with .xsession errors or making GNOME 3 more configurable?

  • Can somebody explain where exactly there is a conflict? Which namespaces are affected? dbus, /usr/bin/*, package names, .desktop files? "System Settings" as a name sounds perfectly fine and it makes perfect sense to name it that way for both environments, because it is a similar tool for the same job. Wouldn't the proper solution for this simply be to name the thing gsystem-setting and the other ksystem-settings and just label the menu entry "System Settings" depending on what DE you are currently running?

  • Why doesn't KDE just go with Kontrol Center and let Gnome use System Gsettings ?
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      cause kde wants it THEIR way, and gnome wants it THEIR way

      frankly I dont see the problem, kde has historically had most of its software listed with a K in front, why change it

  • by drolli (522659) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @02:13PM (#36858004) Journal

    The problem seems to be that duplicate names for different entries in menus on common distributions seem not be be correctly handled and the fix for this is not to go the consistent way (the same things are named in the same way) and fix the functions which create the menus (like detecting duplicate entries and attaching an indication of the package name in the entry), but to plainly forbid to name entries in the same way?

    I dont like that. This is not the year of the linux desktop.

  • if you have an application named "System Settings" in both gnome and kde, you are going to have conflicts when both window managers are installed on the system. I'm not exactly certain how, but processes may confuse one for the other; it's just really bad practice to have two applications named the same anyhow. even if they *are* seperate distros.

  • All this just because KDE wouldn't be able to call it Kontrol Kenter
  • by starfishsystems (834319) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @03:53PM (#36858556) Homepage
    There is no Linux namespace issue here. Linux inherits a hierarchical filesystem and strong conventions for environment variables such as PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH. If tens of thousands of complex applications can coexist under this discipline, session managers have no excuse for breakage.

    It seems to be simply egregiously arrogant design for two session managers to insist on appropriating exactly the same part of this environment for themselves. That's like the C compiler insisting on using JAVA_HOME for some special purpose of its own.

    Am I missing something fundamental here? Because I have found both Gnome and KDE to be a step backwards in terms of true ease of use and configurability compared to much simpler predecessors like twm. I can't even change the root cursor color. Pathetic.
    • I can't even change the root cursor color. Pathetic.

      Wow, what an important feature. The GNOME (and KDE) devs should stop adding features like on-screen-keyboard support in GNOME Shell, truly rounded window corners, and complete chat integration in the shell to focus on what's obviously more important: an option to change the root cursor color.

      Does it really matter that much? On a scale of "Pointless" to "Absolutely necessary", it ranks just below "It'd be nice to have". Of all the features users and developers really want, it's pretty low on most peoples' li

  • KDE should rename their Settings application to a unique string like: 'KDE Settings GnomeAreJerks' or 'Settings for KDE-is-better-than-GNOME'.

    That solves the name conflict and underlying problems in one fell swoop.

  • Both sides need adult supervision, and should grow up.
  • I have Gnome 2, Unity, Xfce, and LXDE all on my home Linux workstation.

    Due to having these 4 DEs on one box, my "Settings" menu is a bit cluttered. For example, the Gnome 2 settings options appear on my Xfce's Settings menu.

    Why not just preface all their settings with their name? Such as "KDE System Settings", "Gnome System Settings", "Xfce System Settings", and so forth? That way it is more apparent which settings belongs to which DE, and as an added bonus if using alphabetical sort then each DE's menus an

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "Why not just preface all their settings with their name? Such as "KDE System Settings", "Gnome System Settings", "Xfce System Settings", and so forth?"

      Because that isn't sufficiently "cute" or "user friendly".

      It's the right of developers who work hard to give us Free stuff to be Aspies and not "get" users other than themselves.

      It's our right to point that out.

Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

Working...