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Happy Birthday, KDE 114

KS writes: "Well, today, July 12, 2000 makes exactly 2 years since KDE 1.0 was released. It seems like forever. LinuxPlanet has a nice overview of the event and progress since then." It's amazing how much progress Linux has made in the last few years.
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Happy Birthday, KDE

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  • by Junks Jerzey ( 54586 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @01:27PM (#938789)
    It is mildly frustrating that both leading GUI efforts are from the Windows school. That is, both are very geared toward fiddly gadgets and customizing themselves rather than having specific usability goals in mind. Note: I know about Blackbox (which I use) and Sawmill and such, but those are raw window managers for X and nothing more.

    Now that Kylix seems to be locking into Qt and Corel has chosen KDE, there looks to be less opportunity for something cleaner and more user-oriented to come along. Even if someone were working in a different direction, they have a lot of corporate momentum to overcome. That's why most people are using Windows in the first place, unfortunately.
  • Exactly, the Gnome project was formed because many in the Free Software community were worried that KDE and the proprietary QT widget set would become a de-facto standard on GNU/Linux systems.

    In fact, it is almost absolutely amazing that Gnome is now at a state where it is comparable to KDE. After all, KDE had a head start, and the Gnome folks had to build a GUI toolkit first and a Corba subsystem first.

    But there you have it.

  • Happy birthday to all the flamewars that came about as a result!
  • Oh man, this has to be illegal. Humorous anyway. Lets hope andover isnt the law suit type.
  • Uh, I'll probably be struck dead by a bolt of lightning for suggesting this, but is is possible that the Windows "concept" (actually, its the Xerox concept, isn't it??) is the most intuitive and effient user interface we have come up with so far?

    I mean, voice recogonition is way off still, and I don't vote to have an electrode attached to my frontal lobe, so maybe the mouse and the icon are the best we've got (aside from the terminal screen, but thats another debate I don't want to get into).

    I pose the question to you. Is there, somewhere, a better, easier and more efficent way to present images and information to the human brain?
  • by mikpos ( 2397 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @02:28PM (#938794) Homepage
    Just thought I'd throw in my support for GNUstep [gnustep.org]. They are working very hard at getting it API compatible with OpenStep, and eventually Cocoa as well. In fact, I understand that GNUstep's NSDistantObject is already co-operating with Mac OS X's NSDistantObject (and there is/was some talk of creating a CORBA gateway for it). Right now, only a small part of AppKit is implemented (though nearly all of FoundationKit is), and what's there is slow, probably due to the poor performance of the X11 PostScript xgps that I'm using (if you're lucky enough to have a fast PostScript engine for your windowing system, such as on Windows or NeXT or many Unices, it may be quite a bit faster).

    Anyway, back to the point: if there is any free software written for OpenStep (e.g. NeXT) or Mac OS X, it should be able to run (eventually) without changes on GNUstep. Plus, the API is much cool. Not to suggest that OpenStep is the sole Wave Of The Future, but it is a very nice alternative to GNOME and KDE (or at least it will be once it gets a bit more mature).

  • This is the equivalent of a webpage which says "UNDER CONSTRUCTION". It's bad practice, and totally pointless.
    ABI Word used the "this isn't written" dialog extensively. Part of the dialog was the suggestion that the reader submit code to thier mailing list. Thats the purpose, to frustrate users into writing it. Now I'd be curious to know if it actually made a difference. It's really hard to measure when you think about it.
  • >and the things Steve Jobs saw at Xerox PARC were the Mac initial inspiratione

    no, No, NO! A thousand times, NO!

    PARC certainly influenced the mac, but it is not the source. The notion
    that the Lisa was insired by PARC is pure urban legend.

    The Lisa project began *before* the PARC tour. There were screen mockups *before* the PARC tour. Try
    http://home.san.rr.com/deans/lisagui.html [rr.com]
    for some of the history.

    Also note that many of the ideas used by PARC predate the project. Notably, Jeff Raskin's Master's thesis . . . yes, Raskin worked at PARC, but he was able to implement some things on the Mac that he'd proposed nearly 20 years earlier.

  • Mac OS X will be a single OS with a Unique feel. Sure it is a Unix OS but it isn't ever going to be Solaris, SCO, BSD or Linux. It's Mac OS X. Nothing more or less.

    In other words, Mac OS X doesn't mean more Desktop Unix. It means Desktop Macs have a Unix Like OS underneath.

    KDE on the other hand has the potential to move any workstation and some server Unixes closer to the desktop. After all it's just a very portable UI.

  • We have come a long way since the Xerox GUI Concept.

    Xerox didn't just have "concepts", they delivered a series of fully functional, easy to use office machines, as well as a series of languages and environments for building GUI applications.

    I find that even the best GUI libraries of today are much harder to program and and arguably harder to use than what Xerox delivered 20 years ago.

    So, do you care to elaborate in what way you think we have "come a long way"?

  • Code is open. Hack the code. Post the code. Code is reviewed. Code is liked. Code is integrated. Beautiful.
  • the themes that ive seen dont allow you to change the look, shape, etc of the buttons. Maybe I'm wrong :) As far as I knew, QT didnt allow changes in the shapes of buttons and stuff.
  • I have to throw in my 2 cents worth on the KDE thing =).

    Firstly, happy birthday and congratulations to all the KDE developers. You have developed a nice integrated desktop, allowed a method to move normal windows users into the Linux world without too much of a jarring shock (I have personally converted at least 14 people to Linux in the last 6 months). This gentle transition has proved to many that they can have a very familiar interface which sits atop a very stable OS and provides a great many of the common applications the average user would take advantage of on a daily basis.

    This is a key to successful Linux promotion. Moving users from Windows. I personally do not use KDE, but I can appreciate the KDE project contribution to Linux in general. Additionally, as a developer, I have to say that KDevelop is one lovely IDE. It gives me just the right amount of automation (nice autoconf and automake updating) without being in your face at every level. The development of KDevelop is a direct result of the KDE project. Another big thanks for that.

    Finally, I think its worth noting that design wise, KDE is really a bunch of very useful apps linked together in a logical way. I personally use BlackBox, but also launch kfm (for days when I feel lazy and want a GUI file manager) and kbgndwm to take care of my desktop background. This is a pretty setup for me. It allows BlackBox to run with a desktop and icons (via kfm, very handy) , and lets kcontrol set my desktop background to any pretty picture I want. If your'e interested in this setup, its a simple edit to your .xinitrc. Here's mine:

    exec & kfm; sleep 1
    exec & kbgndwm; sleep 2
    exec xscreensaver
    exec blackbox

    If you ever wanna set the desktop, just launch a terminal and run kcontrol.

    Try it....it works nicely....and oh yeah HAPPY BIRTHDAY GUYS

  • why is it that anytime something good happens to KDE or GNOME, or any other of the window managers for linux (or unix) people have to complain? all i ever hear is, "kde is the future" "no kde is bloated and slow and crap gnome is the future!", etc. The beauty is that you can CHOOSE. If you are a die hard gnome user that is fine, if you have something to say in an intellectual manner about the "other" window managers fine, but im getting tired of all this pointless arguing.
  • Thanks for providing another link to the Ed rant; I love that thing. :)

    Actually, I tend to find myself using either sed or cat, but each to his own. (I much prefer it to doing everything with dd+sh...)

    Well, most of what I run is, yes, xterms, Netscape, and usually mpg123 for mp3's; but PDF files just suck*, and I can see how file associations would be useful there. I gave up on them under GNOME after I tried to make one for a program that *really* wanted a terminal, even though all it really did was spawn an X-window.

    (I actually had it load itself in an xterm, but what's the point? It's like that DOS window that Windows spawns and then forgets to close at the end...)

    * How do we know PDFs suck? Because they look really crappy in Ed. Maybe if they weren't usually compressed... I mean, really, what was so wrong with gzipped PostScript that Adobe, in their infinite wisdom, had to mangle it and call it PDF and sell it back to us? Hmm? Ooo, they tried to stick something like HTML into it, too. Ugh.
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • Think it's funny that etch-a-schetch's birthday (40th) is today as well?

  • A picture is worth a thousand words.

  • That's Qt 1.x you are referring to. Qt 2.x offers very flexable and fast theming support, including gradients. It is the base of KDE theming support (which adds several other functions to theming). All I can say is KDE 2/Qt 2 widgit themes are impressive.
  • MacOS X is written on top of Darwin, which is Mach with a BSD-like personality layer on top of it. I heard someone was working on getting an X server working.

    The point being that, while MacOS X software will not work on Unix, Unix software should work on MacOS as well as it works on Unix.
  • C) Do you have a better coherent vision of what a UI should be? If so, why have you done nothing about it? Do you really think that bitching about other people's work does any good?

    Ah, the stock reply: "Do it yourself!" The trouble with big systems like KDE is that they take a long time to build up momentum and then they're unstoppable (a la Windows). I could come up with alternatives. So could other people. But if Corel and Borland and other companies with a lot of money at stake choose KDE, then that's going to make KDE the most viable option for most people, simply because it has the biggest elephants behind it. In the end, we'll wish for something better but settle for KDE, just as we've been doing with Windows all these years.
  • KDE has been fun since the beginning. Even back in the days of KDE-beta1 it was the nicest desktop available for Linux and it has grown by leaps and bounds since then.

    I mean how many beta quality apps on Linux have the decency to pop up a dialog box saying "This feature isn't here yet" ? These people have combined the best features of Free Software development ( Bazaar Debugging, Responsiveness to clear and sensible user requests and a willingness to postpone releases until the software works. ) With the best features of Proprietary development ( Competent design comities, detailed stile guides, clear and newbi friendly documentation of everything from Library interfaces to "How to use this help menu" ).

    Best of all KDE has been lively and active about building cool software. Through all the flamewars and the license disputes, through all the condemnation, censorship and verbal abuse the KDE team has kept on hacking.

    Sure they took the time out to push for greater clarity and yes they made it a point of duty to produce excellent software. The web site asks at the very top; "Is Unix ready for the desktop", The resounding response from this corner of Cyberspace is "Yes, but only with KDE".

    Through share quality of code the influence of the KDE team has grown exponentially over these last few years. Grown to the point where they, not Debian but they the KDE core can get vendors to change licenses. It's grown to the point where Borland's new Kylix is basically a RAD tool for KDE apps.

    Just goes to show that focusing on making quality free software is the key. As long as it's not all BSD licensed so people can stop it's growth as soon as a coins clink you will be fine.

    Here's to KDE-2.0 and the next level of Desktop advancement on my favorite OS. *nix, because Linux isn't the solution to every problem. Given time ( 3 more years by my estimate ) and KDE will supplant CDE as the "standard" Unix desktop. This weather or not it becomes the standard on Linux.

    And speaking of that other desktop. I won't, not today, It's KDE's day and I'll save my other glowing words for the other peoples day.
  • They had what amounted to a good start on a GUI toolkit with GTK. It was no where near complete, however. It certainly wasn't on par with what TrollTech was offering with QT. I probably did overstate the problem, but the fact remains that early versions of Gnome were severely hindered by the fact that GTK was under serious development. Somehow, however, they have managed to close the gap.

  • ...Khappy Kbirthday? (does anybody else think this 'k' thing is out of control?)

    Gnot as gmuch as the 'g' gthing.

    "Standing up to an evil system [pcshop.com.br] is exhilarating." --Richard Stallman

  • I use X, I'm not against GUIs, but....well let me put it this way: I tried GNOME and KDE both. After about 10 minutes of looking through the "control panels" and "desktop shortcuts" I was reminded of (one of the reasons) why I hate Windows. rpm -e kde; rpm -e gnome
  • by pb ( 1020 )
    What's this KDE is the standard I hear? Ed, ED, *ED* is the standard! Heck, whatever happened to twm? What's so hard about moving your windows around, people, that you need all this extra garbage? :)

    I thought KDE looked pretty cool, but it still annoyed me too much to actually use it; it was also too slow. The same goes for GNOME. I use fvwm2, with no pager or buttons or any of that, and I select my virtual desktops with CTRL+. There's nothing hard about that. I don't want anything else, so configuration is all done, too. I like sawmill, (sawtooth? sawfish? whatever...) but not enough to use it yet; I'm pretty comfortable with what I have.

    When I get my new machine, and reinstall everything, I'm sure I'll play around again with GNOME and KDE, and try them out with "sawfish", and Enlightenment and whatnot, and see if they're actually speedy or stable yet...

    ...but it'll probably be too much of a hassle to get rid of all that extra GUI crap and make it into a lean, mean, window-managing machine, and I'll be back to using fvwm2.

    Heck, most of the time, I could just tell X to run an app fullscreen on a console, and keep doing that, and switch between those and the text consoles; but sometimes, I still want to have some more windows.
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • I am not the person who wrote the orginal post, but I may have insight into the thought processes going through that person's head. Like you mentioned, all of the major desktops are derived from the original Xerox PARC GUI, and basically for the past couple of decades 'improvements' have mostly come in the form of 'ooh!'-style look changes and copying the other guy, and so we have a big feedback loop where nothing really innovative has, and possibly can, enter. So maybe the current GUI architecture is not the best. On the other hand, how could we make a GUI simpler and more intuitive, without scrapping everything we've learned (the mouse cursor, the text cursor, the window), as some researchers have wanted to do (Some of the researchers of so-called 'visual computing' say that the GUI of the future will be you waving at the computer's camera 'eye-ball'... I don't think so because personally, I don't want to look like a dork when using my computer.). I don't think that Microsoft/Apple are in a position to really experiment with the GUI without getting killed by angry consumers. I don't think KDE/et al are in a real position to do it, either, without dropping off the face of the Earth. Basically, the next GUI is going to have to come from some unknown fourth party with guts... too bad Xerox PARC long gave up 'real' GUI research for researching other, weirder stuff...

  • What is the current KDE release version? -- 1.1.2
    What is the current GNOME release version -- 1.2

    Take a look at GNOME 1.0 as compared to 1.2.
    Now take a look at KDE 1.0 as compared to 1.1.2.

    It's obvious just from using GNOME for only a few minutes that it has evolved at a greater rate than KDE. More features, improved features, et al.
  • by Pac ( 9516 ) <paulo...candido@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @02:29PM (#938816)
    Please, don't take this as a flamebait, but I fail to see exactly what you are complaining about.

    Yes, Windows seems to be KDE's initial inspiration. But then again, the MAc interface was Windows initial inspiration and the things Steve Jobs saw at Xerox PARC were the Mac initial inspiration. For me it is a perfectly natural evolution.

    If you are out to develop a new technology, the most useful path is to look at existing technology and try to adapt it and work from there. So, as similar to Windows as KDE may be now (and even this last point may be open to discussion), it will certanly evolve in a different direction (and it will probably be leading the way, as the Mac had before it).

    I would also like to know what exactly you have in mind when you say something cleaner and more user-oriented? Which are the specific usability goals you want to see addressed?
  • Didn't they already have Gtk+ from the Gimp? I'm unsure of the exact timing of Gimp/Gtk+/Gnome, but I'm sure it didn't hurt to have a full-fledged app stress-testing the toolkit at the same time.

  • I think that the "windows explorer" way of wandering around the filesystem is good. I think that being able to preview documents in the explorer is good. I think that bloat is bad, and that's the problem I have with both KDE and GNOME. Note that I haven't run either in quite a while, but one of the nicest things about unix is that it's fast on a slow machine. Neither KDE or GNOME is fast on a P54c at 100mhz with an ISA VGA card.

    Now, most people running linux or other unices (I will pluralize how I like, thank you) are beyond that point now, but don't forget the bazillions who aren't. Some people can't afford the kinds of computers that I can, that maybe you can. My UNIX box is a PPro 180 running openbsd with no X, because it's a server. If it were a faster (300mhz+) system with more ram and such, I'd run X on it to ease administration. I don't.

  • Linux, or any UNIX for that matter, isn't for modern desktops. Its not gonna shove Microsoft out of the way anytime soon. "...generally slow..." If you can get it working in the first place. Even when a distro's website lists all my hardware as compatible, once I try and install the thing, it dosen't work. Linux still has a long way to go before it can even dream about snagging the typical end-user away from Microsoft.


    Linux is only Free if your time is worth Nothing

  • It could be better though.

    Im still very miffed that customizing that panel at the bottom isn't half as easy as I would like it to be.

  • We have come a long way since the Xerox GUI Concept.

    What you think of as the Windows environment is actually a bad clone of Motif.

    If Motif was so great, more things would look like it. The only window managers which are not Motif that look/looked like Motif by default were fvwm, and fvwm2.

    On the other hand, they're all basically the same at this point, they just look different. On each window you have a widget that pops up a menu, and some other widgets that do other things to the windows. Some of the widgets sometimes do other things when you click them with other buttons.

    Hey, at least it's not trying to be a mac. :)

  • I'm not sure if Windows was their initial inspiration. The first time I tried KDE, I thought it was inspired by OS/2.
  • by jetson123 ( 13128 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @03:30PM (#938823)
    KDE is as close to a standard desktop as exists in the Linux world.

    I agree, and I think that should be reason for concern. Why? Because it means that any development for Linux for this "standard desktop" inside a corporation, even just for internal use, requires and expensive, commercial Qt license.

    If people inside corporations had had to pay $1500/developer to get Linux in the door for trying it out on internal development efforts on it, it would have never caught on as a server platform.

    And because the GUI toolkit and desktop is the most important part of a client, desktop OS, having that kind of fee structure for the "standard" GUI toolkit would harm Linux as a client platform.

    So far, there are still viable alternatives to KDE/Qt. But every time a free software developer decides to develop a new piece of software for KDE/Qt rather than Gnome or some other free toolkit, KDE/Qt gets the bug fixes, functionality, and increase in user community. There is a high opportunity cost with choosing KDE/Qt for the other toolkits. Those are the network effects that got MS Windows where it is today.

    Let's not make the same mistake with Linux that the industry made with Windows. Develop for free platforms, even if the alternatives seem more expedient to you in the short term.

  • I mean how many beta quality apps on Linux have the decency to pop up a dialog box saying "This feature isn't here yet" ?

    This is the equivalent of a webpage which says "UNDER CONSTRUCTION". It's bad practice, and totally pointless. If you have a button that does nothing, this is a hint that you should remove the button. When you actually HAVE a feature, put the button back.

    Teasing someone with a button (Or a URL) is bad practice. It makes people wonder just what you're doing with your time.

  • While release numbers are meaningless I have to agree that the gnome folks have come a long way from 1.0 to 1.2.

    I tried gnome 1.0 when it was released for a couple weeks before running back to KDE. Gnome 1.0 was pretty much broke as far as I could see, meanwhile kde worked like a charm. Kudos to the KDE team for releasing a stable version and shame on the gnome team.

    Now in all fairness I just installed Mandrake 7.1 and decided to give gnome another try (with sawfish) and I have to say that I like it. I like it alot and plan on sticking with it for a while. Not that I have anything against KDE but gnome/sawfish "looks" so much better, and it actually WORKS now. I suppose it's a matter of taste and your's may differ but I am a converted gnomeer.

    The really great thing about *nix is that you get a choice... this is a good thing.

  • This was actually quite funny when drunk
    it's my birthday!
  • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @03:44PM (#938827) Homepage Journal
    Now that Kylix seems to be locking into Qt and Corel has chosen KDE, there looks to be less opportunity for something cleaner and more user-oriented to come along.

    A) Qt is very clean and user-oriented, as much as any GUI library can be. It's up to the developer to craft a decent UI. Qt only supplies the parts.

    B) Like it or not, the UI of KDE and GNOME is already clean and user-oriented. Keeping the Microsoft bias out of it, just what is it about the KDE/GNOME/Windows/Warp desktops that is not clean or user-disoriented? Is it the root menu being in the corner of a panel instead of on the RMB that is somehow *wrong*? What?!

    C) Do you have a better coherent vision of what a UI should be? If so, why have you done nothing about it? Do you really think that bitching about other people's work does any good?
  • the only thing i dont like about the bsd license is ... osx,bsdi. etc.
  • >It's currently in the beta status

    That's correct. Hence, it is not a release. GNOME 1.2 is a release. KDE 1.1.2 is a release. I was comparing the most recent *release* offerings from both camps. A beta is *not* a release.

    When you install any major up-to-date Linux distro (or *BSD for that matter -- ports) you get GNOME 1.2 or KDE 1.1.2 -- not GNOME 1.2 and KDE 2.0beta2.

    Have fun,
  • In KDE 2, the default Window Manager is kwin. Kwin is designed to be a fully themable and to be compliant with the Window Manager Spec 2.0 (which is to be used with GNOME 2.0). So hopefully in the future, it will be easily replacable with something like Sawmill.

    Already, Enlightenment, BlackBox, and WindowMaker have optional compile in support for KDE 1.

    For best results, you will still want to use kwin, since kwin is a KDE app, uses KDE themes, and feels very KDE like. Of course nobody is stopping people for writing another Window Manager that is a KDE app (using KDE like menus, themes, etc.). Kwin is slightly more memory efficent then kwm (which had a few bloat problems, IMHO), and supports theme plugins (which are extermely powerful).

  • Hey guess what! KDE integrates with other window managers! And you know what else? It's themable! Oh, as a bonus, you can run GNOME apps under it!

    So if you "hate the look and feel of kde", just change it!

  • This is the equivalent of a webpage which says "UNDER CONSTRUCTION". It's bad practice, and totally pointless.
    Your analogy is wrong. People expect a certain standard functionality from apps (unlike webpages) and it is useful to know that this is not yet implemented.

    When I click on some link in kde's browser and it doesn't work is it a bug? Or perhaps there is something wrong with my installation? Or is it the webserver? Should I start reading some documentation? Ask questions on the mailing list?

    Nope, a nice dialog tells me the javascript function involved isn't implemented yet.

  • There is no need to pay for internal Qt development. Read the license.

    The QPL is at best ambiguous; Troll Tech's FAQ [trolltech.com] is not:

    11.Using the Free Edition, can I write software for internal use in my company/organization?

    The Qt Free Edition is not intended for such use; it is our policy that when you are using Qt for free, you should in return contribute to the free software community. If you cannot do that, you must get Professional Edition licenses instead.

    The QPL is far closer to the intent of the GPL than the LGPL, which is what I'm assuming you are advocating. All free software library authors should be concerned with is allowing people to write free software.

    I'm concerned with not being forced to release software that I develop internally. That is clearly the intent of Troll Tech, and it clearly goes against the goals of the GPL and the LGPL. Here is a recent quote [fsf.org] from RMS on the Plan 9 license:

    [Plan 9 License:] You agree to provide the Original Contributor, at its request, with a copy of the complete Source Code version, Object Code version and related documentation for Modifications created or contributed to by You if used for any purpose.

    [Stallman:] This prohibits modifications for private use, denying the users a basic right

    As for "advocating" or "disguising", I'm doing neither. I'm merely stating my opinion that if Qt becomes the basis for the predominant Linux desktop, that will be very disadvantageous for the adoption of Linux as a whole, contrary to the stated goals of the KDE project.

  • Hmm, it is rather curious that most other free software changes significantly more over a few years....

    Is it just me?
  • $1500 is peanuts for any company doing internal development in C++.

    Well, both in my work as an independent consultant and in the corporate world, wherever I have worked, $1500 for a library has always been a lot of money. But I will admit that there are companies for which money is no object (defense contractors in the past, .com startups these days, I suppose).

    But even if $1500 is a problem, what makes you think that commercial or non-commercial alternative toolkits can't compete with QT? It's not that they own some interface or other standard (like Microsoft).

    Nothing makes me think that "they can't compete" technically. In fact, I think there are better toolkits than Qt. But the fact is that lots of people develop for KDE/Qt, and that's why I think it's worth pointing out to people who do that there are problems with the Qt license and that that is one of the many reasons they should look at other toolkits.

  • by little alfalfa ( 21334 ) <pootmaster&gmail,com> on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @01:11PM (#938836)
    June 12th was last month.
  • Well, in my posting, I suggested people develop for a different toolkit, not that they don't use KDE.

    Still, I have mixed feelings about even using KDE. Yes, you are right that you can use KDE and develop using another toolkit. But non-KDE/Qt applications won't integrate as well with KDE as KDE/Qt applications will, so the more people use KDE, the more pressure there will be to develop for it. And the more people use KDE, the more bug reports and suggestions for improvement get submitted to Troll Tech, quality control that other toolkits miss out on.

    Besides, installing multiple desktop and toolkit systems increases support and training costs and uses up more resources (disk space, memory, etc.).

    I would buy the "use KDE and develop for something else" argument more if KDE was committed to a seamless integration with GTK and other toolkits. But recent statements suggest that they aren't, at least in the short term.

  • Was KDE released before GNOME?

    And were there any alpha/beta versions before 1.0?


    Tyranny =Gov. choosing how much power to give the People.

  • >It's amazing how much progress Linux has made in >the last few years.

    What the FUCK does this have to do with Linux. KDE runs on almost any unix-like platform.
  • They had GTK already in place from Gimp development. They have of course contributed plenty to it since then.
  • Now how long before desktop environments on Linux are integrated in a CDE-like fashion?

    Splinter splinter merge merge.
  • >The bitmap pattern that forms the following icon
    >between the brackets [courage] is a better
    >graphical representation for the concept of
    >courage than a lion or some such nonsense.
    It isn't really, though, is it? Try this: Bake a cake. Put some poison in. Lots of it, you know, a lethal amount of poison, but make the cake look really nice. Label the cake and write the words "DEADLY POISON" on the label. Give it to an Argentinian. Oops! Now bake another, but instead of poison, draw a skull and crossbones on the label, or a medicine bottle with a large "X" on it. Try poisoning another Argentinian, you swine. See?
    Courage and cut and paste might mean something to you, but they require a much more powerful interpreter than a picture of a pair of scissors or some glue. Scissors look the same the world over (though I'm sure there's a website out there somewhere to prove me wrong). We don't naturally see things as words - we see the things, and we associate them with words. You can't cut your tongue off with "a pair of scissors", but you can with that two-bladed thing you refer to as a pair of scissors. By using an icon to graphically represent a function or a task, you're (hopefully, depending on how well you choose) using a layer of abstraction one step close to the 'truth' than words. And nicer to look at, as the top of the page will testify...
  • Yes you are wrong. As of KDE2 you can change the shape of buttons etc.
  • If KDE can come such a long way in two years, where the hell is Harmony at?! I mean, come on, all it does is replace Qt! Incompatible licenses are annoying, but something has to be done about them nonetheless. I would _really_ like to see the whole Qt/KDE/GPL issue go away sometime soon.
  • It takes you thirteen seconds to come up with the "specific usability goals" thought. This guy asks you for specifics (ie the menu in panel thing). You come back with more rants. If you have nothing more than "I want something different. I don't know what, just different, and usable. Now get to work all you hackers," then you have nothing to contribute to the world.

    You do not have to be a grand poobah programmer to come up with a specific idea for a "usable" interface. Programmers can at times be good at doing things, but sometimes not so good on the artistic end of things. If there is something in another window manager/program, say, "I like this part of XYZ." If there is something in KDE you detest with regard to usability, say "Could you change this so it behaves like so?" So please, come up with constructive ideas and not the same ol' "KDE will end the world" arguments. Heh, one Slashdotter once came up with the idea that KDE should conduct some newbie usability laboratory. Sure it's not feasible, but it is at least an idea. :)
  • by Tyrannosaurus ( 203173 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @01:12PM (#938846)
    ...Khappy Kbirthday? (does anybody else think this 'k' thing is out of control?)
  • No, when you install a current distro you get GNOME 1.0X and KDE 1.1.2...

    Besides, distros are notoriously laze, I released an update for KSysV (under KDE 1.1.x), do you think one distribution would have packaged it? No, they all use the outdated version from the KDE_1_1_BRANCH... *nirg*

  • Hear hear. Text is dead, bring on the GUI's...
  • See, I don't think it's quite as much people who can't afford something better... it's more those that have upgraded and don't want to throw away the old machine.

    My firewall is an old P166 w/32M RAM and a 500M HD. You're right, without X the machine runs like a prize fighter. And administration takes way less time with mc and simple ipchains commands than it would to open a program, click type click, etc.

  • Assuming you aren't a troll...

    Sounds like you just aren't doing something right. I've been running linux for 4 years, and I've installed it on about 20 very different machines. The only problem I ever had was with a PCI Ultra DMA/66 HD controller. Using one of the latest distros fixed that.

    Need help?

  • Now guess what: KDE2.0 or more exactly QT2.x allows exactly that!

    Cool ain't it?
  • Its nice to be idealistic, but its also nice to switch between editor sessions with the move of a mouse.

  • It takes you thirteen seconds to come up with the "specific usability goals" thought. This guy asks you for specifics (ie the menu in panel thing). You come back with more rants. If you have nothing more than "I want something different. I don't know what, just different, and usable. Now get to work all you hackers," then you have nothing to contribute to the world.

    You missed the point completely. The point is that it big changes to KDE are no longer so easy, now that large companies are beginning to lean on it. Look at it this way: If KDE were changed dramatically--for the better--it immediately invalidates half a dozen "How to use KDE" books.

    What I would like is simply a user interface designed for *usability* rather than twiddling. There are good books on the subject that can be used as templates, such as this one [amazon.com] or the one by a Microsoft Windows architect who realized that Windows interface was going off in the wrong direction (I forget the name; it is currently in print). It is simply a matter of the KDE (and Gnome) people ignoring what's out there, trying to out do Microsoft at their own game, and missing the point entirely.
  • I'm a bit fan of text user interfaces, but they don't seem to have changed much over the last several years. Does anyone know of any new and interesting work being done with text interfaces, either by themselves or integrated with other UI technologies (gui, speech, etc)?

  • The top of the page has a wind-up phonograph icon.

    I could care less about 100 year old technology. I want to know about today's technology, like MP3's.

    oops. I guess I misunderstood the icon.

  • Oh dear..

    Ever heard of KDE2? The KDE team has been focusing most of it's energy on KDE2, which is an total redesign of KDE. It's currently in the beta status, and the full release is due in september.

    If KDE 1.1.2 was *all* they had done in two years, you might have had a point, but KDE 2 is there, and is already extremly impressive (including a good webbrowser even)

    Just try it.

  • by deusx ( 8442 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @02:44PM (#938857) Homepage
    See subject. If you don't like 'fiddly gadgets', don't use programs with fiddly gadgets.

    My stock install of Mandrake Linux has a WM switcher on login. For kicks, I swap between the choices on occasion. All of my programs tend to continue working. Generally, I go back to KDE, because Gnome ends up having too many nagging little things that rub me wrong (no Holy War... rub ME wrong. I don't care about YOU :) )

    As for Kylix... Either don't use it, or make enough of a stink (see: Harmony project versus QT) for them to provide a mechanism for alternate CLX visual component sets wrapped around other GUI toolkits. I mean for God's sake, they're API compatible under Windows' GUI and QT on Linux, it can't be THAT hard. Hell, start a project to create an alternate set yourself.

    dI don't see Linux being fertile ground for limitations of choice. Generally, if a number of people don't like something, eventually one of them will fix it or start a new project. (again, see: Mandrake Linux)

  • I hate the look and feel of kde. If it simply integrated with window managers other than kwm (which it may) and had a good theme set (ability to use pixmaps) I'd use it. Otherwise, I'm going for gnome, simply because it looks a hell of a lot better.
  • > I pose the question to you. Is there, somewhere,
    > a better, easier and more efficent way to
    > present images and information to the human
    > brain?

    Yes, and it's called text. If you need further proof, try rephrasing this article in the form of icons.

    Or, you can think of a word as an icon. The bitmap pattern that forms the following icon between the brackets [courage] is a better graphical representation for the concept of courage than a lion or some such nonsense.

    It's efficient too. The bitmap pattern that forms that excellent icon for courage can be compressed to 7 bytes, including the 0 at the end of the string.

    Whenever I am forced to use Word, the first thing I do is remove all the default tool buttons and replace them with my own text labeled tool buttons. I find it far easier to use them. "Cut" and "Paste" are simpler to read and use than some goofy icon with two sheets of paper or some scissors or a cartoonish bottle of glue.

  • I seriously doubt KDE would have switched

    Do you even understand what Harmony was all about? Do you really? If you do then you know that it wouldn't make one bit of difference what the KDE team did. If you don't like Qt and Harmony is available, then just use Harmony! Gee, isn't that simple?
  • Gnome ends up having too many nagging little things that rub me wrong

    I've found once I use any GUI long enough, that the others have many nagging little things that rub me wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. There is no need to pay for internal Qt development. Read the license.

    2. If you are so concerned about being able to develop closed-source software, why disguise it with a call to "develop for free platforms"? The QPL is far closer to the intent of the GPL than the LGPL, which is what I'm assuming you are advocating. All free software library authors should be concerned with is allowing people to write free software.

    There seems to be a degree of schizophrenia amongst the people of this "community" - on one hand there is an outcry when someone releases a closed-source program for Linux, especially if it is a good one. This is the "free software is the only good software" face.

    On the other hand if someone releases a FREE SOFTWARE library that cannot be used by CLOSED SOURCE programmers for free (eg GPL and QPL), there is _yet_ another outcry, this one being their personal preference for Linux and UNIX-like operating systems, and their desire to get the same cool software available on Windows, free software be damned.

    Be consistent guys, this little dichotomy makes this movement look two-faced. I like free software and I too want Linux Everywhere, but these two goals are not equivalent.

  • Ed, ED, *ED* is the standard!

    Absolutely [wustl.edu].

    (Yes, I still use ed on occasion, if I want to do a quick short editing job. I use KDE on my home machine, though; it mostly runs xterms and Netscape and xmms/xmcd, but I do find the folder icons more convenient for browsing through the pile of PDF standards documents than finding a free xterm or popping up a new one - or keeping one around, iconified - and cding around and firing up Acroread by hand.)

  • Write a patch. That's what it's all about.
  • Harmony was essentially killed by Troll Tech.

    Oh please! You cowards are so full of your own shit you have to bend over to take a crap! Let me explain it to you. Harmony came into being because Qt was not free. As soon as Qt became free there was no longer any need for Harmony. None. Nada. Oh, wait. Maybe there is one tiny reason... Maybe some people refuse to use any product that doesn't have a "G" in its license.

    The QPL appeared to address the main reason for Harmony to exist

    Well of course! Hello! Anyone home? This looks like a job for Obviousman(tm)! Let's see now, you and your ilk spent the better part of a year bitching, whining and carrying on like spoiled children because Qt wasn't free. Now that it is free you're still bitching, whining and carrying on because you think it killed Harmony. Get some pubes and grow up.
  • >"Is Unix ready for the desktop"...
    >..."Yes, but only with KDE".

    Bzzzt! Wrong.

    Wake up and smell the caffeine. Mac OS X client looks to be a very promising desktop Unix, and it's time people started accepting it as "part of the family".

    What's more, OS X is based on NEXTSTEP. NeXT deployed a fully-functional Unix with an excellent user-friendly interface over 10 years ago. Take a close look at the changes between Win31 and Win95 (the model everyone uses today) and then take a look at the NeXT UI. It becomes pretty obvious where those "innovations" came from.

    This isn't intended as a flame towards the KDE, or Linux in general. Linux usability has been progressing by leaps and bounds these last few years. The folks involved in these efforts all deserve a BIG round of applause for delivering us from the ugliness of X/Motif and its bastard offspring. The point is that none of this is new; this wheel has been invented before.

  • by cpeterso ( 19082 ) on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @04:25PM (#938867) Homepage
    Motif is a clone of Windows. Windows was a clone of the Mac. According to this Windows timeline [worldowindows.com], Windows 1.0 was released on November 20, 1985 and even Windows 3.0 was released on May 22, 1990. According to the Motif FAQ [faqs.org], Motif 1.1.3 was released in August 1991. How then could Windows be a copy of Motif?

    The "Unix Haters Handbook" claims that a "stated design goal" of Motic was to copy Windows. Look at the "Motif Self-Abuse Kit" section of "The X-Windows Disaster" [molgen.mpg.de].

    A stated design goal of Motif was to give the X Window System the window management capabilities of HP's circa-1988 window manager and the visual elegance of Microsoft Windows. We kid you not. Recipe for disaster: start with the Microsoft Windows metaphor, which was designed and hand coded in assembler. Build something on top of three or four layers of X to look like Windows. Call it "Motif."
  • GNOME was using the 1.1.x versions of GTK+ at the time, I think, because GTK+ 1.0 wasn't complete enough for their needs. Not sure of the details though.
  • If people inside corporations had had to pay $1500/developer to get Linux in the door for trying it out on internal development efforts on it, it would have never caught on as a server platform.
    $1500 is peanuts for any company doing internal development in C++. And if you only want to try it you can just download a version.

    But even if $1500 is a problem, what makes you think that commercial or non-commercial alternative toolkits can't compete with QT? It's not that they own some interface or other standard (like Microsoft).

    It seems to me that the Trolltech guys have found an execellent way to contribute to the Open Source movement and make money at the same time. We need more initiatives like this as there is still lots of work to be done.

  • How long is it going to take for people to learn
    that 'steep learning curve' means easy (or quick
    if you want to be really pedantic).

  • I guess that the real counting should be made from the original article by Matthias Ettrich about the need of an integrated desktop for Linux.

    If you count it this way, KDE is about 3 3/4 years old and will be 4 in october.

    In a way or another, the roots of Gnome are also traced back to that point, as the original Gnome documents where mainly about how this differs from KDE...


    PS: Btw: we know how konqi looks like. He even have Katie now. Let's see how the Gnome looks like: is it just a big step?
  • by Bake ( 2609 )
    Wayy before GNOME, I recall using KDE (pre 1.0) before even hearing of Gnome...
  • Motif is a clone of Windows ... Windows 1.0 was released on November 20, 1985

    Yup, but Windows 1.0 looked like DOS with a bitmapped display. No resizable windows, no drag and drop, no GUI toolkit. The look and feel of Windows 3.x was a long way off in 1985. Have a quick look around the web for sites hosting pictures of Windows 1.0 - 2.0 to see what I mean when I say that Motif owes little to early incarnations of Windows.

    And don't forget that Microsoft were a co-sponsor of Motif. They treated it as a testbed for what became the Windows 95 UI, hence the curious mish-mash of Windows / HP interface design in Motif.

  • KDE has been around for a while.

    I remember using it about 3 years ago and it still hasn't gotten any prettier (prettier, not better). Since June 12th was the 1.0 release date, and I had used it before then, I'm sure there were pre-1.0 releases. To tell the truth, I don't much remember what version I ran because I didn't like it. It got removed shortly after the first time I used it. :)

    I tried a lot of different WMs. fvwm for the minimalistic approach, fvwm95 looked too much like Win95, so it was singled out. Afterstep was nice, but I ended up using enlightenment because it was so much prettier, albeit godawful slow on my p200mmx linux box (boy did that sucker cost a lot).

    I used WindowMaker later, it was nice, reminded me of Afterstep with some cooler features.

    GNOME, in my opinion, is much prettier than KDE and has about the same functionality, so that is why I prefer it.

    If KDE would get rid of QT, maybe I might use it. Sorry, but QT is just ugly.

    That's it for this episode of flashback with Mike ;)


    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet, tasty beer."
  • I much prefer the look and feel of CDE over KDE. Never tried GNOME.

    Frankly, if KDE got so much momentum that it looked like replacing CDE as the standard desktop for commercial Unix distributions I would rather switch from Solaris to Windows 2000.

    It is a shame that Netscape 6 will not be Motif based. It would be nice if Sun produced a Motif based Mozilla and included it as the standard Solaris browser.
  • But you have to understand that /. can't state somethng like "It's amazing how much progress KDE has made in the last few years.", so they generalize, and wrongfully at that. My guess is that at GNOMEs third birthday, they'll state "It's amazing how much progress GNOME has made in the last few years." ;-)

    Btw, what's with your language?
  • by Skeezix ( 14602 ) <jamin@pubcrawler.org> on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @01:20PM (#938877) Homepage
    Well maybe you haven't been keeping up with what's really been changing in KDE. There is a profound difference between KDE 2 and KDE 1. And in between there was KDE 1.1. In the Gnome camp similar strides have been made. Look at the changelogs from various files just to get an idea. It's amazing. Large scale free software projects seem to develop slowly from the point of view of outsiders who aren't really involved in working with the code. Mozilla is an excellent example. The developers told us that things were moving right along, but so many people complained over and over about the delays. Come on, folks. It's open source! If you don't like the delays, get in there and help!
  • I know my entire time/space continuom is messed up this summer, but am I really off by 1 month? Perhaps some sort of time lapse occured...if so, please inform me
  • Was KDE released before GNOME?
    I found it first at least, but I think it is a few months older
    And were there any alpha/beta versions before 1.0?
    I remember using some pre1 stuff and the it came gnome which I tried too and eventually stick with kde. Nothing against gnome I just didn't like the gtk1 (and the terrible gtk 1.1).
  • Happy BDay! Now how long til the next major release? :)

  • The last CVS check in to the Harmony tree was on the night before The draft of the QPL and the intent to go open source came out.

    Those people who actually cared about License issues and were willing to put code into solutions found the QPL good enough and quit to go work on KDE. All the people complaining about the death of Harmony combined are not worth 1 of those developers.

    I.e. If you care the last version of the Harmony source tree is *STILL* on ftp.kde.org

    Go get it or shut up.
  • >GNOME, in my opinion, is much prettier than KDE
    >and has about the same functionality, so that is
    >why I prefer it.

    >If KDE would get rid of QT, maybe I might use
    >it. Sorry, but QT is just ugly.

    QT is not ugly. Try KDE 1.91 (that's the current beta). Whoa. Pretty. I have Gnome 1.2 installed, too, and *HAD* been running Gnome 1.x before switching to KDE 1.91.

    KDE 1.91 (beta) is functional (for what I do/need). It's stable (!) enough for my needs (essentially konsole + mozilla).

    Sorry, but on my system Gnome 1.2 lost.

  • The 386 Experience [50megs.com] claims to have have Windows 1.0 and MS DOS 1.10 for download. I have NOT tried them, so don't blaim me if they nuke your computer.

  • What this does is allow you to write the software under the GPL and use it internally. However if you write it as such and someone in your organization wishes to distribute it, they can. Just like if you use GPL-derived software, regardless of what point 11 says. The trolls themselves have said that this is true. So what is the problem?

    You can place your own software under the GPL, but the QPL terms still apply, in addition to whatever terms you put in it yourself.

    It is plain wrong to claim that internally written GPL'ed software is subject to such requirements. This is a direct consequence of the QPL. Troll Tech's claims to the contrary are wrong and misleading.

  • Between "closed source software" and "open source software" there is "internal software". That software may become open source eventually, or it may just disappear quietly.

    Internal software is a crucial part of open source software, because much of it will eventually become open source. My company has released probably a dozen software packages as open source that started out as internal software (some of it very widely used).

    But if you try to force internal software to be open from the start by placing a QPL-style license on your platform's libraries, many people will simply use a different platform.

    Maybe you are too young to remember, but we had roughly that situation with Motif and Solaris. People would write lots of software for those platforms, in particular at universities, where they were essentially free, but anybody else needed to pay Sun and OSF a lot of money to use them.

    In any case, I don't suggest that there are "license problems": I think it's pretty clear what Troll Tech's intent is, and I don't want them to change it. What I'm suggesting is that if QPL'ed software becomes the basis for a standard Linux desktop, that will be a problem for Linux, and that's why people should develop for something else.

  • Yes, and it's called text. If you need further proof, try rephrasing this article in the form of icons.

    You write or read much Japan/Chin-ease?

    Or, you can think of a word as an icon. The bitmap pattern that forms the following icon between the brackets [courage] is a better graphical representation for the concept of courage than a lion or some such nonsense.

    But if you have an icon for courage (like the one a good friend of mine has tatooed on his arm) [harapan.co.jp] then taking the time to put together the individual letters in a word like courage, then associating the meaning and seperating the concepts of age, rage (which also exist in the word), seems like a lot of work.

    What letters do allow is an easier combination of ideas into new one (amoung various other things linguists [linguists.com] would love to tell you about). Supercalifragilisticespialidocious. Draw that in a symbol. :)

  • Just consider me a cross between Grima Wormtongue and Biff from BTTF :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 12, 2000 @01:24PM (#938901)
    KDE is for UNIX, not just Linux.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright