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Ask Shawn Gordon About theKompany 91

Lots of software houses write software for GNU/Linux, but one company that's taking a different approach to products (and an unusual approach to licenses, too) is theKompany.com. TheKompany have released many open source projects, like PyQT/PyKDE, a Python binding to QT and KDE, and KoreLib, cross-platform C++ library for developing modular applications. They also combine Open Source licensed projects with plugins that they're selling: Aethera, Kivio, and closed-source products: Data Architect, (ERD & advanced SQL Editor), Kapital (a Quicken clone for Linux), among other things. Here is your chance to ask theKompany CEO Shawn Gordon questions about theKompany, Open Source, and the Linux from the commercial eye. We'll forward the best questions on to Shawn, and print his answers as soon as he gets them back to us.
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Ask Shawn Gordon questions

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  • When do you plan on having of shortage of words begining with the letter 'K' fo the name of your projects? Do you plan on using more german words or will you just use english words beginning with 'C' and replacing it with a 'K' ?

    Thank you

  • by acm ( 107375 )
    How does your company generate profit?
  • Why would a company center its business strategy on an operating system that only holds a very, very small number of users compared to other operating systems? I mean, a company should be out to make money, and I would think that would be rather difficult when you focus on such a small minority within the computing "community". Add to that that you are focusing on a minority that prefers to get things for free, and exactly how do you plan on staying in business?

    These are serious questions. I need serious answers.

  • Just wait to be sued by the ghost of Karl Marx.
  • by qxjit ( 461981 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @09:52AM (#103684)
    As you seem to be in this business, what do you see as a viable economic model for Software and Software/Services companies who want to develop either partially or purely open source for Customers and/or Consumers? What effect does open source have on Business to Business relationships and do you see it as a strength or a weakness for open source companies in this area? Is open source appropriate for software written for business solutions rather than for consumers?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is it true you are coming out with an open source racist joke generator called KKKK? Thanks, and death to all sporks.
  • by truthsearch ( 249536 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @09:54AM (#103686) Homepage Journal
    Your company's methods of licensing software seems very sound. Core components are open source while the end apps are closed for profit. That gives back to the community and allows outside developers to potentially create other apps with the same foundation as your own. My question is simple:

    How do you plan on continually increasing your user base? Obviously there are many GNU/Linux users thirsty for solid end-user applications such as Kapital. But how do you plan on getting to current Windows users? Do you plan future ports of your apps? Or do you have an idea of how to get more Microsoft customers to move to Linux and use your apps (possibly a model others can follow)?

  • by s20451 ( 410424 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @09:55AM (#103687) Journal

    Following the attacks on open source by agents of Microsoft, claiming it's anti-business, there's been quite a bit of discussion on this site concerning business models for companies dealing in open source.

    I am interested that your company does both open- and closed-source programming. My question is: How does your business model balance the benefits of open-source programming with the requirement to be a profitable software business? In your opinion, is it possible for a for-profit company to work purely with open-source, and sell support (or whatever)?

  • by n3rd ( 111397 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @09:56AM (#103688)
    If you had three (3) wishes, what would you use them for?
  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @09:58AM (#103689) Homepage
    Mr Gordon,

    Kould you komment on the klearly komplikated task of selekting produkt names that konform to kurrent konventions?


  • by JumpinJohnny ( 124823 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @09:58AM (#103690) Homepage
    Are you worried about the GPL "virus" forcing you to open your proprietary code?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    > We'll forward the best questions on to Shawn, and print his answers as soon as he gets them back to us.

    Don't print them, just post a story here.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well, people always assume that Free Software is communist - i.e. extreme left.
    Hence, right-wing names for produkts provides needed balance.
  • Well, I imagine that it's from selling software. The "download version" of Kapital is $24.95 [thekompany.com], while the final version will cost $39.95 to download. Those prices are pretty comparable to what Intuit charges for Quicken (basic).

    However, one has to wonder whether he'll take Intuit's lead and charge folks $20 for an annual incremental upgrade.
  • We've seen GNOME make the move into CORBA with ORBit, and more recently express interest in matching .NET with Mono, in what is assumed to be finding open source answers for some sophisticated proprietary distributed technologies. Does KDE have anything like this planned for the future? Like KORBA or .KNET or something? Or is that sort of stuff beyond the scope of KDE's goals and commitments?
  • by ktambascio ( 227616 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @10:03AM (#103695) Journal
    What was the reason behind the decision to make products like Kapital closed-source? Was it to provide a way of generating revenue? Or do you plan on using product support as your main way to generate revenue?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Are you worried about the GPL "virus" forcing you to open your proprietary code?"

    Or, rather, if you have a significant enhancement that scratches an itch, does the GPL force you to first duplicate the itch in order to scratch the thing?

  • by whosit ( 176149 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @10:09AM (#103697)
    Now that Big Blue, HP and such are getting into the race for support and development of Linux and products. Do you believe that this will help or hinder your Kompany? My second question would be that do you forsee IBM attempting to regain it's almost status of pseudo monopoly that it had in the early 80's before Billy Gates came along?
  • by pgpckt ( 312866 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @10:11AM (#103698) Homepage Journal
    My question related to how the Kompany can make Linux an easier product to use. Attempts have been made to make the product more user friendly, but Linux is still a product that requires more effort to use then most people are willing to exert. To some extent, this is even promoted by the Linux community, some people of which take the attitude that if you can't figure it out you're just out of luck. Perhaps documentation/tutorials are the answer? How can we make the process of going to Linux easier, including ease of installing the Linux OS, helping users find programs that will be equivalent to those under windows, and the like? How can us end users of Linux be more responsive to people who express an interest in Linux without scaring them off?
  • by CMcTortoise ( 246171 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @10:13AM (#103699)

    I congratulate you upon creation of several pieces of software for the Linux market, and you have successfully blended open and closed source software; however, do you think you can be profitable in a community that sometimes rejects closed source projects? Has the fascination with Free/free software hindered your business plans or has the creation of Free code libraries/bases kept good PR with Linux users while allowing profit to coexist?


    ------------------------------------------------ --
  • by frankie_guasch ( 164676 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @10:18AM (#103700)
    Are you focusing only linux ? or do you think there is a market for:
    • Solaris
    • Windows
    • *BSD
    • other ...
  • For Kivio, you can download and do whatever with the program itself (and source), but object templates (or stencils as they call them) and such can run you anywhere from $5 to $20 or so (USD). The basic Kivio download comes with two default stencil packages.

  • by FortKnox ( 169099 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @10:23AM (#103702) Homepage Journal
    How do you plan on competing on the linux platform with open source projects?
    Basically, why would I buy Kapital if I can use GnuCash for free? And if it doesn't do everything I want, its opensource and I can add it. It seems like a very stiff competition. How is your company planning on attacking it?

  • What's your opinion of Adobe's actions against Sattler for KIllustrator?

    One one hand, the name infringement is pretty obvious, and the legal costs are (sorta-kinda) understandable considering Adobe's financial problems. While on the other, going after open source programmers for legal fees for legal services used against them is rather harsh.

    What's your take on it?


  • I think the poster's "handle" can be used to appropriately qualify this question. After all - he is admitedly a "Raging Idiot!" ;-)
  • Does your willingness to build on software that is free/open come from a purely practical motivation, or do you also have social/political reasons for doing so?

    If you do support some of the social/political motivations for developing free/open software, how does that play into your decision to do some of your development in the proprietary model? (e.g., how would you feel if your code ended up in the hands of a BigCorp willing to be obnoxious with its 'ownership'.)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will it help you, if I add that in German communist is written Kommunist (and pronounced differently, of course)?
  • KParts and DCOP. Finished, done, working. Where have you been for the past year?
  • 1) Shawn Gordon and the Kompany have essentially nothing to do with that sort of core KDE development.

    2) KDE had started to build around CORBA (using MICO) but abandoned it for a simpler, lighter-weight protocol. CORBA may prove be a better choice in the long run or it may be overkill. But, right now, KDE has been built around DCOP and KParts for nearly a year while it looks like GNOME 2.0 still won't be putting Bonobo into widespread use.

    3) Waldo Bastian had a straightforward comment [slashdot.org] in yesterday's article on Mono:

    We try to make KDE fit the needs of our users. I haven't seen a single request for .NET from our users. In fact, I haven't seen a single person who could tell me what it is, what it does, what problem it tries to solve or for what kind of things it should be used.

  • With the advent of KDE2 Kmysqladmin and Kmysql no longer work :(
  • ...an operating system that only holds a very, very small number of users...

    Why would a company specialize on Corvette parts when the Ford market is so much bigger?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    if you look at the links on the post - you can see that one of theKompany's open source product is Korelib - which supports all your platform and more...

    Since it's GPL'd - you can use it...

  • You should take a look at Trolltech [trolltech.com]. They released their flagship product as GPL, and they're doing just dandy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...that the Linux world is collapsing into disarray? First many of the linux related companies are steadily loosing value and will soon be in the catagory of "penny" stocks. Next open source developers are under fire. The open source KIllustrator vector image program is dead due to a claim of trademark infringment. Also so called "standards" without royalties have failed to take off. Both PNG image format and the OGG compressed sound format have failed to make significant impacts. Recently Caldera has announce the per seat licensing deal which many have called into question, but which Mr. Love claims is necessary. Also the mozilla project continues to crawl along at a glacial pace. Also there is a definite reluctance on the part of linux users to pay for software beyond that which is included in a distribution. Doesn't this pose large obstacles from the standpoint of a viable business centered around linux and open source tools.
  • Linux on the desktop suffers from lack of speed and stability. I have tried to use KDE 2.x on my desktops, and have given up because of the slowness and unresponsiveness. Sometimes the desktop locks up to the point that I have to reboot.

    What I would like to see, is a desktop that is as full featured as KDE, but faster, and more effecient. Stability is a must. This will also help corperations and home users to want to move to linux. They can enjoy the end user experience.

    What is the Kompany doing to improve speed and responsiveness to this desktop environment? Is speed and stability a top priority? I'll be honest, it doesn't look that way from an end users perspective.

  • Are you in cahoots with theKlan? If so, I cannot be a part of any of your software. I will not support racism in the software world


    yes, this is a joke
  • by Anonymous Coward
    GnuCash is nice and dandy. Have you tried to install it lately? then prepare for some nightmare dependencies crap. (Unless you're using Debian of course ;).

    The things that I find nicely with Kapital that it's pretty affordable package, WITH support (not mailing lists support - subscribe, beg for help, hope to get some help, unsubscribe), and what I really liked is that theKompany asks me what features do I want in the next version!

    Sure, with GnuCash you get the sources, but you'll have to learn the code, asks if your planned addition is not going to conflict with the guy from China who is announced that he's adding this feature, but he is not free right now as he got other things to do, and on top of that - it's not sure that your addition would be welcome by the project leader..

    So yes, I do know that there are advantages for open source - but there are sides for the coin, and I really don't mind paying $25 for an application which gives me support and asking me for what features I want..

  • If I had one wish that I could wish this holiday season, it would be that all the children to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace.

    If I had two wishes I could make this holiday season, the first would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing in the spirit of harmony and peace. And the second would be for 30 million dollars a month to be given to me, tax-free in a Swiss bank account.

    You know, if I had three wishes I could make this holiday season, the first, of course, would be for all the children of the world to get together and sing, the second would be for the 30 million dollars every month to me, and the third would be for encompassing power over every living being in the entire universe.

    And if I had four wishes that I could make this holiday season, the first would be the crap about the kids definitely, the second would be for the 30 million, the third would be for all the power, and the fourth would be to set aside one month each year to have an extended 31-day orgasm, to be brought out slowly by Rosanna Arquette and that model Paulina-somebody, I can't think of her name. Of course my lovely wife can come too and she's behind me one hundred percent here, I guarantee it.

    Wait a minute, maybe the sex thing should be the first wish, so if I made that the first wish, because it could all go boom tomorrow, then what do you got, y'know? No, no, the kids, the kids singing would be great, that would be nice. But wait a minute, who am I kidding? They're not going to be able to get all those kids together. I mean, the logistics of the thing is impossible, more trouble than it's worth!

    So -- we reorganize! Here we go. First, the sex thing. We go with that. Second, the money. No, we got with the power second, then the money. And then the kids. Oh wait, oh jeez, I forgot about revenge against my enemies! Okay, I need revenge against all my enemies, they should die like pigs in hell! That would be my fourth wish. And, of course, my fifth wish would be for all the children of the world to join hands and sing together in the spirit of harmony and peace.

    Thank you everybody and Merry Christmas. --Steve Martin

  • With all the trash talk about GPL viruses, it would be good to hear from someone who knows all about such things. The author of the question may know better, but he's not looking for an ignorant answer to amuse himself and obfuscate useful information.

    You and I may know about the problems of the MS way, but some people reading this don't. They might not be aware of all the trouble it was to free (re write from scratch!) the source code to X, Netscape, BSD and on and on so that everyone could use it without paying fees, signing non disclosure agreements and surrendering all rights in general. To them, some of this MS BS might make sense. Let the Kompany add it's best to the message.

  • many windows developers use visual basic and interdev because of its rapid development capability , and to some extent, the availability of developers who can work with vb's menus, clicks, etc. it could be argued that the availability of easily learned tools such as vb have been a great benefit to windows as a platform. (I know several vb developers who are very productive, but won't touch anything involving a command line. -sigh-)

    as a commercial developer, do you consider RAD tools to be as important to linux as they have been to windows? and where are we in terms of having the tools a commercial developer needs to push product out the door?

  • Okay you're falling into possible dependency hype. If you use any of the more recent distributions of Suse, Debian, or RH, installing Gnucash 1.6 is trivial. In addition, the GNUcash developers are putting out a CD with everything on it (all libraries, etc).

    Second, does it matter if your addition is accepted by the project leader in an open source product? Not in the least. Make your changes, make them available to everyone, and then sit back and let the masses decide.

    You're making it sound more complex than it is, just to make a point.

  • hmm, it's always funny to see comments like this on /., stating that Linux is still not as user friendly as other OSes, blah blah blah....

    User friendliness is all relative. As for myself, I find DOS/Windows very hard to use myself, as compared to Linux. A lot of day-to-day operations/commands have to be performed in an MS-way, and I can't customize. And I find that very hard to use. When I want to uninstall an application from my Windows machine, I can never be sure if all components have been uninstalled properly. Try to dig into that system32 directory to see...

    We bought a house two-years ago, and there's already a RainBird sprinkler installed. There are only 8 buttons on the control panel. But the user manual has been lost. And guess what, I found that sprinkler control panel extremely hard to program, and this is a product that is targeted to everage person out there. I have been able to program that sprinkler properly only after I downloaded the user manual of that model that has been discontinued.

    The point is, there's no such thing as "absolute" user friendliness.

  • 1: I Wish I was Omnipotent 2: I wish I was Omniscient 3: I wish I could turn the first two off and on at will
  • by Laplace ( 143876 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @11:41AM (#103723)
    Hi Shawn, I am very impressed with how hard you are working towards commercial Linux applications while still supporting the ideas of free software. I've noticed you on several mailing lists, and you seem to offer advice as much as you seek it. How do you find the time to run a company, develop software, and participate in the comminity?
  • I got few points

    >Okay you're falling into possible dependency hype. If you use any of the more recent distributions of Suse, Debian, or RH, installing Gnucash 1.6 is trivial. In addition, the GNUcash developers are putting out a CD with everything on it (all libraries, etc).

    It's not that trivial! If you don't have Gnome installed (lets say just for the case that you hate all Gnome stuff and KDE and you just use Window Maker) - you still got dependecies problems- both in Redhat, in SuSE. CD shipment - well, shipment costs - so lets say CD + S.H costs $15 - what does this matter if I just add $10 and get direct support without mailing lists chaos (and trust me - it is chaos for end user)..

    second, does it matter if your addition is accepted by the project leader in an open source product? Not in the least. Make your changes, make them available to everyone, and then sit back and let the masses decide.

    yes it does - lets say that I added a whiz bang features that the project leaders didn't want to include - I have 2 choices: 1. publish somewhere my additions and hope everyone uses it, or 2. ask the linux distributions to add it - think it's that easy??


  • by TheFuzzy ( 140473 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @11:55AM (#103725)
    As a commercial developer, I have been interested in moving some of my projects to Python. However, I have been dissuaded by the lack of a full-featured Python IDE with an extensive widget/GUI class set.

    I took a look at BlackAdder, but was quite dissapointed in the actual functionality (Python/Qt integration is buggy) and available database widget set. When do you think that BlackAdder will have the kind of high-powered RAD functionality offered by products like JBuilder, Forte and Visual Studio?

  • Clicking Submit instead of Preview can be dangerous sometimes... (continuing the YoGy stuff)

    YoGy got few points here - but I wish both products will succseed..

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 06, 2001 @11:57AM (#103727)
    In the past interviews i've read from you it seems to me like you always end up talking about Ximian. Do you see Ximian as a direct competitor of the Kompany ? Are you concerned about Ximian's market share and strategy ?
  • by frantzdb ( 22281 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @12:00PM (#103728) Homepage
    Furthering the original poster's question, it seems that theKompany's licensing system has gone to great lengths to show that theKompany does not believe in Free Software. In as much as theKompany gives the appearance of representing KDE (which I realize it does not) this seems particularly notable given that GNOME was created in part to make a Free desktop, not just an Open Source desktop.

    Does theKompany believe that software should be Free? Also is that a reflection of the KDE community or a minority stance?


  • Ok, last post.

    I use GNOME, so I have no clue how or even why you'd want to use Gnucash with KDE. I'll restate my above fact so it's more clear: "If you are a GNOME user and are running a recent distro, installing Gnucash 1.6 is fairly trivial (although bandwidth may be required)."

    Second, what you state was exactly what I said. They're are plenty of times I've wanted a particular feature added to something that I did myself. Stick the code (easily added via `patch`) on an ftp site or even sourceforge, email the devel list about what my feature is and why the project admin and I disagree with it's inclusion in the "official source" and then sit back and let nature take it's course. If you prefer a more proactive approach, fork the project source and run your own version.

  • by dakoasys ( 465631 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @12:03PM (#103730)
    What are the financial institutions responses to working with a program available on linux when you have tried to develop partnerships with them?

    Have any of these instituions been completely unwilling to cooperate?
  • Oh man, puh-lease!

    KDE is great IMHO, but does that means I won't use any software just because it's written with GTK or uses GNOME libraries? why? I belive both Gnome and KDE got advantages and disadvantages - and I think most people here agree with me on this point..

    So, for example - I preffer XChat over KSIRC, why? because I think it's great! I use Jpilot instead of Kpilot. Why? because it got more features and it's more mature and enhanced, compared to what Kpilot gives me today...

    As for your second point - I kind of agree, but I still prefer sometimes the way to direct an email to the project maintainer then the mailing lists..

  • It seems with the demise of Eazel, and the impending death of VA LINUX open source model does not work for this deep recession that we are in. What are the challeges that your company face? How do you beat those expectaions? Do you realize that a recession is 2 consecutive quarters or more of negative growth. This isn't actually a recession, it is just that the economy is not doing incredibly well. Of course the way everything gets played up we'll continue to slid down due to a lack of consumer confidence that decreases spending. So how about this, everyone should go out this weekend and blow their paycheck to help the economy out.
  • Probably, the trolls beat them to it.

    http://www.trolltech.com/company/announce/30pre. ht ml

    Database Programming
    Qt 3.0 will include a platform- and database-independent API for accessing SQL databases. The API has both ODBC support and database-specific drivers for Oracle, PostgreSQL and MySQL databases, and custom drivers may be added. Database-aware controls that provide automatic synchronization between GUI and database are included in Qt 3.0. The Qt Designer has full support for these new controls, resulting in a RAD solution for database applications

    The truth is more important than the facts.
  • perhaps because they see a growing market that isn't being serviced right now. they have less competition in their current space than they would on either mac or windows, so although their target audience is small they may end up making more sales. additionally, developing on open source platforms is probably cheaper. and finally, if their market expands they will have a head start on everyone else who attempts to enter that market after them. in other words, they may be content to make _enough_ money right now and establish themselves as a software leader in a new and growing market.
  • by djoham ( 93430 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @12:31PM (#103735)
    Hi Shawn,

    First, I would like to bestow a heartfelt "thanks" to you and your company for all the wonderful work you do. Too often, you've had to defend yourself against the trolls who don't get economics 101. It's not often enough that I see people thanking you for the contributions you have given us. Thank you.

    My question lies in the status of your projects. I'm sure some people here on Slashdot don't know about all of the software that you're working on. It would be neat if you could give us a status report on your projects as well as a brief summary of what they do and what we can expect in the future.

    I'm especially interested in the integration of your work with KOffice. I know that you donated the base version of Kivio to KOffice (again, thanks) and I was wondering if you had similar plans for Aethera, Kugar and/or Rekall.

    Best regards,

  • I use GNOME, so I have no clue how or even why you'd want to use Gnucash with KDE.

    Um, because there isn't a program of comparable functionality and price point available as a native KDE app yet, maybe? As to how, it's not that difficult - it's not like KDE and Gnome disagree on the basics of existence. In the worst case you just have a lot of duplicated libraries around. My Mandrake box came with both KDE and Gnome apps on a KDE desktop; after switching to the Ximian Gnome desktop the KDE apps still work just fine.

    I don't understand folks who feel the need to go with one desktop or the other - use the best of both worlds, people! Heck Netscape/Mozilla doesn't look exactly native to either desktop, so you're already going to have to master the awe-inspiring difficulty of two different widget sets, three sets is only marginally worse. Plus, with themes you can make Gnome look like KDE, or vice versa.

  • by MSBob ( 307239 ) on Friday July 06, 2001 @12:32PM (#103737)
    Is the Kompany profitable? If not, when do you expect it to be?
  • Do you think that creating products for the KDE audience is making it easier for the community to accept that some of them are closed-source? It's always seemed to me that KDE was more about "Let's make something cool that works well" than it is about typically GNU values and pure "free" software.

    In fact, that's part of the reason I like it, and by the same token I'm glad to see your company making software even though it's closed source. (Certainly VMWare has shown us that closed source software can be equally high-quality to open source, though that's not generally the case.)
  • stating that Linux is still not as user friendly as other OSes

    Dude, give me a break. Compare Compiling and installing nvidia drivers by hand, to sticking in a CDROM and pointing and clicking. Compare using
    xvidtune to stretch your X viewable area to the extents of your monitor, to right clicking on the desktop and pointing and clicking. Compare using apt or rpm (and dont quote me frontends to those, because frontend's SUCK) to sticking in a CD and pointing and clicking.

    "But you have to reboot for all of those!" I hear you say. Is it easier for Joe Idiot to reboot, or to remember to su every time he needs to do one of the above?

    A lot of day-to-day operations/commands have to be performed in an MS-way, and I can't customize.
    Now ask yourself how many of those "day-to-day" commands are A) caused by using linux or B) not of any interest to Joe AOL. All of them.

    My point is that the target audience for linux is not the desktop user, it's the power user who wants to hack everything he sees. To me, attempting to jam "user friendliness" into an OS that has never meant or required user friendliness is like jamming a square piece into a round hole.

    (And I have one of those rainbirds too. I think they fucked up that thing's design bad. They attemped to make it for every body to use, but they failed. Bad design doesn't prove your point about user-friendliness though.)

  • Given the choice between flight, invisibility, and the strength of 100 men, which would you choose ?
  • Sure, with GnuCash you get the sources, but you'll have to learn the code, asks if your planned addition is not going to conflict with the guy from China who is announced that he's adding this feature, but he is not free right now as he got other things to do, and on top of that - it's not sure that your addition would be welcome by the project leader..

    Those are reasonable concerns to have about an open source project, and I've had those problems with other projects in the past. I would like to point out that in my experience the gnucash folks have been very good about accepting user submissions, even as far as providing some hand-holding towards getting it into shape as far as coding standards, etc. So those concerns may not be as applicable to this particular project.

    The install is definitely a bitch, though, if you're trying to stay on the bleeding edge of development. For most people, it's probably worth it to wait and pay RH, SuSe, or Debian to package it.

  • Since the Kompany is involved with Kivio, and I am currently going through a headache with several drawing packages at work (my currently limited choices are Canvas, Powerpoint, Visio, and Framemaker), I'm curious to know what your opinion is on the possibility of agreeing on common native file formats (especially for drawing, but also for other office data).

    I've read a lot of OpenOffice.org documentation and it looks very promising. Do you see any limitations to the way they do it or difficulties in merging paths?

    A perfect world in Office software for me would be a variety of applications, but everyone working on easily interchangeable data (forget filters altogether).

    Thanks, dara
  • details, man. Details.

    How far and how high can you fly? And also, how fast?

    When you're invisible, does that also imply that you are silent?

    And does the strength of 100 men bit carry over into all parts of the male anatomy?

    You can't ask such a relevant and important question without providing the necessary details to enable us to make an informed decision.
  • this seems particularly notable given that GNOME was created in part to make a Free desktop, not just an Open Source desktop.

    Yes, and Gnome shows this by having for-profit corporation (Ximian) backed by venture-capital as central part of all things Gnome. Way to go! *cough* not *cough*...

    KDE is free desktop licensed under GPL. It's toolkit (Qt) is licensed under GPL. Why continue talking about is KDE free or not, and what does KDE developers feel about it. It's just as free as Gnome is (without "pollution" of venture capital though), learn to live with it.

  • NOBODY Expects the Stallman Inquisition!

    Amongst our major weapons are fear, dount... fear, and uh, uh, uhm, doubt.
  • Well lets compare Ximian to the Kompany:

    Ximian's desktop IS Free. They sell it too. And they want to make money. Nothing wrong with that.

    Difference is that they dont distribute non-Free code (so far). They believe in selling Free software, whereas the Kompany believes in selling commercial software ( they also give away some Free software for free ).

    Get it?

  • Yes, and also will it be available for LinuxPPC for example, since there is only a matter of recompiling the source?
  • You've answered your own question, pretty much. I'd hazard a guess to say that for MOST people, paying someone $40 and getting a prepackaged program that does what it says and says what it does is FAR easier than 'adding' to it just because it's open source.

    Simply count the number of people who have the ability to add their own features to a pre-existing software project. Now, count the number of people who DON'T have that ability - I'll count myself in there as well. My hunch is that the number of people who CAN'T do such a seemingly basic task (as you seem to think) FAR outweigh the number of people who can.

    There's your formula for competition.

    Don't begrudge these people the opportunity to make a profit. If they make a good product, let them charge for it. Yes, there's great open source stuff out there, but that doesn't mean that that's the only way things should be. If the price/performance is good on this, it'll grow, and take off. *Some* shrinkwrapped products in stores, things like financial software, word processors, etc., is good because it keeps the idea of Linux in front of average Joe user shopping at Best Buy.

  • Why do you use the Qt/KDE API rather than Gtk, Tk (a much easier toolkit under Python, IMHO) or some other toolkit? Other than your cool name, that is.
  • don't take their money and you won't have to listen to them.
  • Erm, the point is that only ONE person has to add a feature for it to be available to everyone who uses a free program.

    So as long as a sufficient number of people who can add features do, the free program will match or better the commercial program.

    To work out which will turn out better needs to take into account a lot of factors,

    investment into the project,
    return on investment,
    profit margin,
    community involvement,
    time investment by community,
    skill and experience of community
    code architecture,
    usefulness of supporting libraries.

    your formula is way too simple.

  • Hey give him a break. At least he doesn't work for Krusty Klown Kollege.

  • Hi.

    I've notices previously that Korelib boasts support for AtheOS, which amazed when I noticed it. Now as someone who has been using AtheOS since 0.1.4, I have a few questions:

    o What exactly is Korelib?
    o How and why did you include AtheOS as a supported platform?
    o What are your future plans for The Kompany and AtheOS?
  • If you made an OpenSores calendar / to do list you could call it KPasa? --Joey
  • Umm, I love gnucash (been using it since the Motif days), but 1.6.0 is a royal PitA to install. I have a complete RedHat 7.0, and getting 1.6.0 was an exercise in futility. Eventually I gave up and downloaded source. I've a feeling that the source would have worked from the get-go. Source rocks. Packages sux rox.
  • Clown college? Pfft. You can't eat that.

  • Why would a company center its business strategy on an operating system that only holds a very, very small number of users compared to other operating systems?

    because some companies have a good vision of what's to come.
  • if you look at the links on the post - you can see that one of theKompany's open source product is Korelib - which supports all your platform and more...
    which supports all your base and platform, does it belong to you?
    i'm sorry, i've been working for 24 hours straight and this seems funny to me, is it?
  • Venture Capitalism, Definition of:

    Derived from Venture (an attempt) and capitalism (an economic system based on individuals' attempts to aggregate capital).

    Venture capitalism is a system in which persons with large amounts of money invest in a company which is just getting on its feet, giving it a chance even though it is not as yet generating profit.

    A venture capitalist takes calculated risks. Usually, venture capitalists try to find new, untapped areas, and invest smaller amounts of money to, so to speak, "test the waters."

    It seems to me that a small software Kompany would not need a heluva lot of capital. I mean, they don't need big buildings & stuff...

  • Why did the Kompany choose to fork Magellan into Aethera, and is Aethera going to be usable anytime soon?
  • Gnome is based on the Gtk+ toolkit, which is distributed under the LGPL. KDE is based on the Qt toolkit, which is dual licensed under the GPL and a commercial license. The LGPL allows Gtk+ to be used for the development of various forms of commercial applications without paying money to anyone.

    The GUI toolkit is almost as fundamental to applications developers as the C library and the kernel. Imagine where Linux would be today if everybody developing a commercial application for Linux would have to pay several thousand dollars to some small company somewhere? I think most of the commercial supports of Linux would have gone with BSD or something else instead; even developing for Windows is cheaper than that. Well, dual licensing the GUI toolkit is very close to that situation.

    I fully agree with the goals of the GPL. But in some cases, for strategic reasons, another license is more sensible. The core GUI toolkit used for a desktop seems to me is such a case. That's why I think KDE's reliance on a GPL'ed toolkit ultimately dooms it to failure, no matter how nice the desktop itself may be.

  • Actually, there are some programs available on Windows (and on the Mac) that allow one to operate on a screen area larger than the actual screen. They are quite easy to use. I've never tried it on Linux, so I don't have a clue as to how hard it is.

    However, the times that I've tried it, I've quickly reverted. There may be special circumstances in which that is a desireable thing to do, but in my experience it is much more trouble than it is worth.

    OTOH, I'm quite curious about one fact: My Linux screen seems to hold more than my windows screen at the same resolution. I really haven't been able to figure this out. Originally I thought it was because my Linux machine had a better monitor, but then I switched my Windows machine over to dual-boot, and the Linux screen still held more. This has to be some sort of illusion, but I don't know what.
    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • One way this tends to work in is that the first version is an academic project. Then new versions appear. The commercial version comes out sooner, and become slick more quickly.

    The open source version takes a long time to get to 80% functionality. Then it becomes popular with a large mass of people, some of whom are able to contribute. So then it starts to improve rapidly. Also, during the initial period there are lots of changes of direction as sub-optimal choices are re-made into more optimal versions, and flexibility is moved closer to the core. So when it takes off, there are few radical changes needed. And the eventual program is more flexible, more powerful, etc. than the commercial one would have been. But it takes it a long time to become as easy to use, and well documented.

    This means that there is a fairly large space of time available to the commercial product. It the commercial company is seen as friendly by the community, and the prices are seen as reasonable, then there is less backing for the free version, which gives them a bit longer.

    And, of course, this is an oversimplified abstraction from the process. But that's one part of what's happening.

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • I wonder "Which will first be portable to CygWin?"

    XFree is now working on CygWin, or nearly so. The X Window version of Qt is GPL. Gtk is supposed to be ported to windows (my successes with it have been indifferent, but my windows machine is Win95, which may not be fully supported by CygWin...it didn't used to be).

    It could be quite humorous if Linux application started showing up on Windows, running under emulation. (Might put an end to the "Linux has no software" argument, too.)

    Of course, KOffice, e.g., might not run as fast under emulation. But it could easily be cheaper than upgrading MSOffice. (And might run faster, too.)

    Maybe Linux programs could detect the OS, and flash a dialog box that said "For best operation, run this application using Linux", :-)

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • I wonder "Which will first be portable to CygWin?" XFree is now working on CygWin, or nearly so.

    Well, obviously, if you have an X11 server and a UNIX emulation layer, both should work. And Gtk+ seems to work acceptably for some applications (Gimp, AbiWord).

    In any case, the real open source competition to MS Office is neither Gnome nor KDE, it's StarOffice/OpenOffice, which already runs well on Windows (much better than it does on Linux).

  • You have not tried KDE 2.1.1 then. KDE 2.0 was a .0 release, so it contained lots of bugs, and roughness around te edges. KDE 2.1.1 crashes very rarely (WindowMaker in my experience crashes more often). Speed is much improved from KDE 2.0. Speed is even better with KDE 2.2-beta1 (eventhough the beta has lots of rough edges). It's not as fast as KDE 1.x, but that's not surpsing as they have added many new features.

    It's decently fast (not fustratingly slow), on a PowerMac 4400/200 (200 MHz 603ev) with 96 MB of RAM. The slowest thing is app launching, and even that has improved dramatically since 2.0 (especially Konqueror). Once apps are started, I haven't noticed any thing slow about them. KDE 2.1 features a good spinning disk progress indicator in the taskbar while apps are starting, 2.2 additionaly has an (optional) flashing icon that follows your curser to let you know the apps starting. I know users who run KDE 2.1.1 on Pentium 166 with 64 MB without serious speed problems.

    Before you complain, please give KDE 2.1.1 a shot. Also, please get more then 64 MB of RAM, it will help greatly. I don't forsee KDE memory requirements increasing from that number anytime in the near future -- as there no plans to add major new features that will slow things down -- just things like improvements on existing things, additional optional features, plugins, and the alike.
  • Here is a serious answer.

    There are only so many operating systems that are even remotely viable. If you choose to write for Windows you will be competing with Microsoft eventually. It does not matter what your software does or how innovative it is. If it becomes viable Microsoft will enter the market and crush you with a free alternative which has a thousand highly trained programmers working on it. If you are making a "mee too" product you are competing against very well established companies which are already controlling the market and the mindshare of users.

    You have a much better chance of success trying to be the big fish in a small pond. If you are able to succeed in the linux market and build a brand identity and a reputation you can then attempt to make inroads into the Mac or Windows markets.

    Of course one out of three businesses fail in this country and your chances of actually surviving a few years is bleak at best but your bet chance to make it is going to be in the niches where Microsoft does not play.

    Unless you are already established and have billions in cash it's suicidal to try and compete with Microsoft. Look at the long trail of dead companies MS has left in it's wake and how dominant they once were in their fields you think a small fry like the Kompany has a chance?
  • It could be quite humorous if Linux application started showing up on Windows, running under emulation.

    More and more OSS apps start appearing in windows version, also : Gimp, perl, python, ...

    I believe this is a winning move, and I hope this trend will increase. When windows user will daily use OSS applications, the switch to an open-source OS will be less thraumatic. In the meanwhile, the augmented user and developer base will allow for a better development of OSS applications.

  • you still got dependecies problems- both in Redhat, in SuSE

    I notice you left out debian. You seem to recognise that the problem is not with gnucash but with your package manager. Perhaps you should be using debian if you cant handle the dependancy problems. I apt-got it just fine.
  • Perhaps you can clear this up for me.

    Korelib is released under the GPL. You actively encourage contibution to this project from the community.
    How do you maintain the copyright if not all of the code is your own ?
    Do you expect contributions to be submitted in terms other than the GPL ?
    How can you use community modified versions of Korelib in a commercial product like Kapital ?

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson