Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Feb 2007 09:59 UTC
Window Managers What is wrong with KDE 3.x? What is wrong with GNOME 2.8+? These seem to be the two questions arising from the recent revival of Linus vs. GNOME spat. We all know the history; Linus called the GNOME guys 'interface nazis' and advised Linux users to use KDE, which resulted in the longest comment thread on OSNews ever. That kind of fizzled out, only to be brought to light again by Linus submitting a few patches to make GNOME behave more like he wants it to behave.
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What i think it's sad
by Jack Malmostoso on Tue 20th Feb 2007 10:28 UTC
Jack Malmostoso
Member since:
2006-01-20

Is that the flamewar involved Linus himself.

This kind of shattered my idea that people that engage in Gnome vs. KDE, Compiz vs. Beryl, C64 vs. Atari ST and the like are only people who don't really have anything else to do.

I am a Gnome person myself (more like a GTK person to be honest, as I use alternatively Gnome and XFCE), and what I don't really like of KDE is the feeling of the qt widgets: it's hard to describe, kind of spongy and toyish, just like the Luna interface vs. Windows classic.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What i think it's sad
by Joe User on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:33 UTC in reply to "What i think it's sad"
Joe User Member since:
2005-06-29

That's right. Such comments only devide the Unix community even more, which is the opposite of what should happen. Why don't we see MPlayer vs. Amarok flamewars or OpenOffice vs. KOffice then? This is the opposite of what should happen. Open-source has the word "open", like in "Open-minded". I hope its leaders don't forget about the word "open". I'm thinking about Linus and Stallman.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What i think it's sad
by butters on Tue 20th Feb 2007 15:52 UTC in reply to "RE: What i think it's sad"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Such comments only devide the Unix community even more, which is the opposite of what should happen.

I agree. We should refrain from expressing unpopular opinions and just settle on what's right for most people. This way some people get what they want, and the other's are open-minded. Win-win. This is the most open-minded comment I've read all month, for example. Thanks for being a team player.

I'm thinking about Linus and Stallman.

They're in my thoughts and prayers as well. Things were going so great while they were keeping their bright ideas to themselves. When will people learn that leading is about sticking to the story or keeping your mouth shut?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What i think it's sad
by aldeck on Tue 20th Feb 2007 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What i think it's sad"
aldeck Member since:
2006-12-07

"We should refrain from expressing unpopular opinions and just settle on what's right for most people."

"Things were going so great while they were keeping their bright ideas to themselves. When will people learn that leading is about sticking to the story or keeping your mouth shut?"

Wow!! Is this sarcasm? If not this is the most frightening comment i've read all month..

Why in the world should it be a bad thing to discuss about which software is better? I agree that discussions about taste and colors are futile, i can't demonstrate that blue is better for you. But can't we say "this algorithm is more efficient because..." or "this system is more modular"? This is normal discussion, this is science, working together doesn't mean we should always agree. Pluralism and individual thinking is what makes the occident so great. Why should Linus be friend with every open source project?

Edited 2007-02-20 16:43

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What i think it's sad
by DeadFishMan on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What i think it's sad"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

Erm... That was exactly what the parent poster meant. But he used a little bit of sarcasm and irony to better convey the idea to the original poster. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What i think it's sad
by aldeck on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What i think it's sad"
aldeck Member since:
2006-12-07

damn.. i just re-read your post in threaded view! Obviously you were sarcastic ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What i think it's sad
by ma_d on Tue 20th Feb 2007 21:09 UTC in reply to "RE: What i think it's sad"
ma_d Member since:
2005-06-29

I've witnessed mplayer V xine flamewars before.

I've seen Rhythmbox V Amarok flamewars, but that's just an extension of the Gnome KDE war.

And I believe KOffice isn't popular enough (sorry guys) to have a flame war with Open Office. Not to mention, the Open Office crowd seems more interested in Windows users...
I have witnessed Open Office V latex flamewars though.


I hold that the unique ability of the human spirit is to argue about crap and get uselessly offended when others disagree.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What i think it's sad
by IvoLimmen on Tue 20th Feb 2007 21:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What i think it's sad"
IvoLimmen Member since:
2005-07-06

I hold that the unique ability of the human spirit is to argue about crap and get uselessly offended when others disagree.
That's not true, you moron! ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: What i think it's sad
by sbergman27 on Wed 21st Feb 2007 05:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What i think it's sad"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
I've witnessed mplayer V xine flamewars before.
"""

The difference is simple. With Mplayer, you click on a movie title and Mplayer plays it. With Xine, you click on a movie title and it politely explains why it can't play it.

That's why I use Mplayer and VLC rather then Xine and Totem.

Edited 2007-02-21 05:10

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: What i think it's sad
by sbergman27 on Wed 21st Feb 2007 16:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What i think it's sad"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
The difference is simple. With Mplayer, you click on a movie title and Mplayer plays it. With Xine, you click on a movie title and it politely explains why it can't play it.

That's why I use Mplayer and VLC rather then Xine and Totem.
"""

I want to be very up front about the fact that I am not griping about my quoted post being modded down.

But I *am* curious as to what someone obviously disagrees with.

These "drive by" moddings don't accomplish nearly as much as they would if they were accompanied by a reply which explained the rationale.

I stand by my original post. It accurately describes my experiences with the mentioned apps. But I am open to having the error of my ways explained to me. ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE: What i think it's sad
by x-Na on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:47 UTC in reply to "What i think it's sad"
x-Na Member since:
2007-02-20

Exactly the same with me, I have tried KDE (QT-software, that is) several times and there's just something that annoys me and so I always switch back to Gnome and GTK.

I've been using Gnome since the 1.0 release, though. I always fancied GTK to be more attractive to eyes than QT.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What i think it's sad
by antwarrior on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:31 UTC in reply to "What i think it's sad"
antwarrior Member since:
2006-02-11

I think we shouldn't call them flamewars , sometimes people get very heated about it, but as mentioned in the article the same points are raised over and over again. I am a gnome user. I have been there a long time,but KDE , even though the changes are less visible ( they have different release and announcment schedule - i think gnome's is saner :-) ), you get the feeling that major changes to the way the system works are underway to address the issues that keep on coming up. I don't get that feeling with the gnome project.

I aggree working on projects like those mentioned is not easy , because of their openess it is difficult to please everyone, and I applaud the devs of both project over and over again ,to keep up the good work ( -ing? ) .

Back to the point , before I veer of. I think this is healthy discussion and Linus's voice ( his own very "biased" opinion ) adds weight to the importance of the issues raised rather than issue of whether the user or the devs are wrong. comprendez ?

Reply Score: 1

RE: What i think it's sad
by IvoLimmen on Tue 20th Feb 2007 14:04 UTC in reply to "What i think it's sad"
IvoLimmen Member since:
2005-07-06

I have the exact same feeling with Qt/KDE. KDE also has too many options and setting. I really get lost in all of them. It's hard to find the right setting I am looking for.
There shouldn't be any reason for Gnome to be bashed like that, there is room enough for everyone.
Linus should be a advocate for freedom an diversity and stay friends with Gnome.

P.S. I don't think I am more stupid since I have been using Gnome as Linus suggests.

Edited 2007-02-20 14:07

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What i think it's sad
by RGCook on Tue 20th Feb 2007 19:18 UTC in reply to "What i think it's sad"
RGCook Member since:
2005-07-12

This isn't about flamewars or getting along. Quite simply, Linux is a passion-fueled culture, perhaps unlike any other in the industry. This stems from the inherent freedoms afforded by the platform.

Look, passion is good. And heated arguments are good. Whenever you have a situation where everyone agrees, then you know you are in trouble. There is a certain amount of healthy dysfunction in any relationship. And I love to see the passion-fueled arguments that ensue.

The fruits of these sometimes derisive squabbles will reveal themselves in ways that would not otherwise be achieved in a "civilized" manner.

Yes, friends and collegues, allow me to wax poetic with the voice of reason. And with that said, GO KDE 4! j/k HAHA

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What i think it's sad
by sbergman27 on Tue 20th Feb 2007 20:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What i think it's sad"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

RGCook,

I disagree. I don't think that heated arguments are good. Actually, I do think that they might be good on those rare occasions in which the participants make up again and realize that there are ideological ties that bind more strongly than the trivial bits that they were previously arguing about.

But some rifts never close.

We, as human beings, are odd. Once we immerse ourselves into a community where people think as we do... we start looking for places to disagree, just to keep things interesting. Don't deny it! It is true!

In the Original Star Trek Episode "The City On the Edge of Forever" written by Harlan Ellison, the author writes, and Kirk says, that a poet born on a planet circling a far away star will write that the most important words ever uttered are "Let Me Help", inching out "I Love You" for the top spot.

I have to wonder, though, if "I Was Wrong" should not take top honors.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What i think it's sad
by IvoLimmen on Tue 20th Feb 2007 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What i think it's sad"
IvoLimmen Member since:
2005-07-06

...Linux is a passion-fueled culture...
I might even be so bold as to state that it is the IT (and then specifically the 'nerds'...) culture that is so passion-fueled...

Reply Score: 2

How true
by SReilly on Tue 20th Feb 2007 10:43 UTC
SReilly
Member since:
2006-12-28

Personally I think they are both really nice DEs. I must admit that I have a slight bias towards KDE, but only because I like to configure things to the nth. Gnome, on the other hand, can be a spring board into instant productivity.

I have many friends that prefer to use Gnome and we are yet to start fighting about this. Can't see why other people can't just let other people have they're preferences and be done with.

Reply Score: 4

I don't think that's really the case
by Budd on Tue 20th Feb 2007 10:46 UTC
Budd
Member since:
2005-07-08

I mean getting along. I personally believe that KDE and Gnome people have absolutely nothing against each other. These peeps have fairly educated oppinion about what their desktop should look like and how productive that can be. These so called wars came, funny enough , from people outside these worlds the most notable example being Linus. I am happy that Gnome people didn't get irked on their KDE fellows by that. I use Gnome and I run a lot of QT apps but that's mostly because I feel much more comfortable here. I have no problem at all if my employer will come tomorrow and say our desktops will be Suse powered (gosh, that's wishfull thinking).
See,it's not like I don't like KDE, I'm too used with Gnome and to be honest I never have enough when it's about fine tunning my desktop.
Edit : of course when I said KDE/Gnome people I meant their developers,maintainers etc. But I believe that can include to a certain extent users as well.

Edited 2007-02-20 10:51

Reply Score: 4

Why not both
by Janvl on Tue 20th Feb 2007 10:47 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

I use KDE for normal usage and Gnome as root.
I am happy with both!

Combine a little more please!

Both have their good and weak sides no point
in struggling against each other.

Jan

Reply Score: 1

Unbelievable
by s_groening on Tue 20th Feb 2007 10:56 UTC
s_groening
Member since:
2005-12-13

This is what open source is NOT supposed to be about. Open source is about alternative and respect of the alternate, not about telling people off just because you're famous for starting a now huge open source development like Linux....

I like Gnome better than KDE and I always have. I can't really say why, though I definately like the clean looks of its kind face. On the other hand I have never felt at home and at ease with KDE - a simple thing like the default 'emulation of a digital clock' on the K panel just screams 'UGLY'! I just don't like the overall appearance.

I guess KDE is brilliant for some people else than me and Gnome is better suited for people like me, that actually like the fact that e.g. Gnome and Mac OS X have their clean faces and less tweaking to be done before we feel at home...

The point is that there are hard working people devoted to each of these projects that do not deserve to be blamed for this and that by a person who has *never* had to take interface design seriously, programming his beloved kernel in his sparetime, like these guys create the GUIs that he likes to play out against each other...

One thing's for sure - if I were Apple, I'd never let him in my doors if he were to teach me anything about GUI design, that's for sure...all though I bet he's a delightful man in general, but this flame war is *not* needed, not by KDE guys nor by Gnome friends.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Unbelievable
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:00 UTC in reply to "Unbelievable"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

This is what open source is NOT supposed to be about.

I was talking about Linus submitting his patches That is definitely what open source is all about.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Unbelievable
by s_groening on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Unbelievable"
s_groening Member since:
2005-12-13

..True

I am just referring to his 'bitching' about Gnome and telling people off for using it!

That's not what open source is about!

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Unbelievable
by aesiamun on Tue 20th Feb 2007 15:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Unbelievable"
aesiamun Member since:
2005-06-29

I don't recall him telling people off for using GNOME. His complaint is that GNOME's preference system basically assumes the users are idiots.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Unbelievable
by IvoLimmen on Tue 20th Feb 2007 22:00 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Unbelievable"
IvoLimmen Member since:
2005-07-06

... and that is exactly why a lot of people like GNOME. They where used to Windows (THE OS for dummies) and when switching to Linux/GNOME is a very good alternative for Windows.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Unbelievable
by dylansmrjones on Wed 21st Feb 2007 00:46 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Unbelievable"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Actually KDE is more popular among ex-Windows users ;)

As a Gnome User since Gnome 1.0 I agree that I like the layout recommended in Gnome HIG. But I dislike the fact that the simplicity stems from removing options rather than from a thoughtful layout.

The intention with the Gnome HIG was to create useful applications with options in a thoughtful layout. What we did get was applications with limited functionality. The opposite of the intentions.

This is however being reverted - The last couple of Gnome releases have contained new options, new applications in a Gnome HIG compliant manner.

Seems to me, they started by removing a lot of stuff they didn't know how to present in a sensible way, and then later began to reimplement these options and applications as they figure out how to properly implement them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Unbelievable
by molnarcs on Wed 21st Feb 2007 22:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Unbelievable"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

This is however being reverted - The last couple of Gnome releases have contained new options, new applications in a Gnome HIG compliant manner.

I believe that this reversal of trend might have something to do with Linus bitching about it. I'm not saying that they are doing it solely because of him, but he certainly raised awareness of the limitations of some of the design decisions of the GNOME developers.

Contrary to what many people seem to believe here, I think that this kind of debate, even though it borders on flaming (not as much though as people would think if you really get down to reading Linus's posts) is useful, even if it may hurt some feelings.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Unbelievable
by dylansmrjones on Thu 22nd Feb 2007 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Unbelievable"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I share you belief. Both the part about the devs changing course due to Linus' "bitching" (well.. it is bitching, but fair bitching, though).

I also consider the debate useful, though the flames are bit hot now and then. That's okay with me, as long as it raises awareness. I'm not delicate, nor is Linus AFACT.

It's also interesting to see the direction taken with KDE4. The question is if they can clean up the interface without removing the core "soul" of what KDE is. And the same goes for Gnome. How much can they add without "betraying" their own ideals?

Personally I think the answer is "yes" to the first one (KDE4) and "a lot" to the second one (Gnome). That's what I like about F/LOSS. I can see the progress as it happens, and I just can't wait for next episode ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Unbelievable
by snowbender on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:28 UTC in reply to "Unbelievable"
snowbender Member since:
2006-05-04

"This is what open source is NOT supposed to be about. Open source is about alternative and respect of the alternate, not about telling people off just because you're famous for starting a now huge open source development like Linux...."

First let me ask you... You say you've always liked Gnome better than KDE... did you use Gnome 1.x? Or did you only recently start using Gnome 2.x series?

I think a lot of Gnome users, who are Gnome users right from the start, from the 1.x series, feel in some way neglected. We are programmers, we are advanced power users, we used to like and support the Gnome platform. And all of a sudden, there's this whole "my grandma is having a hard time with Gnome, so it needs to be much much simpler"-movement. And in Gnome 2.x all configurability is removed (or pushed in gconf-editor). It's as if the target group for the desktop environment in Gnome 1.x were programmers or advanced users, and the target group for Gnome 2.x is grandma and grandpa. So, of course, the Gnome developers upset their longtime users, because they neglect their longtime advanced users, while adjusting the whole Gnome platform for some target group (grandma and grandpa) who, right now, is not using their platform. I'm not saying that Gnome 1.x series was perfect and I actually think the ideas behind Gnome 2.x are good, but the Gnome developers went way too radical about it. They definitely shouldn't neglect their current (and previous) users.

I believe that is the frustration that Linus is feeling. I'm feeling it too and I know other people are feeling it too. We, the loyal Gnome users, are pushed aside, so that the wishes of the Windows using crowd can be fulfilled. That's how it feels to me. But, of course, when I say it, that's not gonna make much noise. When Linus says it, it does make a lot more noise. In my opinion, respecting your original target group is just basic respect for your users, whether the software is open source or not.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Unbelievable
by DeadFishMan on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Unbelievable"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

Amen!

I couldnīt have said it any better...

+1

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Unbelievable
by subterrific on Tue 20th Feb 2007 19:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Unbelievable"
subterrific Member since:
2005-07-10

What specifically is missing now for you to feel not neglected?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Unbelievable
by h times nue equals e on Tue 20th Feb 2007 21:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Unbelievable"
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Although I'm not the OP, I have had similar experiences, so I will try to explain:

First, let me tell you (just in case you haven't used it) that GNOME 1.x was sometimes a bitch to configure, esp. if the distribution focused on KDE (like SuSE, which I was using back then). It took me some time to adapt GNOME 1.x to work with me (and it took even longer to get the hang of the things it didn't allowed me to adapt). Next, replacing the underlying WM was more common for GNOME setups than for KDE back then (I once configured a GNOME installation at a colleages desk and it took me minutes to figure out, that the reason some of the advanced options were in a strange place was, that he was using sawfish instead of my familiar WM. I was less familiar with Linux then :-) ), so that behavioural patterns for configuration were not always transferable across distributions / installations. I was initially (to use this stupid market-speech) "very excited" when the 2.x series of GNOME promised to fix this issues.

I had my first "what the duck" moment when the galeon (which was my default browser) 1.3 release and the subsequent fork into the galeon/epiphany double occured, leaving me with approx. half the configuration options in both browsers I had grown to rely on. At the same time (IIRC, this is some years from now, please correct me if I'm wrong) many more - partially obscure, I admit it - configuration features got axed in the sake of simplicity and the new HIG. All in all nothing wrong with that, but the decisions (aka the "sane defaults") ran many times counter what I have got used to previously during the "GNOME-1.x-vs.-myself-adaption" stage. With no first-class-citizen access to "advanced configuration options" (I will try to keep calm while thinking about gconf-editor, thank you for asking), I felt limited and came finally to the conclusion, that I was no longer the intended audience for this DE.

I left GNOME with the 2.6 release (the spatial-or-not-spatial debate was fun to watch from a safe distance) for good, because I found a more suiting environment (XFCE) that has so far allowed me to adapt even minor settings to my pleasing (I like for example non-flat buttons in the taskbar still better, thank you for letting me set this back even in 4.4!) while staying out of my way during work.

So what would be needed to get me back to GNOME? An "Advanced Settings" panel/tab/button for most applications and dialogs, even if I don't need them 90%+ of the time. A more straightforward way to build GNOME releases from source and perhaps a little-more open attitude towards users who are not afraid of learning curves even "later" would not hurt either.

But OTOH, since there are many GNOME users who are happy with what they got, I doubt, that this will
(or even should) happen, because otherwise, GoneMe would probably have been more successful.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Unbelievable
by kelvin on Wed 21st Feb 2007 13:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Unbelievable"
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

Wow! 528 words and you still didn't answer the question:
What specifically is missing [from the GNOME 2.x series]?

Do you have any concrete examples, I'd really like to know? Is it just the ability to set flat/non-flat buttons on the task-bar?

I'm a Gnome user since the 0.3 series, and I'm perfectly happy with the usability focus that's been integral to the project since 2.0. From my perspective, I'm happy to never have to wade through pages and pages of useless junk-settings to find the one I'm looking for. Here's an example from the bad old days:
http://www.gnome.org/~jdub/2003/sequelsyndrome/mgp00015.html

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Unbelievable
by h times nue equals e on Wed 21st Feb 2007 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Unbelievable"
h times nue equals e Member since:
2006-01-21

Sorry for being that exhaustive in my GP post, and sorry for not providing explicit examples. I will try to do shorter this time

It's been some time since I left GNOME (last regular use was 2.6.1, last flyby was FreeRock GNOME 2.12), so please bear with me. From the top of my head, what bothered me in/up until 2.6 was for example, that I couldn't get rid of the (volume) icons on the desktop (seems to work at least since 2.8 via gconf), that epiphany somehow refused to let me set the lifetime of my cookies, that I had found no way to have a list of background images instead of a single one, that there was little consistency in how the toolbars could be configured (some applications refused to allow me to adapt the toolbar at all like evolution, while the degree of what was adaptable varied among applications) and similar stuff.

Things I've been missing even in GNOME 2.12 (perhaps this has been adressed in the mean time) and where XFCE has spoiled me is, that
- scrolling with the mouse wheel over the desktop (and
not only the pager) can switch virtual desktops
- the direct availability of Gamma correction controls
- grouping of keyboard shortcuts to themes

I realize - thanks to yours and dylanmrjones posts in this thread - that the situations concerning advanced settings seems to have got better. Perhaps it's time to give GNOME 2.16 or 2.18 when it's out a spin :-)

Note, that flat or non-flat buttons in the taskbar are not a big deal. They are an example, that one possibility for a project like XFCE or GNOME is to honor the experience of advanced users and let them access advanced configuration options in a sane manner, or to axe the feature and ban it to the other second-class configurations into the gconf menu.

I prefer the first approach, you seem to have no problem with the latter, which is OK for me, but explains why we have different tastes wrt our desktop environments. BTW, Your screenshot brought up old memories, except, that I kinda liked the ability to tweak the desktop to the nth degree once and for all (a better way to group/layout the options would have been nice, though)

Regards

Edited 2007-02-21 17:26

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Unbelievable
by kelvin on Wed 21st Feb 2007 22:36 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Unbelievable"
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

Thank you for a very polite and exhaustive response. You bring up some interesting points.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Unbelievable
by s_groening on Wed 21st Feb 2007 01:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Unbelievable"
s_groening Member since:
2005-12-13

Actually I was there in the 1.x days and might actually have disliked it for some of the reasons you seem to like, e.g. the more configurable GUI.

However, I do not at all dislike the fact that you'd be able to configure it more freely, on the contrary I'd like to see a somewhat Mac OS X like centralized settings interface that was easily extensive and I actually find this to be very nicely suited for the Gnome 2.x approach to things.

I'd like Gnome to be more akin of Mac OS X than of Windows, where as I feel like being more in a 'Windows-like' environment on KDE (I'll probably get slayered for this...) and I really like the fact that all though simple and easy to use, Gnome remains its own.

Elegance and clean design really means a lot to me. I'm sorry, but it's just worth more to me than being able to make my desktop look like WOW or something like that. At the same time I do miss more of this in the open source communities, where functions seem to come before usage, which is a shame, since I personally know graphics designers that would love to give a helping hand in this respect. I don't really know if these people are targeted by the developing communities to help straightening out these aspects of software development. Anyway, they should be...

Instead I see badly organized GUI layouts, extensive use of background images (e.g. the K3B main window) that absolutely just pollutes the look'n'feel of the application. This is what the Gnome HIG tries to fight, and I like to say I favor this over anything on *nix.

I understand that Linus might be disappointed, but I don't like the fact that he supposedly wants us to switch to KDE because he's sorry about the state of Gnome affairs - that is for everyone to decide for him self! (Just as I hate the appalling 'I'm a Mac - and I'm a PC' ads...)

Reply Score: 2

Reversed
by JMcCarthy on Tue 20th Feb 2007 10:59 UTC
JMcCarthy
Member since:
2005-08-12

I like developing applications with GTK+/GNOME libraries (seriously). But prefer using Qt/KDE applications.

GNOME seems to do the little things right while missing out on the bigger things. A quick example would be Nautilus assuming I don't want to muck with the extension when I rename a file. Konqueror doesn't seem to do this, but on the other hand it has tons of other useful things Nautilus doesn't.

I wish I could choose one over the other but instead I seem to alternate between the two. I actually find it annoying that the each seem to excel in their own stereotypical ways while utterly failing when it comes to something else. I would prefer that both were more well-rounded instead of taking a "one or the other" mentality.

Edited 2007-02-20 11:05

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reversed
by schala on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:55 UTC in reply to "Reversed "
schala Member since:
2006-01-17

Wait. When you say you like developing applications with GTK+/GNOME libraries, are you saying that you've tried writing both Qt and GTK+ applications and you find the latter easier? And do you mean that you've written applications in straight GTK/GObject, or that you used GTKmm?

I ask only because I've coded a bit in all three, and compared to Qt, GTK/GObject is PAINFUL, and GTKmm isn't amazing either.

The GNOME developers may agree that writing applications in C is "madness", but a whole ton of the GNOME core is written in C, and I can't blame people for not wanting to touch that codebase with a ten foot pole.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Reversed
by JMcCarthy on Tue 20th Feb 2007 21:58 UTC in reply to "RE: Reversed "
JMcCarthy Member since:
2005-08-12

>Wait. When you say you like developing applications with GTK+/GNOME libraries, are you saying that you've tried writing both Qt and GTK+ applications and you find the latter easier?

Yes. I've used Qt before (used to constantly rave about it). I still think it's a superior toolkit. I've also used GTK+ with the C# binding (pretty good). But I don't care for C#. I've used GTK+ with the C++ bindings, which are pretty excellent.

However, I can't seem to stand anything other than C. I hate C++ and I hate doing OO in it. That is why I prefer GTK+ to Qt when it comes to developing applications. Not necessarily using them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Reversed
by schala on Tue 20th Feb 2007 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reversed "
schala Member since:
2006-01-17

If you don't mind my asking, why do you feel that GObject is a better implementation of object-oriented programming than C++'s? And also (this is a separate question), aside from its OO model, why don't you like C++? There are a whole bunch of C++ features -- iterators, the STL, and templates, to name a few -- which aren't particularly object-oriented, but which I really like, and I'm somewhat surprised to hear that you don't (or that there are other parts of C++ which turn you off enough that iterators are irrelevant).

Reply Score: 2

My 2 cents worth...
by The Lone OSer on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:13 UTC
The Lone OSer
Member since:
2005-07-11

I actually stayed out of the last "Great Debate" due to that fact that the nature of the story really irked me; however, I feel at this time I really want to say my bit...
Gnome, I hope Linus realizes is bigger then Linux..
What I mean by this is that Gnome is on Linux, FreeBSD and of course Solaris. It is a seperate identity to Linux; it's OWN project. If Linus feels that strongly about the direcion Gnome has taken, he can always FORK!
Many MANY people are perfectly happy with the way Gnome is, myself included... as a home Solaris user I love the way Sun have set Gnome up - why should the world have to change because Linus isn't a happy man?.
I think one thing people have to remember here is, each distro can always change how Gnome looks/acts/feels.. Just because Gnome has a default way of doing things, does not mean thats how it has to be.. Maybe Linus should submit his patches to distros instead of telling the Gnome team they are loosers.. This attitude is incredibly terrible for anyone to take up against people who are just doing what they love.. No one has ever forced Linus to use Gnome that I am aware of; and he should not try and force his oppinions in such a rude and arrogant manner on others. As the father of Linux, this sadly DOES reflect on Linux itself IMHO.

Reply Score: 5

RE: My 2 cents worth...
by TheMonoTone on Tue 20th Feb 2007 15:33 UTC in reply to "My 2 cents worth..."
TheMonoTone Member since:
2006-01-01

While it may be on FreeBSD, it certainly doesn't always work well with FreeBSD. Some things are very linux centric.

Reply Score: 2

another problem
by MilesTeg on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:23 UTC
MilesTeg
Member since:
2005-11-14

I really like both KDE and Gnome for the reasons you pointed out and you are right, it's basically nice to choose.
But the problem I see is that they are also using different libraries. If you want a fast OS you have to choose: gnome apps or KDE apps. If you install both (for full functionality) you are simply wasting resources that way.
Why can't they just be linux apps instead of KDE, Gnome or GTK-specific?
I'm (not yet) a programmer but this simply looks wrong to me.

edit: see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-windows#User_interface_features
There simply needs to be a common, flexible, fertile ground where a programmer can start creating linux apps with GUIs insted of KDE apps etc.

Edited 2007-02-20 11:35

Reply Score: 4

RE: another problem
by oxleyn on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:47 UTC in reply to "another problem"
oxleyn Member since:
2005-10-04

For me, MilesTeg hit the nail on the head.

I love having the choice between DE's and often switch between them, especially when a new version has been release. That said I too get a tad frustrated by the development library (if that is the correct term to use) specific nature of apps of KDE/QT and GNOME/GTK as I find one app from one DE will do a better job than the equivalent app from the other DE.

Neither DE is perfect yet but the very fact they are both under constant development can only mean they are striving for their own idea of perfection.

Reply Score: 1

RE: another problem
by eggs on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:42 UTC in reply to "another problem"
eggs Member since:
2006-01-23

"Why can't they just be linux apps instead of KDE, Gnome or GTK-specific?
I'm (not yet) a programmer but this simply looks wrong to me. "


Because it would be a pain and end up looking completely ugly to make a gui app without a toolkit like QT or GTK. They make it easier to program and easier to make look nice.

"There simply needs to be a common, flexible, fertile ground where a programmer can start creating linux apps with GUIs"

That is what both GTK and QT were designed to do.

Reply Score: 2

Who is Linux?
by djst on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:24 UTC
djst
Member since:
2005-08-07

"Linux called the GNOME guys 'interface nazis'..."

Reply Score: 2

RE: Who is Linux?
by vikramsharma on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:29 UTC in reply to "Who is Linux?"
vikramsharma Member since:
2005-07-06

I think it was Linus Torvalds, but what's in a name.

Reply Score: 1

Just use what fits your purpose
by vikramsharma on Tue 20th Feb 2007 11:27 UTC
vikramsharma
Member since:
2005-07-06

I love the Beryl on Ubuntu and compiz on OpenSUSE. Linux is maturing as a viable Desktop solution. The desktops effects are really cool and useful do not get in the way (take the cursor to the right upper corner of the screen and the windows will tile and you can choose from them easely),alt-tab, and so many more.

I use KDE on OpenSUSE 10.2, different storkes for different folks.

The boing-boing effect are pretty cool too, perfect way to unwind after a hard day at work.

Reply Score: 0

graigsmith
Member since:
2006-04-05

If linus hates gnome so much, why doesn't he take his own advice and just use KDE. Gnome and KDE don't have to be the same, isn't it better that theres a choice? Personally i hope the gnome people keep being "interface nazi's" because to me, that's why gnome rocks so much more than kde. Gnome actually puts thought into making a usable GUI when you first install it.

Reply Score: 5

gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

Well, I am about as pro-KDE as Linus is, and I can see his point:

Because I am used to how the "save as" and "open" dialogs look like in KDE (more or less a fully featured filesystem browser) I also want to have that look and feel (or at least similar) if I want to save a JPEG from GIMP, which to this day is still the better image processing tool).

Sad thing is, if a open the "save as" dialog from GIMP, I get an interface I am so totally unused to, that it takes me 10 - 20 seconds of hard pattern recognition work to make sure I am saving at the correct location in the filesystem tree.
If I could configure the "look and feel" of these dialogs I could at least make them behave more like what I am used to, but alas, I cannot.

That is, what makes us KDE-only guys so mad about. There would be so many great programs out there, but the one or two things we would like to have to get us hooked there cannot be achieved because of a lack of configurability, or because these things are hidden.

I might add, that I too find KDE sometimes a little bloated, but that I can handle myself, I can configure away much bloat. The main problem with Gnome I think is, that they do not provide features although they would not introduce bloat. Best example of having loads of features without bloating your pants off would be Konqueror with all its Kparts. You have the features when you need them, but if you don't need them they don't get in your way.

Reply Score: 4

intangible Member since:
2005-07-06

How about vica-versa? I didn't know I can configure the open and save dialogs in k3b to fit with my Gnome desktop.
If someone uses Gnome and tries to make it work like KDE, they won't like it. If someone tries to use KDE and make it work like Gnome, they won't like it.
It's really that simple; if you really like one desktop (like you really like KDE and I really like Gnome), then the other just will not work for you and will annoy you.

Reply Score: 5

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

isnt there work being done on a library that will do just that. as in allow a call for dialog to use kde or gnome dialogs based on what DE your using, not what library the program happens to be written in?

Reply Score: 3

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

There are ways to do that, and even a project (the portland project) to make it possible. But that'll take time and effort from the developers as well.

Reply Score: 2

moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Sometimes I think people are so desperate to flame that if no one's around they'll happily flame themselves, like a bored dog chasing its tail. Perhaps there is a word for them - burnanist, inflammator? Alas, Linus T appears to have succumbed: a player indeed of the thrusting pink fire-column.

I couldn't agree more about "Why can't we all get along?" but in this case I think we're setting up a couple of cardboard Aunt Sallies purely in order to knock them down. KDE isn't universally regarded as a mess and Gnome isn't universally regarded as inflexible. True, some folks think one or the other, but the vast mass of folks do not. They manage to get along just fine with, perhaps, a few irritations but then all computer software - all of life? - has those.

The truth is, too late for recriminations now. A long time ago the Linux project decided that choice was more important than a lot of other stuff, and the present landscape of multiple distros and multiple DEs is the direct result. You could say this is all a serious disincentive to the wider take-up of Linux and you'd probably be right. But that's the way it has all panned out.

It's far more important to be grateful for what we have. And, on a practical note, perhaps, to choose one distro, stick with it and learn it really really well (let me put in a strong recommendation for Debian here). Then all these "arguments" will start to look like the flim-flam they really are.

Edited 2007-02-20 12:05

Reply Score: 5

Speed
by morwen on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:04 UTC
morwen
Member since:
2007-02-20

KDE is generally much faster than Gnome. Maybe it is because of QT, maybe something else. And a lot of KDE-apps just works a lot better than the corrosponding Gnome-apps. Try Amarok vs Rhythmbox or Kate vs Gedit.

What about a mail-client? If you use Gnome I think you would use Thunderbird or Evolution. Try to scroll the list of messages in these 2 applications, and try changing the window size. Then try to start up KDE and use Kmail: It is just a lot faster!

I know that Firefox isn't a Gnome application, but I think that most Gnome users use Firefox. Try to start up Firefox on a site like http://www.osnews.com and then resize the window. It is much slower than Firefox in Windows. Then try to start up KDE and fire up Konqueror with http://www.osnews.com . When you resize the window, you will notice that it is just as fast as Firefox or Internet Explorer in Windows.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Speed
by Phil on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:16 UTC in reply to "Speed"
Phil Member since:
2005-07-06

"Try Amarok vs Rhythmbox or Kate vs Gedit."

The problem with that sort of comparison, is that the apps rarely have the same goals. Amarok is always supposed to be a "bigger" than rhythmbox, so if you want the extra stuff, then it will be better. On the other hand, Exaile is a gnomey app, that's almost exactly like amarok as far as I know.

And with gedit: KDE has (had?) kedit and kate, while gnome has gedit and any number of addons/plugins so it can be a simple editor and a more powerful one as needed...

"I know that Firefox isn't a Gnome application, but I think that most Gnome users use Firefox."

That's almost certainly true, but of course Epiphany is the "real" gnome browser, and is a lot more integrated altogther, as well as probably faster.

Woah, that's a lot of "s today.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Speed
by vivitron on Tue 20th Feb 2007 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Speed"
vivitron Member since:
2007-02-20

"And with gedit: KDE has (had?) kedit and kate, while gnome has gedit and any number of addons/plugins so it can be a simple editor and a more powerful one as needed..."

True, but I find kate much faster when handling large text files than gedit even without addons.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Speed
by Doc Pain on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:57 UTC in reply to "Speed"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"KDE is generally much faster than Gnome."

Generally? Are you talking about KDE and GNOME on modern PCs or did your statement include older systems as well, such as a 200 MHz P2 with 128 MB RAM? I'm just asking.

On modern hardware, I found KDE working quite fast. Because most Linux distributions come with KDE preinstalled and preconfigured, I found it hard to have a comparable Gnome DE setup so see if the speed is better / worse / equivalent.

Most Linusi spend their time working on KDE (preconfiguration etc.) and missing to do the same on Gnome. Maybe Gnome could be faster then? (Take a look at Solaris using Gnome - works fast and supports productivity.)

BTW, "Linusi" is one of the inofficial plurals of "Linux". :-)

KDE did a lot for Linux bringing it to the home users desktop. You even find KDE in professional settings (maybe because of KDevelop). This tendency is increasing. So let's be happy with it and work on it instead of firing at each other's side saying "Your DE is *insert claim here*!" If you're keen on eye candy such as most home users seem to be, KDE surely is their choice. Internationalisation of KDE (language, translation, charsets, fonts etc.) is very good in fact.

"Maybe it is because of QT, maybe something else."

Maybe it's allowed to differ as follows:

{ Qt apps [ KDE apps ] } ./. { Gtk apps [ GNOME apps ] }

("./." means "versus"; german jurisdiction)

I just wanted to try to illustrate the subset relationships. You could divide Gtk in subclasses, too, such as Gtk, Gtk+ or Gtk 2.0.

For example, there are many Gtk apps to be used with GNOME, but there are also Gtk apps that do not rely on the GNOME frameworks (e. g. gstreamer).

"And a lot of KDE-apps just works a lot better than the corrosponding Gnome-apps. Try Amarok vs Rhythmbox or Kate vs Gedit."

As it has been stated before, you're comparing different classes of applications / different goals. In the same case, you could (not) compare Gmencoder vs. K3b or even Gnotepad+ vs. KDevelop.

"What about a mail-client? If you use Gnome I think you would use Thunderbird or Evolution. Try to scroll the list of messages in these 2 applications, and try changing the window size. Then try to start up KDE and use Kmail: It is just a lot faster! "

What about Sylpheed? :-)

At this point, I'd like to say that I like both KDE and GNOME, and, of course, XFCE and WindowMaker. The right tool for each task. Such as new users usually find KDE mor appealing than GNOME, I like WindowMaker much better than both of them, just because I don't need a desktop environment and still can use KDE, GNOME or whatever applications alltogether. At work, we use XFCE. It's not because we don't like KDE, it's because it wouldn't run at an accaptable speed on our machines. On my Solaris box, there's GNOME, and I like it very much the way Sun configured it. Everytime I may use MacOS X I'm happy with it, I also like Apples desktop. And for some purposes, a KDE application works better than a GNOME application, and for another case a GNUstep application would be the best solution.

To come to an end: To insult someone as "interface nazis" isn't stupid only, it's an insult of the victims the nazi regime left behind. I honor the freedom of individual opinion very much, but that's too much! You just can't make such comparisons! If Linus has an attitude against GNOME, he should not use it anyway. If he likes KDE, he should use it. It's so simple. It's the freedom of choice. Nobody has the right to tell me which desktop I have to use. No Steve B., no Bill G., no Steve J. and no Linus T. Period.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Speed
by morwen on Tue 20th Feb 2007 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Speed"
morwen Member since:
2007-02-20

"Generally? Are you talking about KDE and GNOME on modern PCs or did your statement include older systems as well, such as a 200 MHz P2 with 128 MB RAM? I'm just asking."

I am talking about a 500 MHz AMD k6-2 with 96 MB RAM and about a 1600 MHz AMD Athlon 64 with 2 GB RAM. In both situations Gnome feels slower and not as smooth as KDE. But: Gnome is getting quicker and quicker - that is a good thing.


The people using Linux have a lot of different demands and fortunately they can use whatever they want: Someone don't need a desktop environment and use WindowMaker, but a lot people wants a desktop environment where the standard applications are well integrated. But the users of Linux are very few, so a lot of hardware manufacturers don't create drivers for Linux. That is a big problem. In order to get more hardware manufacturers creating drivers for Linux, we need more Linux users. So we have to steal some Windows users. But they won't use Linux because there are too many different ways to use it, and it is way to slow!

So if we want to steal some Windows users, we need one desktop environment where you can control almost everything in your system. And the desktop environment has to be as quick as Windows XP. That also means that cool effects (like what you can get from Beryl/Emerald) have to wait until they are finished before they get into the desktop environment. When you resize windows it should be just as quick as in Windows XP and Vista.

I hope that the war between KDE and Gnome will stop one day, so we don't have to make 2 versions of every application. I don't care who is going to win, but I hope that the winner will be really fast. At the moment KDE is still the fastest and allmost as fast as Windows XP.

Reply Score: 1

What does GNOME lack?
by Givas on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:10 UTC
Givas
Member since:
2005-08-19

I'm really wondering, what does GNOME lack that would make you more productive? Which features would make your life easier? What are these missing features that frustrate you KDE users?

I often read stereotypical comments "KDE is flexible, GNOME is limiting!". Is this really about flexibility or just about some people loving to customize their computer like others love to tune their cars?

Reply Score: 3

RE: What does GNOME lack?
by Phil on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:21 UTC in reply to "What does GNOME lack?"
Phil Member since:
2005-07-06

"what does GNOME lack that would make you more productive?"

I can't answer this from a KDE perspective, but there are certainly things that slowed me down moving from a (heavily tweaked) windows.

Two obvious speedups in general productivity are keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures. These are both right in the middle of KDE, but hidden/not there in gnome. This certainly made working in gnome feel slower to start with.

The reason I have never held this against gnome is that you very quickly learn to work with gnome as it is, rather than try and change it. As soon as I got the hang of how gnome does things, I was happier and faster than ever - and without having to experiment with lots of settings, because someone else had already done it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What does GNOME lack?
by chavovaldez on Wed 21st Feb 2007 11:40 UTC in reply to "RE: What does GNOME lack?"
chavovaldez Member since:
2007-02-21

You can run the kde hotkeys and mouse gesture daemon in Gnome or any other DE for that matter. I remember right before I finally gave up Gnome for KDE that I used khotkeys in Gnome and XFCE. I jumped ship for the same things Linus is complaining about almost a year ago.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What does GNOME lack?
by RandomGuy on Tue 20th Feb 2007 14:32 UTC in reply to "What does GNOME lack?"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

I don't currently have GNOME installed so I can only tell from my - admittedly vague - past experience with it:

I used it a couple of months and while I got used to it somehow it never felt as natural as KDE. When I need an option under KDE 99% of the time it's where I think it is. When I need an option under GNOME 99% of the time it's either not where I think it should be or it's not there at all!

By comparing customizing your DE with tuning your car you miss how important it is. You use your car to get to work but you use your DE when you actually work.

I would compare it to the place where you do your work.
You could choose a desk that's a little too small, a pen that does not really fit into your hand and scratches when you write, a chair thats uncomfortable and so on. Every little detail does not make a big difference but they add up. When I need to concentrate I have exactly zero brain power to spare and thus want zero avoidable distractions. I'd rather pay ten times as much for a pen than use one I don't like. Similarly I don't mind tweaking KDE because it fits my mind really well after I'm finished tweaking it.

It may sound strange to you but GNOME does not fit my brain. I miss right click options all the time, I feel like being handcuffed. Actually, too few options scare and confuse me.

It's not that GNOME is wrong, it's just that it seems very weird _to_me, unlike KDE.
And I'd rather bend my DE than my mind :-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: What does GNOME lack?
by Givas on Tue 20th Feb 2007 16:33 UTC in reply to "RE: What does GNOME lack?"
Givas Member since:
2005-08-19

You see what I mean? All I get is a vague answer and examples that don't have much to do with the actual topic. If someone actually showed me concrete examples like "I work for a web company and I do this action N times a day and if feature X isn't configurable I waste T hours every month!".

Feeling comfortable is important, of course, but are you sure that there is a measurable increase in productivity? Might your self-configured system not actually be less effective than the default configuration? For example, some people prefer single-window folder navigation and others prefer multi-window navigation. Now, I've observed both parties and the latter group is definitely less effective because they spend a lot of time with closing all the junk windows they had opened along their path to a subfolder. The first group always had the chance to hold down CTRL to open a folder in a new window in the *rare* case that they still need the current folder.

The question is, and I think that this is the essense behind GNOME vs KDE, isn't it our responsibility to discourage bad/ineffective configurations? I know, some of you will disagree and say "let the user decide", but seriously, most users aren't able to make the best decision. Even most experts won't be able to get the configuration right. E.g., take a look at the WinAmp/whatever skins some experts use. Many of them are ridiculously ineffective (small buttons, text is difficult to read, unclear meaning of a button's action, close button requires exact aiming because it doesn't react in top-right corner, ...). Maybe it's a matter of taste, but I can't believe that people interested in productivity will praise this situation.

I'm all for allowing customization in places where you have a measurable increase in productivity due to varying work requirements, but if an option merely saves one click for a button that you press once in two months I absolutely don't see the point in making it more difficult for all other users to find a function that *really* matters (see Hick's Law and Fitts' Law if you want hard numbers on interface efficiency and the effect of having lots of buttons+options).

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: What does GNOME lack?
by RandomGuy on Tue 20th Feb 2007 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What does GNOME lack?"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

Sorry, you can't measure or model interface efficiency that easily.
The laws you quoted would only apply if the process went like this under both DEs with KDE having more options: make a choice, move the mouse pointer accordingly.

However, this is not at all what happens.
To model the whole thing we need to keep in mind that there are two relevant states of brain activity: alpha-waves and beta-waves. Alpha-waves mean you are in a relaxed and highly creative and productive state. Beta waves mean you are under a lot of pressure, pissed off or scared. This state of mind does not allow for productive work, it was useful in the past to either attack or run away. Nothing you tend to do in your office. Big oversimplification, I know ;-)

So let's see what really happens:
Case1, KDE

I'm creative and relaxed, decide to do something and - what a miracle - actually manage to select the useful option from the list. Most of the time it's among the first three entries.
Nothing bad happened, my brain is still in alpha-wave mode.

Case2, GNOME

Again, I start out creative and decide to do something.
The first problem occurs:
My brain needs to work hard in order to guess how to do that under GNOME.
The second problem occurs:
GNOME does not support my way of doing things!
By this time I've completely lost my happy, relaxed state of mind. I'm pissed off and beta-waves destroy any hope of doing anything that requires thinking within the next couple of minutes.

Maybe you are more productive under GNOME than I'm under KDE, I don't know. Smaller menues and bigger buttons are in your favour. Flatter menues and the possibility to fine tune KDE for my kind of work are in my favour. Why flatter menues? Because if each layer consists of less items you need more layers to provide the same level of functionality.

But one thing is for sure:
I'm a lot more productive under KDE than I am under GNOME.
You've got to pry it from my dead, cold hands! Or mouse pointer for that matter. ;-)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What does GNOME lack?
by superstoned on Wed 21st Feb 2007 12:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What does GNOME lack?"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

You want specific examples? Let's talk about the default Gnome window manager, and compare it to Kwin. Does it have focus stealing prevention? Can I put a 'Always on top' button on there, and re-arange the buttons? Can I ensure a scroll over the windowdecoration changes it's transparency, and can I remove the maximize button (as doubleclicking the windec is configured to maximize it, right?).

And I want fully configurable specific window settings, where the window manager detects certain windows which should have certain settings (like starting, or forced to be on a certain desktop, size, without windowdecoration, fullscreen etcetera).

And I want to assign a shortcut for fullscreen to the windowmanager so I can get ALL applications fullscreen with one shortcut.

Ow, and magnetic borders, I read this has recently been added to the Gnome windowmanager. I only want them to function when overlapping windows, I don't want my windows to jump around, snapping to others - I just want edge resistance. Is that possible as well?

Now we just discussed the windowmanager, of course, but that has been the reason I didn's use gnome for longer than 20 minutes last time I started it. Ow, and the fact I couldn't configure the toolbar in Gedit - I NEVER NEVER NEVER discovered a KDE application WITHOUT fully configurable toolbars, shortcuts for ALL menu items etcetera. The basics sometimes aren't even there in Gnome...

And I want my webbrowser/filemanager (no seperation please, I mix them often even in one tab with the split-screen function) to have drag'n'drop of tabs between windows, and even to the desktop and the taskbars.

I often drag url's for example from a email into the empty space next to a tab in konqueror so it opens there, to keep things organized.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: What does GNOME lack?
by kelvin on Wed 21st Feb 2007 14:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What does GNOME lack?"
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

You want specific examples? Let's talk about the default Gnome window manager, and compare it to Kwin. Does it have focus stealing prevention?

Yes.

Can I put a 'Always on top' button on there, and re-arange the buttons?

Yes. Re-arranging the buttons has been possible "forever". Adding an 'Always on top' button will be available in 2.18 (due next month).

Can I ensure a scroll over the windowdecoration changes it's transparency

Eh... no, but assuming that Linus' patches go in, this should be available in 2.20. OTOH, proper transparency is still an experimental feature on the Linux desktop.

can I remove the maximize button

Yes. You can remove all buttons if you want.

And I want fully configurable specific window settings, where the window manager detects certain windows which should have certain settings (like starting, or forced to be on a certain desktop, size, without windowdecoration, fullscreen etcetera).

Yes. This functionality is available via the Devil's Pie addon:
http://burtonini.com/blog/computers/devilspie

And I want to assign a shortcut for fullscreen to the windowmanager so I can get ALL applications fullscreen with one shortcut.

AFAIK, this is not possible, but seriously: Why?

Ow, and magnetic borders, I read this has recently been added to the Gnome windowmanager. I only want them to function when overlapping windows, I don't want my windows to jump around, snapping to others - I just want edge resistance.

Magnetic borders have "always" been available (by pressing the shift-button), and edge resistance has been available for quite a while now.

Ow, and the fact I couldn't configure the toolbar in Gedit

There is a standardized mechanism for this in GNOME, but I don't know why gedit doesn't use it. OTOH, usability studies have shown that very few people customize their toolbars. You obviously didn't care enough to file a bug report about it, so it couldn't have been very important to you either. :-)

Anyway... what was your point?

Edited 2007-02-21 14:28

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: What does GNOME lack?
by superstoned on Wed 21st Feb 2007 18:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What does GNOME lack?"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

> Anyway... what was your point?

I tried to give a few examples of things I found impossible to do in Gnome. You told me some of them where possible, mostly in upcoming versions, or using addons.

About the shortcut, why do I want that? Because I like to work fullscreen... Normally, not all apps can do fullscreen, and those that do all have different shortcuts. I hate that - I want ALL my apps to be full-screen when I want to, and with one shortcut.

Anyway, as Gnome is free software, if I want something - it is possible. I can download patches, or change the code itself, or ask the maintainers for it. But why bother? There is a desktop which is far more mature - every time I read through a "what's new in Gnome", I practically only read about not so new things I've been using for years in KDE.

So why bother with obsolete tech?

Reply Score: 5

RE[6]: What does GNOME lack?
by kelvin on Wed 21st Feb 2007 22:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What does GNOME lack?"
kelvin Member since:
2005-07-06

There is a desktop which is far more mature - every time I read through a "what's new in Gnome", I practically only read about not so new things I've been using for years in KDE.

So why bother with obsolete tech?


And that's where 50% of all Linux desktop users disagree with you.

The subject of the whole article is "Can't We All Just Get Along?", and you're really not doing a very good job of playing nice. By your own admission, you don't even try Gnome that often:
http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=17298&comment_id=214088
but you certainly trash-talk it enough.

Now I hardly ever use KDE, XFCE or Gnustep, so I don't talk about them, and I certainly don't talk smack.

You tried to come up with a list of features that aren't available in Gnome, and you failed. Miserably. Why is it so important to you to belittle Gnome? What did the Gnome project ever do to you? It's not like they're forcing their software on you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: What does GNOME lack?
by superstoned on Thu 22nd Feb 2007 10:21 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What does GNOME lack?"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Somebody asked for missing things in Gnome... So I took just two small parts of Gnome that seriously annoyed me last time I tried it, and told what imho was missing... So I answered a question.

Anyway, I don't want to belittle gnome, I just point out reality...

If the linux desktop wants to be ahead of the pack and innovate, it's only chance is KDE. Gnome simply misses the technology, and worse, the ambition.

Sorry, but why is saying this so bad? I wouldn't say nothing great ever came out of Gnome, and it's not a bad desktop. But it's NOT the future, if you hope for beating MS and Apple.

So much money has been thrown on Gnome by Sun, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Novell - still it's equal to KDE at best. Isn't it time to cut the losses and start making sane choices?

Reply Score: 2

RE: What does GNOME lack?
by gustl on Tue 20th Feb 2007 16:07 UTC in reply to "What does GNOME lack?"
gustl Member since:
2006-01-19

For me mostly: File dialogs (open, save) I can can get an orientation from.

For me it is like this: In KDE I click on "save as", and a dialog window which basically looks like my filebrowser pops up. I am much used to that filebrowser, hence I can find out within seconds where in the filetree I am going to save my file.

If I save from GIMP, I only get a box with one line where I can put my filename at. No visual support of where I might be, no tree view, no listing of the current directories content. Therefore I have to read and think about the path name that is written above, if I am in the right location.
I am a very visual Type, so having a filesystem tree displayed in a picture (tree view) is less stress on my brain, than reading a line of names and having to build up the image of a tree within my mind and looking at that tree. Therefore I always click on "filesystem browser" whenever I need something opened or saved in a GNOME or GTK app.

All other things I don't like about GNOME combined are less important than the file dialogs, in fact I am quite neutral to them. If an OK Button is right or left in the box I don't care about, really.
Of all the Gnome apps out there I only use GIMP and Gqview regularly, and Firefox when a Website does not work in Konqueror. For everything ele I use the KDE apps.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What does GNOME lack?
by Givas on Tue 20th Feb 2007 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE: What does GNOME lack?"
Givas Member since:
2005-08-19

If I save from GIMP, I only get a box with one line where I can put my filename at. No visual support of where I might be, no tree view, no listing of the current directories content. Therefore I have to read and think about the path name that is written above, if I am in the right location.

GIMP has a "special" interface and I absolutely agree that the dialog is incredibly bad, but isn't GNOME's actual dialog more like this:
http://www.gnome.org/~seth/designs/filechooser-spec/open-with-previ...
That one is similar to KDE's dialog.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What does GNOME lack?
by molnarcs on Wed 21st Feb 2007 22:48 UTC in reply to "What does GNOME lack?"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

I don't use gnome, and find fewer and fewer reasons to run gtk apps (krita with its later release has become a perfect replacement for the GIMP for me) - but there is something that irks me: file dialogues (that's what I encounter when using gnome/gtk apps).

At least I can't find how to set file previews in open file dialogues, so I have to click images one by one to see their preview. Of course you can suggest a "workaround" (like having a filemanager open just to see those previews) - but that is not a solution (because it mean you have more windows open than you might need, which again, can slow down your work).

This is what I'm talking about:
ftp://hatvani.unideb.hu/personal/screenshots/examples/filedialogue...


Not the zoom functions in the context menu - this can again be useful for some users (while doesn't bother or confuse anyone else who is not using it).

Edited 2007-02-21 22:48

Reply Score: 2

Blah
by rx182 on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:22 UTC
rx182
Member since:
2005-07-08

I don't want to start a debate but I need to say something. Why all this is happening?

There's really no reason: both DE needs major improvements to be taken seriously (at least by me).

In both Gnome and KDE there are too much rough edges (mostly in applications). They both need a "cleaner" look for professional. Smaller widgets (Gnome layout takes too much screen space, same with KDE's kickers), nice looking icons (by default), more options in Gnome, better organisation of the options in KDE, etc. Ultimately, they need to look and feel "robust", just like Windows, OS/2, BeOS (I could name a few more). I also think it's time to go XCB. The response times are supposed to be faster due to its asynch nature. That could help alot: there's nothing more annoying than clicking on a button that doesn't react.

Finally, let's not forget all the application bugs that make the whole system looks bad. I use Fedora myself and I can't stand the fact that the "system updater" stalls when updates are downloaded/installed. Oh, that's another issue! Multithreading. Most people seem to forget about it. NEVER PUTS HEAVY COMPUTATIONS IN THE GUI THREAD!!! Just that would fix alot of problems in many applications. Stalled GUIs happen too often.

Will KDE4 and Gnome3 fix all of this? Better leave the politics and get to work ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Blah
by Phil on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:31 UTC in reply to "Blah"
Phil Member since:
2005-07-06

I really should stop posting on this story... but anyway:

"Smaller widgets (Gnome layout takes too much screen space, same with KDE's kickers)"

That's really very subjective and is particularly unlikely the be taken up by gnome. Space is a very important part of layout, and gnome people care enough about their looks and usability that being able to put more stuff on the screen is pushed a little way down the list. You could of course make a smaller theme if you really wanted.

"I also think it's time to go XCB"

This will happen regardless of DEs. A coming version of xlib (I can't remember which, sorry) will actually be xcb and a compatability layer.

"Will KDE4 and Gnome3 fix all of this?"

I also want to point out again, that gnome 3.0 is not a target that anyone is working towards. gnome 3.0 is the name that will be given to a release of gnome that breaks backward compatibility, if and when that ever has to happen.

I do with what you said about robustness/responsiveness rx182. Please don't think I'm dismissing your comment just because I wanted to pick out parts of it!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Blah
by superstoned on Wed 21st Feb 2007 12:45 UTC in reply to "Blah"
superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

well, KDE 4 will offer much more and better multi-threading (though maybe not in all apps already in 4.0) thanx to ThreadWeaver http://api.kde.org/cvs-api/kdelibs-apidocs/threadweaver/html/index....

Reply Score: 2

finally -.-'
by makc on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:36 UTC
makc
Member since:
2006-01-11

thom pointed out something too many people forgets too often

Reply Score: 1

On topic
by aliquis on Tue 20th Feb 2007 12:39 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

No ;)

Reply Score: 2

Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

Basically, your article boils down to "I don't like the fighting there seems to be going on between Gnome/KDE camps" and "pick whatever desktop environment you like, such as Gnome, KDE or even X/Y/Z". You've written better articles...

Thom, I want those 5 minutes of my life back :p

Edited 2007-02-20 12:44

Reply Score: 2

BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

What about the 3 minutes it took you to complain about the article? or the 1 minute I am wasting writing this.

Reply Score: 2

For once
by chemical_scum on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:06 UTC
chemical_scum
Member since:
2005-11-02

I agree wholeheartedly with an article Thom has written. Thanks Thom.

Reply Score: 2

I say good for Linus
by shapeshifter on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:19 UTC
shapeshifter
Member since:
2006-09-19

Finally someone higher up had the guts to tell the Gnome devs what he thinks about their creation, or rather lack of.
I fully agree with Linus, it's not ok to remove functionality and force users to live with it.

And Thom, you're wrong on several counts.

1. some uninformed soul will say GNOME has a registry, 'just like Windows'.
Well, have you ever looked at the configuration directory of Gnome in your home directory?
Does the zillion xml files in there look to you like human readable and managable?
If so, then I bow before you because you're a f***** genius!
So the fact is that Gnome conf (although not strictly binary like Windows registry) is in fact much more like Windows registry than like a traditional Linux conf.
So it's perfectly valid to say it's "like Windows registry" because it is.

2. For god's (lower-case 'g') sake, people, nobody is forcing you to use one or the other.

Wrong again!
It's been a recent trend of GTK applications to start using Gnome components and therefore forcing users to install Gnome. And I understand Beryl was partly a result of Gnome only focus of it's parent app (Compiz?).
But there are quite a few examples of former GTK only apps suddenly requiring Gnome. Abiword I think could be another example.

3. You can - I kid you not - even choose something else, besides KDE and GNOME! You can use Xfce, or if you prefer something more exotic, you can install things like E16, E17, ROX, or whatever other desktop environment.

Well this one is related to #2, because with this either KDE or Gnome apps only, it'll be soon pointless to run any other desktop or WM because in order to use any popular apps you'll have to have both KDE and Gnome installed anyway. And that's a waste of space and resources and makes life a lot more difficult for people using older hardware.
Takes away quality apps from them, leaving them to use old, obsolete, abandoned apps.

So, no, it's not as simple as you make it to be.
And not everybody is happy about it.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I say good for Linus
by Budd on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:35 UTC in reply to "I say good for Linus"
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

Well, I don't know where is that Gnome directory in my home. In my home I have config for all applications and stuff (that includes gnome session and things). And each application (not gnome per se) manage itself these settings. The big difference here is that even if you delete these folders all together , next time you start gnome they will be recreated.
Here's some homework for you : wipe out the whole registry database in XP. And then try to post here from your XP box.
So no, gnome conf is not like Windows registry. In fact they serve different purposes.

Edited 2007-02-20 13:39

Reply Score: 2

RE: I say good for Linus
by Soulbender on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:37 UTC in reply to "I say good for Linus"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"I fully agree with Linus, it's not ok to remove functionality and force users to live with it. "

Sure it is, their product their rules. They can do whatever they want with it and those who do not like it are free to use something else.
I don't mind Linus speaking his mind though.

"So it's perfectly valid to say it's "like Windows registry" because it is. "

No it's not because there is a fundamental difference; the Windows registry is a binary blob while the gconf system isn't.
It's not like the .kde directory is a wonder of simplicity either.

"It's been a recent trend of GTK applications to start using Gnome components and therefore forcing users to install Gnome."

You know there's a big difference between having some GNOME libraries and some components installed and actually using the GNOME desktop, right?

"And that's a waste of space and resources and makes life a lot more difficult for people using older hardware."

Meanwhile the world turns, making some older stuff unsuitable for some modern tasks.

"And not everybody is happy about it."
You're free to do something about it rather than whine.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: I say good for Linus
by shapeshifter on Wed 21st Feb 2007 22:49 UTC in reply to "RE: I say good for Linus"
shapeshifter Member since:
2006-09-19

Meanwhile the world turns, making some older stuff unsuitable for some modern tasks.

Tell that to the majority of the World that still runs older hardware. Not everyone in the World can afford a dual core system with piles of RAM.
A lot of people can be quite happy with a simple WM like IceWM or Fluxbox and some lightweight apps.
But it's harder and harder to find quality lightweight apps since the bloat is creeping into Linux apps and Gnome with its Gnome based apps is the worst offender here.
And it's interesting that in spite of cutting just about every imaginable feature, Gnome is still the most bloated and most difficult to compile desktop.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I say good for Linus
by Phil on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:44 UTC in reply to "I say good for Linus"
Phil Member since:
2005-07-06

"Well, have you ever looked at the configuration directory of Gnome in your home directory?
Does the zillion xml files in there look to you like human readable and managable?"

Please can we drop this one. GConf is entirely unlike the windows registry, and files have nothing to do with it. The reason is that GConf can use any storage system. All GConf is essentially, is a method for storing and retrieving settings (and some related things, notifying changes and whatever.) You can store the data in a database, or flat files if you really want. XML is simply the best way to do it that's been tried so far.

And as for human manageability, you might want an xml editor to make it at easier, but you can definitely do it if you want, and it's not so much harder than some of the stranger things in /etc/.

"It's been a recent trend of GTK applications to start using Gnome components and therefore forcing users to install Gnome"

No. No one is forcing you to use anything, and you haven't refuted that at all. If you want a gnome app, then true, you might need some gnome components for it. But you could equally just not use that app.

In more general terms, the gap between a gnome app and a gtk one is shrinking all the time. A gnome app is becoming just one that uses services that are usually found on a gnome system. I have no idea if this applies to KDE (I guess less so as they have less control of their toolkit?) but as KDE picks up dbus and gstreamer to varying extents, the barriers are blurring to say the least.

"But there are quite a few examples of former GTK only apps suddenly requiring Gnome. Abiword I think could be another example."

Another? Well, abiword runs fine without gnome. It's on the olpc laptop for one.

"it'll be soon pointless to run any other desktop or WM because in order to use any popular apps you'll have to have both KDE and Gnome installed anyway"

To run gnome apps you need libgnome, ok, but not a lot else that is "gnome only." You might need gconf, dbus, gstreamer, any number of any things, but these aren't a desktop environment. You certainly don't have to install extra gnome applications you don't want.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I say good for Linus
by makc on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:49 UTC in reply to "I say good for Linus"
makc Member since:
2006-01-11

It's been a recent trend of GTK applications to start using Gnome components and therefore forcing users to install Gnome.

And so you blame the people who writes the software you choose to use, and address the critics to the wrong ones too (GNOME/GTK devs for instance)...
What about writing your own instead of whining?

Reply Score: 1

RE: I say good for Linus
by Doc Pain on Tue 20th Feb 2007 14:11 UTC in reply to "I say good for Linus"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I fully agree with Linus, it's not ok to remove functionality and force users to live with it."

As I sayd before, he titulated persons as "interface nazis" (if I can rely on this quote). That's not okay. On the other hand, he has the right to publish his opinion, and if his opinion is "GNOME is bad", then he may say this. But in conclusion, this has no neccessary effect on anyone.

"1. some uninformed soul will say GNOME has a registry, 'just like Windows'.
Well, have you ever looked at the configuration directory of Gnome in your home directory?
Does the zillion xml files in there look to you like human readable and managable?"


The windows "registry" is binary, nonstandard and not documented. The GNOME configuration files are standard XML files which are documented within the GNOME project or the respective applications. Furthermore, you may consult the source code.

But there's no need to deal with the XML files. There are programs who do it for you.

On the other hand, KDE has something similar sinside the ~/.kde/ directory, as it has been mentioned before.

"So the fact is that Gnome conf (although not strictly binary like Windows registry) is in fact much more like Windows registry than like a traditional Linux conf."

XMS has some advantages over text files, but it needs an access library or a more complex parset than text.

"So it's perfectly valid to say it's "like Windows registry" because it is."

As it could be proofed, it's not.

"2. For god's (lower-case 'g') sake, people, nobody is forcing you to use one or the other.

Wrong again!
It's been a recent trend of GTK applications to start using Gnome components and therefore forcing users to install Gnome. And I understand Beryl was partly a result of Gnome only focus of it's parent app (Compiz?).
But there are quite a few examples of former GTK only apps suddenly requiring Gnome. Abiword I think could be another example."


It's a simple conditional construct. IF you want to use application X, THEN you'll need libraries Y and Z. If you don't want to use these libraties, you should look for an alternative to A.

The same goes for Gtk vs. GNOME in regards of components. If an application is to be integrated in the GNOME desktop or uses one of its frameworks, it's obvious that it needs some GNOME libraries, such as some KDE programs just need kde-libs, but not kde-base.

So the user is not forced to install all of GNOME, and of course he is not forced to use GNOME.

(I use KDE and GNOME applications without using KDE's or GNOME's desktop, I have just some libs installed.)

"And that's a waste of space and resources and makes life a lot more difficult for people using older hardware."

I do understand you because I mostly use things you would consider "older hardware". So if you use these stuff, you have to know that it's not intended to run KDE or GNOME. So you decide to use other applications that do not need KDE or GNOME.

"Takes away quality apps from them, leaving them to use old, obsolete, abandoned apps."

Quality is not the result of an applications release date! There is high quality software available (for years) even for older systems. Just because there are new applications, it doesn't make existing and working applications old, obsolete or abandoned. (For example, take LaTeX, gv or apsfilter or XFCE 3).

The same goes for the wrong relation between used toolkit and application quality.

Of course, you cannot assume to do video editing with a KDE application on a 66 MHz Pentium with 64 MB RAM! Who would?

For every task the right tool. Some tasks need more hardware power, some tasks need newer programs, some need both. Some other tasks don't. You have to decide what you want to do and therefore take the conclusion to know what hardware and software you need. If you don't use the right tool, you cannot complain. And if you don't have the hardware or software needed, you cannot fulfill the task.

It's that simple.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I say good for Linus
by falemagn on Tue 20th Feb 2007 14:28 UTC in reply to "RE: I say good for Linus"
falemagn Member since:
2005-07-06

"The windows "registry" is binary, nonstandard and not documented. The GNOME configuration files are standard XML files which are documented within the GNOME project or the respective applications. Furthermore, you may consult the source code."

"Standard XML file" is almost an oxymoron, as XML defines the syntax, certainly not the semantics of the tags used in those files. The fact the "registry" is binary whilst GNOME XML configuration files are textual means nothing positive towards GNOME XML configuration files, as to properly edit either of those you need a purposedly-built editor. And even if you could use your text editor of choice to edit GNOME configuration files, it'd be still way more cumbersome than using regedit on windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I say good for Linus
by Doc Pain on Tue 20th Feb 2007 14:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I say good for Linus"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

""Standard XML file" is almost an oxymoron, as XML defines the syntax, certainly not the semantics of the tags used in those files. "

That's correct. You can get the information needed for interpretation from the GNOME documentation project or the respective GNOME application's source code.

Documentation is the Alpha and Omega.

Try man gnp, man gftp or man gimp vs. man koffice, man kuser or man k3b. :-)

"The fact the "registry" is binary whilst GNOME XML configuration files are textual means nothing positive towards GNOME XML configuration files, as to properly edit either of those you need a purposedly-built editor."

You can still edit the XML files by hand as long as you know what you do.

For every task the right tool. GNOME provides tools to handle the configuration files, so does KDE for its ~/.kde/ hierarchy.

"And even if you could use your text editor of choice to edit GNOME configuration files, it'd be still way more cumbersome than using regedit on windows."

Is there a documentation available to know what registry key is used for what purpose? (I really don't know, that's why I'm asking.)

Text editors are a basic part of every Linux and every UNIX distribution. It's one of the things you can rely everywhere. Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best ones.

Personally, I like files like the "old", "obsolete" or "abandoned" ~/.gtkrc more than the many directories of XML files. :-) But that's just my personal opinion.

Of course, you need a complex environment of configuration files to map complex settings to. Text files "key=value" won't suffice here in the most cases. So it's up to the developers to choose wisely what representation for the settings is to be used.

As long as the source is with you, you'll have no problem. If it's not, you can only rely on what the developers provide to you. It's their responsibility to do their work good, but of course they can't guess what your imaginations are how something should be solved.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: I say good for Linus
by grat on Tue 20th Feb 2007 16:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: I say good for Linus"
grat Member since:
2006-02-02

As a long time user of both KDE and Gnome (with a preference for KDE-- I prefer to customize my desktop within an inch of it's life), this whole debate of whether .kde/ or .gconf/ data structures/contents is simpler or not is missing the point.

If I want to make a change to some feature of the KDE desktop, chances are, that configuration option is somewhere within the KDE Control Center. Whether it's a KDM configuration, the default fonts, KWIN configuration, sound, etc, most likely, it's in the control center.

If I want to make a change to some portion of the gnome desktop, I have to hunt down what utility controls it, discover that the utility that used to let me change that feature no longer does, and then run gconf-editor to get to the "advanced" options. Hopefully, the key I need already exists, otherwise I have to look it up online.

Gnome is getting better. But every time someone says "Oh, edit the XML" or "run gconf-edit", they've demonstrated that Gnome is *not* user friendly to the "typical user".

I don't expect my mother to run regedit32, why should I tell her to run gconf-edit?

Reply Score: 3

Room for BOTH!
by Southern.Pride on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:51 UTC
Southern.Pride
Member since:
2006-09-14

I have been using RedHat since 1999 and tried over the years Caldera to Mandrake back to RedHat (Fedora) and I install BOTH desktops.

They need to compete but trying to take each other out is not a solution. All of the in fighting will wind up ruining a good thing!...

Keep both going strong, make them BOTH an option in every distro why all of the single mind frame of thought let it evolve to become the best desktop manager both can offer.

It is about having options, and CHOICE now everyone wants a locked down COMMUNIST desktop the entire Linux community needs to be shaken down to its roots and brought back to where it once was an enthusiast and have a strong user base willing to work together. Somewhere along the way a breakdown or just downright civil war has started in the Linux arena....

Reply Score: 1

For any two people fighting...
by falemagn on Tue 20th Feb 2007 13:51 UTC
falemagn
Member since:
2005-07-06

...there will always be a third one trying to make peace between them. So it seems there's no one else missing now.

Seriously, though, that's what competition brings you: confrontation. But I accept that just like there are people like me who don't find anything strange in such "fights" and may even find them interesting and/or entertaining, there also are people who cannot stand them and try to calm things down or tell people to "get along".

Such is life... Thanks god, we live in a democratic part of the world. Everyone can tell everyone else what their opinion is, including Thom Holwerda.

:-)

Edited 2007-02-20 13:56

Reply Score: 1

You cannot always choose
by devurandom on Tue 20th Feb 2007 14:03 UTC
devurandom
Member since:
2005-07-06

As someone else pointed out, you often need/want to run a KDE app under Gnome, or viceversa.

I use a KDE desktop (Kubuntu) at work, but for example I want and need Firefox. And the Firefox file dialogue is the (IMHO crippled) GTK/Gnome file dialog. So here's why issues from one desktop affect both.

I think that a partial improvement would be to build applications with improved modularity, for example by allowing standard dialogs (file dialog, print dialog etc.) to match the underlying desktop, if so is desired. I have seen OpenOffice can ship in KDE/Gnome/"neutral" flavors, for example, but I know no other app working this way.

I also wonder if there is a GUI wrapper library, much like wx, that covers both GTK/Gnome and QT/Kde, so that someone can have the very same app looking/behaving native in both desktops.

Reply Score: 2

RE: You cannot always choose
by schala on Tue 20th Feb 2007 18:09 UTC in reply to "You cannot always choose"
schala Member since:
2006-01-17

Qt is a dream to program in. In fact, a large part of the reason why I use KDE is that I know, if I discovered a bug, I could probably look through the code base and at least have a general idea of how to fix it. With GTK/GObject apps, I'd be completely lost.

There are two strategies for writing cross-platform libraries. One is to strictly wrap existing libraries (like you're proposing), which means that the library becomes the greatest common denominator of everything you're wrapping -- that is, if a feature isn't supported in one platform, then you can't use it at all. The other possibility is to emulate anything that you can't wrap, in which case you still lose integration with the rest of your desktop, and your application looks distinctly non-native (Firefox, for example).

So that's one problem with cross-platform libraries. The other problem is that no one likes coding to them. Again, Qt is a dream to code in; Gtk isn't so much. wx, on the other hand, is terrible -- and, in fact, they actually /brag/ about not having the feature (a signal/slot mechanism) which would make coding in it easier.

In other words, if I, as a developer, were to use such a toolkit, it would have to be as well-designed as Qt. Unfortunately, the chance of that happening -- versus the chance of Qt continuing to be easy to use -- is virtually nil, and so I'll continue to use the latter.

(Now, if all you're saying is that applications like Firefox should have Qt as well as GTK versions, then sure, that would be great. But personally, my money is on KHTML/Webkit. It's not that Gecko isn't a great browser, just that it's very clearly not native, and considering how much I use a web browser, that annoys me.)

Reply Score: 3

RE: You cannot always choose
by elsewhere on Tue 20th Feb 2007 18:44 UTC in reply to "You cannot always choose"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

I use a KDE desktop (Kubuntu) at work, but for example I want and need Firefox. And the Firefox file dialogue is the (IMHO crippled) GTK/Gnome file dialog. So here's why issues from one desktop affect both.

This is the kind of thing that the portland project is working on; in theory an app can make a generic call to open a file dialog, and portland should detect the current DE and opens the appropriate one.

The drawback is that instead of encouraging development of integrated applications, it encourages generic Gtk/Qt/whatever apps to give the appearance of integration by utilizing DE elements. But that's better than nothing; from a KDE perspective, for instance, simply having the KDE file picker available to non-KDE applications extends functionality.

Still, in some ways it's pointless to build an application framework into the DE if apps are simply going to treat the DE as a glorified window manager and emulate integration by calling base, common elements.

I think that a partial improvement would be to build applications with improved modularity, for example by allowing standard dialogs (file dialog, print dialog etc.) to match the underlying desktop, if so is desired. I have seen OpenOffice can ship in KDE/Gnome/"neutral" flavors, for example, but I know no other app working this way.

OOo is actually a good example of where I think Portland could work, since OOo2 is neither Gtk or Qt, let alone Gnome or KDE. The current Gnome/KDE integration consists of patches that are compiled into the core program to basically hard code the kind of functionality an abstraction layer like Portland could provide.

I also wonder if there is a GUI wrapper library, much like wx, that covers both GTK/Gnome and QT/Kde, so that someone can have the very same app looking/behaving native in both desktops.

From the KDE perspective, there is the qt-gtk-engine, which basically uses Qt to redraw Gtk based applications, which sort of suits that purpose. The net result is you can at least maintain visual integration from a style/font/color etc. perspective even if they don't quite look native.

Not sure if Gnome/GTK has a similar utility, though I suspect you could simply configure Qt to use a theme matching Gnome styles. Qt can also take it's cue from the DE for those silly, little annoying things like the placement of OK / Cancel buttons, that at least contributes marginally to keeping an integrated interface.

There are also "common" themes, optimized individually for Qt and Gtk yet designed to provide the same visual appearance.

Granted, these are all stop gaps and hacks to the visual integration issue, yet they're still better than forcing everyone to depend on a single toolkit.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: You cannot always choose
by DeadFishMan on Tue 20th Feb 2007 19:59 UTC in reply to "RE: You cannot always choose"
DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

Not sure if Gnome/GTK has a similar utility, though I suspect you could simply configure Qt to use a theme matching Gnome styles. Qt can also take it's cue from the DE for those silly, little annoying things like the placement of OK / Cancel buttons, that at least contributes marginally to keeping an integrated interface.

There are also "common" themes, optimized individually for Qt and Gtk yet designed to provide the same visual appearance.


Donīt know if GNOME or GTK itself provide such a thing but there is a KDE theme called Klearlooks which imitates almost perfectly the beautiful GNOME theme Clearlooks that makes KDE applications look more integrated to GNOME. When I wanted to experiment for a few days, I could hardly notice the difference except for the KDE icons that tend to be more bright/colorful as opposed to GNOME ones that are more dull/darker on the applicationsī toolbars but that was it.

I got much better results than used to in the past using things like RHīs BlueCurve nor Mandrivaīs Galaxy not to mention that it looks better, too.

For further info: http://www.kde-look.org/content/show.php?content=31717

Reply Score: 2

RE: You cannot always choose
by Temcat on Tue 20th Feb 2007 20:20 UTC in reply to "You cannot always choose"
Temcat Member since:
2005-10-18

I also wonder if there is a GUI wrapper library, much like wx, that covers both GTK/Gnome and QT/Kde, so that someone can have the very same app looking/behaving native in both desktops

There is an abandoned project called Metatheme that provided identical looks for Qt and GTK+ widgets (including fonts) using one theme engine. It was on a fairly advanced stage, but did not intergate with Gnome or KDE. Maybe someone will take it over someday...

Reply Score: 2

I can't get past the clunk
by zombie process on Tue 20th Feb 2007 14:43 UTC
zombie process
Member since:
2005-07-08

"GNOME has a high graphical consistency, and its no-nonsense looks are pleasing to the eyes"

I would agree with this completely except for the clunky-assed buttons from circa 1998 with what I consider unappealing default art. That said, each time I do use gnome I'm quite pleased with its overall appearance. I just can't live w/o mu KDE apps and flexibility. Well, unless I'm using fluxbox...

Reply Score: 2

Overestimation
by Punktyras on Tue 20th Feb 2007 15:26 UTC
Punktyras
Member since:
2006-01-07

<...>Linux called the GNOME guys 'interface nazis' and advised Linux<...>

Should be:
<...>Linus called the GNOME guys 'interface nazis' and advised Linux<...>

Reply Score: 1

RE: Overestimation
by sbergman27 on Tue 20th Feb 2007 15:33 UTC in reply to "Overestimation"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
<...>Linux called the GNOME guys 'interface nazis' and advised Linux<...>

Should be:
<...>Linus called the GNOME guys 'interface nazis' and advised Linux<...>
"""

I often think that it would be easier all around if Linus would just change his name. ;-)

Reply Score: 3

Nice Sentiments, But No Help
by segedunum on Tue 20th Feb 2007 15:44 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

The "Can't we all just get along?" sentiments are nice, and the politically correct action of non-action seems in vogue, but sadly it is of no help to anyone but a bunch of open source people who don't like controversy.

It doesn't help the people in the world today who are going out and installing and supporting Linux desktops, and having to work out what desktop and applications to use and come up with reasons why. Having to wade through all sorts of politically correct comments such as this don't help those people. People do have to discuss this stuff, look at Gnome's lack of printing dialogue options (which was what the whole OSDL discussion started from) and ask themselves "Is this a problem?" No one can simply avoid that in order to avoid causing anyone offence.

The thing about Linus is that he is not hampered by a politically correct sense of not courting controversy. The controversy is caused by others. If Linus feels that something is wrong, and even worse totally and utterly illogical, then he points it out.

Reply Score: 3

disappointed
by sbergman27 on Tue 20th Feb 2007 17:12 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I have a huge respect for Linus Torvalds. To me, he is the programmer counterpart to EF Hutton: When Linus talks, I listen. Sometimes I wonder if I don't weigh his opinions more highly than I should. I'll admit to a bit of hero worship.

Which is why it pains me to see him acting so childishly.

Oh, certainly he has always been a bit outspoken on certain issues. But in this case, I can't help but feel that he is straying far out of his area and expecting special consideration because he is The Great Linus Torvalds, Father of Linux.

It's great that he sent patches. It looks like they are being seriously considered for inclusion in Metacity. It's just too bad that they had to be accompanied by all the unpleasant rhetoric.

What's really strange is that Linus started out with a strategy of simply ranting *without* including patches, while he, *of all people*, should have understood that ranting in the absence of patches is supremely unproductive.

The Gnome guys have treated his rants, in the absence of code, *exactly* as Linus treats rants, in the absence of code, as BDFL of his own project.

Furthermore, while Gnome and KDE are both DEs, they have very different philosophies. This is good for *all* of us. I, as a user of Gnome, do not want a bunch of people whose tastes lean towards the KDE way of doing things casting their votes to put the kitchen sink into Gnome. I *want* them to have a separate DE that meets their needs and tastes, if only to keep them out of my hair.

And I suspect that there are many on the KDE side of the fence who feel the same way about me.

And, of course, some people don't care for either, and use other, lighter window managers, or DE's even heavier and more immersive than KDE and Gnome... like Emacs. ;-)

In fact, I think the DE situation in Linux today is pretty close to optimal: Two major choices and a plethora of niche players to fill in the cracks.

One last comment. The Desktop Wars are like sports: The players get along a lot better than the fans. ;-)

Edited 2007-02-20 17:13

Reply Score: 4

RE: disappointed
by Morty on Tue 20th Feb 2007 20:45 UTC in reply to "disappointed"
Morty Member since:
2005-07-06

Which is why it pains me to see him acting so childishly.

I think you should actually read the whole original tread, from the start. Rather than base your opinion on pieces presented on news sites, and the usual clueless rants seen in discussions like this one.

His opinions are well formed and thought trough, as always. He also get rather blunt when he don't get answers the same way, but that's nothing new with him.

What's really strange is that Linus started out with a strategy of simply ranting *without* including patches,

But Linus did not start this with any ranting whatsoever, he plainly pointed out some missing common functionality. To that he was met with the usual "it will clutter up the interface" answers, and as usual without any good analyze and considering of possible benefits. He then expressed what a stupid strategy he thought that was, in a rather blunt way, so you may consider that as ranting. That in turn resulted in lots of rants against him(And some trying to be reasonable. Explaining that he got it wrong, and it mostly was a manpower issue). He left it alone and the tread died out.

Then months later a looser reopens the tread with a rather insulting post, in Spanish at that. Despite that, Linus reply is both calm and well reasoned. The response he gets, are more or less the same as last time.

Linus response to this is not only constructive, by providing patches, by that he also removes the manpower argument. He also delivers a blunt and to the point criticism of the Gnome culture, and the unconstructive way they handle critic by excuses and not analyzes. Annoying people smarter than you in discussions, can often lead to confronting of your "truths" like this.

And judging by the discussion on this site and others, where the apologists and "anti clutter" brigade are out in force attacking the messanger rather than answering in a constructive way. He raises some valid points.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: disappointed
by sbergman27 on Tue 20th Feb 2007 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE: disappointed"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I have read the whole original thread from the start.

I like and respect the Gnome guys. I like and respect Linus Torvalds. How could I fail to keep up with their points of intersection?

This is actually a move forward. It is totally stupid and counterproductive for Linus and *any* of the major DE teams to be on bad terms.

Linus does not have to *use* any particular desktop.

He should, however, recognize that every desktop *does* have a following, even if that particular desktop does not happen to be his cup of tea.

I thought he was happy with KDE.

If he is so unhappy with KDE that he now cares about the details of Gnome, what happened there and where are the anti-KDE flames?

Or is he just being a KDE Troll?

Sorry to put it that way, but it *is* a valid question.

Again, Linus is cool and I respect him.

But still, he *was* acting like a child in this case.

And again, kudos to him for the actual patches. That's the most important part.

Edited 2007-02-20 21:39

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: disappointed
by JeffS on Tue 20th Feb 2007 22:05 UTC in reply to "RE: disappointed"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"His opinions are well formed and thought trough"

No, they came off as an emotional rant. There was some functionality that Torvalds wanted, but Gnome did not feature. So he went off on a rant about how Gnome developers are "nazis" for not including his favorite feature, and Gnome users are idiots, because "the desktop assumes users are idiots".

Sorry, that's not well formed or thought through. Not by a long shot.

"But Linus did not start this with any ranting whatsoever,"

Yes, he did. Gnome developers did not solicit his opinions. This all started with the Portland project last year, and Gnome and KDE devs were trying to work together to get better integration, and doing so quite constructively, then Torvalds bumped his nose, quite frankly, where it did not really belong (he's a kernel expert, not a DE expert), and went off about how badly he thinks Gnome sucks, and how anyone who uses Gnome is an idiot, and so on.

"To that he was met with the usual "it will clutter up the interface" answers"

For what Gnome's goals are (to present a simple, clean, logical, intuitive, attractive interface), those are very legitimate answers. If you are going to stick to those goals, you have to be judicious about what features you're going to include. That means not including the more arcane, less frequently used features. It's a design choice that is well within the rights of the Gnome developers to make, and one that is very well appreciated by a lot of users.

"Despite that, Linus reply is both calm and well reasoned."

Again, no it wasn't. It was a personal attack on the intelligence of the Gnome developers and Gnome users.

"Linus response to this is not only constructive, by providing patches, by that he also removes the manpower argument. "

He provided a patch, true. But he said that his own code was perfect, and vastly superior to existing Gnome code, that the Gnome dev's code was crap, and the Gnome devs would be absolutely stupid to not utilize his god-like programming prowess and include his completely perfect patch. Yes, I'm paraphrasing big time. But that's how his post came across. Torvalds is a lot like any alpha programming geek - brilliant but arrogant and with very poor social skills and completely lacking tact.


In this whole spat, Torvalds has completely attacked the integrity, intelligence, and taste of Gnome devs and users. He has said absolutely nothing constructive.

Also, Linus Torvalds is a kernel development expert. This does not mean he has any special knowledge of desktop development, nor does it make his personal opinions about desktop functionality, features, or aesthetics any more legitimate than any other Joe Schmo's opinions.

But he came off as "I'm Linus Torvalds, the Linux and Programming God. Everyone should bow down to my infinite wisdom and lynch all the lame Gnome devs and the stupid idiot Gnome users for their complete stupidity and ignorance, because they have different tastes than mine."

And I like KDE and Gnome about equally. I regularly switch between both. I appreciate both for the qualities Thom already mentioned. Right now, I'm using KDE. But I do love Gnome, and I'm very glad it has different goals than KDE. This gives me distinct choices, and gives me the ability to go with whatever strikes my fancy at the moment.

But Linus Torvalds' comments in this whole affair have been less than useless, quite condescending, insulting, and completely non-constructive. He has come off as an immature, arrogant jerk.

And that's coming from someone who otherwise quite admires Linus Torvalds, and the great work he's done with the kernel, and the great work he's done as a project manager.

As other posters have already said, Linus Torvalds should simply use KDE, because KDE obviously suits him best. And then he should just shut the f&^% up about other people developing and using other DE's. Just let them be.

But then again, Torvalds might have been deliberately acting like a jerk, just to stir the pot - there's no such thing as bad publicity. If that were actually his real goal, I'd be congratulating him.

Reply Score: 2

my preferences
by raver31 on Tue 20th Feb 2007 18:49 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

I like XFCE.
I like Gnome.
KDE is fine
FVWM is no good for me...

Thunar is a good file manager, Amarok is great for music, and K3B is excellent for burning.
So as you can tell I like to mix and match on the desktop.

However, my USB stick is different. That has an install of SLAX with KDE, but it is running the Baghira module on top. It is sweet.

Reply Score: 2

I could do without KDE or GNOME,
by yakirz on Tue 20th Feb 2007 19:36 UTC
yakirz
Member since:
2006-05-11

I like Blackbox, XFce and Windowmaker.

So I guess this isn't my debate...

Reply Score: 1

unsure why i know prefer KDE
by REMF on Tue 20th Feb 2007 22:01 UTC
REMF
Member since:
2006-02-05

i used to think it was because KDE tends to be configured in a way more similar to windows, where I originally hail from.

but opensuse demonstrated that Gnome is perfectly capable of displaying a windows like DE.

now i think it is due to two reasons:
1) i find most gnome distro's to be very bland looking.
2) my favourite apps are QT based: Amaraok, Digicam, K3B, Ktorrent, Kaffeine, Taskjuggler, Krita

i also love O.O.o and Firefox, but i understand they are not true GTK apps, let alone Gnome apps.

also, i truly believe that KDE have a better vision of the future with their upcoming KDE4.

just my thoughts.

Edited 2007-02-20 22:02

Reply Score: 3

RE: unsure why i know prefer KDE
by collinm on Tue 20th Feb 2007 23:20 UTC in reply to "unsure why i know prefer KDE"
collinm Member since:
2005-07-15

same thing for me, i find kde easier to use and more complete.

a couple of example: k3b, amarok, kmail, kopete, koffice.....

often i found that gnome take the user like a morron

Reply Score: 2

Personally
by AlienBenefactor on Wed 21st Feb 2007 12:52 UTC
AlienBenefactor
Member since:
2006-04-19

I like to use Gnome and KDE applications. But I tend to like minimalistic environments like Windowmaker. Both Gnome and KDE seem a tad bloated in comparison. It's all about personal preference anyway. Frankly, there are more important things to get worked up over.

Reply Score: 1

KDE
by ilnux on Thu 22nd Feb 2007 23:09 UTC
ilnux
Member since:
2007-02-22

I'm going to try it after switching to gnome especially for KDE4. lot's of stuff seems to be looking better.

Reply Score: 1