Linked by Kroc Camen on Sun 29th Nov 2009 20:02 UTC, submitted by fsmag
GNU, GPL, Open Source From Free Software Magazine: "Google promises a much needed shift in the way small computers work. Problems like software updates, backups, installation, maintenance, viruses, have plagued the world for too long: a shift is way overdue. To me, however, the change about to happen shows us what many people have refused to believe for a long time: KDE and GNOME shot each other dead."
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Best article about Chrome OS sofar ..
by kragil on Sun 29th Nov 2009 20:17 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

.. is this one:

http://venturebeat.com/2009/11/27/what-are-googles-real-motivations...

by a longtime Google employee. It concludes: "While Google would really love to have a large user base, even a Chrome OS with few users will not be a failure. The number of installs is secondary to the number of web-based applications that it fosters."

I just want to add that Chrome OS will be "Less than free" and a big opportunity for OEMs and therefor beat every other Linux by miles (maybe even Windows)
I really hope one will be able to put Ubuntu on those Chrome OS notebooks. Not sure though, I would say OEMs probably don't want to because their Google revenue split would be in Danger. I hope Google will keep the machines open for development (as they said so far)

Reply Score: 3

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Let's see what hardware solution Google will provide before we jump with joy. They will want a cheap netbook to go with Chrome OS, but that fabled cheap netbook is still a rare bird. Mostly because Microsoft will do whatever it can to kill this niche market, IMHO, since it knows very well it doesn't have anything that will run on it (other than XP, that is, which they'd like to kill as well).

Microsoft's business model is based on selling new versions of Windows and tying them to hardware upgrades so they go hand in hand with OEM profits. Cheap netbooks that do one thing and do it well are a cramp in that model. I strongly suspect that OEM's would sell anything, including cheap netbooks, if there was profit in them. We'll see.

Reply Score: 3

strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20

Oh dear. Even this is about Microsoft.

Next I probably hear that it was Microsoft that "shot Gnome and KDE dead", that it was Microsoft that f--ked up desktop Linux.

Reply Score: 3

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Oh dear. Even this is about Microsoft.


Well, yeah. Whenever you talk about the desktop, Microsoft will be involved, it is the 800-pound gorilla of the desktop, you can't just ignore them.

If you mean placing blame, it's perfectly adequate in this particular circumstance. They're doing everything they can to block the spread of netbooks. They're issuing XP for almost nothing to the OEMs and they've worked out deals that prohibit OEMs from offering truly interesting machines, by crippling the hardware specs.

Reply Score: 3

rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

//They're doing everything they can to block the spread of netbooks//

So ... the thousands and thousands of folks who have returned their netbooks because they bought them with Linux installed and were sorely dissatisfied, and asked for XP instead... that's Microsoft's fault?

Or, could it be ... that desktop Linux is worthless shite that nobody wants, even if you give it away.

Reply Score: 1

righard Member since:
2007-12-26

I think most versions of Linux that come with netbooks are indeed pieces of shite.If live Linux and use nothing else, but when I tested some Linux netbooks I hated all of them.

oh and: http://www.osnews.com/story/21986/Dell_Linux_Netbook_High_Return_Ra...

Reply Score: 3

rockwell Member since:
2005-09-13

Thanks for bolstering my point with the link. A vast majority of people who buy netbooks want Windows. Not Linux. Just like 99.9% of people that buy any form factor of a PC (other than a Macintosh).

Reply Score: 1

jabjoe Member since:
2009-05-06

Didn't it turn out the return rate wasn't an issue, MS FUD. All netbook have high return rates. People buy them expecting a mini laptop and return them.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/12/dell_reality_linux_windows_...

Reply Score: 2

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

It's not easy to put together a good Linux distro and desktop, as you have discovered.

So yeah, Dell and HP and other manufacturers should acknowledge this, if they're serious about offering Linux for real, and accept help from an established distro. There's plenty of commercial ones (Ubuntu and SuSE the most sucessful) who would love the oportunity.

Reply Score: 2

The more things change ...
by Mark Williamson on Sun 29th Nov 2009 20:28 UTC
Mark Williamson
Member since:
2005-07-06

... the more they stay the same.

In my opinion there's no obviously clear progression forwards of the form "Command line -> GUI -> Web-based" OS. Without that I find it hard to consider Google as being strictly ahead of the field. I just don't see that "cloud" stuff is *the* future, so much as a part of the future - which it's always been.

The thing is, if everybody had been required to use AJAX GUIs and remote storage for years, some company called, say, Elgoog would come along and go "Hey look guys, we've developed an OS where you can write apps locally in a variety of languages and use local storage! They work when you're on a plane! They work when you're in the subway! But you can still have your legacy web apps in a window". People would be all over that.

Google is making their web apps look more like normal apps, which is a good move but it does implicitly admit that there's something valuable about normal apps. AFAIK it will play music from your iPod, which means that there's something good about local (rather than cloud storage). So it's by no means clear to me that web alone is a winning strategy. Thin clients have come and gone in the past, Google has now managed to make those more user friendly than last time they were big.

People like to create dichotomies and to announce revolutions. It's a lot more interesting to say that Google is going to supercede modern desktops and make computers work right than to say that they have an interesting approach that may serve certain market segments well. It's a lot easier to imagine web-based and local applications fighting rather than taking the best of both worlds.

Google's core business involves AJAX and Flash apps, backed by massive redundant storage solutions. That's their hammer - a very powerful, flexible one, if you'll excuse the bizarre metaphor - and smartphones and netbooks are nice shiny new nails for them to hammer on. That does not mean that there's not a better tool for the job - a hybrid of the old world's "everything is a local app with awkward syncing" and the new world's "everything lives in the internet".

If I could use local apps and local storage for everything but also set a user-defined policy for syncing to a cloud provider (of my choice) that would be really useful. If I could use a web interface to access that data from other people's computers, that would be better than what I have now and also, as far as I can tell, more flexible than what Google is proposing. If they're planning on generalising their service, then I'm interest. In the meantime think there's plenty of room for people to "do a Google" when the time is right and create a new headline-grabbing strategy.

Reply Score: 21

RE: The more things change ...
by graigsmith on Wed 2nd Dec 2009 04:53 UTC in reply to "The more things change ..."
graigsmith Member since:
2006-04-05

i don't think google is too interested in powering their apps with flash. they are going for javascript and html5

Reply Score: 1

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

i don't think google is too interested in powering their apps with flash. they are going for javascript and html5


I was mostly thinking of, e.g. Google Video and YouTube but of course those are bound to move to HTML 5 video eventually. I think they use little snippets of Flash in a few other things (I heard that Wave uses it). But they (thankfully) do seem pretty focused on doing as much as possible without using Flash.

It'll be interesting to see what video codecs they choose for YouTube, etc, since that's the most obvious place they use Flash at the moment...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Phocean
by Phocean on Sun 29th Nov 2009 20:42 UTC
Phocean
Member since:
2007-07-07

I disagree with this article, mixing several things.

Why limiting your article to Gnome and Kde, when MacOs and Windows are not different.

The real topic is cloud computing vs personal computers.

You may be a happy google fan boy with it, but that's not the case of many people.

Could computing brings up a lot of issues : privacy, security, trust...

People like you are still not seeing that Internet is changing.

From a web where each pear - users - were equal and could communicate, we go back to a monolithic architecture where private companies control and distribute the content they want to some passive terminal.

If you are still happy with that, well, you are either crazy or idiot.. or you benefit from the system.

Reply Score: 12

RE: Comment by Phocean
by boldingd on Mon 30th Nov 2009 16:07 UTC in reply to "Comment by Phocean"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I agree with your criticisms of cloud computing, but you should read the latter part of Krok's editorial. He clearly says that the move to the Cloud is probably a bad thing, for all the reasons you mentioned: his point was that, for good or ill, the change is probably inevitable anyway, because it's more convenient for most users.

Reply Score: 2

Chrome OS?
by sigzero on Sun 29th Nov 2009 20:45 UTC
sigzero
Member since:
2006-01-03

I see it going pretty much...nowhere.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Chrome OS?
by boldingd on Mon 30th Nov 2009 16:10 UTC in reply to "Chrome OS? "
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I agree: at least, I'm not yet sold on Chrome OS taking over computing and changing everything forever. I see too many use-cases that good old desktops are just better for. I can see Chrome OS maybe being the next logical step for netbooks, and becoming common for small, mobile, short-term-use devices, but not displacing and eradicating the desktop.

Reply Score: 2

The unstable app wins
by uteck on Sun 29th Nov 2009 20:53 UTC
uteck
Member since:
2006-07-16

I love how people are declaring the unstable alpha release the winner of the Linux desktop flame wars. GoogleOS is not even all that unique. There is some other OS that uses the Firefox render engine for the desktop and was going to be all web based as well, but it never took off. But it also did not have much cash to work with either.

Given the small size of everything involved with this web-book thing they are pushing, I have my doubts that it will work well. To take all the game PDF's I have on my laptop and put them on a server somewhere would cost too much for just a hobby, and hosting them from home would be too slow with the upload speeds that US ISP's have. It is workable, but not ideal.
Since they are downplaying local storage, the 8GB's of PDF's would east most of the disk for the system.

For anyone with lots of data, or sensitive data, this thing will not work. But as a technology preview of Google web apps, it will probably cost less then a nation-wide advertising campaign.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by emilsedgh
by emilsedgh on Sun 29th Nov 2009 21:03 UTC
emilsedgh
Member since:
2007-06-21

Ok, lots of things are wrong here.

1) GNU/Linux has failed on desktop by now. You are blaming KDE and Gnome?
They have been good enough for years. What was lacking has always been improper hardware support (f--king non-free drivers) or whatever or lack of marketing and even lack of interest from distro's.
To me, it seems that except Ubuntu, other (corporate supported) distro's dont even care about mass usage of GNU/Linux. They just want to sell their support.

2) This is comparing apples and oranges. This is a comparison of Web applications and Desktop applications. So yeah, 'How Gnome, KDE, Windows and Mac managed to shoot each other in head' would be a nice title too.

3) KDE and Gnome are not there to bring users to Linux. They are up to bring users to their own products and technology. You are telling me KDE and Gnome should've changed to web applications?
If for example KDE was going to become web based, then it was going to have differrent technology, different community and probably a different brand name. Like Chrome OS.

4) At least KDE is working REALLY HARD to bring a much better internet experience to users. You can find more about it by searching for 'Porject Slick'. However, I cannot see how Chrome OS brings a better internet experience for users. Its just a f--king web browser. Nothing more.
Chrome OS = A Web browser
KDE = Hundreds of 'web 2.0 enabled' applications, plasmoids, office suite, PIM suite AND a web browser.

5) Google not taking KDE or Gnome to work on wasnt because they werent good enough. Google didnt 'ditch' them because they werent good. Thats Google's policy to bring everything to stupid web browser. KDE and Gnome are just fine.

6) How many users does this Chrome OS have? Its funny that it has no user yet you are saying it has beaten KDE and Gnome.

7) To me, whole chrome os is 'OMG google has released an OS!'. Its not even that good. Its just the Google's brand.

This article is nonsense. Comparing apples and oranges while blaming wrong people.

Edited 2009-11-29 21:18 UTC

Reply Score: 23

RE: Comment by emilsedgh
by Kroc on Sun 29th Nov 2009 21:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by emilsedgh"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

Ah, now that’s better. Some correction.

As for:

Google not taking KDE or Gnome to work on wasnt because they werent good enough. Google didnt 'ditch' them because they werent good. Thats Google's policy to bring everything to stupid web browser. KDE and Gnome are just fine.


I don’t disagree, I don’t think Google ever intended to use KDE or GNOME in the first place.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by emilsedgh
by wirespot on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by emilsedgh"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Of course not. Why would they? They don't need an entire desktop environment, they need a window manager and a key/mouse handler and that's it. There's no need for all the things a full featured desktop has to offer.

Reply Score: 2

Lobotomik Member since:
2006-01-03

I do like Google. I depend on Gmail, have an Android phone which I find totally wonderful, use Picasa locally and online, and so on and so forth.

However, it cannot just be me who has noticed that Google Docs *SUCK* *BIG* *TIME*. Puh-lease, be serious, the word processor is like a very slow and drab version of Windows Write, and the spreadsheet makes Windows Mobile's version of Excel shine! And I don't think any dose of HTML compression and Javascript acceleration will cure that soon - or, perish the though, Flash.

We better hold to our native apps for some while yet: this cloud definitely has a carbon lining.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by emilsedgh
by Darkmage on Sun 29th Nov 2009 21:43 UTC in reply to "Comment by emilsedgh"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

I think the gnome and KDE stuff is moot. What Linux is really lacking is polish. The people behind the 100 cuts program in Ubuntu have it dead right. Linux needs to get its act together. Blender did it and is rapidly becoming a very usable app in 2.5 Now the other apps need to follow. There are also a lot of holes left in the linux software stack which need to be filled.

Personally I think gnome 3.0 is crazy and I intensely dislike gnome-shell. I think the man power would be far better spent on improving the little problems within gnome.

ChromeOS will appeal to a few people but I doubt its going to suddenly suck users away from the current Linux paradigms. For a start they have to start from scratch and build up an entire suite of apps. A netbook may make a funky little web kiosk when its just you and the internet on the road. But users do demand more out of their machines when they are at home. People are going to want 3d art, 2d art and audio editing capabilities on these machines and I have yet to see a really compelling web application deliver these things.

I would have liked to have seen gnome vs kde die off and have Linux move onto taking Macintosh by the throat. I think the platform is capable of doing it if it is leveraged correctly. Linux seems to already be a webos in a lot of ways. It uses html pages to configure most of the services you can run on it. Things like samba etc. There's still a lot of work to do. I believe frameworks like gstreamer are not helpful at the moment. It is hideously slow and I'm 3running a quad core q9400. I shudder to think of what people on slower hardware are experiencing. I think gnome-mplayer is a much better implementation than totem even though totem might be better geared towards code reuse. In using Linux at lans recently I have come to a conclusion that using the gui strictly as gui only is not really feasible on Linux yet. Sure the command line is very usable and we're used to running it efficiently. But there is no case yet when gui only means we're running better than the CLI.

What I think Linux needs is simple yet powerful additions to the software stack. I mean until a very short time ago Linux had nothing that could compete with media player classic. Linux users can whine on all they want about free is better. But if you can't even match what's freely available on windows you're hardly going to attack their market share. Where's a fast STABLE multi-tabbed ftp client for gnome? nautilus crashes often. GFTP is not multitab. For that matter where is the lanning software? There's nothing on Linux that will scan FTP/Samba shares and list them in an easy to mount format. Linux is the traditional home of NMAP this stuff should be easy. Again theres nothing there. I'm sure someone will post here saying that nmapFE and multiple apps are enough to do the job. But people shouldn't be forced to get 4 apps to do the one task. I think if Linux wants to crush both Microsoft and Apple it'd be very simple to do.

WHERE IS THE NETWORK DETECTION? Seriously I've had to help my dad with this on windows about 8 times now. SOMEONE please make the OS detect/store proxy settings based on network information!!!! If I'm at home and I connect to my home wireless. Network proxy should automatically disable. If I'm at work then the work proxy should enable. If I'm at uni then the uni proxy should engage. This isn't hard stuff to implement and noone has bothered to do it! I don't think even Mac has managed to get off their ass on this!!! This is the stuff that makes people hate computers. Lib proxy looks like a step forward now tie it into NM-applet. Allow me to set a proxy per wireless network and have it apply automatically system wide and we're done. Linux would now be the front runner of the 3 platforms.

There are thousands of other examples I am sure but I am too tired to list them all here. What I will say is I am getting very tired of hearing people say they are improving the Linux desktop when what they're really doing is reinventing the wheel without improving it. I think everyone on Linux should take some time next time they use their pc to write down things that bug them when they happen. Those lists should then be turned into Bug reports/feature requests and sent onto the developers.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by emilsedgh
by emilsedgh on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by emilsedgh"
emilsedgh Member since:
2007-06-21

I edited the comment too many times, the edit button is gone. KDE's prject is Project Silk, not Project Slick.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by emilsedgh
by vivainio on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by emilsedgh"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

4) At least KDE is working REALLY HARD to bring a much better internet experience to users. You can find more about it by searching for 'Porject Slick'.


I hate to be a whiner, and I say this as a KDE lover - but they should focus on unbreaking audio first (even though it necessarily involves drinking the pulseaudio koolaid).

That being said, the article is something of a troll, even if it can create some useful discussion. Gnome/KDE desktops are not "dead", quite on the contrary. We are seeing higher penetration of desktop Linux than ever before (with schools adopting it, IT support companies ramping up Linux specific corporate support, etc.).

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by emilsedgh
by cerbie on Mon 30th Nov 2009 04:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by emilsedgh"
cerbie Member since:
2006-01-02

Pulse flavor is less poisonous than ALSA flavor. I'm all in favor of it (or OSS3 or OSS4, but I haven't seen me a flyin' piggy, yet).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by emilsedgh
by emilsedgh on Mon 30th Nov 2009 06:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by emilsedgh"
emilsedgh Member since:
2007-06-21

Audio is not what KDE does. Most of this audio thingy is about lower layers. KDE has just the technology (phonon) to support whatever lower layers provide.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by emilsedgh
by vivainio on Mon 30th Nov 2009 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by emilsedgh"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Audio is not what KDE does.


You hit the nail on the head on that one, in the sense that I don't currently hear a piff when using KDE on Karmic (volume always drops to zero) ;-).

It works ok on Gnome side.

Most of this audio thingy is about lower layers. KDE has just the technology (phonon) to support whatever lower layers provide.


Lower levels are okay as sound works in Gnome. But now we are going off-topic...

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by emilsedgh
by tosky on Mon 30th Nov 2009 09:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by emilsedgh"
tosky Member since:
2009-08-05


I hate to be a whiner, and I say this as a KDE lover - but they should focus on unbreaking audio first (even though it necessarily involves drinking the pulseaudio koolaid).

http://colin.guthr.ie/2009/11/pulseaudio-phonon-support-now-in-kde-...
:)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by emilsedgh
by vivainio on Mon 30th Nov 2009 20:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by emilsedgh"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26



Many thanks for the link.

It's nice to see KDE is serious about fixing this - occasionally, it seems a segment of KDE community is on an anti-PA crusade that, instead of killing PA (not gonna happen), only works against KDE in the long (and short) run.

This attitude is especially sane:

IMO multiple backends on phonon is a mistake – it would be better to have one backend per underlying platform (Linux, Windows, OSX) and not allow any changes after that (especially not by users).


It's quite obvious that the user doesn't want to "select a sound backend". The user wants to hear something from the speakers, period.

Reply Score: 2

Blame the zealots
by strcpy on Sun 29th Nov 2009 21:19 UTC
strcpy
Member since:
2009-05-20


Whoever said that competition was good, that it was OK for GNU/Linux to have two competing desktop environments, was crazy. The harm done to GNU/Linux was simply immense. When Google decided to build a web-oriented operating system, they ditched them both. With Google Chrome OS, both KDE and GNOME are suddenly less relevant — and they will become less and less relevant as time goes by.


Can anyone remember the mid-1990s or so? When Gnome started? All the FUD around KDE and Qt? The great ideals of forking, Harmony? But to answer his implicit question --


Whoever said that competition was good, that it was OK for GNU/Linux to have two competing desktop environments, was crazy.


-- it was mainly the GNU in GNU/Linux.

Edited 2009-11-29 21:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Blame the zealots
by wirespot on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:30 UTC in reply to "Blame the zealots"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

It just shows how shallow his view is on this matter. Linux doesn't have two desktop environments, it has hundreds. And they're very flexible and following the same standards (EWMH) and that's all that matters.

You can do anything, from using a full-features out-of-the-box solution like Gnome/KDE, to running an xterm alone, or any combination in between, like using ROX-pinboard for the desktop, gnome-panel as a taskbar, Dolphin as file manager and Blackbox for the window manager.

Too many choices, he'll say. So what? Linux is everywhere, in a million forms. Use it if you want, however you want. Or don't. All this talk about "marketshare" and "goals" is stupid. There's no central entity behind Linux, hence no central goal or striving to achieve marketplace. It just is. It spreads if and when it satisfies somebody's need. It's obvious that people do need something like Linux, free and versatile, even if a little DIY, that's why it will always be around. Maybe not being used by large percentages, but then again, nobody cares. Ask yourself, do you?

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Blame the zealots
by strcpy on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Blame the zealots"
strcpy Member since:
2009-05-20


Too many choices, he'll say. So what? Linux is everywhere, in a million forms. Use it if you want, however you want. Or don't. All this talk about "marketshare" and "goals" is stupid. There's no central entity behind Linux, hence no central goal or striving to achieve marketplace. It just is. It spreads if and when it satisfies somebody's need. It's obvious that people do need something like Linux, free and versatile, even if a little DIY, that's why it will always be around. Maybe not being used by large percentages, but then again, nobody cares. Ask yourself, do you?


No, I don't care. And I fully agree with you.

The market share ideology, the aim to dumb down the system in order to lure the mythical average Joes, the idea of world domination, all that is plain stupid and more than annoying, but by judging from the Linux advocacy that is so prevalent also here in OSNews, this is the ultimate mission of Linux (zealots).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Blame the zealots
by vivainio on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Blame the zealots"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

The market share ideology, the aim to dumb down the system in order to lure the mythical average Joes, the idea of world domination, all that is plain stupid and more than annoying, but by judging from the Linux advocacy that is so prevalent also here in OSNews, this is the ultimate mission of Linux (zealots).


Market share is important because it brings in money. Linux improves when money is being poured into it; lot of the shortcomings we have are there because there is not enough manpower to solve the problem. We don't need *that* much more money, just enough to solve the existing kinks.

Contrast this with problems of Windows that can't be solved with money - if they could, Microsoft would have done it already.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Blame the zealots
by wirespot on Mon 30th Nov 2009 08:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Blame the zealots"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

Maybe the "world domination" quote from Linus needs some perspective:

Finally, just in case you didn't see a copy of the January Linux Journal. I should quote Linus' answer to Belinda Frazier's question "Do you have any new hopes for Linux?" Linus responded: "I think my 'plan' says something like 'World domination. Fast.' But we'll see." That's as far back down the trail as I could go. Perhaps some readers out there can provide even more detail or evidence of earlier use. As I've put this column together, though, I've come to realize that I've learned a couple of things that are more important than the origin of a phrase anyway. The road behind us is interesting and informative, but in the Linux community, when something was first said and by whom doesn't matter nearly as much as what was done to advance us toward the goal. We're all pioneers, and we're all surrounded by heroes.


http://xent.com/pipermail/fork/2002-January/008429.html

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Blame the zealots
by boldingd on Mon 30th Nov 2009 16:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Blame the zealots"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Remarkably good insight, in my opinion.

Reply Score: 2

You're looking at it the wrong way.
by cheemosabe on Sun 29th Nov 2009 21:24 UTC
cheemosabe
Member since:
2009-11-29

I agree completely with KDE and Gnome being in the same boat as Windows and MacOS (i.e. desktop style environments).

People are really wrong to point the finger at KDE and Gnome though. They're just an example of the way things work in the open source world. Some people saw a way to make something nice that worked and that's how KDE appeared. Same with Gnome. If anyone could have improved them or come up with something better they would have, considering the open source nature of those projects.

People just cling to successful projects like these, identify with them, get their hopes up that they'll prove to be the best and justify their choices. That's alright but to ignore all the great work that went into those projects and disregard them completely because of what was lacking is disrespectful and contemptuous.

What is truly crazy is blaming people for creating something obviously valuable. You can't stop diversity. It's the same with books. Anyone can write one and nobody has the right to stop that. It's up to distributions to choose a set of applications and create a uniform OS.

What really lacks is standards. That's what unites the web right now. That's why web applications are a viable solution.

Edited 2009-11-29 21:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

No, that's not why. Web apps are a "solution" looking for a problem. There is no problem, other than the issue of accessing your data remotely from anywhere in the world. But there are other solutions to that. You can always leave the home computer on and share a drive and protect it with a password so you can access it from anywhere.

The Web apps are a darling because they barrier for adoption is zero (everybody has a browser), they use a more or less common ground (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) and big corporations love the fact they can fully control the software, the app itself, and rent the services, what it does, to people. It's cheaper and simpler than maintaining apps in various languages for various operating systems.

Second, don't make the mistake of thinking that about standards. There are no standards on the Web. Oh sure, we got something that looks like it, but there's no references implementation, just the specs. As long as those specs are open to interpretations (and they are) and there's no one browser everone can look at and say "let's make it work like THAT browser works", there are no standards.

Desktop apps have standards too. Linux certainly does. It has POSIX, it has LSB, it has EWMH, and all apps adhere to those. Well, more or less. ;) But it has the standards.

So no, standards aren't why. See above for the real reasons.

Reply Score: 3

internet PC of the mid 90's
by krreagan on Sun 29th Nov 2009 21:30 UTC
krreagan
Member since:
2008-04-08

Chrome OS is just another incarnation of the internet PC that was championed in the mid 90's. The names have changed but that is it! I don't see this going anywhere in the popular consumer realm.

KDE and GNOME will never take Linux/*BSD... anywhere! There is nothing compelling to bring anyone to these environments except for the geek. And Linux has many things to keep this same segment away from the platform. On this I agree with Thom

KRR

Reply Score: 2

RE: internet PC of the mid 90's
by boldingd on Mon 30th Nov 2009 16:22 UTC in reply to "internet PC of the mid 90's"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Chrome OS is just another incarnation of the internet PC that was championed in the mid 90's. The names have changed but that is it! I don't see this going anywhere in the popular consumer realm.


The Web, and the capabilities of browsers, are really the things that have changed to make this concept valid. There is a certain value in a small, portable, dumb-terminal for the web: that value is what is currently driving the smartphone market. Have just access to the normal web (including javascript, flash and all, i.e. no the mobile web), and you've got access to quite a lot; for many people, that's probably 90% of what they use computers for.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

The Web, and the capabilities of browsers, are really the things that have changed to make this concept valid. There is a certain value in a small, portable, dumb-terminal for the web: that value is what is currently driving the smartphone market. Have just access to the nhttp://www.virginmobileusa.com/check-cell-phone-coverageormal web (including javascript, flash and.

Then something needs to be done about the agonizingly slow speed of modern web sites and apps over today's mobile connections. Not to mention coverage.

Here is the coverage map for my provider:

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/check-cell-phone-coverage

Note that the vast majority of the land area of the U.S is not covered at all. Don't ever get more than a couple of miles from an Interstate highway. And don't that's no guarantee. From Salina KS to Denver there is a dead zone of about 300 miles.

I've been traveling a lot. And even in covered areas, the performace of the sites that I need are unusably slow. weather.com is not even worth trying to use. And let me relate my experiences the last two times I made motel reservations. Both times, I happened to be in a Denny's restaurant. After placing my order, I immediately whipped out my netbook and went to motel6.com. Takes a few minutes to bring up the main page. Click "Find a Motel 6". Takes a few minutes to bring up the search page. Type "Santa Rosa NM". Takes a few minutes to bring up the Motel6 in Santa Rosa. Click "Check Rates and Availability". Takes a few minutes to bring up the available room types. Click "Nonsmoking, 1 bed".

At this point my food arrives and I havent't even gotten to the part where I start reserving the room.

After the few minutes that it takes to bring up the page where is just says that the room has 1 bed and is not smoking, I click "Reserve Room".

After a few minutes, I have a form to fill in. So I go up to the top and log in, so that it can pull the information automatically. Takes a couple of minutes to log in, but it still saves time, overall.

Click "Make Reservation". After only about 30 seconds, it says it has reserved it and sent a confirmation email to my email address.

I suspend the laptop, close it, and start on my now half-cold meal. I'm not making this up.

I watch these commercials on TV where people on their smart phones just go tap, tap, tap and have reservations made, weather checked, driving directions map loaded, and then tap tap tap again to show it all to the person they are talking on the phone to, all in the under 30 seconds the commercial runs, and I wonder how they can get away with such blatantly deceptive advertising.

To me, the *less* dependent I am on "The Cloud", the better. I use the cloud when I *have* to, because it is the weakest link in my computing experience. I can't make the reservation from my netbook without depending upon the cloud, so I use it as a last resort, because I have to.

Somehow, Google and others have managed to trick some people into thinking that using the cloud is more desirable than using faster and more reliable methods. The cloud is a sometimes useful, necessary evil. Not some panacea to be sought out for exclusive use. Under current conditions, reasonable people should *minimize* their dependence on the slow and unreliable cloud. And note that I have not even addressed privacy concerns here. That would be another long post.

Edited 2009-11-30 16:54 UTC

Reply Score: 4

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

I find it... immensely amusing that you've put this FOSS-fanatic in the position of defending his much-maligned iPhone.

Something doesn't have to function flawlessly to still add value. Your experience is one data point; I will provide another. When I went to Kentucky for MML4, I used my very-much-not-an-iPhone year-old-at-the-time no-brand flip-phone to google the address of our hotel and make the reservations that my friends had failed to make, while driving through North-East Tennessee. This was four years ago, I think, on a not-stellar network and cheap phone, with the limited, mobile-phone-targeted "internet light" of the day. As networks have improved, and now with my iPhone, it's only gotten better. At MML 7 the year before last, my iPhone was a better (certainly, more usable) GPS than my friend's actual, in-car GPS, whose interface was so awkward that we usually couldn't set up the route before we got were we where going.

It's also quite nice to be able to just summon up my email, RSS news, funny utubez, and whatever else wherever I happen to be (assuming I have coverage, which is definitely not all the time, but is also often enough to be useful and worth having and paying for).

Note also that poor (or desktop/broadband targeted) page design may be the really culprit there. There are plenty of sights that work quite well on the iPhone. I'll laugh if the rise of netbooks and smartphones makes conservative, bandwidth-conscious and resource-wise web design important again.

Edit: spelling and wording

Edited 2009-11-30 17:06 UTC

Reply Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Something doesn't have to function flawlessly to still add value.

And that is totally irrelevant to the point I am making. Google and others are trying to convince us that we want to become totally dependent upon the cloud.

That part-time, optional use of the cloud can sometimes be handy is not a point in dispute. What is in dispute is whether totally giving up a local desktop to be totally dependent upon the cloud is desirable. To put this in the context of your iPhone, would you give up your desktop, your laptop, and any local apps that run on your iPhone, other than the browser, in order to enjoy the advantages of a value added web-only, cloud-only experience?

As was highlighted by one of the audience members in the Chromium OS announcement screencast, that is exactly the experience that Steve Jobs originally had in mind for the iPhone. Remember how the API was going to be Javascript... period? And now the controversy is all about how Apple picks and chooses among *local apps* to be included in their app store. They back-pedaled so fast on their original cloud-only concept that the chain nearly came off. Because people didn't want it.

Edited 2009-11-30 18:02 UTC

Reply Score: 4

boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

Now, you see, that's cute, because most of your first post was about how Cloud Computing didn't work because it was not universally available and reliable: that's kindof the point -- so far as I can tell -- of your whole anecdote about how long it took to book your hotel while traveling. I like how, after I've presented my counter-claim, your main point is suddenly and retroactively shifted to being how trusting the cloud is bad, and we shouldn't try to use it to replace our desktops.

Well, on that point, I completely agree with you, obviously, and have never tried to claim otherwise. And I think google would agree with you, too. I get the impression that Chrome OS is mainly intended for small, mobile communicating computers, and is certainly not (primarily) intended to replace (or even necessarily operate on or compete directly with) people's home desktops and workstations.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I like how, after I've presented my counter-claim, your main point is suddenly and retroactively shifted to being how trusting the cloud is bad, and we shouldn't try to use it to replace our desktops.

Obviously, you misunderstood my original post. Read it again in the context of what you now know of my position and then come back and comment. Your "counter-claim" was simply that the cloud sometimes works well enough to be useful. If I did not agree with that much I wouldn't bother with mobile broadband in the first place. Though, quite frankly, I do think a bit less of you for owning an iPhone. But for unrelated reasons.

Reply Score: 2

RE: internet PC of the mid 90's
by mgl.branco on Tue 1st Dec 2009 23:01 UTC in reply to "internet PC of the mid 90's"
mgl.branco Member since:
2009-07-22

KDE and GNOME will never take Linux/*BSD... anywhere! There is nothing compelling to bring anyone to these environments except for the geek. And Linux has many things to keep this same segment away from the platform. On this I agree with Thom


I can't see neither KDE nor GNOME thought of or designed to be used by just by geeks, but the opposite:
http://kde.org/announcements/4.3/images/kde430-desktop.png

Edited 2009-12-01 23:02 UTC

Reply Score: 1

So new, really?
by i92guboj on Sun 29th Nov 2009 21:32 UTC
i92guboj
Member since:
2009-07-16

So, we have this brilliant *new* technology... right, but mainframes existed many decades ago, didn't they? Because that's what this "new" cloud word means: a mainframe, and lots of dumb terminals connecting to it. That model was discarded in favor of local storage and processing for a reason. Sure mainframes and central servers do still have their use cases, but they are not up for every single task. I for one wouldn't be storing my bank accounting on the Google cloud. I wouldn't even store it in my father's drawer to tell the truth, but hey, maybe it's just me.

There's *absolutely* nothing new about what Google is proposing us now, other than the graphical trend that the times dictate. Networked OSes were not only possible in the past, but the also they were the general trend.

Now, the second point. People is comparing an aplha software whose real use case is not even clear to two mature projects which are an entirely different thing like Gnome or KDE. It's like comparing cars to planes, they are different animals, they serve very different purposes, and neither of them is gonna replace the other anytime soon, not at least until you can park a plane at the very door of your house.

Sure chromium will be a brilliant browser, but it's not the magical solution to all the bad things in the world, and there's really nothing really revolutionary in this. To my eyes, it's just a remake of an old film, in all senses.

Reply Score: 6

RE: So new, really?
by jabjoe on Tue 1st Dec 2009 12:10 UTC in reply to "So new, really?"
jabjoe Member since:
2009-05-06

Yep. You can take my fat client from my cold dead hands! Thin clients as terminals to a main frame, suck. Always have. Doing it with HTML and Javascript isn't going to make it suck less. I can't believe the crazy hype about cloud computing. There isn't anything new here!

As for the Gnome/KDE (and XFCE and LXDE) stuff. Both are fine, competition is good. Free software is a Unix ecosystem of interchangeable parts. You can even swap out the Linux kernel of a "Linux" distro and swap it with a BSD kernel (or open solaris)! I can't think of any part that can't be swapped out. This not only means you can customize for your exact needs, but keeps things modular. To have one desktop to rule them all is a stupid stupid idea from people who don't get it. In terms of computers too, it's better if people are educated in more than one desktop so they can see through to the fundamentals which are constant. In free software you couldn't force a single desktop if you tried, it's kind of the point. It's all free to evolve how it's users and developers see fit. The multiple desktop "problem" is from Windows users who can't think in non monocultural ways, and that's fine, they can keep making excuses to stay with Windows, but I'm not fixing their computers any more. ;-)

Reply Score: 3

segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

'The thing about to happen....' - what utterly laughable nonsense.

Describing ChromeOS as creating a 'paradigm shift' is utterly laughable and immediately gives this piece close to zero credibility. Using those words is laughable just by itself, as is the notion that the desktop will be 'going away' somehow. It won't. Marc Andreessen thought that over ten years ago and it still isn't true. Sun thought that over ten years ago with 'the Network is the Computer' and those ridiculous Java toaster Network Computers with Larry Ellison holding up a decrepit motherboard. You still need software where the user is and there is a massive installed base of software where the user is right now.

Moblin? It's an extremely poor and disjointed off-shoot from Gnome development that has all the same problems as Gnome and KDE themselves - lack of a clear software development path, lack of a clear installation system and a complete lack of integration with the wider system and hardware. It looks half-decent, but that's about it.

If people think that Chrome OS will change anything regarding the Linux and open source desktop then they are deluded. All they're following is yet another great white hope that will almost certainly turn into another great white elephant. There's a ton of desktop stuff that people do now that Chrome OS will simply not address. Pigeonholing yourself has always been doomed to failure.

Additionally, harping on about KDE and Gnome failures is wrong. A desktop is not what we would know it to be as an open source project. To all users out there a desktop is the whole OS - how it fits together, hardware support, acquiring hardware support, adding software, developing and getting it quickly and easily....... While a desktop like KDE has a lot of modern features that will enable it to compete with Vista, 7 and OS X what it is not is a complete desktop OS. People have to take a desktop and build the things around it to make it work.

That's all the job of a distributor. All distributors are now are software packagers and version bumpers who don't spare a single thought about what it is they are putting into their distributions or how it all fits together. When people complain they blame the software developers whose software they are merely packaging up.

Blaming KDE and Gnome and coming up with the usual refrain of "Oh, if only there was one!" is wrong simply because neither KDE or Gnome is good enough as it stands, and certainly the desktop 'operating system' that surrounds them is not good enough. That applies to Moblin just as it will apply to ChromeOS. I fail to see how that would change with too many cooks working on one desktop trying to change its direction every five minutes.

Edited 2009-11-29 21:51 UTC

Reply Score: 7

Some Thoughts
by galvanash on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:04 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

The fundamental error in all these comparisons between Chrome OS and (name your OS of choice here) is making the comparison in the first place... Chrome OS is simply something completely different - and that is kind of the whole point. Virtually every thought anyone has had about how it won't be successfully because it can't do feature X, function Y, or wont run program Z is a validation of its design. Those who concentrate on the different aspects of the technical underpinnings (Linux kernel, X windows for graphics, etc.) are just missing the entire point - its the web apps stupid.

There is nothing revolutionary AT ALL about what is in Chrome OS. It is after all nothing more than it claims to be - a browser as a platform for running web apps. Browsers are not new, neither are web apps. Pretty boring really. What specifically makes it different is what is NOT there:

No native applications.
No local file storage.
No desktop.

This is particularly telling to me considering it is built on top of a stack that supports all of those things in a rather first rate fashion... The omission of this stuff is quite purposeful. It wont run native apps because native apps are one of the problems it is trying to solve (dependency hell, system corruption, viruses, etc.). It doesn't offer local file storage because in a world of web apps there is no reason to. It doesn't try to abstract things into a "desktop" because that abstraction serves no purpose anymore - the web IS the abstraction.

People who say it is just a rehash of thin clients of one sort or another are absolutely right - it IS. Those who say it will not be able to serve the needs of many people because of the things it can't do are also right - it wont make everyone happy. Hell it probably wont make most people happy. Regardless, although it isn't a new idea, nor a perfect one, it is timely and backed by people who know what they are trying to accomplish. I'm betting that Google will shape it into something compelling over time.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Some Thoughts
by wirespot on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:47 UTC in reply to "Some Thoughts"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

It reminds me of the hype around "Web 2.0". And "blogging". And other stuff. It's just how some journalists react to new technology. "Ooh, look at the pretty lights." And they write enthusiastic pieces and for a while the public also thinks "wow, look at the pretty lights". Then it's business as usual and everybody moves on to the next one. Chrome OS, the hype de jour.

I'm not saying it's not something to stop and think about, and say "wow, cool", or "wow, look how far we've come". But it's not alright to forget that technology is evolutionary more often than revolutionary. Even ground-breaking and game changing stuff had to develop gradually. Saying "that's it, everything will change now" is dumb. It's already changing anyway, all the time, and it never radically changes overnight.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Some Thoughts
by vivainio on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE: Some Thoughts"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

But it's not alright to forget that technology is evolutionary more often than revolutionary. Even ground-breaking and game changing stuff had to develop gradually. Saying "that's it, everything will change now" is dumb. It's already changing anyway, all the time, and it never radically changes overnight.


I think Chromium OS is evolutionary more than anything else. It just removes stuff they don't deem useful anymore, instead of radically changing anything that exists already. The way people use their computers has changed already, and now Chromium OS is formally acknowledging this fact (and they are not the first ones - check http://litl.com/ ).

Reply Score: 2

Managed platform
by whartung on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:04 UTC
whartung
Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, what is happening is not so much the move from desktop to Web apps. That's obviously part of it, but it's being used as a solution to a problem, not as a end goal in itself.

The transition is from the Wild Wild West of the open computing platform to one that is managed by somebody other than the user.

Ubuntu is actually a good leader in this regard. Presenting a nice environment backed by continuous updates of not just Ubunutu's core, but of the userland space as well. For many Ubuntu users, if the software doesn't exist in Ubuntu's repository, the software simply doesn't exist.

Similarly, Firefox plugins work the same way -- a single, sanctioned repository of plugins for use.

In theory, Firefox and Ubuntu have "some" control over the contents of these repositories, offering some guarantee (however weak) of compatibility and correctness at least from a stability point of view, though certainly not a "this will work for you and your purpose" point of view.

Obviously users of both these systems can and do install software from other sources. You can compile source code yourself, point the package manager to other repos, etc. As a user, you can install these systems and then never hit the central repos again, yet still get new software and keep up with old software.

But the single source for applications, updates, and patches, helps push from the user mind the management issues of these things. "Where do I put it, what's the latest version, how do I get bug fixes." Those happen automatically. The only conscious decision is to install the software initially, and then whether to accept an update presented later and click the OK button.

So, in this sense you have a system that, while open, is moderately constrained as it doesn't necessarily encourage, nor advertise, alternatives to their software sourcing systems.

The next step in terms of managed environments goes even further. In this case, I refer to the iPhone.

This is an ALMOST completely closed system, with all software from a single source, and all with perhaps an even stronger assurance of not just basic functionality, but even "quality of content".

Many folks rebel against the closed ecosystem that is the iPhone, but many more accept it, if not embrace it. It's an easy to use system, it's "safe", and it's functional, serving the needs of a vast majority of it's users.

The only option the users have here is they can choose not to accept updates from the master system. They risk future compatibility, but they don't have to continue along. If they choose not to upgrade, their device pretty much works as it did before.

Part of the iPhone experience, along with the closed application base, is the seamless and painless syncing and backup process. It's clear to the user that the data on the phone is temporal, that if you want to "keep it", you need to sync the phone back with a master computer. In this case, that master computer is owned and controlled by the user.

Ubuntu et al do not offer a seamless back up service. They exist, they're just not a first class component of the user experience like it is with the iPhone, or even the Mac with respect to Time Machine.

Finally, you have a system like ChromeOS. Here is a system managed completely by someone who is not the user. Google manages pretty much the entirety of the experience from the get go.

I don't know if OS updates are optional or not (it would not surprise me if they weren't). All of the apps are managed by someone else. Don't want to update your app because they eliminated some feature you like? Too bad, that's no longer something the user controls.

Finally, the data is managed by a 3rd party as well. Your device is simply a cache of that data, the "single source of truth" is somewhere "out there" on the internet.

Want to delete that memo and all of the backups? Good luck.

In theory, you have the freedom to not just use Google Apps, but can use any app by any provider on the web. But there's no reason there can not be a version that runs all of its traffic through a specific proxy, that limits what and where you are allowed to surf. I'm not suggesting Google would do such a thing, I'm only observing that now on this kind of platform, it is possible.

And you can see a utility for this, for example in a corporate environment that wants more control.

Certainly many systems can be "locked down" in to a state similar to a Google machine. But what they're advocating, and encouraging, is a platform that is de rigueur locked down. A fully managed platform from the get go.

That's the paradigm shift that is happening here, not the GUI battle, or which environment killed Linux first.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Managed platform
by Vanders on Sun 29th Nov 2009 23:18 UTC in reply to "Managed platform"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Certainly many systems can be "locked down" in to a state similar to a Google machine. But what they're advocating, and encouraging, is a platform that is de rigueur locked down. A fully managed platform from the get go.


You mean like a terminal connected to a mainframe? Or a thin client connected to a terminal server?

What's new is old, what's old is new.

Reply Score: 3

But ChromiumOS _is_ using GNOME and KDE
by dylanmccall on Sun 29th Nov 2009 22:34 UTC
dylanmccall
Member since:
2009-11-29

"I am intimately sure (although I can’t prove it) that if GNU/Linux had one set of desktop libraries, one desktop environment, one set of standard for playing audio and so on, we would have those libraries in Google Chrome OS."

This quote is very misleading.

ChromiumOS does use A LOT of existing desktop Linux stuff, including technology that is nice and desktop-neutral thanks to that requirement springing from the whole KDE vs. GNOME thing. Lots of the technology used there is shared with GNOME.

So...

First of all, it uses Xorg with a unique window manager.
Chrome / Chromium on Linux use GTK. This also lands in ChromiumOS, although of course it isn't a prominent piece of that platform.
Clutter. It is making its home in GNOME (and uses GObject). Google is using this for pretty visual effects.
Chromium uses xorg, dbus... all the usual underlying fun stuff.

Looking through a few sources, it appears they use ibus and devicekit - two very new things.


I don't see how it is surprising that Google has not built on top of a particular desktop environment, since their operating system is a web browser. Surrounding it with GNOME or KDE's default experience would be insane.

I don't think it is remotely relevant that they aren't running, for example, gnome-panel, Nautilus or Plasma. With that said, the next logical extension of that quote's argument would be that Google has not used the underlying technologies of GNOME or KDE. However, I think I have demonstrated otherwise.

This is a GOOD matter for the open source desktop environments, because it means that Google is using the same technologies that are shared between KDE and GNOME. They have a lot of money and a lot of developers, and of course they have a lot of reason to contribute to those components. Everybody wins.

Reply Score: 6

bralkein Member since:
2006-12-20

Agreed. I had a lot of worries about how Chrome OS might impact the future of desktop Linux until I saw the information detailing the technologies it will likely be using. The amount of stuff in common with KDE and certainly GNOME is vast, and Google's involvement ought to bring some great benefits to the other major Linux desktop projects.

Reply Score: 1

mgl.branco Member since:
2009-07-22

ChromiumOS does use A LOT of existing desktop Linux stuff, including technology that is nice and desktop-neutral thanks to that requirement springing from the whole KDE vs. GNOME thing. Lots of the technology used there is shared with GNOME.


Yes indeed, even Canonical is working on Chrome OS:

From http://blog.canonical.com/?p=294 :
In the interest of transparency, we should declare that Canonical is contributing engineering to Google under contract. In our discussions, Sundar Pichai and Linus Upson made it clear that they want , wherever feasible, to build on existing components and tools from the open source community without unnecessary re-invention. This clear focus should benefit a wide variety of existing projects and we welcome it.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Kroc
by Kroc on Sun 29th Nov 2009 23:24 UTC
Kroc
Member since:
2005-11-10

I know most disagree with me / the article (I never expected anybody to agree in the first place), but I’m glad that it’s generating a lot of detailed discussion points.

--I don’t agree with the linked FSM article all that much, I don’t think KDE/GNOME were a factor in Chrome OS at all. That said, I do think Chrome OS is the new paradagim which will prove itself in the long run, and GNOME/KDE have spent so long emulating Windows that they’ve lost the plot (for regular users). Moblin is much closer to Chrome OS in design.

Reply Score: 1

wannabe geek
Member since:
2006-09-27

"The obvious choice is GNU/Linux for the kernel"

Um, the kernel is called "Linux", no?

The rest of the article looks rather point-missing. Since when has Google set out to make a new operating system just for the heck of it? Obviously, what Google wants is to make people spend more time on the web; they are very open about that.

Now, seriously, this web-centered OS notion could be great, but only if local storage, backups, syncing and privacy are elegantly integrated in the model, along with open source and software-as-a-service.

I mean, I should be able to have my files in a local server , with a payed-for remote encrypted backup service (transparent fine-grained storage redundancy a la ZFS). Whenever the files are changed, the remote backup server is updated. If there's no web connection, that just means I'd better stick to one device for my offline work until I can't connect for syncing, to avoid collisions.

I may open my "ogg" files with a FOSS web app called "kaffeine" running locally; or I may do it with a remote, SaaS web app called "WinMovieMaker" that lets me edit those movies. This SaaS application converts them on the fly, as temporary files, to its internal format, and then pipes them back as ogg files (or rather, it pipes the deltas, transparently). Of course, I can also edit my movies with the FOSS Kino web app, which runs locally and is updated automatically from a repo.

What happened to dependencies? Let's see, each process runs a combination of javascript and PHP, where the web page plus the server contains all the code. Sounds like statically linked programs. Hey, but a system where everything is statically linked is more bloated, right? Now, ZFS has data deduplication, which would solve the problem for disk storage (I know, licensing issues; well, port that feature to btrfs or use FreeBSD instead of Linux, whatever); does Chrome do something similar for RAM usage? well, anyway, it should.

The security model should be based, I think, on something like object capabilities. That is, each process (each tab, loosely speaking) can only "see" the resources the user gave to it; it can dynamically ask for more resources through a "powerbox" or similar; whatever resources it controls, it can delegate to either child processes or other processes to which it obtained a communication capability. So, every two tabs can talk to each other if they user explicitly lets them, but then can't even see each other otherwise. So WinMovieMaker would obtain a temporary capability to an "ogg" file in the user's file server by some form of right-clicking or drag-and-drop .I don't know to which degree Chrome follows this model.

Something I like about SaaS is that software vendors would be able to keep their binaries unreleased, instead of picking a proprietary license. It would be possible to have a closed-source development method and business model without proprietary software, using private software instead. This is good, because there's no dilemma for users of whether to use illegal copies; there are no copies. If someone wants to compete, they have to re-implement the service. Then again, alas, software patents will make the point moot. Re-implementers will be sued.

Reply Score: 1

Linux GUI mess
by mrAmiga500 on Mon 30th Nov 2009 00:19 UTC
mrAmiga500
Member since:
2009-03-20

Both Gnome and KDE suck - and suck HARD! There are many problems with desktop Linux but I think the #1 problem is lack of a good, fast, efficient standardized GUI without bloat, bad layout or other such crap.

Forget the eye candy and stupid effects! Design something that's FAST, RESPONSIVE and makes effective use of space - not slow bloat that I have to keep aligning manually because it has bad layout and it's too stupid to remember my settings!

Also, I don't want to have to worry about if it's a KDE application or a Gnome application or whatever. Standardize the frigging GUI!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux GUI mess
by lego on Mon 30th Nov 2009 08:13 UTC in reply to "Linux GUI mess"
lego Member since:
2008-03-25

Answer to Linux GUI mess @amiga500:

Yes. I wonder how many users really requested something as Compiz?

Edited 2009-11-30 08:16 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Linux GUI mess
by Darkmage on Mon 30th Nov 2009 08:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Linux GUI mess"
Darkmage Member since:
2006-10-20

by compiz they meant, make it do what mac os does as nicely as mac os does it. In return they receive tacky plastic fisher price effects. not sleek integrated macintosh effects ;) The fact that cairo dock exists, whilst a bunch of pretty useful "core" apps don't says a fair bit about where some people want to take desktop linux. If people want to clone mac please use etoile. May as well make the whole thing work/act like a mac.

Edited 2009-11-30 08:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Linux GUI mess
by sorpigal on Mon 30th Nov 2009 13:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Linux GUI mess"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Compiz and friends is the correct solution: Build the ability to build effects. Mechanism, not policy. Then, the distribution vendor has the option of configuring it to be just like MacOS if that's what the distribution vendor wants. Then, the system administrator has the option of changing that. Then, the user has the same option.

I fail to see the problem.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux GUI mess
by krreagan on Mon 30th Nov 2009 14:29 UTC in reply to "Linux GUI mess"
krreagan Member since:
2008-04-08

Both Gnome and KDE suck - and suck HARD! There are many problems with desktop Linux but I think the #1 problem is lack of a good, fast, efficient standardized GUI without bloat, bad layout or other such crap.

Forget the eye candy and stupid effects! Design something that's FAST, RESPONSIVE and makes effective use of space - not slow bloat that I have to keep aligning manually because it has bad layout and it's too stupid to remember my settings!

Also, I don't want to have to worry about if it's a KDE application or a Gnome application or whatever. Standardize the frigging GUI!


I wholeheartedly agree!

KRR

Reply Score: 0

RE: Linux GUI mess
by sorpigal on Mon 30th Nov 2009 19:31 UTC in reply to "Linux GUI mess"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

How would a different "design" for a "GUI" make things faster and more responsive? Please identify what in the architecture of GTK and QT makes rendering slow and then describe why it can't or wont be fixed.

How would you require that application developers "make effective use of space" in their applications and how you would require them to not have "bad layout"?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by moleskine
by moleskine on Mon 30th Nov 2009 00:30 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

The comparison is rather a false one.

Chrome OS is being touted by Google as a self-contained, locked-down environment for cheap and simple boxes. Every aspect of the box and of the software on it is totally controlled by The Corporation. The comparison they make is with using a television. Whether this will ever work or take off is another story.

This has little or nothing to do with full-on, configurable, modern desktop environments whether on Linux or any other platform. It is certainly nothing to do with KDE and Gnome. Besides, Google isn't after the market for desktop Linux which at only 1-2 per cent isn't exactly an attraction for a megacorp.

It is amusing to see almost every post in this thread blaming someone or something for the dire lack of popularity of desktop Linux. Why blame anyone. What the market share figures tell us is that a decade after desktop Linux started to make waves, 98 or 99 out of 100 users still do not want to run it. For whatever reason, they just don't like it. Simple as that really.

Reply Score: 4

* Shakes head
by elsewhere on Mon 30th Nov 2009 00:36 UTC
elsewhere
Member since:
2005-07-13

The hype around Chrome OS amazes me for a number of reasons.

First, it's a web browser. It is only a web browser. It is a web browser wrapped around the linux kernel. It's the same web browser you can already download for other platforms. There's nothing Chrome OS will do that can't be done already. Today. Google isn't even claiming as much. They've even said that Chrome OS "apps" will run in *any* standards-compliant browser. It has taken Gnome's approach of minimalism-to-avoid-complexity to an extreme. They've stripped an OS down to the point where it can and will only run a browser. The fact that is even runs on linux is, frankly, irrelevant. No doubt Google could sub that for *BSD, QNX or even Symbian if they wanted, for all the impact it has on the platform. It's a web browser. One that you can already get today. That's all.

Second, the hype has become so great that "Free Software Magazine" is wagging a finger against freedom of choice within the linux community, pointing instead to an organization that chose to strip an open platform to restrict users from controlling their own data, or platform for that matter, and force everything into the cloud and out of their control?

Third, and this is the most grating, is a deja vu of the 90's all over again. I remember how oh-so-willingly businesses and users embraced Microsoft and their amazing new products. Windows! IE 4.0! Office! Microsoft makes it nice and shiny, and oh-so-easy! Communicator? WordPerfect? Lotus 123? Netware? Oh-so-yesterday!

I remember those days. I made a lot of money selling IT hardware in those days, and believe me, everyone loved Microsoft back then. Anyone that was in the industry around the launch of Windows 95 will know what I'm talking about. They weren't viewed as the uncomfortable menace they are now, even by their competitors, many of whom considered themselves too entrenched to fall by the wayside.

It has taken a decade for the users to try and regain some sort of control over the market and their own destiny. Anti-trust issues, the drive for open standards and protocols, open software development etc.

And now oh-so-many people seem willing to toss all that away and trust one company to protect their interests, secure their data and make all the correct choices for them. Yes, I know, I see all kinds of arguments in favor of Google, but as I said, I saw many people embracing Microsoft in the 90s without any idea towards the implications of trusting one company with such an important part of their computing infrastructure. At one time, people used to point at Microsoft's "openness" as a competitive advantage, for crying out loud.

I know revisionist views, particularly shaped by the subsequent anti-trust cases, have made Microsoft out to be a bastard back then, and in many ways they were. Problem was, nobody saw it coming at the time and everyone played along.

I'm seeing the pattern occur again with Google, and I don't see very many people willing to question it. The amount of hype over a browser-based OS almost makes me want to shed a tear.

Having said all that, I will say that if Google pulls this off with in an attractive platform at a sub $200 price point, they might achieve a nice niche in the consumer electronics market, but I can't see it succeeding as anything else.

And I should point out that I'm quite happy to use Google and their many services, but I always make sure that I'm always questioning in the back of my mind "what's in it for them?". Advertising revenue will only go so far.

Finally, I would ask that all you crazy kids with your Web-2.0-cloud-loving ways kindly stay off my lawn... ;)

Reply Score: 9

Join forces against Windows.
by Jason Bourne on Mon 30th Nov 2009 01:57 UTC
Jason Bourne
Member since:
2007-06-02

In early 2000's, Windows was the *next big thing* although Red Hat was leading the Linux penetration as *the probably next big free thing but not yet*. Then Windows XP came and just happened. It's a fact.

Time has passed, Vista fiasco came, and Windows 7 is here. UAC, more RAM, starter edition... serious crap happened - and the open source world was growing while Microsoft were going along committing too many mistakes.

Now we need to be happy because there is Fedora, Ubuntu, MacOSX and ChromeOS. At least some competition! We are not going to be totally left to Microsoft's sneakiest tricks. It's good to see that Windows is not the next big thing anymore. It's good to see that people are sick tired of malware, viruses and expensive proprietary software. People have a choice now. OEM system deployers are opening their minds, they're just tired of receiving software-based complaints in which they are unlikely to be blamed for at all.

As for GNOME, I just hope GNOME team doesn't break the hell of everything when 3.0 version comes down the road.

As for KDE, well... KDE has its own value to me now... it serves as an "entertainment community", where stupid decisions come to public, bringing some comedy and fun on how complicated people can be in groups thinking altogether. There has to be some comedy show for the open source world, isn't there?

GNOME keep moving, kick Nautilus and no breaking things!
KDE keep me laughing please.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Join forces against Windows.
by lemur2 on Mon 30th Nov 2009 02:22 UTC in reply to "Join forces against Windows."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

As for KDE, well... KDE has its own value to me now... it serves as an "entertainment community", where stupid decisions come to public, bringing some comedy and fun on how complicated people can be in groups thinking altogether. There has to be some comedy show for the open source world, isn't there? GNOME keep moving, kick Nautilus and no breaking things! KDE keep me laughing please.


http://www.zdnet.com.au/insight/software/soa/Is-it-Windows-7-or-KDE...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Join forces against Windows.
by mgl.branco on Tue 1st Dec 2009 23:11 UTC in reply to "Join forces against Windows."
mgl.branco Member since:
2009-07-22

As for KDE, well... KDE has its own value to me now... it serves as an "entertainment community", where stupid decisions come to public, bringing some comedy and fun on how complicated people can be in groups thinking altogether. There has to be some comedy show for the open source world, isn't there?


I can only agree on two word from what you've said: KDE and fun

http://www.notmart.org/index.php/Software/Multitouch_screencast_ove...

How stupid those boys are! Who wants mutitouch? who wants a netbook interface or a mobile one? who wants a facebook wodget or a news one? or who wants different activities for different virtual desktops?. They shoul be banned from having meetings!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by makkus
by makkus on Mon 30th Nov 2009 06:12 UTC
makkus
Member since:
2006-01-11

ChromeOS will only take off if the hardware support is good out of the box, this is why Linux is failing, not the 'war' between two(?) GUIs. Even a WebOS needs good hardware support for sound, video, 3D or it wil fail against the competion.

My conclusion, Gnome, KDE, LXDE, XFC, GNUSTEP, etc will all win too if google can make the hardware support better.

Edited 2009-11-30 06:14 UTC

Reply Score: 1

already been said, but...
by DigitalAxis on Mon 30th Nov 2009 06:34 UTC
DigitalAxis
Member since:
2005-08-28

So what we have here is a guy saying Gnome and KDE failed because Desktop Linux is fractured, and Chrome OS will take over.

Considering what Chrome OS is, if it takes over it's the failure of MacOS, Windows, KDE, Gnome, and basically the standard model of home computing since 1977 (or whenever) where they provide the software and hardware, and you keep the data locally. So why isn't this Microsoft's fault too?

To his other point: if KDE (or Gnome) keeled over dead, that wouldn't solve Linux fragmentation. What about deb vs RPM vs Portage? Google is starting from scratch and with total control over interoperability standards from this point, but if they ever decide to allow third-party applications (and I'm pretty sure this will eventually mean sophisticated web applications) or branch out into many different kinds of hardware, they will end up in the same sorts of incompatibility problems that KDE, Gnome, and Microsoft have to deal with.

Linux does have problems: Bad hardware support for highly visible but fringe hardware is one of them; lack of major-brand class-leading software is another; lack of easy entry is yet another. I don't think any of those explain the existence of ChromeOS.

Reply Score: 2

What is Chrome OS
by lego on Mon 30th Nov 2009 08:10 UTC
lego
Member since:
2008-03-25

- It is Chrome OS and not ChromeOS (for now).
- Local storage is possible as are external drive unit supported too.
- Native application will be allowed through Native Client.
In essence, it is really a new approach and it requires new applications to work with it, but same usage...

Reply Score: 1

Stop fighting and wake up
by bousozoku on Mon 30th Nov 2009 08:33 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

A desktop operating system is about the applications and Chromium/Chrome OS is about the applications, even if you can't store the data locally for long.

I don't think that Chromium/Chrome OS has much of a chance with consumers, but that's not the point. Google is bypassing the KDE is better, no, it isn't--GNOME is! fight.

Too much time has been wasted with everyone's favourite desktop environment and that's why many things are not developed directly for KDE or GNOME. You know it's true.

Do 99 % of users care what kernel or desktop environment is running? Of course not. They care about what applications they can run. Application developers avoid Linux and *BSD because there is no clear target. Google is solving the problem by going around the problem totally. It's not the right solution for everyone but it's the right solution for selling their services.

We care about free desktop systems but obviously, we have to stop choosing multiple sides.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Stop fighting and wake up
by Doc Pain on Mon 30th Nov 2009 09:30 UTC in reply to "Stop fighting and wake up"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

Too much time has been wasted with everyone's favourite desktop environment and that's why many things are not developed directly for KDE or GNOME. You know it's true.


For KDE orGnome - that's an important point. Finally, there are settings where both KDE and Gnome won't have a place.

Do 99 % of users care what kernel or desktop environment is running? Of course not. They care about what applications they can run.


In fact, they don't even care about applications. They care about solving certain tasks - which, of course, programs are the key, and those programs rely on cvertain mechanisms of the underlying OS. To the user, the program (and the OS) are just a means to reach a specific goal, such as printing the xmas photos for aunt Sally or making Bob's cellphone have a new ringtone.

Application developers avoid Linux and *BSD because there is no clear target.


For most end-user application development, it doesn't even matter if you run them on Linux or on BSD, because interoperability and portablility (of code) are an advantage of the unixoid operating systems.

I think the problem is something different: While Linux and BSD are known to be free operating systems, it implies that you can't make money with them (which is untrue, but still a common attitude among developers). Furthermore, software for Linux and BSD isn't sold off the shelf in a shiny box, that's another reason you can't make money with it (untrue again). The reason for this is that Linux and BSD have overcome the archaic idea that you propagate software the same way you propagate hardware; instead, means are employed and heavily used by those operating systems to propagate software through the Internet. Various package managers (can be validly seen as a downside) asist searching for, installing and upgrading software. This is again another step (of propagation evolution): Software isn't tied to the web.

The attitude of application developers, in my opinion, is changing for some time now. They are more and more aware of Linux, so they start checking out how to develop for KDE or Gnome - "or" again. Of course, both platforms provide comfortable tools for application development, often superior to "established" tools manufactured by MICROS~1. But mostly, a new (commercially intended) program for Linux is often just a "side-effect" of a program for "Windows".

Google is solving the problem by going around the problem totally. It's not the right solution for everyone but it's the right solution for selling their services.


Exactly. With providing their services *through* their own programs and OS, they can achieve a much better realization of integration and support.

We care about free desktop systems but obviously, we have to stop choosing multiple sides.


I'm happy that I can still choose. When wanting a good, integrated and stable desktop environment that runs on modern hardware, I would choose KDE. But if I extend the requirement by a good support of the german language, I would choose Gnome. And for hardware that's not up to date, maybe Xfce. As a everyday use platform for my home system, I'm fine with WindowMaker for many years now, because it offers so much more accessibility and comfort, along with speed, that KDE, Gnome and Xfce just can't deliver. Why should I give up this advantage in favour of being forced to buy a new computer every year?

One point about desktop computing, in my opinion, is the advantage of having options to choose. Another important point is that, even by choosing different things, programs and data are independant, but still compatible. Interoperability, conforming to standards and portability are the reason why everyone can "compose" a desktop environment fitting his particular needs, and still not be separated from the others. (I have worked in a company with various hardware and software installations, all working together with each other, and no system was like the other, so I know it works as long as there are certain standards met.)

As long as any software product - google's OS and applications included - follows certain standards, it can accompany KDE, Gnome, Linux and BSD, and it can complete functionality that is lacking in other places.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Stop fighting and wake up
by bousozoku on Mon 30th Nov 2009 19:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Stop fighting and wake up"
bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


For most end-user application development, it doesn't even matter if you run them on Linux or on BSD, because interoperability and portablility (of code) are an advantage of the unixoid operating systems.

I think the problem is something different: While Linux and BSD are known to be free operating systems, it implies that you can't make money with them (which is untrue, but still a common attitude among developers). Furthermore, software for Linux and BSD isn't sold off the shelf in a shiny box, that's another reason you can't make money with it (untrue again). The reason for this is that Linux and BSD have overcome the archaic idea that you propagate software the same way you propagate hardware; instead, means are employed and heavily used by those operating systems to propagate software through the Internet. Various package managers (can be validly seen as a downside) asist searching for, installing and upgrading software. This is again another step (of propagation evolution): Software isn't tied to the web.


It seems to me that, if you try to make money, you're about to be burned as a heretic because you're not allowed to put anything but free (both ways) software on such a box. Yet, such software in a store would "sell" Linux and *BSD to the general public and reduce Microsoft's grip.

The attitude of application developers, in my opinion, is changing for some time now. They are more and more aware of Linux, so they start checking out how to develop for KDE or Gnome - "or" again. Of course, both platforms provide comfortable tools for application development, often superior to "established" tools manufactured by MICROS~1. But mostly, a new (commercially intended) program for Linux is often just a "side-effect" of a program for "Windows".


Choosing one is the problem, with fanatics on either side making both unattractive. Then again, being forced to programme for Windows is unattractive in itself. I wish that Apple would bless GNUStep.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Stop fighting and wake up
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Nov 2009 20:02 UTC in reply to "Stop fighting and wake up"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I don't think that Chromium/Chrome OS has much of a chance with consumers, but that's not the point. Google is bypassing the KDE is better, no, it isn't--GNOME is! fight.

In the context of the retail PC space, there never was such a fight. Gnome won that war by default, without even so much as a battle.

The whole Gnome vs KDE "battle" lives in the same world as the question "Which distro should I choose? Arch? Or Mint?".

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Stop fighting and wake up
by elsewhere on Tue 1st Dec 2009 05:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Stop fighting and wake up"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13


In the context of the retail PC space, there never was such a fight. Gnome won that war by default, without even so much as a battle.


Ummmm, WTF?

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Ummmm, WTF?

It's difficult to respond to such a nebulous comment. But... where are the commodity, consumer Dell desktops which come with KDE? Pick another brand if you want. If there is someplace you can still get Xandros desktop PCs, I guess that would count. Linspire's dead. SLED uses Gnome. PCLinuxOS retail PCs never took off. All in all, I guess 'E' (gOS) did better in the consumer space than KDE ever did. The original Asus EEE PC's default interface was not KDE in a form that any self-respecting KDE user would want to claim.

I stand by my original statement. Gnome won that war without so much as a battle. To the extent that the retail Linux desktop market exists. Which is, admittedly, limited. You could, of course, argue that the war hasn't even begun.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

I stand by my original statement. Gnome won that war without so much as a battle. To the extent that the retail Linux desktop market exists. Which is, admittedly, limited. You could, of course, argue that the war hasn't even begun.


We had a minor "war" during red hat 6 era ("Qt has an evil license, dontcha know, you should be using gnome
even if it's still slow and buggy"). I wouldn't call the friendly rivalry we have currently a "war". It's sort of a joke, like vi vs. emacs.

Reply Score: 2

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


It's difficult to respond to such a nebulous comment. But... where are the commodity, consumer Dell desktops which come with KDE? Pick another brand if you want. If there is someplace you can still get Xandros desktop PCs, I guess that would count. Linspire's dead. SLED uses Gnome. PCLinuxOS retail PCs never took off. All in all, I guess 'E' (gOS) did better in the consumer space than KDE ever did. The original Asus EEE PC's default interface was not KDE in a form that any self-respecting KDE user would want to claim.

I stand by my original statement. Gnome won that war without so much as a battle. To the extent that the retail Linux desktop market exists. Which is, admittedly, limited. You could, of course, argue that the war hasn't even begun.


My last experience with the retail market for Linux was on the shelves of Best Buy and CompUSA. They both had Red Hat and SuSE. Weren't they both using KDE as their primary GUI? I've yet to see machines available with Linux in a store, but Wal-Mart has tried to mass market them online.

Reply Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

My last experience with the retail market for Linux was on the shelves of Best Buy and CompUSA. They both had Red Hat and SuSE.

Not the market I was talking about. Preloaded PCs for casual users by a vendor major enough for casual users to recognize is what I'm referring to. And also I was not thinking about ancient history. Red Hat Linux? The last version of Red Hat Linux was released on March 31, 2003. Coming up on 7 years ago.

Anyway, no. RedHat was very much focused upon Gnome even then. To the point that KDE advocates were angered at being shunned so. The old, pre-Novell Suse was a KDE distro. But modern day SLED is Gnome.

Edited 2009-12-03 17:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

bousozoku Member since:
2006-01-23


Not the market I was talking about. Preloaded PCs for casual users by a vendor major enough for casual users to recognize is what I'm referring to. And also I was not thinking about ancient history. Red Hat Linux? The last version of Red Hat Linux was released on March 31, 2003. Coming up on 7 years ago.

Anyway, no. RedHat was very much focused upon Gnome even then. To the point that KDE advocates were angered at being shunned so. The old, pre-Novell Suse was a KDE distro. But modern day SLED is Gnome.


That's how long it's been since Linux has been in retail stores, on or off machines, unless there are specialty computer stores (Micro Center?) with it. Ancient history is right.

Reply Score: 2

less and less relevant
by l3v1 on Mon 30th Nov 2009 09:31 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

With Google Chrome OS, both KDE and GNOME are suddenly less relevant — and they will become less and less relevant as time goes by.


In short: stupid.

Why is is that there are always people popping up that think apps are twitter, facebook, gmail [and some more] and that's it? Why do some people think local storage is on a death row? Why do some think the Internet is a neverending, ever-available, trustable thing? If a company releases an OS targeting people who are happy with running remote apps in a VM (or a browser, suit yourself), why should that mean everyone should drop every desktop environment and local storage apps and flock along with the craze? I could list up a hundred other questions, but I'm tired of this crap.

Reply Score: 7

RE: less and less relevant
by sbergman27 on Mon 30th Nov 2009 20:05 UTC in reply to "less and less relevant"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

Why is is that there are always people popping up that think apps are twitter, facebook, gmail [and some more] and that's it?.

Perhaps the Internet is being taken over by teenaged girls taking a break from texting each other on their cell phones?

Reply Score: 3

The cloud is not where it's at
by 3rdalbum on Mon 30th Nov 2009 10:03 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

While Google's system is interesting from a technical standpoint, its philosophy is completely outdated.

Back in 1998, everything was supposedly progressing toward Java and "applications in the browser". The idea died because of lack of bandwidth.

Now the idea is being dredged up again, this time replacing the word "browser" for "cloud". In the meanwhile, the files that people deal with have grown just as fast as the bandwidth has. The bandwidth is enough for what people were doing back in 1998, but not what they are doing today.

And people are wising up to the issues surrounding "How can I back up my data?" and "Do I trust this company with my data?" and "What happens if I can't get connectivity?". If left to its own devices, the concept of applications in the cloud will, hopefully, die again and we can get on to serious computing.

It's easy to design an interface for an operating system that doesn't actually have to do anything. Gnome and KDE do a very good job, because those DEs can't just rely on everything you do being done by off-site services in a web browser.

Edited 2009-11-30 10:08 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: The cloud is not where it's at
by Coxy on Mon 30th Nov 2009 13:45 UTC in reply to "The cloud is not where it's at"
Coxy Member since:
2006-07-01

Clouds/browser is great for email, but I want my other things available all the time and with out adverts added by content scanners (like google do with googlemail). I wouldn't trust an American company with my data.

Edited 2009-11-30 13:48 UTC

Reply Score: 2

They aren't dead
by tezeract on Mon 30th Nov 2009 13:24 UTC
tezeract
Member since:
2009-08-20

Hello there.

They're far from dead. In fact, both projects are very healthy. The upcoming GNOME 3.0 release looks very promising and KDE 4 itself is already very good.

By the way, who cares about Google Chrome OS? People with money will purchase a real mobile platform such as an iPhone or Android.

Reply Score: 1

v RE: They aren't dead
by krreagan on Mon 30th Nov 2009 14:39 UTC in reply to "They aren't dead"
Nothing new here
by sorpigal on Mon 30th Nov 2009 13:33 UTC
sorpigal
Member since:
2005-11-02

The articles author is off in an amusing but irrelevant tanget. His premise seems to be that having both KDE and GNOME is harming Desktop Linux and that nothing will ever get anywhere as long as there's more then one possible desktop environment and it is because there isn't one that Google chose neither and that, by the way, software installation under Linux sucks and also, by the way, the Blessed Apple does it right and oh why can't we have app bundles on Linux wouldn't that make everything better?

Okay, dude, whatever. I've heard all of this before. Just because you don't know what you're talking about doesn't mean your opinion is correct.

I wont even attempt to rehash the well known reasons why KDE and GNOME both exist and will both continue to exist (along with Enlightenment and GNUStep and XFce, etc). I wont go into why they are not harming each other. I wont even begin to try and describe, again, why app bundles are not a good idea--much less why they don't work. I wont even poke the obvious holes in the article's laughable "One big GNOME Library bundle! Why did no one think of that before!" super-solution for dependency problems. It would take far too much time and teach no one anything new.

All I will say, as patiently as I can, is that Linux is what the distribution maker wants it to be. Google didn't choose KDE or GNOME because they don't have anything to do with what Google wants Linux to be in ChromeOS, not because there are too many options. If you think "Linux" has problems you are absolutely right, but the article fails to describe *even one* problem that is not entirely the fault of the *distributor*.

Did you know that there are several desktop environments for Windows, too? No? That's because *Microsoft, who distributes Windows, only gives you one*. Now, no one else is allowed to make a custom Windows distribution, but if they could then you could have the same situation Linux has. Don't blame Linux for not being created by a single vendor! Blame the distributions for not acting as if they owned their OS and instead throwing a ton of crap on a CD and shipping it.

Audio criticisms in Linux are fair and are a real problem Linux actually has. Some people say Pulse fixes this at long last... I say Jack fixed it at long last years ago, but nobody was interested in just making that the standard. You could have extended Jack to be Pulse and thrown some simpler configuration UIs in front of it for the non-pro-audio users. Whatever.

Reply Score: 8

Waste of Time
by fury on Mon 30th Nov 2009 15:57 UTC
fury
Member since:
2005-09-23

Reading this article was an utter waste of time. The author just runs the anti-Linux talking points without addressing the reasoning behind why we have multiple desktops and why it is absolutely necessary. He's so off on so many levels that I feel stupider for reading this.

Chrome OS would NOT have had a full DE or app support if there was only one Linux DE. This should be obvious to anybody who understands the _point_ of ChromeOS.

Reply Score: 4

boldingd
Member since:
2009-02-19

Just to throw this out, I think the real problem is a lack of high-level interface standards, not the existence of multiple desktops environments (and multiple sound servers and multiple network control daemons and etc.). If there existed one single, high-level, lowest-common-denominator API for basic (themed) windowing, that every other windowing kit and DE could export (in addition to their own API), then having multiple desktop environments wouldn't be a problem at all. Similarly, if there existed one standard, high-level sound API that every sound system could export, then it wouldn't matter (well, it wouldn't matter as much) what lower-level sound system was actually in use. Most of this mess would go away if we just had standard interfaces for Desktop system tasks that whatever implementation you choose could export.

Reply Score: 2

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

You're not wrong, but it wont happen like that. We lost our chance at a unified API when Motif/Lesstif failed to become the standard.

The way I see for attaining this, realistically, is for there to be a fd.o initiative to describe basic theme information in a toolkit-neutral manner. GTK/GNOME and QT/KDE themes do not map identically to one another, but it has been shown that you can (carefully) apply the same color scheme and such to both and get a fairly close visual appearance. If there were a way to describe this common theme information which both major toolkits would actually read then that would go a long way.

The next step would be a toolkit-neutral runtime loadable file dialog API. This one is harder! The major problem with e.g. using a GTK app in a KDE desktop, or vice versa, is that the file open/save dialogs are radically different. Most users wont care if the apps use different toolkits (or even notice in many cases if the theme is similar enough) but everyone will notice when the file dialog fails to match expectations. If there were a way for something to hint to the toolkit what kind of file dialog is preferred such that when the hint is change only a restart of the application is needed to begin using a different file dialog, that would be helpful. This is hard but technically possible, given cooperation.

Other things, like unifying incidental icons (e.g. help, warning, etc) is possible in theory now but could be easier. That would help, too.

Ultimately the common denominator is xlib, but that's too low to coordinate look and feel.

When it comes to things like sound the situation is far simpler. There are and always will be a lot of different APIs for sound. You can almost but not quite feed all applications into one sound system today, with some care, and this is getting easier. The answer there is careful configuration on the part of the distribution vendor and hoping that the app authors use one of the well known APIs/soudn systems and not something funky. Mostly they do.

Reply Score: 2

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

The way I see for attaining this, realistically, is for there to be a fd.o initiative to describe basic theme information in a toolkit-neutral manner. GTK/GNOME and QT/KDE themes do not map identically to one another, but it has been shown that you can (carefully) apply the same color scheme and such to both and get a fairly close visual appearance.

...

The next step would be a toolkit-neutral runtime loadable file dialog API. This one is harder! The major problem with e.g. using a GTK app in a KDE desktop, or vice versa, is that the file open/save dialogs are radically different.


You are a bit behind times here.

Qt applications already provide native Gtk look (and file dialogs) when running under Gnome. So all you need to do is to write your application in Qt and you'll be all set ;-).

Read up on QGtkStyle for more details.

Reply Score: 3

sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

I am well aware of QGtkStyle. This is fine for QT apps running in GNOME, but that's not all I wanted.

The problem is the GTK apps in KDE. Frankly, GNOME is ugly and useless. If there's to be a real chance for desktop Linux KDE is it, but not if 70% of the apps look out of place. Once GTK/GNOME apps can smoothly integrate into KDE then we'll be somewhere.

But even QGtkStyle is not enough because if I log out of GNOME and log in to KDE the QT apps will be using the wrong file dialogs for the environment. I suppose you could make the KDE or GNOME sessions starting also trigger a theme change...

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The problem is the GTK apps in KDE. Frankly, GNOME is ugly and useless. If there's to be a real chance for desktop Linux KDE is it, but not if 70% of the apps look out of place. Once GTK/GNOME apps can smoothly integrate into KDE then we'll be somewhere.


Qtcurve.

http://ourlan.homelinux.net/qdig/KDE4_desktop/Cahkra-ArchLinux-KDE-...

Identical appearance of Qt apps and GTK+ apps, per the screenshot linked above.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QtCurve

But even QGtkStyle is not enough because if I log out of GNOME and log in to KDE the QT apps will be using the wrong file dialogs for the environment. I suppose you could make the KDE or GNOME sessions starting also trigger a theme change


This too is solved for many applications. For example, both Firefox and OpenOffice have settings to use the native desktop file picker dialog boxes.

Reply Score: 2

BigBentheAussie
Member since:
2008-03-29

It's all about the money. Show me the money.
When money is involved the devs will come to the party and every app you can think of will be created.
I assume Google will start some kind of app store, if they haven't already, and the devs will flock, almost to the degree they did the iPhone. The Hype will sky-rocket, and we'll start to hear stories of instant millionaire devs.

Linux by comparison is about charity.
That's all well and good but who really wants to work for nothing. Yes, some companies will lend some resources when it suits them but that is it. They don't promote the whole software stack, just their particular area of interest. It's about big companies making it difficult enough that you need to buy their services because it's rude to sell open source software. There's also a reason for the term 'Commercial quality' too. You wonder why IT jobs have slumped and it's hard to make a living and then you give your OS and apps away for FREE.... and people still complain. 'How can someone want Windows when Linux is free' you lament. It's about perceived value too, and free, sounds worthless to most.

I believe Linux, is not commercialised enough for the average Joe. Everyone has heard of Google because everyone goes on the web. Not many people have heard of Linux or even know what a 'server' is (a waiter perhaps). No advertising budget means no users....except geeks who are drawn to such things. There are only so many geeks. World domination is not possible by geeks alone. Unless of course you make more Geeks. Linux may as well be called GeekOS. In fact that's kinda catchy... I may need to trademark that. ;-)

As for lack of local storage in Chrome OS... doesn't the HTML5 spec even feature built in database access (yep, you use SQL right in the browser). The webkit folks are already working on it, so it'll be in Chrome, and therefore Chrome OS soon enough. The databases might even be somewhat persistent in the same way Cookies are. Add some offline browser page caching, and you're set.

Also, not everyone, not every geek, is a Linux fanboy. I try it out every year and I am always disappointed, by this and that not working properly and scurry back to (the devil) Windows....which also happens to be where the money is!! It really is akin to Capitalism vs Communism. (I'll let you decide what is winning)

And finally, I would like to point out that diversity is good and makes things interesting again. The excitement around the diverse computer platforms of the micro-computer age, is what led to my interest in computers and software in the first place... and I wouldn't be posting here otherwise.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by Luminair
by Luminair on Mon 30th Nov 2009 20:53 UTC
Luminair
Member since:
2007-03-30

KDE and GNOME didn't shoot each other dead, that is ridiculous. their existence isn't mutually exclusive

KDE and GNOME not doing what chrome OS is doing is simply because neither project team had the will or ability to innovate in that way. who cares though really

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26

As it prevents a defacto standard from being established.

But I don't think the KDE/GNOME war will be ending any time soon since Chrome won't replace traditional Linux desktop systems.

KDE fans should actually be optimistic given how awful Gnome 3 looks. They should also be relieved that Google decided to not invest in Gnome.

KDE4 keeps improving while Gnome appears headed for crazyland. Shuttleworth needs to admit that he bet on the wrong horse.

Reply Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

KDE fans should actually be optimistic given how awful Gnome 3 looks.

If looks could kill, KDE users would have become extinct years ago.

Shuttleworth needs to admit that he bet on the wrong horse.

Shuttleworth represents the most popular Linux distro, by pretty much any metric you want to choose. Feel free to pick any DE you like for your winner distro, and we'll see what happens.

That's for desktops, of course. Servers are a different matter. There, RHEL wins. And their choice of DE is also Gnome.

Look. KDE has a certain geek following. But ask yourself this. Would the current KDE community really and truly want KDE to be the runaway winner? Think about that... and its implications, before replying. If KDE users could be increased 10 fold, would the current KDE community want that? Or would they feel marginalized by the influx of new users whose nature and influence they could not control?

Be careful what you wish for. And appreciate what you have.

Edited 2009-11-30 21:47 UTC

Reply Score: 3

elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Shuttleworth represents the most popular Linux distro, by pretty much any metric you want to choose. Feel free to pick any DE you like for your winner distro, and we'll see what happens.


How about the metric revolving around generating revenue? The commercial desktop distros, mock them as you might, tend towards KDE. Turbolinux, the Asianuxes, Mandriva, Connectiva etc. Heck, the Asianuxes probably have a larger userbase combined than Ubuntu does, and when it comes to paid installations, it's no contest. These discussions always tend to overlook the Asian market. The distros that have to support paid customers seem to tend towards KDE.

That's for desktops, of course. Servers are a different matter. There, RHEL wins. And their choice of DE is also Gnome.


Servers are irrelevant for a DE discussion. But since you bring it up, what is interesting is the increased attention RH is paying to KDE via Fedora since the release of 4.0. And the fact that Novell makes sure their config tools etc. are cross-platform for both Gnome and KDE. Hardly seems like it's a slam dunk from the big two, particularly considering the primary reason Novell is pushing Gnome is because of their investment in mono, but they've even tapered off of that. Their investment in KDE for their commercial version has actually improved since the big announcement that apparently spelled the end of KDE as everyone knew it. Then again, they have a large legacy install base of commercial KDE users that they can't shake, from their SuSE acquisition.

Look. KDE has a certain geek following. But ask yourself this. Would the current KDE community really and truly want KDE to be the runaway winner? Think about that... and its implications, before replying. If KDE users could be increased 10 fold, would the current KDE community want that? Or would they feel marginalized by the influx of new users whose nature and influence they could not control?


KDE is about applications. The desktop is a small part of what they provide. Opening up your development framework to at least make it accessible for the vast majority of developers, rather than constraining them to targeting 2-3% of the global userbase, seems like a better strategy for attracting development. Will it work? Time will tell. But as a user, having the ability to use powerful applications on my platform of choice, whether desktop, laptop or smartphone based, is more important to me that the position of OK/Cancel buttons, so that's what I'm hoping for. I care less about plasma widgets, and more about a future where I can run the same KOffice on my linux laptop, my Windows desktop at work, my wife's macbook or my smartphone.

Sure, they're not quite there yet. But the fact that they had the temerity to aim for that goal, despite the headaches it caused in the process, makes me much more optimistic for how far OSS can be taken.

They have a vision, and they're not settling for less. You clearly don't agree with it, and there's nothing wrong with that. And don't get me wrong, I'm not bagging on Gnome per se. It works well for what a lot of people want. Yet they're diverging into projects with wholly separate aims. Gnome wants to be the free DE of choice for *nix desktops, KDE is moving towards being the free AE of choice for multiple platforms, with a slick DE to boot. Given the technical advantage of KDE's cross-platform capability, the roadmap they're working towards, and the painful work they've already undertaken to start making it a reality, I have to say it's entirely short-sighted to arbitrarily dismiss them just because Ubuntu ranks on distro watch. The truth is the race hasn't even started yet, and frankly, if Shuttleworth really had vision, he'd be looking to what the free desktop can become, not settling for what is already is.

Be careful what you wish for. And appreciate what you have.


Dare to dream, and don't settle.

Reply Score: 4

KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

These discussions always tend to overlook the Asian market. The distros that have to support paid customers seem to tend towards KDE.

Or Latin America. In Brazil alone over 50 million school kids use Debian with KDE.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

How about the metric revolving around generating revenue? The commercial desktop distros, mock them as you might, tend towards KDE. Turbolinux, the Asianuxes, Mandriva, Connectiva etc. Heck, the Asianuxes probably have a larger userbase combined than Ubuntu does

Well, "generating revenue" is something of a dubious metric, if you ask me. How do the various bottled water providers do? How about the air providers? Water and Air are very important. And so those should be ideal arenas for gauging the success of various prividers on the basis of revenue. Right?

Well, let's investigate it anyway. There's not really one sure-fire way to gauge the popularity of a Linux distro. So let's look at what is out there.

I'm not sure how to do a Google Trends query on Asianuxes. (What, exactly, is an Asianux?) But here goes, based upon your input:

http://www.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu%2C+turbolinux%2C+mand...

OK. So the distros you mention don't seem to be generating a lot of buzz. Perhaps its a language thing. Maybe you can do the query in an Asian language and get more favorable results. Although I'm not certain what relevance that might or might not have to English speaking countries. And I'll be honest. I'd never even heard of Asianux. So maybe I'm screwing up the search query on that one.

OK. So let's look at something different. Distrowatch. (Yeah? Well if you have better metrics than the one's I'm surveying, then please present them.) In order of hits per day:

Ubuntu: 2204 h/d (#1)
Mandriva: 1037 h/d (#5)
Turbolinux: 85 h/d (#90)
Asianux: h/d not listed for distros beyond #100 (#249)
Connectiva: Well, this one no longer exists, does it?

Now, let's just peruse some related distros:

Mint: 1394 (#3)
Kubuntu: 403 (#17)
Xubuntu: 269 (#29)
PCLinuxOS: 748 (#9)

So on a h/d on Distrowatch basis, the distros you mention pretty much come down to Ubuntu vs Mandriva. Or Ubuntu + Mint + Kubuntu + Xubuntu vs Mandriva + PCLinuxOS. The others just confuse matters with additional names without providing significant numbers.

I wonder whether the myth of billions and billions of Asians using Linux really holds up when Windows can be stolen with complete impunity.

Look. In my opinion, your conjuring up visions of huge numbers of Asian KDE users is a bunch of hooey without supporting numbers. And my, admittedly casual, research certainly does not support your assertion of this groundswell of Asian users using KDE-based distros. (I didn't verify just how KDE and Gnome support compares in the distros you mentioned. I'm just taking your word for it and comparing the evidence I can find of those distro's relative popularity.) My casual research supports Ubuntu, and the *buntu family, as being the most popular distros, by far. You really might as well just have left it at "Mandriva" rather than muddying the waters with the others, some of which are nonexistent.

So color me unimpressed... unless you can do better than evoking images of billions of Asian people using... something... probably Windows.

And lest you think that my comentary here is anti-KDE, please read this to put my views in proper perspective:

http://www.osnews.com/permalink?397330

I'm glad for the existence of KDE. I just believe that we'll all be happier if we agree to call a spade a spade.

Edited 2009-12-01 21:05 UTC

Reply Score: 2

KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

Shuttleworth represents the most popular Linux distro, by pretty much any metric you want to choose.

I'm eager to see your metrics. Please provide them. And don't post DistroWatch page hits, but actual hard data.

Reply Score: 2

mgl.branco Member since:
2009-07-22

KDE fans should actually be optimistic given how awful Gnome 3 looks.


If you mean by optimistic that KDE market share is going to increase then it has nothing to do with what GNOME 3 or 4 or.... If KDE's market share is going to increase it wouldn't be at expenses of GNOME's but other's OS market share. Free DE are not competing with each other but with other OSs!.

Reply Score: 1

Just a short one
by kvarbanov on Tue 1st Dec 2009 06:09 UTC
kvarbanov
Member since:
2008-06-16

This is a joke, right ? Chrome OS is not a real OS at all.
Linux != KDE || Gnome;
KDE guys, I must admit, are working really hard to make something modern and usable. KDE is a perfect desktop env. Period.

Reply Score: 2

Target audience
by mgl.branco on Tue 1st Dec 2009 22:38 UTC
mgl.branco
Member since:
2009-07-22

I think the original article is absolutely ignoring that ChromeOS is targeting some specific audience. It targets some specific hardware and some specific users. It's meant for a (limited) set of use cases. And, and this is something we usually forget, the same holds true for GNOME and KDE. For those DE to succeed they must target some specific audience first.

And, judging on the number of contributors and the releases' change logs, and contrary to what the original article concludes, I think that KDE and GNOME are more alive than ever. For instance KDE SC 4.4 is shipping with multitouch capabilities and a number of widgets and programs "cloud oriented". And we have the netbook interface as well!, which IMO is brilliant. ChromeOS is not meant to compete on every single scenario KDE or GNOME potentially can.

Btw, it's a shame such a troll article had been published on FSM.

Reply Score: 2