Linked by Andrew Youll on Wed 6th Jul 2005 06:25 UTC, submitted by Timothy R. Butler
Qt Thinking on the issue of licensing and KDE, an old hymn came to the mind of OfB's Tim Butler. "As it was in the beginning, is now, And ever shall be…" Yes, the issue of licensing has been a perennial problem for the Free/Open Source desktop and he suggests its biggest licensing issue remains: the GPL. Read more at OfB.biz
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KDE is a great Desktop.
by Anonymous on Wed 6th Jul 2005 07:21 UTC
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Well I saw this article some mins ago after waking up and was reading it. The first impression I got was that the guy was only repeating the very old fears from people like a programmed robot only to stirr up worries of people. I don't think this is the right tactics to have people switch from KDE to something else.

Besides this a bunch of his arguments are quite wrong too. First of all There are plenty leading Distributions out there who have KDE as default Desktop and the amount of people using KDE these days have never been that big as it is today, not alone for the wrong choices made by GNOME. Even some key Editors of this site have been switching away from GNOME to use XFCE. Novell's main Desktop is not Ximian D2 basicly they haven't settled which Desktop to use and from what I heard Novell's president is switching away resources of people who initially worked on GNOME to now work on something else. Also the facts that if QT becomes propritary again that it means the dead end of KDE is pretty much wrong. But diving deeper into this argument would be quite boring since it has been repeated many times now that this will not happen. There are signed license agreements that if Trolltech shuts down or if anything problematic will happen that QT will turn into a totally free (the way Tim wants it) license.

He is also diving into the comments that you don't need to pay licenses when developing for MacOSX or Windows. But he is forgetting to mention that you need to PAY for MacOSX and Windows as well as for Windows' development suite to get work done. So where is this money going to go ? The dual licensing ain't bad and keeps people doing free licenses. Companies can easily focus and write propritary applications and money don't seem to be an big issue either as we have recently seen. Nokia and Google spent 50.000 USD and more to the GNOME Foundation for basicly nothing. So the big money issue is absurd.

Imagine this, he said that small companies can't pay the money for creating closed source applications and make some money with. Now see Trolltech as this small company too, how should they make money and keep their employees happy, if they are not allowed to make a few bucks off of it ?

Another key factor is the RAD (Rapid Application Development) the time you invest and the cost of it afterwards. I do come from the GTK+ and GNOME camp and thus know the quirks and isues from GTK+ and GNOME and how problematic it can be rewriting huge leaps of code and refactor all the stuff only to fit the new situation. The amount of manhours that companies need to pay their employees hacking with GTK+ comes close to the money they need to pay for QT but have their employees and developers be more productive.

Now he is also talking about GTK+ and GNOME all the time but forgets to mention (probably on purpose) how many issues GNOME as Desktop has. It made a lot of people angry, a lot of people simply switch to alternatives and stuff as of now are hardly working satisfying enough and leave a bad taste of incompleteness in the heads of people. Changing all this will take time, a lot of time. Then there are the worries that GNOME is being canned up different languages for a basic system. As of now you require Python, C, C++ maybe pretty soon MONO too only to set up a working system. Sure a normal user probably doesn't care. But as a developer I know that the more different languages get involved, the more bindings used the more problems can show up. Such as the interfaces to these bindings and languages may be incomplete, show a different look or feel of the application or in case of crashes it confuses people or require people with high technical skills to react on it or report things properly. All the stuff is not existing for KDE who primarily requires C++ only for all of it's Desktop. So people, users and developers know what's going on.

Irrelevant to the dual licensing issue KDE is a very good Desktop solution that doesn't leave any expectations open. Personally I believe that KDE is even in the position to easily compete with commercial players such as Microsoft. The software keeps working and the overal look and feel is quite pleasing and professional. Something I wasn't able to say with the counterpart GNOME that I kept using and even programming for the past years. I don't want to discredit GNOME as a Desktop alternative, but I simply know to much about it to say that it's not going to hit the roads. Too much marketing and technical blah blah than what's really being shown to the public.

So please dear readers, don't get stuck with badly researched articles from people, who like, Tim used to be die hard KDE guys but then changed the sides because of personal issues that they now like to show in the public.

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