Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 17th Mar 2003 22:49 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces So many operating systems and so many graphical desktop environments... This article is a comparison of the UI and usability of several Desktop Environments (DEs), that have been widely used, admired and reviled: Windows XP Luna, BeOS 6 (Dano/Zeta), Mac OS X Aqua and Unix's KDE and Gnome. Read on which one got our best score on our long term test and usage.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Glenn Sweeney
by Mike Machuidel on Tue 18th Mar 2003 12:07 UTC

- Currently OpenGL2 is still under development while OpenGL1.3 supports new features of modern video cards through extensions. Direct3D usually lacks behind.

You can read about OpenGL2 and what it will do here:

- The syntax of Direct3D had changed a lot over the years and is by now almost the same as OpenGL. Cause of the Direct3D syntax changing that much a lot of documentation is outdated by now. The OpenGL syntax is still compatible with older versions and in my opinion easier to learn.

- My biggest problem with DirectX is that its not portable to other platforms. I like to write a program so I can use it on different platform only by a recompilation. For example on Unix I can use Mesa.

- As what you said about John Carmack, here a direct quote from what he said about Direct3D:

Direct-3D IM is a horribly broken API. It inflicts great pain and suffering on the programmers using it, without returning any significant advantages. I don't think there is ANY market segment that D3D is apropriate for, OpenGL seems to work just fine for everything from quake to softimage. There is no good technical reason for the existance of D3D.


Recently he didn't say that Direct3D was better than OpenGL, he only said that Direct3D is approaching OpenGL to be as good.

- A benefit for Direct3D is that it has better support for older video cards. Correct me if I'm wrong.

- Just like DirectX under Unix you can use SDL ( in combination with OpenGL ( for 3D graphics and OpenAL ( for 3D sound, this is pretty much the same and fully portable to other platforms. That way it doesn't matter if you use OSS or ALSA for audio, these are just choices you can make abstracted by SDL were eventually the best one will win, probably ALSA will replace OSS in the future.

- Linux currenly has a complete audio framework ready to be used. Have a look at Ardour ( and you'll now what I mean. But I agree that one of the things the open-source community still needs is a descent music/sound editor, may be like what the Gimp does to graphics. Everything else is pretty much there and well integrated.

I'm using Gnome myself and think it's one of the best desktops out there, I cannot believe why Gnome is ranked that low, even lower than BeOS. And WindowsXP is ranked that high, why?

Gnome is so very clean, it does the same what any other desktop does but does it right, like for example being able to change multiple desktop configurations at once using GConf. The only thing that still misses is a good file selector, everone knows that by know, but it's better than nothing.

What's wrong with Gnome using C, the reason they are doing that is to make it easier to create language bindings. Like C++ ( and many others ( Damn, parts of windows are written in C as well, is she complaining about that?

If she really thinks that Gnome looks so bad she probably used the wrong theme. She should have given ScalableGorilla a try, many people like it more than the default Gnome theme.