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.
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by oGALAXYo on Tue 18th Mar 2003 22:20 UTC


Well, I don't know howto react on your message now but simply belive me. Look I advocated GNOME for the past couple of years now, advocating it, contributing to it as good as my time made it possible, wrote CVSGnome a GNOME buildscript which also took me from middle 2001-2003 as maintainance and I also tried to write my simply own GNOME application. All this requires good knowledge from a) installing GNOME correctly towards b) programming a GNOME application from scratch c) contributing patches to other GNOME components which also takes fairly some amount of time. I simply didn't snipped with the fingers and all these things came up from nowhere. The problem over the time is the frustrations of the situation withing GNOME. I pretty much prefered GNOME 1.x over anything else even over KDE, then with GNOME 2.x I pretty much got disappointed with it because it took the road of MacOSX look like and some other stuff got totally changed that made it unusable for *me*. I was totally pissed off to see what actually happened with GNOME and most of the direction that GNOME leads these days are mainly decided by one single person. Nowdays it looks like this, whenever this person says 'Jump' then everyone in the GNOME community asks 'how far and how high' without even questionizing that his vision and direction of GNOME may be right or not. Anyways, I then tried some pre KDE 3.0 versions (the first time after years) which was more or less meant to be a joke. I thought myself let's try that stupid shit for some minutes, you don't loose anything, then you can delete it again. But then I realized how much advanced, ahead, consistent and integrated it was. Due the frustrations of GNOME I spent some time into KDE, went to their developers pages, investigated into all sorts of things like development possibilities, availability, documentations and so on and realized that the whole Desktop, development utilities, programms and so on are more enchanced than the counterparts on GNOME. I previously always thought that GNOME is the ultimative Desktop for Linux but then after I investigated into KDE I found out that I was wrong. As you see, I'm not hyping KDE and bashing GNOME because of the fun or because of being a silly person. No, I have investigated a lot of time into both Desktops. Spent a lot of time in irchannels, spent a lot of time on the Mailinglists and much more. Well explaining all in detail will take a lot of time and we could do this per email if you wish or on some irchannel. I still belive that for some people GNOME may be the ultimate Desktop and I also belive that GNOME may enchance to a direction that is questionable for me and I'm sure it will find it's users too. But for me GNOME is simply stagnating, it has a lot of issues that I have addressed various times. Even trying to convince people that Esthetical things are important and even trying to reach the developers that integration is indeed necessary but nothing happened. Everything is stagnating, a simple freaking fileselector will make it into GTK not earlier than 2.4 or 2.6 (and GNOME 2.4 will depend on GTK 2.2), esthetical issues that could already be solved because of really small issues takes AGES until someone starts caring for it, snap to grid for nautilus no way and so on. Simple little things which are trivial are so much hyped under GNOME that I need to touch my head and ask what actually happens. To sum it up I'm simply not happy with GNOME anymore now that I saw KDE. Compare KDE 3.0 with 3.1 and you seriously SEE major changes and then compare 3.1 with 3.2 (soon) and you see another major changes while GNOME on the otherhand makes little progress, from 2.0 to 2.1 nothing big, from 2.1 to 2.2 again nothing. Of course form CVS I see that there are changes going on like thousands of *.po file changes and some trivial bugfixes and enchancements but not the progress I like to see in a desktop. It's frustrating to wait AGES if not YEARS to see some significant progress in GNOME. If you use another computer such like Windows or MacOSX then you have a lot of time because YOU already have an OperatingSystem and Desktop where you can get work done, but for some of us (including me) we depend on these alternatives such as GNOME or KDE. I was always willing to help better improving GNOME (contributing more patches and so on) but as I said I generally dislike what happened with GNOME this leads into frustrations again and demotivation to contribute to it (see, why should I contribute to a Desktop that I don't like anymore). I have mixed feelings regarding GNOME as someone said some days ago. This is some sort of hatelove, on the one hand I like programming C, I like how GNOME installs the files (so clean and logical) but on the otherhand I don't like some of the new changes such as GConf, reverted buttons and so on, this totally pisses me off and as more I deal with it as more it pisses me off. KDE on the otherhand offers everything that I always liked to see in GNOME, a clean integration, esthetical looking apps, good usability and functionality and so on, I'm even that far saying that KDE is in some situations ahead of WindowsXP. The GNOME people are sitting down on their earned fruits from former GNOME 1.x days and forget that there is also KDE which doesn't sleep. Today because of the nice framework, because of the good documentation and because of the many developers and users KDE offers a variety of applications that can be used, apps that don't look like ass, apps that do what they are meant to do, simply, effective and many of these apps communicate with each other e.g. embedd parts from one app to another and so on. It's rapid in development and now wiht KDE 3.1 (towards 3.2) you see how heavy people work on it. GNOME these days and past months had a lot of bad press and whenever this happens you can see it as kind of mirror on their CVS, whenever there is bad press the committs to CVS goes towads 0 and then days later people contribute to it again 200-240 committs per day (where 200 are usually documentation and .po files). While updating KDE in a hourly basis really shows changes, significant changes, better integration and so on. But there are still some issues in KDE that I don't like. But well as I said I only give you a quick overview what I really think about this situation. Well GNOME should seriously start doing trivial things such as a FileSelector, better documentations for Developers and start updating their Webpage (that they planned to do 2 years ago already). There is to much advocating and techtalk in GNOME than actually DOING serious changes in it. Some people are doing changes (no doubt and thanks to all of them) but many others are simply only dictating the shit out of it. It would be really nice if GNOME had a serious direction, a serious roadmap, better planning and a stricter development road. Even if this all sounds hard but without Ximian, Sun, Redhat and that failing company Eazel then GNOME would be nothing today while KDE made the most out of their own. Ever asked where the Eazel people left ? None of them work on GNOME anymore (besides the on or other) but the majority simply disappeared into nirvana.

If you like we can continue this conversation on private. And sorry for my bad grammar.