Matthias Ettrich talked to us about KDE, freedesktop.org and the need for a unified HIG. He believes that accessibility is one of the most forgotten sides of the Unix desktop and so he mentioned the adoption of Sun's ATK by KDE, a library which is still not as complete as he would like it to be though. Regarding other freedesktop.org technologies, Matthias can't wait for KDE to start using D-BUS and this is a technology that he will stretch at aKademy later this month. Mathias also told us that he would like to see a more generalized HIG through freedesktop.org that is not as toolkit-bound as Gnome's HIG is. "Button order and pixel spacing are details of an implementation, they are styling issues and adhere to personal usage patterns based on ones' experience. I am looking more for a HIG that really guides you on how to create usable applications", he said.
Trolltech's CEO Haavard Nord showed us Qtopia, which is expected to be shipped later this year in China. Other manufacturers have also licensed Qtopia for phone distribution in Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Italy. Qtopia runs on 176x208 (minimum res) smartphones and it is expected to be coupled with Opera as the browser of choice. Motorola has a continued keen interest on Qtopia.
The Xandros guys are seriously going into the server space, starting with their deployment tool, xDMS. They had live demonstrations of the tool and they all looked very proud of this solution.
We also met with Joseph Cheek, the Lycoris founder, who showed us the upcoming version of Lycoris (to be released in 2 weeks). It's got a transparent Kicker and it looks pretty slick. Joseph showed us the A2 integration work he's done, which basically brings Win4Lin and Win9x/ME closer to the Lycoris desktop. For example, the virtual C: folder of Windows is showing on Konqueror's root window along with the other "real" partitions. This makes it easy to figure out where your Windows is installed on your Linux partition. Also, when you insert a Windows CD on the drive, Win4Lin will automatically start and will try to load it inside Windows. Additionally, the "Programs" Windows menu is now a sub-menu on KDE's menu. The Win4Lin package will retail on a separated bundle.
The Novell, Ximian and SuSE booths were under the same roof at LinuxWorld. We talked with two Mono guys who showed us MonoDevelop running, and a program which is able to load the Gecko module and create a functional browser in under 35-40 lines of code.
Apparently Red Hat Enterprise 4 is coming out in February and it will sport the 2.6.x kernel. A Business Desktop version based on RHEL4 will be released shortly afterwards. Red Hat does not have any plans to create a retail home desktop product. The Fedora Project has its own booth at LinuxWorld.