Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 13:43 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Just like Eugenia yesterday, I also upgraded my laptop's Ubuntu Feisty installation to Gutsy a few days ago. The upgrade process went completely awry, though, so I was forced to do a fresh install. Not a bad thing, as it gave me the opportunity to take a look at Ubuntu's soon-to-be-released Gutsy Gibbon with GNOME 2.20
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Good review with some caveats
by porcel on Sun 23rd Sep 2007 21:28 UTC
porcel
Member since:
2006-01-28

I love the effort that is being put into Gnome and Ubuntu, but it is unusual to hear this outbursts of praise for features that were or have been in KDE for years.

*Editable toolbars: Check
*Checking for missing attachments before sending email: Check.
*A dialog to configure and change your monitors resolution: check.
*A way to disable tapping on trackpads: check
*Changing of MSN alias/name serverside in Kopete: check
*Simple Snapshot and painting applications: kolourpaint Ksnapshot,(You can use Krita if you need a more powerful painting application).

The fact that many reviewers,not just Tom or ELQ, mention these things as novelties shows both the lack of depth in may of these reviews, the fact that Ubuntu has become defacto Linux for many people who have not had a chance or bothered to try a different desktop environment and/or the fact that many people have somewhat irrationally made a choice to stay with one desktop and never bothered to check back again whether that choice is justified.

But even if you stay in one desktop environment, why make it sound like these applications simply don't exist. I use GRAMPS (a genealogy application), GIMP, Inkscape and many other "Gnome" apps all the time and they enrich the linux desktop and are just fine.

This "allergy" that people seem to feel about running applications from both KDE and Gnome is a bit irrational, to the point that many applications are being rewritten k3b, Amarok, simply so that they can use the same toolkit. What a colossal waste of time and what a shame to see the free software community suffering from NIH (not invented here) syndrome.

Reply Score: 19

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

The fact that many reviewers,not just Tom or ELQ, mention these things as novelties shows both the lack of depth in may of these reviews, the fact that Ubuntu has become defacto Linux for many people who have not had a chance or bothered to try a different desktop environment and/or the fact that many people have somewhat irrationally made a choice to stay with one desktop and never bothered to check back again whether that choice is justified.


What are you on about? I've most likely used more Linux distributions than you can count, and have actively used so many desktop environments it's not even funny anymore. I regularly use KDE, in case you want to know, and know it inside-out.

The new things in I mentioned ARE NEW TO GNOME/UBUNTU. When I'm (p)reviewing a product, should I say, at every new feature: "the following products already include this feature", followed by a list?

Come on now, your rant was way out of line, and makes no sense at all. On top of that, if you had bothered to look beyond your own nose, you could've seen this article was not a review at all.

This "allergy" that people seem to feel about running applications from both KDE and Gnome is a bit irrational, to the point that many applications are being rewritten k3b, Amarok, simply so that they can use the same toolkit. What a colossal waste of time and what a shame to see the free software community suffering from NIH (not invented here) syndrome.


I'm sorry, but simply DETEST mixing KDE and GNOME applications. I have my reasons for that, but even if I didn't - it's my choice, and that's enough reason alone.

Edited 2007-09-23 21:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

The new things in I mentioned ARE NEW TO GNOME/UBUNTU. When I'm (p)reviewing a product, should I say, at every new feature: "the following products already include this feature", followed by a list?

That's not an acceptable excuse Thom and you know that. We're not talking about hundreds of window managers or different distros here, but about the TWO biggest desktop environments available out there for *nix desktops. Praise GNOME for features that have been available on its biggest competitor for years and not even mentioning it?!?!? You call this non-biased journalism??? Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot!

I really don't see what is so hard in saying something like "Ubuntu got feature A which is a good thing although this same feature has been present in KDE-based distros for quite sometime" or something along these lines.

Not that I particularly missed anything as I am pretty aware of these features and have been enjoying them for years and Ubuntu reviews on this website is like preaching to the choir anyway, but you guys could at least pretend that you're doing a fair and balanced review...

I'm sorry, but simply DETEST mixing KDE and GNOME applications. I have my reasons for that, but even if I didn't - it's my choice, and that's enough reason alone.

I would say "Your loss, pal!" here. I don't like to mix toolkits as well but I wouldn't settle down with an inferior application just because the better one happens to be coded with the "other toolkit". I mean seriously... Why use any GTK-based music player instead of Amarok, which is hands down the best music player currently available? Why use a Qt vector drawing application when currently there is nothing that beats Inkscape? That reasoning is beyond me...

Reply Parent Score: 10

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I'm sorry, but simply DETEST mixing KDE and GNOME applications. I have my reasons for that, but even if I didn't - it's my choice, and that's enough reason alone.


Of course it is your choice. But I find it absolutely mystifying that you're complaining about there not being a simple app like MS Paint available, and then using a poor alternative just to avoid running a KDE application.

As others have said, Kolourpaint is basically exactly like MS Paint, except without the little annoyances (like not having more than two zoom levels) and some more powerful features. It's a great tool for quick and dirty image modifications (like resizing, labeling, cropping, etc).

Reply Parent Score: 10

Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

I understand your point, but in actual practice you have two major disadvantages when you mix applications using different toolkits:

1. you have to install and keep up to date more stuff

2. you have more stuff to load into memory

and if the distro you're using hasn't put some work into a common theme (which wouldn't be your first choice anyway, probably ...) you'll also have different GUIs on your desktop.

So, I sort of agree with you ... but actually try to use Gnome only apps ;)

Rehdon

Reply Parent Score: 3

porcel Member since:
2006-01-28

Rehdon,

Well, either way, whether it is a Gnome app or a KDE app, it is one more application to update and if it's a KDE application in a Gnome environment, there might also be a slightly larger number of libs to update vs. a monolithic environment.

The memory usage is slightly higher, but it is unnoticeable most times, considering the very high specs of even the cheapest computers nowadays.

For me, however, the benefits outweigh any potential downsides. I like to use the best tool for the job, irrespective of whether it's a Gnome or KDE application.

Finally, I have found that Gnome applications look just fine under KDE, thanks to the GTK Styles and fonts applet in KDE's control center and I have also used KDE applications such as Kdissert on my work Ubuntu desktop and the differences in look and feel were very minor for the most part.

I think we have bigger fishes to fry than trying to reimplement every application in the toolkit of our choice, but then again people are free to do whatever tickles their interest: it's free software after all.

Edited 2007-09-23 21:56

Reply Parent Score: 7

FooBarWidget Member since:
2005-11-11

"1. you have to install and keep up to date more stuff"

Which distribution in 2007 doesn't automatically keep track of updates for you?


"2. you have more stuff to load into memory"

This might actually be a valid point, but even on my old Athlon 1.4 Ghz with 380 MB RAM I couldn't notice any significant system slowdowns when I run GNOME and KDE apps at the same time. Memory usage is still fine when I have Gedit, Firefox and Amarok running at the same time. Today, my system has 1 GB RAM and loading a KDE app doesn't seem to make any difference in perceived memory usage.

I think this "uses too much memory" is overrated anyway.
- Consider OpenOffice: it uses it's own widget toolkit, but few GNOME/KDE users are religiously avoiding OpenOffice the way that they're avoiding apps that use the "other" toolkit.
- Consider most commercial Windows apps. One can say that each one of them use their own widget toolkits because of all the custom controls. Windows Media Player looks totally different from standard Windows apps, so it's definitely not using the standard Windows widget set. MSN Messenger looks totally different as well, and I don't think it uses the same widgets as Windows Media Player. Throw in WinAmp, Trillian, Adobe Reader and a few other Windows apps, and you easily have 6 different widget toolkits on Windows. Yet I don't hear Windows users avoiding Adobe Reader because it uses a different widget toolkit.


"and if the distro you're using hasn't put some work into a common theme (which wouldn't be your first choice anyway, probably ...) you'll also have different GUIs on your desktop."

Since the review is about Ubuntu: I'd say Clearlooks (GTK) and Plastic (QT) look pretty similar. My dad is a total computer n00b (he has trouble understanding tabs in Firefox or even copy & paste) but he can't seem to notice the difference between GTK and QT apps.

Reply Parent Score: 6

DeadFishMan Member since:
2006-01-09

I couldn't have said it any better... +1!

Reply Parent Score: 2

spikeb Member since:
2006-01-18

it is not irrational at all - the two toolkits use different themes, button placements, dialogue boxes, etc etc etc

Reply Parent Score: 4

Colonel Panic Member since:
2005-07-28

ever heard of gtk-engines-qt?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Good review with some caveats
by mjg59 on Mon 24th Sep 2007 00:43 in reply to "Good review with some caveats"
mjg59 Member since:
2005-10-17

A way to disable tapping on trackpads: check

Only by using the insecure SHMConfig option. There's a very good reason that it's not enabled by default. The code I've added to Ubuntu is layered over X, so provides the same security level as the rest of the input configuration. It's a little bit of a hack at the moment (but no worse than the Wacom driver's configuration), so I'm not pushing it upstream until I've worked with the X developers to standardise the interface.

Reply Parent Score: 6

Obscurus Member since:
2006-04-20

This "allergy" that people seem to feel about running applications from both KDE and Gnome is a bit irrational, to the point that many applications are being rewritten k3b, Amarok, simply so that they can use the same toolkit. What a colossal waste of time and what a shame to see the free software community suffering from NIH (not invented here) syndrome.


This "waste of time" could have been avoided form the start if the Linux devs/community had settled on a single unified standard for writing applications, so that different toolkits were unnecessary. AS it is, if you are a developer considering writing an application for Linux, for all intents and purposes, there are two versions of Linux you need to choose from GTK+ Linux or QT Linux. This is just a ridiculous situation, and it needs to be fixed.

Reply Parent Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

AS it is, if you are a developer considering writing an application for Linux, for all intents and purposes, there are two versions of Linux you need to choose from GTK+ Linux or QT Linux. This is just a ridiculous situation, and it needs to be fixed.


I have two possible answers to your assertion:

(1) Yes, this having to choose when writing applications is a terrible situation, nearly as bad as having to choose between the old win32 API and the new .NET API ... which also needs to be fixed.

(2) Rubbish. Just like the situation in Windows with the old win32 API or the new .NET API, the situation on Linux with GTK+ or QT is such that the same machine can easily execute applications written to either standard, so it just gives a developer more choices.

You can choose for yourself which position you would rather argue for or against ... but do be sure to treat different OS platforms in the same manner, won't you?

Edited 2007-09-24 11:32

Reply Parent Score: 5

anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

AS it is, if you are a developer considering writing an application for Linux, for all intents and purposes, there are two versions of Linux you need to choose from GTK+ Linux or QT Linux. This is just a ridiculous situation...


No, it's a ridiculous statement.

Reply Parent Score: 2

devurandom Member since:
2005-07-06

You are technically right, but there are historical reasons for that. As far as I remember: QT toolkit was the first serious UI toolkit available on Linux, but was not free software at the time. So people begun to code a fully free alternative - GTK. When GTK was ready (and QT became free), there was already a lot of QT code around, so the split stayed there.

Why didn't the GTK guys wrote a free QT clone (so that apps could be ported) instead of reinventing their own toolkit, I don't know.

Reply Parent Score: 2

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Functionality in KDE is pretty much irrelevant for a review of a Gnome-oriented distribution.

None of the mentioned functionality is particularly important, and some are true disasters like checking for the missing attachment (damn, that's one to disable instantly). Gnome has always had a dialog to change monitor resolution, so nothing new here, really.
And it does have several simple snapshot- and painting applications (though painting applications are not a part of Gnome itself).

Personally I hope we'll get rid of some of the NIH-syndrome when KDE4 is released and QT4 becomes _the_ KDE-toolkit. Integration between QT4 and GTK2 is much better than between QT3 and GTK2. That'll make it much easier to combine tools across the tool-kits.

There are several valid reasons to avoid having applications from more than one tool-kit.
*For each tool-kit you need you increase resource usage.
*Different tool-kits have different behavior leading to inconsistent - and often confusing - UI.
*Different looks for applications - again leading to inconsistency and perhaps also some confusion.

There is a very good reason for having applications from more than one tool-kit. It may be split into several sub-reasons if one cares about that.
*Bigger pool of applications to choose from, resulting in a much more mature and efficient Desktop.

Personally I don't think much of k3b and Amarok, but I do have Konqueror installed (and therefore some parts of KDE as well).

But let's see. QT4 is here, KDE4 is just around. They work better with Gnome and GTK2 than KDE3+QT3 do. There's still hope to beat NIH.

Reply Parent Score: 2

superstoned Member since:
2005-07-07

Have you ever read the Gnome announcements? There rarely are more than 2 or 3 REALLY NEW things in there, they are one big deja-vu for KDE users. Though, I must say often the KDE thing has gotten old - so it hasn't improved lately, and the Gnome implementation is often better.

Reply Parent Score: 0