Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 4th Jan 2008 20:47 UTC
KDE KDE's Aaron Seigo (who owes me a Martini) wrote about a few often-heard misconceptions and questions regarding KDE 4.0, which is supposed to be released January 11th. "Now that 4.0.0 is tagged and out and that bit of worry and concern is behind me for the moment, I wanted to take a moment to talk really bluntly about 4.0. In particular, I'm going to address some of the common memes in fairly random order that I see about kde 3.5 and 4.0. I'm going to speak bluntly (though not rudely) so prepare yourself."
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re: kde 4 in distributions
by melkor on Sat 5th Jan 2008 01:06 UTC
melkor
Member since:
2006-12-16

I doubt you'll see it for a while - the vast majority of distributions seem to be avoiding KDE 4, thinking that it's not ready for mass use. Remember, a lot of KDE based applications have not been ported to KDE 4/QT4 yet.

Furthermore, since probably 80% of Linux users use either Ubuntu or Fedora (rough guess here, could be wrong, there's no hard way to prove an actual figure), and both are Gnome based environments that conveniently do their best to make it time consuming to get KDE onto the system (no, downloading it as a package is not what I consider time consuming, I'll talk more about why I think that in a little bit). There is a strong distribution led movement to actively encourage and entice users to use Gnome. Even Suse, which once reliably used KDE has been moving more and more to Gnome.

I do not believe that is due to quality, but is due to low level machinations. Sometimes, I wish IBM would buy trolltech and then release all the QT code under the GPL as an act of good will. I wonder how many enterprises would then look at KDE/QT?

Now - same I'm on dialup (which I am). I get Ubuntu given to me, but I like KDE, rather than Gnome. Do you realise how LONG it will take for me to download and install KDE? Is this really user friendly? I do NOT think so. This is why I've been pushing a DVD release of Ubuntu that features both a Gnome and a KDE install base. And no, Kubuntu doesn't cut it - it's a pile of horse manure as far as I'm concerned - not because of KDE, but because of the way that it's packaged, few developers, and lack of polish. It's amazing how many people bash KDE based on an experience with Kubuntu, which is one of the worst implementations of KDE of any distribution that I've seen. Note the effort that Ubuntu places in polishing the Gnome desktop environment (and the number of paid developers making sure that it happens).

The fact that the next release of Kubuntu will not really support KDE 4, and they don't intend to release a LTS Kubuntu as KDE 4 is considered too new and experimental, and KDE 3.5 is considered too old (wtf!!!) is baloney. Ubuntu - one word: communication. Get your developers communicating with the KDE developers and problems will be fixed, code will be maintained. If Ubuntu put in the same amount of effort with KDE, as it does with Gnome, things would be much better, and that is the real crux of the issue.

Sorry to go on an anti Ubuntu rant, but it's a valid example of why KDE 4 will not make it into many distributions imho.

I have a real issue with a so called leading distribution that offers little choice. One of the core things of open source software is choice, is that an irony or what?

Dave

Reply Score: 3

RE: re: kde 4 in distributions
by Hiev on Sat 5th Jan 2008 01:09 in reply to "re: kde 4 in distributions"
Hiev Member since:
2005-09-27

Ubuntu the leading distribution because users had put it there not because they say it. It means they are doing the things right.

Reply Parent Score: 0

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Ubuntu the leading distribution because users had put it there not because they say it. It means they are doing the things right.

If that gives you some crumbs of comfort then that's great. Unfortunately, 'leading distribution' means very little beyond some people who hang out on the Ubuntu forums and think they're changing the world. Or something. It's a sad state of mind to get yourself into when you look at the computing world beyond Linux and open source software.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: re: kde 4 in distributions
by KAMiKAZOW on Sat 5th Jan 2008 01:28 in reply to "re: kde 4 in distributions"
KAMiKAZOW Member since:
2005-07-06

the vast majority of distributions seem to be avoiding KDE 4, thinking that it's not ready for mass use.

Because that's what even core KDE developers say.


Furthermore, since probably 80% of Linux users use either Ubuntu or Fedora (rough guess here, could be wrong, there's no hard way to prove an actual figure)

The eeePC is a huge seller. It's KDE-based.


Even Suse, which once reliably used KDE has been moving more and more to Gnome.

SUSE Enterprise: yes. openSUSE: No.


I wish IBM would buy trolltech and then release all the QT code under the GPL as an act of good will.

Qt is already GPLed -- since years.

Now - same I'm on dialup (which I am). I get Ubuntu given to me, but I like KDE, rather than Gnome. Do you realise how LONG it will take for me to download and install KDE?

https://shipit.kubuntu.org/

And no, Kubuntu doesn't cut it - it's a pile of horse manure as far as I'm concerned

And how is downloading KDE from within Ubuntu any different than using Kubuntu directly? The packages are the same. There's no difference.

Reply Parent Score: 7

grat Member since:
2006-02-02

And how is downloading KDE from within Ubuntu any different than using Kubuntu directly? The packages are the same. There's no difference.

For the Feisty release, my experience was that a system installed from the Kubuntu LiveCD was fairly unstable, whereas a system installed from the Ubuntu LiveCD, and with the kubuntu-desktop package added, was rock solid.

I had no explanation then, nor do I offer one now, but my personal experience (and someone else who agreed with me, I think on this forum) was that Kubuntu != (Ubuntu + KDE).

Just a side observation. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

antwarrior Member since:
2006-02-11

"...I wish IBM would buy trolltech and then release all the QT code under the GPL as an act of good will.
Qt is already GPLed -- since years.... "

Just to point out that,this would probably kill the project's momentum. QT is good because it is a commercial tool kit. It's one of the best ones out there. The commercial incentive ( coupled with the drive for putting good quality software out there ) drives this particular project forward.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: re: kde 4 in distributions
by aseigo on Sat 5th Jan 2008 01:29 in reply to "re: kde 4 in distributions"
aseigo Member since:
2005-07-06

"then release all the QT code under the GPL as an act of good will."

i assume you meant "LGPL" because it already is GPL.

Reply Parent Score: 8

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

My bad, yes.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: re: kde 4 in distributions
by elsewhere on Sat 5th Jan 2008 09:02 in reply to "re: kde 4 in distributions"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

Furthermore, since probably 80% of Linux users use either Ubuntu or Fedora (rough guess here, could be wrong, there's no hard way to prove an actual figure), and both are Gnome based environments that conveniently do their best to make it time consuming to get KDE onto the system (no, downloading it as a package is not what I consider time consuming, I'll talk more about why I think that in a little bit). There is a strong distribution led movement to actively encourage and entice users to use Gnome. Even Suse, which once reliably used KDE has been moving more and more to Gnome.


Ok, seriously, 80%? WTF?

I've seen some wild proclamations for Gnome marketshare, but that implication, particularly based solely on Ubuntu and Fedora, is pretty out there.

KDE has an established commercial and community footprint in Europe, for instance, something the Gnome org (if not the userbase) has grudgingly acknowledged in the past. And then there's Asia, that little spot of the world where linux lives quite comfortably, and Gnome barely exists. Red Flag and Turbolinux, two of the predominant distributions in Asia, are KDE-based, yet they rarely receive mention, yet they very likely both exceed RH or Novell for desktop marketbase (servers are a different story).

Novell still has a predominantly KDE userbase, both with the community-based openSUSE and the commercial SLED product; though this is owing mostly to the SuSE heritage and legacy userbase, it's evidence that Novell's Gnome "focus" hasn't really done much beyond incite the community.

Gnome has certainly earned a respectable marketshare, but I think any speculation that it has exceeded KDE is simply speculation. The only metrics we can potentially rely on require commercial sales numbers, and in that area, KDE dominates. Red Hat doesn't have a significant desktop product, Novell is a fence-sitter, but the rest of the commercial distros are pretty much KDE exclusively. Linspire, Xandros (and the Asus Eee), the Asianuxes etc.

Yes, Ubuntu is popular. But even when Shuttleworth proclaims that 7 million people are using Ubuntu (the last figure I saw him state), it doesn't break out the Kubuntu users, and it means nothing to the ISV's anyways. They'll be more interested in commercial sales than free-downloads, in terms of early-market opportunities.

I won't argue your implication that agendas are involved with the distros that try and distance KDE, but people have been claiming Gnome dominance for some time now, yet strangely, nothing seems to have changed in the big picture.

edit: forgot this part of your quote ;)

<<Sometimes, I wish IBM would buy trolltech and then release all the QT code under the GPL as an act of good will. I wonder how many enterprises would then look at KDE/QT?>>

How many enterprises are looking at Gnome/Gtk? In other words, how can you point to Gtk's free-as-in-beer status as being proven to be better value?

The majority of Tt's licenses come from Qt/Win32 customers. So if customers are willing to pay for a high-quality framework for Windows development, despite the "free" framework Microsoft already provides, why would the same equation not hold true for linux?

Gtk already exists as a free toolkit for price-conscious commercial developers, and Qt exists for developers that value a well-documented and well-supported cross-platform, feature-rich development framework. The armchair quarterbacks in the community should simply leave it up to the commercial companies to decide which way they want to go, but you can rest assured that they use a different set of ROI measurements than the general userbase does when it comes to expenditures.

Ok, just my 2c...

Edited 2008-01-05 09:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

GeneralZod Member since:
2007-08-03

To be fair, we also have reasonably large-scale polls like this:

http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS8454912761.html

and so claims of GNOME (and Ubuntu) dominance aren't completely without merit. Having said that, it hasn't made one whit of difference to the development of KDE: it's still a *hugely* active project and has a very bright future, IMO.

Reply Parent Score: 3

melkor Member since:
2006-12-16

I'm not saying that QT isn't any good, or that Trolltech doesn't deserve to charge for QT for commercial usage, I think that they do deserve that. But - I think that many developers avoid QT because of the licence costs, and look at GTK instead since they are no fees involved. Personally, and I'm no developer by any means, but from what little I've read on the subject, QT is a dream to work with, whilst GTK is an absolute nightmare.

As to my comments on usage, nearly everyone that I know, that uses Linux uses Ubuntu. True, I don't know everyone in the world ;-)

In terms of desktop usage, Ubuntu has more users than any other distribution. Whilst I don't have empiracal numerical proof of this, I feel very confident in making that statement.

Dave

Reply Parent Score: 0