Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st Mar 2008 21:49 UTC
Editorial "I used KDE as my primary desktop from 1996 through 2006, when I installed the GNOME version of Ubuntu and found that I liked it better than the KDE desktop I'd faced every morning for so many years. Last January, I got a new Dell Latitude D630 laptop and decided to install Kubuntu on it, but within a few weeks, I went back to GNOME. Does this mean GNOME is now a better desktop than KDE, or just that I have become so accustomed to GNOME that it's hard for me to give it up?"
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sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I fail to see what any of that has to do with my post. That said, I think it is absurd to say that you have to compare a current release of one project with a two year old release of another project to get a fair comparison. One should compare the current offerings. If one project has chosen to destabilize their release by doing the inadvisable (http://tinyurl.com/4gus), that comes with real consequences. And you cannot simply excuse the project from those very real consequences. The current stable releases of Gnome and KDE are 2.22 and 4.0.2, respectively. And those are what should be compared today. If KDE's rewrite actually pays off in the future, another fair comparison can be made then. But be aware that the bar will be higher at that time.

Edited 2008-03-22 17:27 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

leos Member since:
2005-09-21

I fail to see what any of that has to do with my post. That said, I think it is absurd to say that you have to compare a current release of one project with a two year old release of another project to get a fair comparison.


I completely agree. No release in several years does not excuse one from comparison to more recently updated software.

One should compare the current offerings. If one project has chosen to destabilize their release by doing the inadvisable (http://tinyurl.com/4gus), that comes with real consequences.


I think it's funny that you compare KDE 4 to the rewrite of Netscape/Mozilla. Sure it took a while, but Mozilla is now an undeniably successful browser engine. Impossible to tell if that would have happened if they had stuck with the old codebase.

If KDE's rewrite actually pays off in the future, another fair comparison can be made then. But be aware that the bar will be higher at that time.


Indeed. Of course, you are probably aware that there is a lot of talk in the Gnome camp about breaking API compatibility in a serious way with GTK3. You see, eventually the incremental approach just can't go on forever, no matter which toolkit you're writing for.

Reply Parent Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

I think it's funny that you compare KDE 4 to the rewrite of Netscape/Mozilla. Sure it took a while, but Mozilla is now an undeniably successful browser engine.

Leos, I'm not sure how long you have been observing, but when Netscape released the source code in 1998, their browser had 70% market share and IE had a paltry 22.7%.

http://tinyurl.com/g6e7u

It was because of the *4.5 years* that Mozilla spent rewriting and getting that rewritten code base into a competitive state, during which time they basically had no product, that IE was allowed to completely overwhelm the market. Arguably, it was more like 6.5 years, because face it, Mozilla Suite was a nonstarter with respect to market share. It was not until Firefox that things even started to improve.

We've crawled back up out of the gutter over the last few years and are cheering the 15% or whatever that Firefox has gained back... after falling from 70%. And just how clean and high quality is the resulting FF code base, anyway?

So you see, the Mozilla story is an excellent example of why rewriting is a bad idea. Even today, 10 years later, we have only just begun to recover, and likely never will fully recover what we lost due to impulsive decisions made by overconfident developers in 1998-1999.

you are probably aware that there is a lot of talk in the Gnome camp about breaking API compatibility in a serious way with GTK3.

There is some talk about incrementally breaking the GTK API in certain ways, and in a controlled and orderly fashion. Getting from here to there is very likely to be an evolutionary process. API changes are, indeed, necessary for progress. But dramatic, sweeping changes, and complete rewrites are for the foolhardy and overkonfident.

Edited 2008-03-23 01:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3