Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Jun 2008 08:14 UTC
Gnome The KDE project saw the writing on the wall. They saw that they had reached a certain limit when it came to what could be done with the KDE 3.x series - they named it the "big friggin' wall", and decided that in order to get over that wall, incremental updates wouldn't do - they needed massive changes, a big jump, and they went for it. It's been a rough road, but it seems as if KDE 4.1 is showing signs of the vision becoming a reality. And it now seems as if several people within the GNOME community are seeing the writing on the wall too: GNOME 2.x has reached its goal - now what?
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RE[2]: Not buying it
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 11th Jun 2008 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE: Not buying it"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

This fixation on eye-candy has been a distraction for too long.


Except going "wow" has absolutely nothing to do with flashy effects. I've never had a flashy effect that made me go "wow". What does make me go "wow" is a really nice feature that requires major backend work.

When I first loaded up Mac OS X Tiger, the ONE thing that made me go "wow" was hitting Apple+space, entering "Saf", and instantly see "Safari" as the first hit, allowing me to press enter and load the app. THAT made me go "wow", and Apple was the first to deliver that. By the time GNOME and the others got similar technology, it no longer made go "wow" - it made me go "finally! Why did that take them so god damn long?"

Another one of those things is Quicklook in Leopard. Being able to simply hit the spacebar to get an instant live preview of EVERYthing, with full content, without ever opening an application, is what makes me go "wow". And I just KNOW that a few releases from now GNOME will implement something similar and all I will think is "finally!"

And that's the problem right there with GNOME. It never makes me go "wow, what a geat new feature!" - there's just a lot of "finally" moments.

In other words, GNOME isn't delivering any exciting features. And no, that doesn't mean flashy effects (although some effects are useful, like Expose, which I can no longer live without). GNOME is a whole lot of "me too!", but never the trendsetter that comes up with truly useful new features. And that needs to change in order for GNOME to grow.

The GNOME project knew that back in the 1.x days, Apple knew it during the OS8 days, and the KDE guys knew it during the 3.x days. I hope that starting today, GNOME will start to realise it too.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Not buying it
by OlympicSoftworks on Wed 11th Jun 2008 18:45 in reply to "RE[2]: Not buying it"
OlympicSoftworks Member since:
2008-06-11

Ok, lets look at the funcionality that underlies the two things you mention. Quicklook. In order for this to work an engine that understands how to use the various file types needs to be loaded at all times. This is bloat.

While it may be nice to have a switch for an 'enhanced mode' for beefy machines that have the extra memory they want to dedicate to fluff like this but it would likely get limited tracktion and therefore limited use and therefore limited devs working on it. There are lots of nice ideas that Apple can implement because they sold you the hardware you are running the software on and can therefore expect you to have the resources to allow implementation of fluff like this.

Part of my organization's efforts is recylcing older computers to give to homes that can't afford a new machine. We use of course GNU/Linux, Ubuntu specifically, and we give weekly training meetings to help retrain folks to use their new computers. Many if not most of these machines are slower and don't have robust memory or hard drive space, they run GNU/Linux quite well would choke on this kind of added burden.

And for Expose it's funcionality seems to be present in
Compiz/Fusion. Granted it took a while to make it to our neck of the woods, mainly because of video driver quality lagging for so long. That is no longer a concern however as we have enough purchasing power to entice the hardware guys to work with us now. I noticed this on wikipedia when I looked up Expose:

>Exposé makes extensive use of undocumented features of the Core Graphics framework.

So typical of proprietary offerings, I guess even Apple is not above this.

These features are kinda cool. I myself don't use Compiz/Fusion even though my machine is more then capable, GNU/Linux has had for a very long time now the idea of virtual desktops. I pretty much organize my work onto several of these and life is good.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Not buying it
by MORB on Thu 12th Jun 2008 15:25 in reply to "RE[3]: Not buying it"
MORB Member since:
2005-07-06

Ok, lets look at the funcionality that underlies the two things you mention. Quicklook. In order for this to work an engine that understands how to use the various file types needs to be loaded at all times. This is bloat.


No, it isn't. If it's never queried or accessed most of the time, it'll just be swapped away on the harddisk.

As for why gnome fails from a development point of view, well, it's built on gtk and glib, which are horrible c-based implementations of oo-programming and containers, using macros and all kind of other disgusting shit.
This is bound to make for some shaky, pointlessly complicated and difficult to maintain foundations.

Before some clown tells me that the end result is the same and that it's a matter of taste, it's not.
There's no notion of type safety in C, there's no notion of scoped resource allocation (which forces you to write redundant cleanup code for all exit path of your functions, which mean that you can get it wrong, omit stuff etc), and you essentially have to learn a bunch of gtk-specific idioms to accomplish things that can be expressed in a standardized way in other languages.

There no single good reason to do OO programming with a non-OO language in this day and age.
It's just unecessary complication, and unecessary complexity is the enemy of efficiency and ease of maintenance.

The "language bindings are easier to write for c" argument is quite bogus as well, as demonstrated by the amount of bindings existing for Qt and KDE.

Reply Parent Score: 5