“When someone mentions “Microsoft Windows”, most experienced computer users have an idea of what the operating system does. Whether it’s Windows 95/98, ME, 2000 or XP, Microsoft has managed to maintain an identity for their OS that has translated into a monopoly-sized chunk of the desktop business and home market. Maintaining the look and feel of their desktop OS over several revisions and upgrades, Microsoft has established a standard for most desktop computer users.” Read the editorial at LinuxOrbit.
Coping With Choice: The Double-Edged Sword of the Linux Desktop
Submitted by John Gowin 2003-02-24 Linux 36 Comments
I have read the editorial at LinuxOrbit and was nicely amused how the writer liked to stay fair and wrote one time KDE and GNOME then the other time GNOME and KDE. Anyways the last paragraph I don’t agree with. In a short amount of time there is no choice for alternative anymore. That used to be in thqwee beginning of the Linux aera where everything started but people seemed to have settled these days on either KDE or GNOME. That’s probably what everyone likes. To have a consistent Desktop Environment with powerful applications. Yet you see how more and more applications, libraries and other things are specially personalized for either KDE or GNOME usage. E.g. many libraries include support for pkgconfig (GNOME) for reading the .pc files for configuration usage other stuff such as automake, autoconf are also specialised for these Desktops and with going on times more and more libraries and apps are specialised for usage of either of these Desktops. I think that within the next 5 years we will get a domination of applications between these 2 Desktops and the other tools will disappear as soon as people realizes how important this is. The only thing I personally am scared off is GNOME while KDE is really integrated, works perfectly and is far ahead of GNOME, the GNOME Desktop stays in it’s ‘hackish’ state and will probably never come out of it.
What I fear is this to stay like this. While KDE is going on in it’s perfectionality, userfriendlieness and usability, GNOME stays in the above mentioned state. But more and more people tend to like GNOME in this hackish state and people start to talk about KDE and GNOME to be THE standard Desktops these days. But while the one (KDE) is usable, perfect, mature GNOME is in no way showable to the masses as production Desktop because it lacks everything, starting from cool integration, equal looking dialogs, usable fileselector (sarcasm) and productivity tools that DON’T crash or look like shit. Then in 2-3 years while GNOME stays as is now (or continue going into the wrong direction) people and interested ones from other plattforms come to Linux maybe try GNOME for the first time and says ‘bah what the hell is this’ and those who use KDE says ‘wow this is so nice’. I ask this question all the time. Why is KDE so cool from integration and usability and why do people still hype GNOME while GNOME offers only problems.
> Anyways the last paragraph I don’t agree with.
I personally fully agree with the last paragraph.
As for the problems you mention that one DE might evolve faster/slower than the other, this is what FreeDesktop.org was created for. To make sure that the two DEs are compatible in many ways. This is a new organization which only gained momentum pretty recently, so I will give it 2 years before I make my judgement about its success or what not.
Unless you want to idiot-proof the software (which I don’t think should be done in the case of Linux), I don’t think having a consistant *look* between applications is necessary for ease of use. For example, if I’m using two apps side-by-side, I don’t really care of one is QT-ish and the other is GTK-ish.
What I do care about though is that the apps behave and act the same, and that they work well together. For example, a shortcut key that saves a document in one app should be the same as in the other, and copy & paste should work seamlessly together like it does in Windows, being able to paste text (either plain or RTF), images, etc from any one app that supports the format to any other app.
Of course, interoperability and consistency are very important, and this is one of the goals of FreeDesktop.org.
I agree in everything Mr T says.
GNOME has no functionality except the possibility of resizing icons…
KDE feels like a desktop system; GNOME feels more like only a window manager. That’s just my perception, although I must warn U.
“Those who are not with us, are against us”
> As for the problems you mention that one DE might evolve
> faster/slower than the other, this is what FreeDesktop.org
> was created for.
Sorry but you missed the point of my writings. FreeDesktop.org was created by Havoc Pennington and only HE is responsible for it. The only thing this site does is force HP’s oppinion on other programmers to be the ‘standards’ for desktops. Who told HP to do this page and who is he to declare these things to become the new standards ? It’s just a meeting place where GNOME, KDE and maybe the one or other exchanges their wisdom of howto do things nothing else. It has the same effect as ME creating a webpage somewhere and saysing ‘I declare this to be the right and only place for HTML technologies’ forget the other places because my place is the right one. Look Eugenia, people wrote applications for X long before HP was even planned to view the lights of this planet as baby. His so called standards causes a LOT and I mean a LOT of issues in the current world of X applications. I although see the good means of this site to collect all the informations together on one place for review but forcing his own thought WMHINTS for example on GNOME did nothing good a lot of applications that behave strangely these days like XINE can’t play fullscreen, like other apps can’t become fullscreen because of some mad WMHINTS (only one example). Now when you go and report this as bug to either a GNOME app then you get a reply saying ‘sorry it doesn’t follow the WMHINTS as declared on FreeDesktop.org’. No offense but I don’t value FreeDesktop.org so high. Even the conversation between KDE and GNOME on these pages aren’t the best (If you ever spent the time reading their mailarchives). Please don’t value everything so high. But that wasn’t my previous point with the comparison GNOME vs. KDE.
Let’s forget freedesktop.org for a moment and compare the pure development KDE vs. GNOME only and look at the UI review of GNOME 2.2 that was posted here some weeks ago. For the normal user like you (with some technological skills to view stuff amongst different operating systems) you may be right but from the programmers view of point. written here from a person that does programming for many years now I must say that GNOME won’t be able to fix all the issues. I can promise you now that even in the next 5 years you will find a shitload of inconsistencies in GNOME while KDE will become more and more consistent, integrated, better.
And some would argue that too much choice and tweaking can confuse the user. Personally, GNOME has struck the right balance between tweaking and ease of use.
Personally, I don’t change the theme, fonts etc. I am quite happy with the default settings.
Other people other opinions. I don’t change much on my default GNOME installation either but now I have hell times with GConf settings. It’s in no way to control and matured into maintainance nightmare. GNOME made a big mistake with their direction of customizability.
> FreeDesktop.org was created by Havoc Pennington and only HE is responsible for it.
Well, maybe he is the founder, but that doesn’t mean that there are not other people -including KDE people- who do not endorse the whole idea.
> The only thing this site does is force HP’s oppinion on other programmers to be the ‘standards’ for desktops
> Who told HP to do this page and who is he to declare these things to become the new standards ?
Necessity. Logic. Current Market. Vision.
> Look Eugenia, people wrote applications for X long before HP was even planned to view the lights of this planet as baby.
I am sure he is older than that. (/me constraints herself with difficulty from saying something inappropriate that would blush HP) ;D
> but forcing his own thought WMHINTS for example on GNOME did nothing good a lot of applications that behave strangely
Evolution comes through trial, error, cutting legacy etc. It is easy on software to create bugs or problems, when trying to create something that has a bigger impact on a larger scale. Please try to see the bigger picture here, not that XINE crashes or whatever. If these changes bring or will bring a better ground for X11 DEs in the future or today, it is justified to create incompatibilities at some point.
> I can promise you now that even in the next 5 years you will find a shitload of inconsistencies in GNOME while KDE will become more and more consistent, integrated, better.
Why? You don’t give me any real reasons to believe that. From all I know so far, both DEs will suck in 5 years, as they did 5 years ago (compared with the technology back then).
So why would I believe that KDE will make inroads and GNOME will not? You don’t give me any real reasons to believe that, and please note, I like neither Gnome or KDE. Both suck in my very personal opinion (and this is an assesement about how the desktop environment on the WHOLE works, I am not limiting the assesement only about the gnome or kde lib packages – these don’t matter, what matters is the *final experience*).
I have to say i agree with the above about KDE and Gnome.
Altho i think the Gnome project has brought alot to Linux.
I think that KDE is by far the better desktop, and is better designed. and with everything in C++ it offers the KDE team more to work with.
I have had my kids on RH8 and KDE for about 3 months, and now with KDE3.1
they are happy with it and can do everything they do in windows, they even like linux better.
Look at the progress KDE has made over Gnome.
when Gnome crashs , the whole DE goes down more often then not. Gconf is also a bi**h, and once it starts to really crash your desktop is never the same.
and the filemgr is a joke. sure it LOOKS pretty but it works for sh*t.
not only that, Gnome’s crash detector? kills the whole desktop….
in KDE IF a crash is detected, the crash detector kills the process that is bad and refreshs the desktop so you can go back to working.
I would say that is an improvment. sure its not prefect, sure it needs work. but i would say they have a really good start.
In ten years time the Linux morons will still be fighting over KDE and Gnome.They still wont have decided on a standard file system layout. The Linux kernel will still be buggy and hacked together .In the meantime MS will have 99.9 percent of the desktop market and Linux will have 0.0001 percent.
Also during this time my FreeBSD servers will have run perfectly:)
and buggy kernel?
last time i checked linux is growing not shrinking.
go away troll.
“Also during this time my FreeBSD servers will have run perfectly:)”
We are talking about the Desktop, not servers.
go back to serverland.
Just make sure cut and paste, drag and drop, open and save, delete are uniform and you have focused well organized, intelligent, luncluttered menus and preferences.
Then as long as your DE are not wildly dissimilar
people will be able to manage just fine.
They don’t have to be the same.
Everything that rises converges.
Above the 75% rise mark,things will be close enough
as they need to be.
I was wondering how long it would take before one of these bsd trolls brought their stench to this forum…..
I have grown quite comfortable with Gnome in RH8 over the last several months, but can surely relate to the usability and consistency problems.
A couple small examples:
The dialog boxes where you have to click yes or no. Some apps have it in “yes” “no” setup, other apps have it in a “no” “yes”.
After you create a link on your desktop (like an app launcher), you can’t modify it. You have to delete and re-create.
This was particularly true after I installed Gentoo with KDE 3.1 and was amazed at how far it was ahead on Gnome in so many ways. Of course it is all personal preference, and there are things about both that I like.
If freedesktop.org will improve some of these problems, then I’m all for it. It can only help.
Both Gnome and Kde are terrible choice for any workstation, because it gives massive headaches to any system admin.
A better solution might to used a middle-weight manager like XFce because its highly configurable and rules can be set.
For example, you can configure the menu and lock the files as read-only this ensures that user will not be able to alter the setting. This is great because certain departments only need certain apps.
Usually, workstation crashes occur because the user steps out of boundary and install some shareware that turns a mouse into winnie the poo or load a 10mpeg background pic (i kid you not, usually their kid’s pic), play music on the background, open 10 word and excel file, internet explorer, msn, and company app. Then cry that their system is too slow.
Gnome is trying to limit the user, but in the process are also limiting what the administrator can do, which is a big no no.
Kde’s base is great but once you add util or admin package, you get too many apps another big no no.
Please let me know if any of the reader have a better windows manager along the lines of XFce with little more punch. Please no KDE, Gnome, WindowMaker, IceWm, Xterm as a choice.
Who here belives that GNOME can seriously keep up with KDE one day?
At the end I belive that GNOME has it’s pros as Desktop but it all depends on their developers. From what I know is that teamwork isn’t written in bold letters in the GNOME community. Everyone likes the idea of a nice integrated Desktop but no one knows howto do it. A bunch of GNOME developers are really capable individuals but that’s what it stays at the end. A big project which can only survive if people work in teams but unfortunately every 2nd GNOME developer is a lone-fighter. Being a lone-fighter causes only problems specially for new people who likes to contribute with their spare capabilities, they quickly get pissed off, specially when they come up with cool ideas that certain lone-fighters don’t like (good example is their release coordinator that forces his visions on everyone) and there is nothing one can do against this.
The same could be said about KDE unfortunately the amount of professionals working on it are higher they outweigh the lone-fighters. I am very impressed how quickly KDE progresses compared to GNOME while it is 5 times bigger as project.
To say the truth, there are many more people unhappy with GNOME than with KDE. Everyone probably said not only one time in his life how much he hates KDE or QT but many of them use it today. Specially prejudices got away with 3.1.
Right now I’m sitting here infront of my GNOME 2.2 desktop and crucify if I did the right decision moving from KDE 3.1 to GNOME. I may swith again, don’t know but KDE is what I liked to have GNOME to be. Sad that this dream bursts into empty bubbles. I doubt that GNOME will ever come close to something as usable as KDE is nowadays.
I think KDE is quite polished and a very nice desktop. However, something about it just rubs me the wrong way. I don’t know if it is the stupid way the windows roll up, leaving the resize bars visible; or if it is that chirpy K-gear icon. I think it looks flat and the icons bug me.
Gnome, on the other hand, is nowhere near as polished, Nautilus crashes more often than it works, and somebody needs to straighten out the order that buttons are going to appear it on various dialogs. 30% of them are currently backwards. However, Gnome looks very nice to me and I prefer using it over KDE. Neither are my favorite environment though.
I think the best environment for a workstation is WindowMaker. It is easy to customize and it is a fast and clean environment. I also enjoy fluxbox to some degree, and I have heard good things about Xfce, but I hate the CDE look, so I don’t use it personally.
As for the FreeBSD post earlier. It could of been a cool post, but whoever posted it did so in complete-wanker format; thus nullifying anything good he/she may have had to say.
FreeBSD is a good system, but it requires a lot of work. Most people who want a UNIX-like system are probably better of with Linux (better user-friendly options and better support).
Complain about the Linux kernel code if you want to, but most of the time it works pretty well (except for dual Athlon MP systems, much to my disappointment).
Personally, I like tinkering around with BSD and Gentoo on a desktop level, but there are times when I just want to install a workstation and have it running in under an hour, not days. Unfortunately, none of the BSDs can give you that.
Anyway, nice article, and thanks for letting me ramble on.
Who here belives that GNOME can seriously keep up with KDE one day?”
Say, Mr. T. Did you put your post through the babelfish? Because if you didn’t, I am really wondering if maybe you are an astroturfer looking to troll a kde vs
gnome war. The reason I say that is because I have seen a lot of mangled english in my time but yours seems slightly manufactured. I could be very wrong.Sincere apologies if so.I am only saying this is a possiblity.
However even taking you at face value,I am not sure what you are going on about.
Yes, KDE is more mature than Gnome, but that is because
they had a head start, and maybe the ease of QT development. However,there is nothing stopping Gnome
from catching up or even surpassing KDE.
Yes it is true that more Desktop users prefer kde to gnome, but gnome has some very big guns behind it.
Redhat,& Sun .
Sun is coming out with a Linux Workstation and it will
emphasize Gnome. Redhat favours gnome. Redhat carries a lot of weight for better or worse.
There is also Ximian, of course, and the FSF while officially neutral favours Gnome as the “home team”.
If I was to be bewildered , it would sort of the reverse to you. I used to wonder why KDE being ahead of Gnome,
many Gnomers felt entitled to being the “annointed Desktop for Linux.But that is all past. Both are here to stay and that seems to have sunk in with even the most ardent supporters on both sides. The effort now is to achieve a cetain minimum level of commanality between the two.
Somehow kde/gnome flamewars seem so passe these days.
Please go away. The flamewar you’re trying to start isn’t happening, KDE vs GNOME has been flamed out over and over again, and really nobody gives a damn anymore. I like GNOME. You like KDE. Stop wasting time making stuff up.
Oh, about button ordering and stuff, that’s because the desktop is still being HIGized (the hig only reached v1.0 recently). It, like most things on the Linux desktop, is a work in progress. KDE isn’t doing these things because it simply follows Windows, rather than looking at HCI research and doing what makes sense usability wise. Maybe you don’t like it, so don’t use it. I do.
Enough trolling. Go away and hack on things, instead of ranting here.
I find it curious that so many complain so much about GNOME. In my experience GNOME2 and now GNOME2.2 is much more stable than KDE 3.0 and now 3.1. KDE has it’s advantages- and I can trully appreciate the modularized approach used in KDE -it is a tinkertoy Wunderland- everything can be connected to everything in many, many different ways. But this incredible functionality comes with a price- not all of these combinations are very stable, some work much better than others, and I simply cannot use KDE without core KDE apps flaking out on me.
As a whole, KDE is in it’s default settings initially after install more stable than GNOME- the releases of the invididual libraries and KDE packages are much better coordinated. GNOME2.x consists of many,many smaller appls and libraries most of which are in heavy development- and there are constantly small, but significant differences in the release versions available for the differen apps and libs which make up GNOME. This leaves GNOME on the whole somewhat less stable, now. But in day to day work I find that although the whole of GNOME is not as stable as KDE it’s parts tend to be more stable.
I have been blown away at the speed with which GNOME2.x has grown. On my machine I have successfully replaced almost all GTK+ apps with GTK2 + fontconfig (GAIM/GIMP/ABIWORD/EVOLUTION/TOTEM/MPLAYER/MOZILLA/PHOENIX). Font handling under GNOME w/ GTK2 apps is the best that the linux world has ever seen. GNOME needs at least one more year before the stuff in heavy development really stabilizes- most of the stuff I am running is pre-beta or CVS. This means that GNOME will have gone from zip to good inside of two years total time, which is not bad at all- I say it started from zip because they abandoned their 1.4 legacy. GNOME already has a much finer aesthetic than KDE.
Certain distro’s use crippled versions of GNOME, like SuSE- this does nothing for GNOME, in fact it leads to a false view of GNOME- when in reality this is a reflection of SuSE. I use Gentoo, so I have pure KDE and pure GNOME. Finally the libs used by GNOME are benefitting many other projects, unlike KDE/QT- rox has made the transition to GTK2, as well as XFCE, and e17 will have several GTK2 based apps.
The are fundamental and superficial differences between GTK2 and QT- how they *look* is a superficial difference, one which can to a large extent be eliminated by themeing a la Bluecurve in Redhat. KDE4 and GNOME3 should work towards dialogues which are identical in form and function-and an abstraction layer should be implemented to enable universal key combo’s for all GTK2 and KDE apps. Xine and Gstreamer should be merged and form THE multimedia framkework for both GNOME and KDE. And DND a la rox should be implemented in such a way that all QT and GTK2 apps and libs can use a common framework- KDE with all of its modules already allows for a level of redirection of various types of i/o and data formats -allowing for tremendous integration of KDE/QT apps.
These benefits need to be extended to the system and rendered availble for GTK2 apps. Ideally we would end up with a DND library of pure objects based on metadata with GTK2 and QT bindings -data types would be abstracted out of QT/GTK2 and reimplemented on a higher level-we could call this new library libmetaobject and all functionality available for QT+libmetaobject would be availble for GTK2+libmetaobject. Candidates for libmetaobjetc would be Xine/Gstreamer/kioslaves/Gimp-plugins and the file format support of Open-office/Kword/Abiword/LaTeX/Lyx. With a sufficient degree of abstraction all object types could be transparently managed and filtered allowing for metadata-based DND system-wide.
Finally we are just now entering a new era in linux applications- previously when some group wanted to write software for linux they had to re-implement so much of the whole system-just look at Mozilla and Openoffice-they had to do their own fonts and rendering-in short they had to account for the entire GUI-now GTK2 and QT provide everything that the writers of Openoffice and Mozilla needed-this means future large software projects do not have to re-implement the whole GUI thing yet again. They can use now either GTK2 or QT and achieve everything they need AND their software is integrated with the DE. This is just the beginning, it will only get better from here.
Now if we could just stop re-inventing the wheel (ie. e17 is bulding all sorts of wonderful things which when it finally gets here will already be supported by the X windows system and availble to all DE’S- Rastermans work should be going directly into the X windows project) ….we need a) a common abstraction platform for all DE’s -ushering forth true system integration-in the form of extensions to existing libraries with language bindings for inter-library exchange b) all flashy GUI stuff- should be going directly into X windows(everything which appears in X window should be an OpenGL canvas which is vector-based with transparent scaling-enabling true WYSIWYG display’s) ….just some thoughts….
For example, you can configure the menu and lock the files as read-only this ensures that user will not be able to alter the setting. This is great because certain departments only need certain apps.
KDE Kiosk framework http://www.linux-mag.com/2002-11/kde_01.html
On my machine I have successfully replaced almost all GTK+ apps with GTK2 + fontconfig (GAIM/GIMP/ABIWORD/EVOLUTION/TOTEM/MPLAYER/MOZILLA/PHOENIX). Font handling under GNOME w/ GTK2 apps is the best that the linux world has ever seen
I only know GIMP, mplayer, mozilla and phoenix, and they are GTK apps and do nu use GNOME technolohy.
So I guess their fonthandling will be as good when running under KDE.
And DND a la rox should be implemented in such a way that all QT and GTK2 apps and libs can use a common framework
If DND means Drag and Drop in this context, this is already accomplished through the XDND specification, which is implemented in both GKT+ and Qt.
The freedesktop.org project might have been founded by Havoc P. but it is surely a very good thing.
If you read some of the KDE developer mailinglist as I do, you will see that the KDE devs are actively involved in the specification process.
Some of the specs have been implemented for years now and just did go unnoticed by the users as they took their functionality for granted.
XDND is available in GTK+ and Qt and I am pretty sure it would have been implemented by Trolltech in their toolkit’s X11 version if it where just a pet idea of Havoc.
I agree with Eugina that freedesktop.org currently gains momentum, in the meaning that it now receives more publicity.
It has already prooven itself as a good way to unify approaches to common problems.
> Font handling under GNOME w/ GTK2 apps is the best that the linux world has ever seen.
That’s a nice myth. Why is GNOME font rendering better than with KDE when it’s done by the same underlying libraries which KDE uses too?
After loading many linux distros on various test machines, I have to say that I never saw a big difference in quality between KDE and Gnome. If anything, the differences only appeared skin deep. That’s the problem with choice in Linux, you get to choose among 30 different terminals, 50 different text editors, but none is really better, or even that different, from any other.
@pnghd and @Mike Hearn
I find it quite unfair of you both to reply in such a way. Do you both have actually something to contribute to this conversation ? Replying with stuff like ‘troll’ or ‘war’ is not really constructive and only shows lack of knowledge or lack or argumentation. I made a simple question which I value to be a valid one.
“Who here thinks that GNOME can keep up with KDE one day ?”
All I did was underlaying this question with some solid feedback. GNOME 2.x is badly designed, the people working on it are in no way able to work as a team, everyone works as individual. To change the Desktop, you need to change the people first. It’s all about the people at the final end.
for me kde wins, simply because kde IS a framework (that’s why the buttons are always in the same position, you have toolbars consistency, etc…) while GNOME is a bunch os application trying to follow all the same guidelines, what i mean is that it shouldn’t be up to the developer che choiche to set the position of the buttons in a messagebox, the developer shouldn’t even be able to set common keyboards shortcut like the one for the “open” or “save” command, for what i know there is nothing in gnome stopping you from writing an application that is “gnome” but completly inconsistent with the desktop. For example take “The Gimp” it is completly inconsistent both with Gnome and KDE, it works, but it’s inconsistent.
Another big problem of GNOME is the GTK+, i admint i haven’t tried the version 2, but i tried to write software for the version 1, and for me it seemed like they were trying to approache the problem in the hardest way, QT is much better and i really love it.
If you try to build a house on the wrong basement the house will never be as stable as one built on the right basement.
A good and easy toolkit gives you the ability to spend your time on functionality, not on strange ways to do simple stuff.
I see you are a technical skilled person – probably developer – your investigations are absolutely correct. What really pisses me off in GNOME is that nearly all programs use the same framework for development but all apps look differently. GNOME lacks also a lot of productivity applications. These can be found on KDE nowadays. They look consistent, work together and are smooth to use. On the GNOME side there is still to much trouble e.g. AbiWord is totally different. It has the GNOME icons, it uses GNOME function calls but that’s all. DIA something I totally depend on for daily work is something that I personally had thrown out of the GNOME cvs repository for ages (it belongs to 5th toe) It doesn’t feel like a GNOME app, it doesn’t even compile to the normal libraries and require own stuff. There is so much missing on GNOME even when someone starts a new project that aims to fill the gap then this program dies some weeks after because the developer is demotivated to continue it. This here shouldn’t end into a permanent GNOME bashing but this is MY personal point of view of things.
Font handling under KDE and GNOME is not the same. The underlying libraries have been different up to this point- albeit this may now change so that both KDE and GNOME may end up using the same system. KDE has offered its own built-in font support for a couple of years now-based on freetype1. Mozilla and Open Office used their own font systems as well. Since GNOME2 came out there has been a new font system- fontconfig. This system is used by GNOME2 and all GTK2 apps including Mozilla/Phoenix w/ gtk-embedded. The fontconfig system is the best font solution which has hitherto existed in under linux. The KDE font system has only applied to programs which use the QT library- and the freetype library used by QT is freetype1 and not freetype2 used by GNOME2/fontconfig. The fontconfig system is now becoming standardized and will soon be the answer to fonts under linux for all GUI applications- excepting of course older X based applications and Open Office which still uses it’s own font rendering system.
The X windows XDND protocol in terms of its implementation under current GNOME and KDE leave much to be desired. What I was refering to goes far beyond cutting-‘n-pasting simple text. Object oriented DND has not been implemented within KDE/GNOME, beyond that which QT natively enables for QT/KDE based applications. Simple DND in terms of primary(select-middle click) and clipboard have been implemented for a while now- rox DND goes way beyond this level of implementation- Applications which support the rox DND system(which goes beyond XDND) would be capable of functioning without file-open and file-close dialogs- with all pertinent file information(type, format etc) stored in metadata which is recognized by the application and the rox system.
I wasn’t saying that the fontsystems are equal, I just said that i cannot see any reason why one of the apps you listed whould have different fonst running under KDE.
My current knowledge says that at least some of them are plain GTK apps (not using GNOME libs), so there should be no difference for them.
As for XDND.
XDND enables two implementing applications to transfer any data, not only text.
It depends only on what the two applications agree upon when handshaking.
How about some informations regarding the rumours that KDE is going to adapt more components from GNOME such as GConf for storing settings or GStreamer for a multimedia framework ? Isn’t KDE already inherting many GNOME libraries these days ? At the end I as user need to ask myself if it’s not better to switch over to GNOME completely since KDE inherits all the GNOME libraries and components. Now the cooperating with HCI standards and HIG it looks to me that the team of KDE is becoming more and more the minions of the GNOME developers.
No, there’s no difference between GTK2/GNOME2 apps they all use the same engine provided by pango which is a requirement for GKT2 to be present. Some GTK2/GNOME2 apps are still remaining using their own way of fontrendering that’s because the developers are quite stupid but that’s another reason.
I hope that the future will see much more joint effort by GNOME and KDE developers. End-users can only benefit from this type of development. The more common libraries and subsystems between KDE and GNOME the more easy it becomes to mix and match GNOME/KDE applications- and the better they will communicate with each other. Neither GNOME or KDE is the answer alone- they need and compliment one another. A linux-wide GUI HIG is needed- freedesktop.org is a major step in this direction- and the latest anouncement between KDE and GNOME as to building a unified XML HIG document, helps in this transition.
They have just joined the two HIG documents into one file.
Both projects still have their own guidelines.
But it might help to find things both have in common.
AFAIK neither GConf nor GStreamer are going to be shared.
I am quite sure about GConf and for Gstreamer there is only discussion on the kde-multimedia list.
So far the to projects don’t share much in libraries.
libxml2 is used by both IIRC.
As for Pango:
This validates my point that those applications would have the same font rendering in KDE as the engine is part of GTK and not GNOME.