Home > KDE > Interview with George Staikos Regarding the future of KDE Interview with George Staikos Regarding the future of KDE Eugenia Loli 2003-05-04 KDE 45 Comments LinMagau.org features an interesting interview with George Staikos, of KDE fame. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 45 Comments 2003-05-04 6:39 am JK:::Okay, for those that don’t know (including me), given KDE’s reliance on Qt, if Trolltech die out, what happens with Qt and KDE? If Trolltech is ever acquired or goes out of business, the latest Qt release immediately falls under a BSD (or similar) licence. KDE will certainly continue on even if Qt does not. It is likely that KDE would adopt Qt at that point and maintain it in our CVS. I don’t see that happening any time soon, however. See http://www.kde.org/whatiskde/kdefreeqtfoundation.php I am not trying to start a license war, but it seems that QT is GPL, not BSD-licensed. Is there any additional clause somewhere deep in their legalese documents that can trigger such a release? 2003-05-04 6:46 am Dude… Did you even read the link you quoted there. 2003-05-04 6:56 am Sorry for proving the limitlessness of human stupidity. Anyway, I have an excuse – the original link was not clickable 2003-05-04 7:01 am So you rather proved the limitlessness of human laziness. 2003-05-04 7:03 am I’m starting to get the impression that KDE and GNOME are best suited for different things- similar tools for somewhat different purposes. I kinda like that- less competition for the sake of blowing up the other guy, more means to various ends. 2003-05-04 7:25 am I agree. KDE is much, much better in terms of bells and whistles. GNOME (in my experience at least) is much more memory-efficient (might have to do with not having to run KDEINIT). Also, KDE apps look a bit quirky in anything but KDE, while GTK is a lot more bland/win32 like. I like them both. Back on topic, though, I really like how this guy networks. His visits with ATI and Havoc Pennington are very good for *n?x. 2003-05-04 8:19 am In terms of usability and looks, but it is not as stable in my experience =( LAtely, on RH 9 GNOME seems to freeze after albout half a minute of tenering the DE, it seems to be a problem with Nautilus, because if I launch Nautilus in KDE it produces the same effect. Anyway, i wish KDE were as intuitive and fast as GNOME. For example check out the Find tool in GNOME and KDE. 2003-05-04 10:46 am just because it works best. i use it under debian unstable and its just for me more consistent than gnome is. gnome also has some strange slowness problems with nvidia drivers since a year now i think, and nobody came to the idea to circumvent this bug as long as its not fixxed on the nvidia side. ps. we could go on like this for 100eds of posts 2003-05-04 11:07 am The nvidia bug was due to large pixmaps and have been fixed the two latest nvidia driver releases. XAA have been replaced with nvidias own implementation so 4xxx is still slower then 3xxx drivers. Even though I prefer Gnome, I respect KDE and I always have that door open and I tend to try it every new big release, but I always tend to fallback on me old gnomie, I love having the option to switch though if havoc & co goes completely insane and colors everything purple and switch to basic or something. 2003-05-04 12:00 pm >> though if havoc & co goes completely insane and colors everything purple and switch to basic or something 😀 2003-05-04 12:10 pm “JK:::(Standard question #48): Do you think that KDE or Linux in general has a future for the average home user desktop? Yes, but I think it’s a long way away. My personal view is that OS X is the best desktop available. ” George Staikos All this KDE vs. Gnome debate is a waste of time. Use WinXp or OSX until Linux has caught up. I’m not pulling your leg too much, am I?! 2003-05-04 12:23 pm because there is a genuine mission by the KDE community, including KOffice, to ensure that all the components work nicely together. On the other hand we have GNOME which always seems to have a feeling of disjointment. Just compare Abiword to kWord as one example. kWord is smooth and clean when embedding a spread sheet into a document. I’m sorry but GNOME can scream about GPL and so-called “standards” till the cows come home, however, until they realise they the average user doesn’t give a shit about that sort of stuff, they’ll never move beyond the pittiful 15% or so that they have. KDE listens to what users wants. Users want features, nifty gadgets, themes, icons, API’s that aren’t half finished as with the case of ATK which is in a constant state of flux. 2003-05-04 12:32 pm Users want simplicity. GNOME gives them that simplicity, KDE does not. 2003-05-04 12:43 pm Riight, which is why AIM, Yahoo, VMWare, and 9/10ths of all of the other commercial linux applications are GTK. How many COMMERCIAL applications use QT, 2? LOL KDE has it’s place, as does GNOME, OS/X, and Windows. 2003-05-04 1:36 pm Is it just me or is that almost exactly like KeyChains in OS X ? Also I thought linux already something like that… maybe I was wrong. 2003-05-04 2:44 pm BlackAdder, Data Architect, DocBrowser, Kapitol, KDE Studio Gold, Kivio mp, Kobold, PyQtDoc, Quanta Gold, Rekall, tkPhone, Qtopia (to name just a few) are all commercial Qt programs for Linux. 2003-05-04 3:16 pm Why only list theKompany products? Why not mention Opera, Hancom Office or Kylix? 2003-05-04 3:25 pm The discussion of Star Office suite as the premier office suite for linux should hve included at a least a mention for KOffice which, despite its lack of a math program and a highly developed drawing tool, is also very good. Kword loads quickly is feature-rich and contains a wealth of publishing options. The only thing they don’t have (and Star doesn’t have either) is a way to view tetex code while one is still writing a file. This is solved by saving as .lyx converting through a2dvi and then viewing the product in emacs or kwrite. 2003-05-04 3:54 pm Also Qt is used not only for software which you can buy in a store but also for in-house projects. 90% of all software is of that kind and not publicly available. Trolltech is 9 years old and seems to be quite healthy. Thus I suppose they have selled quite a number of Qt licences. But what kind of argument is that anyway? Another one used GTK+ for his applications, thus Qt is bad and pityful? I don’t know how you choose the best tool for a given job, but it seems a very simple process. For me it’s usually more complicated. 2003-05-04 4:01 pm User’s don’t want simplicity.. they want features. This is what KDE gives them. This is also, how, Microsoft conquerered the world. They stocked their apps full of features. 2003-05-04 5:39 pm >> This is also, how, Microsoft conquerered the world. This quote shows how ignorant some people can be. 2003-05-04 6:08 pm Can you tell more about it (or have some links)? 2003-05-04 6:29 pm “People in General” aka “Most Users” want BOTH features and simplicity of use. People want to be empowered to do super-duper cool stuff without having to Now this is an incredibly difficult thing to do, but ultimately is is what you have to do to succeed when it comes with software. Just going in one direction over another either results in software pumped full of incredible features and capabilities, but takes years to learn, or in software that is so simple to use that its capabilities are extremely limited. Granted, going in one direction or the other is “easy”, but it isn’t a formula for success. 2003-05-04 7:07 pm KDE and GNOME are actually interesting examples of good software going two different ways. KDE is packed to the brim with configurability, yet it’s quite difficult for most people to harness because of bad layout. GNOME is not so configurable, but what it does have is much more intuitive and simple to figure out. The interview is quite good. George comes off as a pretty nice guy, and he refrains from taking shots at the competition. He’s even honest about KDE’s limitations, which is somewhat refreshing. -Erwos 2003-05-04 7:42 pm I like gnome it is fast, simple. But 2 things i dont like 1) Nautilus file system – doesnt have a drop down combo box in address bar 2) open, save dialog box is confusing for newbies and requires little training. Why cant they make like Mac OS X Finder. 2003-05-04 7:46 pm “People in General” aka “Most Users” want BOTH features and simplicity of use. Word. KDE is certainly technically advanced in many areas (as a desktop), while GNOME is ahead in usability in many places. Both are trying to fix up what they are lacking. I’m courious though if KDE really finds a way to get sane interfaces without sacrificing theyr wealth of options. It doesn’t look like it yet… Another thing is the tight integration of KDE by using KDElibs for everything and making almost everything a part of the desktop. This is a good thing on one hand because you get a mega-integrated desktop if you have only very basic needs (email, browser, text editor, music, …) but as soon as you start using more powerful third party applications, this is rather counter-productive and not really helpful. Even Qt apps like Opera feel somewhat “alienated”. I personally prefer a lean and clean desktop and a solid developer plattform together with more free standards to enhance interoperability between applications and plattforms. 2003-05-04 8:09 pm Any example for these mysterious free standards only Gnome uses? 2003-05-04 8:52 pm “Can you tell more about it (or have some links)?” As for links… I looked on apple’s website and in their knowledge base… unfortunately they don’t have a good summary article on what keychains are, they just kind of assume you know it and go from there. I can tell you about it since I use it everyday technically. Basically, all your applications have access to your keychain, which can have the same password or a different passward than your login on the machine. If its the same then your keychain is unlocked when you login. Allowing the programs to run to access it if you give them permission. Basically every program saves its password into your keychain. You try to access a WEP enabled Wireless LAN – you can save the key in your keychain. You check your email using mail.app you can save your login/pass in keychain. Your using your browser and you want to save a login/pass to a site – it can save it in your keychain. Additionally, If I have something saved in my keychain I can have other programs access it. For instance let say I don’t like mail.app today – Entorage will go and ask if it can have access to my keychain to use mail.app’s entry for my login/pass. Additionally, I can type secure notes that will be stored in side my keychain. Like serial numbers for shareware programs I have bought. My keychain is encrypted in 128bit (I think AES) and can only be unecrypted with my keychain password. If I want I can allow a program access to a certain keychain entry (Like mail.app to my mail login/pass), that way I don’t have to keep allowing its access everytime I wants my password. 2003-05-04 9:19 pm What I would really like to know is in what way is Gnome more usable, my experience differs. I think that the whole “Gnome is more usable” is a myth, a slogan that everyone keeps on mouthing off. 2003-05-04 9:39 pm Any example for these mysterious free standards only Gnome uses? No, I didn’t meant to imply that KDE doesn’t follow those standards and I’m pretty happy that they do! The major part that’s missing is a freedesktop HIG though. 2003-05-04 11:27 pm Spark, you are clearly misinformed. KDE has long had usability standards. Its applications are far more consistent and better integrated than GNOME’s. Integration and consistency are KDE’s strong suit, while speed and simplicity are GNOME’s focus. (Though I don’t know why they won’t fix the slight delay every time you open a panel menu for the first time, precaching, anyone?) 2003-05-05 12:11 am I think that the whole “Gnome is more usable” is a myth, I agree. My experience is that KDE makes more and is more intuitive than Gnome, for me. Gnome is not that usable. My main difficulty with Gnome is the Control Panel, it changes on each new version (or at least from distribution to distribution) while KDE Control Panel is a *very* intuitive and clean GUI config tool. On applications the same goes for me. Text editors (excluding GVim) are much better on KDE apps. The QT and KDevelop are much better *and intuitive* than Gnome counterparts. HTML editors and generators are much better on KDE also (Quanta is a fine and simple html editor … and usable) with no real competition on Gnome apps, etc. The problem with KDE/QT is speed and RAM but today CPU and RAM prices allow 80% if Linux users to get by. About simplicity, I really dislike OS X gui, it’s the most eye polluted graphical interface on computer history. That is to say GUI are a very personal choice, therefore every GUI is good ! /even TWM is good, not infamous at all/ depends on the aesthetical sense of the person using it. 2003-05-05 12:52 am – I still think the software installation thing is a bit vague of a point. In Gentoo, KDE (and GNOME) users have several nice package management systems that wrap the power of Portage into an easy GUI. It’s the logical evolution of the Windows “Add/Remove” panel, except that the “Add” part is just as powerful as the “Remove” part, in that you can add any app too your system, or remove any app from your system. I don’t know if there is a KDE interface to Debian’s packaging system, though if there is, it would be functionally equivilent (without the compile times) in portage. Software installation/removal really can’t get much easier than just double clicking on a program and having it show up in your menu. The real trick isn’t fundentally changing the mechanism, but making sure all packages work well and widening the selection of packages available. – Speed is a weird thing. I find KDE to be faster (in terms of redraw) than WinXP with Luna. WinXP with the Win2K theme, on the other hand, is slightly faster than KDE. The real killer is application startup time. Prelinking would solve this for a lot of people, but unfortunately, NVIDIA’s drivers aren’t compatible with prelinking. The speed situation can only get better. KDE and GNOME have both gotten *faster* since each one’s 2.0 release. This is practically unheard of, and has only been done by BeOS in recent memory. 2003-05-05 2:01 am the software installation thing is a bit vague of a point. In Gentoo, KDE (and GNOME) users have several nice package management systems that wrap the power of Portage into an easy GUI. It’s the logical evolution of the Windows “Add/Remove” panel, except that the “Add” part is just as powerful as the “Remove” part, in that you can add any app too your system, or remove any app from your system. Dream on. I have given up on installating software on Linux that did not come with the distro CDs. Only if I am really interested. Once and for all. I can compile from source if I want to but I don’t bother anymore. Never mind about rpm’s that even worst. Can Gentoo install source tar.gz/tgz from CDs ? (Don’t know) Thought, this is off topic but there will never be such thing as the WindowsOS “Add/Remove” since that is a too clever approach for Linux. Many users ask for it but … 2003-05-05 2:38 am Not a KDE HIG is missing but a common freedesktop HIG which cross plattform applications could support to appear somewhat consistent in _both_ desktops. 2003-05-05 4:53 am 1) KDE’s speed is partially due to the poor C++ compiling from the past, however, this has been greatly improved in the 3.x series. Having run KDE compiled with GCC 3.2.3, one will see the difference. 2) When or if commercial developers come to *NIX/*BSD, they will be on the C++ bandwagon, not C. Contra to popular ranting, the group of developers most likely to move ot Linux are Windows developers who use Win32 API. Talk to any developer who has moved from win32 to *NIX/*BSD and they’ll tell you that qt is a walk in the park. 3) Add/remove is the biggest POS Microsoft ever introduced next to the ability to lock files so that no bugger can update it without fully shutting down the operating system. If *NIX/*BSD want something, they should either use debians or BeOS’s package management, which actually keep track of what the installer does to the operating systme rather than the half-assed uninstallers most Windows applications have. Heck, there is a WHOLE INDUSTRY dedicated in the Windows market just to fixing up shonking companies installers/uninstallers. 4) In terms of HIG, IMHO, the FSF should just give up and adopt an already established one. Personally the Apple HIG should be the one as it strictly lays out how every bit of the application should be developed. 2003-05-05 4:56 am Dream on. I have given up on installating software on Linux that did not come with the distro CDs. Only if I am really interested. Once and for all. I can compile from source if I want to but I don’t bother anymore. Never mind about rpm’s that even worst. Can Gentoo install source tar.gz/tgz from CDs ? (Don’t know) Thought, this is off topic but there will never be such thing as the WindowsOS “Add/Remove” since that is a too clever approach for Linux. Many users ask for it but … obviously you have not used debian or gentoo. why dont you download one of the modern distros with apt-get for rpms even. debian had the answer to package management problems years ago and recently gentoo came out with the solution for compiling into the system. and before them bsd had ports or whatever. in windows you have to download your app then install and if its shit uninstall, then clear any erroneous registry files the package may have left. in debian u load up dselect update the package list (about 10, 000 i have listed right now) select your package then install it, it downloads then installs for you downloads everything else it needs for you and then installs. if u want to remove the package start up dselect and ask for it to remove the package which it does there and then alternately open up a shell and use apt-get install kdebase for example and it downloads all programs related to kdebase that it needs and installs. or if u like a fancy gui then u can use either, synaptic which is like dselect but done with gtk and looks nice and update the packages or use kpackage. 2003-05-05 5:22 am is becasue GTK is LGPL so they canuse it with out paying for it. QT is dual licence and being a company are forced to pay for the widget…unless they want to GPL the program. so don’t go holding that over your head like it is a good thing that GTK gets more comercial vendors. it is purly finacial. 2003-05-05 6:19 am Companies don’t only pay for “the widget” but for commercial support too. Where can you get commercial support for GTK? 2003-05-05 6:25 am > I think that the whole “Gnome is more usable” is a myth It’s silly like their “Just works”. As though Gnome has no bugs or competitors don’t work. Or proclaiming themself as “best desktop environment” on their own homepage. Don’t talk about big heads… 2003-05-05 10:13 am http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q… 2003-05-05 12:47 pm > This is also, how, Microsoft conquerered the world. They stocked their apps full of features. Features? Explorer is one of the earth’s least customizable desktops. Need I remind you of where this exists? Try adding system-load tools, disk mounters, drawers, floating windows or any of these to the windows menu system. I could go on for hours….. but it would put you to sleep. 2003-05-05 8:13 pm You forgot the quotes. 😉 http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22b… 2003-05-06 2:17 am KDE is the best! LOL @ http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q… 2003-05-06 5:31 pm I am sure you are not saying that KDE somehow promotes itself as the best DE. It seems that they match highest on Desktop Environment, probably because their site is linked to from more sites than other DE homepages.