Home > Editorial > How to Kill Open Source on the Desktop How to Kill Open Source on the Desktop Submitted by Lumbergh 2004-12-21 Editorial 88 Comments A KDE developer opines that the move to port the top open source applications to Windows will undermine the potential for a widely-used open source desktop operating system. About The Author David Adams Follow me on Twitter @david_adams 88 Comments 2004-12-21 5:56 pm Is the purpose of open source applications to convert everyone to an open source OS or is it to make people’s lives better? 2004-12-21 6:02 pm Shouldn’t the title be “How to Kill Linux on the Desktop” ? 2004-12-21 6:02 pm He has an interesting point. Though this article should be called “How to kill Linux on the Desktop”. The problem is that Windows is the incumbent OS. If people want to encourage others to migrate to Linux, there must be a way to ease such a transition, and Open Source apps ported to Windows can help make that transition (in term of data, training, integration, etc). This is a point the author forgets to mention But of course, as the author says, by porting Open Source applications to Windows, people encourage Windows users to stay with Windows. But as we are talking about open source, someone, someday, will port the open source of an application to Windows. So… why fight something that will happen anyway? I think Windows is fundamentally a poor platform and porting quality application on that platform will act as a bridge to the Open Source OS (Linux). The other alternatve is Wine (which supports too few applications) or an emulator such as Win4Lin. But starting from Windows and progressively pulling toward Linux is probably the best way to transition. 2004-12-21 6:03 pm The arguement goes that the open source OS will make the lives of the users even better in the long term. There is no need to kill linux, until the command lines is king and people have to mess around with config files windows will remain dominant in the desktop market. 2004-12-21 6:05 pm The ability to switch easily from one environment to another is something that we need in this age. To lock people into a free software environment is just as bad as what MS has been doing. His logic is flawed. The example he uses with FF is nice until one realizes that the people who don’t care about Linux or free software after using FF on windows were never a potential “market” in the first place. That is to say, they are fixed on Windows, you can’t change their ignorance/preference no matter what nice apps you have on Linux. The transition from windows to linux will be slow for many people, if they transition at all. For those that are potential “converts” we should make the transition as painless as possible. 2004-12-21 6:05 pm People uses computers to solve problems. One of the reasons why people don’t switch to linux is because the programs they use to solve those problems run in Windows – and they dont want to change the programs, period. If people starts using open source programs in windows, they won’t care if you put linux in their boxes because the programs will continue working. Getting people used to use open source programs gives people a choice – “I can run this program in linux, I’m going to switch.” They’d have a choice. Right now there’s no choice. “I run 3dcad / photoshop / games / access / VB / MS visual studio. I can’t switch to linux even if I’d want because my programs don’t work in linux”. Open source in windows only can help. 2004-12-21 6:11 pm I don’t entirely follow the logic of these recent allegations. If the same applications are available on windows as they are on, say, linux, won’t this be just more of a reason to switch to these open source operating systems? By many, especialy those who are fed up with Windows, open source operating systems are considered more stable, and considerably cheaper. It could be argued that the only reason of sticking with Windows would be a dependancy on certain applications. If Open Office was the dominant office suite, then one who depends only on an office suite would have no reason to remain with Windows as their operating system of choice. 2004-12-21 6:20 pm instead of porting OpenSource to windows and keeping it current, just port a release or two for windows, and include a note in the README file letting the Windoze user know that further development for this application will only continue for the Linux builds, and that eventually the Windoze build will fall in to obsolescence, hopefully promting the Windoze user to give Linux a chance on their desktop if they want to run newer/Current versions of said software… basicly giving the Windoze user a taste of whats available for Linux and if they want the real deal they will only find it in Linux :^) 2004-12-21 6:22 pm But as we are talking about open source, someone, someday, will port the open source of an application to Windows. So… why fight something that will happen anyway? One could encourage people to not do so, as argued here: http://www.fefe.de/nowindows/ that doesn’t mean its not possible since it it legal because of the license. But, code could not be allowed in the main tree besides that as well. The same, that it’ll slow adoption, has been said about WINE and Cedega. However in that case it was native versus non-native. In the end its a two-sided blade, and they might as well help the effort, because a certain application works in WINE whereas there’s no native solution and there’s no incent to ‘get’ that. If that means the difference between Linux and Windows its a 1-0 for both WINE and Linux. The joke is, there’s absolutely no statistics. Ever heard of a LiteStepper saying he did or didn’t switch from Windows to Linux and AfterStep? Even if you did, it doesn’t say anything yet. Oh, and the current KDE on Cygwin is definetely too slow and incomplete. At best its a sort of demo with the sidenote that the native *NIX verion is much faster on the exact same hardware. 2004-12-21 6:24 pm There is no need to kill linux, until the command lines is king and people have to mess around with config files windows will remain dominant in the desktop market. ———— people should really wake up in the last few years 2004-12-21 6:24 pm Its sad to see all my favorite GNU apps being ported over to Windows. But I believe that we’ll build the best OS I could ever ask for.. I can imagine it now.. an operating system that was preconfigured with the defaults I prefer upon installation. Installs over the ‘net or from a CD or flash drive and upgrades automaticly based on a simple configurable profile. Has all my favorite apps or knows how to get them when I click on their icon. And clusters up my systems to offer me a fault tolerant redundant network of cheap storage and CPU resources. Its gotta have audio/video editing software, analog modelling synths and all the usual office apps. Plenty of skins and icons for customizability, and all the defaults set just how I like them. No more stupid popup messages asking me dumb questions I’ve answered a thousand times before. All that and it will be absolutely free. Can anyone imagine a future where GNU doesn’t conquer the software industry? I mean, look at it. Its free. Its improving very fast. And its free. How can any corporation compete with that? You have to sell propoganda and lies, or give away your product, to compete. And that costs money. Eventually the company will go out of business if it doesn’t get revenue through some other services. But GNU software will never die any form of economic death. Its limited only by the collective interest and intellect of the world. 2004-12-21 6:30 pm And didn’t make the iPod and iTunes available on Windows. The iPod would still be cool but not nearly as dominant as it is now. And there would be NO halo effect. Opensource apps are not going to draw people to Linux by themselves. If a must have open-source app is only available on Linux then I believe that commercial software vendors would duplicate the application before people started to consider a migration to Linux. 2004-12-21 6:43 pm I see you’ve never tried to get some not-too-common peice of software/driver working. People will never agree to recompiling the kernel just to get their ADSL modem working. 2004-12-21 6:44 pm Very true… and I remember reading an article that suggested an increase in corresponding Apple PC sales to users who bought iPods. (Kind of like a commitment psychology, if you will.) I sympathize w/ the author’s points… I share them to a level… but, as many others here have said… multi-platform apps enable one to more easily pivot between Windows and the free Unices…. If I get used to Firefox on windows…. and someone asks me to try out Linux as a desktop…. I will feel more comfortable in the transition because of a familiar face. But there is a critical period in this equation…. The Desktop Linux initiative really needs to make some MAJOR headway in the next 2 years or less… polishing, modernizing, integration, and a little catch-up on the anonymous weaknesses… If the critical period is not met, the author’s fears may very well come true. 2004-12-21 6:50 pm It’s all about market working. When Microsoft highers their prices and hunts down all illegal uses of their software, I give OSS desktops a good chance to prevail. 2004-12-21 6:50 pm By many, especialy those who are fed up with Windows, open source operating systems are considered more stable, and considerably cheaper. Except XP is stable and most people have windows already installed on their computer at the time of purchase and just consider it part of the system as they would the harddrive. 2004-12-21 6:57 pm But since I don’t hate windows and I’m not an advocate one way or the other regarding the desktop, I’m glad nobody is taking his advice. It doesn’t take a rocket science to figure out that FOSS extremists hate the fact that cygwin, firefox, and other apps exist on windows, because they don’t consider it really open until the whole system software stack is open. And I probably would use linux on the desktop more often if I didn’t have cygwin, firefox, and even real linux on windows (colinux) available. 2004-12-21 7:23 pm Open source applications being ported to Windows is a good thing for several reasons: 1.) They break Microsoft’s dominiaton in the web and application space, providing users who cannot move to Linux presently (and note that I use presently) with choice! 2.) Encourages the use of open standards for users of all platforms, standards like XML, HTML, PNG, etc. etc. 3.) Allows new people to “dip their toes” in the open source waters, and see just how great open source software is becoming. Now… here is the real kicker. Once a user finds that they are using mostly open source applications… applications that are CROSS platform… when it is time to upgrade their OS, they MAY just be in a position to consider moving to an alternative. It might even be an open source OS, or heck, even a Mac. The point is that the use of CROSS-PLATFORM open source applications is always a good thing, because it empowers users with choice. This can only help Linux in the long run. Having everyone using IE and MS Office is what will kill Linux on the desktop. Remember folks, the more of the software stack that MS controls, the worse off everybody is. 2004-12-21 7:28 pm I see you’ve never tried to get some not-too-common peice of software/driver working. People will never agree to recompiling the kernel just to get their ADSL modem working. —– I see that you are a person who gets an operating system without checking whats compatible with it. my friend’s Windows XP wouldnt recognise the same printer that worked fine in windows 98. trying to get that to work is basically impossible. who is to blame here?. Is Linux at fault for not working with all the hardware like any other operating system or should we blame the hardware people for keeping their interfaces secret and proprietary? should we blame MS for not supporting powerpc’s or sparc or should we blame Intel for not even allowing free redistribution of their firmware? 2004-12-21 7:32 pm Unless MS decides to go the way Apple has taken with MacOsX nothing will significantly change on the desktop.Why should MS do so one could ask retorically or not.Most users aren’t concerned about spyware because they don’t know about its existance.Neither do they enter the sites such as osnews etc.MacOsX is a great OS but nobody cares.New PC’s are still being sold on a large scale with XP preinstalled.Unless that doesn’t change the desktop world will not likely transform in the nearby future. 2004-12-21 7:33 pm First of all, it’ll be a cold day in ehll before there are equal or better open source apps for all of the apps I’m currently using. (It took the Mozilla foundation about 3 years to pull off that trick, and that was only because their competition [IE] didn’t even bother to compete.) But just assuming that were to happen, if you ported them all to Windows, I would simply use them in Windows. Why? Well, there are several reasons, which I won’t bother to go into here for the sake of time. However, probably my number one reason is because I have spent 11 years making Windows my bitch, and am pretty convinced that I can make it run faster and more stable than any modern desktop Linux distro running KDE/Gnome. (Ok, maybe some hardcore Linux tweakers could outdo me, but you’d be hard pressed .. trust me on this one.) I suppose that a person using open source apps in Windows would be fine for most Linux users, except for the zealots who have this Borg mentality that ‘converting’ to Linux is the only true path to God. 2004-12-21 7:42 pm Except XP is stable —- hmm. thats just a opinion “First of all, it’ll be a cold day in ehll before there are equal or better open source apps for all of the apps I’m currently using. (It took the Mozilla foundation about 3 years to pull off that trick, and that was only because their competition [IE] didn’t even bother to compete.) ” so MS not bothering to develop IE is to their credit better than Mozilla foundation developing and releasing Firefox on multiple platforms for free and with source code licensed under MPL? “However, probably my number one reason is because I have spent 11 years making Windows my bitch, and am pretty convinced that I can make it run faster and more stable than any modern desktop Linux distro running KDE/Gnome. (Ok, maybe some hardcore Linux tweakers could outdo me, but you’d be hard pressed .. trust me on this one.) ” 11 years?. waste or productivity. I can assure that Linux guys can outbeat windows systems in various scenarios and probably vice versa too. it all boils down to inherent capabilities rather than tweaks no amount of tweaking will make 2.4 kernel as fast as 2.6 kernel for example “suppose that a person using open source apps in Windows would be fine for most Linux users, except for the zealots who have this Borg mentality that ‘converting’ to Linux is the only true path to God. ” true. however Aaron siego talks about strategical advantages towards enhancing a platform rather preventing stuff from being ported. perhaps you should give it a good read 2004-12-21 7:46 pm But just assuming that were to happen, if you ported them all to Windows, I would simply use them in Windows. Why? Well I have 2 powerfull ones to not run them on Windows, security and price. And if have them running on a securer and cheaper one then I’ll stick to that option. And that’s your option. now take that to bigger market lile enterprices and countries. Now, if I release that I have The same applications in a more secure and cheap enviroment than i’ll be able to say “The hell with this buggy Windows OS, I’ll use Linux”, but I can’t 2004-12-21 7:50 pm I know many windows users in the CS program at my university who need to use the *nix functionality and espically enjoy the friendliness of Linux (compared to Solaris 9 workstations) but don’t have enough inertia to switch. They usually site lack of games, or that they are just to rooted in their windows desktop world. I can see the argument that just giving them ports would not give them a reason to switch completely. On the other hand if they use more and more ports their current OS would be slowly replaced and a switch to Linux/GNU desktop would be a cake walk. Also its kind of sad watching these users struggle with cygwin or getting gvim properly configured in Windows. 2004-12-21 8:07 pm Anonymous Except XP is stable —- hmm. thats just a opinion Not really an opinion, but more or less determined by the user. In the hands of a competent user and good hardware/drivers, it’s nearly bulletproof. so MS not bothering to develop IE is to their credit better than Mozilla foundation developing and releasing Firefox on multiple platforms for free and with source code licensed under MPL? What I’m saying is that if MS had even bothered to compete for the past 5 years instead of resting on their laurels, it is doubtful that anyone using Windows would’ve ever heard of Firefox. Worst case senario, IE would at least be on par with Opera. Well I have 2 powerfull ones to not run them on Windows, security and price. And if have them running on a securer and cheaper one then I’ll stick to that option. Security is no problem here, and to anyone else who bothers to learn my 7 Step Security Guide To Windows(TM) – do I really need to post it? As for price, assuming you’ve got the same open source apps running Windows and Linux (as has been suggested in this thread), how big of a factor is price? Usually, you get Windows as part of a new machine or upgrade over an existing one, so that’s $100 ($300 being the worst-case senario for the full version of WinXP Pro). That’ll usually last you about 4-5 years. So, is $100-$300 every 4-5 years really a huge investment? Generally, one would pay at least $50 for a user-friendly Linux distro that wasn’t a pain to set up, and you’ll probably only get a couple of years out of that. (For example, how many Xandros users on the board are still using v1? By comparson, how many Windows users are still using Win98SE?) On the other hand if they use more and more ports their current OS would be slowly replaced and a switch to Linux/GNU desktop would be a cake walk. That may work, but on the other hand, your chances for conversion are much higher if make some absolutely killer desktop apps and make them Linux/Unix-only. I promise you that if you build some apps that once used, people realize they can’t live without, they will at the very least set up a dual-boot system. Even with Linux at its current state, if you build some Naps 2004-12-21 8:09 pm I meant to finish up with: Even with Linux at its current state, if you build some Napster-like monstrocity of an app, people will come running in droves. 2004-12-21 8:15 pm Not really an opinion, but more or less determined by the user. In the hands of a competent user and good hardware/drivers, it’s nearly bulletproof. —- If you mean by “competent”, people with sound computer technical skills then IE can be made reasonably secure too. “What I’m saying is that if MS had even bothered to compete for the past 5 years instead of resting on their laurels, it is doubtful that anyone using Windows would’ve ever heard of Firefox. Worst case senario, IE would at least be on par with Opera. ” I assure there will be features in Opera that will never be in IE no matter how many years IE is going to be developed by MS. There is a difference in business models. Opera needs to boast of having all kind of fancy features over that of competition to stay commerically successful. Firefox is probably one of the best open source apps released if not the best regardless of IE. More apps like this will topple the market against MS. thats for sure 2004-12-21 8:18 pm I couldn’t disagree more with what that guy says, and there are several reasons why I believe he’s wrong. 1) It’s basically geekery. 2) Nobody really cares about applications he doesn’t use. Example: It’s not: “Oh there is this great Application on Linux, I definitly switch instantly” Instead: “So these strange Applications are common on Linux, well propably I’ll stick to what I know better.” 3) Nobody uses Windows because it’s so great that you’ll stay with it even if all your Applications are available on Linux too. Some might, but these might stay anyway. (See 5) 4) Free Software is not about taking over the world, at least in my opinien, it’s basically about beeing FREE, that’s all, simple isn’t it? And in my Opinion that includes running Free Software on every possible device and Operating System, it provides more choices, which is good. Limiting the user is bad, always, period. 5) To all Linux obsessed geeks, panicing that the “windows-guys” will “steal” their precious Applications. Have you recently used Windows XP? It’s a big pain in the Ass. Users would switch like the lemmings if they were used to the applications available there (exaggerated of course). Why is it a pain? -Unfixable if it’s broken -You have to hunt down obscure sequences of numbers on geeky websites to fill in registration forms all over the place. -Random Rebooting might fix or break random stuff -Constant fear of applying updates, because they might break something. -No ISOs on microsoft.com -Third party drivers needed for almost every piece of hardware. -Big fear because plugging into the Internet might impose evil diseases and viruses on the machine -etc. Some reasons might be geeky, most are exaggerated, but I think in overall they are more or less valid 2004-12-21 8:25 pm One of the major complaints coming from the linux camp was that Microsoft tried to “lock-in” customers with various tactics, one of which were lack of application portability. Now that FireFox has been ported to windows, you get hypocrites like that Aaron Seigo clamoring for some “vendor-lock in” tactics. Whatever happen to Freedom and all that? Oh yeah, only when “freedom” helps advance Linux is it acceptable. 2004-12-21 8:30 pm Who the hell wants open source to be dominant on the desktop? I’ll be dammed if I ever teach my mother how to log in as root in order to do something. Multiuser has been around way longer than the windows system architecture has, why do you think they didn’t make windows multiuser in the first place? They were thinking more along the lines of letting the customers have the simplest, most powerful approach to using the pc – that approach worked. Business desktops and servers, of course will benefit from file permissions of this sort, but you can’t think for one minute that the consumer desktop is ever going to want security and permissions as they are currently in the open source os do you? Besides that I have yet to see KDE or Gnome hold a candle to the XP environment….and I don’t even LIKE the XP environment! Lastly, no one wants to see 15000 pieces of a killer app in the open source world. We just need more suites. Integration is perception. With the exception of a few things, components of most open source applications don’t “feel” integrated. 2004-12-21 8:34 pm If you mean by “competent”, people with sound computer technical skills then IE can be made reasonably secure too. Well, yeah .. you just proved my point. And that point is, it’s not just an opinion Saying ‘Windows XP is secure’ is really too generalized a statement, because it depends on who’s using it and what kind of hardware it’s running on. I assure there will be features in Opera that will never be in IE no matter how many years IE is going to be developed by MS. There is a difference in business models. Opera needs to boast of having all kind of fancy features over that of competition to stay commerically successful. Alright, you have a point here. Although MS could have made IE as feature-packed as Firefox, they probably never would. Only thing I’m saying is that I’m really not that impressed with Firefox, given the fact that IE still has an 88% marketshare and hasn’t seen a major new version in about 5 years. Granted, Firefox is a great browser, but it’s a piss-poor example of how open source will supposedly topple Microsoft and take over the world. Many open source projects aren’t going to have the luxury of having their competitor roll over and play dead for 5 years. 2004-12-21 8:40 pm Saying ‘Windows XP is secure’ is really too generalized a statement, — which is why I called it a opinion. “Who the hell wants open source to be dominant on the desktop? I’ll be dammed if I ever teach my mother how to log in as root in order to do something. Multiuser has been around way longer than the windows system architecture has, why do you think they didn’t make windows multiuser in the first place?” Because MS didnt care for security. next thing you would supporting is auto executing scripts in outlook to be “user friendly”. are you saying that windows xp was a bad idea then?(ignoring the login as administrator by default) “Granted, Firefox is a great browser, but it’s a piss-poor example of how open source will supposedly topple Microsoft and take over the world. Many open source projects aren’t going to have the luxury of having their competitor roll over and play dead for 5 years.” I dont consider popularity as the only measure of success. if every product in Linux would be half good as firefox then I would simply ignore the competition for a decade. Regardless of how good Linux gets *today* MS simply has enormous amount of cash to get toppled that easily. so yes thats a poor argument to measure sucess. I agree with you on that 2004-12-21 8:49 pm I really dont understand parts of this article… So what I gather is that open source is meant for Linux only? That sounds like a load of crap. Anyways, as a Windows user, I welcome the use of open source. I may not use it exclusively, but I will use it where it gives me the features I need. Pulling all Windows versions of open source software isnt going to make me switch to Linux. I use Windows because I LIKE using it. Sorry to say, but Linux just doesnt fit my needs. I dont think it will for quite some time. 2004-12-21 8:56 pm I was also wondering what with this big push to get people off of Windows and onto Linux. Is it because many of you guys dont like MS, so everyone must switch because YOU dont like them? I know pleanty of people who are happy using Windows for their OS. Just because someone switches to Linux, doesnt meant that they are going to have a better computing experience. I get questions all the time about alternative operating systems from people I know. I just ask them if Windows is working for them (the typical answer is yes) and then I just tell them to stick with what works. Thats the beauty of Windows. It just works! I and many others want an OS that works right out of the box with little tinkering. I have more important work to do than continually jurry rig my OS into working properly. A few might say no, but I just suggest to them getting an Apple. 2004-12-21 9:04 pm The big issue with changing from Windows to Linux (business desktop) is that the users would (supposedly) have to change all their apps. To learn all new email/word processing/spread sheets and a new OS at once is too much. On the other hand, if the users start using OpenOffice, and then later learn to use Evolution, etc, etc…slowly the barries to using Linux desktop melt away. I definately support and encourage Windows compatibility in open source. Apps – people using any open source is good. Assuming the product meets their needs, this also will have the benifit of making open source seem “normal”. Indeed, if MS attacks a product that many people use (e.g. OO) then they will be more likely to defend open source and to see MS/IBM/Oracle/whoever as being unreasonable. If people aren’t exposed to open source they won’t care what MS does, or worse, they may believe the FUD. 2004-12-21 9:08 pm Thats the beauty of Windows. It just works! —- you missed the point of the article. read again. its about whats strategically best. I will ignore the rants 2004-12-21 9:11 pm MS developed in a power user euforia in which they didn’t think that anyone would want to infect windows users with viruses that utilize MS key technologies. This is nievity at it’s greatest. Despite the viral concerns they have continued to grow their installed base at an alarming rate. The “user friendliness” of windows is the reason why they are so popular. Why wouldn’t I want to open a spreadsheet or letter directly from Outlook? As a matter of fact why wouldn’t I want to view it in Outlook itself…that’s cool…and that’s also dangerous. But despite the Linux belief that they steal everything (so do open source developers) they have innovated in areas where they excel – the consumer desktop arena. The more user friendly they became, the more security threats cropped up. Then it became time to secure the system…backwards yes, but you can’t argue with the fact that it worked to their benefit. Must Linux really reinvent the wheel MS perfected? Time for us to write a “Lessons Learned” document. It’s more than 1’s and 0’s…. 2004-12-21 9:13 pm I never knew Halflife or Quake or other games were the solution to my problems. Thank you computer!! 2004-12-21 9:13 pm Thats the beauty of Windows. It just works! But when it doesn’t, you’re fucked. 2004-12-21 9:24 pm “include a note in the README file letting the Windoze user know that further development for this application will only continue for the Linux builds, and that eventually the Windoze build will fall in to obsolescence, hopefully promting the Windoze user to give Linux a chance on their desktop if they want to run newer/Current versions of said software… ” Nice,so force people to use linux only? Did u get worried about Paladium? Yes i think u probably did and what you have said here amounts to the exact same,just without the price tag. There is some good points the guy raised,and some bad. I like another user that has posted have to use 3d applications (3d Max Studio) which is not available on linux,and so far drivers for my high end card are laughable. I haven`t strayed from the point here,i have to use windows for my 3d application,some games sometimes,But i have taken out as much of the ms rubbish as i can and replaced it with ported opensource applications:firefox,thunderbird,gaim,gimp,vlc,azureus,deep burner,and many more.If people were to stop porting to win32 i dont doubt that alot of us will be force to use a system that still isn`t ready for all of us. Before someone says,hey,u can use Alias Maya for linux,yep i could,however to switch to linux and force me to pay for another application i dont use and dont like,just so i can be all “oSS” complient is about the worst case i can think of. 2004-12-21 9:38 pm . Why wouldn’t I want to open a spreadsheet or letter directly from Outlook? As a matter of fact why wouldn’t I want to view it in Outlook itself…that’s cool…and that’s also dangerous —- started with the question and ended with an answer ” Then it became time to secure the system…backwards yes, but you can’t argue with the fact that it worked to their benefit. ” marketing success. yes. technically sucess – no “Must Linux really reinvent the wheel MS perfected? ” not sure what you imply by that. Linux has very different goals and needs. userbase or idealogy is nowhere the same 2004-12-21 10:14 pm I’m not sure what he meant by the following quote: We are at a cross roads that we may not get a second chance to visit as KDE, Mozilla and OOo make determined pushes on win32 Was KDE ported to win32? I think it exists in cygwin, but I don’t know of anyone that uses cygwin as their desktop full time. Is there a native kde port to windows that I don’t know about? 2004-12-21 10:28 pm They’re trying to port QT3-GPL to Win32 and then later KDE. It’s a subproject of Cygwin. http://kde-cygwin.sourceforge.net/qt3-win32/ 2004-12-21 10:34 pm Was KDE ported to win32? I think it exists in cygwin, but I don’t know of anyone that uses cygwin as their desktop full time. Is there a native kde port to windows that I don’t know about? —- look inside kde cvs. in short yes. there are attempts being made for a *native* port 2004-12-21 10:58 pm “By many, especialy those who are fed up with Windows, open source operating systems are considered more stable, and considerably cheaper.” Windows is just as cheap as Linux for many people. (Hint: they don’t pay for it.) 2004-12-21 11:29 pm Windows is just as cheap as Linux for many people. (Hint: they don’t pay for it.) — of course they do. its just hidden or maybe you are talking about unauthorised copies.. 2004-12-21 11:33 pm No, Windows doesn’t just work. As a premier gaming platform it totally sucks. I had 3 lockups last night alone. Without shutting it down I’d just have a pretty picture no more active than a hung painting. Windows might not have any issues in an office environment with limited demands made on it but in a heavy Multi Media environment (Audio/Video/Games/3D) it is absolutely useless. At least with Linux/Unix you get the app bowing out gracefully and allowing you to return to the GUI. Also I am sick and tired of how precious Windows file system which truncates easily. NTFS is crap and I wish I could use ReiserFS instead. Also kill the need for constant defragmentation (which you need when working with Video/Audio files on a regular basis). Basically it’s a POS. Now having apps cross platform is a great way to get people to look at alternatives in OS’s not the other way around. I do find it interesting that there are no KDE based apps that are being made platform dependant but seing as I try to steer clear of QT/KDE well, not an issue for me. Only thing keeping me on Windows is Audio and I would love either OSS or proprietry audio apps on Linux so I can move (prefer CubaseSX). 2004-12-21 11:54 pm “Windows might not have any issues in an office environment with limited demands made on it but in a heavy Multi Media environment (Audio/Video/Games/3D) it is absolutely useless” Ah, don’t you just love blanket statements and exaggerations? 2004-12-21 11:59 pm A thing OSS developers can do is adding to win32 portings a label in the About dialog: “performs better in GNU/Linux” or “runs great on native OSS systems” 2004-12-22 12:32 am The author is wrong – wrong – wrong — It is the very existence of these programs that will break down the barrier to moving to Linux for many companies. Not many companies and in fact very few companies that can switch all their computers systems all at once. Most companies will shy away from a total switch to a new system because of the cost and uncertainty involved. Most switches come piecemeal – some people switch to the new systems some stay with the old for a while. In this case it is a real advantage to be able to use the same program on both the new and old systems. OO and Mozilla Firefox both aided us rolling out new Linux systems to replace old Windows systems. Without programs like these We would never have stated the switch. So if you are truly interested in seeing more Linux out there then port more programs Windows. Remember how the office goes so goes the home – especially if the employees can take home a “free” copy to install on their home computer. 2004-12-22 2:09 am “Windows might not have any issues in an office environment with limited demands made on it but in a heavy Multi Media environment (Audio/Video/Games/3D) it is absolutely useless.” Funny you should mention heavy multimedia environments. I use my system for such things, and have had no problem with lockups of any kind. I’ve had my system render 3d scenes for days on end, and when its finsihed, i can still use it without having to restart. Same goes for many of my school buddies as well. I’d like to hear some personal cases where you have had problems on a windows machine on this issue. 2004-12-22 2:29 am Abiword runs fine on Linux and Windows Open Office runs fine on Linux and Windows LimeWire runs fine on Linux and Windows……. Windows is still as popular as ever and Linux has a huge following. Maybe I’m missing something. 2004-12-22 2:32 am Sounds like maybe he has hardware/driver issues, unless the OS only locks up on a certain game. When using a Radeon 7500, I’ve had Linux (both on Mandrake and Fedora, probably others – I didn’t try) blank the screen and stay that way when trying to launch games (no amount of CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE could save it), so when/if it happens in Windows, it ain’t just a Windows thing 2004-12-22 3:06 am is that open source apps tend to run better on windows than on Linux. Firefox has a smaller footprint and runs a bit faster on windows. Eclipse runs much better on windows. Emacs/Xemacs still doesn’t have AA fonts on linux except with an unofficial patch. “Windows user” a few comments up is exactly right. IE is a disaster for security, but there’s no need to use it, so why switch? Now a few people are making the assumptions that because Firefox is crossplatform it makes it easier to make the migration to Linux. Maybe that’s the case for a complex app like OO, but FireFox is just a browser. The basics of a browser are almost universal. Now maybe in the corporate world, you can make the case that using Open Office on windows will make the transition to linux easier, but the home user will just keep on using OO on windows. 2004-12-22 3:07 am When my Windows installation (98 SE “lite” using EVWM as a shell) is no longer tolerable I will migrate to Linux or *BSD — whichever has the best desktop implementation when the time comes. Hopefully by then certain critical applications (EditPlus, Paint Shop Pro) will have adequate AltOS counterparts, or the apps will work well enough on WINE. As can be seen, not having to find and learn new appliations would grease the skids for me changing. Thus the author’s hypothesis is 180 degrees backwards for me. 2004-12-22 3:47 am While Windows goes gold, nobody can afford the price and security holes, they will consider Linux. In fact, many of us consider trying Linux; we stop because of the drivers and we obtain windows in a cheap(or free) way. If Open Source Apps are going to be ported more and more to Windows platform, this is actually a preparation step to migrating to Linux. Imagine when desktop users get used to those apps, and their friends tell them “hey do you know that it is as easy as you install windows when you install Linux? and everything works, including all apps that you use in Windows, while you will NOT have IE security holes, it’s even FREE!! No registration or activation needed!! Free upgrades and more!!” They may try, once or twice, they will eventually switch to Linux. This may be too positive but I personally believe that OSS will create a bridge from Windows to Linux. 2004-12-22 4:23 am Where is GNOME currently lacking compared to Xp in your perception? I am genuinely keen to know, given the great strides made in GNOME over the last few releases. 2004-12-22 4:33 am free/open-source software was freedom to choose. Yes, I know the story behind the GNU project and the freedom to do want you want w/ the code. But isn’t that that just a rewording of “I have the freedom to use the software I want, how I want, when I want, etc.”? So if OSS is ported to Windows, Mac, et al. then the user is now given the choice to choose the “right” app for the job. Granted, they may still be tied into the MS BS, but that’s their choice. People will choose the system that works for them, assuming they have a choice (thinking corporate users here). Regardless, if someone feels they need to use Windows because it has Autocad or Maya but they also choose FF and Thunderbird because of security, then that’s great. The thing people fail to realize is that OSS is only a “true” benefit to code-monkeys. Average user not only doesn’t know how to code but could care less. It’s the code hackers that can “roll their own patches” that OSS was originally marketed to (mostly). However, if the masses are given the choice between free software that can be patched in hours vs. the “MS special” that takes days/weeks to fix (if ever), then everybody wins. At a minimum it should cut down on stupid viruses. If they don’t have the need to control their system by using *nix, then don’t force them. Reality is that until *nix becomes as user friendly as Windows, most people won’t change. People fear change and telling them to read the man pages for a command or fix their iptables to get their firewall working won’t win them over. 2004-12-22 5:05 am I can hardly disagree Most of us know what an Evil Windoze is [big time]! So why do we port apps to Windows! a) We port all the apps to Windows so that Windows users use them and stic to Windows!!! b) On the contrary Windows never ports apps to Linux, it is all Codeweaver and Wine doing the hard work Same goes for Mac, Quicktime ! How about doing it the windows way of things ” You are licensed to use this open source app for only 15 days on your Windows Operating System, If you want to use it further, switch to Linux Operating System for an infinite trial of this app (::wink::)! “ 2004-12-22 5:46 am Most of us know what an Evil Windoze is [big time]! What’s an evil windoze? 2004-12-22 6:34 am http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=windoze&r=f I love the urban dictionary 1.)Derogatory internet slang for Microsoft Windows. 2.)a shitty operating system created by a monopoly. Commonly used by idiots who are too stupid to RTFM. The only feature that Windoze has that Linux doesn’t is the BSOD, commonly seen by Windoze users. Linux is a million times better than Windoze 3.)To sleep infront of your computer after the system being down for several seconds. Windows ME started lagging, so I Windozed off into a land of chocolate and furry hippopotamuses named Jeffrey. 4.)A term used on the internet for Microsoft’s Windows operating system. Get Windoze XP. The best OS today. 2004-12-22 6:51 am I’m a code monkey who runs Gentoo at home but needs to use Windows XP at work. The OSS apps that have been ported to Windows, especially the GNU unix tools, make life at work a lot more pleasurable.. that’s my reason for supporting OSS apps on Windows. 2004-12-22 7:01 am OSS applications must be ported to Windows or any other OS as much as possible. This enables to ease switching of working enviroment. At forst user changes IE into FireFox. He likes it, no popup, no accidental spyware. Later he wants to to create his own pages so he chooses Apache+MySQL+PHP(Perl) instead of IIS. If he in need of some office package he might choose OpenOffice instead of MS Office (especially if he doensn’t like to steal or don’t want to be caught using aprox. 500$ value MS Office). If he want to have another enviroment he might try KDE (if it would be ported). So after year or two he might realize that the only thing left is the undelying OS.. So he might try to change the last step… That was my path to Linux. I’ve started to use freeware StarOffice and continued to use it whet it became OpenOffice, I’ve used Mozilla for www and mail (even left behind The Bat in favor of Mozilla Mail). Now, I have Appple PowerBook and it uses Linux instead of Mac OS X (I boot into OS X only occasionally when I need VirtualPC to run VisualFox). 2004-12-22 7:56 am but the author of this blog thinks like a Microsoft jerk. Let’s lock em into our platform! Free Software is intrinsicly valuable because it is free. People who use FireFox and get involved in the community that supports it will come to see that value. They’ll understand that Free Software can be tailored to their needs. They’ll understand that Free Software deals with maintenance issues faster and better. They’ll come to expect the freedom of sharing and they will lose the crazy idea that sharing is somehow wrong. Once all this happens they’ll choose to switch to Linux for the right reason: it’s Free Software. 2004-12-22 8:39 am For what it’s worth, here’s my view (if something has already been said, please forgive me, but I don’t really want to read 65 comments…): It seems to me that people switch to GNU/Linux or any other Open Source OS because of the features and/or advantages of that OS. I’ve never heard of anybody that switched to GNU/Linux for the applications. GNOME/KDE are great, and superior to what Windows has to offer (in my opinion) but that wasn’t the reason I switched. Most people switch because of the fundamental differences in the operating systems themselves (“No spyware? I’m in!”). Who switches because Evolution (or some other application) looks nice? The applications are the reasons that most people prefer to stick to Windows. They see that everything is different, and they don’t want to go through the time it would take to learn the new ways of doing things. If the applications were the same, all they’d have to worry about is how to use GNOME or KDE (plus some new configuration utilities), and GNOME, at least, is pretty easy to learn (though others may disagree with me on this or on KDE’s ease of use). If that didn’t all make sense, or it isn’t valid, just ignore it, it’s 2:40 am over here. 2004-12-22 9:05 am People move to Linux because of the OS not the applications. People stay on windows because they’re used to it and the applications. If what the people were used too was also on Linux (Or the other way around if you want to put it that way) then there’s not as much trouble switching. I moved to FreeBSD first, and then also to windows. I moved because I host my own web pages and got nailed with a virus under windows. So, I moved for the security and was willing to learn a whole new os and application space to do it. Mosy users aren’t willing to give all that up. As long as OSS continues to be ported to windows, users will have to give up less and less to CHOOSE which OS they want to use. 2004-12-22 9:43 am Opensource has no operating system boundries, its not a linux “thing” or a windows “thing”. Whether you use Windows or Linux, does it really matter in the end? As long as it does the job. 2004-12-22 10:40 am I used to be a dual booter Linux/Windows 98 and when I changed computer, I installed Windows XP only: it is stable enough now, no need for Linux (having two OS to patch, to learn was annoying). And on Windows, I’m using Mozilla because I dislike very much IE (no tabs, pop-up hell,etc..), does-it means that Linux lost an user because Mozilla on Windows is good? No: if I hadn’t have Mozilla, I could still have a good ‘browsing experience’ on Windows either using Opera, or adding extensions to IE to get rid of pop-up and being able to use tabs.. So does free software on Windows reduce the interest of Linux? Yes. Does-it really makes a difference? IMHO, no. 2004-12-22 1:17 pm >b) On the contrary Windows never ports apps to Linux, it is >all Codeweaver and Wine doing the hard work http://www.softmaker.de/index_en.htm I run their wordprocessor on 3 different platforms. It loads in a flash (hear that, OOo?) and has never crashed on me on any of the three OS’s (Abiword, are you there?). Worth the money IMHO. Then there’s Opera … I’ll admit it’s not a flood, but yes, there are windows apps that have been ported to linux, generally as part of a this-thing-must-run-on-anything strategy. There already is an OSSWIN website. Maybe somebody should start a CSLIN site <g>. 2004-12-22 1:41 pm Developers who rely on GTK or WX or Java or … can make their software available for Windows relatively easy, but KDE developers can’t. Maybe this is part of the reason why a KDE developer so strongly opposes porting free software to Windows: because he can’t. Well, there may be the Cygwin way, but this is too complicated for the average user. 2004-12-22 1:58 pm I gave more thoughts to this article after realising the author is part of the KDE development team. In my company, of all the applications we use on Linux and which do not come bundled with a particular Desktop, all are developed for GNOME (GTK). Some are developed using Motif or Java. None for KDE (Qt). *IF* the author is representative of the culture within the KDE team, what he says about not porting applications to Windows… could it be a sign that the KDE mindset is closed? Could the fact that OpenOffice and FireFox/ThunderBird and other applications use GNOME be a sign that GNOME is developed with a more open mind ? With a mindset that says “my stuff is better so I will not port to other environments”, it leads to shrinking market share and importance (Macintosh is an exemple of that). *IF* the KDE team has indeed a closed mindset revealed by the author’s article, KDE will surely die. GNOME will definitively become the dominant DE on Linux. And as others have pointed out, with GNOME applications available on Windows, people will be able to switch to Linux if they have enough of Windows’ lack of reliability and security. Is the author’s closed mindset representative of other developers of KDE ? Please not that I do not intend to criticise the KDE team, and that I use “IF” when I mention a possible closed mindest within the KDE team. 2004-12-22 2:06 pm One of the main reasons: One of the main reasons that people use windows is due to software piracy for the Windows OS itself, games and applications. More and more companies are cracking down on piracy, ironically the better the companies get at doing so, the better Linux / free software in general will begin to look (I doubt source code matters to these people if binaries are available.) Exposing people to use the Gimp, MPlayer, OpenOffice.Org, FireFox, Gaim, Thunderbird, and a Quicken Derivative (I’ve never used Gnumeric or GNUcash or other accounting software on Linux so I can’t reccommend,) would make introducing Linux a WHOLE LOT EASIER. If all schools districts switched to OpenOffice instead of MS Office converting desktops to linux would be easy: The end users, teachers, students only care about the application: Does the application I need work properly? They don’t care about the OS itself since they never tinker with it anyway except to change desktop resoultion. The desktop OS is a means to an end for the end user, not the end itself. If only GIMP’s user interface was more intuitive! I find using MSWord easier than the gimp! Programs like DosBox and Wine allow those in the know to bridge the gap between windows and linux. If you wanted to switch a computer novice who knows MSWord, IE and AIM to linux it would be MUCH EASIER if, when switched, they would still be able to use MSWord, IE and AIM. Converting the “Start” button to a big “K” won’t matter to them as long as “their icons are in the same place and are the same color.” People are still new to Tabbed Browsing and Tabbed IM’ing as amazing it seems. I blew out all the ligaments in my knee 1 year ago and had to learn to walk again. I found it bizarre at first that the “brand new” dell computer systems that the physical therapy office was using, with nice flat screen LCDs and all, were running windowed MSDOS programs to keep track of customers, payments, scheduling, etc when much newer, stabler and better products exist. Most “regular” people have a death-grip cling to their applications. Familiarity is everything for end-users it seems. The people I’m talking about use the term “cyperspace” on a regular basis and refer to “harddrive” as the big box that they plug disks into or their MP3 player (computer case.) 2004-12-22 2:24 pm Developers who rely on GTK or WX or Java or … can make their software available for Windows relatively easy, but KDE developers can’t. Maybe this is part of the reason why a KDE developer so strongly opposes porting free software to Windows: because he can’t. Err… this discussion has started because many KDE apps are being ported *natively* to Windows… 2004-12-22 2:33 pm could it be a sign that the KDE mindset is closed? Could the fact that OpenOffice and FireFox/ThunderBird and other applications use GNOME be a sign that GNOME is developed with a more open mind? Neither OO nor Firefox use GNOME. OO has optional GTK+ support, but it has KDE support too. FF uses only a GTK “theming”, and a KDE one is in beta testing now. And as others have pointed out, with GNOME applications available on Windows, people will be able to switch to Linux if they have enough of Windows’ lack of reliability and security. How many Windows-only users do you know using GTK applications in everyday work? Is the author’s closed mindset representative of other developers of KDE ? Not at all, since they are porting KDE apps to Windows =) — However, I have to agree with the author. It has just happened with Firefox. When it was unknown to the big audience, users complained a lot about Windows security and some of them even began thinking if it was convenient for them to switch. Then Firefox reached the media. Users installed Firefox, and now they’re happy Windows users, with no valid reason to change platform. Firefox helped Microsoft consolidating Windows userbase. 2004-12-22 2:43 pm How can you port free KDE applications natively to windows? I don’t think this guy cares about the relatively complex cygwin way which is unlikely to hit the average user’s desktop. He talks about FireFox and OpenOffice, which are definitely not native KDE apps. 2004-12-22 2:55 pm How can you port free KDE applications natively to windows? There’s been a lot of activity in CVS recently with the aim of making KDElibs compile under Win32. More here: http://linuxreviews.org/features/2004-09-14_Jaroslaw_Staniek/ 2004-12-22 3:09 pm thanks! 2004-12-22 4:02 pm My sense is that the author doesn’t believe Linux can compete with Windows on its own terms. I.e., there has to be some restrictions (keep oss apps off windows) and strongarming for Linux to get traction in the desktop market. Whether this is true or not is debatable, but I find this point of view highly ironic used to promote a “free as in speech” operating system. Perhaps when the handful of non-Unix based OSS operating systems mature (Blue Eyed OS anyone), without the inherent usability flaws of Linux and BSD we’ll start to see less whinging and scraping for market share. 2004-12-22 4:06 pm Open Source Software (OSS) applications for Windows should be encouraged. If people start to use Mozilla, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, etc on the Windows platform it makes it EASIER to migrate them to Linux / BSD later on. This makes the OS a runtime and at some point someone will want to exploit the value of existing commodity runtimes, be it a business, a PC vendor, or even the end user. I run XP on for my desktop but use Debian, RedHat, and OpenBSD for other projects. I have been considering migrating to desktop BSD or Linux by the time Longhorn comes out. The approach I would take is to migrate to free cross platform OSS applications first, then switch the OS. Granted I am not normal, er I mean a normal end user. But come on do you think that anyone is going to migrate to Linux to use Firefox or Mozilla or whatever OSS? The fact that people running Windows cannot contribute to OSS projects is suspect as well. These people could provide, testing, usability feedback, end user perspective, etc. I never reply to these things, but he got this so freakin backwards I couldn’t stop myself. 2004-12-22 4:10 pm More and more companies are cracking down on piracy, ironically the better the companies get at doing so, the better Linux / free software in general will begin to look (I doubt source code matters to these people if binaries are available.) – Exposing people to use the Gimp, MPlayer, OpenOffice.Org, FireFox, Gaim, Thunderbird, and a Quicken Derivative (I’ve never used Gnumeric or GNUcash or other accounting software on Linux so I can’t reccommend,) would make introducing Linux a WHOLE LOT EASIER. You might have a point with OpenOffice, but for the rest of the apps you mention, there are already free alternatives people are using, such as Trillain vs Gaim, etc. I just tried Trillian v3 last night (the free version) and found it to be much better than Gaim. As for OpenOffice, tried it as an alternative to MS Office. After about a month, I was back in MS Office It’s alright as a free alternative and I’m sure a lot of people who either can’t afford or don’t want to use MS Office will use it, but I personally found it a bit underwhelming – MSOffice it ain’t. I will revisit it again when v2.0 goes gold, as I want to see what kind MS Access capabilities it has. 2004-12-22 4:14 pm You might have a point with OpenOffice, but for the rest of the apps you mention, there are already free alternatives people are using, such as Trillain vs Gaim, etc. One thing I forgot to mention though is apps such as Photoshop vs Gimp, Dreamweaver vs BlueFish, etc. When it comes to the high-dollar apps, the people that use them are probably using them professionally. I could be wrong, but even if these people are pirating the apps, if they were forced to either pay for these or switch to a free alternative, I think they would probably fork over the $$. Possibly the main exception to this is OpenOffice, because a lot of people us MS Office at home for doing simple tasks such as typing resumes, etc. 2004-12-22 4:34 pm Just patent every single piece of software and never give any documentation regarding whatever piece of hardware equipment.Hopefully the aren’t some who reverse engineer or diassemble the code. To be honest,fortunately nobody can kill OSS on the desktop. 2004-12-22 5:36 pm The man is absolutely right. We need a dual license which would require windows user to pay dearly for every piece of software. DG 2004-12-22 7:28 pm “non-open mindset in KDE?” —————– Omega, from what other stuff I read by Aaron J. Seigo (he is blogging quite exetensively, and he is very active on various KDE mailing lists), I would conclude that this guy has an incredibly open mindset. However, I tend to disagree with his thoughts on that particular topic. The discussion in the KDE camp is quite controversial, and it started because there is actual work done in porting KDE to Windows. (BTW, there is _no_ work done at all to port Gnome to Windows. And no, OpenOffice.org and Firefox are *not* Gnome applications. Both use their own toolkits.) I tend to agree more with another blog entry by another guy, called by the nick “pipitas”: http://www.kdedevelopers.org/node/view/759 2004-12-22 11:20 pm In the long run people don’t go for the OS they go where the apps are (or at least they should). If they are trained in all the OSS apps then the move to OSS OSs would be much simpler. If they need/demand arose. 2004-12-23 3:38 am Now that FireFox has been ported to windows (…) These people should get a clue (not the one I’m quoting). Firefox was, if anything, ported to linux. It’s built over NN, which was a Windows app. 2004-12-23 8:36 am i see that most of you are hating ms, but ms provides me my meals. so why crying at someone who ports software. i find it very good, that i can use my ooo and ff on windows and linux the same time. they both looking mostly same at userlevel and i am not concerned to learn new beheaviour for using linux. thats great. no i’m not paying money for running oss on windows. thats bad idea and its against the idea of oss. why crying at all windows users? most users cannot use other os’es since linux is more complex and not so easy to use. afterall i haven’t much seen a new pc which is delivered with linux preinstalled. some hardwarevenders are building pc with linux on it. and i found it great, but please do continue work on multiplatform in linux, macox, beos, skyos, windows and all other os’es. i think this article is bloat and “hateware”… i didn’t like this. most people are hating windows, but they don’t see the easy of use. sure there are securityholes and bugs, but mostly it runs smooth on hardware i own and my customers own. don’t look only black and white, it’s a world full of colors. greetings from outer space, murphy 2004-12-23 10:18 am One cynic commented: “If that is the pinnacle of open source development I have no more to add.” Why? Because GIMP on windows does not feel the same as GIMP on Linux. Now fancy porting KDE badly. It will undoubtedly be very buggy for many releases. Then yeah noone wants to migrate to Linux – period. Constant crashes and bizzarre behaviour of an app on an unstable and cryptic environment. Not to mention that in a way its wasted efforts of the KDE community. I wouldn’t be surprised if big players like Adobe, Macromedia, etc get to know the inner secrets of Windows (handed by Microsoft PLC) .. thus ensuring them writing better applications. Will the open source developers be given the same support or priviledge? Hell No. I am still pondering on the negative or positive impact of porting KDE to Windows .. but am slowly forming the conclusion that it is detrimental for Linux than anything else.