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Red Hat Software Businesses

Bero Quits Red Hat Over Treatment of KDE 615

Posted by chrisd
from the shades-of-raster dept.
Vicegrip writes "In an article on leaked release notes on Redhat 8.0 CNet also revealed that Bernhard Rosenkraenzer, known here on Slashdot as berorh, has quit over objections he has on what Redhat is doing to KDE in the new release. Bero says that the new version of KDE in Redhat 8.0 is going to be crippleware. I know I always found Bero's comments here on Slashdot helpful and insightful. His worries about what Redhat is doing to KDE for 8.0 have me rather concerned and thinking of switching distributions."
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Bero Quits Red Hat Over Treatment of KDE

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  • by joestar (225875) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:44PM (#4331236) Homepage
    Mandrake 9.0 seems to respect KDE & GNOME, and Bero has been part of MandrakeSoft in 1999!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:46PM (#4331248)
    Plain overreacting. Red Hat is doing the right thing about their business and products.
    I am one of those who say that Red Hat should only support either Gnome *or* KDE, but allow through the libraries to run each other's applications, in a way that it is completely unified (apps to behave and look the same even if they are from different toolkits).

    More discussion about this here:
    http://www.osnews.com/comment.php?news_id=1808 [osnews.com]

    • Agreed. The silliness comes from KDE users/developers who see that thier favorite desktop is being "brought down" to equal out to Gnome. They have ignorantly bitten on to a load of FUD launched by the core KDE development crew. Dont believe the hype. Before you respond, read up on what Redhat is ACTUALLY doing to KDE rather than what you have heard from some gossip source.
      • by Zocalo (252965) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @07:06PM (#4332502) Homepage
        Before you respond, read up on what Redhat is ACTUALLY doing to KDE rather than what you have heard from some gossip source.

        Actually, I'm planning on waiting for the imminent release, rather than the "null" work in progress, having a play around with it and then making up my mind. There is so much FUD on this issue from the KDE and Gnome developers, as well as Red Hat and the community that this is the *only* way to go.

        As a firm KDE desktop user who runs a lot of Gnome apps within it I'm all for making KDE and Gnome look alike for a consistent desktop. I've basically done this so far by using very similar themes on both window managers and tweaking out the differences where possible, and it was my impression that Red Hat had just taken this one stage futher, which was fine by me. However, for Bero to take this step, especially given that this is the same Bero that so eloquently dispersed the FUD around Red Hat's recent compiler choices, I'm getting a little concerned they may have gone a bit futher than that.

        Red Hat has an excellent track record for me; I've had problems with most of the the other popular choices that Red Hat didn't even bat an eyelid at. They are also pretty on the ball with the security patches, unlike some distros I could mention, which is essential when you are responsible for numerous boxes out on the Internet.

        All in all, I do hope they are not going to spoil their track record over this, but a large part of using open source code is about having the freedom to make a choice, isn't it? I don't see any reason why that shouldn't extend to the distro packagers too, and frankly I think it somewhat hypocritical to believe otherwise.

    • amen to that (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sydlexic (563791) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:13PM (#4331511)
      personally, I find the default KDE look and behavior irritating. if Redhat is going to skin it up and make it purty, then more power to 'em.

      (for the KDE lovers out there, I find Gnome just about as annoying and "more unintegrated" ... it just has a little better graphics). from what I've seen in the pre-release, RH80 has a much more polished and professional UI than anything else out there.
    • Wait a minute.

      All major distributions are using KDE as default except one that is using GNOME.

      In 2 months all major distributions are using KDE as default except one that is using some strange newly created mixture of KDE and GNOME.

      Now you can speculate what RedHat had to do to create a unified desktop and wether their "nullifying" efforts are a step towards that goal.

    • Amen (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 0x0d0a (568518) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:43PM (#4331805) Journal
      Very true. Red Hat is doing something that consumers have wanted (and Linux tweakers have been doing for some time with themes) -- making their KDE and GNOME apps look similar.

      KDE people whining about this are going to be ignored. The GNOME people have accepted the loss of their icons without throwing fits, though it certainly changes RH GNOME's "look and feel". I can't figure out why the KDE people can't do the same for the changes that affected their "look and feel."
      • Re:Amen (Score:4, Informative)

        by fault0 (514452) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @06:30PM (#4332196) Homepage Journal
        I don't think anyone would have complained if RedHat had just changed the default look. Other distros have been doing this forever. The fact that they introduced bugs, broke some third-party app compatability, and made KDE slower as a whole (replacing konq with Moz, etc.)

        RedHat should have given the user a choice at least. If the user installed KDE (not default), then by gosh, they probably wanted to run KDE.
        • Re:Amen (Score:3, Informative)

          by 0x0d0a (568518)
          But then they would have had to test two totally different KDEs and support them. That's non-trivial, and even more confusing to users trying to figure out what's being installed. You'd have KDE+GNOME style KDE, *and* vanilla KDE (which would have to be packaged separately and eat more space, as well, and would have to be marked as incompatible with KDE+GNOME style KDE).

          If someone really wants KDE, they can get it straight from kde.org -- I get a fair amount of software from the original source. The KDE project can distribute their blessed distribution however they want to do so. If you *really* want vanilla KDE with no GNOME integration done at all, then there are distros like Mandrake that *have* taken this approach...but I like seeing the diversity among distros that characterizes Linux. If someone wants to make a distro that has a totally terminal-based UI through an X server and AAlib and runs Enlightenment...well, they can do so. The users will end up voting by using whichever they prefer -- it could be that Red Hat is doing the wrong thing or the right thing. People will try both, and comment on them. RH will probably polish things up in 8.1, and if people still don't like the approach...well, Mandrake will get them.
        • Re:Amen (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Chas (5144) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @07:32PM (#4332694) Homepage Journal
          Note: They aren't aiming this at people who can go in and simply reset the configuration the way they want.

          This is little more than an elaborate theme and a default set of applications.

          It has nothing to do with "slowing down" KDE or "removing choice". It has to do with delivering a common user experience across both desktops.

          If you don't like it, don't use it!
          If you don't like it, and have to use it, change the config to something YOU can live with.

          I don't get what the hell is so hard to understand about this relatively straightforward concept.
    • by Spy Hunter (317220) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:59PM (#4331953) Journal
      I am not with Red Hat. If they want to include KDE, they should do KDE: Konqueror browser, Konqueror file manager, KMail mail, the whole package. Without its apps, KDE is nothing but a mediocre panel.

      It is a common misconception in these discussions that people are mad about the unified look and integration between KDE and GNOME that Red Hat is promoting. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I hope I can speak for all KDE fans when I say the unified look is a step forward, and integration is good. After all, people have been crying out for both for years. But what Red Hat is including is not KDE, it is simply KDE's panel used to launch other applications. The panel is not what makes KDE compelling, it's the app integration. If Red Hat wants to use GNOME app defaults, then what are they doing including KDE at all? It is a joke, simply so they can put "KDE desktop" on their boxes.

      I am also not trying to say that Red Hat should drop all KDE support. No matter what, Red Hat should include libraries to run KDE apps, and I don't think anyone would argue otherwise. If they aren't going to use KDE app defaults, though, they might as well not include KDE as a choice on the login screen. There is no reason to.

  • from previous stories on this topic, i got the impression that they were 'krippling' KDE's default setttings, but the user could go back and change everything back to the real defaults.

    is this not the case?
    • by 1010011010 (53039) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:58PM (#4331361) Homepage

      AFAIK, it is the case. RedHat's trying to do something for people who aren't emotionally involved with either KDE or Gnome -- make a consistent, usable desktop. I think this is a good thing to do. KDE and Gnome are working together these days (see freedesktop.org). This is encouragement from RedHat to make KDE and Gnome more interoperable. If they don't interoperate, then there make as well be two entirely separate types of desktop linux -- KDE linux and Gnome Linux. Vendors would need to pick one (or both) to support.

      Macs have a default interface. Windows has a default interface. Linux systems should as well. Note that you can run QT programs on Windows and MacOS -- similarly, you can use the toolkit of your own choice on a Linux system. But having a default desktop system would be a good thing for Linux in the desktop arena.

  • I wish (Score:5, Funny)

    by kin_korn_karn (466864) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:48PM (#4331273) Homepage
    I wish I was stupid^H^H^H^H^H^Hwealthy enough that I could quit my job just on principle.
    • Re:I wish (Score:3, Insightful)

      by unicron (20286)
      Yeah, no shit. I remember back in the day when you might actually be hard to replace. Now, even in the most advanced IT positions, your boss has a drawer full of resumes of people just as smart as you think you are. Pretty scary, actually.
    • Re:I wish (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ivan_13013 (17447) <ivan@cooper.gmail@com> on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @06:26PM (#4332172)
      I wish more people cared enough to put their principles before money or even security. You don't have to be stupid or wealthy to be a person who tries to always do what they think is right.

      As for me, personally I am curious and interested to see what RH has done with the desktop in v8, and don't feel too strongly about the KDE/GNOME/Bluecurve arguments -- and I don't know enough about whether I should agree with Bero's statements about crippling KDE.

      -=Ivan
  • "free" software (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mdog (25508) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:48PM (#4331274) Homepage
    Let me be the first of 100's to point out that when you write free software, people are free to do what they like with it. No one seems to get up in arms when Redhat enhances "ls" to make it more friendly for their users...what's got everybody up in arms is that Redhat is trying to enhance its *brand* by hacking KDE.

    Real free software people would be against (or at least oblivious) to the branding in the first place.
    • Re:"free" software (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:53PM (#4331312)
      Let me the first to point out that permitting someone to do something, and approving of all are different. In other words: if you believe in freedom of speech, it doesn't mean that you can't critize someone for saying something; if you believe in freedom of softwrae, you surely cna also critizie them for making stupid use of that freedom?
      • by SirSlud (67381) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:15PM (#4331531) Homepage
        Hello dolly!

        It's like people have confused 'freedom' with 'freedom do you whatever the hell you want without actually being subjected to what other people _think_ of it'. Which is a shame, because peer discussion and judgement is about the most important check/balance in society. While we try and limit the actions that can result from peer judgement (to avoid mob justice, for instance), we should try and avoid attempting to squash criticism just because its not 'productive' ... ripping shit down to rebuild, rejecting norms, rejecting opinions and denouncing things we percieve as misguided or wrong is a key part of the process required to arrive at newer and superior solutions.

        When people are free to do crap, don't forget others are well within their rights to freedom to voice dissatisfaction .. and even quit your job if you like, although the way people go on here, you'd think they were envious or scared of the freedom to do just that.
      • Re:"free" software (Score:4, Interesting)

        by analog_line (465182) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:46PM (#4331827)
        There's been a bit more than "criticising". Trying to think up ways that the book could be thrown at Red Hat through the GPL because of this is downright dirty. Wondering if there was a way to keep Red Hat from incorporating KDE at all in some kind of pointless "revenge".

        The rhetoric being levelled at Red Hat from the KDE zealots goes way beyond mere criticism.
    • Re:"free" software (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 1010011010 (53039) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:00PM (#4331387) Homepage

      Real free software people wouldn't be emotionally offended by others taking advantage of their own freedoms to modify the software. RedHat is doing what the GPL allows. This is what it's all about, guys -- freedom with the software you use, develop with and distribute.
      • Re:"free" software (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Frater 219 (1455) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:19PM (#4331568) Journal
        Real free software people wouldn't be emotionally offended by others taking advantage of their own freedoms to modify the software.

        Okay, so if I use your XSLTFilter on a Web site that displays XML-indexed goatse pictures, you'll suddenly become convinced they're the most attractive thing you've ever seen?

        There's a deep divide between toleration and approval. As I understand it, RMS (for one) is generally speaking opposed to war. However, the GPL under which he releases his software contains no provisions preventing militaries from using it in the development and deployment of weapons systems. RMS tolerates the use of glibc in weapons -- that is to say, he doesn't try to stop it. That doesn't mean he approves of it, or wouldn't be offended by the thought of a missile guided by glibc-linked code blowing up a village in Iraq. (Hell, I'm offended by it, and I didn't even write glibc.)

        The confusion between toleration and approval (or between taking offense and being intolerant) is a dangerous one, like the confusion so many people have between criticism and censorship. It is destructive of public discourse, because it leads people to react emotionally as if they were being threatened with force, when in fact they are merely being told someone's opinion.

    • ...it's a GNU/Brand
    • Re:"free" software (Score:4, Informative)

      by Nailer (69468) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:28PM (#4331647)
      what's got everybody up in arms is that Redhat is trying to enhance its *brand* by hacking KDE.

      Anyone who's used the 8.0 beta can tell you they're enhancing their usability, nmot their brand with their changes. The grab bag of different applications, inconsistent themes, and desktop specific panel apps are there if you want them. But Red Hat have made themes and panel apps consistent by default and put what they consider the best apps forward by outting them on the quick launch area of the taskbar. Its no big deal, and Red Hat 8.0s KDE runs every KDE app I've built and packaged for it.

  • Get Mandrake 9.0 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Joe Jordan (453607)
    Want a distro without the KDE politics? Download the recently (like today) released Mandrake 9.0 [mandrakesoft.com] and don't forget to use a mirror.
  • Crippleware? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by matthewn (91381) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:49PM (#4331277)
    Can someone who's actually USED a beta of RH8 talk about whether the KDE implementation is in fact crippleware? I was under the impression that it was just subjected to some Red Hat skinning and rejiggered so that some of the "scares the newbies" features were off by default. That doesn't sound like crippleware, but someone out there must know more.
    • Yes, what exactly is the issue? I'm running the RH8 betas, and while I'm a GNOME user, and thus inherantly biased, I honestly can't see the big difference.

      Can anyone point me to a canonical listing of precisely what the KDE people are so upset about? Most of the objections I've seen seem silly, but I don't want to dismiss the issue without feeling I'm fully informed on it.
      • Re:Crippleware? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by momobaxter (588115)
        Read RedHat's response on what they are doing...seems only cosmetic changes really...

        http://people.redhat.com/otaylor/rh-desktop.html
    • by Nailer (69468) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:23PM (#4331593)
      I'm a KDE user whose been using Null since release:

      Red Hat have:
      • Unified the default QT, GTK 1, GTK 2, and XMMS look. Someday every Linux distro will do the same.
      • Red Hat patched KDE to support the freedesktop.org standard taskbar system - yay, panel apps working in both KDE and Gnome. Older KDE taskbar apps still seem to work fine. Again, someday I think KDE will ship with this by default.
      • Selected what they consider the best applicatioon for each category (web browsing, email, office etc) and used those as default quick launchers on both the Gnome and KDE taskbar. This makes sense: users pick apps based on quality rather than toolkit. Mozilla renders more pages than Konqueror. OpenOffice is more capable than Abiword or KOffice. Evolution matches more of a Windows users understanding of a good PIM than KMail / Konrganizaer / Sylpheed, etc. This isn't a bias towards Gnome - 2 of the three main apps aren't even based on Gnome or GTK, and OpenOffice actually integrates better with KDE than Gnome. They haven't removed Konq, KMail or any other major KDE apps, they've just changed what's in the quicklaunch bar. Konq stil exists, and its still in the menu. So is Kmail. Again, I think someday every Linux distro will do the same. Most desktop users don't know, or care what a toolkit is, and they shouldn't have to.
      • Removed the About KDE dialog. Not that every copyright, author credit, and license are still there - in About -> App. The About KDE screen is a just an ad for KDE. Its not a big deal, I don't really care either way.
      • Made KDE use double click for desktop items - this was the only thing I disliked about 8.0 - its a really dumb idea and violates just about everything anybody's written on the subject of usign a mouse. Someone buy Havoc Pennington a Jacob Nielsen book. Then make KDE single click again, fix Gnome 2 to do the same, and thus don't require new users to click desktop items twice in the space of 500ms - and keep desktop icons consistent with web pages, and all their other apps. Ask anyone involved in usability - double click makes no sense.

      • by nonmaskable (452595) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @06:24PM (#4332153)
        > I'm a KDE user whose been using Null since
        > release:

        But not an informed one. You left a lot out, in addition to putting the RH spin on what you included. RH has also:

        - Added lots of buggy Xft stuff to QT
        - Buggy changes to support vfolder
        - Broke service name compatibility
        - Broke plugin handling

        The gruesome details are all in bugzilla.

        These are off the top of my head, I've probably left some out.
        • by Nailer (69468) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @06:46PM (#4332319)
          But not an informed one. You left a lot out, in addition to putting the RH spin on what you included.

          Since KDE has never released a proper announcement of what their issues with Red Hat beyond some generally false stuff in their forums (cheers Mosfet) and as an extensive KDE user I haven't encountered them, I may indeed not know everything.

          I didn't put a RH spin on anything. Users should pick the best apps. RH aren't trying to turn KDE into Gnome - 2 of 3 non KDE their `best apps' aren't Gnome apps either. And Konq, KMail etc still work (apart from the plugin bug you mentioned). I'm a Konq fan, but at the end of the day, Mozilla can render more pages (such as www.ninemsn.com.au, the most popular site in the country) and Konq can't. And as I said, every KDE app I've rebuilt for Null has been fine.

          The Xft additions seem to work well enough that I haven't noticed them negatively at all - just that for once I got Xfthack quality font rendering out of the box on a Linux distro without having to screw around. This is a good thing. I don't know what's buggy about it and when I do notice something, I spend a bit of time in Bugzilla reporting it or checking it out.

          Konqueror plugisn are broken, huh? Flash works fine on www.xdude.com works fine (using the Flash 6 beta under Konqueror on the current Null). Quicktime / Crossover also work fine, albeit a little slowly than I'd like. But I accept there are likely remaining bugs in Konq plugins, as Macromedia.com doesn't work properly, and last time I looked its also in Mozilla marked for RH to fix, along with the latest Nautilus fuckups. How is this malicious? What have Red Hat done to deliberately break it? And why would they deliberately break it if they're going to fix it? You haven't said so I'll treat RH as innocent until proven guilty.

          I don't know about what applications vfolders you're talking about, or what `service names are'. Care to tell or give us a bugzilla link?
        • by Nailer (69468) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @07:19PM (#4332599)
          RH has also:
          - Broke plugin handling

          The gruesome details are all in bugzilla.


          If I'm uninformed, then you sir, are a liar. Read the actual bug report [redhat.com] sometime. Red Hat have done nothign of the sort - they've just compiled KDE with the current GCC - Macromedia has yet to release a GCC 3 based Flash (tho it would seem Flash 6 corrects the problem). You're trying to make out that Red Hat have deliberately sabotages KDE plugins. When Suse, Mandrake, and every other distro also compile KDE with GCC3, will you accuse them of the same?

  • by dperkins (63220) <davidrperkins@gmaELIOTil.com minus poet> on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:50PM (#4331290) Homepage
    I fail to see what Redhat is doing that could so offend Bero that he would quit his job with them. Redhat has already acknowledged that they have more Gnome experience on their staff, and Bero quitting will only exacerbate that problem. It seems to me that he is only creating a larger problem for KDE by leaving a position of influence at Redhat over something that appears to be rather benign, and actually insightful on Redhat's part. Looks like big egos will always get in the way of better software.
    • by Idou (572394) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:14PM (#4331526) Journal
      "Looks like big egos will always get in the way of better software."

      I must disagree with this. I think strong principles are a great virtue of the open source community. Instead of being less productive at a KDEless Redhat, Bero will be more productive somewhere else. This doesn't say anything bad about Redhat or Bero and only further supports the diversification (and competition) of the community.

      I am sure that the majority of MS employees would not walk out if suddenly MS decided to do something as drastic as go Open Source. You may call this corporate strength, but I call it 40,000 "yes" men (and women) who don't give a fsck what their company does, as long as that paycheck comes on Friday.
  • by LordNimon (85072) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:51PM (#4331304)
    to Zero, to reflect his new income level.
  • I use gentoo (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dcstimm (556797)
    I use gentoo and when i am in the irc channels I always here people asking if they can get the kde theme that Redhat Null (beta) uses. I think it totally intergrates the new look perfectly with every other app. This guy is making a big deal about nothing. Have you seen the default theme of KDE? ITS UGLY! The new look doesnt make kde look like gnome2! It just makes the two desktops look alike so NEW users dont get confused. I remember installing Mandrake 7.1 and they did the same EXACT thing, This is not new. The new user should be able to launch both kde and gnome and they should look Identical. Redhat will make sure EVERY thing works and if it doesnt people will complain and Redhat will make the changes based on user experience. Come on guys, LETs get over this.

    And it makes sence because gnome2 is the default DE, why is it bad for qt apps to have unified look?

    Gezz!
  • It's rather sad. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Starship Trooper (523907) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:52PM (#4331307) Homepage Journal
    Linux has started to become the platform of choice for extremely complex and involved multimedia production, powering enormous render farms and video storage RAID arrays, yet still, Linux falls on its face for mundane day-to-day productivity work. Linux can render the incredibly lifelike texturing and animation exhibited in "Monsters Inc." and "Titanic", yet it can't even open a simple Word document without formatting errors. While delivering superior performance rendering these intensely detailed and hard-wrought movie scenes, Linux stills falls short of Windows when playing Quake. How did we get into this perplexing state of affairs?

    I'll tell you why -- good old fashioned ego. Whereas the low end (kernel developers, compiler writers, etc.) and high end (clustering software, 3D modelling and rendering, etc.) of development is led by strong, well-organised teams of well-trained developers with vision and understanding, the middle ground of the Linux world is polluted with warring egos and silly spats like this. There are myriad competing, mutually incompatible yet separately inadequate office suites (Star Office, KOffice, Applix,...), desktop environments (KDE, Gnome, XFCE, CDE, UDE, ROX,...), and X servers (XFree86, MetroX, XiG). We can't even decide on a printing system! If all the man-hours poured into fighting over KDE and GNOME were combined into a common vision, we would have one perfect end-user desktop, instead of two poor imitations of Windows.

    Don't give me the old "competition" argument either. There is only one Linux kernel, which seems to progress just fine without another competing project nipping at its feet and instigating flamewars. The endless KDE vs. GNOME, Applix vs. StarOffice, and other feuds have wasted more productivity than would be gained by and competitive drive.

    I, for one, am somewhat miffed that while my operating system powers Hollywood blockbusters and NASA supercomputers, it still can't fully replace Windows on my office desktop. Linux is growing up; its users need to grow up with it, shed their egos and work towards the common goal of creating an excellent working environment.
    • by SirSlud (67381) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:57PM (#4331356) Homepage
      People are naturally going to fight over interfaces more than blackboxes.

      When I implement rendering software, its very easy to tell if my approach or your approach is better; bench mark.

      Now hell me how to objectively detemine which interface is better: KDE or GNOME?

      I think its obvious that there is always going to be way more arguments about what the handles and knobs looks like than whether or not that engine is implemented in the best way possible. You can quantitatively test and compare all the kinds of software you say that doesn't suffer from the problems KDE/GNOME do .. interface stuff is way more shades of grey when it comes to the Right Way or the Wrong Way.
    • by Frater 219 (1455) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:09PM (#4331464) Journal
      Don't give me the old "competition" argument either. There is only one Linux kernel, which seems to progress just fine without another competing project nipping at its feet and instigating flamewars.

      You missed the VM system flamewars? The scheduler fights? The CML2 flamewars starring ESR? The kernel developers are by no means an egoless hive-mind, noiselessly producing good code. Read kernel-traffic [zork.net] for a little taste, or delve into the linux-kernel list raw & unfiltered for more than you evidently expect in the way of competition.

      If you want to look for "Not Invented Here" mentalities and competition between kernel projects in the free-software world, consider also Linux vs. BSD. As I understand it, there's no reason that OpenBSD's pf firewall module -- which has some serious advantages over Linux's netfilter -- could not be integrated with the Linux network stack. It hasn't been, though, and I don't imagine it will be.

      Kernels can be fighty places, too.

    • Re:It's rather sad. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ploulack (160193)
      >Don't give me the old "competition" argument either.
      >There is only one Linux kernel, which seems to progress just fine without another competing project nipping at its feet and instigating flamewars.

      And how exactly can you say the kernel wouldn't have progressed faster with competition ? If you lack any comparison element how can you tell ?

      And in the long run...See yourself in 10 years; you have this incredible feature to integrate in a desktop. But badluck, at this time the comitty steering the UNIFIED DESKTOP doesn't deem your idea interesting (always remember that very bright people can fail to see - planck's idea took a long time to get through, and he was talking with the best crop of physicist of his time). Well, if there's a second project...you have 100% more chances to get your idea through. And both might consider your idea a bit more, being cautious that they could lose it to the other side, just in case.

      Or you don't have that second destop solution: maybe you'll fork the UNIFIED one yourself, thus ten years later proving yourself wrong. :))

      Na, I think it's better with competition. Safer on the long run.
    • Re:It's rather sad. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by akc (207721)
      Don't give me the old "competition" argument either. There is only one Linux kernel, which seems to progress just fine without another competing project nipping at its feet and instigating flamewars. The endless KDE vs. GNOME, Applix vs. StarOffice, and other feuds have wasted more productivity than would be gained by and competitive drive.

      I disagree. Of course you might like to have everyone work on the same thing - but these are volunteers who work on what gives them enjoyment. You can't get them to work on a common environment - the best you can achieve is common interface standards, and that is happening.

      With this environment then you do get competition, because each camp wants their side to win. This moves each side on faster than it would without the other. We don't know whether one environent will become THE ONE (the others will not disappear immediately - if at all - but will continue anyway as a minority solution).

      As for your one kernel. The kernel development goes through the same thing, look at the number of competing file systems.

    • by Otter (3800) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:11PM (#4331484) Journal
      (A little off-topic, but I'd rather argue about this than join round 5 of hundreds of posters arguing about a desktop almost none of them have seen...)

      I think you're mistaken in assuming that computationally enormous is equivalent to hard. Designing and optimizing a Unix-ish operating system is a solved problem. It's been done well for decades by some really smart, well-funded people and there's plenty of experience and available source to draw on.

      The desktop is hard. Apple and Microsoft still haven't gotten it down pat and the CDE guys completely failed at it. I remember a few years ago the attitude was, "We have graphics toolkits, and we've made Windows-like desktops with icons and toolbars. Thanks to the power of open source, we'll have Mac/Windows quality desktop apps in two years!" (I'm quoting the royal "we" of Linux enthusiasts.) It turns out that it's a lot harder than that, and that the devs at Apple and Microsoft and Adobe are a lot smarter and more innovative than a lot of the Linux xealots gave them credit for.

      • Re:It's rather sad. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fishbowl (7759) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:29PM (#4331654)
        The problem with the desktop is that it is perceived as an Entertainment device on top of whatever it was supposed to be before the focus on entertainment. And implementation here is not just a technical challenge, but also a legal and political one. Linux is ready for MY desktop, but the kind of *work* I do on my desktop involves writing mathematics papers, creating 2-d graphs on polar coordinates, writing correspondence, and lately, writing a research paper in French for a lit class.

        For math papers, OpenOffice works *better* than the MS equivalent, and for many tasks, makes more sense than using Maple or Mathematica. And Open Office is wonderful for writing in French, or any other Western language.

        When other people say "The Desktop" they're not talking about work, they're talking about Entertainment. And there are real shackles, very high barriers to entry in that arena, that have nothing to do with one piece of free software versus another, and everything to do with the hostility of hardware makers and industry associations!

        But that's the "desktop" as an entertainment venue, and not as a workplace. Because of the current state of affairs where we are willing to accept (1) unnecessary expenses and (2) distractions from functions that apply to work tasks, we seem to find things like "windows" and "osx", or even "gnome" or "kde" to be reasonable items to have in a workplace -- because those are the things we are accustomed to.

        Why is the Windows Solitaire program considered a tolerable standard feature on a business machine? Why is it that even in environments demanding hardcore accountability, strict adherence to schedule, and zero loss, we find any such systems? What stopped there being a "next level" in workplace equipment?

    • Re:It's rather sad. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by krmt (91422) <therefrmhere&yahoo,com> on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:11PM (#4331489) Homepage
      Whereas the low end (kernel developers, compiler writers, etc.) and high end (clustering software, 3D modelling and rendering, etc.) of development is led by strong, well-organised teams of well-trained developers with vision and understanding, the middle ground of the Linux world is polluted with warring egos and silly spats like this. There are myriad competing, mutually incompatible yet separately inadequate office suites (Star Office, KOffice, Applix,...), desktop environments (KDE, Gnome, XFCE, CDE, UDE, ROX,...), and X servers (XFree86, MetroX, XiG).
      That's funny, you must never read the LKML if you think there's no bickering going on. Perhaps you're too young to know about the gcc/egcs split of a few years back. How about the emacs/xemacs feud? Even stable, mature projects have their splits and their differences, including those on the lower levels of the tool chain.

      And even the lower levels have their problems. There might be one Linux kernel (excepting -ac and other myriad branches and patches), but there's also BSD, Mach, Darwin, and the Hurd out there.

      As for "simple" things like reading Word documents, you try reading a document that's really and collection of embedded COM objects and see how well you do with it. Things like that aren't easy. On the other hand, I can read and write my windows partition, as well as many other file systems, quite easily in Linux, which is something Windows can't do now. I also have virtual desktops, which is simple to implement in your WM using X, but Windows can't do this "simple" thing by default. Every environment has its advantages and disadvantages.

      All those diseparate projects like KDE/Gnome, OO/KOffice, etc. will either learn to cooperate or one will die out. KDE and Gnome have very very slowly been taking steps to meet on some levels, and distros can step in at other levels (like Debian's excellent menu system). OO and Koffice are working towards using the same file format, or at least being able to read and write the same formats. Things will get there, just be patient.

      Oh, and incidentally, I get better frames in Q3 on Linux than I do in Windows.
    • by Fastball (91927) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:14PM (#4331520) Journal
      How can you compare a specific, detailed task like animation to the diverse needs of common end-users? That's like comparing a single piston to a automobile with options. I'm surprised the parent post was modded up to 5.
  • by SirSlud (67381) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:53PM (#4331317) Homepage
    Its not about whether RH or KDE is right.

    An employee of RH was being asked to work on something he disagreed with. So he left.

    KDE is free to moan, RH is free to mod KDE, and this guy is free to get employment elsewhere.

    Personally, it restores some of my confidence in humans. At least we're not all wage slaves who couldn't give a rats ass what they were working for and who they were serving.
    • by Coplan (13643) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:08PM (#4331452) Homepage Journal
      Wish I had mod points right now...I'd mod you up rather than reply.

      I agree with you 100%. But I can also see where some people are worried. A respectable man disowns a company he works for over political reasons such as the modification of KDE, and it will make people question the company. Things like this will always bring rise to the Redhat/Microsoft comparison that happens way too often.

      BUT the whole Lemming mentality happens way too often as well. Someone respectable leaves something like redhat behind, and all of the sudden people think it's tainted. Now, don't get me wrong. In a situation like this, questions do arise in my head. But I further research an analyze the situation. Perhaps our hero doesn't want to modify KDE because he thinks it works BEST the default way. Makes sense. But I'm willing to try out the new modified version before I agree with him.

      So I announce now that I will go against the grain, and I will at least try out Redhat 8.0 before I denounce it. I will try Xandros too, and the latest Debian, and so on. I'm an OS mosquito, I go where the brightest light is.


  • I'm sure that, since he is no longer an employee, he'll have even more influence over RedHat's decisions.

    I think it would have been better for him to demonstrate a better way -- such as making a set of RPMs for RedHat 8.0 available for how he thinks KDE should be. I remember downloading RPMs from ~bero in the past.
  • Over reacting? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Squeezer (132342)
    Redhat wants to create a desktop where gnome and kde looks remarkabily similar. I think its a good idea. With the power of linux, if you don't like how Redhat's default interface is, then run KDE's wizards and change it to how you like.

    I'm sad to see him go, I hope things work out for him.
  • I have a lot of respect for Bero, back when I used redhat I used to use his packages of KDE CVS because I couldn't get it to compile.

    However, I can understand why redhat is standardising its interface this and I'm not sure it is a bad thing. The difference between KDE and Gnome _IS_ confusing to new users, and it is somewhat ugly to mix GTK and QT apps on the screen at the same time. I think that KDE and Gnome should compete on the technical merits of their class libraries, not on how pretty their default install is.

    Consider Ximian, Lindows, etc. They all modify kde to look like windows. Why is it ok for them to do that, but no ok for RedHat to give all their programs a similar look-and-feel.

    Anyway, I hope financial reasons won't mean Bero is no longer able to contribute to the open source community.
  • by FreeLinux (555387) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:55PM (#4331335)
    I'd really like for him to explain "crippleware". How are they crippling it? While he has seen it and I have to wait for another week, so far everything points to Red Hat simply changing the default themes and icons. I connot see how this is crippling KDE.

    Furthermore, it is my understanding that the default KDE themes are in there and simply need to be selected from the configurator. How is this crippling it.

    To go one step further, I see a fair bit of ranting, especially on Slashdot(go figure), about how bad this new Red Hat theme is. The thing is, if you don't like it change it. How many people actually continue to use KDEs default themes? Few if any, I'll bet. Pretty much everybody changes the desktop to their own preferrences. So, what's the big deal about selecting your own preferrences over the Red Hat theme versus selecting your own preferrences over the KDE themes?

    Much ado about nothing....
    • by LMCBoy (185365) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:27PM (#4331637) Homepage Journal
      First of all, let me say that Redhat is free to do whatever they like with KDE, since it is GPL'd.

      However, what they're doing is not very nice, and it isn't at all about themes and icons...if that's all it was, there would be no issue.

      First there was the issue of the removal of the "About KDE" item in all KDE app help menus. From Redhat's point of view, they're trying to make a Redhat-branded desktop, so seeing "About KDE" in some of the apps might be confusing to the user. From KDE's point of view, if Redhat "de-brands" the desktop, then the about box is really their only chance to let the user know about the app's authorship. It *really* makes it seem like Redhat is, if not trying to take credit for the apps themselves, then at least trying remove credit from where it's due (the KDE devs).
      I don't know for sure, but I think Redhat may have decided to replace the "About KDE" items. Time (or beta testers :) will tell.

      Second, and more importantly, they have replaced KDE apps with equivalent apps, either from GNOME or independent projects. For example, they replaced konqueror with Mozilla, Koffice with OpenOffice, KMail with Evolution.

      Some people say these alternatives are better anyway, so who cares? Is KDE just whining because they can't keep up? I don't think so. For one thing, even if you change the widget style, these apps aren't going to be very well-integrated into the rest of the desktop, both in terms of look-and-feel and interoperability with other apps. This tight integration is one of KDE's great strengths; without it, KDE is, well, crippled. Plus, since these apps depend on libraries that are not preloaded when KDE starts up, they will appear to be sluggish to the user, who might incorrectly conclude that KDE is slow and clunky.

      In summary, it isn't about themes or icons. It's that Redhat removed all trace of KDE from the apps, and replaced core KDE components with alternatives that are likely to confuse and frustrate users.
  • So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jasno (124830) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:56PM (#4331350) Journal
    Redhat's decision to standardize the desktop look and feel has many strong opponents as well as supporters(myself included). If Bero feels this one issue is worth enough to him then so be it. Redhat has to do what it(and many others, myself included) feel it needs to do.

    Redhat isn't violating anyones license, and they've done so much for the free software movement. If you don't like it, send em an email. Then, shut up. Its not your company.
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:58PM (#4331363)
    But I really don't quite understand the vast resentment about this latest RedHat move: will somebody please enlighten me why it's so out of line?

    Besides 'nicety' issues (it would be nice if RH didn't do this) and besides marketing reasons (obviously having a consistent interface is very desirable) can anybody explain any legal reason why RH isn't allowed to do what they are doing?

    As far as I remember, when you GPL your software, anybody can do practically whatever they want with it as long as they provide it at cost (duplication costs) and as long as they publish their (modified) sources.

    If you don't like the way RH ships their preconfigured Gnome/KDE desktop, well, uninstall the provided packages and install the ones you can download from ftp.kde.org and so on.

    The people that would be interested in having a 'pure' KDE and/or a 'pure' Gnome, are technically inclined people which are more than capable of doing what I just outlined: I really doubt that your average non-power-user cares at all about this, as long as they can use mozilla, openoffice etc. I don't think they'd care.

    If you have licensed your software under a specific license (GPL, BSD, Artistic...) and a licensee does things to your software that you don't like, well, maybe you didn't think long & hard enough before opting to use the license you've been using. The only solution is to decide on a new license (good luck in getting everybody to agree) and to fork the codebase under that new license, but it's definitely not a painless or sometimes even possible solution (given the 'viral' nature of the GPL).
    • can anybody explain any legal reason why RH isn't allowed to do what they are doing?

      Nope. There is no legal reason for them not to - they are allowed to do this. I'm also allowed to walk up to your finace right before you get married and tell her that in my opinon, she's a mongrel whore, thus ruining your wedding. Both acts are not morally sound, however. RedHat has committed source patches to change some of the fundimental UI for KDE (including the one possible legal violation, removing the About KDE, which lists the authors as copyright owners and the GPL as the license the application is distributed under), and that's not, in the open source world, considered a nice thing to do. Sure, it's legal. Doesn't mean that they aren't being asses.

      --
      Evan (no reference)

      • Why is it considered "insightful" to compare Red Hat's effort to unify Gnome and KDE to calling someone's fiancee a mongrel whore on her wedding day?

        Just to be safe: consider your wedding invitation from me to be cancelled :-).

        If you insist on KDE's moral right to have an About box on the desktop, then every other author of everything on your system has the same right. This was the problem with the old BSD advertising clause (which required that blurbs of the author's choice had to be displayed by the system and appear in all documentation); the GPL folks have always rejected this concept.

        Free software is a bazaar. If folks don't like the GUI changes, Red Hat will come under pressure to change them; if people do like the GUI changes, KDE will come under pressure to accept them.

        If the KDE folks act too much like control freaks, they risk losing control of their own project. This happened to RMS a couple of times, with the emacs/xemacs split and the egcs split, although the latter split was healed when RMS surrendered control of GCC to the egcs team. Some aspects of what Red Hat did to KDE are arguably broken, others are arguably improvements. If the KDE folks have a good attitude, the result could be a better KDE. Otherwise, I predict that other distributors will emulate Red Hat's approach, and KDE will lose control of what KDE looks like on other distros as well.

  • I cant say that the changes are that big of a deal. A couple of applications has been exchanged so that the user uses the same ones in Gnome and KDE. Anyone can choose the one they like to try from the menu. The changes are very superficial and to say they cripples KDE in any way is to really overreact. The theme used can be changed easy to the default theme.

    I just see this as an honest effort from redhat to make things simpler for the user. They could just as well just plain dropped the KDE desktop and only included the libs.

    Why do some of you even complain when you outright screamed when OEM's couldnt remove ie or change icons in windows?

  • Out of curiosity, in what way is KDE being crippled by Redhat? I'm aware that they are making some interface tweaks to make Gnome and KDE look more similar (a good idea IMHO). Are they taking steps beyond this that are actually having a negative impact on KDE as a whole? I mean if Redhat is in fact doing something notibly detrimental to KDE, then I'd be more than happy to switch distros (seeing as KDE is what I use). But otherwise this sounds like an overreaction.
  • ha ha (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ballmer (611148) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @04:59PM (#4331380) Homepage
    I win! I win!

    Developers developers developers developers developers!
  • by steveha (103154) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:00PM (#4331384) Homepage
    Red Hat used to be pushing GNOME, and pretty much ignoring KDE. The KDE guys didn't like this.

    Now Red Hat is trying to integrate KDE into their distro seamlessly. The KDE guys don't like this at all.

    What should Red Hat do to make these guys happy? I think the only way the KDE guys would be happy is if Red Hat puts in KDE without changing anything. Great, now Red Hat has two different install options that look and work very differently. What a support nightmare. So, Red Hat would have to budget more money for support of KDE, or else just say it isn't supported... in other words, push GNOME and ignore KDE.

    So it looks like the only way the KDE guys will be happy is if Red Hat goes out of their way to increase their support costs. Let's face it, if it is going to cost money to keep the KDE guys happy, Red Hat isn't going to do it!

    P.S. Calling the Red Hat version of KDE "crippleware" isn't helpful. Red Hat isn't trying to hurt KDE; they are a business, and how does hurting KDE make money for them?

    Any bugs Red Hat introduces to KDE will increase their support costs. People who buy Red Hat call Red Hat when they have trouble.

    Red Hat is doing this so that a user can run KDE apps or GNOME apps without really caring which is which. Some of the KDE guys are complaining that Red Hat will make KDE look bad. The idea is that no one will even notice whether they are using KDE or not.

    steveha
    • Any bugs Red Hat introduces to KDE will increase their support costs. People who buy Red Hat call Red Hat when they have trouble.

      On a side note, those who download RedHat for free don't get some of that support without paying. If it becomes a large known issue, a patch goes up. If it's a minor issue with only a few people, I would expect RH to charge them service fees.

      How do you think companies with free software/OS's make money? One of the big ways is support.
    • Not quite. (Score:5, Funny)

      by rodgerd (402) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @07:07PM (#4332510) Homepage
      The only way a lot of the KDE guys would be happy is if RH excised GNOME, ditched every gtk+ app, fired everyone who worked on GNOME, and ran a Stalinesque show trial where everyone publicly humiliated themselves for having ever dared to do anything other than pour money into KDE.
  • I've yet to see anything tat Red Hat has done to their distribution of KDE that would classify it as "crippleware". Removing the "about KDE" box is rude, and obnoxious, but none of it cripples KDE in the least. Unless someone can show me different, all of the changes can be reversed easily by anyone with a clue. That doesn't cripple a damn thing.

    All this kvetching and martyrdom bullshit from the KDE developers is just that. Pissed off that someone is using your code in ways that offend, insult, or annoy you? Fork the codebase and develop under a more restrictive license. These pointless martyrdom gestures and venom-laden rants only make you look dumb and childish.
    • Re:Whooptie doo (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SirSlud (67381) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:07PM (#4331443) Homepage
      Holy crap, what does it say about the state of labour in the IT world when quitting a job because you're being asked to do something you don't want to do is grounds for others suggesting you're trying to be a martyr??

      He's not trying to be a martyr. He's trying to have a job in which he agrees with the things he's asked to do. It's those who remain in the job at the expense of their happiness that are the dumb and childish ones. Whether or not KDE is "cripplewear" in RH is besides the point; he has set of values, he's actually going to do something about it .. thats cause for applause, even if I have no personal opinion on the nature of the disagreement between him and his former employer.
  • Through all the flames and accusations, the only thing I've definitively concluded Red Hat is doing is changing the default themes & colors & such so that KDE apps and GNOME apps behave as identically as possible, in order to minimize interface confusion for users. Maybe they're doing other stuff, but I haven't got a straight answer.

    WHAT IS RED HAT DOING TO KDE? While we're at it, are they doing similar stuff to GNOME?

  • KDE on RH 8 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tiny12 (148163) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:02PM (#4331417)
    i use RH 7.3 because it included KDE 3. when i tried limbo (RH 8 beta) it was hard to tell what WM i was using. i gave up on it because it didn't even resemble anything i was used to, and it was very slow. if i wanted to learn a new GUI setup i'd go buy a MAC and learn OS X. the thing i have always like most about RH is that it used standard GNU\Linux apps, but made installing and upgrading them a cinch. if i can't install the next version of RH and easily get into KDE or Gnome's default setups i'll just switch to mandrake or debian, both of which are now just as easy to install or upgrade new packages with.
  • Way to stir up the pot Slashdot. Just what we needed, Thanks!!!

    Of course what do the editiors care? They just light the fuse and walk away. It the bystanders who end up getting hurt.

    Now this useless blown up story about a developer who disagreed with his employer will spread all around the internet.

    I look forward to tomorrow's frontpage of Cnet, NY Times etc where they all say the entire opensource community has turned on Redhat. And also how the split between Gnome and KDE is ripping the community apart, and maybe a little Linux is too fragmented FUD as well.

    Did I say thanks already?
  • Sounds to me like he was fired. What kind of wierd ethics puts some freeware project ahead of the company you work for? Redhat does pour alot of cash into open source. Shouldn't they be allowed to steer it as they see fit?
  • by rseuhs (322520)
    ...something like this had to happen.

    RedHat pushes GNOME and GNOME was only created to kill KDE. (Yes, you can mod this down, but it's still the truth and you know it.) RedHat doesn't like KDE and the only reason there were KDE-packages (other than those included in the RedHat releasees) was Bero creating them in his spare time. Yes that's correct, RedHat did not pay their "KDE-maintainer" to create packages for KDE-releases.

    If you look at non-technical usegroups, you will see that in areas where KDE-centric distributions dominate (like SuSE does in Europe), about 5 to 15% of users post with Linux, while Linux is pretty much non-existant in American usegroups (although Linux has risen very much in the last months, it's still usually less than 5%).

    Coincidence? Maybe. I didn't do statistics on all newsgroups.

    (Yes, I do know that usegroup users are not representative for the all computer users, yet is proves that Linux can be used by A LOT of users on the desktop RIGHT NOW and that no magic "formula" is needed. The software is available RIGHT NOW.

    Will RedHat's attempts to "nullify" their desktop make it more successful on the desktop? I don't think so (Will GNOME apps use KDE's great printing dialogue that lets you create or even email PDFs? No. Will GNOME PIM apps be aware of the KDE-counterparts? No. Creating a theme does not solve any problem), anyway we will see what happens. They certainly can't do any worse on the desktop than they are currently doing.

    • by Frater 219 (1455) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:32PM (#4331684) Journal
      RedHat pushes GNOME and GNOME was only created to kill KDE. (Yes, you can mod this down, but it's still the truth and you know it.)

      Actually, it's false, and I suspect you might not know it. GNOME was created by the GNU folks as an alternative to KDE at a time when KDE was dependent on a piece of non-free software, specifically the Qt libraries. Though it's now Free, Qt was at the time "shared source," more or less. Once Qt became Free, people kept developing and using GNOME because they were used to it and had come to prefer it.

      They did it for the same reason RMS started GNU in the first place: to give people who insist on Free Software a good system to use. RMS didn't start GNU to "kill" SunOS or HP/UX or BSD, but to have the kind of system that his ethics and aesthetics preferred. Yes, BSD was non-free when GNU was started: BSD depended on AT&T proprietary Unix code. That quit being the case in 1994 or so -- but you wouldn't expect all the GNU and Linux developers to suddenly jump ship for BSD, would you? Of course not; as with GNOME and KDE, they had come to prefer their own system and kept developing it because they wished to.

      That's called freedom. Not "killing" -- freedom. Learn to recognize it.

  • by Laplace (143876)
    Kde is technically better, but out of the box it looks like ass. You can hardly blame Red Had for wanting a consistent and attractive interface.

    Oh, and guess what: you don't have to use Red Hat. I don't. Funny how the world works. no?
  • Who do I (Score:5, Funny)

    by geekoid (135745) <(dadinportland) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:08PM (#4331459) Homepage Journal
    send my resume to for the newly open posistion? ;)
  • Open Soap Opera (Score:5, Interesting)

    by zentec (204030) <zentec@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:14PM (#4331524)
    Can we please stop the schoolyard spats?

    On minute we have a bunch of Linux zealots beating their drums and putting a bead on the back of Microsoft, bent on unseating Microsoft whenever and where ever they can.

    The next minute, someone actually in a position to move that goal forward, and they're crucified for it.

    Get over it, or get your priorities straight so I can either dump my MSFT stock or buy more of it (seriously). If the goal is to make Linux a viable and flexible operating system, then people need to understand that their Open Source projects may be co-oped by someone else and modified. It's the rules of the game, the nature of the beast.

    If the goal is to create software with your name all over it, a web site that tells everyone what chic and dastardly cool programmers you are, then that's ok too. But don't yell about Microsoft and how Linux would make it all different.
  • What about "normal" users? Is grandma going to be shocked that the latest system doesn't look like stock KDE? No. Grandma is going to have trouble because the various applications don't work the "same way" - the GNOME apps and KDE apps look too darn different.

    Personally, I think trying to make it so users DON'T KNOW NOR CARE what the underlying libraries are makes sense, the resulting system will become much easier to use. If the KDE apps are crippled, then that's a problem, but I'd expect that to be fixed in future releases. More importantly, it's likely that this process will encourage more reuse between the groups, and that's a good thing.

  • The scoop (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by TheFlu (213162)
    Here [redhat.com] is RedHat's take on this issue, which makes a lot of sense to me. If you're interested in trying an alternative to Gnome or KDE, check out WindowMaker [windowmaker.org], it's fast, stable, simple and has some nice themes [freshmeat.net].
  • by greymond (539980) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:16PM (#4331545) Homepage Journal
    Let me summarize what I have read:

    From the article:
    "Red Hat's new "Bluecurve" desktop interface, a customization of the traditional KDE or Gnome interfaces."

    Translates too:
    Red Hat decided - instead of using just KDE and Gnome to add Bluecurve which is a modified version of KDE that is "more user friendly"

    Former RH employee
    "I don't want to work on crippling KDE, and they (Red Hat) don't want an employee who admits (Red Hat) 8.0's KDE is crippleware,"

    Translates too:
    I think the majority of linux users will not want to use this "user-friendly" crap because linux users are all power users and red hat is dulling themselves down just to try and bring more noobs to linux and make some money and i'm too self-righteous to be involved in that hideous plot.

    The words "Cripple KDE and former RH employee" appear on Slashdot and the masses go crazy....
  • Try it? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phorm (591458) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:28PM (#4331646) Journal
    The simplest solution for anything I've ever seen is this:
    Try it for god sakes. Before you bitch about it or even see it, just try it. Wait until Redhat 8.0 comes out, get a copy, install it, and check out the GUI.
    If it sucks big-time, then flaming is somewhat justified. If it works better than what has gone before, then either use it or go crawling back to your old glitchy GUI versions and feel that hollow satisfaction that your whining was warranted.

    Seems to me, the only way anyone wins is if it's an improvement - phorm
  • by bluGill (862) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:29PM (#4331659)

    As an out of work programer, I can tell you first hand that this is not the enviorment to quit in if there is any other choice. Mind you his reasons for leaving are good, but it is aweful hard to get a job today. Maybe he has name recignition to get one, but there are a lot of good programers (and many bad ones too I suppose) who are looking for work.

    Good luck is all I can say. If you find a job, please think of the rest of us without work, and see if you can do something for us. (hint, get me a job. :)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:30PM (#4331668)
    is there a slashdot id berounemployed?
  • It's mind boggling (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brettlbecker (596407) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:41PM (#4331785) Homepage
    that many in the open-source community are so violently against the implementation of the open-source idea. Most of us hate Microsoft and their domination, and hope that GNU/Linux will be able to start making real inroads in this fight. But when Red Hat, the company that already makes the most user-friendly distro and offers the best support for its product, decides to integrate the look and feel of the desktop and so stop this stupid pissing fight between KDE and GNOME, people start yelling that this is creating "crippleware" or that Red Hat is somehow in the wrong to use the basic principle of open source. The thing is, Red Hat understands that too much choice can be just as paralyzing as no choice at all.

    This is just more evidence for the idea that GNU/Linux users don't really want to win the battle... don't want GNU/Linux to become popular... that there is an elitist attitude among many out there (myself included) that relishes the role of the underdog, and wants things to stay with GNU/Linux in that position. So we all need to reconcile these two feelings... ask the question-- do you really want to see GNU/Linux become mainstream? Further, are you willing to see the use of open-source through to its end? So far, in my experience, both of these answers have been "no".

  • by Snafoo (38566) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @05:52PM (#4331896) Homepage
    The underlying phenomenon here was illuminated many moons ago by ESR in his 'noosphere' essay, and is broadly obvious to anyone with a background in marketing.

    Windows has a distinctive look-and-feel. The macintosh has a distinctive l&f. Why? Branding, branding branding! The same organisation that is responsible for the overall package -- the OS in Microsoft's case; computer in Apple's --- is responsible for the interface. The visual differences between KDE and Gnome exist for similar reasons. By replacing their respective brand-imagery with its own, RedHat now gets to gobble up the mindshare of both teams -- the only form of 'payment' that these projects really ask for --- without any sort of renumeration. Need I remind the reader how important mindshare is to the financing and ultimate success of any open source project? Would KDE have received funding from the German government if it had just been some grey nnonymous widget-maker for a couple of American software firms?

    Sure, you could characterise this as a case of warring egos; but egos are essential to survival: The perfectly altruisitic quickly become fodder for the pragmatically selfish. KDE and Gnome are well within their rights to protest; their identities are their equity. That's how this market works --- regardless of the apparent legality or probity of such maneuvers under license.
  • Look and Feel (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arandir (19206) on Wednesday September 25, 2002 @10:18PM (#4333810) Homepage Journal
    Post after post after post are wondering what the brouhaha is over a common look and feel.

    I suspect that significant number of you assume that a common look and feel means a common theme, style, appearance, etc. But that's just the look. The sticky part is the feel. A common feel means that KDE and GNOME behave identically. Think about that one a bit. In order for the goal of a common feel to be successful there has to be major surgery on one or both of the desktops.

    Here is one example that should bring the point home. Lets imagine the Fubar Dialog. Both GNOME and KDE have a Fubar Dialog that allows the user to set their snafu level. Under KDE, this dialog is modeless applies to the application snafu level. Under GNOME it is modal but operates on the global snafu level. So how do you make a common Fubar Dialog? Do you make the KDE version act globally? And what about all those applications that used the Fubar Dialog? Will you change them as well? After all, a modeless dialog is pretty useless if the application still thinks its modal. And what about third party applications (that don't come with Redhat) using that dialog?

    The point I'm trying to make here is that a common feel between two desktops is a MAJOR undertaking. It's so great a task that I seriously doubt Redhat is going to be able to pull it off.

    Instead of assuming that we need a common look and feel just because the convicted monopolist has one, why not treat the existance of multiple desktops as an inherent advantage to Free Software operating systems?

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