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Inside Ximian 203

An anonymous reader writes "Linux and Main is running a story of a visit to Ximian headquarters and a talk with Nat Friedman, Miguel de Icaza, and Jon Perr about GNOME2, Ximian 2, and getting Linux onto the corporate desktop. Interesting and funny, with lots of details about the place and the guys."
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Inside Ximian

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  • by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @04:52PM (#4231609) Journal
    1) Does it have to be aesthetically-pleasing to the eye?


    2) Does it have to be just like MS Windows?

    No. Working with any computer's interface is a learned behavior. People learned about the _ [ ] X buttons at the top right of their programs because every computer they sat down at was running Windows. They soon realized that the X closed a window, the _ made it temporarily dissappear.

    Many studies say that modern day UI must "look like a Microsoft product". Sorry to break it to you, Sun et al., but this simply isn't true.
  • by mrcparker ( 469158 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @04:55PM (#4231632)
    From what I have read, Ximian gets a whole lot of their financing through contracts with Unix companies like Sun to port GNOME to their architecture.
  • by chetohevia ( 109956 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @05:15PM (#4231782)
    Ximian GNOME has a number of advantages over the standard desktop GNOME that comes with your distro.

    For the desktop itself, we put a lot of effort into making sure it's more attractive, easier to use, and better updated. We focus on the desktop, we're desktop experts, and it shows.

    * If you're using it in a large company, it's cheaper because it's the same on more than one platform: this consistency makes both UNIX and Linux systems less expensive to support. (This portion, by the way, is free).

    * People buy Ximian Connector because they want to be able to connect to Exchange 2000 systems without having to use Outlook Web Access and without having to use a Windows box. Especially in large corporations where engineering is a Linux/UNIX installed base, it's important to be able to schedule with the management and use the shared address books and so forth; if you can't, you might as well not exist.

    * People use the Red Carpet CorporateConnect service in order to have a stable, cross-platform way to ship their own software, plus operating system and desktop software from multiple vendors. They need to manage software installation sets and updates across multiple platforms, without vendor lock-in.

    * Companies like HP and Sun pay us to perform custom development work, including accessibility improvements and platform ports.

    * Individuals like you sign up for Red Carpet Express to get faster downloads.

    * Linux ISVs can ship software through Red Carpet or Red Carpet Express. This isn't a really big business now, but it has potential.

    Is that a reasonable enough answer?

    For more information about Ximian desktop software and other products and services, feel free to visit, write to us, or fill out the information request form at

    Aaron Weber
    Ximian, Inc.
  • by SLot ( 82781 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @05:48PM (#4232030) Homepage Journal

    Sure, it has a pretty autoupdate feature, but then so does debian and mandrake, and it can be added to redhat, .... And if you install it then your installation seems to be not quite compatible with a standard gnome install.

    The easiest way I've seen to keep Ximian from screwing up things that up2date should do (thanks /. poster who originally wrote this!) is to get a list of ximianized packages, tell up2date to ignore them in /etc/sysconfig/rhn/up2date in the pkgSkipList section.

    Something like:
    rpm -qa --queryformat "%{NAME}\t%{VENDOR}\n" | awk '$2 ~ /Ximian/ {print $1}' |sort | perl -pe 's/\n/;/' > ximian.list

    works well for me.

  • Landmark Center (Score:2, Informative)

    by arcturus21 ( 212289 ) on Tuesday September 10, 2002 @08:00PM (#4233230) Homepage
    Having worked above Ximian in the same building for the summer i know the space well. The building is quite nice. I believe Ximian has the 3rd floor in the West Wing although I have not been there.

    The building used to be a Sears warehouse and then was not used and in ill repair for many years. Now it is reopened as nice offices. It has twin large seven story Atriums in the center of both wings which allow some nice natural light into offices that would otherwise be without. More pictures of the building are here []

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead