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Slashback: Humility, Patents. 598

Slashback brings updates on Salon's quest for money, Miguel de Icaza's thoughts on the most recent KDE vs. GNOME critique, bad news for anyone who wants a cute Windows-free laptop from, and more -- read on for more details.

Realism in the midst of hubris. An anonymous reader writes "In a disconcerting e-mail on an interoperability thread Miguel de Icaza affirms that Gnome, is in fact, lagging behind KDE. As stated in the e-mail 'At this point we are not fatally loosing a race for adoption, and a race to see our baby and our work be used by millions, but we are lagging behind. In this area, I agree with Jeff, I personally (because of the emotional component described before), would like to see more work be done on the Gnome desktop and less on replicating infrastructure.'"

More on the ideas that Apple owns. Turquoise Hexagon Sun writes "In a followup to yesterday's 'garbage patent' article, John Kheit has written an interesting piece on software patents where he goes into the history of software patents and the difference between utility and design patents."

Sick of this yet? Speaking of patents, An anonymous reader draws your attention to a point unmentioned in yesterday's book review: "The article Aspect-Oriented Programming with AspectJ gives an excellent introduction to AOP. However, neither the author nor the AspectJ website discloses that AOP is patented (US Patent #6,467,086). It is certainly beneficial to the programming community if the patent holders can clarify the purpose of the patent."

Shipping beats small and / or light. jcarr writes "Seems Lindows can't ship the portables it advertised. I ordered one from GearZoo the day it was reported. The CEO of GearZoo sent the attached email about it. Sounds like an opportunity for another manufacturer.

Dear Customer,

Because of recent licensing issues with, our supplier is unable to ship us any Lindows Mobile PC's. Thus, we are unable to fulfill your order for this product. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We would, however, like to offer you the eNote Travel Lite notebook for purchase. The Travel Lite has similar specifications to the Lindows Mobile PC, and comes installed with Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition for only $879. You can also purchase the eNote without an operating system installed for only $789. The $10.00 discount I emailed you earlier would also apply to this purchase as well.

We are receiving a shipment of the Travel Lites later this week, and will be shipping them out to customers next week. We will also have the Travel Lite product information up on our Web site on Tuesday, March 4. Please let us know if you would like to replace your Lindows Mobile PC order with an eNote Travel Lite. If you decide to cancel your original order, then please let us know and we will process your request immediately.

Once again, our sincere apologies. We look forward to hearing back from you regarding your order.'"

I'd much rather read Salon than watch the Big Dig get dug. x_man writes "According to Salon, thousands of people have rallied behind the online publication and purchased subscriptions for themselves or their friends."

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Humility, Patents.

Comments Filter:
  • Lose/Loose? (Score:5, Funny)

    by flynt ( 248848 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:05PM (#5445404)
    As stated in the e-mail 'At this point we are not fatally loosing a race for adoption

    Has anyone done a study as to why people who program computers cannot correctly conjugate "to lose"? It really interests me!
    • by kwiqsilver ( 585008 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:28PM (#5445548)
      It's not an issue of conjugation. "Loose" is a completely different word. They're not even homophones.

      Butt its amazing how many people they're our who don't no how to use the write homophone. :)

      Seriously though, it's not just computer geeks. Most "educated" people in the US don't have adult level grammar skills. My 10th grade English teacher frequently told me that I did "real real good" on tests. (Three words, four grammatical errors, that has to be a record).
    • by Cpt_Kirks ( 37296 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:43PM (#5445643)
      Has anyone done a study as to why people who program computers cannot correctly conjugate "to lose"?

      The same reason English majors can't find the "any" key? And keep breaking the "cup holder"?
  • That laptop only charged $10 for the OS, and is available as stated above without an OS for $10 less. May as well get one if you ordered it and put whatever the hell flavor of Linux on it you wanted to. After all, I hear Lindows isn't all its cracked up to be anyway. Personally, I like Gentoo on my ThinkPad 600E
  • by FosterKanig ( 645454 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:09PM (#5445427)
    Maybe you can help me... I just threw some paper in the garbage. How much do I owe?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Nothing. Your action is not covered by the Apple-owned design patent you refer to.

      Have a good day.
  • Wow (Score:2, Redundant)

    by nizcolas ( 597301 )
    After everyone was about to count as good as dead, comes this announcement. How many ./ readers bought a subscription?

    • Re:Wow (Score:2, Troll)

      by BrookHarty ( 9119 )
      After everyone was about to count as good as dead, comes this announcement. How many ./ readers bought a subscription?

      Thats like saying, how many /. readers use AOL. Im sure they have a couple customers. ;)
  • Sigh. (Score:5, Informative)

    by luge ( 4808 ) <> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:10PM (#5445435) Homepage
    Miguel is mostly wrong. [] I wish that were more clear, though.
    • Seems I missed the law that says "Miguel is always wrong if Havoc Pennington has a different opinion on a topic"
  • by Harvey ( 22651 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:11PM (#5445446)
    It's a running joke on the GNOME mailing lists that any harsh comments made about GNOME will be taken out of context and posted to Slashdot. Good to see that this works in real life!
  • by pjl5602 ( 150416 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:15PM (#5445472) Homepage
    In the follow-up thread to Miguel's email, Havoc Pennington wrote this:

    I hope your mail won't land on Slashdot or some other web site. Slashdot (= shorthand for all similar sites) is the most evil influence possible if we really want to do what it takes for Linux (or UNIX) to succeed on the desktop.

    I would tend to agree with his assessment. Unfortunately the submitter either didn't read the thread or chose to ignore it...

    • Either the submitter ignored it or the "editor" censored it. Either way, it works out, no?

      Criticism of Slashdot is not tolerated around... um... Slashdot.

      • Criticism of Slashdot is not tolerated around... um... Slashdot.

        The first rule of Slashdot is... DO NOT TALK ABOUT SLASHDOT.

        The second rule of Slashdot is... DO NOT TALK ABOUT SLASHDOT.
      • by Xzzy ( 111297 ) <> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:38PM (#5445617) Homepage
        > Either the submitter ignored it or the "editor" censored it

        do you have any evidence of slashdot editors editing news story text to alter the spin on it, or are you just playing the role of tin foil hat boy?

        My initial assumption is that very little editing goes on (considering the number of times in the past anchor tags have had no closing doublequote on the url..) but in the interests of not eating my foot for dinner I'll grant the benefit of the doubt and let you substantiate your insinuations.
        • Um, yes. I've read comments by article submitters that confirm that what they submitted looked nothing like what was actually posted (even though they got credit). I'm not going to go look for specific examples and humor you, but they're out there.

          Now, some people have theorized that the "editors" mix and match similar submissions (which I'm sure they get all the time) and then present them as what was originally submitted. Some stories certainly look that way. For example, disjointed sentences or different writing styles from one paragraph to the next. Is that evil? No. Censorship? Nope. A bad idea? Yep. You DO NOT mess with the submissions. They screw up enough already by adding their "editorial" bylines at the end (which usually are there just to fan the flames).

          Evidence? I have none. But you can always chuck it to the submitter if you feel insulted by my "insinuations" about Slashdot.

  • Ohh, Why! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Microsofts slave ( 522033 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:18PM (#5445487) Homepage Journal
    What kind of licencing problems do they have? Has microsoft finally gotten copyrights on all words ending in "dows"?
  • Code replication (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:20PM (#5445506)
    Wow, will that mean they'll try to make some things more common, like libpng is?

    I know they're working together, some interesting things in Freedesktop [], but there are some other things were they could push all OSes too, like the VFS madness. I guess some global trick would be better than the two application level tricks we have now. It would be nice even if this can be pushed to a really more low level place, using user space, network loop or library preload, and I gues I miss one or two more ways.

    They're all tricks, but would save time, and the best ways would end being part of "Unix". There are current efforts already, even old, but they need the love and more spread usage, no more bashing, they are as "bad" as the kioslaves or gnome-vfs ideas. I believe MacOSX has WebDAV as the kernel level, so all your apps can use it. You can search for AVFS, Podfuck or LUFS and try yourself.

    They, KDE, GNOME and others, are doing lots of things different to typical Unix, and creating new things and standards, so the excuse of this being a change is contradictory with other decissions. It's the time to make new things in the OSS/Free front, right? Full network transarency for all your apps in your machine would be a new thing, at least when talking about lots of people and not just concept operating systems or isolated tests.

  • Salon and math (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hollins ( 83264 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:22PM (#5445515) Homepage
    Salon is rejoicing for getting "several thousand new subscribers". At $20 bucks a pop, this can't be more than $100,000. It has been widely reported that they never even made their December rent payment of $200,000, not to mention their four top executives pull in a combined $40,000 a month in salary. We haven't even gotten into paying for writers or the $80 million they've lost so far.

    Why don't they wake up and understand that it is time to stop the hemorrhaging?
    • add in advertising and theres the rest methinks
    • Re:Salon and math (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kwiqsilver ( 585008 )
      If they're crazy enough to pay $200k per month in rent and another $40k per month for a handful of execs, they deserve to go out of business. It's business evolution.
      How big of a place costs $200000 per month!? My house cost less than that. It probably goes to cover some really swanky place in the heart of SF or another expensive city. Why? They're an internet magazine. Put the servers in the middle of Nebraska, where rent is cheap, and let all your people telecommute.
      Salon is a pretty good magazine with good articles most of the time, but it's not half-a-million a month in expenses good.
      • Re:Salon and math (Score:4, Informative)

        by jfruhlinger ( 470035 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @09:22PM (#5445879) Homepage
        Salon's offices are pretty big (I've seen them). Lots of companies signed long-term leases in San Francisco (where Salon is headquartered) in around 1999-2000 because it looked like real estate was going to the stratosphere and they wanted to lock in current rates. Of course, now they look like schmucks for it, but if they had been able to predict the bubble bursting when it did, they would have done a lot more differently than just sign different leases. But anyway, often these leases are worded so that the only way you can move out and stop paying is to go into bankruptcy.

  • by miguel ( 7116 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:23PM (#5445520) Homepage
    Those of you that read my entire mail to desktop-devel-list will notice that I could only find three places where GNOME was behind KDE:
    • Build is complicated.
    • Some people were under the *wrong* impression that GNOME was slower than KDE. Later on, we benchmarked both, and noticed that GNOME is faster, and smaller than KDE (GNOME 2.2 vs KDE 3.1). So that is not really an issue, but a bad reputation we had from GNOME 1.4
    • Integrated file manager/browser. This one is the only thing that people have repeatedly said they find confusing about GNOME.

    Notice that the first one is something that I suggest might be fixed by `jhbuild' or any of the other programs.

    And the last one is not the end of the world (as Havoc points out in his reply, Konqueror is confusing to newcomers as well).

    It is not the end of the world, because MacOS X people do not seem to have a problem distinguishing file management from web browsing.

    Using my e-mail as proof of lagging is not a proof of a very strong point really. Considering I spend most of my time writing Mono [] code, and gloating over how fast [] I can build applications with Gtk# [] is (I love Gtk#, Pango [] and all the new and lovely platform in Gnome 2.2 which we get to use with extreme efficiency from C# now).

    Btw, my latest toy, 300 lines of C# code, a new list-widget for say a mail program, like maybe, say, evolution: here [].

    The beauty: it took me four hours to write the whole widget, and it takes a fraction of a second to load and render 10,000 messages from my Inbox.

    Mono, Gnome and Gtk# are a very powerful platform.

    • by On Lawn ( 1073 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @09:01PM (#5445757) Journal
      Mono, Gnome and Gtk# are a very powerful platform.

      I can look into Lindows green tinted windows from my office next door. The company I admin is as much an all Linux shop as you get these days. But still there are events that happen every day that make give me wonder and amazement at how far Linux has come.

      I just recently met a VP of a company that makes over 10M revenue a year. I just found out last night that it uses Mono in a crucial role in its production environment. Actually the first company I've heard of at all that uses Mono in a production environment. According to the VP, they'd use Mono exclusively if it had forms support.

      This may not be news to you or anyone else, but I never really considered it was being taken that seriously. I find the news rather encouraging. I really don't see a lapse in Gnome or KDE.

      OnRoad []: More power!

    • I have some concerns about kde and gnome alike - and I figure you are a good person :) And I really don't know enought.

      * Configurability - Gnome to me seems to be getting very unconfigurable, and it's configuration has been likened to the windows registry. Is this really Gnome's direction? I find that very disturbing, as customisability and options are an integral part of my Linux experience. I would not be happy with winning over the desktop with Gnome if it meant sacrificing this. I can't help but feel there's some solution to this question, such as hidden options or something.
      * Licensing - the fact that Trolltech controls the licensing for any commercial apps I find very disturbing also. I don't think that kind of power should be in the hands of a company - it should be in the hands of the community, or open to all (LGPL). I think the advantage is that it provides a little incentive to produce opensource apps, but I still don't like it. This parts not really a question I suppose :)
      * I haven't done much kde programming, and no gnome programming. Qt and dcop feel very clean and powerful, integrated. Gnome doesn't have the same feel, but this is just a conception on my behalf. What is Gnome like? Kde has kparts, kioslave, etc, which to me seem to make sense. Does Gnome have sensible behind the scenes operations that make sense? I really am ignorant and I don't know what to read to find out.

      Ultimately the licensing is enough to turn me off KDE, but everything else seems to be so integrated, powerful, and moving places. I can configure every option I want, upcoming versions are going to have VIM integrated into stuff such as the kmail application, etc. I have no idea where Gnome stands but it seems to be removing all power.

      I used to be a Gnome man as far as desktop choice went, but I've recently come to KDE. I would change again - I have major concerns for me with both platforms. I'm hoping maybe you can provide me with some ansers, or useful URL's?

      And that list-widget looks pretty nice :)
      • The dialog boxes might have less configuration options, but you can still get to the configuration by changing manually the configuration options.

        It is `registry like' in that there is a unified place where you can make changes, and there is a notification system, but unlike the Windows registry the data is not stored in a single binary file, but in a set of separate XML files (in the default shipment, you could write your SQL-based provider if you want).

        Gnome has equivalent components: Bonobo for components, CORBA for RPC, Gnome-VFS for an IO-abstraction and so on.

        Anyways, read the quote from Havoc in the main thread, it is I think a very good overview of where GNOME stands today. And all of our libraries are LGPL, which is good as you point out.

      • by Arandir ( 19206 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @11:54PM (#5446692) Homepage Journal
        The fact that Trolltech controls the licensing for any commercial apps I find very disturbing also.

        But they don't! Go reread the licenses! If you wish to write a proprietary application, you can purchase a license to do so, and license it any damn way you want. If you don't want to pay a fee, then you don't have to and still get a choice of several dozen licenses to use.

        The GPL is not as free as the LGPL. I've been saying this for years. But when I say it out of context of Qt versus GTK+, I am shouted down. When GNU releases all of their libraries under the LGPL, then, and only then, will GNOME developers (which operate under the aegis of GNU) have the moral authority to complain about Trolltech's use of the GPL. GNU can't have it both ways and expect people to take them seriously in issue of morality.

        p.s. Unlike Miguel's memo, there is no "royalty". It's a per developer license to write proprietary apps.
    • I can't understand that you aren't worried about the software patents Microsoft have on the technology. I wouldn't dare using Mono, simply because of that fact. If Mono gets too popular for Microsoft to like, then I find it likely they'll use their patents against Mono.

    • by Phroggy ( 441 ) <.moc.yggorhp. .ta. .3todhsals.> on Thursday March 06, 2003 @04:08AM (#5447572) Homepage
      It is not the end of the world, because MacOS X people do not seem to have a problem distinguishing file management from web browsing.

      Um, is this because Mac OS X doesn't have a combination web browser/file manager that users could find confusing? Why do both Gnome and KDE think they should imitate Microsoft on this retarded idea?
  • Dell & Compaq both sell higher specced laptops, complete with windows tax for $799. I don't see what the big deal was about the Lindows one.

    It seems odd to me that it was getting any press at all. Underpowered and overpriced would be apt descriptions. The only thing going for it would be the weight, but that is a high price to pay for all the things your money didn't get you such as a CDROM even.

  • Great news! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by maynard ( 3337 ) <j.maynard.gelina ... minus cat> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:30PM (#5445565) Journal
    This is the first time I've seen anyone offer a laptop sans OS. $789 looks to be a good deal for the hardware, and I think most of us would have no trouble installing our favorite Linux or BSD distribution. This can only be construed as GOOD NEWS! Finally, a laptop without the Windows tax! (and reasonably cheap too) --M
  • GNOME license (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nonmaskable ( 452595 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:32PM (#5445578)
    Some people want gnome because it makes sense
    license-wise (Red Hat and Sun seem to be concerned about *this* particular issue).

    Considering why GNOME started, isn't it ironic that now KDE/Qt (GPL) is _too_ free for the GNOME partisans who became so addicted to corporate bucks they changed their license to LGPL?

    Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course...
    • Re:GNOME license (Score:5, Insightful)

      by g4dget ( 579145 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @09:58PM (#5446047)
      Free software license aren't a pissing contest, they are deliberately chosen to achieve certain goals.

      Putting the LGPL onto a widget set means that the widget set and desktop can be more easily adopted by companies. The Gnome developers and users consider that a good thing. The adoption of Gnome by Sun seems to suggest that it's achieving its intended goals. You are free to disagree that those goals are desirable.

      KDE made its own, different choice in this regard. We'll simply have to wait and see which one works better in the long run. Each group will have to live with their choices.

    • Re:GNOME license (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Junta ( 36770 )
      The toolkits have been LGPLed and the applications in Gnome GPLed for a loooong time....

      QT is GPL or Trolltech license only, as they want businesses that intend to profit to be able to do so, they just need to cough up Trolltech's fair share in doing so.

      Businesses don't want to share in terms of money if they don't have to, but generally don't mind contributing incidental bugfixes and feature enhancements to the common code, so they can look like good citizens without impacting their bottom line in the least bit. They may fix behavior of a certain widget or even contribute a nice enhanced file selector, and while necessary for their shipping product, the product loses no value by having those trivial bits free and open. This is why businesses love GPL perhaps even better than the BSD license, they can look to be a lot more generous then their true motives. Nothing stops them from doing this with BSD, but people would be more inclined to wonder if they would change their mind one day if they achieved market penetration, as it would be perfectly legal for them to do so.
    • According to the FSF, the Debian project, and the OSI, both Gnome and KDE are 100% free/OSS. Many people would argue that the LGPL is more free than the GPL (and that the BSD/Mit licenses are, in turn, even more free than that). The FSF argues that the GPL does more to promote freedom (by locking out those who want to build non-free systems, thus "protecting" us from the evil proprietary vendors), but even they stop short of claiming that the GPL is more free. And many BSD advocates even claim that the GPL is NOT a free license (since it locks people out) and that the LGPL is closer to being a free license, but still falls short. Thus, to a BSDer, Gnome is closer to being free than KDE, but neither one is actually free, and to everyone else (except, apparently, you) they're equally free.
      • Wow you're defensive - did I hit a nerve?

        and to everyone else (except, apparently, you) they're equally free

        You are misinformed. According to the stated philosophy of _their_own_ organization (the FSF) and the overall project (GNU) of which they are a part, they *are* less free. The L in LGPL stands for lesser.

        From the GNU website, arguing why not to use the LGPL
        Proprietary software developers, seeking to deny the free competition an important advantage, will try to convince authors not to contribute libraries to the GPL-covered collection. For example, they may appeal to the ego, promising "more users for this library" if we let them use the code in proprietary software products. Popularity is tempting, and it is easy for a library developer to rationalize the idea that boosting the popularity of that one library is what the community needs above all.

        "Proprietary software developers" == Funders of the GNOME foundation

        I don't have a problem with their license, just their hypocrisy.
  • OMG! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by The Bungi ( 221687 )
    I can't believe it. You mean the fact that there are two competing desktop environments for Linux is not the absolute best thing that can happen?? I mean, what's the problem? Code apps for two different widget/whatever sets? Who doesn't have the time to do that??

    But woe to the poor soul that even remotely mentions that this is probably not such a good thing.

    "Competition" and "choice" are words frequently used in these contexts. And while I agree with that to a certain extent, I think most zealots are blind to the fact that Windows is a stable, unified platform that can be leveraged without fear of one's products becoming obsolete or broken with the next release of Gnome or KDE.

    And in the end, I think, it all comes down to X being so "wonderful". Wonderfully outdated and quirky and out of place in a desktop environment. What Linux and BSD need is something like Cocoa (or Carbon or whatever it's called) in OS X. Yes, X is part of the Unix legacy. No, it's not needed anymore except in a server, multi-user environment. Desktops ain't that.

    Software vendors will not jump on the bandwagon on technical merit alone. There has to be stability and uniformity.

    • Re:OMG! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by abigor ( 540274 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @09:19PM (#5445864)
      I dunno. I developed for Windows from 3.1 to 2000 inclusive, and my biggest complaint was the shiftiness of the platform - stuff kept changing on me with each Service Pack or Office install. And so much is hidden from view...I remember writing a Windows packet sniffer before raw sockets were included in the OS. You have NO IDEA what a nightmare this was. Stuff just didn't work as documented...who knows why? So it was off to MS tech support...bleh.

      The developer exodus to Linux has little to do with the desktop. It's got everything to do with code openness, and stuff behaving predictably in a stable manner. Like you, I doubt either desktop (KDE or Gnome) will become some huge MS-disturbing force, so developers and companies aren't really targeting them.

      That said, the architecture of KDE is very nice indeed. Assuming you aren't too much of a MS bigot, read some code and see for yourself :)
      • Re:OMG! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by The Bungi ( 221687 )
        I dunno. I developed for Windows from 3.1 to 2000 inclusive, and my biggest complaint was the shiftiness of the platform - stuff kept changing on me with each Service Pack or Office install.

        Well, there's development and then there's development. If you target Office, well, all bets are off. But I'm talking about the OS. Shifty? I have had damn few things break with version changes, much less service packs. But some stuff does break, yes. The sheer volume of software that runs in Windows makes it impossible for everything to be perfect every time the OS needs to be updated. But let's be honest - no software breaks from one version of Linux to another? If you code to the least common denominator, yes. But the same is true about Windows. You take your chances.

        That said, the architecture of KDE is very nice indeed. Assuming you aren't too much of a MS bigot, read some code and see for yourself :)

        Contrary to popular belief, I do know what I'm talking about =) Yes, KDE is cool. Although I admit to being partial to Gnome. And yes, I've written code for both of them, in C and lately Python (even used Kylix there for a while).

        I'm not questioning their technical merits, I'm bitching (I guess) about the fact that it's impossible to target two moving platforms.

        • Re:OMG! (Score:3, Interesting)

          by abigor ( 540274 )
          Yeah, you're correct, stuff in Linux breaks, there are circular dependencies, incompatibilities, and on and on. My point, such as it is, is that there seems to be a bit less guesswork when developing stuff - it's just all right there. Example: I need to see how to track connections through a firewall where the outgoing connection is on one port, and the reverse connection is on another. Answer: look at the FTP tracking code in iptables. There's no need for documentation - it's all right there, before my eyes, to take and use. Which I am doing these days at work.

          And you're right, it absolutely is impossible to track two moving platforms. If (big, big if) Linux becomes something more than a niche desktop, one of them will win, and will be the target of commercial development.

          Finally, ditching X isn't the answer. There's a lot more to each desktop than X. I recently installed GnomeMeeting on my KDE box. As it installed, it dragged in bonobo, Gnome this, Gnome that, and put a bunch of duplicated effort on my machine. That's the real problem, I think - two entirely different application frameworks, desktop services, and support libraries.
    • Re:OMG! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BeBoxer ( 14448 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @09:32PM (#5445929)
      Yes, X is part of the Unix legacy. No, it's not needed anymore

      There has to be stability and uniformity.

      We need stability in the API, so we should throw out X because it's too old and not needed? Isn't that a little contradictory?
  • The toilet bowl icon, when you dump a file in the bowl, part of the icon will turn brown indicating files waiting to be flushed. Permanently deleting files will be accompanied by a flushing sound.
    In Scottish slang the toilet is also known as the kludgie, therefore a wholly appropriate place for files or progs considered a kludge!
  • by rainmanjag ( 455094 ) <joshg&myrealbox,com> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:44PM (#5445646) Homepage
    It's a shame the submitter of the link to GNOME's mailing list didn't read it well... and definitely didn't read Havoc's previous email or his response to Miguel's...

    The real story is a glimpse at a conversation about the philosophy and direction of GNOME between two of it's most respected personalities. Havoc has positioned himself as the effective authority on usability and the user-experience. Miguel has and continues to be a driving force behind the vision of what GNOME can become.

    The points to garner from this discussion are hardly about the GNOME vs. KDE flamewars of late... in traditional fashion, the GNOME developers are quite confident that they're doing the Right Thing and pay only passing regard to the dogmatic flamefests.

    1) The goal of GNOME is not only focused around GNOME but about bringing about a revolution in desktop computing where on the x86 platform there are viable and attractive alternatives to Microsoft. KDE's success bolster's GNOME's success and vice versa. Interoperability lets everybody win.

    2) GNOME2's infrastructure is well thought out and well designed and in fact needs little more before it hits maturity. It has minimized bloat (Havoc and Miguel highlight some of the redundancies between GTK+ and libbonoboui, but these are known and on their way out the door). And for the most part it has gotten good reviews from the developers using it.

    3) GNOME spends a lot of time concerning itself with enterprise customers, whose needs are often very different from those of your local Slashdot user.

    4) Much of the desktop development world, including Mac and Windows are moving towards simpler, cleaner interfaces. GNOME is a member of this camp.

    To quote Havoc: "In short, my opinion is that we have done many of the hardest tasks very well. We've scaled the devel organization and release process to a large number of people. We've sorted out how to manage corporate participation/contribution. We've addressed usability and simplicity. We have nice HIG. We have years of effort completed for Section 508 compliance. We have best depth of application functionality. We are on course to have the devel platform unified/unbloated by GTK+ 2.4, rather than two duplicating layers. We have the most credible enterprise OS vendors involved. We have clean and maintainable code with strong maintainers for nearly all the key components. We've properly modularized those components so we can spread out release cycles and maintenance."

    GNOME feels it's doing things right. It will continue to do things in this manner. Flamefests and Slashdot are the least of its concerns.

  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @08:58PM (#5445745)
    Will the idiots at slashdot please cut it out with the Apple "Garbage" patent?

    This is NOT a software patent, nor is a utility patent of ANY type. It is merely a design patent covering the appearence of the icon for crying out loud. Notice the D in the patent number??? It is there for a reason,

    If slashdot is going to conduct a Jihad against patents, fine. That is their priviledge. But the FACT is that nobody is going to take slashdot seriously until they get somebody to review these articles for their factual content. Until then Slashdot is just a giant joke.

    • Uhm, I never thought I would actually say this, but... RTFA. It explains the difference between utility and design patents, and how Apple's patent on the OS X trash can is a design patent.
      So is Apple some nasty company abusing the system and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)? No, at least not for merely filing a design patent on an icon. Design patents are filed on all kinds of mundane things in every day life: shoes, hats, furniture, silverware, lamps, fonts, etc. It helps prevent people knocking off one another's designs.

      The editor-added "More on the ideas that Apple owns." title is incorrect ("More on the designs that Apple owns." would have been correct), but the submitter and the linked article have the right idea.
  • by gig ( 78408 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @09:14PM (#5445841)
    I would love to see the future history of these guys:

    - someone who spent $799 on a notebook
    - someone who spent $849 on an eNote with MS XP Home
    - someone who spent $999 on an Apple iBook

    That would be like really seeing where the rubber meets the road in consumer information technology. From my experience the iBook will cost less and do more over the working lives of these machines. The iBook is a top quality motorcycle as opposed to a cheap car.
  • Salon. (Score:3, Funny)

    by /dev/trash ( 182850 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @09:49PM (#5446014) Homepage Journal
    So they get a few 1000 subs. Bets on when the next "we're in dire straits" article gets posted?
  • Lindows machines (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@nerdfl[ ]com ['at.' in gap]> on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @10:04PM (#5446091) Journal
    I can't particularly say I care for paying the Microsoft tax on a new machine, but in my experience it's been cheaper to just go that route than to try to find a system where I'm not paying for it. I just end up fdisk'ing the drive anyways and putting Linux on it myself. Then I add the CD's to my Microsoft coaster collection (speaking of which, why am I the only person I know that actually glues cork to the CD's to make actually workable coasters?)
  • by SuperMario666 ( 588666 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @10:36PM (#5446302)
    I'd much rather read Salon than watch the Big Dig get dug. x_man writes "According to Salon, thousands of people have rallied behind the online publication and purchased subscriptions for themselves or their friends."

    In WWII, according to the Imperial Radio anyway, the Japanese won an impressive string of "decisive victories" over Allied forces. Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, Midway, Guadacanal, Leyte Gulf, Okinawa, Iwo Jima. It seems the war was practically over after each of these victories and Japanese marines would soon be storming into Washington. Of course, savvy listeners eventually noticed these "decisive victories" were getting steadily closer and closer to the home islands.
  • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Wednesday March 05, 2003 @11:23PM (#5446551) Homepage
    Seems Lindows can't ship the portables it advertised

    Yeah, just after the story was posted on slashdot and all you freaks sprinted (well, waddled) to your boxen to order a shiny new Lindows laptop. Except you slashdotted their frikkin supply chain. Damn nice job.

    Just wondering, but is there anything that *can't* be slashdotted? Well, anything that doesn't require social skills, anyway.

Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people. -- F.M. Hubbard