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Ximian

Ximian Desktop 2 Reviewed 188

Bruha writes "Lewt over at Warcry News Network has written his review for Ximian Desktop 2 targeted at the home users that are looking for a good desktop solution. He mentions this is a good product that could be bundled with Redhat or Mandrake to provide a one stop solution for the desktop user where they dont have to install any extra software to fully surf the web. Which you do with KDE/Gnome installs of most distro's."
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Ximian Desktop 2 Reviewed

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  • by Blymie ( 231220 ) * on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:29PM (#6204717)
    What a horrible review.

    This thing was all of 10 sentences, contains no detail, and just plain sucks.

    Can we have a _real_ review, by someone competent, please? Perhaps one that actually took more than 3 minutes to write, and has some detail?
  • Pants review (Score:5, Insightful)

    by danrees ( 557289 ) * <dan@GIRAFFEdwrees.co.uk minus herbivore> on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:30PM (#6204719) Homepage
    Is it just me, or does this review amount to little more than "Ximian Desktop reorganised my menus nicely for me". It seems hardly worth posting on Slashdot at any rate.

    It doesn't even have screenshots! I thought it was accepted here that reviews without screenshots are worthless?!
    • "It seems hardly worth posting on Slashdot at any rate."

      It's the weekend. What else are they gonna do?
    • Re:Pants review (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Mr.Ned ( 79679 )
      I've been using XD2 since Tuesday and, to be honest, there's not much more to it over Redhat. The fonts are much better, the menus are better-organized (although picking up programs is a bit hit-and-miss as some Redhat wouldn't recognize Ximian does, and the other way around), everything just looks better, and the software is more 'up2date'.

      That's not to say I'll be switching back to plain Redhat anytime soon - I really like XD2. It's just not a huge leap. Think the difference between RH8 and RH9.
    • Is it just me, or does this review amount to little more than "Ximian Desktop reorganised my menus nicely for me". It seems hardly worth posting on Slashdot at any rate.
      My cat's breath smells like cat food.
  • by Kris Magnusson ( 115926 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:30PM (#6204723) Homepage
    It's more like a long blurb. Where's the beef?

    ............. kris
  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:32PM (#6204730)
    He mentions this is a good product that could be bundled with Redhat or Mandrake to provide a one stop solution for the desktop user where they dont have to install any extra software to fully surf the web. Which you do with KDE/Gnome installs of most distro's.

    You do? I never have.... ALL distros I have ever used that set up a KDE or GNOME desktop for you, have a web browser, normally Mozilla/Konqueror.

    Personally I snarfed the Ximian artwork/theme and stuck with my RH9 desktop. It does everything I need, and is pretty well organised. Nonetheless, for business I would definately consider it, if only for the integrated OO and printing work.

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Blymie ( 231220 ) * on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:34PM (#6204745)


      You've already reviewed more than that blasted review did. It didn't even _mention_ integrated OO and printing.

      This is the first time I've heard of it.
    • Re:What? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by $calar ( 590356 )
      Mandrake??? Ximian currently doesn't support Mandrake for XD2, only for Evolution 1.4.

      If anything, he should have said SuSE, who is officially supported.

      Either way, you are right that the distros do a great job already. However, I have installed Evolution 1.4 via Ximian's network software installer and found it to be an absolute dream.

      I assume XD2 is the same, but I am a Mandrake user, so I haven't tried it.

      If both systems are Linux Standard Base, then I don't see why it shouldn't work, though.
    • ALL distros I have ever used that set up a KDE or GNOME desktop for you, have a web browser, normally Mozilla/Konqueror. In fact any version of KDE since 2 always includes the browser, it is as integrated into the desktop as MS Internet Explorer into Windows.

      GNOME 2 however doesn't have a browser, unless I add something like Mozilla, so this Ximian Desktop 2 idea is great. KDE has Konqueror and you can install Konqueror on top, but I think OpenOffice and Mozilla are more powerful. KDE 3 needs its competit

    • ALL distros I have ever used that set up a KDE or GNOME desktop for you, have a web browser, normally Mozilla/Konqueror.

      I may be wrong, but I don't think it's just about the browser. On lesser systems (i.e., Windows), you get a browser, but you also get RealPlayer, Acrobat, Flash, a JRE . . . all things which are, to many people, essential to "fully surfing the web," but aren't included in many Linux distros by default. Apparently if you pay for XD Pro, though, you get all that.

      Of course, the last time

  • Worst review ever (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sanity ( 1431 ) * on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:33PM (#6204733) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps it is just me, but this is one of the worst and least informative reviews of anything I have read in a long time. He starts out mumbling something about fonts, then goes into an unintelligable discussion of "menus". Apparently Red Carpet looks "cool" - very informative, thanks.

    I learned more about this product by spending 20 seconds on the ximian.com website than by reading this entire "review". Are the /. editors even bothering to read these stories before they post them these days?

    • >> ....this is one of the worst and least informative reviews of anything I have read...

      Just wait....Reviews are getting progressively worse around here.

      Readers deserve reviewers who are literate, who place their review in context (is the reviewer an adolescent gamer or a corporate exec?) and actually demonstrate enough competence to warrant our time and attention.
  • indeed. (Score:1, Redundant)

    by labratuk ( 204918 )
    ...where they dont have to install any extra software to fully surf the web. Which you do with KDE/Gnome installs of most distro's.

    Um. No, no you don't.
  • by A5un ( 586681 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:38PM (#6204766)
    For Redhat 9 user, there is a serious problem with rpm db conflict. It has been reported here [ximian.com], so install at your own risk.
    • by forevermore ( 582201 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @01:04PM (#6204899) Homepage
      As has been suggested in that bug report, it's pretty easy to recompile the RPM without the "obseletes" clause. Well, for those of us redhat users who still remember how to compile things... Just `apt-get source db4` (or download the source your own way), do an `rpm -i` on it, which will place the spec into your redhat/SPECS directory. Then, just edit the .spec file, remove (or comment out) the "Obseletes: db1" clause and recompile with `rpmbuild -ba db4.spec`... viola! reinstall it and all of your dependency issues are fixed.. annoying to have to do this, though. that bug really needs to be resolved.
      • Um... isn't the ENTIRE point of this desktop to make it easy to use for people who don't understand what compile means? Matter of fact, they likely wouldn't understand source, comment out, recompile or dependency either.

        Do not make the assumption that the user is intelligent... he will hate you for imposing your unrealistic expectations upon him.

  • by TheFlu ( 213162 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:41PM (#6204784) Homepage
    I searched for quite a while, trying to figure out how to change the default browser for XD2 from Galeon to Opera. I always like to write up tutorials on little things like this when I come across them, so you can find that info here [thelinuxpimp.com].
  • The only comment on this review that comes to mind is as substantiated, well worked out and thought thru as this review

    "Boooo, bad!!"
  • My Review (Score:5, Funny)

    by daemonc ( 145175 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:43PM (#6204803)
    It's new and, uh, stuff.

    And new stuff is cool!

    Think I could make headlines on Slashdot?
  • XD2's good. It would be even better if they called up the Opera folks in Norway to make a nice little bundle together. Perhaps even a XD2 Special Edition Opera, with the appropriate style?
  • to the author of the review, the word is spelled 'definite': does no one believe in spell checkers?
  • Does anyone know where an ISO image of this can be downloaded?
    • You can download the installer and packages seperatly and point the installer at the files, the installer supports it. (though I can't vouch for how well, not having tried it.)
      find the files at one of the Mirrors [ximian.com]
      • While it won't help the original poster, the installer caches the downloads in /var/cache/redcarpet/packages, so if you are installing on multiple systems then yuo can just duplicate this directory on all of the machines and it will not bother to fetch them from the mirrors. I would not recommend running the install program if you don't have a lot of time though. Out of five installs, two worked and three died half way through and left the RPM database in a horrible state. Of the three that broke, two I
  • by MosesJones ( 55544 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:49PM (#6204837) Homepage

    Normally reviews are cluttered with screenshots or useless information about how a product actually functions and is better than another product. Or even worse where they talk about limitations that a paticular product has over something else and recommend a best fit.

    This review was exactly what you want, very little useful information, a claim around it being better without really explaining the short-falls of other options, and a killer feature of recognising menus, which is clearly the most important element of a suite of products that aims to present a user-focused simple desktop solution.

    I applaud the Slashdot editors for doing away with reviews that leave us informed or challenged and have instead opted for reviews based just on opinions of someone only a few grades above Joe Sixpack.

    This is truly a change for the better on Slashdot and I look forwards to the Windows Server 2003 review where it tells me that installing IIS6.0 was a breeze.
  • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:51PM (#6204851) Journal
    The most recent version of gnome 2.2 is quite nice. Natulus and a mac like file bar is included.

    I do not understand the point of buying ximian if gnome2 is just as good. Is there any goodies that are not included in vanilla gnome?

    What about FreeBSD and Unix support? So far it looks like a mandrake, suse, and redhat only product. Not even debian support is included.

    • I do not understand the point of buying ximian if gnome2 is just as good.

      Um, ximian gnome is free....

      • I'm sorry but cheap with support will always win over free without support.. 40 dollars for redhat with support and 99 dollars for XD2 so the consumer has some tech support to help them out with problems.

        Yes free software has support in many cases but when you pay a company for something that means they'll usually provide you with support and secondly you're helping the economy by giving someone a job and they pay for other services and give others jobs..

        though freeware/gpl and such does have a place in
    • by ubernostrum ( 219442 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @02:46PM (#6205476) Homepage
      I do not understand the point of buying ximian if gnome2 is just as good. Is there any goodies that are not included in vanilla gnome?

      Software-wise, Ximian includes the heavily-tweaked OpenOffice.org suite which is apparently a lot nicer than the standard version. But primarily, Ximian makes it easy. Installing GNOME is a pain in the ass; you have to download a bunch of packages and compile them in just the right order. Ximian makes it easy by automating the install, and makes things easy afterward with the Red Carpet update service. Insanely easy package management is also something GNOME doesn't do by default.

      Finally, Ximian is a company which will provide support to customers who want it. The people who produce GNOME are (while producing a wonderful product) a non-profit bunch of programmers who will refer you to the FAQ or the mailing list if you have a problem. To corporate customers, that one feature is all the "goodies" Ximian needs.

      • Installing GNOME is a pain in the ass

        Indeed. On my FreeBSD box I had to type

        portinstall gnome2

        which is far more effort than I would like to have spent. The main thing that Ximian seem to have brought to Gnome 2, OpenOffice and Moz are a consitent theme (which is actually very nice. Slightly reminicent of Aqua, without being an obvious copy. Looks proffesional, and simple.) and a set of dumbed-down menus (which are exactly what I needed for the lab I was installing it in - a user friendly set of basi

  • Hrmmm (Score:1, Troll)

    by Bruha ( 412869 )
    Well considering I wrote the review I could of went into all that mumbo jumbo about it had this feature, it lacked this feature.. Frankly my criteria was very short.. Stock install of RH 9 then ran the command to install XD2 and logged back in and performed the baisc things a desktop user would do..

    You cannot do that with a stock install of RH 9 with the KDE/GNOME interface at all.. you've got a ton of 3rd party utilities you may or may not have to install depending on your use of the web.

    If you want s
    • I think people consider the review worthless because there was no information contained in it that has not been covered elsewhere. In short, it was too short. Mentioning that you like the way the menus are arranged does not a review make.

      That review was about as informative as the book reports I used to write in grade school that were entirely based off the summary printed on the back cover.
    • Re:Hrmmm (Score:2, Funny)

      by perimorph ( 635149 )
      Wait.. It took you three hours to write that..??
    • Re:Hrmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2003 @02:04PM (#6205217)
      No, everyone's complaining because it was a badly written, uninformative and utterly useless review. Don't try to pawn it off on people just not liking what you want to hear, it's not going to work.

      1) Read the definition of "review" in a dictionary. I don't think you fully grasp the meaning yet.

      2) Learn to write. You know, properly. "Redcarpet really looks cool." Oh, wonderful. What looks cool about it? Guess you forgot that part..and just about everything else that entails a review.

      3) Make sure you've finished one and two before you ever submit a story again, if for nothing else than respect for the other visitors.
    • Re:Hrmmm (Score:2, Insightful)

      Well considering I wrote the review I could of went into all that mumbo jumbo about it had this feature, it lacked this feature..

      *sigh* I hate to be the next guy bashing your review since it's gotten bashed enough by now and people already get the idea, but... all that mumbo jumbo as you put it, is by many considered to be the basis of any decent review. A review that just says "I tried it, I liked it, it has nice colors" is not a review. It's good enough to be used in a conversation with your pals, bu

      • You could just as well have written this in 10 seconds instead of wasting 10 minutes of your day on this by just writing: "Ximian Desktop 2: Ooh, shiny!!!"

        Actually, when I installed XD2 my first reaction was exactly that. 'Ooh, shiny!!!'

    • As a professional product reviewer myself, here are some hints.
      1) Don't hide that you're the guy who submitted the story to slashdot. It's rude, at least in my opinion.
      2) MS Word has a grammer checker in it. You may wish to use it. "First impressions were of the clean interface it provided just like Windows XP you start out with a mostly blank desktop." This sentence grammer poor. Slashdot posts, usenet or personal web pages that's acceptable. I am not an English major and do make mistakes. But the q
    • Well considering I wrote the review I could of went into all that mumbo jumbo about it had this feature, it lacked this feature.. Frankly my criteria was very short..

      "Could of"? Your "criteria" was "very short"? Sorry, but with grammatical errors such as these, I don't think you're capable of writing a real review at this point.

      If you want something detailed then instead of taking 3 hours I'll put in a weeks worth of the freetime I do these things in and prove something useful to you.

      Despite the fac

  • by HardcoreGamer ( 672845 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @12:59PM (#6204872)
    Let me rewrite the intro to more accurately reflect what this is about.

    Bruha [mailto] writes "Lewt [mailto] [THAT'S ME!!!] over at Warcry News Network has written his [MY] review for Ximian Desktop 2 targeted at the home users that are looking for a good desktop solution. He [I] mentions this is a good product that could be bundled with Redhat or Mandrake to provide a one stop solution for the desktop user where they dont have to install any extra software to fully surf the web. Which you do with KDE/Gnome installs of most distro's. Thanks for reading my crappy so-called review, boosting my site's traffic [warcry.com] and increasing my Karma [slashdot.org], my pageviews and my ad revenue.''

  • Very affordable! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by spaic ( 473208 )
    for the 99 dollars it really stands as very affordable for the home user also.

    If you value 10 minutes of work for installing java and flash to $99, then it's definitely affordable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2003 @01:05PM (#6204906)
    Since many of you do not have the time to read such an elaborate, sprawling column, allow me to summarize:

    "0MGz!!!1! X1m14N 1Z t3H r0X0R!!!1!"

    You will note that, in summarizing, I have attempted to remain consistent with the author's breathtaking command of the English language, meticulous attention to detail and stunning grammatical prowess.
  • by jeramybsmith ( 608791 ) on Sunday June 15, 2003 @01:06PM (#6204910)
    My biggest problem with Ximian is that it breaks your distro's dependency tree. Sometiems they will use split packages wheres your vendor doesn't. Installing ximian means you break your upgrade path, now why would anyone want that?

    It seems to me a trifle thing to use the same package names your vendor does and work within how things in your distro are already done.

    • by bheerssen ( 534014 ) <bheerssen@gmail.com> on Sunday June 15, 2003 @01:32PM (#6205023)
      That is a valid concern. Ximian is not right for everybody - if you do a lot of tweaking to your system, lots of upgrades and whatnot, then you would probably be better off without it. If you are running IT for a business, Ximian has a lot to offer - simple install, consistant, bundled with many third-party applications. That last point is a big time saver when rolling out numerous new desktops.

      As far as distribution support, that's like trying to hit a dozen different moving targets all at the same time. Better to settle on a common target and leave it to the administrator to take care of his/her distro's idiosyncracies.
      • As far as distribution support, that's like trying to hit a dozen different moving targets all at the same time. Better to settle on a common target and leave it to the administrator to take care of his/her distro's idiosyncracies.

        All the different distros are hard to comply with all at once, but that is a large part of what ximian do: package gnome (and some 3rd party software) in a nice and sleek bundle. That should include packaging it for all major distributions (that includes debian).

  • My thought on XD2 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'd had to say I agree with the comments from "A look at Ximian Desktop 2" @ lwn.net. LWN look [lwn.net]

    While this type of lockin and setup is fine for the home user I don't see this fitting into the corporate environment at all. First off OO simply CANNOT import all word docs correctly. Basic text is does fine, but as soon as you add a bullet point or any other basic formatting OO chokes on it. Sure the person who recieves your editted file can do some tabbing and fix some messed up spacing but how unprofession
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 15, 2003 @02:01PM (#6205190)
    I installed it the day it came out. I've been mucking with it for a week now and have some observations.

    1) What is the "integration" with OpenOffice? Aside from a different splash screen? OK, my theme fonts come across to the user interface, and it uses Ximian icons now, but it loads (the first time) as slowly as ever.

    2) They should have left the GDM splash screen scheme alone. It took a while to figure out how to replace their splash screen with my old (custom) one.

    3) Mozilla is broken and shouldn't have been released. When on a page that uses javascript to open a smaller window (like TV Guide listings is where it can easily be reproduced) then sometimes the text in the child window is randomly truncated. There are other bugs but that's the most glaring.

    4) Ximian cripped Galeon so that it can no longer use themes!!! Bad Ximian.

    5) Ximian's installer destroys a users custom menus even when told to leave them alone. My RedHat "system tools" menu is gone, along with my Crossover Office menu. There's got to be an easy way to restore my old menus but I haven't found it yet.

    6) The RedHat "alert" icon no longer works. I miss it - it was a nice way to tell instantly if there were any updates (yeah I know, RedHat sends out emails for their updates, but I still miss it).

    7) There are some nice improvements like the "network proxy" setting that doesn't workin the default RedHat 9 install works now, so you only need to set the proxy once, and panel applets that need network access actually work now.

    8) I know this sounds harsh but overall I do like it. Bugs have been filed so we'll see how it goes in the next few weeks...
    • 1) GnomeVFS support in Open/Save and opening in Evolution?
      2) GDM > Install theme ... Select theme
      3) Mozilla is broken, yes
      4) System theme is the best
      5) Don't know about that one maybe somebody else knows
      6) Redhat alert icon is now in red carpet if you subscribe to chanell
      7) Yes
      8) I like it too
  • I just installed XD2 on RH9 and Galeon won't start. Here's the error:

    $ galeon&
    [1] 14570
    $ trying to load bookmarks from /home/user/.galeon/bookmarks.xbel

    ** (galeon-bin:14570): WARNING **: I could not load the bookmarks file, will load the default bookmarks.
    Detected version of bookmarks file: galeon2
    INTERNAL ERROR on Browser End: No manager for initializing factory?

    System error?:: Success

    Anyone else have this problem? Know a quick fix?

    Thanks! Peter

  • It's not very in-depth, but I posted my thoughts on XD2 the other day on my weblog [xwell.org].
  • Lewt: Hey Taco, we need some traffic over to 'warcry'.

    Taco: Slip me a couple of G's and I'll put something up at the weekend - do you have any interesting content?

    Lewt: Nah, any old shit will do. I mean, we don't really have a life - we're too busy playing games. Hey, I suppose I could review the 133t new Ximian Desktop that my older brother's using at work.

    Taco: Err, that'll do. If anyone complains I'll say Katz did it.

    Taco, you're the man. Maybe soon we'll be more famous than our namesake [salvos.org.au]

    Seriously T

  • I'll definitely support them with my money and you can download and install it free over the internet if you have wget installed open a terminal su to root and type in ... without the periods of course :) and their sleek installer will download and launch. Ok, now... breathe...
  • I'd been waiting for XD2 impatiently - after all, XD 1.4 was such a big step over what was bundled with Red Hat at that time. So when XD2 finally came out I immediately installed it.

    My impression, summed up in one sentence: I've now gone back to a stock Red Hat install.

    Slightly more information:

    The bundled fonts were certainly superior to Red Hat's. I do like Ximian's file selector. But that's about all that struck me as being better.

    On the downside, my RHN applet suddenly refused to work - not sure why
  • this is the worst review i have ever read in my life.

    and this comment just astounded me:

    The OpenOffice.org office suite included is supposed to be even more compatible with Office documents though I did not really do any testing in that department since Iâ(TM)m focusing on the desktop user.

    so, right, desktop users don't use office producivity applications? right.

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