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Corel Desktop Linux 104

It's official: Corel will be making a Linux distribution. The distro will have a "simpler" install process, and the distribution will run on the IA-32 architechture initially, then the StrongARM. They have not said whether they will use GNOME or KDE, or their own desktop. The news comes from Mike Cowpland's speech at LWCE.
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Corel Desktop Linux

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  • If anything, Corel is helping the Linux community find out what is needed before Linux can be on the desktop in a big way. I've made a few suggestions:

    (1) Standardise Linux distributions
    To run desktop applications without difficulty, we need to make sure that similar system software, libraries and packaging systems are available. Most of the Linux distributors are standardising on rpm and glibc so this may become less of a problem.

    (2) Standardise Linux desktop components
    We'll need to standardise on one desktop, possibly GNOME or KDE. This may sound bad, but real techies know that if you don't like it, change it--after all, it is X11. If Red Hat ends up using GNOME as part of their distribution as planned, expect GNOME to become the standard interface.

    (3) Standardise Linux desktop API
    This may sound even worse than (2), but we need to make sure that some sort of standard in how Linux applications behave is achieved. Being a Linux user for a while now, I don't need this hand-holding, but lots of inexperienced desktop users need a consistent interface. Microsoft has done reasonably well in this regard, and I'm sure Linux could kick their ass in this department given the necessary effort.

    (4) More desktop applications
    This is obviously something that will occur more rapidly once (1)-(3) are achieved. Full-featured, Personal finance software, vector graphics and diagramming, desktop publishing, and scheduling will be needed to ensure Linux's success in the desktop.

    (5) More hardware support
    Hardware support has been amazingly good in Linux. Of course, hardware support is most important when considering Linux gaming. We need to make sure that 3D accelerator cards and API's are readily available in Linux, even if it's binary-only.

    This should cover many of the requirements I think the Linux community will have to start thinking about. I've seen plenty of developments with LSB and GNOME but there's a long way to go. Corel may be a little too early in developing a desktop-only Linux distribution targeted at the newbie.
  • To make it harder for non-MS programs to import the documents of course! I'm sure the quicksave just sticks deltas at the end of the file (sort of like stuffing a diff at the end of a file) that none of Microsofts's competitors have been able to reverse engineer yet. Has anyone noticed the size of Word documents exploding after a while with the quicksave option on? Then again, these are Word documents, they always take a lot of space...
  • Ayup. I'm seeing the same problem. StarOffice or Applix may be a bit better at it (I don't know). The other issue I have with WP is the interface. Bleah! Why do I need to go poking around menus to create a bullet list? Even Word has that on their toolbar.
  • ...destroys compatibility. Tell folks who send you docs to turn it off.
  • Posted by OGL:

    I've been saying this for awhile.

  • Posted by deskjock:

    Yes this is a good thing. Technical users may look at this and say: "If it aint broke don't fix it..." but lets face it -- In order to gain ground
    on the desktop (after we have finished burying NT on the server side) Linux needs some big support to develop a "Easy to operate as a toaster" desktop solution for the Non-Technical computer users. Last thing I can remember similar to this was me on the other side of the fence saying: "Why do I need some ugly GUI when I have DesqView and QEMM running on DOS....Eventually I caved in -- and the non technical "Drag & Drop, WYSIWYG" features of Windows were not what drove me to Linux.....(it was the whole stability thing...Plus the fact that you could go broke paying $$$$ for bugfixes that should be free --- however are marketed as "major version upgrades...."

  • Posted by AnnoyingMouseCoward:

    This was something that I was looking at a few years back in a rather futile attempt to work out the format.

    Word for Windoze can contain an unbelievable ammount of junk. Take an existing word file, use the "Save As..." option to save as a new name ( so that you can use the main banners and what-not from the original file ) and then re-work the file to your needs.

    Then go in and view the file with a flat ascii file viewer. Amongst other things, it will still contain virtually all of the original document ( as some kind of bug in the "undo" function ).

    I only noticed this after I'd "cloned-and-kludged" several pices of documentation for a series of very similiar programs one after the other. The final word file contained almost complete copies of all of the previous documents ( yes, all the way back to the very first one! ).

    That was on the version of Word for Win 3.1 a few years back. Then again, knowing M$, it probably hasn't changed since then. Is this still a problem in later versions anyone?

    Just my 200Mb of ( redundant ) undo info.
  • The original owner of dBase was Borland...
    The original original owner of dBase was Ashton-Tate.


  • in ten years"

    --Bill Gates, during a promotion in 1997
  • Slackware and Debian have no apparent interest in the corporate market. However, they can lead the market in experimenting with new things that will eventually filter down into other distributions. And don't forget that Red Hat is contributing a lot (in the form of subsidizing Gnome, gtk+, and so forth.
  • by mholve ( 1101 )
    Another distro. Like we need one.

    Hey, maybe it'll run on the Netwinder, if we can ever get one of those... ;>

  • MS hijack linux? Get real. Are you forgeting certain companies who has as much reason to dislike Microsoft as linux users who are now actively supporting linux? You guys are kidding yourself if you think Mircosoft is going to be a major player in a enviroment that wants nothing to do with them.

  • So the dists adopt RPM. Big fucking deal.

  • Get over it. Slackware fell asleep at the switch and paid the price for it. There's a reason people like myself dumped Slackware and went with RedHat, and you damn well know what they are.
  • Wordperfect Suite 8 is stable. I've been using for over a year and I have had it crash only twice during that time.

    You musn't do a lot of mail merges. WP8 crashes every single time I try to do a mail merge. The only way that I have found is to build the data file using Word Perfects built in record editor and then merge it to a file created only in Word Perfect. Given that all of my data is in PostgreSQL this is not much use.

    Star Office randomly decides that all data fields are blank (if it doesn't crash).

    All I want is a damn word processor which will mail merge. I am being forced to retreive an old 850Mb disk to put Windows on it simply so I can install word6

  • Umm...if you're serious about 90 secs to launch, then there's something wrong. Takes about 10 secs on my P90, 48 Meg RAM.....actually, a friend had a similar problem, but that was cos he didn't have mem= set at boot, so Linux wasn't seeing all his memory (only saw about 16 tho he had 90), and was running mostly from swap....if you have more than 64 meg you need this set (I think)....if you were exaggerating and already know all this, just ignore me :-)



  • "How fast is a StrongARM?"

    Well, compared to recent CPUs, not that good. It does have about as good integer as a same speed P2, but pretty poor FP - having no FPU. The one in the netwinder runs at 275Mhz. However, it is cheap ($30), and very low power (1W). It's also been around for two years at about that level - development hasn't been good since the first version.

    Intel are now designing the StrongARM 2, which'll come out in about a year, running up to 600Mhz, and with hardware FP. It'll still be cheap, and consume very little power though. Here's some info at The Register []. Now, if that group doing multiple StrongARMs on a PCI card would do something, then we could have some fun...

    PS I've had a StrongARM in one of my computers for over 2 years... overclocked too. (even overclocked, and with no fan or even heat-sink it barely gets warm...)

  • Corel wants to ship a desktop Linux. They want to ship it soon. This means they have no choice but to use KDE. I have the latest Gnome installed on my system right now and while it's pretty it isn't a release product yet.

    to maintain the Linux/GNU reputation for quality and stability Gnome won't ship before the summer ( at best ). Corel could see this last year when they gave a half dozen Netwinders to KDE members.

    I expect them to overhaul the print system too since printer drivers have traditionally been WordPerfect's strength.

    PS : There are 2 different KDE based all GUI Linux installation programs out there. What's to stop Corel from writing a 3rd or buying into one of those ? ( One will be GPLed the other is unknown )
  • So long as it's LSB compliant (and thus there's no danger of vendors releasing software for Corel Linux only), I'm all for it. The more the merrier.
  • I would expect Microsoft to follow suit in short order with their own, Win32 desktop for Linux--so Linux users can finally enjoy the benefits of a "standard" and "professional" user interface.

    MS is all about protecting the Windows franchise. That's what all of their other products are meant to do. If they start supporting another OS, their empire starts to unravel.

  • What we need now is to slap say, 32 of these $30 chips together and make a whoopity-ass SMP Linux machine.

  • Lotsa programs out there that are binary-only RPM's.

  • I think Corel is making a big mistake here. The Linux comunity is in the process of attempting to build distribution standards so commercial developers won't have to tailor applications to multiple distributions. Adding yet another distribution from Corel won't help matters, and it's pretty obvious that Corel plans to use this offering to cross market it's office products with its new distribution. What does the Linux community get out of this?

    Where does that leave Red Hat, Debian, Suse, and Caldera users? I think Corel should continue porting their product line over to Linux and tailor a known distribution (like the Mandrake project tailors RedHat) so we won't have to deal with even more market segmentation.

    Corel is doing great with their support of Wine. Instead of focusing on something which will (hopefully) fail, why not continue focusing effort on Wine (and porting their commercial products) where they will do the most good?
  • I, for one, am quite uncomfortable with the rather
    cavalier approach Corel appears to be taking to proprietarization of Linux.

    The intent of this press release appears to be to see if Linux users object to the notion of a completely proprietary desktop, owned by Corel, as the means to "bring Linux to the desktop"--as if the efforts of KDE and GNOME--the KDE effort, in particular, being very far advanced and impressive--haven't been absolutely instrumental in the current convergence on Linux among vendors and end-users alike.

    I would expect Microsoft to follow suit in short order with their own, Win32 desktop for Linux--so Linux users can finally enjoy the benefits of a "standard" and "professional" user interface. If we want to go that way, I think we might as well buy NT--and I have no such intention.

    I was similarly troubled by the tone of a previous Corel press release, in which a Corel executive stated they think Linux gives Corel the opportunity to "dominate the UNIX market."

    Corel appears to be offering a great asset to the Linux community with one hand--its office applications, WINE assistance--and threatening that community with the other. Linux users benefit from commercial products, they don't benefit from domination.

  • The actual developers aren't the rabid flamers in the GNOME vs. KDE argument.

    The developers have expressed a desire to facilitate interoperability between components, even if they're not that keen on sharing code (that whole c/c++ thing).

  • They won't.

    And if they do, they will immediately lose respect from the people that matter: >95% of the current Linux users.

  • I don't really care if Corel makes a new distro - it will be easier for them to support their products that way. They don't need to roll their own, just take Red Hat and modify it some (ala Mandrake).

    I'm concerned mainly whether they're going to use GTK for their applications or that HORRIBLE implementation of Motif they did for Word Perfect.

    Does anyone know whether it's possible for them to write apps to winelib but still use GTK (I have no idea)?

    GTK kicks ass. They need to use GTK!!!!!!!! and don't say GTK is ugly because it's themeable.

  • ...but so far I guess I'm in the minority. Maybe what was meant by "more like Windows" was to make it more user friendly. Even if they made the UI identical to Windows, much as that would make the majority of ya'll yack (and me as well), I think it would be great.

    As long as there was a simple, put the CD in and go install with great tech support. Fancy, new lookin', new fangled stuff could be put in later. Otherwise there's too much chance of frazzling John Q Normal. We need John (and Jane) Q Normal. Otherwise Linux will die in the dust with Bill in his black hat chuckling holding two six shooters...
  • The only thing I worry about as far as Linux is concerned is the desire that some people express for the one true anything. Competition fosters evolution through rivalry and through cross pollination. In my opinion, GNOME would not have existed (or at least been developed as quickly) without KDE. Conversely, I doubt that Troll Tech would have worked as hard on the QPL if not for pressure brought on by GNOME.

    Standards are fine, and applications should play together, but software should evolve. I run Window Maker with GNOME and KDE applications just fine, thanks.

    I want to be able to choose between distributions, desktops and applications. Luckily, as long as the code is free (as in speech), I'll always have a choice. Welcome to the revolution, enjoy the ride.

  • Sorry if your misconstruing of my comment upset you :P

    It didn't upset me, it gave me a chance to beat the "more is better" drum. :-)

  • "Embrace, extend, and smother," anyone? You want to talk about standards mutilation, and 90% of the "MS-Linux" users wouldn't know the difference, or care.

    I'm afraid that they COULD hijack it, if they wanted to. Except that I get the sense that many vendors are supporting Linux to spite M$ a bit, and if they hold to the standards, to the degree that their apps don't work on "MS-Linux"... well, that'd be an interesting situation.

    Am I making any sense? :-)
  • i would say your just a little paranoid. Corel is taking a risk even going with linux. How could they possibly make money if WP only worked on their distro? They might as well make WP only for OS/2.

    sorry your so paranoid.

    Right now linux is still only used by techies. (ie isp, geeks, etc) Do you think we/they would use WP if they had to change from their fav distro? dont think so.
  • Say Microsoft did create their own distribution of Linux? What would happen? Businesses would be faced with a choice between a 100% pure, open-standard, stable Linux, available from multiple trusted vendors, and a more expensive, proprietary, less-stable Linux, supplied by a single, sneaky vendor. Given that Microsoft would not have their current IBM-deeded head start, I'll bet that the open standard would win, just as is now happening with Corba, Java, and the Internet in general.

    Let's say I'm wrong. Say Microsoft once again sucked the PHBs into using their adulterated Linux. What will have changed? What's the difference between a proprietary MS Windows, and a proprietary MS Linux? The answer is: no difference! The Linux community will carry on, continuing to support open-standard, open-source Linux. And, to those who argue that an MS bizarro-Linux will hurt the credibility of Linux, I would answer that, in the eyes of the PHBs, MS will have legitimized it, thus making the leap to real Linux even easier.

    I'm not worried.
  • You make some excellent points.

    Once the masses have caught on to something, it can really hurt (my personal gripe in this regard was FM radio). The famed Linux community support will be severely tested when there are enough poorly-informed Linux users to ensure that most of the questions are about obvious/documented things. Remember, though, that the Internet, unlike radio, is not a mass media. With the benefits of unlimited bandwidth (in the logical sense), and narrow-casting, separate communities will form for the casual Linux users, and the techie Linux developers.

    I am not too worried about a non-GPL layer of commercial software running on top of Linux. In fact, I think that such a layer would tend to reinforce the standardization of Linux (of course, then we have to worry about stagnation - the world is always tossing in new challenges), and would provide more motivation for getting rid of the quirks in the various GUI's.

    As for Microsoft, if they just became one application supplier among many, then that alone would be a great benefit. I also don't think the fact that MS was making money would kill the Linux spirit. I am a recent convert to Linux, and I made the move as much to escape MS as anything. Now that I am here, however, I have rediscovered the joy of computing. I have come to agree with those who say that Linux is a positive force, and does not need MS as an enemy in order to survive.

    Of course, we both know that MS would never be satisfied with competing on even ground. The have the mentality of a thief, and they will always believe that they can tilt the system in their favor, and get away with it. They would follow their usual strategy. The MS Linux apps and distribution would initially start out compatible, but gradually, over time, we would find that MS apps would only run reliably (as much as MS apps ever do) on the MS distribution, or would require proprietary MS libraries. What would happen then? We've already seen what would happen with regards to HTML and the Internet. A grass roots Standard Linux group would form, similar to W3C, and would get the backing of much of the industry. It would once again be Robin Hood versus the bad guys, and the Linux community would be re-energized.

    The Internet has changed everything for Microsoft. In the old days, MS could buy half the media, and silence the other half with legal threats. Like all good con men, they were masters at the image game. Today, with the Internet, there are countless individuals who will not be silenced, and the word gets out. Also, unlike the old days when computing was an end in itself, more and more, the network and PCs are becoming a means to an end, i.e just tools. Commercial interests on the Internet want to reach a large audience of consumers. Thus, when MS tries to put up roadblocks, it creates a huge financial incentive to find a way around them, and, unlike the pioneering days, lots of trails have been blazed - too many for MS to control.

    It may not be world domination, but I think Linux has a bright future.
  • Makes me think of that goofy looking gnu on the fsf logo licking an annoyed-looking tux, ala odie and garfield.
  • The last time I installed RedHat (4.2-ish, I'm using Debian now), the installer basically copied a base system over in text mode, then had me pick the graphics card. After that, the rest of the installation was in GUI mode. I guess they stopped doing that, it was a cool idea.
  • I think he looked at this the wrong way...

  • ...yeah, we installed it. It could not imprt a single Word 97 document people send us. Though it claims compatibility. Dual boot for us for a while... ;(
  • 95 can read 97. download a filter
  • Actually, I noticed that 97 is MUCH improved. File size sometimes 10 times smaller,especially for PowerPoint (hate it, but thats how people around keep their presentations, have to go their and use it). They promise XML-like thingy for 2000, maybe even get decent. Mother fuckers. Everybody will have to upgrade just to stay compatible.
    Well, unless they screw XML real bad, that should be not so terrible anymore.
    Office is not a bad product at all, IMO. I love Excel VBA for quick calculations. Would be thrilled to have it under Linux.
    Well, considering how bad X looks, maybe not. Still prefer to boot NT for wordprocessing.
    Will they ever make X fonts look decent?
  • I'm a bit worried about this. Corel's software is less than wondrously stable. Hopefully this will be confined to their applications, as opposed to any modifications that they make to the kernel.
  • Actually, it would be interesting if they got Linux going on the StrongARM. Linux on the Newton... Or any Linux Handheld/Wearable

    Interestingly, there's a prof at the University of Toronto who walks around with a wearable computer running Linux and has a number of projects going with similar devices. Most readers here should like him, as he habitually refers to certain Microsoft products as "Virus95" and "VirusNT".

    More information can be found at []

  • Wow, that could prove to be interesting. I wonder what they have up their sleeves. I hope they can stay on the Linux tracks and work with the other distributions to better the overall Linux experiance. Not that it isn't great, but everything can get better.

    Just my 2 cents.
  • The whole movement is about CHOICE. I don't want one or two really good Linux distributions. I would much rather see sixteen different distributions of varying quality. Because when one or two people get the power, the people get SCREWED because they might go off in a direction that might not be best for everyone. Right now, almost anyone can find a distro that's best for them. There might be a distro out there that you hate, but it's absolutely perfect for english speaking people in the Czech Republic who like the colour orange.. hell.. I dunno. The idea though is to give us the choice to pick what we want.
    Another good thing about this is the very name 'Corel'. I know suits who would be far more likely to buy something from Corel than something from a bunch of schmoes who call themselves Debian. Debian? Who the hell is Debian? While the hackers can overlook name recognition to go for a good product, their bosses can't sometimes.

  • A name RMS suggested (perhaps jokingly) for linux that incorporates GNU.
  • I too am someone without a good technical background who is trying to free himself from Microsoft (albeit I am from Seattle). I am in the midst of trying to connect to the internet from my Linux partition at home. As excited as I am about all I'm learning, I really don't have time to devote to the necessary learning curve and keep up with the rest of my responsibilities too. (I must say, though, I was tremendously excited when I figured out how to configure X to run at a decent resolution earlier this week.)

    I tried Red Hat and just recently installed Mandrake's flavor two days ago. I'm excited to find distributions that are ever easier to install as it gives the average computer user a viable choice in the OS run on their desktop. When I get more comfortable, I'd like Debian to grace my PC. Until that day, my only choice is to applaud groups like Mandrake and Red Hat and now Corel who seek to provide the average computer user with a better option.

    "We walk by faith and not by sight because there are places to go that cannot be seen and the scope of our vision exceeds the length of our strides." -Rich Mullins
  • If you really beleive that Linux is destined for widespread use beyond geeks and servers it needs something like what Corel is planning. Linux need s to have a simple install process, a drag-and- drop-doubleclick-on-the-icon type desktop to gain wider use. Right or wrong the average user is happier with a big company name behind an OS, one who will support the product (yes I know Linux does have great de-facto support, but the target user won't know this or even know the right questions to ask) and provide apps for it.

    The only bit that worries me is "like windows" thing .. how bout "better than windows" ?

    I still think that Linux will never be better than BeOS as a desktop OS.
  • You don't seem to get it. Nothing personal... by my reckoning, a lot of people don't get it.

    Corel Desktop Linux (CDL?) is not aimed at you, me, or any one of the ~8 million people who already use Linux.

    It is aimed at the 100+ million (ok, I'm not sure of the figure. You know what I mean) who don't use Linux. Those who use MS products, and are starting to realize they don't like it, but don't want to try Linux because of the horror stories they have heard of installation hassles, of incompatibilities, of no usable GUI, and so on.

    Again, you and I know that that's mostly FUD. A lot of people don't. That's who CDL is aimed at. It's aimed at attracting more users, not converting existing ones.

    And despite what you, or anyone else may think (ok, so I don't actually know what you think), I believe this is a Good Thing (tm).

    The more people that use Linux, the more market there is for "big name" software to develop for it. We have begun to see this recently. Regardless of what you may think of Intel, IBM or Corel jumping on the Bandwagon, I am sure you will agree that Oracle's announcements have been good news.

    And what about native support from hardware manufacturers? I think of 3D Accelerator cards in particular, but the concept applies across the board. Hey... maybe we'll start seeing LinModems soon! (joke!)

    And this will be of overall benefit to the Linux community. But it won't happen until we get more users on board. It's starting, but has a ways to go yet.

    And those users won't appear until we start making it easier for them. Allay their fears, counteract the FUD. Make it more familiar... make it a lookalike of Windows, for all I care. After all, I'm not going to be using it. And neither are you. Nor will most of the people here on Slashdot.

    But I'm willing to bet that a lot of new Linux users will.

    And that is why I am excited by this news.

    Very much so.
    - Sean
  • Because the rest of us (including the laborers) are also benefiting from Red Hat's work. The beauty of the situation is that it isn't a zero-sum game.
  • ...for Microsoft, at least. What are Microsoft's crown jewels? Its "easy" UI and Office applications. Windows itself is a liability. If Microsoft ports the Windows UI and Win32 APIs to Linux, then it would be a major contender (in the eyes of many corporate IT folks).

    Microsoft has a serious case of the NIH syndrome. I doubt they would throw away NT for Linux. Microsoft has "bet the company" and spent a lot of money to build their "NT Story". Then again, look at Microsoft's quick turnaround with the Internet. Microsoft is big, but scared. Don't underestimate them..

  • Hey, wake up it or not, GUIs are the future of Linux. Maybe not for developers who spend dark hours loving the $ prompt, but for the vast majority of people out there. I'm developing an application under Windoze now and some of our users have problems with the basics of that during UAT...I can't imaging making them try to do some of this database-centred stuff at the command line! This Corel thing is great news if it means more people use the Linux OS and can finally use a desktop GUI which they can configure to match their personality and/or the reason they are using it. My sister the hairdreser wants a good, stable easy to set up and use computer with good software to run her business with. She's not a programmer nor is she very technical. At the moment she has to suffer through the trials an tribualtions of using a Windoze OS since that has a relatively simple GUI with a lot of software she can use (even if she has to reboot every day!).
    Here's a wacky idea - don't make a Linux desktop that LOOKS and ACTS like Windoze ( ei don't port Win32 to Linux) - make a desktop that is BETTER (looking at any rate)than Windoze and even easier to use (Notice Mac heads I said better looking...even if it is superior and easier to use, the Mac UI is UGLY! in my opinion. Thats whay poeple don't flock to it now in these anti-MS days we are in and why they are flocking to LINUX) Check out The screen shot at Enlightenment Software for an example of what could be done with a good X desktop environment.

    If your not creating Linux for Everyone to use and be free from the MS OS strangle-hold, just who are your developing it for?
  • I'd like to respond to some of the issues raised here regarding Corel's entry into the Linux distro market. In some cases I've taken quotes from other postings and in other cases I've summarized many concerns into one question.

    Is Corel going to produce a "proprietary" distro?
    Not a chance. The distro development team here has been part of the Linux Open source community for quite a while and recognizes how impractical and unsuccessful that strategy would be. You can expect our distribution to be highly compatible with existing distros.

    Corel will produce WordPerfect to run only on Corel's distro?
    One of our prime directives at Corel is that applications aren't tied to operating systems so you can be sure that we'll continue to try to make WP and other Corel products compatible with as many distros as is practical.

    Will Corel support the StrongARM (NetWinder) architecture?
    Our first priority is x86 but support for the NetWinder is expected to follow.

    Is Corel fragmenting the market?
    Actually, we feel we're helping to bring it together. By putting resources into developing the Linux desktop and building a distribution that doesn't diverge from current distros, we hope to add momentum to the Linux groundswell.

    What desktop are you going to choose? KDE or GNOME?
    I think there have been enough flame wars on this topic. I'm going to sidestep that for the moment and say that we're evaluating each GUI on its own merits and will make a choice that's appropriate for our Linux strategy. (OK, I admit that sounded pretty darn evasive).

    Why would Corel want to make Linux more like Windows?
    No question this a touchy subject with some in the Linux commmunity... Here's my best shot at explaining what we're trying to do. There have almost always been complaints about the various incarnations of Windows - some more extreme than others. However, I would hope most people can agree that Windows 95 (for example) provides some features that are appropriate for the people who are expected to use it. Just as the Mac OS led the way in making computers easy to use for non-technical users, Win95 is generally easy to use for your average business or home user. The UI is generally predictable and consistent and it's pretty good at dealing with the average user's hardware. It sometimes has infuriating crashes, and frustrating error messages, and a proprietary code base, but there are a lot of people out there who aren't affected much by those problems. While this is certainly a debate that can go on for years, I'd simply like to acknowledge that, like it or not, Windows has some good features. Let's learn from what they've done right (and wrong) and get it right on Linux. If you agree we need a desktop on Linux, then the world is going to expect it to be similar to (though not necessarily exactly the same as) Windows, Macintosh and other GUI OS environments.

    "And Red Hat and Corel shall lead us all..." ?
    Well, thanks for the compliment but that's not exactly how I see it. Corel's experience with Windows application programming has certainly given us the ability to constructively contribute to the WINE project (we're part of this collaborative project) and our experience in GUI environments should serve us equally well in contributing to the open source development of a killer desktop for Linux. If we can provide some leadership in these areas, then we're strengthening Linux as a whole and our position as a key vendor. Finally, our position in the retail market should help us lead Linux into distribution avenues it hasn't previously reached. So, in some ways, Corel can be a leader. But Linux, by it's very nature, defies dominant leadership. It's the extraordinary group of developers worldwide who have made Linux what it is today and who will take it to where it goes in the future. We're part of that community and will lead where we can, but ultimately the leadership will go to whoever the Linux community chooses to follow.

    Will Corel "waste effort duplicating stuff better done by people with years of experience"?
    Good question. No, we won't. We're not going to re-write the kernel or write a Web server from scratch. Those things are already taken care of. We don't want to re-create the wheel and, quite frankly, couldn't possibly expect to duplicate Linux in any kind of reasonable time frame. What we hope to contribute to development is our expertise in the areas of Windows (WINE), GUI design (desktop), and ease of use (install and desktop). Finally, we'll provide even wider distribution for the world's best operating system. We're doing what we do best and leaving the rest to what others do better.

    I hope I've shed some light on what we're doing and why. We're not ready to announce a lot of detail right now but as we move further in the
    development cycle, you'll hear more. While Corel is in business to make money and it is understandable that believers in OSS development might be skeptical, I hope time will show that we're conscientious members of the Open-Source community. We want to keep our initiatives for the operating system in sync with other users and developers (like the group here on Slashdot). We hope our development benefits the majority of the Linux community. I think it's unlikely we could succeed if we took any other approach.

    Erich Forler
    Product Development Manager
    Corel Desktop Linux

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas