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Yet Another GNOME Article 92

Anonymous Coward writes "More GNOMEy in the news, Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer Business Section, bottom fold - fullspan artical." Mostly about Miguel. Fairly amusing.
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Yet Another GNOME Article

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was surprised to find that Linux "doesn't use a mouse" - odd, since I've been running Linux since 1993, and with each and every one of the GUIs I've used (OpenLook, fvwm, CDE, KDE, Blackbox, Icewm...) I've made heavy use of the mouse.

    Even when I'm not in X, I use the mouse plenty, since Linux allows you to copy and paste with the mouse even in a terminal. Then there's quake, and again, I find myself using the mouse in Linux.

    In the light of all that, you can imagine what a great shock it was to find that I've been imagining all this mouse usage the past 6 years!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The above comment says that the article talks "mostly about Miguel". In fact, most GNOME articles in the mainstream press talk mostly about Miguel. The same is probably true for Linux and Linus.

    Perhaps this would explain the lack of press on KDE? KDE does not seem to have a here analogous to Miguel or Linus. It would be interesting to see if a select KDE hero could improve KDE press too.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    can anyone explain to me the reason why GNOME gets press as being some kind of revolution in the linux world? i'm not trying to be snide here, i actually don't understand. it was my impression that fvwm, kde, enlightenment etc all do the same thing as GNOME (they all are xwindows managers right?), so why such the hoopla for GNOME?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As little as a year or so ago, Linux (along with much other "free
    software") was largely being dismissed by the main-stream tech media
    as "fringe." Now not only do tech media folks take it seriously, but
    non-tech popular media are talking about it as well. The editors of
    /. celebrate this. Many of you that hang out here, OTOH, seem able
    to do little more than flame about any flaws in such coverage.

    You liked it better when Linux and related projects were ignored?

    As a long-time 2nd Amendment rights supporter, I can tell you all
    about bad, clueless, and dishonest press coverage. When you're in
    such a position, *any* positive coverage, even if it contains
    inaccuracies (providing they're not *too* damaging) is good
    coverage. And cause for celebration.

    Methinks some of you ought to consider how far Linux and Open Source
    have come these last few months, rather than complaining about the
    unfortunate mistake made here-and-there.
  • by CmdrTaco ( 1 )
    I'm testin' here. Don't mind me.
    Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda
    Pants are Optional
  • My psychology prof was telling us last week how a study of health stories in newspapers found that they were only like 70% factually correct. From my personal observations, I'd say that mainstream newspapers are only like 40-50% factually correct in computer/technology stories.

    It doesn't even surprise me anymore.

  • Fvwm, enlightenment, etc are window managers. GNOME and KDE are operating environments (think Windows 3.1 done right).

    As for why all the hoopla for GNOME, it's pretty simple. It's because for years people have been told by Microsoft and Apple that only they have the brainpower and resources to create that type of environment. Along comes a kid from Mexico and shows every sign of replicating their work and making it better at the same time, and as if that wasn't enough he's giving it away for free! Can't beat that with a stick as far as good feature stories go.

    Please note that the above paragraph makes the same oversimplifications the press does specifically to show you their viewpoint.

    The only real question I have is why KDE hasn't gotten the same kind of press. The license issues that made it such a pariah to many aren't even going to be on the radar screen of the mainstream press. Kinda makes you wonder if someone isn't pushing some buttons somewhere, huh?

  • the RedHat 'GNOME is our desktop of the future' noise

    My fault for not being clear, but this is actually the kind of thing I meant by button pushing. Someone (RH for instance) who gets a fair amount of press attention saying 'by the by, check this out'. Not anything really wrong with this, but they should probably point to both projects.

    I should probably also note that I don't use either environment. I tried GNOME a while back and didn't like it, and I've never tried KDE.

    I don't know if you were at LinuxWorld Expo, but the majority of desktops that I saw were KDE (and not by just a little). I just found it funny that the press is all over GNOME when KDE appears to be the desktop that most people are currently using (if they use one at all).

  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    This is WAY off-topic....

    So I heard about e-conf making E configuration easy and decided to try it again (making attempt #3). I got it all down and installed. I started running it. No e-conf. Can't find it on my system anywhere. Can find many references on webpages and so forth, but no links. THEN I discover that e-conf requires GNOME. WTF? Why can't I have a simple E config editor (or at least a single document describing what to edit and how).

    I swear, I want to love E, but it's getting REALLY hard.
  • Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    Wow! That helps a lot, thanks.

    I still need some basic info, though. For instance, I need to know how to change the desktop-change quick-key from ctrl-alt-arrow to just ctrl-arrow (like fvwm). Also, how do I change the calls to external progs in the buttons/menus. And when can I have a pager?
  • by jabbo ( 860 ) <jabbo@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Sunday March 21, 1999 @11:27AM (#1969832)
    "Even though it doesn't use a mouse and runs on arcane but reliable commands in the complex Unix computer language, Linux software last year was chosen to run 17 percent of the business computers shipped by manufacturers, up from 7 percent in 1997, according to the research firm International Data Corp." -- the author of the article

    Yup, really nailed it there. I didn't realize that my mouse (with which I done cut and pasted the above) wasn't actually being used.

    It's also nice to see their deep understanding of what GNOME is/does. (bloat, crash, not compile... uh, I mean, look pretty, provide a WIMP interface, etc... it's actually not so bad so far, for me)

    Where do these people come from? I mean, is there a DeVry-type place where people can get stupidity training? Does Microsoft furnish free reporters for Linux stories like these? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

    The world may never know...

  • I do hope to see gnome improve... I think it's a great idea/concept. But calling it v1.x is a sad marketing gimmick, just in time for Linuxworld, as has been mentioned many times. ;-(
  • KDE has Bernd Wuebben; the guy has all the charisma of a horse's ass.

    I'm sure he appreciates that. :-|

    Anyway, it may be good in the long run that the press doesn't focus on a personality for KDE; that way thy may be forced to write something more substantial than "KDE/GNOME/whatever has little icons just like windows". Oh brother...


  • And this shows structural flaws how...?

  • Funny, when I choose "Log Out", I log out...

  • Gnome (and KDE, lest I be flamed by the Slashdot Horde) attempt to provide two things: first a 'consistent' look-and-feel across a wide suite of programs, and second, the "glue" utilities needed for the proverbial "normal user" (whatever that means) to do useful things on a computer. The handy little tools that don't exist in Linux because 90% of linux users (and 100% of linux developers! [ok, these may be exaggerated] ) just drop into a shell when they need to do something 'advanced' like, eg, copying a file. Yes, there are file managers out there already..the idea is to make a file manager, a search tool, a run-program tool, a cute little taskbar/launcher dock tool, a print manager, ... -- all the little things that people rely on all the time and don't notice because (someday! Not there yet) it works so well. The things that are tedious to write as a group of programs, but necessary for the system to be functional as a complete GUI. Think of it as the GNU tool suite of graphical interfaces.

  • Moderate yourself!

  • So Linux is a Unix-based language that doesn't even use a mouse. Hmmmnn. It's intersting how often journalists want to call Unix a language, even though they identify it elsewhere in their pieces as an operating system, and even give the pat layperon's definition of an operating system ("The basic low-level software that controls hardware, without which a computer cannot start up" is the way it usually comes out. Not bad.) What's interesting about this slip is that the Unix command interpreter --i.e. the user interface, the only part a journalist could see--is a language. So they're really not that far off the mark. In fact, Larry Wall, in his usua l playfulway, calls Perl an extension to the weird and variegated language called Unix (or some such; I'm paraphrasing, obviously) in the camel book.

    It's kind of neat to see the GUI effortsgetting so much press coverage. At last, this is a aspect of Linux's superiority that plan old users can understand. Hopefully the positive buzz will encourage people to give Linux a spin (especially once they see the eye candy that comes with GTK and Enlightenment! Woohoo!) No longer will we have to listen to "Linux is like Unix? Oh, I can't stand all those techie commands. I'll stick to Windowseven though I think Bill Gates is the Antichrist and want to eviscerate him on my front lawn." ;)

    By the way, I'm thinking some of you will be concerned about the fact that GNOME is getting so much more publicity than KDE. I wouldn't worry too much. Th mainstream press is playing its usual game of picking up and article somewhere, going, "Hmmnn, that's interesting," getting a new interview with the article's subject, and basicall cribbing the content of the original. It's a sad ravesty of invertigative journalism, but it sems to be the norm noawadays. (I'm afraid the Internet is encouraging it, too, and detacting from real investigation as lazy writers sit on their asses in front of computers instead of going outside.) Anyway,the practical result for us is that all it takes is one artcle about KDE, and the press hounds will jump on the story and run it to death just as hard as they're unning GNOME now. Just look at all last year's articles about Linux!

    Hmmmmnnn, maybe they should call them"press copycapts" instead of "Press hounds". ;)

    PS: APologies for the typos, of which I'm sure there aremany. Halfway through this article my !@&*^# Sun display got munged.
    Beer recipe: free! #Source
    Cold pints: $2 #Product

  • I've compiled it on a RH 4.1 machine, and it seems to work ok. The only thing that I've seen that was flaky was midnight commander -- just as you have. I wonder if that is what everyone is griping about. Although it might be a difference between compiling it yourself and just installing the rpms.

    The rest of the apps seem to work just fine. In fact, I was surprised as hell when gnumeric was able to read in an Excel 97 worksheet. It mangled a column, but other than that everything was ok.

  • If this was written by their "tech journalist" than they need to find a new one. The inaccuracy and lack of understanding was painful.

  • I don't remeber if it was off-the-shelf-software or something in house. Anyways, I don't think Linux was used to do the actual designing (could be wrong), but it was used to do the scene generation.
  • Hmm. Rob's test message gets a score of 2, and my follow-up message teasing him get's the hell moderated out of it. Oh well, guess one of the moderators is having a bad day or somthing.

    Anyways, cool to see Rob occasionally post alongside the unwassed masses. ;) I love slashdot, no where else can I get all my linux AND starwars news!

  • .... and won't be any time soon.

  • it was my impression that fvwm, kde, enlightenment etc all do the same thing as GNOME (they all are xwindows managers right?)

    Wrong. "fvwm" and Enlightenment are window managers; KDE and Gnome are collections of a bunch of pieces of software, including:

    • a window manager (KDE has "kwm"; Gnome may not have an official window manager, but, as I remember, Enlightenment was packaged with the RPMs I saw);
    • a file manager;
    • libraries that add stuff over and above the raw window system toolkit;
    • GUI applications to let you configure various things;
    • various other things.

    People can argue about whether that stuff is useful, but it's difficult to argue that it's not there....

    See the What is KDE? [] document and the GNOME User's Guide [] for more details.

  • The press likes fluff, they think their readers understand it. Miguel in person is pretty funny, because he's so hyperactive. Like David Miller, but better groomed.


  • Seeing how well it worked out, both technically and financially, their competitors are gearing up now to do likewise. (I couldn't possibly say who I heard that from. :-)
  • A friend in the computer graphics industry tells me that a lot of their main commercial tools are starting to get ported to Linux now.

    It wasn't just the effect of Titanic; the industry is well aware of the worldwide trend towards Linux, and their artists and designers curse the lousiness of W95 and NT as a professional platform every bit as strongly as do software engineers.
  • It's totally inconsistent. Like choosing "log out" from enlightenmant menu and nothing happening. Doh! Or choosing "log out from the panel, and having the panel quit, but the wm stays running.

    There are huge numbers of UI inconsistencies like this. You've just been running Linux so long you don't notice.

    Gnome sure is pretty, but it isn't even close to being ready for daily use. Most of the applets and other programs are not even close to 1.0, the libs are about the only things that's ready.

  • Linux is the system of choice for serious computer operators, de Icaza said, recalling that even the special effects in the movie Titanic were created with Linux-powered computers. ok, so you mean they used blender instead of the other tools you can get on SGI's and NT????
  • I feel that it is an honor you posted to my msg :) Keep up the good work!
  • they should try gnome first before slamming NT :/
  • Here's some info, if you're interested:

    "During the work on Titanic the facility had approximately 350 SGI CPUs, 200 DEC Alpha CPUs and 5 terabytes of disk all connected by a 100Mbps or faster network. "
  • does anyone else find this phrase disturbing?? i mean... it makes it sound like all there is out there is Windows operating systems... this, for some reason, really bothers me... i use windows a lot and am just beginning with linux and this really bothers me... :-/

    BTW - for anyone who read my last messages about my modem - i fixed it! had an irq conflict even though isapnp was setting it to what it shoulda been it was still wrong... used setserial and BOOM, fixed :-)


    PS: if anyone knows a program that makes it simple to use, create, and edit Enlightenment themes, please mail me :-)
  • hmm...i thought being called a hacker was one of the best things you could be called.
    Other than that and the thing about Linux not using a mouse (definitely needs to lay off the glue sniffing), a pretty fair article.
    btw, are we really up to 12 million already?
  • Just lose the pretense and make it clear by the headline
    While that may satisfy the techies who look at the article to find info about technical stuff, (by warning them that there's none there) it will also lose some of the stereotype breaking effectiveness if they titled the article "Hey look, there's a really smart hispanic guy over here!" - that would instantly limit the article's audience to people who already wanted to know about really smart hispanic guys. Instead, they make it a 'technical' article, and insert technobable from their file (which is only 7 or 8 years old) and then they can attract a much wider audience, which serves the purpose of getting their message out to more people. Lots of corporate non-techies read tech articles like that one so they can 'keep up' with technology, and they're the ones who that article is really aimed at - it brings things into their non-tech perspective, and sneaks in the anti-stereotyping as a sideline. Plus, the article did originate in Mexico City, so it's also only natural that they'd want to highlight major contributions originating in their own country. :)
    Anyhow, even if it's not the most technically correct article, it's still good to see linux/gnome/free software/etc... in a positive light. More articles like that will encourage managers and educators to take a look into Linux and free software, when they ordinarily wouldn't have even thought of it otherwise. I can see some North American schools installing linux and forcing the Gym teacher to learn/teach it, just so they can stay 'ahead of the mexican schools'. (Yes, gym teacher. That's what my school did when they needed a new computer teacher. Apparently it was cheaper/easier to move an existing teacher and hire a new gym teacher than to hire someone with some technical knowlege. And no, he didn't have any experience in computers before that, it was kinda fun to watch him trying to log in after we put a password on his account other than just 'enter'.)
  • FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Damn, I forgot to log in anonymously :P

    (For the clue-deficient, this is a joke)
  • does anyone else find this phrase disturbing?

    Umm, no. I'm actually proud of that phrase. I consider linux good (but not, of course, the only) proof that there is Life After Microsoft. Everything commercialized about computers tends to piss me off (including web banners).

    And good show about yer serial port. When I installed linux 1.4 years ago, it took me two weeks to figure out how to get the dang thing to dial. Though Red Hat had a nifty GUI tool to make this easier, it wasn't clearly marked, and then of course theres the problem of making the GUI work (which I succeeded in one week later). I've since learned a lot and ditched the dialup. The learning curve is steep but I have no problem with accepting that, seeing how powerful the system as a whole can be :)
  • Well, I would assume that GNOME has some sort of list of credits, names and emails of significant contributors. A list of those can be found exactly.
  • They cover topics related to politics and stuff like that because they just haven't used Unix or Linux.
  • Is there any other way to maintain a web server?

    (I know linux is free, but the hardware isn't)

    besides, there are times when they are useful.
  • The Gnome panel has a pager that works with enlightenment, so as soon as you install gnome and run the panel (inserting "exec gnome-session" in your executable (i.e. "chmod +x ~/.xinitrc, once it exists) ~/.xinitrc file, immediately after the "#! /bin/sh" line (the # must be the first character on the first line)).
  • GMC is going to get rewritten. It does have some internal problems.

    gnome-terminal (and the zvt library it is based on) works fine. People have complained about it but I have not seen a substantial explanation of the problem yet.
  • But you do know exactly how many have write access to the CVS tree. That is probably where the number came from.
  • The part about DOS having icons you click on was interesting. Not only do we have to live down the myth that Linux is all commandline-based, we have to fight the myth that DOS is graphical!
  • I've been using GNOME (compiled using pgcc from source RPMS) since 1.0 came out. I've been using Enlightenment pre-0.15 or whatever it was that came out then too. Neither has crashed on me yet. At all. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, has crashed on me yet. Ok, the mini-commander applet has been a bit flaky, but that's fine. What are terminals for anyway?
  • As I recall, the tools they used were on that platform. Probably SoftImage and friends.
  • Rob has posted! Let this day be remembered :-)

    (Slashdot sysadmin, and only four posts in the last so many weeks? Guess the blurb on Wired was a bit off *grin*)
  • i've been faithfully using it for a few months now, and was very surprised when it went 1.0. it still has a very alpha feel to it.

    probably going to have to mentally append 'alpha' to any gnome release for the next 6 months.
  • okay, 237 + miguel makes 238 programmers working on GNOME. I thought that it was impossible to find out how many people actually contribute code to free software projects.
  • Why not tell the word processing and solitaire playing public that there is a way for them to do just what they need, with out shelling out the $ for Windows?

    Even my parents are interested in Linux, and they don't have a damn clue about programming, they just want to check their email, play some games, and write some letters. They're tickled to know that they won't have to pay $100+ for the next upgrade to Windows!

    And yes, I'm sure the non-technical thinking might change as people in general get more comfortable with Linux, but that may take years. Remember how long it's taken for just 50% of Americans to have a computer at home? And that's with the "user-friendly" interfacs of Windows and the Macintosh.
  • Ive been using E, for two weeks, (been waiting a long time for .15 to come out (didnt like all the bugs in .14). I am MORE than satisfied with new is my understanding that e was written with gnome in mind. e-conf and esd(the E sound Daemon) were both written to work with gnome. That is why they appear with gnome in the mirror sites and not with the E distrobution. Makes sense, and gnome just atakes a bit of d/lin .. look at ..there are step by step instructions... the only thing i do use in regards is panel, because it is so handy and configurable.

    btw, you can use eesh to set everything manually just like in e-conf. in a term look in /usr/local/enlightement/bin and run eesh, and type 'help'...


    --respon in email if you care, i wont see this again.

How many weeks are there in a light year?