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The KDE vs. GNOME Schism In Free Software

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  • #31
    "Gnome is there for the users." No it is not there for the users; it's for the people that use computers but don't want to use computers, they just have to.

    Let's go back to what a computer and an OS is. A computer is a glorified telegram device, added with a logical unit to give it commands, unplugged from its original purpose and replugged back into the internet. Along the way tens and hundreds of layers of abstraction were introduced to make it more understandable, while it has only led to people not understanding anything about it anymore.

    So what is an OS? An OS is a basic toolkit to ease the development of applications for a programmer, because it abstracts different kinds of hardware. It also has the purpose to turn abstract programming into morse code for the logical unit to process and then run that morsecode.

    So let's get back to the user; it's the programmer and the web browser. The programmer is the process user and the web browser is the glorified telegram user.

    Now back to KDE: it's better for the programmer. Now onto the browser: Gnome doesn't offer any better telegram capabilities; by running HTML localy, Gnome only fscks up the understanding of the computer once again by unplugging the telegram and putting a logical processing thing back into it.

    So Gnome is for no-one. Fact.

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    • #32
      Thats sortof waht I meant, but I said it abd

      Originally posted by eduperez View Post
      Well, this finally explains why I cannot seem to get used to GNOME 3: I am a developer, using a desktop computer, and without any touch interface; thanks.

      What puzzles me, however, is that the people who made GNOME 3 (developers, on a desktop computer, one may assume) seem to have forgot about themselves... what desktop environment do you think they use now?
      I guess I was trying to say that, most people are focusing on the 'dumber', but more consumer popular devices, while less effort (in most projects) is going towards a fully featuresd advanced desktop interface that lets us do more complex, interesting things.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by zeealpal View Post
        I guess I was trying to say that, most people are focusing on the 'dumber', but more consumer popular devices, while less effort (in most projects) is going towards a fully featuresd advanced desktop interface that lets us do more complex, interesting things.
        The fact is, most complains (IMHO) come from people who miss previously existing features; so it is not about putting efforts to make more features and gain new users, but about not pissing your current user base.

        Did I like GNOME 2? Yes, sure! Was there room for improvement? Yes, of course!

        But I didn't need to have a one-pixel window border, I didn't need to have my shutdown button hidden behind a modifier, I didn't need to have all the notifications immediately hidden (while being forced to use an almost empty top bar, BTW), I didn't need to have to move my mouse all around the desktop just to find and open an application, I liked to minimize my applications...

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Awesomeness View Post
          And who do you think develops those toolkits? GTK is a GNOME project, EFL is an Enlightenment project.
          In recent memory, there was not a single effort by GNOME to add at least one integration feature. Adding StatusNotifier to GTK 3.2 would've been a good first step. There wasn't even the sightliest attempt in adding that – instead a HTML5 back-end to eventually run GIMP in a web browser window… great…

          Qt OTOH loads GTK themes just fine.
          KDE develop a Oxygen GTK theme.
          Don't forget KDE can also run Edje (from the Enlightenment Foundation Libraries) components as Plasmoids. Yes, it integrates with Enlightenment, too.

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          • #35
            You say GNOME 3 is perfect for users with touchscreens. I disagree. My tx1000 has a touchscreen, and I tried to work with GNOME 3. Everything went great until I tried to replicate the setup I use with KDE (map one of the tablet special keys to a useless Keyboard Backlighting key, and use that to toggle the Activities view, to rearrange tasks with my touchscreen. In KDE I use that to enable Desktop Grid, which more or less serves the same function). I failed miserably with GNOME. I wanted the Activities pane, but all what I got was an icon of "enabling Keyboard Backlighting", toggling.

            GNOME seems to know better what I want than myself. So, I gave GNOME the boot and use KDE. Simple.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by DeepDayze View Post
              Say what? Unity to me is the worst UI ever...to be relegated to netbooks or smartphones.
              Unity actually works pretty well on my netbook where I mostly just run Firefox and Update Manager. But I agree, it sucks ass on a desktop system.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by 89c51 View Post
                I don't care about desktop schism and it doesn't matter much i think. What i find somehow annoying is the toolkit schism -or at least lack of the seamless cooperation between gtk,qt,enlightenment etc. Consistency is important and the lack of it hurts the experience.
                Yep, there's three layers to this schism which makes cooperation all but impossible.
                1) Gnome vs KDE
                2) Gtk vs Qt
                3) C vs C++

                Ultimately the last one means you can't unify them. Otherwise you could start somewhere to unify GObject and QObject and start building common components for Gtk/Qt, eventually leaving UI trivialities to simply settings. The only way they can talk to each other is like really annoying hacks like D-bus - I've used it and it's simply painful for all but the most trivial cases. I'd rather try to make peace in the Middle East first though, might be easier.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Kjella View Post
                  Yep, there's three layers to this schism which makes cooperation all but impossible.
                  1) Gnome vs KDE
                  2) Gtk vs Qt
                  3) C vs C++

                  Ultimately the last one means you can't unify them. Otherwise you could start somewhere to unify GObject and QObject and start building common components for Gtk/Qt, eventually leaving UI trivialities to simply settings. The only way they can talk to each other is like really annoying hacks like D-bus - I've used it and it's simply painful for all but the most trivial cases. I'd rather try to make peace in the Middle East first though, might be easier.
                  DBus is like COM in Windows world, is not annoying is just language independent. Qt is good enough to expose objects as DBus so I don't see no harm.
                  I think that yes, Gtk and Qt are incompatible for other reasons (like: Gtk+ uses Cairo and Qt have their rendering engine Arthur that people will not leave it in the dust), but most of underlying algorithms (for example Qt right now uses Pango to render fonts on Unixes/Linux).

                  I also think that Gnome for some time is not a C language, but a C infrastructure. Like on Windows Windows API is basically C, but anyone use wrapped versions of it. Most recent applications in Gnome tend to be written in C++ (gtkmm - System Monitor), Vala (Cheese or Shotwell), C# (I know will be Mono haters in themselves, so ignore C# if you feel biases against it) or Python.
                  So you can share a codebase and use Gtk and Qt (Opera uses Gtk and Qt depending on environment on Linuxes).

                  At the end I think that both platforms were pushed by enterprise (mostly Gnome) or by a big phone vendor (mostly KDE), so development sometimes did not happen to be organic and the noncooperation was not on the users preference, but in development land.

                  If I would pick to develop an application I would be half and half between C#/Gtk# or Qt/QtQuick (probably I would pick the second) but the mix of platforms do not make things to be as bad. Thinking of OS X, an 2000 OS with little legacy had Carbon supported for 9 years (the "transitional API"), and Cocoa suported at times also Java. In a similar fashion more platforms for Linux are the better, as bring more choice and competition, don't you love IE6+XP times?

                  One OS, one vendor...

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Kjella View Post
                    Yep, there's three layers to this schism which makes cooperation all but impossible.
                    1) Gnome vs KDE
                    2) Gtk vs Qt
                    3) C vs C++

                    Ultimately the last one means you can't unify them. Otherwise you could start somewhere to unify GObject and QObject and start building common components for Gtk/Qt, eventually leaving UI trivialities to simply settings. The only way they can talk to each other is like really annoying hacks like D-bus - I've used it and it's simply painful for all but the most trivial cases. I'd rather try to make peace in the Middle East first though, might be easier.
                    This to some degree has been fixed from the Qt end. GObject is now somewhat intergrated into Qt. Qt runs the GObject event loop inside it's event loop. Qt will also render to Gtk Widgets. You could potentually (if you were careful) Swap out a Gtk app for a Qt app and not have the end user notice.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by V!NCENT
                      Without trolling, seriously, the only reason that people want to support old crap form a publicity standpoint is that Gnome is way more popular than KDE, whilst no one being realy serious can say that Gnome is better than KDE.
                      Despite your serious trolling efforts, GNOME is still default DE of Debian, Fedora and Ubuntu, to name a few popular distros. Red Hat is also largest contributor to GNOME so they have reasons why they don't choose KDE as default environment, looking back and considering KDE3 to KDE4 upgrade path, I see one of the reasons, aside old history GPL vs proprietary reasons.

                      In the end, it's personal preference.
                      I allways liked GNOME better but to be honest Unity (with wannabe MacOS mile high menu bar) and Gnome Shell with those (unnecessary?) effects was big change for me, but not something I can't get used to.
                      Anyway, I still like GNOME better, and Pardus is the only one distro with polished KDE taken into consideration if I ever wanted to use KDE or something to mention like example how good even KDE can look.

                      GNOME is more stable than KDE. From time to time I get crash handlers on KDE desktop and I can't remember when my GNOME desktop crashed or popped up any error window, no matter what distro I've had.

                      Originally posted by V!NCENT
                      KDE looks better
                      Yeah right, in what universe? Especially legacy widget style: Plastique and Phase, not to mention horrible legacy Window Decorations like: Modern System, Plastik, Redmond, Web...

                      Originally posted by V!NCENT
                      does things more efficiently, has more features, has technological superiority
                      So what? Even if some of stuff you said it's true, I don't care if KDE devs put any imaginable feature from GUI world into their DE (tiling is nice addition, btw). I care for GUI consistency
                      (for that reason I don't like to mix GTK+ and Qt apps, only few exceptions, notably VLC and maybe K3B (because Brasero is biggest crap in CD/DVD-RW world), stability and what features default GTK+/Qt apps have.
                      Some default KDE apps don't have some features they've had before, let's say Knode uue/mime, yEnc feature, so sometimes there are some features lacking which was available in older versions.

                      I use mainly GTK+ apps and this is also one of the reasons why I rather use GNOME or Xfce than KDE.

                      Originally posted by V!NCENT
                      the only reason that people want to support old crap form a publicity standpoint is that Gnome is way more popular than KDE, whilst no one being realy serious can say that Gnome is better than KDE.
                      KDE is for serious programmers, it is more efficient, has more features, has technological superiority but GNOME is again way more popular than KDE.


                      Originally posted by V!NCENT
                      But the hell that I'm even going to document the idea and send it to them because I know that no-one is going to care for constructive critisism with potential solutions, because they see the DE not from the user demands but from the insights and aspects of their own organisation.
                      I agree with you on that, they sucks big time in terms of user feedback (Linus, anyone?), KDE devs are better with public relations.
                      Last edited by fanATic; 10-06-2011, 07:07 PM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by fanATic View Post
                        looking back and considering KDE3 to KDE4 upgrade path, I see one of the reasons, aside old history GPL vs proprietary reasons.
                        That argument would seem more valid if the Gnome-centric distros like Fedora and Ubuntu weren't the first to switch to KDE 4 while more KDE-centric distros like openSUSE kept the two in parallel. If they were concerned about the updgrade path they would have followed the advice of the KDE developers and held off longer instead of falling over each other to get KDE 4 first.

                        Originally posted by fanATic View Post
                        Yeah right, in what universe? Especially legacy widget style: Plastique and Phase, not to mention horrible legacy Window Decorations like: Modern System, Plastik, Redmond, Web...
                        Wait, what? You are saying KDE looks bad if you use old, ugly-looking legacy themes? Obviously, that is the whole point of those themes.

                        Originally posted by fanATic View Post
                        but GNOME is again way more popular than KDE.
                        Source please. Yes Gnome is the default with some distributions. On the other hand KDE is the default in the entire Brazil public school system. If I recall correctly last year's Linux users poll had KDE and Gnome tied for the best DE. So I don't think it is quite so simple to claim that Gnome is more popular.

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                        • #42
                          I don't care about the fight, I just want something stable that I can use as I want.

                          Gnome 3 -> Requires Pulseaudio, end of the story. A dependency like this one is just non sense for a desktop environment period.

                          Gnome 2 is cool, kde 3.5 was for me just a big mess. I like the current, xfce was always really cool (but I prefer qt to gtk) and I've tried many desktops and they have all good points and bad points.

                          Enjoy your desktop

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by TheBlackCat View Post
                            Wait, what? You are saying KDE looks bad if you use old, ugly-looking legacy themes? Obviously, that is the whole point of those themes.
                            Nope. KDE is also fugly with default Oxygen theme, legacy themes is just reminder how KDE was fugly in past and it is in the future.
                            GNOME looks OK even with their legacy theme, such as Clearlooks.
                            KDE is most powerful desktop environment IMHO in terms of feautures built in, but I can't stand visual appearance of KDE.

                            Originally posted by TheBlackCat View Post
                            Source please. Yes Gnome is the default with some distributions. On the other hand KDE is the default in the entire Brazil public school system. If I recall correctly last year's Linux users poll had KDE and Gnome tied for the best DE. So I don't think it is quite so simple to claim that Gnome is more popular.
                            I don't have source, I made that claim looking by default DE choice of more popular distros. Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Debian as one of the most popular distros use GNOME, so their large user base is also large GNOME user base.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by fanATic View Post
                              Nope. KDE is also fugly with default Oxygen theme, legacy themes is just reminder how KDE was fugly in past and it is in the future.
                              GNOME looks OK even with their legacy theme, such as Clearlooks.
                              KDE is most powerful desktop environment IMHO in terms of feautures built in, but I can't stand visual appearance of KDE.
                              Personal opinion. I think the current GNOME appearance is awful, I could never stand it. I think Oxygen looks a lot better, although I need to try Bespin and QtCurve again since they are more flexible.

                              Originally posted by fanATic View Post
                              I don't have source, I made that claim looking by default DE choice of more popular distros. Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, Debian as one of the most popular distros use GNOME, so their large user base is also large GNOME user base.
                              Uh, you do realize that default != only choice, right? The only remotely decent numbers I am aware of is the poll I mentioned, which indicates they are fairly evenly matched.

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                              • #45
                                Gnome 3 and Gnome Shell are not that bad

                                I can consider Gnome3 as two parts:
                                - user interaction: Gnome Shell
                                Gnome Shell for me was the reason I jumped to Fedora (even the distro instability regarding package management, make it to be not always so much fun). I also installed to untrained computer people and they did master it after fairly short time. If you use one or two applications Gnome Shell makes sense. If you use 10, I think the workflow have to be improved. If you use a combination of a lot of tray icons, Gnome Shell worked fairly nice for beginner and intermediate.
                                What Gnome Shell does it enough well are: making panels linked to window (like Open/Save File dialogs, preference panels) which in my opinion can be invaluable for a not so good user, managing full screen applications and starting applications. A workflow like: I want to start SuperTux, I exit, I want to start Firefox and LibreOffice, most users will know how to handle it.
                                - technology wise:
                                + It removes deprecated APIs and made using "SEAL", in short to make all APIs accessed through properties, so the code will not be fragile in future. This in my opinion will guarantee that many applications will work after an internal rewrite of Gtk3 logic. This is a big bonus for binary compatibility, which for me is huge
                                + GObjectIntropsection is something that puts GNOME as platform on par with Qt/Win32 COM regarding exposing APIs and services. This make a bliss to write python integration modules and made it smooth to migrate many applications to this new API. Again, for me this is huge
                                + Theming is made via CSS, it integrates (again via GOI) a JavaScript machine (sadly is interpreted one), but make technology wise to be like Windows 8, so yes, you can write your JavaScript application in Gnome3. Gnome Shell is just one of them
                                + Make use of a standard animation API (Clutter). Is not used enough, probably Gnome-Shell is the biggest "demo", but as things will go, it means that people can make things to shine without animating PNGs or other "dirty tricks"

                                I can say that I started to like Gnome gradually, but certainly the biggest issues I had it so far are theming issues (because is based on Mutter) in LibreOffice or Firefox, I thought for myself it should be a preference to set the title bar height, and too few preferences in some places (is annoying a little to logoff before shutdown, at least for a beginner).

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