An user point of view on KDE and the glib issue

M. Fioretti m.fioretti at
Tue Mar 11 09:00:46 GMT 2003

Hello again,

some further comment about the glib thread, and the answers I got to
my original message. For the record, the article that Adam mentioned
is a follow up to,
and is also based on feedback I received here and on Gnome lists (see
"Thanks for KDE/Gnome article, and new info request" in this archive,
Jan 9).

Back to the current threads now. I have read in the glib thread:

> If one project wastes too much time with inter-operability work, and
> thus slows down the work on innovative features that may be more
> important for users, this may be the end for it.

This (and the underlying assumption that the active KDE developers
know what is always better for all users, and want to deliver it as an
"all or nothing" bundle) is as Microsoftish as it can get. Quite
scary, if you ask me (please note that personally I don't use
Bluecurve, Gnome or KDE, and, before you point it out, yes, I do find
the same problems even in the GNOME field).

Let me repeat it once more: I'm not even dreaming to question your (or
GNOME's, of course) right to think so, keep doing what you are doing
and the hell with the rest of the world. I'll passionately defend your
right to do so. Just remember to substitute "(all) users" with "we the
current developers, and quite some folks who like our style and have
equally powerful computers". (see below for more)

I've also received this comment:

> Well, if you want a non-integrated desktop which is actually just a
> launching apps, then it's available right now.

What is integration? Is it only having the same number of mouse clicks
in every app? Is it only having all windows with the same borders, or
the same file selection box for all programs? If yes (consistent "user
experience"), OK it's certainly nice. My point is that in the real
world, there are often other kinds of integration which should come
way first.

Volunteering for the RULE project (see signature) I continuosly find
people with PCs which can't afford the whole KDE or GNOME
bundles. Often they only need *one* or two apps, and their PC could
not afford more. If they only need email, but cannot easily find and
install, say, a stand alone Kmail, they'll be stuck with Mutt *and*
fetchmail *and* some SMTP server to install and configure. Their
integration in the online community becomes harder.

It is *impossible* to have only one desktop environment all around,
even if it were a Good Thing (TM). Period. Let's just forget it. A
bunch of institutions just say "we have to use some existing
proprietary SW, without Free equivalent: since it is only certified
for {some Linux distro} we'll install it in its default configuration
(KDE, Gnome, whatever), because fiddling with stuff it's not our core

In this very common context the integration which matters (the one
that doesn't make the managers say "let's go back to an all MS
environment, because we never had these problems then") is:

Cut-n-paste and such must always work perfectly (I hook my laptop,
configured with KDE, or Gnome, to the school LAN, and must copy and
paste perfectly with the custom chemistry program they wrote with GTK,
or Qt, or Tk, maybe five years ago!)

Formats: why don't KOffice and OOo share the same native format? What
integration is that? (NOTE: I have already thanked publicly, in any
way short of kissing, both OOo and D. Faure of KOffice for the very
promising work happening in the OASIS XML committees)


1) do keep doing what you enjoy most, no problem

2) *If* you want more users of KDE *single* *pieces* please make it
   easier to download/compile them only.

3) *If* you want more people switching easily to *any* SW, as long as
   it is non proprietary, please consider integration at the file
   format/protocol level, and write the code with whatever language
   and tools you like

Thanks again for your time,

       Marco Fioretti

Marco Fioretti                 m.fioretti, at the server
Red Hat for low memory

The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one
wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering
if something could have materialized -- and never knowing.  --
				     David Viscott

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