content error

Kevin McManus k.mcmanus at
Mon Dec 23 02:59:16 UTC 2002


Upgrading my old Slackware I found myself facing the KDE v Gnome
schism and despite being considered an expert in things X I have
grown rather out of touch with the current trends so... after
playing around with the various user interfaces and thoroughly
confusing myself I started reading your website hoping to get a
clear picture of what KDE can offer me that FVWM doesn't.

I was a little surprised to meet a quite shocking error in
What is KDE? -> General Overview

"However, the lack of an easy to use contemporary desktop
environment for UNIX has prevented UNIX from finding its way onto
the desktops of the typical computer user in offices and homes."

This is just not true.

I was using the excellent OpenLook window manager in 1990. At the
time there was also the excellent Mac interface and the dismal
Windoze 3.1 from Microsoft. I don't need to tell you which
platform became successful. It was *not* the lack of a contemporary
desktop that prevented UNIX from finding its way onto the desktops
of the typical computer user in offices and homes.

About the same time I let my kids use my linux box with FVWM
and they has fewer problems with it's GUI than with Microsoft's
windoze. This is not merely a personal anecdote but an often
observed phenomenon.

If you compare current windoze (XP), KDE & Gnome the hands down
winner on usability has to be MacOSX.

I still prefer OpenLook (now olvwm) on my Sun platform. I find it
strange that Sun dropped support of this window manager some time
back in favour of the Motif based CDE. Every Sun user that I know
prefers olvwm to CDE (once I show them how to fire it up :). OK so
Xview is not so feature packed as Motif but Motif has it's problems,
in my view the worst being it's lack of openness. 

I still don't know what KDE is so I guess that I have more reading
to do. Can I trust the rest of your content?

As an educationalist it is my job to expose such re-writing of
history. Usually my comments are directed towards commercial
organisations. I think that this is the first time that I have
detected humbug on an open source site. I trust that this will be
corrected immediately.

Best wishes - Kevin

Re-reading the paragraph in question I see that it is riddled with
humbug. I must have been so shocked by the glaring untruth discussed
above that I overlooked other points such as:

"KDE seeks to fill the need for an easy to use desktop for Unix
There are many childishly simple desktops for Unix workstations. There
is therefore no *need* for another. There has to be another motivator
for KDE.

"In fact UNIX has been the undisputed choice of the information
technology professional for many years."
I can show you VMS users who would give convincing arguments against
Unix in favour of VMS.

"When it comes to stability, scalability and openness there is no
competition to UNIX."
Unix has only recently caught up with OpenVMS on the scalability front
and it is not called OpenVMS for nothing.

"Without UNIX the internet would not be."
Now you're getting carried away. True, we in Unix land were internetting
for years before Mr Gates figured out what a network was and his bid
to displace TCP/IP with IPX got nowhere but the internet owes more
to open systems and open sources (and the US DoD) than it does to Unix.

My invoice for proof reading is in the post ;-)

k.mcmanus at -
Dr Kevin McManus                     ||Queen Mary 413
School of Computing & Math Science   ||
The University of Greenwich          ||
Park Row, Greenwich                  ||Tel +44 (0)208 331 8719 
London SE10 9LS  UK                  ||Fax +44 (0)208 331 8665

More information about the kde-www mailing list