content error

Andreas Pour pour at
Tue Dec 24 00:44:53 UTC 2002

Kevin McManus wrote:

[ ... ]

> 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.

[ ... ]

Anecdote aside I don't see you offering another explanation for the facts.  Why
do you think UNIX was not (and still really isn't) successful on the desktop? 
Root causes would be nice :-).  Granted the high cost of proprietary UNIX
systems might be to blame, but there were always the free *BSDs and now of
course Linux as well.

> 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?

You can't trust straight "news", you certainly can't trust "historical
explanations".  As with all information, read it with a critical and open mind. 
Content such as this just expresses opinions. Heck, there are people who argue
XP is the best GUI ever, and that MS is not a monopoly . . . .
> 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.

And replaced with your opinion?  Which you have not expressed?  If you want to
write a story about why Unix has not been adopted on the desktop, I'm sure we
can find room to publish it, and if it's convincing, update some of the content
on the site.
> Best wishes - Kevin
> PS
> 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
> workstations"
> There are many childishly simple desktops for Unix workstations. There
> is therefore no *need* for another. There has to be another motivator
> for KDE.

Your (strong) opinion on what's easy to use is at odds with most people.
> "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.

I agree that "undisputed" is too strong.  "Leading" would be more appropriate.
> "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.

OpenVMS is open source?
> "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.

but what tools did the DoD and the participating Universities use?  Sure, had it
not been Unix it would have been something else.  So this could be updated as
well, I suppose, to note that "UNIX was the foundation used to build the
> My invoice for proof reading is in the post ;-)

Hehe.  Well if you want to rewrite the page, give it a shot and send it here.



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