Why KDE?

CiAsA S'Nuey Boark ciasaboark at telocity.com
Fri Jun 14 03:11:04 BST 2002

On Friday 14 June 2002 07:38 am, Jannik Lindquist wrote:
> Hello,
> I am new to Linux and puzzled by the fact that there are no less than
> two different ambitious desktops available. If I have understood
> correctly, GNOME is the oldest of the two projects. Why was KDE created
> when GNOME was already there? After all one of KDE's core tenets is:
> * Use available tools rather than reinventing existing ones!

your pretty misinformed there.  KDE was the first of the two desktop 
environments. As a short (probably misinformed also) explanation:

	Before either project was formed, there was no comprehensive desktop 
environment for linux.  So some guys from Europe decided to develop one.  The 
toolkit they chose was the Q toolkit.  It was chosen because of its stability 
and maturity (if not for other reasons)
	The only problem was that QT was not licensed under an opensource license and 
a good number of people didn't like that (RMS in particular).  RMS and his 
hoodlums decided to create their own desktop environment to compete with KDE.  
They chose the Gimp Toolkit (which was licensed under the LGPL I believe) as 
a basis.
	The kind folks at Trolltech decided at some point to relicense QT under a 
different license for their X11 version, the license was the QPL.  The QPL is 
somewhat like the GPl, but not quite (both the GPL and QPL should be included 
with the QT source if your interested in reading/comparing them).  Pretty 
much everybody that already used KDE liked this, while RMS and the general 
gnome crowd didn't.
	(skip a good bit of time and come to the QT2 versions...)
	QT-X11 is relicensed under a dual license.  At compile time the user can 
select whether to abide by the QPL or the GPL

	Anyway, thats about enough.  The change to the dual license pleased as many 
people as can possibly be pleased, but by that time Gnome was too far along 
in development to just dump it (I believe it was at 1.2 by that time, but I'm 
not too sure).  To make a long story short, KDE was there first, and Gnome 
was founded because of the fear of both the possible closing of QT as well as 
the (supposedly) murky legal waters surrounding including KDE (GPL) apps 
compiled against a non-GPL license.

	keep in mind that this is all comming straight from memory here.  It would be 
better to do a google search and see what you get.

a little more info on the legalities at:
Many pages make a thick book.

Jonathan Nelson [icq=56665957] [aim=ciasaboark]

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