Why KDE4 is called KDE?

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Tue Dec 8 22:21:11 GMT 2009

Anne Wilson posted on Tue, 08 Dec 2009 17:45:07 +0000 as excerpted:

> In fact the developers have given way, much against their better
> judgement, to some of these complaints.  One obvious example is in
> providing the folderview desktop.  Originally it was a statement of fact
> that the plasma desktop was not the same as a 3.5 desktop, and if you
> wanted quick access to it you should use the folderview that is provided
> when the standard desktop starts up.  So many people complained that
> they couldn't fit all their files and trash-cans onto that limited view
> that in the end the developers came up with an alternative desktop that
> acts almost as though it were a 3.5 desktop. Of course it is really a
> folderview containment filling the whole screen, but if users wanted
> that to be their desktop view it was made easy for them.

While I personally don't like a desktop full of icons, I know some people 
do.  I understand their view (well, to some extent), and thus believe 
bringing back the folderview-desktop was a very good thing.

Now it may be that over time most of these users will migrate to the 
fuller-featured desktop that plasma was designed to be.  Great.  But 
there's some validity to the "too much, too fast" refrain, and there's 
enough changes in kde4 in general, that particularly for a certain 
apparently large segment of the kde-using population, letting them have 
their familiar desktop until they in their own time adjust to the other 
changes and feel ready to tackle the desktop changes, is a very good 
thing, so I'm very glad the devs ultimately reversed course and put it 
back as an option.

A similar thing happened for MS back with MS Windows 95, only they were 
smart enough (and had enough of those dead presidents accumulated to 
invest in doing the user studies to demonstrate it) to realize it before 
release, and throw the clearly inferior (from their way of thinking, but 
not to many of the users at the time) Windows 3.1 "fileman.exe" and 
'progman.exe" (file manager and program manager aka desktop) in as well.  
They didn't extend them for long filenames, but those who were using them 
were used to the short names anyway, and MS did make sure these programs 
at least wouldn't corrupt the lfns.

But by MSWormOS 98 (if I'm not mistaken, that has been awhile...), and I 
think for 95 OSR2 before that, only a very few people were still using 
those outdated programs, and they could and did drop them.

It's possible, even likely, that had kde done the same thing for 4.0 
(when honestly, a lot of plasma was pretty crude anyway, as that was 
pretty much a libraries API freeze release with just enough UI wrapped 
around it to demonstrate a few basics and provide a platform to develop 
on and plasma was one of the less mature bits of the UI as unlike most of 
the other apps, it was 100% new code, so a low-feature folderview desktop 
would have fit in reasonably well)...

... If kde had done the same thing for 4.0 that MS did with 95, shipping 
the folderview desktop as a bridge, by say 4.6 or 4.8 or some such, 
likely, few enough folks would have been using it that it could have been 
removed without too much of a fuss.  But as it wasn't in the early 
versions and that caused such a stink then, because of all the folks that 
needed a slower change, the sensitivity is raised, some of the folks that 
had it yanked away for a time (and otherwise felt deceived by the early 
kde4 fiasco) aren't going to easily let it go now, and there's likely to 
be a far bigger stink if it's removed... at least if it's removed before 
something like 4.15... than there would have been if it had been there as 
a proper bridge during the early and early-middle kde4 adoption phases.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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