Why KDE4?

Kevin Krammer kevin.krammer at gmx.at
Fri Dec 11 11:14:41 GMT 2009

On Friday, 2009-12-11, Patricia Max wrote:

> KDE3 on my new fedora system is.  If that's not possible (and I'm not sure
>  from what I've read if it is or is not possible), then I can use XFCE.  I
>  guess.  Or stick with my old buggy system which functions about the same
>  way I do much of the time!

Redhat is also mostly Free Software, usually more than any other enterprise 
Additionally there is CentOS, which basically is package compatible with the 
RHEL release of the same version number.

>  running things from some GUI, etc.  And last, but not least, when I read
>  about "folders" on Unix, I want to scream.  That term is not part of my
>  Unix vocabulary.  It was not part of system V, it was not part of BSD, it
>  was not part of other Unix flavors such as SunOS, and it was not part of
>  early linux systems.  It belongs to Bill Gates.  In fact, I don't see what
>  it has to do with KDE4 since directories are (should be) filesystem
>  entities, not a window system entity.

Fun fact: when this was being discussed there was a strong resistance among 
KDE developers to use the term "folder" when referring to a directory, since 
while this is correct it is not as accurate as possible.

Like referring to a square as a rectangle, which is also correct but not as 
accurate as possible.

In the end it was agreed that when it is the graphics representation of any 
kind of folder, it is addressed as a folder to get better consistency.
E.g. a mail folder in KMail could be the UI representation of a directory 
(e.g. maildir directory), but it could also be the representation of an mbox 

Or in a file manager where a folder icon could be the UI for a directory but 
also for something like an introspectable archive file.

> So it's been interesting, and if anyone wants to flame me or my thoughts,
>  you will have to flame me at my private address.  I can't handle the
>  volume of email that "Why KDE4 is called KDE?" has generated.   When I
>  subscribed, I wanted a few hints to make KDE4 work like KDE3 because it's
>  what I am used to.  That does not seem possible, so I will leave the list.
>   Thanks for an interesting experience.

A thread like this is a rather rare occurence, the list is usually more 
focused on specific questions.

However, since you are a person with strong Unix background, you might prefer 
to use the newsgate way in either case:

You know, scoring and stuff.


Kevin Krammer, KDE developer, xdg-utils developer
KDE user support, developer mentoring
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