Welcome to Slashdot Movies AMD IBM The Almighty Buck Linux
 faq
 code
 awards
 privacy
 slashNET
 older stuff
 rob's page
 preferences
 andover.net
 submit story
 advertising
 supporters
 past polls
 topics
 about
 jobs
 hof

Sections
8/15
apache
8/19 (9)
askslashdot
1/27
awards
8/8
books
8/17
bsd
8/18 (2)
features
8/17
interviews
6/22
radio
8/17
science
8/17 (2)
yro
OSDN
Freshmeat
Linux.com
SourceForge
ThinkGeek
Question
 Exchange

Feature:Bruce Rebuts Linus on KDE/Gnome
News Contributed by CmdrTaco on Wednesday July 15, @09:36AM
from the fear-the-flame dept.
Allright I know I said no more Gnome/KDE stuff, but Bruce Perens asked me to post this, and its worth reading. Now I'm going to be frank here guys, keep the comments under control. I know this is a hot issue, but think before you post. This issue is a major schism, and we need to solve it, not bicker amongst ourselves about it. Now hit the link below and read Bruce Perens rebuttal to Linus' opinions on the KDE/Gnome debate. Update I had to close the comments. Not because they were bad, but because we had 95% of the httpd processes on this machine serving up that story. 200+ comments in 6 hours was just too much. Anyone wanna swap a boatload a RAM for advertising? If we can get more RAM, this hopefully won't happen again.

The following is a feature written by Slashdot Reader Bruce Perens

Why KDE is Still a Bad Idea

Bruce Perens
bruce@opensource.org

Linus Torvalds is a nice guy, and I like him. Some days, though, he really misses the point. One of those Linus-in-space moments happened recently, when Linus allowed himself to be quoted saying:

    My opinion on licenses is that "he who writes the code gets to choose the license, and nobody else gets to complain." Anybody complaining about a copyright license is a whiner. The anti-KDE people are free to write their own code, but they don't have the moral right to complain about other people writing other code. I despise people who do complain, and I won't be sucked into the argument.
Linus is really missing the point here. KDE's authors indeed have a right to choose any license they want. The problem is that they are pushin g KDE as a standard GUI for Linux. And that changes all of the rules. When something's promoted as a Linux standard while a critical component of it has a bad license, every free software developer who has contributed to Linux has a right to complain without being despised by Linus. Their complaints are not whining or flaming. There is a real problem and they sincerely want to see it solved.

I'm pretty familiar with standards. For example, I'm leading the Linux Standard Base development, which is meant to make all Linux distribut ions install and run third-party software compatibly. In that project, we've chosen to avoid the KDE-GNOME controversy by not including either system in the standard. However, we've also chosen for everything in the standard to be 100% Open Source, because the major strength of Linux is the fact that anyone can change it, redistribute it, and use it as they like. So, even though I won't be the person making the decision, I can still tell you why KDE must not become the standard GUI for Linux.

What's the Real Problem with KDE and Qt?

The KDE authors chose to use Troll Tech's Qt library, even though its license made it impossible for others to maintain it or port it to other window systems. That's right, you're not allowed to distribute modified versions of Qt, even to fix a bug, no matter how severe the problem is. That's one reason the KDE beta test was so long - they were waiting many months for Troll to accept simple patches into Qt for bugs that broke KDE. Think about how long this sort of thing could delay the next port of Linux to a new computer architecture. The Qt license also doesn't allow free use of Qt except under the X Window System. People are starting to realize that X won't live forever.

Of course, the reason for the license restrictions is that Troll Tech makes most of their money from Qt ports for other platforms, such as their expensive Microsoft Windows developer's package. They don't want the competitio n of an Open Source product in that market.

The Free License That Wasn't

All of the Qt license criticism was eventually half-responded-to with something called the KDE Free Qt License. Whenever I think about this, I wonder how well the phrase red herring translates into other languages. A red herring is something that isn't really what you are meant to take it for, something that's meant to distract you from the real problem. That's how I'd describe the KDE Free Qt license. Its license terms do not take effect unless Troll Tech stops maintaining Qt, or is bought, or goes out of business. Until then, you still can't modify Qt or port it away from X. So, should we hope that the Qt people are real nice to us and get bought or go out of business as soon as they can, so that we can have a good license on their software? I won't hold my breath.

The Rest of the Free Software World Should Clean Up After Us!

The KDE developers dismissed the problems with Qt, saying If people don't like Qt's license, they can just write a free clone of it! I read this as the rest of the free software world should clean up after us! If we want to make full use of Qt on an equal basis with the rest of Linux, we just have to clone about 100,000 lines of code and documentation, which happen to be owned by a company who can tie us up in an expensive lawsuit for copyright infringement the minute we're done. In fact, if we want to try to avoid that lawsuit, we have to do it as a clean room operation, because there is no Qt documentation that is not covered by Qt's license. One team has to document the Qt APIs, and the second "clean-room" team, who must not be allowed even a glance at the copyrighted code, must write the clone from the first team's documentati on. You must also be careful about what country each team of this clean-room operation works in - there are national laws against this kind of thing.

But look at the technical history of other cloning projects. WINE and Willows are both efforts to clone parts of Microsoft Windows. Their task is different from that of a Free Qt project, because they have published documentation on Windows and need not comply with a special license like the one that Troll places on Qt's documentation . Although Willows and WINE have made much progress, neither project shows any sign of being finished after years of effort, in part due to the moving-tar get nature of the software they are attempting to clone. A Free Qt project would suffer the same fate. Even Linux has only succeeded as a clone of Unix because the definition of Unix was stable, and clear written standards were available.

Despite these problems, I proposed for SPI to fund a FreeQt project about a year ago. SPI would have gone ahead with it except for just one thing. I asked the KDE folks to promise that they'd use FreeQt when it was done, and they would not agree.

What's the Next Bad Decision Going to Be?

Let's say we do clean up after the KDE team by writing a free Qt, we clear all of the legal hurdles, and we eventually persuade the KDE team to use it. Can we trust them not to make another decision just as bad as the one to use Qt? Would we end up re-implementing another commercial product later on? Perhaps it would be better to direct our efforts toward helping people with a better track record of making good decisions.

But Must It Be Open Source?

Some people will tell you it isn't really important that Qt is not Open Source. They are ignoring the fact that the major difference between Linux and Microsoft Windows is not a technical one, it's that Linux is Open Source and can be freely modified and redistributed by anyone. It's not important that everything on your favorite Linux distribution be Open Source, but any standard part of Linux must be Open Source. If it isn't, we are discarding the main strength of Linux against proprietary software, the freedom for anyone to change it, redistribute it, and use it as they like. That freedom is the sole reason for all of the innovation in Linux and all of its success. By making the decision to give up that freedom for a critical component like the GUI, we simply substitute a new set of masters for Bill Gates.

What about GNOME?

The people who are working on GNOME didn't want to see KDE, with its dependency on Qt, become the standard GUI for Linux. They complained about this as soon as the KDE project was started, when KDE's developers had lots of time to change their mind. But nobody on the KDE team listened, and those developers founded the GNOME project.

What kind of people are the GNOME developers? I recently had an opportunity to find out. I spent a day with them at the GNOME summit, at RHAD labs, the day after Linux Expo. What I found out is that they are smart. I'll tell you my benchmark for smart. I work at Pixar Animation Studios, the computer-graphics facility where we wrote and animated Toy Story, and where we're now finishing A Bug's Life. You can imagine that there are lots of smart people there. My day with the GNOME developers convinced me that, as a group, they are at least as smart as my colleagues at Pixar.

But what should convince you that the GNOME folks are smart is the care that they are taking to get the details right that KDE's developers got wrong. For example, they took the trouble to develop the Open Source GTK+ library to the point that it was usable for their project, rather than accept the already-done Qt with its poor license. The chose an Object Request Broker library that was technically OK, with an Open Source license, and then when they felt they could improve it, they started to write their own ORB, also Open Source. They attracted the most brilliant developers, including Alan Cox, the primary architect of Linux networking, and Rasterman, developer of the Enlightenment window manager. They persuaded Red Hat to put six salaried people on GNOME development , so that we are assured that GNOME will be developed quickly and will soon surpass KDE. There are no show-stoppers like the Qt license in GNOME that would prevent it from being accepted as the standard GUI of Linux. The GNOME developers simply would not tolerate that kind of problem. They put the same sort of care into the technical decisions they make about GNOME.

GNOME Will Become The Standard GUI of Linux

Because it is 100% Open Source, because it is technically quite good, and because of the wisdom of its development team, GNOME will become the standard GUI for Linux. A large portion of the free software community will simply not accept KDE because of the Qt license. The only chance left for KDE to reach that goal is for them to drop what they are doing and rush to finish the a Free Qt now. However, the KDE developers themselves admit that they are too familiar with the internals of Troll's code for them to write a Free Qt themselves without infringing on Troll Tech's copyright. So, who will write the Free Qt? One of the two main developers of Harvest just got a job (at Red Hat), so I'm not sure it will be him. I'm pretty confident now that before a Free Qt can be done, GNOME will be in 1.0 or some higher release and will have established itself as the standard GUI of Linux. KDE�will stay around as a good desktop with a faithful, though slowly diminishing, user community, but it won't grab the brass ring.

He's Linus, and He is Your God

Let's get back to Linus, since it was his ill-considered statement that inspired this editorial. Linus recently introduced himself at his Linus Expo this way: Yes, I'm Linus Torvalds, and I am Your God. Having embraced his own god-hood, Linus must now learn that gods must behave more responsibly than the people around them. He could start by thinking a lot harder before he publicly announces that someone is a despicable whiner.

Copyright 1998 Bruce Perens. For use permission, contact bruce@opensource.org . Open Source is a registered trademark of Software in the Public Interest for software that complies with the Open Source Definition. Qt is a trademark of Troll Technology. Other trademarks are the property of their holders.

  Related Links
Linux
Slashdot
Bruce Perens
bruce@opensource.org
Related Articles
More by CmdrTaco

  Features

Garret Goebel sent us a review of the new WordPerfect demo.

It appears that the Frame Buffer Console may be coming in 2.2, and Joseph Pranevich has written a short article about what it is.

Free software vs Commercial, amongst other things is the subject of this editorial written by Kevin Forge.

Check out our Past Features.

  Quick Links
CDnow If you follow this link and buy something, I get free CDs. This makes me happy.

Check out LinuxCentral. They sell everything from cheap distro CDs to those nifty LCD Panels.

Curious what else goes on around here? Check out Everything and see for yourself.


Removing the comments
by Anonymous Coward () on Thursday July 16, @01:08PM
(User Info)
while retaining the inflammatory original is hardly an even handed editorial policy.


This Editorial Sucks!
by Greg Welch () on Thursday July 16, @02:14PM
(User Info)

It is in no way an even handed reasonable approach
to Linus' comments or KDE.

It is rife with lies and unsupported crap.


Re: Why KDE is still a bad choice
by Tobias Manthey (tmanthey@ba-stuttgart.de) on Thursday July 16, @02:27PM
(User Info)
Thank you very much for this actual GUI forecast.
Good to know that some of already know whats
going to happen.
And these bad bad KDE developers... They really force everybody to use evil KDE. What a bad world.

Hey come on. I think you didnt got the point. Whether KDE/GNOME will become standard or not just depend on the ones who will use it and not on someones intention.
Everybodys free to make own decision so please let everybody do so. Announcements like yours are not promoting free decision finding.

The better will claim victory. Personally I prefer KDE but who really cares about my personal opinion?


Why Hippies suck!
by Greg Retkowski (greg@rage.net) on Thursday July 16, @03:13PM
(User Info)http://www.rage.net/
Man, whats the story here? I can sum up this whole twisted point of view in a single sentence... "All software should be completely free, and anyone who doesnt conform to my idea of free should be rounded up and shot." Damn hippies allways trying to take away our freedoms by attempting to impose their idea of 'freedom' on the rest of society. Well on _my_ computer I'm free to choose what _I_ want to run, what code _I_ want to write, and damn anyone who trys to take that right away from us for their idealistic opinion of 'freedom'.


Re: Removing the comments
by On Lawn (onlawn@aol.com) on Thursday July 16, @03:21PM
(User Info)
Yeah, maybe removing the whole thing is a good idea. I definately think writing it is a mistake for three reasons,

1) The writer has lost a lot of credibility (arguable I know but I'm sure of it.) The writer must have had some credibility to warrant being the one to rebut. Many people's comments (now removed) pointed directly to losing a lot of respect for him for his use of FUD, and cathedral style assesment of software. (I won't even get into his self assertion as more credible than Linus.) One writer was adamant (it persisted through closures) about how he was unfriendly to the GPL now is using it to be unfriendly to QT.

2) It was a major step backwards! After an excellent editorial in freshmeat (excuse me if I don't provide the URL, I still need to get work done) reminding us how flame wars almost killed UNIX before (CDE vs OpenLook) there was a great feeling of community and well being again. This editorial took us backwards. Once again it was refered a lot, and I find it a definative work on the subject (much more credible than this!)

3)It ran Robs poor server into the ground on nothing but flames and egos. Enough said.


Re: Why KDE is still a bad choice
by ni (penguin_madness@yahoo.com) on Thursday July 16, @03:55PM
(User Info)
it depends on the ones who use it, righ. But that depend's on how many ppl develop software for it... As a developer, ->censoredcensored-. O well, everybody should take a look at them, and write code for what he prefers.


Good points
by Perry (aceperry@earthlink.net) on Thursday July 16, @04:05PM
(User Info)
This is the first time that I've seen a good explanation of what all of the hoopla is about with regards to the licensing issue. I mostly agree with Perens about the potential problems with proprietary software, although I don't know if Troll Tech would act like the evil empire. Is that really going to happen?

I like KDE, and I think their approach makes sense given their objectives and stated goals. If Troll Tech were to do an imitation of Microsoft, I'm sure many people would jump ship and even start something like the GNOME if it wasn't there. The Open Source movement seems to be a very strong aspect of the GNU/Linux/BSD community. AS far as KDE becoming a standard, I don't know if that would happen, especially since there are so many choices of window managers out there.

I think Perens' last comments about Linus may not be justified. Perhaps Linus was getting a little tired of hearing all the flames over KDE vs GNOME and just wanted to do what he could to stamp it out. I know that I'm tired of seeing these flames.


Re: This Editorial Sucks!
by ni (penguin_madness@yahoo.com) on Thursday July 16, @04:12PM
(User Info)
too bad i missed the original flamefest.. i'd like to see those "lies" and "crap" pointed out to me


Flame control
by On Lawn (onlawn) on Thursday July 16, @04:43PM
(User Info)
Wow,

305+ and that is after fire control (twice). This guy ticked off more people than Bill Gates in his Economist article.

(I am quite enjoying this area in the aftermath of the great flames... So hauntingly peaceful and quiet. I think I'll lie down in the charcoal and take a nap.)


Re: Good points
by Joe Tseng (joe_tseng@hotmail.com) on Thursday July 16, @04:45PM
(User Info)
This is what I got out of the article:

A. We should not use KDE because
1. it is using a proprietary code libarary
2. the guys developing it are a$$holes.

B. We should use GNOME because
1. it is open source
2. it will be the standard desktop anyways.

So far Troll Tech has not demonstrated monopolistic tendencies. Unless one day most GUI-based applications are written using Qt and then they screw the developers by using hidden or altered APIs, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

I tried to send comments to the KDE developers and I got a very terse response. Thus I think they're jerks. However, the product of their endeavour is very nice and I will still use it unless convinced otherwise.

Fine -- GNOME is open source. So?

Finally, the article says GNOME should be the standard because it is ..... and KDE should not be standard because..... The way RH51 has the WMs set up is good because it doesn't matter what the users' tastes are since more than one WM is available and can be changed on the fly (I'm treating KDE as a WM for the sake of argument). So why not have GNOME/KDE/Enlightenment/whatever listed in a selectable menu? (And someone's going to tell me RH can't include KDE because Troll Tech is going to sue them because they bundled Qt and the developers are jerks, right?)

Also, the article mentioned GNOME uses the Object Request Broker library. So does KDE. So why can't GUI applications be usable in a common document framework with both platforms?

Just my 0.02$.


This article
by Stu Charlton (scharlton@uwaterloo.ca) on Thursday July 16, @06:50PM
(User Info)
Was emotionally charged, brutal, and it pissed a lot of people off (including myself).

Good work, Bruce.

You're wrong, but good work anyway. :)


Harvest
by Olivier Galibert (galibert@pobox.com) on Thursday July 16, @07:04PM
(User Info)
What is/was this Harvest thingy?

OG.


Re: Harvest
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Thursday July 16, @07:22PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
It was a typo, I meant Harmony. A free Qt project. It seems to be vaporware at the moment.

Bruce


Re: Harvest
by Olivier Galibert (galibert@pobox.com) on Thursday July 16, @07:36PM
(User Info)
That is what I was afraid of.

"One of the two main developers of Harmony just got a job (at Red Hat), so I'm not sure it will be him."

There are two factual errors in this sentence. I'll leave it to you to correct them.

This does not speak very well of the quality of the rest of the text though. Next time you should check the reality of what you write before publishing it.


hrm..
by Mark Nelson (Nelson@mail.minnehaha.pvt.k12.mn.us) on Thursday July 16, @07:59PM
(User Info)
Ok guys, personally, I don't use either KDE or Gnome and don't plan on it anytime soon. However, so far I've seen alot of people jump on this guy, and I think you need to look at what exactly he is saying. KDE shouldn't be the *standard*, and that there are always going to be people unwilling to use it if there is risk of being abused. He makes some good points, and I doubt that he would diliberately lie to the linux community to get his way. To this being ridden with emotion, I think I can see why. Anyone remember the whole GGI thing with Linus absolutely rufusing to accept that the videocard should be controlled by the kernel like other hardware? While Linus is a very smart man, and is worthy of much respect, Don't weigh his words too heavily, he's a leader, not a god. Same goes with Taco, Raster, Mandrake, and for all you MS lovers Bill Gates.. ;) (hope you can tell I'm a dune reader and buy into Herbert's philosophy that hero-worship tends to lead to disctruction.)


Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Thursday July 16, @08:21PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
I can't possibly reply to 305 comments, especially since I have copies of only 20 of them.

There were a lot of favorable comments on the article that were deleted when controversy around this topic maxed out the slashdot server. The few left today seem to be unfavorable. Surprisingly, my email was all favorable except for one neutral message.

My opinion is that this is still an important topic and it won't go away. I don't see that flame-wars "almost killed Unix" - what has hobbled Unix is its fragmentation and incompatibility, something I am working very hard to remedy with my Linux Standard Base project. We should not label all dissidence as "flaming" - dissidence is an important way for people to introduce new ideas into our community. Would you rather have the fearful quiet of a police state?

Some readers percieved a lack of substantiation. It's true I could have written a lot more. Brevity is a virtue, and the piece was getting almost long enough that nobody would read the whole thing already. The most difficult element for some readers was my statement that KDE was being pushed as a pan-Linux standard GUI. This is substantiated when major Linux distributions announce that they are making KDE their standard desktop and are tightly integrating it. This puts a roadblock in the way of any other desktop becoming the standard.

I do believe we need a standard GUI as part of our plan for Linux to achieve "world domination". I would not compel any one of you to use a standard GUI, the standards police are not coming to arrest you. However, we can't win against Windows if the Linux systems that we offer to the general public non-hacker-types are fragmented and incompatible.

Regarding why Open Source is important, there is no reason for people who donate their work, like myself, to help Linux win simply because it is technically superior or has a different owner from Bill Gates. We donate our work because we are building up a public body of valuable software that everyone has the right to use, modify, and redistribute. When one developer attempts to get a "lock" on a particular core component of the system for his own benefit, and does not allow commercial use of that component, or modification, or porting to other window systems, we feel that our own contributions are being taken advantage of unfairly. That developer is taking advantage of the value we put into the system, and isn't giving us the same rights that we give him for the software we created. That's what we feel the situation is with Qt. This would not be important with a web server or another application, it's important with the GUI because that is as central a part of the system as the Linux kernel. My feelings might be hard to understand for a non-developer, but it is the _only_ reason that many of us work on Linux.

Someone commented on hippies. He's obviously never met me, although he must have been at Linux Expo. His comment is apparently a mis-interpretation of Don Rosenberg's talk there. I _don't_ want all software to be free, you're confusing me with Richard Stallman. Linux must support both Open Source and proprietary software, and to do that its _core_ must be 100% Open Source. Qt doesn't support proprietary software at all unless you buy their $1250 license.

Regarding my comments on Linus' behavior. Yes, I know the "God" comment was a joke. However, Linus took it upon himself to judge some people, including me, as despicable whiners. For that, he deserves the comments I made.

And last, I think KDE is technically pretty good, and that is a credit to its developers. I just wish they had taken longer, and had addressed the graphical toolkit issue first. I don't think the "window before NT 5 is released" is nearly as important as one reader - Linux will retain its advantages over NT even after NT 5 is released, uness _we_ naively give up those advantages in service of a "quick fix".

Bruce Perens


Re: Harvest
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Thursday July 16, @08:29PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
The reports I have, from people I trust, are that it's vaporware. I'd be overjoyed to find that Harmony is _not_ vaporware, and will be done in finite time, because that would solve the KDE problem to my satisfaction! Do you have evidence that this is the case?


Re: Harvest
by Olivier Galibert (galibert@pobox.com) on Thursday July 16, @08:56PM
(User Info)
I did not, and will not, comment on the "vaporware" part. This qualification is in the eye of the beholder.

What I don't like is that you said that:

  • There are two main developers for Harmony

  • One of them now works for RedHat



These assertions are plain wrong. This just shows that you can't be trusted when it comes to actual facts.

OG.


Re: Harvest
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Thursday July 16, @09:26PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
The person who went to redhat was Preston Brown.

I just hit their CVS server, and it looks as if there is some continuing work, mostly by one person. I did not find a staff roster.

If you have the facts, by all means enlighten us. The information I have on Harmony may indeed have been wrong. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to rely on the reports of others, especially when you have as many tasks going at once as I have.

Thanks

Bruce



Please retract your statements concerning KDE Beta
by Greg Welch () on Thursday July 16, @10:12PM
(User Info)

You either have false information or you are spreading
FUD. KDE was not helf up due to bugs in QT.


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by TedC (tedc2@sprintmail.com) on Thursday July 16, @10:42PM
(User Info)
> something I am working very hard to remedy
> with my Linux Standard Base project.

That's the major problem, Bruce, it's *your*
Linux Standard Base project, not ours. I guess
I can play in your sandbox as long as I follow
your rules, but I don't know how long that's
going to work for me.


Re: Harvest
by Steve Hutton (shutton@gte.net) on Friday July 17, @12:02AM
(User Info)
The person who went to redhat was Preston Brown.

FACTS:
1) Preston Brown is the maintainer of KOrganizer.
2) He recently took a job at RedHat.
3) After he took this position, he volunteered to help with Harmony

If you have the facts, by all means enlighten us. The information I have on Harmony may indeed have been wrong. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to rely on the reports of others, especially when you have as many tasks going at once as I have.

This is indeed unfortunate.
By the way, what is "Harvest?"


Don't kid yourself, Bruce
by John Dell'Aquila (jbd@alum.mit.edu) on Friday July 17, @12:05AM
(User Info)
You've lost a huge amount of stature, not because of your honestly held opinion that GNOME is superior, but because your editorial violated the most deeply held hacker principal: the code speaks for itself.

The KDE team's code will speak for itself. Defaming the motives and intentions of a volunteer group trying to give something to the Linux community just isn't done. Ever. Their work will be judged by the community as a whole, one user at a time.

Similarly, *your* code must speak for itself as well. To say "I work at Pixar, and everybody there is brilliant" may win plaudits on the cocktail circuit, but in the hacker community it is tantamount to saying, "I'm a turkey, raise your spam shields."


round 2�^s�-?
by On Lawn (onlawn@aol.com) on Friday July 17, @12:17AM
(User Info)
You seem to be advocating treating him with respect, and "don't be too harsh on him." Also "don't worship Linus." I agree with you a lot. However I think we all just want the writer of the article to take that very advice.

He did tick off a lot of people, mainly for spreading FUD and cathedral style "we are smart" evidence. He did lose a lot of respect in mine (and others) eyes. I'm sorry but it happened.

A majority don't join the holy war because Linus is God, or KDE is great (I can't impress how many articles said just that.) It was one post that said it best...

"I am not a programer, or a lawyer, and I don't really care about liscensing issues.

"That is why I am glad that there are smart people like [whatever his name is] to tell me what I should use. However, I consider myself a thinking individual and if I wanted someone to tell me what I should use I would be running Microsoft."

Also mentioned was his hippocritical stance on the GPL.

In a community where we earn respect with success, we just hate to see someone pester Rob to put up his editorial for whatever reason he thinks this High School style dribble is more important than what anyone else has to say. We hate to see him attack Linus's celebrity status while proposing that Gnome people are to be looked up to plainly becuase they are "smart."

So I appreciate you reminding us not to bear our horns at this person (who I'm sure if he knew what he was doing wouldn't have written that awful article) and be nice. Thank you. I hope this helps.


Perens urinates on GPL and then attacks KDE
by Anon (nospam@non-uce.com) on Friday July 17, @12:45AM
(User Info)
I think the adoption of KDE makes Linux advocancy much easier. I'm sure that several people stayed away from OpenLinux Lite when they heard that even Window Manager is time-bombed. It will be much easier to get Linux converts by giving out a free OL Lite CD with an infinate life KDE. And, btw, OL Lite has the source code to the GPL'd packages.

Bruce Perens on the other hand isn't interested in ensuring the source code gets distributed. I have a copy of an email from Bruce Perens stating that it was perfectly acceptible for Linux Systems Labs to distribute Debian 1.2 without source code or even a written three year offer for the source code. He continued on to explain that Debian's web site promotes/links to LSL (with full knowledge of LSL's disrespect for the GPL) because there was definate need for cheap Debian CDs (despite that Cheap*Bytes also had Debian CDs available). He also made some claim of making sure the 3 year source code availablity requirement was followed.

Well, MUCH less than three years has passed and the majority of the Debian patched source code that made up Debian 1.2 can't be found on the Debian mirrors anymore. When LSL is contacted, they refuse to provide any information on obtaining the Debain 1.2 source code. So, how has Bruce Perens ensured that the three year source code availablity requirement was followed? Seems he made a business descision to promote a cheap form of distributing Debian binaries over promoting GPL/source code distribution.

I agree that Caldera has made some business descisions that didn't promote open source. It is my understanding that when Sun licenced WABI to Caldera that Caldera changed it's mind about releasing work it had contracted to improve WINE. It sucks, but that is business choice. Like Bruce Perens, they made a business descision.

But what has Bruce Perens done to show he cares for open source? He promoted Linux Systems Labs' disrespect for the GPL open source license and failed to honor his word of ensuring the Debian 1.2 source code would be available for three years. So, if Perens' actions is showing caring for open source licensing, then maybe Caldera is one of OpenSource's best friends. After all, which is worse: withholding code you own or promoting a company that withholds code they are REQUIRED by license to release?


Re: Don't kid yourself, Bruce
by On Lawn (onlawn@aol.com) on Friday July 17, @12:52AM
(User Info)
Newsweek runs one of my favorite forums called "Conventional Wisdom" where the editor basicaly sums up general concensus on certain topics.

You, my friend have been summing it up very well. Could you repost that one thing you said yesterday? I tried to quote it in the post above, and did a horrible job.

It is funny, he works on the [his] FSB (which is nothing more than the reinventing the old FSSTND) where he needs to really needs to play the umbrella holder like Linus does so well. Instead he shows that he is another hot headed programer ("Please Rob, Please post my feature, what I have to say is so much more important than what everyone else is saying." and "listen to us smart guys from Pixar and Gnome.")

And kind sir [Bruce] who wrote this rebuttal and then came back to comment some more, both the Linux community and especially yourself would be much better off if you had never wrote it. I don't say that to demean. I don't say that to mean that you don't have valid points. Not to say that you are a whiner (but your rebuttal sure does. Lets just say there is a difference between dissidence and whining, and your tone and arguments show you as both.)

Sometimes we make mistakes and let our emotions get the best of us. I do it myself, just take it from a hot head. Lay low and maybe write an appology. Everyone (especially you) would be better off. Remember it is better to shut your mouth and let everyone think you are a whiner than open your mouth (like you did) and prove it.


Re: Perens urinates on GPL and then attacks KDE
by Anonymous Coward () on Friday July 17, @01:02AM
(User Info)
I was wondering when you'd show up again, and I've enjoyed it every time I read it.


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Michael Farnbach (farnbach-michael@usa.net) on Friday July 17, @01:35AM
(User Info)
Yeah I was one of those people whose articles was cut out while your rebuttal still stands.

I'll respond directly with some issues of yours...

1) "There were a lot of favorable comments..."

Out of 300+ comments, yes some were favorable. But I'm sorry to say you were being generally slammed. I'm happy the emails were nice. I don't necessarily want you to be slammed for a hastily written feature, motivated by paranoia and pride. But communities have a way of casting the cruelest judgements against such bad writing.

2) "...this is still an important topic and it won't go away"

No, No, you've got to understand. Pain and suffering won't go away also, but it doesn't mean we have to appoint ourselves as the judge of who and what is causing it. We don't elect ourselves as the head of a "do away with war" committee then beat people into submitting to your laws of peace. Your comments were just out of line in this way.

3) "I don't see that flame-wars 'almost killed Unix' - what has hobbled Unix is its fragmentation and incompatibility, something am working very hard to remedy with my Linux Standard Base project

This is like saying "eating animal lard for breakfast didn't kill this man, it was the atrial plaque that dislodged and clogged his cartial arteries that stopped his heart. That is why I'm removing the clot, and putting him back together. He'll be just fine."

4)We should not label all dissidence as "flaming"

But, in my own mind, I label that rebuttal as whining. It almost sounded like "I'm working on a Linux Standard, but KDE is trying to do it anyway" (add the vocal quility of a two year old who had his lollypop stolen.) I don't know if that is how you meant to come across, I won't argue about that. It is just how you came across to many people.

And from there on out you have the same good arguments as to why you don't want QT as a part of Linux. Fine. But you realize that a lot of us don't care if it is or not, and even more of us would rather fix the situation in program code rather than complain about it. As I said in one of the lost posts, you seem to be complaining about KDE and Linus having so much success rather than advocating Gnome, Open Source, or even Linux.

I saw your comments as way out of line, and a dumb move. I only have your comments to judge by however o I don't hole them personaly against you.

And if you feel the need to dig yourself a deeper hole trying to get out of the one you are already in, just relax. I think you will find the Linux community forgiving enough to throw you a rope after a while. (just don't use it to hang yourself!)


Well said!
by Ed Avis (epa@datcon.co.uk) on Friday July 17, @08:48AM
(User Info)
I just have to say that I agree entirely with what Bruce Perens has said.

The Qt licence _is_ a problem. Even if you're not concerned about free vs proprietary software, on entirely _practical_ grounds it could be an impediment to Linux adoption. If Qt becomes the standard, anyone wanting to make proprietary GUI software on Linux will have to pay $1250 to Troll Tech. That will seriously impede smaller developers; and since the fee is "per-developer", large companies such as Corel could have to fork out hundreds of thousands of
dollars.

If individuals choose to use Qt in order to run KDE, that's fine. After all, many people run proprietary software (such as StarOffice) already.
But making Linux systems _dependant_ on something such as Qt, which cannot be changed, and which cannot be used for proprietary software development without paying a hefty fee, is a seriously bad idea.

Bruce Perens has gained respect in my eyes. I see nothing wrong with standing up for your principles - especially if the "morally right" thing to do is also the most _practical_ thing to do, as it is here.


Repost: KDE reaches a significant milestone...
by John Dell'Aquila (jbd@alum.mit.edu) on Friday July 17, @09:52AM
(User Info)
... so it must be time for another round of FUD.

I think the KDE team is competing in the best UNIX tradition - show me the code, while GNOME is playing by Microsoft rules - pre-announce, impugn the competition, and sow FUD (desperate is ugly, folks).

I don't know what's best for everyone's desktop, nor do I presume to know the KDE team's intentions. While I'm grateful that a smart fellow like Bruce Perens knows what's best for me, I must politely reply, "If I wasn't capable of making up my own mind, I'd be in the
Microsoft flock."


Re: Repost: KDE reaches a significant milestone...
by ON Lawn (onlawn@aol.com) on Friday July 17, @10:54AM
(User Info)
Yep, I did butcher it. Sorry. But thanks for the repost, it definately deserves the preservation.


Re: Well said!
by Anonymous Coward () on Friday July 17, @11:26AM
(User Info)
Oh, is that what he said. I agree with your statements, it does make QT less attractive as a graphics library to have to pay for it when developing software you expect to make money on.

But if that was what Bruce was saying, then what was all the crap about KDE trying to become a standard (oh no evil empire!), and Linus thinks he is God, and "quit calling me a whiner" about then?

I won't even get into how we should follow him and the other smart people (duh, where did he go George?)

I see nothing wrong with standing up for your principles, but I do see something wrong with making it a crusade that stomps on others principles, comprende? I see a lot wrong with complaining (yes whining!) that KDE, who essentially provided a full course meal on a magnitude not seen in the Linux community as of yet, didn't bring dessert. I see a lot wrong with assuming that I can't make my own decisions!

So I'm glad he has gained respect in your eyes. You wrote a pretty good piece that sums up my feelings also on the worries of QT dependance. You seem to grasp the difference between good, solid evidance, and FUD. Now just help Bruce understand that. It doesn't seem that his recent post has helped him much.


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Joe Tseng (joe_tseng@hotmail.com) on Friday July 17, @12:23PM
(User Info)

First of all, I tried to post a slam on the article yesterday but somehow I couldn't get my post through. Today I read the response to 305+ flame attacks and I'm not as pissed off today. So this post won't be a slam.

Now, two questions:

1. What does Qt do? I am under the impression it provides GUI widgets to provide visual GUI consistency (akin to Motif/Win32). True or false? If false, what else does it do in KDE?

2. I think it should not matter what desktop a user decides to use. It would be nice to have a document framework where a user could drag and drop a file from (his/her) (file manager/desktop) into (StarOffice/Netscape/Gimp/whatever). Is this possible? I would think so since both KDE and GNOME both use at least the core aspects of the Object Request Broker libraries.


now granted...
by Ryan (crowler@nationwide.com) on Friday July 17, @01:01PM
(User Info)
...im not much in the way of a programmer, but i
have a decent grasp of how things work (for the

most part :-) ) ... to quote a man, i wont say

who, the quote speaks for itself, but "Why cant

we all just get along?"
this whole KDE/GNOME thing is getting to the

point that RAP did over the last couple years.
Over here we got the East Coast, over there we

have the West Coast. How about this, we dont

flame anymore, we dont point out (at least not in

a manner that is without tact) the inadequcies

(sp?) of others ideas. instead say, OK, THIS

aspect of what youre doing is good, well use this
and the way we do THIS.. ... see where im goin

with this? work together people. If some people

think that KDE is too dependent on Qt, see what

can be done to port it to GTK+. dont whine, just

do it, then once you have some stuff done on it,

put it out here for all to see, then if its an

idea with merit, the linux community will run

with it, improve it and make it vastly better

than what you alone could ever do. (remember, no

matter how good you are, there is always someone

out there better.)
give cooperation a chance. it works.


Make amends soon or give up the LSB lead!
by Blackadder () on Friday July 17, @02:30PM
(User Info)
We can see your good intention but I'm sorry to say that both of your posts (this and the editorial) are utterly pathetic. There are so ridiculous parts like your 'proof of brightness' of the Gnomes that I can hardly believe this was written by an adult.
It's true that the qt license can be criticised, and that's what the 'favorable comments' were about. But practicly everything else was wrong or even rubbish.

- The whole thing is about qt and not KDE (important!)

- Nobody ever said qt should be part of an official/mandatory standard, least of all Linus (and not even the KDE guys)
In fact, freedom of choice means no desktop standard at all, much more important are standardised interfaces (corba&messaging;, DnD, clipboard).

- "Code first and talk later" was always the Linux way. That's what Linus said.
Whining and fanatism is the RMS way.

- So you didn't criticise Linus' statement, but you made personal attacks on him without justification! So be a man, make amends and clarify that.

You should either find back to a more neutral stand or it is better you give the LSB project to somebody else who can better integrate the Linux community


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Craig Goodrich (craig@airnet.net) on Friday July 17, @06:10PM
(User Info)
> I do believe we need a standard GUI as part of our plan for Linux to achieve "world domination". I would not compel any one of you to use a standard GUI, the standards police are not coming to arrest you. However, we can't win against Windows if the Linux systems that we offer to the general public non-hacker-types are fragmented and incompatible.

If in fact the LSB group feels that it is part of its mission to dictate the inclusion in every distribution of a "standard desktop" beyond the normal XF86 contrib code, then I count myself firmly, strongly, and irrevocably opposed to it.

Pat Volkerding was right. This is an organization in search of a problem. My concern for freedom extends substantially beyond the trivial question of software licenses, and although it is quite reasonable to specify, for example, that a distribution must be able to run a.out binaries, it is grossly unreasonable to specify that a distribution must provide this or that graphic environment.

Everyone seems to fear "fragmentation" and "incompatibility", as though that were a characteristic result of freedom. It isn't. Look at the internet, for example.

But then, if you simply let the market decide, you wouldn't have anyone around to listen to your self-aggrandizing diktats, would you? For shame, Bruce!

Craig


Re: Perens urinates on GPL and then attacks KDE
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Friday July 17, @07:09PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
LSL _distributed_ a binary-only version of SPI's Debian Official CD, but then so did (and still do) a lot of people, without any GPL problem. As I've told you before, I mastered those CDs and I still have the master CD-R for the source CD. SPI has no problems in honoring the GPL. As SPI president, if you sincerely can't get a copy, I will provide one. Send $5 to P.O. Box 70152, Pt. Richmond CA 94807-0152 for the blank CD-R, postage, and my copying work, with a note that you want the 1.2 CD.

I don't think you really want a copy, though. As long as you don't have one, you can continue this spurious complaint.

Bruce


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Perry (aceperry@earthlink.net) on Saturday July 18, @07:12AM
(User Info)
>If in fact the LSB group feels that it is part of its mission to dictate the inclusion in every distribution of a "standard desktop" beyond the normal XF86 contrib code, then I count myself firmly, strongly, and irrevocably opposed to it.

I don't think the LSB is going to incorporate a standard desktop.

>Everyone seems to fear "fragmentation" and "incompatibility", as though that were a characteristic result of freedom. It isn't. Look at the internet, for example.

I think LSB's attempts to promote compatibility is a strategy to enable wider adoption of Linux.

>But then, if you simply let the market decide, you wouldn't have anyone around to listen to your self-aggrandizing diktats, would you? For shame, Bruce!

Craig

The market *has* decided, MS Windows and NT are the clear winners. You could of course go with the winners.

Cheers.


Re: Perens urinates on GPL and then attacks KDE
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Thursday July 23, @03:38PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
Mr. Anonymous emailed me (using his real name) and said he already has the software. For anyone else, the source code is still available, $5 for the CD-writable.

Bruce


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Jens-Uwe Mager (jum@anubis.han.de) on Thursday July 23, @04:48PM
(User Info)
I see one big problem with your argumentation, and that is with grass roots acceptance of KDE as I can see it in my area. KDE appears to be first with a decent desktop on Linux, and that is what people need desperately. Setting up a decent desktop environment is so complicated under Linux that most folks will not bother to switch to anything else once they get anything working on their machine. As with most human beings you will need something real "sweet" to "pull" people over to your side. For me just a license issue is not sweet enough.


Qt is good because it makes commercial developers
by Axel Boldt (boldt@math.ucsb.edu) on Thursday July 23, @05:32PM
(User Info)http://math-www.uni-paderborn.de/~axel/
The problem with Bruce is that he is not a hippie.

>I _don't_ want all software to be free, you're confusing me with Richard Stallman.
>Linux must support both Open Source and proprietary software, and to do that its _core_
>must be 100% Open Source. Qt doesn't support proprietary software at all unless you buy
>their $1250 license.

Now we are getting to the bottom of things. Bruce doesn't like Qt because it makes it more expensive to develop proprietary software.

I for one applaud any license which makes it more expensive to develop proprietary software. The more expensive, the less popular, and the more likely is a free solution. I do not want to see shareware for Linux ever, and Qt's license makes sure that I won't.

No developer of proprietary Linux software deserves to get anything for free from us. I would be happy if they had to pay through the nose to Troll Tech (and $1250 is laughably cheap for unlimited use of such a high quality library).

Bruce says that the core of the system should be free, but then he is happy to accept proprietary apps on top of that free base. Why this distinction? The goal should be to maximize the overall amount of free software for Linux, period. I believe that Qt's license does just that.


Re: Why Hippies suck!
by James Avery (avery@io.dk) on Thursday July 23, @05:37PM
(User Info)
>I can sum up this whole twisted point of view in a single sentence... "All software
>should be completely free, and anyone who doesnt conform to my idea of free should be rounded up
>and shot."

You then obviously did not read past the headlines. I quote :

"Linus is really missing the point here. KDE's authors indeed have a right to choose any license they want. The problem is that they are pushing KDE as a standard GUI for Linux. And that changes all of the rules."

Basically, non-free code is okay in "user-space", but it's generally not a good idea to have it at the heart of the system. I agree just below 100% with the original article.

James Avery [avery@io.dk]


Re: Well said!
by James Avery (avery@io.dk) on Thursday July 23, @06:11PM
(User Info)
>You seem to grasp the difference between good, solid evidance, and FUD.
>Now just help Bruce understand that.

Actually, I get the idea that people are too emotional about this to be able to even read properly.

What was summed up is exactly what Perens wrote - only people (including yourself) seem to pick out details or inconsistancies that are really beside the point (He said something non-praising about Thorvalds! He thinks he's smarter than me!) and go into some blind flame-mode.

Perens has gained respect in my eyes as well - many of you have lost it. :(

James Avery [avery@io.dk]


Hey! Quit flaming!
by Anonymous Coward (anonymous@coward.net) on Thursday July 23, @06:19PM
(User Info)
Please.


Re: Perens urinates on GPL and then attacks KDE
by Anon (nospam@non-uce.com) on Thursday July 23, @06:59PM
(User Info)
Your missing the point. It is great that you continue to provide the source code to anyone that requests it. I hope LSL takes advantage of that, but presently they do not. LSL has an obligation according to the license to provide information about obtaining the source code. However, when LSL is contacted they do not provide any such information. If they where willing a copy of the offer you just made then that would cover the requirement. That is not how the present business practices of Linux Systems Labs works currently. When contacted they feel no need to distribute any information at all about obtaining the GPL'd source code making up a product they distributed.

For you to now say that LSL's actions are fine since you provide an offer left unknown to the majority of LSL customers, shows very little understanding of Open Source on your part. The General Public License goes into very specific detail about the terms of DISTRIBUTION of the binary when the source code is not provided. These terms are placed in the GPL because it is the free distribution of the source code that results in code being open source. If distribution wasn't a key then even Windows NT could be considered open source since even WinNT source code is available (sections of NASA, for example, has license rights to it).

LSL currently makes no attempt to promote the distribution of the source code. And when me or the other thousands of programmers that contributed code that made up Debian 1.2 state that the licensing terms for our work MUST be followed, you consider it a spurious compliant. Get LSL to make your offer available on their web site (since their staff that takes orders refuses to pass along your offer) and THEN we can talk about spurious complaints. Until then, "GPL" and "OpenSource" are just hot terms that are followed only when convient.


Bruce Peres supports Free QT?
by Anonymous Coward (lars.doelle@on-line.de) on Thursday July 23, @07:01PM
(User Info)
Bruce,

i'm pretty astonished to read that you've offered to start and organize support for a FreeQt clone and tell about KDE authoraties who declined using such a clone. I simply cannot believe that. I would definitely like to read names and more details of the offer.

From all i know, KDE developers were well aware of the QT issue and their support to Harmony is basically limited by the amount of work they do on their applications.

From what i've seen about Harmony - it progresses nicely, btw. They're happily merging the code bases of not less than 3 individual attempts to produce such a toolkit. I would expect first working applications and demos running on a Harmony prealpha by the end of the year. But even if not and it takes a year more, i don't see nothing really pressing on having a QT clone now. I find doing applications much more importend.

So Bruce, since the QT dependency obviously concernes you, please renew your offer to support a free QT clone here. Both the Harmony and the KDE people will definitely love you for that.

Lars


Re: Perens urinates on GPL and then attacks KDE
by LeRoy Cressy (ldc@netaxs.com) on Thursday July 23, @11:11PM
(User Info)http://www.netaxs.com/~ldc/

When reading Anon's comment about the Debian mirrors not having the source code to the Bo distribution, I looked at ftp.debian.org and cd'd to debian/bo/source and found all of the source code for the bo distribution. Now the primary ftp site for the debian distribution is a mirror located at Georgia Tech College of Computing FTP service. This primary mirror has all of the source code.

Also, according to the GPL as I read it, the source code MUST be freely available. Though it may not be on a CD, there must be a way to get the source, and Debian maintains the source at their mirrors.

Though I am not a Debian developer, I currently use the Debian system. As for myself I choose to use fvwm1 with a totally customized look and feel that I made to please myself. Linux gives me the choice that I can choose my login shell, my window manager, and whatever I want to run not predicated on what some propritary company has choosen what is best for me.

I feel that the freedom that the Linux community provides must never be reduced by cajoling developers to follow some predetermined guidelines forcing them to look like every one else. I like the individuality that is out there today. If it changes that program must have the same look and feel as every other priogram then the Linux community will look like another loser OS with no personality or individuality.

Have a great day :-)


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Gustavo Ribeiro Amigo (gamigo@icmsc.sc.usp.br) on Thursday July 23, @11:45PM
(User Info)
I don't think Bruce Perens should be part of the LSB project anymore. He is trying to push some pre-alpha stage software called GNOME to LSB.
A standart GUI desktop should never be part of the LSB. DnD, clipboard, things like that should be standarlized.

KDE isnt trying to standarlize the linux desktop.
It is trying to standarlize the U*IX destop.
It runs in many platforms, not just linux.

Alright, GNOME is a good project built up whith a good library called GTK+, but KDE is out there with its 1.0 version released. By the time GNOME reaches 1.0, KDE will be 2.0 already with its Office suite 1.0 version. If your a radical GNU guy who doesnt use prop software because it hurts your principles, simply dont use KDE and wait until GNOME is read for use with its hoppefully GOffice.

In the computer world, emotional thoughts dont work, common sense does.


Looks like you missed the boat.
by Bill C Riemers (bcr@att.com) on Thursday July 23, @11:49PM
(User Info)http://feynman.com/home/
It is very easy to make a logical argument, and "prove" your point when you start off with BAD assumptions. If it was a choise, either KDE or
GNOME, but not both, I would say neither get back to me when I have real choices.

Sure, people who write KDE are going to advicate it. What author doesn't? And the people who write GNOME are going to advocate it. But that does not mean you have to trash one group to accept the other. I'm glad I have choises. Last time I tried both GNOME and KDE, my vote was that ENLIGHTENMENT was the better window manager, but I decided to use KDE because it gives me easier to use functionality. I upgrade every 4-6 months. Maybe next time I will pick GNOME, who knows.

On the other hand, maybe next time I do upgrades, I'll switch to FreeBSD. You never know, it does have Linux emulation, so I can still run most of my programs if I make a switch. When it comes to operating systems, I prefere Linux. But again if someone told me there could only be one operating system, I would tell them to take a flying leap, just like I'm telling you. Competition is one of the elements that made Linux so great. If there wasn't FreeBSD, BSD386, NETBSD, and several other Unix clones developing at the same time, Linux would not have ended up even half of what it is now.

You'd be admazed how often durring development, changes where rallied behind not because they were really needed, but because it was just one of those things Linux folks could use to try and make BSD folks drool. Or sometimes, because the BSD folds were making us drool. Even Windows contributed to Linux. Even though it is so bad, it did teach the Unix community GUI's are important. This is what lead to projects like KDE and GNOME to begin with.

If we were to follow the authors views, we would have forced Microsoft to scrap things at Windows 3.1, because Linux and X were both better and Free. Even today, our idea of a GUI would be being able to cut and paste text between terminal emulation windows.

I say LONG LIVE KDE, and MORE POWER TO GNOME. And down with communists that want to force us declare one as the standard for the Linux community.


KDE == trojan horse against open source
by Anonymous Coward () on Thursday July 23, @11:54PM
(User Info)
What you fail to understand is that the very fact that KDE exists as a seductive option for the Linux desktop, luring users into locking themselves into a proprietary system, is a threat to the very core principles of GNU and Linux. The act of tolerating KDE as a mainstream Linux package, and allowing it to gain acceptance and become a de facto standard, is a betrayal of the ideals of free software.

KDE is a trojan horse against open source. Don't use it.


A kingdom for such a Trojan Horse!
by Blackadder () on Friday July 24, @08:44AM
(User Info)
> threat to the very core principles of GNU and
> Linux

One of the core principles has always been pragmatism as opposed to RMS fanatism.
There are a lot of non-gpl'd progs out there, including a desktop, CDE, which Xi will ship as the standard desktop in their upcoming distribution. I prefer KDE to that ;)
And remember: GNU's not UNIX, and Linux is not GNU! (It's Gpl'd because that was more useful than the original Linux license, according to Linus)

> locking themselves into a proprietary system

Who forces you to stay with it, so that you're locked?
I don't want anyone (like Bruce) to force me to use Gnome as the standard either (although I like it).


Comments gone mad
by myo (myo@zen.lamere.net) on Friday July 24, @10:35AM
(User Info)
I've noticed that while most everyone is rather adamant and zealous in their opinions, only about 1 in 15 actually contributes.

Saying "i agree" or "you're wrong, you suck" truly does not help matters much. Do people really read a reply that says "no, you're wrong." and suddenly "see the light"? Doubtfully. While replying, it can help to ask yourself some questions on the matter:

Why do i agree?
Why do i disagree?
Who am i trying to convince anyway?
What will convince them?

I fail to understand how stating "you're wrong, i'm right, and that's all there is to it" can convince anyone of your opinion. Likewise, stating "i agree; couldn't have put it better myself" doesn't tell anyone anything different than that already said. If you CAN put it better yourself, feel free to do so. If you disagree, and can support your disagreement with something new (that isn't common knowledge or solely opinionative, unlike the inevitable "but KDE looks nice and is more developed, so everyone should use it" or "if you don't like it don't use it" that we all see everyday), feel free to post.

If everyone followed these suggestions, we would still have all the original comments to this article available for public viewing.

Just a thought.


Wimp vs Wimp
by Anonymous Coward (cowardII@anonymous.com) on Friday July 24, @11:29AM
(User Info)
But he has a good point. We don't need a dictator in the LSB head. Bruce is showing himself more as a dictator than a coordinator, especially with this article


It all boils down to quality, not morals.
by John McNulty (jm@uvo.dec.com) on Friday July 24, @11:31AM
(User Info)

Bruce said: so that we are assured that GNOME will be developed quickly and will soon surpass KDE.

That's really the key to the whole thing. I know that there are quite a number of people out there who deeply care about the licensing issue. But there are also an equal amount of people who don't give a stuff, and as they don't personally have to part with a penny to use KDE or GNOME, they will base their decision on which one of the two looks nicer, is easier to use, and has a rich set of applications behind it.

Bruce, you want GNOME to be the default, then GNOME has to become the best. Those people who use KDE today (and in the future) are not going to be swayed by others opinions on licensing issues. They wouldn't be using KDE already if they could be.

So all this arguing (whatever the moral justification) right now is quite pointless. I am a KDE user today because I want the best desktop available on my Linux system, and KDE is better than GNOME. If you want me to switch, give me something better to choose!


Wanted: Flame Retardant
by On Lawn (onlawn@aol.com) on Friday July 24, @12:39PM
(User Info)
Wow, I haven't visited this sight for a while, and now that Rob put it up on the main page I see the fires flaring up again.

While I'm not going to get into any part of the thread before this post, I'll try to see some moderation.

It seems as though some of you feel the need to come in and rescue Mr Perens. I like to see it, I think he needs it, but... I think it fair to say that the people accurately pointed out the points in his article that were "really beside the point". However, they were accurate, and definately solidly based in what Mr Perens said.

The question is why did Mr Perens bring in so many things "besides the point." He mentioned how Linus made the "I am your God" crack, then retracted to say that he knew Linus was kidding all along. It was important in the first article, then he backs water.

It makes me think then that he was grasping at a point (that was beside the point.) When one formulates another's words to attack their status it is definately slander. At least Bruce was man enough to admit in part what he did. There is no place for slander in this community.

And he did try to support Gnome on the intelligence of the Gnome developers (which I don't think ever was in question,) and future promises of its graduer (which also was never in question) and spread FUD about the present reality of a good product, genorously developed, contributed and used by the community.

Where as I see the KDE people saying about themselves "if you don't like it just don't use it," his artlicle says we should use Gnome instead. "If you like KDE don't use it becuase I don't like it." --For whatever reason.

And that is my point. Bruce took the occation to do more than re-hash the same old QT arguments, he added so much that was bent on vanity, FUD and slander that it caused many to react strongly against him. I remphasise the comments of another poster "Don't kid yourself Bruce, you lost a lot of stature..." even if he gained some in your eyes.

I think that 350+ responces, a good 90% having the opinion that Bruce is out of line in some way or another in his rebuttal does a lot to show this point. I remember the responces to Linus's quote (I also point out that Linus didn't even want to go as far as to pressure Rob to insert his feature) were mostly a chear to put this all behind us. The responces to the Flame-War editorial (a Linus-free production) were more positive yet. I saw a lot of the hate Bruce generated against him spill over into the responces of his next article which I thought was actually pretty good.

I begin to wonder why Rob brought this ugly thing back up. Now I feel a need to liberate myself and the community again. It wasn't for hits I'm sure becuase he pulled a perfectly good article two days ago that would have brought lots of hits (about Yahoo printing an anti-linux article).

Definately out of the three works (Linus' short paragraph, and the excellent essay on Flame Wars, and this), this is the piece of crap hanging proudly on the wall while the real treasures lie somewhere in storage on a shelf.

But now I'm tired. I'm tired of saying the same thing over and over again to a new round of people who would rather act like a rebel camp of fanatics than a peaceful community where people contribute treasures rather than artilery. Especially when they are such a vocal minority.

I'm just glad that I will always be able to use linux pretty much how I want, even with the Bruce Perens of the world. And I think I'll do that right now just to get this sour taste out of my mouth from all the stupid stuff.

I just conclude by saying that I'm glad a great number of posts were devoted to how stupid waring over the subject really is. Out of these people will come (I hope) the future Linus's and Rastermen and Mandrakes. The ones who contribute and believe in the code, and the freedom. Not there own egos.


Is this a troll?
by ncs (me@here) on Friday July 24, @12:40PM
(User Info)
Wow. If there ever was an irrational foot stamping argument for loading KDE instantly this is it. It's it nothing short of astonishing to read that technical considerations really don't matter ... only politics.

(/.-- for featuring it. subject pun intended.:)


Linux IS GNU.
by Anonymous Coward () on Friday July 24, @02:15PM
(User Info)
> One of the core principles has always been
> pragmatism as opposed to RMS fanatism.

Is that so?

> And remember: GNU's not UNIX, and Linux is not GNU!

Linux (also known as GNU/Linux) is GNU. The vast majority of system tools come from the FSF. The GPL is the standard license for Linux system components. Linux may not be HURD-based, but it is a GNU system.

> Who forces you to stay with it, so that you're
> locked?

The fact that you become dependent on KDE-based applications, including system administration tools, does. Sure, you could rewrite everything to use GNOME or whatever, but that would take time, which could be better spent avoiding the pitfall in the first place.


Step back
by Jeff Gehlbach (jeffg@pobox.com) on Friday July 24, @02:20PM
(User Info)
I don't know Bruce, so I can't support or oppose him on a personal level. However, it seems that many readers are taking his words, twisting them in their own minds, and then replying to their interpretation. Bruce is not insisting that GNOME and only GNOME be the standard GUI. His point seems to be that, given a choice between KDE with its bad license and GNOME with its 100% GPL content, the open candidate is better for everybody. I don't believe that he is advocating the public burning of all media containing KDE source or even Qt source. Users can use whatever GUI they want. Distributors can bundle whatever GUI they want. He is simply warning that, if KDE becomes tightly integrated into one or more of the various distributions, a critical component of some users' systems has become non-Open Source compliant. And yes, Open Source compliance is very, very important. "End-users" are important to Linux, and I welcome their contributions to the community. However, many of the newer end users see Linux just as a better OS than Windows. It is much more -- it is a sacred body of work that must be kept open and free. And before anybody flames me for being a hippy, he should check to be sure that he has needed to modify at source level at least three critical system components to make them fit his needs. Until you are faced with this need and realize, "My God, if I had access to Windows or Solaris source and made these modifications, and if Microsoft or Sun found out, I'd be in jail for a good little while," you just can't understand why openness is sacred.


Re: Step back
by Everybody (Everybody@everywhere.net) on Friday July 24, @03:33PM
(User Info)
His point seems to be that, given a choice between KDE with its bad license and GNOME with its 100% GPL content, the open candidate is better for everybody.


I think you hit on why so many people are mad. Everybody doesn't agree.

BTW: Although everybody likes free things, we have Larry Wall and others who think GPL != freedom.


Technical objections to KDE/Qt
by Nathan Myers (ncm@nospam.cantrip.org) on Friday July 24, @03:49PM
(User Info)http://www.cantrip.org/

Plenty has been said about the politics and legalities of KDE/Qt. (Enough, now, I'd say.)

However, I have a severe technical objection to the KDE/Qt package. Like the legalities, it's fixable; but also like them, it depends on Troll acting in a way they show no inclination to do.

The problem is this: the Qt headers define macros for the ordinary names "signals", "slots", and "emit". These are names that any other library might use as

  • formal argument names
  • struct or class member names
  • inline function local variable names

This means that any random library is much more likely to have a clash with the Qt headers than with normal headers where the convention has been observed to define macros only in UPPER_CASE and qualified with the library name.

If Qt's macros were QT_SIGNALS, QT_SLOTS, and QT_EMIT, I would have no technical objection to Qt or to KDE. As it is, though, it looks to me like an 800-pound gorilla that will sit on my library (and break it) if I happen to name a variable "signals".

Is the solution to avoid using these names in other libraries? No, that sets a terrible precedent: should any library be able to claim new language "keywords", if it's popular enough, just by defining a macro? Instead, the right approach is to use these names as frequently as possible for struct members, formal arguments, and local variables, and hope that Qt comes to their senses.

The developers of Harmony can contribute to the solution by not defining these macros, and instead defining the QT_* names. Doing so will demonstrate a commitment to interacting cleanly with the rest of the development community.

If KDE/Qt falls by the wayside, its advocates will not be able to blame politics if its serious technical flaws go unaddressed. If its technical flaws are fixed, then there can be no objection to its taking its place proudly alongside Motif and other proprietary libraries.


Re: Comments gone mad
by Anonymous Coward () on Friday July 24, @03:55PM
(User Info)
If everyone followed these suggestions, we would still have all the original comments to this article available for public viewing.

Ooh, Ooh, really? Boy I want every last bit of this great intellectual struggle. This is a veritable shrine of Linux discussion at its best!


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Rauf Gungor (gungor@engineering.ucsb.edu) on Friday July 24, @05:17PM
(User Info)
Is it bad that KDE is here? Would it be better if it was not even started? Who stops Gnome project to end up with a better GUI? What is wrong thinking in a different way and having an alternative GUI?

Programmers of KDE project spent their time and effort to make a very good GUI. They have the right of choosing the library for "their product". This is, either with QT or not, better than having nothing. Programmers should be set free before mentinoning about free software. Nobody has right to dictate their ideas on other programmers,

Thank you to all KDE programmers for writing that wonderful GUI and letting us use it freely. That was what Linux needed. I hope Gnome can also end up with a better alternative. Is this bad? Just relax and have fun. Following politicians blindly usually ends up with fight. I do not want politicians and their fanatics in Linux discussion lists.

Regards


Re: Step back
by Bill C Riemers (bcr@feynman.com) on Friday July 24, @06:48PM
(User Info)http://feynman.com/home/
It looks like you are responding to what you wish he said instead of what he actually said. What Bruce presented was a very emotional argument bashing KDE, and supporting Gnome. No where do I see him proposing conditions like, IF THERE HAS TO BE ONLY ONE. If he did then I would have a lot more respect for him. I would have even more respect if instead of argueing against KDE, he argued against the there can be only one philosophy. But, even after rereading his argument several times, I still clearly read that he believes there should be only one, and that one should be GNOME because GNOME people are smarter than everyone else and are the only ones who can be trusted make the right technical and legal descisions. If there must be one, I might as well just use the Evil Empires software and be done with it. At least then I know someone is profiting from the stupidity.


Re: Step back... (lonely response amid the flames
by Perry (aceperry@earthlink.net) on Saturday July 25, @08:53PM
(User Info)
Great comments, and yes... I fully agree with you. Actually I was a bit fearful of posting anything positive in support of Bruce Perens because of the flaming going on. I didn't want to continue/encourage the war. It was beginning to look like a feeding frenzy and I'd much rather watch the grass grow than to participate in this spectacle.

On the one hand, there's nothing wrong with expressing an opinion, but the responses seem pretty harsh. It is strange to see such emotional responses to Perens who didn't write in the manner which many people have responded. I saw Bruce Perens speak once. He is very articulate, thought provoking, personable, and IMHO an excellent spokesperson for the Linux community. He definitely has a point of view and I'm glad he has presented it in a basically non-offensive manner. With the one exception of his comments about Linus Torvalds, which he should have made clearer in the first piece.

For me, the most important issue he raised was the Qt licensing and its implications. I haven't read too much discussion about that in all of the responses.


Re: Step back... (lonely response amid the flames
by Caslim (Caslim@earthlink.net) on Saturday July 25, @11:10PM
(User Info)
I saw Bruce Perens speak once


And I count at least four responces he makes to others articles.


Wait a second, now that I'm counting, hmmm, Perry, hmmm, Perrens. Maybe Bruce is speaking back more than that... Just a little more conspiracy theory for y'all to enjoy.

Don't worry Bruce, your still okay in my book. The article on the other hand...


Your Linux IS GNU.
by Anonymous Coward (cowardII@anonymous.com) on Saturday July 25, @11:16PM
(User Info)
Mine is GNOT.


ha.
by bitwise () on Sunday July 26, @10:34PM
(User Info)
[BEGIN PERENS QUOTE]

The KDE developers dismissed the problems
with Qt, saying If people don't like Qt's
license, they can just write a free clone of it!
I read this as the rest of the free software
world should clean up after us! If we want to
make full use of Qt on an equal basis with the
rest of Linux, we just have to clone about
100,000 lines of code and documentation,
which happen to be owned by a company who
can tie us up in an expensive lawsuit for
copyright infringement the minute we're done. In
fact, if we want to try to avoid that lawsuit, we
have to do it as a clean room operation,
because there is no Qt documentation that is
not covered by Qt's license. One team has to
document the Qt APIs, and the second
"clean-room" team, who must not be allowed
even a glance at the copyrighted code, must
write the clone from the first team's documentati
on. You must also be careful about what
country each team of this clean-room operation
works in - there are national laws against this
kind of thing.

[END PERENS QUOTE]

Gosh, it seems that they would be causing you a lot of trouble and presenting you with great difficulty in cloning their product. They've obviously failed to be nice or helpful to you. You poor baby. When will people realize that we're all here to be considerate of the needs of despicable whiners? As for me, I'll be sure to always think of you before rashly acting in my own interest. You're all that matters.


Re: Why Hippies suck!
by bitwise () on Sunday July 26, @10:55PM
(User Info)
At least you can take comfort in the fact that most of the "hippies" you dislike so much are basically ineffectual whiners who won't really be able to take away any of your rights. Enjoy your KDE (assuming you use it), and don't worry too much over these kids.


Bad, but not so terrible
by Roberto Alsina (ralsina@unl.edu.ar) on Monday July 27, @07:32AM
(User Info)http://www.kde.org
I agree that emit signals and slots as keywords are bad.

But please take notice that this problem is still hypothetical. That is, there are no popular libaries in either unix or windows that HAVE collisions.

If it were for that, then I suggest you complain a lot louder to the database library that defines "new" as a function name, making it useless in C++.

Also, please notice the X includes define, among other (from memory): red, black, upside, up, down, first, second, and about 1200 other usual names, all lowercase, none prefixed.

Also, as far as I know, those things are supposed to go into namespaces someday, but don't take my word for it, since I don't really know this.

Anyway, the namespace is already utterly polluted :-(


There's more than one way to do it
by Declan Malone (declan.malone@tecnomen.ie) on Monday July 27, @08:43AM
(User Info)http://skynet.csn.ul.ie/~dec
Hi all,

This is the first time I've really read into this argument, and I would like to make the following points as a way of just letting people make their own decisions and move on.

First, Linus' (is this appropriate punctuation when talking about a God?) quote seems to have two points:
* the creator should get credit for his work and can decide its destiny (to the best of her ability, of course)
* we have the choice of what to use, so what's the point in argument?

I think that KDE *is* making a wrong decision by going with Qt, purely because it limits the developed product (I've been learning to use it for other reasons and I must say that I like it, even though I wouldn't use it for KDE). So someone fails to see the long-term picture? So what?

I have one more general point to make about the whole free software scene. A lot of people seem to think that all software should be completely free. There's nothing wrong with that attitude, but it seems that some people take it to extremes and become patriots to the cause by harrassing those who either take on board free software and exploit it without giving anything back, or who try to give something, but something that's not quite free. So, to finish up, here's two quotes that perhaps better express what I'm trying to get to.

``patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings''
-- Bob Dylan

``it's free because it's yours''
-- the Digger Papers


Re: Thanks, Bruce.
by skip kent (skipkent@usa.net) on Monday July 27, @06:56PM
(User Info)
Howdy.

Bruce: Thanks for clarifying the KDE / Gnome thang. I am in complete agreement with your statements on the divisive issue of KDE / Gnome, although I must say I was sad to see Linus spoken harshly by one of his contemporaries. Making your essay personal towards Linus forced many of his less thoughtful supporters to reject your points at the knee (as in 'knee-jerk) rather than at the head. Linux is a public figure now and must (unfortunately, as I would rather hear him speak boldly and 'off the cuff') watch what he says. As a contemporary, however, you might show a slightly thicker skin. At least in print. 'Nuff said.

I have heard much in the past about the problem of the Qt library being privately licensed, but thought nothing of the problem until your article spelled it out for me.

KDE is (I think) an elegant and thoughtful interface, but it MUST NOT be accepted by 3rd party developers in general as the 'Linux standard'. It has a time bomb at its core, and a GUI is too basic and fundamental a piece of software to leave to chance.

Is Gnome the best answer for 'Standard Linus GUI'? I don't know, but KDE (in it's present form) is not. (click here to flame)

If freely distributable source code is a frivolous, hippy ideal, then any one of you who (fellow) geeks who has fired up a Linux box recently is a FREEKIN' HIPPIE! ;)

Peace, man!

-kent


Re: coordination blues
by skip kent (skipkent@usa.net) on Monday July 27, @07:09PM
(User Info)
Part of being a good coordinator is putting up with being called a dictator by those whom are not coordinators.

;)

(respectfully)

-kent


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by skip kent (skipkent@usa.net) on Monday July 27, @07:22PM
(User Info)
New users are attracted to KDE and have a lot of initial success, which leads to a 'How could this possibly be a bad thing?' sort of attitude. But you may find KDE's 'training wheels' cumbersome and difficult to remove further down the road. Get the book 'Running Linux' by Matt Welsh, grab one of your dad's beers, pick a chapter that looks interesting and READ that sucker, slowly, line by line.

If you're only using KDE, you're missing out on a LOT of cool x-window apps.

-kent


Re: Qt is good because it makes commercial develop
by Anonymous Coward () on Monday July 27, @07:43PM
(User Info)
>Bruce says that the core of the system should be >free, but then he is happy to accept proprietary >apps on top of that free base. Why this >distinction?

Proprietary apprs running on a free base (a GUI must now be considered part of that base) encourage widespread use of the free base, and do nothing to inhibit the proliferation of open-source / free apps.

In your model, it sounds like we should wait until 'people' get 'sick' of expensive apps (whose going to buy them?) before some reactionary group codes a work-alike. A stoner ideal if I ever heard one.

Nothing changes the fact that code based on KDE is code based on, and easily leveraged by Troll Tech.

No Fu*king Way.

(pardon my french)
-kent


Whoops
by skip kent (skipkent@usa.net) on Monday July 27, @07:48PM
(User Info)
I forgot to 'sign' that last post.

-kent


The way I see it.
by Michael Bacarella (defile@nyct.net) on Tuesday July 28, @02:17AM
(User Info)
I think this fellow makes a valid point.

He's not saying proprietary software
heathens (bastards, kill them!) should be totally
eradicated from Linux. He's saying that the Linux
STANDARD should not revolve around privately
owned software/organizations. The whole reason
Linux ITSELF is so powerful is because it is NOT
proprietary. Why the fuck would we want to screw
it up now?

By making Linux as free as computationally
possible, you make something that can do anything,
or at least, much more than it could if it had
an opaque, immovable block, governing the GUI.
You're buying (or downloading) total freedom, and
you can do what you see fit with it.
(bind and gag it in the privacy of your own home
for all I care, as long as you don't start
restricting the main distribution, I won't give
a toss)

In basic logic, it makes more sense to
remain as open as possible than it does to
restrict it. I don't give a fuck if some of you
think this is hippyish or forced, if it is free
in all ways, it can do so much more. It's that
simple. Unless you think more possibilities are
bad and logic to as meaningless, you would have to
agree if you didn't want to harm Linux.

As much as I like KDE, that license gives
way too much power to one single company. That's
disgusting enough in itself, but when it has the
potential to let this one company leverage Linux
for it's own needs (if Linux were to theoretically standardize on KDE) that becomes unacceptable.

According to general open source licenses

You = end user with nothing to do with original
developers.

You can take open source software and proprietize
it with very little effort.

You cannot take proprietized software and open it without lots of strenous effort.

Doesn't it make sense to ship your users open
source software then?

(Yes, I realize there are all kinds of holes
and implications to this, since I'm not stating
any specific distribution license (GNU, BSD,
other?) -- deal with it).

--Michael Bacarella


another option
by Guido (guido@cortex.nl) on Tuesday July 28, @05:09AM
(User Info)
The tone of the artical besides, it has some points.

Compaq has gone through the reverse engineering process when they _made_ their first BIOS. It can be done.

But there is another solution to this problem, which trows up its own, let any of the larger linux distributors buy troll tech.

The quality of Qt does not seem to be at the heart of the problem, just who owns it.

RedHat, caldera, VAresearch got some spare cash to buy Troll Tech?


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Roberto Alsina (ralsina@unl.edu.ar) on Tuesday July 28, @08:17AM
(User Info)http://www.kde.org
So things are better if they are hard?

I read that book, I read dozens more, and still I find no reason why using a ugly interface can make more productive.

And of course KDE doesn't prevent you from using any other app. Your comments are pointless.


Re: Qt is good because it makes commercial develop
by Roberto Alsina (ralsina@unl.edu.ar) on Tuesday July 28, @08:21AM
(User Info)http://www.kde.org
Of course later, you may feel free to redefine what's basic functionality.

Two years ago, when we started KDE, there was a general agreement that a GUI was not a base part of the OS, remember those days?

Of course now there is one, it is considered a base part of the OS and it should be the way you want it.

What's coming next? Should a word processor be part of the base? Are you going to flame corel and star when that time comes?

That "I like it so it should come with the OS" smells of Microsoft.

Whatever.


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by skip kent (skipkent@usa.net) on Tuesday July 28, @04:07PM
(User Info)
Believe me, if I can do this stuff it's not that hard.

Does GIMP run on KDE? XV? Quake? Xephem-(great astronomy / stargazer package which is admittedly a little complicated because it requires a special Motif-compatible library to be installed first, but GOD is it ever worth it!)

KDE deserves a LOT of credit for elegance and ease of use which IS important (ANYTHING that makes Linux useful is important), but KDE's attachment to Troll-Tech's library makes it a dangerous choice for industry-wide acceptance, for reasons clearly stated by Bruce.

KDE is a sight to behold, tho' I must say. Very pretty.

-kent


Re: Qt is good because it makes commercial develop
by skip kent (skipkent@usa.net) on Tuesday July 28, @04:24PM
(User Info)
Things change.

For Linux to get more widespread acceptance (quality apps and a steady stream of new users) the window interface MUST be considered fundamental.

Does your average newbie Win95 user know virtually anything about DOS? No. New users expect flashy software to run well on a flashy windowing interface. KDE has gotten a good head-start on fullfilling this need, which is great, but if KDE 'wins' the pole position and becomes an industry-accepted standard windowing interface, Troll-Tech ends up in a position of unreasonable leverage.

What they might do with that leverage is purely conjecture. They might give it up as a gift to the Linux community, or they might sell out to Microsoft.

Keep the Linux Base free. Period.

-kent


Re: another option
by skip kent (skipkent@usa.net) on Tuesday July 28, @04:30PM
(User Info)
How 'bout Microsoft?

;)


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Roberto Alsina (ralsina@unl.edu.ar) on Tuesday July 28, @05:51PM
(User Info)http://www.kde.org
It sure runs all that. KDE is just a lot of X applications, why shouldn't it?

And humbly I must say I take anything coming from Mr. Perens with a grain of salt.


Re: Qt is good because it makes commercial develop
by Roberto Alsina (ralsina@unl.edu.ar) on Tuesday July 28, @05:54PM
(User Info)http://www.kde.org
The good part is that Troll Tech simply can't sell out to Microsoft.

Go to www.kde.org and read the "foundation" link.

They have already made the gift.

And again: if the linux base is going to grow to include anything that's deemed useful, you may as well just forbid the usage of commercial software on linux.


Re: Worse than tolerable.
by Nathan Myers (ncm@nospam.cantrip.org) on Tuesday July 28, @09:41PM
(User Info)http://www.cantrip.org

A quick grep reveals plenty of mixed-case macros, but this doesn't justify Qt adding more, and worse, adding non-syntactic macros.

X is fixable. Qt is fixable. That one is broken doesn't justify adding more unnecessarily broken things. The X macros can easily be replaced by constant definitions in shadow headers, and someday will be; the Qt macros cannot. If they are not fixed right away it may soon be too late.

The global namespace is and always has been a festering swamp. Namespaces will help, someday, but namespaces cannot fix or work around bad non-syntactic macros.


Need to address why KDE is popular
by Daryl Biberdorf (darylb@pobox.com) on Tuesday July 28, @10:14PM
(User Info)
The fact that several Linux distributions are set to make KDE the default window manager in spite of its onerous underlying license issues points to a bigger issue.

That issue is the fact that KDE is the first X-based GUI I've seen that I thought was both artistically attractive and usable from the moment I brought it up. It was easy to use, performed well, and, artistically, I think it looks darned nice. It would certainly appeal to someone with familiarity with the Windows Explorer (Win 95/NT 4) style interface. That's important when you're trying to win support for KDE.

Additionally, the impressive list of applications for KDE, including some neat Samba management utilities further shore up the "choose Linux" argument. If I have to show people how to use vi to set up Samba, it's "no sale."

I'll choose GNOME if it's superior in these aspects to KDE. That's if it's ever complete. Vapor products always look better than shipping ones.

Incidentally, I agree with Linus. The person who paid for the code to be written has the right to say how it's used. Not that I like Qt's license, but it's their code.


Re: ha. (Self interest)
by JJC (JJC@iname.com) on Tuesday July 28, @10:34PM
(User Info)
[Begin sarcastic Bitwise Quote]
As for me, I'll be sure to always think of you before rashly acting in my own interest. You're all that matters.
[End quote]

The Qt license does allow Troll to acting in it's own interest. The KDE project assumes that Troll Tech's self interest and KDE's needs will be compatible. Troll Tech has the right to act in their own self interest. However Open Source software should not and must not be subject to the self interest of anyone.


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by skip kent (skipkent@usa.net) on Wednesday July 29, @12:16AM
(User Info)
God bless the loud-mouths for inspiring us (me) to occasionally glance up from our navels!

cheers,
-kent


By ass! (Re: This Editorial Sucks!)
by Kenneth R. Kinder (Ken@KenAndTed.com) on Wednesday July 29, @01:17AM
(User Info)
This editorial is basicly 100% supported by the obvious. Linus Torvalds is right: it's up to the coders. But as users and standards makers, we have the right to reject any standard.

And no non-OpenSource project should be allowed to become a standard. It's that simple.

Thus, KDE is a waste of time.


The real danger to Linux
by Peter van der Landen (landen@frg.eur.nl) on Wednesday July 29, @02:04AM
(User Info)
The real danger to Linux comes from fanaticism and sectarianism. Not from commercialisation.

From reading interviews with Linus it seems Linux was created for practical reasons instead of libertarian idealism.

Maybe KDE was created for the same reasons...

We badly a need for a good desktop, let's build one and worry about other things later.


Re: Comments gone mad
by Jack_The_Dripper () on Wednesday July 29, @09:22AM
(User Info)
You are right.
He he he. Just joking. Without reasons for agreement/disagreement we may as well be listening to Rush Limbaugh. We would not questions lies, but just agree with the person with the loudest voice or strongest opinion.
Of course agreeing or disagreeing is much easier than doing something........................


Perens is (1) Lying (2) Mis-informed
by Greg Welch () on Wednesday July 29, @01:09PM
(User Info)

Perens has stated:

(1) KDE was delayed due to bugs in QT

(2) Perens offered to lead or fund a QT replacement.
He says he made this offer to the KDE group.
No one in the KDE Group ever heard this one.

(3) Caldera has dropped has dropped all but one of its developers
from COAS which KDE is integrating.

I wouldn't mind Perens setting the record straight
on these points blatant (1) lies, (2) uninformed
views.


Ideology vs. Practicality
by Karl A. Krueger (karl@simons-rock.edu) on Wednesday July 29, @06:13PM
(User Info)
As a Linux system & network administrator for a small college, I need open-source Linux to do my job. My admiration for open-source developers comes largely from practicality. I don't believe in the GNU "Free Software or no software!" line, but I recognize the value of having people who believe it around every time I compile a kernel with gcc. It strikes me as rude in the extreme for any of us who use Linux --- especially those of us who use it for real work, not just hacking around --- to sneer at one of the essential memes which has made Linux possible.

That said, I believe that it is a very good idea for us to endeavor to keep the Linux canon open-source. This is not because "Free Software" is inherently better, but because *more options*, as opposed to fewer, give us more room to move in the future evolution of Linux. It's not economic good sense for a community that has flourished under an open-source canon to rashly place its trust in a proprietary piece of code. We have no way of knowing that Qt's owners' interests will stay aligned with those of the Linux community --- especially if Linux does become "the next big thing".

(By "economic" I don't meen "monetary", I mean "related to goods" --- that is, to good stuff. If we depend on something proprietary, we will be less able to reliably get good stuff in the future.)

Please note that I'm not saying that Qt is bad or that KDE should go away. I'm saying that there is a Linux canon --- a certain set of packages which we count on having around, and stable, more or less all the time --- and that it makes better economic sense for us, in the long run, for that canon to be open-source.

The place for proprietary packages in Linux is as extracanonical add-ons: not things which we rely on having everywhere, but which are available for specific purposes in specific places. KDE belongs there --- next to WordPerfect for Linux --- and not in the canon next to gcc and X.


KDE vs GNOME
by Joe (joeja@mindspring.com) on Wednesday July 29, @06:46PM
(User Info)
I have a few problems with KDE, that are not related to the liscense.
IT IS TO DAMN SLOW! Although I use it under Linux, I find the desktop to be slow. Slow to start.
I feel that KDE developers, although they did a good job in there development, they 'RUSHED' through to get it done. I have found a few bugs in KDE, that if NOT fixed, would not make it the default desktop for Linux. Okay lots of bugs, and lots of things that don't work either! All these lovely tools and they do nothing! NOTHING!
It also has a rather large memory imprint. Has anyone other than me run vmstat against this program????

What about AfterStep too? It is still a good window manager! A few configuration apps for AfterStep, and it would be as good if not better than KDE.
Hey what about XFCE? there is another window manager? although not as good as KDE, it too has some pluses.

If you have 'issues' about using KDE, then don't!
I use it cause it makes a few things easier to do.


Comment about KDE/GNOME "WAR"
by VIGNERON Damien (dvigneron@nordnet.fr) on Thursday July 30, @10:45AM
(User Info)
The power of Linux is that you can choose/modify the way it behaves.

THIS is freedoom ! So be able to choose between windows managers (KDE/GNOME/FVWM+XFCE/BLACKBOX etc...) is freedom !

Choose Between A XOR B is not an open question/choice. What would you say if we ask you to choose between Comunism OR Nazism ?

There is a lot of alternatives.

Finaly the most inportant is to have others good window manager. Other than KDE just in case this one became commercial !.

SO MORE POWER TO INDEPENDANT WINDOWS MANAGER DEVELOPPERS !


Comment about KDE/GNOME "WAR"
by VIGNERON Damien (dvigneron@nordnet.fr) on Thursday July 30, @10:47AM
(User Info)
The power of Linux is that you can choose/modify the way it behaves. <br><br>THIS is freedoom ! So be able to choose between windows managers (KDE/GNOME/FVWM+XFCE/BLACKBOX etc...) is freedom !<br><br>Choose Between A XOR B is not an open question/choice. What would you say if we ask you to choose between Comunism OR Nazism ? <br><br>There is a lot of alternatives. <br><br>Finaly the most inportant is to have others good window manager. Other than KDE just in case this one became commercial !.<br><br>SO MORE POWER TO INDEPENDANT WINDOWS MANAGER DEVELOPPERS !


Re: Make amends soon or give up the LSB lead!
by Stephan Schulz (schulz@informatik.tu-muenchen.de) on Thursday July 30, @12:01PM
(User Info)http://wwwjessen.informatik.tu-muenchen.de/persone
I wont comment on the KDE/GNOME war (I use twm.
twm rulez!). However, the following quote seems to be so stupid to me that I just have to slam it:

> - "Code first and talk later" was always the
> Linux way. That's what Linus said.
> Whining and fanatism is the RMS way.

You can say a lot of things about RMS. However, he delivered enough code to have earned the right to whine for as long as he likes...and to have people listen to him with kudos.

Stephan


Re: By ass! (This Editorial Sucks!)
by Roberto Alsina (ralsina@unl.edu.ar) on Thursday July 30, @12:30PM
(User Info)http://www.kde.org
"as users and standards makers, we have the right to reject any standard."???

Who died and made you god?

For things you don't write, for anything other than your own use, the only thing you can do is ask politely.

So, I suggest you put your code where your mouth is and start coding, if you are not doing it already. If you don't you are no standard maker, just a user, and you have about 1/6000000 of the right to make choices for others.


Heh
by krs () on Thursday July 30, @12:36PM
(User Info)
To Bruce regarding Gnome being so great:

Don't sing it, bring it!


Re: coordination blues
by Anonymous Coward () on Thursday July 30, @04:42PM
(User Info)
Maybe good coordinators don't have a magority of people calling them that in the first place.


A technical solution?
by Robert O'Callahan (roc@cs.cmu.edu) on Friday July 31, @11:16AM
(User Info)
Instead of trying to smash the roadblock of conflict between GNOME and KDE, perhaps it would be more productive to figure out how to minimize its impact using technical measures.

The main problem I see with the situation as it stands is that, as a software developer working on a GUI application, I don't know whether to code to GNOME or to KDE. People are writing tools for one environment that don't look right or work right in the other.

It seems to me that if there were standards for interapplication interaction such as drag and drop and the clipboard, plus an abstraction layer similar to Java's Swing with its pluggable look and feel, then I could go about writing an application that would play nicely in either environment. That way you wouldn't need two versions of every dinky GUI app. Once that wastage has been worked around, the war can rage on as long as the participants care to fight, and most users and developers won't need to worry about it.


Re: Perens urinates on GPL and then attacks KDE
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Friday July 31, @02:23PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
Well, I spoke with LSL the last time you complained and they seemed to understand their obligation under the GPL. I'm willing to help them if they've lost the CD master. If you want me to speak with them again, please send them a request, and copy it to me. If you get no reply in a week, I'll discuss the issue with them again.

Thanks

Bruce


Re: Bruce Peres supports Free QT?
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Friday July 31, @02:30PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
There was a lot of net discussion on this, you should be able to find it. I think at the time the discussion was with Martin Konold. It was around the time that Lehmans released a CD with both Debian and KDE on it. We offered to put our half of the donation that Lehmans would make from the CD into a Free Qt if the KDE folks agreed to use it. They didn't agree, and we offered the money to GNOME instead. The KDE folks made a lot of noise about that, so we found other money for GNOME and put the donations from the Lehmans CD in SPI's general fund.


Re: Perens is (1) Lying (2) Mis-informed
by Bruce Perens (bruce@opensource.org) on Friday July 31, @02:47PM
(User Info)http://www.opensource.org/
1. The bug in Qt was something to do with colormap-management. Both the KDE and Qt folks acknowledged the problem, and this is most of the reason the KDE free Qt foundation was created.

2. The offer was made to Martin Konold around the time of the Lehmans CD that contained both Debian and KDE. There was a lot of net publicity about that CD and what we were going to do with donations from it - search back in comp.os.linux.announce and debian-announce . When they didn't accept the offer, we decided to give the money to GNOME, and the KDE folks objected to that so strongly that we gave GNOME money that we already had.

Is KDE really integrating COAS? Tim Bird of Caldera, the COAS project lead, apologized to me at Linux Expo for their pulling people off on to other projects. I'd still like to see COAS done and I hope they are working on it again.

Bruce


Re: Bruce Perens follows up on replies.
by Chuck Bermingham (bermingh@concentric.net) on Friday July 31, @02:51PM
(User Info)
This whole KDE situation is making me sick. I am
definitely in agreement with Brusce that KDE
would not be a good choice for a standard part of
Linux, because of the Troll Tech license. In
fact, that license has put me off developing for
Linux, and I'm going to do my work using GTK or
its progeny. And as far as Bruce's view that
Linus should watch who he calls a whiner--don't
forget, Linus wrote Linux because hw was unhappy
with what was out there already. Can happen again.


Re: Looks like you missed the boat.
by Chuck Bermingham (bermingh@concentric.net) on Friday July 31, @03:00PM
(User Info)
No communist here, sir! The point is that KDE,
while being a good tool, pivots on a component
which is being manipulated by Troll Tech, not the
community at large. Look what happened when The
Open Group made their Big Announcement about X!
There is a strong volunteer effort around Linux.
Having a basic component defined as a "standard"
if it doesn't fit that characteristic isn't going
to go over big, ultimately. Mark my words, all
you anti-Bruce'ers. Whatcha gonna do if Troo ups the ante?


No Subject Given
by Anonymous Coward () on Friday August 07, @09:41PM
(User Info)
just ask them! They are the reason Linux is so successful. Boy it is good to have there gentle guidance, Linus is going to ruin this Linux thing they've worked so hard for!


Anti Bruce! Anti Bruce!��?�����?�����?�����?���
by Anonymous Coward () on Friday August 07, @09:50PM
(User Info)
Just becuase he doesn't represent the community, he factions it.

Honestly that damage is far greater than anything Troll Tech can do.


On Standards and Smartness
by T. Westheider (twesthei@physik.uni-bielefeld.de) on Wednesday August 12, @10:41AM
(User Info)
Who actually decides what becomes a standard in Linux ? It's not you and it's not the FSF, it's US to make the choice ! I'm almost sure that most of the people are really tired of this GPL issue and they _will_ choose KDE for it's technically better - no matter what license ever, if it's just free.
You're telling us about how smart GNOME people are - compared to you and some colleagues of yours, fine. So the KDE people are just dumb ? Can't be trusted for always making the wrong decisions ?
I think KDE _will_ become the standard GUI, no matter how many flame wars you GPL folks are about to start in the future. And I think you already realized this since otherwise you could just lay back and wait for GNOME's supposed victory instead of writing anti-Qt/KDE articles.


kde - gnome
by C. Steckner (101.59215@germanynet.de) on Tuesday August 18, @12:36PM
(User Info)
As far as I realized it was Thomas Ettrich to start with lyx and then with the kde in an institutional environment (he has written in the beginning some comments choosing qt for rapid development). I think, both lyx as the front end of TeX - and kde (with also a hanging story, and still a just beginning development of relyx helps to import old .tex files) should be seen together. I do not know to much about the further technical possibilities still in fvwm and other graphical tops, perhaps in combination with the wine project (which handles the icons) and alike, to build icon drop file facilities to do the work of unix style file name handwriting ... It is a matter of fact, that now the kde is the first speeded up approach of modernisation in that needed direction, and for specific processors the kdehelp and stuff is the first availiable window to html. And also for vrml there is few help. The next might be gnome or something else free, but the urgent need is there.
  Netscape is not a newsreader, and probably never shall be. -- Tom Christiansen
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest � 1997-2000 Andover.Net.

[ home | awards | supporters | rob's homepage | contribute story | older articles | Andover.Net | advertising | past polls | about | faq ]