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KDE Open Source News

Are Open-Source Desktops Losing Competitiveness? 663

An anonymous reader writes "Peter Penz has been a user of KDE since version 1.2, and he led the development of the Dolphin file manager for the past six years. Now, he's quitting KDE development and handing off Dolphin. His reasons for quitting KDE development are described in a blog post. Penz speaks of KDE losing competitiveness to Apple and Microsoft due to increased complexity and other reasons. 'Working on the non-user-interface parts of applications can be challenging, and this is not something that most freetime-contributors are striving for. But if there are not enough contributors for the complex stuff behind the scenes and if no company is willing to invest fulltime-developers to work on this... well then we are losing ground.' Are open-source desktops losing?"
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Are Open-Source Desktops Losing Competitiveness?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:53PM (#40456979)

    But I spent a bit of time delving into this interface, and I have have now given up my Windows unless I absolutely MUST use it. No more hunting through menus looking for files or software functions. One hot key, followed by a few letters in the name, and up it pops. Wonderful!

  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @03:54PM (#40457003)

    OSX would be better if it had more Xisms. For one the only competent focus follows mouse I could find costs money. The lack of middle click paste is also very annoying.

  • by obarthelemy ( 160321 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:02PM (#40457129)

    Apart from drivers/compatibility issues, sucky desktops are what's keeping me away from Linux. Not only are they not very good in theory, they are mostly buggy and not.. play-tested. Honestly, the next-to-latest Unity, KDE, and Gnome were unholy horrors that, as a user, made me not only not want to use them, but also lose confidence in whatever governing bodies are driving features and validating code. My next Linux desktop will probably be lxde or xfce.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:10PM (#40457227) Journal

    Don't worry. We'll get our chance to ridicule Mac users when Apple does something stupid with OS X. The lack of software freedom will bite them eventually.

  • by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:11PM (#40457237) Homepage

    What tinkering exactly?

    What exactly does "a lot of work to keep working" actually mean beyond completely empty rhetoric.

  • Re:In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ironhandx ( 1762146 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:24PM (#40457463)

    Carbon Paper copies.

    When signatures are required in triplicate all forms of printing that are not dot-matrix lose. This particular purpose is essentially the entire reason dot-matrix printers still exist.

  • by Guy Harris ( 3803 ) <> on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @04:37PM (#40457707)

    You like the OSX desktop? I hate it. It is like it was designed for children and gets in the way too often. I want focus follows mouse, I want to get rid of the idiot dock bar thing, I want menus on every screen not just the main monitor.

    And others don't. Opinions differ on merits of different desktops; story at 11. "Desktop A rules, desktop B sucks" is, absent data from a broad population of users, a personal opinion, not a statement of fact (regardless of whether desktop A is the OS X desktop or $OTHER_UN*X_DESKTOP and whether desktop B is $OTHER_UN*X_DESKTOP or the OS X desktop); to make it a statement of fact, prepend "for me" and append "your mileage may vary" (and, yes, this applies to you and the person to whom you're replying).

    (But it sounds as if Apple may be killing one thing I really liked about Safari relative to, for example, Konqueror - Safari, at least, had an RSS feed reader built in, so I didn't have to fuck around with Akregator. Note: if you want to defend the separation of RSS feed reading from Web browsing, please explain to me - in a fashion convincing to me; convincing to you, by itself, doesn't even come close to sufficing - why I would not want to read a feed of Web pages in a Web browser. But I digress....)

    On top of it, SHIP WITH THE FUCKING GNUTOOLS YOU MORONS. The half baked commercial versions of these tools lack way to many features.

    To which GNU tools are you referring? Developer tools? They used to ship GCC, but when it went to GPLv3 they decided to put their efforts behind Clang and LLVM instead. I don't know whether the current version of GDB is GPLv3, but they're putting their effort behind LLDB. (They may be "commercial" in the sense of being supported by a vendor, but they're free software.) They never used the GNU assembler or linker; they have their own APSL 2.0-licensed assembler [] and APSL 2.0-licensed linker []; presumably if "half baked commercial versions of these tools" is referring to the assembler or linker, "commercial versions of these tools" means "...commercial assembler and linker" not "...commercial versions of the GNU assembler and linker".

  • by rmstar ( 114746 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @05:11PM (#40458305)

    I want focus follows mouse

    I have never figured out why anyone would want this.

    I started using focus follows mouse late in the 90s, and I like it because you can switch windows by basically giving the mouse a gentle slap that propells the pointer into approximately the right area. It's fast and easy. Click to focus means I have to move the pointer to a place where I can click safely, and then press the button, all of which taken together is more cumbersome. Not much, of course, but enough to matter in terms of comfort.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @06:14PM (#40459215)

    No, you're misinterpretting Fitt's Law. It says that the easiest target to hit is a function of the size and distance. Having menus reach all the way to the top makes them effectively very large, making them easy to hit. However, large targets are still hard to hit from far away. Have you seen the size of today's screens? Besides which, it completely ignores what happens after you use the menu. If you have to move your mouse thousands of pixels away to use the menu and then thousands of pixels away to the relatively small area where it was before, having infinite-sized menus is useless.

    Furthermore, as others have noted, having several monitors makes things an order of magnitude worse because "up" and "to the left" might always be the right direction to slam your mouse.


  • Re:C++ Puts Me Off (Score:5, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @06:18PM (#40459271) Journal

    The subset of C++ that Qt actually uses is not really that dissimilar from Java or C#.

    As for the FQA, it's largely trolling. A lot of its entries aren't even accurate, and for those that are, the issues are greatly exaggerated. You could write a similar one for virtually any language other than Brainfuck; it would probably be longer for many popular ones, in fact (like PHP or JS).

  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday June 26, 2012 @08:45PM (#40461089)

    "There is no address bar in Finder, so I can't type where I want to go."

    Yes, you can. Click on "Go" and then "Go To Folder" in the main menu. (Or press Shift-Apple-G.) Type in your destination.

    "I heard that a long time ago some OS had a shelf where you could temporarily drag files to and from. That sounds like a good idea.)"

    Actually this is a prime job for the old dual-pane file manager. There are at least several decent Finder-replacement programs out there that work in dual-window mode. Among the best of them is Forklift. But you might try muCommander. It's free.

  • by walshy007 ( 906710 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @01:35AM (#40463775)

    I think free software ws always at its strongest when it is copying an already existing design, like the kernel itself.

    I'd like to know of another completely open design (source) kernel that has anywhere near the level of advance as linux does.

    Linux is often the first kernel to have quite a few things, it's the experimental testbed of choice for new ideas and thus isn't really "copying" anything in a lot of ways. Sure it's posix compliant, but that is just an interface, not a design.

    Linux is too small to support 2 different environments.

    I'm surprised one or the other hasn't died by now.

    So obviously, it's usage is big enough to support two environments, and in actual fact, many more.

    I've never bought the "choice is good" mantra.

    Survival of the fittest only functions when there is choice. What constitutes fittest depends upon the fitness criteria, which changes from person to person and so it makes sense to have choice as different people need different things.

    Having only one choice is an evolutionary dead end and is a rather silly thing to strive for.

    Hardware support. Shopping for hardware is exhausting when you've got to spend days of research trying to figure out what hardware works, and even then you make mistakes, and/or are disappointed when it doesn't really work right. This problem is even more acute with the general trend towards laptops.

    As a general rule, if you buy hardware 6 months to a year old it will work from the get go in your distro of choice, unless it's very obscure hardware. But most mainstream parts function.

System restarting, wait...