A Rift Opens Between KDE and GNOME

This is unfortunate indeed. KDE developers are accusing GNOME developers of not conforming to standards and not collaborating, and Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Canonical, expressed agreement with this view.

The focus seems to be directly related to something called appindicators – and to a larger degree, over the Ubuntu Unity desktop.

The argument goes like this: Canonical and KDE have in the past both approached the GNOME project with ideas, and have been shot down for poor reasons; GNOME refuses to collaborate on projects; others are working together and GNOME refuses.

You can decide for yourself whether this is valid or not. Blog posts have been erupting everywhere on this topic: Dave Neary of GNOME: Has GNOME rejected Canonical help? and Lessons Learned – Aaron Siego of KDE: collaboration’s demise – Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical: Internal competition is healthy, but depends on strong and mature leadership.

Over at OSNews, Thom Holwerda has two very informative pieces on the conflict – one on 10 March and one on 14 March.

Where this conflict will hurt the user is when the user chooses an application: will it work with GNOME or KDE et al? It will also hurt application development as the applications will have to choose – and many will have to choose one technology or the other (not both). This means that applications may only work on one environment or the other – or will have reduced capabilities in one environment or the other. It’s really too bad that the developers can’t come together and work together instead of conflicts like this.

Ten Linux Applications You Must Have!

I read this article of Ten Linux Apps That You Can’t Do Without and was surprised. Why was I surprised?

I was surprised to see how little of the list I consider “must have” applications. Most of the applications I probably would never use, and would be quite happy without. Even the two stalwart entries from Mozilla, Firefox and Thunderbird, aren’t really must have applications.

Of course, this sets one to thinking – if those aren’t the Top 10, then what is? What are the Top 10 Applications you must have?

This is an interesting question – especially as I’m leaning toward using my MacMini more and more these days (but that’s a future topic).

  1. BasKet. This is a very nice note-taking application, which provides for beautifully done notes with links, application launchers, hyperlinks to the web, and full color graphics et al.
  2. Kontakt. This is a PIM that combines KMail, BasKet, KTimer, and many more into one single PIM. Very nicely done, and well worth using.
  3. KMyMoney. This is quite possibly the most advanced personal budgeting tool for KDE, and it is very nice.
  4. Thinkfree Office. There are some extremely capable office suites, such as KOffice and OpenOffice. However, only Thinkfree not only synchronizes with an online repository, but also provides a way to edit online as well as on other platforms.
  5. Amarok. What’s productivity without some background music? Amarok is easy to use and provides all the capabilities you could hope for.
  6. Zim. A personal wiki: empty your brain here!
  7. KPDF. Why try to utilize a presentation tool when you can just create a PDF and use KPDF instead?
  8. digiKam. Store your photos, tag them, and more.
  9. KRDC. Access your desktop with this application, and work like you are at your desk.
  10. Keep. Back up those files! Keep is simple enough to run every day and not get in your way. You won’t have any qualms about backing up if you use this tool.

What’s on your list?


If you are interested in the UNIX desktop and prefer KDE as I do, KDE4Daily may be just the thing for you. KDE4Daily is a QEMU virtual machine image built from the daily build of the most current development in KDE (currently at KDE 4.1).

This is what is often called “the bleeding edge” (an expansion of “the cutting edge”) – that is, the only guarantee is that there is no guarantee. The KDE build comes with a built-in bug reporting tool that activates when some part of KDE crashes.

There is an excellent (visual) review of KDE4Daily at /home/liquidat.

KDE4Daily is a neat way to get and use the latest KDE build in a relatively low hazard way. I plan to see how it runs for me – somewhere.

Fedora 9 Announced

Yesterday Fedora 9 was announced. Using Fedora can give you a look at what may be in Red Hat Enterprise Linux down the road – and give you an exciting Linux distribution to boot.

There are a number of new exciting features to be found in Fedora 9. First, everything is updated to the latest versions, including GNOME 2.22, KDE 4.0.3, and Xfce 4.4.2.

Fedora 9 introduces the new filesystem ext4 as an option. While ext4 remains an experimental filesystem, it may be good to try it out. Like ext3, it remains compatible in both directions (an ext4 filesystem can be mounted as ext3, and vice versa).

Fedora 9 also replaces the System V initd process with an event-based replacement, upstart. Upstart was created and developed for Ubuntu Linux, and has spread to Fedora and Debian. Each process is started through a response to an event, and each process may generate another event.

Fedora 9 has several different spins or variations based on different sets of packages. For example, there could be a KDE spin, a GNOME spin, and a Xfce spin for example. The Fedora project has a page tracking spins for those who might be interested in custom spins.

This version of Fedora introduces support for Jigdo, which is a CD distribution mechanism that the Debian project has used for years. I’ve not used Jigdo, but the description given in the release notes suggests a large speedup if you have most of the data already.

It sounds like a very exciting distribution; I’ll be looking around my electronic wasteland to see where to install it.

Running Linux/UNIX under VMware Server 1.0

I have the distinct pleasure of having tried a number of systems under VMware Server, including OpenSUSE 10.3, Kubuntu 7.10, OpenBSD, and Solaris Express Developer Edition.  All work quite nicely.

There is one caveat – this environment uses a dual-monitor setup for Windows, and if the emulator autodetects the desktop size it expands to something approximating the two monitors put together.  The emulated environment works just fine (usually) with this screen, but it can’t be used in full-screen mode (since that goes to one screen only).

In that line of video mishaps, Solaris detected the video but only wants to allow 1024×768 (I’ve 1280×1024 here).  Whatever.

I also did not try OpenBSD as a desktop environment – I’ve actually yet to really put it through its paces that way (although I did set up OpenBSD 3.0/Mac68k with WindowMaker a while back….).

Which one do I like the most?  Currently I find myself looking toward OpenSUSE 10.3 more and more – and loving to use it.  The new KDE menu is a pleasure to use, and I love the immense selection of RPMs (and I do like RPM as it is).

The fact that they split up the KDE RPMs seems ghastly to me – too many things to choose.  For example, KDE Office is available in all its little bits – as is KDE Toys, KDE Games, and whatever else.  Nicer just to choose to install KDE Toys or not… I’m not sure whether I like having KDE 3 as a base with all of the KDE 4 applications available – but it seems to work alright.

I’d like to install BeleniX next, but they’ve not updated their system yet – the last hard disk install was buggy. I’m waiting eagerly….

New operating system releases!

This is just amazing: did everybody coordinate this? Within the last three weeks or so, we’ve seen these releases come out:

Several of these were released on the same day, November 1.

What next? Am I really supposed to choose just one? Sigh. And I just installed OpenBSD 4.1 and Fedora 7, too – not to mention installing FreeBSD 6.2 not too long ago.

From all the talk, I’ll have to try Kubuntu again. So many systems, so little time.

I have been using OpenSUSE 10.3 (with KDE). I just love it – and I love the new menu format, too.

Update: Sigh. I should have known. Microsoft Windows Vista celebrated its 1st Anniversary on Nov. 8.