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Re: Gnome Desktop Only

On Wed, Sep 25, 2002 at 05:42:40PM -0400, AnI AnI wrote:
> I agree that KDE should be dropped, while keeping all the necessary 
> libraries for running KDE applications.
I don't see any valid reason for dropping it. If Red Hat decides
they can't afford to support it and just ship a working last stable
release and ignore UI bug reports, fine with me. But there *are*
KDE users on RHL (IMHO Mandrake is not even attempting to be reliable
enough and SuSE is not open enough for my users who switched only
to save money, not to mention SuSEconfig) and RH can't reasonably
stop shipping the libraries given the number of KDE apps.  Now,
KDE is a "platform" much like Microsoft Windows UI layer
[ /me ducks ]
and "just the libraries" includes basically complete konqueror, at which
point you can just ship whole kdebase.

Not to mention that currently there is no "standard" binary
distribution of KDE, so you still need someone using RHL for making
the application packages and I doubt people would bother to do that if
they had to use GNOME (how do you think they would test/debug kioslaves?).

Basically, as soon as you remove the "desktop" you can drop
kdelibs and qt as well.

> There are some important features that have to be ported over to GNOME 
> before dropping KDE.
> One of them is the possibility of seamlessly accessing files via sftp 
> protocol by using sftp:// type of URLs.
The *big* one is making GNOME developer-friendly, if it is possible at
all. If you know C, look up how to get a current value of GtkOptionMenu
(hint: the right google search is: gtkoptionmenu "glade faq").
Direct poking into object may be efficient and all that, but
this is a showstopper for me, given the state of GNOME documentation.

As soon as you want to do something that is not likely to become
a FAQ (in my case, delete all entries of the menu and create new ones),
you might just start reading the whole gtk+ source, because there
is no other way you can get the information. API documentation
generated from source might be enough for Qt, where every action
can be done using at least five different ways (but you'll surely
be able to find them), but not in GTK+, where you are required to
know all the inner workings of the object.

For another example (admittedly from GNOME 1.4), show me reasonable
documentation on using Bonobo comparable with the KParts tutorials.
All I could find was autogenerated documentation of twisty little
CORBA interfaces, all alike ;-)

GTK+, libgnomeui etc. are excellent C libraries and I also poke
at object internals when writing in C, but at the scale of the
GNOME libraries, this means that in order to be able to write
a good application you have to spent an enormous (comparatively
to the size of the program) amount of time understanding the libraries.

IMHO this is one of the main causes you are more likely to find
many applications for KDE and Windows users like KDE more (because
the people willing to do the work are there), OTOH you can see
great applications like Evolution in GNOME, where the "proffesional"
people accumulate. But there are apparently not enough "proffesional"
people (as witnessed by the lack of features in Nautilus) and the
projects need to be open and easy to extend and enhance. For
an extreme example, download the Smoove plugin for noatun (I mean
it, even if you ignored the GtkOptionMenu) and be amazed at how small
it is while being a great feature. This is not a job for
"proffesionals" - this is solving a simple problem, and it better
be *easy*, which GTK+ isn't.

Apologies for the long rant, but if Red Hat removed KDE, I'd
probably had to fork MandrakeV2 ;-)

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