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Linux Journal: Inteview with Matthias Ettrich

Apr 29, 2003, 13:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Aleksey Dolya)

"AD: Could tell us about the creation of KDE?

"ME: Around 1995 I became a real GNU and Linux fan. I was so convinced by the system that I couldn't understand how fellow students, no matter what they studied, could bother with Windows 3.1--no multitasking, 16-bit address space, permanent crashes, horrible icons, ugly fonts. There really was nothing good one could say about it, but it was popular. The application used most was Word 2.0, despite the steep price, the instability and the poor end results. Students manually were splitting up their documents into smaller chunks, because their word processor couldn't handle more than 10 pages safely at once. We [GNU and Linux] and had TeX and LaTeX, which were easy to use, produced great results, never crashed and were free. Why would anybody not want to use them?

"Back then, Microsoft was far away from victory, so I was unwilling to believe in technology lock-up theories. Rather, I blamed existing software and its lack of end user focus. This was when I started to write a graphical front-end to LaTeX, which later became the LyX document processor. Although the project really didn't stop the success of Word, it turned into a successful free software project with an active development community, and it taught me how free software projects work internally..."

Complete Story

Related Story:
Linux Journal: Inteview with Miguel De Icaza(Apr 25, 2003)