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NewsForge: KDE and GNOME: Is this war?

Jan 08, 2001, 20:52 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dan Berkes)

"They're the greatest thing since sliced bread or the biggest waste of hard drive space imaginable. Some users wouldn't have gone near a computer without at least one; others believe they're only good for those rare times when a graphical Web browser is needed. With recent developments between the GNOME and KDE camps, 2001 could shape up to be an entertaining year for the world of window managers and desktop environments."

"Window managers on UNIX systems are hardly anything new; the beginnings of the modern graphical user interface date back to the mid-1980s, when MIT first released the networked bitmap services that are now known as X11. Before X came W, along with a stream of lesser-known window managers, some Open Source and some not, with names like SunView, NeWS, and GEM that sound exotic to newcomers and invoke nostalgia in the minds of programming veterans."

"Today, there's no shortage of window managers making use of X, with form and function to suit almost any individual user's specific needs. If anything, the major obstacle to installing and using these extra services is more about publicity than technology. With recent developments hinting at a battle for the Linux desktop in 2001, it's possible that smaller window managers may suffer as a result."

"There are two giants in the Linux desktop world: GNOME and KDE. Virtually all new Linux computers and most distributions ship with one, the other or, more frequently, both of these desktop environments. Both environments share services and features that make it easier for users to administer their systems, but with the inclusion of tools that don't always function reliably with alternative solutions, also make users reluctant to test the alternatives."

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