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Letter to the Editor: KDE2: Questions regarding its direction?

May 07, 2001, 13:53 (122 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by James Alan Brown)

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By James Alan Brown

The whole point of me taking the time to write this article is to try and find out what others have experienced when using Linux and in particular their thoughts regarding KDE2 and/or if they are happy with the direction it seems to be going.

I would like to make it totally clear that I am grateful and I fully respect all the people workig so hard on KDE and all those who are working on open source software.

I am also interested in knowing your views on how will Linux become a more viable alternative to MS Windows and/or if you see it ending up with all the pitfalls and monopolies currently experience by so many of the MS Windows users to date.

Linux is an excellent and powerful OS that I feel has started to enable its users to enjoy a whole new way of using personal computers. The main worries that I have though are will it end up as just a reliable networking system and/or will, as I would like to see, it become also a viable alternative to "MS Windows"?

There are a large number of PC users who are totally fed up with "blue screen lockups" experienced while running MS Software.

At the moment, as I see things, as we start to see more and more software being developed and in particular "Desktop Environments" that contain word processors and the tools, needed to run small business/office programs, then Linux will really start to take off.

I would like to concentrate my questions at this time on KDE2 used as a desktop environment and try to gain the views of others around me.

In Using KDE 1.1.2 as my Linux desktop I have found it to be quite a refreshing change from using MS Windows. In compiling up additional software packages it is quite possible to do most of the things you do if running say Windows 95 as an example.

I have found that KDE 1.1.2 is an incredibly stable desktop and so as KDE2 started to develop I started to download all the beta's/current versions as soon as they were released. Using rpm files at first and then pure bzip2 source files and in most cases doing clean Linux installs on newly formatted hard drives.

Well now so far personally I am not that impressed with KDE2 certainly when I compare its stability and functionality with KDE 1.1.2.

Yes I know what your thinking "its early days yet" but the question is that KDE 1.1.2 is now marked up as "obsolete" on kde.org and KDE 2.1.1 is now the current official KDE Desktop Environment. (Many new distributions are installing it as the default desktop).

My general impression is that there seems to be a tendency towards making it "Flash" with "pop-up Dragons and Wizards" and I question when will it be getting "Talking paper clips"?

I have found, even using the latest QT/KDE release source files, that it is still quite unstable although there are plenty on kde.org that tell me that I am wrong and in not so many words "That it is the best thing since sliced bread"!

Quite a few seem to like to call you "a Troll" if you dare to question KDE2's stability and that its got to be my system at fault or that I am not compiling up the various packages correctly. (In fact I build dual boot PC Systems and compile the kernel to suite the hardware and most other Linux packages too)!

Why when I compile KDE 1.1.2 it and everything else runs great without instabilities?

My own view is this (subjective) I think that KDE2 has been rushed out and given all the "Flash and Fanfares" in order to try and out-do GNOME rather than to have built upon the great starting points of KDE1.

I am concerned that Linux will lose out while KDE/GNOME try to out gun each other and polarise in these so called federations. (Is this what we really want)?

I really hope that it will not be the end game as GNOME and KDE are both great Linux Desktops. (not forgetting quite a few others too)!

I hope your find that this article has been well thought out and is totally fair for me in asking these following questions:-

Is this really what any small business/home user is looking for when thinking about using Linux as a viable alternative to MS Windows?

Have you found KDE2 to be stable and as usable if compared with KDE1.1.2?

Do you like their idea of making KDE2 a fun to use package with "Wizards/Dragons" popping up on the screen?

Have you found any problems with the multimedia players and sounds whilst using KDE2?

Are you happy with the way KDE2 is developing?

Are you still using KDE 1.1.2 as your main desktop?

Are you concerned about "KDE/GNOME polarisation and Federations"?

James Alan Brown

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