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BeOpen.com: BeOpen Interview with Matthias Kalle Dalheimer [KDE project co-manager]

May 10, 2000, 18:29 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

"Matthias Kalle Dalheimer is a German software developer whose professional life has revolved around machine user interface technology. While his technical background makes it appear that destiny hand-picked him to co-manage a project as broad and ambitious as KDE -- the first all-Open Source desktop for the Linux operating system -- Dalheimer assures us that was not the case."

"BeOpen: Now that the whole uproar surrounding Qt prior to its becoming Open Source has passed, the KDE and Gnome projects appear to be fairly similar in scope and objective. Has your development team learned anything from the Gnome project that you have applied in the upcoming release?

Dalheimer: There are a few things where we have said, "Well, that's something they have done nicely, let's see if we can produce something similar." They have also copied many things from us, but I cannot say that we have "learned" much from them--in the sense of acquiring knowledge about new technologies. If the Gnome project has taught us one thing, it is probably that you should be very careful with releases and that releases should be postponed if stability is insufficient."

"BeOpen: Like Gnome, the KDE developers see the future of their project involving some form of object request broker middleware to handle distributed object coordination. And like the Gnome developers, who have found limitations with the CORBA standard, you have poured efforts into newer technologies designed to be more responsive to the desktop realm. Unfortunately, both projects seem to have taken a different tack -- KDE with KParts and DCOP, Gnome with ORBit. Is this something that could be better tackled in tandem?

Dalheimer: Well, ORBit is a CORBA implementation. Its authors claim that it is very lightweight, but from what I have seen, this is mainly because it does not use or does not implement all of CORBA. Once they use more of it, they will probably run into the same problems. But the latency problem that makes CORBA unsuitable for GUIs is not the only one we had, even though the other ones were "softer"..."

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