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BSD Today: What's KDE?

Nov 22, 2000, 14:09 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ralph Krause)

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"There is quite a bit of interest in open source desktop environments such as GNOME and KDE. While these environments are mainly thought of as being only for Linux, they are both available for BSDs. This article focuses on the installation of KDE 2 on my FreeBSD 4.0 machine and provides information about KDE."

"...On the surface there isn't much of a difference between KDE and GNOME, especially for a typical desktop user. Both environments offer a good looking desktop, user-customizable panels and menus, user-friendly file browsers, office suites, etc."

"KDE does seem to have an advantage over GNOME in some areas. There is a perception that the KDE desktop looks more refined and polished than the GNOME desktop. KDE 2 includes a functional KOffice suite while there is some question about the direction of GNOME's office suite due to the open sourcing of Star Office."

"Some people think that KDE will be easier to maintain and extend because it is written in C++ and there are KDE bindings available for other languages such as Python, Perl, C, and Java. Making KDE even more attractive to developers is the availability of a free KDE programming book called KDE 2.0 Development at http://kde20development.andamooka.org/. There are some areas where GNOME appears to hold the upper hand, however. While not available for FreeBSD, the Helix Code GNOME installer makes it very easy to install GNOME on a Linux system. Also, GNOME's next generation file browser and shell, Nautilus from Eazel, is generating quite a bit of excitement. Both groups have internationalization (i18n) efforts under way to translate documentation and allow applications to display foreign characters. It appears that GNOME is ahead in this area and I don't know if there is a KDE equivalent to Pango (an open-source framework for the layout and rendering internationalized text)."

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