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RE: [TCLUG:4588] Gnome

> Hi Neal,
> How familiar are you with KDE?  I'd be interested to hear how KDE
> handles the same issues I listed in that previous post.  Does
> anyone know KDE well enough to give a point-by-point rebuttal?
> The list is quoted again below.
> John

Sure! I'm not an expert, and may not be able to give the detail you're
looking for, but I've used KDE since just before 1.0 came out last summer
some time. Here goes...

> > 1) Gnome is Window Manager-agnostic.  A number of popular WM's
> > are (or are working toward) GNOME compliance, which includes
> > session management support, plus a number of extended WM hints
> > that allow GNOME to interact more intimately with the WM.
> > Enlightenment, SCWM, iceWM, and a few others (WindowMaker? fvwm?
> > blackbox?) support these hints.  For KDE, you are pretty much
> > stuck with kwm if you want to use all of KDE's power.  (Correct
> > me if I'm misrepresenting KDE...It's been awhile since I've
> > checked up on it.)

KDE is also window manager agnostic, though I don't know if any wm's other
than KDE's own kwm are working towards "compliance". The KDE FAQ says there
are, but doesn't list any names.

> > 2) Pixmap theming support, although that's more of a GTK+/QT
> > issue than GNOME/KDE.

I'm not quite sure I understand what you mean by this, but if it's what I'm
thinking of, I don't think KDE does it. The only "themes" really available
are analagous to Windows 95's ability to change window and desktop colors.
This is one thing I think would make GNOME much cooler, though it is
admittedly eye-candy.

> > 3) More language bindings, e.g. python, C, C++, Perl, TOM, Guile,
> > Objective-C, etc.  This is mainly useful if you're a developer
> > who doesn't want to be stuck in C++.

This appears to be another boost for GNOME. As far as I know KDE only
supports C++. I have seen some extensions for Tcl/Tk that make it look/work
with KDE.

> > 4) You can embed live applications (applets) into the panel
> > (which is not really a task can use the gnome-pager
> > with a GNOME-compliant WM for that).  For example, there's a mail
> > notify applet, a little modem-dialer app, a drive mount tool, a
> > CD player...even a couple games.
> >

The kwm has both a panel at the bottom, which appears to be similar to the
gnome or perhaps CDE type of thing, and a taskbar at the top with buttons
representing each open application (ala Win95). You can also imbed programs
such as the modem tool, a post-it-note-type tool, CD player, etc. into the
kpanel at the bottom.

> > 5) Anti-aliased drawing canvas, capable of arbitrary rotations,
> > etc.

Hmmm...don't know 'cause I haven't looked. There is a paint program, but I
don't think it's very advanced. Isn't that what the gimp is for?

> > 6) Supports 17 native languages, FWIW.

KDE supports multiple languages, though I don't know how many. The
documentation is in 14 languages, so I guess KDE would support at least

My turn:

1) One of the coolest things about KDE is that it uses little files called
kdelinks to represent icons. At first glance, they're kind of like Windows
95 shortcuts, and can be used that way, but they have more functionality.
For instance, I have an icon on my desktop for my CDROM. In the corner of
the icon is a little green light. If I insert the CDROM and click on the
icon, it mounts the CDROM, turns the light green, and pops up a file manager
window. I can right-click on the icon and get an option to un-mount the
CDROM. Since they're files, I can take these icons and copy or move them all
over the place. KDE supports folders directly on the desktop, so I can move
them inside there, into a file-manager window, or down to the taskbar. The
drag-and-drop functionality is pretty good, IMHO.

2) The thing I've been most impressed with about KDE is that it is solid.
I've never crashed it. The one time I compiled from source, both Qt and KDE
went very smoothly (though they took forever on my 486!).

3) I've never had to edit a text file to configure KDE. All the GUI
configuration is available and works properly (well, almost all of it!).

4) kdm - KDE includes what is either a replacement or a wrapper for xdm.
Once xdm is configured, kdm adds the ability to display a list of users that
I can log in as, and as administrator I can tell it which users to show and
which to hide. I also have a drop-down list of available window managers, so
I can run GNOME, Windowmaker, kwm, etc. I'm having trouble getting xdm to
re-spawn properly, but it looks cool so far!

In conclusion, from what I understand, GNOME might have more potential.
There's probably only two real reasons for that:
1) Supports many programming languages (BIG advantage!)
2) Has the ability to look way cooler (Enlightenment...'nuf said).

No matter what they claim, KDE is a blatant Windows 95 rip-off. But you know
what? IT WORKS!! KDE only needs just a *bit* more polish before it's ready
to actually be competitive with Windows and Macintosh on the desktop. The
application list is pretty comprehensive concerning utilities such as find,
zip, paint, calculator, etc. etc., and they're working on an office suite.
The voice-mail app, while still needing more features, was incredibly easy
to set up compared to everything else I've looked at. FWIK, GNOME has a lot
of catching-up to do in the stability department.

I think I'll play with GNOME a little tonite. I think it'll be cool to be
able to run apps from both. Then I just need to decide which wm is better at
the moment.