January 5, 2003 by Allen George
Mmm…lots of good food today. Read a bit. Didn’t do that much. Calm before the storm. My work starts on the 6th – we”ll see how that goes. Not much at all to say really. I’m just…sitting back and relaxing in my last two free days. Church tomorrow. Ignoring time again afterward. Yay.
[rant] Sigh… You know – it’s 1:40. All I had to do was turn off the computer and go to sleep. But no. I couldn’t do that. I feel a rant coming on. You know what’s a weird thing about the open source world? The divisions. The little wars (and the big ones) that start up over and blow out of control. The worst thing is that we feed it, make it worse. The one I’m going to make is about GNOME. I love the way GNOME looks and feels. I love some of the *high* class, truly professional GNOME programs there are – for example Gnumeric, Rhythmbox, Gnomemeeting… By contrast…KDE. Oh my – KDE. I hate the icons, the cluttered interface, the pure arrogance of the project… What do I mean by that? The KDE project would *never* use anything that another project developed if they could spend time and resources reinventing the wheel themselves. Examples: Mozilla vs. Konq., aRTS vs. ESD (well ESD is crap and I hope both projects get it into their mind to use MAS and much more. Whatever. I guess that does piss me off quite a bit to be quite honest. But, despite my dislike for KDE I am nothing but realistic. They *are* the defacto Linux desktop. And they are for a number of reasons.
- Professional toolkit designers. This makes a difference
- Huge community support [Users, developers, companies]
- Language choice: C++. Not C. Using C for large application development is…questionable. That’s putting it charitably to say the least.
- Complete documentation
Need I go on? GNOME has made huge strides and I will continue to use it. But I have to say one thing… The longer GNOME languishes without proper developer documentation, the fewer people are going to develop for it. Without the developers a platform is lost. MS knows this, Trolltech knows this, Sun knows this – in fact it seems everybody but GNOME knows this. Oh – and whose bright idea was it to create a pseudo OO toolkit in C?? Why not just use C++? [sigh] Whatever. The mistakes of the past come back to haunt us.
What’s next? Oh yeah. X. X… Hmm. What can I say? I mean – a windowing system that manages to drag twenty years worth of baggage with it from version to version. Oh yeah. A windowing system that manages to perform slower than even Fresco in its admittedly budding state. But you know what? There was a window. A window in which something different could have come it and X would have lost. But no longer I think. X is being improved. Slowly but yes. I hope and beg that in the next major version (5.0) they will destroy the historical baggage that X has carried. I beg. But, the truth is that too many things depend on X now. Too many. And the more people start using desktop linux, the smaller the chances of anything changing. The Xfree86 team is too concerned about maintianing backwards compatibility to do anything radical. I understand where they’re coming from – after all, they work for companies whose Unices *use* all these programs that require backward compatibility. Bah. What a garbage situation. Fresco has a really tiny window in which to make a difference. I don’t know if it is possible. I would like it to be. But, pragmatically I think I know the truth. The time comes in which you have to ask yourself a few questions. Any pursuit born out of a flash in the pan desire never comes to fruitition. You can never handle the crap days. The days when it feels like nothing is going your way. The days when it feels like you’re going nowhere.. Joining Fresco to beat X is the wrong reason. Thankfully I didn’t. So why am I considering joining Fresco? To learn about Windowing Systems. To see if I can make a difference before its too late. [/rant]