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Linux Desktop Summit Program Announced 121

Posted by Soulskill
from the scheduled-for-2002 dept.
jrepin writes with this excerpt from an announcement by KDE: "The Desktop Summit is a joint conference organized by the GNOME and KDE communities, the two dominant forces behind modern graphical software on free platforms. Over a thousand international participants are expected to attend. The main conference takes place from 6-8 August. The annual membership meetings of GNOME and KDE are scheduled for 9 August, followed by workshops and coding sessions on 10-12 August."
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Linux Desktop Summit Program Announced

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_%28software%29

    It took forever to deprecate it. I wonder what "cool thing" will be next.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @05:47AM (#36207264)

    My problem is Gnome / KDE / UNITY all seem to be obsessed with being progressive and messing up common sense schemes that have worked well for years. IMO they should be jailed in the Museum of Contemporary Art and clubbed to death with hardcover copies of Ulysses.

    Gnome 2.0 seems to be the epitome of quality design... the menus are all simple and straight forward, good for getting work done.

    • by Datamonstar (845886) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:01AM (#36207306)
      If you like it, use it. The beauty of open source. You can use what you want how you want and leave the other shit alone. If you don't know how, there's bound to be a community of like-minded kooks out there that can show you how.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's easier said than done if you don't have the time or inclination to screw with things. I prefer defaults that the distribution in question has been made to work best with. So if most distributions are going to start coming with avant garde desktop designs... it's not good for a lot of us. The same reason on CENTOS I install 2 years old MYSQL with yum and enable innodb defaults via config rather than install 5.5 outside of yum. Couldn't be hassled installing and maintaining it without yum. So yes worthle

        • by houghi (78078)

          Distro defaults? Then why not try the openSUSE DVD? You can install KDE or GNOME, but also XFCE and LXDE as 'default'.

      • by mdragan (1166333)
        Thing is, these new versions are going to replace the old ones in distributions. As far as I can see there's no KDE 3 in Debian anymore. The same will probably happen with Gnome 2, so maybe you can see the point.
        • by kthreadd (1558445)
          Yep, but nothing stops you from installing them yourself. At one point, it may become harder as you have to replace outdated libraries or update the source code but it's very much doable.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:57AM (#36207508)

        (NOTE: another AC here: just can't bother with the cookies crap needed to login)

        Look -- formally you are right. Still I think the "innovators" have some responsibility to tread with some care and try to be inclusive. As just an example, I watch in disgust and fear the firestorm systemd is causing. Granted, nobody loves SystemV, all that rat's nest of scripts with 90 per cent boilerplate and that. Still, replacing that by an intransparent piece of compiled code mechanism and policy all in one big mess: what is that doing to the hackability of the system?

        Other examples: NetworkManager, PulseAudio, *Kit (many of those examples are CamelCased -- is this a CoInciDence?). I'd hope innovators in the realm of Free Software would take care of interested users, leaving for them a path into hacking the system, starting by little config options, through some shell scripting into hacking C. This means cherishing simplicity at all levels. The opposite tendency seems to be in fashion nowadays. The "user experience" of the absolute novice is paramount -- sacrificing the simplicity and hackability of the system by the slightly more advanced user (all novice users will reach that stage eventually, remember!).

        This reminds me of a pattern often seen in proprietary software, especially that kind of software where the ones to make the business decision of buying the package won't be those who will have to use it: it tends to be shiny and easy to use for fitst-timers, but far from the optimum long-term.

        WTF happened to this idea of the 1970ies that giving the user a chance to improve her understanding of the system should be part of what's called ergonomy?

        So: "It's open source. Do it yourself if you don't like it. And now go away" is almost always the wrong answer.

        • by sirlark (1676276)

          WTF happened to this idea of the 1970ies that giving the user a chance to improve her understanding of the system should be part of what's called ergonomy?

          Amen! What happened to the idea of a highly customizable system with *intelligent defaults*? The defaults make sure that in the simple case of a straight forward install, it "just works" (which seems to be what most people want). But the configuration is there, easily accessible and well documented.

          • by Teun (17872)
            It sounds like you describe KDE 4.6.

            The default install results in a very simple but useful desktop and easy access to anything you could wish for.

        • These are the reasons why I just switched to Slackware with the GSB Gnome packages. It kinda gets "back to basics" as you describe. It's maintainable by mere mortals. It's transparent. And it Does What I Need(TM).

          The side benefit is that I don't have to fight 18 layers of abstractions and *compat libs, etc. Nor struggle with half-baked implementations of new stuff.

        • by westlake (615356)

          The "user experience" of the absolute novice is paramount -- sacrificing the simplicity and hackability of the system by the slightly more advanced user (all novice users will reach that stage eventually, remember!).

          Not bloody likely.

          The novice user is focused on applications. The OS is only the means to an end.

          --- and that is what it will remain. He'll gain confidence and skill in the applications he needs to be productive - or in which he finds some entertainment.

          But he will never be interested in spending any time under the hood.

          Google understands this. Apple understands this. Microsoft understands this.

          But the technical hobbyist, the enthusiast, who has driven the Linux client to a blistering 0.73% share of

        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Sunday May 22, 2011 @08:55PM (#36213212) Homepage Journal

          The Network Manager is just a wrapper around ifupdown, so that follows the Unix way nicely...

          WTF happened to this idea of the 1970ies that giving the user a chance to improve her understanding of the system should be part of what's called ergonomy?

          Apple.

        • by A Jew (1176261)

          Most people I know don't want to customize anything, they just want to use their computers to accomplish a task. The difference between an ordinary user and a super l337 hacker who goes as far as adding panel applets is huge.

      • by Jiro (131519)

        That's one of the attitudes that is stalling open source: "If you don't like it, fix it yourself or hire someone to do so". Most people cannot fix it themselves, and forking an active project is a big move which requires a lot of continuous maintenance. It's not going to be practical to fork GNOME just because it has a bad user interface.

        And to top it off, the people in open source projects tend to be comcentrated among programmers. If the project needs user interface design, documentation, or something

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:58AM (#36207512)

      They should be clubbed with hardcover copies of The Art of Unix Programming by Eric Raymond -- http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/html/index.html -- particularly the chapter "Basics of the Unix Philosophy"...

              Rule of Modularity: Write simple parts connected by clean interfaces.
              Rule of Clarity: Clarity is better than cleverness.
              Rule of Composition: Design programs to be connected with other programs.
              Rule of Separation: Separate policy from mechanism; separate interfaces from engines.
              Rule of Simplicity: Design for simplicity; add complexity only where you must.
              Rule of Parsimony: Write a big program only when it is clear by demonstration that nothing else will do.
              Rule of Transparency: Design for visibility to make inspection and debugging easier.
              Rule of Robustness: Robustness is the child of transparency and simplicity.
              Rule of Representation: Fold knowledge into data, so program logic can be stupid and robust.
              Rule of Least Surprise: In interface design, always do the least surprising thing.
              Rule of Silence: When a program has nothing surprising to say, it should say nothing.
              Rule of Repair: Repair what you can — but when you must fail, fail noisily and as soon as possible.
              Rule of Economy: Programmer time is expensive; conserve it in preference to machine time.
              Rule of Generation: Avoid hand-hacking; write programs to write programs when you can.
              Rule of Optimization: Prototype before polishing. Get it working before you optimize it.
              Rule of Diversity: Distrust all claims for one true way.
              Rule of Extensibility: Design for the future, because it will be here sooner than you think.

      GNOME: Stop your "War On Users" by hiding user configurations or ripping them out!
      KDE: Let up with the eye candy for once! Simple is beautiful.
      CANONICAL: Admit Unity is a total failure, ask for our forgiveness and never, ever do it again! /Rant off

      • by oakgrove (845019)

        CANONICAL: Admit Unity is a total failure, ask for our forgiveness and never, ever do it again! /Rant off

        Taking this into account:

        GNOME: Stop your "War On Users" by hiding user configurations or ripping them out!

        What would you suggest Canonical do instead?

        • by r7 (409657)

          What would you suggest Canonical do instead?

          A) support Trinity.

          B) fork Trinity if it goes the way of KDE4

          C) KIS (keep it simple (and cross-platform compatible))

          D) hire the right people (i.e., open at least one freaking office in SV/SF)

          E) it's all about management

          Management has to be well connected to end-users and end-user sysadmins. Management has to know how to review code (diffs) and do good QA (used to be Canonical's leg up on RH). This isn't rocket science. It isn't pur s/w development or pure sysadmin either. It is, findamentally, an issue

          • by Dogers (446369)

            D) hire the right people (i.e., open at least one freaking office in SV/SF)

            Why? Because that's where all the developers in the entire world are located?

        • by Grishnakh (216268) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @01:18PM (#36210392)

          What would you suggest Canonical do instead?

          Simple: switch to KDE (4.6) instead. It took them a while, but they've finally fixed up pretty much all the problems with the early 4.0 series, and it's a really nice desktop system now, with tons of configurability (unlike Gnome). It could still use some touching up here and there though, but all the fundamentals are there, and the architecture is much cleaner than Gnome, which is basically just a giant mish-mash of smaller projects arranged in a house of cards.

          With the resources of Canonical at hand, they could customize KDE with their own defaults and themes, fix up the few rough edges that remain, port over some of the better Gnome stuff to KDE/Qt, etc.

          • by N7DR (536428)

            Simple: switch to KDE (4.6) instead

            I beg to disagree with that advice. It seems to me that any "desktop" that causes the menu on which you are about to click to disappear because some notification has suddenly appeared elsewhere on the screen is fundamentally broken. Ditto any desktop where a single blocked desktop-eye-candy-thingy can cause the entire desktop to grind to halt.

            There are certainly some pieces of KDE that are quite nice. But I really wonder about such fundamental and obvious design flaws that have persisted through to version

            • by Grishnakh (216268)

              It seems to me that any "desktop" that causes the menu on which you are about to click to disappear because some notification has suddenly appeared elsewhere on the screen is fundamentally broken.

              Hmm, I just tried that out by bringing up the applications menu and inserting a USB drive, and sure enough, my menu disappeared. That's pretty annoying.

              Have you thought of filing a bug?

      • by A Jew (1176261)

        The premise does not support the conclusion.

    • by gweihir (88907)

      You can ignore them. I have been happily using fvwm for over 20 years now. I don't see why I would need anything else or redo all my customizations.

    • You say: Unity.

      I don't see any stinking Unity in the program. In fact, I'll imagine that if you wore a Unity t-shirt to that conference, you'd be taken out back and spanked, involuntarily....

      • by bregmata (1749266)
        That's because LDS is for "the community" -- the self-appointed cabal of technocrats involved in KDE and Gnome, not for the great unwashed masses of mundanes who use computers every day as if they were just tools or a means to an end.
        • I'll admit that it seems like sheer heresy. Soon there'll be people burned at the stake. Even the saints of Motif would castigate those pesky Unity people.

          I hear they even have the apostasy of having primitives for *tablets*.

    • by Aquina (1923974)

      Damn right! More interestingly I haven't read a damn thing about XFCE. I use it for years and will probalby never turn over, simply because it's the same concept all the time and I can rely on that. Besides I think XFCE is not bloated as much as other desktops are these years.

  • That it'll end up in a literal deathmatch?

  • KDE4: sucks Gnome3 shell: sucks Unity: sucks KDE3.5: good, but dead Gnome2:good, but dead I guess I'll use XFCE just like in old times, and maybe LXDE or fluxbox
    • Oh, for trolling sake. Then write your own desktop environment. I hate XFCE and KDE4, but love gnome-shell, for instance. If you are not happy with the Desktop Summit contents, don't go there, or post here. Why wasting bytes here when you have all the choice you need (including cranking up some code?). These people put a lot of effort into a release, and the summit is a great occasion to sit down and try to understand what was rushed, what worked well, etc.

      This is free software. Don't like it? Fork it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @08:07AM (#36207916)

        "Don't like it? Fork it."

        Can people PLEASE stop with this bullshit "don't like it? Then fix it yourself!" argument? Like it or not, linux is about communities, ideals, and shared tools now, just like your nation is. You might as well be saying "Don't like the new laws? Then start your own country!". In either case, it's disenfranchising, and wrong-headed.

      • by fnj (64210) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @04:49PM (#36211918)

        Your parent is merely pointing out that KDE and Gnome have both headed down the toilet, and Unity is STARTING OUT in the toilet. This is obvious to anyone. The bloody desktop developers have turned into wankers chasing stupid directions that are NOT user driven, ruining perfectly good products. They could use an injection of reality. They are screwing up big time. Not in terms of technical quality, but in terms of basic direction. A lot of users care about that. The process is broken. If developers don't care what users want, then to hell with them.

        It's not up to users to fork software and develop it themselves in a more sane direction. It's up to developers to get a grip on the real world.

    • Fork one of KDE 3.5 or Gnome2. Or build a plasma profile that emulates KDE 3.5. Or port the Gnome2 shell to GTK3 & friends.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        KDE is already forked, and attempts are being made to make it compile against both Qt3 and Qt4.

        http://www.trinitydesktop.org/

        Though now with the Rapture, I guess it's time to rename it to Carl Sagan Desktop.

    • I personally prefer LXDE, but XFCE seems to be very close to GNOME2.
    • by Kabloink (834009) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @08:20AM (#36207992)

      The biggest problem I see isn't the radical design change of Gnome 3 or Unit, but the lack of customization. We once criticized Windows for being fairly rigid in that matter, but Windows now looks in comparison to these new desktop a tweaker's dream. Someting I thought I would never say.

      So, in a way I would have to agree they suck at the moment, but I hope the project leaders will come to their senses and realize people like to be able to customize their desktops to some degree.

      • by r7 (409657)

        have to agree they suck at the moment

        KDE4 and Gnome3 have set the Linux desktop back nearly a decade. All of our plans to convert desktops from Windows have been put on hold, indefinitely.

        Question is why. Why have these two key window managers not only gotten worse but become worse than any window manager since CDE?

        Part of it has t be a lack of design guidelines. It also has to be due to a lack of leadership, designed by committee, lord of the flies and all that. But that can't be all there is. I know this isn't all because a friend of mi

    • by devent (1627873)

      Is that the "XXX sucks but YYY is great" thread?
      KDE3: good, KDE4: great, Gnome3: sucks, Gnome2: sucks, Unity: I don't care

  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:51AM (#36207486) Homepage

    what happened to enlightenment, xfce, fvwm, python-plwm and all the others? i hate to mention EvilWM (1000 lines of c), or XMonad (1200 lines of haskell i believe) as it's hard to have any kind of meaningful discussion around 1200 lines of haskell, but, seriously, why weren't all the other window managers more seriously represented? oh wait - there's _one_ talk (an overview) on the EFL classes: https://www.desktopsummit.org/program/sessions/quick-overview-enlightenment-foundation-libraries-and-e17 [desktopsummit.org]

    • by gweihir (88907)

      what happened to enlightenment, xfce, fvwm, python-plwm and all the others? i hate to mention EvilWM (1000 lines of c), or XMonad (1200 lines of haskell i believe) as it's hard to have any kind of meaningful discussion around 1200 lines of haskell, but, seriously, why weren't all the other window managers more seriously represented? oh wait - there's _one_ talk (an overview) on the EFL classes: https://www.desktopsummit.org/program/sessions/quick-overview-enlightenment-foundation-libraries-and-e17 [desktopsummit.org]

      fvwm is alive and kicking. Unlike this new-fangled trash, it is stable and moves very, very slowly, as everything needed is really there. I have been using it for 20 years, with the same configuration (except for some additional menu entries) for 10 years. Stable and usable as pen and paper. This Gnome/KDE stuff is really quite silly. If they work at it for another 10 years, maybe they will get where fvwm already was 20 years ago.

      I use fvwm with Debian, and never had any problems so far. And I am _not_ happ

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      seriously, why weren't all the other window managers more seriously represented?

      No representative of those registered for holding a talk.

    • by GreyFish (156639)
      I'm using fvwm2 right now :)
  • by obarthelemy (160321) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @08:20AM (#36207986)

    between what the devs want to do, and what the users want. In a commercial company, this conflict is handled by management weighing in on the side of users/customers. In OSS projects, the devs have free reins to play with new concepts, technologies, paradigms... whether anyone else is interested at all, or not. My take is that Gnome, KDE and Unity have evolved into cool geek research labs. 5-10 years from now, we might be using some ideas that originated there. Right now, most users want and need a simple interface that Just Works and emulates the Windows they know, not some buggy half-finished avant-garde stuff.

    The main quality of an OS is to let me use my hardware and apps with minimum fuss.

    • by devent (1627873)

      But in commercial products you are stuck with the product for good or for worse. Best example, is Windows Vista or Office with the ribbon interface. In OSS products you are free to choose and to change.

      You want a simple interface, why you don't just use Xfce or Enlithement? I like where KDE4 is heading, I dislike Gnome 3 and Unity.

      • there's 2 issues with changing:

        1- it requires skill and knowledge, and it is frightening. As a newb linux user myself, I'm not sure which UI I should be using, and I don't have the time nor guts to install the handful of them (unity, kde, gnome, xfce, lvwm...) that seem major. Testing a UI in depth takes time (say 1 week of use, 1 day os setup ?) and may fail (my last attempt to switch to xfce led me to a completly passive screen, with a nice background image, but I could not find any menu, input zone.. nor

    • by IrquiM (471313)

      between what the devs want to do, and what the users want.

      You meant to say "and what a few, loud mouthed users want." Right?

      • not really. Have any the the devs actually asked typical users what they wanted, and double-checked that they weren't being lied to ?

        "typical user" needs to be defined, it can be a Linux user, a typical PC user, a knowledgeable computer user, a home user...

        "being lied to" is frequent, there is usually a huge discrepancy between the lofty things people say when asked to think about something (yes, widgets are nice, yes, I want an interactive connected desktop...", and what happens in reality (this PC has no

    • My own take is that they've become chasers of the next big thing. They want to be able to be described better than Mac rip-off or Windows rip-off.

      But yes, long live gnome 2.

    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      In OSS projects, the devs have free reins to play with new concepts, technologies, paradigms... whether anyone else is interested at all, or not. My take is that Gnome, KDE and Unity have evolved into cool geek research labs.

      Unity is a commercial project. It just happens to be under GPL. It's controlled by Canonical alone. It is not a community project. Not at all.
      Qt is in a similar position, although Nokia is moving it into a community project.

      GNOME and KDE, yes, they are community projects. And you know what? They don't any mere user anything. They never have and never will.
      Most do all their work unpaid as a hobby.
      And both projects never evolved into geek research labs because both projects were never ever bound to the will o

  • ...just what exactly do they need KDE and UNITY for?
    • by KugelKurt (908765)

      ...just what exactly do they need KDE and UNITY for?

      What does Unity have to do with the Desktop Summit?

  • Well let's all demand our money back!
      Reading through the comments you'd think that people were being forced to use KDE or Gnome, because there isn't anything else, that they had to pay for, it and weren't given the source codes.

    • You would do well to listen to users, because they are like, well, the users. If developers who see themselves as designers keep screwing up the design, nobody will use it, and if nobody will use it, nobody will want to support development, and the platform will wither. My guess is that, due to the disgusting crap coming from Gnome, KDE, and Unity, one of the basically far superior desktops such as Xfce or LXDE will gain momentum, fill in the few missing pieces they have, and save the day for the platform

      • After using Gnome 3 for a while I notice more and more how old design was broken. Sure, the new one isn't without quirks, but it is not because of design, but more like lack of polish here and there.
        One could hope that these new deigns will die, but the actual developers seem to actually like it. I seriously doubt that there is substantial amount of gnome-shell bashers, who actually develop for gnome-panel (btw, in the new gnome panels are still there and are developed).
        And if the Xfce or other "classical"

  • by knorthern knight (513660) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @10:30PM (#36213728)

    It seems the the desktop developers have forgotten what computers are for. They're used to get things done; email, web-browsing, documents, spreadsheets, scientific calculations, video games, etc, etc. *THAT* is why I bother getting a computer in the first place. I use ICEWM because it stays out of the way, and lets me run apps.

    I don't go for this garbage about...
    * it's relational
    * it's 4th generational
    * it's got abject ornamentation
    * yes folks, thanks to multiple inheritance, it's both a toothpaste and a floor wax

    When a desktop environment requires MySQL as a dependancy, you know they've gone off into la-la-land.

    • by vandamme (1893204)

      I just want to get my TV dongle to work, share with the Windoze box on my home network, and try to find where my system settings went when I upgraded to Unity. I got over Wobbly Windows pretty quick.

We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"

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