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New Qt Based Desktop Environment 241

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the this-is-not-the-gnome-you-were-looking-for dept.
aglider writes "Phoronix has an interesting piece of news about a new emerging desktop environment. And it's Qt based! From the project home page: 'Razor-Qt is an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface. Unlike most desktop environments, Razor-Qt also works fine with weak machines.' Someone has already tagged Razor-Qt as 'a KDE ripoff.' What we have so far is version 0.4, ... and ... a number of easy ways to install and test it on a few main Linux distributions. Maybe time has come for something really new in the desktop environment arena almost completely occupied by GNOME and KDE." The project site has a few screenshots, and the source is available under a mixture of the GPL and LGPL. It looks pretty pedestrian in its current form, but then XFCE wasn't much to look at in its early stages either.
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New Qt Based Desktop Environment

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  • It looks awesome. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spaceplanesfan (2120596) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:24AM (#38433316)

    I for one welcome new razor-qt overlords.
    Seriously though, completion is the best, and its really time to teach Gnome folks the lesson.

    • YES! I'm a huge fan of Qt but don't like any of the current DEs (including KDE) real competition = good indeed.
  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:29AM (#38433364)

    "It looks pretty pedestrian in its current form, but then XFCE wasn't much to look at in its early stages either."

    Wait. Featuritis will make it grow, soon... ;)

  • Video (Score:5, Informative)

    by ens0niq (883308) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:34AM (#38433430)
    Razor-qt desktop environment on Ubuntu 11.10:

    http://youtu.be/n6Ro1Qc4UaE [youtu.be]

    Article (hungarian):

    http://hup.hu/cikkek/20111219/razor-qt_qt-alapu_gyors_desktop_kornyezet_telepitese_ubuntu_11.10-re [hup.hu]
  • Rip-off? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ardeaem (625311) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:36AM (#38433448)

    Someone has already tagged Razor-Qt as 'a KDE ripoff.'

    Oh no, someone call the police! Someone is ripping off an idea from an open source project! We must stop this "open" madness!

    • Re:Rip-off? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lemming Mark (849014) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:43AM (#38433532) Homepage

      Indeed - it looks like it's reusing a load of artwork from KDE *which is good*. With open source there's no reason not to slot in existing professional artwork straight away in a new project. They're even planning to make it easy to contribute their patches to common code back to KDE, so they're even being actively co-operative, which is always nice to see.

      If they come up with something that looks nice and is lighter-weight than KDE then I might want to install it on my ancient netbook or in virtual machines. KDE is still my preference on my desktop.

      Qt is a nice toolkit and it's good to see more development based on it. There's also the Trinity Desktop Environment, for folks who want a KDE-like lightweight desktop - it actually *is* KDE 3, further developed. It looks like (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Trinity#Trinity_Build_Dependency_PKGBUILDs) that's based on Qt 3, whereas Razor-Qt can presumably use newer Qt versions from the start. Variety is nice, it's all cool.

    • Re:Rip-off? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ByOhTek (1181381) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:50AM (#38433596) Journal

      My complaint about that is that...

      A project focuses on making a new desktop environment based on a GUI toolkit used by one of the major desktop environments, but with the aim to be lightweight...

      And they are calling it a KDE ripoff? Shouldn't it be an XFCE ripoff?

      • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

        My complaint about that is that...

        A project focuses on making a new desktop environment based on a GUI toolkit used by one of the major desktop environments, but with the aim to be lightweight...

        And they are calling it a KDE ripoff? Shouldn't it be an XFCE ripoff?

        Technically, this isn't a desktop environment, any more than fluxbox is a desktop "environment." To be an environment, you have to provide additional services and functionality. Xfce is an environment, but not as feature rich as Gnome or KDE. So,if you want to be accurate, this is not a KDE ripoff, but an LXDE ripoff (which is also not a true desktop environment).

      • by Chryana (708485)

        They call it a KDE ripoff because it does look a look like KDE, because they borrowed a lot from them in terms of artwork. To be honest, looking at the screenshots, I know I could be fooled into thinking these are KDE screenshots. The only difference is in the lower left part of the taskbar, as far as I can see.

  • by psergiu (67614) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:46AM (#38433556)

    Why the heck all the Linux Window managers are copying Windows 95-XP with the placement of the window close/minimize/maximize buttons ?

    Also - why are all the GUI shortcuts With Ctrl and not Alt or Meta ?

    Is Windows THAT GOOD so the purpose of all those GUIs are to become a perfect copy of it ?

    • by Tanuki64 (989726) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:57AM (#38433688)

      Why using windows at all? All computers do this. Maybe get rid of monitors after all... Content is made available by a combination of morse code and whistles.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because every possible alternative is worse.

    • by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:58AM (#38433704)

      As opposed to just being different for the sake of being different?
      Does it really matter what order minimise/maximise/close is? I mean, can you actually give a good logical reason why the order or placement should be anywhere else? If not, then why not just keep it the way everyone else does it?

      • by psergiu (67614)

        Which "everyone else" ?
        It's different on Motif, NeXTStep/OpenStep, Win 3.x, MacOS Classic & MacOS X.
        Microsoft just copied OS/2 (and switched the buttons around)

        Let me tell you a reason: "Cascading" Windows. If you have a lot of them, if you want to select one of the windows in the middle of the stack, you're likely to push the "Close Window" [X] button. Never happens when the close window button is on the left.

        As all the displays are now Wide Screen, something like WM2 [all-day-breakfast.com], with the window controls on the s

        • by neokushan (932374)

          "Everyone else" is the majority of computer users out there, i.e. Windows. I know, it sucks but no matter what way you swing it, it does have 90%+ of the desktop market. The server market is different, but who cares for UIs on a server?

          I also disagree with your cascading windows suggestion, it doesn't make a huge difference because the "Exit" button is on the side of a window, all that really differs is which side. Plus, on today's widescreen monitors, the "gap" between the left and right side of the window

          • by gbjbaanb (229885)

            I remember when Microsoft put the close button on the windows, there was a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth as people claimed they'd always accidentally close the window instead of maximising it... and I'm sure there were, but people quickly got used to it.

            Change it to something else, there will be much wailing again, but they'll get used to it readily enough again.

            (I quite like the idea of moving the title bar to the side, but on the right hand side, as a 'handle' like the ones you get on all applianc

            • by neokushan (932374)

              That would be a bit unfortunate for left-handed people, who already have to deal with a lot of stuff designed for right-handed people (layouts, mice, default controls, etc.), but there's no reason why it couldn't be a configurable option - it's not like the program itself has to set the placement of UI items like that.

      • by Coryoth (254751) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:36AM (#38434160) Homepage Journal

        I mean, can you actually give a good logical reason why the order or placement should be anywhere else?

        Because destructive operations (like close) should be kept separated from non-destructive ones (like maximise/minimise). NeXT (and by inheritance WindowMaker) get this right. Fortunately most window managers also make it easy enough to change, which I usually do.

        • by neokushan (932374)

          Good point, I can't say I disagree with that.

        • by Tanuki64 (989726)

          Because destructive operations (like close) should be kept separated from non-destructive ones (like maximise/minimise).

          Says who? Your opinion. A valid one, but there are different ones, which also have some merit, e.g. to be able to access all controls when the windows are stacked in a way that one corner is always covered.

          • Says who? Your opinion. A valid one, but there are different ones, which also have some merit, e.g. to be able to access all controls when the windows are stacked in a way that one corner is always covered.

            Apple used to actually have human user interface engineers working on usability in a scientific way. They worked out the close-button away from the others was the least likely to cause accidental data loss.

            Your point is fair: they valued the avoidance of accidental data loss over the value of window mani

            • by Tanuki64 (989726)

              Apple used to actually have human user interface engineers working on usability in a scientific way. They worked out the close-button away from the others was the least likely to cause accidental data loss.

              I am always a bit skeptical when someone claims 'usability in a scientific way'. Apple and Microsoft have absolutely no interest in best usable software. Their primary interest is best sellable software. And this is not necessarily the same. Best sellable software focuses on new users, shallow learning c

              • Apple used to actually have real researchers, Human Interface Group, Advanced Technology Group, etc. and they did real research (which wasn't always abided by). Steve Jobs disbanded them all and announced that the product teams could always do their own research. But as you point out, that's not really the case. Jobs really just didn't want to have any people with data to override his sensibilities.

                Microsoft currently has a Research Group that is similar, except they seem even less product-focus. Googl

    • Is Windows THAT GOOD so the purpose of all those GUIs are to become a perfect copy of it ?

      Actually, it IS that good. I've always thought Windows XP managed to obtain a very nice interface that allowed efficient window, program and file management. Windows 7 just added extra stuff but still kept the basics because if it works well, why rock the boat? Linux doesn't have to be totally different in GUI - GNOME 3 and Unity should be enough evidence that trying something different for the sake of change isn't nec

    • by calibre-not-output (1736770) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:02AM (#38433768) Homepage
      Yes, it is. It's also what most people are used to, which is important for gaining a large userbase.
    • 1- Why not ? You have inside info on where god intended them to be ?
      2- Same: why not ? Ctrl is easier to find too, on the edge of the keyboard.
      3- Well, if what you're anxious about is windows control placement and shortcut key, Windows is as good as any OS. And it don't hurt to keep things familiar, changing things for the sake of changing them is pretty gratuitous. BTW, you can swap ctrl and alt via a keymap, if you're really hurting for it.

    • Is your point that they should differentiate just for the sake of differentiating? That's a terribly poor reason for doing that. If using alt instead of control for example did provide some real tangible benefits to it, then yes, it would make sense. But it doesn't: there is absolutely no benefit from just replacing control with alt in keyboard shortcuts, especially since people are already used to using control. It would be counter-intuitive and a disadvantage, not a benefit.

      The Right Reason(TM) for doing

    • by dpilot (134227)

      I'm not one to blindly copy Windows, but neither am I one to change simply for the sake of change. I've grown rather accustomed to the buttons on the title bar, and they've been pretty common through a lot of UIs, WMs, etc, and that even predates the "copy Win95 era".

      I'd like to see someone "do the OS/2 WPS UI right" some time, even though everyone seems intent on "doing Windows right." The OS/2 WPS was the one GUI that managed to attract me away from the command line more of the time than any other. I'm

      • by fnj (64210)

        Do you seriously use xterm in place of Gnome Terminal, or, better yet, konsole? Why?

    • by pmontra (738736)
      Why did Windows 95 copy the placement of the X11 window manager I was using years before MS started developing Win95 [wikipedia.org]? Actually I remember Win95 added the X button to close a window with a single click, something I thought very dangerous back then but I never made that many misclicks on it.
    • Pssst.....

      Hey....

      Ratpoison [nongnu.org] runs on linux.

      Damn facts, getting in the way of a perfectly good sanctimonious rant.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      because they're a good placement style. as opposed to osx style for example - or even beos style.

      maybe they should go osx and place the buttons at upper-left corner - to be different you know. and then in their own built in apps move those to be on top of each other. and then place another fill-screen button at the right corner?

    • by gr8_phk (621180)

      Why the heck all the Linux Window managers are copying Windows 95-XP with the placement of the window close/minimize/maximize buttons ?

      I totally agree. With the advent of wide-screen monitors the layout is all wrong. Vertical space is at a premium, so the "panel" should be to one side or the other. I have a number of ideas on how this should be laid out to make it useful. Notice that browsers have adopted "tabs" because the traditional win95 method of switching tasks sucks - or they maximize the browser be

    • by seyyah (986027)

      Why the heck all the Linux Window managers are copying Windows 95-XP with the placement of the window close/minimize/maximize buttons ?

      Razor is not a Window manager. The placement of the buttons comes from kwin or OpenBox or whatever wm you chose to use it with.

    • With KDE, even KDE-4, moving the OS widgets around and even removing the useless maximize widget, is easily accomplished in the GUI--no gconf voodoo required.

    • by jbolden (176878)

      Not all Linux window managers follow those conventions. Try window managers based on non windows environments. For example WindowMaker.

  • by neokushan (932374) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @09:56AM (#38433678)

    This might be a really stupid question, but has anyone ever ported any of these UI's (KDE, Gnome, etc.) to Windows?

    Now before you tell me off for being stupid, there would be a good reason for it - anyone that prefers *nix and has to use a windows machine (say at work) can at least get some of the familiarity by using their favourite GUI. For those of us, like myself, who have tried to switch from Windows so many times but got cold feet because everything is so unfamiliar and different, it'd be a great way to familiarise with it.

    Sure, there's a lot more to *nix than just a different UI, it's almost a different ethos, a different way of working - but every little helps.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      No, the problems with Window's UI go far deeper than which side of the title bar the close button is located. Someone familiar with UNIX who finds themselves on Windows would do best to just install Cygwin.

    • KDE is. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @10:33AM (#38434128)

      KDE is ported to Windows. Check http://windows.kde.org/ [kde.org] for the installer. It works sort of like synaptic, where you pick the applications you want and it deals with dependencies for you.

      Some things in it work better than others, and you'll have to download a lot of Qt and KDE dependencies at first. The applications generally work pretty well but aren't all feature-complete compared to their *nix counterparts (but Kate and IOslaves work! aweosme.)

      I'm not sure about the state of Plasma itself (the desktop, widgets, etc.) but it's been available for a while. I don't think Kwin is available, so it will still use the normal Windows window management (ick)

      • mod parent up, i got sidetracked reading about how to actually go about putting kde on windows and ended up posting much less info, five minutes later

      • I used LiteStep for the longest time as a shell replacement... Win7 is probably the first time I didn't even consider it. I don't recall the theme I used, but it had some really nice behaviors setup, and customizing was pretty straight forward.
  • My biggest problem is the complete lack of actual class and design and refinement with most open source projects. They are all done by techie, mostly youngish males, without any sense of design or art. I mean, a pizza cutter? Really? Seriously, this is the kind of thing that has bugged me since the early 90s with Linux and it just never gets better. With a unified vision and goal look at where OSX was able to come in relatively short order while Linux still flounders around creating 200 desktop environments

    • "sometimes chaos really does just fall short."

      Says the being, evolved via chaotic natural selection...  Clearly, your own existence proves you wrong.
      • by rAiNsT0rm (877553)

        Well, I sure as hell would hope that after 2.3+ million years Linux would finally have some great design. I guess that makes my 21+ years waiting seem minor in comparison.

      • by gbjbaanb (229885)

        you do realise the goatse man was a product of this natural selection process too.... I don't think you can hold us up as an example of perfection quite yet (not until we've achieved transcendance like today's motd says)

    • by AdamJS (2466928)

      Uh...Linux and open source projects are made up of many, many different people who are building on Project A,B,C, etc. because it reflects their own personal vision or goals or accomplishes tasks they want done.

      There is no "unified vision" because there is not and can not be a unified purpose/goal. Some DEs are for research environments, others are for standard workstations, others favor people that desire total flexibility, and some are geared towards trying to merge completely contradictory dichotomies, a

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Tuesday December 20, 2011 @11:07AM (#38434654)
    on Slackware 13.37

    it seems to run okay (fast and stable), it makes a nice lightweight desktop, it wants to use Openbox to manage applications,

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