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Linus Torvalds Tries KDE, Likes It So Far 289

sfcrazy writes "Linus Torvalds has never been a big fan of Gnome owing [to] its extreme simplicity. Even Gnome 3.x failed to impress the father of the Linux kernel. He has now given KDE a try after a long time. Linus using your software is double edged sword, especially if Linus doesn't like it — get ready for the harshest, yet the most honest and useful criticism. Interestingly, Linus has so far liked KDE, and for one simple reason: 'But ah, the ability to configure things. And I have wobbly windows again.' This should make KDE developers a bit happier." Evidently, Linus didn't get the message that desktop UIs for Linux don't matter any more, since he keeps acting like they do.
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Linus Torvalds Tries KDE, Likes It So Far

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  • I agree with Linus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @10:35AM (#41864301)
    All the desktop UI need to start focusing on what users need, not flashy features that aren't really useful.
  • by Bananatree3 ( 872975 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @10:39AM (#41864333)
    Come on Slashdot...this is NOT News For's news about one nerd's semi random postings. Leave the poor man alone to his own random thoughts...Please!
  • by fat_mike ( 71855 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @10:56AM (#41864431)

    Evidently, Linus didn't get the message that desktop UIs for Linux don't matter any more, since he keeps acting like they do.

    How far and fast this site has fallen that they mock their creator

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @11:04AM (#41864469)

    You're missing the point. This is important because Linus is expressing an idea that millions of other Linux users are thinking. Unlike him, they don't have a large audience, so their thoughts mostly go unnoticed. But these thoughts nevertheless have a huge impact on the entire Open Source ecosystem.

    More and more people are realizing that GNOME is on its way out. Alternate desktops, like KDE and XFCE, are clearly the sensible way to go these days. Unlike GNOME, they don't treat their users like rubbish. They provide an enjoyable experience, without stupid UI shenanigans. Linus has come to realize this, as have millions of other Linux users.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @11:06AM (#41864483)

    It would absolutely matter. Look at what happened with FreeBSD over the past ten years; it went from being the backbone of the internet (Juniper, Yahoo, Hotmail, Netcraft all used it) to a has-been operating system that can't even properly suspend/hibernate and doesn't support video cards newer than 2007. What was the culprit? Apple bought out the development team, either through direct-hires, or by graciously dropping MacBook Pros their way. The result: a core OS development team that primarily interfaces with their end-product via Virtual Machine inside of OSX.

    The end result is that nobody developing for FreeBSD actually uses FreeBSD anymore, at least, not for anything more than a hobby project. Thus we are on year six of suspend/resume not working in a multiprocessor environment. We are on year five of not being able to use a new video card (seriously, AMD and Intel are stuck on old versions that don't support KMS -- the only new video card you can use is nVidia and that's because they develop the binary blob themselves). The OS still doesn't support auto-mounting of USB devices, and relies on the deprecated HAL system for deskcop systems.

    Back to this article, it is very important that Linus, as the head of the Linux development team continues to use his own product. Otherwise, the OS may as well be dead in the water. That KDE is able to rejuvenate his joy of using the OS on the desktop is huge, because it keeps the project moving forward. I remember two years ago, there was a problem with Flash player and Pulseaudio causing audio lag on Fedora. Linus himself, as an end-user, responded to the bug, and issued a patch within a day. I don't always agree him, but I absolutely respect that he puts his money where his mouth is.

  • by Bananatree3 ( 872975 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @11:07AM (#41864487)
    Gnome vs the World aside, Slashdot is giving Linus way more tabloid coverage than is newsworthy. Remember the "gasp! Bad words" article about Linus' G+ post? I feel like I'm reading about Kim Kardashian's favorite dildo brand.
  • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @11:22AM (#41864577) Homepage
    If defaults were sane then it wouldnt be as important, but they NEVER are. I care very little about eye-candy (though it's nice to at least be able to change it to something that isnt distracting) but behaviour (focus models, keyboard shortcuts, virtual desktops and accessible controls for the things I often use) is very important.
  • KDE looks like ass (Score:4, Insightful)

    by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @11:29AM (#41864623)

    I like the functionality of KDE, and I like the configurability, but it looks terrible. Nothing quite "fits". All the buttons look like they aren't placed/sized *quite* correctly, and the button labels look like they are just a *little* off-center.

    Basically, all of the window decorations/elements aren't sized right. Still. That is apparently the "KDE look", but I can't stand it. And yes, I've tried to tweak it to my liking, but it's impossible.

    By contrast, Gnome and Unity are very well put together. They look nice and clean.

  • by rubycodez ( 864176 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @11:39AM (#41864687)

    more accurate to say he liked the ability to configure every little thing, but has many gripes too about overall look & feel and defaults

    I'd say his post overall is why many people still go to things like xfce4, mate, cinnamon, LXDE, etc.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @11:50AM (#41864753) Homepage

    Actually, it's more that developers can't stop futzing around with it. Unlike many things were you can run a benchmark, how people like to organize things is largely a matter of habit. For example I like the "Windows" style of single-click to select, double-click to open/launch. It drives me nuts if I have to work on a single-click to open/launch system because I keep doing lots of things I didn't mean to do. It's one of those "I don't care if DVORAK is in theory 1% better than QWERTY, give me what I'm used to" situations. It drives me crazy every time someone wants to reinvent the start menu or file dialog or whatever, the old one worked just fine. Maybe it's 50% old fart who won't try anything new, but it's also 50% don't break what works perfectly good enough.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @12:20PM (#41864993)

    Dear KDE developers, please learn the lesson from Unity and Gnome 3 (and Windows 8). You will win, and win big, if you don't screw up. Keep your desktop environment the same and let people use it to get their work done. Don't change paradigms or get user interface designers involved. Just provide what you're already providing without radical changes. People are migrating off of these broken, unusable environments en masse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @01:35PM (#41865599)

    I think what KDE has really done right is branch their various paradigms into separate, connected projects. There's KDE's regular desktop environment and there is the Active environment and.... What's the other one? Netbook? Anyway, they realize different devices require different approaches and have kept each sub-project separate, but using the same stable base. I think that is really a good way to go. GNOME, Unity and Win8 are all trying to make every device use the same interface and the result is a watered down desktop that works okay in most places, but doesn't excel anywhere.

  • by MSG ( 12810 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @01:35PM (#41865605)

    GNOME Shell is universally hated.

    No, it isn't. I have a number of non-tech friends (and my mom) who use Fedora with GNOME Shell. I use Fedora with GNOME Shell. I know a fairly large number of GNU/Linux users, and very few of them actually hate GNOME Shell. Not none, but few. For my part, I think notifications aren't very good, but otherwise the system does what it's supposed to. It stays out of my way. It isn't distracting and it uses minimal screen space. I like those things quite a lot.

  • by maztuhblastah ( 745586 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:06PM (#41865885) Journal

    That was a neat troll! You did a very good job with the BSD is dying, even throwing in references to Netcraft for confirmation.

    But I figured that -- you know, since people might otherwise make the mistake of believing you -- that we should clear up a few things:

    1) FreeBSD is less widely used in some areas now not because it sucks more, but because Linux sucks less. Linux getting better is a good thing for all of us (BSD and Linux users alike.) And FreeBSD has never (AFAIK) been about a mad dash to get as much marketshare as possible -- so who cares how many machines it's installed on?

    2) FreeBSD is workstation/server oriented. Suspend/hibernate support isn't crucial for these machines. Sorry. It's just not a high priority. FreeBSD doesn't prioritize supporting laptops, and AFAIK and as far as I've been using it (10+ years) never has. OSs have their specialties: FreeBSD is good on things like a high-end file server, Linux is a better choice for laptops. That's all there is to it, mate.

    3) Interesting theory about Apple. They must be stingy though: I, and others, are still waiting for my MacBook! Perhaps we should e-mail Tim! What you were referencing is that Apple did exactly the sort of thing that RedHat's done: hired developers of a project to improve the aspects of the project that are important to them. Most of Apple's contributions have even made it back into the OSS world, despite the BSD license not forcing them to. (Take a look at Grand Central Dispatch sometime.)

    4) We in the FreeBSD world don't see binary blobs as the great Satan that must be destroyed. Sorry. In fact, part of the reason that we spend so much time providing stable interfaces and working on backwards compatibility is it makes it less like that we'll alienate companies that might otherwise help us. NVIDIA's a good example. So they don't provide an open source driver. And? So what? They ship drivers that work, and they support new hardware very quickly.

    5) HAL was deprecated in the Linux world because udev, DeviceKit, etc. looked sexier. FreeBSD uses HAL because it works, is well-documented, well-tested, and now well-understood. Sorry that we haven't adopted the API flavor-of-the-week, but the game's not always played that way.

    I'm pleased that you like Linux. By all means, use it. Diversity is good. I'll continue to make sure that the software I write is portable to both the BSDs and Linux. But please don't try to spread FUD about other OSs, no matter how satisfying it may be to build yourself up by knocking others down.

  • by IcyHando'Death ( 239387 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @02:09PM (#41865919)
    Yes, Linus has played an important role in the ascendency of Linux over FreeBSD, but I think the GPL ought to get even more credit. Stallman is and always has been right about the BSD license []. Apple is just one of many companies who have shown how easily a thriving BSD software project can essentially be taken private. Just take your wad of cash and buy out the core developers. Set them to work on your proprietary, extended version with all the security bug fixes, the slick new UI and the closed-source installer. Then get your SEO guys going and soon Google won't even be able to find the so-called "free" version. In three years, anybody who can find the BSD licensed version won't dare to use it anyway because it's so far out of date. RIP "free" version.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2012 @03:28PM (#41866679)

    Alternate desktops, like KDE and XFCE...

    Statements like this make me choke. Lumping KDE in with XFCE and other weird-ass window managers just isn't right. If anything, Gnome belongs in the "miscellaneous desktop options" collection...

  • by YukariHirai ( 2674609 ) on Saturday November 03, 2012 @06:56PM (#41868261)

    i havent used/tried KDE in over a decade, mostly because all its apps are tied to kde base packages; which is/was hundreds of extra Mb more than should be needed.

    In an age where the smallest hard drives you can get new are hundreds of gigabytes and even the smallest SSDs you can get new are dozens of gigabytes, what's a few hundred megabytes?

This universe shipped by weight, not by volume. Some expansion of the contents may have occurred during shipment.