[lug] Re: recycling code [WAS Fwd: NICHOLAS PETRELEY: "The Open Source" ]

D. Stimits stimits at idcomm.com
Thu Mar 22 15:37:23 MST 2001

"Holshouser, David" wrote:
> I want to change angle just a tad on this, back toward the entry point.
> The biggest thing that gets me, and part of the starting point for this
> whole thread, is that Gnome and Gnome apps are VERY immature.
> I would like to extend this to KDE. I personally feel the KDE apps
> are still very immature compared to (I know I may get tracked down
> and physically burnt for this but I must) the MS GUI (not the kernel, not
> necessarily the object model, definitely not the code, just the MS window
> manager) and the apps written for windows.

I think the big reason why MS GUI can be so well developed is related to
the COM model being integrated into almost everything. Gnome tries to do
this to some extent with the ORB, but it takes extra effort to make it
comply, whereas it is just about default when writing apps in windows,
at least for some basics like copy and paste of text. I guess KDE has
some mechanism also, though I'm not sure what it is, that helps apps
communicate with each other; I doubt that is available by default
whenever using Qt widgets. Even in the cases where apps are written that
work with such mechanisms, all kinds of other apps and widget sets have
no support for the gnome ORB or whatever it is KDE uses for aid of
interapplication communications. Unfortunately on the MS side, I
consider COM to be a good idea but poorly implemented, causing security
and other weaknesses (often resulting in the famous blue screen of
death). Now if someone were to take the more popular widget sets, and
create a common mechanism to deal with interapplication communications
*by default*, things would change quickly. And by interapplication
communications, I don't mean pipes, message queues, semaphores, sockets,
or any API that requires significant work to other applications, but
instead something that the underlying broker understands and is able to
convert without applications themselves having knowledge...it would be
part of the widget set itself. COM tends to do this well (although it
breaks too often for me).

> The time and effort spent on creating slightly varied copies of apps.
> The time spent on rewritting the whole app, comes in to play on this.
> People are spending so much time getting their own ideas to print that
> the overall output of apps is broad but shallow. Again, we are talking
> about the GUI, not the kernel, not the development process. I'm just
> saying that I have 200 mail readers to choose from that are all in version
> 0.9 states. It hurts and drives [(boss)|(parents)|(kids)|(joe sixpack)] away
> because of (get this) a perceived lack a stability in Linux.
> > Where KDE has features and integration, and is rapidly approaching
> > "ready for prime time" status, I see Gnome foundering.  Why?  App bloat.
> > Everyone and his borther is putting out apps, and designs...  But they
> > aren't
> > getting finished.  Scratching an itch, writing a Gnome mailer in Perl
> > because
> > of the hack value, this is all good and well...  But the 'user
> > friendliness'
> > of Gnome has suffered -- I find apps that are somewhat unstable (I
> > averaged a
> > crash with Balsa about 3 times a day.  Not catastrophic, no data loss,
> > just
> > forcing me to reload the app), don't have massive chunks of functionality
> > (the multiple personality thing still isn't in the massively released
> > code,
> > and the KDE functionality works better), and just seems somewhat
> > 'unpolished'.
> >
> >
> >
> > The Gnome UI still feels 'kludgy', and has some rendering glitches.  It's
> > still a major "developmer's platform".  This isn't a bad thing, because
> > the
> > people who use it will fix bugs that annoy them. Gnome doesn't feel like
> > it's
> > progressing as fast as KDE did in the same stage.  There's lots of apps
> > still
> > in the 0.x stage in the code...  And Gnome is trying to push v2.0 out the
> > door.  The backend framework is there, but the USABLE apps that
> > [(boss)|(parents)|(kids)|(joe sixpack)] can use JUST ISN'T there.
> > Admittedly, with KDE, the entry barrier that you encounter with Unix
> > (multi-user over single, different concepts, etc) is still there...  But
> > still, I find KDE much easier to use and more friendly, especially when
> > looking at it more from a novice perspective.
> >
> >
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