Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Vive La Desktop Difference!

Filed under

The Free Agent e-mail box fills each month with notes from people who are brand new to Linux. It is great to hear from so many people who are trying out Free Software for the first time, but sometimes the mail is predictable.

For instance, this has appeared in my inbox dozens of times: "Should I use KDE or Gnome?" Oh, how I have grown weary of this question. (It's a perennial favorite on newsgroups and forums, too.) Not that it's stupid at all--it's actually a natural question for a user arriving from the land of commercial operating systems, where you don't have this sort of choice. "What? You mean I have two interfaces to choose from?" Yeah, something like that. (I'll not confuse anyone with lesser-known alternatives at the moment.)

So, KDE or Gnome? Not a stupid question--but in my mind, kind of a silly one. Car/computer analogies always hold up well, so let's try one here: If you, dear reader, wrote in asking whether I think you should drive a Mini Cooper or a Hummer, how should I respond? My best bet is to offer no opinion. I know nothing of your preferences or your needs. Either vehicle will get you where you want to go. The difference will be in the experience of getting there. It's the same deal with KDE and Gnome.

Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, recently raised a stir on a public mailing list with some inflammatory comments about the Gnome desktop. He wrote, in part: "This 'users are idiots, and are confused by functionality' mentality of Gnome is a disease. If you think your users are idiots, only idiots will use it. I don't use Gnome, because in striving to be simple, it has long since reached the point where it simply doesn't do what I need it to do. Please, just tell people to use KDE."

This is a classic straw-man argument. I've met more than a few Gnome developers, and I watch their online discussions unfold all the time; I'm here to tell you that they don't believe that "users are idiots, and are confused by functionality." But it sure makes them sound misguided when you frame things that way, doesn't it?

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

When Your Linux Servers Get Audited

If your Unix/Linux servers are to be involved in an ISO 27001 audit, there are a lot of things you should be doing ahead of time to ensure that they won't end up generating findings. While there are many things you can do to secure the systems you manage, the key to getting a Unix system to pass an ISO 27001 audit is knowing what the auditors are likely to ask and what they will need to see. Read more

Why Ubuntu plans to replace traditional Linux packages with something better

Ubuntu is about to undergo a dramatic overhaul. No, I don’t mean the huge shift to a converged Unity 8 desktop with the Mir display server, although that’s also coming. Ubuntu is going to move past Deb packages and apt-get in favor of Snappy, which is currently used for cloud images. Canonical’s Ubuntu isn’t the only project looking to replace Linux packages with something better. The GNOME project is working on a sandboxed, cross-distribution application package framework. Read more


So what is Pinos? One of the original goals of Pinos was to provide the same level of advanced hardware handling for Video that PulseAudio provides for Audio. For those of you who has been around for a while you might remember how you once upon a time could only have one application using the sound card at the same time until PulseAudio properly fixed that. Well Pinos will allow you to share your video camera between multiple applications and also provide an easy to use API to do so. Read more

Razer’s open source virtual reality project now supports Android devices

Razer’s open source virtual reality project will support Android, which opens up the future of this mind-altering world to multiple devices. Read more