Desktop FreeBSD

Johnson David DavidJohnson at Siemens.com
Mon Mar 8 12:18:49 PST 2004


On Monday 08 March 2004 03:38 am, Joao Schim wrote:

> I'd say you need to concentrate on a desktop environment when you
> want more userbase. Kick out crashy KDE and must-be-1337 gnome and
> create a decent environment created around the user instead of around
> technology. I really doubt the gnome or kde guys ever heard of
> usability. I'm not saying windows is all that, definitely not, but
> kde/gnome are just a nightmare for not-so-technical users.

If you take a close look, both Windows and OSX are created around 
"technology." For example, ActiveX, .NET, Quartz, etc. Take those away 
and you lose a lot of usability. The biggest usability jump KDE ever 
had was the introduction of the kioslave and kparts technologies. It 
would be a mere window manager with panel without them.

> Besides that i can't really imagine why anybody would still believe
> that the 'windows method' of seeing files as icons and such are the
> way to go. After all those years there must have been a better method
> developed.

I'm sure that there's a better method out there, just as I'm sure 
there's a better method than the automotive interface of steering 
wheel, accelerator and brake. But the market has decided. Like it or 
not, we're stuck with control pedals underneath the steering wheel.

Icons and windows are merely the "primitives" of the interface. What you 
build with these primitives makes all the difference between a good 
desktop and a bad desktop. For a good example, compare OS/2 Warp with 
Windows 95. OS issues aside, the desktop for OS/2 was much better than 
the Windows desktop, even though superficially they looked the same.

> Lets just take that and put it in a new BSD licensed desktop
> environment. Or atleast build a solid API for UI calls system wide.

I would live a BSD licensed desktop. But it's so much work that even if 
we went at it gangbusters starting today, we wouldn't have anything 
comparable to KDE or GNOME for at least five years. But since I've done 
quite a bit of X11, Qt and desktop programming, if you're willing to 
head up the effort, I'll gladly lend a hand.

David


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