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It looks like Novell execs are still out of touch with their userbase (Hell, look at how long before they realized Netware was dead. It took them almost 10 years until they realize Netware had no future).
I came across this thread ( http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl...id=223&tid=106 ) on Slashdot and read the article. I immediately sent Novell an email indicating my disappointment in their current KDE policy. I strongly suspect that it is Qt/KDE licensing which is causing this move, but Novell has the resources to either "encourage" Trolltech to improve their licensing and make commercial app development more affordable ($1,900 / seat is FAR more expensive than it costs to develop Microsoft-centric apps!) so I suggested they do that in an email.
See, it was SuSE 9.1 that caused me to finally switch back to Linux, with the core reason being that SuSE is the one distribution I've seen which is both KDE-centric and Just Works™. I wouldn't dream of pushing the Gnome Desktop (which I used to love but now abhor) and I certainly would not force my developers to code for Gtk, which is outright hostile to developers relative to Qt/KDE.
Here is the text of my email to Novell:
Warning: this email is very blunt and to the point. While I do not intend to
be offensive on a personal level, I am disgusted by a recent Novell decision,
which I strongly believe is a blunder. Please read and forward on to product
line decision makers, and again, please do not take offense as I do not mean
for this to be taken personally by any one individual.
I've been running SuSE linux since 9.0 - evaluating it for 9.0 and 9.1 (I
finally bought it once bugs in 9.1 were fixed), bought 9.3 and now 10.0.
Although 10.0 is a bit buggy (Evolution should not have shipped as-is,
KDE-base does not handle KIO-Slave desktop URLs properly) it is a damn fine
distribution - perhaps the best. KDE provides excellent desktop
integration, and oh by the way, Gnome is there too, if I want to run an ugly
desktop which lacks integration and whose functionality reminds me of Windows
3.1+Norton Desktop. SuSE Linux 9.1 was the first distribution I've tried
which requires only minimal work to get to the point where I can get my users
going on REAL work, and Suse 10, aside from Evolution and kio-slave issues,
is even better in that regard. In short, SuSE Linux is the first distribution
I've tried since 1992/1993 which can be put in front of normal users and be
used with minimal to no assistance, much like Windows or MacOS can.
I've evaluated Novell Linux (your other distro) and I *HATE* it because in a
development environment with mixed Windows and Linux boxes, Gnome desktop, to
be blunt, SUCKS. I hate Novell Linux because it practically forces Gnome on
you (Yes, I realize I can install KDE and kwin on any distro, but come
on. . . ).
This evening I read on slashdot.org that Novell has recently decided to dump
KDE in favor of Gnome Desktop. I am very disappointed, because KDE provides
the one real chance that any Linux distribution has to take on the Microsoft
Windows family of operating systems, due to tight integration applications,
and going beyond that integration by offering DCOP and kio-slave, besting
Windows at its own game. Not only that, but KDevelop and Qt provide a rich
environment and from what I've been reading on mailing lists, it looks like
the KDevelop teams intend to take on Visual Studio by turning KDevelop into a
Because Novell is dumping KDE, it looks like in the future I will have to
install KDE by hand - a disappointing outlook. Due to that issue, I will be
reevaluating Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) again, and will likely be migrating
away from Novell products to Mandriva if indeed Novell dumps KDE from SuSE
Now, if the issue at hand is KDE licensing: Novell has cash on hand; buy
Trolltech (they're puny compared to other companies and technologies Novell
has recently acquired) and change the licensing - or help to fund Qt/KDE
development efforts and "encourage" Trolltech to change their licensing. I
understand that in a 100% "free" environment KDE and Qt introduce no
licensing problems, and yes, I realize that if you do include some
binary-only KDE or Qt apps you run into licensing headaches, but I'm sure
that Novell has the resources and wherewithall to work with Trolltech to
address those changes and make licensing reasonable.
Please reconsider your policy: KEEP KDE as your primary desktop in SuSE Linux.
Make it an easy choice to use KDE in Novell Linux. Lastly, develop your
utilities and applications using Qt/KDE because QT is much less hostile to
developers than Gtk is. Using Gtk today rather than Qt/KDE is akin to using
the Windows SDK of yesteryear rather than COM or the .NET framework.
Again, please reconsider your KDE policy as it was specifically a working
Linux distribution with KDE which finally made me take the plunge and switch
back to Linux after having dumped Linux for Windows back in 1997 (1992/1993
through 1997 I ran Linux from the original 7-floppy distro (unnamed?), then
Slackware, then RedHat, then Caldera (yes, Caldera/SCO is now evil, let's
overlook that)) then when I had to do real work I dumped Linux for Windows in
1998. I have recently dumped Windows for Linux on several workstations and
servers personally and at my company, and was looking forward to many SuSE
releases for many years to come, but unfortuately due to your KDE policy I
will be forced to reverse that decision.
It is also worth noting that we sell computers and have been in the process of
evaluating SuSE 10 compatibility on both desktops and notebooks and have been
"encouraging" two distributors of ours to supply SuSE Linux to us so we can
sell Novell(SuSE)-powered computers. Sadly, if you go with Gnome Desktop, we
will not be selling Novell-powered computers because we believe the Gnome
desktop is outright hostile toward typical users (read: non-geeks).
I am of the (strong) opinion that KDE/kwin is far more friendly for end users who are coming from Windows, and for experienced Linux users who just want to get work done rather than tinker. I still occasionally run the Gnome Desktop Environment just to tinker in the rare occasion that I have some free time to do such things, but for an every day environment, I absolutely hate it. I really abhor it. If KDE hadn't matured so much recently I'd probably be running Gnome Desktop again, like I used to (that is, IF I had switched back to Linux last year) but when I sit down at a customer's Fedora box, I just cringe at the lack of integration, the fugly controls, and cringe at everything else about Gtk. I am by no means a KDE zealot - if something better comes along I'll happily dump KDE/kwin in favor of that, but for now at least I think KDE is the Linux desktop's best chance to compete with the Microsoft Windows monopoly. On every machine I configure the Gtk/Qt libraries so that Gtk apps take on the KDE environment's look and feel.
I really believe the issue at hand is Trolltech's obscene licensing - last week (Thursday I think, by sheer coincidence) I was looking into Qt licensing costs because I have a couple of products in mind I'd love to produce and make cross-platform, and the licensing cost shocked me. Then I came across this new Novell policy and I thought that it has GOT to be Trolltech's greedy licensing fees which are hindering widespread KDE application development. The solution Novell should take is not to dump KDE, which really is the reason for SuSE's success and rapid growth, but to encourage, force, or simply buy out Trolltech to make their licensing structure more attractive to commercial developers' adopting Qt/KDE.
Qt, thanks to KDevelop and countless volunteers who contributed to KDE, is much more developer-friendly and results in much more rapid application development, not to mention easier debugging. It's a better choice for development, especially when their is room for both open-source and commercial applications in the Linux world.
If you care at all about Novell's policy, please take the time to drop them an email asking them to keep KDE in SuSE, as the primary environment.
i'd say my take on why novell dumped it is more that they're just doing what redhat already does... their more likely to take some of their enterprise share from being very similar but 5% better than not being that close aesthetically. Obviously any long term admin isn't gonna touch X, but it's getting more capable and acceptable to use i'd say.
I've personally found gtk a great toolkit to code with, but i'll freely admit i've never even wanted to look at Qt's api's, so that's my loss, not theirs.
But at the end of the day, i think many people would resent you using them as part of the userbase you state you are highly representative of.
Yeah that was mentioned in other threads - it's excellent use er, news.
Most administration tasks are best done via CLI but the big money really is in the desktop and licensing, not on a handful of servers. Any site where they need a massive server farm (e.g., Akamai, Google, etc.) is going to roll their own distribution either by stripping down slackware or building it up totally from scratch - everyone else is going to just pick distribution foo and elect not to install X, or at most install it but make runlevel 3 the default init script.
Aside from groupware licensing and support, there isn't much money to be made on Server OS sales. Add-ons like Oracle, slick MySQL or PostgreSQL front ends, and other server apps, sure, those can bring in some big money (last job I had before self employment the server app sold for anywhere from $250K to $2.7mil) but for the most part the OS itself is going to offer slim to no profits. Support will net some, but really, the desktop is where it's at, even if the cost per seat is lower - thanks to the economy of scale. Microsoft didn't get rich off of Windows server editions - they got where they are before NT even existed, thanks to the desktop and bundling deals. They only got into server products when they realized that while there are only a handful of servers at most companies, by offering a complete solution (desktop AND server) they can capture even more of the market and end up with customers being locked into the vendor (Microsoft) thanks to legacy data amd infrastructure. I'm having a heck of a time dumping Microsoft Exchange due to exactly that reason - How can I migrate all of our data from the Microsoft Information Store into an open source (or proprietary) Linux solution?
Now to get away from the tangent: I'm all for dumping KDE from server editions of Novell Linux - but where SuSE Enterprise Linux is marketed for both servers and workstations, dumping KDE would have been a huge, huge mistake. It's been my experience that sitting users down in front of KDE will have them working right away with NO training, but sitting them down in front of Gnome will have them grinding and gnashing their teeth because it is too different from the MacDows(tm) experience they're used to.
For another look at this exact same subject, and more articles with more up to date info, including the fact they aren't "dumping" anything, just changing the default and only on SLES versions of SuSE...see this thread.