A bit of the future

First, shocking news – Apple is going to move to x86. It’s a great news from my point of view but it’s the bad move for Apple. I don’t think they can fight long on PC market, but they can take a bit from Windows soon. If MacOS for x86 will be in reasonable price, I’ll try to convince my company to switch to PC (they’re using mostly G4) and give our people MacOS + Debian (SuSe?) as a choice.

Second. That’s what I love in KDE development. Vision. Please, don’t read it as a flame. I like Gnome guys. Much more than Gnome desktop 🙂 They’re doing great work, they’re working a lot on standards, they have great HiG, they’re speeding up things in X and so on. But Gnome desktop is still “just good”. Nothing more. It’s not something bad – many people needs good desktop and Gnome is the choice. But they live in “today”, not “tomorrow”. I’m reading Gnome blogs to find any bit of future plans and I don’t see much. They’re working on speeding things, they’re developing some nice bits of dangling boxes for next generation X server… nice, but nothing more.
And I’m reading KDE blogs. Mostly similar work – speeding things up, working on X server, developing some apps and playing with new QT. They’re also working on KDe’s biggest problem – bloat to fix it for KDE 4.0 (or even 3.5?). But there’s something more. A Vision. A plan for the future, creative ideas for new ways of managing your desktop.

As some of you know, KDE4 will not use “file manager” as you know it, it will work more like Google Desktop, moving away from tree structure of modern filesystems to something more intuitive. When you’re looking for a file, you probably don’t want “a file from a foo folder in foo2 folder somewhere in foo3 folder” right? You want the document from your bank, you probably also remember that you downloaded it yesterday. Or you’re looking for a pictures of your wife you made last month. Still nothing about directories in your mind, right?
So KDE is willing to give you a native way to work with your data. Apple is doing the same with MacOS and Longhorn is trying to invent something by themselves but after looking on Longhorn it seems that they have to wait for MacOS to copy from.
But wait! There’s much more. KDE folks are starting some projects for KDE 4 release. Those projects are organized not in a tech form like usually (HTML team, File managing team, multimedia team and so on) but on a much more abstractive level. Aaron (a Zack) just announced Plasma – Usability, Beauty, Innovation.
Usability is something that seems to be a mustbe for most KDE4 developers, Beauty is a part of KDE’s way of development. It’s not that kind of beauty that everyone loves – you can call it “candy”, “too sweet” – ok, it’s your choice, but KDE is polished, it’s beauty and it’s the only competitor for Apple design (Still, Apple is a winner for me ;)).
Innovation is something that is a bit new for Open Source. We spent last years trying to catch the level on which proprietary software is. Imho we made it now and our speed is much higher than proprietary software can ever have so on next checkpoint we will be first, it’s Open Source who will create the future, and before you will point me Apple or Google, remember that MacOSX works on Unix, and Google is developing Firefox now 😉
We are innovative in the way we develop software. We are innovative in the way we’re sharing experiences and code. We are innovative in the way we’re listening to our users. We are innovative in the way we see the future – for users, not for our finances. Now, having Gnome 2.10, KDE 3.4, Firefox, Open Office 2.0, Reiser FS4, Jabber, Blender, Apache, we no longer need to work to give our users modern tools – we already gave it. And we have an amazing amount of great developers who made all those tools in a few years. You know what? This people will now start working on things, noone ever made before. With the same, or even greater speed, creativity, devotion and – what’s really not easy to get for others – fun. KDE 4, Firefox 1.5, Gnome 3 and “Google toys” will show the direction. Not Longhorn or IE7.

Bill – can you see what’s going on?

update: kde-artists started with Kollaboration. Another project focused on experience, not on tools.

11 replies on “A bit of the future”

As usual, you’re ignorant of Gnome innovations.

Some things to catch-up for you:

* Beagle: – was started long before the KDE thing you’re discussing. It even supports Firefox. 🙂

Flash demos of Beagle are here:

And this will be part of Gnome 2.x, not 3.x (which in a way corresponds to KDE 4)

* Wanna see some innovation in window management? Luminocity, the experimental version of Gnome’s Metacity: (also there are screenshots of “dynamic’ themes for GTK, a nice and non-intrusive eye-candy). No such thing for KDE.

And Plasma? Seems like they’re copying Mac OS X Tiger’s Dashboard and planning to integrarate parts of SuperKaramba into the “official” KDE. I wouldn’t call that “innovation”.

So why do you say >>GNOME lives in “today”, not “tomorrow”

And one more thing, Apple is not going to x86. That would be just stupid. It is just said (but not even confirmed) that Apple is just considering the use of Intel processors.

These may even be PowerPC clones made by Intel (Apple has full right to license PowerPC technology).

Whoops, my frist comment has been truncated (?!)

It should end like this:

So why do you say “Gnome lives in today, not tommorow” while it’s actually in line with or even ahed of KDE? Seems that you’re just k-biased… 😉

marcoos: Beagle is exactly what I was talking about in term of future file managers – that’s what is Beagle, that’s what KDE is doing for KDE 4. As far as I know Beagle is not main file manager for Gnome yet – but I’m sure it will be.
Luminocity is what I mentioned as “dangling boxes” – nice, but nothing for end-users yet (I hope it’ll be). I like it very much, but I hardly can call it “innovative” or “yea, it will be widely adopted by users”.
What you said about Plasma – right, it’s something like this, with own ideas (not-so-MacOSX-copy). SuperKaramba is just a start for their work. I mentioned Plasma as an example of effort focused not on some technically encapsulated goal, but more abstract determinated project. It’s not going to create new file manager nor SuperKaramba example. It will not connect those two. It’s going to create a front-end part of the KDE system around file managment and system information for user. It does not matter what tools will be used, and what tools will be created. The goal is to have them working well and give user good experience. Tools are just tools, not a goals – it’s something new, different from “Team organized to create some tool” where the tool is the goal. Well, I’m still not sure if I explained my self clear, but I hope you understand me 🙂

I totally understand you. 🙂

In post number 1 (and 3 ;)) I was mainly referring to the completely unneccessary “Gnome is today, KDE is tommorow” sentence.

marcoos: Apple will switch to X86 processors

THE RUMOURED APPLE MOVE to x86 is true, the INQUIRER has gotten independent confirmation of this. Prior to publication of this, sources had told the INQ that a switch was in the works. More importantly, they also said that Apple was playing the AMD card at full force, so don’t be too surprised if a green logo shows up on some models.


We’ll see. I don’t think they’ll do it. If it happened, it would cause even more problems than the OS 9->OS X switch. All the apps would need to be at least recompiled (if not ported) for x86. This is very, very unlikely.

They may have talks with Intel, but they will not use x86. Why would they use 32-bit processors, if they’ve got a 64-bit G5? 😉

> Why would they use 32-bit processors, if they’ve got a 64-bit G5?

What about x86-64? 😉

> All the apps would need to be at least recompiled (if not ported) for x86

Regarding software compatibility, I won’t be surprised if Apple re-introduces “fat binaries”, like NeXTSTEP had. These are binaries that run on both PPC and x86. Of course, lots of third party software will have to be recompiled, but at least it won’t be necessary to be re-written or heavily modified as it was in the switch from 68k to PPC in 1993 or from OS9 to OSX in 2001. In other words, the move to x86-64 could be really smooth for users! Emulation does not make much sense as emulating the PPC in “OS-mode” like Apple did with 68k inside PPC is complex and it would be slow. As for PPC user support, I am sure that Apple would be able to support PPC users for at least 4-5 more years, as they did with 68k support.


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