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VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

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Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

A few years ago I went through the effort of converting all my users from VUE to CDE. It wasn't exactly fun. Now it seems that HP is heading toward Gnome (see Alex's comments in http://forums.itrc.hp.com/cm/QuestionAnswer/1,,0x720a543254bfd611abdb0090277a778c,00.html , among other indications).

My question then, is why? Is Gnome more common that the Common Desktop Environment? That was supposed to be "THE" ultimately portable desktop that would solve all of everyone's problems including hair loss and sexual dysfunction. What's next after Gnome? Should I even bother with this conversion or just wait for the next one?

Does anyone have a good reason why HP is heading for Gnome or are they just trying to create more busy work for us? I suspect that HP is trying to cut costs by outsourcing the development of their desktop software without regard to the effect on customers.

Thanks for sharing my rant, I feel much better now.

Pete

Pete
9 REPLIES
harry d brown jr
Honored Contributor

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

Maybe someone at HP liked "The Full Monty" and found the gnome smashingly fun?

If you keep everyone migrating from one thing to the next then you just further tie them into your product :-))

Where the hell is that AIX box?

live free or die
harry
Live Free or Die
Jeff Schussele
Honored Contributor

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

Hi Pete,

Not sure exactly why they may seem to be heading that way, but would speculate that it might involve the Tru64/HP-UX merge.

One caveat I would point out is that it seems Gnome has major issues with PAM modules. I've heard several horror stories.....

Rgds,
Jeff
PERSEVERANCE -- Remember, whatever does not kill you only makes you stronger!
Steve Steel
Honored Contributor

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

Hi

I love CDE but as the microsoft license situation costs more and linux improves there
is no doubt that linux will be big in many companies as a PC OS.

Give gnome on the HP-UX box and you can offer
users the comfort of a transparent front end.
Ease of use.

Gnome is not yet perfect but if you have a test box is woth starting with now.

A big yes for gnome is that you can choose a CDE session at the login screen so the effort involved in moving from VUE is gone.

The ultimate aim is user comfort and since gnome does not stop people who prefer cde
I would start looking at it now.

Steve Steel
If you want truly to understand something, try to change it. (Kurt Lewin)
Shannon Petry
Honored Contributor

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

Well, there are several reasons "WHY", and for the most part I think pretty good ones.
1. Development
Gnome is under constant development. When is the last time that CDE has developed anything new? updated any of it's shortcomings? etc...
CDE is NOT an HP product, but a consortium. This consortium originally was intended to unify UNIX systems with a common desktop, and be developed to make Unix more competative with PC's, and more user friendly. Well, 1out of 3 aint too good.

2. Shortfalls in CDE

CDE does not, nor can it support dynamic viewing, where Gnome can. This means when the window manager starts up in CDE, if your in 8bit color you can not change to 24bit color. Bad implementation in CDE which has not been changed. In Gnome, it is like windows and you can switch color modes on the fly. There is no easy way to make file associations as originally intended, application integration is difficult, CDE requires knowledge of it's cryptic scripting to configure while Gnome uses flat XML, and on and on...

3. Cost
CDE cost's alot of money for HP, IBM, Sun, Linux(yup you can get it), Irix, etc... For each seat the consortium gets money. Allegedly these license fees are for development purposes. Gnome is developed under the GPL licensing scheme.

Should you convert to gnome?
I guess the way to answer this is to ask whether or not your users want to have a better desktop, and if you want a bit of easier management of the desktop. And do you want a desktop that looks and feels more like M$? While my opinion says KDE is better than gnome I have not seen gnome 2.0, but will gladly upgrade to keep users happy. As it is now I have many users who want PC's even though performance hits the floor just because of the interface.


Regards,
Shannon
Microsoft. When do you want a virus today?
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

Hi All,

Harry: right on.
Jeff: this predates the merger - HP was rubbing elbows with Ximian last year at HPWorld.
Steve: I'm kind of fond of CDE, too.
Shannon: "Do you want my users to have a better desktop?" No, if I could I'd launch them directly into the application and not even give them a desktop to screw up. "do you want a desktop that looks and feels more like M$?"
Absolutely not. M$ is a curse word around here. HP totally screwed up the OBII GUI to make it M$-like.

Still ranting,
Pete

Pete
Alex Glennie
Honored Contributor

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

I'm all for new problems ... keeps me in a job ;)

However I prefer gnome to CDE now I have my hands on a reasonably stable version of 1.4.

Version 2.0 should be even better.
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

Alex,

New problems: yes!
Busy work: no!!!!!

Pete

Pete
Shannon Petry
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

Pete,

As for the desktop I think we have to look at the majority. Of the 200 workstations(not counting the servers) I work with, less than 10 are single purpose seats. Others run 3-4 cad/cam applications, adobe frame-maker and netscape, etc... If I had all systems running 1 application I would agree with you 100%, I just dont think that is common.

I dislike M$ too, and never tell anyone it's a good idea to go that route. The M$ concept of a user friendly desktop however is so common place, that it's getting to be an expectation.

I aint fond ot the OB 4 GUI myself and am still running 3.5 because of it! ;)

Last thought is that Sun has dumped a ton of cash into developing CDE to it's fullest. HP, IBM, and most importantly CDE have not.

IMHO the CDE consortium failed all of the UNIX players from the first year. If they would have done as they said and put work into CDE then they would not be loosing the desktop market, and you would have never had to post a question about Gnome!

The Gnome GPL scheme will help ensure that gnome is developed, even if HP dont feel like spending money on it! It will also free up money at the Unix houses because they dont have to Pay for CDE, just ensure that GPL'd code works as intended on their platform.

Regards,
Shannon
Microsoft. When do you want a virus today?
Pete Randall
Outstanding Contributor

Re: VUE/CDE/Gnome/?

Shannon,

I'm with you 99%. The only exception would have to be your description of the M$ concept of a user friendly desktop. If that's friendly, I'd rather hang out with my enemies.

You actually offer valid reasons why CDE didn't work out. I'm just hoping that HP doesn't dump Gnome as quickly.

Pete

Pete