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Great News for Qt and KDE ..and a bit of Red Hat!

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Digia announces

“the plans to acquire the Qt technology from Nokia. This transaction secures Qt’s future as the leading cross-platform development framework. It also brings over a part of the Qt team previously at Nokia who, together with the Digia Qt R&D team, will be able to keep developing Qt further.”

And the good news continue as Digia seems to care also about KDE and not just Qt. Some parts of this announcement prove it.

“We want to continue the symbiosis with the KDE community and the KDE Free Qt Foundation.”

“The KDE community is a key driver and contributor to Qt and we therefore would like to further develop our relationship with you, via an even stronger dialogue and cooperation in the future.”

“We look forward to working with KDE in order to further strengthen and extend Qt’s global reach.”

Who is Digia

Digia Plc is an large company (with nearly 1,200 employees, operates in Asia, Europe and America with offices in Finland, China, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the USA) that runs a variety of activities and just one of them is developing and selling Qt Applications by taking advantage of Qt dual licensing and cross platform capabilities.

After the shut down of the open source Qt department of Nokia the future of Qt feels again safe but more importantly the KDE developers and KDE community are getting again excited to continue their work and push further the KDE ecosystem.

I wouldn’t had mentioned the above because almost every blog post it, if I hadn’t try Rebecca. So I basically used it like an intro. It was a KDE double doze for me!

Rebecca Black and KDE

Rebecca is an Ubuntu with KDE (aka Kubuntu) spin that comes with Wayland/Weston (the new display server protocol that promises to change Linux Desktop future once and for all) pre-installed and I tried it, to test the compatibility Wayland/GTK/Clutter. Of course you can install Weston in any Distro, but in Rebecca is ready, so it saves you time.

When you’re starting Rebecca, it asks you if you want to use Wayland or Xorg (Xorg isn’t working anyway, but that’s normal :) ) and of course  I picked Wayland. To be honest I don’t think that was Wayland but I didn’t even check. I was just stayed thrilled with what I saw!

This is the first screen of Rebecca OS. KDE 4.8 or 4.9 I don’t know and it doesn’t really matter. KDE rocks, is the best traditional / modern Desktop ever made. I was so excited with what I saw, that I was wondering, “Why the nostalgic guys of Gnome2 don’t just try KDE?”. Further more I really doubt that if Gnome had kept the classical concept of Gnome2, could be able to compete this astonishing KDE.

You want a Extra Pane, well here it is! Of course KDE is much more than an Extra Pane. It has a plethora of innovating features but I won’t discuss these, actually I wasn’t caring at all for them. What I want to emphasize is the SUPER AMAZING SMOOTH animations, transitions and transparencies that they seem like coming from the future. And all these inside a Vbox!

The impressive System Settings of KDE! You probably can change even the color of your shoelaces and make them a bit transparent but.. but this is actually and the problem with KDE. KDE has options for everything and sub-options for the parent options. Alright, someone could say, just don’t mess up with them. But isn’t only about the options. KDE looks like an aeroplane cockpit or more correctly with a spacecraft cockpit with buttons and features everywhere. You just can’t ignore them, you just can’t avoid them, there all are front of you!

While the actual visual design of KDE is more than impressive, the design workflow lacks behind. I couldn’t never use such an advanced Desktop UI. If things get simpler I’ll try it for sure!

That was the original reason I tried Rebecca, to see GTK running on the top of Wayland. But I guess I forgot that (coz I stacked with KDE), I’ll come back to this with another post :)

Red Hat Vs Digia Vs Canonical

This is not Versus at all between the three companies but just some thoughts of me. Qt has Digia to support it. Ubuntu has Canonical (which basically is the same company, so is a bit different) Gnome has mostly Red Hat.

But what’s Red Hat?

According to Wikipedia

As of April 2012, Red Hat was the largest corporate contributor to the Linux kernel.

Red Hat became the first one-billion dollar open source company in its fiscal year 2012, reaching $1.13 billion in annual revenue.

Red Hat is much bigger company that many people may think. RH inside the last year has almost double its shares value on Nasdaq (Intel has RH shares), they have almost 4000 employees and very good predictions from the big financial institutions (you know these guys that rule the world?) about their future.  RH is more than 5 times the size of Canonical but it seems that they (RH) strangle behind them (Canonical)  in Desktop development.

While Red Hat is busy with Server and Virtualization development and deployment, they seem to ignore that all comes from desktop first. The people that are now using Ubuntu it is more likely to deploy in Ubuntu later on in Rackspace for example.  And Rackspace will probably give more support to Ubuntu. And this is how the cycle goes.

I can name dozens of commercial and open services that giving support for Ubuntu and not for RHEL. The only services that support RHEL more than Ubuntu server nowadays are those that are on the market for more than 5 years.

My point is if we suppose that Gnome is a Red Hat product (which I don’t believe) why we should care and blame Ubuntu for not supporting it? Where is Red Hat? Why Shuttleworth has the right to make fun to Red Hat through his personal blog?

I don’t believe the above, but I am just giving another perspective. Red Hat and Canonical are two extremely competitive companies each other. Why should one support the other? Open Source is not genuine any more, and that is so obvious when huge Open Source Companies and Organizations (that I won’t name)  have their headquarters in tax-free havens, stealing (in a way) the money of people. Of us.

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  • Juanjo Marin

    GNOME is not a Red Hat product, it’s a Free Software project. It’s true that at the moment Red Hat is the bigger company that support GNOME, but there are several smaller companies and individuals that make a long tail in the composition of the GNOME community.

    • Yoshimitsu

      “…GNOME is a Red Hat project.

      If you look at the Ohloh statistics again and ignore the 3 people working almost exclusively on GStreamer and the 2 working on translations, you get 10 Red Hat employees and 5 others. (The 2nd page looks like 6 Red Hat employees versus 8 others with 6 translators/documenters.) This gives the GNOME project essentially a bus factor of 1…”

      • Juanjo Marin

        GNOME is a huge project and there are few people. And yes, some Red Hat contributors are in the top of contributions, and some of their contributions are in important areas of GNOME. But there are 55 pages of contributors in the last 12 months, the 6 first pages with more than 100 patches. Also, there many modules in GNOME maintained by people from other companies and individuals. That’s because I talk about the “long tail”.

    • alex285

      Agree, but on the other hand there are some well known contributors in Gnome that asking on mailing lists: When did you decide to do that? “you” is obviously the “core” Gnome team.

      • liam

        I think I know what you’re referring to and, if so, I don’t think it’s due to any single company’s management decisions.
        Unfortunately I think it may have to due to resonance. The core is largely RH. They work closely together b/c they work for the same company who lets them do this full time. Since they work on it full-time they are largely the drivers of the project. So, they feel a certain ownership of it (which is not unreasonable since many of them are long time major contributors). As a result it is easier for them to push new things through b/c they, and their colleagues, are doing the work. A cycle of work forms which makes it difficult for others to make a meaningful impact (b/c they either aren’t able to work on gnome full time, or b/c they don’t work in a company that has tons of other major gnome contributors who can come to their aid when discussions of the direction of gnome happen).
        Based on everything I’ve heard, RH is extremely hands off when it comes to Gnome. So, blame the people you see, not the ones you think you aren’t seeing.


        I looked over my geary compile and I didn’t have any issues with vala, or gnome keyring, just the one extremely annoying problem with libgee.
        Sorry I couldn’t help.

        • alex285

          Cool, it seems you’re watching Gnome MLs! If that so, then you have noticed Adam’s proposal for the radical decisions in Gnome. It is simple to be done, it is an excellent recommendation!

          You’re using an older Vala version probably or they have updated Geary (I haven’t tried since then). I will give a second shot later today.

  • fargo

    Well, this post had a lot of various stuff from KDE, Wayland to Red Hat. I definitely have to give KDE 4.9 a try and why not Rebecca Black as well. A new version of that distro was just released if I remember right.

    I can’t say if Red Hat contributes a lot or very less to Linux desktop technologies but at least the list of their work is quite impressive:
    They have very talented engineers working on full scale of Linux technologies – desktops included.

    Calling GNOME as a Red Hat project would be underestimating and insulting to other companies and people who are working on the project. GUADEC showed nice again that GNOME is all but just a Red Hat’s project.

    • alex285

      I hope I did make clear that “I don’t believe the above” :) However because Gnome is a part of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, I think they (RH) should help more.

      • fargo

        Yes, you did :). My last sentences were meant to be general. It seems to be quite common to call GNOME as a Red Hat project. Well, especially I have seen that kind of comments in OMG! Ubuntu which isn’t that big surprise though.

        I don’t know numbers well enough to say where they should contribute more. To me it looks they are working at the moment quite a lot on top GNOME layers. Where do you think they should contribute more?

        GNOME would require people to start work on various core applications at the moment. Let’s see if Rhythmbox developers wants to be involved with ‘Music’ and Yourba guys with ‘Photos’. I doubt that, but let see.

        I would like to see Canonical to take bigger role on GNOME but somehow it doesn’t seem to happen. I guess they are out of engineers already and investigating some more to GNOME is impossible at the moment. Unfortunately working and concentrating on Ubuntu technologies doesn’t help others that much (excellent work on touch screen, etc. for sure).

        Sometimes it feels funny that Linux desktop is so dependent on Red Hat and still Fedora/Red Hat gets so much turd on them. People seems to think software comes from nowhere and don’t appreciate the work the developers are doing.

        • alex285

          I think you know that RH can and should “pay” more for Gnome. No reason to mention all the Desktop modules that need more people with advance experience of C (that you cannot find in community). Personally I prefer RH rather Canonical.

          Doesn’t matter if you have a contract or not, if you pay for the product or not, if the code is free or commercial. Open source and commercial have exactly the same responsibilities towards their users. You can criticize and be negative to any project, open or close source, no matter if the developers get paid or are working for free.

          They say programming is art, so by definition it can be and should be criticized, with no excuses, it’s not about the money. And the worst criticism is by not using the product.

          • fargo

            Yes, at least they could but for now GNOME has to get base done with the man power they have. Personally I think GNOME OS is a right move to make GNOME evolve more effectively.

            I’m sure the developers are more than fine to get constructive critic. But there’s so much “Oh, this is Lennart Poettering’s project – must be piece of crap”, “OMG! Ubuntu said they are going to remove support for templates in Nautilus – GNOME is crap!” kind of critic going on which unfortunately doesn’t help anyone.

          • alex285

            Does OMG has print such thing? “GNOME is crap!” ?

          • fargo

            No, but commenters does. OMG! Ubuntu just made a news that support for ‘New file’ templates is removed from Nautilus.

          • alex285

            That’s typical, ..crap is a “soft” comment :)

  • Arron Washington

    I don’t think Ubuntu taking off in the server space even has anything to do with Red Hart vs Canonical.

    Frankly, I deploy Ubuntu servers because they’re incredibly easy compared to Fedora or CentOS servers. Sometimes they take literally minutes to set up, and automation is much easier and faster. I don’t know if that’s an RPM vs APT issue, or whatever, but frankly I don’t care.

  • 2eurocents

    “What a KDE does in a Gnome blog? Normally it gets FUD”

    why do you “normally” give it FUD?

    • alex285

      Obviously is a Joke. Do you think we FUD KDE?

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