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.comment: Putting KDE in Its Place
Why File Locations Matter
July 26, 2000
Here we are, a few weeks away from the release of a new version of KDE, and once again there's a virtual Trevi Fountain of urination tournaments over where in the Linux file system KDE belongs.
Unlike a lot of the just-for-the-sake-of-arguing disputes that take place in the Linux world, this one actually matters to a lot of people for real, demonstrable reasons. It is also one place where a single distribution has dictated a standard--out of sheer, brute force, not because that standard is the best answer.
For the first year or so of its existence, KDE
was typically placed in
In due course, Red Hat included KDE in its Linux
distribution, alongside Gnome, which was developed largely under the aegis of
Red Hat. The inclusion of KDE is to Red Hat's credit; the placement of it is
not. Red Hat put KDE in
Mandrake and other Red Hat derivative distributions followed Red Hat's example. This led to a considerable forking, especially among binary RPMs.
A week or so ago, the new KDE2 beta RPMs for
Mandrake Linux no longer would run alongside a KDE-1.x installation in
Understand: I think KDE2 is just great. I use it exclusively, as I have since last November. But I'm also willing to accept little shortcomings in developmental software that many users would find objectionable and that I suspect the KDE developers would not wish to have speak for the quality of their work. Example: I compiled new source code a couple of days ago from the KDE CVS tree (a system, in case you don't know, whereby you can get code that is just hours, in some cases minutes, old). In the two weeks since last I built KDE there had been much progress, but as is inevitable during development new problems had appeared. I discovered this when I tried to save an email address to the KMail addressbook and instead of saving the address erased the entire addressbook. I expect this kind of thing. Many users, especially those who only install that which they can get on binary RPM, might not.
And that is why putting KDE into