April 25, 2019

The StartX Files: U Stands for UDE and Uncharted Territories - page 2

Yes, we know that UDE isn't really a window manager....

  • February 13, 2001
  • By Brian Proffitt

Talking with some of the developers on UDE, you get the sense right away that they are committed to making this a solid desktop environment, but at the same time they're not righteous zealots about the whole thing.

UDE and UWM originated from the mind of Jan Rocho, who founded the UDE project in April of 1998. Christian Ruppert, lead developer on the UWM portion of the GUI, related that Rocho's call for developers came at a fortuitous time.

"Jan put an announcement somewhere that he wanted to start a new desktop environment project," Ruppert said, "Having installed KDE two days before I read it and already being fed up with [KDE] due to the missing performance and the same uncomfortable 'feel' like anything else, I decided to join the project and started working on UWM."

Ruppert and the rest of the team have some clear goals for UDE. They want to make it "slim, fast, not defining any new standards if we don't really have to," Ruppert said. "Using existing ones instead turned out to be more than sufficient."

Ruppert has an interesting take on UDE's differences from the rest of the GUIs. To him, UDE has "a 'feel' like the vi among the desktop environments. It's faster and easier to use than most other [environments] in case you're willing to learn how to use it."

One of the more interesting things I noticed about UDE right away were the comments from people explaining how they tried UDE, went on to something else, but invariably kept coming back to UDE.

This situation was repeated in the case of Shawn Wilson, who fills the role of code tester on the UDE team.

"When I first ran across it, I thought to myself, wow, this is definitely weird and out there," Wilson said. "Two months later I gave it another go, for some reason, I stayed with it, and have been using it ever since."

Wilson and the rest of the all-volunteer UDE team have some definite plans for future UDE releases, such as making UWM ICCCM-compliant, as well as compliant with Motif and GNOME.

"We'll import some, perhaps all, of their protocols into UDE," Ruppert stated. "As I already mentioned, we'd rather not define new standards."

But implementing these goals will take some time and effort, from team members Ruppert said they must have to make UDE a true desktop environment.

"[To meet] the goal of being a complete desktop environment, we need developers working seriously on the libraries and on applications," Ruppert said.

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