Happy Birthday, KDE!

Five years ago, on October 14th, 1996, Matthias Ettrich delivered his famous newsgroup posting (also
HTMLized), and spawned a new era in the history of desktop environments. I think that a simple look at www.kde.org and all its related sites will show everybody just what has happened in the last five years. Congratulations to KDE, and here's to future growth and success! Update: 10/15 10:15 AM by N: Rob Kaper obliges with photos of some developers celebrating this occasion. Charles Samuel goes nostalgic with a screenshot of KDE 2.0pre. Finally, LinuxToday, Slashdot, and even Gnotices join us in celebrating this event.

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by Jamin P. Gray (not verified)

I cheer for all free software projects. Here's to another five years and the opportunity for more cooperation between the GNOME and KDE projects.

jamin p. gray
Fifth Toe Coordinator, GNOME 2 Release Team

by Carbon (not verified)

Indeed, what with the menu formats and organization being nearly the same, it's kind of surprising that hasn't been integrated already. What's with that?

by John Marttila (not verified)

I'm pretty much brand new to Linux. I still have a dual boot setup but decided to ditch windows completely last Saturday. Today I am going to install a new drive and eliminate Windows so that I can sell my 98 and NT 4, if they will bring anything.

Anyway, I like the idea of cooperation between Gnome and KDE, but even as a new user I see a lot of value in each project doing their own thing. I can't believe it is so easy to get cross-compatibilty when they each seem to use significantly different toolkits and have differing ideas about the best way to implent things.

I'd hate to think either project would lose functionality if they spent time trying to be comnpatible instead of working on making their own project outstanding in it's own right. I can use Gnome apps no problem so far even though I mainly run KDE. I don't need drag and drop or between them or other stuff like that.

I think compatibility is overated.

by Carbon (not verified)

That's just the thing, it's not as though features of KDE or GNOME will go away if compatibility is implemented. Things like dnd and menu compat wouldn't be very hard, since there is already a standard for the first, and they both already use the same format for the second. It's not as though they would need to be source compatible.

by John Marttila (not verified)

Could be. I just wanted to put in my two cents that in the cries for interoperability I wanted to cry out that this newbie feels he just doesn't need it that much. Maybe as I get more time as a fully Linux person I'll feel differently.

I only know a small amount about programming and so I don't the issues involved. Used to script things on my windows machine and write small programs in my mech. engineering work, but decided to switch to Linux because I am getting more into Python and want to begin learning c and c++ and I don't want to be confused as to why my programs break when Microsoft decides to change something.

Well, goodbye for now. I am installing a new hard drive and reformatting the old one so as to eliminate Windows NT and 98 from my sytem for good (yes, for VERY good). So I won't be around for a few hours (if all goes well, a day or two if all goes poorly)

Thanks again to all Gnu/linux programmers! I've found an OS!

by Rob Kaper (not verified)

> Things like dnd and menu compat wouldn't be very hard, since there is already a standard for
> the first, and they both already use the same format for the second.

Actually, KDE uses that XDND standard and AFAIK so does GNOME. I can drag media files from Konqueror to XMMS just fine.

by Bob Buick (not verified)

I looked at Red Hat Linux several years ago, but it was too hard for this newbie. Then I heard of KDE, but Red Hat had religion and didn't support it, so Linux was still a hard option. When I discovered Mandrake, with KDE included, all of my Christmasses had come at once and I've loved Mandrake with KDE ever since.

I can't thank all of the good people involved in these projects enough. They're making great history.

by Trevor (not verified)

KDE is my desktop of choice!!

by Androgynous Howard (not verified)


it's obvious that KDE has come a long way in those five years. I have got a debian box with KDE, and recently I noticed that my only browser is konqueror!

A few years ago this would not have been possible, since you always had to have netscape 4.7 available just in case something did not work. But now I do not need another browser anymore. It is great that I do not have to rely on bloated motif or ugly xforms or athena widget library applications.

The only thing I am missing is klyx. I really loved it in kde 1.*, but now there is no up-to-date version available. The current version of lyx still uses xforms, and it is so ugly that I just can't bear it...
I understand that lyx will be toolkit-independent soon, but since kde will soon be a defacto standard one wonders wether this is really nessecary.

What I would like to see for the future: I would *love* to see KDE and Qt move to a platform-independent binary format so that you could have a binary of a KDE application for all platforms supported by KDE. It does not have to be C#, but I think it might be a good idea to move to some kind of virtual machine execution. This does not mean big performance losses, and it would make distributing, installing and upgrading kde applications so much more convenient.

regards and keep up the good work,

Androgynous Howard

by Carsten Pfeiffer (not verified)

Actually, klyx in KDE's cvs did compile (and even work :) with KDE2 and currently KDE3. There was just no release.

I'm wondering if I should fix a few issues and release a new package...

by Androgynous Howard (not verified)

That depends on when the toolkit-independent lyx will become available. If it is not much work, please release a new package. KLyx is a real killer application especially for the scientific community. Latex with a decent frontend is much better than word!


Androgynous Howard

by reihal (not verified)

I have seen a lot of people asking for KLyx.
It doesn't have be in the official release of KDE, just brush it up and release it on apps.kde.com.

by Wiggle (not verified)


I loved klyx in kde 1.x.
and now I am forced to use the old xforms lyx :-(

by KDE User (not verified)

Oh hell, yes. Seems you are not aware that many of us have been clamouring for KLyX for a *LONG* time now. The LyX project all but killed KLyX by misleading Matthias into thinking they would do it themselves properly. Nothing came of it and they are probably now porting to GNOME.

by cheli (not verified)

Felicidades, llevo con kde practicamente desde que empecé con linux y de eso ya hace + de 3 años. Siempre instalo las últimas versiones y puedo decir que cada día os superais, seguid en esa linea.


by Adam Wiggins (not verified)

I think what's amazing is how closely KDE today resembles Matthias' original vision as outlined in this posting. It's rare for a project so expansive to stick so closely to its original goals, especially in the Bazaar.

And, looking at this post, you can see why KDE is the best desktop for UNIX: it's original goals had nothing to do with technical whizbang, and everything to do with creating a usable, useful interface that was both attractive and practical. And that's exactly what KDE is, which is why I love it.

by Joerg Sauer (not verified)

Been using KDE since 1.1 (well, not exactly an "early adopter") and continue to be amazed at the fast progress, the professional approach to software design and user orientation, the great localization support, .... the sheer BEAUTY of it!

Thank you for bringing this not only to the Linux community but to the world in general!

I do think that Linux is not quite ready for the masses (you just can't tell the average user to _recompile_ stuff to resolve an issue or even expect him to understand what a "package dependency" is), _but_ KDE is one of the main ongoing efforts that will eventually help to reach that goal.

And Linux _has_ to be become usable for everyone because it's our only chance to maintain freedom in the software world.

Thank you to all KDE developers.

by ... (not verified)

Yoy made very very good work and don't stop .
I Started with 1.0.
Use only (almost) aplication with K before rest.
I love KDE i will for ever.
Run KDE, Run ;-)

Best Regards

by John (not verified)

Happy Birthday KDE, I am now a Gnome user, but I have always loved both desktops. I first used kde when Gnome was in alpha. Once Gnome stabalized I switched over. I've gone back to KDE briefly off and on, and am always impressed with new progress you give us gnome people something to work towards (we are coming pretty close). I love the give and take from the two projects, and without the other one, I don't think either one of the projects would be where they are today. Happy Birthday once again!!

by MacPlus (not verified)

I don't understand when people say that their is no need for competition between Gnome and KDE. Their obviously has to be -- it's only natural. Their market the same *Nix people who are looking for a GUI. True, most (including myself), have both Gnome and KDE. But their's just something is GNOME that's overly repulsive (another story on that ;).

Currently, we can estimate that the *Nix desktop environment is divided at the moment (no one really knows for sure). But what if it was a different story? Say 9 out of every 10 *Nix GUI users used Gnome exclusively?

Face it, deep down inside everyone wants to be a winner. Ultimately, only one project will be sucessfull based quality of code, financials, and other unknown variables.

Remember, heathly compeition is good.

In 9-11 years, which one will be still around? KDE or Gnome?

I want back some KDE Pride! Note that I'm not saying integeration is good -- like say have one audio toolkit instead of esound and ARTS.

Whats wrong with saying 'KDE Rulez, Gnome SUX' ?

How about a little loyalty for a change people?

my 0.02€

by MacPlus (not verified)

" I want back some KDE Pride! Note that I'm not saying integeration is good -- like say have one audio toolkit instead of esound and ARTS."

Sorry for the poor spelling/grammar! That sentace should read:

I want back some KDE Pride! Note that i'm not saying saying that integration isn't good -- like having 1 audio toolkit instead of both esound and ARTS.

I would also like to continue to elaborate:

Its just more work for the small developer, plus, more importantly, it furthers the divide betteren KDE-apps and Gnome-apps -- which is ultimately very, very bad. Their should not be a K(app_name) and a separate G(app_name). Take, for example, Knapster - Gnapster, [the former] Kaim - Gaim and the _countless_ others that fit this mask. Now that's what I call senselessly redundant. Please, the open-source community needs to stop this and konsolerdate. We need to be good open-source koders, making the best possible software solutions on _any_ platforms -- this will win new konverts. Anyone want guess how many Office-wanna be's their are?

In short, the KDE and Gnome teams need to be very pround of what their do and do best -- which is make user interfaces (Gnome: keep trying though, one day you'll be good enough:). Other developers need to do what their do best, not repeat K-apps and G-apps.

Thanks [again], for listening.
Proud Mac OS X and KDE developer

I tend to agree with you, the purpose of gnome is done (to make Qt gpl'd), but you cannot expect gnome developers to end all of their hard work just like that. So I think the only way for gnome to die off were to make KDE so kick ass that no one used gnome anymore (well, there are a lot more kde users now, but still there is a loyal gnome following). this is of course natural, we do not see stuff like tkdesk or fvwm being developed anymore!!

by Carbon (not verified)

I feel pretty strongly on this : that is complete bull STDOUT. There are no 'markets', because these are NOT businesses selling products! The big difference between a situation where your competition analysis would be relevant and the current one is that even if one desktop is used more then another, a project will only stop when it's developers _want_ to stop it. There's no way that KDE can eliminate the GNOME project, nor vice versa.

There is some competition, mainly because of different philosophies on how to approach the same problems. But, saying stuff like "KDE Rulez, Gnome Sux" only indicates that you don't understand what's going on : the developers are not trying to fight each other, they are doing similar things at the same time simply because of differences of opinion as to how to best get around certain problems.

Yes, healthy competition is good, but healthy competition is exactly what we've got going on : sportsmanlike competition. _Not_ "KDE Rulez, Gnome Sux", and _not_ "Yeah, this new project will kill off KDE for sure!".

BTW, I'm not attempting to troll, but I'm simply totally against MacPlus's opinion here. Just my 0.02 as well.

by Markus Pietrek (not verified)

You folks have done a very nice job all over the last years. KDE is my favourite desktop environment since pre releases of 1.0.

Thank you very much.


by Carsten Ziepke (not verified)

Hello KDE Team,

Congratulation !

I have just upgraded from KDE 1.12 ( Yes, I mean 1.12 ) to 2.21
and I just can say: Wow !

I love the Konqueror. It is so fast.
I love the KDE Tools: e.g. Kate, KDevelop
KOffice is great.

Keep up your great work.


by Carsten Ziepke (not verified)

Hello KDE Team,

Congratulation !

I have just upgraded from KDE 1.12 ( Yes, I mean 1.12 ) to 2.21
and I just can say: Wow !

I love the Konqueror. It is so fast.
I love the KDE Tools: e.g. Kate, KDevelop
KOffice is great.

Keep up your great work.


by Bill Berggren (not verified)

Well I have used it for 5 weeks and a like it already better that Windows 98. Any improvement will just widen the gap.