Quickies: Birmingham, Releases, Turkish Magazine, LightScribe and K3b

Birmingham City Council released a case study for their open source desktop trial. Buried in the 67 page document is the reason for choosing KDE: quick to configure and the bouncing launch feedback cursor. *** For developers Trolltech released Qt 4.2.2 and Kitware released CMake 2.4.5. For users Basket 0.6 makes your clipboard fun. *** Turkish speakers can read about the history of KDE in new online magazine Enixma. *** Finally, showing that free software can work with commercial, CD label buring app LightScribe announced support for K3b. Quotes from Sebastian Trueg within.

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by furanku (not verified)

Errr ... now I'm confused: Isn't that the same project that was canceled a few weeks ago, due to some strange reasons ("improper media support" of the Linux sytems, "lost" reference installations, no expertise in that aera, project leader changed job during the project and works now for an outsourcing company that promotes a "educational initiative" with Microsoft)?

by Segedunum (not verified)

No it wasn't cancelled. Somebody had come up with a study to tell us all how much Windows XP would have been, but no, the project wasn't cancelled.

by cm (not verified)

Erm, CMake is already at version 2.4.5 now.

by Jonathan Riddell (not verified)

Story updated.

by vm (not verified)

As soon as it was known that gnome was dumped, the media claims that the project was scrapped, instead of giving KDE credit for reviving it.

by confused reader... (not verified)

I'm not so sure what the current status of the project in B'ham is. My impression is that it is dumped altogether for now.

The news about the cancellation of the project is a few weeks old (IIRC, October 2006?).

The PDF with the case study dates "9th of March 2006", therefor is considerably older than the news about the end of the project.

Looks like not even KDE was able to rescue the supposedly "professional" migration experts once they messed up the story.

Any British Linux user in the know of more details about it?

by Matthias Welwarsky (not verified)

well, if you look at the bottom line: the cost for the migration and subsequent 5 year maintenance is higher than XP upgrade and maintenance. Guess why it was cancelled.

Take a deeper look at the figures that show that Windows is 'cheaper'.

by Also confused (not verified)

But look at this article, this is rather fresh ;-)


by Segedunum (not verified)

It hasn't actually been cancelled.

by LeonScape (not verified)

The project was not cancelled, and in fact has been expanded.

Originally it was a year long trial, to test whether going Linux was a real alternative. The figures quoted by Microsoft was at a special discount rate, and would have been a £100,000 cheaper than going Linux.

The head of IT said they are going to go the Linux route anyway, as the long term benefits are greater, and its a onetime penalty to change to Linux.

The original trial was claimed to be a failure, but in fact it had just reached the end of the trial phase. They didn't get as much done as they wanted, as the IT guys had no real experiance with Linux and where a little over ambitious.

THe linux and Open Source adoption is going ahead, the open source stuff they installed is still in use, and more departments are going to be added.

by LeonScape (not verified)

PS this is probably the most interesting bit for KDE...

"The case study also detailed the many frustrations involved in approaching an unfamiliar desktop technology, including the discovery that key applications wouldn't run on Linux and usability problems with the original Gnome interface. At one point, realising that most of the usability issues were attributable to Gnome, which had taken three months to configure, staff ripped out Gnome and replaced it with KDE. The new interface was up and running within a week."

So configuration is king, although I expect most of the problems where acutally inexperiance.

by Richard (not verified)

Especially the feedback at page 19 is interesting for kde:

"Following a number of interoperability issues raised during the pilot (see
Section 6.2), BCC decided to replace their chosen desktop manager,
GNOME, with KDE. Having spent three months developing the SUSE 9.3
configuration with GNOME, the technical team was able to undertake the
same work with KDE in less than a week."

by Matthias Welwarsky (not verified)

Oh, I love this report :-)

First they make a survey to decide what to do:

"A customer survey asked users their opinions of these five
open source configurations, based on the look and usability of the desktop.
The criteria considered were:
* Familiarity of the desktop
* Recognition of icons and menu options
* Ease of logging in
* Ease of opening applications from the desktop screen
* Ease of moving between applications
As a result of this survey the desktop manager chosen was GNOME."

A-Ha. But there's trouble ahead:

"Following a number of interoperability issues raised during the pilot (see
Section 6.2), BCC decided to replace their chosen desktop manager,
GNOME, with KDE. Having spent three months developing the SUSE 9.3
configuration with GNOME, the technical team was able to undertake the
same work with KDE in less than a week. This demonstrates a substantial
gain in skills. However it means that the pilot on the public PCs has been
running with a different desktop configuration to that which will be rolled
out. As a consequence, a second pilot phase will be undertaken with a KDE

So it's 3 months to configure a GNOME desktop, but less than a week for KDE. And of course _all_ of that is due to "gain in skills" of the technical team.

Related to the "Interoperability problems":

"An early problem identified was that when
users double-clicked on an icon to open an application, there was no symbol
to indicate that the application was opening. This led to users opening
multiple versions of the same application, which slowed the PCs down and
caused frustration. This issue was resolved when BCC switched from

Yay, startup notification saved our a*se. But this passage is also very interesting:

"BCCs' initial choice of GNOME as the desktop manager was largely dictated
by user preferences based on 'look and feel' (See Section 5.1). Given a fuller
set of decision criteria, the choice of desktop manager may have been
different: there was already some in-house experience with KDE; the user
preference for GNOME was slight."

It's allowed to guess why people prefer GNOME over KDE judging by first looks.

by BenAtPlay (not verified)

Weird, I think KDE looks much better then Gnome at first glance.
Maybe because i prefer function over form...

Maybe BCC should have used a funkier window theme and panel:

instead of going with the default.

by Anonymous (not verified)

It won me over when it had a treelist to organize notes instead of tabs.
I already moved my todo, links and other *.txt stuff over and yet it doesn't end with just text notes. It's so much better to stay organized and it keeps the clutter minimized.
I'm still on a alpha version of 0.6 but I can't wait to try out the final.

by chrissel (not verified)

THE worst thing *ever*

by otherAC (not verified)

which you can switch off ;)

by LinuxNoob2007 (not verified)

How do you disable it? I would love nothing more!!

In the control center.

Look'n'feel -> Startup Notification -> Busy Cursor

by Chani (not verified)

my mum loves the bouncing cursor :) it's one of the few things she doesn't hate.

by proof (not verified)

Oh dear,

if you read (no need to read carefully!!!) over the report @
you will find many mistakes. For example page 42 paragraph 9.1.
"... number of rows in a worksheet – in OpenOffice 2.0, Calc worksheets are
limited to 32,000 rows, compared to 65,536 with Excel 2003 ..."
What? 32,000 for OpenOffice 2.0? They should do their homework before you publish such crap. Another example:
"...However, Unix/Linux operating systems had many more vulnerabilities reported than Windows over 2005³⁷." Such statements with no explanation my confuse. Many vulnerabilities were classified as "not serious" in contrast to the fewer of MS which changed the situation regarding the security issue. This issue was widely discussed and there were different opinions about that. Again, do your homework!
I'm sure if you read the text you will find something wrong or at least something to discuss.

by otherAC (not verified)

You can comment about the report on their website.
Feel free to do so ;)