LinuxQuestions Members Choice Awards: KDE Best Desktop has just
the results of its 2002 Members Choice Award
. KDE took first place in the category
Desktop Environment of the Year with 59.14% of the votes.
KDE applications also did very well in virtually every other GUI category.
Congratulations to the many talented and dedicated developers whose
achievements have been recognized.


Web Development Editor of the Year
Quanta Plus
Second place (47.65%)
Bluefish took first place

Mail Client of the Year
Second place (26.76%)
Evolution took first place from KMail this year with 35.55%

Office Suite of the Year
Second place (10.16%)
OpenOffice was the big winner

Browser of the Year
Third place (15.61%)
Mozilla was the big winner; Galeon snuck into second

Word Processor of the Year
Third place (11.26%)
swriter (OpenOffice) and AbiWord took first and second

Speadsheet of the Year
Third place (10.55%)
scalc (OpenOffice) and Gnumeric took first and second

Editor of the Year
Fifth place (7.51%)
CLI editors were the big winners: Vim, Emacs, vi and pico

Dot Categories: 


by reihal (not verified)

In a reply to a talkback at recently I posted this:

"KDE is the standard Linux desktop. The war is over"

It never appeared. I have had positive postings about KDE censored by them before. I wonder why?

by flash (not verified)

because your lame trolls suck

by J Alamo (not verified)

It would be nice if KDE was the standard Linux desktop .. then all the apps would be made as KDE apps and the Linux desktop as a whole would be better (IMHO) -- everyone involved with linux desktops would have one clear focus --> improve KDE. Apps like kmail, koffice, kopete, notaun with the consistent interface and dialogs is so nice to use ... would be nice if and mozilla shared the same interface....

by MxCl (not verified)

"It would be nice if KDE was the standard Linux desktop.."

And then everyone would develop for KDE, there'd be no competition and things would stagnate for KDE like they are for Windows right now.

I like things as they are thank you very much. Although it'd be nice if Open Source operating systems had a greater desktop share overall so that more people in general contributed to KDE and its like.

by J Alamo (not verified)

You seem to think that by not having Gnome or other desktops, then KDE development would stagnate... I tend to disagree. Since there is no heirarchical dictatorship with regards to Open Source (ie commercial app -- we have no competition.. no need to invest in R&D) it would seem that competition would move from an external force to an internal force. Various distributions/developers would add KDE specific add-ons .. if the add-on is stable/popular, it could be melded into the core KDE feature set (ie Linux kernel development, apache, samba, etc) Additionally, since this would provide an open, standard development platform, there could be significantly more interest by commercial developers as the "lowest common denominator" would be equivilant to other operating systems (Mac OS X, Windows, etc..) that have a standard interface/feature set.

This would lead to greater desktop share overall, more contributors, more competition to get specific features added, more benefit to the overall community, etc..etc..etc..

Perhaps I am way off base, but it seems like standardizing the desktop is more of a good thing than a bad thing.

by Mike Hearn (not verified)

"Perhaps I am way off base, but it seems like standardizing the desktop is more of a good thing than a bad thing."

It is: see

Forcing people to use one desktop is:
a) Impossible
b) A really bad idea anyway

Bear in mind that while parts of KDE are cool, other parts aren't. Standardisation normally lets you develop something better than what the desktop projects today already have.

by Ex GNOME user (not verified)

> And then everyone would develop for KDE, there'd be no competition and things
> would stagnate for KDE like they are for Windows right now.

No, things stagnate the way it is now. I fully agree to my previous writer that having a standard Linux desktop KDE was the right choice. Right now a lot of users can't really decide wether to go for GNOME or for KDE. Even I as developer am cut between 2 Desktops and write applications for one and then the next and both applications I worte end into shit because none of them I wrote finished. If we all would actively concentrate on one major Desktop then we would have done wonders already. Instead splitting up good apps for KDE or GNOME we would have written THE good apps for one Destkop and we wouldn't have a split up community user and developer wise. Look that's why GNOME is trying to contact KDE all the time for begging for cooperation. GNOME is IN NO WAY close to be called a serious competitior to KDE. This doesn't mean that GNOME is not having it's nice sides. They have nice technology but that's what GNOME is for the past couple of years only a plattform for new technology, nothing that is finished and could finally be used by someone. I am suffering the past couple of years on GNOME and never felt confortable with it entirely. There are always things that totally pissed me off. With KDE 3.0/3.1 things finally changed for me. I never thought that KDE went on THAT quickly. Even the rapid development under KDE is far better. The GIMP if written in C++ and QT/KDE would have been the beating hell Picture manipilating program for Linux today, konsistent, split into KParts, embedded niceley into KDE and has a consistent UI. Not as the hack it was made out of it right now with 1.3 ... My personal opinion. KDE go ahead you are doing it right.

by Michele (not verified)

> If we all would actively concentrate on one major Desktop then we would have
> done wonders already. Instead splitting up good apps for KDE or GNOME we would
> have written THE good apps for one Destkop and we wouldn't have a split up
> community user and developer wise.

Can you please define "good" here?

by Patrick Smits (not verified)

I think he means feature complete, good usability and nice looking and perhaps some other things that didn't pop up in my mind immediately.

by capit. igloo (not verified)

I prefer to see the success of projet like : the diversity is always a good thing (even if I'm a KDE-addict :).

by J Alamo (not verified)

Thanks for the info on .. I looked at the mission statement and I'd have to agree that the concept of is a good thing. It would be nice to see this extended further to allow GNOME apps look & feel like KDE apps or for that matter, any compliant app. By this I mean, use of the system-wide themes, icons, dialog boxes (save, open are two BIG ones), general user-experience, etc.

Nothing bugs me more than the inconsistency among applications (granted, its getting better, but it seems to get better against desktop environments instead of for the "common user experience") -- hopefully can go far enough to develop some type of a framework that apps can be developed against that would allow the apps to seamlessly integrate into Gnome, KDE, etc... that would be simply awesome.

by FooBar (not verified)

Because your post suggest there was a war in the first place. There is none, and has never existed.
Say whatever you want, the whole "war" thing is made up by GNOME and KDE zealots. The developers don't care. That's why both KDE and GNOME exist, with different designs, goals and targets.
You should be glad people still have the freedom to *choose* between GNOME and KDE. Saying GNOME or KDE is dead or that the "war is over" is denying people the freedom to choose.

Now, instead of actively trying to kill GNOME or KDE (which is futile anyway), why don't people join forces and try to kill Windows instead? (Oh wait, that is no good either, people will just mod us down as "fucking Linux zealots"!)

by Ex GNOME user (not verified)

I have choosen. After some years suffering on the GNOME plattform I finally made it up to KDE and will stay there. Thanks for the freedom of being able to *choose* GNOME will soon become an orphaned lonely plattform for their corporate minions. I had high hopes in the beginnings of GNOME now it matured into a pile of worthless Desktop which made me unproductive.

by FooBar (not verified)

That's your choice. Nobody blames you for choosing KDE. Congratulations with *your* decision.

But, no matter what *you* may think about GNOME, there are always people who will disagree. I know a few people who have the exact opposite experience: they chose GNOME instead of KDE.
So you guys choose KDE while other people choose GNOME/WindowMaker/Enlightenment/BlackBox/FluxBox/XFCE/twm/fvwm/MSWindows/whatever. No need to try to kill off each others' choice and everybody is happy.

by Ex GNOME user (not verified)

Yeah sure we are living in a free world lucekly. Anyways I made my personal decision based on a technical level from the programmers view. i had seriously hard times doing development under GNOME while there are NO programming resources, then various implementations never suited my needs thats why I left. It makes no sense staying on a plattform where I'm not sure where it goes on the long run.

by minkwe (not verified)

Lesson of the day:

"If you start off with the assumption that product (x) sucks and cannot compete with product (y), you're probably going to find evidence to support your claim... regardless of your local values for (x) and (y)." -- AJS

by Ex GNOME user (not verified)

Lesson for the next day:

"I don't need to ask anyone else what to do or get blamed for my decision and opinions I have regardless of the fact if I'm right or wrong"

This is also called individuality.

by reihal (not verified)

No war. eh?
My firewall logs could tell you a thing or two about and gnomesters. I forgive them since they have lost and I pity them.

The war for the standard on the Linux desktop have been won by KDE. That doesn't mean there is no choice, like Gnome, GnuStep or whatever. Enjoy.

by FooBar (not verified)

"My firewall logs could tell you a thing or two about and gnomesters."

Like I said, the whole "war" thing is invented by GNOME and KDE zealots. Again: *the developers don't care!*

by KDE User (not verified)

Shouldn't they push new innovative suits like KOffice instead of ols commercial projects like OpenOffice??

Also, I guess that the majority of people who use KDE also use KMail, Kate and Konqueror so these awards are not representative of what people actually use.

by flash (not verified)

OpenOffice is a commercial project?

Also you guess wrong, although I use KDE I always pick the best application for the job, that is evolution for mail and groupware, phoeni for webbrowsing, vim in konsole for text editing.

by emacs heathen (not verified)

What you meant to say was emacs for mail and groupware, emacs for webbrowsing, and emacs for text editing.

by Caoilte (not verified)

Actually a lot of people still use mozilla/galeon and evolution with kde.

I switched over after the mess that was gnome2 and found kde3.0 a great desktop environment with inferior applications. So I continued to use evo, galeon and gaim.

When I started using 3.1rcs I quickly found that konqueror and kmail were now at least as good as the old gnome apps (kmail still has a little way to go) and I switched to those full time.

I imagine this survey was taken before many of the voters had the chance to try out the excellent progress made in kde 3.1. Konqueror is going to leap up in popularity this year if the word spreads.

by Norbert (not verified)

Just curious:
what do you miss in KMail? (I've never used any other mail client on Linux so I really don't know what I'm missing :-)

by Caoilte (not verified)

I miss the groupware and complete IMAP support that the team are promising us for 3.2. Evolution has absolutely superb support for this though, and it will be hard for the team to better it (kolab sounds cool though, really cool).

Evolution also has superior searching tools (very very fast binary searches of an indexed copy of the maildir) vfolders (a sort of 'view' (in sql terms) of a mailfolder), better message marking and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting. It feels very complete when you are using it (which is ok, a year and a half ago kmail felt like a joke).

But Evolution is also slower.... hehehe. I like kmail now.

by Guenter Schwann (not verified)

Mostly IMAP-support is limited:
* no IMAP-subscription
* no IMAP-filtering (which is a good and bad thing)
* no offline-IMAP
* no limits for downloading large attachments (when using IMAP)
* no html-composer (some people really want this)
* no as you type spellchecker
* the mailreader-window is very basic and limited
* searching is rather simple
* PGP/MIME is a pain to install
* some minor stuff

Many of these features are in KDE-cvs :-) (disconnected imap is very basic by now).


by Datschge (not verified)

Thank god for KMail not having a html-composer. If one really wants to attache html stuff s/he can do so by... attaching it. ;) No native support for unnecessary features like that please.

by David Johnson (not verified)

"Shouldn't they push new innovative suits like KOffice instead of ols commercial projects like OpenOffice??"

They're "pushing" what is best. Right now OpenOffice is better than KOffice in terms of functionality and stability. OpenOffice may be huge, bloated and slow, but it works well and that's what counts. We'll see if KOffice surpasses OpenOffice next year...

by KDE User (not verified)

Well, at least I'd like to see KOffice rule since I'm on this list => I'm a KDE fan.

by me (not verified)

I guess that the majority of people who use KDE also use KMail, Kate and Konqueror

umm no....
I use KDE, OpenOffice, Evolution, & Pheonix
But I Do LOVE!, The Klipper, and Knoqueor (the file manager not the web browser), and kdevelop

the kicker isn't bad either.....
But The Best the best of all the aps

by Seth Davenport (not verified)

I wish I could use KOffice, but the fact is it isn't compatible with anything. Even its support for other open filesystems is sketchy.

by Seth Davenport (not verified)

I meant open file formats... sorry

by Guenter Schwann (not verified)

KDE is the best desktop, but it's applications aren't :-(


by star-flight (not verified)

Hey Guenter,
come on. The apps get better and better you are a good developer - you`ll bring it to the front :-)

by Guenter Schwann (not verified)

I do my best to bring one of KDE's apps to the front... :-)
But I do think that KDE needs more "killerapplications".

by star-flight (not verified)

There are killerapps, see kontact :), konqueror, koffice, kopete, kdevelop, ... Don?t forget the small superior tools like kprint. Give it a bit more time.

by Guenter Schwann (not verified)

* kontact - is just as good as it's komponets are. KMail's IMAP supports still lacks some important features (offline, subscribtion,...). It looks like with KDE 3.2 most of this features will be available. KAddressbook gets more an more features (I hope there won't be too much). And korganizer is the best of all kalendars already ;-)

* konqueror - as web-browser gets a lot of (needed) help from apple. But still some features woul be nice (spell checking right now as I'm typing this, format-auto-fill,...)
As filemanager I begin to like it more and more (together with cervisia-kpart it's very nice)

* koffice - is nice for small and easy tasks. I see a lot of progress. But it's hard to exchange documents with others. OpenOffice is far ahead (feature-wise). And many many people think that abiword is better than kword, and gnumeric is better than kspread. My presentation later this week will be done with OpenImpress. Just because others need to be able to download my slides (otherwise I'd use kpresenter)

* kopete - is progressing very fast. Soon it will be as good as it's kompetitors (I hope).

* kdevelop - if only 3.0 final would be out! 2.x is limited to singe applications. The kurrent 3.0 cvs-version is very powerful (I'm using it). But when will it be released - in 6 month?

* krita - well I think KDE will never have a painting-tool like gimp

* kexi - looks like an application needed by many offices. The first usable replacement for MS Access.

KDE has some strong applications. But mostly there are even stronger alternatives :-(
(kontact - evolution, konqueror - mozilla / mc, koffice - openoffice, kopete - gaim, kdevelop - emacs?!?, ...)

Let's see if KDE 3.2, koffice 1.3 and kdevelop 3.0 can turn my mind...


P.S.: Is anyone able to "decrypt" the KDE 3.2 release schedule?

by star-flight (not verified)

You are right. The advantage of KDE is the integration of ALL parts. The single apps are not so strong as it competitors, but the sum of all is the strong part. You can't catch the other apps in month, wait a year or two, then lets talking again about it ;-) Maybe koffice need much more time to catch OpenOffice. But it's ok. Do you remember KDE a year ago? Do you want switch back?
OK, graphic-apps are not KDE's battlefield - Office-, Dev- and Internetapps are far better. I can't await kexi or quanta with WYSIWYG.
KDE on more and more Office-Desktops here in Germany and world wide - learning by doing, growing by using. Let's wait and see.

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

What about Quanta? Had our developer team voted we would probably have been the only KDE app winner in this poll, which as I said falls short of scientific. Quanta doesn't fall short of anything out there and soon will be the next killer app on KDE. Also there are cool utilities like Kfilereplace. Nobody even realizes Kommander is in KDE but I predict in the coming months it will become a killer app on the desktop because it can enable an average user to extend an app or create application interaction. Currently the only app close to Kommander is Kaptain, a QT app.

by AC (not verified)

Sorry, but I really wouldnt call Quanta a Killer app. It may be a very good application, but with a very limited target group (people who write HTML and dont want a WYSIWYG editor or use their regular editor).

And what is Kommander?

by Eric Laffoon (not verified)

> Sorry, but I really wouldnt call Quanta a Killer app. It may be a very good application, but with a very limited target group (people who write HTML and dont want a WYSIWYG editor or use their regular editor).

Sorry, but I wouldn't call that a very good definition of Quanta. First off it's now DTD agnostic, not just HTML. Soon it will have some XML tools for validation, web services and the like as well as a completed DocBook DTD and interface. CVS HEAD has an extremely fast and powerful parsing engine which will allowfeatures and fuctionality not possible with other text editors like off page linked document CSS, classes, functions and variables... scoped and by location. It is also under review for adding WYSIWYG right now. Add to that a number of other features and factors and then tell me what a killer app is. Does it have to be something nearly everybody uses? If it manages to attract a large number of web developers to run Linux/KDE and develop on Quanta then that is significant because any degree of migration to Linux by web developers impacts a number of web sites. To my mind this is even more significant than what your word processor is. Kword is unlikely to lure people from windows for years becuse Word is relatively adequate for most uses and Kword is a ways behind. However on the web things change much faster and productivity and being able to capitalize on change is important to web developers... Therefore a web development tool stands to make a much bigger difference sooner... also web developers are more technical, thus "early adoptors" who will bring their friends to Linux/KDE. Office applications are needed when the mainstream shows up, but early adoptors bring the mainstream. That's been gospel to the rest of the high tech world not stuck in a monopoly void for some time.

I would say those factors give Quanta an excellent shot at being the next killer app. That is if a killer app has the potential to turn the tide for many users. ;-)

> And what is Kommander?

It's better we release our docs and tutorials because it doesn't really sink in until you see it work. It was inspired by Kaptain ( but has some significant differences. It uses a stripped and modified QT Designer (as a KDE app) to visually create dialogs. The dialog widgets can have text associated with them enabling them to construct strings. They also speak DCOP. You can create custom dialogs to output text based on selection, call scripts, run programs or issue DCOP instructions. I've used it for PHP class management and we have a few other things we're working on. It's bascially for creating a quick mini app, cli dialog, an app extention or "application glue" where it bridges two applictions to make them more seamless.

I will try to get everyone's stuff together and post demos and docs this week. It's current;y part of the Quanta module so you can look at the editor by running kmdr-editor. I've attached a little demo/text file that can be run by running "kmdr-executor form5.kmdr".

by John Herdy (not verified)


Call me a n00b but I have no idea how to use Kommander. When can we expect some demo's and/or documentation?


by Aurélien (not verified)

Here comes a little demo. It uses 'convert' from Image Magick to create thumbnails for all images of a dir.

Enjoy :-)

PS: When using Kommander, be sure to set the "Text association" of any input widget to "@widgetText", otherwise you won't be able to read its content (took me a while to figure this out).

by Ex GNOME user (not verified)

Hi, please don't value the applications on GNOME so high. Evolution has a lot of issues. It's definately a nice application but for me as person it's to much to deal with. Most of the time I only write emails so I don't need to load up everything such as Evolution which includes more than my tasks require. Gnumeric is indeed better than KSpread with the few examples I tried but AbiWord is far from being serious.

And now count all the 3 apps together. None of them can exchange stuff amongst them. I can't embedd addresses written in Evolution in AbiWord when writing a letter and so on. That's why I think that KDE is far supperior. You people did a grandious job with KDE 3.0 and 3.1 is even better. Even your rapid development because of C++ makes apps grow FAST and makes them become more powerful. I think within another year you bombed out all major GNOME apps. Your framework is there.

I was a GNOME developer and know much about the stuff behind it and I can tell you that the libraries are far from being complete, consistent etc. Many people wrote that eveything in GNOME 2 was written from scratch which is a lie. This explains the 5 Toolbars issue and all the wrappers in the code which also explains the major inconsistence that they won't get rid of for the next 5 years. GNOME is a nice techology plattform but It's not really attractive for people who know more about it.

by Guenter Schwann (not verified)

Evolution is a nice mailclient with pretty all features one needs. It has some issues, but none of them is really grave. And it loads components only when needed. GNOME has 3 mailclients - balsa is rather simple, sylpheed has everything you need and evolution is a PIM with look. KMail as the only KDE mailclient suffers many IMAP-related features. When using POP3 KMail is a pretty good choice.

I do not use spreadsheets for other stuff than for listing (prices?) and do simplest calculations (sum). So I can't decide which spreadsheet is the best. I only read and heard that gnumeric is the best one for Unix.

Yesturday I did (again) a simple 1/2 hour KWord/Abiword test. KWord seems to have a few more features, and both are fast. Abiword's only benefit is it's platform independency...

Can one really use kaddressbook's data in kword? I didn't find an option for that one. Integration doesn't seem to be that far :-(

GNOME's development does indeed seem to have some troubles. Two indications:
* GNOME 2.0 is out for 6 months now. But only very few of those "killerapplications" are ported (evolution, gnumeric, abiword, gimp, galeon,...).
* Miguel de Icaza does want to use .NET (mono) because with .NET he hopes to speed up development (I'd say because .NET is ObjectOriented).


P.S.: quanta indeed is the best web-tool :-)

by Ex GNOME user (not verified)

Well little correction. Sylpheed is NO Gnome application and Balsa itself has a lot of issues. Belive me I worked on Balsa developmentwise for a long time. I don't suggest people using it if they like to keep their important Emails for longer :)

by Bojan (not verified)

This sounds like an autocritics to me. ;-)

by Mike Hearn (not verified)

"* GNOME 2.0 is out for 6 months now. But only very few of those "killerapplications" are ported (evolution, gnumeric, abiword, gimp, galeon,...)."

Well, GIMP, AbiWord etc aren't actually gnome2 apps, but they have close ties with GNOME. Basically that's because GNOME2 is a big change from 1.4, so rather than simply port across the new APIs (easy) they are also bringing in the new artwork, the HIG etc etc, so it takes a long time. Also, most of these apps are doing it at the same time as adding new features in their unstable cycles etc, it's not so much that it takes a long time to port apps, it's more that those pieces of software are working towards their next version and porting to gnome/gtk2 is one of those things.

"* Miguel de Icaza does want to use .NET (mono) because with .NET he hopes to speed up development (I'd say because .NET is ObjectOriented)."

Well what Miguel uses doesn't really impact GNOME, which is written in object oriented C, GNOME is basically unaffected by Mono at present.

(sigh) I wish threads like this weren't necessary. You know sometimes I think, maybe it would have been better if KDE and GNOME simply didn't exist. I don't mean, the desktop was still hard to use, but I mean for instance there were lots of mostly independant projects, one for the help system, one for the IO layer etc. It would have advantages in terms of less code duplication and such.... still, then I guess things like usability, i18n and accessability would be harder to push through... I think it's such a shame it's become a "you're in, or you're out" thing, leaving proprietary software and "neutral" software like AbiWord/GAIM (which don't use the gnome libs btw) kind of stranded in the middle.

by Guenter Schwann (not verified)

Didn't the development teams of gimp, aboword, etc. start porting _before_ gnome 2.0 final?!? I thought that most of those important applications would be "2.x"-released rather soon after the GNOME 2.0 release.

About Icaza: I don't know how much it will affect GNOME. But for me it was strange to hear that he thinks development is too slow...

But for slow development GNOME and man of it's apps make pretty good progress ;-)


by Tormak (not verified)

GNOME's apps have made good progress b/c of GNOME's slow pace of development. i.e. the api has been stable for a long time, which is necessary for an application to evolve. The problem with KDE's apps is that KDE's api is a fast moving target. What we do need for KDE is a much longer period of major stable releases.