Introduction and some problems i have....

Greetings people,

I am a German software developer who just switched from Win32 desktop to 
Linux desktop. I used to create command line software for Linux and now have 
plans to develop some G-apps or help with some, Evolution is clearly a 
candidate to.

Anyway. Maybe interesting for you to learn how it went. I installed Suse 6.4 
download from Linuxberg. It doesn't contain much Gnome, just the base libs in 
a single RPM.

So I installed KDE1 and immediately updated to KDE 1.93 (KDE2 beta 4?) and 
must say I love it, but i find it ugly. Then I read some news sites and came 
across news that said that Gnome became useable. And so I saw some 
screenshots and I must say I was blasted.

You know, it's so pretty. Seeing the GIMP origin of Gnome clearly. While a 
developer I still think I have taste. ;-)

So I did this lynx -source and was amazed. Compared to 
installing KDE2 by hand, this was amazing. I graciously checked to install 
all packages..... woah, it worked great, even knowing my distribution.

My applause to Helix people for making the install so impressive.

Then problems and fun started. I launched gdm and couldn't login as root. I 
saw in the archives that at least one other person has had the problem too. I 
tried to allow root logins from other hosts, but it still does not work. The 
reason is unknown. Well, luckily Suse has a example user that i used to play 

Great things and very pretty. The sound was scratching, as if it was playing 
way too fast and the performance (inside VMWare 2.0.2 with toolbox for Linux) 
was great compared to that of KDE2. I blamed the VMware emulation for the 
sound problems.

The last 2 days I have spent to get my hardware to work with a native Linux 
and I succeeded. Under KDE2 I now have full sound, working flawlessly. But 
the ESD doesn't do the trick for me under Gnome. It still plays stuff way too 
fast. This time I am using the ASLD drivers with OSS emulation for my onboard 
AC97 sound chips from VIA and I am using a 2.4 kernel now instead of the 2.2 
I used inside the VMWare Linux guest.

Should be an issue of either ESD or Gnome if you ask me. When I play a MP3 
with xmms it is done in like 20s with a 3min MP3. The system sounds .wav 
files definitely sound like played to fast as well.

Not being able to login as root made using helix-update very hard. With some 
path setting, i was able to start it once more while inside Gnome and su-ed 
to root. Strangely I never was again after the first time and helix-update 
either claimed still, I'd have to be root or that the distribution would be 
unknown. Made me sigh, but today I found a workaround, I launched in from KDE 
as root and it worked great.

So currently I work with KDE2 for two reasons only. First it does allow me to 
work efficiently as root, which is still my prefered way. (I am Linux user 
since early 1.2, but I still don't like to limit myself.) 
Since Helix-Update is supposed to be run as root I guess, logging on as root 
should work. I guess it's a specialty of my Suse distribution. If anyone 
could give pointers for what to look, i'd be glad. Second is that I have 
sound with KDE and not with Gnome and I love to hear radio or local MP3s 
nearby.... and it seems so that the esd is exclusive against the KDE method.

BTW: Could one eloborate on why Gnome uses esd and what KDE uses 
and what the tradeoffs are?

Oh and yes, one minor thing. The gdm complains about /var/lib/gdm not being 
owned by gdm.gdm. In Suse 6.4 there is an entry in /etc/permissions that gets 
it set to gdm.shadow each time you use the setup tool to do something. I 
guess that is a small thing for the Helix people to fix, but a show stoper 
for many users that have no clue why it gets reset all the time.

But I hope this list will help me out and soon I will have a pretty desktop.

And Ok, I guess you all compare KDE and Gnome too. My first impressions 
were. Konqueror seemed to do a great job, but for the file browsing the gmc 
seemed way faster and intuitive. I use Mozilla or Galeon for the web 
browsing, but the later lacks some functions I need, on the long term, I 
guess I will like it more though.

As to email, i took the challenge and compiled evolution 0.4.1 and was very 
satisfying with looks and configurability of it. But it crashed several 
times, one time with a larger email I could scroll, but no longer copy&paste, 
dare not think of sending it... so i use KMail for now, but I hope for 
evolution to make big progress. I used evolution in a gmx setup with proxied 
SMTP and POP3. Maybe that was the problem. With the next release I try it 
non-proxied.... i will sure retry, since KMail really doesn't like it when my 
connection to the internet goes away... same for some mail-stat program when 
configured for remote POP.

The shell of KDE2 is way more handy. I like the tabbar on the button that 
allows me to have several of them at hand. But Ok, a desktop is not really 
about shells, and I guess I can use the KDE shell with Gnome anyway....

Glade is absolutely great. It's like having Delphi on Linux, even better and 
I was completely rocked seeing it creates Perl code as output . I am a Perl 
fan. I look forward to making my own glue of Gnome stuff. :-)

Maybe not fair, but from a launching and trying standpoint, it seemed that 
AbiWord was more pretty that KWord and more straightforward to use.  Adding 
to it, the things I tried with KWord didn't work as expected, but I guess, I 
was just really unlucky...

All in all, I may that I was amazed to find two viable alternatives to 
Windows ready. As to the war going on. I am one those guys who want to see 
both desktops available. Freedom is also freedom of choice.

As a developer I prefer Gnome for it's simply developers dream. Reading about 
things like GConf e.g. makes me swoon for Gnome. 

KDE while more advanced on the applications side seems more like a closed 
system to me.

Ok, that's enough for now. Just help me login as root and how to listen to my 
MP3s at normal speed with GNOME and I will be a happy man... :-)

Yours, Karl

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