kde based distro, anyone?

Well, the news are going around, and although at the moment it is full of fud and angry feelings, it seems taht Suse Linux will drop its KDE support for their enterprise products. And yes, it’s nice to talk about that they will continue KDE support within opensuse, but that’s just garbage – you do not need KDE developers when you do not need them for your enterprise.

So Suse will drop KDE – and I have to search for a new distro :-/
The last days seemed to be almost perfect with Suse for me: it looked like that Suse will become a KDE/rpm/yum distro with KDE-Beta packages and employeed KDE-developers – which is everything I ever wanted. But now Suse drops KDE, and it will become the same as Fedora but with a worse yum support, and it could be the same for me as switching back to Fedora Core because they have the better community-involvement at the moment at its more clear what they want to do in the future – and they provide every software they own under free licenses, and I like this 🙂

So for me I will wait until everything about Suse becomes more clear – until then I will have a closer look at fedora again because you can hope that they will not do the same mistakes with Fedora Core 5 which they’ve done with Fedora Core 4 (That reminds me that I still not know where Fedora Core wants to go when they do not want to include C#, but want to stick on gnome…).
And if you, against all knowledge, will discover a distribution which fits my needs and provides for example KDE beta packages and the stuff, then just drop me a note.

But because of fact that I do not believe that their is a distro outside which really fits my needs, I should start asking questions: Am I the only one who sees a real lack of a KDE-based distro? Am I the only one who sees a lack of some kind of “real european distro”? And am I the only one who wants to change it?
The only thing which is missing at the moment is a company which should be behind a new distribution in my opinion – so if you have a company which wants to build such a distribution, just drop a note 😉

Quo vadis, Fedora Core?

After my switch from Fedora Core to SUSE LINUX I thought a while about the future development of these two distributions.

It is obvious that SUSE has to go a way now which is behind Fedora now – the way from a “closed” distribution to a community distribution with open build servers and all the stuff.
It will be a hard way with a lot of discussions, but it will work.
The aim is clear: to build up a Linux Distribution for everyone with a focus on desktop for normal users, too.
The technical direction is clear, too: there will be the equal support of both desktops, KDE and GNOME, with a focus on developing software which bases on the mono framework.
Sometimes I am a bit afraid that SUSE will neglect KDE a little bit because of the heavy influence of the GNOME developers inside of Novell, but at the moment everything looks like a equal software support.

But what about Fedora Core? Fedora Core is a community distribution with a clear community now in the background. The aims are clear, too: Enterprise Server and Enterprise Dekstop/Workstation, also a desktop for developers. The development in the near future will not change very much, although it will form some new structures in the new foundation.

But Feodara Core has some problems when it comes to the used technics: Fedora Core is GNOME based now, and that will not change very soon: all configuration tools are gnome based. Sure, KDE is officially supported, but if you have a closer look at this support it is not very serious.

If you now have a closer look at the actual gnome development you will see a large influence of the mono-people: much of the actual development is done at applications which are based on the mono technic, and some new and shine apps like f-spot, beagle, dashboard, muine and blam are mono-based, too.
And if ifolder will spread enough to become a new standard we will have another mono-based application.
The problem for Fedora Core is now that they can’t implement Mono support because of their own strict rules. Mono has no clear situation about possible patent violations because the idea behind it comes from Microsoft, and they have some patents around this technics (and will use them against the Open Source Community when the time comes).

To focus on one example: Fedora Core will not implement a desktop search machine: kat is too kde-based, and beagle is mono based and so unuseable.
So Fedora Core will have a lack in this killer app field. Another example is foto management: it looks like that the most people are looking at f-spot now: it develops very fast and is quite nice. KDE has digikam, which is alsmost perfect.
Again, Fedora Core will not focus on one of them, and will lack a good application in this field. Sure, thre are some gnome apps which are fine, but they will not stand against f-spot: the users will expect f-spot in a complete desktop system.

So what will happen next? What will Fedora Core do? Support the development of some new applications? Another gnome search machine, but not mono based?
I would propose and would love to see that Fedora Core should switch over to KDE 😉
But because of the fact that this will not happen Fedora Core has to check that they will not loose contact to the modern application developments. So I would suggest that Fedora Core keeps an open eye at the evolving of the software world and supports the apps they can use – and if these are KDE-apps they should support a command line version and an alternative gui.
This could be an option for several software projects, and that would help Fedora Core.

But I think they will start thinking about this when it’s almost too late. We will see if they fight this problem in a proper way… In the worst case they Fedora Core foundation will move more to KDE because they can get better apps there – something I would appreciate 😉

Finally: inotify!

Yes, here it is:

[liquidat@laptop ~]$ uname -r
2.6.13-1.1526_FC4

My inotify enabled kernel 🙂

There is still the livna-package with my ati-driver missing, but I hope it will only take some hours to get it (haven’t heard something about problems between the actual drivers and the 2.6.13-kernel yet).

And so I will start to test kat seriously – and I can only hope that it will work in some way, I really (!) need some desktop search to organize some things 🙂

Suse or Fedora?

I am at a position where I am not sure if I want to switch my system.
Sure, “never change a running system”, but I am a technic enthusiast, and therefore very curious if the new openSuse would fit my needs.
And I am a kind of disappointed by Fedora :-/

First, the reasons why I am disappointed:

KDE – I use KDE as my main desktop, and I really like the way KDE works, the possibilities and the idea behind it – to give an example: I can’t work properly with a system which does not provide something like web-shortcuts and the kio-slaves.
But Fedora supports KDE only a little bit – the main desktop is GNOME, all important tools are written in GNOME, and everything is focused on GNOME. You can only get a real good KDE desktop when you add the packages by the kde-redhat project.
Sure, Rex Dieter, the maintainer of the project, does a great job, but you realize very fast that he is just one of many people, that he can’t do everything. And he has much to do, so I would never get for example KDE 3.5 Beta 1 packages, and I really enjoy testing new software.
And at the moment the most KDE add on packages are compiled for kubuntu or Suse, first, normally you have to compile it for Fedora for yourself…

Configuration Tools – Fedora has some nice configuration tools, but I really love centralized configuration tools – like kcontrol, which has everything that you need. And so yast is almost perfect – you can configure almost everything, especially servers on your system. That’s very nice…

Graphic Card Drivers
As far as I know the update of kernels and graphic card drivers is quite fast and easy with Suse – sure, it is still quite easy and fast with Fedora, but only if you know what you have to do – first wait until livna releases the updated driver packages and then input a special command line to get the new drivers.
I do not fear the command line, but I like it to ghand over all non interesting tasks to a gui. That’s where guis are made for! And yast solves this problem for me, as fasr as I know (not at the moemnt, but it will does in the final release).

Project Aim
As far as I know Fedora Core is not focussing on the desktop – the declared aim of Red Hat is not (!) the consumer desktop.
Suse, on the other hand has the aim to provide a Linux which can be used everywhere – especially as standard user desktop.

These are the reasons which are speaking for Suse…
Sure, there are some reasons for Fedora, too – and these are very good reasons, too!

Packages
The most packages in the net are actually build for Fedora or Red Hat. And especially the Fedora Extras project does a great job on providing lots of packages to the Fedora Community. Suse has nothing comparable at the moment, there are only several different projects which build up their own software – with all the problems about compatibility you get.
And I do not know what is planned in the land of suse about that – it would be very nioce to have something similar, an extras repository. But if they start to build up a extras repository I would ask why they are not putting Fedora and Suse extras together (where it is possible)…

Configuration
Sometimes I like it to go through the configuration files – and I am not sure if Suse changes them so much that they are not as they should be. It was never a problem in Fedora I experienced – which depends on the fact that there are just a few configuration tools you have…

That’s the situation at the moment – I just do not know what to do next. But I think I will wait until Suse releases the final version, because than there will be standard support for ati and my wlan card implemented.
And after that – I do not know :-/
I really want to switch to KDE 3.5 because of a bug that prevents using icq with kopete, but I don’t want to compile it by myself…
And it would be very nice to know in which direction the openSuse project will evolve… a clear message how they will manage the packages compiled by other people would be nice!

But at the moment it looks like I have to wait until the 6th of october – when openSuse is released. And because of the fact that I will have better things to do around this date my switch will come later – maybe 🙂

Wenn man keine Ahnung hat, …

Manchmal stört mich eine bestimmte Sichtweise oder Ansichtssache innerhalb einiger Communities gewaltig, und ich möchte dies einfach mal niederschreiben, damit ich das mal los werde 🙂

Hintergrund ist der eigentlich recht brauchbar geschriebene Artikel The Perfect Setup for Fedora Core 4. Dort geht es darum, wie man ein Fedora Core 4 schnell und einfach als kompletten Server mit allem drum und dran hochfahren kann.

So weit so gut, was mich aber stört, ist, dass der Autor mitten drin folgenden Satz einstreut:

Since it cares much better for package dependencies than rpm it would be nice if we could use it on our new Fedora system.

Dieses Zitat zeugt von einer gewaltigen Unwissenheit des Autors im Bereich Paketmanagement und Softwareverwaltung. Denn RPM mit apt zu vergleichen ist so, als würde man Transportgut mit einem Lastwagen vergleichen – es macht einfach keinen Sinn!

RPM ist ein Dateiformat, das nur einzelne Softwarepakete zur Verfügung stellt – das entsprechende Gegenstück für Debian heißt am ehesten noch deb. Um diese RPM-Softwarepakete zu installieren, bedient man sich grundlegend des gleichnamigen Programms RPM, dass tatsächlich keine Abhängigkeiten auflösen kann – das Gegenstück aus der Debianwelt dazu ist aber nicht apt, sondern dpkg, das ebenfalls keine Abhängigkeiten auflösen kann!

Erst wenn man jetzt einen Schritt weiter geht, kommt man zu den Programmen, die Abhängikeiten auflösen können – und dort trifft apt schon seit Jahren auf würdige Gegner, nicht zuletzt unter Fedora.

Denn auch wenn die meisten RPM-Distributionen da jeweils eigene Wege gegangen sind, sind doch sehr mächtige Programme entstanden. Das beste ist meiner Erfahrung nach yum für Fedora Core, aber auch urpm (Mandriva) und yast (Suse) sind nicht zu unterschätzen.

Alles in allem ist die glorreiche Zeit, in der nur APT Abhängigkeiten auflösen konnte, vor der Jahrtausendwende untergegangen. Und bitte, bitte, an alle da draußen, die apt so toll finden: wenn ihr wieder mal meint, apt mit rpm zu vergleichen, tut allen Beteiligten den Gefallen, und bleibt still – ihr macht euch nur lächerlich, und nervt Leute, die sich wirklich mal mit der Thematik auseinander gesetzt haben, gewaltig!

So, jetzt geht es wieder besser – vielleicht schaut ja wirklich mal einer der typischen Debian-blinden hier rein, und versteht die richtigen Relationen. Schön wäre es auf alle Fälle…
Und, bevor mich jemand falsch versteht: die Unwissenheit gibt es natürlich auf beiden Seiten, und betrifft eigentlich immer nur eine Minderheit – leider ist die dann gerne sehr laut, und das nervt dann.

Vielleicht kennt ja jemand mit viel Debian-Hintergrund vergleichbare Geschichten aus der Gegenrichtung? Ich wäre dankbar dafür, die mal zu hören zu bekommen 🙂