OpenSuSE’s new KDE menu

OpenSuSE will come out with a new KDE menu, to replace the old (terrible) default KDE menu system. What I don’t understand though is why create this new KDE menu altogether when Novell has already spent money in usability studies and have come up with this instead. I mean, think about it. This is pretty much the same functionality, but in different layout.

So why recreate the same things with different layouts? Are the KDE users so much different than the Gnome ones that expect a different or more complex experience? Or is it simply a case where KDE SuSE engineers don’t communicate with the Gnome (see: Ximian) SuSE engineers and they don’t do their usability studies together or collaborate?

You see, it’s very difficult for me to think that both implentations can be right (or wrong). They can’t both be right for the majority of THEIR users (that’s where a marketing study should take place too). There is always a default implementation that it’s best for most of their users (not for all of course, but you can always get an idea of what your users expect). So why the same company offers two solutions for the exact same problem?

It would have been much cheaper and logical to continue the study of “the best menu system we can come up with”, and then implement the SAME menu system for both KDE and Gnome. No, this is not a case of “having a choice” or that “kde is not gnome”. This is a case of engineering resources going to waste. The current situation is puzzling to me from the financial, usability and communication point of view inside Novell.

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Thom Holwerda wrote on August 22nd, 2006 at 7:32 AM PST:

Both menus came after the same big usability test by Novell. I am 99% sure it differs from its GNOME counterpart because… KDE is not GNOME.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 22nd, 2006 at 7:36 AM PST:

This is NOT a good reason for me. This is the same usability problem we are facing: a menu system. I do NOT acknowledge that you can have more than 1 implementation that can maximize your usability for the majority of your users. You can have one that can be 90% good, and one that can be 75% good. But you can’t have BOTH at 90%. It might feel the same for some users, but not for the majority. There is always 1 implementation that it’s better than the other (overall) for the majority of your users. So, why not use that implementation for all your supported DEs?

If it’s the KDE implementation that Novell will find out that it’s better, they should port it to Gnome. And if it’s Gnome’s, they should port it to KDE.


Kitty wrote on August 22nd, 2006 at 10:05 AM PST:

I don’t know if you read this yet.
Basically they are KDE developers trying to come up with something to push upstream for KDE4. And the comment about the “kickoff” codename being tied to the world cup means they started working on it, when, in July? Anyway much later and indipendently from the studies that led to designing the SLED slab menu.
Yes, I do see some NIH syndrome in using once again Novell’s usability studies resources on a subject that was just somehow finalized in SLED. And if I were a Novell manager I would be worried to see that in this case upstream means “upstream in KDE”, not “upstream in Novell’s official commercial desktop”. Nothing against KDE, just a money/resource management thing, as they chose Gnome for SLED.


Erick wrote on August 23rd, 2006 at 1:11 AM PST:

“So why the same company offers two solutions for the exact same problem?”

Um, they do it several times over…. KDE & GNOME – two solutions for the exact same problem.


binarycrusader wrote on August 23rd, 2006 at 2:19 AM PST:

@Erick

Um, they do it several times over…. KDE & GNOME – two solutions for the exact same problem.

Except KDE and GNOME don’t solve the same issues, so they aren’t completely equal solutions. They are similar, certainly, but they don’t both provide the same advantages or disadvantages.

Personally, I think Eugenia is right. There is too much duplicated effort and too little focus when it comes to desktop development. It’s no wonder we still have this KDE vs. GNOME war thing.

One company needs to take the lead, make the best darn desktop that incorporates the best of everything, and gets rid of as many bad things as possible. So far, only Ubuntu seems to be doing that by focusing on GNOME (officially via Canonical).


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on August 23rd, 2006 at 2:24 AM PST:

The problem at Novell is politics. I know for a fact that Novell a year ago had decided to go with Gnome-only, but their German engineers revolted because they wanted KDE and some even threatend to quit. No, I am not refering to the public outcry for KDE that followed, but an internal struggle that still exists at Novell…

I hope they decide to focus in one DE, which ever this might be. And if an engineer doesn’t like it, he should be free to go.


binarycrusader wrote on August 23rd, 2006 at 10:18 AM PST:

The problem at Novell is politics.

Isn’t that the problem with most open source projects? Sigh.

I hope they decide to focus in one DE, which ever this might be. And if an engineer doesn’t like it, he should be free to go.

I completely agree.


z wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 9:08 AM PST:

Open source is about the developers, in reality.
Seriously.

Think about it. A large majority of the linux fanatics are just developers. Some develop on free time, some develop for an enterprise. The SuSE engineers worked for a VERY KDE CENTRIC company for a long, long time. (SuSE is one of the oldest commercial distribution)
SuSE was, with Trolltech, from the two big KDE supporters. Some KDE developers worked for SuSE. You can’t ask them, and the mentality of how things go in open source, change.

You don’t have the right to tell them to fuck off and bow down to your God GNOME. That’s not how open source works. Open source is about the developers, not the user. We don’t care for the user. We care for our tools and toys.

The vast majority of the applications a distribution like Novell SuSE have, are developed by developers on their free time. Try to kill KDE if ya want but you will loose the majority of the good music tools, for example.
KDE is growing very fast and will be more featured for EVERYTHING in a short time. Things like The Gimp, Firefox, OpenOffice are going to be replaced by Krita, Konqueror and Koffice for us. Krita evolution is FAST. They got adjustement layer !!! THINK ABOUT HOW MANY TIMES YOU DREAMED TO GET THIS IN THE GIMP. Just to hear some stupid people like Carol telling you that you don’t need adjustement layer. The gimp users and developers are nuts.

It’s a little matter of time to get KDE to the next level. We already have the best music tools, we already have the best developers tools. We’ll get the best graphic tools soon. And Koffice will be enough for most of us.


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on September 13th, 2006 at 9:11 AM PST:

Z, you have completely lost the point. This is not KDE vs Gnome. This is about HUMAN RESOURCES at Novell. Get a clue.


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