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Old 11-21-2011, 02:07 PM
"Amedee Van Gasse"
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On Mon, November 21, 2011 15:24, W. Scott Lockwood III wrote:

>> Please *top* quote on the list.
>
> When replying from my phone, I don't have a choice.

Perhaps you shouldn't reply from your phone if it is broken?

> When I do have a choice, I will quote as I like.

Of course you will.

Just so you know: people will like you more when you don't fudge your
message with the form in which it was sent. But you already know the
guidelines of the mailing list, because you have signed the Ubuntu Code of
Conduct, https://launchpad.net/~wsl3

>> I don't think Ubuntu /is/ being unresponsive.
>
> And I disagree.

I agree that you disagree.

>> Firstly, I think a lot of people are happily using Unity and not
> complaining. It's the ones who are whinging who are shouting and
>> being noticeable. Those using it are not shouting about it.
>
> Have you signed the Ubuntu code of conduct? Judging from the fact that
> you are accusing others of "whinging" and "shouting" I'm guessing not.

Indeed, Liam hasn't signed the CoC: https://launchpad.net/~lproven
But you have. Unfortunately I cannot see your actual signature, like you
can see my signature at https://launchpad.net/~amedee/+codesofconduct
That's suspicious!

>> Firstly, GNOME 2 is dead. Gone. Fuggedaboutdit. It is no more. It has
> ceased to be. That is nothing to do with Ubuntu or Canonical;
>> blame the GNOME Project.
>
> That software progressed from version 2 to version 3 is not, in and of
> itself, an indication of the death of a product. I had no issue with the
> transition from Firefox 2 to Firefox 3 for example. So, I don't see this
> as even remotely relevant.

I think that Liam meant that Gnome 2 will die as soon as most people use
Gnome 3, just like Firefox 2 has died as soon as everyone switched to
Firefox 3.

>> Secondly, *why* did GNOME die?
>
> GNOME didn't die. They released a new version of their desktop.

I think that Liam meant that Gnome *2* died. Gnome 3 is alive and kicking.

>> You may not realise how much GNOME steals from the Microsoft Windows
> desktop - as does KDE, as does Xfce, as does LXDE - but it is a /lot./
>
> There is very little there that they in turn didn't steal from Apple and
> Xerox. You don't know very much about the history of GUI's do you? That
> surprises me, because based on your LinkedIn profile, I'd guess that
> you're only about 3 years older than I am.

I'm quite sure that Liam knows his computer history, however facts are
usually irrelevant when it comes to Microsoft's or Apple's patent troll
lawyers.

>> Compared to the non-Windows-influenced desktops (like ROX Desktop or
> GNUstep, which you may never have seen because no distro uses them by
> default),
>
> Please don't make assumptions about what I have and haven't seen. I've
> been at this a very long time. I remember when I (wrongly) thought that
> Linux was the shiny new toy that people would play with, but that real
> work would still happen on *BSD. :-)

Don't expect that everyone will check your Launchpad, LinkedIn, blog,...
before they send you a reply. OTOH Liam may have assumed a bit too much
about you, but I'm sure that he has already googled you by now.

>> *anything* with a taskbar and a hierarchical launch menu is a *direct
> ripoff* of Windows and all that design is patented.
>
> Which they in turn stole from others. Patents can (and should in this
> case) be invalidated. There is a dearth of prior art out there to show
> that they should never have been granted such a patent in the first
> place. B&N is fighting them right now on that, for example.

Can and should. Exactly.

>> Unity is more pleasant by far,
>
> An opinion that many more than you seem to think don't share.

Opinions are like the end of your gastrointestinal tract: everybody has
one (and they all stink).

> Again, I encourage you to read the Ubuntu code of conduct, and sign it.
> You're not doing yourself any favors by calling people names who have
> been doing this for a lot longer than most.

Yeah... but you signed it too, Scott. Although I cannot see your sign
date, why not?
Have you been respectful enough? Or did you get carried away? I'm just
asking.

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:41 PM
Pastor JW
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On Monday, November 21, 2011 7:07:16 am Amedee Van Gasse wrote:
> On Mon, November 21, 2011 15:24, W. Scott Lockwood III wrote:
> >> Please top quote on the list.
> >
> > When replying from my phone, I don't have a choice.
>
> Perhaps you shouldn't reply from your phone if it is broken?
>
> > When I do have a choice, I will quote as I like.
>
> Of course you will.

The easiest I have found is to just add habitual top posters to the killfile
and not have to bother with telling them over and over and over again not to
top post and mess up all the archives. These run on arguments which have
nothing at all to do with the subject really don't help anyone AND result in
chasing off actual users. I discovered yesterday that one of my users which I
suggested to come to this mail-list has 62 members of this list in his killfile
(he actually named his filters Twitfile!) Please, can't we keep this list a
place where users can actually come to get needed help?

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Old 11-21-2011, 05:35 PM
Justin Gruenberg
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 9:28 AM, Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:
> I can give you a detailed, point-by-point comparison of the
> GNOME/KDE/XFCE/LXDE desktop and the ways in which it uses methods,
> designs and techniques that were original Microsoft innovations from
> the early 1990s, as opposed to and compared with existing prior art in
> those fields.
>
> If you want details of which MS patents, the company is not disclosing
> this, intentionally. So no, there, I can't help you.

So we really do not have any idea on what their patent claims are...
so how does taking shots in the dark at what they _might_ have patents
over help? They have a number of patents covering everything from
algorithms to user interfaces, and there is no certainty that those
patents would withstand a serious challenge. For all we know, the
patents they "claim" could be the optimal snack to drink combination
that results in the maximum productivity of their programmers.

I think, as others have pointed out, claiming that the Unity and Gnome
Shell interfaces came about because of Microsoft IP claims is without
evidence.

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Old 11-21-2011, 08:11 PM
"Cybe R. Wizard"
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 14:28:46 +0000
Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:

> I can give you a detailed, point-by-point comparison of the
> GNOME/KDE/XFCE/LXDE desktop and the ways in which it uses methods,
> designs and techniques that were original Microsoft innovations from
> the early 1990s, as opposed to and compared with existing prior art in
> those fields.

I, for one, would love to see that comparison (and it has the feel of a
nice article for you, too) as my understanding is that most of
Microsoft's 'innovations' were ripped off from other software.

Cybe R. Wizard
--
When Windows are opened the bugs come in.
Winduhs

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Old 11-21-2011, 08:14 PM
"Cybe R. Wizard"
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 14:28:46 +0000
Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:

> > Actually, come to think of it, I've
> > never read anything positive about the change... and a whole lot of
> > negative. *I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but I think it
> > says something.
>
> Happy people don't complain.

Possibly true, but happy people certainly dispute. Where is the
dispute haranguing the nay-sayers and defending Unity? I see yours,
I've seen Jorge's video, I've seen that some folks actually like the
Unity thing, but there seems to not be much media dispute of the
unseemliness of the move.

Cybe R. Wizard
--
When Windows are opened the bugs come in.
Winduhs

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Old 11-21-2011, 08:15 PM
"Cybe R. Wizard"
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 14:28:46 +0000
Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:

> > Actually, come to think of it, I've
> > never read anything positive about the change... and a whole lot of
> > negative. *I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but I think it
> > says something.
>
> Happy people don't complain.

Possibly true, but happy people certainly dispute. Where is the
dispute haranguing the nay-sayers and defending Unity? I see yours,
I've seen Jorge's video, I've seen that some folks actually like the
Unity thing, but there seems to not be much media dispute of the
unseemliness of the move.

Cybe R. Wizard
--
When Windows are opened the bugs come in.
Winduhs

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Old 11-21-2011, 08:37 PM
"Cybe R. Wizard"
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 15:06:40 +0000
Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:

> >> Secondly, and this is the thing EVERYONE seems to be missing:
> >> UBUNTU *HAD* TO CHANGE THE DESKTOP.
> >> It had NO CHOICE.
> >
(then Scott said

> > False. Or, at best, citation needed.
>
> http://news.cnet.com/Ballmer-repeats-threats-against-Linux/2100-7344_3-6160604.html
>
> http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1041780/microsoft-threatens-linux
>
> & indeed:
> http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1017183/linux-innovation-missing

2007?? Really?

2007, each one, and the patent trolling of Microsoft started even
earlier. Is it your contention that /now/ it is a viable threat when
even Microsoft won't say /what/ they have patented and that suddenly
both GNOME and Ubuntu are both so fearful of Microsoft that they've
changed their whole style?

BTW, with the doubt that almost everyone seems to feel about the
validity, nay, /existence/ of these vaporware patents, can you really
think that anyone, "*HAD* TO CHANGE THE DESKTOP. It had NO CHOICE?"

Cybe R. Wizard -thinks it unlikely
--
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:58 AM
Avi Greenbury
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

Cybe R. Wizard wrote:

> On Mon, 21 Nov 2011 14:28:46 +0000
> Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > > Actually, come to think of it, I've
> > > never read anything positive about the change... and a whole lot
> > > of negative. *I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but I
> > > think it says something.
> >
> > Happy people don't complain.
>
> Possibly true, but happy people certainly dispute. Where is the
> dispute haranguing the nay-sayers and defending Unity? I see yours,
> I've seen Jorge's video, I've seen that some folks actually like the
> Unity thing, but there seems to not be much media dispute of the
> unseemliness of the move.

I think we mostly got bored of endlessly repeating ourselves not all
that long after 11.04 was released.

Those sorts of arguments ("my UI is better than your UI", "my opinion
is different to yours") frequently go nowhere at all (neither side's
about to change their mind), and have nothing much to do with ubuntu
user tech suppport.

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Old 11-23-2011, 04:05 PM
"M.R."
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On 11/21/2011 01:57 PM, Liam Proven wrote:


So the smart Linux vendors have 2 choices:

[1] Sign a pact with Microsoft to share software patents and not get
sued - e.g. SUSE, Xandros
[2] Or don't sign and change to a non-Windows-like desktop, ASAP -
e.g. Ubuntu, Fedora


I'm not entirely convinced that a patent for something like
"hierarchical launch menu" would not fall long before reaching
the litigation as it obviously fails the "non-triviality"
criterion.

Be it as it might, I dislike it intensely when a supplier
with whom I have a long and mutually trusting relationship
changes a fundamental characteristic of a product for some
external reason (shortage of commodity, cost of production,
third-party patent...), and then tries to sell the change to
~me~ with the old "...just trust us, it's good for you" line.

Mark R.


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Old 11-23-2011, 05:46 PM
Liam Proven
 
Default A task-centric desktop...

On 21 November 2011 18:35, Justin Gruenberg <justin.gruenberg@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 9:28 AM, Liam Proven <lproven@gmail.com> wrote:
>> I can give you a detailed, point-by-point comparison of the
>> GNOME/KDE/XFCE/LXDE desktop and the ways in which it uses methods,
>> designs and techniques that were original Microsoft innovations from
>> the early 1990s, as opposed to and compared with existing prior art in
>> those fields.
>>
>> If you want details of which MS patents, the company is not disclosing
>> this, intentionally. So no, there, I can't help you.
>
> So we really do not have any idea on what their patent claims are...

MS has described the areas covered.

If you know your GUIs and their history and development /well/ - and
that means knowing them in the period /before/ Windows, not Windows 95
but before Windows 3 and indeed Windows 2 - then the descriptions of
what is infringing are really quite clear pointers.

The trouble is that we're talking early to mid 1980s for the history
of GUIs and WIMPs (which are /not/ the same thing) and then the period
from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s for the stuff that MS came up with
which was new and different.

Very few people still around in this business actually remember back
then. Many just take it all as read, and maybe rely on sayings for the
history, e.g. "Apple stole the GUI from Xerox", and don't actually
know who took what from where.

Trying to reconstruct it *now* if you were *not* there is hard,
because it's all pre-Web and is very poorly documented in print.


> so how does taking shots in the dark at what they _might_ have patents
> over help?

Actually, yes, I think it does. (Although Rice-Davies applies here, of course.)

This is an important threat and that is not well-enough appreciated.

Linux is a Unix. No, it's not BSD code (or, well, /very/ little of
it), and it's not AT&T code, but it is indubitably *a* Unix. If
someone were willing to pay it could pass the X.Open conformance
tests, no bother.

That means it's a FOSS copy of a commercial system.

X.org is now /the/ official reference implementation of X.11 so it has
official status. But almost all the bits of Linux are, frankly, ripped
off. They are clean-room (mostly, kinda, ish, we hope)
reimplementations of code originated at AT&T or UCSD or UCB or who
knows what else. Almost all of it, from "ls" to vi to EMACS.

Now most of that seems to be fine now. The vendors don't care to chase
it. The only one that did was SCO and it failed, because it claimed
the /code/ was copied.

But as we progress up the layers, there is less and less diversity.

"ls" is "ls" is "ls". The differences between Solaris, AIX or Linux
are scant and don't massively matter.

But up at the desktop layer, it's different. There /are/
window-managers and desktops that are nothing like those on anything
else. Back in the 1980s, there was wild diversity: OpenLook was
nothing like the Mac System which was nothing like Windows... and GEM
was nothing like any of them, at least after Apple sued it into a
major change.

But now, the weird, the different FOSS WMs are obscurities. There are
things like ratpoison or twm or wm2 which look like nothing else. But
only a few techies use them.

Most people use Kwm or Metacity or Clutter - and they work just like Windows™.

File managers: the mainstream ones - Konqueror and Dolphin and
Nautilus and even Thunar - are significantly like Windows.

Ditto panels. Ditto application-launch menus. Ditto system trays.
Ditto desktop managers. (Think seemingly-small stuff, like how you
change your wallpaper, or what icons are present and how they look and
what they do.)

The main choices are:
KDE - a direct copy of the Windows 95 + IE4 "Active Desktop™", right
down to the way that filer-window contents are generated in HTML and
then rendered by the embedded browser.
GNOME 2 - highly Windows-like panels, menus, filer, desktop, etc.
Very much in 3rd place, Xfce - can be configured to be quite different
but contains distinct elements of the Windows implementations of
stuff.
LXDE - quite new, but the panel/menu/icons thing is straight out of Win95/NT4.

Also-runs that embody the same look and feel are IceWM and Fvwm95.

The Mac System, later MacOS - not Mac OS X, but classic MacOS -
evolved quite incrementally over 15y. It has some PC influences, but
they are quite scant. (e.g. the overlaid shortcut arrows on the icons
for aliases.)

But Windows 4, AKA Windows 95, AKA Windows Chicago with its GUI taken
from the Cairo project, was a single massive cohesive design effort to
produce a new friendly object-oriented (kinda ish) desktop GUI that
built on Windows 3 and thus on OS/2 and Windows 2, but which was
modern, new, and most of all, /different/ from anyone else.

It contains lots of new ideas that nobody had done before.

It's hard to believe now, looking back 16y, but it's true.

And the snag is that almost every new GUI since then until post-2007
uses some of those ideas. The /one/ notable exception is Mac OS X,
which is a weird fusion of bits of NeXTstep and bits of classic MacOS
and some new stuff.

Aside from it, they are /all/ Windows ripoffs. QNX is. BeOS was. OS/2
Warp 4 was, eComStation still is. GoMac on MacOS 9 was.

It is all stuff that anyone that started out with computers since 1995
will, entirely reasonably, just assume "that is how GUIs work."

But it isn't. It was all MS innovation. Yes, MS does innovate
sometimes, and some of the innovations are /really good./

> They have a number of patents covering everything from
> algorithms to user interfaces, and there is no certainty that those
> patents would withstand a serious challenge. *For all we know, the
> patents they "claim" could be the optimal snack to drink combination
> that results in the maximum productivity of their programmers.

We don't *know* but they've said what infringes, and from that, we can
work out /how/ given sufficient historical knowledge.

Before Win95, there was no such thing as a taskbar. Nobody did
anything /remotely/ like it.

Before Win95, there was no such thing as a Start menu. No system tray.
No Explorer window with a tree down the left hand side. This stuff was
all new and it is all MS intellectual property.

And much as I dislike MS and its approach to business, I think its
management would have been irresponsible and culpable if it did not
protect all this stuff.

And MS is not careless like that. It's /very/ litigious. Partly
because it is partly built and founded on stolen IP: MS-DOS 1 was a
direct ripoff of CP/M, and Windows 3 contains a lot of OS/2 ideas and
concepts, from IBM.

So I am sure it did, as, to be fair, it should.

Why it didn't enforce such things for over a decade, and then just
threaten, I don't know. I presume it was a tactic to "encourage" some
Linux vendors to sign up to IP-sharing deals.

> I think, as others have pointed out, claiming that the Unity and Gnome
> Shell interfaces came about because of Microsoft IP claims is without
> evidence.

[1] Main 2 Linux interfaces both use a MS look & feel
[2] MS rattles its sabre and indicates that the look & feel is protected
[3] Most popular FOSS Unix desktop (GNOME) junks its entire look &
feel and moves to a new one, despite much pain, a long, overrunning
development process & a very controversial new look
[4] 2 main Linux vendors /don't/ sign an IP-sharing agreement & shift
to 2 new different ones (Fedora -> GNOME 3, Ubuntu -> Unity), despite
upsetting thousands, maybe millions of users
[5] main vendor that /did/ sign (SUSE) announces that it is
re-emphasizing on KDE (an infringing desktop).

Does this /really/ look like a coincidence to you?

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