Sunday, May 15, 2005

Just Say GNo to Gnome

After having come away bloody and battered battling Fedora Core 4 test 3, I was in no humorous mood when I came across OSNew's (www.osnews.com) story titled "The Java Vs Mono Debate Continues on Gnome". But before I tear a new one for Miguel, let me rant a bit about Gnome and Fedora Core 4.

I bloody well hate Gnome. I think what sends me ballistic is the spastic spatial default mode in nautilus. Every time I install a new version of Redhat with its default Gnomish desktop, I wind up with all the Gnome bits and the nautilus spastic default mode. And yes, I do indeed care more for KDE than for Gnome. It wasn't always that way. In the early days of the KDE vs. Gnome competition I preferred Gnome much more than KDE. It looked better, seemed to execute faster, and when Nautilus first appeared it was really nice and much superior to Konqueror. But then the bloody GNU ideologues took over, and we had one ideology war after another sapping time and energy that should have gone into Gnome and GTK.

So I stupidly downloaded the Fedora Core 4 test 3 DVD ISO, and burned a new DVD using K3b on SuSE 9.1 because Nero 6 won't burn FC DVD ISOs under Windows XP. Burns everybody else's ISOs. Go over to my FC3 system, which was tweeked and running fine and like a fool installed FC4t3 on top of a perfectly good FC3 instalation. That's when all hell broke loose. I wound up in Gnome hell all over again, and when I tried to use KDE 3.4 as my preferred desktop the KDE panel kept core dumping. Further, gimp 2.2 wouldn't start up due to an 'illegal instruction error' when it tried to run SSE instructions on my Athlon box. Other features were either tattered or just plain broke, and after two days of trying to fix stuff I finally swore off Fedora Core completely and installed SuSE 9.1 Pro on that box just like I have on all my other home systems.

I mean, how can a group of people take a perfectly good distribution like Fedora Core 3 and screw it up as badly as FC4t3 seems to be? Was it the move to gcc 4? I've managed to build gcc 4 successfully, but some of the more complex applications I've built with it do not like being mangled by gcc 4. And some of the messages on the gcc mailing list don't inspire me to move an entire distribution over to gcc 4. Either the Fedora team needs to wait for gcc 4 to settle down with several more point releases, or they need to move back to gcc 3.4.3. If they release this pile of crap anywhere near the way it is right now it will be a total frikkin' disaster.

While in such a fine state I ran across Havoc's screed at http://galaxy.osnews.com/email.php?blog_id=979 where he carried on about what folks had written concerning Mono, especially Havoc over at Redhat. What really caught my eye was this comment at the bottom of his blog:
I can only smile when I see that Havoc tells people to try Java 5 as an alternative to Mono. Specially considering that any use of Java 5 features will likely lock people into using Sun's proprietary Java.

Excuse the hell outta me Miguel, but isn't Mono built on Microsoft's C#? The features in Java 5 are features that the rest of the programming world have been asking for a long time, and they're features that match what C# version 2 delivers, such as generics and autoboxing, just to name two. So I use a version of Java that matches capabilities found in a language from Microsoft and you call what I use proprietary? Pull your head from out of your arse and look at the devil you've decided to live with. At least I've got a language from a vendor (Sun) who has a lot more F/OSS cred than Microsoft does. Talk about a pot calling a kettle black. If using Java 5 is proprietary lock-in, then I'll take that over the Microsoft cool-aid you've been drinking.

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