Eugene Leitl wrote:
> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> > There are several, but almost all are some version or another of
> > "X Windows". This comes with nearly all distributions of Linux,
> > so you needn't worry about having to go out and find it. :)
> This is not quite correct. Virtually all GUIs make use of X Window
> facilties, but they are not X Window. Most widespread are
> http://www.kde.org and http://www.gnome.org . Despite that KDE
> currently offers more features, Gnome's concept is imo more powerful
> (apps not limited to just C++) and proven (it's based on the same
> toolkit as The Gimp), and it does not suffer from legal problems
> due to TrollTechs proprietary (despite available as source, you
> are not allowed to modify it) Qt library as KDE does.
> Personally I use FVWM, and, occasionally, KDE. I'll switch over to
> Gnome once its beyond beta.
Even this is a slight oversimplification, at least as it was explained to me. I'm working on getting Linux up on my hardware, and I have Linux friends at work. My friends claim that Gnome is a desktop manager, which works in conjunction with a window manager (the truly sexy example of which is enlightenment) which in turn uses the X window primitives. However, if you just go out an load up Redhat 5.1, you'll be running FVWM, which works just fine and which you can think of as your window manager/GUI/ desktop/whatever.
Why is Linux of interest on this list? Well, I see it as an early indication that the traditional, antiquated views of "intellectual property" that we keep desperatly trying to apply to software are in fact becoming rapidly obsolete. This has implications for the economics of nanotechnology, as we all know. However, the nitty-gritty details of Linux are best discussed elsewhere. If you like this sort of thing, try: