History and Criticism
KDE was the first advanced desktop environment, but it was controversial due to the proprietary Qt toolkit used. GNOME was developed as an alternative due to licensing questions. The two use a different underlying toolkit and thus involve different programming, and are sponsored by two different groups, German nonprofit KDE e.V. and the United States nonprofit GNOME Foundation.
As of April 2007, one journalist estimated that KDE had 65% of market share versus 26% for GNOME. In January 2008, KDE 4 was released prematurely with bugs, driving users to GNOME. GNOME 3, released in April 2011, was called an "unholy mess" by Linus Torvalds due to its controversial design changes.
Dissatisfaction with GNOME 3 led to a fork, Cinnamon, which is developed primarily by Linux Mint developer Clement LeFebvre. This restores the more traditional desktop environment with marginal improvements.
The relatively well-funded distribution Ubuntu designed (and released in June 2011) another user interface called Unity which is radically different from the conventional desktop environment and has been criticized as having various flaws and lacking configurability. The motivation was a single desktop environment for desktops and tablets, although as of November 2012 Unity has yet to be used widely in tablets.
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Famous quotes containing the words history and, criticism and/or history:
“Modern Western thought will pass into history and be incorporated in it, will have its influence and its place, just as our body will pass into the composition of grass, of sheep, of cutlets, and of men. We do not like that kind of immortality, but what is to be done about it?”
—Alexander Herzen (18121870)
“The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public. The conventional is uncritically enjoyed, and the truly new is criticized with aversion.”
—Walter Benjamin (18921940)
“It is true that this man was nothing but an elemental force in motion, directed and rendered more effective by extreme cunning and by a relentless tactical clairvoyance .... Hitler was history in its purest form.”
—Albert Camus (19131960)