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November 26, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Corel Computer has swung a deal with the K Desktop Environment (KDE) Project to bring its graphical user interface for Linux to Corel’s Netwinder thin clients and thin servers. A non-commercial association of open source programmers, KDE scored a big win last week when its Qt toolkit was released under an open source license, silencing accusations that KDE wasn’t ‘pure’ (CI No 3,543). Now Corel has said it wants to bring new skills and technology to the project. The company has already put its hardware where its mouth is: Netwinder developer machines are shipping to the KDE developers helping with the port. It is widely recognized that putting a good GUI on Linux is an essential next step, particularly if the open-source operating system is to become the platform of choice for internet appliances such as NetWinder. Through the collaboration of KDE and Corel Computer, networking with the NetWinder will now be as easy as toasting your bread in the morning, promised Uwe Thiem, a representative of the KDE team. Others are not so sanguine about KDE. One Apple developer described it as a weird attempt to create a MS Windows-like UI by some people who had a Windows and a Linux box and were trying to make one of them look like the other without really understanding any UI design principles. You’ll be able to decide for yourself soon enough. Desktop versions of NetWinder running KDE should be available in early 1999. Early demos are said to have impressed potential customers at Septermber’s Open Systems fair in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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