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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question
·  What is XPde?
·  Why are you doing this?
·  Why do you think this project will be a success? KDE and Gnome are out there and also can be customized to look like Windows XP.
·  I want to join the development, what do I have to do?
·  Which license uses this project?
·  Other than Kylix, what other tools and libraries are you using for development?
·  I compile programs with CPU optimizations; will the source be released?
·  What Kylix version do I need to recompile the sources?
·  What are the development plans?
·  Can this project be sued by Microsoft?
·  Could this project become commercial once is developed?
·  Why don't you modify KDE?
·  Kylix is pascal, most linux developers are C++ developers, you are stupid!!
·  Kylix is not free, you are crazy!!!!
·  Why do you think this is useful?
·  It's a waste of time, Linux users should use KDE or Gnome!!
·  Why are you trying to *clone* and not *innovate*?
·  Do you want to rule the Desktop market?
·  I'm a avid reader of Slashdot, I'm a Linux guru, I'm a BOFH, I'm a geek, Why the hell would I want this f#@#ng software?
·  You have XP in the name of the project, you can be sued by Microsoft!!!
·  You say it's an exact copy of Windows XP interface, but it is not!!
·  Do you think an *existing* user of Windows XP would want to migrate?, they are ok with what they have!!!
·  I have installed Linux for my sister, my mother, my grandma, my little she-dog and my she-turtle with no computer knowledge and they are able to use it with no problems!!!!
·  Will it clone blue screens, the sluggish start menu and so on?
·  Hahaha, you won't succeed!!!
·  I won't use your environment!!!

Answer
·  What is XPde?

It's a desktop environment (xpde) for Linux on x86. It tries to recreate the Windows XP interface to-the-pixel point, nothing more. No clipboard compatibility between Gtk and Qt applications, no emulation of Windows applications, no unification on the widgets of X applications, just a desktop environment. The rests of functionality are left to another projects that can use XPde as its desktop environment of choice.

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·  Why are you doing this?

Basically to learn more about Linux application development, and for fun. I have never been involved in a GPL project before, and I'm already starting to get the first benefits - a lot of friends around the world and a lot of fun. The main purpose is to allow *existing* Windows XP users to use a Linux machine. This can only be possible if it's available to everyone.

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·  Why do you think this project will be a success? KDE and Gnome are out there and also can be customized to look like Windows XP.

I don't know if it will be a success, but let's imagine this scenario:
-You are a Windows developer
-You develop accounting, payment and desktop applications for Windows
-You would love to develop for Linux, but you can't because none of your customers run Linux
-You could tell them, "hey!, I'm going to change all your machines to Linux, it's cheaper, faster and safer! (and all the Linux propaganda you can eat)"
-Your customers would say "Why? Our systems work, we know how to print, send mail, create documents, copy files and all we need, we don't want to change, this will mean we need to teach all my employees the new stuff and I'm not going to lose that time! Are you going to pay me for that?"

This is a common scenario in the real world of development, at least is mine. There is not enough time and money to forget Windows and install Linux, so this project is just another piece of software that could help to reduce the learning curve of a normal Windows user to use a Linux computer. The main goal is to create an "exact" copy of the Windows XP interface (without any registered logos or graphics). That way, a plain user can start to use new applications (StarOffice, Mozilla, etc) without being frightened by a new desktop.

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·  I want to join the development, what do I have to do?

The best way to be part of the project is to contribute, you can contribute right now by fixing bugs or cheking out the Help Needed page.

Check out these documents: Submitting Code, Coding Guidelines.

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·  Which license uses this project?

GPL

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·  Other than Kylix, what other tools and libraries are you using for development?

Right now just Kylix, maybe additional libraries will be required in the future

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·  I compile programs with CPU optimizations; will the source be released?

Yes, the source is available right now on the downloads section.

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·  What Kylix version do I need to recompile the sources?

I use Kylix 3 Enterprise, I have not tested with Kylix 3 Open Edition, but it may work because I don't use any database stuff. If you have success with Open Edition, please, tell me.

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·  What are the development plans?

Starting with 0.5.1, the project has all the elements that make up the Desktop paradigm (desktop, taskbar, window manager, start menu), now the main target is to add more functionality to the desktop.

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·  Can this project be sued by Microsoft?

We don't know, we are not lawyers. But in any case, we are ready for that. We don't use any of Microsoft's registered trademarks, graphics, logos, or anything.

This means someone could create a complete theme that mimics the Windows XP environment - where the dialogs are the same, the controls are positioned in the same place and with the same text. Maybe that would be illegal, but *we* don't include *copyrighted* material.

In the case Microsoft have ownership over (for example) a-dialog-that-shows-running-processes (i.e. TaskManager) and our dialog has the controls in the same positions as the Windows one, we can modify the dialogs and make them part of the skin.

Could Microsoft have copyrighted/patented something like the taskbar? Could Microsoft have copyrighted/patented the start menu concept? Could Microsoft have copyrighted/patented the tray icon concept? Could Microsoft have copyrighted/patented the desktop concept? In that case every desktop has a problem ;-)

The solution here is that we are not going to ship a complete Windows XP interface clone out-of-the-box, but it will be so easy to configure that *someone* could make it look *exactly* like the Windows XP interface. We won't provide that configuration.

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·  Could this project become commercial once is developed?

It's ruled by GPL

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·  Why don't you modify KDE?

Well, we like KDE, and some of us are KDE users, but we are sorry, we think KDE exceeds the purpose of this project. That is, KDE has many features, while XPde is just a list of features that are the same as Windows XP - any *innovation* is forbidden (no, we are not crazy, we are not stupid, we don't take drugs, ....). Also we think Kylix is the most powerful linux development tool ever created. we love it and we want more people to use it, this is a way to do that also.

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·  Kylix is pascal, most linux developers are C++ developers, you are stupid!!

Kylix 3 has a C++ version, you are the stupid! ;-)

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·  Kylix is not free, you are crazy!!!!

No, we are not crazy, Kylix has an OE (Open Edition) to develop GPL programs. The current version of XPde can be compiled with this version and we will take care to don't break this compatibility.

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·  Why do you think this is useful?

Most of people that will read this FAQ are Linux users. The rest are "experienced" Windows users. We are sorry, but this project is not for you, at least not in a direct way. If you are a developer who has direct contact with Windows customers, you will get some benefit from this project because it will allow some of YOUR customers to migrate to Linux more easily. It's not a magic solution, and it doesn't provide a complete bridge, but it helps, that's all. You will need more than XPde to force a Windows XP user to migrate to Linux.

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·  It's a waste of time, Linux users should use KDE or Gnome!!

Yes, you are right. We use KDE, and we even think it is better than the Windows XP interface, but this project is not to replace KDE or Gnome. If you can switch a Windows XP user to Linux with the lowest learning curve as possible, then the goal of using KDE or Gnome is closer. XPde is just an option for *existing* Windows XP users.

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·  Why are you trying to *clone* and not *innovate*?

Let's say it again. XPde doesn't want you to use it forever!! XPde doesn't try to create a new desktop interface!! It just exists to help *current* Windows XP users!! ;-))

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·  Do you want to rule the Desktop market?

As far as we know, we don't take such powerful drugs!!! ;-). Desktop in Linux is ruled by KDE and Gnome, but in our opinion, there is no choice for *existing* Windows XP users.

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·  I'm a avid reader of Slashdot, I'm a Linux guru, I'm a BOFH, I'm a geek, Why the hell would I want this f#@#ng software?

Sorry, but I think this is not the project for you. (well, at least geeks like any kind of tech, so if you want to look at the source code.. ;-)

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·  You have XP in the name of the project, you can be sued by Microsoft!!!

Well, we can change the name to XPde - a desktop environment developed with eXtreme Programming techniques!!! ;-)))

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·  You say it's an exact copy of Windows XP interface, but it is not!!

Well, we think it's enough at this level of development

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·  Do you think an *existing* user of Windows XP would want to migrate?, they are ok with what they have!!!

No, an *existing* user of Windows XP doesn't even know there such a thing called Linux, which can be more stable, more secure, with a lower TCO. If they know about it, they have to break too many walls to get into it. They won't want to migrate. YOU as developer, YOU as sysadmin would like your customers use Linux. It would save you countless hours on the phone, countless hours repairing stupid Windows machines, countless hours cleaning viruses and it would give you a lot of flexibility on the computer management of your customers. XPde is just another tool in your toolset to help you migrate YOUR customers.

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·  I have installed Linux for my sister, my mother, my grandma, my little she-dog and my she-turtle with no computer knowledge and they are able to use it with no problems!!!!

You are right, you don't need this project.

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·  Will it clone blue screens, the sluggish start menu and so on?

Nice joke!! we will try not to do it, but we are thinking about the blue screen... ;-)

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·  Hahaha, you won't succeed!!!

What is success?? If it can let us install Linux for our customers, this is success for us ;-)

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·  I won't use your environment!!!

What could we answer? We think this shows the key power of Linux - freedom to choose.

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