[PyKDE] nubie, KDE versus Qt alone?

Boudewijn Rempt boud at rempt.xs4all.nl
Sun Nov 21 00:20:47 GMT 1999

On Sat, 20 Nov 1999, John Mudd wrote:

> I also hear mostly about people using KDE.  And KDE is something like a
> replacement for Motif and competition for other full blown windowing
> systems (e.g. MS Windows), right?  KDE apps are better that just GUI
> versions of programs because they share an environment and so
> comunicate and share objects well, right?

Well, technically, you can compare Qt with Motif, and KDE with CDE.
Qt and Motif provide the widgets, i.e. the buttons and listboxes, and
basic application frameworkds. KDE and CDE provide a desktop - a nice
application launching panel, pretty icons on the desktop, a generic
system to restart applications after a system shutdown and a lot more.

> Can I avoid KDE and just use Qt if (1) I don't run KDE on my UNIX
> machines and (2) therefore have no other KDE apps to communicate with? 
> I'm currently not interested in sharing object with spreadsheets, etc. 
> I just want to get something up and running fast.

KDE isn't so much about sharing objects across applications (at the
moment, we'll see what the future brings), as about integrating with
the desktop in matters like colour settings, language settings, session
management. So, yes, if you don't run KDE as your desktop (but plain X
with fvwm instead, for instance), you can just as well use PyQt. You get
the added bonus of relatively easy porting to Windows. An application that
uses PyKDE will never be able to run under Windows, while you could try
to recompile PyQt for Windows if you have the (expensive) Qt for Windows
library. From what you describe, using just Qt is an excellent option.
On the other hand, the KDE html widget is worth its weight in gold - and
that's something Qt doesn't provide. 

> Does Qt (and therefore KDE) run on top of X or does is it a replacement
> for X?

Qt applications are quite normal X application, so X must be running
(the only thing is, they aren't Xt apps, so don't recognize the X
resources, but that's a technicality that probably doesn't matter 
to you). Same goes for KDE. There has been a non-X windowing 
system for Unix, mgr or something like that, but it was strictly 
monochrome and decidedly primitive. And Berlin isn't ready for
anything, yet. So you can safely assume that almost everything
graphical for Linux runs over X.

Boudewijn Rempt  | http://denden.conlang.org

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