Sizing up Ximian GNOME 1.4

By Joe Barr, |  Operating Systems

The release of Ximian GNOME 1.4 a couple of weeks ago resulted in a flurry of activity as people downloaded and installed it. (See Resources for a link.) Like the KDE project, Ximian GNOME's success will go a long way toward establishing Linux as a viable desktop OS for an ever-widening circle of users. Just how wide that circle will become depends on a lot of things, such as the conclusion of the antitrust suit against Microsoft, currently being secretly debated by a federal appeals court. My sphere of influence doesn't extend to the appeals court, so this week I'm focusing on Ximian's latest release.

My first attempt to install Ximian GNOME 1.4 -- using the Normal install option -- failed (see Resources for a link) because I had hosed things up by trying to install both Evolution and Nautilus on the previous release of Ximian GNOME. The conflict between the two applications (Evolution is the emerging GNOME mail/contact/calendar package; Nautilus is the cutting-edge file manager from Eazel) had left me unable to run either of them. I sent a note to the folks at Ximian; they said they were aware of the problem and working on a fix. In the meantime, they said I could proceed by installing the Development version of Ximian GNOME. Being the bleeding-edge kind of guy that I am, I decided to give it a whirl.

Installing Ximian GNOME

I visited the Ximian site and started the installation. It takes several hours to download the complete version of Ximian GNOME (at least, it does on my 128-KB ISDN line), so I let it run while I slept. In the morning, I found an error message that said there had been a problem with an RPM package. My choices were to download from another site, try to install a different version of Ximian GNOME, or just forget the whole thing. Out of perversity, I clicked on Normal installation, which I'd attempted before, instead of trying the Development option again.

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